30 March 2018
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ
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
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 18:1-40.19:1-42.
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.
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 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.
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
Image: From Bible Hub
30 March 2018
“It is accomplished; and bowing his head he gave up his spirit.”
Today the whole Church mourns the death of our Savior. This is traditionally a day of sadness, spent in fasting and prayer. The title for this day varies in different parts of the world: “Holy Friday” for Latin nations, Slavs and Hungarians call it “Great Friday,” in Germany it is “Friday of Mourning,” and in Norway, it is “Long Friday.” Some view the term “Good Friday” (used in English and Dutch) as a corruption of the term “God’s Friday.” This is another obligatory day of fasting and abstinence. In Ireland, they practice the “black fast,” which is to consume nothing but black tea and water.
This is a day of mourning. We should try to take time off from work and school to participate in the devotions and liturgy of the day as much as possible. In addition, we should refrain from extraneous conversation. Some families leave the curtains drawn, and maintain silence during the 3 hours (noon — 3p.m.), and keep from loud conversation or activities throughout the remainder of the day. We should also restrict ourselves from any TV, music or computer—these are all types of technology that can distract us from the spirit of the day.
If some members of the family cannot attend all the services, a little home altar can be set up, by draping a black or purple cloth over a small table or dresser and placing a crucifix and candles on it. The family then can gather during the three hours, praying different devotions like the rosary, Stations of the Cross, the Divine Mercy devotions, and meditative reading and prayers on the passion of Christ.
Although throughout Lent we have tried to mortify ourselves, it is appropriate to try some practicing extra mortifications today. These can be very simple, such as eating less at the small meals of fasting, or eating standing up. Some people just eat bread and soup, or just bread and water while standing at the table.
From the Catholic Culture
Image: From Saint Francis Xavier, Bangkok, THAILAND
30 March 2018
Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion
Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion
On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Good Friday, in the Adoration of the Cross, in the chanting of the ‘Reproaches’, in the reading of the Passion, and in receiving the pre-consecrated Host, we unite ourselves to our Savior, and we contemplate our own death to sin in the Death of our Lord.
The Church — stripped of its ornaments, the altar bare, and with the door of the empty tabernacle standing open — is as if in mourning. In the fourth century the Apostolic Constitutions described this day as a “day of mourning, not a day of festive joy”, and this day was called the “Pasch (passage) of the Crucifixion”.
The liturgical observance of this day of Christ’s suffering, crucifixion and death evidently has been in existence from the earliest days of the Church. No Mass is celebrated on this day, but the service of Good Friday is called the Mass of the Presanctified because Communion (in the species of bread), which had already been consecrated on Holy Thursday, is given to the people .
Traditionally, the organ is silent from Holy Thursday until the Alleluia at the Easter Vigil, as are all bells or other instruments, the only music during this period being unaccompanied chant. The omission of the prayer of consecration deepens our sense of loss because Mass throughout the year reminds us of the Lord’s triumph over death, the source of our joy and blessing.
The desolate quality of the rites of this day reminds us of Christ’s humiliation and suffering during his Passion.
We can see that the parts of the Good Friday service correspond to the divisions of Mass:
1. the Liturgy of the Word — reading of the Passion.
2. the intercessory prayers for the Church and the entire world, Christian and non-Christian.
3. Veneration of the Cross
4. Communion, or the ‘Mass of the Pre-Sanctified.’
look with love upon your people,
the love which our Lord Jesus Christ showed us
when he delivered himself to evil men and suffered the agony of the cross,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever
Women for Faith and Family
30 March 2018
Saint of the day
St. John Climacus,
SAINT JOHN CLIMACUS
John made, while still young, such progress in learning that he was called the Scholastic. At the age of sixteen he turned from the brilliant future which lay before him, and retired to Mt. Sinai, where he put himself under the direction of a holy monk. Never was novice more fervent, more unrelaxing in his efforts for self-mastery. After four years he took the vows, and an aged abbot foretold that he would some day be one of the greatest lights of the Church.
Nineteen years later, on the death of his director, he withdrew into a deeper solitude, where he studied the lives and writings of the Saints, and was raised to an unusual height of contemplation. The fame of his holiness and practical wisdom drew crowds around him for advice and consolation. For his greater profit he visited the solitudes of Egypt.
At the age of seventy-five he was chosen abbot of Mt. Sinai, and there “he dwelt in the mount of God, and drew from the rich treasure of his heart priceless riches of doctrine, which he poured forth with wondrous abundance and benediction.”
He was induced by a brother abbot to write the rules by which he had guided his life; and his book called the Climax, or Ladder of Perfection, has been prized in all ages for its wisdom, its clearness, and its unction.
At the end of four years he would no longer endure the honors and distractions of his office, and retired to his solitude, where he fell asleep in the Lord.
Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. 
DAILY MASS & SUNDAY MASS
DAILY GOSPEL OF THE LORD JESUS
DAILY COMMENTARY OF THE DAY
SAINTS OF THE DAY
SAINT FRANCIS XAVIER NEWSLETTER IN THAI
NEWSLETTER IN THAI
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.
HERE AM I LORD, I COME TO DO YOUR WILL,
THE LORD IS KIND AND MERCIFUL.
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.
BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,
FOR WE HAVE SINNED