Tuesday of Holy Week 7 April

Judas Betrays Jesus

 It’s very important to note that Jesus was “deeply troubled.” This shows His humanity. Jesus had a human heart and loved Judas with a divine love through His human heart. As a result of this perfect love of Judas, Jesus’ heart was deeply troubled. It was “troubled” in the sense that Jesus could do nothing more than He had already done to change the mind and heart of Judas. It’s not that Jesus was personally offended or angered by Judas’ betrayal. Rather, it’s that Jesus’ heart burned with a deep sorrow at the loss of Judas whom He loved with a perfect love. Judas had free will. Without free will Judas could not freely love Jesus. But with free will, Judas chose to betray Jesus. The same is true with us. We have free will and we are given the same ability that Judas had to accept the love of Jesus or to reject it. We can let His loving gift of salvation and grace enter our lives or refuse it.

Become silent, aware of the awesome presence of God who never ceases to be with us.

Continue reading “Tuesday of Holy Week 7 April”

Monday of Holy Week 6 April

 Anointing of Jesus by Mary at Bethany

 There is only one anointing that is strong enough to meet death and that is the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the love of God. There is, then, something that is both exemplary and lasting in Mary’s anointing of Jesus at Bethany. It was above all a concern to keep Christ alive in this world and to oppose the powers that aimed to silence and kill him. It was an act of faith and love. Every such act can have the same effect.

Pope Benedict XVl

Become silent, aware of the awesome presence of God who never ceases to be with us.

Continue reading “Monday of Holy Week 6 April”

Palm Sunday – 5th April

This ‘Mini Retreat’ is an attempt to ease the burden on those who are unable to watch streamed Masses and other liturgies. The posts we publish on this site are intended to help us journey through Holy Week by using the Gospel passages of the day taken from Holy Mass. They offer a structure for your prayer time and suggest that you choose a time during the day that suits you best. This could be the time that you would usually attend Mass or, early in the morning, midday, whatever suits you.

 It is a moving experience each year on Palm Sunday as we go up the mountain with Jesus, towards the Temple, accompanying him on his ascent. But what are we really doing when we join this procession as part of the throng which went up with Jesus to Jerusalem and hailed him as King of Israel? Does it have anything to do with the reality of our life and our world?

To answer this, we must first be clear about what Jesus himself wished to do and actually did. He was journeying towards the temple in the  Holy City, towards that place which for Israel ensured in a particular way God’s closeness to his people . The ultimate goal of his pilgrimage was the heights of God himself; to those heights he wanted to lift every human being. Our procession today is meant, then, to be an image of something deeper, to reflect the fact that, together with Jesus, we are setting out on pilgrimage along the high road that leads to the living God.

Pope Benedict XV

Become silent, aware of the awesome presence of God who never ceases to be with us.

Continue reading “Palm Sunday – 5th April”

A Mini Retreat For Holy Week

Holy Week 2020 is being celebrated amid extraordinary circumstances. There are probably few, if any of us, who can remember such a time as this, when we have been directed by the Government and the Church to self isolate in order to protect each other from being infected with the Covid-19 virus. Hopefully our cooperation with these directives will significantly help to slow down and prevent the spread of the virus meaning that fewer people will get sick and still fewer people will succumb to the virus.

Many of our clergy have taken the initiative to live stream their Masses and prayer liturgies. This has proven to be a source of great comfort for those with access to technology and are able to use it. For others, not being able to get to church for Mass increases the sense of isolation and loneliness.

This ‘Mini Retreat’ is an attempt to ease the burden on those who are unable to watch streamed Masses and other liturgies.

The pages of this booklet are intended to help us journey through Holy Week by using the Gospel passages of the day taken from Holy Mass.

We offer a structure for your prayer time and suggest that you choose a time during the day that suits you best. This could be the time that you would usually attend Mass or, early in the morning, midday, whatever suits you.

This may supplement your usual daily prayer so please don’t stop praying your everyday prayers.

Each day is structured in the following way:

  • Be still and become aware of God’s presence
  • Opening prayer
  • Psalm
  • Thanksgiving to God
  • Reading the Gospel of the day (Bible reference will be given)
  • Dig out yourBible!
  • Reflecting and praying with the Gospel
  • Act of Spiritual Communion
  • Closing prayer

Take things at your own pace, take as long as you wish, there’s no rush.

May God’s blessing be with you and on your home.

Mini Retreat – Holy Week

Palm Sunday

Monday of Holy Week 6 April

Tuesday of Holy Week 7 April

Wednesday of Holy Week 8 April

Holy Thursday 9 April

Friday of the Passion of the Lord 10 April

Holy Saturday 11 April

Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord 12 April

The Word This Week

The_Rebuke_of_Adam_and_EveIt starts right from the beginning, our first parents ‘forgetting’ the Word of God. When He stands in front of them in the flesh, his people turn to insults to avoid believing in him: ‘Beelzebub’ – ‘Lord of the Flies’. Even his family seem to reject his message. But Jesus is the crisis, the judgement, the turning point of history. Which is why all human failure breaks over him, and at the same time the seeds of the renewed creation gather round him, those who hear the Word and do the will of God, starting with His mother Mary, the beginning and the image of the Church.

Today’s Scripture: (Psalter: Week 2)

Genesis 3: 9 – 15
I will make you enemies of each other; you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring.
Response: Psalm 129.

Out of the depths I cry to you,
O Lord, Lord, hear my voice!
O let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleading.

If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt,
Lord, who would survive?
But with you is found forgiveness:
for this we revere you.

My soul is waiting for the Lord,
I count on his word.
My soul is longing for the Lord
more than watchmen for day break.

Because with the Lord there is mercy
and fulness of redemption,
Israel indeed he will redeem
from all its iniquity.

2 Corinthians 4: 13 – 5: 1
We believe and, therefore, we speak.

Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia!
Now the prince of this world is to be overthrown,
says the Lord.
And when I am lifted up from the earth,
I shall draw all people to myself.
Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia!

Mark 3: 20–35
It is the end of Satan.
Prayer of the Faithful: R/. Lord, hear our voice.

Take a look at today’s readings on Catholic Online.

The Word This Week

“Repent, and believe the good news!”

clyde1-e1461609161706Where does Jesus begin his ministry? Where John the Baptist left off – preaching a message of repentance, of change, to welcome the new Kingdom of God. There is a simplicity about this message, which is not compromised by anything – today’s Gospel has these simple words from Jesus, and then the story of his calling disciples to follow him and share in the work of spreading the Good News. Repentance has something of a bad press – we tend to think of it as an old-fashioned concept. But every age needs to hear this call: to look and look again at what we do and say and assume, and see again that there are such things as right and wrong, and that sometimes we need an about turn. To follow Jesus, and to accept the Kingship of God, demands that we make a radical choice, which may well change our lives.

Today’s Scripture: (Psalter: Week 3)

Jonah 3: 1–5, 10

The people of Nineveh renounce their evil behaviour.

Response: Psalm 24

Lord, make me know your ways.
Lord, teach me your paths.
Make me walk in your truth, and teach me:
for you are God my saviour.

Remember your mercy, Lord,
and the love you have shown from of old.
In your love remember me,
because of your goodness, O Lord.

The Lord is good and upright.
He shows the path to those who stray,
he guides the humble in the right path;
he teaches his way to the poor.

1 Corinthians 7: 29 – 31

The world as we know it is passing away.

Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia!
The kingdom of God is close at hand; believe the Good News.
Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia!

Mark 1: 14–20

Repent, and believe the Good News.
Prayer of the Faithful: R/. Lord, teach us your paths

Take a look at Today’s readings

The Word This Week

1503383_10151762820946650_236536935_nHere we enter a new stage of Advent: having spent so much time on the Second Coming, now we look back, to remember the details of the Lord’s First Coming. We turn our focus to Mary, and hear of the angel Gabriel inviting her to take her part in the mystery of the Incarnation, the revelation of the mystery kept secret for endless ages. This mystery springs from the House of David, and so we lead into the Gospel by hearing in the first reading how David is to establish that house: He wishes to build a ‘house for the Lord’; through the prophet he is told it is not a bricks-and-mortar house that he will build, but the House which is his line. Eventually, in Mary (betrothed to Joseph) the House of David does itself become the house of the Lord, the womb wherein he has a dwelling place.

The Word This Week

The Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost. 

There is a subversive humour in today’s Gospel which turns upside down the conventions of everyday life: we see a senior tax official climbing up a tree for a glimpse of Jesus, and the faintly ridiculous scene where Jesus stops, looks into the branches of the sycamore and says, “Zacchaeus, come down!” Did Zacchaeus worry about what people thought? The rest of the story shows that he did not. It would be easy to laugh at little Zacchaeus – and people in the town probably did, in between muttering about his extortionate taxes. And yet he has understood the message of God more clearly than others: he reveals the meaning of the first reading, since he understands that God is gentle, merciful and loving. Jesus corrects him, “little by little…so that he may abstain from evil and trust in the Lord.”

Today’s Scripture: (Psalter: Week 3)

Wisdom 11: 22 – 12: 2
You are merciful to all because you love all that exists.
Response: Psalm 144.

I will give you glory, O God my King,
I will bless your name for ever.
I will bless you day after day
and praise your name for ever.

The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
How good is the Lord to all,
compassionate to all his creatures.

All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord,
and your friends shall repeat your blessing.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign
and declare your might, O God

The Lord is faithful in all his words
and loving in all his deeds.
The Lord supports all who fall
and raises all who are bowed down.

2 Thessalonians 1: 11 – 2: 2
The name of Christ will be glorified in you and you in him.

Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia!
Blessings on he King who comes,
In the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven
And glory in the highest heavens!
Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia!

Luke 19: 1 – 10

Today, salvation has come to this house.

Prayer of the Faithful:
R/. Lord, raise up all who are bowed down.

The Word This Week

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: (Psalter: Week 3)

Habakkuk 1: 2–3; 2: 2–4.
The upright man will live by his faithfulness..
Response:   Psalm 94
Come, ring out our joy to the Lord,
hail the rock who saves us.
Let us come before him, giving thanks,
with songs let us hail the lord.
Come in; let us kneel and bend low;

let us kneel before the God who made us
for he is our God and we //
the people who belong to his pasture,
the flock that is led by his hand.

O that today you would listen to his voice!
‘Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as on that day at Massah in the desert //
when your fathers put me to the test;
when they tried me, though they saw my work.’

2 Timothy 1: 6 – 8, 13 – 14.
Never be ashamed of witnessing the Lord.
Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia!
Speak Lord, your servant is listening: you have the message of eternal life. Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia!

Luke 17:5–19
If only you had faith!

Prayer of the Faithful: R/. Hear our prayer

The Word this Week

This week’s Gospel passage is chosen because it tells what happened today, eight days after Easter: Jesus comes again to his disciples. The story of Thomas’ doubt and faith leads us to think about our doubts and faith but always in the context of being part of the family of the Church. Remember last week and the renewal of our own baptismal promises: this is the faith of the Church, the faith in which we are baptised.

Today’s Scripture: (Psalter: Week 2)

Acts 5: 12 – 16
The numbers of men and women who came to believe in the Lord increased steadily.
Response: Psalm 117
Let the sons of Israel say:/
‘His love has no end.’
Let the sons of Aaron say:/
‘His love has no end.’
Let those who fear the Lord say:
‘His love has no end.’

The stone which the builders rejected/
has become the corner stone.
This is the work of the Lord/
a marvel in our eye.
This day was made by the Lord:
We rejoice and are glad.

O Lord grant us salvation;
O Lord grant success.
Blessed in the name of the Lord/
is he who comes.
We bless you from the house of the Lord;/
the Lord God is our light.

Apocalypse 1: 9 – 13, 17 – 19
I was dead and now I am to live for ever and ever.

Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia!.
Jesus said, ‘You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe’.
Alleluia, Alleluia. Alleluia!

John 20: 19 – 31
Eight days later, Jesus came.
Prayer of the Faithful: R/. Risen Lord, pour out your Spirit.