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Monday, August 3rd. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 14:13-21.


 

Monday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time

3 August 2015

 “Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.” 

 CHRIST TEACHING

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 14:13-21.

When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.”
(Jesus) said to them, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.”
But they said to him, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”
Then he said, “Bring them here to me,”
and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over –twelve wicker baskets full.
Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children. 

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Monday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time

3 August 2015

 Commentary of the day

Saint Bede the Venerable

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Saint Bede the Venerable (c.673-735), monk, Doctor of the Church
Commentary on Saint Mark’s Gospel, 2 ; CCL 120, 510-511 (trans. ©Friends of Henry Ashworth)

“I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart” (Hos 2,16)

Matthew relates more fully [than Mark] how he took pity on them. He says: “And he took pity on them and cured their sick.” This is what it means really to take pity on the poor, and on those who have no one to guide them: to open the way of truth to them by teaching to heal their physical infirmities, and to make them want to praise the divine generosity by feeding them when they are hungry as Jesus did…

But Jesus tested the crowd’s faith, and having done so he gave it a fitting reward. He sought out a lonely place to see if they would take the trouble to follow him. For their part, they showed how concerned they were for their salvation by the effort they made in going along the deserted road not on donkeys or in carts of various kinds, but on foot.

In return Jesus welcomed those weary, ignorant, sick, and hungry people, instructing, healing and feeding them as a kindly savior and physician, and so letting them know how pleased he is by believers’ devotion to him.
©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Monday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time

3 August 2015

Saint of the day

St. Lydia

1 st lydia untitled

 Saint Lydia Purpuraria
(1st century)

        Lydia Purpuraria was born at Thyatira (Ak-Hissar), a town in Asia Minor, famous for its dye works, (hence, her name means purple seller).

        She became Paul’s first convert at Philippi. She was baptized with her household, and Paul stayed at her home there.

Excerpted from Catholic Online
©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Sunday, August 2nd. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 6:24-35.


Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

2 August 2015

“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger,

and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 6:24-35.

When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”
So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”
So they said to him, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do?
Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'”
So Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

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Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

2 August 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint John-Paul II

12 images JP

 Saint John-Paul II, Pope from 1978 to 2005
Encyclical  « Ecclesia de Eucharistia », 1 (trans. © Libreria Editrice Vaticana)

“I am the bread of life”

The Church draws her life from the Eucharist. This truth does not simply express a daily experience of faith, but recapitulates the heart of the mystery of the Church. In a variety of ways she joyfully experiences the constant fulfilment of the promise: “Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20), but in the Holy Eucharist, through the changing of bread and wine into the body and blood of the Lord, she rejoices in this presence with unique intensity. Ever since Pentecost, when the Church, the People of the New Covenant, began her pilgrim journey towards her heavenly homeland, the Divine Sacrament has continued to mark the passing of her days, filling them with confident hope.

The Second Vatican Council rightly proclaimed that the Eucharistic sacrifice is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (LG 11). “For the most holy Eucharist contains the Church’s entire spiritual wealth: Christ himself, our passover and living bread (1Cor 5,7; Jn 6,51). Through his own flesh, now made living and life-giving by the Holy Spirit, he offers life to men” (Vatican II PO 5). Consequently the gaze of the Church is constantly turned to her Lord, present in the Sacrament of the Altar, in which she discovers the full manifestation of his boundless love.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

2 August 2015

Saint of the day

St. Eusebius of Vercelli, Bishop († 371)

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SAINT EUSEBIUS
Bishop
(† 371)

        St. Eusebius was born of a noble family, in the island of Sardinia, where his father is said to have died in prison for the Faith. The Saint’s mother carried him and his sister, both infants, to Rome.

        Eusebius having been ordained, served the Church of Vercelli with such zeal that on the episcopal chair becoming vacant he was unanimously chosen, by both clergy and people, to fill it. The holy bishop saw that the best and first means to labor effectually for the edification and sanctification of his people was to have a zealous clergy.

He was at the same time very careful to instruct his flock, and inspire them with the maxims of the Gospel. The force of the truth which he preached, together with his example, brought many sinners to a change of life. He courageously fought against the heretics, who had him banished to Scythopolis, end thence to Upper Thebais in Egypt, where he suffered so grievously as to win, in some of the panegyrics in his praise, the title of martyr.

        He died in the latter part of the year 371.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Saturday, August 1st. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 14:1-12.


Saturday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

1 August 2015

 “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 14:1-12. 

At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus
and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him.”
Now Herod had arrested John, bound (him), and put him in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip,
for John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.”
Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people, for they regarded him as a prophet.
But at a birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod
so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for.
Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given,
and he had John beheaded in the prison.
His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who took it to her mother.
His disciples came and took away the corpse and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.

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Saturday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

1 August 2015

Commentary of the day

Diadochus of Photike

Diadochus of Photike (c.400-?), Bishop
Spiritual perfection, 12

“Whoever hate his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life” (Jn 12,25)

  Whoever loves his own life (Jn 12,25) cannot be loving God, but whoever does not cling to himself as a result of divine love’s overflowing gifts is the one who loves God. Such a one never seeks their own glory but God’s, for whoever loves his own life is seeking his own glory. Whoever binds himself to God loves the glory of his Creator. And indeed, it is the characteristic of souls sensitive to God’s love that they continually seek God’s glory in carrying out the commandments and take pleasure in their own lowliness. For glory belongs to God because of his greatness, and lowliness belongs to man because it makes of him God’s friend. If this is the way we behave then we will rejoice after Saint John the Baptist’s example and will start saying over and over again: “He must increase; I must decrease” (Jn 3,30).

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Saturday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

1 August 2015

Saint of the day

St. Alphonsus Liguori, (1696-1787)

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SAINT ALPHONSUS MARY DE LIGUORI
Bishop and Doctor of the Church
(1696-1787)

        St. Alphonus was born of noble parents, near Naples, in 1696. His spiritual training was intrusted to the Fathers of the Oratory in that city, and from his boyhood Alphonsus was known as a most devout Brother of the Little Oratory. At the early age of sixteen he was made doctor in law, and he threw himself into this career with ardor and success.

A mistake, by which he lost an important cause, showed him the vanity of human fame, and determined him to labor only for the glory of God. He entered the priesthood, devoting himself to the most neglected souls; and to carry on this work he founded later the missionary Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.

        At the age of sixty-six he became Bishop of St. Agatha, and undertook the reform of his diocese with the zeal of a Saint. He made a vow never to lose time, and, though his life was spent in prayer and work, he composed a vast number of books, filled with such science, unction, and wisdom that he has been declared one of the Doctors of the Church.

St. Alphonsus wrote his first book at the age of forty-nine, and in his eighty-third year had published about sixty volumes, when his director forbade him to write more. Very many of these books were written in the half-hours snatched from his labors as missionary, religious superior, and Bishop, or in the midst of continual bodily and mental sufferings. With his left hand he would hold a piece of marble against his aching head while his right hand wrote.

        Yet he counted no time wasted which was spent in charity. He did not refuse to hold a long correspondence with a simple soldier who asked his advice, or to play the harpsichord while he taught his novices to sing spiritual canticles. He lived in evil times, and met with many persecutions and disappointments.

For his last seven years he was prevented by constant sickness from offering the Adorable Sacrifice; but he received Holy Communion daily, and his love for Jesus Christ and his trust in Mary’s prayers sustained him to the end.

        He died in 1787, in his ninety-first year.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Friday, July 31st. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 13:54-58.


Friday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

31 July 2015

“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 13:54-58.

Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?
Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?
Are not his sisters all with us? Where did this man get all this?”
And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.”
And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.

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Friday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

31 July 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint Maximus the Confessor

1 Maximus_Confessor

 Saint Maximus the Confessor (c.580-662), monk and theologian
Capita theologica, 1, 8-13; PG 90, 1182

“Is he not the carpenter’s son?”

The Word of God was born once for all according to the flesh. But, because of his great love for us, he desires to be born unceasingly according to the spirit for those who desire him. He makes himself a little child and forms himself within them along with the virtues. He makes himself known in the measure that he knows the one who receives him is capable. By acting in this way, it is not by demand that he reduces the splendour of his own greatness but because he judges and assesses the capacity of those who wish to see him.

Thus God’s Word is always revealed to us in the way that best suits us and yet he remains invisible to all because of the immensity of his mystery. That is why the inimitable apostle, considering the power of this mystery, wisely says: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and for ever” (Heb 13,8). He was contemplating that ever new mystery that the mind will never finish examining. Christ, who is God, becomes a child…, he who enabled everything that exists to come forth out of nothing… God become perfect man, without rejecting anything from human nature except sin, which in any case is not inherent to this nature…Yes, the incarnation of God is a great mystery and remains a mystery… Faith alone can grasp this mystery, which is at the bottom of everything surpassing our comprehension and is beyond anything we can express.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image:From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Friday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

31 July 2015

Saint of the day

St. Ignatius of Loyola, Priest (1491-1556)

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SAINT IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA
Priest

(1491-1556)

        St. Ignatius was born at Loyola in Spain, in the year 1491. He served his king as a courtier and a soldier till his thirtieth year. At that age, being laid low by a wound, he received the call of divine grace to leave the world. He embraced poverty and humiliation, that he might become more like to Christ, and won others to join him in the service of God.

    Prompted by their love for Jesus Christ, Ignatius and his companions made a vow to go to the Holy Land, but war broke out, and prevented the execution of their project. Then they turned to the Vicar of Jesus Christ, and placed themselves under his obedience. This was the beginning of the Society of Jesus. Our Lord promised St. Ignatius that the precious heritage of his Passion should never fail his Society, a heritage of contradictions and persecutions.

St. Ignatius was cast into prison at Salamanca, on a suspicion of heresy. To a friend who expressed sympathy with him on account of his imprisonment, he replied: “It is a sign that you have but little love of Christ in your heart, or you would not deem it so hard a fate to be in chains for His sake. I declare to you that all Salamanca does not contain as many fetters, manacles, and chains as I long to wear for the love of Jesus Christ.”

        St. Ignatius went to his crown on the 31st of July, 1556.

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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Thursday, July 30th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 13:47-53.


 Thursday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

30 July 2015

 “The kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household

who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.”

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 Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 13:47-53.

Jesus said to the disciples: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Do you understand all these things? They answered, “Yes.”
And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.”
When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.

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Thursday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

30 July 2015

Commentary of the day

  Saint Augustine

1 Augustine_Lateran

 Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Discourse on Psalm 95 (96):14-15

“They hauled it ashore and sat down to put what was worthwhile into containers.”

“He shall rule the world with justice and the peoples with his truth.” (Ps 96:13) Which justice and which truth? He will gather to him his chosen ones (Mk 13:27); the others he will separate, for he will place the former at his right and the latter at his left (Mt 25:33). What will be more just, more true than that? Those who did not want to practice mercy before the judge came, will not expect mercy from the judge. Those who wanted to practice mercy, will be judged with mercy (Lk 6:37). For he will say to those whom he has placed at his right: “Come. You have my Father’s blessing! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.” And he will attribute acts of mercy to them: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink” and all that follows (Mt 25:31ff.)…

Because you are unjust, will the judge not be just? Because you sometimes lie, will truth not be truthful? If you want to meet a merciful judge, be merciful before he comes. Forgive if someone has offended you; give away the possessions of which you have an abundance… Give what you have received from him: “Name something you have that you have not received.” (1 Cor 4:7) These are the sacrifices that are very pleasing to God: mercy, humility, gratitude, peace, charity. If that is what we bring in sacrifice, we will await with assurance the coming of the judge, of him who “shall rule the world with justice and the peoples with his truth.”

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Thursday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

30 July 2015

Saints of the day

St. Peter Chrysologus,

Bishop and Doctor of the Church (406-450)

 1 San_Pietro_Crisologo
SAINT PETER CHRYSOLOGUS
Bishop and Doctor of the Church

(406-450)

        Born in about 400, bishop of Ravenna. His preaching was famous, and more than 180 sermons, mainly on scripture and the liturgical year, have survived.

        He died in about 450.

The Weekday Missal (1975)

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Thursday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

30 July 2015

Saints of the day

St. Germanus, Bishop († 448)

1 San_Germano_d_Auxerre

ST. GERMANUS
Bishop
(† 448)

        In his youth Germanus gave little sign of sanctity. He was of noble birth, and at first practised the law at Rome. After a time the emperor placed him high in the army. But his one passion was the chase. He was so carried away as even to retain in his sports the superstitions of the pagan huntsmen. Yet it was revealed to the Bishop of Auxerre that Germanus would be his successor, and he gave him the tonsure almost by main force. Forthwith Germanus became another man, and making ever his lands to the Church, adopted a life of humble penance.

At that time the Pelagian heresy was laying waste England, and Germanus was chosen by the reigning Pontiff to rescue the Britons from the snare of Satan. With St. Lupus he preached in the fields and highways throughout the land. At last, near Verulam, he met the heretics face to face, and overcame them utterly with the Catholic and Roman faith. He ascribed this triumph to the intercession of St. Alban, and offered public thanks at his shrine. Towards the end of his stay, his old skill in arms won over the Picts and Scots the complete but bloodless “Alleluia” victory, so called because the newly-baptized Britons, led by the Saint, routed the enemy with the Paschal cry. Germanus visited England a second time with St. Severus.

He died in 448, while interceding with the emperor for the people of Brittany.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Wednesday, July 29th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 11:19-27.


Saint Martha – Memorial

29 July 2015

“I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me,

even if he dies, will live

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 Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 11:19-27. 

Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother [Lazarus, who had died].
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.”
Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”

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Saint Martha – Memorial

29 July 2015

Commentary of the day

 Blessed John Henry Newman

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Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890),

Cardinal, founder of the Oratory in England, theologian
Sermon “ The Tears of Christ at the Grave of Lazarus ” PPS, vol. 3, no.10

“Martha said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe” “

Christ went to raise Lazarus, and the fame of that miracle was the immediate cause of His seizure and crucifixion (Jn 11,46)… He felt that Lazarus was wakening to life at His own sacrifice; that He was descending into the grave which Lazarus left. He felt that Lazarus was to live and He to die; the appearance of things was to be reversed; the feast was to be kept in Martha’s house (Jn 12,1f.), but the last passover of sorrow remained for Him. And Jesus knew that this reverse was altogether voluntary with Him. He had come down from His Father’s bosom to be an Atonement of blood for all sin, and thereby to raise all believers from the grave, as He was then about to raise Lazarus; and to raise them, not for a time, but for eternity…

Contemplating then the fulness of His purpose while now going about a single act of mercy, He said to Martha, “I am the Resurrection and the Life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me, shall never die.” Let us take to ourselves these comfortable thoughts, both in the contemplation of our own death, or upon the death of our friends. Wherever faith in Christ is, there is Christ Himself. He said to Martha, “Believest thou this?” Wherever there is a heart to answer, “Lord, I believe,” there Christ is present. There our Lord vouchsafes to stand, though unseen—whether over the bed of death or over the grave; whether we ourselves are sinking or those who are dear to us. Blessed be his name! nothing can rob us of this consolation: we will be as certain, through His grace, that He is standing over us in love, as though we saw Him. We will not, after our experience of Lazarus’s history, doubt an instant that He is thoughtful about us and that he stands at our side.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Saint Martha – Memorial

29 July 2015

Saint of the day

St. Martha – Memorial

1 Christ_in_the_House_of_Mary_and_Martha

SAINT MARTHA
Virgin
(1st century)

        St. John tells us that “Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus,” and yet but few glimpses are vouchsafed us of them. First, the sisters are set before us with a word. Martha received Jesus into her house, and was busy in outward, loving, lavish service, while Mary sat in silence at the feet she had bathed with her tears. Then, their brother is ill, and they send to Jesus, “Lord, he whom Thou lovest is sick.” And in His own time the Lord came, and they go out to meet Him; and then follows that scene of unutterable tenderness and of sublimity unsurpassed: the silent waiting of Mary; Martha strong in faith, but realizing so vividly, with her practical turn of mind, the fact of death, and hesitating: “Canst Thou show Thy wonders in the grave?” And then once again, on the eve of His Passion, we see Jesus at Bethany. Martha, true to her character, is serving; Mary, as at first, pours the precious ointment, in adoration and love, on His divine head.

        According the tradition we find the tomb of St. Martha, at Tarascon, in Provence. When the storm of persecution came, the family of Bethany, with a few companions, were put into a boat, without oars or sail, and borne to the coast of France. St. Mary’s tomb is at St. Baume; St. Lazarus is venerated as the founder of the Church of Marseilles; and the memory of the virtues and labors of St. Martha is still fragrant at Avignon and Tarascon.

Reflection.-When Martha received Jesus into her house, she was naturally busy in preparations for such a Guest. Mary sat at His feet, intent alone on listening to His gracious words. Her sister thought that the time required other service than this, and asked our Lord to bid Mary help in serving. Once again Jesus spoke in defence of Mary. “Martha, Martha,” He said, “thou art lovingly anxious about many things; be not over-eager; do thy chosen work with recollectedness. Judge not Mary. Hers is the good part, the one only thing really necessary. Thine will be taken away, that something better be given thee.” The life of action ceases when the body is laid down; but the life of contemplation endures and is perfected in heaven.

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


Father,
your Son honoured Saint Martha
by coming to her home as a guest.
By her prayers
may we serve Christ in our brothers and sisters
and be welcommed by you into heaven, our true home.

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Tuesday, July 28th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 13:36-43.


Tuesday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

28 July 2015

Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father

1  stdas0161

 Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 13:36-43. 

Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one,
and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned (up) with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

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Tuesday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

28 July 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint Gregory Palamas

 Gregorio Palamas - (Proprietà Pietro Chiaranz).jpg

 Saint Gregory Palamas (1296-1359),

monk, Bishop and theologian
Homily 26 ; PG 151, 340-341 (trans. ©Friends of Henry Ashworth)

“Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father”

Just as there is a harvest for inanimate sheaves of wheat, so for the rational wheat which is the human race, there is a harvest that cuts people away from unbelief, and gathers into faith those who accept the proclamation of the Good News. The reapers of this harvest are the Lord’s apostles and their successors, and in the course of time the teachers of the Church Of them the Lord said: The reaper receives his wages, and gathers a crop for eternal life” (Jn 4,36)…

But there is yet another harvest: the transfer of each one of us by death from this present life into that which is to come. The reapers of this harvest are not the apostles but the angels, who have a greater responsibility than the apostles, because after the harvesting they sort out the good and separate them from the wicked like wheat from darnel… As for us, who in this present age are God’s “” (1Pt 2,9), the Church of the living God separated from all the impious and ungodly, may we be found separated from the darnel in the age to come as well, and united to those who are saved in Christ our Lord, who is blessed for ever.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Tuesday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

28 July 2015

Saints of the day

St. Pedro Poveda Castroverde

1 ST PEDRO untitled

 Saint Pedro Poveda Castroverde
Priest and Martyr, Founder of the Teresian Association
(1874-1936)

        Pedro Poveda was born on 3 December 1874 in Linares, Spain, to a solidly Christian family. From early childhood he felt called to become a priest, and in 1889 he entered the diocesan seminary in Jaén. Because of financial difficulties, he transferred to the Diocese of Guadix, Grenada, where the Bishop had offered him a scholarship. He was ordained a priest on 17 April 1897.

After ordination Fr Poveda taught in the seminary and served the diocese in many other ways. In 1900 he completed a licentiate in theology at Seville and later began an apostolate among the “cave-dwellers”, those who lived in dugouts in the hills outside of Guadix. Here he built a school for children and workshops for adults that provided professional training and Christian formation. He was misunderstood, however, and had to leave this special ministry.

So Fr Poveda headed for the solitude of Covadonga, in the mountains of northern Spain, where, in 1906, he was appointed canon of the Basilica of Covadonga in Asturias, where the Blessed Virgin is venerated under this title.

In Covadonga, he devoted much time to prayer and reflected particularly on the problem of education in Spain. He understood that the Lord was inviting him to open new paths in the Church and in the society of his time. He began to published articles and pamphlets on the question of the professional formation of teachers and was also in contact with other persons who felt the need for the presence and action of Christians in society.

The opposition between faith and science was becoming more and more evident in the culture of his day, which carried with it a de-Christianization of the public education system. Fr Poveda, after his apostolic experience in Guadix and his years of reflection and prayer in Covadonga, understood better the need to provide Christian formation for teachers who work in the State school system. He believed that a solid faith and professional qualifications were both needed to keep the Gospel message alive.

   In 1911 he opened the St Teresa of Avila Academy as a residence for students and the starting point of the Teresian Association, dedicated to the spiritual and pastoral formation of teachers. The following year he joined the Apostolic Union of Secular Priests and started new pedagogical centres and some periodicals.

To further his work Fr Poveda moved to Jaén, where he taught in the seminary, served as spiritual director of Los Operarios Catechetical Centre, and worked at the Teacher Training College. In 1914 he opened Spain’s first university residence for women in Madrid.

Meanwhile, the Teresian Association continued to develop, spreading to various groups and areas, and leading to its ecclesiastical and civil approval in Jaén. Fr Poveda offered the Teresian Association as a new path of Christian life and evangelization created with and for lay persons, forming them to be witnesses of the Gospel, according to his expression:  “To believe firmly and to keep silent is not possible”. He wanted the adherents to be ready to give their lives for the faith and in fact, expressed the same desire himself.

In 1921 Fr Poveda moved to Madrid and was appoined a chaplain of the Royal Palace. A year later he was named a member of the Central Board against illiteracy, but most of his time was devoted to the Teresian Association, which received papal approval in 1924. Although he did not direct the Association, as its founder he worked to consolidate and promote the various dimensions of its mission as it spread to Chile and later to Italy (1934).

    It was during the religious persecution in Spain that Fr Poveda would be called to the martyrdom he so desired. At dawn on 28 July 1936, when told by his persecutors to identify himself, he said, “I am a priest of Christ”. He died a martyr for the faith, and was beatified on 10 October 1993 and canonized on 3 May by Pope John Paul II.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Tuesday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

28 July 2015

Saints of the day

St. Alphonsa

1 Beata_Alfonsa_dellImmacolata_Concezione-dIndia

Saint Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception
(1910-1946)

        Saint Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception was born in Kudamalur, the Arpookara region, in the diocese of Changanacherry, India, on the 19th of August 1910, of the ancient and noble family of Muttathupadathu.

From her birth, the life of the Saint was marked by the cross, which would be progressively revealed to her as the royal way to conform herself to Christ. Her mother, Maria Puthukari, gave birth to her prematurely, in her eight month of pregnancy, as a result of a fright she received when, during the sleep, a snake wrapped itself around her waist. Eight days later, the 28 of August, the child was baptised according to the Syro-Malabar rite by the Fr. Joseph Chackalayil, and she received the name Annakutty, a diminutive of Anne. She was the last of five children.

    Her mother died three months later. Annakutty passed her early infancy in the home of her grandparents in Elumparambil. There she lived a particularly happy time because of her human and Christian formation, during which the first seeds of a vocation flowered. Her grand-mother, a pious and charitable woman, communicated the joy of the faith, love for prayer and a surge of charity towards the poor to her. At five years of age the child already knew how to lead, with a totally childish enthusiasm, the evening prayer of the family gathered, in accordance with the Syro-Malabar custom, in the “prayer room”.

Annakutty received the Eucharistic bread for the first time on the 11 of November 1917. She used to say to her friends: “Do you know why I am so particularly happy today? It is because I have Jesus in my heart!“. In a letter to her spiritual father, on the 30 of November 1943, she confided the following: “Already from the age of seven I was no longer mine. I was totally dedicated to my divine Spouse. Your reverence knows it well“.

In the same year of 1917 she began to attend the elementary school of Thonnankuzhy, where she also established a sincere friendship with the Hindu children. When the first school cycle ended in 1920, the time had come to transfer to Muttuchira, to the house of her aunt Anna Murickal, to whom her mother, before she died, had entrusted her as her adoptive mother.

Her aunt was a severe and demanding woman, at times despotic and violent in demanding obedience from Annakutty in her every minimal disposition or desire. Assiduous in her religious practice, she accompanied her niece, but did not share the young girl’s friendship with the Carmelites of the close-by Monastery or her long periods of prayer at the foot of the altar. She was, in fact, determined to procure an advantageous marriage for Annakutty, obstructing the clear signs of her religious vocation.

  The virtue of the Saint was manifested in accepting this severe and rigid education as a path of humility and patience for the love of Christ, and tenaciously resisted the reiterated attempts at engagement to which the aunt tried to oblige her. Annakutty, in order to get out from under a commitment to marriage, reached the point of voluntarily causing herself a grave burn by putting her foot into a heap of burning embers. “My marriage was arranged when I was thirteen years old. What had I to do to avoid it? I prayed all that night… then an idea came to me. If my body were a little disfigured no one would want me! … O, how I suffered! I offered all for my great intention“.

The proposal to defile her singular beauty did not fully succeed in freeing her from the attentions of suitors. During the following years the Blessed had to defend her vocation, even during the year of probation when an attempt to give her in marriage, with the complicity of the Mistress of Formation herself, was made. “O, the vocation which I received! A gift of my good God!…. God saw the pain of my soul in those days. God distanced the difficulties and established me in this religious state“.

   It was Fr. James Muricken, her confessor, who directed her towards Franciscan spirituality and put her in contact with the Congregation of the Franciscan Clarists. Annakutty entered their college in Bharananganam in the diocese of Palai, to attend seventh class, as an intern student, on the 24th of May 1927. The following year, on the 2nd of August 1928, Annakutty began her postulancy, taking the name of Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception in honour of St. Alphonsus Liguori, whose feast it was that day. She was clothed in the religious habit on the 19th of May 1930, during the first pastoral visit made to Bharananganam by the Bishop, Msgr. James Kalacherry.

     The period 1930-1935 was characterised by grave illness and moral suffering. She could teach the children in the school at Vakakkad only during the scholastic year 1932. Then, because of her weakness, she carried out the duties of assistant-teacher and catechist in the parish. She was engaged also as secretary, especially to write official letters because of her beautiful script.

        The canonical novitiate was introduced into the Congregation of the Franciscan Clarists in 1934. Though wishing to enter immediately, the Blessed was only admitted on the 12th of August 1935 because of her ill health. About one week after the beginning of her novitiate, she had a haemorrhage from the nose and eyes and a profound organic wasting and purulent wounds on her legs. The illness deteriorated, to such a point that the worst was feared.

Heaven came to the rescue of the holy novice. During a novena to The Servant of God Fr. Kuriakose Elia Chavara – a Carmelite who today is a Blessed- she was miraculously and instantaneously cured.

        Having restarted her novitiate, she wrote the following proposals in her spiritual diary: “I do not wish to act or speak according to my inclinations. Every time I fail, I will do penance… I want to be careful never to reject anyone. I will only speak sweet words to others. I want to control my eyes with rigour. I will ask pardon of the Lord for every little failure and I will atone for it through penance. No matter what my sufferings may be, I will never complain and if I have to undergo any humiliation, I will seek refuge in the Sacred Heart of Jesus“.

The 12th of August 1936, the feast of St. Clare, the day of her perpetual profession, was a day of inexpressible spiritual joy. She had realised her desire, guarded for a long time in her heart and confided to her sister Elizabeth when she was only 12 years old: “Jesus is my only Spouse, and none other“.

Jesus, however, wished to lead His spouse to perfection through a life of suffering. “I made my perpetual profession on the 12th of August 1936 and came here to Bharanganam on the following 14th. From that time, it seems, I was entrusted with a part of the cross of Christ. There are abundant occasions of suffering… I have a great desire to suffer with joy. It seems that my Spouse wishes to fulfil this desire“.

  Painful illnesses followed each other: typhoid fever, double pneumonia, and, the most serious of all, a dramatic nervous shock, the result of a fright on seeing a thief during the night of the 18th of October 1940. Her state of psychic incapacity lasted for about a year, during which she was unable to read or write.

  In every situation, Sister Alphonsa always maintained a great reservation and charitable attitude towards the Sisters, silently undergoing her sufferings. In 1945 she had a violent outbreak of illness. A tumour, which had spread throughout her organs, transformed her final year of life into a continuous agony. Gastroenteritis and liver problems caused violent convulsions and vomiting up to forty times a day: “I feel that the Lord has destined me to be an oblation, a sacrifice of suffering… I consider a day in which I have not suffered as a day lost to me“.

With this attitude of a victim for the love of the Lord, happy until the final moment and with a smile of innocence always on her lips, Sister Alphonsa quietly and joyfully brought her earthly journey to a close in the convent of the Franciscan Clarists at Bharananganam at 12.30 on the 28th July 1946, leaving behind the memory of a Sister full of love and a saint.

        Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception Muttathupadathu was proclaimed Blessed by Pope John Paul II in Kottayam, India, on the 8th of February 1986. She was canonized on the 12th of October 2008 by Pope Benedict XVI. With that Canonisation, the Church in India presents its first Saint to the veneration of the faithful of the whole world. Faithful from every part of the world have come together in a single act of thanksgiving to God in her name and in a sign of the great oriental and western traditions, Roman and Malabar, which Sr. Alphonsa lived and harmonised in her saintly life.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Tuesday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

28 July 2015

Saints of the day

 St. Victor, Pope and Martyr († 198)

1 San_Vittore_I_B

Saint Victor I
Pope and Martyr
(† 198)
Third Class

        Pope St. Victor governed the Church in the time of the Emperor Severus. He confuted Theodotus Coriarius and wrote on the question of Easter.

       Crowned with martyrdom, he was buried on Vatican hill on the fifth day before the Calends of August.

 The Roman Breviary (1964)

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Tuesday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

28 July 2015

Saints of the day

 St. Innocent I, Pope and Confessor († 417)

 1 Sant_Innocenzo_I

Saint Innocent I
Pope

(† 417)
        Pope St. Innocent, after condemning Pelagius and Caelestius, issued a decree against their heresy.

        His body was buried in the cemetery called “Ad Ursum pileatum” [Bear with the Cap.]

The Roman Breviary (1964)

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Tuesday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

28 July 2015

Saints of the day

Sts. Nazarius and Celsus, Martyrs (1st century)

 1 Santi_Nazario_e_Celso
SAINTS NAZARIUS and CELSUS
Martyrs
(1st century) 

        St. Nazarius’ father was a heathen, and held a considerable post in the Roman army. His mother, Perpetua, was a zealous Christian, and was instructed by St. Peter, or his disciples, in the most perfect maxims of our holy faith. Nazarius embraced it with so much ardor that he copied in his life all the great virtues he saw in his teachers; and out of zeal for the salvation of others, he left Rome, his native city, and preached the Faith in many places with a fervor and disinterestedness becoming a disciple of the apostles.

Arriving at Milan, he was there beheaded for the Faith, together with Celsus, a youth whom he carried with him to assist him in his travels. These martyrs suffered soon after Nero had raised the first persecution. Their bodies were buried separately in a garden without the city, where they were discovered and taken up by St. Ambrose, in 395.

In the tomb of St. Nazarius, a vial of the Saint’s blood was found as fresh and red as if it had been spilt that day. The faithful stained handkerchiefs with some drops, and also formed a certain paste with it, a portion of which St. Ambrose sent to St. Gaudentius, Bishop of Brescia.

St. Ambrose conveyed the bodies of the two martyrs into the new church of the apostles, which he had just built. A woman was delivered of an evil spirit in their presence. St. Ambrose sent some of these relics to St. Paulinus of Nola, who received them with great respect, as a most valuable present, as he testifies.

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

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Monday, July 27th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 13:31-35.


 Monday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

27 July 2015

“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took

and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.”

1 yeast stdas0088

 Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 13:31-35. 

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field.
It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.'”
He spoke to them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.”
All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables,
to fulfill what had been said through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.”

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Monday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

27 July 2015

Saint of the day

St. Pantaleon, Martyr († c. 303)

 1 San_Pantaleone_AP

SAINT PANTALEON
Martyr
(† c. 303)

        St. Pantaleon was physician to the Emperor Galerius Maximianus, and a Christian, but, deceived by often hearing the false maxims of the world applauded, was unhappily seduced into an apostasy. But a zealous Christian called Hermolaus awakened his conscience to a sense of his guilt, and brought him again into the fold of the Church.

The penitent ardently wished to expiate his crime by martyrdom; and to prepare himself for the conflict, when Diocletian’s bloody persecution broke out at Nicomedia, in 303, he distributed all his possessions among the poor. Not long after this action he was taken up, and in his house were also apprehended Hermolaus, Hermippus, and Hermocrates. After suffering many torments, they were all condemned to lose their heads.

        St. Pantaleon suffered the day after the rest. His relics were translated to Constantinople, and there kept with great honor. The greatest part of them are now shown in the abbey of St. Denys near Paris, but his head is at Lyons.

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

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Sunday, July 26th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 6:1-15.


Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

26 July 2015

‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?”

1  pppas0108

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 6:1-15.

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”
He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little (bit).”
One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?
Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.”
So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

26 July 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint Augustine (354-430),

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Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Commentary on Saint John’s Gospel, 24,1 ; CCL 36, 244 (trans. ©Friends of Henry Ashworth)

“Who covers the heavens with clouds, who provides rain for the earth; who makes grass sprout on the mountains and herbs for the service of men” (Ps 147[146],8)

The miracles wrought by our Lord Jesus Christ are truly divine works, (which lead the human mind through visible things to a perception of the Godhead. God is not the kind of being that can be seen with the eyes, and small account is taken of the miracles by which he rules the entire universe and governs all creation because they recur so regularly. Scarcely anyone bothers to consider God’s marvelous, his amazing artistry in every tiny seed.

And so certain works are excluded from the ordinary course of nature, works which God in his mercy has reserved for himself, so as to perform them at appropriate times. People who hold cheap what they see every day are dumbfounded at the sight of extraordinary works even though they are no more wonderful than the others. Governing the entire universe is a greater miracle than feeding five thousand people with five loaves of bread, yet no one marvels at it… Who is even now providing nourishment for the whole world if not the God who creates a field of wheat from a few seeds?

Christ did what God does. Just as God multiplies a few seeds into a whole field of wheat so Christ multiplied the five loaves in his hands. For there was power in the hands of Christ Those five loaves were like seeds, not because they were cast on the earth but because they were multiplied by the one who made the earth.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

26 July 2015

Saint of the day

Sts. Joachim & Anne, Parents of the Bl. Virgin Mary

1 VIVARINI_Bartolomeo_The_Meeting_Of_Anne_And_Joachim

SAINT JOACHIM and SAINT ANNE
Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Memorial

        These names are given to the mother and father of the Blessed Virgin by a tradition dating back to the second century.

 By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of the parents of Mary, the Mother of God. We have no historical evidence, however, of any elements of their lives, including their names. Any stories about Mary’s father and mother come to us through legend and tradition. We get the oldest story from a document called the Gospel of James, though this document is not ahistorical source, nor the Word of God. The legend told in this document says that after years of childlessness, an angel appeared to tell Anne and Joachim that they would have a child. Anne promised to dedicate this child to God (much the way that Samuel was dedicated by his mother Hannah — Anne — in 1 Kings).

As St. John Damascene wrote: “Joachim and Ann, how blessed a couple! All creation is indebted to you. For at your hands the Creator was offered a gift excelling all other gifts: a chaste mother, who alone was worthy of him.”

Whatever their names or the facts of their lives, the truth is that it was the parents of Mary who nurtured Mary, taught her, brought her up to be a worthy Mother of God. It was their teaching that led her to respond to God’s request with faith, “Let it be done to me as you will.” It was their example of parenting that Mary must have followed as she brought up her own son, Jesus. It was their faith that laid the foundation of courage and strength that allowed her to stand by the cross as her son was crucified and still believe.

Such parents can be examples and models for all parents.

Anne (or Ann) is the patron saint of Christian mothers and of women in labor.

Catholic Online

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Saturday, July 25th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 20:20-28.


Saint James, apostle – Feast

25 July 2015

“Command that these two sons of mine sit,

one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom.”

1 TWO SONS stdas0086

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 20:20-28. 

The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered him, “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom.”
Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.”
He replied, “My cup you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left (, this) is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

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Saint James, apostle – Feast

25 July 2015

Commentary of the day

Benedict XVI

1 330px-Benedykt_XVI_(2010-10-17)_4

 Benedict XVI, pope from 2005 to 2013
General Audience, 21 June 2006 – Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

“My cup you will indeed drink”

      This James belongs, together with Peter and John, to the group of the three privileged disciples whom Jesus admitted to important moments in his life. Since it is very hot today, I want to be brief and to mention here only two of these occasions. James was able to take part, together with Peter and John, in Jesus’ Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and in the event of Jesus’ Transfiguration. Thus, it is a question of situations very different from each other: in one case, James, together with the other two Apostles, experiences the Lord’s glory and sees him talking to Moses and Elijah, he sees the divine splendour shining out in Jesus. On the other occasion, he finds himself face to face with suffering and humiliation, he sees with his own eyes how the Son of God humbles himself, making himself obedient unto death. The latter experience was certainly an opportunity for him to grow in faith, to adjust the unilateral, triumphalist interpretation of the former experience: he had to discern that the Messiah, whom the Jewish people were awaiting as a victor, was in fact not only surrounded by honour and glory, but also by suffering and weakness. Christ’s glory was fulfilled precisely on the Cross, in his sharing in our sufferings.

This growth in faith was brought to completion by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, so that James, when the moment of supreme witness came, would not draw back. Early in the first century, in the 40s, King Herod Agrippa, the grandson of Herod the Great, as Luke tells us, “laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the Church. He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword” (Ac 12: 1-2)… Consequently, we can learn much from St James: promptness in accepting the Lord’s call even when he asks us to leave the “boat” of our human securities (Mt 4:21), enthusiasm in following him on the paths that he indicates to us over and above any deceptive presumption of our own, readiness to witness to him with courage, if necessary to the point of making the supreme sacrifice of life. Thus James the Greater stands before us as an eloquent example of generous adherence to Christ. He, who initially had requested, through his mother, to be seated with his brother next to the Master in his Kingdom, was precisely the first to drink the chalice of the passion and to share martyrdom with the Apostles.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Saint James, apostle – Feast

25 July 2015

Saint of the day

St. James the Greater, Apostle – Feast

1 TURA_Cosme_St_James_The_Great

SAINT JAMES THE GREATER
Apostle
Feast

        Among the twelve, three were chosen as the familiar companions of our blessed Lord, and of these James was one. He alone, with Peter and John, was admitted to the house of Jairus when the dead maiden was raised to life. They alone were taken up to the high mountain apart, and saw the face of Jesus shining as the sun, and His garments white as snow; and these three alone witnessed the fearful agony in Gethsemane.

  What was it that won James a place among the favorite three? Faith, burning, impetuous, and outspoken, but which needed. purifying before the “Son of Thunder” could proclaim the gospel of peace. It was James who demanded fire from heaven to consume the inhospitable Samaritans, and who sought the place of honor by Christ in His Kingdom. Yet Our Lord, in rebuking his presumption, prophesied his faithfulness to death.

When St. James was brought before King Herod Agrippa, his fearless confession of Jesus crucified so moved the public prosecutor that he declared himself a Christian on the spot. Accused and accuser were hurried off together to execution, and on the road the latter begged pardon of the Saint. The apostle had long since forgiven him, but hesitated for a moment whether publicly to accept as a brother one still unbaptized. God quickly recalled to him the Church’s faith that the blood of martyrdom supplies for every sacrament and, falling on his companion’s neck, he embraced him, with the words, “Peace be with thee!”

        Together then they knelt for the sword, and together received the crown.
Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]


Almighty Father, by the martyrdom of Saint James
you blessed the work of the early Church.
May his profession of faith give us courage and his prayers bring us strength.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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