Saturday, April 20, 2019

Pope Francis celebrates Easter Vigil "...raise our eyes to the risen Jesus." with Baptisms at St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican - FULL TEXT Homily + Video










On Saturday, April 20, 2019, at 8:30 p.m., Rome time, St. Peter's Basilica Pope Francis celebrated the Solemn Easter Vigil beginning in darkness to symbolize the death of Jesus. The paschal candle was lit and traveled up the central aisle. Pope Francis baptized eight people from various nationalities; he also administered the sacrament of confirmation and gave them their first communion.

 The full text of his homily is below:
Homily of Pope Francis at the Easter Vigil

20 April 2019

1.       The women bring spices to the tomb, but they fear that their journey is in vain, since a large stone bars the entrance to the sepulcher. The journey of those women is also our own journey; it resembles the journey of salvation that we have made this evening.  At times, it seems that everything comes up against a stone: the beauty of creation against the tragedy of sin; liberation from slavery against infidelity to the covenant; the promises of the prophets against the listless indifference of the people.  So too, in the history of the Church and in our own personal history.  It seems that the steps we take never take us to the goal.  We can be tempted to think that dashed hope is the bleak law of life.

          Today however we see that our journey is not in vain; it does not come up against a tombstone.  A single phrase astounds the woman and changes history: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Lk 24:5).  Why do you think that everything is hopeless, that no one can take away your own tombstones?  Why do you give into resignation and failure?  Easter is the feast of tombstones taken away, rocks rolled aside.  God takes away even the hardest stones against which our hopes and expectations crash: death, sin, fear, worldliness.  Human history does not end before a tombstone, because today it encounters the “living stone” (cf. 1 Pet 2:4), the risen Jesus.  We, as Church, are built on him, and, even when we grow disheartened and tempted to judge everything in the light of our failures, he comes to make all things new, tooverturn our every disappointment.  Each of us is calledtonight to rediscover in the Risen Christ the one who rolls back from our heart the heaviest of stones.  So let us first ask:What is the stone that I need to remove, what is its name?

Pope at Easter Vigil: Roll away the stones that crush hope
          Often what blocks hope is the stone ofdiscouragement.Once we start thinking that everything is going badly and that things can’t get worse, we lose heart and come to believe that death is stronger than life.  We become cynical, negative and despondent.  Stone upon stone, we build within ourselves a monument to our own dissatisfaction:the sepulcher of hope. Life becomes a succession of complaints and we grow sick in spirit.  A kind of tomb psychology takes over: everything ends there, with no hope of emerging alive.  Butat that moment, we hear once more the insistent question of Easter:Why do you seek the living among the dead?The Lord is not to be found in resignation.  He is risen; he is not there.  Don’t seek him where you will never find him: he is not the God of the dead but of the living (cf. Mk 22:32).  Do not bury hope!

          There is another stone that often seals the heart shut: the stone of sin.  Sin seduces; it promises things easy and quick, prosperity and success, but then leaves behind only solitude and death.  Sin is looking for life among the dead, for the meaning of life in things that pass away.  Why do you seek the living among the dead?  Why not make up your mind to abandon that sin which, like a stone before the entrance to your heart, keeps God’s light from entering in?  Why not prefer Jesus, the true light (cf. Jn1:9), to the glitter of wealth, career, pride and pleasure?  Why not tell the empty things of this world that you no longer live for them, but for the Lord of life?

2.       Let us return to the women who went to Jesus’ tomb.  They halted in amazement before the stone that was taken away.  Seeing the angels, they stood there, the Gospel tells us, “frightened, and bowed their faces to the ground” (Lk 24:5).  They did not have the courage to look up.  How often do we do the same thing? We prefer to remain huddled within our shortcomings, cowering in our fears.   It is odd, but why do we do this?  Not infrequently because, glum and closed up within ourselves, we feel in control, for it is easier to remain alone in the darkness of our heart than to open ourselves to the Lord.  Yet only he can raise us up.  A poet once wrote: “We never know how high we are.  Till we are called to rise” (E. Dickinson).  The Lord calls us to get up, to rise at his word, to look up and to realize that we were made for heaven, not for earth, for the heights of life and not for the depths of death: Why do you seek the living among the dead?

          God asks us to view life as he views it, for in each of us he never ceases to see an irrepressible kernel of beauty.  In sin, he sees sons and daughters to be restored; in death, brothers and sisters to be reborn; in desolation, hearts to be revived.  Do not fear, then: the Lord loves your life, even when you are afraid to look at it and take it in hand.  In Easter he shows you how much he loves that life: even to the point of living it completely, experiencing anguish, abandonment, death and hell, in order to emerge triumphant to tell you: “You are not alone; put your trust in me!”.

          Jesus is a specialist at turning our deaths into life, our mourning into dancing (cf. Ps 30:11).  With him, we too can experience a Pasch, that is, a Passover– from self-centredness to communion, from desolation to consolation, from fear to confidence.  Let us not keep our faces bowed to the ground in fear, but raise our eyes to the risen Jesus.  His gaze fills us with hope, for it tells us that we are loved unfailingly, and that however much we make a mess of things, his love remains unchanged.  This is the one, non-negotiable certitude we have in life: his love does not change.  Let us ask ourselves:In my life, where am I looking?Am I gazing at graveyards, or looking for the Living One?

3.       Why do you seek the living among the dead?    The women hear the words of the angels, who go on to say: “Remember what he told you while he was still in Galilee” (Lk 24:6).  Those woman had lost hope, because they could not recall the words of Jesus, his call that took place in Galilee.  Having lost the living memory of Jesus, they kept looking at the tomb.  Faith always needs to go back to Galilee, to reawaken its first love for Jesus and his call: to remember him, to turn back to him with all our mind and all our heart.  To return to a lively love of the Lord is essential.  Otherwise, ours is a “museum” faith, not an Easter faith.  Jesus is not a personage from the past; he is a person living today.  We do not know him from history books; we encounter him in life.  Today, let us remember how Jesus first called us, how he overcame our darkness, our resistance, our sins, and how he touched our hearts with his word.

          The women, remembering Jesus, left the tomb.  Easter teaches us that believers do not linger at graveyards, for they are called to go forth to meet the Living One.  Let us ask ourselves:In my life, where am I going?  Sometimes we go only in the direction of our problems, of which there are plenty, and go to the Lord only for help.  But then, it is our own needs, not Jesus, to guide our steps.  We keep seeking the Living One among the dead.  Or again, how many times, once we have encountered the Lord, do we return to the dead, digging up regrets, reproaches, hurts and dissatisfactions, without letting the Risen One change us?

          Dear brothers and sisters: let us put the Living On eat the centre of our lives. Let us ask for the grace not to be carried by the current, the sea of our problems;the grace not to run aground on the shoals of sin or crash on the reefs of discouragement and fear.  Let us seek him in all things and above all things.  With him, we will rise again.
FULL TEXT Source of Homily Vatican News va - Official Translation - Image source: Vatican.va

Powerful Testimony of Actor Jim Caviezal about his Role as Jesus in the Passion - A message for You from Jesus!




Powerful testimony of Actor Jim Caviezel, the actor who played Jesus in The Passion of the Christ film, which is the most popular film about Jesus in history. Jim Caviezel is interviewed by Dave Cooper. He explained how much he suffered in portraying Christ's Passion and was even struck by lightening. He gives advice to all about being a Christian and the honor of suffering for Jesus Crucified for the salvation of souls. At the end he provides a message from Jesus to each person - a clear message revealed to him by Jesus through his suffering in the movie. This video has been seen over 6 million times - its worth to watch to the end.
Caviezal says, "We need Christians to look death in the face, and to understand that eternity awaits them. We are all going to die; the first death, hopefully not the second. God never sends a man to hell; people choose this place. Our democracy cannot be sustained without a shared commitment to certain moral truths about the human person and the human community. The basic question before a democratic society is this: how ought we to live together; and seeking an answer to this question - can society exclude moral truth and moral reasoning. Set yourselves apart from this corrupt generation my brothers and sisters - You weren't born to fit in - You were born to stand out! ...This is a chance for heaven right now....God forgives you and now he needs you to accept forgiveness...God made you and loves you - there's never been another like you....all he needs to hear from you is yes...keep accepting him...every time we sin we deny him....be Holy!"

#BreakingNews 37,000 to Become Catholic at Easter Vigil Mass in the USA


Catholic Church in the United States Will Welcome Thousands of New Catholics at Easter Vigil Masses

April 17, 2019
WASHINGTON— Dioceses across the country will be welcoming thousands of people into the Catholic Church at Easter Vigil Masses on the evening of April 20th. As the culmination of the Easter Triduum, the Vigil celebrates the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While people can become Catholic at any time of the year, the Easter Vigil is a particularly appropriate moment for adult catechumens to be baptized and for already-baptized Christians to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church. Parishes welcome these new Catholics through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).
Many of the dioceses across the nation have reported their numbers of people who intend to become Catholic on Saturday to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Based on these reports, more than 37,000 people are expected to be welcomed into the Church at Easter Vigil Masses.
Prior to beginning the RCIA process, an individual comes to some knowledge of Jesus Christ, considers his or her relationship with Jesus Christ and is usually attracted in some way to the Catholic Church. Then during the RCIA process, which typically lasts nine months or more, a person learns the teachings of the Catholic Church in a more formal way and discerns that he or she is ready to commit to living according to these beliefs. Thousands of people have already passed through this process and are ready to take this step on Saturday in parishes throughout the country.
Two distinct groups of people will be initiated into the Catholic Church. Catechumens, who have never been baptized, will receive Baptism, Confirmation and first Communion at the Holy Saturday Easter Vigil. Candidates, who have already been baptized in another Christian tradition, will enter the Church through a profession of faith and reception of Confirmation and the Eucharist.
For example, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the largest in the United States, will welcome 1,560 catechumens and 913 candidates; the Archdiocese of San Francisco will welcome 174 catechumens and 175 candidates; and the Diocese of San Diego will welcome 306 catechumens and 806 candidates.
The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston will welcome 1,512 catechumens and 631 candidates. Among them will be Alfredo Acosta, who is experiencing both intense sorrow and joy over the past two years that led him to become a Catholic. He suffered the loss of his two younger brothers who passed away, but then he also celebrated the birth of his son, Benjamin, now 18-months old. “My wife Gricelda is a cradle Catholic. She was born into her faith. Then we baptized our son last year, so I wanted to be able to share our faith with both of them,” Acosta said. Other catechumens and candidates say they were also inspired by the witness of Catholics in their lives
Other archdioceses and dioceses report numbers as follows: Archdiocese of Washington: 455 catechumens and 183 candidates; Atlanta: 645 catechumens, 1,181 candidates; Dallas: 1,196 catechumens, 1,399 candidates; Fort Worth: 600 catechumens, 500 candidates; Corpus Christi: 130 catechumens, 43 candidates; Tyler: 101 catechumens, 190 candidates; Charlotte: 724 catechumens, 1,284 candidates; Venice in Florida: 148 catechumens, 120 candidates; Archdiocese of New Orleans: 152 catechumens, 161 candidates; Columbus: 173 catechumens, 227 candidates; Erie: 51 catechumens, 80 candidates; Baton Rouge: 158 catechumens, 300 candidates; Orlando: 514 catechumens, 482 candidates; Monterrey: 297 catechumens; Crookston: 7 catechumens, 33 candidates; St. Augustine: 174 catechumens, 315 candidates; Rockville Centre: 272 catechumens; Arlington, VA: 285 catechumens, 277 candidates; Salina: 33 catechumens, 88 candidates; Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis: 205 catechumens, 319 candidates; Archdiocese of Newark: 411 catechumens, 58 candidates; Archdiocese of Oklahoma City: 262 catechumens, 324 candidates; Syracuse: 48 catechumens, 59 candidates.
The Archdiocese of Seattle reports 769 catechumens and 424 candidates; Salt Lake City: 227 catechumens, 107 candidates; Yakima: 255 catechumens, 40 candidates; Little Rock: 272 catechumens, 324 candidates; Archdiocese of Louisville: 185 catechumens, 191 candidates; Davenport: 63 catechumens, 85 candidates; Archdiocese of Denver: 462 catechumens, 348 candidates; Albany: 55 catechumens, 86 candidates; Archdiocese of Philadelphia: 196 catechumens, 267 candidates; Tucson: 136 catechumens, 179 candidates; Savannah: 80 catechumens, 231 candidates; Steubenville: 26 catechumens, 67 candidates; Gallup, New Mexico: 75 catechumens/candidates; Harrisburg: 92 catechumens.  
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati will be welcoming 322 catechumens, 403 candidates; Santa Rosa: 54 catechumens, 22 candidates; Trenton: 161 catechumens, 114 candidates; Honolulu: 197 catechumens, 184 candidates; Rochester: 62 catechumens, 112 candidates; Wichita: 123 catechumens, 234 candidates; Bridgeport: 71 catechumens, 210 candidates and Grand Rapids 171 catechumens, 186 candidates.
The Diocese of Pittsburgh reports: 101 catechumens, 161 candidates; Owensboro: 91 catechumens, 135 candidates; Lexington: 111 catechumens, 74 candidates; Archdiocese of Boston: 288 catechumens, 182 candidates; Covington: 65 catechumens, 121 candidates; Palm Beach: 152 catechumens, 464 candidates; Evansville: 81 catechumens, 94 candidates; Springfield, IL: 102 catechumens; 100 candidates; Manchester: 50 catechumens; Wilmington: 76 catechumens, 122 candidates; Archdiocese of Indianapolis: 330 catechumens, 465 candidates.
Additionally, the Diocese of Worcester reports 95 catechumens, 34 candidates; Belleville: 44 catechumens, 74 candidates; Lafayette: 63 catechumens, 93 candidates; Portland in Maine: 65 catechumens, 57 candidates; Houma-Thibodaux: 37 catechumens, 41 candidates; Yakima: 255 catechumens, 40 candidates; Youngstown, Ohio: 86 catechumens, 116 candidates; Des Moines; 97 catechumens, 131 candidates; Springfield, MA: 43 catechumens, 56 candidates; Paterson: 114 catechumens.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore will receive 227 catechumens, 410 candidates; Biloxi: 72 catechumens, 135 candidates; Green Bay, WI: 40 catechumens, 78 candidates; Shreveport: 27 catechumens, 94 candidates; Kansas City-St. Joseph: 160 catechumens, 155 candidates; Camden: 126 catechumens; Fall River: 43 catechumens, 65 candidates; Jefferson City: 100 catechumens; 165 candidates; Saginaw: 60 catechumens, 53 candidates; Cleveland: 251 catechumens, 270 candidates; Gary: 50 catechumens, 100 candidates.
The Archdiocese of Anchorage will also be welcoming 39 catechumens, 34 candidates; Bismarck: 16 catechumens, 44 candidates; St. Cloud: 17 catechumens, 40 candidates; New Ulm: 8 catechumens, 28 candidates; Great Falls-Billings: 38 catechumens, 60 candidates; Peoria: 82 catechumens, 196 candidates; Lake Charles: 61 catechumens, 141 candidates; Kalamazoo Michigan: 55 catechumens, 46 candidates.
FULL TEXT Release from the USCCB - Catholic Bishops' Conference of USA - Image source: Google Images - Fr. Broom

Catholic and Anglican Leaders urge Government to Protect Christians and Religious Freedom - FULL TEXT


News Release from the Bishops' Conference of England:
Archbishop Nichols and Archbishop Welby
Christian leaders today called on Government to protect Christians facing persecution and to promote freedom of religion and belief more widely.

In a joint Catholic and Church of England response to the Government-commissioned independent review of Foreign and Commonwealth Office support for persecuted Christians, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, and Archbishop Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, argued that Government should promote freedom of religion and belief as a fundamental human right. They also called on Government to take a joined-up approach to Freedom of Religion and Belief in foreign, aid, security, trade, resettlement and asylum policy, rather than treating it as an isolated diplomatic activity.

The independent review was launched by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt earlier this year and is being led by Bishop Philip Mountstephen, Bishop of Truro.

Cardinal Nichols and Archbishop Welby said in a joint letter to accompany the submission:

“Christians form an important part of the social fabric in almost every country of the world. Yet in many places, our Christian sisters and brothers face persecution of an intensity and extent unprecedented in many centuries.

“This Submission is shaped by their voices and by our commitment to make them heard.

“We must remember, too, that these threats to freedom of religion or belief are not restricted to Christians alone. Rather, it is a widespread experience of the followers of other faiths. Many are deprived of this basic expression of their human dignity. Similar threats are also faced by atheists and agnostics who seek to uphold crucial decisions of conscience.

“We ask Her Majesty’s Government to take note of the practical recommendations offered by our Churches in this Submission and to take meaningful action not only in protecting Christians facing persecution but also in promoting freedom of religion and belief more widely.”

The call was echoed by Archbishop Bashar Warda, Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil, Kurdistan Iraq, where Christians were chased from their homes in 2014 as ISIS took hold in Northern Iraq.

Archbishop Warda said: “The UK government has taken the first courageous step to have the global review into Christian persecution. The next courageous step is to come and listen to those who suffer and witness the persecution, the destruction, the displacement and the frightening figures of persecuted flight. The Church in England & Wales is a great support to us here in Iraq since the coming of ISIS in 2014. Cardinal Nichols made a great impact when he came here in 2015 to see and experience our situation at first hand.”

Nigeria has also seen significant violence and persecution against people on account of their religious belief.

Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, Archbishop of Benin City in Nigeria said:

“Against the backdrop of the violence and bloodshed that characterized the last elections, we are pained that the culture of death is becoming embedded into our daily lives. This persistent devaluation of human life and property poses an existential threat to our personal survival and that of our nation. How can government continue to appear helpless in the face of such shameful tragedy? We strongly appeal to the President, in collaboration with the Governors of Kaduna State and other affected States to seriously take steps to arrest this drift before total anarchy and mayhem consume the entire nation.”
FULL TEXT from catholicnews.org.uk

Easter Vigil Mass Online : Saturday April 20, 2019 - #Eucharist - Readings + Video - #EasterVigil

Easter Sunday - The Resurrection of the Lord -At the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter
Lectionary: 41

Reading 1 GN 1:1—2:2

In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, 
the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, 
while a mighty wind swept over the waters.

Then God said,
"Let there be light," and there was light.
God saw how good the light was.
God then separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night."
Thus evening came, and morning followed—the first day.

Then God said,
"Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters, 
to separate one body of water from the other."
And so it happened:
God made the dome, 
and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it.
God called the dome "the sky."
Evening came, and morning followed—the second day.

Then God said, 
"Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin, 
so that the dry land may appear."
And so it happened:
the water under the sky was gathered into its basin, 
and the dry land appeared.
God called the dry land "the earth, " 
and the basin of the water he called "the sea."
God saw how good it was.
Then God said,
"Let the earth bring forth vegetation: 
every kind of plant that bears seed
and every kind of fruit tree on earth 
that bears fruit with its seed in it."
And so it happened: 
the earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed 
and every kind of fruit tree on earth 
that bears fruit with its seed in it.
God saw how good it was.
Evening came, and morning followed—the third day.

Then God said:
"Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, 
to separate day from night.
Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years, 
and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky, 
to shed light upon the earth."
And so it happened:
God made the two great lights, 
the greater one to govern the day, 
and the lesser one to govern the night; 
and he made the stars. 
God set them in the dome of the sky, 
to shed light upon the earth,
to govern the day and the night, 
and to separate the light from the darkness.
God saw how good it was.
Evening came, and morning followed—the fourth day.

Then God said, 
"Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures, 
and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky."
And so it happened:
God created the great sea monsters 
and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems, 
and all kinds of winged birds.
God saw how good it was, and God blessed them, saying, 
"Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas; 
and let the birds multiply on the earth."
Evening came, and morning followed—the fifth day.

Then God said, 
"Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures: 
cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds."
And so it happened:
God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle,
and all kinds of creeping things of the earth.
God saw how good it was.
Then God said: 
"Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, 
the birds of the air, and the cattle, 
and over all the wild animals 
and all the creatures that crawl on the ground."
God created man in his image;
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
God blessed them, saying:
"Be fertile and multiply;
fill the earth and subdue it.
Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, 
and all the living things that move on the earth."
God also said: 
"See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth 
and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; 
and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, 
and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, 
I give all the green plants for food."
And so it happened.
God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.
Evening came, and morning followed—the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed.
Since on the seventh day God was finished
with the work he had been doing, 
he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.

OrGN 1:1, 26-31A


In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,
God said: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, 
the birds of the air, and the cattle, 
and over all the wild animals 
and all the creatures that crawl on the ground."
God created man in his image;
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
God blessed them, saying: 
"Be fertile and multiply;
fill the earth and subdue it.
Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, 
and all the living things that move on the earth."
God also said: 
"See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth 
and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; 
and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, 
and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, 
I give all the green plants for food."
And so it happened.
God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good.

Responsorial Psalm PS 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 13-14, 24, 35

R. (30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
You are clothed with majesty and glory,
robed in light as with a cloak.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
You fixed the earth upon its foundation,
not to be moved forever;
with the ocean, as with a garment, you covered it;
above the mountains the waters stood.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
You send forth springs into the watercourses
that wind among the mountains.
Beside them the birds of heaven dwell;
from among the branches they send forth their song.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
You water the mountains from your palace;
the earth is replete with the fruit of your works.
You raise grass for the cattle,
and vegetation for man's use,
Producing bread from the earth.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
How manifold are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you have wrought them all—the earth is full of your creatures.
Bless the LORD, O my soul! Alleluia.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.


Or PS 33:4-5, 6-7, 12-13, 20 AND 22

R. (5b) The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made;
by the breath of his mouth all their host.
He gathers the waters of the sea as in a flask;
in cellars he confines the deep.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
From heaven the LORD looks down;
he sees all mankind.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Reading 2GN 22:1-18 

God put Abraham to the test.
He called to him, "Abraham!"
"Here I am, " he replied.
Then God said:
"Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, 
and go to the land of Moriah.
There you shall offer him up as a holocaust 
on a height that I will point out to you."
Early the next morning Abraham saddled his donkey, 
took with him his son Isaac and two of his servants as well, 
and with the wood that he had cut for the holocaust, 
set out for the place of which God had told him.

On the third day Abraham got sight of the place from afar.
Then he said to his servants:
"Both of you stay here with the donkey, 
while the boy and I go on over yonder.
We will worship and then come back to you."
Thereupon Abraham took the wood for the holocaust 
and laid it on his son Isaac's shoulders, 
while he himself carried the fire and the knife.
As the two walked on together, Isaac spoke to his father Abraham: 
"Father!" Isaac said.
"Yes, son, " he replied.
Isaac continued, "Here are the fire and the wood, 
but where is the sheep for the holocaust?"
"Son," Abraham answered, 
"God himself will provide the sheep for the holocaust."
Then the two continued going forward.

When they came to the place of which God had told him, 
Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.
Next he tied up his son Isaac, 
and put him on top of the wood on the altar.
Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
But the LORD's messenger called to him from heaven,
"Abraham, Abraham!"
"Here I am!" he answered.
"Do not lay your hand on the boy," said the messenger.
"Do not do the least thing to him.
I know now how devoted you are to God, 
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son."
As Abraham looked about, 
he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket.
So he went and took the ram 
and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son.
Abraham named the site Yahweh-yireh; 
hence people now say, "On the mountain the LORD will see."

Again the LORD's messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said: 
"I swear by myself, declares the LORD, 
that because you acted as you did 
in not withholding from me your beloved son, 
I will bless you abundantly
and make your descendants as countless
as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; 
your descendants shall take possession 
of the gates of their enemies, 
and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing—
all this because you obeyed my command."


OrGN22:1-2, 9A, 10-13, 15-18


God put Abraham to the test.
He called to him, "Abraham!"
"Here I am, " he replied.
Then God said:
"Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, 
and go to the land of Moriah.
There you shall offer him up as a holocaust 
on a height that I will point out to you." 

When they came to the place of which God had told him, 
Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.
Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
But the LORD's messenger called to him from heaven,
"Abraham, Abraham!"
"Here I am, " he answered.
"Do not lay your hand on the boy, " said the messenger.
"Do not do the least thing to him.
I know now how devoted you are to God, 
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son."
As Abraham looked about, 
he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket.
So he went and took the ram 
and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son.

Again the LORD's messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said: 
"I swear by myself, declares the LORD, 
that because you acted as you did 
in not withholding from me your beloved son, 
I will bless you abundantly
and make your descendants as countless
as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; 
your descendants shall take possession 
of the gates of their enemies, 
and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing—
all this because you obeyed my command."


Responsorial Psalm PS 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11

R. (1) You are my inheritance, O Lord.
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.


Reading 3EX 14:15—15:1

The LORD said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me?
Tell the Israelites to go forward.
And you, lift up your staff and, with hand outstretched over the sea,
split the sea in two,
that the Israelites may pass through it on dry land.
But I will make the Egyptians so obstinate
that they will go in after them.
Then I will receive glory through Pharaoh and all his army, 
his chariots and charioteers.
The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, 
when I receive glory through Pharaoh 
and his chariots and charioteers."

The angel of God, who had been leading Israel's camp, 
now moved and went around behind them.
The column of cloud also, leaving the front,
took up its place behind them,
so that it came between the camp of the Egyptians
and that of Israel.
But the cloud now became dark, and thus the night passed 
without the rival camps coming any closer together
all night long.
Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, 
and the LORD swept the sea
with a strong east wind throughout the night
and so turned it into dry land.
When the water was thus divided, 
the Israelites marched into the midst of the sea on dry land, 
with the water like a wall to their right and to their left.

The Egyptians followed in pursuit; 
all Pharaoh's horses and chariots and charioteers went after them 
right into the midst of the sea.
In the night watch just before dawn 
the LORD cast through the column of the fiery cloud
upon the Egyptian force a glance that threw it into a panic; 
and he so clogged their chariot wheels
that they could hardly drive.
With that the Egyptians sounded the retreat before Israel, 
because the LORD was fighting for them against the Egyptians.

Then the LORD told Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea, 
that the water may flow back upon the Egyptians,
upon their chariots and their charioteers."
So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, 
and at dawn the sea flowed back to its normal depth.
The Egyptians were fleeing head on toward the sea, 
when the LORD hurled them into its midst.
As the water flowed back, 
it covered the chariots and the charioteers of Pharaoh's whole army
which had followed the Israelites into the sea.
Not a single one of them escaped.
But the Israelites had marched on dry land
through the midst of the sea, 
with the water like a wall to their right and to their left.
Thus the LORD saved Israel on that day
from the power of the Egyptians.
When Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the seashore 
and beheld the great power that the LORD
had shown against the Egyptians, 
they feared the LORD and believed in him and in his servant Moses.

Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD:
I will sing to the LORD, for he is gloriously triumphant;
horse and chariot he has cast into the sea.


Responsorial PsalmEX 15:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 17-18

R. (1b) Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
I will sing to the LORD, for he is gloriously triumphant;
horse and chariot he has cast into the sea.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
He is my God, I praise him;
the God of my father, I extol him.
R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
The LORD is a warrior,
LORD is his name!
Pharaoh's chariots and army he hurled into the sea;
the elite of his officers were submerged in the Red Sea.
R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
The flood waters covered them,
they sank into the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, O LORD, magnificent in power,
your right hand, O LORD, has shattered the enemy.
R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.
You brought in the people you redeemed
and planted them on the mountain of your inheritance—
the place where you made your seat, O LORD,
the sanctuary, LORD, which your hands established.
The LORD shall reign forever and ever.
R. Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory.


Reading 4IS 54:5-14

The One who has become your husband is your Maker;
his name is the LORD of hosts;
your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel,
called God of all the earth.
The LORD calls you back,
like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit,
a wife married in youth and then cast off,
says your God.
For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with great tenderness I will take you back. 
In an outburst of wrath, for a moment
I hid my face from you;
but with enduring love I take pity on you,
says the LORD, your redeemer.
This is for me like the days of Noah,
when I swore that the waters of Noah
should never again deluge the earth;
so I have sworn not to be angry with you,
or to rebuke you.
Though the mountains leave their place
and the hills be shaken,
my love shall never leave you
nor my covenant of peace be shaken,
says the LORD, who has mercy on you.
O afflicted one, storm-battered and unconsoled,
I lay your pavements in carnelians,
and your foundations in sapphires;
I will make your battlements of rubies,
your gates of carbuncles,
and all your walls of precious stones.
All your children shall be taught by the LORD,
and great shall be the peace of your children.
In justice shall you be established,
far from the fear of oppression,
where destruction cannot come near you.


Responsorial PsalmPS 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13

R. (2a) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the netherworld;
you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
but with the dawn, rejoicing.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
O LORD, be my helper.
You changed my mourning into dancing;
O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.


Reading 5IS 55:1-11

Thus says the LORD:
All you who are thirsty,
come to the water!
You who have no money,
come, receive grain and eat;
come, without paying and without cost,
drink wine and milk!
Why spend your money for what is not bread,
your wages for what fails to satisfy?
Heed me, and you shall eat well,
you shall delight in rich fare.
Come to me heedfully,
listen, that you may have life.
I will renew with you the everlasting covenant,
the benefits assured to David.
As I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander of nations,
so shall you summon a nation you knew not,
and nations that knew you not shall run to you,
because of the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, who has glorified you.

Seek the LORD while he may be found,
call him while he is near.
Let the scoundrel forsake his way,
and the wicked man his thoughts;
let him turn to the LORD for mercy;
to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
As high as the heavens are above the earth,
so high are my ways above your ways
and my thoughts above your thoughts.

For just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
and do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
so shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
my word shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.


Responsorial Psalm IS 12:2-3, 4, 5-6

R. (3) You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.


Reading 6BAR 3:9-15, 32C4:4

Hear, O Israel, the commandments of life:
listen, and know prudence!
How is it, Israel,
that you are in the land of your foes,
grown old in a foreign land,
defiled with the dead,
accounted with those destined for the netherworld?
You have forsaken the fountain of wisdom!
Had you walked in the way of God,
you would have dwelt in enduring peace.
Learn where prudence is,
where strength, where understanding;
that you may know also
where are length of days, and life,
where light of the eyes, and peace.
Who has found the place of wisdom,
who has entered into her treasuries?

The One who knows all things knows her;
he has probed her by his knowledge—
The One who established the earth for all time,
and filled it with four-footed beasts;
he who dismisses the light, and it departs,
calls it, and it obeys him trembling;
before whom the stars at their posts
shine and rejoice;
when he calls them, they answer, "Here we are!"
shining with joy for their Maker.
Such is our God;
no other is to be compared to him:
He has traced out the whole way of understanding,
and has given her to Jacob, his servant,
to Israel, his beloved son.

Since then she has appeared on earth,
and moved among people.
She is the book of the precepts of God,
the law that endures forever;
all who cling to her will live,
but those will die who forsake her.
Turn, O Jacob, and receive her:
walk by her light toward splendor.
Give not your glory to another,
your privileges to an alien race.
Blessed are we, O Israel;
for what pleases God is known to us!


Responsorial Psalm PS 19:8, 9, 10, 11

R. (John 6:68c) Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
the decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
the ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.


Reading 7EZ 36:16-17A, 18-28

The word of the LORD came to me, saying: 
Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their land, 
they defiled it by their conduct and deeds.
Therefore I poured out my fury upon them 
because of the blood that they poured out on the ground, 
and because they defiled it with idols.
I scattered them among the nations, 
dispersing them over foreign lands; 
according to their conduct and deeds I judged them.
But when they came among the nations wherever they came, 
they served to profane my holy name, 
because it was said of them: "These are the people of the LORD,
yet they had to leave their land."
So I have relented because of my holy name 
which the house of Israel profaned 
among the nations where they came.
Therefore say to the house of Israel: Thus says the Lord GOD: 
Not for your sakes do I act, house of Israel, 
but for the sake of my holy name, 
which you profaned among the nations to which you came.
I will prove the holiness of my great name, profaned among the nations, 
in whose midst you have profaned it.
Thus the nations shall know that I am the LORD, says the Lord GOD, 
when in their sight I prove my holiness through you.
For I will take you away from among the nations, 
gather you from all the foreign lands, 
and bring you back to your own land.
I will sprinkle clean water upon you
to cleanse you from all your impurities, 
and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, 
taking from your bodies your stony hearts
and giving you natural hearts.
I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes, 
careful to observe my decrees.
You shall live in the land I gave your fathers; 
you shall be my people, and I will be your God.


Responsorial Psalm - When Baptism Is Celebrated.PS 42:3, 5; 43:3, 4

R. (42:2) Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.
Athirst is my soul for God, the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God? 
R. Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.
I went with the throng
and led them in procession to the house of God,
Amid loud cries of joy and thanksgiving,
with the multitude keeping festival.
R. Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.
Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling-place.
R. Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.
Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;
then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God!
R. Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.

When Baptism Is Not Celebrated.IS 12:2-3, 4BCD, 5-6

R. (3) You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.


When Baptism Is Not CelebratedPS 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19

R. (12a) Create a clean heart in me, O God.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a holocaust, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.


EpistleROM 6:3-11

Brothers and sisters:
Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus 
were baptized into his death?
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, 
so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead 
by the glory of the Father, 
we too might live in newness of life.

For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, 
we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.
We know that our old self was crucified with him, 
so that our sinful body might be done away with, 
that we might no longer be in slavery to sin.
For a dead person has been absolved from sin.
If, then, we have died with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with him.
We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more;
death no longer has power over him.
As to his death, he died to sin once and for all;
as to his life, he lives for God.
Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as being dead to sin
and living for God in Christ Jesus.


Responsorial Psalm PS 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23

R. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
"His mercy endures forever."
R. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
The right hand of the LORD has struck with power;
the right hand of the LORD is exalted.
I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the LORD.
R. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
The stone the builders rejected 
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
R. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.


GospelMK 16:1-7

When the sabbath was over, 
Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome 
bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.
Very early when the sun had risen,
on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb.
They were saying to one another, 
"Who will roll back the stone for us
from the entrance to the tomb?"
When they looked up,
they saw that the stone had been rolled back;
it was very large.
On entering the tomb they saw a young man
sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe,
and they were utterly amazed.
He said to them, "Do not be amazed!
You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.
He has been raised; he is not here.
Behold the place where they laid him.
But go and tell his disciples and Peter, 
'He is going before you to Galilee; 
there you will see him, as he told you.'" 
(Mass Starts at 5:15 min. on video below)