Thursday, July 28, 2016

Saint July 29 : St. Martha : Patron of #Cooks , #Housewives , #Laywomen and #Maids

Mentioned only in Luke 10:38-42; and John 11, 12, sqq. The Aramaic form occurs in a Nabatæan inscription found at Puteoli, and now in the Naples Museum; it is dated A.D. 5 (Corpus Inscr. Semit., 158); also in a Palmyrene inscription, where the Greek translation has the form Marthein, A.D. 179. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus are represented by St. John as living at Bethania, but St. Luke would seem to imply that they were, at least at one time, living in Galilee; he does not mention the name of the town, but it may have been Magdala, and we should thus, supposing Mary of Bethania and Mary Magdalene to be the same person, understand the appellative "Magdalene". The words of St. John (11:1) seem to imply a change of residence for the family. It is possible, too, that St. Luke has displaced the incident referred to in Chapter 10. The likeness between the pictures of Martha presented by Luke and John is very remarkable.
The familiar intercourse between the Saviour of the world and the humble family which St. Luke depicts is dwelt on by St. John when he tells us that "Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus" (11:5). Again the picture of Martha's anxiety (John 11:20-21, 39) accords with the picture of her who was "busy about much serving" (Luke 10:40); so also in John 12:2: "They made him a supper there: and Martha served." But St. John has given us a glimpse of the other and deeper side of her character when he depicts her growing faith in Christ's Divinity (11:20-27), a faith which was the occasion of the words: "I am the resurrection and the life." The Evangelist has beautifully indicated the change that came over Martha after that interview: "When she had said these things, she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying: The Master is come, and calleth for thee."
 Difficulties have been raised about the last supper at Bethania. St. John seems to put it six days before the Pasch, and, so some conclude, in the house of Martha; while the Synoptic account puts it two days before the Pasch, and in the house of Simon the Leper. We need not try to avoid this difficulty by asserting that there were two suppers; for St. John does not say that the supper took place six days before, but only that Christ arrived in Bethania six days before the Pasch; nor does he say that it was in the house of Martha. We are surely justified in arguing that, since St. Matthew and St. Mark place the scene in the house of Simon, St. John must be understood to say the same; it remains to be proved that Martha could not "serve" in Simon's house.
Text shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia

#PopeFrancis "Jesus can give you true passion for life." at #WYD2016 - #Krakow2016 - FULL TEXT - Video - Youth Meeting

Pope Francis gathered with over a million young people at Krakow's Blonia Park.
He spoke at a welcome ceremony for young people attending the 31st World Youth Day .The Pope arrived to this welcome ceremony by tram.
Then the Holy Father saw some traditional Polish dance, vibrant songs.
Behind the Pope were images of Jesus, Divine Mercy and drawings of the patrons of this World Youth Day, St John Paul II and St Faustina Kowalska.
Please find below the English translation of Pope Francis’ prepared address to young people at the welcome ceremony of WYD in Blonie, Krakow,
Dear Young Friends, good evening!
At last we are together!  Thank you for your warm welcome!  I thank Cardinal Dziwisz, the bishops, priests, men and women religious, the seminarians and those who have accompanied you.  I am also grateful to all those who made it possible for us to be here today, who “went the extra mile” so that we could celebrate our faith.
In this, the land of his birth, I especially want to thank Saint John Paul II, who first came up with the idea of these meetings and gave them such momentum.  From his place in heaven, he is with us and he sees all of you: so many young people from such a variety of nations, cultures and languages but with one aim, that of rejoicing that Jesus is living in our midst.  To say that Jesus is alive means to rekindle our enthusiasm in following him, to renew our passionate desire to be his disciples.  What better opportunity to renew our friendship with Jesus than by building friendships among yourselves!  What better way to build our friendship with Jesus than by sharing him with others!  What better way to experience the contagious joy of the Gospel than by striving to bring the Good News to all kinds of painful and difficult situations!
Jesus called us to this Thirty-first World Youth Day.  Jesus tells us: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall find mercy (Mt 5:7).  Blessed indeed are they who can forgive, who show heartfelt compassion, who are capable of offering the very best of themselves to others. 
Dear young people, in these days Poland is in a festive mood; in these days Poland wants to be the ever-youthful face of mercy.  From this land, with you and all those young people who cannot be present today yet join us through the various communications media, we are going to make this World Youth Day an authentic Jubilee celebration.
In my years as a bishop, I have learned one thing.  Nothing is more beautiful than seeing the enthusiasm, dedication, zeal and energy with which so many young people live their lives.  When Jesus touches a young person’s heart, he or she becomes capable of truly great things.  It is exciting to listen to you share your dreams, your questions and your impatience with those who say that things cannot change.  For me, it is a gift of God to see so many of you, with all your questions, trying to make a difference.  It is beautiful and heartwarming to see all that restlessness!  Today the Church looks to you and wants to learn from you, to be reassured that the Father’s Mercy has an ever-youthful face, and constantly invites us to be part of his Kingdom.
Knowing your enthusiasm for mission, I repeat: mercy always has a youthful face!  Because a merciful heart is motivated to move beyond its comfort zone.  A merciful heart can go out and meet others; it is ready to embrace everyone.  A merciful heart is able to be a place of refuge for those who are without a home or have lost their home; it is able to build a home and a family for those forced to emigrate; it knows the meaning of tenderness and compassion.  A merciful heart can share its bread with the hungry and welcome refugees and migrants.  To say the word “mercy” along with you is to speak of opportunity, future, commitment, trust, openness, hospitality, compassion and dreams.
Let me tell you another thing I have learned over these years.  It pains me to meet young people who seem to have opted for “early retirement”.  I worry when I see young people who have “thrown in the towel” before the game has even begun, who are defeated even before they begin to play, who walk around glumly as if life has no meaning.  Deep down, young people like this are bored… and boring!  But it is also hard, and troubling, to see young people who waste their lives looking for thrills or a feeling of being alive by taking dark paths and in the end having to pay for it… and pay dearly.  It is disturbing to see young people squandering some of the best years of their lives, wasting their energies running after peddlers of fond illusions (where I come from, we call them “vendors of smoke”), who rob you of what is best in you. 
We are gathered here to help one another other, because we do not want to be robbed of the best of ourselves.  We don’t to be robbed of our energy, our joy, our dreams by fond illusions.
So I ask you: Are you looking for empty thrills in life, or do you want to feel a power that can give you a lasting sense of life and fulfilment?  Empty thrills or the power of grace?  To find fulfilment, to gain new strength, there is a way.  It is not a thing or an object, but a person, and he is alive.  His name is Jesus Christ. 
Jesus can give you true passion for life.  Jesus can inspire us not to settle for less, but to give the very best of ourselves.  Jesus challenges us, spurs us on and helps us keep trying whenever we are tempted to give up.  Jesus pushes us to keep our sights high and to dream of great things. 
In the Gospel, we heard how Jesus, on his way to Jerusalem, stopped at a home – the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus – and was welcomed.  He stopped, went in and spent time with them.  The two women welcomed him because they knew he was open and attentive.  Our many jobs and responsibilities can make us a bit like Martha: busy, scattered, constantly running from place to place… but we can also be like Mary: whenever we see a beautiful landscape, or look at a video from a friend on our cellphone, we can stop and think, stop and listen…  In these days, Jesus wants to stop and enter our home.  He will look at us hurrying about with all our concerns, as he did with Martha… and he will wait for us to listen to him, like Mary, to make space for him amid the bustle.  May these be days given over to Jesus and to listening to one another.  May they help us welcome Jesus in all those with whom we share our homes, our neighbourhoods, our groups and our schools.
Whoever welcomes Jesus, learns to love as Jesus does.   So he asks us if we want a full life: Do you want a complete life?  Start by letting yourself be open and attentive!  Because happiness is sown and blossoms in mercy.  That is his answer, his offer, his challenge, his adventure: mercy.  Mercy always has a youthful face.  Like that of Mary of Bethany, who sat as a disciple at the feet of Jesus and joyfully listened to his words, since she knew that there she would find peace.  Like that of Mary of Nazareth, whose daring “Yes” launched her on the adventure of mercy.  All generations would call her blessed; to all of us she is the “Mother of Mercy”. 
All together, then, we ask the Lord: “Launch us on the adventure of mercy!  Launch us on the adventure of building bridges and tearing down walls, barriers and barbed wire.  Launch us on the adventure of helping the poor, those who feel lonely and abandoned, or no longer find meaning in their lives.  Send us, like Mary of Bethany, to listen attentively to those we do not understand, those of other cultures and peoples, even those we are afraid of because we consider them a threat.  Make us attentive to our elders, as Mary of Nazareth was to Elizabeth, in order to learn from their wisdom. 
Here we are, Lord!  Send us to share your merciful love.  We want to welcome you in our midst during this World Youth Day.  We want to affirm that our lives are fulfilled when they are shaped by mercy, for that is the better part, and it will never be taken from us.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thurs. July 28, 2016 - #Eucharist

Thursday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 404


Reading 1JER 18:1-6

This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
Rise up, be off to the potter’s house;
there I will give you my message.
I went down to the potter’s house and there he was,
working at the wheel.
Whenever the object of clay which he was making
turned out badly in his hand,
he tried again,
making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased.
Then the word of the LORD came to me:
Can I not do to you, house of Israel,
as this potter has done? says the LORD.
Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter,
so are you in my hand, house of Israel.

Responsorial PsalmPS 146:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6AB

R. (5a) Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD, O my soul;
I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God while I live.
R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Put not your trust in princes,
in the sons of men, in whom there is no salvation.
When his spirit departs he returns to his earth;
on that day his plans perish.
R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Blessed he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD, his God.
Who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them.
R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaSEE ACTS 16:14B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Open our hearts, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 13:47-53

Jesus said to the disciples:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea,
which collects fish of every kind.
When it is full they haul it ashore
and sit down to put what is good into buckets.
What is bad they throw away.
Thus it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous
and throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

“Do you understand all these things?”
They answered, “Yes.”
And he replied,
“Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven
is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom
both the new and the old.”
When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.

#PopeFrancis "God saves us, then by making himself little, near and real." #Homily FULL TEXT/Video - Mass in Poland

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday morning celebrated Mass at the Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa, Poland, to mark the 1050thanniversary of the ‘Baptism of Poland.’ Pope Francis fell briefly during the Mass.
The full text of his homily is below
 Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis
1050th Anniversary of the Baptism of Poland
Czestochowa, 28 July 2016
             From the readings of this Liturgy a divine thread emerges, one that passes through human history and weaves the history of salvation.
            The apostle Paul tells us of God’s great plan: “When the fullness of time had come, God sent his son, born of a woman” (Gal 4:4).  But history tells us that when this “fullness of time” came, when God became man, humanity was not especially well-disposed, nor was there even a period of stability and peace: there was no “Golden Age”.  The scenario of this world did not merit the coming of God; indeed, “his own received him not” (Jn 1:11).  The fullness of time was thus a gift of grace: God filled our time out of the abundance of his mercy.  Out of sheer love he inaugurated the fullness of time.
            It is particularly striking how the coming of God into history came about: he was “born of a woman”.  There was no triumphal entrance or striking epiphany of the Almighty.  He did not reveal himself as a brilliantly rising sun, but entered the world in the simplest of ways, as a child from his mother, with that “style” that Scripture tells us is like a rainfall upon the land (cf. Is 55:10), like the smallest of seeds which sprouts and grows (cf. Mk 4:31-32).  Thus, contrary to our expectations and perhaps even our desires, the kingdom of God, now as then, “does not come in a way that attracts attention” (Lk 17:20), but rather in littleness, in humility.
            Today’s Gospel takes up this divine thread delicately passing through history: from the fullness of time we come to the “third day” of Jesus’ ministry (cf. Jn  2:1) and the proclamation of the “hour” of salvation (cf. v. 4).  Time shortens, God always shows himself in littleness.  And so we come to “the first of the signs that Jesus did” (v. 11), in Cana of Galilee.
There is no amazing deed done before the crowd, or even a word to settle a heated political question like that of the subjection of the people to the power of Rome.  Instead, in a small village, a simple miracle takes place and brings joy to the wedding of a young and completely anonymous family.  At the same time, the water that became wine at the wedding banquet is a great sign, for it reveals to us the spousal face of God, a God who sits at table with us, who dreams and holds communion with us.  It tells us that the Lord does not keep his distance, but is near and real.  He is in our midst and he takes care of us, without making decisions in our place and without troubling himself with issues of power.  He prefers to let himself be contained in little things, unlike ourselves, who always want to possess something greater.  To be attracted by power, by grandeur, by appearances, is tragically human.  It is a great temptation that tries to insinuate itself everywhere.  But to give oneself to others, eliminating distances, dwelling in littleness and living the reality of one’s everyday life: this is exquisitely divine.
God saves us, then by making himself little, near and real.  First God makes himself little.  The Lord, who is “meek and humble of heart” (Mt 11:29), especially loves the little ones, to whom the kingdom of God is revealed (Mt11:25); they are great in his eyes and he looks to them (cf. Is 66:2).  He especially loves them because they are opposed to the “pride of life” that belongs to the world (cf. 1 Jn 2:16).  The little ones speak his own language, that of the humble love that brings freedom.  So he calls the simple and receptive to be his spokespersons; he entrusts to them the revelation of his name and the secrets of his heart.  Our minds turn to so many sons and daughters of your own people, like the martyrs made the defenseless power of the Gospel shine forth, like those ordinary yet remarkable people who bore witness to the Lord’s love amid great trials, and those meek and powerful heralds of mercy who were Saint John Paul II and Saint Faustina.  Through these “channels” of his love, the Lord has granted priceless gifts to the whole Church and to all mankind.  It is significant that this anniversary of the baptism of your people exactly coincides with the Jubilee of mercy.
Then too, God is near, his kingdom is at hand (cf. Mk 1:15).  The Lord does not want to be feared like a powerful and aloof sovereign.  He does not want to remain on his throne in heaven or in history books, but loves to come down to our everyday affairs, to walk with us.  As we think of the gift of a millennium so filled with faith, we do well before all else to thank God for having walked with your people, having taken you by the hand and accompanied you in so many situations.  That is what we too, in the Church, are constantly called to do: to listen, to get involved and be neighbours, sharing in people’s joys and struggles, so that the Gospel can spread every more consistently and fruitfully: radiating goodness through the transparency of our lives.
Finally, God is real.  Today’s readings make it clear that everything about God’s way of acting is real and concrete.  Divine wisdom “is like a master worker” and “plays” (cf. Prov 8:30).  The Word becomes flesh, is born of a mother, is born under the law (cf. Gal 4:4), has friends and goes to a party.  The eternal is communicated by spending time with people and in concrete situations.  Your own history, shaped by the Gospel, the Cross and fidelity to the Church, has seen the contagious power of a genuine faith, passed down from family to family, from fathers to sons and above all from mothers and grandmothers, whom we need so much to thank.  In particular, you have been able to touch with your hand the real and provident tenderness of the Mother of all, whom I have come here as a pilgrim to venerate and whom we have acclaimed in the Psalm as the “great pride of our nation” (Jud 15:9).
It is to Mary, then that we, who have gathered here, now look.  In her, we find complete conformity to the Lord.  Throughout history, interwoven with the divine thread, is also a “Marian thread”.  If there is any human glory, any merit of our own in the fullness of time, it is she.  Mary is that space, preserved free from sin, where God chose to mirror himself.  She is the stairway God took to descend and draw near to us.  She is the clearest sign of the fullness of time.
In the life of Mary we admire that littleness that God loves, for he “looked upon the humility of his servant”, and “lifted up the lowly” (Lk 1:48, 52).  He was so pleased with her that he let his flesh be woven from hers, so that the Virgin became the Mother of God, as an ancient hymn, sung for centuries, proclaims. To you who uninterruptedly come to her, converging upon this, the spiritual capital of the country, may she continue to point the way.  May she help you to weave in your own lives the humble and simple thread of the Gospel.
At Cana, as here in Jasna Góra, Mary offers us her nearness and helps us to discover what we need to live life to the full.  Now as then, she does this with a mother’s love, by her presence and counsel, teaching us to avoid hasty decisions and grumbling in our communities.  As the Mother of a family, she wants to keep us together.  Through unity, the journey of your people has surmounted any number of harsh experiences.  May the Mother, who stood steadfast at the foot of the Cross and persevered in prayer with the disciples in awaiting the Holy Spirit, obtain for you the desire to leave behind all past wrongs and wounds, and to build fellowship with all, without ever yielding to the temptation to withdraw or to domineer.
At Cana, Our Lady showed great realism.  She is a Mother who takes people’s problems to heart and acts.  She recognizes moments of difficulty and handles them discreetly, efficiently and decisively.  She is neither imperious nor intrusive, but a Mother and a handmaid.  Let us ask for the grace to imitate her sensitivity and her creativity in serving those in need, and to know how beautiful it is to spend our lives in the service of others, without favourites or distinctions.  May Mary, Cause of our Joy, who brings peace amid the profusion of sin and the turmoil of history, obtain for us the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and enable us to be good and faithful servants
            Through her intercession, may the fullness of time come about also for us.  The transition from before to after Christ means little if it remains a date in the annals of history.  May each one of us be able to make an interior passage, a Passover of the heart, towards the divine “style” incarnated by Mary.  May we do everything in littleness, and accompany others at close hand, with a simple and open heart.

Saint July 28 : St. Samson : Bishop and Confessor : #Wales

St. Samson
BISHOP AND CONFESSOR
Feast: July 28


Information:
Feast Day:July 28
Born:490 at south Wales
Died:565 at Brittany
Bishop and confessor, born in South Wales; died 28 July, 565 (?). The date of his birth is unknown. His parents whose names are given as Amon of Dyfed and Anna of Gwynedd, were of noble, but not royal, birth. While still an infant he was dedicated to God and entrusted to the care of St. Illtyd, by whom he was brought up in the monastery of Llantwit Major. He showed exceptional talents in his studies, and was eventually ordained deacon and priest by St. Dubric. After this he retired to another monastery, possibly after that on Caldy Island, to practise greater austerities, and some years later became it abbot. About this time some Irish monks who were returning from Rome happened to visit Samson's monastery. So struck was the abbot by their learning and sanctity that he accompanied them to Ireland, and there remained some time. During h is visit he received the submission of an Irish monastery, and, on his return to Wales, sent one of his uncles to act as its superior. His fame as a worker of miracles now attracted so much attention that he resolved to found a new monastery or cell "far from the haunts of men", and accordingly retired with a few companions to a lonely spot on the banks of the Severn. He was soon discovered, however, and forced by his fellow-countrymen to become abbot of the monastery formerly ruled by St. Germanus; here St. Dubric consecrated him bishop but without appointment to any particular see. Now, being warned by an angel, he determined to leave England and, after some delay, set sail for Brittany. He landed near Dol, and there built a monastery which became the centre of his episcopal work in the district. Business taking him to Paris, he visited King Childebert there, and was nominated by him as Bishop of Dol; Dol, however, did not become a regular episcopal see till about the middle of the ninth century. Samson attained the age of 85 years, and was buried at Dol. Several early lives of Samson exist. The oldest, printed by Mabillon in his "Acta Sanctorum" from a manuscript at Cîteaux, and again by the Bollandists, claims to be compiled from information derived from Samson's contemporaries, which would refer it to about 600. Dom Plaine in the "Analecta Bollandiana" has edited another and fuller life (from manuscript Andeg., 719), which he regards as earlier than Mabillon's. Later lives are numerous.


SOURCE: the Catholic Encyclopedia 

#PopeFrancis "Cultivate with love the seeds of goodness..." at #Convent in Poland

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday morning made a brief visit to the Convent of the Sisters of the Presentation in Krakow, Poland.
During the visit, the Holy Father met with the sisters of the convent, and some students from the school associated with the facility.
While there, he signed the guest book with a message for the Sisters: “With gratitude for your generous service, I give you my blessing and encourage you in your educational apostolate.  Cultivate with love the seeds of goodness, beauty and truth that God sows in every new generation.”
After his visit, he left for the airport, from where he traveled to Częstochowa by helicopter.