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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Catholic News World : Tues. January 19, 2016 - SHARE

 2016

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tues. January 19, 2016


Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 312


Reading 11 SM 16:1-13

The LORD said to Samuel:
“How long will you grieve for Saul,
whom I have rejected as king of Israel?
Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way.
I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem,
for I have chosen my king from among his sons.”
But Samuel replied:
“How can I go?
Saul will hear of it and kill me.”
To this the LORD answered:
“Take a heifer along and say,
‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’
Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I myself will tell you what to do;
you are to anoint for me the one I point out to you.”

Samuel did as the LORD had commanded him.
When he entered Bethlehem,
the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and inquired,
“Is your visit peaceful, O seer?”
He replied:
“Yes! I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.
So cleanse yourselves and join me today for the banquet.”
He also had Jesse and his sons cleanse themselves
and invited them to the sacrifice.
As they came, he looked at Eliab and thought,
“Surely the LORD’s anointed is here before him.”
But the LORD said to Samuel:
“Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature,
because I have rejected him.
Not as man sees does God see,
because he sees the appearance
but the LORD looks into the heart.”
Then Jesse called Abinadab and presented him before Samuel,
who said, “The LORD has not chosen him.”
Next Jesse presented Shammah, but Samuel said,
“The LORD has not chosen this one either.”
In the same way Jesse presented seven sons before Samuel,
but Samuel said to Jesse,
“The LORD has not chosen any one of these.”
Then Samuel asked Jesse,
“Are these all the sons you have?”
Jesse replied,
“There is still the youngest, who is tending the sheep.”
Samuel said to Jesse,
“Send for him;
we will not begin the sacrificial banquet until he arrives here.”
Jesse sent and had the young man brought to them.
He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold
and making a splendid appearance.
The LORD said,
“There–anoint him, for this is he!”
Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand,
anointed him in the midst of his brothers;
and from that day on, the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David.
When Samuel took his leave, he went to Ramah.

Responsorial PsalmPS 89:20, 21-22, 27-28

R. (21a) I have found David, my servant.
Once you spoke in a vision,
and to your faithful ones you said:
“On a champion I have placed a crown;
over the people I have set a youth.”
R. I have found David, my servant.
“I have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him,
That my hand may be always with him,
and that my arm may make him strong.”
R. I have found David, my servant.
“He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.’
And I will make him the first-born,
highest of the kings of the earth.”
R. I have found David, my servant.

AlleluiaSEE EPH 1:17-18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to our call.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 2:23-28

As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath,
his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain.
At this the Pharisees said to him,
“Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?”
He said to them,
“Have you never read what David did
when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry?
How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest
and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat,
and shared it with his companions?”
Then he said to them,
“The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”

#PopeFrancis "...bear witness to Jesus Christ, who is the foundation of unity." #Ecumenical delegation FULL TEXT

Pope Francis - AFP
Pope Francis - AFP
18/01/2016 10:

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday welcomed an ecumenical delegation from the Lutheran Church of Finland, marking the Feast of St. Henrik.
The Nordic country of 5 ½ million people is mostly Lutheran, but 1.1% is Orthodox Christian. The Catholic population numbers a little over 12,000 people.
“Your ecumenical pilgrimage is an eloquent sign of the fact that, as Lutherans, Orthodox and Catholics, you have recognized what unites you and together you wish to bear witness to Jesus Christ, who is the foundation of unity,” Pope Francis said.
“In our dialogue, differences still remain in doctrine and in practice,” he continued.
This must not discourage us, but instead spur us along our journey towards ever greater unity, not least by working to overcome old ideas and suspicions,” said the Holy Father. “In a world frequently torn by conflict and marked by secularism and indifference, we are called to join in professing our faith in Jesus Christ, and thus to become ever more credible witnesses of unity and promoters of peace and reconciliation.”

The full text of Pope Francis’ prepared remarks are below

Greeting of the Holy Father
to an Ecumenical Delegation from Finland
Monday, 18 January 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
                I offer you a cordial welcome, as once again this year you visit the Bishop of Rome in the course of your traditional pilgrimage for the feast of St. Henrik.  I thank the Lutheran Bishop of Helsinki, Irja Askola, for her kind greeting on your behalf.
                Your ecumenical pilgrimage is an eloquent sign of the fact that, as Lutherans, Orthodox and Catholics, you have recognized what unites you and together you wish to bear witness to Jesus Christ, who is the foundation of unity.
                In a special way, we can thank the Lord for the fruits of the dialogue between Lutherans and Catholics.  Here I think in particular of the common document on Justification in the Life of the Church.  Building on these foundations, your dialogue is making promising progress towards a shared understanding, on the sacramental level, of Church, Eucharist and Ministry.  These steps forward, made together, lay a solid basis for a growing communion of life in faith and spirituality, as your relations develop in a spirit of serene discussion and fraternal sharing.
                The common calling of all Christians is brought out well by the biblical text for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which begins today: “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Pet 2:9).
                In our dialogue, differences still remain in doctrine and in practice.  This must not discourage us, but instead spur us along our journey towards ever greater unity, not least by working to overcome old ideas and suspicions.  In a world frequently torn by conflict and marked by secularism and indifference, we are called to join in professing our faith in Jesus Christ, and thus to become ever more credible witnesses of unity and promoters of peace and reconciliation.
                Dear brothers and sisters, I am also appreciative of your shared commitment to the care of creation, and I thank you for the symbolic sign of hospitality which you have offered me in the name of Finnish people.
                In the hope that this visit will strengthen ever greater cooperation between your respective communities, I invoke upon all of you God’s abundant graces and I cordially offer you my blessing.

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



Information:
Feast Day:January 19
Born:
1043, Denmark
Died:July 10, 1086, Odense
Canonized:1101
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)

#PopeFrancis meets with Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of #Monaco

Pope Francis with Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene. - AFP
Pope Francis with Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene. - AFP
18/01/2016 13:12


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday received Prince Albert II of Monaco, who was accompanied by his wife, Princess Charlene. Subsequently, the Prince met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, and Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Secretary for Relations with States.
A statement from the Holy See Press Office called the talks “cordial,” and said they highlighted the good bilateral relations between Monaco and the Holy See, and reference was made to the historical contribution of the Catholic Church in the life of Monaco.
Other issues of common interest that were discussed included environmental protection, humanitarian aid, and the integral development of peoples.
Finally, the parties considered some issues affecting the international community, including peace and security, the reception of migrants, and the general situation in the Mediterranean region, as well as the Middle East.
Prince Albert II gave Pope Francis a food basket – containing fruit, vegetables, and cheeses – as well as the Monaco edition of the encyclical Laudato si’, and a medal.
Pope Francis gave the couple a Pontifical Medal and a copy of Evangelii gaudium.

#PopeFrancis "May the Lord grant us the grace of an open heart, of a heart open to the voice..." Homily

Pope Francis preaches during Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. - OSS_ROM
Pope Francis preaches during Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. - OSS_ROM
18/01/2016 11:36


(Vatican Radio) Christians who stop at “it’s always been done that way” have hearts closed to the surprises of the Holy Spirit. They are idolaters and rebels will never arrive at the fullness of the truth. That was the message of Pope Francis at Mass on Monday morning at the chapel in the Casa Santa Marta.
In the first reading, Saul was rejected by God as King of Israel because he disobeyed, preferring to listen to the people rather than the will of God. The people, after a victory in battle, wanted to offer a sacrifice of the best animals to God, because, he said, “it’s always been done that way.” But God, this time, did not want that. The prophet Samuel rebuked Saul: “Does the Lord so delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obedience to the command of the Lord?” Jesus teaches us the same thing in the Gospel, the Pope explained. When the doctors of the law criticized Him because His disciples did not fast “as had always been done,” Jesus responded with these examples from daily life: “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.”
“What does this mean? That He changes the law? No! That the law is at the service of man, who is at the service of God – and so man ought to have an open heart. ‘It’s always been done this way’ is a closed heart, and Jesus tells us, ‘I will send you the Holy Spirit and He will lead you into the fullness of truth.’ If you have a heart closed to the newness of the Spirit, you will never reach the full truth. And your Christian life will be a half-and-half life, a patched life, mended with new things, but on a structure that is not open to the voice of the Lord—a closed heart, so that you are not able to change others.”
This, the Pope emphasized, was the sin of Saul, for which he was rejected. “It is the sin of so many Christians who cling to what has always been done and who do not allow others to change. And they end up with half a life, [a life that is] patched, mended, meaningless.” The sin, he said, “is a closed heart,” that “does not hear the voice of the Lord, that is not open to the newness of the Lord, to the Spirit that always surprises us.” This rebellion, says Samuel, is “the sin of divination,” and obstinacy is the sin of idolatry:
“Christians who obstinately maintain ‘it’s always been done this way,' this is the path, this is the street—they sin: the sin of divination. It’s as if they went about by guessing: ‘What has been said and what doesn’t change is what’s important; what I hear—from myself and my closed heart—more than the Word of the Lord.’ Obstinacy is also the sin of idolatry: the Christian who is obstinate sins! The sin of idolatry. ‘And what is the way, Father?’ Open the heart to the Holy Spirit, discern what is the will of God.”
Pope Francis noted that in Jesus’ time, good Israelites were in the habit of fasting. “But there is another reality,” he said. “There is the Holy Spirit who leads us into the full truth. And for this reason he needs an open heart, a heart that will not stubbornly remain in the sin of idolatry of oneself,” imagining that my own opinion is more important than the surprise of the Holy Spirit.
“This is the message the Church gives us today. This is what Jesus says so forcefully: ‘New wine in new wineskins.’ Habits must be renewed in the newness of the Spirit, in the surprises of God. May the Lord grant us the grace of an open heart, of a heart open to the voice of the Spirit, which knows how to discern what should not change, because it is fundamental, from what should change in order to be able to receive the newness of the Spirit.”

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Mon. January 18, 2016


Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 311


Reading 11 SM 15:16-23

Samuel said to Saul:
“Stop! Let me tell you what the LORD said to me last night.”
Saul replied, “Speak!”
Samuel then said: “Though little in your own esteem,
are you not leader of the tribes of Israel?
The LORD anointed you king of Israel and sent you on a mission, saying,
‘Go and put the sinful Amalekites under a ban of destruction.
Fight against them until you have exterminated them.’
Why then have you disobeyed the LORD?
You have pounced on the spoil, thus displeasing the LORD.”
Saul answered Samuel: “I did indeed obey the LORD
and fulfill the mission on which the LORD sent me.
I have brought back Agag, and I have destroyed Amalek under the ban.
But from the spoil the men took sheep and oxen,
the best of what had been banned,
to sacrifice to the LORD their God in Gilgal.”
But Samuel said:
“Does the LORD so delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as in obedience to the command of the LORD?
Obedience is better than sacrifice,
and submission than the fat of rams.
For a sin like divination is rebellion,
and presumption is the crime of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the command of the LORD,
he, too, has rejected you as ruler.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 50:8-9, 16BC-17, 21 AND 23

R. (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
for your burnt offerings are before me always.
I take from your house no bullock,
no goats out of your fold.”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
Or do you think that I am like yourself?
I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.
He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

Responsorial PsalmHEB 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.”

Saint January 18 : Saint Margaret of Hungary : #Nun and #Mystic

 January 18 is the memorial of Saint Margaret of Hungary, a thirteenth century woman who is remembered as a nun, virgin, princess, and mystic.

Saint Margaret was born in A.D. 1242, the last daughter (ninth of 10 children) of the King of Hungary, Bela IV, and Maria Lascaris, the daughter of the emperor of Constantinople. Saint Margaret is the niece ofSaint Elizabeth of Hungaryand the younger sister of Saint Kinga and Blessed Yolanda.

Before Margaret's birth, her parents had promised Our Lord to dedicate their child to Him if Hungary was victorious over the invading Tartars. After their prayers were answered, now nearly four, they placed Margaret with the Dominican monastery of Veszprim. At the age of 12 Saint Margaret moved to a new monastery built by her father at Buda, and made profession of her final vows before Humbert of Romans.

Saint Margaret lived a life totally dedicated to Christ crucified and by her example of living inspired her sisters to follow her in her asceticism, works of mercy, pursuit of peace, and striving to be of humble service. Saint Margaret opposed all attempts by her father to arrange a political marriage between herself and King Ottokar II of Bohemia. Saint Margaret had a special love for the Eucharist and the Passion of Christ and showed a special devotion to the Holy Spirit and Our Lady.

Saint Margaret died on 18 January 1270. However, she was venerated as a saint during her lifetime. After her death the canonization investigation was begun immediately, including the testimony of 77 persons who said they had received miracles as a result of Saint Margaret's intercession. However, it was not until 19 November 1943 that Saint Margaret was canonized by Venerable Pope Pius XII, on the feast day of her cousin, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary.
(Edited from acta-sanctorum.blogspot.ca)

Prayer

O God of truth,
through the Holy Spirit
you blessed our sister Margaret with true humility.
Teach us that same integrity
so that we may constantly turn from our selfishness
to your love.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

#Royal #Princess Charlene of #Monaco and her Catholic Faith in the footsteps of Grace Kelly...SHARE


Charlene, Princess of Monaco, is a former Olympic swimmer for South Africa and wife of Prince Albert II (son of actress Grace Kelly). Charlene was born in the African country of Zimbabwe and is the daughter of Michael and Lynette Wittstock; the family relocated to South Africa in 1989. She was born on January 25, 1978 (age 37). Princess Charlene will travel to visit Pope Francis on Monday.  Monaco's state religion is Catholicism. According to a recent article by PEOPLE Magazine "Charlene has embraced the Catholic religion and is inspired by it," as explained by a  Monaco observer. "She is devoted to it and impressive in her fidelity."  Her faith has increased since the birth of her twins in December 2014. Prince Albert Prince Albert and Princess Charlene with their twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, at their Baptism on May 10, 2015.
 Charlene converted to the Roman Catholic Faith  "of her own free will and choice" before her July 2011 wedding. She was born and raised Protestant.in April of that year. "Catholicism is the state religion [in Monaco]. But for me, it represents much more. The values of this religion profoundly touch me and correspond perfectly to my spirit "In January 2013, Prince Albert took me to the Vatican to present me to Pope Benedict XVI, just as Prince Rainier did with Grace Kelly and Pius XII," she recalled, adding, "that experience was extremely intense and moving for me." These quotes by the Princess were noted in the PEOPLE Magazine article.
Princess Charlene received communion from His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.  Reportedly, after her children's premature birth, her first authorized exit from the maternity ward at Princess Grace Hospital was to attend chapel mass. "I prayed, as always, for everyone," she told a Paris press agency, "but I especially thanked the Lord. I have such luck, a happy husband, two children in good shape."   Princess Charlene also helped her brother Gareth Wittstock's convert.  According to the PEOPLE article Charlene often attends mass secretly with her husband (and now with their children) at one of Monaco's Roman Catholic churches. At Notre-Dame-Immaculate Cathedral, the Princess visits private laying flowers for Prince Rainier, Albert's late father. Perhaps her faith is also inspired by that of the late mother of Prince Albert the Actress Grace Kelly who was noted to be a devout Catholic. (All Images shared from Google Images)

#PopeFrancis at #Jewish #Synagogue "Let us pray together to the Lord, to lead the way to a better future." FULL TEXT-Video

Pope Francis arrives at Rome's Great Synagogue - REUTERS
Pope Francis arrives at Rome's Great Synagogue - REUTERS
17/01/2016 17:



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday became the third pope to visit Rome's synagogue in a sign of continuing Catholic-Jewish friendship.
During the visit that featured welcome speeches by prominent members of Rome's Jewish community and a speech by the Pope, Francis greeted a number of people including including several Holocaust survivors. 
Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni 
Pope Francis recalled the tragedy of the Holocaust and  paid  tribute to the over  2000 Jews who were deported by the Nazis in Rome in October 1943.
He said the past must serve as a lesson for the present and for the future and said that the Holocaust teaches us that utmost vigilance is always needed to be able to take prompt action in defense of human dignity and peace.
The visit, which follows on from that of Pope Benedict XVI in January 2010 and the historic encounter of Pope Saint John Paul II with former Rabbi Elio Toaff there in 1986.
It also comes on the heels of the publication, last December of an important new document from the Vatican’s Commission for religious relations with Jews, exploring the theological developments during the past half century of dialogue between Catholics and Jews.
During his speech to those present Pope Francis highlighted how Catholic – Jewish  relations are very close to his heart and he spoke of how a spiritual bond has been created between the two communities favouring the growth of a genuine friendship and giving life to a shared commitment.
He said we share a unique and special bond thanks to the Jewish roots of Christianity and that we must therefore feel as brothers, united by the same God and by a rich common spiritual patrimony upon which to build the future.
Pope Francis referred to the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration “Nostra Aetate” which made possible the systematic dialogue between the Catholic Church and Judaism and which set the ground for Jewish Catholic dialogue, and he encouraged all those involved in this dialogue to continue in this direction, with discernment and perseverance. 
The Pope also said that along with theological issues, we must not lose sight of the big challenges facing the world today and he said that Christians and Jews can and must offer humanity the message of the Bible regarding the care of creation as well as always promote and defend human life. 
We must pray with insistence to help us put into practice the logic of peace, of reconciliation, of forgiveness, of life, in Europe, in the Holy Land, in the Middle East, in Africa and elsewhere in the world. And – he concluded – we have to be thankful for all that has been realized in the last fifty years of Catholic Jewish dialogue because between us mutual understanding, mutual trust and friendship have grown and deepened.
Please find below Vatican Radio’s translation of the Pope’s address:
I'm happy to be here today with you in this Synagogue. I thank Dr. Di Segni, Mrs  Durighello and Mr Gattegna for their kind words. And  I thank you all for your warm welcome, thank you! Tada Toda Rabba, thank you!
During my first visit to this synagogue as Bishop of Rome, I wish to express to you and to extend to all Jewish communities, the fraternal greetings of peace of the whole Catholic Church.
Our relations are very close to my heart. When in Buenos Aires I used to go to the synagogues and meet the communities gathered there, I used to follow Jewish festivities and commemorations and give thanks to the Lord who gives us life and accompanies us on the path of history. Over time, a spiritual bond has been created which has favoured the birth of a genuine friendship and given life to a shared commitment. In interreligious dialogue it is essential that we meet as brothers and sisters before our Creator and to Him give praise, that we respect and appreciate each other and try to collaborate. In Jewish-Christian dialogue there is a unique and special bond thanks to the Jewish roots of Christianity: Jews and Christians must therefore feel as brothers, united by the same God and by a rich common spiritual patrimony (cf. Declaration. Nostra Aetate, 4 ), upon which to build the future.
With this visit I follow in the footsteps of my predecessors. Pope John Paul II came here thirty years ago, on 13 April 1986; and Pope Benedict XVI was amongt you six years ago. On that occasion John Paul II coined the beautiful description "elder brothers", and in fact you are our brothers and sisters in the faith. We all belong to one family, the family of God, who accompanies and protects us, His people. Together, as Jews and as Catholics, we are called to take on our responsibilities towards this city, giving first of all a spiritual contribution, and favouring the resolution of various current problems. It is my hope that closeness, mutual understanding and respect between our two  communities continue to grow. Thus, it is significant that I have come among you today, on January 17, the day when the Italian Episcopal Conference celebrates the "Day of dialogue between Catholics and Jews."
We have just commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration “Nostra Aetate” which made possible the systematic dialogue between the Catholic Church and Judaism. On 28 October last, in St. Peter's Square, I was able to greet a large number of Jewish representatives to whom I said “Deserving of special gratitude to God is the veritable transformation of Christian-Jewish relations in these 50 years. Indifference and opposition have changed into cooperation and benevolence. From enemies and strangers we have become friends and brothers. The Council, with the Declaration Nostra Aetate, has indicated the way: “yes” to rediscovering Christianity’s Jewish roots; “no” to every form of anti-Semitism and blame for every wrong, discrimination and persecution deriving from it.” Nostra Aetate explicitly defined theologically for the first time the Catholic Church's relations with Judaism. Of course it did not solve all the theological issues that affect us, but we it provided an important stimulus for further necessary reflections. In this regard, on 10 December 2015, the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews published a new document that addresses theological issues that have emerged in recent decades since the promulgation of “Nostra Aetate”. In fact, the theological dimension of Jewish-Catholic dialogue deserves to be more thorough, and I wish to encourage all those involved in this dialogue to continue in this direction, with discernment and perseverance. From a theological point of view, it is clear there is an inseparable bond between Christians and Jews. Christians, to be able to understand themselves, cannot not refer to their Jewish roots, and the Church, while professing salvation through faith in Christ, recognizes the irrevocability of the Covenant and God’s constant and faithful love for Israel .
Along with theological issues, we must not lose sight of the big challenges facing the world today.  That of an integral ecology is now a priority, and us Christians and Jews can and must offer humanity the message of the Bible regarding the care of creation. Conflicts, wars, violence and injustices open deep wounds in humanity and call us to strengthen a commitment for peace and justice. Violence by man against man is in contradiction with any religion worthy of that name, and in particular with the three great monotheistic religions. Life is sacred, a gift of God. The fifth commandment of the Decalogue says: "Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13). God is the God of life, and always wants to promote and defend it; and we, created in his image and likeness, are called upon to do the same. Every human being, as a creature of God, is our brother, regardless of his or her origin or religious affiliation. Each person must be viewed with favour, just as God does, who offers his merciful hand to all, regardless of their faith and of their belonging, and who cares for those who most need him: the poor, the sick, the marginalized , the helpless. Where life is in danger, we are called even more to protect it. Neither violence nor death will have the last word before God,  the God of love and life. We must pray with insistence to help us put into practice the logic of peace, of reconciliation, of forgiveness, of life, in Europe, in the Holy Land, in the Middle East, in Africa and elsewhere in the world.
In its history, the Jewish people has had to experience violence and persecution, to the point of  extermination of European Jews during the Holocaust. Six million people, just because they belonged to the Jewish people, were victims of the most inhumane barbarity perpetrated in the name of an ideology that wanted to replace God with man. On October 16, 1943, over a thousand men, women and children Rome’s Jewish community were deported to Auschwitz. Today I wish to remember them in a special way: their suffering, their fear, their tears must never be forgotten. And the past must serve as a lesson for the present and for the future. The Holocaust teaches us that utmost vigilance is always needed to be able to take prompt action in defense of human dignity and peace. I would like to express my closeness to every witness of the Holocaust who is still living; and I address a special greeting to those who are present here today.
Dear brothers, we really have to be thankful for all that has been realized in the last fifty years, because between us mutual understanding, mutual trust and friendship have grown and deepened. Let us pray together to the Lord, to lead the way to a better future. God has plans of salvation for us, as the prophet Jeremiah says: "I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the Lord - plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope" (Jer 29 , 11). “The LORD bless you and keep you! The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!  (cf. 6.24 to 26 Nm). Shalom Alechem! (Linda Bordoni
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