Thursday, October 29, 2015

Latest #News of #Vatican Information Service and #PopeFrancis at #HolySee


28-10-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 190 

Summary
- Interreligious audience in St. Peter's Square on the 50th anniversary of the conciliar declaration “Nostra Aetate”
- Pakistan and Afghanistan in Francis' prayers
- Chirograph for the institution of the Foundation Gravissimum Educationis
- Representatives of different religions on the conciliar Declaration “Nostra Aetate”
Interreligious audience in St. Peter's Square on the 50th anniversary of the conciliar declaration “Nostra Aetate”
Vatican City, 28 October 2015 (VIS) – This week's general audience was held on the 50th anniversary of the Vatican Council II Declaration “Nostra Aetate” on the relations between the Catholic Church and non-Christian religions. It was attended by representatives of various religions and participants in the International Congress organised to commemorate the event by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in collaboration with the Commission for Religious Relationships with Jews, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Pontifical Gregorian University.
Before beginning his catechesis in St. Peter's Square the Pope greeted the sick and elderly who, due to the weather conditions, were unable to attend the open air audience. Francis also mentioned them in the square and asked for a minute of silence and prayer for them all.
The audience began with greetings from Cardinals Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. After the reading in several languages of a paragraph of “Nostra Aetate”, the Pope welcomed all those present and expressed his gratitude to them for commemorating together the 50th anniversary of this important conciliar document.
“Vatican Council II was an extraordinary moment of reflection, dialogue and prayer to renew the gaze of the Catholic Church upon herself and the world. A reading of the signs of the times in order to bring her up to date, guided by a dual fidelity: fidelity to the ecclesial tradition and fidelity to the history of the men and women of our time. Indeed, God revealed Himself in creation and in history, spoke through prophets and fully in His Son made man, addressing the heart and soul of every human being who seeks the truth and the way to practise it”.
Francis, reiterating that the message of the Declaration “Nostra Aetate” remains valid today, recalled some of its key points: the growing interdependence of peoples; the human search for meaning in life, suffering and death, questions that always accompany our journey; the common origin and common destiny of humanity; the unity of the human family; religions as the search for God or the Absolute, within the various ethnic groups and cultures; the Church's benevolent and careful view of all religions, which does not reject anything good or true in them; the Church's esteem for all believers of all religions, appreciating their spiritual and moral commitment; and finally, the Church's openness to dialogue with all, while remaining at the same time faithful to the truth in which she believes, starting from the salvation offered to all that has its origin in Jesus, the sole saviour, and that is worked by the Holy Spirit, as the source of peace and love”.
The Pope also noted that over the last fifty years there have been many initiatives and examples of institutional or personal relations with non-Christian religions. The most significant among them include the meeting in Assisi on 27 October 1986, promoted by St. John Paul II. He also praised the great transformation that has taken place in this period in the relationship between Christians and Jews. “Indifference and opposition have turned into cooperation and benevolence”, he remarked. “From enemies and strangers, we have become friends and brothers. The Council, with the Declaration 'Nostra Aetate', showed the way: 'yes' to the rediscovery of the Jewish roots of Christianity; 'no' to any form of anti-Semitism and condemnation of any resulting injustice, discrimination and persecution. Mutual knowledge, respect and esteem constitute the way that, valid for relations with Jews, is similarly relevant to relations with other religions. I think in particular of Muslims who, as the Council states, 'adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself, merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of Heaven and earth, Who has spoken to men'. They refer to the paternity of Abraham, they venerate Jesus as a prophet, they honour His virgin Mother Mary, they await the day of judgement, and practise prayer, charity and fasting”.
“The dialogue we need cannot be other than open and respectful, and in this way it is shown to be fruitful. Mutual respect is the condition and the aim of interreligious dialogue; respecting the rights of others to life, physical integrity and fundamental freedoms: that is, freedom of conscience, thought, expression and religion. The world looks to us as believers, and exhorts us to collaborate among ourselves and with men and women of good will who do not profess any religion, and asks us for effective answers on several issues: peace, hunger, the poverty that afflicts millions of people, the environmental crisis, violence, especially that committed in the name of religion, corruption, moral degradation, the crisis of the family, the economy and finance, and above all, hope. We believers do not have solutions for these problems, but we have a great resource: prayer. We must pray. Prayer is our treasury, which we draw from according to our respective traditions, to ask for the gifts humanity yearns for”.
He acknowledged that violence and terrorism have given rise to “an attitude of suspicion and indeed condemnation with regard to religions. In reality, since no religion is immune to the risk of fundamentalist or extremist deviations by individuals or groups, it is necessary to look instead to the positive values they embody and promote, and which are a wellspring of hope. ... Dialogue based on trustful respect can bring seeds of goodness that in turn become the buds of friendship and collaboration in many fields, and especially in service to the poor, the smallest and the elderly, and welcoming migrants and the excluded”. He also remarked on the role of religions in defending the environment, a common good.
The upcoming extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy will offer an opportunity for collaboration in charitable works. “And in this field, where compassion is most important, we can join with many people who do not consider themselves to be believers or who are in search of God and truth, people who place the face of others at the centre, especially their brothers and sisters in need. But the mercy that is required of us embraces all creation, that God entrusted to us as its custodians rather than exploiters or destroyers. We must always seek to leave behind a better world than the one we found”.
The Pope concluded by urging all those present to pray for the future of interreligious dialogue, “and to pray for each other, as we are brothers! Without the Lord, nothing is possible; with Him, everything is possible. May our prayer fully adhere to the will of God, Who wants all men to acknowledge each other as brothers and to live as such, forming a great human family in the harmony of diversity”.
Following the greetings in different languages, the Pope invited all to pray to the Lord, each following his or her own tradition, that He might make us brothers together and servants to our brothers in need.
Pakistan and Afghanistan in Francis' prayers
Vatican City, 28 October 2015 (VIS) – Following today's general audience the Holy Father launched an appeal for the populations of Pakistan and Afghanistan, afflicted by a major earthquake that has claimed many victims and caused devastating material damage. “Let us pray for the deceased, their families, and for all the injured and homeless, imploring consolation in suffering and courage in adversity. May there be no lack of concrete solidarity for these, our brothers”.
Chirograph for the institution of the Foundation Gravissimum Educationis
Vatican City, 28 October 2015 (VIS) – Pope Francis has instituted the Foundation Gravissimum Educationis by a chirograph bearing today's date. In the text, the Holy Father expresses his gratitude to the Congregation for Catholic Education for the initiatives organised to commemorate the fiftieth year since the declaration “Gravissimum educationis” on Christian education, promulgated the the Vatican Ecumenical Council II on 28 October 1965.
“I am likewise pleased to learn that the same Dicastery wishes to constitute on this occasion a Foundation entitled Gravissimum Educationis, with the aim of pursuing “scientific and cultural ends, intended to promote Catholic education in the world”, he adds. “The Church recognises the 'extreme importance of education in the life of man and how its influence ever grows in the social progress of this age', are profoundly linked to the fulfilment of 'the mandate she has received from her divine founder of proclaiming the mystery of salvation to all men and of restoring all things in Christ'”, he writes, quoting the conciliar Declaration.
The Pope goes on to institute as public canonical and civil juridical persons the Foundation Gravissimum Educationis, whose premises will be located in Vatican City and which will be subject to current canon law, current civil law in Vatican City, and its statutes.
Representatives of different religions on the conciliar Declaration “Nostra Aetate”
Vatican City, 28 October 2015 (VIS) – At 12.30 this afternoon in the Holy See Press Office a conference was held with the representatives of the different religions present at this morning's interreligious general audience and those attending the International Congress to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the conciliar Declaration “Nostra Aetate”, held from 26 to 28 October at the Pontifical Gregorian University.
The speakers were Professor Bellanwila Wimalaratna (Buddhism), Claudio Epelman (Judaism), Rabbi David Rose (Judaism), Swami Chidanand Saraswati (Hinduism), Rasoul Rasoulipour (Islam), Abdellah Redouane (Islam), Samani Pratibha Pragya (Jainism) and Brinder Singh Mahon (Sikhism).
The central theme of the conference was the importance of the Declaration and how it has facilitated openness on the journeys of dialogue and reconciliation between different religions.

#PopeFrancis “The gift is God’s love, a God who can’t sever himself from us." #Homily

Pope Francis at Mass - OSS_ROM
Pope Francis at Mass - OSS_ROM
29/10/2015 13:24
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis says God can only love and not condemn and that love is His weakness and our victory. He said we are so closely bound to God’s love that nothing can sever us from it. That was the message at the heart of the Pope’s homily delivered on Thursday (29th October) at the Santa Marta residence.
Taking his cue from St Paul’s letter to the Romans, Pope Francis’s homily was a reflection on God’s unwavering love for us and how no person, or power or thing can separate us from this love. He said St Paul explains how Christians are the victors because “if God is for us, who can be against us.” This gift from God, he continued, is being held by Christians in their own hands and it’s almost as if they could say in a triumphalistic manner, “now we are the champions!”  But the meaning is another: we are the victors not because we are holding this gift in our hands but for another reason.  And that is because “nothing can ever separate us from God’s love which is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
“It’s not because we are the victors over our enemies, over sin. No! We are so closely bound to God’s love that no person, no power, nothing can ever separate us from this love. Paul saw beyond the gift, he saw more, who is giving that gift: it is a gift of recreation, it’s a gift of regeneration in Jesus Christ. He saw God’s love. A love that cannot be explained.”
God’s impotence is His inability not to love
Pope Francis noted that every man, every woman can refuse this gift by preferring their own vanity, pride or sin but despite this God’s gift is always there for us.
“The gift is God’s love, a God who can’t sever himself from us. That is the impotence of God.  We say: ‘God is all powerful, He can do everything!” Except for one thing: Sever Himself from us! In the gospel, that image of Jesus who weeps over Jerusalem, helps us understand something about that love. Jesus wept! He wept over Jerusalem and that weeping is all about God’s impotence: his inability to not love (us) and not sever himself from us.”
Our safeguard: God cannot condemn but only love
The Pope goes on to explain how Jesus’ weeping over Jerusalem that kills its prophets and those that announce its salvation is an image of God’s love and tenderness. He admonishes Jerusalem and all of us saying: “How often have I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings and you refused!”  He said that is why St Paul understands and can say: “I am certain of this: neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nothing already in existence and nothing still to come, nor any power, nor the heights nor the depths, nor any created thing whatever will be able to come between us and the love of God.”
“It’s impossible for God to not love us!  And this is our safeguard. I can refuse that love, I can refuse just like the Good Thief did, until the end of his life.  But that love was waiting for him there. The most wicked and the most blasphemous person is loved by God with the tenderness of a father.  And just as Paul said, as the Gospel said, as Jesus said: ‘Like a hen with her brood.’  And God the all-powerful, the Creator can do everything: God weeps!  All of God’s love is contained in this weeping by Jesus over Jerusalem and in those tears.  God weeps for me when I move away from him: God weeps for each one of us: God weeps for the evil people who do so many bad things, cause so much harm to mankind… He is waiting, he is not condemning (us) and he is weeping.  Why?  Because he loves (us)!” 

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thurs. October 29, 2015


Thursday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 482


Reading 1ROM 8:31B-39

Brothers and sisters:
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He did not spare his own Son
but handed him over for us all,
how will he not also give us everything else along with him?
Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones?
It is God who acquits us.
Who will condemn?
It is Christ Jesus who died, rather, was raised,
who also is at the right hand of God,
who indeed intercedes for us.
What will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?
As it is written:

For your sake we are being slain all the day;
we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.


No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly
through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor present things, nor future things,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other creature will be able to separate us
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Responsorial PsalmPS 109:21-22, 26-27, 30-31

R. (26b) Save me, O Lord, in your mercy.
Do you, O GOD, my Lord, deal kindly with me for your name’s sake;
in your generous mercy rescue me;
For I am wretched and poor,
and my heart is pierced within me.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your mercy.
Help me, O LORD, my God;
save me, in your mercy,
And let them know that this is your hand;
that you, O LORD, have done this.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your mercy.
I will speak my thanks earnestly to the LORD,
and in the midst of the throng I will praise him,
For he stood at the right hand of the poor man,
to save him from those who would condemn his soul.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.

AlleluiaSEE LK 19:38; 2:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.
Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 13:31-35

Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said,
“Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.”
He replied, “Go and tell that fox,
‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow,
and on the third day I accomplish my purpose.
Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day,
for it is impossible that a prophet should die
outside of Jerusalem.’

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,
how many times I yearned to gather your children together
as a hen gathers her brood under her wings,
but you were unwilling!
Behold, your house will be abandoned.
But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say,
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Saint October 29 : St. Narcissus of Jerusalem : Bishop : Died 215

St. Narcissus
BISHOP
Feast: October 29
Information:
Feast Day:
October 29
Born:
99
Died:
215

St Narcissus was born towards the close of the first century, and was almost fourscore years old when he was placed at the head of the church of Jerusalem, being the thirtieth bishop of that see. Eusebius assures us that the Christians of Jerusalem preserved in his time the remembrance of several miracles which God had wrought by this holy bishop, one of which he relates as follows. One year, on Easter-eve, the deacons were unprovided with oil for the lamps in the church, necessary at the solemn divine office that day. Narcissus ordered those who had care of the lamps to bring him some water from the neighbouring wells. This being done, he pronounced a devout prayer over the water; then bade them pour it into the lamps, which they did, and it was immediately converted into oil, to the great surprise of the faithful. Some of this miraculous oil was kept there as a memorial at the time when Eusebius wrote his history. The veneration of all good men for this holy bishop could not shelter him from the malice of the wicked. Three incorrigible sinners, fearing his inflexible severity in the observance of ecclesiastical discipline, laid to his charge a detestable crime, which Eusebius does not specify. They confirmed their atrocious calumny by dreadful oaths and imprecations; one wishing he might perish by fire, another that he might be struck with a leprosy, and the third that he might lose his sight, if what they alleged was not the truth. Notwithstanding these protestations, their accusation did not find credit; and some time after the divine vengeance pursued the calumniators. The first was burnt in his house, with his whole family, by an accidental fire in the night; the second was struck with a universal leprosy; and the third, terrified by these examples, confessed the conspiracy and slander, and by the abundance of tears which he continually shed for his sins, lost his sight before his death.
Narcissus, notwithstanding the slander had made no impression on the people to his disadvantage, could not stand the shock of the bold calumny, or rather made it an excuse for leaving Jerusalem and spending some time in solitude, which had long been his wish. He spent several years undiscovered in his retreat, where he enjoyed all the happiness and advantage which a close conversation with God can bestow. That his church might not remain destitute of a pastor, the neighbouring bishops of the province after some time placed in it Pius, and after him Germanion, who dying in a short time was succeeded by Gordius. Whilst this last held the see, Narcissus appeared again, like one from the dead. The whole body of the faithful, transported at the recovery of their holy pastor, whose innocence had been most authentically vindicated, conjured him to reassume the administration of the diocese. He acquiesced; but afterwards, bending under the weight of extreme old age, made St. Alexander his coadjutor. St. Narcissus continued to serve his flock, and even other churches, by his assiduous prayers and his earnest exhortations to unity and concord, as St. Alexander testifies in his letter to the Arsinoites in Egypt, where he says that Narcissus was at that time, about one hundred and sixteen years old. The Roman Martyrology honours his memory on the 29th of October.
If we truly respect the church as the immaculate spouse of our Lord, we will incessantly pray for its exaltation and increase, and beseech the Almighty to give it pastors according to his own heart, like those who appeared in the infancy of Christianity. And, that no obstacle on our part may prevent the happy effects of their zeal, we should study to regulate our conduct by the holy maxims which they inculcate; we should regard them as the ministers of Christ; we should listen to them with docility and attention; we should make their faith the rule of ours, and shut our ears against the language of profane novelty. SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/N/stnarcissus.asp