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Tag Archives: friend

MY SONG IS LOVE UNKNOWN (HYMN)

My song is love unknown,
My Saviour’s love to me,
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O, who am I,
That for my sake
My Lord should take
Frail flesh, and die?

He came from his blest throne,
Salvation to bestow:
But men made strange, and none
The longed-for Christ would know.
But O, my Friend,
My Friend indeed,
Who at my need
His life did spend!
– Samuel Crossman

 

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING (ECCLESIASTICUS 6:5-17)

A FAITHFUL FRIEND IS SOMETHING BEYOND PRICE.

A kindly turn of speech multiplies a man’s friends,
and a courteous way of speaking invites many a friendly reply.
Let your acquaintances be many,
but your advisers one in a thousand.

If you want to make a friend, take him on trial,
and be in no hurry to trust him;
for one kind of friend is only so when it suits him
but will not stand by you in your day of trouble.
Another kind of friend will fall out with you
and to your dismay make your quarrel public,
and a third kind of friend will share your table,
but not stand by you in your day of trouble:
when you are doing well he will be your second self,
ordering your servants about;
but if ever you are brought low he will turn against you
and will hide himself from you.

Keep well clear of your enemies,
and be wary of your friends.
A faithful friend is a sure shelter,
whoever finds one has found a rare treasure.
A faithful friend is something beyond price,
there is no measuring his worth.
A faithful friend is the elixir of life,
and those who fear the Lord will find one.
Whoever fears the Lord makes true friends,
for as a man is, so is his friend.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 

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“DAYS, MONTHS, YEARS AND CENTURIES PASS, BUT IN THE EUCHARIST THE SACRED HEART HAS NEVER STOPPED BEATING FOR US”

THE MIRACLE OF MIRACLES

The Eucharist! This is the greatest gift of the most generous Heart of Jesus. It is a gift of such magnitude, that though He is omnipotent, He could not have given us a greater one; though He is infinitely rich, He could not have given us more, since He has given us all of Himself.

This is the most prestigious invention of His sagacious love and of His loving wisdom. It is the miracle of miracles, the mystery of mysteries, through which He who is forever in heaven, is also with us forever on earth, becoming the true life in life, the true soul in souls and the true heart in hearts. It is the sign of the love of Jesus, which the Church tells us was born and became man’s companion; in the Blessed Sacrament He became our food, on the cross became man’s redeemer and in heaven becomes his prize! Christian, learn to appreciate this immense treasure, whose holiness all the saints have loved; this sea of all that is good, this heaven on earth.

A FAITHFUL FRIEND

Through the Eucharist the Heart of Jesus is present like a loving father in the midst of his children, like an amorous bridegroom drawing near to the bride and like a faithful friend walking with his friends. Herein is contained the Heart of Jesus, with all its flames of love, with all the graces of His mercy, with all the infinity of its merits. By this method He sends His chosen ones heavenly light, divine inspiration, holy ardour and gentle comfort. Herein the marvels of His infinite charity are worked in the most secret and intimate places. Herein He speaks to, works with, teaches and forms the saints.

KEEPING HIM COMPANY FAITHFULLY

Days, months, years and centuries pass, but in the Eucharist the Sacred Heart, despite all the immeasurable ingratitude, has never stopped beating for us. Come, unite yourself to the Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, stop often and long to visit Him. Make it a habit to keep Him company, talking to Him while He stands among the angels who, bowing, surround His altar. If He is a prisoner out of love for you, so you should be a prisoner out of love for Him, and in this sweet prison of love, you will find the freedom of the children of God.
– Mons. Nicola Tafuri

 

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“ETERNAL FATHER, WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR GREAT LOVE”

Eternal Father, we thank You for Your great love. You give the world the best of Yourself, the mirror of Your perfect transparency, the splendour of Your very being – Your Son Jesus.

We thank You for giving Jesus to us as our Saviour, not as a tyrant but as a friend, not as a superior but as a brother.

Help us to open our hearts to His light without fear of being overwhelmed but exultant with the joy that comes from this light upon all who accept it with gladness. Amen.

 

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THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO LUKE (LK 22:14-71, 23:1-56)

THE LAST SUPPER OF THE LORD

When the hour came, Jesus took his place at the table and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I was eager to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for, I tell you, I shall not eat again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

Then they passed him a cup, and when he had given thanks, he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I tell you that, from now on, I will not drink the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes. Jesus also took bread, and after giving thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. And after the supper, he did the same with the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant, sealed in my blood, which is poured out for you.

Yet the hand of the traitor is with me on the table. Know that the Son of Man is going the way marked out for him. But alas for the one who betrays him!” They began to ask one another which of them could do such a thing.

LAST CONVERSATION WITH JESUS

They also began to argue among themselves which of them should be considered the most important. And Jesus said, “The kings of the pagan nations rule over them as lords, and the most hardhearted rulers claim the title ‘Gracious Lord’. But not so with you; let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as the servant. For who is the greatest, he who sits at the table or he who serves? He who is seated, isn’t it? Yet I am among you as the one who serves.

You are the ones who have been with me, and stood by me, through my troubles; because of this, just as the kingship has been given to me by my Father, so I give it to you. You will eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones and govern the twelve tribes of Israel.

Simon, Simon, Satan has demanded to sift you like grain, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have recovered, you shall strengthen your brothers. Then Peter said, “Lord, with you I am ready to go even to prison and death.” But Jesus replied, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day before you have denied three times that you know me.”

Jesus also said to them, “When I sent you without purse or bag or sandals, were you short of anything?” They answered, “No.” And Jesus said to them, “But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and a bag as well. And if anyone is without a sword, let him sell his cloak to buy one. For Scripture says: ‘He was numbered among criminals.’ These words have to be fulfilled in me, and now everything written about me is taking place. Then they said, “See Lord, here are two swords!” but he answered, “That is enough.”

THE AGONY IN THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE

After this, Jesus left to go as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. When he came to the place, he told them, “Pray that you may not be put to the test.”

Then he went a little further, about a stone’s throw, and kneeling down he prayed, “Father, if it is your will, remove this cup from me; however, not my will but yours be done.” And an angel from heaven appeared to give him strength.

As he was in agony, he prayed even more earnestly, and great drops of blood formed like sweat and fell to the ground. When he rose from prayer, he went to his disciples, but found them worn out with grief, and asleep. And he said to them, “Why do you sleep? Get up and pray, so that you may not be put to the test.”

JUDAS’ BETRAYAL

Jesus was still speaking when a group appeared, and the man named Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, and Jesus said to him, “Judas, with a kiss do you betray the Son of Man?”

Those with Jesus, seeing what would happen, said to him, “Master, shall we use the sword?” And one of them struck the High Priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. But Jesus stopped him, “No more of this!” He touched the man’s ear and healed him.

Then Jesus spoke to those coming against him, the chief priests, officers of the Temple and elders; and he said to them, “Did you really set out against a robber? Do you need swords and clubs to arrest me? Day after day I was among you, teaching in the Temple, and you did not arrest me. But this is the hour of the power of darkness; this is your hour.”

THE TRIAL OF JESUS, PETER’S DENIAL

Then they seized him away, bringing him to the High Priest’s house. Peter followed at a distance.

A fire was kindled in the middle of the courtyard where people were gathered, and Peter among them. A maidservant noticed him. Looking at him intently in the light of the fire, she exclaimed, “This man also was with him!” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.”

A little later someone who saw him said, “You are also one of them!” Peter replied, “My friend, I am not!”

After about an hour another asserted, “Surely this man was with him, for he is a Galilean.”

Again Peter denied, “My friend, I don’t know what you are talking about.” He had not finished saying this, when a cock crowed. The Lord turned around and looked at Peter, and Peter remembered the word that the Lord had spoken, “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times. Peter went outside, weeping bitterly.

And the guards, who had arrested Jesus, mocked and beat him. They blindfolded him, struck him, and then asked, “Who hit you? Tell us, prophet!” And they hurled many other insulting words at him.

At daybreak, the council of the elders of the people, among whom were the chief priests and the scribes, assembled again. Then they had Jesus brought before them, and they began questioning him, “Tell us, are you the Christ?” Jesus replied, “You will not believe, if I tell you, and neither will you answer, if I ask you. Yet, from now on, ‘the Son of Man will have his seat at the right hand of the Mighty God’.”

In chorus they asked, “So you are the Son of God?” And Jesus said to them, “You are right, I am.”

Then they said, “What need have we of witnesses? We have heard it from his own lips.”

JESUS BEFORE PILATE

The whole council rose and brought Jesus to Pilate. They gave their accusation: “We found this man subverting our nation, opposing payment of taxes to Caesar, and claiming to be Christ the king.”

Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “You said so.” Turning to the chief priests and the crowd, Pilate said, “I find no basis for a case against this man.” But they insisted, “All the country of the Jews is being stirred up with his teaching. He began in Galilee and now he has come all the way here.”

When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man was a Galilean. Finding the accused to come under Herod’s jurisdiction, Pilate sent Jesus over to Herod who happened to be in Jerusalem at that time.

Herod was delighted to have Jesus before him now; for a long time he had wanted to see him because of the reports about him, and he was hoping to see Jesus work some miracle. He piled up question upon question, but got no reply from Jesus.

All the while the chief priests and the scribes remained standing there, vehemently pressing their accusations. Finally, Herod ridiculed him and with his guests mocked him. And when he had put a rich cloak on him, he sent him back to Pilate. Pilate and Herod, who were enemies before, became friends from that day.

Pilate then called together the chief priests and the elders and the people, and said to them, “You have brought this man before me and accused him of subversion. In your presence I have examined him and found no basis for your charges; and neither has Herod, for he sent him back to me. It is quite clear that this man has done nothing that deserves a death sentence. I will therefore have him scourged and then release him. (On the Passover Pilate had to release a prisoner.)

Shouting as one man, they protested, “No! Away with this man! Release Barabbas instead!” This man had been thrown into prison for an uprising in the city and for murder. Since Pilate wanted to release Jesus, he appealed to the crowd once more, but they shouted back, “To the cross with him! To the cross!” A third time Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? Since no crime deserving death has been proved, I shall have him scourged and let him go.”

But they went on shouting and demanding that Jesus be crucified, and their shouts grew louder. So Pilate decided to pass the sentence they demanded. He released the man they asked for, the one who was in prison for rebellion and murder, and he handed Jesus over in accordance with their wishes.

THE WAY OF CALVARY

When they led Jesus away, they seized Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the fields, and laid the cross on him, to carry it behind Jesus.

A large crowd of people followed him; among them were women beating their breasts and grieving for him, but Jesus turned to them and said, “Women of Jerusalem, do not weep for me! Weep rather for yourselves and for your children, for the days are coming when people will say, ‘Happy are the women without child! Happy are those who have not given birth or nursed a child!’ And they will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ For if this is the lot of the green wood, what will happen to the dry?”

Along with Jesus, two criminals also were led out to be executed. There, at the place called the Skull, he was crucified together with two criminals – one on his right and another on his left. (Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.) And the guards cast lots to divide his clothes among themselves.

The people stood by, watching. As for the rulers, they jeered at him, saying to one another, “Let the man who saved others now save himself, for he is the Messiah, the chosen one of God!”

The soldiers also mocked him and, when they drew near to offer him bitter wine, they said, “So you are the king of the Jews? Free yourself!” Above Jesus there was an inscription in Greek, Latin and Hebrew, which read, “This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals hanging with Jesus insulted him, “So you are the Messiah? Save yourself, and us as well!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Have you no fear of God, you who received the same sentence as he did? For us it is just: this is payment for what we have done. But this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus replied, “Truly, you will be with me today in paradise.”

It was almost midday. The sun was hidden, and darkness came over the whole land until mid-afternoon; and, at that time, the curtain of the Sanctuary was torn in two. Then Jesus gave a loud cry, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” And saying that, he gave up his spirit.

[When this part is read out in Church, all of the faithful go down on their knees.]

The captain, on seeing what had happened, acknowledged the hand of God. “Surely this was an upright man!” He said. And all the people who had gathered to watch the spectacle, as soon as they saw what had happened, went home beating their breasts. But those who knew Jesus remained there, at a distance, especially the women, who had followed him from Galilee; they witnessed all this.

Then intervened a member of the Jewish supreme council, a good and righteous man named Joseph, from the Judean town of Arimathea. He had not agreed with the decision and action of his fellow members, and he lived uprightly in the hope of seeing the kingdom of God. Joseph went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. He then took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a yet unused tomb, cut out of a rock.

It was Preparation Day, and the star which marks the beginning of the Sabbath was shining. So the women, who had come with Jesus from Galilee, followed Joseph to see the tomb, and how his body was laid. And returning home, they prepared perfumes and ointments. And on the Sabbath day they rested, as the Law required.

 
 

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WHAT GENEROSITY OUR LORD JESUS SHOWED TO JUDAS!

Look and think how Christ loved Judas, who was both his bodily enemy and a sinful wretch: how good Christ was to him; how benign; how courteous; how humble to him whom he knew to be damnable; and nevertheless, he chose him for his Apostle, and sent him to preach with the other Apostles; he gave him power to work miracles: he showed to him the same good cheer in word and deed; also with his precious Body; and preached to him as he did to the other Apostles: he condemned him not openly, nor abused, nor despised him, nor ever spoke evil of him: and yet even though he had done all that, he would but have said the truth!

And above all, when Judas took him, he kissed him and called him his friend. All this charity Christ showed to Judas whom he knew to be damnable. In no manner of feigning or flattering, but in truthfulness of good love and clean charity. For though it were true that Judas was unworthy to have any gift of God, or any sign of love, because of his wickedness, nevertheless, it was worthy and reasonable that our Lord should appear as he is.
– Richard Rolle, 14th century

 

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PRAYER FOR DECEASED RELATIVES AND FRIENDS

O God to whom belongs to have mercy and to spare, we humbly entreat You for the souls of our relatives and friends, N.N. ___________ whom You have called from this world. Do not deliver them into the hands of the enemy nor forget them forever, but bid Your Holy Angels receive them and bear them to Your home in Paradise. Since they believed and hoped in You, may they not undergo the pains of Hell but possess eternal joys. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.

 
 

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