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Keeping the Lenten Season 2019

Fifth Sunday of Lent

 

Line in the Sand

 

Merciful God,

you lead us

from the shadow of our shame

to the light of forgiveness.

Be with us today as we stand before you

ready to acknowledge our sinfulness.

Help us to be open

to experience the joy

of your compassion and mercy.

May we find strength in knowing

that you are with us,

always beside us,

with your love and mercy unending.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Freed from Sin

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 43:16–21; Psalm 126:1–2, 2–3, 4–5, 6; Philippians 3:8–14; John 8:1–11. We are all sinners. In today’s Gospel, the sin of the woman is the focus of all who gather in the Temple. When the woman is brought before Jesus, the temple crowd wants Jesus to join in their condemnation. Jesus writes in the sand and some believe he spells out the sins of those gathered.

Sometimes sin is known by all, and at other times it is hidden. The crowd walks away in their sin to avoid notoriety. But they also are walking away from the redemption and salvation that Jesus offers. The only one left is the woman and her desire is unknown. Standing face to face with Jesus in her sin, her dignity and honor are restored. Though she does not request forgiveness, Jesus heals her wounds and invites her to “sin no more.” The path that she was on would have led to her demise sooner or later.

The woman had a choice to listen to Jesus and accept his mercy and live or to ignore him and be destroyed by sin. It is the same choice we have. We can have life with Jesus or we can have death by walking away from him. Jesus offers us life; we only need the courage to accept it. Jesus awaits us in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where he will forgive our sins and send us forth on a new path of freedom and life.

 

This Week at Home

 

Monday, April 8

The Light of the World

When Jesus says, “I am the light of the world,” he proclaims one of the seven “I am” statements in John’s account of the Gospel. Each “I am” statement explains who Jesus is. Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we come to know that light is stronger than darkness. Prayerfully consider how Jesus is light for you and how you can walk as a child of the light. Today’s Readings: Daniel 13:1–9, 15–17, 19–30, 33–62; Psalm 23:1–3, 3–4, 5–6; John 8:12–20.

 

Tuesday, April 9

Hope in the Lord

With little to eat, the Israelites lost hope in the Lord and grumbled that they left Egypt only to die in the desert. When have you been disappointed and complained to the Lord, blaming him for misfortune? As Lent winds down, take note of how quickly you lose hope when matters do not go your way. Look to people who persevere through trials, relying on the Lord. When you give your troubles to the Lord, pray the refrain from the Responsorial Psalm: O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you. Today’s Readings: Numbers 21:4–9; Psalm 102:2–3, 16–18, 19–21; John 8:21–30.

 

Wednesday, April 10

The Truth Will Set You Free

“If you remain in my word . . . the truth will set you free,” Jesus tells those who believe. The Jews did not understand their own bondage, that they were slaves to sin. Jesus’ truth and the Word he proclaims comes to set them free. Let us ponder what binds us today. What holds you captive? Put some time aside to reflect quietly on the Scriptures, allowing God to free you from whatever burden or turmoil you might feel. Today’s Readings: Daniel 3:14–20, 91–92, 95; Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56; John 8:31–42.

 

Thursday, April 11

I Will Be Their God

How do you define yourself? Often people identify themselves by their work, station in life, or relationships. The Lord initiated a covenant relationship with Abraham, promising him that he would be the father of a host of nations. God would maintain this covenant with Abraham’s descendants throughout the ages. Do you identify yourself as a child of God? Do you allow your relationship with God to define you? Today’s Readings: Genesis 17:3–9; Psalm 105:4–5, 6–7, 8–9; John 8:51–59.

 

Friday, April 12

My Rock of Refuge

Jesus stood his ground and confronted the Jews when they picked up rocks to stone him. The Jews want to arrest Jesus because they believe his words to be blasphemy. They are critical of his relationship with the Father. Can you identify with the Jews? Has there been a time when fear, jealousy, or a moment of anger brought you to wrongfully accuse another? In these final days of Lent, trust in the Lord as your refuge and your shield. Today’s Readings: Jeremiah 20:10–13; Psalm 18:2–3, 3–4, 5–6, 7; John 10:31–42.

 

Saturday, April 13

Complacent Hearts

In today’s Gospel, we hear the Jewish leaders voice concern that their land will be taken if people believe in Jesus. They have been safe and secure in their way of life. As you prepare to enter Holy Week, consider how you may be similar to the Sanhedrin. Are there ways that you have become too comfortable and not allowed the Word of God to penetrate your hearts? Have you allowed the Gospel to challenge you this Lent? Determine how you can put a priority on participating in the liturgy during Holy Week. Today’s Readings: Ezekiel 37:21–28; Jeremiah 31:10, 11, 12–13; John 11:45–57.

Palm Sunday

 

Sacred Days

 

Lord Jesus,

you entered Jerusalem

amid resounding echoes of praise.

We join the multitudes

of your disciples,

who through the ages,

proclaim you as King.

Strengthen us

as we accompany you

during these sacred days

of singing and praying,

in awe of your love.

May we have the courage to follow you

and be transformed by your sacrifice.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

© 2019 Liturgy Training Publications. 800-933-1800. Written by Mary Heinrich. Scripture texts are from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Permission to publish granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago, on August 28, 2018.

 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Messianic Entry

Today’s Readings: Luke 19: 28–40; Isaiah 50:4–7; Psalm 22:8–9, 17–18, 19–20, 23–24; Philippians 2:6–11; Luke 22:14—23:56. Today, the faithful process with palms and sing “Hosanna,” remembering the Lord’s entrance to Jerusalem, an entry that would lead to his death. Today the readings proclaim Jesus as the king (Gospel at the procession), tell of how Jesus emptied himself to come in human form (Second Reading), and recount the Passion (Gospel).

As Jesus rode on a donkey into Jerusalem, the Romans were unaware of the meaning of the procession. The Jews, however, watched the fulfillment of the prophet Zechariah (9:9): “Behold: your king is coming to you, / a just savior is he, / Humble, and riding on a donkey, / on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Concerned, the Pharisees told Jesus to silence his followers. Knowing that all creation awaited his death and rising, Jesus replied that the stones would cry out.

The Romans dismiss Jesus, the Pharisees tried to suppress him, and the people celebrate him. How will you respond to the Lord during this holiest of weeks? Some will discount him by giving these days no importance, while others will suppress the meaning of the days. Still, some will enter into Holy Week and the Sacred Paschal Triduum through participation in the liturgy. They will celebrate the institution of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday, venerate the cross on Good Friday, and keep vigil on Holy Saturday as they listen to the Scriptures tell of salvation history.

© 2019 Liturgy Training Publications. 800-933-1800. Written by Mary Heinrich. Scripture texts are from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Permission to publish granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago, on August 28, 2018.

 

This Week at Home

Monday, April 15

Witness to the Power

Lazarus is a witness to the power of Jesus and knows that he is the Messiah. The Jews plot to arrest and kill both Jesus and Lazarus. The more we allow our relationship with Christ to change us, the more we will be rejected by the world. As Holy Week begins, consider how your relationship with Christ serves as a witness to the world. Today’s Readings: Isaiah 42:1–7; Psalm 27:1, 2, 3, 13–14; John 12:1–11.

© 2019 Liturgy Training Publications. 800-933-1800. Written by Mary Heinrich. Scripture texts are from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Permission to publish granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago, on August 28, 2018.

 

Tuesday, April 16

Love and Betrayal

When Jesus tells his followers that one of them will betray him, they question who would be a traitor. Still, Peter, who has been with Jesus from the beginning of his mission, will end up denying Jesus three times. Jesus will be merciful when we return after disavowing him. Let us be mindful of our relationships that are in need of repair. How can we bring about healing in our parish and among our family? Today’s Readings: Isaiah 49:1–6; Psalm 71:1–2, 3–4, 5–6, 15, 17; John 13:21–33, 35–38.

© 2019 Liturgy Training Publications. 800-933-1800. Written by Mary Heinrich. Permission to publish granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago, on August 28, 2018.

 

Wednesday, April 17

Mercy and Forgiveness

Judas pays a high price for handing over Jesus. The price that he pays is much higher than the thirty pieces of silver that the chief priests paid him for handing over Jesus. His is the price of separating himself from Jesus and the love that the Lord offers. He chose not to believe in the forgiveness and mercy of God. Who in your community would benefit from an experience of your forgiveness mercy? Begin by praying for those whose actions are unkind and unfair. Today’s Readings: Isaiah 50:4–9; Psalm 69:8–10, 21–22, 31, 33–34; Matthew 26:14–25.

© 2019 Liturgy Training Publications. 800-933-1800. Written by Mary Heinrich. Permission to publish granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago, on August 28, 2018.

 

 

           

Thursday, April 18

Holy Thursday

Peter sees servitude in the washing of feet; Jesus, however, teaches that the act implies servanthood. By washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus shows that disciples serve others. What small act of love can you do for someone in your family today? What is one small act of help that you can offer to a neighbor? Today’s Readings: Exodus 12:1–8, 11–14; Psalm 116:12–13, 15–16bc, 17–18; 1 Corinthians 11:23–26; John 13:1–15.

© 2019 Liturgy Training Publications. 800-933-1800. Written by Mary Heinrich. Permission to publish granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago, on August 28, 2018.

 

Friday, April 19

Good Friday

At the liturgy today, the faithful will venerate the cross as they kiss, touch, or genuflect before it. The Church invites us to “Behold the wood of the Cross, on which hung the salvation of the world.” If a crucifix is in your home, place it on your prayer table today and spend time in quiet prayer before it. Today’s Readings: Isaiah 52:13—53:12; Psalm 31:2, 6, 12–13, 15–16, 17, 25; Hebrews 4:14–16, 5:7–9; John 18:1—19:42.

© 2019 Liturgy Training Publications. 800-933-1800. Written by Mary Heinrich. Used by permission. Permission to publish granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago, on August 28, 2018.

 

Saturday, April 20

Holy Saturday

At the Easter Vigil, the faithful gather around a fire and then in the church to hear the story of salvation. If unable to participate in the liturgy tonight, pray the psalms and the readings at your prayer table. What words of the prophets especially strike you? What aspect of the redemption story calls you to new life? Today’s Readings: Genesis 1:1—2:2; Psalm 104:1–2, 5–6, 10, 12, 13–14, 24–35; Genesis 22:1–18; Psalm 16:5, 8, 9–10, 11; Exodus 14:15—15:1; Psalm: Exodus 15:1–2, 3–4, 5–6, 17–18; Isaiah 54:5–14; Psalm 30:2, 4, 5–6, 11–12, 13; Isaiah 55:1–11; Psalm: Isaiah 12:2–3, 4, 5–6; Baruch 3:9–15, 32—4:4; Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 11; Ezekiel 36:16–17a, 18–28; Psalm 51:12–13, 14–15, 18–19; Romans 6:3–11; Psalm 118:1–2, 16, 17, 22–23; Luke 24:1–12.

© 2019 Liturgy Training Publications. 800-933-1800. Written by Mary Heinrich. Permission to publish granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago, on August 28, 2018.

 

Easter Sunday

 

Light and Life

God of joy,

you lead us along the path

to the garden tomb,

where we discover in the dark

and in the emptiness,

light and new life.

Give us the strength and courage

to enter this time of redemption

and to proclaim the message

of the Risen Christ to all we encounter.

By our Baptism, we are anointed

priest, prophet, and king.

May we live this threefold mission

and bear witness to the world.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

© 2019 Liturgy Training Publications. 800-933-1800. Written by Mary Heinrich. Permission to publish granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago, on August 28, 2018.

 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Alleluia, Alleluia

Today’s Readings: Acts 10:34a, 37–43; Psalm 118:1–2, 16–17, 22–23; Colossians 3:1–4 or 1 Corinthians 5:6b–8; John 20:1–9 or Luke 24:1–12 or Luke 24:13–35 (afternoon or evening). The Lord is risen! Alleluia! With the women and other disciples, we rejoice at the empty tomb as we enter into the great paschal feast of Easter. In Luke’s account of the Resurrection, the women did not waste time in spreading the Good News after encountering the men in dazzling garments. What could the women have been thinking as they rushed to tell the others of the empty tomb? And what could Peter have thought as he rushed to the tomb?

The Gospel notes that the women were terrified upon seeing the men at the tomb but then remembered Jesus’ words. Peter was amazed when he arrived at the tomb. All must have wondered what this meant for them. The discovery of the empty tomb does not offer Jesus’ followers an immediate response of joy. They had to grow in their understanding of the Resurrection.

Let us remember that when we find ourselves in moments of fear or confusion, like those who first reached the garden tomb, we can return to the Word of God in the Bible to offer us an understanding of the identity of the Risen Lord and a better understanding of ourselves in relationship with him.

© 2019 Liturgy Training Publications. 800-933-1800. Written by Mary Heinrich. Permission to publish granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago, on August 28, 2018.

 

This Week at Home

 

Monday, April 22

The Octave of Easter

At the beginning of the fifty days of Easter is an eight-day celebration called the Octave of Easter. During these days, let the light of Christ shine forth as your family sings “alleluias” at the dinner table or around the prayer table as you celebrate the octave. Today’s Readings: Acts 2:14, 22–32; Psalm 16:1–2, 5, 7–8, 9–10, 11; Matthew 28:8–15.

© 2019 Liturgy Training Publications. 800-933-1800. Written by Mary Heinrich. Permission to publish granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago, on August 28, 2018.

 

Tuesday, April 23

I Have Seen the Lord!

Weeping at the tomb, Mary is so consumed with finding her Lord that she does not realize that she is speaking to angels. Only when Jesus says her name does she realize the man she has questioned is the Lord. The Good Shepherd calls his sheep by name. Christians were called by name on the day of their Baptism, the day they were claimed for Christ. Let us pray this day for all those who are longing to find Christ and to hear their name called by the Lord. Today’s Readings: Acts 2:36–41; Psalm 33:4–5, 18–19, 20, 22; John 20:11–18.

© 2019 Liturgy Training Publications. 800-933-1800. Written by Mary Heinrich. Permission to publish granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago, on August 28, 2018.

 

Wednesday, April 24

In the Breaking of the Bread

Two disciples are making their way to Emmaus, which is about seven miles from Jerusalem. Even as Jesus walks with them, they do not recognize him as their Lord. They are only able to know his identity when they sit at table and are breaking bread. How have you come to know Jesus through the Eucharist? Today’s Readings: Acts 3:1–10; Psalm 105:1–2, 3–4, 6–7, 8–9; Luke 24:13–35.

© 2019 Liturgy Training Publications. 800-933-1800. Written by Mary Heinrich. Permission to publish granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago, on August 28, 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, April 25

Preaching to All the Nations

“Peace be with you,” Jesus says as he appears to his disciples. Still, they are terrified, afraid they have seen a ghost. In response, Jesus confronts their fears and does a very human thing—he asks for food and eats the fish before them. Where do you find peace in the accounts of Jesus’ Resurrection? Is it comforting to know that Christ ate with those he loved after rising from the dead? Today’s Readings: Acts 3:11–26; Psalm 8:2, 5, 6–7, 8–9; Luke 24:35–48.

© 2019 Liturgy Training Publications. 800-933-1800. Written by Mary Heinrich. Scripture texts are from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Permission to publish granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago, on August 28, 2018.

 

Friday, April 26

An Abundance of Fish and the Bread of Life

Jesus appears to the disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. They have been fishing all night and have caught nothing. After Jesus instructs them to cast their net over the starboard side, they took in so many fish that they could not take in the net. Jesus calls them over to the beach, where they eat fish and bread. Does this sharing of bread and fish remind you of another event in Scripture? Today’s Readings: Acts 4:1–12; Psalm 118:1–2, 4, 22, 24, 25, 27; John 21:11–14.

© 2019 Liturgy Training Publications. 800-933-1800. Written by Mary Heinrich. Permission to publish granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago, on August 28, 2018.

 

Saturday, April 27

Proclaim the Good News

It took three tries for the Apostles to believe the Lord had risen. They believed neither when Mary Magdalene told them nor when the two disciples on the way to Emmaus returned with the news. Only when the Lord appeared to them did they believe. Do you believe enough to “Go out into the world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature”? Do you let anyone know of your belief? What holds you back from allowing others to see that you are a Christian? Today’s Readings: Acts 4:13–21; Psalm 118:1, 14–15, 16–18, 19–21; Mark 16:9–15.

© 2019 Liturgy Training Publications. 800-933-1800. Written by Mary Heinrich. Scripture texts are from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Permission to publish granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago, on August 28, 2018.