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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Catholic News World : Sunday October 5, 2014 - Share! - Synod Special

2014

Pope Francis Synod Opening Mass "... our hearts and our minds must be kept in Jesus Christ by the peace of God which..." Full Text/Video

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis urged the Synod Bishops to listen to the Lord’s call to “care for the family” which is “an integral part of His loving plan for humanity”. The Holy Father said that “Synod Assemblies are not meant to discuss beautiful and clever ideas” but to “better nurture and tend to the Lord’s vineyard.” He spoke this morning during the Opening Mass of the Synod of Bishops in St. Peter’s Basilica. The two week General Assembly will discuss the “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of the Evangelization”.
Here is the translation of the Holy Father’s homily: 
 Today the prophet Isaiah and the Gospel employ the image of the Lord’s vineyard. The Lord’s vineyard is his “dream”, the plan which he nurtures with all his love, like a farmer who cares for his vineyard. Vines are plants which need much care! God’s “dream” is his people. He planted it and nurtured it with patient and faithful love, so that it can become a holy people, a people which brings forth abundant fruits of justice. But in both the ancient prophecy and in Jesus’ parable, God’s dream is thwarted. Isaiah says that the vine which he so loved and nurtured has yielded “wild grapes” (5:2,4); God “expected justice but saw bloodshed, righteousness, but only a cry of distress” (v. 7). In the Gospel, it is the farmers themselves who ruin the Lord’s plan: they fail to do their job but think only of their own interests.
 In Jesus’ parable, he is addressing the chief priests and the elders of the people, in other words the “experts”, the managers. To them in a particular way God entrusted his “dream”, his people, for them to nurture, tend and protect from the animals of the field. This is the job of leaders: to nuture the vineyard with freedom, creativity and hard work. But Jesus tells us that those farmers took over the vineyard. Out of greed and pride they want to do with it as they will, and so they prevent God from realizing his dream for the people he has chosen.
 The temptation to greed is ever present. We encounter it also in the great prophecy of Ezekiel on the shepherds (cf. ch. 34), which Saint Augustine commented upon in one his celebrated sermons which we have just reread in the Liturgy of the Hours. Greed for money and power. And to satisfy this greed, evil pastors lay intolerable burdens on the shoulders of others, which they themselves do not lift a finger to move (cf. Mt 23:4)  We too, in the Synod of Bishops, are called to work for the Lord’s vineyard. Synod Assemblies are not meant to discuss beautiful and clever ideas, or to see who is more intelligent… They are meant to better nuture and tend the Lord’s vineyard, to help realize his dream, his loving plan for his people. In this case the Lord is asking us to care for the family, which has been from the beginning an integral part of his loving plan for humanity.
 We are all sinners and can also be tempted to “take over” the vineyard, because of that greed which is always present in us human beings. God’s dream always clashes with the hypocrisy of some of his servants. We can “thwart” God’s dream if we fail to let ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives us that wisdom which surpasses knowledge, and enables us to work generously with authentic freedom and humble creativity. My Synod brothers, to do a good job of nurturing and tending the vineyard, our hearts and our minds must be kept in Jesus Christ by “the peace of God which passes all understanding” (Phil 4:7). In this way our thoughts and plans will correspond to God’s dream: to form a holy people who are his own and produce the fruits of the kingdom of God (cf. Mt 21:43).

Free Catholic Movie : Faustina - Drama on the Life of St. Faustina

Faustina (1994) 73 min - Biography | Drama - 22 March 1995 (Poland) Director: Jerzy Lukaszewicz Writers: Faustyna Kowalska (diary), Maria Nowakowska-Majcher Stars: Dorota Segda, Danuta Szaflarska, Agnieszka Czekanska | Drama with English Subtitles

Pope Francis tells Families Read the Bible...“For the family to be able to proceed well, with trust and with hope...Angelus Text/Video

Pope at Angelus
05/10/
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has asked for prayers for the bishops who are about to begin work in the two-week Synod of the Family and invited all families to keep a Bible handy in their homes, and read it often.
Addressing the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Angelus prayer on Sunday, he mentioned the just-celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to inaugurate the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family.
The Pope explained that the bishops have been called to take care and promote the family according to God’s plan, and thus they will meet for two intense weeks of listening and dialogue on the theme “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family within the context of Evangelization”. “For the family to be able to proceed well, with trust and with hope, it must be nurtured by the Word of God” he said. And mentioning the fact that in the Square the Pauline brothers had just distributed Bibles to those present, the Pope said: “Today, as the Synod for the Family opens, with the help of the Pauline brothers there is a Bible for every family! Not to just put it on a shelf, but to keep it on hand, dip into it often, both individually and together, husband and wife, parents and children, perhaps in the evening, especially on Sundays. In this way the family will grow and walk in the light and the strength of God’s Word!”
After the recitation of the Angelus prayer, Pope Francis recalled the beatification Saturday of Sister Maria Teresa Demjanovich in the United States and thanked the Lord for this “faithful disciple of Christ who led an intense spiritual life”.
He also remarked on the fact that Italy is marking the “Day for the Demolition of Architectural Barriers”, and he had words of encouragement for those who work to guarantee equal opportunities for all, regardless of the physical challenges of an individual. (Linda Bordoni)

Sunday Mass and Readings : Sunday October 5, 2014 - 27th Ord. Time A


Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 139


Reading 1IS 5:1-7

Let me now sing of my friend,
my friend's song concerning his vineyard.
My friend had a vineyard
on a fertile hillside;
he spaded it, cleared it of stones,
and planted the choicest vines;
within it he built a watchtower,
and hewed out a wine press.
Then he looked for the crop of grapes,
but what it yielded was wild grapes.

Now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah,
judge between me and my vineyard:
What more was there to do for my vineyard
that I had not done?
Why, when I looked for the crop of grapes,
did it bring forth wild grapes?
Now, I will let you know
what I mean to do with my vineyard:
take away its hedge, give it to grazing,
break through its wall, let it be trampled!
Yes, I will make it a ruin:
it shall not be pruned or hoed,
but overgrown with thorns and briers;
I will command the clouds
not to send rain upon it.
The vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel,
and the people of Judah are his cherished plant;
he looked for judgment, but see, bloodshed!
for justice, but hark, the outcry!

Responsorial Psalm PS 80:9, 12, 13-14, 15-16, 19-20

R/ (Is 5:7a) The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel.
A vine from Egypt you transplanted;
you drove away the nations and planted it.
It put forth its foliage to the Sea,
its shoots as far as the River.
R/ The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel.
Why have you broken down its walls,
so that every passer-by plucks its fruit,
The boar from the forest lays it waste,
and the beasts of the field feed upon it?
R/ The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel.
Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see;
take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
R/ The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel.
Then we will no more withdraw from you;
give us new life, and we will call upon your name.
O LORD, God of hosts, restore us;
if your face shine upon us, then we shall be saved.
R/ The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel.

Reading 2PHIL 4:6-9
Brothers and sisters:
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me.
Then the God of peace will be with you.

Gospel MT 21:33-43

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
"Hear another parable.
There was a landowner who planted a vineyard,
put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.
When vintage time drew near,
he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.
But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat,
another they killed, and a third they stoned.
Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones,
but they treated them in the same way.
Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking,
'They will respect my son.'
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another,
'This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’
They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?"
They answered him,
"He will put those wretched men to a wretched death
and lease his vineyard to other tenants
who will give him the produce at the proper times."
Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures:
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?

Therefore, I say to you,
the kingdom of God will be taken away from you
and given to a people that will produce its fruit."

2014

Saint October 5 : St. Faustina Kowalska : Apostle of Divine Mercy and Patron of World Youth Day


St. Faustina Kowalska
APOSTLE OF DIVINE MERCY
Feast: October 5
Information:
Feast Day:
October 5
Born:
25 August 1905, Głogowiec, Poland
Died:
October 5, 1938, Kraków, Poland
Canonized:
30 April 2000, Pope John Paul II
Major Shrine:
Shrine of Divine Mercy in Łagiewniki, Kraków, Poland
Patron of:
World Youth Day

St Mary Faustina Kowalska was born on 25 August 1905 in Glogowiec, Poland, to a poor, religious family of peasants, the third of 10 children. She was baptized with the name Helena in the parish church of Swinice Warckle. From a very tender age she stood out because of her love of prayer, work, obedience and her sensitivity to the poor. At the age of nine she made her First Holy Communion and attended school for three years. At the age of 16 she left home and went to work as a housekeeper in Aleksandrow, Lodz and Ostrowek in order to support herself and to help her parents.
At the age of seven she had already felt the first stirrings of a religious vocation. After finishing school, she wanted to enter the convent but her parents would not give her permission. Called during a vision of the suffering Christ, on 1 August 1925 she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and took the name Sr Mary Faustina. She lived in the congregation for 13 years, residing in Krakow, Plock and Vilnius, where she worked as a cook, gardener and porter.
Externally, nothing revealed her rich mystical interior life. She zealously performed her tasks and faithfully observed the rule of religious life. She was recollected, yet very natural, serene and full of kindness and disinterested love for her neighbour. Although her life was apparently insignificant and monotonous, she hid within herself an extraordinary union with God.
It is the mystery of God's mercy, which she contemplated in the word of God as well as in her everyday activities, that forms the basis of her spirituality. The process of contemplating and getting to know the mystery of God's mercy helped to develop within Sr Mary Faustina the attitude of childlike trust in God and of mercy towards her neighbour. "0 my Jesus, each of your saints reflects one of your virtues; I desire to reflect your compassionate heart, full of mercy; I want to glorify it. Let your mercy, 0 Jesus, be impressed upon my heart and soul like a seal, and this will be my badge in this and the future life" (Diary 1242). Sr Faustina was a faithful daughter of the Church. Conscious of her role in the Church, she cooperated with God's mercy in the task of saving lost souls. At the specific request of the Lord Jesus and following his example, she made a sacrifice of her own life for this very goal. Her spiritual life was also distinguished by a love of the Eucharist and a deep devotion to the Mother of Mercy.
The years she spent in the convent were filled with extraordinary gifts, such as revelations, visions, hidden stigmata, participation in the Passion of the Lord, bilocation, the reading of human souls, prophecy and the rare gift of mystical espousal and marriage. Her living relationship with God, the Blessed Mother, the angels, the saints, the souls in purgatory—with the entire supernatural world—was as real for her as the world she perceived with the senses. In spite of being so richly endowed with extraordinary graces, Sr Mary Faustina knew that they do not in fact constitute sanctity. In her Diary she wrote: "Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures, nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect, but rather the intimate union of the soul with God. These gifts are merely ornaments of the soul, but constitute neither its essence nor its perfection. My sanctity and perfection consist in the close union of my will with the will of God" (Diary 1107).
The Lord Jesus chose Sr Mary Faustina as the apostle and "secretary" of his mercy, so that she could tell the world about his great message. "In the Old Covenant", he said to her, "I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to my people. Today I am sending you with my mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to my merciful Heart" (Diary 1588).
The mission of Sr Mary Faustina consists in three tasks:
—reminding the world of the truth of our faith revealed in the Holy Scripture about the merciful love of God towards every human being;
—entreating God's mercy for the whole world and particularly for sinners, among others through the practice of new forms of devotion to the Divine Mercy presented by the Lord Jesus, such as: the veneration of the image of the Divine Mercy with the inscription: "Jesus, I trust in you"; the feast of the Divine Mercy celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter; chaplet to the Divine Mercy and prayer at the Hour of Mercy (3 p.m.). The Lord Jesus attached great promises to the above forms of devotion, provided one entrusted one's life to God and practised active love of neighbour;
—initiating the apostolic movement of the Divine Mercy, whose task is to proclaim and entreat God's mercy for the world and to strive for Christian perfection, following the precepts laid down by Sr Mary Faustina. The precepts in question require the faithful to have an attitude of childlike trust in God, expressed in fulfilling his will, and an attitude of mercy toward one's neighbour. Today millions of people throughout the world are involved in this Church movement: it includes religious congregations, lay institutes, religious, confraternities, associations, various communities of apostles of the Divine Mercy, as well as individuals who take up the tasks which the Lord Jesus communicated to them through Sr Mary Faustina.
Sr Mary Faustina's mission was recorded in her Diary, which she kept at the specific request of the Lord Jesus and her confessors. In it she faithfully wrote down all of the Lord's wishes and described the encounters between her soul and him. "Secretary of my most profound mystery", the Lord said to Sr Faustina, "know that your task is to write down everything that I make known to you about my mercy, for the benefit of those who by reading these things will be comforted in their souls and will have the courage to approach me" (Diary 1693). Sr Mary Faustina's work sheds light on the mystery of the Divine Mercy. It delights not only simple, uneducated people, but also scholars, who look upon it as an additional source of theological research.
Sr Mary Faustina, consumed by tuberculosis and innumerable sufferings, which she accepted as a voluntary sacrifice for sinners, died in Krakow at the age of 33 on 5 October 1938, with a reputation for spiritual maturity and a mystical union with God. Her reputation for holiness grew, as did the devotion to the Divine Mercy and the graces received from God through her intercession. Pope John Paul II beatified Sr Faustina on 18 April 1993. Her mortal remains rest at the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Krakow-Lagiewniki.
SOURCE http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/F/stfaustinakowalska.asp

Pope Francis "Grant us this creative charity which consents to love as Jesus loved." Full Text/Video Synod Prayer Vigil LIVE

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis presided a prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Square on Saturday evening, ahead of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, which is set to begin on Sunday at the Vatican. The outdoor vigil began at 7 p.m., Rome time, and drew tens of thousands of faithful. During his homily, the Pope asked that the Church pray for the Synod Fathers, in particular for the gift to listen in the manner of God, to have a spirit of openness in discussions and to maintain a fixed gaze on Jesus Christ. Thousands of people were also gathered in the square for the pre-vigil program, which included the testimonies of married and engaged couples, Scripture readings, prayer, singing and reflections on the family, written by Pope Francis and his predecessors.
Below is the Vatican Radio translation of the Pope’s homily: 
Dear families, good evening! The evening falls on our assembly. It is the hour in which one willingly returns home to the same meal, in the thick of affections, of the good that has been done and received, of the encounters which warm the heart and make it grow, good wine which anticipates in the days of man the feast without end. It is also the most weighty hour for he who finds himself face to face with his own loneliness, in the bitter twilight of broken dreams and plans: how many people trudge through the day in the blind alley of resignation, abandonment, even resentment: in how many homes was the wine of joy less plenty, therefore, the zest – and the wisdom – of life. For one another we make our prayer heard. It is significant how – even in the individualistic culture which distorts and renders connections fleeting – in each person born of a woman, there remains alive an essential need of stability, of an open door, of someone with whom to weave and to share the story of life, a history to which to belong. The communion of life assumed by spouses, their openness to the gift of life, the mutual protection, the encounter and the memory of generations, educational support, the transmission of the Christian faith to their children . . . With all this, the family continues to be a school without parallel of humanity, an indispensable contribution to a just and united society. (cfr Esort. ap. Evangelii gaudium, 66-68). And the deeper its roots, the more it is possible in life to leave and to go far, without getting lost or feeling out of place in foreign lands.
This horizon helps us to grasp the importance of the Synodal assembly, which opens tomorrow. Already, the “convenire in unum” surrounding the Bishop of Rome is an event of grace, in which episcopal collegiality is made manifest in a path of spiritual and pastoral discernment. To search for that which today the Lord asks of His Church, we must lend our ears to the beat of this time and perceive the “scent” of the people today, so as to remain permeated with their joys and hopes, by their sadness and distress, at which time we will know how to propose the good news of the family with credibility. We know, in fact, as in the Gospel, there is a strength and tenderness capable of defeating that which is created by unhappiness and violence. Yes, in the Gospel there is salvation which fulfills the most profound needs of man! Of this salvation – work of God’s mercy and grace – as a Church, we are sign and instrument, a living and effective sacrament. If it were not so, our building would remain only a house of cards, and pastors would be reduced to clerics of state, on whose lips the people would search in vain for the freshness and “smell of the Gospel.” (Ibid., 39). Thus emerges also the subject of our prayer. Above all, we ask the Holy Spirit, for the gift of listening for the Synod Fathers: to listen in the manner of God, so that they may hear, with him, the cry of the people; to listen to the people, until they breathe the will to which God calls us. Besides listening, we invoke an openness toward a sincere discussion, open and fraternal, which leads us to carry with pastoral responsibility the questions that this change in epoch brings. We let it flow back into our hearts, without ever losing peace, but with serene trust which in his own time the Lord will not fail to bring into unity.
Does not Church history perhaps recount many similar situations, which our Fathers knew how to overcome with persistent patience and creativity? The secret lies in a gaze: and it is the third gift that we implore with our prayer. Because, if we truly intend to walk among contemporary challenges, the decisive condition is to maintain a fixed gaze on Jesus Christ – Lumen Gentium – to pause in contemplation and in adoration of His Face. If we assume his way of thinking, of living and of relating, we will never tire of translating the Synodal work into guidelines and paths for the pastoral care of the person and of the family. In fact, every time we return to the source of Christian experience, new paths and un-thought of possibilities open up. This is what the Gospel hints at: “Do whatever he tells you.” These are the words which contain the spiritual testament of Mary, “the friend who is ever-concerned that wine not be lacking in our lives” (EV 286). Let us make these words ours! At that point, our listening and our discussion on the family, loved with the gaze of Christ, will become a providential occasion with which to renew – according to the example of Saint Francis – the Church and society. With the joy of the Gospel we will rediscover the way of a reconciled and merciful Church, poor and friend of the poor; a Church “given strength that it might, in patience and in love, overcome its sorrows and its challenges, both within itself and from without.” (Lumen Gentium, 8) May the Wind of Pentecost blow upon the Synod’s work, on the Church, and on all of humanity. Undo the knots which prevent people from encountering one another, heal the wounds that bleed, rekindle hope. Grant us this creative charity which consents to love as Jesus loved. And our message may reclaim the vivacity and enthusiasm of the first missionaries of the Gospel.

RIP Fr. Benedict Groeschel - Beloved Priest and Preacher of the Franciscan Friars - Statement - Tribute - Age 81


Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, beloved priest and preacher, died on October 3, 2014 at 11PM, the vigil of the Feast of St. Francis. He was 81. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may he rest in peace! Father Groeschel founded the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in 1987 with seven other Capuchin friars: Father Stan Fortuna, Father Robert Stanion, Father Glenn Sudano, Father Bob Lombardo, and Father Andrew Apostoli.
Fr. Benedict was a founder of the Community of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFR), a reform community started in 1987 by eight Capuchin Friars based in New York City. He was a priest and psychologist, and also taught Pastoral Psychology for years at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie. Fr. Benedict was a writer, preacher, retreat master, and evangelist on Catholic television. He also Founded St. Francis House and Good Counsel Homes. Father Benedict is survived by his sister, Marjule Drury, several nieces and nephews,
STATEMENT ON THE DEATH OF FATHER BENEDICT J. GROESCHEL The Catholic Church and the Franciscan family lost a giant today. This moment is one that finds the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFR) with mixed emotions, as we are deeply saddened by the loss of Fr. Benedict but also relieved that God has set him free from the physical and mental suffering he has experienced over the past decade. The world knew Father Benedict as a priest, teacher, evangelist, retreat master, and a steadfast defender of and advocate for the Catholic Church that he loved so much. The members of his religious family saw all these things in him, too. But even more, we were also blessed to know him as a father who cared for each of us, a father who was always accessible when we needed him and always glad to see us when we came to visit. The words of a fellow Franciscan, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, describing St. Francis, characterize Fr. Benedict well, “His intuition of a universal brotherhood, extending to every creature, accompanied by his choice of minority, turn him and his followers into the brothers of every person, the enemies of none, and the companions of the least ones.”  Fr. Benedict was a brother and a father to everyone he encountered. In a world often overwhelmed with darkness, he was a man filled with hope, a hope that he shared with both the rich and poor alike. His love for others and deep desire to serve, sent him among poor families who were in need of assistance, young people trying to find their way, bishops faced with challenging decisions, priests and religious in need of an encouraging word, and the stranger who was far from God. Fr. Benedict was at home in every circumstance and every encounter. “The providence of God,” he would say, “was the mystery of God reaching out at every moment and revealing his love and presence to us all.” It is not an exaggeration to say that Fr. Benedict was selfless. Those who knew him well understood that it was simply his nature to be so. He poured himself out for others no matter what the cost—and sometimes the cost to him was very great. To have known him was to have been helped by him and even loved by him. Our CFR Family and everyone who knew him received an enormous amount from Fr. Benedict—probably more than we were ever able to give back. It was not simply his wealth of wisdom and knowledge from which many benefited. It was his profound faith and equally profound love, two gifts that he never failed to share generously. Join with us in praying for the repose of the soul of Fr. Benedict, for his family and Community, and also in thanksgiving for the legacy of renewal within the Church and Franciscan family that Fr. Benedict championed.


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