May the Lord today, on this Sunday, which speaks so much about the Resurrection, give us all the grace to rise from our sins, to come out of our tombs; with the voice of Jesus, calling us to go out, to go to Him.
And another thing: on the Fifth Sunday of Lent, those who are preparing for Baptism in the Church, used to receive the Word of God. In this community today, I will make the same gesture. And I would like to give you the Gospel, which you can take home. This Gospel is a pocket-size Gospel you can carry with you always, to read a short passage at a time; to open it like this and read a part of the Gospel, when I have to queue or when I am on the bus... but only when I am comfortable on the bus, because if I am not then I must guard my pockets! To read a little passage of the Gospel at a time. It will do us so much good, so much good! A little every day. It is a gift, which I brought for your entire community, so that, today, the Fifth Sunday of Lent, you might receive the Word of God and that, thus, you too might hear the voice of Jesus say to you: “Come forth! Come! Come out!”, and so prepare for the Easter Vigil.
Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the Homily of Pope Francis I, so that it could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us.
20 April 2014
Due to time constraints, the Mass Readings for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday & Good Friday 2014 are not presented here.
See the various Celebrations we had for the following:
Palm Sunday 2013 - Encouragements-216,
Maundy Thursday 2013 - Encouragements-219.
It was Easter Sunday on 20 April 2014, where Christians all over the world celebrated the Solemnity that Jesus Christ being raised from the dead over 2000 years ago. On the eve of Easter Sunday, there have always been huge celebrations also. Here are the Readings being read in Holy Masses on the same evening around the world on 19 April 2014 evening:
Note: The Mass Readings being read are the same as Easter Vigil 2013 which can be found on Encouragements-221 unless otherwise stated below:
1st Reading: Genesis 1:1-2:2 (see Encouragements-91),
2nd Reading: Genesis 22:1-18 (see Encouragements-80),
Responsorial: Psalm 16:5,8-11 (see Encouragements-28),
3rd Reading: Exodus 14:15-15:1 (see Encouragements-6, Part 2),
Responsorial: Canticle: Exodus 15 (see Encouragments-6-Part 2),
4th Reading: Isaiah 54:5-14 (see Encouragements-25),
Responsorial: Psalm 30:2, 4-6,11-13,
5th Reading: Isaiah 55:1-11 (see Encouragements-91),
Responsorial: Canticle: Isaiah 12,
6th Reading: Baruch 3:9-15,32-4:4 (see Encouragements-92),
Responsorial: Psalm 19:8-11,
7th Reading: Ezekiel 36:16-17,18-28 (see Encouragements-92),
Responsorial: Psalm 42-43:2-3, 5, 42:3-4 OR Psalm 51:12-15,18-19 (see Encouragements-85),
Epistle: Romans 6:3-11,
Responsorial: Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23 &
Gospel Reading: Luke 24:1-12.
We have extracted the Homilies of Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis I based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you, so that you could similarly be encouraged:
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II
Holy Saturday 3 April 1999
1. “The stone rejected by the builders has become the corner-stone” (Psalm 117:22)
On this night, the liturgy speaks to us with all the abundance and wealth of the word of God. This Vigil is not only the heart of the liturgical year, but is in some ways its womb: from it springs all of sacramental life. We could say that on this night the table round which the Church gathers with her children, especially with those who are about to be baptized, has been lavishly prepared.
My thoughts turn to you, dear catechumens, who are soon to be reborn by water and the Holy Spirit (cf. John 3:5). With great joy I greet you and the lands from which you come: Albania, Cape Verde, China, France, Morocco and Hungary.
Through Baptism you will become members of the Body of Christ, sharing fully in the mystery of communion found there. May your life be immersed for ever in this Easter mystery, so that you will always be true witnesses to God’s love.
2. Not only you, dear catechumens, but all the baptized are called on this night, in faith, to experience profoundly what we have just heard in the Letter to the Romans: “Do you know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by Baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4).
To be Christians means to share personally in the Death and Resurrection of Christ. This sharing is brought about sacramentally by Baptism, upon which, as a solid foundation, the Christian life of each one of us is built. And this is why the Responsorial Psalm urged us to give thanks: “Praise the Lord, for he is good; for his mercy is everlasting... The Lord’s right hand... has worked wonders. I shall not die, I shall live and recount the works of the Lord” (Psalm 117:1-2, 16-17). On this holy night, the Church echoes these words of thanksgiving, confessing the truth that Christ “suffered death and was buried; on the third day he rose again” (cf. Creed).
3. “This will be a night of vigil in honour of the Lord...from generation to generation” (Exodus 12:42).
These words of the Book of Exodus conclude the account of the departure of the Israelites from Egypt. They resound with special eloquence during the Easter Vigil, from which they draw their full meaning. In this year dedicated to God the Father, how can we fail to think of this night, Easter night, as the great night of the Father’s “vigil”? This watch by God embraces to the entire Easter Triduum. But in a special way the Father keeps watch during Holy Saturday, while the Son lies dead in the tomb. The mystery of Christ’s victory over the sin of the world is kept safe precisely by the Father’s watching. He watches over the whole earthly mission of the Son. His infinite compassion reaches its summit in the hour of passion and death: the hour when the Son is abandoned, so that the sons and daughters might be saved; when the Son is despised and rejected, so that the sons and daughters might be found once again; when the Son dies, so that the sons and daughters may find new life.
The Father’s watch explains the Resurrection of the Son: even in the hour of death, the bond of love in God does not fail; nor does the Holy Spirit who, poured out by the dying Jesus on the Cross, fills with light the darkness of evil and raises Jesus from the dead, designating him as Son of God in power and glory (cf. Romans 1:4).
4. “The stone rejected by the builders has become the corner-stone” (Psalm 117:22). In the light of Christ’s Resurrection, how wonderfully we see in all its fullness the truth of which the Psalmist sings! Condemned to a shameful death, the Son of Man, crucified and risen, has become the corner-stone of the Church’s life and of the life of every Christian.
“This is the work of the Lord: a marvel in our eyes” (Psalm 117:23). It happened on this holy night. The women recognized it when, “the day after the Sabbath while it was still dark” (John 20:1), they went to the tomb to anoint the body of the Lord and found the tomb empty. They heard the angel’s voice: “Do not be afraid! You are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. He is risen” (cf. Matthew 28:11-5).
Thus the prophetic words of the Psalmist were fulfilled: “The stone rejected by the builders has become the corner-stone”. This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church and we are proud to profess it on the threshold of the third millennium, because the Passover of Christ is the hope of the world, yesterday, today and for ever.
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER
Holy Saturday, 22 April 2000
1 “You have a guard of soldiers; go and secure the tomb as best as you can” (Matthew 27:65).
The tomb of Jesus had been closed and sealed. At the request of the Chief Priests and the Pharisees, soldiers were placed on guard, lest anyone steal the body (Matthew 27:62-64). This is the event from which the liturgy of the Easter Vigil begins.
Those who had sought the death of Christ, those who considered him an “imposter” (Matthew 27:62), were keeping watch beside the tomb. They wanted him and his message to be buried for ever.
Not far away, Mary was keeping watch, and with her the Apostles and a few women. In their hearts they pondered the distressing events which had just taken place.
2. The Church keeps watch this night, in every corner of the world, and she re- lives the principal stages of salvation history. The solemn liturgy which we are celebrating is the expression of this “keeping watch” which, in a way, evokes the watch kept by God himself. The Book of Exodus tells us: “It was a night of watching by the Lord, to bring them out of the land of Egypt. This night is a night of watching kept to the Lord in every generation” (Exodus 12:42).
In his provident and faithful love, which transcends time and space, God keeps watch over the world. As the Psalmist sings: “He sleeps not nor slumbers, Israel’s guard... The Lord is your guard ... The Lord will guard you... both now and for ever” (Psalm 121:4-5,8).
The passage from the second to the third millennium, which we are experiencing, is also guarded in the mystery of the Father. He “is working still” (John 5:17) for the salvation of the world, and through his Incarnate Son he leads his people from slavery to freedom, from death to life. All the “work” of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 is in some way linked to this night of Vigil, which brings to fulfilment the night of the Lord’s Nativity. Bethlehem and Calvary evoke the same mystery of the love of God, who “so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
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