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Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary

Tuesday, August 8th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 14:22-36.


Tuesday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time

In Australia & New Zealand: solemnity and feast of St Mary MacKillop, Virgin

8 August 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the sea they were terrified.

“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.

 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 14:22-36.

After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side of the sea, while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once (Jesus) spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.
But when he saw how (strong) the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”
After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret.
When the men of that place recognized him, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought to him all those who were sick
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak, and as many as touched it were healed.

 

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017
Image: From Bible Hub

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Tuesday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time

In Australia & New Zealand: solemnity and feast of St Mary MacKillop, Virgin

8 August 2017

Feast of St Mary MacKillop,

Virgin

 

 

Readings of the day in Australia (solemnity) and New Zealand (feast)

First book of Kings 17:8-16

And then the word of the Lord came to Elijah, ‘Up and go to Zarephath, a Sidonian town, and stay there. I have ordered a widow there to give you food.’ So he went off to Sidon. And when he reached the city gate, there was a widow gathering sticks. Addressing her he said, ‘Please bring a little water in a vessel for me to drink.’ She was setting off to bring it when he called after her. ‘Please’, he said, ‘bring me a scrap of bread in your hand.’ ‘As the Lord your God lives,’ she replied, ‘I have no baked bread, but only a handful of meal in a jar and a little oil in a jug; I am just gathering a stick or two to go and prepare this for myself and my son to eat, and then we shall die.’ But Elijah said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, go and do as you have said; but first make a little scone of it for me and bring it to me, and then make some for yourself and for your son. For thus the Lord speaks, the God of Israel: Jar of meal shall not be spent, jug of oil shall not be emptied, before the day when the Lord sends rain on the face of the earth.’ The woman went and did as Elijah told her and they ate the food, she, himself and her son. The jar of meal was not spent nor the jug of oil emptied, just as the Lord had foretold through Elijah.

Psalm 63, 1-8.

O God, you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting. My body pines for you like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory. For your love is better than life, my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life, in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, my mouth shall praise you with joy.
On my bed I remember you. On you I muse through the night for you have been my help; in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.

Letter of St Paul to the Colossians 3:12-17

As the chosen of God, the holy people whom he loves, you are to be clothed in heartfelt compassion, in generosity and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other if one of you has a complaint against another. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, put on love, the perfect bond. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together in one body. Always be thankful.
Let the Word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and whatever you say or do, let it be in the name of the Lord Jesus, in thanksgiving to God the Father through him.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 27:55

Many women were there by the cross, watching from a distance, the same women who had followed Jesus and looked after him.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Tuesday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time

In Australia & New Zealand: solemnity and feast of St Mary MacKillop, Virgin

8 August 2017

Saints of the day

St. Dominic,

Priest

(1170-1221)

ST DOMINIC
Priest
(1170-1221)

        St. Dominic was born in Spain, in 1170. As a student, he sold his books to feed the poor in a famine, and offered himself in ransom for a slave.

        At the age of twenty-five he became superior of the Canons Regular of Osma, and accompanied his Bishop to France. There his heart was well-nigh broken by the ravages of the Albigenian heresy, and his life was henceforth devoted to the conversion of heretics and the defence of the Faith. For this end he established his threefold religious Order.

        The convent for nuns was founded first, to rescue young girls from heresy and crime. Then a company of apostolic men gathered around him, and became the Order of Friar Preachers. Lastly came the Tertiaries, persons of both sexes living in the world.

        God blessed the new Order, and France, Italy, Spain, and England welcomed the Preaching Friars. Our Lady took them under her special protection, and whispered to St. Dominic as he preached. It was in 1208, while St. Dominic knelt in the little chapel of Notre Dame de la Prouille, and implored the great Mother of God to save the Church, that Our Lady appeared to him, gave him the Rosary, and bade him go forth and preach. Beads in hand, he revived the courage of the Catholic troops, led them to victory against overwhelming numbers, and finally crushed the heresy.

        His nights were spent in prayer; and, though pure as a virgin, thrice before morning broke he scourged himself to blood. His words rescued countless souls, and three times raised the dead to life.

        At length, on the 6th of August, 1221, at the age of fifty-one, he gave up his soul to God.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Tuesday of the Eighteenth week in Ordinary Time

In Australia & New Zealand: solemnity and feast of St Mary MacKillop, Virgin

8 August 2017

Saints of the day

St. Mary of the Cross Mackillop,

Virgin

 

St. Mary of the Cross Mackillop,

Virgin

Mary of the Cross MacKillop was born on January 15, 1842 in Melbourne, Australia. Conditions in the mid-nineteenth century were still appallingly primitive. Poverty was rife especially in country areas, religious discrimination was widespread, the plight of the aboriginal people was deplorable, unemployment was common-place and communication was difficult in the extreme. Travel over any distance was for the fearless and tough. Many of the first settlers were of convict origin with little education and many were descendants of Irish Catholics much discriminated against because of their religion and place of origin. The Church had few priests to serve its people who were scattered around rural areas and, as a rule, experiencing poverty. Mary was the first of eight children of Scottish immigrants, Alexander MacKillop and Flora MacDonald. These Catholic parents imbued their children with a great love of their faith. The family was poor, the father often without work because he dabbled in business and politics.

Mary, in her teens, was called upon to assist the family finances by finding employment. At a young age, Mary had increasingly felt the call to live as a religious sister but she still had the obligation to care for her family. While working as a governess in Penola, she met Father Julian Tenison Woods who was parish priest of a large part of South East, South Australia. At that period of Australian history, schools, medical care and any form of social services were lacking, especially for the poor. The Catholic rural poor were especially disadvantaged. Blessed Mary’s dream of a free education for such children corresponded with the dream of Father Woods. He became her mentor and spiritual director and encouraged her vocation.

Together, they developed a plan for a congregation of sisters who would work wherever there was a need but especially in rural areas. They would live in small convents or in whatever style of dwelling that the local people had. It was a courageous plan. In January 1866 the plan was put into action. Mary and her two sisters began teaching in Penola, South Australia, in a stable refurbished by her brother. With the encouragement and mentoring of Father Woods, the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart was born. On the advice of Father Woods, Mary moved to the main South Australian city of Adelaide. On August 15, 1867 Mary and her companions professed the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Mary took the name Sister Mary of the Cross. She was joined by other young women, who responded to needsin rural areaswhere they provided, without payment, elementary teaching in religion and secular subjects to poor children who, otherwise had no hope of education. Soon afterwards Mary’s charitable heart opened to the destitute and elderly who were friendless and abandoned in a harsh society without any social welfare.

By 1869 there were sixty sisters working in schools, orphanages and refuges for women. Father Woods and Blessed Mary envisaged the sisters being governed centrally by one superior and being free to go wherever there was a need anywhere in the colonies. In a short time, therefore, the sisters could be found in the other colonies and in New Zealand. A complex set of circumstances led to the Bishop of Adelaide, who was once her friend and benefactor, excommunicating Mary in 1871 for supposed disobedience. Mary accepted the excommunication and the dismissal of many of her sisters with serenity and peace. The Bishop revoked the sentence before his death less than six months later. Mary returned to her work and the majority of the sisters, who had been sent away, returned to the Institute. They were dark days. Mary was advised to go to Rome to seek the help of Pope Pius IX. Crucial for the institute was the concept of central government, which would enable her to send the sisters anywhere there was a need, rather than be confined to a particular diocese.

While in Rome, Mary did not receive final approval for the institute—this came in 1888—but she did receive encouragement from many and especially from her three meetings with Pope PiusIX. She returned to Australia with support for central government. Back in Australia, further problems arose and Mary was ordered to leave Adelaide for Sydney where, in 1885 she was deposed as Mother General. It was not until 1899 that the sisters were free to elect her as their Mother General, an office she held until her death. She accepted these harsh changes and still retained respect for the bishops and priesthood and encouraged her sisters to do the same. Mary was untiring in her zeal for the poor. One of her favourite sayings was, “Never see a need without doing something about it.”

Her devotion to the Sacred Heart, the Blessed Sacrament and Saint Joseph impelled her to love God and His people. Her attention to the will of God enabled her to accept the joys as well as the difficulties that beset her so frequently. She wrote, “The will of God is to me a very dear book and I never tire of reading it.” Throughout her life Mary suffered from ill health and was often confined to bed with severe and debilitating headaches. But she used her illness to come closer to God. While visiting New Zealand when she was sixty years old she suffered a stroke. Her right side was impaired but she learned to write with her left hand and continued in the office of Superior General and even made several visitations to faraway convents. By 1905 deterioration was becoming evident and for the next years she suffered heroically and kept a cheerful, pleasant outlook on life, always speaking of God’s Will.

In 1909 her condition worsened and she died peacefully on August 8, 1909. Her last days were ones of sadness for those who were gathered around her. Cardinal Moran said when he left her, “I have this day attended the death-bed of a saint… Her death will bring many blessings.” One thousand sisters then in the Institute mourned her death. Mary’s remains were removed to the Memorial Chapel at the Motherhouse in North Sydney, NSW, Australia. Three popes, Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, have prayed at her tomb as have thousands of pilgrims annually from all over the world. The lasting memory many sisters had of Mary was her kindness. It was not just the kindness reflected in all the works for which she had been responsible, nor the kindness of an isolated, aloof person but the kindness which St Paul describes in his first letter to the Corinthians: Love is patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence and is not resentful. Love… elights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, to endure whatever comes(1 Cor.13: 4-7).

During his visit to Sydney for World Youth Day in July 2008, Pope Benedict XVI, in speaking of Mary MacKillop, said “I know that herperseverance in the face of adversity, her plea for justice on behalf of those unfairly treated and her practical example of holiness have become a source of inspiration for all Australians”. The Holy Father spoke again, quoting Mary MacKillop, “Believe in the whisperings of God to your heart. Believe in him. Believe in the power of the Spirit of love”. Mary was so immersed in the presence of her God that she was well placed to hear His whisperings throughout her life.

– Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Wednesday, August 2nd.   Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 13:44-46.


Wednesday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

2 August 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

Jesus said to his disciples: “The Kingdom of heaven is

like a treasure buried in a field

 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 13:44-46.

Jesus said to his disciples: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it”.

 

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017
Image: From Bible Hub

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Wednesday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

2 August 2017

Saint of the day

St. Eusebius of Vercelli,

Bishop

(† 371)

SAINT EUSEBIUS
Bishop
(† 371)

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

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

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

        He died in the latter part of the year 371.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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“Stop judging, that you may not be judged.

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Tuesday, August 1st. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 13:36-43


Tuesday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

1 August 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

 

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

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

 

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017
Image: From Bible Hub

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Tuesday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

1 August 2017

Saint of the day

St. Alphonsus Liguori,

(1696-1787)

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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“Stop judging, that you may not be judged.

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


Monday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

31 July 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017
Image: From Bible Hub

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Monday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time

31 July 2017

Saint of the day

St. Ignatius of Loyola,

Priest

(1491-1556)

SAINT IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA
Priest

(1491-1556)

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

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

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

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

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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“This is my commandment:

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“Stop judging, that you may not be judged.

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

 


Sunday, July 30th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 13:44-52.


Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

30 July 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ  

The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls.

When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it”.

 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 13:44-52.

Jesus said to his disciples: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it”.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Do you understand all these things? They answered, “Yes.”
And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.”

 

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017
Image: From Bible Hub

______________________________________

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

30 July 2017

Saints of the day

St. Peter Chrysologus,

Bishop and Doctor of the Church

(406-450)

SAINT PETER CHRYSOLOGUS
Bishop and Doctor of the Church

(406-450)

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

        He died in about 450.

The Weekday Missal (1975)

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

______________________________________

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

30 July 2017

Saints of the day

St. Germanus,

Bishop

(† 448)

ST. GERMANUS
Bishop
(† 448)

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

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

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

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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“Stop judging, that you may not be judged.

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


Saint Martha – Memorial

29 July 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah,

the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”

 

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

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

 

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017
Image: From Bible Hub

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Saint Martha – Memorial

29 July 2017

Saint of the day

St. Martha –

Memorial

 

SAINT MARTHA
Virgin
(1st century)

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

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

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

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

_________________________________

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

 

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Wednesday, June 14th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 5:17-19.


Wednesday of the Tenth week in Ordinary Time

14 June 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“Whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and

teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.”

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 5:17-19.

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

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Wednesday of the Tenth week in Ordinary Time

14 June 2017

Commentary of the day

Origen (c.185-253),

Priest and theologian
Homilies on Numbers, n° 9,4 (SC 415, p. 239 rev.)

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law…: I have come not to abolish but to fulfil” (Mt 5:17)

I should like to remind disciples of Christ of God’s goodness: let none among you allow yourselves to be shaken by the heretics if, in controversy, they say that the God of the Law is not good but just and that the Law of Moses does not teach goodness but justice. Let those detractors of both God and the Law take note of how Moses himself and Aaron fulfilled, as precursors, what the Gospel would later teach. Consider how Moses “loves his enemies and prays for those who persecute him” (Mt 5:44)…; see how, “falling prostrate”, they both pray for those who grumbled and wanted to kill them (Nb 17:10f.). Thus we find the Gospel powerfully present in the Law and should understand that the Gospels are supported on the foundation of the Law.

      As for me, I do not apply the name ‘Old Testament’ to the Law when I consder it spiritually. The Law only becomes an ‘Old Testament’ for those unwilling to understand it according to the spirit. For them, it has necessarily become ‘old’ and has aged because it cannot preserve its strength. But for us who understand and expound it in spirit and according to the sense of the Gospel, it is always new. The two Testaments are one new Testament for us, not according to date but in the newness of their meaning.

      Doesn’t the apostle John also think of it in this way when he says in his epistle: “Children, I give a new commandment to you, let us love one another”? (cf. 1Jn 2:8; 4:7; Jn 13:34). He knew that the commandment of love had long ago been given in the Law (1Jn 2:7f.; Lv 19:18). But since “love never fails” (1Cor 13:8)…, he asserts the perpetual newness of this precept that never grows old… For sinners, and for those who fail to keep the bond of charity, even the Gospels grow old. There can be no New Testament for anyone who does not “put away the old self and put on the new self, created in God’s way” (Eph 4:22.24).

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

________________________________

Wednesday of the Tenth week in Ordinary Time

14 June 2017

Saint of the day

St. Elisha,

Prophet

(9th century BC)

St. Elisha,
Prophet
(9th century BC)

 

Elisha, whose name in Hebrew means “God is Salvation,” was the son of Shaphat. He was called by the prophet Elijah while plowing his father’s fields. Elijah came and cast his mantle upon him, indicating thereby that Elisha was to succeed him.

Before Elijah was taken up in a fiery chariot and into the whirlwind, Elisha asked to “inherit a double-portion” of Elijah’s spirit.

Throughout the whole course of his life the prophet Elisha accomplished a significant number of miracles.

        He won the gratitude of the people of Jericho for healing its barren ground by adding salt to its waters.

        When the armies of Judah, Israel and Edom, then allied against Mesa, the Moabite king, were being tortured by drought in the Idumæan desert, Elisha consented to intervene. His double prediction regarding relief from drought and victory over the Moabites was fulfilled on the following morning (2 Kgs 3:4-24).

        To relieve the widow importuned by a hard creditor, Elisha so multiplied a little oil as to enable her, not only to pay her indebtedness, but to provide for her family needs (2 Kgs 4:1-7).

To reward the rich lady of Shunam for her hospitality, he restored to life her son (2 Kgs 4:18-37)

        To nourish the sons of the prophets pressed by famine, Elisha changed into wholesome food the pottage made from poisonous gourds (2 Kgs 4:38-41).

        During the military incursions of Syria into Israel, Elisha cured Naaman the Syrian of his leprosy by simply sending him word that he was to bathe in the Jordan seven times. At first reluctant, Naaman obeyed the Prophet, and after washed seven times in the Jordan, he was healed. Jesus referred to this when he said: “And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet: and none of them was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian” (Luke 4:27).

        Elisha’s life and activities are found in 1 and 2 Kings and he is commemorated on this date in the 2004 Roman Martyrology.

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Tuesday, June 13th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 5:13-16.


Tuesday of the Tenth week in Ordinary Time

13 June 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;

it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. “

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 5:13-16.

Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”

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Tuesday of the Tenth week in Ordinary Time

13 June 2017

Commentary of the day

Saint John Chrysostom (c.345-407),

Priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople,

Doctor of the Church
Sermons on Saint Matthew’s Gospel, no.15

Salt of the earth

“You are the salt of the earth”, the Saviour says, so showing them the necessity of all those precepts he has just proclaimed. “My word,” he says to them, “will not only apply to your own lives but has been entrusted to you for the whole world. I am not sending you out to two towns, nor to ten, nor twenty, nor even to a single people as was the case of prophets in former times. But I am sending you out to the earth, the sea, the whole creation (Mk 16:15), wherever evil is rampant.

Indeed, by saying to them: “You are the salt of the earth”, he showed them that all human nature is saltless, corrupted by sin. Through their ministry the Holy Spirit’s grace will regenerate and preserve the world. Hence he teaches them the virtues of the beatitudes: those that are most necessary and efficacious in anyone responsible for a multitude. Someone who is gentle, modest and merciful and does not just shut inside himself the good deeds he carries out in his mind but takes care that those lovely springs should also stream out for the good of others. Anyone who has a pure heart, who is a peacemaker, who suffers persecution for the truth is a person who consecrates his life for the good of others.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

___________________________

Tuesday of the Tenth week in Ordinary Time

13 June 2017

Saint of the day

St. Anthony of Padua,

(1195-1231)

SAINT ANTONY OF PADUA
Priest and Doctor of the Church
(1195-1231)

        In 1221 St. Francis held a general chapter at Assisi; when the others dispersed, there lingered behind, unknown and neglected, a poor Portuguese friar, resolved to ask for and to refuse nothing.

        Nine months later, Fra Antonio rose under obedience to preach to the religious assembled at Forli, when, as the discourse proceeded, “the Hammer of Heretics,” “the Ark of the Testament,” “the eldest son of St. Francis,” stood revealed in all his sanctity, learning, and eloquence before his rapt and astonished brethren.

        Devoted from earliest youth to prayer and study among the Canons Regular, Ferdinand de Bulloens, as his name was in the world, had been stirred, by the spirit and example of the first five Franciscan martyrs, to put on their habit and preach the Faith to the Moors in Africa.

        Denied a martyr’s palm, and enfeebled by sickness, at the age of twenty-seven he was taking silent but merciless revenge upon himself in the humblest offices of his community. From this obscurity he was now called forth, and for nine years France, Italy, and Sicily heard his voice, saw his miracles, and men’s hearts turned to God.

        One night, when St. Antony was staying with a friend in the city of Padua, his host saw brilliant rays streaming under the door of the Saint’s room, and on looking through the keyhole he beheld a little Child of marvellous beauty standing upon a book which lay open upon the table, and clinging with both arms round Antony’s neck. With an ineffable sweetness he watched the tender caresses of the Saint and his wondrous Visitor. At last the Child vanished, and Fra Antonio, opening the door, charged his friend, by the love of him whom he had seen, to “tell the vision to no man” as long as he was alive.

        Suddenly, in 1231, our Saint’s brief apostolate was closed, and the voices of children were heard crying along the streets of Padua, “Our father, St. Antony, is dead.” The following year, the church-bells of Lisbon rang without ringers, while at Rome one of its sons was inscribed among the Saints of God.

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

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Monday, June 12th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 5:1-12.


Monday of the Tenth week in Ordinary Time

12 June 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

“Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy”

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.”

 

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Monday of the Tenth week in Ordinary Time

12 June 2017

Commentary of the day

Saint John Chrysostom (c.345-407),

Priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople,

Doctor of the Church
Homily on Second Corinthians, 12, 4 ; PG 61, 486 (trans. ©Friends of Henry Ashworth)

“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great”

Only Christians have a true sense of values; their joys and sorrows are not the same as other people’s. The sight of a wounded boxer wearing a victory crown would make someone ignorant of the games think only of the boxer’s wounds and how painful they must be. Such a person would know nothing of the happiness the crown gives. And it is the same when people see the things we suffer without knowing why we do so. It naturally seems to them to be suffering pure and simple. They see us struggling and facing danger, but beyond their vision are the rewards, the crowns of victory — all we hope to gain through the contest! As Paul said: “We possess nothing, and yet we have everything” (2Cor 6:10)…

We too, then, when we suffer anything for Christ’s sake, should do so not simply with courage, but even with joy. If we have to go hungry, let us be glad as if we were at a banquet. If we are insulted, let us be elated as though we had been showered with praises. If we lose all we possess, let us consider ourselves the gainers. If we provide for the poor, let us regard ourselves as the recipients… Above all remember that your struggles are for the sake of the Lord Jesus. Then you will easily rise above them, and live out your lifetime in happiness; for nothing brings more happiness than a good conscience.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

______________________________

Monday of the Tenth week in Ordinary Time

12 June 2017

Saint of the day

St. John of St. Fagondez,

Priest

(+ 1479)

SAINT JOHN OF ST. FAGONDEZ
Priest

(+1479)

         St. John was born at St. Fagondez, in Spain. At an early age he held several benefices in the diocese of Burgos, till the reproaches of his conscience forced him to resign them all except one chapel, where he said Mass daily, preached, and catechised.

         After this he studied theology at Salamanca, and then labored for some time as a most devoted missionary priest. Ultimately he became a hermit of the Augustinian Order, in the same city.

        There his life was marked by a singular devotion to the Holy Mass. Each night after Matins he remained in prayer till the hour of celebration, when he offered the Adorable Sacrifice with the most tender piety, often enjoying the sight of Jesus in glory, and holding sweet colloquies with Him.

         The power of his personal holiness was seen in his preaching, which produced a complete reformation in Salamanca. He had a special gift of reconciling differences, and was enabled to put an end to the quarrels and feuds among noblemen, at that period very common and fatal. The boldness shown by St. John in reproving vice endangered his life. A powerful noble, having been corrected by the Saint for oppressing his vassals, sent two assassins to slay him. The holiness of the Saint’s aspect, however, caused by that peace which continually reigned in his soul, struck such awe into their minds that they could not execute their purpose, but humbly besought his forgiveness. And the nobleman himself, falling sick, was brought to repentance, and recovered his health by the prayers of the Saint whom he had endeavored to murder.

        He was also most zealous in denouncing those hideous vices which are a fruitful source of strife, and it was in defence of holy purity that he met his death. A lady of noble birth but evil life, whose companion in sin St. John had converted, contrived to administer a fatal poison to the Saint. After several months of terrible suffering, borne with unvarying patience, St. John went to his reward on June 11, 1479.

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

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Sunday, June 11th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John 3:16-18.


The Most Holy Trinity – Solemnity

11 June 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,

but that the world might be saved through him.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 3:16-18.

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

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The Most Holy Trinity – Solemnity

11 June 2017

Commentary of the day

Saint Ephrem (c.306-373),

Deacon in Syria, Doctor of the Church
Hymn on the Trinity

“One only God, one only Lord, in the Trinity of their persons and unity of their nature” (Preface)

Refrain: Blessed be the One who sends you!

Take as your symbols: the sun for the Father,
light for the Son,
heat for the Holy Spirit.

Though he is only one in being
we see him in trinity.
Who, indeed, can grasp the inexplicable?

He who is unique is also multiple: one is formed of three
and three of one –
What great mystery! What manifest wonder!

The sun is distinct from its shining
even while adhering to it,
for its ray is also sun.

Yet no one speaks of two suns
even though,  here below,
the sun’s ray is also sun.

No more do we say there would be two Gods.
Our Lord himself, is he not God?
He is also raised above all creatures.

Who can show how or where
the sun’s ray and its heat are joined,
free as they are?

Neither separated nor confused,
united and yet distinct,
free but bound: O wonder!

Who, by studying them, can master them?
Yet do they not seem
so simple, so uncomplicated?…

Whereas the sun remains whole above,
its brilliance and heat are a clear symbol
for those of us below.

Indeed, its shining has come down to earth
and remains in our sight
as though clothing our flesh.

When our eyes close like those of the dead
at the time of sleeping, it leaves them
who will later awake.

But how light penetrates the eye
no one knows.
Even so was it with our Lord in the womb…

Even so, our Saviour
put on a human body in all its weakness
that he might come to sanctify the world.

Yet, when the sun’s ray returns to its source,
it has still not been separated
from the one who gave it birth.

It leaves its heat to those below
as our Lord left the Holy Spirit
to the disciples.

Consider these images within the created world;
as for the Three, allow yourself no doubt
lest you be lost!

I have clarified for you what was obscure:
how Three form but One,
A Trinity composing one single essence!

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

__________________________________

The Most Holy Trinity – Solemnity

11 June 2017

The Most Holy Trinity –

Solemnity

THE MOST HOLY TRINITY

         The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith and of Christian life. God alone can make it known to us by revealing himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.    
         The Incarnation of God’s Son reveals that God is the eternal Father and that the Son is consubstantial with the Father, which means that, in the Father and with the Father the Son is one and the same God.     The mission of the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father in the name of the Son (⇒ Jn 14:26) and by the Son “from the Father” (⇒ Jn 15:26), reveals that, with them, the Spirit is one and the same God. “With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified” (Nicene Creed).    
        “The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father as the first principle and, by the eternal gift of this to the Son, from the communion of both the Father and the Son” (St. Augustine, De Trin. 15, 26, 47).    
        By the grace of Baptism “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”, we are called to share in the life of the Blessed Trinity, here on earth in the obscurity of faith, and after death in eternal light (cf. Paul VI, CPG).   
        “Now this is the Catholic faith: We worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity, without either confusing the persons or dividing the substance; for the person of the Father is one, the Son’s is another, the Holy Spirit’s another; but the Godhead of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is one, their glory equal, their majesty coeternal” (Athanasian Creed).    
        Inseparable in what they are, the divine persons are also inseparable in what they do. But within the single divine operation each shows forth what is proper to him in the Trinity, especially in the divine missions of the Son’s Incarnation and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Catechism of the Catholic Church § 261-267 – Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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The Most Holy Trinity – Solemnity

11 June 2017

Saint of the day

St. Barnabas,

Apostle

SAINT BARNABAS
Apostle

        We read that in the first days of the Church, “the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul; neither did any one say that aught of the things which he possessed was his own.” Of this fervent company, one only is singled out by name, Joseph, a rich Levite, from Cyprus. “He having land sold it, and brought the price and laid it at the feet of the apostles.” They now gave him a new name, Barnabas, the son of consolation.

        He was a good man, full of the Holy Ghost and of faith, and was soon chosen for an important mission to the rapidly-growing Church of Antioch. Here he perceived the great work which was to be done among the Greeks, so he hastened to fetch St. Paul from his retirement at Tarsus.

        It was at Antioch that the two Saints were called to the apostolate of the Gentiles, and hence they set out together to Cyprus and the cities of Asia Minor. Their preaching struck men with amazement, and some cried out, “The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men,” calling Paul Mercury, and Barnabas Jupiter.

        The Saints travelled together to the Council of Jerusalem, but shortly after this they parted. When Agabus prophesied a great famine, Barnabas, no longer rich, was chosen by the faithful at Antioch as most fit to bear, with St. Paul, their generous offerings to the Church of Jerusalem. The gentle Barnabas, keeping with him John, surnamed Mark, whom St. Paul distrusted, betook himself to Cyprus, where the sacred history leaves him; and here, at a later period, he won his martyr’s crown.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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