Sunday, September 17, 2017

#PopeFrancis "Keep your gaze fixed on Jesus Christ and learn from him how to love with a truly human heart, to care for the lost..." FULL TEXT + Video

Pope Francis address to the General Chapter
 delegates of the Society of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart on Saturday, September 16, 2017, in the Vatican. 
The Society of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) is an international community of religious priests and brothers. The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart minister in more than 50 countries worldwide, with over 1,700 MSCs carrying on the legacy of their founder, Fr Jules Chevalier.
The full text of Pope Francis’ address to the General Chapter members is here below:
Dear Brothers,
          I offer you a warm welcome on the occasion of your General Chapter, and I thank the Superior General for his kind words.  You have met to reflect on the life of your Congregation, and to pray and to discern together the paths that the Lord is pointing out to you.  In this way you will be able to give renewed fruitfulness and effective expression to the charism that the Holy Spirit bestowed on the Church through your founder, Father Jean Jules Chevalier.
          The motto you chose to guide the entire Institute in preparing for this Chapter is particularly significant: “You have kept the good wine until now” (Jn2:10).  You have looked back with gratitude on the cherished legacy of projects and apostolic works that your charism has brought forth in the Institute’s life in these past one hundred and fifty years, thanks to the fidelity of your confreres who preceded you.  At the same time, you are fully aware of its continuing potential to benefit the Church and the world.  By listening to what the Spirit says to the Church today, and by your openness to the questions and concerns of our fellow men and women, you will be able to discover in your authentic charism the wellspring of renewed strength, courageous decisions and creative expressions of the mission you have received.  The changed situation of our world with respect to the past, and the new challenges it presents to the Church’s mission of evangelization, demand and give rise to new ways of offering the “good wine” of the Gospel to many people as a source of joy and hope.
          The original inspiration of your founder was that of spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Today you strive to foster this devotion and to make it bear fruit through a variety of works and activities that witness to the tender and merciful love of Jesus for all, especially those in greatest need.  For this reason, I encourage you, as I do so often with consecrated persons – “to return to your first and only love”.  Keep your gaze fixed on Jesus Christ and learn from him how to love with a truly human heart, to care for the lost and hurting members of his flock, to work for justice and show solidarity with the weak and the poor.  Learn from him to give hope and dignity to the destitute, and to go forth to all those places where people are in need of acceptance and assistance.  This is the first Gospel that the Church entrusts to you by sending you out as missionaries to the world: to show by your lives and by your works the passionate and tender love of God for the little ones, the underprivileged, the vulnerable and those whom our world has discarded. 
          Although your Institute, like many others, has seen a decrease in numbers in these past decades, the growth of vocations in South America, Oceania and Asia has proved comforting and offers hope for the present and the future.  So too the Christian formation of young people, yet another expression of your charism, will be ensured and increased by the works of the Institute.  How urgent it is today to educate and assist new generations to appropriate authentic human values and to cultivate an evangelical vision of life and history!  Many people consider this a true “educational emergency”; surely, it is one of the frontiers of the Church’s mission of evangelization, towards which the entire Christian community is invited to set out.  In continuity with the achievements and undertakings of those who have gone before you, I encourage you to undertake new initiatives also in this specific area of your apostolate.
          The Congregation of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart continues to count among its many members a good number of religious brothers.  In a Congregation religious brothers are a grace from the Lord.  I ask you not to yield to the temptation of clericalism that, as I have often remarked, alienates people, especially the young, from the Church.  May your common life be marked by true fraternity, which welcomes diversity and values the gifts of all.  Do not hesitate to continue and expand your communion with the laypersons who participate in your apostolate.  Let them share in your ideals and projects, and in the rich spirituality arising from your Institute’s charism.  With them, and with the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, you will form an ever greater and stronger “charismatic family”, one that will better demonstrate the vitality and relevance of your founder’s charism.
          May the Virgin Mary, whom you invoke under the title of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, keep you ever close to her Son, ready to do whatever he tells you, and may she protect you with her maternal intercession.  I accompany you, and all your communities with my blessing, and I ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me.  Thank you.

#BreakingNews ISIS Suicide attacks outskirts of City and Kills 74 with many wounded - Please Pray

Nassiriya, an ISIS double attack: at least 74 victims, including Iranian pilgrims

ASIANEWS Release:
The jihadists hit a security checkpoint and a restaurant on the outskirts of the city. Over 90 injured, six militants killed in the clash with security agents. The area is an important means of communication used by Shiite pilgrims to reach the holy cities of Najaf and Kerbala.

Baghdad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least 74 people, including several Iranian citizens, were victims of the twin bombing claimed by militants from the Islamic State (IS, formerly Isis) in Iraq. Jihadist militants hit near the southern city of Nassirya, causing over 90 wounded some of them seriously. They targeted a security checkpoint and a restaurant.
The agents stopped another attack on a second restaurant, triggering a shootout with the attackers; six extremist militias were killed.
Abdel Hussein al-Jabri, deputy head of the Department of Health of the Shiite majority in Dhiqar province, speaks of dozens of victims including seven Iranian citizens. It is the worst attack on Iraqi territory perpetrated by the men of the "Caliphate" since the liberation of Mosul in recent weeks, a longtime stronghold of jihadists in the country.
Local sources report that the attackers were disguised as members of the security forces of Hashed al-Shaabi, a Shiite paramilitary alliance that fights - alongside the army and the police - Daesh [Arabic acronym for IS] in northern Iraq. Nassiriya is about 345 km south of the capital Baghdad and is largely inhabited by Shiite Muslims.
Abu Ali, one of the dozens of people present at the time of the attack, reports that he was heading to the Fadek al-Zahra restaurant together with his wife when, a short distance away, he saw a group of paramilitary groups trying to force their way inside. "We continued to walk in the direction of the venue," he continued, thinking that they were Iraqi troops. A few seconds later we heard gunshots and people screaming. " "My wife - he concludes - shouted 'terrorists' and fled." The assailants then fled after killing most of the customers present at the time in the restaurant.
The carcasses of burnt-out vehicles still lie at  the scene of the twin attack, including dozens of cars, trucks and public transport vehicles. The affected area is crossed by an important communication channel used by Shiite pilgrims and foreign visitors, especially Iranians, to reach the holy cities of Najaf and Kerbala, to the north.
The Islamic State has claimed the attack in a statement on Amaq webite, often used by jihadists to relaunch propaganda and calls to holy war. The text exults for the death of "dozens of Shiites".
The Iraqi Parliament has condemned the "cowardly" gesture that has targeted "innocent people". MPs have not spared criticism of security members inside and around the city, for failing to prevent the massacre.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi army's offensive against Jihadist militias continues, which last week took control of the city of Tal Afar. Now the next goal is the Al-Qaim jihadist bastion, on the border with Syria. Along with the town of Hawija, in the province of Kirkuk, 300km north of Baghdad, it is one of the last IS strongholds in Iraq.

#PopeFrancis "our Father is full of love and wants to offer it to us, but He can’t do so if we close our heart to love for others." FULL TEXT + Video

Before the Angelus:
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
This Sunday’s evangelical passage (Cf. Matthew 18:21-35) gives us a teaching on forgiveness, which doesn’t deny the wrong suffered but recognizes that the human being, created in the image of God, is always greater than the evil he commits. Saint Peter asked Jesus: “how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” (v. 21). To Peter it already seems the maximum to forgive the same person seven times; and perhaps for us it seems a lot to do so twice. But Jesus answers: “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven” (v. 22), that is, always: you must forgive always. And He confirms it recounting the parable of the merciful king and of the merciless servant, in which He shows the incoherence of him who was first forgiven and then refuses to forgive.
The king of the parable is a generous man that, gripped by compassion, condones an enormous debt — “ten thousand talents”: enormous — to a servant that entreats him. However, that same servant, no sooner he meets another fellow servant who owes him one hundred denarii — that is, much less –, behaves mercilessly, having him thrown into prison. The incoherent attitude of this servant is also ours, when we refuse to forgive our brothers. While the king of the parable is the image of God, who loves us with a love so rich in mercy as to receive us, love us and forgive us continually.
Since our Baptism God has forgiven us, condoning an insolvent debt: original sin. However, that is the first time. Then, with unbounded mercy, He forgives us all our faults no sooner we show even a small sign of repentance. God is thus: merciful. When we are tempted to close our heart to one who has offended us and apologizes, let us remember the words of the celestial Father to the merciless servant: “I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?” (vv. 32-33). Whoever has experienced the joy, the peace and the interior freedom that comes from being forgiven, can open himself in turn to the possibility of forgiving.
In the prayer of the Our Father, Jesus wished to insert the same teaching of this parable. He put in direct relation the forgiveness that we ask of God, with the forgiveness that we must grant our brothers: “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12).  God’s forgiveness is the sign of His overflowing love for each one of us; it’s a love that leaves us free to go away, as the prodigal son, but waits every day for our return. It’s the enterprising love of the shepherd for the lost sheep; it’s the tenderness that receives every sinner that knocks at its door. The celestial Father  — our Father — is full of love and wants to offer it to us, but He can’t do so if we close our heart to love for others.
May the Virgin Mary help us to be ever more aware of the gratuitousness and grandeur of the forgiveness received from God, to become merciful like Him, good Father, slow to anger and great in love.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
*
After the Angelus
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I greet you all affectionately, Romans and pilgrims from different countries: families, parish groups, Associations. I greet the faithful of La Plata (Argentina), the officers of the Military School of Colombia, and the catechists of Rho. I greet the participants in the Via Pacis footrace, which has touched places of worship of the different religious Confessions present in Rome. I hope that this cultural and sports initiative can foster dialogue, coexistence and peace.
I greet the numerous young people from Loreto, accompanied by Capuchin Friars, who began today a day of reflection and meditation: you bring us the “perfume” of the Shrine of the Holy House, thank you!  I also greet the Pro Loco volunteers and the walkers who today begin the relay for Assisi. <Have a> good walk!
I wish you all a good Sunday. And please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!
[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT Shared Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

Sunday Mass Online : Readings + Video : Sun. September 17, 2017


Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 130


Reading 1SIR 27:30—28:7

Wrath and anger are hateful things,
yet the sinner hugs them tight.
The vengeful will suffer the LORD's vengeance,
for he remembers their sins in detail.
Forgive your neighbor's injustice;
then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.
Could anyone nourish anger against another
and expect healing from the LORD?
Could anyone refuse mercy to another like himself,
can he seek pardon for his own sins?
If one who is but flesh cherishes wrath,
who will forgive his sins?
Remember your last days, set enmity aside;
remember death and decay, and cease from sin!
Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor;
remember the Most High's covenant, and overlook faults.

Responsorial PsalmPS 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12

R. (8) The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.
He pardons all your iniquities,
heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.

Reading 2ROM 14:7-9

Brothers and sisters:
None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself.
For if we live, we live for the Lord,
and if we die, we die for the Lord;
so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.
For this is why Christ died and came to life,
that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

AlleluiaJN 13:34

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment, says the Lord;
love one another as I have loved you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 18:21-35

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
"Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive?
As many as seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.'
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
'Pay back what you owe.'
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'
But he refused.
Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master
and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?'
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart."