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April 2, 2010 - Good Friday

April 3rd Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 6 Period I.

The Novena Rosary Mysteries  
for April 3rd are Glorious.


Rita will pray from China
between 12:00 and 4:00 pm
on Holy Saturday

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April 2, 2010 - Good Friday


2 Timothy 2: 8-13

Remember the gospel that I carry, 'Jesus Christ risen from the dead, sprung from the race of David'; it is on account of this that I have to put up with suffering, even to being chained like a criminal. But God's message cannot be chained up. So I persevere for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they, too, may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. Here is a saying that you can rely on: If we have died with him, then we shall live with him. If we persevere, then we shall reign with him. If we disown him, then he will disown us. If we are faithless, he is faithful still, for he cannot disown his own self.  


                Cycle C

                If we hold firm, we shall reign with Christ.


Hebrews 9: 24-28

It is not as though Christ had entered a man–made sanctuary which was merely a model of the real one; he entered heaven itself, so that he now appears in the presence of God on our behalf. And he does not have to offer himself again and again, as the high priest goes into the sanctuary year after year with the blood that is not his own, or else he would have had to suffer over and over again since the world began. As it is, he has made his appearance once and for all, at the end of the last age, to do away with sin by sacrificing himself. Since human beings die only once, after which comes judgement, so Christ too, having offered himself only once to bear the sin of many, will manifest himself a second time, sin being no more, to those who are waiting for him, to bring them salvation.


                From Fr. Joe

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 8, 2009

INTRODUCTION: [I Kings 17,10-16; Hebrews 9,24-28; Mark 12,38-44]
I want to begin by saying something about the second reading. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews was interested in showing the superiority of Jesus’ sacrifice to those of the Old Testament. He is referring especially to the once a year sacrifice on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) as was celebrated just six weeks ago on Sept 27. In the time before 70 AD when the Romans destroyed the Temple, the High Priest alone would enter the Holy Place. Year after year he would offer sacrifice for the sins of God’s people. The Letter to the Hebrews emphasizes that Christ’s sacrifice for sins took place only once and didn’t need to be offered again and again because his sacrifice was perfect. We participate in this perfect sacrifice of Christ each time we come to Mass.

Our first reading will make more sense if we know that the events that are described in the reading happened during a severe famine. We have to marvel at the faith of this widow.


                Sacrifice —

                We unite all we do as a sacrifice —
                    an offering united to the Holy Sacrifice
                    of the Mass —

                Our hearts are to be humble and pure —

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time 

We only find this parable in St. Luke’s gospel, which is sometimes referred to as the gospel of prayer.  It tells us our prayer must be genuine, it must be honest, it must be humble. If the Pharisee wasn’t such a pompous guy he probably would have been a pretty nice person.  I’ll bet his wife found him to be a royal pain.  It’s hard to live with someone who is perfect.  I’ve tried to do marriage counseling with people like that.  I wasn’t very successful.  Someone who thinks they are perfect is not only blind to their own faults, they are quite conscious of the faults of others and feel it is their duty to constantly point them out. 


                    I have to talk about authority and how
                satan wants to destroy structure — bring
                down the standard God wants —

                    St. Ignatius talks about 2 Standards
                (1) That of Christ    (2) That of Satan

                Christ will never lose He is God —

                We lose when we adopt the standard
                    of satan and give into him
                    so satan can use us as
                    instruments of his as we willingly
                    give into satan —

                Look at the fall of Adam and Eve —
                    They gave into satan and
                    we all suffered as their descendants —

                But God loves us so much and He created
                    us and wants us with Him, but
                    to be one with God we have
                    to be working on being holy —

                    God is all pure
                    God is all good

                Sin hurts our relationship with God —
                    this, relationship with God, is what we were created for —
                    it makes us miserable to be far
                    from God — God created us for Him —

                People can attack another trying to
                    bring them down, when the
                    person is holy and close to God and
                    living to do God's will

                Satan wants to lower the standard —
                    he is lower

                Satan even tried to tempt Jesus and
                    told him to bow to him (satan)

                Jesus told him — this is usually the reading
                    the 1st Sunday of Lent

                Look at the richness of these readings
                    the 1st Sunday of Lent Cycle A


Genesis 2: 7-9, 3: 1-7

Yahweh God shaped man from the soil of the ground and blew the breath of life into his nostrils, and man became a living being.

    Yahweh God planted a garden in Eden, which is in the east, and there he put the man he had fashioned. From the soil, Yahweh God caused to grow every kind of tree, enticing to look at and good to eat, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

    Now, the snake was the most subtle of all the wild animals that Yahweh God had made. It asked the woman, 'Did God really say you were not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?' The woman answered the snake, 'We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden. But of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden God said, "You must not eat it, nor touch it, under pain of death." ' Then the snake said to the woman, 'No! You will not die! God knows in fact that the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good from evil.' The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye, and that it was enticing for the wisdom that it could give. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realised that they were naked. So they sewed fig-leaves together to make themselves loin-cloths.


Romans 5: 12-19

Well then; it was through one man that sin came into the world, and through sin death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned. Sin already existed in the world before there was any law, even though sin is not reckoned when there is no law. Nonetheless death reigned over all from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sin was not the breaking of a commandment, as Adam's was. He prefigured the One who was to come . . .

    There is no comparison between the free gift and the offence. If death came to many through the offence of one man, how much greater an effect the grace of God has had, coming to so many and so plentifully as a free gift through the one man Jesus Christ! Again, there is no comparison between the gift and the offence of one man. One single offence brought condemnation, but now, after many offences, have come the free gift and so acquittal! It was by one man’s offence that death came to reign over all, but how much greater the reign in life of those who receive the fullness of grace and the gift of saving justice, through the one man, Jesus Christ. One man’s offence brought condemnation on all humanity; and one man’s good act has brought justification and life to all humanity. Just as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience are many to be made upright.


Matthew 4: 1-11

Testing in the desert

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit out into the desert to be put to the test by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, after which he was hungry, and the tester came and said to him, ‘If you are Son of God, tell these stones to turn into loaves.’ But he replied, ‘Scripture says: 

    Human beings live not on bread alone 
    but on every word 
        that comes from the mouth of God.’ 

The devil then took him to the holy city and set him on the parapet of the Temple. ‘If you are Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down; for scripture says: 

    He has given his angels orders about you, 
and they will carry you in their arms 
    in case you trip over a stone.’ 

Jesus said to him, ‘Scripture also says: 

    Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ 

Next, taking him to a very high mountain, the devil showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour. And he said to him, ‘I will give you all these, if you fall at my feet and do me homage.’ Then Jesus replied, ‘Away with you, Satan! For scripture says: 

    The Lord your God is the one 
        to whom you must do homage, 
    him alone you must serve.’ 

Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels appeared and looked after him.


                Satan wanted Jesus prostrate before him —

                Now we see how
                    satan works on authority
                    God works in structure
                    God has all the power —
                    It is passed down through those
                        God puts in power in
                        authority under God

                Satan wants those in authority to
                    get down — so he can be above — so
                    he can use people to attack authority —

                Satan wants to lower the standard —
                Say there is a very important prayer
                    Satan can come with an aggressive
                    person — trying to discredit and
                    pressing and pressing to try
                    to block the prayer service —

                God wants us to live our lives united
                    to the Masses going on around
                    the world —
                    As members of the mystical body
                    of Christ — we are united to
                    these Masses — that is why we
                    should say the Morning Offering and offer everything
                    we do united to the Masses going on around
                    the world



                As a child we were taught to obey our
                    parents and as Fr. Joe said especially
                    our dad — we obeyed —

                Children are to obey their parents and
                    this is a commandment of God —

                Because of the fallen human nature
                    we have, there is a
                    struggle between rebellion
                    to the will of God and obedience
                    to God's will — 


                Adam and Eve disobeyed God —

                Cain was told the devil was lurking
                    at his door, but he could be
                    master over him —
                    Cain gave in and killed his brother —

                We see Joseph's brothers jealousy —

                But God loves us so much —

                God the Father sent His only begotten
                    Son into the world

                Jesus was obedient to the Father

                Bring down —
                the devil wanted Jesus to prostrate
                    and pay him homage —

                We have a free will —
                    to give into the tendencies of
                the wounded human nature or
                to obey God's commandments and
                observe the structure God puts
                in place

                From the 1st Sunday of Lent — 2nd reading
                    Cycle B


1 Peter 3: 18-22

Christ himself died once and for all for sins, the upright for the sake of the guilty, to lead us to God. In the body he was put to death, in the spirit he was raised to life, and, in the spirit, he went to preach to the spirits in prison. They refused to believe long ago, while God patiently waited to receive them, in Noah’s time when the ark was being built. In it only a few, that is eight souls, were saved through water. It is the baptism corresponding to this water which saves you now—not the washing off of physical dirt but the pledge of a good conscience given to God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has entered heaven and is at God’s right hand, with angels, ruling forces and powers subject to him.


                The waters of the flood prefigure

                Look at this Reading
                    God called Abraham, the father
                        of God's people —

                From the 2nd Sunday of Lent —
                    Cycle A

                God told Abram —
                    "I will bless those who bless you
                        and curse those who curse you"

Jesus is our Savior
God has called us to be holy —


2 Timothy 1: 8-10

So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to our Lord, or ashamed of me for being his prisoner; but share in my hardships for the sake of the gospel, relying on the power of God who has saved us and called us to be holy-not because of anything we ourselves had done but for his own purpose and by his own grace. This grace had already been granted to us, in Christ Jesus, before the beginning of time, but it has been revealed only by the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus. He has abolished death, and he has brought to light immortality and life through the gospel,


                In the second Sunday of Lent Cycle B
                    we see Abraham's faith when asked
                    to be willing to sacrifice Isaac —

                God put Abraham to the test — then
                    God said to Abraham


Genesis 22: 15-18

    The angel of Yahweh called Abraham a second time from heaven. ‘I swear by my own self, Yahweh declares, that because you have done this, because you have not refused me your own beloved son, I will shower blessings on you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will gain possession of the gates of their enemies. All nations on earth will bless themselves by your descendants, because you have obeyed my command.’


                Then on the Second Sunday of Lent all
                    3 Cycles of the Gospel are — the Transfiguration —

                Christ shows us the beauty
                    His face shown as the sun —

                "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased"

                The 3rd Sunday
                    the money changers
                    the burning bush — the 1st reading — God is the "I AM"
                    the woman at the well

                Jesus says the water I give will turn
                    into springs of eternal life —


1 Corinthians 10: 1-6, 10-12

I want you to be quite certain, brothers, that our ancestors all had the cloud over them and all passed through the sea. In the cloud and in the sea they were all baptised into Moses; all ate the same spiritual food and all drank the same spiritual drink, since they drank from the spiritual rock which followed them, and that rock was Christ. In spite of this, God was not pleased with most of them, and their corpses were scattered over the desert. Now these happenings were examples, for our benefit, so that we should never set our hearts, as they did, on evil things;

Never complain; some of them complained, and they were killed by the Destroyer. Now all these things happened to them by way of example, and they were described in writing to be a lesson for us, to whom it has fallen to live in the last days of the ages. Everyone, no matter how firmly he thinks he is standing, must be careful he does not fall.


                We are to repent of our sins —

                We see the parable of the fig tree
                    with no fruit —

                How is the fruit you are producing
                    for the Kingdom of God —

                The 4th Sunday
                    David was anointed King of Israel
                        by Samuel


Ephesians 5: 8-14

You were darkness once, but now you are light in the Lord; behave as children of light, for the effects of the light are seen in complete goodness and uprightness and truth. Try to discover what the Lord wants of you, take no part in the futile works of darkness but, on the contrary, show them up for what they are. The things which are done in secret are shameful even to speak of; but anything shown up by the light will be illuminated and anything illuminated is itself a light. That is why it is said: Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.


                    Gospel of Cycle A is the blind man —

                Jesus restored the blind man's sight —


                Fourth Sunday Cycle B first reading     

2 Chronicles 36: 14-17, 19-23

Furthermore, all the leaders of Judah, the priests and the people too, added infidelity to infidelity, copying all the shameful practices of the nations and defiling the Temple of Yahweh which he himself had consecrated in Jerusalem. Yahweh, God of their ancestors, continuously sent them word through his messengers because he felt sorry for his people and his dwelling, but they ridiculed the messengers of God, they despised his words, they laughed at his prophets, until Yahweh's wrath with his people became so fierce that there was no further remedy.

He burned down the temple of God, demolished the walls of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces to the ground and destroyed everything of value in it. And those who had escaped the sword he deported to Babylon, where they were enslaved by him and his descendants until the rise of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfil Yahweh's prophecy through Jeremiah: Until the country has paid off its Sabbaths, it will lie fallow for all the days of its desolation--until the seventy years are complete.

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia--to fulfil the word of Yahweh through Jeremiah--Yahweh roused the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia to issue a proclamation and to have it publicly displayed throughout his kingdom: 'Cyrus king of Persia says this, "Yahweh, the God of Heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and has appointed me to build him a Temple in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all his people, may his God be with him! Let him go up." '


4th Sunday of Lent

March 26, 2006

INTRODUCTION: [2 Chronicles 36, 14-16.19-23; Eph. 2, 4-10; John 3, 14-21] Our first reading last Sunday was about the covenant God made with his people as they were traveling through the desert on their way from Egypt to the Promised Land. In that covenant God promised his people liberty, land, prosperity and he promised them they would be his special people. What God demanded of his people in return was obedience to his commandments, especially the ones we call "The Ten Commandments." Our first reading this week skips over seven centuries, centuries marked with religious fervor at times, but mostly characterized by indifference to God and to his laws. This indifference took its toll on their strength as a nation and when the powerful Babylonians came against God’s people around 600 B.C. they were unable to defend themselves. As a result their land was destroyed and those who managed to survive the Babylonian invasion were enslaved and deported to Babylon. Today’s first reading describes this calamity and how God freed them from their Babylonian captivity almost two generations later. Their liberation from Babylon took place when the Persian king, Cyrus, conquered the Babylonians. Just to help you visualize this, Persia was the land now occupied by Iran and Babylonia was in modern day Iraq. One last thought: next week we will hear Jeremiah promise that God would make a new covenant with his people since the old one was so poorly kept. We celebrate and renew God's new covenant as always as we celebrate the Eucharist today.

HOMILY: One of the central elements of our relationship with God is the idea of covenant. The word "covenant" is not a word we use everyday. It is a solemn and serious agreement, but it is more that that. It is a committed relationship between two people or two groups of people. About the only time we hear the word "covenant" today is in relation to marriage. But in the Bible we hear the word a lot. Last Sunday, this Sunday and next Sunday, in our first reading, we hear passages that referred to the covenant God made with his people. The author of the first reading tells us this covenant was broken more often than it was observed. Instead of giving up on us, however, God offered us a new covenant, sealed in the blood of his Son. It’s a covenant we renew and God renews with us every time we come to Mass.

    God offers this new covenant to all people. As Jesus said: "God gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but might have eternal life." But not all people want to enter into a covenant of love with this God who sent his son. Again he tells us: "The light came into the world, but people preferred the darkness to light…"

    God is our creator who knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows what is for our good, he knows what will lead us to peace and life, eternal life, but he also gave us a free will. He gave us a free will so we would be capable of returning his love. Only a free person can love. But with our free will we can also choose not to love. And making that choice not to love our God points us in a direction that leads away from eternal life and eternal happiness.

    People with a concept of "covenant" (even if they’ve never heard the word "covenant," but who know they are in a relationship of love with God) know a God whom we can call Father, lover, spouse, friend, protector or savior. Without a notion of "covenant" we cannot really know God in a personal way. Without a notion of "covenant" God is seen perhaps as indifferent, overly punitive or overly permissive. I think most people today, who have no notion of "covenant," see God as some kind of indulgent parent who doesn’t know how to say "no" and who is so soft hearted he’s going to get everyone into heaven no matter how evil they may have been. Jesus did say "God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world," but he also said that whoever does not believe in him is already condemned because they preferred darkness to light. Jesus has done all that is possible, even to the extent of dying for us, so that we can discover the light, the life, the joy that his love can bring, but he cannot force it on us if we are closed to it.

    I want to say something about baptism because that’s when we begin to live a new life, when we receive the light of Christ, when we enter into a covenant relationship with God. Often I have asked people when they come for the baptism of their child why they want their child baptized. The most common answer is because it washes away original sin. Those who have a deeper understanding of baptism tell me it is because baptism gives their child a sharing in Christ’s life. But even that answer is incomplete. Let me draw a comparison between baptism and natural birth. When a child is born, we say they are given the gift of life (although they had already received that gift at conception). But we also know that there’s a lot more to being born than simply receiving the gift of life. Natural birth is the beginning of a lengthy, complex process of growth, development, learning and maturation. So too is baptism the beginning of a process of growing in God’s love, learning to recognize God as our Father, learning to obey him, worship him, love him, pray to him. That describes a loving relationship with our God that is meant to continue into eternity. One word for that relationship is "covenant." When we come to Mass each week, we come so we don’t forget our covenant, that we are sharers in God’s life; so we don’t forget what Christ has done for us and what he asks of us in this relationship of love. We all know and God knows too how easily we forget things, so he gave us a way to remember: "Do this in memory of me." Thank you for being here today to hear once more of God’s love and to express your own love in prayer and praise. Amen.


                Cycle C - 2nd Reading 

2 Corinthians 5: 17-21

So for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation: the old order is gone and a new being is there to see. It is all God’s work; he reconciled us to himself through Christ and he gave us the ministry of reconciliation. I mean, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not holding anyone’s faults against them, but entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 

    So we are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were urging you through us, and in the name of Christ we appeal to you to be reconciled to God. For our sake he made the sinless one a victim for sin, so that in him we might become the uprightness of God.


                The prodigal son is the Gospel cycle C


                5th Sunday of Lent

                Cycle A — 1st reading Ezekiel 37: 12-14

Ezekiel 37: 12-14 

So, prophesy. Say to them, "The Lord Yahweh says this: I am now going to open your graves; I shall raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am Yahweh, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people, and put my spirit in you, and you revive, and I resettle you on your own soil. Then you will know that I, Yahweh, have spoken and done this–declares the Lord Yahweh." ’


                Cycle A — 2nd reading Romans 8: 8-11

Romans 8: 8-11

and those who live by their natural inclinations can never be pleasing to God. You, however, live not by your natural inclinations, but by the Spirit, since the Spirit of God has made a home in you. Indeed, anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But when Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin but the spirit is alive because you have been justified; and if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead has made his home in you, then he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.


                Cycle A — Gospel Lazarus Gospel


5th Sunday in Lent

March 13, 2005

INTRODUCTION: The first reading comes from about 600 years before Christ during the Babylonian exile. The prophet Ezekiel had a vision of a field covered with dry bones. The field of dry bones represented God's people and their nation, destroyed by the Babylonians. In his vision Ezekiel saw God put these bones together, cover them with flesh and breathe life into them. It was a prophecy that God would bring his exiled people back to their homes and their land. Today’s first reading summarizes this vision and the prophecy. The reading prepares us for the gospel about Jesus raising his friend Lazarus from the dead.

HOMILY: Lazarus’ tomb is not one of the major tourist attractions in the Holy Land. It is located atop the Mount of Olives. The tomb was cut into the soft limestone rock and when the door is open, one enters the tomb by descending down a flight of very uneven steps, which are dimly lit by a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling. The stairs lead to a small room measuring 10 feet by 10 feet. This would be where the family would gather for final words and prayers with their deceased loved one. Then the deceased person’s body would be taken into an adjoining room, even smaller and their body would be placed in a niche cut into the wall of this small room. There would be enough niches carved into the walls of this very small room for many family members. I probably wouldn’t even have visited Lazarus’ tomb when I was in the Holy Land, except for the fact that we stayed several weeks in Bethany and Lazarus’ tomb was just a short walk from where we were staying. I was certainly impressed with Bethlehem and Galilee and Calvary and the tomb of Jesus and other important places like Mt. Sinai which we climbed, but for me, personally, the tomb of Lazarus was the place where I felt most overwhelmingly the power and awesomeness of our Lord. There were only one or two other people at Lazarus’ tomb when I visited there and when I stood in that small, empty, dimly lit room, I thought there’s only one person who has the power to make the tombs empty. It was such a moving experience that even after several years I could hardly talk about it.


5th Sunday in Lent


March 9, 2008 

HOMILY: Bertrand Russell said: success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get.  I don’t think many of us wanted all this snow, but what Bertrand Russell said implies that we do our best to adjust to the ups and downs of life.  Thank God we have our faith to help us along the way and to give us hope. 


The greatest hope we have is that life will never end. 


Today’s gospels is one of my very favorite ones, because it was while I was visiting the tomb of Lazarus in Bethany that I had an overwhelming experience of the divine presence of Jesus.


Jesus said to Martha: “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.”  Who could make such a statement: “everyone who lives and believes in me will never die?”  They would either have to be someone so unique and special, the likes of which this world has never known, or they would have to be someone severely delusional.  From everything else we know about Jesus, he was totally sane and in touch with reality.  More than that he was someone with special wisdom and special powers.  He did not just ask for Martha’s faith, “do you believe this?”  but he did more, he showed he had power even over death itself.   Who else has the power to make the tombs empty?  The Lord asks us today as he asked Martha: “Do you believe this?”  “Do you believe that everyone who lives and believes in me will never die?”  What a comfort this is when we lose a loved one whom we know has lived and died in God’s grace. 


But Jesus’ words are not limited to the experience of death.  We all experience many losses in life, little deaths, things that we have to grieve for.  It could be our health, our job, our security or the loss of something that meant a lot to us.  We have to trust somehow that even in these sufferings God can bring life out of death.  This is what is meant by the Easter mystery, or the Paschal mystery that we are preparing to celebrate.  As St. Paul tells us: “We know that all things work for good for those who love God.”  Rom 8,28. 


This is the hope that I live by and that gives new life to all of us.  Amen.


                Cycle B — 1st reading Jeremiah 31: 31-34

Jeremiah 31: 31-34

‘Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall make a new covenant with the House of Israel (and the House of Judah), but not like the covenant I made with their ancestors the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of Egypt, a covenant which they broke, even though I was their Master, Yahweh declares. No, this is the covenant I shall make with the House of Israel when those days have come, Yahweh declares. Within them I shall plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I shall be their God and they will be my people. There will be no further need for everyone to teach neighbour or brother, saying, "Learn to know Yahweh!" No, they will all know me, from the least to the greatest, Yahweh declares, since I shall forgive their guilt and never more call their sin to mind.’


                Cycle B — 2nd reading Hebrews 5: 7-9

Hebrews 5: 7-9

During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, with loud cries and with tears, to the one who had the power to save him from death, and, winning a hearing by his reverence, he learnt obedience, Son though he was, through his sufferings; when he had been perfected, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation


                Gospel is the Grain of Wheat — sing song


                Palm Sunday

                Sing: My God, My God

                The Passion is read


Philippians 2: 8-9

he was humbler yet, 
even to accepting death, 
    death on a cross. 

And for this God raised him high, 
and gave him the name 
which is above all other names; 


                    So as I review a little the
                rich scripture of Lent —
                    we see much —

                    The devil wants to tempt
                people to give into sin and in
                so doing take the focus off
                what the just man is doing —

                    The devil is aggressive and
                he tries to get people to give
                in so he can create disorder
                against God's will —

                    The devil's way is disobedience,
                attacking authority — They bound
                Jesus to a pillar —

                Jesus shed His innocent blood
                    for our sins —

                The devil tempts through
                    jealous eyes

                The devil wants division
                The devil wants to show
                    right as wrong and
                    wrong as right

                People can keep giving into the
                    devil — they develop
                    deeper and deeper vices and
                    then they can become enslaved to satan —

                    We see Joseph in the Old Testament and
                what his jealous brothers did
                to him

                    We see Cain and what he did to
                his brother —

                    We see the prodigal son

                    We see Jesus — the all perfect
                pure God — put to death —
                He was crowned with thorns —

                He was bound — suffering for those
                    giving into sin — being bound
                    in their sins to hatred —

                The self-righteous are prideful —
                like the devil

                    self-righteousness brings
                        the hypocrisy of trying
                        to show right as wrong and
                        wrong as right

                The devil is a liar —

                He finds a prey

                He tries to make the innocent look
                    guilty —

                Look at Christ who was without
                    sin and they tried Him —
                    found Him guilty —
                    whipped Him —
                    mocked Him —

                Crowned Him with a crown of
                    thorns —

                His Head a crown of innocent
                    Blood, shed by the Divine

                Judas betrayed His Master
                    Jesus was sold for 30 pieces of silver

                Joseph's brothers betrayed him
                    Joseph was sold for 20 pieces of silver

                Joseph's brothers hated him because
                    he was favored

                Cain hated Abel because he
                    offered a pleasing sacrifice

                    Jealous eyes

                God wants ACCOUNTABILITY for
                    our sins

                God wants contrite hearts

                God wants us to take responsibility
                    for our sins

                God wants obedience to those
                    over us


2 Chronicles 24: 18-22 

and they abandoned the Temple of Yahweh, God of their ancestors, for the worship of sacred poles and idols. Judah and Jerusalem incurred wrath because of this guilt of theirs. He sent their prophets to lead them back to Yahweh; these put the case against them, but they would not listen. The spirit of God then invested Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood up before the people and said, 'God says this, "Why transgress Yahweh's commands to your certain ruin? For if you abandon Yahweh, he will abandon you." They then plotted against him and, at the king's order, stoned him in the court of the Temple of Yahweh. Thus King Joash, forgetful of the devotion which Jehoiada father of Zechariah had displayed on his behalf, murdered his son, who cried out as he died, 'Yahweh will see this and avenge it!'


                They murdered Zechariah


Acts 7: 55-60

But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. ‘Look! I can see heaven thrown open,’ he said, ‘and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.’ All the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with their hands; then they made a concerted rush at him, thrust him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he knelt down and said aloud, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ And with these words he fell asleep.


James 1: 2-4, 12

My brothers, consider it a great joy when trials of many kinds come upon you, for you well know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance, and perseverance must complete its work so that you will become fully developed, complete, not deficient in any way.

Blessed is anyone who perseveres when trials come. Such a person is of proven worth and will win the prize of life, the crown that the Lord has promised to those who love him.


1 Peter 4: 12-19

My dear friends, do not be taken aback at the testing by fire which is taking place among you, as though something strange were happening to you; but in so far as you share in the sufferings of Christ, be glad, so that you may enjoy a much greater gladness when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for bearing Christ’s name, blessed are you, for on you rests the Spirit of God, the Spirit of glory. None of you should ever deserve to suffer for being a murderer, a thief, a criminal or an informer; but if any one of you should suffer for being a Christian, then there must be no shame but thanksgiving to God for bearing this name. The time has come for the judgement to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end for those who refuse to believe God’s gospel? If it is hard for the upright to be saved, what will happen to the wicked and to sinners? So even those whom God allows to suffer should commit themselves to a Creator who is trustworthy, and go on doing good.


Luke 9: 23-26

Then, speaking to all, he said, 'If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me. Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, will save it. What benefit is it to anyone to win the whole world and forfeit or lose his very self? For if anyone is ashamed of me and of my words, of him the Son of man will be ashamed when he comes in his own glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.


                Jesus says:

                    For I call you to follow Me —
                "I am the way, the truth and the life"

                So one can be surrounded by those
                challenging a just man and the
                person being persecuted never takes
                their eyes off the Father and His will
                for them —

                    For the devil will stop at nothing
                to try to block the Plan of My
                Father if a person is willing
                to give into the devil —

                Be strong and look at the crucifix
                and see how I endured to My
                death on the cross — doing
                the Father's will —

                    I tell you to not lose heart —
                be gentle and humble and contrite
                in your hearts — love justice
                and right — let your heart be
                one with Mine that you
                embrace only the truth I
                give you —

                    I am the way, the truth and
                the life —

                Keep My truth in you —

                Be children of Light

                Do not give into satan —

                What fruits have you brought
                    to the children I died
                    for —

                I love you to love Me —

                Loving Me is seen in loving
                    the Father's will and
                    loving — loving as I
                    did on the cross in
                    doing the Father's will




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feast of Saint Ignatius Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits)






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