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Sunday, April 6, 2014:  (FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT)  Readings for today:  Ezekiel 37:12-14  /  Romans 8:8-11  /  John 11:1-45:


Readings from:   (Pics from elsewhere on the internet)




Reading 1 - A reading from the first book of the Prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 37:12-14):


Thus says the Lord GOD:
O my people, I will open your graves
and have you rise from them,
and bring you back to the land of Israel.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD,
when I open your graves and have you rise from them,
O my people!
I will put my spirit in you that you may live,
and I will settle you upon your land;
thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.








Responsorial Psalm - (Psalm 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8):






R/ (7) With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.

R/ With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
LORD, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.

R/ With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
More than sentinels wait for the dawn,
let Israel wait for the LORD.

R/ With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

For with the LORD is kindness
and with him is plenteous redemption;
And he will redeem Israel
from all their iniquities.

R/ With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.




Reading 2 - A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans (Romans 8:8-11):


Brothers and sisters:

Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh;
on the contrary, you are in the spirit,
if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
But if Christ is in you,
although the body is dead because of sin,
the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
the one who raised Christ from the dead
will give life to your mortal bodies also,
through his Spirit dwelling in you.






Gospel - A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John (John 11:1-45):


Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany,
the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
Mary was the one who had anointed the Lord with perfumed oil
and dried his feet with her hair;
it was her brother Lazarus who was ill.
So the sisters sent word to him saying,
“Master, the one you love is ill.”
When Jesus heard this he said,
“This illness is not to end in death,
but is for the glory of God,
that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when he heard that he was ill,
he remained for two days in the place where he was.
Then after this he said to his disciples,
“Let us go back to Judea.”
The disciples said to him,
“Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you,
and you want to go back there?”
Jesus answered,
“Are there not twelve hours in a day?
If one walks during the day, he does not stumble,
because he sees the light of this world.
But if one walks at night, he stumbles,
because the light is not in him.”
He said this, and then told them,
“Our friend Lazarus is asleep,
but I am going to awaken him.”
So the disciples said to him,
“Master, if he is asleep, he will be saved.”
But Jesus was talking about his death,
while they thought that he meant ordinary sleep.
So then Jesus said to them clearly,
“Lazarus has died.
And I am glad for you that I was not there,
that you may believe.
Let us go to him.”
So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples,
“Let us also go to die with him.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
had already been in the tomb for four days.
Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away.
And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary
to comfort them about their brother.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you.”
Jesus said to her,
“Your brother will rise.”
Martha said to him,
“I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her,
“I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”

When she had said this,
she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying,
“The teacher is here and is asking for you.”
As soon as she heard this,
she rose quickly and went to him.
For Jesus had not yet come into the village,
but was still where Martha had met him.
So when the Jews who were with her in the house comforting her
saw Mary get up quickly and go out,
they followed her,
presuming that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him,
she fell at his feet and said to him,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping,
he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said,
“Where have you laid him?”
They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
And Jesus wept.
So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”
But some of them said,
“Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man
have done something so that this man would not have died?”

So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb.
It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.
Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him,
“Lord, by now there will be a stench;
he has been dead for four days.”
Jesus said to her,
“Did I not tell you that if you believe
you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said,
“Father, I thank you for hearing me.
I know that you always hear me;
but because of the crowd here I have said this,
that they may believe that you sent me.”
And when he had said this,
He cried out in a loud voice,
“Lazarus, come out!”
The dead man came out,
tied hand and foot with burial bands,
and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
So Jesus said to them,
“Untie him and let him go.”

Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary
and seen what he had done began to believe in him.










04/06/2014 - St. Crescentia Hoess (1682-1744 /  Feast Day: April 5): 




Saint Crescentia Hoess

Saint Crescentia Hoess
(St. Crescentia Höss)

Feast Day – April 5

Saint Crescentia Hoess was born on October 20, 1682, in Kaufbeuren, a little town in the diocese of Augsburg. Her father, Matthias Hoess, a simple weaver, was barely able in spite of diligent work to provide the necessaries for his family of eight children. But he was a pious Christian, satisfied with his condition, and delighted to think upon the poor life and the bitter suffering of Jesus Christ. The mother bore a tender love for the sick and poor.

Crescentia received the virtues of her good parents as a precious inheritance. Even as a child she would withdraw from association with her playmates in order to pray in church or in a quiet corner of the house. If a poor person came to the house at mealtime, she often asked permission to give her portion to him.

At an early age Saint Crescentia Hoess was so thoroughly instructed in the truths of religions that her spiritual director permitted her to go to Holy Communion at the age of seven. Her answers in catechism class were sometimes filled with such depth of meaning that she said:

“My child, you must surely have a higher teacher.”

It has been recorded that her guardian angel and the Lord Himself, in the guise of a child frequently conversed with her.

As Crescentia grew older, she not only assisted her mother in all the housework, but also learned weaving from her father in spite of the fact that she was not robust. Her whole deportment, however, showed that she was not destined for this world. In town she was called “the little angel,” and she entertained no fonder hope than to be admitted among the consecrated virgins in the convent of the Tertiaries in her native town.

But the convent was poor, and the superiors declared that they could not receive her without a dowry. Then the Protestant Mayor of the town lent his aid. He had rendered the convent a great service; when the nuns came to offer their expressions of gratitude, he told them that they might now, as a favor to him, accept the daughter of the poor weaver Hoess.

“It would surely be a shame,” he added, “if such an angel were spoiled by the world.”

Now Crescentia was received into the convent, but she was made to feel that she had come without a dowry and was received only through force of necessity. She was compelled to do the lowliest work of a maid; she was regarded as a burden, frowned upon and despised. Her readiness to be obliging and friendly were set down as flattery and hypocrisy; and when visible persecutions came from the devil, she was called a witch. The nuns would gladly have gotten rid of her if they had not been obliged to consider the mayor.

In spite of all these things, Saint Crescentia Hoess remained steadfast in her vocation. When the evil enemy said to her,

“Go home, there you will not have it so bad as here,” she said in answer: “I am ready to suffer still worse things.”

Often Saint Crescentia Hoess said that she was only a poor weaver’s daughter who was received out of pity, and should consequently not be permitted to make demands. Nevertheless, after four years conditions improved. A new superior soon recognized the eminent virtue of Sister Crescentia; she was appointed portress, and later on novice mistress, in which position she won the love and respect of all the sisters to such a degree, that after the death of the superior she was unanimously elected as the successor.

As superior, Saint Crescentia Hoess evinced not only maternal affection for his sisters and holy zeal for their spiritual advancement, but also such prudence in material affairs that the circumstances of the convent became better than they had ever been. Meanwhile, she was entirely devoted to the interior life.

God almighty granted her very special enlightenment, so that her advice was constantly sought. Not only did the people come from all parts of Swabia, but princes and princesses as well as bishops and even two cardinals came or wrote to her, to ask for her advice and opinion in most weighty matters. Withal Crescentia, like a true daughter of St Francis, always remained a model of humility.

In her final sufferings her virtue was to be specially tried. From the very beginning of her convent life, she had been much afflicted with headaches and toothaches. Added to this, she was later attacked with severe pains in the side, so that she could not walk a step. As the years advanced, bodily sufferings increased. She lay so severely ill, that her hands and feet were entirely crippled, and her whole body rolled up like a ball; to this was added severe pain in the back. But remembering the sufferings of Christ, in which she wished to share, she cried out:

“O ye bodily members, praise God that He has given you the capacity to suffer.”

Yes, she drew from her sufferings peace and joy in the Holy Spirit as is indicated by her Hymn in Sufferings, which begins with the following words:

“Thou sweet Hand of God givest joy to my heart, And grantest that in pain I play the jester’s part.”

Finally, perfected in the way of sanctity, Saint Crescentia Hoess went to the joys of her Lord on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1744. Her virtues were pronounced heroic as early as 1801. She was beatified by Pope Leo XIII in the Jubilee year 1900.

from The Franciscan Book of Saints, edited by Marion Habig, OFM