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Pentecost Sunday – Birthday of the Church

Sunday, December 3rd. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Mark 13:33-37.


First Sunday of Advent

3 December 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

What I say to you, I say to all:

‘Watch!'”

 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 13:33-37.

Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
Watch, therefore; you do not know when the lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!'”

 

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

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First Sunday of Advent

3 December 2017

Saint of the day

St. Francis Xavier,

Priest

(1506-1552) –

Memorial

SAINT FRANCIS XAVIER
Priest
(1506-1552)

Young Spanish gentleman, in the dangerous days of the Reformation, was making a name for himself as a Professor of Philosophy in the University of Paris, and had seemingly no higher aim, when St. Ignatius of Loyola won him to heavenly thoughts.

        After a brief apostolate amongst his countrymen in Rome he was sent by St. Ignatius to the Indies, where for twelve years he was to wear himself out, bearing the Gospel to Hindostan, to Malacca, and to Japan. Thwarted by the jealousy, covetousness, and carelessness of those who should have helped and encouraged him, neither their opposition nor the difficulties of every sort which he encountered could make him slacken his labors for souls.

        The vast kingdom of China appealed to his charity, and he was resolved to risk his life to force an entry, when God took him to Himself, and on the 2d of December, 1552, he died, like Moses, in sight of the land of promise.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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First Sunday of Advent

3 December 2017

Advent is a season observed in many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at  Christmas. The term is a version of the Latin word meaning “coming”.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Saturday, December 2nd. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 21:34-36.


Saturday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

2 December 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

“Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape

the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”

 

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

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

 

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
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Image: From Bible Hub

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Saturday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

2 December 2017

Saints of the day

St. Bibiana,

Virgin and Martyr

(4th century)

SAINT BIBIANA
Virgin and Martyr
(4th century)

        St. Bibiana was a native of Rome. Flavian, her father, was apprehended, burned in the face with a hot iron, and banished to Aequapendente, where he died of his wounds a few days after; and her mother, Dafrosa, was some time after beheaded.

        Bibiana and her sister Demetria, after the death of their parents, were stripped of all they had in the world and suffered much from poverty. Apronianus, Governor of Rome, summoned them to appear before him. Demetria, having made confession of her faith, fell down and expired at the foot of the tribunal, in the presence of the judge.

        Apronianus gave orders that Bibiana should be put into the hands of a wicked woman named Rufina, who was to bring her to another way of thinking; but Bibiana, making prayer her shield, remained invincible. Apronianus, enraged at the courage and perseverance of a tender virgin, ordered her to be tied to a pillar and whipped with scourges loaded with leaden plummets till she expired.

        The Saint underwent this punishment cheerfully, and died in the hands of the executioners.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Saturday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

2 December 2017

Saints of the day

Bl. Ivan Slezyuk,

Bishop

(1896-1973)

Blessed Ivan Slezyuk
Bishop of the “clandestine” Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
(1896-1973)

        The Blessed Bishop was born on 14 January 1896 in the village of Zhyvachiv, Stanislaviv (now Ivano-Frankivsk) Region. After graduating from the seminary in 1923, he was ordained to the priesthood. In April 1945 Bishop Hryhory Khomyshyn ordained him as his Co-adjutor with the right of succession as a precaution in case Bishop Khomyshyn should be arrested.

        However, shortly thereafter on 2 June 1945, Bishop Ivan was arrested and deported for ten years to the labour camps in Vorkuta, Russia. In 1950 he was transferred to the labour camps in Mordovia, Russia. After his release on 15 November 1954, he returned to Ivano-Frankivsk.

        In 1962, he was arrested for the second time and imprisoned for five years in a camp of strict regiment. After his release on 30 November 1968, he had to often go to the KGB for regular “talks.”
The last visit was two weeks before his death, which was on 2 December 1973 in Ivano-Frankivsk.
He was beatified on 27 June 2001 by pope John Paul II.

© Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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Thursday, November 30th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 4:18-22


Saint Andrew, apostle – Feast

30 November 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ  

“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 4:18-22

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them,
and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.

 

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
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Image: From Bible Hub

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Saint Andrew, apostle – Feast

30 November 2017

Saint of the day

St. Andrew,

Apostle

SAINT ANDREW
Apostle
(1st century)

        St. Andrew was one of the fishermen of Bethsaida, and brother, perhaps elder brother, of St. Peter, and became a disciple of St. John Baptist. He seemed always eager to bring others into notice; when called himself by Christ on the banks of the Jordan, his first thought was to go in search of his brother, and he said, “We have found the Messias,” and he brought him to Jesus. It was he again who, when Christ wished to feed the five thousand in the desert, pointed out the little lad with the five loaves and fishes.

        St. Andrew went forth upon his mission to plant the faith in Scythia and Greece, and at the end of years of toil to win a martyr’s crown. After suffering a cruel scourging at Patræ in Achaia, he was left, bound by cords, to die upon a cross. When St. Andrew first caught sight of the gibbet on which he was to die, he greeted the precious wood with joy. “O good cross! ” he cried, “made beautiful by the limbs of Christ, so long desired, now so happily found! Receive me into thy arms and present me to my Master, that He Who redeemed me through thee may now accept me from thee.”

        Two whole days the martyr remained hanging on this cross alive, preaching, with outstretched arms from this chair of truth, to all who came near, and entreating them not to hinder his passion.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Wednesday, November 29th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 21:12-19.


Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

29 November 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

You will be hated by all because of my name,

but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.

 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 21:12-19.

Jesus said to the crowd: “They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”

 

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
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Image: From Bible Hub

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Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

29 November 2017

Saint of the day

St. Saturninus,

Bishop and Martyr

(† 250)

SAINT SATURNINUS
Bishop and Martyr
(† 250)

        Saturninus went from Rome, by direction of Pope Fabian, about the year 245, to preach the faith in Gaul. He fixed his episcopal see at Toulouse, and thus became the first Christian bishop of that city. There were but few Christians in the place. However, their number grew fast after the coming of the Saint; and his power was felt by the spirits of evil, who received the worship of the heathen. His power was felt the more because he had to pass daily through the capitol, the high place of the heathen worship, on the way to his own church.

        One day a great multitude was gathered by an altar, where a bull stood ready for the sacrifice. A man in the crowd pointed out Saturninus, who was passing by, and the people would have forced him to idolatry; but the holy bishop answered: “I know but one God, and to Him I will offer the sacrifice of praise. How can I fear gods who, as you say, are afraid of me?” On this he was fastened to the bull, which was driven down the capitol. The brains of the Saint were scattered on the steps. His mangled body was taken up and buried by two devout women.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Tuesday, November 28th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 21:5-11.


Tuesday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

28 November 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

“All that you see here–the days will come when there will not be

left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 21:5-11.

While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said,
“All that you see here–the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”
Then they asked him, “Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?”
He answered, “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them!
When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.”
Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”

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

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Tuesday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

28 November 2017

Saint of the day

St. James of the Marches,

Franciscan Priest

(1394-1476)

SAINT JAMES OF THE MARCHES OF ANCONA
Franciscan
Priest
(1394-1476)

        The small town of Montbrandon, in the Marches of Ancona, gave birth to this Saint. When young he was sent to the University of Perugia, where his progress in learning soon qualified him to be chosen preceptor to a young gentleman of Florence. Fearing that he might be ingulfed in the whirlpool of world excesses, St. James applied himself to prayer and recollection.

        When travelling near Assisium he went into the great Church of the Portiuncula to pray, and being animated by the fervor of the holy men who there served God, and by the example of their blessed founder St. Francis, he determined to petition in that very place for the habit of the Order. He began his spiritual war against the devil, the world, and the flesh, with assiduous prayer and extraordinary fasts and watchings. For forty years he never passed a day without taking the discipline.

        Being chosen Archbishop of Milan, he fled, and could not be prevailed on to accept the office. He wrought several miracles at Venice and at other places, and raised from dangerous sicknesses the Duke of Calabria and the King of Naples.

        The Saint died in the convent of the Holy Trinity of his Order, near Naples, on the 28th of November, in the year 1476, being ninety years old, seventy of which he had spent in a religious state.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Monday, November 27th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 21:1-4.


Monday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

27 November 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ  

“I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest;

 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 21:1-4.

When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury
and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins.
He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest;
for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”

 

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

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Monday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

27 November 2017

Saints of the day

St. Maximus,

Bishop

(† 460)

Image: N/A

SAINT MAXIMUS
Bishop
(† 460)

        St. Maximus, abbot of Lerins, in succession to St. Honoratus, was remarkable not only for the spirit of recollection, fervor, and piety familiar to him from very childhood, but still more for the gentleness and kindliness with which he governed the monastery which at that time contained many religious, and was famous for the learning and piety of its brethren.

Exhibiting in his own person an example of the most sterling virtues, his exhortations could not fail to prove all-persuasive: loving all his religious, whom it was his delight to consider as one family, he established amongst them that sweet concord, union, and holy emulation for well-doing which render the exercise of authority needless, and makes submission a pleasure.

        The clergy and people of Frejus, moved by such a shining example, elected Maximus for their bishop, but he took to flight; subsequently he was compelled, however, to accept the see of Riez, where he practiced virtue in all gentleness, and died in 460, regretted as the best of fathers.

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Monday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

27 November 2017

Saints of the day

St. Virgil,

Bishop

(† 784)

Saint Virgil
Bishop
(c. 8th century – 784)

        St. Virgil, bishop of Salzburg in Austria and apostle of Carinthia, was placed among the number of saints by Pope Gregory IX.

The Roman Martyrology

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Sunday, November 26th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Matthew 25:31-46.


Christ the King – Solemnity

26 November 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him,

he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him.

 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 25:31-46.

Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’
Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’
He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’
And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

 

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

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Christ the King – Solemnity

26 November 2017

Our Lord Jesus Christ the King –

Solemnity

OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST THE KING
(Solemnity)

        The solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ the King indicates the end of the liturgical year.
The Gospel of this Sunday gives us a light for our life and for our behavior. The Kingdom of Christ does not belong to this world; even if the Lord said that his Kingdom is between us. The Gospel of the first Sunday of Advent will clarify about the end of the world, about the second coming of Christ and his advent in the glory.

        The Church, because of her wisdom, proclaims that Jesus is really the Lord of the time and the eternity. Liturgical year helps us in path to salvation showing that life has a meaning, a future: being with God. Let us be on the watch… giving thanks for this year, in the joyful wait of Advent, in the contemplation of mystery of “God-with-us”, in faithful of his mercy that opens the door of the world that comes.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Christ the King – Solemnity

26 November 2017

Saints of the day

St. Peter of Alexandria,

Bishop & Martyr

(† 311)

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

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

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

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

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Christ the King – Solemnity

26 November 2017

Saints of the day

St. Sylvester,

Abbot

(† 1267)

Saint Sylvester
Abbot
(† 1267)

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

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

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

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

The Roman Breviary (1964)

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Saturday, November 25th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 20:27-40.


Saturday of the Thirty-third week in Ordinary Time

25 November 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ 

“Teacher, you have answered well.”

 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 20:27-40.

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to Jesus,
saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, ‘If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.’
Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless.
Then the second
and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless.
Finally the woman also died.
Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her.”
Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called ‘Lord’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”
Some of the scribes said in reply, “Teacher, you have answered well.”
And they no longer dared to ask him anything.

 

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

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Saturday of the Thirty-third week in Ordinary Time

25 November 2017

Saint of the day

St. Catherine of Alexandria,

Virgin & Martyr

(† c. 307)

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

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

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

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

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Friday, November 24th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 19:45-48.


Friday of the Thirty-third week in Ordinary Time

24 November 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ  

“It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,

but you have made it a den of thieves.'”

 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 19:45-48.

Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things,
saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.'”
And every day he was teaching in the temple area. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile, were seeking to put him to death,
but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on his words.

 

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017
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Friday of the Thirty-third week in Ordinary Time

24 November 2017

Saint of the day

St. Andrew Dung-Lac and his companions,

Martyrs

(1745-1862) –

Memorial

SAINTS ANDREW DUNG-LAC
Priest,
AND HIS COMPANIONS
(18th and 19th centuries)

        This feast day celebrates all of the martyrs of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries (1745-1862) who shed their blood in the remote Far East, particularly in Vietnam. Many of the martyrs were priests of the Dominican order. Others belonged to the Paris Society for Foreign Missions, while still others, including Andrew Dung-Lac, were Vietnamese.

Paul Le-Bao-Tinh, a Vietnamese seminarian, wrote in a letter of 1843, shortly before his martyrdom:

“I, Paul, chained for the name of Christ, wish to tell you the tribulations in which I am immersed every day, so that you, inflamed with love for God, may also lift up your praise to God, ‘for his mercy endures forever’. This prison is truly the image of the eternal Hell: to the cruelest tortures of all types, such as fetters, iron chains and bonds, are added hate, vindictiveness, calumny, indecent words, interrogations, bad acts, unjust oaths, curses and finally difficulties and sorrow. But God, who once freed the three boys from the path of the flames, is always with me and has freed me from these tribulations and converted them into sweetness, ‘for his mercy endures forever….
Assist me with your prayers so that I may struggle according to the law, and indeed ‘fight the good fight’ and that I may be worthy to fight until the end, finishing my course happily; if we do not see each other again in this life, in the future age, nonetheless, this will be our joy, when standing before the throne of the spotless Lamb, with one voice we sing his praises, exulting in the joy of eternal victory. Amen.”

 

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Thursday, November 23th. Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke 19:41-44.


Thursday of the Thirty-third week in Ordinary Time

23 November 2017

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ  

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying,

“If this day you only knew what makes for peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes.

 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 19:41-44.

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it,
saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes.
For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.
They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

 

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

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Thursday of the Thirty-third week in Ordinary Time

23 November 2017

Saints of the day

St. Columban,

Abbot

(† 615)

SAINT COLUMBAN
Abbot
(† 615(

         Saint Columban was born in Ireland before the middle of the sixth century.

         He was well trained in the classics and theology. After entering the monastic life, he went to France and founded many monasteries which he ruled with strict discipline. After being forced into exile, he went to Italy and founded the monastery of Bobbio.

        He died in 615.

Christian Prayer : The Liturgy of the Hours; Daughters of St. Paul * St. Paul Editions * 1976

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Lord,
you called Saint Columban to live the monastic life
and to preach the gospel with zeal.
May his prayers and his example
help to us to seek you above all things
and to work with all our hearts
for the spread of the faith.
Grant  this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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Thursday of the Thirty-third week in Ordinary Time

23 November 2017

Saints of the day

St. Clement I,

Pope and martyr

(† 100)

SAINT CLEMENT I
POPE AND MARTYR
(† 100)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Let us devote our attention to the Apostolic Fathers, that is, to the first and second generations in the Church subsequent to the Apostles. And thus, we can see where the Church’s journey begins in history.

St Clement, Bishop of Rome in the last years of the first century, was the third Successor of Peter, after Linus and Anacletus. The most important testimony concerning his life comes from St Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons until 202. He attests that Clement “had seen the blessed Apostles”, “had been conversant with them”, and “might be said to have the preaching of the apostles still echoing [in his ears], and their traditions before his eyes” (Adversus Haer. 3, 3, 3).

Later testimonies which date back to between the fourth and sixth centuries attribute to Clement the title of martyr.

The authority and prestige of this Bishop of Rome were such that various writings were attributed to him, but the only one that is certainly his is the Letter to the Corinthians. Eusebius of Caesarea, the great “archivist” of Christian beginnings, presents it in these terms: “There is extant an Epistle of this Clement which is acknowledged to be genuine and is of considerable length and of remarkable merit. He wrote it in the name of the Church of Rome to the Church of Corinth, when a sedition had arisen in the latter Church. We know that this Epistle also has been publicly used in a great many Churches both in former times and in our own” (Hist. Eccl. 3, 16).

An almost canonical character was attributed to this Letter. At the beginning of this text – written in Greek – Clement expressed his regret that “the sudden and successive calamitous events which have happened to ourselves” (1, 1) had prevented him from intervening sooner. These “calamitous events” can be identified with Domitian’s persecution: therefore, the Letter must have been written just after the Emperor’s death and at the end of the persecution, that is, immediately after the year 96.

Clement’s intervention – we are still in the first century – was prompted by the serious problems besetting the Church in Corinth: the elders of the community, in fact, had been deposed by some young contestants. The sorrowful event was recalled once again by St Irenaeus who wrote: “In the time of this Clement, no small dissension having occurred among the brethren in Corinth, the Church in Rome dispatched a most powerful Letter to the Corinthians exhorting them to peace, renewing their faith and declaring the tradition which it had lately received from the Apostles” (Adv. Haer. 3, 3, 3).

Thus, we could say that this Letter was a first exercise of the Roman primacy after St Peter’s death. Clement’s Letter touches on topics that were dear to St Paul, who had written two important Letters to the Corinthians, in particular the theological dialectic, perennially current, between the indicative of salvation and the imperative of moral commitment.

First of all came the joyful proclamation of saving grace. The Lord forewarns us and gives us his forgiveness, gives us his love and the grace to be Christians, his brothers and sisters.
It is a proclamation that fills our life with joy and gives certainty to our action: the Lord always forewarns us with his goodness and the Lord’s goodness is always greater than all our sins.

However, we must commit ourselves in a way that is consistent with the gift received and respond to the proclamation of salvation with a generous and courageous journey of conversion.

In comparison with the Pauline model, the innovation added by Clement is to the doctrinal and practical sections, which constituted all the Pauline Letters, a “great prayer” that virtually concludes the Letter.

The Letter’s immediate circumstances provided the Bishop of Rome with ample room for an intervention on the Church’s identity and mission. If there were abuses in Corinth, Clement observed, the reason should be sought in the weakening of charity and of the other indispensable Christian virtues.

He therefore calls the faithful to humility and fraternal love, two truly constitutive virtues of being in the Church: “Seeing, therefore, that we are the portion of the Holy One”, he warned, “let us do all those things which pertain to holiness” (30, 1).

In particular, the Bishop of Rome recalls that the Lord himself, “where and by whom he desires these things to be done, he himself has fixed by his own supreme will, in order that all things, being piously done according to his good pleasure, may be acceptable unto him…. For his own peculiar services are assigned to the high priest, and their own proper place is prescribed to the priests, and their own special ministries devolve on the Levites. The layman is bound by the laws that pertain to laymen” (40, 1-5: it can be noted that here, in this early first-century Letter, the Greek word “laikós” appears for the first time in Christian literature, meaning “a member of the laos”, that is, “of the People of God”).

In this way, referring to the liturgy of ancient Israel, Clement revealed his ideal Church. She was assembled by “the one Spirit of grace poured out upon us” which breathes on the various members of the Body of Christ, where all, united without any divisions, are “members of one another” (46, 6-7).

The clear distinction between the “lay person” and the hierarchy in no way signifies opposition, but only this organic connection of a body, an organism with its different functions. The Church, in fact, is not a place of confusion and anarchy where one can do what one likes all the time: each one in this organism, with an articulated structure, exercises his ministry in accordance with the vocation he has received.

With regard to community leaders, Clement clearly explains the doctrine of Apostolic Succession. The norms that regulate it derive ultimately from God himself. The Father sent Jesus Christ, who in turn sent the Apostles. They then sent the first heads of communities and established that they would be succeeded by other worthy men.

Everything, therefore, was made “in an orderly way, according to the will of God” (42). With these words, these sentences, St Clement underlined that the Church’s structure was sacramental and not political.

The action of God who comes to meet us in the liturgy precedes our decisions and our ideas. The Church is above all a gift of God and not something we ourselves created; consequently, this sacramental structure does not only guarantee the common order but also this precedence of God’s gift which we all need.

Finally, the “great prayer” confers a cosmic breath to the previous reasoning. Clement praises and thanks God for his marvellous providence of love that created the world and continues to save and sanctify it.

The prayer for rulers and governors acquires special importance. Subsequent to the New Testament texts, it is the oldest prayer extant for political institutions. Thus, in the period following their persecution, Christians, well aware that the persecutions would continue, never ceased to pray for the very authorities who had unjustly condemned them.

The reason is primarily Christological: it is necessary to pray for one’s persecutors as Jesus did on the Cross.

But this prayer also contains a teaching that guides the attitude of Christians towards politics and the State down the centuries. In praying for the Authorities, Clement recognized the legitimacy of political institutions in the order established by God; at the same time, he expressed his concern that the Authorities would be docile to God, “devoutly in peace and meekness exercising the power given them by [God]” (61, 2).

Caesar is not everything. Another sovereignty emerges whose origins and essence are not of this world but of “the heavens above”: it is that of Truth, which also claims a right to be heard by the State.

Thus, Clement’s Letter addresses numerous themes of perennial timeliness. It is all the more meaningful since it represents, from the first century, the concern of the Church of Rome which presides in charity over all the other Churches.

In this same Spirit, let us make our own the invocations of the “great prayer” in which the Bishop of Rome makes himself the voice of the entire world: “Yes, O Lord, make your face to shine upon us for good in peace, that we may be shielded by your mighty hand… through the High Priest and Guardian of our souls, Jesus Christ, through whom be glory and majesty to you both now and from generation to generation, for evermore” (60-61).

BENEDICT XVI General audience (March 7,  2007)

© Copyright 2007 – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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All-powerful and ever-living God,
we praise your power and glory revealed to us in the lives of all your saints.
Give us joy on this feast of Saint Clement,
the priest and martyr who bore witness with his blood
to the love he proclaimed and the gospel he preached.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

 

©Evangelizo.org 2001-2017

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“This is my commandment:

Love one another as I love you.”

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

THE LORD IS KIND AND MERCIFUL