Friday, April 18, 2014
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."
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?
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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