Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Resurrection of the Lord The Mass of Easter Sunday


Reading 1ACTS 10:34A, 37-43

Peter proceeded to speak and said:
“You know what has happened all over Judea, 
beginning in Galilee after the baptism
that John preached, 
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Spirit and power.
He went about doing good
and healing all those oppressed by the devil, 
for God was with him.
We are witnesses of all that he did
both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.
They put him to death by hanging him on a tree.
This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible,
not to all the people, but to us,
the witnesses chosen by God in advance,
who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
He commissioned us to preach to the people
and testify that he is the one appointed by God
as judge of the living and the dead.
To him all the prophets bear witness,
that everyone who believes in him
will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23

R. (24) This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
or:
R. Alleluia.
“The right hand of the LORD has struck with power;
the right hand of the LORD is exalted.
I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the LORD.”
R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2COL 3:1-4

Brothers and sisters:
If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, 
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.

Or 1 COR 5:6B-8

Brothers and sisters:
Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough?
Clear out the old yeast,
so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, 
inasmuch as you are unleavened.
For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.
Therefore, let us celebrate the feast, 
not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, 
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

GospelJN 20:1-9

On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark, 
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter 
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, 
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb, 
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter 
and arrived at the tomb first; 
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him, 
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, 
and the cloth that had covered his head, 
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in, 
the one who had arrived at the tomb first, 
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture 
that he had to rise from the dead.

OrLK 24:1-12

At daybreak on the first day of the week 
the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus 
took the spices they had prepared
and went to the tomb.
They found the stone rolled away from the tomb;
but when they entered,
they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
While they were puzzling over this, behold,
two men in dazzling garments appeared to them.
They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. 
They said to them,
“Why do you seek the living one among the dead?
He is not here, but he has been raised.
Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee, 
that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners
and be crucified, and rise on the third day.”
And they remembered his words.
Then they returned from the tomb
and announced all these things to the eleven
and to all the others.
The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James;
the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles,
but their story seemed like nonsense
and they did not believe them.
But Peter got up and ran to the tomb, 
bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone;
then he went home amazed at what had happened.

A Morning Paryer


O God,
We saw the bread crumbs, emptied vessels, damp towels
Scattered over the shaking floor of our faith.
Justice was swept under the rug of violence
And redemption hung in the balance of a cross.
Just when all seemed lost and death began to dance
The long night came to an end.
We proclaim your Death, O Lord!.
At dawn, on the first day of the week
We pulled ourselves away from tear-stained pillows
And walked in tired mourning to the place
Where unguarded, the stone, was rolled away,
Revealing an empty tomb
Full of life and possibility!
The earth shook with the news, “He is not here!”
And we profess your Resurrection!
Light shines and lilies bloom.
You are with us again in this upper room.
We sigh and laugh at stories of darkness past.
At your table we eat and sing
Alleluia! Alleluia! Bells of blessing ring!
We dare to touch each other’s hands and side.
Peace is your gift, Love is our guide.
Until you come again! 
 David L. Coppola

Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)




Reading 1IS 52:13—53:12

See, my servant shall prosper,
he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.
Even as many were amazed at him—
so marred was his look beyond human semblance
and his appearance beyond that of the sons of man—
so shall he startle many nations,
because of him kings shall stand speechless;
for those who have not been told shall see,
those who have not heard shall ponder it.

Who would believe what we have heard?
To whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
He grew up like a sapling before him,
like a shoot from the parched earth;
there was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him,
nor appearance that would attract us to him.
He was spurned and avoided by people,
a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity,
one of those from whom people hide their faces,
spurned, and we held him in no esteem.

Yet it was our infirmities that he bore,
our sufferings that he endured,
while we thought of him as stricken,
as one smitten by God and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our offenses,
crushed for our sins;
upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole,
by his stripes we were healed.
We had all gone astray like sheep,
each following his own way;
but the LORD laid upon him
the guilt of us all.

Though he was harshly treated, he submitted
and opened not his mouth;
like a lamb led to the slaughter
or a sheep before the shearers,
he was silent and opened not his mouth.
Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away,
and who would have thought any more of his destiny?
When he was cut off from the land of the living,
and smitten for the sin of his people,
a grave was assigned him among the wicked
and a burial place with evildoers,
though he had done no wrong
nor spoken any falsehood.
But the LORD was pleased
to crush him in infirmity.

If he gives his life as an offering for sin,
he shall see his descendants in a long life,
and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him.

Because of his affliction
he shall see the light in fullness of days;
through his suffering, my servant shall justify many,
and their guilt he shall bear.
Therefore I will give him his portion among the great,
and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty,
because he surrendered himself to death
and was counted among the wicked;
and he shall take away the sins of many,
and win pardon for their offenses.

Responsorial Psalm PS 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25

R. (Lk 23:46) Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
For all my foes I am an object of reproach,
a laughingstock to my neighbors, and a dread to my friends;
they who see me abroad flee from me.
I am forgotten like the unremembered dead;
I am like a dish that is broken.
R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
But my trust is in you, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.
In your hands is my destiny; rescue me
from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.”
R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
Take courage and be stouthearted,
all you who hope in the LORD.
R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

Reading 2HEB 4:14-16; 5:7-9

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, 
Jesus, the Son of God, 
let us hold fast to our confession.
For we do not have a high priest
who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, 
but one who has similarly been tested in every way,
yet without sin.
So let us confidently approach the throne of grace 
to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.

In the days when Christ was in the flesh, 
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears 
to the one who was able to save him from death, 
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; 
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

GospelJN 18:1—19:42

Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley 
to where there was a garden, 
into which he and his disciples entered.
Judas his betrayer also knew the place, 
because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.
So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards 
from the chief priests and the Pharisees 
and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him, 
went out and said to them, “Whom are you looking for?”
They answered him, “Jesus the Nazorean.”
He said to them, “I AM.”
Judas his betrayer was also with them.
When he said to them, “I AM, “ 
they turned away and fell to the ground.
So he again asked them,
“Whom are you looking for?”
They said, “Jesus the Nazorean.”
Jesus answered,
“I told you that I AM.
So if you are looking for me, let these men go.”
This was to fulfill what he had said, 
“I have not lost any of those you gave me.”
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, 
struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear.
The slave’s name was Malchus.
Jesus said to Peter,
“Put your sword into its scabbard.
Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?”

So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus,
bound him, and brought him to Annas first.
He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, 
who was high priest that year.
It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews 
that it was better that one man should die rather than the people.

Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.
Now the other disciple was known to the high priest, 
and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus.
But Peter stood at the gate outside.
So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest, 
went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in.
Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter, 
“You are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?”
He said, “I am not.”
Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire
that they had made, because it was cold,
and were warming themselves.
Peter was also standing there keeping warm.

The high priest questioned Jesus 
about his disciples and about his doctrine.
Jesus answered him,
“I have spoken publicly to the world.
I have always taught in a synagogue 
or in the temple area where all the Jews gather, 
and in secret I have said nothing. Why ask me?
Ask those who heard me what I said to them.
They know what I said.”
When he had said this, 
one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said, 
“Is this the way you answer the high priest?”
Jesus answered him,
“If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong; 
but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”
Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm.
And they said to him,
“You are not one of his disciples, are you?”
He denied it and said,
“I am not.”
One of the slaves of the high priest, 
a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said, 
“Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?”
Again Peter denied it.
And immediately the cock crowed.

Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium.
It was morning.
And they themselves did not enter the praetorium, 
in order not to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover.
So Pilate came out to them and said, 
“What charge do you bring against this man?”
They answered and said to him,
“If he were not a criminal, 
we would not have handed him over to you.”
At this, Pilate said to them, 
“Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law.”
The Jews answered him, 
“We do not have the right to execute anyone, “ 
in order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled
that he said indicating the kind of death he would die.
So Pilate went back into the praetorium 
and summoned Jesus and said to him, 
“Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered,
“Do you say this on your own 
or have others told you about me?”
Pilate answered,
“I am not a Jew, am I?
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?”
Jesus answered,
“My kingdom does not belong to this world.
If my kingdom did belong to this world, 
my attendants would be fighting 
to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.
But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”
So Pilate said to him,
“Then you are a king?”
Jesus answered,
“You say I am a king.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world, 
to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

When he had said this,
he again went out to the Jews and said to them,
“I find no guilt in him.
But you have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at Passover.
Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”
They cried out again,
“Not this one but Barabbas!”
Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.
And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, 
and clothed him in a purple cloak, 
and they came to him and said,
“Hail, King of the Jews!”
And they struck him repeatedly.
Once more Pilate went out and said to them, 
“Look, I am bringing him out to you, 
so that you may know that I find no guilt in him.”
So Jesus came out, 
wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak.
And he said to them, “Behold, the man!”
When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out, 
“Crucify him, crucify him!”
Pilate said to them,
“Take him yourselves and crucify him.
I find no guilt in him.”
The Jews answered, 
“We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die, 
because he made himself the Son of God.”
Now when Pilate heard this statement,
he became even more afraid, 
and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus, 
“Where are you from?”
Jesus did not answer him.
So Pilate said to him,
“Do you not speak to me?
Do you not know that I have power to release you 
and I have power to crucify you?”
Jesus answered him,
“You would have no power over me 
if it had not been given to you from above.
For this reason the one who handed me over to you
has the greater sin.”
Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out, 
“If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar.
Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”

When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out 
and seated him on the judge’s bench 
in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon.
And he said to the Jews,
“Behold, your king!”
They cried out,
“Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!”
Pilate said to them,
“Shall I crucify your king?”
The chief priests answered,
“We have no king but Caesar.”
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross himself, 
he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, 
in Hebrew, Golgotha.
There they crucified him, and with him two others, 
one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross.
It read,
“Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.”
Now many of the Jews read this inscription, 
because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; 
and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.
So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, 
“Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’
but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews’.”
Pilate answered,
“What I have written, I have written.”

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, 
they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, 
a share for each soldier.
They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless, 
woven in one piece from the top down.
So they said to one another, 
“Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be, “ 
in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says:
They divided my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.

This is what the soldiers did.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple,
“Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

After this, aware that everything was now finished, 
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, 
Jesus said, “I thirst.”
There was a vessel filled with common wine.
So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop 
and put it up to his mouth.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said,
“It is finished.”
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

Now since it was preparation day,
in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath,
for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, 
the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken 
and that they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first 
and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, 
they did not break his legs, 
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, 
and immediately blood and water flowed out.
An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; 
he knows that he is speaking the truth, 
so that you also may come to believe.
For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled:
Not a bone of it will be broken.
And again another passage says:
They will look upon him whom they have pierced.

After this, Joseph of Arimathea, 
secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, 
asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus.
And Pilate permitted it.
So he came and took his body.
Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, 
also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes 
weighing about one hundred pounds.
They took the body of Jesus 
and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, 
according to the Jewish burial custom.
Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, 
and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried.
So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; 
for the tomb was close by.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pope Francis urges Christians to have joy over Cross


.- Pope Francis declared on Palm Sunday that Christians must not be sad or discouraged but filled with joy because Jesus conquered evil and every sin “with the force of God’s love.”
“Jesus on the Cross feels the whole weight of the evil, and with the force of God’s love he conquers it, he defeats it with his resurrection,” he said March 24.
“Dear friends,” Pope Francis told the thousands of pilgrims filling St. Peter’s Square and the street leading to it, “we can all conquer the evil that is in us and in the world: with Christ, with the force of good!”
The liturgy began with the Pope touring through the crowd in the open-air popemobile and finishing at the obelisk that stands in the middle of St. Peter’s Square.
Accompanied by cardinals, bishops and laity holding palms, he listened as the readings were proclaimed. The group of clergy and faithful then made their way to the altar in front of the basilica and heard the reading of the Passion of Christ from Matthew’s Gospel.
Pope Francis reflected on three elements in his Palm Sunday homily: the joy that comes from meeting and knowing Christ; the fact that Jesus entered Jerusalem to redeem the world with his loving sacrifice on the Cross; and that young people can teach everyone to embrace the Cross with joy and to live lives of self-sacrifice.
The first word that came to the Pope’s mind as he reflected on the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem was joy.
“Do not be men and women of sadness: a Christian can never be sad! Never give way to discouragement!
“Ours is not a joy that comes from having many possessions, but from having encountered a Person: Jesus, from knowing that with him we are never alone, even at difficult moments, even when our life’s journey comes up against problems and obstacles that seem insurmountable,” he said.
The Pope then turned to his second point of reflection – the way Jesus entered Jerusalem, as a king who was received “by humble people, simple folk.”
But even more, he entered “to receive a crown of thorns, a staff, a purple robe: his kingship becomes an object of derision.
“And this brings us to the second word: Cross. Jesus enters Jerusalem in order to die on the Cross.
“And it is here that his kingship shines forth in godly fashion: his royal throne is the wood of the Cross,” he underscored.
What Jesus did, Pope Francis said, was to take upon himself “the evil, the filth, the sin of the world, including our own sin,” and cleanse it “with his blood, with the mercy and the love of God.”
He then recalled how the world is filled with the effects of evil and sin:
“Wars, violence, economic conflicts that hit the weakest, greed for money, power, corruption, divisions, crimes against human life and against creation! And our personal sins: our failures in love and respect towards God, towards our neighbor and towards the whole of creation.”
In the face of all this, he asked, “Do we feel weak, inadequate, powerless?”
“But,” he responded, “God is not looking for powerful means: it is through the Cross that he has conquered evil! We must not believe the Evil One when he tells us: you can do nothing to counter violence, corruption, injustice, your sins!”
“We must never grow accustomed to evil!” he insisted.
“With Christ,” he declared, “we can transform ourselves and the world. We must bear the victory of Christ’s Cross to everyone everywhere, we must bear this great love of God.”
Pope Francis dedicated his final words to the youth, who were in St. Peter’s Square today because Palm Sunday is traditionally the day on which World Youth Day is celebrated at the diocesan level.
“Dear young people,” he said, you have “an important part in the celebration of faith! You bring us the joy of faith and you tell us that we must live the faith with a young heart, always, even at the age of seventy or eighty.”
“And you are not ashamed of his Cross! On the contrary, you embrace it, because you have understood that it is in giving ourselves that we have true joy and that God has conquered evil through love,” he told the youth.
Pope Francis also looked ahead to this coming July, when he will participate in his first World Youth Day as Pope.
“Dear friends,” he said, “I too am setting out on a journey with you, in the footsteps of Blessed John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
“We are already close to the next stage of this great pilgrimage of Christ’s Cross. I look forward joyfully to next July in Rio de Janeiro!” he told the young people in St. Peter’s Square.
“I will see you in that great city in Brazil! Prepare well – prepare spiritually above all – in your communities, so that our gathering in Rio may be a sign of faith for the whole world.”
Following Palm Sunday Mass, Pope Francis spent around 25 minutes moving through the piazza greeting the faithful – an unusually long time for a segment that typically takes about 10 minutes.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord Lectionary: 37 and 38



At The Procession With Palms - GospelLK 19:28-40

Jesus proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.
As he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany 
at the place called the Mount of Olives, 
he sent two of his disciples.
He said, “Go into the village opposite you, 
and as you enter it you will find a colt tethered 
on which no one has ever sat.
Untie it and bring it here.
And if anyone should ask you,
‘Why are you untying it?’ 
you will answer,
‘The Master has need of it.’”
So those who had been sent went off 
and found everything just as he had told them.
And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, 
“Why are you untying this colt?”
They answered,
“The Master has need of it.”
So they brought it to Jesus,
threw their cloaks over the colt, 
and helped Jesus to mount.
As he rode along,
the people were spreading their cloaks on the road; 
and now as he was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives, 
the whole multitude of his disciples
began to praise God aloud with joy
for all the mighty deeds they had seen.
They proclaimed:
“Blessed is the king who comes
in the name of the Lord.
Peace in heaven
and glory in the highest.”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him,
“Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”
He said in reply,
“I tell you, if they keep silent,
the stones will cry out!”

At The Mass - Reading 1IS 50:4-7

The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
that I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.
Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
and I have not rebelled,
have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
my face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.

The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.

Responsorial PsalmPS 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24

R. (2a) My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
All who see me scoff at me;
they mock me with parted lips, they wag their heads:
“He relied on the LORD; let him deliver him,
let him rescue him, if he loves him.”
R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Indeed, many dogs surround me,
a pack of evildoers closes in upon me;
They have pierced my hands and my feet;
I can count all my bones.
R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
They divide my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.
But you, O LORD, be not far from me;
O my help, hasten to aid me.
R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
I will proclaim your name to my brethren;
in the midst of the assembly I will praise you:
“You who fear the LORD, praise him;
all you descendants of Jacob, give glory to him;
revere him, all you descendants of Israel!”
R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

Reading 2PHIL 2:6-11

Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

GospelLK 22:14—23:56

When the hour came,
Jesus took his place at table with the apostles.
He said to them, 
“I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer,
for, I tell you, I shall not eat it again 
until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and said, 
“Take this and share it among yourselves; 
for I tell you that from this time on 
I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine 
until the kingdom of God comes.”
Then he took the bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 
“This is my body, which will be given for you; 
do this in memory of me.”
And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, 
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
which will be shed for you.

“And yet behold, the hand of the one who is to betray me
is with me on the table; 
for the Son of Man indeed goes as it has been determined;
but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed.”
And they began to debate among themselves 
who among them would do such a deed.

Then an argument broke out among them
about which of them should be regarded as the greatest.
He said to them,
“The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them 
and those in authority over them are addressed as ‘Benefactors’; 
but among you it shall not be so.
Rather, let the greatest among you be as the youngest, 
and the leader as the servant.
For who is greater: 
the one seated at table or the one who serves?
Is it not the one seated at table?
I am among you as the one who serves.
It is you who have stood by me in my trials;
and I confer a kingdom on you, 
just as my Father has conferred one on me, 
that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom; 
and you will sit on thrones
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

“Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded
to sift all of you like wheat,
but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; 
and once you have turned back,
you must strengthen your brothers.”
He said to him,
“Lord, I am prepared to go to prison and to die with you.”
But he replied,
“I tell you, Peter, before the cock crows this day,
you will deny three times that you know me.”

He said to them,
“When I sent you forth without a money bag or a sack or sandals,
were you in need of anything?”
“No, nothing, “ they replied.
He said to them,
“But now one who has a money bag should take it,
and likewise a sack, 
and one who does not have a sword
should sell his cloak and buy one.
For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me,
namely, He was counted among the wicked;
and indeed what is written about me is coming to fulfillment.”
Then they said,
“Lord, look, there are two swords here.”
But he replied, “It is enough!”

Then going out, he went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives,
and the disciples followed him.
When he arrived at the place he said to them, 
“Pray that you may not undergo the test.”
After withdrawing about a stone’s throw from them and kneeling,
he prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, 
take this cup away from me; 
still, not my will but yours be done.”
And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him.
He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently 
that his sweat became like drops of blood
falling on the ground.
When he rose from prayer and returned to his disciples, 
he found them sleeping from grief.
He said to them, “Why are you sleeping?
Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test.”

While he was still speaking, a crowd approached 
and in front was one of the Twelve, a man named Judas.
He went up to Jesus to kiss him.
Jesus said to him, 
“Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
His disciples realized what was about to happen, and they asked, 
“Lord, shall we strike with a sword?”
And one of them struck the high priest’s servant
and cut off his right ear.
But Jesus said in reply,
“Stop, no more of this!”
Then he touched the servant’s ear and healed him.
And Jesus said to the chief priests and temple guards 
and elders who had come for him, 
“Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs?
Day after day I was with you in the temple area,
and you did not seize me;
but this is your hour, the time for the power of darkness.”

After arresting him they led him away 
and took him into the house of the high priest; 
Peter was following at a distance.
They lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it,
and Peter sat down with them.
When a maid saw him seated in the light, 
she looked intently at him and said,
“This man too was with him.”
But he denied it saying,
“Woman, I do not know him.”
A short while later someone else saw him and said, 
“You too are one of them”; 
but Peter answered, “My friend, I am not.”
About an hour later, still another insisted, 
“Assuredly, this man too was with him,
for he also is a Galilean.”
But Peter said,
“My friend, I do not know what you are talking about.”
Just as he was saying this, the cock crowed,
and the Lord turned and looked at Peter; 
and Peter remembered the word of the Lord,
how he had said to him,
“Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.”
He went out and began to weep bitterly.
The men who held Jesus in custody were ridiculing and beating him.
They blindfolded him and questioned him, saying, 
“Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?”
And they reviled him in saying many other things against him.

When day came the council of elders of the people met, 
both chief priests and scribes, 
and they brought him before their Sanhedrin.
They said, “If you are the Christ, tell us, “ 
but he replied to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, 
and if I question, you will not respond.
But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated 
at the right hand of the power of God.”
They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”
He replied to them, “You say that I am.”
Then they said, “What further need have we for testimony?
We have heard it from his own mouth.”

Then the whole assembly of them arose and brought him before Pilate.
They brought charges against him, saying, 
“We found this man misleading our people; 
he opposes the payment of taxes to Caesar 
and maintains that he is the Christ, a king.”
Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
He said to him in reply, “You say so.”
Pilate then addressed the chief priests and the crowds, 
“I find this man not guilty.”
But they were adamant and said, 
“He is inciting the people with his teaching throughout all Judea,
from Galilee where he began even to here.”

On hearing this Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean; 
and upon learning that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction,
he sent him to Herod who was in Jerusalem at that time.
Herod was very glad to see Jesus; 
he had been wanting to see him for a long time,
for he had heard about him 
and had been hoping to see him perform some sign.
He questioned him at length,
but he gave him no answer.
The chief priests and scribes, meanwhile,
stood by accusing him harshly.
Herod and his soldiers treated him contemptuously and mocked him,
and after clothing him in resplendent garb, 
he sent him back to Pilate.
Herod and Pilate became friends that very day, 
even though they had been enemies formerly.
Pilate then summoned the chief priests, the rulers, and the people 
and said to them, “You brought this man to me
and accused him of inciting the people to revolt.
I have conducted my investigation in your presence 
and have not found this man guilty 
of the charges you have brought against him, 
nor did Herod, for he sent him back to us.
So no capital crime has been committed by him.
Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him.”

But all together they shouted out, 
“Away with this man!
Release Barabbas to us.”
— Now Barabbas had been imprisoned for a rebellion 
that had taken place in the city and for murder. —
Again Pilate addressed them, still wishing to release Jesus,
but they continued their shouting,
“Crucify him! Crucify him!”
Pilate addressed them a third time,
“What evil has this man done?
I found him guilty of no capital crime.
Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him.”
With loud shouts, however,
they persisted in calling for his crucifixion,
and their voices prevailed.
The verdict of Pilate was that their demand should be granted.
So he released the man who had been imprisoned
for rebellion and murder, for whom they asked,
and he handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they wished.

As they led him away
they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, 
who was coming in from the country; 
and after laying the cross on him, 
they made him carry it behind Jesus.
A large crowd of people followed Jesus, 
including many women who mourned and lamented him.
Jesus turned to them and said, 
“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; 
weep instead for yourselves and for your children 
for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, 
‘Blessed are the barren,
the wombs that never bore
and the breasts that never nursed.’
At that time people will say to the mountains,
‘Fall upon us!’
and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’
for if these things are done when the wood is green 
what will happen when it is dry?”
Now two others, both criminals,
were led away with him to be executed.

When they came to the place called the Skull, 
they crucified him and the criminals there, 
one on his right, the other on his left.
Then Jesus said,
“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
They divided his garments by casting lots.
The people stood by and watched; 
the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said, 
“He saved others, let him save himself 
if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.”
Even the soldiers jeered at him.
As they approached to offer him wine they called out,
“If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”
Above him there was an inscription that read, 
“This is the King of the Jews.”

Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,
“Are you not the Christ?
Save yourself and us.”
The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply,
“Have you no fear of God,
for you are subject to the same condemnation?
And indeed, we have been condemned justly,
for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, 
but this man has done nothing criminal.”
Then he said,
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
He replied to him,
“Amen, I say to you, 
today you will be with me in Paradise.”

It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land
until three in the afternoon
because of an eclipse of the sun.
Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle.
Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”; 
and when he had said this he breathed his last.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

The centurion who witnessed what had happened glorified God and said,
“This man was innocent beyond doubt.”
When all the people who had gathered for this spectacle saw what had happened,
they returned home beating their breasts;
but all his acquaintances stood at a distance, 
including the women who had followed him from Galilee 
and saw these events.
Now there was a virtuous and righteous man named Joseph who,
though he was a member of the council, 
had not consented to their plan of action.
He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea 
and was awaiting the kingdom of God.
He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
After he had taken the body down, 
he wrapped it in a linen cloth
and laid him in a rock-hewn tomb
in which no one had yet been buried.
It was the day of preparation,
and the sabbath was about to begin.
The women who had come from Galilee with him followed behind, 
and when they had seen the tomb 
and the way in which his body was laid in it, 
they returned and prepared spices and perfumed oils.
Then they rested on the sabbath according to the commandment.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spiritual poverty threatens world peace, Pope states


.- Pope Francis invited the diplomats accredited to the Holy See to join him in fighting both material and spiritual poverty, which both contribute to the lack of peace in the world.

“Fighting poverty, both material and spiritual, building peace and constructing bridges: these, as it were, are the reference points for a journey that I want to invite each of the countries here represented to take up,” Pope Francis said March 22.

The Pope met this morning in the Regia Hall of the Apostolic Palace with representatives from the more than 180 countries, sovereign orders and international organizations that have formal relations with the Vatican.

After a message of welcome and thanks from Ambassador Jean-Claude Michel, the dean of the diplomatic corps, Pope Francis offered his thoughts on the meeting and the Church’s engagement with the world.

This is “a simple yet deeply felt ceremony that somehow seeks to express the Pope’s embrace of the world. Through you, indeed, I encounter your peoples, and thus in a sense I can reach out to every one of your fellow citizens, with their joys, their troubles, their expectations, their desires,” he said.
He also highlighted some of the reasons why he chose the name Francis, including his love and care for the poor, work that he noted Christians are engaged in throughout the world.
“But there is another form of poverty!” he told the diplomats.
“It is the spiritual poverty of our time, which afflicts the so-called richer countries particularly seriously.
“It is what my much-loved predecessor, Benedict XVI, called the ‘tyranny of relativism,’ which makes everyone his own criterion and endangers the coexistence of peoples,” he said.
The second reason that he chose Francis, the Pope recalled, is that the saint worked to build peace.
“But there is no true peace without truth!” he stressed.
“There cannot be true peace if everyone is his own criterion, if everyone can always claim exclusively his own rights, without at the same time caring for the good of others, of everyone, on the basis of the nature that unites every human being on this earth.”
Pope Francis noted that one of his titles is “pontiff, that is, a builder of bridges with God and between people.”
“My own origins,” he explained, “impel me to work for the building of bridges. As you know, my family is of Italian origin; and so this dialogue between places and cultures a great distance apart matters greatly to me.”
And the growing interconnectedness and interdependence of the world makes the need for “real spaces of authentic fraternity” more important as well, he said.
Pope Francis underscored that building real brotherhood requires the contributions of faith, since it is “not possible to build bridges between people while forgetting God.”
“But the converse is also true: it is not possible to establish true links with God, while ignoring other people,” he added.
For this reason, the Pope told the ambassadors it is “important to intensify dialogue among the various religions” and that he is “thinking particularly of dialogue with Islam” and “non-believers.”
Pope Francis acknowledged that “fighting poverty, both material and spiritual, building peace and constructing bridges” will be “difficult if we do not learn to grow in love for this world of ours,” which involves both people and the environment.
“Here too, it helps me to think of the name of Francis, who teaches us profound respect for the whole of creation and the protection of our environment, which all too often, instead of using for the good, we exploit greedily, to one another’s detriment,” he said.
After delivering his address, Pope Francis individually greeted the diplomats, some of whom were accompanied by their wives.
On Saturday, Pope Francis will take a helicopter to meet with Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo around noon. His first Holy Week as Pope will begin the following day with the celebration of Palm Sunday Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Morning Prayer

Lord, you are life and truth and goodness. You are also peace and mercy. How grateful I am to have this moment to turn to you. Without you I can do nothing good. In fact, when I do good, it is you working through me, despite my failings. Thank you, Lord. Here I am ready to love you more.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Fifth Sunday of Lent


Reading 1IS 43:16-21

Thus says the LORD,
who opens a way in the sea
and a path in the mighty waters,
who leads out chariots and horsemen,
a powerful army,
till they lie prostrate together, never to rise,
snuffed out and quenched like a wick.
Remember not the events of the past,
the things of long ago consider not;
see, I am doing something new!
Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
In the desert I make a way,
in the wasteland, rivers.
Wild beasts honor me,
jackals and ostriches,
for I put water in the desert
and rivers in the wasteland
for my chosen people to drink,
the people whom I formed for myself,
that they might announce my praise.

Responsorial PsalmPS 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6

R. (3) The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Reading 2PHIL 3:8-14

Brothers and sisters:
I consider everything as a loss 
because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things 
and I consider them so much rubbish, 
that I may gain Christ and be found in him, 
not having any righteousness of my own based on the law 
but that which comes through faith in Christ, 
the righteousness from God, 
depending on faith to know him and the power of his resurrection 
and the sharing of his sufferings by being conformed to his death, 
if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

It is not that I have already taken hold of it 
or have already attained perfect maturity, 
but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, 
since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ Jesus.
Brothers and sisters, I for my part 
do not consider myself to have taken possession.
Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind 
but straining forward to what lies ahead, 
I continue my pursuit toward the goal, 
the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.

GospelJN 8:1-11

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area, 
and all the people started coming to him, 
and he sat down and taught them.
Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman 
who had been caught in adultery 
and made her stand in the middle.
They said to him,
“Teacher, this woman was caught 
in the very act of committing adultery.
Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.
So what do you say?”
They said this to test him,
so that they could have some charge to bring against him.
Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.
But when they continued asking him,
he straightened up and said to them,
“Let the one among you who is without sin 
be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
And in response, they went away one by one,
beginning with the elders.
So he was left alone with the woman before him.
Then Jesus straightened up and said to her,
“Woman, where are they?
Has no one condemned you?”
She replied, “No one, sir.”
Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you.
Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”

A Prayer for Today


May the strength of God
guide me this day,
and may God’s power preserve me.

May the wisdom of God instruct me:
the eye of God watch over me;
the ear of God hear me;
the word of God give sweetness to my speech;
the hand of God defend me;
and may I follow the way of God.

Christ be with me, Christ before me,
Christ be after me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right hand, Christ at my left.
Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I rise.
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me. 
 St. Patrick

Prayer

Lord God, I come from dust and to dust I shall return. You, however, existed before all time, and every creature takes its being from you. ...