Saturday, March 23, 2013

PRAYER OF THE DAY

Lenten Psalm

You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
Say to the Lord,
"My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust."

For he will rescue you from the snare of the fowler,
from the destroying pestilence.
With his pinions he will cover you,
and under his wings you shall take refuge;
his faithfulness is a buckler and a shield.

You shall not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day;
Though a thousand fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right side,
near you it shall not come.
Rather with your eyes shall you behold and see the requital of the wicked,
Because you have the Lord for your refuge;
you have made the Most High your stronghold.
No evil shall befall you, nor shall affliction come near your tent.
For to his angels he has given command about you that they guard you in all your ways.
Upon their hands they shall bear you up,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.

Because he clings to me,
I will deliver him;
I will set him on high because he acknowledges my name.
He shall call upon me,
and I will answer him;
I will be with him in distress;
I will deliver him and glorify him;
with length of days I will gratify him and will show him my salvation.

[Source: Lent and Holy Week in the Home by Emerson and Arlene Hynes, 
The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1977.]

DAILY MASS READINGS

Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Reading
EZ 37:21-28

Thus says the Lord GOD:

I will take the children of Israel from among the nations
to which they have come,
and gather them from all sides to bring them back to their land.
I will make them one nation upon the land,
in the mountains of Israel,
and there shall be one prince for them all.
Never again shall they be two nations,
and never again shall they be divided into two kingdoms.

No longer shall they defile themselves with their idols,
their abominations, and all their transgressions.
I will deliver them from all their sins of apostasy,
and cleanse them so that they may be my people
and I may be their God.
My servant David shall be prince over them,
and there shall be one shepherd for them all;
they shall live by my statutes and carefully observe my decrees.
They shall live on the land that I gave to my servant Jacob,
the land where their fathers lived;
they shall live on it forever,
they, and their children, and their children’s children,
with my servant David their prince forever.
I will make with them a covenant of peace;
it shall be an everlasting covenant with them,
and I will multiply them, and put my sanctuary among them forever.
My dwelling shall be with them;
I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Thus the nations shall know that it is I, the LORD,
who make Israel holy,
when my sanctuary shall be set up among them forever.


Responsorial Psalm
JER 31:10, 11-12ABCD, 13

R. The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.

Hear the word of the LORD, O nations,
proclaim it on distant isles, and say:
He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together,
he guards them as a shepherd his flock.

R. The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.

The LORD shall ransom Jacob,
he shall redeem him from the hand of his conqueror.
Shouting, they shall mount the heights of Zion,
they shall come streaming to the LORD’s blessings:
The grain, the wine, and the oil,
the sheep and the oxen.

R. The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.

Then the virgins shall make merry and dance,
and young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
I will console and gladden them after their sorrows.

R. The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.


Gospel
JN 11:45-56

Many of the Jews who had come to Mary
and seen what Jesus had done began to believe in him.
But some of them went to the Pharisees
and told them what Jesus had done.
So the chief priests and the Pharisees
convened the Sanhedrin and said,
“What are we going to do?
This man is performing many signs.
If we leave him alone, all will believe in him,
and the Romans will come
and take away both our land and our nation.”
But one of them, Caiaphas,
who was high priest that year, said to them,
“You know nothing,
nor do you consider that it is better for you
that one man should die instead of the people,
so that the whole nation may not perish.”
He did not say this on his own,
but since he was high priest for that year,
he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation,
and not only for the nation,
but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God.
So from that day on they planned to kill him.

So Jesus no longer walked about in public among the Jews,
but he left for the region near the desert,
to a town called Ephraim,
and there he remained with his disciples.

Now the Passover of the Jews was near,
and many went up from the country to Jerusalem
before Passover to purify themselves.
They looked for Jesus and said to one another
as they were in the temple area, “What do you think?
That he will not come to the feast?”

SAINT OF THE DAY

March 23

Blessed Claudio Granzotto (1900-1947)

Born in Santa Lucia del Piave near Venice, 
Claudio was the youngest of nine children and was accustomed to hard work in the fields.
At the age of nine he lost his father.
Six years later he was drafted into the Italian army, where he served more than three years.

His artistic abilities, especially in sculpture, led to studies at Venice’s Academy of Fine Arts, which awarded him a diploma with the highest marks in 1929. Even then he was especially interested in religious art. When Claudio entered the Friars Minor four years later, his parish priest wrote, "The Order is receiving not only an artist but a saint." 
Prayer, charity to the poor and artistic work characterized his life, which was cut short by a brain tumor. 
He died on the feast of the Assumption and was beatified in 1994.


OFFICE OF READINGS

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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 23 (24)

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us.
Come, let us adore him.

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.

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us.
Come, let us adore him.

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.

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us.
Come, let us adore him.

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.

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us.
Come, let us adore him.

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.

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us.
Come, let us adore him.

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.
Amen.

Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us.
Come, let us adore him.


Hymn

Lord, who throughout these forty days
for us didst fast and pray,
teach us with thee to mourn our sins,
and close by thee to stay.
As thou with Satan didst contend
and didst the victory win,
O give us strength in thee to fight,
in thee to conquer sin.
As thou didst hunger bear, and thirst,
so teach us, gracious Lord,
to die to self, and chiefly live
by thy most holy word.
And through these days of penitence,
and through thy Passiontide,
yea, evermore in life and death,
Jesus, with us abide.
Abide with us, that so, this life
of suffering overpast,
an Easter of unending joy
we may attain at last.


Psalm 104 (105)
The Lord is faithful to his promises

Sing to the Lord; tell all his wonderful works.

Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name;
proclaim his works among the peoples.
Sing and make music to him
and reflect on all the wonders he has performed.
Glory in his holy name,
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Seek the Lord in his power,
always seek his face.
Remember the wonders he performed,
his miracles and the judgements he has uttered.
Seed of Abraham, his servants,
children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
The Lord himself is our God,
his rule extends over the whole earth.
He has always remembered his covenant,
that he made to last a thousand generations,
the agreement he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac.
He made it a decree for Jacob,
an eternal covenant for Israel, saying
“I will give you Canaan
and measure it out as your inheritance.”
Although they were few in number,
a handful of wanderers,
although they were travelling from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another,
he let no harm come to them,
he rebuked kings in their defence:
“do not touch my anointed ones,
do no harm to my prophets.”

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.
Amen.

Sing to the Lord; tell all his wonderful works.


Psalm 104 (105)

The Lord did not forget the just man who was sold as a slave:
he released him from the power of sinful men.

The Lord called down famine upon the land, he ground away every stick of bread.
He had sent a man to them, Joseph, and he was sold as a slave.
They confined his feet in fetters and put a ring around his neck –
until the Lord’s word came, the Lord spoke and justified him.
The king sent for him and released him – the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He set him to rule over his house, made him lord of all his possessions,
so that he could make the princes as wise as himself and teach wisdom to the elders.

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.
Amen.

The Lord did not forget the just man who was sold as a slave:
he released him from the power of sinful men.


Psalm 104 (105)

The Lord remembered his holy word,
and he brought out his people with joy.

And so Israel passed into Egypt
and Jacob lived in the country of Ham.
The Lord made his people grow enormously
and strengthened them against their enemies.
Then he turned the hearts of men against his chosen people,
so that they hated them and made plots against them.
He sent Moses, his servant,
and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
He made them prophesy
the signs and prodigies he would work in the land of Ham.
He sent shadows and darkness,
but they would not listen to his words.
He turned their rivers into blood,
killing all the fish.
Frogs ate up the earth,
even in the secret gardens of the palaces.
He summoned flies
and insects throughout the land.
He sent stones of hail and fire
to devastate their land.
He struck their vines and their fig-trees,
broke down the trees of their country.
He spoke, and locusts came,
and worms without number:
they ate all the grain of the land,
consumed all of the fruit.
He struck down the first-born of their land,
the flower of all their strength.
He led his people out with silver and gold;
not a single one of them stumbled.
Egypt rejoiced to see them go,
to see the last of the people they feared.
He sent a cloud to protect them,
and fire to light up their nights.
He led out his people in exultation,
his chosen ones in gladness.
He gave them the territory of the nations,
the fruits of the labours of the peoples.
All this he did
so that they would keep his decrees
and follow his laws.

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.
Amen.

The Lord remembered his holy word,
and he brought out his people with joy.


He who lives by the truth comes to the light
– and whatever he does is seen by all.


First Reading
Hebrews 8:1-13

The great point of all that we have said is that we have a high priest of exactly this kind.
He has his place at the right of the throne of divine Majesty in the heavens,
and he is the minister of the sanctuary and of the true Tent of Meeting which the Lord,
and not any man, set up.
It is the duty of every high priest to offer gifts and sacrifices,
and so this one too must have something to offer.
In fact, if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all,
since there are others who make the offerings laid down by the Law
and these only maintain the service of a model or a reflection of the heavenly realities.
For Moses, when he had the Tent to build, was warned by God who said:
See that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.

We have seen that he has been given a ministry of a far higher order,
and to the same degree it is a better covenant of which he is the mediator,
founded on better promises.
If that first covenant had been without a fault,
there would have been no need for a second one to replace it.
And in fact God does find fault with them; he says:

See, the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks –
when I will establish a new covenant
with the House of Israel and the House of Judah,
but not a covenant like the one I made with their ancestors
on the day I took them by the hand
to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
They abandoned that covenant of mine,
and so I on my side deserted them. It is the Lord who speaks.
No, this is the covenant I will make
with the House of Israel
when those days arrive – it is the Lord who speaks.
I will put my laws into their minds
and write them on their hearts.
Then I will be their God
and they shall be my people.
There will be no further need for neighbour to try to teach neighbour,
or brother to say to brother,
‘Learn to know the Lord.’
No, they will all know me,
the least no less than the greatest,
since I will forgive their iniquities
and never call their sins to mind.

By speaking of a new covenant, 
he implies that the first one is already old.
Now anything old only gets more antiquated until in the end it disappears.


Responsory

We have a high priest whose place is at the right of the throne of divine Majesty in the heavens;
and he is the minister of the sanctuary and of the true Tent of Meeting,
so that he may appear in the actual presence of God on our behalf.

Christ has entered not a man-made sanctuary which was only modelled on a real one,
but heaven itself,
so that he may appear in the actual presence of God on our behalf.


Second Reading
From a homily
by Saint Gregory Nazianzen

We are soon going to share in the Passover

We are soon going to share in the Passover, and although we still do so only in a symbolic way, the symbolism already has more clarity than it possessed in former times because, under the law, the Passover was, if I may dare to say so, only a symbol of a symbol. Before long, however, when the Word drinks the new wine with us in the kingdom of his Father, we shall be keeping the Passover in a yet more perfect way, and with deeper understanding. He will then reveal to us and make clear what he has so far only partially disclosed. For this wine, so familiar to us now, is eternally new.

It is for us to learn what this drinking is, and for him to teach us.
He has to communicate this knowledge to his disciples, because teaching is food, even for the teacher.

So let us take our part in the Passover prescribed by the law, not in a literal way, but according to the teaching of the Gospel; not in an imperfect way, but perfectly; not only for a time, but eternally. Let us regard as our home the heavenly Jerusalem, not the earthly one; the city glorified by angels, not the one laid waste by armies. We are not required to sacrifice young bulls or rams, beasts with horns and hoofs that are more dead than alive and devoid of feeling; but instead, let us join the choirs of angels in offering God upon his heavenly altar a sacrifice of praise. We must now pass through the first veil and approach the second, turning our eyes toward the Holy of Holies. I will say more: we must sacrifice ourselves to God, each day and in everything we do, accepting all that happens to us for the sake of the Word, imitating his passion by our sufferings, and honouring his blood by shedding our own. We must be ready to be crucified.

If you are a Simon of Cyrene, take up your cross and follow Christ. If you are crucified beside him like one of the thieves, now, like the good thief, acknowledge your God. For your sake, and because of your sin, Christ himself was regarded as a sinner; for his sake, therefore, you must cease to sin. Worship him who was hung on the cross because of you, even if you are hanging there yourself. Derive some benefit from the very shame; purchase salvation with your death. 
Enter paradise with Jesus, and discover how far you have fallen. 
Contemplate the glories there, and leave the other scoffing thief to die outside in his blasphemy.

If you are a Joseph of Arimathea, go to the one who ordered his crucifixion, and ask for Christ’s body. Make your own the expiation for the sins of the whole world. If you are a Nicodemus, like the man who worshipped God by night, bring spices and prepare Christ’s body for burial. If you are one of the Marys, or Salome, or Joanna, weep in the early morning. Be the first to see the stone rolled back, and even the angels perhaps, and Jesus himself.


Responsory

Jesus suffered outside the gate to sanctify the people with his own blood.
Let us go to him, then, outside the camp, and share his degradation.

In the fight against sin, you have not yet had to know fighting to the point of death.
Let us go to him, then, outside the camp, and share his degradation.

Let us pray.

Lord God,
at all times you are working out the salvation of man,
but now more especially you enrich your people with grace.
Look kindly on this people:
keep the seal of baptism inviolate in those who have received it
and in those who still await their rebirth in the Spirit.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.