The Word of God

May 31, 2020


For the Readings for the Extended Vigil, please go here.

For the Readings for Mass During the Day, please go here.

Pentecost Sunday At the Vigil Mass
Lectionary: 62

Reading 1 – GN 11:1-9

The whole world spoke the same language, using the same words.
While the people were migrating in the east,
they came upon a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there.
They said to one another,
“Come, let us mold bricks and harden them with fire.”
They used bricks for stone, and bitumen for mortar.
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city
and a tower with its top in the sky,
and so make a name for ourselves;
otherwise we shall be scattered all over the earth.”

The LORD came down to see the city and the tower
that the people had built.
Then the LORD said: “If now, while they are one people,
all speaking the same language,
they have started to do this,
nothing will later stop them from doing whatever they presume to do.
Let us then go down there and confuse their language,
so that one will not understand what another says.”
Thus the LORD scattered them from there all over the earth,
and they stopped building the city.
That is why it was called Babel,
because there the LORD confused the speech of all the world.
It was from that place that he scattered them all over the earth.

or

Ex 19:3-8A, 16-20B

Moses went up the mountain to God.
Then the LORD called to him and said,
“Thus shall you say to the house of Jacob;
 
tell the Israelites:
You have seen for yourselves how I treated the Egyptians
and how I bore you up on eagle wings
and brought you here to myself.
Therefore, if you hearken to my voice and keep my covenant,
you shall be my special possession,
dearer to me than all other people,
though all the earth is mine.
You shall be to me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation.
That is what you must tell the Israelites.”
So Moses went and summoned the elders of the people.
When he set before them
all that the LORD had ordered him to tell them,
the people all answered together,
“Everything the LORD has said, we will do.”

On the morning of the third day
there were peals of thunder and lightning,
and a heavy cloud over the mountain,
and a very loud trumpet blast,
so that all the people in the camp trembled.
But Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God,
and they stationed themselves at the foot of the mountain.
Mount Sinai was all wrapped in smoke,
for the LORD came down upon it in fire.
The smoke rose from it as though from a furnace,
and the whole mountain trembled violently.
The trumpet blast grew louder and louder, while Moses was speaking,
and God answering him with thunder.

When the LORD came down to the top of Mount Sinai,
he summoned Moses to the top of the mountain.

or

Ez 37:1-14

The hand of the LORD came upon me,
and he led me out in the spirit of the LORD
and set me in the center of the plain,
which was now filled with bones.
He made me walk among the bones in every direction
so that I saw how many they were on the surface of the plain.
How dry they were!
He asked me:
 
Son of man, can these bones come to life?
I answered, “Lord GOD, you alone know that.”
Then he said to me:
Prophesy over these bones, and say to them:
Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!
Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones:
See!  I will bring spirit into you, that you may come to life.
I will put sinews upon you, make flesh grow over you,
cover you with skin, and put spirit in you
so that you may come to life and know that I am the LORD.
I, Ezekiel, prophesied as I had been told,
and even as I was prophesying I heard a noise;
it was a rattling as the bones came together, bone joining bone.
I saw the sinews and the flesh come upon them,
and the skin cover them, but there was no spirit in them.
Then the LORD said to me:
Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, son of man,
and say to the spirit:  Thus says the Lord GOD:
From the four winds come, O spirit,
and breathe into these slain that they may come to life.
I prophesied as he told me, and the spirit came into them;
they came alive and stood upright, a vast army.
Then he said to me:
Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.
They have been saying,
“Our bones are dried up,
our hope is lost, and we are cut off.”
Therefore, prophesy and say to them: 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.

or    

Jl 3:1-5

Thus says the LORD:
I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh.
Your sons and daughters shall prophesy,
 
your old men shall dream dreams,
your young men shall see visions;
even upon the servants and the handmaids,
in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
And I will work wonders in the heavens and on the earth,
blood, fire, and columns of smoke;
the sun will be turned to darkness,
and the moon to blood,
at the coming of the day of the LORD,
the great and terrible day.
Then everyone shall be rescued
who calls on the name of the LORD;
for on Mount Zion there shall be a remnant,
as the LORD has said,
and in Jerusalem survivors
whom the LORD shall call.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 104:1-2, 24, 35, 27-28, 29, 30

R. (CF. 30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
You are clothed with majesty and glory,
robed in light as with a cloak.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
How manifold are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you have wrought them allC
the earth is full of your creatures;
bless the LORD, O my soul!  Alleluia.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Creatures all look to you
to give them food in due time.
When you give it to them, they gather it;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
If you take away their breath, they perish
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 – ROM 8:22-27

Brothers and sisters:
We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now;
and not only that, but we ourselves,
who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
we also groan within ourselves
as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
For in hope we were saved.
Now hope that sees is not hope.
For who hopes for what one sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.

In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts
knows what is the intention of the Spirit,
because he intercedes for the holy ones
according to God’s will.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 7:37-39

On the last and greatest day of the feast,
Jesus stood up and exclaimed,
“Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink.
As Scripture says:
Rivers of living water will flow from within him who believes in me.”

He said this in reference to the Spirit
that those who came to believe in him were to receive.
There was, of course, no Spirit yet,
because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Read Today’s Reflection

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We Are Living Christs


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 31, 2020

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” This is one of those days that we can honestly greet each other with the happy phrase, “Happy Feast Day!” Why is that? Today the Church celebrates Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles and many gathered with them and the birth of the Church ensued. In some ways, we could say that this is our Birthday celebration because this is how it all began. This is how all of life is transformed and made new again. This is the force of the Gospel especially when it is lived through and in the hearts of believers. This is what motivates the Psalmist to invite us to sing with all our hope and might: “When you send forth your spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.”

“As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ.” Our Second Reading clarifies another compelling reason to ask and openly receive all the gifts that God wishes to impart to us through the Holy Spirit. We are not alone in this life. We have a great impact on and a deep call for service for and with each other. This is what makes the Church a mystery and a hopeful presence in a world that is often without it. make this day special by renewing your Baptism and continuing to ask God for strength of mind and heart. The best, as we have often said here, is yet to come.

“Without Pentecost, the ‘Christ-event,’ that is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, remains imprisoned in history as something just to remember, think about and merely reflect on. The Spirit of Jesus comes to dwell within us so that we can become ‘living Christs’ here and now.” Henri Nouwen

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May 31, 2020 – Mass During the Day


For the Readings on Pentecost Sunday At the Vigil Mass, please go here.

Mass during the Day
Lectionary: 63

Reading 1 – ACTS 2:1-11

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem.
At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd,
but they were confused
because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
They were astounded, and in amazement they asked,
“Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans?
Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?
We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites,
inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,
Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,
Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene,
as well as travelers from Rome,
both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs,
yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues
of the mighty acts of God.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34

R. (CF. 30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
How manifold are your works, O Lord!
the earth is full of your creatures;
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD be glad in his works!
Pleasing to him be my theme;
I will be glad in the LORD.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
If you take away their breath, they perish
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 – 1 COR 12:3B-7, 12-13

Brothers and sisters:
No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.

As a body is one though it has many parts,
and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
so also Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons,
and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.

Sequence

Veni, Sancte Spiritus

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!
Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine.
You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul’s most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;
In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.
O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
And our inmost being fill!
Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your sevenfold gift descend;
Give them virtue’s sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end. Amen.
Alleluia.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 20:19-23

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”

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May 31, 2020 – Extended Vigil


For the Readings on Pentecost Sunday At the Vigil Mass, please go here.

Pentecost Sunday – Extended Vigil
Lectionary: 62

Reading 1 – GENESIS 11:1-9

The whole world spoke the same language, using the same words.
While the people were migrating in the east,
they came upon a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there.
They said to one another,
“Come, let us mold bricks and harden them with fire.”
They used bricks for stone, and bitumen for mortar.
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city
and a tower with its top in the sky,
and so make a name for ourselves;
otherwise we shall be scattered all over the earth.”

The LORD came down to see the city and the tower
that the people had built.
Then the LORD said: “If now, while they are one people,
all speaking the same language,
they have started to do this,
nothing will later stop them from doing whatever they presume to do.
Let us then go down there and confuse their language,
so that one will not understand what another says.”
Thus the LORD scattered them from there all over the earth,
and they stopped building the city.
That is why it was called Babel,
because there the LORD confused the speech of all the world.
It was from that place that he scattered them all over the earth.

Responsorial Psalm – PSALM 33:10-11, 12-13, 14-15

R. (12) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
The LORD brings to nought the plans of nations;
he foils the designs of peoples.
But the plan of the LORD stands forever;
the design of his heart, through all generations.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
From heaven the LORD looks down;
he sees all mankind.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
From his fixed throne he beholds
all who dwell on the earth,
He who fashioned the heart of each,
he who knows all their works.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

Reading 2 – EX 19:3-8A, 16-20B

Moses went up the mountain to God.
Then the LORD called to him and said,
“Thus shall you say to the house of Jacob;
tell the Israelites:
You have seen for yourselves how I treated the Egyptians
and how I bore you up on eagle wings
and brought you here to myself.
Therefore, if you hearken to my voice and keep my covenant,
you shall be my special possession,
dearer to me than all other people,
though all the earth is mine.
You shall be to me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation.
That is what you must tell the Israelites.”
So Moses went and summoned the elders of the people.
When he set before them
all that the LORD had ordered him to tell them,
the people all answered together,
“Everything the LORD has said, we will do.”

On the morning of the third day
there were peals of thunder and lightning,
and a heavy cloud over the mountain,
and a very loud trumpet blast,
so that all the people in the camp trembled.
But Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God,
and they stationed themselves at the foot of the mountain.
Mount Sinai was all wrapped in smoke,
for the LORD came down upon it in fire.
The smoke rose from it as though from a furnace,
and the whole mountain trembled violently.
The trumpet blast grew louder and louder, while Moses was speaking,
and God answering him with thunder.

When the LORD came down to the top of Mount Sinai,
he summoned Moses to the top of the mountain.

Responsorial Psalm – DANIEL 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56

R. (52B) Glory and praise forever!
“Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;
and blessed is your holy and glorious name,
praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.”
R. Glory and praise forever!
“Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
praiseworthy and glorious above all forever.”
R. Glory and praise forever!
“Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.”
R. Glory and praise forever!
“Blessed are you who look into the depths
from your throne upon the cherubim,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.”
R. Glory and praise forever!
“Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven,
praiseworthy and glorious forever.”  
R. Glory and praise forever!


OR:

PSALM 19:8, 9, 10, 11

R. (John 6:68C) Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.

Reading 3 – EZ 37:1-14

The hand of the LORD came upon me,
and he led me out in the spirit of the LORD
and set me in the center of the plain,
which was now filled with bones.
He made me walk among the bones in every direction
so that I saw how many they were on the surface of the plain.
How dry they were!
He asked me:
Son of man, can these bones come to life?
I answered, “Lord GOD, you alone know that.”
Then he said to me:
Prophesy over these bones, and say to them:
Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!
Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones:
See! I will bring spirit into you, that you may come to life.
I will put sinews upon you, make flesh grow over you,
cover you with skin, and put spirit in you
so that you may come to life and know that I am the LORD.
I, Ezekiel, prophesied as I had been told,
and even as I was prophesying I heard a noise;
it was a rattling as the bones came together, bone joining bone.
I saw the sinews and the flesh come upon them,
and the skin cover them, but there was no spirit in them.
Then the LORD said to me:
Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, son of man,
and say to the spirit: Thus says the Lord GOD:
From the four winds come, O spirit,
and breathe into these slain that they may come to life.
I prophesied as he told me, and the spirit came into them;
they came alive and stood upright, a vast army.
Then he said to me:
Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.
They have been saying,
“Our bones are dried up,
our hope is lost, and we are cut off.”
Therefore, prophesy and say to them: 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 107:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (1) Give thanks to the Lord; his love is everlasting.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Let the redeemed of the LORD say,
those whom he has redeemed from the hand of the foe
And gathered from the lands,
from the east and the west, from the north and the south.
R. Give thanks to the Lord; his love is everlasting.
or:
R. Alleluia.
They went astray in the desert wilderness;
the way to an inhabited city they did not find.
Hungry and thirsty,
their life was wasting away within them.
R. Give thanks to the Lord; his love is everlasting.
or:
R. Alleluia.
They cried to the LORD in their distress;
from their straits he rescued them.
And he led them by a direct way
to reach an inhabited city.
R. Give thanks to the Lord; his love is everlasting.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his mercy
and his wondrous deeds to the children of men,
Because he satisfied the longing soul
and filled the hungry soul with good things.
R. Give thanks to the Lord; his love is everlasting.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 4 – JL 3:1-5

Thus says the LORD:
I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh.
Your sons and daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
your young men shall see visions;
even upon the servants and the handmaids,
in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
And I will work wonders in the heavens and on the earth,
blood, fire, and columns of smoke;
the sun will be turned to darkness,
and the moon to blood,
at the coming of the day of the LORD,
the great and terrible day.
Then everyone shall be rescued
who calls on the name of the LORD;
for on Mount Zion there shall be a remnant,
as the LORD has said,
and in Jerusalem survivors
whom the LORD shall call.

Responsorial Psalm – PSALM 104:1-2, 24 AND 35, 27-28, 29-30

R. (CF. 30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
You are clothed with majesty and glory,
robed in light as with a cloak.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
How manifold are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you have wrought them all—
the earth is full of your creatures;
bless the LORD, O my soul! Alleluia.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Creatures all look to you
to give them food in due time.
When you give it to them, they gather it;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
If you take away their breath, they perish
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Epistle – ROM 8:22-27

Brothers and sisters:
We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now;
and not only that, but we ourselves,
who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
we also groan within ourselves
as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
For in hope we were saved.
Now hope that sees is not hope.
For who hopes for what one sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.

In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts
knows what is the intention of the Spirit,
because he intercedes for the holy ones
according to God’s will.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.

Gospel – JN 7:37-39

Jesus stood up and exclaimed,
“Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink.
As Scripture says:
Rivers of living water will flow from within him who believes in me.”

He said this in reference to the Spirit
that those who came to believe in him were to receive.
There was, of course, no Spirit yet,
because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

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May 30, 2020


Sunday Vigil Mass

Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter Mass in the Morning
Lectionary: 302

Reading 1 – ACTS 28:16-20, 30-31

When he entered Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself,
with the soldier who was guarding him.

Three days later he called together the leaders of the Jews.
When they had gathered he said to them, “My brothers,
although I had done nothing against our people
or our ancestral customs,
I was handed over to the Romans as a prisoner from Jerusalem.
After trying my case the Romans wanted to release me,
because they found nothing against me deserving the death penalty.
But when the Jews objected, I was obliged to appeal to Caesar,
even though I had no accusation to make against my own nation.
This is the reason, then, I have requested to see you
and to speak with you, for it is on account of the hope of Israel
that I wear these chains.”

He remained for two full years in his lodgings.
He received all who came to him, and with complete assurance
and without hindrance he proclaimed the Kingdom of God
and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Responsorial Psalm – 11:4, 5 AND 7

R.    (see 7A)  The just will gaze on your face, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
The LORD is in his holy temple;
the LORD’s throne is in heaven.
His eyes behold,
his searching glance is on mankind.
R.    The just will gaze on your face, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
The LORD searches the just and the wicked;
the lover of violence he hates.
For the LORD is just, he loves just deeds;
the upright shall see his face.
R.    The just will gaze on your face, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 16:7, 13

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will send to you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord;
he will guide you to all truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 21:20-25

Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved,
the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper
and had said, “Master, who is the one who will betray you?”
When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus said to him, “What if I want him to remain until I come?
What concern is it of yours?  
You follow me.”
So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die.
But Jesus had not told him that he would not die,
just “What if I want him to remain until I come?
What concern is it of yours?”

It is this disciple who testifies to these things
and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.
There are also many other things that Jesus did,
but if these were to be described individually,
I do not think the whole world would contain the books
that would be written.

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No Book Big Enough


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 30, 2020

“There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.” The conclusion of the Gospel of St. John with which we have been served today is remarkable in many different ways. First, it clearly shows that not everything that we are to believe is actually written down giving our rich understanding and possession of Sacred Tradition a much-needed boost for understanding. Jesus has in fact left us many wonderful ways and approaches to both find and love Him.

“He received all who came to him, and with complete assurance and without hindrance he proclaimed the Kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.” Never miss an opportunity to share with anyone who would or who might need to listen to your experience meeting and loving the Lord Jesus. Think about this for just a minute, if you had the cure to cancer, wouldn’t you share it? You have the cure to death so why not share that all the time?

“There isn’t enough room in your life for both fear and faith. Each day, you must decide which one gets to stay.” Dave Willis

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May 29, 2020


Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Lectionary: 301

Reading 1 – ACTS 25:13B-21

King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea
on a visit to Festus.
Since they spent several days there,
Festus referred Paul’s case to the king, saying,
“There is a man here left in custody by Felix.
When I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and the elders of the Jews
brought charges against him and demanded his condemnation.
I answered them that it was not Roman practice
to hand over an accused person before he has faced his accusers
and had the opportunity to defend himself against their charge.
So when they came together here, I made no delay;
the next day I took my seat on the tribunal
and ordered the man to be brought in.
His accusers stood around him,
but did not charge him with any of the crimes I suspected.
Instead they had some issues with him about their own religion
and about a certain Jesus who had died
but who Paul claimed was alive.
Since I was at a loss how to investigate this controversy,
I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem
and there stand trial on these charges.
And when Paul appealed that he be held in custody
for the Emperor’s decision,
I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.”

Responsorial Psalm – 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20AB

R.    (19A)  The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R.    The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
R.    The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the LORD, all you his angels,
you mighty in strength, who do his bidding.
R.    The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 14:26

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Holy Spirit will teach you everything
and remind you of all I told you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 21:15-19

After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them,
he said to Simon Peter,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He then said to Simon Peter a second time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
He said to him the third time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time,
“Do you love me?” and he said to him,
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger,
you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted;
but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands,
and someone else will dress you
and lead you where you do not want to go.”
He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.
And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

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Only So Many Tomorrows


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 29, 2020

“…but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” It is an interesting and acquired taste of irony that we enter this life needing someone else to dress, feed and clean up after us only to find that toward the very end of this amazing life, we will depend on others, not the same people, obviously, to do the same for us. What can we learn from this? One aspect is clear. We are brought into the world with the almost inescapable lessons of service and self-emptying to hopefully initiate for the years that we have with the not-so-unrealistic hope that others will still be there for us when we are at the depths of need and dependence.

“Simon, son of John, do you love me?” This is precisely why the question that Jesus asks of Peter in the Gospel (and actually three entire times obviously to make a divine point) is startling and realistically geared for each and every one of us who seeks to live a life of integrity and peace and one day find our eternal home in Heaven. Life is certainly too short and too fragile to live selfishly. We are placed here to help each other and everyone has a distinct mission to fulfill. God placed you and me here for a definite and wonderful reason and we first find out what that is and then live life to the absolute fullest. When Jesus asks us, “do you love me?,” the only way to answer is to show Him how much we love each other.

“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.” St. Pope Paul VI

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E Pluribus Unum


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 28, 2020

“May they all be one as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that the world may believe that you sent me, says the Lord.” Unity and union have tremendous amounts of literary and spiritual appearances in the Scriptures and in the course of everyday life. We are constantly and even sometimes painfully reminded what brings us together and what tears us apart. Our background, whether social background, knowledge, experience, religion can both bring us together, separate us, or even cause conflict between us. Still, even in the face of such daunting challenges, Jesus prays to His Father that we may be one.

“I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.” Why do we need unity? Jesus asserts that it is primarily for our personal benefit. It benefits all God’s people and makes us more effective and shines Christ’s love unto the world. When there is no unity in the essential matters of life, we have disastrous effects. Let’s start with our inner circles and immediate spheres of influence. What can and should I do today to make things more unified? How can I be a source of unity rather than disunity? The answer is simple because it is found in the person of Jesus who is love and who taught us that the greatest thing we can do in this life is to love, forgive, and serve. Today is a good day to start. Out of many, let us be one.

“In the essential things, unity; in the non-essential, diversity. In all things, charity.” St. Augustine

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May 28, 2020


Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Lectionary: 300

Reading 1 – ACTS 22:30; 23:6-11

Wishing to determine the truth
about why Paul was being accused by the Jews,
the commander freed him
and ordered the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin to convene.
Then he brought Paul down and made him stand before them.

Paul was aware that some were Sadducees and some Pharisees,
so he called out before the Sanhedrin,
“My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees;
I am on trial for hope in the resurrection of the dead.”
When he said this,
a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees,
and the group became divided.
For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection
or angels or spirits,
while the Pharisees acknowledge all three.
A great uproar occurred,
and some scribes belonging to the Pharisee party
stood up and sharply argued,
“We find nothing wrong with this man.
Suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?”
The dispute was so serious that the commander,
afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them,
ordered his troops to go down and rescue Paul from their midst
and take him into the compound.
The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage.
For just as you have borne witness to my cause in Jerusalem,
so you must also bear witness in Rome.”

Responsorial Psalm – 16:1-2A AND 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11

R.    (1)  Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you.”
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R.    Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R.    Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
Because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R.    Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R.    Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 17:21

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May they all be one as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that the world may believe that you sent me, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 17:20-26

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
“I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them.”

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Smile, Breathe, Give


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 27, 2020

“Consecrate them in the truth.” What does it mean to consecrate someone or something? Some definitions render the word as the act by which something or someone is made sacred and or dedicated for a clear and religious purpose. When Jesus continues His prayer to the Father in Heaven and asks that those who would follow Him, His Apostles, the early Church and all of us who seek the truth in the Church to be consecrated, it is clear that He is asking that we be set apart and made sacred for a specific role and and place in this world.

“As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth.” How can we live this “consecration” on a daily basis? First, it means that we are people of truth and not lies. Second, we continue to seek to be in union with Jesus always staying in communication with Him just as He was with His Father. And finally, we must keep in mind the powerful description that Jesus gives to all of us today: “They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.” When worry, anxiety, anger or deep-seated sorrow begin to overtake us, we must cling to this promise. We simply do not belong to this world; we belong to Jesus. Seen in this perspective, even the greatest problems we may ever have to encounter will always be met with Jesus right at our side. “In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort we must help the weak, and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

“I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth diminishing your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.” Steve Maraboli

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May 27, 2020


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Augustine of Canterbury, please go here.

Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Lectionary: 299

Reading 1 – ACTS 20:28-38

At Miletus, Paul spoke to the presbyters of the Church of Ephesus:
“Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock
of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers,
in which you tend the Church of God
that he acquired with his own Blood.
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you,
and they will not spare the flock.
And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth
to draw the disciples away after them.
So be vigilant and remember that for three years, night and day,
I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears.
And now I commend you to God
and to that gracious word of his that can build you up
and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated.
I have never wanted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing.
You know well that these very hands
have served my needs and my companions.
In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort
we must help the weak,
and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said,
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

When he had finished speaking
he knelt down and prayed with them all.
They were all weeping loudly
as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him,
for they were deeply distressed that he had said
that they would never see his face again.
Then they escorted him to the ship.

Responsorial Psalm – 68:29-30, 33-35A, 35BC-36AB

R.    (33A)  Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Show forth, O God, your power,
the power, O God, with which you took our part;
For your temple in Jerusalem
let the kings bring you gifts.
R.    Sing to God, O Kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
You kingdoms of the earth, sing to God,
chant praise to the Lord
who rides on the heights of the ancient heavens.
Behold, his voice resounds, the voice of power:
“Confess the power of God!”
R.    Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Over Israel is his majesty;
his power is in the skies.
Awesome in his sanctuary is God, the God of Israel;
he gives power and strength to his people.
R.    Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 17:17B, 17A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your word, O Lord, is truth;
consecrate us in the truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 17:11B-19

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying:
“Holy Father, keep them in your name
that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are one.
When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me,
and I guarded them, and none of them was lost
except the son of destruction,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
But now I am coming to you.
I speak this in the world
so that they may share my joy completely.
I gave them your word, and the world hated them,
because they do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world
but that you keep them from the Evil One.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth.
Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”

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May 27, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Augustine of Canterbury, bishop


For the readings on Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint Augustine of Canterbury, bishop
Lectionary: 571

Reading 1 – 1 THES 2:2B-8

Brothers and sisters:
We drew courage through our God
to speak to you the Gospel of God with much struggle.
Our exhortation was not from delusion or impure motives,
nor did it work through deception.
But as we were judged worthy by God to be entrusted with the Gospel,
that is how we speak,
not as trying to please men,
but rather God, who judges our hearts.
Nor, indeed, did we ever appear with flattering speech, as you know,
or with a pretext for greed–God is witness–
nor did we seek praise from men,
either from you or from others,
although we were able to impose our weight as Apostles of Christ.
Rather, we were gentle among you,
as a nursing mother cares for her children.
With such affection for you, we were determined to share with you
not only the Gospel of God, but our very selves as well,
so dearly beloved had you become to us.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 96:1-2A, 2B-3, 7-8A, 10

R.    (3)  Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R.    Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R.    Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!
R.    Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R.    Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Alleluia – JN 10:14

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 9:35-38

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”

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May 26, 2020


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, priest
Lectionary: 298

Reading 1 – ACTS 20:17-27

From Miletus Paul had the presbyters
of the Church at Ephesus summoned.
When they came to him, he addressed them,
“You know how I lived among you
the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia.
I served the Lord with all humility
and with the tears and trials that came to me
because of the plots of the Jews,
and I did not at all shrink from telling you
what was for your benefit,
or from teaching you in public or in your homes.
I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks
to repentance before God and to faith in our Lord Jesus.
But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem.
What will happen to me there I do not know,
except that in one city after another
the Holy Spirit has been warning me
that imprisonment and hardships await me.
Yet I consider life of no importance to me,
if only I may finish my course
and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus,
to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace.

“But now I know that none of you
to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels
will ever see my face again.
And so I solemnly declare to you this day
that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you,
for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.”

Responsorial Psalm – 68:10-11, 20-21

R.    (33A)  Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
A bountiful rain you showered down, O God, upon your inheritance;
you restored the land when it languished;
Your flock settled in it;
in your goodness, O God, you provided it for the needy.
R.    Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Blessed day by day be the Lord,
who bears our burdens; God, who is our salvation.
God is a saving God for us;
the LORD, my Lord, controls the passageways of death.
R.    Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 14:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will ask the father
and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you always.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 17:1-11A

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said,
“Father, the hour has come.
Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you,
just as you gave him authority over all people,
so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him.
Now this is eternal life,
that they should know you, the only true God,
and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
I glorified you on earth
by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.
Now glorify me, Father, with you,
with the glory that I had with you before the world began.

“I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world.
They belonged to you, and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word.
Now they know that everything you gave me is from you,
because the words you gave to me I have given to them,
and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you,
and they have believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me,
because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours
and everything of yours is mine,
and I have been glorified in them.
And now I will no longer be in the world,
but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.”

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May 26, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, priest


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, priest
Lectionary: 570

Reading 1 – PHIL 4:4-9

Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again:  rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me.
Then the God of peace will be with you.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

R.    (2)  I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    (9)  Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear and be glad.
R.     I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R.     I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R.     I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R.     I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Fear the LORD, you his holy ones,
for nought is lacking to those who fear him.
The great grow poor and hungry;
but those who seek the LORD want for no good thing.
R.    I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Alleluia – JN 15:9B, 5B

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain in my love, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 17:20-26

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:
“Holy Father, I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them.”

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The Most Important Lesson


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 26, 2020

“And so I solemnly declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.” Like the Divine Parent that He is, God loves us all so very much and sees with the eternal eyes of providence the rich potential in all of us even though we do make some really bad choices now and then. As we near the Feast of Pentecost and all the riches that are promised there, what we hope to learn and guard moving forward?

“Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me.” Throughout the transfiguring Season of Lent, Jesus taught us all some amazing lessons of life. We could summarize some of them thus:

1. Never trade temporary pleasure for permanent regret.
2. Seek wise counsel from people who care about you.
3. Pray and seek wisdom from God’s word for your decisions.

Perhaps you have more or even some amendments to these but make no mistake, the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit have been promised to us to use and make this life the very best. The rest is up to us.

“The most important thing is God’s blessing and if you believe in God and you believe in yourself, you have nothing to worry about.” Mohamed Al-Fayed

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May 25, 2020


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Bede the Venerable, please go here.

For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Gregory VII, please go here.

For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, please go here.

Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Lectionary: 297

Reading 1 – ACTS 19:1-8

While Apollos was in Corinth,
Paul traveled through the interior of the country
and down to Ephesus where he found some disciples.
He said to them,
“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?”
They answered him,
“We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
He said, “How were you baptized?”
They replied, “With the baptism of John.”
Paul then said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance,
telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him,
that is, in Jesus.”
When they heard this,
they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And when Paul laid his hands on them,
the Holy Spirit came upon them,
and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
Altogether there were about twelve men.

He entered the synagogue, and for three months debated boldly
with persuasive arguments about the Kingdom of God.

Responsorial Psalm – 68:2-3AB, 4-5ACD, 6-7AB

R.    (33A)  Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
God arises; his enemies are scattered,
and those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so are they driven;
as wax melts before the fire.
R.    Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
But the just rejoice and exult before God;
they are glad and rejoice.
Sing to God, chant praise to his name;
whose name is the LORD.
R.    Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
The father of orphans and the defender of widows
is God in his holy dwelling.
God gives a home to the forsaken;
he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.
R.    Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – COL 3:1

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If then you were raised with Christ,
seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 16:29-33

The disciples said to Jesus,
“Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
Now we realize that you know everything
and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
Because of this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now?
Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world.”

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Conquering In The Struggle


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 25, 2020

“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.” Each time we live through the great transforming Seasons of Lent and Easter, there must be some part of us that is changed. Understanding and embracing final justice and the Last Judgement has the remarkable effect of grounding us closer and closer to Jesus knowing that as long as we stand with Him in the power of the Holy Spirit, life can never be the same again.

So my dear friends, what are we to do as we bathe in the grace of these powerful proclamations from Scripture? First, practice the faith. Of course, the spiritual life is a struggle, but within that grind, we find ourselves and our road to holiness. Second, be generous in the things of God and pray for the spirit of detachment. The early Christians lived this remarkable spirit and even though in monetary terms, their lifestyle didn’t amount to much, their intention and their hearts certainly did, as they were poised for entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Finally, reject discouragement: “I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”

“Suffering, failure, loneliness, sorrow, discouragement, and death will be part of your journey, but the Kingdom of God will conquer all these horrors. No evil can resist grace forever.” Brennan Manning

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May 25, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, virgin


For the readings on Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi, virgin
Lectionary: 569

Reading 1 – 1  COR 7:25-35

In regard to virgins, I have no commandment from the Lord,
but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.
So this is what I think best because of the present distress:
that it is a good thing for a person to remain as he is.
Are you bound to a wife?  Do not seek a separation.
Are you free of a wife?  Then do not look for a wife.
If you marry, however, you do not sin,
nor does an unmarried woman sin if she marries;
but such people will experience affliction in their earthly life,
and I would like to spare you that.

I tell you, brothers and sisters, the time is running out.
From now on, let those having wives act as not having them,
those weeping as not weeping,
those rejoicing as not rejoicing,
those buying as not owning,
those using the world as not using it fully.
For the world in its present form is passing away.

I should like you to be free of anxieties.
An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord,
how he may please the Lord.
But a married man is anxious about the things of the world,
how he may please his wife, and he is divided.
An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord,
so that she may be holy in both body and spirit.
A married woman, on the other hand,
is anxious about the things of the world,
how she may please her husband.
I am telling you this for your own benefit,
not to impose a restraint upon you,
but for the sake of propriety
and adherence to the Lord without distraction.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 148:1-2, 11-13, 13-14

R.    (see 12A and 13A) Young men and women, praise the name of the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights;
Praise him, all you his angels,
praise him, all you his hosts.
R.    Young men and women, praise the name of the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men, too, and maidens,
old men and boys.
Praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted.
R.    Young men and women, praise the name of the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
His majesty is above earth and heaven.
He has lifted up the horn of his people.    
Be this his praise from all his faithful ones;
from the children of Israel, the people close to him. Alleluia.
R.    Young men and women, praise the name of the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 8:31B-32

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, says the Lord.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MK 3:31-35

The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house.
Standing outside, they sent word to him and called him.
A crowd seated around him told him,
“Your mother and your brothers and your sisters
are outside asking for you.”
But he said to them in reply,
“Who are my mother and my brothers?”
And looking around at those seated in the circle he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of God
is my brother and sister and mother.”

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May 25, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Gregory VII, pope, religious


For the readings on Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint Gregory VII, pope, religious
Lectionary: 568

Reading 1 – ACTS 20:17-18A, 28-32, 36

From Miletus Paul had the presbyters
of the Church at Ephesus summoned.
When they came to him, he addressed them,
“Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock
of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers,
in which you tend the Church of God
that he acquired with his own Blood.
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you,
and they will not spare the flock.
And from your own group,
some will come forward perverting the truth
to draw the disciples away after them.
So be vigilant and remember that for three years, night and day,
I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears.
And now I commend you to God
and to that gracious word of his that can build you up
and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated.”

When he had finished speaking
he knelt down and prayed with them all.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 110:1, 2, 3, 4

R.    (4B)  You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand
till I make your enemies your footstool.”
R.    You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion:
“Rule in the midst of your enemies.”
R.    You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
“Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor;
before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you.”
R.    You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent:
“You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”
R.    You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.

Alleluia – MK 1:17

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Come after me, says the Lord,
and I will make you fishers of men.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

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May 25, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Bede the Venerable, priest and doctor of the Church


For the readings on Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint Bede the Venerable, priest, and doctor of the Church – Lectionary: 567

Reading 1 – 1 COR 2:10B-16

Brothers and sisters:
The Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God.
Among men, who knows what pertains to the man
except his spirit that is within?
Similarly, no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God.
We have not received the spirit of the world
but the Spirit who is from God,
so that we may understand the things freely given us by God.
And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom,
but with words taught by the Spirit,
describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.

Now the natural man does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God,
for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it,
because it is judged spiritually.
The one who is spiritual, however, can judge everything
but is not subject to judgment by anyone.

For who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel him?
But we have the mind of Christ.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 119:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

R.    (12)  Lord, teach me your statutes.
How shall a young man be faultless in his way?
By keeping to your words.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
With all my heart I seek you;
let me not stray from your commands.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Within my heart I treasure your promise,
that I may not sin against you.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Blessed are you, O LORD;
teach me your statutes.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
With my lips I declare
all the ordinances of your mouth.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
In the way of your decrees I rejoice,
as much as in all riches.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.

Reading 2 – SEE JN 6:63, 68C

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 7:21-29

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day,
‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?
Did we not drive out demons in your name?
Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’
Then I will declare to them solemnly,
‘I never knew you.  Depart from me, you evildoers.’

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

When Jesus finished these words,
the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority,
and not as their scribes.

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May 24, 2020 – Seventh Sunday of Easter


For the readings of Ascension, please go here

Seventh Sunday of Easter
Lectionary: 59

Reading 1 – ACTS 1:12-14

After Jesus had been taken up to heaven the apostles
returned to Jerusalem
from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem,
a sabbath day’s journey away.

When they entered the city
they went to the upper room where they were staying,
Peter and John and James and Andrew,
Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew,
James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot,
and Judas son of James.
All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer,
together with some women,
and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 27:1, 4, 7-8

R. (13) I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
or:
R. Alleluia.
One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Hear, O Lord, the sound of my call;
have pity on me, and answer me.
Of you my heart speaks; you my glance seeks.
R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 – 1 PT 4:13-16

Beloved:
Rejoice to the extent that you share in the sufferings of Christ,
so that when his glory is revealed
you may also rejoice exultantly.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you,
for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
But let no one among you be made to suffer
as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as an intriguer.
But whoever is made to suffer as a Christian should not be ashamed
but glorify God because of the name.

Alleluia – JN 14:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord.
I will come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 17:1-11A

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said,
“Father, the hour has come.
Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you,
just as you gave him authority over all people,
so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him.
Now this is eternal life,
that they should know you, the only true God,
and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
I glorified you on earth
by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.
Now glorify me, Father, with you,
with the glory that I had with you before the world began.

“I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world.
They belonged to you, and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word.
Now they know that everything you gave me is from you,
because the words you gave to me I have given to them,
and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you,
and they have believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me,
because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours
and everything of yours is mine,
and I have been glorified in them.
And now I will no longer be in the world,
but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.”

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Ascension: I’ll Be Back


Reflection on Mass reading for May 24, 2020

The Feast that we celebrate today brings a newness of understanding and a fresh and bold way to continue the path we have chosen all the way to Heaven. This virtual retreat that started on Ash Wednesday, culminating on Easter Sunday, is now being fully realized and planted in our hearts right as Pentecost looms with the promise of Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit: “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” You see, this does not mark an end of the relationship Jesus has with us, the Church, but rather a new beginning and new way of how we relate to Him as He returns to the Father. We are the Body of Christ, and thus we have also ascended with Him in a very hopeful and powerful way. This must change how we look at our lives today knowing that the greatest is still yet to come for all of us. “Blessed are they who wash their robes so as to have the right to the tree of life and enter the city through its gates.” Our very nature now is in transition between Heaven and earth and it will be up to us to decide how we are to act while we live and move and have our being. That must involve praying for, waiting for and living in the gifts wisdom and knowledge. We must be witnesses!

“We must show our Christian colors if we are to be true to Jesus Christ.” (C. S. Lewis) Perhaps the most awesome lesson to learn from today’s Feast is the fact that Jesus is in fact coming back just as He said He would. This certainly does NOT mean that we lie in wait, scared and anxious about the cataclysmic doomsday that is so popular in science-fiction and pop culture. Actually, the opposite is true: doesn’t it make more sense that if you knew someone you deeply loved was coming to see you, wouldn’t you be outside eager and happy to greet them, having prepared a lavish welcome with mind and heart ready and poised to hold and embrace and even shout with a song upon seeing them again? Absolutely! To be honest, it is not always easy to maintain such a joyful demeanor especially when there are crises we must face and problems we must address. Sometimes we are allowed to hit rock bottom so that we may clearly know that God is the Rock at the bottom. Discovering this mysterious truth, we then are set again to face whatever comes with the strength inside from Him who is actually returning just as He left. Indeed, we could and should shout with the Second Reading today: “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!”

“What then are we to do about our problems? We must learn to live with them until such time as God delivers us from them…we must pray for grace to endure them without murmuring. Problems patiently endured will work for our spiritual perfecting. They harm us only when we resist them or endure them unwillingly.” A.W. Tozer

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Beauty Not Misery


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 23, 2020

“I came from the Father and have come into the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” What kind of magnificent love is it that inspired and propelled God to send His Son Jesus Christ to be born in a filthy manger, live a poor life, then be crucified for our sins? Perhaps a line from the Gospel of today helps us answer this profound question: “For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God.”

As we are surrounded by the great Feasts of the Ascension and Pentecost we are called to respond with the enthusiastic joy of the awareness that is brought to the one who understands this gift and cannot help but be changed forever. My life must be different because of what happened to me and for the world. Death has been defeated and there is a place waiting for me in Heaven forever. This, too, is underscored by the opening lines of the Responsorial Psalm of today: “All you peoples, clap your hands; shout to God with cries of gladness. For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome, is the great king over all the earth.” Let us move forward into this weekend with new resolve and new hope. Darkness cannot and will not extinguish what we have been given.

“I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.” Anne Frank

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May 23, 2020


Sunday Vigil Mass

Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 296

Reading 1 – ACTS 18:23-28

After staying in Antioch some time,
Paul left and traveled in orderly sequence
through the Galatian country and Phrygia,
bringing strength to all the disciples.

A Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria,
an eloquent speaker, arrived in Ephesus.
He was an authority on the Scriptures.
He had been instructed in the Way of the Lord and,
with ardent spirit, spoke and taught accurately about Jesus,
although he knew only the baptism of John.
He began to speak boldly in the synagogue;
but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him,
they took him aside
and explained to him the Way of God more accurately.
And when he wanted to cross to Achaia,
the brothers encouraged him
and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him.
After his arrival he gave great assistance
to those who had come to believe through grace.
He vigorously refuted the Jews in public,
establishing from the Scriptures that the Christ is Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm – 47:2-3, 8-9, 10

R.    (8A)  God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands;
shout to God with cries of gladness.
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
R.    God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
For king of all the earth is God;
sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
God sits upon his holy throne.
R.    God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
The princes of the peoples are gathered together
with the people of the God of Abraham.
For God’s are the guardians of the earth;
he is supreme.
R.    God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 16:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I came from the Father and have come into the world;
now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 16:23B-28

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.
Until now you have not asked anything in my name;
ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

“I have told you this in figures of speech.
The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures
but I will tell you clearly about the Father.
On that day you will ask in my name,
and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you.
For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me
and have come to believe that I came from God.
I came from the Father and have come into the world.
Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

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May 22, 2020


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Rita of Cascia, please go here.

Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 295

Reading 1 – ACTS 18:9-18

One night while Paul was in Corinth, the Lord said to him in a vision,
“Do not be afraid.
Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you.
No one will attack and harm you,
for I have many people in this city.”
He settled there for a year and a half
and taught the word of God among them.

But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia,
the Jews rose up together against Paul
and brought him to the tribunal, saying,
“This man is inducing people to worship God contrary to the law.”
When Paul was about to reply, Gallio spoke to the Jews,
“If it were a matter of some crime or malicious fraud,
I should with reason hear the complaint of you Jews;
but since it is a question of arguments over doctrine and titles
and your own law, see to it yourselves.
I do not wish to be a judge of such matters.”
And he drove them away from the tribunal.
They all seized Sosthenes, the synagogue official,
and beat him in full view of the tribunal.
But none of this was of concern to Gallio.

Paul remained for quite some time,
and after saying farewell to the brothers he sailed for Syria,
together with Priscilla and Aquila.
At Cenchreae he had shaved his head because he had taken a vow.

Responsorial Psalm – 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R.    (8A)  God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
R.    God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
He brings people under us;
nations under our feet.
He chooses for us our inheritance,
the glory of Jacob, whom he loves.
R.    God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R.    God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – LK 24:46, 26

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead,
and so enter into his glory.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 16:20-23

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn,
while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.
When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived;
but when she has given birth to a child,
she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy
that a child has been born into the world.
So you also are now in anguish.
But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice,
and no one will take your joy away from you.
On that day you will not question me about anything.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”

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The Whole World Cries


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 22, 2020

Have you ever wondered about the “science of crying”? It seems that over a long period of human development, we have come to a point where our tears are produced from certain specific-oriented glands due to an authentic connection with the world. Tears are a positive representation of who we are. They demonstrate our deep connections with God, others, and our very selves and, at the same time, allow us to visibly and proudly celebrate this keenly human activity and, by the way, are scientifically proven to make us feel better. “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices.”

Tears follow us into the Gospel of the day, into a scene where Jesus uses a familiar image to make his poignant point and lesson for all of us: “When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world.” From these two references, we can safely assume that tears are normal, reflective of faith, and express an enormous amount of comforting reality especially when it comes to our life in the Spirit with Jesus. Tears also announce to us of our entire and eternal need for God especially when the world is harsh and cold and dark. We can and should agree with Psalm today: “All you peoples, clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness, For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome, is the great king over all the earth.”

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” Washington Irving

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May 22, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Rita of Cascia, religious


For the readings on Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint Rita of Cascia, religious
Lectionary: 566B

Reading 1 – PHIL 4:4-9

Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me.
Then the God of peace will be with you.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6

R. (40:5A) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
or:
R. (2A) Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R. (92:13-14) The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.  
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
or:
R. (2A) Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R. (92:13-14) The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.  
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
or:
R. (2A) Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R. (92:13-14) The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.
Not so, the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.  
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
or:
R. (2A) Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R. (92:13-14) The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.

Alleluia – MT 11:28

R.  Alleluia, alleluia.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest, says the Lord.  
R.  Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 6:27-38

Jesus said to his disciples:
“To you who hear I say,
love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
To the person who strikes you on one cheek,
offer the other one as well,
and from the person who takes your cloak,
do not withhold even your tunic.
Give to everyone who asks of you,
and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
For if you love those who love you,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners love those who love them.
And if you do good to those who do good to you,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners do the same.
If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment,
what credit is that to you?
Even sinners lend to sinners,
and get back the same amount.
But rather, love your enemies and do good to them,
and lend expecting nothing back;
then your reward will be great
and you will be children of the Most High,
for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
Be merciful, just as also your Father is merciful.

“Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you.”

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May 21, 2020


For the Reading for the Sixth Week of Easter, please go here.

For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Christopher Magallanes, please go here.

The Ascension of the Lord
Lectionary: 58

Reading 1 – ACTS 1:1-11

In the first book, Theophilus,
I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
until the day he was taken up,
after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
to the apostles whom he had chosen.
He presented himself alive to them
by many proofs after he had suffered,
appearing to them during forty days
and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While meeting with the them,
he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for “the promise of the Father
about which you have heard me speak;
for John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

When they had gathered together they asked him,
“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”
When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,
suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, “Men of Galilee,
why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven
will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9

R. (6) God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
For king of all the earth is God;
sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
God sits upon his holy throne.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 – EPH 1:17-23

Brothers and sisters:
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation
resulting in knowledge of him.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,
what are the riches of glory
in his inheritance among the holy ones,
and what is the surpassing greatness of his power
for us who believe,
in accord with the exercise of his great might,
which he worked in Christ,
raising him from the dead
and seating him at his right hand in the heavens,
far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion,
and every name that is named
not only in this age but also in the one to come.
And he put all things beneath his feet
and gave him as head over all things to the church,
which is his body,
the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

Alleluia – MT 28:19A, 20B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Go and teach all nations, says the Lord;
I am with you always, until the end of the world.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 28:16-20

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

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Such Sweet Sorrow


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 21, 2020

“Good night, good night. Parting is such sweet sorrow that I’ll say good night until tonight becomes tomorrow.” – Shakespeare, (Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2, Line 185) “When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.” How can separation and painful longing be good? Perhaps we could also remember the adage that is repeated a million times all over the globe which states emphatically that “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Is that true? Because of our weakened humanity always longing for things that will never disappoint, anger or end, we can see how separation allows us to be much more aware and grateful of the people and the things around us. Think of the COVID-19 patient in a cold, removed hospital room who misses the outdoors. Then imagine the first day out of the hospital. What joy it would be!

And there is yet another sweetening factor here: “May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones.” Please realize today and for the rest of our tomorrows what access we have been given after the Ascension and in the power of the Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost. We can and must ask God for all of our needs with the assurance and confidence that the Risen and Ascended Lord Jesus has given us. “Ask and you will receive” is better than all the promises of the world combined! That is why the parting of Christ at the Ascension is such sweet sorrow.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” A.A. Milne

“So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.” Helen Keller

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May 21, 2020 – Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter


For the Readings of The Ascension of the Lord, please go here.

Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 294

Reading 1 – ACTS 18:1-8

Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.
There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus,
who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla
because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome.
He went to visit them and, because he practiced the same trade,
stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade.
Every sabbath, he entered into discussions in the synagogue,
attempting to convince both Jews and Greeks.

When Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia,
Paul began to occupy himself totally with preaching the word,
testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus.
When they opposed him and reviled him,
he shook out his garments and said to them,
“Your blood be on your heads!
I am clear of responsibility.
From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
So he left there and went to a house
belonging to a man named Titus Justus, a worshiper of God;
his house was next to a synagogue.
Crispus, the synagogue official, came to believe in the Lord
along with his entire household, and many of the Corinthians
who heard believed and were baptized.

Responsorial Psalm – 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4

R.    (see 2B)  The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
or:    
R.    Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R.    The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R.    The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R.    The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 14:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord;
I will come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 16:16-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
“A little while and you will no longer see me,
and again a little while later and you will see me.”
So some of his disciples said to one another,
“What does this mean that he is saying to us,
‘A little while and you will not see me,
and again a little while and you will see me,’
and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?”
So they said, “What is this ‘little while’ of which he speaks?
We do not know what he means.”
Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them,
“Are you discussing with one another what I said,
‘A little while and you will not see me,
and again a little while and you will see me’?
Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.”

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May 21, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Christopher Magallanes, priest, and Companions, martyrs


For the Readings of The Ascension of the Lord, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint Christopher Magallanes, priest, and Companions, martyrs – Lectionary: 566A

Reading 1 – RV 7:9-17

I, John, had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb.”

All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:

“Amen.  Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might
be to our God forever and ever.  Amen.”

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
“Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.”
He said to me,
“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.

“For this reason they stand before God’s throne
and worship him day and night in his temple.
The One who sits on the throne will shelter them.
They will not hunger or thirst anymore,
nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them
and lead them to springs of life-giving water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (5) The Lord delivered me from all my fears.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.  
R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.  
R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the afflicted man called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.  
R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.  
R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.

Reading 2 – MT 5:10

R.  Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.  
R.  Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 12:24-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.”

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May 20, 2020


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Bernardine of Siena, please go here.

Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 293

Reading 1 – ACTS 17:15, 22—18:1

After Paul’s escorts had taken him to Athens,
they came away with instructions for Silas and Timothy
to join him as soon as possible.

Then Paul stood up at the Areopagus and said:
“You Athenians, I see that in every respect
you are very religious.
For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines,
I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God.’
What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you.
The God who made the world and all that is in it,
the Lord of heaven and earth,
does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands,
nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything.
Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything.
He made from one the whole human race
to dwell on the entire surface of the earth,
and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions,
so that people might seek God,
even perhaps grope for him and find him,
though indeed he is not far from any one of us.
For ‘In him we live and move and have our being,’
as even some of your poets have said,
‘For we too are his offspring.’
Since therefore we are the offspring of God,
we ought not to think that the divinity is like an image
fashioned from gold, silver, or stone by human art and imagination.
God has overlooked the times of ignorance,
but now he demands that all people everywhere repent
because he has established a day on which he will ‘judge the world
with justice’ through a man he has appointed,
and he has provided confirmation for all
by raising him from the dead.”

When they heard about resurrection of the dead,
some began to scoff, but others said,
“We should like to hear you on this some other time.”
And so Paul left them.
But some did join him, and became believers.
Among them were Dionysius,
a member of the Court of the Areopagus,
a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

After this he left Athens and went to Corinth. 

Responsorial Psalm – PS 148:1-2, 11-12, 13, 14

R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
praise him, all you his hosts.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men too, and maidens,
old men and boys.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
His majesty is above earth and heaven.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He has lifted up the horn of his people;
Be this his praise from all his faithful ones,
from the children of Israel, the people close to him. 
Alleluia.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 14:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will ask the Father
and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you always.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on his own,
but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.
He will glorify me,
because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Everything that the Father has is mine;
for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine
and declare it to you.”

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gods Of Our Own Making


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 20, 2020

Our first Reading today reveals a remarkable experience which St. Paul had when speaking to the deeply religious Greeks living in Athens at that time: “You Athenians, I see that in every respect you are very religious.” As we recall, the Greeks had an altar to an unknown or unrecognizable deity, and the brilliant St. Paul utilized this moment in what had to have been a breath-taking moment. He built on their spiritual experience of something beyond their immediate grasp and began to introduce the wonders and miraculous comfort of our God who clearly does not want to remain hidden or distant and who has been and will always be patiently awaiting an epiphany on the part of every individual who is looking for truth and meaning their lives: “God has overlooked the times of ignorance, but now he demands that all people everywhere repent.”

“But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” These wonderful passages are preparing us for the great Feasts of the Ascension and Pentecost which are being anticipated by the whole Church in the coming weeks. First, Jesus must physically leave to prepare a place for us, and second, The Holy Spirit must come down upon the Church so that Christians everywhere may fully enter the mystery of grace and salvation at a level of comfort, vision, and understanding. We pray during this time for an infusion of wisdom so that we might comprehend what is happening in our lives and place all those events, good and bad, happy and tragic, onto the backdrop and perspective of our eternal life in Heaven. Allow these days of waiting for Pentecost to make a real impact on your life. It promises to be amazing even if it is just one small insight that is received. It could make a huge difference.

“Our society worships gods of our own making. Our culture is saturated with the worship of sports, sex, and pleasure. We are busy humanizing God and deifying man. Our idols are not statues of gold and marble; our idols come from the things we love the most. Life does not have to be filled with such emptiness, but we can fill our minds and hearts with the things that bring glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.” Dr. Billy Graham

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May 20, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Bernardine of Siena, priest


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Bernardine of Siena, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint Bernardine of Siena, priest
Lectionary: 566

Reading 1 -ACTS 4:8-12

Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered them:
“Leaders of the people and elders:
If we are being examined today
about a good deed done to a cripple,
namely, by what means he was saved,
then all of you and all the people of Israel should know
that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean
whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead;
in his name this man stands before you healed.
He is the stone rejected by you, the builders,
which has become the cornerstone.
There is no salvation through anyone else,
nor is there any other name under heaven
given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10, 11

R.    (8A and 9A)  Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God.
R.    Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Burnt offerings or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”
R.    Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”
R.    Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R.    Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
Your justice I kept not hid within my heart;
your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of;
I have made no secret of your kindness and your truth
in the vast assembly.
R.    Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.

Reading 2 – JN 8:12

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 9:57-62

As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding
on their journey to Jerusalem,
someone said to him,
“I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus answered him,
“Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”
And to another he said, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.”
And another said, “I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home.”
Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.”

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Behind The Coronavirus Mask


face of young man wearing blue surgical mask facing camera

Everyone was on edge. It was the height of pandemic panic and the tension had an unusually eerie feel as it spread throughout the large, mid-city grocery store, previously a hustling yet comfortable place where people greeted each other warmly and loudly with the excitement of a family reunion. But today was different. The first death in the area had just been reported and although unspoken, the question on some minds was definitely, “who would be next?” However, on the other souls of circumspect shoppers was, “are you going to infect me?” 

The next scenario is most likely not that unusual, but still troubling. About forty percent of the consumers were sporting surgical masks while others were not. And, as if an other-worldly cloud of mist descended upon the floors like an alien invasion worthy of the Syfy TV Channel, something almost sinister began to happen. The people behind their mask began to act differently, as if protected by some aura of anonymity. The people behind the mask began to sport a superiority complex that for most was completely out of character, that is, without the mask. Overbearing stares and intrusive moves with their mighty shopping baskets began to rule the day. And then there were the condescending hand gestures that treated others as if they had leprosy or worse. 

It could happen to anybody these days. And perhaps, it has always been happening but not to such an alarming degree. In some sectors of our country, surgical antiviral masks are becoming a fixture in shopping centers, gas stations and grocery stores and with this surge, there seems to be a shift in behavior. Some have reported a marked turn in rudeness, ugliness and a flair of dominance especially directed to those who, for whatever reason, are not donning the mask. In Japanese culture, there is a well-known application to all of this. It is said that we each possess three faces. The first we show to the world, the second we show to our close friends and family, and a third face we never show anyone. It is this one that is the truest reflection of who we are. 

“God does not see as a mortal, who sees the appearance. The Lord looks into the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7

Let’s approach this scenario from two very near but different perspectives: facing the one in the mask and encountering others with our own mask. Remembering that behind every mask there is an entire human life with a story and that each and every encounter we have in this life involves the meeting of hearts and minds and souls with all kinds of rich and amazing episodes. It would be great to remember that everyone we meet is afraid of something, has lost someone, and has a story to tell and share. In some ways, venturing out into the world as we do can be likened to going to a movie for which we have been waiting for with exciting anxiousness and expectation. Wouldn’t you want to know about each of the main characters as the film develops? Don’t you want to know who wins in the end? Isn’t there a sense of accomplishment and finished purpose when, after sitting for a couple of hours, we feel it was time well spent? This, in many ways, is a metaphor for life. Everyone we meet, whether it’s someone close to us or just a passing stranger, has a world that they are protecting and sharing at the level that they choose and are able.

“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.”  Luke 12:2

If we are to learn anything from the pandemic and the accompanying panic, we must start now in our dealings with one another in as unassuming and unpretentious places like the grocery store, gas stations and yes, even at the workplace. If we are truly to understand our own humanity along with our mental acknowledgement and emotional feedback, effective and/or otherwise, to life’s most compelling and complex challenges, then perhaps the time has come to explore and practice mindfulness in front of and behind the mask.

“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different. [It is] enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will) and being present with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” James Baraz

To walk amid the panic-ridden pretense of the world with all its masks and self-righteous behavioral quirks and not be defeated will take practice. Everything good does. I guess you could say that everyone wears at least one mask during this journey, some more than others. The trick is how to keep connection with each other and ourselves to live the miracle of being alive. And for that and in conclusion, just consider the purpose of a dog. Yes, a dog. Our best friend. W. Bruce Cameron summed it up quite beautifully:

“Have fun, obviously. Whenever possible, find someone to save and save them. Don’t get all sad faced about what happened and scrunchy-faced about what could. Just be here now. Be. Here. Now. That’s a dog’s purpose.” 

Sounds good to me.

“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8-9

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Never Alone


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 19, 2020

“Then he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved.’” If someone were to ask you what you thought clearly marks the life of a Christian, what do you think you would say? No doubt some would say that they are people who are nice, friendly and generous with their time and possessions. Others might also chime in and say that the mark of a Christian is a thirst for God’s Word. Even though answers like these are correct, there is one hallmark that is often forgotten. It is the hallmark of love. Christians should love each other. That means that at every opportunity we approach, especially in the face of evil and hatred, if we truly want to look like a Christian, then we must act like one and forgive and love as often as humanly possible.

“And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation.” This is why the promise on the part of Jesus for the Holy Spirit, called the Advocate in these passages, is of the most remarkable and utmost importance. You see, without the help of the Holy Spirit, we couldn’t possibly know what it means to forgive and move on with our lives, We would not know what it means to trust and place all of our lives, especially its worries and difficulties at the foot of the cross and know that we are never alone.

“You are never left alone when you are alone with God.” Woodrow Kroll

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May 19, 2020


Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 292

Reading 1 – ACTS 16:22-34

The crowd in Philippi joined in the attack on Paul and Silas,
and the magistrates had them stripped
and ordered them to be beaten with rods.
After inflicting many blows on them,
they threw them into prison
and instructed the jailer to guard them securely.
When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell
and secured their feet to a stake.

About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying
and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened,
there was suddenly such a severe earthquake
that the foundations of the jail shook;
all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose.
When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open,
he drew his sword and was about to kill himself,
thinking that the prisoners had escaped.
But Paul shouted out in a loud voice,
“Do no harm to yourself; we are all here.”
He asked for a light and rushed in and,
trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas.
Then he brought them out and said,
“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus
and you and your household will be saved.”
So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house.
He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds;
then he and all his family were baptized at once.
He brought them up into his house and provided a meal
and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God.

Responsorial Psalm – 138:1-2AB, 2CDE-3, 7C-8

R.    (7C)  Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple,
and give thanks to your name.
R.    Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Because of your kindness and your truth,
you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R.    Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R.    Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 16:7, 13

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will send to you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord;
he will guide you to all truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 16:5-11

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Now I am going to the one who sent me,
and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’
But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts.
But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go.
For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.
But if I go, I will send him to you.
And when he comes he will convict the world
in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation:
sin, because they do not believe in me;
righteousness, because I am going to the Father
and you will no longer see me;
condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”

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May 18, 2020


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint John I, please go here.

Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 291

Reading 1 – ACTS 16:11-15

We set sail from Troas, making a straight run for Samothrace,
and on the next day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi,
a leading city in that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony.
We spent some time in that city.
On the sabbath we went outside the city gate along the river
where we thought there would be a place of prayer.
We sat and spoke with the women who had gathered there.
One of them, a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth,
from the city of Thyatira, a worshiper of God, listened,
and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention
to what Paul was saying.
After she and her household had been baptized,
she offered us an invitation,
“If you consider me a believer in the Lord,
come and stay at my home,” and she prevailed on us.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 149:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6A AND 9B

R. (see 4A)  The Lord takes delight in his people.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people,
and he adorns the lowly with victory.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy upon their couches.
Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 15:26B, 27A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Spirit of truth will testify to me, says the Lord,
and you also will testify.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 15:26—16:4A

Jesus said to his disciples: 
“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,
he will testify to me.
And you also testify,
because you have been with me from the beginning.

“I have told you this so that you may not fall away.
They will expel you from the synagogues;
in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you
will think he is offering worship to God.
They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me.
I have told you this so that when their hour comes
you may remember that I told you.”

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The Genius Of Lydia


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 18, 2020

“One of them, a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth, from the city of Thyatira, a worshiper of God, listened, and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what Paul was saying.” From time to time, the Scriptures unfold and reveal certain special treasures that make sense to a handful of believers, even more so than to others. Today is one of those days. Although we may not have ever heard of Saint Lydia, she did in fact exist and in some parts of the Church on the planet, her veneration and memory are still celebrated. In fact, the site where she was baptized is marked with a modern Greek Orthodox chapel just outside the NW gate of Roman Philippi in Greece.

“And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.” Although for most Catholics, praying to Saint Lydia for her intercession to the Lord for us would be very innovative and unique, there is something wonderful and insightful here. What she models for us is not new. In his 1995 Letter to Women, Saint John Paul II wrote “In this vast domain of service, the Church’s two-thousand-year history, for all its historical conditioning, has truly experienced the ‘genius of woman’; from the heart of the Church there have emerged women of the highest caliber who have left an impressive and beneficial mark in history.” St. Lydia’s genius is instructive and worthy of our consideration for knowing the desires of her heart: She was a business woman who lived the virtue of hospitality, a leader of people, and a follower of Jesus Christ. She knew her own heart and followed its inspirations and attractions all the way to the person of Jesus Christ. Let us ask Lydia to guide all women, indeed, all Christians, in their responding sacrificially to the holy desires of their hearts. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my home.”

Pour out upon us, Lord, the spirit of knowledge and love of you, with which you filled your handmaid blessed Lydia, so that, serving you sincerely in imitation of her, we may be pleasing to you by our faith and our works. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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May 18, 2020 – Memorial of Saint John I, pope, martyr


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint John I, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint John I, pope, martyr
Lectionary: 565

Reading 1 – RV 3:14B, 20-22

“‘The Amen, the faithful and true witness,
the source of God’s creation, says this:

“‘”Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
then I will enter his house and dine with him
and he with me.
I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne,
as I myself first won the victory
and sit with my Father on his throne.

” ‘”Whoever has ears ought to hear
what the Spirit says to the churches.”‘”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 23:1-3A, 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.
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.

Alleluia – JN 15:15

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
I call you my friends, says the Lord,
For I have made known to you all that the Father has told me.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 22:24-30

An argument broke out among the Apostles
about which of them should be regarded as the greatest.
Jesus 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.”

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The Wizard Or The Spirit?


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 17, 2020

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him.” What does the Gospel of today tell us as we begin a brand new and bold week ahead? First, The Lord describes and reveals the true nature of the Holy Spirit as “the Advocate” which is not some ambiance or feeling but rather the deep and everlasting meaning and source of all truth. Application: when we speak the truth, we act with and in the Holy Spirit; to speak falsely or with hateful words and intentions cannot possibly please God for this reason.

“Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” Second, to give witness is a powerful aspect of faith. We have to think that if someone really believes in someone or something, the very natural consequence is to share that with as many others as possible. The Holy Spirit gives witness to Jesus and thus the disciples must do the same.

“For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice, came out of many possessed people, and many paralyzed or crippled people were cured. There was great joy in that city.” Thirdly, the Spirit that gives life and truth also and necessarily protects and guides us from all harm and evil. This is a marvelous promise! How many parents who are reading this would give everything to make sure that all their children would always be guided and protected after they grow up and leave home! We simply cannot be everywhere we want to be especially for those we love the most. Yet, and amazingly so, this is what the Spirit of Truth accomplishes in us and for us and for all who call upon His name.

Everyone encounters hardship and obstacles as we live and move and have our being. The Spirit of Truth also comforts and solidifies peace in the hearts of those who love Jesus and wish to serve Him with all their heart and soul. This must be the greatest source of joy we could ever imagine.

“The wizard of Oz says look inside yourself and find self. God says look inside yourself and find the Holy Spirit. The first will get you to Kansas. The latter will get you to heaven. Take your pick.” Max Lucado

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May 24, 2020


For the readings of Seventh Sunday of Easter, please go here

The Ascension of the Lord
Lectionary: 58

Reading 1 – ACTS 1:1-11

In the first book, Theophilus,
I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
until the day he was taken up,
after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
to the apostles whom he had chosen.
He presented himself alive to them
by many proofs after he had suffered,
appearing to them during forty days
and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While meeting with the them,
he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for “the promise of the Father
about which you have heard me speak;
for John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

When they had gathered together they asked him,
“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”
When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,
suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, “Men of Galilee,
why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven
will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9

R. (6) God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
For king of all the earth is God;
sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
God sits upon his holy throne.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 – EPH 1:17-23

Brothers and sisters:
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation
resulting in knowledge of him.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,
what are the riches of glory
in his inheritance among the holy ones,
and what is the surpassing greatness of his power
for us who believe,
in accord with the exercise of his great might,
which he worked in Christ,
raising him from the dead
and seating him at his right hand in the heavens,
far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion,
and every name that is named
not only in this age but also in the one to come.
And he put all things beneath his feet
and gave him as head over all things to the church,
which is his body,
the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

Alleluia – MT 28:19A, 20B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Go and teach all nations, says the Lord;
I am with you always, until the end of the world.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 28:16-20

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

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May 17, 2020


Sixth Sunday of Easter
Lectionary: 55

Reading 1 – ACTS 8:5-8, 14-17

Philip went down to the city of Samaria
and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.
For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice,
came out of many possessed people,
and many paralyzed or crippled people were cured.
There was great joy in that city.

Now when the apostles in Jerusalem
heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God,
they sent them Peter and John,
who went down and prayed for them,
that they might receive the Holy Spirit,
for it had not yet fallen upon any of them;
they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Then they laid hands on them
and they received the Holy Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20

R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.
“Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!”
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He has changed the sea into dry land;
through the river they passed on foot;
therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 – 1 PT 3:15-18

Beloved:
Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.
Always be ready to give an explanation
to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,
but do it with gentleness and reverence,
keeping your conscience clear,
so that, when you are maligned,
those who defame your good conduct in Christ
may themselves be put to shame.
For it is better to suffer for doing good,
if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.

For Christ also suffered for sins once,
the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous,
that he might lead you to God.
Put to death in the flesh,
he was brought to life in the Spirit.

Alleluia – JN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord,
and my Father will love him and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 14:15-21

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father, 
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”

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The Greatest Discovery


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 16, 2020

Imagine the response of the disciples of Jesus when he told them, as we heard today in the Gospel, that the world may hate them! Perhaps they began wondering about all the teaching on love and forgiveness and then here arrives a lesson on hatred? Part of the problem then (and even today) was that so many were expecting their own created version of the Messiah who would wield such political and military power that anyone associated with him and be called “his friend” would somehow be so much like the rich and influential who seemed to mistreat and misjudge those whom they thought lower than themselves. Today Jesus continues to invite us into His friendship as he clearly promotes service as a basis for greatness. He even washed feet and wounds and ate with sinners and outcasts: “Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’”

William Shakespeare once wrote, “Time is very slow for those who wait. Very fast for those who are scared. Very long for those who lament. Very short for those who celebrate. But for those who love, time is eternal.” Those who rejected Jesus when He first came were steeped in their own mistaken ideas about who God promised, how He would save them from their sins, and why He opened for the universe the mystery of love. This still happens today as Jesus comes to us every single day of our lives which calls upon us to set aside any biases or unrealistic expectations and accept the Lord Jesus just as He says He is for the world: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” Love Jesus today with all your heart and then allow that remarkable decision to permeate and affect everything you do and say from now on. Sometimes the human heart needs more time to accept what the mind already knows.

“When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.” William Arthur Ward

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May 16, 2020


Sunday Vigil Mass

Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 290

Reading 1 – ACTS 16:1-10

Paul reached also Derbe and Lystra
where there was a disciple named Timothy,
the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer,
but his father was a Greek.
The brothers in Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him,
and Paul wanted him to come along with him.
On account of the Jews of that region, Paul had him circumcised,
for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
As they traveled from city to city,
they handed on to the people for observance the decisions
reached by the Apostles and presbyters in Jerusalem.
Day after day the churches grew stronger in faith
and increased in number.

They traveled through the Phrygian and Galatian territory
because they had been prevented by the Holy Spirit
from preaching the message in the province of Asia.
When they came to Mysia, they tried to go on into Bithynia,
but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them,
so they crossed through Mysia and came down to Troas.
During the night Paul had a vision.
A Macedonian stood before him and implored him with these words,
“Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
When he had seen the vision,
we sought passage to Macedonia at once,
concluding that God had called us to proclaim the Good News to them.

Responsorial Psalm – 100:1B-2, 3, 5

R.    (2A)  Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R.    Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R.    Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
The LORD is good:
his kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R.    Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – COL 3:1

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If then you were raised with Christ,
seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 15:18-21

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own;
but because you do not belong to the world,
and I have chosen you out of the world,
the world hates you.
Remember the word I spoke to you,
‘No slave is greater than his master.’
If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
And they will do all these things to you on account of my name,
because they do not know the one who sent me.”

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Friends Forever


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 15, 2020

“I call you my friends, says the Lord, for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me.” Perhaps one of the greatest gifts we each have in this life is that of solid, lasting and supportive friendship. We often do not think about this treasure in our lives but it is one that we certainly miss when it is gone. Jesus offers the most remarkable share in His life by calling us His friends and providing to us the same comforts and encouragements that come from good friends. And He promises that He is also present in those relationships that bring us closer and closer to Heaven and help build our relationship with Jesus Himself. “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”

The Lord also offers a deeper insight into love and friendship when he states what might have been so obvious beforehand: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” The utmost extent of a loving commitment of one friend to another is found in the ultimate sacrifice that people make for each other. Sometimes that sacrifice is carried out in one singular moment, or lived out over many, many years of life. Nevertheless, friendship in the Lord Jesus is the greatest gift of all nourished by the Word of the Scriptures and the Bread of Life.

“And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends”

– Michael W. Smith

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May 15, 2020


Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 289

Reading 1 – ACTS 15:22-31

The Apostles and presbyters, in agreement with the whole Church,
decided to choose representatives
and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. 
The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas,
and Silas, leaders among the brothers.
This is the letter delivered by them:
“The Apostles and the presbyters, your brothers,
to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia
of Gentile origin: greetings.
Since we have heard that some of our number
who went out without any mandate from us
have upset you with their teachings
and disturbed your peace of mind,
we have with one accord decided to choose representatives
and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So we are sending Judas and Silas
who will also convey this same message by word of mouth:
‘It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us
not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities,
namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols,
from blood, from meats of strangled animals,
and from unlawful marriage.
If you keep free of these,
you will be doing what is right. Farewell.’“

And so they were sent on their journey.
Upon their arrival in Antioch
they called the assembly together and delivered the letter.
When the people read it, they were delighted with the exhortation.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 57:8-9, 10 AND 12

R. (1A)  I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
My heart is steadfast, O God; my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and chant praise.
Awake, O my soul; awake, lyre and harp!
I will wake the dawn.
R. I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to you among the peoples, O LORD,
I will chant your praise among the nations.
For your mercy towers to the heavens,
and your faithfulness to the skies.
Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
above all the earth be your glory!
R. I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 15:15B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I call you my friends, says the Lord,
for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 15:12-17

Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”

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May 14, 2020


Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle
Lectionary: 564

Reading 1 – ACTS 1:15-17, 20-26

Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers and sisters
(there was a group of about one hundred and twenty persons
in the one place).
He said, “My brothers and sisters,
the Scripture had to be fulfilled
which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand
through the mouth of David, concerning Judas,
who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus.
Judas was numbered among us
and was allotted a share in this ministry.
For it is written in the Book of Psalms:

Let his encampment become desolate,
and may no one dwell in it.

and: May another take his office.

Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men 
who accompanied us the whole time 
the Lord Jesus came and went among us,
beginning from the baptism of John
until the day on which he was taken up from us,
become with us a witness to his resurrection.”
So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas,
who was also known as Justus, and Matthias.
Then they prayed,
“You, Lord, who know the hearts of all,
show which one of these two you have chosen
to take the place in this apostolic ministry
from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.”
Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias,
and he was counted with the Eleven Apostles.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 113:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8

R. (8)  The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise, you servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD.
Blessed be the name of the LORD
both now and forever.
R. The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
or:
R. Alleluia.
From the rising to the setting of the sun
is the name of the LORD to be praised.
High above all nations is the LORD;
above the heavens is his glory.
R. The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high
and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?
R. The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He raises up the lowly from the dust;
from the dunghill he lifts up the poor
To seat them with princes,
with the princes of his own people.
R. The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 15:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 15:9-17

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you
and your joy might be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you:  love one another.”

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St. Matthias: Love In The Time Of Christ


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 14, 2020

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Here we have the most awesome and life-changing promise that the Lord offers to us to ensure that we know that He is absolutely and eternally serious about what he intends to provide for us for all time, He promises to make the ultimate sacrifice for those He loves intensely. Do you personally know anyone who would die for you? If you did, would they be able to assure your entrance into Heaven? Only Jesus can do both.

“Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with the Eleven Apostles.” Today is also the Feast of St. Matthias who in effect “replaced” the fallen traitor Judas after the horrible sequence of events after the Last Supper on Holy Thursday. Again, we have an example of the love Christ has for His Church by continually stocking and staffing good and solid leaders to shepherd and protect the flock. God never leaves us, orphans, because we definitely live in the time of Christ until we live with Him forever in Heaven.

“If I am a friend of Jesus, I must deliberately and carefully lay down my life for Him. It is a difficult thing to do, and thank God that it is. Salvation is easy for us because it cost God so much. And Jesus says to us, ‘…I have called you friends….’ Remain faithful to your Friend, and remember that His honor is at stake in your bodily life.”
Oswald Chambers

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May 13, 2020


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima, please go here.

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 287

Reading 1 – ACTS 15:1-6

Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers,
“Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice,
you cannot be saved.”
Because there arose no little dissension and debate
by Paul and Barnabas with them,
it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others
should go up to Jerusalem to the Apostles and presbyters
about this question. 
They were sent on their journey by the Church,
and passed through Phoenicia and Samaria
telling of the conversion of the Gentiles,
and brought great joy to all the brethren.
When they arrived in Jerusalem,
they were welcomed by the Church,
as well as by the Apostles and the presbyters,
and they reported what God had done with them.
But some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers
stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them
and direct them to observe the Mosaic law.”

The Apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter. 

Responsorial Psalm – PS 122:1-2, 3-4AB, 4CD-5

R. (see 1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 15:4A, 5B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 15:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

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Fresh Off The Vine


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 13, 2020

There is no such thing as a gardener without passion. Nor could there be one without creativity or deep insight about the earth and what comes out of it. We could even say for our purposes here that working with the soil and growing food and flowers that enrich our lives is really an art that employs the hand, the head, and the heart altogether. During the Easter Season, we are witnesses through the Scriptures of the “first fruits” of the sowing and planting of the Gospel enriched by the Sacrifice of Jesus on the cross to produce this wonderful and life-giving fruit of the world’s garden, the Church. “They were sent on their journey by the Church, and passed through Phoenicia and Samaria telling of the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brethren.” God is like the Supreme Gardener who has placed all of creation in place and in order and brings all the blossoms in an all-powerful and all-loving gentle manner. This very truth inspired the Psalmist to invite us to sing with him today and forever: “Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.”

And while we are living in a complete world of gratitude and the overwhelming sense that Jesus is right here with us through thick and thin, our behavior then reflects such living: “Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord; whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.” Clearly the Scriptures today proclaim the deep and life-giving connection with integrity of life because of the One who has loved us into existence. If we believe in Jesus and follow Him, then our entire lives must strive to live as redeemed and ransomed people. This is how we exhibit the closeness to our hearts with the divine mysteries of creation and redemption. Jesus, using the imagery of gardening and farming, reminds all of us of this intimate relationship in the Gospel today: “I am the vine, you are the branches.” If it is true, and it is, that you can always tell a tree by its fruit, then who will people see and experience in us today. Will they see Jesus? Who, then?

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

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May 13, 2020 – Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima
Lectionary: 563A

Reading 1 – IS 61:9-11

Thus says the LORD:
Their descendants shall be renowned among the nations,
 and their offspring among the peoples;
All who see them shall acknowledge them
 as a race the LORD has blessed.

I rejoice heartily in the LORD,
 in my God is the joy of my soul;
For he has clothed me with a robe of salvation,
 and wrapped me in a mantle of justice,
Like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem,
 like a bride bedecked with her jewels.
As the earth brings forth its plants,
 and a garden makes its growth spring up,
So will the Lord GOD make justice and praise
 spring up before all the nations.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 45:11-12, 14-15, 16-17

R. (11) Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
or:
R. The bridegroom is here; let us go out to meet Christ the Lord.
Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear,
 forget your people and your father’s house.
So shall the king desire your beauty;
 for he is your lord, and you must worship him.  
R. Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
or:
R. The bridegroom is here; let us go out to meet Christ the Lord.
All glorious is the king’s daughter as she enters;
 her raiment is threaded with spun gold.
In embroidered apparel she is borne in to the king;
 behind her the virgins of her train are brought to you.  
R. Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
or:
R. The bridegroom is here; let us go out to meet Christ the Lord.
They are borne in with gladness and joy;
 they enter the palace of the king.
The place of your fathers your sons shall have;
 you shall make them princes through all the land.  
R. Listen to me, daughter; see and bend your ear.
or:
R. The bridegroom is here; let us go out to meet Christ the Lord.

Alleluia

R.  Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, holy Virgin Mary, deserving of all praise;
from you rose the sun of justice, Christ our God.  
R.  Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 11:27-28

While Jesus was speaking,
a woman from the crowd called out and said to him,
“Blessed is the womb that carried you
and the breasts at which you nursed.”
He replied, “Rather, blessed are those
who hear the word of God and observe it.”

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May 12, 2020


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saints Nereus and Achilleus, please go here.

For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Pancras, please go here.

Tuesday of Fifth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 286

Reading 1 – ACTS 14:19-28

In those days, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium
arrived and won over the crowds. 
They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city,
supposing that he was dead.
But when the disciples gathered around him,
he got up and entered the city. 
On the following day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.

After they had proclaimed the good news to that city
and made a considerable number of disciples,
they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.
They strengthened the spirits of the disciples
and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying,
“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships
to enter the Kingdom of God.”
They appointed presbyters for them in each Church and,
with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord
in whom they had put their faith.
Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia.
After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia.
From there they sailed to Antioch,
where they had been commended to the grace of God
for the work they had now accomplished. 
And when they arrived, they called the Church together
and reported what God had done with them
and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
Then they spent no little time with the disciples.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 145:10-11, 12-13AB, 21

R. (see 12)  Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
or:
R. Alleluia.
May my mouth speak the praise of the LORD,
and may all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – LK 24:46, 26

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead,
and so enter into his glory.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 14:27-31A

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me tell you,
‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’
If you loved me,
you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe.
I will no longer speak much with you,
for the ruler of the world is coming.
He has no power over me,
but the world must know that I love the Father
and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.”

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May 12, 2020 – Memorial of Saints Nereus and Achilleus, martyrs


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saints Nereus and Achilleus, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saints Nereus and Achilleus, martyrs
Lectionary: 562

Reading 1 – RV 7:9-17

I, John, had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb.”

All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:

“Amen.  Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might
be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
“Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.”
He said to me,
“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.

“For this reason they stand before God’s throne
and worship him day and night in his temple.
The One who sits on the throne will shelter them.
They will not hunger or thirst anymore,
nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne
will shepherd them
and lead them to springs of life-giving water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 124:2-3, 4-5, 7-8

R.    (7) Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Had not the LORD been with us–
when men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive,
When their fury was inflamed against us.
R.    Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept the raging waters.
R.    Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
R.    Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.

Alleluia – MT 5:10

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 10:17-22

Jesus said to the Twelve:
“Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”

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May 12, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Pancras, martyr


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Pancras, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint Pancras, martyr
Lectionary: 563

Reading 1 – RV 19:1, 5-9A

I, John, heard what sounded like the loud voice
of a great multitude in heaven, saying:

“Alleluia!
Salvation, glory, and might belong to our God.”

Then a voice coming from a heavenly throne said:

“Praise our God, all you his servants,
and you who revere him, small and great.”

Then I heard something like the sound of a great multitude
or the sound of rushing water or mighty peals of thunder,
as they said:

“Alleluia!
The Lord has established his reign,
our God, the almighty.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory.
For the wedding day of the Lamb has come,
his bride has made herself ready.
She was allowed to wear
a bright, clean linen garment.”
(The linen represents the righteous deeds of the holy ones.)

Then an angel said to me, “Write this:
Blessed are those who have been called
to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 103:1-2, 3-4, 8-9, 13-14, 17-18

R.    (1)  O, bless the Lord, my soul!
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and forget not all his benefits.
R.     O, bless the Lord, my soul!
He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R.      O, bless the Lord, my soul!
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
R.    O, bless the Lord, my soul!
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him,
For he knows how we are formed;
he remembers that we are dust.
R.    O, bless the Lord, my soul!
But the kindness of the LORD is from eternity
to eternity toward those who fear him,
And his justice toward his children’s children
among those who keep his covenant.
R.    O, bless the Lord, my soul!

Alleluia – SEE MT 11:25

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 11:25-30

At that time Jesus responded:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

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No Little Time


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 12, 2020

“And when they arrived, they called the Church together and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. Then they spent no little time with the disciples.” At that wonderful moment in life when everything is so clear and lucid, you just do not want time to end. We might say that in those special episodes around us, time was relative. “Time is relative” means the rate of change of time is not the same for every frame of reference. Two people sitting in two other frames of reference can measure different rates of time, i.e. one’s clocks can tick faster than others or vice-versa. When the grace of God surrounds you, time stands still and everything comes into such clear focus that we just do not ever want to leave that space. But unfortunately, reality knocks relentlessly and there we go back to the grime and gristle of it all. The joy that literally overwhelmed the disciples in our First Reading understood that very well. They knew and quickly realized that great things take great sacrifices but yield even greater rewards: “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.” They couldn’t spend enough time listening to all the wonders that God had done for those who never lost trust or faith in Him.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” In order to find these deep wonderful moments of clarity, we must slow down. If we think that somehow and somehow we are going to finish everything we think we need to accomplish, we will definitely wear ourselves down. This leaves little time to survey and realize how God our God is to us. Try slowing today. You’ll be so glad you did.

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.” Saint Francis de Sales

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God or gods?


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 11, 2020

“The gods have come down to us in human form.” Recently, a priest celebrating his 40th anniversary to the Priesthood made an astounding observation to those who gathered to celebrate with him. He announced that when he was first ordained, he truly imagined that his primary duty and obligation was to make sure that everyone he met was sure to have God in their lives. What he painfully learned, as the years crept away with the hopes of leaving a trail of wisdom and growth behind them, was that people already had a god. It was then his adjusted obligation to make sure that the god they worshipped was the God of Abraham, Issac, Joseph, and all the prophets, incarnated concretely in the person of Jesus Christ. The point made here is quite simple. We either have God in our lives or a lot of little gods that we worship like money, fame and popularity, just name a few. This distinction can make the difference of the world in the life of a soul who desperately needs peace in this life and eternal life in the next. 

“Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”  The Lord Himself certifies this difference in life and gives us yet another indication on the subtle difference we find in people. When people worship a lot of little gods and goddesses, they are truly worshipping themselves especially when it comes to pleasure and the haughty condescending attitudes that come with putting oneself first in everything. Every day, then you and I must make a series of choices between the God who stays with us always or the passing idols of fame and fortune.

“A person who loves others based solely on how they make him feel, or what they do for him, is really not loving others at all – but loving only himself. God judges people from the inside out; people judge others from the outside in.” Criss Jami

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May 11, 2020


Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 285

Reading 1 – ACTS 14:5-18

There was an attempt in Iconium
by both the Gentiles and the Jews,
together with their leaders,
to attack and stone Paul and Barnabas.
They realized it,
and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe
and to the surrounding countryside,
where they continued to proclaim the Good News.

At Lystra there was a crippled man, lame from birth,
who had never walked. 
He listened to Paul speaking, who looked intently at him,
saw that he had the faith to be healed,
and called out in a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet.”
He jumped up and began to walk about.
When the crowds saw what Paul had done,
they cried out in Lycaonian,
“The gods have come down to us in human form.” 
They called Barnabas “Zeus” and Paul “Hermes,”
because he was the chief speaker.
And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city,
brought oxen and garlands to the gates,
for he together with the people intended to offer sacrifice.

The Apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their garments
when they heard this and rushed out into the crowd, shouting,
“Men, why are you doing this? 
We are of the same nature as you, human beings. 
We proclaim to you good news
that you should turn from these idols to the living God,
who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them.
In past generations he allowed all Gentiles to go their own ways;
yet, in bestowing his goodness,
he did not leave himself without witness,
for he gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons,
and filled you with nourishment and gladness for your hearts.”
Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds
from offering sacrifice to them.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 115:1-2, 3-4, 15-16

R. (1AB)  Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Not to us, O LORD, not to us
but to your name give glory
because of your mercy, because of your truth.
Why should the pagans say,
“Where is their God?”
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Our God is in heaven;
whatever he wills, he does.
Their idols are silver and gold,
the handiwork of men.
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
May you be blessed by the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
Heaven is the heaven of the LORD,
but the earth he has given to the children of men.
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 14:26

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Holy Spirit will teach you everything
and remind you of all I told you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 14:21-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him,
“Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us
and not to the world?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine
but that of the Father who sent me.

“I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit 
whom the Father will send in my name, 
he will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you.”

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Unarmed Truth


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 10, 2020

“Jesus said to Thomas, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” How is Jesus “The Way”? Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think about how really precious is the time you have to spend whether it is at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored. (Earl Nightingale) Once we accept Jesus into our hearts and carry Him wherever we go, there is a certain appreciation for life that never leaves us. Once we realize and accept Jesus is the way I want to follow, every minute of my life is a true gift and others begin to see and experience that as well.

How is Jesus “The Truth”? Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn. Work hard and never give up on your dreams even when nobody else believes they can come true but you. (Philip Sweet) People all around us worship many things in this life anything from money to power and pleasure. When Jesus becomes our Truth, everything He has taught us is maintained in a life of remarkable integrity. This is critical especially in the face of temptation when we must make that daily choice which version of ourselves we chose to be for that moment. It also means that we are now posed to forgive even the meanest and cruelest individuals we will ever meet. Jesus is stronger than any of those!

How is Jesus “The Life”? There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved. (George Sand) When a person accepts Jesus as their universe and pattern of living, love becomes nearly effortless. That is because God is love and those who truly understand the overwhelming love which has been shown to us especially in the death and Resurrection of Jesus His Son, then the only response can be a life of generous giving of self, amazing patience, and love. This clearly prepares us for eternal life in Heaven where there is no more pain, no more guilt, no more tears. “If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

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May 10, 2020


Fifth Sunday of Easter
Lectionary: 52

Reading 1 – ACTS 6:1-7

As the number of disciples continued to grow,
the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews
because their widows
were being neglected in the daily distribution.
So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said,
“It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.
Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men,
filled with the Spirit and wisdom,
whom we shall appoint to this task,
whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer
and to the ministry of the word.”
The proposal was acceptable to the whole community,
so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit,
also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas,
and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
They presented these men to the apostles
who prayed and laid hands on them.
The word of God continued to spread,
and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly;
even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19

R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 – 1 PT 2:4-9

Beloved:
Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings
but chosen and precious in the sight of God,
and, like living stones,
let yourselves be built into a spiritual house
to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
For it says in Scripture:
Behold, I am laying a stone in Zion,
a cornerstone, chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in it shall not be put to shame.

Therefore, its value is for you who have faith, but for those without faith:
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone, and
A stone that will make people stumble,
and a rock that will make them fall.

They stumble by disobeying the word, as is their destiny.

You are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people of his own,
so that you may announce the praises” of him
who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Alleluia – JN 14:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way, the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father, except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 14:1-12

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way.”
Thomas said to him,
“Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him,
“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.”

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May 9, 2020


Sunday Vigil Mass

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 284

Reading 1 – ACTS 13:44-52

On the following sabbath
almost the whole city
gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 
When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy
and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said. 
Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said,
“It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first,
but since you reject it
and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life,
we now turn to the Gentiles. 
For so the Lord has commanded us,
I have made you a light to the Gentiles,
that you may be an instrument of salvation
to the ends of the earth.

The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this
and glorified the word of the Lord. 
All who were destined for eternal life came to believe,
and the word of the Lord continued to spread
through the whole region. 
The Jews, however, incited the women of prominence who were worshipers
and the leading men of the city,
stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas,
and expelled them from their territory. 
So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them
and went to Iconium. 
The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.
 

Responsorial Psalm – PS 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4

R. (3CD)  All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alelluia – JN 8:31B-32

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 14:7-14

Jesus said to his disciples: 
“If you know me, then you will also know my Father. 
From now on you do know him and have seen him.” 
Philip said to Jesus, 
“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” 
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip? 
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. 
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? 
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. 
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. 
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves. 
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father. 
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 
If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”

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A Quiet Mind


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 9, 2020

“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, says the Lord.” Have you ever wondered how any of the early Christians faced martyrdom and certain death with such peace in their hearts? Do you know people, the bedrock of faith, who face trial after trial, disappointment after languishing moments and still smile? Our First Reading today is just one of those examples of the deep and abiding love that Jesus places in those who truly love Him and want to spend quality time with the Lord. This is what you are doing today, reading the Scriptures, letting them permeate and sink into the folds of your existence then try to apply them in a powerful way. This is what is meant by remaining in the word. It means being so comfortable with the words of the Bible that they become a deep reference point to all of life’s ups and downs, hills and valleys. We see things as part of God’s plan and not just in terms of my own little world with its passing fads and issues. 

“The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.” This is also the perfect recipe for living a full, abundant life of joy. For the Christian, the one who has met Jesus and never looks back, there is never a bad day. Perhaps, some days are better than others, but still the fullness of joy and hope never leaves that soul. As some among us are slowly but carefully returning to a more integrated, social life, patience and forgiveness must be in our hearts and minds so they can easily be radiated through our speech and actions. Quiet your mind today and let the Lord lead you today and beyond.

“A quiet mind married to integrity of heart is the birth of wisdom.” Richard Grey

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Take Me With You


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 8, 2020

“In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.” Interestingly enough, one of the initial emotional reactions after the Crucifixion of Our Lord Jesus was one of abandonment which does flood the memories and hearts of many adults in our own social circles today. These specific types of issues arise when someone has a strong fear of losing someone they love very much, This can and does happen quite often exhibited by people who cannot trust others, push others away to avoid rejection, and try to control the people they call friends. Jesus who was no stranger to human behavior addressed these rumblings with the most sincere and powerful love that can mean the difference between a tragic life and a full, completely giving, and loving one.

“But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. These are now his witnesses before the people.” And here is the difference that makes everything new for each and everyone of us: we are His witnesses! That means that in every possible situation and encounter that we face, the fact that we know Christ and believe that He died and rose for us has to create in us a disposition and readily apparent attitude that speaks to the world and those around us even before we use words. If you have to tell people that you are a Christian or that you go to Church, then perhaps something is missing. Let it be so obvious that you believe in the Easter mystery that it radiates from you with just a smile.

“Receive, O Lord, all my liberty. Take my memory, understanding, and entire will. Whatever I have or possess you have given me; I restore it all to you, and surrender it wholly to be governed by your will. Give me love for you alone along with your grace, and I am rich enough, and ask for nothing more.”  St. Ignatius of Loyola 

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May 8, 2020


Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 283

Reading 1 – ACTS 13:26-33

When Paul came to Antioch in Pisidia, he said in the synagogue:
 “My brothers, children of the family of Abraham,
and those others among you who are God-fearing,
to us this word of salvation has been sent. 
The inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize him,
and by condemning him they fulfilled the oracles of the prophets
that are read sabbath after sabbath. 
For even though they found no grounds for a death sentence,
they asked Pilate to have him put to death,
and when they had accomplished all that was written about him,
they took him down from the tree and placed him in a tomb. 
But God raised him from the dead,
and for many days he appeared to those
who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. 
These are now his witnesses before the people.
We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you
that what God promised our fathers
he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus,
as it is written in the second psalm,
You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 2:6-7, 8-9, 10-11AB

R. (7BC) You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
“I myself have set up my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the decree of the LORD:
The LORD said to me, “You are my Son;
this day I have begotten you.”
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
“Ask of me and I will give you
the nations for an inheritance
and the ends of the earth for your possession.
You shall rule them with an iron rod;
you shall shatter them like an earthen dish.”
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
And now, O kings, give heed;
take warning, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice before him;
with trembling rejoice.
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 14:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 14:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. 
You have faith in God; have faith also in me. 
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way.” 
Thomas said to him, 
“Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?” 
Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. 
No one comes to the Father except through me.”

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No Doctors Just Patients


world globe in sky with coronavirus chains

“Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”

The thunder-like pounding of heavy, angry feet created the illusion in the office that morning as if an 18-wheeler carrying enough wood to build a city of log cabins was passing dangerously close at high speed. The other secretaries in the cubicle-laden area knew better, however. “She” was in another terrible mood and no one was going to get out alive, or at least, without needing a strong sedative, a bottle of Motrin, a deep skin massage or all of the above. Someone must have contradicted her, called her out on the condescending tones and thinly veiled insults, or finally just yelled back. But that’s all it took to unleash the Kraken and a new level of their hostile work environment that made a pack of hungry, feeding hyenas look like a quilting bee. 

Unfortunately, the scenario is not rare and exists in various dimensions and situations wherever the darkness of compulsive, judgmentally-challenged people, usually in some tier of authority, is allowed to run loose and unchecked. The problem is multifold. If we start from the beginning, you know, when the dinosaurs died, etc., we will find the genesis of this quagmire, well, in Genesis! The blame game as it is played all around the world had its origins in that famous garden where there was too much finger-pointing to go around. And when the layers of this petty pastime were uncovered, it led to one source. What was it? How about a hint? It was crawling on its stomach. It should not surprise anyone the very first mention of evil and the demonic from the earliest texts we have, took a strange adjective: accuser. Accusing anyone of everything from taking your parking spot to poisoning your cat, takes on bizarre power and effects. The accused are always caught off guard, placed in humiliating and even a position of defensive weakness, always looking to explain and nearly in an uncomfortable, uneasy manner giving some to believe that the accusation is actually accurate. 

This is the goal of the accuser. Knock us down, kick us while struggling to get up and then gaslight us to believe that maybe, just maybe, the blame has been rightfully and justifiably placed. At times, these struggles place us uncomfortably too close to shrew-like individuals that take all kinds of shapes and sizes. One example is the termagant who can surface at home, at work or even in high-profile positions of authority existing in nearly all professions. Termagants are always in a bad mood, whining and complaining, and generally making life miserable for everyone around them. Perhaps, we could also think that from time to time, we, too, may be counted among that number if we are not careful and practice self-awareness. Here is the problem and the justification for our Biblical reference above which warned against trying to pull out a splinter from another’s eye when we have a forest growing in our own. 

You see, this is truly deep darkness of the soul that negatively impacts everyone who must face a highly, self-righteous and judgmental person. Hypocrisy, hateful speech, condescending attitudes, distort all perceptions and poison the heart like a noxious gas. To point all the faults of another while hiding behind a thin and tattered curtain of self-made perfection ignores the obvious. Modern-day Pharisees have to strain to see everyone they dislike because they imagine seeing the beams of weakness everywhere, whereas the only real beam is the one lodged in their own eye socket. 

Among the many deep spiritual lessons that can be discovered during the virus pandemic and other life challenge is the call on all of us to valiantly struggle against this tendency to assume that our own worldview, often very limited, is the only unbiased, open minded and uncolored norm of judgment, that only we possess clear, unhampered sight. In other words, thinking and acting as if we are the “doctor” in the hospital of life and everybody else is the “patient.” This sickness, affecting the soul much like the actual COVID-19 weakens and destroys the lungs, can be cured only by putting on the mind and heart of Jesus Christ; by seeing my brothers and sisters through His eyes which always radiate love and forgiveness. You and I are called to beg every day to adopt and develop a healthy, realistic worldview where no one is better than anyone else and that forgiveness, if we truly want it at the end of our lives, must be practiced today and right now before yet another minute passes. Life, as it is, clearly remains as fragile as it has ever been noted. We will be able to live what we read in St. Matthew’s Gospel, “only then will you see clearly.” 

Let us be open to change our view of the world, or at least, amend it a little. We are all patients and equally in need of help and cure. When seen through these patient, loving eyes, we will have a deep-seated change of heart and find life beautiful instead of heartless. And while there still may be pounding from time-to-time, it will not be the angry stampedes of the maladjusted and hateful. It will be His heart beating for you because that is who He is and that is why He came. 

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May 7, 2020


Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 282

Reading 1 – ACTS 13:13-25

From Paphos, Paul and his companions
set sail and arrived at Perga in Pamphylia. 
But John left them and returned to Jerusalem. 
They continued on from Perga and reached Antioch in Pisidia. 
On the sabbath they entered into the synagogue and took their seats. 
After the reading of the law and the prophets,
the synagogue officials sent word to them,
“My brothers, if one of you has a word of exhortation
for the people, please speak.”

So Paul got up, motioned with his hand, and said,
“Fellow children of Israel and you others who are God-fearing, listen.
The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors
and exalted the people during their sojourn in the land of Egypt. 
With uplifted arm he led them out,
and for about forty years he put up with them in the desert.
When he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan,
he gave them their land as an inheritance
at the end of about four hundred and fifty years.
After these things he provided judges up to Samuel the prophet. 
Then they asked for a king.
God gave them Saul, son of Kish,
a man from the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 
Then he removed him and raised up David as their king;
of him he testified,
I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;
he will carry out my every wish.

From this man’s descendants God, according to his promise,
has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus. 
John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance
to all the people of Israel;
and as John was completing his course, he would say,
‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he.
Behold, one is coming after me;
I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.’“

Responsorial Psalm – PS 89:2-3, 21-22, 25 AND 27

R. (2)  Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R. Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
“I have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him,
That my hand may be always with him,
and that my arm may make him strong.”
R. Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
“My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him,
and through my name shall his horn be exalted.
He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.’”
R. Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – RV 1:5AB

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ, you are the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead,
you have loved us and freed us from our sins by your Blood.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 13:16-20

When Jesus had washed the disciples’ feet, he said to them:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master
nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.
If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.
I am not speaking of all of you.
I know those whom I have chosen.
But so that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.
From now on I am telling you before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe that I AM. 
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send
receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

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Love’s Search For Happiness


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 7, 2020

Imagine the disappointment of those over two thousand years ago who were expecting their own created version of the Messiah who would wield such political and military power that anyone associated with him and be called “his friend” would somehow share in that tremendous and overwhelmingly amassed power. It is little wonder why such as these rejected Jesus Christ flat out because, astoundingly, he promoted service as a basis for greatness. He even washed feet and wounds and ate with sinners and outcasts:  “Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.”

William Shakespeare once wrote, “Expectation is the root of all heartache,” and although there is much truth in that statement, there perhaps is more that resonates with reality to say that unrealistic expectation is the blueprint for disaster. Those who rejected Jesus when He first came were steeped in their own mistaken ideas about who God promised and how he would save them from their sins. This still happens today as Jesus comes to us every single day of our lives which calls upon us to set aside any biases or unrealistic expectations and accept the Lord Jesus just as He says He is for the world: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,  where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” Love Jesus today with all your heart and then allow that remarkable decision to permeate and affect everything you do and say from now on. Sometimes the human heart needs more time to accept what the mind already knows.

“Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ, and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.” C. S. Lewis

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Leave The Light On


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 6, 2020

“I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness.” This clear and awesome self-description from Jesus in the Gospel today speaks more than just volumes for us to ponder. It calls out throughout the centuries for a deep and true response to the reality of Whom we follow and Whom we love. How is He the light? We immediately realize that this question would automatically posture and position our conversation that could easily drift into philosophy or history or even politics. Light by its very definition  illumines reality. It helps us see clearer and thus walk in a way that moves us toward fulfillment, happiness and holiness. Let us recall the words of Christ who makes it crystal clear: “I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.”

We encounter all sorts of people in our lives, some who add to the joy and peace that is ours and those who actually attempt to rob us of that light that we take so long and with great effort to maintain. Do we surrender power to people who will use it just to destroy us? Jesus saves us from precisely such horrible pitfalls and mental traps. Think of all the conversations you had yesterday and then think of all the ones you are about to have. How many of them will be about important, eternal matters? Some people feel very uncomfortable and awkward talking about their faith and their relationship with Jesus Christ. However, everything that is true will speak for itself and we are just its servants. No matter how educated, talented, rich or “cool” any of us believe that we are, how we treat people ultimately tells everything anyone ever needs to know about who we are versus who we say we are. Go into today and travel into your world armed with what you know is good, sound and holy!

“The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself.” St. Augustine

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May 6, 2020


Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 281

Reading 1 – ACTS 12:24—13:5A

The word of God continued to spread and grow. 

After Barnabas and Saul completed their relief mission,
they returned to Jerusalem,
taking with them John, who is called Mark. 

Now there were in the Church at Antioch prophets and teachers:
Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene,
Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,
“Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul
for the work to which I have called them.” 
Then, completing their fasting and prayer,
they laid hands on them and sent them off.

So they, sent forth by the Holy Spirit,
went down to Seleucia
and from there sailed to Cyprus. 
When they arrived in Salamis,
they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. 

Responsorial Psalm – PS 67:2-3, 5, 6 AND 8

R. (4)  O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R. Alleluia.
May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R. Alleluia.
May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R. Alleluia.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 8:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 12:44-50

Jesus cried out and said,
“Whoever believes in me believes not only in me
but also in the one who sent me,
and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me.
I came into the world as light,
so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. 
And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them,
I do not condemn him,
for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. 
Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words
has something to judge him: the word that I spoke,
it will condemn him on the last day,
because I did not speak on my own,
but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak. 
And I know that his commandment is eternal life. 
So what I say, I say as the Father told me.”

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The Suspense Is Filling Me


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 5, 2020

“How long are you going to keep us in suspense?” In the discipline of literature and creative writing, suspense is the element of both fiction and some nonfiction that makes the reader uncertain about the outcome. As an emotional response, to be in suspense could be good or not, depending on how sure we are of the outcome of any given situation. “And a large number of people was added to the Lord.” Humanity has always been in suspense about one thing or another. Perhaps the great number of people who turned their lives over to the Lord Jesus suggests strongly that they knew something better was waiting for them and they found it all in Jesus. In this regard, suspense kept the mind and heart open to find the true and lasting answers to life and love and eternity. 

“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” This still happens today especially with the amount of anxiety and restlessness in the world especially recently with the outbreak of COVID-19. The task for all of us is clear. We must listen. We must attempt with all our might to recognize the Lord’s voice and heart in this troubled world and with the divinely-inspired help of the Scriptures, the  suspense of the future can and should and in fact is resolved in the hearts of those love Christ first, then all who have been placed alongside of us on this earthly journey of ours. It takes true courage inspired by the Holy Spirit to even imagine a greater and fuller existence in anticipation for our life in Heaven and yet this adds color and suspense to life which brings us to believe that the best is always yet to come. And so it is.

“Even cowards can endure hardship; only the brave can endure suspense.” Mignon McLaughlin

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May 5, 2020


Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 280

Reading 1 – ACTS 11:19-26

Those who had been scattered by the persecution
that arose because of Stephen
went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch,
preaching the word to no one but Jews.
There were some Cypriots and Cyrenians among them, however,
who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks as well,
proclaiming the Lord Jesus. 
The hand of the Lord was with them
and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. 
The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem,
and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the grace of God,
he rejoiced and encouraged them all
to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,
for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.
And a large number of people was added to the Lord. 
Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch. 
For a whole year they met with the Church
and taught a large number of people,
and it was in Antioch that the disciples
were first called Christians.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 87:1B-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (117:1A)  All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
His foundation upon the holy mountains
the LORD loves:
The gates of Zion,
more than any dwelling of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you,
O city of God!
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I tell of Egypt and Babylon
among those who know the LORD;
Of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia:
“This man was born there.”
And of Zion they shall say:
“One and all were born in her;
And he who has established her
is the Most High LORD.”
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled:
“This man was born there.”
And all shall sing, in their festive dance:
“My home is within you.”
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 10:22-30

The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem.
It was winter. 
And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon. 
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him,
“How long are you going to keep us in suspense? 
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 
Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.
But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.
My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me. 
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. 
No one can take them out of my hand. 
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. 
The Father and I are one.”

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May 4, 2020


Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 279

Reading 1 – ACTS 11:1-18

The Apostles and the brothers who were in Judea
heard that the Gentiles too had accepted the word of God. 
So when Peter went up to Jerusalem
the circumcised believers confronted him, saying,
‘You entered the house of uncircumcised people and ate with them.” 
Peter began and explained it to them step by step, saying,
“I was at prayer in the city of Joppa
when in a trance I had a vision,
something resembling a large sheet coming down,
lowered from the sky by its four corners, and it came to me. 
Looking intently into it,
I observed and saw the four-legged animals of the earth,
the wild beasts, the reptiles, and the birds of the sky. 
I also heard a voice say to me, ‘Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat.’ 
But I said, ‘Certainly not, sir,
because nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 
But a second time a voice from heaven answered,
‘What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.’ 
This happened three times,
and then everything was drawn up again into the sky.
Just then three men appeared at the house where we were,
who had been sent to me from Caesarea. 
The Spirit told me to accompany them without discriminating. 
These six brothers also went with me,
and we entered the man’s house. 
He related to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, saying,
‘Send someone to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter,
who will speak words to you 
by which you and all your household will be saved.’ 
As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them
as it had upon us at the beginning,
and I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said,
‘John baptized with water
but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 
If then God gave them the same gift he gave to us
when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,
who was I to be able to hinder God?”
When they heard this,
they stopped objecting and glorified God, saying,
“God has then granted life-giving repentance to the Gentiles too.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 42:2-3; 43:3, 4

R. (see 3A) Athirst is my soul for the living God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
As the hind longs for the running waters,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
Athirst is my soul for God, the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling-place.
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;
Then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God!
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 10:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 10:11-18

Jesus said:
“I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
This is why the Father loves me,
because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own.
I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.
This command I have received from my Father.”

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May 3, 2020


Fourth Sunday of Easter
Lectionary: 49

Reading 1 – ACTS 2:14A, 36-41

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven,
raised his voice, and proclaimed:
“Let the whole house of Israel know for certain
that God has made both Lord and Christ,
this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart,
and they asked Peter and the other apostles,
“What are we to do, my brothers?”
Peter said to them,
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you,
in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins;
and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
For the promise is made to you and to your children
and to all those far off,
whomever the Lord our God will call.”
He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them,
“Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
Those who accepted his message were baptized,
and about three thousand persons were added that day.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 23:1-3A, 3B4, 5, 6

R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R. Alleluia.
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.
or:
R. Alleluia.
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.
or:
R. Alleluia.
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.
or:
R. Alleluia.
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.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 – 1 PT 2:20B-25

Beloved:
If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good,
this is a grace before God.
For to this you have been called,
because Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.
He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.

When he was insulted, he returned no insult;
when he suffered, he did not threaten;
instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly.
He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross,
so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness.
By his wounds you have been healed.
For you had gone astray like sheep,
but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Alleluia – JN 10:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 10:1-10

Jesus said:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”

Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

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Crying Wolf


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 4, 2020

“A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them.” Dream beyond all your wildest imaginations! What if you could accomplish the most incredible memory of anyone’s lifetime and actually have Lord Jesus the Christ walk with you for the entire day. Amazing, no? What would he have for breakfast? We’ve heard that he favors grilled fish. What if He came with you to the nursing home, the hospital, a clinic? They would be empty! Now, what if came with you to all the situations and places that bring out the most fear and anger in your life? With every positive and credible amount of information that we have, we could easily surmise that Jesus has no fear! None whatsoever. He also possesses complete self-mastery and never surrenders his peace or power to anyone. He has seen many a wolf coming and never backed down, especially for all of us, the ones He has loved with an everlasting love.

“As the hind longs for the running waters, so my soul longs for you, O God. Athirst is my soul for God, the living God. When shall I go and behold the face of God?” Instead of running toward self- pity, victimhood, and self-righteousness, we are passionately invited to follow Jesus right into our very heart and soul! Life is filled with obstacles and burdens and yes even with those who seem to make it their life’s mission to increase these pains in our lives but the best news today is that Jesus sees the wolf coming and stands right by us all the time. There is true freedom in Christ. No need for excuses, just plain, divine, everlasting love that has set us free.

“Like crying wolf, if you keep looking for sympathy as a justification for your actions, you will someday be left standing alone when you really need help.” Criss Jami

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Climbing Toward The Gate


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 3, 2020

George Mallory was the famed mountain climber who may have been the first person ever to reach the top of Mount Everest. In the early 1920’s he led a number of attempts to scale the mountain, eventually being killed in the third attempt in 1924. Before that last and fatal attempt, he had said: “I can’t see myself coming down defeated.” Mallory was an extraordinary climber, and nothing would force him to give up. His body was found in 1999, well preserved by the snow and ice, 27,000 feet up the mountain, just 2000 feet from the peak. He never gave up nor looked for the easy way to the top. In that same year, a banquet was held for the team that accompanied George Mallory. A huge picture of Mt. Everest stood behind the banquet table. It is said that the leader of the group stood to be applauded, and with tears streaming down his face, turned and looked at the picture:

“I speak to you, Mt. Everest, in the name of all brave men living and those yet unborn. Mt Everest, you defeated us once; you defeated us twice; you defeated us three times. But Mt. Everest, we shall someday defeat you, because you can’t get any bigger but we can.” In 1953 two climbers, Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzig Norgay reached the top.

“I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.” Today, Jesus invites us with perfect clarity to enter through the narrow gate. This gate path could mean following the Lord Jesus when it is convenient or inconvenient. It could mean doing the right thing even when no one is watching. Entering and climbing through the narrow gate means following Christ, not just sometimes or partway, but completely. It means we persevere and sacrifice and surrender even how we think things should unfold even in the face of disappointments and sadness. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.”

God never said that the climb up the mountain of life would be easy, but He did say that the arrival would be worth everything.

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May 2, 2020


Sunday Vigil Mass

For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Athanasius, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Athanasius, bishop and doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 278

Reading 1 – ACTS 9:31-42

The Church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria
was at peace. 
She was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord,
and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit she grew in numbers.

As Peter was passing through every region,
he went down to the holy ones living in Lydda. 
There he found a man named Aeneas,
who had been confined to bed for eight years, for he was paralyzed. 
Peter said to him,
“Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed.” 
He got up at once. 
And all the inhabitants of Lydda and Sharon saw him,
and they turned to the Lord.

Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha
(which translated is Dorcas). 
She was completely occupied with good deeds and almsgiving. 
Now during those days she fell sick and died,
so after washing her, they laid her out in a room upstairs. 
Since Lydda was near Joppa,
the disciples, hearing that Peter was there,
sent two men to him with the request,
“Please come to us without delay.” 
So Peter got up and went with them. 
When he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs
where all the widows came to him weeping
and showing him the tunics and cloaks
that Dorcas had made while she was with them. 
Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed. 
Then he turned to her body and said, “Tabitha, rise up.” 
She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up. 
He gave her his hand and raised her up,
and when he had called the holy ones and the widows,
he presented her alive. 
This became known all over Joppa,
and many came to believe in the Lord. 

Responsorial Psalm – PS 116:12-13, 14-15, 16-17

R. (12) How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?
or:
R. Alleluia.
How shall I make a return to the LORD
for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD
R. How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?
or:
R. Alleluia.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
R. How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?
or:
R. Alleluia.
O LORD, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R. How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 6:63C, 68C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 6:60-69

Many of the disciples of Jesus who were listening said,
“This saying is hard; who can accept it?”
Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this,
he said to them, “Does this shock you?
What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
It is the Spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail.
The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe.”
Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe
and the one who would betray him.
And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me
unless it is granted him by my Father.”

As a result of this,
many of his disciples returned to their former way of life
and no longer walked with him.
Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.
We have come to believe
and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

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Easter Eggs Of Peace


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 2, 2020

“The Church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was at peace.” Are you at peace today? Why or why not? These questions are sincerely important because of who we are: Christians, that is, people who believe in and follow The Lord Jesus, risen from the tomb. People in our lives who do not have any faith or who are wondering why we have ours, will certainly be looking to us to see how we handle every kind of life situation, especially disappointment, tragedy and bad treatment. What they may be searching keenly in us is a profound sense of gratitude: “How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?” This thankful-for-living attitude can make all the difference in the world, not only in the way we live our daily lives with family and friends, but also the way we subtly impact the lives of all those around us who are also searching for meaning in their own lives.

“It is the Spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” This openly optimistic and encouraging attitude has more to do with the grace and presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives than it does with just simple cognitive shifts in our personality. It has everything to do with believing that Jesus accomplished everything He said and promised He would do. This is highly crucial for us We have been so immeasurably blessed that the only response for us today is to be a blessing for others. Loved people love people and freed people lead others to freedom.

“The Easter eggs symbolize our ability to break out of the hardened, protective shell we’ve surrounded ourselves with that limits our thoughts and beliefs. As we break open our hearts and minds we discover a transformation to a new life enhancing thoughts and beliefs.” Siobhan Shaw

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May 2, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Athanasius, bishop and doctor of the Church


For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Athanasius, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Athanasius, bishop and doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 560

Reading 1 – 1 JN 5:1-5

Beloved:
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God,
and everyone who loves the Father
loves also the one begotten by him.
In this way we know that we love the children of God
when we love God and obey his commandments.
For the love of God is this,
that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome,
for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.
And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.
Who indeed is the victor over the world
but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Responsorial Psalm – PS 37:3-4, 5-6, 30-31

R.    (30A)  The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.
Trust in the LORD and do good
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart’s requests.
R.    The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.
Commit to the LORD your way;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will make justice dawn for you like the light;
bright as the noonday shall be your vindication.
R.    The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.
The mouth of the just man tells of wisdom
and his tongue utters what is right.
The law of his God is in his heart,
and his steps do not falter.
R.    The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.

Alleluia – MT 5:10

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 10:22-25

Jesus said to the Twelve:
“You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.
When they persecute you in one town, flee to another.
Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel
before the Son of Man comes.
No disciple is above his teacher,
no slave above his master.
It is enough for the disciple that he become like the teacher,
and the slave that he become like the master.
If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub,
how much more those of his household!”

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May 1, 2020


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Joseph the Worker, please go here.

Friday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 277

Reading 1 – ACTS 9:1-20

Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord,
went to the high priest and asked him
for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that,
if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way,
he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains. 
On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus,
a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. 
He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him,
“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
He said, “Who are you, sir?” 
The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 
Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.” 
The men who were traveling with him stood speechless,
for they heard the voice but could see no one.
Saul got up from the ground,
but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing;
so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus.
For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank.

There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias,
and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” 
He answered, “Here I am, Lord.” 
The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight
and ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul.
He is there praying,
and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias
come in and lay his hands on him,
that he may regain his sight.”
But Ananias replied,
“Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man,
what evil things he has done to your holy ones in Jerusalem.
And here he has authority from the chief priests
to imprison all who call upon your name.” 
But the Lord said to him,
“Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine
to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel,
and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name.” 
So Ananias went and entered the house;
laying his hands on him, he said,
“Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me,
Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came,
that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 
Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes
and he regained his sight. 
He got up and was baptized,
and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength.

He stayed some days with the disciples in Damascus,
and he began at once to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues,
that he is the Son of God.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 117:1BC, 2

R. (Mark 16:15)  Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD, all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
or:
R. Alleluia.
For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 6:56

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood,
remains in me and I in him, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 6:52-59

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
“How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?” 
Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood,
you do not have life within you. 
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my Flesh is true food,
and my Blood is true drink. 
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. 
This is the bread that came down from heaven. 
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever.” 
These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

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The Heart Of The Matter


Reflection on Mass Reading for May 1, 2020

“’Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ He said, ‘Who are you, sir?’ The reply came, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.'” There is a very telling and interesting detail in our Scriptural Readings today. It concerns the very nature of the question that Jesus asks Saul, later the great St. Paul, as to his previously recklessness and heartless persecution of the early Christian Church. Keep in mind that he has been going around rounding up all those following the “New Way” of the Lord and imprisoning most of them for their beliefs. But notice what Jesus asks him: “why are you persecuting me?” What inescapable conclusion can we draw from this telling detail? Jesus is equating the Church with his very person, His own body. His new creation of the Church has everything to do, then, with a deep and lasting, wonderfully engaging personal relationship with Himself and what a joy it is to discover that in prayer today!

“Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.” The effect of this real joy is what we do with the knowledge of who Jesus is and what He has done for us. We share! This can and does bring life to others in a very broken world in which we live. “Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.” If we came across someone in our homes or places of schooling or work literally in obvious distress, our first reaction would be to do something positive and proactive. How much more does that matter when we know that someone needs to hear of the great and marvelous love our God has for us? This is precisely how we can help Jesus and the community of believers. Be a friend to someone in need. It is just too easy to dismiss people who are not like us or perhaps do not even like us! How can you be a blessing for that certain someone today? And even though we cannot expect anyone to change just because we forgive them, it is the change in our hearts and within all our attitudes that we are after. Our prayer reveals that Easter means a new life for all. Imagine all the possibilities!

“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” Mahatma Gandhi

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May 1, 2020 – Memorial of Saint Joseph the Worker


For the readings of the Optional Memorial of Saint Joseph the Worker, please go here.

Optional Memorial of Saint Joseph the Worker
Lectionary: 559

Reading 1 – GN 1:26B-2:3

God said:
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
the birds of the air, and the cattle,
and over all the wild animals
and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.”

God created man in his image;
in the divine image he created him;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them, saying:
“Be fertile and multiply;
fill the earth and subdue it.
Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air,
and all the living things that move on the earth.”
God also said:
“See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth
and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food;
and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air,
and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground,
I give all the green plants for food.”
And so it happened.
God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.
Evening came, and morning followed–the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed.
Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing,
God rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.
So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy,
because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.

Or COL 3:14-15, 17, 23-24

Brothers and sisters:
Over all these things put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.
And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one Body.
And be thankful.
And whatever you do, in word or in deed,
do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Whatever you do, do from the heart,
as for the Lord and not for men,
knowing that you will receive from the Lord
the due payment of the inheritance;
be slaves of the Lord Christ.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 90:2, 3-4, 12-13, 14 AND 16

R.    (see 17b)  Lord, give success to the work of our hands.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Before the mountains were begotten
and the earth and the world were brought forth,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
R.    Lord, give success to the work of our hands.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
You turn men back to dust,
saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R.    Lord, give success to the work of our hands.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
R.    Lord, give success to the work of our hands.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Let your work be seen by your servants
and your glory by their children.
R.    Lord, give success to the work of our hands.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – PS 68:20

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed be the Lord day by day,
God, our salvation, who bears our burdens.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 13:54-58

Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue.
They were astonished and said,
“Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?
Is he not the carpenter’s son?
Is not his mother named Mary
and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?
Are not his sisters all with us?
Where did this man get all this?”
And they took offense at him.
But Jesus said to them,
“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and in his own house.”
And he did not work many mighty deeds there
because of their lack of faith.

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