Daily Mass readings and feast days

Discussion in 'Scriptural Thoughts' started by Waiting by the window, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. Conversion
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    St. John of God saving the Sick from a Fire at the Royal Hospital in 1549 by Manuel Gómez-Moreno González (1880)
    John experienced a major religious conversion on Saint Sebastian's Day (January 20) of 1537, while listening to a sermon by John of Ávila, a leading preacher of the day who was later to become his spiritual director and would encourage him in his quest to improve the life of the poor. At the age of 42, he had what was perceived at the time as an acute mental breakdown. Moved by the sermon, he soon engaged in a public beating of himself, begging mercy and wildly repenting for his past life. He was incarcerated in the area of the Royal Hospital reserved for the mentally ill and received the treatment of the day, which was to be segregated, chained, flogged, and starved.[5] John was visited by John of Avila, who advised him to be more actively involved in tending to the needs of others rather than in enduring personal hardships. John gained peace of heart, and shortly after left the hospital to begin work among the poor.[6]

    Around this time, he made a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Extremadura, where it is said he experienced a vision of Mary, who encouraged him to work with the poor.[7] John expended all his energy in caring for the neediest people of the city. He established a house where he wisely tended to the needs of the sick poor, at first doing his own begging.[6] When John began to put into effect his dream, because of the stigma attached to mental illness, he found himself misunderstood and rejected.[5] For some time he was alone in his charitable work, soliciting by night the needed medical supplies, and by day attending to the needs of his patients and the hospital; but he soon received the cooperation of charitable priests and physicians. Many stories are related of the heavenly guests who visited him during the early days of his immense tasks, which were lightened at times by the archangel St. Raphael in person. To put a stop to his custom of exchanging his cloak with any beggar he chanced to meet, Sebastian Ramirez, Bishop of Tui, had a religious habit made for him, which was later adopted in all its essentials as the religious garb of his followers, and the bishop imposed on him for all time the name given him by the Infant Jesus, John of God.[4]

    Brothers Hospitallers
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    Statue of St. John of God at the Church of Vilar de Frades, Barcelos, Portugal.
    The inscription reads:All things pass, only good works last.
    Main article: Brothers Hospitallers of Saint John of God
    Slowly John drew to himself a dedicated circle of disciples who felt called to join him in this service. He organized his followers into the Order of Hospitallers, who were approved by the Holy See in 1572 as the Brothers Hospitallers of Saint John of God, who care for the sick in countries around the world. One mark of honor to his labors is that this Order has been officially entrusted with the medical care of the pope. When St. John of God died the successor of the Order was Pedro Soriano.

    Veneration
    John of God died on March 8, 1550, his 55th birthday, in Granada. His body was initially buried in the Church of Our Lady of the Victories, belonging to the Minim friars, and remained there until November 28, 1664, when the Hospitaller Brothers had his relics moved to the church of their hospital in the city,

    John was canonized by Pope Alexander VIII on October 16, 1690, and later named the patron saint of hospitals and the sick. His feast day is celebrated on March 8. A church was erected in 1757 to house his remains. On October 26, 1757, they were transferred to that church, now protected by the Knights of Saint John of God. The church has been raised to the rank of a basilica.

    In the Ukrainian Lutheran Church, a Byzantine Rite Lutheran Church, Saint John of God is commemorated in the calendar of saints on 26 November.[8]

    Legacy
    The Order maintains a presence in 53 countries, operating more than 300 hospitals, services, and centers serving a range of medical needs in addition to mental health and psychiatry. The Family of Saint John of God, as those who commit to his vision are called, is made up of more than 45,000 members, Brothers and Co-workers, and supported by tens of thousands of benefactors and friends who identify with and support the work of the Order for sick and needy people across the world.[5]

    Saint John of God, please pray for us!
     
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  2. March 9
    Monday of the Second Week in Lent
    Lectionary: 230

    Reading 1 Dn 9:4b-10
    “Lord, great and awesome God,
    you who keep your merciful covenant toward those who love you
    and observe your commandments!
    We have sinned, been wicked and done evil;
    we have rebelled and departed from your commandments and your laws.
    We have not obeyed your servants the prophets,
    who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes,
    our fathers, and all the people of the land.
    Justice, O Lord, is on your side;
    we are shamefaced even to this day:
    we, the men of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem,
    and all Israel, near and far,
    in all the countries to which you have scattered them
    because of their treachery toward you.
    O LORD, we are shamefaced, like our kings, our princes, and our fathers,
    for having sinned against you.
    But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness!
    Yet we rebelled against you
    and paid no heed to your command, O LORD, our God,
    to live by the law you gave us through your servants the prophets.”

    Responsorial Psalm 79:8, 9, 11 and 13
    R. (see 103:10a) Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
    Remember not against us the iniquities of the past;
    may your compassion quickly come to us,
    for we are brought very low.
    R. Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
    Help us, O God our savior,
    because of the glory of your name;
    Deliver us and pardon our sins
    for your name’s sake.
    R. Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
    Let the prisoners’ sighing come before you;
    with your great power free those doomed to death.
    Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture,
    will give thanks to you forever;
    through all generations we will declare your praise.
    R. Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.

    Verse Before the GospelJn 6:63c, 68c
    Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
    you have the words of everlasting life.

    Gospel Lk 6:36-38
    Jesus said to his disciples:
    “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

    “Stop judging and you will not be judged.
    Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
    Forgive and you will be forgiven.
    Give and gifts will be given to you;
    a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
    will be poured into your lap.
    For the measure with which you measure
    will in return be measured out to you.”

    Feast day of Saint Frances of Rome
    Frances was born in 1384 to a wealthy couple. When she was eleven years old, she wanted to be a nun, but, at about the age of twelve, her parents forced her to marry Lorenzo Ponziani, commander of the papal troops of Rome and member of an extremely wealthy family. Although the marriage had been arranged, it was a happy one, lasting for forty years, partly because Lorenzo admired his wife, and partly because he was frequently away at war.
    With her sister-in-law, Vannozza, Frances visited the poor and took care of the sick, inspiring other wealthy women of the city to do the same. Soon after her marriage, Frances fell seriously ill. Her husband called a man in who dabbled in magic, but Frances drove him away, and later recounted to Vannozza that St. Alexis had appeared to her and cured her.

    When her mother-in-law died, Frances became mistress of the household. During a time of flood and famine, she turned part of the family's country estate into a hospital and distributed food and clothing to the poor. According to one account, her father-in-law was so angry that he took away from her the keys to the supply rooms; but gave them back when he saw that the corn bin and wine barrel were replenished after Frances finished praying.
    According to one story, their son Battista was to be delivered as a hostage to the commander of the Neapolitan troops. Obeying this order on the command of her spiritual director, Frances took her son to the commander. On the way, she stopped in a church and entrusted her son's life to the Blessed Mother. When they arrived at the appointed site, the soldiers tried to put her son on a horse to transport him to captivity. However, the horse refused to move despite heavy whipping. The superstitious soldiers saw the hand of God in this and returned the boy to his mother.

    During a period of forced exile, much of Lorenzo's property and possessions were destroyed. In the course of one occupation of Rome by enemy forces, he was wounded so severely that he never fully recovered. Frances nursed him throughout the rest of his life.

    Frances experienced other sorrows during her marriage to Lorenzo. They lost two children to the plague. Chaos ruled the city in that period of neglect by the pope and the ongoing warfare between him and the various forces competing for power on the Italian peninsula devastated the city. The city of Rome was largely in ruins, and wolves were known to enter the streets. Frances again opened her home as a hospital and drove her wagon through the countryside to collect wood for fire and herbs for medicine. It is said she had the gift of healing, and over 60 cases were attested to during the canonization proceedings.

    According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Her visions often assumed the form of drama enacted for her by heavenly personages. She had the gift of miracles and ecstasy, as well as the bodily vision of her guardian angel, had revelations concerning Purgatory and Hell, and foretold the ending of the Western Schism. She could read the secrets of consciences and detect plots of diabolical origin. She was remarkable for her humility and detachment, her obedience and patience".

    On August 15, 1425, the feast of the Assumption of Mary, she founded the Olivetan Oblates of Mary, a confraternity of pious women, under the authority of the Olivetan monks of the Abbey of Santa Maria Nova in Rome, but neither cloistered nor bound by formal vows, so they could follow her pattern of combining a life of prayer with answering the needs of their society.

    In March 1433 she founded a monastery at Tor de' Specchi, near the Campidoglio, in order to allow for a common life by those members of the confraternity who felt so called. This monastery remains the only house of the Institute. That July 4, they received the approval of Pope Eugene IV as a religious congregation of oblates with private religious vows. The community later became known simply as the Oblates of St. Frances of Rome.

    Frances herself remained in her own home, nursing her husband for the last seven years of his life from wounds he had received in battle. When he died in 1436, she moved into the monastery and became the superior. She died in 1440 and was buried in Santa Maria Nova.
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    Saint Frances of Rome, please pray for the consolation of Romans, Italians and all those who are deprived of the Eucharistic LORD and pray for our perservance. Amen.
     
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  3. March 10
    Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent
    Lectionary: 231

    Reading 1 Is 1:10, 16-20
    Hear the word of the LORD,
    princes of Sodom!
    Listen to the instruction of our God,
    people of Gomorrah!

    Wash yourselves clean!
    Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes;
    cease doing evil; learn to do good.
    Make justice your aim: redress the wronged,
    hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.

    Come now, let us set things right,
    says the LORD:
    Though your sins be like scarlet,
    they may become white as snow;
    Though they be crimson red,
    they may become white as wool.
    If you are willing, and obey,
    you shall eat the good things of the land;
    But if you refuse and resist,
    the sword shall consume you:
    for the mouth of the LORD has spoken!

    Responsorial Psalm 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21 and 23
    R. (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
    “Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
    for your burnt offerings are before me always.
    I take from your house no bullock,
    no goats out of your fold.”
    R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
    “Why do you recite my statutes,
    and profess my covenant with your mouth,
    Though you hate discipline
    and cast my words behind you?”
    R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
    “When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
    Or do you think that I am like yourself?
    I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.
    He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
    and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.”
    R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

    Verse Before the GospelEz 18:31
    Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD,
    and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.

    Gospel Mt 23:1-12
    Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
    “The scribes and the Pharisees
    have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
    Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
    but do not follow their example.
    For they preach but they do not practice.
    They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
    and lay them on people’s shoulders,
    but they will not lift a finger to move them.
    All their works are performed to be seen.
    They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
    They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
    greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
    As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
    You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
    Call no one on earth your father;
    you have but one Father in heaven.
    Do not be called ‘Master’;
    you have but one master, the Christ.
    The greatest among you must be your servant.
    Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
    but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

    Feast day of Saint Macarius, Bishop died 334
    Macarius was Bishop of Jerusalem from about 313 until his death in 334. He was a life-long staunch opponent of Arianism and fought strenuously against this pernicious heresy. He was present at the council of Nicaea in 325 and played a large role in drafting the Nicene Creed. Soon after the Council, he miraculously discovered the True Cross in Jerusalem together with Saint Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine. Bishop Macurius was commissioned by Emperor Constantine to build the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Later, he and his fellow Bishops of Palestine received another letter from Constantine to construct a church at Mamre.
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    Saint Macurius, please pray for us.
     
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  4. March 11
    Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent
    Lectionary: 232

    Reading 1 Jer 18:18-20
    The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem said,
    “Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah.
    It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests,
    nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets.
    And so, let us destroy him by his own tongue;
    let us carefully note his every word.”

    Heed me, O LORD,
    and listen to what my adversaries say.
    Must good be repaid with evil
    that they should dig a pit to take my life?
    Remember that I stood before you
    to speak in their behalf,
    to turn away your wrath from them.

    Responsorial Psalm 31:5-6, 14, 15-16
    R. (17b) Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
    You will free me from the snare they set for me,
    for you are my refuge.
    Into your hands I commend my spirit;
    you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
    R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
    I hear the whispers of the crowd, that frighten me from every side,
    as they consult together against me, plotting to take my life.
    R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
    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. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.

    Verse Before the GospelJn 8:12
    I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
    whoever follows me will have the light of life.

    Gospel Mt 20:17-28
    As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem,
    he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves,
    and said to them on the way,
    “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem,
    and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests
    and the scribes,
    and they will condemn him to death,
    and hand him over to the Gentiles
    to be mocked and scourged and crucified,
    and he will be raised on the third day.”

    Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
    and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
    He said to her, “What do you wish?”
    She answered him,
    “Command that these two sons of mine sit,
    one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom.”
    Jesus said in reply,
    “You do not know what you are asking.
    Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?”
    They said to him, “We can.”
    He replied,
    “My chalice you will indeed drink,
    but to sit at my right and at my left,
    this is not mine to give
    but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
    When the ten heard this,
    they became indignant at the two brothers.
    But Jesus summoned them and said,
    “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
    and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
    But it shall not be so among you.
    Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
    whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
    Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
    and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    Feast day of Saint Eulogius, Priest, Martyr, died 858 AD
    Eulogius belonged to a noble family of Cordova, which was then, the capital of the Moors in Spain. Ordained to the priesthood, he was placed at the head of the most important ecclesiastical school in Spain, which then flourished at Cordova. His virtues, to which he joined assiduous fasting and prayer, gained for him universal esteem.
    In the year 850, a violent persecution broke out against the Christians. As one who encouraged the martyrs, Saint Eulogius was cast into prison together with his Bishop and many priests. He wrote an Exhortation to Martyrdom for the virgins, Flora and Mary, who were then beheaded on November 24, 851. These two saints promised to pray for their companions, and six days after their death, Eulogious and the others were freed.
    The persecution continued and Saint Eulogius became the support of the dispersed flock, encouraging a group of other martyrs who were killed in 853. He wrote their historyl, entitled, Memorial of the Saints, which is full of an ardent zeal and graces flowing from martyrdom.
    In 858 it became Saint Eulogius' turn to suffer for his Faith. A virgin named Leocritia of a noble family of the Moors was converted and sought Eulogius' protection against her angry parents. He hid her among friends for a time but eventually they were all discovered and condemned to death. Saitn Eulogius was beheaded on March 11, 859, and Saint Leocritia four days later. Paul Alvarus' 'Life of Eulogius' records that a dove was seen flying above his martyred body, portraying his peacefulness and innocence, which could not be killed despite the attempts of the angered Muslims.
    [​IMG] Please pray for us to have a deep faith like you did.
     
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  5. March 12
    Thursday of the Second Week of Lent
    Lectionary: 233

    Reading 1 Jer 17:5-10
    Thus says the LORD:
    Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings,
    who seeks his strength in flesh,
    whose heart turns away from the LORD.
    He is like a barren bush in the desert
    that enjoys no change of season,
    But stands in a lava waste,
    a salt and empty earth.
    Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
    whose hope is the LORD.
    He is like a tree planted beside the waters
    that stretches out its roots to the stream:
    It fears not the heat when it comes,
    its leaves stay green;
    In the year of drought it shows no distress,
    but still bears fruit.
    More tortuous than all else is the human heart,
    beyond remedy; who can understand it?
    I, the LORD, alone probe the mind
    and test the heart,
    To reward everyone according to his ways,
    according to the merit of his deeds.

    Responsorial Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6
    R. (40:5a) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
    Blessed the man who follows not
    the counsel of the wicked
    Nor walks in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the company of the insolent,
    But delights in the law of the LORD
    and meditates on his law day and night.
    R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
    He is like a tree
    planted near running water,
    That yields its fruit in due season,
    and whose leaves never fade.
    Whatever he does, prospers.
    R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
    Not so, the wicked, not so;
    they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
    For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
    but the way of the wicked vanishes.
    R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

    Verse Before the GospelLk 8:15
    Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
    and yield a harvest through perseverance.

    Gospel Lk 16:19-31
    Jesus said to the Pharisees:
    “There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
    and dined sumptuously each day.
    And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
    who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
    that fell from the rich man’s table.
    Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
    When the poor man died,
    he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
    The rich man also died and was buried,
    and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
    he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
    and Lazarus at his side.
    And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me.
    Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
    for I am suffering torment in these flames.’
    Abraham replied, ‘My child,
    remember that you received what was good during your lifetime
    while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
    but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
    Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
    to prevent anyone from crossing
    who might wish to go from our side to yours
    or from your side to ours.’
    He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him
    to my father’s house,
    for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them,
    lest they too come to this place of torment.’
    But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets.
    Let them listen to them.’
    He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham,
    but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
    Then Abraham said,
    ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
    neither will they be persuaded
    if someone should rise from the dead.’”

    Feast day of Saint Theophanes the Confessor and Chronicler
    Theophanes the Confessor was a member of the Byzantine aristocracy who became a monk and chronicler. He served in the court of Emperor Leo IV the Khazar before taking up the religious life. The annals he wrote are the leading source for 7th- and 8th-century Byzantine history. Theophanes attended the Second Council of Nicaea in 787 and resisted the iconoclasm of Leo V the Armenian, for which he was imprisoned. He died shortly after his release. Theophanes is venerated on March 12 in the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.
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  6. March 13
    Friday of the Second Week of Lent
    Lectionary: 234

    Reading 1 Gn 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a
    Israel loved Joseph best of all his sons,
    for he was the child of his old age;
    and he had made him a long tunic.
    When his brothers saw that their father loved him best of all his sons,
    they hated him so much that they would not even greet him.

    One day, when his brothers had gone
    to pasture their father’s flocks at Shechem,
    Israel said to Joseph,
    “Your brothers, you know, are tending our flocks at Shechem.
    Get ready; I will send you to them.”

    So Joseph went after his brothers and caught up with them in Dothan.
    They noticed him from a distance,
    and before he came up to them, they plotted to kill him.
    They said to one another: “Here comes that master dreamer!
    Come on, let us kill him and throw him into one of the cisterns here;
    we could say that a wild beast devoured him.
    We shall then see what comes of his dreams.”

    When Reuben heard this,
    he tried to save him from their hands, saying,
    “We must not take his life.
    Instead of shedding blood,” he continued,
    “just throw him into that cistern there in the desert;
    but do not kill him outright.”
    His purpose was to rescue him from their hands
    and return him to his father.
    So when Joseph came up to them,
    they stripped him of the long tunic he had on;
    then they took him and threw him into the cistern,
    which was empty and dry.

    They then sat down to their meal.
    Looking up, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead,
    their camels laden with gum, balm and resin
    to be taken down to Egypt.
    Judah said to his brothers:
    “What is to be gained by killing our brother and concealing his blood?
    Rather, let us sell him to these Ishmaelites,
    instead of doing away with him ourselves.
    After all, he is our brother, our own flesh.”
    His brothers agreed.
    They sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver.

    Responsorial Psalm 105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21
    R. (5a) Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
    When the LORD called down a famine on the land
    and ruined the crop that sustained them,
    He sent a man before them,
    Joseph, sold as a slave.
    R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
    They had weighed him down with fetters,
    and he was bound with chains,
    Till his prediction came to pass
    and the word of the LORD proved him true.
    R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
    The king sent and released him,
    the ruler of the peoples set him free.
    He made him lord of his house
    and ruler of all his possessions.
    R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.

    Verse Before the GospelJn 3:16
    God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son;
    so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.

    Gospel Mt 21:33-43, 45-46
    Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
    “Hear another parable.
    There was a landowner who planted a vineyard,
    put a hedge around it,
    dug a wine press in it, and built a tower.
    Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.
    When vintage time drew near,
    he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.
    But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat,
    another they killed, and a third they stoned.
    Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones,
    but they treated them in the same way.
    Finally, he sent his son to them,
    thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’
    But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another,
    ‘This is the heir.
    Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’
    They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
    What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?”
    They answered him,
    "He will put those wretched men to a wretched death
    and lease his vineyard to other tenants
    who will give him the produce at the proper times.”
    Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures:

    The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
    by the Lord has this been done,
    and it is wonderful in our eyes?


    Therefore, I say to you,
    the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you
    and given to a people that will produce its fruit.”
    When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables,
    they knew that he was speaking about them.
    And although they were attempting to arrest him,
    they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet.

    Feast day of Saint Roderick, died 857, Martyr
    Roderick or Rodriguez was a priest living in ninth century Spain at the time of the Moorish domination and persecution.. He had two brothers- one had become a Muslim and the other had practically abandoned the Faith. One day, when trying to break up a quarrel between the two, Roderick was beaten senseless by both of them. His Muslim brother then carried him through the streets, publicly proclaiming that Father Roderick had renounced Christ and wished to die a Muslim. Roderick, after awakening from his unconsciousness, maintained that he was faithful to the priesthood and his Catholic Faith. He escaped from his brother. His brother sought him out and had him brought before the kadi or judge on the charge of having apostatized from Mohammedanism. Roderick protested fiercely, declaring that he had never himself denied the Faith, but the Sharia law judge refused to believe him and relegated him to one of the worst dungeons in the city of Córdoba.
    While in the dungeon, Roderick befriended Solomon, another Christian charged with the same offense. The two dedicated followers of Christ encouraged one another during the lengthy imprisonment which had been designed to shake their Faith in Jesus. Seeing that his original strategy did not work, the judge had them set apart for a time; but when this also failed to achieve the desired retractions, the judge condemned both of them to be beheaded in 857. Saint Eulogius (feast day just a couple of days ago.. March 11) witnessed their bodies lying near a river, and saw the soldiers throwing the stones reddened by their martyrs' blood into the river to make sure that the Christians could not make relics from them.
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  7. Saturday of the Second Week of Lent
    Lectionary: 235

    Reading 1 Mi 7:14-15, 18-20
    Shepherd your people with your staff,
    the flock of your inheritance,
    That dwells apart in a woodland,
    in the midst of Carmel.
    Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead,
    as in the days of old;
    As in the days when you came from the land of Egypt,
    show us wonderful signs.

    Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt
    and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance;
    Who does not persist in anger forever,
    but delights rather in clemency,
    And will again have compassion on us,
    treading underfoot our guilt?
    You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins;
    You will show faithfulness to Jacob,
    and grace to Abraham,
    As you have sworn to our fathers
    from days of old.

    Responsorial Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12
    R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.
    Bless the LORD, O my soul;
    and all my being, bless his holy name.
    Bless the LORD, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits.
    R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
    He pardons all your iniquities,
    he heals all your ills.
    He redeems your life from destruction,
    he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
    R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
    He will not always chide,
    nor does he keep his wrath forever.
    Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
    nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
    R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
    For as the heavens are high above the earth,
    so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
    As far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he put our transgressions from us.
    R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

    Verse Before the Gospel Lk 15:18
    I will get up and go to my father and shall say to him,
    Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.

    Gospel Lk 15:1-3, 11-32
    Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
    but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
    “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
    So to them Jesus addressed this parable.
    “A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father,
    ‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’
    So the father divided the property between them.
    After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings
    and set off to a distant country
    where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
    When he had freely spent everything,
    a severe famine struck that country,
    and he found himself in dire need.
    So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens
    who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
    And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed,
    but nobody gave him any.
    Coming to his senses he thought,
    ‘How many of my father’s hired workers
    have more than enough food to eat,
    but here am I, dying from hunger.
    I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him,
    “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
    I no longer deserve to be called your son;
    treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’
    So he got up and went back to his father.
    While he was still a long way off,
    his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.
    He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
    His son said to him,
    ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;
    I no longer deserve to be called your son.’
    But his father ordered his servants,
    ‘Quickly, bring the finest robe and put it on him;
    put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
    Take the fattened calf and slaughter it.
    Then let us celebrate with a feast,
    because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;
    he was lost, and has been found.’
    Then the celebration began.
    Now the older son had been out in the field
    and, on his way back, as he neared the house,
    he heard the sound of music and dancing.
    He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
    The servant said to him,
    ‘Your brother has returned
    and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf
    because he has him back safe and sound.’
    He became angry,
    and when he refused to enter the house,
    his father came out and pleaded with him.
    He said to his father in reply,
    ‘Look, all these years I served you
    and not once did I disobey your orders;
    yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends.
    But when your son returns
    who swallowed up your property with prostitutes,
    for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’
    He said to him,
    ‘My son, you are here with me always;
    everything I have is yours.
    But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
    because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
    he was lost and has been found.’”

    Feast day of Saint Mathilda, Queen, patroness of large families, died 968
    Mathilda was the daughter of a Saxon count, Theodoric. At an early age, she was placed in a convent where her grandmother was the Abbess (her grandmother entered the convent after the death of her husband). In the convent, Mathilda learned needlework and acquired the love of labor, prayer and spiritual reading. She remained there until her parents gave her in marriage, in 913, to Henry "the Fowler," so-called for his love of falconry (the sport of hunting wild animals using birds of prey). Henry became Duke in 916 upon the death of his father. In 919, Henry was chosen to succeed Conrad as King of Germany.
    As Queen, Mathilda was pious and she brought her virtuous life to the court. She visited and comforted the sick and afflicted, instructed the ignorant, succored prisoners, all with her husband's help. After twenty-three years of marriage, King Henry died. Upon his death, Mathilda offered Masses for him and then promptly rejected all worldly pomp. Of the couple's three sons, Otto became Emperor, Henry became Duke of Bavaria, and Bruno (Saint Bruno) was the Archbishop of Cologne.
    Mathilde’s handling of her dowry, which she had received from King Henry I previous to his death, was subject to a dispute between her and Otto I during the years 936-946. Otto made a claim on his mother's possessions, which eventually led to her fleeing into exile. Otto's wife, Queen Eadgyth, is said to have brought about the reconciliation in which Mathilda left her goods and Otto was forgiven for his actions.

    The exact circumstances of this feud are still controversial to this day, but in order to protect her goods, Mathilda acquired papal privileges for all monasteries in eastern Saxony in the period before her death in early 968. After a long illness, Queen Mathilde died on March 14, 968, in the convent of Quedlinburg. She was buried in Quedlinburg Abbey, next to her late husband.
    [​IMG]
    Please pray for us.
     
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  8. March 15
    Third Sunday of Lent
    Lectionary: 28

    Reading 1 Ex 17:3-7
    In those days, in their thirst for water,
    the people grumbled against Moses,
    saying, “Why did you ever make us leave Egypt?
    Was it just to have us die here of thirst
    with our children and our livestock?”
    So Moses cried out to the LORD,
    “What shall I do with this people?
    a little more and they will stone me!”
    The LORD answered Moses,
    “Go over there in front of the people,
    along with some of the elders of Israel,
    holding in your hand, as you go,
    the staff with which you struck the river.
    I will be standing there in front of you on the rock in Horeb.
    Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it
    for the people to drink.”
    This Moses did, in the presence of the elders of Israel.
    The place was called Massah and Meribah,
    because the Israelites quarreled there
    and tested the LORD, saying,
    “Is the LORD in our midst or not?”

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9.
    R. (8) If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
    Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
    let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
    Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
    let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
    R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
    Come, let us bow down in worship;
    let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
    For he is our God,
    and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
    R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
    Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
    “Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
    as in the day of Massah in the desert,
    Where your fathers tempted me;
    they tested me though they had seen my works.”
    R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

    Reading 2 Rom 5:1-2, 5-8
    Brothers and sisters:
    Since we have been justified by faith,
    we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
    through whom we have gained access by faith
    to this grace in which we stand,
    and we boast in hope of the glory of God.

    And hope does not disappoint,
    because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
    through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
    For Christ, while we were still helpless,
    died at the appointed time for the ungodly.
    Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person,
    though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die.
    But God proves his love for us
    in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

    Verse Before the GospelJn 4:42, 15
    Lord, you are truly the Savior of the world;
    give me living water, that I may never thirst again.

    Gospel Jn 4:5-42
    Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar,
    near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
    Jacob’s well was there.
    Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well.
    It was about noon.

    A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
    Jesus said to her,
    “Give me a drink.”
    His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
    The Samaritan woman said to him,
    “How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?”
    —For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.—
    Jesus answered and said to her,
    “If you knew the gift of God
    and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink, ‘
    you would have asked him
    and he would have given you living water.”
    The woman said to him,
    “Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep;
    where then can you get this living water?
    Are you greater than our father Jacob,
    who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself
    with his children and his flocks?”
    Jesus answered and said to her,
    “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;
    but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst;
    the water I shall give will become in him
    a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
    The woman said to him,
    “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty
    or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

    Jesus said to her,
    “Go call your husband and come back.”
    The woman answered and said to him,
    “I do not have a husband.”
    Jesus answered her,
    “You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’
    For you have had five husbands,
    and the one you have now is not your husband.
    What you have said is true.”
    The woman said to him,
    “Sir, I can see that you are a prophet.
    Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain;
    but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”
    Jesus said to her,
    “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming
    when you will worship the Father
    neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
    You people worship what you do not understand;
    we worship what we understand,
    because salvation is from the Jews.
    But the hour is coming, and is now here,
    when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth;
    and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.
    God is Spirit, and those who worship him
    must worship in Spirit and truth.”
    The woman said to him,
    “I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ;
    when he comes, he will tell us everything.”
    Jesus said to her,
    “I am he, the one speaking with you.”

    At that moment his disciples returned,
    and were amazed that he was talking with a woman,
    but still no one said, “What are you looking for?”
    or “Why are you talking with her?”
    The woman left her water jar
    and went into the town and said to the people,
    “Come see a man who told me everything I have done.
    Could he possibly be the Christ?”
    They went out of the town and came to him.
    Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat.”
    But he said to them,
    “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”
    So the disciples said to one another,
    “Could someone have brought him something to eat?”
    Jesus said to them,
    “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me
    and to finish his work.
    Do you not say, ‘In four months the harvest will be here’?
    I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest.
    The reaper is already receiving payment
    and gathering crops for eternal life,
    so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together.
    For here the saying is verified that ‘One sows and another reaps.’
    I sent you to reap what you have not worked for;
    others have done the work,
    and you are sharing the fruits of their work.”

    Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him
    because of the word of the woman who testified,
    “He told me everything I have done.”
    When the Samaritans came to him,
    they invited him to stay with them;
    and he stayed there two days.
    Many more began to believe in him because of his word,
    and they said to the woman,
    “We no longer believe because of your word;
    for we have heard for ourselves,
    and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”

    or
    Jn 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42

    Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar,
    near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
    Jacob’s well was there.
    Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well.
    It was about noon.

    A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
    Jesus said to her,
    “Give me a drink.”
    His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
    The Samaritan woman said to him,
    “How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?”
    —For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.—
    Jesus answered and said to her,
    “If you knew the gift of God
    and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink, ‘
    you would have asked him
    and he would have given you living water.”
    The woman said to him,
    “Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep;
    where then can you get this living water?
    Are you greater than our father Jacob,
    who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself
    with his children and his flocks?”
    Jesus answered and said to her,
    “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;
    but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst;
    the water I shall give will become in him
    a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
    The woman said to him,
    “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty
    or have to keep coming here to draw water.

    “I can see that you are a prophet.
    Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain;
    but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”
    Jesus said to her,
    “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming
    when you will worship the Father
    neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
    You people worship what you do not understand;
    we worship what we understand,
    because salvation is from the Jews.
    But the hour is coming, and is now here,
    when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth;
    and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.
    God is Spirit, and those who worship him
    must worship in Spirit and truth.”
    The woman said to him,
    “I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ;
    when he comes, he will tell us everything.”
    Jesus said to her,
    “I am he, the one who is speaking with you.”

    Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him.
    When the Samaritans came to him,
    they invited him to stay with them;
    and he stayed there two days.
    Many more began to believe in him because of his word,
    and they said to the woman,
    “We no longer believe because of your word;
    for we have heard for ourselves,
    and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”
     
  9. March 15th is the feast day of Saint Clemens Maria Hofbauer
    Redemptorist preacher and reformer. He was born on December 26,1751, at Taswitz, Moravia, the ninth child of a butcher and his wife and was baptized John. His family name was originally Dvorak, but was changed to the German Hofbauer. He was apprenticed as a baker in his youth, and later became a hermit near Bruck, Austria. As part of his so-called Josephinist policies, Austrian Emperor Joseph II abolished hermitages, and Clement went to Vienna, where he and a friend, Peter Kunzmann, received permission from Bishop Chiaramonti of Tivoli, Italy, to live in a hermitage. Bishop Chiaramonti later became Pope Pius VII. After studying at the university of Vienna, Austria, and in Rome, Clement and another friend, Thaddeus HubI, entered the Redemptorist Order and were ordained in 1785. They were stationed in Vienna, but Emperor Joseph II closed religious foundations, so they were sent to Courtland. Peter Kunzmann joined Clement as a lay brother, and the three were sent to St. Benno's Church in Warsaw, Poland, to begin two decades of missionary labors. Clement preached, built orphanages and schools, and established a vast Redemptorist presence in the city. Napoleon suppressed all religious institutions, and Clement and the Redemptorists were imprisoned in 1808, each one then exiled to his own native land. Clement went to Vienna, where he became the chaplain of the Ursulines and pastor of the adjoining parish. He became known for his holiness and zeal. He founded a Catholic college and began to reform and revitalize the Catholic faith of Austria and Germany. Prince Rupert of Bavaria aided Clement in defeating a move to establish a German national Church. Clement also fought against Josephinism and was about to be expelled from Austria for his opposition to such secular control, when, surprisingly, Emperor Joseph's successor, Emperor Francis I, defended him. Clement died in Vienna on March 15. He was canonized in 1909.
    [​IMG] Saint Clemens Maria Hofbauer, please pray for us.
     
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  10. March 16
    Monday of the Third Week of Lent
    Lectionary: 237

    Reading 1 2 Kgs 5:1-15ab
    Naaman, the army commander of the king of Aram,
    was highly esteemed and respected by his master,
    for through him the LORD had brought victory to Aram.
    But valiant as he was, the man was a leper.
    Now the Arameans had captured in a raid on the land of Israel
    a little girl, who became the servant of Naaman’s wife.
    “If only my master would present himself to the prophet in Samaria,”
    she said to her mistress, “he would cure him of his leprosy.”
    Naaman went and told his lord
    just what the slave girl from the land of Israel had said.
    “Go,” said the king of Aram.
    “I will send along a letter to the king of Israel.”
    So Naaman set out, taking along ten silver talents,
    six thousand gold pieces, and ten festal garments.
    To the king of Israel he brought the letter, which read:
    “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you,
    that you may cure him of his leprosy.”

    When he read the letter,
    the king of Israel tore his garments and exclaimed:
    “Am I a god with power over life and death,
    that this man should send someone to me to be cured of leprosy?
    Take note! You can see he is only looking for a quarrel with me!”
    When Elisha, the man of God,
    heard that the king of Israel had torn his garments,
    he sent word to the king:
    “Why have you torn your garments?
    Let him come to me and find out
    that there is a prophet in Israel.”

    Naaman came with his horses and chariots
    and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house.
    The prophet sent him the message:
    “Go and wash seven times in the Jordan,
    and your flesh will heal, and you will be clean.”
    But Naaman went away angry, saying,
    “I thought that he would surely come out and stand there
    to invoke the LORD his God,
    and would move his hand over the spot,
    and thus cure the leprosy.
    Are not the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar,
    better than all the waters of Israel?
    Could I not wash in them and be cleansed?”
    With this, he turned about in anger and left.

    But his servants came up and reasoned with him.
    “My father,” they said,
    “if the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary,
    would you not have done it?
    All the more now, since he said to you,
    ‘Wash and be clean,’ should you do as he said.”
    So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times
    at the word of the man of God.
    His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

    He returned with his whole retinue to the man of God.
    On his arrival he stood before him and said,
    “Now I know that there is no God in all the earth,
    except in Israel.”

    Responsorial Psalm 42:2, 3; 43:3, 4
    R. (see 42:3) Athirst is my soul for the living God.
    When shall I go and behold the face of God?

    As the hind longs for the running waters,
    so my soul longs for you, O God.
    R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
    When shall I go and behold the face of God?

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


    Verse Before the GospelPs 130:5, 7
    I hope in the LORD, I trust in his word;
    with him there is kindness and plenteous redemption.

    Gospel Lk 4:24-30
    Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth:
    “Amen, I say to you,
    no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
    Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel
    in the days of Elijah
    when the sky was closed for three and a half years
    and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
    It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
    but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
    Again, there were many lepers in Israel
    during the time of Elisha the prophet;
    yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
    When the people in the synagogue heard this,
    they were all filled with fury.
    They rose up, drove him out of the town,
    and led him to the brow of the hill
    on which their town had been built,
    to hurl him down headlong.
    But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

    Feast day of Saint Heribert, invoked in time of drought, died 1021
    Saint Heribert was a German Roman Catholic prelate who served as the Archbishop of Cologne from 999 until his death. He also served as the Chancellor for the Emperor Otto III since 994. He also collaborated with Saint Heinrich II (Saint Henry) with whom relations were strained though were strengthened over time.
    [​IMG] Please pray for us.
     
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  11. March 17
    Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent
    Lectionary: 238

    Reading 1 Dn 3:25, 34-43
    Azariah stood up in the fire and prayed aloud:

    “For your name’s sake, O Lord, do not deliver us up forever,
    or make void your covenant.
    Do not take away your mercy from us,
    for the sake of Abraham, your beloved,
    Isaac your servant, and Israel your holy one,
    To whom you promised to multiply their offspring
    like the stars of heaven,
    or the sand on the shore of the sea.
    For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation,
    brought low everywhere in the world this day
    because of our sins.
    We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader,
    no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense,
    no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.
    But with contrite heart and humble spirit
    let us be received;
    As though it were burnt offerings of rams and bullocks,
    or thousands of fat lambs,
    So let our sacrifice be in your presence today
    as we follow you unreservedly;
    for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.
    And now we follow you with our whole heart,
    we fear you and we pray to you.
    Do not let us be put to shame,
    but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.
    Deliver us by your wonders,
    and bring glory to your name, O Lord.”

    Responsorial Psalm 25:4-5ab, 6 and 7bc, 8-9
    R. (6a) Remember your mercies, O Lord.
    Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
    teach me your paths,
    Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my savior.
    R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.
    Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
    and your kindness are from of old.
    In your kindness remember me,
    because of your goodness, O LORD.
    R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.
    Good and upright is the LORD;
    thus he shows sinners the way.
    He guides the humble to justice,
    he teaches the humble his way.
    R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.

    Verse Before the Gospel Jl 2:12-13
    Even now, says the LORD,
    return to me with your whole heart;
    for I am gracious and merciful.

    Gospel Mt 18:21-35
    Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
    “Lord, if my brother sins against me,
    how often must I forgive him?
    As many as seven times?”
    Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
    That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
    who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
    When he began the accounting,
    a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
    Since he had no way of paying it back,
    his master ordered him to be sold,
    along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
    in payment of the debt.
    At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
    ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
    Moved with compassion the master of that servant
    let him go and forgave him the loan.
    When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
    who owed him a much smaller amount.
    He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
    ‘Pay back what you owe.’
    Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
    ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
    But he refused.
    Instead, he had him put in prison
    until he paid back the debt.
    Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
    they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master
    and reported the whole affair.
    His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!
    I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
    Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
    as I had pity on you?’
    Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
    until he should pay back the whole debt.
    So will my heavenly Father do to you,
    unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”

    Feast day of Saint Patrick AKA Pádraig, Bishop, Patron and Apostle of Ireland, died 493
    Pádraig was born about the year 389, the son of Calpurnius, a Roman-British deacon and Conchessa, his mother. According to his autobiography, Confessio, when Pádraig was sixteen, he was captured and taken to Ireland to work as a slave and herdsman. Despite the harshness of his captivity, Pádraig held on to his Faith and also used his solitude for prayer and contemplation. After six years, there was a miraculous opening for escape and return to his home. At home he entered the monastery of Lerins from about 412-415 and was ordained a priest at Zuxerre by Saint Amator about 417.
    In a dream, Father Pádraig was told to go back and Christianize Ireland. After a period in which his mission to Ireland was under consideration by his superiors, Father Pádraig was consecrated Bishop by Saint Germanus after receiving approval from Pope Celestine I. Bishop Pádraig traveled the length and breadth of Ireland, planting the Faith everywhere despite the hostility of the druids. continued in the next post
     
  12. continuation of Saint Pádraig
    St. Patrick wrote a hymn, also called a lorica or breastplate in 433 A.D. for divine protection before successfully converting the Irish King Leoghaire and his subjects from paganism to Christianity. This took place in the following manner (taken from a Catholic blog called catholichotdish.com by Father Michael Van Sloun): From the Hill of Tara, when visibility was good, it was possible to see from one hill to the other. The Hill of Tara was a cultic center where people worshiped the Celtic god of the sun, Lugh. King Leoghaire, the Celtic High King, renowned for his ferocity and brute strength, resided in Tara, and he led a fire ceremony for the druids and his subjects each year at the time of the Beltaine Festival during the Spring Equinox called the Feast of Tara. The king lit a sacred fire at the top of the hill to honor the pagan sun god, and it was left burning for a number of days. The king strictly prohibited any other fires that could be seen from Tara during the entire duration of the festival. Saint Patrick disregarded the king’s order. He boldly and bravely lit and blessed the Paschal fire and the Easter Candle during the Vigil Service on Holy Saturday night. The fire was left burning and could be seen clearly from the Hill of Tara.

    St. Patrick made an emphatic statement: Jesus is the light of the world (Jn 8:12; 12:46), and none other, not even Lugh, the pagan sun god. Jesus is the true light that enlightens everyone (Jn 1:9), the light shining in the midst of the darkness (Jn 1:5a). On Easter Sunday, Jesus was the light rising in glory, the light that dispels the darkness of our hearts and minds (Roman Missal, 200), the light that inflames the hearts of believers with heavenly desires and purifies the mind (Roman Missal, 198), the pillar of fire that banishes the darkness of sin (Exsultet, 208), a light that mingles with the lights of heaven, and a peaceful light shed on all humanity (Exsultet, 209).

    At one time King Leoghaire and the druids planned to have St. Patrick killed, but St. Patrick was so convincing and persuasive, and the king was so impressed by his extraordinary devotion, that he allowed St. Patrick to continue his missionary work in his kingdom. Patrick wrote that through prayers, as many as 33 men, some of whom are said to have been deceased for many years were raised from the dead. He also reportedly prayed for the provision of food for hungry sailors traveling by land through a desolate area, and a herd of swine miraculously appeared.

    Another legend, probably the most popular, is that of the shamrock, which has him explain the concept of the Holy Trinity, three persons in one God, to an unbeliever by showing him the three-leaved plant with one stalk.
    On a visit to Rome in 442, Saint Padraig was commissioned by Pope Leo the Great to organize the Church in Ireland. On his return, Saint Padraig made Armagh the See and established Bishops in various places.
    In winning a pagan nation for Christ, Saint Padraig established many monasteries for men and women and made it famous for its seats of piety and learning. In the following centuries, Irish monks carried the Faith to England, France, and Switzerland.
    After living a completely apostolic life, Saint Padraig died on March 17, 461, in the monastery of Saul, in Down in Ulster.

    Here is the prayer of the Breastplate of Saint Padraig
    I arise today
    Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
    Through belief in the Threeness,
    Through confession of the Oneness
    of the Creator of creation.


    I arise today
    Through the strength of Christ's birth with His baptism,
    Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
    Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
    Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.


    I arise today
    Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
    In the obedience of angels,
    In the service of archangels,
    In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
    In the prayers of patriarchs,
    In the predictions of prophets,
    In the preaching of apostles,
    In the faith of confessors,
    In the innocence of holy virgins,
    In the deeds of righteous men.


    I arise today, through
    The strength of heaven,
    The light of the sun,
    The radiance of the moon,
    The splendor of fire,
    The speed of lightning,
    The swiftness of wind,
    The depth of the sea,
    The stability of the earth,
    The firmness of rock.
    I arise today, through
    God's strength to pilot me,
    God's might to uphold me,
    God's wisdom to guide me,
    God's eye to look before me,
    God's ear to hear me,
    God's word to speak for me,
    God's hand to guard me,
    God's shield to protect me,
    God's host to save me
    From snares of devils,
    From temptation of vices,
    From everyone who shall wish me ill,
    afar and near.


    I summon today
    All these powers between me and those evils,
    Against every cruel and merciless power
    that may oppose my body and soul,
    Against incantations of false prophets,
    Against black laws of pagandom,
    Against false laws of heretics,
    Against craft of idolatry,
    Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
    Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul;
    Christ to shield me today
    Against poison, against burning,
    Against drowning, against wounding,
    So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.


    Christ with me,
    Christ before me,
    Christ behind me,
    Christ in me,
    Christ beneath me,
    Christ above me,
    Christ on my right,
    Christ on my left,
    Christ when I lie down,
    Christ when I sit down,
    Christ when I arise,
    Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
    Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
    Christ in every eye that sees me,
    Christ in every ear that hears me.


    [Note that people sometimes pray a shorter version of this prayer just with these 15 lines about Christ above. The conclusion follows below.]

    I arise today
    Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
    Through belief in the Threeness,
    Through confession of the Oneness
    of the Creator of creation.

    [​IMG]
    Saint Patrick, please pray for us.
    Happy name day, Padraig!
     
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  13. March 18
    Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent
    Lectionary: 239

    Reading 1 Dt 4:1, 5-9
    Moses spoke to the people and said:
    “Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees
    which I am teaching you to observe,
    that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land
    which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
    Therefore, I teach you the statutes and decrees
    as the LORD, my God, has commanded me,
    that you may observe them in the land you are entering to occupy.
    Observe them carefully,
    for thus will you give evidence
    of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations,
    who will hear of all these statutes and say,
    ‘This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.’
    For what great nation is there
    that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us
    whenever we call upon him?
    Or what great nation has statutes and decrees
    that are as just as this whole law
    which I am setting before you today?

    “However, take care and be earnestly on your guard
    not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen,
    nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live,
    but teach them to your children and to your children’s children.”

    Responsorial Psalm 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20
    R. (12a) Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
    Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem;
    praise your God, O Zion.
    For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
    he has blessed your children within you.
    R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
    He sends forth his command to the earth;
    swiftly runs his word!
    He spreads snow like wool;
    frost he strews like ashes.
    R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
    He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
    his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
    He has not done thus for any other nation;
    his ordinances he has not made known to them.
    R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

    Verse Before the Gospel Jn 6:63c, 68c
    Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
    you have the words of everlasting life.

    Gospel Mt 5:17-19
    Jesus said to his disciples:
    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
    I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
    Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
    not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
    will pass from the law,
    until all things have taken place.
    Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
    and teaches others to do so
    will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
    But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
    will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”

    Feast day of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop, Doctor of the Church
    Cyril was born near Jerusalem in about 315. He was ordained a priest by the Bishop of Jerusalem in about 345. Cyril had studied Sacred Scripture, philosophers, and the Fathers of the Church prior to becoming ordained. After Bishop Maximus died, Cyril became Bishop of Jerusalem. It was the time of the Arian heresy. The Bishop of Caesarea was steeped in Arianism and wanted to claim jurisdiction of the See of Jerusalem. In the disagreement, it turned out that Bishop Cyril had to be exiled for a time. During Bishop Cyril's lifetime, it was a popular thought that the Second Coming was nigh. Taken from wikipedia
    Soon after his appointment, Cyril in his Letter to Constantius of 351 recorded the appearance of a cross of light in the sky above Golgotha, witnessed by the whole population of Jerusalem. The Greek church commemorates this miracle on the 7th of May. Cyril interpreted this as both a sign of support for Constantius, who was soon to face the usurper Magnentius, and as announcing the Second Coming, which was soon to take place in Jerusalem. Not surprisingly, in Cyril's eschatological analysis, Jerusalem holds a central position. Also Matthew 24:6 speaks of "wars and reports of wars", as a sign of the End Times, and it is within this context that Cyril read Julian's war with the Persians. Matthew 24:7 speaks of "earthquakes from place to place", and Jerusalem experienced an earthquake in 363 at a time when Julian was attempting to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Embroiled in a rivalry with Acacius of Caesarea over the relative primacy of their respective sees, Cyril saw even ecclesial discord a sign of the Lord's coming. Cyril witnessed the vain attempt of Julian the Apostate to rebuild the temple of Jerusalem with the concomitant miraculous circumstances that accompanied it. Julian wanted to have Cyril killed, but his own death prevented it. Cyril was again cast into exile by the Arian emperor Valens, but he returned to Jerusalem again. Cyril's writings have been instrumental for the Church. They are filled with the loving and forgiving nature of God which was somewhat uncommon during his time period. Cyril fills his writings with great lines of the healing power of forgiveness and the Holy Spirit. Here is one example: “The Spirit comes gently and makes himself known by his fragrance. He is not felt as a burden for God is light, very light. Rays of light and knowledge stream before him as the Spirit approaches. The Spirit comes with the tenderness of a true friend to save, to heal, to teach, to counsel, to strengthen and to console”. Cyril himself followed God's message of forgiveness many times throughout his life. This is most clearly seen in his two major exiles where Cyril was disgraced and forced to leave his position and his people behind. He never wrote or showed any ill will towards those who wronged him. Cyril stressed the themes of healing and regeneration in his catechesis. In 381, he assisted at the General Council of Constantinople and formally accepted the full Nicene Creed. He died in the year 386.
    [​IMG] Please pray for us!
    March 18th is also the feast of Our Lady of Mercy. This title is based on an apparition to an Italian farmer in Savona in 1536. https://www.oclarim.com.mo/en/2018/11/09/marian-apparitions-89-savona-italy/
     
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  14. March 19
    Solemnity of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary
    Lectionary: 543

    Reading 1 2 Sm 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16
    The LORD spoke to Nathan and said:
    “Go, tell my servant David,
    ‘When your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
    I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
    and I will make his kingdom firm.
    It is he who shall build a house for my name.
    And I will make his royal throne firm forever.
    I will be a father to him,
    and he shall be a son to me.
    Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me;
    your throne shall stand firm forever.’”

    Responsorial Psalm 89:2-3, 4-5, 27 and 29
    R. (37) The son of David will live for ever.
    The promises of the LORD I will sing forever;
    through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness,
    For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
    in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
    R. The son of David will live for ever.
    “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
    I have sworn to David my servant:
    Forever will I confirm your posterity
    and establish your throne for all generations.”
    R. The son of David will live for ever.
    “He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
    my God, the Rock, my savior.’
    Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
    and my covenant with him stands firm.”
    R. The son of David will live for ever.

    Reading 2 Rom 4:13, 16-18, 22
    Brothers and sisters:
    It was not through the law
    that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants
    that he would inherit the world,
    but through the righteousness that comes from faith.
    For this reason, it depends on faith,
    so that it may be a gift,
    and the promise may be guaranteed to all his descendants,
    not to those who only adhere to the law
    but to those who follow the faith of Abraham,
    who is the father of all of us, as it is written,
    I have made you father of many nations.
    He is our father in the sight of God,
    in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead
    and calls into being what does not exist.
    He believed, hoping against hope,
    that he would become the father of many nations,
    according to what was said, Thus shall your descendants be.
    That is why it was credited to him as righteousness.


    Verse Before the Gospel Ps 84:5
    Blessed are those who dwell in your house, O Lord;
    they never cease to praise you.

    Gospel Mt 1:16, 18-21, 24a
    Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
    Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

    Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
    When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
    but before they lived together,
    she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
    Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
    yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
    decided to divorce her quietly.
    Such was his intention when, behold,
    the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
    “Joseph, son of David,
    do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
    For it is through the Holy Spirit
    that this child has been conceived in her.
    She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
    because he will save his people from their sins.”
    When Joseph awoke,
    he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
    and took his wife into his home.

    or

    Lk 2:41-51a

    Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
    and when he was twelve years old,
    they went up according to festival custom.
    After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
    the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem,
    but his parents did not know it.
    Thinking that he was in the caravan,
    they journeyed for a day
    and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
    but not finding him,
    they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
    After three days they found him in the temple,
    sitting in the midst of the teachers,
    listening to them and asking them questions,
    and all who heard him were astounded
    at his understanding and his answers.
    When his parents saw him,
    they were astonished,
    and his mother said to him,
    “Son, why have you done this to us?
    Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
    And he said to them,
    “Why were you looking for me?
    Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
    But they did not understand what he said to them.
    He went down with them and came to Nazareth,
    and was obedient to them.

    Feast day of Saint Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church and unborn children, fathers, immigrants, workers, employment, explorer, pilgrims, travelers, carpenters, realtors, against doubt and hesitation, and of a happy death
    [​IMG] Saint Joseph, terror of demons, please pray for us.
     
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  15. March 20
    Friday of the Third Week of Lent
    Lectionary: 241

    Reading 1 Hos 14:2-10
    Thus says the LORD:
    Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God;
    you have collapsed through your guilt.
    Take with you words,
    and return to the LORD;
    Say to him, “Forgive all iniquity,
    and receive what is good, that we may render
    as offerings the bullocks from our stalls.
    Assyria will not save us,
    nor shall we have horses to mount;
    We shall say no more, ‘Our god,’
    to the work of our hands;
    for in you the orphan finds compassion.”

    I will heal their defection, says the LORD,
    I will love them freely;
    for my wrath is turned away from them.
    I will be like the dew for Israel:
    he shall blossom like the lily;
    He shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar,
    and put forth his shoots.
    His splendor shall be like the olive tree
    and his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar.
    Again they shall dwell in his shade
    and raise grain;
    They shall blossom like the vine,
    and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

    Ephraim! What more has he to do with idols?
    I have humbled him, but I will prosper him.
    “I am like a verdant cypress tree”–
    Because of me you bear fruit!

    Let him who is wise understand these things;
    let him who is prudent know them.
    Straight are the paths of the LORD,
    in them the just walk,
    but sinners stumble in them.

    Responsorial Psalm 81:6c-8a, 8bc-9, 10-11ab, 14 and 17
    R. (see 11 and 9a) I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
    An unfamiliar speech I hear:
    “I relieved his shoulder of the burden;
    his hands were freed from the basket.
    In distress you called, and I rescued you.”
    R. I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
    “Unseen, I answered you in thunder;
    I tested you at the waters of Meribah.
    Hear, my people, and I will admonish you;
    O Israel, will you not hear me?”
    R. I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
    “There shall be no strange god among you
    nor shall you worship any alien god.
    I, the LORD, am your God
    who led you forth from the land of Egypt.”
    R. I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
    “If only my people would hear me,
    and Israel walk in my ways,
    I would feed them with the best of wheat,
    and with honey from the rock I would fill them.”
    R. I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.

    Verse Before the GospelMt 4:17
    Repent, says the Lord;
    the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.

    Gospel Mk 12:28-34
    One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
    “Which is the first of all the commandments?”
    Jesus replied, “The first is this:
    Hear, O Israel!
    The Lord our God is Lord alone!
    You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
    with all your soul,
    with all your mind,
    and with all your strength.

    The second is this:
    You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
    There is no other commandment greater than these.”
    The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
    You are right in saying,
    He is One and there is no other than he.
    And to love him with all your heart,
    with all your understanding,
    with all your strength,
    and to love your neighbor as yourself

    is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
    And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
    he said to him,
    “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
    And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

    Feast day of Saint Cuthbert
    Born: 634, Dunbar, Kingdom of Northumbria (now in Scotland)
    Died: 20 March 687, Inner Farne, Kingdom of Northumbria (now in England)
    Cuthbert is an Anglo-Saxon saint of the early Northumbrian church in the Celtic tradition. He was a monk, bishop and hermit, associated with the monasteries of Melrose and Lindisfarne in what might loosely be termed the Kingdom of Northumbria, in North East England and the South East of Scotland.
    [​IMG] please pray for us

    Also the feast day for Saint Photina and others associated with her
    Photina was the Samaritan woman at the well. Her name means 'light'. There are legends regarding her death that are a little hard to believe, but it seems that Photina and her sons were martyred by the order of Nero.
    [​IMG]
    Holy martyrs, Photina and friends, please pray for us.
     
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  16. March 21
    Saturday of the Third Week of Lent
    Lectionary: 242

    Reading 1 Hos 6:1-6
    “Come, let us return to the LORD,
    it is he who has rent, but he will heal us;
    he has struck us, but he will bind our wounds.
    He will revive us after two days;
    on the third day he will raise us up,
    to live in his presence.
    Let us know, let us strive to know the LORD;
    as certain as the dawn is his coming,
    and his judgment shines forth like the light of day!
    He will come to us like the rain,
    like spring rain that waters the earth.”

    What can I do with you, Ephraim?
    What can I do with you, Judah?
    Your piety is like a morning cloud,
    like the dew that early passes away.
    For this reason I smote them through the prophets,
    I slew them by the words of my mouth;
    For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice,
    and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

    Responsorial Psalm 51:3-4, 18-19, 20-21ab
    R. (see Hosea 6:6) It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.
    Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
    in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
    Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
    and of my sin cleanse me.
    R. It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.
    For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
    should I offer a burnt offering, 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. It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.
    Be bountiful, O LORD, to Zion in your kindness
    by rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem;
    Then shall you be pleased with due sacrifices,
    burnt offerings and holocausts.
    R. It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.

    Verse Before the GospelPs 95:8
    If today you hear his voice,
    harden not your hearts.

    Gospel Lk 18:9-14
    Jesus addressed this parable
    to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
    and despised everyone else.
    “Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
    one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
    The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
    ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —
    greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.
    I fast twice a week,
    and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
    But the tax collector stood off at a distance
    and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
    but beat his breast and prayed,
    ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
    I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
    for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
    and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

    Saint Enda of Aran (Éanna, Éinne or Endeus, died c. 530 AD) is an Irish saint.His feast day is 21 March.. Enda was a warrior-king of Oriel in Ulster, converted by his sister, Saint Fanchea, an abbess. About 484 he established the first Irish monastery at Killeaney on Aran Mor. (from wikipedia:
    The monks invariably carried out the monastic rule of procuring their own food and clothing by the labor of their hands. Some fished around the islands; others cultivated patches of oats or barley in sheltered spots between the rocks. Others ground grain or kneaded the meal into bread, and baked it for the use of the brethren. They spun and wove their own garments from the undyed wool of their own sheep. They could grow no fruit in these storm-swept islands; they drank neither wine nor mead, and they had no flesh meat, except perhaps a little for the sick. St Enda himself died in old age around the year 530.

    Enda's monastery flourished until Viking times, but much of the stone was ransacked by Cromwell's men in the 1650s for fortifications, so only scattered ruins remain. Most survive as coastal ruined towers. Cattle, goats, and horses now huddle and shiver in the storm under many of the ruins of old walls where once men lived and prayed. These structures were the chosen home of a group of poor and devoted men under Saint Enda. He taught them to love the hard rock, the dripping cave, and the barren earth swept by the western gales. They were "men of the caves", and "also men of the Cross".
    St Enda is described as the "patriarch of Irish monasticism".
    [​IMG] Saint Enda, please pray for us.
    I am not sure if I will be reliable about posting the daily Mass reading and Saint of the day. If I do not update it daily, please anyone or everyone, feel free to maintain this thread. God bless you!
     
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  17. March 22
    Fourth Sunday of Lent
    Lectionary: 31

    Reading 1 1 Sm 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
    The LORD said to Samuel:
    “Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way.
    I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem,
    for I have chosen my king from among his sons.”

    As Jesse and his sons came to the sacrifice,
    Samuel looked at Eliab and thought,
    “Surely the LORD’s anointed is here before him.”
    But the LORD said to Samuel:
    “Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature,
    because I have rejected him.
    Not as man sees does God see,
    because man sees the appearance
    but the LORD looks into the heart.”
    In the same way Jesse presented seven sons before Samuel,
    but Samuel said to Jesse,
    “The LORD has not chosen any one of these.”
    Then Samuel asked Jesse,
    “Are these all the sons you have?”
    Jesse replied,
    “There is still the youngest, who is tending the sheep.”
    Samuel said to Jesse,
    “Send for him;
    we will not begin the sacrificial banquet until he arrives here.”
    Jesse sent and had the young man brought to them.
    He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold
    and making a splendid appearance.
    The LORD said,
    “There—anoint him, for this is the one!”
    Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand,
    anointed David in the presence of his brothers;
    and from that day on, the spirit of the LORD rushed upon David.

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 23: 1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6.
    R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
    The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    beside restful waters he leads me;
    he refreshes my soul.
    R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
    He guides me in right paths
    for his name’s sake.
    Even though I walk in the dark valley
    I fear no evil; for you are at my side
    With your rod and your staff
    that give me courage.
    R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
    You spread the table before me
    in the sight of my foes;
    you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
    R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
    Only goodness and kindness follow me
    all the days of my life;
    and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
    for years to come.
    R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

    Reading 2 Eph 5:8-14
    Brothers and sisters:
    You were once darkness,
    but now you are light in the Lord.
    Live as children of light,
    for light produces every kind of goodness
    and righteousness and truth.
    Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
    Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness;
    rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention
    the things done by them in secret;
    but everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
    for everything that becomes visible is light.
    Therefore, it says:

    “Awake, O sleeper,
    and arise from the dead,
    and Christ will give you light.”

    Verse Before the GospelJn 8:12
    I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
    whoever follows me will have the light of life.

    Gospel Jn 9:1-41
    As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth.
    His disciples asked him,
    “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents,
    that he was born blind?”
    Jesus answered,
    “Neither he nor his parents sinned;
    it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.
    We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day.
    Night is coming when no one can work.
    While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
    When he had said this, he spat on the ground
    and made clay with the saliva,
    and smeared the clay on his eyes,
    and said to him,
    “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” —which means Sent—.
    So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

    His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said,
    “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?”
    Some said, “It is, “
    but others said, “No, he just looks like him.”
    He said, “I am.”
    So they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”
    He replied,
    “The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes
    and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’
    So I went there and washed and was able to see.”
    And they said to him, “Where is he?”

    He said, “I don’t know.”

    They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees.
    Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath.
    So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see.
    He said to them,
    “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.”
    So some of the Pharisees said,
    “This man is not from God,
    because he does not keep the sabbath.”
    But others said,
    “How can a sinful man do such signs?”
    And there was a division among them.
    So they said to the blind man again,
    “What do you have to say about him,
    since he opened your eyes?”
    He said, “He is a prophet.”

    Now the Jews did not believe
    that he had been blind and gained his sight
    until they summoned the parents of the one who had gained his sight.
    They asked them,
    “Is this your son, who you say was born blind?
    How does he now see?”
    His parents answered and said,
    “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind.
    We do not know how he sees now,
    nor do we know who opened his eyes.
    Ask him, he is of age;
    he can speak for himself.”
    His parents said this because they were afraid
    of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed
    that if anyone acknowledged him as the Christ,
    he would be expelled from the synagogue.
    For this reason his parents said,
    “He is of age; question him.”

    So a second time they called the man who had been blind
    and said to him, “Give God the praise!
    We know that this man is a sinner.”
    He replied,
    “If he is a sinner, I do not know.
    One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see.”
    So they said to him,
    “What did he do to you?
    How did he open your eyes?”
    He answered them,
    “I told you already and you did not listen.
    Why do you want to hear it again?

    Do you want to become his disciples, too?”
    They ridiculed him and said,
    “You are that man’s disciple;
    we are disciples of Moses!
    We know that God spoke to Moses,
    but we do not know where this one is from.”
    The man answered and said to them,
    “This is what is so amazing,
    that you do not know where he is from, yet he opened my eyes.
    We know that God does not listen to sinners,
    but if one is devout and does his will, he listens to him.
    It is unheard of that anyone ever opened the eyes of a person born blind.
    If this man were not from God,
    he would not be able to do anything.”
    They answered and said to him,
    “You were born totally in sin,
    and are you trying to teach us?”
    Then they threw him out.

    When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out,
    he found him and said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
    He answered and said,
    “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”
    Jesus said to him,
    “You have seen him,
    the one speaking with you is he.”
    He said,
    “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.
    Then Jesus said,
    “I came into this world for judgment,
    so that those who do not see might see,
    and those who do see might become blind.”

    Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this
    and said to him, “Surely we are not also blind, are we?”
    Jesus said to them,
    “If you were blind, you would have no sin;
    but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains.

    or
    Jn 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38


    As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth.
    He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva,
    and smeared the clay on his eyes,
    and said to him,
    “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” — which means Sent —.
    So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

    His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said,
    “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?”
    Some said, “It is, “
    but others said, “No, he just looks like him.”
    He said, “I am.”

    They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees.
    Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath.
    So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see.
    He said to them,
    “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.”
    So some of the Pharisees said,
    “This man is not from God,
    because he does not keep the sabbath.”
    But others said,
    “How can a sinful man do such signs?”
    And there was a division among them.
    So they said to the blind man again,
    “What do you have to say about him,
    since he opened your eyes?”
    He said, “He is a prophet.”

    They answered and said to him,
    “You were born totally in sin,
    and are you trying to teach us?”
    Then they threw him out.

    When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out,
    he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
    He answered and said,
    “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”
    Jesus said to him,
    “You have seen him, and
    the one speaking with you is he.”
    He said,
    “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.

    Feast day of Saint Deogratias, Bishop, died in 457
    Bishop of Carthage in 454, succeeding Bishop Quodvultdeus who was exiled by the Vandals who had invaded Carthage. After twelve years without a bishop, the Vandal king, Geiseric, allowed Deogratias to be consecrated Bishop of Carthage. Geiseric brought many Italian captives to Carthage, Bishop Deogratius ransomed them by selling the gold and silver vessels and ornaments of the altar and was able to free a great number of families. As there were not enough homes in Carthage to house the ransomed people, Deogratias allowed the people to sleep in two of the churches where he also organized a daily distribution of food. His enemies plotted to kill him, but it seems that he died from exhaustion after just three years of being bishop. He was deeply mourned by the people of Carthage.
    (I couldn't find an image for this saint.) Please pray for us, Saint Deogratias, you had a cool name, let us give thanks to God for all, the joys and the sorrows. Amen.
     
  18. March 23
    Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent
    Lectionary: 244

    Reading 1 Is 65:17-21
    Thus says the LORD:
    Lo, I am about to create new heavens
    and a new earth;
    The things of the past shall not be remembered
    or come to mind.
    Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness
    in what I create;
    For I create Jerusalem to be a joy
    and its people to be a delight;
    I will rejoice in Jerusalem
    and exult in my people.
    No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there,
    or the sound of crying;
    No longer shall there be in it
    an infant who lives but a few days,
    or an old man who does not round out his full lifetime;
    He dies a mere youth who reaches but a hundred years,
    and he who fails of a hundred shall be thought accursed.
    They shall live in the houses they build,
    and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant.

    Responsorial Psalm 30:2 and 4, 5-6, 11-12a and 13b
    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 nether world;
    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.

    Verse Before the GospelAm 5:14
    Seek good and not evil so that you may live,
    and the LORD will be with you.

    Gospel Jn 4:43-54
    At that time Jesus left [Samaria] for Galilee.
    For Jesus himself testified
    that a prophet has no honor in his native place.
    When he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him,
    since they had seen all he had done in Jerusalem at the feast;
    for they themselves had gone to the feast.

    Then he returned to Cana in Galilee,
    where he had made the water wine.
    Now there was a royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum.
    When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea,
    he went to him and asked him to come down
    and heal his son, who was near death.
    Jesus said to him,
    “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.”
    The royal official said to him,
    “Sir, come down before my child dies.”
    Jesus said to him, “You may go; your son will live.”
    The man believed what Jesus said to him and left.
    While the man was on his way back,
    his slaves met him and told him that his boy would live.
    He asked them when he began to recover.
    They told him,
    “The fever left him yesterday, about one in the afternoon.”
    The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him,
    “Your son will live,”
    and he and his whole household came to believe.
    Now this was the second sign Jesus did
    when he came to Galilee from Judea.

    Feast of Saint Turibius of Mogrovejo, Bishop, died 1606, patron of native rights
    Born in 1538 at Majorca, Spain, Turibius became a professor of law at the University of Salamanca and was appointed president of the cout of the Inquisition at Granada. In 1581, while still a layman, he was appointed to the See of Lima, Peru...a very difficult assignment both religiously and geographically.
    For the next twenty-five years, this holy man wore himself out in the service of evangelization. He traversed his entire diocese on foot, willingly exposing himself to the tropical climate, wild animals, diseases and other dangers in order to reform the clergy and instruct the people in the Faith. He founded the first seminary on the American continent, and baptized and confirmed close to a million people.
    His work was aided by the fact that he took the trouble to learn the Indian languages of the people and opposed all attempts to justify the Spaniards ill treatment of the native people. Thus, his reputation spread beyond that of Peru.
    Saint Turibius was ever solicitous of the feelings of the poor and ceaseless in his charity toward them. In the course of his ministrations, he also befriended and confirmed Saint Rose (of Lima). Then, in 1606, at the age of sixty-eight, he received Viaticum and passed on to his eternal reward.
    [​IMG]
    Please Saint Turibius, pray for us.
     
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  19. March 24
    Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
    Lectionary: 245

    Reading 1 Ez 47:1-9, 12
    The angel brought me, Ezekiel,
    back to the entrance of the temple of the LORD,
    and I saw water flowing out
    from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east,
    for the façade of the temple was toward the east;
    the water flowed down from the right side of the temple,
    south of the altar.
    He led me outside by the north gate,
    and around to the outer gate facing the east,
    where I saw water trickling from the right side.
    Then when he had walked off to the east
    with a measuring cord in his hand,
    he measured off a thousand cubits
    and had me wade through the water,
    which was ankle-deep.
    He measured off another thousand
    and once more had me wade through the water,
    which was now knee-deep.
    Again he measured off a thousand and had me wade;
    the water was up to my waist.
    Once more he measured off a thousand,
    but there was now a river through which I could not wade;
    for the water had risen so high it had become a river
    that could not be crossed except by swimming.
    He asked me, “Have you seen this, son of man?”
    Then he brought me to the bank of the river, where he had me sit.
    Along the bank of the river I saw very many trees on both sides.
    He said to me,
    “This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah,
    and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh.
    Wherever the river flows,
    every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live,
    and there shall be abundant fish,
    for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.
    Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow;
    their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.
    Every month they shall bear fresh fruit,
    for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.
    Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.”

    Responsorial Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9
    R. (8) The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
    God is our refuge and our strength,
    an ever-present help in distress.
    Therefore we fear not, though the earth be shaken
    and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea.
    R. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
    There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God,
    the holy dwelling of the Most High.
    God is in its midst; it shall not be disturbed;
    God will help it at the break of dawn.
    R. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
    The LORD of hosts is with us;
    our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
    Come! behold the deeds of the LORD,
    the astounding things he has wrought on earth.
    R. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

    Verse Before the Gospel Ps 51:12a, 14a
    A clean heart create for me, O God;
    give me back the joy of your salvation.

    Gospel Jn 5:1-16
    There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
    Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate
    a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes.
    In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled.
    One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
    When Jesus saw him lying there
    and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him,
    “Do you want to be well?”
    The sick man answered him,
    “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool
    when the water is stirred up;
    while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.”
    Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.”
    Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

    Now that day was a sabbath.
    So the Jews said to the man who was cured,
    “It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.”
    He answered them, “The man who made me well told me,
    ‘Take up your mat and walk.’“
    They asked him,
    “Who is the man who told you, ‘Take it up and walk’?”
    The man who was healed did not know who it was,
    for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there.
    After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him,
    “Look, you are well; do not sin any more,
    so that nothing worse may happen to you.”
    The man went and told the Jews
    that Jesus was the one who had made him well.
    Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus
    because he did this on a sabbath.

    Feast day of Saint Catherine of Sweden, Virgin, Invoked against miscarriages
    Catherine was the princess daughter of Ulfo Gudmarsson, prince of Sweden and of Saint Bridget (of Sweden). Catherine was educated in a convent and upon reaching the age of thirteen, her father arranged for her to be married to Egard, a young German nobleman of great virtue. The couple mutually decided to remain chaste in their marriage. They encouraged each other to mortification, prayer and works of charity. Bridget and Catherine undertook a pilgrimage to Rome after the death of Catherine's father. After their arrival in 1349, Catherine learned that her dear husband had died, also. In Rome, Bridget and Catherine venerated the Roman martyrs relics and they participated in the devotions to the Passion of Christ. Bridget died in Rome and Catherine took her body back to Sweden for burial. Catherine returned to Rome in 1375 to promote her mother's canonization and to receive permission to start the Brigittines Order (also known as the Order of the Holy Savior). During the last twenty five years of her life, Catherine lived in mortification and penance. She was canonized in 1484. I was not able to find why Saint Catherine is invoked against miscarriages, so I am left wondering....

    Please Saint Catherine of Sweden, pray for us.
    As John requested, I will not post images of the saint of the day to reduce data usage. May God bless Padraig, John and all those who contribute to the forum and our holiness.
     
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