Daily Readings 20150703

Feast of Saint Thomas, Apostle
Lectionary: 593

Reading 1 EPH 2:19-22

Brothers and sisters:
You are no longer strangers and sojourners,
but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones
and members of the household of God,
built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets,
with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.
Through him the whole structure is held together
and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord;
in him you also are being built together
into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm PS 117:1BC, 2

R. (Mark 16:15) Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
Praise the LORD, all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
For steadfast is his kindness for us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.

Alleluia JN 20:29

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord;
blessed are those who have not seen, but still believe!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 20:24-29

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But Thomas said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
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Daily Readings 20150526

Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, Priest
Lectionary: 348

Reading 1 SIR 35:1-12

To keep the law is a great oblation,
and he who observes the
commandments sacrifices a peace offering.
In works of charity one offers fine flour,
and when he gives alms he presents his sacrifice of praise.
To refrain from evil pleases the LORD,
and to avoid injustice is an atonement.
Appear not before the LORD empty-handed,
for all that you offer is in fulfillment of the precepts.
The just one’s offering enriches the altar
and rises as a sweet odor before the Most High.
The just one’s sacrifice is most pleasing,
nor will it ever be forgotten.
In a generous spirit pay homage to the LORD,
be not sparing of freewill gifts.
With each contribution show a cheerful countenance,
and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy.
Give to the Most High as he has given to you,
generously, according to your means.

For the LORD is one who always repays,
and he will give back to you sevenfold.
But offer no bribes, these he does not accept!
Trust not in sacrifice of the fruits of extortion.
For he is a God of justice,
who knows no favorites.

Responsorial Psalm PS 50:5-6, 7-8, 14 AND 23

R. (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Gather my faithful ones before me,
those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
And the heavens proclaim his justice;
for God himself is the judge.
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Hear, my people, and I will speak;
Israel, I will testify against you;
God, your God, am I.
Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
for your burnt offerings are before me always.”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Offer to God praise as your sacrifice
and fulfill your vows to the Most High.
He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

Alleluia SEE MT 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MK 10:28-31

Peter began to say to Jesus,
‘We have given up everything and followed you.”
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.
But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

Saint of the day 20150324

24 March


SAINT CATHARINE OF SWEDEN

Virgin

(1330 + 1381)

        St. CatharineE was daughter of Ulpho, Prince of Nericia in Sweden, and of St. Bridget. The love of God seemed almost to prevent in her the use of her reason. At seven years of age she was placed in the nunnery of Risburgh, and educated in piety under the care of the holy abbess of that house.

        Being very beautiful, she was, by her father, contracted in marriage to Egard, a young nobleman of great virtue; but the virgin persuaded him to join with her in making a mutual vow of perpetual chastity. By her discourser he became desirous only of heavenly graces, arid, to draw them down upon his soul more abundantly, he readily acquiesced in the proposal.

        The happy couple, having but one heart and one desire, by a holy emulation excited each other to prayer, mortification, and works of charity.

        After the death of her father, St. Catharine, out of devotion to the Passion of Christ and to the relics of the martyrs, accompanied her mother in her pilgrimages and practices of devotion and penance.

        After her mother’s death at Rome, in 1373, Catharine returned to Sweden, and died abbess of Vadzstena, or Vatzen, on the 24th of March in 1381.

        For the last twenty-five years of her life she every day purified her soul by a sacramental confession of her sins.

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




Other saints: Saint Macartan (- 506)

He was a convert from paganism and a companion of St Patrick, who made him bishop of Clogher in 454. He is the patron saint of the diocese.

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Readings 20150324

http://www.legrc.org/regnum_db/archivos_db/podcast-en/med240315.mp3


The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2015. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com

 

FOOD POISON?

  “The people complained against God and Moses…In punishment the Lord sent among the people saraph serpents, which bit the people so that many of them died.” —Numbers 21:5-6  

Hundreds and thousands of Israelites were repeatedly destroyed because of their sins (see 1 Cor 10:8-10Nm 25:1-9; 14:37). Their basic sin was idolatry, and a significant part of this sin was their craving for the food of slavery. They wanted meat, fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, garlic (Nm 11:4-5), grain, figs, grapes, and pomegranates (Nm 20:5). The Israelites were disgusted with the “wretched” food God gave them (Nm 21:5). They complained about the manna God miraculously gave them each day for free. 

Is an inordinate desire for food contributing to the sin of idolatry in your life? Ezekiel prophesied: “They shall not be allowed to satisfy their craving or fill their bellies, for this has been the occasion of their sin” (Ez 7:19). Paul spoke of people who “will end in disaster! Their god is their belly and their glory is in their shame” (Phil 3:19). He was talking about “enemies of the cross” (Phil 3:18), “those who are set upon the things of this world” (Phil 3:19). Paul warned us to avoid the company of those who cause dissension and scandal through deception and flattery (Rm 16:17-18). “Such men serve, not Christ our Lord, but their own bellies” (Rm 16:18). “My little children, be on your guard against idols” (1 Jn 5:21), including the idol of food.

  Prayer: Father, as I fast this Lent, make me aware of temptations to gluttony and idolatry. Promise: “You belong to what is below; I belong to what is above. You belong to this world — a world which cannot hold Me. That is why I said you would die in your sins. You will surely die in your sins unless you come to believe that I AM.” —Jn 8:23-24 Praise: After confessing his sexual sin, Andrew was able, by the grace of God, to sin no more (see Jn 8:11).    
  Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2014. 
 
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements 


The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net

Do you know the healing power of the cross of Jesus Christ? When the people of Israel were afflicted with serpents in the wilderness because of their sin, God instructed Moses: “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live” (Numbers 21:8). The visible sign of the “fiery bronze serpent” being lifted up in the sight of the people reminded them of two important facts – sin leads to death and repentance leads to God’s mercy and healing. The lifting up of the bronze serpent on a wooden pole points to Jesus Christ being lifted up on the wooden cross at Calvary where he took our sins upon himself to make atonement to the Father on our behalf. The cross of Christ broke the curse of sin and death and won pardon, healing, and everlasting life for all who believe in Jesus, the Son of God and Savior of the world. 

Either for him or against him 
While many believed in Jesus and his message, many others, including the religious leaders, opposed him. Some openly mocked him when he warned them about their sin of unbelief. It’s impossible to be indifferent to Jesus’ word and his judgments. We are either for him or against him. There is no middle ground or neutral parties. 

When Jesus spoke about “going away” he was referring to his return in glory to his Father in heaven. Jesus warned his opponents that if they continued to disobey God’s word and reject him, they would shut themselves off from God and  die in their sins. Jesus’ words echoed the prophetic warning given to Ezekiel (see Ezekiel 3:18 and 18:18) when God warned his people to heed his word before the time is too late. God gives us time to turn to him and to receive his grace and pardon, but that time is right now. 

To sin literally means to miss the mark or to be off target. The essence of sin is that it diverts us from God and from our true purpose in life – to know the source of all truth and beauty which is God himself and to be united with God in everlasting joy. When Adam and Eve yielded to their first sin of disobedience, they literally tried to hide themselves from God’s presence (Genesis 3:8-10). That is what sin does; it separates us from the One who is not only “all-seeing” and “ever present”, but who is also “all loving” and “merciful” and eager to receive us. When God calls you to turn your gaze and attention towards him, do you try to hide yourself from his presence with other distractions and excuses that keep you from seeking him and listening to his voice? 

The proof of God’s love for us 
Jesus went on to explain to people that if they could not recognize his voice when they heard his word, they would have the opportunity to recognize him when he is “lifted up” on the cross. Jesus pointed to the atoning sacrifice of his life on the cross as the true source of healing and victory over sin and reconciliation with God. The sacrifice of Jesus’ life on the cross is the ultimate proof of God’s love for us. 

God so loved the world that he gave us his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

To fail to recognize who Jesus is and where he came from is to remain in darkness – the darkness of sin, ignorance, and unbelief. But if we look to Jesus and listen to his word of life and truth, then we will find the way to lasting peace and joy with God. The Lord Jesus invites each one of us to accept him as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Our time here in this present world is very limited and short, but how we live it today has consequences not only for the present moment but for our eternal destiny as well. Which direction is your life headed in right now?

“Lord Jesus, you came to set us free from sin, doubt, fear, and ignorance. Your word brings life, truth, and healing to mind, heart, soul, and body. Let your healing love free me from the blindness of sin and disbelief and from the destructive force of evil and wrongdoing. May I always find peace, joy, and strength in knowing your merciful love, truth, and goddness.”

Saint of the day 20150323

23 March


SAINT TURIBIUS of MONGROVEJO 

Archbishop of Lima 

(1538-1606)

        Turibius Alphonsus Mongrovejo, whose feast the Church honors on April 27th, was born on the 6th of November, 1538, at Mayorga in the kingdom of Leon in Spain. Brought up in a pious family where devotion was hereditary, his youth was a model to all who knew him. All his leisure was given to devotion or to works of charity. His austerities were great, and he frequently made long pilgrimages on foot.

        The fame of Turibius as a master of canon and civil law soon reached the ears of King Philip II., who made him judge at Granada. About that time the see of Lima, in Peru, fell vacant, and among those proposed Philip found no one who seemed better endowed than our Saint with all the qualities that were required at that city, where much was to be done for religion. He sent to Rome the name of the holy judge, and the Sovereign Pontiff confirmed his choice. Turibius in vain sought to avoid the honor. The Pope, in reply, directed him to prepare to receive Holy Orders and be consecrated. Yielding at last by direction of his confessor, he was ordained priest and consecrated.

        He arrived at Lima in 1587, and entered on his duties. All was soon edification and order in his episcopal city. A model of all virtue himself, he confessed daily and prepared for Mass by long meditation. St. Turibius then began a visitation of his vast diocese, which he traversed three times, his first visitation lasting seven years and his second four. He held provincial councils, framing decrees of such wisdom that his regulations were adopted in many countries. Almost his entire revenues were bestowed on his creditors, as he styled the poor.

        While discharging with zeal his duties he was seized with a fatal illness during his third visitation, and died on the 23d of March, 1606, at Santa, exclaiming, as he received the sacred Viaticum: “I rejoiced in the things that were said to me: ‘We shall go into the house of the Lord.'”

        The proofs of his holy life and of the favors granted through his intercession induced Pope Innocent XI to beatify him, and he was canonized by Pope Benedict XIII in the year 1726.

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




St Turibius of Mongrovejo (1538 – 1606)

He was born in Spain in about 1538 and studied law at the university of Salamanca. He was named bishop of Lima in 1580 and sailed to America. Full of apostolic zeal, he traversed his gigantic diocese three times, generally on foot, baptizing, teaching and confirming the natives. He assembled many synods and councils to make the Church strong, organised, and above all holy; and he strongly defended the rights of the natives, who were Spanish citizens according to the law but who were nevertheless being oppressed by the colonists and the provincial governors. He died in Lima on 23 March 1606. See the articles in WIkipedia and the Catholic Encyclopaedia.

You will see these texts in a more readable format and with a better layout (especially for verse) if you use the free Catholic Calendar app from Universalis.

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Catholic Calendar is free.


You may also be interested in the full Universalis app.

  • The official Grail translation of the Psalms.
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  • The “Mass Today” page contains the exact liturgy for today all in one place, both the Order of Mass and the prayers, antiphons and readings.
  • A perpetual liturgical calendar covering all years.
  • Local liturgical calendars for over 20 countries and dioceses.
  • A choice of views: either scrolling like a web page or page-turning like an e-book.
  • Access to all texts for all dates, past, present and future. 
  • Complete independence from the Internet. Everything is stored within the application itself.

AppStore link

Universalis costs £9.99 / $13.99 / €12.99 from the App Store.

Alternatively you can pay nothing to start with and then subscribe for £0.69 / $0.99 / €0.89 per month. To do this, get the free Catholic Calendar app and press the “Try or buy” button in the calendar.


Readings 20150323

http://www.legrc.org/regnum_db/archivos_db/podcast-en/med230315.mp3


The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net

When accusations are brought against you, how do you respond and where do you turn for help? The Book of Daniel tells the story of Susanna, a godly woman who loved God and his word. She was unjustly accused of adultery by two elder judges who had tried to seduce her. Since adultery was a serious offense punishable by stoning to death, the law of Moses required at least two witnesses, rather than one, to convict a person. Susanna knew she had no hope of clearing her good reputation and escaping death apart from God’s merciful intervention. Daniel tells us that she looked up to heaven and cried out to the Lord for his help (Daniel 13:35). The two elders who wanted to sin with her had done just the opposite – they hid themselves from God’s sight and they kept their secret sin hidden from the people as well. They brought false charges against her in revenge for her refusal to sin with them. God in his mercy heard the plea of Susanna and he punished the two elders for giving false witness.

Unjust accusations against Jesus 
The Gospel accounts frequently describe how Jesus had to face unjust accusations made by the Pharisees, the ruling elders of Israel. They were upset with Jesus’ teaching and they wanted to discredit him in any way they could. They wanted to not only silence him, but to get rid of him because of his claim to speak with God’s authority. When a moral dilemma or difficult legal question arose, it was typical for the Jews to take the matter to a rabbi for a decision. The scribes and the Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. John writes that they wanted to “test” Jesus on the issue of retribution so ” they might have some charge to bring against him” (John 8:6).

Jewish law treated adultery as a serious crime since it violated God’s ordinance and wreaked havoc on the stability of marriage and family life. It was one of the three gravest sins punishable by death. If Jesus said the woman must be pardoned, he would be accused of breaking the law of Moses. If  he said the woman must be stoned, he would lose his reputation for being the merciful friend of sinners.

Jesus then does something quite unexpected – he begins to write in the sand. The word for “writing” which is used here in the Gospel text has a literal meaning “to write down a record against someone” (for another example see Job 13:26). Perhaps Jesus was writing down a list of the sins of the accusers standing before him. Jesus now turns the challenge towards his accusers. In effect he says: Go ahead and stone her! But let the man who is without sin be the first to cast a stone. The Lord leaves the matter to their own consciences.

Pardon, restoration, and new life 
When the adulterous woman is left alone with Jesus, he both expresses mercy and he strongly exhorts her to not sin again. The scribes wished to condemn, Jesus wished to forgive and to restore the sinner to health. His challenge involved a choice – either to go back to her former way of sin and death or to reach out to God’s offer of forgiveness, restoration, and new life in his kingdom of peace and righteousness. Jesus gave her pardon and a new start on life. God’s grace enables us to confront our sin for what it is – unfaithfulness to God, and to turn back to God with a repentant heart and a thankful spirit for God’s mercy and forgiveness. Do you know the joy of repentance and a clean conscience?

“God our Father, we find it difficult to come to you, because our knowledge of you is imperfect. In our ignorance we have imagined you to be our enemy; we have wrongly thought that you take pleasure in punishing our sins; and we have foolishly conceived you to be a tyrant over human life. But since Jesus came among us, he has shown that you are loving, that you are on our side against all that stunts life, and that our resentment against you was groundless. So we come to you, asking you to forgive our past ignorance, and wanting to know more and more of you and your forgiving love, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (Prayer of Saint Augustine)


The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2015. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com  

THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE CULTURE OF DEATH

  “The Lord heard her prayer. As she was being led to execution, God stirred up the holy spirit of a young boy named Daniel, and he cried aloud.” —Daniel 13:44-46  

Susanna was “a very beautiful and God-fearing woman” (Dn 13:2). “Her pious parents had trained their daughter according to the law of Moses” (Dn 13:3). Susanna was happily married to Joakim, a very rich man who was the most respected of all the Jews in Babylon (Dn 13:4). Susanna was blessed with children in her marriage (Dn 13:30). Susanna was a very holy, beautiful woman, a beloved daughter, faithful wife, and devoted mother. 

Then two wicked judges tried to force her to commit adultery with them by threatening to falsely accuse her of adultery and condemn her to death, if she did not give in to them. Susanna, however, chose to remain pure, faithful, and holy, even though she would lose her life, good reputation, marriage, and family (Dn 13:23). This was not the first evil act these judges had committed. They had subverted justice by “passing unjust sentences, condemning the innocent, and freeing the guilty” (Dn 13:53). They had also sexually abused several other women (Dn 13:57). 

The Lord saved Susanna’s life and reputation. He saved Susanna’s husband, parents, and children from being disgraced and traumatized. He stopped the judges’ subversion of justice and sexual abuse, which had gone on for years. The Lord transformed a perverted society by stirring up “the holy spirit of a young boy named Daniel” (Dn 13:45). 

We also need the Holy Spirit to be stirred up in us (see 2 Tm 1:6-7) and transform our culture of death into a civilization of life and love. Come, Holy Spirit this Lent, Easter, and Pentecost!

  Prayer: Holy Spirit, cry out in my heart “Abba” (“Father”) (Gal 4:6).Promise: “Nor do I condemn you. You may go. But from now on, avoid this sin.” —Jn 8:11 Praise: St. Toribio baptized and confirmed nearly a million people as bishop of Peru.    
  Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2014. 
 
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements