THIS WEEK AT HOME
you sent Jesus, who reveals your glory,
to pay the price for our sins
so that we might share in eternal life.
On the night he was betrayed,
he remained obedient to your will and,
humbling himself, was led to the Cross.
Even in the midst of his arrest,
Jesus showed compassion by healing the servant.
Show us compassion, O God, when we abandon you.
Heal our suffering, which can lead us to deny your majesty.
Grant courage to those who are weak and raise up the fallen.
Strengthen our love for you so that
our hearts and minds may remain focused on Christ’s Paschal Mystery
and forever delight in his triumph over death.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today’s Readings: Luke 19:28–40; Isaiah 50:4–7; Psalm 22:8–9, 17–18, 19–20, 23–24; Philippians 2:6–11; Luke 22:14—23:56. This Sunday marks the beginning of the holiest week of our liturgical year. The community gathers to retell the story of Jesus’ Passion and Death to prepare for the celebration of the Resurrection. Holy Week is a time to be intentional about prayer so that our hearts can be roused by God’s Word and moved to compassion. It’s a time to allow Christ’s Passion to pierce your heart. During this season of Lent, we have been asked to die to our sinful ways and turn back to God. Contrition has moved us to seek God’s mercy and deepened our relationship with God. Today, the Scriptures tell the whole story of Jesus’ Passion. It’s hard to capture the beauty and intensity of these passages. We are also called to empty ourselves and totally give of ourselves for the other. Jesus didn’t die because of guilt. His compassion overflowed and his Death brought us life. How have you emptied yourself so that others might have life? What do you still need to let go of so you can grow in compassion and share the joy of Christ’s Resurrection? Remember that each time we celebrate the Eucharist, the love of God is poured out and shared with us. It is shared not only for us to give worship to God, but to conform our hearts to Christ’s and therefore sanctify us. During this Holy Week, you might physically prepare your house for Easter as a way to ponder emptying yourself.
Our Gospel today portrays Mary anointing Jesus’ feet, foreshadowing the burial anointing. Judas selfishly asks about the oil. Is this a sign that he has turned away from Jesus? The First Reading announces that God’s servant will bring justice and light to those in darkness. Does Mary’s anointing help us see Jesus as the Messiah who will redeem us? Use oil in your family prayer tonight and talk about Jesus, the Anointed One, and how oil is a part of the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders. Today’s Readings: Isaiah 42:1–7; Psalm 27:1, 2, 3, 13–14; John 12:1–11.
Today, we hear the story of Judas’ betrayal. This Apostle spent so much time with Jesus and then turned away from him. All of us can identify with Judas, because even our small sins are a turning away from Christ. Jesus, the Light to the Nations, is always seeking to heal and reconcile with us. In preparation for Easter, light a candle and reflect on your Baptism. Today’s Readings: Isaiah 49:1–6; Psalm 71:1–2, 3–4a, 5ab–6ab, 15 and 17; John 13:21–33, 36–38.
We again hear of Judas’ betrayal. Jesus indicates that it is necessary to fulfill God’s will. Like the servant in Isaiah, Jesus perseveres; he continues to preach the Kingdom of God. Jesus freely offers himself so that we might be saved. He is God’s servant, the chosen one of Israel who, though led to the slaughter like a lamb, triumphs over sin and death. Today’s Readings: Isaiah 50:4–9a; Psalm 69:8–10, 21–22, 31 and 33–34; Matthew 26:14–25.
The Chrism Mass highlights Jesus as the Anointed One. At this Mass, the holy oils are blessed by the bishop and then brought back to each parish. The Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper commemorates the institution of the Eucharist and Christ’s washing of the Apostles’ feet. We are given a mission to serve others and share the Good News. After the evening Mass, spend time adoring Christ in the chapel. Today’s Readings: (Chrism Mass) Isaiah 61:1–3a, 6a, 8b–9; Psalm 89:21–2, 25 and 27; Revelation 1:5–8; Luke 4:16–21; (Mass of the Lord’s Supper) Exodus 12:1–8, 11–14; Psalm 116:12–13, 15–16bc, 17–18; 1 Corinthians 11:23–26; John 13:1–15.
Today’s liturgy invites us to ponder the mystery of Christ’s Death and how our lives are connected to it. Pay close attention to the Passion narrative and the solemn intercessions. When venerating the cross, linger a moment and rejoice that God’s goodness has saved us from death. Today’s Readings: Isaiah 52:13—53:12; Psalm 31:2, 6, 12–13, 15–16, 17, 25; Hebrews 4:14–16; 5:7–9; John 18:1—19:42.
Tonight’s liturgy is filled with rich symbols to tell the story of our faith. Settle in and listen attentively to the readings, which lead baptismal liturgy. This is the night, the holiest night in our Church year. We rejoice at Christ’s wondrous victory over death. Today’s Readings: Genesis 1:1—2:2; Psalm 104:1–2, 5–6, 10, 12, 13–14, 24, 35; Genesis 22:1–18; Psalm 16:5, 8, 9–10, 11; Exodus 14:15—15:1; Psalm: Exodus 15:1–2, 3–4, 5–6, 17–18; Isaiah 54:5–14; Psalm 30:2, 4, 5–6, 11–12, 13; Isaiah 55:1–11; Psalm: Isaiah 12:2–3, 4, 5–6; Baruch 3:9–15, 32—4:4; Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 11; Ezekiel 36:16–17a, 18–28; Psalm 42:3, 5; 43:3, 4; Romans 6:3–11; Psalm 118:1–2, 16–17, 22–23; Luke 24:1–12.
Today’s Readings: Acts 10:34a, 37–43; Psalm 118:1–2, 16–17, 22–23; Colossians 3:1–4 or 1 Corinthians 5:6b–8; John 20:1–9. The refrain of today’s psalm captures the sentiment of the Church this day. With hearts full of joy, we rejoice and give thanks to God for redeeming us in Christ. Christ, who suffered and died, has trampled death and bestowed life on those in the grave. We were once dead, but now, through the power of the Cross, we have life. For me, it’s always difficult to articulate what I feel on this day. After forty long days of prayer and purification, it’s an awesome wonder to relish in the gift of new life. Examining the areas of my life that have risen with Christ and been renewed invigorates me to share the Good News. Several years ago, when the “alleluia” erupted during the Easter Vigil, I was brought to tears because it announced with great vigor Christ’s victory, and I knew how much I was loved. How have you or do you experience the Resurrection? The Gospel describes the story of Mary Magdalene arriving at the tomb while it was still dark. Do we need to see the Christ to believe in the Resurrection? Instead of joy, the Gospel paints a picture of distress and confusion. Where has the body of the Lord gone? The clue we get is that the burial cloths are still there—Jesus must have risen. When and where have you encountered the Risen Christ? In renewing our baptismal promises, we have been invited to show forth the Risen Christ to all we encounter. Go forth rejoicing.
© 2016 Liturgy Training Publications. 1-800-933-1800. Written by Timothy A. Johnston. Permission to publish granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago on August 21, 2015.