by Jude Thaddeus Langeh | Apr 1, 2023 | Evangelium
sUNday 02 APRIL
Psalter week II
Gospel: Matthew 21:1-11
When they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village facing you, and immediately you will find an ass tied, and a colt with her: untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ’The Lord has need of them,’ and he will send them immediately.” This took place to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet, saying, “Tell the daughter of Sion, Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of an ass.” The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the ass and the colt, and put their garments on them, and he sat thereon. Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee.”
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Jn 12: 1, 12-13; Ps 23: 9-10
Six days before the Passover, when the Lord came into the city of Jerusalem, the children ran to meet him; in their hands they carried palm branches and with a loud voice cried out: Hosanna in the highest! Blessed are you, who have come in your abundant mercy! O gates, lift high your heads; grow higher, ancient doors. Let him enter, the king of glory! Who is this king of glory? He, the Lord of hosts, he is the king of glory. Hosanna in the highest! Blessed are you, who have come in your abundant mercy!
Almighty ever-living God, who as an example of humility for the human race to follow caused our Saviour to take flesh and submit to the Cross, graciously grant that we may heed his lesson of patient suffering and so merit a share in his Resurrection. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Isaiah 50:4-7
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.
Psalm 21:8-9, 17-20,23-24
R/ My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
All who see me deride me. They curl their lips, they toss their heads. “He trusted in the Lord, let him save him; let him release him if this is his friend.”
Many dogs have surrounded me, a band of the wicked beset me. They tear holes in my hands and my feet, I can count every one of my bones.
They divide my clothing among them. They cast lots for my robe. O Lord, do not leave me alone, my strength, make haste to help me!
I will tell of your name to my brethren and praise you where they are assembled. You who fear the Lord give him praise; all sons of Jacob, give him glory. Revere him, Israel’s sons.
Second reading: Philippians 2:6-11
His state was divine, yet Christ Jesus did not cling to his equality with God but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave and became as men are; and being as all men are, he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross. But God raised him high and gave him the name which is above all other names so that all beings in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld, should bend the knee at the name of Jesus and that every tongue should acclaim Jesus Christ as Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Gospel Acclamation:Phil 2:8-9
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory! Christ was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross. But God raised him high and gave him the name which is above all names. Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
Gospel: Matthew 26:14-27:66
Key: N. Narrator. ✠ Jesus. O. Other single speaker. C. Crowd, or more than one speaker.
N. One of the Twelve, the man called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, O. What are you prepared to give me if I hand him over to you? N. 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, C. Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the passover? N. He replied: ✠ Go to so-and-so in the city and say to him, ‘The Master says: My time is near. It is at your house that I am keeping Passover with my disciples.’ N. 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. N. They were greatly distressed and started asking him in turn, C. Not I, Lord, surely? N. 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! N. Judas, who was to betray him, asked in his turn, O. Not I, Rabbi, surely? N. Jesus answered: ✠ They are your own words. N. Now as they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: ✠ Take it and eat; this is my body. N. Then he took a cup, and when he had returned thanks he gave it to them, saying: ✠ Drink, all of you, from this, for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. From now on, I tell you, I shall not drink wine until the day I drink the new wine with you in the kingdom of my Father. N. After psalms had been sung they left for the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus said to them, ✠ You will all lose faith in me this night, for the scripture says: I shall strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered, but after my resurrection I shall go before you to Galilee. N. At this, Peter said, O. Though all lose faith in you, I will never lose faith. N. Jesus answered him, ✠ I tell you solemnly, this very night, before the cock crows, you will have disowned me three times. N. Peter said to him, O. Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you. N. And all the disciples said the same. Then Jesus came with them to a small estate called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ✠ Stay here while I go over there to pray. N. He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with him. And sadness came over him, and great distress. Then he said to them, ✠ My soul is sorrowful to the point of death. Wait here and keep awake with me. N. And going on a little further he fell on his face and prayed: ✠ My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass me by. Nevertheless, let it be as you, not I, would have it. N. He came back to the disciples and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter: ✠ So you had not the strength to keep awake with me one hour? You should be awake, and praying not to be put to the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. N. Again, a second time, he went away and prayed: ✠ My Father, if this cup cannot pass by without my drinking it, your will be done! N. And he came back again and found them sleeping, their eyes were so heavy. Leaving them there, he went away again and prayed for the third time, repeating the same words. Then he came back to the disciples and said to them, ✠ You can sleep on now and take your rest. Now the hour has come when the Son of Man is to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up! Let us go! My betrayer is already close at hand. N. He was still speaking when Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared, and with him a large number of men armed with swords and clubs, sent by the chief priests and elders of the people. Now the traitor had arranged a sign with them. He had said, O. ‘The one I kiss, he is the man. Take him in charge.’ N. So he went straight up to Jesus and said, O. Greetings, Rabbi. N. and kissed him. Jesus said to him, ✠ My friend, do what you are here for. N. Then they came forward, seized Jesus and took him in charge. At that, one of the followers of Jesus grasped his sword and drew it; he struck out at the high priest’s servant, and cut off his ear. Jesus then said, ✠ Put your sword back, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father who would promptly send more than twelve legions of angels to my defence? But then, how would the scriptures be fulfilled that say this is the way it must be? N. It was at this time that Jesus said to the crowds, ✠ Am I a brigand, that you had to set out to capture me with swords and clubs? I sat teaching in the Temple day after day and you never laid hands on me. N. Now all this happened to fulfil the prophecies in scripture. Then all the disciples deserted him and ran away. The men who had arrested Jesus led him off to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. Peter followed him at a distance, and when he reached the high priest’s palace, he went in and sat down with the attendants to see what the end would be. The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus, however false, on which they might pass the death sentence. But they could not find any, though several lying witnesses came forward. Eventually two stepped forward and made a statement, O. This man said: ‘I have power to destroy the Temple of God and in three days build it up.’ N. The high priest then stood up and said to him, O. Have you no answer to that? What is this evidence these men are bringing against you? N. But Jesus was silent. And the high priest said to him, O. I put you on oath by the living God to tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God. N. Jesus answered: ✠ The words are your own. Moreover, I tell you that from this time onward you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven. N. At this, the high priest tore his clothes and said, O. He has blasphemed. What need of witnesses have we now? There! You have just heard the blasphemy. What is your opinion? N. They answered, C. He deserves to die. N. Then they spat in his face and hit him with their fists; others said as they struck him, C. Play the prophet, Christ! Who hit you then? N. Meanwhile Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came up to him and said, O. You too were with Jesus the Galilean. N. But he denied it in front of them all, saying: O. I do not know what you are talking about. N. When he went out to the gateway another servant-girl saw him and said to the people there, O. This man was with Jesus the Nazarene. N. And again, with an oath, he denied it: O. I do not know the man. N. A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, C. You are one of them for sure! Why, your accent gives you away. Then he started calling down curses on himself and swearing: O. I do not know the man. N. At that moment the cock crew, and Peter remembered what Jesus had said, ‘Before the cock crows you will have disowned me three times.’ And he went outside and wept bitterly. When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people met in council to bring about the death of Jesus. They had him bound, and led him away to hand him over to Pilate, the governor. When he found that Jesus had been condemned, Judas his betrayer was filled with remorse and took the thirty silver pieces back to the chief priests and elders, saying: O. I have sinned. I have betrayed innocent blood. N. They replied: C. What is that to us? That is your concern. N. And flinging down the silver pieces in the sanctuary he made off and hanged himself. The chief priests picked up the silver pieces and said, C. It is against the Law to put this into the treasury: it is blood-money. N. So they discussed the matter and bought the potter’s field with it as a graveyard for foreigners, and this is why the field is called the Field of Blood today. The words of the prophet Jeremiah were then fulfilled: And they took the thirty silver pieces, the sum at which the precious One was priced by children of Israel, and they gave them for the potter’s field, just as the Lord directed me. Jesus, then, was brought before the governor, and the governor put to him this question: O. Are you the king of the Jews? N. Jesus replied, ✠ It is you who say it. N. But when he was accused by the chief priests and the elders he refused to answer at all. Pilate then said to him, O. Do you not hear how many charges they have brought against you? N. But to the governor’s complete amazement, he offered no reply to any of the charges. At festival time it was the governor’s practice to release a prisoner for the people, anyone they chose. Now there was at that time a notorious prisoner whose name was Barabbas. So when the crowd gathered, Pilate said to them, O. Which do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ? N. For Pilate knew it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. Now as he was seated in the chair of judgement, his wife sent him a message, O. Have nothing to do with that man; I have been upset all day by a dream I had about him. N. The chief priests and the elders, however, had persuaded the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas and the execution of Jesus. So when the governor spoke and asked them, O. Which of the two do you want me to release for you? N. they said, C. Barabbas. N. Pilate said to them: O. But in that case, what am I to do with Jesus who is called Christ? N. They all said: C. Let him be crucified! N. Pilate asked: O. Why? What harm has he done? N. But they shouted all the louder, C. Let him be crucified! N. Then Pilate saw that he was making no impression, that in fact a riot was imminent. So he took some water, washed his hands in front of the crowd and said, O. I am innocent of this man’s blood. It is your concern. N. And the people, to a man, shouted back, C. His blood be on us and on our children! N. Then he released Barabbas for them. He ordered Jesus to be first scourged and then handed over to be crucified. The governor’s soldiers took Jesus with them into the Praetorium and collected the whole cohort round him. Then they stripped him and made him wear a scarlet cloak, and having twisted some thorns into a crown they put this on his head and placed a reed in his right hand. To make fun of him they knelt to him saying, C. Hail, king of the Jews! N. And they spat on him and took the reed and struck him on the head with it. And when they had finished making fun of him, they took off the cloak and dressed him in his own clothes and led him away to crucify him. On their way out, they came across a man from Cyrene, Simon by name, and enlisted him to carry his cross. When they had reached a place called Golgotha, that is, the place of the skull, they gave him wine to drink mixed with gall, which he tasted but refused to drink. When they had finished crucifying him they shared out his clothing by casting lots, and then sat down and stayed there keeping guard over him. Above his head was placed the charge against him; it read: ‘This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.’ At the same time two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. The passers-by jeered at him; they shook their heads and said, C. So you would destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days! Then save yourself! If you are God’s son, come down from the cross! N. The chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him in the same way, saying: C. He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the king of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He puts his trust in God; now let God rescue him if he wants him. For he did say, ‘I am the son of God.’ N. Even the robbers who were crucified with him taunted him in the same way. From the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ✠ Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? N. That is, ‘My God, my God, why have you deserted me?’ When some of those who stood there heard this, they said, C. The man is calling on Elijah. N. and one of them quickly ran to get a sponge which he dipped in vinegar and, putting it on a reed, gave it him to drink. The rest of them said: C. Wait! See if Elijah will come to save him. N. But Jesus, again crying out in a loud voice, yielded up his spirit. Here all kneel and pause for a short time. At that, the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom; the earth quaked; the rocks were split; the tombs opened and the bodies of many holy men rose from the dead, and these, after his resurrection, came out of the tombs, entered the Holy City and appeared to a number of people. Meanwhile the centurion, together with the others guarding Jesus, had seen the earthquake and all that was taking place, and they were terrified and said, C. In truth this was a son of God.
N. And many women were there, watching from a distance, the same women who had followed Jesus from Galilee and looked after him. Among them were Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. When it was evening, there came a rich man of Arimathea, called Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate thereupon ordered it to be handed over. So Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean shroud and put it in his own new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a large stone across the entrance of the tomb and went away. Now Mary of Magdala and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the sepulchre. Next day, that is, when Preparation Day was over, the chief priests and the Pharisees went in a body to Pilate and said to him, C. Your Excellency, we recall that this impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I shall rise again.’ Therefore give the order to have the sepulchre kept secure until the third day, for fear his disciples come and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ This last piece of fraud would be worse than what went before. N. Pilate said to them: O. You may have your guard. Go and make all as secure as you know how. N. So they went and made the sepulchre secure, putting seals on the stone and mounting a guard.
Prayer over the Offerings
Through the Passion of your Only Begotten Son, O Lord, may our reconciliation with you be near at hand, so that, though we do not merit it by our own deeds, yet by this sacrifice made once for all, we may feel already the effects of your mercy. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Mt 26: 42
Father, if this chalice cannot pass without my drinking it, your will be done.
Prayer after Communion
Nourished with these sacred gifts, we humbly beseech you, O Lord, that, just as through the death of your Son you have brought us to hope for what we believe, so by his Resurrection you may lead us to where you call. Through Christ our Lord.
Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday: green branches and the dead wood of the cross, life and death; these form the series of poles that frame the great Holy Week that we open today. It is a week of joy and suffering, a week in which opposites coexist, a week in which life is reborn from death and triumphs definitively in man and through the man God, Jesus Christ; it is the week in which God embraces the fragility of man and raises humanity up. Through the procession, we commemorate this memorial of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, but more than that, we affirm our willingness to live with him in his passion to rise with him from all our deaths. The story of the passion, with all its violence and contradictions, exposes the reality of the world that God comes to save by giving his Son as an atoning victim: Between the acclamation and passion, the hosanna and the crucify him of the same crowd, between the “I will lay down my life for you” and the “I do not know this man” of the apostle Peter who denies his master, in the face of all this fickleness of the crowds and his friends, Jesus remains faithful and determined to go to the end of the love he bears for each one of them, for every sinner. How similar this crowd is to us! How many times we have denied him to save our honour, our image, how many times we have abandoned him, life with him is too demanding. Finally, in the passion of Christ, no situation is foreign so that nothing is excluded from salvation; joy and suffering, denial and betrayal, condemnation and death, everything is directed towards the cross and concentrated on it so that God may make all things new and men may be saved.
by Jude Thaddeus Langeh | Mar 31, 2023 | Evangelium
saturday 01 APRIL
He became hereditary bishop of Armagh in 1105 and made many reforms; not least on his deathbed, when he abolished the hereditary principle by appointing St Malachy as his successor.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 21: 20, 7
O Lord, do not stay afar off; my strength, make haste to help me! For I am a worm and no man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
O God, who have made all those reborn in Christ a chosen race and a royal priesthood, grant us, we pray, the grace to will and to do what you command, that the people called to eternal life may be one in the faith of their hearts and the homage of their deeds. 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: Ezekiel 37:21-28
The Lord says this: “I am going to take the sons of Israel from the nations where they have gone. I shall gather them together from everywhere and bring them home to their own soil. I shall make them into one nation in my own land and on the mountains of Israel, and one king is to be king of them all; they will no longer form two nations, nor be two separate kingdoms. They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and their filthy practices and all their sins. I shall rescue them from all the betrayals they have been guilty of; I shall cleanse them; they shall be my people and I will be their God. My servant David will reign over them, one shepherd for all; they will follow my observances, respect my laws and practise them. They will live in the land that I gave my servant Jacob, the land in which your ancestors lived. They will live in it, they, their children, their children’s children, for ever. David my servant is to be their prince for ever. I shall make a covenant of peace with them, an eternal covenant with them. I shall resettle them and increase them; I shall settle my sanctuary among them for ever. I shall make my home above them; I will be their God, they shall be my people. And the nations will learn that I am the Lord, the sanctifier of Israel, when my sanctuary is with them for ever.”
Canticle: Jeremiah 31:10-13
R/ The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
O nations, hear the word of the Lord, proclaim it to the far-off coasts. Say: “He who scattered Israel will gather him and guard him as a shepherd guards his flock.”
For the Lord has ransomed Jacob, has saved him from an overpowering hand. They will come and shout for joy on Mount Zion, they will stream to the blessings of the Lord.
Then the young girls will rejoice and dance, the men, young and old, will be glad. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will console them, give gladness for grief.
Gospel Acclamation: Ezk18:31
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory! Shake off all your sins – it is the Lord who speaks –and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
Gospel: John 11:45-56
Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary and had seen what Jesus did believed in him, but some of them went to tell the Pharisees what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and Pharisees called a meeting. “Here is this man working all these signs” they said “and what action are we taking? If we let him go on in this way everybody will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy the Holy Place and our nation.” One of them, Caiaphas, the high priest that year, said, “You do not seem to have grasped the situation at all; you fail to see that it is better for one man to die for the people, than for the whole nation to be destroyed.” He did not speak in his own person, it was as high priest that he made this prophecy that Jesus was to die for the nation – and not for the nation only, but to gather together in unity the scattered children of God. From that day they were determined to kill him. So, Jesus no longer went about openly among the Jews, but left the district for a town called Ephraim, in the country bordering on the desert, and stayed there with his disciples. The Jewish Passover drew near, and many of the country people who had gone up to Jerusalem to purify themselves looked out for Jesus, saying to one another as they stood about in the Temple, “What do you think? Will he come to the festival or not?”
Prayer over the Offerings
May the gifts we offer from our fasting be acceptable to you, O Lord, we pray, and, as an expiation for our sins, may they make us worthy of your grace and lead us to what you promise for eternity. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Jn 11: 52
Christ was handed over, to gather into one the scattered children of God.
Prayer after Communion
We entreat your majesty most humbly, O Lord, that, as you feed us with the nourishment which comes from the most holy Body and Blood of your Son, so you may make us sharers of his divine nature. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Prayer over the People
Have mercy, Lord, on your Church, as she brings you her supplications, and be attentive to those who incline their hearts before you: do not allow, we pray, those you have redeemed by the Death of your Only Begotten Son, to be harmed by their sins or weighed down by their trials. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
As the day of our redemption approaches, Jesus’ fate seems to be more and more sealed. “From that day on, they decided to kill him”; but more important than his death is its fundamental meaning at the heart of the revelation made to the priest Caiaphas: “It is better that one man should die for the people, than that the whole nation should perish”. There had been many sacrifices in the past that prefigured the supreme sacrifice of Christ, but these were not sufficient to reconcile God’s people with Him. By accepting to offer his own life as an offering to the Father, Christ presents himself as the holy and flawless victim that the Father could finally accept, the only offering that could obtain forgiveness of the sins of the whole world. He had to die for the nation; and it was not only for the nation, but much more, in order to gather in unity, all the scattered children of God. Jesus is willing to give his life for us; let us welcome his death as a means of our reconciliation with the Father and of unity with our brothers and sisters.
by Jude Thaddeus Langeh | Mar 30, 2023 | Evangelium
FRIday 31 MARCH
St. Benjamin was a saint of great faith and trust in the Lord, and one of the first Christian martyrs. St. Benjamin is a great example of having courage in declaring one’s faith, and is the patron saint of deacons.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 30: 10, 16, 18
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in distress. Deliver me from the hands of my enemies and those who pursue me. O Lord, let me never be put to shame, for I call on you.
Pardon the offences of your people, we pray, O Lord, and in your goodness set us free from the bonds of the sins we have committed in our weakness. 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: Jeremiah 20: 10-13
Jeremiah said: “I hear so many disparaging me, ‘Terror from every side! Denounce him! Let us denounce him!’ All those who used to be my friends watched for my downfall, ‘Perhaps he will be seduced into error. Then we will master him and take our revenge!’ But the Lord is at my side, a mighty hero; my opponents will stumble, mastered, confounded by their failure; everlasting, unforgettable disgrace will be theirs. But you, O Lord of Hosts, you who probe with justice, who scrutinise the loins and heart, let me see the vengeance you will take on them, for I have committed my cause to you. Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord, for he has delivered the soul of the needy from the hands of evil men.”
R/In my anguish I called to the Lord, and he heard my voice.
I love you, Lord, my strength, my rock, my fortress, my saviour. My God is the rock where I take refuge; my shield, my mighty help, my stronghold. The Lord is worthy of all praise, when I call, I am saved from my foes.
The waves of death rose about me; the torrents of destruction assailed me; the snares of the grave entangled me; the traps of death confronted me.
In my anguish I called to the Lord; I cried to God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears.
Gospel Acclamation: cf. Jn 6: 63, 68
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God! Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life; you have the message of eternal life. Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!
Gospel: John 10: 31-42
The Jews fetched stones to stone him, so Jesus said to them, “I have done many good works for you to see, works from my Father; for which of these are you stoning me?” The Jews answered him, “We are not stoning you for doing a good work but for blasphemy: you are only a man and you claim to be God.” Jesus answered: “Is it not written in your Law: I said, you are gods? So the Law uses the word gods of those to whom the word of God was addressed, and Scripture cannot be rejected. Yet you say to someone the Father has consecrated and sent into the world, You are blaspheming,” because he says, ‘I am the Son of God.’ If I am not doing my Father’s work, there is no need to believe me; but if I am doing it, then even if you refuse to believe in me, at least believe in the work I do; then you will know for sure that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” They wanted to arrest him then, but he eluded them. He went back again to the far side of the Jordan to stay in the district where John had once been baptising. Many people who came to him there said, “John gave no signs, but all he said about this man was true,” and many of them believed in him.
Prayer over the Offerings
Grant, O merciful God, that we may be worthy to serve ever fittingly at your altars, and there to be saved by constant participation. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon:1 Pt 2: 24
Jesus bore our sins in his own body on the cross, so that dead to sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds we have been healed.
Prayer after Communion
May the unfailing protection of the sacrifice we have received never leave us, O Lord, and may it always drive far from us all that would do us harm. Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer over the People
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that your servants, who seek the grace of your protection, may be free from every evil and serve you in peace of mind. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
On this day, St. John once again presents Jesus to us in a confrontation with the Jews who are determined to take his life. They unjustly accuse Jesus of blasphemy. They claim that he is not from God. But Jesus produces the fruits of God by the signs and wonders he performs, and they cannot deny this evidence. This makes us understand why the presence of Jesus disturbs them. And for this reason, they want to put him away. Enemies of the light and of the truth, they look for unfounded reasons to accuse Jesus. Like those Jews, we too often make such accusations against our brothers and sisters, or we fall prey to them. Let us stop jealousy and slander in our lives. When a brother or sister does the right thing, let us encourage them instead of throwing trapping them to a fall. This is not worthy of a Christian.
by Jude Thaddeus Langeh | Mar 29, 2023 | Evangelium
THURday 30 MARCH
SAINT PETER REGULATUS
He was a Franciscan reformer born in Valladolid, Spain into a wealthy family. In his convent he lived a life of prayer and poverty. Thirty-six years after his death his body was found untouched by nature.
Entrance Antiphon: Heb 9: 15
Christ is mediator of a New Covenant, so that by means of his death, those who are called may receive the promise of an eternal inheritance.
Be near, O Lord, to those who plead before you, and look kindly on those who place their hope in your mercy, that, cleansed from the stain of their sins, they may persevere in holy living and be made full heirs of your promise. 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: Genesis 17: 3-9
Abram bowed to the ground and God said this to him, “Here now is my covenant with you: you shall become the father of a multitude of nations. You shall no longer be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I make you father of a multitude of nations. I will make you most fruitful. I will make you into nations, and your issue shall be kings. I will establish my Covenant between myself and you, and your descendants after you, generation after generation, a Covenant in perpetuity, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land you are living in, the whole land of Canaan, to own in perpetuity, and I will be your God.”
Psalm 104: 4-9
R/The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
Consider the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, the judgements he spoke.
O children of Abraham, his servant, O sons of the Jacob he chose. He, the Lord, is our God: his judgements prevail in all the earth.
He remembers his covenant for ever, his promise for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac.
Gospel Acclamation: cf. Jn 6: 63, 68
Glory and praise to you, O Christ! Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life; you have the message of eternal life. Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
Gospel: John 8: 51-59
Jesus said to the Jews: “I tell you most solemnly, whoever keeps my word will never see death.” The Jews said, “Now we know for certain that you are possessed. Abraham is dead, and the prophets are dead, and yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never know the taste of death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? The prophets are dead too. Who are you claiming to be?” Jesus answered: “If I were to seek my own glory that would be no glory at all; my glory is conferred by the Father, by the one of whom you say, ‘He is our God’ although you do not know him. But I know him, and if I were to say: I do not know him, I should be a liar, as you are liars yourselves. But I do know him, and I faithfully keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to think that he would see my Day; he saw it and was glad.” The Jews then said, “You are not fifty yet, and you have seen Abraham!” Jesus replied: “I tell you most solemnly, before Abraham ever was, I Am.” At this they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself and left the Temple.
Prayer over the Offerings
Look with favour, Lord, we pray, on these sacrificial offerings, that they may profit our conversion and the salvation of all the world. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Rm 8: 32
God did not spare his own Son, but handed him over for us all; with him, he has given us all things.
Prayer after Communion
Nourished by your saving gifts, we beseech your mercy, Lord, that by this same Sacrament with which you feed us in the present age, you may make us partakers of life eternal. Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer over the People
Be gracious to your people, Lord, we pray, that, as from day to day they reject what does not please you, they may be filled instead with delight at your commands. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Dear brothers and sisters, Jesus is not a mere individual in our lives. He is the author of it. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He presides over the destiny of the universe and of human existence. Jesus is God. He is our God. In the Gospel, he reveals himself clearly to us as the one WHO IS. For before Abraham was, he IS. His actions and words are true and testify to this. But despite all that he does and says, we fail to understand because we refuse to open our eyes to see and believe. Like those Jews, we often close ourselves to the truth and say no to God. Jesus, who reveals to us the true identity of his Father, wants to share with us his divine filiation. He wants to put us in direct relationship with his Father. But the reaction of the crowd that wants to stone him clearly shows how we often treat God. Let us not turn away from God. Let us learn not to stone God in our lives.
by Jude Thaddeus Langeh | Mar 27, 2023 | Evangelium
TUESday 28 MARCH
SAINT VENTURINO OF BENGORNO
He was a Dominican preacher and missionary crusader. He is also known for helping to organize a crusade, at the behest of Pope Clement VI against the Turks who were then menacing Europe.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 26: 14
Wait for the Lord; be strong; be stout-hearted, and wait for the Lord!
Grant us, we pray, O Lord, perseverance in obeying your will, that in our days the people dedicated to your service may grow in both merit and number. 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: Numbers 21: 4-9
The Israelites left Mount Hor by the road to the Sea of Suph, to skirt the land of Edom. On the way the people lost patience. They spoke against God and against Moses, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this wilderness? For there is neither bread nor water here; we are sick of this unsatisfying food.” At this God sent fiery serpents among the people; their bite brought death to many in Israel. The people came and said to Moses, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede for us with the Lord to save us from these serpents.” Moses interceded for the people, and the Lord answered him, “Make a fiery serpent and put it on a standard. If anyone is bitten and looks at it, he shall live.” So Moses fashioned a bronze serpent which he put on a standard, and if anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked at the bronze serpent and lived.
Psalm 101: 2-3, 16-21
R/ O Lord, listen to my prayer and let my cry for help reach you.
O Lord, listen to my prayer and let my cry for help reach you. Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress. Turn your ear towards me and answer me quickly when I call.
The nations shall fear the name of the Lord and all the earth’s kings your glory, when the Lord shall build up Zion again and appear in all his glory. Then he will turn to the prayers of the helpless; he will not despise their prayers.
Let this be written for ages to come that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord; for the Lord leaned down from his sanctuary on high. He looked down from heaven to the earth that he might hear the groans of the prisoners and free those condemned to die.
Gospel Acclamation: Jn 8: 12
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory! I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life. Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
Gospel: John 8: 21-30
Again, Jesus said to the Pharisees: “I am going away; you will look for me and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” The Jews said to one another, “Will he kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” Jesus went on: “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I have told you already: You will die in your sins. Yes, if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus answered: “What I have told you from the outset. About you I have much to say and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is truthful, and what I have learnt from him I declare to the world.” They failed to understand that he was talking to them about the Father. So Jesus said: “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He and that I do nothing of myself: what the Father has taught me is what I preach; he who sent me is with me, and has not left me to myself, for I always do what pleases him.” As he was saying this, many came to believe in him.
Prayer over the Offerings
We offer you, O Lord, the sacrifice of conciliation, that, being moved to compassion, you may both pardon our offences and direct our wavering hearts. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Jn 12: 32
When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to myself, says the Lord.
Prayer after Communion
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, ever seeking what is divine, we may always be worthy to approach these heavenly gifts. Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer over the People
O God, who choose to show mercy, not anger, to those who hope in you, grant that your faithful may weep, as they should, for the evil they have done, and so merit the grace of your consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jesus is the Son of the Father. He comes from the Father to show people the way to the Father. The whole mission of Jesus was to tell people about his Father. To show them how much God loves them and his plan of love to reconcile sinful humanity. But unfortunately, many of his contemporaries were closed to his message and did not understand it. This is the case in the Gospel. While he announces his passion, his resurrection and his upcoming ascension into heaven to return to his Father, they only think of his death. Jesus had made it known to them that he is the resurrection and the life. But do we really understand Jesus’ message? Let us not be slow to believe. Let us open our hearts and welcome the salvation that God offers us in his Son Jesus Christ.
by Jude Thaddeus Langeh | Mar 26, 2023 | Evangelium
MONday 27 MARCH
SAINT JOHN OF EGYPT
A hermit in a cave, he lived a very strict life of prayer and manual work. People visited him, since he was able to perform miracles, heal the sick and read people’s hearts. He died in 394, at the age of 90.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Ps 55: 2
Have mercy on me, O God, for people assail me; they fight me all day long and oppress me.
O God, by whose wondrous grace we are enriched with every blessing, grant us so to pass from former ways to newness of life, that we may be made ready for the glory of the heavenly Kingdom. 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: Daniel Daniel 13:41-62
Susanna was condemned to death. She cried out as loud as she could, ‘Eternal God, you know all secrets and everything before it happens; you know that they have given false evidence against me. And now have I to die, innocent as I am of everything their malice has invented against me?’ The Lord heard her cry and, as she was being led away to die, he roused the holy spirit residing in a young boy named Daniel who began to shout, ‘I am innocent of this woman’s death!’ At which all the people turned to him and asked, ‘What do you mean by these words?’ Standing in the middle of the crowd he replied, ‘Are you so stupid, sons of Israel, as to condemn a daughter of Israel unheard, and without troubling to find out the truth? Go back to the scene of the trial: these men have given false evidence against her.’ All the people hurried back, and the elders said to Daniel, ‘Come and sit with us and tell us what you mean, since God has given you the gifts that elders have.’ Daniel said, ‘Keep the men well apart from each other for I want to question them.’ When the men had been separated, Daniel had one of them brought to him. ‘You have grown old in wickedness,’ he said ‘and now the sins of your earlier days have overtaken you, you with your unjust judgements, your condemnation of the innocent, your acquittal of guilty men, when the Lord has said, “You must not put the innocent and the just to death.” Now then, since you saw her so clearly, tell me what tree you saw them lying under?’ He replied, ‘Under a mastic tree.’ Daniel said, ‘True enough! Your lie recoils on your own head: the angel of God has already received your sentence from him and will slash you in half.’ He dismissed the man, ordered the other to be brought and said to him, ‘Spawn of Canaan, not of Judah, beauty has seduced you, lust has led your heart astray! This is how you have been behaving with the daughters of Israel and they were too frightened to resist; but here is a daughter of Judah who could not stomach your wickedness! Now then, tell me what tree you surprised them under?’ He replied, ‘Under a holm oak.’ Daniel said, ‘True enough! Your lie recoils on your own head: the angel of God is waiting, with a sword to drive home and split you, and destroy the pair of you.’ Then the whole assembly shouted, blessing God, the saviour of those who trust in him. And they turned on the two elders whom Daniel had convicted of false evidence out of their own mouths. As prescribed in the Law of Moses, they sentenced them to the same punishment as they had intended to inflict on their neighbour. They put them to death; the life of an innocent woman was spared that day.
R/ If I should walk in the valley of darkness, no evil would I fear.
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose. Near restful waters he leads me, to revive my drooping spirit.
He guides me along the right path; he is true to his name. If I should walk in the valley of darkness no evil would I fear. You are there with your crook and your staff; with these you give me comfort.
You have prepared a banquet for me in the sight of my foes. My head you have anointed with oil; my cup is overflowing.
Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life. In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell for ever and ever.
Gospel Acclamation: 2Co 6: 2
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God! Now is the favourable time: this is the day of salvation. Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!
Gospel: John 8: 1-11
Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At daybreak he appeared in the Temple again; and as all the people came to him, he sat down and began to teach them. The Scribes and Pharisees brought a woman along who had been caught committing adultery; and making her stand there in full view of everybody, they said to Jesus, “Master, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery, and Moses has ordered us in the Law to condemn women like this to death by stoning. What have you to say?” They asked him this as a test, looking for something to use against him. But Jesus bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger. As they persisted with their question, he looked up and said, “If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he bent down and wrote on the ground again. When they heard this, they went away one by one, beginning with the eldest, until Jesus was left alone with the woman, who remained standing there. He looked up and said, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir” she replied. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go away, and do not sin anymore.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Grant, we pray, O Lord, that, preparing to celebrate the holy mysteries, we may bring before you as the fruit of bodily penance a joyful purity of heart. Through Christ our Lord.
Has no one condemned you, woman? No one, Lord. Neither shall I condemn you. From now on, sin no more.
Prayer after Communion
Strengthened by the blessing of your Sacraments, we pray, O Lord, that through them we may constantly be cleansed of our faults and, by following Christ, hasten our steps upward toward you. Through Christ our Lord.
Man excels in accusing and point
ing fingers others in their faults and mistakes. We often cover up our own shortcomings while we project the lives of our brothers and sisters. In doing this, we often give ourselves a good conscience and believe we are more holy. However, when we examine ourselves, it turns out that we are varnished tombs. And it is because we are often false and deceitful beings that Jesus calls us to account today. Before passing judgment on a fellow human, examine yourself first to see if you are better than they are. The shameful retreat of the tensely angry crowd that wants to stone this poor woman is proof that nobody is holy. Let us strive to kill the vice in us instead of exposing the vice in others. This is what God expects from us.