St. Bede the Venerable

Bede is one of the few saints honored as such even during his lifetime. His writings were filled with such faith and learning that even while he was still alive, a Church council ordered them to be read publicly in the churches.

At an early age, Bede was entrusted to the care of the abbot of the Monastery of St. Paul, Jarrow. The happy combination of genius and the instruction of scholarly, saintly monks, produced a saint and an extraordinary scholar, perhaps the most outstanding one of his day. He was deeply versed in all the sciences of his times: natural philosophy, the philosophical principles of Aristotle, astronomy, arithmetic, grammar, ecclesiastical history, the lives of the saints and especially, holy Scripture.

From the time of his ordination to the priesthood at 30—he had been ordained a deacon at 19—till his death, Bede was ever occupied with learning, writing, and teaching. Besides the many books that he copied, he composed 45 of his own, including 30 commentaries on books of the Bible.

His Ecclesiastical History of the English People is commonly regarded as of decisive importance in the art and science of writing history. A unique era was coming to an end at the time of Bede’s death: It had fulfilled its purpose of preparing Western Christianity to assimilate the non-Roman barbarian North. Bede recognized the opening to a new day in the life of the Church even as it was happening.

Although eagerly sought by kings and other notables, even Pope Sergius, Bede managed to remain in his own monastery until his death. Only once did he leave for a few months in order to teach in the school of the archbishop of York. Bede died in 735 praying his favorite prayer: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As in the beginning, so now, and forever.”


Acts 17:15, 22--18:1

15 Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they departed.
22 So Paul, standing in the middle of the Are-op'agus, said: "Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious.
23 For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, `To an unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.
24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man,
25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything.
26 And he made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation,
27 that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us,
28 for `In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your poets have said, `For we are indeed his offspring.'
29 Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the Deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, a representation by the art and imagination of man.
30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent,
31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead."
32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked; but others said, "We will hear you again about this."
33 So Paul went out from among them.
34 But some men joined him and believed, among them Dionys'ius the Are-op'agite and a woman named Dam'aris and others with them.
1 After this he left Athens and went to Corinth.


John 16:12-15

12 "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.


Psalms 148:1-2, 11-14

1 Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host!
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and maidens together, old men and children!
13 Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him. Praise the LORD!


Lord, may every person discover that You are not far from each of us

Wednesday May 25 2022
6th Week of Easter  
St Bede the venerable, priest & doctor  
St Gregory VII, pope  
St Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, virgin  
Acts 17:15-22—18:1;  Ps. 148:1-2,11-12,   13,14; 
Jn. 16:12-15  (Ps Wk II)


Ancient Athens was a centre of civilisation. In his speech, Paul does not describe God from his point of view but, instead, starts with the local culture. Paul tells the Athenians that God is already present in their society. They are groping in the dark to discover this life-giving God. Paul gives them hope, “…indeed He is not far from each one of us” and “in Him, we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:27, 28)

The people seem to follow his message. However, when Paul mentions resurrection, this no longer seems reasonable. It is beyond their experience and imagination. It seems absurd.

Why then do Christians today believe that Jesus is alive? The Risen Lord has sent the Spirit to guide us in the truth (Jn.16:13). The Holy Spirit has given many people a personal experience of Jesus’ power in their lives. Perhaps a miracle was witnessed, a prayer answered, a blessing received or simply, a subtle inner voice heard. A Christian is someone who has discovered God in the dark.

Today, many others are still searching. We are  invited to carry on Paul’s mission— Christ’s mission —in our own culture, through our words, actions and  presence of love.

Lord, may every person discover that You are not far from each of us. Work through me today.