1 John 5:  Dearly beloved: Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world,even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by Water and Blood, even Jesus Christ; not by Water only, but by Water and Blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the Water, and the Blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the wit- ness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace good will among men.

**Readings from Holy Week…themes of Christ’s coming and judgement and the need to repent

EZEKIEL 37:1-14  (on the restoration of Israel that appeared ‘dead’
Again the hand of the Lord came upon me, and brought me by the Spirit
of the Lord, and set me in the midst of the plain, which was full of human
bones. So He led me round about them, and behold, there was a great multitude
of bones on the face of the plain. They were very dry. Then He said to
me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” So I answered, “O Lord, You know
this.” Then He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘O dry
bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord to these bones: “Behold,
I will bring the Spirit of life upon you. I will put muscles on you and
bring flesh upon you. I will cover you with skin and put my Spirit into you.
Then you shall live and know that I am the Lord.” ’ ” So I prophesied as He
commanded me, and it came to pass while I prophesied that, behold, there
was a shaking, and the bones came together, each one to its joint. So I
looked, and behold, muscle and flesh grew upon them, and skin covered
them over; but no breath was in them. Then He said to me, “Prophesy to
the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, ‘Thus says the Lord:
“Come from the four winds and breathe upon these dead men; and let them
live.” ’ ” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the Spirit entered into
them; and they lived and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great assembly.
Again the Lord spoke to me, saying, “Son of man, these bones are the
whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope has perished,
and we are lost.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord:
“Behold, I will open your tombs, bring you up from your graves, and bring
you into the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I
open your tombs to lead you, My people, up from their graves. I will put My
Spirit in you, and you will live; and I will place you in your own land. Then
you will know that I am the Lord. I have spoken, and I will do it,” says the
Lord.’ ”

Prayer:   May the Strength of God guide us. May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us. May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us. May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Angels of God guard us. – Against the snares of the evil one.
Prayer for the Faithful of St. Patrick Part 1

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you,
which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are
saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed
in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received:
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was
buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen
by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to
the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James,
then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one
born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy
to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the
grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but
I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God
which was with me. Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so
you believed. Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the
dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death and on those in the tombs bestowing life.


But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if
Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.
Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of
God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the
dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if
Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also
those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we
have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is
risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen
asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of
the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who
are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom
to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority
and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.
The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For “He has put all things under
His feet.”

Glory to Jesus Christ – Glory forever!

Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the
Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever
He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the
Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him
greater works than these, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the
dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. For
the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that
all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not
honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Most assuredly, I
say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting
life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death
into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when
the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.
For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life
in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because
He is the Son of Man.  Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in
which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those
who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done
evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

For as many have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ…Alleluia

LAMENTATIONS OF JEREMIAH 1:1-4  (Jerusalem destroyed because of it sins against God)
Now it came to pass that after Israel was taken captive and Jerusalem became
desolate, Jeremiah sat weeping; and he lamented this song of grief
over Jerusalem and said: “How does the city now sit alone, She who was full
of people? She has become like a widow, She who was multiplied among the
nations, She who was ruling among the countries. She has become subject
to tribute. “She weeps bitterly in the night; she sheds tears on her cheeks.
Yet among all her lovers there is no one who comforts her. All who love her
have dealt treacherously with her. They have become her enemies. Judea
has gone into captivity Because of her humiliation and harsh servitude. She
dwells among the Gentiles; she finds no rest. All who pursue her overtake
her in the midst of her distress. “The roads of Zion mourn, because no one
comes to the feast. All her gates are destroyed, her priests groan, her virgins
are led away, and she is embittered in herself.

Christ is in our midst – He is and always shall be

ZEPHANIAH 3:11-20   (Prophecy of Christ’s coming)
“In that day, you will not be ashamed of all your practices in which you
acted profanely against Me. For at that time I will take away from you the
contempt of your arrogance, and you shall no longer be haughty upon My
holy mountain. And I will leave among you a gentle and humble people,
who will show reverence to the name of the Lord. The remnant of Israel
will not commit unrighteousness nor speak vanities; neither will a deceitful
tongue be found in their mouth; for they will feed and lie down, and there
will be no one terrifying them.” Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Cry
aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Be glad and rejoice with your whole heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your iniquities and ransomed
you from your enemies. The Lord, the King of Israel, is in your
midst; you will no longer see any evil. At that time the Lord shall say to Jerusalem,
“O Zion, be of good courage; do not let your hands grow slack. The
Lord your God is with you. The Mighty One shall save you. He shall bring
gladness upon you and will renew you with His love. He will delight over
you with joy as in a day of feasting. I shall gather together your broken ones.
Alas! who has taken up a reproach against her? “Behold, at that time I will
act among you for your sake,” says the Lord. “I will save the oppressed and
welcome those being rejected. I will make them a praise and renowned
throughout the whole earth. And they shall be put to shame in that day
when I do well with you, at the time when I shall receive you, for I will
make you praised and renowned among all the peoples of the earth when I
return your captivity,” says the Lord.

Preserve O Lord while waking and guard us while sleeping that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep we may rest in peace.