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Tuesday, March 10th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 18:21-35.


Tuesday of the Third week of Lent

10 March 2015

“Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him?”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 18:21-35. 

Peter approached Jesus and asked him, «Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?»
Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount. He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, ‘Pay back what you owe.’
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
But he refused. Instead, he had him put in prison until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”

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Tuesday of the Third week of Lent

10 March 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint Faustina Kowalska

1 200px-Faustina Saint Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938),

Religious Sister
Diary, § 1570 (trans. ©1987 Congregation of Marians)

“Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?”

O greatly merciful God, infinite Goodness, today all mankind calls out from the abyss of its misery to your mercy—to your compassion, O God; and it is with its mighty voice of misery that it cries out. Gracious God, do not reject the prayer of this earth’s exiles! O Lord, goodness beyond our understanding, who are acquainted with our misery through and through, and know that by our own power we cannot ascend to you, we implore you: anticipate us with your grace and keep on increasing your mercy in us, that we may faithfully do your holy will all through our life and at death’s hour. Let the omnipotence of your mercy shield us from the darts of our salvation’s enemies, that we may with confidence, as your children, await your final coming—that day known to you alone. And we expect to obtain everything promised us by Jesus in spite of all our wretchedness. For Jesus is our hope: through his merciful heart, as through an open gate, we pass through to heaven.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Tuesday of the Third week of Lent

10 March 2015

Saints of the day

St. Marie Eugenie of Jesus,

foundress of the Religious of the Assumption (1817-1898)

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Saint Marie Eugenie of Jesus
Foundress of the Religious of the Assumption
(1817 – 1898)

        Anne Marie Eugenie was born in 1817 in Metz after Napoleon’s complete defeat and the restoration of the Monarchy. She belonged to a non-believing and financially comfortable family and it seemed unlikely that she would trace a new spiritual path across the Church of France.

        Her father, follower of Voltaire and a liberal, was making his fortune in the banking world and in politics. Eugenie’s mother provided the sensitive Eugenie with an education, which strengthened her character and gave her a strong sense of duty. Family life developed her intellectual curiosity and a romantic spirit, an interest in social questions and a broad world view.

        Like her contemporary, George Sand, Anne Eugenie went to Mass on feast days and received the Sacraments of initiation, as was the custom but without any real commitment. However, her First Communion was a great mystical experience that foretold the secret of her future. She did not grasp its prophetic meaning until much later when she recognized it as her path towards total belonging to Jesus Christ and the Church.

Her youth was happy but not without suffering. She was affected when still a child by the death of an elder brother and a baby sister. Her health was delicate and a fall from a horse left serious consequences. Eugenie was mature for her age and learnt how to hide her feelings and to face up to events. Later, after a prosperous period for her father, she experienced the failure of his banks, the misunderstanding and eventual separation of her parents and the loss of all security. She had to leave her family home and go to Paris while Louis, closest to her in age and faithful companion went to live with their father. Eugenie went to Paris with the mother she adored, only to see her die from cholera after a few hours of illness, leaving her alone at the age of fifteen in a society that was worldly and superficial. Searching in anguish and almost desperate for the truth, she arrived at her conversion thirsty for the Absolute and open to the Transcendent.

When she was nineteen, Anne Eugenie attended the Lenten Conferences at Notre Dame in Paris, preached by the young Abbe Lacordaire, already well-known for his talent as orator. Lacordaire was a former disciple of Lamennais ­- haunted by the vision of a renewed Church with a special place in the world. He understood his time and wanted to change it. He understood young people, their questions and their desires, their idealism and their ignorance of both Christ and the Church. His words touched Eugenie’s heart, answered her many questions, and aroused her generosity. Eugenie envisaged Christ as the universal liberator and his kingdom on earth established as a peaceful and just society. I was truly converted, she wrote, and I was seized by a longing to devote all my strength or rather all my weakness to the Church which, from that moment, I saw as alone holding the key to the knowledge and achievement of all that is good.

        Just at this time, another preacher, also a former disciple of Lamennais, appeared on the scene. In the confessional, Father Combalot recognized that he had encountered a chosen soul who was designated to be the foundress of the Congregation he had dreamt of for a long time. He persuaded Eugenie to undertake his work by insisting that this Congregation was willed by God who had chosen her to establish it. He convinced her that only by education could she evangelize minds, make families truly Christian and thus transform the society of her time. Anne Eugenie accepted the project as God’s will for her and allowed herself to be guided by the Abbe Combalot.

        At twenty-two, Marie Eugenie became foundress of the Religious of the Assumption, dedicated to consecrate their whole life and strength to extending the Kingdom of Christ in themselves and in the world. In 1839, Mademoiselle Eugenie Milleret, with two other young women, began a life of prayer and study in a flat at rue Ferou near the church of St. Sulpice in Paris. In 1841, under the patronage of Madame de Chateaubriand, Lacordaire, Montalembert and their friends, the sisters opened their first school. In a relatively short time there were sixteen sisters of four nationalities in the community.

Marie Eugenie and the first sisters wanted to link the ancient and the new – to unite the past treasures of the Church’s spirituality and wisdom with a type of religious life and education able to satisfy the demands of modern minds. It was a matter of respecting the values of the period and at the same time, making the Gospel values penetrate the rising culture of a new industrial and scientific era. The spirituality of the Congregation, centered on Christ and the Incarnation, was both deeply contemplative and dedicated to apostolic action. It was a life given to the search for God and the love and service of others.

        Marie Eugenie’s long life covered almost the whole of the 19th century. She loved her times passionately and took an active part in their history. Progressively, she channeled all her energy and gifts in tending and extending the Congregation, which became her life work. God gave her sisters and many friends. One of the first sisters was Irish, a mystic and her intimate friend whom she called at the end of her life, “half of myself.” Kate O’Neill, called Mother Therese Emmanuel in religion, is considered as a co-foundress. Father Emmanuel d’Alzon, became Marie Eugenie’s spiritual director soon after the foundation, was a father, brother or friend according to the seasons. In 1845, he founded the Augustinians of the Assumption and the two founders helped each other in a multitude of ways over a period of forty years. Both had a gift for friendship and they inspired many lay people to work with them and the Church. Together, as they followed Christ and labored with him, the religious and laity traced the path of the Assumption and took their place in the great cloud of witnesses.

       In the last years of her life, Mother Marie Eugenie experienced a progressive physical weakening, which she lived in silence and humility – a life totally centered on Christ. She received the Eucharist for the last time on March 9, 1898 and on the 10th, she gently passed over to the Lord. She was beatified by Pope Paul VI on February 9, 1975 and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on June 3, 2007 in Rome.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Tuesday of the Third week of Lent

10 March 2015

Saints of the day

The Forty Martyrs of Sebaste († c. 320)

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THE FORTY MARTYRS OF SEBASTE
(† c. 320)

        The forty martyrs were soldiers quartered at Sebaste in Armenia, about the year 320. When their legion was ordered to offer sacrifice they separated themselves from the rest and formed a company of martyrs. After they had been torn by scourges and iron hooks they were chained together and led to a lingering death.

        It was a cruel winter, and they were condemned to lie naked on the icy surface of a pond in the open air till they were frozen to death. But they ran undismayed to the place of their combat, joyfully stripped off their garments, and with one voice besought God to keep their Tanks unbroken. “Forty,” they cried, “we have come to combat: grant that forty may be crowned.” There were warm baths hard by, ready for any one amongst them who would deny Christ.

        The soldiers who watched saw angels descending with thirty-nine crowns, and, while he wondered at the deficiency in the number, one of the confessors lost heart, renounced his faith, and, crawling to the fire, died body and soul at the spot where he expected relief. But the soldier was inspired to confess Christ and take his place, and again the number of forty was complete.

They remained steadfast while their limbs grew stiff and frozen, and died one by one. Among the Forty there was a young soldier who held nut longest against the cold, and when the officers came to cart away the dead bodies they found him still breathing. They were moved with pity, and wanted to leave him alive in the hope that he would still change his mind. But his mother stood by, and ‘this valiant woman could not bear to see her son separated from the band of martyrs. She exhorted him to persevere, and lifted his frozen body into the cart. He was just able to make a sign of recognition, and was borne away, to be thrown into the flames with the dead bodies of his brethren.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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