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Wednesday, June 3rd. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 12:18-27.


Wednesday of the Ninth week in Ordinary Time

3 June 2015

He is not God of the dead but of the living

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 12:18-27.

Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and put this question to him,
saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, ‘If someone’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.’
Now there were seven brothers. The first married a woman and died, leaving no descendants.
So the second married her and died, leaving no descendants, and the third likewise.
And the seven left no descendants. Last of all the woman also died.
At the resurrection (when they arise) whose wife will she be? For all seven had been married to her.”
Jesus said to them, “Are you not misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God?
When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are like the angels in heaven.
As for the dead being raised, have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God told him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, (the) God of Isaac, and (the) God of Jacob’?
He is not God of the dead but of the living. You are greatly misled.”

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Wednesday of the Ninth week in Ordinary Time

3 June 2015

Commentary of the day

 Saint Anastasius of Antioch,

Monk, then Patriarch of Antioch from 549-570 and from 593-599
Homily 5, On the Resurrection; PG 89, 1358

“He is not God of the dead but of the living”

 “Christ died and came to life, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living,” (Rom 14,9); “He is not God of the dead but of the living.” Since he, the Lord of the dead, is living, the dead are no longer dead, but living. Life reigns in them so that they might live and never more fear death, just as “Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more,” (Rom 6,9). Raised and set free from corruption, they will never more see death; they will have a share in the resurrection of Christ just as he also shared their death. Indeed, if he came on earth, which up till then had been an everlasting prison-house, it was to “shatter bronze doors and snap iron bars,” (Is 45,2), to draw our life out of corruption by drawing it to himself, and to give us freedom instead of slavery.

If this plan of salvation has not yet been fully realized (since men continue to die and their bodies to be destroyed by death) that should not be any reason for unbelief. We have already received the firstfruits of what has been promised to us in the person of him who is our firstborn…: “God has raised us up with him and seated us with him in Christ Jesus,” (Eph 2,6). We shall come to full realisation of this promise when the time fixed by the Father has been come, when we shall put off our childish state and “attain mature manhood” (Eph 4,13. For the eternal Father has willed that his gift should stand firm. As the Apostle Paul, who was well aware of this, declared: this will come upon all humankind through Christ, who “will change our lowly body to conform with his glorious body,” (Phil 3,21)… The glorious body of Christ is no different from the body “sown in weakness, dishonourable,” (cf. 1Cor 15,42); it is the same body but changed in glory. And what Christ has accomplished by taking his own humanity, the original pattern for our nature, to the Father, he will do for the whole of humanity according to his promise: “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself,” (Jn 12,32).

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Wednesday of the Ninth week in Ordinary Time

3 June 2015

Saints of the day

St. Charles Lwanga & his companions

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Saint Charles Lwanga and companions
The 22 Martyrs of Uganda
(+ 1886-1887)

        Charles was one of 22 Ugandan martyrs who converted from paganism. Though he was baptized the night before being put to death, he became a moral leader. He was the chief of the royal pages and was considered the strongest athlete of the court. He was also known as “the most handsome man of the Kingdom of the Uganda.” He instructed his friends in the Catholic Faith and he personally baptized boy pages. He inspired and encouraged his companions to remain chaste and faithful. He protected his companions, ages 13-30, from the immoral acts and homosexual demands of the Babandan ruler, Mwanga.

Mwanga was a superstitious pagan king who originally was tolerant of Catholicism. However, his chief assistant, Katikiro, slowly convinced him that Christians were a threat to his rule. The premise was if these Christians would not bow to him, nor make sacrifices to their pagan god, nor pillage, massacre, nor make war, what would happen if his whole kingdom converted to Catholicism?

   When Charles was sentenced to death, he seemed very peaceful, one might even say, cheerful. He was to be executed by being burnt to death. While the pyre was being prepared, he asked to be untied so that he could arrange the sticks. He then lay down upon them. When the executioner said that Charles would be burned slowly so death, Charles replied by saying that he was very glad to be dying for the True Faith. He made no cry of pain but just twisted and moaned, “Kotanda! (O my God!).” He was burned to death by Mwanga’s order on June 3, 1886. Pope Paul VI canonized Charles Lwanga and his companions on June 22,1964. We celebrate his memorial on June 3rd of the Roman Calendar. Charles is the Patron of the African Youth of Catholic Action.

http://www.savior.org/saints/

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Wednesday of the Ninth week in Ordinary Time

3 June 2015

Saints of the day

St. John XXIII, Pope (1881-1963)

 Pope_John_XXIII_-_1959

 SAINT JOHN XXIII (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli)
Pope (from October 28 1958 to June 3 1963)
(1881-1963)

       Saint  John XXIII was born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli at Sotto il Monte, Italy, in the Diocese of Bergamo on November 25 1881. He was the fourth in a family of 14. The family worked as sharecroppers. It was a patriarchal family in the sense that the families of two brothers lived together, headed by his great-uncle Zaverio, who had never married and whose wisdom guided the work and other business of the family. Zaverio was Angelo’s godfather, and to him he always attributed his first and most fundamental religious education. The religious atmosphere of his family and the fervent life of the parish, under the guidance of Fr Francesco Rebuzzini, provided him with training in the Christian life.

      He entered the Bergamo seminary in 1892. Here he began the practice of making spiritual notes, which he continued in one form or another until his death, and which have been gathered together in the Journal a Soul. Here he also began the deeply cherished practice of regular spiritual direction. In 1896 he was admitted to the Secular Franciscan Order by the spiritual director of the Bergamo seminary, Fr Luigi Isacchi; he made a profession of its Rule of life on May 23 1897.

From 1901 to 1905 he was a student at the Pontifical Roman Seminary. On August 10 1904 he was ordained a priest in the church of Santa Maria in Monte Santo in Rome’s Piazza del Popolo. In 1905 he was appointed secretary to the new Bishop of Bergamo, Giacomo Maria Radini Tedeschi. He accompanied the Bishop in his pastoral visitations and collaborated with him in his many initiatives: a Synod, management of the diocesan bulletin, pilgrimages, social works. In the seminary he taught history, patrology and apologetics. He was an elegant, profound, effective and sought-after preacher.

These were the years of his deepening spiritual encounter with two saints who were outstanding pastors: St Charles Borromeo and St Francis de Sales. They were years, too, of deep pastoral involvement and apprenticeship, as he spent every day beside “his” Bishop, Radini Tedeschi. When the Bishop died in 1914, Fr Angelo continued to teach in the seminary and to minister in various pastoral areas.

        When Italy went to war in 1915 he was drafted as a sergeant in the medical corps and became a chaplain to wounded soldiers. When the war ended, he opened a “Student House” for the spiritual needs of young people.

   In 1919 he was made spiritual director of the seminary, but in 1921 he was called to the service of the Holy See. Benedict XV brought him to Rome to be the Italian president of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. In 1925 Pius XI named him Apostolic Visitator in Bulgaria, raising him to the episcopate with the titular Diocese of Areopolis. For his Episcopal motto he chose Oboedientia et Pax, which became his guiding motto for the rest of his life.

        On March 19 1925 he was ordained Bishop and left for Bulgaria. He was granted the title Apostolic Delegate and remained in Bulgaria until 1935, visiting Catholic communities and establishing relationships of respect and esteem with the other Christian communities. In the aftermath of the 1928 earthquake his solicitude was everywhere present. He endured in silence the misunderstandings and other difficulties of a ministry on the fringes of society, and thus refined his sense of trust and abandonment to Jesus crucified.

        In 1935 he was named Apostolic Delegate in Turkey and Greece. The Catholic Church was present in many ways in the young Turkish republic. His ministry among the Catholics was intense, and his respectful approach and dialogue with the worlds of Orthodoxy and Islam became a feature of his tenure. When the Second World War broke out he was in Greece. He tried to get news from the prisoners of war to their families and assisted many Jews to escape by issuing “transit visas” from the Apostolic Delegation. In December 1944 Pius XII appointed him Nuncio in France.

During the last months of the war and the beginning of peace he aided prisoners of war and helped to normalize the ecclesiastical organization of France. He visited the great shrines of France and participated in popular feasts and in important religious celebrations. He was an attentive, prudent and positive observer of the new pastoral initiatives of the Bishops and clergy of France. His approach was always characterized by a striving for Gospel simplicity, even amid the most complex diplomatic questions. The sincere piety of his interior life found expression each day in prolonged periods of prayer and meditation. In 1953 he was created a Cardinal and sent to Venice as Patriarch. He was filled with joy at the prospect of ending his days in the direct care of souls, as he had always desired since becoming a priest. He was a wise and enterprising pastor, following the model pastors he had always venerated and walking in the footsteps of St Laurence Giustiniani, first Patriarch of Venice. As he advanced in years his trust in the Lord grew in the midst of energetic, enterprising and joyful pastoral labours.

        At the death of Pius XII he was elected Pope on October 28 1958, taking the name John XXIII. His pontificate, which lasted less than five years, presented him to the entire world as an authentic image of the Good Shepherd. Meek and gentle, enterprising and courageous, simple and active, he carried out the Christian duties of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy: visiting the imprisoned and the sick, welcoming those of every nation and faith, bestowing on all his exquisite fatherly care. His social magisterium in the Encyclicals Pacem in terris and Mater et Magistra was deeply appreciated.

     He convoked the Roman Synod, established the Commission for the Revision of the Code of Canon Law and summoned the Second Vatican Council. He was present as Bishop in his Diocese of Rome through his visitation of the parishes, especially those in the new suburbs. The faithful saw in him a reflection of the goodness of God and called him “the good Pope”. He was sustained by a profound spirit of prayer. He launched an extensive renewal of the Church, while radiating the peace of one who always trusted in the Lord. Pope John XXIII died on the evening of June 3 1963, in a spirit of profound trust in Jesus and of longing for his embrace.

        He was beatified by John Paul II on September 3, 2000 at Rome.

(From L’Osservatore Romano, Weekly Edition in English September 6 2000)

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Wednesday of the Ninth week in Ordinary Time

3 June 2015

Saints of the day

Bl. Ignatius Mayolan, (1869-1915)

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Blessed Ignatius Maloyan
Armenian Catholic Archbishop & Martyr
(1869-1915)

        Ignatius Maloyan (Shoukrallah), son of Melkon and Faridé, was born in 1869, in Mardin, Turkey.

His parish priest, noticed in him signs of a priestly vocation, so he sent him to the convent of Bzommar-Lebanon; he was fourteen years old.

After finishing his superior studies in 1896, the day dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, he was ordained priest in the Church of Bzommar convent, became a member of the Bzommar Institute and adopted the name of Ignatius in remembrance of the famous martyr of Antioch. During the years 1897-1910, Father Ignatius was appointed as parish priest in Alexandria and Cairo, where his good reputation was wide-spread.

        His Beatitude Patriarch Boghos Bedros XII appointed him as his assistant in 1904. Because of a disease that hit his eyes and suffocating difficulty in breathing, he returned to Egypt and stayed there till 1910.

The Diocese of Mardin was in a state of anarchy, so Patriarch Sabbaghian sent Father Ignatius Maloyan to restore order.

        On October 22, 1911, the Bishops’ Synod assembled in Rome elected Father Ignatius Archbishop of Mardin. He took over his new assignment and planned on renewing the wrecked Diocese, encouraging especially the devotion to the Sacred Heart.

        Unfortunately, at the outbreak of the First World War, the Armenians resident in Turkey (which was allied with Germany) began to endure unspeakable sufferings. In fact, 24 April 1915 marked the beginning of a veritable campaign of extermination. On April 30, 1915, the Turkish soldiers surrounded the Armenian Catholic Bishopric and church in Mardin on the basis that they were hide-outs for arms.

At the beginning of May, the Bishop gathered his priests and informed them of the dangerous situation. On June 3, 1915, Turkish soldiers dragged Bishop Maloyan in chains to court with twenty seven other Armenian Catholic personalities. The next day, twenty five priests and eight hundred and sixty two believers were held in chains. During trial, the chief of the police, Mamdooh Bek, asked the Bishop to convert to Islam. The bishop answered that he would never betray Christ and His Church. The good shepherd told him that he was ready to suffer all kinds of ill-treatments and even death and in this will be his happiness.

Mamdooh Bek hit him on the head with the rear of his pistol and ordered to put him in jail. The soldiers chained his feet and hands, threw him on the ground and hit him mercilessly. With each blow, the Bishop was heard saying “Oh Lord, have mercy on me, oh Lord, give me strength”, and asked the priests present for absolution. With that, the soldiers went back to hitting him and they extracted his toe nails.

        On June 9, his mother visited him and cried for his state. But the valiant Bishop encouraged her. On the next day, the soldiers gathered four hundred and forty seven Armenians. The soldiers along with the convoys took the desert route.

  The bishop encouraged his parishioners to remain firm in their faith. Then all knelt with him. He prayed to God that they accept martyrdom with patience and courage. The priests granted the believers absolution. The Bishop took out a piece of bread, blessed it, recited the words of the Eucharist and gave it to his priests to distribute among the people.

        One of the soldiers, an eye witness, recounted this scene: “That hour, I saw a cloud covering the prisoners and from all emitted a perfumed scent. There was a look of joy and serenity on their faces”. As they were all going to die out of love for Jesus. After a two-hour walk, hungry, naked and chained, the soldiers attacked the prisoners and killed them before the Bishop’s eyes. After the massacre of the two convoys came the turn of Bishop Maloyan.

Mamdooh Bek then asked Maloyan again to convert to Islam. The soldier of Christ answered: “I’ve told you I shall live and die for the sake of my faith and religion. I take pride in the Cross of my God and Lord”. Mamdooh got very angry, he drew his pistol and shot Maloyan. Before he breathed his last breath he cried out loud: “My God, have mercy on me; into your hands I commend my spirit”.

        He was beatified by John Paul II on October 7, 2001 at Rome.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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