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Gospel Reading: Matthew 26:14-25

14 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him. 17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain one, and say to him, `The Teacher says, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.'” 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover. 20 When it was evening, he sat at table with the twelve disciples; 21 and as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they were very sorrowful, and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me, will betray me. 24 The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” 25 Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Is it I, Master?” He said to him, “You have said so.”

Meditation: Why did Judas betray his Master? Was his treachery motivated by greed, bitter disappointment with Jesus, or hatred because of disillusionment? It may be that Judas never intended for his Master to die. Maybe he thought Jesus was proceeding too slowly and not acting aggressively enough in setting up his messianic kingdom. Perhaps Judas wanted to force Jesus’ hand by compelling him to act. Nonetheless, his tragedy was his refusal to accept Jesus as he was.

Jesus knew beforehand what would befall him. As Jesus ate the passover meal with his twelve apostles he put them under trial and suspicion (one of you will betray me) to teach them to examine themselves rightly, lest they be high-minded and think themselves more strong than they were. We, also must examine ourselves in the light of God’s truth and grace and ask him to strengthen us in faith, hope, and love that we may not fail him or forsake him when we are tempted. Do you pray with confidence in the words Jesus gave us to pray: Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil (Matthew 6:13)?

Prayer
“God our Father, we are exceedingly frail and indisposed to every virtuous undertaking. Strengthen our weakness, we beseech you.” (Prayer of Thomas a Kempis)

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holyspiritGospel Reading: John 13:21-33,36-38

21 When Jesus had thus spoken, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was lying close to the breast of Jesus; 24 so Simon Peter beckoned to him and said, “Tell us who it is of whom he speaks.” 25 So lying thus, close to the breast of Jesus, he said to him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give this morsel when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 Then after the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the money box, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast”; or, that he should give something to the poor.30 So, after receiving the morsel, he immediately went out; and it was night.

31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of man glorified, and in him God is glorified; 32 if God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, `Where I am going you cannot come.’ 36 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now; but you shall follow afterward.” 37 Peter said to him, “Lord, why cannot I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38 Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the cock will not crow, till you have denied me three times.

Meditation:
Jesus’ disciples were put to the test. What was the difference between Peter and Judas? Judas deliberately betrayed his Master while Peter, in a moment of weakness, denied him. Judas’ act was calculated. Peter, however, never meant to do what he did. He acted impulsively, out of weakness and cowardice. Jesus knew both the strength of Peter’s loyalty and the weakness of his resolution. He had a habit of speaking with his heart without thinking through the implications of what he was saying.

The Holy Spirit will give us grace and strength in our time of testing. If we have Jesus in our hearts, we will walk in the light of his truth and love. If we turn our backs on him we will stumble and fall in the ways of sin and darkness. Are you ready to follow Jesus in his way of the cross?

Prayer:
“Bestow upon me, O Lord my God, understanding to know you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace you; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.” (Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas)

Taken and Partly Edited from:
http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/mar22.htm

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Gospel Reading: John 12:1-11

1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at table with him. 3 Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. 7 Jesus said, “Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. 8 The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.” 9 When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came, not only on account of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus also to death, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus. 12 The next day a great crowd who had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.

Meditation:
As Jesus dines, Mary does something which only love can do. She took the most precious thing she had and spent it all on Jesus. Mary’s action was motivated by one thing, and one thing only, namely, her love for Jesus and her gratitude for God’s mercy. In humility she stooped to anoint Jesus’ feet and to dry them with her hair. Her lovely deed shows the extravagance of love – a love that we cannot outmatch.

Why was Judas critical of Mary’s deed? Judas viewed her act as extravagant wastefulness because of greed. A person views things according to what is inside the heart and soul. The greatest temptation we can face will often come in the area of our greatest strength or gifting. Judas used money entrusted to him for wrong and hurtful purposes. He allowed greed and personal gain to corrupt his heart and to warp his view of things. He was critical towards Mary because he imputed unworthy motives. Do you examine your heart correctly when you impute wrong or unworthy motives towards others?

Prayer:
“Give us, Lord, fervor and delight in thinking of you and your grace, your tender compassion towards me. The things we pray for, good Lord, give us grace to labor for: through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Prayer of St. Thomas More)

Taken and Partly Edited from:
http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/mar21.htm

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Friday (March 11):

Gospel Reading: John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

pint0t97xmo1 After this Jesus went about in Galilee; he would not go about in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him. 2 Now the Jews’ feast of Tabernacles was at hand. 10 But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. 25 Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? 26 And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? 27 Yet we know where this man comes from; and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.” 28 So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from? But I have not come of my own accord; he who sent me is true, and him you do not know. 29 I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” 30 So they sought to arrest him; but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come.

Meditation:
What prevents us from doing the will of God? Fear, especially the fear of death and the fear of losing the approval of others, can easily rob us of courage and the will to do what we know is right. Jesus met opposition and the threat of death with grace and determination to accomplish his Father’s will. Jesus knew that his mission, his purpose in life, would entail sacrifice and suffering and culminate with death on the cross. He willingly suffered for our sake and embraced the cross to redeem us from sin and to give us new life.

We cannot be indifferent to the claims which Jesus makes on us. We are either for him or against him. There is no middle ground. We can try to mold the Lord Jesus to our own ideas and way of thinking or we can allow his word of truth to free us from our own sinful blindness, stubborn pride, and ignorance. Do you accept all that Jesus has taught and done for you with faith and reverence or with disbelief and contempt? The consequences are enormous, both in this life and in eternity.

Prayer:
“Eternal God, who are the light of the minds that know you, the joy of the hearts that love you, and the strength of the wills that serve you; grant us so to know you, that we may truly love you, and so to love you that we may fully serve you, whom to serve is perfect freedom, in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Prayer of St. Augustine)

Taken and Partly Edited from:
http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/mar11.htm

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i’m 5

Happy Birthday to me … I’m 5… February 19, 2011, God gave me another chance to live. Thank You God. And thanks God for my love ones, my family, relatives, friends and all people around me, praying for me always. . . thanks!
But now. . . coz MJ is not with us, my heart still aches in sadness. . . thanks to all who always helping me get back into a better frame of my mind, to accept things, to continue to pray for him and to all of us… thanks!
. . tears still flow. . . pain is often beyond words .. what it means to lose someone, no one will ever know. only God knows why.
God has you MJ in His keeping, I have you in my heart as always. Miss and Love you. . . always.

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Pope Francis speaks at New Year’s Eve Mass (Reuters).

Pope Francis celebrated his New Year’s Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican and he delivered an end-of-year message to the faithful during the New Year’s Eve as he vespers mass , Dec. 31, 2015.
“How meaningful it is to be gathered together to give praise to the Lord at the end of the year!” Francis said.
“The Church on so many occasions feels the joy and the duty of lifting up her song to God with these words of praise,” he continued.
Francis encouraged the faithful not to be discouraged by the bad news of the year, such as the numbers of people who are homeless, hungry and victims of violence. He encouraged the faithful to seek to help those who are suffering and not to allow acts of kindness, love and charity to be obscured by “the arrogance of evil.”
In New Year’s Eve Message, Pope Francis Tells the Faithful Not to Be Discouraged:
“The good always wins,” Francis said, “even if at times it can appear weak and hidden.”
He spoke against the “arrogance of the powerful,” which demeans the weak, “relegating them to the most squalid outskirts of our world.”
“We are witnessing hordes of men, women and children fleeing war, hunger and persecution, ready to risk their lives simply to encounter respect for their fundamental rights,” he added.
“Let ourselves be reborn, to overcome indifference which blocks solidarity,” the pontiff urged; “and to leave behind the false neutrality which prevents sharing.”
“The grace of Christ,” he added, leads people to “building an evermore just and fraternal world, a world in which every person and every creature can dwell in peace, in the harmony of God’s original creation.”
He remarked that the final words of a hymn sung during the service — “Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, for we have hoped in Thee” — have a special meaning during the Catholic Church’s Jubilee Year of Mercy.
“Our eyes need to focus on the particular signs God has given us, to see His merciful love first-hand,” Francis said.
Francis celebrated First Vespers for the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, a feast day the Catholic Church observes on New Year’s Day.
Pope Francis’ Mass transcript can also be read at VaticanRadio.

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Thank You God for giving me another lease of life, for all the blessings and guidance.
Thank you everyone for enriching my life this year again.
Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.
Having the gift of faith, the blessing of hope and the peace of His love and keeping it all the years.
May God grant you the 9 Fruits of Holy Spirit :
 
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22)
Wishing you all a year of peace, happiness, prosperity, good health, joy and love!
May God grant us all a blessed New Year !
Happy New Year !!!  Cheers!!!

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