Gospel Reflection Palm Sunday

And when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was shaken and asked, “Who is this?”  And the crowds replied, “This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.” Matthew 21:10–11

As Jesus entered Jerusalem, just four short days before He would be arrested, He was received with great joy.  As He entered, riding a donkey, the crowds spread their cloaks, strewed palm branches before Him and cried out, “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest” (Mt. 21:9).  Jesus was the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and He was given a Kingly welcome.

Jerusalem itself was the place of the Temple where so many of the ancient kings of Israel offered sacrifice to God.  Year after year, decade after decade, and century after century, the high priest entered the Holy of Holies within the Temple to offer sacrifice to God.  However, little did anyone know that as Jesus entered Jerusalem, the entire city became the new Temple and Jesus became the final and definitive Priest. He entered this new Holy of Holies as a King and Priest, and He died as the Sacrificial Lamb.  He was greeted with shouts of “Hosanna” only to soon hear “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”

What a turn of emotions.  What a contrast of experiences.  What a shock to the minds and hearts of all of His first followers.  How could this be? How could something so glorious become so painful in such a short amount of time?  From an earthly perspective, what would soon follow made no sense, but from a divine perspective, it was the beginning of the most glorious act ever known.

The evil one certainly watched in hatred and jealousy as Jesus, the Eternal Son of the Father, was given this glorious reception by these sons and daughters of God.  The envy of the evil one was so great that it became alive and manifest in the souls of some of the religious leaders, in the betrayal of one of the Apostles, in the actions of the civil authorities and in the confused emotions of the crowds.  The vile, frightful, forceful and definitive attack on our Lord would soon begin now that He was welcomed into the city of Jerusalem to begin the Feast of Passover. Who could have known that on that Passover the Lamb of Sacrifice would be our Lord Himself.

In our own lives, we often do all we can to avoid even the slightest amount of sacrifice.  But sacrifice is capable of the greatest good when united to the one Sacrifice of Jesus. Jesus entered Jerusalem with perfect determination to begin the Sacrifice that would conquer sin and death and defeat the evil one.  And that is exactly what He did.

Reflect, today, upon how willing you are to embrace sacrifice in your own life.  No, your sacrifices are not able to save the world by their own merit, but if you face your crosses in life, be they big or small, and if you intentionally and wholeheartedly unite them to the actions of Jesus that first Holy Week, then you can be certain that you will suffer with our Lord.  But you can also be certain that your suffering will be transformed by the power of this Holy Week and lead you to a glorious sharing in His triumph over all sin and suffering. Sacrifice yourself with our Lord this Holy Week so that you, too, will rise victorious with our Lord.

My glorious Lord, I cry out to You, “Hosanna!”  You are the King, the High Priest, and the Spotless Lamb of Sacrifice.  As I enter into this Holy Week, enable me to walk with You and to offer my own life as a sacrifice in union with Your own perfect Sacrifice.  May Your Holy Week transcend time and permeate every aspect of my life so that, as I die with You, I may also share in the glory of Your Resurrection.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Readings and Gospel for Palm Sunday

April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

At The Procession With Palms – Gospel 35 YEAR A MT 21:1-11

When Jesus and the disciples drew near Jerusalem
and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives,
Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them,
“Go into the village opposite you,
and immediately you will find an ass tethered,
and a colt with her.
Untie them and bring them here to me.
And if anyone should say anything to you, reply,
‘The master has need of them.’
Then he will send them at once.”
This happened so that what had been spoken through the prophet
might be fulfilled:
Say to daughter Zion,
“Behold, your king comes to you,
meek and riding on an ass,
and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had ordered them.
They brought the ass and the colt and laid their cloaks over them,
and he sat upon them.
The very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road,
while others cut branches from the trees
and strewed them on the road.
The crowds preceding him and those following
kept crying out and saying:
“Hosanna to the Son of David;
blessed is the he who comes in the name of the Lord;
hosanna in the highest.”
And when he entered Jerusalem
the whole city was shaken and asked, “Who is this?”
And the crowds replied,
“This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

At The Mass IS 50:4-7

The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
that I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.
Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
and I have not rebelled,
have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
my face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.

The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.

Responsorial PsalmPS 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24.

R. (2a)  My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
All who see me scoff at me;
they mock me with parted lips, they wag their heads:
“He relied on the LORD; let him deliver him,
let him rescue him, if he loves him.”
R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Indeed, many dogs surround me,
a pack of evildoers closes in upon me;
They have pierced my hands and my feet;
I can count all my bones.
R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
They divide my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.
But you, O LORD, be not far from me;
O my help, hasten to aid me.
R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
I will proclaim your name to my brethren;
in the midst of the assembly I will praise you:
“You who fear the LORD, praise him;
all you descendants of Jacob, give glory to him;
revere him, all you descendants of Israel!”
R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

Reading 2PHIL 2:6-11

Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Verse Before The GospelPHIL 2:8-9

Christ became obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name which is above every name.

GospelMT 26:14—27:66 OR 27:11-54

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,
went to the chief priests and said,
“What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?”
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity
to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Where do you want us to prepare
for you to eat the Passover?”
He said,
“Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
‘The teacher says, “My appointed time draws near;
in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”’”
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.

When it was evening,
he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said,
“Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
Deeply distressed at this,
they began to say to him one after another,
“Surely it is not I, Lord?”
He said in reply,
“He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me
is the one who will betray me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
“Surely it is not I, Rabbi?”
He answered, “You have said so.”

While they were eating,
Jesus took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and giving it to his disciples said,
“Take and eat; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying,
“Drink from it, all of you,
for this is my blood of the covenant,
which will be shed on behalf of many
for the forgiveness of sins.
I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine
until the day when I drink it with you new
in the kingdom of my Father.”
Then, after singing a hymn,
they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Then Jesus said to them,
“This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken,
for it is written:
I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed;

but after I have been raised up,
I shall go before you to Galilee.”
Peter said to him in reply,
“Though all may have their faith in you shaken,
mine will never be.”
Jesus said to him,
“Amen, I say to you,
this very night before the cock crows,
you will deny me three times.”
Peter said to him,
“Even though I should have to die with you,
I will not deny you.”
And all the disciples spoke likewise.

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane,
and he said to his disciples,
“Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee,
and began to feel sorrow and distress.
Then he said to them,
“My soul is sorrowful even to death.
Remain here and keep watch with me.”
He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying,
“My Father, if it is possible,
let this cup pass from me;
yet, not as I will, but as you will.”
When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep.
He said to Peter,
“So you could not keep watch with me for one hour?
Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again,
“My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass
without my drinking it, your will be done!”
Then he returned once more and found them asleep,
for they could not keep their eyes open.
He left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time,
saying the same thing again.
Then he returned to his disciples and said to them,
“Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?
Behold, the hour is at hand
when the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners.
Get up, let us go.
Look, my betrayer is at hand.”

While he was still speaking,
Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived,
accompanied by a large crowd, with swords and clubs,
who had come from the chief priests and the elders
of the people.
His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying,
“The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him.”
Immediately he went over to Jesus and said,
“Hail, Rabbi!” and he kissed him.
Jesus answered him,
“Friend, do what you have come for.”
Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.
And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus
put his hand to his sword, drew it,
and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear.
Then Jesus said to him,
“Put your sword back into its sheath,
for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father
and he will not provide me at this moment
with more than twelve legions of angels?
But then how would the Scriptures be fulfilled
which say that it must come to pass in this way?”
At that hour Jesus said to the crowds,
“Have you come out as against a robber,
with swords and clubs to seize me?
Day after day I sat teaching in the temple area,
yet you did not arrest me.
But all this has come to pass
that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled.”
Then all the disciples left him and fled.

Those who had arrested Jesus led him away
to Caiaphas the high priest,
where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
Peter was following him at a distance
as far as the high priest’s courtyard,
and going inside he sat down with the servants
to see the outcome.
The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin
kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus
in order to put him to death,
but they found none,
though many false witnesses came forward.
Finally two came forward who stated,
“This man said, ‘I can destroy the temple of God
and within three days rebuild it.’”
The high priest rose and addressed him,
“Have you no answer?
What are these men testifying against you?”
But Jesus was silent.
Then the high priest said to him,
“I order you to tell us under oath before the living God
whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“You have said so.
But I tell you:
From now on you will see ‘the Son of Man
seated at the right hand of the Power’
and ‘coming on the clouds of heaven.’”
Then the high priest tore his robes and said,
“He has blasphemed!
What further need have we of witnesses?
You have now heard the blasphemy;
what is your opinion?”
They said in reply,
“He deserves to die!”
Then they spat in his face and struck him,
while some slapped him, saying,
“Prophesy for us, Christ: who is it that struck you?”
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard.
One of the maids came over to him and said,
“You too were with Jesus the Galilean.”
But he denied it in front of everyone, saying,
“I do not know what you are talking about!”
As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him
and said to those who were there,
“This man was with Jesus the Nazorean.”
Again he denied it with an oath,
“I do not know the man!”
A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter,
“Surely you too are one of them;
even your speech gives you away.”
At that he began to curse and to swear,
“I do not know the man.”
And immediately a cock crowed.
Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken:
“Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.”
He went out and began to weep bitterly.

When it was morning,
all the chief priests and the elders of the people
took counsel against Jesus to put him to death.
They bound him, led him away,
and handed him over to Pilate, the governor.

Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned,
deeply regretted what he had done.
He returned the thirty pieces of silver
to the chief priests and elders, saying,
“I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.”
They said,
“What is that to us?
Look to it yourself.”
Flinging the money into the temple,
he departed and went off and hanged himself.
The chief priests gathered up the money, but said,
“It is not lawful to deposit this in the temple treasury,
for it is the price of blood.”
After consultation, they used it to buy the potter’s field
as a burial place for foreigners.
That is why that field even today is called the Field of Blood.
Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah
the prophet,
And they took the thirty pieces of silver,
the value of a man with a price on his head,
a price set by some of the Israelites,
and they paid it out for the potter’s field
just as the Lord had commanded me.

Now Jesus stood before the governor, and he questioned him,
“Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus said, “You say so.”
And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders,
he made no answer.
Then Pilate said to him,
“Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?”
But he did not answer him one word,
so that the governor was greatly amazed.

Now on the occasion of the feast
the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd
one prisoner whom they wished.
And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.
So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them,
“Which one do you want me to release to you,
Barabbas, or Jesus called Christ?”
For he knew that it was out of envy
that they had handed him over.
While he was still seated on the bench,
his wife sent him a message,
“Have nothing to do with that righteous man.
I suffered much in a dream today because of him.”
The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds
to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus.
The governor said to them in reply,
“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”
They answered, ABarabbas!”
Pilate said to them,
“Then what shall I do with Jesus called Christ?”
They all said,
“Let him be crucified!”
But he said,
“Why? What evil has he done?”
They only shouted the louder,
“Let him be crucified!”
When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all,
but that a riot was breaking out instead,
he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd,
saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.
Look to it yourselves.”
And the whole people said in reply,
“His blood be upon us and upon our children.”
Then he released Barabbas to them,
but after he had Jesus scourged,
he handed him over to be crucified.

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus inside the praetorium
and gathered the whole cohort around him.
They stripped off his clothes
and threw a scarlet military cloak about him.
Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head,
and a reed in his right hand.
And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying,
“Hail, King of the Jews!”
They spat upon him and took the reed
and kept striking him on the head.
And when they had mocked him,
they stripped him of the cloak,
dressed him in his own clothes,
and led him off to crucify him.

As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon;
this man they pressed into service
to carry his cross.

And when they came to a place called Golgotha
¬—which means Place of the Skull —,
they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall.
But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink.
After they had crucified him,
they divided his garments by casting lots;
then they sat down and kept watch over him there.
And they placed over his head the written charge against him:
This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.
Two revolutionaries were crucified with him,
one on his right and the other on his left.
Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying,
“You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,
save yourself, if you are the Son of God,
and come down from the cross!”
Likewise the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him and said,
“He saved others; he cannot save himself.
So he is the king of Israel!
Let him come down from the cross now,
and we will believe in him.
He trusted in God;
let him deliver him now if he wants him.
For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
The revolutionaries who were crucified with him
also kept abusing him in the same way.

From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land
until three in the afternoon.
And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”
which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Some of the bystanders who heard it said,
“This one is calling for Elijah.”
Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge;
he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed,
gave it to him to drink.
But the rest said,
“Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.”
But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice,
and gave up his spirit.

And behold, the veil of the sanctuary
was torn in two from top to bottom.
The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened,
and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised.
And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection,
they entered the holy city and appeared to many.
The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus
feared greatly when they saw the earthquake
and all that was happening, and they said,
“ATruly, this was the Son of God!”
There were many women there, looking on from a distance,
who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him.
Among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph,
and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

When it was evening,
there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph,
who was himself a disciple of Jesus.
He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus;
then Pilate ordered it to be handed over.
Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in clean linen
and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock.
Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb
and departed.
But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary
remained sitting there, facing the tomb.

The next day, the one following the day of preparation,
the chief priests and the Pharisees
gathered before Pilate and said,
“Sir, we remember that this impostor while still alive said,
‘After three days I will be raised up.’
Give orders, then, that the grave be secured until the third day,
lest his disciples come and steal him and say to the people,
‘He has been raised from the dead.’
This last imposture would be worse than the first.”
Pilate said to them,
“The guard is yours;
go, secure it as best you can.”
So they went and secured the tomb
by fixing a seal to the stone and setting the guard.

or

Jesus stood before the governor, Pontius Pilate, who questioned him,
“Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus said, “You say so.”
And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders,
he made no answer.
Then Pilate said to him,
“Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?”
But he did not answer him one word,
so that the governor was greatly amazed.

Now on the occasion of the feast
the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd
one prisoner whom they wished.
And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.
So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them,
“Which one do you want me to release to you,
Barabbas, or Jesus called Christ?”
For he knew that it was out of envy
that they had handed him over.
While he was still seated on the bench,
his wife sent him a message,
“Have nothing to do with that righteous man.
I suffered much in a dream today because of him.”
The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds
to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus.
The governor said to them in reply,
“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”
They answered, ABarabbas!”
Pilate said to them,
“Then what shall I do with Jesus called Christ?”
They all said,
“Let him be crucified!”
But he said,
“Why? What evil has he done?”
They only shouted the louder,
“Let him be crucified!”
When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all,
but that a riot was breaking out instead,
he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd,
saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.
Look to it yourselves.”
And the whole people said in reply,
“His blood be upon us and upon our children.”
Then he released Barabbas to them,
but after he had Jesus scourged,
he handed him over to be crucified.

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus inside the praetorium
and gathered the whole cohort around him.
They stripped off his clothes
and threw a scarlet military cloak about him.
Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head,
and a reed in his right hand.
And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying,
“Hail, King of the Jews!”
They spat upon him and took the reed
and kept striking him on the head.
And when they had mocked him,
they stripped him of the cloak,
dressed him in his own clothes,
and led him off to crucify him.

As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon;
this man they pressed into service
to carry his cross.

And when they came to a place called Golgotha
— which means Place of the Skull —,
they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall.
But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink.
After they had crucified him,
they divided his garments by casting lots;
then they sat down and kept watch over him there.
And they placed over his head the written charge against him:
This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.
Two revolutionaries were crucified with him,
one on his right and the other on his left.
Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying,
“You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,
save yourself, if you are the Son of God,
and come down from the cross!”
Likewise the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him and said,
“He saved others; he cannot save himself.
So he is the king of Israel!
Let him come down from the cross now,
and we will believe in him.
He trusted in God;
let him deliver him now if he wants him.
For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
The revolutionaries who were crucified with him
also kept abusing him in the same way.

From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land
until three in the afternoon.
And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”
which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Some of the bystanders who heard it said,
“This one is calling for Elijah.”
Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge;
he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed,
gave it to him to drink.
But the rest said,
‘Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.”
But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice,
and gave up his spirit.

And behold, the veil of the sanctuary
was torn in two from top to bottom.
The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened,
and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised.
And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection,
they entered the holy city and appeared to many.
The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus
feared greatly when they saw the earthquake
and all that was happening, and they said,
“Truly, this was the Son of God!”

Faith Podcasts for Holy week…

Click on link:-

https://www.catholicbishops.ie/2020/04/04/faithcasts-for-holy-week-2020/

Faith podcast from the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, is launching a special Holy Week. The Faithcasts will focus on how we can live Holy Week as people of faith in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

Faithcast is a mixture of interviews, news and stories of faith from the Catholic Church in Ireland. The podcast, which is usually published weekly, will now have a daily episode from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.

Contributors to the Holy Week reflection series are:

  • Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dromore and Primate of All Ireland
  • Bishop Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin
  • Bishop Fintan Monahan, Bishop of Killaloe
  • Caoimhe de Barra, CEO of Trócaire
  • Brother Richard Hendrick Ofm Cap
  • Father Vincent Sherlock of Achonry Diocese
  • Brenda Drumm, Catholic Communications Office
  • Ger Gallagher, Archdiocese of Dublin

Contributors to the series will reflect on the meaning and symbolism of each of the days of Holy Week, beginning with a reflection from Brother Richard Hendrick on Palm Sunday and taking us through the week, concluding on Easter Sunday with a message from Archbishop Eamon Martin.

Commenting on the Faithcasts, Archbishop Eamon said, “As we prepare to celebrate Holy Week at home this year, we are offering people a chance to hear from different voices of faith. These daily reflections from bishops, priests and lay people will hopefully offer listeners a pause for thought from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.

“I invite people to tune in to our Holy Week reflections. There are many people feeling alone and isolated at the moment and we hope that our short pieces of audio can assist people in living Holy Week in their homes.

“This podcast series is just one of a number of digital opportunities that we have been offering to people during these days. I would like to thank all those priests and people putting out into the deep of the net at this time and connecting with their parishioners on the digital highways.”

The podcasts, which have all been recorded by the contributors in their own homes on mobile phones, will be available on www.catholicbishops.ie and on all Bishops’ Conference social media platforms:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IrishCatholicBishops/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CatholicBishops
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/catholicbishops/

You can also subscribe to the podcast at this link https://audioboom.com/dashboard/4929766

 ENDS 

This content is provided by www.catholicnews.ie, the news source for the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. All queries relating to the article should be directed to bdrumm@catholicbishops.ie.
A thought for the beginning of Holy week….

Sin starts with giving in to small temptations, Pope Francis warns…

.- Before we commit a sin, there were usually small temptations which we let grow in our soul, eventually making excuses for ourselves and our fall, Pope Francis said during Mass Saturday.

“That process which makes us change our hearts from good to bad, which takes us downhill,” he said April 4, is “something which grows, slowly grows, then infects others and ultimately excuses itself.”

Speaking from the chapel of his Vatican residence, the Casa Santa Marta, the pope advised first seeking forgiveness, and then reflecting on the temptations which preceded your fall into sin, considering also whether you have led others to sin.

“When we find ourselves in a sin, in a fall, yes, we must go to ask the Lord for forgiveness, it is the first [step] that we must take,” he urged.

But then ask yourselves, he said: “How did I come to fall there? How did this process start in my soul? How did it grow? Who have I infected? And how in the end did I justify myself for falling?”

Francis argued that “the devil is cunning” and usually tempts people to sin gradually: “it starts with a little thing, with a desire, an idea grows, infects others and ultimately, justifies itself.”

This process of temptation is illustrated in the day’s Gospel from St. John, he said.

In the Gospel, the chief priests and the Pharisees have met to discuss Jesus, who is causing them anxiety because through his signs, many Jews have begun to believe in him, and they feel they must do something.

The high priest Caiphas said Jesus should be killed, defending the decision with his prophecy, saying “it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people.”

Quoting the Gospel, Francis said “from that day therefore they decided to kill him.”

He explained that the Pharisees and chief priests justified killing Jesus to themselves, because if they did not, the occupying Romans “will destroy our temple and our nation,” but what brought them to this decision was a gradual process that “began with small concerns in the time of John the Baptist and then ended in this assembly.”

After this meeting, “everyone went home quietly,” the pope noted. They felt this was the decision they had to make.

This, the pope said, is “a figure of how temptation operates in us.”

Before Mass, Francis had noted that in difficult times, such as the present coronavirus pandemic, people are given the opportunity to do good.

But there are also plenty of people, he said, who take advantage of the moment for their own profit.

“Let us pray today that the Lord give us all a righteous conscience, a transparent conscience, which can be seen by God without being ashamed,” he urged.

In his homily, the pope recalled once again that behind every sin there is temptation, “which started small, which has grown.”

“All of us, when we are overcome by temptation, end up calm, because we have found a justification for this sin, for this sinful attitude, for this life not according to the law of God. We should have the habit of seeing this process of temptation in us,” he advised, adding that “the Holy Spirit enlightens us in this inner knowledge.”

How to say the Rosary

The rosary has 59 beads, a crucifix, and a medal, with certain prayers for each of these different pieces. The prayers of the rosary can be divided into three categories:

  1. Introductory Prayers
  2. The Decades
  3. Closing Prayers

With the prayers of the rosary, we ask Mary to pray for us and to guide us by the example of her son, Jesus.

Introductory Prayers

The introductory prayers set the stage for the rosary. They prepare you for deeper reflection when you pray the decades.

Either before or after the introductory prayers, think of any needs or struggles in your life and bring them to Mary. She cares for you like a loving mother, and wants to take your needs to Jesus. If you are praying with a group, you can say your intentions out loud so the rest of the group can pray for them as well.

Step 1: While holding the crucifix, make the Sign of the Cross and pray the Apostles’ Creed (a brief summary of the core beliefs of our faith).

Step 2: On the first large bead, pray the Our Father (the prayer Jesus taught us), typically for the intentions of the pope.

Step 3: On the next three small beads, pray the Hail Mary (a prayer to Mary, based on words from the Bible). These Hail Marys are often prayed for an increase in faith, hope, and love.

Step 4: In the space after the third Hail Mary, pray the Glory Be (a simple expression of praise and belief in the Trinity).

One you’ve prayed these introductory prayers, you are ready to begin the first decade.

The Decades

There are five decades, or groups of 10 small beads, that make up the main portion of the rosary. Between each decade is one large bead set off by itself.

You’ll find that the prayers for each decade are repeated many times. This gives you an opportunity to reflect on the words, which are deeply rooted in the Bible and Christian tradition. They are powerful and filled with meaning.

Step 5: On the next large bead, pray the Our Father.

Step 6: On each small bead in the decade, pray the Hail Mary.

Step 7: In the space after the 10th bead, pray the Glory Be and the Fatima Prayer (a prayer Mary revealed to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917).

Repeat steps 5–7 for the remaining four decades. Pray an Our Father on the large bead and a Hail Mary on each of the 10 small beads, followed by the Glory Be and the Fatima Prayer.

As you pray the decades, you can also meditate on the mysteries of the rosary and learn valuable lessons from the lives of Jesus and Mary.

Closing Prayers

The closing prayers are prayed on the medal, and they end the rosary. With these prayers we ask God and Mary to watch over us, guide us, and help us become a-better-version-of-ourselves.

Step 8: Pray the Hail, Holy Queen (a prayer asking for Mary’s help) and the Rosary Prayer (a prayer of hope that our lives will be changed by the rosary).

Step 9: While holding the crucifix, make the Sign of the Cross.

As you practice praying the rosary, these prayers will become second nature to you. There’s a rhythm to the rosary. As you enter into that rhythm, you’ll begin to think less about the words and more about the meaning of the words.

That’s when you begin to unlock the power of the rosary.

If you are new to the rosary, take some time to familiarize yourself with the beads themselves. Practice holding the rosary in your hand and feeding the beads between your fingers. See if you can remember which prayers are prayed at each point in the rosary.

If you don’t know some of the prayers, you can find them listed below.

THE PRAYERS OF THE ROSARY

The prayers of the rosary are timeless. They are simple, meaningful, and they bring us peace. While people often add other prayers, these are the basic ones. If you are praying the rosary in a group, then most of the prayers are divided in two. The leader prays the first half, and the whole group responds with the second half (indicated by an asterisk: *).

Sign of the Cross

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

Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. * I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Our Father

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. * Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses; as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women; and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. * Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory Be

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.

Fatima Prayer

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell; lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.

Hail, Holy Queen

Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and, after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Pray for us O holy mother of God, * that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Rosary Prayer

Let us pray. * O God, whose only-begotten Son by his life, death and Resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life; grant, we beseech thee, that by meditating upon these mysteries of the most holy rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

 

Gospel and reflection
From Catholic daily reflections…

 

READINGS OF THE DAY

First reading from the Book of Ezekiel
EZ 37:12-14

Thus says the Lord GOD:
O my people, I will open your graves
and have you rise from them,
and bring you back to the land of Israel.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD,
when I open your graves and have you rise from them,
O my people!
I will put my spirit in you that you may live,
and I will settle you upon your land;
thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.

 

Second reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans
ROM 8:8-11

Brothers and sisters:
Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh;
on the contrary, you are in the spirit,
if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
But if Christ is in you,
although the body is dead because of sin,
the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
the one who raised Christ from the dead
will give life to your mortal bodies also,
through his Spirit dwelling in you.

GOSPEL OF THE DAY

From the Gospel according to John
Jn 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45

The sisters of Lazarus sent word to Jesus, saying,
“Master, the one you love is ill.”
When Jesus heard this he said,
“This illness is not to end in death,
but is for the glory of God,
that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when he heard that he was ill,
he remained for two days in the place where he was.
Then after this he said to his disciples,
+Let us go back to Judea.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
had already been in the tomb for four days.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you.”
Jesus said to her,
Your brother will rise.”
Martha said,
“I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her,
“I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”

He became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said,
“Where have you laid him?”
They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
And Jesus wept.
So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”
But some of them said,
“Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man
have done something so that this man would not have died?”

So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb.
It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.
Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him,
“Lord, by now there will be a stench;
he has been dead for four days.”
Jesus said to her,
“Did I not tell you that if you believe
you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said,
“Father, I thank you for hearing me.
I know that you always hear me;
but because of the crowd here I have said this,
that they may believe that you sent me.”
And when he had said this,
He cried out in a loud voice,
“Lazarus, come out!”
The dead man came out,
tied hand and foot with burial bands,
and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
So Jesus said to them,
“Untie him and let him go.”

Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary
and seen what he had done began to believe in him.

WORDS OF THE HOLY FATHER

Our resurrection begins here: when we decide to obey Jesus’ command by coming out into the light, into life; when the mask falls from our face — we are frequently masked by sin, the mask must fall off! — and we find again the courage of our original face, created in the image and likeness of God. (Angelus, 6 april 2014)

 

GOSPEL REFLECTION

 

So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go to die with him.”  John 11:16

What a great line!  The context is important to understand.  Thomas said this after Jesus told His Apostles that He was going up to Jerusalem because Lazarus, His friend, was ill and close to death.  In fact, as the story unfolds, Lazarus actually did die before Jesus arrived at his house.  Of course, we know the end of the story that Lazarus was raised up by Jesus.  But the Apostles tried to keep Jesus from going to Jerusalem because they knew there were many who had been quite hostile toward Him and wanted to kill Him.  But Jesus decided to go anyway.  It was in this context that St. Thomas said to the others, “Let us also go and die with him.”  Again, what a great line!

It’s a great line because Thomas appeared to say this with a certain resolve to accept whatever was waiting for them in Jerusalem.  He appeared to know that Jesus was going to be met with resistance and persecution.  And he also appeared to be ready to face that persecution and death with Jesus.

Of course Thomas is well known to be the doubter.  After Jesus’ death and Resurrection he refused to accept that the other Apostles actually saw Jesus.  But even though he is well known for his act of doubting, we should not miss the courage and resolve he had in that moment.  At that moment, he was willing to go with Jesus to face His persecution and death.  And he was even willing to face death himself.  Even though he ultimately fled when Jesus was arrested, it’s believed that he eventually went as a missionary to India where he did ultimately suffer martyrdom.

This passage should help us to reflect upon our own willingness to go forth with Jesus to face any persecution that may await us.  Being a Christian requires courage.  We will be different than others.  We will not fit in with the culture around us.  And when we refuse to conform to the day and age we live in, we will most likely suffer some form of persecution as a result.  Are you ready for that?  Are you willing to endure this?

We also must learn from St. Thomas that, even if we do fail, we can start again.  Thomas was willing, but then he fled at the sight of persecution.  He ended up doubting, but in the end he courageously lived out his conviction to go and die with Jesus.  It’s not so much how many times we fail; rather, it’s how we finish the race.

Reflect, today, upon the resolve in the heart of St. Thomas and use it as a meditation upon your own resolve.  Do not worry if you fail in this resolve, you can always get up and try again.  Reflect also upon the final resolution St. Thomas made when he did die a martyr.  Make the choice to follow his example and you, too, will be counted among the saints of Heaven.

Lord, I desire to follow You wherever You lead.  Give me a firm resolve to walk in Your ways and to imitate the courage of St. Thomas.  When I fail, help me to get back up and resolve again.  I love You, dear Lord, help me to love You with my life.  Jesus, I trust in You.

 

 

reflection/prayer

We ask Our Lady to pray and intercede with the Lord for the people of Keash and Culfadda at this time of the Coronavirus. We ask the Lord’s forgiveness for anything that we have done wrong. We remember to pray daily to our Guardian Angel, St. Michael and our own St. Kevin to intercede on our behalf at this unchartered and most difficult of times. We pray for those worrying and vulnerable. We pray for those sick and elderly. We pray for expecting mother’s. We pray for our civic and spiritual leaders that they will make the right decisions. We pray for our health care staff and religious that are coming in contact with those with Coronavirus; to bring them safe. We pray for those that will die that they will have a dignified and peaceful death. We pray that the Lord will give us strength to deal with whatever presents .

Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, we place all our trust in thee.

Oh Angel of God my Guardian dear, to whom Gods love commits us here, ever this day be at my side to light and guard, to rule and guide AMEN

St. Michael the Archangle, defend us in our hour of need. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God restrain him, we humbly pray and thou oh Prince of the heavenly host, trust Satan into hell and with him all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls AMEN

Knock Prayer in the time of the Corona Virus

Dear God,
In 1879 the Apparition at Knock gave hope and courage to the people of Ireland in difficult times.

We ask that Our Lady may now protect your beloved people from the Corona Virus.

May its victims be strengthened by the spiritual support of the Christian community and restored soon to full health.

We also pray for the medical personnel who deal with the virus.
This we ask in confidence through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Our Lady of Knock, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
St. John the Evangelist, pray for us.
by Fr. Brian Grogan S.J.

Prayer for Strength

Everyday I need you Lord, but this day
especially, I need some extra strength to
face whatever is to come.

This day, more than any other day I
need to feel you near me…. to fortify my
courage and to overcome my fear.

By myself, I cannot meet the challenge
of the hour…. how much frail human
creatures need a Higher Power sustaining
them in all that life may bring.

And so, dear Lord, hold my trembling
hand… be with me, Lord, this day to
know Your guiding hand at work in all, to
know Your Blessed Presence.
EVER NEAR. Amen.

 

The Oak Tree

by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr

A mighty wind blew night and day,
It blew the oak tree’s leaves far far away.
Then it snapped its boughs and pulled its bark,
Until the oak  tree became tired and stark.

But still the oak tree held its ground,
While other trees fell all around,
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
“How can you still be standing old Mr. Oak”?

The oak tree said, I know that you,
Can break each branch of mine in two,
Carry every leaf away,
Shake my limbs, and make me sway.

But I have roots stretched in the earth,
Growing stronger and stronger since my birth,
You’ll never touch them, for you see,
They are the deepest part of me.

Until today, I wasn’t sure,
Of just how much I could endure,
But now I’ve found, with thanks to you,
I’m stronger than I ever.

 

 

 

Prayers at home (where mass not possible)

 

Please click on link below:-

 

Prayers-At-Home-When-Gathering-for-Mass-is-Not-Possible (2)

Thought/Prayer Coronavirus

We ask Our Lady to pray and intercede with the Lord for the people of Keash and Culfadda at this time of the Coronavirus. We ask the Lord’s forgiveness for anything that we have done wrong. We remember to pray daily to our Guardian Angel, St. Michael and our own St. Kevin to intercede on our behalf at this unchartered and most difficult of times. We pray for those worrying and vulnerable. We pray for those sick and elderly. We pray for expecting mother’s. We pray for our civic and spiritual leaders that they will make the right decisions. We pray for our health care staff and religious that are coming in contact with those with Coronavirus; to bring them safe. We pray for those that will die that they will have a dignified and peaceful death. We pray that the Lord will give us strength to deal with whatever presents .

 

Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, we place all our trust in thee.

Oh Angel of God my Guardian dear, to whom God loves protects us here, ever this day be at my side to light and guard, to rule and guide AMEN

St. Michael the Archangle, defend us in our hour of need. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God restrain him, we humbly pray and thou oh Prince of the heavenly host, trust Satan into hell and with him all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls AMEN

Knock Prayer in the time of the Corona Virus

Dear God,
In 1879 the Apparition at Knock gave hope and courage to the people of Ireland in difficult times.

We ask that Our Lady may now protect your beloved people from the Corona Virus.

May its victims be strengthened by the spiritual support of the Christian community and restored soon to full health.

We also pray for the medical personnel who deal with the virus.
This we ask in confidence through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Our Lady of Knock, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
St. John the Evangelist, pray for us.
by Fr. Brian Grogan S.J.

Prayer for Strength

Everyday I need you Lord, but this day
especially, I need some extra strength to
face whatever is to come.

This day, more than any other day I
need to feel you near me…. to fortify my
courage and to overcome my fear.

By myself, I cannot meet the challenge
of the hour…. how much frail human
creatures need a Higher Power sustaining
them in all that life may bring.

And so, dear Lord, hold my trembling
hand… be with me, Lord, this day to
know Your guiding hand at work in all, to
know Your Blessed Presence.
EVER NEAR. Amen.

 

The Oak Tree

by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr

A mighty wind blew night and day,
It blew the oak tree’s leaves far far away.
Then it snapped its boughs and pulled its bark,
Until the oak  tree became tired and stark.

But still the oak tree held its ground,
While other trees fell all around,
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
“How can you still be standing old Mr. Oak”?

The oak tree said, I know that you,
Can break each branch of mine in two,
Carry every leaf away,
Shake my limbs, and make me sway.

But I have roots stretched in the earth,
Growing stronger and stronger since my birth,
You’ll never touch them, for you see,
They are the deepest part of me.

Until today, I wasn’t sure,
Of just how much I could endure,
But now I’ve found, with thanks to you,
I’m stronger than I ever.

 

Coronavirus

Please click on the link below:-

https://achonrydiocese.org/covid-19-hse-guidelines/