Good morning everyone, hello and I hope that you are well, and your week has gone well for you so far.

Welcome to our Spiritual Lift for Wednesday in Holy Week.

Today is also known as ‘Spy Wednesday’ for this is traditionally remembered as the day when Judas Iscariot went to the Chief Priests and the Teachers of the Law and told them he was willing to betray Jesus to them to be arrested and to ask what they were prepared to pay him for this.

Until Jesus’ arrest and trials, Judas was looking for the ‘right time’ to betray Jesus and was spying on Him, always seeking the opportunity to deliver Jesus into the hands of His enemies.  As we know, this was after Jesus had finished praying in His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane on Holy Thursday.

The Chief Priests gave Judas thirty pieces of silver for his efforts. In ancient times, thirty silver pieces were offered as the price of a slave. In St Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, Chapter 2, he writes that Jesus chose to be born in human likeness and He humbled and emptied Himself, taking on the condition of a slave. The criminal’s death of the cross was one destined for slaves and other persons of low estate and this is the death which Jesus chose which would be the means of our salvation and redemption.

Chrism Mass today:

It is also when the traditional Chrism Mass takes place in St Chad’s Cathedral.  This Mass is held in the Cathedral and is when the Archbishop or deputy Bishops bless and consecrate the three Holy Oils which will be used in all the Parishes of the Archdiocese of Birmingham over the next year.

These Holy Oils are used in the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders and Anointing of the Sick. They are the Oil of Catechumens,(O.S-Oleum Sanctum)  Oil of the Sick (O.I – Oleum Infirmorum) and Oil of Holy Chrism. (S.C-Sanctum Chrisma)

This year, the Mass is being live streamed.

Here is the link for St Chad’s Cathedral once again for you to participate in this Mass if you are able. Mass will begin at 11.30am.

St Chad’s Cathedral – Birmingham – Roman Catholic

In these holy days, may the Lord help you to draw closer to Him as He treads the path of suffering for us, knowing that whatever we face in our lives, especially those things that are sorrowful and difficult, He is with us and He walks beside us and cares for us.

The most sacred and solemn week of the Church’s Year – Holy Week. 

It is the final week of Jesus’ earthly life and the culmination of all His three years of ministry which will take us from the happy and triumphal entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday being hailed with ‘Hosanna, hosanna to the Son of David!’, through the betrayal of Judas, on Spy Wednesday, to Holy Thursday at the Last Supper and the institution of the Holy Eucharist, the denials of Peter to the arrest and sufferings of Jesus at the hands of Pilate and the Roman soldiers to the sorrow and darkness of Good Friday where we hear shouts of ‘Crucify him!’   From the Cross on Calvary to the sealed tomb of Holy Saturday we await the victorious and glorious rising of the Lord Jesus from death in His triumphant Resurrection on Easter Sunday and the cries of hope and joy as we hear, ‘He is not here! He is Risen!’

Please click on the link for Saint Chad’s Cathedral as given above with details about what Holy Week services are taking place including the Triduum or ‘Three Sacred Days’ of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. 

Weekly Scripture Verse:

Our scripture verse for us to ponder and pray for this week comes from The Book of Exodus. (Ex.33:14) This verse is taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the Scriptures (NRSV) Catholic Edition.  Let us give thanks to the Lord for the precious gift of His Word, the Bible.  May it guide and strengthen us in these days. Be encouraged as our God speaks to us.

 “The LORD said, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’ “

 Month of March-Dedicated to Saint Joseph, Husband of Our Lady and Foster-Father and Guardian of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

A Novena To St. Joseph: For Powerful Assistance (

Saint Joseph, pray for us. Amen.

Here is the information from the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales with more details about the Year of Saint Joseph.

Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales (

Here are some special prayers we can say throughout this month and during the Year of Saint Joseph.  These are from

Prayers to St. Joseph: To the Most Loving of Fathers (

CAFOD Lent Appeal – GIVING:

This year for Lent, CAFOD are focusing on water and for there to be local safe and clean water for everyone in our world so communities around the world do not have to walk so far to reach it. They are campaigning and encouraging individuals and families, to walk for water as so many of our brothers and sisters around the world do not have access to clean safe water as we do.  Here is their link with more details and how you might like to take up the challenge for GIVING with the Walk 10,000 steps a day for Lent for water campaign.

Lent Appeal 2021 | CAFOD

Catholic international development charity | CAFOD

Prayer and preparation during Lent-Thanksgiving for the Gift of the Holy Eucharist and Sacred Passion of the Lord.

Lenten Preparation – PRAYER

Lent helps us to focus and meditate upon the precious gift of the Lord’s Body and Blood and the Holy Eucharist and His many Sufferings and Death in His Sacred Passion.

A beautiful prayer we can continue to pray into and during the Season of Lent to help us is the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  This prayer is traditionally prayed at the Hour of Mercy which is 3pm every day, and is the time when Jesus died on the Cross.  More information about this devotion can be found here in the link below and how to pray it.

How to Recite the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy | The Divine Mercy

You can pray this Chaplet on a set of ordinary Rosary beads, and it is traditional for each of the five sets of beads as we pray the prayers to either remember:

The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary: 

(The Agony in the Garden; The Scourging at the pillar; The Crowning with thorns; The Carrying of the Cross; The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus) 

or The Five Sacred Wounds of Jesus: 

(His pierced Hands and Feet and Heart/Side.) 

Praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet reminds us of God’s wonderful and deep love for us because in John 3:16 NRSV Catholic Edition we read, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

God’s love and mercy is deep and everlasting.  During this month of March, let us draw closer to our loving God and thank Him for all that He is as we seek to grow in our love and faith.

Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions:

I also include a link to the Holy Father Pope Francis’ Special Prayer Intentions for the month of March from Missio.   

Pope Francis – March Prayer Intention – Missio

As we are now in the Season of Lent our Cycle of Prayer has changed focus too.  Here is the link for the Liturgy Office website with more details of this Season’s Prayer Intentions for Lent.

Cycle of Prayer | Lent (

Our prayer this month: Prayers taken from the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of Your dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and the sins of the whole world. Amen.

For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Amen.

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.  Amen.

Lenten preparation – FASTING:

Is there something that you have chosen to give up for Lent this year? FASTING does not have to be simply giving up that favourite snack or bar of chocolate.  Perhaps, you might want to think about giving up something different this Lent?

Have you thought about FASTING to help support caring for our planet home? You could consider doing things and give things up which can support green initiatives – examples might be – turning lights off when not in a room, switching appliances off standby, turning off the tap when brushing your teeth. Simply type in “Eco ideas for Lent” into your internet browser to find out more!

Here is a link from CAFOD all about Pope Francis’ Letter called Laudato Si. There are also resources about his latest work –Fratelli Tutti.

Laudato Si’ encyclical resources | CAFOD

Weekly School Community Prayers:

Every week I shall be offering intercessory prayers when I access daily Mass online for each of the MAC School Communities.  Every day this week I shall be holding in prayer before the Lord, all the Staff, Pupils, Families and Governors/Directors who belong to: Saint Augustine’s Catholic High School.

Daily special candle offered for all MAC Staff, pupils and their families – Spring Term 2 – February-March 2021

As we now journey onwards through Lent and into a new Half Term, let us continue to place all our prayers and petitions into Our Lady’s hands.

A special candle continues to burn again for us all in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes and the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.  May they keep us all safe and well in these days of trial perplexity and confusion. May your days and weeks go well for you, your pupils, and their families in these days within all the School Communities in our MAC.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us. Amen.

St Thomas More, pray for us. Amen.

St Peter, pray for us. Amen.

St Bede the Venerable, pray for us, Amen.

St Augustine of Canterbury, pray for us.  Amen.

Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us.  Amen

Weekly Rosary Prayer time from 8-8.30pm. Creating a heavenly rose-garden of prayers in honour of Our Blessed Lady.  

Once again, tonight, I will be leading a weekly Rosary in honour of Our Lady to bring prayers for all our intentions in these uncertain and trying times from 8-8.30pm.  You are welcome to join me at this time, if you are able, in your home.

Each week, we shall be praying a different Mystery of the Rosary in rotation.  Once again, every time we say a Hail Mary well, we offer Our Blessed Mother in Heaven a beautiful rose.  She then gathers up all our prayers and presents them to her Divine Son, Jesus for Him to answer as He wills.  

This week, we will be journeying again within the Luminous Mysteries and we will, with every Hail Mary being prayed offer Our Blessed Lady some special pink roses.

During Lent and especially during Holy Week it is also traditional to pray the Sorrowful Mysteries from Ash Wednesday right up to Easter Sunday.  

You can offer your own special prayers during this time, or a single Hail Mary, a full decade or pray all five decades for the Mystery.   

Daily Scripture:

Our daily scripture reading today comes from Saint Matthew’s Gospel. (Matt. 26:14-16) Quotation taken from the New revised Standard Version (NRSV) Catholic Bible.)

These are some of the saddest verses found in scripture.  Judas, one of the Twelve Disciples seeks a way to hand Jesus over to His enemies and betray Him.  If we look at our lives honestly, have there been moments in our lives when our words and actions have betrayed Jesus? Have we also denied Him like Peter by some of our choices too?

“Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the Chief Priests and said, ‘What will you give me if I betray Him to you?’ They paid him thirty pieces of silver.  And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray Him.”

Our prayers for today: 

Today, I will be keeping a candle burning for your intentions and will remember you and your prayer intentions at Mass online.

Let us ask…..

Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us.  Amen.

Our Lady of Consolation, pray for us.  Amen.

Mary the Mother of Jesus, Mother of the Church, pray for us.  Amen.

Our Lady of Lourdes, Patron of our Archdiocese and our MAC, Health of the Sick and Comforter of the Afflicted, pray for us. Amen.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Beauty of Carmel, pray for us.  Amen.

St Luke, Beloved Physician (Doctor) and companion of St Paul the Apostle, Patron of Doctors and Healthcare professionals, pray for us. Amen.

St Jude Thaddeus, Patron of impossible or difficult circumstances, pray for us.  Amen.

St Raphael, Archangel, God’s healing Angel, pray for us.  Amen.

St Catherine of Siena, Patron of Nurses, pray for us.  Amen.

St Camillus of Lellis, Patron of the Sick, pray for us. Amen.

St Sebastian, patron of the sick and plagues of disease, pray for us.  Amen. 

St John Henry Newman, pray for us.  Amen.

Blessed Dominic Barberi, pray for us.  Amen.

St Faustina Kowalska, Apostle of Divine Mercy, pray for us.  Amen

Blessings to you all on this day.

Miss Downes






Categories: Catholic Life

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