Monday of Holy Week
Psalm 27, verse 3:
3Though an army encamp against me, my heart does not FEAR; Though war be waged against me, even then do I trust.
In a purer sense an army does encamp against every follower of Christ; it is the army of the devil and those under his flag in this world. They do wage a war against us, and our only hope is to trust in Christ. If we trust all we need say for God’s help is three simple words: “Come Holy Spirit”. The Holy Spirit coming to sinful men is what Holy week is all about. It is what Christ’s sacrifice was all about. Mary of Medjugorje tells us that, “The most important thing is to pray to the Holy Spirit” Because if one has the Spirit “one has everything.
Therefore, when the spirit convicts you of an action do not hesitate. Don’t be like the unfaithful servant, 'Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
1733 The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to "the slavery of sin."
Monday of Holy Week
Prayer. GRANT, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who fail through our infirmity, in so many adversities may be relieved by the passion of Thy Son, making intercession for us.
EPISTLE. Isaias 1. 5-10.
In those days Isaias said: The Lord God hath opened my ear, and I do not resist I have not gone back. I have given my body to the strikers, and my cheeks to them that plucked them: I have not turned away my face from them that rebuked me, and spit upon me. The Lord God is my helper, therefore am I not confounded: therefore, have I set my face as a most hard rock, and I know that I shall not be confounded. He is near that justifieth me, who will contend with me? let us stand together, who is my adversary? let him come near to me. Behold the Lord God is my helper: who is he that shall condemn me?
Lo, they shall all be destroyed as a garment, the moth shall eat them up. Who is there among you that feareth the Lord, that heareth the voice of His servant, that hath walked in darkness, and hath no light? let him hope in the name of the Lord, and lean upon his God.
GOSPEL. John xii. 1-9.
Six days before the Pasch Jesus came to Bethania, where Lazarus had been dead, whom Jesus raised to life. And they made Him -a supper there: and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of them that were at table with Him. Mary therefore took a pound of ointment of right spikenard, of great price, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, he that was about to betray Him, said: Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence and given to the poor?
Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and having the purse, carried the things that were put therein. Jesus therefore said: Let her alone, that she may keep it against the day of My burial. For the poor you have always with you: but Me you have not always. A great multitude therefore of the Jews knew that He was there: and they came, not for Jesus’s sake only, but that they might see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.
Meditation—Mary and Judas
Today the liturgy presents two noteworthy characters who play dissimilar roles in the Lord's passion. One fills us with solace and comfort, the other with uneasiness and wholesome fear. Their juxtaposition produces a powerful effect by way of contrast. The two characters are Mary of Bethany and Judas.
Jesus is in the house of Lazarus, at dinner. Mary approaches, anoints the feet of her Savior for His burial and dries them with her hair. Judas resents her action and resolves upon his evil course. These two persons typify man's relation to Christ. He gives His Body to two types of individuals: to Magdalenes to be anointed, to Judases to be kissed; to good persons who repay Him with love and service, to foes who crucify Him. How movingly this is expressed in the Lesson: "I gave My body to those who beat Me, and My cheeks to those who plucked them. I did not turn away My face from those who cursed and spit upon Me."
The same must hold true of His mystical Body. Down through the ages Christ is enduring an endless round of suffering, giving His body to other Mary’s for anointing and to other Judases to be kissed, beaten, and mistreated. Augustine explains how we can anoint Christ's body:
Anoint Jesus' feet by a life pleasing to God. Follow in His footsteps; if you have an abundance, give it to the poor. In this way you can wipe the feet of the Lord.
The poor are, as it were, the feet of the mystical Christ. By aiding them we can comfort our Lord in His mystical life, where He receives Judas' kisses on all sides-the sins of Christians.
The Gospel account may be understood in a very personal way. In everyone's heart, in my own too, there dwell two souls: a Judas-soul and a Mary-soul. The former is the cause of Jesus' suffering, it is always ready to apostatize, always ready to give the traitor's kiss. Are you full master over this Judas-soul within you? Your Magdalen-soul is a source of comfort to Christ in His sufferings. May the holy season of Lent, which with God's help we are about to bring to a successful conclusion, bring victory over the Judas-soul and strengthen the Magdalen-soul within our breasts.
—Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
Monday of Holy Week
The Gospel for the Mass gives an account of Judas' character, foreshadowing his act of betrayal.
Spring Cleaning Just as the Hebrews cleaned and swept the whole house in preparation for the Pasch (Passover), so too is there an ancient custom in Christianity that the first three weekdays of Holy Week be a time for the year's most thorough cleaning. Everything is to be scrubbed and polished, and all work is to be completed by Wednesday evening (in time for Tenebrae).
of the divine office of Matins and Lauds for Maundy Thursday. It is generally
held on the night of "Spy Wednesday" of Holy Week, so-called because
it is believed to be the night on which Judas Iscariot betrayed our Lord.
Timeline of Holy Week
· Jesus curses the fig tree. (Mt 21:18-19; Mk 11:12-14)
· Jesus cleanses the temple. (Mt 21:10-17; Mk 11:11; Lk 19:45-46; Jn 2:13-25)
· Parable of the wicked tenants (Mt 21:33-46; Mk 12:1-12; Lk 20:9-19)
· Returns to Bethany at night.
I shall content myself with relating the history of St. Stanislaus, Bishop of Cracow, Poland, who restored to life a man who had been dead for three years, attended by such singular circumstances, and in so public a manner, that the thing is beyond the severest criticism.... This incident was known by countless persons and by all the court of King Boleslaus II (reigned 1058-1080) St. Stanislaus, bought from a man named Piotr [Peter] an estate situated on the banks of the Vistula in the territory of Lublin for the use of his church at Cracow. The Prelate gave the full price of it to the seller. This was done in the presence of witnesses, and with the solemnities required in that country, but without written deeds, for written accounts of transactions of this kind were seldom made in Poland at that time. They contented themselves with having witnesses. Stanislaus took possession of this estate, and his church enjoyed it peaceably for about three years. In the interim, Piotr, who had sold it, happened to die. The King of Poland, Boleslaus, had conceived an implacable hatred against the holy Bishop because he had frequently reproved him for his excesses. Therefore, seeking to cause him trouble, the King excited the three sons of Piotr, his heirs, against their father and told them to claim the estate which their father had sold, on the pretense that it had not been paid for. He promised to support their demand, and to cause the estate to be restored to them. Thus, these three men had the Bishop cited to appear before the King, who was then at Solec, occupied in rendering justice under some tents in the country, according to the ancient custom of the land, in the general assembly of the nation. The Bishop was cited before the King and maintained that he had bought and paid for the estate in question. The day was beginning to close, and the Bishop ran great risk of being condemned by the King and his counselors. Suddenly, as if inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Bishop promised the King to bring before him in three days Piotr, the deceased man who had sold it to him. The condition was accepted mockingly, as a thing impossible to be executed. The holy Bishop retired to his Church a distance away, where he prayed and fasted with his household for three days. On the third day, he went in his pontifical robes, accompanied by his clergy and a multitude of people, ordered the gravestone to be raised, and made them dig until they found the corpse of the defunct, all fleshless and corrupted. Then St. Stanislaus commanded him to come forth and bear witness to the truth before the King's tribunal. The Bishop touched the bones with his crosier, and they filled out with flesh. The dead Piotr rose; they covered him with a cloak. The Saint took him by the hand and led him alive to the feet of the King. No one had the boldness to interrogate him. But Piotr himself spoke out freely and declared that he had in good faith sold the estate to the Prelate and that he had received the value of it. After stating this, he severely reprimanded his sons, who had so maliciously accused the holy Bishop. Stanislaus asked Piotr if he wished to remain alive to do penance. Piotr thanked him and said he would not expose himself anew to the danger of sinning. Stanislaus re-conducted him to his tomb, where he again fell asleep in the Lord. It may be supposed that such a scene had numerous witnesses, and that all Poland was quickly informed of it. The King was only the more irritated against the Saint. Sometime after [on May 8, 1079], he killed the Bishop with his own hands as he was coming from the altar in Wawel Castle outside the walls of Cracow. He then ordered that the Prelate’s body be hacked into 72 pieces so that they might never be collected together to be paid the honor due to them as the body of a martyr for the truth and for pastoral liberty. St. Stanislaus was canonized in 1253 by Pope Innocent IV. He is the patron of Poland and of the city and Diocese of Cracow and is invoked in battle.
Things to Do:
· Sometimes evil has to be confronted boldly, whatever the consequences. Brave men like St. Stanislaus of Cracow risked death in facing evil. There is little chance today that we will ever be in that danger, but we must always be willing to defend the truth, and it should be very clear, in the face of genuine evil, where we stand. Christ our Lord can expect no less from us. Say an extra prayer today for the gift of fortitude.
· Learn a little more about the city of Kracow where both St. Stanislaus and Pope John Paul II came from.
· For those who are extremely interested in knowing more about Polish history this online book, Polish Americans and Their Communities of Cleveland may prove to be a good source of information.
· The final work of Franz Liszt is the unfinished oratorio St. Stanislaus, for which he left two scenes (one and four) and two polonaises. Learn more about this oratorio here and if you are able find a copy and listen.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
"I BELIEVE" - "WE BELIEVE"
CHAPTER TWO-GOD COMES TO MEET MAN
Article 3 SACRED SCRIPTURE
V. Sacred Scripture in the Life of the Church
131 "and such is the force and power of the Word of God that it can serve the Church as her support and vigour, and the children of the Church as strength for their faith, food for the soul, and a pure and lasting fount of spiritual life." Hence "access to Sacred Scripture ought to be open wide to the Christian faithful."
132 "Therefore, the study of the sacred page should be the very soul of sacred theology. the ministry of the Word, too - pastoral preaching, catechetics and all forms of Christian instruction, among which the liturgical homily should hold pride of place - is healthily nourished and thrives in holiness through the Word of Scripture."
133 The Church "forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful... to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.
· Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
 Michael H. Brown, Prayer of the Warrior.