As Catholics, we are now entering into the holiest week of the year. In this very difficult time of isolation, we have an unparalleled opportunity to both unite our sufferings with those of Jesus', and for many of us, the free time to enter deeply into prayer and immerse ourselves in the experience of walking with Jesus during the last week of his life. Additionally, it is our hope that even the Crown Retreat does not become a distraction by creating or providing more activity, when in reality this week we need to be devoted to an undivided time with Jesus. As a result, we will be minimizing our content this week in hopes that you can enter more deeply into prayer, but will also be providing videos of the liturgies, the stations of the cross, along with small snippets of information to help you enter into prayer. After Easter, we will return to our regular retreat days, lessons, activities, and fun. Come, Lord Jesus! Hosanna in the Highest!

Mass Readings

Pray with the Mass Readings from Holy Monday Mass

Monday of Holy Week

Lectionary: 257

Reading 1

IS 42:1-7

Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased, Upon whom I have put my Spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations, Not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street. A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, Until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching.

Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spreads out the earth with its crops, Who gives breath to its people and spirit to those who walk on it: I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, To open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

Responsorial Psalm

27:1, 2, 3, 13-14

R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.

The LORD is my light and my salvation;

whom should I fear?

The LORD is my life’s refuge;

of whom should I be afraid?

R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

When evildoers come at me

to devour my flesh,

My foes and my enemies

themselves stumble and fall.

R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Though an army encamp against me,

my heart will not fear;

Though war be waged upon me,

even then will I trust.

R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD

in the land of the living.

Wait for the LORD with courage;

be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.

R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Verse Before The Gospel

Hail to you, our King;

you alone are compassionate with our faults.


JN 12:1-11

Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, “Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the poor?” He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions. So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came, not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too, because many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him.

Whats is Jesus doing on Monday?

Holy Monday - Jesus Cleanses the Temple

And Jesus entered the temple of God and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you make it a den of robbers.” -Matthew 21:12-13

Yesterday, Jesus makes his triumphant entry into Jerusalem. This is a very bold moment, as in the same manner as Solomon, he has declared himself King. (His coronation will come with thorns on Friday.) One of the first things he does when he enters Jerusalem is he goes into the temple, and being filled with a righteous anger, is flipping tables over and driving people out. Jesus is angry and his anger is justified. He is preparing for what he will do as the new King.

There are two things that are important to understand this action. First, when a Jew would go to the temple to perform a prescribed animal sacrifice (of repentance, thanksgiving, etc. -there are a number of different types), you'd have to purchase the animal to do so. Some people have conveniently set up their animal selling booths in the outer court of the temple. The outer court was original designed as the place where any non-Jew (AKA- Gentile) could come to worship. Its not marketplace but suppose to be a place for non-jews to pray. Jesus is making room for the us, the Gentiles, and preparing for his first action as King, to bring all the nations (literally "Gentiles") into this new covenant of the Jews through his Kingdom, the universal Catholic Church.

Second, another way to read "Den of robbers" is as a "Den of political rebels" because he knows what the leaders are plotting. More about this tomorrow...

Praying the Liturgy of the Hours

And Jesus entered the temple of God and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple"

- Matthew 21:12