Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sunday Mass Online : February 22, 2015 - 1st Sunday of Lent Mass - B

First Sunday of Lent
Lectionary: 23

Reading 1GN 9:8-15

God said to Noah and to his sons with him:
“See, I am now establishing my covenant with you
and your descendants after you
and with every living creature that was with you:
all the birds, and the various tame and wild animals
that were with you and came out of the ark.
I will establish my covenant with you,
that never again shall all bodily creatures be destroyed
by the waters of a flood;
there shall not be another flood to devastate the earth.”
God added:
“This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come,
of the covenant between me and you
and every living creature with you:
I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign
of the covenant between me and the earth.
When I bring clouds over the earth,
and the bow appears in the clouds,
I will recall the covenant I have made
between me and you and all living beings,
so that the waters shall never again become a flood
to destroy all mortal beings.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9.

R. (cf. 10) Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your love are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
R. Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.
Good and upright is the LORD,
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
and he teaches the humble his way.
R. Your ways, O Lord, are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.

Reading 21 PT 3:18-22

Christ suffered for sins once,
the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous,
that he might lead you to God.
Put to death in the flesh,
he was brought to life in the Spirit.
In it he also went to preach to the spirits in prison,
who had once been disobedient
while God patiently waited in the days of Noah
during the building of the ark,
in which a few persons, eight in all,
were saved through water.
This prefigured baptism, which saves you now.
It is not a removal of dirt from the body
but an appeal to God for a clear conscience,
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
who has gone into heaven
and is at the right hand of God,
with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.

Verse Before The GospelMT 4:4B

One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

GospelMK 1:12-15

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him.

After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Saint February 22 : Feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle

Feast Day:February 22
St Peter having triumphed over the devil in the East, pursued him to Rome in the person of Simon Magus. He who had formerly trembled at the voice of a poor maid now feared not the very throne of idolatry and superstition. The capital of the empire of the world, and the centre of impiety, called for the zeal of the prince of the apostles. God had established the Roman empire, and extended its dominion beyond that of any former monarchy, for the more easy propagation of his gospel. Its metropolis was of the greatest importance for this enterprise. St. Peter took that province upon himself; and repairing to Rome, there preached the faith and established his episcopal chair, whose <successors> the bishops of Rome have been accounted in all ages. That St. Peter founded that church by his < preaching> is expressly asserted by Caius, a priest of Rome under Pope Zephyrinus; who relates also that his body was then on the Vatican Hill, and that of his fellow-labourer St. Paul on the Ostian Road. That he and St. Paul planted the faith at Rome, and were both crowned with martyrdom at the same time, is affirmed by Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, in the second age. St. Irenaeus, who lived in the same age, calls the church at Rome "the greatest and most ancient church, founded by the two glorious apostles, Peter and Paul." Eusebius, in several places, mentions St. Peter's being at Rome, and the several important translations of this apostle in that city. Not to mention Origen, Hegesippus, Arnobius, St. Ambrose, St. Austin, St. Jerome, St.  Optatus, Orosius, and others on the same subject. St. Cyprian calls Rome the < chair> of St. Peter (as Theodoret calls it his <throne>), which the general councils and ecclesiastical writers, through every age and on every occasion, repeat. That St. Peter at least preached in Rome, founded that church, and died there by martyrdom under Nero are facts the most incontestable by the testimony of all writers of different countries who lived near that time; persons of unquestionable veracity, and who could not but be informed of the truth in a point so interesting, and of its own nature so public and notorious, as to leave them no possibility of a mistake. This is also attested by monuments of every kind; also by the prerogatives, rights, and privileges which that church enjoyed from those early ages in consequence of this title.
It was an ancient custom, as Cardinal Baronius and Thomassin show by many examples, observed by churches to keep an annual festival of the consecration of their bishops. The feast of the chair of St. Peter is found in ancient Martyrologies, as in one under the name of St. Jerome, at Esternach, copied in the time of St. Willibrord, in 720. Christians justly celebrate the founding of this mother-church, the centre of catholic communion, in thanksgiving to God for his mercies on his church, and to implore his future blessings.
Christ has taught us, in the divine model of prayer which he has delivered to us, that we are bound to recommend to him, before all other things, the exaltation of his own honour and glory, and to beg that the kingdom of his holy grace and love be planted in all hearts. If we love God above all things, and with our whole hearts, or have any true charity for our neighbour, this will be the centre of all our desires, that God be loved and served by all his   creatures, and that he be glorified, in the most perfect manner, in our own souls. By placing this at the head of our requests, we shall most strongly engage God to crown all our just and holy desires. As one of his greatest mercies to his church, we most earnestly beseech him to raise up in it zealous pastors, eminently replenished with his Spirit, with which he animated his apostles.


Amazing #PROLIFE Song by Singer Sam Martin composed after he saw his baby's heartbeat! SHARE

Sam Martin who has co-written many top 10 singles. He recently composed a beautiful song about his unborn son. Martin said that when he first found out that his wife was pregnant and saw his son’s heartbeat in an ultrasound, he felt the desire to compose a song. His baby is due on March 19th. Martin said, “The lyric came right then — ‘I’m going to love you anyway.’ I almost started crying just singing it over and over again. … It was a spiritual experience.”  Martin kept the song a secret from his wife, Joy, then he told her. ‘She left and came back; I played it, and then both of us were just sobbing. Uncontrollably crying.” He explained, “I wanted to do it very simple; this song is all about the lyrics. I didn’t want to distract too much. This song is a rare situation where the label actually liked something that was incredibly personal and meaningful.” Here is Martin’s Amazing Pro-Life song...Please SHARE for LIFE!

#German Chancellor Merkel meets #PopeFrancis in #Vatican discussing Ukraine and Poverty

Pope Francis and German Chancellor Angela Merkel - REUTERS
21/02/2015 13:

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday  received German Chancellor Angela Merkel in private audience in the  Vatican. An official  communiqué said the cordial exchange between the two leaders focused on the fight against poverty and international crises, including the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
It also revealed that the wide-ranging talks touched on topics such as the alleviation of poverty, the role of women in developing countries, equality, and Germany's agenda for the upcoming G7 Summit in the southern German state of Bavaria in June.
Following the audience Merkel told journalists that the conflict in eastern Ukraine was at the center of the discussion with the Pope.
She reportedly said he gave her “a lot of encouragement" to proceed "decidedly and determinedly" to find a peaceful solution. 
Pope Francis presented Merkel with a medallion depicting St. Martin giving his coat to the needy, saying it aimed to remind world leaders their job is "to protect their poor."
On her part. Merkel gave the Pope a CD with music by Johann Sebastian Bach and a donation to help children affected by conflicts in the Middle East.
Following her audience with Francis, the second since the beginning of his Papacy, Merkel met Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Richard Gallagher. 

Today's Mass Readings : Saturday February 21, 2015

Saturday after Ash Wednesday

Lectionary: 222

Reading 1IS 58:9B-14
Thus says the LORD:
If you remove from your midst oppression,
false accusation and malicious speech;
If you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
Then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday;
Then the LORD will guide you always
and give you plenty even on the parched land.
He will renew your strength,
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring whose water never fails.
The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake,
and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up;
“Repairer of the breach,” they shall call you,
“Restorer of ruined homesteads.”

If you hold back your foot on the sabbath
from following your own pursuits on my holy day;
If you call the sabbath a delight,
and the LORD’s holy day honorable;
If you honor it by not following your ways,
seeking your own interests, or speaking with malice—
Then you shall delight in the LORD,
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Responsorial PsalmPS 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. (11ab) Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Incline your ear, O LORD; answer me,
for I am afflicted and poor.
Keep my life, for I am devoted to you;
save your servant who trusts in you. 
You are my God.
R. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for to you I call all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
R. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.
Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my pleading.
R. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.

Verse Before The GospelEZ 33:11

I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord,
but rather in his conversion, that he may live.

GospelLK 5:27-32

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.
Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house,
and a large crowd of tax collectors
and others were at table with them.
The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying,
“Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”

#PopeFrancis "Oppose the culture of death and be witnesses to the Gospel of Life!"

Pope Francis - EPA
21/02/2015 12:
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis says that people involved in organized crime or who deliberately carry out acts of violence against others or the environment cannot call themselves Christian.
The Pope’s comments were contained in a speech delivered Saturday to pilgrims from the Diocese of Cassano all’Jonio, who had travelled to Rome on a ‘return visit’ to thank the Holy Father.
In June last year, Pope Francis made a one day visit to the diocese in the southern Italian region of Calabria which has been deeply scarred by the local organized crime group, the 'Ndrangheta. During that visit the Pope had issued a call to conversion to all of those still involved in organized crime.
A call he renewed on Saturday, when he stated: “those who love Jesus, who hear and receive the Word and live in a sincere response to the call of the Lord cannot in any way give themselves over to works of evil”.
The Pope went on to say people who “violate the dignity of person; who program or carry out gestures of violence against others and against the environment” cannot call themselves Christian.
He added that external forms of piety without “a real conversion are not enough to be considered in communion with Christ and his Church”.  Pope Francis appealed to “those who have chosen the path of evil and are affiliated to criminal organizations”  to open their heart to the Lord. “The Lord is waiting for you and the Church welcomes you” he said “if your willingness to serve good is as clear and public as was your choice to serve evil”.
Below please find a Vatican Radio translation of excerpts from the Holy Father’s address:
The memory of my visit to your diocesan community is still alive in my heart: the meetings with the prisoners, the sick, with priests, religious, seminarians…how many seminarians are there now? Eight? That’s not good enough…we must pray, pray for more vocations….Ok? The Lord told us to pray so he will send priests I entrust in your prayer…. I remember the meeting with the elderly; my visit to the Cathedral and the Seminary; and then the extraordinary presence of people in the plain of Sibari, but all of Calabria was there!
 I had a firsthand experience of your faith and your love. The Lord help you to always walk together, in parishes and associations, led by the Bishop and priests. May He help you to be welcoming communities, to accompany towards Christ those who are struggling to discern His presence that saves.
I would like to reaffirm a thought that I suggested during my visit: those who love Jesus, who hear and receive the Word and live in a sincere response to the call of the Lord cannot in any way give themselves over to works of evil. Or Jesus, or evil! Jesus never invited demons to lunch, no he chased them away, because they are evil, or Jesus or evil!  They cannot call themselves Christians and violate the dignity of person; those who belong to the Christian community cannot program or carry out gestures of violence against others and against the environment.  
External gestures of religiosity that are not accompanied by a real and public conversion are not enough to be considered in communion with Christ and His Church. External gestures of religiosity are not enough to credit as believers, those who with the malice and arrogance typical of criminals, make lawlessness their lifestyle. To those who have chosen the path of evil and are affiliated to criminal organizations I renew the pressing invitation to conversion. Open your heart to the Lord! The Lord is waiting for you and the Church welcomes you if your willingness to serve the good is as clear and public as was your choice to serve evil.
Dear brothers and sisters of Cassano, the beauty of your land is a gift from God and a heritage to preserve and pass in all its splendor onto future generations. Therefore, all must courageously commit to ensuring it is not scarred beyond repair by narrow interests, above all the competent institutions.  
The Emmanuel Community is among the "beauties" of your territory. It is an example of acceptance and sharing with the weakest. Young people devastated by drugs have found in you and in your structures the "good Samaritan" who knew how to bend over their wounds and was able to anoint them with the balm of closeness and affection. How many families have found in you the help they needed  to restore hope for the fate of their children! The Church is grateful to you for this service. By being present alongside young people and adults subjugated by dependencies, you have embraced the suffering Jesus and you sow hope.
Our era is in great need of hope! Young people should not be denied hope, young people need to hope; we must offer those experiencing pain and suffering concrete signs of hope. Social realities and associations, as well as individuals who work in hospitality and sharing, are generators of hope. Therefore I urge your Christian communities to be protagonists of solidarity, not to stop in front of those who, out of a narrow self-interest, sow selfishness, violence and injustice. Oppose the culture of death and be witnesses to the Gospel of Life! The light of the Word of God and the support of the Holy Spirit will help you to look with new and welcoming eyes towards the many new forms of poverty which cast many young people and families into despair.
Upon all of you present here and the entire Diocese of Cassano all'Jonio I invoke the protection of Mary, whom you venerate under the titles of Our Lady of the Chain and Our Lady of the Castle. You are accompanied by my Blessing, and, please, do not forget to pray for me.

(Emer McCarthy)