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Sunday, December 4th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 3:1-12.


Second Sunday of Advent – Year A

4 December 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

“I am baptizing you with water, for repentance,

but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 3:1-12.

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea
(and) saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: “A voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.'”
John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.
At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.
When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.
And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

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The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto

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The Sunday Mass – Second Sunday of Advent (December 4, 2016)

Presider: Rev. Frank Portelli

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Second Sunday of Advent – Year A

4 December 2016

Saints of the day

St. John Damascus,

Syrian monk and priest (c. 675-749)

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St. John of Damascus
Syrian monk and priest
(c. 675-749)

         Saint John Damascene has the double honor of being the last but one of the fathers of the Eastern Church, and the greatest of her poets. It is surprising, however, how little that is authentic is known of his life. The account of him by John of Jerusalem, written some two hundred years after his death, contains an admixture of legendary matter, and it is not easy to say where truth ends and fiction begins.

The ancestors of John, according to his biographer, when Damascus fell into the hands of the Arabs, had alone remained faithful to Christianity. They commanded the respect of the conqueror, and were employed in judicial offices of trust and dignity, to administer, no doubt, the Christian law to the Christian subjects of the Sultan. His father, besides this honorable rank, had amassed great wealth; all this he devoted to the redemption of Christian slaves on whom he bestowed their freedom. John was the reward of these pious actions. John was baptized immediately on his birth, probably by Peter II, bishop of Damascus, afterwards a sufferer for the Faith.

         The attainments of the young John of Damascus commanded the veneration of the Saracens; he was compelled reluctantly to accept an office of higher trust and dignity than that held by his father. As the Iconoclastic controversy became more violent, John of Damascus entered the field against the Emperor of the East, and wrote the first of his three treatises on the Veneration due to Images. This was probably composed immediately after the decree of Leo the Isaurian against images, in 730.

        Before he wrote the second, he was apparently ordained priest, for he speaks as one having authority and commission. The third treatise is a recapitulation of the arguments used in the other two. These three treatises were disseminated with the utmost activity throughout Christianity.

        John devoted himself to religious poetry, which became the heritage of the Eastern Church, and to theological arguments in defense of the doctrines of the Church, and refutation of all heresies. His three great hymns or “canons,” are those on Easter, the Ascension, and Satin Thomas’s Sunday. His eloquent defense of images has deservedly procured him the title of “The Doctor of Christian Art.”

www,ccel.org/d/Damascus/

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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Second Sunday of Advent – Year A

4 December 2016

Saints of the day

St. Barbara,

Virgin and Martyr (3rd century)

ghirlandaio_domenico_st_barbara

SAINT BARBARA
Virgin and Martyr
(3rd century)

        St. Barbara was brought up a heathen. A tyrannical father, Dioscorus, had kept her jealously secluded in a lonely tower which he had built for the purpose. Here in her forced solitude, she gave herself to prayer and study, and contrived to receive instruction and Baptism by stealth from a Christian priest.

        Dioscorus, on discovering his daughter’s conversion, was beside himself with rage. He himself denounced her before the civil tribunal. Barbara was horribly tortured, and at last was beheaded, her own father, merciless to the last, acting as her executioner. God, however, speedily punished her persecutors. While her soul was being borne by angels to Paradise, a flash of lightning struck Dioscorus, and he was hurried before the judgment-seat of God.

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

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

Matthew 28:20.

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“This is my commandment:

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BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

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Saturday, November 26th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 21:34-36.


Saturday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

26 November 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“Stand before the Son of Man.”

RES URRECTION pppas0572

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 21:34-36.

Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise
like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”

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Saturday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

26 November 2016

Saints of the day

St. Peter of Alexandria,

Bishop & Martyr († 311)

santi_pietro_d_alessandria_esichio_pacomio_e_teodoro_e_compagni

SAINT PETER OF ALEXANDRIA,
Bishop, Martyr
(† 311)

        St. Peter governed the Church of Alexandria during the persecution of Diocletian. The sentence of excommunication that he was the first to pronounce against the schismatics, Melitius and Arius, and which, despite the united efforts of powerful partisans, he strenuously upheld, proves that he possessed as much sagacity as zeal and firmness.

        But his most constant care was employed in guarding his flocks from the dangers arising out of persecution. He never ceased repeating to them that, in order not to fear death, it was needful to begin by dying to self, renouncing our will, and detaching ourselves from all things.

        St. Peter gave an example of such detachment by undergoing martyrdom in the year 311.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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Saturday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

26 November 2016

Saints of the day

St. Sylvester,

Abbot († 1267)

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sil_com.jpg

Saint Sylvester
Abbot
(† 1267)

        Sylvester, born of a noble family at Osimo, in Picenum, was remarkable, even as a boy, for his keen intelligence and upright conduct. Being duly instructed in sacred learning and made a canon, he benefited his people by his example and his sermons. At the funeral of a relative, who was also a nobleman and a very handsome person, on seeing the disfigured corpse in the open tomb, he said: “What this man was, I am now; and what he is now, I shall be.”

        He soon retired to a lonely place with the desire for greater perfection, and there spent himself in vigils, payers and fasting. To hide himself better from men, he kept changing his dwelling place. At length, he arrived at Monte Fano, at that time a solitary place, built a church in honor of St. Benedict and laid the foundations of the Congregation of Sylvestrines.

        There he strengthened the monks with his wonderful holiness. He shone with the spirit of prophecy, and possessed power over the demons and other gifts, which he always tried to hide with deep humility.

        He fell asleep in the Lord in the year of salvation 1267.

The Roman Breviary (1964)

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

Matthew 28:20.

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“This is my commandment:

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BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

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Friday, November 25th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 21:29-33.


Friday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

25 November 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“Heaven and earth will pass away,

but my words will not pass away.”

1 fishermen lwjas0358

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 21:29-33.

Jesus told his disciples a parable. “Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.
When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near;
in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.
Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

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Daily TV Mass Friday, November 25, 2016

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Friday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

25 November 2016

Saint of the day

St. Catherine of Alexandria,

Virgin & Martyr († c. 307)

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SAINT CATHERINE OF ALEXANDRIA
Virgin and Martyr
(† c. 307)

        Catherine was a noble virgin of Alexandria. Before her Baptism, it is said, she saw in vision the Blessed Virgin ask her Son to receive her among His servants, but the Divine Infant turned away. After Baptism, Catherine saw the same vision, when Jesus Christ received her with great affection, and espoused her before the court of heaven.

        When the impious tyrant Maximin II came to Alexandria, fascinated by the wisdom, beauty and wealth of the Saint, he in vain urged his suit. At last in his rage and disappointment he ordered her to be stripped and scourged. She fled to the Arabian mountains, where the soldiers overtook her, and after many torments put her to death. Her body was laid on Mount Sinai, and a beautiful legend relates that Catherine having prayed that no man might see or touch her body after death, angels bore it to the grave.

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

 

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

Matthew 28:20.

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

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

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

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

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


Saturday, November 12th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 18:1-8.


Saturday of the Thirty-second week in Ordinary Time

12 November 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity

for them to pray always without becoming weary.

1 asking wjpas0286

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 18:1-8.

Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said,
“There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being.
And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, ‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’
For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being,
because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.'”
The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says.
Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them?
I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

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Saturday of the Thirty-second week in Ordinary Time

12 November 2016

Commentary of the day

Saint Basil (c.330-379),

Monk and Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia,

Doctor of the Church
Homily 5

“Jesus told them… to pray always”

Don’t restrict your prayer simply to asking in words. To be sure, God has no need of discussion; even if we were not to ask him anything, he knows what is needful for us. What is there to say? Prayer does not consist in formulae; it encompasses the whole of life. “Whatever you eat or drink,” the apostle Paul says, “or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God” (1Cor 10,31). Are you at table? Pray. In taking bread, give thanks to him who bestowed it; in drinking wine, remember him who gave you this gift to rejoice your heart and solace your ills. Once the meal is finished, do not fail, come what may, in the remembrance of your benefactor. When you put on your tunic, thank him who gave it you; when you put on your cloak, bear witness to your regard for the God who provides us with clothing suitable for winter and summer and so as to protect our life.

When day is done thank him who has given you sun for the day’s work and fire to give light at night and supply for our needs. Nighttime provides you with cause for thanksgiving: when looking at the sky and contemplating the beauty of the stars, pray to the Lord of the universe who has made all things with such wisdom. When you see all nature lying asleep, adore him again who relieves all our weariness with sleep and restores the vigor of our strength with a little rest.

In this way you will pray without ceasing: if your prayer does not satisfy itself with formulae but, to the contrary, if you remain united to God throughout your existence in such a way as to make an unceasing prayer of your life .

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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Saturday of the Thirty-second week in Ordinary Time

12 November 2016

Saint of the day

St. Josaphat,

Bishop and Martyr (c.1580-1623) –

Memorial

san_giosafat_kuncewycz

SAINT JOSAPHAT
Bishop and Martyr
(c. 1580 – 1623)

        Born in the Ukraine about 1580, ordained about 1604, Josaphat became a monk. He was a noted theologian and preacher, and loyal to Rome.

        He was made bishop of Polotz in 1617, and embarked on a thoroughgoing pastoral reform, visiting his clergy, seeing that the people were instructed and taking an interest in the liturgy.

        His reforms aroused hostility, and he was murdered at Vitebsk, during a pastoral visit, in 1623.

The Weekday Missal (1975)

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

Matthew 28:20.

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

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

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

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

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


Friday, November 11th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 17:26-37.


Friday of the Thirty-second week in Ordinary Time

11 November 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“There will be two women grinding meal together;

one will be taken, the other left.”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 17:26-37.

Jesus said to his disciples: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man;
they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building;
on the day when Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.
So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day, a person who is on the housetop and whose belongings are in the house must not go down to get them, and likewise a person in the field must not return to what was left behind.
Remember the wife of Lot.
Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it.
I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left.
And there will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken, the other left.”
They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather.

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Friday of the Thirty-second week in Ordinary Time

11 November 2016

Commentary of the day

Saint Roman the Melodist

Saint Roman the Melodist

Saint Romanos Melodios (?-c 560),

Composer of hymns
Hymn of Noah, str. 11f. (cf. SC 99, p.117f. rev.)

“As it was in the days of Noah”

Noah, the wise… went into the ark at God’s orders together with his sons and their wives, a mere eight souls in all. With constant groans this servant prayed thus: “Let me not perish with sinners, my Savior, for already I see chaos swamping creation and the elements shaken with fear… The clouds are ready, the sky stormy, angels run before your wrath.” At these words, God shut the ark and sealed it as his faithful one cried out: “Save mankind from wrath, O redeemer of the world, may you protect us with your love.”

Then, from the heights of heaven, the judge gives the order: immediately the floodgates open, pouring down rain and hail in torrents from one end of the world to the other; fear causes the springs of the abyss to gush forth, flooding the earth in every quarter… Such were the results of God’s anger because humankind had persisted in its hardness of heart instead of hastening to cry out to him with faith: “Save all humankind from wrath in the love you have for us, O Redeemer of the world”…

Then the choir of angels cried out, seeing carnal men destroyed: “Now let the just possess the length and breadth of the earth!” For the Creator delights to behold those made in his own image (Gn 1,26); this is why he set aside his saints to save them. Noah… released the dove and in the evening it returned, bearing an olive branch in its beak, symbolically announcing God’s mercy. Then Noah came out of the ark as from the tomb, according to the command he had received…, not, as formerly, like Adam, who had eaten of the tree that brings death, for Noah had brought forth the fruits of repentance, saying: “Save all humankind from wrath in the love you have for us, O Redeemer of the world.”

Corruption and wickedness have perished; the man of upright heart is victorious by his faith for he has found grace… Then the just man (Gn 6,9) offers an unblemished sacrifice to the Lord… The Creator, smelling the sweet-smelling odor, declares: “Nevermore will the world perish in a flood, even should all men lead a life of wickedness.  Today I will make with them a binding covenant. I will show my bow as a sign to all the dwellers on earth, that thus they may call upon my name: “Save all humankind from wrath in the love you have for us, O Redeemer of the world.”

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

Image: From OrthodoxWiki

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Friday of the Thirty-second week in Ordinary Time

11 November 2016

Saint of the day

St. Martin of Tours,

Bishop († 397) – Memorial

st_martin_dividing_his_cloak_wga

SAINT MARTIN OF TOURS
Bishop
(† 397)

        When a mere boy, Martin became a Christian catechumen against his parents’ wish; and at fifteen was therefore seized by his father, a pagan soldier, and enrolled in the army.

        One winter’s day, when stationed at Amiens, he met a beggar almost naked and frozen with cold. Having no money, he cut his cloak in two and gave him the half. That night he saw Our Lord clothed in the half cloak, and heard Him say to the angels: “Martin, yet a catechumen, hath wrapped Me in this garment.” This decided him to be baptized, and shortly after he left the army.

        He succeeded in converting his mother; but, being driven from his home by the Arians, he took shelter with St. Hilary, and founded near Poitiers the first monastery in France.

        In 372 he was made Bishop of Tours. His flock, though Christian in name, was still pagan in heart. Unarmed and attended only by his monks, Martin destroyed the heathen temples and groves, and completed by his preaching and miracles the conversion of the people, whence he is known as the Apostle of Gaul.

        His last eleven years were spent in humble toil to atone for his faults, while God made manifest by miracles the purity of his soul.

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

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

Matthew 28:20.

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

“This is my commandment:

love one another as I love you.”

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

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

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


Tuesday, November 8th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 17:7-10.


Tuesday of the Thirty-second week in Ordinary Time

8 November 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

‘Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me

while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished’?

SERVANT stdas0182

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 17:7-10.

Jesus said to the Apostles: “Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’?
Would he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished’?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'”

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine,USCCB

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Tuesday of the Thirty-second week in Ordinary Time

8 November 2016

Commentary of the day

Benedict XVI,

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

Benedict XVI,

Pope from 2005 to 2013
Encyclical “Deus caritas est”, § 35 (trans. © copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana)

“Useless servants”

The proper way of serving others leads to humility. The one who serves does not consider himself superior to the one served, however miserable his situation at the moment may be. Christ took the lowest place in the world—the Cross—and by this radical humility he redeemed us and constantly comes to our aid. Those who are in a position to help others will realize that in doing so they themselves receive help; being able to help others is no merit or achievement of their own. This duty is a grace.

The more we do for others, the more we understand and can appropriate the words of Christ: “We are useless servants” (Lk 17:10). We recognize that we are not acting on the basis of any superiority or greater personal efficiency, but because the Lord has graciously enabled us to do so. There are times when the burden of need and our own limitations might tempt us to become discouraged. But precisely then we are helped by the knowledge that, in the end, we are only instruments in the Lord’s hands; and this knowledge frees us from the presumption of thinking that we alone are personally responsible for building a better world. In all humility we will do what we can, and in all humility we will entrust the rest to the Lord.

It is God who governs the world, not we. We offer him our service only to the extent that we can, and for as long as he grants us the strength. To do all we can with what strength we have, however, is the task which keeps the good servant of Jesus Christ always at work: “The love of Christ urges us on” (2 Cor 5:14).

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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Tuesday of the Thirty-second week in Ordinary Time

8 November 2016

Saints of the day

St. Godfrey,

Bishop (1066-1115)

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SAINT GODFREY
Bishop
(1066-1115)

        St Godfrey was born in 1066 in the diocese of Soissons (France). At the age of 25, he was ordained priest and became the abbot of the Abbey of Nogent-sous-Coucy.

He was named bishop of Amiens (France) in 1104. He was noted for his rigid austerity with himself, those around him, and in his approach to his mission as bishop.

He was an enforcer of clerical celibacy and an opponent of drunkenness and simony.

        For most of his time as bishop, he wished to resign and retire as a Carthusian monk. In 1114 he moved to a monastery, but a few months later he was called back to his post by the people of Amiens, and he agreed. He also took part in the Council of Chálons.

        He fell sick and took refuge in the abbey of Saint Crépin in Soissons, where he died in 1115.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

_________________________________________

Tuesday of the Thirty-second week in Ordinary Time

8 November 2016

Saints of the day

Bl. John Duns Scotus,

O.F.M. (c.1266-1308)

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Blessed John Duns Scotus
Franciscan Theologian

(c. 1266 – 1308)

        Blessed John (Johannes) Duns Scotus was one of the more important theologians and philosophers of the High Middle Ages. Born at Duns in the county of Berwick, Scotland around 1266, John was descended from a wealthy farming family. John received the habit of the Friars Minor at Dumfries, where his uncle Elias Duns was superior. After novitiate he studied at Oxford and Paris and was ordained to the priesthood on 17 March 1291.

        He was nicknamed Doctor Subtilis (the “Subtle Doctor”) for his penetrating and subtle manner of thought and he was remembered mostly for his defense of the doctrine of Immaculate Conception. During the night of Christmas, 1299 at the Oxford Convent, Bl. John, immersed in his contemplation of the adorable mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, was rapt in ecstasy. The Blessed Mother appeared to him and placed on his arms the Child Jesus who kissed and embraced him fondly.

He died in 1308 and he is buried in the Franciscan church near the famous Cologne cathedral.

        Drawing on the work of John Duns Scotus, Pope Pius IX solemnly defined the Immaculate Conception of Mary in 1854. On March 20, 1993 John Duns Scotus, the “Subtle Doctor,” was beatified in 1993 by Pope John Paul II at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

        Bl. John Duns Scotus, “The minstrel of the Word Incarnate” and “Defender of Mary’s Immaculate Conception” was presented by Pope John Paul II to our age “wealthy of human, scientific and technological resources, but in which many have lost the sense of faith and lead lives distant from Christ and His Gospel,” as “a Teacher of thought and life.” For the Church, he is “an example of fidelity to the revealed truth, of effective, priestly, and serious dialogue in search for unity.”

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Monday, November 7th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 17:1-6.


Monday of the Thirty-second week in Ordinary Time

7 November 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you

seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.”

1 7070 stdas0084

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 17:1-6.

Jesus said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the person through whom they occur.
It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.
And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.”
And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to (this) mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

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Monday of the Thirty-second week in Ordinary Time

7 November 2016

Commentary of the day

Saint Augustine (354-430),

augustine_lateran

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Discourse on the Psalms, Ps 60,9; CCL 39,771

Ask forgiveness and forgive others

“All the ways of the Lord are love and truth toward those who keep his covenant and decrees,” (Ps 25 [24],10). What this psalm says about love and truth is of first importance… It speaks of love because God pays no regard to our merits but to his own kindness so as to forgive us our sins and assure us of eternal life. It also speaks of truth because God never fails to hold good his promises. Let us acknowledge this divine example and imitate the God who has shown us his love and his truth… Like him, let us fulfil works full of love and truth in this world . Let us show goodness to the weak and poor and even towards our enemies.

Let us live in truth by avoiding wrongdoing. Let us not increase our sins since whoever presumes on God’s kindness lets the will to make God unjust insinuate itself within him. He imagines to himself that, even if he persists in his sins and refuses to repent, God will come in any case to give him a place among his faithful servants. But would it be just for God to set you in the same place as those who have renounced their sins while you continue in your own?… Then why do you want to bend him to your will? Submit yourself, rather, to his.

In this respect the psalmist rightly says: “Who will seek beside him the mercy and truth of the Lord?”… Why say “beside him”? Many seek to learn about the love of the Lord and his truth in the holy Scriptures. But once they have found them, they live for themselves, not for him. They are looking for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. They preach about love and truth but do not practice them. But he who loves God and Christ, when preaching about the divine truth and love, seeks them for God’s sake and not for his own interests. He is not preaching about them so as to draw material advantages from them but for the good of Christ’s members, namely the faithful. He distributes what he has learned among these in the spirit of truth “so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died,” (2Cor 5,15). “Who will seek the love and truth of the Lord?”

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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Monday of the Thirty-second week in Ordinary Time

7 November 2016

Saint of the day

St. Willibrord,

Bishop (657-739)

san_villibrordo_b

SAINT WILLIBRORD
Bishop
(657-739)

        Willibrord was born in Northumberland in 657, and when twenty years old went to Ireland, to study under St. Egbert; twelve years later, he felt drawn to convert the great pagan tribes who were hanging as a cloud over the north of Europe.

He went to Rome for the blessing of the Pope, and with eleven companions reached Utrecht. The pagans would not accept the religion of their enemies, the Franks; and St. Willibrord could only labor in the track of Pepin Heristal, converting the tribes whom Pepin subjugated.

        At Pepin’s urgent request, he again went to Rome, and was consecrated Archbishop of Utrecht. He was stately and comely in person, frank and joyous, wise in counsel, pleasant in speech, in every work of God strenuous and unwearied. Multitudes were converted, and the Saint built churches and appointed priests all over the land. He wrought many miracles, and had the gift of prophecy.

        He labored unceasingly as bishop for more than fifty years, beloved alike of God and of man, and died full of days and good works.

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

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Tuesday, November 1st. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 5:1-12


All Saints – Solemnity

1 November 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,

and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.

1 OUR FATHER 375px-Bloch-SermonOnTheMount

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 5:1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

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All Saints – Solemnity

1 November 2016

Commentary of the day

Saint Ambrose (c.340-397),

Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church
Concerning the advantages of death

“I had a vision of a great mulititude… from every nation, race, people and tongue… standing before the throne” (Rev 7,9)

Made strong by the teachings [of Scripture] let us go forward without trembling towards our redeemer, Jesus, towards the assembly of the patriarchs; let us set out towards our father, Abraham, when that day comes. Let us go forward without trembling to the congregation of the saints, to that great concourse of the just. We will be going to our fathers: those who taught us the faith. Even if we lack works, may our faith help us; let us defend our inheritance! We will be going to that region where Abraham opens his bosom to those who are poor like Lazarus (Lk 16,19f.). There repose all those who bore the hard knocks of life in this world. Now, Father, stretch out your hands again and again to welcome these poor ones, open wide your arms, make space in your breast to receive yet more, for those who believed in God are many indeed…

We are going to the paradise of joy where Adam, who formerly fell into a robbers’ ambush, no longer gives thought to weeping over his wounds and where the robber himself rejoices in his share in the heavenly Kingdom (cf. Lk 10,30; 23,43). There where no cloud, no tempest, no lightening, no hurricane, no darkness, no dusk, no summer nor winter mark the uncertainty of the weather; neither cold nor hail nor rain. Our poor, feeble sun, the moon and stars no longer have any more use. God’s brightness alone will shine out for God will be the light of all things, that true light who enlightens everyone will shine forth for all (Rev 22,5; Jn 1,9). We will go there where the Lord Jesus has prepared dwelling places for his insignificant servants so that where he is, we may be too (Jn 14,2-3)…

“Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory” (Jn 17,24)… We are following you, Lord Jesus; but that it may be so, call us, since no one rises up without you. You are the way, the truth, the life (Jn 14,6), the possibility, the faith, the reward. Receive us; strengthen us; grant us life!

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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All Saints – Solemnity

1 November 2016

All Saints – Solemnity

tutti_i_santi_ai

SOLEMNITY OF ALL SAINTS

        Today the Church, as the liturgy states, has “the joy of celebrating in one feast the merits and the glory of all the Saints” : not only of those whom she has canonized in the course of the centuries, but also of the numberless men and women whose holiness, hidden in this world, is only known to God and shines in his eternal kingdom.

         Thinking of these illustrious witnesses of the Gospel, we give thanks to God, “source of all holiness” for having given them to the Church and to the world. With their example, they prove that, as the Council teaches, “All the faithful are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity” (Lumen gentium, n. 40), tending to the “high standard” of ordinary Christian life (cf. Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio ineunte, n.31).

            Today’s feast invites us to lift our eyes to heaven, the goal of our earthly pilgrimage. There the festive community of the saints awaits us. There we will have the company of our dear departed ones for whom we pray in tomorrow’s solemn liturgical commemoration.

John Paul II, Angelus (November 1, 2002) – Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

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Saturday, October 15th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 12:8-12.


Saturday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time

15 October 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven,

but the one who blasphemes against the holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”

mission stdas0095

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 12:8-12.

Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God.
But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.
Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say.
For the holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”

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Saturday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time

15 October 2016

Saint of the day

St. Teresa of Jesus,

Virgin and Doctor of the Church (1515-1582) –

Memorial

santa_teresa_di_gesu-davila-x

SAINT TERESA OF JESUS
Virgin and Doctor of the Church
(1515-1582)

        Teresa was born at Avila in Spain in 1515. When she was a child of seven years, Teresa ran away from her home at Avila, in the hope of being martyred by the Moors. Being brought back and asked the reason of her flight, she replied, “I want to see God, and I must die before I can see Him.” She then began with her brother to build a hermitage in the garden, and was often heard repeating “Forever, forever”

        Some years later she became a Carmelite nun. Frivolous conversations checked her progress towards perfection, but at last, in her thirty-first year, she gave herself wholly to God. A vision showed her the very place in hell to which her own light faults would have led her, and she lived ever after in the deepest distrust of self.

        She was called to reform her Order, favored with distinct commands from Our Lord, and her heart was pierced with divine love; but she dreaded nothing so much as delusion, and to the last acted only under obedience to her confessors, which both made her strong and kept her safe.

        She died on October 4, 1582.

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

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Tuesday, October 4th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 10:38-42.


Tuesday of the Twenty-seventh week in Ordinary Time

4 October 2016

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me

by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”

SAINT MARTHA Christ_in_the_House_of_Mary_and_Martha

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 10:38-42.

Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”
The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.

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Tuesday of the Twenty-seventh week in Ordinary Time

4 October 2016

Saint of the day

St. Francis of Assisi

(1182-1226)

st_francis_in_ecstasy_wga

SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI
(1182-1226)

          Saint Francis, the son of a merchant of Assisi, was born in that city in 1182. Chosen by God to be a living manifestation to the world of Christ’s poor and suffering life on earth, he was early inspired with a high esteem and burning love of poverty and humiliation.  The thought of the Man of Sorrows, who had not where to lay his head, filled him with holy envy of the poor, and constrained him to renounce the wealth and worldly station which he abhorred.  The scorn and hard usage which he met with from his father and townsmen when he appeared among them in the garb of poverty were delightful to him. “Now,” he exclaimed, “I can say truly, ‘Our Father who art in heaven.'”

        But divine love burned in him too mightily not to kindle like desires in other hearts. Many joined themselves to him, and were constituted by Pope Innocent III. into a religious Order, which spread rapidly throughout Christendom.  St. Francis, after visiting the East in the vain quest of martyrdom, spent his life like his Divine Master—now in preaching to the multitudes, now amid desert solitudes in fasting and contemplation.  During one of these retreats he received on his hands, feet, and side the print of the five bleeding wounds of Jesus. With the cry, “Welcome, sister Death,” he passed to the glory of his God in 1226.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2016

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“This is my commandment:

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

BE MERCIFUL, O LORD,

FOR WE HAVE SINNED.

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