Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday, March 25

Thursday, March 25

Editor’s Note: I will be traveling this week and have limited computer access. As a result, the daily postings may be delayed, in a different format or missing. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Prayer of the Day

Prayer of Consecration

Precious Lord, I consecrate myself to you this day
so that I may love you with all my heart, soul, mind and
strength and love my neighbor as myself.
I promise to live a chaste, obedient, and simple
life of faith and to nurture these promises
through the spiritual disciplines of
prayer, study, community and apostolic witness.
I ask all this through Jesus Christ, the
Author of Life.


(by Jim Pinto, Jr.)

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Reading I
Is 7:10-14; 8:10

The Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying:

Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God;
let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!

But Ahaz answered,
“I will not ask! I will not tempt the Lord!”
Then Isaiah said:
Listen, O house of David!
Is it not enough for you to weary people,
must you also weary my God?
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:
the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us!”

Responsorial Psalm
40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 11

R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”

R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”

R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O Lord, know.

R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

Your justice I kept not hid within my heart;
your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of;
I have made no secret of your kindness and your truth
in the vast assembly.

R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

Reading II
Heb 10:4-10

Brothers and sisters:
It is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats
take away sins.
For this reason, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight.
Then I said, ‘As is written of me in the scroll,
behold, I come to do your will, O God.’”
First he says, “Sacrifices and offerings,
holocausts and sin offerings,
you neither desired nor delighted in.”
These are offered according to the law.
Then he says, “Behold, I come to do your will.”
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this “will,” we have been consecrated
through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Lk 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.

Saint of the Day
March 25

Annunciation of the Lord

The feast of the Annunciation goes back to the fourth or fifth century. Its central focus is the Incarnation: God has become one of us. From all eternity God had decided that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity should become human. Now, as Luke 1:26-38 tells us, the decision is being realized. The God-Man embraces all humanity, indeed all creation, to bring it to God in one great act of love. Because human beings have rejected God, Jesus will accept a life of suffering and an agonizing death: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

Mary has an important role to play in God’s plan. From all eternity God destined her to be the mother of Jesus and closely related to him in the creation and redemption of the world. We could say that God’s decrees of creation and redemption are joined in the decree of Incarnation. Because Mary is God’s instrument in the Incarnation, she has a role to play with Jesus in creation and redemption. It is a God-given role. It is God’s grace from beginning to end. Mary becomes the eminent figure she is only by God’s grace. She is the empty space where God could act. Everything she is she owes to the Trinity.

She is the virgin-mother who fulfills Isaiah 7:14 in a way that Isaiah could not have imagined. She is united with her son in carrying out the will of God (Psalm 40:8-9; Hebrews 10:7-9; Luke 1:38).

Together with Jesus, the privileged and graced Mary is the link between heaven and earth. She is the human being who best, after Jesus, exemplifies the possibilities of human existence. She received into her lowliness the infinite love of God. She shows how an ordinary human being can reflect God in the ordinary circumstances of life. She exemplifies what the Church and every member of the Church is meant to become. She is the ultimate product of the creative and redemptive power of God. She manifests what the Incarnation is meant to accomplish for all of us.

Office of Readings

O Lord, open my lips.
– And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Antiphon: Come, today, and listen to his voice: do not harden your hearts.

(repeat antiphon*)

Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
let us acclaim God our salvation.
Let us come before him proclaiming our thanks,
let us acclaim him with songs.

(repeat antiphon*)

For the Lord is a great God,
a king above all gods.
For he holds the depths of the earth in his hands,
and the peaks of the mountains are his.
For the sea is his: he made it;
and his hands formed the dry land.
(repeat antiphon*)

Come, let us worship and bow down,
bend the knee before the Lord who made us;
for he himself is our God and we are his flock,
the sheep that follow his hand.

(repeat antiphon*)

If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
“Do not harden your hearts
as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
when your fathers tested me –
they put me to the test,
although they had seen my works.”

(repeat antiphon*)

“For forty years they wearied me,
that generation.
I said: their hearts are wandering,
they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
they will never enter my place of rest.”

(repeat antiphon*)

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


(repeat antiphon*)

The Messiah, king and victor
Psalm 2

When the appointed time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, to enable us to become his adopted sons.

Why are the nations in a ferment?
Why do the people make their vain plans?
The kings of the earth have risen up;
the leaders have united against the Lord,
against his anointed.
“Let us break their chains, that bind us;
let us throw off their yoke from our shoulders!”
The Lord laughs at them,
he who lives in the heavens derides them.
Then he speaks to them in his anger;
in his fury he throws them into confusion:
“But I – I have set up my king on Zion,
my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the Lord’s decrees.
The Lord has said to me: “You are my son: today I have begotten you.
Ask me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance,
the ends of the earth for you to possess.
You will rule them with a rod of iron,
break them in pieces like an earthen pot.”
So now, kings, listen: understand, you who rule the land.
Serve the Lord in fear, tremble even as you praise him.
Learn his teaching, lest he take anger,
lest you perish when his anger bursts into flame.
Blessed are all who put their trust in the Lord.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


When the appointed time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, to enable us to become his adopted sons.
Psalm 18 (19)

Praise of God the creator

When he came into the world, he said: ‘You have prepared a body for me. Behold, O God, I am coming to do your will.’
The skies tell the story of the glory of God,
the firmament proclaims the work of his hands;
day pours out the news to day,
night passes to night the knowledge.
Not a speech, not a word,
not a voice goes unheard.
Their sound is spread throughout the earth,
their message to all the corners of the world.
At the ends of the earth he has set up
a dwelling place for the sun.
Like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
it rejoices like an athlete at the race to be run.
It appears at the edge of the sky,
runs its course to the sky’s furthest edge.
Nothing can hide from its heat.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


When he came into the world, he said: ‘You have prepared a body for me. Behold, O God, I am coming to do your will.’
Psalm 44 (45)

The wedding of the King

God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him.
My heart cries out on a joyful theme:
I will tell my poem to the king,
my tongue like the pen of the swiftest scribe.
You have been given more than human beauty,
and grace is poured out upon your lips,
so that God has blessed you for ever.
Strap your sword to your side, mighty one,
in all your greatness and splendour.
In your splendour go forth, mount your chariot,
on behalf of truth, kindness and justice.
Let your right hand show your marvels,
let your arrows be sharp against the hearts of the king’s enemies
– the peoples will fall before you.
Your throne is firm, O God, from age to age,
your royal sceptre is a sceptre of justice.
You love uprightness, hate injustice
– for God, your God has anointed you
with the oil of gladness, above all your companions.
Myrrh and aloes and cassia anoint your garments.
From ivory palaces the sound of harps delights you.
In your retinue go the daughters of kings.
At your right hand, the queen is adorned with gold of Ophir.
Listen, my daughter, and understand;
turn your ears to what I have to say.
Forget your people, forget your father’s house,
and the king will desire you for your beauty.
He is your lord, so worship him.
The daughters of Tyre will bring you gifts;
the richest of your subjects will beg you to look on them.
How great is the king’s daughter, within the palace!
She is clothed in woven gold.
She will be taken to the king in coloured garments,
her maidens will escort her to your presence.
In gladness and rejoicing they are brought
and led to the house of the king.
Instead of your fathers you will have sons:
you will make them rulers over all the world.
I will remember your name
from generation to generation.
And so your people will do you honour
for ever and for ever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him.
The word was made flesh.
– And dwelt among us.

Reading 1 Chronicles 17:1-15

Once David had settled into his house, he said to the prophet Nathan, ‘Here am I living in a house of cedar, while the ark of the Lord’s covenant is still beneath the awning of a tent.’ Nathan said to David, ‘Do all that is in your mind, for God is with you.’

But that very night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, ‘Go and tell my servant David, “The Lord says this: You are not the man to build me a house to dwell in. I have never stayed in a house from the day I brought Israel out until today, but went from tent to tent, from one shelter to another. In all my journeying with the whole of Israel, did I say to any one of the judges of Israel, whom I had appointed as shepherds of my people: Why have you not built me a house of cedar? This is what you must say to my servant David: the Lord of Hosts says this: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader of my people Israel. I have been with you on all your expeditions; I have cut off all your enemies before you. I will give you fame as great as the fame of the greatest on earth. I will provide a place for my people Israel; I will plant them there and they shall live in that place and never be disturbed again; nor shall the wicked continue to destroy them, as they did in the days when I appointed judges over my people Israel; I will subdue all their enemies. I will make you great; the Lord will make you a House. And when your days are ended and you must go to your ancestors, I will preserve your offspring after you, a son of your own, and make his sovereignty secure. It is he who shall build a house for me and I will make his throne firm for ever. I will be a father to him and he a son to me. I will not withdraw my favour from him, as I withdrew it from your predecessor. I will preserve him for ever in my house and in my kingdom; and his throne shall be established for ever.”’

Nathan related all these words to David and this whole revelation.

Reading From a letter by Saint Leo the Great, pope
The mystery of man's reconciliation with God

Lowliness is assured by majesty, weakness by power, mortality by eternity. To pay the debt of our sinful state, a nature that was incapable of suffering was joined to one that could suffer. Thus, in keeping with the healing that we needed, one and the same mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ, was able to die in one nature, and unable to die in the other.

He who is true God was therefore born in the complete and perfect nature of a true man, whole in his own nature, whole in ours. By our nature we mean what the Creator had fashioned in us from the beginning, and took to himself in order to restore it.

For in the Saviour there was no trace of what the deceiver introduced and man, being misled, allowed to enter. It does not follow that because he submitted to sharing in our human weakness he therefore shared in our sins.

He took the nature of a servant without stain of sin, enlarging our humanity without diminishing his divinity. He emptied himself; though invisible he made himself visible, though Creator and Lord of all things he chose to be one of us mortal men. Yet this was the condescension of compassion, not the loss of omnipotence. So he who in the nature of God had created man, became in the nature of a servant, man himself.

Thus the Son of God enters this lowly world. He comes down from the throne of heaven, yet does not separate himself from the Father’s glory. He is born in a new condition, by a new birth.

He was born in a new condition, for, invisible in his own nature, he became visible in ours. Beyond our grasp, he chose to come within our grasp. Existing before time began, he began to exist at a moment in time. Lord of the universe, he hid his infinite glory and took the nature of a servant. Incapable of suffering as God, he did not refuse to be a man, capable of suffering. Immortal, he chose to be subject to the laws of death.

He who is true God is also true man. There is no falsehood in this unity as long as the lowliness of man and the pre-eminence of God coexist in mutual relationship.

As God does not change by his condescension, so man is not swallowed up by being exalted. Each nature exercises its own activity, in communion with the other. The Word does what is proper to the Word, the flesh fulfils what is proper to the flesh.

One nature is resplendent with miracles, the other falls victim to injuries. As the Word does not lose equality with the Father’s glory, so the flesh does not leave behind the nature of our race.

One and the same person – this must be said over and over again – is truly the Son of God and truly the son of man. He is God in virtue of the fact that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He is man in virtue of the fact that the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.

Hymn Te Deum

God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:
“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.
Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.
You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.
And so we ask of you: give help to your servants, whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.
Bring your people to safety, Lord, and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Concluding Prayer

O God, you willed that your Word should take on true human flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary.
Grant, we pray you,
that as we proclaim our Redeemer to be man and also our God,
we may deserve to share in his divine nature.
He lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.