Tuesday, April 5, 2016

#PopeFrancis "The harmony of the Holy Spirit grants us the generosity..." #Homily

In his homily at Mass at the Casa Santa Marta 5 April 2016, Pope Francis invites reflection on the shared values of early Christian communities - OSS_ROM
In his homily at Mass at the Casa Santa Marta 5 April 2016, Pope Francis invites reflection on the shared values of early Christian communities - OSS_ROM
05/04/2016 13:


(Vatican Radio)  A Christian community that lives in "harmony" is fruit of the Holy Spirit and should not be confused with "tranquility" that often is a hypocritical whitewashing of its contrasts and divisions. That’s the message conveyed by Pope Francis during his homily at Tuesday’s morning Mass celebrated in the Casa Santa Marta. A community united in Christ, the Pope said, is also a courageous community.
Listen to Tracey McClure's report:
 
Reflecting on the day’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles, Pope Francis points to the  one word that sums up the sentiments and lifestyle of the very first Christian community: harmony.  Theirs is a life in communion, based on shared values and shared wealth for the benefit of all.
Harmony vs contrived coexistence
But, Pope Francis is careful to point out that the harmony which bound together the Church’s first Christians came as a gift of the Holy Spirit.  It was not a man-made or contrived form of tranquil coexistence.
"We can negotiate some sort of peace ... but harmony is an inner grace that only the Holy Spirit can grant. And these communities lived in harmony. And there are two signs of harmony: there is no one wanting, that is, everything was shared. In what sense? They had one heart, one soul, and no one considered as his own any property that belonged to him, but everything was shared in common amongst them. None of them was ever in need.  The true 'harmony' of the Holy Spirit has a very strong relationship with money: money is the enemy of harmony; money is selfish.”  
Proof of the first Christian community’s harmony, the Pope says, was shown in the fact that they freely gave of their own goods “so that others would not be in need."
God and money: two “irreconcilable” masters
The Pope draws from the day’s reading the virtuous example of Barnabas who sells his field and gives the proceeds to the Apostles. And in contrast, Francis cites another passage from Acts: that of Ananias and Sapphira, a couple who sell their field and pretend to give the entire proceeds to the Apostles but who in fact, keep part of the money for themselves.  That lie costs them dearly; both die on the spot. 
God and money are two “irreconcilable” masters, Francis stresses. And, he warns against confusing "harmony" with "tranquility:"
"A community can be very tranquil…things are fine ... But it is not harmonious. I once heard a wise thing from a bishop: 'There is tranquility in the diocese. But if you touch on a certain problem - this problem or that problem - war breaks out.’  This is negotiated harmony, and this is not of the Spirit. Let’s say that it’s a hypocritical harmony like that of Ananias and Saphira and what they did."
The Spirit, generosity and courage
Francis concludes, encouraging a re-reading of the Acts of the Apostles and their portrayal of the first Christians and their life together. "We will do well," he says, to understand the importance of their fraternal generosity and how to bear witness to such a lifestyle in our daily lives.
"The harmony of the Holy Spirit grants us the generosity to possess nothing as our own, while there is someone in need.”
The harmony of the Holy Spirit, he adds, also fortifies us with courage. “‘With great power the Apostles bore witness to the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all:’ namely, courage. When there is harmony in the Church, in the community, there is courage, the courage to bear witness to the Risen Lord."

(Tracey McClure)

#BreakingNews Mass Grave of Bodies found as 400 Killed by ISIS in Palmyra - most Women and Children - Please PRAY


The Syrian Army has found a mass grave with at least 40 corpses, many of them women and children. They were butchered by Islamic State in the city of Palmyra a city that was liberated. ISIS kills 400, mostly women & children, in Palmyra – Examination of the bodies showed that some were beheaded while others were tortured before their deaths. Russian combat engineers arrived in Palmyra on Thursday with special robotic units to offer their expertise in detecting and dismantling mines in an area comprising over 180 hectares (445 acres). “At least 3,000 explosive devices were installed in the city,”Palmyra was seized by IS jihadists in May 2015. That month, IS reportedly slaughtered 400 people, mostly women and children. Please Pray for Peace. (Edited from RT)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : April 5, 2016


Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter
Lectionary: 268


Reading 1ACTS 4:32-37

The community of believers was of one heart and mind,
and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,
but they had everything in common.
With great power the Apostles bore witness
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and great favor was accorded them all.
There was no needy person among them,
for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
bring the proceeds of the sale,
and put them at the feet of the Apostles,
and they were distributed to each according to need.

Thus Joseph, also named by the Apostles Barnabas
(which is translated "son of encouragement”),
a Levite, a Cypriot by birth,
sold a piece of property that he owned,
then brought the money and put it at the feet of the Apostles.

Responsorial PsalmPS 93:1AB, 1CD-2, 5

R. (1a) The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD is king, in splendor robed;
robed is the LORD and girt about with strength.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
or:
R. Alleluia.
And he has made the world firm,
not to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old;
from everlasting you are, O LORD.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed:
holiness befits your house,
O LORD, for length of days.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 3:14-15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Son of Man must be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him
may have eternal life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 3:7B-15

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“‘You must be born from above.’
The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes,
but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes;
so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus answered and said to him,
‘How can this happen?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this?
Amen, amen, I say to you,
we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen,
but you people do not accept our testimony.
If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe,
how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?
No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

Saint April 5 : St. Vincent Ferrer : #Dominican : Patron of #Builders, construction workers, Plumbers



Information:
Feast Day:April 5
Born:January 23, 1350, Valencia, Kingdom of Valencia
Died:April 5, 1419, Vannes, Brittany, France
Canonized:June 3, 1455, Rome by Pope Calixtus III
Major Shrine:Vannes Cathedral
Patron of:builders, construction workers, plumbers
Famous Dominican missionary, born at Valencia, 23 January, 1350; died at Vannes, Brittany, 5 April, 1419. He was descended from the younger of two brothers who were knighted for their valour in the conquest of Valencia, 1238. In 1340 Vincent's father, William Ferrer, married Constantia Miguel, whose family had likewise been ennobled during the conquest of Valencia. Vincent was their fourth child. A brother, not unknown to history, was Boniface Ferrer, General of the Carthusians, who was employed by the antipope Benedict XIII in important diplomatic missions. Vincent was educated at Valencia, and completed his philosophy at the age of fourteen. In 1367 he entered the Dominican Order, and was sent to the house of studies at Barcelona the following year. In 1370 he taught philosophy at LĂ©rida; one of his pupils there was Pierre Fouloup, later Grand Inquisitor of Aragon. In 1373 Vincent returned to the Dominican "Studium arabicum et hebraicum" at Barcelona. During his stay there famine was prevalent; filled with compassion for the sufferers; Vincent foretold, while preaching one day, the near approach of ships bearing wheat. His prediction was fulfilled. In 1377 he was sent to continue his studies at Toulouse, where, in his own words, "study followed prayer, and prayer succeeded study". In 1379 Vincent was retained by Cardinal Pedro de Luna, legate of the Court of Aragon, who was endeavouring to win King Peter IV to the obedience of Avignon. The saint, thoroughly convinced of the legitimacy of the claims of the Avignon pontiffs, was one of their strongest champions. From 1385 to 1390 he taught theology in the cathedral at Valencia.
After this Vincent carried on his apostolic work while in Pedro de Luna's suite. At Valladolid he converted a rabbi, later well known as Bishop Paul of Burgos. At Salamanca Queen Yolanda of Aragon chose him for her confessor, 1391-5. About this time he was cited before the Inquisiton for preaching publicly "the Judas had done penance", but Pedro de Luna, recently raised to the papal chair as Benedict XIII, cited the case before his tribunal and burned the papers. Benedict then called him to Avignon and appointed him confessor and Apostolic penitentiary. Notwithstanding the indifference of so many prelates in the papal Court, he laboured zealously among the people. He steadfastly refused the honours, including the cardinalate, which were offered to him. France withdrew from the obedience of Avignon in September, 1398, and the troops of Charles VI laid siege to the city. An attack of fever at this time brought Vincent to death's door, but during an apparition of Christ accompanied by St. Dominic and St. Francis he was miraculously cured and sent to preach penance and prepare men for the coming judgment. Not until November, 1399, did Benedict allow Vincent Ferrer to begin his apostolate, furnished with full powers of a legate a latere Christi. For twenty years he traversed western Europe, preaching penance for sin and preparation for judgment. Provence was the first field of his apostolate; he was obliged to preach in squares and open places, such were the numbers that flocked to hear him. In 1401 he evangelized Dauphiny, Savoy, and the Alpine region, converting many Catharins and Waldensians. Thence he penetrated into Lombardy. While preaching at Alexandria he singled out from among the hearers a youth who was destined to evangelize Italy, Bernadine of Siena. Another chosen soul with whom Vincent came in contact while in Italy was Margaret of Savoy. During the years 1403-4 Switzerland, Savoy, and Lyons received the missionary. He was followed by an army of penitents drawn from every rank of society, who desired to remain under his guidance. Vincent was ever watchful of his disciples, and never did the breath of scandal touch this strange assemblage, which numbered at times 10,000. Genoa, Flanders, Northern France, all heard Vincent in turn. It would be difficult to understand how he could make himself understood by the many nationalities he evangelized, as he could speak only Limousin, the language of Valencia. Many of his biographers hold that he was endowed with the gift of tongues, an opinion supported by Nicholas Clemangis, a doctor of the University of Paris, who had heard him preach.
In 1408 Vincent was at Genoa consoling the plague-stricken. A meeting had been arranged there between Gregory XII and Benedict XIII in the hope of putting an end to the schism. Vincent again urged Benedict to have pity on the afflicted Church, but in vain. Disappointed, he returned to Spain. It would be difficult to overestimate the influence which he exercised in the Iberian peninsula. Castile, Aragon, Valencia, Murcia, Granada, Andalusia, and Asturias were visited in turn, and everywhere miracles marked his progress; Christians, Jews, and Moslems were all lost in admiration of the thaumaturgus. From 1408 until 1416 he worked almost continuously south of the Pyrenees. At different times in Spanish history strenuous attempts had been made to convert the Jewish people, baptism or spoliation being the alternatives offered to them. This state of affairs existed when Vincent began to work among them; multitudes were won over by his preaching. Ranzano, his first biographer, estimates the number of Jews converted at 25,000. In the Kingdom of Granada he converted thousands of Moors. Vincent was often called upon to aid his country in temporal affairs, as the counsellor of kings and at one time the arbiter of the destiny of Spain. In 1409 he was commissioned by Benedict XIII to announce to Martin of Aragon the death of his only son and heir.
After Martin's death, the representatives of the Kingdoms of Aragon, Valencia, and Catalonia appointed Vincent one of the judges to determine the succession to the Crown. At the judgment, known as the Compromise of Caspe, he took the leading part and helped to elect Ferdinand of Castile. Vincent was one of the most resolute and faithful adherents of Benedict XIII, and by his word, sanctity, and miracles he did much to strengthen Benedict's position. It was not until 1416, when pressed by Ferdinand, King of Aragon, that he abandoned him. On 6 January, preaching at Perpignan, he declared anew to the vast throng gathered around his pulpit that Benedict XIII was the legitimate pope, but that, since he would not resign to bring peace to the Church, Ferdinand had withdrawn his states from the obedience of Avignon. This act must have caused Vincent much sorrow, for he was deeply attached to Benedict. Nevertheless, it was thought that Vincent was the only person sufficiently esteemed to announce such a step to the Spanish races. John Dominici was more fortunate in his attempts to pave the way for reunion, when he announced to the Council of Constance the resignation of Gregory XII. Vincent did not go to the Council of Constance; he continued his apostolic journeys through France, and spent the last two years of his life in Brittany, where consciences without number were reformed and instructed in a Christian way of life.
Vincent felt that he was the messenger of penance sent to prepare men for the judgment. For twenty years he traversed Western Europe preaching penance and awakening the dormant consciences of sinners by his wondrous eloquence. His austere life was but the living expression of his doctrine. The floor was his usual bed; perpetually fasting, he arose at two in the morning to chant the Office, celebrating Mass daily, afterwards preaching, sometimes three hours, and frequently working miracles. After his midday meal he would tend the sick children; at eight o'clock he prepared his sermon for the following day. He usually travelled on foot, poorly clad. Among St. Vincent's writings are: De suppositionibus dialecticis"; "De natura universalis"; "De monderno ecclesiae schismate", a defence of the Avignon pontiffs; and "De vita spirituali". His "Sermons" were published at Antwerp (1570), Augsburg (1729), and Lyons (1816); and his complete works at Valence (1591). He was canonized by Calixtus III at the Dominican Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, Rome, 3 June, 1455.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)