News aggregator

Printer-friendly version

Be servants to one another, pope tells prisoners before washing feet

CBCP News - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 23:18

Pope Francis washes, then kisses, the foot of an inmate during a Holy Thursday celebration at Velletri Correctional Facility, 36 miles south of Rome. CNS/VATICAN MEDIA

By Junno Arocho Esteves

Catholic News Service

April 19, 2019

ROME— Jesus’ gesture of washing his disciples’ feet, an act once reserved to servants and slaves, is one that all Christians, especially bishops, must imitate, Pope Francis told hundreds of inmates and prison employees on Holy Thursday.

“Jesus’ rule and the rule of the Gospel” is to serve others and not “to dominate, do evil or humiliate others,” the pope said April 18 during his homily at the Velletri Correctional Facility, 36 miles south of Rome.

“The church asks the bishop to imitate Jesus’ gesture every year — at least once a year — on Holy Thursday,” he said. “The bishop isn’t the most important (person); the bishop must be the greatest servant. And each one of us must be servants to others.”

Pope Francis celebrated the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the prison and washed the feet of a dozen inmates. Nine were Italian and one each was from Brazil, Ivory Coast and Morocco, the Vatican said.

Vatican News reported the prison houses more than 570 prisoners; 60 percent of those incarcerated are non-Italians.

The Mass was held in the room the prison uses as a theater; it was draped in white curtains. The altar, lectern and a wooden statue of Mary were adorned with white and yellow flowers.

As Pope Francis made his way into the room at the start of the Mass, the detainees were unable to contain their joy. The solemnity of the opening procession was interrupted by the applause and cheers of the detainees upon seeing the pope.

In his brief homily before the foot-washing ritual, the pope told the prisoners that the act of washing one’s feet was a task reserved solely to slaves who would wash the feet of any guests that arrived at the house.

However, Jesus, “who had all the power, he who was the Lord, makes the gesture of a slave,” he said.

“This is brotherhood; brotherhood is always humble; it is to be at the service (of others),” the pope said

Pope Francis also recalled another Gospel reading in which the disciples argued about who was the greatest among them. Jesus’ response to them — that the greatest should serve the least — “is something interesting that we can connect with today’s gesture,” he said.

“We, too, must be servants. It is true that in life there are problems; we argue among ourselves, but this must be something that passes, a passing phase. In our hearts, there must always be this love to serve the other, to be at the service of others,” the pope said.

After Mass, Maria Donata Iannantuono, director of the correctional facility, thanked Pope Francis for his visit. Several inmates and prison employees also presented him with gifts and letters.

As the pope made his way out of the theater, prisoners shouted “Viva il papa” (“Long live the pope”) and applauded loudly.

Pope Francis has made it a tradition to celebrate Holy Thursday with people who could not come to the Vatican or the Basilica of St. John Lateran for the celebrations.

The April 18 Mass marked the fifth time Pope Francis celebrated the Holy Thursday Mass in a detention facility.

His first year as pope in 2013, he chose a juvenile detention facility to celebrate Holy Thursday. The next year, he washed the feet of people with severe physical handicaps at a rehabilitation center. That was followed by men and women detainees at Rome’s Rebibbia prison in 2015, refugees in 2016, inmates at a jail in the Italian town of Paliano in 2017, and prisoners at Rome’s “Regina Coeli” jail in 2018.

Pope to priests: Best place to be is among the people

CBCP News - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 22:59

A deacon pours the fragrances into the vessel filled with oil to make the Chrism. VATICAN MEDIA

By Carol Glatz

Catholic News Service

April 19, 2019

VATICAN— Just as Jesus always sought to be with the people to serve, teach and heal them, so, too, must priests always be in the midst of God’s people, “pouring ourselves out” for them, Pope Francis said.

Being with the people “is the most beautiful place” to be, he told priests during the chrism Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica April 18.

“We must not forget that our evangelical models are those people, the ‘crowd’ with its real faces, which the anointing of the Lord raises up and revives. They are the ones who complete and make real the anointing of the Spirit in ourselves; they are the ones whom we have been anointed to anoint,” he said.

Presiding over the first of two Holy Thursday liturgies, Pope Francis blessed the oils that will be used in the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, ordination and the anointing of the sick. Deacons brought the silver urns, one by one, up to the pope, who breathed over the open vessels, symbolizing the infusion of the Holy Spirit.

As Holy Thursday commemorates the day Jesus shared his priesthood with the apostles, Pope Francis also led the priests, bishops and cardinals present in a renewal of their priestly vows.

He used his homily to reflect on how Jesus related to people, especially the huge crowds that pressed in on him and approached him with their problems, but also were eager to hear his voice and follow him.

From the day he was born, the pope said, Jesus attracted lowly shepherds, kings and wise men, and to the day he was nailed on the cross, his heart drew and still draws people like Veronica, the good thief and a Roman centurion.

The Lord always stood in the middle of the crowd “like a shepherd among his flock,” the pope said, and those who gathered around him were in some way transformed by him.

They received the grace of a desire to follow Jesus and by following him, they received the grace of amazement and affection for him, and they received the grace of being able to discern and recognize his authority, the pope said.

The way Jesus encouraged people to be present, he said, contrasts sharply with the “small-mindedness of the disciples, whose attitude toward the people verges on cruelty when they suggest to the Lord that he send them away so that they can get something to eat.”

“Here, I believe, was the beginning of clericalism: in this desire to be assured of a meal and personal comfort without any concern for the people,” Pope Francis said. But Jesus “cut short that temptation” and told the disciples to feed and take care of the people.

Christ, who is the Word of God made flesh, awakened the charism of discernment in people, whose hearts were moved by “the power of his teaching” and who were amazed how evil spirits obeyed him.

The people also loved how Jesus could leave utterly speechless those who tried to trap him with tricky questions. “They knew how to distinguish” his authority over those who debated him, “and they enjoyed” it.

Jesus also had a special place in his heart, the pope said, for the poor, the oppressed, the blind and those held prisoner.

“Our cities today are taken prisoner not so much at spear point, but by more subtle means of ideological colonization,” he said. “Only the anointing of our own culture, built up by the labor and the art of our forebears, can free our cities from these new forms of slavery.”

The stories in Gospel of the poor and oppressed, their simple acts and enormous faith, “carried weight in the kingdom” and would be recorded in the Gospel, he said.

Priests must remember that “we have been taken from their midst, and we can fearlessly identify with these ordinary people,” Pope Francis said. “They are an image of our soul and an image of the church.”

Priests must see themselves as the poor with their generous hearts, as the blind, who pray, “Lord, that I may see,” and as the oppressed who have been beaten by personal sin but await God’s compassion to then “be able to show compassion to others.”

Referring to their faculty of administering the sacraments and anointing individuals, the pope told priests, “we are not distributors of bottled oil. We anoint by distributing ourselves, distributing our vocation and our heart.”

“When we anoint others, we ourselves are anointed anew by the faith and the affection of our people. We anoint by dirtying our hands in touching the wounds, the sins and the worries of the people. We anoint by perfuming our hands in touching their faith, their hopes, their fidelity and the unconditional generosity of their self-giving,” he said.

A priest who learns how to anoint and bless the way Jesus intended “is thus healed of meanness, abuse and cruelty,” he said.

Pope Francis asked that by being with Jesus “in the midst of our people, may the Father renew deep within us the Spirit of holiness; may he grant that we be one in imploring his mercy for the people entrusted to our care and for all the world.”

Later in the day, the pope was scheduled to celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Velletri Correctional Facility, about 36 miles south of Rome. He was to wash the feet of 12 prisoners, the Vatican said.

April 20 2019

CBCP News - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 22:29
Easter Sunday
The Resurrection of the Lord At the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter

Reading I GN 1:1—2:2

In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,
the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss,
while a mighty wind swept over the waters.

Then God said,
“Let there be light,” and there was light.
God saw how good the light was.
God then separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.”
Thus evening came, and morning followed—the first day.

Then God said,
“Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters,
to separate one body of water from the other.”
And so it happened:
God made the dome,
and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it.
God called the dome “the sky.”
Evening came, and morning followed—the second day.

Then God said,
“Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin,
so that the dry land may appear.”
And so it happened:
the water under the sky was gathered into its basin,
and the dry land appeared.
God called the dry land “the earth, “
and the basin of the water he called “the sea.”
God saw how good it was.
Then God said,
“Let the earth bring forth vegetation:
every kind of plant that bears seed
and every kind of fruit tree on earth
that bears fruit with its seed in it.”
And so it happened:
the earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed
and every kind of fruit tree on earth
that bears fruit with its seed in it.
God saw how good it was.
Evening came, and morning followed—the third day.

Then God said:
“Let there be lights in the dome of the sky,
to separate day from night.
Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years,
and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky,
to shed light upon the earth.”
And so it happened:
God made the two great lights,
the greater one to govern the day,
and the lesser one to govern the night;
and he made the stars.
God set them in the dome of the sky,
to shed light upon the earth,
to govern the day and the night,
and to separate the light from the darkness.
God saw how good it was.
Evening came, and morning followed—the fourth day.

Then God said,
“Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures,
and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky.”
And so it happened:
God created the great sea monsters
and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems,
and all kinds of winged birds.
God saw how good it was, and God blessed them, saying,
“Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas;
and let the birds multiply on the earth.”
Evening came, and morning followed—the fifth day.

Then God said,
“Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures:
cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds.”
And so it happened:
God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle,
and all kinds of creeping things of the earth.
God saw how good it was.
Then God said:
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
the birds of the air, and the cattle,
and over all the wild animals
and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.”
God created man in his image;
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
God blessed them, saying:
“Be fertile and multiply;
fill the earth and subdue it.
Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air,
and all the living things that move on the earth.”
God also said:
“See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth
and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food;
and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air,
and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground,
I give all the green plants for food.”
And so it happened.
God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.
Evening came, and morning followed—the sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed.
Since on the seventh day God was finished
with the work he had been doing,
he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.

Or GN 1:1, 26-31A

In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,
God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
the birds of the air, and the cattle,
and over all the wild animals
and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.”
God created man in his image;
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
God blessed them, saying:
“Be fertile and multiply;
fill the earth and subdue it.
Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air,
and all the living things that move on the earth.”
God also said:
“See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth
and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food;
and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air,
and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground,
I give all the green plants for food.”
And so it happened.
God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good.

Responsorial Psalm PS 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 13-14, 24, 35

R. (30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
You are clothed with majesty and glory,
robed in light as with a cloak.

R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

You fixed the earth upon its foundation,
not to be moved forever;
with the ocean, as with a garment, you covered it;
above the mountains the waters stood.

R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

You send forth springs into the watercourses
that wind among the mountains.
Beside them the birds of heaven dwell;
from among the branches they send forth their song.

R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

You water the mountains from your palace;
the earth is replete with the fruit of your works.
You raise grass for the cattle,
and vegetation for man’s use,
Producing bread from the earth.

R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

How manifold are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you have wrought them all—
the earth is full of your creatures.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!

R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

Or PS 33:4-5, 6-7, 12-13, 20 AND 22

R. (5b) The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.

R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made;
by the breath of his mouth all their host.
He gathers the waters of the sea as in a flask;
in cellars he confines the deep.

R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
From heaven the LORD looks down;
he sees all mankind.

R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.

R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Reading II GN 22:1-18

God put Abraham to the test.
He called to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am, ” he replied.
Then God said:
“Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love,
and go to the land of Moriah.
There you shall offer him up as a holocaust
on a height that I will point out to you.”
Early the next morning Abraham saddled his donkey,
took with him his son Isaac and two of his servants as well,
and with the wood that he had cut for the holocaust,
set out for the place of which God had told him.

On the third day Abraham got sight of the place from afar.
Then he said to his servants:
“Both of you stay here with the donkey,
while the boy and I go on over yonder.
We will worship and then come back to you.”
Thereupon Abraham took the wood for the holocaust
and laid it on his son Isaac’s shoulders,
while he himself carried the fire and the knife.
As the two walked on together, Isaac spoke to his father Abraham:
“Father!” Isaac said.
“Yes, son, ” he replied.
Isaac continued, “Here are the fire and the wood,
but where is the sheep for the holocaust?”
“Son,” Abraham answered,
“God himself will provide the sheep for the holocaust.”
Then the two continued going forward.

When they came to the place of which God had told him,
Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.
Next he tied up his son Isaac,
and put him on top of the wood on the altar.
Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
But the LORD’s messenger called to him from heaven,
“Abraham, Abraham!”
“Here I am!” he answered.
“Do not lay your hand on the boy,” said the messenger.
“Do not do the least thing to him.
I know now how devoted you are to God,
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.”
As Abraham looked about,
he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket.
So he went and took the ram
and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son.
Abraham named the site Yahweh-yireh;
hence people now say, “On the mountain the LORD will see.”

Again the LORD’s messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said:
“I swear by myself, declares the LORD,
that because you acted as you did
in not withholding from me your beloved son,
I will bless you abundantly
and make your descendants as countless
as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore;
your descendants shall take possession
of the gates of their enemies,
and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing–
all this because you obeyed my command.”

Or GN 22:1-2, 9A, 10-13, 15-18

God put Abraham to the test.
He called to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am, ” he replied.
Then God said:
“Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love,
and go to the land of Moriah.
There you shall offer him up as a holocaust
on a height that I will point out to you.”

When they came to the place of which God had told him,
Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.
Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
But the LORD’s messenger called to him from heaven,
“Abraham, Abraham!”
“Here I am, ” he answered.
“Do not lay your hand on the boy, ” said the messenger.
“Do not do the least thing to him.
I know now how devoted you are to God,
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.”
As Abraham looked about,
he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket.
So he went and took the ram
and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son.

Again the LORD’s messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said:
“I swear by myself, declares the LORD,
that because you acted as you did
in not withholding from me your beloved son,
I will bless you abundantly
and make your descendants as countless
as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore;
your descendants shall take possession
of the gates of their enemies,
and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing–
all this because you obeyed my command.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11

R. (1) You are my inheritance, O Lord.

O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.

R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.

R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.

You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.

R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Reading III EX 14:15—15:1

The LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me?
Tell the Israelites to go forward.
And you, lift up your staff and, with hand outstretched over the sea,
split the sea in two,
that the Israelites may pass through it on dry land.
But I will make the Egyptians so obstinate
that they will go in after them.
Then I will receive glory through Pharaoh and all his army,
his chariots and charioteers.
The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD,
when I receive glory through Pharaoh
and his chariots and charioteers.”

The angel of God, who had been leading Israel’s camp,
now moved and went around behind them.
The column of cloud also, leaving the front,
took up its place behind them,
so that it came between the camp of the Egyptians
and that of Israel.
But the cloud now became dark, and thus the night passed
without the rival camps coming any closer together
all night long.
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea,
and the LORD swept the sea
with a strong east wind throughout the night
and so turned it into dry land.
When the water was thus divided,
the Israelites marched into the midst of the sea on dry land,
with the water like a wall to their right and to their left.

The Egyptians followed in pursuit;
all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and charioteers went after them
right into the midst of the sea.
In the night watch just before dawn
the LORD cast through the column of the fiery cloud
upon the Egyptian force a glance that threw it into a panic;
and he so clogged their chariot wheels
that they could hardly drive.
With that the Egyptians sounded the retreat before Israel,
because the LORD was fighting for them against the Egyptians.

Then the LORD told Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea,
that the water may flow back upon the Egyptians,
upon their chariots and their charioteers.”
So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea,
and at dawn the sea flowed back to its normal depth.
The Egyptians were fleeing head on toward the sea,
when the LORD hurled them into its midst.
As the water flowed back,
it covered the chariots and the charioteers of Pharaoh’s whole army
which had followed the Israelites into the sea.
Not a single one of them escaped.
But the Israelites had marched on dry land
through the midst of the sea,
with the water like a wall to their right and to their left.
Thus the LORD saved Israel on that day
from the power of the Egyptians.
When Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the seashore
and beheld the great power that the LORD
had shown against the Egyptians,
they feared the LORD and believed in him and in his servant Moses.

Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD:
I will sing to the LORD, for he is gloriously triumphant;
horse and chariot he has cast into the sea.

Responsorial Psalm EX 15:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 17-18

R. (1b) Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.

I will sing to the LORD, for he is gloriously triumphant;
horse and chariot he has cast into the sea.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
He is my God, I praise him;
the God of my father, I extol him.

R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.

The LORD is a warrior,
LORD is his name!
Pharaoh’s chariots and army he hurled into the sea;
the elite of his officers were submerged in the Red Sea.

R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.

The flood waters covered them,
they sank into the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, O LORD, magnificent in power,
your right hand, O LORD, has shattered the enemy.

R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.

You brought in the people you redeemed
and planted them on the mountain of your inheritance
the place where you made your seat, O LORD,
the sanctuary, LORD, which your hands established.
The LORD shall reign forever and ever.

R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.

Reading IV IS 54:5-14

The One who has become your husband is your Maker;
his name is the LORD of hosts;
your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,
called God of all the earth.
The LORD calls you back,
like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
a wife married in youth and then cast off,
says your God.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with great tenderness I will take you back.
In an outburst of wrath, for a moment
I hid my face from you;
but with enduring love I take pity on you,
says the LORD, your redeemer.
This is for me like the days of Noah,
when I swore that the waters of Noah
should never again deluge the earth;
so I have sworn not to be angry with you,
or to rebuke you.
Though the mountains leave their place
and the hills be shaken,
my love shall never leave you
nor my covenant of peace be shaken,
says the LORD, who has mercy on you.
O afflicted one, storm-battered and unconsoled,
I lay your pavements in carnelians,
and your foundations in sapphires;
I will make your battlements of rubies,
your gates of carbuncles,
and all your walls of precious stones.
All your children shall be taught by the LORD,
and great shall be the peace of your children.
In justice shall you be established,
far from the fear of oppression,
where destruction cannot come near you.

Responsorial Psalm PS 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13

R. (2a) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the netherworld;
you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.

R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
but with the dawn, rejoicing.

R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
O LORD, be my helper.
You changed my mourning into dancing;
O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.

R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

Reading V IS 55:1-11

Thus says the LORD:
All you who are thirsty,
come to the water!
You who have no money,
come, receive grain and eat;
come, without paying and without cost,
drink wine and milk!
Why spend your money for what is not bread,
your wages for what fails to satisfy?
Heed me, and you shall eat well,
you shall delight in rich fare.
Come to me heedfully,
listen, that you may have life.
I will renew with you the everlasting covenant,
the benefits assured to David.
As I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander of nations,
so shall you summon a nation you knew not,
and nations that knew you not shall run to you,
because of the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, who has glorified you.

Seek the LORD while he may be found,
call him while he is near.
Let the scoundrel forsake his way,
and the wicked man his thoughts;
let him turn to the LORD for mercy;
to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
As high as the heavens are above the earth,
so high are my ways above your ways
and my thoughts above your thoughts.

For just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
and do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
so shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
my word shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.

Responsorial Psalm IS 12:2-3, 4, 5-6

R. (3) You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.

R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.

R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!

R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

Reading VI BAR 3:9-15, 32C4:4

Hear, O Israel, the commandments of life:
listen, and know prudence!
How is it, Israel,
that you are in the land of your foes,
grown old in a foreign land,
defiled with the dead,
accounted with those destined for the netherworld?
You have forsaken the fountain of wisdom!
Had you walked in the way of God,
you would have dwelt in enduring peace.
Learn where prudence is,
where strength, where understanding;
that you may know also
where are length of days, and life,
where light of the eyes, and peace.
Who has found the place of wisdom,
who has entered into her treasuries?

The One who knows all things knows her;
he has probed her by his knowledge–
The One who established the earth for all time,
and filled it with four-footed beasts;
he who dismisses the light, and it departs,
calls it, and it obeys him trembling;
before whom the stars at their posts
shine and rejoice;
when he calls them, they answer, “Here we are!”
shining with joy for their Maker.
Such is our God;
no other is to be compared to him:
he has traced out the whole way of understanding,
and has given her to Jacob, his servant,
to Israel, his beloved son.

Since then she has appeared on earth,
and moved among people.
She is the book of the precepts of God,
the law that endures forever;
all who cling to her will live,
but those will die who forsake her.
Turn, O Jacob, and receive her:
walk by her light toward splendor.
Give not your glory to another,
your privileges to an alien race.
Blessed are we, O Israel;
for what pleases God is known to us!

Responsorial Psalm PS 19:8, 9, 10, 11

R. (John 6:68c) Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.

The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
the decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.

R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.

The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.

R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.

The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
the ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.

R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.

They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.

R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.

Reading VII EZ 36:16-17A, 18-28

The word of the LORD came to me, saying:
Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their land,
they defiled it by their conduct and deeds.
Therefore I poured out my fury upon them
because of the blood that they poured out on the ground,
and because they defiled it with idols.
I scattered them among the nations,
dispersing them over foreign lands;
according to their conduct and deeds I judged them.
But when they came among the nations wherever they came,
they served to profane my holy name,
because it was said of them: “These are the people of the LORD,
yet they had to leave their land.”
So I have relented because of my holy name
which the house of Israel profaned
among the nations where they came.
Therefore say to the house of Israel: Thus says the Lord GOD:
Not for your sakes do I act, house of Israel,
but for the sake of my holy name,
which you profaned among the nations to which you came.
I will prove the holiness of my great name, profaned among the nations,
in whose midst you have profaned it.
Thus the nations shall know that I am the LORD, says the Lord GOD,
when in their sight I prove my holiness through you.
For I will take you away from among the nations,
gather you from all the foreign lands,
and bring you back to your own land.
I will sprinkle clean water upon you
to cleanse you from all your impurities,
and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you,
taking from your bodies your stony hearts
and giving you natural hearts.
I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes,
careful to observe my decrees.
You shall live in the land I gave your fathers;
you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Responsorial Psalm PS 42:3, 5; 43:3, 4

When baptism is celebrated.

R. (42:2) Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.

Athirst is my soul for God, the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?

R. Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.

I went with the throng
and led them in procession to the house of God,
Amid loud cries of joy and thanksgiving,
with the multitude keeping festival.

R. Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.

Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling-place.

R. Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.

Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;
then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God!

R. Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.

 

Or IS 12:2-3, 4BCD, 5-6

When baptism is not celebrated.

R. (3) You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.

R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.

R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!

R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

Or PS 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19

When baptism is not celebrated

R. (12a) Create a clean heart in me, O God.

A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.

R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you.

R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a holocaust, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

Epistle ROM 6:3-11

Brothers and sisters:
Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus
were baptized into his death?
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death,
so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead
by the glory of the Father,
we too might live in newness of life.

For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his,
we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.
We know that our old self was crucified with him,
so that our sinful body might be done away with,
that we might no longer be in slavery to sin.
For a dead person has been absolved from sin.
If, then, we have died with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with him.
We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more;
death no longer has power over him.
As to his death, he died to sin once and for all;
as to his life, he lives for God.
Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as being dead to sin
and living for God in Christ Jesus.

Gospel LK 24:1-12

At daybreak on the first day of the week
the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus
took the spices they had prepared
and went to the tomb.
They found the stone rolled away from the tomb;
but when they entered,
they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
While they were puzzling over this, behold,
two men in dazzling garments appeared to them.
They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground.
They said to them,
“Why do you seek the living one among the dead?
He is not here, but he has been raised.
Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee,
that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners
and be crucified, and rise on the third day.”
And they remembered his words.
Then they returned from the tomb
and announced all these things to the eleven
and to all the others.
The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James;
the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles,
but their story seemed like nonsense
and they did not believe them.
But Peter got up and ran to the tomb,
bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone;
then he went home amazed at what had happened.

Today's Readings Homilies

Good Friday procession

CBCP News - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 22:03

By Johann Mangussad
April 19, 2019

Altar boys carrying a cross are silhouetted during a procession around the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) Reservation in Muntinlupa City on Good Friday, April 19.

Veneration of the Santo Entierro

CBCP News - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 21:35

By Roy Lagarde
April 19, 2019

Catholics venerate the Santo Entierro or the image of the dead Jesus Christ at the San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila on Good Friday, April 19.

Cardinal Tagle tells youth: Face your upsets, never lose hope

CBCP News - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 14:38

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle washes the feet of 12 young people during the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Manila Cathedral. ROY LAGARDE

By CBCPNews

April 19, 2019

Manila, Philippines

Ushering in Holy Week, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle celebrated Mass of the Last Supper with a message on hope to young people.

In his homily, he urged young people to face their fears with courage, and follow Jesus’ example of reaching put to the poor and suffering.

“Be compassionate, not self-focused. Be a servant rather than wait to be served. Love others and not just expect to be loved,” Tagle said.

The cardinal acknowledged how hard it is to talk about hope when family problems, injustice, poverty and misery are pervasive.

Yet, he told them, the youth must be agents of hope, unafraid to believe in God’s mercy.

“Even when the stresses of life have made you doubt whether you’re loved, believe that Jesus loves you,” Tagle told the crowd at a jam-packed Manila Cathedral.

“And He can wash not only your feet but your wounds and your history. Jesus wants you to be His friend,” he said.

The church official then trained his attention to the parents and the elders, asking them to guide the young people, especially in troubled times.

“To those who have responsibilities in society, the youth should be guided, not exploited. They should be loved, not sold, not fooled, not taken advantaged of for profit,” he added.

During the liturgy, the cardinal also washed the feet of 12 young adults including a person with cerebral palsy, two foreign missionaries, and a married couple.

The twelve were chosen in line with the Year of the Youth celebrated by the Catholic Church in the Philippines.

In view of the coming midterm elections, the cardinal washed the feet of a first-time voter and a parish-based poll-watch volunteer.

The washing of the feet commemorates Jesus Christ’s “mandatum” to love one another as he has loved.

Via Crucis

CBCP News - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 12:47

By Elmarc Lim
April 19, 2019

Hundreds of worshippers participate in a traditional Via Crucis, or the Way of the Cross, procession at the Baclaran Church compound on Good Friday, April 19.

April 19 2019

CBCP News - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 00:36
Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion

Reading 1 IS 52:13—53:12

See, my servant shall prosper,
he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.
Even as many were amazed at himC
so marred was his look beyond human semblance
and his appearance beyond that of the sons of manC
so shall he startle many nations,
because of him kings shall stand speechless;
for those who have not been told shall see,
those who have not heard shall ponder it.

Who would believe what we have heard?
To whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
He grew up like a sapling before him,
like a shoot from the parched earth;
there was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him,
nor appearance that would attract us to him.
He was spurned and avoided by people,
a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity,
one of those from whom people hide their faces,
spurned, and we held him in no esteem.

Yet it was our infirmities that he bore,
our sufferings that he endured,
while we thought of him as stricken,
as one smitten by God and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our offenses,
crushed for our sins;
upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole,
by his stripes we were healed.
We had all gone astray like sheep,
each following his own way;
but the LORD laid upon him
the guilt of us all.

Though he was harshly treated, he submitted
and opened not his mouth;
like a lamb led to the slaughter
or a sheep before the shearers,
he was silent and opened not his mouth.
Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away,
and who would have thought any more of his destiny?
When he was cut off from the land of the living,
and smitten for the sin of his people,
a grave was assigned him among the wicked
and a burial place with evildoers,
though he had done no wrong
nor spoken any falsehood.
But the LORD was pleased
to crush him in infirmity.

If he gives his life as an offering for sin,
he shall see his descendants in a long life,
and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him.

Because of his affliction
he shall see the light in fullness of days;
through his suffering, my servant shall justify many,
and their guilt he shall bear.
Therefore I will give him his portion among the great,
and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty,
because he surrendered himself to death
and was counted among the wicked;
and he shall take away the sins of many,
and win pardon for their offenses.

Responsorial Psalm PS 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25

R. (Lk 23:46) Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.

R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

For all my foes I am an object of reproach,
a laughingstock to my neighbors, and a dread to my friends;
they who see me abroad flee from me.
I am forgotten like the unremembered dead;
I am like a dish that is broken.

R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

But my trust is in you, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.
In your hands is my destiny; rescue me
from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.”

R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
Take courage and be stouthearted,
all you who hope in the LORD.

R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

Reading 2 HEB 4:14-16; 5:7-9

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus, the Son of God,
let us hold fast to our confession.
For we do not have a high priest
who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
but one who has similarly been tested in every way,
yet without sin.
So let us confidently approach the throne of grace
to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.

In the days when Christ was in the flesh,
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
to the one who was able to save him from death,
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Verse Before The Gospel PHIL 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 other name.

Gospel JN 18:1—19:42

Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley
to where there was a garden,
into which he and his disciples entered.
Judas his betrayer also knew the place,
because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.
So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards
from the chief priests and the Pharisees
and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him,
went out and said to them, “Whom are you looking for?”
They answered him, “Jesus the Nazorean.”
He said to them, “I AM.”
Judas his betrayer was also with them.
When he said to them, “I AM, “
they turned away and fell to the ground.
So he again asked them,
“Whom are you looking for?”
They said, “Jesus the Nazorean.”
Jesus answered,
“I told you that I AM.
So if you are looking for me, let these men go.”
This was to fulfill what he had said,
“I have not lost any of those you gave me.”
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it,
struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear.
The slave’s name was Malchus.
Jesus said to Peter,
“Put your sword into its scabbard.
Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?”

So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus,
bound him, and brought him to Annas first.
He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas,
who was high priest that year.
It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews
that it was better that one man should die rather than the people.

Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.
Now the other disciple was known to the high priest,
and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus.
But Peter stood at the gate outside.
So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest,
went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in.
Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter,
“You are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?”
He said, “I am not.”
Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire
that they had made, because it was cold,
and were warming themselves.
Peter was also standing there keeping warm.

The high priest questioned Jesus
about his disciples and about his doctrine.
Jesus answered him,
“I have spoken publicly to the world.
I have always taught in a synagogue
or in the temple area where all the Jews gather,
and in secret I have said nothing. Why ask me?
Ask those who heard me what I said to them.
They know what I said.”
When he had said this,
one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said,
“Is this the way you answer the high priest?”
Jesus answered him,
“If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong;
but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”
Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm.
And they said to him,
“You are not one of his disciples, are you?”
He denied it and said,
“I am not.”
One of the slaves of the high priest,
a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said,
“Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?”
Again Peter denied it.
And immediately the cock crowed.

Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium.
It was morning.
And they themselves did not enter the praetorium,
in order not to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover.
So Pilate came out to them and said,
“What charge do you bring against this man?”
They answered and said to him,
“If he were not a criminal,
we would not have handed him over to you.”
At this, Pilate said to them,
“Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law.”
The Jews answered him,
“We do not have the right to execute anyone, “
in order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled
that he said indicating the kind of death he would die.
So Pilate went back into the praetorium
and summoned Jesus and said to him,
“Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered,
“Do you say this on your own
or have others told you about me?”
Pilate answered,
“I am not a Jew, am I?
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?”
Jesus answered,
“My kingdom does not belong to this world.
If my kingdom did belong to this world,
my attendants would be fighting
to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.
But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”
So Pilate said to him,
“Then you are a king?”
Jesus answered,
“You say I am a king.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

When he had said this,
he again went out to the Jews and said to them,
“I find no guilt in him.
But you have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at Passover.
Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”
They cried out again,
“Not this one but Barabbas!”
Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.
And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head,
and clothed him in a purple cloak,
and they came to him and said,
“Hail, King of the Jews!”
And they struck him repeatedly.
Once more Pilate went out and said to them,
“Look, I am bringing him out to you,
so that you may know that I find no guilt in him.”
So Jesus came out,
wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak.
And he said to them, “Behold, the man!”
When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out,
“Crucify him, crucify him!”
Pilate said to them,
“Take him yourselves and crucify him.
I find no guilt in him.”
The Jews answered,
“We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die,
because he made himself the Son of God.”
Now when Pilate heard this statement,
he became even more afraid,
and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus,
“Where are you from?”
Jesus did not answer him.
So Pilate said to him,
“Do you not speak to me?
Do you not know that I have power to release you
and I have power to crucify you?”
Jesus answered him,
“You would have no power over me
if it had not been given to you from above.
For this reason the one who handed me over to you
has the greater sin.”
Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out,
“If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar.
Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”

When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out
and seated him on the judge’s bench
in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon.
And he said to the Jews,
“Behold, your king!”
They cried out,
“Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!”
Pilate said to them,
“Shall I crucify your king?”
The chief priests answered,
“We have no king but Caesar.”
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross himself,
he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull,
in Hebrew, Golgotha.
There they crucified him, and with him two others,
one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross.
It read,
“Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.”
Now many of the Jews read this inscription,
because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city;
and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.
So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate,
“Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’
but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews’.”
Pilate answered,
“What I have written, I have written.”

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus,
they took his clothes and divided them into four shares,
a share for each soldier.
They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless,
woven in one piece from the top down.
So they said to one another,
“Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be, “
in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says:
They divided my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.
This is what the soldiers did.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple,
“Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

After this, aware that everything was now finished,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
Jesus said, “I thirst.”
There was a vessel filled with common wine.
So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop
and put it up to his mouth.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said,
“It is finished.”
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

Now since it was preparation day,
in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath,
for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one,
the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken
and that they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first
and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead,
they did not break his legs,
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,
and immediately blood and water flowed out.
An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true;
he knows that he is speaking the truth,
so that you also may come to believe.
For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled:
Not a bone of it will be broken.
And again another passage says:
They will look upon him whom they have pierced.

After this, Joseph of Arimathea,
secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews,
asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus.
And Pilate permitted it.
So he came and took his body.
Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night,
also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes
weighing about one hundred pounds.
They took the body of Jesus
and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices,
according to the Jewish burial custom.
Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden,
and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried.
So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day;
for the tomb was close by.

Today's Readings Homilies

Archbishop Soc calls priests to be ‘real witnesses’ despite threats

CBCP News - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 21:56

Archbishop Socrates Villegas breaths over chrism oil as he celebrates the Chrism Mass at the St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in Dagupan City on Holy Thursday, April 18. SCREENSHOT/SABINS STUDIO

By Roy Lagarde

April 18, 2019

Manila, Philippines

Priests are called to face “these dreary times of darkness” by being “real witnesses” to “an angry disbelieving society,” an archbishop said on Holy Thursday.

Those priests, said Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, should also not be afraid to die or be killed for the Lord.

“Brother priests, make friends with death. Let death not threaten you,” Villegas said in his Chrism Mass homily at the St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in Dagupan City.

“The call to the priesthood is a call to die. It is clear. There is no priesthood without victimhood,” he said.

To drive his point, the archbishop said that there’s nothing surprising with priests being threatened with death.

In the first place, he said that priests should not have accepted ordination if they were afraid to die or be killed.

“Death is not a threat. It is our destiny,” said Villegas, who is also a former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

“To be killed is not a defeat of our mission. Martyrdom is the crowning glory of our mission,” he said.

As part of the liturgy, Villegas blessed the oils of the sick, catechumens and holy chrism, which priests will use in the administration of sacraments throughout the archdiocese for the year.

The priests also reaffirmed their promises that they are committed to being faithful stewards of the Gospel and servants of their people.

The archbishop was among the bishops and priests who received death threats for being critical of the government’s brutal war on drugs.

However, Villegas said that they must be priests “for all season, priests for sunny middays and dark midnights”.

“We must confront with holy anger the more than thirty thousand senseless murders of the poor in the name of a false drug-free society,” he added.

“We must exorcise the creeping culture of vulgarity, obscenity, lewd jokes and lack of good breeding, with the humble power of the Crucified Lord.”

“We must not fear suffering rebukes, being calumniated, forgotten, ridiculed, wronged or suspected,” he also said.

Below is the full text of the homily delivered by Archbishop Villegas at the Mass of Holy Chrism at Saint John the Evangelist Cathedral in Dagupan City on Holy Thursday:

Is death a threat?

Have you ever received a death threat as priests? Were you ever a recipient of an anonymous letter or a text message threatening you with a bullet shot for doing the work of God? Were you ever threatened with a false media expose against your good name because you stood for the truth and you stood for the Lord? Did you ever receive a threat that a religious procession will be bombed or a prayer rally will be disrupted to scare the people whom you invited from attending? Were you ever cursed for simply ringing church bells to pray for the killed?

Were you surprised? Were you scared? Did you consider hiding and stopping your work as priests? Did you cry alone? Did you pray? Did you ask the Lord “What have I done to deserve this?”

Wait…

Have you forgotten Queen Jezebel threatening Elijah “Now I am going to kill you! I pray that the gods will punish me even more severely if I don’t do it by this time tomorrow.”(1 Kings 19:2)

Did they not threaten the prophet Jeremiah “This man should be sentenced to death because he has prophesied against this city. You have heard it with your own ears!” (Jer 26:11)

There is nothing surprising with priests being threatened with death. We should not have accepted ordination if we were afraid to die or be killed for the Lord. It is destiny. It is fate. Guhit ng palad ng kaparian.

To be threatened with violence is an opportunity of grace as the Lord admonished us “You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me.” (Mt 10:18)

The Lord’s words to Peter are addressed to us also “Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” (Jn 21:18-19).

Death is not a threat. It is our destiny. To be killed is not a defeat of our mission. Martyrdom is the crowning glory of our mission. Daily we celebrate the memory of the death and rising of the Lord. Daily we must share in that mystery so that when we die, our death will only be a fitting crown of our daily dying for the Lord. We are seeds and when we are buried we give life (cfr Jn 12:24)

We must be priests for all seasons, priests for sunny middays and dark midnights. “Into each life some rain must fall, some days must be dark and dreary” said Henry Longfellow. We may have to go through these dreary times of darkness but behind the clouds the sun is still shining. Death is our mission and in our death the world receives life. We have been through better times when priests were revered, trusted and esteemed. Those days seem to be behind us but we are still here serving as priests in season and out of season. Sometimes it is not death. Sometimes the threat is spreading calumny. If they cannot kill us by the bullet, they kill our reputation instead. We are called many names—sex addicts, child predators, priest playboys, priest gamblers, priest husbands—the litany is endless. It is tiring and annoying. It is wearisome and fatiguing.

We face the next two years, leading to the half millennium of the first Mass and first baptism within our shores, and who confronts us? We are sent to an angry disbelieving society. We are priests sent to a nation whose leader mocks God and calls Him stupid. The bishop’s mother is derided as a prostitute and there is a marching order to kill any bishop you see. All priests are sex maniacs and piety is ridiculed. Honesty is optional and delicadeza is outdated. To top it all, our Catholic faithful are clapping and campaigning for his enablers to win the elections. “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless” said Bonhoeffer.

We must face this angry and disbelieving society with the witness of our faith and say with Peter “We must obey God rather than men”. (Acts 29:5) “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel”. (1Cor 9:16) We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus (2Cor 4:8-10).

We must confront with holy anger the more than thirty thousand senseless murders of the poor in the name of a false drug-free society, with our courage to face death eyeball to eyeball and declare “Death where is your sting? Grave where is your victory? No weapon formed against us will prosper. The gates of hell won’t stand.”

We must exorcise the creeping culture of vulgarity, obscenity, lewd jokes and lack of good breeding, with the humble power of the Crucified Lord. We must not fear suffering rebukes, being calumniated, forgotten, ridiculed, wronged or suspected. “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Mt 10:28).

We must reject the father of lies and prince of darkness by the courage to stand up for the truth, the bravery to shield it from deception and fake news. Bring the fight not just in the pulpit but on social media and in the plaza. Flood social media with the power of love. Make good manners fragrant and attractive. Make them see the mercy of God on Facebook. “They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them”. (Mk 16:18).

“A church that does not provoke any crises, a gospel that does not unsettle, a word of God that does not get under anyone’s skin, a word of God that does not touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed–What gospel is that? You can tell the people that if they succeed in killing me, that I forgive and bless those who do it. Hopefully, they will realize they are wasting their time. A bishop will die, but the Church of God, which is the people, will never perish,” said Saint Oscar Romero.

Brother priests, make friends with death. Let death not threaten you. The call to the priesthood is a call to die. It is clear. There is no priesthood without victimhood. We would be fake priests if we separated the Upper Room from Calvary.

Priests of God, make friends with death, do not fear it. These times demand courage, much courage. When future generations write this episode of our history, may they see us on the right side of the story, that when we were given a chance to die, we stepped forward and embraced our martyrdom!

April 18 2019 – Evening Mass

CBCP News - Wed, 04/17/2019 - 23:58
Holy Thursday – Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Reading 1 EX 12:1-8, 11-14

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,
“This month shall stand at the head of your calendar;
you shall reckon it the first month of the year.
Tell the whole community of Israel:
On the tenth of this month every one of your families
must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household.
If a family is too small for a whole lamb,
it shall join the nearest household in procuring one
and shall share in the lamb
in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it.
The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish.
You may take it from either the sheep or the goats.
You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month,
and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present,
it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight.
They shall take some of its blood
and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel
of every house in which they partake of the lamb.
That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh
with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

“This is how you are to eat it:
with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand,
you shall eat like those who are in flight.
It is the Passover of the LORD.
For on this same night I will go through Egypt,
striking down every firstborn of the land, both man and beast,
and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt—I, the LORD!
But the blood will mark the houses where you are.
Seeing the blood, I will pass over you;
thus, when I strike the land of Egypt,
no destructive blow will come upon you.

“This day shall be a memorial feast for you,
which all your generations shall celebrate
with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 116:12-13, 15-16BC, 17-18

R. (cf. 1 Cor 10:16) Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.

How shall I make a return to the LORD
for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.

R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.

Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.

R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.

To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.

R. Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.

Reading 2 1 COR 11:23-26

Brothers and sisters:
I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Verse Before The Gospel JN 13:34

I give you a new commandment, says the Lord:
love one another as I have loved you.

Gospel JN 13:1-15

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper,
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin
and began to wash the disciples’ feet
and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
“Master, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“What I am doing, you do not understand now,
but you will understand later.”
Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him,
“Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Simon Peter said to him,
“Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”
Jesus said to him,
“Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
for he is clean all over;
so you are clean, but not all.”
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

So when he had washed their feet
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
you ought to wash one another’s feet.
I have given you a model to follow,
so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”

Today's Readings Homilies

Bishop warns Catholics of ‘The Book of Truth’

CBCP News - Wed, 04/17/2019 - 17:24

By CBCP News

April 17, 2019

San Carlos City, Negros Occidental

A Catholic bishop has warned the faithful against a group whose prayer life, beliefs and teachings are based on “The Book of Truth”.

Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos said that he never endorsed such group and the book by a woman who calls herself “Maria Divine Mercy” is not something to believe in.

“The message of Maria Divine Mercy is not to be taken seriously, discussed or distributed within the Diocese of San Carlos,” said Alminaza in a circular issued on April 15.

He said the book contains some teachings which are “very contrary” to the Catholic faith.

The author asserts to have predicted Pope Benedict’s resignation ahead.

She also claims he will be the last pope on earth, that the next pontiff is a false prophet, and that the Second Coming is about to occur.

“And adherence to such teachings would lead on to confusion and eventually being led astray to what our Magisterium upholds,” Alminaza said.

Hope from the ashes: President, archbishop vow to rebuild Notre Dame

CBCP News - Wed, 04/17/2019 - 15:42

Scaffolding surrounds a section of Notre Dame Cathedral April 16, 2019, after a fire broke out in Paris. Officials said the cause was not clear, but that the April 15 blaze could be linked to renovation work. PAUL HARING/CNS

By Cindy Wooden

Catholic News Service

April 17, 2019

ROME— The president of France and the archbishop of Paris have vowed to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral after a devastating fire, continuing what a professor of architecture described as the natural lifecycle of a historic building.

Steven W. Semes, a professor and director of graduate studies in the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, said he was as shocked and pained as everyone watching on television as the building burned April 15.

“Like all historic monuments,” he said, Notre Dame Cathedral is “the result of hundreds and hundreds of years of development” with an initial idea, a long and labor-intensive construction process, design changes, additions, demolitions and remodeling over and over again as fashions and usages change.

So, from the initial construction, which began in 1160, the cathedral “was transformed multiple times,” he told Catholic News Service in Rome, where he regularly teaches. When one looked at Notre Dame before the fire, “we weren’t seeing the cathedral as it was built, we were seeing it through layers of change.”

“Buildings and cities do change through time,” Semes said. “We wouldn’t go see a painting by Rembrandt that four people had painted over, but we look at almost any historic building and we see something that has been restored multiple times — sometimes restored in a way very faithful to an early state and sometimes not.”

“One thing about buildings and cities is that they are more like natural phenomena than other art works. Think of a forest. You can have a fire in a forest, but then it comes to life again,” he said. “Buildings are resilient.”

“Hope springs from seeing monuments that have endured,” even though they almost never remain unchanged, Semes said.

“A lot of people are feeling today, ‘We can’t do it again’ or ‘It can’t be restored,'” and while that would be true of a painting, the professor said, “we do have the skills to restore this building.”

“Obviously, a big fire has a big impact,” he said, but even for nonbelievers, there is a sensitivity to the fact that Notre Dame Cathedral was not just a treasure of Gothic architecture.

“Notre Dame was truly a work of devotion,” he said. “Think about it — how large the building was compared to everything else in the city, the attention, the loving care that went into making it, ornamenting it and maintaining it. This is truly an act of devotion; it is a kind of sacramental.”

The building as a church “speaks to people,” whether they are believers, he said, pointing to similar reactions in 2015 when a massive earthquake in Nepal toppled Buddhist statues and monuments. “We feel these things even if we are not personally involved in that particular tradition.”

The key to understanding Notre Dame Cathedral was summarized by Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit in a television interview in the wee hours of April 16: “Why was this beauty built? What jewel was this case meant to contain? Not the crown of thorns (a relic saved from the fire), but a piece of bread that we believe is the body of Christ.”

Pope Francis, in a message April 16 to Archbishop Aupetit, expressed his solidarity with the sadness of Parisians, calling Notre Dame “an architectural jewel of a collective memory, the gathering place for many major events, the witness of the faith and prayer of Catholics in the city.”

The pope also expressed his confidence that the cathedral would be rebuilt and continue its vocation as “a sign of the faith of those who built it, the mother church of your diocese, (and) the architectural and spiritual heritage of Paris, France and humanity.”

Antoine-Marie Izoard, editor of the French Catholic magazine Famille Chretienne, told CNS, “That this happened at the beginning of Holy Week makes it even more striking and calls us to Christian hope.”

“Last night, Catholics, members of other religions and nonbelievers united around this strong symbol in the heart of Paris,” he said April 16. “It was very striking to see Catholics praying around the cathedral for the firefighters battling the flames.”

Add to that French President Emmanuel Macron’s determination to rebuild, he said, and “we realize once again that the Christian roots of the country are still at the heart of France.”

Italian Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, told reporters April 16 that while Notre Dame, like other French cathedrals, is state property, “it remains a living creature in which the liturgy is celebrated, encounters of faith occur and even nonbelievers enter to make a tour of beauty.”

The prayerful, tearful public vigils that took place as the fire burned, he said, demonstrated how “the great cathedrals and basilicas really are living bodies.”

And, the cardinal said, Notre Dame is not just a living sign of religiosity, but is “the heart, the beating heart” of Paris.

Pope urges students to fight their addiction to phones

CBCP News - Wed, 04/17/2019 - 15:34

Pope Francis greets people during an audience with students and staff from Ennio Quirino Visconti Lyceum-Gymnasium, a school in Rome, at the Vatican April 13, 2019. The pope encouraged high school students to break their phone addiction and spend more time on real communication and moments of personal reflection. CNS/VATICAN MEDIA

By Carol Glatz

Catholic News Service

April 17, 2019

VATICAN— Pope Francis told high school students to break their phone addiction and spend more time on real communication with others and in moments of quiet, personal reflection.

Young people need to learn about “healthy introspection” so they can listen to their conscience and be able to distinguish it “from the voices of selfishness and hedonism,” he said.

The pope made his remarks April 13 during an audience with teachers, students and their family members from Rome’s oldest classical lyceum — the Ennio Quirino Visconti Lyceum-Gymnasium. Some notable alumni include Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII, and Jesuit Father Matteo Ricci.

The pope told the high school students to “please, free yourselves from your phone addiction!”

Looking up at his audience as they applauded, the pope said he knew they were aware of the many forms and problems of addiction. But, he warned, an addiction to one’s mobile phone was something “very subtle.”

“Mobile phones are a great help, it marks great progress. It should be used, and it is wonderful everyone knows how to use it” for the “wonderful” activity of communication, he said.

“But when you become a slave to your phone, you lose your freedom,” he said.

“Be careful because there is danger that this drug — when the phone is a drug — the danger of communication being reduced to simple ‘contacts'” and not true communication with others, he said to more applause.

He told them to not be afraid of silence and to learn to listen to or write down what is going on inside their heart and head.

“It is more than a science, it is wisdom, so as to not become a piece of paper” that moves in whatever direction the wind blows, he said.

The pope also told the teenagers that God gave everyone the ability to love.

“Don’t dirty it” with shameful behavior, but rather, love “cleanly” with modesty, fidelity, respect and a big generous heart.

“Love is not a game. Love is the most beautiful thing God gave us,” he told them, so be vigilant, protect people’s dignity and defend “authentic love, so as not to trivialize the language of the body.”

He asked them to help their school remain free from all forms of bullying and aggression, which are “the seeds of war.”

And he encouraged them to reject mediocrity and indifference, and instead, “dream big,” living with passion and embracing diversity.

“Dialogue among different cultures, different people, enriches a nation, enriches one’s homeland,” he said. It helps people move forward in mutual respect and be able to see the world is “for everyone, not just for some.”

Cardinal Tagle: Value dignity over money

CBCP News - Wed, 04/17/2019 - 15:19
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle visits a shanty community in Manila’s Tondo district on Wednesday, April 17. CBCP NEWS

By Roy Lagarde

April 17, 2019

Manila, Philippines

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle visited a shanty community in Manila on Wednesday and urged its dwellers not to fall prey to the allure of money at the expense of one’s dignity.

Speaking during a Mass at the Parola Compound in the city’s Tondo district, he urged them to resist the idolatry of wealth because it is a betrayal similar to what Judas Iscariot did to Jesus.

He said that behind these sowers of discord and divisions are 30 pieces of silver, which often times are hiding behind good intentions.

“I hope that our generation will stop this kind of betrayal wherein people are sold for materials and money,” Tagle said in his homily.

The cardinal also said that money does not make a person rich, “character does”.

According to him, there are lots of wealthy people but are impoverished in character.

“In the end, your character is your true wealth and it’s priceless,” said Tagle.

Dozens of people attended the Mass held in a makeshift tent built beside the Pasig River.

The church official arrived at the area riding an e-trike coming from the nearby Nuestra Señora de la Soledad Parish Church.

After the liturgical celebration, Cardinal Tagle joined the people and a group of parish volunteers for lunch.

Cardinal Tagle last visited the area in 2015 after a large fire that swept through the community.

<b></b><br

Articles from Columbia - Thu, 11/17/2011 - 03:16

A Shield for Families

Articles from Columbia - Thu, 11/17/2011 - 03:16
by Tom Tracy
The Order's fraternal benefits help families find security for themselves and future generations

Ethics and Profitability

Articles from Columbia - Thu, 11/17/2011 - 03:16
by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
Catholic social teaching and Father McGivney’s vision demonstrate that a business can be both ethical and successful

All in a Day’s Work

Articles from Columbia - Thu, 11/17/2011 - 03:16
by Gerald Korson
Knights of Columbus agents respond to a call to help others secure their financial future and plan for the unexpected

My Brother’s Keeper

Articles from Columbia - Thu, 11/17/2011 - 03:16
by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson
Charity and unity, not selfishness and relativism, provide the basis for economic stability

Morality, Freedom and Human Dignity

Articles from Columbia - Thu, 11/17/2011 - 03:16
by Supreme Chaplain Bishop William E. Lori
Christian life and morality lead to, rather than take away from, true freedom and happiness
Syndicate content

Father of Knights of Columbus in the Philippines

 

Get your daily Knights of Columbus Philippines RSS feeds here!

Syndicate content