Father Madden's Sunday Reflection
Father Madden's Sunday Reflection
St. John's Church
March 22, 2020
4th Sunday of Lent
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Fr. Madden's Sunday Reflection
Video Mass (Archdiocese of Boston)
Sunday Mass Readings
Prayers: Spiritual Communion, Bishop’s Prayer, St. Michael
Fr. Madden's Sunday Reflection
Life in Time of Pandemic #1
Dear Friends in the Lord,
How and where to begin?
Life in time of a pandemic of this magnitude is unprecedented for us all. I will begin by saying that you are missed here on Temple Street. As with every address across the country and most of the word, life is very different here these days. Yet, some things have not changed:
• Mass is being celebrated every day. The congregation, the music and the collection are missed, but it is important and efficacious to continue the Eucharistic sacrifice. The Mass is being offered for the intentions of us all, of course, and in particular for those that had been requested. Nonetheless, if you had requested an intention feel free, when the suspension of Mass is lifted, to reschedule.
• The Food for the Poor is continuing, as well. Our operations have changed as the precautions have called for. Presently, we are serving the meal outside. Thanks to picnic tables that the City has provided, and a tent donated by our friends, parish members and all-around good people at Creedon and Company for making this possible. Many thanks, too and always, to our volunteers.
• Hotel Grace remains in business. In fact, it has expanded. As you may have read, the City is opening four shelters to assist the homeless population during this time of pandemic. Pastor Richie Gonzalez and his team who have proven themselves over these past four years with Hotel Grace, is spearheading the effort. Along with the church hall, the Msgr. Tinsley Center on the Ascension campus is being utilized in this effort.
• We are praying for each other. We are not alone. Even if we find ourselves in a self-quarantined situation, we remained united as a parish family and community.
All this being said, it is not nearly the same here or anywhere these days. I hope that our attempt at maintaining an “online presence” is a help. My sincere thanks to Dan Shaughnessy who keeps us together through the parish website and the Flocknotes. The Prayer in Time of Pandemic which he provided (and can be found on the parish website) is great way to keep us united together as a parish, diocesan, national and world family. I pray it at every Mass and, often, at the daily meal.
As Bishop McManus reminded us in his recent message, we are people of hope, a hope which is grounded in faith and does not disappoint or fail us. I will try to remain in regular contact, feel free to contact St. John’s as needed or desired. As we practice “social distancing,” divine grace will continue to draw us closer to God and to one another.
In Christ’s Peace,
Fr. John Madden
Archdiocese of Boston
The CatholicTV Network
4th Sunday of Lent
US Conference of Catholic Bishops
1st Reading: 1 Samuel 16
The LORD said to Samuel:
“Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way.
I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem,
for I have chosen my king from among his sons.”
As Jesse and his sons came to the sacrifice,
Samuel looked at Eliab and thought,
“Surely the LORD’s anointed is here before him.”
But the LORD said to Samuel:
“Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature,
because I have rejected him.
Not as man sees does God see,
because man sees the appearance
but the LORD looks into the heart.”
In the same way Jesse presented seven sons before Samuel,
but Samuel said to Jesse,
“The LORD has not chosen any one of these.”
Then Samuel asked Jesse,
“Are these all the sons you have?”
“There is still the youngest, who is tending the sheep.”
Samuel said to Jesse,
“Send for him;
we will not begin the sacrificial banquet until he arrives here.”
Jesse sent and had the young man brought to them.
He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold
and making a splendid appearance.
The LORD said,
“There—anoint him, for this is the one!”
Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand,
anointed David in the presence of his brothers;
and from that day on, the spirit of the LORD rushed upon David.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 23
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul. [R]
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage. [R]
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows. [R]
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. [R]
2nd Reading: Ephesians 5
Brothers and sisters:
You were once darkness,
but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light,
for light produces every kind of goodness
and righteousness and truth.
Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness;
rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention
the things done by them in secret;
but everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
for everything that becomes visible is light.
Therefore, it says:
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”
Verse before the Gospel: John 8
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
Gospel: John 9
As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth.
He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva,
and smeared the clay on his eyes,
and said to him,
“Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” — which means Sent —.
So he went and washed, and came back able to see.
His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said,
“Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?”
Some said, “It is, “
but others said, “No, he just looks like him.”
He said, “I am.”
They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees.
Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath.
So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see.
He said to them,
“He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.”
So some of the Pharisees said,
“This man is not from God,
because he does not keep the sabbath.”
But others said,
“How can a sinful man do such signs?”
And there was a division among them.
So they said to the blind man again,
“What do you have to say about him,
since he opened your eyes?”
He said, “He is a prophet.”
They answered and said to him,
“You were born totally in sin,
and are you trying to teach us?”
Then they threw him out.
When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out,
he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
He answered and said,
“Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”
Jesus said to him,
“You have seen him, and
the one speaking with you is he.”
“I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.
~ Act of Spiritual Communion
~ Prayer in Time of Pandemic
~ Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
Act of Spiritual Communion
by St. Alphonsus de Liguori
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
Prayer in Time of Pandemic
from Bishop McManus
O God, whose Only Begotten Son bore the weight of human suffering for our salvation, hear the prayers of your Church for our sick brothers and sisters and deliver us from this time of trial.
Open our ears and our hearts to the voice of your Son:
"Be not afraid, for I am with you always."
Bless all doctors and nurses, researchers and public servants; give us the wisdom to do what is right and the faith to endure this hour, that we might gather once again to praise your name in the heart of your Church, delivered from all distress and confident in your mercy.
Through Christ our Lord.
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
by Pope Leo XIII
St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against
the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls.
for our St. John's family
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on Sunday, March 22 at 7:20AM