Archives: April 2014

Click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser for this Sunday’s readings:  
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/041314.cfm 

Each year on Palm (Passion) Sunday we read one of the accounts of Jesus’ passion and death. Since we are in year A of our three year cycle of readings, this year we read Matthew’s account of the Passion.   

While each of the evangelists tells the story of Christ’s passion, each one does it from their own perspective. For example, Matthew saw and portrayed Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.  Further, in Matthew’s account, Jesus’ disciples didn’t come across very well. Not only did they fall asleep during Jesus’ agony in the garden, but they also deserted him. And Peter’s denial of Christ was accompanied by cursing and swearing.  Another element unique to Matthew is a more detailed account of Judas’ betrayal and his tragic end.  Finally, in Matthew’s account, the Chief priests and Pharisees requested that Pilot help them make sure Jesus’ disciples do not steal Jesus’ body and then later claim that he had been raised from the dead.

Perhaps the most important element that is unique to Matthew, though, occurs when Pilot asked the crowd about the fate of Jesus.  Specifically Matthew added the verse that Jesus’ blood “should be upon us and on our children” (Mt. 27.25).   Unfortunately, through the centuries this verse --- and others --- have been used to suggest that the Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus.   This idea was definitively rejected by the Second Vatican Council in its document: “Nostra Aetate,” 

Our first reading this weekend is from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah.  It is part of the third of Isaiah’s Suffering Servant Songs.  In the last four verses of the passage we read this Sunday remind us of the Servant’s trust in God’s ultimate vindication.  Certainly this was Jesus’ stance during his passion and death “The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I    have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.”  

Our second reading this weekend is from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians.  It is a hymn of praise to Jesus Christ, who “though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with god something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself………”  

Questions for reflection and/discussion:

1. As you reflect on Jesus’ passion, what part stands out for you?
2  Are you challenged in any way by Jesus’ passion? 
3. Jesus was able to trust in God the Father, even in his suffering and death.  What helps you to trust in God?

Our Basilica church and its campus  inspire beauty, art and spiritual growth and are home to outreach, community, interfaith dialogue, centering prayer, education, amazing volunteers and worship.  Entering this magnificent space, I am reminded of  why I joined the Catholic Church, because this community exemplifies and affirms all that is good in the Church. The building embraces and centers our  prayers, music and fellowship. I’m grateful to be a part of it, as a parishioner and staff member.

The Basilica Landmark
Outstanding leaders are committed to the mission of The Basilica Landmark to “preserve, restore and advance the historic Basilica of Saint Mary for all generations.”  On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to share some exciting updates.

Masqueray Ball
The annual Masqueray Ball will be Saturday, May 3, and we would be honored to have you attend.  Co-chairs Jack and Laura Lee promise  a fun evening of socializing and celebration!  

Basilica Block Party
The Basilica Block Party will celebrate its 20th anniversary on Friday, July 11 and Saturday, July 12 and we would love to have you join us. 

Matching Challenge
An anonymous donor has offered The Basilica Landmark an unprecedented $2,500,000 matching challenge gift!  New donations of at least $1000 will be matched, as well as increased gifts from current donors.  On April 26 and 27 we will have a second collection for The Basilica Landmark annual fund and hope you will consider a special gift to be matched by this inspirational challenge. Meeting the matching challenge will allow us to modernize our campus buildings, enabling our parish to meet the current and growing needs of our community.  

Landmark Projects
In 2013 and 2014 The Basilica Landmark will spend more than $4.5 million on projects, led by The Reardon Rectory Accessibility project, with  an addition to the building and new elevator, the new copper roof for the school,  replacing the 1913 church and school boiler system with a highly efficient hot water heating system,  adding central air conditioning to the school,  and removing current window units resulting in  significant annual energy savings.  

The Landmark will remove insulation from the stone walls above the nave’s plaster ceiling, material that for decades  has held moisture, accelerating the decay of our church. Drying the stone will make possible  a future interior restoration of our beautiful Basilica, our long-term vision.

Only five years ago, our goal was to “keep the building ahead of the curve.” Today, we have turned a corner.  Through the generous challenge of the match, we are able to address the crucial needs of our parish today and in the future.  

Find more information at www.thebasilicalandmark.org. I feel deep gratitude to our community for your ongoing investment in our beautiful historic landmark and campus projects and I ask for  your generosity to meet the matching challenge. You will make a great legacy possible, ensuring  that The Basilica of Saint Mary and its campus are  preserved for all generations.

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