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Sunday, March 28, 2010

CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SUN. MARCH 28, 2010





CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SUN. MARCH 28, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE: PALM SUNDAY MESSAGE-
AFRICA: DEM. REP. OF CONGO: 321 CIVILIANS KILLED IN 2009 BY LRA-
AMERICA: USA: SENATOR MCCAIN TEAMS UP WITH PALIN AGAIN-
ASIA: PHILIPPINES: POOR WOMEN NOW RECEIVE TRAINING & JOBS-
EUROPE: AUSTRIA: NEW FILM ON LOURDES-
AUSTRALIA: ABBOTT APOLOGISES FOR COMMENTS-

VATICAN
POPE: PALM SUNDAY MESSAGE
Asia News report:
Benedict XVI invites the young people of World Youth Day to follow Jesus and discover "the heights" of humanity, accepting the gift of communion with Him and with the Church, without "conceit", bringing His peace to the world. A call to make pilgrimages to the Holy Land. At the Angelus a mandate to young people and a prayer for Jerusalem and the continuing Israeli-Palestinian tensions.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Blessed is he who comes, the king, in the name of the Lord": This acclamation of the faithful as Jesus enters Jerusalem, remembered on Palm Sunday, "is an expression of deep grief and, at the same time, and prayer of hope: He that comes in the name of the Lord brings upon the earth that which is in heaven. His kingship becomes the kingship of God, the presence of heaven on earth. "
With this invitation to follow Jesus, asking Him to "bring us heaven: the glory of God and peace to mankind," because "there is no peace on earth ', Benedict XVI ended his masterful homily marking Palm Sunday and the Passion of the Lord, celebrated this morning in St Peter's Square. Along with tens of thousands of young people of the diocese of Rome, he also marked the 25th World Youth Day.
The Pope's speech took its cue primarily from the gospel of the blessing of the Palms, which in the liturgy precedes the entrance (the Gospel of the Mass is instead the story of the Passion).
The pope wanted to first comment on the fact that "Jesus was walking in front of everyone going up to Jerusalem" (Luke 19:28). "Being a Christian - said the pope - is a journey, or rather, a pilgrimage, a walk with Jesus Christ. A move in that direction that he has shown us and shows us.
This journey is an ascent, not only geographically (Jesus walked from Jericho to Jerusalem, with an ascent of almost 1000 meters), but "an ascent to the true height of being human. Man can choose a convenient way and avoiding any hardships. He can also descend, into the vulgar. He can sink into the morass of lies and dishonesty. Jesus walks ahead of us, and go upwards. He leads us towards what is great, pure, he leads us to the healthy air of the heights: towards life in truth, towards the courage not to be disturbed by the chatter of prevailing opinions; towards the patience that endures and supports' others. He leads us towards openness to the suffering, the abandoned, towards the loyalty that is on the side of the other even when the situation becomes difficult. He leads us to a willingness to bring help, towards a goodness that can not be disarmed not even by ingratitude. He leads us to love – he leads us to God. "
Benedict XVI explains then the symbol of Jerusalem "the city where the Temple of God stood, whose uniqueness alluded to the uniqueness of God himself. This site therefore primarily announces two things: on one hand it says that God is one in the world, who vastly exceeds all our places and times; He is the God to which all of creation belongs".
The second aspect is the fact that Jesus goes to the sacrifice of the Passover in which "he himself [is] the Lamb", "Jesus knows that his path will go further: it will not end on the cross. He knows that his path will tear away the veil between this world and the world of God that He will ascend to the throne of God to reconcile God and man in his body .... His path leads beyond the top of the Temple Mount to the heights of God himself: this is the great ascent to which he invites all of us. He is always with us on earth and is always already at the side of God, He guides us on earth and beyond earth ".
Walking with Jesus also means "a journey into the "us" of those who want to follow Him. It introduces us into this community. But because the journey to real life, to becoming men and women conformed to the model of the Son of God Jesus Christ is beyond our own strength, this walk is always also a being brought. We are, so to speak, bound by rope to Jesus Christ - with him in the ascent to the heights of God he draws us and sustains us. It is part of following Christ that we allow ourselves to be incorporated into this bond, we accept we can not do make it alone. It is part of this act of humility, to enter into the "we" of the Church, clinging to the rope, the responsibility of the community - not to tear the rope with the obstinacy and conceit. The humble believing with the Church, just like being bound by the rope in the ascent towards God, is an essential condition of discipleship. This being bound together by rope also entails not behaving like masters of the Word of God, not chasing after the wrong idea of emancipation. Humility of 'being-with "is essential to the ascent. Another part of it is that in the Sacraments we allow the Lord once again to take our hand; we let Him purify and invigorate us, we accept the discipline of the ascent, even though we are tired. "
"The cross is part of the ascent to the heights of Jesus Christ - adds the Pope – from the ascent until the height of God himself. As in the affairs of this world great results cannot be achieved without renunciation and hardships ... so the path to life itself, toward the realization of one's humanity is tied to communion with Him who rose up to God through the Cross. Ultimately, the Cross is an expression of what love means: only he who loses himself, finds himself ".
As if to draw conclusions about "pilgrimage" and "discipleship", Benedict XVI clarifies: "Our pilgrimage to follow Christ does not travel towards an earthly city, but the new City of God that is growing in the midst of this world."
To confirm this, the pope recalled his pilgrimage to the Holy Land last year and indeed, he almost seems to invite everyone to undertake one: "The pilgrimage to the earthly Jerusalem ... may be, particularly for we Christians a useful element for that far greater journey. I myself linked three meanings to my pilgrimage to the Holy Land last year. First I thought it could happen to us on this occasion what St. John says at the beginning of his First Letter: What we heard, we can, in some ways, see and touch with our hands (cf. 1 Jn 1:1 ). Faith in Jesus Christ is not an invention of legend. It is based on a story that really happened. This story we can, so to speak, contemplate and touch. It is moving to be close in Nazareth to where the angel appeared to Mary and transmitted to her the task of becoming the Mother of the Redeemer. It is moving to be in Bethlehem at the place where the Word made flesh, came to live among us, put our foot on holy ground where God chose to become man and child. It is moving to climb the steps to Calvary to the place where Jesus died for us on the Cross. And finally stand before the empty tomb, pray where his holy body was placed and where on the third day the resurrection took place. Following the exterior paths of Jesus must help us to walk with greater joy and with a new inner certainty about the path that He has shown us and that is himself. " And he adds: "When we go to the Holy Land as pilgrims, we also go - and this is the second aspect - as messengers of peace, with prayers for peace, with an invitation to everyone to there, whose name includes the word 'peace', everything possible to ensure it can really become a place of peace. So the pilgrimage is at the same time - as the third aspect - an encouragement to Christians to stay in the country of their origins and to engage intensively in it for peace. "
Hence the invitation to pray "in the spirit of the request of the Our Father, 'Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!'. We know that heaven is heaven, a place of glory and peace, for there God's will reigns fully. And we know that earth is not heaven as long as God’s will is not realised on it. Let us therefore welcome Jesus who comes from heaven and pray to Him to help us know and carry out the will of God. That the kingship of God is manifested in the world and so it may be filled with the radiance of peace. Amen”.
During the Angelus, at the end of Mass, Benedict XVI recalled the 25 years of World Youth Day, established by Pope John Paul II in 1985.
"Today - added the pope - I renew that call for this generation, to give testimony with the gentle power and light of truth, so that men and women of the third millennium will not lack the most authentic model: Jesus Christ. I hand this mandate in particular to the 300 delegates International Youth Forum, who came from all over the world, convened by the Pontifical Council for the Laity. "
At the time of the greetings he again emphasized his concern for Jerusalem: "At this moment, our thoughts and our hearts are directed especially to Jerusalem, where the paschal mystery is accomplished. I am deeply saddened by the recent conflict and the tensions that have occurred again in that city, which is spiritual home to Christians, Jews and Muslims, a prophecy and promise of the universal reconciliation that God desires for the whole human family. Peace is a gift that God entrusts to human responsibility, to cultivate it through dialogue and respect for the rights of all, reconciliation and forgiveness. Pray then, so those responsible for the fate of Jerusalem engage with courage on the path of peace and follow it with perseverance. " http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Pope:-Palm-Sunday,-Jesus-is-the-king-who-brings-heaven’s-peace-to-earth-18003.html


AFRICA
DEM. REP. OF CONGO: 321 CIVILIANS KILLED IN 2009 BY LRA

All Africa report: The rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) killed at least 321 civilians and abducted 250 others, including at least 80 children, during a previously unreported four-day rampage in the Makombo area of northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo in December 2009, Human Rights "The Makombo massacre is one of the worst ever committed by the LRA in its bloody 23-year history, yet it has gone unreported for months," said Anneke Van Woudenberg, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. "The four-day rampage demonstrates that the LRA remains a serious threat to civilians and is not a spent force, as the Ugandan and Congolese governments claim."
The 67-page report, "Trail of Death: LRA Atrocities in Northeastern Congo," is the first detailed documentation of the Makombo massacre and other atrocities by the LRA in Congo in 2009 and early 2010. The report, based on a Human Rights Watch fact-finding mission to the massacre area in February, documents the brutal killings during the well-planned LRA attack from December 14 to 17 in the remote Makombo area of Haute Uele district.
LRA forces attacked at least 10 villages, capturing, killing, and abducting hundreds of civilians, including women and children. The vast majority of those killed were adult men, whom LRA combatants first tied up and then hacked to death with machetes or crushed their skulls with axes and heavy wooden sticks. The dead include at least 13 women and 23 children, the youngest a 3-year-old girl who was burned to death. LRA combatants tied some of the victims to trees before crushing their skulls with axes.
The LRA also killed those they abducted who walked too slowly or tried to escape. Family members and local authorities later found bodies all along the LRA's 105-kilometer journey through the Makombo area and the small town of Tapili. Witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch said that for days and weeks after the attack, this vast area was filled with the "stench of death."
Children and adults who managed to escape provided similar accounts of the group's extreme brutality. Many of the children captured by the LRA were forced to kill other children who had disobeyed the LRA's rules. In numerous cases documented by Human Rights Watch, children were ordered to surround the victim in a circle and take turns beating the child on the head with a large wooden stick until the child died.
The United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Congo (MONUC) has some 1,000 peacekeeping troops in the LRA-affected areas of northeastern Congo - far too few to protect the population adequately, given the area's size. Yet instead of sending more troops, the peacekeeping force, under pressure from the Congolese government to withdraw from the country by July 2011, is considering removing some troops from the northeast by June in the first phase of its drawdown.
"The people of northeastern Congo are in desperate need of more protection, not less," said Van Woudenberg. "The UN Security Council should stop any drawdown of MONUC peacekeeping troops from areas where the LRA threatens to kill and abduct civilians."
In mid-April, the Security Council is due to visit Congo to discuss the peacekeeping force's plans for withdrawal and the protection of civilians.
The Makombo massacre is part of a longstanding history of atrocities and abuse by the LRA in Uganda, southern Sudan, the Central African Republic (CAR), and Congo. Pushed out of northern Uganda in 2005, the LRA now operates in the remote border area between southern Sudan, Congo, and CAR. In July 2005, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for the senior leaders of the LRA for crimes they committed in northern Uganda, but those indicted remain at large.
The Human Rights Watch research indicated that the Makombo massacre was perpetrated by two LRA commanders - Lt. Col. Binansio Okumu (also known as Binany) and a commander known as Obol. They report to Gen. Dominic Ongwen, a senior LRA leader who is believed to command the LRA's forces in Congo and who is among those sought by the International Criminal Court. Human Rights Watch urged investigations of these commanders' alleged participation in war crimes and crimes against humanity.
In December 2008, the governments of the region, led by the Ugandan armed forces, with intelligence and logistical support from the United States, began a military campaign known as Operation Lightning Thunder against the LRA in northeastern Congo. A surprise aerial strike on the main LRA camp failed to neutralize the LRA leadership, which escaped. In retaliation, the LRA attacked villages and towns in northern Congo and southern Sudan, killing more than 865 civilians during the Christmas 2008 holiday season and in the weeks thereafter.
On March 15, 2009, Operation Lightning Thunder officially ended, following pressure from the Congolese government, which found it politically difficult to support a continued Ugandan army presence on Congolese territory. But a covert joint military campaign continued, with the quiet approval of the Congolese president, Joseph Kabila. Both governments publicly maintain that the LRA is no longer a serious threat in Congo and that the bulk of the rebel group has either moved to Central African Republic or has been killed or dispersed.
These public declarations might have contributed to burying information about ongoing LRA attacks, leaving many victims feeling abandoned. An 80-year-old traditional chief, whose son was killed during the Makombo massacre, told Human Rights Watch: "We have been forgotten. It's as if we don't exist. The government says the LRA are no longer a problem, but I know that's not true. I beg of you, please talk to others about what has happened to us."
While the Makombo massacre is the most deadly documented attack by the LRA since the Christmas massacres of 2008, dozens of attacks against civilians have also been carried out in other areas in recent months - near the towns of Bangadi and Ngilima in Haut Uele district, in Ango territory in Bas Uele district, as well as in the Central African Republic.
In the December 2009 attacks near Bangadi and Ngilima, LRA combatants horribly mutilated six civilians, cutting off each victim's lips and an ear with a razor. The LRA sent the victims back to their villages with a chilling warning to others that anyone who heard or spoke about the LRA would be similarly punished.
On March 11, 2010, the US Senate unanimously passed the Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act. If it becomes law, it will require President Barack Obama's administration to develop a regional strategy to protect civilians in central Africa from attacks by the LRA, to work to apprehend the LRA's leadership, and to support economic recovery for northern Uganda. The bill is currently before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
"The people of northeastern Congo and other LRA-affected areas have suffered for far too long," said Van Woudenberg. "The US and other concerned governments should work with the UN and regional parties to develop and carry out a comprehensive strategy to protect civilians and apprehend abusive LRA leaders."http://allafrica.com/stories/201003280001.html




AMERICA
USA: SENATOR MCCAIN TEAMS UP WITH PALIN AGAIN

Arizona Senator John McCain has teamed up once again with former presidential running mate Sarah Palin in a bid to salvage his faltering political career. McCain has come under deep criticism from fellow conservatives for working with Democrats on controversial measures.

While Sarah Palin and John Mcain lost the 2008 presidential election, Palin benefitted from the exposure, becoming what many say a "conservative rock star." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – McCain chose Palin, a one-term governor of Alaska to be his running mate in the 2008 presidential election. While the two ultimately suffered defeat in the election, Palin benefitted from the exposure, becoming what many said as a "conservative rock star." She remains a very vocal opponent to President Obama's many policies and has been tapped to appear on her own TV series, "Sarah Palin's Alaska" on the Discovery Channel.
McCain has diminished in the eyes of many conservative politicians and is facing the toughest re-election campaign of his Senate career. Opponents point to McCain's congressional record, including his work with the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy on a bill that would have created a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Others claim that he's far too moderate for many Arizona Republicans, such as his work with Democrats on issues such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and restricting campaign donations.
McCain has since secured the endorsements of key conservative "tea party" figures such as the recently elected Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown and Palin.
Palin will appear with McCain at rallies in Tucson and in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa this weekend. They plan to hold a fund-raiser at the same Phoenix hotel where they conceded the presidential election on Nov. 4, 2008.http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=35972



ASIA
PHILIPPINES: POOR WOMEN NOW RECEIVE TRAINING & JOBS

Asia News report: Conditions of unemployment in the slums lead to violence against women at the hands of their husbands. Through job training and spiritual help a group of Dominican sisters from Davo offers an alternative to these women by helping them build and sell products made from recycled material and regain the respect of their husbands and sons.
Manila (AsiaNews) - In the slums of Davao City (Mindanao), 120 women have regained their dignity from handiwork made from rags: pillows, curtains and photo albums. This thanks to a group of Dominican nuns and Catholic volunteers of the Association for Awareness and Defence of Women (Asawa). The purpose of the organization is to protect women and children from family violence, making them self-sufficient.
Alice Doler, one of 120 women, says: "Becoming an Asawa member gave me a sense of dignity and made me different in the eyes of my family." Alice is the mother of 6 children and for years her family survived on the salary of her husband, a professional driver. After he was made unemployed the woman was subjected to abuse by her husband and also by her older children. "Before starting my work – she adds - my husband's salary was all we had to live on." Selling her products, the woman now earns about 6 euros hours a day, and together with her spouses salary is able to send their children to school.
"In the Philippines women and men have equal rights – says Sister Annabella V. del Castillo, a Dominican nun and director of Asawa - but this does not happen in poor families, where women suffer terrible violence by men". The religious has headed the organization since 2005 and has developed job training courses in recent years along with three sisters and 12 volunteers, offering psychological and spiritual support programs that help women, often little more than girls, to be self-sufficient and contribute to the upkeep of their family. Asawa, in addition to teaching these women helps in the sale of products, to manage household expenses and take care of younger children.
Sister Annabella says: "With our apostolate we want to help a small proportion of poor and unfortunate women of our society through the development of their people and communities." The nun adds that "thanks to the program, they experience the compassion and love of God and through faith in the Lord will be able to overcome the difficulties ahead." http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Davao:-120-poor-women-rediscover-dignity-thanks-work-and-faith-in-the-Lord-18000.html




EUROPE
AUSTRIA: NEW FILM ON LOURDES

Catholic Herald report:
In her latest film, Lourdes, Austrian film director Jessica Hausner paints the world as a place in which human beings grasp at scraps of meaning and hope.The film, which opens in cinemas in time for Palm Sunday, is a distinctly secular take on the Marian shrine. The lead character, Christine, played by Sylvie Testud, suffers from multiple sclerosis and in a wheelchair. She travels to Lourdes with an Order of Malta pilgrimage. Here we are privy to much suffering: Christine is not particularly religious, we learn, and primarily goes on pilgrimages in order to travel. She appears to be miraculously cured and can walk. The other characters are in turn perplexed, annoyed, infuriated and ambivalent about the miracle. The girl has to get the miracle authenticated. As one character asks, why has God chosen her and not someone else? Hausner's first experience of Lourdes came after she decided that she wanted to make a film about a miracle, "knowing that it was not the phenomenon of miracles I was interested in but the metaphor; what a miracle stands for. Human hope is this essential wish to escape from an unsatisfying situation."She adds: "I started my research and then I found Lourdes. I was really interested to learn that such a place existed, where people could come and be cured. It was like a fairytale."In her lilting Austrian accent she explains that she was shocked when she first visited Lourdes, because she had never come across so many sick people with awful illnesses, the palpable presence of death and the very strong hope of the pilgrims. It depressed her. "The people come there to find comfort whether it is physical healing or spiritual healing, whether it is psychological comfort or spiritual comfort. "They seek something that also shows how desperate they are. I was shocked because I found it depressing. I found that maybe they shouldn't hope so much and maybe they should try to make the best of it and maybe not put their trust in God because God does what he wants; and so I felt very pitiful for the people who go there hoping for so much."Like most Austrians, Hausner had a Catholic upbringing, attending a Catholic school even while her parents were not religious. A youthful 37-year-old, Hausner is a slim glamorous blond who challenges the stereotype of the old balding male director in baseball cap.She says: "When I grew up I very much thought that I cannot believe that God exists, because [His existence] is not very obvious. I thought that injustice and the bad things in the world were too strong for me to be able to believe in God. I think this is very typical of people who grow up. They lose their childish faith and as an adult it is something completely different to believe."Throughout the film, the crisp black, red and white uniforms of the Order of Malta offer a structured contrast to the sick pilgrims' clothes. The members of the Order offer a sub-plot, with the flirtations and frustrations of young people who are on the pilgrimage for a variety of reasons. Hausner says that she came across the Order while she was doing her research for the film. They were friendly, and she was invited to take part in a pilgrimage with them, which she says was an interesting experience for her because after her first visit to the shrine she was "a bit worried if this would be a film I could make at all because it was horrifying". The Order of Malta pilgrimage to Lourdes - often peopled with well-to-do youngsters - gave Hausner a glimpse of a separate society with its own rules, where people had their own lives."It made a strong contrast to the sick people because the people from the Order of Malta are wealthy," says Hausner. "They do this kind of charity work out of goodwill or education or social tradition, and this made an interesting contrast. It helped me to be able to draw a portrait of the society of lucky ones, and the ones who are not lucky."Hausner's characters are often in two minds about their faith. Is Hausner criticising religious people who seek to give answers? She says that no one knows the answers and the film is not about saying that those "who believe lie to themselves". "I think I offer another point of view which says that any kind of explanation or interpretation you try to find for what is happening in life will be half-hearted," she explains."There is a kind of mystery and non-understanding of why things happen in the way they do, and maybe there is no explanation and it is very human to try and find one. Everyone has this longing to explain and also to foresee. You want to know what is awaiting you and you will never know. Death will come and you will see what happens." ***Ambiguity and ambivalence are strong parts of Hausner's film. She says that the film sets out to show "the ambivalence of a miracle" where people have their wishes and longings but are subjected to "the ambiguity of fate". She says: "There is no such promise to be kept. You might be a good person but you might not achieve what you are longing for. There is no justice."During her research trips to Lourdes she was looking for different characters to show various perspectives and to be part of the ambiguity. "Each of them has a different point of view and expresses another aspect of what is happening. And still you find out that no one's right, that no one has the right answer for it but there is no one who finds a satisfying answer. This is what the film is really about. "Yes, it's possible that something truly miraculous is happening. But what next? What does this miracle tell us? Does it give us any hints or clues about what to expect next? And the ending of the film is this consciousness of decay. That even if you find your happiness you might not be able to keep it."In a previous interview Hausner said she disliked the fact the Church was "selling salvation". What did she mean by that? "The fact that in our society, and it's not only the Catholic Church, it's also in non-religious society, everything is oriented towards a sort of improvement," Hausner replies. "You always want to get it better than you have it and there is a strange dream behind that you can always have it better than the others, or more than the others, or a fulfilment of what you are longing for."Hausner cites the television shows, which offer makeovers and cosmetic surgery to women, as an example of this phenomenon and goes on to say the Church is guilty of this too. But the Church, she says, has a very strong influence on society "because it has been for so long the strongest ideology which says that one day you will be saved".For Hausner, the idea that Jesus came to save us is something "that always postpones things to a later time" and she doesn't like it. "I would prefer to accept that there is a strange, unsatisfying half-heartedness in life that you will have to accept now," she says. http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/features/f0000545.shtml



AUSTRALIA
ABBOTT APOLOGISES FOR COMMENTS

Cath News report: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has told a Melbourne gay radio station he regrets his choice of words about feeling "a bit threatened" by homosexuals, adding that he would like to see same-sex relationships "celebrated, acknowledged and recognised".
"Yeah, look it was a poor choice of words," he said about the remarks made on television, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
"Look, I think blokes of my generation and upbringing do sometimes find these things a bit confronting," he said on the Joy-FM radio station.
Asked if he would support a federal relationships recognition act for same-sex couples, Mr Abbott appeared to be sympathetic to the idea.
"I would like to see a way for gay relationships to be celebrated, acknowledged and recognised, but precisely how that is best done I think needs to be discussed widely," he said.
Mr Abbott said he was "happy to look at" civil union and domestic partner relationships in other countries.
He stopped short of endorsing gay marriage, describing matrimony as a between a man and a woman.
On air, Mr Abbott was quizzed in a wide-ranging and lengthy interview on gay adoption, gay marriage, discrimination laws and homophobia, ABC reports.
http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=20259




TODAY'S SAINT

Pope St. Sixtus III
POPE
Feast: March 28
Information:
Feast Day:
March 28
Died:
18 August 440 in Rome, Italy

Consecrated 31 July, 432; d. 440. Previous to his accession he was prominent among the Roman clergy and in correspondence with St. Augustine. He reigned during the Nestorian and Pelagian controversies, and it was probably owing to his conciliatory disposition that he was falsely accused of leanings towards these heresies. As pope he approved the Acts of the Council of Ephesus and endeavoured to restore peace between Cyril of Alexandria and John of Antioch. In the Pelagian controversy he frustrated the attempt of Julian of Eclanum to be readmitted to communion with the Catholic Church. He defended the pope's right of supremacy over Illyricum against the local bishops and the ambitious designs of Proclus of Constantinople. At Rome he restored the Basilica of Liberius, now known as St. Mary Major, enlarged the Basilica of St. Lawrence-Without-the-Walls, and obtained precious gifts from the Emperor Valentinian III for St. Peter's and the Lateran Basilica. The work which asserts that the consul Bassus accused him of crime is a forgery. He is the author of eight letters (in P.L., L, 583 sqq.), but he did not write the works "On Riches", "On False Teachers", and "On Chastity" ("De divitiis", "De malis doctoribus", "De castitate") attributed to him. His feast is kept on 28 March. SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/S/stsixtusiii.asp

TODAY'S MASS READINGS

PALM SUNDAY/ YEAR C
Matthew 21: 1 - 11
1
And when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Beth'phage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,
2
saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me.
3
If any one says anything to you, you shall say, `The Lord has need of them,' and he will send them immediately."
4
This took place to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet, saying,
5
"Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of an ass."
6
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them;
7
they brought the ass and the colt, and put their garments on them, and he sat thereon.
8
Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
9
And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"
10
And when he entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, "Who is this?"
11
And the crowds said, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee."


Isaiah 50: 4 - 7
4
The 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.
5
The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I turned not backward.
6
I 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.
7
For 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;


Psalms 22: 8 - 9, 17 - 20, 23 - 24
8
"He committed his cause to the LORD; let him deliver him, let him rescue him, for he delights in him!"
9
Yet thou art he who took me from the womb; thou didst keep me safe upon my mother's breasts.
17
I can count all my bones -- they stare and gloat over me;
18
they divide my garments among them, and for my raiment they cast lots.
19
But thou, O LORD, be not far off! O thou my help, hasten to my aid!
20
Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the power of the dog!
23
You who fear the LORD, praise him! all you sons of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you sons of Israel!
24
For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; and he has not hid his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.





Philippians 2: 6 - 11
6
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7
but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
8
And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.
9
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name,
10
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Matthew 27: 11 - 54
11
Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus said, "You have said so."
12
But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he made no answer.
13
Then Pilate said to him, "Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?"
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But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge; so that the governor wondered greatly.
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Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted.
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And they had then a notorious prisoner, called Barab'bas.
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So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, "Whom do you want me to release for you, Barab'bas or Jesus who is called Christ?"
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For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up.
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Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, "Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much over him today in a dream."
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Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the people to ask for Barab'bas and destroy Jesus.
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The governor again said to them, "Which of the two do you want me to release for you?" And they said, "Barab'bas."
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Pilate said to them, "Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" They all said, "Let him be crucified."
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And he said, "Why, what evil has he done?" But they shouted all the more, "Let him be crucified."
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So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man's blood; see to it yourselves."
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And all the people answered, "His blood be on us and on our children!"
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Then he released for them Barab'bas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.
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Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the praetorium, and they gathered the whole battalion before him.
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And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe upon him,
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and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on his head, and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him they mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
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And they spat upon him, and took the reed and struck him on the head.
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And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe, and put his own clothes on him, and led him away to crucify him.
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As they went out, they came upon a man of Cyre'ne, Simon by name; this man they compelled to carry his cross.
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And when they came to a place called Gol'gotha (which means the place of a skull),
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they offered him wine to drink, mingled with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it.
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And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots;
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then they sat down and kept watch over him there.
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And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, "This is Jesus the King of the Jews."
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Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left.
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And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads
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and saying, "You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross."
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So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying,
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"He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.
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He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him; for he said, `I am the Son of God.'"
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And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.
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Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.
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And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, la'ma sabach-tha'ni?" that is, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
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And some of the bystanders hearing it said, "This man is calling Eli'jah."
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And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink.
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But the others said, "Wait, let us see whether Eli'jah will come to save him."
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And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
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And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split;
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the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised,
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and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
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When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe, and said, "Truly this was the Son of God!"
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