Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday of Holy Week
The readings for each of the days in the first half of Holy Week place us on the edge, the rift, the tipping point. There is a sharp disconnect between light and darkness; betrayal and constancy; death and glorification. Today, in particular, there is a sharp turn at the very center of things. The first reading is full of promise as we read Isaiah foreshadowing Jesus, not just a Servant of God, but a Light to the Nations, the One who brings salvation. The Psalm takes up the refrain of trust in God’s rock-solid protection.
And then, with these glorious words still ringing in our ears, the Gospel opens with Judas’s betrayal. It is as if Jesus too has these words ringing in His ears as the fateful events are set in motion and the inexorable path to Calvary beckons. “And it was night.” At the edge of the coming night, He speaks very little of betrayal – both by Judas and by Peter – but speaks instead of the promised glory. Though “deeply troubled” by the betrayal by His friends and by the events to come, Jesus seems to possess an inner calm, based on the confidence that the God who has formed Him from the womb will be an unfailing support and will fulfill the promise.
We too, must ultimately face our death. And in the meantime, life often brings fears, betrayals, and pain. Let us learn from Jesus to keep our focus on the glory of life and God’s promise to be with us always. 

“In you, O Lord I take refuge…Be my rock of refuge;
A stronghold to give me safety, for You are my rock and my fortress.” (Ps.71 1;3)
O Lord, grant that, even in dark times of pain and betrayal, we may find the strength to move forward with the promise of glory ringing in our ears and confidence in God our Father/Mother in our hearts.
Zsuzanna Kadas, Professor of Mathematics
First Reading: Isaiah 49:1-6
Psalm 71:1-4a, 5-6ab, 15, 17
Gospel: John 13:21-33, 36-38

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday of Holy Week
Today’s readings relate to today’s Psalm that states, “The Lord is my light and salvation.”  We are called to spread this light that Jesus gives us. Today’s reading from Isaiah states, “A light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.”  Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead, healed the sick, and brought light and positivity to those who live in darkness. He brought light and salvation into our lives by dying on the cross. This upcoming Friday, we will recall this selfless act that Jesus went through in order to ensure that we will have everlasting life. As a Christian, it is incredibly important to share the love and light that Jesus gave to us with others. Jesus’s love is meant to be shared with everyone. Jesus brought a light to those in darkness, so how can we as Christians bring light to those in darkness? We often focus on the large deeds that Jesus did, like dying for us, healing Lazarus, allowing the blind to see, but the light we bring to this world, does not always have to be so powerful. Donating food to the hungry, talking to someone who seems lonely, etc. Sacrificing an hour of time to spend with a child or adult in need, can bring so much light to someone’s life. Jesus died for us all, so we could live forever! Share His love and be the light of the world.
Loving God, help me to be more Christ like, to be the light of the world. Please help me to understand how our actions light up the lives of others, so that I may be more compelled to do great deeds in hope that it lights up the lives of others, to continue spreading Your love. Amen.

Alex Goff, ‘17


First Reading: Isaiah 42:1-7
Psalm 27:1-3, 13-14
Gospel: John 12:1-11
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Passion Sunday
“Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord,” the formal title for this Sunday, expresses the conflicting moods of the first day of Holy Week.  And its sudden red after the somber violet of the Lenten Sundays is a visual shock alerting us to the profound mystery that joins those conflicting moods together: triumphant joy and bitter suffering.  There is the joy of the exultant crowd at the Entrance Rite, but there is also the ominous reaction in the city: “the whole city was shaken and asked, ‘Who is this?’”  Then there is the cry of the crowd during the reading of the Passion: “Let his blood be on us and on our children”; but there is the wondrous irony that turns that indictment into a prayer:  “Yes, indeed!  Let his blood be on us and on our children!”  There is too much to that profound mystery (the mystery that joins this day’s conflicting moods), too much for one day to express, let alone resolve.  Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord is but the first day of Holy Week.  And Easter is the Eighth Day.  It is only by looking back from Easter to today that we can know His Passion was indeed a triumph, His defeat (it seemed) was a victory, this mocked king was true king, and His Cross was a throne.

In that faith, today we welcome Christ not only into Jerusalem but into us: “O gates, lift high your heads; grow higher, ancient doors.  Let Him enter, the king of glory! Who is this king of glory?  He, the Lord of hosts, He is the king of glory” (Psalm 24).
Fr. Richard Berube, S.S.E. ‘66, Saint Michael’s College Edmundite Community
Procession Gospel: Matthew 21:1-11
First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-7
Psalm 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24
Second Reading: Philippians 2:6-11
Gospel: Matthew 26:14-27:66 or 27:11-54

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday of the Fifth Week
As we approach Palm Sunday, the reading from Ezekiel reminds us of God’s promises to us: that God’s people will be gathered and united as one people.  God will cleanse us of our sins and it “shall be an everlasting covenant…I will be their God and they shall be my people.”

The Responsorial Psalm from Jeremiah comforts us with the same promises of being made one nation, redeemed and guarded as the sheep of God’s flock, our mourning turned into joy.  We will be consoled and gladdened after our sorrows.

These reminders of the promises are important to cling to as the reading from John’s Gospel tells us of the events that follow Jesus’s raising of Lazarus.  As many begin to believe in Jesus, others begin to plot His demise and begin the events that lead to Calgary.  The Passover is approaching and Jesus and His disciples leave Mary and Lazarus and head to Ephraim near the desert and stay out of public view for awhile.  Jesus will return to Jerusalem in the short lived triumph of Palm Sunday. 

Dear Jesus, help us to see Your compassion for us, fulfilling the covenant of love You freely give us in Your life, death and resurrection.  Help us to share that compassion with all.  We ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. 
Stephanie Noakes, ‘80, Office of Admission
First Reading: Ezekiel 37:21-28
Psalm: Jeremiah 31:10-13
Gospel: John 11:45-56

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday of the Fifth Week
Terror.  Fear.  Distress.  These and other words are what begin to circulate in my head after reading the readings from today.
In the first reading from Jeremiah, we can become the speaker.  Every day we are faced with the challenges of reconfirming our faith in Jesus.  There are many reasons why we have difficulty speaking our faith out loud.  We can be afraid of being ridiculed for our belief; we can be scared of what others may think of us, and we can be unsure if what we believe is true.  In the reading, Jeremiah reminds us, “my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph.  In their failure they will be put to utter shame, to lasting, unforgettable confusion” (Jeremiah 20:11).   We are reminded that speaking out about our faith is worth it, we just need to trust. 
In the Gospel Jesus says, “If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father” (John 10:35-36).  Jesus performs good works in our lives daily.  We can generally see the good works because it is easier to believe in the works than in something that isn’t tangible.  If we can just take that belief and make the leap of faith in putting our full trust in God, our trust will bring us closer to God. 
God, help us to take the leap of faith in our belief and say yes to You every day.  Help us to see Your good works in our lives and the lives of others.  May it be possible for those in our lives, who hinder our beliefs, to see You in their lives and realize the good works You perform for us daily.
Maura Grogan, ‘14
First Reading: Jeremiah 20:10-13
Psalm 18:2-7
Gospel: John 10:31-42
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursday of the Fifth Week
Today’s readings are about promise, unconditional and timeless, and reveal that Jesus Christ is not only the fulfillment of the promise but that He is the promise itself in His own being.  This latter is John’s central thesis, beginning with John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Jesus is not only the Word, but moreover the Word of God, that is the realization of the promise of God, in the sense that we say “I will keep my word.”  Here in the Old Testament reading, we see the promise made, and then, in the New Testament reading, we see Jesus, who is God, confirming that he is (“I AM”) the timeless promise.
God’s promise is unconditional, simply, “I will maintain my covenant with you and your descendants after you throughout the ages as an everlasting pact, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.”    However, a promise is only half of a covenant, which is a promise given by both parties.  Our part is to keep “[God’s] covenant throughout the ages.”
Jesus then brings this promise to fruition, namely the reward we reap though keeping God’s covenant, keeping His word, as He tells us “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.”  Furthermore, as the covenant of God, and like the covenant of God, Jesus is timeless: “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
Thus, we have that Jesus Christ is the timeless promise of God, given to us for all ages. 
Lord, make us Your people, and teach us to keep our covenant with You.
Joanna Ellis-Monaghan, Professor of Mathematics
First Reading: Genesis 17:3-9
Psalm 105:4-9
Gospel: John 8:51-59

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wednesday of the Fifth Week
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—intriguing names I remember from the story and song I learned as a child in Sunday School. Their experience with King Nebuchadnezzar stayed with me because they completely trusted God. These men sang thanks and praise to God throughout their ordeal. The Lord’s angels might be sent to deliver them from the fiery furnace or they might be burned to death. Either way, they belonged to God. They trusted God completely and were grateful to Him.

Jesus tells His disciples in the Gospel reading, “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.” But many seeing Jesus did not trust that God had sent His Son, nor were they grateful for His presence among them. They were trying to kill Him “because my word has no room among you.”

 Do we trust what Jesus tells us throughout the Gospels? God loves each of us as sons and daughters, and God provides us with the spiritual nourishment we need. Loving Spirit-Creator-Jesus in return and treating each other as brothers and sisters is the truth of who we are, of what God wants. We can trust that whether God delivers us from difficult circumstances or weeps with us as we endure, we belong to God. We know the truth that nothing and no one can separate us from the love of God.
Holy Spirit, make me aware of Your presence. Thank You for my life and loving me. Help me love my brothers and sisters as Jesus taught us. I pray for an open and trusting heart.

Jan Hancock, M’12, P’99, P’09, Member of the Worshipping Community

First Reading: Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95
Psalm: Daniel 3:52-56
Gospel: John 8:31-42

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website