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Sunday, January 5, 2014

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : JAN. 5, 2014 - SHARE

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CATHOLIC RECIPE BOOK - 3 KINGS CAKE FOR EPIPHANY


WHAT IS EPIPHANY - MEANS TO MANIFEST - NOVENA PRAYER


FREE CATHOLIC MOVIES - 4TH WISE MAN - STARS MARTIN SHEEN

300 BIBLES SEIZED AND CHRISTIANS ARRESTED IN MALAYSIA - ASIA


2014



POPE FRANCIS "SO GOD IS GOD WITH US, GOD WHO LOVES US..." ANGELUS VIDEO/TEXT

VATICAN REPORT: At 12 am today, the Holy Father Francis appeared at the window of the study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.
These are the words of the Pope in introducing the Marian prayer:
● Before the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
The liturgy of this Sunday before us again, in the Prologue of the Gospel of St. John, the deeper meaning of Christmas Jesus He is the Word of God who became man and he has put his "tent," his dwelling among men. The Evangelist writes: "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us" ( Jn 1:14). In these words, which never cease to amaze us, there is all the Christianity! God became mortal, frail like us, he shared our human condition, except sin, but took upon himself our as if they were their own. It 'came in our history, became fully God-with-us! The birth of Jesus, then, shows us that God wanted to join every man and woman, to every one of us, to communicate his life and his joy.

So God is God with us, God who loves us, God who walks with us. This is the message of Christmas: the Word was made flesh. So Christmas reveals the immense love of God for humanity. Hence the enthusiasm, the hope of Christians, in our poverty that we know to be loved, to be visited, to be accompanied by God, and look at the world and in history as the place where to walk with him and between us, towards the new heavens and the new earth. With the birth of Jesus was born a new promise, a new world is born, but also a world that can always be renewed. God is always present to raise new men to cleanse the world of sin that gets old, the sin that corrupts. As human history and that of each of us may be marked by difficulties and weaknesses, faith in the Incarnation tells us that God is in solidarity with the man and his history. This proximity of God to man, every man, every one of us, is a gift that never sets! He is with us! He is God with us! And this close to never sets. Here is the good news of Christmas: the divine light that filled the hearts of the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, and guided the steps of the shepherds and the magi, shines for us today.
In the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God, there is also an aspect of human freedom, the freedom of each of us. In fact, the Word of God pitches his tent among us, sinners in need of mercy. And we should all rush to receive the grace that He offers us. Instead, he continues the Gospel of St. John, "his people received him not" (v. 11). We, too many times we reject it, we prefer to stay in the closure of our mistakes and anguish of our sins. But Jesus does not give up and never ceases to offer himself and his grace that saves us! Jesus is patient, Jesus knows how to wait, there is always waiting. This is a message of hope, a message of salvation, ancient and ever new. And we are called to witness to the Gospel message with this joy of life, the Gospel of light, hope and love. Because the message of Jesus is this: life, light, hope, love.
Mary, Mother of God and our loving Mother, always sustain us, because we remain faithful to our Christian vocation and carry out the wishes of justice and peace that we carry within us the beginning of this new year.
[00007-01.01] [Original text: Italian]

INTERNET TRANSLATION

POPE FRANCIS WILL VISIT THE HOLY LAND

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis will make a papal visit to the Holy Land in May of this year. The Holy Father made the announcement after the recitation of the Sunday Angelus overlooking a rainy St Peter’s Square. Speaking to pilgrims who braved the elements to hear his words, the Pope said, “in the climate of joy, typical of this Christmas season , I wish to announce that from 24 to 26 May next, God willing, I will make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land .

The Holy Father went on to say that the main purpose of the trip is to commemorate the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, which took place on January 5th , 50 years ago.
 During his journey, Pope Francis told those present, that he would be visiting Amman, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. He also said there would be an Ecumenical Meeting held at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre with the representatives of the Christian Churches of Jerusalem, together with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. He ended his announcement by saying, “As of now I ask you to pray for this pilgrimage.”

Before the Angelus the Pope described how Christmas reveals the immense love God has for humanity. He added that “with the birth of Jesus not only is a new world born, but it is also a world that can always be renewed . God, said Pope Francis, is always present to nurture men and women and to cleanse the world of sin and he stressed that Jesus does not give up on us and never ceases to offer himself and his grace that saves us. The Holy Father concluded by thanking all those who had sent him messages of good wishes for Christmas and the New Year.


SHARED from Vatican Radio 

The Star of Bethlehem by Edward Burne-Jones in 1887.

A Traditional Cake for Epiphany, German recipe
INGREDIENTS 
 2 Cups and 3 Tablespoons of Flour 
1.4 Ounces of Yeast (Fresh)
1/3 Cup of Sugar
2/4 Cup of Milk
7 Tablespoons of melted Butter
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Lemon chopped
1/2 teaspoon of Cardamon
2 Eggs (1 Separated)
1/2 Cup of Rum soaked Raisins
1 Cup of dried chopped Fruit
Instructions
In a large mixing bowl pour in 3/4 of the flour leaving a hole in the middle. Mix the yeast with a pinch of sugar and some of the lukewarm milk. Place the yeast mixture in the hole and cover with a towel. Let sit for 1/4 an hour in a warm place. Afterwards, add the butter, salt, lemon, cardamon, eggs, milk and flour to the mixture. Knead dough until smooth.
Once a ball of dough is formed add the remaining raisins and fruit. Knead entire mixture and make a log and divide into four balls.
Place in a greased spring-form pan with a tube. Cover with a cloth and let rise for 20 minutes in a warm place. Brush dough with a beaten egg yolk and place in the oven at 350 F. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool cake before removing from pan.
When cooled frost the cake with 2 Tablespoons of Icing Sugar mixed with 2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice. Decorate with candied cherries.
Traditionally, a golden crown is placed on top of the cake.


WHAT IS EPIPHANY - MEANS TO MANIFEST - NOVENA PRAYER

Epiphany
Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese, 
Visit of the Magi to be baby Jesus
The Solemn Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord, one of the oldest Christian feats, traditionally occurs on January 6, following the 12 days of Christmas.
Epiphany marks the end of the Christmas season for the Western Church and commemorates three important scriptural events.
These are the visit of the Magi to the stable in Bethlehem following the Nativity of Jesus, the baptism of Christ in the River Jordan and the celebration of Christ's first miracle at the wedding feast of Cana many years later.
Although all three are events that are remembered and celebrated by Christians, it is the three kings, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, and their arrival from the East bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the infant Christ that are most closely associated with Epiphany in the Western Church.
In the story, so beloved by children and Catholics everywhere, after seeing the brilliant star in the night sky announcing the birth of the Messiah, the three wise men or Magi, followed the star which took them to Bethlehem. There they visited King Herod of Judea seeking information on where to find the new born king. Not having heard of the arrival of the baby Jesus, and fearing the infant would be a threat to his position as king, Herod instructed the three wise men to seek out the location of the Christ-child and return, to let him know where he was, so that Herod could visit and take him gifts as well.
 The Magi found the infant Jesus and paid tribute to the greatest of all Kings as he lay in his crib in a humble stable but they did not return to reveal his whereabouts to Herod. Instead directed by God in a dream, they returned home by another route.
With no information about the whereabouts of the Messiah, Herod proceeded to have his troops slaughter all infants under the age of two to remove the possible threat to his throne. But as we know, the baby Jesus escaped Herod's murderous intentions.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, January 6 is celebrated as the Nativity of Christ and instead of three kings, the Magi are depicted as 12 in number. But for Western Christians, the Magi are only three in number with each representing one of the world's three main races - African, Asian and European.
Until the Magi's arrival all characters in the Christmas story are Jewish but with the arrival of three Kings, we have the first indication that Jesus and his message are universal and that Christ arrived on earth to preach to the whole world.
Although when most people talk about the 12 days of Christmas the English song of a partridge in a pear tree usually springs to mind. But it is the Feast of Epiphany that the 12th day after Christmas that resonates with Christians and is observed across the world.
The earliest reference to Epiphany (from a Greek verb meaning "to manifest") occurred sometime around 354 AD when the Western Church separated the celebration of the Nativity of Christ as the feast of Christmas and reserved January 6 as the commemoration of the manifestation of Christ, especially to the Magi, as well as his baptism and miracle at the wedding feast of Cana which Ammianus Marcellinus St Epiphanius declared in 361 AD occurred on the same date.
On the Feast of the Epiphany priests wear white vestments. In many countries the Feast is extended from one day to eight days in what is known as the Octave of Epiphany which begins on January 6 and ends on January 13.
In countries, such as Australia, where the Feast of the Epiphany is not regarded as a Holy Day of Obligation, the date of Epiphany varies slightly from year to year and is always celebrated on the first Sunday between that falls between January 2 and January 8.
(SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY)
Pious customs among Christians have placed the letter 20CMB14 and the year above door posts relating to the blood on the door posts of the Old Testament. CMB means "Christus Mansionem Benedicat" in Latin - May Christ bless this dwelling place. CMB also stand for the 3 Magi Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar.  (Image share from Fr. Trigillio Jr.) 

Novena to the Magi for the Epiphany

DAY 1:
O holy Magi! You were living in continual expectation of the rising of the Star of Jacob, which would announce the birth of the true Sun of justice; obtain for us an increase of faith and charity, and the grace to live in continual hope of beholding one day the light of heavenly glory and eternal joy. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
DAY 2:
O holy Magi! who at the first appearance of the wondrous star left your native country to go and seek the newborn King of the Jews; obtain for us the grace of corresponding with alacrity to every divine inspiration. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. 
DAY 3:
O holy Magi! who regarded neither the severity of the season, nor the inconveniences of the journey that you might find the newborn Messiah; obtain for us the grace not to allow ourselves to be discouraged by any of the difficulties which may meet us on the way of salvation. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. 
DAY 4:
O holy Magi, who, when deserted by the star in the city of Jerusalem, sought humbly, and without human respect, from the rulers of the Church, the place where you might discover the object of your journey; obtain for us grace to have recourse, in faith and humility, in all our doubts and perplexities to the counsel of our superiors, who hold the place of God on earth. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. 
DAY 5:
O holy Magi, who were gladdened by the reappearance of the star which led you to Bethlehem; obtain for us from God the grace, that, remaining always faithful to Him in afflictions, we may be consoled in time by His grace, and in eternity by His glory. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
DAY 6:
O holy Magi, who, entering full of faith into the stable of Bethlehem, prostrated yourselves on the earth, to adore the newborn King of the Jews, though he was surrounded only by signs of poverty and weakness; obtain from the Lord for us a lively faith in the real presence of Jesus in the blessed Sacrament, the true spirit of poverty, and a Christ-like charity for the poor and suffering. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. 
DAY 7:
O holy Magi, who offered to Jesus Christ gold, incense, and myrrh, thereby recognizing Him to be at once King, God, and Man; obtain from the Lord for us the grace never to present ourselves before Him with empty hands; but that we may continually offer to Him the gold of charity, the incense of prayer, and the myrrh of penance and mortification. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
DAY 8:
O holy Magi, who, when warned by an angel not to return to Herd, traveled back to your country be another road; obtain for us from the Lord, the grace that, after having found Him in true repentance, we may avoid all danger of losing Him again. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
DAY 9:
O holy Magi, who were first among the Gentiles called to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and who persevered in the faith till your deaths, obtain for us of the Lord the grace of living always in conformity to our baptismal vows, ever leading to a life of faith; that like you we may attain to the beatific vision of that God Who now is the object of our faith. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.


Free RECIPE FOR 3 KINGS http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2014/01/catholic-recipe-book-3-kings-cake-for.html

FREE CATHOLIC MOVIES - 4TH WISE MAN - STARS MARTIN SHEEN

The Fourth Wise Man (1985) TV Movie - 72 min -
 Adventure | Drama -
 30 March 1985 (USA) The story of Artaban, the fourth Magi, who spends his life looking for Jesus his King. Writers: Tom Fontana, Henry van Dyke (short story) Stars: Martin Sheen, Alan Arkin, Eileen Brennan | 

TODAY'S SAINT : EPIPHANY OF JESUS - 3 KINGS


Epiphany of the Lord
Feast: January 6


Information:
Feast Day:January 6
EPIPHANY, which in the original Greek signifies appearance or manifestation, as St. Austin observes, is a festival principally solemnised in honour of the discovery Jesus Christ made of himself to the Magi, or wise men; who, soon after his birth, by a particular inspiration of Almighty God, came to adore him and bring him presents. Two other manifestations of our Lord are jointly commemorated on this day in the office of the church: that at his baptism, when the Holy Ghost descended on him in the visible form of a dove, and a voice from heaven was heard at the same time: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." The third manifestation was that of his divine power at the performance of his first miracle, the changing of water into wine, at the marriage at Cana, "by which he manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him." Upon so many accounts ought this festival to challenge a more than ordinary regard and veneration; but from none more than us Gentiles, who, in the persons of the wise men, our first-fruits and forerunners, were on this day called to the faith and worship of the true God.
The call of the Gentiles had been foretold for many ages before in the clearest terms. David and Isaias abound with predictions of this import; the like is found in the other prophets; but their completion was a mercy reserved for the times of the Messiah. It was to him, who was also the consubstantial Son of God, that the eternal Father had made the promise of all "nations for his inheritance"; who being born the spiritual king of the whole world, for the salvation of "all men," would therefore manifest his coming both to those that "were near, and those that were afar off," that is, both to Jew and Gentile. Upon his birth, angels were dispatched ambassadors to the Jews, in the persons of the poor shepherds, and a star was the divine messenger on this important errand to the Gentiles of the East; conformably to Balaam's prophecy, who foretold the coming of the Messias by that sign.
The summons of the Gentiles to Bethlehem to pay homage to the world's Redeemer was obeyed by several whom the Scripture mentions under the name and title of , or wise men; but is silent as to their number. The general opinion, supported by the authority of St. Leo, Caesarius, Bede, and others, declares for three. However, the number was small, comparatively to those many others that saw that star, no less than the wise men, but paid no regard to this voice of heaven: admiring, no doubt, its uncommon brightness, but culpably ignorant of the divine call it, or hardening their hearts against its salutary impressions, overcome by their passions, and the dictates of self-love. In like manner do Christians, from the same cause, turn a deaf ear to the voice of the divine grace in their souls, and harden their hearts against it in such numbers, that, notwithstanding their call, their graces, and the mysteries wrought in their favour, it is to be feared that even among many "are called, but few are chosen." It was the case with the Jews, "with the most of whom," St. Paul says, "God was not well pleased."
The wise men being come, by the guidance of the star, into Jerusalem, or near it, it there disappears: whereupon they reasonably suppose they are come to their journey's end, and upon the point of being blessed with the sight of the new-born king: that, on their entering the royal city, they shall in every street and corner hear the acclamations of a happy people, and learn with ease the way to the royal palace, made famous to all posterity by the birth of their king and Saviour. But to their great surprise there appears not the least sign of any such solemnity. The court and city go quietly on in seeking their pleasure and profit! and in this unexpected juncture what shall these weary travellers do? Were they governed by human prudence, this disappointment is enough to make them abandon their design, and retreat as privately as they can to screen their reputation, and avoid the raillery of the populace, as well as to prevent the resentment of the most zealous of tyrants, already infamous for blood. But true virtue makes trials the matter and occasion of its most glorious triumphs. Seeming to be forsaken by God, on their being deprived of extraordinary, they have recourse to the ordinary means of information. Steady in the resolution of following the divine call, and fearless of danger, they inquire in the city with equal confidence and humility, and pursue their inquiry in the very court of Herod himself: "Where is he that is born king of the Jews? " And does not their conduct teach us, under all difficulties of the spiritual kind, to have recourse to those God has appointed to be our spiritual guides, for their advice and direction? To "obey and be subject to them," that so God may lead us to himself, as he guided the wise men to Bethlehem by the directions of the priests of the Jewish church.
The whole nation of the Jews, on account of Jacob's and Danial's prophecies, were then in the highest expectation of the Messiah's appearance among them; the place of whose birth having been also foretold, the wise men, by the interposition of Herod's authority, quickly learned, from the unanimous voice of the Sanhedrim, or great council of the Jews, that Bethlehem was the place which was to be honoured with his birth, as having been pointed out by the prophet Micheas several ages before. How sweet and adorable is the conduct of divine providence! He teaches saints his will by the mouths of impious ministers, and furnishes Gentiles with the means of admonishing and confounding the blindness of the Jews. But graces are lost on carnal and hardened souls. Herod had then reigned upwards of thirty years; a monster of cruelty, ambition, craft, and dissimulation; old age and sickness had at that time exasperated his jealous mind in an unusual manner. He dreaded nothing so much as the appearance of the Messiah, whom the generality then expected under the notion of a temporal prince, and whom he could consider in no other light than that of a rival and pretender to his crown; so no wonder that he was startled at the news of his birth. All Jerusalem, likewise, instead of rejoicing at such happy tidings, were alarmed and disturbed together with him. We abhor their baseness; but do not we, at a distance from courts, betray several symptoms of the baneful influence of human respects running counter to our duty? Likewise in Herod we see how extravagantly blind and foolish ambition is. The divine infant came not to deprive Herod of his earthly kingdom, but to offer him one that is eternal; and to teach him a holy contempt of all worldly pomp and grandeur. Again, how senseless and extravagant a folly was it to form designs against those of God himself! who confounds the wisdom of the world, baffles the vain projects of men, and laughs their policy to scorn. Are there no Herods nowadays? Persons who are enemies to the spiritual kingdom of Christ in their hearts ?
The tyrant, to ward off the blow he seemed threatened with, has recourse to his usual arts of craft and dissimulation. He pretends a no less ardent desire of paying homage to the new-born king, and covers his impious design of taking away his life under the specious pretext of going himself in person to adore him. Wherefore, after particular examination about the time when the wise men first saw this star, and a strict charge to come back and inform him where the child was to be found, he dismissed them to the place determined by the chief priests and scribes. Herod was then near his death; but as a man lives, such does he usually die. The near prospect of eternity seldom operates in so salutary a manner on habitual sinners as to produce in them a true and sincere change of heart.
The wise men readily complied with the voice of the Sanhedrim, notwithstanding the little encouragement these Jewish leaders afford them from their own example to persist in their search; for not one single priest or scribe is disposed to bear them company in seeking after, and paying due homage to, their own king. The truths and maxims of religion depend not on the morals of those that preach them; they spring from a higher source—the wisdom and veracity of God himself. When, therefore, a message comes undoubtedly from God, the misdemeanours of him that immediately conveys it to us can be no just plea or excuse for our failing to comply with it. As, on the other side, an exact and ready compliance will then be a better proof of our faith and confidence in God, and so much the more recommend us to his special conduct and protection, as it did the wise men. For no sooner had they left Jerusalem, but, to encourage their faith and zeal, and to direct their travels, God was pleased to show them the star again, which they had seen in the East, and which continued to go before them till it conducted them to the very place where they were to see and adore their God and Saviour. Here its ceasing to advance, and probably sinking lower in the air, tells them in its mute language: "Here shall you find the new-born king." The holy men, with an unshaken and steady faith, and in transports of spiritual joy, entered the poor cottage, rendered more glorious by this birth than the most sumptuous stately palace in the universe, and finding the child with his mother, they prostrate themselves, they adore him, they pour forth their souls in his presence in the deepest sentiments of praise, thanksgiving, and a total sacrifice of themselves. So far from being shocked at the poverty of the place, and at his unkingly appearance, their faith rises and gathers strength on the sight of obstacles which, humanly speaking, should extinguish it. It captivates their understanding; it penetrates these curtains of poverty, infancy, weakness, and abjection; it casts them on their  faces, as unworthy to look up to this star, this God of Jacob; they confess him under this disguise to be the only and eternal God: they own the excess of his goodness in becoming man, and the excess of human misery which requires for its relief so great a humiliation of the Lord of glory. St. Leo thus extols their  faith and devotion: "When a star had conducted them to adore Jesus they did not find him commanding devils, or raising the dead, or restoring sight to the blind, or speech to the dumb, or employed in any divine actions; but a silent babe, under the care of a solicitous mother, giving no sign of power, but exhibiting a miracle of humility."
The Magi, pursuant to the custom of the eastern nations, where the persons of great princes are not to be approached without presents, present to Jesus, as a token of homage, the richest produce their countries afforded, gold, frankincense, and myrrh— gold, as an acknowledgment of his regal power; incense, as a confession of his Godhead; and myrrh, as a testimony that he was become man for the redemption of the world.
The holy kings being about to return home, God, who saw the hypocrisy and malicious designs of Herod, by a particular intimation diverted them from their purpose of carrying back word to Jerusalem where the child was to be found. So, to complete their fidelity and grace, they returned not to Herod's court; but, leaving their hearts with their infant Saviour, took another road back into their own country. In like manner, if we would persevere in the possession of the graces bestowed on us, we must resolve from this day to hold no correspondence with a sinful world, the irreconcilable enemy to Jesus Christ; but to take a way that lies a distance from it, I mean that which is marked out to us by the saving maxims of the gospel. And pursuing this with an unshaken confidence in his grace and merits, we shall safely arrive at our heavenly country.
It has never been questioned but that the holy Magi spent the rest of their lives in the fervent service of God. The ancient author of the imperfect comment on St. Matthew, among the works of St. Chrysostom, says they were afterwards baptized in Persia by St. Thomas the apostle, and became themselves preachers of the gospel. Their bodies were said to have been translated to Constantinople under the first Christian emperors. From thence they were conveyed to Milan, where the place in which they were deposited is still shown in the Dominicans' church of that city. The emperor Frederick Barbarossa having taken Milan, caused them to be translated to Cologne in Germany, in the twelfth century.

SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/E/epiphanyofthelord.asp#ixzz1ifzjXEwl

SUNDAY MASS ONLINE - EPIPHANY SOLEMNITY DEC. 5, 2014

Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
Lectionary: 20


Reading 1                IS 60:1-6

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come,
the glory of the Lord shines upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth,
and thick clouds cover the peoples;
but upon you the LORD shines,
and over you appears his glory.
Nations shall walk by your light,
and kings by your shining radiance.
Raise your eyes and look about;
they all gather and come to you:
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.

Then you shall be radiant at what you see,
your heart shall throb and overflow,
for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you,
the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.
Caravans of camels shall fill you,
dromedaries from Midian and Ephah;
all from Sheba shall come
bearing gold and frankincense,
and proclaiming the praises of the LORD. 

Responsorial Psalm                             PS 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13

R/ (cf. 11) Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R/ Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R/ Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts;
the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute.
All kings shall pay him homage,
all nations shall serve him.
R/ Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R/ Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

Reading 2                          EPH 3:2-3A, 5-6

Brothers and sisters:
You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace
that was given to me for your benefit,
namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation.
It was not made known to people in other generations
as it has now been revealed
to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:
that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body,
and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Gospel                             MT 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”
When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,
He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea,
for thus it has been written through the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler,
who is to shepherd my people Israel.”

Then Herod called the magi secretly
and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said,
“Go and search diligently for the child.
When you have found him, bring me word,
that I too may go and do him homage.”
After their audience with the king they set out.
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.

300 BIBLES SEIZED AND CHRISTIANS ARRESTED IN MALAYSIA - ASIA

PLEASE PRAY FOR THESE PEOPLE
ASIA NEWS REPORT: In the State of Selangor, the authorities raid a Christian centre and seize hundreds of copies of the sacred text. Fr Lawrence Andrew calls the action "wrong" and contrary to the nation's values. Sources tell AsiaNews that Catholics are being pressured to drop the case and that religious freedom is being progressively restricted.


Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews) - The raid in the State of Selangor that led to the seizure of hundreds of Bibles and the arrest of two Christian leaders, later released on bail, is "deeply wrong and unlawful". Local government officials "have no authority to enter a Christian centre" and carry out acts that are visibly contrary to the constitution of Malaysia, said Fr Lawrence Andrew, editor of the Catholic weekly Herald, as he reacted to further abuses against the religious minority, already struggling in a controversial court case involving the use of the word "Allah" in reference to the Christian God.
Speaking to AsiaNews, the priest noted the constitution says that every religious group is "free to practice its religion and manage its own affairs" without outside "interference", as was the case yesterday. Indeed, the controversy over 'Allah' is a source of problems for the nation.
Yesterday, Malaysian authorities seized 321 Bibles from the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) in Selangor, because they used the word Allah for the Christian God.
The raid is a direct result of a court decision last October to give Muslims "exclusive" use of the word use 'Allah' and ban its use by Christians. Most Muslims are ethnic Malay.
The dispute is still before the Federal Court, and a new hearing is scheduled for 24 February when judges will have to decide whether to allow the Catholic Church to appeal.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said that the controversy and court cases should end for the greater good of the country. In his view, Christian objection to the court's decision is sowing "hatred and division" and could cause "further clashes." Islamist leaders agree with the minister and have called on Christians to respect his request; otherwise things could get out of hand.
United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) leaders are also threatening to carry out widespread protests in all the churches of the State during Sunday services if "the unlawful use" of the word Allah continues.
Anonymous sources with great knowledge of local politics told AsiaNews that political interests might be behind the hard-line stance taken by the prime minister and the government, such as winning the support of extremist voters following unpopular moves like lower subsidies and higher petrol, electricity and sugar prices.
"What is happening today already happened in 2010, when churches and Christian places of worship came under violent attacks," the source said. "Even then, UMNO was behind the violence as a way to influence the court decision. They are causing unrest to show that it is necessary to end the dispute and put everything to rest by denying Catholics the right to appeal." Sadly, in Malaysia, "Religious freedom is being gradually restricted," he said.
The recent anti-Christian raid follows a controversial decision by the Court of Appeal in October banning the Catholic weekly Herald from using the word "Allah" for the Christian God.
Following the ruling, some officials at the Ministry of Interior seized 2,000 copies of the magazine published by the Archdiocese at Kuala Lumpur's Kota Kinabalu Airport in, Sabah state, justifying the action by the need to check whether the publication complied with the court order against "unlawful uses of the word Allah".
The controversy broke out initially in 2008, when the government threatened to revoke the weekly's permission to publish. The paper is the country's main Catholic publication. In response, Church leaders sued the government for breaching constitutional rights.
In 2009, the High Court ruled in favour of Catholics. The judgment however sent shockwaves among Muslims, angering many who consider the word 'llah' exclusively Islamic. A wave of violence swept the country, with churches and other Christian places of worship targeted. To stem extremism, the government decided to appeal.
In Malaysia, a mostly Muslim nation (60 per cent) of more than 28 million, Christians are the third largest religious group after Buddhists with more than 2.6 million members.

A Latin-Malay dictionary published 400 year ago shows that 'Allah' was used in the Bible from the start to refer to God in the local language.
SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

TODAY'S SAINT : JAN. 5 : ST. JOHN NEUMANN

St. John N. Neumann
BISHOP
Feast: January 5


Information:
Feast Day:January 5
Born:
28 March 1811 at Prachititz, Bohemia
Died:5 January 1860
Canonized:
19 June 1977 by Pope Paul VI
Major Shrine:National Shrine of Saint John Neumann, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Neumann was born in Prachatice, Bohemia (modern-day Czech Republic), then within the Austrian Empire. He attended school in Budweis before entering seminary there in 1831. Two years later he transferred to the University of Prague, where he studied theology. He was interested in astronomy and botany. He intended to be ordained, but his bishop, in 1835, decided there would be no more ordinations, as Bohemia had a high number of priests already.
Neumann, who spoke eight languages then wrote to other bishops in Europe, but they all replied that they also had too many priests already. He was inspired by the missionary writings of Bishop Frederic Baraga in America, and because he had learned English by working in a factory with English-speaking workers, Neumann wrote to bishops in America, requesting to be ordained in the United States. In 1836, he arrived in the United States with very little money, and was ordained to the priesthood there. He was assigned by the Bishop of New York to work with recent German immigrants in mission churches in the Niagara Falls area, where he visited the sick, taught catechism, and trained teachers to take over when he left. After four years of service there, he realized his own need for support and came to realize the importance of communal activity in his work. He thus applied to the Redemptorists. He was accepted, and entered the novitiate of the order in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In January, 1842, he took the vows to enter the order in Baltimore, Maryland, and became the first Redemptorist in the New World. After six years of difficult but fruitful work with the order, he was appointed the order's provincial superior in the United States. Neumann was naturalized as a citizen of the United States in Baltimore on February 10, 1848.
In March 1852, Neumann was consecrated in Baltimore, as Bishop of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the first to organize a Catholic diocesan school system and increased the number of Catholic schools in his diocese from one to two hundred. He also introduced the School Sisters of Notre Dame to the New World to assist in religious instruction and staffing the orphanage. In 1853, he established Saint Peter's Parish in Riverside, New Jersey.
Neumann was not a popular bishop and received criticism. He had to deal with the Know Nothings, a political group determined to deprive foreigners and Catholics of their civil rights; the group burnt down convents and schools. Discouraged, Neumann unsuccessfully wrote to Rome and asked for someone else to take his place.
Neumann wrote in many Catholic newspaper and magazine articles. He also published two catechisms and a Bible history in German. There were also many teaching orders brought in by him.
In 1860, Neumann died due to a stroke at the age of 48 while walking down a street in Philadelphia. After his death people began to talk of how great he had been.
SOURCE: EWTN.COM

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