Sunday, February 26, 2017

#PopeFrancis "Where we are united in the name of Jesus, he is there....he calls us to devote ourselves fully in the cause of unity and love." at Anglican Church FULL TEXT + Video

Pope Francis on Sunday February 26, visited the Anglican Parish of All Saints in Rome.
Find below the English translation of the Pope's words.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
            I wish to thank you for your gracious invitation to celebrate this parish anniversary with you.  More than two hundred years have passed since the first public Anglican liturgy was held in Rome for a group of English residents in this part of the city.  A great deal has changed in Rome and in the world since then.  In the course of these two centuries, much has also changed between Anglicans and Catholics, who in the past viewed each other with suspicion and hostility.  Today, with gratitude to God, we recognize one another as we truly are: brothers and sisters in Christ, through our common baptism.  As friends and pilgrims we wish to walk the path together, to follow our Lord Jesus Christ together. 
            You have invited me to bless the new icon of Christ the Saviour.  Christ looks at us, and his gaze upon us is one of salvation, of love and compassion.  It is the same merciful gaze which pierced the hearts of the Apostles, who left the past behind and began a journey of new life, in order to follow and proclaim the Lord.  In this sacred image, as Jesus looks upon us, he seems also to call out to us, to make an appeal to us: “Are you ready to leave everything from your past for me?  Do you want to make my love known, my mercy?”
            His gaze of divine mercy is the source of the whole Christian ministry.  The Apostle Paul says this to us, through his words to the Corinthians which we have just heard.  He writes: “Having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart” (2 Cor 4:1).  Our ministry flows forth from the mercy of God, which sustains our ministry and prevents it losing its vigour.
            Saint Paul did not always have an easy relationship with the community at Corinth, as his letters show.  There was also a painful visit to this community, with heated words exchanged in writing.  But this passage shows Paul overcoming past differences.  By living his ministry in the light of mercy received, he does not give up in the face of divisions, but devotes himself to reconciliation.  When we, the community of baptized Christians, find ourselves confronted with disagreements and turn towards the merciful face of Christ to overcome it, it is reassuring to know that we are doing as Saint Paul did in one of the very first Christian communities.
            How does Saint Paul grapple with this task, where does he begin?  With humility, which is not only a beautiful virtue, but a question of identity.  Paul sees himself as a servant, proclaiming not himself but Christ Jesus the Lord (v. 5).  And he carries out this service, this ministry according to the mercy shown him (v. 1): not on the basis of his ability, nor by relying on his own strength, but by trusting that God is watching over him and sustaining his weakness with mercy.  Becoming humble means drawing attention away from oneself, recognizing one’s dependence on God as a beggar of mercy: this is the starting point so that God may work in us.  A past president of the World Council of Churches described Christian evangelization as “a beggar telling another beggar where he can find bread”.  I believe Saint Paul would approve.  He grasped the fact that he was “fed by mercy” and that his priority was to share his bread with others: the joy of being loved by the Lord, and of loving him. 
            This is our most precious good, our treasure, and it is in this context that Paul introduces one of his most famous images, one we can all apply to ourselves:  “we have this treasure in earthen vessels” (v. 7).  We are but earthen vessels, yet we keep within us the greatest treasure in the world.  The Corinthians knew well that it was foolish to preserve something precious in earthen vessels, which were inexpensive but cracked easily.  Keeping something valuable in them meant running the risk of losing it.  Paul, a graced sinner, humbly recognized that he was fragile, just like an earthen vessel.  But he experienced and knew that it was precisely there that human misery opens itself to God’s merciful action; the Lord performs wonders.  That is how the “extraordinary power” of God works (v. 7).
          Trusting in this humble power, Paul serves the Gospel.  Speaking of some of his adversaries in Corinth, he calls them “super apostles” (2 Cor 12:11), perhaps, and with a certain irony, because they had criticized him for his weaknesses even as they considered themselves observant, even perfect.  Paul, on the other hand, teaches that only in realizing we are weak earthen vessels, sinners always in need of mercy, can the treasure of God be poured into us and through us upon others.  Otherwise, we will merely be full of our treasures, which are corrupted and spoiled in seemingly beautiful vessels.  If we recognize our weakness and ask for forgiveness, then the healing mercy of God will shine in us and will be visible to those outside; others will notice in some way, through us, the gentle beauty of Christ’s face.
            At a certain point, perhaps in the most difficult moment with the community in Corinth, the Apostle Paul cancelled a visit he had planned to make there, also foregoing the offerings he would have received from them (2 Cor 1:15-24).  Though tensions existed in their fellowship, these did not have the final word.  The relationship was restored and Paul received the offering for the care of the Church in Jerusalem.  The Christians in Corinth once again took up their work, together with the other communities which Paul visited, to sustain those in need.  This is a powerful sign of renewed communion.  The work that your community is carrying out together with other English-speaking communities here in Rome can be viewed in this light.  True, solid communion grows and is built up when people work together for those in need.  Through a united witness to charity, the merciful face of Jesus is made visible in our city.
            As Catholics and Anglicans, we are humbly grateful that, after centuries of mutual mistrust, we are now able to recognize that the fruitful grace of Christ is at work also in others.  We thank the Lord that among Christians the desire has grown for greater closeness, which is manifested in our praying together and in our common witness to the Gospel, above all in our various forms of service.  At times, progress on our journey towards full communion may seem slow and uncertain, but today we can be encouraged by our gathering.  For the first time, a Bishop of Rome is visiting your community.  It is a grace and also a responsibility: the responsibility of strengthening our ties, to the praise of Christ, in service of the Gospel and of this city.
            Let us encourage one another to become ever more faithful disciples of Jesus, always more liberated from our respective prejudices from the past and ever more desirous to pray for and with others.  A good sign of this desire is the “twinning” taking place today between your parish of All Saints and All Saints Catholic parish.  May the saints of every Christian confession, fully united in the Jerusalem above, open for us here below the way to all the possible paths of a fraternal and shared Christian journey.  Where we are united in the name of Jesus, he is there (cf. Mt 18:20), and turning his merciful gaze towards us, he calls us to devote ourselves fully in the cause of unity and love.  May the face of God shine upon you, your families and this entire community! (Shared from Vatican Radio)

#PopeFrancis "God is for us our great friend, ally, Father, but we are not always aware of it" at #Angelus - FULL TEXT + Video


Before the Angelus   
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning! 
Today’s Gospel page (cf. Matthew 6:24-34) is a strong call to trust in God, don’t forget: to trust in God, who takes care of the living beings in Creation. He provides food for all the animals, is concerned about the lilies and the grass of the field (cf. vv. 26-28); His beneficent and solicitous gaze watches daily over our life. It flows under the goad of so many worries, which risk taking away our serenity and balance; however, this anguish is often useless because it does not succeed in changing the course of events. Jesus exhorts us insistently not to be worried about tomorrow (cf. vv. 25.28.31), reminding us that beyond all there is a loving Father who never forgets His children: to entrust ourselves to Him does not resolve problems magically, but enables us to face them with the right spirit, courageously; I am courageous because I entrust myself to my Father, who takes care of everything and loves me so much. God is not a distant and anonymous being: He is our refuge, the source of our serenity and our peace. He is the rock of our salvation, whom we can cling to in the certainty of not falling; one who clings to God never falls! He is our defense from evil always lurking. God is for us our great friend, ally, Father, but we are not always aware of it. We are not aware that we have a friend, an ally, a Father who loves us, and we prefer to lean on immediate goods that we can touch, on contingent goods, forgetting and at times rejecting the supreme good, namely, God’s paternal love. It is so important to feel Him a Father in this time of orphanhood! To feel Him a Father in this orphan world. We distance ourselves from God’s love when we go in obsessive search of earthly goods and riches, thus manifesting an exaggerated love of these realities. Jesus tells us that this strenuous and illusory search is the reason of our unhappiness. And He gives His disciples a fundamental rule of life: “Seek first, instead, the Kingdom of God” (v. 33). It is about realizing the plan that Jesus proclaimed in the Sermon on the Mount,trusting in God who does not disappoint — so many friends or so many that we believed were friends, have disappointed us; God never disappoints! –;  making us faithful administrators of the goods that He has given us, also the earthly, but without “overacting” as if everything, including our salvation, depended only on us. This evangelical attitude requires a clear choice, which today’s passage indicates with precision: “You cannot serve God and mammon” (v. 24) — either the Lord, or fascinating but illusory idols. This choice, which we are called to make, then has repercussions on all our acts, programs and commitments. It is a choice to be made clearly and to renew continually, because the temptations to reduce everything to money, pleasure and power are pressing. There are so many temptations because of this. Whereas honoring these idols leads to tangible though fleeting results, choosing God and His Kingdom does not always show its fruits immediately. It is a decision that is taken in hope and that leaves to God its full realization. Christian hope is outstretched to the future fulfilment of God’s promise and does not halt in face of a difficulty, because it is founded on God’s fidelity, which never fails. He is faithful, He is a faithful Father; He is a faithful friend, He is a faithful ally.
May the Virgin Mary help us to entrust ourselves to the love and goodness of our heavenly Father, to live in Him and with Him. This is the presupposition to overcome the torments and adversities of life, and also the persecutions, as the testimony of so many of our brothers and sisters shows us.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
After the Angelus
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I extend my warm greeting to all of you, pilgrims of Rome, of Italy and of different countries. I greet the Polish faithful of Warsaw and of other localities, who have carried out a Marian pilgrimage; and, from Spain, those of Ciudad Real and the young people of Formentera. I greet the youngsters of Cuneo, Zelarino, Mattarello and Malcesine, Fino Mornasco and Monteolimpino; the Confirmation candidates of Cavenago d’Adda, Almenno San Salvatore and Serravalle Scrivia; the faithful of Ferrara, Latina, Sora, Roseto degli Abruzzi, Creazzo and Rivalta sul Mincio.
I greet the group that came on the occasion of the “Day of Rare Diseases” — thank you, thank you for all that you do — and I hope that the patients and their families are adequately supported in the not easy course, be it at the medical as well as the legislative level.
I wish you all a good Sunday. Please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and see you soon!
Blogger SHARE from ][Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT - Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

#PopeFrancis "Each day a thousand children die from water-related illnesses and millions of persons consume polluted water" FULL TEXT at Conference on Water

Pope Francis met on Friday with participants in a conference on the human right to water, organised by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences
Please find below the official English translation of the Pope's address:
Address of His Holiness Pope Francis to Conference on the Human Right to Water
Pontifical Academy of Sciences
23 February 2017
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Good afternoon!  I greet all of you and I thank you for taking part in this meeting concerned with the human right to water and the need for suitable public policies in this regard.  It is significant that you have gathered to pool your knowledge and resources in order to respond to this urgent need of today’s men and women.
The Book of Genesis tells us that water was there in the beginning (cf. Gen 1:2); in the words of Saint Francis of Assisi, it is “useful, chaste and humble” (cf. Canticle of the Creatures).  The questions that you are discussing are not marginal, but basic and pressing.  Basic, because where there is water there is life, making it possible for societies to arise and advance.  Pressing, because our common home needs to be protected.  Yet it must also be realized that not all water is life-giving, but only water that is safe and of good quality.
All people have a right to safe drinking water.  This is a basic human right and a central issue in today’s world (cf. Laudato Si’, 30; Caritas in Veritate, 27).  This is a problem that affects everyone and is a source of great suffering in our common home.  It also cries out for practical solutions capable of surmounting the selfish concerns that prevent everyone from exercising this fundamental right.  Water needs to be given the central place it deserves in the framework of public policy.  Our right to water is also a duty to water.  Our right to water gives rise to an inseparable duty.  We are obliged to proclaim this essential human right and to defend it – as we have done – but we also need to work concretely to bring about political and juridical commitments in this regard.  Every state is called to implement, also through juridical instruments, the Resolutions approved by the United Nations General Assembly since 2010 concerning the human right to a secure supply of drinking water.  Similarly, non-state actors are required to assume their own responsibilities with respect to this right.
The right to water is essential for the survival of persons (cf. Laudato Si’, 30) and decisive for the future of humanity.  High priority needs to be given to educating future generations about the gravity of the situation.  Forming consciences is a demanding task, one requiring conviction and dedication.
The statistics provided by the United Nations are troubling, nor can they leave us indifferent.  Each day a thousand children die from water-related illnesses and millions of persons consume polluted water.  These facts are serious; we have to halt and reverse this situation.  It is not too late, but it is urgent to realize the need and essential value of water for the good of mankind.
Respect for water is a condition for the exercise of the other human rights (cf. ibid., 30).  If we consider this right fundamental, we will be laying the foundations for the protection of other rights.  But if we neglect this basic right, how will we be able to protect and defend other rights?  Our commitment to give water its proper place calls for developing a culture of care (cf. ibid., 231) and encounter, joining in common cause all the necessary efforts made by scientists and business people, government leaders and politicians.  We need to unite our voices in a single cause; then it will no longer be a case of hearing individual or isolated voices, but rather the plea of our brothers and sisters echoed in our own, and the cry of the earth for respect and responsible sharing in a treasure belonging to all.  In this culture of encounter, it is essential that each state act as a guarantor of universal access to safe and clean water. 
God the Creator does not abandon us in our efforts to provide access to clean drinking water to each and to all.  It is my hope that this Conference will help strengthen your convictions and that you will leave in the certainty that your work is necessary and of paramount importance so that others can live.  With the “little” we have, we will be helping to make our common home a more liveable and fraternal place, where none are rejected or excluded, but all enjoy the goods needed to live and to grow in dignity. 
Thank you.

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. February 26, 2017 - 8th Ord. Time - A - #Eucharist - Readings and Video


Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 82


Reading 1IS 49:14-15

Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me;
my LORD has forgotten me."
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.

Responsorial PsalmPS 62:2-3, 6-7, 8-9

R. (6a) Rest in God alone, my soul.
Only in God is my soul at rest;
from him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed at all.
R. Rest in God alone, my soul.
Only in God be at rest, my soul,
for from him comes my hope.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed.
R. Rest in God alone, my soul.
With God is my safety and my glory,
he is the rock of my strength; my refuge is in God.
Trust in him at all times, O my people!
Pour out your hearts before him.
R. Rest in God alone, my soul.

Reading 21 COR 4:1-5

Brothers and sisters:
Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ
and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Now it is of course required of stewards
that they be found trustworthy.
It does not concern me in the least
that I be judged by you or any human tribunal;
I do not even pass judgment on myself;
I am not conscious of anything against me,
but I do not thereby stand acquitted;
the one who judges me is the Lord.
Therefore do not make any judgment before the appointed time,
until the Lord comes,
for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness
and will manifest the motives of our hearts,
and then everyone will receive praise from God.

AlleluiaHB 4:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective;
discerning reflections and thoughts of the heart.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 6:24-34

Jesus said to his disciples:
"No one can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink,
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds in the sky;
they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns,
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are not you more important than they?
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Why are you anxious about clothes?
Learn from the way the wild flowers grow.
They do not work or spin.
But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was clothed like one of them.
If God so clothes the grass of the field,
which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow,
will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?'
or 'What are we to drink?'or 'What are we to wear?'
All these things the pagans seek.
Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given you besides.
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Sufficient for a day is its own evil."

Saint February 26 : St. Porphyrius : Bishop of #Gaza in #Palestine



St. Porphyrius
BISHOP AND CONFESSOR

Feast Day:
February 26
Born:
347, Thessalonica, Greece
Died:
February 26, 420, Gaza, Palestine
Bishop of Gaza in Palestine, b. at Thessalonica about 347; d. at Gaza, 26 February, 420. After five years in the Egyptian desert of Scete he lived five years in a cave near the Jordan. In spite of his impaired health, he frequently visited the scene of the Resurrection. Here he met the Asiatic Mark, at a later date a deacon of his church and his biographer. To effect the sale of the property still owned by Porphyrius in his native city, Mark set out for Thessalonica and, upon his return, the proceeds were distributed among the monasteries of Egypt and among the necessitous in and around Jerusalem. In 392 Porphyrius was ordained to the priesthood, and the relic of the Holy Cross was intrusted to his care. In 395 he became Bishop of Gaza, a stronghold of paganism, with an insignificant Christian community. The attitude of the pagan population was hostile so that the bishop appealed to the emperor for protection and pleaded repeatedly for the destruction of pagan temples. He finally obtained an imperial rescript ordering the destruction of pagan sanctuaries at Gaza. A Christian church was erected on the site of the temple of Marnas. In 415 Porphyrius attended the Council of Diospolis. The "Vita S. Porphyrii" of Mark the Deacon, formerly known only in a Latin translation, was published in 1874 by M. Haupt in its original Greek text; a new edition was issued in 1895 by the Bonn Philological Society.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)