<TW>Weekend of 04 and 05 April 2009
- From: "Fr. Pat Umberger" <frpat@xxxxxxxxx>
- To: "Fr. Pat Umberger" <frpat@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2009 14:53:06 -0500
.=: T H I S W E E K E N D :=. from Father Pat Umberger _________________________________________________ L E N T P A G E S Visit my "Lent" page for lots of good information .... a count-down 'til Easter, Lenten Reconciliation (including a very portable "Credit Card to Heaven" to take with you, an Examination of Conscience .... all you'll need to go to Confession except the sins. Visit our on-line Stations of the Cross too, illustrated by the kids of Saint Pat's School. Our Stations and Reconciliation aids are available both in English and Spanish. Follow the link from: www.frpat.com O N - L I N E S T A T I O N S O F T H E C R O S S Visit my on-line Stations of the Cross. I wrote the text for children and adults alike. The Stations were illustrated by the children of Saint Pat's School. They're available in English and Spanish as well. Visit the Stations every day during Lent. I think you'll like them a great deal. Here's the link: www.frpat.com/stations.htm __________________________________________________ .=: V O L U M E 2 0 0 9 , Number 04-05 :=. .=: T H I S W E E K E N D ' S S C R I P T U R E S :=. Passion (Palm) Sunday, Year B. Weekend of 04 and 05 April 2009 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. Those preceding him as well as those following kept crying out: "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!" How would we welcome a heroic dignitary to a city? How do people welcome Pope John Paul II as he travels throughout the world? What could cause the tides to turn so quickly ... when shouts of "Hosanna" turn to shouts of "Crucify him! Crucify him?" "The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them." When do we use our "well-trained tongue" to lift up and rouse the weary? When is it used to criticize, condemn and judge? "I have not rebelled, have not turned back. I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting." What is our natural reaction when we are threatened or hurt by others? Why was Jesus so serene and non-violent in such situations? Is that the best way to be? How can we follow the Lord's lead in this regard? Do we want to? "The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame." Could this be a prayer for us when others threaten or harm us? Can we take a longer view and know that in the end, we will not be put to shame? Could that help convert even our persecutors? " ... he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him ... " Are we willing to be this obedient? What obedience on our part would lead God to greatly exalt us? "While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take it; this is my body." Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many. Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God." How did the Eucharist strengthen Jesus' disciples to face what was to come? How can it be our strength? Can anything truly harm us when we know that God is our strength and our salvation? Peter said to him, "Even though all should have their faith shaken, mine will not be." Then Jesus said to him, "Amen, I say to you, this very night before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times." When have we denied the Lord? Can we do this by the language we use? The example we set? When have we been of good will and determined to follow the Lord ... then allowed ourselves to easily crumble and do wrong? His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, "The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely." He came and immediately went over to him and said, "Rabbi." And he kissed him. At this they laid hands on him and arrested him. When have we betrayed another in this way ... been nice to their face, but betrayed them behind their back? How are these Scriptures comforting? Challenging? .=: S P I R I T U A L R E F L E C T I O N :=. This weekend, as we celebrate Passion Sunday we begin the holiest week of the year. It is a week that reveals all human emotions. Today we gather as the crowds did to welcome Jesus into their city. He entered in jubilation as they threw their cloaks on the ground before him and waved palm branches. They shouted "Hosanna, Hosanna." This week will help us understand more deeply how quickly human resolve can melt away and how easily our fervent faith can give way as we betray the one we love. As human persons we can experience triumph as well as betrayal. We can be "oh-so-nice" to someone when we're with them, but stab them in the back as soon as their back is turned. We can enjoy deep friendship and still suffer great betrayal. We can resolve to do better, then easily crumble and sell out so very cheaply. We can be people of great hope and yet face great despair. We can experience birth and yet be devastated by death. We can be tempted to lash out and retaliate. We can reach out our hand in forgiveness. We can enjoy being surrounded by our friends. We can feel betrayed by those same friends. In the end, all of us will experience death. So we can enter into this week with a profound sense of entering into the last days before Jesus died for us, but also in a week that is filled with our own human experience. As we meet those who behave badly, we can resolve to be people who rise above such behavior. As we are inspired by the faith of this week, we can be pleased with our own faith, our own heroism and resolve to follow in the very footsteps of Jesus. This week, we'll hear cries of "Hosanna" turn to cries of "Crucify him." We'll hear words of "I'll never deny you," turn to "I don't know the man." We'll see Jesus resist the temptation to use the power within him to hurt those who mean him harm. We'll witness Jesus gift of the Eucharist and the washing of feet, his sign of service and his call to us. We'll see him be put to death on the cross. We'll reverence the cross, yet return to our homes full of the faith of those who know the end of the story. We'll gather in darkness on Holy Saturday night and see the spread of the "Light of Christ." We'll hear the A******** word sung once more, and water blessed and sprinkled, and Baptism, and Confirmation, and welcome. We know the end of the story, that's for sure. Now we can enter this Holy Week ready to walk in the very footsteps of Jesus and learn the lessons that will be taught so simply as the words unfold and those holy steps beckon us forward. Have a good week! __________________________________________________ <TW>This Weekend is free, and comes from: Father Pat Umberger, a priest of the Diocese of La Crosse in Wisconsin U.S.A. Web Site: www.frpat.com Evangelization (reaching out): www.cmonback.com .=: M A K E A D O N A T I O N ? :=. www.frpat.com/donation.htm .=: F O R W A R D I N G :=. Please leave these credits when doing so. .=: C H A N G E Y O U R S U B S C R I P T I O N :=. Unsubscribe from your old address before you subscribe with your new address. Use this link: www.frpat.com/morningprayer.htm#mp You can also set your account to Vacation Mode there.
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