April 22nd, 2015
Acts of the Apostles 4:8-12
Peter announces an act of healing in the name of Jesus Christ.
A prayer of thanksgiving to God for his kindness
1 John 3:1-2
God revealed his love for us by calling us children of God.
Traditionally, this fourth Sunday of Easter is
known as “Good Shepherd Sunday,” because each year the Church presents us with
our Lord’s beautiful description of himself as a shepherd who has tender,
merciful love for his sheep. For many years now, the Church has also designated
this Sunday as World Day of Prayer for Vocations. So we pray today in a special
way in this Holy Mass that God will call many more men to the great adventure
of being shepherds for his flock. Jesus the Good Shepherd carrying us on his
shoulders is symbolized in a beautiful way by the Pallium which archbishops
wear over their shoulders while celebrating Mass. The Pallium is made from
lamb’s wool. During the Mass for the inauguration of his Pontificate on Sunday
April 24th 2005 Pope Benedict explained the significance of the Pallium when he
said that the Pallium is an invitation to carry one another, we are all to be
shepherds to each other, to carry each other on our shoulders.
April 15th, 2015
First Reading Acts of the Apostles 3:13-15,17-19
Peter preaches that Jesus has been raised from the dead and calls upon the
people to repent.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 4:2,4,7-8,9
A prayer seeking God's favour
Second Reading 1 John 2:1-5a
Those who know God keep his commandments.
In today’s Gospel we see how Jesus trys to help
the disciples understand that all that had taken place—his suffering, death and
resurrection—made sense. That was something that took the disciples a
while to get their heads around, as suffering never makes sense to any of
us. So Jesus had to help them understand not only that he was alive, but
that all that had taken place was meant to happen. They were meant to happen
and they fitted into God’s plan for the world. All of us are continually
faced with difficult situations of suffering. So often we cannot make
sense of why we have to suffer and we may even see it as a punishment. Even
though we don’t have a direct answer to this question, what Jesus says to his
disciples in this Gospel is a help, because it reminds us that everything that
happens fits into God’s bigger plan. The point is that God can bring good
out of every situation, even turning the evil work of people into good.
But for the most part we cannot see that. We are just faced with each
individual situation of suffering and that is hard. However, the Lord is
telling us that there is a bigger picture which makes sense of everything that
happens. When we die we will then see that picture and it will all make
sense to us.
April 7th, 2015
First Reading Acts of the
The first Christian community shared their possessions, and no one was needy.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm
The Lord's mercy endures forever.
Second Reading 1 John 5:1-6
Those who love God keep his commandments.
Thomas does not refuse the proclamation of the resurrection of Jesus
but simply insists that the risen Jesus must fulfil all his expectations. The following
Sunday Thomas is challenged by Jesus himself to come to the true peace which
only authentic faith can produce. Like Thomas, are we sometimes 'not there'
when Jesus comes, or, again like Thomas, do we want God to behave int he way
that might suit us best? The story of Jesus was written for us, so that we
might deepen our belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. such belief
March 26th, 2015
First Reading Genesis 1:1—2:2
God creates the heavens and the earth. (shorter form, Genesis 1:1,26-31a)
Second Reading Genesis 22:1-18 (shorter form, Genesis 22:1-2,9a,10-13,15-18)
God puts Abraham to the test.
Third Reading Exodus 14:15—15:1
The Israelites pass through the Red Sea.
Fourth Reading Isaiah 54:5-14
The Lord promises to redeem Israel.
Fifth Reading Isaiah 55:1-11
A call to return to the Lord who is merciful
Sixth Reading Baruch 3:9-15,32—4:4
Israel is told to follow the way of God's commandments.
Seventh Reading Ezekiel 36:16-17a,18-28
The Lord will cleanse Israel for the sake of his holy name.
Epistle Romans 6:3-11
Those who have been baptized have died with Christ.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 118:1-2,16-17,22-23
God's mercy endures forever.
The significance of
Jesus' resurrection is that it offers for all believers the hope pf a new life
here and now. Yes, we will all rise from the dead one day and share in eternal
glory but even today, here and now we experience the power of Easter glory, the
effects of Jesus' rising from the dead. we all testify to the power of the
Resurrection among us when we don't let evil and death get the better of us but
let the way of Jesus triumph in our lives through our faith, hope and
March 26th, 2015
First Reading Is 52:13—53:12
Responsorial Psalm Ps 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25
Second Reading Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel Reading Jn 18:1—19:42
we venerate the wood of the Cross because it was by His Cross that Jesus
redeemed the world. No one can separate Jesus from His Cross: Where Christ is
there is the Cross and where there is the Cross there is Jesus. The world may
look at the Cross as a threat or as a curse or as a headache. But for a
Christian the Cross is the road to salvation and holiness. Pope St. John Paul
II said on the canonization of Bl. Padre Pio “difficulties and pain, is
accepted with love become a privileged path to sanctity”. Each one of us
has been given some type of a Cross. The presence of the Cross in our lives
tells us that we are in the surest road to sanctity. Therefore let us ask the
grace to embrace our little crosses with love. Because it is in the Cross that
we find forgiveness, healing and salvation
March 26th, 2015
First Reading Ex 12:1-8, 11-14
Responsorial Psalm Ps 116:12-13,
Second Reading 1 Cor 11:23-26
Gospel Reading Jn 13:1-15
The Mass of the Lord's
Supper is characterized by the announcement of the commandment of love and the
gesture of washing the feet.What Jesus did at the last supper when he washed
the feet of his disciples, was not just an act of humility. It was an act of love
revealing our God who is ‘passionately loving in his self-giving service’. In
Johns Gospel, the Eucharistic meal is a celebration of the whole life of Jesus
Christ. The last supper is not separated from his other meals which he took
with the publicans and sinners and with Pharisees and with well to do people
and above all with his own disciples. Foot washing expresses what living
a life of self-emptying love looks like in imitation of the Lord who
emptied Himself for us and who still does in the Most Holy Eucharist. It has
been traditionally referred to as the Mandatum, the Command. It is an
invitation to become a man or woman poured out for others. A Christian who
lives the love of Charity (Caritas), the Love of Jesus Christ, makes
Jesus Christ real. In so doing, the Incarnation continues.
March 25th, 2015
Gospel at the Procession with Palms
Mark 11:1-10 or John 12:12-16
Jesus enters Jerusalem as the crowds shout, “Hosanna!”
The Lord's servant will stand firm, even when persecuted.
A cry for help to the Lord in the face of evildoers
Christ was obedient even to death, but God has exalted him.
Mark 14:1—15:47 (shorter form: Mark 15:1-39)
Palm Sunday is the great
doorway into Holy Week, the week when the Lord Jesus makes his way towards the
culmination of his earthly existence. Today’s liturgy calls us to keep in mind
two points. 1) The early Church Fathers saw a symbol in the gesture of the
people who followed Jesus, the gesture of spreading out their clothes/coats
before the Lord. Before Christ –the Fathers said- we must spread out our lives
in an attitude of gratitude and adoration. 2) The totality of the
human abandonment of Jesus which is portrayed by Mark. All flee, with the last
one leaving even his clothes behind in order to get away from Jesus – the
opposite of leaving all things to follow him. Have you abandoned Jesus like
that young man reported in the Gospel of Mark?
March 18th, 2015
First Reading Jeremiah 31:31-34
Jeremiah tells the people that the Lord will make a new covenant with them,
planting the law within their hearts.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 51:3-4,12-13,14-15
A prayer for God's mercy and forgiveness
Second Reading Hebrews 5:7-9
Through his sufferings, Jesus gained salvation for all who obey him.
In today’s Gospel
Jesus tells us that unless a grain of wheat dies, it cannot bear fruit. Or to
put it another way, unless we die to our own will, we cannot bear fruit for
God. It is a paradox and a bitter one. The paradox of life through death would
not puzzle us so much if we were to look at the nature and human growth. Our
highest life dos not consist in self-expression but in self-sacrifice. It is
not we take up but what we give up that makes us and others rich. Dying to self
would often mean, sacrificing one’s self-will, for the sake of God’s
will, which is his law, “placed within us and written upon our hearts” (Jer
31:33). Dying to self often means sacrificing ourselves for the sake of others.
Only by dying to our self-seeking and vain ambitions, can we bring life to
others, spreading joy and inspiring hope. If one has found nothing worth dying
for, then probably found nothing worth living for. Let us pray: “Lord Jesus
help us imitate the wheat and the grapes and offer our lives to you for
whatever use you wish to make of them”.
March 11th, 2015
First Reading 2 Chronicles
The causes for the Israelites' captivity in Babylon are described.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm
A lament from exile for the loss of Jerusalem
Second Reading Ephesians 2:4-10
In grace we have been saved, so that we may do the work of the Lord.
Nicodemus is a leading Jew
who comes to Jesus from the darkness of the night but he finds difficult to
understand beyond his Jewish upbringing and training. So Jesus trys to show him
how the history of salvation, from the fall of Adam until the final judgment
revolves around the coming of Jesus Christ, the savior, the Son of God. Why did
the Father send him? Because he “loved the world so much”. God simply couldn't
bear to see us perish in our sins: he longed to share with us his everlasting
lifer. God cares. St. Augustine used to say that “God loves each one of us as
if there was only one of us to love”. Hence the verses 16 and 17 of the Chapter
3 of Johns Gospel is known as “the summery of the Bible” and “essence of the
Gospel”. This is a cause for great JOY and so his 4th Sunday of Lent
is also known as the “Laetare Sunday” which is the ‘Sunday of rejoicing’. The
rose colour vestments used today are a symbol of that joy, like the pink
horizon that comes before a beautiful sunrise. But in the life of Jesus, it is
the “lifting up’. In the Cross that God’s love is made known to us in a
powerful way. The Cross shows us how much God loves us. “To love is to give”
and this is the message of the Cross. It is ‘sacrificial love’. Can we
love as Jesus loves? That means we should love without counting the cost and
without expecting anything in return. Love through pain and suffering.
March 5th, 2015
First Reading Exodus 20:1-17 (or shorter form, Exodus 20:1-3,7-8,12-17)
Moses is given the Ten Commandments.
Responsorial Psalm Psalm 19:8,9,10,11
A prayer of praise to God who gives us his commandments
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 1:22-25
Paul preaches Christ crucified to the Corinthians.
The Gospel for the third Sunday of Lent
interrupts the Mark’s Gospel we have been reading to give us a little of
John’s. It is here to show us the prophecy of Jesus Resurrection – the event
that we are preparing for in Lent, but I would like you to also note that the
one time that Jesus gets angry that we are told about happens here as well. It
happens because Jesus sees the commandments of our relationship to God being
damaged. The house of God, the temple where God dwelt was considered sacred. It
was where worship was held, it was where God’s name was never taken in vain,
but glorified. Yet the porticos of the Temple were surrounded by trade and
finance, and indeed, more emphasis was being put on the buying and selling than
the worship and sacrifice itself. Jesus’ anger caused the event that did more
than any other to upset the priests and Pharisees and directly led to the death
he was about to suffer. So it is an important event. In some sense it was
foolish of Jesus and because he gave into his human violence, it may have led
to his own violent death. But Paul tells us God’s foolishness is wiser than
human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.” God had a
plan, and that plan brought about nothing less than the salvation of all
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