Friday, March 4, 2016

Lent IV

Be sure to have your sound on to hear "My Son Has Gone Away" 
a beautiful song written by Bob Dufford S.J. the composer of Be Not Afraid.

"God awaits us with open arms; 
we need only take a step toward him like the Prodigal Son.  
But if, weak as we are, 
we don’t have the strength to take that step, 
just the desire to take it is enough.”
    The Name of God is Mercy: by Pope Francis

The fourth Sunday of lent is known as “Laetare” Sunday because the opening prayer begins “Laetare Jerusalem.” (Rejoice Jerusalem)    As on Gaudete Sunday (Gaudete also means rejoice) the church reminds us that we are halfway through the season and calls us to press forward.

This week the Cycle A readings will again be proclaimed at the 12 noon liturgy.  These readings are recommended for masses where the catechumens, those who are seeking full communion in the church attend.  (To learn more about this go to 

The prelude “Enter the Journey” (#651) will be sung at the 12 noon liturgy on each of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays in lent.  It is an affirmation of our support of the Catechumens and their journey to initiation in the sacraments of the church at the Easter vigil.

The gospel is the story of the man born blind.  The irony of its ending contains an important lesson:   The blind man regains his sight and believes while religious leaders refuse to believe and are left in the dark.  Our offertory song, Open My Eyes (#391) directly relates to this gospel.  It was chosen as a prayer that our eyes, ears, hearts and minds be open to the presence of God.

Cycle C readings
The gospel for Cycle C is the story of the Prodigal Son.  In addition to the quote at the beginning of this article, Pope Francis makes two interesting observations about this gospel.  The first pertains to the son’s primary motivation which is his physical hunger. The second is the response of the father who on catching sight of the son “was filled with compassion (and)…ran to the son, embraced him and kissed him."  The Holy Father uses this and other parables to describe a God who is overjoyed when we accept His love and mercy.

If you come attend the 5:30 or 9 a.m. liturgy you will be in for a musical treat.  Our cantor John Luland will be singing and playing My Son Has Gone Away This song, written by Bob Dufford SJ (the composer of Be Not Afraid) is a most beautiful and haunting rendition which describes the sadness of the father prior to the Son’s return.  In the song, the father sings interchangeably to his son and “Jerusalem” which Jesus used as a metaphor for the people of God.   

See all of the music selections by following the links:
Lent IV (March 6) Music at St. Mary's

Lent V (March 13) Music at St. Mary's

Palm Sunday (March 20) Music at St. Mary's



Are you a high school or college age singer who would like to sing when Archbishop Hebda comes to St. Mary's? 

Follow the link for more info or e-mail me at

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