Monday, January 19, 2015

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Today's Mass Readings : Monday January 19, 2015

Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 311

Reading 1HEB 5:1-10
Brothers and sisters:
Every high priest is taken from among men
and made their representative before God,
to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring,
for he himself is beset by weakness
and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself
as well as for the people.
No one takes this honor upon himself
but only when called by God,
just as Aaron was.
In the same way,
it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest,
but rather the one who said to him:
You are my Son:
this day I have begotten you;

just as he says in another place,
You are a priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.

In the days when he was in the Flesh,
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
to the one who was able to save him from death,
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Responsorial PsalmPS 110:1, 2, 3, 4

R. (4b) You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand
till I make your enemies your footstool.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion:
“Rule in the midst of your enemies.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
“Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor;
before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent:
“You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.

AlleluiaHEB 4:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 2:18-22

The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast.
People came to Jesus and objected,
“Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast,
but your disciples do not fast?”
Jesus answered them,
“Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?
As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast.
But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast on that day.
No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak.
If he does, its fullness pulls away,
the new from the old, and the tear gets worse.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins,
and both the wine and the skins are ruined.
Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

2015 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
JANUARY 18–25, 2015

Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink."
John 4:7

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2015 Theme Announced
By: Fr Thomas Orians, SA
Associate Director – Graymoor
Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute
The 2015 theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has been selected.  For the coming year the theme finds its origins in the Gospel of John:4:1-42. The initial work on the theme for this year’s Week of Prayer material was prepared by a group of representatives from the National Council of Christian Churches of Brazil (CONIC). CONIC appointed a working group formed by representatives from its member churches and affiliated ecumenical organizations to arrive at the theme. The texts were then approved at a meeting held in São Paulo, Brazil of the International Committee composed of members of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, and the Pontifical Council for Promoting of Christian Unity.
The encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman invites us to try water from a different well and also to offer a little of our own. In diversity, we enrich each other. When Jesus says to her, “please give me a drink” it implies an ethical action that recognizes the need for one another in living out the Church’s mission. It compels us to change our attitude, to commit ourselves to seek unity in the midst of our diversity, through our openness to a variety of forms of prayer and Christian spirituality. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is a privileged moment for prayer, encounter and dialogue. It is an opportunity to recognize the richness and value that are present in the other, the different, and to ask God for the gift of unity.
The traditional period in the northern hemisphere for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is 18-25 January. Those dates were proposed in 1908 by Paul Wattson, Founder of the Society of the Atonement, to cover the original days of the feasts of the Chair of St. Peter  (January 18) and the Conversion of  St. Paul (January 25) , and therefore have a symbolic significance. Materials for the celebration of the Week of Prayer For Christian Unity in 2015 will be available from the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute at a later date.
Shared from USCCB
PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY Lord Jesus Christ, at your Last Supper you prayed to the Father that all should be one. Send your Holy Spirit upon all who bear your name and seek to serve you. Strengthen our faith in you, and lead us to love one another in humility. May we who have been reborn in one baptism be united in one faith under one Shepherd. Amen.

Latest from #Vatican News and #PopeFrancis - Summary of Philippine Trip

19-01-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 013 

- Pope Francis returns to Rome
- Other Pontifical Acts
- Francis to Filipino youth: act with integrity, honesty, and do not be afraid to love
- The Pope meets the father of the volunteer who died in Tacloban
- Concluding Mass in Manila: the child Jesus, protector of the Philippines
Pope Francis returns to Rome
Vatican City, 19 January 2015 (VIS) – This morning the Pope celebrated Mass privately in the apostolic nunciature in Manila. Shortly after he transferred by Popemobile to the Villamor Air Base, greeting the faithful who lined the streets along the way. Upon arrival at the airport he was received in the presidential pavilion by Benigno Aquino III, president of the Philippines, who accompanied him on foot to the aircraft. The farewell ceremony took place beside the aeroplane, in the presence of the civil authorities and around a thousand faithful.
The papal aircraft left Manila at 10 a.m. local time and is expected to land in Rome's Ciampino airport at 5.40 p.m. The Pope will return directly to the Vatican, thus concluding his seventh international apostolic trip.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 19 January 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- appointed Bishop Mario Toso, S.D.B., secretary of the Pontifical Council “Justice and Peace”, as bishop of Faenza-Modigliana (area 1,044, population 140,821, Catholics 132,259, priests 92, permanent deacons 11, religious 155), Italy. He succeeds Bishop Claudio Stagni, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- erected the eparchy of Bahir Dar-Dessie (area 221,775, population 16,215,850, Catholics 17,544, priests 24, religious 47), Ethiopia, with territory from the metropolitan archieparchy of Addis Abeba, making it a suffragan of the same ecclesiastical circumscription. He appointed Bishop Lisane-Christos Matheos Semahun, formerly auxiliary of Addis Abeba, as the first bishop of the new eparchy of Bahir Dar-Dessie, Ethiopia.
- erected the metropolitan Church “sui iuris” of Eritrea, dividing it from the metropolitan archieparchy of Addis Abeba. The seat of the new metropolitan Church is Asmara, which is elevated to the status of metropolitan archieparchy. It corresponds to the territory of Eritrea and regroups the eparchies of Asmara, Barentu, Keren and Seghenity. He appointed Bishop Menghesteab Tesfamariam, M.C.C.J., formerly eparchal bishop of Asmara, as the first metropolitan of Eritrea.
18-01-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 012 

Francis to Filipino youth: act with integrity, honesty, and do not be afraid to love
Vatican City, 18 January 2015 (VIS) – The Pope visited the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas to meet with the leaders of the main religious confessions represented in the Philippines. Currently attended by forty thousand students, the University of Santo Tomas is managed by Dominican Fathers, and it is the largest and oldest university in Asia. It recently celebrated the fourth centenary of its foundation and has received the patronage of the Spanish crown since 1680.
Upon arrival the Pope was received by the chancellor and the rector, and greeted the religious leaders. Shortly after he toured the campus by Popemobile to greet the ten thousand students who awaited him. He then proceeded to the sports field, able to hold thirty thousand people, where he gave an off-the-cuff address in Spanish, answering various questions such as “Why do children suffer?”, “How does one live true love?”, “How can one contribute professionally to compassion and mercy without falling prey to materialism?”.
Beforehand, the Holy Father shared with those present the sad news of the death of the young volunteer Kristel Padasas in Tacloban yesterday. “She was 27 years old; she was young, like you, and worked for an association. I would like us all to pray in silence a minute and then invoke our heavenly Mother. And let us pray also for her parents”.
The original text of the Pope's planned discourse is published below:
“Dear young friends, it is a joy for me to be with you this morning. I greet each of you from the heart, and I thank all those who made this meeting possible. During my visit to the Philippines, I wanted to meet with young people, to listen to you and to talk with you. I want to express the love and the hopes of the Church for you. And I want to encourage you, as Christian citizens of this country, to offer yourselves passionately and honestly to the great work of renewing your society and helping to build a better world.
“In a special way, I thank the young people who have offered words of welcome to me. They have expressed eloquently, in your name, your concerns and worries, your faith and your hopes. They have spoken of the difficulties and the expectations of the young. Although I cannot respond to each of these issues at length, I know that, together with your pastors and among yourselves, you will prayerfully consider them and make concrete proposals for action in your lives.
“Today I would like to suggest three key areas where you have a significant contribution to make to the life of your country. The first of these is the challenge of integrity. The word 'challenge' can be understood in two ways. First, it can be understood negatively, as a temptation to act against your moral convictions, what you know to be true, good and right. Our integrity can be challenged by selfish interest, greed, dishonesty, or the willingness to use other people.
“But the word 'challenge' can be also understood positively. It can be seen as invitation to courage, a summons to bear prophetic witness to what you believe and hold sacred. In this sense, the challenge of integrity is something which you have to face now, at this time in your lives. It is not something you can put off until you are older or have greater responsibilities. Even now you are challenged to act with honesty and fairness in your dealings with others, young and old alike. Do not avoid the challenge! One of the greatest challenges young people face is learning to love. To love means to take a risk: the risk of rejection, the risk of being taken advantage of, or worse, of taking advantage of another. Do not be afraid to love! But in love, too, maintain your integrity! Here too, be honest and fair!
“In the reading we have just heard, Paul tells Timothy: 'Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity'. You are called, then, to set a good example, an example of integrity. Naturally, in doing this, you will encounter opposition, negativity, discouragement, and even ridicule. But you have received a gift which enables you to rise above those difficulties. It is the gift of the Holy Spirit. If you nurture this gift by daily prayer and draw strength from sharing in the Eucharist, you will be able to achieve that moral greatness to which Jesus calls you. You will also be a compass for those of your friends who are struggling. I think especially of those young people who are tempted to lose hope, to abandon their high ideals, to drop out of school, or to live from day to day on the streets.
“So it is essential not to lose your integrity! Not to compromise your ideals! Not to give in to temptations against goodness, holiness, courage and purity! Rise to the challenge! With Christ, you will be – indeed you already are! – the architects of a renewed and more just Filipino culture.
“A second key area where you are called to make a contribution is in showing concern for the environment. This is not only because this country, more than many others, is likely to be seriously affected by climate change. You are called to care for creation not only as responsible citizens, but also as followers of Christ! Respect for the environment means more than simply using cleaner products or recycling what we use. These are important aspects, but not enough. We need to see, with the eyes of faith, the beauty of God’s saving plan, the link between the natural environment and the dignity of the human person. Men and women are made in the image and likeness of God, and given dominion over creation. As stewards of God’s creation, we are called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family. When we destroy our forests, ravage our soil and pollute our seas, we betray that noble calling.
“Three months ago, your Bishops addressed these issues in a prophetic Pastoral Letter. They asked everyone to think about the moral dimension of our activities and lifestyles, our consumption and our use of the earth’s resources. Today I ask you to do this in the context of your own lives and your commitment to the building up of Christ’s kingdom. Dear young people, the just use and stewardship of the earth’s resources is an urgent task, and you have an important contribution to make. You are the future of the Philippines. Be concerned about what is happening to your beautiful land!
“A final area in which you can make a contribution is one dear to all of us. It is care for the poor. We are Christians. We are members of God’s family. No matter how much or how little we have individually, each one of us is called to personally reach out and serve our brothers and sisters in need. There is always someone near us who is in need, materially, emotionally, spiritually. The greatest gift we can give to them is our friendship, our concern, our tenderness, our love for Jesus. To receive Jesus is to have everything; to give Him is to give the greatest gift of all.
“Many of you know what it is to be poor. But many of you have also experienced something of the blessedness that Jesus promised to 'the poor in spirit'. Here I would say a word of encouragement and gratitude to those of you who choose to follow our Lord in his poverty through a vocation to the priesthood and the religious life; by drawing on that poverty you will enrich many. But to all of you, especially those who can do more and give more, I ask: Please, do more! Please, give more! When you give of your time, your talents and your resources to the many people who struggle and who live on the margins, you make a difference. It is a difference that is so desperately needed, and one for which you will be richly rewarded by the Lord. For, as he has said: 'you will have treasure in heaven'.
“Twenty years ago, in this very place, St. John Paul II said that the world needs 'a new kind of young person' – one committed to the highest ideals and eager to build the civilisation of love. Be those young persons! Never lose your idealism! Be joyful witnesses to God’s love and the beautiful plan he has for us, for this country and for the world in which we live. Please pray for me. God bless you all!”.
Following the meeting, the Pope returned directly to the apostolic nunciature in Manila.
The Pope meets the father of the volunteer who died in Tacloban
Vatican City, 18 January 2015 (VIS) – Immediately after his return to the apostolic nunciature yesterday around midday local time, the Pope had a long meeting with the father and cousin of Kristel Padasas, the volunteer who died yesterday in Tacloban following his visit, according to information provided by the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. “It was an emotional encounter that lasted over twenty minutes, with Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle as interpreter. The father said that he was shocked but consoled by the knowledge that his daughter had been able to prepare for the people's encounter with the Pope. The Holy Father unsuccessfully attempted to contact the mother in Hong Kong by telephone; she will arrive in Manila tomorrow”.
Concluding Mass in Manila: the child Jesus, protector of the Philippines
 Vatican City, 18 January 2015 (VIS) – After dining and resting for a couple of hours, the Pope proceeded to the “Quirino Grandstand-Rizal Park” stadium, situated in a sixty-hectare urban park and built in preparation for the ceremony for the proclamation of independence on 4 July 1946. It commemorates the national hero Jose Rizal, a poet, writer and revolutionary executed by the Spanish in 1896. The precise location of his execution is indicated by a monument representing the point zero from which the distances of the roads in Luzon are measured.
“It is a special joy for me to celebrate Santo Nino Sunday with you”, said the Pope in his homily. “The image of the Holy Child Jesus accompanied the spread of the Gospel in this country from the beginning. Dressed in the robes of a king, crowned and holding the sceptre, the globe and the cross, he continues to remind us of the link between God’s Kingdom and the mystery of spiritual childhood. He tells us this in today’s Gospel: 'Whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it'. The Santo Nino continues to proclaim to us that the light of God’s grace has shone upon a world dwelling in darkness, bringing the Good News of our freedom from slavery, and guiding us in the paths of peace, right and justice. The Santo Nino also reminds us of our call to spread the reign of Christ throughout the world.
“In these days, throughout my visit, I have listened to you sing the song: 'We are all God’s children'. That is what the Santo Nino tells us. He reminds us of our deepest identity. All of us are God’s children, members of God’s family. Today St. Paul has told us that in Christ we have become God’s adopted children, brothers and sisters in Christ. This is who we are. This is our identity. We saw a beautiful expression of this when Filipinos rallied around our brothers and sisters affected by the typhoon.
“The Apostle tells us that because God chose us, we have been richly blessed! God 'has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens'. These words have a special resonance in the Philippines, for it is the foremost Catholic country in Asia; this is itself a special gift of God, a special blessing. But it is also a vocation. Filipinos are called to be outstanding missionaries of the faith in Asia.
“God chose and blessed us for a purpose: to be holy and blameless in His sight. He chose us, each of us to be witnesses of His truth and His justice in this world. He created the world as a beautiful garden and asked us to care for it. But through sin, man has disfigured that natural beauty; through sin, man has also destroyed the unity and beauty of our human family, creating social structures which perpetuate poverty, ignorance and corruption.
“Sometimes, when we see the troubles, difficulties and wrongs all around us, we are tempted to give up. It seems that the promises of the Gospel do not apply; they are unreal. But the Bible tells us that the great threat to God’s plan for us is, and always has been, the lie. The devil is the father of lies. Often he hides his snares behind the appearance of sophistication, the allure of being 'modern', 'like everyone else'. He distracts us with the view promise of ephemeral pleasures, superficial pastimes. And so we squander our God-given gifts by tinkering with gadgets; we squander our money on gambling and drink; we turn in on ourselves. We forget to remain focused on the things that really matter. We forget to remain, at heart, children of God. That is sin: to forget, in one’s heart, to be children of God. For children, as the Lord tells us, have their own wisdom, which is not the wisdom of the world. That is why the message of the Santo Nino is so important. He speaks powerfully to all of us. He reminds us of our deepest identity, of what we are called to be as God’s family.
“The Santo Nino also reminds us that this identity must be protected. The Christ Child is the protector of this great country. When He came into the world, his very life was threatened by a corrupt king. Jesus Himself needed to be protected. He had an earthly protector: St. Joseph. He had an earthly family, the Holy Family of Nazareth. So He reminds us of the importance of protecting our families, and those larger families which are the Church, God’s family, and the world, our human family. Sadly, in our day, the family all too often needs to be protected against insidious attacks and programmes contrary to all that we hold true and sacred, all that is most beautiful and noble in our culture.
“In the Gospel, Jesus welcomes children, He embraces them and blesses them. We too need to protect, guide and encourage our young people, helping them to build a society worthy of their great spiritual and cultural heritage. Specifically, we need to see each child as a gift to be welcomed, cherished and protected. And we need to care for our young people, not allowing them to be robbed of hope and condemned to life on the streets.
“It was a frail child, in need of protection, Who brought God’s goodness, mercy and justice into the world. He resisted the dishonesty and corruption which are the legacy of sin, and He triumphed over them by the power of His cross. Now, at the end of my visit to the Philippines, I commend you to Him, to Jesus Who came among us as a child. May He enable all the beloved people of this country to work together, protecting one another, beginning with your families and communities, in building a world of justice, integrity and peace. May the Santo Nino continue to bless the Philippines and to sustain the Christians of this great nation in their vocation to be witnesses and missionaries of the joy of the Gospel, in Asia and in the whole world”.
He concluded by adding, “Please don’t forget to pray for me! God bless you all”.
Following the Mass, the final event of Pope Francis' stay in the Philippines, Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle thanked him for his visit. After putting on the yellow raincoat he had also used yesterday, the Holy Father toured the area in the Popemobile in order to bid farewell to the many faithful who lined the streets. Finally, he retired to the apostolic nunciature where he dined privately and rested.

Saint January 19 : St. Canute IV : King of Denmark and Martyr

Feast Day:January 19
1043, Denmark
Died:July 10, 1086, Odense
Major Shrine:Saint Canute's Cathedral, Odense
Patron of:Denmark
Martyr and King of Denmark, date of birth uncertain; d. 10 July 1086, the third of the thirteen natural sons of Sweyn II surnamed Estridsen. Elected king on the death of his brother Harold about 1080, he waged war on his barbarous enemies and brought Courland and Livonia to the faith. Having married Eltha, daughter of Robert, Count of Flanders, he had a son Charles, surnamed the good. He was a strong ruler, as is proved by his stern dealing with the pirate Eigill of Bornholm. The happiness of his people and the interests of the Church were the objects he had most at heart. To the cathedral of Roskilde, still the royal burying-place, he gave his own diadem. His austerity was equalled by his assiduity in prayer. An expedition to England, in favour of the Saxons against William the Conqueror, planned by him in 1085, failed through the treachery of his brother Olaf. His people having revolted on account of the cruelties of certain tax-collectors, Canute retired to the island of Funen. There, in the church of St. Alban, after due preparation for death, the king, his brother Benedict, and seventeen others were surrounded and slain, 10 July, 1086. His feast is 19 January, translation, 10 July; his emblems, a lance or arrows, in memory of the manner of his death.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Pope Francis Departs from Philippines - Ceremony Video - Text

Pope Francis boards the plane in Manila after concluding a two-nation weeklong Asian trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines - AP
19/01/2015 08:20

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis left Manila on Monday morning, after a weeklong trip to Asia which took him to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos lined the streets of Manila to catch a final glimpse of the Holy Father as he went to the airport.
Pope Francis drew over 6 million to his final Mass in Manila’s Luneta Park on Sunday, the largest crowd for a Papal event in history.
At a press conference after the Pope’s departure, the Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle said everyone in the Philippines was “overwhelmed right now with thanksgiving and gratitude to God” for the trip, and were “challenged” by Pope Francis to face problems such as inequality in the country.
Listen to excerpts from the Press Conference in Manila after the departure of Pope Francis:
“The priest, religious, the lay, all of us got the message clearly,” said Cardinal Tagle. “We will call on everyone to put this message into action.”
He added that the papal message on bridging the gap between the rich and poor is “not just for Christians but for all.”
Cardinal Tagle also said Pope Francis is challenging the culture to not blindly accept every novelty.
“I think the Holy Father is also inviting us to be discerning and to be critical,” he said.
“Not everything new is necessarily good.  Here I think the Christian spirituality of discernment can be handy,” continued the Cardinal.  “How do we immerse ourselves in the World of God, in prayer, in the teachings of the Church, and with that deep resource How do you address the changes in the world?”
Cardinal Tagle said when speaking privately with Pope Francis, the Holy Father said one solid foundation is popular religiosity.
“He said it is the simple faith that makes people survive the changes in society,” said Cardinal Tagle.
Bishop Mylo Vergara, the head of the Communications Committee of the Philippines Bishops Conference, said the trip was full of surprises.
“You have witnessed how he did not read the prepared homilies,” Bishop Vergara said, calling it the “homily of the heart”.  He also mentioned the events on Saturday in Tacloban, as a Tropical Storm approached the area.
“I think it is also a first that he wore a raincoat,” he said.
It was also confirmed at the press conference that the Bishops have invited Pope Francis to return to the Philippines next year for the International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu.

Pope Francis celebrates largest Mass in History! Over 6 Million in Attendance - SHARE - in Philippines

Father Pope Francis celebrated Mass Sunday in Manila’s Luneta Park. Vatican Radio’s English Service, on Jan. 18, 2015. An estimated 6-7 million people attended his closing Mass. “The official number that has been given to us is between six and seven million,” Father Federico Lombardi told said at a press conference in Manila. He said it was "largest event of the history of the Popes." This was larger than the 1995 World Youth Day in Manila with Saint John Paul II, which gathered 4-5 million people. There are 88.9 Million Catholic in the Philippines.  Pope Francis will return to the Vatican on Jan. 19. The Metro Manila Development Authority said were 2.5 million along the route from the Nunciature, before you reach the park. Today was the feast of the Santo Niño, the Holy Child; therefore the Pope explained that we are all children of God. There were choirs and orchestras with over 1,000. Worshippers wore rain ponchos and held up flickering candles in the rain. The Pope himself wore a yellow poncho over his robe as he said the Mass. The crowd chanted, "Papa Francesco, Papa Francesco!" "In these days, throughout my visit, I have listened to you sing the song 'We are all God's children,'" he said. "All of us are God's children, members of God's family."  Tropical storm-force winds and rains did not deter the millions of people. About 25,000 Philippine police were there to maintain security.

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