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ST PAULS MEDIA pastoral ministr y


Year 25 No. 49 4th Sunday of Lent (B) Violet

AMBUHAY

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March 18, 2012

e are living in a world where rewards are valued. Students vie for honors in school; athletes train hard for the gold medal. In the workplace, people excel in their performance to merit a promotion and PAULS ST salary increase. Success in life is seen as a result of ones ef for ts. One is able to get something because one has worked for it. If we are not careful, we may also transfer this work ethic in our spiritual lifethat we are able to attain holiness, attain salvation by means of our efforts. I made ST PAULS it to heaven! This is not so! Salvation is, first of all, Gods work! It is grace! St. Paul reminds us: By grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast (Eph 2:8-9). St. John tells us: God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him (Jn 3:17). This was not just a one-time decision of God. It had been Gods way all the while since Old Testament times. We are reminded in the First Reading: Early and often did the Lord, the God of their fathers, send his messengers to them, for he had compassion on his people and his dwelling place (2 Chr 36). God had not been remiss in working out our salvation all through

AMBUHAY Pure Grace!


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messengers of God, despised his warnings, and scoffed at his prophets MEDIA pastoral ministr y (2 Chr 36:16). John wrote: The light came into the world, but people preferred human history. And the reason? darkness to light, because their Because he loves usnothing works were evil (Jn 3:19). else but his overflowing love for It is this rejection of God us! He wants to share his life and of his of fer of love and with us. For God so loved the protection that brings disasters world that he gave his only Son, to us. In the Old Testament, so that everyone who believes t h e c MEDIA pastoral ministr y o n c r e t e e x p e r i e n c e in him might not perish but o f t h i s r e j e c t i o n w a s t h e might have eternal life (Jn destruction of the Temple and 3:16). St. Athanasius the Great, the experience of the exile. a Church Father (ca. 295-373), They [Babylonians] burnt the paraphrases this famous Bible house of God, tore down the passage with this saying: He walls of Jerusalem, set all its became what we are, so that palaces afire, and destroyed he might make us what he all its precious objects. Those is. Eternal life is a gift, not a who escaped the sword he MEDIAIt pastoral ministr y captive to Babylon (2 reward. comes because of carried what God has done for us and Chr 36:19-20). to us, first of all. It is not the However, the story of Gods result of our effort or of our dealing with us is not decided goodness. What we just do is by our rejection. Gods will to accept his offer of salvation, save is not frustrated. So, in that is, allow him to love us and the Old Testament, the Exile enter into his dynamic of love. was remedied by the sending This is faithfull acceptance of the Persian king Cyrus who of his offer. allowed the people to go back The offer is good, so good in to their land and to rebuild their fact that it is utterly unexpected. Temple. In the New Testament: We do not deserve it. God Even when we were dead in our because of the great love he transgressions, [God] brought had for us brought us to us to life with Christ (Eph 2:5). life with Christ that in the It is indeed only with a humble ages to come he might show and humbled heart that we can the immeasurable riches of accept God. We do not deserve his grace in his kindness to him. It is pure grace! It is for us in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:4- this that our worship of God is 7). Sadly though, instead of nothing else but the Eucharist wholeheartedly and gratefully thanksgiving. For we are accepting it, we had been what we are because of him rejecting this offer. It happened who loves us! in the past among the Israelites: But they [people] mocked the Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo, DD

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INTRODUCTORY RITES Entrance Antiphon (See Is 66:10-11)

P Christ Jesus, you are the Son of God in whose name we are saved: Christ, have mercy. All Christ, have mercy. P Lord Jesus, you came as light into the world to dispel the power of darkness: Lord, have mercy. All Lord, have mercy. P May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. All Amen. Opening Prayer P Let us pray [that by growing in love this Lenten season we may bring the peace of Christ to our world]. (Pause) God our Father, your Word, Jesus Christ, spoke peace to a sinful world and brought humankind the gift of reconciliation by the suffering and death he endured. Teach us, the people who bear his name, to follow the example he gave us: may our faith, hope, and charity tur n hatred to love, conflict to peace, death to eternal life. We ask this through Christ our Lord. All Amen. LITURGY OF THE WORD First Reading [2 Chr 36:14-16, 19-23] (Sit) Because of their sinfulness, the inhabitants of the southern kingdom of Judah were deported to Babylon. Under the Persian king Cyr us, God ended the peoples exile by inspiring Cyrus to let them return to their country. A reading from the second Book of Chronicles

(Recited when there is no opening song)

Rejoice, Jerusalem! Be glad for her, you who love her; rejoice with her, you who mourned for her, and you will find contentment at her consoling breasts. Greeting
(The sign of the cross is made here)

P Let us give praise to the Father who gave us his only Son to be our Savior. May the Spirit who raises us to new life be with you all. All And also with you. Introduction P Dear brothers and sisters: The spirit of Lent invites us to recall our sins and failings, and moves us to be sorry for them. Our sorrow over our dark past, however, should lead not to pessimism but to hope. As the Gospel proclaims, God so loved the world that he gave his only Son For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Paul echoes the message: God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ. Because we have been gifted with the immeasurable riches of Gods grace, we have come to the light and are called to bring Christs light to our world. Penitential Rite P Jesus was lifted up on the cross for our salvation. By the lifting up of the bread and wine in the Eucharist, Jesus saving sacrifice is made present for us. How wor thy are we to partake in this saving mystery? (Pause) P Lord Jesus, you are the Son of Man lifted up that we may have eternal life in you: Lord, have mercy. All Lord, have mercy.

mocked the messengers of God, despised his warnings, and scoffed at his prophets, until the anger of the Lord against his people was so inflamed that there was no remedy. Their enemies bur nt the house of God, tore down the walls of Jerusalem, set all its palaces afire, and destroyed all its precious objects. Those who escaped the sword were car ried captive to Babylon, where they became servants of the king of the Chaldeans and his sons until the kingdom of the Persians came to power. All this was to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah: Until the land has retrieved its lost sabbaths, during all the time it lies waste it shall have rest while seventy years are fulfilled. In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord inspired King Cyrus of Persia to issue this proclamation throughout his kingdom, both by word of mouth and in writing: Thus says Cyr us, king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord, the God of heaven, has given to me, and he has also charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever, therefore, among you belongs to any part of his people, let him go up, and may his God be with him! The word of the Lord. All Thanks be to God. Responsorial Psalm (Ps 137) R Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!
sr. m.c.a. parco, fsp

princes of Judah, the priests, and the people added infidelity to infidelity, practicing all the abominations of the nations and polluting the Lords temple which he had consecrated in Jerusalem. Early and often did the Lord, the God of their fathers, send his messengers to them, for he had compassion on his people and his dwelling place. But they

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1. By the streams of Babylon/ we sat and wept/ when we remembered Zion./ On the aspens of that land/ we hung up our harps. (R)

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2. For there our captors asked of us/ the lyrics of our songs,/ and our despoilers urged us to be joyous:/ Sing for us the songs of Zion! (R) 3. How could we sing a song of the Lord/ in a foreign land?/ If I forget you, Jerusalem,/ may my right hand be forgotten! (R) 4. May my tongue cleave to my palate/ if I remember you not,/ if I place not Jerusalem/ ahead of my joy. (R) Second Reading (Eph 2:4-10) The apostle Paul declares that what saves us, what gives hope, is not our own efforts but Gods grace and mercy. A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians BROTHERS and sisters: God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christby grace you have been savedraised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them. The word of the Lord. All Thanks be to God. Verse before the Gospel (Jn 3:16) (Stand) All God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so ever yone who believes in him might have eternal life. Gospel (Jn 3:14-21) P The Lord be with you. All And also with you. P A reading from the holy Gospel according to John. All Glor y to you, Lord. JESUS said to Nicodemus: Just as Moses lifted up the serpent

in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For ever yone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God. The Gospel of the Lord. All Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
(The readings above may be replaced by those for Year A1 Sm 16:1b, 6-7, 1013a; Ps 23; Eph 5:8-14; Jn 9:1-41especially when there are catechumens being prepared for Baptism on Easter Vigil.)

Prayers of the Faithful P The cross of Jesus reminds us of our sinfulness but also of Gods infinite love and mercy. Acknowledging our weakness but full of confidence, we pray: R Lord, save your people. C May the Church always be a living sign of Gods love and mercy in times of darkness and despair. We pray: (R) C May our civil leaders strive to live by Gods truth and walk in Gods light, forsaking the culture of graft and corruption. We pray: (R) C May we become more aware that sin not only offends God but also wounds us and our community. May we have frequent recourse to the sacrament of Penance that reconciles us to God and to one another. We pray: (R) C May the Lord wash away our hatred, banish violence and terrorism from our midst, and restore tranquility and justice. We pray: (R) C May the sick, the elderly, and the suffering realize from our care and attention that they are loved by God. We pray: (R) P Heavenly Father, make us witness to the spirit of the cross by becoming beacons of peace and hope for our brothers and sisters. Hear our prayers which we ask through Christ our Lord. All Amen. LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST Presentation of the Gifts (Stand) P Pray, brethren All May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glor y of his name, for our good, and the good of all his Church. Prayer over the Gifts P Lord, we offer you these gifts which bring us peace and joy. Increase our reverence by this Eucharist, and bring salvation to the world.

Homily (Sit) Profession of Faith (Stand)


All I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mar y. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was cr ucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day, he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spi rit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

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We ask this through Christ our Lord. All Amen. Preface (Lent II) P The Lord be with you. All And also with you. P Lift up your hearts. All We lift them up to the Lord. P Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. All It is right to give him thanks and praise. P Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks. This great season of grace is your gift to your family to renew us in spirit. You give us strength to purify our hearts, to control our desires, and so to serve you in freedom. You teach us how to live in this passing world, with our heart set on the world that will never end. Now, with all the saints and angels, we praise you for ever: All Holy, holy, holy... (Kneel) Acclamation (Stand) All When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until you come in glor y. COMMUNION RITE The Lords Prayer All Our Father P Deliver us, Lord All For the kingdom, the power, and the glor y are yours, now and for ever. Invitation to Peace Invitation to Communion (Kneel) P Behold Jesus, the Lamb of God who was lifted up on the cross to redeem us from the darkness of sin and death. Happy are we who are called to receive him. All Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed. Communion Antiphon (Ps 122:3-4) To Jer usalem, that binds them together in unity, the

The ChurCh renewed:

A Vatican II Catechesis
Fr. James H. Kroeger, MM

Active Role of the Laity


An oldbut clearly falseadage asserted that the role of the laity in the Church was to pray, pay, and obey. However, the vision of the Second Vatican Council in its Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity (Apostolicam Actuositatem) promotes the active involvement of the laity in the faith and life of the Church. The Council provides for the dynamic participation of the laity in a variety of lay ministries: in divine worship, pastoral councils, and social apostolates, even in the sphere of theological studies. Some have asserted that the proper role of the clergy is in the inner affairs of the Church and the laity is to be involved in secular matters as their area of competence. The Council does not authorize such a sharp division of labor. Many positive developments have been introduced since the Council that expand lay involvement in the Church. The Holy Spirit will continually open new vistas for expanded Church serviceto clergy and laity alike. tribes of the Lord go up to give him praise. Prayer after Communion (Stand) P Let us pray. (Pause) Father, you enlighten all who come into the world. Fill our hear ts with the light of your Gospel, that our thoughts may please you, and our love be sincere. Grant this through Christ our Lord. All Amen. CONCLUDING RITE P The Lord be with you. All And also with you. Solemn Blessing P Bow your heads and pray for Gods blessing. (Pause) The Father of mercies has given us an example of unselfish love in the sufferings of his only Son. Through your service of God and neighbor may you receive his countless blessings. All Amen. P You believe that by his dying Christ destroyed death for ever. May he give you everlasting life. All Amen. P He humbled himself for our sakes. May you follow his example and share in his resurrection. All Amen. P May almighty God bless you, () the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All Amen. Dismissal P Our celebration is ended. Go in peace of Christ. All Thanks be to God.