#PopeFrancis "...in this way we are able to live according to the spirit of the law and reach its goal, which is love." FULL TEXT/Video
Translation of the address Pope Francis at the Angelus :
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The Gospel of this Sunday presents a dispute between Jesus and some Pharisees and scribes. The discussion refers to the "tradition of the elders" (Mark 7:3), which Jesus, citing the Prophet Isaiah, defines as "human precepts." And [saying] that they should never take the place of the "commandments of God."
The ancient prescriptions in question included not only the precepts of God revealed to Moses but also a series of details to spell out the specifics of the instructions of the law of Moses.
The interlocutors applied these norms in a very scrupulous manner and presented them as the expression of authentic religiosity. Thus they rebuke Jesus and his disciples for transgressing them, particularly those that referred to the exterior purification of the body.
Jesus’ answer has the force of a prophetic pronouncement: "You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition."
These are words that fill us with admiration for our Teacher: we feel that in Him is truth and that his wisdom liberates us from prejudice.
But, pay attention here. With these words Jesus wants to put us on guard, today, don’t you think? [on guard against] thinking that an exterior observance of the law is sufficient for being a good Christian. Just like back then for the Pharisees, there is also for us the danger of considering that all is well with us or that we’re better than the others because of the simple fact of observing certain rules or customs, even though we don’t love our neighbor, are hard of heart and proud.
The literal observance of precepts is sterile if it doesn’t change the heart and if it is not translated into concrete attitudes: opening oneself to the encounter with God and his word, seeking justice and peace, helping the poor, the weak and the oppressed.
We all know, from our communities, parishes and neighborhoods, the bad brought to the Church and the scandal caused by those people who call themselves very Catholic, who frequently go to church, but then, in their daily lives, don’t take care of their families, speak ill of others, etc.
This is what Jesus condemns because this is a Christian anti-testimony.
Continuing with his exhortation, Jesus focuses the attention on another, deeper aspect and affirms, "Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;
but the things that come out from within are what defile."
In this way, he emphasizes the primacy of the interior of the "heart": exterior things are not what makes us holy or not holy, but rather the heart that expresses our intentions, our desires and the desire to do everything for love of God.
Exterior expressions are the consequence of what we have decided in the heart, and not the other way around. With exterior expressions, if the heart doesn’t change, we are not true Christians. The border between good and evil does not lie outside of us, but rather within us, in our conscience.
We can ask ourselves: Where is my heart? Jesus said, your treasure is where your heart is. What is my treasure? Is it Jesus and his doctrine? My heart is good or my treasure is another thing? Thus, it is the heart that we must purify and convert. Without a purified heart, we can never have truly clean hands and lips that speak sincere words of love, mercy and forgiveness.
Let us ask the Lord, through the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin, to give us a pure heart, free of all hypocrisy — that’s the adjective that Jesus used with the Pharisees: hypocrites, because they say one thing and do another. Free from all hypocrisy so that in this way we are able to live according to the spirit of the law and reach its goal, which is love.
[Praying of the Angelus]
Yesterday in Harissa, Lebanon, the martyr Syriac Catholic Bishop Flavianus Michael Melki was beatified. In the midst of a tremendous persecution of Christians, he was a tireless defender of the rights of his people, exhorting everyone to remain firm in the faith.
Today as well, dear brothers and sisters, in the Middle East and in other parts of the world, Christians are persecuted. May the beatification of this bishop-martyr bring to them consolation, courage and hope. There are more martyrs now than there were in the first centuries.
But may it be as well a push for legislators and governments so that religious freedom is protected everywhere. I ask the international community to do something to put an end to the violence and abuse.
Lamentably as well, in recent days, numerous immigrants have lost their lives in their terrible journeys. For all of these brothers and sisters, I pray, and I invite you to pray. Particularly, I unite myself spiritually to Cardinal Schönborn — who is here present — and to the whole Church in Austria, in prayer for the 71 victims, including four children, found in a truck on the highway between Budapest and Vienna. We entrust each one of them to the mercy of God and we ask Him to help us to cooperate effectively to stop these crimes that offend the whole human family. Let us pray in silence for immigrants who suffer and for those who have lost their lives.
[A moment of silence]
I greet the pilgrims who come from Italy and from so many parts of the world, in particular the Scouts of Lisbon. Where are you? [They respond with applause and shouts] and the faithful of Zara, Croatia. I greet the faithful of Verona and Bagnolo di Norgarole, the youth of the Diocese of Vicenza and those of Rovato and of the parish of San Galdino in Milan. And the children of Salzano and Arconate.
I wish you all a good Sunday. And please, don’t forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and arrivederci!
[Translation by ZENIT]
Feast: August 31
Information: Feast Day: August 31
Born: 1204, La Portella, Comarca of Segrià, Catalonia, Kingdom of Aragon
Died: August 31, 1240, Cardona, Province of Barcelona, Catalonia, Kingdom of Aragon
Canonized: 1657, Rome by Pope Alexander VII
Patron of: Childbirth; children; expectant mothers; falsely accused people; fever; infants; midwives; newborn babies; obstetricians; pregnant women
Born 1200 or 1204 at Portello in the Diocese of Urgel in Catalonia; died at Cardona, 31 August, 1240. His feast is celebrated on 31 August. He is pictured in the habit of his order surrounded by ransomed slaves, with a padlock on his lips. He was taken from the womb of his mother after her death, hence his name. Of noble but poor family, he showed early traits of piety and great talent. His father ordered him to tend a farm, but later gave him permission to take the habit with the Mercedarians at Barcelona, at the hands of the founder, St. Peter Nolasco. Raymond made such progress in the religious life that he was soon considered worthy to succeed his master in the office of ransomer. He was sent to Algiers and liberated many captives. When money failed he gave himself as a hostage. He was zealous in teaching the Christian religion and made many converts, which embittered the Mohammedan authorities. Raymond was subjected to all kinds of indignities and cruelty, was made to run the gauntlet, and was at last sentenced to impalement. The hope of a greater sum of money as ransom caused the governor to commute the sentence into imprisonment. To prevent him from preaching for Christ, his lips were pierced with a red-hot iron and closed with a padlock. After his arrival in Spain, in 1239, he was made a cardinal by Gregory IX. In the next year he was called to Rome by the pope, but came only as far as Cardona, about six miles from Barcelona, where he died. His body was brought to the chapel of St. Nicholas near his old farm. In 1657 his name was placed in the Roman martyrology by Alexander VII. He is invoked by women in labour and by persons falsely accused. The appendix to the Roman ritual gives a formula for the blessing of water, in his honour, to be used by the sick, and another of candles.
Reading 1DT 4:1-2, 6-8
Saturday, August 29, 2015
O Holy St. John, from all eternity you were chosen
To prepare the way for Our Lord Jesus Christ.
We implore your intercession for ...,
For all of our members in their work
And for all those we serve.
Pray for us that we may receive the courage and strength
To persevere in announcing the Good News of Jesus Christ,
Who came to seek and save the lost,
To heal the broken hearted and to bind up their wounds.
May we be guided by the Holy Spirit
With good words of counsel for those in need.
May we be strengthened by your prayers
And good example as we prepare the way for the
Healing power of Jesus to heal and transform
Those entrusted to our care.
We ask all of this through Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be.
St. John the Baptist, pray for us!
The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist
Feast: August 29
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST was called by God to be the forerunner of His divine Son. In order to preserve his innocence spotless, and to improve the extraordinary graces which he had received, he was directed by the Holy Ghost to lead an austere and contemplative life in the wilderness, in the continual exercises of devout prayer and penance, from his infancy till he was thirty years of age. At this age the faithful minister began to discharge his mission. Clothed with the weeds of penance, be announced to all men the obligation they lay under of washing away their iniquities with the tears of sincere compunction; and proclaimed the Messias, Who was then coming to make His appearance among them. He was received by the people as the true herald of the Most High God, and his voice was, as it were, a trumpet sounding from heaven to summon all men to avert the divine judgments, and to prepare themselves to reap the benefit of Vie mercy that was offered them. The tetrarch Herod Antipas having, in defiance of all laws divine and human, married Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, who was yet living, St. John the Baptist boldly reprehended the tetrarch and his accomplice for so scandalous an incest and adultery, and Herod, urged on by lust and anger, cast the Saint into prison. About a year after St. John had been made a prisoner, Herod gave a splendid entertainment to the nobility of Galilee. Salome, a daughter of Herodias by her lawful husband, pleased Herod by her dancing, insomuch that he promised her to grant whatever she asked. On this, Salome consulted with her mother what to ask. Herodias instructed her daughter to demand the death of John the Baptist, and persuaded the young damsel to make it part of her petition that the head of the prisoner should be forthwith brought to her in a dish. This strange request startled the tyrant himself; he assented, however, and sent a soldier of his guard to behead the Saint in prison, with an order to bring his head in a charger and present it to Salome, who delivered it to her mother. St. Jerome relates that the furious Herodias made it her inhuman pastime to prick the sacred tongue with a bodkin. Thus died the great forerunner of our blessed Saviour, about two years and three months after his entrance upon his public ministry, about a year before the death of our blessed Redeemer.