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Archive for March, 2015

Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.
Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
Then Judas the Iscariot, one (of) his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said,
Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?


He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions.


So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial.
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”


(The) large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came, not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.


And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too,
because many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him.

 

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2015-03-29 Vatican Radio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis remembered the persecuted Christians in the world on Sunday – Palm Sunday – during Mass in St. Peter’s Square. Following the proclamation of the Passion according to St. Mark, Pope Francis delivered a homily, in which he reflected on the plight of all those who endure humiliation because of their faithfulness to the Gospel, all those who face discrimination and pay a personal price for their fidelity to Christ.

Click below to hear our report

“We think too of our brothers and sisters who are persecuted because they are Christians,” he said, “the martyrs of our own time.” The Holy Father went on to say, “They refuse to deny Jesus and they endure insult and injury with dignity. They follow Him on His way.”

The reflection came at the end of his brief Palm Sunday homily, which was intensely focused on the way of humility that Christ chose to undertake for our salvation. “This is God’s way, the way of humility,” he said. “It is the way of Jesus; there is no other.”

The Holy Father concluded with a call to all the faithful to undertake the Way of the Cross, which leads to salvation and eternal life, with new dedication and devotion during Holy Week. “Let us set about with determination along this same path,” said Pope Francis, “with immense love for Him, our Lord and Saviour.  Love will guide us and give us strength.  For where He is, we too shall be. (cf. Jn  12:26)”

(from Vatican Radio)

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300554_178897915520950_121944477882961_366183_1821747012_nThe first big day of Holy Week is Palm Sunday,the day that wecommemorate Jesus entering into Jerusalem.  There are a few different ways in which a community can celebrate the beginning of Mass on Palm Sunday but they all begin with the blessing of palms.  As Catholics enter the church or gather around the back of the church everyone is given a palm (either before or after the blessing).  As we gather and listen to one of two Gospels that we will hear at Mass that day we are not just remembering what happen almost 2,000 years ago but rather we are bringing the past into the present.  It is a special way of recalling past events with the help of signs, symbols, gestures, and our own imaginations.  Jewish people use this special type of memory every year also as they celebrate Passover.

The first Gospel that we have today is an account of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.  In each account we see Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey and people spreading the cloaks on the road before Him.  Only Luke does not mention people cutting down branches (palms) and laying them on the road also.  The people heralded Jesus as the Messiah by singing: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:10).  But what type of Messiah was Jesus to be?  One thought was that the Messiah would be a political and military leader who would help through off the Roman yoke like Joshua, Gideon, or Samson. Other ideas flourished around the idea that He would reestablish the Davidic line of kings and direct people back to the true worship of Yahweh.

One interesting thought is that Jesus rode in on a donkey because a donkey was considered an animal of peace where a horse was considered an animal of war (i.e. a war horse) and thus Jesus was showing that He came as the Prince of Peace.  It is also interesting to note that in all the Gospels accounts that Jesus does not own the donkey or the upper room but rather that all his needs are met by some sort of divine providence.  We should remember that Jesus promised us that God would take care of all our needs also.  Jesus receiving all that He needs is also a continuation of a theme of Jesus borrowing from others to complete His ministry.  He borrows Peter’s boat for His pulpit, the loaves and fishes from a young boy to feed 5,000 and now a donkey from an unnamed man.  He will eventually borrow even a tomb.

As if joining in that original procession the priest and all liturgical ministers (and sometimes with the people following process into the Church after the palms are blest.  We proclaim Christ to be our victor and our sovereign.  The procession at Mass should always remind us of the joy that we should have that Christ (Emmanuel: God with Us) has come into our midst) and of a military parade proclaiming Christ’s victory over sin and death.

The other important thing to note is that on Palm Sunday for our second Gospel of the day (think of it as a double main event) we proclaim one of the accounts of the Passion of Christ according to Mathew, Mark, or Luke.  We will proclaim the Passion of Christ according to John on Good Friday.  It is often the tradition to break up the parts of the passion so that there are at least four proclaimers: the Christ figure (normally the priest), the narrator, the voice, and the crowd.  Once again this is done to make us physically present at this historical event.  We are able to listen to each word, witness Judas’s betrayal, hear Peter’s denial, witness the contempt and abuse the chief priests, Herod, Pilate, and the soldiers heap upon Jesus.  Most importantly though.  We are able to yell “Crucify Him” with the crowds and admit that we helped nail Jesus to the Cross because of our sins.  The painter Salvador Dali in one of his paintings of the Crucifixion intentionally left out the nails to declare that it was not the nails that held Jesus to the Cross but rather His love for us and His desire to forgive us.  We as Catholics believe that if only one person needed to be saved that God’s love for that one person would be so strong that He would have endured the cross for that one person.  Have you sinned?  Then you are responsible for Christ’s death on the Cross.  The Good News is that Jesus came to save us and not to condemn us. While the reading of the Passion takes us all the way up to the death of Christ and his burial in the tomb, Holy Week has really just begun.

 

—  Guide to Holy Week

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If we were humble, nothing would change us-neither praise nor discouragement.

If someone were to criticize us, we would not feel discouraged.

If someone would praise us, we also would not feel proud.

– Mother Teresa

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International Women’s Day (IWD), also called International Working Women’s Day, is celebrated on March 8 every year. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political, and social achievements. Started as a Socialist political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries, primarily in Europe, including Russia. In some regions, the day lost its political flavor, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women in a way somewhat similar to a mixture of Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

 

A woman is the epitome of tenderness, strength, love , care and wisdom.

– – – https://liveloveandpray.wordpress.com

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To all wonderful, outstanding, hardworking, marvelous, adorable , lovable , pleasing , charming , lovely , sweet , delightful , nice , God-fearing , talented , caring , prayerful, playful , strong , trustful , cute , beautiful – Happy International Women’s Day !

 

Here are some inspiring and beautiful quotes:

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  • Barbara Bush
    Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow in my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the President’s spouse. I wish him well!
  • Virginia Woolf
    Women have served all these centuries as looking glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of a man at twice its natural size.
  • Timothy Leary
    Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.

 

  • Gandhi
    Woman is the companion of man, gifted with equal mental capacity.
  • Farrah Fawcett
    God gave women intuition and femininity. Used properly, the combination easily jumbles the brain of any man I’ve ever met.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe
    Women are the real architects of society.
  • Charles Malik
    The fastest way to change society is to mobilize the women of the world.

 

  • Faith Whittlesey
    Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.
      
  • Ville Valo
    Women are always beautiful.
     
  • Loretta Young
    A charming woman doesn’t follow the crowd. She is herself.
     
  • Philip Moeller
    Women are seldom silent. Their beauty is forever speaking for them.
     
  • Nancy Pelosi
    Women are leaders everywhere you look — from the CEO who runs a Fortune 500company to the housewife who raises her children and heads her household. Our country was built by strong women and we will continue to break down walls and defy stereotypes.
     
  • Melinda Gates
    A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.
     
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
    Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.
     
  • Robert Elliott Gonzales, Poems and Paragraphs
    All the world’s a stage, and it’s a dead easy guess which sex has all the speaking parts.
     
  • Louise Otto
    The history of all times, and of today especially, teaches that women will be forgotten if they forget to think about themselves.
     
  • Margaret Sanger
    A free race cannot be born of slave mothers.
     
  • Mary Mcleod Bethune
    Whatever glory belongs to the race for a development unprecedented in history for the given length of time, a full share belongs to the womanhood of the race.
     
  • Mel Gibson
    I love women. They’re the best thing ever created. If they want to be like men and come down to our level, that’s fine.
     
  • Ellen DeGeneres
    I really don’t think I need buns of steel. I’d be happy with buns of cinnamon.
     
  • Joseph Conrad
    Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing withmen.
     
  • Margaret Thatcher
    If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.
     
  • Christabel Pankhurst
    Remember the dignity of your womanhood. Do not appeal, do not beg, do not grovel. Take courage, join hands, stand beside us, fight with us.

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fields-of-gold
Forgiveness and reconciliation differ, insofar as reconciliation is a two way street. Forgiveness, by contrast, can be unilateral, and we are commanded to forgive whether the other person deserves it or not, whether our forgiveness changes the other person or not. Reconciliation requires reciprocity and aims at justice and the restoration of right relationship.
Not all hurts are alike, and forgiveness is often painfully difficult. For some kinds of wound, it can years of hard work and professional help. But notice something that both the saying from Evagrios and the one from recovery programs have in common. In both cases, the primary benefit of forgiveness accrues to the one who extends it. In the one case, it removes an obstacle to our relationship with God. In the other, it gets rid of something like a poison or cancer that is harming our own soul. I suspect, in fact, that both sayings point to the same underlying reality.
Forgiveness does not mean giving up on the quest for justice. It does mean forswearing revenge and giving up on the attempt to control the outcome. It means letting go of the other person and his or her power over us. It is ultimately for our benefit. Others may benefit, especially if we move past forgiveness to reconciliation. On the other side of forgiveness, we find the grace to let the past be the past, and rediscover our true freedom in God.
– Unknown

 

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