The Word of God

April 30, 2022


For the Optional Readings for the Memorial of Saint Pius V, please go here.

Saturday of the Second Week of Easter

Lectionary: 272

Reading I – 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 – 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.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ is risen, who made all things;
he has shown mercy on all people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 6:16-21

When it was evening, the disciples of Jesus went down to the sea,
embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum.
It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing.
When they had rowed about three or four miles,
they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat,
and they began to be afraid.
But he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.”
They wanted to take him into the boat,
but the boat immediately arrived at the shore
to which they were heading.

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Storms Of Mystery


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 30, 2022

“The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid.” In today’s Gospel, we have all been gifted with one of the more famous and breathtaking moments in all of the Scriptures, at least in the top ten! Try to imagine the scene where hurricane-force gale winds are blowing mercilessly against a tiny boat. At the same time, the crashing sounds of the thunder in the distance are only rivaled by the crashing of the waves. The drama unfolds in three distinct phases: first, there’s a horrible storm that scares everyone on board; second, they see Jesus walking over the storm, thinking He is a ghost; third, Jesus utters the most iconic words of comfort born from faith, “It is I, do not be afraid!” and then calms everyone’s storm. This process is the quintessential outline and summary of our spiritual lives! We face our storms of doubt, we call upon Jesus, He makes His loving presence known and empowers us to believe, then we doubt again, and the cycle starts all over again, but each time it does, we are closer and closer to Jesus who never leaves our ship of life.

This episode raises the age-long question that has faced every Christian since Jesus first walked the earth: why do we doubt, and how do we deal with this very human and expected experience? First, doubt is a natural process of every intellectual and moral process. It is almost necessary because it strengthens our ideals and beliefs, but it must never overtake the very treasure we are trying to discover. We must realize that doubt is part of the natural growing pains of faith, and having said that; it is also a mystery. No one human being could ever totally grasp the fullness of who God is, so understandably there will be gaps due to our limitations. “Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.” Spiritual or emotional setbacks do not make a good case for abandoning Jesus or questioning why we are here. Perhaps the greatest spiritual gift we need when confronted with doubt is humility. Humility reminds us that faith is a powerful gift that must be opened slowly and without pretense. This is precisely how we run to Jesus through every storm we encounter on the water.

“Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.” Brene Brown

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April 30 – Optional Memorial of Saint Pius V, pope, religious


For the Readings for the Saturday of the Second Week of Easter, please go here.

Lectionary: 558

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Pastors: For a Pope, #719-724.
 

Reading 1 – 1 Cor 4:1-5

Brothers and sisters:
Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ
and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Now it is of course required of stewards
that they be found trustworthy.
It does not concern me in the least
that I be judged by you or any human tribunal;
I do not even pass judgment on myself;
I am not conscious of anything against me,
but I do not thereby stand acquitted;
the one who judges me is the Lord.
Therefore do not make any judgment before the appointed time,
until the Lord comes,
for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness
and will manifest the motives of our hearts,
and then everyone will receive praise from God.

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 – 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 21:15-17

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.”
Jesus 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 Jesus 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.”

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April 29, 2022


For the Readings for the Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Lectionary: 271

Reading I – Acts 5:34-42

A Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel,
a teacher of the law, respected by all the people,
stood up, ordered the Apostles to be put outside for a short time,
and said to the Sanhedrin, “Fellow children of Israel,
be careful what you are about to do to these men.
Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone important,
and about four hundred men joined him, but he was killed,
and all those who were loyal to him
were disbanded and came to nothing.
After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census.
He also drew people after him,
but he too perished and all who were loyal to him were scattered.
So now I tell you,
have nothing to do with these men, and let them go.
For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin,
it will destroy itself.
But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them;
you may even find yourselves fighting against God.”
They were persuaded by him.
After recalling the Apostles, they had them flogged,
ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus,
and dismissed them.
So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin,
rejoicing that they had been found worthy
to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.
And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes,
they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm – 27:1, 4, 13-14

R.        (see 4ABC)  One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
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.        One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
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.        One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
            in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
            be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R.        One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Mt 4:4b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 6:1-15

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him,
because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain,
and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,
he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”
He said this to test him,
because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him,
“Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough
for each of them to have a little.”
One of his disciples,
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;
but what good are these for so many?”
Jesus said, “Have the people recline.”
Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,
“Gather the fragments left over,
so that nothing will be wasted.”
So they collected them,
and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments
from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said,
“This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off
to make him king,
he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

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Healthy Gratitude


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 29, 2022

“One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.” When we realize all that we have been through these past few months, how can we not see the great blessings every day? What kind of power or force are we blindly following to make a day, an hour, or even a single minute blessed or cursed? “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?” Doubt and pessimism are useless and truly squander time and energy in all their forms. The Pharisee Gamaliel made a very poignant observation that could help our understanding: “For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them.” What makes today blessed, fortunate, and awesome has nothing to do with some outside, uncontrollable force over which we have no power, but with one simple fact: Jesus died for us sinners, and now we have a shot at eternal life.

“Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.” We have all been blessed by the complete and selfless act of self-sacrifice that Jesus accomplished on the cross. By His blood, we have been washed and made clean, and we can and should avail ourselves of all the promised blessings every day we are alive. Shallow people believe in luck; strong people believe in cause and effect; blessed, healthy, and happy people believe in Jesus.

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” Zig Ziglar

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April 29 – Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church


For the Readings for the Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, please go here.

Lectionary: 557

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Virgins, #731-736.

Reading 1 – 1 Jn 1:5B-2:2

Beloved:
This is the message that we have heard from Jesus Christ
and proclaim to you: God is light,
and in him there is no darkness at all.
If we say, “We have fellowship with him,”
while we continue to walk in darkness,
we lie and do not act in truth.
But if we walk in the light as he is in the light,
then we have fellowship with one another,
and the Blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin.
If we say, “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves,
and the truth is not in us.
If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just
and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.
If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar,
and his word is not in us.

My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin.
But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous one.
He is expiation for our sins,
and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.

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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April 28, 2022


For the Optional Readings for the Memorial of Saint Peter Chanel, please go here.
For the Optional Readings for the Memorial of Saint Louis Mary de Montfort, please go here.

Thursday of the Second Week of Easter

Lectionary: 270

Reading I – Acts 5:27-33

When the court officers had brought the Apostles in
and made them stand before the Sanhedrin,
the high priest questioned them,
“We gave you strict orders did we not,
to stop teaching in that name.
Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching
and want to bring this man’s blood upon us.”
But Peter and the Apostles said in reply,
“We must obey God rather than men.
The God of our ancestors raised Jesus,
though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree.
God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior
to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.
We are witnesses of these things,
as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

When they heard this,
they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death.

Responsorial Psalm – 34:2 and 9, 17-18, 19-20

R.        (7A) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
            his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
            blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R.        The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
            to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
            and from all their distress he rescues them.
R.        The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
            and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
Many are the troubles of the just man,
            but out of them all the LORD delivers him.
R.        The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Jn 20:29

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord;
blessed are those who have not seen, but still believe!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 3:31-36

The one who comes from above is above all.
The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things.
But the one who comes from heaven is above all.
He testifies to what he has seen and heard,
but no one accepts his testimony.
Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.
For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.
He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,
but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life,
but the wrath of God remains upon him.

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April 28 – Optional Memorial of Saint Louis Mary de Montfort, priest


For the Readings for the Thursday of the Second Week of Easter, please go here.
For the Optional Readings for the Memorial of Saint Peter Chanel, please go here.
Lectionary: 556A

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Pastors: For Missionaries, #719-724.

Reading 1 – 1 Cor 1:18-25

Brothers and sisters:
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
For it is written:
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the learning of the learned I will set aside.

Where is the wise one?
Where is the scribe?
Where is the debater of this age?
Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish?
For since in the wisdom of God
the world did not come to know God through wisdom,
it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation
to save those who have faith.
For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
but we proclaim Christ crucified,
a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike,
Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 40:2 and 4, 7-8A, 8B-9, 10

R.    (8A and 9A)  Here I am, 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 I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or offering 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 I am, 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 I am, 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 I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

Alleluia – Lk 4:18

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor
and to proclaim liberty to captives.
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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April 28 – Optional Memorial of Saint Peter Chanel, priest and martyr


For the Readings for the Thursday of the Second Week of Easter, please go here.
For the Optional Readings for the Memorial of Saint Louis Mary de Montfort, please go here.

Lectionary: 556

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Martyrs, #713-718 or the Common of Pastors: For Missionaries, #719-724. 

Reading 1 – 1 Cor 1:18-25

Brothers and sisters:
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
For it is written:

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the learning of the learned I will set aside.

Where is the wise one?
Where is the scribe?
Where is the debater of this age?
Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish?
For since in the wisdom of God
the world did not come to know God through wisdom,
it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation
to save those who have faith.
For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
but we proclaim Christ crucified,
a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike,
Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

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 – Mk 1:17

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

Gospel – Mk 1:14-20

After John the Baptist had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The Kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
 they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Then they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther
and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They too were in a boat mending their nets.
Then he called them.
So they left their father Zebedee in the boat
along with the hired men and followed him.


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What’s In A Name?


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 28, 2022

On this beautiful Thursday, we are presented in the First Reading with a dramatic and very telling dialogue that makes perfect sense for all of us who are attempting to follow the light of Christ throughout the days we have been given on this planet. First, the Sanhedrin, clearly angry and disgusted with the Apostles, began this exchange: “We gave you strict orders, did we not, to stop teaching in that name.” What is curious about this inflammatory statement is that it seems the high court is more upset about the name of Jesus than over the fact the Apostles are still alive and being received with great respect much more than themselves. It is all about the name! Invoking someone’s name like this announces a closeness and reverence for the person who bears the name and the willingness to follow, emphasize, and share this relationship with everyone in one’s circle of influence, with, in fact, the whole world. The Apostles made this crystal clear in their quick and concise response to the Sanhedrin: “We must obey God rather than men.”

Many years ago, I saw a short film that told an imaginary story that, at the heart of it, asked this question: “If it were a crime to be a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” With today’s Readings still echoing in our hearts today, we could ask ourselves the same question. The answer would have to rest on the amount of time, energy, and vigor we place in following Christ and believing everything He taught and said He would do for us, especially on our last day on earth. Everything depends on this powerful relationship which Jesus would prefer to call a “friendship” because it is truly based on love and forgiveness. So, what’s in a name? Everything.



“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene 2

“There are two hundred and fifty-six names given in the Bible for the Lord Jesus Christ and I suppose this was because He was infinitely beyond all that any one name could express.” Billy Sunday

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April 27, 2022


Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter

Lectionary: 269

Reading I – Acts 5:17-26

The high priest rose up and all his companions,
that is, the party of the Sadducees,
and, filled with jealousy,
laid hands upon the Apostles and put them in the public jail.
But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison,
led them out, and said,
“Go and take your place in the temple area,
and tell the people everything about this life.”
When they heard this,
they went to the temple early in the morning and taught.
When the high priest and his companions arrived,
they convened the Sanhedrin,
the full senate of the children of Israel,
and sent to the jail to have them brought in.
But the court officers who went did not find them in the prison,
so they came back and reported,
“We found the jail securely locked
and the guards stationed outside the doors,
but when we opened them, we found no one inside.”
When the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard this report,
they were at a loss about them,
as to what this would come to.
Then someone came in and reported to them,
“The men whom you put in prison are in the temple area
and are teaching the people.”
Then the captain and the court officers went and brought them,
but without force,
because they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

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

R.        (7A) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
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 hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
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 hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
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.        The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
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 hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Jn 3:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God so love the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 3:16-21

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

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Stained Glass Life


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 27, 2022

“But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.” So much of our planet needs light to grow and survive. Conversely, things like mold and mildew flourish in the darkness and cause a whole slew of problems ranging all across the board. Amazingly, today we are instructed that the same values and standards apply to our spiritual life and our relationship with God and our present-day happiness, and our future fulfillment.

When we expose our lives to the light of Jesus in our prayer and our honest assessment of our conscience, we can expect great things to happen and experience great peace of mind and heart. Guilt does an incredible amount of damage to the human soul. We are the only ones who can make the difference by choosing to be transparent, honest, and truthful, especially in our dealings with one another.

“God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.” This kind of living is not complicated. It will involve a deeply open, honest, and loving relationship with Jesus Christ which is nourished by prayer and sacrifice and a strong desire to spend more and more time with Him in this busy and frantic life. Perhaps the great gift of our imagination can be a service to us with all this in mind. Let us imagine Jesus sitting next to us when we are perplexed by anything. Can you see yourself slightly turning toward Him, asking for advice? Can you hear Him gently whispering to you? So what are you waiting for?

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

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April 26, 2022


Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter

Lectionary: 268

Reading I – Acts 4:32-37

The community of believers was of one heart and mind,
and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,
but they had everything in common.
With great power the Apostles bore witness
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and great favor was accorded them all.
There was no needy person among them,
for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
bring the proceeds of the sale,
and put them at the feet of the Apostles,
and they were distributed to each according to need.

Thus Joseph, also named by the Apostles Barnabas
(which is translated Ason of encouragement”),
a Levite, a Cypriot by birth,
sold a piece of property that he owned,
then brought the money and put it at the feet of the Apostles.

Responsorial Psalm – 93:1AB, 1CD-2, 5

R.        (1a)  The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
The LORD is king, in splendor robed;
            robed is the LORD and girt about with strength.
R.        The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
And he has made the world firm,
            not to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old;
            from everlasting you are, O LORD.
R.        The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed:
            holiness befits your house,
            O LORD, for length of days.
R.        The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Jn 3:14-15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Son of Man must be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him
may have eternal life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 3:7b-15

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“‘You must be born from above.’
The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes,
but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes;
so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus answered and said to him,
‘How can this happen?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this?
Amen, amen, I say to you,
we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen,
but you people do not accept our testimony.
If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe,
how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?
No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

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Lifting Up The Proof Of Love


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 26, 2022

“You must be born from above.” There are not many more phrases in Sacred Scripture than this one that has been interpreted and re-interpreted, applied, and reapplied, both accurately and otherwise, than this one that we find at the beginning of today’s Gospel. How does one understand being re-born or born again? Perhaps there are some clues in the other sections of the Scriptures today.

We could point first to the generous spirit that has experienced the joy of the Resurrection: “The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common.” Then there is the powerful witness that we can give to the Lord as did the Apostles: “With great power, the Apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all.” And finally, we can be born again by the sheer and deep confidence we place in God: “Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed: holiness befits your house, O LORD, for length of days.”

However, the most profound path to rebirth in the power of the Resurrection is simply to gaze upon the Crucified Christ, unite our sufferings with His, and hope for all our days in His power to save and the promise that is ours to be saved: “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” We must slow down to catch up, pause to soar, and reflect on learning. This we can do with the Lord Jesus right at our side, guiding, if we allow Him, every step of the way with the Scriptures as our friend. This is the Easter joy we so desperately seek.

“God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, “I love you.”” Billy Graham

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April 25, 2022


Feast of Saint Mark, evangelist

Lectionary: 555

Reading I – 1 Pt 5:5b-14

Beloved:         
Clothe yourselves with humility
in your dealings with one another, for:

            God opposes the proud
                        but bestows favor on the humble.

So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,
that he may exalt you in due time.
Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.

Be sober and vigilant.
Your opponent the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion
looking for someone to devour.
Resist him, steadfast in faith,
knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world
undergo the same sufferings.
The God of all grace
who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus
will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you
after you have suffered a little.
To him be dominion forever.  Amen.

I write you this briefly through Silvanus,
whom I consider a faithful brother,
exhorting you and testifying that this is the true grace of God.
Remain firm in it.
The chosen one at Babylon sends you greeting, as does Mark, my son.
Greet one another with a loving kiss.
Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

Responsorial Psalm – 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17

R.        (2)  For ever 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.        For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
The heavens proclaim your wonders, O LORD,
            and your faithfulness, in the assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the skies can rank with the LORD?
            Who is like the LORD among the sons of God?
R.        For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Blessed the people who know the joyful shout;
            in the light of your countenance, O LORD, they walk.
At your name they rejoice all the day,
            and through your justice they are exalted.
R.        For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – 1 Cor 1:23A-24B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We proclaim Christ crucified;
he is the power of God and the wisdom of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mk 16:15-20

Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them:
“Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them,
was taken up into heaven
and took his seat at the right hand of God.
But they went forth and preached everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them
and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.

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Put On Some Clothes


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 25, 2022

“Beloved: Clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another.” The quote that opens our Reflections today is not about fashion or style. Many of us do not have many options for the clothing we wear to work or school, so perhaps we could open our discussion into the world of dreams to find this wonderful phrase’s deeper meaning and application. The clothes we appear to be wearing in our dreams often represent a particular side of ourselves that we choose to show the world. Some would refer to this as our outer personality or “Persona.” If we were to consider these applications, we could ask ourselves simply, “what am I showing the world today with my words and actions?” The Reading from St. Peter gives the following suggestions for a happy, spiritually fulfilled life:
1. “So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God.”
2. “Be sober and vigilant.”
3. “Peace to all of you who are in Christ.”

We could then summarize this trifecta of holy, healthy, and happy living: Practice humility, be attentive and bring peace.

“Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” The Gospel builds on the elements of our God-given personality, which daily we wish to share with others, especially in our own families, ministries, coworkers, and fellow students, by carefully presenting us with a spiritual strategy: Rely on the positive nature within you, speak softly and slowly avoiding harsh criticism and gossip and attempt to be a catalyst for change and healing, especially through the words we choose to use and yes, not to use. The fruit of this kind of living can be redacted into the Responsorial Psalm, which we have been gifted today: “For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.” Truly, suppose we remain in Him throughout the day. In that case, our lives will be a song of thanks, our smile a reminder of heaven, and our presence and demeanor like a brand new wardrobe waiting for the greatest invitation to an eternal celebration.

“Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think.” Benjamin Disraeli

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April 24, 2022


Second Sunday of Easter

Lectionary: 45

Reading I – Acts 5:12-16

Many signs and wonders were done among the people
at the hands of the apostles.
They were all together in Solomon’s portico.
None of the others dared to join them, but the people esteemed them.
Yet more than ever, believers in the Lord,
great numbers of men and women, were added to them.
Thus they even carried the sick out into the streets
and laid them on cots and mats
so that when Peter came by,
at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them.
A large number of people from the towns
in the vicinity of Jerusalem also gathered,
bringing the sick and those disturbed by unclean spirits,
and they were all cured.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24

R  (1) Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting.
or:
 Alleluia.
Let the house of Israel say,
            “His mercy endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say,
            “His mercy endures forever.”
Let those who fear the LORD say,
            “His mercy endures forever.”
 Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting.
or:
 Alleluia.
I was hard pressed and was falling,
            but the LORD helped me.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
            and he has been my savior.
The joyful shout of victory
            in the tents of the just:
 Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting.
or:
 Alleluia.
The stone which the builders rejected
            has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
            it is wonderful in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
            let us be glad and rejoice in it.
 Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting.
or:
 Alleluia.

Reading II – Rev 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19

I, John, your brother, who share with you
the distress, the kingdom, and the endurance we have in Jesus,
found myself on the island called Patmos
because I proclaimed God’s word and gave testimony to Jesus.
I was caught up in spirit on the Lord’s day
and heard behind me a voice as loud as a trumpet, which said,
“Write on a scroll what you see.”
Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me,
and when I turned, I saw seven gold lampstands
and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man,
wearing an ankle-length robe, with a gold sash around his chest.

When I caught sight of him, I fell down at his feet as though dead.
He touched me with his right hand and said, “Do not be afraid.
I am the first and the last, the one who lives.
Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever.
I hold the keys to death and the netherworld.
Write down, therefore, what you have seen,
and what is happening, and what will happen afterwards.”

Alleluia – Jn 20:29

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord;
blessed are those who have not seen me, but still believe!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 20:19-31

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.”

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

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Traitor Doubts


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 24, 2022

“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” On this Second Sunday of the glorious Easter Season, we are presented every year with this insight into human behavior related to doubt and confidence and how the normal process of knowing and believing either feeds or starves our doubts. Our main character in this lesson is the Apostle Thomas, who, by most accounts, has been unfortunately dubbed with the nickname “doubting Thomas.” However, it hardly adequately describes his whole life, which he gave completely to Christ in martyrdom. However, his painful doubts teach us something very real about our faith. Perhaps St. Thomas was so used to seeing Jesus right in front of him, talking and teaching daily, that when he was suddenly taken away, he refused to believe and get his hopes up over what he considered a “reasonable” doubt. “You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord; blessed are those who have not seen me, but still believe!”

“Yet more than ever, believers in the Lord, great numbers of men and women, were added to them.” Doubt has the potential of strengthening our faith and hope but not if we entertain too much of it and then surround ourselves with people who neither have faith nor hope, which, according to the last survey, are growing in number and kind. In the Gospel, the very opposite was true. The faith spread like wildfire, and the miracles in life began to increase exponentially. This is where a healthy prayer life, a daily dose of Scripture, and adherence to the Eucharist make all the difference in this world and the next. Starve your doubts and feed your faith.

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act I, Scene IV

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April 23, 2022


Saturday in the Octave of Easter

Lectionary: 266

Reading I – Acts 4:13-21

Observing the boldness of Peter and John
and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men,
the leaders, elders, and scribes were amazed,
and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus.
Then when they saw the man who had been cured standing there with them,
they could say nothing in reply.
So they ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin,
and conferred with one another, saying,
“What are we to do with these men?
Everyone living in Jerusalem knows that a remarkable sign
was done through them, and we cannot deny it.
But so that it may not be spread any further among the people,
let us give them a stern warning
never again to speak to anyone in this name.”

So they called them back
and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
Peter and John, however, said to them in reply,
“Whether it is right in the sight of God
for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges.
It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.”
After threatening them further,
they released them,
finding no way to punish them,
on account of the people who were all praising God
for what had happened.

Responsorial Psalm – 118:1 and 14-15AB, 16-18, 19-21

R.        (21A) I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
            for his mercy endures forever.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
            and he has been my savior.
The joyful shout of victory
            in the tents of the just.
R.        I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
“The right hand of the LORD is exalted;
            the right hand of the LORD has struck with power.”
I shall not die, but live,
            and declare the works of the LORD.
Though the LORD has indeed chastised me,
            yet he has not delivered me to death.
R.        I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Open to me the gates of justice;
            I will enter them and give thanks to the LORD.
This is the gate of the LORD;
            the just shall enter it.
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
            and have been my savior.
R.        I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Ps 118:24

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
 

Gospel – Mk 16:9-15

When Jesus had risen, early on the first day of the week,
he appeared first to Mary Magdalene,
out of whom he had driven seven demons.
She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping.
When they heard that he was alive
and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

After this he appeared in another form
to two of them walking along on their way to the country.
They returned and told the others;
but they did not believe them either.

But later, as the Eleven were at table, he appeared to them
and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart
because they had not believed those
who saw him after he had been raised.
He said to them, “Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”

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Easter Boldness


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 23, 2022

“Observing the boldness of Peter and John and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men, the leaders, elders, and scribes were amazed, and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus.” Among the nuances in the dictionary world, there seems to be consistent agreement regarding the definition of boldness: a willingness to take risks and act with innovation, confidence, or courage.

This would certainly more than adequately describe Peter and John and all those who experienced the first Easter. Some believe that the real challenge in life is to overcome the fear that tends to overwhelm and inhibit real, healthy living. For this level of life, we all truly need the virtues that come from the side of the Resurrected Christ. He is who is the source of all we need to make our way through the hills and valleys of the swinging moods and seasons of our journey: “My strength and my courage is the LORD, and he has been my savior.”

The Gospel for this beautiful Easter Saturday reveals the real purpose and mission of this boldness that is bestowed on all believers at Easter: “He said to them, ‘Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.'” The bulk of us reading this today are not being placed on the next flight into a war-torn area on the planet, nor are we walking into any real danger as so many have died for the faith. However, we are being sent. Where? We are placed on this earth for a very specific and awesome purpose. That purpose is all about what happened on that first Easter morning, about life and death, and all the elements that form the fabric of existence. Think about all the things you said to others today. Were you bold?

“People who ask confidently get more than those who are hesitant and uncertain. When you’ve figured out what you want to ask for, do it with certainty, boldness, and confidence. Don’t be shy or feel intimidated by the experience. You may face some unexpected criticism but be prepared for it with confidence.” Jack Canfield

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April 22, 2022


Friday in the Octave of Easter

Lectionary: 265

Reading I – Acts 4:1-12

After the crippled man had been cured,
while Peter and John were still speaking to the people,
the priests, the captain of the temple guard,
and the Sadducees confronted them,
disturbed that they were teaching the people
and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.
They laid hands on Peter and John
and put them in custody until the next day,
since it was already evening.
But many of those who heard the word came to believe
and the number of men grew to about five thousand.

On the next day, their leaders, elders, and scribes
were assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest,
Caiaphas, John, Alexander,
and all who were of the high-priestly class.
They brought them into their presence and questioned them,
“By what power or by what name have you done this?”
Then 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 – 118:1-2 and 4, 22-24, 25-27A

R.        (22)  The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
            for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
            “His mercy endures forever.”
Let those who fear the LORD say,
            “His mercy endures forever.”
R.        The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
The stone which the builders rejected
            has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
            it is wonderful in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
            let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R.        The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
O LORD, grant salvation!
            O LORD, grant prosperity!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD;
            we bless you from the house of the LORD.
            The LORD is God, and he has given us light.
R.        The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Ps 118:24

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 21:1-14

Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.
He revealed himself in this way.
Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus,
Nathanael from Cana in Galilee,
Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples.
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”
They said to him, “We also will come with you.”
So they went out and got into the boat,
but that night they caught nothing.
When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore;
but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?”
They answered him, “No.”
So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat
and you will find something.”
So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in
because of the number of fish.
So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.”
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord,
he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad,
and jumped into the sea.
The other disciples came in the boat,
for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards,
dragging the net with the fish.
When they climbed out on shore,
they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.”
So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore
full of one hundred fifty-three large fish.
Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.”
And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?”
because they realized it was the Lord.
Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them,
and in like manner the fish.
This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples
after being raised from the dead.

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What’s In Your Net?


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 22, 2022

Sometimes a great and significant event in life, while answering some very perplexing worries and anxieties, also produces another level of questions that have the potential of taking us to a new and deeper level of living. There is a hint of that aspect of life nudged within the confines of the Psalm today: “The LORD is God, and he has given us light.” The touching scene in the Gospel also supports this approach when Jesus, already risen from the dead, invites his Apostles and closest friends He had on earth to go deeper: “So he said to them, ‘Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.'” Indeed, they did find something. It was the living, breathing, loving Church that Jesus had died to start and give to the world.

“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.” Like so much of the accumulated wisdom that has been gathered over the centuries over such an amazing period of time, what is real and holy and immersed in truth is usually quite simple. It is the name of Jesus that has the power to save, producing a true and abiding adherence to Him personally and to all, He has taught and given to us, even today. This is what we search for here on earth. This is what brings us peace. This is yet another wonderful fruit of Easter. Before retiring from the day, go fishing: call out His name, then listen.

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” Henry David Thoreau

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April 21, 2022


Thursday in the Octave of Easter

Lectionary: 264

Reading I – Acts 3:11-26

As the crippled man who had been cured clung to Peter and John,
all the people hurried in amazement toward them
in the portico called “Solomon’s Portico.”
When Peter saw this, he addressed the people,
“You children of Israel, why are you amazed at this,
and why do you look so intently at us
as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety?
The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus
whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence,
when he had decided to release him.
You denied the Holy and Righteous One
and asked that a murderer be released to you.
The author of life you put to death,
but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.
And by faith in his name,
this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong,
and the faith that comes through it
has given him this perfect health,
in the presence of all of you.
Now I know, brothers and sisters,
that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did;
but God has thus brought to fulfillment
what he had announced beforehand
through the mouth of all the prophets,
that his Christ would suffer.
Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away,
and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment
and send you the Christ already appointed for you, Jesus,
whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration
of which God spoke through the mouth
of his holy prophets from of old.
For Moses said:
            A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you
                        from among your own kin;
            to him you shall listen in all that he may say to you.
            Everyone who does not listen to that prophet
                        will be cut off from the people.          

“Moreover, all the prophets who spoke,
from Samuel and those afterwards, also announced these days.
You are the children of the prophets
and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors
when he said to Abraham,
In your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you
by turning each of you from your evil ways.”

Responsorial Psalm – 8:2ab and 5, 6-7, 8-9

R.        (2AB)  O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
or:
R.        Alleluia.
O LORD, our Lord,
            how glorious is your name over all the earth!
What is man that you should be mindful of him,
            or the son of man that you should care for him?
R.        O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
or:
R.        Alleluia.
You have made him little less than the angels,
            and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
            putting all things under his feet.
R.        O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
or:
R.        Alleluia.
All sheep and oxen,
            yes, and the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea,
            and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
R.        O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Ps 118:24

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 24:35-48

The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way,
and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have.”
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them,
“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.”

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Quintessential “Ghostbuster”


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 21, 2022

“Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” Take special note of what just happened in the Gospel. The Apostles talk about life, suffering, God, and the Messiah. Jesus appears to bless peace to everyone, and yet, their first interpretation of the event is that they are witnessing an episode from the SyFy Channel. The problem here is simple to see while the remedy is close by. Jesus first asks why there are troubled hearts. Right after that remark, He tenderly instructs the only way to combat fear and doubt: “Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.” We must see today that unreasonable and irrational fear can only successfully be combated by reverting to the entire mystery of Easter, which is the awesome Truth that Jesus has defeated death and all the forces of evil and darkness. He is on our side. We start to shake and quiver when we forget this wonderful Truth.

The First Reading also recognizes that human beings, still affected by the vestiges of Original Sin, make mistakes for many different reasons and faulty mindsets. St. Peter was certainly generous in his assessment of this predicament of ours: “Now I know, brothers and sisters, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did,” and then later in that same reading: “For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways.” Easter brings light and clarity to our minds because it reveals that the massive, archetypal, and age-old battle between good and evil has already been won. We are now offered the chance to share in that victory should we choose to do so with the freedom and wisdom that has been purchased for us by the blood of the Lamb. Remember during this glorious Easter Season that the earth’s worst day and best day were just one day apart.

“In one aspect, yes, I believe in ghosts, but we create them. We haunt ourselves.” Laurie Halse Anderson

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April 20, 2022


Wednesday in the Octave of Easter

Lectionary: 263

Reading I – Acts 3:1-10

Peter and John were going up to the temple area
for the three o’clock hour of prayer.
And a man crippled from birth was carried
and placed at the gate of the temple called “the Beautiful Gate” every day
to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple.
When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple,
he asked for alms.
But Peter looked intently at him, as did John,
and said, “Look at us.”
He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them.
Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold,
but what I do have I give you:
in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.”
Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up,
and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong.
He leaped up, stood, and walked around,
and went into the temple with them,
walking and jumping and praising God.
When all the people saw him walking and praising God,
they recognized him as the one
who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple,
and they were filled with amazement and astonishment
at what had happened to him.

Responsorial Psalm – 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9

R.        (3B) Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
            make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
            proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
R.        Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Glory in his holy name;
            rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD in his strength;
            seek to serve him constantly.
R.        Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
            sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
            throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R.        Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
He remembers forever his covenant
            which he made binding for a thousand generationsB
Which he entered into with Abraham
            and by his oath to Isaac.
R.        Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Ps 118:24

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 24:13-35

That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus’ disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them,
“What are you discussing as you walk along?”
They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply,
“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?”
And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”
They said to him,
“The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning
and did not find his Body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see.”
And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?”
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, “Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
“Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the Eleven and those with them who were saying,
“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”
Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

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A Most Precious Name


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 20, 2022

“I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.” How often have any of us heard something like, “I would give a million dollars to see my father again!”? What that emotional phrase (and many like it) screams to connect is simple. What is precious to the world is not necessarily precious to my soul. After forty grueling days of Lent, we can begin to see what truly has value and supreme importance, as was described in our First Reading today. The transformed disciples of Jesus now have the most wonderful and awesome of all gifts in their circle of life: the name of Jesus and the faith that supports a life that can have deep meaning, healing, and eternal consequences.

“Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?” The answer to this surprising revelation of the two travelers who were actually walking with the Lord and even breaking bread with Him is simple: Yes, they were! And the best news for you and me today is that they can continue to burn if we allow them to. This will come from thanking God for Lent’s rich blessings and lessons, asking Him to guide and direct us today, especially in the ongoing effort to change, transform, and become forgiving people, no matter what is happening around us. Remember, Jesus does not want us to be like other people. He wants us to be like Him. This is so much better than silver or gold.

“To holy people, the very name of Jesus is a name to feed upon, a name to transport. His name can raise the dead and transfigure and beautify the living.” John Henry Cardinal Newman

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April 19, 2022


Tuesday in the Octave of Easter

Lectionary: 262

Reading I – Acts 2:36-41

On the day of Pentecost, Peter said to the Jewish people,
“Let the whole house of Israel know for certain
that God has made him 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 – 33:4-5, 18-19, 20 and 22

R.        (5B)  The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
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.        The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
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.        The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
            who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
            who have put our hope in you.
R.        The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Ps 118:24

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 20:11-18

Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping.
And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there,
one at the head and one at the feet
where the Body of Jesus had been.
And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “They have taken my Lord,
and I don’t know where they laid him.”
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?”
She thought it was the gardener and said to him,
“Sir, if you carried him away,
tell me where you laid him,
and I will take him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,”
which means Teacher.
Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me,
for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
But go to my brothers and tell them,
‘I am going to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.’”
Mary went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he had told her.

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Why Are You Weeping?


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 19, 2022

“And they said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?'” With all the wonderful talk and mention of the glorious Resurrection of Jesus at this great time of Easter, there will no doubt be the recollection of the state from which our resurrected bodies will join the Heavenly faithful and crowds of immense joy, which, by definition, is death. Many flock to the cemetery in some parts of the world to place Easter flowers, mostly lilies, which mimic the blare of trumpets of the season at the tombs of those who did not live to see this particular Easter and perhaps those who long been since absent from the table. And because of the humanity we share and the tender hearts that beat within many brave souls, there will be tears today. This is why we need the witness of Mary Magdalene today to bring everything into sharp and hopeful focus: “She said to them, ‘They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.'”

Like Mary Magdalene, many of our crosses and sufferings that produce momentarily crisis phases in our souls stem from the not-so-obvious fact that we may be looking for God’s comfort and consolation in the places that could never provide them. Once again, Mary points us in the right direction: “Mary went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord,’ and then reported what he had told her.” Excited or mournful, the only true way to celebrate the Easter Season, officially fifty days of commemoration, after the forty days of fasting and penance, is to look for Christ and find him in everyday life and then tell others that you have seen Him. Life can not possibly ever be the same.

“Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality.” Emily Dickinson

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April 18, 2022


Monday in the Octave of Easter

Lectionary: 261

Reading I – Acts 2:14, 22-33

On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up with the Eleven,
raised his voice, and proclaimed:
“You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem.
Let this be known to you, and listen to my words.

“You who are children of Israel, hear these words.
Jesus the Nazorean was a man commended to you by God
with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs,
which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know.
This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God,
you killed, using lawless men to crucify him.
But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death,
because it was impossible for him to be held by it.
For David says of him:

            I saw the Lord ever before me,
                        with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
            Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted;
                        my flesh, too, will dwell in hope,
            because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
                        nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption.
            You have made known to me the paths of life;
                        you will fill me with joy in your presence.

My brothers, one can confidently say to you
about the patriarch David that he died and was buried,
and his tomb is in our midst to this day.
But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him
that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne,
he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ,
that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld
nor did his flesh see corruption.
God raised this Jesus;
of this we are all witnesses.
Exalted at the right hand of God,
he poured forth the promise of the Holy Spirit
that he received from the Father, as you both see and hear.”

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 – Ps 118:24

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 28:8-15

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce the news to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me.”

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city
and told the chief priests all that had happened.
The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel;
then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
telling them, “You are to say,
‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’
And if this gets to the ears of the governor,
we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”
The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed.
And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.

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Fear Is Useless


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 18, 2022

Every so often, we or someone we know has the experience of waking up from a terrible dream nearly paralyzed with fear and even at times unable to speak or move. Likewise, we may have most likely heard well-intentioned people attempt to explain these terrifying moments as attributed to stress or worry over circumstances in our lives. Be that as it may, we must face the glaring fact that life can and often does hurl directly at us episodes of challenge, difficulty, and internal and external struggles that can be frightening and cause us to respond as we do in those terrible dreams. Unfortunately, there seems to be no rest from these terrors for some others, even more. Life itself appears to be a nightmare with no end. For such as these, the gift of Easter is so precious. Imagine holding Jesus tight and close to us, never to be afraid again. The Scriptures today assure us that we can. “God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses.”

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.'” Another rich and exciting element of the newly begun Easter Season is the call to engage the spirit of the time with all we meet. We must tell others why we are an Easter people and why we must keep singing and remembering that there is always hope in every single situation, no matter how dark it may seem. Let us begin on this first Monday of Easter. Continue to tell all you meet of the hope we celebrate by keep saying “Happy Easter” with a great big ol’ smile on your face. Tell them all, “Jesus sent me.”

“The great gift of Easter is hope – Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake.” Basil Hume

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April 17, 2022


Easter Sunday The Resurrection of the Lord
The Mass of Easter Day

Lectionary: 42

Reading I – Acts 10:34A, 37-43

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

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23.

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

Reading II – Col 3:1-4

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

OR: – I Cor 5:6b-8


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

Sequence

Victimae paschali laudes

Christians, to the Paschal Victim
            Offer your thankful praises!
A Lamb the sheep redeems;
            Christ, who only is sinless,
            Reconciles sinners to the Father.
Death and life have contended in that combat stupendous:
            The Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal.
Speak, Mary, declaring
            What you saw, wayfaring.
“The tomb of Christ, who is living,
            The glory of Jesus’ resurrection;
bright angels attesting,
            The shroud and napkin resting.
Yes, Christ my hope is arisen;
            to Galilee he goes before you.”
Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining.
            Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!
            Amen. Alleluia.

Alleluia – Cf. 1 Cor 5:7B-8A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed;
let us then feast with joy in the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 20:1-9

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

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While It Was Still Dark


Replica of the Tomb of Jesus in Israel

“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 17, 2022

“On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.” We have come to the morning of our dreams at this wonderful culmination of these days of Lenting and detachment. God has accomplished the victory He promised for us, and we are glad indeed. Death has been destroyed forever, and now the gates of Heaven, once closed because of selfishness and sins, are open for all humanity to enter with integrity and hope. 

On the “first day of the week,” this glory was discovered because it is the beginning of all our expectations every time we awaken in the morning. Thus, every beginning we have before us is the glimmer of the bright promise of tomorrow. Mary of Magdala was alone in approaching the burial place of the dead. This detail reminds us that each of us must face this truth on the path that we choose and envision, enlightened by the Church and the Word of God. Then, we join the millions who experience the same longing fulfilled and relieved even in the face of death. Although she did not see the moment of Resurrection, (she) “saw the stone removed from the tomb,” Mary knew what the scene meant: death had been conquered, and Jesus is alive. This is assuredly our call for today and every day on this planet. We must look for, find and cling mercifully to the wonders of our lives, which all point to the miraculous endings of all our stories nestled wonderfully in the heart of Jesus the Messiah, who has risen from the dead.

Perhaps the most telling and soothing detail of John’s Easter Gospel today is this tender yet poignant morsel: “while it was still dark.” Our lives often take swings and turn into chapters that we would never have imagined! How often have we found ourselves “in the dark” as well? And yet, whatever joy and happiness we may feel today must be kept safe and sound deep within the recesses of our hearts so that when we find that it is still dark, we must continue to make our way to the Lord with all the hope and faith that we can muster and share.

On behalf of all those who make CityOfAgape, its mission, and its hope to bring the Word of God to everyone hungering for meaning and purpose in this life, please accept our heartfelt wishes for a happy, holy, and beautiful Easter! “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.”

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” St. John Paul II

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April 16, 2022


Easter Sunday The Resurrection of the Lord
Holy Saturday At the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter

Lectionary: 41

Reading I – Gn 1:1—2:2

In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,
the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss,
while a mighty wind swept over the waters.

Then God said,
“Let there be light,”” and there was light.
God saw how good the light was.
God then separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.”
Thus evening came, and morning followed—the first day.

Then God said,
“Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters,
to separate one body of water from the other.”
And so it happened:
God made the dome,
and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it.
God called the dome “the sky.”
Evening came, and morning followed—the second day.

Then God said,
“Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin,
so that the dry land may appear.”
And so it happened:
the water under the sky was gathered into its basin,
and the dry land appeared.
God called the dry land “the earth, “
and the basin of the water he called “the sea.”
God saw how good it was.
Then God said,
“Let the earth bring forth vegetation:
every kind of plant that bears seed
and every kind of fruit tree on earth
that bears fruit with its seed in it.”
And so it happened:
the earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed
and every kind of fruit tree on earth
that bears fruit with its seed in it.
God saw how good it was.
Evening came, and morning followed—the third day.

Then God said:
“Let there be lights in the dome of the sky,
to separate day from night.
Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years,
and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky,
to shed light upon the earth.”
And so it happened:
God made the two great lights,
the greater one to govern the day,
and the lesser one to govern the night;
and he made the stars.
God set them in the dome of the sky,
to shed light upon the earth,
to govern the day and the night,
and to separate the light from the darkness.
God saw how good it was.
Evening came, and morning followed—the fourth day.

Then God said,
“Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures,
and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky.”
And so it happened:
God created the great sea monsters
and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems,
and all kinds of winged birds.
God saw how good it was, and God blessed them, saying,
“Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas;
and let the birds multiply on the earth.”
Evening came, and morning followed—the fifth day.

Then God said,
“Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures:
cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds.”
And so it happened:
God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle,
and all kinds of creeping things of the earth.
God saw how good it was.
Then 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 image of God 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,
he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.

Or – Gn 1:1, 26-31A

In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,
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 image of God 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 found it very good.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 13-14, 24, 35

R. (30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
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.
You fixed the earth upon its foundation,
not to be moved forever;
with the ocean, as with a garment, you covered it;
above the mountains the waters stood.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
You send forth springs into the watercourses
that wind among the mountains.
Beside them the birds of heaven dwell;
from among the branches they send forth their song.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
You water the mountains from your palace;
the earth is replete with the fruit of your works.
You raise grass for the cattle,
and vegetation for man’s use,
Producing bread from the earth.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
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!
R.  Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

or – Ps 33:4-5, 6-7, 12-13, 20 and 22

R.  (5B) The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
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. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made;
 by the breath of his mouth all their host.
He gathers the waters of the sea as in a flask;
 in cellars he confines the deep.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
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. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
 who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
 who have put our hope in you.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Reading II – Gn 22:1-18

God put Abraham to the test.
He called to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,”  he replied.
Then God said:
“Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love,
and go to the land of Moriah.
There you shall offer him up as a holocaust
on a height that I will point out to you.”
Early the next morning Abraham saddled his donkey,
took with him his son Isaac and two of his servants as well,
and with the wood that he had cut for the holocaust,
set out for the place of which God had told him.

On the third day Abraham got sight of the place from afar.
Then he said to his servants:
“Both of you stay here with the donkey,
while the boy and I go on over yonder.
We will worship and then come back to you.”
Thereupon Abraham took the wood for the holocaust
and laid it on his son Isaac’s shoulders,
while he himself carried the fire and the knife.
As the two walked on together, Isaac spoke to his father Abraham:
“Father!” Isaac said.
“Yes, son,” he replied.
Isaac continued, “Here are the fire and the wood,
but where is the sheep for the holocaust?”
“Son,” Abraham answered,
“God himself will provide the sheep for the holocaust.”
Then the two continued going forward.

When they came to the place of which God had told him,
Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.
Next he tied up his son Isaac,
and put him on top of the wood on the altar.
Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
But the LORD’s messenger called to him from heaven,
“Abraham, Abraham!”
“Here I am!” he answered.
“Do not lay your hand on the boy,” said the messenger.
“Do not do the least thing to him.
I know now how devoted you are to God,
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.”
As Abraham looked about,
he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket.
So he went and took the ram
and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son.
Abraham named the site Yahweh-yireh;
hence people now say, “On the mountain the LORD will see.”

Again the LORD’s messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said:
“I swear by myself, declares the LORD,
that because you acted as you did
in not withholding from me your beloved son,
I will bless you abundantly
and make your descendants as countless
as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore;
your descendants shall take possession
of the gates of their enemies,
and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing–
all this because you obeyed my command.”

Or – Gn 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18

God put Abraham to the test.
He called to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
Then God said:
“Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love,
and go to the land of Moriah.
There you shall offer him up as a holocaust
on a height that I will point out to you.”

When they came to the place of which God had told him,
Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.
Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
But the LORD’s messenger called to him from heaven,
“Abraham, Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he answered.
“Do not lay your hand on the boy,” said the messenger.
“Do not do the least thing to him.
I know now how devoted you are to God,
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.”
As Abraham looked about,
he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket.
So he went and took the ram
and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son.

Again the LORD’s messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said:
“I swear by myself, declares the LORD,
that because you acted as you did
in not withholding from me your beloved son,
I will bless you abundantly
and make your descendants as countless
as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore;
your descendants shall take possession
of the gates of their enemies,
and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing–
all this because you obeyed my command.”

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11

R. (1) You are my inheritance, O Lord.
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
 the delights at your right hand forever.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Reading III – Ex 14:15—15:1

The LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me?
Tell the Israelites to go forward.
And you, lift up your staff and, with hand outstretched over the sea,
split the sea in two,
that the Israelites may pass through it on dry land.
But I will make the Egyptians so obstinate
that they will go in after them.
Then I will receive glory through Pharaoh and all his army,
his chariots and charioteers.
The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD,
when I receive glory through Pharaoh
and his chariots and charioteers.”

The angel of God, who had been leading Israel’s camp,
now moved and went around behind them.
The column of cloud also, leaving the front,
took up its place behind them,
so that it came between the camp of the Egyptians
and that of Israel.
But the cloud now became dark, and thus the night passed
without the rival camps coming any closer together
all night long.
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea,
and the LORD swept the sea
with a strong east wind throughout the night
and so turned it into dry land.
When the water was thus divided,
the Israelites marched into the midst of the sea on dry land,
with the water like a wall to their right and to their left.

The Egyptians followed in pursuit;
all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and charioteers went after them
right into the midst of the sea.
In the night watch just before dawn
the LORD cast through the column of the fiery cloud
upon the Egyptian force a glance that threw it into a panic;
and he so clogged their chariot wheels
that they could hardly drive.
With that the Egyptians sounded the retreat before Israel,
because the LORD was fighting for them against the Egyptians.

Then the LORD told Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea,
that the water may flow back upon the Egyptians,
upon their chariots and their charioteers.”
So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea,
and at dawn the sea flowed back to its normal depth.
The Egyptians were fleeing head on toward the sea,
when the LORD hurled them into its midst.
As the water flowed back,
it covered the chariots and the charioteers of Pharaoh’s whole army
which had followed the Israelites into the sea.
Not a single one of them escaped.
But the Israelites had marched on dry land
through the midst of the sea,
with the water like a wall to their right and to their left.
Thus the LORD saved Israel on that day
from the power of the Egyptians.
When Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the seashore
and beheld the great power that the LORD
had shown against the Egyptians,
they feared the LORD and believed in him and in his servant Moses.

Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD:
I will sing to the LORD, for he is gloriously triumphant;
horse and chariot he has cast into the sea.

Responsorial Psalm – Ex 15:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 17-18

R. (1b) Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
I will sing to the LORD, for he is gloriously triumphant;
horse and chariot he has cast into the sea.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
He is my God, I praise him;
the God of my father, I extol him.
R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
The LORD is a warrior,
LORD is his name!
Pharaoh’s chariots and army he hurled into the sea;
the elite of his officers were submerged in the Red Sea.
R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
The flood waters covered them,
they sank into the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, O LORD, magnificent in power,
your right hand, O LORD, has shattered the enemy.
R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
You brought in the people you redeemed
and planted them on the mountain of your inheritance —
the place where you made your seat, O LORD,
the sanctuary, LORD, which your hands established.
The LORD shall reign forever and ever.
R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.

Reading IV – Is 54:5-14

The One who has become your husband is your Maker;
his name is the LORD of hosts;
your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,
called God of all the earth.
The LORD calls you back,
like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
a wife married in youth and then cast off,
says your God.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with great tenderness I will take you back.
In an outburst of wrath, for a moment
I hid my face from you;
but with enduring love I take pity on you,
says the LORD, your redeemer.
This is for me like the days of Noah,
when I swore that the waters of Noah
should never again deluge the earth;
so I have sworn not to be angry with you,
or to rebuke you.
Though the mountains leave their place
and the hills be shaken,
my love shall never leave you
nor my covenant of peace be shaken,
says the LORD, who has mercy on you.
O afflicted one, storm-battered and unconsoled,
I lay your pavements in carnelians,
and your foundations in sapphires;
I will make your battlements of rubies,
your gates of carbuncles,
and all your walls of precious stones.
All your children shall be taught by the LORD,
and great shall be the peace of your children.
In justice shall you be established,
far from the fear of oppression,
where destruction cannot come near you.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13

R. (2A) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the netherworld;
you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
but with the dawn, rejoicing.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
O LORD, be my helper.
You changed my mourning into dancing;
O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

Reading V – Is 55:1-11

Thus says the LORD:
All you who are thirsty,
come to the water!
You who have no money,
come, receive grain and eat;
come, without paying and without cost,
drink wine and milk!
Why spend your money for what is not bread,
your wages for what fails to satisfy?
Heed me, and you shall eat well,
you shall delight in rich fare.
Come to me heedfully,
listen, that you may have life.
I will renew with you the everlasting covenant,
the benefits assured to David.
As I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander of nations,
so shall you summon a nation you knew not,
and nations that knew you not shall run to you,
because of the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, who has glorified you.

Seek the LORD while he may be found,
call him while he is near.
Let the scoundrel forsake his way,
and the wicked man his thoughts;
let him turn to the LORD for mercy;
to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
As high as the heavens are above the earth,
so high are my ways above your ways
and my thoughts above your thoughts.

For just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
and do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
so shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
my word shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.

Responsorial Psalm – Is 12:2-3, 4, 5-6

R. (3) You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
 is the Holy One of Israel!
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

Reading VI – Bar 3:9-15, 32–4:4

Hear, O Israel, the commandments of life:
listen, and know prudence!
How is it, Israel,
that you are in the land of your foes,
grown old in a foreign land,
defiled with the dead,
accounted with those destined for the netherworld?
You have forsaken the fountain of wisdom!
Had you walked in the way of God,
you would have dwelt in enduring peace.
Learn where prudence is,
where strength, where understanding;
that you may know also
where are length of days, and life,
where light of the eyes, and peace.
Who has found the place of wisdom,
who has entered into her treasuries?

The One who knows all things knows her;
he has probed her by his knowledge–
The One who established the earth for all time,
and filled it with four-footed beasts;
he who dismisses the light, and it departs,
calls it, and it obeys him trembling;
before whom the stars at their posts
shine and rejoice;
when he calls them, they answer, “Here we are!”
shining with joy for their Maker.
Such is our God;
no other is to be compared to him:
he has traced out the whole way of understanding,
and has given her to Jacob, his servant,
to Israel, his beloved son.

Since then she has appeared on earth,
and moved among people.
She is the book of the precepts of God,
the law that endures forever;
all who cling to her will live,
but those will die who forsake her.
Turn, O Jacob, and receive her:
walk by her light toward splendor.
Give not your glory to another,
your privileges to an alien race.
Blessed are we, O Israel;
for what pleases God is known to us!

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 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 VII – Ez 36:16-17A, 18-28

The word of the LORD came to me, saying:
Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their land,
they defiled it by their conduct and deeds.
Therefore I poured out my fury upon them
because of the blood that they poured out on the ground,
and because they defiled it with idols.
I scattered them among the nations,
dispersing them over foreign lands;
according to their conduct and deeds I judged them.
But when they came among the nations wherever they came,
they served to profane my holy name,
because it was said of them: “These are the people of the LORD,
yet they had to leave their land.”
So I have relented because of my holy name
which the house of Israel profaned
among the nations where they came.
Therefore say to the house of Israel: Thus says the Lord GOD:
Not for your sakes do I act, house of Israel,
but for the sake of my holy name,
which you profaned among the nations to which you came.
I will prove the holiness of my great name, profaned among the nations,
in whose midst you have profaned it.
Thus the nations shall know that I am the LORD, says the Lord GOD,
when in their sight I prove my holiness through you.
For I will take you away from among the nations,
gather you from all the foreign lands,
and bring you back to your own land.
I will sprinkle clean water upon you
to cleanse you from all your impurities,
and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you,
taking from your bodies your stony hearts
and giving you natural hearts.
I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes,
careful to observe my decrees.
You shall live in the land I gave your fathers;
you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 42:3, 5; 43:3, 4

When baptism is celebrated.

R.  (42:2) Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.
Athirst is my soul for God, the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
R. Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.
I went with the throng
and led them in procession to the house of God,
Amid loud cries of joy and thanksgiving,
with the multitude keeping festival.
R. Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.
Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling-place.
R. Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.
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. Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.

Or – Is 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6

When baptism is not celebrated.R. (3) You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
 proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
 is the Holy One of Israel!
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

or – Ps 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19

When baptism is not celebrated R. (12a) Create a clean heart in me, O God.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a holocaust, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

Epistle – Rom 6:3-11

Brothers and sisters:
Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus
were baptized into his death?
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death,
so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead
by the glory of the Father,
we too might live in newness of life.

For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his,
we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.
We know that our old self was crucified with him,
so that our sinful body might be done away with,
that we might no longer be in slavery to sin.
For a dead person has been absolved from sin.
If, then, we have died with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with him.
We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more;
death no longer has power over him.
As to his death, he died to sin once and for all;
as to his life, he lives for God.
Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as being dead to sin
and living for God in Christ Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23

R. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
R. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
The right hand of the LORD has struck with power;
the right hand of the LORD is exalted.
I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the LORD.
R. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
R. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 24:1-12

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

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Why Is This Night Different?


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 16, 2022

Those among us who are blessed to attend the Easter Vigil tonight will have encountered and entered a most wonderful mystery that the Church has to offer to truly make the Easter experience the great moment it truly is. What we do tonight is nothing more than waiting at the Lord’s tomb, meditating on His passion and death, and awaiting His glorious Resurrection with prayer and fasting. 

When we think about it, we spend a great part of our lives waiting for everything from simple mundane things like traffic lights and parking spaces to remarkably awesome milestones in life like the announcement of a new baby, job, or the tragic news we have all been waiting for. A vigil is the liturgical commemoration of a notable feast held on the evening preceding the feast, much like Christmas Eve. The actual term means “wakefulness” because we stay awake to pray and prepare for the dawn of Easter and, by extension, the individual experiences we will have of our death and resurrection and of those we love and cherish in this world. For our purposes here, let us take a look at the diagram of Liturgical Readings for tonight and follow them in our journey toward the empty tomb:

Reading 1: Genesis-God creates with His Word and Holy Spirit over the waters.
Reading 2: Genesis-God asks Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, his only son.
Reading 3: Exodus-Moses parts the Red Sea and leads his people out of slavery through the waters.
Reading 4: Isaiah-The prophet reminds us of the safe passage of Noah through the waters.
Reading 5: Isaiah-The prophet invites all to come to the waters
Reading 6: Baruch-The prophet issues a pledge of wisdom and a return to God
Reading 7: Ezekiel-The people of God will be cleansed by water and live in God’s land
Epistle: Baptism through water and the Holy Spirit is our way to union with God and the promise of Heaven

Gospel: The tomb is empty; God did not spare His own Son, and thus Jesus has defeated death forever

Easter is about the continuing cycle of life, death, and life in an amazingly complicated and mysterious pattern that underscores and straps all reality together. This means so much to our human race, and yet different takes and aspects based on the conditions and lived experiences of everyone alive. But one thing is certain. Everyone dies; not everyone lives. Let us live in the light of Christ this night and always.

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April 15, 2022


Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion

Lectionary: 40

Reading I – Is 52:13—53:12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reading II – Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9

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

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

Verse Before the Gospel – Phil 2:8-9

Christ became obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name which is above every other name.

Gospel – Jn 18:1—19:42

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus,
they took his clothes and divided them into four shares,
a share for each soldier.
They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless,
woven in one piece from the top down.
So they said to one another,
“Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be, “
in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says:
            They divided my garments among them,
                        and for my vesture they cast lots.
This is what the soldiers did.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple,
“Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

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

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

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

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

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I Smell Victory


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 15, 2022

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, Love leaves a memory no one can steal.” From a headstone in Ireland

Today is Good Friday. Why do we call it “good?” This is the first day of what the Church has long in her Sacred history called the Triduum. These are the three glorious days that end Lent, enter the tomb of Jesus, and rise with Him at Easter. 

It could be said that we call this “good” because although everyone wears a mask of sorts as we present to the world the person we want others to see, today we remember the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus so that you and I can reach true spiritual maturity which is that point where a person no longer hides behind any pretense, removes the mask of deceit and fear, exchanges the fashion statement for integrity and truly begins to live a holy life. Every year on Good Friday, when this day arrives, it is certainly different for us. It’s always different because either someone has died in the last year, a friend has become ill or incapacitated, or another year has passed since we lost a dear loved one. We have lived another year, presumably, one year closer to our death.

The Scripture passages and the yearly reading of the Passion we have for Good Friday are simply priceless. We came from God, and slowly but surely, we are moving back to him, face to face, to give whatever account we have of how we used these precious pearls of time while we were alive. I guess that’s why some can’t (or won’t) deal with death. The message and experience must be too much, too overwhelming. I have also known people who have downright rejected God with indignation and misplaced anger for “having taken my loved one away.” That’s more tragic than death itself. Without the One who defeated death on the cross, there is absolutely no way you can arrive at a spiritual and mental place of peace and comfort— or even effectively through the grieving process. Grief is the price we pay for loving, and less we think that getting through this life without Love is a viable option when you think about it; it is indeed a fair price.

According to St. John, the readings from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, Psalm 31, the Letter to the Hebrews, and the Passion all clearly and effectively underscore that truth. God is in control. He sent His Son Jesus to take away the eternal price of our sins, and Jesus gave us the Church so that through the centuries of time and space, we would remain together in hope and prayer until the day comes for us.

May the Divine Assistance always remain with us, and May the souls of all the faithful departed, through your mercy, O God, Rest in Peace. Amen

“Because I could not stop for death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.”

—Emily Dickinson

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April 14, 2022


For the Readings on Holy Thursday Chrism Mass, please go here.

Holy Thursday
Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Lectionary: 39

Reading I – Ex 12:1-8, 11-14

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,
“This month shall stand at the head of your calendar;
you shall reckon it the first month of the year.
Tell the whole community of Israel:
On the tenth of this month every one of your families
must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household.
If a family is too small for a whole lamb,
it shall join the nearest household in procuring one
and shall share in the lamb
in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it.
The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish.
You may take it from either the sheep or the goats.
You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month,
and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present,
it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight.
They shall take some of its blood
and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel
of every house in which they partake of the lamb.
That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh
with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

“This is how you are to eat it:
with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand,
you shall eat like those who are in flight.
It is the Passover of the LORD.
For on this same night I will go through Egypt,
striking down every firstborn of the land, both man and beast,
and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt—I, the LORD!
But the blood will mark the houses where you are.
Seeing the blood, I will pass over you;
thus, when I strike the land of Egypt,
no destructive blow will come upon you.

“This day shall be a memorial feast for you,
which all your generations shall celebrate
with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution.”

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 116:12-13, 15-16BC, 17-18.

R. (CF. 1 Cor 10:16)  Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
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. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
            is the death of his faithful ones.
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
            you have loosed my bonds.
R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
            and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
            in the presence of all his people.
R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.

Reading II – 1 Cor 11:23-26

Brothers and sisters:
I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Verse Before the Gospel – Jn 13:34

I give you a new commandment, says the Lord:
love one another as I have loved you.

Gospel – Jn 13:1-15

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper,
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin
and began to wash the disciples’ feet
and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
“Master, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“What I am doing, you do not understand now,
but you will understand later.”
Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him,
“Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Simon Peter said to him,
“Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”
Jesus said to him,
“Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
            for he is clean all over;
so you are clean, but not all.”
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

So when he had washed their feet
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’  and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
you ought to wash one another’s feet.
I have given you a model to follow,
so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”

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April 14 – Holy Thursday Chrism Mass


For the Readings for the Thursday of Holy Week, please go here.

Lectionary: 260

Reading I – Is 61:1-3A, 6A, 8B-9

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
            because the LORD has anointed me;
He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly,
            to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
            and release to the prisoners,
To announce a year of favor from the LORD
            and a day of vindication by our God,
            to comfort all who mourn;
To place on those who mourn in Zion
            a diadem instead of ashes,
To give them oil of gladness in place of mourning,
            a glorious mantle instead of a listless spirit.

You yourselves shall be named priests of the LORD,
            ministers of our God shall you be called.

I will give them their recompense faithfully,
            a lasting covenant I will make with them.
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.

Responsorial Psalm – 89:21-22, 25 and 27

R.        (2)  For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“I have found David, my servant;
            with my holy oil I have anointed him.
That my hand may always be with him;
            and that my arm may make him strong.”
R.        For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“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.        For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Reading II – Rv 1:5-8

[Grace to you and peace] from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his Blood,
who has made us into a Kingdom, priests for his God and Father,
to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, he is coming amid the clouds,
            and every eye will see him,
            even those who pierced him.
All the peoples of the earth will lament him.
            Yes. Amen.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God,
“the one who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Verse Before the Gospel – Is 61:1 (cited in Lk 4:18)

The Spirit of the LORD is upon me;
for he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor.

Gospel – Lk 4:16-21

Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:

            The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
                        because he has anointed me
                        to bring glad tidings to the poor.
            He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
                        and recovery of sight to the blind,
                        to let the oppressed go free,
            and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.


Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
            and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

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This Is My Body, My Life


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 14, 2022

Although it is not plausible to debate that eating is essential to our survival, that it is deeply symbolic, and that it is enjoyed across the board by every known culture on the planet, we can and should open the debate lines concerning how we have lost the meaning of meals and richness of gathering to feast, especially in our modern times. 

For example, it appears that breakfast is often a shake of everything from protein, fruits, or a soda with ice, lunch a sandwich gobbled in front of the computer, and dinner, when hurriedly arranged or just accidentally falling into place, is quickly consumed usually in front of the television blaring or everyone with their phones checking Facebook posts and or texts. Even though we see commercials to the contrary and movies and listen to heart-felt pitches to act otherwise, we continue with this rapid-feeding frenzy. Perhaps it is because eating like this satisfies some basic needs as it fuels our bodies. But being fed is not the same as being nourished. This is how and why we must understand the great significance of Holy Thursday when Jesus the Christ uttered those immortal words that have since been repeated over the centuries and the great period of time: “This is my body…this is my blood…do this in memory of me.” Our First Reading begins to set the stage for this deeper awareness of the simplicity of eating: “This day shall be a memorial feast for you, which all your generations shall celebrate with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution.” Our lives have been bought and purchased at an amazing cost! None of us are here “by accident.” We each have a deep and enriching purpose which we must find and for that journey must be fed: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.”

While thought-out mealtime practices and rituals can draw us into a state of increased awareness, our appreciation for the Eucharist can give sight to the vision we need to focus on the things that matter in this life and get home safe to Heaven when it is all said and done. Jesus does so much more this night as well. He teaches us that not only do we take meaningful time when we sit and share food but also take every opportunity and chance to serve, even to the point of washing each other’s feet. “I have given you a model to follow so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” Today, especially on this day, we need to remember what the initial impression of this passage made on the initial First Century audience: even art and literary works have somewhat romanticized this event, it was not beautiful to them. It was not even humbling; it was humiliating. To wash another’s feet was a dirty job reserved for enslaved people. Today this action would be equivalent to going to someone’s house to clean their bathroom, including the toilet. Maybe caregivers who have to clean and wash and witness the worst in a person’s life are closest to the real meaning of this marvelous gesture. As Jesus feeds us with His very Body and Blood, He assures us that He is showing us and expecting us to be the least among us. It is easy to do great things for those we love. What about doing the hard things for those we don’t know or, even better, know that will never be able or willing to thank you. This is selfless, and this night is all about: empty yourself as Jesus did, so where He has gone, we can follow.

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world”. J.R.R. Tolkien

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April 14 – Holy Thursday Chrism Mass


For the Readings for Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, please go here.

Lectionary: 260

Reading I – Is 61:1-3A, 6A, 8B-9

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
            because the LORD has anointed me;
He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly,
            to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
            and release to the prisoners,
To announce a year of favor from the LORD
            and a day of vindication by our God,
            to comfort all who mourn;
To place on those who mourn in Zion
            a diadem instead of ashes,
To give them oil of gladness in place of mourning,
            a glorious mantle instead of a listless spirit.

You yourselves shall be named priests of the LORD,
            ministers of our God shall you be called.

I will give them their recompense faithfully,
            a lasting covenant I will make with them.
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.

Responsorial Psalm – 89:21-22, 25 and 27

R.        (2)  For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“I have found David, my servant;
            with my holy oil I have anointed him.
That my hand may always be with him;
            and that my arm may make him strong.”
R.        For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“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.        For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Reading II – Rv 1:5-8

[Grace to you and peace] from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his Blood,
who has made us into a Kingdom, priests for his God and Father,
to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, he is coming amid the clouds,
            and every eye will see him,
            even those who pierced him.
All the peoples of the earth will lament him.
            Yes. Amen.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God,
“the one who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Verse Before the Gospel – Is 61:1 (cited in Lk 4:18)

The Spirit of the LORD is upon me;
for he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor.

Gospel – Lk 4:16-21

Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:

            The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
                        because he has anointed me
                        to bring glad tidings to the poor.
            He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
                        and recovery of sight to the blind,
                        to let the oppressed go free,
            and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.


Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
            and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

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April 13, 2022


Wednesday of Holy Week

Lectionary: 259

Reading I – Is 50:4-9a

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

The Lord GOD is my help,
            therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
            knowing that I shall not be put to shame.
He is near who upholds my right;
            if anyone wishes to oppose me,
            let us appear together.
Who disputes my right?
            Let him confront me.
See, the Lord GOD is my help;
            who will prove me wrong?

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

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

Verse Before the Gospel

Hail to you, our King;
you alone are compassionate with our errors.

Or

Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father;
you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter.
 

Gospel – Mt 26:14-25

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,
went to the chief priests and said,
“What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?”
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Where do you want us to prepare
for you to eat the Passover?”
He said,
“Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
‘The teacher says, AMy appointed time draws near;
in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”‘“
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.

When it was evening,
he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said,
“Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
Deeply distressed at this,
they began to say to him one after another,
“Surely it is not I, Lord?”
He said in reply,
“He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me
is the one who will betray me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
“Surely it is not I, Rabbi?”
He answered, “You have said so.”

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A Fate Worse Than Death


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 13, 2022

“The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.” Imagine a person’s pain when they realize they have wounded and perhaps forever severed the most wonderful and awesome relationship that they will ever encounter. Now compound this upon the world stage of history, and we may have something close to the experience of Judas, the man who betrayed the Son of God. “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” His name has become synonymous with any notorious traitor, even today. In addition to this remarkable infamy, there has developed a popular hatred of Judas in various parts of Christendom. For example, on the Greek island of Corfu, the people throw vast quantities of pottery from their windows and roofs into the streets at a given signal on Holy Saturday night. Thus, they execute an imaginary stoning of Judas.

However interesting, the painful truth for us to face in this midway of Holy Week is the potential for each of us to betray love itself in our own lives. This comes when we allow selfishness and hate to brood within us so that we do not even realize the pain and misery we inflict upon others and, by extension, on our very souls. What happens is that we become so accustomed to disguising ourselves to others that, in the end, we become disguised to ourselves. Perhaps the pains and disappointments of life create hurt and deep wounds beyond our imagination. The paradox of this week deeply entwined with the whole teaching of Jesus the Christ is simple in many ways. If we love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, just more love to give. (St. Theresa of Calcutta) It is then, and only then, can we shout and sing with the most joyous voice we have, joining the refrain of today’s Psalm: “I will praise the name of God in song, and I will glorify him with thanksgiving: ‘See, you lowly ones, and be glad; you who seek God, may your hearts revive! For the LORD hears the poor, and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.'”

“The shattering of a heart when being broken is the loudest quiet ever.” Carroll Bryant

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April 12, 2022


Tuesday of Holy Week

Lectionary: 258

Reading I – Is 49:1-6

Hear me, O islands,
            listen, O distant peoples.
The Lord called me from birth,
            from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.
He made of me a sharp-edged sword
            and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,
            in his quiver he hid me.
You are my servant, he said to me,
            Israel, through whom I show my glory.

Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
            and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength,
Yet my reward is with the Lord,
            my recompense is with my God.
For now the Lord has spoken
            who formed me as his servant from the womb,
That Jacob may be brought back to him
            and Israel gathered to him;
And I am made glorious in the sight of the Lord,
            and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,
            to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
            and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
            that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Responsorial Psalm – 71:1-2, 3-4A, 5ab-6AB, 15 and 17

R.        (see 15AB)  I will sing of your salvation.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
            let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, and deliver me;
            incline your ear to me, and save me.
R.        I will sing of your salvation.
Be my rock of refuge,
            a stronghold to give me safety,
            for you are my rock and my fortress.
O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked.
R.        I will sing of your salvation.
For you are my hope, O LORD;
            my trust, O God, from my youth.
On you I depend from birth;
            from my mother’s womb you are my strength.
R.        I will sing of your salvation.
My mouth shall declare your justice,
            day by day your salvation.
O God, you have taught me from my youth,
            and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
R.        I will sing of your salvation.

Verse Before the Gospel

Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father;
you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter.

Gospel – Jn 13:21-33, 36-38

Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant.
One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved,
was reclining at Jesus’ side.
So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant.
He leaned back against Jesus’ chest and said to him,
“Master, who is it?”
Jesus answered,
“It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it.”
So he dipped the morsel and took it and handed it to Judas,
son of Simon the Iscariot.
After Judas took the morsel, Satan entered him.
So Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”
Now none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him.
Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him,
“Buy what we need for the feast,”
or to give something to the poor.
So Judas took the morsel and left at once. And it was night.

When he had left, Jesus said,
“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself,
and he will glorify him at once.
My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.
You will look for me, and as I told the Jews,
‘Where I go you cannot come,’ so now I say it to you.”

Simon Peter said to him, “Master, where are you going?”
Jesus answered him,
“Where I am going, you cannot follow me now,
though you will follow later.”
Peter said to him,
“Master, why can I not follow you now?
I will lay down my life for you.”
Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me?
Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow
before you deny me three times.”

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The True Cost Of Words


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 12, 2022

George Bernard Shaw is credited with saying that the “single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” While there are many different explanations and approaches to explain and or further expand on this thought, for today, let us consider what Jesus has done for us and how we respond based on what we have the dramatic unfolding of events in the Gospel as we move through Holy Week this year.

First, we begin with the explosive observation that Jesus makes to His closest friends that one of them is about to betray Him and send Him to death: “Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified, “Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” Each Apostle in the upper room took a phrase in a different light. One or two began to blame themselves. Perhaps a few couldn’t or wouldn’t believe what they had just heard. Peter impulsively sprang to action and pledged undying loyalty and protection, while Judas knew exactly who the Lord was talking about.

“Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, Yet my reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God.” This Tuesday in Holy Week, we are called to pay even closer attention to what is being said to each of us as it may relate to our individual circumstances, especially in our spiritual lives. When you hear, “one of you is about to betray me,” what is that first comes to your heart and mind? Is there any evidence whatsoever that would or could suggest betrayal in our lives? The next pertinent question would then be, to whom or what? To God? Our spouse? Our family and friends? The reality is simple during this holy time: everything uttered and celebrated has deep meaning and significance and must be addressed with courage and fidelity. We must make this week different by what we do with it. Now, lift that in prayer and wait patiently for the inspiration, guaranteed!

“Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed, and rare.” Brené Brown

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April 11, 2022


Monday of Holy Week

Lectionary: 257

Reading I – Is 42:1-7

Here is my servant whom I uphold,
            my chosen one with whom I am pleased,
Upon whom I have put my Spirit;
            he shall bring forth justice to the nations,
Not crying out, not shouting,
            not making his voice heard in the street.
A bruised reed he shall not break,
            and a smoldering wick he shall not quench,
Until he establishes justice on the earth;
            the coastlands will wait for his teaching.

Thus says God, the LORD,
            who created the heavens and stretched them out,
            who spreads out the earth with its crops,
Who gives breath to its people
            and spirit to those who walk on it:
I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice,
            I have grasped you by the hand;
I formed you, and set you
            as a covenant of the people,
            a light for the nations,
To open the eyes of the blind,
            to bring out prisoners from confinement,
            and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

Responsorial Psalm – 27:1, 2, 3, 13-14

R.        (1A)  The Lord is my light and my salvation.
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.        The Lord is my light and my salvation.
When evildoers come at me
            to devour my flesh,
My foes and my enemies
            themselves stumble and fall.
R.        The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Though an army encamp against me,
            my heart will not fear;
Though war be waged upon me,
            even then will I trust.
R.        The Lord is my light and my salvation.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
            in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
            be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R.        The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Verse before the Gospel

Hail to you, our King;
you alone are compassionate with our faults.

Gospel – Jn 12:1-11

Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany,
where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served,
while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.
Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil
made from genuine aromatic nard
and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair;
the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples,
and the one who would betray him, said,
“Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages
and given to the poor?”
He said this not because he cared about the poor
but because he was a thief and held the money bag
and used to steal the contributions.
So Jesus said, “Leave her alone.
Let her keep this for the day of my burial.
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came,
not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus,
whom he had raised from the dead.
And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too,
because many of the Jews were turning away
and believing in Jesus because of him.

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Open-Handed Holy Week


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 11, 2022

“You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” This particular and perhaps familiar Gospel passage has been quoted and misquoted, applied, and misapplied by many over the centuries, literally ever since it was first transcribed. This, among many other factors, is exactly why it is not enough to know what the Bible says but what it means. At first glance, the phrase always having the poor seems almost fatalistic, suggesting that there is no use to address the issue of poverty because we will never rid our society of it, but that is so far from the meaning.

Jesus was quoting another well-known Biblical passage from Deuteronomy, which sets the context of the poor and our response in a very different context: “If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be … For the poor, you will always have with you in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and the poor, in your land.'” (Deuteronomy 15:7-11) Thus, realistically and with the greatest of authentic interpretation, the Lord Jesus is enthusiastically begging us to be “open-handed” toward the poor among us. Holy Week begins for most of us with this deep and emotional call to be aware of those who suffer in our circles, perhaps right in front of us, and respond quickly, deeply, and readily.

In this most awesome week, we must see our roles to feed the hungry and lift the poor among us. In the New Testament’s humble beginnings of the Church, there were no needy persons among them. Everyone shared and cared for each other. Poverty, even as we can describe it today, was eradicated in their midst. That was the natural outcome of taking Jesus’ teachings seriously and to heart. Just imagine that: a world where all are free to love and serve! This is not some nimble-headed utopia but the goal of being a follower of Christ right here, right now. The fulfillment of Lent, Holy Week, and all that Jesus taught and lived and died for is now about to be realized and celebrated. Today, spend some time reflecting on those in your own homes and friendships who need you. Pray for all those unhappy in this life and beg Jesus to live deeply within them and in you. He has the ultimate endorsement from Heaven: “Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, Upon whom I have put my Spirit.”

“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” Saint Augustine

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April 10, 2022


Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

Lectionary: 37 and 37

At the Procession with Palms – Gospel – Lk 19:28-40

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

At the Mass – Reading I – Is 50:4-7

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

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

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24.

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

Reading II – Phil 2:6-11

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

Verse Before the Gospel – Phil 2:8-9

Christ became obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name which is above every name.

Gospel – Lk 22:14—23:56

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

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

Or – Lk 23:1-49

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

The centurion who witnessed what had happened glorified God and said,
“This man was innocent beyond doubt.”
When all the people who had gathered for this spectacle
saw what had happened,
they returned home beating their breasts;d
but all his acquaintances stood at a distance,
including the women who had followed him from Galilee
and saw these events.

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Who Are You Carrying


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 10, 2022

Among several cultures on our planet, there exists a delightful little story about a young donkey and his mother who was trying desperately to prepare her young son for the ravages and cruelty of the world, which typically never treated these animals with much respect. Coming home, however, one day, the young animal was full of excitement and unbelievable joy. He had a small job earlier that morning, and everyone was shouting with respect and joy and even throwing palm branches in front of him so that the walk on the hard surface would be less strenuous. “They love us, Mama!,” he shouted with almost unbelief. “They now respect us! We are free!” His kind mother looked with love upon her somewhat idealistic son and simply said, “We are free as long as we carry greatness upon our backs.”

“Go into the village opposite you, and immediately on entering it, you will find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here.” (Opening Gospel Before Procession with Palms)

Today we celebrate Palm Sunday while ushering in the great mystery of Holy Week when we commemorate Jesus riding into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey with gleeful and exuberant shouts of “Hosanna.” It was, however—a short-lived moment of public popularity for Jesus. The feckless crowds would become violent and hostile in just a few days, crying out for His execution. The donkey would be traded for a cross. By the end of the week on Good Friday, the burden-bearer would be Jesus Himself, and a donkey would not be carrying Christ – Christ would be carrying the cross. He would not be astride the back of a donkey’s back, but rather a cruel, albeit redemptive cross would be crushing upon His back! So let us begin and let us pray:

All-powerful, eternal God, You have chosen to give us all a model of humility; our Savior took on our flesh and subjected Himself to the Cross. Grant us the grace to preserve faithfully the lessons He has given us in His Passion and to have a share in His Resurrection.
Amen.

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April 9, 2022


Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Lectionary: 256

Reading I – Ez 37:21-28

Thus says the Lord GOD:
I will take the children of Israel from among the nations
to which they have come,
and gather them from all sides to bring them back to their land.
I will make them one nation upon the land,
in the mountains of Israel,
and there shall be one prince for them all.
Never again shall they be two nations,
and never again shall they be divided into two kingdoms.

No longer shall they defile themselves with their idols,
their abominations, and all their transgressions.
I will deliver them from all their sins of apostasy,
and cleanse them so that they may be my people
and I may be their God.
My servant David shall be prince over them,
and there shall be one shepherd for them all;
they shall live by my statutes and carefully observe my decrees.
They shall live on the land that I gave to my servant Jacob,
the land where their fathers lived;
they shall live on it forever,
they, and their children, and their children’s children,
with my servant David their prince forever.
I will make with them a covenant of peace;
it shall be an everlasting covenant with them,
and I will multiply them, and put my sanctuary among them forever.
My dwelling shall be with them;
I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Thus the nations shall know that it is I, the LORD,
who make Israel holy,
when my sanctuary shall be set up among them forever.

Responsorial Psalm – Jeremiah 31:10, 11-12abcd, 13

R.        (see 10D)  The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.
Hear the word of the LORD, O nations,
            proclaim it on distant isles, and say:
He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together,
            he guards them as a shepherd his flock.
R.        The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.
The LORD shall ransom Jacob,
            he shall redeem him from the hand of his conqueror.
Shouting, they shall mount the heights of Zion,
            they shall come streaming to the LORD’s blessings:
The grain, the wine, and the oil,
            the sheep and the oxen.
R.        The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.
Then the virgins shall make merry and dance,
            and young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
            I will console and gladden them after their sorrows.
R.        The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.

Verse Before the Gospel – Ez 18:31

Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD,
and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.

Gospel – Jn 11:45-56

Many of the Jews who had come to Mary
and seen what Jesus had done began to believe in him.
But some of them went to the Pharisees
and told them what Jesus had done.
So the chief priests and the Pharisees
convened the Sanhedrin and said,
“What are we going to do?
This man is performing many signs.
If we leave him alone, all will believe in him,
and the Romans will come
and take away both our land and our nation.”
But one of them, Caiaphas,
who was high priest that year, said to them,
“You know nothing,
nor do you consider that it is better for you
that one man should die instead of the people,
so that the whole nation may not perish.”
He did not say this on his own,
but since he was high priest for that year,
he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation,
and not only for the nation,
but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God.
So from that day on they planned to kill him.

So Jesus no longer walked about in public among the Jews,
but he left for the region near the desert,
to a town called Ephraim,
and there he remained with his disciples.

Now the Passover of the Jews was near,
and many went up from the country to Jerusalem
before Passover to purify themselves.
They looked for Jesus and said to one another
as they were in the temple area, “What do you think?
That he will not come to the feast?”

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The Countdown Begins


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 9, 2022

The Book of Ezra is most remembered in some circles for the opening reading for Ash Wednesday, in which the prophet calls the people to repent, fast, and put on sackcloth and ashes. Interestingly enough, he is also credited for placing our beloved Psalms in the amazing order we find them today. In our First Reading today, he uses the imagery of unity and destruction to discover how well his audience knows the Lord, warns them of something much worse happening if they ignore his preaching, and expresses his solemn belief that all those who are faithful will one day be richly blessed.

In the Gospel of the Day, Jesus is nearing His Passion, Death, and Resurrection as we are approaching Holy Week with Palm Sunday tomorrow. We must now set our sights on the end of our Lenten journey and begin to hope for the fruit that we so desperately long for. The Evil One, and all its co-workers, will try to limit your prayers because it knows that your prayers will limit evil. Sometimes, it only takes one prayer to change everything.

The Word of the Day is Focus: We are almost there! Stay focused on all we have been through with prayer, fasting, and selfless acts of kindness. Be ready for victory and the battle.

“Life is a battle. Every day is a struggle. If I do not pray, then I am fighting with both hands tied behind my back. I will lose. I will cave in. I will die. I will easily forget why I am here.” Fr. Alfonse Nazzaro

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April 8, 2022


Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Lectionary: 255

Reading I – Jer 20:10-13

I hear the whisperings of many:
“Terror on every side!
Denounce! let us denounce him!”
All those who were my friends
are on the watch for any misstep of mine.
“Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail,
and take our vengeance on him.”
But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion:
my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph.
In their failure they will be put to utter shame,
to lasting, unforgettable confusion.
O LORD of hosts, you who test the just,
who probe mind and heart,
Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause.
Sing to the LORD,
praise the LORD,
For he has rescued the life of the poor
from the power of the wicked!

Responsorial Psalm – 18:2-3A, 3BC-4, 5-6, 7

R.        (see 7)  In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
I love you, O LORD, my strength,
            O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.
R.        In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
My God, my rock of refuge,
            my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!
Praised be the LORD, I exclaim,
            and I am safe from my enemies.
R.        In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
The breakers of death surged round about me,
            the destroying floods overwhelmed me;
The cords of the nether world enmeshed me,
            the snares of death overtook me.
R.        In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
In my distress I called upon the LORD
            and cried out to my God;
From his temple he heard my voice,
            and my cry to him reached his ears.
R.        In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.

Verse Before the Gospel – See Jn 6:63c, 68c

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

Gospel – Jn 10:31-42

The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus.
Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father.
For which of these are you trying to stone me?”
The Jews answered him,
“We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy.
You, a man, are making yourself God.”
Jesus answered them,
“Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, ‘You are gods”‘?
If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came,
and Scripture cannot be set aside,
can you say that the one
whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world
blasphemes because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?
If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me;
but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me,
believe the works, so that you may realize and understand
that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
Then they tried again to arrest him;
but he escaped from their power.

He went back across the Jordan
to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained.
Many came to him and said,
“John performed no sign,
but everything John said about this man was true.”
And many there began to believe in him.

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Distress Call


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 8, 2022

“In my distress, I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.” In some dictionary excerpts, distress is extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain. Human life encounters distress throughout the experience we engage in while on earth, and the Lord knows that we must be ready and fully equipped to face whatever we must to grow and become a new creation in Christ. In fact, in a very poignant and real way, it is truly the only way we will become transformed into that new existence.

“Jesus answered them, ‘I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?'” There are, however, not a small number of people who do not accept the call of grace to see things in life with the eyes of faith and then, in turn, blame God for every ill and problem under the sun. Because of spiritual blindness and a faithless approach to reality, they seem to attack God as Jesus was in the Gospel today. Our stance, especially throughout these days of the Lenten Journey, must be entirely different: “Sing to the LORD, praise the LORD, For he has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked!” Imagine singing to God when life is hard and burdensome. Yet, that is exactly the remedy!

The Word of the Day is: Sing – Dig deep today and instead of counting all the wrong things, remember the one great element. GOD LOVES YOU!

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.” Paulo Coelho

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April 7, 2022


For the Optional Memorial of Saint John Baptist de la Salle, please go here.

Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Lectionary: 254

Reading I – Gn 17:3-9

When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him:
“My covenant with you is this:
you are to become the father of a host of nations.
No longer shall you be called Abram;
your name shall be Abraham,
for I am making you the father of a host of nations.
I will render you exceedingly fertile;
I will make nations of you;
kings shall stem from you.
I will maintain my covenant with you
and your descendants after you
throughout the ages as an everlasting pact,
to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
I will give to you
and to your descendants after you
the land in which you are now staying,
the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession;
and I will be their God.”

God also said to Abraham:
“On your part, you and your descendants after you
must keep my covenant throughout the ages.”

Responsorial Psalm – 105:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R.        (8A)  The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
Look to the LORD in his strength;
            seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
            his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R.        The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
            sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
            throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R.        The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
He remembers forever his covenant
            which he made binding for a thousand generations –
Which he entered into with Abraham
            and by his oath to Isaac.
R.        The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

Verse Before the Gospel – Ps 95:8

If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.

Gospel – Jn 8:51-59

Jesus said to the Jews:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever keeps my word will never see death.”
So the Jews said to him,
“Now we are sure that you are possessed.
Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say,
‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’
Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died?
Or the prophets, who died?
Who do you make yourself out to be?”
Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing;
but it is my Father who glorifies me,
of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’
You do not know him, but I know him.
And if I should say that I do not know him,
I would be like you a liar.
But I do know him and I keep his word.
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day;
he saw it and was glad.”
So the Jews said to him,
“You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
So they picked up stones to throw at him;
but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.

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Name Changer


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 7, 2022

“On your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages.” If there is such a thing as a “science of belonging,” it would have to include behavior as an essential element of what it means to be part of something much larger than life itself. Today in the Scriptures, this belonging has to do with the Family of God in faith and acting in certain modes of belief that cause an entire group of people to stand apart from the rest. This is what is meant by “holy.” This is precisely where our modern-day understanding and practice of fasting and other Lenten practices have originated, especially the actual marking of ashes on the forehead. This sets us apart as a group of people with the same or similar mindset and the same goal: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.”

“No longer shall you be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I am making you the father of a host of nations.” Such an acceptance of so universal an invitation makes a definite and indelible change within the individual and the whole people. Such was the case with Abram, who became Abraham. The same happened to Saul, who became Paul, and Simon, who became Peter. All had their names changed because their destiny and future had undergone a magnificent and overwhelming overhaul. Lent is the same for us. Hopefully, we can sense these deep-rooted changes in our hope and our direction toward Heaven by now. We are so close to our goal this year!

The Word of the Day is: Prayer – As we near Holy Week 2022, our prayer life must increase to prepare us for these amazing days.

“Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.” Soren Kierkegaard

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April 7 – Optional Memorial of Saint John Baptist de la Salle, priest


For the Reading for Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent, please go here.

Lectionary: 549

From the Common of Pastors, #719-724
or the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Teachers, #737-742

Reading 1 – 2 Tm 1:13-14; 2:1-3

Beloved:
Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me,
in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 
Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit
that dwells within us.

My child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
And what you heard from me through many witnesses
entrust to faithful people
who will have the ability to teach others as well.
Bear your share of hardship along with me
like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
 

Responsorial Psalm – 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.    Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R.    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.    Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R.    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.    Blessed are they who delight in the law of the Lord.
or:
R.    The just will flourish like the palm tree in the garden of the Lord.
 

Verse before the Gospel – Mt 23:11, 12B

The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Gospel – Mt 18:1-5


The disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?”
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever humbles himself like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.”

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April 6, 2022


Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Lectionary: 253

Reading I – Dn 3:14-20, 91-92, 95

King Nebuchadnezzar said:
“Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
that you will not serve my god,
or worship the golden statue that I set up?
Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made,
whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet,
flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe,
and all the other musical instruments;
otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace;
and who is the God who can deliver you out of my hands?”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar,
“There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you
in this matter.
If our God, whom we serve,
can save us from the white-hot furnace
and from your hands, O king, may he save us!
But even if he will not, know, O king,
that we will not serve your god
or worship the golden statue that you set up.”

King Nebuchadnezzar’s face became livid with utter rage
against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual
and had some of the strongest men in his army
bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
and cast them into the white-hot furnace.

Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles,
“Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?”
“Assuredly, O king,” they answered.
“But,” he replied, “I see four men unfettered and unhurt,
walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God.”
Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed,
“Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
who sent his angel to deliver the servants who trusted in him;
they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies
rather than serve or worship any god
except their own God.”

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

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

Verse Before the Gospel – See Lk 8:15

Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.

Gospel – Jn 8:31-42

Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him,
“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham
and have never been enslaved to anyone.
How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.
A slave does not remain in a household forever,
but a son always remains.
So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free.
I know that you are descendants of Abraham.
But you are trying to kill me,
because my word has no room among you.
I tell you what I have seen in the Father’s presence;
then do what you have heard from the Father.”

They answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraham.”
Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children,
you would be doing the works of Abraham.
But now you are trying to kill me,
a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God;
Abraham did not do this.
You are doing the works of your father!”
So they said to him, “We were not born of fornication.
We have one Father, God.”
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me,
for I came from God and am here;
I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”

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Out Of The Fire


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 6, 2022

By now, many of us could agree with the marvelous assessment of those deep within the fire bravely and accurately uttered by the three young men hurled into the hottest of all possible flames in today’s First Reading: “If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us!” Our specific take on this observation would need to be tweaked: If our beautiful and merciful Lord preserved us during these trying and unprecedented days of Lent, He could do even greater things! This is certainly true, and we have only a few more days until the fulfillment of the Easter promise of Resurrection will be ours in abundance. We just need to hold on to this truth in our lives and practice endurance without whining or dramatic overreacting.

“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” And this is the truth: God loves us so much that He even wants us to be better with every passing day, especially the passing days of our Lenting this year. The Lord has been, is today, and will always be at our side, assisting us in our daily struggle to become more like Jesus in every way possible. This is the bright promise of Easter made during the somewhat dark, at least purple, days of Lent. If we accept this truth, the consequences are literally out of this world.

The Word of the Day: Perseverance – The promises of Lent are still within our reach. Do not give up.

“The difference between a good life and a bad life is how well you walk through the fire.” C. G. Jung

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April 5, 2022


For the optional Readings for today’s Memorial, please go here.

Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Lectionary: 252

Reading I – Nm 21:4-9

From Mount Hor the children of Israel set out on the Red Sea road,
to bypass the land of Edom.
But with their patience worn out by the journey,
the people complained against God and Moses,
“Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert,
where there is no food or water?
We are disgusted with this wretched food!”

In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents,
which bit the people so that many of them died.
Then the people came to Moses and said,
“We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you.
Pray the LORD to take the serpents away from us.”
So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses,
“Make a saraph and mount it on a pole,
and whoever looks at it after being bitten will live.”
Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole,
and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent
looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.         

Responsorial Psalm – 102:2-3, 16-18, 19-21

R.        (2)  O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.
O LORD, hear my prayer,
            and let my cry come to you.
Hide not your face from me
            in the day of my distress.
Incline your ear to me;          
            in the day when I call, answer me speedily.
R.        O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.
The nations shall revere your name, O LORD,
            and all the kings of the earth your glory,
When the LORD has rebuilt Zion
            and appeared in his glory;
When he has regarded the prayer of the destitute,
            and not despised their prayer.
R.        O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.
Let this be written for the generation to come,
            and let his future creatures praise the LORD:
“The LORD looked down from his holy height,
            from heaven he beheld the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoners,
            to release those doomed to die.”
R.        O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.

Verse Before the Gospel

The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
all who come to him will live for ever.

Gospel – Jn 8:21-30

Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“I am going away and you will look for me,
but you will die in your sin.
Where I am going you cannot come.”
So the Jews said,
“He is not going to kill himself, is he,
because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?”
He said to them, “You belong to what is below,
I belong to what is above.
You belong to this world,
but I do not belong to this world.
That is why I told you that you will die in your sins.
For if you do not believe that I AM,
you will die in your sins.”
So they said to him, “Who are you?”
Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning.
I have much to say about you in condemnation.
But the one who sent me is true,
and what I heard from him I tell the world.”
They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father.
So Jesus said to them,
“When you lift up the Son of Man,
then you will realize that I AM,
and that I do nothing on my own,
but I say only what the Father taught me.
The one who sent me is with me.
He has not left me alone,
because I always do what is pleasing to him.”
Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.

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Look Up And Be Saved


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 5, 2022

“Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.” Our First Reading makes an inspiring case for the deep relationship between our sins, our pain, our ongoing desire for healing, and the free offer of forgiveness of the sins that cause us so much pain and guilt. Moses dealt with the criticism and pessimistic reaction of the Israelites for all that the Lord had done for them, and in response, they were bitten by horribly attacking snakes which must have been quite a sight!

Their unending complaints were answered by sheer harshness and fear. What is beautifully clear today is that the Lord truly wants us to be safe, happy, and holy. Our sins and failings often stand in the way and present an enormous stumbling block to achieving all God have intended for us, including acknowledging and receiving His healing forgiveness to a greater healthier spiritual life. Moses was commanded to construct a bronze serpent so that anyone who would look up would be cured and saved. That must have taken an immense act of faith and well worth it.

“When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me.” It is, however, in the Gospel where the real truth is to unlock the mystery of true inner freedom that is characteristic of a true believer and those who desperately want to get to Heaven. It takes seriously the innocence, total trust, and openness to look up at the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, lifted on the cross so that all may be cured and saved. Jesus made this more than crystal clear in the Gospel: “Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.”

The words of the Day are: Look Up – When you are suffering or worried or anxious, look up at the cross to see your Jesus there wanting everything good for you. Accept this in faith and never look back. It would also help not to complain so much, either.

“When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept it. All else is madness.” Eckhart Tolle

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April 5 – Optional Memorial of Saint Vincent Ferrer, priest


For the Readings for the Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent, please go here.

Lectionary: 548

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Pastors: For Missionaries, #719-724.

Reading 1 – 2 Tm 4:1-5

Beloved:
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,
who will judge the living and the dead,
and by his appearing and his kingly power:
proclaim the word;
be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient;
convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.
For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine
but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity,
will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth
and will be diverted to myths.
But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances;
put up with hardship;
perform the work of an evangelist;
fulfill your ministry.

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

R.    (8A and 9A)  Here I am, 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 I am, 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 I am, 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 I am, 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 I am, 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 I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

Alleluia – Lk 21:36

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 12:35-40

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Gird your loins and light your lamps
and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding,
ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.
Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself,
have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.
And should he come in the second or third watch
and find them prepared in this way,
blessed are those servants.
Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect,
the Son of Man will come.”

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April 4, 2022


For the optional Readings for today’s Memorial, please go here.

Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Lectionary: 251

Reading I – Dn 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 or 13:41C-62

In Babylon there lived a man named Joakim,
who married a very beautiful and God-fearing woman, Susanna,
the daughter of Hilkiah;
her pious parents had trained their daughter
according to the law of Moses.
Joakim was very rich;
he had a garden near his house,
and the Jews had recourse to him often
because he was the most respected of them all.

That year, two elders of the people were appointed judges,
of whom the Lord said, “Wickedness has come out of Babylon:
from the elders who were to govern the people as judges.”
These men, to whom all brought their cases,
frequented the house of Joakim.
When the people left at noon,
Susanna used to enter her husband’s garden for a walk.
When the old men saw her enter every day for her walk,
they began to lust for her.
They suppressed their consciences;
they would not allow their eyes to look to heaven,
and did not keep in mind just judgments.

One day, while they were waiting for the right moment,
she entered the garden as usual, with two maids only.
She decided to bathe, for the weather was warm.
Nobody else was there except the two elders,
who had hidden themselves and were watching her.
“Bring me oil and soap,” she said to the maids,
“and shut the garden doors while I bathe.”

As soon as the maids had left,
the two old men got up and hurried to her.
“Look,” they said, “the garden doors are shut, and no one can see us;
give in to our desire, and lie with us.
If you refuse, we will testify against you
that you dismissed your maids because a young man was here with you.”

“I am completely trapped,” Susanna groaned.
“If I yield, it will be my death;
if I refuse, I cannot escape your power.
Yet it is better for me to fall into your power without guilt
than to sin before the Lord.”
Then Susanna shrieked, and the old men also shouted at her,
as one of them ran to open the garden doors.
When the people in the house heard the cries from the garden,
they rushed in by the side gate to see what had happened to her.
At the accusations by the old men,
the servants felt very much ashamed,
for never had any such thing been said about Susanna.

When the people came to her husband Joakim the next day,
the two wicked elders also came,
fully determined to put Susanna to death.
Before all the people they ordered:
“Send for Susanna, the daughter of Hilkiah,
the wife of Joakim.”
When she was sent for,
she came with her parents, children and all her relatives.
All her relatives and the onlookers were weeping.

In the midst of the people the two elders rose up
and laid their hands on her head.
Through tears she looked up to heaven,
for she trusted in the Lord wholeheartedly.
The elders made this accusation:
“As we were walking in the garden alone,
this woman entered with two girls
and shut the doors of the garden, dismissing the girls.
A young man, who was hidden there, came and lay with her.
When we, in a corner of the garden, saw this crime,
we ran toward them.
We saw them lying together,
but the man we could not hold, because he was stronger than we;
he opened the doors and ran off.
Then we seized her and asked who the young man was,
but she refused to tell us.
We testify to this.”
The assembly believed them,
since they were elders and judges of the people,
and they condemned her to death.

But Susanna cried aloud:
“O eternal God, you know what is hidden
and are aware of all things before they come to be:
you know that they have testified falsely against me.
Here I am about to die,
though I have done none of the things
with which these wicked men have charged me.”

The Lord heard her prayer.
As she was being led to execution,
God stirred up the holy spirit of a young boy named Daniel,
and he cried aloud:
“I will have no part in the death of this woman.”
All the people turned and asked him, “What is this you are saying?”
He stood in their midst and continued,
“Are you such fools, O children of Israel!
To condemn a woman of Israel without examination
and without clear evidence?
Return to court, for they have testified falsely against her.”

Then all the people returned in haste.
To Daniel the elders said,
“Come, sit with us and inform us,
since God has given you the prestige of old age.”
But he replied,
“Separate these two far from each other that I may examine them.”

After they were separated one from the other,
he called one of them and said:
“How you have grown evil with age!
Now have your past sins come to term:
passing unjust sentences, condemning the innocent,
and freeing the guilty, although the Lord says,
‘The innocent and the just you shall not put to death.’
Now, then, if you were a witness,
tell me under what tree you saw them together.”
“Under a mastic tree,” he answered.
Daniel replied, “Your fine lie has cost you your head,
for the angel of God shall receive the sentence from him
and split you in two.”
Putting him to one side, he ordered the other one to be brought.
Daniel said to him,
“Offspring of Canaan, not of Judah, beauty has seduced you,
lust has subverted your conscience.
This is how you acted with the daughters of Israel,
and in their fear they yielded to you;
but a daughter of Judah did not tolerate your wickedness.
Now, then, tell me under what tree you surprised them together.”
“Under an oak,” he said.
Daniel replied, “Your fine lie has cost you also your head,
for the angel of God waits with a sword to cut you in two
so as to make an end of you both.”

The whole assembly cried aloud,
blessing God who saves those who hope in him.
They rose up against the two elders,
for by their own words Daniel had convicted them of perjury.
According to the law of Moses,
they inflicted on them
the penalty they had plotted to impose on their neighbor:
they put them to death.
Thus was innocent blood spared that day.

OR

The assembly condemned Susanna to death.

But Susanna cried aloud:
“O eternal God, you know what is hidden
and are aware of all things before they come to be:
you know that they have testified falsely against me.
Here I am about to die,
though I have done none of the things
with which these wicked men have charged me.”

The Lord heard her prayer.
As she was being led to execution,
God stirred up the holy spirit of a young boy named Daniel,
and he cried aloud:
“I will have no part in the death of this woman.”
All the people turned and asked him,
“What is this you are saying?”
He stood in their midst and continued,
“Are you such fools, O children of Israel!
To condemn a woman of Israel without examination
and without clear evidence?
Return to court, for they have testified falsely against her.”

Then all the people returned in haste.
To Daniel the elders said,
“Come, sit with us and inform us,
since God has given you the prestige of old age.”
But he replied,
“Separate these two far from each other that I may examine them.”

After they were separated one from the other,
he called one of them and said:
“How you have grown evil with age!
Now have your past sins come to term:
passing unjust sentences, condemning the innocent,
and freeing the guilty, although the Lord says,
‘The innocent and the just you shall not put to death.’
Now, then, if you were a witness,
tell me under what tree you saw them together.”
“Under a mastic tree,” he answered.
Daniel replied, “Your fine lie has cost you your head,
for the angel of God shall receive the sentence from him
and split you in two.”
Putting him to one side, he ordered the other one to be brought.
Daniel said to him, “Offspring of Canaan, not of Judah,
beauty has seduced you, lust has subverted your conscience.
This is how you acted with the daughters of Israel,
and in their fear they yielded to you;
but a daughter of Judah did not tolerate your wickedness.
Now, then, tell me under what tree you surprised them together.”
“Under an oak,” he said.
Daniel replied, “Your fine lie has cost you also your head,”
for the angel of God waits with a sword to cut you in two
so as to make an end of you both.”

The whole assembly cried aloud,
blessing God who saves those who hope in him.
They rose up against the two elders,
for by their own words Daniel had convicted them of perjury.
According to the law of Moses,
they inflicted on them
the penalty they had plotted to impose on their neighbor:
they put them to death.
Thus was innocent blood spared that day.

Responsorial Psalm – 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6

R. (4AB) Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
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. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
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. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
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. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.

Verse before the Gospel – Ez 33:11

I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord,
but rather in his conversion, that he may live.

Gospel – Jn 8:12-20

Jesus spoke to them again, saying,
“I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.” 
So the Pharisees said to him,
“You testify on your own behalf,
so your testimony cannot be verified.”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Even if I do testify on my own behalf, my testimony can be verified,     
because I know where I came from and where I am going.
But you do not know where I come from or where I am going.
You judge by appearances, but I do not judge anyone.
And even if I should judge, my judgment is valid,
because I am not alone,
but it is I and the Father who sent me.
Even in your law it is written
that the testimony of two men can be verified.
I testify on my behalf and so does the Father who sent me.”
So they said to him, “Where is your father?”
Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father.
If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
He spoke these words
while teaching in the treasury in the temple area.
But no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

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April 4 – Optional Memorial Saint Isidore, bishop and doctor of the Church


For the Readings for the Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent, please go here.

Lectionary: 547

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Pastors, #719-724 or the Common of Doctors of the Church, #725-730.

Reading 1 – 2 Cor 4:1-2, 5-7

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have this ministry through the mercy shown us,
we are not discouraged.
Rather, we have renounced shameful, hidden things;
not acting deceitfully or falsifying the word of God,
but by the open declaration of the truth
we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.
For we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord,
and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus.
For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”
has shone in our hearts to bring to light
the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of Jesus Christ.

But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.

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 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 – Jn 15:5

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the vine, you are the branches, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 6:43-45

Jesus said to his disciples:
“A good tree does not bear rotten fruit,
nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.
For every tree is known by its own fruit.
For people do not pick figs from thornbushes,
nor do they gather grapes from brambles.
A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good,
but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil;
for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.”

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Truth Is In The Garden


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 4, 2022

“As soon as the maids had left, the two old men got up and hurried to her. ‘Look,’ they said, ‘the garden doors are shut, and no one can see us; give in to our desire, and lie with us.'” Today we have an interesting pair of Scriptures to help prepare for these awesome days of Lent. The first concerns the famous attempted fatal lie against Susanna on the part of two ruthless and morally bankrupt individuals who tried to frame her in the garden where she innocently passed her time. Thank God for Daniel’s confident, wholesome and honest voice, who exposed their treachery by asking just a couple of simple, innocent questions. Susanna’s trust in the Lord was confirmed: “Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.” Her resolve to stand with the truth and to trust in the Lord is more than just a model of behavior for us during Lent and during the duration of our time on earth, but the same pattern of existence because of what Jesus Christ accomplished for us on the cross and out of the grave.

“You testify on your own behalf, so your testimony cannot be verified.” In the Gospel, we hear annoyingly again from the Pharisees who seem never to lose a chance to try either to trap Jesus in some monstrosity or attack His authority and wisdom. This is how it will be for all of us who want desperately to follow Jesus to eternity. We will be maliciously attacked and accused, just like Susanna and Jesus in the Gospel, but we know to whom we must run to seek comfort and resolution. Jesus’ truth was also found in the garden, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the garden tomb from whence He rose and defeated death forever. We must remember these garden experiences so that when we are attacked, confused, or even overly tired and anxious, we may never forget that God is love, and often, truth is found in the garden.

“Truth makes all things beautiful.” Edward Counsel

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April 3, 2022


For the Suggested Readings for Year C, please go here.

Fifth Sunday of Lent – Year A Readings

Lectionary: 34

Reading I – Ez 37:12-14

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

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

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

Reading II – Rom 8:8-11

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

Verse before the Gospel – Jn 11:25a, 26

I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will never die.

Gospel – Jn 11:1-45

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

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
had already been in the tomb for four days.
Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away.
And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary
to comfort them about their brother.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you.”
Jesus said to her,
 “Your brother will rise.”
Martha said to him,
“I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her,
“I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”

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

So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb.
It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.
Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him,
“Lord, by now there will be a stench;
he has been dead for four days.”
Jesus said to her,
“Did I not tell you that if you believe
you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said,
 “Father, I thank you for hearing me.
I know that you always hear me;
but because of the crowd here I have said this,
that they may believe that you sent me.”
And when he had said this,
He cried out in a loud voice,
“Lazarus, come out!”
The dead man came out,
tied hand and foot with burial bands,
and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
So Jesus said to them,
“Untie him and let him go.”

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

OR: Jn 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45

The sisters of Lazarus sent word to Jesus, saying,
“Master, the one you love is ill.”
When Jesus heard this he said,
“This illness is not to end in death,
but is for the glory of God,
that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when he heard that he was ill,
he remained for two days in the place where he was.
Then after this he said to his disciples,
“Let us go back to Judea.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
had already been in the tomb for four days.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you.”
Jesus said to her,
 “Your brother will rise.”
Martha said,
“I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her,
“I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”

He became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said,
“Where have you laid him?”
They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
And Jesus wept.
So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”
But some of them said,
“Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man
have done something so that this man would not have died?”

So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb.
It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.
Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him,
“Lord, by now there will be a stench;
he has been dead for four days.”
Jesus said to her,
“Did I not tell you that if you believe
you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said,
“Father, I thank you for hearing me.
I know that you always hear me;
but because of the crowd here I have said this,
that they may believe that you sent me.”
And when he had said this,
He cried out in a loud voice,
“Lazarus, come out!”
The dead man came out,
tied hand and foot with burial bands,
and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
So Jesus said to them,
“Untie him and let him go.”

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

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The Mystery Of Grief


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 3, 2022

“Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and have you rise from them, O my people!” The promise of New Life, where there was death, brings remarkable blessings upon those who dip their finger into the water of generosity towards others, especially strangers. The benefits of this leap of faith are then made crystal clear and even more desirable in the Gospel today. The scene there is similar to the many experiences we have had when we become anxious and worried about too many things. There is sometimes sorrow, then doubt, and sometimes there is darkness.

The impact of the death of someone close to us can quickly turn our world into a very cold and unfamiliar place. What used to be routine for us daily soon becomes exhausting. The simplest task may seem almost impossible. The emotions that accompany grief affect both emotionally and physically. However, when we approach this time openly and with the confidence that we have from Christ and His defeat of death, we can begin to understand how grief affects us and thus are better equipped to deal with its grip. Sometimes the only way to fully heal is to completely face all the pain and heartache honestly, which may offer us comfort in our times of sorrow.

It is clear to us in the Gospel today that Mary Magdalene was struggling with grief after the death of Lazarus. What does this mean for you and me, following the Lord today? First, there is, of course, a natural crying when we encounter sadness. This is only human. But there does come the point when grieving can be selfish when it becomes self-centered, revolving around MY loss and MY feelings and MY life. This can prevent us from recognizing what Jesus accomplished for all of us by dying. The second aspect is the preoccupation with death itself. Fearing death and constantly dwelling on all the people killed in our lives also tend to block the life we have to live today, right here and now.

Jesus calls us to live in the light of His Resurrection from death and the defeat of all the negative forces that keep us from loving and believing in the wonders of God in our lives. Today, think about the victory that was won on the cross while still acknowledging the pain it takes to live and feel in this life. Both are necessary for an effective balance. But never let the clouds and storms and grief and sorrow ever block the hope and mercy that is ours in Jesus and the spirit of Easter, which longs to take root in our souls.

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and Alleluia is our song.” St. John Paul II

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April 3 – Year C


For the Suggested Readings for Year A, please go here.

Fifth Sunday of Lent – Year C Readings

Lectionary: 36

Reading I – Is 43:16-21

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

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6.

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

Reading II – Phil 3:8-14

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

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

Verse before the Gospel – Jl 2:12-13

Even now, says the Lord,
return to me with your whole heart;
for I am gracious and merciful.

Gospel – Jn 8:1-11

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

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April 2, 2022


For the optional Readings for today’s Memorial, please go here.

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Lectionary: 249

Reading I – Jer 11:18-20

I knew their plot because the LORD informed me;
at that time you, O LORD, showed me their doings.

Yet I, like a trusting lamb led to slaughter,
had not realized that they were hatching plots against me:
“Let us destroy the tree in its vigor;
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
so that his name will be spoken no more.”

            But, you, O LORD of hosts, O just Judge,
                        searcher of mind and heart,
            Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
                        for to you I have entrusted my cause!

Responsorial Psalm – 7:2-3, 9BC-10, 11-12

R.        (2A) O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
O LORD, my God, in you I take refuge;
            save me from all my pursuers and rescue me,
Lest I become like the lion’s prey,
            to be torn to pieces, with no one to rescue me.
R.        O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
Do me justice, O LORD, because I am just,
            and because of the innocence that is mine.
Let the malice of the wicked come to an end,
            but sustain the just,
            O searcher of heart and soul, O just God.
R.        O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
A shield before me is God,
            who saves the upright of heart;
A just judge is God,
            a God who punishes day by day.
R.        O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.

Verse Before the Gospel – See Lk 8:15

Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.

Gospel – Jn 7:40-53

Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
“This is truly the Prophet.”
Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family
and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him,
but no one laid hands on him.

So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees,
who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?”
The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.”
So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them,
“Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him
and finds out what he is doing?”
They answered and said to him,
“You are not from Galilee also, are you?
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”

Then each went to his own house.

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We Must Live The Truth


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 2, 2022

“Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said, ‘This is truly the Prophet.’
Others said, ‘This is the Christ.'” When we look at and study all the moments of the life of Jesus, we realize that The Lord does not introduce anything new in terms of human experiences but rather elevates and imbues tremendous meaning and purpose into them. When evil and the demons of our lives approach, we realize first-hand that we truly need faith in the One who can handle and defeat them. These present themselves as conflicts that call us to make choices:

Conflicts: Every last one of us must face conflicts practically every day of our lives, even if they surface from within us. Therefore, it is not an indication or measurement of how much we are loved when we have issues or problems, but rather what we will do with them.

Choices: When Jesus calls a person to follow Him, it necessarily involves the fundamental option of whether to accept him or to reject him; and the world is always divided into those who have accepted Christ and those who have not. Everyone makes choices every day. This choice, however, affects eternity, and forever is a very, very long time.

A Cross. The original audience of Jesus experienced tremendous suffering and loss. They knew very well what a cross was. The Jewish historian Josephus mentions the swift & cruel action of Publius Quinctilius Varus, a Roman General under Emperor Augustus who crushed a revolt in Judea in 4 BC. After occupying Jerusalem, he crucified 2000 Jewish rebels and placed the crosses by the wayside along the roads to Galilee. This is why Jesus had and has tremendous compassion for His people, then and now.

The Words of the Day are: Conflict, Choice, and Cross – Our daily dose of the Word leads us to understand and fully engage the conflicts, choices, and crosses in our lives. When we are worried, we try to do things ourselves. When we are at peace, we remember that God is in control.

“Any organization which works for peace, I will join. If you want to resolve a dispute or come out of conflict, the very first thing is to speak the truth. If you have a headache and tell the doctor you have a stomachache, how can the doctor help? You must speak the truth. The truth will abolish fear.” Christina Lamb

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April 2 – Optional Memorial Saint Francis of Paola, hermit


For the Readings for the Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent, please go here.

Lectionary: 546

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Religious, #737-742.

Reading 1 – Phil 3:8-14

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

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

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 16:1-2A and 5, 7-8, 11

R.    (see 5A)  You are my inheritance, O Lord.
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.    You are my inheritance, O Lord.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD always before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R.    You are my inheritance, O Lord.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R.    You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Alleluia – Mt 5:3

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of God.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 12:32-34

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not be afraid any longer, little flock,
for your Father is pleased to give you the Kingdom.
Sell your belongings and give alms.
Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out,
an inexhaustible treasure in heaven
that no thief can reach nor moth destroy.
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”

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April 1, 2022


Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Lectionary: 248

Reading I – Wis 2:1A, 12-22

The wicked said among themselves,
            thinking not aright:
“Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us;
            he sets himself against our doings,
Reproaches us for transgressions of the law
            and charges us with violations of our training.
He professes to have knowledge of God
            and styles himself a child of the LORD.
To us he is the censure of our thoughts;
            merely to see him is a hardship for us,
Because his life is not like that of others,
            and different are his ways.
He judges us debased;
            he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure.
He calls blest the destiny of the just
            and boasts that God is his Father.
Let us see whether his words be true;
            let us find out what will happen to him.
For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him
            and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
With revilement and torture let us put him to the test
            that we may have proof of his gentleness
            and try his patience.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
            for according to his own words, God will take care of him.”
These were their thoughts, but they erred;
            for their wickedness blinded them,
and they knew not the hidden counsels of God;
            neither did they count on a recompense of holiness
            nor discern the innocent souls’ reward.

Responsorial Psalm – 34:17-18, 19-20, 21 and 23

R.        (19A)  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
            to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
            and from all their distress he rescues them.
R.        The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
            and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
Many are the troubles of the just man,
            but out of them all the LORD delivers him.
R.        The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
He watches over all his bones
            not one of them shall be broken.
The LORD redeems the lives of his servants;
            no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him.
R.        The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.

Verse before the Gospel – Mt 4:4B

One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

Gospel – Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

Jesus moved about within Galilee;
he did not wish to travel in Judea,
because the Jews were trying to kill him.
But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near.

But when his brothers had gone up to the feast,
he himself also went up, not openly but as it were in secret.

Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said,
“Is he not the one they are trying to kill?
And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him.
Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ?
But we know where he is from.
When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.”
So Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said,
“You know me and also know where I am from.
Yet I did not come on my own,
but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true.
I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.”
So they tried to arrest him,
but no one laid a hand upon him,
because his hour had not yet come.

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“Something Wicked This Way Comes”


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 1, 2022

“The wicked say: ‘Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us.'” Something Wicked This Way Comes is a 1962 dark fantasy novel by Ray Bradbury which tells the story of a pair of 13-year-old best friends and their nightmarish experience with a traveling carnival that comes to their town. It describes magnificently how they learn about combating fear and darkness that exist in and all around them. As an outstanding piece of literature, it is a most significant and brilliant way of speaking about the passage into adulthood from practical innocence and how that particular ingress into another stage of life can be frightening when one has to admit that there is wickedness in this world, including death. “Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him.” This is the most fascinating and spiritual enlightening way to begin our new month! The Lord Jesus entered a very sinful and wicked world to save us who want to spend all of eternity with Him and learn and experience the grace of living a life of true freedom to cast off the deeds of darkness that keep us from fully becoming Christians. One might say that the earlier in our spiritual lives that we adopt this life-giving principle, the better.

It is now clear to say that the process of spiritual maturity must not only include an understanding and foreknowledge of how evil works but also the ultimate and forever remedy that will bring us all victory. “Behold, God is my helper; the Lord sustains my life.” We can not march against the forces of wickedness without the loving mercy and strength of our Savior, Jesus Christ. His ultimate sacrifice of selfless love guaranteed that abandonment would never happen, and his teaching about life learned as children would never be forgotten. “You know me and also know where I am from. Yet I did not come on my own, but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true.” What we have received on this fine First Friday of April is nothing short of a spiritual paradox. While we must be ready to confront and defeat whatever wickedness might be arriving at the cusp of childhood, it is the pearls and gems of the childlike state that we will need as an adult, mature Christians to share the crown of life and love with Christ the Lord.

The Word of the Day is: Courage – We must confront what we do not like in ourselves with courage if we have any hope to confront it in the world today. Pray for this courage, and then let the Lord lead you.

“Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed.” G.K. Chesterton
Be Not Afraid – Jesus

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