Tuesday, December 24, 2013

POPE FRANCIS CHRISTMAS EVE MASS LIVE VIDEO

(Vatican Radio) “In this night, as the spirit of darkness enfolds the world, there takes place anew the event which always amazes and surprises us: the people who walk see a great light.”
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In his homily during Christmas Midnight Mass, Pope Francis reflected on “the mystery of walking and seeing.”
Walking, he said, brings to mind the whole of salvation history, beginning with Abraham, our father in faith. “From that time on, our identity as believers has been that of a people making its pilgrim way towards the promised land. This history has always been accompanied by the Lord!” And yet, the Pope said, “on the part of the people there are times of both light and darkness, fidelity and infidelity, obedience, and rebellion; times of being a pilgrim people and times of being a people adrift.”

Pope Francis said that in our own lives, too, “there are both bright and dark moments, lights and shadows. If we love God and our brothers and sisters, we walk in the light; but if our heart is closed, if we are dominated by pride, deceit, self-seeking, then darkness falls within us and around us.”

But, he continued, “On this night, like a burst of brilliant light, there rings out the proclamation of the Apostle: “God's grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race.

“The grace which was revealed in our world is Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary, true man and true God . . . He came to free us from darkness and to grant us light.”

The Gospel of the Mass tells how the shepherds were the first to receive the news of Jesus’ birth. “They were the first because they were among the last, the outcast,” the Pope said. “And they were the first because they were awake, keeping watch in the night, guarding their flocks.” The Holy Father called on us to join the shepherds, to pause before the Child in silence, thanking God and praising His fidelity.

Pope Francis concluded his homily with the plea: “On this night let us share the joy of the Gospel: God loves us, he so loves us that he gave us his Son to be our brother, to be light in our darkness. To us the Lord repeats: “Do not be afraid!” (Lk 2:10). And I too repeat: Do not be afraid! Our Father is patient, he loves us, he gives us Jesus to guide us on the way which leads to the promised land. Jesus is the light who brightens the darkness. He is our peace. Amen.”

Below, please find the complete text of Pope Francis’ homily: 
Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis
Christmas Midnight Mass
25 December 2013


1. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Is 9:1).

This prophecy of Isaiah never ceases to touch us, especially when we hear it proclaimed in the liturgy of Christmas Night. This is not simply an emotional or sentimental matter. It moves us because it states the deep reality of what we are: a people who walk, and all around us – and within us as well – there is darkness and light. In this night, as the spirit of darkness enfolds the world, there takes place anew the event which always amazes and surprises us: the people who walk see a great light. A light which makes us reflect on this mystery: the mystery of walking and seeing.

Walking. This verb makes us reflect on the course of history, that long journey which is the history of salvation, starting with Abraham, our father in faith, whom the Lord called one day to set out, to go forth from his country towards the land which he would show him. From that time on, our identity as believers has been that of a people making its pilgrim way towards the promised land. This history has always been accompanied by the Lord! He is ever faithful to his covenant and to his promises. “God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all” (1 Jn 1:5). Yet on the part of the people there are times of both light and darkness, fidelity and infidelity, obedience, and rebellion; times of being a pilgrim people and times of being a people adrift.

In our personal history too, there are both bright and dark moments, lights and shadows. If we love God and our brothers and sisters, we walk in the light; but if our heart is closed, if we are dominated by pride, deceit, self-seeking, then darkness falls within us and around us. “Whoever hates his brother – writes the Apostle John – is in the darkness; he walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 Jn 2:11).

2. On this night, like a burst of brilliant light, there rings out the proclamation of the Apostle: “God's grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race” (Tit 2:11).

The grace which was revealed in our world is Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary, true man and true God. He has entered our history; he has shared our journey. He came to free us from darkness and to grant us light. In him was revealed the grace, the mercy, and the tender love of the Father: Jesus is Love incarnate. He is not simply a teacher of wisdom, he is not an ideal for which we strive while knowing that we are hopelessly distant from it. He is the meaning of life and history, who has pitched his tent in our midst.

3. The shepherds were the first to see this “tent”, to receive the news of Jesus’ birth. They were the first because they were among the last, the outcast. And they were the first because they were awake, keeping watch in the night, guarding their flocks. Together with them, let us pause before the Child, let us pause in silence. Together with them, let us thank the Lord for having given Jesus to us, and with them let us raise from the depths of our hearts the praises of his fidelity: We bless you, Lord God most high, who lowered yourself for our sake. You are immense, and you made yourself small; you are rich and you made yourself poor; you are all-powerful and you made yourself vulnerable.

On this night let us share the joy of the Gospel: God loves us, he so loves us that he gave us his Son to be our brother, to be light in our darkness. To us the Lord repeats: “Do not be afraid!” (Lk 2:10). And I too repeat: Do not be afraid! Our Father is patient, he loves us, he gives us Jesus to guide us on the way which leads to the promised land. Jesus is the light who brightens the darkness. He is our peace. Amen.
shared from Vatican Radio 
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LIVE WITH POPE FRANCIS OFFICIAL OPENING OF NATIVITY CRECHE

(Vatican Radio) Thousands of people gathered in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica on Christmas Eve for the unveiling of the Nativity Scene. 

Entitled “Francis 1223 – Francis 2013”, traditional display recalls the world’s first nativity scene set up 790 years ago by Italy’s popular patron St. Francis of Assisi, whose name and humble lifestyle Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio assumed on being elected Pope.

This year’s Nativity Scene was crafted by artisans from the southern Italian city of Naples, which is famous for its Christmas displays. 

In addition to the traditional figures of the Holy Family and the shepherds, with the Magi approaching from a distance, the scene features figures representing the poorest members of society. They include a mother bringing her son to see the Christ Child, and a beggar, poorly dressed and dirty, sitting at Jesus’ feet. 
shared from Vatican Radio

POPE FRANCIS AND POPE BENEDICT MEET FOR CHRISTMAS GREETINGS

(Vatican RADIO REPORT) Pope Francis is gearing up for his first Christmas at the Vatican as pontiff. He began by exchanging Christmas wishes with his predecessor, Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI. Pope Francis paid an early Christmas visit to his predecessor, Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, on Monday in the monastery Mater Ecclesia in the Vatican gardens. 

The two warmly greeted each other and prayed briefly in Benedict’s chapel. They had a private conversation and exchanged Christmas wishes . Pope Francis also greeted the small staff that cares for his predecessor. 
On Tuesday, the Vatican’s life-sized Nativity Scene, located in St. Peter’s Square, will be inaugurated. This year’s manger scene is a typical Neapolitan depiction of the birth of Jesus and was designed to recall the first crèche of St. Francis of Assisi. 

Then, on Tuesday evening, Pope Francis will preside at the Christmas Vigil at St. Peter’s Basilica. Thousands of pilgrims are expected to attend the Mass, which will begin at 9:30 p.m., Rome time, and end at around midnight. 

At noon on Christmas Day, the Pope will pronounce the traditional Christmas Day address, Urbi et Orbi. 

Pope Francis will once again address the faithful at a noon Angelus the following day, on the Feast of St. Stephen.


SHARED from Vatican Radio 

POPE FRANCIS "THERE IS A THIRD COMING OF THE LORD: THAT OF EVERY DAY."

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass on Monday morning in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta residence in the Vatican. He focused his remarks after the readings of the day on the coming feast of the Nativity, and the threefold coming of Christ into history, at the end of time, and into our daily lives. Drawing on the lesson of St. Bernard, Pope Francis spoke of a “Third coming” of Christ – that which occurs every day in the life of the Church and of Christian faithful:

“There is a third coming of the Lord: that of every day. The Lord visits His Church every day! He visits each of us, and so our souls as well [experience something similar] : our soul resembles the Church , our soul resembles Mary. The desert fathers say that Mary, the Church and our souls are feminine, and that what is said about one can be said analogously of the others. Our soul is also in waiting, this waiting for the coming of the Lord – an open soul that calls out, ‘Come, Lord.’”

Pope Francis went on to say that the Holy Spirit moves each of us in these days to make this prayer his own, and recalled how all throughout the Advent season the Church has described herself as being in vigilant expectation – the attitude that is the hallmark of the pilgrim. “We are pilgrims,” he said:

“Are we expectant, or are we [indifferent]? Are we vigilant, or are we closed up ‘safely’ in an inn along the way, without desire to go forward. Are we are pilgrims, or are we vagabonds? For this reason, the Church invites us to pray, ‘Come! ‘, in order to open our soul and in order that that our soul be, these days, vigilant and expectant. Keep vigil! Be mindful of the difference the Lord’s coming (or not) makes in us. Is there a place for the Lord, or only for parties, for shopping , for revelry ... Is our soul open , as is Holy Mother Church and as was the Virgin Mary? Or is our soul rather closed, with a “Do Not Disturb!” sign hung on the door to it?”

“The world,” warned Pope Francis, “does not end with us,” but with the Lord, with Our Lady and with Mother Church. “So,” he said, “we do well to repeat [the invocation”: ‘O Wisdom , O Key of David, O King of the nations, come!”: 

“Now, repeat [the call] many times, ‘Come, Lord Jesus!’ and look to see our soul be not one of those souls that say, “Do not disturb!” No! Let ours be great souls – souls open to receive the Lord in these days and that begin to feel that, which tomorrow the Church will speak to us in the antiphon: ‘Know that today the Lord will come, and in the morning you will see his glory!’


SHARED from Vatican Radio 

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE OF CARDINAL TAGLE OF MANILA - PHILIPPINES

ASIA NEWS IT REPORT: by Luis Antonio Tagle*
The Archbishop of Manila writes to the faithful: "The earthquakes, typhoons and political crises make us rethink our priorities and focus on the true meaning of Christmas: the Child who is among us." That of 2013 "is a Christmas of compassion, solidarity and communion."


Manila (AsiaNews) - The recent disasters that have hit the Philippines "help the faithful to understand the true meaning of Christmas: Christ who becomes a child, weak and humble, to give us new hope." This was written by the archbishop of Manila, Cardinal. Luis Antonio Tagle, in his message for Christmas. Below is the full text of the message.
Dear Sisters and Brothers, many people have been wondering how Christmas would be like for the survivors of the Zamboanga crisis, the earthquake in Bohol and super typhoon Yolanda. With persons and things associated with Christmas either destroyed or gone, what would Christmas be? One lady from Palo gave me her answer to this question, "With the ruins around us, this would probably be the first time I would understand and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas."
A mysterious answer indeed, but because it comes from a survivor, it must contain truth and wisdom. Her statement brings us back to the central sign Christmas: the humble baby in the manger who is truly the Son of God, God with us. God is near. God remains with us. This was the sign foretold by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 7:10-14) and indicated by the angels to the shepherds at Jesus' birth (Luke 2:8-14). All other signs of Christmas (lights, food, revelry, costumes, and gifts) must be rooted in and draw their meaning from the core Sign: the humble person of the Son of God who emptied himself to become one of us. Divine glory is seen in a child's weakness; heavenly radiance is made manifest in humility; and God's justice is revealed as compassion.
Let us not forget the Christ-child. Beholding, contemplating and adoring Jesus, who is truly God's presence among us, let us be transformed into signs of his coming.  Christmas 2013 should be a Christmas of solidarity and communion. But this will happen only with serious soul-searching, review of values, reordering of priorities, and commitment to God, neighbour, country and creation. The survivors of recent disasters will teach us how to see the Child promised by God with fresh eyes of faith and hope.
I wish all of you, especially Filipinos who are striving to reconstruct their lives and who are far from home, a Blessed Christmas. May God surprise you anew with the Sign of His love. 


*Cardinal Archbishop of Manila

CHRISTMAS NOVENA - DAY 8 - PLENARY INDULGENCE




Opening Prayer:


V. O God, come to my assistance.


R. O Lord, make haste to help me.


Glory be to the Father and to
the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be, world without
end.Amen.


Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.


Day 8 Prayers
The Flight into Egypt.
O most sweet infant Jesus, whom Herod tried to slay,
carried by St. Joseph with your Mother into Egypt, saved
from death by flight, and glorified by the blood of the
holy innocents. Have mercy on. us.
O Jesu! born of Virgin bright,
Immortal glory be to thee
Praise to the Father infinite,
And Holy Ghost eternally.
Christ is at hand. 0 come, let us worship him.
Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.
Hail Mary...


 Amen.
FROM THE RACCOLTA OFFICIAL


NOVENA PREPARATORY TO CHRISTMAS In order to the devout preparation of ourselves for the glorious Birthday of our most loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, which the holy Church recalls to our memory every year on the 25th of December, and at the same time to render Him thanks for this great benefit, Pope Pius VII., by a Rescript of the Segretaria of the Memorials, dated August 12th, 1815 (which said Rescript is preserved in the Segretaria of the Vicariate), granted to all faithful Christians who, being contrite in heart, should prepare themselves for that great solemnity by a novena, consisting of pious exercises, prayers, acts of virtue, &c. -
i. An indulgence of 300 days each day of the said novena, and -
ii. A plenary indulgence to be gained on Christmas day, or on some day in its octave, by those who, after Confession and Communion, shall have made the said novena every day, and who shall pray according to the intentions of the Sovereigns Pontiff: and note that the Confession and Communion may be made on any one of the days of the said novena, provided the novena is correctly kept. This was declared by Pope Pius VIII., of holy memory, by means of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, July 9, 1830. These indulgences were extended by the above-named Pius VII. to one other time in the year, besides the the specified, when any one should make the aforesaid novena in honour of the Child Jesus.

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : DEC. 24, 2013 - ADVENT

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Advent
Lectionary: 200


Reading 1           2     SM 7:1-5, 8B-12, 14A, 16

When King David was settled in his palace,
and the LORD had given him rest from his enemies on every side,
he said to Nathan the prophet,
“Here I am living in a house of cedar,
while the ark of God dwells in a tent!”
Nathan answered the king,
“Go, do whatever you have in mind,
for the LORD is with you.”
But that night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said:
“Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD:
Should you build me a house to dwell in?

“‘It was I who took you from the pasture
and from the care of the flock
to be commander of my people Israel.
I have been with you wherever you went,
and I have destroyed all your enemies before you.
And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth.
I will fix a place for my people Israel;
I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place
without further disturbance.
Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old,
since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel.
I will give you rest from all your enemies.
The LORD also reveals to you
that he will establish a house for you.
And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
and I will make his Kingdom firm.
I will be a father to him,
and he shall be a son to me.
Your house and your Kingdom shall endure forever before me;
your throne shall stand firm forever.’”

Responsorial Psalm                   PS 89:2-3, 4-5, 27 AND 29

R. (2) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.”
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the rock, my savior.’
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm.”
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Gospel                LK 1:67-79

Zechariah his father, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying:

“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
for he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty Savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hand of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”