Good Friday

Greetings on this the Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion
Readings: Is 52:13—53:12; Ps 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25; Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9; Jn 18:1—19:42
Notes:

It is a good Friday because it is a good outcome.
The quintessential expression that God allows evil only to the extent from it the Lord can bring good. Jesus’ crucifixion would make such truth difficult to image. But then the resurrection.

We too must imagine the loving will of God working in, with, through and for us even in the most dire of circumstances.

First reading
Behold the wood of the Cross, on which hung the salvation of the world.
O come, let us adore.

Responsorial Psalm
Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

Second Reading
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.

Verse Before the Gospel
Christ became obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name which is above every other name.

Gospel Portion
After this, aware that everything was now finished,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
Jesus said, “I thirst.”

He has won the victory over sin.
His thirst was satisfied.
The thirst of his soul.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Holy Thursday

Greetings on this the Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Readings: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14; Ps 116:12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18; 1 Cor 11:23-26; Jn 13:1-15
Notes: Tonight

  • Reception of Holy Oils
    • Sacred Chrism (SC)
    • Oil of the Infirm (OI)
    • Oil of the Catechumen (OC)
  • Washing of Feet
  • Mass of the Eucharist
  • Adoration

First reading
Holy Mass is the perpetual feast.
“This day shall be a memorial feast for you,
which all your generations shall celebrate
with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution.”

Responsorial Psalm
Our blessing-cup is a communion with the Blood of Christ.

Second reading
The Holy Mass (Transubstantiation):
Brothers and sisters:
I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Verse Before the Gospel
I give you a new commandment, says the Lord:
love one another as I have loved you.

Gospel Portion
So when he had washed their feet
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
you ought to wash one another’s feet.
I have given you a model to follow,
so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

What are you willing to give me?

Greetings on this the Wednesday of Holy Week
Readings: Is 50:4-9a; PS 69:8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34; Mt 26:14-25
Notes: It is a Christian axiom to live a self-giving life.

We speak often of servant leadership and lead by example.
Total self-giving is a model of life with real intent and meaning.

BUT Acedia.

The word Acedia means – a form of spiritual laziness due to relaxed vigilance and a lack of custody of the heart (CCC).

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,
went to the chief priests and said,
“What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?”
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

We are obliged to be diligent of our own spiritual life and attend our own salvation.
Not by measuring the sins of others, but being good custodians of our own souls.

What are you willing to give me?

  • Jesus offers eternal life.
  • Or take 30 pieces of silver.

First reading
See, the Lord GOD is my help;
who will prove me wrong?

Responsorial Psalm
Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Verse Before the Gospel
Hail to you, our King;
you alone are compassionate with our errors.

Gospel Portion
Contrasting Judas, Peter and Jesus (yes, we should do so if only for a moment).
Judas suffered from Acadia in the worst of all ways. Betrayal.
Peter suffered from fear.

  • Judas lost his soul.
  • Peter regained custody of his soul.
  • Jesus never lost control of his custody of soul.

Don’t lose yours either.

What are you willing to give me? Is a good question.
But it depends on who you are asking.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Master, who is it?

Greetings on this the Tuesday of Holy Week
Readings: Is 49:1-6; PS 71:1-2, 3-4a, 5ab-6ab, 15 and 17; Jn 13:21-33, 36-38
Notes: This morning in my Diocese we have our Chrism Mass. Tonight the practice for the Easter Vigil for those entering into the faith by Baptism.

A very exciting time.

Master, who is it? Everyone wanted to know.
One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus’ side. So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant.

Jesus answered,
“It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it.”

The Gospel of Matthew adds a particular reality:
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
The Gospel of Matthew adds a particular response:
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” He answered, “You have said so.”

First reading
The Lord called me from birth,
from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.

Responsorial Psalm
I will sing of your salvation.

Verse Before the Gospel
Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father;
you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter.

Gospel Portion
Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself,
and he will glorify him at once.

Men play games with words.
Once a man has set his heart on a particular outcome or a particular point of view it is very hard to change his own mind or be convinced by another to reconsider. A man will do anything to bend and weave language to fit a particular dialog or narrative. It is very dangerous thing to do. It forces us to follow a false path. To act contrary to the good goal and better outcomes.

  • Peter had a bad case of it (the three denials).
  • Judas had the ultimate case of it.

Jesus doesn’t get off track. He stays the course knowing even how difficult it is to follow. He models the right relation between man and God and man with one another.
Most of all, Jesus kept his heart with the Father and the mission without distractions.
Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.

Don’t manipulate language. Mean what you say, say what you mean.
Be open to change.

It is in honest dialog, open to the fullness of communication, that we make real progress.
The Synod of Synodality called by the Pope is just such a model.

  • Speak.
  • Speak plainly.
  • Speak with honesty.
  • Listen.
  • Listen openly.
  • Listen with honest integrity as a listener.

The most non-listening arguments out there, over abortion, finds truth being hidden behind narrative cleansing and strict interpretation to reinforce positions. This is a grave error against truth (by all sides of this public dialog).

In particular for my Church readers, a Canonical “Legal Fiction” is just that, an agreed to assumed or created fact that allows us to move forward toward a workable solution. BUT we must first understand it is an intentional fiction (or unprovable fact) in order to navigate the seemingly impossible. It is used sparingly and with great caution because of its ‘step toward evil’.

In a salpingostomy, the ectopic pregnancy is removed and the tube left to heal on its own. In a salpingectomy, the ectopic pregnancy and the tube are both removed.

Even the Church hierarchy struggles with these cases dividing the procedures between licit and illicit due to the direct nature of the first and the indirect nature of the second. Both have the double effect principal but both are not accepted by the Church (in some cases neither are accepted). All removals of pregnancies are abortions. That is foundational nature of the word. Fighting that prevents us from making workable solutions on licit and illicit situations. Even then we must encounter the intended will and permissive will of God.

  • Spontaneous abortion – miscarriage.
  • Elective abortion – based on decision without specific medical rational.
  • Medical abortion – medical necessity.

Yes, Jacob, that means you too. Your outbursts on IG are unteathered to truth.

We will only make progress when we acknowledge one another.
The same is true about war.

If we refuse truth, we refuse peace.

Life is messy.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Giver of Breath

Greetings on this the Monday of Holy Week
Readings: Is 42:1-7; PS 27:1, 2, 3, 13-14; Jn 12:1-11
Notes:

The Giver of Breath promises reconciliation and Resurrection to new life.
And when he had said this, he cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” (Jn 11:43).

First reading
Who gives breath to its people and spirit to those who walk on it.

Responsorial Psalm
The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Verse Before the Gospel
Hail to you, our King; you alone are compassionate with our faults.

Gospel Portion
And they plotted to kill Lazarus too (my translation).

Jesus and Lazarus were a problem.

Jesus preformed signs.
Lazarus returned to life from the dead.

This sign of Jesus, returning Lazarus, brings us to the hope of Resurrection.
Jesus then is also ruah or the breath of Life.

Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voices and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation (Jn 5:28-29).

Are you so pissed off (colloquial term) at God or neighbor or this thing or that thing, so much so you are out of breath? If you are out of breath then you are out of ruah breath.

Be a lazarus.
Hear him instead.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Loved Into Silence

Greetings on this the Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
Readings: Lk 19:28-40; Is 50:4-7; Ps 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24; Phil 2:6-11; Lk 22:14—23:56
Notes:

Reading Structure of Lent into Easter Sunday:

  • The season of Lent starts with identical reading for Ash Wednesday in all three reading cycle years A, B, and C.
  • 1st and 2nd Sundays of Lent – cover the same event but from the perspective of one of the three Synoptic Gospels. Same event, different perspectives.
  • 3rd and 4th Sundays of Lent – cover different events between the three Cycles A, B and C.

Palm Sunday begins the reverse.

  • Palm Sunday cover the same event but from the perspective of one of the three Synoptic Gospels. Same event, different perspectives.
  • Chrism Mass – identical reading. This Mass focuses on the office/role of the Bishop, the sacred oils of Christian Initiation/Ordination and the order of the Presbyterate.
  • Mass of the Lord’s Supper – identical reading.
  • Good Friday – identical reading.
  • Easter Vigil – cover the same event but from the perspective of one of the three Synoptic Gospels. Same event, different perspectives.
  • Easter Sunday – on this day the pastor can select either the readings from the gospel of John (“same”) or from the perspective of one of the three Synoptic Gospels. Same event, different perspectives.
  • Palm Sunday liturgy begins with the Procession into Jerusalem.
  • Palm Sunday is a synopsis of the Passion of Christ – the entirety up the burial of the Lord.
  • Deeper Detail in the Triduum:
    • Thursday – Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The Institution of the Holy Mass, Eucharist, Priesthood and Servant Leadership (washing of the feet) and a Procession/Exposition/Adoration.
    • Friday – Good Friday, the passion event particular. Veneration of the Cross, Priest and Deacon prostrate before the Lord. Solemn Intercessions. Holy Communion.
    • Holy Saturday – the great silence then the silence is broken.
    • Easter Vigil. Christian Initiation of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion.

Procession
As he rode along,
the people were spreading their cloaks on the road;
and now as he was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives,
the whole multitude of his disciples
began to praise God aloud with joy
for all the mighty deeds they had seen.
They proclaimed:
“Blessed is the king who comes
in the name of the Lord.
Peace in heaven
and glory in the highest.”

First reading
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
my face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.

The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.

Responsorial Psalm
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

Second reading
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Verse Before the Gospel
Christ became obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name which is above every name.

Gospel Portion

The Reading of the Passion

PDF of Passion Reading: https://gerrypalermo.files.wordpress.com/2022/04/passion-of-the-lord-luke-gospel-speaking-parts-palm-sunday-4-10-22.pdf

Loved into silence.
We depart this liturgy entering the Holy Week.

Love itself has become silent.
Our love response has become silent.

That we might finally hear the voice of God.

Wind, earthquake and fire then…

a light silent sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, Why are you here, Elijah? (1 Kg 19:12b-13).

The Week Ahead:

  • Chrism Mass – This Mass focuses on the office/role of the Bishop, the sacred oils of Christian Initiation/Ordination and the order of the Presbyterate.
  • Thursday – Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The Institution of the Holy Mass, Eucharist, Priesthood and Servant Leadership (washing of the feet) and a Procession/Exposition/Adoration. Silence.
  • Friday – Good Friday, the passion. Veneration of the Cross, Priest and Deacon prostrate before the Lord. Solemn Intercessions. Holy Communion. Silence.
  • Holy Saturday – the great silence then the silence is broken. Silence.

Lukan Palm Sunday:

  • Conspiracy against Jesus
  • Last Supper
  • Transubstantiation
  • Betrayal / Disciple / Denial
  • Instructions in Crisis
  • Agony / Arrest
  • Trial / Barabbas
  • Way of the Cross
  • Crucifixion / Death / Burial

Unifying theme of Palm Sunday readings:

  • Betrayal and Denial of Men by Men.
  • Passion of the Lord (self giving).
  • Ways of Man (Trial and Judgment).
  • Way of Cross (Redemption).
  • Transubstantiation – Total gift of God.
  • Crucifixion – Total sin propitiation.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

What are we going to do?

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Greetings on this the Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Readings: Ez 37:21-28; Jeremiah 31:10, 11-12abcd, 13; Jn 11:45-56
Notes: Saturday before Palm Sunday

Everyone in Jerusalem wondered what Jesus is going to do?

Now the Passover of the Jews was near,
and many went up from the country to Jerusalem
before Passover to purify themselves.
They looked for Jesus and said to one another
as they were in the temple area, “What do you think?
That he will not come to the feast?”

First reading
My dwelling shall be with them;
I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Thus the nations shall know that it is I, the LORD,
who make Israel holy,
when my sanctuary shall be set up among them forever.

Responsorial From Jeremiah
The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.

Verse Before the Gospel
Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD,
and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.

Gospel Portion

The Lord’s Plan per Jeremiah:

  • Take you
  • Gather you
  • Covenant with you
  • Dwell with you

Those in Power Worried

  • Take away our lands
  • Take away our nation

What are we going to do?

Which has the stronger hold upon us: the Promise or the Fear?

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

You are gods – Again

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Greetings on this the Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Readings: Jer 20:10-13; PS 18:2-3a, 3bc-4, 5-6, 7; Jn 10:31-42
Notes: We SHOULD be making ourselves God (by way of the Sonship of Jesus and the invitation to share in the divine life). Many are greatly mistaken.

Here is my reflection from last year – Friday of the 5th Lent Week.
Please read: https://deacongerrypalermo.blog/2021/03/26/you-are-gods-judges/

In the Catholic Church today the Church is going through some sort of attempted purge.

Rumors, gossip and un-listening ears/hearts looking and probing for any reason to convict the Pope, the Bishop, the Pastor, the Deacon, and the Believer.

Any chance at all.

Even among the ranks of clerics some do likewise.

They picked up rocks to stone Jesus (my translation).

Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father.
For which of these are you trying to stone me?”

“We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy.
You, a man, are making yourself God.”

But so hopeful that we would!! Be like God in what we do and how we think!!!!

First reading
I hear the whisperings of many:
“Terror on every side!
Denounce! let us denounce him!”
All those who were my friends
are on the watch for any misstep of mine.
“Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail,
and take our vengeance on him.”

Reply: Just keep doing good. Resist evil. Trust the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.

I love you, O LORD, my strength,
O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.

Verse Before the Gospel
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.

Gospel Portion
If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me;
but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me,
believe the works, so that you may realize and understand
that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
Then they tried again to arrest him;
but he escaped from their power.

The below taken from: https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/justpeace/documents/rc_pc_justpeace_doc_20060526_compendio-dott-soc_en.html

In friendly dialogue with all branches of knowledge

  1. The Church’s social doctrine avails itself of contributions from all branches of knowledge, whatever their source, and has an important interdisciplinary dimension. “In order better to incarnate the one truth about man in different and constantly changing social, economic and political contexts, this teaching enters into dialogue with the various disciplines concerned with man. It assimilates what these disciplines have to contribute”. The social doctrine makes use of the significant contributions of philosophy as well as the descriptive contributions of the human sciences.

Judge.
But judge rightly.
In Charity.
With clarity.
From the letter to the Romans.
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/romans/2?1

Or do you hold his priceless kindness, forbearance, and patience in low esteem, unaware that the kindness of God would lead you to repentance? (Rom 2:4).

Do you suppose, then, you who judge those who engage in such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?

But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does good, Jew first and then Greek. There is no partiality with God.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

God also said

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Greetings on this the Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Readings: Gn 17:3-9; PS 105:4-5, 6-7, 8-9; Jn 8:51-59
Notes: Confusion. For Discussion.

If I could describe this age in a different way it would be the Age of Confusion.

So many norms upended. Some I am glad to see go. Some I lament their passing away.

I hesitate to make a list because then you would want to put me in a labelled group.
All our thinking has content of faith, religion, business, government, community and the common good. But how vastly different our opinions!

  • Patience and compromise.
  • Acceptance and divergence.
  • Domination and control.

We seem to have lost the ability to read between the lines.
We’ve become literalists and lost the literary understanding of life (if you will, the poetry, the irony, the good tensions, and the good intentions).

Yikes!

Imagine how the early Church had the same.
Heresies have been around since the beginning and the fights continue.

Today we suffer awfully in our arrogance.

First reading
A Royal Grant with a touch of Suzerain-Vassal covenant:

God also said to Abraham:
“On your part, you and your descendants after you
must keep my covenant throughout the ages.”

One must remember covenant relationships are partly Suzerain-Vassal covenants.
Types of Covenants: Kinship, Royal Grant, and Suzerain-Vassal covenants are distinct types and the Lord invites us to merge the lines between them into one covenant of love.

Responsorial Psalm
The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

Verse Before the Gospel
If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Gospel Portion
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day;
he saw it and was glad.”

Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
before Abraham came to be, I AM.”

Jesus up-ends everything we understand about time.
In his Transfiguration we see Moses and Elijah alive.
Here Jesus describes how Abraham was filled with joy to see Jesus come.

Abraham, Moses and Elijah all testify to Jesus.
Abraham, Moses and King David all had different types of covenants with the Lord.

The Lord invites us to merge the lines between them into one covenant of love.

Written not on stone but on the heart.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry