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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Catholic News World : Wed. December 28, 2016 - SHARE

2016

#PopeFrancis "To believe, it is necessary to be able to see with the eyes of faith..." #Angelus FULL TEXT + Video



THE HOLY FATHER’S CATECHESIS
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
In his Letter to the Romans, Saint Paul recalls for us the great figure of Abraham, to indicate to us the way of faith and hope. Of him, the Apostle writes: “In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations” (Romans 4:18); “firm in hope against all hope.” This concept is strong: and even when there is no hope, I hope. So is our Father Abraham. Saint Paul is referring to the faith with which Abraham believed in the word of God, who promised him a son. But it was truly a trust hoping “against hope,” so unlikely was what the Lord announced to him, because he was elderly — he was almost one hundred years old — and his wife was sterile. He was unable, but God said it and he believed. There was no human hope because he was elderly and his wife was sterile: but he believed.
Trusting in this promise, Abraham starts out, accepts leaving his land and becoming a foreigner, hoping in this “impossible” son that God wished to give him despite Sarah’s womb being now as dead. Abraham believed; his faith opened to a hope that seemed unreasonable; that is, the ability to go beyond human reasoning, the wisdom and prudence of the world, beyond what is normally regarded a good sense, to believe in the impossible. Hope opens new horizons, makes one capable of dreaming what is not even imaginable. Hope makes one enter the darkness of an uncertain future to walk in the light. The virtue of hope is beautiful; it gives us so much strength to walk in life.
However, it is a difficult way. And the moment of the crisis of dejection came also for Abraham. He trusted, he left his home, his land, his friends … everything. He left and arrived in the country that God had indicated to him; time passed. At that time, to undertake such a trip was not as today with airplanes – now it is done in a few hours; then it took months, years! Time passed, but the son did not come; Sarah’s womb remained closed in its sterility.
And Abraham — I do not say that he lost patience but he complained to the Lord. We learn this also from our Father Abraham: to complain to the Lord is a way of praying. Sometimes I feel when I confess that I have complained to the Lord …” and [I answer]: “but no! Do complain, He is a Father!” And this is a way of praying: complain to the Lord, this is good. Abraham complained to the Lord saying: “’ Lord God, […], I am leaving without children and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus” (Eliezer was the one who governed everything). Abraham added: “Behold, you have not given me descendants and my slave will be my heir.” And behold, this word of the Lord was addressed to him: ‘He shall not be your heir; but one born of you shall be your heir.” And then He led him outside and said, ‘Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them’; and He added: ‘So shall your descendants be.’ And yet again Abraham believed the Lord; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness” (Genesis 15:2-6).
The scene unfolded at night; outside it was dark, but in Abraham’s heart there was also the darkness of disappointment, of discouragement, of difficulty in continuing to hope in something impossible. By now, the Patriarch was very advanced in years, there seemed to be no more time for a son, and it will be a slave who will take over, inheriting everything.
Abraham is addressing the Lord, but God, although He is present there and speaks with him, seems as though He is distancing Himself, as if had not had faith in His word. Abraham feels alone, he is old and tired, death looms. How can he continue to trust?
Yet, his lament is already a form of faith, it is a prayer. Despite everything, Abraham continues to believe in God and to hope that something can still happen. Otherwise, why question the Lord, why complain to him, why remind Him of His promises? Faith is not only silence, which accepts everything without replying; hope is not certainty that makes one immune to doubt and to perplexity. But so often, hope is darkness; but hope is there … which leads one forward. Faith is also to struggle with God, to show Him our bitterness, without “pious” pretenses. “I was angry with God and I said this and this and this to Him … But He is a Father, He has understood you: go in peace! One must have this courage! And this is hope. And hope is also not to be afraid to see reality for what it is and to accept its contradictions.
Therefore, Abraham turns to God in faith to help him continue to hope. It is curious; he does not ask for a son. He asks: “Help me to continue to hope,” the prayer to have hope. And the Lord responds insisting on His unlikely promise: a slave will not be the heir but in fact a son, born of Abraham, generated by him. Nothing has changed on God’s part. He continues to confirm what He already said, and he does not offer footholds to Abraham to feel reassured. His only security is to trust in the Lord’s word and to continue to hope.

And that sign that God gives to Abraham is a request to continue to believe and to hope: “Look toward heaven and number the stars […] So shall your descendants be” (Genesis15:5). It is, again, a promise; it is something to wait for in the future. God leads Abraham out of the tent, in reality out of his narrow visions, and He shows him the stars. To believe, it is necessary to be able to see with the eyes of faith, they are only stars, which all can see, but for Abraham they must become the sign of God’s fidelity.
This is faith; this is the way of hope that each one of us must follow. If for us also the only possibility remains to look at the stars, then it is time to trust God. There is nothing more beautiful. Hope does not disappoint. Thank you.
[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by ZENIT]
In Italian
I receive with the joy of the Christmas atmosphere the dear Italian-speaking pilgrims. I greet the artists and workers of the Golden Circus of Liana Orfei, and I thank them for their pleasing exhibition. Beauty always brings us closer to God! I greet the parish groups, particularly the faithful of Supino and of Sant’Andrea delle Frate in Rome, who have come with the effigy of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, which will be exhibited in Saint Peter’s Basilica. In this Christmastide we have before our eyes the wonderful mystery of Jesus, child and adolescent, who, as the evangelist Luke recounts, “increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.” (2:52).
It gives me pleasure to express a special greeting to young people, the sick and newlyweds, I call them the courageous ones, because one needs courage to marry and to do so for the whole of life: good ones. May the Holy Innocent Martyrs, whom we remember today, help us all to be strong in faith, looking at the divine Child, who in the mystery of Christmas offers himself for the whole of humanity. Dear young people, may you also be able to grow like Him: obedient to parents and quick to understand and follow the will of the Father who is in heaven. Dear sick, I hope you can discern, in the vivid light of Bethlehem, the meaning of your suffering. And I exhort you, dear courageous newlyweds, in building your family to keep love and dedication constant, beyond all sacrifice, and not to end your day without making peace between you.
[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation by ZENIT]
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Amazing Version of Little Drummer Boy by #Pentatonix - SHARE A Present for Baby Jesus! #DrummerBoy

Incredible A Cappella Version Of ‘Little Drummer Boy’ –  SHARE this beautiful Song!

#CatholicQuote to SHARE by St. #MotherTeresa "The time you spend with Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament will be the best..."


"The time you spend with Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament will be the best; the most profitable time you will ever spend here on earth." ~ Saint Teresa of Calcutta 

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. December 28, 2016


Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs
Lectionary: 698


Reading 11 JN 1:5–2:2

Beloved:
This is the message that we have heard from Jesus Christ
and proclaim to you:
God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.
If we say, “We have fellowship with him,”
while we continue to walk in darkness,
we lie and do not act in truth.
But if we walk in the light as he is in the light,
then we have fellowship with one another,
and the Blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin.
If we say, “We are without sin,”
we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just
and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.
If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar,
and his word is not in us.

My children, I am writing this to you
so that you may not commit sin.
But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous one.
He is expiation for our sins,
and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.

Responsorial PsalmPS 124:2-3, 4-5, 7CD-8

R. (7) Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Had not the LORD been with us—
When men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive,
When their fury was inflamed against us.
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept the raging waters.
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
R. Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
——

Alleluia - See Te Deum

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 2:13-18

When the magi had departed, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,
“Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt,
and stay there until I tell you.
Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night
and departed for Egypt.
He stayed there until the death of Herod,
that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled,
Out of Egypt I called my son.

When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi,
he became furious.
He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity
two years old and under,
in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi.
Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:

A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be consoled,
since they were no more.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Saint December 28 : Holy Innocents : #Martyred by Herod in Search of #Baby Jesus


Today, December 28, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents—those male babies put to death by a jealous Herod shortly after the birth of Christ, following his visit with the Magi. The fourth day of Christmas commemorates these baby boys, who are considered martyrs -- the very first martyrs. (Saint Stephen, whose Feast we celebrated 2 days ago, was the first martyr of the Church Age). As Herod ordered the death of children two years or less, in or around the small town of Bethlehem, the number of these Holy Innocents was probably no more than 25. Nonetheless, these innocent babies are glorious martyrs who died not only for Christ, but in His place.
 1  Matthew 2: 1-18:
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” 7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. 13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18 “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
Saint Augustine of Hippo wrote of the Holy Innocents:
“Today, dearest brethren, we celebrate the birthday of those children who were slaughtered, as the Gospel tells us, by that exceedingly cruel king, Herod. Let the earth, therefore, rejoice and the Church exult — she, the fruitful mother of so many heavenly champions and of such glorious virtues. Never, in fact, would that impious tyrant have been able to benefit these children by the sweetest kindness as much as he has done by his hatred. For as today's feast reveals, in the measure with which malice in all its fury was poured out upon the holy children, did heaven's blessing stream down upon them.
"Blessed are you, Bethlehem in the land of Judah! You suffered the inhumanity of King Herod in the murder of your babes and thereby have become worthy to offer to the Lord a pure host of infants. In full right do we celebrate the heavenly birthday of these children whom the world caused to be born unto an eternally blessed life rather than that from their mothers' womb, for they attained the grace of everlasting life before the enjoyment of the present.
 The precious death of any martyr deserves high praise because of his heroic confession; the death of these children is precious in the sight of God because of the beatitude they gained so quickly. For already at the beginning of their lives they pass on. The end of the present life is for them the beginning of glory. These then, whom Herod's cruelty tore as sucklings from their mothers' bosom, are justly hailed as "infant martyr flowers"; they were the Church's first blossoms, matured by the frost of persecution during the cold winter of unbelief.”
As we contemplate the martyrdom of the holy innocents, our Christmas joy is tempered by sadness. We are reminded of the sacrifice and suffering that love sometimes requires, and look to this army of “infant martyr flowers” who now sit in the glory and presence of the Lord!
Father,
the Holy Innocents offered you praise by the death they suffered for Christ. May our lives bear witness to the faith we profess with our lips. 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
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Are you Traveling? #Prayer to St. Christopher for #SafeTravels and #Motorists - #Driving Prayers to SHARE

Saint Christopher Prayer"Motorist's Prayer:" Grant me, O Lord, a steady hand and watchful eye, that no one shall be hurt as I pass by. Thou gavest life, I pray no act of mine may take away or mar that gift of Thine. Shelter those, dear Lord, who bear my company from the evils of fire and all calamity.Teach me to use my car for others need; Nor miss through love of undue speed. The beauty of the world; that thus I may with joy and courtesy go on my way. St. Christopher, holy patron of travelers, protect me, and lead me safely to my destiny.
Saint Christopher's Protection Prayer
 Dear Saint Christopher, protect me today in all my travels along the road's way. Give your warning sign if danger is near so that I may stop while the path is clear. Be at my window and direct me through when the vision blurs From out of the blue. Carry me safely to my destined place, like you carried Christ in your close embrace. Amen.


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 St. Christopher's Prayer
O Glorious St. Christopher you have inherited a beautiful name, Christbearer, as a result of the wonderful legend that while carrying people across a raging stream you also carried the Child Jesus. Teach us to be true Christbearers to those who do not know Him. Protect all of us that travel both near and far and petition Jesus to be with us always. Amen.

Free Christian Movie : The Gospel of John : 2003 - FULL Movie - over 4 million Views

The story of Jesus' life as told by the apostle John, narrated by Christopher Plummer. Director: Philip Saville Writer: John Goldsmith (screenplay) Stars: Henry Ian Cusick, Daniel Kash, Christopher Plummer |
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