A note of joy is struck, for having died to sin with Christ during Lent, we will rise again with Him and be part of His mystical Body, the Church which is the new Jerusalem. Thus the Introit: "Rejoice, Jerusalem."
Isaiah, Chapter 54, verse 14:
In justice shall you be established, far from oppression, you shall not fear, from destruction, it cannot come near.
Isaiah in this chapter states that God will create a new Zion, which He has in the State of Israel and God gives assurances of love for Israel and of safety from various possible threats; the phrase sums up both the positive aspects of shalom, which implies a fullness of blessing, and protection from all that might harm and a perpetual promise of peace-shalom.
If we wish to have peace or Shalom, we must develop a holy fear, that is wonder and awe at God, in ourselves to do so, we should read the bible every day. Perhaps today would be a good day to shut off the TV and read a chapter a day for every day of your life or read the daily readings for the Mass. Perhaps doing this along with a family dinner where you pray together over the meal and then read the bible together would help strengthen families.
A good resources to peruse to strengthen the family is:
Consolation in Poverty
To those poor who follow Christ this gospel is full of consolation, as it shows that from the very beginning of the world God has cared for His children. For the comfort and preservation of His chosen people He sent Joseph before them into Egypt (Gen. xlv. 5 ; Ps. civ. 4). He sustained the children of Israel/during forty years in the wilderness with bread from heaven (Deut. Viii) He feed the prophet Elias, sending him and flesh by a raven (in. Kings xvii. 6). He remembered Daniel lying in the lion’s den (Dan. xiv. 37). In the New Testament also God has shown His care for His own by nourishing and feeding them in their greatest need, at times through the instrumentality of animals and at times by that of angels and of men as we read in the lives of the saints.
The Second Scrutiny
On this Sunday is celebrated the second scrutiny in preparation for the Baptism of the catechumens who are to be admitted to the Sacraments of Christian Initiation at the Easter Vigil.
Invitation to Silent Prayer
After the homily the elect and their godparents come before the celebrant. The celebrant first addresses the assembly of the faithful, inviting them to pray in silence. The celebrant invites the elect to pray.
Celebrant: Elect of God, bow your heads (or kneel down) and pray. (While prayer is being said for the elect, the godparents place their right hand on the shoulder of the one they are sponsoring.
All pray for some time in silence. Then the community and the elect stand for the intercessions.)
Intercessions for the Elect
The celebrant addresses the assembly of the faithful in the following words. Celebrant: Let us pray for these elect whom God has called, that they may remain faithful to him and boldly give witness to the words of eternal life. Reader: That, trusting in the truth of Christ, they may find freedom of mind and heart and preserve it always, let us pray to the Lord: R. Lord, hear our prayer. Reader: That, preferring the folly of the cross to the wisdom of the world, they may glory in God alone, let us pray to the Lord: R. Lord, hear our prayer. Reader: That freed by the power of the Spirit, they may put all fear behind them and press forward with confidence, let us pray to the Lord: R. Lord, hear our prayer. Reader: That transformed in the Spirit, they may seek those things that are holy and just, let us pray to the Lord: R. Lord, hear our prayer. Reader: That all who suffers persecution for Christ’s name may find their strength in him; let us pray to the Lord: R. Lord, hear our prayer. Reader: That those families and nations prevented from embracing the faith may be granted freedom to believe the Gospel, let us pray to the Lord: R. Lord, hear our prayer. Reader: That we who are faced with the values of the world may remain faithful to the spirit of the Gospel, let us pray to the Lord: R. Lord, hear our prayer. Reader: That the whole world, which the Father so loves, may attain in the Church complete spiritual freedom, let us pray to the Lord: R. Lord, hear our prayer.
The celebrant turns to the elect and with hands joined says: Let us pray, Father of mercy, you led the man born blind to the kingdom of light through the gift of faith in your Son. Free these elect from the false values that surround and blind them. Set them firmly in your truth, children of the light forever. We ask this through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.
The celebrant may lay his hand in silence on each one of the elect, then he extends his hand over the elect and continues: Lord Jesus, you are the true light that enlightens the world. Through your Spirit of truth free those who are enslaved by the father of lies. Stir up the desire for good in these elect whom you have chosen for your sacraments. Let them rejoice in your light, that they may see, and, like the man born blind whose sight you restored, let them prove to be staunch and fearless witnesses to the faith, for you are Lord for ever and ever. R. Amen.
Dismissal of the Elect
The celebrant dismisses the elect in these or similar words: Dear elect, go in peace, and join us again at the next scrutiny. May the Lord remain with you always. The Elect: Amen.
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