DONATE TO JCE NEWS

Thursday, January 16, 2014

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : THURS. JAN. 16,, 2014 - SHARE

2014









POPE FRANCIS THE WORD OF GOD ENTERS INTO OUR HEARTS

YOUNG CHRISTIAN KILLED AND BEHEADED IN SYRIA

OFFICIAL MESSAGE FOR WORLD DAY OF VOCATIONS RELEASED BY POPE FRANCIS

TODAY'S SAINT : JAN. 16 : ST. BERARD OF CARBIO

(Vatican Radio) Scandals in the Church happen because there is no living relationship with God and His Word. Thus, corrupt priests, instead of giving the Bread of Life, give a poisoned meal to the holy people of God: that’s what Pope Francis affirmed in his homily Thursday morning during the Mass celebrated in the Santa Marta guesthouse.

Commenting on the day 's reading and responsorial Psalm which recount the crushing defeat of the Israelites by the Philistines, the Pope notes that the people of God at that time had forsaken the Lord . It was said that the Word of God was "uncommon" at that time . The old priest Eli was "lukewarm" and his sons "corrupt; they frightened the people and beat them with sticks." In their battle against the Philistines, the Israelites brought with them the Ark of the Covenant, but as something “magical,” "something external ." And they are defeated : the Ark is taken from them by their enemies. There is no true faith in God, in His real presence in life:


"This passage of Scripture,” the Pope says, “makes us think about what sort of relationship we have with God, with the Word of God: is it a formal relationship? Is it a distant relationship? The Word of God enters into our hearts, changes our hearts. Does it have this power or not? Is it a formal relationship? But the heart is closed to that Word! It leads us to think of the so many defeats of the Church, so many defeats of God's people simply because they do not hear the Lord, do not seek the Lord, do not allow themselves to be sought by the Lord! And then after a tragedy, the prayer, this one: ' But, Lord , what happened ? You have made ​​us the scorn of our neighbors. The scorn and derision of those around us. You have made us the laughing stock (it: favola) among nations! All the nations shake their heads about us. '"


And of the scandals in the Church, Pope Francis said:


"But are we ashamed? So many scandals that I do not want to mention individually, but all of us know...We know where they are! Scandals, some who charged a lot of money.... The shame of the Church! But are we all ashamed of those scandals, of those failings of priests, bishops, laity? Where was the Word of God in those scandals; where was the Word of God in those men and in those women? They did not have a relationship with God! They had a position in the Church, a position of power, even of comfort. But the Word of God, no! 'But, I wear a medal,' ‘I carry the Cross ' ... Yes, just as those bore the Ark! Without the living relationship with God and the Word of God! I am reminded of the words of Jesus about those for whom scandals come ... And here the scandal hit: bringing decay (it: decadenza) to the people of God, including (it: fino alla) the weakness and corruption of the priests."

Francis Pope concluded his homily, turning his thoughts to the people of God, saying:


"Poor people! We do not give the Bread of Life to eat; we do give – in those cases - the bread of Truth! And many times, we even offer a poisoned meal! ‘Awaken! Why do you sleep, Lord?' Let this be our prayer! ‘Awaken! Do not reject us forever! Why do you hide Your face? Why do You forget our affliction and oppression?' We ask the Lord that we never forget the Word of God, which is alive, so that it enters into our hearts and never to forget the holy people faithful to God who ask us to nourish and strengthen them. "


Text from  Vatican Radio website 

YOUNG CHRISTIAN KILLED AND BEHEADED IN SYRIA

IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT: 
Syria: Young Christian killed and beheaded by jihadists |  beheaded a young Christian man, Homs, Firas Nader, Fadi Matanius Mattah, Homs, Marmarita, ACN, Aid to the Church in Need, cross
Islamist groups have killed and beheaded a young Christian man, seriously wounding another. The incident, which occurred on 8 January, has just been reported to Fides by a priest in the diocese of Homs.
The two, Firas Nader, 29, and Fadi Matanius Mattah, 34, were traveling by car from Homs to the Christian village of Marmarita. A group of five armed jihadists intercepted the vehicle and opened fire on the car. Upon reaching the car, militiamen, noting that Fadi was wearing a cross around his neck, beheaded him. They then took money and
documents, leaving Firas on the ground wounded, believing he was already dead. Firas instead managed to escape, reaching the town of Almshtaeih on foot and was then transferred to the hospital in Tartou. Some of the faithful were able to recover the body of Mattah, bringing him to Marmarita, where the local Christian community expressed strong indignation for the horrible act carried out.
According to a statement sent to Fides by Aid to the Church in Need" (ACN), violence against Christians in Syria, is becoming "one of the worst persecutions endured by Christians in this part of the third millennium". Latest reports show that more than 600,000 Christians - a third of the total Syrian faithful - are internally displaced or living as refugees in neighboring countries. Christian leaders confirm the massive exodus of Christians from Syria, which could seriously jeopardize the future of Christians in the nation.
As ACN in Homs highlights, Marmarita and Hamat, the Syrian population, which includes many Christians, are living in desperate conditions, without food, heating, shelter and medicine because of the bitter cold weather that has worsened the humanitarian crisis which exists due to the conflict.

Source: Fides/ACN

PATRIARCH CALLS FOR GLOBAL PRAYERS FOR PEACE IN SYRIA

ASIA NEWS REPORT: by Fady Noun
On the eve of the Geneva II Conference, the patriarch calls for "true reconciliation among Syrians, not just on security agreements and humanitarian aid," however necessary they may be. Meanwhile, the World Council of Churches launches its own initiative.


Beirut (AsiaNews) - Gregory III Laham, Catholic patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem of the Melkites, has called on the faithful to pray for the success of the Geneva II Conference on peace in Syria, set to start in Montreux, Switzerland, on 22 January.
In his appeal, the patriarch urged everyone to set aside a daily moment of prayer in churches, homes, and pastoral gatherings.
"Let us je join our voice to that of Pope Francis who, when he met the diplomatic corps on the 13th of this month, expressed hope that Geneva II would mark the beginning of the desired journey of peace."
"May this appeal be the start of a worldwide campaign of prayer for peace in Syria, the Holy Land, the Arab world and the whole world."
In a document annexed to the appeal, Gregory III made the following considerations.
"Let us pray for true reconciliation in Geneva II, among Syrians and not just on security arrangements and humanitarian aid. Certainly, we greatly need this, but the key to the success of Geneva II is faith-based, human, cordial, national, and truly Syrian reconciliation. As we thank the countries working for peace in Syria, we want their efforts to be so focused that peace be a Syrian peace."
"Unanimity in the positions of the United States, Russia, the European Union - in particular of France, Britain, Germany, China, and Iran - will guarantee the success of Geneva II," the patriarch said. "It is also the indispensable condition for achieving Arab unity for which we pray."
"This dual unity - that of the West and that of the Arab world - will guarantee the success of Geneva II. It is the real means by which we can stop the flow of arms to foreign groups in Syria and the arms race in the region."
Finally, Gregory III announced that, along with representatives of the different Churches of the world, he would be attending a meeting (15-17 January) in Geneva organised by the World Council of Churches.

The role of the Church at this historic moment, not only in Syria but also in the entire Middle East and the world, will be the focus of the meeting's debates and discussions.
SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT 

VATICAN OFFICIALS AT UN TO DISCUSS RIGHTS OF THE CHILD

(Vatican Radio) Vatican officials are appearing Thursday before the UN committee in Geneva that is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which the Holy See is a party. The Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, issued a Note detailing the history of the Holy See’s adherence to the Convention and its response to a series of questions posed by the committee subsequent to the Holy See’s 2nd Report on implementation of the Convention, submitted in 2011.


The three-page Note, written in Italian, stresses that, “The Holy See is deeply saddened by the scourge of sexual abuse of minors, which harms millions of children throughout the world,” and “laments that, sadly, certain members of the clergy have been involved in such abuse.” The Note goes on to say that the dramatic problem of child sex abuse, lived with unspeakable suffering in the community of the Church, has posed a direct challenge to the credibility of the Church’s commitment to the welfare of children – “[A challenge],” writes Fr. Lombardi, “that has led to the development, in the spirit of the Convention [and] under the Holy See’s guidance, of a series of initiatives and directives [that have proven] extremely helpful also outside the Church community.”


The Note also explains the nature of the Holy See as a sovereign subject of international law, and the limits of the Holy See’s rights and responsibilities vis à vis the conduct of clergy and religious throughout the world. “In fact,” explains Fr. Lombardi, “it is not rare to find that the questions posed [by the committee] – above all where they refer to the sexual abuse of minors – seem to presuppose that bishops or religious superiors act as representatives or delegates of the Pope – [though this is] utterly without foundation.” Fr. Lombardi goes on to clarify that civil authorities in countries that are party to the Convention are directly responsible for the Convention’s implementation and for enforcement of laws for the protection of minors.


The Note from the Director of the Holy See’s Press Office goes on to say that the principles of the Catholic vision of respect for the dignity of the human person are readily visible in the Holy See’s reports to the committee and in the answers the Holy See has provided to the committee’s further questions. The Catholic Church proclaims and promotes the dignity of the human person from conception, to childhood, to the different stages of growth and life. The Church rejects discrimination on the basis of sex, starting from pregnancy and childhood. The Church stands for the dignity and duties of the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman, and for the close relationship between the rights of children and the rights and duties of parents, as well as for the deep and integral vision of education for love, much wider than a limited “sex education”. The Church also rejects a “gender ideology” that would deny the objective basis of the difference and complementarity of the sexes and become a source of confusion even in the legal field and the interpretation of the Convention.


“In sum,” writes Fr. Lombardi, “the early and whole-hearted adhesion of the Holy See to the Convention on the Rights of the Child is in keeping with the teaching and constant stance of the Church. One may quite rightly say, therefore, that the Holy See is an active promoter of an immense current of caring service to the good of children throughout the world – and the inspiring guidance and leadership of Pope Francis gives a new and evident energy to this commitment.”


Text from Vatican Radio website 

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : THURS. JAN. 16, 2014

Thursday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 308


Reading 1                1 SM 4:1-11

The Philistines gathered for an attack on Israel.
Israel went out to engage them in battle and camped at Ebenezer,
while the Philistines camped at Aphek.
The Philistines then drew up in battle formation against Israel.
After a fierce struggle Israel was defeated by the Philistines,
who slew about four thousand men on the battlefield.
When the troops retired to the camp, the elders of Israel said,
“Why has the LORD permitted us to be defeated today
by the Philistines?
Let us fetch the ark of the LORD from Shiloh
that it may go into battle among us
and save us from the grasp of our enemies.”

So the people sent to Shiloh and brought from there
the ark of the LORD of hosts, who is enthroned upon the cherubim.
The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were with the ark of God.
When the ark of the LORD arrived in the camp,
all Israel shouted so loudly that the earth resounded.
The Philistines, hearing the noise of shouting, asked,
“What can this loud shouting in the camp of the Hebrews mean?”
On learning that the ark of the LORD had come into the camp,
the Philistines were frightened.
They said, “Gods have come to their camp.”
They said also, “Woe to us! This has never happened before. Woe to us!
Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods?
These are the gods that struck the Egyptians
with various plagues and with pestilence.
Take courage and be manly, Philistines;
otherwise you will become slaves to the Hebrews,
as they were your slaves.
So fight manfully!”
The Philistines fought and Israel was defeated;
every man fled to his own tent.
It was a disastrous defeat,
in which Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers.
The ark of God was captured,
and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were among the dead.

Responsorial Psalm                    PS 44:10-11, 14-15, 24-25

R. (27b) Redeem us, Lord, because of your mercy.
Yet now you have cast us off and put us in disgrace,
and you go not forth with our armies.
You have let us be driven back by our foes;
those who hated us plundered us at will.
R. Redeem us, Lord, because of your mercy.
You made us the reproach of our neighbors,
the mockery and the scorn of those around us.
You made us a byword among the nations,
a laughingstock among the peoples.
R. Redeem us, Lord, because of your mercy.
Why do you hide your face,
forgetting our woe and our oppression?
For our souls are bowed down to the dust,
our bodies are pressed to the earth.
R. Redeem us, Lord, because of your mercy.

Gospel                           MK 1:40-45

A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said,
“If you wish, you can make me clean.”
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,
touched the leper, and said to him,
“I do will it. Be made clean.”
The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once.
Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything,
but go, show yourself to the priest
and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed;
that will be proof for them.”
The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.
He spread the report abroad
so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.
He remained outside in deserted places,
and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

OFFICIAL MESSAGE FOR WORLD DAY OF VOCATIONS RELEASED BY POPE FRANCIS

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis invites young people to “listen to and follow Jesus, and to allow yourselves to be transformed interiorly by his words” in his Message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which is marked on May 11.

“A vocation is a fruit that ripens in a well cultivated field of mutual love that becomes mutual service, in the context of an authentic ecclesial life,” writes Pope Francis. “No vocation is born of itself or lives for itself. A vocation flows from the heart of God and blossoms in the good soil of faithful people, in the experience of fraternal love.”


The full text of the Message is below


Vocations, Witness to the Truth

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. The Gospel says that “Jesus went about all the cities and villages... When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest’” (Mt 9:35-38). These words surprise us, because we all know that it is necessary first to plow, sow and cultivate to then, in due time, reap an abundant harvest. Jesus says instead that “the harvest is plentiful”. But who did the work to bring about these results? There is only one answer: God. Clearly the field of which Jesus is speaking is humanity, us. And the efficacious action which has borne “much fruit” is the grace of God, that is, communion with Him (cf. Jn 15:5). The prayer which Jesus asks of the Church therefore concerns the need to increase the number of those who serve his Kingdom. Saint Paul, who was one of “God’s fellow workers”, tirelessly dedicated himself to the cause of the Gospel and the Church. The Apostle, with the awareness of one who has personally experienced how mysterious God’s saving will is, and how the initiative of grace is the origin of every vocation, reminds the Christians of Corinth: “You are God’s field” (1 Cor 3:9). That is why wonder first arises in our hearts over the plentiful harvest which God alone can bestow; then gratitude for a love that always goes before us; and lastly, adoration for the work that he has accomplished, which requires our free consent in acting with him and for him.

2. Many times we have prayed with the words of the Psalmist: “It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture” (Ps 100:3); or: “The Lord has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel as his own possession” (Ps 135:4). And yet we are God’s “possession” not in the sense of a possession that renders us slaves, but rather of a strong bond that unites us to God and one another, in accord with a covenant that is eternal, “for his steadfast love endures for ever” (Ps 136). In the account of the calling of the prophet Jeremiah, for example, God reminds us that he continually watches over each one of us in order that his word may be accomplished in us. The image is of an almond branch which is the first tree to flower, thus announcing life’s rebirth in the springtime (cf Jer 1:11-12). Everything comes from him and is his gift: the world, life, death, the present, the future, but — the Apostle assures us — “you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s” (1 Cor 3:23). Hence the way of belonging to God is explained: it comes about through a unique and personal relationship with Jesus, which Baptism confers on us from the beginning of our rebirth to new life. It is Christ, therefore, who continually summons us by his word to place our trust in him, loving him “with all the heart, with all the understanding, and with all the strength” (Mk 12:33). Therefore every vocation, even within the variety of paths, always requires an exodus from oneself in order to centre one’s life on Christ and on his Gospel. Both in married life and in the forms of religious consecration, as well as in priestly life, we must surmount the ways of thinking and acting that do not conform to the will of God. It is an “exodus that leads us on a journey of adoration of the Lord and of service to him in our brothers and sisters” (Address to the International Union of Superiors General, 8 May 2013). Therefore, we are all called to adore Christ in our hearts (1 Pet 3:15) in order to allow ourselves to be touched by the impulse of grace contained in the seed of the word, which must grow in us and be transformed into concrete service to our neighbour. We need not be afraid: God follows the work of his hands with passion and skill in every phase of life. He never abandons us! He has the fulfilment of his plan for us at heart, and yet he wishes to achieve it with our consent and cooperation.

3. Today too, Jesus lives and walks along the paths of ordinary life in order to draw near to everyone, beginning with the least, and to heal us of our infirmities and illnesses. I turn now to those who are well disposed to listen to the voice of Christ that rings out in the Church and to understand what their own vocation is. I invite you to listen to and follow Jesus, and to allow yourselves to be transformed interiorly by his words, which “are spirit and life” (Jn 6:62). Mary, the Mother of Jesus and ours, also says to us: “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5). It will help you to participate in a communal journey that is able to release the best energies in you and around you. A vocation is a fruit that ripens in a well cultivated field of mutual love that becomes mutual service, in the context of an authentic ecclesial life. No vocation is born of itself or lives for itself. A vocation flows from the heart of God and blossoms in the good soil of faithful people, in the experience of fraternal love. Did not Jesus say: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35)?

4. Dear brothers and sisters, this “high standard of ordinary Christian living” (cf John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, 31) means sometimes going against the tide and also encountering obstacles, outside ourselves and within ourselves. Jesus himself warns us: the good seed of God’s word is often snatched away by the Evil one, blocked by tribulation, and choked by worldly cares and temptation (cf Mt 13:19-22). All of these difficulties could discourage us, making us fall back on seemingly more comfortable paths. However, the true joy of those who are called consists in believing and experiencing that he, the Lord, is faithful, and that with him we can walk, be disciples and witnesses of God’s love, open our hearts to great ideals, to great things. “We Christians were not chosen by the Lord for small things; push onwards toward the highest principles. Stake your lives on noble ideals!” (Homily at Holy Mass and the Conferral of the Sacrament of Confirmation, 28 April 2013). I ask you bishops, priests, religious, Christian communities and families to orient vocational pastoral planning in this direction, by accompanying young people on pathways of holiness which, because they are personal, “call for a genuine ‘training in holiness’ capable of being adapted to every person’s need. This training must integrate the resources offered to everyone with both the traditional forms of individual and group assistance, as well as the more recent forms of support offered in associations and movements recognized by the Church” (Novo Millennio Ineunte, 31).

Let us dispose our hearts therefore to being “good soil”, by listening, receiving and living out the word, and thus bearing fruit. The more we unite ourselves to Jesus through prayer, Sacred Scripture, the Eucharist, the Sacraments celebrated and lived in the Church and in fraternity, the more there will grow in us the joy of cooperating with God in the service of the Kingdom of mercy and truth, of justice and peace. And the harvest will be plentiful, proportionate to the grace we have meekly welcomed into our lives. With this wish, and asking you to pray for me, I cordially impart to you all my Apostolic Blessing.

From the Vatican, 15 January 2014


Text from Vatican Radio website 

TODAY'S SAINT : JAN. 16 : ST. BERARD OF CARBIO


St. Berard of Carbio
FRIAR MINOR AND MARTYR
Feast: January 16


     Information:
Feast Day:January 16
Born:
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.


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/B/stberardofcarbio.asp#ixzz1jgDSWojq


Post a Comment