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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 03-25-12, Fifth Sunday of Lent
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 03-25-12 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 03/24/2012 7:55:05 PM PDT by Salvation

March 25, 2012

 

Fifth Sunday of Lent

 

Reading 1 Jer 31:31-34

The days are coming, says the LORD,
when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel
and the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers
the day I took them by the hand
to lead them forth from the land of Egypt;
for they broke my covenant,
and I had to show myself their master, says the LORD.
But this is the covenant that I will make
with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD.
I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts;
I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
No longer will they have need to teach their friends and relatives
how to know the LORD.
All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD,
for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15.

R. (12a) Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

Reading 2 Heb 5:7-9

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

Gospel Jn 12:20-33

Some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast
came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee,
and asked him, "Sir, we would like to see Jesus."
Philip went and told Andrew;
then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
Jesus answered them,
"The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
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.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.

"I am troubled now. Yet what should I say?
'Father, save me from this hour?'
But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour.
Father, glorify your name."
Then a voice came from heaven,
"I have glorified it and will glorify it again."
The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder;
but others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
Jesus answered and said,
"This voice did not come for my sake but for yours.
Now is the time of judgment on this world;
now the ruler of this world will be driven out.
And when I am lifted up from the earth,
I will draw everyone to myself."
He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.


TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; lent; prayer
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 03/24/2012 7:55:13 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Salvation
Or you may hear the Readings for the Scrutinies

March 25, 2012

Fifth Sunday of Lent - Year A Scrutinies

Reading 1 Ez 37:12-14

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

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

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

Reading 2 Rom 8:8-11

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

Gospel Jn 11:1-45 or 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45

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

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

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

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

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

or

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

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

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

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

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

2 posted on 03/24/2012 7:57:08 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Praise to you, Lord, Jesus Christ, King of Endless Glory Ping!

If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be on it, please Freepmail me.



3 posted on 03/24/2012 8:00:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Jeremiah 31:31-34

The New Covenant


[31] ”Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new cove-
nant with the house of Israel and the house of Judith, not like the covenant which
I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the
land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was their husband, says
the LORD. [33] But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it
upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. [34] And
no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know
the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,
says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no
more.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

31:31-37. The words of this oracle are central to Jeremiah’s message, and they
constitute the passage in the book that has had most impact on the New Testa-
ment and on Christian teaching. Most ancient and modern commentators consi-
der these words to be original words of Jeremiah, and they generally attribute
them to the early stages of his, ministry, because they express support for King
Josiah’s religious reform.

The oracle is made up of two contrasting parts: the first (vv. 31-32) describes the
Old Covenant, broken by the people’s sins; the second (vv. 33-35) speaks very
forcefully of the New Covenant which will endure forever.

The old Covenant is described in terms of three characteristic features: it carried
the force of tradition because it was a pact made “with the fathers”; it was a sign
of divine election, as can be seen from a phrase exclusive to Jeremiah: “when “I
took them by the hand” to bring them out of the land of Egypt”; and it showed the
Lord’s authority over his people.

The new pact has three key features, too: it is “new”, it is something “interior”,
and it is “heartfelt”, written upon their hearts. It is “new”, because prior to this
the pact with God was never described in that way; that is, it is new not in terms
of the previous covenant which has ceased to operate (cf. Heb 8:18-13) but in the
sense that it is definitive and will not be superseded. When, at the Last Supper,
Jesus said the words of consecration over the chalice: “This cup which is poured
out for you is the new covenant” (Lk 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25), he brings Jeremiah’s
words to fulfillment. It is “interior” because it is etched in the heart of the people
and of each individual. Its content did not change (it is the Law of God) but peo-
ple will know it in a different way: the previous covenant was written on tablets
of stone (Ex 31:38; 34:28ff), but this one will be written on the heart and soul of
man. Therefore, it is part of a person’s very being; it is not just an external obli-
gation; people’s well-formed consciences tell them what they ought to do; if
they fail to live up to the demands of the Covenant, they lose their identity until
they are converted and are redeemed from sin. In the Letter to the Hebrews it
says, by way of explaining this passage, that in the New Covenant Christ has
obtained forgiveness of sins for us through the cross, and therefore the old sin
offerings no longer have any effect: “Where there is forgiveness (of sins), there
is no longer any offering for sin” (Heb 10:18).

Finally, it is “heartfelt” because it is based on a loving relationship between God
and his people. The wording that Jeremiah likes so much (”I will be their God,
and they shall be my people” (Jer 31:33; cf. 7:23) implies bonds, of fidelity and
love. The nearest precedent for this is Hosea, who used the metaphor of mar-
riage as the hinge of his preaching and who defined sin as estrangement from
God, and punishment in terms of marital breakdown: “Call his name not my peo-
ple,for you are not my people and I am not your God” (Hos 1:9). Therefore, moral
imperatives should not come via legal imposition from outside; they should arise
from a person’s heart—the aim being not so much perfect, guiltless behavior as
living in union with God: “All who keep his commandments abide in him, and he
in them” (1 Jn 3:24).

The New Covenant has given its name to the, “New Testament”, on which the
new people of God is founded, as the Second Vatican Council says: “At all times
and in every race God has given welcome to whosoever fears him and does what
is right. God, however, does not make men holy and save them merely as indivi-
duals, without bond or link between one another. Rather has it pleased him to
bring men together as one people, a people that acknowledges him in truth and
serves him in holiness. He therefore chose the race of Israel as a people unto
himself. With it he setup a covenant. Step by step he taught and prepared this
people, making known in its history both himself and the decree of his will and
making it holy unto himself. All these things, however, were done by way of pre-
paration and as a figure of that new and perfect covenant, which was to be rati-
fied in Christ, and of that fuller revelation which was to be given through the Word
of God Himself made flesh. ‘Behold the days shall come saith the Lord, and I
will make a new covenant with the House of Israel, and with the house of Judah.
[...] I will give my law in their bowels, and I will write it in their heart, and I will be
their God, and they shall be my people.[...] For all of them shall know Me, from
the least of them even to the greatest, saith the Lord’ (Jer 31:31-34). Christ insti-
tuted this new covenant, the new testament, that is to say, in his Blood, calling
together a people made up of Jew and Gentile, making them one, not according
to the flesh but in the Spirit” (”Lumen Gentium”, 9).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 03/24/2012 8:04:36 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Hebrews 5:7-9

Christ Has Been Made High Priest by God the Father


[7] In the days of the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplica-
tions, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and
he was heard for his godly fear. [8] Although he was a Son, he learned obedience
through what he suffered; [9] and being made perfect he became the source of
eternal salvation to all who obey him.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

7-9. This brief summary of Christ’s life stresses his perfect obedience to the
Father’s will, his intense prayer and his sufferings and redemptive death. As in
the hymn to Christ in Philippians 2:6-11, the point is made that Christ set his po-
wer aside and, despite his being the only-begotten Son of God, out of obedience
chose to die on the cross. His death was a true self-offering expressed in that
“loud voice” when he cried out to the Father just before he died, “into thy hands
I commit my spirit” (Lk 23:46). But although Jesus’ obedience was most obvious
on Calvary, it was a constant feature of “the days of his flesh”: he obeyed Mary
and Joseph, seeing in them the authority of the heavenly Father; he was obedient
to political and religious authorities; and he always obeyed the Father, identifying
himself with him to such a degree that he could say, “I have glorified thee on
earth, having accomplished the work which thou gavest me to do [...]. All mine
are thine and thine are mine” (Jn 17:4, 10).

The passage also points to Jesus prayer, the high point of which occurred in
Gethsemane on the eve of his passion. The reference to “loud cries and suppli-
cations” recalls the Gospel account of his suffering: “And being in an agony he
prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling
down upon the ground” (Lk 22:44).

Hebrews 5:7-9 is probably referring not so much to his prayer in the Garden, still
less to any prayer of Christ asking to be delivered from death, but to our Lord’s
constant prayer for the salvation of mankind. “When the Apostle speaks of these
supplications and cries of Jesus,” St John Chrysostom comments, “he does not
mean prayers which he made on his own behalf but prayers for those who would
later believe in him. And, due to the fact that the Jews did not yet have the eleva-
ted concept of Christ that they ought to have had, St Paul says that ‘he was heard’,
just as the Lord himself told his disciples, to console them, ‘If you loved me, you
would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I’
[...]. Such was the respect and reverence shown by the Son, that God the Father
could not but take note and heed his Son and his prayers” (”Hom. on Heb”, 11).

7. “In the days of his flesh”, a reference to the Incarnation. “Flesh” is synony-
mous with mortal life; this is a reference to Christ’s human nature—as in the pro-
logue to St John’s Gospel (cf. Jn 1:14) and many other places (Heb 2:14; Gal
2:20; Phil 1:22-24; 1 Pet 4:1-2) including where mention is made of Jesus being
a servant and capable of suffering (cf. Phil 2:8; Mt 20:27-28). Jesus’ human nature
“in the days of his flesh” is quite different from his divine nature and also from his
human nature after its glorification (cf. 1 Cor 15:50). “It must be said that the word
‘flesh’ is occasionally used to refer to the weakness of the flesh, as it says in 1
Cor 15:50: ‘flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God’. Christ had a weak
and mortal flesh. Therefore it says in the text, ‘In the days of his flesh’, referring
to when he was living in a flesh which seemed to be like sinful flesh, but which
was sinless” (St Thomas Aquinas, “Commentary on Heb”, 5, 1). So, this text
underlines our Lord’s being both Victim and Priest.

“Prayers and supplications”: very fitting in a priest. The two words mean much
the same; together they are a form of words which used to be employed in peti-
tions to the king or some important official. The plural tells us that there were lots
of these petitions. The writer seems to have in mind the picture of the Redeemer
who “going a little farther fell on his face and prayed, ‘My Father, if it be possible,
let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Mt 26:39).
St Thomas comments on this description of Christ’s prayer as follows: “His ac-
tion was indeed one of offering prayers and supplications, that is, a spiritual sacri-
fice: that was what Christ offered. It speaks of prayers in the sense of petitions
because ‘The prayer of a righteous man has great power’ (Jas 5:16); and it speaks
of supplications to emphasize the humility of the one who is praying, who falls on
his knees, as we see happening in the case of him who ‘fell on his face and
prayed’ (Mt 26:39)” (”Commentary on Heb”, 5, 1).

To emphasize the force of Christ’s prayer, the writer adds, “with loud cries and
tears”. According to rabbinical teaching, there were three degrees of prayer,
each stronger than the last—supplications, cries and tears. Christian tradition has
always been touched by the humanity of the Redeemer as revealed in the way
he prays. “Everything that is being said here may be summed up in one word—
humility: that stops the mouths of those who blaspheme against Christ’s divinity
saying that it is completely inappropriate for a God to act like this. For, on the
contrary, the Godhead laid it down that [Christ’s] human nature should suffer all
this, in order to show us the extreme to which he truly became incarnate and as-
sumed a human nature, and to show us that the mystery of salvation was accom-
plished in a real and not an apparent or fictitious manner” (Theodoret of Cyrus,
“lnterpretatio Ep. ad Haebreos, ad loc.”). Christ’s prayer, moreover, teaches us
that prayer must 1) be fervent and 2) involve interior pain. “Christ had both [fervor
and pain], for the Apostle by mentioning ‘tears’ intends to show the interior groa-
ning of him who weeps in this way [...]. But he did not weep on his own account:
he wept for us, who receive the fruit of his passion” (St Thomas, “Commentary
on Heb., ad loc.”).

“He was heard for his godly fear.” St John Chrysostom’s commentary is very ap-
posite: “’He gave himself up for our sins’, he says in Gal 1:4; and elsewhere (cf.
1 Tim 2:6) he adds, ‘He gave himself as a ransom for all’. What does he mean
by this? Do you not see that he is speaking with humility of himself, because of
his mortal flesh? And, nevertheless, because he is the Son, it says that he was
heard for his godly fear” (”Hom. on Heb.”, 8). It is like a loving contention between
Father and Son. The Son wins the Father’s admiration, so generous is his self-
surrender.

And yet Christ’s prayer did not seem to be heeded, for his Father God did not
save him from ignominious death—the cup he had to drink—nor were all the Jews,
for whom he prayed, converted. But it was only apparently so: in fact Christ’s pra-
yer was heard. It is true that, like every one, the idea of dying was repugnant to
him, because he had a natural instinct to live; but, on the other hand, he wished
to die through a deliberate and rational act of his will, hence in the course of the
prayer, he said, “not my will, but thine, be done” (Lk 22:42). Similarly Christ wan-
ted to save all mankind—but he wanted them to accept salvation freely (cf. “Com-
mentary on Heb., ad loc.”).

8. In Christ there are two perfect and complete natures and therefore two different
levels of knowledge—divine knowledge and human knowledge. Christ’s human
knowledge includes 1) the knowledge that the blessed in heaven have, that is,
the knowledge that comes from direct vision of the divine essence; 2) the know-
ledge with which God endowed man before original sin (infused knowledge); and
3) the knowledge which man acquires through experience. This last-mentioned
knowledge could and in fact did increase (cf. Lk 2:52) in Christ’s case. Christ’s
painful experience of the passion, for example, increased this last type of know-
ledge, which is why the verse says that Christ learned obedience through suffe-
ring. There was a Greek proverb which said, “Sufferings are lessons.” Christ’s
teaching and example raise this positive view of suffering onto the supernatural
level. “In ‘suffering there is concealed’ a particular ‘power that draws a person in-
teriorly close to Christ’, a special grace [...]. A result of such a conversion is not
only that the individual discovers the salvific meaning of suffering but above all
that he becomes a completely new person. He discovers a new dimension, as
it were, ‘of his entire life and vocation’” (Bl. John Paul II, “Salvifici Doloris”, 26).

In our Lord’s case, his experience of suffering was connected with his generosity
in obedience. He freely chose to obey even unto death (cf. Heb 10:5-9; Rom 5:19;
Phil 2:8), consciously atoning for the first sin, a sin of disobedience. “In his suffe-
ring, sins are canceled out precisely because he alone as the only-begotten Son
could take them upon himself, accept them ‘with that love for the Father which
overcomes’ the evil of every sin; in a certain sense he annihilates this evil in the
spiritual space of the relationship between God and humanity, and fills this space
with good” (”Salvifici Doloris”, 17). Christ “learned obedience” not in the sense
that this virtue developed in him, for his human nature was perfect in its holiness,
but in the sense that he put into operation the infused virtue his human soul al-
ready possessed. “Christ knew what obedience was from all eternity, but he
learned obedience in practice through the severities he underwent particularly in
his passion and death” (St Thomas Aquinas, “Commentary on Heb., ad loc.”).

Christ’s example of obedience is something we should copy. A Christian writer
of the fifth century, Diadochus of Photike, wrote: “The Lord loved (obedience) be-
cause it was the way to bring about man’s salvation and he obeyed his Father
unto the cross and unto death; however, his obedience did not in any sense di-
minish his majesty. And so, having—by his obedience—dissolved man’s disobe-
dience, he chose to lead to blessed and immortal life those who followed the
way of obedience” (”Chapters on Spiritual Perfection”, 41).

9. Obviously Christ as God could not increase in perfection. Nor could his sacred
humanity become any holier, for from the moment of his Incarnation he received
the fullness of grace, that is, he had the maximum degree of holiness a man
could have. In this connection Thomas Aquinas points out that Christ had union
(that is, the personal union to the Son of God gratuitously bestowed on human
nature): clearly this grace is infinite as the person of the Word is infinite. The
other grace is habitual grace which, although it is received in a limited human na-
ture, is yet infinite in its perfection because grace was conferred on Christ as the
universal source of the justification of human nature (cf. “Summa Theologiae”, III,
q. 7, a. 11). In what sense, then, could Christ be “made perfect”? St Thomas pro-
vides the answer: Christ, through his passion, achieved a special glory—the im-
passibility and glorification of his body. Moreover, he attained the same perfec-
tions as we shall participate in when we are raised from the dead in glory, those
of us who believe in him (cf. “Commentary on Heb., ad loc.”). For this reason our
Redeemer could exclaim before his death, “It is finished” (Jn 19:30)—referring not
only to his own sacrifice but also to the fact that he had completely accomplished
the redeeming atonement. Christ triumphed on the cross and attained perfection
for himself and for others. In Hebrews the same verb is used for what is translated
into English as “to be made perfect” and “to finish”. Christ, moreover, by obeying
and becoming a perfect victim, truly pleasing to the Father, is more perfectly posi-
tioned to perfect others. “Obedience” is essentially docility to what God asks of
us and readiness to listen to him (cf. Rom 1:5; 16:26; 2 Cor 10:5; Heb 4:3).
Christ’s obedience is a source of salvation for us; if we imitate him we will truly
form one body with him and he will be able to pass on to us the fullness of his
grace.

“Now, when you find it hard to obey, remember your Lord: ‘factus obediens usque
ad mortem, mortem autem crucis”: obedient even to accepting death, death on a
cross!’” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 628).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


5 posted on 03/24/2012 8:05:42 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: John 12:24-26

Jesus Foretells His Glorification (Continuation)


(Jesus said to his disciples,) [24] “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of
wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much
fruit. [25] He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will
keep it for eternal life. [26] If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I
am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor
him.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

24-25. There is an apparent paradox here between Christ’s humiliation and his
glorification. Thus, “it was appropriate that the loftiness of his glorification should
be preceded by the lowliness of his passion”(St. Augustine, “In Ioann. Evang.”,
51, 8). This is the same ideas as we find in St. Paul, when he says that Christ
humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross, and
that therefore God the Father exalted him above all created things (cf. Philippians
2:8-9). This is a lesson and an encouragement to the Christian, who should see
every type of suffering and contradiction as a sharing in Christ’s cross, which re-
deems us and exalts us. To be supernaturally effective, a person has to die to
himself, forgetting his comfort and shedding his selfishness. “If the grain of wheat
does not die, it remains unfruitful. Don’t you want to be a grain of wheat, to die
through mortification, and to yield a rich harvest? May Jesus bless your wheat
field!” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 199).

26. Our Lord has spoken about his sacrifice being a condition of his entering his
glory. And what holds good for the Master applies also to his disciples (cf. Mat-
thew 10:24; Luke 6:40). Jesus wants each of us to be of service to him. It is a
mystery of God’s plan that he — who is all, who has all and who needs nothing
and nobody — should choose to need our help to ensure that his teaching and
the salvation wrought by him reaches all men.

“To follow Christ: that is the secret. We must accompany him so closely that we
come to live with him, like the first Twelve did; so closely, that we become identi-
fied with him. Soon we will be able to say, provided we have not put obstacles in
the way of grace, that we have put on, have clothed ourselves with our Lord Jesus
Christ (cf. Romans 13:14). [...]

“I have distinguished as it were four stages in our effort to identify ourselves with
Christ—seeking him, finding him, getting to know him, loving him. It may seem
clear to you that you are only at the first stage. Seek him then, hungrily; seek
him within yourselves with all your strength. If you act with determination, I am
ready to guarantee that you have already found him, and have begun to get to
know him and to love him, and to hold your conversation in heaven (cf. Phil 3:20)”
(St. J. Escriva, “Friends of God”, 299-300).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States


6 posted on 03/24/2012 8:06:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings


First reading Jeremiah 31:31-34 ©
See, the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks – when I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel (and the House of Judah), but not a covenant like the one I made with their ancestors on the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant of mine, so I had to show them who was master. It is the Lord who speaks. No, this is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel when those days arrive – it is the Lord who speaks. Deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I will be their God and they shall be my people. There will be no further need for neighbour to try to teach neighbour, or brother to say to brother, ‘Learn to know the Lord!’ No, they will all know me, the least no less than the greatest – it is the Lord who speaks – since I will forgive their iniquity and never call their sin to mind.

Psalm Psalm 50:3-4,12-15 ©
A pure heart create for me, O God.
Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.
  In your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
  and cleanse me from my sin.
A pure heart create for me, O God.
A pure heart create for me, O God,
  put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
  nor deprive me of your holy spirit.
A pure heart create for me, O God.
Give me again the joy of your help;
  with a spirit of fervour sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors your ways
  and sinners may return to you.
A pure heart create for me, O God.

Second reading Hebrews 5:7-9 ©
During his life on earth, Christ offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation.

Gospel Acclamation Jn12:26
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!
Whoever serves me must follow me, says the Lord;
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!

Gospel John 12:20-33 ©
Among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. These approached Philip, who came from Bethsaida in Galilee, and put this request to him, ‘Sir, we should like to see Jesus.’ Philip went to tell Andrew, and Andrew and Philip together went to tell Jesus. Jesus replied to them:
‘Now the hour has come
for the Son of Man to be glorified.
I tell you, most solemnly,
unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies,
it remains only a single grain;
but if it dies,
it yields a rich harvest.
Anyone who loves his life loses it;
anyone who hates his life in this world
will keep it for the eternal life.
If a man serves me, he must follow me,
wherever I am, my servant will be there too.
If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.
Now my soul is troubled.
What shall I say:
Father, save me from this hour?
But it was for this very reason that I have come to this hour.
Father, glorify your name!’
A voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ People standing by, who heard this, said it was a clap of thunder; others said, ‘It was an angel speaking to him.’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not for my sake that this voice came, but for yours.
‘Now sentence is being passed on this world;
now the prince of this world is to be overthrown.
And when I am lifted up from the earth,
I shall draw all men to myself.’
By these words he indicated the kind of death he would die.

7 posted on 03/24/2012 8:12:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Following the Truth: Lent: Becoming Uncomfortable About Being Comfortable [Catholic and Open]
Following the Truth: Spiritual Exercises – Week One [of Lent] In Review
Clerical Narcissism and Lent
Content of Pope's Lenten spiritual exercises revealed
How Lent Can Make a Difference in Your Relationship with God (Ecumenical Thread)
A Call from the FSSP French District: offer up your Lent for Catholic Unity [Catholic Caucus]
A Call from the FSSP French District: offer up your Lent for Catholic Unity [Catholic Caucus]
On the 40 Days of Lent
Christians Tailor Lent Outside Catholic Traditions
Christians Tailor Lent Outside Catholic Traditions
Lent, A Time to Shoulder Our Christian Responsibilities
Consecrate this Lent to Jesus through Mary, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity [Catholic Caucus]
Opinion: Lent for Baptists [Ekoomenikal]

Ash (or Clean) Monday - Lent Begins (for some Catholics) - February 20, 2012
[Why I Am Catholic]: Lent And Holy Week (A Primer) [Catholic Caucus]
Lent, A Time to Give from the Heart [Catholic caucus}
Learning the beatitudes during Lent -- use your Rosary to learn the Beatitutdes [Catholic Caucus]
Lenten Ember Days: March 16th, 18th, and 19th, 2011 (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Vincent Ferrer - Sermon for the First Sunday of Lent [Ecumenical]
Pope describes ‘Lenten road’ that leads to renewal
St. Andrew of Crete, Great Canon of Repentance - Tuesday's portion (Orthodox/Latin Caucus)
The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (Monday's portion) [Orth/Cath Caucus]
Penance and Reparation: A Lenten Meditation(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
For Lent - Top 10 Bible Verses on Penance
Cana Sunday: Entrance into Great Lent
2011 Catechetical Homily on the opening of Holy and Great Lent
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Baptists, Lent, and the Reformation Rummage Sale
So What Shall We Do during These Forty Days of Lent? [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Lenten Traditions (Catholic Caucus)
Are You Scrupulous? A Lenten Homily by John Cardinal O’Connor
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Lent and the Catholic Business Professional (Interview)
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Conversion "is going against the current" of an "illusory way of life"[Pope Benedict XVI for Lent]
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40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent!
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Pope Benedict XVI Message for Lent 2010 (Feb 15 = Ash Monday & Feb 17 = Ash Wednesday)
Whatever happened to (Lenten) obligations? [Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving]Archbishop John Vlazny
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A Scriptural Way of the Cross with Meditations by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (Lenten Prayer/Devotional)
Prayer, Fasting and Mercy by St. Peter Chrysologus, Early Church Father [Catholic Caucus]
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Beginning of Lent
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Something New for Lent: Part I -- Holy Souls Saturdays
Reflections for Lent (February, March and April, 2007)
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Pre-Lenten Days -- Family activities-Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras)[Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent! [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

Lenten Fasting or Feasting? [Catholic Caucus]
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THE TRUE NATURE OF FASTING (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
The Triduum and 40 Days
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The History of Lent
The Holy Season of Lent -- Fast and Abstinence
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8 posted on 03/24/2012 8:32:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 


 

PRAYERS AFTER HOLY MASS AND COMMUNION



Leonine Prayers
    Following are the Prayers after Low Mass which were prescribed by Pope Leo XIII who composed the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel, and were reinforced by Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII to pray for the conversion of Russia. These prayers were in effect until after Vatican II. A decade later Paul VI said, "satan has entered the sanctuary." Could the elimination of these powerful prayers with a ten year indulgence have played a huge part in allowing the devil such easy access? The answer is obvious. Below the normal Leonine Prayers is the longer version of the Prayer to St. Michael, composed by His Excellency Pope Leo XIII to defend against The Great Apostasy.
Latin

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum, benedicta tu in mulieribus et benedictus fructis ventris tui, Jesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
(Said 3 times)

    Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae, vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve. Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Evae. Ad te suspiramus gementes et fientes in hac lacrymarum valle. Eia ergo, Advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte. Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis, post hoc exilium, ostende. O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genitrix. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

    Oremus. Deus, refugium nostrum et virtus, populum ad te clamantem propitius respice; et intercedente gloriosa, et immaculata Virgine Dei Genitrice Maria, cum beato Joseph, ejus Sponso, ac beatis Apostolis tuis Petro et Paulo, et omnibus Sanctis, quas pro conversione peccatorum, pro libertate et exaltatione sanctae Matris Ecclesiae, preces effundimus, misericors et benignus exaudi. Per eundum Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio; contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium. Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur: tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis, satanam aliosque spiritus malignos, qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo, divina virtute in infernum detrude. Amen.

Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.
Cor Jesu sacratissimum. Miserere nobis.

Vernacular

   Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
(Said 3 times)

   Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee to we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mouring and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this exile, show unto us the blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

   Let us pray.
O God, our refuge and our strength, look down with mercy upon the people who cry to Thee; and by the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Saint Joseph her spouse, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in Thy mercy and goodness hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners, and for the liberty and exaltation of the Holy Mother the Church. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

   Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray: and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.


Complete Prayer to Saint Michael
    The following is the longer version of the vital prayer composed by Pope Leo XIII in 1888 after his startling vision as to the future of the Church. This prayer was dedicated for the Feast of St. Michael 1448 years from the date of the election of the first Leo - Pope Saint Leo the Great. Everyone is familiar with the first prayer below which was mandated by His Holiness as part of the Leonine Prayers after Low Mass. After Vatican II, in legion with the devil Giovanni Montini outlawed this necessary prayer and then one wonders how "the smoke of satan" got into the sanctuary? The conciliarists wanted to make sure the words in bold below would never see the light of day again for in it Leo foretold what would happen: The shepherd would be struck, the sheep scattered. Below are both the short and longer versions of this poignant prayer which should never be forgotten.

    Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray, and do thou, O heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.

    V: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
    R: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
    V: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
    R: As we have hoped in Thee.
    V: O Lord hear my prayer.
    R: And let my cry come unto Thee.

    V: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls. Amen.


Prayer Before the Crucifix

   Look down upon me, O good and gentle Jesus, while before Thy face I humbly kneel, and with burning soul pray and beseech Thee to fix deep in my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity, true contrition for my sins, and a firm purpose of amendment; the while I contemplate with great love and tender pity Thy five most precious wounds, pondering over them within me, calling to mind the words which David Thy prophet said of Thee, my good Jesus: "They have pierced My hands and My feet; they have numbered all My bones."

Indulgence of ten years; a plenary indulgence if recited after devout reception of Holy Communion, Raccolta 201)

Anima Christi - Soul of Christ

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds, hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
In the hour of my death, call me.
And bid me come to Thee, that with
Thy saints I may praise Thee for ever and ever. Amen.

Indulgence of 300 days; if recited after devout reception of Holy Communion, seven years Raccolta 131)

Prayer for Vocations

   O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst take to Thyself a body and soul like ours, to teach us the glory of self-sacrifice and service, mercifully deign to instill in other hearts the desire to dedicate their lives to Thee. Give us PRIESTS to stand before Thine Altar and to preach the words of Thy Gospel; BROTHERS to assist the priests and to reproduce in themselves Thy humility; SISTERS to teach the young and nurse the sick and to minister Thy charity to all; LAY PEOPLE to imitate Thee in their homes and families. Amen.

9 posted on 03/24/2012 8:40:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Welcome to 40 Days for Life: 40 Days for Life kicks off February 22 in 258 locations!
10 posted on 03/24/2012 8:41:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
11 posted on 03/24/2012 8:50:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
12 posted on 03/24/2012 8:52:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Image Detail
 
Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.


13 posted on 03/24/2012 8:56:37 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]

or

Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Sorrowful Mysteries
(Tuesdays and Fridays)
1. The Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46) [Spiritual fruit - God's will be done]
2. The Scourging at the Pillar (Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15, John 19:1) [Spiritual fruit - Mortification of the senses]
3. The Crowning with Thorns (Matthew 27:27-30, Mark 15:16-20, John 19:2) [Spiritual fruit - Reign of Christ in our heart]
4. The Carrying of the Cross (Matthew 27:31-32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26-32, John 19:17) [Spiritual fruit - Patient bearing of trials]
5. The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:33-56, Mark 15:22-39, Luke 23:33-49, John 19:17-37) [Spiritual fruit - Pardoning of Injuries]

14 posted on 03/24/2012 8:58:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

Psalm 109:8

    "Let his days be few; and let another take his place of leadership."

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


15 posted on 03/24/2012 9:00:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
March Devotion: Saint Joseph

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Due to the solemnity of Saint Joseph on March 19, this month is devoted to this great saint, the foster father of Christ. "It greatly behooves Christians, while honoring the Virgin Mother of God, constantly to invoke with deep piety and confidence her most chaste spouse, Saint Joseph. We have a well grounded conviction that such is the special desire of the Blessed Virgin herself." --Pope Leo XIII

FOR OUR WORK
Glorious Saint Joseph, pattern of all who are devoted to toil, obtain for me the grace to toil in the spirit of penance, in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to toil conscientiously, putting devotion to duty before my own inclinations; to labor with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop, by my labor, the gifts I have received from Almighty God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill-spent, of talents unemployed, of good undone, and of my empty pride in success, which is so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of thee, 0 Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.

OFFERING TO SAINT JOSEPH
O great Saint Joseph, thou generous depositary and dispenser of immortal riches, behold us prostrate at thy feet, imploring thee to receive us as thy servants and as thy children. Next to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, of which thou art the faithful copy, we acknowledge that there is no heart more tender, more compassionate than thine.

What, then, have we to fear, or, rather, for what should we not hope, if thou dost deign to be our benefactor, our master, our model, our father and our mediator? Refuse not, then, this favor, O powerful protector! We ask it of thee by the love thou hast for Jesus and Mary. Into thy hands we commit our souls and bodies, but above all the last moments of our lives.

May we, after having honored, imitated, and served thee on earth, eternally sing with thee the mercies of Jesus and Mary. Amen.

FOR THE INTERCESSION OF SAINT JOSEPH
O Joseph, virgin-father of Jesus, most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary, pray every day for us to the same Jesus, the Son of God, that we, being defended by the power of His grace and striving dutifully in life, may be crowned by Him at the hour of death.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

St. Joseph
St. Joseph was an ordinary manual laborer although descended from the royal house of David. In the designs of Providence he was destined to become the spouse of the Mother of God. His high privilege is expressed in a single phrase, "Foster-father of Jesus." About him Sacred Scripture has little more to say than that he was a just man-an expression which indicates how faithfully he fulfilled his high trust of protecting and guarding God's greatest treasures upon earth, Jesus and Mary.

The darkest hours of his life may well have been those when he first learned of Mary's pregnancy; but precisely in this time of trial Joseph showed himself great. His suffering, which likewise formed a part of the work of the redemption, was not without great providential import: Joseph was to be, for all times, the trustworthy witness of the Messiah's virgin birth. After this, he modestly retires into the background of holy Scripture.

Of St. Joseph's death the Bible tells us nothing. There are indications, however, that he died before the beginning of Christ's public life. His was the most beautiful death that one could have, in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Humbly and unknown, he passed his years at Nazareth, silent and almost forgotten he remained in the background through centuries of Church history. Only in more recent times has he been accorded greater honor. Liturgical veneration of St. Joseph began in the fifteenth century, fostered by Sts. Brigid of Sweden and Bernadine of Siena. St. Teresa, too, did much to further his cult.

At present there are two major feasts in his honor. On March 19 our veneration is directed to him personally and to his part in the work of redemption, while on May 1 we honor him as the patron of workmen throughout the world and as our guide in the difficult matter of establishing equitable norms regarding obligations and rights in the social order.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

St. Joseph is invoked as patron for many causes. He is the patron of the Universal Church. He is the patron of the dying because Jesus and Mary were at his death-bed. He is also the patron of fathers, of carpenters, and of social justice. Many religious orders and communities are placed under his patronage.

Patron: Against doubt; against hesitation; Americas; Austria; Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; California; Belgium; Bohemia; bursars; cabinetmakers; Canada; Carinthia; carpenters; China; Church; confectioners; craftsmen; Croatian people (in 1687 by decree of the Croatian parliament) dying people; emigrants; engineers; expectant mothers; families; fathers; Florence, Italy; happy death; holy death; house hunters; immigrants; interior souls; Korea; laborers; Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin; Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky; Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire; Mexico; Diocese of Nashville, Tennessee; New France; New World; Oblates of Saint Joseph; people in doubt; people who fight Communism; Peru; pioneers; pregnant women; protection of the Church; Diocese of San Jose, California; diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; social justice; Styria, Austria; travelers; Turin Italy; Tyrol Austria; unborn children Universal Church; Vatican II; Viet Nam; Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston West Virginia; wheelwrights; workers; working people.

Symbols: Bible; branch; capenter's square; carpenter's tools; chalice; cross; hand tools; infant Jesus; ladder; lamb; lily; monstrance; old man holding a lily and a carpenter's tool such as a square; old man holding the infant Jesus; plane; rod.

Things to Do:

Prayer to St. Joseph

Pope Pius X composed this prayer to St. Joseph, patron of working people, that expresses concisely the Christian attitude toward labor. It summarizes also for us the lessons of the Holy Family's work at Nazareth.

Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who devote their lives to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to work conscientiously, setting devotion to duty in preference to my own whims; to work with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop by my labor the gifts I have received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill spent, of talents wasted, of good omitted, and of vain complacency in success, which is so fatal to the work of God.

All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of you, O Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death, Amen.

Another prayer to St. Joseph:
To thee, O blessed Joseph, do we fly in our tribulation, and, having implored the help of thy most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke thy holy patronage also. Through that charity which bound thee to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and through the paternal love with which thou didst embrace the Child Jesus, we humbly beseech the graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by His Blood, and with thy power and strength aid us in our necessities.

O most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving Father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be propitious to us, and from Heaven assist us in this our struggle against the power of darkness; and as once thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from death, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of Her enemies and from all adversity.

Shield too, each one of us by thy constant protection, so that, supported by thine example and strengthened by thine aid, we may be able to live a holy life, to die a holy death, and to obtain eternal happiness in Heaven. Amen.

St. Joseph: Patron saint of three Popes [Catholic Caucus]
St. Joseph and the Staircase
St. Joseph, Foster Father, Novena [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Patron of a “Happy Death” A Special Role for St. Joseph [Catholic/Orhtodox Caucus]
Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 7 Sorrows and 7 Joys of St. Joseph
Catholic Group Blasts Pelosi For Invoking St. Joseph on Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill
THE SEVEN SORROWS AND SEVEN JOYS OF ST. JOSEPH
Joseph, Mary and Jesus: A Model Family
Season of Announcement - Revelation to Joseph

In hard times, don't forget about the humble carpenter Joseph
Saint Joseph: Complete submission to the will of God (Pope Benedict XVI) (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Joseph as Head of the Holy Family (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Joseph, Patron of a Peaceful Death [Catholic Caucus]
Octave: St. Joseph, A 'Man’s Man', Calling Men to Jesus
St. Teresa de Avila's Devotion to St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Men's National Day of Prayer, MARCH 15, 2008, The Solemnity of St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
The Role and Responsibility of Fatherhood - St. Joseph as Model
St. Joseph - Foster Father of Jesus
Some divine intervention in real estate-[Bury St. Joseph Statues in Ground]

Many Turn To Higher Power For Home Sales
St. Joseph the Worker, Memorial, May 1
Catholic Devotions: St. Joseph the Worker
Nothing Will Be Denied Him (St. Joseph)
The Heart of a Father [St. Joseph]
St. Joseph's DAY
Quemadmodum Deus - Decree Under Blessed Pius IX, Making St. Joseph Patron of the Church
Father & Child (An Evangelical Minister preaches on St. Joseph)
March 19 - Feast of St. Joseph - Husband of Mary - Intercessor of civil leaders
St. Joseph's Spirit of Silence

St. Joseph's Humility (By St. Francis de Sales)
St. Joseph [Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary], Solemnity, March 19
St Joseph’s Paternal Love
The Heart of St. Joseph
MORE THAN PATRON OF HOMES, IT'S TIME FOR ST. JOSEPH TO GAIN HIGHEST OF RECOGNITION [Fatherhood]
The Importance of Devotion to St. Joseph
St. Francis de Sales on St. Joseph (Some Excerpts for St. Joseph's Day 2004)
St. Joseph: REDEMPTORIS CUSTOS (Guardian Of The Redeemer)
(Saint) Joseph the Patriarch: A Reflection on the Solemnity of St. Joseph
How I Rediscovered a "Neglected" Saint: Work of Art Inspires Young Man to Rediscover St. Joseph

16 posted on 03/24/2012 9:01:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

March 2012

Pope's intentions

General Intention: Contribution of Women. That the whole world may recognize the contribution of women to the development of society.

Missionary Intention: Persecuted Christians. That the Holy Spirit may grant perseverance to those who suffer discrimination, persecution, or death for the name of Christ, particularly in Asia.


17 posted on 03/24/2012 9:02:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Arlington Catholic Herald

The tradition of mediation
By Fr. Jerome Magat

In this week’s Gospel account, Greek visitors to Jerusalem request to see Jesus. They approach St. Philip the Apostle with this request. The name “Philip” is a Greek name and Philip himself probably understood Greek and served as an interpreter on their behalf. In reply, Philip seeks out Andrew and together they approach Jesus on behalf of the Greeks. This is not an insignificant moment because this may have been the first time that persons from the Greek world would have sought Jesus. In any case, the encounter between the Greeks and Jesus comes about through the mediation of two apostles.

For the Jews, the idea of mediation was very familiar. The entire priestly cult exercised at the temple was predicated upon the mediation of the priest, who would offer sacrifice to God on behalf of the people. Jesus would continue this theme in His own passion, death and resurrection — mediating the redemption of the entire world on our behalf to the Father. Priests, acting in the person of Christ, serve as mediators between God and men in regards to the sacred mysteries of the Catholic faith, especially in the celebration of the sacraments. The concept of mediation in regards to worship and salvation is part of God’s plan. When it comes to our salvation, mediation is not a “man-made” concept. Scripture is replete with stories of God selecting mediators to act on His behalf to save the human family. In our own contemporary experience, how often do we rely upon the mediation of others? For example, when a man seeks out a woman romantically, he often asks her friends for an introduction. Similarly, when someone desires employment, it is a common practice to ask for a reference from a friend within the company who can arrange for an interview.

Philip and Andrew’s mediation serves as a valuable lesson for those who reject the notion that other men can and should mediate between God and men. There are those for whom the idea of mediation is uncomfortable. Whether it is the Blessed Virgin Mary’s title of Mediatrix of all Graces or the mediatory role that priests serve in the sacraments, many object and claim that they need only go directly to God — they have no need of a third party to mediate on their behalf. When pressed to celebrate the sacrament of penance, they claim, “I don’t need to tell the priest my sins. I go directly to God.” This rejection of mediation implicitly rejects the aforementioned mediation Christ rendered for us to the Father at Calvary. It also discounts the truth about the human person: that He is made for communion and cooperation with others. Seeking a mediator requires humility; hence it is difficult for many persons to accept. And yet, this is precisely how Jesus chose to render our salvation — as mediator.

The Greeks who approach Philip in an attempt to encounter Jesus make one simple request. They say, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” As disciples of the Lord and persons who may serve as portals or access points for others to encounter Jesus, we are tasked with the responsibility of making Jesus easy to see and encounter by the manner of the sanctified lives we lead. Like Philip and Andrew who serve as catalysts for the encounter between the Greeks and Jesus, may we commit to making the path to Jesus easy for others to take so that they may encounter the Lord and be saved.

Fr. Magat is parochial vicar of St. William of York Parish in Stafford.


18 posted on 03/24/2012 9:14:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Work of God

 Unless a wheat grain falls to the ground and dies Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year B

 -  Fifth Sunday of Lent

Unless a wheat grain falls to the ground and dies

Unless a wheat grain falls to the ground and dies Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit John 12:20-30

20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks.
21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
23 Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.
27 "Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say -- 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.
28 Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
29 The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
30 Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine.

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Fifth Sunday of Lent - Unless a wheat grain falls to the ground and dies My reputation grew very quickly and people from other countries were attracted to my teachings and the miracles that I was performing. They were pagans who would be transformed by my words and become my followers.

I asked my Heavenly Father to glorify his name, then my Father responded saying: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” Those who heard the voice thought they were hearing thunder, some thought an angel was speaking to me.
My Father made His presence felt in order to give faith to the unbelievers, to attest that I was the Son of the Living God, His eternal Word that must be heard, so that everyone can be saved.

The hour had come for the Son of God to be glorified, but it was hard for them to understand that I had to die to be glorified as the Savior of the world, the one who gives eternal life to those who are dead in their sins. I illustrated how, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. In the same way I had to suffer and die for the sins of humanity, so that with my death I would destroy sin, the devil and death in order to share the power of the resurrection with everyone who follows me.

I said, those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world, for my sake, will keep it for eternal life. The man who loves his life and lives for the flesh and the pleasures of this world will lose his life. The man who mortifies his senses for the sake of his soul, who denies himself and carries the cross of my will, will savor eternal life as his reward.

Dear soul, if you truly love me, have no fear of death. Death is the door to eternal life and I am standing there to receive your soul and bless you for eternity. Therefore live your life with contempt for the world, purify yourself with heavenly thoughts, aspire to posses the kingdom of heaven in your heart, accept the will of God and pray constantly because your liberation is near.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


19 posted on 03/24/2012 9:30:37 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Archdiocese of Washington

The Gospel today is, to the world and to those who are perishing, utter madness, utter foolishness. For Christ, in effect, declares that dying (to this world) is the only way to true life. While the world’s so-called wisdom declares to us that the way to life is power, prestige, possessions and popularity, Jesus says, die to all that and you’ll find true life.

The word “paradox” refers to something that is contrary to the usual way of thinking. And the true gospel, (not the watered down, compromised one) is a real insult to the world.

Indeed, most of us struggle to understand and accept what the Lord is saying. But the Lord can give us a heart for what really matters, a heart for God, for love, and for the things waiting for us in heaven. But the way to this new life is through the Cross. Jesus had to go to the cross and die to give us this new life. And we too must go to his cross and die with him to this world’s agenda in order to rise to new life.

To those who would scoff at this way of the Cross there is only one thing to say, “The Cross wins, it Always wins.

Let’s examine the Lord’s Paradoxical Plan to save us and bring us to new life.

I. The Plan of Salvation that is Acclaimed: As the Gospel opens we find a rather strange incident. The text says,  Some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

What is odd is the apparent “over-reaction” that Jesus has to the simple fact of some Greeks wishing to speak to him. From this seemingly simple and unremarkable (to us) fact, Jesus senses the stunning fact that his “hour” has now come. Yes, now the time for his glorification, that is, his suffering, death and resurrection, to take place. He goes on later to say, “I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.

Yes, all this from the simple fact that certain Greeks, i.e. certain Gentiles wish to speak to him.

Even more remarkable, is that nothing in the text indicates that Jesus in fact goes over to speak to them. Having given this stunning soliloquy and announced that the drama was to unfold, there is no evidence that he eagerly goes to the Greeks to evangelize them. We will see why this in a moment.

But first let us examine why this simple request throws the whole switch on for Holy Week to unfold. In effect, the arrival of the Gentiles fulfills a critical prophecy about the Messiah wherein He would gather the nations unto himself and make of fractured humanity one nation, one family. Consider two prophesies:

  1. I come to gather nation of every language; they shall come and see my glory. just as the Israelites bring their offering to the house of the Lord in clean vessels. Some of these I will take as priests and Levites says the Lord….All mankind shall come to worship before me says the Lord. (Is 66:18, 23)
  2. And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, every one who keeps the Sabbath, and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant– these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. (Is 56:6-7)

Thus we see that one of the principle missions of the Messiah would be to save, not only the Jewish People, but all people and to draw them into right worship, and unity in the one Lord. Jesus explicitly states elsewhere his intention to gather the Gentiles:

I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd (John 10:14).

And so it is that this apparently simple request of the Greeks (Gentiles) to see Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, carries such significance for him (and us).

But why not run and greet them at once? Simply put, the call and salvation of the Gentiles must wait for the death and the resurrection of Jesus to be accomplished. It will be his atoning death that will reunite us with the Father and with one another. A simple sermon or slogan like “Can’t we all get along” isn’t going to accomplish the deeper unity necessary. Only the Blood of Jesus can bring true Shalom with the Father and wit one another, only the blood of Jesus can save us.

Consider this text from Ephesians:

But now in Christ Jesus you [Gentiles] who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made us both {Jews and Gentiles] one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. (Eph 2:13ff)

Thus, nothing but the Blood of Jesus can make us whole, can save us or make us one, either with the Father or each other. There is no true unity apart from Christ and he secures it by his blood and the power of his cross. Only by baptism into the paschal mystery do we become members of the Body of Christ and find true and lasting unity, salvation, and true peace.

So the door has opened from the Gentiles side, But Jesus knows the way through door goes by way the Cross. His apparent delay in rushing to greet the Gentiles makes sense in this light. Only after his resurrection he will say, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.... (Matt 28:19) for now there is the power through baptism to make all one in Christ. The Price of our salvation, our new life, our peace with each other, and the Father, is the death and Resurrection of Jesus. And thank the Lord, Jesus paid that price. An old songs says Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan! Oh, the grace that brought it down to man! Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span! At Calvary!

II. The Plan of Salvation Applied – Jesus goes on to say Amen, amen, I say to you, 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 serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.

Now while it is true that Jesus pays the price for our peace and unity, with the Father and which each other, it is also true that he sets forth and prescribes a pattern for us and applies it. Note that Jesus says, Amen, Amen I say to YOU….and again he says, Whoever serves me must follow me.

Thus the pattern of his dying and rising to new life must also be applied to the pattern of our life. And if we seek unity and peace and to enjoy this new life with the Father, we must die to rise again. We must follow in the footsteps of Jesus. If we want peace we have to be willing to accept the pattern of dying fro it and rising to it.

How must we die for this? Well we have to die to:

  1. Our ego
  2. Our desire for revenge
  3. Our hurts from the past
  4. Our desire to control everything
  5. Our sinful and unbiblical agendas
  6. Our irrational fears rooted in ego and exaggerated notions
  7. Our hatreds
  8. Our unrealistic expectations
  9. Our stubbornness
  10. Our inflexibility
  11. Our impatience
  12. Our unreasonable demands
  13. Our greed
  14. Our worldliness

Yes, we have to be willing to experience some sacrifices for unity and to obtain new life. We have to let the Lord put a lot of sinful and unhealthy drives to death in us. New life does not just occur, Peace and unity do not just happen. We have to journey to them through Calvary. We too must allow the Lord to crucify our sinful desires and thereby rise to new life.

But remember, the Cross wins. It always wins.

III. The Plan of Salvation At day’s end. – Jesus speaks of a great promise of new life but presents it in a very paradoxical way. He says: Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.

In other words, if we are not willing to follow the pattern he sets forth above of dying to ourselves and to this world, we cannot truly live. And if we go on clinging to our worldly notions of life and live only for ourselves, and for power, possessions, popularity, and prestige, we are already dead. For indeed, if we live only for the things of this world (and many do), ours is a cruel and laughable fate, for we die and lose all. Yes, total losers.

But if we allow the Lord to help us die to the this world’s agenda, to its pathetic charms, then, and only then do we pass increasingly to real life, to true unity with the Father and to deeper unity with one another in Christ.Only then does a newer, deeper life dawn upon us and do we see our lives dramatically transformed day to day.

Jesus had to die to give this to us. And in order to have it bestowed on us, and we must be configured to Christ’s death to this world in order to live in him and find this new life. We die to a sinful and overrated world, to live in a whole new way in a life open to something richer than we can ever imagine.

Note too, Jesus calls this new life, “eternal life.” But eternal life means far more than to live forever. Rather “eternal,” while not excluding the notion of endless length,  more deeply means “to become fully alive.”

And for those who know Christ, this process has already begun. At age 50, my bodily life has suffered setbacks. But spiritually I am more alive than I ever was at 20, and wait till I’m 80! Our bodies may be declining, but our souls are growing younger and more vibrant, more fully alive, if we love and trust Christ. Yes, I am more joyful, more serene, more confident, less sinful, less angry, less anxious, more compassionate, more patient, more alive!

But all of this comes from dying to this world, little by little and thus having more room for the life Christ offers.

What is the price of our Peace and our new life? Everything! For we shall only attain to it by dying to this world. And while our final physical death will seal the deal, there are all the ten thousand little deaths that usher in this new life even now. Our physical death is but the final component of a lifelong journey in Christ. For those who know Christ, the promise then will be full. For those who rejected him, the loss will be total.

An old song says, Now I’ve given Jesus everything, Now I gladly own Him as my King, Now my raptured soul can only sing Of Calvary!

Yes, the promise is real, but it is paradoxically obtained. The world calls all this foolishness. But you decide. Choose either the “wisdom of this world” or the folly of Christ. As for me, call me a fool, but make sure you add I was a fool for Christ. I do not mind. The cross wins, it always wins.

This song says:

Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died
On Calvary.

Refrain:
Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty
At Calvary.

By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned
To Calvary.

Now I’ve given Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing
Of Calvary!

Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span
At Calvary!


20 posted on 03/24/2012 9:37:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Gospel Reflections

5th Sunday of Lent
April 6, 2003
Reading I:
Jeremiah 31:31-34 II: Hebrews 5:7-9
Gospel
John 12:20-33

20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.
21 So these came to Philip, who was from Beth-sa'ida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew went with Philip and they told Jesus.
23 And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified.
24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
26 If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him.
27 "Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour.
28 Father, glorify thy name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
29 The crowd standing by heard it and said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
30 Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine.
31 Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out;
32 and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."
33 He said this to show by what death he was to die.


Interesting Details
  • This incident occurs after Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem just before the Passion. Strangers to the Jews, these men from the Hellenistic world came to Jerusalem to participate at the Pascal pilgrimage.
  • (v.20) The contact of Jesus during his ministry was confined mostly to his own people. The contact with the Gentiles was exceptional. The desire of these people of Greek culture to look for a true God to worship, led them to try to meet with Jesus.
  • (v.21) Philip and Andrew were the only persons having Greek names. Maybe because of Philip's knowledge of the Greek language, they came to him asking to be introduced to Jesus.
  • (v.22) The "hour" in this case means the moment of the Redemption through his death and glorification; it is also the condemnation of this "World" and its ruler (v.31).
  • (v.24) "Fruit" in this context may suggest the convert of the Gentiles.
  • (v.25) To hate is a Jewish way to say "love less." We are to prefer eternal life over the earthly one.
  • (v.28) God the Father bears witness to the divinity of Jesus as He did at Christ's baptism (Mt 3:13-17) and at his Transfiguration (Mt 17:1-5).

One Main Point

The main part of this Gospel speaks of the necessity of the death of Jesus for universal salvation. Only by the surrender of his life could Christ bear fruit, that is to bring all people to salvation, Jews and Gentiles alike.


Reflections
  1. Try to put yourself at the moment when you heard what God the Father has said: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again (v.28)". Jesus said that the message is intended for you. He looks at you. What do you think God the Father means to tell you? What kind of response do you present to Him?
  2. Does this Gospel passage challenge you against your present way of living? Did you ever introduce anyone to Jesus? What will be your response when someone told you they were wondering about the meaning of life?
  3. The thought of death saddens Jesus (v.27), but He turns to the Father in prayer. Are you saddened by Jesus' call to follow Him? To hate your life? And to be buried like the grain of wheat into the ground? What is your answer to his call?

21 posted on 03/24/2012 9:41:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Fifth Sunday of Lent
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 51:3-4, 12-15
Hebrews 5:7-9
John 12:20-33

Idleness begets a life of discontent. It develops self-love, which is the cause of all our miseries, and renders us unworthy to receive the favors of divine love.

-- St. Ignatius Loyola


22 posted on 03/24/2012 9:45:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


23 posted on 03/24/2012 9:46:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Mar 25, Invitatory for Sunday of the 5th week of Lent

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. II:
Antiphon: 1043
Psalm: 1044

Christian Prayer:
Antiphon: 687
Psalm: 688

Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.

Psalm 95

Come, let us sing to the Lord
and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving
and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.

The Lord is God, the mighty God,
the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth
and the highest mountains as well
He made the sea; it belongs to him,
the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship,
bending the knee before the Lord, our maker,
For he is our God and we are his people,
the flock he shepherds.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord:
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did in the wilderness,
when at Meriba and Massah they challenged me and provoked me,
Although they had seen all of my works.

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.

Forty years I endured that generation.
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray
and they do not know my ways.
So I swore in my anger,
“They shall not enter into my rest.”

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be fore ever, Amen

Ant. Come, let us worship Christ the Lord, who for our sake endured temptation and suffering.

24 posted on 03/25/2012 2:14:53 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Mar 25, Office of Readings for Sunday of the 5th week of Lent

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. II:
Ordinary: 1045
Proper of Seasons: 338
Psalter: Sunday, Week I, 1081

Christian Prayer book does not contain Office of Readings

Office of Readings for the Fifth Sunday of Lent

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

HYMN

“Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the Lord,
call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the nations,
proclaim that his name is exalted.
“Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be known in all the earth.
Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

“Behold God is my salvation” by Choir of Girton College; Words from Isaiah 12.2-6

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 See how the cross of the Lord stands revealed as the tree of life.

Psalm 1
There are two ways a man may take

They are happy who, putting all their trust in the cross, have plunged into the water of life (from an author of the second century).

Happy indeed is the man
who follows not the counsel of the wicked;
nor lingers in the way of sinners
nor sits in the company of scorners,
but whose delight is the law of the Lord
and who ponders his law day and night.

He is like a tree that is planted
beside the flowing waters,
that yields its fruit in due season
and whose leaves shall never fade;
and all that he does shall prosper.
Not so are the wicked, not so!

For they like winnowed chaff
shall be driven away by the wind.
When the wicked are judged they shall not stand,
nor find room among those who are just;
for the Lord guards the way of the just
but the way of the wicked leads to doom.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Lord, you are the fullness of life of holiness and of joy. Fill our days and night with the love of your wisdom, that we may bear fruit in the beauty of holiness, like a tree watered by running streams.

Ant. See how the cross of the Lord stands revealed as the tree of life.

Ant. 2 Here is a king of my own choosing who will rule on Mt. Zion.

Psalm 2
The Messiah, king and conqueror

The rulers of the earth joined forces to overthrow Jesus, your anointed Son (Acts 4:27).

Why this tumult among nations,
among peoples this useless murmuring?
They arise, the kings of the earth,
princes plot against the Lord and his Anointed.
“Come let us break their fetters,
come, let us cast off their yoke.”

He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord is laughing them to scorn.
Then he will speak in his anger,
his rage will strike them with terror.
“It is I who have set up my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”

I will announce the decree of the Lord:
The Lord said to me: “You are my Son.
It is I who have begotten you this day.
Ask and I shall bequeath you the nations,
put the ends of the earth in your possession.
With a rod of iron you will break them,
shatter them like a potter’s jar.”

Now, O kings, understand,
take warning, rulers of the earth;
serve the Lord with awe
and trembling, pay him your homage
lest he be angry and you perish;
for suddenly his anger will blaze.

Blessed are they
who put their trust in God.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Lord God, you gave the peoples of the world as the inheritance of your only Son; you crowned him as king of Zion, your holy city, and gave him your Church to be his bride. As he proclaims the law of your eternal kingdom, may we serve him faithfully, and so share his royal power forever.

Ant. Here is a king of my own choosing who will rule on Mt. Zion.

Ant. 3 Lord, you are my protector; you have raised me up in glory.

Psalm 3
I am safe in the Lord’s keeping

Christ fell asleep in death, but he rose from the dead, for God was his deliverer (Saint Irenaeus).

How many are my foes, O Lord!
How many are rising up against me!
How many are saying about me:
“There is no help for him in God.”

But you, Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, who lift up my head.
I cry aloud to the Lord.
He answers from his holy mountain.

I lie down to rest and I sleep.
I wake, for the Lord upholds me.
I will not fear even thousands of people
who are ranged on every side against me.

Arise, Lord; save me, my God,
you who strike all my foes on the mouth,
you who break the teeth of the wicked!
O Lord of salvation, bless your people!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Lord God, you heard the cry of your Son when he was oppressed and saved him from the sleep of death. Arise, Lord, help your Church. Be its shield so that it may hold up its head and radiate the glory of the resurrection.

Ant. Lord, you are my protector; you have raised me up in glory.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell) – a moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

If anyone obeys my teaching.
He will never die.

READINGS

First reading
From the beginning of the letter to the Hebrews
1:1—2:4
The Son and heir of all things is exalted above the angels

In times past, God spoke in fragmentary and varied ways to our fathers through the prophets; in this, the final age, he has spoken to us through his Son, whom he has made heir of all things and through whom he first created the universe. This Son is the reflection of the Father’s glory, the exact representation of the Father’s being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he took his seat at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven, as far superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

To which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my son; today I have begotten you”?

Or again,

“I will be his father, and he shall be my son”?

And again, when he leads his first-born into the world, he says,

“Let all the angels of God worship him.”

Of the angels he says,

“He makes his angels winds, and his ministers flaming fire”;
but of the Son,

“Your throne, O God, stands forever and ever;
a righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved justice and hated wickedness,
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness above your fellow kings.”

And,

“Lord, of old you established the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you remain;
all of them will grow old like a garment.
You will roll them up like a cloak,
like a garment they will be changed
But you are the same, and your years will have no end.”

To which of the angels has God ever said,

“Sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool”?

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to serve those who are to inherit salvation?

In view of this, we must attend all the more to what we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels stood unchanged, and all transgression and disobedience received its due punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore a salvation as great as ours? Announced first by the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who had heard him. God then gave witness to it by signs, miracles, varied acts of power, and distribution of the gifts of the Holy Spirit as he willed.

RESPONSORY Hebrews 1:3; 12:2

Christ Jesus, the radiance of the Father’s glory and the full expression of his being, upholds all things by the power of his word. He cleansed us from our sins,
and now he has taken his place in heaven, at the right hand of God in his majesty.

Our faith rests on Jesus, who endured the cross for the sake of the joy that lay before him.
And now he has taken his place in heaven, at the right hand of God in his majesty.

Second reading
From an Easter letter by Saint Athanasius, bishop
We keep the coming feast of the Lord through deeds, not words

The Word who became all things for us is close to us, our Lord Jesus Christ who promises to remain with us always. He cries out, saying: See, I am with you all the days of this age. He is himself the shepherd, the high priest, the way and the door, and has become all things at once for us. In the same way, he has come among us as our feast and holy day as well. The blessed Apostle says of him who was awaited: Christ has been sacrificed as our Passover. It was Christ who shed his light on the psalmist as he prayed: You are my joy, deliver me from those surrounding me. True joy, genuine festival, means the casting out of wickedness. To achieve this one must live a life of perfect goodness and, in the serenity of the fear of God, practice contemplation in one’s heart.

This was the way of the saints, who in their lifetime and at every stage of life rejoiced as at a feast. Blessed David, for example, not once but seven times rose at night to win God’s favor through prayer. The great Moses was full of joy as he sang God’s praises in hymns of victory for the defeat of Pharaoh and the oppressors of the Hebrew people. Others had hearts filled always with gladness as they performed their sacred duty of worship, like the great Samuel and the blessed Elijah. Because of their holy lives they gained freedom, and now keep festival in heaven. They rejoice after their pilgrimage in shadows, and now distinguish the reality from the promise.

When we celebrate the feast in our own day, what path are we to take? As we draw near to this feast, who is to be our guide? Beloved, it must be none other than the one whom you will address with me as our Lord Jesus Christ. He says: I am the way. As blessed John tells us: it is Christ who takes away the sin of the world. It is he who purifies our souls, as the prophet Jeremiah says: Stand upon the ways; look and see which is the good path, and you will find in it the way of amendment for your souls.

In former times the blood of goats and the ashes of a calf were sprinkled on those who were unclean, but they were able to purify only the body. Now through the grace of God’s Word everyone is made abundantly clean. If we follow Christ closely we shall be allowed, even on this earth, to stand as it were on the threshold of the heavenly Jerusalem, and enjoy the contemplation of that everlasting feast, like the blessed apostles, who in following the Savior as their leader, showed, and still show, the way to obtain the same gift from God. They said: See, we have left all things and followed you. We too follow the Lord, and we keep his feast by deeds rather than by words.

RESPONSORY Hebrews 6:20; John 1:29

For our sake, Jesus went before us into heaven,
and he has become like Melchizedek, a high priest for ever.

This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
And he has become like Melchizedek, a high priest for ever.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

By your help,
we beseech you, Lord our God,
may we walk eagerly
in that same charity with which,
out of love for the world,
your Son handed himself over to death.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION (only added when praying in community)

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

25 posted on 03/25/2012 2:15:12 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Mar 25, Morning Prayer for Sunday of the 5th week of Lent

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. II:
Ordinary: 1049
Proper of Seasons: 342
Psalter: Sunday, Week I, 1086

Christian Prayer:
Ordinary: 689
Proper of Seasons: 365
Psalter: Sunday, Week I, 706

Morning Prayer for the Fifth Sunday of Lent

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

HYMN

According to Thy gracious word,
In meek humility,
This will I do, my dying Lord,
I will remember Thee.

Thy body, broken for my sake,
My bread from Heaven shall be;
The testamental cup I take,
And thus remember Thee.

Gethsemane can I forget?
Or there Thy conflict see,
Thine agony, and bloody sweat,
And not remember Thee?

When to the cross I turn mine eyes,
And rest on Calvary,
O Lamb of God, my sacrifice,
I must remember Thee;

Remember Thee, and all Thy pains
And all Thy love to me;
Yea, while a breath, a pulse remains,
Will I remember Thee.

And when these failing lips grow dumb
And mind and memory flee,
When Thou shalt in Thy kingdom come,
Jesus, remember me.

Title: According to thy gracious word; Artist: Newcastle Cathedral Choir; Words: James Montgomery
“According to thy gracious word” by the Newcastle Cathedral Choir is available from Amazon.com

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 My God, you have become my help.

Psalm 63:2-9
A soul thirsting for God

Whoever has left the darkness of sin yearns for God.

O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Father, creator of unfailing light, give that same light to those who call to you. May our lips praise you; our lives proclaim your goodness; our work give you honor, and our voices celebrate you for ever.

Ant. My God, you have become my help.

Ant. 2 Free us by your wonderful works; deliver us from the power of death.

Canticle – Daniel 3:57-88, 56
Let all creatures praise the Lord

All you servants of the Lord, sing praise to him (Revelation 19:5).

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord.
You heavens, bless the Lord.
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord.
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord.
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord.
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord.
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord.
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord.
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord.
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord.
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord.
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord.
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord.
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

O Israel, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord.
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Let us praise and exalt him above all forever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven.
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all forever.

Ant. Free us by your wonderful works; deliver us from the power of death.

Ant. 3 The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

Psalm 149
The joy of God’s holy people.

Let the sons of the Church, the children of the new people, rejoice in Christ, their King (Hesychius).

Sing a new song to the Lord,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker,
let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people.
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory,
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

to deal out vengeance to the nations
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained;
this honor is for all his faithful.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Let Israel rejoice in you, Lord, and acknowledge you as creator and redeemer. We put our trust in your faithfulness and proclaim the wonderful truths of salvation. May your loving kindness embrace us now and for ever.

Ant. The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

READING Leviticus 23:4-7

These are the festivals of the Lord which you shall celebrate at their proper time with a sacred assembly. The Passover of the Lord falls on the fourteenth day of the first month, at the evening twilight. The fifteenth day of this month is the Lord’s feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first of these days you shall hold a sacred assembly and do no sort of work.

Sacred Silence(indicated by a bell) – a moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

RESPONSORY

Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.
Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.

You were wounded for our offenses,
have mercy on us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us.

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH

Ant. Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; let us go and wake him.

Luke 1:68 – 79
The Messiah and his forerunner

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; let us go and wake him.

INTERCESSIONS

Let us praise our loving Redeemer, who gained for us this season of grace, and pray to him, saying:
Lord, create a new spirit in us.

Christ, our life, through baptism we were buried with you and rose to life with you,
may we walk today in newness of life.
Lord, create a new spirit in us.

Lord, you have brought blessings to all mankind,
bring us to share your concern for the good of all.
Lord, create a new spirit in us.

May we work together to build up the earthly city,
with our eyes fixed on the city that lasts for ever.
Lord, create a new spirit in us.

Healer of body and soul, cure the sickness of our spirit,
so that we may grow in holiness through your constant care.
Lord, create a new spirit in us.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Concluding Prayer

By your help,
we beseech you, Lord our God,
may we walk eagerly
in that same charity with which,
out of love for the world,
you Son handed himself over to death.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

DISMISSAL

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

26 posted on 03/25/2012 2:15:16 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Mar 25, Midday Prayer for Sunday of the 5th week of Lent

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. II:
Ordinary: 1054
Proper of Seasons: 345 (Midday)
Psalter: Sunday, Week I, 1092

Midday Prayer for the Fifth Sunday of Lent, using the Current Psalmody

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

HYMN

O Lord my God! when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul! my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul! my Savior God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

”How Great Thou Art” by Melinda Kirigin-Voss; Originally this was a Swedish folk melody, “O Store Gud” by Carl Boberg (1859-1940) and was translated by Stuart K. Hine in 1899.

PSALMODY

Ant. As I live, says the Lord, I do not wish the sinner to die but to turn back to me and live.

Psalm 118
Song of joy for salvation

This Jesus is the stone which, rejected by you builders, has become the chief stone supporting all the rest (Acts 4:11).

I

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
for his love endures for ever.

Let the sons of Israel say:
“His love endures for ever.”
Let the sons of Aaron say:
“His love endures for ever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say:
“His love endures for ever.”

I called to the Lord in my distress;
he answered and freed me.
The Lord is at my side; I do not fear.
What can man do against me?
The Lord is at my side as my helper:
I shall look down on my foes.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in men:
it is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

II

The nations all encompassed me;
in the Lord’s name I crushed them.

They compassed me, compassed me about;
in the Lord’s name I crushed them.
They compassed me about like bees;
they blazed like a fire among thorns.
In the Lord’s name I crushed them.

I was hard-pressed and was falling
but the Lord came to help me.
The Lord is my strength and my song;
he is my savior.
There are shouts of joy and victory
in the tents of the just.

The Lord’s right hand has triumphed;
his right hand raised me.
The Lord’s right hand has triumphed;
I shall not die, I shall live
and recount his deeds.
I was punished, I was punished by the Lord,
but not doomed to die.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

III

Open to me the gates of holiness:
I will enter and give thanks.
This is the Lord’s own gate
where the just may enter.
I will thank you for you have answered
and you are my savior.

The stone which the builders rejected
has become the corner stone.
This is the work of the Lord,
a marvel in our eyes.
This day was made by the Lord;
we rejoice and are glad.

O Lord, grant us salvation;
O Lord, grant success.
Blessed in the name of the Lord
is he who comes.
We bless you from the house of the Lord;
the Lord God is our light.

Go forward in procession with branches
even to the altar.
You are my God, I thank you.
My God, I praise you.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good;
for his love endures for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm-prayer

Lord God, you have given us the great day of rejoicing: Jesus Christ, the stone rejected by the builders, has become the cornerstone of the Church, our spiritual home. Shed upon your Church the rays of your glory, that it may be seen as the gate of salvation open to all nations. Let cries of joy and exultation ring out from its tents, to celebrate the wonder of Christ’s resurrection.

Ant. As I live, says the Lord, I do not wish the sinner to die but to turn back to me and live.

READING 1 Peter 4:13-14

Rejoice in the measure that you share Christ’s sufferings. When his glory is revealed, you will rejoice exultantly. Happy are you when you are insulted for the sake of Christ, for then God’s Spirit in its glory has come to rest on you.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell)
A moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

Turn your face away from my sins.
Blot out all my guilt.

CONCLUDING PRAYER

By your help,
we beseech you, Lord our God,
may we walk eagerly
in that same charity with which,
out of love for the world,
you Son handed himself over to death.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

ACCLAMATION (only added when praying in community)

Let us praise the Lord.
And give him thanks.

27 posted on 03/25/2012 2:15:24 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Mar 25, Evening Prayer II – Solemnity for Fifth Sunday of Lent

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. II:
Ordinary: 1064
All from Proper of Saints page 1733 to 1738

Christian Prayer:
Ordinary: 694
Propers: 372
Psalter: 734

Evening Prayer I for the Solemnity of the Annunciation

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

HYMN

Sing of Mary, pure and lowly,
Virgin mother undefiled,
Sing of God’s own Son most holy,
Who became her little child.
Fairest child of fairest mother,
God the Lord who came to earth,
Word made flesh, our very brother,
Takes our nature by his birth.

Sing of Jesus, son of Mary,
In the home at Nazareth.
Toil and labour cannot weary
Love enduring unto death.
Constant was the love he gave her,
Though he went forth from her side,
Forth to preach, and heal, and suffer,
Till on Calvary he died.

Glory be to God the Father;
Glory be to God the Son;
Glory be to God the Spirit;
Glory to the Three in One.
From the heart of blessed Mary,
From all saints the song ascends,
And the Church the strain reechoes
Unto earth’s remotest ends.

Sing of Mary by Gretchen Harris; Words: © Roland Ford Palmer, 1938; Music: Pleading Savior, Raquel, Hymn to Joy, Hermon

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 A shoot will spring forth from the stock of Jesse, and a flower will blossom from his root. The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him.

Psalm 113
Praise the name of the Lord

He has cast down the mighty and has lifted up the lowly (Luke 1:52).

Praise, O servants of the Lord,
praise the name of the Lord!
May the name of the Lord be blessed
both now and for evermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting
praised be the name of the Lord!

High above all nations is the Lord,
above the heavens his glory.
Who is like the Lord, our God,
who has risen on high to his throne
yet stoops from the heights to look down,
to look down upon heaven and earth?

From the dust he lifts up the lowly,
from his misery he raises the poor
to set him in the company of princes,
yes, with the princes of his people.
To the childless wife he gives a home
and gladdens her heart with children.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. A shoot will spring forth from the stock of Jesse, and a flower will blossom from his root. The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him.

Ant. 2 The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will reign for ever.

Psalm 147:12-20
The restoration of Jerusalem

Come, I will show you the bride of the Lamb (Revelation 21:9).

O praise the Lord, Jerusalem!
Zion, praise your God!

He has strengthened the bars of your gates,
he has blessed the children within you.
He established peace on your borders,
he feeds you with finest wheat.

He sends out his word to the earth
and swiftly runs his command.
He showers down snow white as wool,
he scatters hoar-frost like ashes.

He hurls down hailstones like crumbs.
The waters are frozen at his touch;
he sends forth his word and it melts them:
at the breath of his mouth the waters flow.

He makes his word known to Jacob,
to Israel his laws and decrees.
He has not dealt thus with other nations;
he has not taught them his decrees.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will reign for ever.

Ant. 3 The eternal Word, born of the Father before time began, today emptied himself for our sake and became man.

Canticle – Philippians 2:6-11
Christ, God’s holy servant

Though he was in the form of God,
Jesus did not deem equality with God
something to be grasped at.

Rather, he emptied himself
and took the form of a slave,
being born in the likeness of men.

He was known to be of human estate,
and it was thus that he humbled himself,
obediently accepting even death,
death on a cross!

Because of this,
God highly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
above every other name,
So that at Jesus’ name
every knee must bend
in the heavens, on the earth,
and under the earth,
and every tongue proclaim
to the glory of God the Father:
JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. The eternal Word, born of the Father before time began, today emptied himself for our sake and became man.

READING 1 John 1:1-2

This is what we proclaim to you:
what was from the beginning,
what we have heard,
what we have seen with our eyes,
what we have looked upon
and our hands have touched—
we speak of the word of life.
This life became visible;
we have seen and bear witness to it,
and we proclaim to you the eternal life
that was present to the Father
and became visible to us.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell) – a moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

RESPONSORY

A flower has sprung from Jesse’s stock and a star has risen from Jacob.
A flower has sprung from Jesse’s stock and a star has risen from Jacob.

The Virgin has given birth to the Savior,
and a star has risen from Jacob.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
A flower has sprung from Jesse’s stock and a star has risen from Jacob.

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. The Holy Spirit will come upon you, Mary; and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.

Luke 1:46-55
The soul rejoices in the Lord

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. The Holy Spirit will come upon you, Mary; and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.

INTERCESSIONS

On this day the eternal Father sent his angel to bring Mary the good news of our salvation. Let us turn to God and pray with confidence:
Lord, fill our hearts with your love.

You chose the Virgin Mary as the mother of your Son,
have mercy on all who look for your gift of salvation.
Lord, fill our hearts with your love.

You sent Gabriel to give Mary your message of peace and joy,
give to the whole world the joy of salvation and your gift of true peace.
Lord, fill our hearts with your love.

Mary gave her consent, the Holy Spirit overshadowed her, and your Word came to dwell among us,
touch our hearts that we may welcome Christ as Mary did.
Lord, fill our hearts with your love.

You look with love on the humble, and fill the hungry with your gifts,
raise up the downcast, help all in need, comfort and strengthen the dying.
Lord, fill our hearts with your love.

Lord our God, you alone work wonders and with you all things are possible,
give us the fullness of salvation when you raise up the dead on the last day.
Lord, fill our hearts with your love.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Concluding Prayer

O God,
who willed that your Word should take on
the reality of human flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary,
grant, we pray, that we,
who confess our Redeemer to be God and man,
may merit to become partakers even in his divine nature.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

DISMISSAL

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

28 posted on 03/25/2012 2:15:35 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: Salvation

Mar 25, Night Prayer for Sunday of the 5th week of Lent

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol II:
Page 1628

Christian Prayer:
Page 1037

Night Prayer after Evening Prayer II in Lent

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Examination of conscience:

We are called to have a clear conscience toward God and toward men, in our hearts and in our minds, in our actions and inactions. To do so, it is vital that we examine our conscience daily and to ask for God’s mercy as we fall short and to ask for His strength to do better.

Kýrie, eléison
Kýrie, eléison

Christé, eléison
Christé, eléison

Kýrie, eléison
Kýrie, eléison

HYMN

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need thy presence every passing hour.
What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight, and tears not bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

“Abide With Me” by Norwich Cathedral Choir; Text: Henry F. Lyte, 1793-1847; Music: W.H. Monk, 1823-1889; Tune: EVENTIDE, Meter: 10 10.10 10

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Night holds no terrors for me sleeping under God’s wings.

Psalm 91
Safe in God’s sheltering care

I have given you the power to tread upon serpents and scorpions (Luke 10:19).

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
and abides in the shade of the Almighty
says to the Lord: “My refuge,
my stronghold, my God in whom I trust!”

It is he who will free you from the snare
of the fowler who seeks to destroy you;
he will conceal you with his pinions
and under his wings you will find refuge.

You will not fear the terror of the night
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the plague that prowls in the darkness
nor the scourge that lays waste at noon.

A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand fall at your right,
you, it will never approach;
his faithfulness is buckler and shield.

Your eyes have only to look
to see how the wicked are repaid,
you who have said: “Lord, my refuge!”
and have made the Most High your dwelling.

Upon you no evil shall fall,
no plague approach where you dwell.
For you has he commanded his angels,
to keep you in all your ways.

They shall bear you upon their hands
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
On the lion and the viper you will tread
and trample the young lion and the dragon.

Since he clings to me in love, I will free him;
protect him for he knows my name.
When he calls I shall answer: “I am with you,”
I will save him in distress and give him glory.

With length of life I will content him;
I shall let him see my saving power.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Night holds no terrors for me sleeping under God’s wings.

READING Revelation 22:4-5

They shall see the Lord face to face and bear his name on their foreheads. The night shall be no more. They will need no light from lamps or the sun, for the Lord God shall give them light, and they shall reign forever.

RESPONSORY

Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

You have redeemed us, Lord God of truth.
I commend my spirit.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit.

GOSPEL CANTICLE

Ant. Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.

Luke 2:29-32
Christ is the light of the nations and the glory of Israel

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled:

my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people:

a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.

Concluding Prayer

Lord,
we have celebrated today
the mystery of the rising of Christ to new life.
May we now rest in your peace,
safe from all that could harm us,
and rise again refreshed and joyful,
to praise you throughout another day.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Blessing

May the all-powerful Lord grant us a restful night and a peaceful death.
Amen.

Antiphon or song in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary

29 posted on 03/25/2012 2:15:41 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good-Pope Leo XIII)
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To: All
I believe the Annunciation will be celebrated tomorrow because the Sunday liturgy supersedes such a celebration.



Information:
The Annunciation

Feast Day: March 25

30 posted on 03/25/2012 8:14:55 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
John
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  John 12
20 Now there were certain Gentiles among them, who came up to adore on the festival day. Erant autem quidam gentiles, ex his qui ascenderant ut adorarent in die festo. ησαν δε τινες ελληνες εκ των αναβαινοντων ινα προσκυνησωσιν εν τη εορτη
21 These therefore came to Philip, who was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying: Sir, we would see Jesus. Hi ergo accesserunt ad Philippum, qui erat a Bethsaida Galilææ, et rogabant eum, dicentes : Domine, volumus Jesum videre. ουτοι ουν προσηλθον φιλιππω τω απο βηθσαιδα της γαλιλαιας και ηρωτων αυτον λεγοντες κυριε θελομεν τον ιησουν ιδειν
22 Philip cometh, and telleth Andrew. Again Andrew and Philip told Jesus. Venit Philippus, et dicit Andreæ ; Andreas rursum et Philippus dixerunt Jesu. ερχεται φιλιππος και λεγει τω ανδρεα και παλιν ανδρεας και φιλιππος λεγουσιν τω ιησου
23 But Jesus answered them, saying: The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Jesus autem respondit eis, dicens : Venit hora, ut clarificetur Filius hominis. ο δε ιησους απεκρινατο αυτοις λεγων εληλυθεν η ωρα ινα δοξασθη ο υιος του ανθρωπου
24 Amen, amen I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, Amen, amen dico vobis, nisi granum frumenti cadens in terram, mortuum fuerit, αμην αμην λεγω υμιν εαν μη ο κοκκος του σιτου πεσων εις την γην αποθανη αυτος μονος μενει εαν δε αποθανη πολυν καρπον φερει
25 Itself remaineth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world, keepeth it unto life eternal. ipsum solum manet : si autem mortuum fuerit, multum fructum affert. Qui amat animam suam, perdet eam ; et qui odit animam suam in hoc mundo, in vitam æternam custodit eam. ο φιλων την ψυχην αυτου απολεσει αυτην και ο μισων την ψυχην αυτου εν τω κοσμω τουτω εις ζωην αιωνιον φυλαξει αυτην
26 If any man minister to me, let him follow me; and where I am, there also shall my minister be. If any man minister to me, him will my Father honour. Si quis mihi ministrat, me sequatur, et ubi sum ego, illic et minister meus erit. Si quis mihi ministraverit, honorificabit eum Pater meus. εαν εμοι διακονη τις εμοι ακολουθειτω και οπου ειμι εγω εκει και ο διακονος ο εμος εσται και εαν τις εμοι διακονη τιμησει αυτον ο πατηρ
27 Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour. But for this cause I came unto this hour. Nunc anima mea turbata est. Et quid dicam ? Pater, salvifica me ex hac hora. Sed propterea veni in horam hanc : νυν η ψυχη μου τεταρακται και τι ειπω πατερ σωσον με εκ της ωρας ταυτης αλλα δια τουτο ηλθον εις την ωραν ταυτην
28 Father, glorify thy name. A voice therefore came from heaven: I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. Pater, clarifica nomen tuum. Venit ergo vox de cælo : Et clarificavi, et iterum clarificabo. πατερ δοξασον σου το ονομα ηλθεν ουν φωνη εκ του ουρανου και εδοξασα και παλιν δοξασω
29 The multitude therefore that stood and heard, said that it thundered. Others said: An angel spoke to him. Turba ergo, quæ stabat, et audierat, dicebat tonitruum esse factum. Alii dicebant : Angelus ei locutus est. ο ουν οχλος ο εστως και ακουσας ελεγεν βροντην γεγονεναι αλλοι ελεγον αγγελος αυτω λελαληκεν
30 Jesus answered, and said: This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Respondit Jesus, et dixit : Non propter me hæc vox venit, sed propter vos. απεκριθη [ο] ιησους και ειπεν ου δι εμε αυτη η φωνη γεγονεν αλλα δι υμας
31 Now is the judgment of the world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. Nunc judicium est mundi : nunc princeps hujus mundi ejicietur foras. νυν κρισις εστιν του κοσμου τουτου νυν ο αρχων του κοσμου τουτου εκβληθησεται εξω
32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself. Et ego, si exaltatus fuero a terra, omnia traham ad meipsum. καγω εαν υψωθω εκ της γης παντας ελκυσω προς εμαυτον
33 (Now this he said, signifying what death he should die.) (Hoc autem dicebat, significans qua morte esset moriturus.) τουτο δε ελεγεν σημαινων ποιω θανατω εμελλεν αποθνησκειν

(*) "αυτος μονος μενει εαν δε αποθανη πολυν καρπον φερει" went to verse 25 in the translations.

31 posted on 03/25/2012 11:03:54 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
20. And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast.
21. The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.
22. Philip comes and tells Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.
23. And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
24. Verily, verily, I say to you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.
25. He that loves his life shall lose it, and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal.
26. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.

BEDE. The temple at Jerusalem was so famous, that on the feast days, not only the people near, but many Gentiles from distant countries came to worship in it; as that eunuch of Candace, Queen of the Ethiopians, mentioned in the Acts. The Gentiles who were at Jerusalem now, had come up for this purpose: And there were certain Gentiles among them who came to worship at the feast.

CHRYS. The time being now near, when they would be made proselytes. They hear Christ talked of, and wish to see Him: The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired: him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.

AUG. Lo! the Jews wish to kill Him, the Gentiles to see Him. But they also were of the Jews who cried, Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord. So behold them of the circumcision, and them of the uncircumcision, once so wide apart, coming together like two walls, and meeting in one faith of Christ by the kiss of peace.

Philip comes and tells Andrew.

CHRYS. As being the elder disciple. He had heard our Savior say, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and therefore he communicates with his fellow-disciple, and the refer the matter to their Lord: And again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus

AUG. Listen we to the voice of the corner stone: And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Did He think Himself glorified, because the Gentiles wished to see? No. But He saw that after His passion and resurrection, the Gentiles in all lands would believe in Him; and took occasion from this request of some Gentiles to see Him, to announce the approaching fullness of the Gentiles, for that the hour of His being glorified was now at hand, and that after He was glorified in the heavens, the Gentiles would believe; according to the passage in the Psalm, Set up Yourself, O God, above the heavens, and your glory above all the earth (Ps 56 and 107).

But it was necessary that His exaltation and glory should be preceded by His humiliation and passion; wherefore He says, Verily, verily, I say to you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: out if it die, it brings forth much fruit. That corn was He, to be mortified in the unbelief of the Jews, to be multiplied in the faith of the Gentiles.

BEDE, He Himself, of the seed of the Patriarchs, was sown in the field of this world, that by dying, He might rise again with increase. He died alone; He rose again with many.

CHRYS. He illustrates His discourse by an example from nature. A grain of corn produces fruit, after it has cried. How much more then must the Son of God? The Gentiles were to be called after the Jews had finally offended; i.e. after His crucifixion. Now then that the Gentiles of their own accord offered their faith, He saw that His crucifixion could not be far off. And to console the sorrow of His disciples, which He foresaw would arise, He tells them that to bear patiently not only His death, but their own too, is the only way to good:

He that loves his life shall lose it.

AUG. This may be understood in two ways: 1. If you love it, lose it: if you would preserve your life in Christ, fear not death for Christ. 2. Do not love your life here, lest you lose it hereafter. The latter seems to be the more evangelical sense; for it follows, And he that hates his life in this world, shall keep it to life eternal.

CHRYS. He loves his life in this world, who indulges its inordinate desires; he hates it, who resists them. It is not, who cloth not yield to, but, who hates. For as we cannot bear to hear the voice or see the face of them whom we hate; so when the soul invites us to things contrary to God, we should turn her away from them with all our might.

THEOPHYL. It were harsh to say that a man should hate his soul; so He adds, in this world: i.e. for a particular time, not forever. And we shall gain in the end by so doing: shall keep it to life eternal.

AUG. But think not for an instant, that by hating your soul, is meant that you may kill yourself. For wicked and perverse men have sometimes so mistaken it, and have burnt and strangled themselves, thrown themselves from precipices, and in other ways put an end to themselves. This did not Christ teach; nay, when the devil tempted Him to cast Himself down, He said, Get you hence, Satan. But when no other choice is given you; when the persecutor threatens death, and you must either disobey God's law, or depart out of this life, then hate your life in this world, that you may keep it to life eternal.

CHRYS. This present life is sweet to them who are given up to it. But he who looks heavenwards, and sees what good things are there, soon despises this life. When the better life appears, the worse is despised. This is Christ's meaning, when He says, If any man serve Me, let him follow Me, i.e. imitate Me, both in My death, and life. For he who serves, should follow him whom he serves.

AUG. But what is it to serve Christ? The very words explain. They serve Christ who seek not their own things, but the things of Jesus Christ, i.e. who follow Him, walk in His, not their own v ways, do all good works for Christ's sake, not only works of mercy to men's bodies, but all others, till at length they fulfill that great work of love, and lay down their lives for the brethren. But what fruit, what reward? you ask. The next words tell you: And where I am, there shall also My servant be. Love Him for His own sake, and think it a rich reward for your service, to be with Him.

CHRYS. So then death will be followed by resurrection. Where I am, He says; for Christ was in heaven before His resurrection. Thither let us ascend in heart and in mind.

If any man serve Me, him will My Father honor. This must be understood as an explanation of the preceding. There also shall My servant be. For what greater honor can an adopted Son receive than to he where the Only Son is?

CHRYS. He says, My Father will honor him, not, I will honor him; because they had not yet proper notions of His nature, and thought Him inferior to the Father.

27. Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say?
Father, save me from this hour?
But for this cause came I to this hour.
28. Father, glorify your name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
29. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spoke to him.
30. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.
31. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
32. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to me.
33. This he said, signifying what death he should die.

CHRYS. To our Lord's exhortation to His disciples to endurance, they might have replied that it was easy for Him, Who was out of the reach of human pain, to talk philosophically about death, and to recommend others to bear what He is in no danger of having to bear Himself. So He lets them see that He is Himself in an agony, but that He does not intend to decline death, merely for the sake of relieving Himself: Now is My soul troubled.

AUG. I hear Him say, He that hates his life in this world, shall keep it to life eternal; and I am ravished, I despise the world; the whole of this life, however long, is but a vapor in My sight; all temporal things are vile, in comparison with eternal. And again I hear Him say, Now is My soul troubled. You bid my soul follow You; but I see your soul troubled.

What foundation shall I seek, if the rock gives way? Lord, I acknowledge your mercy. you of your love was of your own will troubled, to console those who are troubled through the infirmity of nature; that the members of your body perish not in despair. The Head took upon Himself the affections of His members. He was not troubled by anything, but, as was said above, He troubled Himself.

CHRYS. As He draws near to the Cross, His human nature appears, a nature that did not wish to die, but cleaved to this present life. He shows that He is not quite without human feelings. For the desire of this present life is not necessarily wrong, any more than hunger. Christ had a body free from sin, but not from natural infirmities. But these attach solely to the dispensation of His humanity, not to His divinity.

AUG. Lastly, let the man who would follow Him, hear at what hour he should follow. A fearful hour has perhaps come: a choice is offered, either to do wrong, or suffer: the weak soul is troubled. Hear our Lord. What shall I say?

BEDE. i.e. What but something to confirm My followers?

Father, save Me from this hour.

AUG. He teaches you Whom you should call on, whose will prefer to your own. Let Him not seem to fall from His greatness, because He wishes you to rise from your meanness. He took upon Him man's infirmity, that He might teach the afflicted to say, Not what I will, but what you will.

Wherefore He adds, But for this cause came I to this hour.

Father, glorify your name: i.e. in My passion and resurrection.

CHRYS. As if He said, I cannot say why I should ask to be saved from it; For this cause came I to this hour. However you may be troubled and dejected at the thought of dying, do not run away from death. I am troubled, yet I ask not to be spared.

I do not say, Save Me from this hour, but the contrary, Glorify your name. To die for the truth was to glorify God, as the event showed; for after His crucifixion the whole world was to be converted to the knowledge and worship of God, both the Father and the Son. But this He is silent about.

Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

GREG. When God speaks audibly, as He does here, but no visible appearance is seen, He speaks through the medium of a rational creature: i.e. by the voice of an Angel.

AUG. I have glorified it, i.e. before I made the world; and will glorify it again, i.e. when you shall rise from the dead. Or, I have gloried it, when you were born of a Virgin, did work miracles, was made manifest by the Holy Ghost descending in the shape of a dove; and will glorify it again, when you shall rise from the dead, and, as God, be exalted above the heavens, and your glory above all the earth.

The people therefore that stood by and heard it, said that it thundered.

CHRYS. The voice though loud and distinct, soon passed off from their gross, carnal, and sluggish minds; only the sound remaining. Others perceived an articulate voice, but did not catch what it said: Others said, An Angel spoke to Him.

Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes.

AUG. i.e. It did not come to tell Him what He knew already, but them what they ought to know. And as that voice did not come for His sake, but for theirs, so His soul was not troubled for His sake, but for theirs.

CHRYS. The voice of the Father proved what they were so fond of denying, that He was from God. For He must be from God, if He was glorified by God. It was not that He needed encouragement of such a voice Himself, but He condescended to receive it for the sake of those who were by.

Now is the judgment of this world: this fits on to the preceding, as strewing the mode of His being glorified.

AUG. The judgment at the end of the world will be of eternal rewards and punishments. But there is another judgment, not of condemnation, but of selection, which is the one meant here; the selection of His own redeemed, and their deliverance from the power of the devil: Now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

The devil is not called the prince of this world, in the sense of being Lord over heaven and earth; God forbid. The world here stands for the wicked dispersed over all the world. In this sense the devil is the prince of the world, i.e. of all the wicked men who live in the world. The world also sometimes stands for the good dispersed throughout the world: God, was in Christ reconciling the world, to Himself (2 Cor 5:19). These are they from whose, hearts the prince of this world shall be cast out.

Our Lord foresaw that after His passion and glorifying, great nations all over the world would be converted, in whom the devil was then, but from whose hearts, on their truly renouncing him, he would be cast out. But was he not cast out of the hearts of the righteous men of old?

Why is it, Now shall be cast out? Because that which once took place in a very few persons, was now to take place in whole nations. What then, does the devil not tempt at all the minds of believers? Yea, he never ceases to tempt them. But it is one thing to reign within, another to lay siege from without.

CHRYS. What kind of judgment it is by which the devil is cast out, I will explain by an example. A man demands payment from his debtors, beats them, and sends them to prison. He treats with the same insolence one who owes him nothing. The latter will take vengeance both for himself and the others too. This Christ does. He revenges what He has suffered at the devil's hands, and with Himself He revenges us too.

But that none may say, How will he be cast out, if he overcome you? He adds, And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Me. How can He be overcome, who draws others to Him? This is more than saying, I shall rise again. Had He said this, it would not have proved that He would draw all things to Him; but, I shall draw, includes the resurrection, and this besides.

AUG. What is this all that He draws, but that from which the devil is cast out? He does not say, All men, but, All things; for all men have not faith. He does not mean then all mankind, but the whole of a man, i.e. spirit, soul, and body; by which respectively we understand, and live, and are visible. Or, if all means all men, it means those who are predestined to salvation: or all kinds of men, all varieties of character, excepting in the article of sin.

CHRYS. Why then did He say above, that the Father drew men? Because the Father draws, by the Son who draws. I shall draw, He says, as if men were in the grasp of some tyrant, from which they could not extricate themselves.

AUG. If I be lifted up from the earth, He says, i.e. when I shall be lifted up. He does not doubt that the work will be accomplished which He came to do. By His being lifted up, He means His passion on the cross, as the Evangelist adds: This He said, signifying by what death He should die.

Catena Aurea John 12
32 posted on 03/25/2012 11:04:37 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex


The Entombment of Christ

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

1636-39
Oil on canvas, 93 x 70 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

33 posted on 03/25/2012 11:05:32 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: All
 
Catholic
Almanac:

Sunday, March 25

Liturgical Color: Violet


On this day in 1995, Blessed Pope John Paul II issued his encyclical, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life). In it, he emphasized that as followers of Christ, we should ensure the protection of all human life from conception to natural death.


34 posted on 03/25/2012 1:25:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: March 25, 2012
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: By your help, we beseech you, Lord our God, may we walk eagerly in that same charity with which, out of love for the world, you Son handed himself over to death. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Lent: March 25th

  Fifth Sunday of Lent Old Calendar: Passion Sunday

Now there were some Greeks among those who had come up to worship at the feast. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we would like to see Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus (John 12:20-22).

Previously called "Passion Sunday", this Sunday marks the beginning of Passiontide, a deeper time of Lent. This is the third Sunday of the scrutinies for the preparation of adult converts, and the final Sunday of Lent before the beginning of Holy Week. The Liturgy of the Word of this day speaks of re-creation, resurrection, and new life.

Ordinarily today is the Solemnity of the Annunciation. It is celebrated this year on March 26 having been superseded by the Sunday liturgy.

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Stational Church


Sunday Readings
The first reading is taken from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah 31:31-34. In today's extract, the prophet is foretelling the setting up of a New Covenant, to replace the Old Covenant made between God and his Chosen People on Mt. Sinai, a covenant which the Chosen People had not kept. The New Covenant would not be written on tablets of stone but on each individual's heart. It would be a covenant of love rather than one of obligation.

The second reading is from the Letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews 5:7-9. The purpose of this letter is to confirm the converts in the Christian faith which they have accepted.

The Gospel is from St. John 12:20-33. On the first Palm Sunday, as Christ entered Jerusalem not as a conquering king on a charger but "riding on an ass" to show that he was the humble servant of all men, he clearly foresaw the sufferings and torments that would be his in that city, before the week was out. Among those who waved palm branches to honor him and who sang aloud: "Hosanna to the son of David, Hosanna in the highest," there were perhaps some who, urged on by the leaders, would be shouting the following Friday, "away with him, crucify him," and "we have no king but Caesar." Such was the fickleness of human nature then. Unfortunately it has not changed much, if at all, in the two thousand years that have since elapsed. We are still fickle when it comes to choosing between Christ and the things of this world. Yet he knew all of this, and was still willing to carry the cross for us who are such unworthy mortals!

This very thought should put us all to shame, for what repayment does the very best of us make for the incredible love he has shown for us? We grumble and complain when some small cross is laid on our shoulders; we are full of laments if life is not running smoothly for us; we cannot understand why God should let certain things happen to us, his friends! But see for a moment what the lot of his beloved Son was on earth. Born and reared in extreme poverty; insulted and offended by those he wanted to teach; quickly forgotten by those he benefited by his miracles; hounded by his enemies and betrayed by one who had been his disciple for over two years and who had sat at table with him that same night; deserted in his moment of trial by those very ones who had sworn undying allegiance to him. Then followed the torments wished on him by his enemies—those he had come to save; the mock trial and illegal condemnation; the scourging at the pillar; the crowning with thorns; the carrying of the cross and finally the three hours of intense torture and agony while his body hung on the cross! The next time we are tempted to grumble and complain about our sad lot. Let us look thoughtfully at a crucifix for a few moments!

"He who loves his life loses it," this is a truth stated by Christ at the solemn moment when he was speaking of the purpose of his own painful death. He died so that we might live, not for sixty or even a hundred years on earth, but forever in heaven. We can, we know, lose the eternal life Christ won for us if we are too attached to our transitory, earthly life. If we love our own comforts, pleasures, temporal gains, our own worldly will, more than we love our unending, happy future, then we are loving our earthly lives wrongly, and we are gravely risking the loss of the future, true life.

If, on the other hand, we do our best to be faithful servants of Christ, we shall always judge all our actions with eternity in view. We can use the things of this life which God gives us, and still be close followers of Christ. The lawful possession of the goods of this world, the enjoyment of the licit pleasures of life, are allowed to the fervent Christian. If these possessions and pleasures are accepted with Christian gratitude, they will become stepping-stones that will help us across the river of life to our everlasting home beyond.

Each one of us should look fervently and devoutly on the crucifix today, and try to compare our willingness to suffer those crosses sent to us by God, with the crushing cross and passion our Savior Jesus Christ gladly accepted for us and not for his own sake. Do not let the conclusion you draw stun you into inactivity, but rather let it shock you into a new outlook on life; a new resolve to serve, follow and imitate our loving Christ more closely in future. So may it be for all of us.

Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.


At Rome, the Station is in the basilica of St. Peter. The importance of this Sunday, which never yields to any feast no matter what its solemnity may be, requires that the place for the assembly of the faithful should be in one of the chief sanctuaries of the holy city.



35 posted on 03/25/2012 1:37:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: John 12:20-33

“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.” (John 12:24)

Have you ever seen a seed ger­minate? While it is in the soil, the skin encasing it splits open. Next, the seed itself splits in two, and the stem and root unfurl. Gradually, the seed grows smaller as it nourishes the new plant. Eventually, the seed disappears altogether. If you were to look at the plant after a while, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell what the seed looked like.

What a wonderful image this is of the spiritual life! Like a patient farmer, God is always planting seeds in our hearts, waiting for them to “die” so that they can bear fruit. Each season has its own seeds that need to die—parts of us that need to break open so that new life can come forth. As children, we may be bear­ing the fruit of obedience and trust.

As young married couples, we may be learning to pour our lives out as we start a new family. And as sea­soned adults, our fruit may be that of more active involvement in our com­munity or church.

Again, like a wise gardener, only God knows which seeds need to sprout for each season. It’s no use trying to double guess him. And there’s no need. After all, he knows what he is doing!

Try something different in your prayer today. Look back over your life, and try to identify times when a “seed” had to die so that God could bring something new into your life. Ask yourself: “Well, I survived, didn’t I? And I’m better off for having gone through it, aren’t I?”

Now, having reviewed your past, see if there is something that God wants to do in your present. He is never finished with us! There’s always more that he wants to give us—if only we will let him bring life out of death!

“Lord, I want to bear fruit for your kingdom! Help me to shed my comfortable shell so that I can grow in ways even I can’t imagine!”


Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 51:3-4,12-15; Hebrews 5:7-9; John 12:20-33)

1. In the first reading, the Lord promises a new covenant that is much different than the old covenant. It will not be merely a set of external rules and commandments; it will now be written in our hearts. The promise is that we shall actually know the Lord in a personal and intimate way, not just know about him. Why is this now possible for us? What is the difference between a “knowing about” relationship with the Lord and a personal relationship of “knowing” him and “experiencing” his great love? How would you characterize your relationship with the Lord? How can you deepen this relationship?

2. The responsorial Psalm is King David’s great prayer of repentance after he had committed serious sin. How does David’s reaction, reflected in Psalm 51, compare to your reaction when faced with sin in your life?

3. In the second reading, we read that Jesus “learned obedience from what he suffered.” What is your reaction to suffering in your life? In what ways has it caused you to grow closer to Jesus and deepened your faith and dependence on him? In what ways has it sometimes caused you to run or try to escape from it, or react in confusion or anger? What steps can be taken to minimize this latter reaction?

4. In the Gospel reading, Jesus continues to focus with increasing clarity on his coming passion and death, the “hour” when redemption will be accomplished by his obedience to his Father and the shedding of his blood. Jesus also says that: “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me … The Father will honor whoever serves me.” Can you give an example from your life when obedience to God caused persecution or suffering, but yet you were able to see God work a mighty “good” in your or someone else’s life? How were you able to maintain an inner peace, knowing you were “following” Jesus and his will for you?

5. In addition to encouraging us to review our past experiences, the meditation also encourages us to “see if there is something that God wants to do in your present.” With Good Friday and Easter fast approaching, what additional steps can you take in the remaining days of Lent to cooperate with the Lord in order to “bring life out of death”?

6. Take some time now to pray and ask the Lord for the grace to grow closer to him and bear fruit for his kingdom. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.


36 posted on 03/25/2012 1:57:37 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

UNLESS A GRAIN OF WHEAT FALLS INTO THE EARTH AND DIES   

(A biblical refection on THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT [Year B], 25 March 2012)

Gospel Reading: John 12:20-33

First Reading: Jer 31:31-34; Psalms: Ps 51:3-4,12-15; Second Reading: Heb 5:7-9

The Scripture Text

Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew went with Phillip and they told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him.

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify Thy name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing by heard it and said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for Mine. Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out; and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” He said this to show by what death He was to die. (Jn 12:20-33 RSV) 

“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:24). 

Jesus chose to die on the cross so that we might live. This is the very heart of the Gospel message. He is the “seed” that fell to the ground and died, producing much fruit. Now, we who are baptized into His death and resurrection are called to surrender our lives to Him – to die to the life of sin – so that we too may bear fruit.

The thought of dying like a grain of wheat can be frightening at times. We fear the cost of discipleship. Even Jesus, the Son of the Father, drew back from this prospect: “Now is my soul troubled” (Jn12:27), He said, foreshadowing His agony in Gethsemane. Yet Jesus knew that His death and resurrection would allow Him to draw people into His Father’s Kingdom (Jn 12:32).

The author of the ‘Letter to the Hebrews’ alluded to Jesus’ struggle, saying that He “offered up prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears.” Yet, “although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered; and being made perfect He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Heb 5:7-9).

This is the fruit of Jesus’ crucifixion, the “hour” for which He had come. By His death, Jesus canceled our debt of sin and won eternal life for us. God the Father showed the depths of His love for us in His desire to establish a new covenant with us, one that is written on our hearts (Jer 31:33). Unlike the old covenant, which the people of Israel  broke, this new covenant is unbreakable because it does not depend on the weakness of the human heart. It is based on the power of the indwelling Spirit, who will give grace to anyone who turns to Him in humility and trust.

Short Prayer: Lord Jesus, by Your Spirit, enable us to overcome our fear of dying. Like a grain of wheat, enable us to die to ourselves, so that we can bear much fruit for You as we work to build Your Kingdom on earth. As You glorified Your Father by Your obedience to His will, may our willingness to obey Him also bring Him glory and honor. Amen. 


37 posted on 03/25/2012 2:01:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Marriage = One Man and One Woman
Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for March 25, 2012:

“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.” (Jn 12:24) Has anyone close to you died who has enriched your life? Loss is always hard, but having a life partner to share it with makes it bearable.


38 posted on 03/25/2012 2:23:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Sunday Scripture Study

Fifth Sunday of Lent - Cycle B

March 25, 2012

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Jeremiah 31:31-34

Psalm: 51:3-4, 12-15

Second Reading: Hebrews 5:7-9

Gospel Reading: John 12:20-33

  • The setting for this Sunday’s Gospel is Jerusalem on Palm Sunday during the days leading up to the Passover feast (John 12:1). It is right after Jesus’ triumphal entry into the city (verses 12-19) where he draws a raucous crowd, prompting the Pharisees to remark, somewhat prophetically, “The whole world is going after
    him!” (verse 19).
  • Some “Greeks” approach Philip and tell him that they want to see Jesus. “Greek” was a term used to describe non-Jews—or Gentiles. These were either Gentile converts to Judaism, or “God fearers”—Gentiles that were attracted to the monotheism and moral code of the Jews, but were put off by either Jewish social restrictions or by having to be circumcised. Philip is a Greek name (meaning “lover of horses”), so perhaps they approached Phillip because he spoke Greek.
  • The prophet Isaiah foretold that the Messiah would be “an ensign for nations and the outcasts of Israel” (Isaiah 11:10-12; CCC 542). The request of the Gentiles anticipates Jesus’ prophecy that “all men” will be drawn to him (John 12:32). As Gentiles visited him at his birth (Matthew 2:1-12), now they appear at the end of his ministry setting in motion the events leading up to his sacrifice, which will be for all men (John 1:29; 4:42; 1 John 2:2).
  • Like a grain of wheat that falls to the ground to bring new life (verses 24-25), Jesus must endure death to bring us to eternal life. This also holds true for his disciples—dying to self, and becoming channels for others (John 12:25; 2 Corinthians 4:11-12; Mark 8:34-38; Philippians 3:10-14; CCC 161).

 

QUESTIONS:

  • In the 1st reading, what will be some of the differences between the “old covenant” Jeremiah prophesies, and the “new covenant”? Who will be included?
  • How does the 2nd reading illuminate the life of Jesus? What did he give up to be our Savior?
  • In the Gospel, what brought Gentiles to Jerusalem during the time of Jewish feasts? What was so unique about their request that Philip would filter it first through Andrew?
  • Jesus said several times that “his hour had not yet come” (John 2:4; 7:6, 30). What regarding the Gentile’s request caused him to say that now the time has come (verse 23)?
  • In Jesus’ parable (verse 24), who is the grain of wheat?
  • What is Jesus calling his disciples to do in verses 25-26? What promise do they receive?
  • In verses 27-32, what is about to occur “now”? How does this affect Jesus?
  • Where is Jesus calling you to die so that you might live? How has this principal of the spiritual life manifested itself in your life? What was the fruit that resulted?
  • What do you tend to hold on to, rather than follow Jesus?
 

Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 607, 434, 550, 2851-2853, 542, 662, 786, 1428, 2795

 

How few there are, Lord, who wish to follow you, and yet there is not one who does not wish to reach you…All men therefore wish to enjoy you, but not to the extent of following your example; they will reign with you but not suffer with you.                ~St. Bernard of Clairvaux


39 posted on 03/25/2012 2:36:07 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Lent Sunday 5: "I will write it upon their hearts..."
 
 
Jer 31: 31-34
Hb 5: 7-9
Jn 12: 20-33

Back in the 1980’s a very popular song was written by a California group called, The Whispers.  The name of the song was “And the beat goes on.” 

I find it interesting that if you look at the words of many of the popular songs from that era, and some even today, you could find applicable religious overtones.  These songs of love, loss and redemption are clearly about more intimate relationships between persons.  However, the words, I think, can be equally applied to our relationship with God.  God is that divine lover who is determined to pursue us despite our unfaithfulness.  God is seeking to establish a new and lasting covenant with his people.
 
For example, the following words are taken from the song, “And the beat goes on:”

“And the beat goes on. Just like my love everlasting, the beat goes on you’d better believe it. Don’t stop for nobody. This time I’ll keep my beat on solid ground, now I understand myself when I’m done, there’ll always be something new to keep the tables turning. There’ll never be an ending and the beat goes on, just like my love everlasting, still moving strong on and on the beat goes on . . .”

Granted, the phrasing of the words may not exactly be a high form of English or what might constitute prayerful language but the message of “love everlasting” is clear.  We could apply this to our Lenten readings this Sunday as we approach the great liturgical drama of Holy Week. But the words of Jeremiah today confront us with a most foundational statement by God to all of humanity about his everlasting love.

In the first reading from Jeremiah 31: 31-34, we hear: “. . . I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel . . . I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts. I will be their God and they shall be my people . . .”

Can you hear the love of God singing to us – “And the beat goes on?” He simply will not give up on us no matter how many times we don’t get it right. This “law” of God written upon our hearts established the new, perpetual, never to be broken covenant relationship between God and humanity.  It is the covenant of all covenants for God’s continued attempts to let his “beat go on” with us in past covenants was finally fulfilled in the gift of his own Son among us. It was then enfleshed in the very person of God made human among us – in Jesus the Christ.
God’s Law is not as much about words as it is about a relationship between persons: God and humanity.  If I am bound to you and you with me, then it implies a love and respect between those persons. 

In the Gospel from John 12: 20-33, we also hear Jesus speak about his “hour” to be glorified.  This “hour” Jesus speaks of is within John’s theology of Jesus who accomplishes his Father’s will in perfect obedience.  That “hour” is the moment of his passion and death which is his ultimate glorification as our Savior. Jesus’s “beat goes on” and is glorified through his outpouring of love from a heart of divine mercy upon the cross.
As he states, “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 …” Can you see Our Lord falling in death then rising to produce new life in the resurrection?

Such beautiful images confront us in this final week before the week called Holy. This Sunday’s Word is more reflective in nature than it is directly historical.  In other words there is no healing story or feeding of thousands of hungry people or walking on water. This a kind of proclamation on the part of Jesus as to who he is and what his coming among us implies – salvation brought through the price of the Cross.

Yet, let’s face it, the vast majority of us live rather comfortable lives in this Country.  So the powerful implications of the Cross may elude us or at least make it more challenging to apply it to our lives. While we enjoy a certain level of expected luxury, many in the world do not.  The poverty level of the world and the daily experience of simple existence is beyond the experience of most of us in this Country, even with our economic problems.  

But for the poor, however, the Cross may have a more gut level feeling than for us. So, we need to pray that it isn’t for us merely a kind of decoration but rather that we too can embrace its implications in a way that will call us to deep conversion.
What Jesus did and what God accomplished through the cross and resurrection of his Son literally established the beginning of the end times in which we now live.  So, do we simply wait in fear and trembling for the “end is near?” Jesus left us a place to go and a meal of remembrance until he comes again.  

In our Eucharistic liturgy weekly and daily we remember this cross and the person who embraced it for us.  In that Eucharist, we hear and consume the very living presence of the law that God has written upon us in and through the person of Jesus.  That Covenant-eternal is remembered and renewed each time we begin, “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”  +  and is taken to the world around us as we, “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord. “
Fr. Tim

40 posted on 03/25/2012 3:07:03 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Unless we become grains of wheat...

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for March 25, 2012, the Fifth Sunday of Easter | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
• Jer 31:31-34
• Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15
• Heb 5:7-9
• Jn 12:20-33 

“If a tree falls in a forest,” goes the philosophical riddle, “and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

In today’s Gospel we hear something similar, yet not it is not a riddle or philosophical puzzle, but a clear response and a spiritual challenge. “Amen, amen, I say to you,” Jesus said, “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.”

Put as a question: if a grain of wheat does not fall to the ground and die, will it bear fruit? No, the Lord says, it will not. For although death is the enemy, it is also, paradoxically, the means to everlasting life. “By death,” the Byzantine Easter chorus announces, “he conquered death.” Such paradoxes appear contradictory and illogical, but they express a truth; it is a surprising and profound truth, as with the analogy used by Jesus.

But how is it that those who love their lives will lose them? What does it mean to say that whoever hates his life in this world will gain eternal life?

This strong language is quite similar to Jesus’ assertion that if “any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” (Lk 14:26). We know, of course, that Jesus did not condone hatred of family or strangers. Rather, by using a common form of Semitic rhetoric, he brought into bold relief the two possible options: either put Jesus first, where he belongs, or put him somewhere else.

It is never wrong to love our family, but it is wrong to put our families or ourselves before Jesus and the things of God. The man who loves his life in this world is a man who puts more sweat, tears, and time into this world then he does into the kingdom of God. If we live as though this passing, temporal world is our highest priority, it necessarily means that we have a placed something that is good, because it is from God, above the greatest Good, which in turn pits that good thing against God.

Some might argue—as many critics of Christianity do—that such thinking forms people who are so heavenly-minded they are of no earthly good. In reality, the Christian who is oriented toward his final destination and who lives with the hope of heaven is of the greatest earthly good, for he rightly perceives the place and value of this world.

After all, no man has ever been more heavenly-minded than Jesus Christ, and no man has ever done more earthly good than Jesus Christ. Meanwhile, human history is marked with the tragic and bloody remains of those destroyed by men who were so earthly-minded that they were of no heavenly or earthly good.

St. Irenaeus, in his famous work, “Against Heresies,” observed that a kernel of wheat “falling into the earth and becoming decomposed rises and is multiplied by the Spirit of God, who contains all things. And then, through the wisdom of God, it serves for our use when, after receiving the Word of God, it becomes the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ. In the same way our bodies, being nourished by it, and deposited in the earth and suffering decomposition there, shall rise at their appointed time.”

The God-fearing Greeks who came to Jerusalem to worship during the Passover said, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” This is the desire of those who know this world is not enough; they want to see and know the One who is Truth. And when the Eucharist is lifted up at Mass, we do see Jesus. We receive him completely. Having died with him in baptism, we will one day, by God’s grace, rise with Him at our appointed time.

(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the March 29, 2009, issue of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


41 posted on 03/25/2012 3:28:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

Winning Souls for Christ
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | NEWS
Fifth Sunday of Lent

Father Steven Reilly, LC

John 12:20-33
Some Greeks who had come up to worship at the Passover Feast came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we would like to see Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Amen, amen, I say to you, 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. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me. I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ´Father, save me from this hour´? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it and will glorify it again." The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; but others said, "An angel has spoken to him." Jesus answered and said, "This voice did not come for my sake but for yours. Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself." He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, my prayer time is the most important time of the day. I know that if I give myself with fervor, everything today will be blessed more deeply by your grace. Here I am Lord, confident and grateful for your paternal love for me.

Petition: Help me to be a true apostle.

1. “We Would Like to See Jesus.” We are drawing near to the climax of our Lenten observance. Holy Week will soon be upon us. In the readings of this final week of Lent, we will accompany the Lord through the difficult and contentious experience of continuous controversy with the scribes and Pharisees. In today’s reading, we hear of some Greeks going to Philip to request an audience with Our Lord; we are reminded of our mission as Christ’s disciples. When people see and interact with us, our Catholic spirit must be, so to speak, a sneak preview of being with the Lord. They may be prompted to take a bigger step themselves if our lives truly reflect the goodness of Christ. They will want what we have — “We would like to see Jesus.” Hearing those words (or similar ones) from a relative, friend or coworker is one of the greatest joys of the committed Christian.

2. “Unless the Grain of Wheat Falls to the Ground…” If bringing souls to Christ is one of our greatest joys, we need to be prepared –– they don’t come cheaply. Archbishop Fulton Sheen used to tell the story of a troubled soul who came to him proclaiming her commitment to a life of disbelief and depravity. That was a challenge he could not take lying down. He begged the Lord to send him crosses and sacrifices that he could offer up for her salvation. That’s a type of prayer not to be made lightly! Archbishop Sheen soon found himself suffering an incredible string of setbacks, inconveniences and downright annoyances. But he stayed patient through it all and offered it up for that soul. Later he had the consolation of pronouncing over her the blessed words of sacramental absolution. What are we willing to undergo for the salvation of souls, especially those who have a special claim on our love and concern?

3. “I Will Draw Everyone to Myself.” The salvation of souls is a task that Christ calls us to, but we are not on our own. He longs for this infinitely more than we ourselves. “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” He is speaking about the power that will radiate from the cross. It will not be a merely external power; he is working on the inside of souls. His continuous urgings, at times subtle and discreet, at others vigorous and demanding, are at work opening minds and hearts to his love. Let us recommit ourselves to be the servants of his undying, ever-present love!

Conversation with Christ: Lord, you long to draw all people to yourself. I hope and pray that I can be an effective ambassador of your love. Help me to show others how fulfilling is the life that is lived purely for you!

Resolution: I will put aside my reluctance and invite someone to Mass or another spiritual activity.


42 posted on 03/25/2012 4:39:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

“New Life”

How can we meet Jesus in our lives and introduce him to others who are searching for him? John tells us that some Greek travelers who came to Jerusalem for the Passover wanted to meet Jesus. They were not Jews, but were devout seekers of God.  It was not unusual for Greeks to travel the then known world.  Greeks loved to journey and discover new things.  When these Greeks heard of Jesus, they wanted to meet him personally, but didn’t know how to approach him.  So they did something a Greek would feel comfortable doing.  They found a sympathetic looking insider named Philip, a disciple of Jesus whose name happened to be a Greek name, and asked him how they could meet with Jesus.  Philip surprisingly didn’t know what to say.  Andrew fortunately stepped in and personally introduced these foreigners to Jesus. How can we help people discover the Lord Jesus today? One of the best ways to introduce people to the Lord is to invite them to “come and see” the Lord present among his people when they gather for prayer, bible study, and the “breaking of the bread” at the Lord’s Table.

Jesus’ response to giving an audience to these Greek visitors points to the reason why he came to Jerusalem at this Passover Feast.  Jesus knew that this was his “hour” — the time of fulfillment when he would be glorified through his suffering and death on the cross.  John in his gospel account points out that is was not only the Jews who were seeking the Messiah, but foreigners as well.  Jesus came to offer his life as an atoning sacrifice not only for the chosen people of Israel, but for all nations as well.

Jesus told his disciples a short parable about the nature of seeds to explain the spiritual significance of death and rebirth.   His audience, including many who were rural folk in Palestine, could easily understand the principle of new life from nature.  Seeds cannot produce new life by themselves.  They must first be planted in the earth before they can grow and produce fruit.  What is the spiritual analogy which Jesus alludes to here?  Is this, perhaps, a veiled reference to his own impending death on the cross and resurrection?  Or does he have another kind of “death and rebirth” in mind for his disciples?  Jesus, no doubt, had both meanings in mind for his disciples.  The image of the grain of wheat dying in the earth in order to grow and bear a harvest can be seen as a metaphor of Jesus’ own death and burial in the tomb and his resurrection.  Jesus knew that the only way to victory over the power of sin and death was through the cross.  Jesus reversed the curse of our first parents’ disobedience through his obedience to the Father’s will — his willingness to go to the cross to pay the just penalty for our sins and to defeat death once and for all.  His obedience and death on the cross obtain for us freedom and new life in the Holy Spirit.  His cross frees us from the tyranny of sin and death and shows us the way of perfect love.

If we want to experience the new life which Jesus offers, then the outer shell of our old, fallen nature, must be broken and put to death. In Baptism our “old nature” enslaved by sin is buried with Christ and we rise as a “new creation” in Christ.  This process of death to the “old fallen self” is both a one-time event, such as baptism, and a daily, on-going cycle in which God buries us more deeply into Jesus’ death to sin so we might rise anew and bear fruit for God. There is a great paradox here.  Death leads to life.  When we “die” to our selves, we “rise” to new life in Jesus Christ.

What does it mean to “die” to oneself?  It certainly means that what is contrary to God’s will must be “crucified” or “put to death”.  God gives us grace to say “yes” to his will and to reject whatever is contrary to his loving plan for our lives.  Jesus also promises that we will bear much “fruit” for him, if we choose to deny ourselves for his sake.  Jesus used forceful language to describe the kind of self-denial he had in mind for his disciples.  What did he mean when he said that one must hate himself?  The expression to hate something often meant to prefer less.  Jesus says that nothing should get in the way of our preferring him and the will of our Father in heaven.  Our hope is in Paul’s reminder that “What is sown in the earth is subject to decay, what rises is incorruptible” (1 Cor. 15:42).  Do you hope in the Lord and follow joyfully the path he has chosen for you?


43 posted on 03/25/2012 5:02:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

 


<< Sunday, March 25, 2012 >> Fifth Sunday of Lent
Saint of the Day
 
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Hebrews 5:7-9

View Readings
Psalm 51:3-4, 12-15
John 12:20-33

 

COMING ATTRACTION

 
"The hour has come." —John 12:23
 

Jesus told His hearers that the hour of His death was approaching. He observed: "I solemnly assure you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it produces much fruit" (Jn 12:24). The burial of the seed in the soil is not its final end, but a time of transition. The life in the seed "dies," but this death leads to a different life that bears much fruit (Jn 12:24).

The Greek word translated "die" in John 12:24 literally means to "die away." Each day, we must die away from our sins and desires. Even while receiving the Bread of Life, we still focus on dying away (1 Cor 11:26). We die to ourselves (Lk 9:23) and continually "carry about in our bodies the dying of Jesus" (2 Cor 4:10). The more we die away, the more the life of Jesus is revealed in us (2 Cor 4:10).

When Jesus was lifted up on the cross to die, He attracted all to Himself (Jn 12:32). His death gathered many together (Jn 11:51-52). How will it be at your death? For some of you, "the hour" of your death is coming soon (Jn 12:23). Will your death glorify God and attract many to Jesus? You can increase the glory God will receive at your death by daily "dying away" so as to allow His life to overshadow you. Die to yourself daily, lay down your life for Jesus, and prepare to bear an attractive and attracting harvest for the glory of God.

 
Prayer: "Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen."
Promise: "If anyone serves Me, him the Father will honor." —Jn 12:26
Praise: Praise You, Jesus, "the Way, and the Truth, and the Life" (Jn 14:6). All glory, honor, and praise be to You.

44 posted on 03/25/2012 6:05:59 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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45 posted on 03/25/2012 6:07:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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http://resources.sainteds.com/showmedia.asp?media=../sermons/homily/2012-03-25-Homily%20Fr%20Gary.mp3&ExtraInfo=0&BaseDir=../sermons/homily


46 posted on 04/01/2012 6:47:43 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Avoiding the Cross?
Pastor’s Column
5th Sunday of Lent
March 25, 2012
 
If a man serves me, he must follow me; wherever I am, there my servant shall be.
                                                            from John 12:20-33
 
         
One of the most surprising facts about the early church for a Catholic is that Christians in the first century did not use crucifixes. Churches did not begin to display Jesus on the cross until sometime after Constantine legalized Christianity and outlawed crucifixions. It was only after Christians began to “forget” how awful crucifixion was that we begin to see Christ on a crucifix instead of a bare cross.
          In today’s gospel Our Lord tells us that, if we are a real follower of his, we will be asked to take up our cross and follow him. Where I am, there my servant will be.   First of all, notice what Jesus is not asking me to take up his cross – but mine. My life is going to have unique crosses; they will be my own. 
          Jesus spoke of his own cross: he said, what should I say? Father, save me from this hour? But it was precisely for this cross that I came into the world. We can learn quite a lot from this statement. We are not here just to practice “cross-avoidance” or to have a good time! We are here for a mission and that mission is going to involve the self-sacrifice for others or one special other. Most of us have many such opportunities: a sick child, parent or spouse, listening instead of talking, giving when it is not appreciated, giving way to avoid an argument, and a thousand other ways we die to self.
The cross: most of us would just as soon wiggle out of one if possible, but sometimes we just can’t. The Imitation of Christ speaks about “cross-avoidance” in some detail. It points out that we can try to run from our cross with what we would call today a geographical cure (moving somewhere else), a new job, new home, new spouse, or some sort of anesthesia, but we can be sure that, when we have arrived there, we are likely to find the cross all the same and perhaps an even heavier one than we sought to avoid.
          Father, save me from this hour. Is it possible that the very cross you seek to avoid is the one most valuable thing in your life? Isn’t it funny how the sufferings we went through with someone, though it seemed awful at the time, are actually among our most valuable possessions later on? Why is this? There is an old expression that love is what you have been through with someone. Selfish love, “cross-avoidance” type love is, ultimately, sterile. It is our sufferings on the behalf of others that prove our love. And the sufferings I have shared with Jesus will be my greatest joy in the world to come. Love is what we have been through with someone and this is really true of Jesus.
                                                                             Father Gary

47 posted on 04/08/2012 8:02:56 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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