Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Saint November 1 : All Saints Day - #FeastDay

All Saints Day
Feast: November 1
Information:
Feast Day:
November 1

Solemnity celebrated on the first of November. It is instituted to honour all the saints, known and unknown, and, according to Urban IV, to supply any deficiencies in the faithful's celebration of saints' feasts during the year. In the early days the Christians were accustomed to solemnize the anniversary of a martyr's death for Christ at the place of martyrdom. In the fourth century, neighbouring dioceses began to interchange feasts, to transfer relics, to divide them, and to join in a common feast; as is shown by the invitation of St. Basil of Caesarea (379) to the bishops of the province of Pontus. Frequently groups of martyrs suffered on the same day, which naturally led to a joint commemoration. In the persecution of Diocletian the number of martyrs became so great that a separate day could not be assigned to each. But the Church, feeling that every martyr should be venerated, appointed a common day for all. The first trace of this we find in Antioch on the Sunday after Pentecost. We also find mention of a common day in a sermon of St. Ephrem the Syrian (373), and in the 74th homily of St. John Chrysostom (407). At first only martyrs and St. John the Baptist were honoured by a special day. Other saints were added gradually, and increased in number when a regular process of canonization was established; still, as early as 411 there is in the Chaldean Calendar a "Commemoratio Confessorum" for the Friday after Easter. In the West Boniface IV, 13 May, 609, or 610, consecrated the Pantheon in Rome to the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs, ordering an anniversary. Gregory III (731-741) consecrated a chapel in the Basilica of St. Peter to all the saints and fixed the anniversary for 1 November. A basilica of the Apostles already existed in Rome, and its dedication was annually remembered on 1 May. Gregory IV (827-844) extended the celebration on 1 November to the entire Church. The vigil seems to have been held as early as the feast itself. The octave was added by Sixtus IV (1471-84). Catholic Encyclopedia

500th Anniversary of the Reformation - Joint Statement Issued by Lutherans and Catholics

(Vatican Radio) October 31st 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the day on which German theologian Martin Luther published his 95 theses, setting in motion the events of the Protestant Reformation.

To mark the occasion, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Lutheran World Federation on Tuesday issued a joint statement, giving thanks for the spiritual and theological gifts received through the Reformation and recalling the commemorative events that have taken place over the past year.
Exactly one year ago, Pope Francis travelled to the Swedish cities of Lund and Malmo to take part in a joint commemoration of the Reformation alongside leaders of the Lutheran World Federation. A moving liturgy in the ancient Lund cathedral and a joyful celebration of young people in Malmo arena focused on asking forgiveness for the sins of past centuries, while also celebrating the progress of the last fifty years and pledging to step up joint efforts in the service of those most in need.
Commitment to continue the ecumenical journey
One year on, today’s statement recalls those historic events, in particular the commitment by Pope Francis and former LWF president Bishop Munib Younan to continue the ecumenical journey.
The statement says the shared journey of the past fifty years has resulted in “the removal of prejudices, the increase of mutual understanding and the identification of decisive theological agreements”.
While Catholics and Lutherans can still not share at the Eucharistic table, the two Churches acknowledge their “joint pastoral responsibility to respond to the spiritual thirst and hunger of our people to be one in Christ “.
New insights into Reformation
Commemorating the Reformation together in many countries around the world, the statement says, has allowed Lutherans and Catholics new insights into events of the 16th century which led to their separation. Noting the theological progress that was made through the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, the statement says growing communion and shared service are a sign of hope for the world of today to overcome divisions and fragmentation.
The statement concludes with a commitment to continue the journey towards unity, guided by God’s Spirit, in the knowledge that “what we have in common is far more than that which still divides us”.
Please find the full statement below:
Joint Statement by the Lutheran World Federation and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity on the conclusion of the year of the common commemoration of the Reformation, 31st October 2017
On 31st of October 2017, the final day of the year of the common ecumenical Commemoration of the Reformation, we are very thankful for the spiritual and theological gifts received through the Reformation, a commemoration that we have shared together and with our ecumenical partners globally. Likewise, we begged forgiveness for our failures and for the ways in which Christians have wounded the Body of the Lord and offended each other during the five hundred years since the beginning of the Reformation until today.
We, Lutherans and Catholics, are profoundly grateful for the ecumenical journey that we have travelled together during the last fifty years. This pilgrimage, sustained by our common prayer, worship and ecumenical dialogue, has resulted in the removal of prejudices, the increase of mutual understanding and the identification of decisive theological agreements. In the face of so many blessings along the way, we raise our hearts in praise of the Triune God for the mercy we receive.
On this day we look back on a year of remarkable ecumenical events, beginning on 31st October 2016 with the joint Lutheran - Catholic common prayer in Lund, Sweden, in the presence of our ecumenical partners. While leading that service, Pope Francis and Bishop Munib A. Younan, then President of the Lutheran World Federation, signed a joint statement with the commitment to continue the ecumenical journey together towards the unity that Christ prayed for (cf. John 17:21). On the same day, our joint service to those in need of our help and solidarity has also been strengthened by a letter of intent between Caritas Internationalis and the Lutheran World Federation World Service.
Pope Francis and President Younan stated together: “Many members of our communities yearn to receive the Eucharist at one table, as the concrete expression of full unity. We experience the pain of those who share their whole lives, but cannot share God’s redeeming presence at the Eucharistic table. We acknowledge our joint pastoral responsibility to respond to the spiritual thirst and hunger of our people to be one in Christ. We long for this wound in the Body of Christ to be healed. This is the goal of our ecumenical endeavours, which we wish to advance, also by renewing our commitment to theological dialogue.”
Among the blessings of this year of Commemoration is the fact that for the first time Lutherans and Catholics have seen the Reformation from an ecumenical perspective. This has allowed new insight into the events of the sixteenth century which led to our separation. We recognize that while the past cannot be changed, its influence upon us today can be transformed to become a stimulus for growing communion, and a sign of hope for the world to overcome division and fragmentation. Again, it has become clear that what we have in common is far more than that which still divides us.
We rejoice that the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, solemnly signed by the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church in 1999, has also been signed by the World Methodist Council in 2006 and, during this Commemoration Year of the Reformation, by the World Communion of Reformed Churches. On this very day it is being welcomed and received by the Anglican Communion at a solemn ceremony in Westminster Abbey. On this basis our Christian communions can build an ever closer bond of spiritual consensus and common witness in the service of the Gospel.
We acknowledge with appreciation the many events of common prayer and worship that Lutherans and Catholics have held together with their ecumenical partners in different parts of the world, as well as the theological encounters and the significant publications that have given substance to this year of Commemoration.
Looking forward, we commit ourselves to continue our journey together, guided by God's Spirit, towards the greater unity according to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ. With God’s help we intend to discern in a prayerful manner our understanding on Church, Eucharist and Ministry, seeking a substantial consensus so as to overcome remaining differences between us. With deep joy and gratitude we trust “that He who has begun a good work in [us] will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6).

#PopeFrancis “Inside us and in Creation there is an unleashing force: there is the Holy Spirit”, who “gives us hope”. Homily

Pope: you have to 'get your hands dirty' to make the Kingdom of God grow



ASIA NEWS REPORT : "So often we see the preference for a pastoral work of preservation and not one that allows the Kingdom to grow. We stay exactly as we are, tiny, over there where we are safe and sound ... And the Kingdom does not grow. " Within us "there is a force that triggers this: there is the Holy Spirit," which "gives us hope". Concretely, this means to let "these forces of the Spirit" "help us grow" toward the fullness that awaits us in glory.


Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "woe to those who preach the Kingdom of God with the illusion of not getting their hands dirty”, “these people are “custodians of museums”: “courage is needed to cast the Christian seed, and willingness to "get your hands dirty" to mix the yeast. This was Pope Francis message at Mass celebrated this morning at Casa Santa Marta, commenting on the passage of the Gospel of Luke (13: 18-21), in which Jesus compares the Kingdom of God with mustard seed and yeast.
The Pope pointed out that both of these elements are small and yet "have a power" that grows. So for the Kingdom of God: its power comes from within. In the Letter to the Romans, proposed by the First Reading of today, Saint Paul highlights the tensions of life: these are pains, anguishes and sufferings that “are not comparable to the glory that awaits us”. We are constantly confronted with “a tension between suffering and glory”. And in the tensions of existence there is “an ardent expectation” for a “grandiose revelation of the Kingdom of God”.  It is also an expectation of Creation, which “like us” cannot escape transience and it “reaches out towards the revelation to God’s children”. This is the strength that we have within ourselves and that “brings us in hope, to the fullness of God’s Kingdom”; it is the energy of the Holy Spirit.  And it is “hope that brings us to fullness - he explains - the hope of coming out of this prison, from this limitation, from this slavery, from this corruption and reach glory: a path of hope. And hope is a gift of the Spirit. It is precisely the Holy Spirit who is within us and leads to this: to a grandiose thing, to a liberation, to a great glory “. And therefore, the Son of God affirms, “Inside the seed of mustard, of that small grain, there is a force that unleashes an unimaginable growth”. Pope Francis  emphasized, “Inside us and in Creation there is an unleashing force: there is the Holy Spirit”, who “gives us hope”.  
The Pope then illustrated the meaning of living in hope: to allow “these forces of the Spirit to help us grow” towards the fullness that awaits every human being in eternal glory. But the yeast must be mixed and the mustard grain must be thrown, because otherwise that force remains enclosed there and does not expand, so it is the Kingdom of God for it increases “from within”, and “not through proselytism”, he added.   The Kingdom of the Lord “grows from within, with the strength of the Holy Spirit. And the Church has always had both the courage to take and throw, to take and mix, she even feared of doing so. And we often see that we prefer a pastoral care of conservation and not to let the Kingdom grow. But, we remain those we are, little ones, there, we are sure.... And the Kingdom does not grow. For “the Kingdom to grow requires courage: to cast the grain, to mix the yeast”. 
Pope Francis recognized that if you cast the seed, you lose it, and if you mix yeast, you “get your hands dirty”, because “there is always some loss in sowing the Kingdom of God”. But “woe to those who preach the Kingdom of God with the illusion of not getting their hands dirty”, he exclaimed. These people are “custodians of museums: they prefer beautiful things, and not this gesture of throwing to unleash the force, of mixing so that strength may grow”. It is the message of “Jesus and Paul: this tension that goes from the slavery of sin, to be simple, to the fullness of glory”. And “hope is what goes on, hope does not disappoint: because hope is too small, hope is as small as grain and yeast. It is the most humble virtue, the servant “, however, where there is hope, there is the Holy Spirit, who always leads forward the Kingdom of God.  And the Pope concluded by inviting us to ask a few questions: ”today, to ask ourselves if we believe that there, in hope, there is the Holy Spirit with whom we can speak”.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tues. October 31, 2017 #Eucharist


Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 480


Reading 1ROM 8:18-25

Brothers and sisters:
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing
compared with the glory to be revealed for us.
For creation awaits with eager expectation
the revelation of the children of God;
for creation was made subject to futility,
not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it,
in hope that creation itself
would be set free from slavery to corruption
and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now;
and not only that, but we ourselves,
who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
we also groan within ourselves
as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
For in hope we were saved.
Now hope that sees for itself is not hope.
For who hopes for what one sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.

Responsorial PsalmPS 126:1B-2AB, 2CD-3, 4-5, 6

R. (3a) The Lord has done marvels for us.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.
Then they said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.

AlleluiaSEE MT 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 13:18-21

Jesus said, "What is the Kingdom of God like?
To what can I compare it?
It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden.
When it was fully grown, it became a large bush
and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches."

Again he said, "To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God?
It is like yeast that a woman took
and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch of dough was leavened."