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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Catholic News World : Tues. July 7, 2015 - Share!

2015

#PopeFrancis "Praying always lifts us out of our worries..." #Homily /Mass Video in #Ecuador SHARE


FULL TEXT of Pope Francis' Homily in Guayaquil
2015-07-06
The Gospel passage which we have just heard is the first momentous sign in the Gospel according to John. Mary’s maternal concern is seen in her plea to Jesus: "They have no wine”, and Jesus’ reference to "his hour” will be more fully understood later, in the story of his Passion.
This is good, because it allows us to see Jesus’ eagerness to teach, to accompany, to heal and to give joy, thanks to the words of his Mother: "They have no wine”.
The wedding at Cana is repeated in every generation, in every family, in every one of us and our efforts to let our hearts find rest in strong, fruitful and joyful love. Let us make room for Mary, "the Mother” as the evangelist calls her. Let us journey with her to Cana.
Mary is attentive in the course of this wedding feast, she is concerned for the needs of the newlyweds. She is not closed in on herself, worried only about her little world. Her love makes her "outgoing” towards others. So she notices that the wine has run out. Wine is a sign of happiness, love and plenty. How many of our adulescents and young people sense that these are no longer found in their homes? How many women, sad and lonely, wonder when love left, when it slipped away from their lives? How many elderly people feel left out of family celebrations, cast aside and longing each day for a little love? This lack of "wine” can also be due to unemployment, illness and difficult situations which our families may experience. Mary is not a "demanding” mother, a mother-in-law who revels in our lack of experience, our mistakes and the things we forget to do. Mary is a Mother! She is there, attentive and concerned.
But Mary approaches Jesus with confidence, Mary prays. She does not go to the steward, she immediately tells her Son of the newlyweds’ problem. The response she receives seems disheartening: "What does it have to do with you and me? My hour has not yet come” (v. 4). But she nonetheless places the problem in God’s hands. Her concern to meet the needs of others hastens Jesus’ hour. Mary was a part of that hour, from the cradle to the cross. She was able "to turn a stable into a home for Jesus, with poor swaddling clothes and an abundance of love” (Evangelii Gaudium, 286). She accepted us as her sons and daughters when the sword pierced her heart. She teaches us to put our families in God’s hands, to pray, to kindle the hope which shows us that our concerns are also God’s concerns.
Praying always lifts us out of our worries and concerns. It makes us rise above everything that hurts, upsets or disappoints us, and it puts us in the place of others, in their shoes. The family is a school where prayer also reminds us that we are not isolated individuals; we are one and we have a neighbour close at hand: he or she is living under the same roof, is a part of our life, and is in need.
Mary finally acts. Her words, "Do whatever he tells you” (v. 5), addressed to the attendants, are also an invitation to us to open our hearts to Jesus, who came to serve and not to be served. Service is the sign of true love. We learn this especially in the family, where we become servants out of love for one another. In the heart of the family, no one is rejected. "In the family we learn how to ask without demanding, to say ‘thank you’ as an expression of genuine gratitude for what we have been given, to control our aggressivity and greed, and to ask forgiveness when we have caused harm. These simple gestures of heartfelt courtesy help to create a culture of shared life and respect for our surroundings” (Laudato Si’, 213). The family is the nearest hospital, the first school for the young, the best home for the elderly. The family constitutes the best "social capital”. It cannot be replaced by other institutions. It needs to be helped and strengthened, lest we lose our proper sense of the services which society as a whole provides. Those services are not a type of alms, but rather a genuine "social debt” with respect to the institution of the family, which contributes so greatly to the common good.
The family is also a small Church, a "domestic Church” which, along with life, also mediates God’s tenderness and mercy. In the family, we imbibe faith with our mother’s milk. When we experience the love of our parents, we feel the closeness of God’s love.
In the family, miracles are performed with what little we have, with what we are, with what is at hand… many times, it is not ideal, it is not what we dreamt of, nor what "should have been”. The new wine of the wedding feast of Cana came from the water jars, the jars used for ablutions, we might even say from the place where everyone had left their sins… "Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Rom 5:20). In our own families and in the greater family to which we all belong, nothing is thrown away, nothing is useless. Shortly before the opening of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Church will celebrate the Ordinary Synod devoted to the family, deepen her spiritual discernment and consider concrete solutions to the many difficult and significant challenges facing families in our time. I ask you to pray fervently for this intention, so that Christ can take even what might seem to us impure, scandalous or threatening, and turn it – by making it part of his "hour” – into a miracle.
It all began because "they had no wine”. It could all be done because a woman – the Virgin Mary – was attentive, left her concerns in God’s hands and acted sensibly and courageously. But there was more to come: everyone went on to enjoy the finest of wines. And this is the good news: the finest wines are yet to be tasted; for families, the richest, deepest and most beautiful things are yet to come. The time is coming when we will taste love daily, when our children will come to appreciate the home we share, and our elderly will be present each day in the joys of life. The finest of wines will come for every person who stakes everything on love. And it will come in spite of all the variables and statistics which say otherwise; the best wine is yet to come for those who today feel hopelessly lost. Say it until you are convinced of it: the best wine is yet to come. Whisper it to the hopeless and the loveless. God always seek out the peripheries, those who have run out of wine, those who drink only of discouragement. Jesus feels their weakness, in order to pour out the best wines for those who, for whatever reason, feel that all their jars have been broken.
As Mary bids us, let us "do what he tells us” and be thankful that in this, our time and our hour, the new wine, the finest wine, will make us recover the joy of being a family. 
“The Lord has loved me so much: we must love everyone...we must be compassionate!" St. Josephine Bakhita

Latest #News from #Vatican Information Service and #PopeFrancis in Latin America


07-07-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 126 

Summary
- Pope Francis' first homily in Latin America: for the family, the best is yet to come
- Visit to the president of Ecuador and Quito Cathedral
- Other Pontifical Acts
Pope Francis' first homily in Latin America: for the family, the best is yet to come
Vatican City, 7 July 2015 (VIS) – Yesterday more than a million people attended the Pope's first Mass in Ecuador, in Guayaquil. He first visited the Shrine of Divine Mercy, the city's second largest place of worship, built at the behest of Archbishop Antonio Arregui Yarza between 2009 and 2014 and able to hold 2,300 people.
 Upon arrival at the Shrine, the Holy Father was welcomed by an immense crowd, with whom he prayed a Hail Mary before leaving the temple, and whom he greeted with the following words: “Now I will celebrate Mass, and I hold you all in my heart. I will ask for each one of you, I will say to the Lord, 'You know the names of those who were there'. I will ask Jesus for great mercy for every one of you; I will ask Him to care for you and to cover you with His mercy. May Our Lady always be by your side”.
“And now, before I leave – because I am on my way to Mass, and the archbishop tells me we are running out of time – I give you my blessing … I am not asking you to give me anything! But I ask you, please, to pray for me. Will you promise me? May God Almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, bless you. Thank you for your Christian witness”.
The Pope then travelled the 25 kilometres that separate the Shrine from Samanes Park, where he celebrated Holy Mass specially dedicated to families. The Gospel reading recounted the wedding at Cana, and in his homily the Pope focused on Mary who expresses to Jesus her concern as the newly-weds have no wine.
“The wedding at Cana is repeated in every generation, in every family, in every one of us and our efforts to let our hearts find rest in strong love, fruitful love and joyful love. Let us make room for Mary, 'the Mother' as the evangelist calls her. Let us journey with her now to Cana.
“Mary is attentive, she is attentive in the course of this wedding feast, she is concerned for the needs of the newly-weds. She is not closed in on herself, worried only about her little world. Her love makes her 'outgoing' towards others. She does not seek her friends to say what is happening, to criticise the poor organisation of the wedding feast. And since she is attentive, she discretely notices that the wine has run out. Wine is a sign of happiness, love and plenty. How many of our adolescents and young people sense that these is no longer any of that wine to be found in their homes? How many women, sad and lonely, wonder when love left, when it slipped away from their lives? How many elderly people feel left out of family celebrations, cast aside and longing each day for a little love, from their sons and daughters, their grandchildren, their great grandchildren? This lack of this 'wine' can also be due to unemployment, illness and difficult situations which our families around the world may experience. Mary is not a 'demanding' mother, nor a mother-in-law who revels in our lack of experience, our mistakes and the things we forget to do. Mary, quite simply, is a Mother! She is there, attentive and concerned. It is gratifying to hear this: Mary is a Mother! I invite you to repeat this with me: Mary is a Mother! Once again: Mary is a Mother! And once more: Mary is a Mother!
“But Mary, at the very moment she perceives that there is no wine, approaches Jesus with confidence: this means that Mary prays. She goes to Jesus, she prays. She does not go to the steward, she immediately tells her Son of the newly-weds' problem. The response she receives seems disheartening: 'What does it have to do with you and me? My hour has not yet come'. But she nonetheless places the problem in God’s hands. Her deep concern to meet the needs of others hastens Jesus’ hour. And Mary was a part of that hour, from the cradle to the cross. She was able 'to turn a stable into a home for Jesus, with poor swaddling clothes and an abundance of love'. She accepted us as her sons and daughters when the sword pierced her son’s heart. She teaches us to put our families in God’s hands; she teaches us to pray, to kindle the hope which shows us that our concerns are also God’s concerns.
“Praying always lifts us out of our worries and concerns. It makes us rise above everything that hurts, upsets or disappoints us, and helps to put ourselves in the place of others, in their shoes. The family is a school where prayer also reminds us that we are not isolated individuals; we are one and we have a neighbour close at hand: he or she is living under the same roof, is a part of our life, and is in need.
“And finally, Mary acts. Her words, 'Do whatever he tells you', addressed to the attendants, are also an invitation to us to open our hearts to Jesus, who came to serve and not to be served. Service is the sign of true love. Those who love know how to serve others. We learn this especially in the family, where we become servants out of love for one another. In the heart of the family, no one is rejected; all have the same value. I remember once how my mother was asked which of her five children – we are five brothers – did she love the most. And she said: it is like the fingers on my hand, if I prick one of them, then it is as if the others are pricked also. A mother loves her children as they are. And in the family, children are loved as they are. None are rejected. 'In the family we learn how to ask without demanding, to say “thank you” as an expression of genuine gratitude for what we have been given, to control our aggressivity and greed, and to ask forgiveness when we have caused harm, when we quarrel, because in all families there are quarrels. The challenge is to then ask for forgiveness. These simple gestures of heartfelt courtesy help to create a culture of shared life and respect for our surroundings'. The family is the nearest hospital; when a family member is ill, it is in the home that they are cared for as long as possible. The family is the first school for the young, the best home for the elderly. The family constitutes the best 'social capital'. It cannot be replaced by other institutions. It needs to be helped and strengthened, lest we lose our proper sense of the services which society as a whole provides. Those services which society offers to its citizens are not a type of alms, but rather a genuine 'social debt' with respect to the institution of the family, which is foundational and which contributes to the common good.
“The family is also a small Church, called a 'domestic Church' which, along with life, also mediates God’s tenderness and mercy. In the family, we imbibe faith with our mother’s milk. When we experience the love of our parents, we feel the closeness of God’s love.
“In the family, and we are all witnesses of this, miracles are performed with what little we have, with what we are, with what is at hand… and many times, it is not ideal, it is not what we dreamt of, nor what 'should have been'. There is one detail that makes us think: the new wine, that good wine mentioned by the steward at the wedding feast of Cana, came from the water jars, the jars used for ablutions, we might even say from the place where everyone had left their sins … it came from the 'worst' because 'where sin increased, grace abounded all the more'. In our own families and in the greater family to which we all belong, nothing is thrown away, nothing is useless. Shortly before the opening of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Church will celebrate the Ordinary Synod devoted to the family, deepen her spiritual discernment and consider concrete solutions and help to the many difficult and significant challenges facing families today. I ask you to pray fervently for this intention, so that Christ can take even what might seem to us impure, like the water in the jars scandalising or threatening us, and turn it – by making it part of his 'hour' – into a miracle. The family today needs this miracle.
“All this began because 'they had no wine'. It could all be done because a woman – the Virgin Mary – was attentive, left her concerns in God’s hands and acted sensibly and courageously. But there is a further detail, the best was to come: everyone went on to enjoy the finest of wines. And this is the good news: the finest wines are yet to be tasted; for families, the richest, deepest and most beautiful things are yet to come. The time is coming when we will taste love daily, when our children will come to appreciate the home we share, and our elderly will be present each day in the joys of life. The finest of wines is expressed by hope, this wine will come for every person who stakes everything on love. And the best wine is yet to come, in spite of all the variables and statistics which say otherwise. The best wine will come to those who today feel hopelessly lost. Say it to yourselves until you are convinced of it. Say it to yourselves, in your hearts: the best wine is yet to come. Whisper it to the hopeless and the loveless. Have patience, hope, and follow Mary’s example, pray, open your heart, because the best wine is yet to come. God always seeks out the peripheries, those who have run out of wine, those who drink only of discouragement. Jesus feels their weakness, in order to pour out the best wines for those who, for whatever reason, feel that all their jars have been broken”.
After his final blessing, the Pope transferred by car to the Colegio Javier of the Society of Jesus, founded in 1856, and where there are currently 1560 students. The community is made up of 20 Jesuit fathers, with whom the Pope lunched. Following a brief rest he returned to Quito to meet with the president of the Republic.
Visit to the president of Ecuador and Quito Cathedral
Vatican City, 7 July 2015 (VIS) – The Pope spent the last part of his second day in Ecuador in the capital, Quito, where he paid a courtesy visit to President Rafael Correa at Carondelet Palace, the seat of the government. Built in the late eighteenth century by the Spanish architect Antonio Garcia, it is located in the historic centre of the city and owes its name to the governor Francisco Luis Hector, baron of Carondelet, under whose mandate it was constructed. During the colonial period it was known as the Royal Palace, but according to legend Simon Bolivar, in admiration of its facade, changed its name in memory of the governor.
 Upon arrival President Correa greeted the Pope with a warm embrace; they then entered the Protocol Room where they spoke in private. The president subsequently introduced his family to the Holy Father and gifts were exchanged. Francis gave the Ecuadorian head of State a mosaic depicting the Virgin and Child, a copy realised by the Vatican Museums mosaic laboratory of the image from the Chapel of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Roman basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, before which St. Ignatius of Loyola and his first followers gave their religious vows on 22 August 1541, thereby originating the Society of Jesus.
At the end of his visit, the bishop of Rome and the president appeared at the balcony of Carondelet Palace to greet the crowd gathered in Plaza de la Independencia. The Pope travelled on foot the fifty metres between the Palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito, which invokes the Coronation of the Virgin Mary. The Cathedral, completed in 1585, represents a combination of styles, from the Gothic-Mudejar (Moorish) to Baroque and neo-Classical, and it houses the remains of Antonio Jose Francisco de Sucre y Alcala, the Mariscal Sucre (1795-1830), hero of South American independence.
The Holy Father entered the cathedral where he was received by the rector; after greeting various sick and disabled people gathered inside, he prayed a moment. Upon leaving, almost at night-time, he blessed the thousands of people congregated in the square, setting aside the brief discourse he had previously prepared, and addressed the following words to them:
“I give you my blessing, to each one of you, to your families, to all your loved ones and to the great and noble Ecuadorian people, so that there may be no more difference, no more exclusion, so that no-one is discarded, so that all may be brothers, so that everyone is included and no-one is left out of this great Ecuadorian nation. To every one of you and your families, I give my blessing. But first, let us pray the Hail Mary together...”.
“May the blessing of God Almighty, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, descend upon you and remain with you for ever. And please, I ask you to pray for me. Good night, and see you tomorrow”.
Today, 7 July, Pope Francis will meet the bishops of Ecuador and will celebrate Holy Mass in the Bicentenario Park in Quito. Later he will visit the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, where he will receive the keys to the capital in the Church of St. Francis and address those present. He will conclude the day with a private visit to the Church of the Society of Jesus.
The following is the brief discourse the Pope had prepared, to be given outside Quito Cathedral:
“I have come to Quito as a pilgrim, to share with you the joy of spreading the Gospel. When I left the Vatican, I passed the statue of Saint Mariana de Jesus, who from the apse of St. Peter’s Basilica keeps watch over the little street which the Pope travels so often. I entrusted to her the fruits of this visit, and I prayed that all of us might learn from her example. Her sacrifice and her heroic virtue are usually represented by a flower, a lily. Yet, at St. Peter’s she holds a whole bouquet of flowers. Along with her own flower, she offers the Lord, in the heart of the Church, your flowers, and the flowers of all the people of Ecuador.
“The Saints call us to imitate them and to learn from them. This was the case with St. Narcisa de Jesus and Blessed Mercedes de Jesus Molina, who were challenged by St. Mariana’s example. How many of you here today have known what it is to be orphaned? How many of you have had to assume the responsibility of looking after younger brothers or sisters, despite being young yourselves? How many of you care daily with great patience for the sick or the elderly? Mariana did just this, and Narcisa and Mercedes followed her example. It is not difficult if God is with us. They accomplished no great feats in the eyes of the world. They simply loved much, and they showed this love in their daily lives, touching the suffering flesh of Christ in others, in his people. Nor did they do this alone, they did it 'side by side' with others. All the work that went into the building of this Cathedral was done that same way, our way, the way of the native peoples, quietly and unassumingly working alongside one another for the good of the community, without seeking credit or applause. God grant that, just as the stones of this cathedral were carried by those who went before us, we may carry one another’s burdens, and thus help to build up or heal the lives of so many of our brothers and sisters incapable of doing it by themselves.
“Today I am here with you, and you have shared with me the joy which fills your hearts: 'How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings'. This is the beauty we are called to spread, like an aroma of Christ: our prayer, our good works, and our sacrifices for those most in need. This is the joy of evangelising and 'blessed are you if you do these things'.
“God bless you all”.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 7 July 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Santiago Silva Retamales, auxiliary of the diocese of Valparaiso, Chile, as military ordinary for Chile.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tues. July 7, 2015


Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 384


Reading 1GN 32:23-33

In the course of the night, Jacob arose, took his two wives,
with the two maidservants and his eleven children,
and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.
After he had taken them across the stream
and had brought over all his possessions,
Jacob was left there alone.
Then some man wrestled with him until the break of dawn.
When the man saw that he could not prevail over him,
he struck Jacob’s hip at its socket,
so that the hip socket was wrenched as they wrestled.
The man then said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob said, “I will not let you go until you bless me.”
The man asked, “What is your name?”
He answered, “Jacob.”
Then the man said,
“You shall no longer be spoken of as Jacob, but as Israel,
because you have contended with divine and human beings
and have prevailed.”
Jacob then asked him, “Do tell me your name, please.”
He answered, “Why should you want to know my name?”
With that, he bade him farewell.
Jacob named the place Peniel,
“Because I have seen God face to face,” he said,
“yet my life has been spared.”

At sunrise, as he left Penuel,
Jacob limped along because of his hip.
That is why, to this day, the children of Israel do not eat
the sciatic muscle that is on the hip socket,
inasmuch as Jacob’s hip socket was struck at the sciatic muscle.

Responsorial PsalmPS 17:1B, 2-3, 6-7AB, 8B AND 15

R. (15a) In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord.
Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.
R. In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord.
From you let my judgment come;
your eyes behold what is right.
Though you test my heart, searching it in the night,
though you try me with fire, you shall find no malice in me.
R. In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my word.
Show your wondrous mercies,
O savior of those who flee from their foes.
R. In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
I in justice shall behold your face;
on waking, I shall be content in your presence.
R. In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord.

AlleluiaJN 10:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 9:32-38

A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus,
and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke.
The crowds were amazed and said,
“Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
But the Pharisees said,
“He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”

#Pope Francis prays at #Cathedral and greets crowd “I'll give the blessing to each of you.."


Pope Francis at Quito Cathedral, July 6, 2015 - AFP
07/07/2015 
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis visited the metropolitan cathedral of Quito, Ecuador, on Monday, the second day of his Apostolic Voyage to Latin America. The visit to the cathedral followed a courtesy call on the President of the Republic of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, and included some remarks to the faithful, a small number of whom were gathered inside the church proper, and a great throng of whom were gathered outside in the cathedral square.
The cathedral itself is a remarkable structure: originally constructed of adobe and thatch, it was rebuilt beginning in the middle of the 16th century in order to fill its new role as the central place of worship and seat of the bishop of the new diocese. Using stone carried from Mount Pichincha, in the shadow of which stands the city of Quito, the cathedral was built over three years, starting in 1562, and was finally consecrated in 1572. Earthquakes have several times caused major damage, after which major repair and renovation projects have followed, with the present visible structure being primarily work completed in the latter half of the 18th century.
Emerging from the cathedral after a moment of prayerful recollection before a statue of Our Lady holding the infant Jesus, and another of silent adoration before Our Eucharistic Lord in the Tabernacle, Pope Francis greeted the crowd in the square and offered his blessing. “I'm going to give the blessing,” he said, “I'll give the blessing to each of you, for your families, for all loved ones and for this great nation and noble Ecuadorean people, that there be no difference, no exclusion, no people discarded, that all might be brothers and sisters, a blessing that goes to everyone and that there be none left out of this great Ecuadorian nation. To each of you, your families, goes the blessing, but first let us pray together a Hail Mary.” And the people prayed the great prayer of Marian devotion, and Pope Francis blessed them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and then he asked the people to pray for him, and he bade them good evening, and took his leave.

Saint July 7 : Saint Benedict XI : #Pope

Pope Benedict XI (Latin: Benedictus XI; 1240 – 7 July 1304), born Nicola Boccasini, was Pope from 22 October 1303 to his death in 1304. Born in Treviso, he succeeded Pope Boniface VIII, but was unable to carry out his policies. Benedict XI was a Dominican and when he was made Master of the Order in 1296, he issued ordinances forbidding public questioning of the legitimacy of Boniface VIII's election on the part of any Dominican. At the time of the seizure of Pope Boniface VIII at Anagni in 1303, Boccasini was one of only two cardinals to defend the papal party in the Lateran Palace itself. However, upon being elected Pope at the papal conclave of 1303, he released King Philip IV of France from the excommunication that had been laid upon him by Boniface VIII, and practically ignored Boniface's bull Unam sanctam, which asserted papal supremacy over secular rulers. Nevertheless, on 7 June 1304, Benedict excommunicated Philip IV's implacable minister Guillaume de Nogaret and all the Italians who had played a part in the seizure of Boniface VIII at Anagni. After a brief pontificate of eight months, Benedict XI died suddenly at Perugia. As original reports had it, suspicion fell primarily on Nogaret with the suspicion that his sudden death was caused by poisoning. There is no direct evidence, however, to either support or disprove the contention that Nogaret poisoned the pope. Benedict XI's successor, Clement V removed the papal seat from Rome to Avignon, inaugurating the period sometimes known as the Babylonian Captivity. He and the French popes who succeeded him were completely under the influence of the kings of France. Benedict XI was the author of a volume of sermons and commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew, the Psalms, the Book of Job, and the Book of Revelation. (Wikipedia)

#FIFA Faith in #Soccer Tobin Heath " It’s Jesus. That’s why I play."- SHARE

The USA gained a 5-2 victory against Japan in the World Cup FIFA Soccer which was held in Canada. However, one of their Star players Tobin Heath explains that she plays for Jesus!
Tobin Powell Heath (born May 29, 1988) is an American soccer player.Heath, a player at FIFA, won a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and was a player in the team’s repeat gold medal performance at the 2012 London Olympics. Regarding her faith Tobin says: "I was fortunate enough to grow up in a Christian home and an awesome family. Our family was just really passionate about Jesus. I had a great experience growing up. Like many kids, I wanted to do my own thing so it wasn’t until around the end of high school and start of college that I started to develop my own faith. I stopped piggy backing off of my family’s (faith) and wanted to figure out what it was all about. I got super interested in things and obviously from there it’s just grown. Like anyone who has a relationship (with Jesus) knows, the coolest thing about it is that it’s infinite how much you can learn and begin to understand. It’s something that grabbed me." Her faith also is shared with her teammates: "You spend so much time with your teammates in environments where they see how you live. It’s one of the coolest ways to just love people." "Your teammates see you through the good and the bad. They see where your foundation lies in those moments. You can also be there for them to share the love of Christ to them through those times when they’re in need and desperate for some truth in their lives." Her relationship with Jesus is important: "I can’t even imagine going through life without my relationship with Jesus. So much of it is me relying on Him and me needing Him, not just in those crazy circumstances but in the day-to-day activities. During that time at the World Cup, it was a rollercoaster ride, but it was neat to just see His hand on that. It’s more than just winning or losing. There are so many relationships that go deeper than that. He has a plan in it all. You have to trust that. Even though it’s not the ideal outcome—I mean, everybody wants to be winners—you have to trust that God has a greater plan for this even when you can’t see it." Heath went on to explain "Know your place. I know it kind of sounds a little backwards, but I just really think of God as being so incredible. The depth of who He is and His character is unfathomable and the fact that we can know Him just a little bit is so cool. He knows us inside and out. It’s remarkable in many ways. When I try to think about Him, I’m just in awe. That humbles me in any situation. When I need strength in hard times, I know I have a God that can move mountains. Or if I’m going through a time of success, I can just rejoice in the Lord and give glory to Him knowing that He’s given me the gifts to be able to accomplish what I have. Everything comes back to Him." When it comes to non-believers Tobin relates: "But even with my non-believing teammates, there is a great amount of unity and I truly believe that’s God working. It’s really cool in team sports when you’re united around a belief or something you want to accomplish. Whenever you’re working towards something greater than yourself, it’s almost a selflessness that the Lord delights in when you’re serving your teammate or your friend or your sister in Christ. That’s just why I love team sports. It’s a great example of that selflessness that I think is really pleasing to God." About being a role model Tobin says, "It’s really neat when you become a role model. It’s also a lot of responsibility. But if you see it as a platform where you can pour into others for Jesus with love, that’s where I want to be. Becoming known or noticed in my sport isn’t what drives me to work hard and want to be the best I can be. It’s Jesus. That’s why I play. I play to glorify Him. I worship Him with the gifts I’ve been given. Through that, I just hope He can be glorified. I try to keep that as my motivation when I step out on the field every day whether it’s practice or a game. It’s to work as hard as I can in thankfulness for what He’s given me and hopefully some of that can come back to Him." She shows where her priorities lie "It’s not about that worldly outcome in terms of winning or losing. It’s about Him being known and not in a way that forces it upon other people but in a way that lets people know how He’s transformed my life and how He’s given me purpose and meaning and love and satisfaction. That’s the message of Jesus. It’s not a platform to impose on people. It’s a platform to love people. Our God’s going to be victorious. He’s the Creator of the universe. I’m just a vessel trying to do my part with what I’ve been given." Edited from Interview with Belief.net
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