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Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Mt 6:33

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    Christ the King Destruction of the temple = Facing fears and persevere filled with hope

    Not God of the Dead, God of the living Zacchaeus today salvation has come to this house

    Pharisee and the Tax Collector - The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor

    Persistence and helping each other live faithfully

    Spiritual cleansing - ten were made clean only one came back - gratitude

    Big faith is found in the smallest of things

    Rich Man and Lazarus

    Unjust Steward - The person who is trustworthy in small matters will also be trustworthy in big ones

    God’s Concern for the Lost

    Cost of Discipleship

    Crosses to bear and Narrow Gate Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary

    Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, was from the very beginning free from the taint of original sin, the minds of the faithful were filled with a stronger hope that the day might soon come when the dogma of the Virgin Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven would also be defined by the Church's supreme teaching authority.

    The Liturgy on the 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time prepares us in a certain way for the Solemnity of Mary's Assumption into Heaven, which we will be celebrating on 15 August. Indeed, it is fully oriented to the future, to Heaven, where the Blessed Virgin Mary has preceded us in the joy of Paradise.

    In particular, the Gospel passage, continuing last Sunday's message, asks Christians to detach themselves from material goods, which are for the most part illusory, and to do their duty faithfully, constantly aspiring to Heaven. May the believer remain alert and watchful to be ready to welcome Jesus when he comes in his glory.

    By means of examples taken from everyday life, the Lord exhorts his disciples, that is, us, to live with this inner disposition, like those servants in the parable who were waiting for their master's return. "Blessed are those servants", he said, "whom the master finds awake when he comes" (Lk 12: 37). We must therefore watch, praying and doing good.

    It is true, we are all travellers on earth, as the Second Reading of today's liturgy from the Letter to the Hebrews appropriately reminds us. It presents Abraham to us in the clothes of a pilgrim, as a nomad who lives in a tent and sojourns in a foreign land. He has faith to guide him.

    "By faith", the sacred author wrote, "Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was to go" (Heb 11: 8).

    Indeed, Abraham's true destination was "the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (11: 10). The city to which he was alluding is not in this world but is the heavenly Jerusalem, Paradise.

    This was well known to the primitive Christian community, which considered itself "alien" here below and called its populated nucleuses in the cities "parishes", which means, precisely, colonies of foreigners [in Greek, pároikoi] (cf. I Pt 2: 11). In this way, the first Christians expressed the most important characteristic of the Church, which is precisely the tension of living in this life in light of Heaven.

    Today's Liturgy of the Word, therefore, desires to invite us to think of "the life of the world to come", as we repeat every time we make our profession of faith with the Creed. It is an invitation to spend our life wisely and with foresight, to consider attentively our destiny, in other words, those realities which we call final: death, the last judgement, eternity, hell and Heaven. And it is exactly in this way that we assume responsibility for the world and build a better world.

    May the Virgin Mary, who watches over us from Heaven, help us not to forget that here on earth we are only passing through, and may she teach us to prepare ourselves to encounter Jesus, who is "seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead". source: vatican.va

    Be rich in what matters to God and don’t store up treasures for yourself.

    Seek and you will find knock and the door will be opened

    Previously... The Gospel episode of Jesus' visit to the house of Martha and Mary (cf. Lk 10: 38-42). While Martha is totally taken up with household tasks, Mary is seated at the Master's feet listening to his word. Christ affirms that Mary "has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her" (Lk 10: 42). Listening to the Word of God is the most important thing in our lives.

    Christ is always in our midst and desires to speak to our hearts. We can listen to him by meditating with faith on Sacred Scripture, by recollection in private and communal prayer, by silent meditation before the Tabernacle, from which he speaks to us of his love.

    Christians, especially on Sundays, are called to meet and listen to the Lord. This happens most completely through participation in Holy Mass, during which Christ prepares the banquet of the Word and of the Bread of Life for the faithful. But other moments of prayer and reflection, of rest and brotherhood, can also be profitably combined to make the Lord's Day holy.

    When, through the action of the Holy Spirit, God takes up his dwelling in the heart of the believer, it becomes easier for him/her to serve the brethren. This is what happened in a unique and perfect way in Mary Most Holy. To her we entrust this vacation period, to make the most of it as a favourable time to rediscover the primacy of the interior life.

    The Church is God's family in the world. In this family no one ought to go without the necessities of life. Yet at the same time caritas- agape extends beyond the frontiers of the Church. The parable of the Good Samaritan remains as a standard which imposes universal love towards the needy whom we encounter “by chance” (cf. Lk 10:31), whoever they may be. Without in any way detracting from this commandment of universal love, the Church also has a specific responsibility: within the ecclesial family no member should suffer through being in need. The teaching of the Letter to the Galatians is emphatic: “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (6:10). source:vatican.va In the sending of the seventy-two, Jesus confirms that through his disciples, and those who would come to believe in him through their word, his peace and the news that “the kingdom of God has come near to you” would be proclaimed to the world. At their joyful return, despite rejection, Jesus rejoices at their success in the submission of the evil spirits in his name: the message is never to cease, never to give up.

    God’s will is for his people to be one. Like the Christians in Thessalonika, we are urged to “rejoice always” and “pray without ceasing”, trusting that as we commit ourselves wholly to working with God, his purpose of unity will finally be fulfilled.



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    "Religion is not a Technology!" - There needs to be a personal relationship there. - Father Ted Tyler
    If the close relationship between the Last Supper and the mystery of Jesus' death on the Cross is emphasized on Holy Thursday, today, the Feast of Corpus Christi, with the procession and unanimous adoration of the Eucharist, attention is called to the fact that Christ sacrificed himself for all humanity. His passing among the houses and along the streets of our city will be for those who live there an offering of joy, eternal life, peace and love.

    In the Gospel passage, a second element catches one's eye: the miracle worked by the Lord contains an explicit invitation to each person to make his own contribution. The two fish and five loaves signify our contribution, poor but necessary, which he transforms into a gift of love for all.

    "Christ continues today" I wrote in the above-mentioned Post Synodal Exhortation, "to exhort his disciples to become personally engaged" (Sacramentum Caritatis, n. 88).

    Thus, the Eucharist is a call to holiness and to the gift of oneself to one's brethren: "Each of us is truly called, together with Jesus, to be bread broken for the life of the world".

    source: vatican.va


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  • Loving Means Acting Like The Good Samaritan

    Today, for example, the liturgy invites us to reflect on the famous Parable of the Good Samaritan (cf. Lk 10: 25-37), which introduces us into the heart of the Gospel message: love for God and love for neighbour. But the person speaking to Jesus asks: who is my neighbour? And the Lord answers by reversing the question and showing through the account of the Good Samaritan that each one of us must make himself close to every person he meets: "Go and do likewise" (Lk 10: 37).

    Loving, Jesus says, means acting like the Good Samaritan. And we know that he himself is the Good Samaritan par excellence; although he was God, he did not hesitate to humble himself to the point of becoming a man and giving his life for us.

    Love is therefore the "heart" of Christian life; indeed, love alone, awakened in us by the Holy Spirit, makes us Christ's witnesses.
    source:vatican.va


  • Texts of St. Josemaría:

    Our Lady was a guest at one of those noisy country weddings attended by people from many different villages. Mary was the only one who noticed the wine was running out. Don’t these scenes from Christ’s life seem familiar to us? The greatness of God lives at the level of ordinary things. It is natural for a woman, a homemaker, to notice an oversight, to look after the little things that make life pleasant. And that is how Mary acted.

    “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5)

    If our faith is weak, we should turn to Mary. Because of the miracle at the marriage feast at Cana, which Christ performed at his Mother’s request, his disciples learned to believe in him (cf. John 2:11). Our Mother is always interceding with her Son so that he may attend to our needs and show himself to us, so that we can cry out, “You are the Son of God.”

    Grant me, dear Jesus, the faith I truly desire. My Mother, sweet Lady, Mary most holy, make me really believe! (Holy Rosary–Appendix, Wedding Feast at Cana)

    The Christian apostolate — and I’m talking about an ordinary Christian living as just one more man or woman among equals — is a great work of teaching. Through real, personal, loyal friendship, you create in others a hunger for God and you help them to discover new horizons — naturally, simply. With the example of your faith lived to the full, with a loving word, which is full of the force of divine truth.

    Be daring. Count on the help of Mary, queen of apostles. Without ceasing to be a mother, Our Lady is able to get each of her children to face his own responsibilities. Mary always does the immense favor of bringing to the cross, of placing face to face with the example of the Son of God, those who come close to her and contemplate her life. It is in this confrontation that Christian life is decided. And here Mary intercedes for us so that our behavior may lead to a reconciliation of the younger brother — you and me — with the firstborn Son of the Father.

    Many conversions, many decisions to give oneself to the service of God have been preceded by an encounter with Mary. Our Lady has encouraged us to look for God, to desire to change, to lead a new life. And so the “Do whatever he tells you” has turned into real self-giving, into a Christian vocation, which from then on enlightens all our personal life. (Christ is Passing By, 149)

    opusdei.us

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    • Don't Go Back and Forth October 9, 2014
      Thursday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time. As much as it may be difficult, Father Dave reminds us to try not to go back and forth too much. (Preached on Thursday, October 09, 2014, 12:15pm, St. Malachy's Church, New York City)
    • Lambs Among The Wolves October 2, 2014
      Memorial of the Guardian Angels.  Are we lambs among the wolves? Do we have any protection? Shepherd perhaps? (Preached on Thursday, October 02, 2014, 12:15pm, St. Malachy's Church, New York City)
    • God's Back-Up Plan September 28, 2014
      Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Does God have a back-up plan?? (Preached on Sunday, September 28, 2014, St. Paul the Apostle Church, New York City)
    • Choose the Psalmist Way September 25, 2014
      Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time. What does it mean to choose the Psalmist way? Father Dave will help you break it down. (Preached on Thursday, September 25, 2014, 12:15pm, St. Malachy's Church, New York City)
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    • Saints of Our Lives, ep. 9 October 20, 2014
      Saints of Our Lives is Team Busted Halo acting out the lives of the saints in soap opera fashion for your educational and entertainment pleasure. In this episode of Saints of Our Lives, we dramatize the life of St. Martin de Porres.  The Busted Halo Show with Father Dave Dwyer is on SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Channel 129, Monday through Thursday, 7:00pm to 10 […]
    • Church's Response to Domestic Violence October 14, 2014
      We have been hearing a lot recently about domestic violence, but what can the church do to stop it? Our next guest this evening is an expert on the issue, Dr. Tricia Bent-Goodley. A professor at Howard University and world-class international researcher, Dr. Bent-Goodley serves as an advisor on the Archdiocese of Washington’s Family Peace Project headed by M […]
    • Father Dave's Big 50th Birthday Bash! (Pt. 2/2) October 8, 2014
      Here it is! Father Dave's big 50th birthday bash on The Busted Halo Show! This is part 2 of 2, close to another full hour! This hour includes special appearances by Father Jim Martin, Gus Lloyd and a live studio audience! We also take a listen to Father Dave's old MTV audition tapes and his mother's notes for his babysitter! Ha! Celebrate with […]
    • Father Dave's Big 50th Birthday Bash! October 1, 2014
      Here it is! Father Dave's big 50th birthday bash on The Busted Halo Show! This is part 1 of 2, close to a full hour! This hour includes special appearances by Cardinal Edward Egan, Father Jonathan Morris, Lino Rulli, Father Steven Bell, Jackie Francois and live studio audience! Celebrate with us! The Busted Halo Show with Father Dave Dwyer is on SiriusX […]
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  • Ordinary Time Prayer

    Heavenly Father You are the One from Whom every family derives its origin. Grant that, in keeping with Your glorious riches we may be strengthened with power through the Spirit for the development of our inner selves. Help us to develop our natural potentialities to the full while at the same time growing in Your likeness to Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen Lord Jesus I know that all human relations take time if they are to grow and deepen. This is also true of my relations with You, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which must grow over the course of my life. However, this growth is not automatic; time alone means nothing unless I add earnest efforts to it. You have inspired Your Church to set aside special times when this growth can develop more intensely - the special seasons of the Church Year. If I fail to move toward You during these times, I waste precious opportunities and endanger my spiritual life. Help me to take them seriously and make a real attempt to use them well, so that I may grow into the person You want me to be. New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book Lenten Prayer Almighty and Everlasting God,
    You have given the human race
    Jesus Christ our Savior as a model of humility.
    He fulfilled Your Will by becoming Man
    And giving His life on the Cross.
    Help us to bear witness to You
    By following His example of suffering
    And make us worthy to share in His Resurrection.
    We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son.

    Amen.
    Our Father...
    MARY, Mother of Jesus,
    you were Jesus’ gift for us from the Cross.
    He gave you to us as our mother.
    Intercede for all our needs.
    Hail Mary...
    Glory Be...


  • Advent Prayer

    This Advent season, as you celebrate the season of waiting for the Lord, use this prayer each week as you light the candles of your Advent wreath. Lord, our God, we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ: He is Emmanuel, the hope of all people, He is the wisdom that teaches and guides us, He is the Savior of every nation. Lord God, let your blessing come upon us as we light the candles of this Advent wreath. May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen. -www.catholicmom.com
  • The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light

    pope benedict address to diplomatic core - vatican.va As a new year begins, our own hearts and the entire world continue to echo the joyful message proclaimed twenty centuries ago in the night of Bethlehem, a night which symbolizes humanity’s deep need for light, love and peace. To the men and women of that time, as to those of our own day, the heavenly hosts brought the good news of the coming of the Saviour: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined” (Is 9:1). The mystery of the Son of God who became the son of man truly surpasses all human expectations. In its absolute gratuitousness this saving event is the authentic and full response to the deep desire of every heart. The truth, goodness, happiness and abundant life which each man and woman consciously or unconsciously seeks are given to us by God. In longing for these gifts, each person is seeking his Creator, for “God alone responds to the yearning present in the heart of every man and woman” (Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini, 23). Humanity throughout history, in its beliefs and rituals, demonstrates a constant search for God and “these forms of religious expression are so universal that one may well call man a religious being” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 28). The religious dimension is an undeniable and irrepressible feature of man’s being and acting, the measure of the fulfilment of his destiny and of the building up of the community to which he belongs. Consequently, when the individual himself or those around him neglect or deny this fundamental dimension, imbalances and conflicts arise at all levels, both personal and interpersonal.
  • Each of us has dignity

    The Parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Prodigal Son are reminders that each one of us has dignity and are worth everything to God who wants a relationship with us and for us to be happy forever.
  • The Multitudes Were Following After Him

    The crowds were following Jesus when he turned around and made them think about something. Easy is it to follow him when it is convenient. Hard is it to follow him when doing so will cause us discomfort. Sometimes doing the right thing will cause us some discomfort but it is the cross that we are asked to bear.
  • Narrow Gate

    There is a question that has always nagged believers: Will there be many or few people saved? During certain periods this problem became so acute as to cause some people terrible anxiety.

    This Sunday's Gospel informs us that Jesus himself was once asked this question. "Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, 'Lord, will only a few people be saved?'"

    The question, as we see, focuses on the number -- How many will be saved? Will it be many or few? In answering the question, Jesus shifts the focus from "how many" to "how" to be saved, that is, by entering "through the narrow gate."

    We see this same attitude in regard to Jesus' second coming. The disciples ask "when" the return of the Son of Man will happen and Jesus answers indicating "how" we should prepare ourselves for that return, and what to do during the time of waiting (cf. Matthew 24:3-4).

    Jesus' way of responding to these questions is not strange or discourteous. He is just acting in the way of one who wants to teach his disciples how to move from a life of curiosity to one of true wisdom; from the allure of idle questions to the real problems we need to grapple with in life.

    From this we already see the absurdity of those who, like the Jehovah Witnesses, believe they know the precise number of the saved: 144,000.

    This number, which recurs in the Book of Revelations has a purely symbolic value (the square of 12 -- the number of the tribes of Israel -- multiplied by 1,000) and is explained by the expression that immediately follows: "A great multitude that no man could number" (Revelations 7:4, 9).

    Above all, if 144,000 is really the number, then we can both close up shop. Above the gate to heaven there must be a sign like the ones parking lots put up: "Full."

    If, therefore, Jesus is not so much interested in revealing to us the number of the saved as he is in telling us how to be saved, we can understand what he is trying to tell us here. In substance, there are two things: one negative and the other positive.

    It is useless, or rather it is not enough, to belong to a certain ethnic group, race, tradition, or institution, not even the chosen people from whom the Savior himself comes. What puts us on the road to salvation is not a title of ownership ("We ate and drank in your presence..."), but a personal decision, followed by a consistent way of life. This is even more clear in Matthew's text which contrasts two ways and two gates, one narrow and the other wide (cf. Matthew 7:13-14).

    Why are these ways respectively called "narrow" and "wide"? Is it perhaps that the way of evil is always easy and pleasant to follow and the way of goodness always hard and tiresome?

    Here we must be careful not to cede to the usual temptation of believing that here below everything goes magnificently well for the wicked and everything goes terribly for the good.

    The way of the wicked is wide, but only at the beginning. As one goes down this way it gradually becomes narrow and bitter. In any case, it becomes very narrow at the end because it finishes in a blind alley.

    The joy that is experienced in it has the characteristic of diminishing more and more as one tastes it, and it finally causes nausea and sadness. We see this in certain forms of intoxication experienced in drugs, alcohol and sex. A larger dose or stronger stimulation is needed each time to produce pleasure of the same intensity.

    Finally the organism no longer responds and it begins to break down, even physically.

    The way of the just is instead narrow at the beginning, when one starts off on it, but it then becomes a spacious boulevard because hope, joy and peace of heart are found in it.

    Father Cantalamessa

  • Faithfully Waiting

    Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

    Be watchful for you know not the day nor the hour

    You also must be ready for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour

    To whom much is given much will be expected

    Keep your lamps burning

    Watchful Servants/Faithful or Unfaithful Servant

    Are you faithful to God?

  • Thoughts on Greed

    Greed and envy focus a person on self. Those who pursue wealth seek security and safety. They use their riches to shield themselves from life's vicissitudes and to find comfort and confidence in material things. In the pursuit of wealth they lose sight of the real meaning of life because they are seduced by the illusion that with their fortune they can control their lives. Yet one day everyone will die - possessions cannot protect against that day. source: Catholic-Bible-School.org

    Novena Prayer to St Martha "St. Martha, I resort to thy protection and aid and as a proof of my affection and faith I offer this light which I shall burn every Tuesday. Comfort me in all my difficulties and through the great favor thou didst enjoy when the Savior was lodged in thy house,. Intercede for my family that we may always hold God in our hearts, and that we may be provided for in all our necessities, I ask, St. Martha, to overcome all difficulties as thou didst overcome the dragon at thy feet."

  • Pope Benedict XVI on the sinful woman redeemed by love

    The manner in which she chose to come before Jesus, bathing his feet with tears and drying them with her hair, kissing them and sprinkling scented oil upon them, was done to shock those who viewed people in her condition with the merciless eye of the judge. What is striking, on the other hand, is the tenderness with which Jesus treated this woman, exploited and judged by so many. In Jesus she found at last a pure eye, a heart capable of loving without exploiting. In the gaze and heart of Jesus she received the revelation of God-Love!

    To avoid any misunderstanding, it should be noted that Jesus' mercy was not expressed by putting moral law in parentheses. For Jesus, good is good and evil is evil. Mercy does not change the connotations of sin but consumes it in a fire of love.



  • Life is not just a succession of events or experiences; it is a search for the true, the good, and the beautiful. It is to this end that we make our choices; it is for this that we exercise our freedom; it is in this - in truth, in goodness, and in beauty - that we find happiness and joy. -PB16 Message for the 43rd World Communications Day May 24, 2009


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      Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR w/ Fr. Andrew Smalls: : --- Fr. Andrew Smalls, National Director of Pontifical Mission Societies, discusses mission churches throughout the world.
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      Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ w/ Fr. Joseph and F. DeKarlos Blackmon: : --- Fr. Mitch welcomes Fr. Joseph Mary Wolfe and F. DeKarlos Blackmon, CEO of The Knights of St. Peter Claver Apostolate, which is the largest and oldest African-American Catholic fraternal organization.
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      Fr. Mark w/ Dan Burke, Jeanette De Melo and Peter Jesserer: : --- Dan Burke, Jeanette De Melo and Peter Jesserer join Fr. Mark and Doug to discuss the power of spreading the truth about the Church in an increasingly hostile culture.
    • The World Over -- 10/24/2014 October 24, 2014
      Raymond Arroyo w/ FR. GERALD MURRAY: : --- FR. GERALD MURRAY, canon lawyer and pastor of the Church of the Holy Family in New York City and FR. ROBERT SIRICO, president of the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty join us for a discussion of the recently concluded Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family in Rome and a look ahead to the […]
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      Brian Patrick: : --- What’s the best tactic to contain Ebola? – Wyatt Goolsby reports on the pressing question. Midterms are 8 days away – we focus on key races for the pro-life cause with Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser. Jason Calvi reports on new information about the school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram and we discuss these findings with Emm […]
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      Brian Patrick: : --- Ebola remains a top priority at the White House and Pentagon today – we speak with a health care adviser on whether quarantines are effective. Now that the Synod on the Family has wrapped up in Rome – what happens next? We speak with Archdiocese of Washington’s Cardinal Donald Wuerl about the year-long discussion on the Church and the fa […]
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      Brian Patrick: : --- On Saint John Paul II’s first liturgical feast day, we speak with a former Swiss Guard who personally knew the “Polish Pope” As an American returns home from being detained in North Korea, we speak with Communism Memorial Foundations’ Marion Smith about U.S. relations with the DPRK. We’re less than 2 weeks away from midterms, we report o […]
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Palm Sunday

Posted by prepareformass on March 23, 2010

As he rode along, the people were spreading their cloaks on the road; and now as he was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of his disciplesgan to praise God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they had seen. They proclaimed: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.

Prepare for Mass

Sunday March 28 2010 is Palm Sunday Year C
March 28 2010 – (3/28/2010)

Sunday Sunday Sunday

Listen to the
Readings


Is 50:4-7
Ps 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24
Phil 2:6-11
Lk 22:14—23:56 or 23:1-49


When they came to the place called the Skull,
they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. Then Jesus said,“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”

First Reading

The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;

Responsorial Psalm

“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

Second Reading

Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Gospel

Today’s Gospel is the Passion of Jesus Christ from the Gospel of Luke

from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

CHRIST’S REDEMPTIVE DEATH IN GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION

“Jesus handed over according to the definite plan of God”

599 Jesus’ violent death was not the result of chance in an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, but is part of the mystery of God’s plan, as St. Peter explains to the Jews of Jerusalem in his first sermon on Pentecost: “This Jesus [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.” This Biblical language does not mean that those who handed him over were merely passive players in a scenario written in advance by God.

600 To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination”, he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace: “In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness.

“He died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures”

601 The Scriptures had foretold this divine plan of salvation through the putting to death of “the righteous one, my Servant” as a mystery of universal redemption, that is, as the ransom that would free men from the slavery of sin. Citing a confession of faith that he himself had “received”, St. Paul professes that “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures.” In particular Jesus’ redemptive death fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy of the suffering Servant. Indeed Jesus himself explained the meaning of his life and death in the light of God’s suffering Servant. After his Resurrection he gave this interpretation of the Scriptures to the disciples at Emmaus, and then to the apostles.

“For our sake God made him to be sin”

602 Consequently, St. Peter can formulate the apostolic faith in the divine plan of salvation in this way: “You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers… with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake.” Man’s sins, following on original sin, are punishable by death. By sending his own Son in the form of a slave, in the form of a fallen humanity, on account of sin, God “made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

603 Jesus did not experience reprobation as if he himself had sinned. But in the redeeming love that always united him to the Father, he assumed us in the state of our waywardness of sin, to the point that he could say in our name from the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Having thus established him in solidarity with us sinners, God “did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all”, so that we might be “reconciled to God by the death of his Son”.

God takes the initiative of universal redeeming love

604 By giving up his own Son for our sins, God manifests that his plan for us is one of benevolent love, prior to any merit on our part: “In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins.” God “shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

605 At the end of the parable of the lost sheep Jesus recalled that God’s love excludes no one: “So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” He affirms that he came “to give his life as a ransom for many”; this last term is not restrictive, but contrasts the whole of humanity with the unique person of the redeemer who hands himself over to save us. The Church, following the apostles, teaches that Christ died for all men without exception: “There is not, never has been, and never will be a single human being for whom Christ did not suffer.”

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