Category Archives: Homily

Abba the Greatest Father

A Service for Fathers’ Day
Note Bene: Today’s Readings are not based on the Lectionary for this day.

Processional Hymn:

Greeting:
Let Us Begin all things as we should. In the Name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ be with you
All: and with thy spirit.

See what love the Father has given us,
that we should be called the children of God.
You are my sons and daughters,
this day I have begotten you.
See what love the Father has given us.
As many as received him,
to them he gave power to become the children of God.
See what love the Father has given us.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
See what love the Father has given us,
that we should be called the children of God.
Continue reading Abba the Greatest Father

God Uses Flawed People

The following proper is suggested for use on the anniversary of ordination of an individual bishop, priest, or deacon. On a Sunday or major feast day, the proper of the day is used in place of the proper given here.

Introit: Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest, said Jesus to his disciples.  Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling.

Processional Hymn:

Collect: Almighty God, giver of all good gifts, in your divine providence you have appointed various orders of ministers in your Church: Give your grace, we humbly pray, to all who are called to any office and ministry for your people; and so fill them with the truth of your doctrine, and clothe them with holiness of life, that they may faithfully serve before you, to the glory of your great Name and for the benefit of your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Gloria in excelsis

Collect:
Holy Father, who, by no merit of my own, chose me
for communion with the eternal priesthood of your Christ
and for the ministry of your Church,
grant that I may be an ardent yet gentle preacher of the Gospel
and a faithful steward of your mysteries.
Amen.

Lesson: For a Bishop: A Reading from the Book of Isaiah 61:1-8
1The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
3to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
4They shall build up the ancient ruins;
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.
5Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks;
foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers;
6but you shall be called the priests of the Lord;
they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God;
you shall eat the wealth of the nations,
and in their glory you shall boast.
7Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion;
instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot;
therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion;
they shall have everlasting joy.
8For I the Lord love justice;
I hate robbery and wrong;
I will faithfully give them their recompense,
and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

Responsorial Psalm:
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
sure are all his precepts,
Reliable forever and ever,
wrought in truth and equity.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
He has sent deliverance to his people;
he has ratified his covenant forever;
holy and awesome is his name.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
prudent are all who live by it.
His praise endures forever.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!

Epistle: For a Bishop: A Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews 5:1-10
1For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. 3Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people. 4And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.
5So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,
“You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”;
6as he says also in another place,
“You are a priest forever,
after the order of Melchizedek.”
7In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. 8Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. 9And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.
The Word of the Lord!
Thanks be to God!

Sequence Hymn:

The Holy Gospel: For a Bishop: A Reading from the Holy Gospel of John 20:19-23
19On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

The Gospel of the Lord!
Praise to you Lord Christ!

Continue reading God Uses Flawed People

Pentecost Sunday 2017

Johann Michael Rottmayr ( 1714 )

Introit: The Spirit of the Lord filleth the whole world, alleluia, and that which containeth all things hath knowledge of the voice, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered; let them also that hate him flee before him.

The Sacred Ministers kneel before the altar, and all others kneel in place, while the following is sung

All rise, and preparations are made, and the Deacon begins the procession as follows
At the Procession
Deacon: Let us go forth in peace.
In the Name of Christ. Amen.

Processional Hymn:

Deacon: Send forth thy Spirit, O Lord, alleluia.
And thou shalt renew the face of the earth, alleluia.

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that we who here observe the day whereon thou didst send forth thy Holy Spirit, may in such wise be influenced with heavenly desires, that we may ever thirst for the waters of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Deacon: The Apostles spake with other tongues, alleluia.
The wonderful works of God, alleluia.

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Grant, we beseech thee, merciful God, that thy Church, being gathered together in unity by thy Holy Spirit, may manifest thy power among all peoples, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Gloria in excelsis

Collect: O God, who on this day didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people by sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Savior, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Lesson: A Reading from the Book of Numbers
11:24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent.

11:25 Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.

11:26 Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp.

11:27 And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”

11:28 And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, “My lord Moses, stop them!”

11:29 But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit on them!”

11:30 And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm
R. Alleluia.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
How manifold are your works, O Lord!
the earth is full of your creatures;
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the ear

Epistle: A Reading from the Book of Acts
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem.
At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd,
but they were confused
because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
They were astounded, and in amazement they asked,
“Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans?
Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?
We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites,
inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,
Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,
Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene,
as well as travelers from Rome,
both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs,
yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues
of the mighty acts of God.”
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!

Hymn:

Alleluia: Alleluia, alleluia. Kneel Come, Holy Ghost, and fill the hearts of thy
faithful people, and kindle in them the fire of thy love. Rise. Alleluia!

Sequence Hymn:

The Holy Gospel: A Reading from the Holy Gospel According to John
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”
The Gospel of the Lord! Alleluia!
Praise Be To You Lord Christ! Alleluia!

The Holy Feast of Pentecost
Rt. Rev. Edward L. Tatro, Jr.
Pentecost, also known as Whitsunday, celebrates the birthday of the Church, when the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles in the Acts of the Apostles. Pentecost is celebrated 50 days after Easter. Christian Pentecost differs from the Jewish celebration of the same name.

On Pentecost, a flame rested upon the shoulders of the apostles, and they began to speak in tongues (languages), by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus Pentecost is a time for many Anglicans and other Christians to celebrate two important realities: the Holy Spirit and the Church.

Pentecost has long been a very important feast in The Catholic and Orthodox Churches because it celebrates the official beginning of the Church. It is one of the twelve Great Feasts of the Eastern Church, second only in importance to Pascha (Easter). Pentecost always falls on a Sunday, fifty days after Easter Sunday (inclusive of Easter Sunday), and occurs during mid-to-late Spring in the Northern hemisphere, and mid-to-late autumn in the Southern hemisphere. The summer season of Ordinary Time begins on the Monday immediately following Pentecost Sunday.

From the Commentary:
The disciples had shut the doors for fear of the Jews; and when they had no such expectation, Jesus himself came and stood in the midst of them, having miraculously, though silently, opened the doors. It is a comfort to Christ’s disciples, when their assemblies can only be held in private, that no doors can shut out Christ’s presence. When He manifests his love to believers by the comforts of his Spirit, he assures them that because he lives, they shall live also. A sight of Christ will gladden the heart of a disciple at any time; and the more we see of Jesus, the more we shall rejoice. He said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost, thus showing that their spiritual life, as well as all their ability for their work, would be derived from him, and depended upon him. Every word of Christ which is received in the heart by faith, comes accompanied by this Divine breathing; and without this there is neither light nor life. Nothing is seen, known, discerned, or felt of God, but through this. After this, Christ directed the apostles to declare the only method by which sin would be forgiven. This power did not exist at all in the apostles as a power to give judgment, but only as a power to declare the character of those whom God would accept or reject in the day of judgment. They have clearly laid down the marks whereby a child of God may be discerned and be distinguished from a false professor; and according to what they have declared shall every case be decided in the day of judgment. When we assemble in Christ’s name, especially on his holy day, he will meet with us, and speak peace to us.

Today we receive the second Greatest gift from God, the Holy Spirit. The 12 where scared to be arrested and locked themselves in the upper room. Even though the doors were locked our Lord and Savior showed his great power and entered into that room and stood in the midst of his apostles. He gave us the Gift of the Holy Spirit, to guide and teach us until His return in Full Glory. Let us not waste the gifts of our most Loving Father. We have been commissioned one and all to bare Christ to all the world. We must live by His Example to show the world who Christ is.
I say to you today, Receive the Great Gift of Christ and teach those with whom you encounter the awesomeness, power, and might of our Almighty God and our Savior who is our King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Offertory Sentence: Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and make good your vows unto the Most High. Ascribe to the Lord the honor due his Name; bring offerings and come into his courts.

Offertory Hymn:

The Great Doxology:

Spiritual Communion for those not in attendance:
My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You have already come, and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

Solemn Blessing: May Almighty God, who enlightened the minds of the disciples by
pouring out upon them the Holy Spirit, make you rich with his blessing, that you
may abound more and more in that Spirit forever. Amen.

May God, who sent the Holy Spirit as a flame of fire that rested upon the heads of
the disciples, burn out all evil from your hearts, and make them shine with the pure
light of his presence. Amen.

May God, who by the Holy Spirit caused those of many tongues to proclaim Jesus
as Lord, strengthen your faith and send you out to bear witness to him in word and
deed. Amen.

And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be
upon you, and remain with you forever. Amen.

Recessional Hymn:

They Are One Flesh

A reading from the Book of Sirach 26:1-4, 13-16
Blessed the husband of a good wife,
twice-lengthened are his days;
A worthy wife brings joy to her husband,
peaceful and full is his life.
A good wife is a generous gift
bestowed upon him who fears the Lord;
Be he rich or poor, his heart is content,
and a smile is ever on his face.
A gracious wife delights her husband,
her thoughtfulness puts flesh on his bones;
A gift from the Lord is her governed speech,
and her firm virtue is of surpassing worth.
Choicest of blessings is a modest wife,
priceless her chaste soul.
A holy and decent woman adds grace upon grace;
indeed, no price is worthy of her temperate soul.
Like the sun rising in the Lord’s heavens,
the beauty of a virtuous wife is the radiance of her home.
The word of the Lord.
Thanks Be To God!

A Reading from Proverbs 18:22, 31:10 (NLT):
The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD. Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks Be To God!

Responsorial Psalm
R. How good is the Lord to all.
The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
slow to anger, abounding in mercy.
How good is the Lord to all,
compassionate to all his creatures.
R. How good is the Lord to all.
All your works shall thank you, O Lord,
and all your faithful ones bless you.
The eyes of all look to you
and you give them their food in due season.
R. How good is the Lord to all.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and holy in all his deeds.
The Lord is close to all who call him,
who call on him in truth.
R. How good is the Lord to all.

A Reading from the Book of Ephesians 5:33 (ESV):
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks Be to God!


Continue reading They Are One Flesh

The Tomb is Empty! Alleluia!

Easter Day Principal Celebration


Introit: I have risen, and am present with thee, alleluia; thou hast laid thine hand upon me, alleluia; such knowledge is too wonderful for me, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. O Lord, thou hast searched me out and known me; thou knowest my down sitting and mine uprising.

Processional Hymn:

Celebrant: The Lord is risen from the tomb, alleluia!
Who for our sake hung upon the tree, alleluia!
Continue reading The Tomb is Empty! Alleluia!

Good Friday

Good Friday The Solemn Liturgy
The Church is bare of all ornaments, candles, and decorations. The Sacred Ministers are vested in black, and the Passion Deacons wear black deacons’ stoles.  This service is normally held at noon, but may be used in the evening, especially in communities where few people will be able to attend at noon. The Holy Eucharist is not celebrated on this day. 

The ministers enter in silence. They prostrate themselves before the altar and pray silently for a space, the congregation kneeling. Then the Ministers rise, and the Celebrant begins the liturgy as follows:

Celebrant: Blessed be our God,
Forever and ever. Amen.

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Continue reading Good Friday

Maundy Thursday The Chrism Mass

Maundy Thursday The Chrism Mass

On Maundy Thursday during the day is it appropriate for the bishop of the diocese to celebrate the Holy Eucharist in the cathedral and consecrate the holy oils to be used in the churches of the diocese during the coming year, and at the same time to hear the renewal of ordination vows of the priests and deacons of the diocese, as well as to renew the bishop’s own ordination vows. It is therefore appropriate for this Eucharist to be concelebrated by priests from all parts of the diocese. If there are suffragans, it may be convenient for them to have similar celebrations in other cities of the diocese, in order to allow more clergy and laity to participate.

 The holy oils blessed at this service are Chrism, which is used for Confirmation, for the anointing of bishops, for the blessing of churches, altars, sacred vessels, and church bells, and, together with the Oil of Catechumens, for the blessing of fonts, the anointing of priests, and the coronation of the monarch (in countries ruled by a monarch); Oil of Catechumens, which is used for the anointing of baptismal candidates, and, with Chrism as indicated above; and Oil for the Sick. The Oil for the Sick is blessed after the Great Thanksgiving, but before the Lord’s Prayer; the other two oils after Communion, the Oil of Catechumens before the Post Communion Collect, the Chrism after it.
 

A table is set up in the chancel, and behind it the bishop’s chair. On the table are three vessels of oil, each covered with a silk cloth. The oil for Chrism is covered with a white cloth; the cloths covering the other oils may be of any colors. Also on the table is Balsam for the preparation of the Chrism. When the service is concluded, the oils are carried to the sacristy and distributed to the priests for use in churches during the coming year.

The order of entrance is as follows:
Thurifer and Boat-bearer
Crucifer and two Acolytes
Lay readers
Deacons
Priests
Deacon of the Mass on left; Assisting Priest on right
Canons of the Cathedral
Presiding Bishop

Note Bene: The People’s responses are in italics.

Processional Hymn:

Presiding Bishop: Let us begin all things as we should.  Bless the Lord who forgiveth our sins.
His Mercy will endure forever.

Presiding Bishop: Jesus Christ has made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Your love, O Lord, forever will I sing; from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.

Canon of the Cathedral: Collect: Almighty God, who by the power of the Holy Spirit anointed your Son to be Messiah and Priest forever: grant that all whom you call to his service may confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection, and share with us in his eternal priesthood; who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


Continue reading Maundy Thursday The Chrism Mass

A Call To Arms


Brothers and Sisters,

Now is the time to form a united front against the murderous rampage that has been plaguing our nation. The murder of the unborn. Time to find a few millstones.

Join together brothers and sisters and join me, I will be saying 10 Rosaries a day until the Holy Feast of Pentecost for the end of this murderous rampage!

Passion Sunday

The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday

Celebrant: Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord. All: Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.

Celebrant: Let us pray. Assist us mercifully with your help, O Lord God of our salvation, that we may enter with joy upon the contemplation of those mighty acts, whereby you have given us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Here a Deacon or other person appointed reads one of the following
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
1As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. 2“Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.”
4This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said,
5“Tell the people of Jerusalem,
‘Look, your King is coming to you.
He is humble, riding on a donkey—
riding on a donkey’s colt.’”
6The two disciples did as Jesus commanded. 7They brought the donkey and the colt to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it.
8Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,
“Praise God for the Son of David!
Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD!
Praise God in highest heaven!”
10The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked.
11And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Continue reading Passion Sunday

Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent

 “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Jn 8:51-59)

 

“Children. How they seek to behave worthily in the presence of their fathers! And the children of kings, in the presence of their father, the king, how they seek to uphold the royal dignity! And you… Don’t you realize that you are always in the presence of the great king, God, your Father?” (The Way, no. 265)

 
A Reading from the Book of Genesis
When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him:
“My covenant with you is this:
you are to become the father of a host of nations.
No longer shall you be called Abram;
your name shall be Abraham,
for I am making you the father of a host of nations.
I will render you exceedingly fertile;
I will make nations of you;
kings shall stem from you.
I will maintain my covenant with you
and your descendants after you
throughout the ages as an everlasting pact,
to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
I will give to you
and to your descendants after you
the land in which you are now staying,
the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession;
and I will be their God.”

God also said to Abraham:
“On your part, you and your descendants after you
must keep my covenant throughout the ages.”
The Word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations –
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

A Reading from the Holy Gospel According to John
Jesus said to the Jews:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever keeps my word will never see death.”
So the Jews said to him,
“Now we are sure that you are possessed.
Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say,
‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’
Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died?
Or the prophets, who died?
Who do you make yourself out to be?”
Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing;
but it is my Father who glorifies me,
of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’
You do not know him, but I know him.
And if I should say that I do not know him,
I would be like you a liar.
But I do know him and I keep his word.
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day;
he saw it and was glad.”
So the Jews said to him,
“You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
So they picked up stones to throw at him;
but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.
The Gospel of the Lord.

“Observe Christ’s disregard of the applause of men. those who are dead to the praises of men can bear their contempt. God will seek the honour of all who do not seek their own. In these verses we have the doctrine of the everlasting happiness of believers. We have the character of a believer; he is one that keeps the sayings of the Lord Jesus. And the privilege of a believer; he shall by no means see death for ever. Though now they cannot avoid seeing death, and tasting it also, yet they shall shortly be where it will be no more forever, Ex 14:13.”

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

“Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.” (Lk 8:15)

“Jesus suffers to carry out the will of the Father. And you, who also want to carry out the most holy will of God, following the steps of the Master, can you complain if you meet suffering on your way?” (The Way, no. 213)

A Reading from the Book of Daniel
King Nebuchadnezzar said:
“Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
that you will not serve my god,
or worship the golden statue that I set up?
Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made,
whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet,
flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe,
and all the other musical instruments;
otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace;
and who is the God who can deliver you out of my hands?”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar,
“There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you
in this matter.
If our God, whom we serve,
can save us from the white-hot furnace
and from your hands, O king, may he save us!
But even if he will not, know, O king,
that we will not serve your god
or worship the golden statue that you set up.”

King Nebuchadnezzar’s face became livid with utter rage
against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual
and had some of the strongest men in his army
bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
and cast them into the white-hot furnace.

Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles,
“Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?”
“Assuredly, O king,” they answered.
“But,” he replied, “I see four men unfettered and unhurt,
walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God.”
Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed,
“Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
who sent his angel to deliver the servants who trusted in him;
they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies
rather than serve or worship any god
except their own God.”
The Word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
R. Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;
And blessed is your holy and glorious name,
praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.”
R. Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
R. Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.”
R. Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you who look into the depths
from your throne upon the cherubim;
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.”
R. Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven,
praiseworthy and glorious forever.”
R. Glory and praise for ever!

A Reading from the Holy Gospel According to John
Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him,
“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham
and have never been enslaved to anyone.
How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.
A slave does not remain in a household forever,
but a son always remains.
So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free.
I know that you are descendants of Abraham.
But you are trying to kill me,
because my word has no room among you.
I tell you what I have seen in the Father’s presence;
then do what you have heard from the Father.”

They answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraham.”
Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children,
you would be doing the works of Abraham.
But now you are trying to kill me,
a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God;
Abraham did not do this.
You are doing the works of your father!”
So they said to him, “We were not born of fornication.
We have one Father, God.”
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me,
for I came from God and am here;
I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”
The Gospel of the Lord.

“Such power attended our Lord’s words, that many were convinced, and professed to believe in him. He encouraged them to attend his teaching, rely on his promises, and obey his commands, notwithstanding all temptations to evil. Thus doing, they would be his disciples truly; and by the teaching of his word and Spirit, they would learn where their hope and strength lay. Christ spoke of spiritual liberty; but carnal hearts feel no other grievances than those that molest the body, and distress their worldly affairs. Talk to them of their liberty and property, tell them of waste committed upon their lands, or damage done to their houses, and they understand you very well; but speak of the bondage of sin, captivity to Satan, and liberty by Christ; tell of wrong done to their precious souls, and the hazard of their eternal welfare, then you bring strange things to their ears. Jesus plainly reminded them, that the man who practised any sin, was, in fact, a slave to that sin, which was the case with most of them. Christ in the gospel offers us freedom, he has power to do this, and those whom Christ makes free are really so. But often we see persons disputing about liberty of every kind, while they are slaves to some sinful lust.”

Christ makes us free, but we first must give up that which enslaves us! Turn from sin, turn from the “vices” you have and return to Him who sets us free. Repent, repent and return to the King of Kings. Repent and embrace your Cross as He readily embraces the CROSS for you.