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Parish Daily Update 4/1/21

Dear Parish Family,

“There was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him, nor appearance that would attract us to him.”   Isaiah 53:2

GOOD FRIDAY STATIONS OF THE CROSS – FOLLOWED BY A MEDITATION ON THE “SEVEN LAST WORDS OF CHRIST” – will be prayed in the Church tomorrow at noon.  Masking and social distancing are required.

ALL HOLY THURSDAY, GOOD FRIDAY, EASTER VIGIL AND EASTER SUNDAY MASSES ARE FILLED TO CAPACITY!!  There will be no room for “walk-ins”.  If you were unable to make reservations, the 8:00 Mass on Easter Sunday will be recorded and posted to email and to our Facebook page “St. Joseph – Gluckstadt” around noon on Sunday.  You can join us at home – your “domestic church” –  for the celebration of our Lord’s Resurrection!!

Last year, our churches were closed down during Holy Week and Easter due to Covid.  We are so grateful to be able to celebrate these most holy days of the year this year.  As you come to Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil, you will notice some differences from the “usual” Masses and Services due to pandemic protocols.  Our directives from the Vatican and from our Diocese state:

Holy Thursday:  “The washing of feet, which is already optional, it to be omitted.”

                                “At the end of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper the procession with the Blessed

                                Sacrament to the place of repose is to be omitted and the Blessed Sacrament

                                is to be kept in the tabernacle.”

Good Friday:      “There should be no individual veneration of the Cross by members of the

                                congregation.”    (Father Kevin will venerate the Cross and then the Cross will

                                be displayed during a time of silence for congregational veneration from your

                                pews.)

Easter Vigil:         “The preparation and lighting of the fire is omitted, the Paschal Candle is lit in

place in the sanctuary, the procession is omitted.”   (The Paschal Candle will be

lit at the altar.  No individual congregational candles will be lit.  Father Kevin

will proceed with the Easter Proclamation after lighting the Paschal Candle.)

If you have any questions, please feel free to call me!!  Again, even with these slight changes, we are VERY GRATEFUL to be able to gather together in prayer and celebration once again!  

The Parish Office will be closed Easter Monday.

God bless,

Pam

Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion 

First Reading:  Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12 

See, my servant shall prosper, he shall be raised high and greatly exalted. Even as many were amazed at him — so marred was his look beyond human semblance and his appearance beyond that of the sons of man– so shall he startle many nations, because of him kings shall stand speechless; for those who have not been told shall see, those who have not heard shall ponder it. Who would believe what we have heard? To whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up like a sapling before him, like a shoot from the parched earth; there was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him, nor appearance that would attract us to him.  He was spurned and avoided by people, a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity, one of those from whom people hide their faces, spurned, and we held him in no esteem. Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, while we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted. But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins; upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way;
but the LORD laid upon him the guilt of us all. Though he was harshly treated, he submitted
and opened not his mouth; like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers, he was silent and opened not his mouth. Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away, and who would have thought any more of his destiny? When he was cut off from the land of the living, and smitten for the sin of his people, a grave was assigned him among the wicked
and a burial place with evildoers, though he had done no wrong nor spoken any falsehood.
But the LORD was pleased to crush him in infirmity. If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall see his descendants in a long life, and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him. Because of his affliction he shall see the light in fullness of days; through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear.
Therefore I will give him his portion among the great, and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty, because he surrendered himself to death and was counted among the wicked; and he shall take away the sins of many, and win pardon for their offenses. 

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25 

R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
R.   Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
For all my foes I am an object of reproach,
a laughingstock to my neighbors, and a dread to my friends;
they who see me abroad flee from me.
I am forgotten like the unremembered dead;
I am like a dish that is broken.
R.  Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
But my trust is in you, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.
In your hands is my destiny; rescue me
from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.”
R.  Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
Take courage and be stouthearted,
all you who hope in the LORD.
R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit. 

First Reading:  Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9 

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way,
yet without sin. So, let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help. In the days when Christ was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, 
and he was heard because of his reverence. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him. 

Narrator N                          Voice V 

Christ +                Crowd C 

Gospel:  John 18:1 – 19:42

N.           Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to where there was a garden, into which he and his disciples entered. Judas his betrayer also knew the place, 
because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards from the chief priests and the Pharisees and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him, went out and said to them,  

+.            “Whom are you looking for?”
N.           They answered him,  

C.            “Jesus the Nazorean.”
He said to them,  

+.            “I AM.”
N.           Judas his betrayer was also with them. When he said to them, “I AM, “ 
they turned away and fell to the ground. So he again asked them,
+.            “Whom are you looking for?”
N.           They said,  

C.            “Jesus the Nazorean.”
Jesus answered,
+.            “I told you that I AM. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.”
N.           This was to fulfill what he had said, “I have not lost any of those you gave me.”
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter,
+.            “Put your sword into its scabbard. Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?” 

N.           So, the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus, bound him, and brought him to Annas first. He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews that it was better that one man should die rather than the people. Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.
Now the other disciple was known to the high priest, and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus. But Peter stood at the gate outside. So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest, went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in.
Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter, 
C.            “You are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?”
N.           He said,  

V.            “I am not.”
N.           Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire that they had made, because it was cold, and were warming themselves. Peter was also standing there keeping warm. The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his doctrine.
Jesus answered him,
+.            “I have spoken publicly to the world. I have always taught in a synagogue or in the temple area where all the Jews gather, and in secret I have said nothing.  Why ask me?
Ask those who heard me what I said to them. They know what I said.”
N.           When he had said this, one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said, 
V.            “Is this the way you answer the high priest?”
N.           Jesus answered him,
+.            “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”
N.           Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm. And they said to him,
C.            “You are not one of his disciples, are you?”
N.           He denied it and said,
V.            “I am not.”
N.           One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said, 
C.            “Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?”
N.           Again, Peter denied it. And immediately the cock crowed. Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium. It was morning. And they themselves did not enter the praetorium, in order not to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover. So Pilate came out to them and said,
V.            “What charge do you bring against this man?”
N.           They answered and said to him,
C.            “If he were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.”
N.           At this, Pilate said to them, 
V.            “Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law.”
N.           The Jews answered him, 
C.            “We do not have the right to execute anyone,” 
N.           in order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled that he said indicating the kind of death he would die. So Pilate went back into the praetorium and summoned Jesus and said to him, 
V.            “Are you the King of the Jews?”
N.           Jesus answered,
+.            “Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?”
N.           Pilate answered,
V.            “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?”
N.           Jesus answered,
+.            “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.
But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”
N.           So, Pilate said to him,
V.            “Then you are a king?”
N.           Jesus answered,
+.            “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
N.           Pilate said to him,  

V.            “What is truth?” 

N.           When he had said this, he again went out to the Jews and said to them,
V.            “I find no guilt in him. But you have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at Passover. Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”
N.           They cried out again,
C.            “Not this one but Barabbas!”
N.           Now Barabbas was a revolutionary. Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.
And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and said,
C.            “Hail, King of the Jews!”
N.           And they struck him repeatedly. Once more Pilate went out and said to them, 
V.            “Look, I am bringing him out to you, so that you may know that I find no guilt in him.”
N.           So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And he said to them,  

V.            “Behold, the man!”
N.           When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out, 
C.            “Crucify him, crucify him!” 

N.           Pilate said to them,
V.            “Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him.”
N.           The Jews answered, 
C.            “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.”
N.           Now when Pilate heard this statement, he became even more afraid, and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus, 
V.            “Where are you from?”
N.           Jesus did not answer him. So Pilate said to him,
V.            “Do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?”
N.           Jesus answered him,
+.            “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above.
For this reason the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”
N.           Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out,  

C.            “If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” 

N.           When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and seated him on the judge’s bench in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha. It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon. And he said to the Jews,
V.            “Behold, your king!”
N.           They cried out,
C.            “Take him away, take him away!  Crucify him!”
N.           Pilate said to them,
V.            “Shall I crucify your king?”
N.           The chief priests answered,
C.            “We have no king but Caesar.”
N.           Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross himself, he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.
There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle. Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read,
“Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.” Now many of the Jews read this inscription, 
because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, 
C.            “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews’.”
N.           Pilate answered,
V.            “What I have written, I have written.” 

N.           When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier. They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless, 
woven in one piece from the top down. So they said to one another, 
C.            “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be,
N.           in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says:
They divided my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.

This is what the soldiers did.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved he said to his mother,  

+.            “Woman, behold, your son.”
N.           Then he said to the disciple,
+.            “Behold, your mother.”
N.           And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said,  

+.            “I thirst.”
N.           There was a vessel filled with common wine. So, they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said,
+.            “It is finished.”
N.           And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit. 

Here all kneel and pause for a short time. 

N.           Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and that they be taken down. So, the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may come to believe. For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled:
Not a bone of it will be broken.
And again another passage says:
They will look upon him whom they have pierced. 

After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. And Pilate permitted it. So, he came and took his body. Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom.
Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. So, they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by. 

Homily 

Pilate came out to them and said, “What charge do you bring against this man?”   

John 18:1 – 19:42 

Every Good Friday, we hear the story of Jesus’ passion and death as recounted in the Fourth Gospel. John’s narrative centers on Jesus’ trial and the events that lead to Jesus’ conviction. Theologian Father Ronald Rolheiser observes that the story of Jesus’ trial in the Fourth Gospel is “ingeniously written.” Father Rolheiser explains:  

“John writes up the trial of Jesus in such a way that, while Jesus is the one being tried, everyone else is on trial except Jesus. Pilate is on trial, the Jewish authorities are on trial, Jesus’ apostles and disciples are on trial, the crowds watching are on trial, and we who are hearing the story are on trial. Jesus alone is not on trial, even as his trial is judging everyone else. Hence, when Pilate asks Jesus: “What is truth?” Jesus’ silence puts Pilate on trial by throwing Pilate back on his own silence: the truth of himself. It’s the same for the rest of us.”   [From “The Passion and the Cross” by Ronald Rolheiser, O.M.I.] 

Today puts humankind on trial. The trial of Jesus confronts us all with hard questions:  

Can we accept and act on the “truth” that Pilate cannot grasp: that the love of God has touched human history in this Carpenter from Nazareth, that God’s Kingdom of justice and mercy can be realized in works of selfless compassion and humble reconciliation? Do we who claim to be disciples of Jesus fully embrace that vision of the Kingdom of God?  

Do those in public office see their work as a sacred trust, that they are servants to the public good?  

Do we recognize that we all possess a “Judas” side: that we are capable of betraying those we love? And are we able to recognize our “Peter” side: when the words we confess are not matched by our decisions and actions?  

How quick are we to demonize those we disagree with, those whose call for justice frightens us, those whose advocacy for the poor and the marginalized threatens our safe, comfortable world?  

Can we take up whatever cross is laid on our shoulders, in the spirit of Jesus’ compassion and grace?  

In the stillness of this Good Friday, in the Fourth Gospel’s portrait of the condemned Jesus, the faith we confess is put on trial: do we take up the cross with Jesus, regardless of the cost — or do we stand off to where it’s safe — far away from God?  

O God, instill in us your wisdom and grace as we struggle to understand and embrace the “truth” that confronts us in Jesus’ Good Friday trial: that you have called us to be a people of your love and compassion, that you have formed us to be a church of reconciliation and forgiveness, that you have sent us forth to realize your dream of a human family united in justice and peace. Give us the wisdom and patience, the perseverance and conviction, to embrace the truth revealed in the cross and to allow that truth to transform our Good Fridays into Easter mornings.  

An Act of Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that You are present
in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
I ask You to come spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You, trusting that you are already there and I unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.  Amen.