Thursday, April 8, 2010

Prayer of the Day

Easter Acts of Consecration

Leader: Let us commend ourselves and all people
to the love and protection of the Mother of God.

All: Holy Mother of God,
Mary ever Virgin,
intercede for us with the Lord our God.

Leader: God who is mighty has done great things for us.

All: And holy is God's name.

Leader: Let us pray:


We sing our Alleluias today, for Jesus is risen.
Our souls proclaim the greatness of God,
Our spirits rejoice in our Risen Savior.
May your song be sung in our lives
At every moment of this day so that God's power,
Which can do far more than we can ask or imagine,
May continue to call life from death and light from
Transforming our meager efforts
Into your Son's victory over death.


Thursday in the Octave of Easter

Reading 1
Acts 3:11-26

As the crippled man who had been cured clung to Peter and John,
all the people hurried in amazement toward them
in the portico called “Solomon’s Portico.”
When Peter saw this, he addressed the people,
“You children of Israel, why are you amazed at this,
and why do you look so intently at us
as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety?
The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus
whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence,
when he had decided to release him.
You denied the Holy and Righteous One
and asked that a murderer be released to you.
The author of life you put to death,
but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.
And by faith in his name,
this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong,
and the faith that comes through it
has given him this perfect health,
in the presence of all of you.
Now I know, brothers and sisters,
that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did;
but God has thus brought to fulfillment
what he had announced beforehand
through the mouth of all the prophets,
that his Christ would suffer.
Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away,
and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment
and send you the Christ already appointed for you, Jesus,
whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration
of which God spoke through the mouth
of his holy prophets from of old.
For Moses said:

A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you
from among your own kin;
to him you shall listen in all that he may say to you.
Everyone who does not listen to that prophet
will be cut off from the people.

“Moreover, all the prophets who spoke,
from Samuel and those afterwards, also announced these days.
You are the children of the prophets
and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors
when he said to Abraham,
In your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you
by turning each of you from your evil ways.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 8:2ab and 5, 6-7, 8-9

R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!


R. Alleluia.

O LORD, our Lord,
how glorious is your name over all the earth!
What is man that you should be mindful of him,
or the son of man that you should care for him?

R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!


R. Alleluia.

You have made him little less than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
putting all things under his feet.

R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!


R. Alleluia.

All sheep and oxen,
yes, and the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea,
and whatever swims the paths of the seas.

R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!


R. Alleluia.

Lk 24:35-48

The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way,
and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,

“Peace be with you.”

But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them,

“Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have.”

And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them,

“Have you anything here to eat?”

They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them,

“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”

Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,

“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.”

Saint of the Day

April 8

St. Julie Billiart (1751-1816)

Born in Cuvilly, France, into a family of well-to-do farmers, young Marie Rose Julia Billiart showed an early interest in religion and in helping the sick and poor. Though the first years of her life were relatively peaceful and uncomplicated, Julie had to take up manual work as a young teen when her family lost its money. However, she spent her spare time teaching catechism to young people and to the farm laborers.

A mysterious illness overtook her when she was about 30. Witnessing an attempt to wound or even kill her father, Julie was paralyzed and became a complete invalid. For the next two decades she continued to teach catechism lessons from her bed, offered spiritual advice and attracted visitors who had heard of her holiness.

When the French Revolution broke out in 1789, revolutionary forces became aware of her allegiance to fugitive priests. With the help of friends she was smuggled out of Cuvilly in a haycart; she spent several years hiding in Compiegne, being moved from house to house despite her growing physical pain. She even lost the power of speech for a time.

But this period also proved to be a fruitful spiritual time for Julie. It was at this time she had a vision in which she saw Calvary surrounded by women in religious habits and heard a voice saying, "Behold these spiritual daughters whom I give you in an Institute marked by the cross." As time passed and Julie continued her mobile life, she made the acquaintance of an aristocratic woman, Francoise Blin de Bourdon, who shared Julie's interest in teaching the faith. In 1803 the two women began the Institute of Notre Dame, which was dedicated to the education of the poor as well as young Christian girls and the training of catechists. The following year the first Sisters of Notre Dame made their vows. That was the same year that Julie recovered from the illness: She was able to walk for the first time in 22 years.

Though Julie had always been attentive to the special needs of the poor and that always remained her priority, she also became aware that other classes in society needed Christian instruction. From the founding of the Sisters of Notre Dame until her death, Julie was on the road, opening a variety of schools in France and Belgium that served the poor and the wealthy, vocational groups, teachers. Ultimately, Julie and Francoise moved the motherhouse to Namur, Belgium.

Julie died there in 1816. She was canonized in 1969.

Office of Readings

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

Antiphon: The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

(repeat antiphon*)

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
the world and all who live in it.
He himself founded it upon the seas
and set it firm over the waters.

(repeat antiphon*)

Who will climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who will stand in his holy place?
The one who is innocent of wrongdoing and pure of heart,
who has not given himself to vanities or sworn falsely.
He will receive the blessing of the Lord
and be justified by God his saviour.
This is the way of those who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

(repeat antiphon*)

Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of might and power.
The Lord, strong in battle.

(repeat antiphon*)

Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of hosts
– he is the king of glory.

(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*)

A cry of rejoicing and triumph
Psalm 117 (118)

Now let Israel say: ‘His kindness is for ever.’ Alleluia.

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
and his kindness is for ever.
Now let Israel say, he is good
and his kindness is for ever.
Now let the house of Aaron say it too:
that his kindness is for ever.
Now let all who fear the Lord say it too:
that his kindness is for ever.
In my time of trial I called out to the Lord:
he listened, and led me to freedom.
The Lord is with me,
I will fear nothing that man can do.
The Lord, my help, is with me,
and I shall look down upon my enemies.
It is good to seek shelter in the Lord,
better than to trust in men.
It is good to seek shelter in the Lord,
better than to trust in the leaders of men.

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.


Now let Israel say: ‘His kindness is for ever.’ Alleluia.
Psalm 117 (118)

The Lord has become my saviour. Alleluia.

All the nations surrounded me,
and in the Lord’s name I slew them.
They crowded in and besieged me,
and in the Lord’s name I slew them.
They surrounded me like swarms of bees,
they burned like a fire of dry thorns,
and in the Lord’s name I slew them.
They chased and pursued me, to make me fall,
and the Lord came to my help.
The Lord is my strength and my rejoicing:
he has become my saviour.
A cry of joy and salvation
in the dwellings of the righteous:
“The Lord’s right hand has triumphed!
The Lord’s right hand has raised me up;
the Lord’s right hand has triumphed.”
I shall not die, but live,
and tell of the works of the Lord.
The Lord chastised me severely
but did not let me die.

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.


The Lord has become my saviour. Alleluia.
Psalm 117 (118)

It was the Lord who did this: it is marvellous to behold. Alleluia.

Open the gates of righteousness:
I will go in, and thank the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord;
it is the upright who enter here.
I will thank you, for you listened to me,
and became my saviour.
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the corner-stone.
It was the Lord who did this –
it is marvellous to behold.
This is the day that was made by the Lord:
let us rejoice today, and be glad.
Lord, keep me safe;
O Lord, let me prosper!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
We bless you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God: he shines upon us!
Arrange the procession, with close-packed branches,
up to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, I will give thanks to you;
my God, I will give you praise.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
and his kindness is 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.


It was the Lord who did this: it is marvellous to behold. Alleluia.
Christ, at your resurrection, alleluia,
– let heaven and earth rejoice, alleluia.

Reading 1 Peter 3:1-17

Wives should be obedient to their husbands. Then, if there are some husbands who have not yet obeyed the word, they may find themselves won over, without a word spoken, by the way their wives behave, when they see how faithful and conscientious they are. Do not dress up for show: doing up your hair, wearing gold bracelets and fine clothes; all this should be inside, in a person’s heart, imperishable: the ornament of a sweet and gentle disposition – this is what is precious in the sight of God. That was how the holy women of the past dressed themselves attractively – they hoped in God and were tender and obedient to their husbands; like Sarah, who was obedient to Abraham, and called him her lord. You are now her children, as long as you live good lives and do not give way to fear or worry.

In the same way, husbands must always treat their wives with consideration in their life together, respecting a woman as one who, though she may be the weaker partner, is equally an heir to the life of grace. This will stop anything from coming in the way of your prayers.

Finally: you should all agree among yourselves and be sympathetic; love the brothers, have compassion and be self-effacing. Never pay back one wrong with another, or an angry word with another one; instead, pay back with a blessing. That is what you are called to do, so that you inherit a blessing yourself. Remember: Anyone who wants to have a happy life and to enjoy prosperity must banish malice from his tongue, deceitful conversation from his lips; he must never yield to evil but must practise good; he must seek peace and pursue it. Because the face of the Lord frowns on evil men, but the eyes of the Lord are turned towards the virtuous.

No one can hurt you if you are determined to do only what is right; if you do have to suffer for being good, you will count it a blessing. There is no need to be afraid or to worry about them. Simply reverence the Lord Christ in your hearts, and always have your answer ready for people who ask you the reason for the hope that you all have. But give it with courtesy and respect and with a clear conscience, so that those who slander you when you are living a good life in Christ may be proved wrong in the accusations that they bring. And if it is the will of God that you should suffer, it is better to suffer for doing right than for doing wrong.

Reading From the Jerusalem Catecheses
Baptism is a symbol of Christ's passion

You were led down to the font of holy baptism just as Christ was taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb which is before your eyes. Each of you was asked, “Do you believe in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit?” You made the profession of faith that brings salvation, you were plunged into the water, and three times you rose again. This symbolised the three days Christ spent in the tomb.

As our Saviour spent three days and three nights in the depths of the earth, so your first rising from the water represented the first day and your first immersion represented the first night. At night a man cannot see, but in the day he walks in the light. So when you were immersed in the water it was like night for you and you could not see, but when you rose again it was like coming into broad daylight. In the same instant you died and were born again; the saving water was both your tomb and your mother.

Solomon’s phrase in another context is very apposite here. He spoke of a time to give birth, and a time to die. For you, however, it was the reverse: a time to die, and a time to be born, although in fact both events took place at the same time and your birth was simultaneous with your death.

This is something amazing and unheard of! It was not we who actually died, were buried and rose again. We only did these things symbolically, but we have been saved in actual fact. It is Christ who was crucified, who was buried and who rose again, and all this has been attributed to us. We share in his sufferings symbolically and gain salvation in reality. What boundless love for men! Christ’s undefiled hands were pierced by the nails; he suffered the pain. I experience no pain, no anguish, yet by the share that I have in his sufferings he freely grants me salvation.

Let no one imagine that baptism consists only in the forgiveness of sins and in the grace of adoption. Our baptism is not like the baptism of John, which conferred only the forgiveness of sins. We know perfectly well that baptism, besides washing away our sins and bringing us the gift of the Holy Spirit, is a symbol of the sufferings of Christ. This is why Paul exclaims: Do you not know that when we were baptised into Christ Jesus we were, by that very action, sharing in his death? By baptism we went with him into the tomb.

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 have brought together many races in one single acknowledgement of your name.
May those who have been reborn in baptism
be one in belief
and one in holy living.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.