GETTING READY FOR SUNDAY WORSHIP
Below are my commentaries for the Sunday (tomorrow) readings.
The commentaries are not meant to be homilies. That will come tomorrow.
The word here are directed to understanding better the word of God
so that at homily time this background will help you
see better how the word of God fits into the present time (homily).
Many homilies can be drawn from these readings
The commentaries give a broader picture of what God is talking about
and enrich us in our application to our life at this very moment
and thus put into practice the teachings of Christ.
The scriptures passages themselves can be found at http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/032220.cfm
1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
The Church’s traditions for Lent are in full force here. Last Sunday God spoke to us through the incident of the Samaritan woman at the well, today he speaks to us in the Gospel of the miraculous healing by Jesus of the man born blind. Next Sunday he opens our hearts to the raising of Lazarus. These are to lead us into a renewal of faith as we witness the new members of the body of Christ through the Easter Sacraments.
It may seem a bit strange then for us to return to the selection by God of David to be king a 1000 years before the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. What catches our attention is that the anointing of David as king happens also in Bethlehem and this helps us to understand how the Jewish scribes (experts in God’s word of old) would report to Herod at the time of the magi that the Messiah would be found in Bethlehem, the place of the origin of King David. The chosen shepherd of Israel would be associated with Bethlehem in the land of Judah (Matthew 2). Jesus the Christ would be anointed with the Holy Spirit. He also would be chosen by the heavenly Father and, though an unlikely choice by human standards, would exhibit the wisdom and love and power of the Father above. This is the Jewish faith, tightly held in the hearts of God’s people for centuries. Our Christmas scriptures attest to this. Jesus is all of these and today’s Gospel of the healing of the man born blind will reveal all this and call us to renew ourselves along with all of God’s people in the covenant of old between God and his people. Today we make this tradition ours once again.
Psalm 23: 1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
- (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
How appropriate then is this magnificent psalm. We sing/read/listen with King David in mind as well as Jesus Christ who not only called himself the Good Shepherd but also acted that way (see the Gospel). We heard from the first reading that God is the one who makes the choice of his king on the earth to represent him. He has chosen his beloved Son. The divine power will be evident as he shepherds God’s people. One nuance of this psalm is God’s shepherding is ongoing. As presented to us in our translation it may come across as static whereas it actually is dynamic. So do not think of our Lord the Shepherd as a picture of God as an oil painting handing on the wall. Rather it gives us a picture of our God as actively engaged in pasturing his people. He has done so in the past but more importantly he is doing it NOW. (By the way we have the whole psalm here — a rarity for our responsorial which generally has just selected verses.) So every line of this psalm is telling us that the LORD Yahweh is actively engaged in our salvation this very day, this very time as we walk through the dark valley.
There is something very familiar about this reading. What is it? We find phrases here which we hear and use in our liturgies of Easter: children of light coming out of the darkness, now pleasing to the Lord, awake from sleep and arise from the dead Christ will give you light. The connection with today’s Gospel cannot be missed. Saint Paul makes it clear how we can say that we have been raised from the dead. This is because Christ the Light is within us. We no longer sleep. We awake to the sunshine. Sinfulness (opposition and rebellion to the Covenant) — are former way of life is replaced with a life harmonious to God’s plan for us. We are children of the light which uses the image of being born again — the image of our baptism. We recommit ourselves to live then our baptism, our reawakening to the light of Christ, our being raised from the dead. We are about to celebrate and live the resurrection.
Verse Before The Gospel
I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life John 8:12.
The baptism reference reappears here in description of the man’s plight as an affliction from birth. Do not overlook the instructions given him by Christ is to go and wash in the waters of Siloam. This, too, recalls baptism. Then there is the joining of washing and seeing. Then there is the clay made into a salve used for the anointing of the man’s eyes. This brings to mind the creation of Adam and the recreation which Christ has made in us through a power that only the Creator has.
Perhaps we need to take notice of the disbelief of some of his contemporaries and the repeated efforts to draw an explanation from the cured man. God in his mercy has not forgotten them even in their refusal to accept what he is doing in our midst. God is merciful beyond compare. The cured man said to them: Do you want to become his disciples, too? The believers thus become a constant sign to the world of God’s saving presence among us of the Anointed of God. We have been baptized into the faith not just for ourselves but as living signs of God is among us with his healing and saving power. It is a continuing responsibility we have today. His gift of faith is to be shared. Take some of the final words of the Gospel to heart: I do believe, Lord and he worshiped him.
Since there will be no public Masses at Saint Gabriel’s this Sunday
it is incumbent upon us to prepare ourselves for keeping the Lord’s Day
with family prayer at home. This web page is to help us do that.
READINGS FROM THE PASSION OF MATTHEW
New Jerusalem Bible version, Matthew 21:1-17
1 When they were near Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,
2 saying to them, ‘Go to the village facing you, and you will at once find a tethered donkey and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me.
3 If anyone says anything to you, you are to say, “The Master needs them and will send them back at once.” ‘
4 This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet:
5 Say to the daughter of Zion: Look, your king is approaching, humble and riding on a donkey and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.
6 So the disciples went and did as Jesus had told them.
7 They brought the donkey and the colt, then they laid their cloaks on their backs and he took his seat on them.
8 Great crowds of people spread their cloaks on the road, while others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in his path.
9 The crowds who went in front of him and those who followed were all shouting: Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who is coming in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heavens!
10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil as people asked, ‘Who is this?’
11 and the crowds answered, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’
12 Jesus then went into the Temple and drove out all those who were selling and buying there; he upset the tables of the money-changers and the seats of the dove-sellers.
13 He said to them, ‘According to scripture, my house will be called a house of prayer; but you are turning it into a bandits’ den.’
14 There were also blind and lame people who came to him in the Temple, and he cured them.
15 At the sight of the wonderful things he did and of the children shouting, ‘Hosanna to the son of David’ in the Temple, the chief priests and the scribes were indignant and said to him,
16 ‘Do you hear what they are saying?’ Jesus answered, ‘Yes. Have you never read this: By the mouths of children, babes in arms, you have made sure of praise?’
17 With that he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
Ponder the psalm verses which the crowds sang upon Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. You will find them in Psalm 118. To whom do they refer? Why would the Jewish leaders be upset that the children were singing: Hosanna to the son of David? Keep in mind what time of year this was.
Feast of Saint Joseph
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that by Saint Joseph’s intercession
your Church may constantly watch over
the unfolding of the mysteries of human salvation,
whose beginnings you entrusted to his faithful care.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old,
they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem,
but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan,
they journeyed for a day
and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him,
they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded
at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to him,
“Son, why have you done this to us?
Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And he said to them,
“Why were you looking for me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
But they did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth,
and was obedient to them.
For this just man was given by you
as spouse to the Virgin Mother of God
and set as a wise and faithful servant
in charge of your household
to watch like a father over your Only Begotten Son,
who was conceived by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit,
our Lord Jesus Christ.
Saint Joseph taught Jesus to keep the Feast of Passover. Jesus, in turn, taught Joseph and Mary the depths of the mysteries of heaven. We can tell by Mary’s words to Jesus: Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety. Jesus gave his response, as above, but his parents did not understand. Even though they did not understand at the moment their dedication to God and to his word led them to respect what God was doing. Underlying this was their firm faith in God and the fact they knew so well that Jesus came to them from the Father above. It is time for us to accept what God is letting happened to us in these days.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
PRAYER OF SUPPLICATION TRUSTING IN GOD
In his love and mercy God has created us and redeemed us to be his own people
He is our God, we are the people he shepherds, the sheep in his hands (Psalm 95:7)
Sacred history tells us that he at times chastens the ones he loves
so that their faith in him grow deeper
and their love of him lead them to praise him even more.
We find ourselves in such a precarious position now — a fact the Lord is well aware of.
We do not question whether God has forgotten us.
He is with us as he promised.
We continue to have spiritual ties with him and with Christ’s body the Church.
We strengthen those ties through prayer.
Our Father, who art in heaven…
Let us pray:
Lord, who live forever and can do everything
It is from you that all mankind whom you have placed in this world
exists and continues to draw life.
We come to you seeking mercy and love
for today we are experiencing our human weakness
in the form of a unexpected virus outbreak.
We have believed and still believe that you guide
the course of human events.
We are sure that it is you who can change our human situation
for the better of mankind.
By so doing your goodness and love will shine forth, even in suffering,
We place in your care the sick and their families
for through the power and victory of your Son’s Easter Mystery
you can restore health of mind and body to us all.
Help us for we are bound by the solidarity of faith and life.
Watch over our medical personnel
and all those who serve us
in a health capacity and in public service
Be our comfort in our weakness
and sustain us
through the intercession of Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints.
Protect us from all that threatens us
Free us from the epidemic that can brings us harm
so we can return to our regular daily lives
and give you thanks and praise in the body of the Church
with hearts renewed in faith and prosperity.
In Jesus’ name we pray for ever and ever. Amen.
Christmas Masses: 6:30 pm (Tuesday), 12:00 am, 8:00 am, 10:00 am
Today is born our Savior, Christ the Lord.
Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.
Lord’s Day Masses: 5p (Sat), 7:30a, 9:30a, 11:30a
Thomas answered and said to him,
“My Lord and my God!”
HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE
PALM SUNDAY Masses: 5p (Sat), 7:30a, 9:30a, 11:30a
MONDAY Mass: 7:00a
TUESDAY Mass: 7:00a
WEDNESDAY Mass 7:00a
HOLY THURSDAY Mass: 7:30p
GOOD FRIDAY Liturgy: 12:00 noon
GOOD FRIDAY Stations: 3:00 p
GOOD FRIDAY Liturgy: 7:30p
HOLY SATURDAY Easter Vigil Mass: 7:30p
EASTER SUNDAY Masses: 7:30a, 9:30a, 11:30a
Christ became obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name which is above every name.
SUNDAY MASSES: 5:00p (Sat), 7:30a, 9:30a,11:30a
Remember not the events of the past,
the things of long ago consider not;
see, I am doing something new!
says the Lord
There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God,
the holy dwelling of the Most High.
God is in its midst; it shall not be disturbed;
God will help it at the break of dawn.
For I create Jerusalem to be a joy
and its people to be a delight;
I will rejoice in Jerusalem
and exult in my people.