Easter - Liturgical Prayers

A. The Victory Of LifeGreeting (See alternative Second Reading)
Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed
and he is risen from the dead.
Let us celebrate the feast
by getting rid of all that is evil
and becoming all new in the Lord.
May the Risen Lord be always with you.

Easter Vigil: Liturgical Prayers

Introduction by the Celebrant
When there was sin, the world was in the grip of darkness. We celebrate tonight how Jesus came in that darkness to bring us the light of God's love by his death and resurrection. Now a new era could begin for the world and for all of us. This is why we light the fire, for Jesus came to light in us the fire of his love and hope. Let its flames leap up high in us and make us fervent. We kindle the light and profess that Jesus Christ is our light and the light of the world. We follow him and ask him to make us lights on the path of others. What a joy for us!

Easter Sunday B: Christ is Risen! Alleluia

Yesterday we came to celebrate death. Today we have come to celebrate life; life beyond death; life beyond the grave.

They left 42 years ago Vietnam. But Vietnam never left them. The horror, violence of those days walked their days and haunted their nights, until they decided to go back to Vietnam. So six of them went back to the old battlefields with new purpose. They spent 10 days scouring the fields for mines they had planted to protect American lives, which killed thousands of innocent farmers. When they came back, their tombs were empty. The tombs they had sealed and kept with the stinking experiences of the past were now freed and there was fresh air.

Empty tomb is the mystery of the Resurrection and the centre of our faith. Resurrection is possible only, i.e. new life, by emptying the old tomb.

Easter Vigil: Reflections

1.     Darkness.  

The Easter Vigil begins with darkness.

  The darkness itself is the first movement of the liturgy, so we begin our preparations with that darkness.  It represents all darkness, and all the meanings of darkness - devoid of light; evil thoughts, motivations, deeds; all that is hidden and secret, deceitful and dishonest, divisive and abusive, immoral and sinful.  It's the darkness of our world, and the darkness in my heart.  If I come to the vigil and restlessly and impatiently fidget in the dark “until something happens,” I miss the power of what is about to happen.  So, we prepare by readying ourselves to experience the darkness.  It is distasteful and reprehensible, embarrassing and humbling, fearful and despairing. Then a light is struck.  It breaks into the darkness. “O God, who through your son bestowed upon the faithful the fire of your glory,

Good Friday - Liturgical Prayers

Introduction by the Commentator

A. The Suffering Servant Wins
We are here to remember the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. He stands before us as the Man of Sorrows, insulted, tortured, disfigured, crushed, finally dying on a cross the death of a criminal. Yet, at the foot of the cross we are not lamenting a man whose life was a failure, for to us the cross is the sign of victory over sin and death. We believe that he is God’s own Son risen from the dead and alive in our midst. This is not merely a story about the past, for the passion and death of Jesus is still going on in the people and the nations that suffer, in the poor, the hungry, in the victims of war, in all those crucified in any way. But we also believe that Christ rises today in Christians who struggle against sin and evil, in those who bring hope and joy to others. This is how we are one with our Lord today.

Holy Thursday - Liturgical Prayers


A. This Is I for You
“This is my body, which is for you,”
says the Lord.
“Do this as a memorial of me.”
May the Lord Jesus be always with you.

Good Friday: He took your Place

Betrayal: Fr. Roger Swenson 

The betrayals of so many people ended in a tragedy of cosmic proportions. Let us pay particular atten­tion to all those seemingly insignificant decisions made by the supporting actors in this melancholy drama. It won't be difficult to see ourselves in this play; each of us commits the same little murders every day.  

Holy Thursday - Stole and Towel: Authority and Service

 Tony Kayala, c.s.c. 

1. Jesus was humiliated in the very heart of his own teaching by his own disciples when they were fighting for position. This is the last night. He was teaching them with his life example and stories for three years. They have to become the Church and continue his mission. So he does three things as a response: a. he exchanges the symbol of position with a symbol of service (stole with towel), b. they want to “take” and he says “Take this and eat” and he “gives”; c. finally he prays to the Father to keep them together in unity. These are the 3 symbols we used as we began the Lent on Ash Wednesday: a. fasting is what we do to ourselves (humility-washing – vis-à-vis love yourself), b. almsgiving is what we do for others (love your neighbour) and finally c. prayer is what we do with God (love God). These are the foundations of our faith – the two commandments lived, explained, understood differently. 

Palm Sunday B - Liturgical Prayers

Introduction by the Celebrant
A. Come, Let Us Go With Him (Option 1)
All those who grow plants, even people in the city who love flowers, know that seeds have to die in the soil so that shoots can sprout from them and give us colorful flowers. The seed has to die to give life. In the same way, Jesus died to give us life. And we, his disciples today, have to follow in his footsteps. We have to give ourselves so that others may be happy and live. St. Paul says with Jesus: "No one lives for oneself." Can we say the same of ourselves?



As we have come to accompany Jesus in this week when we enter into his paschal mystery which is the suffering, death, resurrection of our Lord, we also reflect his humanity that took upon himself the human sufferings, rejection, betrayals and sin so that we be freed from them all. 
-We are sinners who have compounded the anguish of sin around us, Lord have mercy
-We are simple people who tend to act like kings expecting respect and reverence; our pride has prevented us from being Christians, Christ have mercy
-We have been fickle and wavering to stand by your values and principles, lord have mercy.

Lent Sunday 5 B - Liturgical Prayers

Christ, the Son of God,
learned to obey through suffering;
and so he became to all who obey him
the source of eternal salvation.
May this Lord Jesus be with you always. R/ And also with you.

Lent Sunday 5 B - The Seed must die ---and ----be Lifted Up

"When I am lifted up..."

Check the Sundays gone by: First the devil lifts him up in the desert, then the Father lifts him up at Mt. Tabor, then Jesus "lifts up" ordinary people - Jews and Gentiles - who came to the temple to worship at the Passover by chasing away those who made his Father's house into a den of thieves and then we had Moses lifting up the bronze serpent in the desert as a symbol of raising people from the snake bites. First one was to tempt (worldly gratification), second was to comfort (spiritual consolation in prayer), third to cleanse and liberate people (mission, ministries) and the fourth was healing and salvation. Now Jesus says, "when I am lifted up..." This is to me daily crucifixion. This is an ultimate human and spiritual desire to be lifted up from the darkness, sorrows, debts, daily chores, disappointments, failures and even deaths...from this world (moksha). This is the cry of Christians from Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and India. This is the shout of black people from Fergusson, Alabama, USA. Who's there to lift us up? Our mission is to lift people up. When husbands and wives, parents and teachers, politicians and bureaucrats learn to lift up their wards, each other, our society,  our nation will get saved. Every confession, spiritual direction, counselling, preaching, every hand that wipes the tears off the cheeks, every arm that holds is to "lift up".

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Lent Sunday 4 B - Liturgical Prayers

It is by grace that we have been saved,
not by anything of our own,
but by a gift from God.
We are God's work of art,
created in Christ Jesus.
May the grace and light of the Lord Jesus
be always with you. R/ And also with you.

Lent Sunday 4 B - Must be Lifted up

First the devil takes him up the pinnacle of the temple to be tested. Then as if it were the angels take him up the mountain to be consoled. In Lent, we experience both desolation and consolation. From the wild beasts to the benign friends. Then the Lord goes into the temple to cleanse it. That's into each of us: the animals, the haggling and the scheming part of us.

Like nitroglycerine that can become dynamite in the paste form but good for the heart in small portions, snake venom is itself the cure for snake bite (anti-venom). The cure is within each of us when we are raised in Jesus, when we are examples that others can look upon, when we take upon us the sin or burden of a community or a family, when we accept to be martyrs for others. Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, etc chose to be raised on such a pole for the liberation of their nations. They accepted to be ridiculed, laughed at and pierced.