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Thursday, November 6, 2014

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2014


Today's Mass Readings : Thursday November 6, 2014



Thursday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 488


Reading 1PHIL 3:3-8A

Brothers and sisters:
We are the circumcision,
we who worship through the Spirit of God,
who boast in Christ Jesus and do not put our confidence in flesh,
although I myself have grounds for confidence even in the flesh.

If anyone else thinks he can be confident in flesh, all the more can I.
Circumcised on the eighth day,
of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin,
a Hebrew of Hebrew parentage,
in observance of the law a Pharisee,
in zeal I persecuted the Church,
in righteousness based on the law I was blameless.

But whatever gains I had,
these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ.
More than that, I even consider everything as a loss
because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

Responsorial Psalm PS 105:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (3b) Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel LK 15:1-10

The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So Jesus addressed this parable to them.
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.

“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one
would not light a lamp and sweep the house,
searching carefully until she finds it?
And when she does find it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors
and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’
In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.”

Pope Francis "..God goes all the way, to the very limit, He always goes to the limit..." Homily

Pope Francis preaches at Mass Thursday morning in Casa Santa Marta - OSS_ROM
(Vatican Radio) The true Christian is not afraid to get his hands dirty by reaching out to sinners, even at the risk of losing his reputation, because as the parable of the Good Shepherd teaches us, no one should be lost, said Pope Francis at Mass on Thursday morning.
Pope Francis based his homily on the two parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin. The Pharisees and scribes were scandalized because Jesus "welcomes sinners and eats with them". "It was quite a scandal at the time, for these people," observed the Pope. "Just imagine if there had been press at that time!”. "But Jesus came for this very reason: to look for those who had strayed from the Lord”. These two parables - he said - "allow us to see what the heart of God is like. God does not stop, God does not go up to a certain point, God goes all the way, to the very limit, He always goes to the limit; He does not stop at the half way point on the journey of Salvation, as if to say 'I did all I could, it’s their problem. He always goes, moves out, takes to the field".
The Pharisees and the scribes, however, stop "half-way. They were only concerned about balancing their profits and losses and were quite content with this.  'Yes, it's true, I've lost three coins, I lost ten sheep, but I earned a lot more”. This does not even enter God’s mind, God is not a moneymaker, God is a Father and He goes to the very end to save us, to the limit. This is God’s love.  Half-way shepherds are so sad”.
"It is sad to see a shepherd open the doors of the church and just stand there waiting. It’s sad that the Christian does not feel within, in his heart, the need, the need to go to tell others that the Lord is good. How much perversion there is in the hearts of those who think they are righteous, like these scribes, these Pharisees. Well, they do not want to dirty their hands with sinners. Let us recall what they thought, 'Well, if he were a prophet, he would know that she is a sinner'. The contempt. They used people, then they despised them".
"Being a half-way shepherd - Pope Francis said - is a defeat". "A shepherd must have the heart of God, go to the very limit" because he does not want anyone to be lost:

"The true shepherd, the true Christian has this zeal within: no one should be lost. And this is why they are not afraid to get his hands dirty. He is not afraid. He goes where he needs to go. He risks his life, he risks his reputation, he risks losing his comforts, his status, even lose his ecclesiastical career as well, but he is the Good Shepherd. Even Christians have to be this way. It is so easy to condemn others, as they [the Pharisees] did - the tax collectors and sinners - it's so easy, but it is not Christian! It is not [the attitude of] the children of God. The Son of God goes to the very limit, the giver of life, as Jesus gave his for others. He cannot be content, keeping to himself: his comfort, his reputation, his peace of mind. Remember this: no half-way shepherds, never! No half-way Christians, never! That’s what Jesus did".
"The good shepherd, the good Christian - said the Pope – is outward bound, is always outward bound: he is moves out of himself, he moves toward God in prayer, in worship; he moves out towards others to bring them the message of salvation”. The good shepherd and the good Christian know what tenderness is:
"These scribes, the Pharisees did not know, did not know what it means to set the sheep on his shoulders, with tenderness, and bring it back to its place. These people do not know what joy is. The half-way Christian and shepherd knows perhaps know some fun, calm, a certain peace, but joy, the joy there is in heaven, the joy that comes from God, the joy that comes from the heart of a father who saves! 'I have heard the cries of the Israelites and I took to the field’! This is so beautiful; do not be afraid that they badmouth us because we go to visit our brothers and sisters who are distant from the Lord. Let us ask this grace for each of us and for our Mother, the Holy Church. "(Emer McCarthy)

Pope Francis "... it is essential that you keep always before you the needs, experiences and realities of families in your efforts to spread the Gospel...

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday met with the Bishops of Malawi, who are in Rome on their ad limina visit. The southeast African country has a population of over 16 million, of whom around 20% are Catholic. Pope Francis met and spoke with the Bishops informally, and presented them with his prepared remarks in writing.
In his address, he expressed his “appreciation” for the “admirable spirit” of the Malawian people, noting that despite “serious obstacles, have remained strong in their commitment to family life. “It is in the family, with its unique capacity to form each member, particularly the young, into persons of love, sacrifice, commitment and fidelity, that the Church and society in Malawi will find the resources necessary to renew and build up a culture of solidarity,” Pope Francis said. “There is no aspect of family life – childhood and youth; friendship, engagement and marriage; spousal intimacy, fidelity and love; interpersonal relations and support – which is excluded from the healing and strengthening touch of God’s love, communicated through the Gospels and taught by the Church,” he continued. “There is scarcely a greater commitment that the Church can make to the future of Malawi – and indeed, to her own development – than that of a thorough and joyful apostolate to families.”
Pope Francis said a “natural result” of this apostolate will be an increase in religious and priestly vocations. “As the Church in Malawi continues to mature, it is imperative that the strong foundations laid by generations of faithful missionaries be built upon by local men and women evangelizers,” he said. The Holy Father concluded his address by speaking of those suffering from HIV/AIDS, particularly to the orphaned children and parents left without love and support as a result of this illness. “Continue to be close to those in distress, to the sick, and especially to the children,” said Pope Francis “I ask you, particularly, to offer my gratitude to the many men and women who present Christ’s tenderness and love in Catholic healthcare institutions.”
 The full text of the Pope’s prepared speech to the Bishops of Malawi is below
 Dear Brother Bishops, I offer a joyful welcome to you who have come from “the warm heart of Africa”, as you make your pilgrimage to Rome, “the warm heart of the Church”. I pray that the Lord will richly bless you during these days of prayer, meetings and dialogue. May Saints Peter and Paul, whom you have come to venerate, intercede for us all, so as to strengthen the bonds of spiritual communion between the Successor of Peter and the Church in Malawi. I thank Bishop Joseph Zuza for the kind words he offered on your behalf and on behalf of the priests, religious and laity of Malawi. I ask you kindly to assure them of my spiritual closeness. I wish to begin by expressing my esteem for each one of you and for the good work that you do – indeed, that the Lord does through you – in your ministry to God’s holy people in Malawi. The effectiveness of your pastoral and administrative efforts is the fruit of your faith as well as of the unity and fraternal spirit that characterize your episcopal conference. The communion that you live, which is a sign of the oneness of God and of the unity of the universal Church, has enabled you to speak with one voice on matters of importance to the nation at large. In this way, together with your priests, you are ensuring that the Gospel message of reconciliation, justice and peace (cf. Africae Munus) is proclaimed for the good of all society. I pray that your fellowship in “one heart and one soul” (Acts 4:32) may continue to be a hallmark of your ministry, and that it may always grow and continue to bear rich fruit. I wish also to express my appreciation for the admirable spirit of the Malawian people, who, though faced with many serious obstacles in terms of development, economic progress and standards of living, remain strong in their commitment to family life.
 It is in the family, with its unique capacity to form each member, particularly the young, into persons of love, sacrifice, commitment and fidelity, that the Church and society in Malawi will find the resources necessary to renew and build up a culture of solidarity. You yourselves know well the challenges and the value of family life, and, as fathers and shepherds, you are called to nurture, protect and strengthen it in the context of the “family of faith”, which is the Church. Indeed, for Christians, family life and ecclesial vitality depend on and reinforce each other (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 62, 66-67). In this regard, dear brothers, it is essential that you keep always before you the needs, experiences and realities of families in your efforts to spread the Gospel. There is no aspect of family life – childhood and youth; friendship, engagement and marriage; spousal intimacy, fidelity and love; interpersonal relations and support – which is excluded from the healing and strengthening touch of God’s love, communicated through the Gospels and taught by the Church.
 There is scarcely a greater commitment that the Church can make to the future of Malawi – and indeed, to her own development – than that of a thorough and joyful apostolate to families. “Pastoral activity needs to bring out more clearly the fact that our relationship with the Father demands and encourages a communion which heals, promotes and reinforces interpersonal bonds” (Evangelii Gaudium, 67) – a humanizing and sanctifying process that begins, and finds its natural fulfilment, in the family. Thus, by doing everything you can to support, educate and evangelize families, especially those in situations of material hardship, breakdown, violence or infidelity, you will bring inestimable benefit to the Church and all of Malawian society. A natural result of this apostolate will be an increase in young men and women who are willing and able to dedicate themselves to the service of others in the priesthood and religious life.
 As the Church in Malawi continues to mature, it is imperative that the strong foundations laid by generations of faithful missionaries be built upon by local men and women evangelizers. We can never be satisfied with past gains, but must always strive to share blessings and advance the mission of the Church (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 69). This is a sure sign that our motivation is a love which seeks the good of the other. Where genuine love for Christ and neighbour is fostered, there will be no shortage of generous priests and men and women consecrated to God in the religious life. In a special way, I would ask you to be close to your priests, to listen to them and to support them. They often feel pulled in so many different directions, responding with charity and often at great personal sacrifice. They need to know that you love them as a father should. One indispensible way to show this paternal care is by providing candidates for the priesthood with an ever more complete human formation – upon which an integrated spiritual, intellectual and pastoral training depend. I encourage you to further your efforts to ensure that seminarians and religious be adequately prepared for ministry in your country, so that God who has begun the good work in them may bring it to completion (cf. Phil 1:6). Well formed priests and religious in turn will be able joyfully and selflessly to offer the fruits of their formation in the service of the new evangelization, so necessary for Malawi and the whole world. I know that you are conscious of the Church’s responsibility to youth, who are a precious part of Malawi’s present and the promise for her future. Do not hesitate to offer them the truths of our faith and to show them the joy of living out the moral demands of the Gospel. Preach Christ with conviction and love, thus promoting the stability of family life and contributing to a more just and virtuous culture.

 Dear brothers, the number of people in Malawi living in poverty and who have a much reduced life expectancy is a tragedy. My thoughts go to those suffering from HIV/AIDS, and particularly to the orphaned children and parents left without love and support as a result of this illness. Continue to be close to those in distress, to the sick, and especially to the children. I ask you, particularly, to offer my gratitude to the many men and women who present Christ’s tenderness and love in Catholic healthcare institutions. The service which the Church offers to the sick, through pastoral care, prayer, clinics and hospices, must always find its source and model in Christ, who loved us and gave himself up for us (cf. Gal 2:20). Indeed, how else could we be followers of the Lord if we did not personally engage in ministry to the sick, the poor, the dying and the destitute? Our faith in Christ, born of having recognized our own need for him who has come to heal our wounds, to enrich us, to give us life, to nourish us, “is the basis of our concern for the integral development of society’s most neglected members” (Evangelii Gaudium, 186). I thank you for being close to those who are ill and all the suffering, offering them the loving presence of their shepherd. With these thoughts, dear brother Bishops, I commend all of you to the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, and with great affection I impart my Apostolic Blessing, which I willingly extend to all the beloved priests, religious and lay faithful of Malawi. From the Vatican, 6 November 2014

Pope Francis "The reality of our divisions disfigures the beauty of the seamless garment of Christ but never..." Full Text to Evangelical Alliance

Pope Francis - ANSA
(Vatican Radio) In a meeting on Thursday with a delegation from the World Evangelical Alliance, Pope Francis expressed his confidence that the Holy Spirit “can inaugurate a new stage in the relations between Catholics and Evangelicals—a stage that allows us to realize more fully the will of the Lord to bring the Gospel even to the furthest ends of the earth.”
Pope Francis spoke about the Sacrament of Baptism as “an inestimable divine gift” that all Christians have in common. “The Sacrament of Baptism reminds us of a fundamental and very consoling truth: that the Lord always goes before us with His love and His grace… The reign of God always precedes us, as does the mystery of the unity of the Church.”
The Holy Father frankly acknowledged the presence of divisions among Christians “from the beginning,” and noted that “rivalries and conflicts” continue between Christian communities. “Such situations,” he said, “weaken our capacity to fulfil the command of the Lord to preach the Gospel to all nations.” Christians would be able to better proclaim the Gospel if they could overcome their differences so that, together, they might spread the Word of God and witness to Christian charity.
Pope Francis said he was pleased to learn of efforts in various countries to build better relations between Catholic and Evangelicals. He pointed especially to the work of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Theological Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance. The Holy Father also expressed his hope that a joint document, “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct” might “become a motive of inspiration for the proclamation of the Gospel in multi-religious contexts.
Below, please find the full text of the Holy Father's address to the delegation: 
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins that He might rescue us from the present evil age in accord with the will of our God and Father” (Gal 1:3-4). With these words, the Apostle Paul expresses our common faith, our common hope. I would like for this my greeting, which proclaims that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour, to also reach the members of your communities of origin.
In offering our whole will, with renewed love, to the service of the Gospel, we help the Church to become ever more, in Christ and with Christ, the fruitful life of the Lord “until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ” (Eph 4:13). This reality has its foundation in Baptism, through which we participate in the fruits of the death and resurrection of Christ. Baptism is an inestimable divine gift that we have in common (cf. Gal 3:27). Thanks to it, we no longer live solely in the earthly dimension, but in the power of the Spirit.
The Sacrament of Baptism reminds us of a fundamental and very consoling truth: that the Lord always goes before us with His love and His grace. It precedes our communities; it precedes, anticipates, and prepares the hearts of those who proclaim the Gospel and of those who welcome the Gospel of Salvation. “Reading the Scriptures also makes it clear that the Gospel is not merely about our personal relationship with God. Nor should our loving response to God be seen simply as an accumulation of small personal gestures to individuals in need… or a series of acts aimed solely at easing our conscience. The Gospel is about the kingdom of God (cf. Lk 4:43); it is about loving God who reigns in our world” (Ap. Exhort. Evangelii gaudium, 180). The reign of God always precedes us, as does the mystery of the unity of the Church.
From the beginning there were divisions among Christians, and even now unfortunately rivalries and conflicts remain between our communities. Such situations weaken our capacity to fulfil the command of the Lord to preach the Gospel to all nations (cf Mt 28:19-20). The reality of our divisions disfigures the beauty of the seamless garment of Christ but never completely destroys the profound unity generated by the grace in all the baptized (cf. Ec. Conc. Vat. II, Decr. Unitatis redintegratio, 13). The efficacy of the Christian announcement would certainly be greater if Christians would overcome their divisions and could celebrate together the Sacraments and together spread the Word of God and witness to charity.
I am pleased to learn that, in different countries in the world, Catholics and Evangelicals have established relations of brotherhood and collaboration. Furthermore, the joint efforts of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Theological Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance have opened new perspectives, clarifying misunderstandings, and showing ways to overcome prejudices. I hope that such consultations can ultimately inspire our common witness and our efforts as evangelizers: “If we really believe in the abundantly free working of the Holy Spirit, we can learn so much from one another! It is not just about being better informed about others, but rather about reaping what the Spirit has sown in them, which is also meant to be a gift for us” (Ev. gaud., 246). I hope, too, that the document “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct” may become a motive of inspiration for the proclamation of the Gospel in multi-religious contexts.
Dear brothers and sisters, I am confident that the Holy Spirit, who inspires in the Church, with his mighty breath, the courage to persevere and event to seek new means of evangelization, can inaugurate a new stage in the relations between Catholics and Evangelicals—a stage that allows us to realize more fully the will of the Lord to bring the Gospel even to the furthest ends of the earth (cf. Acts 1:8). I assure you of my prayers for this, and I ask you also to pray for me and for my ministry. Thank you! 

2014

Saint November 6 : St. Leonard : Patron of Political prisoners, Prisoners, Women in labor, and Horses

St. Leonard
HERMIT, CONFESSOR
Feast: November 6
Information:
Feast Day:
November 6
Died:
559
Patron of:
political prisoners, imprisoned people, prisoners of war, and captives, women in labor, as well as horses

St Leonard, or Lienard, was a French nobleman of great reputation in the court of Clovis I, and in the flower of his age was converted to the faith by St. Remigius, probably after the battle of Tolbiac. Being instructed in the obligations of our heavenly warfare, wherein the prize of the victory is an assured crown of immortal glory, he resolved to lay aside all worldly pursuits, quitted the court, and became a constant disciple of St. Remigius. The holy instructions and example of that saint made every day deeper impressions upon his tender soul, and Leonard seemed to have inherited the very spirit of his master, and to be animated with the same simplicity, disinterestedness, modesty, zeal, and charity. He preached the faith some time; but finding it very difficult to resist the king's importunities, who would needs call him to court, and burning with a desire of giving himself up entirely to the exercises of penance and contemplation, he retired privately into the territory of Orleans, where St. Mesmin or Maximin governed the monastery of Micy (called afterwards St. Mesmin's), which his uncle St. Euspicius had founded, two leagues from the city, in 508. In this house St. Leonard took the religious habit and inured himself to the fervent practices of regular discipline under the direction of St. Mesmin and of St. Lie or Laetus, a holy monk of that house, who afterwards died a hermit.
St. Leonard himself aspiring after a closer solitude, with the leave of St. Mesmin left his monastery, travelled through Berry, where he converted many idolaters, and coming into Limousin, chose for his retirement a forest four leagues from Limoges. Here, in a place called Nobiliac, he built himself an oratory, lived on wild herbs and fruits, and had for some time no other witness of his penance and virtues but God alone. His zeal and devotion sometimes carried him to the neighbouring churches, and some who by his discourses were inflamed with a desire of imitating his manner of life joined him in his desert, and formed a community which, in succeeding times, out of devotion to the saint's memory, became a flourishing monastery, called first Noblat, afterwards St. Leonard le Noblat. The reputation of his sanctity and miracles being spread very wide, the king bestowed on him and his fellow-hermits a considerable part of the forest where they lived. The saint, even before he retired to Micy, had been most remarkable for his charity toward captives and prisoners, and he laid himself out with unwearied zeal in affording them both corporeal and spiritual help and comfort, and he obtained of the governors the liberty of many. This was also the favourite object of his charity after he had discovered himself to the world in Limousin, and began to make frequent excursions to preach and instruct the people of that country. It is related that some were miraculously delivered from their chains by his prayers, and that the king, out of respect for his eminent sanctity, granted him a special privilege of sometimes setting prisoners at liberty; which about that time was frequently allowed to certain holy bishops and others. But the saint's chief aim and endeavours in this charitable employment were to bring malefactors and all persons who fell under this affliction to a true sense of the enormity of their sins, and to a sincere spirit of compunction and penance, and a perfect reformation of their lives. When he had filled up the measure of his good works, his labours were crowned with a happy death about the year 559, according to the new Paris Breviary. Many great churches in England of which he is the titular saint, and our ancient calendars, show his name to have been formerly no less famous in England. In a list of holidays published at Worcester in 1240, St. Leonard's festival is ordered to be kept a half-holiday, with an obligation of hearing mass and a prohibition of labour except that of the plough. He was particularly invoked in favour of prisoners, and several miracles are ascribed to him.

Book this into your calendars! Looking to be a great conference on the Family, especially in light of the recent extraordinary synod. It's free! Discussing the Family - with Bishop Riesbeck of the Companions of the Cross, Dominican Fr. Maxime and Archbishop Prendergast...Mass - Confessions - Music - Prayers....Attend 1 day or all 3...
FREE - REGISTER NOW!
 Date: 
Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 19:00 to Saturday, November 22, 2014 - 16:00
Location: 

613-233-5696
We have been reminded by the Church throughout the centuries that the family is central to the well-being of society.The Family, a conference, will be a time for Ottawa’s Catholic community to come together to study, pray and reflect on God’s plan for the family. 
How may we bring about God’s dream of a “holy people who are his own” (Pope Francis)? We will study together the documents of the Church of the past decades, as well as the recent Synod on the Family to answer this question. 

For more information on the conference and to register, pleaseclick here.
Our mailing address is: 96 Empress Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario K1R 7G3
Thursday, November 20th, 7pm (Prayer at 6:30pm)
Friday, November 21st, 7pm (Prayer at 6:30pm)
Saturday, November 22nd, 11:45am
"The Complexity of the Modern Family" (Fr. Maxime Allard, o.p.)"What does the Church say about Family?" (Bishop Christian Riesbeck, CC.)Mass (presided by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, s.j.)



Saturday Schedule
Section ASection BSection CSection DSection E
10-10:30amIntroduce Discussion Topic "What do people say Family is? What do you?"Introduce Discussion TopicIntroduce Discussion TopicIntroduce Discussion Topic Introduce Discussion Topic
10:40-11:30amDiscussionDiscussionDiscussionDiscussionDiscussion
11:45am-12:45pmMassMassMassMassMass
12:45-1:30Lunch 10$Lunch $10Lunch $10Lunch $10Lunch $10
1:30-2:30
Session A
"The Virtuous Family"
Fr. Michael Winn
"Praying together"
Nathalie Ladouceur "Raising Teens in the Church  
Fr. Hervé Tremblay
La famille dans l'Ancien Testament
Mr. Cazelais et Mr. Morin
"Les familles reconstituées
2:30-2:45pm (Break)
2:45-3:45pm
Session B
Fr. Maxime Allard "Brokenness and Reconcialition"Renée Lockert "Evangelizing and Being Evangelized"Fr. Jean Doutre "Insights from the New Testament"Mr. Cazelais et Mr. 'Les familles reconstituées"Nathalie Ladouceur "Les ados et la foi"
3:45-4:30pm
(In the Church)
Prayer and ConfessionPrayer and Confession
Prayer and Confession
Prayer and ConfessionPrayer and Confession


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