tuesday 07 April 2020
St John Baptist de la Salle (1651 – 1719)
He was born in Rheims in France in 1651. He became a priest and devoted himself wholeheartedly to the education of children, founding schools for the poor. He and his colleagues formed a congregation called the Brothers of the Christian Schools, in whose cause he suffered many tribulations. He died in Rouen in 1719.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 26: 12
Do not leave me to the will of my foes, O Lord, for false witnesses rise up against me and they breathe out violence.
Almighty ever-living God, grant us so to celebrate the mysteries of the Lord’s Passion that we may merit to receive your pardon. 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.
First reading: Isaiah 49:1-6
Islands, listen to me, pay attention, remotest peoples. The Lord called me before I was born, from my mother’s womb he pronounced my name. He made my mouth a sharp sword, and hid me in the shadow of his hand. He made me into a sharpened arrow, and concealed me in his quiver. He said to me, ‘You are my servant (Israel) in whom I shall be glorified’; while I was thinking, ‘I have toiled in vain, I have exhausted myself for nothing’; and all the while my cause was with the Lord, my reward with my God. I was honoured in the eyes of the Lord, my God was my strength. And now the Lord has spoken, he who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, to gather Israel to him: ‘It is not enough for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel; I will make you the light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.’
R/ My lips will tell of your help.
- In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me, free me: pay heed to me and save me.
- Be a rock where I can take refuge, a mighty stronghold to save me; for you are my rock, my stronghold. Free me from the hand of the wicked.
- It is you, O Lord, who are my hope, my trust, O Lord, since my youth. On you I have leaned from my birth, from my mother’s womb you have been my help.
- My lips will tell of your justice and day by day of your help. O God, you have taught me from my youth and I proclaim your wonders still.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ! Hail to you, our King! Obedient to the Father, you were led to your crucifixion as a meek lamb is led to the slaughter. Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
Gospel: John 13:21-33,36-38
While at supper with his disciples, Jesus was troubled in spirit and declared, ‘I tell you most solemnly, one of you will betray me.’ The disciples looked at one another, wondering which he meant. The disciple Jesus loved was reclining next to Jesus; Simon Peter signed to him and said, ‘Ask who it is he means’, so leaning back on Jesus’ breast he said, ‘Who is it, Lord?’ ‘It is the one’ replied Jesus ‘to whom I give the piece of bread that I shall dip in the dish.’ He dipped the piece of bread and gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. At that instant, after Judas had taken the bread, Satan entered him. Jesus then said, ‘What you are going to do, do quickly.’ None of the others at table understood the reason he said this. Since Judas had charge of the common fund, some of them thought Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival’, or telling him to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the piece of bread he went out. Night had fallen. When he had gone Jesus said: ‘Now has the Son of Man been glorified, and in him God has been glorified. If God has been glorified in him, God will in turn glorify him in himself, and will glorify him very soon. ‘My little children, I shall not be with you much longer. You will look for me, And, as I told the Jews, where I am going, you cannot come.’ Simon Peter said, ‘Lord, where are you going?’ Jesus replied, ‘Where I am going you cannot follow me now; you will follow me later.’ Peter said to him, ‘Why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.’ ‘Lay down your life for me?’ answered Jesus. ‘I tell you most solemnly, before the cock crows you will have disowned me three times.’
Prayer over the Offerings
Look favourably, O Lord, we pray, on these offerings of your family, and to those you make partakers of these sacred gifts grant a share in their fullness. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Rm 8: 32
God did not spare his own Son, but handed him over for us all.
Prayer after Communion
Nourished by your saving gifts, we beseech your mercy, Lord, that by this same Sacrament, with which you have fed us in the present age you may make us partakers of life eternal. Through Christ our Lord.
In our Reading today, Yahweh speaks through the prophet Isaiah to make us realize that each and everyone of us is a careful plan of God, who knit us in our mother’s womb and called each of us for a purpose in this world. Unfortunately, many of us spend our lives doing the wrong things and never sitting down to ask ourselves the purpose for which God created us. None of us is the product of chance; we are each and all part of the eternal plan of God. So, we cannot afford to waste our lives here on earth. Instead we must each become a light to enlighten others and drive away the force of evil. In the Gospel, Jesus foretells that one of his own will betray him; he equally foretells the triple denial of Peter. It is significant that these two events are disclosed in one evening. Peter and Judas both denied Jesus; but the difference lies in the fact that Peter was quick to recognize his error and repent while Judas got frustrated and hanged himself. There is no sin that God cannot forget, so there is no reason why any of us should despair because of what we have done.
wednesday 08 April 2020
Saint Julie Billiart (1751 —1816)
He was a French religious leader who founded, and was the first Superior General of, the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
Entrance Antiphon: Phil 2: 10, 8, 11
At the name of Jesus, every knee should bend of those in heaven and on the earth and under the earth, for the Lord became obedient to death, death on a cross: therefore Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
O God, who willed your Son to submit for our sake to the yoke of the Cross, so that you might drive from us the power of the enemy, grant us, your servants, to attain the grace of the resurrection. 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.
First reading: Isaiah 50:4-9
The Lord has given me a disciple’s tongue. So that I may know how to reply to the wearied he provides me with speech. Each morning he wakes me to hear, to listen like a disciple. The Lord has opened my ear. For my part, I made no resistance, neither did I turn away. I offered my back to those who struck me, my cheeks to those who tore at my beard; I did not cover my face against insult and spittle. The Lord comes to my help, so that I am untouched by the insults. So, too, I set my face like flint; I know I shall not be shamed. My vindicator is here at hand. Does anyone start proceedings against me? Then let us go to court together. Who thinks he has a case against me? Let him approach me. The Lord is coming to my help, who will dare to condemn me?
R/ In your great love, O Lord, answer my prayers for your favour.
- It is for you that I suffer taunts, that shame covers my face, that I have become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my own mother’s sons. I burn with zeal for your house and taunts against you fall on me.
- Taunts have broken my heart; I have reached the end of my strength. I looked in vain for compassion, for consolers; not one could I find. For food they gave me poison; in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
- I will praise God’s name with a song; I will glorify him with thanksgiving. The poor when they see it will be glad and God-seeking hearts will revive; for the Lord listens to the needy and does not spurn his servants in their chains.
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God! Hail to you, our King! Obedient to the Father, you were led to your crucifixion as a meek lamb is led to the slaughter. Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!
Gospel: Matthew 26:14-25
One of the Twelve, the man called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you prepared to give me if I hand him over to you?’ They paid him thirty silver pieces, and from that moment he looked for an opportunity to betray him. Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus to say, ‘Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the passover?’ ‘Go to so-and-so in the city’ he replied ‘and say to him, “The Master says: My time is near. It is at your house that I am keeping Passover with my disciples.”’ The disciples did what Jesus told them and prepared the Passover. When evening came he was at table with the twelve disciples. And while they were eating he said ‘I tell you solemnly, one of you is about to betray me.’ They were greatly distressed and started asking him in turn, ‘Not I, Lord, surely?’ He answered, ‘Someone who has dipped his hand into the dish with me, will betray me. The Son of Man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will, but alas for that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! Better for that man if he had never been born!’ Judas, who was to betray him; asked in his turn, ‘Not I, Rabbi, surely?’ ‘They are your own words’ answered Jesus.
Prayer over the Offerings
Receive, O Lord, we pray, the offerings made here, and graciously grant that, celebrating your Son’s Passion in mystery, we may experience the grace of its effects. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Mt 20: 28
The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Prayer after Communion
Endow us, almighty God, with the firm conviction that through your Son’s Death in time, to which the revered mysteries bear witness, we may be assured of perpetual life. Through Christ our Lord.
In the Readings of this day, Yahweh has given Isaiah the disciple’s tongue to proclaim that God loves each of us. For those who trust in God, God comes to them so that they are not touched by insults and all evil. We should all be happy to have such a God who is ready to help us at every moment. Unfortunately, many of us do not seem to care about God. We worry about the glamour and attractions of the world. We easily betray our God just like Judas did in the Gospel today. He went to the chief priests and got money in order to betray his master. At the same time the rest of the apostles made preparations for the Last Supper Meal with their Master. While they were at Supper, Jesus once more revealed that one of them would betray him. The Apostles were all surprised and even Judas, who knew what he had done, pretended to be surprised too. At one moment or another some of us pretend to be what we are not. We cannot pretend before God because He knows us through and through.
The Paschal Triduum of the Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection, is the culmination point of the entire Liturgical Year. The Triduum refers to the Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.