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Tuesday, April 7th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 20:11-18.


 

Easter Tuesday

7 April 2015

Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,”

1 pppas0012Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 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 of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her

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Easter Tuesday

7 April 2015

Commentary of the day

 Saint Gregory the Great

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Saint Gregory the Great (c.540-604),

Pope, Doctor of the Church  
Homily 25 on the Gospel; PL 76,

1188-1196 (trans. ©Cistercian publications, Inc., 1990)

He calls you by your name

“Sir, if you have taken him away…” Mary had not yet said who it was who made her weep from desire, nor mentioned by name him of whom she spoke. But the force of love customarily brings it about that a heart believes everyone else is aware of the one of whom it is always thinking…  Mary did not believe that the one for whom she herself so constantly wept in her desire was unknown to the other.

Jesus said to her: “Mary!” After he had called her by the common name of “woman”, he called her by her own name, as if to say: “Recognize him who recognizes you.” To Moses also God said: “I know you by name” (Ex 33,12) because “man” is the common appellation of us all, but “Moses” was his own name. He was rightly told that he was known by name, as if the Lord was saying to him openly: “I do not know you in a general way as I know others, but particularly.”

And so, because Mary was called by name, she acknowledged her Creator and called him at once “Rabboni”, that is, “teacher”. He was both the one she was outwardly seeking and the one who was teaching her inwardly to seek him… “Mary Magdalene came and made known to the disciples: ‘I have seen the Lord and he said these things to me.’” See, how the sin of the human race was removed where it began. In paradise a woman was the cause of death for a man; coming from the sepulchre a woman proclaimed life to men.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Easter Tuesday

7 April 2015

Saint of the day

Bl. Sr Josaphata Hordashevska (1869-1919)

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Blessed Sr Josaphata Hordashevska
Religious
(1869-1919)

        The blessed Sr Josaphata Michaelina Hordashevska was the first member of the Sisters Servant of Mary Immaculate. In 1869, Michaelina Hordashevska was born in Lviv.

     At the age of 18, she decided to consecrate her life to God in a contemplative monastery of the Order of St Basil the Great, then the only Eastern-rite woman’s congregation. Then the Basilians decided to establish a woman’s congregation that focused on the active life, Michaelina was elected to be the first leader.

    When she agreed, she was sent to the Felician sisters to give her the experience of active paramonastic life. Michaelina took the name “Josaphata”, in honour of the Ukrainian martyr St Josaphat Kuntsevych. She was the first superior of the young sisters there, training them in the spirit and charisma of the Sisters Servants: »serve your people where the need is greatest”.

   At the age of 49 on April 7, 1919, she died amidst terrible suffering from bone cancer.

        She is buried in the generalate of the Sisters Servants in Rome. She was beatified by John Paul II on June 27, 2001.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Monday, April 6th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 28:8-15.


Easter Monday

6 April 2015

“Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

SAINT MAGDALENE CORREGGIO_Noli_Me_Tangere

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 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.
They 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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Easter Monday

6 April 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint Gregory the Great (c.540-604)

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Saint Gregory the Great (c.540-604),

Pope, Doctor of the Church
Homilies on the Gospels, 21, 6-7 (trans. ©Cistercian publications, Inc., 1990)

« Go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has been raised form the dead, and he is going before you into Galilee ; there you will see him.’ » (Mt 28,7)

It is aptly said of our Redeemer that: “He is going on ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there, as he said to you.” Galilee is interpreted: “the passing has been completed.” In truth our Redeemer had now passed from his passion to his resurrection, from his death to life, from punishment to glory, from corruption to incorruption. After his resurrection he was first seen by his disciples in Galilee, because we will happily see the glory of his resurrection later if we now pass from vice to the height of virtue. There is a “passing” to be accomplished: because he who was proclaimed at the sepulchre has to be seen in another place…

There were two lives. One we know about; of the other we are ignorant; one is mortal, the other immortal; one is corruptible, the other incorruptible; one ends in death, the other in resurrection. But the mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1Tim 2,5), came. He took upon himself the one, and revealed to us the other; the one he bore by dying, and the other he revealed by rising. If he had promised resurrection of the body to us who knew this mortal life, but did not visibly manifest it, who would have believed his promises?

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Easter Monday

6 April 2015

Saint of the day

Bl. Notker, Benedictine monk (c. 840-912)

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Blessed Notker the Stammerer
Benedictine monk
(c. 840-912)

        Notker, also called Notker the Poet or Notker of Saint Gall, was a musician, author, poet, and Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Saint Gall in modern Switzerland. He was born circa 840, to a distinguished family.

        He studied with Tuotilo at Saint Gall’s monastic school, taught by Iso, and Moengall. He became a monk there and is mentioned as librarian in 890 and as master of guests in 892-4. He was chiefly active as a teacher, and displayed refinement of taste as poet and author.

  Ekkehard IV, the biographer of the monks of Saint Gall, lauds him as “delicate of body but not of mind, stuttering of tongue but not of intellect, pushing boldly forward in things Divine, a vessel of the Holy Spirit without equal in his time”.

        He died in 912. He was beatified in 1512.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Sunday, April 5th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 20:1-9.


Easter Sunday

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 Easter Sunday – Solemnity

5 April 2015

Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 20:1-9. 

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

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 Easter Sunday – Solemnity

5 April 2015

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Old Calendar: Easter Sunday ; Other Titles: Feast of the Resurrection, Pascha

Easter is the feast of feasts, the unalloyed joy and gladness of all Christians.

In the very center of the Mass, the great prayer of thanksgiving, from the first words of the Preface, expresses the unrivalled motive for this joy: if it is right to praise You, Lord, at all times, how much more so should we not glorify You on this day when Christ our Passover was sacrificed, for He is the true Lamb who took away the sins of the world, who by His Death destroyed our death and by His Resurrection restored our life. Easter means, then, Redemption obtained — sin destroyed, death overcome, divine life brought back to us, the resurrection of our body which is promised immortality. With such a certitude, we should banish all trace of sadness.

Haec dies quam fecit Dominus: “This is the day which the Lord has made.” Throughout the octave we shall sing of the unequalled joy which throws open eternity to us. Every Sunday will furnish a reminder of it, and from Sunday to Sunday, from year to year, the Easters of this earth will lead us to that blessed day on which Christ has promised that He will come again with glory to take us with Him into the kingdom of His Father.

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Meditation – He is Risen!

“I rose up and am still with Thee.” After His labors and His humiliations, Christ finds rest with His Father. “I am still with Thee.” This is perfect beatitude. Through His cross He entered into the possession of eternal glory. Christ has gained the crown of victory; through Christ men also win their crowns of victory. Humanity was under a curse and subject to the wrath of God. Now that they have risen with Christ, their guilt has been destroyed. “I rose up and am still with Thee.” The liturgy places these words in the mouth of the Church that she may pray them with Christ.

“The earth trembled and was still when God arose in judgment.” The resurrection of Christ is the judgment and condemnation of those who have turned away from God. This judgment was prefigured by the angel who passed through the land of Egypt destroying the first-born of the Egyptians. The Israelites marked the doors of their houses with the blood of the paschal lamb. We are the new Israel, and “Christ our Pasch is sacrificed.” We mark ourselves with His blood, which we enjoy in the Holy Eucharist. We have been pardoned, we are saved, we shall live.

“He is risen.” The resurrection of Christ is a pledge of our own resurrection. It is the foundation upon which our faith rests. It is the guarantee of our redemption and God’s assurance that our sins are forgiven and that we are called to eternal life. “This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us be glad and rejoice therein. Give praise to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever. Alleluia.” “Christ our Pasch is sacrificed. . . . The Lamb redeems the sheep. Christ, the innocent One, hath reconciled sinners to the Father.” —

Excerpted from The Light of the World by Benedict Baur, O.S.B.

From CatholicCulture.org

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Easter Sunday – Solemnity

5 April 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint Maximus of Turin

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Saint Maximus of Turin (?-c.420), Bishop
CC Sermon 53 on Psalm 117; PL 57, 361

“This is the day of gladness and joy”

“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps 117[118],24). It is not by chance, brethren, that today we read the Psalm in which the prophet invites us to rejoice and be glad and in which holy David invites all creation to celebrate this day. For today Christ’s resurrection has opened the resting-place of the dead; the Church’s newly baptised members have rejuvenated the earth; the Holy Spirit has shown us heaven. Hell, now opened, gives up its dead; its youth renewed, the earth buds forth those who are risen; and heaven opens wide to welcome those who mount up towards it.

The thief has gone up to paradise (Lk 23,43); the bodies of the saints enter the holy city (Mt 27,53)… At the resurrection of Christ all the elements, moved by a kind of momentum, are raised towards the heights. Hell hands over to the angels all those whom it was holding captive; heaven presents to the Lord all those it has received… Christ’s resurrection is life for the dead, pardon for sinners, glory for the saints. Thus great David calls all creation to celebrate Christ’s resurrection and encourages it to leap for joy and gladness in this day the Lord has made.

Yet you will ask…, heaven and hell have not been included in the daylight of this world, so can we expect these elements to celebrate a day that completely misses them? But the day the Lord has made penetrates all things, contains all things and encompasses at one and the same time heaven, earth and hell! Christ’s light is not blocked by walls nor broken by the elements nor darkened by shadows. The light of Christ is truly a day without night, a day without end. It shines forth everywhere, radiates everywhere, remains everywhere.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Easter Sunday – Solemnity

5 April 2015

Saint of the day

St. Vincent Ferrer, Priest (1350-1419)

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SAINT VINCENT FERRER
Dominican priest
(1350-1419)

        This wonderful apostle, the “Angel of the Judgment,” was born at Valencia in Spain, in 1350, and at the age of eighteen professed in the Order of St. Dominic. After a brilliant course of study he became master of sacred theology. For three years he read only the Scriptures, and knew the whole Bible by heart.

  He converted the Jews of Valencia, and their synagogue became a church. Grief at the great schism then afflicting the Church reduced him to the point of death; but Our Lord Himself in glory bade him go forth to convert sinners, “for My judgment is nigh.”

        This miraculous apostolate lasted twenty-one years. He preached throughout Europe, in the towns and villages of Spain, Switzerland, France, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland. Everywhere tens of thousands of sinners were reformed; Jews, infidels, and heretics were converted. Stupendous miracles enforced his words. Twice each day the ” miracle bell ” summoned the sick, the blind, the lame to be cured. Sinners the most obdurate became Saints; speaking only his native Spanish, he was understood in all tongues. Processions of ten thousand penitents followed him in perfect order. Convents, orphanages, hospitals, arose in his path.

Amidst all, his humility remained profound, his prayer constant. He always prepared for preaching by prayer. Once, however, when a person of high rank was to be present at his sermon he neglected prayer for study. The nobleman was not particularly struck by the discourse which had been thus carefully worked up; but coming again to hear the Saint, unknown to the latter, the second sermon made a deep impression on his soul. When St. Vincent heard of the difference, he remarked that in the first sermon it was Vincent who had preached, but in the second, Jesus Christ.

        He fell ill at Vannes in Brittany, and received the crown of everlasting glory in 1419.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Saturday, April 4th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 16:1-7.


Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil, solemnity – Year B

4 April 2015

Go and tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.'”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 16:1-7.

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.
Very early when the sun had risen, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb.
They were saying to one another, “Who will roll back the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?”
When they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back; it was very large.
On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed.
He said to them, “Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him.
But go and tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.'”

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Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil, solemnity – Year B

4 April 2015

Old Calendar: Holy Saturday — Easter Vigil

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On Holy Saturday the Church waits at the Lord’s tomb, meditating on his suffering and death. The altar is left bare, and the sacrifice of the Mass is not celebrated. Only after the solemn vigil during the night, held in anticipation of the resurrection, does the Easter celebration begin, with a spirit of joy that overflows into the following period of fifty days.

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Holy Saturday (from Sabbatum Sanctum, its official liturgical name) is sacred as the day of the Lord’s rest; it has been called the “Second Sabbath” after creation. The day is and should be the most calm and quiet day of the entire Church year, a day broken by no liturgical function. Christ lies in the grave, the Church sits near and mourns. After the great battle He is resting in peace, but upon Him we see the scars of intense suffering…The mortal wounds on His Body remain visible….Jesus’ enemies are still furious, attempting to obliterate the very memory of the Lord by lies and slander.

Mary and the disciples are grief-stricken, while the Church must mournfully admit that too many of her children return home from Calvary cold and hard of heart. When Mother Church reflects upon all of this, it seems as if the wounds of her dearly Beloved were again beginning to bleed.

According to tradition, the entire body of the Church is represented in Mary: she is the “credentium collectio universa” (Congregation for Divine Worship, Lettera circolare sulla preparazione e celebrazione delle feste pasquali, 73). Thus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, as she waits near the Lord’s tomb, as she is represented in Christian tradition, is an icon of the Virgin Church keeping vigil at the tomb of her Spouse while awaiting the celebration of his resurrection.

The pious exercise of the Ora di Maria is inspired by this intuition of the relationship between the Virgin Mary and the Church: while the body of her Son lays in the tomb and his soul has descended to the dead to announce liberation from the shadow of darkness to his ancestors, the Blessed Virgin Mary, foreshadowing and representing the Church, awaits, in faith, the victorious triumph of her Son over death.

Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

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Although we are still in mourning, there is much preparation during this day to prepare for Easter. Out of the kitchen comes the smells of Easter pastries and bread, the lamb or hams and of course, the Easter eggs.

There are no liturgies celebrated this day, unless the local parish priest blesses the food baskets. In Slavic countries there is a blessing of the traditional Easter foods, prepared in baskets: eggs, ham, lamb and sausages, butter and cheeses, horseradish and salt and the Easter breads. The Easter blessings of food owe their origin to the fact that these particular foods, namely, fleshmeat and milk products, including eggs, were forbidden in the Middle Ages during the Lenten fast and abstinence. When the feast of Easter brought the rigorous fast to an end, and these foods were again allowed at table, the people showed their joy and gratitude by first taking the food to church for a blessing. Moreover, they hoped that the Church’s blessing on such edibles would prove a remedy for whatever harmful effects the body might have suffered from the long period of self-denial. Today the Easter blessings of food are still held in many churches in the United States, especially in Slavic parishes.

If there is no blessing for the Easter foods in the parish, the father of the family can pray the Blessing over the Easter foods.

It is during the night between Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday that the Easter Vigil is celebrated. The service begins around ten o’clock, in order that the solemn vigil Mass may start at midnight.

Activities

  • Today we remember Christ in the tomb. It is not Easter yet, so it’s not time for celebration. The day is usually spent working on the final preparations for the biggest feast of the Church year. The list of suggested activities is long, but highlights are decorating Easter eggs and attending a special Easter food blessing.
  • For families with smaller children, you could create a miniature Easter garden, with a tomb. The figure of the risen Christ will be placed in the garden on Easter morning.
  • Another activity for families is creation of a paschal candle to use at home.
  • The Directory on Popular Piety discusses some of the various devotions related to Easter, including the Blessing of the Family Table, Annual Blessing of Family Home, the Via Lucis and the Visit to the Mother of the Risen Christ.
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CatholicCulture.org

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Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil, solemnity – Year B

4 April 2015

Commentary of the day

The Roman Missal
The Easter proclamation: the “Exsultet”

“You have brightened this night with the radiance of the risen Christ” (Collect of the Easter Night Mass)

Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels! Exult, all creation around God’s throne! Jesus Christ, our King, is risen! Sound the trumpet of salvation!
Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor, radiant in the brightness of your King! Christ has conquered! Glory fills you! Darkness vanishes for ever!
Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory! The risen Savior shines upon you! Let this place resound with joy, echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!

It is truly right that with full hearts and minds and voices we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father, and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. For Christ has ransomed us with his blood, and paid for us the price of Adam’s sin to our eternal Father.

This is our Passover feast, when Christ, the true Lamb, is slain, whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.
This is the night when first you saved our fathers: you freed the people of Israel from their slavery and led them dry-shod through the sea.
This is the night when the pillar of fire destroyed the darkness of sin!…
This is the night when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave…

O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer! Most blessed of all nights, chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead!
Of this night Scripture says: “The night will be as clear as day: it will become my light, my joy.” … Night truly blessed when heaven is wedded to earth and man is reconciled with God!

Therefore, heavenly Father, in the joy of this night, receive our evening sacrifice of praise, your Church’s solemn offering. Accept this Easter candle, a flame divided but undimmed, a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God. Let it mingle with the lights of heaven and continue bravely burning to dispel the darkness of this night! May the Morning Star which never sets find this flame still burning: Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead, and shed his peaceful light on all mankind, your Son who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil, solemnity – Year B

4 April 2015

Saint of the day

St. Isidore of Seville, Archbishop (+ 636)

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SAINT ISIDORE
Archbishop
(c. 560-636)

        Isidore was born of a ducal family, at Carthagena in Spain. His two brothers, Leander, Archbishop of Seville, Fulgentius, Bishop of Ecija, and his sister Florentina, are Saints. As a boy he despaired at his ill success in study, and ran away from school. Resting in his flight at a roadside spring, he observed a stone, which was hollowed out by the dripping water. This decided him to return, and by hard application he succeeded where he had failed. He went back to his master, and with the help of God became, even as a youth, one of the most learned men of the time. He assisted in converting Prince Recared, the leader of the Arian party; and with his aid, though at the constant peril of his own life, he expelled that heresy from Spain.

Then, following a call from God, he turned a deaf ear to the entreaties of his friends, and embraced a hermit’s life. Prince Recared and many of the nobles and clergy of Seville went to persuade him to come forth, and represented the needs of the times, and the good he could do, and had already done, among the people. He refused, and, as far as we can judge, that refusal gave him the necessary opportunity of acquiring the virtue and the power which afterwards made him an illustrious Bishop and Doctor of the Church.

  On the death of his brother Leander he was called to fill the vacant see. As a teacher, ruler, founder, and reformer, he labored not only in his own diocese, but throughout Spain, and even in foreign countries.

        He died in Seville on April 4, 636, and within sixteen years of his death was declared a Doctor of the Catholic Church.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Friday, April 3rd. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 18:1-40.19:1-42.


 

Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion

3 April 2015

“Look, I am bringing him out to you, so that you may know that I find no guilt in him.”

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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.

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GOOD FRIDAY

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Old Calendar: Good Friday ; Other Titles: God’s Friday; Great Friday; Holy Friday;

“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.

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According to the Church’s ancient tradition, the sacraments are not celebrated on Good Friday nor Holy Saturday. “Celebration of the Lord’s Passion,” traditionally known as the “Mass of the Presanctified,” (although it is not a mass) is usually celebrated around three o’clock in the afternoon, or later, depending on the needs of the parish.

The altar is completely bare, with no cloths, candles nor cross. The service is divided into three parts: Liturgy of the Word, Veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion. The priest and deacons wear red or black vestments. The liturgy starts with the priests and deacons going to the altar in silence and prostrating themselves for a few moments in silent prayer, then an introductory prayer is prayed.

In part one, the Liturgy of the Word, we hear the most famous of the Suffering Servant passages from Isaiah (52:13-53:12), a pre-figurement of Christ on Good Friday. Psalm 30 is the Responsorial Psalm “Father, I put my life in your hands.” The Second Reading, or Epistle, is from the letter to the Hebrews, 4:14-16; 5:7-9. The Gospel Reading is the Passion of St. John.

The General Intercessions conclude the Liturgy of the Word. The ten intercessions cover these areas:

  • For the Church
  • For the Pope
  • For the clergy and laity of the Church
  • For those preparing for baptism
  • For the unity of Christians
  • For the Jewish people
  • For those who do not believe in Christ
  • For those who do not believe in God
  • For all in public office
  • For those in special need

For more information about these intercessions please see Prayers for the Prisoners from the Catholic Culture Library.

Part two is the Veneration of the Cross. A cross, either veiled or unveiled, is processed through the Church, and then venerated by the congregation. We joyfully venerate and kiss the wooden cross “on which hung the Savior of the world.” During this time the “Reproaches” are usually sung or recited.

Part three, Holy Communion, concludes the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion. The altar is covered with a cloth and the ciboriums containing the Blessed Sacrament are brought to the altar from the place of reposition. The Our Father and the Ecce Agnus Dei (“This is the Lamb of God”) are recited. The congregation receives Holy Communion, there is a “Prayer After Communion,” and then a “Prayer Over the People,” and everyone departs in silence.

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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.

CatholicCulture.org

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 The law of fasting and abstinence

Can. 1252: The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.

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Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion

3 April 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint Ephrem

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A homily attributed to Saint Ephrem (c.306-373),

Deacon in Syria, Doctor of the Church
Lectionary

“Lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself” (Jn 12:32)
Today the cross is advancing, creation exults. The cross, path for those who have gone astray, hope of Christians, the apostles’ preaching, security of the universe, foundation of the Church, fountain for those who are thirsty… In great gentleness, Jesus is led to the passion: he is brought to Pilate’s judgment seat; at the sixth hour, people mock him; until the ninth hour, he bears the pain of the nails, then his death ends his passion. At the twelfth hour, he is taken down from the cross. You could say he is a sleeping lion…

While he is judged, Wisdom remains silent and the Word says nothing. His enemies despise and crucify him… Those to whom yesterday he gave his body as food, watch from a distance as he dies. Peter, the first of the apostles, is the first to flee. Andrew also took flight, and John, who rested at his side, did not prevent the soldier from piercing that side with a lance. The Twelve fled; they did not say one word in his favor, they for whom he is giving his life. Lazarus is not there, he whom he called back to life. The blind man did not weep for him who opened his eyes to the light, and the crippled man, who could walk thanks to him, did not run to him.

Only a bandit who was crucified next to him confessed him and called him his king. O thief, precocious blossom from the tree of the cross, first fruit of the wood from Golgotha…! The Lord reigns; creation rejoices. The cross triumphs, and all nations, tribes, languages and peoples (Rev 7:9) come to adore him… The cross gives light to the whole universe, it chases away the  darkness and gathers the nations… into one single Church, one single faith, one single baptism in charity. It stands at the center of the world and is made firm on Calvary.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion

3 April 2015

Saint of the day

St. Richard, Bishop (1197-1253)

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SAINT RICHARD OF CHICHESTER
Bishop
(1197-1253)

        Richard was born, 1197, in the little town of Wyche, eight miles from Worcester, England. He and his elder brother were left orphans when young, and Richard gave up the studies which he loved, to farm his brother’s impoverished estate. His brother, in gratitude for Richard’s successful care, proposed to make over to him all his lands; but he refused both the estate and the offer of a brilliant marriage, to study for the priesthood at Oxford.

In 1235 he was appointed, for his learning and piety, chancellor of that University, and afterwards, by St. Edmund of Canterbury, chancellor of his diocese. He stood by that Saint in his long contest with the king, and accompanied him into exile.

        After St. Edmund’s death Richard returned to England to toil as a simple curate, but was soon elected Bishop of Chichester in preference to the worthless nominee of Henry III. The king in revenge refused to recognize the election, and seized the revenues of the see. Thus Richard found himself fighting the same 1 battle in which St. Edmund had died. He went to Lyons, was there consecrated by Innocent IV. in 1245, and returning to England, in spite of his poverty and the king’s hostility, exercised fully his episcopal rights, and thoroughly reformed his see.

After two years his revenues were restored. Young and old loved St. Richard. He gave all he had, and worked miracles, to feed the poor and heal the sick; but when the rights or purity of the Church were concerned he was inexorable.

        A priest of noble blood polluted his office by sin; Richard deprived him of his benefice, and refused the king’s petition in his favor. On the other hand, when a knight violently put a priest in prison, Richard compelled the knight to walk round the priest’s church with the same log of wood on his neck to which he had chained the priest; and when the burgesses of Lewes tore a criminal from the church and hanged him, Richard made them dig up the body from its unconsecrated grave, and bear it back to the sanctuary they had violated.

Richard died in 1253, while preaching, at the Pope’s command, a crusade against the Saracens.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Thursday, April 2nd. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 13:1-15.


 Thursday – Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

2 April 2015

Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist.

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 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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 Thursday – Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

2 April 2015

I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.

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If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old Calendar: Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) ; Other Titles: Maundy Thursday; Green Thursday

The last three days of Holy Week are referred to as the Easter or Sacred Triduum (Triduum Sacrum), the three-part drama of Christ’s redemption: Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

Holy Thursday is also known as “Maundy Thursday.” The word maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum (commandment) which is the first word of the Gospel acclamation:

Mandátum novum do vobis dicit Dóminus, ut diligátis ínvicem, sicut diléxi vos. “I give you a new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34)

These are the words spoken by our Lord to His apostles at the Last Supper, after he completed the washing of the feet. We should imitate Christ’s humility in the washing of the feet.

By meditating on the Gospels (cf. Matt 26:1 ff.; Mark 14:1 ff.; Luke 22:1 ff.; John 13:1 ff.), we can recall to mind Jesus’ actions of that day. Father Bernard Strasser summarizes all the events of that first Holy Thursday:

…They included: (1) the eating of the Easter lamb or the paschal meal; (2) the washing of the disciple’s feet; (3) the institution of the Most Holy Eucharist (the first Mass at which Jesus Christ, the eternal high priest, is the celebrant; the first Communion of the apostles; the first conferring of Holy Orders); (4) the foretelling of Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denials; (5) the farewell discourse and priestly prayer of Jesus; (6) the agony and capture of Jesus in the Garden of Olives. — ©1947, With Christ Through the Year

In all the German speaking countries, Slavic nations and in Hungary this day is also known as “Green Thursday.” The word is a corruption of the German word grunen (to mourn) to the German word for green (grün). Many people believe they must eat green at today’s meal, which is probably derived from from the Jewish Passover meal that included bitter herbs.

Chrism Mass
There are only two Masses allowed on Holy Thursday — the Chrism Mass and the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. In each diocese there is a Chrism Mass or Mass of the Holy Oils, usually said in the morning at the cathedral of the diocese. Catholics should make an effort to participate at the Mass at least once in their lives, to experience the communion of priests with their bishop. All the priests of the diocese are invited to concelebrate with the bishop. The holy oils to be used throughout the diocese for the following year in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders and the Sacrament of the Sick are blessed by the bishop at this Mass. This Mass also celebrates the institution of the priesthood.

Mass of the Lord’s Supper

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During the evening of Holy Thursday, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper is celebrated. It is celebrated in the evening because the Passover began at sundown. There is only one Mass, at which the whole community and priests of the parish participate. This is a very joyful Mass, as we recall the institution of the Holy Eucharist and the priesthood. The priests wear white vestments, the altar is filled with flowers, the Gloria is sung and the bells are rung. After the Gloria, we shall not hear organ music and the bells until the Easter Vigil. The Liturgy of the Mass recalls the Passover, the Last Supper, which includes the Washing of the Feet. The hymn Ubi Caritas or Where Charity and Love Prevail is usually sung at this time. After the Communion Prayer, there is no final blessing. The Holy Eucharist is carried in procession through Church and then transferred into a place of reposition, usually a side chapel. The hymn Pange Lingua is also usually sung at this time.

After the Mass, we recall the Agony in the Garden, and the arrest and imprisonment of Jesus. The altar is stripped bare, crosses are removed or covered. The Eucharist has been placed in an altar of repose, and most churches are open for silent adoration, to answer Christ’s invitation “Could you not, then, watch one hour with me?” (Matt 26:40)

The Altar of Repose

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When the Eucharist is processed to the altar of repose after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, we should remain in quiet prayer and adoration, keeping Christ company. There is a tradition, particularly in big cities with many parishes, to try and visit seven churches and their altar of repose during this evening.

Popular piety is particularly sensitive to the adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament in the wake of the Mass of the Lord’s supper. Because of a long historical process, whose origins are not entirely clear, the place of repose has traditionally been referred to as “a holy sepulchre”. The faithful go there to venerate Jesus who was placed in a tomb following the crucifixion and in which he remained for some forty hours.

It is necessary to instruct the faithful on the meaning of the reposition: it is an austere solemn conservation of the Body of Christ for the community of the faithful which takes part in the liturgy of Good Friday and for the viaticum of the infirmed. It is an invitation to silent and prolonged adoration of the wondrous sacrament instituted by Jesus on this day.

In reference to the altar of repose, therefore, the term “sepulchre” should be avoided, and its decoration should not have any suggestion of a tomb. The tabernacle on this altar should not be in the form of a tomb or funerary urn. The Blessed Sacrament should be conserved in a closed tabernacle and should not be exposed in a monstrance.

After midnight on Holy Thursday, the adoration should conclude without solemnity, since the day of the Lord’s Passion has already begun.

Directory on Popular Piety

Washing of Feet and a Seder Meal

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In imitation of Christ’s last supper, many Christians prepare a seder meal or the pasch. Celebrating a paschal meal helps us comprehend the plan of redemption. We see the lamb, cooked whole, with no bones broken, foreshadowing the death of Christ, the Lamb of God. We eat the unleavened bread and recall to mind the Eucharist. We eat the whole meal in prayerful reminder of that Last Supper that Jesus spent with His apostles, His friends, instituting Holy Orders and leaving His greatest gift, the Holy Eucharist.

A typical paschal meal includes the roast lamb, bitter herbs, haroset, matzoh and wine. The meal can be as authentic or representative as desired. There are numerous sources, both Christian and Jewish, that can give recipes, prayers and procedure for an authentic paschal feast.

From CatholicCulture.org

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Holy Thursday – Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

2 April 2015

Saint of the day

St. Francis of Paula, Hermit (1416-1508)

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SAINT FRANCIS OF PAULA
Hermit
(1416-1508)

         At the age of fifteen Francis left his poor home at Paula in Calabria, to live as a hermit in a cave by the sea-coast. In time disciples gathered round him, and with them, in 1436, he founded the “Minims,” so called to show that they were the least of monastic Orders. They observed a perpetual Lent, and never touched meat, fish, eggs, or milk. Francis himself made the rock his bed; his best garment was a hair-shirt, and boiled herbs his only fare. As his body withered his faith grew powerful, and he “did all things in Him who strengthened him.” He cured the sick, raised the dead, averted plagues, expelled evil spirits, and brought sinners to penance.

A famous preacher, instigated by a few misguided monks, set to work to preach against St. Francis and his miracles. The Saint took no notice of it, and the preacher, finding that he made no way with his hearers, determined to see this poor hermit and confound him in person. The Saint received him kindly, gave him a seat by the fire, and listened to a long exposition of his own frauds. He then quietly took some glowing embers from the fire, and closing his hands upon them unhurt, said, “Come, Father Anthony, warm yourself, for you are shivering for want of a little charity” Father Anthony, falling at the Saint’s feet, asked for pardon, and then, having received his embrace, quitted him, to become his panegyrist and attain himself to great perfection.

When the avaricious King Ferdinand of Naples offered him money for his convent, Francis told him to give it back to his oppressed subjects, and softened his heart by causing blood to flow from the ill-gotten coin.

        Louis XI. of France, trembling at the approach of death, sent for the poor hermit to ward off the foe whose advance neither his fortresses nor his guards could check. Francis went by the Pope’s command, and prepared the king for a holy death.

The successors of Louis showered favors on the Saint, his Order spread throughout Europe, and his name was reverenced through the Christian world.

        He died at the age of ninety-one, on Good Friday, 1507, with the crucifix in his hand, and the last words of Jesus on hiss lips, “Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.”

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

 

 

 

 


Wednesday, April 1st. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 26:14-25.


Wednesday of Holy Week

1 April 2015

Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” He answered, “You have said so.”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 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, “My 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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Wednesday of Holy Week

1 April 2015

Commentary of the day

 Saint Cyril of Jerusalem

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 Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350),

Bishop of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church
Catechetical Lectures to the Newly Baptized 13, §6

“My appointed time draws near. I am to celebrate the Passover in your house”

 And wouldest thou be persuaded that he came to his passion willingly? The others, who foreknow it not, die unwillingly; but he spoke beforehand of his passion: “Behold, the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified” (Mt 26,2). But knowest thou wherefore this Friend of man shunned not death? It was lest the whole world should perish in its sins. “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be betrayed, and shall be crucified” (Mt 20,13); and again: “He steadfastly set his face to Jerusalem” (Lk 9,51).

  And wouldest thou know certainly, that the Cross is a glory to Jesus? Hear his own words, not mine. Judas had become ungrateful to the Master of the house, and was about to betray him. Having but just now gone forth from the table and drunk his cup of blessing, in return for that draught of salvation he sought to shed righteous blood. He who ate of his bread was lifting up his heel against him…Then said Jesus: “The hour is come for the Son of man to be glorified” (Jn 12,23). Seest thou how he knew the Cross to be His proper glory?… Not that he was without glory before: for he was glorified with the glory which was before the foundation of the world (Jn 17,5). He was ever glorified as God; but now he was to be glorified in wearing the crown of his patience.

He did not give up his life by compulsion, nor was he put to death by murderous violence, but of his own accord. Hear what he says: “I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it up again” (Jn 10,18); I yield it to my enemies of my own choice; for unless I chose, this could not be. He came therefore of his own set purpose to his passion, rejoicing in his noble deed, smiling at the crown, cheered by the salvation of humankind; not ashamed of the cross since it was to save the world.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Wednesday of Holy Week

1 April 2015

Saints of the day

St. Hugh, Bishop (1053-1132)

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SAINT HUGH
Bishop
(1053-1132)

        It was the happiness of this Saint to receive from his cradle the strongest impressions of piety by the example and care of his illustrious and holy parents. He was born at Chateau-neuf, in the territory of Valence in Dauphiné, in 1053. His father, Odilo, who served his country in an honorable post in the army, labored by all the means in his power to make his soldiers faithful servants of their Creator, and by severe punishments to restrain vice.

By the advice of his son, St. Hugh, he afterwards became a Carthusian monk, and died at the age of a hundred, having received Extreme Unction and Viaticum from the hands of his son. Our Saint likewise assisted, in her last moments, his mother, who had for many years, under his direction, served God in her own house, by prayer, fasting, and plenteous alms-deeds. Hugh, from the cradle, appeared to be a child of benediction. He went through his studies with great applause, and having chosen to serve God in an ecclesiastical state, he accepted a canonry in the cathedral of Valence.

  His great sanctity and learning rendered him an ornament of that church, and he was finally made Bishop of Grenoble. He set himself at once to reprove vice and to reform abuses, and so plentiful was the benediction of Heaven upon his labors that he had the comfort to see the face of his diocese in a short time exceedingly changed. After two years he privately resigned his bishopric, presuming on the tacit consent of the Holy See, and, putting on the habit of St. Bennet, he entered upon a novitiate in the austere abbey of Casa-Dei in Auvergne. There he lived a year, a perfect model of all virtues to that house of Saints, till Pope Gregory VII. commanded him, in virtue of holy obedience, to resume his pastoral charge.

He earnestly solicited Pope Innocent II. for leave to resign his bishopric, that he might die in solitude, but was never able to obtain his request. God was pleased to purify his soul by a lingering illness before He called him to Himself. Some time before his death he lost his memory for everything but his prayers.

        He closed his penitential course on the 1st of April in 1132, wanting only two months of being Eighty years old, of which he had been fifty-two years bishop. Miracles attested the sanctity of his happy death, and he was canonized by Innocent II. in 1134.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Wednesday of Holy Week

1 April 2015

Saints of the day

St. Mary of Egypt, Hermit (c.344-421)

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SAINT MARY OF EGYPT
Hermit
(c. 344-421)

        At the tender age of twelve, Mary left her father’s house that she might sin without restraint, and for seventeen years she lived in shame at Alexandria. Then she accompanied a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and entangled many in grievous sin.

        She was in that city on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, and went with the crowd to the church which contained the precious wood. The rest entered and adored; but Mary was invisibly held back. In that instant her misery and pollution burst upon her. Turning to the Immaculate Mother, whose picture faced her in the porch, she vowed thenceforth to do penance if she might enter and stand like Magdalen beside the Cross. Then she entered in. As she knelt before Our Lady on leaving the church, a voice came to her which said, “Pass over Jordan, and thou shalt find rest.”

She went into the wilderness, and there, in 420, forty-seven years after, the Abbot Zosimus met her. She told him that for seventeen years the old songs and scenes had haunted her; ever since, she had had perfect peace. At her request he brought her on Holy Thursday the sacred body of Christ.

        She bade him return again after a year, and this time he found her corpse upon the sand, with an inscription sayings “Bury here the body of Mary the sinner.”

The Bollandists place her death on April 1, 421. The Greek Church celebrates her feast on 1 April, while the Roman Martyrology assigns it to 2 April, and the Roman Calendar to 3 April. The Greek date is more likely to be correct; the others may be due to the fact that on those days portions of her relics reached the West.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Tuesday, March 31st. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 13:21-33.36-38.


Tuesday of Holy Week

31 March 2015

 «Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.»

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 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 he 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 he took the morsel and left at once. And it was night.
When Judas had left them, 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’t I 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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Tuesday of Holy Week

31 March 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint Ambrose (c.340-397),

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Saint Ambrose (c.340-397),

Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church
Treatise on Saint Luke 10,49-52, 87-89

Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times

  Brothers, let us repent: let us watch out that we may not have arguments concerning precedence amongst us for our ruin. The fact that the apostles (Lk 22,24) had an argument among them is not a good excuse for us to do the same. It is an invitation to watch out. Peter repented, of course, the day he answered the first call of the Master, but can we say that his conversion happened all at once?…
     The Lord gives us the example. We had need for everything; he instead, did not need the help of anybody, nevertheless he reveals himself as master of humility by serving his disciples… As for Peter, surely ready in his spirit but still weak in the flesh (Mt 26,41), he is warned that he will deny the Lord. The Lord’s Passion can find imitators but has no equals. Therefore I do not blame Peter for having denied Christ; I congratulate him for having wept. One thing is relevant to our common condition, the other is a sign of virtue, of inner strength…But if we excuse him, he did not excuse himself. He preferred accusing himself for his own sin and justifying himself by confessing his sin, rather than worsening his case by denying it. And he wept…

He wept; he did not apologize, he just cried. The one who cannot defend himself may yet wash himself; it is up to the tears to wash away the faults we are ashamed to confess in person. Tears speak the sin without trembling. Tears do not ask for forgiveness but they obtain it:…good tears, washing sin away! These weep as long as Jesus looks at them. Peter denied him a first time and did not weep because the Lord had not looked at him. He denied him a second time and he did not weep because again the Lord had not looked at him. He denied him a third time; Jesus looked at him and he wept bitterly. Look at us, Lord Jesus, so that we, too, may bewail our sin.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Tuesday of Holy Week

31 March 2015

Saint of the day

St. Benjamin, Deacon and Martyr (c. 424)

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SAINT BENJAMIN
Deacon, Martyr
(+ c. 424)

        Isdegerdes, Son of Sapor III., put a stop to the cruel persecutions against the Christians in Persia, which had been begun by Sapor II., and the Church had enjoyed twelve years’ peace in that kingdom, when in 420 it was disturbed by the indiscreet zeal of Abdas, a Christian bishop, who burned down the Pyræum, or Temple of Fire, the great divinity of the Persians. King Isdegerdes thereupon demolished all the Christian churches in Persia, put to death Abdas, and raised a general persecution against the Church, which continued forty years with great fury.

        Isdegerdes died the year following, in 421. But his son and successor, Varanes, carried on the persecution with greater inhumanity. The very recital of the cruelties he exercised on the Christian strikes us with horror.

        Among the glorious champions of Christ was St. Benjamin, a deacon. The tyrant caused him to be beaten and imprisoned. He had lain a year in the dungeon, when an ambassador from the emperor obtained his release on condition that he should never speak to any of the courtiers about religion. The ambassador passed his word in his behalf that he would not; but Benjamin, who was a minister of the Gospel, declared that he should miss no opportunity of announcing Christ.

        The king, being informed that he still preached the Faith in his kingdom, ordered him to be apprehended. He suffered tortures frequently repeated with violence. Lastly, he expired about the year 424.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Sunday, March 29th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 14:1-72.15:1-47.


Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion – Year B

29 March 2015

A woman came with an alabaster jar of perfumed oil, costly genuine spikenard.

She broke the alabaster jar and poured it on his head.

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 14:1-72.15:1-47. 

The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were to take place in two days’ time. So the chief priests and the scribes were seeking a way to arrest him by treachery and put him to death.
They said, “Not during the festival, for fear that there may be a riot among the people.”
When he was in Bethany reclining at table in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of perfumed oil, costly genuine spikenard. She broke the alabaster jar and poured it on his head.
There were some who were indignant. “Why has there been this waste of perfumed oil?
It could have been sold for more than three hundred days’ wages and the money given to the poor.” They were infuriated with her.
Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you make trouble for her? She has done a good thing for me.
The poor you will always have with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them, but you will not always have me.
She has done what she could. She has anticipated anointing my body for burial.
Amen, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed to the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went off to the chief priests to hand him over to them.
When they heard him they were pleased and promised to pay him money. Then he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?”
He sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city and a man will meet you, carrying a jar of water. Follow him.
Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”‘
Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.”
The disciples then went off, entered the city, and found it just as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover. When it was evening, he came with the Twelve.
And as they reclined at table and were eating, Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.”
They began to be distressed and to say to him, one by one, “Surely it is not I?”
He said to them, “One of the Twelve, the one who dips with me into the dish.
For 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.”
While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.
Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will have your faith shaken, for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be dispersed.’
But after I have been raised up, I shall go before you to Galilee.”
Peter said to him, “Even though all should have their faith shaken, mine will not be.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Amen, I say to you, this very night before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times.”
But he vehemently replied, “Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all spoke similarly.
Then they came to a place named Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”
He took with him Peter, James, and John, and began to be troubled and distressed.
Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch.”
He advanced a little and fell to the ground and prayed that if it were possible the hour might pass by him; he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will.”
When he returned he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?
Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”
Withdrawing again, he prayed, saying the same thing.
Then he returned once more and found them asleep, for they could not keep their eyes open and did not know what to answer him.
He returned a third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough. The hour has come. Behold, the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners.
Get up, let us go. See, my betrayer is at hand.”
Then, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs who had come from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders.
His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, “The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely.”
He came and immediately went over to him and said, “Rabbi.” And he kissed him.
At this they laid hands on him and arrested him.
One of the bystanders drew his sword, struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his ear.
Jesus said to them in reply, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs, to seize me? Day after day I was with you teaching in the temple area, yet you did not arrest me; but that the scriptures may be fulfilled.” And they all left him and fled.
Now a young man followed him wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body. They seized him,
but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked.
They led Jesus away to the high priest, and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together.
Peter followed him at a distance into the high priest’s courtyard and was seated with the guards, warming himself at the fire.
The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death, but they found none.
Many gave false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree.
Some took the stand and testified falsely against him, alleging,
We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands and within three days I will build another not made with hands.’ Even so their testimony did not agree.
The high priest rose before the assembly and questioned Jesus, saying, “Have you no answer? What are these men testifying against you?”
But he was silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him and said to him, “Are you the Messiah, the son of the Blessed One?”
Then Jesus answered, “I am; and ‘you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.'”
At that the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further need have we of witnesses?
You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They all condemned him as deserving to die.
Some began to spit on him. They blindfolded him and struck him and said to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards greeted him with blows.
While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the high priest’s maids came along.
Seeing Peter warming himself, she looked intently at him and said, “You too were with the Nazarene, Jesus.”
But he denied it saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are talking about.” So he went out into the outer court. (Then the cock crowed.)
The maid saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.”
Once again he denied it. A little later the bystanders said to Peter once more, “Surely you are one of them; for you too are a Galilean.”
He began to curse and to swear, “I do not know this man about whom you are talking.”
And immediately a cock crowed a second time. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times.” He broke down and wept.
As soon as morning came, the chief priests with the elders and the scribes, that is, the whole Sanhedrin, held a council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate.
Pilate questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He said to him in reply, “You say so.”
The chief priests accused him of many things.
Again Pilate questioned him, “Have you no answer? See how many things they accuse you of.”
Jesus gave him no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.
Now on the occasion of the feast he used to release to them one prisoner whom they requested.
A man called Barabbas was then in prison along with the rebels who had committed murder in a rebellion.
The crowd came forward and began to ask him to do for them as he was accustomed.
Pilate answered, “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?”
For he knew that it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed him over.
But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead.
Pilate again said to them in reply, “Then what (do you want) me to do with (the man you call) the king of the Jews?” They shouted again, “Crucify him.”
Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” They only shouted the louder, “Crucify him.”
So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas to them and, after he had Jesus scourged, handed him over to be crucified.
The soldiers led him away inside the palace, that is, the praetorium, and assembled the whole cohort.
They clothed him in purple and, weaving a crown of thorns, placed it on him.
They began to salute him with, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
and kept striking his head with a reed and spitting upon him. They knelt before him in homage.
And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak, dressed him in his own clothes, and led him out to crucify him.
They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.
They brought him to the place of Golgotha (which is translated Place of the Skull).
They gave him wine drugged with myrrh, but he did not take it.
Then they crucified him and divided his garments by casting lots for them to see what each should take.
It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him.
The inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.”
With him they crucified two revolutionaries, one on his right and one on his left. 
Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself by coming down from the cross.”
Likewise the chief priests, with the scribes, mocked him among themselves and said, “He saved others; he cannot save himself.
Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also kept abusing him.
At noon darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.
And at three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Some of the bystanders who heard it said, “Look, he is calling Elijah.”
One of them ran, soaked a sponge with wine, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to take him down.” Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.
The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.
When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he breathed his last he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” There were also women looking on from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and of Joses, and Salome.
These women had followed him when he was in Galilee and ministered to him. There were also many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.
When it was already evening, since it was the day of preparation, the day before the sabbath,
Joseph of Arimathea, a distinguished member of the council, who was himself awaiting the kingdom of God, came and courageously went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
Pilate was amazed that he was already dead. He summoned the centurion and asked him if Jesus had already died. And when he learned of it from the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.
Having bought a linen cloth, he took him down, wrapped him in the linen cloth and laid him in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb.
Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses watched where he was laid.

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Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion – Year B

29 March 2015

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At the Procession with palms – gospel mt 21:1-11 

When Jesus and the disciples drew near Jerusalem
and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives,
Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them,
“Go into the village opposite you,
and immediately you will find an ass tethered,
and a colt with her.
Untie them and bring them here to me.
And if anyone should say anything to you, reply,
‘The master has need of them.’
Then he will send them at once.”
This happened so that what had been spoken through the prophet
might be fulfilled:
Say to daughter Zion,
“Behold, your king comes to you,
meek and riding on an ass,
and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had ordered them.
They brought the ass and the colt and laid their cloaks over them,
and he sat upon them.
The very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road,
while others cut branches from the trees
and strewed them on the road.
The crowds preceding him and those following
kept crying out and saying:
“Hosanna to the Son of David;
blessed is the he who comes in the name of the Lord;
hosanna in the highest.”
And when he entered Jerusalem
the whole city was shaken and asked, “Who is this?”
And the crowds replied,
“This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

From

©2015 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
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From Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Bangkok, THAILAND

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Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion – Year B

29 March 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint Ephrem of Salamis

 Attributed to Saint Ephrem of Salamis (? – 403), Bishop
1st Homily for the Feast of Palms

“See, your king shall come to you, meek, and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass.” (Zech 9:9)

“Rejoice heartily, O daughter Zion.” Be filled with joy, Church of God. “See, your king shall come to you.” (Zech 9:9) Go out to meet him, hasten to contemplate his glory. This is the world’s salvation: God comes to the cross, and the Desired of the nations (Hag 2:7) enters Zion. The light is coming. Let us cry out with the people: “Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” The Lord God has appeared to us who were sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death (Lk 1:79). He appeared as the resurrection of those who have fallen, the liberation of captives, the light of the blind, the consolation of the afflicted, rest for the weak, spring for those who thirst, avenger of the persecuted, redemption of those who are lost, union of the divided, doctor for the sick, salvation of those who have gone astray.

Yesterday, Christ raised Lazarus from the dead; today he is going to his own death. Yesterday, he tore off the strips of cloth that bound Lazarus; today he is stretching out his hand to those who want to bind him. Yesterday, he tore that man away from darkness; today, for humankind, he is going down into darkness and the shadow of death. And the Church is celebrating. She is beginning the feast of feasts, for she is receiving her king as a spouse, for her king is in her midst.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion – Year B

29 March 2015

Saints of the day

St. Gladys, Hermit (5th century)

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Saint Gladys
Hermit
(5th century)

        Gladys was born in Wales in the 5th century. She was one of the 24 children of Brychan of Brecknock, wife of Saint Gundleus, and mother of Saints Cadoc and, possibly, Keyna.

     It is said that after their conversion by the example and exhortation of their son, she and Gundleus lived an austere life.

        When Gundleus died, Gladys moved to Pencanau in Bassaleg and lived as a hermit.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion – Year B

29 March 2015

Saints of the day

Sts. Jonas, Barachisius and Co, Martyrs (4th century)

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 IMAGE OF THE CATHOLIC ALL SAINTS

SAINTS JONAS, BARACHISIUS
and their Companions
Martyrs
(4th century)

        King Sapor, of Persia (modern Iran), in the eighteenth year of his reign, raised a bloody persecution against the Christians, and laid waste their churches and monasteries. Jonas and Barachisius, two brothers of the city Beth-Asa, hearing that several Christians lay under sentence of death at Hubaham, went thither to encourage and serve them. Nine of that number received the crown of martyrdom.

        After their execution, Jonas and Barachisius were apprehended for having exhorted them to die. The president entreated the two brothers to obey the king of Persia, and to worship the sun, moon, fire, and water. Their answer was, that it was more reasonable to obey the immortal King of heaven and earth than a mortal prince. Jonas was beaten with knotty clubs and with rods, and next set in a frozen pond, with a cord tied to his foot. Barachisius had two red-hot iron plates and two red-hot hammers applied under each arm, and melted lead dropped into his nostrils and eyes; after which he was carried to prison, and there hung up by one foot. Despite these cruel tortures, the two brothers remained steadfast in the Faith.

        New and more horrible torments were then devised under which at last they yielded up their lives, while their pure souls winged their flight to heaven, there to gain the martyr’s crown, which they had so faithfully won.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


Saturday, March 28th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 11:45-56.


Saturday of the Fifth week of Lent

28 March 2015

“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.”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 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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Saturday of the Fifth week of Lent

28 March 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint Bernard (1091-1153)

1 330px-Bernard_of_Clairvaux_-_Gutenburg_-_13206 Saint Bernard (1091-1153), Cistercian monk and doctor of the Church
28th Homily on the Song of Songs

“It is better that one man should die instead of the people”

      The darkening of one makes many bright… “It is better,” said Caiaphas, “for one man to die for the people, than for the whole nation to be destroyed.” It is better that one be darkened “in the likeness of sinful flesh,” (Rm 8:3) for the sake of all than for the whole of mankind to be lost by the darkness of sin; that the splendor and image of the substance of God should be shrouded in the form of a slave, in order that a slave might live; that the brightness of eternal light should become dimmed in the flesh for the purifying of the flesh; that he who surpasses all mankind in beauty (Ps 44:2) should be eclipsed by the darkness of the Passion for the enlightening of mankind; that he should suffer the ignominy of the cross, grow pale in death, be totally deprived of beauty and comeliness that he might gain the Church as a beautiful and comely bride, without spot or wrinkle (Ep 5:27).

  But under his dark covering (Sg 1:5) I recognize the King…; I recognize him and I embrace him. For though he presents this dark exterior… within is the brightness of divine life, the beauty of his strength, the splendor of grace, the purity of innocence. But covering it all is the abject hue of infirmity, his face as it were hidden and despised: “one tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning” (He 4:15).

         I recognize here the image of our sin-darkened nature; I recognize the garments that clothed our first parents after their sin (Gn 3:21). My God has clothed himself in them by assuming the condition of a slave, and becoming as men are, he was seen in their likeness (Ph 2:7). Under the skin that Jacob wore (Gn 27:16), symbol of sin, I recognize both the hand that committed no sin and the neck which never bowed to evil; no word of treachery was found in his mouth. I know, Lord, that you are gentle by nature, meek and humble of heart, pleasing in appearance and loveable in your ways, “anointed with the oil of gladness above your companions” (Mt 11:29; Ps 44:8). Why then this disfigured likeness to Esau? Whose haggard image this?… Ah! It is mine. He has taken my likeness, taken on my sin… And beneath the rough skin of my sinfulness I recognize my God and my Savior.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Saturday of the Fifth week of Lent

28 March 2015

Saint of the day

St. Gontran, King (545-592)

1 San_Gontrano_B

SAINT GONTRAN
King
(545-592)

        St. Gontran was the son of King Clotaire, and grandson of Clovis I. and St. Clotildis. Being the second son, whilst his brothers Charibert reigned at Paris, and Sigebert in Ostrasia, residing at Metz, he was crowned king of Orleans and Burgundy in 561, making Chalons his capital.

        When compelled to take up arms against his ambitious brothers and the Lombards, he made no other use of his victories, under the conduct of a brave general called Mommol, than to give peace to his dominions. The crimes in which the barbarous manners of his nation involved him he effaced by tears of repentance.

The prosperity of his reign, both in peace and war, condemns those who think that human policy cannot be modelled by the maxims of the Gospel, whereas nothing can render a government more flourishing.

        He always treated the pastors of the Church with respect and veneration. He was the protector of the oppressed, and the tender parent of his subjects. He gave the greatest attention to the care of the sick. He fasted, prayed, wept, and offered himself to God night and day as a victim ready to be sacrificed on the altar of His justice, to avert

His indignation which he believed he himself had provoked and drawn down upon his innocent people. He was a severe punisher of crimes in his officers and others, and, by many wholesome regulations, restrained the barbarous licentiousness of his troops; but no man was more ready to forgive offences against his own person.

        With royal magnificence he built and endowed many churches and monasteries.

        This good king died in 592, in the sixty-eighth year of his age, having reigned thirty-one years and some months.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015


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