HOLY WEEK APRIL 7, 2020




1st Reading: Isaiah 42:1-7
My servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, the One in whom my soul delights
Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching.
Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.
Responsorial: from Psalm 27
Response: The Lord is my light and my salvation
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The Lord is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
When evildoers come at me
to devour my flesh,
My foes and my enemies
themselves stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me,
my heart will not fear;
Though war be waged upon me,
even then will I trust.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord.
Gospel: John 12:1-11
Mary’s gesture of love, pouring ointment on Jesus’ feet
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus” feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”
When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.
During the Corona pandemic, O Lord, may we trust that you still love our world and care for us. May our anxiety be eased by courage and hope – and draw us nearer to you...


HOLY WEEK MONDAY APRIL 6, 2020



1st Reading: Isaiah 42:1-7
My servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, the One in whom my soul delights
Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching.
Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.
Responsorial: from Psalm 27
Response: The Lord is my light and my salvation
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The Lord is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
When evildoers come at me
to devour my flesh,
My foes and my enemies
themselves stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me,
my heart will not fear;
Though war be waged upon me,
even then will I trust.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord.
Gospel: John 12:1-11
Mary’s gesture of love, pouring ointment on Jesus’ feet
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus” feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”
When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.
During the Corona pandemic, O Lord, may we trust that you still love our world and care for us. May our anxiety be eased by courage and hope – and draw us nearer to you...


PALM SUNDAY APRIL 5, 2020




5 APRIL 2020 – PALM SUNDAY READINGS
1st Reading: Isaiah 50:4-7
The trust of the Suffering Servant (“I shall not be put to shame!”)
The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens — wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught. The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward. I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting. The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
Responsorial: from Psalm 22
Response: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me
All who see me scoff at me;
they mock me with parted lips, they wag their heads:
He relied on the Lord; let him deliver him,
let him rescue him, if he loves him.
Indeed, many dogs surround me,
a pack of evildoers closes in upon me;
they have pierced my hands and my feet;
I can count all my bones.
They divide my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.
But you, O Lord, be not far from me;
O my help, hasten to aid me.
I will proclaim your name to my brethren;
in the midst of the assembly I will praise you:
You who fear the Lord, praise him;
all you descendants of Jacob, give glory to him;
revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
2nd Reading: Philippians 2:5-11
The self-emptying of God’s Servant, dying to save his people
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death — even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Gospel: Matthew 26:14 — 27:66
A sober Passion Narrative, with emphasis on the fulfilment of Scripture
Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I betray him to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.'” So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.
When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; and while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, “Surely not I, Lord?” He answered, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.” Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” He replied, “You have said so.”
While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Then Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters because of me this night; for it is written, “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.” But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.” Peter said to him, “Though all become deserters because of you, I will never desert you.” Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And so said all the disciples.
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”
While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.” At once he came up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you are here to do.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?”
At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.
Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, in whose house the scribes and the elders had gathered. But Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest; and going inside, he sat with the guards in order to see how this would end. Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, “This fellow said, “I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.'” The high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?” But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I put you under oath before the living God, tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, From now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?” They answered, “He deserves death.”
Then they spat in his face and struck him; and some slapped him, saying, “Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who is it that struck you?”
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant-girl came to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before all of them, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” When he went out to the porch, another servant-girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.” Then he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know the man!” At that moment the cock crowed. Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.
When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus in order to bring about his death. They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate the governor.
When Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. He said, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since they are blood money.” After conferring together, they used them to buy the potter’s field as a place to bury foreigners. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah, “And they took the thirty pieces of ilver, the price of the one on whom a price had been set, on whom some of the people of Israel had set a price, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”
Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You say so.” But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he did not answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many accusations they make against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.
Now at the festival the governor was accustomed to release a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom they wanted. At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Jesus Barabbas. So after they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” For he realized that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over.
While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.”
Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” All of them said, “Let him be crucified!” Then he asked, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!” So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” Then the people as a whole answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
As they went out, they came upon a man from Cyrene named Simon; they compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots; then they sat down there and kept watch over him. Over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”
Then two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he wants to; for he said, “I am God’s Son.'” The bandits who were crucified with him also taunted him in the same way.
From noon on, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And about three o”clock Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “This man is calling for Elijah.” At once one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many. Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”
Many women were also there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and ha provided for him. Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, “After three days I will rise again.” Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, “He has been raised from the dead,” and the last deception would be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.
During the Global Pandemic, O Lord, may your words be on our lips, and in our hearts. May they give us courage and hope – and draw us nearer to you..
 _______________________

A REFLECTION FOR HOLY WEEK
With the invitation to unite, today and during Holy Week, our passion – due above all to Covid.19 – to the Passion of Christ so that we can share the joy of Easter with him.

Roman Rite
Is 50:4-7; Ps 22; Phil 2:6-11: Mt 26:14 -27, 66?
Foreground
 Due to the Covi-19 pandemic, this year Palm Sunday and Holy Week will be celebrated without popular participation. This does not imply that liturgical celebrations are private. They are and remain public. As the Second Vatican Council teaches, the Liturgy has by its nature a “public and social disposition”.
In the Encyclical Letter Misterium Salutis (September 3, 1965), St. Paul VI reiterated the teaching that the sacrifice of Christ, which is renewed in the Mass, is universal, that is, for the salvation of the whole world. This happens even when Mass is said in a so-called “private” form because, even if for some reason (and in these sad days due to the Coronavirus) there cannot be an assembly in the Church, it maintains a public meaning and contributes a lot ” to the salvation of mankind”.
In these pandemic days, a Mass celebrated by the priest alone is not the “priest’s Mass” and during Holy Week we will not have liturgical celebrations of the priest, but the “Service of God” celebrated by the priest in communion with the faithful entrusted to him as members of the “Mystical Body” which is the Church. However, we should not be considered the genitive form ”of God”  solely as objective (service that man renders to God) but also as subjective (service of God to man). So, it is not only the community that serves God but God too serves men giving them the “service of salvation” in Christ. In this regard, it should also be borne in mind that in the Mass the celebrant is Christ.
A liturgy thus understood is part of the essential manifestations of the life of the Church. Together with the proclamation of faith (mission that bears witness, that is, martyrdom) and with the service of charity (diakonía), the liturgy is a fundamental function for the Church. In the Sacrosantum Concilium the Second Vatican Council does not hesitate to assign to the Liturgy the highest rank by speaking of the “culmination towards which the action of the Church tends” and of the “source from which all its vigor emanates” (SC 10). “No other church action” reaches its effectiveness “in the same way and to the same degree” (SC 7).
If we keep in mind that the Liturgy is born from the Paschal Mystery of Christ and actualizes its fruits (sanctification of men and supreme glorification of God), it can truly be said that the Liturgy is the most precious, most effective and more necessary Church activity.
·        Palm branches to remember, not show.
Today’s liturgy should have started with the palm procession which involves the participation of the people. Let us be, at least in spirit, among the people who carry these palm branches. We are not the extras of a folkloric show but the followers of Jesus commemorating Him who does not stay in the sepulcher after the defeat of the Good Friday but emerges victorious from the tomb on Easter Sunday. Today’s triumph is the prelude to the Easter’s one when we celebrate the triumph of mercy. The cross did not bring Christ to death but to life.
Let’s begin this holy week remembering the greatness of the passionate love of God for men. For this love he decides to enter Jerusalem to surrender to his enemies riding a humble donkey. For his triumph Jesus chooses the animal of the simple common people of the country, and, most importantly, it is a donkey that did not belong to him but that he borrowed for the occasion. He does not come in a gorgeous royal carriage or on horseback, as the Kings of the world do, but on a borrowed donkey.
Today we are that donkey that leads Jesus into the world, reveals him and speaks of him, as the late Cardinal Jean Pierre Lustiger of Paris used to say. This is a” beautiful” picture because it reminds us that Jesus did not want to be led by imposing mounts but by the small and humble ones.
Jesus is a “poor” King and, therefore, a King of peace who has chosen the Cross as a throne. He is a brave King because he enters Jerusalem knowing that he will meet the Crucifixion, in order to ripen his fruit only beyond the Cross passing through it to enter into eternal life: “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life “(Jn 12: 24-25).
The cross which is a symbol of death and of a curse that is the expression of the worst of all sentences, with Christ and for Christ becomes the instrument of elevation of all mankind and the entire universe in the glory of God (cf. St. Ignatius of Antioch).
This is the Christian paradox: those who orient themselves to the eternal Kingdom following the instructions of Jesus Christ, are meek ​​, merciful, peacemakers, pure in heart and thirsting for God’s justice. They can change the history of the world in a deeper and more efficient way than the powerholders for whom nothing is more important than supremacy.
It follows that the Cross is required. As Christians, we must not only direct our gaze to the permanent Kingdom beyond death and preach it. Together with Christ, we must live the need of the Cross so that for the Church and for the world  we can complete in our body what is still lacking in the Passion of Christ (” in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking  in the afflictions of Christ” Col 1,24 ).
All those who suffer, the sick, the hopeless, the prisoners, the tortured, the oppressed and those who are poor and hopeless need to know that in their situation they are not condemned to impotence. If they join their difficult hope or their painful despair to the hope of the Son of God on the Cross, they contribute to the construction of the true Kingdom of God much more actively than the many “architects” of earthly happiness. Of course men, and even more Christians, must do everything possible to alleviate the physical and spiritual suffering of humanity, but they should not forget the Beatitudes that Christ on the Cross does not deny but confirms: ” Blessed are you who are poor, for yoursis the kingdom of God.Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who now weep, for you will laugh. Blessed are you, when people hate you and when they exclude and insult you and denounce your name as evil on account the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. “(Lk 6: 20-24).


SATURDAY APRIL 4, 2020



4 APRIL 2020- READINGS OF THE DAY

1st Reading: Ezekiel 37:21-28
I will bring them back, and I will cleanse them
Say to them, “Thus says the Lord God: I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from every quarter, and bring them to their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all. Never again shall they be two nations, and never again shall they be divided into two kingdoms.
They shall never again defile themselves with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. I will save them from all the apostasies into which they have fallen, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall follow my ordinances and be careful to observe my statutes. They shall live in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, in which your ancestors lived; they and their children and their children’s children shall live there forever; and my servant David shall be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will bless them and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary among them forevermore. My dwelling place shall be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Then the nations shall know that I the Lord sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary is among them forevermore.”
Responsorial: from Jeremiah 31
Response: The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock
Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
proclaim it on distant isles, and say:
He who scattered Israel now gathers them together,
he guards them as a shepherd his flock.
The Lord shall ransom Jacob,
he shall redeem him from the hand of his conqueror.
Shouting, they shall mount the heights of Zion,
they shall come streaming to the Lord’s blessings:
The grain, the wine, and the oil,
the sheep and the oxen.
Then the virgins shall make merry and dance,
and young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
I will console and gladden them after their sorrows.
Gospel: John 11:45-56
Caiaphas prophecies that one must die for the people
Many of the Jews, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Council, and said, “What are we to do? This man is performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.”
But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all! You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.” He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to put him to death.
Jesus therefore no longer walked about openly among the Jews, but went from there to a town called Ephraim in the region near the wilderness; and he remained there with the disciples.
Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. They were looking for Jesus and were asking one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival, will he?”
In spite of our Global Pandemic,  O Lord, may your words be on our lips, and in our hearts. May they give us courage and hope and keep us near to you.

APRIL 3, 2020. HOLY MASS, BENEDICTION AND ADORATION



KINDLY PASS IT TO ALL THE MEMBERS OF OUR PARISH MINISTRY..

1st Reading: Jeremiah 20:10-13

Though many plot against God’s servant, he is safe in God’s hands

I hear many whispering: “Terror is all around! Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” All my close friends are watching for me to stumble. “Perhaps he can be enticed, and we can prevail against him, and take our revenge on him.”
But the Lord is with me like a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble, and they will not prevail. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonour will never be forgotten.
O Lord of hosts, you test the righteous, you see the heart and the mind; let me see your retribution upon them, for to you I have committed my cause. Sing to the Lord; praise the Lord! For he has delivered the life of the needy from the hands of evildoers.

Responsorial: from Psalm 18

Response: In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice

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

Gospel: John 10:31-42

Amid growing danger to his life, Jesus goes off to a quiet place

When the Jews took up stones again to stone him, Jesus replied, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God.”
Jesus answered, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If those to whom the word of God came were called ‘gods,’ and the scripture cannot be annulled, can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Then they tried to arrest him again, but he escaped from their hands.
He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and he remained there. Many came to him, and they were saying, “John performed no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” And many believed in him there.
During the Global Pandemic, O Lord, may your words be on our lips, and in our hearts. May they give us courage and hope – and draw us nearer to you.