Entrance Antiphon cf. Ps 27: 12
Do not leave me to the will of my foes, O Lord, for false witnesses rise up against me and they breathe out violence.

Collect
Almighty ever-living God, grant us so to celebrate the mysteries of the Lord’s Passion that we may merit to receive your pardon. Through our Lord…

FIRST READING
“I will give you as a light to the matrons, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” (Second song of the servant of the Lord)
A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 49: 1-6)

Listen to me, O Islands, and pay attention, you people’s from afar. The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name. He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away. And he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” But I said, “I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my right is with the LORD, and my recompense with my God.” And now the Lord says, who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am honoured in the eyes of the Lord, and my God has become my strength — he says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 71: 1-2.3-4a.5-6ab.15ab and 17 (R. see 15ab)
R/. My mouth will tell of your salvation, Lord.

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice, rescue me, free me;
incline your ear to me and save me. R.

Be my rock, my constant refuge,
a mighty stronghold to save me,
for you are my rock, my stronghold.
My God, free me from the hand of the wicked. R.

It is you, O Lord, who are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
On you I have leaned from my birth;
from my mother’s womb, you have been my help. R.

My mouth will tell of your justice,
and all the day long of your salvation.
O God, you have taught me from my youth,
and I proclaim your wonders still. R.

VERSE BEFORE THE GOSPEL
Glory and praise to you, O Christ. Hail, our King, obedient to the Father; you were led to crucifixion like a meek lamb to the slaughter. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

GOSPEL
“One of you will betray me. The cock will not crow, till you have denied me three times.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 13:21 – 33.36-38)

At that time: [Jesus, reclining with his disciples,] was troubled in spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was lying close to the breast of Jesus; so Simon Peter beckoned to him and said, “Tell us who it is of whom he speaks.” So lying thus, close to the breast of Jesus, he said to him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give this morsel when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the money box, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast”; or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the morsel, he immediately went out; and it was night. When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of man glorified, and in him God is glorified; if God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come. “‘ Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now; but you shall follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the cock will not crow, till you have denied me three times.”
The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection
Jesus had twelve companions, carefully chosen, after a long night of prayer (Luke 6:12). For three years, he formed them to become Apostles, men who would continue his mission after him, only for one of them to go and “sell” him to his enemies for thirty pieces of silver. Even when Jesus gave him a chance to withdraw from his evil intent by revealing that he knew what Judas was planning, he did not take it. Another one was a loud mouth. He boasted that he would lay down his life for Jesus. Jesus predicted correctly that he would do not such thing. Indeed, before daybreak the next morning, he would have denied him three times. If the friends of Jesus could do that to him, should it be any surprise if some of our friends of Jesus could do that to him, should it be any surprise if some of our friends do the same to us?

Posted by 12 Apostles Parish central Area Abuja on Monday, April 6, 2020

Sermon Strinscript: REPENT AND BE SAVED

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the Holy Week which is the most important week in the liturgical calendar of the Church offers us a great opportunity to reflect on the passion, death and resurrection of Christ. It is also an opportunity to reflect and see how we can also make a return from our sinful ways back to God through genuine repentance.
The Gospel text today presents to us two Apostles of Jesus Christ, Judas and Peter who had many somethings in common yet just one thing made all the difference in their eternal destinies.

✓Peter and Judas were among the 12 Apostles

✓ Both were always with Jesus just like the other Apostles, listening to his teachings and saw all the miracles He performed.

✓ They were both present at the last supper and Jesus even washed their feet.

✓ Both of them turned their backs on Jesus.
Which is the main focus of our Gospel text this morning. Judas betrayed Jesus and Peter denied Him three times.

The only difference that affected their eternal destinies was that Peter after realizing what he has done wept bitterly and repented. But Judas was angry perhaps wept but hanged himself.
In other words, Peter sinned, wept bitterly and repented.
Judas sinned, felt sorrow, even returned the money but went on to kill himself with no record of repentance.
Lesson: As we journey through this Holy week, Let us realise that we have sinned like Judas and Peter in one way or the other. We have often betrayed our saviour Jesus Christ and denied Him many times.
In this Holy Week, let us seek God’s forgiveness and repent of our sins.
Let us as a global family of believers cry out to God for Mercy, change our ways and continue to worship Him in spirit and in truth.
May our Journey through this Holy Week lead us to a glorious Easter celebration through Christ our Lord. Amen

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