Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord

"The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). "Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ Who offered Himself on the Cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God" (CCC 1992), and "no one can merit the initial grace which is at the origin of conversion" (CCC 2027). "The first cause of our reaching everlasting life" is "God's mercy," while "our merit is a subsequent cause," according to St. Thomas, the Angelic Doctor (Summa Theologica II-I, q. 114, art. 3, ad 2)

"The one who sows for the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit" (Galatians 6:8), meaning that, "moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life" (CCC 2010).

"For we consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law" (Romans 3:28). The law can signify the Mosaic Law or the law of nature (Challoner), but St. Paul does not rule out meritorious works proceeding from our formed faith, because he elsewhere says (Romans 2:6-7): God "will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Good Shepherd

O my Jesus, the Good Shepherd, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy. Amen.

Friday, April 16, 2010

St. Thomas Aquinas on the Holy Eucharist (Summa Theologica)

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

Lord, I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and I shall be healed!

Here's what the great Angelic Doctor and prince of theologians, St. Thomas Aquinas, teaches on the Holy Eucharist in his Summa Theologica:

1. The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist
The Holy Eucharist, of which the Paschal Lamb is the chief figure [1 Cor 5:7-8],{1} is but one sacrament [1 Cor 10:17],{2} is not necessary for salvation,{3} and is fittingly also "called a 'Sacrifice,'" Communion, Viaticum, and Assumption.{4}

2. The Matter of the Eucharist
Any quantity{5} of wheat bread [Jn 12:24]{6} and wine of the grape [Ps 104:15; Mt 26:29; Jn 15:1]{7} is the requisite matter of this sacrament. It is "more reasonable" to use unleavened bread to celebrate the Eucharist [Ex 12:15-19; Mt 26:17; Mk 14:12; Lk 22:7; 1 Cor 5:7-8], though the Greek custom of using leavened bread is fine.{8} While it is not essential to mix water with the wine,{9} it is good to mix a small quantity{10} of water with the wine [Prov 9:5; Ps 23:2; 1 Cor 10:4].{11}

3. Transubstantiation
The body of Christ is really, not merely figuratively, present in the consecrated host [Mt 24:28; Lk 22:19; Jn 6:56].{12} The substance of bread and wine does not remain in this sacrament;{13} the substance of bread and wine is not annihilated,{14} but changes into the Most Precious Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ,{15} for which reason the holy Doctor Bishop St. Ambrose the Great of Milan says, "When the consecration takes place, the body of Christ is made out of the bread."{16} The accidents of bread and wine remain{17} after this instantaneous change,{18} but the substantial form does not remain there.{19}

4. The Real Presence of Christ in the Sacrament
The entire Christ is present under every part of the species of the bread and wine.{20} All the dimensions of Christ's body are in this sacrament.{21} The body of Christ is not in this sacrament locally{22} or movably.{23} "The body of Christ, as it is in this sacrament" is invisible to even a glorified eye.{24} When Christ is seen under the appearance of a child or of flesh due to "a species miraculously formed either in the eyes of the beholders, or in the sacramental dimensions themselves," the body of Christ is truly there.{25}

5. The Remaining Accidents of Bread & Wine

6. The Form of the Sacrament

7. The Effects of the Eucharist

8. Receiving this Sacrament in General

9. Christ's Institution of the Eucharist

10. The Minister of the Eucharist

11. The Rite of the Eucharist

Jn 3:16


Notes & References
{1} Summa Theologica III, q. 73, art. 6, corp.
{2} III, q. 73, art. 2, corp.
{3} III, q. 73, art. 3, corp.
{4} III, q. 73, art. 4, corp.
{5} III, q. 74, art. 2, corp.
{6} III, q. 74, art. 3, corp.
{7} III, q. 74, art. 5, corp.
{8} III, q. 74, art. 4, corp.
{9} III, q. 74, art. 7, corp.
{10} III, q. 74, art. 8, corp..
{11} III, q. 74, art. 6, corp.; ad 1; ad 2.
{12} III, q. 75, art. 1, corp.
{13} III, q. 75, art. 2, corp.
{14} III, q. 75, art. 3, corp.
{15} III, q. 75, art. 4, corp.
{16} III, q. 75, art. 8, sed contra.
{17} III, q. 75, art. 5, corp.
{18} III, q. 75, art. 7, corp.
{19} III, q. 75, art. 6, corp.
{20} III, q. 76, art. 3, corp.
{21} III, q. 76, art. 4, corp.
{22} III, q. 76, art. 5, corp.
{23} III, q. 76, art. 6, corp.
{24} III, q. 76, art. 7, corp.
{25} III, q. 76, art. 8, ad 2.
{26} III, q. 77, art. 1, corp.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Psalm 63

1 A psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.
2 O God, You are my God-- for You I long! For You my body yearns; for You my soul thirsts, Like a land parched, lifeless, and without water.
3 So I look to You in the sanctuary to see your power and glory.
4 For Your love is better than life; my lips offer You worship!
5 I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands, calling on Your name.
6 My soul shall savor the rich banquet of praise, with joyous lips my mouth shall honor You!
7 When I think of You upon my bed, through the night watches I will recall
8 That You indeed are my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I shout for joy.
9 My soul clings fast to You; Your right hand upholds me.
10 But those who seek my life will come to ruin; they shall go down to the depths of the earth!
11 They shall be handed over to the sword and become the prey of jackals!
12 But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by the Lord shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be shut!

Source: New American Bible on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

My brothers and sisters, pray for me as I discern my possible vocation as a priest of the Order of Preachers.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Favors from the Holy Family

Thank you, Sts. Mary and Joseph the Worker, for praying for me so that the washing machine would start working again! I prayed to St. Joseph the Worker and meditated on the power of the Hail Mary, a while after realizing (from the writings of St. Louis de Montfort) that I have not been praying the Rosary the right way. For example, even though I have received many graces thanks to the Rosary and have had some fruitful meditations, I pray it way too quickly. The washing machine, which had been bugging out for probably over 45 minutes (a cycle is supposed to take 25 minutes), started working right after I finished my petitions to the great foster-father of our Lord and the Queen of the Holy Rosary. Now, with the help of God, I would like to pray the Rosary according to the Fourth Way of the great St. Louis de Montfort, who was very intimate with God through the Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and was glorified by many miracles at his grave. St. Louise de Montfort and St. Raphael the Archangel, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

The Fruits of Holy Communion

Give thanks and praise to the risen Lord, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world. Have mercy on us and grant us peace, Lord Jesus, and may we be ever grateful to You for having called us to Your Supper. I thank You, my Lord and my God, for getting me back in time to partake of Your Most Precious Body and Blood. Thank you, Sts. Mary, Raphael, and my guardian angel for helping me out in my travels. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on all us poor sinners. Amen.
My brothers and sisters, pray for me, a sinner. Always remember the following canons, because to partake of the Eucharist while in a state of mortal sin is itself a mortal sin [Summa Theologica III, q. 80, art. 4, corp.]; the good fruits described below do not reach those who partake unworthily:
Can. 915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.

Can. 916 A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or receive the Body of the Lord without previous sacramental Confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible.
The following comes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church §1391-1398:

1391 Holy Communion augments our union with Christ. The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is an intimate union with Christ Jesus. Indeed, the Lord said: "He who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood abides in Me, and I in him."223 Life in Christ has its foundation in the Eucharistic banquet: "As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me will live because of Me."224

223 Jn 6:56.
224 Jn 6:57.

On the feasts of the Lord, when the faithful receive the Body of the Son, they proclaim to one another the Good News that the first fruits of life have been given, as when the angel said to Mary Magdalene, "Christ is risen!" Now too are life and resurrection conferred on whoever receives Christ.225

225 Fanqith, Syriac Office of Antioch, Vol. 1, Commun., 237 a-b.

1392 What material food produces in our bodily life, Holy Communion wonderfully achieves in our spiritual life. Communion with the Flesh of the risen Christ, a Flesh "given life and giving life through the Holy Spirit,"226 preserves, increases, and renews the life of grace received at Baptism. This growth in Christian life needs the nourishment of Eucharistic Communion, the bread for our pilgrimage until the moment of death, when it will be given to us as viaticum.

226 PO 5.

1393 Holy Communion separates us from sin. The Body of Christ we receive in Holy Communion is "given up for us," and the Blood we drink "shed for the many for the forgiveness of sins." For this reason the Eucharist cannot unite us to Christ without at the same time cleansing us from past sins and preserving us from future sins:
For as often as we eat this bread and drink the cup, we proclaim the death of the Lord. If we proclaim the Lord's death, we proclaim the forgiveness of sins. If, as often as His Blood is poured out, it is poured for the forgiveness of sins, I should always receive it, so that it may always forgive my sins. Because I always sin, I should always have a remedy.227
227 St. Ambrose, De Sacr. 4, 6, 28: PL 16, 446; cf. 1 Cor 11:26.

1394 As bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the Eucharist strengthens our charity, which tends to be weakened in daily life; and this living charity wipes away venial sins.228 By giving Himself to us Christ revives our love and enables us to break our disordered attachments to creatures and root ourselves in Him:
Since Christ died for us out of love, when we celebrate the memorial of His death at the moment of sacrifice we ask that love may be granted to us by the coming of the Holy Spirit. We humbly pray that in the strength of this love by which Christ willed to die for us, we, by receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, may be able to consider the world as crucified for us, and to be ourselves as crucified to the world. ... Having received the gift of love, let us die to sin and live for God.229
228 Cf. Council of Trent (1551): DS 1638.
229 St. Fulgentius of Ruspe, Contra Fab. 28, 16-19: CCL 19A, 813-814.

1395 By the same charity that it enkindles in us, the Eucharist preserves us from future mortal sins. The more we share the life of Christ and progress in His friendship, the more difficult it is to break away from Him by mortal sin. The Eucharist is not ordered to the forgiveness of mortal sins - that is proper to the sacrament of Reconciliation. The Eucharist is properly the sacrament of those who are in full communion with the Church.

1396 The unity of the Mystical Body: the Eucharist makes the Church. Those who receive the Eucharist are united more closely to Christ. Through it Christ unites them to all the faithful in one body - the Church. Communion renews, strengthens, and deepens this incorporation into the Church, already achieved by Baptism. In Baptism we have been called to form but one body.230 The Eucharist fulfills this call: "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the Blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the Body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread:"231
If you are the body and members of Christ, then it is your sacrament that is placed on the table of the Lord; it is your sacrament that you receive. To that which you are you respond "Amen" ("yes, it is true!") and by responding to it you assent to it. For you hear the words, "the Body of Christ" and respond "Amen." Be then a member of the Body of Christ that your Amen may be true.232
230 Cf. 1 Cor 12:13.
231 1 Cor 10:16-17.
232 St. Augustine, Sermo 272: PL 38, 1247.

1397 The Eucharist commits us to the poor. To receive in truth the Body and Blood of Christ given up for us, we must recognize Christ in the poorest, his brethren:
You have tasted the Blood of the Lord, yet you do not recognize your brother,. . . . You dishonor this table when you do not judge worthy of sharing your food someone judged worthy to take part in this meal. ... God freed you from all your sins and invited you here, but you have not become more merciful.233
233 St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in 1 Cor. 27, 4: PG 61, 229-230; cf. Mt 25:40.

1398 The Eucharist and the unity of Christians. Before the greatness of this mystery St. Augustine exclaims, "O sacrament of devotion! O sign of unity! O bond of charity!"234 The more painful the experience of the divisions in the Church which break the common participation in the table of the Lord, the more urgent are our prayers to the Lord that the time of complete unity among all who believe in Him may return.

234 St. Augustine, In Jo. ev. 26, 13: PL 35, 1613; cf. SC 47.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

April 6 Meditations: Five Sorrowful Mysteries

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Jesus aches with unspeakable sorrow in the garden. His agony when He was before Him the sins of the world, for which He would be cruelly tortured on the Cross! In His human sensual will He naturally abhorred death [Lk 22:42], but His divine will permitted this to be so. He is our Lord and our God--we must also do the will of the Father and be perfect as He is [Mt 5:48]. The Holy Spirit works in me to give me the grace to delete my dirty music (and I thank St. John Chrysostom the Great especially for interceding for me in this matter), and detach myself from things that draw me away from the risen Prince of Peace and ensnare me under the tyranny of the prince of this world. St. Raphael, pray for me, a sinner. Thank You Lord for incorporating me into the Church which Your only-Begotten Son purchased with the same precious Blood [Acts 20:28] He sweated out in the garden [Lk 22:44]. Keep me vigilant, Lord.

May the merits of Christ's suffering at the pillar [Mt 27:26] obtain eternal life for me and those I love, especially my immediate family. May I obtain mortification of my weak flesh by meditating on this Second Sorrowful Mystery.

How forcefully do we push the crown of thorns into the scalp of the uncreated King of Kings! They clothed Him in a scarlet robe [Mt 27:28]. May He make our scarlet souls as white as snow, pure and radiant like the light with which He shone in front of the three chief Apostles on Mt. Tabor. Sts. Moses and Elijah, pray for us!

God give me strength to carry the Cross, the Cross so heavy. When I fall, sweet Lord Jesus, pick me up. Be merciful, Lord! I wish to take up my Cross daily and follow You [Lk 9:23] wherever you may lead me, and one day venerate the precious wood of the True Cross discovered by St. Helena.

Forgive us, Lord. We pierce Your Sacred Heart. We crucify You, driving sharp nails through You when we willfully disobey You. Lord Jesus, hear our prayer: have mercy on us poor sinners! Amen. I cannot thank You enough for bringing me into your Mystical Body, the Church, the sole Ark of salvation. May you rescue all mankind from the deadly waters of the flood! Bring everyone onto the one Ark. Thank you, my good Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world. Amen.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Lesson from the Life of St. Dominic Savio

One day, a fellow brought a magazine full of bad pictures to school. In a minute, a group of boys had gathered around him to see it.

"What's up?" wondered Dominic, and he, too, went to look. Just one peek was enough for him. He grabbed the magazine and tore it to pieces! "Poor us!" he cried in the meantime, "Did God give us eyes to look at such things as this? Aren't you ashamed?"

"Oh, we were just looking at these pictures for the fun of it," said one boy.

"Sure, for fun," answered Dominic, "and in the meantime you're preparing yourselves to go to Hell!"

"Oh, what's so wrong about looking at these pictures anyway?" another fellow demanded.

Dominic had a ready answer. "If you don't see anything wrong," he said sadly, "this is even worse. It means you're used to looking at shameful things!"

No one said anything after that. They all realized that Dominic was right.

St. Dominic Savio, young hero of purity, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death! Amen.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter Sunday 2010

Christ is risen!

Reading 1b
Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Peter proceeded to speak and said: "You know what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. We are witnesses of all that He did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put Him to death by hanging Him on a tree. This man God raised on the third day and granted that He be visible, not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead. He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that He is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in Him will receive forgiveness of sins through His name."

Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Responsorial Psalm

R. (24) This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.


R. Alleluia.

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good,
for His mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
"His mercy endures forever."

R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.


R. Alleluia.

"The right hand of the LORD has struck with power;
the right hand of the LORD is exalted.
I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the LORD."

R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.


R. Alleluia.

The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.

R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.


R. Alleluia.

Col 3:1-4 or I Cor 5:6b-8
Reading 2

Brothers and sisters: If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with Him in glory.


I Cor 5:6b-8
Brothers and sisters: Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough? Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, inasmuch as you are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Jn 20:1-9 or Lk 24:1-12 or Lk 24:13-35

Jn 20:1-9
On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, "They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they put Him."

So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture that He had to rise from the dead.


Lk 24:1-12
At daybreak on the first day of the week the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus
took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb; but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared to them. They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. They said to them, "Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but He has been raised. Remember what He said to you while He was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day."

And they remembered His words. Then they returned from the tomb and announced all these things to the eleven and to all the others. The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles, but their story seemed like nonsense and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb, bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone; then he went home amazed at what had happened.


Lk 24:13-35
[For afternoon or evening Mass]
That very day, the first day of the week, two of Jesus' disciples were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus Himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. He asked them, "What are you discussing as you walk along?"

They stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to Him in reply, "Are You the only visitor to Jerusalem Who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?"

And He replied to them, "What sort of things?"

They said to Him, "The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, Who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed Him over to a sentence of death and crucified Him. But we were hoping that He would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find His body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that He was alive. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but Him they did not see."

And He said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory?"

Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He interpreted to them what referred to Him in all the Scriptures. As they approached the village to which they were going, He gave the impression that He was going on farther. But they urged Him, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over."

So He went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while He was with them at table, He took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, but He vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?"

So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, "The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!"

Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how He was made known to them in the breaking of bread.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Good Friday 2010

April 2, 2010
Good Friday of the Lord's Passion
Reading 1
Is 52:13—53:12
See, My servant shall prosper, He shall be raised high and greatly exalted. Even as many were amazed at Him so marred was His look beyond human semblance and His appearance beyond that of the sons of man so shall He startle many nations, because of Him kings shall stand speechless; for those who have not been told shall see, those who have not heard shall ponder it. Who would believe what we have heard?
To whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up like a sapling before Him, like a shoot from the parched earth; there was in Him no stately bearing to make us look at Him, nor appearance that would attract us to Him. He was spurned and avoided by people, a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity, one of those from Whom people hide their faces, spurned, and we held Him in no esteem.
Yet it was our infirmities that He bore, our sufferings that He endured, while we thought of Him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted. But He was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon Him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by His stripes we were healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; but the LORD laid upon Him the guilt of us all.
Though He was harshly treated, He submitted and opened not His mouth; like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers, He was silent and opened not His mouth. Oppressed and condemned, He was taken away, and who would have thought any more of His destiny?

When He was cut off from the land of the living, and smitten for the sin of his people, a grave was assigned Him among the wicked and a burial place with evildoers, though He had done no wrong nor spoken any falsehood. But the LORD was pleased to crush Him in infirmity.

If he gives His life as an offering for sin, He shall see His descendants in a long life, and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through Him.

Because of His affliction He shall see the light in fullness of days; through His suffering, My Servant shall justify many, and their guilt He shall bear.

Therefore I will give Him His portion among the great, and He shall divide the spoils with the mighty, because he surrendered Himself to death and was counted among the wicked; and He shall take away the sins of many, and win pardon for their offenses.

Ps 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25
Responsorial Psalm
R. (Lk 23:46) Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit.

In You, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.

In Your justice rescue me.

Into Your hands I commend my spirit;
You will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.

R. Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit.

For all my foes I am an object of reproach,
a laughingstock to my neighbors, and a dread to my friends;
they who see me abroad flee from me.

I am forgotten like the unremembered dead;
I am like a dish that is broken.

R. Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit.

But my trust is in You, O LORD;
I say, "You are my God.
In Your hands is my destiny; rescue me
from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors."

R. Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit.

Let Your face shine upon Your servant;
save me in your kindness.

Take courage and be stouthearted,
all you who hope in the LORD.

R. Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit.

Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Reading 2
Brothers and sisters:
Since we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one Who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.

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

Jn 18:1—19:42
Jesus went out with His disciples across the Kidron valley to where there was a garden, into which He and His disciples entered. Judas His betrayer also knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with His disciples. So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards from the chief priests and the Pharisees and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to Him, went out and said to them, "Whom are you looking for?"

They answered him, "Jesus the Nazorean."

He said to them, "I AM."

Judas His betrayer was also with them.

When He said to them, "I AM," they turned away and fell to the ground. So He again asked them, "Whom are you looking for?"

They said, "Jesus the Nazorean."

Jesus answered, "I told you that I AM. So if you are looking for Me, let these men go." This was to fulfill what He had said, "I have not lost any of those You gave Me."

Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave's name was Malchus.
Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into its scabbard. Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave Me?"

So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus, bound Him, and brought Him to Annas first. He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews that it was better that one man should die rather than the people. Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Now the other disciple was known to the high priest, and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus. But Peter stood at the gate outside. So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest, went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in.

Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter, "You are not one of this man's disciples, are you?"

He said, "I am not."

Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire that they had made, because it was cold, and were warming themselves. Peter was also standing there keeping warm. The high priest questioned Jesus about His disciples and about His doctrine.

Jesus answered him, "I have spoken publicly to the world. I have always taught in a synagogue or in the temple area where all the Jews gather, and in secret I have said nothing. Why ask Me? Ask those who heard Me what I said to them. They know what I said."

When He had said this, one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said, "Is this the way You answer the high priest?"

Jesus answered him, "If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike Me?"

Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm. And they said to him, "You are not one of His disciples, are you?"

He denied it and said, "I am not."

One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said, "Didn't I see you in the garden with Him?"

Again Peter denied it. And immediately the cock crowed.

Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium. It was morning. And they themselves did not enter the praetorium, in order not to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover. So Pilate came out to them and said, "What charge do you bring against this man?"

They answered and said to him, "If He were not a criminal, we would not have handed Him over to you."

At this, Pilate said to them, "Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law."

The Jews answered him, "We do not have the right to execute anyone," in order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled that He said indicating the kind of death He would die.

So Pilate went back into the praetorium and summoned Jesus and said to Him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"

Jesus answered, "Do you say this on your own or have others told you about Me?"

Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed You over to me. What have You done?"

Jesus answered, "My Kingdom does not belong to this world. If My Kingdom did belong to this world, My attendants would be fighting to keep Me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, My Kingdom is not here."

So Pilate said to Him, "Then You are a king?"

Jesus answered, "You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to My voice."

Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?"

When he had said this, he again went out to the Jews and said to them, "I find no guilt in Him. But you have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at Passover. Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?"

They cried out again, "Not this one but Barabbas!"

Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had Him scourged. And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on His head, and clothed Him in a purple cloak, and they came to Him and said, "Hail, King of the Jews!"

And they struck Him repeatedly.

Once more Pilate went out and said to them, "Look, I am bringing Him out to you, so that you may know that I find no guilt in Him."

So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And he said to them, "Behold, the man!"

When the chief priests and the guards saw Him they cried out, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!"

Pilate said to them, "Take Him yourselves and crucify Him. I find no guilt in Him."

The Jews answered, "We have a law, and according to that law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God."

Now when Pilate heard this statement, he became even more afraid, and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus, "Where are You from?"

Jesus did not answer him.

So Pilate said to Him, "Do You not speak to me? Do You not know that I have power to release You and I have power to crucify You?"

Jesus answered him, "You would have no power over Me if it had not been given to you from above. For this reason the one who handed Me over to you has the greater sin."

Consequently, Pilate tried to release Him; but the Jews cried out, "If you release Him, you are not a friend of Caesar. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar."

When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out and seated Him on the judge's bench in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha. It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon. And he said to the Jews, "Behold, your king!"

They cried out, "Take Him away, take Him away! Crucify Him!"

Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your king?"

The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar."

Then he handed Him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross Himself, He went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.

Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, "Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews." Now many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.

So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, "Do not write 'The King of the Jews,' but that He said, 'I am the King of the Jews.'"

Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took His clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier. They also took His tunic, but the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top down. So they said to one another, "Let's not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be," in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says: "They divided My garments among them, and for My vesture they cast lots." This is what the soldiers did.

Standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple there whom He loved He said to His mother, "Woman, behold, your son." Then He said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I thirst." There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to His mouth.

When Jesus had taken the wine, He said, "It is finished." And bowing His head, He handed over the spirit.
[Here all kneel and pause for a short time.]

Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and that they be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into His side, and immediately blood and water flowed out.

An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may come to believe. For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled: "Not a bone of it will be broken." And again another passage says: "They will look upon Him Whom they have pierced."

After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. And Pilate permitted it. So he came and took His body. Nicodemus, the one who had first come to Him at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom. Now in the place where He had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Holy Thursday 2010

Reading 1
Ex 12:1-8, 11-14
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, "This month shall stand at the head of your calendar; you shall reckon it the first month of the year. Tell the whole community of Israel: On the tenth of this month every one of your families must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household. If a family is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join the nearest household in procuring one and shall share in the lamb in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it. The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish. You may take it from either the sheep or the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present, it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight. They shall take some of its blood and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel of every house in which they partake of the lamb. That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

"This is how you are to eat it: with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand, you shall eat like those who are in flight. It is the Passover of the LORD. For on this same night I will go through Egypt, striking down every firstborn of the land, both man and beast, and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt—I, the LORD! But the blood will mark the houses where you are. Seeing the blood, I will pass over you; thus, when I strike the land of Egypt, no destructive blow will come upon you.

"This day shall be a memorial feast for you, which all your generations shall celebrate
with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution."

Ps 116:12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18
Responsorial Psalm
R. (cf. 1 Cor 10:16) Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.

How shall I make a return to the LORD
for all the good He has done for me?

The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.

R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.

Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of His faithful ones.

I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid;
You have loosed my bonds.

R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.

To You will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.

My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all His people.

R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.

1 Cor 11:23-26
Reading 2
Brothers and sisters: I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night He was handed over, took bread, and, after He had given thanks, broke it and said, "This is My Body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me." In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My Blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes.

Jn 13:1-15
Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that His hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved His own in the world and He loved them to the end. The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand Him over. So, during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into His power and that He had come from God and was returning to God, He rose from supper and took off His outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around His waist. Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and dry them with the towel around His waist. He came to Simon Peter, who said to Him, "Master, are You going to wash my feet?" Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later." Peter said to Him, "You will never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with Me." Simon Peter said to Him, "Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well." Jesus said to him, "Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all." For He knew who would betray Him; for this reason, He said, "Not all of you are clean."

So when He had washed their feet and put His garments back on and reclined at table again, He said to them, "Do you realize what I have done for you? You call Me 'Teacher' and 'Master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the Master and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do."

Holy Week: Answered Prayer!

Mirror link

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Happy Holy Thursday to you and yours!

I thank and praise the Lord our God and all His saints for answering my prayers. I've been saying the Rosary and praying especially to Sts. Joseph the Just, Raphael the Archangel, Christopher the Martyr of Lycia (†251), Peregrine Laziosi of Forli (1260-5/1/1345), and my guardian angel. I often recite the Jesus prayer and invoke the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Without the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I would not have been running, doing crunches, and using the elliptical this week. If not for the grace of God, I would have taken a nap last evening and not worked out more intensely than usual. If not for the merciful Lord hearing my prayer, I would not have been so focused on my responsibilities. If not for the intercession of the aforementioned saints (esp. Sts. Mary, Raphael, and Peregrine Laziosi), my skin would not be nearly as clear as it is right now--praise God!

My brothers and sisters, pray for me, a sinner, that I may grow much more intimate with the indwelling Trinity this Holy Week as I get initiated into the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, to which the merciful triune God has called me. Pray, my brothers and sisters, that I may always keep and be mindful of my baptismal promises and grow ever stronger in my devotion to the Lord our God. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.