DONATE TO JCE NEWS

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Catholic News World : Thursday November 24, 2016 - SHARE

2016

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday November 24, 2016 - SHARE


Memorial of Saint Andrew Dung-Lac, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 506


Reading 1RV 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9A

I, John, saw another angel coming down from heaven,
having great authority,
and the earth became illumined by his splendor.
He cried out in a mighty voice:

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great.
She has become a haunt for demons.
She is a cage for every unclean spirit,
a cage for every unclean bird,
a cage for every unclean and disgusting beast.”

A mighty angel picked up a stone like a huge millstone
and threw it into the sea and said:

“With such force will Babylon the great city be thrown down,
and will never be found again.
No melodies of harpists and musicians,
flutists and trumpeters,
will ever be heard in you again.
No craftsmen in any trade
will ever be found in you again.
No sound of the millstone
will ever be heard in you again.
No light from a lamp
will ever be seen in you again.
No voices of bride and groom
will ever be heard in you again.
Because your merchants were the great ones of the world,
all nations were led astray by your magic potion.”

After this I heard what sounded like
the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying:

“Alleluia!
Salvation, glory, and might belong to our God,
for true and just are his judgments.
He has condemned the great harlot
who corrupted the earth with her harlotry.
He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”

They said a second time:

“Alleluia! Smoke will rise from her forever and ever.”

Then the angel said to me, “Write this:
Blessed are those who have been called
to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 100:1B-2, 3, 4, 5

R. (Rev. 19: 9a) Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
For he is good:
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.

AlleluiaLK 21:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 21:20-28

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies,
know that its desolation is at hand.
Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.
Let those within the city escape from it,
and let those in the countryside not enter the city,
for these days are the time of punishment
when all the Scriptures are fulfilled.
Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days,
for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth
and a wrathful judgment upon this people.
They will fall by the edge of the sword
and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles;
and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles
until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.”

Saint November 24 : St. Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions : Martyrs of #Vietnam


MARTYR
Feast: November 24
Information:
Feast Day:November 24
Born:
1785 in Vietnam
Died:
21 December 1839 in Hanoi, Vietnam
Canonized:
19 June 1988 by Pope John Paul II Vietnamese priest and martyr and companion of St. Peter Thi. Andrew was arrested and beheaded on Dcember 21, 1839, with Peter Thi during the harsh anti-Christian persecutions. He was canonized in 1988.(Taken from Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wow 5 Things to SHARE about the 1st American Thanksgiving - #Thanksgiving to SHARE

A historical reality is that the first “thanksgiving” meal in the United States was celebrated by Spanish settlers, in what became Florida. This was explained by Historian Dr. Michael Gannon as he explained was occurred on September 8, 1565.
1. “When the first Spanish settlers landed in what is now St. Augustine on September 8, 1565, to build a settlement, their first act was to hold a religious service to thank God for the safe arrival of the Spanish. After the Mass, Father Francisco Lopez, the Chaplin of the Spanish ships, insisted that the natives from the Timucua tribe be fed with the Spanish settlers. This was the very first Thanksgiving and the first Thanksgiving meal in the United States.
2. The Spaniards, with food that they brought with them on the ship, made the communal meal. History tells us that  the meal would probably involved salted pork, garbanzo beans, bread and red wine.
3. This account of the first “thanksgiving” was found in Father Francisco’s memoirs. He wrote, “the feast day [was] observed . . . after Mass, ‘the Adelantado [Menendez] had the Indians fed and dined himself.’”
4. The feast celebrated by the Spaniards was that of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s birthday, on  September 8. The meal “may have also included … If the Timucua contributed, it would likely have been with corn, fresh fish, berries, or beans.”
5. Before the Mass was celebrated, “Father Francisco López, the fleet chaplain…came ashore and met Menéndez holding a cross… Menéndez came on land, knelt and kissed the cross.”
The word Eucharist another word for the Mass comes from the Greek meaning “thanksgiving”)
HAPPY THANKSGIVING and Remember to THANK GOD with your Family!
SHARE

#PopeFrancis "...the mystery of the love of God was not revealed to the wise and the intelligent, but to the little ones.." #Audience FULL TEXT

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning! The Jubilee having ended, we return today to normality, yet some reflections still remain on the works of mercy, so we continue on this. Today’s reflection on the works of spiritual mercy concerns two acts strongly connected between themselves: to counsel the doubters and to teach the ignorant, namely, those that don’t know. The word ignorant is too strong, but it means those who don’t know something and who must be taughtThey are works that can be lived both in a simple, family dimension, within everyone’s reach, and – especially the second, that of teaching – on a more institutional, organized plane. We think, for instance, of all those children who still suffer from illiteracy. This is hard to understand: in a world where technical-scientific progress is so high, there are illiterate children! It’s an injustice. How many children suffer from a lack of education; it’s a condition of great injustice that affects the very dignity of the person. Without education, one then becomes easily prey to exploitation and to different forms of social hardship.
In the course of the centuries, the Church has felt the need to commit herself in the realm of education, because her evangelizing mission entails the commitment to restore dignity to the poorest. From the first example of a “school” founded in fact here in Rome by Saint Justin in the second century, so that Christians could know the Sacred Scriptures better, to Saint Joseph Calasanzius, who opened the first popular free schools of Europe, we have a long list of men and women Saints who at different times brought education to the most disadvantaged, knowing that through this, they would be able to surmount poverty and discriminations. How many Christians, laymen, consecrated brothers and sisters, priests gave their life in education, in the education of children and of young people. This is great: I invite you to pay homage to them with loud applause! [Applause of the faithful]. These pioneers of education understood in depth this work of mercy, and such was their lifestyle as to transform society itself. Through simple work and few structures they were able to restore dignity to so many persons! And the education they imparted was often orientated also to work. We think of Saint John Bosco, who prepared street kids to work, with the Oratory and then with schools, jobs. It is thus that many and different professional schools arose, which trained to work while educating in human and Christian values. Hence, education is truly a special form of evangelization.
The more education grows, the more individuals acquire certainties and awareness, of which we are all in need in life. A good education teaches us the critical method, which also includes a certain type of doubt, useful to pose questions and verify the results reached, in view of greater knowledge. However, the work of mercy of counseling the doubters does not concern this type of doubt. To express mercy to doubters means, instead, to soothe that pain and suffering that comes from fear and anguish, which are consequences of doubt. Therefore, it is a real act of love, with which one intends to support a person in the weakness caused by uncertainty.
I think that someone could ask me: “Father, but I have so many doubts about the faith, what must I do? Do you ever have doubts?” I have so many … Certainly doubts come to everyone in some moments! The doubts that touch the faith, in a positive sense, are a sign that we want to know God, Jesus, the mystery of His love for us better and more in depth. “But, I have this doubt. I seek, study, see or ask advice on what to do.” These are doubts that make one grow! Therefore, it is good that we ask ourselves questions about the faith, because in this way we are pushed to deepen it. In any case, doubts can be overcome. Therefore, it is necessary to listen to the Word of God, and to understand what He teaches us. An important way that helps much in this is catechesis, with which the proclamation of the faith comes to meet us in the concreteness of our personal and communal life. And, at the same time, there is another equally important way, that of living the faith as much as possible. We do not make of the faith an abstract theory where doubts multiply. Rather, we make the faith our life. We try to practice it in service to brothers, especially the most needy. And then so many doubts vanish, because we feel God’s presence and the truth of the Gospel of love that, without our merit, dwells in us and we share with others.
As you can also see, dear brothers and sisters, these two works of mercy are not far from our lives. Each one of us can commit himself in living them to put into practice the Lord’s word when He says that the mystery of the love of God was not revealed to the wise and the intelligent, but to the little ones (cf. Luke 10:21; Matthew 11:25-26). Therefore, the most profound teaching that we are called to transmit and the safest certainty to come out of doubt is the love of God with which we have been loved (cf. 1 John 4:10) – a great love, free and given for ever. God never takes back His love! He always goes ahead and waits; He gives His love forever, of which we must feel a strong responsibility, to be witnesses of it by offering mercy to our brothers. Thank you.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
In Italian
A warm welcome goes to the Italian-speaking pilgrims. I greet the participants in the Course for Missionaries, organized by the Pontifical Salesian University and the leaders of the Apostolic Union of the Clergy, accompanied by the Bishop of Andria, Monsignor Luigi Mansi. I greet the delegation of the Municipality of Fanano, with the Bishop of Carpi, Monsignor Francesco Cavina, and I thank them for the gift of the sculpture regarding mercy. Finally, a thought goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Last Sunday we concluded the Extraordinary Jubilee. However, God’s merciful heart for us sinners did not close; he will not cease to inundate us with His grace. In the same way, may our hearts never be closed and may we never cease to carry out always the works of corporal and spiritual mercy.
May the experience of God’s love and forgiveness, which we lived in this Holy Year, remain in us as permanent inspiration to charity towards our brothers.
[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by ZENIT]

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. November 23, 2016


Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 505


Reading 1RV 15:1-4

I, John, saw in heaven another sign, great and awe-inspiring:
seven angels with the seven last plagues,
for through them God’s fury is accomplished.

Then I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire.
On the sea of glass were standing those
who had won the victory over the beast
and its image and the number that signified its name.
They were holding God’s harps,
and they sang the song of Moses, the servant of God,
and the song of the Lamb:

“Great and wonderful are your works,
Lord God almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
O king of the nations.
Who will not fear you, Lord,
or glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
All the nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 98:1, 2-3AB, 7-8, 9

R. (Rev. 15: 3b) Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!
Before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth;
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God!

AlleluiaRV 2:10C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain faithful until death,
and I will give you the crown of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 21:12-19

Jesus said to the crowd:
“They will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents,
brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”

Saint November 23 : St. Clement I : #Pope : Patron of #Boatmen, #Sailors, sick children, stonecutters

St. Clement I
POPE
Feast: November 23
Information:
Feast Day:
November 23
Born:
Rome, Italy
Died:
101
Patron of: boatmen, marble workers, mariners, sailors, sick children, stonecutters, watermen
Saint Clement I, byname Clement Of Rome, Latin Clemens Romanus   (born, Rome—died 1st century ad, Rome; feast day November 23), first Apostolic Father, pope from 88 to 97, or from 92 to 101, supposed third successor of St. Peter. According to the early Christian writer Tertullian, he was consecrated by Peter. Bishop St. Irenaeus of Lyon lists him as a contemporary of the Apostles and witness of their preaching. Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea dates his pontificate from 92 to 101. His martyrdom is legendary, and he has been hypothetically identified with the Clement mentioned in Phil. 4:3. His attribute is an anchor, to which he was tied and cast into the sea, according to spurious tales.
The authorship of the Letter to the Church of Corinth (I Clement), the most important 1st-century document other than the New Testament, has been traditionally ascribed to him. Still extant, it was written to settle a controversy among the Corinthians against their church leaders and reveals that Clement considered himself empowered to intervene (the first such action known) in another community’s affairs. His Letter achieved almost canonical status and was regarded as Scripture by many 3rd- and 4th-century Christians.
Numerous Clementine writings—those that at various times were added to the first Letter—show the high regard for Clement in the early church. He is credited with transmitting to the church theOrdinances of the Holy Apostles Through Clement (Apostolic Constitutions), which, reputedly drafted by the Apostles, is the largest collection of early Christian ecclesiastical law; the constitutions are now believed, however, to have been written in Syria c. 380. W.K. Lowther Clarke’s edition of The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians was published in 1937. Text from Britannica

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Saint November 23 : St. Columban : Abbot of #Ireland


St. Columban
ABBOT
Feast: November 23
Information:
Feast Day:
November 23
Born:
540, Leinster, Ireland
Died:
23 November 615
Major Shrine:
Abbey church at Bobbio

Already a monk at Bangor Columban set out from Ireland with twelve companions as a wandering pilgrim for Christ.
St Columban (543-615)
Already a monk at Bangor Columban set out from there with twelve companions as a wandering pilgrim for Christ. Passing to mainland Europe, he had enormous influence by setting up monastic foundations in France and Italy. A vibrant missionary society serving in fourteen countries worldwide today bears his name – the Columban Missionaries. Patrick Duffy tells Columban’s story.
Formation by Sinell at Cluain Inis and Comgall at Bangor
Born in Leinster, Columban receive a good education in the Bible, classical authors and the Latin Fathers. Finding that girls were distracting him from his studies, a woman hermit advised him to become a monk. After some time with Sinell at the Lough Erne island of Cluain Inis, his major formation was under St Comgall at Bangor, where he spent many years teaching before setting on his wanderings for Christ, probably in 590.
Saint Columban, abbot: “Seek then the highest wisdom, not by arguments in words but by the perfection of your life, not by speech but by faith that comes from God.
In the kingdom of the Franks Columban travelled with a group of companions by sea and land across Cornwall, the English Channel, Brittany and pressed on in a south-easterly direction into the kingdom of the Franks, by then partitioned (since 561) and thoroughly lapsed from its earlier Christianity under Clovis (d. 511) and his his queen, St Clotilde.
The Irish monks found paganism, witchcraft, magic, and brutal ritual murder rife. On their way they had visited the court of King Childebert II of Austrasia (now roughly = Alsace) and then being given an old Roman fort at Annagray, in the foothills of the Vosges mountains, they established their first monastery. Soon they founded another eight miles to the west at Luxeuil.
Conflict with Frankish bishopsTheir austere way of life, codified in Columban’s own Rule, attracted many followers, but their Irish customs, with a bishop subordinate to the abbot, a different date for Easter, and the Irish tonsure across the front part of the head, and some very penitential practices based on those of the desert fathers, all annoyed the Frankish bishops, who summoned Columban to explain himself at a synod. Regarding them as negligent and lax, Columban refused to attend, but wrote them a letter effectively suggesting that they were bothering about trifles and should leave him, “a poor stranger in these parts for the cause of Christ”, and his monks in peace.
Here the abbot and his monks led the simplest of lives, their food often consisting of nothing but forest herbs, berries, and the bark of young trees. The fame of Columbanus’s sanctity spread far and wide.
But the bishops renewed their attacks, concentrating on the Easter question, and Columban wrote to Pope St Gregory I asking for confirmation of the validity of his tradition. Gregory sent him  a copy of his Pastoral Care and advised him consult the Abbot of Lerins.
A kind of truce ensued for some years, followed by renewed attacks and a fresh appeal for tolerance. The Irish introduced a practice of confession with the imposition of harsh penances according to a Penitential Book compiled by Columban.
Writes to Pope Gregory
But the bishops renewed their attacks, concentrating on the Easter question, and Columban wrote to Pope St Gregory I asking for confirmation of the validity of his tradition. Gregory sent him  a copy of his Pastoral Care and advised him consult the Abbot of Lerins. A kind of truce ensued for some years, followed by renewed attacks and a fresh appeal for tolerance.
Conflict with the Burgundian royal family
Columban then fell foul of the Burgundian royal family. The king respected him and used him as an adviser, but Columban could not tolerate the fact that the king kept concubines. He refused to bless the king’s illegitimate children. This incurred the wrath of Theodoric’s formidable grandmother, Brunhilda, who exercised a matriarchal rule and did not want Theodoric marrying and so introducing a legitimate queen who might be a rival. She harrassed the Irish monks until they were forced to leave the kingdom, though the Franks who had joined their monasteries were allowed to stay.
Deported… but sailed up the RhineColumban and his Irish compatriots first tried to settle at Tours but were were forced under military escort to Nantes, to be deported back to Ireland by sea. Their ship ran into a fierce storm and was forced to turn back. They then crossed Gaul once more, but by a more northly route, to Metz, where the Austrasian king, Theodebert II, received them kindly. Finally they rowed up the Rhine in the depths of winter, hoping to settle at Bregenz on Lake Constance, but the excessive zeal of their preaching made them enemies, and when Austrasia and Burgundy went to war and Austrasia was defeated, Columban moved on.

Columban,
God’s wanderer and fierce defender of the faith.
Into Italy
By now aged about 70, he crossed the Alps to Milan, leaving his disciple in Gall and some other monks behind, after what may have been a quarrel. He was well received by the king of Lombardy, an Arian, though his wife and children were Catholics. He found himself caught up in the complex doctrinal issue of the writings (and writers) known as the Three Chapters, about which he knew little. Persuaded by the king’s wife, a passionate defender of the Three Chapters, he wrote a letter to Pope Boniface IV, ostensibly in their defence, but actually defending the orthodoxy of his own position: “We are disciples of Saints Peter and Paul and all the disciples who by the Holy Spirit wrote the divine canon. No one of us has been a heretic, no one a Jew, no one a schismatic… the Catholic faith is maintained unchanged.”
Death and influenceThe royal couple gave Columban land at Bobbio, in an Apennine pass between Genoa and Piacenza, and here he built his last monastery. Invited to return to the Frankish kingdom, he declined, now nearing death.

St Columban’s tomb in Bobbio
He died at Bobbio on 3 November 615 and was buried there.
The next abbot commissioned a monk named Joncas, who had joined the abbey three years after Columban’s death, to write hisLife. Joncas completed this with the help of many who had known him. Over the centuries Bobbio acquired a great library and became a major influence on learning in northern Italy until the 16th century. It was finally suppressed by the French in 1803. Columban’s foundation at Luxeuil also flourished until the French Revolution.
Columban Missionaries todayIn 1918 a missionary society under the patronage of St Columban was founded from the Irish seminary of St Patrick’s College, Maynooth sending missionaries especially to China. There are presently over 500 Columban priests of ten nationalities and many lay missionaries in the Society ministering in 14 countries. Shared from Catholicireland Net

Saint November 23 : Blessed Miguel Pro - Viva Christo Rey - Martyr for Christ the King

(IMAGE SOURCE: BLOGGER)

BLESSED MIGUEL AGUSTIN PRO, S.J.—1891-1927

Miguel Pro was born January 13, 1891, at Guadalupe Zacatecas, Mexico.

In 1909, twenty-year-old Miguel Augustin Pro joined the Jesuits as a novice in Mexico. A year later a revolution erupted and by 1914 the Jesuits were forced to flee. Via Texas, California, Nicaragua, and Spain, Miguel received his seminary training en route to Belgium, where he was ordained in 1925.
The Jesuits sent Padre Pro to Mexico City in 1926, hoping a return home might relieve the priest’s chronic stomach ailment. Just twenty-three days after Padre Pro arrived, President Calles banned all public worship. Since he was not known as a priest, Padre Pro went about clandestinely—sometimes in disguise—celebrating Mass, distributing communion, hearing confessions, and anointing the sick. He also did as much as he could to relieve the material suffering of the poor. In a letter he gave this faith-filled account:
We carry on like slaves. Jesus help me! There isn’t time to breathe, and I am up to my eyebrows in this business of feeding those who have nothing. And they are many—those with nothing. I assure you that I spin like a top from here to there with such luck as is the exclusive privilege of petty thieves. It doesn’t even faze me to receive such messages as: “The X Family reports that they are twelve members and their pantry is empty. Their clothing is falling off them in pieces, three are sick in bed and there isn’t even water.” As a rule my purse is as dry as Calles’s soul, but it isn’t worth worrying since the Procurator of Heaven is generous.
People give me valuable objects to raffle off, something worth ten pesos that I can sell for forty. Once I was walking along with a woman’s purse that was quite cute (the purse not the woman) when I met a wealthy woman all dolled up.
“What do you have there?”
“A lady’s purse worth twenty-five pesos. You can have it for fifty pesos which I beg you to send to such-and-such a family.”
I see God’s hand so palpably in everything that almost—almost I fear they won’t kill me in these adventures. That will be a fiasco for me who sighs to go to heaven and start tossing off arpeggios on the guitar with my guardian angel.
In November 1927, a bomb was tossed at Calles’s car from an auto previously owned by one of Miguel’s two brothers. All three brothers were rounded up and condemned to death. The youngest was pardoned, but Padre Pro and his brother Humberto were executed by a firing squad. Calles had news photographers present, expecting the Pros to die cowardly. But Padre Pro refused the blindfold and welcomed the bullets with his arms extended in the form of a cross, crying out, “Viva Cristo Rey!” Although Calles outlawed any public demonstration, thousands of Mexicans defiantly lined the streets, honoring the martyr as he was carried in procession to his grave.
Once while walking with Concepcion, his favorite sister, Miguel noticed in a window an especially gaudy statue of the Virgin. She thought it was “hideous.” To tease her, he ran to the owner’s door and knocked. “Hello,” he said, “my sister loves your beautiful statue. Will you sell it?”
“Sorry,” was the answer. “That madonna is a family treasure.”
Quick-witted and lighthearted Miguel played similar practical jokes all his life. He also played them in death. President Calles thought executing Padre Pro publicly would demoralize Catholics, but it had the opposite effect. Miguel even promised to joke in heaven. “If I meet any long-faced saints there,” he said, “I will cheer them up with a Mexican hat dance!”
Excerpt from Voices of the Saints by Bert Ghezzi.

#PopeFrancis ‘Lord I have many sins but I have tried to be faithful.’ #Homily

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said death is not to be feared if we are faithful to the Lord but warned against being trapped into basing our lives around superficial things that are not transcendent as though we never had to die. He was speaking at his Mass celebrated on Tuesday morning in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence.
Taking his cue from the day’s reading from the book of Revelation, the Pope’s homily focused on the reality of how all of us will face Jesus on the day of judgement. He said a call from the Lord to think about the end of our lives, the end for each of us because all of us will die, comes as the Church heads into the final week of the Liturgical Year. Pope Francis acknowledged that we do not like to think of these things but said this is the reality facing all of us. He then disclosed that he keeps a diary where he writes down when a person dies and each day “I see that anniversary” and I see how time has passed. The Pope said this makes us think about what we’ll leave behind and what will be the trace of our lives and what will be the judgement for each one of us.
“We’d do well to think: ‘But what will the day be like when I will be in front of Jesus? When He asks me about the talents that he gave me, what use I made of them, when He will ask me: how was my heart when the seed was dropped, like a path or like thorns: that Parable of the Kingdom of God. How did I receive His Word? With an open heart?  Did I make it germinate for the good of all or in secret?”
Warning that each one of us will stand in front of Jesus on the day of judgement, Pope Francis quoted from the gospel reading that warns Christians not to be deceived. And the deception being spoken about, he explained, is ‘alienation,’ estrangement, the deception of superficial things that do not have transcendence, the deception of ‘living as though we never had to die.’ When the Lord comes, the Pope asked, “how will he find me?  Waiting for Him or in the midst of the many ‘alienations’ of life?”
“I remember as a child, when we went to catechism we were taught four things: death, judgement, hell or glory.  After the judgement there is this possibility. ‘But Father, this is to frighten us…’ ‘No, this is the truth because if you do not take care of your heart, because the Lord is with you and (if) you always live estranged from the Lord, perhaps there is the danger, the danger of continuing to live estranged in this way from the Lord for eternity.’ And this is a terrible thing!”
Pope Francis concluded his homily by urging his listeners to think about their day of judgement and how they will fare but not to fear that moment because quoting once again from the day’s reading, the Lord tells us, “remain faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life.”
“Fidelity to the Lord does not disappoint. If each one of us is faithful to the Lord, when death comes, we will say like Francis (of Assisi) ‘come sister death…’ we won’t be afraid. And when the day of judgement comes, we will look at the Lord: ‘Lord I have many sins but I have tried to be faithful.’ And our Lord is good.  I give you this advice: ‘be faithful until death – said the Lord - and I will give you the crown of life.’ With this fidelity we won’t be afraid of death, when we die we won’t be afraid of the day of judgement.”
Post a Comment