Sunday, January 8, 2017

Catholic News World : Sunday January 8, 2017 - SHARE


#PopeFrancis "Faith is believing what is the truth: that God, the Father, Who sent His Son and the Spirit.." #Homily FULL with Baptisms + Mass Video

Dear parents,
You have asked for your children faith. The faith that will be given in baptism. Faith … that which means the life of faith, because faith is lived, walking on the road of faith and giving witness to the faith. Faith is not only reciting the Creed at Sunday Mass. It is not only this. Faith is believing what is the truth: that God, the Father, Who sent His Son and the Spirit, gives us life. But faith is trust in God, and this, you must teach to them [your babies], by your example and by your life. Faith is light: in the baptism ceremony, you will be given a candle lit, as in the early days of the Church. At that time, baptism was called “enlightenment” because faith illuminates the heart,  makes one see things with another light.
Through Baptism, the Church will give faith to your children. And you have the task to make it grow, preserve it, and ensure it becomes a witness to all the others. This is the meaning of this ceremony. This is what I wanted to tell you: keep the faith, make it grow, so that it can be a witness to others.
And then, began the concert, it is because the children are in a place that they do not know, they got up earlier than usual, perhaps. When one begins one note, the other follows along … Some cry simply because another cried. Jesus did the same: I like to think that the first ‘sermon’ of Jesus in the stable was a cry, the first … And then since the ceremony is a bit long, someone cries of hunger. So to you mothers: breastfeed! Without fear, all as normal. As the Madonna nursing Jesus. Do not forget you have asked for faith. To you, [is] the task of guarding the faith, making it grow, in order that it may become a witness for all of us. For all of us, even for us priests and bishops.
[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]

#PopeFrancis "... rediscover the gift and beauty of being a nation of baptized, that is, sinners saved by the grace of Christ" Angelus - FULL TEXT + Video

Before the Angelus:
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Today, feast of the Baptism of Jesus, the Gospel (Mt 3,13-17) presents a scene that took place at the Jordan River: amidst the penitent crowd that advances toward John the Baptist to be baptized, Jesus is there too. Giovanni would stop Him saying, “It is I who need baptism from you” (Mt 3:14). The Baptist is aware of the fact that there is great distance between him and Jesus. But Jesus came precisely to bridge the gap between man and God: if He is all on the side of God, He is also all on the side of man, and brings together what was divided. For that reason, He asks John to baptize Him, in order to fulfill every justice (cf. v. 15), that is to say to realize the plan of the Father which passes through the path of obedience and solidarity with fragile and sinful man, the way of humility and of real closeness of God to His children. Because God is so close to His children, so close!
The moment that John baptizes Jesus, from the waters of the Jordan River, God’s Father’s voice is heard from above: “This is my beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased” (v . 17). At the same time, the Holy Spirit, as a dove, lands on Jesus, giving launch publicly to His mission of salvation; a mission characterized by a humble and meek, servant style, that holds the power of truth, as Isaiah prophesied: “He will not cry out, nor shout, nor make his voice heard in the street. A bruised reed* he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench. He will faithfully bring forth justice.” A humble and meek servant.
Here is the missionary style of the disciples of Christ: to proclaim the Gospel with gentleness and firmness, without arrogance or imposition. The real mission is never proselytism, but attracting to Christ, from the strong union with Him in prayer, adoration and concrete charity, which is service to Jesus present in the least of our brothers. In imitation of Jesus, good and merciful Shepherd, and animated by His grace, we are called to make our life a joyful witness that illuminates the path that brings hope and love.
This feast makes us rediscover the gift and beauty of being a nation of baptized, that is, sinners saved by the grace of Christ, who have really entered, through the Holy Spirit, in the filial relationship of Jesus, with the Father, and welcomed into the bosom of Mother Church, in such a fraternity that knows no boundaries and barriers.
May the Virgin Mary help all Christians to preserve an increasingly lively awareness and appreciation of our baptism and to follow faithfully the path opened by this sacrament of our rebirth.
[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]
After the Angelus:
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
In the context of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, this morning I baptized several babies. Let us pray for them and for their families. And I would like to extend my prayers to all parents in this period that are preparing for baptizing their sons or daughters, or for whom, I have just done so. I invoke the Holy Spirit upon them, and on the children, so that this Sacrament, so simple and yet so important, is lived with faith and joy.
I would also like to invite you all to join the World Network of the Pope’s Prayer Intentions, which even through social networks, spreads the prayer intentions that I propose every month to the whole Church. In this way, the apostolate of prayer continues to carry on and increases communion.
In these days of such coldness, I think of, and I invite you to do the same, of all the people living on the street, hit by the cold and often indifference. Unfortunately, some have not made it [survived]. We pray for them and ask the Lord to warm our hearts to help them.
I greet all of you, the faithful of Rome and Italian pilgrims from various countries, in particular the group of young people of Cagliari, whom I encourage to continue the journey begun with the sacrament of Confirmation. And I thank them because they offer me the opportunity to emphasize that Confirmation is not only a point of arrival, but also a starting point in the Christian life, with the next being, living the joy of the Gospel!
I wish you all a good Sunday. Please do not forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!
[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]

Sunday Mass Online : #Epiphany of Jesus - Sun. January 8, 2017 - Readings + Video

The Epiphany of the Lord
Lectionary: 20

Reading 1IS 60:1-6

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come,
the glory of the Lord shines upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth,
and thick clouds cover the peoples;
but upon you the LORD shines,
and over you appears his glory.
Nations shall walk by your light,
and kings by your shining radiance.
Raise your eyes and look about;
they all gather and come to you:
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.

Then you shall be radiant at what you see,
your heart shall throb and overflow,
for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you,
the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.
Caravans of camels shall fill you,
dromedaries from Midian and Ephah;
all from Sheba shall come
bearing gold and frankincense,
and proclaiming the praises of the LORD.

Responsorial PsalmPS 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13

R. (cf. 11) Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king's son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts;
the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute.
All kings shall pay him homage,
all nations shall serve him.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

Reading 2EPH 3:2-3A, 5-6

Brothers and sisters:
You have heard of the stewardship of God's grace
that was given to me for your benefit,
namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation.
It was not made known to people in other generations
as it has now been revealed
to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:
that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body,
and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

AlleluiaMT 2:2

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
"Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage."
When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,
He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea,
for thus it has been written through the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler,
who is to shepherd my people Israel."

Then Herod called the magi secretly
and ascertained from them the time of the star's appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said,
"Go and search diligently for the child.
When you have found him, bring me word,
that I too may go and do him homage."
After their audience with the king they set out.
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

#BreakingNews Father Michael Scanlan of #Franciscan University of #Steubenville Dies at age 85 - RIP - Video Tribute

 OHIO—Franciscan University of Steubenville today mourns the death of President Emeritus Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, 85. His leadership as president transformed Franciscan University from a struggling regional college into a world-renowned leader in Catholic higher education and helped to inspire a restoration of faithful Catholic education in the United States and the world.
A priest of the Franciscan Third Order Regular Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Father Scanlan served as president of Franciscan University from 1974-2000, chancellor from 2000-2011, and became president emeritus in 2011. That same year he retired to the Third Order Regular Sacred Heart Province's motherhouse in Loretto, Pennsylvania, and in December 2013, due to declining health, he moved to Garvey Manor, a Catholic nursing home in nearby Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania.
Father Scanlan died Saturday morning, January 7, 2017, after an extended illness. Funeral arrangements are pending but will include a viewing and a memorial Mass at Franciscan University of Steubenville and a Mass of Christian Burial at the TOR Motherhouse in Loretto, Pennsylvania. Details will be posted when they are available here.
Father Scanlan became president of the College of Steubenville in 1974 in the midst of turbulent times for Catholic higher education. Over the next 26 years, he transformed the College into Franciscan University of Steubenville and gained for it a worldwide reputation for both excellence in academics and its passionate Catholic faith environment.
His success helped spark a restoration of authentic Catholic education in the United States and beyond, with many colleges and universities renewing their Catholic identity and new schools imitating his emphasis on Catholic Church teaching.
Beyond his duties as president, Father Scanlan engaged in an active evangelistic ministry sharing his love for Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church as a retreat and pilgrimage leader and writer, leaving as his legacy a robust evangelistic conference program for adults and youth at Franciscan University and some 16 books and booklets on Catholic spirituality.
George Weigel, the distinguished senior fellow and William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, called Father Scanlan “a dynamo of evangelical energy who knew that the renewal of Catholic higher education was a critical component of the new evangelization. His personal witness, exuberant manner of life, and ability to communicate the Gospel in a joyful way made major contributions, not only to Franciscan University, but to the entire Catholic Church in the United States—indeed, to the World Church.” 
Father Richard Davis, TOR, minister provincial of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, lived in community with Father Scanlan for 20 years and remembers him as “one of the most obedient, charitable, humble, and very holy men in our community. His concern for faithfulness in living out his religious life was a source of respect and imitation for me.
“The good he has done for the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, for the order, and most importantly for the entire Church is a tremendous source of honor. I thank God he was my brother, my mentor, and my friend,” said Father Davis.
Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, president of Franciscan University, said Father Scanlan used the gifts and talents God gave him and “guided by the Holy Spirit, turned things around at the struggling College of Steubenville and led to its prominence as Franciscan University of Steubenville.”
Pivotal to his success for campus renewal, said Father Sheridan, was the time Father Mike spent time with students. “He listened to their concerns and prayed how he might help them. He emphasized the importance of academics, particularly theology, and stressed the role of campus ministry and student life in the daily lives of the students,” said Father Sheridan.
Father Terence Henry, TOR, who served as president from 2000-2013, said, “We are deeply grateful to Father Mike for all he did for the renewal of Franciscan University, the renewal of Catholic higher education, and the renewal of the worldwide Church.”
Becoming President
A Harvard-educated lawyer, Father Scanlan approached the financial, enrollment, morale, and many other challenges that met him in 1974 with a sharp intellect and a prayerful heart, quickly zeroing in on the school’s spiritual transformation as his overarching goal.
One of Father Scanlan’s first priorities was to form a uniquely Catholic culture that emphasized faith and reason. He addressed the pervasive loneliness typical of college life by establishing faith households, small faith-sharing groups of men or women. What began in the spring 1975 semester as an experiment in Christian living serves today as the cornerstone of the University’s student life experience, with 45 percent of the undergraduate student population participating in 50 households.
During Father Scanlan’s presidency, the University developed nine new undergraduate programs, including nursing, communication arts, computer science, and economics. The program nearest to his heart and with the most far-reaching impact on the worldwide Church was the Bachelor of Arts in Theology. Father Scanlan added the program in 1976 as he sought out faith-filled theology professors dedicated to his vision of “dynamic orthodoxy,” an educational approach marked by fidelity to the Church and openness to the Holy Spirit.  The program went on to become by far the largest undergraduate Theology Program at any U.S. Catholic university. Today, nearly 600 students major in either theology or catechetics, which was added in 2003.
Led by Father Scanlan, in 1989, Franciscan University became the first U.S. Catholic college or university whose theology faculty and priests publicly took the Oath of Fidelity professing their adherence to the teaching authority of the Church. Each year since, all new theology faculty, priests, and others involved in the spiritual formation of students have taken the oath.
Speaking at the 2011 Franciscan University of Steubenville Baccalaureate Mass, his Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, then prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, said: “I want to express a very particular word of gratitude to Father Michael Scanlan, who was the president of [Franciscan University of Steubenville] during some very critical years, years during which many Catholic universities, I’m sad to say, under the pressure of an increasingly secularized society and culture, abandoned their Catholic identity. But Father Scanlan, with a lion’s heart, held to the truth and to the integrity of this University. We are all very deep in our gratitude to him.”
The College of Steubenville became a university in 1980, thanks to Father Scanlan’s push for the development of graduate programs. A master’s in education was offered in 1974, followed by master’s degrees in business and theology in 1980, counseling in 1989, educational administration in 1992, philosophy in 1993, and nursing in 1999.
In 1992, Father Scanlan expanded Franciscan University’s reach to Europe by establishing a study-abroad program in a restored 14th-century Carthusian monastery in Austria. Today, more than 150 students live and study each semester at the Kartause Maria Thronus Iesu in Gaming, Austria, and from there embark on visits to holy sites and landmarks across Europe.
Answering the priestly vocation crisis, Father Scanlan gave the go-ahead in 1985 for a pre-seminary program at Franciscan University, in which men study and live a communal life while discerning a call to the priesthood. In the last 10 years alone, 115 members of this Priestly Discernment Program entered seminary or a religious order. More than 400 Franciscan University graduates currently serve the Church in the priesthood, and overall, more than 700 alumni have become bishops, priests, and religious brothers and sisters.
These and many other changes struck a chord with many Catholics who supported Father Scanlan’s vision both financially and spiritually. By 1983, the University had paid off its entire debt. Enrollment more than doubled, from just over 1,000 students in 1974 to 2,150 in 2000, his final year as president. An era of new construction began with the addition of Finnegan Fieldhouse, John Paul II Library, SS. Kolbe and Clare Residence Halls, SS. Cosmas and Damian Science Hall, the Portiuncula Chapel, and the Lower Campus complex.
In a December 2013 interview, Father Scanlan called the saving of the College of Steubenville “a resurrection experience” made possible because of the latitude he was given as the new president of a college on the brink of closure.
“Who could object to you doing something to keep it open? We were able to make changes bigger and better and faster because of that situation,” Father Scanlan explained. “Had the University been doing much better, we never could have made changes nor had that much success. It was exciting to be able to establish what was most important to me and the values in my heart in terms of what was Franciscan, Catholic, and unique to Steubenville.”
He also said he looked back with gratitude at “the people who stood with me through those days” even if they only “half believed in what I was doing.”
Curtis Martin, who graduated from Franciscan University with his master’s in 1993 and is now president of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, said in the summer 2011 Franciscan Way magazine, “The bedrock of Father Mike’s leadership was his personal relationship with the living God. . . . One guy doing the right thing really can change the world in a powerful way. It’s a powerful reminder of the community of saints.”
In the same news story, Patrick Reilly, founder of the Cardinal Newman Society, said, “Father Scanlan not only turned around an institution, but he developed that university into a shining model for other Catholic universities. The marriage of a college education with the Church’s call to evangelization was something that was unique to Franciscan, and is now increasingly accepted. There are still Catholic educators who will argue that a college education has nothing to do with the Church’s mission to evangelize. Father Scanlan proved otherwise.”
Evangelistic Thrust
Father Scanlan’s concern for evangelization extended far beyond Franciscan University. An early leader in the Catholic charismatic renewal movement, he co-founded and spoke at FIRE rallies (Faith, Intercession, Repentance, and Evangelization) in 29 states and 15 foreign countries, reaching over 400,000 people.   
He authored and co-authored more than 16 books and booklets, including his still popular autobiography Let the Fire Fall and the discernment aid, What Does God Want?
Father Scanlan was one of the first priests to get involved with Mother Angelica’s Eternal Word Television Network, which led to his hosting Franciscan University Presents for 18 years on EWTN. The theology discussion program is now in its 23rd year and is the longest running theology discussion program on EWTN.
In the summer of 1975, Father Scanlan hosted a summer conference on campus for priests, followed a year later by a Catholic evangelistic conference for teens. Today, 55,000 high school youth and adults choose from 31 Franciscan University summer conferences held in 16 states and Canada.
The impact of the Steubenville Youth Conferences on vocations is confirmed by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, which in 2014 said that 14 percent of all priests scheduled for ordination in the U.S. in 2014 participated in a Franciscan University Youth Conference before entering seminary or religious life.
Ralph Martin, consultor to the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, said: “Father Scanlan embodied and contributed to, in a significant way, a response to and an advocacy of the ‘new Pentecost’ and the ‘new evangelization.’ He embodied and advocated for the necessity of including both the contemplative and charismatic dimensions of the Spirit’s work in any balanced response to the call for authentic renewal.”
Father Scanlan was a champion for the pro-life movement. He established President’s Day in January so students could attend the national March for Life in Washington, D.C., without missing classes.
During a peaceful protest outside a Youngstown, Ohio, abortion clinic in July 1989, Father Scanlan was arrested and jailed for a week along with Bishop Albert Ottenweller of Steubenville.
Two years earlier, in 1987, he approved the construction of the Tomb of the Unborn Child on campus, which now contains the remains of seven aborted babies. After praying at the tomb in 1992, the late Cardinal John O’Connor of New York urged his brothers in the Knights of Columbus to erect similar memorials to the unborn. His request resonated with the knights, resulting in over 1,835 pro-life monuments worldwide.
Father Scanlan became the University’s first chancellor in 2000, a position he held for the next 11 years. In 2011, he was named president emeritus. On June 30, 2011, he retired to the Third Order Regular Sacred Heart Province’s motherhouse in Loretto, Pennsylvania.
“The Lord has given me countless blessings through my years of service at Franciscan University,” Father Scanlan said upon his retirement. “It has been a remarkable privilege and deep joy to work with so many committed Christian faculty, staff, administrators, and donors in the vitally important ministry of Catholic higher education.”
When asked in a December 2013 interview what he considered his greatest accomplishment, Father Scanlan said, “Living the life faithfully, living the [Franciscan] rule, being a Franciscan, being able to be sent wherever God wants you and serve his people. This is what is most important.”
Dr. Scott Hahn, who holds the Father Michael Scanlan Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University, said of Father Scanlan, “He held many titles—rector, president, chancellor, professor. But he once told me the one that meant the most to him was “Father.” It was more than just being called father. It was being a father. He was father to us all—faculty, students, University employees, neighbors, friends.”
Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, Background
Father Scanlan was born Vincent Michael Scanlan in 1931 in Cedarhurst, Long Island, New York. He received his bachelor’s degree from Williams College in 1953, and his juris doctor from Harvard Law School in 1956. He was admitted to the New York Bar Association and served as Staff Judge Advocate in the U.S. Air Force before discerning a call to the priesthood and entering the Franciscan Third Order Regular. Father Scanlan made his first profession of Franciscan vows in 1959 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1964.
He was named acting dean of the College of Steubenville, and over the next five years served the school as a lecturer in theology and dean and director of the General Honors Program. In 1969, he was appointed rector-president of St. Francis Seminary in Loretto, Pennsylvania, serving there for five years before returning to the College of Steubenville in 1974 as its fourth president.
Father Scanlan received numerous honors during his lifetime. In 1990, he received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal from Pope John Paul II, in recognition of extraordinary service to the Church and the pope, and was honored with the Founders’ Award from the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars in 1993. In 1997, he received the highest honor given by the Franciscan Third Order Regular, the Sacrae Theologiae Magister, an academic degree beyond the doctorate earned by demonstrating competency in the field of theology. He received many other awards, including Christendom College’s Pro Deo et Pro Patria Medal for Distinguished Service to God and Country in 2007, and the Pro Fidelitate et Virtute Award from the Institute on Religious Life in 2009. He held five honorary degrees.
Franciscan University established the Father Michael Scanlan Scholarship Competition in his honor in 2004. This invitation-only competition offers high-achieving applicants the chance to receive full-tuition scholarships.
In 2012, the University established the Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization and awarded it to world-renowned Scripture scholar and theologian, Dr. Scott Hahn.

Saint January 8 : St. Apollinaris of Hierapolis : #Bishop

St. Apollinaris of Hierapolis
CLAUDIUS APOLLINARIS, Bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia, was one of the most illustrious prelates of the second age. Notwithstanding the great encomiums bestowed on him by Eusebius, St. Jerome, Theodoret, and ethers, but little is known of his actions; and. his writings,which then were held in great esteem, seem now to be all lost. He wrote many able treatises against the heretics, and pointed out, as St. Jerome testifies, from what philosophical sect each heresy derived its errors. Nothing rendered his name so illustrious, however, as his noble apology for the Christian religion which he addressed to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, about the year 175, soon after the miraculous victory that prince had obtained over the Quadi by the prayers of the Christians. St. Apollinaris reminded the emperor of the benefit he had received from God through the prayers of his Christian subjects, and implored protection for them against the persecution of the pagans. Marcus Aurelius published an edict in which he forbade any one, under pain of death, to accuse a Christian on account of his religion; by a strange inconsistency, he had not the courage to abolish the laws then in force against the Christians, and, as a consequence, many of them suffered martyrdom, though their accusers were also put to death. The date of St. Apollinaris' death is not known; the Roman Martyrology mentions him on the 8th of January.

(Taken from Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler)

Free Movie : The 4th Wise Man - Stars Martin Sheen

The Fourth Wise Man (1985) TV Movie - 72 min -
 Adventure | Drama -
 30 March 1985 (USA) The story of Artaban, the fourth Magi, who spends his life looking for Jesus his King. Writers: Tom Fontana, Henry van Dyke (short story) Stars: Martin Sheen, Alan Arkin, Eileen Brennan

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Saturday January 7, 2017 - #Eucharist

Christmas Weekday
Lectionary: 210

Reading 11 JN 5:14-21

We have this confidence in God,
that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask,
we know that what we have asked him for is ours.
If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly,
he should pray to God and he will give him life.
This is only for those whose sin is not deadly.
There is such a thing as deadly sin,
about which I do not say that you should pray.
All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly.

We know that no one begotten by God sins;
but the one begotten by God he protects,
and the Evil One cannot touch him.
We know that we belong to God,
and the whole world is under the power of the Evil One.
We also know that the Son of God has come
and has given us discernment to know the one who is true.
And we are in the one who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ.
He is the true God and eternal life.
Children, be on your guard against idols.

Responsorial PsalmPS 149:1-2, 3-4, 5 AND 6A AND 9B

R. (see 4a) The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.
Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people,
and he adorns the lowly with victory.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy upon their couches;
Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaLK 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 2:1-11

There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee,
and the mother of Jesus was there.
Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.
When the wine ran short,
the mother of Jesus said to him,
"They have no wine."
And Jesus said to her,
"Woman, how does your concern affect me?
My hour has not yet come."
His mother said to the servers,
"Do whatever he tells you."
Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings,
each holding twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus told them,
"Fill the jars with water."
So they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them,
"Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter."
So they took it.
And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine,
without knowing where it came from
(although the servers who had drawn the water knew),
the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him,
"Everyone serves good wine first,
and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one;
but you have kept the good wine until now."
Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee
and so revealed his glory,
and his disciples began to believe in him.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Saint January 7 : St. Raymond of Penyafort : Patron of Lawyers and Canon Law

1175 at Penafort, Catalonia, Spain
Died:6 January 1275 at Barcelona, Spain
Canonized:29 April 1601 by Pope Clement VIII
Patron of:canon lawyers, lawyers
Born at Villafranca de Benadis, near Barcelona, in 1175; died at Barcelona, 6 January, 1275. He became professor of canon law in 1195, and taught for fifteen years. He left Spain for Bologna in 1210 to complete his studies in canon law. He occupied a chair of canon law in the university for three years and published a treatise on ecclesiastical legislation which still exists in the Vatican Library. Raymond was attracted to the Dominican Order by the preaching of Blessed Reginald, prior of the Dominicans of Bologna, and received the habit in the Dominican Convent of Barcelona, whither he had returned from Italy in 1222.
At Barcelona he was co-founder with St. Peter Nolasco of the Order of Mercedarians. He also founded institutes at Barcelona and Tunis for the study of Oriental languages, to convert the Moors and Jews. Once he went with King James to the Island of Majorca to preach about Jesus. The Saint commanded the King to send a woman away. The King said he would, but he did not keep his promise. So St. Raymond decided to leave the Island. The King declared he would punish any ship captain who brought the Saint back to Barcelona. Then, Saint Raymond spread his cloak upon the water, tied up one corner of it to a stick for a sail, made the Sign of the Cross, stepped onto the cloak, and sailed along for six hours until he reached Barcelona. This miracle moved the King. He was sorry for what he had done, and he became a true follower of St. Raymond.
St. Raymond was one hundred years old at the time of his death. At the request of his superiors Raymond published the Summa Casuum, of which several editions appeared in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In 1229 Raymond was appointed theologian and penitentiary to the Cardinal Archbishop of Sabina, John of Abbeville, and was summoned to Rome in 1230 by Gregory IX, who appointed him chaplain and grand penitentiary.
 The reputation of the saint for juridical science decided the pope to employ Raymond of PeƱafort's talents in re-arranging and codifying the canons of the Church. He had to rewrite and condense decrees that had been multiplying for centuries, and which were contained in some twelve or fourteen collections already existing. We learn from a Bull of Gregory IX to the Universities of Paris and Bologna that many of the decrees in the collections were but repetitions of ones issued before, many contradicted what had been determined in previous decrees, and many on account of their great length led to endless confusion, while others had never been embodied in any collection and were of uncertain authority. The pope announced the new publication in a Bull directed to the doctors and students of Paris and Bologna in 1231, and commanded that the work of St. Raymond alone should be considered authoritative, and should alone be used in the schools. When Raymond completed his work the pope appointed him Archbishop of Tarragona, but the saint declined the honour. Having edited the Decretals he returned to Spain. He was not allowed to remain long in seclusion, as he was elected General of the Order in 1238; but he resigned two years later. During his tenure of office he published a revised edition of the Dominican Constitutions, and it was at his request that St. Thomas wrote the Summa Contra Gentiles. St. Raymond was canonized by Clement VIII in 1601. His Summa de Poenitentia et Matrimonio is said to be the first work of its kind. His feast is 23 January. Edited from The Catholic Encyclopedia


Merry Orthodox Christmas! History of #Orthodox Celebration January 7 + FULL Text Christmas message of #Patriarch

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Christmas is celebrated on January 7, 2017 for those following the Julian Calendar. This applies to many Eastern Orthodox Churches. A custom is to refrain from meat on Christmas Eve. The Julian calendar was also used in Europe until 1582 and in England until 1752. The Gregorian calendar replaced the Julian. Pope Gregory XIII introduced this calendar which corrected some inaccuracies of astronomy. The Julian Calendar is 13 days behind the Gregorian. Russian, Serbian, Macedonian, Coptic, Georgian, Ukranian all follow this date for Christmas. Most American Orthodox follow the Revised Julian Calendar which uses Dec. 25. 


2017 Christmas Homily of Patriarch Kiril of Russia:
Your Eminences the archpastors, esteemed Fathers and deacons,
all-honourable monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters!
On this holy night I extend my heartfelt greetings to you all and from the depths of my soul I congratulate you on the great feast of the Nativity of Christ: the feast of the fulfillment of the promises of old for the salvation of the human race, the feast of the ineffable love of the Maker towards his creation, the feast of the coming into the world of the Son of God who is the Messiah.
The Fathers have spoken much over the centuries on the mystery of the Incarnation of God. And now we, as the Fathers before us, hearken to the words of the Church’s prayers and hymns, with reverence listen to Scripture which tells us of this glorious event, and cease not to be amazed at this wondrous miracle.
In his reflections on Christ’s Nativity, St. Symeon the New Theologian writes the following:  “God, as he came into the world … united the divine nature with human nature, so that the human person could become god, and that the Most Holy Trinity may mysteriously abide in this person who has become god by grace” (10th Homily). And St. Ephraim the Syrian speaks of the Incarnation of God thus: “Today the Godhead sealed itself upon humanity, that so with the Godhead’s seal humanity might be adorned” (Hymns for the Nativity of Christ).
In attending to these wise words, we ask ourselves: in what manner may we be adorned with this divine seal? How can we attain the likeness of God, to which all people have been called since the creation of the world? How are we to live so that “Christ be formed in us” (Gal 4:19)? The answer is simple: let us observe the commandments of the Saviour. Together with the apostle Paul I address you all, my beloved: “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2). Cover all things with love and you will find peace and tranquility of soul. Be of generous spirit when forgiving all – and in your hearts there will reign the joy which “no man taketh from you” (Jn 16:22). “In your patience possess ye your souls” (Lk 21:19) – and you will inherit life everlasting.
How important it is that we Christians not only call upon others to follow lofty moral ideals, but endeavour to embody these very same ideals in our everyday lives and in the first instance in ministering to our neighbours. And then by God’s grace we may obtain within ourselves the true fruits of the spirit: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Gal 5:22-23).
“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works” (Heb 10:24). When we overcome conflict and division, we speak convincingly to the world of the Saviour who is born and in our deeds we testify to the unusual beauty and spiritual power of the Orthodox faith.
We have embarked upon the year 2017. Exactly one hundred years separates us from events which radically transformed the life of Russia – a great multinational country, and plunged her into the madness of civil war, when children rose up against their parents and brother against brother. The subsequent losses and afflictions which our people endured were in many ways determined by the destruction of our thousand year-old statehood and the struggle against the peoples’ religious faith, generating a profound division within society.
With awe and reverence we recall the great endeavours of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Church of Russia, through whose prayers, we believe, the Lord never abandoned our people and granted to it the strength to accomplish many great feats of labour and military feats leading us to victory in the most terrible of all wars, to restoring the country, to achievements which evoke admiration.
We give thanks to God for the miracle he has revealed to the world – the resurrection of faith and piety within our people, for the restoration of holy sites once destroyed, for new churches and monasteries, the construction of which is a visible sign of the profound changes that have taken place in peoples’ hearts.
Over recent decades there have been and there remain today many difficulties and hardships. But they are all transient, and that is why we are not afraid of them. The experience of the past century has taught us many things and is to serve as a warning against many things.
Let us fearlessly tread the paths of salvation, “for God is with us.” Let us be stronger in our faith, “for God is with us.” Let hope assert itself within us, “for God is with us.” Let us grow in love and accomplish good, “for God is with us.”
Let us place all our hope in the Lord, for he is “everlasting strength” (Is 26:4) and, as the apostle Peter testifies, “there is no salvation in any other” (Acts 4:12). May the light of Christ illumine all our earthly path, and may this path lead us to the kingdom of heaven, which the Lord has prepared for those who love him.
As I spiritually rejoice today together with all of you who live in various countries, cities and villages, yet making up the one Church of Christ, my prayerful wish is that each of you shall enjoy health of soul and body, peace in your families and success in your labours. And may the Lord and Saviour who was born in Bethlehem grant to each of us the opportunity with renewed strength and with all our heart to feel his presence in our lives.

What is the Epiphany - 3 Kings visit Jesus - #Epiphany NOVENA - #Blessing House CMB - SHARE

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese, 
Visit of the Magi to be baby Jesus
The Solemn Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord, one of the oldest Christian feats, traditionally occurs on January 6, following the 12 days of Christmas.
Epiphany marks the end of the Christmas season for the Western Church and commemorates three important scriptural events.
These are the visit of the Magi to the stable in Bethlehem following the Nativity of Jesus, the baptism of Christ in the River Jordan and the celebration of Christ's first miracle at the wedding feast of Cana many years later.
Although all three are events that are remembered and celebrated by Christians, it is the three kings, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, and their arrival from the East bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the infant Christ that are most closely associated with Epiphany in the Western Church.
In the story, so beloved by children and Catholics everywhere, after seeing the brilliant star in the night sky announcing the birth of the Messiah, the three wise men or Magi, followed the star which took them to Bethlehem. There they visited King Herod of Judea seeking information on where to find the new born king. Not having heard of the arrival of the baby Jesus, and fearing the infant would be a threat to his position as king, Herod instructed the three wise men to seek out the location of the Christ-child and return, to let him know where he was, so that Herod could visit and take him gifts as well.
 The Magi found the infant Jesus and paid tribute to the greatest of all Kings as he lay in his crib in a humble stable but they did not return to reveal his whereabouts to Herod. Instead directed by God in a dream, they returned home by another route.
With no information about the whereabouts of the Messiah, Herod proceeded to have his troops slaughter all infants under the age of two to remove the possible threat to his throne. But as we know, the baby Jesus escaped Herod's murderous intentions.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, January 6 is celebrated as the Nativity of Christ and instead of three kings, the Magi are depicted as 12 in number. But for Western Christians, the Magi are only three in number with each representing one of the world's three main races - African, Asian and European.
Until the Magi's arrival all characters in the Christmas story are Jewish but with the arrival of three Kings, we have the first indication that Jesus and his message are universal and that Christ arrived on earth to preach to the whole world.
Although when most people talk about the 12 days of Christmas the English song of a partridge in a pear tree usually springs to mind. But it is the Feast of Epiphany that the 12th day after Christmas that resonates with Christians and is observed across the world.
The earliest reference to Epiphany (from a Greek verb meaning "to manifest") occurred sometime around 354 AD when the Western Church separated the celebration of the Nativity of Christ as the feast of Christmas and reserved January 6 as the commemoration of the manifestation of Christ, especially to the Magi, as well as his baptism and miracle at the wedding feast of Cana which Ammianus Marcellinus St Epiphanius declared in 361 AD occurred on the same date.
On the Feast of the Epiphany priests wear white vestments. In many countries the Feast is extended from one day to eight days in what is known as the Octave of Epiphany which begins on January 6 and ends on January 13.
In countries, such as Australia, where the Feast of the Epiphany is not regarded as a Holy Day of Obligation, the date of Epiphany varies slightly from year to year and is always celebrated on the first Sunday between that falls between January 2 and January 8.
Epiphany means to manifest. Pious customs among Christians have placed the letters 20CMB17 and the year above door posts relating to the blood on the door posts of the Old Testament. CMB means "Christus Mansionem Benedicat" in Latin - May Christ bless this dwelling place. CMB also stand for the 3 Magi Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar.  (Image share from Fr. Trigillio Jr.) 

Novena to the Magi for the Epiphany

DAY 1:
O holy Magi! You were living in continual expectation of the rising of the Star of Jacob, which would announce the birth of the true Sun of justice; obtain for us an increase of faith and charity, and the grace to live in continual hope of beholding one day the light of heavenly glory and eternal joy. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
DAY 2:
O holy Magi! who at the first appearance of the wondrous star left your native country to go and seek the newborn King of the Jews; obtain for us the grace of corresponding with alacrity to every divine inspiration. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. 
DAY 3:
O holy Magi! who regarded neither the severity of the season, nor the inconveniences of the journey that you might find the newborn Messiah; obtain for us the grace not to allow ourselves to be discouraged by any of the difficulties which may meet us on the way of salvation. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. 
DAY 4:
O holy Magi, who, when deserted by the star in the city of Jerusalem, sought humbly, and without human respect, from the rulers of the Church, the place where you might discover the object of your journey; obtain for us grace to have recourse, in faith and humility, in all our doubts and perplexities to the counsel of our superiors, who hold the place of God on earth. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. 
DAY 5:
O holy Magi, who were gladdened by the reappearance of the star which led you to Bethlehem; obtain for us from God the grace, that, remaining always faithful to Him in afflictions, we may be consoled in time by His grace, and in eternity by His glory. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
DAY 6:
O holy Magi, who, entering full of faith into the stable of Bethlehem, prostrated yourselves on the earth, to adore the newborn King of the Jews, though he was surrounded only by signs of poverty and weakness; obtain from the Lord for us a lively faith in the real presence of Jesus in the blessed Sacrament, the true spirit of poverty, and a Christ-like charity for the poor and suffering. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. 
DAY 7:
O holy Magi, who offered to Jesus Christ gold, incense, and myrrh, thereby recognizing Him to be at once King, God, and Man; obtain from the Lord for us the grace never to present ourselves before Him with empty hands; but that we may continually offer to Him the gold of charity, the incense of prayer, and the myrrh of penance and mortification. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
DAY 8:
O holy Magi, who, when warned by an angel not to return to Herd, traveled back to your country be another road; obtain for us from the Lord, the grace that, after having found Him in true repentance, we may avoid all danger of losing Him again. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
DAY 9:
O holy Magi, who were first among the Gentiles called to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and who persevered in the faith till your deaths, obtain for us of the Lord the grace of living always in conformity to our baptismal vows, ever leading to a life of faith; that like you we may attain to the beatific vision of that God Who now is the object of our faith. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.


#BreakingNews 13 People Shot and 5 Killed at Airport in Fort Lauderdale Florida - Please PRAY

Five people were shot dead and eight wounded at Fort Lauderdale's airport. Police have identified Esteban Santiago, as the lone shooter. 
 Thirteen people in total were shot and eight were taken to hospitals. 
The suspect joined the National Guard in Puerto Rico in 2007. Later, he went to Iraq for 10 months.  Santiago was then discharged in August for unsatisfactory performance.
 Esteban Santiago went to the FBI office saying he was hearing voices in his head, which told him to join ISIS. He was taken to a hospital and released. Santiago flew to Florida on Friday from Alaska. At the airport, he retrieved a bag at baggage claim, and took out the gun and started firing. 
• Gov. Rick Scott told reporters that now was time to mourn the dead and pray for hospitalized victims, not talk about gun laws. • The shooting occurred in the baggage claim area of Terminal 2.
Please PRAY for the victims and their families.....

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