Monday, June 16, 2014

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Today's Mass Readings Online : Monday June 16, 2014

Monday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 365

Reading 11 KGS 21:1-16

Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel
next to the palace of Ahab, king of Samaria.
Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard to be my vegetable garden,
since it is close by, next to my house.
I will give you a better vineyard in exchange, or,
if you prefer, I will give you its value in money.”
Naboth answered him, “The LORD forbid
that I should give you my ancestral heritage.”
Ahab went home disturbed and angry at the answer
Naboth the Jezreelite had made to him:
“I will not give you my ancestral heritage.”
Lying down on his bed, he turned away from food and would not eat.

His wife Jezebel came to him and said to him,
“Why are you so angry that you will not eat?”
He answered her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite
and said to him, ‘Sell me your vineyard, or,
if you prefer, I will give you a vineyard in exchange.’
But he refused to let me have his vineyard.”
His wife Jezebel said to him,
“A fine ruler over Israel you are indeed!
Get up.
Eat and be cheerful.
I will obtain the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite for you.”

So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and,
having sealed them with his seal,
sent them to the elders and to the nobles
who lived in the same city with Naboth.
This is what she wrote in the letters:
“Proclaim a fast and set Naboth at the head of the people.
Next, get two scoundrels to face him
and accuse him of having cursed God and king.
Then take him out and stone him to death.”
His fellow citizens—the elders and nobles who dwelt in his city—
did as Jezebel had ordered them in writing,
through the letters she had sent them.
They proclaimed a fast and placed Naboth at the head of the people.
Two scoundrels came in and confronted him with the accusation,
“Naboth has cursed God and king.”
And they led him out of the city and stoned him to death.
Then they sent the information to Jezebel
that Naboth had been stoned to death.

When Jezebel learned that Naboth had been stoned to death,
she said to Ahab,
“Go on, take possession of the vineyard
of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you,
because Naboth is not alive, but dead.”
On hearing that Naboth was dead, Ahab started off on his way
down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite,
to take possession of it.

Responsorial Psalm PS 5:2-3AB, 4B-6A, 6B-7

R. (2b) Lord, listen to my groaning.
Hearken to my words, O LORD,
attend to my sighing.
Heed my call for help,
my king and my God!
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.
At dawn I bring my plea expectantly before you.
For you, O God, delight not in wickedness;
no evil man remains with you;
the arrogant may not stand in your sight.
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.You hate all evildoers.
You destroy all who speak falsehood;
The bloodthirsty and the deceitful
the LORD abhors.
R. Lord, listen to my groaning.

Gospel MT 5:38-42

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go with him for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”

Anglican Archbishop Welby meets Pope Francis “strengthen further our bonds of friendship and our commitment to the great cause of reconciliation and communion between Christian believers.”

Pope Francis meets Archbishop Welby

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met on Monday with the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, saying he hoped their meeting would serve to “strengthen further our bonds of friendship and our commitment to the great cause of reconciliation and communion between Christian believers.”
The audience came on the second day of the Anglican leader’s visit to Rome which also included a meeting with a meeting with the St Egidio community, Vespers at St Gregorio on the Caelian Hill, a visit to Rome’s Joel Nafuma Refugee Centre and an encounter with the ecumenical Global Freedom Network for the eradication of human trafficking.
Recalling the shame of the first disciples when Jesus asked them was they were arguing about, Pope Francis said we too feel ashamed when we “ponder the distance between the Lord’s call and our meagre response.” The goal of full unity may seem distant, he said, yet it remains the aim which should direct our every step along the way.
Speaking of the official Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and the newer Anglican-Roman Catholic commission for Unity and Mission, the Pope said they are important forums for examining “in a constructive spirit, the older and newer challenges to our ecumenical engagement.” Pope Francis also thanked the Anglican Archbishop for his leadership in the fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery which he called “intolerable crimes against human dignity.”
Shared from Radio Vaticana

Pope Francis "It is a 'handy' sin, for, when one has authority, one feels powerful, one feels almost like God."

Pope Francis at Mass

(Vatican Radio) The poor are the ones who end up paying for the damage wrought by the corruption of the powerful, whose avidity leaves the poor without the things of which they have need and to which they have a right. This was the theme of the Holy Father’s remarks following the readings of the day at Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta residence. “The only way to [defeat] the sin of corruption,” he concluded, is “service” to others that purifies the heart.
 A “very sad” story  that, even if very old, is still a reflection of one of the most “handy” sins: corruption. Pope Francis reflections turned on the story, told in the readings of the day, of Naboth, the owner of a vineyard that had been in his family for generations. When King Ahab – meaning, explained Pope Francis, to “to widen his garden a bit,” – asks him to sell it, Naboth refuses because he does not intend to dispose of' the “inheritance of his fathers.” The King took the rejection very badly, so his wife Jezebel weaves a trap with the help of false witnesses, and Naboth is dragged into court, convicted and stoned to death. In the end, Jezebel delivers the desired vineyard to her husband, who takes the land calmly, “as though nothing had happened.” Pope Francis said, “This story is continuously repeating itself,” among the ranks of those, who wield power, whether material, political or spiritual:
“In the newspapers we read many times: ‘Ah, that politician who got rich by magic has been brought into court. That business owner, who got rich by magic – that is, by exploiting his workers – has been dragged into court. We hear too much talk of a prelate who has become rich too, and left his pastoral duty to care for his power. So, the corrupt politicians, the corrupt businessmen and the corrupt clergy, are to be found everywhere – and we have to tell the truth: corruption is precisely the sin that the person with authority – whether political, economic or ecclesiastical – over others has most readily to hand. We are all tempted to corruption. It is a ‘handy’ sin, for, when one has authority, one feels powerful, one feels almost like God.”
Pope Francis went on to say that one becomes corrupt “along the way that looks out for number 1 [It- la strada della propria sicurezza],” with “well-being, money, then the power, vanity, pride – and from there, everything [becomes possible], even killing.” The Holy Father went on to ask, “who pays the price for corruption?” and answers that it is, in  fact, the poor who pay the price:
“If we talk of politically or economically corrupt people, who pays for [their corruption]? Pagano hospitals without medicine, the patients who did not receive care, the children without education. They are the modern Naboths, who pay the price for the corruption of the haughty. And who pays the price for the corruption of a prelate? The children pay, who cannot make the sign of the cross, who do not know the catechism, who are not cared-for. The sick who are not visited, the imprisoned, who receive no spiritual attention. The poor pay. Corruption is paid by the poor: the materially poor and the spiritually poor.”
Instead, says Pope Francis, “the only way to escape corruption, the only way to overcome the temptation to – the sin of – corruption, is service.” Because, he says, “corruption is pride, arrogance – and service humiliates you.” It is “humble charity to help others”:
"Today, we offer the Mass for them – many, many of them – who are paying the price for corruption, bearing the cost of the lives of the corrupt. These martyrs of political corruption, economic corruption, and ecclesiastical corruption. We pray for them. May the Lord bring us closer to them. Surely He was very close to Naboth, in the moment he was stoned to death, as He was to Stephen. May the Lord be close and give strength [to those bearing the burden of corruption], so that they might go forward with their witness.”Text from Radio Vaticana

Full Text Pope Francis to Investors "...renew our commitment to serve the common good with love and with preference for the most poor and vulnerable of our brothers and sisters."

Pope Francis

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Monday expressed appreciation for a Conference on ethical investment pointing out that the world of finance must serve the interests of peoples and the common good of humanity.
In a discourse to participants of the two-day Symposium “Investing for the Poor” that is taking place in the Vatican, the Pope said that speculation on food prices is a scandal and he called on Governments throughout the world to develop an international framework that promotes a market of high impact (ethical) investments, and thus combat an economy which excludes and discards.

The symposium, jointly sponsored by the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace headed by Cardinal Peter Turkson, Catholic Relief Services and the Mendoza College of Business from the University of Notre Dame, is examining “impact” investing and how it can serve the poor.
It aims to explore core concepts of impact investing, to discuss how it aligns with Church mission and to discern how the Church might use or promote impact investing to serve the poor.
Please find below the full text of the Pope’s discourse:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
    I offer you a warm welcome and I express my gratitude and appreciation for your Conference, which offers an important contribution to the search for timely and realistic strategies to ensure greater social equality.  I thank Cardinal Turkson for his kind introduction.
    A sense of solidarity with the poor and the marginalized has led you to reflect on impact investing as one emerging form of responsible investment.  Representatives of the Roman Curia have joined you in these days of study aimed at assessing innovative forms of investment which can benefit local communities and the environment, as well as providing a reasonable return.
    Impact investors are those who are conscious of the existence of serious unjust situations, instances of profound social inequality and unacceptable conditions of poverty affecting communities and entire peoples.  These investors turn to financial institutes which will use their resources to promote the economic and social development of these groups through investment funds aimed at satisfying basic needs associated with agriculture, access to water, adequate housing and reasonable prices, as well as with primary health care and educational services.
    Investments of this sort are meant to have positive social repercussions on local communities, such as the creation of jobs, access to energy, training and increased agricultural productivity.  The financial return for investors tends to be more moderate than in other types of investment.
    The logic underlying these innovative forms of intervention is one which “acknowledges the ultimate connection between profit and solidarity, the virtuous circle existing between profit and gift  …  Christians are called to rediscover, experience and proclaim to all this precious and primordial unity between profit and solidarity.  How much the contemporary world needs to rediscover this beautiful truth!” (Preface to the book of Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Povera per i poveri. La missione della Chiesa [“Poor for the Poor.”  The Mission of the Church]).
    It is important that ethics once again play its due part in the world of finance and that markets serve the interests of peoples and the common good of humanity.  It is increasingly intolerable that financial markets are shaping the destiny of peoples rather than serving their needs, or that the few derive immense wealth from financial speculation while the many are deeply burdened by the consequences.
    Advances in technology have increased the speed of financial transactions, but in the long run this is significant only to the extent that it better serves the common good.  In this regard, speculation on food prices is a scandal which seriously compromises access to food on the part of the poorest members of our human family.  It is urgent that governments throughout the world commit themselves to developing an international framework capable of promoting a market of high impact investments, and thus to combating an economy which excludes and discards.
    On this day when the Church celebrates the memorial of Saints Quiricus and Giulitta, a son and mother who, in the persecution under Diocletian, left all their possessions behind into order to accept martyrdom for the name of Christ, I join you in asking the Lord to help us never to forget the transience of earthly goods and to renew our commitment to serve the common good with love and with preference for the most poor and vulnerable of our brothers and sisters.  With great affection I bless you and your work.  Thank you.
Text Shared from Radio Vaticana

Pope Francis "....but the idol of money, it is necessary to discard things. Children are discarded.” Video/Text

Pope Francis visits sant'Egidio community

(Vatican Radio) On Trinity Sunday evening, Pope Francis visited the community of Sant’ Egidio in the Roman neighbourhood of Trastevere. Sant’Egidio was founded in Trastevere in 1968, in the wake of the II Vatican Council, and has grown into a movement of lay people that counts more than 60 thousand members, dedicated to evangelisation and charity, in more than 73 countries throughout the world.  On his arrival he was greeted by packed crowds of the faithful, including a group of refugees from Lampedusa.
Inside the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere, the Holy Father heard testimonials from a number of people representing, among others, the elderly, the unemployed, and the disabled.Pope Francis spoke to the community, focusing on solidarity: solidarity in prayer; solidarity in action to aid the weakest and most vulnerable in society; and especially, solidarity across generations. Departing from his prepared remarks, the Holy Father said, “A people that does care for its elder members, one that does not take care of its young people, is a people without a future, a people without hope – for young people - children, young people - and seniors carry [the people] forward in history.” Pope Francis went on to say, “Children and young people [do so] with the vim and vigor natural to youth, to be sure [It. I bambini, i giovani con la loro forza biologica, è giusto]. The elders [do so] by offering memory. When a society loses its memory, though, it is finished.”
Pope Francis went on to tie the crisis among the young and the elderly in society to the “throw-away culture” that drives and dominates globally. “In order to maintain such a [system], in which, at the center of the world economy, there are not man and woman, but the idol of money, it is necessary to discard things. Children are discarded.”
“Just think,” he continued, “of the birth rate in Europe: in Italy, Spain, France – and the elderly, [too], are thrown away, with attitudes behind which there hides a form of euthanasia. [The elderly] are no longer useful – and that whish is not useful is to be tossed aside,” he said.
“Europe is tired,” said Pope Francis. “We have to help Europe rejuvenate, to find its roots. It is true: Europe has disowned its roots – and we must help Europe to rediscover those roots.”
Text Shared from Radio Vaticana

Saint June 17 : St. Avitus : Abbot : Died 530

St. Avitus
Feast: June 17

Feast Day:June 17
ST. AVITUS was a native of Orleans, and, retiring into Auvergne, took the monastic habit, together with St. Calais, in the abbey of Menat, at that time very small, though afterward enriched by Queen Brunehault, and by St. Boner, Bishop of Clermont. The two Saints soon after returned to Miscy, a famous abbey situated a league and a half below Orleans. It was founded toward the end of the reign of Clovis I. by St. Euspicius, a holy priest, honored on the 14th of June, and his nephew St. Maximin or Mesnim, whose name this monastery, which is now of the Cistercian Order, bears. Many call St. Maximin the first abbot, others St. Euspicius the first, St. Maximin the second, and St. Avitus the third. But our Saint and St. Calais made not a long stay at Miscy, though St. Maximin gave them a gracious reception. In quest of a closer retirement, St. Avitus, who had succeeded St. Maximin, soon after resigned the abbacy, and with St. Calais lived a recluse in the territory now called Dunois, on the frontiers of La Perche. Others joining them, St. Calais retired into a forest in Maine, and King Clotaire built a church and monastery for St. Avitus and his companions. This is at present a Benedictine nunnery, called St. Avy of Chateaudun, and is situated on the Loire, at the foot of the hill on which the town of Chateaudun is built, in the diocese of Chartres. Three famous monks, Leobin, afterwards Bishop of Chartres, Euphronius, and Rusticus, attended our Saint to his happy death, which happened about the year 530. His body was carried to Orleans, and buried with great pomp in that city.

(Taken from Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler)


Sunday, June 15, 2014

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