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Liturgical Leaflet for an Active Participation in the Celebration of the Eucharist

7 April 2019 5th Sunday of Lent Year C

Blessed Are the Merciful,

For They Shall Find Mercy

A s we proceed in our Lenten pilgrimage, today we

are enriched by the unforgettable example of Jesus
who offers his forgiveness and restores dignity to the
adulterous woman who had been dragged in front of him in shame
and fear. The teaching of mercy and forgiveness conveyed last
Sunday through a parable, today is offered us through an example
from real life.
The challenging sentence: “Let the one among you who has no
sin be the first to cast a stone” is not directed only to the hypocriti-
cal scribes and Pharisees of two thousand years ago. It is meant
also for those among us who easily judge and condemn others. We
should never forget that we, too, are frail and sinful, and that we
must learn to be merciful if we want to enjoy God’s mercy.

P –Lord Jesus, forgive us Collect (Opening Prayer)

for the times we have ig- P –By your help, we be-
nored your command not seech you, Lord our God,
Entrance Antiphon
to judge our neighbor. may we walk eagerly in that
(To be recited only when no Lord, have mercy! same charity with which, out
Entrance Hymn is sung.) All – Lord, have mercy! of love for the world, your
Give me justice, O God, Son handed himself over to
P –Lord Jesus, forgive us for death.
and plead my cause against a the times we have been
nation that is faithless. From Through our Lord Jesus
merciless in dealing with Christ, your Son, who lives
the deceitful and cunning res- the moral weaknesses
cue me, for you, O God, are my and reigns with you in the
strength. of our neighbor. Christ, unity of the Holy Spirit, one
have mercy! God, for ever and ever.
Greeting All – Christ, have mercy! All – Amen!
P –The grace of our Lord P –Lord Jesus, forgive us for
Jesus Christ, the love of God, the times we have doubt-
and the communion of the ed your merciful love,
Holy Spirit be with you all! or have abused it. Lord,
All – And with your spirit! have mercy! 1st Reading Is 43:16-21
All – Lord, have mercy! The prophet Isaiah has
Penitential Act words of hope for all his coun-
P –As we prepare to cele- P –May almighty God have trymen in exile, as he promises
brate the sacred mysteries, let mercy on us, forgive us our a NEW EXODUS. This fore-
us realize how much we need sins, and bring us to everlast- shadows the new liberation to
God’s forgiveness and peace. ing life. be brought about by the New
(Pause) All –Amen! Moses, Jesus Christ.
R –A proclamation from the 2nd Reading Phil 3:8-14 Gospel Jn 8:1-11
Book of the Prophet Isa- In the passage we are about A woman caught in adultery
iah to hear, the Apostle Paul states seems to offer Jesus’ enemies a
Thus says the Lord, who with enthusiasm the all-impor- good chance to make him say
opens a way in the sea and a tant role which Jesus Christ or do something that is clearly
path in the mighty waters, who has been having in his life. against the Law. But Jesus
leads out chariots and horse- Such should he also be for all skillfully reverses the situation
men, a powerful army, till they of us. and forces the plotters to leave
lie prostrate together, never to shamefacedly.
rise, snuffed out and quenched R –A proclamation from the
like a wick. Letter of Paul to the Phil- P –The Lord be with you!
Remember not the events ippians All – And with your spirit!
of the past, the things of long Brothers and sisters: P –A proclamation from the
ago consider not. holy Gospel according to
See, I am doing something I consider everything as a
loss because of the supreme John
new! Now it springs forth, do All – Glory to you, O Lord!
you not perceive it? In the des- good of knowing Christ Je-
ert I make a way, in the waste- sus my Lord. For his sake I Jesus went to the Mount of
land, rivers. Wild beasts honor have accepted the loss of all Olives. But early in the morn-
me, jackals and ostriches, for things and I consider them so ing he arrived again in the
I put water in the desert and much rubbish, that I may gain temple area, and all the people
rivers in the wasteland for my Christ and be found in him, started coming to him, and he
chosen people to drink, the not having any righteousness sat down and taught them.
people whom I formed for my- of my own based on the law Then the scribes and the
self, that they might announce but that which comes through Pharisees brought a woman
my praise. faith in Christ, the righteous- who had been caught in adul-
The Word of the Lord! ness from God, depending on tery and made her stand in the
All – Thanks be to God! faith, to know him and the middle.
power of his resurrection and They said to him, “Teacher,
Responsorial Psalm Ps 126 the sharing of his sufferings by this woman was caught in the
R –The Lord has done great being conformed to his death, very act of committing adul-
things for us. We are filled if somehow I may attain the tery. Now in the law, Moses
with joy! resurrection from the dead. commanded us to stone such
R. M. Velez It is not that I have already women. So what do you say?”
F C Bb taken hold of it or have al- They said this to test him,
       ready attained perfect matu- so that they could have some

 rity, but I continue my pursuit charge to bring against him.
in the hope that I may possess Jesus bent down and began to
The Lord has done great things for
it, since I have indeed been write on the ground with his
C F C F finger. But when they contin-
      
taken possession of by Christ
 Jesus. Brothers and sisters, I ued asking him, he straight-
for my part do not consider ened up and said to them,
us. We are filled with joy! myself to have taken posses- “Let the one among you who
sion. Just one thing: forgetting is without sin be the first to
* When the Lord brought what lies behind but straining throw a stone at her.”
back the captives of Zion, we forward to what lies ahead, I Again he bent down and
were like men dreaming. Then continue my pursuit toward wrote on the ground. And in re-
our mouth was filled with the goal, the prize of God’s up- sponse, they went away one by
laughter, and our tongue with one, beginning with the elders.
ward calling, in Christ Jesus.
rejoicing. R. So he was left alone with
* Then they said among the The Word of the Lord! the woman before him.
nations, “The Lord has done All – Thanks be to God! Then Jesus straightened
great things for them.” The up and said to her, “Woman,
Lord has done great things for Verse before the Gospel where are they? Has no one
us; we are glad indeed. R. condemned you?” She replied,
All –(Praise to you, Lord Jesus
“No one, sir.” Then Jesus said,
* Restore our fortunes, O Christ, King of endless
“Neither do I condemn you.
Lord, like the torrents in the glory!)
Go, and from now on, do not
southern desert. Those that sow Even now, says the Lord,
sin any more.”
in tears shall reap rejoicing. R. return to me with your
* Although they go forth whole heart; for I am gra- The Gospel of the Lord!
weeping, carrying the seed cious and merciful. All – Praise to you, Lord Jesus
to be sown, they shall come (Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!
back rejoicing, carrying their Christ, King of endless
sheaves. R. glory!) Homily
7 April 2019
Profession of Faith C –For all those who strug- Preface of Lent II
(Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed) gle to live an upright moral P –The Lord be with you!
life: May they succeed in All –And with your spirit!
All –I believe in one God, the Fa- overcoming external tempta-
ther almighty, maker of heaven tions and their personal mor- P –Lift up your hearts!
and earth, of all things visible al weakness with the help of All –We lift them up to the
and invisible. God’s grace and the support Lord!
I believe in one Lord Jesus of the Christian community. P –Let us give thanks to the
Christ, the Only Begotten Son Let us pray! R. Lord our God!
of God, born of the Father be- All –It is right and just!
fore all ages. God from God, C –For those who have been
Light from Light, true God from victims of human passions: P –It is truly right and just,
true God, begotten, not made, May they find in God’s mer- our duty and our salvation, al-
consubstantial with the Father; cy and in our compassion the ways and everywhere to give
through him all things were strength they need to rebuild you thanks, Lord, holy Father,
made. For us men and for our their lives. Let us pray! R. almighty and eternal God.
For you have given your
salvation he came down from C –For the students who are children a sacred time for the
heaven, (bow)* and by the Holy beginning their summer va- renewal and purification of
Spirit was incarnate of the Vir- cation: May this be for them
gin Mary, and became man.* a period of healthy relax- their hearts, that, freed from
For our sake he was crucified ation, accompanied by spiri- disordered affections, they
under Pontius Pilate, he suf- tual growth. Let us pray! R. may so deal with the things of
fered death and was buried, and this passing world as to hold
rose again on the third day in C –For all political candi- rather to the things that last
accordance with the Scriptures. dates who are running for for ever.
He ascended into heaven and is public office: May they be And so, with all the Angels
seated at the right hand of the really determined to serve and Saints, we praise you, as
Father. He will come again in the country rather than their without end we acclaim:
glory to judge the living and the
own interests or those of All – Holy, holy, holy Lord,
dead and his kingdom will have
their party and friends. Let God of hosts. Heaven and
us pray! R. earth are full of your glory.
no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, C – Let us pray in silence for Hosanna in the highest!
the Lord, the giver of life, who our personal intentions. Blessed is he who comes in
proceeds from the Father and (Pause) Let us pray! R. the name of the Lord. Hosan-
the Son, who with the Father
P –Keep us under your pro- na in the highest!
and the Son is adored and glori-
fied, who has spoken through tection, Lord, and guide us
along the way of compassion Memorial Acclamation
the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, cath- and mercy toward our neigh- P –The mystery of faith!
olic and apostolic Church. I bor. You who live and reign All – When we eat this Bread
confess one Baptism for the
for ever and ever. and drink this Cup, we
All – Amen! proclaim your Death,
forgiveness of sins and I look
forward to the resurrection of O Lord, until you come
the dead and the life of the world again!
to come. Amen!

Prayer of the Faithful Preparation of the Gifts

P –Encouraged by Jesus’ P –Pray, brethren . . .
merciful attitude toward the All – May the Lord accept the All – Our Father . . .
sinful woman, let us present sacrifice at your hands, for the P –Deliver us, Lord . . .
praise and glory of his name, All –For the kingdom, the
our petitions to him for our for our good and the good of power, and the glory are
own needs and the needs of all his holy Church. yours, now and for ever.
all mankind. Let us say to-
gether: Prayer over the Offerings Sign of Peace
All – Merciful Jesus, hear us!
P –Hear us, almighty God,
C –For the Church and and, having instilled in your Breaking of the Bread
her leaders: While firmly servants the teachings of the All – Lamb of God, you take
upholding the moral prin- Christian faith, graciously away the sins of the world:
ciples, may they show com- purify them by the working have mercy on us. (2×)
passion toward those who of this sacrifice. Lamb of God, you take
fail to live up to those prin- Through Christ our Lord. away the sins of the world:
ciples. Let us pray! R. All – Amen! grant us peace.
5th Sunday of Lent (C)
When Love Becomes Forgiveness
P –Behold the Lamb of God,
behold him who takes away the by Jess P. Balon
sins of the world. Blessed are
those called to the Supper of
the Lamb.
All – Lord, I am not worthy T hat day, Jerusalem was set to witness the public execution of a
woman caught in adultery. The case was clear. The punishment
was known to all: death by stoning. (See Lv 20:10ff and Dt 22:22ff.)
that you should enter under my
roof, but only say the word and But that day, the zealous scribes and Pharisees were determined
my soul shall be healed. to catch two birds with a stone – the adulteress and Jesus. The same
stone could be used for both, since Jesus, too – in their view – had
Communion Antiphon gone against the law, and more than once.
(To be recited only when no The trap was set. (See Jn 8:5f.) It was just a matter of delaying
Communion Hymn is sung.) the execution by a short while – until Jesus expressed his view, thus
Has no one condemned causing his own ruin . . .
you, woman? No one, Lord. There was an icy silence after the initial shouts. The silence of
Neither shall I condemn you. the woman was understandable. She could offer no justification, and
From now on, sin no more. any pleading for mercy would have fallen on deaf ears. The silence of
Jesus, however, was both unexpected and provocative.
Prayer after Communion His enemies demanded an answer. But when the answer came,
P –We pray, almighty God, they regretted it. When finally Jesus spoke up, it was the turn of his
that we may always be count- rowdy enemies to grow speechless. Their angry voices fell silent;
ed among the members of their faces dropped; the stones landed quietly on the ground. All the
Christ, in whose Body and scribes and Pharisees present made an about-turn, and then strode
Blood we have communion. off like a routed army.
Who lives and reigns for ever Only Jesus and the adulteress remained. As the woman heard
and ever. the voice of her defender, all her fright vanished and was replaced
All – Amen! by a confident trust in God’s mercy. God’s forgiveness had made her
“new,” alive once again and free – free from sin and from the fear of
human condemnation and mercilessness.
There is much of that woman in us, though our sins may be of
a different kind. We, too, may have experienced the terror that our
P –The Lord be with you. sins might be known, and thereby we might lose our reputation at the
All – And with your spirit! hands of the many who enjoy exposing the failings of others . . . .
P –Bow your heads and pray But God is different from us. He is “one of a kind,” even when it
for God’s blessing. is a matter of judging our sins. We see His attitude revealed in Christ
O Lord, bless, your peo- who stands discreetly by us as we recoil in shame and fear. He shows
ple, who long for the gift Himself to be infinitely more understanding than human beings can be.
of your mercy, and grant His readiness to forgive should not be interpreted as an encour-
that what they desire they agement to continue sinning. His forgiveness is always accompanied
may receive by your gen- by the invitation/command to avoid sin in the future. (See the last
erous gift. verse in today’s Gospel passage.)
Through Christ our Lord. When God touches us with His forgiving love, He heals us
All – Amen! thoroughly and gives us peace. He sets us free not only from our past
P –Go in peace, glorifying sins, but also from our fears. With His loving presence He strength-
the Lord by your life! ens us, and makes us determined to live as we should, even when
All – Thanks be to God! there are no human judges to condemn us.

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