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4/8/20 6th week of Lent

Daily Readings Isaiah 50:4-9 Psalms 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34 Matthew 26:14-25 Isaiah 50:4-9 4The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary. Morning by morning he wakens, he wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. 5The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I turned not backward. 6I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I hid not my face from shame and spitting. 7For the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been confounded; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; 8he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who is my adversary? Let him come near to me. 9Behold, the Lord GOD helps me; who will declare me guilty? Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up. Psalms 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34 7For it is for thy sake that I have borne reproach, that shame has covered my face. 8I have become a stranger to my brethren, an alien to my mother's sons. 9For zeal for thy house has consumed me, and the insults of those who insult thee have fallen on me. 20Insults have broken my heart, so that I am in despair. I looked for pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. 21They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. 30I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. 32Let the oppressed see it and be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. 33For the LORD hears the needy and does not despise his own that are in bonds. Matthew 26:14-25 14Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15and said, "What will you give me if I deliver him to you?" And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him. 17Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the passover?" 18He said, "Go into the city to a certain one, and say to him, `The Teacher says, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at your house with my disciples.'" 19And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover. 20When it was evening, he sat at table with the twelve disciples; 21and as they were eating, he said, "Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me." 22And they were very sorrowful, and began to say to him one after another, "Is it I, Lord?" 23He answered, "He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me, will betray me. 24The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born." 25Judas, who betrayed him, said, "Is it I, Master?" He said to him, "You have said so."

Devotional |

Today is called Spy Wednesday; the day Judas betrayed his friend and Lord all for the sake of thirty silver pieces. Today’s Gospel depicts the first part of Matthew’s Passion Narrative when Jesus informs the Disciples that one of them will betray Him. When do we betray Jesus? Sleeping in instead of going to Mass? Letting our speech go on and on and not biting our tongue when speaking of others? Self-indulgent scrolling which leaves us feeling empty? Allowing ourselves to see our self-worth in appearance only and regarding only other’s appearances?

Jesus knew Judas would betray Him. He also knows that we have the opportunity and sometimes give in to do the same. Jesus died because we betray Him. He died so that we can repent and have hope in His mercy. And always come back for forgiveness every time we betray Him.

Jesus died to free us from our sins, an incredible gift. We can receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and receive the Lord’s forgiveness through the priest in the confessional. It is not just us confessing. We are receiving as much as we are giving to God. Jesus forgives us of our sins and helps us to seek only Him as we journey forward.

I encourage you to take time and slowly read today’s Gospel and ask the Lord to help you to continue to seek Him in every moment, especially those where our hearts are prone to wander

Saint of the Day |

Saint Julie Billiart


The first years of Julie’s life were relatively peaceful and uncomplicated, Julie had to take up manual work as a young teen when her family lost its money. However, she spent her spare time teaching catechism to young people and to the farm laborers.

A mysterious illness overtook her when she was about 30. Witnessing an attempt to wound or even kill her father, Julie was paralyzed and became a complete invalid. For the next two decades, she continued to teach catechism lessons from her bed, offered spiritual advice, and attracted visitors who had heard of her holiness. When the French Revolution broke out in 1789, revolutionary forces became aware of her allegiance to fugitive priests. With the help of friends, she was smuggled out of Cuvilly in a haycart. She then spent several years hiding in Compiegne, being moved from house to house despite her growing physical pain. She even lost the power of speech for a time. But this period also proved to be a fruitful spiritual time for Julie. It was at this time she had a vision in which she saw Calvary surrounded by women in religious habits and heard a voice saying, “Behold these spiritual daughters whom I give you in an institute marked by the cross.”

As time passed and Julie continued her mobile life, she made the acquaintance of an aristocratic woman, Françoise Blin de Bourdon, who shared Julie’s interest in teaching the faith. In 1803, the two women began the Institute of Notre Dame, which was dedicated to the education of the poor, young Christian girls, and the training of catechists. The following year, the first Sisters of Notre Dame made their vows. That was the same year that Julie recovered from the illness: She was able to walk for the first time in 22 years. She died there in 1816.


Catholicism Around the World |

CNA Staff, Apr 8, 2020 / 07:19 pm (CNA).- Amid limited medical supplies, the National Catholic Partnership on Disability released a statement on the sanctity of life, emphasizing that treatment priority is not based on ableism.

Every patient is worth treating, but not every medical treatment is worth providing. This determination must be based on an evaluation of the potential success of the treatment, not a value judgment about the person requiring aid,” the NCPD said in a recent statement.

“As a society the concept of solidarity with fellow human beings dictates that any DNR or triage policy must treat each person as a unique irreplaceable human being. This applies to all human beings, including persons with disabilities.”

During the Day for Life Message in July 2013, Pope Francis emphasized the human dignity of people with disabilities. He said all creatures, no matter their vulnerability, are deserving of respect.

“Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect,” said Pope Francis.


Educational Fact |

The Pope is protected by the Swiss Papal Guard. Wearing uniforms designed by Michelangelo and commonly armed with halberds, they are capable of using heavier weapons if needed. Each member is Catholic, male, and Swiss, and must complete military training in Switzerland. They must demonstrate good conduct and be at least five-foot-eight in height. Those who are chosen are granted a private audience with the pope along with their families. In extreme circumstances, they are expected to guard the Holy Father with their lives. The Swiss Papal Guard is the oldest active military unit in continual existence since 1506.

The Pontifical Swiss Guard is over 500 years old, making it one of the oldest standing military units in the world. Founded officially on January 22nd, 1506 by Pope Julius II, at the time the Swiss Guard was really a mercenary force. Back in the 14th century, Swiss fighters were knowing to be some of the best anywhere, renowned for their ability to take on far larger armies and win. In the 1400s, Swiss mercenaries proved themselves in battle time and time again, sometimes while fighting for the Holy Roman Empire.


Fun Fact |

In 313, Emperor Constantine announced the toleration of Christianity in the Edict of Milan. He did not create the Catholic Church, as is sometimes believed.

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Liberty Univesity
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Lynchburg VA 21515

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