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: The last day of Lent.

In the many confrontations Jesus had with the powerful and those with authority, the basic confrontation is between who has authority and who has power. Clearly, the gospel readings this Lent bring this forward in a most wonderful way with Jesus’ power over all things and mercy in all his ways.

There is the final question.

What are you willing to give me?
It’s an astounding question actually.
Jesus has already given par excellence (see Seven Signs of Jesus in gospel of John).
I am not aware of Jesus denying Judas anything.

Nor deny you anything of true value.

“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.

The Triduum approaches.
What is the Lord willing to give me?


  • Holy Thursday – Institution of the Eucharist, the Priesthood and Servant Leadership.
  • Good Friday – Forgiveness, propitiation, universal family, total Love.
  • Holy Saturday – Spanning all time and places silent divine presence.(See Romans 8:38-39).
  • Easter Sunday – Victory over death.

Thirty pieces of silver or the promise to the repentant thief?

He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise (LK 23:43).
[This person] was caught up into Paradise and heard ineffable things, which no one may utter (2 COR 12:4).

Cross reference: https://deacongerrypalermo.blog/2021/09/12/canning-season/

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.

Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak, I looked for sympathy, but there was none; for consolers, not one could I find. Rather they put gall in my food, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

Gospel Acclamation
Hail to you, our King; you alone are compassionate with our errors.

“Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The teacher says, “My appointed time draws near; in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.””

We memorialize the Appointed Time.

What is the Lord willing to give me?
Divine Life, NOW and FOREVER.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Hang Up Your Bow

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

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: In Holy Week we come face-to-face with our darkest impulses and God’s merciful response.

These last two days of Lent, judge the antagonists in the gospel readings as your alter ego, no one else.

It would help to understand that although we see ourselves as disciples of Jesus, we have the same impulses that as the Lord said to Cain: You must master yourself. When Jesus says ‘you are gods’ he is referring to our God-given ability to judge rightly – of ourselves, others, word, action, thought.

Genesis When the bow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature—every mortal being that is on earth.
Palm Sunday – (1) put away your sword, and again, (2) Friend, do what you have come for.

G-d is not at war with us.
We are at war within ourselves and with G-d.

Hang up your bow.
Let His Kindness be your salvation.

First Reading
Not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street. A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, Until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching.

The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Gospel Acclamation
Hail to you, our King; you alone are compassionate with our faults.

And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too, because many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry


Hosanna – Pray, Save us! Or God, save us!

The triumphant entry. A foreshadowing of the praises in heaven. This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee.

But its most critical point. God has come to save. We ask to be saved. From ourselves.

Jesus takes up the deepest of human worries:

“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

All his senses cannot sense the Father, yet he is never closer to him.

Jesus is given to experience and recite Psalm 22. See link https://bible.usccb.org/bible/psalms/22

It ends in victory and praise.

Pray, save us!

God, save us!

Jesus, save us!

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

Prostrate Before God

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: Is it that hard to prostrate before God?

Prostrate means lay oneself flat on the ground face downward, especially in reverence or submission.
Reverence means deep respect.

First Reading
Abram prostrated himself.

When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him: “My covenant with you is this: you are to become the father of a host of nations.

The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

Gospel Acclamation
If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

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

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Set Free

Photo by Frans Van Heerden on Pexels.com

Greetings on this the Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Notes: My friend has been set free.

We trust in the Divine Love.

The Son of Man was with her unto the end. I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God.
Lazarus, Come Out!

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were faced with a most difficult choice: idol worship or death.
King Nebuchadnezzar wanted what he wanted. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual and had some of the strongest men in his army bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and cast them into the white-hot furnace.

And yet G-d is not mocked.

Whether our trials are from health, wealth or powerful people – Jesus is at our side.

I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God.

First Reading
Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent his angel to deliver the servants who trusted in him; they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.

Glory and praise for ever!

Gospel Acclamation
Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.

So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Why Death?

Greetings on this the Fifth Sunday of Lent
Readings: Ez 37:12-14; PS 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8; Rom 8:8-11; Jn 11:1-45
Notes: I worry about the American Church. In this season of exposing hypocracy and self-righteousness, many exhibit an unabashed preference for these things. Shocking.

Jesus has the power.
Jesus has the motive.
We, like Eve in the garden, want it now.
Jesus knows it is better to call us out of misery into new life and eternal life free of sin.

The seventh sign of Jesus in the Gospel of John.
It is the definitive reason the leadership sought to end his life.
As a matter of fact, they were more set on killing Lazarus than Jesus.
Lazarus was the living proof of the power of the Son of Man in a very public way in the sight of many people!

[The] large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came, not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too (JN 12:9-10a).

Our deepest need is found in the Book of Genesis.
Expulsion from Eden – An act of mercy.

Then the LORD God said: See! The man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil! Now, what if he also reaches out his hand to take fruit from the tree of life, and eats of it and lives forever? (Gen 3:22).

What if?
We would fall deeper and deeper into desperation and misery even among the beautiful Garden of Eden – forever lost!

The Better Way
The LORD God therefore banished him from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he had been taken. He expelled the man, stationing the cherubim and the fiery revolving sword east of the garden of Eden, to guard the way to the tree of life (Gen 3:23-24).

First Reading
O my people! I will put my spirit in you that you may live, and I will settle you upon your land; thus you shall know that I am the LORD. I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm
With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

Second Reading
If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit dwelling in you.

Verse Before the Gospel
I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will never die.

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Jesus has the power.
Jesus has the motive.
We, like Eve in the garden – The Garden of Earth, want it now.
Jesus knows it is better to call us out of misery into new life and eternal life free of sin.

We are to have a good life in this life and again in the next.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Siloam – Sent


Greetings on this the Fourth Sunday of Lent

Readings: 1 Sm 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a; Ps 23: 1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6; Eph 5:8-14; Jn 9:1-41

Notes: using phone and one finger. First homily notes at new parish so I figure better write some notes.

I made this comment to a friar this morning March 12th, a week ago:

“I am a secular deacon but now assigned to a Franciscan community. I want to mold my homilies with the spirit and charism of Franciscan spirituality. I leave on pilgrimage in a few weeks, what shall I take on my journey?”

Reply: A San Damiano Cross.

So perhaps, God willing, these will be my first changed nuanced or last secular homily notes. What it is, with certainty, is a commitment to mold my life to Jesus in a new way. Saint Iago, pray for us. Saint Francis, pray for us.

Themes for 4th Sunday.

1. Sent. Samuel was sent to pick from among the sons of Jesse of Bethlehem to become King. Now listen up, he did this once before (1Sam 10:1ff) with Saul and things ended badly. See 1Sam 15:1, 26, 35. Whatever his trepidations he went and anointed David. We know he lamented Saul’s fall. Jesus sends the blind man to The Pool of Siloam. Just reminding you he was blind. But he went and now he sees.

2. The Innocent are not exempt from the troubles of life. In the case of the man born blind and (as in the Gospel of Luke 13:4) the innocent who died in the collapse of the Tower of Siloam. Jesus said, neither he nor his parents sinned. The tower, a recent tragedy, 18 people died. They were like everyone else. The innocent, the ordinary and the wicked all are subject to trouble in this world.

3. The Third and Sixth Sign of Jesus in Gospel of John. See my page image here. The injured sinner at the Pool of Bethsaida engaged in likely pagan god worship (Priests of Asclepius stir the pools). The man who was born blind at the Pool of Siloam, a mikvah place (Jewish ritual bathing). Both healed by Jesus. Sinner and sinless are under divine care. Those stuck in paganism called forth. Those faithful heard too.

4. Laetare Sunday. Rejoice. Isa 66:10-10. Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her, all you who love her; Rejoice with her in her joy, all you who mourn over her – So that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast; That you may drink with delight at her abundant breasts!

5. Challenges of Unbelief.

  • A. Sinners are punished. Confusing consequence with cause.
  • B. Disbelief people can change.
  • C. Mercy on Sabbath – an affront to self-righteous.
  • D. Mercy on Sabbath – a sin!
  • E. Intimidating parents.
  • F. We are not his disciples! Disown.
  • G. Ad Hominem. Attacks.

6. Listening.

  • If Jesus sends you, go!
  • God listens! He always listens! Always!!
  • God acts to the good!
  • Men doubt (our common problem).
  • Witnessed prove.

Take the psalmist’s words to heart. We all encounter difficulty in life. Sometimes a direct consequence and sometimes things just happen. But in every case with faith in God we can say with confidence: Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come. We are only limited by how much we trust the Lord. How we treat the people and the world around us, the same thing.

Story of the two buckets. There was a boy who went to the well each day to draw water for the family. He had two buckets, one perfect and one leaky. The leaky bucket was sad one day. He relayed his feelings to the perfect bucket who replied: While it is true I carry the water without spilling, you carry water too. Now look at the path to the well. Filled with grass and flowers! Day in, day out, You have been watering the earth and it brings forth goodness.

You will know them by their fruits.

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry