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Monday, September 7th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 6:6-11.


Monday of the Twenty-third week in Ordinary Time

7 September 2015

 “Stretch out your hand.”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 6:6-11.

On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.
The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely to see if he would cure on the sabbath so that they might discover a reason to accuse him.
But he realized their intentions and said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up and stand before us.” And he rose and stood there.
Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?”
Looking around at them all, he then said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so and his hand was restored.
But they became enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Monday of the Twenty-third week in Ordinary Time

7 September 2015

Commentary of the day

 Saint Caesarius of Arles

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Saint Caesarius of Arles (470-543), monk and Bishop
Sermons for the people, no.57,4

“The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely…  so that they might discover a reason to accuse him”

The Lord will say to those who despise his mercy : “O man, it is I who formed you from clay with my own hands, I who breathed spirit into your earthly body, I who deigned to bestow on you our image and likeness, I who set you in the midst of the delights of Paradise. But it is you who, despising the commandments of life, chose to follow the tempter rather than the Lord…

Following this, while you were driven out of Paradise and, through sin, held fast in the bonds of death, moved by pity I entered into the virgin’s womb to come into the world without compromise to her virginity. I was laid in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes; I bore the indignities of childhood and the sufferings of being human, by which I made myself like you with the sole object of making you in my likeness. I endured the blows and the spitting of those who mocked me, I drank the vinegar with the myrrh. Beaten with rods, crowned with thorns, nailed to the cross, pierced by the lance, I rendered up my soul in torment that I might rescue you from death. See the marks of the nails by which I was hung; see my side pierced through with wounds. I have borne your suffering to give you my glory; I have borne your death so that you might live for eternity. I rested, enclosed within the tomb, so that you might reign in heaven.

Why then have you lost what I suffered for your sake ? Why have you set aside the graces of your redemption?… Give me back your life for which I gave you my own; give me back the life that you are constantly destroying with the wounds of your sins.”

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Monday of the Twenty-third week in Ordinary Time

7 September 2015

Saint of the day

St. Cloud, Priest (522-c.560)

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SAINT CLOUD
Priest
(522- c. 560)

        St. Cloud is the first and most illustrious Saint among the princes of the royal family of the first race in France. He was son of Chlodomir, King of Orleans, the eldest son of St. Clotilda, and was born in 522. He was scarce three years old when his father was killed in Burgundy; but his grandmother Clotilda brought up him and his two brothers at Paris, and loved them extremely.

Their ambitious uncles divided the kingdom of Orleans between them, and stabbed with their own hands two of their nephews. Cloud, by a special providence, was saved from the massacre, and, renouncing the world, devoted himself to the service of God in a monastic state. After a time he put himself under the discipline of St. Severinus, a holy recluse who lived near Paris, from whose hands he received the monastic habit.

      Wishing to live unknown to the world, he withdrew secretly into Provence, but his hermitage being made public, he returned to Paris, and was received with the greatest joy imaginable. At the earnest request of the people, he was ordained priest by Eusebius, Bishop of Paris, in 551, and served that Church some time in the functions of the sacred ministry.

        He afterward retired to St. Cloud, two leagues below Paris, where he built a monastery. Here he assembled many pious men, who fled out of the world for fear of losing their souls in it. St. Cloud was regarded by them as their superior, and he animated them to all virtue both by word and example. He was indefatigable in instructing and exhorting the people of the neighboring country, and piously ended his days about the year 560.
Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Sunday, September 6th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 7:31-37.


Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

6 September 2015

The man’s ears were opened,

his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.

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

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

6 September 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619),

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Saint Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619),

Capuchin, Doctor of the Church
11th Sunday after Pentecost, First homily, 1.9.11-12; Opera omnia, 8, 124.134.136-138 (©Friends of Henry Ashworth)

“He has done all things well”

Just as the divine law says that when God created the world “he saw all that he had made and it was very good,” (Gn 1,31) so the gospel speaking of our redemption and re-creation, affirms: “He has done all things well” (Mk 7,37)… As fire can give out nothing but heat and is incapable of giving out cold; and as the sun gives out nothing but light and is incapable of giving out darkness, so God is incapable of doing anything but good. For he is infinite goodness and light, a sun giving out endless light, a fire producing endless warmth. “He has done all things well.”

The law says that all God did was good; the gospel says he has done all things well. Doing a good deed is not quite the same as doing it well. Many do good deeds but fail to do them well. The deeds of hypocrites, for example, are good, but they are done in the wrong spirit, with a perverse and defective intention. Everything God does, however, is not only good but is also done well. “The Lord is just in all his ways and holy in all his deeds. With wisdom you have done them all” (Ps 145[144].17)… Now if God has done all his good works and done them well for our sake, knowing that we take pleasure in goodness, why, I ask, do we not endeavor to make all our works good and to do them well, knowing that such works are pleasing to God?

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

6 September 2015

Saint of the day

St. Eleutherius, Abbot († c. 585)

 

SAINT ELEUTHERIUS
Abbot
(† c. 585)

        Wonderful simplicity and spirit of compunction were the distinguishing virtues of this holy man. He was chosen abbot of St. Mark’s near Spoleto, and favored by God with the gift of miracles. A child who was possessed by the devil, being delivered by being educated in his monastery, the abbot said one day: “Since the child is among the servants of God, the devil dares not approach him.” These words seemed to savor of vanity, and thereupon the devil again entered and tormented the child. The abbot humbly confessed his fault, and fasted and prayed with his whole community till the child was again freed from the tyranny of the fiend.

St. Gregory the Great not being able to fast on Easter-eve on account of extreme weakness, engaged this Saint to go with him to the church of St. Andrew’s and put up his prayers to God for his health, that he might join the faithful in that solemn practice of penance. Eleutherius prayed with many tears, and the Pope, coming out of the church, found his breast suddenly strengthened, so that he was enabled to perform the fast as he desired. St. Eleutherius raised a dead man to life.

        Resigning his abbacy, he died in St. Andrew’s monastery in Rome, about the year 585.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]
©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Saturday, September 5th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 6:1-5.


Saturday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

5 September 2015

Some Pharisees said,

“Why are you doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?”

1 SABBATH pppas0345

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 6:1-5. 

While Jesus was going through a field of grain on a sabbath, his disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them.
Some Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?”
Jesus said to them in reply, “Have you not read what David did when he and those (who were) with him were hungry?
(How) he went into the house of God, took the bread of offering, which only the priests could lawfully eat, ate of it, and shared it with his companions.”
Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.”

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Saturday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

5 September 2015

Commentary of the day

Benedict XVI

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 Benedict XVI, pope from 2005 to 2013
Homily, Eucharistic celebration on the occasion of the XX World Youth Day, Sunday, 21 August 2005

“The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” (Lk 6:5)

  The Eucharist is an essential part of Sunday… On Easter morning, first the women and then the disciples had the grace of seeing the Lord. From that moment on, they knew that the first day of the week, Sunday, would be his day, the day of Christ the Lord. The day when creation began became the day when creation was renewed. Creation and redemption belong together.

That is why Sunday is so important. It is good that today, in many cultures, Sunday is a free day, and is often combined with Saturday so as to constitute a “week-end” of free time. Yet this free time is empty if God is not present.

Dear friends! Sometimes, our initial impression is that having to include time for Mass on a Sunday is rather inconvenient. But if you make the effort, you will realize that this is what gives a proper focus to your free time. Do not be deterred from taking part in Sunday Mass, and help others to discover it too. This is because the Eucharist releases the joy that we need so much, and we must learn to grasp it ever more deeply, we must learn to love it. Let us pledge ourselves to do this – it is worth the effort! Let us discover the intimate riches of the Church’s liturgy and its true greatness:  it is not we who are celebrating for ourselves, but it is the living God himself who is preparing a banquet for us.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Saturday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

5 September 2015

Saints of the day

St. Lawrence Justinian, Bishop († 1455)

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SAINT LAWRENCE JUSTINIAN
Bishop
(† 1455)

       Lawrence from a child longed to be a Saint; and when he was nineteen years of age there was granted to him a vision of the Eternal Wisdom. All earthly things paled in his eyes before the ineffable beauty of this sight, and as it faded away a void was left in his heart which none but God could fill. Refusing the offer of a brilliant marriage, he fled secretly from his home at Venice, and joined the Canons Regular of St. George.

One by one he crushed every natural instinct which could bar his union with his Love. When Lawrence first entered religion, a nobleman went to dissuade him from the folly of thus sacrificing every earthly prospect. The young monk listened patiently in turn to his friend’s affectionate appeal, scorn, and violent abuse. Calmly and kindly he then replied. He pointed out the shortness of life, the uncertainty of earthly happiness, and the incomparable superiority of the prize he sought to any his friend had named. The nobleman could make no answer; he felt in truth that Lawrence was wise, himself the fool. He left the world, became a fellow-novice with the Saint, and his holy death bore every mark that he too had secured the treasures which never fail.

As superior and as general, Lawrence enlarged and strengthened his Order, and as bishop of his diocese, in spite of slander and insult, thoroughly reformed his see. His zeal led to his being appointed the first patriarch of Venice, but he remained ever in heart and soul an humble priest, thirsting for the sight of heaven.

        At length the eternal vision began to dawn. “Are you laying a bed of feathers for me?” he said. “Not so; my Lord was stretched on a hard and painful free.” Laid upon the straw, he exclaimed in rapture, “Good Jesus, behold I come.” He died in 1455, aged seventy-four.

Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894]
©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Saturday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

5 September 2015

Saints of the day

Bl. Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997)

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Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
(1910-1997)

“By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.”
Small of stature, rocklike in faith, Mother Teresa of Calcutta was entrusted with the mission of proclaiming God’s thirsting love for humanity, especially for the poorest of the poor. “God still loves the world and He sends you and me to be His love and His compassion to the poor.” She was a soul filled with the light of Christ, on fire with love for Him and burning with one desire: “to quench His thirst for love and for souls.”

This luminous messenger of God’s love was born on 26 August 1910 in Skopje, a city situated at the crossroads of Balkan history. The youngest of the children born to Nikola and Drane Bojaxhiu, she was baptised Gonxha Agnes, received her First Communion at the age of five and a half and was confirmed in November 1916. From the day of her First Holy Communion, a love for souls was within her. Her father’s sudden death when Gonxha was about eight years old left in the family in financial straits. Drane raised her children firmly and lovingly, greatly influencing her daughter’s character and vocation. Gonxha’s religious formation was further assisted by the vibrant Jesuit parish of the Sacred Heart in which she was much involved.

At the age of eighteen, moved by a desire to become a missionary, Gonxha left her home in September 1928 to join the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known as the Sisters of Loreto, in Ireland. There she received the name Sister Mary Teresa after St. Thérèse of Lisieux. In December, she departed for India, arriving in Calcutta on 6 January 1929. After making her First Profession of Vows in May 1931, Sister Teresa was assigned to the Loreto Entally community in Calcutta and taught at St. Mary’s School for girls. On 24 May 1937, Sister Teresa made her Final Profession of Vows, becoming, as she said, the “spouse of Jesus” for “all eternity.” From that time on she was called Mother Teresa. She continued teaching at St. Mary’s and in 1944 became the school’s principal. A person of profound prayer and deep love for her religious sisters and her students, Mother Teresa’s twenty years in Loreto were filled with profound happiness. Noted for her charity, unselfishness and courage, her capacity for hard work and a natural talent for organization, she lived out her consecration to Jesus, in the midst of her companions, with fidelity and joy.

On 10 September 1946 during the train ride from Calcutta to Darjeeling for her annual retreat, Mother Teresa received her “inspiration,” her “call within a call.” On that day, in a way she would never explain, Jesus’ thirst for love and for souls took hold of her heart and the desire to satiate His thirst became the driving force of her life. Over the course of the next weeks and months, by means of interior locutions and visions, Jesus revealed to her the desire of His heart for “victims of love” who would “radiate His love on souls.” “Come be My light,” He begged her. “I cannot go alone.” He revealed His pain at the neglect of the poor, His sorrow at their ignorance of Him and His longing for their love. He asked Mother Teresa to establish a religious community, Missionaries of Charity, dedicated to the service of the poorest of the poor. Nearly two years of testing and discernment passed before Mother Teresa received permission to begin. On August 17, 1948, she dressed for the first time in a white, blue-bordered sari and passed through the gates of her beloved Loreto convent to enter the world of the poor.

After a short course with the Medical Mission Sisters in Patna, Mother Teresa returned to Calcutta and found temporary lodging with the Little Sisters of the Poor. On 21 December she went for the first time to the slums. She visited families, washed the sores of some children, cared for an old man lying sick on the road and nursed a woman dying of hunger and TB. She started each day in communion with Jesus in the Eucharist and then went out, rosary in her hand, to find and serve Him in “the unwanted, the unloved, the uncared for.” After some months, she was joined, one by one, by her former students.

On 7 October 1950 the new congregation of the Missionaries of Charity was officially established in the Archdiocese of Calcutta. By the early 1960s, Mother Teresa began to send her Sisters to other parts of India. The Decree of Praise granted to the Congregation by Pope Paul VI in February 1965 encouraged her to open a house in Venezuela. It was soon followed by foundations in Rome and Tanzania and, eventually, on every continent. Starting in 1980 and continuing through the 1990s, Mother Teresa opened houses in almost all of the communist countries, including the former Soviet Union, Albania and Cuba.

In order to respond better to both the physical and spiritual needs of the poor, Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity Brothers in 1963, in 1976 the contemplative branch of the Sisters, in 1979 the Contemplative Brothers, and in 1984 the Missionaries of Charity Fathers. Yet her inspiration was not limited to those with religious vocations. She formed the Co-Workers of Mother Teresa and the Sick and Suffering Co-Workers, people of many faiths and nationalities with whom she shared her spirit of prayer, simplicity, sacrifice and her apostolate of humble works of love. This spirit later inspired the Lay Missionaries of Charity. In answer to the requests of many priests, in 1981 Mother Teresa also began the Corpus Christi Movement for Priests as a “little way of holiness” for those who desire to share in her charism and spirit.

During the years of rapid growth the world began to turn its eyes towards Mother Teresa and the work she had started. Numerous awards, beginning with the Indian Padmashri Award in 1962 and notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, honoured her work, while an increasingly interested media began to follow her activities. She received both prizes and attention “for the glory of God and in the name of the poor.”

The whole of Mother Teresa’s life and labour bore witness to the joy of loving, the greatness and dignity of every human person, the value of little things done faithfully and with love, and the surpassing worth of friendship with God. But there was another heroic side of this great woman that was revealed only after her death. Hidden from all eyes, hidden even from those closest to her, was her interior life marked by an experience of a deep, painful and abiding feeling of being separated from God, even rejected by Him, along with an ever-increasing longing for His love. She called her inner experience, “the darkness.”  The “painful night” of her soul, which began around the time she started her work for the poor and continued to the end of her life, led Mother Teresa to an ever more profound union with God. Through the darkness she mystically participated in the thirst of Jesus, in His painful and burning longing for love, and she shared in the interior desolation of the poor.

During the last years of her life, despite increasingly severe health problems, Mother Teresa continued to govern her Society and respond to the needs of the poor and the Church. By 1997, Mother Teresa’s Sisters numbered nearly 4,000 members and were established in 610 foundations in 123 countries of the world. In March 1997 she blessed her newly-elected successor as Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity and then made one more trip abroad. After meeting Pope John Paul II for the last time, she returned to Calcutta and spent her final weeks receiving visitors and instructing her Sisters. On 5 September Mother Teresa’s earthly life came to an end. She was given the honour of a state funeral by the Government of India and her body was buried in the Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity. Her tomb quickly became a place of pilgrimage and prayer for people of all faiths, rich and poor alike. Mother Teresa left a testament of unshakable faith, invincible hope and extraordinary charity. Her response to Jesus’ plea, “Come be My light,” made her a Missionary of Charity, a “mother to the poor,” a symbol of compassion to the world, and a living witness to the thirsting love of God.

Less than two years after her death, in view of Mother Teresa’s widespread reputation of holiness and the favours being reported, Pope John Paul II permitted the opening of her Cause of Canonization. On 20 December 2002 he approved the decrees of her heroic virtues and miracles.

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BEATIFICATION OF MOTHER THERESA OF CALCUTTA
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II

World Mission Sunday
Sunday, 19 October 2003

1. “Whoever would be first among you must be slave of all” (Mk10: 44). Jesus’ words to his disciples that have just rung out in this Square show us the way to evangelical “greatness”. It is the way walked by Christ himself that took him to the Cross:  a journey of love and service that overturns all human logic. To be the servant of all!

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Foundress of the Missionaries of Charity whom today I have the joy of adding to the Roll of the Blesseds, allowed this logic to guide her. I am personally grateful to this courageous woman whom I have always felt beside me. Mother Teresa, an icon of the Good Samaritan, went everywhere to serve Christ in the poorest of the poor. Not even conflict and war could stand in her way.

Every now and then she would come and tell me about her experiences in her service to the Gospel values. I remember, for example, her pro-life and anti-abortion interventions, even when she was awarded the Nobel Prize for peace (Oslo, 10 December 1979). She often used to say:  “If you hear of some woman who does not want to keep her child and wants to have an abortion, try to persuade her to bring him to me. I will love that child, seeing in him the sign of God’s love”.

2. Is it not significant that her beatification is taking place on the very day on which the Church celebrates World Mission Sunday? With the witness of her life, Mother Teresa reminds everyone that the evangelizing mission of the Church passes through charity, nourished by prayer and listening to God’s word. Emblematic of this missionary style is the image that shows the new Blessed clasping a child’s hand in one hand while moving her Rosary beads with the other.

Contemplation and action, evangelization and human promotion: Mother Teresa proclaimed the Gospel living her life as a total gift to the poor but, at the same time, steeped in prayer.

3. Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant” (Mk 10: 43). With particular emotion we remember today Mother Teresa, a great servant of the poor, of the Church and of the whole world. Her life is a testimony to the dignity and the privilege of humble service. She had chosen to be not just the least but to be the servant of the least. As a real mother to the poor, she bent down to those suffering various forms of poverty. Her greatness lies in her ability to give without counting the cost, to give “until it hurts”. Her life was a radical living and a bold proclamation of the Gospel.

The cry of Jesus on the Cross, “I thirst” (Jn 19: 28), expressing the depth of God’s longing for man, penetrated Mother Teresa’s soul and found fertile soil in her heart. Satiating Jesus’ thirst for love and for souls in union with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, had become the sole aim of Mother Teresa’s existence and the inner force that drew her out of herself and made her “run in haste” across the globe to labour for the salvation and the sanctification of the poorest of the poor.

4. “As you did to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25: 40). This Gospel passage, so crucial in understanding Mother Teresa’s service to the poor, was the basis of her faith-filled conviction that in touching the broken bodies of the poor she was touching the body of Christ. It was to Jesus himself, hidden under the distressing disguise of the poorest of the poor, that her service was directed. Mother Teresa highlights the deepest meaning of service – an act of love done to the hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked, sick, prisoners (cf. Mt 25: 34-36) is done to Jesus himself.

Recognizing him, she ministered to him with wholehearted devotion, expressing the delicacy of her spousal love. Thus, in total gift of herself to God and neighbour, Mother Teresa found her greatest fulfilment and lived the noblest qualities of her femininity. She wanted to be a sign of “God’s love, God’s presence and God’s compassion”, and so remind all of the value and dignity of each of God’s children, “created to love and be loved”. Thus was Mother Teresa “bringing souls to God and God to souls” and satiating Christ’s thirst, especially for those most in need, those whose vision of God had been dimmed by suffering and pain.

5. “The Son of man also came… to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mk 10: 45). Mother Teresa shared in the Passion of the crucified Christ in a special way during long years of “inner darkness”. For her that was a test, at times an agonizing one, which she accepted as a rare “gift and privilege”.

In the darkest hours she clung even more tenaciously to prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. This harsh spiritual trial led her to identify herself more and more closely with those whom she served each day, feeling their pain and, at times, even their rejection. She was fond of repeating that the greatest poverty is to be unwanted, to have no one to take care of you.

6. “Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you”. How often, like the Psalmist, did Mother Teresa call on her Lord in times of inner desolation:  “In you, in you I hope, my God!”.

Let us praise the Lord for this diminutive woman in love with God, a humble Gospel messenger and a tireless benefactor of humanity. In her we honour one of the most important figures of our time. Let us welcome her message and follow her example.

Virgin Mary, Queen of all the Saints, help us to be gentle and humble of heart like this fearless messenger of Love. Help us to serve every person we meet with joy and a smile. Help us to be missionaries of Christ, our peace and our hope. Amen!

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana
©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Friday,September 4th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 5:33-39.


Friday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

4 September 2015

The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,

“The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers,

and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same ; but yours eat and drink.”

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 5:33-39.

The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, “The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same ; but yours eat and drink.”
Jesus answered them, “Can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?
But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days.”
And he also told them a parable. “No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one. Otherwise, he will tear the new and the piece from it will not match the old cloak.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined.
Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.
(And) no one who has been drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.'”

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Friday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

4 September 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint Paschasius Radbertus

Saint Paschasius Radbertus (?-c.849), Benedictine monk
Commentary on Matthew’s Gospel, 10,22

“The two shall be made into one. This is a great foreshadowing; I mean that it refers to Christ and the church.” (Eph 5:31)

A strange and extraordinary union occurred when “the Word became flesh” in the Virgin’s womb and thus “made his dwelling among us” (Jn 1:14). Just as all the elect were raised in Christ when he rose, so was this wedding celebrated in him, and the Church was united with the Spouse through the bonds of marriage when the man-God received the fullness of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and when the divinity came to dwell in his body… Christ became man through the Holy Spirit, and in his quality as Spouse he came out of the womb of the Virgin, who was his nuptial chamber. But when the Church is born again of water in that same Spirit, she becomes one body in Christ, so much so that the two “become as one,” (Mt 19:5), which in reference to Christ and the Church “is a great foreshadowing.” (Eph 5:31).

This marriage continues from the beginning of the Incarnation of Christ until the moment when Christ will come again and all the rites of nuptial union will be fulfilled. Then those who are ready and who, as is necessary, will have fulfilled the conditions for such a great union, will be filled with respect and will enter with him into the eternal wedding hall(Mt 25:10). While she is waiting, Christ’s promised Spouse advances and every day keeps her covenant with him in faith and affection until he returns again.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Friday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

4 September 2015

Saint of the day

St. Rosalia, Virgin († 1160)

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ST. ROSALIA
Virgin
(† 1160)

        St. Rosalia was daughter of a noble family descended from Charlemagne. She was born at Palermo in Sicily, and despising in her youth worldly vanities, made herself an abode in a cave on Mount Pelegrino, three miles from Palermo, where she completed the sacrifice of her heart to God by austere penance and manual labor, sanctified by assiduous prayer and the constant union of her soul with God.

She died in 1160. Her body was found buried in a grot under the mountain, in the year of the jubilee, 1625, under Pope Urban VIII., and was translated into the metropolitan church of Palermo, of which she was chosen a patroness. To her patronage that island ascribes the ceasing of a grievous pestilence at the same time.

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

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Thursday, September 3rd. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 5:1-11.


Thursday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

3 September 2015

 “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”

 

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Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 5:1-11.

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret.
He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets.
Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”
Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.”
When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing.
They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”
For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him,
and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”
When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Thursday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

3 September 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint Ambrose

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Saint Ambrose (c.340-397), Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church
Treatise on the Gospel of Luke, IV, 71-76

“Put out into deep water and lower your nets”

“Put out into deep water,” that is to say, into the high seas of debate. Is there any depth that is comparable to the abyss of “the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge” of the Son God, (Rom 11:33), to the proclamation of his divine filiation? … The Church is led by Peter to the high seas of the testimony, so as to contemplate the risen Son of God and the Holy Spirit who is poured forth.

What are those nets of the apostles, which Christ orders them to lower? Are they not the linking of words, the twists in discourse, the depth of arguments, which don’t allow those whom they have caught to escape? This fishing tackle of the apostles doesn’t make the fish they have caught perish; rather, it preserves them, drawing them out of the abyss towards the light, leading them from the lowest depths to the heights…

“Master,” Peter said, “we have been hard at it all night long and have caught nothing; but if you say so, I will lower the nets.” I too, Lord, know that it is night for me when you do not command me. I have not yet converted anyone through my words; it is still night. I spoke on the day of Epiphany: I lowered the net, but I haven’t caught anything yet. I lowered the net during the day. I am waiting for you to give me the order. Upon your word, I will lower it again. Self-confidence is empty, but humility is fertile. Those who had not caught anything until then, have now, at the Lord’s voice, caught an enormous catch of fish.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Thursday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

3 September 2015

Saint of the day

St. Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church (c.540-604) – Memorial

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SAINT GREGORY THE GREAT
Pope and Doctor of the Church
(540-604)

        Gregory was a Roman of noble birth, and while still young was governor of Rome. On his father’s death he gave his great wealth to the poor, turned his house on the Cœlian Hill into a monastery, which now bears his name, and for some years lived as a perfect monk.

        The Pope drew him from his seclusion to make him one of the seven deacons of Rome; and he did great service to the Church for many years as what we now call Nuncio to the Imperial court at Constantinople. While still a monk the saint was struck with some boys who were exposed for sale in Rome, and heard with sorrow that they were pagans. “And of what race are they?” he asked. “They are Angles.” “Worthy indeed to be Angels of God,” said he. “And of what province?” “Of Deira,” was the reply. “Truly must we rescue them from the wrath of God. And what is the name of their king?” “He is called Ella.” “It is well,” said Gregory; “Alleluia must be sung in their land to God.” He at once got leave from the Pope, and had set out to convert the English when the murmurs of the people led the Pope to recall him. Still the Angles were not forgotten, and one of the Saint’s first cares as Pope was to send from his own monastery St. Augustine and other monks to England.

On the death of Pope Pelagius II., Gregory was compelled to take the government of the Church, and for fourteen years his pontificate was a perfect model of ecclesiastical rule. He healed schisms; revived discipline; saved Italy by converting the wild Arian Lombards who were laying it waste; aided in the conversion of the Spanish and French Goths, who were also Arians; and kindled anew in Britain the light of the Faith, which the English had put out in blood.

        He set in order the Church’s prayers and chant, guided and consoled her pastors with innumerable letters, and preached incessantly, most effectually by his own example.

        He died A. D. 604, worn out by austerities and toils; and the Church reckons him one of her four great doctors, and reveres him as St. Gregory the Great.

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

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


Wednesday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

2 September 2015

Jesus left and went to a deserted place.

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

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Wednesday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

2 September 2015

Commentary of the day

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

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

“Jesus left and went to a deserted place”

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

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

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Wednesday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

2 September 2015

Saint of the day

Bl. Ingrid of Sweden († 1282)

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Blessed Ingrid of Sweden
Widow and Religious
(† 1282)

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

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

        She died in 1282 surrounded by an aura of sanctity.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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


Tuesday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

1 September 2015

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

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

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

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Tuesday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

1 September 2015

Commentary of the day

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

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

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

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Tuesday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

1 September 2015

Saint of the day

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

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SAINT GILES
Abbot
(640-720)

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

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

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

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

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


Monday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

31 August 2015

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

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

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Monday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

31 August 2015

Commentary of the day

Origen

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

“They all looked intently at him”

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

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Monday of the Twenty-second week in Ordinary Time

31 August 2015

Saint of the day

St. Raymund Nonnatus (1204-1240)

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SAINT RAYMUND NONNATUS
(1204-1240)

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

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

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

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

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


Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

30 August 2015

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

but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”

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

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
(For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews, do not eat without carefully washing their hands, keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace they do not eat without purifying themselves. And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed, the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.)
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”
He responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me;
In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.’
You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”
He summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.”
From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile.”

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

30 August 2015

Commentary of the day

Saint Maximilian Kolbe

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

“Their hearts are far from me”

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

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

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

30 August 2015

Saint of the day

St. Fiaker, Anchorite († c. 670)

Eglise Notre-Dame Bar-le-Duc Vitrail Saint Fiacre 30 04 2012.jpg

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

SAINT FIAKER
Anchorite
(† c. 670)

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

 

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

 

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

St. Fiaker died about the year 670.

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

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


The Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist – Memorial

29 August 2015

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

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

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image: From Bible Hub

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The Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist – Memorial

29 August 2015

Commentary of the day

Byzantine Liturgy
Troparia and kontakion of Saint John the Baptist

The Lord’s Forerunner in life as in death

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

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

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

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The Martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist – Memorial

29 August 2015

Saint of the day

Beheading of St. John the Baptist

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THE BEHEADING OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST
Martyr
Memorial

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

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

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

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

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2015

Image: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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