Dear Parish Family Members,
“Jesus loves us to the point of giving his life for us…. And every one of us can say: He gave his life for me.” (Pope Francis)
–Please pray for the repose of the soul of George Lobrano, Sr., who passed away recently. He is the father of our parishioner Blair Lobrano.
–Please also pray for the repose of the soul of William Sheehan who passed away recently. He is the father of our parishioner Brendan Sheehan.
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
The readings for Good Friday, along with Father Kevin’s homily, follow.
God bless you all!
Good Friday of the Lord’s
April 10, 2020
First Reading: Is 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.
Second Reading: Heb 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.
This is a good link to a reading of the Gospel for Good Friday if you would like listen and/or read along.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3m2vvzGFRA Passion according to St. John-Good Friday
Gospel: Jn 18:1-19:42
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?” They answered him, “Jesus the Nazorean.”
He said to them, “I AM.”
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?”
They said, “Jesus the Nazorean.”
Jesus answered, “I told you that I AM. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.”
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?”
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
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, “You are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?”
He said, “I am not.” 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.”
When he had said this, one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said, “Is this the way you answer the high priest?”
Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”
Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm. And they said to him, “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?” 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, “What charge do you bring against this man?” They answered and said to him, “If he were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.”
At this, Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law.”
The Jews answered him, “We do not have the right to execute anyone, “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, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered, “Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?”
Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?”
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.”
So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?”
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.”
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
When he had said this, he again
went out to the Jews and said to them, “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?”
They cried out again, “Not this one but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him
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, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck him repeatedly. Once more Pilate went out and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you,
so that you may know that I find no guilt in him.”
So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And he said to them, “Behold, the man!”
When the chief priests and the guards saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!”
Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him.”
The Jews answered, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.”
Now when Pilate heard this statement, he became even more afraid, and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?”
Jesus did not answer him.
So, Pilate said to him, “Do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?”
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.”
Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out, “If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”
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, “Behold, your king!”
They cried out, “Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!”
Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?”
The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
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, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews’.”
Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
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, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be, “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.”
Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.”
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.”
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.”
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.
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
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.
. . . it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings he endured . . . upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed. Isaiah 52: 13 – 53: 12
Twenty years from now, if you were to ask Italians to think back about what images stuck in their minds from the coronavirus, it’s a good bet that many would give the same answer:
“Papa Francesco standing alone in St. Peter’s Square, under the rain, praying for it to end,” they’d likely say.
It was a powerful image – maybe you saw it or joined in from your laptop or tablet on Friday March 24. Pope Francis stood alone on the steps of Saint Peter’s Basilica; the huge basilica square eerily empty. He blessed the sick and dying and terrified people of Italy from the steps of Saint Peter’s: “From this colonnade that embraces Rome and the world, may the blessing of God, like a consoling embrace, descend upon you,” the pope said.
A historian and critic wrote in one of Italy’s major newspapers:
“One day we’ll remember these sad times we’re living with many other images: the daily count of the dead, the lines at the hospitals, the frantic challenge to an invisible enemy. But the prayer for the end of the pandemic, the solemn Urbi et Orbi blessing, the solitude of the pope, will end up as one of those decisive moments in which television captures our history, our anguish, in real time.”
“The wind that blew the pages of the Gospels during the funeral of John Paul II, or the helicopter ride of Pope Benedict when he resigned, both moved us, but they’re nothing in comparison to the shock of seeing the empty square surrounded by the colonnade of Bernini.”
[From “Francis on Friday delivered an iconic image that stirred a country’s soul” by John L. Allen, CRUX (cruxnow.com), March 29, 2020.]
The sight of Pope Francis praying in the empty square evokes the Gospel image of the solitary figure of the abandoned and condemned Jesus on Good Friday. On this particular Good Friday, we’re experiencing a similar sense of emptiness, of detachment, of abandonment in way many of us have never known before. We are stumbling under the weight of the crosses of anxiety, of fear, of illness, of death in ways we have never felt before. But the “goodness” of this Friday is the realization that we do not bear our crosses alone. The God who created us came to live among us and suffer among us and die among us. Our God knows the pain and despair and fear that is part of the human experience. Our God has experienced the anger, the brutality, the selfishness that human beings are capable of inflicting on one another.
But our God — who possesses a love we cannot begin to fathom — refuses to let death be the victor or have the final word. God makes his presence and love known to us if we embrace the grace to realize it.
In the shadow of the Good Friday cross, may we take up our crosses during this challenging Holy Week trusting that Easter will dawn; and, with such hope, may we be the shoulders of Christ helping one another bear our individual crosses . . . Never alone.
“Standing by the cross . . .”
In its one of the indelible images of the Fourth Gospel.
At the foot of the cross stood Jesus’ mother.
She appears twice in John’s Gospel: at the beginning, when she prevails upon her son to work his first sign to save a young couple’s wedding, and at the end, today, Good Friday. The writer of the Fourth Gospel never mentions her name. We presume from Luke and Matthew’s Gospel that she is Miriam — or Mary.
What is Mary doing while standing under the cross?
In his book Sacred Fire, Father Ronald Rolheiser reflects on Mary’s vigil at her son’s cross.
“On the surface, she appears not to be doing anything at all. She does not speak, she does not try to stop the crucifixion, she does not even protest the unfairness or plead for Jesus’ innocence . . . In essence, Mary’s silence and strength speaks these words: Today, I can’t stop the crucifixion; nobody can. Sometimes darkness will have its hour. But I can stop some of the hatred, bitterness, jealousy, and heartlessness that caused it — by refusing to give back in kind, by transforming negativity rather than re-transmitting it, by swallowing hard, in silence, and eating the bitterness rather than giving it back in kind.
“Had Mary, in emotional and moral outrage, screams hysterically, shouts angrily at those crucifying her son, or physically tries to attack someone as he was driving nails into Jesus’ wrists, she would have been caught up in the same kind of energy, replicating the very anger and bitterness that caused the crucifixion. What Mary is doing under the cross, her silence and seeming unwillingness to protest notwithstanding, is radiating all that is the antithesis to crucifixion: gentleness, understanding, forgiveness, peace, light and courage.
“And that is not easy to do. Everything inside of us demands justice, screams for it, and refuses to remain silent in the presence of injustice. Sometimes such protest is good — but at other times, evil has gone so far that the protests are no longer helpful. Darkness will have its hour. What is needed is some spark of light, some reason to hope.”
That is Mary’s “standing” at the foot of Jesus’ cross. Her presence is not despair or passive resignation. It is a sign that, yes, we will suffer — but what we learn and discover from such suffering is nothing less than discovering the life and love of God.
In the crosses we take up, in the crucifixions we witness, in the unjust suffering of those we love and care about, may we possess the faith and strength of Mary, to stand in support and witness that a cross taken up for what is right and good is the means to resurrection.
Lord Jesus, inspired by the faithfulness of Mary, may we bear witness to your Gospel of mercy, justice and reconciliation by our care and support of those enduring crucifixions of illness, injustice and despair. By your cross, may we be re-born in your compassion and forgiveness; may it always be a living sign for us of your call to follow you in living your Gospel of peace and hope and to witnesses of your resurrection and lights of your continued presence in our midst.
Petitions on Good Friday
On Good Friday we offer the prayers of the faithful in a more solemn manner. The form is from an ancient tradition and they reflect the full range of intentions. This year with the pandemic a special intention is added.
When we gather as a community which we are unable to do this year, Pam will state what the intention is that we are praying for and I (standing at the altar) would offer the prayer.
SOLEMN INTERCESSIONS ON GOOD FRIDAY
I. For Holy Church
II. For the Pope
III. For all orders and degrees of the Faithful
IV. For catechumens
V. For the unity of Christians
VI. For the Jewish people
VII. For those who do not believe in Christ
VIII. For those who do not believe in God
IX. For those in public office
X. For those in tribulation
XI. For those suffering from the current pandemic.
Let us pray, dearly beloved, to God the Father almighty, that he may extend his hand in mercy to all those affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Almighty ever-living God, heal those who are ill, comfort those who mourn, give solace to all who are afraid and alone, and protect those who are providing medical care. Make us instruments of your peace among our brothers and sisters. In your mercy, alleviate our fears and eliminate this scourge, so that we may come together again to give you praise and to build your Kingdom. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Following the petitions, we would then come forward to adore the cross.
Adoration of the Holy Cross
This begins with a Showing of the Holy Cross. A veiled cross is elevated and we are told to Behold the Wood of the Cross.
The personal adoration of the cross is an important feature in this celebration and every effort should be made to achieve it. Only one cross is used for adoration. Since we cannot gather together, I would ask that you use a cross in your home. Maybe place it on a nice piece of material and set it where all can see it. After reading the Gospel and offering the prayers. Each person in the home kiss or touch the cross offering a silent prayer. Then return the cross where all can see and if possible, place a lighted candle near it.
We would then receive Holy Communion that had been consecrated on Holy Thursday and placed in tabernacle of repose (not our regular tabernacle) for people to receive on Good Friday.
Sadly, we are not able to receive communion this Friday so I would offer the following act of spiritual communion.
I believe, O Lord, and confess that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first. Accept me this day, O Son of God, as a partaker of Your mystical supper. I will not reveal your mystery to Your enemies, nor shall I give you a kiss like that of Judas, but like the thief, I confess to you: Remember me, O Lord, when you come into your kingdom. Remember me, O Master, when You come into Your kingdom. Remember me, O Holy One, when You come into your Kingdom. May this spiritual partaking of Your holy Mysteries, O Lord, be not for my judgment or condemnation but for the healing of soul and body. God, be merciful to me, a sinner. God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me. I have sinned without number, forgive me, O Lord.
O Eucharistic Heart of Jesus,
I wish to be united with your eternal offering to the Father,
with each Eucharistic sacrifice
being offered at this moment upon this earth.
Lord, Jesus, come and dwell in my heart,
nourish me with the Bread of Life, Yourself;
cleanse, wash and purify me in the bath of Your Precious Blood.
Our Father, Who art in heaven;
hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come;
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our super substantial bread (the Bread of Life);
and forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
I love you, O my God.
I cannot receive you in Holy Communion.
Come nevertheless and visit me with Your grace.
Come spiritually into my heart.
Purify it. Sanctify it. Render it like unto Your own.
Lord, I am not worthy that thou should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
AFTER HOLY COMMUNION
Having been made worthy in a mystical way to partake of Your immaculate Body and precious Blood, O Christ Our God, I acclaim and bless, worship and glorify You, and proclaim the greatness of your saving acts, now and forever and ever. Amen.