Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Gone for a bit but leave you a prayer.

I am going in for surgery today as a kidney stone has become a kidney rock. After 5 weeks of pain and one surgery cancellation I am going in today and hope to have the stubborn and pain inducing stone removed. Any prayers will be appreciated and hope to be home in a day or so. Until then God Bless and here is a prayer for today,

Lord, you are the source of all life because you are life itself. Your resurrection gives me the hope of being raised from the dead to rejoice with you forever in heaven. I need to dwell more often on the good you have done for us and on your promises to those who put their trust in you. Thank you, Jesus, for taking up your life again and leading the way home to heaven. I love you, and I want to follow after you with all my heart. I want to cooperate more fully with you in bringing many others there with me.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday Readings

First Reading
Acts 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 Psalm
Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23R

R. (24) This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.

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.
“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.
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.

Second Reading
Colossians 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.

Holy Gospel
John 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.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Prayer for Good Friday

Lord Jesus, Good Friday is the day when you conquered sin by your death on the cross. You showed your mercy to be indestructible. The more the offenses thrown against you, the greater the forgiveness that came from your Sacred Heart. Thank you, Lord, for your humble, generous gift of yourself amidst such terrible suffering. I wish to accompany you closely today in your Passion. I wish to know you and to follow you more closely all the days of my life.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Sunday Readings

First Reading
Isaiah 50: 4-9a

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. He is near who upholds my right; if anyone wishes to oppose me, let us appear together. Who disputes my right? Let him confront me. See, the Lord God is my help; who will prove me wrong?

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 69: 8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34

R. (14c) Lord, in your great love, answer me.
For your sake I bear insult,
and shame covers my face.
I have become an outcast to my brothers,
a stranger to my mother's sons,
because zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak,
I looked for sympathy, but there was none;
for consolers, not one could I find.
Rather they put gall in my food,
and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving:
"See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the Lord hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not."
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Holy Gospel

Gospel: Mt 26:14-27:66 (or Mt 27:11–54)
Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “How much will you give me if I hand him over to you?” They promised to give him thirty pieces of silver, and from then on, he kept looking for the best way to hand Jesus over to them.
Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “How much will you give me if I hand him over to you?” They promised to give him thirty pieces of silver, and from then on, he kept looking for the best way to hand Jesus over to them.
On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and said to him, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?” Jesus answered, “Go into the city, to the house of a certain man, and tell him, ‘The Master says: My hour is near, and I will celebrate the Passover with my disciples in your house.’”
The disciples did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover meal.
When it was evening, Jesus sat at table with the Twelve. While they were eating, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you: one of you will betray me.” They were deeply distressed, and they asked him, one after the other, “You do not mean me, do you, Lord?”
He answered, “He who will betray me is one of those who dips his bread in the dish with me. The Son of Man is going as the Scriptures say he will. But alas for that one who betrays the Son of Man: better for him not to have been born.” Judas, who was betraying him, also asked, “You do not mean me, Master, do you?” Jesus replied, “You have said it.”
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said a blessing and broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying, “Take and eat: this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and gave thanks, and passed it to them, saying, “Drink this, all of you, for this is my blood, the blood of the Covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Yes, I say to you: From now on I will not taste the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink new wine with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
After singing psalms of praise, they went out to the Mount of Olives . Then Jesus said to them, “You will falter tonight because of me, and all will fall. For the Scripture says: I will strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered. But after my resurrection, I will go ahead of you to Galilee .”
Peter responded, “Even though all doubt you and fall, I will never fall.” Jesus replied, “Truly I say to you: this very night before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said, “Though I have to die with you, I will never deny you.” And all the disciples said the same.
Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane , and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.”
He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with him, and he began to be filled with anguish and distress. And he said to them, “My soul is full of sorrow, even to death. Remain here and stay awake with me.”
He went a little farther and fell to the ground, with his face touching the earth, and prayed, “Father, if it is possible, take this cup away from me. Yet not what I want, but what you want.” He went back to his disciples and found them asleep, and he said to Peter, “Could you not stay awake with me for even an hour? Stay awake and pray, so that you may not slip into temptation. The spirit indeed is eager, but the body is weak.”
He again went away, and prayed, “Father, if this cup cannot be taken away from me without my drinking it, let your will be done.” When he came back to his disciples, he again found them asleep, for they could not keep their eyes open. He left them again, and went to pray the third time, saying the same words.
Then he came back to his disciples and said to them, “You can sleep on now and take your rest! The hour has come, and the Son of Man will be handed over to sinners. Get up, let us go. Look: the betrayer is here!”
Jesus was still speaking when Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, who had been sent by the chief priests and the Jewish authorities. The traitor had arranged a signal for them: “The one I kiss, he is the man; arrest him.” Judas went directly to Jesus and said, “Good evening, Master”; and he gave him a kiss. But Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came for.” Then they laid hands on Jesus, and arrested him.
One of those who were with Jesus drew his sword, and struck at the servant of the High Priest, cutting off his ear. So Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place, for he who uses the sword will perish by the sword. Do you not know that I could call on my Father, and he would at once send me more than twelve legions of angels. If Scripture says that this has to be, should it not be fulfilled?”
At that moment, Jesus said to the crowd, “Why do you come to arrest me with swords and clubs, as if I were a robber? Day after day I was seated among you teaching in the Temple , yet you did not arrest me. But all this has come about in fulfillment of what the Prophets said.” Then all his disciples deserted him and fled.
Those who had arrested Jesus brought him to the house of the High Priest Caiaphas, where the teachers of the Law and the elders were assembled.
Peter followed Jesus at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the High Priest; he entered and sat with the guards, waiting to see the end.
The chief priests and the whole Supreme Council needed some false evidence against Jesus, so that they might put him to death. But they were unable to find any, even though false witnesses came forward. At last, two men came up and declared, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”
The High Priest then stood up and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer at all? What is this evidence against you?” But Jesus kept silent.
So the High Priest said to him, “In the name of the living God, I command you to tell us: Are you the Messiah, the Son of God?” Jesus answered, “It is just as you say. I tell you more: from now on, you will see the Son of Man, seated at the right hand of God most powerful, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Then the High Priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has blasphemed. What more evidence do we need? You have just heard these blasphemous words. What is your decision?” They answered, “He must die!” Then they began to spit on Jesus and slap him, while others hit him with their fists, saying, “Messiah, prophesy! Who hit you?”
Meanwhile, as Peter sat outside in the courtyard, a young servant-girl of the house said to him, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.” But he denied it before everyone, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.”
And as Peter was going out to the gateway, another servant-girl saw him and told the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
Peter denied it again with an oath, swearing, “I do not know that man.”
After a little while, those who were standing there approached Peter and said to him, “Of course you are one of the Galileans: your accent gives you away.” Peter began justifying himself with curses and oaths, protesting that he did not know Jesus. Just then a cock crowed.
And Peter remembered the words of Jesus, “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went away weeping bitterly.
Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people met together to look for ways of putting Jesus to death. They had him bound, and led him away to be handed over to Pilate, the governor.
When Judas, the traitor, realized that Jesus had been condemned, he was filled with remorse, and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying an innocent man to death.” They answered, “What does it matter to us? That is your concern.” So throwing down the money in the Temple , he went away and hanged himself.
The priests picked up the money and said, “This money cannot be put into the Temple treasury, for this is the price of blood.” So they met together, and decided to buy the Potter’s Field with the money, and to make it a cemetery for foreigners. That is why, to this day, that place has been called Field of Blood.
So what the prophet Jeremiah said was fulfilled: They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price which the Sons of Israel set on him, and they gave them for the Potter’s Field, as the Lord commanded me.
Jesus stood before the governor, who asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “You say so.”
The chief priests and the elders of the people accused him, but he made no answer. Pilate said to him, “Do you hear all the charges they bring against you?” But he did not answer even a single question, so that the governor wondered greatly.
At Passover, it was customary for the governor to release any prisoner the people asked for. Now there was a well-known prisoner called Barabbas. 17 When the people had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Whom do you want me to set free: Barabbas, or Jesus called the Messiah?” for he realized that Jesus had been handed over to him out of envy.
As Pilate was sitting in court, his wife sent him this message, “Have nothing to do with that holy man. Because of him, I had a dream last night that disturbed me greatly.”
But the chief priests and the elders of the people stirred up the crowds, to ask for the release of Barabbas and the death of Jesus. When the governor asked them again, “Which of the two do you want me to set free?” they answered, “Barabbas!” Pilate said to them, “And what shall I do with Jesus called the Messiah?” All answered, “Crucify him!” Pilate insisted, “What evil has he done?” But they shouted louder, “Crucify him!”
Pilate realized that he was getting nowhere, and that there could be a riot. He then asked for water, and washed his hands before the people, saying, “I am not responsible for his blood. It is your doing.” And all the people answered, “Let his blood be upon us and upon our children.”
Then Pilate set Barabbas free, but had Jesus scourged, and handed him over to be crucified.
The Roman soldiers took Jesus into the palace of the governor and the whole troop gathered around him. They stripped him and dressed him in a purple military cloak. Then, twisting a crown of thorns, they forced it onto his head, and placed a reed in his right hand. They knelt before Jesus and mocked him, saying, “Long life to the King of the Jews!” They spat on him, took the reed from his hand and struck him on the head with it.
When they had finished mocking him, they pulled off the purple cloak and dressed him in his own clothes again, and led him out to be crucified.
Continue here perlie
On the way they met a man from Cyrene called Simon, and forced him to carry the cross of Jesus. When they reached the place called Golgotha , which means the Skull, 34 they offered him wine mixed with gall. Jesus tasted it but would not drink it.
There they crucified him, and divided his clothes among themselves, casting lots to decide what each one should take. Then they sat down to guard him. The statement of his offense was displayed above his head, and it read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” They also crucified two bandits with him, one on his right hand and one on his left.
People passing by shook their heads and insulted him, saying, “Aha! You who destroy the Temple and in three days rebuild it, save yourself—if you are God’s Son—and come down from the cross!”
In the same way the chief priests, the elders and the teachers of the Law mocked him. They said, “The man who saved others cannot save himself. Let the King of Israel now come down from his cross and we will believe in him. He trusted in God; let God rescue him if God wants to, for he himself said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
Even the robbers who were crucified with him insulted him.
From midday, darkness fell over the whole land until mid-afternoon. At about three o’clock, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabbacthani?” which means: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? As soon as they heard this, some of the bystanders said, “He is calling for Elijah.” And one of them ran, took a sponge and soaked it in vinegar and, putting it on a reed, gave him to drink. Others said, “Leave him alone, let us see whether Elijah comes to his rescue.”
Then Jesus cried out again in a loud voice and gave up his spirit.
Just then the curtain of the Temple sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after the resurrection of Jesus, entered the Holy City , and appeared to many.
The captain and the soldiers who guarded Jesus were greatly terrified, when they saw the earthquake and all that had happened, and said, “Truly, this was God’s Son.”
There were also some women there, who watched from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had seen to his needs. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
It was now evening, and there came a wealthy man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus, and the governor ordered that the body be given to him. So Joseph took the body of Jesus, wrapped it in a clean linen sheet, and laid it in his own new tomb, which had been cut out of the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and left. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained sitting there in front of the tomb.
On the following day, the day after the Preparation for the Sabbath observance, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate and said to him, “Sir, we remember that when that impostor was still alive, he said, ‘I will rise after three days.’ Therefore, have his tomb secured until the third day, lest his disciples come and steal the body, and say to the people: He is risen from the dead. This would be a worse lie than the first.” Pilate answered them, “You have soldiers, go and take all the necessary precautions.” So they went to the tomb and secured it, sealing the stone, and placed it under guard.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Taking Stock

The other morning I was just aimlessly spending time on the Internet when I realized how meaningless a lot of my time online really was. So I took a step and deleted my facebook account.
I found myself accepting people as friends I have never met and a lot of who were out for numbers only. Everyday checking for updates etc. but not getting anything out of it. I felt like a zombie at time so I took it out. No more facebook at least for now but probably forever. I would rather make friends with real people and converse with real people/
I also found out that in a battle for the last 20 years against kidney stones I have finally been defeated. This last episode of stones which escalated 4 weeks ago has won. This Wednesday in for the laser surgery as the doctor's found a 1cm+ stone. Too big to pass so they have to go in and blast it to bits. Apparently for precautionary reasons a shunt will be placed temporarily for about 1 week so yes lots of fun.
A little extra prayer tomorrow at mass and afterwards we have a church luncheon which is always nice gathering and I for one am looking forward to it.
So this has been me taking stock. I am not sure what is wrong with me but recently things irritate me and I find myself questioning more what is around me and what do I really need from life and what really satisfies me.

Friday, April 15, 2011

So how are you doing?

As we wind down Lent and prepare for Holy Week it is time to take stick to see how we did through Lent.
Were we able to hold onto our Lenten convictions and objectives. I know I did not really give anything up it was more try to meet what is required of me. Fasting on Friday and learning more. As usual there was and has been through the years the slip ups but for the learning part it was productive. Read a lot and listened a lot as well. Certainly thankful for the way my year has gone in this aspect starting with taking Cursillo. Certainly the lord has allowed me to gain patience and if not for that I do not know where I would be.
We also started our 9:00 am mass at our parish which I liked always and now I rush to get there to help out, getting candles out, getting the altar ready and loading the mass hymns on the computer for the display on the screen during mass and tidying up after mass. Also as I have told my wife for whatever reason I love being in the church and just sitting there in silent prayer or reflection. Funny but those 10-15 minutes of solitude have become like a pill that relieves me of the weeks stresses and calms me down immensely. Sometimes I just hate leaving the church because outside of this wonderful place is the world which to me has lost its way and it is hard to get through the days.
Also I have prayed more than before and just talked or hung out if you will with our lord. Sometimes I wonder where this all leads to and sometimes I still can't comprehend why even though you pray, talk with the Lord things do not always turn out the way you want. Maybe at least I think this is part of it to deepen our faith and look within ourselves to find God.
Today off to the hospital as I have had a personal battle with a kidney stone now for the past 5 weeks. After CT scan and x-rays they found the stone and that it was extremely large so today the specialist will let me know what we will do.
Thanks for listening and God Bless!

A Prayer for Today

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.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Prayer for Today

Lord, by doing your holy will the Church grows and becomes more faithful in your service. 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, April 10, 2011

The Sunday Readings

First Reading
Ezekiel 37:12-14

Thus says the Lord GOD: O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them, and bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and have you rise from them, O my people! I will put my spirit in you that you may live, and I will settle you upon your land;
thus you shall know that I am the LORD. I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8

(7) With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.
With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
LORD, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.
With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
More than sentinels wait for the dawn,
let Israel wait for the LORD.
With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
For with the LORD is kindness
and with him is plenteous redemption;
And he will redeem Israel
from all their iniquities.
With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

Second Reading
Romans 8:8-11

Brothers and sisters: Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is alive because of righteousness. If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit dwelling in you.

Holy Gospel
John 11:1-45

Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who had anointed the Lord with perfumed oil and dried his feet with her hair; it was her brother Lazarus who was ill.

So the sisters sent word to him saying, “Master, the one you love is ill.” hen Jesus heard this he said, “This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, he remained for two days in the place where he was. Then after this he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you, and you want to go back there?” Jesus answered,
“Are there not twelve hours in a day? If one walks during the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks at night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” He said this, and then told them, “Our friend Lazarus is asleep, but I am going to awaken him.” So the disciples said to him,
“Master, if he is asleep, he will be saved.” But Jesus was talking about his death, while they thought that he meant ordinary sleep. So then Jesus said to them clearly, “Lazarus has died. And I am glad for you that I was not there, that you may believe. Let us go to him.” So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples,
“Let us also go to die with him.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away. And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her,

“Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”

When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying, “The teacher is here and is asking for you.” As soon as she heard this, she rose quickly and went to him. For Jesus had not yet come into he village, but was still where Martha had met him. So when the Jews who were with her in the house comforting her saw Mary get up quickly and go out, they followed her, presuming that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him,
“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?”
They said to him, “Sir, come and see.” And Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”But some of them said, “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?”

So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him, “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised his eyes and said,

“Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” And when he had said this, He cried out in a loud voice,
“Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.”

Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what he had done began to believe in him.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Sunday Readings

First Reading

1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a

The LORD said to Samuel: “Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen my king from among his sons.”

As Jesse and his sons came to the sacrifice, Samuel looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is here before him.” But the LORD said to Samuel: “Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance
but the LORD looks into the heart.” In the same way Jesse presented seven sons before Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen any one of these.” Then Samuel asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” Jesse replied, “There is still the youngest, who is tending the sheep.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Send for him; we will not begin the sacrificial banquet until he arrives here.” Jesse sent and had the young man brought to them. He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold and making a splendid appearance. The LORD said, “There—anoint him, for this is the one!” Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand, anointed David in the presence of his brothers; and from that day on, the spirit of the LORD rushed upon David.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 23: 1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6

R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Second Reading

Ephesians 5:8-14

Brothers and sisters: You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light,
for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention the things done by them in secret; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore, it says:

“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”

Holy Gospel

John 9:1-41

As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him. We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him,
“Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” —which means Sent—. So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is, “ but others said, “No, he just looks like him.” He said, “I am.” So they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” He replied, “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went there and washed and was able to see.” And they said to him, “Where is he?”

He said, “I don’t know.”

They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees. Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath. So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.” So some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he does not keep the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a sinful man do such signs?” And there was a division among them. So they said to the blind man again, “What do you have to say about him, since he opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

Now the Jews did not believe that he had been blind and gained his sight until they summoned the parents of the one who had gained his sight. They asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How does he now see?” His parents answered and said, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. We do not know how he sees now, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him, he is of age; he can speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone acknowledged him as the Christ, he would be expelled from the synagogue. For this reason his parents said, “He is of age; question him.”

So a second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give God the praise! We know that this man is a sinner.” He replied, “If he is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see.” So they said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them,
“I told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again?

Do you want to become his disciples, too?” They ridiculed him and said, “You are that man’s disciple; we are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but we do not know where this one is from.” The man answered and said to them, “This is what is so amazing, that you do not know where he is from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if one is devout and does his will, he listens to him. It is unheard of that anyone ever opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he would not be able to do anything.” They answered and said to him, “You were born totally in sin, and are you trying to teach us?” Then they threw him out.

When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, ADo you believe in the Son of Man?”
He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him,
the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him. Then Jesus said,
“I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.”

Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not also blind, are we?”
Jesus said to them,“If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Most Important Commandment

Here is the Gospel reading for today, it is from the book of Mark and it has the most important and powerful commandment,

Mark 12:28-34
One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “the first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! Your shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, He is one and there is no other than he. And to love him with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Reflecting through this you see the simplicity and the power of the words. Can you imagine what a beautiful world we would live in if people were to observe the writing above?