Sunday, December 11, 2016

Catholic News World : Sunday December 11, 2016 - SHARE


#PopeFrancis "Joy is the fruit of this intervention of salvation and of the love of God." FULL TEXT #Angelus + Video

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Today we celebrate the third Sunday of Advent, marked by St. Paul’s invitation: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near” (Philippians 4:4-5). It is not a superficial or purely emotional joy that the Apostle exhorts us to. It’s also not worldly, or this joy of consumerism. No, no, it’s not that. It’s a joy that is more authentic; we are called to rediscover the taste of this joy, the taste of true joy. It is a joy that reaches the intimacy of our being, as we await Jesus, who has already come to bring salvation to the world, the promised Messiah, born in Bethlehem to the Virgin Mary.
The Liturgy of the Word offers us the proper context to understand and live this joy.
Isaiah speaks of the desert, of the parched land, of the steppe (cf. 35:1); the prophet has before him feeble hands, weak knees, frightened hearts, the blind, the deaf and the mute (cf vs. 3-6). It is the picture of a desolate situation, of the inexorable destination when God is lacking.
But finally, salvation is proclaimed: Be strong, fear not!, says the prophet. Here is your God … he comes to save you (vs 4). And immediately, everything is transformed: The desert blooms, joy and gladness fill hearts (cf vs. 5-6). These signs announced by Isaiah as revelations of a salvation already present, are fulfilled in Jesus.
He himself affirms this responding to the messengers sent by John the Baptist. What does Jesus say to these messengers? “The blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised” (Mt 11:5). They are not words, they are facts that show how the salvation brought by Jesus grips every human being and regenerates him. God has entered into history to liberate us from the slavery of sin; he has placed his dwelling in our midst to share our existence, to heal our scars, to bandage our wounds and give us new life. Joy is the fruit of this intervention of salvation and of the love of God.
We are called to participate in the sentiment of jubilation, this jubilation, this joy. A Christian who is not joyful — something is missing in this Christian, or he is not a Christian. The joy of the heart, the joy within that brings us forward and gives us courage. The Lord comes, he comes to our lives as the liberator, he comes to free us from all interior and exterior slaveries. He is the one who indicates to us the path of fidelity, of patience and of perseverance, because, at his arrival, our joy shall be complete.
Christmas is near. The signs of its coming are evident on our streets and in our homes. Also here in the Square, the nativity scene has been set up, and at its side, the tree. These external signs invite us to welcome the Lord who always comes and knocks at our door; he calls to our heart to come close. He invites us to recognize his steps among those of our brothers and sisters who pass beside us, especially the weakest and most needy.
Today we are invited to be joyful at the imminent arrival of our Redeemer; and we are called to share this joy with others, giving consolation and hope to the poor, to the sick, to those who are lonely or unhappy.
May the Virgin Mary, the “handmaid of the Lord,” help us to hear the voice of God in prayer and to serve him with compassion in our brothers, to arrive to Christmas prepared, preparing our hearts to welcome Jesus.
[Angelus; after the Angelus, the Holy Father added:]
Dear brothers and sisters,
Every day I am close, above all in prayer, to the people of Aleppo. We should not forget that Aleppo is a city. That there are people there: families, children, elderly, sick people … Lamentably, we have already grown accustomed to the war, to the destruction, but we should not forget that Syria is a country full of history, of culture, of faith. We cannot accept that all of this be negated by war, which is a knot of the abuse of power and of falsehood. I make a call to everyone to commit, so that there might be a choice for civilization: no to destruction, yes to peace, yes to the people of Aleppo and of Syria.
And we pray as well for the victims of some brutal terrorist attacks that in the last few hours have struck various countries. There are various places but unfortunately the violence that sows death and destruction is one and the same. And one and the same, too, is the response: faith in God and unity in human and social values.
I would like to express a special closeness to my dear brother Pope Tawadros II and his community; I am praying for the dead and the wounded.
Today in Vientiane, in Laos, will be the beatification of Mario Borzaga, a priest of the Missionary Oblates of Immaculate Mary, Paul Thoj Xyooj, a faithful lay catechist, and 14 companions, killed in hatred of the faith. Their heroic fidelity to Christ can be an encouragement and an example for missionaries, and especially for catechists, who in missionary lands carry out a valuable and irreplaceable apostolic work, for which the whole Church is thankful. Let us think of our catechists — they do a lot of work, good work — to be a catechist is something very beautiful, it is to bring the message of the Lord so that it grows in us. Applause for all catechists, for all of them!
I greet all of you with affection, dear pilgrims from various countries. Today, the first greeting is reserved for the children and youth of Rome, who’ve come for the traditional blessing of the Baby Jesus figurines, organized by parish oratories and Catholic schools. Dear children, when you pray before your creche with your parents, ask the Baby Jesus to help all of us to love God and our neighbor. And a reminder to pray also for me, as I pray for you. Thank you.
I greet the professors of the Catholic University of Sydney, the choir of Mosteiro de Grijo in Portugal, the faithful of Barbianello and Campobasso.
I wish all of you a happy Sunday. And don’t forget to pray for me. And one thing I wanted to say to the children and the youth. We want to hear you sing a song. Have a good lunch and until soon! Sing!
[Translation by ZENIT]

#BreakingNews 160 Killed as Church Collapses in Nigeria - Many Injured - Please PRAY

Reigners Bible Church collapsed on Saturday December 11, 2016 killing 160. The Church which was still under construction was overcrowded. It was located in  Uyo, Nigeria, collapsed on worshippers Saturday. Akwa Ibom Gov. Udom Emmanuel was there when it collapsed and narrowly escaped. He has declared Monday and Tuesday as days of mourning in the state. Efforts are underway to rescue victims trapped beneath the rubble. The precise number of dead and injured is unknown. The hospital has confirmed 160 killed so far.  "People are blaming the construction, but there were also too many people in that church." Emmanuel's press secretary, Ekerete Udoh, said in a statement the church "caved around them" at a ceremony to consecrate the church pastor's becoming a bishop. Udoh said the state government is trying determine the cause of the accident and will pay for the medical treatment of all those injured. Uyo is the capital of Akwa Ibom state, the coastal southern region. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari commented on the disaster in a series of tweets, saying "any tragedy that affects any part of Nigeria affects all of us." 

#BreakingNews Bomb blast near St. Mark's Cathedral in Egypt Kills at least 25 on Sunday - Please PRAY

A bomb blast has killed at least 25; it happened near St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in central Cairo  on Sunday. The explosion in the Egyptian capital has also left 31 others injured. The blast occurred in Cairo's Abbassyia district early Sunday morning.The Coptic Church's official spokesperson Rev. Paul Halim says the explosion took place in the small church of St. Peter and St. Paul attached to the cathedral.  Two days ago two bombs killed six police officers and a civilian in Giza. Copts have often faced persecution. Coptic Christians include 10 percent of Egypt's 80 million residents.
Pope Francis said after reciting the Angelus.
“And we also pray for the victims of some horrible terrorist attacks which have hit various countries in the last few hours,” 

“There are several places, but unfortunately, unique is the violence that sows death and destruction. But the response is also unique: Faith in God and unity in human and civil values,” – Pope Francis said – “I would like to express a special closeness to my dear brother Pope Tawadros II [the head of the Coptic Church] and to his community, and I am praying for the dead and the wounded.”

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. December 11, 2016 - 3rd of #Advent - Readings and Video - Year A

Third Sunday of Advent
Lectionary: 7

Reading 1IS 35:1-6A, 10

The desert and the parched land will exult;
the steppe will rejoice and bloom.
They will bloom with abundant flowers,
and rejoice with joyful song.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to them,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the hands that are feeble,
make firm the knees that are weak,
say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
with divine recompense
he comes to save you.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
the ears of the deaf be cleared;
then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing.

Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return
and enter Zion singing,
crowned with everlasting joy;
they will meet with joy and gladness,
sorrow and mourning will flee.

Responsorial PsalmPS 146:6-7, 8-9, 9-10

R. (cf. Is 35:4) Lord, come and save us.
R. Alleluia.
The LORD God keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Lord, come and save us.
R. Alleluia.
The LORD gives sight to the blind;
the LORD raises up those who were bowed down.
The LORD loves the just;
the LORD protects strangers.
R. Lord, come and save us.
R. Alleluia.
The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations.
R. Lord, come and save us.
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2JAS 5:7-10

Be patient, brothers and sisters,
until the coming of the Lord.
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
being patient with it
until it receives the early and the late rains.
You too must be patient.
Make your hearts firm,
because the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another,
that you may not be judged.
Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates.
Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters,
the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

AlleluiaIS 61:1 (CITED IN LK 4:18)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 11:2-11

When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ,
he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question,
“Are you the one who is to come,
or should we look for another?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you hear and see:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear,
the dead are raised,
and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”

As they were going off,
Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John,
“What did you go out to the desert to see?
A reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see?
Someone dressed in fine clothing?
Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
Then why did you go out? To see a prophet?
Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.

Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Wow Powerful Christmas #Commercial shows why we need to visit Parents SHARE #ViralVideo

The most powerful commercial of the year, if not ever. This was created by a German supermarket chain Edeka (English subs). It has had almost 20 million views in three days. It is about a Grandfather, (Opa) whose family is always too busy to see him. This will make you call your parents/grandparents/relatives/distant cousins right away. And it may cause a few tears. Watch it and SHARE it might just touch someone's heart...

Saint December 11 : St. Damasus I : #Pope : Patron of #Archeologists

St. Damasus I
Feast: December 11

Feast Day:December 11
Born:304 in Rome, Italy
Died:11 December, 384 in Rome, Italy
Patron of:archeologists

Born about 304; died 11 December, 384. His father, Antonius, was probably a Spaniards; the name of his mother, Laurentia, was not known until quite recently. Damasus seems to have been born at Rome; it is certain that he grew up there in the service of the church of the martyr St. Laurence. He was elected pope in October, 366, by a large majority, but a number of over-zealous adherents of the deceased Liberius rejected him, chose the deacon Ursinus (or Ursicinus), had the latter irregularly consecrated, and resorted to much violence and bloodshed in order to seat him in the Chair of Peter. Many details of this scandalous conflict are related in the highly prejudiced "Libellus Precum" (P.L., XIII, 83-107), a petition to the civil authority on the part of Faustinus and Marcellinus, two anti-Damasan presbyters (cf. also Ammianus Marcellinus, Rer. Gest., XXVII, c. iii). Valentinian recognized Damasus and banished (367) Ursinus to Cologne, whence he was later allowed to return to Milan, but was forbidden to come to Rome or its vicinity. The party of the antipope (later at Milan an adherent of the Arians and to the end a contentious pretender) did not cease to persecute Damasus. An accusation of adultery was laid against him (378) in the imperial court, but he was exonerated by Emperor Gratian himself (Mansi, Coll. Conc., III, 628) and soon after by a Roman synod of forty-four bishops (Liber Pontificalis, ed. Duchesne, s.v.; Mansi, op. cit., III, 419) which also excommunicated his accusers.
Damasus defended with vigour the Catholic Faith in a time of dire and varied perils. In two Roman synods (368 and 369) he condemned Apollinarianism and Macedonianism; he also sent his legates to the Council of Constantinople (381), convoked against the aforesaid heresies. In the Roman synod of 369 (or 370) Auxentius, the Arian Bishop of Milan, was excommunicated; he held the see, however, until his death, in 374, made way for St. Ambrose. The heretic Priscillian, condemned by the Council of Saragossa (380) appealed to Damasus, but in vain. It was Damasus who induced Saint Jerome to undertake his famous revision of the earlier Latin versions of the Bible (see VULGATE). St. Jerome was also his confidential secretary for some time (Ep. cxxiii, n. 10). An important canon of the New Testament was proclaimed by him in the Roman synod of 374. The Eastern Church, in the person of St. Basil of Cæsarea, besought earnestly the aid and encouragement of Damasus against triumphant Arianism; the pope, however, cherished some degree of suspicion against the great Cappadocian Doctor. In the matter of the Meletian Schism at Antioch, Damasus, with Athanasius and Peter of Alexandria, sympathized with the party of Paulinus as more sincerely representative of Nicene orthodoxy; on the death of Meletius he sought to secure the succession for Paulinus and to exclude Flavian (Socrates, Church History V.15). He sustained the appeal of the Christian senators to Emperor Gratian for the removal of the altar of Victory from the Senate House (Ambrose, Ep. xvii, n. 10), and lived to welcome the famous edict of Theodosius I, "De fide Catholica" (27 Feb., 380), which proclaimed as the religion of the Roman State that doctrine which St. Peter had preached to the Romans and of which Damasus was supreme head (Cod. Theod., XVI, 1, 2).
When, in 379, Illyricum was detached from the Western Empire, Damasus hastened to safeguard the authority of the Roman Church by the appointment of a vicar Apostolic in the person of Ascholius, Bishop of Thessalonica; this was the origin of the important papal vicariate long attached to that see. The primacy of the Apostolic See, variously favoured in the time of Damasus by imperial acts and edicts, was strenuously maintained by this pope; among his notable utterances on this subject is the assertion (Mansi, Coll. Conc., VIII, 158) that the ecclesiastical supremacy of the Roman Church was based, not on the decrees of councils, but on the very words of Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18). The increased prestige of the early papal decretals, habitually attributed to the reign of Siricius (384-99), not improbably belongs to the reign of Damasus ("Canones Romanorum ad Gallos"; Babut, "La plus ancienne décrétale", Paris, 1904). This development of the papal office, especially in the West, brought with it a great increase of external grandeur. This secular splendour, however, affected disadvantageously many members of the Roman clergy, whose worldly aims and life, bitterly reproved by St. Jerome, provoked (29 July, 370) and edict of Emperor Valentinian addressed to the pope, forbidding ecclesiastics and monks (later also bishops and nuns) to pursue widows and orphans in the hope of obtaining from them gifts and legacies. The pope caused the law to be observed strictly.
Damasus restored his own church (now San Lorenzo in Damaso) and provided for the proper housing of the archives of the Roman Church (see VATICAN ARCHIVES). He built in the basilica of St. Sebastian on the Appian Way the (yet visible) marble monument known as the "Platonia" (Platona, marble pavement) in honour of the temporary transfer to that place (258) of the bodies of Sts. Peter and Paul, and decorated it with an important historical inscription (see Northcote and Brownlow, Roma Sotterranea). He also built on the Via Ardeatina, between the cemeteries of Callistus and Domitilla, a basilicula, or small church, the ruins of which were discovered in 1902 and 1903, and in which, according to the "Liber Pontificalis", the pope was buried with his mother and sister. On this occasion the discoverer, Monsignor Wilpert, found also the epitaph of the pope's mother, from which it was learned not only that her name was Laurentia, but also that she had lived the sixty years of her widowhood in the special service of God, and died in her eighty-ninth year, having seen the fourth generation of her descendants. Damasus built at the Vatican a baptistery in honour of St. Peter and set up therein one of his artistic inscriptions (Carmen xxxvi), still preserved in the Vatican crypts. This subterranean region he drained in order that the bodies buried there (juxta sepulcrum beati Petri) might not be affected by stagnant or overflowing water. His extraordinary devotion to the Roman martyrs is now well known, owing particularly to the labours of Giovanni Battista De Rossi. For a good account of his architectural restoration of the catacombs and the unique artistic characters (Damasan Letters) in which his friend Furius Dionysius Filocalus executed the epitaphs composed by Damasus, see Northcote and Brownlow, "Roma Sotterranea" (2nd ed., London, 1878-79). The dogmatic content of the Damasan epitaphs (tituli) is important (Northcote, Epitaphs of the Catacombs, London, 1878). He composed also a number of brief epigrammata on various martyrs and saints and some hymns, or Carmina, likewise brief. St. Jerome says (Ep. xxii, 22) that Damasus wrote on virginity, both in prose and in verse, but no such work has been preserved. For the few letters of Damasus (some of them spurious) that have survived, see P.L., XIII, 347-76, and Jaffé, "Reg. Rom. Pontif." (Leipzig, 1885), nn. 232-254.
Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia - Image source Google Images

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