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Thursday, March 3rd. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 11:14-23.


Thursday of the Third week of Lent

3 March 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

“Whoever is not with me is against me,

and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

blind man stdas0160

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 11:14-23.

Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute, and when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke and the crowds were amazed.
Some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons.”
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
But he knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

Image: From Biblehub

DAILY MASS – Thursday 3 March 2016 

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Thursday of the Third week of Lent

3 March 2016

24 hours for the Lord

The_Return_of_the_Prodigal_Son_detail_WGA

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is inviting every parish around the world to open its doors for 24 hours this Friday and Saturday, March 3-4, so that the faithful might encounter Jesus Christ anew in the Sacrament of Confession and Eucharistic Adoration. 

The Lenten initiative, organized by the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, is called “24 Hours for the Lord.” It is intended also to be a time of reflection and prayer, an opportunity to  speak with a priest, and a chance to rediscover — or perhaps discover for the first time — the great mercy at the heart of the Catholic Faith.

Pope Francis will open the initiative on March 3rd in St. Peter’s Basilica, the second anniversary of his election. He is expected to repeat what he did at last year’s opening, when he surprised the world by publicly going to confession. The Holy Father then spent approximately 40 minutes hearing confessions in the Vatican basilica.

After the opening, several churches in key locations throughout Rome will remain open for 24 hours, with confessors available and Eucharistic Adoration. 

Pope Francis spoke of the initiative in his 2015 Message for Lent. “As individuals, we are tempted by indifference,” he wrote. “Flooded with news reports and troubling images of human suffering, we often feel our complete inability to help. What can we do to avoid being caught up in this spiral of distress and powerlessness? 

“First, we can pray in communion with the Church on earth and in heaven,” the Pope said. “Let us not underestimate the power of so many voices united in prayer! The 24 Hours for the Lord initiative, which I hope will be observed throughout the Church, also at the diocesan level, is meant to be a sign of this need for prayer.” Check your local diocesan site for Churches near you which are participating.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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Thursday of the Third week of Lent

3 March 2016

Commentary of the day

Origen (c.185-253),

priest and theologian
Homilies on Joshua, 15,1-4

The Spiritual Battle

      If the wars of the Old Testament were not symbols of spiritual battles, I think the historical books of the Jews would never have been transmitted to Christ’s disciples, he who came to teach us peace. The Apostles would never have transmitted them as readings to be carried out in the assemblies. What use would such descriptions of wars have to those who listen to Jesus telling them: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (Jn 14,27), or for those whom Paul commands: “Do not look for revenge” (Rom 12,19) and “Why not rather put up with injustice? Why not rather let yourselves be cheated?” (1 Cor 6,7).

Paul knows well enough that we are not supposed to go to war anymore – not in a physical way – but that we are supposed to fight a great battle in our soul, against our spiritual enemies. As a commander in chief, he gives his orders to Christ’s soldiers: “Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil” (Eph 6,11). And so that we may find in the acts of our ancestors the models of spiritual wars, he wished us to read in the assembly the story of their achievements. Since we are spiritual – we who learn that “the law is spiritual” (Rom 7,14) – we may then approach this reading by “describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms” (1 Cor 2,13). In this way we may consider, through these nations that have visibly attacked Israel, what is the power of these nations of spiritual enemies, of these “evil spirits in the heavens” (Eph 6,12), who start wars against the Church of the Lord, the new Israel.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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Thursday of the Third week of Lent

3 March 2016

Saints of the day

St. Cunegundes,

Empress (+ 1040)

Santa_Cunegonda

SAINT CUNEGUNDES
Empress
(+1040)

        Saint Cunegundes was the daughter of Siegfried, the first Count of Luxemburg, and Hadeswige, his pious wife. They raised her in the faith, and married her to St. Henry, Duke of Bavaria, who, upon the death of the Emperor Otho III., was chosen king of the Romans, and crowned on the 6th of June, 1002. She was crowned at Paderborn on St. Laurence’s day. In the year 1014 she went with her husband to Rome, and received the imperial crown with him from the hands of Pope Benedict VIII. She had, by St. Henry’s consent, before her marriage made a vow of virginity. Calumniators afterwards made vile accusations against her, and the holy empress, to remove the scandal of such a slander, trusting in God to prove her innocence, walked over red-hot ploughshares without being hurt. The emperor condemned his too scrupulous fears and credulity, and from that time they lived in the strictest union of hearts, conspiring to promote in everything God’s honor and the advancement of piety.

Going once to make a retreat in Hesse, she fell dangerously ill, and made a vow to found a monastery, if she recovered, at Kaffungen, near Cassel, in the diocese of Paderborn, which she executed in a stately manner, and gave it to nuns of the Order of St. Benedict. Before it was finished St. Henry died, in 1024. She earnestly recommended his soul to the prayers of others, especially to her dear nuns, and expressed her longing desire of joining them. She had already exhausted her treasures in founding bishoprics and monasteries, and in relieving the poor, and she had therefore little left now to give. But still thirsting to embrace perfect evangelical poverty, and to renounce all to serve God without obstacle, she assembled a great number of prelates to the dedication of her church of Kaffungen on the anniversary day of her husband’s death, 1025; and after the gospel was sung at Mass she offered on the altar a piece of the true cross, and then, putting off her imperial robes, clothed herself with a poor habit; her hair was cut off, and the bishop put on her a veil, and a ring as a pledge of her fidelity to her heavenly Spouse.

        After she was consecrated to God in religion, she seemed entirely to forget that she had been empress, and behaved as the last in the house, being persuaded that she was so before God. She prayed and read much, worked with her hands, and took a singular pleasure in visiting and comforting the sick.

Thus she passed the last fifteen years of her life. Her mortifications at length reduced her to a very weak condition, and brought on her last sickness. Perceiving that they were preparing a cloth fringed with gold to cover her corpse after her death, she changed color and ordered it to be taken away; nor could she be at rest till she was promised she should be buried as a poor religious in her habit. She died on the 3d of March, 1040. Her body was carried to Bamberg and buried near that of her husband. She was solemnly canonized by Innocent III. in 1200.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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Thursday of the Third week of Lent

3 March 2016

Saints of the day

St. Katherine Drexel

Santa_Caterina-Katharina-Drexel_E

St. Katharine Drexel

Religious (1858-1955)

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the United States of America, on November 26, 1858, Katharine Drexel was the second daughter of Francis Anthony Drexel and Hannah Langstroth. Her father was a well known banker and philanthropist. Both parents instilled in their daughters the idea that their wealth was simply loaned to them and was to be shared with others.

When the family took a trip to the Western part of the United States, Katharine, as a young woman, saw the plight and destitution of the native Indian-Americans. This experience aroused her desire to do something specific to help alleviate their condition. This was the beginning of her lifelong personal and financial support of numerous missions and missionaries in the United States. The first school she established was St. Catherine Indian School in Santa Fe, New Mexico (1887).

Later, when visiting Pope Leo XIII in Rome, and asking him for missionaries to staff some of the Indian missions that she as a lay person was financing, she was surprised to hear the Pope suggest that she become a missionary herself. After consultation with her spiritual director, Bishop James O’Connor, she made the decision to give herself totally to God, along with her inheritance, through service to American Indians and Afro-Americans.

Her wealth was now transformed into a poverty of spirit that became a daily constant in a life supported only by the bare necessities. On February 12, 1891, she professed her first vows as a religious, founding the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament whose dedication would be to share the message of the Gospel and the life of the Eucharist among American Indians and Afro-Americans.

Always a woman of intense prayer, Katharine found in the Eucharist the source of her love for the poor and oppressed and of her concern to reach out to combat the effects of racism. Knowing that many Afro-Americans were far from free, still living in substandard conditions as sharecroppers or underpaid menials, denied education and constitutional rights enjoyed by others, she felt a compassionate urgency to help change racial attitudes in the United States.

The plantation at that time was an entrenched social institutionin which the coloured people continued to be victims of oppression. This was a deep affront to Katharine’s sense of justice. The need for quality education loomed before her, and she discussed this need with some who shared her concern about the inequality of education for Afro-Americans in the cities. Restrictions of the law also prevented them in the rural South from obtaining a basic education.

Founding and staffing schools for both Native Americans and Afro-Americans throughout the country became a priority for Katharine and her congregation. During her lifetime, she opened, staffed and directly supported nearly 60 schools and missions, especially in the West and Southwest United States. Her crowning educational focus was the establishment in 1925 of Xavier University of Louisiana, the only predominantly Afro-American Catholic institution of higher learning in the United States. Religious education, social service, visiting in homes, in hospitals and in prisons were also included in the ministries of Katharine and the Sisters.

In her quiet way, Katharine combined prayerful and total dependence on Divine Providence with determined activism. Her joyous incisiveness, attuned to the Holy Spirit, penetrated obstacles and facilitated her advances for social justice. Through the prophetic witness of Katharine Drexel’s initiative, the Church in the United States was enabled to become aware of the grave domestic need for an apostolate among Native Americans and Afro-Americans. She did not hesitate to speak out against injustice, taking a public stance when racial discrimination was in evidence.

For the last 18 years of her life she was rendered almost completely immobile because of a serious illness. During these years she gave herself to a life of adoration and contemplation as she had desired from early childhood. She died on March 3, 1955.

Katharine left a four-fold dynamic legacy to her Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, who continue her apostolate today, and indeed to all peoples:

– her love for the Eucharist, her spirit of prayer, and her Eucharistic perspective on the unity of all peoples;

– her undaunted spirit of courageous initiative in addressing social iniquities among minorities — one hundred years before such concern aroused public interest in the United States;

– her belief in the importance of quality education for all, and her efforts to achieve it;

– her total giving of self, of her inheritance and all material goods in selfless service of the victims of injustice.

Katharine Drexel was beatified by Pope John Paul II on November 20, 1980.

The Vatican, VA

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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“Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”

Mark 16:15-20

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“I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20.

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He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
with your rod and your staff
that give me courage.

Psalms 23(22):1-3a.3b-4.5.6. 

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Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful

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