Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tues. January 17, 2017

Memorial of Saint Anthony, Abbot
Lectionary: 312

Reading 1HEB 6:10-20

Brothers and sisters:
God is not unjust so as to overlook your work
and the love you have demonstrated for his name
by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones.
We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness
for the fulfillment of hope until the end,
so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who,
through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.

When God made the promise to Abraham,
since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,and said, I will indeed bless you and multiply you.
And so, after patient waiting, Abraham obtained the promise.
Now, men swear by someone greater than themselves;
for them an oath serves as a guarantee
and puts an end to all argument.
So when God wanted to give the heirs of his promise
an even clearer demonstration of the immutability of his purpose,
he intervened with an oath,
so that by two immutable things,
in which it was impossible for God to lie,
we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged
to hold fast to the hope that lies before us.
This we have as an anchor of the soul,
sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil,
where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner,
becoming high priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.

Responsorial PsalmPS 111:1-2, 4-5, 9 AND 10C

R. (5) The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
He has given food to those who fear him;
he will forever be mindful of his covenant.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
He has sent deliverance to his people;
he has ratified his covenant forever;
holy and awesome is his name.
His praise endures forever.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaEPH 1:17-18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to our call.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 2:23-28

As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath,
his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain.
At this the Pharisees said to him,
"Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?"
He said to them,
"Have you never read what David did
when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry?
How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest
and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat,
and shared it with his companions?"
Then he said to them,
"The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath."

Saint January 17 : St. Anthony the Abbot : Patron of #Amputees; Butchers; #Epilepsy; graveyards; #Monks; Pigs; skin diseases;

Feast Day: January 17
Born: 251, Herakleopolis Magna, Egypt
Died: 356, Mount Colzim, Egypt
Major Shrine: Monastery of Anthony, Egypt; Vienna, Austria His body was at Saint-Antoine l'Abbaye, Isère, France
Patron of: against pestilence; amputees; animals; basket makers; basket weavers; brushmakers; butchers; cemetery workers; domestic animals; eczema; epilepsy; epileptics; ergotism; erysipelas; gravediggers; graveyards; hermits; hogs; Hospitallers; monks; pigs; relief from pestilence; shingles; skin diseases; skin rashes; swine; swineherds

Founder of Christian monasticism. The chief source of information on St. Anthony is a Greek Life attributed to St. Athanasius (ca. 296-373). Anthony was born at Coma, near Heracleopolis Magna in Fayum, about the middle of the third century. He was the son of well-to-do parents, and on their death, in his twentieth year, he inherited their possessions. He had a desire to imitate the life of the Apostles and the early Christians, and one day, on hearing in the church the Gospel words, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell all thou hast", he received them as spoken to himself, disposed of all his property and goods, and devoted himself exclusively to religious exercises. Long before this it had been usual for Christians to practice asceticism, abstain from marriage and exercising themselves in self-denial, fasting, prayer, and works of piety; but this they had done in the midst of their families, and without leaving house or home. Later on, in Egypt, such ascetics lived in huts, in the outskirts of the towns and villages, and this was the common practice about 270, when Anthony withdrew from the world. He began his career by practising the ascetical life in this fashion without leaving his native place. He used to visit the various ascetics, study their lives, and try to learn from each of them the virtue in which he seemed to excel. Then he took up his abode in one of the tombs, near his native village, and there it was that the Life records those strange conflicts with demons in the shape of wild beasts, who inflicted blows upon him, and sometimes left him nearly dead.
After fifteen years of this life, at the age of thirty-five, Anthony determined to withdraw from the habitations of men and retire in absolute solitude. He crossed the Nile, and on a mountain near the east bank, then called Pispir, now Der el Memum, he found an old fort into which he shut himself, and lived there for twenty years without seeing the face of man, food being thrown to him over the wall. He was at times visited by pilgrims, whom he refused to see; but gradually a number of would-be disciples established themselves in caves and in huts around the mountain, Thus a colony of ascetics was formed, who begged Anthony to come forth and be their guide in the spiritual life. At length, about the year 305, he yielded to their importunities an emerged from his retreat, and, to the surprise of all, he appeared to be as when he had gone in, not emaciated, but vigorous in body and mind.
For five or six years he devoted himself to the instruction and organization of the great body of monks that had grown up around him; but then he once again withdrew into the inner desert that lay between the Nile and the Red Sea, near the shore of which he fixed his abode on a mountain where still stands the monastery that bears his name, Der Mar Antonios. Here he spent the last forty-five years of his life, in a seclusion, not so strict as Pispir, for he freely saw those who came to visit him, and he used to cross the desert to Pispir with considerable frequency. The Life says that on two occasions he went to Alexandria, once after he came forth from the fort at Pispir, to strengthen the Christian martyrs in the persecution of 311, and once at the close of his life (c. 350), to preach against the Arians. The Life says he died at the age of a hundred and five, and St. Jerome places his death in 356-357. All the chronology is based on the hypothesis that this date and the figures in the Life are correct. At his own request his grave was kept secret by the two disciples who buried him, lest his body should become an object of reverence.
Of his writings, the most authentic formulation of his teaching is without doubt that which is contained in the various sayings and discourses put into his mouth in the Life, especially the long ascetic sermons (16-43) spoken on his coming forth from the fort at Pispir. It is an instruction on the duties of the spiritual life, in which the warfare with demons occupies the chief place. Though probably not an actual discourse spoken on any single occasion, it can hardly be a mere invention of the biographer, and doubtless reproduces St. Anthony's actual doctrine, brought together and co-ordinated. It is likely that many of the sayings attributed to him in the "Apophthegmata" really go back to him, and the same may be said of the stories told of him in Cassian and Palladius. There is a homogeneity about these records, and a certain dignity and spiritual elevation that seem to mark them with the stamp of truth, and to justify the belief that the picture they give us of St Anthony's personality, character, and teaching is essentially authentic. A different verdict has to be passed on the writings that go under his name, to be found in P.G., XL. The Sermons and twenty Epistles from the Arabic are by common consent pronounced wholly spurious. St. Jerome (Illustrious Men 88) knew seven epistles translated from the Coptic into Greek; the Greek appears to be lost, but a Latin version exists (ibid.), and Coptic fragments exist of three of these letters, agreeing closely with the Latin; they may be authentic, but it would be premature to decide. Better is the position of a Greek letter to Theodore, preserved in the "Epistola Ammonis ad Theophilum", sect. 20, and said to be a translation of a Coptic original; there seems to be no sufficient ground for doubting that it really was written by Anthony (see Butler, Lausiac History of Palladius, Part I, 223). The authorities are agreed that St. Anthony knew no Greek and spoke only Coptic. There exists a monastic Rule that bears St. Anthony's name, preserved in Latin and Arabic forms (P.G., XL, 1065). While it cannot be received as having been actually composed by Anthony, it probably in large measure goes back to him, being for the most part made up out of the utterances attributed to him in the Life and the "Apophthegmata"; it contains, however, an element derived from the spuria and also from the "Pachomian Rules". It was compiled at an early date, and had a great vogue in Egypt and the East. At this day it is the rule followed by the Uniat Monks of Syria and Armenia, of whom the Maronites, with sixty monasteries and 1,100 monks, are the most important; it is followed also by the scanty remnants of Coptic monachism. It will be proper to define St. Anthony's place, and to explain his influence in the history of Christian monachism. He probably was not the first Christian hermit; it is more reasonable to believe that, however little historical St. Jerome's "Vita Pauli" may be, some kernel of fact underlies the story (Butler, op. cit., Part I, 231, 232), but Paul's existence was wholly unknown unknown till long after Anthony has become the recognized leader of Christian hermits. Nor was St. Anthony a great legislator and organizer of monks, like his younger contemporary Pachomius; for, though Pachomius's first foundations were probably some ten or fifteen years later than Anthony's coming forth from his retreat at Pispir, it cannot be shown that Pachomius was directly influenced by Anthony, indeed his institute ran on quite different lines. And yet it is abundantly evident that from the middle of the fourth century throughout Egypt, as elsewhere, and among the Pachomian monks themselves, St. Anthony was looked upon as the founder and father of Christian monachism.
This great position was no doubt due to his commanding personality and high character, qualities that stand out clearly in all the records of him that have come down. The best study of his character is Newman's in the "Church of the Fathers" (reprinted in "Historical Sketches"). The following is his estimate: "His doctrine surely was pure and unimpeachable; and his temper is high and heavenly, without cowardice, without gloom, without formality, without self-complacency. Superstition is abject and crouching, it is full of thoughts of guilt; it distrusts God, and dreads the powers of evil. Anthony at least had nothing of this, being full of confidence, divine peace, cheerfulness, and valorousness, be he (as some men may judge) ever so much an enthusiast" (op. cit., Anthony in Conflict). Full of enthusiasm he was, but it did not make him fanatical or morose; his urbanity and gentleness, his moderation and sense stand out in many of the stories related of him. Abbot Moses in Cassian (Coll. II) says he had heard Anthony maintaining that of all virtues discretion was the most essential for attaining perfection; and the little known story of Eulogius and the Cripple, preserved in the Lausiac History (xxi), illustrates the kind of advice and direction he gave to those who sought his guidance.
The monasticism established under St. Anthony's direct influence became the norm in Northern Egypt, from Lycopolis (Asyut) to the Mediterranean. In contradistinction to the fully coenobitical system, established by Pachomius in the South, it continued to be of a semi-eremetical character, the monks living commonly in separate cells or huts, and coming together only occasionally for church services; they were left very much to their own devices, and the life they lived was not a community life according to rule, as now understood (see Butler, op. cit., Part I, 233-238). This was the form of monastic life in the deserts of Nitria and Scete, as portrayed by Palladius and Cassian. Such groups of semi-independent hermitages were later on called Lauras, and have always existed in the East alongside of the Basilian monasteries; in the West St. Anthony's monachism is in some measure represented by the Carthusians. Such was St. Anthony's life and character, and such his role in Christian history. He is justly recognized as the father not only of monasticism, strictly so called, but of the technical religious life in every shape and form. Few names have exercised on the human race an influence more deep and lasting, more widespread, or on the whole more beneficent.
Edited from The Catholic Encyclopedia - Image SHARED from Google Images

Monday, January 16, 2017

Saint January 16 : St. Berard of Carbio : Friar Minor : Martyr

St. Berard of Carbio
Feast: January 16

Feast Day:January 16
Carbio, Umbria, Italy
Died16 January 1220, Morocco
Canonized:1481, Rome by Pope Sixtus IV
Of the noble family of Leopardi, and a native of Carbio in Umbria, Berard was received into the Franciscan Order by the Seraphic Patriarch  himself, in 1213. He was well versed in Arabic, an eloquent preacher, and was chosen by St. Francis, together with two other priests, Peter and Otho, and two lay-brothers, Accursius and Adjutus, to evangelize the infidels of the East. On the conclusion of the Second General Chapter in 1219, St. Francis believed that the time had then come for the religious of his order to extend their apostolic labours beyond the Italian peninsula and Northern Europe; and, choosing for himself and twelve other religious the greater part of Syria and Egypt, he allotted to Berard and his companions the missions of Morocco. The five missionaries set sail from Italy, and after sojourning some time in Spain and Portugal finally arrived in the Kingdom of Morocco. Their open preaching of the Gospel there and their bold denunciation of the religion of Mahomet soon caused them to be apprehended and cast into prison. Having vainly endeavoured to persuade them to abandon the true religion, the Moorish king in a fit of rage opened their heads with his scimitar, and thus were offered to God the first fruits of the blood of the Friars Minor. Berard and his companions were canonized by Sixtus V, in 1481. The feast of the martyrs of Morocco is kept in the order on the 16th of January.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

#BreakingNews Alex C. Jones Deacon has Died - convert from Pentecostalism - RIP

Alex C. Jones a convert from the Pentecostal Faith has died. He was featured on EWTN's Journey Home (see video below). Jones also wrote a book about his conversion. He then entered the Deaconate and was a popular speaker. Eternal Rest grant unto him O Lord. Please say a prayer for his soul and his family.
Here is his biography from his website: 
I am in my early seventies, born in 1941, and married to Donna Camille. Donna and I have three grown sons: Joseph, Benjamin, and Marc, twelve lovely grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. I graduated from Wayne State University in 1965 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education, and received a MAPS Degree (Masters in Pastoral Studies) from Sacred Heart Major Seminary in 2007. I taught in the Detroit school system for twenty-eight years. 
From April 1975 to December 2000 I was the senior minister of two churches in the city of Detroit: Zion Congregational Church of God in Christ (1975-1982), the second oldest Pentecostal church in Michigan, and Maranatha Christian Church (1982-2000), an Evangelical/Charismatic church.
In March of 1998, while reading the apostolic fathers and subsequent church history in preparation for a Wednesday evening bible study, I discovered the Church to be charismatic/liturgical, hierarchical, and Eucharistic-centered.  In light of that discovery, Donna and I began a two-year journey into the Catholic Church that culminated in fifty-four members of my previous congregation, including fourteen members of my family, entering the Catholic Church.  We entered R.C.I.A. at St. Suzanne Catholic Community on September 10, 2000, and were welcomed into the Catholic Church through confirmation during Easter Vigil on April 14, 2001.

I was ordained a Permanent Deacon in the Archdiocese of Detroit on October 1, 2005.  On May 31, 2007 I retired from the position of evangelization coordinator for the Archdiocese of Detroit.   As of July 1, 2013 I have retired from both my positions as deacon at St. Suzanne/OLGH and as Pastoral Associate at SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church.  My Archbishop is Allen Vigneron.  I am a member of Prince of Peace Catholic Church, and my pastor is Fr. Ronald Jozwiak.  A letter of commendation is available upon request.
I am also the author of No Price too High! - a book chronicling my journey into the Church.
Here is an exerpt from that book:
"Some of the reactions I got when Catholics found out I was coming into the Church were disheartening. One priest actually asked why I would want to come into the Church. And there were other Catholics who expressed similar sentiments. There was no universal concept. They felt everyone has his own religion and it works for him--so great! They believed the unity lies in the belief in God and in Jesus Christ, not in the governmental unity of the church. Hey, we're all going to heaven, so just stay where you are! They are trying to be magnanimous. What they failed to realize is that when a person's heart has been stirred to see the truth of the Church, that kind of thinking comes across almost as that of an apostate....I don't think those people know what they are saying. It is a tremendous hindrance to tell someone seeking the truth to say where he is."
Book Description:
Alex Jones was an "on-fire" Pentecostal minister in Detroit who was a completely dedicated shepherd of his flock. He greatly loved his people and they loved him. In seeking to give his flock the most genuine experience of the early Church prayer and worship services, he carefully read Scripture, the Fathers of the Church and writings of the early saints. The more he read, the more Alex came to the startling conclusion that the present day Catholic Church - and the Holy Mass - is the same exact "worship service " from the very early Church. Alex began to share his findings with his parish, and eventually Alex, and most of his parish, joined the Catholic Church. This is his incredible story of a black Pentecostal minister's challenging and dramatic spiritual journey, and the flock that followed him. Today he preaches with his usual passion about Christ - as a Catholic deacon! This book tells the story of Alex's life from his childhood all the way to his conversion to Catholicism in 2001. It simultaneously tells the story of his wife, Donna, and her spiritual journey as well, which shows how they were not always on the same path during Alex's preparation for entering the Catholic Church. Each had to be personally, deeply convinced that this momentous, life-changing and career-changing spiritual decision was God's will for them. Illustrated with numerous photos.
No Price too High! - can be purchased on Amazon

#PopeFrancis “Never end the day without making peace,” #HolyMass Video + Text

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said Mass at the Roman parish of Saint Mary in Setteville on Sunday afternoon. The Holy Father made a pastoral visit to the parish, leaving the Vatican at 3PM Rome Time, and spending the afternoon with parishioners, clergy and staff.
The visit featured  moments with the sick of the parish, including a private meeting with one of the parish curates, don Giuseppe Berardino, who suffers from ALS – with the children and young people in the parish’s catechetical programmes – with the parents fo children baptized during the course of the past year – and with parishioners who contribute to Santa Maria’s pastoral outreach initiatives.
The Holy Father spoke briefly, off the cuff, to each group, beginning with the sick and troubled of the parish. “Jesus,” said Pope Francis, “desired to be close to us also in His [own] pain, with his passion, with His [own] suffering, and Jesus is close to you.”
“He himself said: ‘If you go to find a sick person, you go to find me.’ Jesus is here with the sick, with those who have problems,” continued Pope Francis. “I know that when we suffer, when there are problems, it is difficult to understand, but it is not a question of understanding: it is a question of feeling, of feeling the caresses of Jesus – that’s it – and this consoles – and in order that all of you should be able to feel these caresses of Jesus, I will give you my blessing.”
To children and young people, Pope Francis spoke warmly, thanking the younger children for the drawings they gave him, and encouraging the older ones not to become “strangers” to parish life and to the life of faith. “The Lord has given you this grace [of Confirmation],” he said. “Do not make Confirmation the ‘See you later,’ Sacrament – until your wedding day.” Pope Francis went on to say, “That’s a lot of years to go without a community, and you have been chosen by the Lord to make a community.”
In a question-and-answer session with a few of the young people, Pope Francis offered a glimpse into his own journey of faith, saying, “Sometimes, I think  of how in some moments, faith dropped so much that I could not find it and I lived as if I had no faith. Then, one finds faith again. The ups and downs of life also shock us at first, and that moves you and makes you lose some faith, but then as time goes by you find it again, see? There is a passage in the Gospel when Jesus says: ‘Everything is possible for the one who has faith.’ Everything – and the father of the sick child – the  father had taken the child to be healed by Jesus – what did he say to Jesus? ‘Lord, I believe – only  help my unbelief.’ Faith is not always so: there are dark days, days all [plunged in] darkness – even I have walked for days like that in my life as well. Only, be not afraid: pray and be patient, and then the Lord shows up, makes us grow in faith and makes you go forward.”
To illustrate the point, the Holy Father said, “Some days you do not see the faith: it is dark – and when one sees disasters, and sees that – [Saturday], for example, when I baptized 13 children [born after the earthquakes in central Italy], there was the father of one of the children, who had lost his wife. ‘I lost my love,’ he said. One thinks, ‘But can this man have faith, after this tragedy?’ – and you know it is dark, there. [Should I say], ‘If you do not have faith...?’ [No.] Shut up. Accompany him. Respect the darkness of the soul. Then will the Lord awaken faith – you see, faith is a gift from God. Our job is only to preserve it.”
Then Pope Francis spoke with the parents of children baptized during the course of the past year, offering two of his favorite pieces of advice: do not fight in front of the children, and do not go to sleep without making peace. “It’s normal,” he said, “arguing is part of life. But the advice that I give to you, is that your children never hear or see you fight: if you want to say things to each other, go in the [other] room, close the door and say everything – have it out. It is healthy, because even blowing off steam is healthy – only do not let them see it, because children suffer, they feel abandoned when parents argue.”
Then, “Never end the day without making peace,” he said. “[T]he ‘cold war’ of the day after is very dangerous: do not end the day without making peace.”
In remarks to all the faithful of the parish present for the Mass, following the readings of the day, Pope Francis spoke of the need to avoid gossip. “The Apostles,” he said, “were not gossipers: they did not speak ill of others, did not speak badly of each other. In this they were good. They didn’t talk behind each other’s’ backs.”
“[T]he Apostles did bad things: they betrayed the Lord, but not this,” Pope Francis continued. “We are all sinners,” he said, “but a community where there are gossips and trash-talkers, is a community that is incapable of giving witness.”

#PopeFrancis "May the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Lamb of God, help us to believe..." #Angelus FULL TEXT + Video

Before the Angelus:
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
At the heart of today’s Gospel is this word of John the Baptist: “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (v. 29) — a word, accompanied by a look and gesture of the hand that indicates Him, Jesus.
We imagine the scene. We are on the bank of the river Jordan. John is baptizing; there are so many people, men and women of different ages, who have come there, to the river, to receive Baptism from the hands of that man who reminded many of Elias, the great prophet who nine centuries before had purified the Israelites of idolatry and led them back to true faith in the God of the Covenant, the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob.
John preaches that the Kingdom of Heaven is close, that the Messiah is about to manifest Himself and that it is necessary to prepare oneself, to be converted and to behave with justice; and he begins to baptize in the Jordan to give the people a concrete means of penance (cf. Matthew 3:1-6). These people were coming to repent of their sins, to do penance, to begin their life again. He knows, John knows that the Messiah, the Lord’s consecrated, is now close, and the sign to recognize Him will be that the Holy Spirit will alight on Him; in fact He will bring the true Baptism, Baptism in the Holy Spirit (cf. John1:33).
And behold, the moment arrives: Jesus appears on the bank of the river, in the midst of the people, of sinners — as all of us –. And His first public act, the first thing he does when He leaves the house of Nazareth at thirty years of age: He goes down to Judea, goes to the Jordan and has John baptize Him. We know what happens — we celebrated it last Sunday –: the Holy Spirit alights on Jesus in the shape of a dove and the voice of the Father proclaims Him beloved Son (cf. Matthew 3:16-17). It is the sign John was awaiting. It is He! Jesus is the Messiah. John is disconcerted, because He manifested Himself in an unthinkable way: amid sinners, baptized like them, rather, by them. However, the Spirit illumines John and makes him understand that in this way God’s justice is fulfilled, His plan of salvation is accomplished: Jesus is the Messiah, the King of Israel, but not with the power of this world, but rather as Lamb of God, who takes upon Himself and takes away the sin of the world.
John Indicates Him thus to the people and to his disciples, because John had a numerous circle of disciples, who had chosen him as spiritual guide, and some of them in fact would become the first disciples of Jesus. We know well their names: Simon later called Peter, his brother Andrew, James and his brother John — all fishermen, all Galileans, like Jesus.
Dear brothers and sisters, why have we paused at length on this scene? Because it is decisive! It is not an anecdote. It is a decisive historical fact! This scene is decisive for our faith, and it is also decisive for the mission of the Church. The Church is called at all times to do what John the Baptist did, to point out Jesus to the people, saying: “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” He is the only Savior! He is the Lord, humble, in the midst of sinners, but it is He, He: there is no other powerful one coming; no, no, it is He!
And these are the words that we priests repeat every day during the Mass, when we present to the people the bread and wine that have become the Body and Blood of Christ. This liturgical gesture represents the whole mission of the Church, which does not proclaim herself. Woe betide, woe betide when the Church proclaims herself; she loses her compass, knows not where she is going!  The Church proclaims Christ; she does not bring herself, she brings Christ. Because it is He and He alone who saves His people from sin, who frees them and guides them to the land of true freedom.
May the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Lamb of God, help us to believe in and to follow Him.
After the Angelus  
Dear brothers and sisters,
Today the World Day of Migrants and Refugees is being observed, dedicated to the theme “Minor migrants, vulnerable and voiceless.” These little brothers of ours, especially if they are not accompanied, are exposed to so many dangers. And I tell you, there are so many! It is necessary to adopt every possible measure to guarantee to minor migrants protection and defense, as well as their integration.
A special greeting goes to the representations of different ethnic communities gathered here. Dear friends, I hope you can live serenely in the localities that receive you, respecting their laws and traditions and, at the same time, protecting the values of your native cultures. The encounter of various cultures is always an enrichment for all! I thank the Migrants Office of the Diocese of Rome and all those that work with migrants to receive and accompany them in their difficulty, and I encourage them to continue in this work, recalling the example of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Patroness of migrants, the centenary of whose death is observed this year. This courageous Sister dedicated her life to bring the love of Christ to all those who were far from their homeland and their family. May her testimony help you to take care of your foreign brother, in whom Jesus is present, often suffering, rejected and humiliated. How many times in the Bible the Lord asks us to welcome migrants and foreigners, reminding us that we are also foreigners!
I greet you all affectionately, dear faithful from the different parishes of Italy and of other countries, as well as the associations and various groups, in particular, the students of the Melendez Valdes de Villafranca de los Barros Institute of Spain.
I wish you all a good Sunday and good lunch. And, please, do not forget to pray for me. Thank you!
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]

Sunday Mass Online : Sunday January 15, 2017 - #Eucharist

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 64

Reading 1IS 49:3, 5-6

The LORD said to me: You are my servant,
Israel, through whom I show my glory.
Now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
that Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, the LORD says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Responsorial PsalmPS 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10

R. (8a and 9a) Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God.
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or offering you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, "Behold I come."
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
"In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
to do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!"
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.

Reading 21 COR 1:1-3

Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
and Sosthenes our brother,
to the church of God that is in Corinth,
to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy,
with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

AlleluiaJN 1:14A, 12A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us.
To those who accepted him,
he gave power to become children of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 1:29-34

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
"Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
He is the one of whom I said,
'A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.'
I did not know him,
but the reason why I came baptizing with water
was that he might be made known to Israel."
John testified further, saying,
"I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven
and remain upon him.
I did not know him,
but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me,
'On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain,
he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'
Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God."

Saint January 15 : St. Ita : Religious : Patron of Ireland

475, County of Waterford, Ireland
15 January 570
Patron of:
Diocese of Limerick, Ireland

St. Ita was born of Christian parents towards the end of the fifth century. She belonged to the noble tribe of the Decii in County Waterford. All her early biographers favor the pleasant metaphor describing her as the 'Brigid of Munster'. Actually the differences were more striking than the resemblances between those two foremost women saints of the Celtic church (see St. Brigid). Brigid's effective life as a nun was spent in continual movement. When she had made a success of one convent settlement, she moved off to found another. Organization was her bent. Ita did just the opposite. Instead of entering one of Brigid's convents, she founded another in a district where there was none, at Killeedy, County Limerick. There she remained all her life, courting retirement. Again, there is an emphasis on austerity in Ita's life not found in Brigid's. Ita's mortifications were on a par with those of the greatest contemporary missionaries.

A strongly individualistic character is glimpsed in the legends of Ita. When she decided to settle in Killeedy, a chieftain offered her a large grant of land to support the convent. But Ita would accept only four acres, which she cultivated intensively. The convent became known as a training school for little boys, many of whom later became famous churchmen. One of these was St. Brendan, whom Ita accepted in fosterage when he was a year old and kept until he was six. The great Navigator revisited her between his voyages and always deferred to her counsel. He once asked her what were the three clings which God most detested, and she replied: 'A scowling face, obstinacy in wrong-doing, and too great a confidence in the power of money'. St. Mochoemoc, whom because of his beauty she called 'Pulcherius', was another great personage of the Celtic church she fostered in infancy.
Ita died on January 15th, which is now kept as her feast, about the year 570. There is a strong local cult of her in Munster, particularly in Waterford and Limerick, and her name is a popular one for Irish girls. In the middle of the nineteenth century a new move was made in Ireland for the development of her cult, when Bishop Butler of Limerick obtained from Pope Pius IX a special office and mass for her feast

Saturday, January 14, 2017

#PopeFrancis "Mother Teresa...was accepting of every human life, whether unborn or abandoned and discarded, and she made her voice heard by the powers of this world" FULL TEXT

Pope Francis address to the Roman Roundtable of the Global Foundation on Saturday which involved 50 participants and observers for a two-day meeting January 13th and 14th.
Based in Melbourne, Australia, the Global Foundation is a worldwide network of concerned citizen-leaders. 
Below, please find the full text of Pope Francis’ prepared remarks to the participants, in their official English translation
Address of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Round Table of The Global Foundation
14 January 2017
Dear Friends,
I am pleased to join you for this new edition of the Roman Roundtable of The Global Foundation.  Inspired by the Foundation’s motto – “Together We Strive for the Global Common Good” – you have gathered to discern just ways of attaining a globalization that is “cooperative”, and thus positive, as opposed to the globalization of indifference.  You seek to ensure that the global community, shaped by the institutions, agencies and representatives of civil society, can effectively achieve international goals and obligations that have been solemnly declared and assumed, such as those of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Before all else, I would restate my conviction that a world economic system that discards men, women and children because they are no longer considered useful or productive according to criteria drawn from the world of business or other organizations, is unacceptable, because it is inhumane.  This lack of concern for persons is a sign of regression and dehumanization in any political or economic system.  Those who cause or allow others to be discarded – whether refugees, children who are abused or enslaved, or the poor who die on our streets in cold weather – become themselves like soulless machines.  For they implicitly accept the principle that they too, sooner or later, will be discarded, when they no longer prove useful to a society that has made mammon, the god of money, the centre of its attention.
In 1991, Saint John Paul II, responding to the fall of oppressive political systems and the progressive integration of markets that we have come to call globalization, warned of the risk that an ideology of capitalism would become widespread.  This would entail little or no interest for the realities of marginalization, exploitation and human alienation, a lack of concern for the great numbers of people still living in conditions of grave material and moral poverty, and a blind faith in the unbridled development of market forces alone.  My Predecessor asked if such an economic system would be the model to propose to those seeking the road to genuine economic and social progress, and offered a clearly negative response.  This is not the way (cf. Centesimus Annus, 42).
Sadly, the dangers that troubled Saint John Paul II have largely come to pass.  At the same time, we have seen the spread of many concrete efforts on the part of individuals and institutions to reverse the ills produced by an irresponsible globalization.  Mother Teresa of Calcutta, whom I had the joy of canonizing several months ago, and who is a symbol and icon of our time, in some way represents and recapitulates those efforts.  She bent down to comfort the poorest of the poor, left to die on the streets, recognizing in each of them their God-given dignity.  She was accepting of every human life, whether unborn or abandoned and discarded, and she made her voice heard by the powers of this world, calling them to acknowledge the crimes of poverty that they themselves were responsible for (cf. Homily for the Canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, 4 September 2016).
This is the first attitude leading to fraternal and cooperative globalization.  It is necessary above all for each of us, personally, to overcome our indifference to the needs of the poor.  We need to learn “com-passion” for those suffering from persecution, loneliness, forced displacement or separation from their families.  We need to learn to “suffer with” those who lack access to health care, or who endure hunger, cold or heat.
This compassion will enable those with responsibilities in the worlds of finance and politics to use their intelligence and their resources not merely to control and monitor the effects of globalization, but also to help leaders at different political levels – regional, national and international – to correct its orientation whenever necessary.  For politics and the economy ought to include the exercise of the virtue of prudence.
The Church remains ever hopeful, for she is conscious of the immense potential of the human mind whenever it lets itself be helped and guided by God, and of the good will present in so many people, small and great, poor and rich, businessmen and labourers alike.  For this reason, I encourage you to draw constant inspiration from the Church’s social teaching as you continue your efforts to promote a cooperative globalization, working with civil society, governments, international bodies, academic and scientific communities, and all other interested parties.  I offer you my cordial good wishes for every success in your endeavours.
I thank all of you for your attention and I assure you of my prayers.  I also ask you to bring my personal greetings, together with my blessing, to your families and all your associates.