Mystery of the Passion of Christ
Ash Wednesday 6th March
We enter this holy season with a question foremost in our minds: What does it mean to be a Catholic?
To be a Catholic is to grow close to Christ through prayer, spiritual reading,
and celebrating the Eucharist.
It also means to let our faith show in all we do and say.
Lent is a time to pray, fast and give alms as a
sign of our love for God.
God the Father knows our every need – we turn to the Father confident of his love and care.
We turn to the Son expectant to enter more deeply into the mystery of salvation.
We call upon the Holy Spirit to lighten our journey with wisdom, understanding and knowledge.
We embrace the path of self-denial as a sign of our desire to grow close to God
“Be careful not to parade your good deeds”
Lord Jesus, teach me that to be a Catholic is
to grow close to you and
witness to my faith in all I do and say.
Remember that you are dust
and to dust you shall return
Acts of kindness spread brightness
everywhere you go. Brighten someone's day.
My grace is sufficient for you for my power
is made perfect in weakness.
A little bit of mercy makes the world
less cold and more just.
Be like the flowers and turn your face towards the sun.
There are good deeds and good intentions.
They are as far apart as heaven and hell.
God is speaking to you. Take a moment
Have a Blessed Holy Week!
Holy Week is the most important week in the Church year! It is a time when we celebrate in a special way the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We remember his actions, reflect on his messages, and recommit to living as his disciples in the world today.
Tuesday and Wednesday: Jesus preached and taught in Jerusalem. Thursday: After washing the feet of the disciples, Jesus celebrated the Feast of the Passover, instituting the Sacrament of HolyCommunion. After the supper, Jesus and his disciples went to Gethsemane to pray, where he was arrested by the Temple guards.
Blessing of the palms and olive branches, Procession and Palm Sunday Mass presided over by Pope Francis followed by the Angelus.
The Mass: The Mystery at the Centre of Salvation Father Michael Coutts S.J.
Holy Week in Western Christianity
- Palm Sunday (Passion Sunday)
- Monday to Wednesday.
- Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday)
- Good Friday.
- Holy Saturday (Black Saturday)
- Easter Vigil.
- Easter Sunday.
Mass of the Lord's Supper
Tonight's first reading describes the Passover meal. In the second reading, the institution of Eucharist is shared, "this is my Body, which is for you." In the Gospel, Jesus washes the feet of the disciples. This is the service and love of Jesus, which we are asked to share in our lives.
We are reminded tonight that God always nourishes his people. Jesus fed his followers by multiplying loaves and fishes. Then he fed his apostles at the Last Supper. The good news is that God hasn't stopped nourishing us. We can feast on his Word and on the Eucharist. They are great sources of spiritual energy, great in times of need and excellent for our daily diet. Don't starve yourself, but feed daily on God's gifts.
On Holy Thursday, we experience the washing of the feet: Put yourself in the place of the foot-washer: How do you feel washing the feet of others? Put yourself in the place of the disciples: How does it feel to have someone, who means so much to you, wash your feet?
Good Friday of the Lord's Passion
The first and second readings, from Isaiah and Paul's letter to the Hebrews, describe the mystery of the cross - the Paschal Mystery - suffering turned into victory. The gospel is the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The word passion can also mean strong feelings of love. Jesus' passion is the time from the Last Supper to his death on the cross, during which he shows his great love for us.
Jesus warned Peter that he would deny him. When that happened Jesus looked at him, probably with pity and certainly with love. God's love and mercy cannot save us from our own folly and its consequences: after all, Peter had to live with his denial of Jesus. That is why he wept.
The veneration of the cross is a time when a large cross is brought forward. We touch or kiss the cross to show our love and thankfulness for God's love.
If you stood at the cross on which Jesus hung, what would you say to him? How does it feel to touch or kiss the cross? What does this mean to you?
The blessing of the Easter fire begins this celebration. From that fire, the Paschal Candle is lit. After the readings, the liturgy of. Baptism begins. While the new members of the community are baptized, the whole community joins in renewing our promises and as the whole community is sprinkled with water we, remember our baptism
The Paschal candle symbolizes Jesus as light of the world. It is from this candle that baptism candles are lit throughout the year, that we celebrate the life of faith of the newly departed and that we celebrate the commitment of faith in the sacrament of Confirmation. It stands as a symbol of our faith and our desire to be light to the world as Jesus is for us.
Jesus always speaks about hope. A hope that. is not based on chances that things will get better---or at least not any worse; His hope is built upon the promise that, whatever happens, God will stay with us at all times, in all places. God is the God of Life
Easter Sunday is the most important day in the Christian calendar. It comes after Holy Week, a week when Christians remember with sorrow all the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus. On Easter Sunday morning their sadness is turned to joy as they celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
How would you feel if you were being baptized tonight? What does it mean for you to celebrate the joy of Jesus’ resurrection?
The cross raised Jesus up as the icon
of God's everlasting love fo us.
On Nov. 27, 2013, Pope Francis reflected on death during his general audience in Rome. He said, "Death affects us all, and it questions us in a profound way. ... If it is understood as the end of everything, death ... terrifies us, it becomes a threat that shatters every dream, every promise, it severs every relationship."
He suggested that if we "consider our lives as a span of time between two poles: birth and death," such a vision of death is both reasonable and terrible. This vision, said Francis, is the logical conclusion of the atheism that "interprets life as a random existence in the world ... a journey toward nothingness," or the "practical atheism, which consists in living for one's own interests alone."
He added that "when we think of death as the end of everything," we "have no choice but to hide it, deny it or trivialize it so that it doesn't scare us."
What sadder commentary could there be on someone's life than to trivialize their death?
Today's Gospel presents Jesus in the moment when he realized that "his hour" had come. Here, John gives us a glimpse of Jesus' heart as he makes the astounding statement, "I am troubled now." The word Jesus used for being troubled was the one that described him when he shared Martha's grief at Lazarus' death, the same word that depicted the churning of the waters of the pool of Siloam. Jesus was deeply shaken.
Having admitted that, his next words reiterated the core orientation of his life. He was facing his end, what would both look and feel like utter defeat, and his first thought was of his Father: Should he ask his Father for an escape? Reframing everything about to take place, he prayed, "Father, glorify your name." After expressing the depth of his human frailty, Jesus took on the role of explaining the things of God. "When I am lifted up … I will draw everyone to myself."
John tells us that his phrase "when I am lifted up" indicated how he would die. Like so much John wrote, this has two levels of meaning. Jesus was speaking literally about being raised on the cross. But as John tells the Passion story, Jesus approached the cross as his exaltation, the revelation of the glory of God in him. In John's Gospel, Jesus' death on the cross is the revelation par excellence of God's unfailing love. The cross raised Jesus up as the icon of God's everlasting love.
In October 2017, Francis again spoke about death and said, "We are all small and helpless before the mystery of death." We can be encouraged by the fact that even Jesus quailed when he realized his hour had come. As the Letter to the Hebrews says, our high priest knows our weakness and he too prayed with supplication, cries and tears. Nevertheless, he led the way for us in saying, "For this purpose I came to this hour."
When Jesus chose to walk into what he knew was his final hour, he did so fully aware of the cost and his purpose: "Now is the time of judgment … now the ruler of this world will be driven out." Only by going through his death would Jesus demonstrate that God's love overcomes every evil. That was the purpose of his life and his glory.
Now and again, we all need to confront the fact that we will die; knowing that leads us to evaluate our purpose and the worth of each day. Blessed are we when we believe what Francis said of the moment of our death: "There hope will end and it will be a reality, the reality of life."
[Mary M. McGlone, a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, is writing the history of the St. Joseph sisters in the U.S.]
Editor's note: This Sunday scripture commentary appears in full in NCR's sister publication Celebration, a worship and homiletic resource. Request a sample issue at CelebrationPublications.org. Sign up to receive email newsletters every time Spiritual Reflections is posted.
Saturday, March 17, 2018
Jer 11:18-20; Ps 7; Jn 7:40-53
Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him and
finds out what he is doing?
Although Nicodemus attempts to hear both sides of the story, the Pharisees are only interested in hearing arguments that support their own desired agenda. Assumptions are upheld and judgements are made based on half-truths. Gossip and rumor often hold our attention much longer than the details needed to discern the truth. I’ve been guilty of adding my two cents worth of misguided opinion to a discussion before I have heard alternative versions of an event. Where might I find those quiet voices that are sometimes drowned out by the loud and impatient? Who in my community has no one to whom they can voice their story or concerns? Who needs my listening heart?
Place a guard over my mouth, dear Master, that I may hear your voice above all others.
Hi Dear Reader
I’m writing because there are videos on YouTube that show brutal desecrations of the Holy Eucharist.
I already signed a peaceful e-protest sponsored by America Needs Fatima and I hope you will consider doing the same.
Your peaceful protest message will go directly to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, respectfully urging her to remove the online videos that insult the Holy Eucharist.
God bless you
Below is my request for your help in signing the petition as detailed below, to ensure common decency and purity of children and families.
I just signed a petition asking the National Park Service not to allow a 45-foot nude female statue on the National Mall, called “R-Evolution.”
This statue offends the sense of modesty, common decency and the purity of children and families.
Above all, it offends God. It would also normalize nudity and wreck the last vestiges of modesty in America.
You can sign the petition by CLICKING HERE. Thank you!
Jubilee Prayer of Consecration
Hail, Mother of the Lord,
Virgin Mary, Queen of the Rosary of Fatima!
Blessed among all women,
you are the image of the Church dressed in the Paschal light,
you are the honour of our people,
you are the triumph over the mark of evil.
Prophecy of the merciful Love of the Father,
Teacher of the Annunciation of the Good News of the Son,
Sign of the burning Fire of the Holy Spirit,
teach us, in this valley of joys and sorrows,
the eternal truths that the Father reveals to the little ones.
Show us the strength of your mantle of protection.
In your Immaculate Heart,
be the refuge of sinners
and the way that leads to God.
In unity with my brethren,
In Faith, Hope and Love,
I surrender myself to you.
In unity with my brethren, through you,
I consecrate myself to God,
O Virgin of the Rosary of Fatima.
And thus surrounded by the Light that comes from your hands,
I will give Glory to the Lord for ever and ever.
Peace is an element that is distinctly present in the message of Fatima.
Our Lady announces it and insists in the importance of praying in order
to achieve it. Welcoming the invitation of the Queen of Peace, and
united with all men and women who desire and construct peace, I adore
the Lord in silence and offer Him my prayer:
Prayer for Peace
O God, All-Holy Father,
who gave us Your peace through Jesus
and through Him you wished to lead us to Your Heart
– in this place where the Virgin Mary invites us to pray for peace in the world
and where the Angel of Peace exhorts us to adore God alone –,
grant us, we pray, that peace may reign among all peoples;
that the leaders of the nations find ways towards justice,
that we may all reach the peace of heart
and that, through the intercession of the Queen of Peace,
we may become builders of a more fraternal world.
Through Christ, Our Lord.
Prayer for the Pope
Good shepherd of Humanity,
who entrusted to Peter and his successors
the mission of strengthening the brothers in the faith
and to enlighten them in the hearing of the Word
– in this place where the little shepherds of Fatima
bore witness to a profound devotion to the Holy Father
and to an intense love for the Church –,
we ask You that Your Spirit of Wisdom
illumines Pope N in his mission as the Successor of Peter;
may Your mercy protect and comfort him;
may the testimony of Your faithful hearten him in his mission,
and may the tender presence of Mary be for him a sign of Your love;
may he be strong in faith, courageous in hope, and zealous in charity.
Who live and reign with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory.