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Wednesday, September 2nd. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 4:38-44.


Wednesday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

2 September 2015

Jesus left and went to a deserted place.

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 4:38-44. 

After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon. Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her.
He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them.
At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them.
And demons also came out from many, shouting, “You are the Son of God.” But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Messiah.
At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place. The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him, they tried to prevent him from leaving them.
But he said to them, “To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.”
And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image: From Bible Hub

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Wednesday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

2 September 2015

Commentary of the day

William of Saint-Thierry (c.1085-1148), Benedictine,

then a Cistercian monk
Meditations IV, 10-11 (trans. ©Cistercian Publications, Inc. 1970)

“Jesus left and went to a deserted place”

Lead me away, meanwhile, my refuge and my strength, into the heart of the desert as once you led your servant Moses; lead me where the bush burns, yet is not burnt up, where the holy soul that… is all aflame with the I fullness of the fire of your Holy Spirit, and, burning like the seraphim, is not consumed but cleansed…

The soul attains to the holy place where none may stand or take another step, except he be bare-footed—having loosed the shoe-strings of all fleshly hindrances… This is the place where He Who Is, who cannot be seen as he is, is notwithstanding heard to say, “I Am Who Am,” the place where, for the time, the soul must cover her face so that she does not see the face of God, and yet in humble obedience must use her ears to hear what the Lord God will say concerning her.

Hide me then in the day of evil, O Lord, in the secret place of your tabernacle, in the hidden recesses of your face, “far from the strife of tongues” (Ps 26[27],5; 30[31],21); for your yoke is easy and the burden you have laid on me is light (Mt 11,30). And when you show me the difference between your service and the service of the world, gently and tenderly you ask me if it is not better to serve you, the living God, than to serve strange gods (Cf 2 Chron 12,8). And I, for my part, adore the hand that lays the load, I kiss the yoke, and I embrace the burden; and it is very sweet to me to sweat beneath its weight. For masters other than you have long possessed me… I acknowledge your yoke, and your light burden that lifts me up and does not crush me down.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Wednesday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

2 September 2015

Saint of the day

Bl. Ingrid of Sweden († 1282)

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Blessed Ingrid of Sweden
Widow and Religious
(† 1282)

        Ingrid Elovsdotter was born in Skänninge, Sweden, in the 13th century. Following the death of her husband, she resolved to consecrate the rest of her life to God. She placed herself under the spiritual direction of Peter of Dacia, a Dominican priest.

        She was the first Dominican nun in Sweden and in 1281 after making a pilgrimage to Rome she founded the first Dominican cloister, called St. Martin’s in Skänninge.

        She died in 1282 surrounded by an aura of sanctity.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Tuesday, September 1st. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 4:31-37.


Tuesday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

1 September 2015

“What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?

Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 4:31-37. 

Jesus then went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath,
and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice,
Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!
Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm.
They were all amazed and said to one another, “What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”
And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image: From Bible Hub

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Tuesday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

1 September 2015

Commentary of the day

Baldwin of Ford (?-c.1190), Cistercian abbot, then Bishop
Homily 6

“What is there about his speech? He commands the unclean spirits with authority and power.”

“God’s word is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword.” (Heb 4:12)… It acts in the creation of the world, in the world’s running and in its redemption. For what is more effective and stronger? “Who can tell the mighty deeds of the Lord, or proclaim all his praises?” (Ps 106:2)

The Word’s effectiveness manifests itself in its works; it also manifests itself in preaching. The Word does not return to God without having produced its effect, but all to whom it is sent benefit from it (Isa 55:11). It is “effective and sharper than any two-edged sword” when it is received with faith and love. What is impossible to the person who believes, what is difficult to the person who loves? When the words of God ring out, they pierce the believer’s heart like “sharp arrows of a warrior.” (Ps 120:4) They enter the heart like spears and settle in its most intimate depths. Yes, this Word is sharper than a two-edged sword, for it is more incisive than any other strength or power, more subtle than every subtlety of the human genius, sharper than every learned perception by the human word.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Tuesday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

1 September 2015

Saint of the day

St. Giles of Castaneda, Abbot (640-720)

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SAINT GILES
Abbot
(640-720)

        St. Giles, whose name has been held in great veneration for several ages in France and England, is said to have been an Athenian by birth, and of noble extraction. His extraordinary piety and learning drew the admiration of the world upon him in such a manner that it was impossible for him to enjoy in his own country that obscurity and retirement which was the chief object of his desires on earth.

  He therefore sailed to France, and chose a hermitage first in the open deserts near the mouth of the Rhone, afterward near the river Gard, and lastly in a forest in the diocese of Nismes. He passed many years in this close solitude, living on wild herbs or roots and water, and conversing only with God. We read in his life that he was for some time nourished with the milk of a hind in the forest, which, being pursued by hunters, fled for refuge to the Saint, who was thus discovered.

The reputation of the sanctity of this holy hermit was much increased by many miracles which he wrought, and which rendered his name famous throughout all France. St. Giles was highly esteemed by the French king, but could not be prevailed upon to forsake his solitude. He, however, admitted several disciples, and settled excellent discipline in the monastery of which he was the founder, and which, in succeeding ages, became a flourishing abbey of the Benedictine Order.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Monday, August 31st. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 4:16-30.


Monday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

31 August 2015

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 4:16-30.

Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read
and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”
Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them, “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?”
He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb, ‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say, ‘Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.'”
And he said, “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image: From Bible Hub

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Monday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

31 August 2015

Commentary of the day

Origen

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 Origen (c.185-253), priest and theologian
Homilies on Saint Luke’s Gospel, no. 32, 3-6

“They all looked intently at him”

“At Nazareth, on the Sabbath day, Jesus stood up to read. Unrolling the scroll he found the passage in Isaiah where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has anointed me’” (Is 61,1). It was not simply by chance but by an intervention of Divine Providence that Jesus unrolled this particular book and found the text of the chapter prophesying about himself. If it is written: “Not a sparrow falls into the snare without your Father’s will, the hairs of your head… are all numbered” (cf. Mt 10,29-30), could it be the result of a chance that the choice of the book of Isaiah… expressed the mystery of Christ?… Indeed, this text reminds Christ… For Jesus says: He has sent me to bring Good News to the poor”. Now “the poor” refer to the pagans. These were indeed poor, possessing absolutely nothing: neither God, nor the Law, nor prophets, nor righteousness, nor any other virtue. It was for this reason that God sent him as a messenger to the poor, to bring glad tidings, proclaim liberty to captives”… Is there anyone more oppressed and more wounded than man before he has been set free and healed by Jesus?…

…“Rolling up the scroll after he had read this, Jesus handed it to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.” At this very moment, if you so desire… in our own congregation, you can gaze intently at the Lord. If you turn your gaze from the depths of your heart towards contemplation of Wisdom. Truth and the only-begotten Son of the God, then you are gazing intently at Jesus. Oh how blessed the gathering of which Scripture itself declares that “their eyes were fixed on him intently”! How I should love this congregation to receive a similar testimony! May everybody here, catechumens and faithful, women, men and children have… the eys of their hearts occupied in gazing at Jesus! When you gaze at him his light will make your faces more radiant and you will be able to say: “The light of your face, O Lord, has set its seal upon us” (Ps 4,7 LXX).

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Monday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

31 August 2015

Saint of the day

St. Raymund Nonnatus (1204-1240)

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SAINT RAYMUND NONNATUS
(1204-1240)

        St. Raymund Nonnatus was born in Catalonia, in the year 1204, and was descended of a gentleman’s family of a small fortune. In his childhood he seemed to find pleasure only in his devotions and serious duties. His father perceiving in him an inclination to a religious state, took him from school, and sent him to take care of a farm which he had in the country. Raymund readily obeyed, and, in order to enjoy the opportunity of holy solitude, kept the sheep himself, and spent his time in the mountains and forests in holy meditation and prayer.

       Some time after, he joined the new Order of Our Lady of Mercy for the redemption of captives, and was admitted to his profession at Barcelona by the holy founder, St. Peter Nolasco. Within two or three years after his profession, he was sent into Barbary with a considerable sum of money, where he purchased, at Algiers, the liberty of a great number of slaves. When all this treasure was exhausted, he gave himself up as a hostage for the ransom of certain others. This magnanimous sacrifice served only to exasperate the Mohammedans, who treated him with uncommon barbarity, till, fearing lest if he died in their hands they should lose the ransom which was to be paid for the slaves for whom he remained a hostage, they gave orders that he should be treated with more humanity. Hereupon he was permitted to go abroad about the streets, which liberty he made use of to comfort and encourage the Christians in their chains, and he converted and baptized some Mohammedans. For this the governor condemned him to be put to death by thrusting a stake into the body, but his punishment was commuted, and he underwent a cruel bastinado. This torment did not daunt his courage. So long as he saw souls in danger of perishing eternally, he thought he had yet done nothing. St. Raymund had no more money to employ in releasing poor captives, and to speak to a Mohammedan upon the subject of religion was death. He could, however, still exert his endeavors, with hopes of some success, or of dying a martyr of charity. He therefore resumed his former method of instructing and exhorting both the Christians and the infidels. The governor, who was enraged, ordered our Saint to be barbarously tortured and imprisoned till his ransom was brought by some religious men of his Order, who were sent with it by St. Peter.

        Upon his return to Spain, he was nominated cardinal by Pope Gregory IX., and the Pope, being desirous to have so holy a man about his person, called him to Rome. The Saint obeyed, but went no further than Cardona, when he was seized with a violent fever, which proved mortal.

        He died on the 31st of August, in the year 1240, the thirty-seventh of his age. 
Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Sunday, August 30th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 7:1-8.14-15.21-23.


Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

30 August 2015

 “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders

but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 7:1-8.14-15.21-23.

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 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.”
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.”

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image: From Bible Hub

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Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

30 August 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint Maximilian Kolbe

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 Saint Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941), Franciscan, martyr
Unpublished spiritual conversations

“Their hearts are far from me”

The interior life is primordial… The active life is the consequence of the interior life and has no value unless it depends upon it. We should like to do everything to the best of our ability, perfectly. But if it isn’t linked to our interior life it is to no purpose. All the value of our life and activity stems from our interior life, the life of love for God and the Virgin Mary, the Immaculate: not in theories or sweetness but in the practice of a love that consists in the union of our will with the will of the Immaculate Virgin.

Above and over all we must deepen this interior life. If it is truly a case of spiritual life then supernatural means are required. Prayer, prayer, and prayer alone is what is needed to undertake the interior life and its flowering. Interior recollection is necessary.

Let us not be anxious about unnecessary things but gently, peacefully, let us try to preserve recollection of spirit and be attentive to God’s grace. That is why silence helps us.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

30 August 2015

Saint of the day

St. Fiaker, Anchorite († c. 670)

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Stained glass window, Notre-Dame,  Bar-le-Duc, France,19th century.

SAINT FIAKER
Anchorite
(† c. 670)

  St. Fiaker was nobly born in Ireland, and had his education under the care of a bishop of eminent sanctity who was, according to some, Conan, Bishop of Soder or the Western Islands. Looking upon all worldly advantages as dross, he left his country and friends in the flower of his age, and with certain pious companions sailed over to France, in quest of some solitude in which he might devote himself to God, unknown to the rest of the world.

 

Divine Providence conducted him to St. Faro, who was the Bishop of Meaux, and eminent for sanctity. When St. Fiaker addressed himself to him, the prelate, charmed with the marks of extraordinary virtue and abilities which he discovered in this stranger, gave him a solitary dwelling in a forest called Breuil which was his own patrimony, two leagues from Meaux. In this place the holy anchorite cleared the ground of trees and briers, made himself a cell, with a small garden, and built an oratory in honor of the Blessed Virgin, in which he spent a great part of the days and nights in devout prayer. He tilled his garden and labored with his own hands for his subsistence.

 

The life he led was most austere, and only necessity or charity ever interrupted his exercises of prayer and heavenly contemplation. Many resorted to him for advice, and the poor for relief. But, following an inviolable rule among the Trish monks, he never suffered any woman to enter the enclosure of his hermitage. St. Chillen, or Kilian, an Irishman of high birth, on his return from Rome, visited St. Fiaker, who was his kinsman, and having passed some time under his discipline, was directed by his advice, with the authority of the bishops, to preach in that and the neighboring dioceses. This commission he executed with admirable sanctity and fruit.

St. Fiaker died about the year 670.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Saturday, August 29th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 6:17-29.


The Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist – Memorial

29 August 2015

“I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 6:17-29.

Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him.
She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee.
Herodias’s own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.”
He even swore (many things) to her, “I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom.”
She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”
The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request, “I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders to bring back his head. He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl. The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image: From Bible Hub

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The Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist – Memorial

29 August 2015

Commentary of the day

Byzantine Liturgy
Troparia and kontakion of Saint John the Baptist

The Lord’s Forerunner in life as in death

The Jordan, filled with fear at thy coming in the flesh, was driven back trembling, and John, fulfilling the ministry of the Spirit, drew back in awe. The ranks of angels stood amazed, beholding thee in the streams baptized in the flesh. And all those in darkness were filled with light, singing the praise of thee who art made manifest and givest light to all.

The memory of the just is praised, but thou art well please, O Forerunner, with the testimony of the Lord. For thou hast verily been shown forth as more honoured than the prophets since thou wast counted worthy to baptize in the stream him whom they foretold. Therefore, having mightily contended and suffered for the truth, with joy thou hast preached also to those in hell the good tidings of God made manifest in the flesh, who takes away the sin of the world (Jn 1,29) and grants us great mercy.

The glorious martyrdom of the Forerunner has been a step in the work of salvation since even in the dwelling place of the dead he announced the coming of the Savior. Let Herodias now groan, she who is guilty of the impious murder, for it was neither love God’s law nor life eternal that she loved but the illusions of a moment.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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The Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist – Memorial

29 August 2015

Saint of the day

Beheading of St. John the Baptist

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THE BEHEADING OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST
Martyr
Memorial

        St. John the Baptist was called by God to be the forerunner of his divine Son. In order to preserve his innocence spotless, and to improve the extraordinary graces which he had received, he was directed by the Holy Spirit to lead an austere and contemplative life in the wilderness, in the continual exercises of devout prayer and penance, from his infancy till he was thirty years of age.

At this age the faithful minister began to discharge his mission. Clothed with the weeds of penance, be announced to all men the obligation they lay under of washing away their iniquities with the tears of sincere compunction; and proclaimed the Messias, who was then coming to make his appearance among them. He was received by the people as the true herald of the Most High God, and his voice was, as it were, a trumpet sounding from heaven to summon all men to avert the divine judgments, and to prepare themselves to reap the benefit of Vie mercy that was offered them.

The tetrarch Herod Antipas having, in defiance of all laws divine and human, married Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, who was yet living, St. John the Baptist boldly reprehended the tetrarch and his accomplice for so scandalous an incest and adultery, and Herod, urged on by lust and anger, cast the Saint into prison.

     About a year after St. John had been made a prisoner, Herod gave a splendid entertainment to the nobility of Galilee. Salome, a daughter of Herodias by her lawful husband, pleased Herod by her dancing, insomuch that he promised her to grant whatever she asked. On this, Salome consulted with her mother what to ask. Herodias instructed her daughter to demand the death of John the Baptist, and persuaded the young damsel to make it part of her petition that the head of the prisoner should be forthwith brought to her in a dish. This strange request startled the tyrant himself; he assented, however, and sent a soldier of his guard to behead the Saint in prison, with an order to bring his head in a charger and present it to Salome, who delivered it to her mother. St. Jerome relates that the furious Herodias made it her inhuman pastime to prick the sacred tongue with a bodkin.

Thus died the great forerunner of our blessed Saviour, about two years and three months after his entrance upon his public ministry, about a year before the death of our blessed Redeemer.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Friday, August 28th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 25:1-13.


Friday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time

28 August 2015

Five of them were foolish and five were wise.

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 25:1-13.

Jesus told his disciples this parable: “The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’
But the wise ones replied, ‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’
While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’
But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image: From Bible Hub

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Friday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time

28 August 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint Gregory the Great

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Saint Gregory the Great (c.540-604), Pope, Doctor of the Church
Homilies on the Gospels, 12[10] ; PL 76, 1119-1120 (copyright Cistercian Publications, Inc., 1990)

“Our lamps are going out”

“The five foolish ones took no oil with them, but the wise ones took oil in their flasks with their lamps.” The brightness of glory is signified by the oil, and the small containers are our hearts, in which we carry all that we think. The wise virgins have oil in their flasks, because they keep the brightness of glory within their consciences. So Paul testified when he said: “Our glory is this, the witness of our conscience” (2Cor 1,12). But the five foolish virgins take no oil with them, because when they seek glory from the mouths of their neighbors they do not have it within their consciences…

“At midnight a cry arose: ‘See, the bridegroom is coming; go forth to meet him’”… Then all the virgins arise… The lamps of the foolish virgins go out, because their works, which appeared outwardly evident to people at the judge’s coming, are hidden within; and they find no recompense from God, because they have received from men the praises which they loved.

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Friday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time

28 August 2015

Saint of the day

St. Augustine, bishop and doctor of the Church

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SAINT AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO
Bishop and Doctor of the Church
(354-430)

        St. Augustine was born in 354, at Tagaste in Africa. He was brought up in the Christian faith, but without receiving baptism. An ambitious school-boy of brilliant talents and violent passions, he early lost both his faith and his innocence. He persisted in his irregular life until he was thirty-two. Being then at Milan professing rhetoric, he tells us that the faith of his childhood had regained possession of his intellect, but that he could not as yet resolve to break the chains of evil habit.

One day, a however, stung to the heart by the account of some sudden conversions, be cried out, “The unlearned rise and storm heaven, and we, with all our learning, for lack of heart lie wallowing here.” He then withdrew into a garden, when a long and terrible conflict ensued. Suddenly a young fresh voice (he knows not whose) breaks in upon his strife with the words, “Take and read;” and he lights upon the passage beginning, “Walk honestly as in the day.” The battle was won. He received baptism, returned home, and gave all to the poor.

At Hippo, where he settled, he was consecrated bishop in 395. For thirty-five years he was the centre of ecclesiastical life in Africa, and the Church’s mightiest champion against heresy; whilst his writings have been everywhere accepted as one of the principal sources of devotional thought and theological speculation.

        He died in 430.
Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

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Thursday, August 27th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 24:42-51.


Thursday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time

27 August 2015

 “Stay awake! For you do not know on

which day your Lord will come.”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 24:42-51. 

Jesus said to his disciples: “Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.
Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so.
Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.
But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’
and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards,
the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour
and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Thursday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time

27 August 2015

Commentary of the day

 Didache (between 60-120), Judaeo-Christian catechesis
§ 10 et 16 (trans. E.R. Goodspeed)

“Stay awake! For you do not know on the day”

After you are satisfied, give thanks thus: “We give you thanks, Holy Father, for your holy name, which you have made dwell in our hearts, and for knowledge and faith and immortality, which you have made known to us through Jesus your servant; glory to you forever. Amen!… Above all we thank you that you are mighty; glory to you forever. Amen! Remember, Lord, your church, to save it from all evil and to make it perfect in your love, and gather it together in its holiness from the four winds, into your kingdom which you have pre-pared for it. For the power and the glory are yours forever. Amen! Let your favour come and this world pass away. Hosanna to the God of David! If anyone is holy, let him come; if anyone is not, let him repent. “Lord, come quickly! Amen” (Rv 22,20)…

“Be watchful” for your life; “your lamps must not go out,” and you must not be unprepared, but be ready, for “you do not know the hour when our Lord is coming” (Lk 12,35; Mt 24,42f.). Gather together often to seek the things that benefit your souls, for the whole time of your faith will not profit you unless you are found perfect at the last.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Thursday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time

27 August 2015

Saint of the day

St. Monica (332-387)

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 SAINT MONICA
(332-387)
 

        Monica, the mother of St. Augustine, was born in 332. A girlhood of singular innocence and piety, she was given in marriage to Patritius, a pagan. She at once devoted herself to his conversion, praying for him always, and winning his reverence and love by the holiness of her life and her affectionate forbearance. She was rewarded by seeing him baptized a year before his death.

        When her son Augustine went astray in faith and manners her prayers and tears were incessant. She was once very urgent with a learned bishop that he would talk to her son in order to bring him to a better mind, but he declined, despairing of success with one at once so able and so headstrong. However, on witnessing her prayers and tears, he bade her be of good courage; for it might not be that the child of those tears should perish.

  By going to Italy, Augustine could for a time free himself from his mother’s importunities; but he could not escape from her prayers, which encompassed him like the providence of God. She followed him to Italy, and there by his marvellous conversion her sorrow was turned into joy.

        At Ostia, on their homeward journey, as Augustine and his mother sat at a window conversing of the life of the blessed, she turned to him and said, “Son, there is nothing now I care for in this life. What I shall now do or why I am here, I know not. The one reason I had for wishing to linger in this life a little longer was that I might see you a Catholic Christian before I died. This has God granted me superabundantly in seeing you reject earthly happiness to become his servant. What do I here?” A few days afterwards she had an attack of fever, and died in the year 387.

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

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Wednesday, August 26th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 23:27-32.


Wednesday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time

26 August 2015

“On the outside you appear righteous,

but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.”

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 Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 23:27-32.

Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth.
Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous,
and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’
Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets;
now fill up what your ancestors measured out!” 

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Wednesday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time

26 August 2015

Commentary of the day

 Epistle of Barnabas (c. 130)
§ 18, 20 & 21, translated by J.B. Lightfoot

Turn away from hypocrisy and evildoing

   There are two ways of teaching and of power, the one of light and the other of darkness; and there is a great difference between the two ways… But the way of the Black One is crooked and full of a curse. For it is a way of eternal death with punishment wherein are the things that destroy men’s souls–idolatry, boldness, exhalation of power, hypocrisy, doubleness of heart, adultery, murder, plundering, pride, transgression, treachery, malice…, covetousness, absence of the fear of God; persecutors of good men, hating the truth…, paying no heed to the widow and the orphan…, not pitying the poor man…, oppressing him that is afflicted…

It is good therefore to learn the ordinances of the Lord, as many as have been written above, and to walk in them. For he that does these things shall be glorified in the kingdom of God; whereas he that chooses their opposites shall perish together with his works. For this cause is the resurrection, for this the recompense. I entreat you: keep amongst you those to whom you may do good. Fail not.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Wednesday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time

26 August 2015

Saint of the day

St. Zephyrinus, Pope and Martyr († 217)

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 SAINT ZEPHYRINUS
Pope and Martyr
(† 217)

        Zephyrinus, a native of Rome, succeeded Victor in the pontificate, in the year 198, in which Severus raised the fifth most bloody persecution against the Church, which continued not for two years only, but until the death of that emperor in 211.

    Under this furious storm this holy pastor was the support and comfort of the distressed flock of Christ, and he suffered by charity and compassion what every confessor underwent. The triumphs of the martyrs were indeed his joy, but his heart received many deep wounds from the fall of apostates and heretics. Neither did this latter affliction cease when peace was restored to the Church.

Our Saint had also the affliction to see the fall of Tertullian, which seems to have been owing partly to his pride. Eusebius tells us that this holy Pope exerted his zeal so strenuously against the blasphemies of the heretics that they treated him in the most contumelious manner; but it was his glory that they called him the principal defender of Christ’s divinity.

        St. Zephyrinus filled the pontifical chair nineteen years, dying in 217. He was buried in his own cemetery, on the 26th of August. He is, in some Martyrologies, styled a martyr, which title he might deserve by what he suffered in the persecution, though he perhaps did not die by the executioner.

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

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Tuesday, August 25th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 23:23-26.


Tuesday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time

25 August 2015

“Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup,

so that the outside also may be clean.”

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 Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 23:23-26.

Jesus said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. (But) these you should have done, without neglecting the others.
Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.
Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.”

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Tuesday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time

25 August 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint John Eudes

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 Saint John Eudes (1601-1680), priest, preacher, founder of religious institutes
Adorable Heart, ch.12

“Cleanse first the inside”

O my God, how wonderful is your love for us! You are infinitely worthy of being loved, praised and glorified! We are without either heart or spirit sufficient to this but your wisdom and goodness have given us the means to do so. For you have given us your Son’s Spirit and heart to become our own spirit and heart as you promised us through your prophet: “I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you” (Ez 36,26). And that we might know what this new heart and new spirit are, you added: “I will put my spirit,” namely my heart, “within you” (v.27). Only the Spirit and heart of a God could be worthy of loving and praising God, able to bless and love him according to his measure. That is why you have given us your heart, the heart of Jesus, your Son, as well as the hearts of his divine mother and all the saints and angels who, together, make a single heart just as the head and members make a single body (Eph 4,16)…

So, my brothers, set aside your own heart, your own spirit, your own will, your own self-esteem. Give yourselves to Jesus so that you can enter into the depths of his heart, containing that of his mother and all the saints, and lose yourselves in that abyss of love, humility and patience. If you love your neighbour and have an act of charity to perform, love him and act towards him as you ought to do from within the heart of Jesus. If it is a case of humbling yourselves, let it be with the humility of that heart. If you should praise, adore and give thanks to God, let it be in union with the adoration, praise and thanksgiving bestowed on us through that great heart… Whatever you do, do all things in the spirit of this heart, renouncing your own and giving yourselves to Jesus so that you may act in the Spirit that animates his heart.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Tuesday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time

25 August 2015

Saint of the day

 St. Louis, King of France (1215-1270)

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SAINT LOUIS
King of France
(1215-1270)

        The mother of Louis told him she would rather see him die than commit a mortal sin, and he never forgot her words. King of France at the age of twelve, he made the defence of God’s honor the aim of his life. Before two years, he had crushed the Albigensian heretics, and forced them by stringent penalties to respect the Catholic faith. Amidst the cares of government, he daily recited the Divine Office and heard two Masses, and the most glorious churches in France are still monuments of his piety. When his courtiers remonstrated with Louis for his law that blasphemers should be branded on the lips, he replied, “I would willingly have my own lips branded to root out blasphemy from my kingdom.”

The fearless protector of the weak and the oppressed, he was chosen to arbitrate in all the great feuds of his age, between the Pope and the Emperor, between Henry III. and the English barons. In 1248, to rescue the land which Christ had trod, he gathered round him the chivalry of France, and embarked for the East. There, before the infidel, in victory or defeat, on the bed of sickness or a captive in chains, Louis showed himself ever the same,-the first, the best, and the bravest of Christian knights. When a captive at Damietta, an Emir rushed into his tent brandishing a dagger red with the blood of the Sultan, and threatened to stab him also unless he would make him a knight, as the Emperor Frederick had Facardin. Louis calmly replied that no unbeliever could perform the duties of a Christian knight. In the same captivity he was offered his liberty on terms lawful in themselves, but enforced by an oath which implied a blasphemy, and though the infidels held their swords’ points at his throat, and threatened a massacre of the Christians, Louis inflexibly refused.

        The death of his mother recalled him to France; but when order was reestablished he again set forth on a second crusade. In August, 1270, his army landed at Tunis, and, though victorious over the enemy, succumbed to a malignant fever. Louis was one of the victims. He received the Viaticum kneeling by his camp-bed, and gave up his life with the same joy that he had given all else for the honor of God.

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

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Monday, August 24th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 1:45-51.


Saint Bartholomew, apostle – Feast

24 August 2015

 “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

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 Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 1:45-51.


Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”

But Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him.”
Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”
Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.”
And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Saint Bartholomew, apostle – Feast

24 August 2015

Benedict XVI

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 Benedict XVI, pope from 2005 to 2013
General Audience of 04/10/06 (© Libreria Editrice Vaticana)

Nathaniel-Bartholomew recognises the Messiah, the Son of God

The Evangelist John tells us that when Jesus sees Nathaniel approaching, he exclaims: “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile!” (Jn 1,47). This is praise reminiscent of the text of a Psalm: “Blessed is the man… in whose spirit there is no deceit” (Ps 32[31],2), but provokes the curiosity of Nathaniel who answers in amazement:  “How do you know me?”. Jesus’ reply cannot immediately be understood. He says: “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig  tree,  I  saw  you”.  We do not know what had happened under this fig tree. It is obvious that it had to do with a decisive moment in Nathaniel’s life. His heart is moved by Jesus’ words, he feels understood and he understands: “This man knows everything about me, he knows and is familiar with the road of life; I can truly trust this man”. And so he answers with a clear and beautiful confession of faith: “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

In this confession is conveyed a first important step in the journey of attachment to Jesus. Nathaniel’s words shed light on a twofold, complementary aspect of Jesus’ identity: he is recognized both in his special relationship with God the Father, of whom he is the Only-begotten Son, and in his relationship with the People of Israel, of whom he is the declared King, precisely the description of the awaited Messiah. We must never lose sight of either of these two elements because if we only proclaim Jesus’ heavenly dimension, we risk making him an ethereal and evanescent being; and if, on the contrary, we recognize only his concrete place in history, we end by neglecting the divine dimension that properly qualifies him.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Saint Bartholomew, apostle – Feast

24 August 2015

St. Bartholomew, Apostle – Feast

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SAINT BARTHOLOMEW
Apostle
Feast

         St. Bartholomew was one of the twelve who were called to the apostolate by our blessed Lord Himself. Several learned interpreters of the Holy Scripture take this apostle to have been the same as Nathaniel, a native of Cana, in Galilee, a doctor in the Jewish law, and one of the seventy-two disciples of Christ, to whom he was conducted by St. Philip, and whose innocence and simplicity of heart deserved to be celebrated with the highest eulogium by the divine mouth of Our Redeemer.

He is mentioned among the disciples who were met together in prayer after Christ’s ascension, and he received the Holy Ghost with the rest. Being eminently qualified by the divine grace to discharge the functions of an apostle, he carried the Gospel through the most barbarous countries of the East, penetrating into the remoter Indies. He then returned again into the northwest part of Asia, and met St. Philip, at Hierapolis, in Phrygia. Hence he travelled into Lycaonia, where he instructed the people in the Christian Faith; but we know not even the names of many of the countries in which he preached.

St. Bartholomew’s last removal was into Great Armenia, where, preaching in a place obstinately addicted to the worship of idols, he was crowned with a glorious martyrdom. The modern Greek historians say that he was condemned by the governor of Albanopolis to be crucified. Others affirm that he was flayed alive, which might well enough consist with his crucifixion, this double punishment being in use not only in Egypt, but also among the Persians.

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

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