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Thursday, February 16th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 8:27-33.


Thursday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time

16 February 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

Peter said to him in reply,

“You are the Messiah.”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 8:27-33.

Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, «Who do people say that I am?»
They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.”
And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Messiah.”
Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.
He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days.
He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

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Daily TV Mass Thursday, February 16, 2017

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Thursday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time

16 February 2017

Commentary of the day

Saint John of the Cross

Zurbarán St. John of the Cross.jpg

Saint John of the Cross

(1542-1591),

Carmelite, Doctor of the Church

The Spiritual Canticle, Stanza 36, 10.13

“You are not judging according to God’s standards”

(The) thicket of God’s wisdom and knowledge is so deep and immense that no matter how much the soul knows, she can always enter it further; it is vast and its riches incomprehensible, as St. Paul exclaims: “O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God, how incomprehensible are His judgments and unsearchable His ways.” (Rom 11:33)

Yet the soul wants to enter this thicket and incomprehensibility of judgments and ways because she is dying with the desire to penetrate them deeply. Knowledge of them is an inestimable delight surpassing all understanding…

Oh! If we could but now fully understand how a soul cannot reach the thicket and wisdom of the riches of God … without entering the thicket of many kinds of suffering, finding in this her delight and consolation; and how a soul with an authentic desire for divine wisdom, wants first to suffer in order to enter this wisdom by the thicket of the cross!… The gate entering into these riches of His wisdom is the cross, which is narrow, and few desire to enter by it, but many desire the delights obtained from entering there.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

_______________________

Thursday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time

16 February 2017

Saint of the day

St. Onesimus,

Disciple of St. Paul

sant_onesimo

SAINT ONESIMUS
Disciple of St. Paul
(1st century)

        He was a Phrygian by birth, slave to Philemon, a person of note of the city of Colossæ, converted to the faith by St. Paul. Having robbed his master and being obliged to fly, he providentially met with St. Paul, then a prisoner for the faith at Rome, who there converted and baptized him, and sent him with his canonical letter of recommendation to Philemon, by whom he was pardoned, set at liberty, and sent back to his spiritual father, whom he afterwards faithfully served.

       That apostle made him, with Tychicus, the bearer of his Epistle to the Colossians, and afterwards, as St. Jerome and other Fathers witness, a preacher of the Gospel and a bishop. He was crowned with martyrdom under Domitian in the year 95.

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

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

Matthew 28:20.

***********************************************

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

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BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

#####################

HERE I AM, LORD;

I COME TO DO YOUR WILL

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Wednesday, February 15th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 8:22-26.


Wednesday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time

15 February 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

Jesus laid hands on his eyes a second time and he saw clearly;

his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly.

christus_bartimaeus_johann_heinrich_stoever_erbach_rheingau.jpg

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 8:22-26.

When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Bethsaida, people brought to him a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him.
He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on him and asked, “Do you see anything?”
Looking up he replied, “I see people looking like trees and walking.”
Then he laid hands on his eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly.
Then he sent him home and said, “Do not even go into the village.”

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Daily TV Mass Wednesday, February 15, 2017

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Wednesday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time

15 February 2017

Saints of the day

Sts. Faustinus and Jovita,

Martyrs

(+ c. 121)

san_faustino_a

SAINTS FAUSTINUS and JOVITA
Martyrs
(+ c. 121)

        Faustinus and Jovita were brothers, nobly born, and zealous professors of the Christian religion, which they preached without fear in their city of Brescia, while, the bishop of that place lay concealed during the persecution.

        Their remarkable zeal excited the fury of the heathens against them, and procured them a glorious death for their faith at Brescia in Lombardy, under the Emperor Adrian. Julian, a heathen lord, apprehended them: and the emperor himself, passing through Brescia, when neither threats nor torments could shake their constancy, commanded them to be beheaded. They seem to have suffered about the year 121.

        The city of Brescia honors them as its chief patrons, possesses their relics, and a very ancient church in that city bears their names.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

_______________________________________

Wednesday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time

15 February 2017

Saints of the day

Bl. Michał Sopoćko,

Priest

(1888-1975)

rev-_micha-_-_michele_-_sopocko_-_1888-1975_

Blessed Michał Sopoćko
Priest
(1888-1975)

        Michał Sopoćko was born on November 1, 1888 in Nowosady (Juszewszczyzna), then under Imperial Russia. The Czarist authority persecuted the Catholic Church as well as both the Polish and Lithuanian people within in its territories. In the Sopoćko family, of noble lineage, the Polish and Catholic traditions were conserved and developed. The young Michael matured in this religious and patriotic atmosphere. Motivated by a desire for unconditional service to God, the Church and humanity, he entered the Major Seminary in Vilnius. On June 15, 1914, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Franciszek Karewicz.

        For four years (1914-1918) he worked as a parochial vicar in Taboryszki, where he opened two mission churches at Miedniki and at Onżadòw, as well as various schools.

As informed by someone that the German authorities who checks that zone may arrest him,he left the parish and went to Warsaw. There he became a military chaplain for the Polish army. While dedicated to his ministry as chaplain, he enrolled as a student in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Warsaw and from which he obtained a doctoral degree. At the same time, he graduated from the National Pedagogical Institute. In 1924, he became a coordinator of the regional military chaplaincies, based in Vilnius.

        In 1927, Archbishop Romuald Jalbrzykowski entrusted to him the responsibility of being Spiritual Director for the Major Seminary. During this same period he taught for the faculty of Theology at Stefan Batory University, also in Vilnius. He eventually requested the Archbishop to release him from both the military pastoral care and from the seminary duties. His desire was to dedicate himself entirely to theological pursuits. In 1934, he received the title of ‘docent’ in pastoral theology. While teaching, he never forgot the importance of pastoral service. He was rector of St. Michael Church and also served as confessor for Religious Sisters.

        One of the most significant events of Fr. Sopoćko’s life occurred in 1933, when he became the Spiritual Director of Sr. (now Saint) Faustina Kowalska of the Congregation of Sisters of Mary Mother of Mercy. He continued to assist the Saint after his transfer to Łagiewniki, and where she died on October 5, 1938. As her confessor, he undertook a thorough evaluation of Sr. Faustina’s mystical experiences concerning devotion to the Divine Mercy. Following his advice, she wrote of these in her “Diary.” To this day this remains a spiritual classic.

        The Divine Mercy devotion became a life-giving inspiration for Fr. Sopoćko. Due to his assistance, and under the direction of Sister Faustina, the artist Eugeniusz Kazimirowski painted the first portrait of Jesus as the Divine Mercy. Fr. Sopoćko wrote extensively on the subject of the Divine Mercy, and, in 1938, he established a committee charged with building the Divine Mercy Church in Vilnius. However, this attempt had to be halted due to the onset of World War II. But despite the war and German occupation, Fr. Sopoćko persisted in his efforts to promote the devotion to the Divine Mercy. Filled with zeal, he constantly helped those who were oppressed and threatened with extermination, for example, numerous Jewish people. Fortunately, he managed to avoid arrest and  imprisonment. In 1942, along with his fellow seminary professors and students, he was forced to go into hiding near Vilnius. He remained concealed for two years. Yet it was during that very time when  

Fr. Sopoćko played a major role in establishing a new Religious Congregation. According to the revelations of Sr. Faustina, this Congregation was to promote love for the Divine Mercy. After the War, he wrote the Congregation’s constitution.  And he became actively engaged in the growth and development of what we know as the Congregation of the Sisters of the Divine Mercy.

      In 1947, Archbishop Jałbrzykowski, since two years at Białystok with his diocesan Curia, sought that Fr. Sopoćko come to the same city. He therefore accepted a position as professor in the Archdiocesan Major Seminary. There he taught pedagogy, catechetics, homiletics, pastoral theology, and spirituality. Additionally, he continued to further the apostolate of the Divine Mercy. He also made serious efforts to obtain official approval for the Divine Mercy devotion from the Church authorities. Fr. Sopoćko worked tirelessly on the biblical, theological, and pastoral bases by which to explain the doctrinal truth concerning the Divine Mercy devotion. His publications were translated into numerous languages including: Latin, English, French, Italian, and Portuguese.

        Fr. Michal Sopoćko died on February 15, 1975, in his apartment on Poleska Street. He was popularly acclaimed for his sanctity. He was buried in the parish cemetery in Białystok. Following the inauguration of the process for his Beatification, his body was moved to the Church of the Divine Mercy (November 30, 1988). He was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on September 28, 2008.

© Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

_______________________________________

Wednesday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time

15 February 2017

Saints of the day

St. Claude de la Colombiere

san_claudio_de_la_colombiere

Saint Claude de la Colombiere
(2 February 1641 – 15 February 1682)

A jesuit and confesser St. Margaret Mary Alacoque actively promoted the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus with St. Margaret Mary. The emphasis on God’s love for all was an antidote to the rigorous moralism of the Jansenists, who were popular at the time.

In 1674, after 15 years of life as a Jesuit, Colombière did his period of probation known as the Tertianship, which was to prove decisive in his life. As a result of this experience of the Spiritual Exercises, he made a personal vow, as a means of attaining the utmost possible perfection, to observe faithfully the Rule and Constitutions of the Society under penalty of sin. Those who lived with him attested that this vow was kept with great exactitude. Claude showed remarkable preaching skills long before his ordination in 1675. Two months later he was made superior of a small Jesuit residence in Paray-le-Monial. It was there he first encountered Margaret Mary Alacoque. For many years after he served as her spiritual friend and confessor.

 

In 1676 Colombière was sent to England as preacher to Mary of Modena, then the Duchess of York. He took up residence at the Court of St. James, where he still observed all his religious duties as a member of the Society. He preached by both words and by the example of his holy life, converting a number of Protestants. Although encountering many difficulties, he was able to guide Alacoque by letter.

Colombière’s zeal and the English climate soon combined to weaken his health and a pulmonary condition threatened to end his work in that country. In November 1678 he was suddenly arrested and thrown into prison, denounced as being a part of the Popish Plot alleged by Titus Oates against the English throne. Caught up in the anti-Catholic hysteria which resulted from this alleged plot, he was confined in severe conditions where his fragile health took a turn for the worse. He was ultimately banished, and returned to Paray-le-Monial  but by then his health had been ruined.

He died in 1682. Pope John Paul II canonized Claude de la Colombière in 1992.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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

Matthew 28:20.

***********************************************

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

###########################

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

#####################

HERE I AM, LORD;

I COME TO DO YOUR WILL

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

 


Tuesday, February 14th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 8:14-21.


Tuesday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time

14 February 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread,

and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 8:14-21.

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
He enjoined them, “Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”
They concluded among themselves that it was because they had no bread.
When he became aware of this he said to them, “Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread? Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened?
Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? And do you not remember,
when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?” They answered him, “Twelve.”
When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up? They answered (him), “Seven.”
He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

 

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Daily TV Mass Tuesday, February 14, 2017

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Tuesday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time

14 February 2017

Commentary of the day

Saint John-Paul II,

servo_di_dio_giovanni_paolo_ii-karol_wojtyla-fe

Saint John-Paul II,

Pope from 1978 to 2005

Encyclical “Ut unum sint”,

19 (trans. copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana)

Saints Cyril and Methodius, apostles of the Slavs

Doctrine needs to be presented in a way that makes it understandable to those for whom God himself intends it. In my Encyclical Epistle “Slavorum Apostoli”, I recalled that this was the very reason why Saints Cyril and Methodius laboured to translate the ideas of the Bible and the concepts of Greek theology in the context of very different historical experiences and ways of thinking.

They wanted the one word of God to be “made accessible in each civilization’s own forms of expression”. They recognized that they could not therefore “impose on the peoples assigned to their preaching either the undeniable superiority of the Greek language and Byzantine culture, or the customs and way of life of the more advanced society in which they had grown up”. Thus they put into practice that “perfect communion in love which preserves the Church from all forms of particularism, ethnic exclusivism or racial prejudice, and from any nationalistic arrogance”.

As he lay dying, Cyril prayed: “Lord God, make your Church increase and gather all men together into unity. Make your chosen ones stand firm in the concord of true faith and of its rightful confession. Make your words penetrate their hearts that they may consecrate themselves to what is good and pleasing to you.”

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

______________________

Tuesday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time

14 February 2017

Saints of the day

Sts. Cyril, Monk, and Methodius,

Memorial

(Feast in Europe)

san_cirillo_p

Saint Cyril, Monk,

and Methodius, Bishop
Co-Patrons of Europe
Memorial
(Feast in Europe)

      St. Cyril and St. Methodius were brothers from Thessalonica (Greece).
      Cyril was born about 826 and died at Rome in 869.
      Methodius was born about 815. He was made a bishop and spent many years preaching the gospel in Hungary, despite resistance and hostility. He died in Velehrad (Czech Republic) in 885.
      With papal approval they preached the gospel in Moravia using their own translations of the Scriptures and the liturgy in the local language. These translations into Slavonic were based on an alphabet they invented, now called Cyrillic.
      Cyril and Methodius are honoured as apostles of the Slavic peoples

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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

Matthew 28:20.

***********************************************

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

###########################

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

#####################

HERE I AM, LORD;

I COME TO DO YOUR WILL

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@


Monday, February 13th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 8:11-13.


Monday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time

13 February 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“Why does this generation seek a sign?

Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”

1 BY WHAT stdas0149

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 8:11-13.

The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.
He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”
Then he left them, got into the boat again, and went off to the other shore.

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Daily TV Mass Monday, February 13, 2017

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Monday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time

13 February 2017

Commentary of the day

Saint Hilary

sant_ilario_di_poitiers

Saint Hilary

(c.315-367),

Bishop of Poitiers, Doctor of the Church
The Trinity, Bk.12, 52-53

“Why does this generation seek a sign?”

Father Most Holy, God Almighty…, when I raise the faint light of my eyes towards the sky, how can I doubt it to be your heaven? When I contemplate the movement of the stars and their yearly cycle; when I see the Pleiades, Little Bear and Morning Star and consider how each of them shines in the watch assigned to it, then I understand, O God, that you are there in those stars beyond my understanding. When I see “the breakers of the sea” (Ps 93[92]:4) I cannot grasp the origin of their waters or even what sets their ebb and flow in motion. And yet– impenetrable though it be for me – I believe there to be a cause to these facts of which I have no knowledge and there, too, I perceive your presence.

If I turn my mind towards the earth which, by means of the energy of hidden forces, decomposes all the seeds it has received in its womb, slowly causes them to germinate and multiply, then enables them to grow, I see nothing in all this that I could understand with my intellect. But even this ignorance helps me to discern you since, if I have no knowledge of the nature placed at my service, yet I understand you by the mere fact that it is there for my use.

And if I turn towards my own self, this experience tells me that I do not understand myself and I wonder at you all the more in that I am a stranger to myself. Indeed, even if I am unable to comprehend them, I have an experience of the movements of my mind as it judges, of its operations, of its life. And it is to you that I owe this experience, you who have given me a share in this sensible nature, which is my joy even if its origin is beyond the grasp of my intelligence. I do not understand my own self but it is in myself that I find you and, in finding you, adore you.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

__________________

Monday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time

13 February 2017

Saint of the day

Bl. Jordan of Saxo,

Dominican Priest

(c. 1190-1237)

jordan-untitled

BLESSED JORDAN OF SAXONY
Dominican Priest
(C. 1190-1237)

        Blessed Jordan of Saxony was a German of noble descent. He received a pious upbringing, and was noted for his charity to the poor from an early age. Educated in Germany, he received his masters’ degree in theology at the University of Paris.

        He joined the Order of Preachers in 1220 under Saint Dominic himself and became Prior-provincial of the Order in Lombardy in 1221. He succeeded Dominic as master-general of the Order in 1222. Under his administration, the Order spread throughout Germany, and into Denmark.

        He was a noted and powerful preacher; one of his sermons brought Saint Albert the Great into the Order.

        Jordan is the author of Libellus de principiis Ordinis Praedicatorum (“Booklet on the beginnings of the Order of Preachers”), a Latin text which is both the earliest biography of Saint Dominic and the first narrative history of the foundation of the Order.

        Spiritual director of Blessed Diana d’Andalo, he helped her found the monastery of Saint Agnes.

        He died in a shipwreck off the coast of Syria while on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

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

Matthew 28:20.

***********************************************

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

###########################

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

#####################

HERE I AM, LORD;

I COME TO DO YOUR WILL

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@


Sunday,February 12th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 5:17-37.


Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

12 February 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

If you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you,

leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 5:17-37.

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.
It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.’
But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
Again you have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow.’
But I say to you, do not swear at all; not by heaven, for it is God’s throne;
nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black.
Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.”

 

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YOUTUBE

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The Sunday Mass – 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

(February 12, 2017)

Presider: Rev. Tom Lynch

_____________________________________

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

12 February 2017

Commentary  of the day

Saint Irenaeus of Lyons

image: n/a

(c.130-c.208),

Bishop, theologian and martyr

Against the heresies IV,13,3 (cf. SC 100, p. 525f. rev)

The Law rooted in our hearts

The Law contains natural prescriptions that already administer justice, and even before the gift of the Law to Moses, people observed these prescriptions and were justified by their faith and were pleasing to God. The Lord has not abolished those prescriptions but developed and fulfilled them as the following words testify: “You have heard that it was said: ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Mt 5:27-28). And again: “It was said: ‘ You shall not kill.’ But I say to you: whoever is angry with his brother without reason will be answerable to the court” (cf. Mt 5:21f.)… And so on. None of these prescriptions imply either the contradiction nor the abolition of those that preceded them, but their fulfilment and development. As the Lord himself says: “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:20).

What does this development consist in? In the first place, no longer believing only in the Father but also in his Son who, from now on, has been manifested. For it is he who leads us to communion and union with God. Then, not in speaking only but in doing – for “they preach but do not practice” (Mt 23:3) – and in preserving ourselves not just from evil deeds but even from the desire of them. By teaching this he was not replacing the Law but fulfilling the Law and rooting the precepts of the Law more deeply within us… To ordain the abstention not only of acts forbidden by the Law but even of desire for them is not the actions of someone who contradicts and abolishes the Law; it is the action of someone who fulfils and extends it.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

__________________________

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

12 February 2017

Saints of theday

Martyrs of Abitene

Image: n/a

A translation of the homily Benedict XVI gave during the closing Mass of the 24th Italian National Eucharistic Congress, in the esplanade of Marisabella

This Eucharistic congress, which comes to a close today, intended to present Sunday again as a “weekly Easter,” expression of the identity of the Christian community and center of its life and mission. The theme chosen, “We Cannot Live without Sunday,” takes us back to the year 304, when Emperor Diocletian prohibited Christians, under pain of death, to possess the Scriptures, to meet on Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist and to build premises for their assemblies. In Abitene, a small village in what today is Tunis, 49 Christians, meeting in the home of Octavius Felix, were taken by surprise on a Sunday while celebrating the Eucharist, defying the imperial prohibitions. Arrested, they were taken to Carthage to be interrogated by the proconsul Anulinus.

Significant, in particular, was the response given to the proconsul by Emeritus, after being asked why he had violated the emperor’s order. He said: “Sine dominico non possumus,” we cannot live without meeting on Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist. We would not have the strength to face the daily difficulties and not succumb. After atrocious tortures, the 49 martyrs of Abitene were killed. Thus, they confirmed their faith with the shedding of blood. They died but they were victorious; we now remember them in the glory of the risen Christ.

The Vatican, VA Pope Benedict XVI – Bishop of Rome, 661 869-1000

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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

12 February 2017

Saints of theday

St. Benedict of Anian,

Abbot

(c.750 – 821)

san_benedetto_daniane

SAINT BENEDICT OF ANIAN
(c. 750-821)

        Benedict was the son of Aigulf, Governor of Languedoc, and was born about 750. In his early youth he served as cup-bearer to King Pepin and his son Charlemagne, enjoying under them great honors and possessions.

        Grace entered his soul at the age of twenty, and he resolved to seek the kingdom of God with his whole heart. Without relinquishing his place at court, he lived there a most mortified life for three years; then a narrow escape from drowning made him vow to quit the world, and he entered the cloister of St. Seine.

        In reward for his heroic austerities in the monastic state, God bestowed upon him the gift of tears, and inspired him with knowledge of spiritual things. As procurator, he was most careful of the wants of the brethren, and most hospitable to the poor and to guests.

        Declining to accept the abbacy, he built himself a little hermitage on the brook Anian, and lived some years in great solitude and poverty; but the fame of his sanctity drawing many souls around him, he was obliged to build a large abbey, and within a short time governed three hundred monks.   

        He became the great restorer of monastic discipline throughout France and Germany. First, he drew up with immense labor a code of the rules of St. Benedict, his great namesake, which he collated with those of the chief monastic founders, showing the uniformity of the exercises in each, and enforced by his “Penitential” their exact observance; secondly, he minutely regulated all matters regarding food, clothing, and every detail of life; and thirdly, by prescribing the same for all, he excluded jealousies and insured perfect charity.

        In a Provincial Council held in 813, under Charlemagne, at which he was present, it was declared that all monks of the West should adopt the rule of St. Benedict.

        He died in 821.

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

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Saturday, February 11th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 8:1-10.


Saturday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

11 February 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

“Where can anyone get enough bread to satisfy

them here in this deserted place?”

five breads stdas0097

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 8:1-10.

In those days when there again was a great crowd without anything to eat, Jesus summoned the disciples and said,
My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat.
If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a great distance.”
His disciples answered him, “Where can anyone get enough bread to satisfy them here in this deserted place?”
Still he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they replied.
He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then, taking the seven loaves he gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to distribute, and they distributed them to the crowd.
They also had a few fish. He said the blessing over them and ordered them distributed also.
They ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets.
There were about four thousand people. He dismissed them
and got into the boat with his disciples and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

 

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Saturday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

11 February 2017

Commentary of the day

Catechism of the Catholic Church
§ 1391-1395

Christ gives himself as food

The fruits of Holy Communion. The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is an intimate union with Christ Jesus. Indeed, the Lord said: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.”(Jn 6,56). Life in Christ has its foundation in the Eucharistic banquet: “As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me” (Jn 6,57)…

What material food produces in our bodily life, Holy Communion wonderfully achieves in our spiritual life. Communion with the flesh of the risen Christ, a flesh “given life and giving life through the Holy Spirit,” preserves, increases, and renews the life of grace received at Baptism. This growth in Christian life needs the nourishment of Eucharistic Communion, the bread for our pilgrimage until the moment of death, when it will be given to us as viaticum.

Holy Communion separates us from sin. the body of Christ we receive in Holy Communion is “given up for us,” and the blood we drink “shed for the many for the forgiveness of sins.” For this reason the Eucharist cannot unite us to Christ without at the same time cleansing us from past sins and preserving us from future sins: «For as often as we eat this bread and drink the cup, we proclaim the death of the Lord» (1Cor 11,26)…
As bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the Eucharist strengthens our charity, which tends to be weakened in daily life; and this living charity wipes away venial sins… By the same charity that it enkindles in us, the Eucharist preserves us from future mortal sins.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

_____________________

Saturday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

11 February 2017

Saint of the day

St. Severinus of Agaunum,

Abbot

(+ 507)

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SAINT SEVERINUS
Abbot of Agaunum
(+ 507)

        St. Severinus, of a noble family in Burgundy, was educated in the Catholic faith, at a time when the Arian heresy reigned in that country. He forsook the world in his youth, and dedicated himself to God in the monastery of Agaunum, which then only consisted of scattered cells, till the Catholic King Sigismund built there the great abbey of St. Maurice.

    St. Severinus was the holy abbot of that place, and had governed his community many years in the exercise of penance and charity, when, in 504, Clovis, the first Christian king of France, lying ill of a fever, which his physicians had for two years ineffectually endeavored to remove, sent his chamberlain to conduct the Saint to court; for it was said that the sick from all parts recovered their health by his prayers. St. Severinus took leave of his monks, telling them he should never see them more in this world. On his journey he healed Eulalius, Bishop of Nevers, who had been for some time deaf and dumb; also a leper, at the gates of Paris; and coming to the palace he immediately restored the king to perfect health, by putting on him his own cloak. The king, in gratitude, distributed large alms to the poor and released all his prisoners.

St. Severinus, returning toward Agaunum, stopped at Château-Landon in Gatinois, where two priests served God in a solitary chapel, among whom he was admitted, at his request, as a stranger, and was soon greatly admired by them for his sanctity. He foresaw his death, which happened shortly after, in 507.

        The place is now an abbey of reformed canons regular of St. Austin. The Huguenots scattered the greater part of his relics when they plundered this church.

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

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Matthew 28:20.

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Friday, February 10th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 7:31-37.


Friday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

10 February 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

“Ephphatha!”

(that is, “Be opened!”)

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 7:31-37.

Jesus left the district of Tyre and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Decapolis.
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”)
And (immediately) the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.
He ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it.
They were exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and (the) mute speak.”

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Friday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

10 February 2017

Commentary of the day

Saint Augustine

Giusto di Gand (Joos van Wassenhove), sant'agostino.jpg

Saint Augustine

(354-430),

Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church

Sermon on the Psalms, Ps 102[103] : 5-6 ; PL 37, 1319

“Jesus took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears”

“The Lord heals all your ills” (Ps 102[103]:3). Never fear, all your ills will healed. You say they are big ones, but the doctor is even greater. For an all-powerful doctor there is no such thing as an incurable sickness. Simply let yourself be cared for, don’t push away his hand, he knows what to do. Don’t be happy only when he acts with gentleness but bear with it, too, when he prunes. Accept the unpleasantness of the cure by thinking of the healing it will bring you.

Notice all those things, brethren, that people put up with in their physical ills so as to prolong their lives a few days… You, at least, are not suffering for an uncertain result: he who has promised you your health cannot be mistaken. Why is it that doctors are sometimes mistaken? Because they have not created the body they are treating. But God has made your body, God has made your soul. He knows how to recreate what he has created; he knows how to refashion what he has formed. You have only to abandon yourself into his doctor’s hands… Endure his hands, then, O soul that “blesses him and forgets not all his benefits: he heals all your ills” (P2 102[103]:2-3).

He who had made you never to become sick if you would kept his precepts, will he not heal you? He who made the angels and, in recreating you, will make you equal to the angels: will he not heal you? He who made heaven and earth, will he not heal you after having made you in his image? (Gn 1:26) He will heal you but you must consent to be healed. He heals every sickness perfectly but he does not heal it in spite of himself… Your health is Christ.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

_______________________

Friday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

10 February 2017

Saint of the day

St. Scholastica,

Abbess (+ c. 543)

san-solastica-untitled

SAINT SCHOLASTICA
Abbess
(+ c. 543)

        Of this Saint but little is known on earth, save that she was the sister of the great patriarch St. Benedict, and that, under his direction, she founded and governed a numerous community near Monte Casino.

        St. Gregory sums up her life by saying that she devoted herself to God from her childhood, and that her pure soul went to God in the likeness of a dove, as if to show that her life had been enriched with the fullest gifts of the Holy Spirit.

        Her brother was accustomed to visit her every year, for “she could not be sated or wearied with the words of grace which flowed from his lips.” On his last visit, after a day passed in spiritual converse, the Saint, knowing that her end was near, said, “My brother, leave me not, I pray you, this night, but discourse with me till dawn on the bliss of those who see God in heaven.” St. Benedict would not, break his rule at the bidding of natural affection; and then the Saint bowed her head on her hands and prayed; and there arose a storm so violent that St. Benedict could not return to his monastery, and they passed the night in heavenly conversation.

        Three days later St. Benedict saw in a vision the soul of his sister going up in the likeness of a dove into heaven. Then he gave thanks to God for the graces He had given her, and for the glory which had crowned them. When she died, St. Benedict, her spiritual daughters, and the monks sent by St. Benedict mingled their tears and prayed, “Alas! alas! dearest mother, to whom dost thou leave us now? Pray for us to Jesus, to Whom thou art gone.” They then devoutly celebrated holy Mass, “commending her soul to God;” and her body was borne to Monte Casino, and laid by her brother in the tomb he had prepared for himself.” And they bewailed her many days;” and St. Benedict said, “Weep not, sisters and brothers; for assuredly Jesus has taken her before us to be our aid and defence against all our enemies, that we may stand in the evil day and be in all things perfect.”

        She died about the year 543.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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

Matthew 28:20.

***********************************************

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

###########################

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

#####################

HERE I AM, LORD;

I COME TO DO YOUR WILL

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Thursday, February 9th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 7:24-30.


Thursday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

9 February 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and

she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter.

1 women wjpas0171

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 7:24-30.

Jesus went to the district of Tyre. He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it, but he could not escape notice.
Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him. She came and fell at his feet.
The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter.
He said to her, “Let the children be fed first. For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.”
She replied and said to him, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.”
Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter.”
When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.

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Thursday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

9 February 2017

Commentary of the day

Guigo II the Carthusian

(?-1188),

prior of the Grande Chartreuse

Letter on the contemplative life, 6-7 (trans. Robin Bruce Lockhart)

“She came and fell at his feet”

“Lord, you are not seen except by the pure of heart. I seek by reading and meditating what is true purity of heart and how it may be attained, so that with its help I may know you, if only a little. Lord, for long have I meditated in my heart, seeking to see your face. It is the sight of you, Lord. that I have sought (Ps 27[26],8); and all the while in my meditation the fire of longing. the desire to know you more fully, has increased. When you break the bread of sacred Scripture for me, you have shown yourself to me in that breaking of bread (Lk 24,30-35), and the more I see you, the more I long to see you, not just in the outward rind of the letter but in the taste of experience.

“Nor do I ask this, Lord, because of my own merits, but because of your mercy. I too in my unworthiness confess my sins like the woman who said that “even the little dogs eat of the fragments that fall from the table of their masters.” So give me, Lord, some pledge of what I hope to inherit, at least one drop of heavenly rain with which to refresh my thirst, for I am on fire with love.”

So the soul, by such burning words… seeks to call its spouse. But the Lord, whose eyes are upon the just and whose ears can catch not only the words but the very meaning of their prayers, does not wait until the longing soul has said all its say, but breaks in upon the middle of its prayer, runs to meet it with all haste, sprinkled with sweet heavenly dew, anointed with the most precious perfumes, and he restores the weary soul. He slakes its thirst, he feeds its hunger, he makes the soul forget all earthly things. By making it die to itself he gives it new life in a wonderful way, and by making it drunk he brings it back to its true senses.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

___________________

Thursday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

9 February 2017

Saint of the day

St. Apollonia,

Virgin and Martyr

(+ 249)

zurbaran_francisco_de_st_apollonia

SAINT APOLLONIA
Virgin and martyr
and the Martyrs of Alexandria
(+ 249)

        At Alexandria, in 249, the mob rose in savage fury against the Christians. Metras, an old man, perished first. His eyes were pierced with reeds, and he was stoned to death. A woman named Quinta was the next victim. She was led to a heathen temple and bidden worship. She replied by cursing the false god again and again, and she too was stoned to death. After this the houses of the Christians were sacked and plundered. They took the spoiling of their goods with all joy.

        St. Apollonia, an aged virgin, was the most famous among the martyrs. Her teeth were beaten out; she was led outside the city, a huge fire was kindled, and she was told she must deny Christ, or else be burned alive. She was silent for a while, and then, moved by a special inspiration of the Holy Ghost, she leaped into the fire and died in its flames.

        The same courage showed itself the next year, when Decius became emperor, and the persecution grew till it seemed as if the very elect must fall away. The story of Dioscorus illustrates the courage of the Alexandrian Christians, and the esteem they had for martyrdom. He was a boy of fifteen. To the arguments of the judge he returned wise answers: he was proof against torture. His older companions were executed, but Dioscorus was spared on account of his tender years; yet the Christians could not bear to think that he had been deprived of the martyr’s crown, except to receive it afterwards more gloriously. “Dioscorus,” writes Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria at this time, “remains with us, reserved for some longer and greater combat.”

        There were indeed many Christians who came, pale and trembling, to offer the heathen sacrifices. But the judges themselves were struck with horror at the multitudes who rushed to martyrdom. Women triumphed over torture, till at last the judges were glad to execute them at once and put an end to the ignominy of their own defeat.

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

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

Matthew 28:20.

***********************************************

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

###########################

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

#####################

HERE I AM, LORD;

I COME TO DO YOUR WILL

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@


Wednesday, February 8th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 7:14-23.


Wednesday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

8 February 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

What comes out of a person, that is what defiles.

1 lwjas0171

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 7:14-23.

Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.”

When he got home away from the crowd his disciples questioned him about the parable.
He said to them, “Are even you likewise without understanding? Do you not realize that everything that goes into a person from outside cannot defile,
since it enters not the heart but the stomach and passes out into the latrine?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)
But what comes out of a person, that is what defiles.
From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile.”

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Wednesday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

8 February 2017

Commentary of the day

Isaac the Syrian

Image: n/a

(7th century),

monk near Mosul

Spiritual Discourses, 1st series, no. 21

“A clean heart create for me, O God” (Ps 51:12)

It is said that only God’s help saves. When a person knows that there is no other help, he prays a lot. And the more he prays, the more his heart becomes humble, for it is not possible to pray and make requests without being humble. “A heart contrite and humble, O God, you will not spurn.” (Ps 51:19) So long as the heart has not become humble, it is impossible for it to escape being scattered; humility gathers the heart together.

When a person has become humble, compassion immediately surrounds him and his heart then feels God’s help. He discovers a strength rising up within him, the strength of trust. When a person thus feels God’s help, when he feels that God is there and that he comes to his aid, immediately his heart is filled with faith and he then understands that prayer is the source of our help, the source of salvation, the treasure of our trust, the port that has been freed of the storm, the light of those who are in darkness, the support of the weak, shelter in time of trial, help at the crisis point of illness, shield that saves in combat, arrow sent out against the enemy. In a word, a multitude of good enters into him by means of prayer. So from then on, he finds his delight in the prayer of faith. His heart glows with trust.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

_________________________

Wednesday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

8 February 2017

Saints of the day

St. Josephine Bakhita

(1869-1947)

bakhita

JOSEPHINE BAKHITA
(1869-1947)

        Mother Josephine Bakhita was born in Sudan in 1869 and died in Schio (Vicenza)  in 1947.

This African flower, who knew the anguish of kidnapping and slavery, bloomed marvelously in Italy, in response to God’s grace, with the Daughters of Charity.

Mother “Moretta”

        In Schio (Vicenza), where she spent many years of her life, everyone still calls her “our Black Mother”. The process for the cause of Canonization began 12 years after her death and on December 1st, 1978 the Church proclaimed the Decree of the heroic practice ofall virtues.

        Divine Providence which “cares for the flowers of the fields and the birds of the air”, guided the Sudanese slave through innumerable and unspeakable sufferings to human freedom and to the freedom of faith and finally to the consecration of her whole life to God for the coming of his Kingdom.

In Slavery

        Bakhita was not the name she received from her parents at birth. The fright and the terrible experiences she went through made her forget the name she was given by her parents. Bakhita, which means “fortunate”, was the name given to her by her kidnappers.

        Sold and resold in the markets of El Obeid and of Khartoum, she experienced the humiliations and sufferings of slavery, both physical and moral.

Towards freedom

        In the Capital of Sudan, Bakhita was bought by an Italian Consul, Callisto Legnani . For the first time since the day she was kidnapped, she realized with pleasant surprise, that no one used the lash when giving her orders; instead, she was treated in a loving and cordial way. In the Consul’s residence, Bakhita experienced peace, warmth and moments of joy, even though veiled by nostalgia for her own family, whom, perhaps, she had lost forever.

        Political situations forced the Consul to leave for Italy. Bakhita asked and obtained permission to go with him and with a friend of his, a certain Mr. Augusto Michieli.

In Italy

        On arrival in Genoa, Mr. Legnani, pressured by the request of Mr. Michieli’s wife, consented to leave Bakhita with them. She followed the new “family”, which settled in Zianigo (near Mirano Veneto). When their daughter Mimmina was born, Bakhita became her babysitter and friend.

        The acquisition and management of a big hotel in Suakin, on the Red Sea, forced Mrs. Michieli to move to Suakin to help her husband. Meanwhile, on the advice of their administrator, Illuminato Checchini, Mimmina and Bakhita were entrusted to the Canossian Sisters of the Institute of the Catechumens in Venice. It was there that Bakhita came to know about God whom “she had experienced in her heart without knowing who He was” ever since she was a child. “Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself: Who could be the Master of these beautiful things? And I felt a great desire to see him, to know Him and to pay Him homage…”

Daughter of God

        After several months in the catechumenate, Bakhita received the sacraments of Christian initiation and was given the new name, Josephine. It was January 9, 1890. She did not know how to express her joy that day. Her big and expressive eyes sparkled, revealing deep emotions. From then on, she was often seen kissing the baptismal font and saying: “Here, I became a daughter of God!”

        With each new day, she became more aware of who this God was, whom she now knew and loved, who had led her to Him through mysterious ways, holding her by the hand.

When Mrs. Michieli returned from Africa to take back her daughter and Bakhita, the latter, with unusual firmness and courage, expressed her desire to remain with the Canossian Sisters and to serve that God who had shown her so many proofs of His love.

        The young African, who by then had come of age, enjoyed the freedom of choice which the Italian law ensured.

Daughter of St. Magdalene

        Bakhita remained in the catechumenate where she experienced the call to be a religious, and to give herself to the Lord in the Institute of St. Magdalene of Canossa.

        On December 8, 1896 Josephine Bakhita was consecrated forever to God whom she called with the sweet expression “the Master!”

        For another 50 years, this humble Daughter of Charity, a true witness of the love of God, lived in the community in Schio, engaged in various services: cooking, sewing, embroidery and attending to the door.

         When she was on duty at the door, she would gently lay her hands on the heads of the children who daily attended the Canossian schools and caress them. Her amiable voice, which had the inflection and rhythm of the music of her country, was pleasing to the little ones, comforting to the poor and suffering and encouraging for those who knocked at the door of the Institute.

Witness of love

        Her humility, her simplicity and her constant smile won the hearts of all the citizens. Her sisters in the community esteemed her for her inalterable sweet nature, her exquisite goodness and her deep desire to make the Lord known.

        “Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know Him. What a great grace it is to know God!”

        As she grew older she experienced long, painful years of sickness. Mother Bakhita continued to witness to faith, goodness and Christian hope. To those who visited her and asked how she was, she would respond with a smile: “As the Master desires.”

Final test

        During her agony, she re-lived the terrible days of her slavery and more then once she begged the nurse who assisted her: “Please, loosen the chains… they are heavy!”

        It was Mary Most Holy who freed her from all pain. Her last words were: “Our Lady! Our Lady!”, and her final smile testifiedto her encounter with the Mother of the Lord.

        Mother Bakhita breathed her last on February 8, 1947 at the Canossian Convent, Schio, surrounded by the Sisters. A crowd quickly gathered at the Convent to have a last look at their «Mother Moretta» and to ask for her protection from heaven.  The fame of her sanctity has spread to all the continents and many are those who receive graces through her intercession.

        She was canonized by Pope John-Paul II on October 1, 2000.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Wednesday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

8 February 2017

Saints of the day

St. Jerome Emiliani

(1486-1537)

san_girolamo_emiliani-miani

SAINT JEROME EMILIANI
(1486-1537)

        St. Jerome Emiliani was a member of one of the patrician families of Venice, and, like many other Saints, in early life a soldier. He was appointed governor of a fortress among the mountains of Treviso, and whilst bravely defending his post, was made prisoner by the enemy. In the misery of his dungeon he invoked the great Mother of God, and promised, if she would set him free, to lead a new and a better life. Our Lady appeared, broke his fetters, and led him forth through the midst of his enemies. At Treviso he hung up his chains at her altar, dedicated himself to her service, and on reaching his home at Venice devoted himself to a life of active charity.

        His special love was for the deserted orphan children whom, in the times of the plague and famine, he found wandering in the streets. He took them home, clothed and fed them, and taught them the Christian truths. From Venice he passed to Padua and Verona, and in a few years had founded orphanages through Northern Italy. Some pious clerics and laymen, who had been his fellow-workers, fixed their abode in one of these establishments, and devoted themselves to the cause of education. The Saint drew up for them a rule of life and thus was founded the Congregation, which still exists, of the Clerks Regular of Somascha.

        St. Jerome died February 8, 1537, of the plague which he had caught in visiting the sick.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Wednesday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

8 February 2017

Saints of the day

St. John of Matha,

Priest

(1169-1213)

san_giovanni_de_matha_h

SAINT JOHN OF MATHA
Priest and Founder of the Order of the Holy Trinity
(1169-1213)

        The life of St. John of Matha was one long course of self-sacrifice for the glory of God and the good of his neighbor. As a child, his chief delight was serving the poor; and he often told them he had come into the world for no other end but to wash their feet. He studied at Paris with such distinction that his professors advised him to become a priest, in order that his talents might render greater service to others; and, for this end, John gladly sacrificed his high rank and other worldly advantages.

        At his first Mass an angel appeared, clad in white, with a red and blue cross on his breast, and his hands reposing on the heads of a Christian and a Moorish captive. To ascertain what this signified, John repaired to St. Felix of Valois, a holy hermit living near Meaux, under whose direction he led a life of extreme penance.

        The angel again appeared, and they then set out for Rome, to learn the will of God from the lips of the Sovereign Pontiff, who told them to devote themselves to the redemption of captives. For this purpose they founded the Order of the Holy Trinity. The religious fasted every day, and gathering alms throughout Europe took them to Barbary, to redeem the Christian slaves. They devoted themselves also to the sick and prisoners in all countries.

        The charity of St. John in devoting his life to the redemption of captives was visibly blessed by God. On his second return from Tunis he brought back one hundred and twenty liberated slaves. But the Moors attacked him at sea, over- i powered his vessel, and doomed it to destruction, with all on board, by taking away the rudder and sails, and leaving it to the mercy of the winds. St. John tied his cloak to the mast, and prayed, saying, “Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered. O Lord, Thou wilt save the humble, and wilt bring down the eyes of the proud.” Suddenly the wind filled the small sail, and, without guidance, carried the ship safely in a few days to Ostia, the port of Rome, three hundred leagues from Tunis.

        Worn out by his heroic labors, John died in 1213, at the age of fifty-three.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Tuesday, February 7th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 7:1-13.


Tuesday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

7 February 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me
In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.’

Jesus with authority stdas0149

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 7:1-13.

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
(For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews, do not eat without carefully washing their hands, keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace they do not eat without purifying themselves. And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed, the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.)
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”
He responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me;
In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.’
You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”
He went on to say, “How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!
For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Whoever curses father or mother shall die.’
Yet you say, ‘If a person says to father or mother, “Any support you might have had from me is qorban”‘ (meaning, dedicated to God),
you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother.
You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things.”

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine,USCCB

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Daily TV Mass Tuesday, February 7, 2017

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Tuesday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

7 February 2017

Commentary of the day

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Carlo Crivelli 007.jpg

Saint Thomas Aquinas

(1225-1274),

Dominican theologian, Doctor of the Church

Prayer before the crucifix

“This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me”

May I desire nothing apart from you… Grant that I may often turn my heart towards you and, when I falter, weigh my fault contritely with firm purpose of amendment. Grant me, O Lord my God, a watchful heart that no vain thought may lead away from you; a noble heart that no unworthy affection may debase; an upright heart that no evasiveness may turn aside; a firm heart that no adversity may break; a free heart that no forceful passion may master.

       Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind that knows you, an eagerness that seeks you, a wisdom that finds you, a life that pleases you, a perseverance that expects you confidently and a confidence that endlessly possesses you. Grant me to be afflicted through repentance by what you endured, to use your gifts through grace along the way, to rejoice in your joys especially in our homeland through glory. O You who, being God, live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Tuesday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time

7 February 2017

Saint of the day

Bl. Rosalie Rendu,

(1786-1856)

beata_rosalia_rendu

Blessed Rosalie Rendu
Daughter of Charity
(1786-1856)

        Jeanne Marie Rendu was born 9 September 1786 at Confort, a district of Gex in the Jura Mountains. She was the eldest of four girls. Her parents, simple living mountain people and small property owners, enjoyed a certain affluence and true respect throughout the area. Jeanne Marie was baptized the day she was born in the parish church of Lancrans. Her Godfather by proxy was Jacques Emery, a family friend and future Superior General of the Sulpicians in Paris. 

        Jeanne Marie Rendu was three years old when the Revolution broke out in France. From 1790 it was compulsory for the clergy to take an oath of support for the civil Constitution. Numerous priests, faithful to the Church, refused to take this oath. They were chased from their parishes, some were put to death and others had to hide to escape their pursuers. 

The Rendu family home became a refuge for these priests. The Bishop of Annecy found asylum under the assumed name of Pierre. Jeanne Marie was fascinated by this hired hand who was treated better than the others. One night, she discovered that he was celebrating Mass. She was offended that she had not been told the truth. 

        Later, in a discussion with her mother, she blurted out: “Be careful or I will tell that Pierre is not really Pierre.” In order to avoid any indiscretion on the part of her daughter, Madame Rendu told her the truth of the situation. 

        It was in this atmosphere of solid faith, always exposed to the dangers of denunciation, that Jeanne Marie was educated. She would make her first communion one night by candlelight in the basement of her home. This exceptional environment forged her character. 

        The death of her father, 12 May 1796, and that of her youngest sister, at four months of age, on 19 July of the same year, shook the entire family. Jeanne Marie, aware of her responsibility as the eldest, helped her mother, especially in caring for her younger sisters. 

        In the days following the Terror, people calmed down little by little and life resumed its normality. Madame Rendu, concerned about the education of her eldest daughter, sent her to the Ursuline Sisters in Gex. Jeanne Marie stayed two years in this boarding school. During her walks in town, she discovered the hospital where the Daughters of Charity cared for the sick. She had only one desire, to go and join them. Her mother gave her consent that Jeanne Marie, in spite of her young age, might spend some time at this hospital. God’s call, which she had sensed for many years, made itself clear: she would become a Daughter of Charity. 

        In 1802, Armande Jacquinot, from the village of Lancrans, confided to her friend that she was preparing to leave for Paris to enter the Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. Jeanne Marie leaped at the opportunity and begged her mother to allow her to leave. Having consulted with Fr. de Varicourt, the senior priest at Gex, Madame Rendu, happy, but very emotional at her daughter’s vocation, consented to her request. 

        On 25 May 1802, Jeanne Marie arrived at the Motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity, rue du Vieux Colombier in Paris. She was nearly 17 years old! The reopening of the Seminary, (novitiate suppressed by the Revolutionaries) took place in December 1800. On their arrival, the travelers were welcomed by 50 young women in formation. 

        Jeanne Marie was very anxious to give her very best in this new life. Her health was weakened by the sustained mental effort this demanded and by a lack of physical exercise. On the advice of her physician and that of her Godfather, Fr. Emery, Jeanne Marie was sent to the house of the Daughters of Charity in the Mouffetard District for the service of the poor. She would remain there 54 years! 

        The thirst for action, devotion and service that burned within Jeanne Marie could not have found a better place to be quenched than this district of Paris. At the time, it was the most impoverished district of the quickly expanding capital: poverty in all its forms, psychological and spiritual. There disease, unhealthy slums, and destitution were the daily lot of the people who were trying to survive. 

        Jeanne Marie, who received the name Sr. Rosalie, made her “apprenticeship” accompanying Sisters visiting the sick and the poor. Between times, she taught catechism and reading to little girls accepted at the free school. In 1807, Sr. Rosalie, surrounded by the Sisters of her Community, made vows for the first time to serve God and the poor. She made these vows with great emotion and joy. 

        In 1815 Sr. Rosalie became Superior of the Community at rue des Francs Bourgeois. Two years later the Community would move to rue de l’Epée de Bois for reasons of space and convenience. All her qualities of devotedness, natural authority, humility, compassion and her organizational abilities would be revealed. “Her poor,” as she would call them, became more and more numerous during this troubled time. The ravages of a triumphant economic liberalism accentuated the destitution of those most rejected. She sent her Sisters into all the hidden recesses of St. Médard Parish in order to bring supplies, clothing, care and a comforting word. 

        To assist all the suffering, Sr. Rosalie opened a free clinic, a pharmacy, a school, an orphanage, a child‑care center, a youth club for young workers and a home for the elderly without resources. Soon a whole network of charitable services would be established to counter poverty. 

Her example encouraged her Sisters. She often told them: “Be a milestone where all those who are tired have the right to lay down their load.” She was so simple, and lived so poorly, as to let the presence of God shine through her. 

        Her faith, solid as a rock and clear as a spring, revealed Jesus Christ in all circumstances. She daily experienced this conviction of St. Vincent: “You will go and visit the poor ten times a day, and ten times a day you will find God there … you go into their poor homes, but you find God there.” Her prayer life was intense, as a Sister affirmed, “… she continually lived in the presence of God. Even if she had a difficult mission to fulfill, we were always assured of seeing her go to the chapel or finding her on her knees in her office.” 

She was attentive to assuring that her companions had time for prayer, but sometimes there was a need to “leave God for God” as Vincent de Paul taught his Daughters. Once, while accompanying a Sister on a charitable visit, she said to her: “Sister, let’s begin our meditation!” She suggested the plan, the outline, in a few simple, clear words and entered into prayer. 

Like a monk in the cloister, Sr. Rosalie walked with her God. She would speak to God of this family in distress as the father no longer had any work, of this elderly person who risked dying alone in an attic: “Never have I prayed so well as in the streets,” she would say. 

One of her companions remarked that, “the poor themselves noted her way of praying and acting.” “Humble in her authority, Sr. Rosalie would correct us with great sensitivity and had the gift of consoling. Her advice, spoken justly and given with all her affection, penetrated souls.” 

She was very attentive to the manner of receiving the poor. Her spirit of faith saw in them our “lords and masters.” “The poor will insult you. The ruder they are; the more dignified you must be,” she said. “Remember, Our Lord hides behind those rags.” 

     Superiors sent her postulants and young Sisters to be formed. They put in her house, for a period of time, Sisters who were somewhat difficult or fragile. To one of her Sisters in crisis, she gave this advice one day, which is the secret of her life: “If you want someone to love you, you must be the first to love; and if you have nothing to give, give yourself.” As the number of Sisters increased, the charity office became a house of charity, with a clinic and a school. She saw in that the Providence of God. 

        Her reputation quickly grew in all the districts of the capital and also beyond to the towns in the region. Sr. Rosalie knew how to surround herself with many efficient and dedicated collaborators. The donations flowed in quickly as the rich were unable to resist this persuasive woman. Even the former royalty did not forget her in their generosity: The Ladies of Charity helped in the home visits. Bishops, priests, the Ambassador of Spain (Donoso Cortéz), Carlo X, General Cavaignac, and the most distinguished men of state and culture, even the Emperor Napoleon III with his wife, were often seen in her parlor. Students of law, medicine, science, technology, engineering, teacher‑training, and all the other important schools came seeking from Sr. Rosalie information and recommendations. Or, before performing a good work, they asked her at which door they should knock. Among these, Blessed Frederick Ozanam, co‑founder of the “Conferences of St. Vincent de Paul,” and the Venerable Jean Léon Le Prevost, future founder of the Religious of St. Vincent de Paul, knew well the road to her office. They came, with their other friends, to Sr. Rosalie seeking advice for undertaking their projects. She was the center of a charitable movement that characterized Paris and France in the first half of the 19th century. Sr. Rosalie’s experience was priceless for these young people. She directed their apostolate, guided their coming and going in the suburbs, and gave them addresses of families in need, choosing them with care. 

        She also formed a relationship with the Superioress of Bon Saveur in Caen and requested that she too welcome those in need. She was particularly attentive to priests and religious suffering from psychiatric difficulties. Her correspondence is short but touching, considerate, patient and respectful towards all. 

        Hardships were not lacking in the Mouffetard District. Epidemics of cholera followed one after another. Lack of hygiene and poverty fostered its virulence. Most particularly in 1832 and 1846, the dedication shown and risks taken by Sr. Rosalie and her Sisters were beyond imagination. She herself was seen picking up dead bodies in the streets. During the uprisings of July 1830 and February 1848, barricades and bloody battles were the marks of the opposition of the working class stirred up against the powerful. Archbishop Affre, Archbishop of Paris, was killed trying to intervene between the fighting factions. Sr. Rosalie was deeply grieved. She herself climbed the barricades to try and help the wounded fighters irrespective of the side they were fighting on. 

        Without any fear, she risked her life in these confrontations. Her courage and sense of freedom commanded the admiration of all. 

        When order was reestablished, she tried to save a number of these people she knew and who were victims of fierce repression. She was helped a great deal by the mayor of the district, Dr. Ulysse Trélat, a true republican, who was also very popular. 

        In 1852, Napoleon III decided to give her the Cross of the Legion of Honor. She was ready to refuse this individual honor but Fr. Etienne, Superior General of the Priests of the Mission and the Daughters of Charity, made her accept it. 

        Always in fragile health, Sr. Rosalie never took a moment of rest, always managing to overcome fatigue and fevers. However, age, increasing infirmity, and the amount of work needing to be done eventually broke her strong resistance and equally strong will. During the last two years of her life she became progressively blind. She died on 7 February 1856 after a brief acute illness. 

        Emotions ran high in the district and at all levels of society in both Paris and the countryside. After the funeral rite at St. Médard Church, her parish, a large and emotional crowd followed her remains to the Montparnasse Cemetery. They came to show their respect for the works she had accomplished and show their affection for this “out of the ordinary” Sister. 

        Numerous newspaper articles witnessed to the admiration and even veneration that Sr. Rosalie received. Newspapers from all sides echoed the sentiments of the people. 

L’Univers,the principal Catholic newspaper of the time, edited by Louis Veuillot, wrote as early as 8 February: “Our readers understand the significance of the sadness that has come upon the poor of Paris. They join their sufferings with the tears and prayers of the unfortunate.” 

        Il Consitutionnel,the newspaper of the anticlerical left, did not hesitate to announce the death of this Daughter of Charity: “The unfortunate people of the 12th district have just experienced a regrettable loss. Sr. Rosalie, Superior of the Community at rue de l’Epée de Bois died yesterday after a long illness. For many years this respectable woman was the salvation of the numerous needy in this district.” 

        The official newspaper of the Empire, le Moniteur, praised the kindly actions of this Sister: “Funeral honors were given to Sr. Rosalie with unusual splendor. For more than fifty years this holy woman was a friend to others in a district where there are many unfortunate people to care for and all these grateful people accompanied her remains to the church and to the cemetery. A guard of honor was part of the cortege.” 

        Numerous visitors flocked to the Montparnasse Cemetery. They went to meditate at the tomb of the one who was their salvation. But it was difficult to find the gravesite reserved for the Daughters of Charity. The body was then moved to a more accessible site, close to the entrance of the cemetery. On the simple tomb surmounted by a large Cross are engraved these words: “To Sister Rosalie, from her grateful friends, the rich and the poor.” Anonymous hands brought flowers and continue to bring flowers to this gravesite: a lasting yet discreet homage to this humble Daughter of St. Vincent de Paul.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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

Matthew 28:20.

***********************************************

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

###########################

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

###########################