CROSS OF CHRISTThe government of Polish Prime Minister Jaruzelski had ordered crucifixes removed from classroom walls, just as they had been banned in factories, hospitals, and other public institutions. Catholic bishops attacked the ban that had stirred waves of anger and resentment all across Poland. Ultimately the government relented, insisting that the law remain on the books, but agreeing not to press for removal of the crucifixes, particularly in the schoolrooms.
Holy Week, Wednesday, March 31
Isaiah 50:4-9 / Matthew 26:14-25
Jesus speaks about his betrayer; Judas said, "Surely it is not I?"
Judas was able to conceal his plan from the other disciples, but he wasn't able to conceal it from Jesus. And this allows us to see how Jesus deals with sinners. One of the greatest mysteries of life is the tremendous respect God has for the free will of people.
Tuesday of Holy Week, March 30
Isaiah 49:1-6 / John 13:21-33, 36-38
Jesus talks about betrayal; The disciples were amazed at Jesus' words.
Monday of Holy Week, March 29
Isaiah 42:1-7 / John 12:1-11
William Barclay says of Judas' reaction to Mary's anointing of the feet of Jesus: "Judas had just seen an action of surpassing loveliness; and he called it extravagant waste. He was an embittered man who took an embittered view of things." Judas' reaction illustrates an important fact: "We see things not as they are, but as we are." H. M. Tomlinson
for the Holy Week:
March 29 Monday: Jn 12:1-11: 1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at table with him. 3 Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”
What different story would we be telling today if the unnamed owners of the donkey had refused to give it up? Maybe we would have no story of the triumphal entry, at least not in the way Jesus wanted it. No matter how unknown a person is, he or she can still play a crucial role in the unfolding of God's plan.
Mar 22nd, Monday: John 8: 1-11: 1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple; all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?”
5th Week of Lent, Saturday, March 27
Ezekiel 37:21-28 / John 11:45-56
Jesus does remarkable things: Many people put their trust in him.
There's a scene in My Fair Lady in which Eliza Doolittle grows weary of Freddy's daily letters, telling her how much he loves her. In a burst of frustration, she begins to sing the song "Show Me." In the song she says she's sick of words. She's sick of all this talk of stars "burning above." "If there's really any love burning in your heart, show me." (adapted) Jesus had done everything he could do to show the Jews his love for them. Some Jews eventually saw it and "began to believe in him"; many others did not.
5th Week of Lent, Friday, March 26
Jeremiah 20:10-13 / John 10:31-42
The Jews rebuke Jesus; "You, a man, are making yourself God.”
One night the Philadelphia Orchestra, under the baton of Leopold Stokowski, was performing a Beethoven overture. In it, a part for a trumpet is played offstage. When the time came for the offstage trumpet, there was no sound. Stokowski was furious. Again, the time came for the offstage trumpet. Again, there was only silence. After the overture ended, Stokowski stormed off the stage to find the trumpet player. There he was, his arms pinned to his side by a burly security guard who said, "This nut was trying to play his horn while your concert was going on out there." In a similar way, the people were frustrating God's plan by failing to recognize Jesus' role in it.
Annunciation of the Lord, March 25
Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10 / Hebrews 10:4-10 / Luke 1:26-38
Albeiro Vargas from Columbia became a “father” when he was only a nine-year-old. He was touched by the poor old people around his town. He formed an association of children called Guardian Angels to improve societal treatment of the elderly and create a model for strong intergenerational relations in Colombia through a program that brings children more closely and more regularly into the lives of older people. Beyond the direct engagement of the inter-generational participants, Albeiro pushes for reforms in legislation and national policy that will shift the current societal attitude towards the elderly.
5th Week of Lent, Wednesday, March 24
Daniel 3:14-20, 24-25, 28 / John 8:31-42
Jesus talks about his teaching; "Keep my word and you will know the truth. "
It has been said that some truths can be verified as being truthful only by living them out. Jesus has something like this in mind when he says in today's reading: "If you live according to my teaching…. then you will know the truth." In other words, the truth of what Jesus says will be discovered in the process of living it out. For example, by forgiving your enemy, you discover this is the right thing to do. By praying for those who wrong you, you discover this is the right thing to do. By not passing judgment on your neighbour, you discover this is the right thing to do.
Numbers 21:4-9 / John 8:21-30
Jesus warns the Pharisees; "Where I am going you cannot come. "
When Jesus said, "Where I am going you cannot come," the Pharisees wondered if he was planning to take his own life. Rabbis held that people who took their life went to the deepest part of the nether world. This shows how terribly the Pharisees had misread Jesus and how far from the truth they were. What Jesus actually meant was that he was returning to his Father in heaven. Spiritual blindness is a terrible sin. It implies a deliberate closing of one's eyes to the truth. This seems to have been the situation of the Pharisees. This is why Jesus told the Pharisees, "You will die in your sins."
Daniel 13:41-62 / John 8:12-20
People bring a sinner to Jesus; Jesus forgave the sinner.
These lines by an unknown poet strike a universal chord: "How I wish that there was some wonderful place Called the Land of Beginning Again, Where all our mistakes and all our headaches . . .
Today is St. Patrick’s Day. Most people think of this day as a time for wearing green and that’s about it (unless you’re Irish!). St. Patrick gets relatively little attention on his day, so I thought I might offer a few thoughts in his honor, including a prayer that is attributed to him.
The Greek philosopher Socrates is regarded as one of the wisest men of all time. This man who lived between 470 and 399 BC devoted his life to exposing ignorance, hypocrisy and conceit among his fellow Athenians and calling them to a radical re-examination of life. "The unexamined life," he said, "is not worth living." He challenged popular opinions regarding religion and politics as he sought to bring people to a better understanding of virtue, justice, piety and right conduct.
4th Week of Lent, Saturday, Mar 20
Jeremiah 11:18-20 / John 7:40-52
The crowds speak out about Jesus; Some believed; others did not.
During his presidency Andrew Jackson offered a pardon to a man who had been completely rehabilitated after committing a serious crime.
4th Week of Lent, Thursday, March 18
Exodus 32: 7-14; John 5: 31-47
Jesus speaks to the Jews; "My works testify on my behalf. "
Seventy-nine-year-old Clara Hale has served as the foster mother to over 500 babies.
4th Week of Lent, Wednesday, March 17
Isaiah 49:8-15 / John 5:17-30
Jesus speaks to the people; "I seek not my will but God's."
Hikers and mountain climbers sometimes experience incredible highs. A Swiss hiker describes such a high. It took place on the sixth day of a hike with a group of friends.
4th Week of Lent, Tuesday, Mar 16
Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12 / John 5:1-3, 5-16
Jesus cures a man; The man never gave up hope.
Two frogs accidentally tumbled into a bucket of cream. They thrashed about for an hour, trying to make it up the side of the metal bucket. Exhausted, one of the frogs gasped, "It's no use!"
Lent 4th Week: March 15-20:
March 15 Monday: Jn 4:43-54: USCCB video reflections
4th Week of Lent, Monday, March 15
Isaiah 65:17-21 / John 4:43-54
Jesus saves a man's son; The man trusted Jesus.
Years ago there was a movie called Quo Vadis. Starring Deborah Kerr, it dealt with the persecution of Christians in ancient Rome. One day after a dangerous filming session, a reporter asked Deborah, "Weren't you afraid when the lions rushed you in the arena?" Deborah replied, "Not at all! I'd read the script and I knew I'd be rescued." This is the kind of childlike trust that the royal official had in Jesus' promise: "Your son will live."
3rd Week of Lent, Saturday, March 13
Hosea 5:15 -6:6 / Luke 18:9-14
Jesus rebukes the self-righteous; "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled. "
A young man was very conscious of the fact that he was rather short.
3rd Week of Lent, Friday, March 12
Hosea 14:2-10 / Mark 12:28-34
Jesus talks about love; "Love your neighbor as yourself. "
Author Ardis Whitman was having a hard time recovering from the death of her son. One night her college-aged granddaughter and her granddaughter's boyfriend took Ardis to a nightclub. When the orchestra struck up a memory-laden song, Ardis began to cry.
3rd Week of Lent, Thursday, March 11
Jeremiah 7:23-28 / Luke 11:14-23
People misjudge Jesus; "He drives out devils by Beelzebul."
As a hobby, an elderly couple raised vegetables and kept chickens.
3rd Week of Lent, Wednesday,
Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9 / Matthew 5:17-19
Jesus instructs his disciples: ' 'Whoever teaches others the law is great. "
Clara Feldman is one of the Jews who survived the Nazi Holocaust during World War Il.
After-hours prayerLate in the afternoon, a teenager sneaks into a back pew.
3rd Week of Lent, Tuesday, Mar 9
Daniel 3:25, 34-43 / Matthew 18:21-35
Jesus speaks about forgiveness; "Forgive seventy-seven times."
Tommy Pigage was drunk when he hit and killed Ted Morris of Kentucky. Ted was the only son of Mrs. Elizabeth Morris. The death of her only son left Elizabeth stunned and angry.
Lent 3rd Week: March 8-13:
March 8 Monday (St. John of God, Religious): Lk 4: 24-30: [23 And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, `Physician, heal yourself; what we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here also in your own country.'”] 24 And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country. 25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; 26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 ……30…USCCB video reflections:
3rd Week of Lent, Monday, Mar 8
2 Kings 5:1-15 / Luke 4:24-30
Jesus repeats an old teaching: God is the God of all people.
Sometimes people become so preoccupied with their own problems that they tend to see only themselves. Their vision shrinks and they forget that there are other people in the world.
Stations of the Cross-3
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
2nd Week of Lent, Saturday, Mar 6
Micah 7:14-15, 18-20 / Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
Jesus teaches about forgiveness; "A man had two sons . . . "
A child was born of devout parents. As a young man, however, he not only left home but also abandoned any attachment to the true faith. Ile lived what we would call a wild life and even fathered a son out of wedlock. One person stood by him, his mother.
2nd Week of Lent, Friday, Mar 5
Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28 / Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46
Jesus teaches the people; "Hear another Parable.:
This parable reveals three important points. First, it reveals God's patience. God gave the tenant farmers three chances, even in the face of violence. Second, it reveals Jesus' uniqueness. Jesus is not just another prophet, like the other prophets (slaves).
2nd Week of Lent, Thursday, Mar 4
Jeremiah 17:5-10 / Luke 16:19-31
Jesus talks about concern for the poor; "There was a rich man….
It's instructive to note what the sin of the rich man is in this parable. It's not that he calls the police to have Lazarus removed from his gate.
2nd Week of Lent, Wednesday, Mar 3
Jeremiah 18:18-20 / Matthew 20:17-28
Jesus talks about greatness; "The greatest is the one who serves"
Jesus turns the world's value system upside down. He measures a person's greatness very differently from the way the world does.
THE WORD:The temple is the focus of today’s Gospel. Whereas the Synoptic Gospels place Jesus’ cleansing of the temple immediately after his Palm Sunday entrance into Jerusalem, John places the event early in his Gospel, following Jesus’ first sign at Cana. While the Synoptics recount only one climactic journey to Jerusalem, the Jesus of John’s Gospel makes several trips to the holy city.
March 1 Monday: Lk 6: 36-38: 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” USCCB video reflections:
2nd Week of Lent, Tuesday, Mar 2
Isaiah 1:10, 16-20 / Matthew
Jesus rebukes the Pharisees; "They widen their phylacteries. "
Deuteronomy 6:4-6, 8 reads: "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone!