Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - #Eucharist in Lent - Your Virtual Church

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 253
Reading 1DN 3:14-20, 91-92, 95
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.”

Responsorial PsalmDANIEL 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56

R.    (52b)  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!

Verse Before The GospelLK 8:15

Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.

GospelJN 8:31-42

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.”

Saint April 1 : St. Hugh of Grenoble a Carthusian known for Preaching and his Generosity to the Poor

1053 at Chateauneuf, Dauphiné, France
1 April 1132
1134 by Pope Innocent II
St. Hugh was born in 1053 in southeastern France at Châteauneuf-sur-Isère, near Grenoble in the western foothills of the Alps. Such was his reputation for piety and theological knowledge that, although only in his mid-twenties, Hugh was elected bishop of Grenoble even though he had not yet been ordained. He was selected to carry out reforms of abuses within the Church which had been instituted under Pope Gregory VII, who ordained Hugh in Rome after his election as bishop. After two years of successfully battling abuses in Grenoble such as simony (the selling of church positions) and enforcing rules about clerical celibacy, Hugh wanted to retire to the great Benedictine monastery at Cluny. However, Pope Gregory ordered him to remain in his position as bishop. He was well-known for his inspired preaching and his generosity to the poor.

In 1084, Hugh helped St. Bruno of Cologne and six of his companions found the great Carthusian monastery "La Grande Chartreuse" high in the Alps. They devoted their monastic life to prayer and study and were visited by Hugh often. It was reported that, as much as he could in his role as bishop, Hugh adopted the monastic way of life practiced by the monks at Chartreuse. The 2005 film, Into Great Silence, documented the daily life at La Grande Chartreuse. After many years of illness which he endured in patient silence, St. Hugh died on April 1, 1132 and was canonized only two years later by Pope Innocent II. Text: sthughofgrenoble.org

Saint March 31 : St. Guy of Pomposa : Abbot

St. Guy of Pomposa (1046) was born in Italy and gave everything to the poor. He spent three years, as a hermit, on the island of Po River. He become the abbot of St. Severus. He became a much sought after spiritual adviser. His feast day is March 31.

Watch as England was Re-Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary - Now you can Pray at Home with the Official Prayers

On Sunday, March 29th, 2020 at 12pm noon, England was re-dedicated to Mary. Although the faithful could not be at their churches, there were and still can be part of the virtual congregation at home.
You can join, anytime, Virtually with the prayers below.

 Why is England called the Dowry of Mary?
On the Feast of Corpus Christi 1381, King Richard II dedicated England to Mary in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey in thanksgiving for his kingdom being saved at the time of the Peasants’ Revolt.
England received the title ‘Mary’s Dowry’; meaning that England was ‘set aside’ as a gift – a dowry – for Our Lady under her guidance and protection. 

 Watch and take part… Pray the Re-dedication

You can join to pray the Angelus Prayer and the Act of Entrustment with Cardinal Vincent Nichols. Subtitles and signed version also available (BSL).

Today we’re invited to take part in the Re-dedication of England as Mary’s Dowry and to make a personal Act of Dedication. Let us unite in prayer and join Cardinal Vincent Nichols.

Our film has subtitles and, if you can read British Sign Laguage (BSL) we have a version of the Cardinal praying the re-dedication between the two prayers below.

The Angelus Promise

The Angelus Promise is a spiritual exercise created to assist us to embrace the message of Our Lady, as expressed in the Angelus. It invites us to ‘share in the joy of the Annunciation’ by following Mary’s openness to God’s call, through her faith-filled ‘yes’. Through our own faith-filled ‘yes’, the Lord will work wonders in our lives.
R: The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary
V: And she conceived by the Holy Spirit
As God once chose Mary to become the Mother of his Son through the message of an angel, so he chooses me this day, and invites me through the ministry of the Church or the example of another, to seek and do his will at this moment in my life. Hail Mary full of grace…
R: Behold the handmaid of the Lord
V: Be it be done unto me according to thy Word
Mary’s response to her invitation, ‘let it be done to me according to your Word’, opened her heart to God’s grace and all things became possible. Let my ‘yes’ today take away fear, as I embrace God’s will, and like Mary ‘ponder these things in my heart’. Hail Mary full of grace…
R: And the Word became flesh (Bow or genuflect)
V: And dwelt among us
At a moment in history, Mary’s faith-filled ‘yes’ conceived him, first in her heart, which then led to the birth of our Saviour. Through accepting him in my heart, enable me to recognise my role in bringing Christ to my sisters and brothers today. Hail Mary full of grace…
R: Pray for us most holy Mother of God
V: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ
Let us pray: O Holy Mother of God, pray for us, and assist us as we dedicate ourselves this day. Your ‘yes’ at the Annunciation brought our Saviour Jesus into the world, and you invite us to contemplate the great mystery of the Incarnation, sharing your joy in announcing that ‘the Word was made flesh and lived among us.’ May our yes, this day, open our hearts to serve our sisters and brothers in this your Dowry, that they too may share our joy in the Good News that God walks among us. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Act of Entrustment Based on Prayer of Erasmus 1532, Dedication of England to the Mother of God 1893, Prayer for England, Cardinal Griffin’s Act of Consecration 1948, Act of Consecration St John Paul 1982.
PrayerO Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England thy Dowry and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee.
ResponseWe your faithful people assembled here offer you this country in which we live. Once it was yours, all its children were your children and you were honoured throughout England as its Protectress and its Queen. Again do we consecrate it as your Dowry, and entrust it to your maternal care.
PrayerBy thee it was that Jesus our Saviour and our hope was given unto the world; and he has given thee to us that we might hope still more.
ResponseTo you we entrust the Church, which invokes you as Mother. On earth you preceded her in the pilgrimage of faith. Comfort her in her difficulties and trials. Make her always the sign and instrument of intimate union with God and of the unity of the whole human race. To you, Mother of the human family, and of the nations, we confidently entrust the whole of humanity with its hopes and fears. Let it not lack the light of true wisdom. Guide it to seek freedom and justice for all. Direct its steps in the ways of peace. Enable all to meet Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life.
PrayerPlead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the Cross, O sorrowful Mother.
ResponsePray, O Holy Mother of God, for the conversion of heart of the people of England, restoration of the sick, consolation for the troubled, repentance of sinners, peace to the departed. Queen of Peace, pray for us and give to the world the peace for which all peoples are longing, peace in the truth, justice and charity of Christ. Give peace to the nations and to the souls of all, that in peace, the Kingdom of God may prevail.
PrayerIntercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the supreme Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son.
ResponseMay your prayers bring back this country to the fullness of its ancient faith. May your intercession lead us to a closer union with your divine Son. We offer you all the people of this land, especially those who know you so little or not at all. May all in our country know Christ, the light of the world and its only Saviour.
PrayerPray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with thee, in our heavenly home.
ResponseMay we who follow your Son, be fruitful in the good work of building a culture of life in our world, where all human life is treasured and the gift of God’s creation is respected and cared for, so that all may share the fruits of Gods generous love.
V: Pray for us O Holy Mother of God: That we may be made worthy of the Promises of Christ.
O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England, thy Dowry, and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee. By thee it was that Jesus, our Saviour and our hope, was given unto the world; and he has given thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the cross, O sorrowful Mother, intercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the Chief Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son. Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith, fruitful in good works, we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with thee in our heavenly home. Amen.

Signed version (BSL)

Shell Rocha from the Caritas Westminster Deaf Service has kindly produced a British Sign Language (BSL) version of the Cardinal’s re-dedication prayers.
Source: https://www.cbcew.org.uk/

2 Catholic Cardinals Test Positive for Coronavirus - Pope Francis' Vicar of Rome Card. De Donatis is Hospitalized and Card. Ouédraogo of Africa

Two Catholic Cardinals have tested positive with the Coronavirus in one day. According to Vatican News the Vicar of Rome tests positive for coronavirus, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the Pope’s Vicar for Rome, says he is praying “for those who suffer”, after being diagnosed with Covid-19.
Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo, Archbishop of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) is also positive.
On the same day, the diocese of Ouagadougou (in Burkina Faso, Africa) announced that its bishop, Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo, 75, had also tested positive. They are the first two cardinals affected by the disease.
Pope Francis’ Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, was admitted to Rome’s Gemelli Hospital on Monday after testing positive for Covid-19.

Vatican News said the Cardinal is running a fever, but his general condition is currently good, and he has begun antiviral therapy. Cardinal De Donatis, following procedures in place to halt the spread of the coronavirus, has had fewer meetings with his staff at the Lateran Palace recently. As a precaution, his closest collaborators are in isolation. The Cardinal noted that he has not been to the Vatican in recent days, and has been in contact with the Pope only by phone.

“I am also experiencing this trial, I am at peace and confident”, Cardinal De Donatis said. “I entrust myself to the Lord, and to the prayers of all you, dear faithful of Rome!”

He added, “I live this moment as an opportunity that Providence has given me to share in the sufferings of so many brothers and sisters. I am offering my prayer for them, for the whole diocesan community, and for the people of the City of Rome”.

Since 11 March, Cardinal De Donatis has been celebrating a Mass every evening at the Sanctuary of Divine Love in Rome. The Mass is broadcast on the Bishops’ Conference television channel, TV2000, and is live-streamed on the Diocese of Rome’s Facebook page.

During the first Mass from the Sanctuary, on the occasion of the Pope’s act of entrustment to Mary, the Cardinal said that “the antidote, the therapy for the suffering of the present moment, is to entrust oneself to the hands of God. We are in His hands, and no one can tear us away from Him”.

 Last week, Salesian Bishop Angelo Moreschi, the Apostolic Vicar of Ethiopia’s Gambella Vicariate, became the first Bishop in the world to die of the disease.

The Holy See, in solidarity with Italy, will be flying flags at half-mast on Tuesday, as a sign of mourning. The gesture is an expression of the Church's closeness to the victims of Covid-19 in Italy and around the world, as well as to their families and to those who are generously fighting to end the pandemic.

Edited from Vatican News and La Croix Intl.

RIP Fr. Charles Okeke-Odogwu a Catholic Priest Found Dead in his Car in Nigeria

Nigeria: Catholic Priest Found Dead in Car. The Premium Times of Nigeria reports that the body of a Catholic priest, Charles Okeke-Odogwu, has been discovered in Anambra State. Until his death, he was the Vicar of Holy Cross Parish, Oroma-Etiti in Anam, Anambra West Local Government Area of the state. His body was found in his car at the front of the Vicarage gate. It was gathered that the deceased was found dead in the driver's seat before the gate of the vicarage. A family source said the priest who managed Fr. Ohai Memorial Secondary School located in the area, had attended a regional meeting of his Archdiocese on Monday, March 23 before the incident happened. "He participated actively at the meeting and did not show any sign of illness before the the sad incident. He had vomited in the car before he died, "the source added. Though the cause of his death was still unclear, a resident of the area said he might have died of a heart attack. "He was found next morning in his car that was still steaming," he said. Police spokesperson, Haruna Mohammed, said the Commissioner of Police, John Abang, has directed the divisional police officer in the area to investigate the report. "It seems there was no official report on such incident but the CP has directed the DPO to find out please," he said. Source: AllAfrica.com

Wow Catholic Archbishop in Plane over Brazil Blesses the Nation with the Eucharist and Virgin Mary Statue

AMERICA/BRAZIL - In a plane with the ostensory or with the statue of the Virgin Mary to bless the Brazilians during the pandemic
Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Goiania (Agenzia Fides) – In order to invoke the health and protection of the people of God, after the blessing imparted by Pope Francis Urbi et Orbi on Friday, March 27, from St. Peter's Square, some dioceses in Brazil promoted particular initiatives to bless the faithful, invite to prayer and show closeness even in this period of isolation due to covid 19.
In Goiânia, Archbishop Washington Cruz flew over the capital and metropolitan region with the Blessed Sacrament: "Jesus Christ, resurrection and life, make us strong in faith and grant us the gift of healing, the gift of overcoming this pandemic", he said in a video released by the CNBB. The Archbishop commented his experience with these words: "It was an experience of my smallness, of my nothingness. It was Jesus the Sacrament who flew over Goiânia. I was just an instrument that carried it.
It was He who certainly blessed Goiânia, the surroundings, the archdiocese, Brazil and the whole world".
In Belém the pilgrim image of Nossa Senhora de Nazaré, patroness of the state of Pará and considered Queen of the Amazon, was transported by helicopter, by the rector of the Marian Basilica, Father Luiz Carlos Maria Gonçalves, and by some faithful who prayed with the Rosary "pleading for the blessings and protection of the Virgin of Nazaré", according to a video shared on social networks. The Archbishop of Belém, Alberto Taveira Corrêa, said it was a very positive experience, "which helped many people to feel the protection of Our Lady in this very difficult period". "I hope many other initiatives - he added - will help us fight with the most powerful weapons we have: prayer, penance, fasting, charity, which are the weapons of Lent and which can help us overcome this challenge".
Yesterday, March 30, the archdiocese of São Luís was flown over by the image of Nossa Senhora da Vitória, patron saint of the city and to whom the metropolitan cathedral is dedicated, invoking her intercession so that "God frees us from the evil that afflicts Brazil and the world". Parish priest of the cathedral, Father Roney Rocha Carvalho on board, and during the trip, all the faithful were invited to pray the rosary, "thus forming a large prayer chain in the city". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 31/3/2020)

Pope Francis Prays for Homeless, at Mass and says "Just contemplate, pray and thank." - Full Video



"Look at the crucifix in the light of redemption"

Tuesday, March 31, 2020


Let us pray today for those who are homeless, at this moment when we ask to be inside the house. For the society of men and women to become aware of this reality and to help, and the Church to welcome them.


The snake is certainly not a nice animal: it is always associated with evil. Even in revelation, the serpent is precisely the animal that the devil uses to induce sin. In the Apocalypse the devil is called "ancient snake", the one who from the beginning bites, poisons, destroys, kills. This is why it cannot succeed. If you want to succeed as someone who offers beautiful things, these are fantasy: we believe them and so we sin. This is what happened to the people of Israel: they did not endure the journey. He was tired. And the people said against God and against Moses. It's always the same music, isn't it? "Why did you take us out of Egypt? To make us die in this desert? Because there is no bread or water and we are sick of this light food, manna "(cf. Nm 21.4-5). And the imagination - we read it in recent days - always goes to Egypt: "But, we were fine there, we ate well ...". And also, it seems that the Lord did not endure the people at this time. He became angry: the wrath of God shows up at times ... And "then the Lord sent among the people burning snakes which bit the people and died. A large number of Israelites died" (Nm 21.5). moment, the serpent is always the image of evil: the people see sin in the serpent, see what has done evil in the serpent. And he comes from Moses and says: "We have sinned because we have spoken against the Lord and against you . Plead with the Lord to drive these snakes away from us "(Nm 21,7). Repent. This is the story in the desert. Moses prayed for the people and the Lord said to Moses:" Make a snake and put it on a pole of metal. Whoever has been bitten and looks at him, will remain alive "(Nm 21,8).

I am thinking: is this not an idolatry? There is the snake, there, an idol, who gives me health ... It is not clear. Logically, it is not clear, because this is a prophecy, this is an announcement of what will happen. Because we also heard as a close prophecy in the Gospel: "When you have exalted the Son of man, then you will know that I am and that I do nothing by myself" (Jn 8:28). Jesus raised: on the cross. Moses makes a snake and raises it up. Jesus will be raised up, like the serpent, to give salvation. But the crux of the prophecy is precisely that Jesus made himself a sin for us. He did not sin: he became sin. As St. Peter says in his Letter: "He carried our sins upon himself" (cf. 1Pt 2,24) And when we look at the crucifix, we think of the Lord who suffers: all that is true. But let's stop before we get to the center of that truth: at this moment, You seem the greatest sinner, You made yourself a sin. He has taken upon himself all our sins, has annihilated himself until now. The cross, it is true, is a torture, there is the revenge of the doctors of the Law, of those who did not want Jesus: all this is true. But the truth that comes from God is that He came into the world to take our sins upon himself to the point of becoming sin. All sin. Our sins are there.

We have to get used to looking at the crucifix in this light, which is the truest, it is the light of redemption. In Jesus suffering for sin we see the total defeat of Christ. He doesn't pretend to die, he doesn't pretend not to suffer, alone, abandoned ... "Father, why did you abandon me?" (cf. Mt 27.46; Mk 15.34). A snake: I am raised like a snake, like that which is all sin.

It is not easy to understand this and, if we think, we will never reach a conclusion. Just contemplate, pray and thank.

Prayer to make spiritual communion:

People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion.

My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. I love you above all things and I desire you in my soul. Since I cannot receive you sacramentally now, at least spiritually come to my heart. As already come, I embrace you and I join everything with you. Don't let it ever separate me from you. Amen.