Sunday, April 20, 2014

 

Monday within the Octave of Easter

April 21, 2014
Monday within the Octave of Easter

Acts 2: 14, 22-33 / Ps 16: 1-2a and 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11 / Mt 28: 8-15

Reading: Acts 2: 14, 22-33
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and, with a loud voice, addressed them, "Fellow Jews and all foreigners now staying in Jerusalem, listen to what I have to say. Fellow Israelites, listen to what I am going to tell you about Jesus of Nazareth. God accredited him and through him did powerful deeds and wonders and signs in your midst, as you well know. You delivered him to sinners to be crucified and killed, and in this way the purpose of God from all times was fulfilled. But God raised him to life and released him from the pain of death, because it was impossible for him to be held in the power of death. David spoke of him when he said: I saw the Lord before me at all times; he is by my side, that I may not be shaken. Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue rejoiced; my body too will live in hope. Because you will not forsake me in the abode of the dead, nor allow your Holy One to experience corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life, and your presence will fill me with joy. Friends, I don't need to prove that the patriarch David died and was buried; his tomb is with us to this day. But he knew that God had sworn to him that one of his descendants would sit upon his throne and, as he was a prophet, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah. So he said that he would not be left in the region of the dead, nor would his body experience corruption. This Messiah is Jesus and we are all witnesses that God raised him to life. He has been exalted at God's right side and the Father has entrusted the Holy Spirit to him; this Spirit he has just poured upon us as you now see and hear.

Gospel:  Mt 28: 8- 15   
They left the tomb at once in holy fear, yet with great joy, and they ran to tell the news to the disciples. Suddenly, Jesus met them on the way and said, "Peace." The women approached him, embraced his feet and worshiped him. But Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to set out for Galilee; there they will see me." While the women were on their way, the guards returned to the city and some of them reported to the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests met with the Jewish authorities and decided to give the soldiers a good sum of money, with this instruction, "Say that his disciples came by night while you were asleep, and stole the body of Jesus. If Pilate comes to know of this, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." The soldiers accepted the money and did as they were told. This story has circulated among the Jews until this day.

Reflection:
     When we read the apparition stories, we are assured that one day we too will be raised from death. But to the people of Jesus' time, his apparition to his apostles after his death attested to the truth of his statement. After the raising of Lazarus from the dead, he told the people that he would be killed and after three days, he would rise from the dead for the life of the world
     He rewarded the women who got the news of his resurrection from the angel and obeyed the angel's instruction to go and tell his apostles to go to Galilee where he would meet them. Jesus met these women with his greeting of "PEACE" According to the evangelist he even allowed them to kiss his feet. On the other hand the evangelist Matthew recounts that the guards at the tomb went to inform the chief priest what happened. The chief priest told the guards to tell a different story to save themselves from the wrath of Pilate. And this is what is being circulated up to this time - that the disciples went to steal the body of Jesus at night. Yes, such things can happen and the liars are still telling lies. May we not fall into the same action of telling lies just to save ourselves.
     Now, Jesus completes his mission. Through his apostles and us as followers of Jesus, his mission of making the Father known continues to be preached. This is the mission he has left to all believers - to tell the world about God's love and his Fatherhood to all creation. 
     As Jesus rewarded the women who believed in him, he rewards us too with the gift  of the Holy Eucharist.    

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

 

Easter Sunday

April 20, 2014
Easter Sunday
[The Resurrection of the Lord, Solemnity]

Acts 10:34a, 37-43 / Ps 118: 1-2, 16-17, 22-23; Col 3: 1-4 or Cor: 6b-8 / John 20: 1-9 or Mt. 28:1-10 or evening Lk: 24:13-35.    
Easter Triduum ends after Evening Prayer

First Reading: Acts 10: 34a, 37-43
Peter then spoke to them, "Truly, I realize that God does not show partiality. No doubt you have heard of the event that occurred throughout the whole country of the Jews, beginning from Galilee, after the baptism John preached.  You know how God anointed Jesus the Nazarean with Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all who were under the devil's power, because God was with him; we are witnesses of all that he did throughout the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem itself. Yet they put him to death by hanging him on a wooden cross.  But God raised him to life on the third day and let him manifest himself, not to all the people, but to the witnesses that were chosen beforehand by God - to us who ate and drank with him after his resurrection from death. And he commanded us to preach to the people and to bear witness that he is the one appointed by God to judge the living and the dead.  All the prophets say of him, that everyone who believes in him has forgiveness of sins through his Name."

Second Reading: Col 3: 1-4
So then, if you are risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on earthly things. For you have died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, reveals himself, you also will be revealed with him in Glory.

Gospel: Mt 28: 1-10      
After the Sabbath, at the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a violent earthquake: an angel of the Lord descending from heaven, came to the stone, rolled it from the entrance of the tomb, and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning and his garment white as snow. The guards trembled in fear and became like dead men when they saw the angel. The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he is risen as he said. Come, see the place where they laid him; then go at once and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead and is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. This is my message for you." They left the tomb at once in holy fear, yet with great joy, and they ran to tell the news to the disciples. Suddenly, Jesus met them on the way and said, "Peace." The women approached him, embraced his feet and worshiped him. But Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to set out for Galilee; there they will see me."

Reflection:
     At the end of the Holy Week celebration, we have a beautiful custom in the Philippines called "salubong" translated from the Spanish word "encuentro." In some provinces, a tower is erected in strategic location in town and in the early Easter Sunday morning, the women and men first come to church and leave it taking different routes to reach the designated place for the encounter. A little child dressed like an angel is lowered from the tower, sings the Regina Coeli in Latin and at the appointed time lifts the veil from the Blessed Mother to signify the end of her sorrow because her Son has arisen from the dead. When the angelic song is done, the two groups return to the church to celebrate the Mass of the Resurrection and the little angel is hoisted back to the platform. A simpler form is to meet at a designated area where the angel sings the Regina Coeli, but there is no tower involved.
     The account of Christ meeting his mother after the Resurrection is not recorded in Scripture but as St Ignatius of Loyola points out it makes sense that Jesus would first visit his mother since he was very close to her on earth.
     What actually does the Resurrection mean to us today? Is it just one of the ordinary Sundays that we are expected to come to church and fulfill our Sunday duties? After Mass do we simply go like the rest of the world for parties and bring children to join one of the Easter egg hunts?
     Let us go back to the events of the Resurrection and try to understand the importance of this event in the life of our faith. The apostles had just lost their master and leader and were still grieving. They were hiding in the Upper Room in fear of their lives. They did not know what do to next. Then they hear this incredible news that the body of Jesus was no longer in the tomb. Mary first went to the tomb and saw the stone removed and placed at the entrance and she ran to tell Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved about it. One can imagine Peter's concern and wanting to make sure the body of his master was not desecrated, he and John took off to see what they could do about it. But the younger man outran Peter and reached the tomb first and saw the tomb empty. The younger man saw and believed that the Lord had risen. They had not yet understood the meaning of the empty tomb.
     What does the empty tomb mean? First, it tells us that Jesus fulfilled his promise that he would rise again on the third day after his death. St John's account of the empty tomb gives us the best response of the apostles. The one who had arrived first saw the burial cloth rolled neatly in a separate place and he believed. But the apostles had not yet understood the meaning of the Resurrection. It is only after a few days later that they would finally realize that he has arisen from the dead. Jesus would have to appear to the disciples, speak to them and convince them that he had come back to life.      
     Second the Resurrection of Jesus has the power to heal and transform the broken world. Look back at the state of mind of the disciples after the death of Christ. They were in hiding, very much afraid of the temple authorities. But once Jesus spoke to them and dined with them, they were transformed to do his work. They were no longer afraid of anyone and they simply came out and proclaimed the good news of salvation. 
     The disciples of Jesus realized they abandoned him and they felt powerless to defend him against the mighty forces of the Roman army. But none of that was ever brought up in any of the Resurrection accounts. All through the Resurrection accounts Jesus consoled, encouraged and gave peace to all. He kept telling them, "Peace be with you!" Lk 24:6 / Jn 20: 19, 21 & 26.
     The Resurrection of Jesus or the empty tomb finally reminds us that it empowered the disciples to transform themselves and the world. It is an incredible story of how a small band of rural folks could have the power to change the world. They could not have done this on their own. It is through the power of the Almighty working through people that the message of salvation has been passed on from generation to generation. We are Easter people and we are called to transform the world. Let us do that with joy in our hearts every day of our lives.

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

**************************************************
These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following:

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   |  The Daily Prayer, a service and an apostolate of the
   |  priests, laity and friends of Mary the Queen Parish
   |            http://www.marythequeen.org
   |  Distributed free and for personal use only. 
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Friday, April 18, 2014

 

Holy Saturday

April 19, 2014
Holy Saturday

Easter Vigil: Gn 1:1 - 2:2 or 1: 1, 26-31a / Ps 104: 1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 13-14, 24, 35 or Ps 33: 4-5, 6-7, 12-13, 20-22 / Gn 22: 1-18 or 22: 1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18 / Ps 16: 5, 8, 9-10, 11 / Ex 14: 15 -- 15: 1 / Ex 15: 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 17-18 / Is 54: 5-14 / Ps 30: 2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13 / Is 55: 1-11 / Is 12: 2-3, 4, 5-6 / Bar 3: 9-15, 32 - 4: 4/ Ps 19: 8, 9, 10, 11 / Ez 36: 16-17a, 18-28 / Ps 42: 3, 5; 43: 3, 4 or Is 12: 2-3, 4bcd, 5-6 or Ps 51: 12-13, 14-15, 18-19 / Rom 6: 3-11/ Ps 118: 1-2, 16-17, 22-23 / Mt 28: 1-10

First Reading: Genesis 1:1 - 2:2
In the beginning, when God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth had no form and was void; darkness was over the deep and the Spirit of God hovered over the waters. God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. God saw that the light was good and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light 'Day' and the darkness 'Night'. There was evening and there was morning: the first day. God said, "Let there be a firm ceiling between the waters and let it separate waters from waters." So God made the ceiling and separated the waters below it from the waters above it. And so it was. God called the firm ceiling 'Sky'. There was evening and there was morning: the second day. God said, "Let the waters below the sky be gathered together in one place and let dry land appear." And so it was. God called the dry land 'Earth', and the waters gathered together he called 'Seas'. God saw that it was good. God said, "Let the earth produce vegetation, seed-bearing plants, fruittrees bearing fruit with seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth." And so it was. The earth produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kind and trees producing fruit which has seed, according to their kind. God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning: the third day. God said, "Let there be lights in the ceiling of the sky to separate day from night and to serve as signs for the seasons, days and years; and let these lights in the sky shine above the earth." And so it was. God therefore made two great lights, the greater light to govern the day and the smaller light to govern the night; and God made the stars as well. God placed them in the ceiling of the sky to give light on the earth and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning: the fourth day. God said, "Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth under the ceiling of the sky."
God created the great monsters of the sea and all living animals, those that teem in the waters, according to their kind, and every winged bird, according to its kind. God saw that it was good. God blessed them saying, "Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the waters of the sea, and let the birds increase on the earth." There was evening and there was morning: the fifth day. God said, "Let the earth produce living animals according to their kind: cattle, creatures that move along the ground, wild animals according to their kind." So it was. God created the wild animals according to their kind, and everything that creeps along the ground according to its kind. God saw that it was good. God said, "Let us make man in our image, to our likeness. Let them rule over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, over the cattle, over the wild animals, and over all creeping things that crawl along the ground." So God created man in his image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it, rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the sky, over every living creature that moves on the ground." God said, "I have given you every seed-bearing plant which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree that bears fruit with seed. It will be for your food. To every wild animal, to every bird of the sky, to everything that creeps along the ground, to everything that has the breath of life, I give every green plant for food." So it was. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. There was evening and there was morning: the sixth day. That was the way the sky and earth were created and all their vast array. By the seventh day the work God had done was completed, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had done.

Second Reading: Genesis 22: 1-18
Some time later God tested Abraham and said to him, "Abraham!" And he answered, "Here I am." Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I shall point out to you." Abraham rose early next morning and saddled his donkey and took with him two of his young men and his son Isaac. He chopped wood for the burnt offering and set out for the place to which God had directed him. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance, and he said to the young men, "Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship and then we will come back to you." Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. He carried in his hand the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke to Abraham, his father, "Father!" And Abraham replied, "Yes, my son?" Isaac said, "The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?" Abraham replied, "God himself will provide the lamb for the sacrifice." They went on, the two of them together, until they came to the place to which God had directed them. When Abraham had built the altar and set the wood on it, he bound his son Isaac and laid him on the wood placed on the altar. He then stretched out his hand to seize the knife and slay his son. But the Angel of Yahweh called to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." "Do not lay your hand on the boy; do not harm him, for now I know that you fear God, and you have not held back from me your only son." Abraham looked around and saw behind him a ram caught by its horns in a bush. He offered it as a burnt offering in place of his son. Abraham named the place 'The Lord will provide.' And the saying has lasted to this day. And the Angel of Yahweh called from heaven a second time, "By myself I have sworn, it is Yahweh who speaks, because you have done this and not held back your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the lands of their enemies. All the nations of the earth will be blessed through your descendants because you have obeyed me."

Third Reading: Exodus 14:15 -15:1
Yahweh said to Moses, "Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. You will raise your staff and stretch your hand over the sea and divide it to let the Israelites go dryfoot through the sea. I will so harden the minds of the Egyptians that they will follow you. And I will have glory at the expense of Pharaoh, his army, his chariots and horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am Yahweh when I gain glory for myself at the cost of Pharaoh and his army!" The Angel of God who had gone ahead of the Israelites now placed himself behind them. The pillar of cloud changed its position from the front to the rear, between the camps of the Israelites and the Egyptians. For one army the cloud provided light, for the other darkness so that throughout the night the armies drew no closer to each other. Moses stretched his hand over the sea and Yahweh made a strong east wind blow allnight and dry up the sea and the sons of Israel went on dry ground through the middle of the sea, with the waters forming a wall to their right and to their left. The Egyptians followed them and all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots and horsemen moved forward in the middle of the sea. It happened that in the morning watch, Yahweh in the pillar of cloud and fire, looked towards the Egyptian camp and threw it into confusion. He so clogged their chariot wheels that they could hardly move. Then the Egyptians said, "Let us flee from the Israelites for Yahweh is fighting for them against Egypt." Then Yahweh said to Moses, "Stretch your hand over the sea and let the waters come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and horsemen." Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. At daybreak the sea returned to its place. As the Egyptians tried to flee, Yahweh swept them into the sea. The waters flowed back and engulfed the chariots and horsemen of the whole army of Pharaoh that had followed Israel into the sea. Not one of them escaped. As for the Israelites they went forward on dry ground in the middle of the sea, the waters forming a wall on their right and their left. On that day Yahweh delivered Israel from the power of the Egyptians and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the seashore. They understood what wonders Yahweh had done for them against Egypt, and the people feared Yahweh. They believed in Yahweh and in Moses, his servant. Then Moses and the people sang this song to Yahweh: I will sing to Yahweh, the glorious one, horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.

Fourth Reading: Isaiah 54: 5-14
For your Maker is to marry you: Yahweh Sabaoth is his name. Your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel: He is called God of all the earth. For Yahweh has called you back as one forsaken and grieved in spirit. Who could abandon his first beloved? says your God. For a brief moment I have abandoned you, but with great tenderness I will gather my people. For a moment, in an outburst of anger, I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I have had mercy on you, says Yahweh, your Redeemer. This is for me like Noah's waters, when I swore that they would no more flood the earth; so now I swear not to be angry with you and never again to rebuke you. The mountains may depart and the hills be moved, but never will my love depart from you nor my covenant of peace be removed, says Yahweh whose compassion is for you. O afflicted city, lashed by storm and unconsoled, I will set your stones with turquoise, your foundations with sapphires. I will crown your wall with agate, make your gates crystal, and your ramparts of precious stones. All your children will be taught by Yahweh, and they will prosper greatly. Justice will be your foundation; tyranny and the fear of oppression will never come near you.   

Fifth Reading: Isaiah 55: 1-11
Come here, all you who are thirsty, come to the water! All who have no money, come! Yes, without money and at no cost, buy and drink wine and milk. Why spend money on what is not food and labor for what does not satisfy? Listen to me, and you will eat well; you will enjoy the richest of fare. Incline your ear and come to me; listen, that your soul may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, I will fulfill in you my promises to David. See, I have given him for a witness to the nations, a leader and commander of the people. Likewise you will summon a nation unknown to you, and nations that do not know you will come hurrying to you for the sake of Yahweh your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has promoted you. Seek Yahweh while he may be found; call to him while he is near. Let the wicked abandon his way, let him forsake his thoughts, let him turn to Yahweh for he will have mercy, for our God is generous in forgiving. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways are not your ways, says Yahweh. For as the heavens are above the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return till they have watered the earth, making it yield seed for the sower and food for others to eat, so is my word that goes forth out of my mouth: it will not return to me idle, but it shall accomplish my will, the purpose for which it has been sent.   

Sixth Reading: Baruch 3: 9-15, 32 - 4: 4
Listen, Israel, to the commands of life, give ear so as to learn prudence, Why, Israel! Why are you in the land of your foes? Why are you growing old in a foreign country, contaminated by pagans, counted among those who go to the pit? You have abandoned the source of Wisdom. If you had walked in the way of God, peace would be your dwelling place forever. Learn where is Wisdom, where is Strength and Understanding, that you may know, at the same time, where are length of days and life, light of the eyes and Peace. Who will find Wisdom's dwelling? Who will enter her storage rooms? But he who knows everything recognizes her. He has found her in his own intellect. He who created the earth, for all time, and has filled it with four-footed beings. He who sends the light, and it goes, who recalls it, and trembling it obeys. The stars shine, full of joy, to keep their night watches. He calls them and they answer, "Here we are." They shine with joy for their Creator. It is he who is our God, no other can be compared with him. He has found the way of understanding and has given her to Jacob his servant and to Israel his well-beloved. Then Wisdom was seen on earth and lived among humans. She herself is the book of the commands of God, the law which endures forever. All who hold fast to her will have life but those who abandon her will die. Come back, Jacob, and embrace her, walk towards brightness under her light. Do not give up what is your glory or sell your privileges to any strange nation. We are fortunate, O Israel, for we know what pleases the Lord!

Seventh Reading: Ezekiel 36:16-17a, 18-28
The word of Yahweh came to me in these terms, "Son of man, when Israel occupied her own land she defiled it by her way of life and her actions.  I poured out my fury on them because of the blood they shed in the land and because they defiled it with their filthy idols. Then I scattered them among the nations and dispersed them in other lands. I judged them according to their conduct and their actions. But when they were brought to other nations, my holy Name was profaned because others said of them: 'The people of Yahweh had to be exiled from his land!' Then I was concerned for my holy Name, profaned by Israel among the nations where she had been dispersed. Now you shall say to the people of Israel: It is not for your sake that I am about to act, but because of my holy Name that you have profaned in the places where you have gone. I will make known the holiness of my great Name, profaned among the nations because of you, and they will know that I am Yahweh when I show them my holiness among you. For I will gather you from all the nations and bring you back to your own land. Then I shall pour pure water over you and you shall be made clean - cleansed from the defilement of all your idols. I shall give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. I shall remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I shall put my spirit within you and move you to follow my decrees and keep my laws. You will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you shall be my people and I will be your God.

Epistle: Rom 6: 3-11
Don't you know that in baptism which unites us to Christ we are all baptized and plunged into his death? By this baptism in his death, we were buried with Christ and, as Christ was raised from among the dead by the Glory of the Father, so we begin walking in a new life. If we have been joined to him by dying a death like his so we shall be by a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with Christ, so as to destroy what of us was sin, so that we may no longer serve sin - if we are dead, we are no longer in debt to sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe we will also live with him. We know that Christ, once risen from the dead, will not die again and death has no more dominion over him. For by dying, he is dead to sin once and for all, and now the life that he lives is life with God. So you, too, must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Gospel: Mt 28:1-10
After the Sabbath, at the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a violent earthquake: an angel of the Lord descending from heaven, came to the stone, rolled it from the entrance of the tomb, and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning and his garment white as snow. The guards trembled in fear and became like dead men when they saw the angel. The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he is risen as he said. Come, see the place where they laid him; then go at once and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead and is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. This is my message for you." They left the tomb at once in holy fear, yet with great joy, and they ran to tell the news to the disciples. Suddenly, Jesus met them on the way and said, "Peace." The women approached him, embraced his feet and worshiped him. But Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to set out for Galilee; there they will see me."

Reflection:
     Throughout history, Galilee has been known to be home to a number of rabbis, healers and mystics. During Jesus' time, however, it was different. For the Jewish authorities, it seemed impossible that THE Messiah would come from the provincial district where craftsmen, fishermen and farmers live. They would point out that the Scriptures have indicated that THE Messiah would not come from Galilee much less Nazareth.
     For Jesus and his disciples, Galilee was home. There they found solace. It was there that Jesus directed them to go. It seemed like he was saying, "Go home and find solace in the place where it all started so you may understand." As always, Jesus made sure that the ones he loved knew that he had not forgotten them and that he had prepared for them. Jesus said: "Go and tell my brothers to set out for Galilee; there they will see me." These words must have been very reassuring to his friends.
     In his Easter recollection last May 2013, His Eminence Antonio Cardinal Tagle, spoke of going to our Galilee. He intimated that we all have our own special Galilee where we would meet and serve God. The life of a Christian is service. When Jesus washed the feet of his apostles, he showed us not only how we should serve but also why we should do so. Going back to our Galilee means going back to that place where we can find solace in serving God. In doing we so, we are helping build God's kingdom here on earth. To be Christian means to truly belong to God, to be in His kingdom, to be home.
     Where is your Galilee?

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for repose of the soul - Felisa Dy

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

 

Good Friday

April 18, 2014
Good Friday
Fasting and Abstinence
(Mass is not celebrated today.)

Celebration of the Lord's Passion:
Is 52:13 - 53:12 / Ps 31: 2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25 / Heb 4: 14-16; 5: 7-9 / Jn 18: 1 - 19: 42

First Reading: Is 52:13 - 53:12
It is now when my servant will succeed; he will be exalted and highly praised. Just as many have been horrified at his disfigured appearance: "Is this a man? He does not look like one," so will nations be astounded, kings will stand speechless, for they will see something never told, they will witness something never heard of. Who could believe what we have heard, and to whom has Yahweh revealed his feat? Like a root out of dry ground, like a sapling he grew up before us, with nothing attractive in his appearance, no beauty, no majesty. He was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows familiar with grief, a man from whom people hide their face, spurned and considered of no account. Yet ours were the sorrows he bore, ours were the sufferings he endured, although we considered him as one punished by God, stricken and brought low. Destroyed because of our sins, he was crushed for our wickedness. Through his punishment we are made whole; by his wounds we are healed. Like sheep we had all gone astray, each following his own way; but Yahweh laid upon him all our guilt. He was harshly treated, but unresisting and silent, he humbly submitted. Like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearer he did not open his mouth. He was taken away to detention and judgment - what an unthinkable fate! He was cut off from the land of the living, stricken for his people's sin. They made his tomb with the wicked, they put him in the graveyard of the oppressors, though he had done no violence nor spoken in deceit. Yet it was the will of Yahweh to crush him with grief. When he makes himself an offering for sin, he will have a long life and see his descendants. Through him the will of Yahweh is done. For the anguish he suffered, he will see the light and obtain perfect knowledge. My just servant will justify the multitude; he will bear and take away their guilt. Therefore I will give him his portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong. For he surrendered himself to death and was even counted among the wicked, bearing the sins of the multitude and interceding for sinners.

Second Reading: Heb 4: 14-16; 5: 7-9
We have a great High Priest, Jesus, the Son of God, who has entered heaven. Let us, then, hold fast to the faith we profess. Our high priest is not indif ferent to our weaknesses, for he was tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sinning. Let us, then, with confidence approach the throne of grace; we will obtain mercy and, through his favor, help in due time. Christ, in the days of his mortal life, offered his sacrifice with tears and cries. He prayed to him who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his humble submission. Although he was Son, he learned through suffering what obedience was, and once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for those who obey him.

Gospel: Jn 18:1-19: 42
When Jesus had finished speaking, he went with his disciples to the other side of the Kidron Valley. There was a garden there where Jesus entered with his disciples. Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place since Jesus had often met there with his disciples. He led soldiers of the Roman battalion and guards from the chief priests and Pharisees, who went there with lanterns, torches and weapons. Jesus knew all that was going to happen to him; he stepped forward and asked, "Who are you looking for?" They answered, "Jesus the Nazarene." Jesus said, "I am he." Judas, who betrayed him, stood there with them. When Jesus said, "I am he," they moved back and fell to the ground. He then asked a second time, "Who are you looking for?" and they answered, "Jesus the Nazarene." Jesus replied, "I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, let these others go." So what Jesus had said came true: "I have not lost one of those you gave me." Simon Peter had a sword; he drew it and struck Malchus, the High Priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?" The guards and the soldiers, with their commander, seized Jesus and bound him; and they took him first to Annas. Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was the High Priest that year; and it was Caiaphas who had told the Jews: "It is better that one man should die for the people." Simon Peter with another disciple followed Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the High Priest, they let him enter the courtyard of the High Priest along with Jesus, but Peter had to stay outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the High Priest went out and spoke to the maidservant at the gate and brought Peter in. Then, this servant on duty at the door said to Peter, "So you also are one of his disciples?" But he answered, "I am not." Now the servants and the guards had made a charcoal fire and were standing and warming themselves, because it was cold. Peter was also with them warming himself. The High Priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, "I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in places where the Jews meet together, either at the assemblies in synagogues or in the Temple. I did not teach secretly. Why then do you ask me? Ask those who heard me, they know what I said." At this reply one of the guards standing by gave Jesus a blow on the face, saying, "Is that the way to answer the High Priest?" Jesus said to him, "If I have spoken wrongly, point it out; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?" Then Annas sent him, bound, to Caiaphas, the High Priest. Now Simon Peter stood there warming himself. They said to him, "Surely you also are one of his disciples." He denied it and answered, "I am not." One of the High Priest's servants, a kinsman of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, "Did I not see you with him in the garden?" Again Peter denied it, and at once the cock crowed. Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the court of the Roman governor. It was now morning. The Jews didn't enter lest they be made unclean (by coming into the house of a pagan) and be unable to eat the Passover meal. So Pilate went out and asked, "What charge do you bring against this man?" They answered, "If he were not a criminal, we would not be handing him over to you." Pilate said, "Take him yourselves and judge him according to your own law." But they replied, "We ourselves are not allowed to put anyone to death." It was clear from this what kind of death Jesus was to die, according to what Jesus himself had foretold. Pilate then entered the court again, called Jesus and asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus replied, "Does this word come from you, or did you hear it from others?" Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingship does not come from this world. If I were king like those of this world, my guards would have fought to save me from being handed over to the Jews. But my kingship is not from here." Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" And Jesus answered, "Just as you say, I am a king. For this I was born and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is on the side of truth hears my voice."Pilate said, "What is truth?" Pilate then went out to the Jews again and said, "I find no crime in this man. Now, according to a custom, I must release a prisoner of yours at the Passover. With your agreement I will release for you the King of the Jews." But they insisted and cried out, "Not this man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a robber. Then Pilate had Jesus taken away and scourged. The soldiers also twisted thorns into a crown and put it on his head. They threw a cloak of royal purple around his shoulders and began coming up to him and saluting him, "Hail, king of the Jews," and they struck him on the face. Pilate went outside yet another time and said to the Jews, "Look, I am bringing him out and I want you to know that I find no crime in him." Jesus then came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak and Pilate pointed to him saying, "Here is the man!" On seeing him the chief priests and the guards cried out, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" Pilate replied, "Take him yourselves and have him crucified, for I find no case against him." The Jews then said, "We have a Law, and according to the Law this man must die because he made himself Son of God." When Pilate heard this he was more afraid. And coming back into the court he asked Jesus, "Where are you from?" But Jesus gave him no answer. Then Pilate said to him, "You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you just as I have power to crucify you?" Jesus replied, "You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you is more guilty." From that moment Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, "If you release this man, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who makes himself king is defying Caesar." When Pilate heard this, he had Jesus brought outside to the place called the Stone Floor - in Hebrew Gabbatha - and there he had him seated in the tribune. It was the Preparation Day for the Passover, about noon. So Pilate said to the Jews, "Here is your king." But they cried out, "Away! Take him away! Crucify him!" Pilate replied, "Shall I crucify your king?" And the chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar." Then Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be crucified. They took charge of him. Bearing his own cross, Jesus went out of the city to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew: Golgotha. There he was crucified and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus was in the middle. Pilate had a notice written and fastened to the cross that read: Jesus the Nazorean, King of the Jews. Many Jewish people saw this title, because the place where Jesus was crucified was very close to the city. It was, moreover, written in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. The chief priests said to Pi-late, "Do not write: 'The king of the Jews'; but: "This man claimed to be king of the Jews.' " Pilate answered them, "What I have written, I have written." When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one part for each of them. But as the tunic was woven in one piece from top to bottom, they said, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots to decide who will get it." This fulfilled the words of Scripture: They divided my clothing among them; they cast lots for my garment. This was what the soldiers did. Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister Mary, who was the wife of Cleophas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw the Mother, and the disciple whom he loved, he said to the Mother, "Woman, this is your son." Then he said to the disciple, "There is your mother." And from that moment the disciple took her to his own home. With that Jesus knew all was now finished and he said, I am thirsty, to fulfill what was written in Scripture. A jar full of bitter wine stood there; so, putting a sponge soaked in the wine on a twig of hyssop, they raised it to his lips. Jesus took the wine and said, "It is accomplished." Then he bowed his head and gave up the spirit. As it was Preparation Day, the Jews did not want the bodies to remain on the cross during the Sabbath, for this Sabbath was a very solemn day. They asked Pilate to have the legs of the condemned men broken, so they might take away the bodies. The soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who had been crucified with Jesus. When they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead; so they did not break his legs. One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a lance and immediately there came out blood and water. The one who has seen here gives his witness so that you may believe: his witness is true and He knows that he speaks the truth. All this happened to fulfill the words of Scripture, Not one of his bones shall be broken. Another text says: They shall look on him whom they have pierced. After this, Joseph of Arimathea approached Pilate, for he was a disciple of Jesus, though secretly, for fear of the Jews. And he asked Pilate to let him remove the body of Jesus. Pilate agreed, so he came and took away the body. Nicodemus, the man who earlier had come to Jesus by night, also came and brought a jar of myrrh mixed with aloes, about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it in linen cloths with the spices, following the burial custom of the Jews. There was a garden in the place where Jesus had been crucified, and, in the garden, a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. As the tomb was very near, they buried Jesus there because they had no time left before the Jewish Preparation Day.

Reflection:
     The Paschal Mystery, the story of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord, is the ultimate victorious love story rather than a tragedy and defeat. God is totally and unconditionally in love with us and wants all of us to share in His divine life. That's why Jesus, the Son of God, became man and shared in our humanity, even being "tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sinning." In Jesus, we have a high priest and intercessor who's familiar with and understands all our weaknesses and the vicissitudes of the human condition. Out of love and complete obedience to the Father, Jesus went through horrible suffering and death on the cross to save us from our sins and bring us home to the Father. In Jesus' Paschal sacrifice, we can therefore have the confidence that we are already victorious over sin and have been saved and have God's mercy and help when we obey him.
     "Our God gives constantly and unceasingly." (Fr. Johnny Go, SJ) Jesus gave up everything for us during his Passion and death on the cross. This kenosis or self-emptying love is a call to us for self-diminishment: "we need to tear ourselves away from ourselves, leave ourselves behind [in order to] emerge from ourselves." (Teilhard de Chardin).
     It's important that we "hold fast to the faith we profess." "Faith is an encounter with Jesus, with life." (Pope Benedict XVI). "Faith is about God. It involves consciously looking for God in everything we do. It is about seeing God in everything and everyone. God is the focus, not me. It is not about my needs, desires, and ambitions. Faith starts with listening to the Word of God and this should lead to transformation and action. Faith is kept alive by actions of love.
     Has my encounter with Jesus changed me for the better? Am I transmitting faith to the people I live with, meet or come in contact with? Do they encounter Jesus in me?" (Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle)

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for the repose of the soul - Diana Dy-Chiuten

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

**************************************************
These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following:

   +================================================+
   |  The Daily Prayer, a service and an apostolate of the
   |  priests, laity and friends of Mary the Queen Parish
   |            http://www.marythequeen.org
   |  Distributed free and for personal use only. 
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

 

Holy Thursday

April 17, 2014
Holy Thursday

Chrism Mass: Is 61:1-3ab, 6a, 8b-9 / Rev 1:5-8 / Lk 4:16-21

Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper: Ex 12: 1-8, 11-14 / Ps 116: 12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18 / 1 Cor 11: 23-26 / Jn 13: 1-15

First Reading: Ex 12: 1-8, 11-14
Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt and said, "This month is to be the beginning of all months, the first month of your year. Speak to the community of Israel and say to them: On the tenth day of this month let each family take a lamb, a lamb for each house. If the family is too small for a lamb, they must join with a neighbor, the nearest to the house, according to the number of persons and to what each one can eat. You will select a perfect lamb without blemish, a male born during the present year, taken from the sheep or goats. Then you will keep it until the fourteenth day of the month. On that evening all the people will slaughter their lambs and take some of the blood to put on the doorposts and on top of the doorframes of the houses where you eat. That night you will eat the flesh roasted at the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. And this is how you will eat: with a belt round your waist, sandals on your feet and a staff in your hand. You shall eat hastily for it is a Passover in honor of Yahweh. On that night I shall go through Egypt and strike every firstborn in Egypt, men and animals; and I will even bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt, I, Yahweh! The blood on your houses will be the sign that you are there. I will see the blood and pass over you; and you will escape the mortal plague when I strike Egypt. This is a day you are to remember and celebrate in honor of Yahweh. It is to be kept as a festival day for all generations forever.

Second Reading: 1 Cor 11: 23-26
This is the tradition of the Lord that I received and that in my turn I have handed on to you; the Lord Jesus, on the night that he was delivered up, took bread and, after giving thanks, broke it, saying, "This is my body which is broken for you; do this in memory of me." In the same manner, taking the cup after the supper, he said, "This cup is the new Covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do it in memory of me." So, then, whenever you eat of this bread and drink from this cup, you are proclaiming the death of the Lord until he comes.

Gospel: Jn 13: 1-15
It was before the feast of the Passover. Jesus realized that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father, and as he had loved those who were his own in the world, he would love them with perfect love. They were at supper and the devil had already put into the mind of Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray. Jesus knew that the Father had entrusted all things to him, and as he had come from God, he was going to God. So he got up from table, removed his garment and taking a towel, wrapped it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing. When he came to Simon Peter, Simon said to him, "Why, Lord, you want to wash my feet!" Jesus said, "What I am doing you cannot understand now, but afterwards you will understand it." Peter replied, "You shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you can have no part with me." Then Simon Peter said, "Lord, wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!" Jesus replied, "Whoever has taken a bath does not need to wash (except the feet), for he is clean all over. You are clean, though not all of you." Jesus knew who was to betray him; because of this he said, "Not all of you are clean." When Jesus had finished washing their feet, he put on his garment again, went back to the table and said to them, "Do you understand what I have done to you?  You call me Master and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I, then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also must wash one another's feet. I have just given you an example that as I have done, you also may do.

Reflection:
     The washing of the feet of the disciples is an act of humility performed by Jesus that is meaningful for all of us - our Lord and Master stooping to such a low position and acting as the servant of all of us sinners. Are we ready to do the same for others?
     Let us look into the words of Jesus to Peter, "If I do not wash you, you can have no part with me." (Jn.13:8). Not only is this an act of extreme humility but it is also an act of perfect love. First and foremost, the bottom line is most important and here, love is the bottom line. Love is manifested in Jesus and in everything that he does and say, the true reflection of "God is Love." That is why it is not just a suggestion.  Jesus gave us the commandments to love God and our fellow men for us to obey. It is true that dying to oneself is not easy because it goes against our egos' inclination of putting oneself on a pedestal of honor, beauty, fame, fortune, intellect and power. But how else can we learn what love is and how to love? Jesus was teaching his disciples agape, a self sacrificing love for others. Without humility, one cannot love. The washing of the feet of the disciples was just a practical example. The ultimate act of love is when Jesus died on the cross and poured out his divine love for all. 
     How have we learned and lived up to his example?

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for the personal intentions - Teresita Cabrera, Manuel Go, Fr Benjamin Sim SJ
... for the eternal repose of the soul - Wally Francia

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

**************************************************
These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following:

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Wednesday of Holy Week

April 16, 2014
Wednesday of Holy Week

Is 50:4-9a / Ps 69:8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34 / Mt 26:14-25

Reading: Is 50:4-9a
The Lord Yahweh has taught me so I speak as his disciple and I know how to sustain the weary.
Morning after morning he wakes me up to hear, to listen like a disciple. The Lord Yahweh has opened my ear. I have not rebelled, nor have I withdrawn. I offered my back to those who strike me, my cheeks to those who pulled my beard; neither did I shield my face from blows, spittle and disgrace. I have not despaired, for the Lord Yahweh comes to my help. So, like a flint I set my face, knowing that I will not be disgraced. He who avenges me is near. Who then will accuse me? Let us confront each other. Who is now my accuser? Let him approach. If the Lord Yahweh is my help, who will condemn me?

Gospel: Mt 26:14-25
Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went off to the chief priests and said, "How much will you give me if I hand him over to you?" They promised to give him thirty pieces of silver, and from then on he kept looking for the best way to hand him over to them. On the first day of the Festival of the Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and said to him, "Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?" Jesus answered, "Go into the city, to the house of a certain man, and tell him: 'The Master says: My hour is near, and I will celebrate the Passover with my disciples in your house." The disciples did as Jesus had ordered and prepared the Passover meal. When it was evening, Jesus sat at table with the Twelve. While they were eating, Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you: one of you will betray me." They were deeply distressed and asked him in turn, "You do not mean me, do you, Lord?" He answered, "He who will betray me is one of those who dips his bread in the dish with me. The Son of Man is going as the Scriptures say he will. But alas for that one who betrays the Son of Man; better for him not to have been born." Judas, who was betraying him, also asked, "You do not mean me, Master, do you?" Jesus replied, "You have said it."

Reflection:
The narration of the betrayal describes in detail the treachery of Judas. The name of Judas carries such a stigma that no one would ever want to name any child Judas. Even with civil authorities, treason and treachery carry a grave punishment. To be Judas is also associated with being a traitor - a figure to be despised. And yet in Scripture, there is another disciple known to be a traitor. It is in the figure of Peter, the one whom Jesus handed the keys of the Church. Peter denied knowing Jesus not just once, but thrice. These two figures who betrayed Christ had their own reasons for betraying and denying him. Both of them betrayed, denied Jesus and both of them also regretted after. The main difference is that while Judas took his own life, Peter just wept bitterly and relied on the mercy of the Lord. No one exactly knows the fate of Judas. But we do know that Christ forgave our sins to save mankind.
We have two paths to take when we commit sin. We can either get discouraged and think we are hopeless or we can, as Peter did, repent and be assured of the infinite mercy of the Father.

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
* Louie Relatado, Romie Ang, Lorenzo Sy, Dion Yu, Zeny Balatbat, Rose Lee
... for world peace and reconciliation

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

**************************************************
These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following:

+================================================+
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| priests, laity and friends of Mary the Queen Parish
| http://www.marythequeen.org
| Distributed free and for personal use only.
+================================================+

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Monday, April 14, 2014

 

Tuesday of Holy Week

April 15, 2014
Tuesday of Holy Week

Is 49: 1-6 / Ps 71:1-2, 3-4a, 5ab-6ab, 15 and 17 / Jn 13: 21-33, 36-38   

Reading: Is 49: 1-6
Listen to me, O islands, pay attention, peoples from distant lands. Yahweh called me from my mother's womb; he pronounced my name before I was born. He made my mouth like a sharpened sword. He hid me in the shadow of his hand. He made me into a polished arrow set apart in his quiver. He said to me, "You are Israel, my servant, through you I will be known." "I have labored in vain," I thought and spent my strength for nothing." Yet what is due me was in the hand of Yahweh, and my reward was with my God. I am important in the sight of Yahweh, and my God is my strength. And now Yahweh has spoken, he who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, to gather Israel to him. He said: "It is not enough that you be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob, to bring back the remnant of Israel. I will make you the light of the nations, that my salvation will reach to the ends of the earth."   

Gospel: Jn 13: 21-33, 36-38
After saying this, Jesus was distressed in spirit and said plainly, "Truly, one of you will betray me." The disciples then looked at one another, wondering who he meant. One of the disciples, the one Jesus loved, was reclining near Jesus; so Simon Peter signaled him to ask Jesus whom he meant. And the disciple who was reclining near Jesus asked him, "Lord, who is it?" Jesus answered, "I shall dip a piece of bread in the dish, and he to whom I give it, is the one." So Jesus dipped the bread and gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And as Judas took the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus then said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly." None of the others reclining at table understood why Jesus said this to Judas. As he had the common purse, they may have thought that Jesus was telling him, "Buy what we need for the feast," or, "Give something to the poor." Judas left as soon as he had eaten the bread. It was night. When Judas had gone out, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. God will glorify him, and he will glorify him very soon. My children, I am with you for only a little while; you will look for me, but, as I already told the Jews, so now I tell you: where I am going you cannot come. Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus answered, "Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but afterwards you will." Peter said, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I am ready to give my life for you." Jesus answered, "To give your life for me! Truly, I tell you, the cock will not crow before you have denied me three times."

Reflection:          
     It is a mystery that Christ chose Judas as one of his disciples even if he knew that Judas was to betray him. Knowing the plan of salvation that his Father had for all mankind which had to pass through the cross, Jesus accepted Judas to be among the Twelve.
     As the disciples asked Jesus in the other accounts of this gospel, "Is it I, Lord?" when he foretold the betrayal, we also need to ask Jesus, "Is it I, Lord?" for we can betray Christ like Judas or deny him like Peter. Every time we are used as the devil's tool to carry out his works, such as greed, promiscuity, slander - an endless list - we betray Christ. The devil easily deceives us with his empty promises but Christ has already overcome him so we can call on him to defend us. When we do betray or deny Christ, let us be like Peter who had a deep sorrow for his sins and be assured of Christ's endless mercy.

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing and recovery
     * Virginia Hernandez, Ditas dela Paz, Fleur Torres, Tony Torres
     * John Paul de Castro, Glenn Dale Manson
... for personal intentions
    * Camille Torres, Beny & Joshua Chua, Julie Manzon
    * Escamilla and Barayoga Family
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for the eternal repose
     * Junjun Guingon, Salvador Escamilla Jr, Atty. Benjamin Ong

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following:
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   |  The Daily Prayer, a service and an apostolate of the
   |  priests, laity and friends of Mary the Queen Parish
   |            http://www.marythequeen.org
   |  Distributed free and for personal use only. 
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Sunday, April 13, 2014

 

Monday of Holy Week

April 14, 2014
Monday of Holy Week
Is 42: 1-7 / Ps 27: 1, 2, 3, 13-14 / Jn 12: 1-11

Reading: Is 42: 1-7
Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight. I have put my spirit upon him, and he will bring justice to the nations. He does not shout or raise his voice proclamations are not heard in the streets. A broken reed he will not crush, nor will he snuff out the light of the wavering wick. He will make justice appear in truth. He will not waver or be broken until he has established justice on earth; the islands are waiting for his law. Thus says God, Yahweh, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread the earth and all that comes from it, who gives life and breath to those who walk on it: I, Yahweh, have called you for the sake of justice; I will hold your hand to make you firm; I will make you as a covenant to the people, and as a light to the nations, to open eyes that do not see, to free captives from prison, to bring out to light those who sit in darkness.   

Gospel: Jn 12: 1-11
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany where he had raised Lazarus, the dead man, to life. Now they gave a dinner for him, and while Martha waited on them, Lazarus sat at the table with Jesus. Then Mary took a pound of costly perfume made from genuine nard and anointed the feet of Jesus, wiping them with her hair. And the whole house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. Judas, son of Simon Iscariot - the disciple who was to betray Jesus - remarked, "This perfume could have been sold for three hundred dinarii and turned over to the poor." Judas, indeed, had no concern for the poor; he was a thief and as he held the common purse, he used to help himself to the funds. But Jesus spoke up, "Leave her alone. Was she not keeping it for the day of my burial? (The poor you always have with you, but you will not always have me.)" Many Jews heard that Jesus was there and they came, not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests thought about killing Lazarus as well, for many of the Jews were drifting away because of him and believing in Jesus.

Reflection:
     Jesus and his apostles are in the house of Lazarus, Martha and Mary to celebrate Lazarus' new life. Many and varied people are there. Some came out of curiosity to see Lazarus who was raised from the dead. Most probably the chief priests came to thank him for the miracle. As there are varied people, there are also varied purposes and expectations. Martha as the hostess is in the kitchen preparing the meal, while Lazarus is sitting with the Lord and his apostles. It is at this point that Mary brings out a bottle of costly perfume and pours much of it on Jesus' feet. There are varied reactions that cause division in the group. The chief priest is probably jealous because many believe in Jesus because of his miracle. So the chief priest leaves them. Judas Iscariot, an apostle himself, criticizes the uselessness of Mary's use of the perfume. But Jesus takes the opportunity to explain that Mary is doing it for his burial. Also he adds that the poor will be around, but that he, as teacher, will not be always around.
     Let us think of this. It is the season of Lent and Jesus is telling us something here. Can we do something to show our love for God and our concern for our neighbors?
     Lord, teach us the secret of your love. Strengthen and help us in our resolutions this season that we may be mindful of you through our neighbors. 

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

**************************************************
These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following:

   +================================================+
   |  The Daily Prayer, a service and an apostolate of the
   |  priests, laity and friends of Mary the Queen Parish
   |            http://www.marythequeen.org
   |  Distributed free and for personal use only. 
  +================================================+

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Palm Sunday

April 13, 2014
Palm Sunday

Mt. 21:1-11 / Is 50:4-7 / Ps 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24 / Phil 2:6-11 / Mt 26:14-27:66 or 27: 11-54

First Reading: Is 50: 4-7
The Lord Yahweh has taught me so I speak as his disciple and I know how to sustain the weary. Morning after morning he wakes me up to hear, to listen like a disciple.The Lord Yahweh has opened my ear. I have not rebelled, nor have I withdrawn. I offered my back to those who strike me, my cheeks to those who pulled my beard; neither did I shield my face from blows, spittle and disgrace. I have not despaired, for the Lord Yahweh comes to my help. So, like a flint I set my face, knowing that I will not be disgraced.

Second Reading: Phil 2:6-11
Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking on the nature of a servant, made in human likeness, and in his appearance found as a man. He humbled himself by being obedient to death, death on the cross. That is why God exalted him and gave him the Name which outshines all names, so that at the Name of Jesus all knees should bend in heaven, on earth and among the dead, and all tongues proclaim that Christ Jesus is the Lord to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel: Mt  27:11-54 
Jesus stood before the governor who questioned him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "You say so." The chief priests and the Elders accused him, but he made no answer. Pilate said to him, "Do you hear all the charges they bring against you?" But he did not answer even a single question, so that the governor wondered. It was customary for the governor to release any prisoner the people asked for on the occasion of the Passover. Now there was a well-known prisoner called Barabbas. As the people had gathered, Pilate asked them, "Whom do you want me to set free: Barabbas, or Jesus called the Messiah?" For he realized that Jesus had been handed over to him out of envy. As Pilate was sitting in court, his wife sent him this message, "Have nothing to do with that holy man. Because of him I had a dream last night that disturbed me greatly." But the chief priests and the Elders stirred the crowds to ask for the release of Barabbas and the death of Jesus. When the governor asked them again, "Which of the two do you want me to set free?" they answered, "Barabbas." Pilate said to them, "And what shall I do with Jesus called the Messiah?" All answered, "Crucify him!" Pilate insisted, "What evil has he done?" But they shouted louder, "Crucify him!" Pilate realized that he was getting nowhere and that instead there could be a riot. He then asked for water and washed his hands before the people, saying, "I am not responsible for his blood. It is your doing." And all the people answered, "Let his blood be upon us and upon our children." Then Pilate set Barabbas free, but had Jesus scourged, and handed him over to be crucified.  The Roman soldiers took Jesus into the palace of the governor and the whole troop gathered around him. They stripped him and dressed him in a purple military cloak. Then, twisting a crown of thorns, they forced it onto his head, and placed a reed in his right hand. They knelt before Jesus and mocked him, saying, "Long life to the King of the Jews!" They spat on him, took the reed from his hand and struck him on the head with it. When they had finished mocking him, they pulled off the purple cloak and dressed him in his own clothes again, and led him out to be crucified. On the way they met a man from Cyrene called Simon, and forced him to carry the cross of Jesus. When they reached the place called Golgotha (or Calvary) which means the Skull, they offered him wine mixed with gall. Jesus tasted it but would not take it. There they crucified him and divided his clothes among themselves, casting lots to decide what each should take. Then they sat down to guard him. The statement of his offense was displayed above his head and it read, "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews." They also crucified two bandits with him, one on his right and one on his left. People passing by shook their heads and insulted him, saying, "Aha! So you will destroy the Temple and build it up again in three days. Now save yourself and come down from the cross, if you are Son of God." In the same way the chief priests, the Elders and the teachers of the Law mocked him. They said, "The man who saved others cannot save himself. Let the King of Israel now come down from his cross and we will believe in him. He trusted in God; let God rescue him if God wants to, since he himself said: I am the Son of God." Even the robbers who were crucified with him insulted him. From midday darkness fell over the whole land until mid-afternoon. At about three o'clock, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lamma Sabbacthani?" which means: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? As soon as they heard this, some of the bystanders said, "He is calling for Elijah." And one of them went quickly, took a sponge and soaked it in vinegar and, putting it on a reed, gave him to drink. Others said, "Leave him alone, let us see whether Elijah comes to his rescue." Then Jesus cried out again in a loud voice and gave up his spirit. Just then the curtain of the Temple sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and several holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after the resurrection of Jesus, entered the Holy City and appeared to many. The captain and the soldiers who guarded Jesus were greatly terrified when they saw the earthquake and all that had happened, and said, "Truly, this man was a Son of God."

Reflection:
     Everyone one loves parades! There is something in human nature that makes pageantry and shows not only enjoyable, but desirable. When Jesus enters Jerusalem people picked up palms and olive branches and carried them as they entered the holy city. Most of the people who followed him saw him as a healer, a friend of the poor and potential liberator from the oppressive rulers. It was a festive and joyful occasion, something similar to a victory parade that people today celebrate after winning a championship game. But it didn't sit well with the Sadducees and Pharisees who controlled the temple. They saw Jesus as a threat to their authority and their way of life. To get rid of him, they used the excuse that one man must die for the sake of the nation, but it was more to get rid of someone who told them the truth of their distorted way of life.
     What is the symbolism of the branches from the palm trees? They are usually signs of kingship and royalty. Matthew 21: 1-11 tells us people picked up branches, laid them across Jesus' path and waved them in the air. Some of them greeted Jesus as a potential political and spiritual leader of Israel who would lead them out of bondage. But Jesus made it clear from the start that his mission was to free mankind from the bondage of sin and then he would bring them to everlasting life. 
     To have a deeper appreciation of the Passion of Christ let us try to go back to the time and place of his Passion. First, take a look at the people that the Evangelists mentioned in the gospels. Undoubtedly some came because they personally saw him cure the sick, heal the lepers and raise the dead to life especially Lazarus and believed in him. Others also saw what Jesus did but would not change their minds and, as a matter of fact, they eventually turned away from him and asked for his death. It is so difficult to figure out the behavior of the human heart. They can be ungrateful even after they have received so much from the giver.
     Second, look at the soldiers and the guards who were there to do their duty. The Roman guards seemed to have manifested extreme cruelty when dealing with prisoners. It was common practice to inflict maximum pain on helpless prisoners. It took Christianity to outlaw the practice of fitting the humans against the animals in the arena in Rome. Keep in mind that Jesus endured the sufferings and pains of the Cross for us. Every blow he took, every insult he received and every pain he endured was for the salvation of mankind.
     Third, remember that the apostles who traveled with him and ate with him were expected to be faithful to the very end. Jesus taught them and formed them according to His Father's will, but the formation years were not enough to help the disciples face this crisis. Peter vowed he would defend Jesus to the very end. Realizing he was going to die at the hands of evil people Jesus needed some human support, but he found none. They were too sleepy and too concerned about themselves. The transforming power of the death and resurrection had not yet taken effect. So at the agony in the garden, Jesus has to come back to his Father and tell him to take away this cup from him. But Jesus quickly adds that he would do his Father's will rather than his own. Once more it is a sign of Jesus love for all of us. Jesus says at this time that he will die for us so that we may have life eternal. 
     Fourth, consider the behavior of the crowd that could easily be swayed by the leaders of the people. Matthew describes the vicious behavior of the crowd towards Jesus. When Pilate asked the crowd whether they wanted pardon for a notorious criminal rather than the execution of an innocent person like Jesus, the crowd chose Barabbas. Even as he hang on the Cross they taunted him and told him that if he was really the Son of God he would be able come down from the cross and save himself. Jesus remains silent and suffers for the rest of humanity. His response to all the verbal and physical abuse is to forgive the people because they did not know what they were doing.
     What is my response to Jesus as he goes through his Passion? What I have done for him? What am I doing for him? What will I do for him?

Prayer Requests:
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

**************************************************
These reflections are distributed free and are for personal use only. Feel free to send the Daily Prayer reflections to your friends, colleagues and relatives; however, if you do, please include the following:

   +================================================+
   |  The Daily Prayer, a service and an apostolate of the
   |  priests, laity and friends of Mary the Queen Parish
   |            http://www.marythequeen.org
   |  Distributed free and for personal use only. 
  +================================================+

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