Thursday, April 18, 2019

⛪The Lord Is Upon... ⛪

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As I Have Done, So You Must Do

Perhaps no action by Pope Francis has generated as much astonishment as his washing the feet of prisoners—men, women, Christian, Muslim. It is a return to what Jesus intended: As I have done, so you must do. The Holy Thursday liturgy is marked by the ritual gesture of the washing of the feet. The central action of service reminds us that our communion is more than a meal, more than nourishment for our bodies and souls. It's the act of taking on the mission, the ministry, the very body of Christ. And it is a challenge to us to remain in communion with one another.

—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek


clickable: The Following is from MorningOffering

†Saint Quote
"One just soul can obtain pardon for a thousand sinners."
— St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

"No one who follows Me will ever walk in darkness (Jn 8:12). These words of our Lord counsel all to walk in His footsteps. If you want to see clearly and avoid blindness of heart, it is His virtues you must imitate. Make it your aim to meditate on the life of Jesus Christ. Christ's teachings surpasses that of all the Saints. But to find this spiritual nourishment you must seek to have the Spirit of Christ. It is because we lack this Spirit that so often we listen to the Gospel without really hearing it. Those who fully understand Christ's words must labor to make their lives conform to His."
— Thomas á Kempis, p.15
The Imitation of Christ


On Thursday of Holy Week (Maundy Thursday) the Church celebrates the three pillars of the Catholic Church instituted by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper: the priesthood, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and the Holy Eucharist. This is the traditional day for priests to gather with their bishop at the Chrism Mass, to receive oils blessed by the bishop and to publicly renew their priestly promises. In the evening the Church celebrates the Mass of the Lord's Supper. After this Mass the altar is stripped bare and the Blessed Sacrament is removed from the Tabernacle and processed to a separate altar of repose. Here the Blessed Sacrament is adored until late in the night to commemorate the time Jesus spent in Garden of Gethsemane in agonizing prayer, the start of his Passion. The Blessed Sacrament is then taken away and hidden until the Easter Vigil in memory of Our Lord's death and burial.
See More About Today's Feast >

"Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed from the housetops."
Luke 12:2-3


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St. Peter of St. Joseph Betancur

or Pedro de San José Betancur (1626-1667), also known as Hermano Pedro, was born into poverty in the Canary Islands. He was a shepherd until the age of 24 at which time he traveled to Guatemala, then the capital of New Spain, hoping to connect with a relative and to begin training to be a priest. The journey so impoverished him that he entered a bread line served by the Franciscans. He took up work in a textile factory and later entered a Jesuit college to study for the priesthood. Being too poor to continue his studies, he instead became a Franciscan tertiary. He dedicated his life to helping the poor and oppressed in jails and hospitals, as well as ministering to African slaves, Native Americans, and anyone else in need. He also founded a hospital, a school for the poor, and a homeless shelter. He also preached to the rich, inviting them to repent of their sins. Because of his effective apostolate he became known as "St. Francis of the Americas." People were attracted to his way of life and followed him, leading to the founding of the Bethlehemite Brothers and Sisters. In addition to serving the poor, they had the charism of special devotion to the Divine Child and the Blessed Virgin, and offered prayer and sacrifices for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Each night St. Peter would carry a heavy wooden cross through the streets as a form of penance and evangelization. It is also said that he was the first to start the Posadas procession during Advent. He died in 1667 and was canonized by Pope St. John Paul II as the first saint from Central America. His feast day is April 18.


Holy Thursday - Chrism Mass

Reading 1 Is 61:1-3a, 6a, 8b-9

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me;
He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly,
to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
and release to the prisoners,
To announce a year of favor from the LORD
and a day of vindication by our God,
to comfort all who mourn;
To place on those who mourn in Zion
a diadem instead of ashes,
To give them oil of gladness in place of mourning,
a glorious mantle instead of a listless spirit.

You yourselves shall be named priests of the LORD,
ministers of our God shall you be called.

I will give them their recompense faithfully,
a lasting covenant I will make with them.
Their descendants shall be renowned among the nations,
and their offspring among the peoples;
All who see them shall acknowledge them
as a race the LORD has blessed.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 89:21-22, 25 and 27
R. (2) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
"I have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him.
That my hand may always be with him;
and that my arm may make him strong."
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
"My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him;
and through my name shall his horn be exalted.
He shall say of me, 'You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior!'"
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Reading 2 Rv 1:5-8

[Grace to you and peace] from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his Blood,
who has made us into a Kingdom, priests for his God and Father,
to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, he is coming amid the clouds,
and every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him.
All the peoples of the earth will lament him.
Yes. Amen.

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God,
"the one who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

Verse Before the Gospel Is 61:1 (cited in Lk 4:18)

The Spirit of the LORD is upon me;
for he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor.

Gospel Lk 4:16-21

Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,

and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
"Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."


Meditation: John 13:1-15

Holy Thursday: Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper

I have given you a model to follow. (John 13:15)

Look at the contrast. The apostles were arguing with each other at the Last Supper, while Jesus was on his knees washing their feet.

The washing of the feet was not a new practice invented by Jesus. It was commonly practiced whenever a person entered a house after a journey. Typically, family members and their guests would wash their own feet. But wealthy people had slaves to do the washing for them.

That's what makes Jesus' gesture so moving. The disciples could have washed their own feet, as they normally would, but Jesus insisted on taking the role of a slave and doing it for them. Let's not forget, also that these were not the elegant, perfumed, well-tended feet of princes. These feet were probably dirty and smelly. No wonder Peter took offense! Jesus, the man he once called "Holy One of God," should never have to do such demeaning work (John 6:69)!

But that's not how Jesus saw it. He wanted the disciples, and us, to see how committed he was to saving us. No sin is so large that it keeps him away. He will do whatever it takes to wash us clean. By washing his disciples' feet, Jesus demonstrated that he came to serve us and to give up his life for our sake.

There was another reason Jesus washed their feet. He told them, "I have given you a model to follow" (John 13:15). He wants all of us to imitate him—especially in the area of offering love, forgiveness, and service. Just as there is no sin too large to be forgiven, there is no task too menial for us to do—especially if it's in the service of someone in need. If Jesus is willing to humble himself and serve us in such a lowly task, we should do what we can for everyone around us. We should be willing to perform even the most unpleasant tasks for the glory of Jesus and the healing of his people.

Today we recall the Last Supper, when Jesus first gave us his Body and Blood. May we be just as willing to offer our lives to the people around us.

"Lord, I want to do for the people around me as you have done for me."

Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
Psalm 116:12-13, 15-18
1 Corinthians 11:23-26



It is perfectly true to say that we are free to sin. But sin does not make us free—that was the promise of the serpent, who was not telling the truth. This is why our freedom stands so much in need of help, in order that it can be realized in the choice of what is good—for our freedom is unstable and at risk. Without the help of other persons and without the help of God, we are helplessly vulnerable to everything that endangers our freedom.
—Christoph Cardinal Schönborn
from Following Jesus Every Day: How Believing Transforms Living


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"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me...".

Did you know the Spirit of the Lord has come upon you in Holy Baptism? Yes. He breathed life into you. Eternity. This is why we must celebrate the new Passover...passing over from death into life eternal! This is why we must remember every detail He asks us to remember. And it begins today.

Let us pray:

"My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him; and through my name shall his horn be exalted. He shall say of me, 'You are my father, my God, the Rock, my savior!'" For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord." God is beautiful. Yet, we fail to see spiritual beauty. What is spiritual beauty? Purity. So much purity resides in Heaven, that no thing unclean can enter, even if it wanted to, it could not. Think of our self and the things that need purification. Let us go forth in Holy Thursday.


In the second reading we heard God's words: ""I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "the one who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." This is a promise. The beginning and the end is coming. The world will vanish like smoke. The clouds will hold One on a plane, and we will ask ourselves..."who am I to stand before the Lord?" Why do I deserve to be even given one breath of life to know Him? Because, His love is expansive. By far His greatest creation involves little beings.

Jesus stood up at the synagogue where He was raised. There in the temple, now a man, grown up, He was given a scroll to read and said at the end ""Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."
It is accomplished.
On the cross He said "It is finished".

I believe in eternity we may be given a grace to see what all He did and its meaning. Holy people that study Jesus are continuously being amazed. This is God revealing Himself. Amazement happens.

I find Holy Thursday amazing. I tried to explain it to my handful of 9th graders last night. I found myself expounding on our Lord's Holy Thursday, beginning with the Passover explanation, from death to life. And then on the Eucharist, giving Himself, and then on the washing of feet, becoming a slave, a servant of all. I said "you know what happens to slaves right? They are often abused, physically and mentally, and taken advantage of, beaten and bruised. Jesus did that. He was beaten severely. The devil unleashed itself on Him. And I said "if you will be leaders and serve the Lord, be prepared to be beaten down with insults and worse". But love wins. You must love more. Jesus got on His knees to wash feet of all those who would betray Him, they would deny Him, and would one would have Him killed. Knowing all this, He still showed the way. All the way to the cross. Today, after Mass, He will be stripped, taken away from us. If you love our Lord in the Eucharist, your heart will be jerked, often tears come out as He is taken away. But it wasn't like that when He actually was taken. Only 3 were at the foot of the cross. Over a thousand jeered and cheered to have Him crucified. Is it like that today? You want the truth?
How often do we deny Christ? That is a jeer. How often are we embarrassed to show Christ to the world? More than we care to admit. That is a backstabbing slash. How often have we used Him and His name?

Then who will be the servant of all?
In my position at work, as general manager, I find myself having to tend to everyone's needs. To one entrusted with much, much is expected. Much love is expected.

Today, me and you will take up our towel, and tomorrow we will take up our cross.
We are one in the body of Christ. I am going to divulge an image, an animation or video I would desire to make. It is of a man trying his heart out to serve his people. He cares so much, and as he reaches out to one particular person, that one yells and screams at the poor holy man. The altercation ends up in a physical altercation....the person spits in the holy man's face...and time stops. In slow motion, you begin to see the person's face change, either he can repent, or turn away in hatred. The holy man's heart is tearing to pieces, why? Because, he doesn't want that person to walk away. "Please don't...go". "Please don't". Please...don't come back and hate me more.
And the story continues.....


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Random Bible Verse1
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (Listen)

19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Thank You Jesus

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