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Friday, January 27, 2017

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2017

#PopeFrancis “For in the one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body” to #Orthodox - FULL TEXT + Video



Pope Francis’ message this Friday to members of the Joint International Commission for theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches which is meeting in the Vatican this week.
Please find below the full text of Pope Francis’s address to the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches
Dear Brothers in Christ,
            In offering you a joyful welcome, I thank you for your presence and for the kind words that Metropolitan Bishoy addressed to me on your behalf.  Through you, I send cordial greetings to the Heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, my venerable brothers.
            I am grateful for the work of your Commission, which began in 2003 and is now holding its fourteenth meeting.  Last year you began an examination of the nature of the sacraments, especially baptism.  It is precisely in baptism that we rediscovered the basis of communion between Christians.  As Catholics and Oriental Orthodox, we can repeat the words of the Apostle Paul: “For in the one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body” (1 Cor 12:13).  In the course of this week, you have further reflected on historical, theological and ecclesiological aspects of the Holy Eucharist, “the source and summit of the whole Christian life”, which admirably expresses and brings about the unity of God’s people (Lumen Gentium, 11).  I encourage you to persevere in your efforts and I trust that your work may point out helpful ways to advance on our journey.  It will thus facilitate the path towards that greatly desired day when we will have the grace of celebrating the Lord’s Sacrifice at the same altar, as a sign of fully restored ecclesial communion.
            Many of you belong to Churches that witness daily the spread of violence and acts of brutality perpetrated by fundamentalist extremism.  We are aware that situations of such tragic suffering more easily take root in the context of great poverty, injustice and social exclusion, due to instability created by partisan interests, often from elsewhere, and by earlier conflicts that have led to situations of dire need, cultural and spiritual deserts where it becomes easy to manipulate and incite people to hatred.  Each day your Churches, in drawing near to those who suffer, are called to sow concord and to work patiently to restore hope by offering the consoling peace that comes from the Lord, a peace we are obliged together to bring to a world wounded and in pain.
            Saint Paul also writes: “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Cor 12:26).  Your sufferings are our sufferings.  I join you in praying for an end to the conflict and for God’s closeness to those who have endured so much, especially children, the sick and the elderly.  In a particular way, my heart goes out to the bishops, priests, consecrated men and women, and the lay faithful who have been cruelly abducted, taken hostage or enslaved.
            May the Christian communities be sustained by the intercession and example of our many martyrs and saints who bore courageous witness to Christ.  They show us the heart of our faith, which does not consist in a generic message of peace and reconciliation but in Jesus himself, crucified and risen.  He is our peace and our reconciliation (cf. Eph 2:14; 2 Cor 5:18).   As his disciples, we are called to testify everywhere, with Christian fortitude, to his humble love that reconciles men and women in every age.  Wherever violence begets more violence and sows death, there our response must be the pure leaven of the Gospel, which, eschewing strategies of power, allows fruits of life to emerge from arid ground and hope to dawn after nights of terror.
            The centre of the Christian life, the mystery of Jesus who died and rose out of love, is also the point of reference for our journey towards full unity.  Once more the martyrs show us the way.  How many times has the sacrifice of their lives led Christians, otherwise divided in so many things, to unity!  The martyrs and saints of all ecclesial traditions are already one in Christ (cf. Jn 17:22); their names are written in the one common martyrology of God’s Church.  Having sacrificed themselves on earth out of love, they dwell in the one heavenly Jerusalem, gathered around the Lamb who was slain (cf. Rev 7:13-17).  Their lives, offered as a gift, call us to communion, to hasten along the path to full unity.  Just as in the early Church the blood of the martyrs was the seed of new Christians, so in our own day may the blood of so many martyrs be a seed of unity between believers, a sign and instrument of a future of communion and peace.
            Dear brothers, I am grateful for the efforts you make towards attaining this goal.  In thanking you for your visit, I invoke upon you and your ministry the blessing of the Lord and the loving protection of the Holy Mother of God. (Image source: Google Images)

#PopeFrancis "Jesus...says, “Don’t be afraid.” #Homily



(Vatican Radio) God frees us from the sin that paralyzes us as Christians: faintheartedness, being afraid of everything, which keep us from having memory, hope, courage, and patience. That was the message of Pope Francis during the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Friday.
Remembering the God’s work of salvation in my life
Pope Francis said the day’s Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews exhorts us to live the Christian life with three points of reference: the past, the present, and the future. First, it invites us to remember, because “the Christian life does not begin today: it continues today.” Remembering is “to recall everything”: the good things, and those that are less good, and putting my own story “before the sight of God”: without covering up or hiding it:
“‘Brothers, call to mind those first days’: the days of enthusiasm, of going forward in the faith, when you began to live the faith, the anguished trials… You don’t understand the Christian life, even the spiritual life of each day, without memory. Not only do you not understand: You can’t live in a Christian way without memory. The memory of the salvation of God in my life, the memory of my troubles in my life; but how has the Lord saved me from these troubles? Memory is a grace: a grace to ask for. ‘Lord, may I not forget your step in my life, may I not forget the good moments, also the ugly; the joys and the crosses.’ The Christian is a man of memory.”
Living in the hope of encountering Jesus
The author of the Letter then makes us understand that “we are on the journey in expectation of something,” in expectation of “arriving at a point: an encounter; encountering the Lord.” “And he exhorts us to live by faith”:
“Hope: Looking to the future. Just as one cannot live a Christian life without memory of the steps taken, one cannot live a Christian life without looking to the future with hope… of the encounter with the Lord. And he uses a beautiful phrase: ‘just a brief moment…’ Eh, life is a breath, eh? It passes. When one is young, he thinks he has so much time before him, but then life teaches us that those words that we all say: ‘But how time passes! I knew this person as a child, now they’re getting married! How time passes!’ It comes soon. But the hope of encountering it is a life in tension, between memory and hope, the past and the future.”
Living in the present with courage and patience
Finally, the Letter invites us to live in the present, “often times painful and sad,” with “courage and patience”: that is, with frankness, without shame, and enduring the events of life. We are sinners, the Pope explained – all of us. “He who is first, and he who is later… if you want, we can make the list later, but we are all sinners. All of us. But we go forward with courage and patience. We don’t remain there, stopped, because this would not make us grow.”
The sin that paralyzes Christians: Faintheartedness
Finally, the author of the Letter to the Hebrews urges us not to commit the sin that takes away memory, hope, courage, and patience: faintheartedness (It.: pusillanimità, “pusillanimity”). “It is a sin that doesn’t allow us to go forward, through fear.” Jesus, though, says, “Don’t be afraid.” The fainthearted are those “who always go backward, who guard themselves too much, who are afraid of everything”:
“‘Not taking risks, please, no… prudence…’ All the commandments, all of them… Yes, it’s true, but this paralyzes you too, it makes you forget so many graces received, it takes away memory, it takes away hope, because it doesn’t allow you to go forward. And the present of a Christian, of such a Christian, is how when one goes along the street and an unexpected rain comes, and the garment is not so good and the fabric shrinks… Confined souls… This is faintheartedness: this is the sin against memory, courage, patience, and hope. May the Lord make us grow in memory, make us grow in hope, give us courage and patience each and free us from that which is faintheartedness, being afraid of everything…  Confined souls in order to save ourselves. And Jesus says: ‘He who wills to save his life will lose it.’”

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday January 27, 2017 - #Eucharist


Friday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 321


Reading 1HEB 10:32-39

Remember the days past when, after you had been enlightened,
you endured a great contest of suffering.
At times you were publicly exposed to abuse and affliction;
at other times you associated yourselves with those so treated.
You even joined in the sufferings of those in prison
and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property,
knowing that you had a better and lasting possession.
Therefore, do not throw away your confidence;
it will have great recompense.
You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised.

For, after just a brief moment,
he who is to come shall come;
he shall not delay.
But my just one shall live by faith,
and if he draws back I take no pleasure in him.


We are not among those who draw back and perish,
but among those who have faith and will possess life.

Responsorial PsalmPS 37:3-4, 5-6, 23-24, 39-40

R. (39a) The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart's requests.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Commit to the LORD your way;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will make justice dawn for you like the light;
bright as the noonday shall be your vindication.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
By the LORD are the steps of a man made firm,
and he approves his way.
Though he fall, he does not lie prostrate,
for the hand of the LORD sustains him.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
The salvation of the just is from the LORD;
he is their refuge in time of distress.
And the LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

AlleluiaMT 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 4:26-34

Jesus said to the crowds:
"This is how it is with the Kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come."

He said,
"To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade."
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

Saint January 27 : St. Angela Merici : Patron of Sickness, #Handicapped, Loss of parents

Feast Day:
January 27
Born:
21 March 1474, Desenzano del Garda, Province of Brescia, Lombardy, Italy
Died:
27 January 1540, Brescia, Lombardy, Italy
Canonized:
May 24, 1807, Rome by Pope Pius VII
Major Shrine:
The Merician Centre (including the now subterranean Church of St Afra, Brescia, Lombardy, Italy)
Patron of:
sickness, handicapped people, loss of parents
Saint Mary of the Angels (1474 - 1540) Feastday: January 27 Also known as: Angela of Merici, Angela de Marici Angela Merici was born on March 21, 1474 at Desenzano, Lake Garda, Italy. She made a vow of virginity before she was ten years old and persuaded her older sister to do the same. Her parents died when she was only ten years old. Together, with her older sister, she moved to the nearby town of Salo, to live with her uncle. She and her only sister, who was three years older, loved each other very much. But soon the sister of Angela followed her parents by a sudden death. Her sister's tragic death left Angela disconsolate because it occurred before her sister could receive the last sacraments of the Catholic Church. Angela lost herself in prayer and good works. Although she had great faith, she could not help but wonder if her sister was safe in heaven. One day during harvest Angela was alone in the fields when she experienced a life-changing vision: the heaven’s opened and angels and young women came toward her singing a melody, surrounded by light. One of the young girl's was Angela’s sister and she spoke, telling her that God wanted her to establish a company of consecrated virgins. Since then she has been known as a Saint, thanks to her spiritual life and her capacity to understand and help people. In 1516, on invitation, Angela moved to Brescia, for a consolatory mission in the house of Caterina Patengola, who had lost her husband and two children. Here she met Giovan Antonio Romano. Soon a group of people formed around her, united by the same desire for good. In 1524 Angela embarked on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and a year later she went to Rome to the Pope for the Jubilee. On November 25, 1535, on Saint Catherine’s day, Angela and 28 young women formed the Order of Ursulines in honor of St. Ursula in a small house near the Church of St. Afra in Bresci. In 1536, Merici laid down the rules of the Ursuline Order, clarifying her plan to restore the family and the supremacy of Christianity through the education of girls. In 1537 she was elected superior of the company by unanimous vote. Before her death she dictated her Testament and Souvenirs, which contain her counsels to her nuns; they insist on interest in the individual, gentleness, and the efficacy of persuasion over force. In 1580, Charles Borromeo, Bishop of Milan, inspired by the work of the Ursulines in Brescia, encouraged the foundation of Ursuline houses in all the dioceses of Northern Italy. Charles also encouraged the Ursulines to live together in community rather than in their own homes. Angela died on the 27th January 1540 at Brescia and was buried in the ancient church of Saint Afra (now Saint Angela’s sanctuary), where she still rests. She left 150 spiritual daughters. On June 9, 1544, Pope Paul III approved the new institute with the Bull: “Regimini Universalis Ecclesiae”. She is beatified on April 30, 1768 by Pope Clement XIII and canonized on May 24, 1807 by Pope Pius VII. In 1962 St. Angela Merici was proclaimed the principal patron of Desenzano by a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites. In 1861, Pius IX extended her veneration to the universal Church. Saint Angela's body is incorrupt. After Angela's death the Company of Saint Ursula spread rapidly. Ursuline communities were established quickly in France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Canada and the United States. Today, thousands of Ursuline Sisters work to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ on six continents. Text shared from MaryPages - Image Google

#BreakingNews US Vice-President Mike Pence to Speak at #ProLife March - 1st VP in History

The  White House officials confirmed today that Vice President Pence would address the pro-life Marchers. Vice President Mike Pence has long held the pro-life position and has a strong pro-life record for pro-life legislation as a member of Congress. 
Over half a million will gather in Washington DC on Friday January 27 to raise their voices against abortion. In the past, Pro-life presidents Ronald Reagan and George W Bush spoke to pro-life people attending the March for Life  via a phone. 
Vice President Pence Tweeted this from his OFFICIAL Twitter account:
Honored to meet with Pro-Life leaders in my office tonight. Just told them I look forward to addressing National on Friday.

#BreakingNews US House of Rep. approves #ProLife Bill to Ban Abortion funding and President Trump agrees to Sign

The House of Representatives has approved a bill that would permanently ban taxpayer funding of abortions, President Donald Trump has agreed to sign it into law.  “The Administration strongly supports H.R. 7,” the White House said in a statement.  “This bill would continue to prohibit the Federal government from paying for affected procedures with the taxes of Americans who find abortion morally or religiously objectionable,” the White House said.
USCCB excert: 
Cardinal Dolan wrote to Congress prior to the vote urging support for the legislation, saying it "will write into permanent law a policy on which there has been strong popular and congressional agreement for more than 40 years: The federal government should not use its funding power to support and promote elective abortion, and should not force taxpayers to subsidize this violence."

"Public opinion polls consistently reveal that strong majorities of women, minorities, and low-income Americans oppose taxpayer-funded abortions. This includes a majority of even those who call themselves 'pro-choice'," Cardinal Dolan wrote. "In addition to having broad public support, recent analysis found that as many as two million lives have been saved as a result of restrictions on federal abortion funding." 

FULL TEXT of House of Rep. STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
H. R. 7 – No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017
(Rep. Smith, R-New Jersey, and 47 cosponsors)
The Administration strongly supports H.R. 7. The legislation would prohibit any funds authorized or appropriated by Federal law to be expended for any abortion, or for direct payments to insurers for health benefits coverage that includes coverage for abortions. H.R. 7 also would prohibit the purchase of abortion coverage with matching funds from federally subsidized programs, including Federal and State Medicaid funds. The legislation would not relate to the treatment of any complication caused by or worsened by an abortion, nor to the treatment of abortions in the case of rape, incest, or preserving the life of the mother. This bill would continue to prohibit the Federal government from paying for affected procedures with the taxes of Americans who find abortion morally or religiously objectionable.
If the President were presented with H.R. 7 in its present form, he would sign the bill.

#BreakingNews Polish Missionary Killed in Bolivia while working with poor Children - RIP Helena Kmiec -

The missionary, Helena Kmieć, was stabbed on Tuesday, and died despite efforts to save her, according to the Salvator Missionary Volunteering group, which organized her assignment to Bolivia.
According to the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bolivian police have detained a number of suspects.
Kmieć, who arrived in Cochabamba about two weeks ago, was working at the childcare centre, run by the Polish order of the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mother of God. She had planned to stay for six months. (vb/pk)
Source: The News Pl
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