Archive for March, 2018

Easter 2018

31 March, 2018


May the light of the Risen Christ illuminate our eyes, and we shall recognise in the most humble the traits of the paschal Lamb, Jesus Christ. (From the Prayer of Days of Bose)


Christ yesterday and today, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega. All time belongs to him and all the ages. To him be glory and power through every age and for ever Amen. (Roman Missal)


By his holy and glorious wounds, may Christ the Lord guard us and protect us. Amen. (Roman Missal)


May the light of Christ rising in glory dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds. (Roman Missal)


2018 Chrism Mass

28 March, 2018


God of holiness, we give you thanks for the chrism with which Aaron and his sons were anointed priests, serving your altar, proclaiming your word, sharing your blessing.

God of community, we give you thanks for the chrism with which Saul, David and Solomon were anointed kings, leading your people and taking responsibility for public good.

God of justice, we give you thanks for the chrism with which the prophets were anointed your servants, bringing the good news to the oppressed and proclaiming liberty to captives.

God of freedom and joy, we give you thanks for the chrism with which Judith was anointed leader of her people, bringing them freedom and joy.

God of liberation, we give you thanks for the chrism with which Esther was anointed queen bringing liberation, prayer and celebration.

God of love and faithfulness, we give you thanks for the chrism with which Ruth was anointed, becoming loyal companion and foremother of David and Jesus.

God of affirmation and vindication, we give you thanks for the chrism with which Susanna was anointed to be faithful and upright, innocent and steadfast.

God of love and courage, we give you thanks for the chrism with which Mary of Bethany anointed Jesus, to express her affection and friendship and prepare his body for burial.

God of love, we give you thanks of the chrism which the women took to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus, whom they found to be alive and who commissioned them to proclaim the good news.

Now bless this oil that you have created and fill it with the power of the Holy Spirit. Make this mixture of oil and perfume a sign and source of your blessing for those who are to be born again in the waters of baptism and for those to be ordained in your service. Transform them into the likeness of Christ your Beloved.

We pray in praise of your graciousness, in union with Jesus Christ who is Risen, and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Holy Week 2018

26 March, 2018


Pope Francis and the Wounds of Christ

24 March, 2018


Pope Francis seems to be fixated on the wounds of Christ. And he has suggested that other Catholics might want to be as well.

He has offered meditations on Jesus’ pierced hands, feet and side throughout his pontificate, but since January, his references in impromptu speeches and homilies have been so frequent that it seems to be a major focus of his own prayer life.

Read more –

Look at the Crucifix

24 March, 2018

A reading from the book of Numbers (Nm 21:4-9)

The Israelites left Mount Hor by the road to the Sea of Suph, to skirt the land of Edom. On the way the people lost patience. They spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this wilderness? For there is neither bread nor water here; we are sick of this unsatisfying food.’

At this God sent fiery serpents among the people; their bite brought death to many in Israel. The people came and said to Moses, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede for us with the Lord to save us from these serpents.’ Moses interceded for the people, and the Lord answered him, ‘Make a fiery serpent and put it on a standard. If anyone is bitten and looks at it, he shall live.’ So Moses fashioned a bronze serpent which he put on a standard, and if anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked at the bronze serpent and lived.


“When you are tired of the journey of life, look at the crucifix”

It is Pope Francis’ advice at this morning’s Mass, 20 March 2018, at Casa Santa Marta.

The Pope bases his reflection on today’s First Reading, from the Book of Numbers, which tells of how the people of Israel felt desperate in the desert, and about the snakes: people were hungry and the Lord responded with manna and then with quails. To the thirst of the people, God responds with water. Later, near the promised land, some people grew skeptical because the scouts sent by Moses reported a land full of fruit and animals, but also inhabited by a strong and armed population. They suddenly felt afraid of being killed. The Bishop of Rome observes, “By looking only at their own strength, they forgot the Lord’s strength which had liberated them from 400 years of slavery.”

People “did not bear the journey”, as it happens when people start “to follow the Lord, they start to be close to the Lord” but at some point, difficulties seem to prevail. It is that period of existence in which one thinks and says, “But, that’s it! “I’ve had enough! I quit. I’m going back. And perhaps we even feel nostalgic of the past, “about the meat, the onions, and other wonderful things”.

Francis exhorts us to note the partiality and distortion of this “sick memory”, because, in the case of the people of Israel, those were the times when the Israelites had been slaves in Egypt.

These are “the illusions that the devil brings: he makes you see the beauty of something that you have left behind, from which you have converted, it is that moment of desolation you feel during the journey, when you have not yet arrived to the Lord’s promise”. It is “a little like the journey of Lent, yes, we can think of it like this; or conceive life as Lent: the Lord’s trials and consolations will always be there, there is manna, there is water, there are birds that feed us … but that meal was better. Yet don’t forget that you were eating at the table of slavery!”

Pope Bergoglio then warns against something even worse: “talking bad about God”, which is like “poisoning our soul”. When one believes that the Lord does not help, or that there are too many trials, one has “a depressed, poisoned heart. And, as the First Reading reports, the snakes that bite the people are “the symbol of that poisoning”, of the lack of constancy in following God ‘s path.

Moses, at the Lord’s request, makes a bronze serpent and places it on a pole: it is the serpent that heals all those attacked by snakes for having talked bad about God. This scene and image is prophetic: “it was the figure of Christ on the cross”.

And here it is “here is the key to our salvation, the key for having patience on the journey of life, the key to overcome our deserts: looking at the Crucifix. Look at Christ crucified. “And what should I do, Father? Look at it. Look at the wounds. Go inside those wounds, for by those wounds we have been healed”. Do you feel poisoned, sad, do you feel that your life is not working out, that it is full of difficulties and illness? Look there”.

In dark and difficult moments, the Pope exhorted us to look at “the ugly crucifix, at the real one: the artists have made some beautiful, artistic crucifixes”, and this can’t be always considered “worldliness” because their intent is to exalt “the glory of the cross, the glory of the Resurrection. But when you feel like that, look at the ugly one: Before glory”.

The Pontiff recalls when, as a child, he went with his grandmother on Good Friday to the candlelight procession in which the lying, marble, life-size Christ was brought by. Grandma knelt down: “Look at it well – she said -for tomorrow he will rise again!” As before Pius XII’s liturgical reform, the Resurrection was celebrated on Saturday morning, not on Sunday: and Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s grandmother, on Saturday morning, as she heard the bells of the Resurrection, had her eyes cleaned with water, to see the glory of Christ.

Francis invoked: “Teach your children to look at the crucifix and the glory of Christ. But we, in bad times, in difficult times, when we are poisoned a little by having said in our hearts some of our disappointment against God, look at the wounds. Christ lifted up like the Serpent: because he became a Serpent, he annihilated himself in order to win over “the” evil Serpent. May the Word of God teach us today this journey: to look at the crucified. Especially when, “like the people of God, we get tired of the journey of life”.