Friday, November 30, 2007
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 24,37-44.
For as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
In (those) days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be (also) at the coming of the Son of Man.
Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.
Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.
Pope Benedict XVI
General audience of 14/06/06 (©Libreria editrice Vaticana)
Saint Andrew, apostle of the Greek world
The first striking characteristic of Andrew, brother of Simon Peter, is his name: it is not Hebrew, as might have been expected, but Greek, indicative of a certain cultural openness in his family that cannot be ignored… In Jerusalem, shortly before the Passion, some Greeks had come to the holy city… to worship the God of Israel at the Passover Feast. Andrew and Philip, the two Apostles with Greek names, served as interpreters and mediators of this small group of Greeks with Jesus… Jesus said to the two disciples and, through them, to the Greek world: "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. I solemnly assure you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit" (Jn12, 23-24). What do these words mean in this context? Jesus wants to say: Yes, my meeting with the Greeks will take place, but not as a simple, brief conversation between myself and a few others, motivated above all by curiosity. The hour of my glorification will come with my death, which can be compared with the falling into the earth of a grain of wheat. My death on the Cross will bring forth great fruitfulness: in the Resurrection the "dead grain of wheat" - a symbol of myself crucified - will become the bread of life for the world; it will be a light for peoples and cultures…
In other words, Jesus was prophesying about the Church of the Greeks, the Church of the pagans, the Church of the world, as a fruit of his Pasch.
Some very ancient traditions see in Andrew… the Apostle to the Greeks in the years subsequent to Pentecost. They enable us to know that for the rest of his life he was the preacher and interpreter of Jesus for the Greek world. Peter, his brother, travelled from Jerusalem through Antioch and reached Rome to exercise his universal mission; Andrew, instead, was the Apostle of the Greek world. So it is that in life and in death they appear as true brothers - a brotherhood that is symbolically expressed in the special reciprocal relations of the Sees of Rome and Constantinople, which are truly Sister Churches.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
St. Saturninus was, says Tillemont, one of the most illustrious martyrs France has given to the Church. We possess only his Acts, which are very old, since they were utilized by St. Gregory of Tours. He was the first bishop of Toulouse, whither he went during the consulate of Decius and Gratus (250). Whether there were already Christians in the town or his preaching made numerous conversions, he soon had a little church. To reach it he had to pass before the capitol where there was a temple, and according to the Acts, the pagan priests ascribed to his frequent passings the silence of their oracles. One day they seized him and on his unshakeable refusal to sacrifice to the idols they condemned him be tied by the feet to a bull which dragged him about the town until the rope broke. Two Christian women piously gathered up the remains and buried them in a deep ditch, that they might not be profaned by the pagans. His successors, Sts. Hilary and Exuperius, gave him more honourable burial. A church was erected where the bull stopped. It still exists, and is called the church of the Taur (the bull). The body of the saint was transferred at an early date and is still preserved in the Church of St. Sernin (or Saturninus), one of the most ancient and beautiful of Southern France. His feast was entered on the Hieronymian Martyrology for 29 November; his cult spread abroad. The account of his Acts was embellished with several details, and legends linked his name with the beginning of the churches of Eauze, Auch, Pamplona, and Amiens, but these are without historic foundations.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Saint Clement, the third pope to rule the Roman Church after Saint Peter, reigned toward the end of the first century. He wrote the famous epistle to the Corinthians to strengthen and encourage peace and unity among them.
Christian Prayer : The Liturgy of the Hours; Daughters of St. Paul * St. Paul Editions * 1976
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.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 23,35-43.
The people stood by and watched; the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said, "He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Messiah of God."
Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine
they called out, "If you are King of the Jews, save yourself."
Above him there was an inscription that read, "This is the King of the Jews."
Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us."
The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation?
And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal."
Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
This is the only Church Jesus founded on earth upon the ‘rock’; Peter. All other churches are man made by misinterpreting the Bible. This is the Church who made the Bible! Acceptance of Peter’s primacy, the clear teaching of the Bible, is the only way to avoid confusions and contradictions in Christianity. This is the only Church with true apostolic succession, which has its members allover the world; the surest way of your salvation! Let us go to the Church, Jesus founded; where he truly lives in the Holy Eucharist!
Source: Know The Truth Magazine
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Mary, at the age of three, was brought by her parents to the Temple, in fulfillment of a vow, there to be educated. The corresponding feast originated in the Orient, probably in Syria, the home of the apocrypha. The feast is missing in the earlier Menology of Constantinople (eighth century); it is found, however, in the liturgical documents of the eleventh century. It appears in the constitution of Manuel Comnenos (1166) as a fully recognized festival during which the law courts did not sit. In the West it was introduced by a French nobleman, Philippe de Mazières, Chancellor of the King of Cyprus, who spent some time at Avignon during the pontificate of Gregory XI. It was celebrated in the presence of the cardinals (1372) with an office accommodated from the office chanted by the Greeks. In 1373 it was adopted in the royal chapel at Paris, 1418 at Metz, 1420 at Cologne. Pius II granted (1460) the feast with a vigil to the Duke of Saxony. It was taken up by many dioceses, but at the end of the Middle Ages, it was still missing in many calendars. At Toledo it was assigned (1500) by Cardinal Ximenes to September 30. Sixtus IV received it into the Roman Breviary, Pius V struck it from the calendar, but Sixtus V took it up a second time (September 1, 1585). It is now celebrated November 21.
(Principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition)
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 21,5-19.
While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, he 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.
Before all this happens, however, 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.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 20,27-38.
Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to him,
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."
Dedication of St. John Lateran
Most Catholics think of St. Peter’s as the pope’s main church, but they are wrong. St. John Lateran is the pope’s church, the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome where the Bishop of Rome presides.
The first basilica on the site was built in the fourth century when Constantine donated land he had received from the wealthy Lateran family. That structure and its successors suffered fire, earthquake and the ravages of war, but the Lateran remained the church where popes were consecrated until the popes returned from Avignon in the 14th century to find the church and the adjoining palace in ruins.
Pope Innocent X commissioned the present structure in 1646. One of Rome’s most imposing churches, the Lateran’s towering facade is crowned with 15 colossal statues of Christ, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist and 12 doctors of the Church. Beneath its high altar rest the remains of the small wooden table on which tradition holds St. Peter himself celebrated Mass.
Unlike the commemorations of other Roman churches (St. Mary Major, Sts. Peter and Paul), this anniversary is a feast. The dedication of a church is a feast for all its parishioners. St. John Lateran is, in a sense, the parish church of all Catholics, for it is the pope's parish, the cathedral church of the Bishop of Rome. This church is the spiritual home of the people who are the Church.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 19,1-10.
He came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house."
And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner."
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over."
And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost."
It is very significant and appropriate that after the Solemnity of All Saints, the Liturgy has us celebrate the Commemoration of all of the Faithful Departed. The "communion of saints", which we profess in the Creed, is a reality that is constructed here below, but is fully made manifest when we will see God "as he is" (I Jn 3: 2).
It is the reality of a family bound together by deep bonds of spiritual solidarity that unites the faithful departed to those who are pilgrims in the world. It is a mysterious but real bond, nourished by prayer and participation in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
In the Mystical Body of Christ the souls of the faithful meet, overcoming the obstacle of death; they pray for one another, carrying out in charity an intimate exchange of gifts.
In this dimension of faith one understands the practice of offering prayers of suffrage for the dead, especially in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, memorial of Christ's Pasch which opened to believers the passage to eternal life.
Dear friends, may the traditional visit of these days to the tombs of our dear departed be an occasion to fearlessly consider the mystery of death and to cultivate that constant vigilance which prepares us to meet it serenely. The Virgin Mary, Queen of Saints… will help us.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 1st November 2005)
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Today the Church, as the liturgy states, has "the joy of celebrating in one feast the merits and the glory of all the Saints" : not only of those whom she has canonized in the course of the centuries, but also of the numberless men and women whose holiness, hidden in this world, is only known to God and shines in his eternal kingdom.
Thinking of these illustrious witnesses of the Gospel, we give thanks to God, "source of all holiness" for having given them to the Church and to the world. With their example, they prove that, as the Council teaches, "All the faithful are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity" (Lumen gentium, n. 40), tending to the "high standard" of ordinary Christian life (cf. Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio ineunte, n.31).
Today's feast invites us to lift our eyes to heaven, the goal of our earthly pilgrimage. There the festive community of the saints awaits us. There we will have the company of our dear departed ones for whom we pray in tomorrow's solemn liturgical commemoration.