29 March 2015

Saint Michael's Singers: "Lift High the Cross"

As our Sunday celebration continues, I offer this version of the Saint Michael's Singers presenting "Lift High the Cross":

Well Done, Joe

Congratulations to son Joe, who recently participated (and did well) in the recent Fight for Air Climb at the Omni Providence Hotel, Providence, RI. Joe finished third in amount raised as an individual, and he finished #72 out of 529 participants.

The climb consisted of 22 floors (44 flights/348 steps) inside the hotel's staircase.

Background information:

American Lung Association: Providence 2015 Fight for Air Climb

Media report:

WABC-TV: ‘Fight for air climb Providence’ held at Omni (28 MAR 15)

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

Today the Church celebrates Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion. The assigned readings are Mark 11:1-10, Isaiah 50:4-7, Philippians 2:6-11, and Mark 14:1-15:47. The Responsorial Psalm is Psalm 22 (Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24).

For one version of the Responsorial Psalm set to music, please visit:

YouTube: Responsorial Psalm - Psalm 22 "My God, my God, why have You abandoned me?"

The Gospel reading for the procession with the palms is as follows:

When Jesus and his disciples drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them,"Go into the village opposite you, and immediately on entering it, you will find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone should say to you,'Why are you doing this?' reply, 'The Master has need of it and will send it back here at once.'"

So they went off and found a colt tethered at a gate outside on the street, and they untied it. Some of the bystanders said to them, "What are you doing, untying the colt?" They answered them just as Jesus had told them to, and they permitted them to do it.

So they brought the colt to Jesus and put their cloaks over it. And he sat on it. 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!"

Reflections on these readings:

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Sundays Salesian: Palm Sunday Passion of the Lord (March 29, 2015)

Oblates of St. Francis de Sales: Salesian Sunday Reflection: Passion/Palm Sunday (March 29, 2015)

Msgr. Charles Pope: See What the End Shall Be (28 MAR 15)

Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio: Passion Sunday - Palm Sunday

The Deacon's Bench: "We need these palms as a reminder - and a challenge" (28 MAR 15)

Word on Fire: The Passion Narrative of Mark's Gospel (Cycle B * Lent * Palm Sunday)

Dr. Scott Hahn: Darkness at Noon (March 29th 2015 - Passion Sunday)

CWR Blog: Palm Sunday: Glory flows from the obedience of selfless love (28 MAR 15)

Spirituality of the Readings: King? Really? (Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion)

The Word Embodied: Dying (Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion)

Historical Cultural Context: Cultural Insights into the Passion (Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion)

Thoughts from the Early Church: Commentary by Guerric of Igny (Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion)

Word to Life Radio Broadcast: Palm Sunday (27 MAR 15)

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the many ways You remind us of what is important in our lives.

Msgr. Pope on the Sabbath Rest

"Some of us who are older remember that Sundays were once quiet in downtown; in shopping areas, parking lots were empty. Most businesses were closed and few people had to work on Sundays. Surely there were exceptions, such as medical personnel, emergency workers, and those who ran essential services like power plants. But for most, Sunday was a day off. And although the biblical Sabbath was Saturday, in a largely Christian nation Sunday was the 'Sabbath' day of rest.

"In those days, Church was in the morning and then it was home to a family brunch or mid-afternoon meal. I remember back in the '60s that after Mass our family returned home and we kids got out of our 'Church  clothes' to go and play - in the yard in warm months and in the basement on cold or inclement days. Mom and Dad announced the 'parent hour,' making the living room off limits to us kids so they could sip coffee, read the paper, and catch up with each other. Dinner was at four or five in the afternoon; often our grandparents would join us or we went to their house. Evening featured Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom (a nature show) followed by Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color/The Wonderful World of Disney. And then came The Lawrence Welk Show, which we hated but Mom and Dad liked (we went off to play again as soon as Disney was over).

"It was the end of an era. By the mid 1970s many 'Blue laws' or 'Sunday laws,' which prohibited the sale of certain products or the conducting of certain types of business on Sundays were on their way out. To heck with family, we were off the shopping mall!.

"It is a loss. To be fair, most of us who are well off can still observe the Sabbath (Sunday) rest if we choose. However, the poor and younger people just entering the workforce usually have little choice as to whether or not they work on Sundays. . . ."

In a recent commentary, Monsignor Charles Pope (pastor of Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian Parish, Washington, DC) reflected on the Sabbath rest and its link to justice.

To access Msgr. Pope’s complete post, please visit:

Msgr. Charles Pope: On the Lost Justice of the “Sabbath Rest” (26 MAR 15)

Reflection Starter from Pope Francis

"May every Church and Christian community be a place of mercy amid so much indifference."- Pope Francis

28 March 2015

Thank You, Lord

Thank you, Lord, for the many ways in which You are gathering Your people (as reflected in Jeremiah 31), whether we are aware of it or not.

Pope Francis Joins Homeless Touring Sistine Chapel

"Pope Francis surprised a group of homeless people yesterday when he joined them on a private tour of the Sistine Chapel.

"The 150 men and women had been given a tour of the Vatican Museum and gardens and were in the chapel painted by Michelangelo when Pope Francis turned up.

"He told them: 'Welcome. This is everyone's house, and your house. The doors are always open for all.'"

To access a Catholic Herald report on this event, please visit:

Catholic Herald: Pope Francis surprises homeless people during tour of Sistine Chapel (27 MAR 15)