It's a good idea to reflect regularly on the wonderful qualities of Our Lord—his great power, unconditional love, approachability, and so on. Let's not take the Lord of the universe, our Redeemer and Savior, for granted!
Feast Day: March 22 Born: 16 March 1878 at Dinklage Castle, Lower Saxony, Germany Died: 22 March 1946 at Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany Beatification: 9 October 2005, Saint Peter's Plaza, Vatican, by Pope Benedict XVI
Clemens August von Galen was born on 16 March 1878 in Dinklage Castle, Oldenburg, Germany, the 11th of 13 children born to Count Ferdinand Heribert and Elisabeth von Spee.
His father belonged to the noble family of Westphalia, who since 1660 governed the village of Dinklage. For over two centuries his ancestors carried out the inherited office of camerlengo of the Diocese of Münster.
Clemens August grew up in Dinklage Castle and in other family seats. Due to the struggle between Church and State, he and his brothers were sent to a school run by the Jesuits in Feldkirch, Austria.
He remained there until 1894, when he transferred to the Antonianum in Vechta. After graduation, he studied philosophy and theology in Frebur, Innsbruck and Münster, and was ordained a priest on 28 May 1904 for the Diocese of Munster by Bishop Hermann Dingelstadt.
Dear Lord help me to be open to you for this time as I put aside the cares of this world. Fill my thoughts with your peace, your love.
Thank you for the gift of freedom, Lord. Grant that I may always choose to follow You. Keep me ever mindful of your ways. Of your love and concern for all people.
Where do I sense hope, encouragement, and growth areas in my life? By looking back over the last few months, I may be able to see which activities and occasions have produced rich fruit. If I do notice such areas, I will determine to give those areas both time and space in the future.
The Word of God
Tuesday of Holy Week
Reading 1 Is 49:1-6
Hear me, O islands, listen, O distant peoples. The LORD called me from birth, from my mother's womb he gave me my name. He made of me a sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm. He made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me. You are my servant, he said to me, Israel, through whom I show my glory.
Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, Yet my reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God. For now the LORD has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb, That Jacob may be brought back to him and Israel gathered to him; And I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD, and my God is now my strength! It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.
Responsorial Psalm PS 71:1-2, 3-4a, 5ab-6ab, 15 and 17
R. (see 15ab) I will sing of your salvation.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me, and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are my rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
For you are my hope, O Lord; my trust, O God, from my youth. On you I depend from birth; from my mother's womb you are my strength.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
R. I will sing of your salvation.
Verse Before the Gospel
Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father; you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter.
Gospel Jn 13:21-33, 36-38
Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified, "Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me." The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant. One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus' side. So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant. He leaned back against Jesus' chest and said to him, "Master, who is it?" Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it." So he dipped the morsel and took it and handed it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot. After Judas took the morsel, Satan entered him. So Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly." Now none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him. Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him, "Buy what we need for the feast," or to give something to the poor. So Judas took the morsel and left at once. And it was night.
When he had left, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, 'Where I go you cannot come,' so now I say it to you."
Simon Peter said to him, "Master, where are you going?" Jesus answered him, "Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you will follow later." Peter said to him, "Master, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times."
Some thoughts on today's scripture:
▪ Two treacheries: Judas went out to grab his money, betray Jesus, and kill himself in despair. Peter despite his protests would deny his Lord; he faced his own appalling guilt, wept bitterly, and his failure was not the end of his mission, but the beginning.
▪ Success is what I do with my failures. Teach me to trust in your love, Lord, and to learn from my mistakes and treacheries.
Betrayal is the ultimate let-down. Judas, once the friend, is now the one who hands Jesus over, and in handing over Jesus, hands over the other disciples into a world of shared betrayal. All left Jesus in very understandable fear. Betrayal is calculated and planned, not like the denial of Peter later. In Holy Week prayer we enter into the betrayal of Jesus, and in the compassion of our heart, sympathise with him, and offer ourselves as best we can as companions and partners in his suffering and death.
Peter hit deep points of his life here. His sureness of following Jesus was challenged by Jesus himself. He would later find himself weak and failing in this following. But this would not be the last word; even when Peter said later that he didn't know Jesus, there would be time for taking it back and speaking it with his life. We oscillate in our following of the Lord; these days let us know in the certainty of Jesus' love that there is always another day, another chance, another joy in our following of Jesus.
Following Jesus requires recognising how he chooses, where he goes, what he might do or say. I take time during these days to consider deeply what is in Jesus' heart and how, even when he is in turmoil, his thoughts are for his friends.
Peter's best intentions were not matched by his performance. I know what that is like. I allow myself to be forgiven by God and to be trusted still to act in Jesus name.
Sometimes I wonder what I might say if I were to meet you in person Lord. I think I might say "Thank You Lord" for always being there for me. I know with certainty there were times when you carried me, Lord. When it was through your strength I got through the dark times in my life.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
He dipped the morsel and took it and handed it to Judas. (John 13:26)
Imagine how Jesus must have grieved to see that someone he called a friend had conspired against him: "Even my trusted friend, who ate my bread, has raised his heel against me" (Psalm 41:10).
Earlier, in the synagogue in Capernaum, when Jesus declared that he was the bread of life, many of his followers had turned away from him. Even then he knew that Judas would betray him (John 6:70-71).
Later, when he washed the disciples' feet at the Last Supper, it's possible that Jesus had hoped this expression of love would win Judas over. In the ancient world, it was a sign of favor when the host offered a choice piece of food to a guest. So maybe, during the meal, Jesus was appealing to Judas one last time when he offered "the morsel" to him (13:26). But Judas refused these offers of reconciliation and friendship and held to his plans.
Luke tells us that Judas was present when Jesus blessed the bread and wine, offering his own Body and Blood to his disciples (Luke 22:19-21). So Judas probably received the first Eucharist. But even this didn't affect him.
What a powerful lesson for us! St. Thomas Aquinas once wrote of the Eucharist, "No other sacrament has greater healing power; through it sins are purged away, virtues are increased, and the soul is enriched with an abundance of every spiritual gift." And yet Aquinas also taught that it is essential for us to receive Jesus with faith if we want to experience all these gifts. How sad that Judas, because of his lack of faith, was not helped by the Eucharist he had received!
Don't let this happen to you! Holy Thursday—the day when we commemorate the first Eucharist—is only two days away. Try to spend some time before then examining your heart and asking how you can increase your expectation and desire for Jesus. Every time you receive Communion, you are receiving him. So what do you need him to do for you?
"Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, and yet you come to me anyway. Build up my faith so that I can be filled with every grace and blessing at Mass."
my2cents: From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "...now the LORD has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb" and what He says next through the prophet is prophetic of course "That Jacob may be brought back to him and Israel gathered to him; And I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD", a full restoration He implores from us, so that one thing may be true and truth be shown through His people "I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth". If I shine the light on you, perhaps you will shine the light on those near you. It is a flame that engulfs the world and fulfills the desire of our Lord when Jesus says ""I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already ablaze (burning)!" Lk12:49. The Holy Psalms we pray today say: " I will sing of your salvation. For you are my hope, O Lord; my trust, O God, from my youth. On you I depend from birth; from my mother's womb you are my strength." Chosen, we are. Again with the womb thing, and rightly so, for again it says in the bible "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." PS139:13 and it is because before He made us earthly, He knew us Heavenly. Stay on that note as we listen to the Holy Gospel. The Lord's supper, the Holy Eucharist takes place, and that very night which is Holy Thursday, the Lord takes the bread, breaks it and says ""This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me." And from that day forth, the Apostles become the priests and bishops and to today we are serving this Amazing bread that can tremendously bless, yet tremendously confound a soul. It depends on the heart which you receive Him with. For if you go in disgrace, in mortal sin, then you solidify your death to eternal life. For if you receive the Lord worthy, in a state of grace, cleansed, the edifying effect is complete solidarity in Heaven. Today, Judas takes the bread of Christ and death is solidified manifested into reality. How many times have you ever received the bread, and instead of going out to bless you curse and fight? How many times have you received the bread from the hands of the Lord and left unfazed, no awe, no wonder, no gratification, no gratitude, just solidified in nothingness a neutrality open to darkness. Or how many times have you left after receiving Him in the state of Grace and felt completely full, full of joy, full of strength, just filled with the love of God in Heaven? This is the solidity, the solidarity the Lord seeks and desire for us all in the world, to be the light for all nations. What's crazy is that this Eucharist actually makes some people literally glow. The light is there, where are you taking it? Stay for the final blessing in Mass. Judas left before receiving a blessing at the table of plenty. Stay. Jesus didn't tell Judas to leave at once, He simply said ""What you are going to do, do quickly." and the opened doors to evil made this a misunderstanding in the soul of Judas. This is what happens when one is not in the state of Grace and open to darkness. This is why we must stay until Jesus says "GO" and this is the sending forth part of the Mass, not the end, but the beginning. Would you ever leave the meal your Father which he prepares (Himself), and dash out without saying thanks or letting HIM have the last word, of blessings? Of commands? Of a mission setting? So many times I would go off into the night as a teenager on weekends, and my mom wouldn't let me go without blessing me. Perhaps that is a reason I survived various accidents and close-calls. The Lord desires what's best if we will wait for Him and with Him. Patience means to suffer it out. Love means to love more than the other. Self interest has no place in this realm, in His Kingdom. The good thief says "Lord remember me when you enter your Kingdom". It was perhaps some of the most sweetest words the Lord heard hanging on the cross and dying, and He turns to His son, His child, his brother, flesh of His flesh and says "of course, we are dying together, and now your death will become life with me...today, you will be with Me in paradise" and He took Him with Him. To paradise...WITH HIM