Sunday, January 6, 2019

Pope Francis "Today, the solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord is the feast of the manifestation of Jesus..." FULL TEXT + Video

SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

POPE FRANCIS

ANGELUS

St. Peter's Square
Sunday, 6 January 2019


Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today, the solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord is the feast of the manifestation of Jesus, symbolized by light. In the prophetic texts this light is promised: light is promised. Isaiah, in fact, turns to Jerusalem with these words: "Arise, be clothed with light, for your light is coming, the glory of the Lord shines upon you" (60: 1). The prophet's invitation - to get up because the light comes - seems surprising, because it is placed in the aftermath of the hard exile and the numerous harassment that the people had experienced.

This invitation, today, also resonates for us who have celebrated the Christmas of Jesus and encourages us to let ourselves be reached by the light of Bethlehem. We too are invited not to stop at the outward signs of the event, but to start afresh from it and to take our journey of men and of believers in newness of life.

The light that the prophet Isaiah had foretold in the Gospel is present and met. And Jesus, born in Bethlehem, the city of David, came to bring salvation to his neighbors and those far away: to all. The evangelist Matthew shows different ways in which one can meet Christ and react to his presence. For example, Herod and the scribes of Jerusalem have a hard heart, which persists and refuses the visit of that Child. It is a possibility: to close in the light. They represent those who, even in our day, are afraid of the coming of Jesus and close their hearts to the brothers and sisters who need help. Herod is afraid of losing power and does not think of the true good of the people, but of his personal self-interest. The scribes and the leaders of the people are afraid because they can not look beyond their own certainties, thus failing to grasp the newness that is in Jesus.

On the other hand, the experience of the Magi is very different (see Mt 2: 1-12). Coming from the East, they represent all peoples far from traditional Jewish faith. Yet, they let themselves be guided by the star and face a long and risky journey in order to arrive at the destination and know the truth about the Messiah. The Magi were open to the "novelty", and they revealed the greatest and most surprising novelty in history: God made man. The Magi prostrate themselves before Jesus and offer him symbolic gifts: gold, incense and myrrh; because the search for the Lord implies not only perseverance on the path, but also the generosity of the heart. And finally, they returned "to their country" (v. 12); and says the Gospel that they returned for "another way". Brothers and sisters, every time a man or a woman meets Jesus, he changes his ways, comes back to life in a different way, he is renewed, "by another way". They returned "to their country" carrying within themselves the mystery of that humble and poor King; we can imagine that they told everyone the lived experience: the salvation offered by God in Christ is for all men, near and far. It is not possible to "take possession" of that Child: He is a gift for everyone.

We too, let's make a little silence in our heart and let ourselves be illuminated by the light of Jesus that comes from Bethlehem. We do not allow our fears to close our hearts, but we have the courage to open ourselves to this light that is mild and discreet. Then, like the Magi, we will experience "a very great joy" (verse 10) that we will not be able to keep for ourselves. May the Virgin Mary sustain us on this journey, the star that leads us to Jesus, and the Mother who shows Jesus to the Magi and to all those who approach her.

After the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters,

For several days forty-nine people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea are on board two NGO ships, looking for a safe haven to land. I address a heartfelt appeal to European leaders to demonstrate their solidarity with these people.

Some Eastern, Catholic and Orthodox Churches, following the Julian calendar, will celebrate Holy Christmas tomorrow. To them I address my cordial and fraternal greetings in the sign of communion among all of us Christians, who recognize Jesus as Lord and Savior. To all of them, Merry Christmas!

The Epiphany is also the Youth Mission Day, which this year invites the very young missionaries to be "athletes of Jesus", to witness the Gospel in the family, at school and in places of leisure.

I extend my cordial greeting to all of you, individual pilgrims, families, parishes and associations, coming from Italy and from different countries. In particular I greet the faithful of Marsala, Peveragno and San Martino in Rio, the boys of the Cresima di Bonate Sotto and the group "Fraterna Domus".
A special greeting to the historical-folkloric procession that promotes the values of the Epiphany and that this year is dedicated to the territory of Abruzzo. I would also like to mention the procession of the Magi that takes place in many cities of Poland with a large participation of families and associations. And I also greet the musicians of the band that I heard playing. Keep on playing the joy of this Epiphany day.

I wish you a good party to all of you. And please, do not forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!

Saint January 6 ; St. André Bessette : #Brother : Builder of the #Oratory to St. Joseph

BIOGRAPHY OF SAINT BROTHER ANDRÉ
 Holy Cross Brother, known as "Frere Andre," has been associated with thousands of cures. He was the founder of St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal, Canada, which is the world's largest shrine in honor of St. Joseph. He died at the age of 91, then it was estimated that close to a million people came to the Oratory to pay their last respects.
1845 AUGUST 09, 1845 Birth of Alfred Bessette on Grand-Bois Lane in Saint-Grégoire d’Iberville, son of Isaac Bessette and Clothilde Foisy. The very next day, he is baptised in the “chapel/rectory” of Saint-Grégoire Parish by Father Pierre-Albert Sylvestre. 1850 The Bessette family moves to Farnham, Québec. Tragically, Isaac dies, crushed under an axed tree, February 20, 1855. His wife Clothilde dies on November 20, 1857.Alfred, aged 12, moves to Saint-Césaire and receives the Sacrament of Confirmation by Bishop Prince, Bishop of Saint-Hyacinthe. A photo of Alfred is taken for the occasion. Alfred works on a farm, and tries his hand (without much success) at the trades of 1863 Alfred emigrates to the United States and works in textile mills in Connecticut and possibly in Massachusetts and in Rhode Island. 1867 He returns to Quebec. After a stop in Sutton and then in Farnham, he settles at Saint-Césaire where he connects with the pastor, Father André Provençal who introduces him to the idea of religious life. DECEMBER 27, 1870 Alfred becomes a postulant of the Congregation of Holy Cross in Montreal. On December 27, he enters the novitiate; from then on he is known as Brother André, CSC, in memory of Father André Provençal. 1871 DECEMBER 20, 1871 He is given the obedience of “doorkeeper, infirmarian, and lamp tender” at Collège Notre-Dame. His duties also include running errands, caring for the garden, cutting students’ hair, managing the laundry and working as general factotum. 1872 AUGUST 22, 1872 He makes first vows. 1874 FEBRUARY 02, 1874 Brother André pronounces his final vows at the age of 28 and a half years. 1878 He greets sick people in the lobby of the school, provoking scorn, complaints, and controversy. 1878 Publication in a French magazine of anecdotal cures by a Brother André using oil taken from a lamp. 1896 Purchase by the Congregation of Holy Cross of the mountain property across the street from the Collège. Brother André dreams of putting up a wayside chapel there, dedicated to Saint Joseph. 1904 OCTOBER 19, 1904 Blessing of a modest chapel: Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal is founded. 1909 Assigned as full-time caretaker of Saint Joseph’s Oratory, Brother André leaves the Collège after almost 40 years of service. From 1909 to 1936, he greets thousands at his Oratory office, who come seeking hope, reassurance, or even healing. JANUARY 06, 1937 Death of Brother André at 91 years of age, at the hospital in Saint-Laurent. A million persons file past Brother André’s coffin from January 6 to 12. NOVEMBER 07, 1940 Opening the cause for the beatification of Brother André. NOVEMBER 09, 1960 Decree concerning the introduction of the cause in the Roman Tribunal, by Pope John XXIII. JUNE 12, 1978 Paul VI declares Brother André “Venerable”, thereby recognizing the heroicity of the virtues of the Servant of God. 1982 MAY 23, 1982 Beatification of Brother André in Rome, by Pope John Paul II. 2010 OCTOBER 17, 2010 The solemn Rite of Canonization of Brother André in Rome. Pope Benedict XVI introduces Saint André Bessette to the Universal Church. Text shared from Oratory of St. Joseph

Pope Francis at Epiphany Mass "We see revealed the glory of a God who has come for everyone: every nation, language and people is welcomed and loved by him." FULL TEXT Homily + Mass Video


Pope Francis celebrates Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. The official English-language translation of the Pope's homily is below:
Epiphany: this word indicates the manifestation of the Lord, who, as Saint Paul tells us in the second reading (cf. Eph 3:6), makes himself known to all the nations, today represented by the Magi. In this way, we see revealed the glory of a God who has come for everyone: every nation, language and people is welcomed and loved by him. It is symbolized by the light, which penetrates and illumines all things.
Yet if our God makes himself known for everyone, it is even more surprising how he does so. The Gospel speaks of a hum of activity around the palace of King Herod once Jesus appears as a king. The Magi ask: “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews?” (Mt 2:2). They will find him, but not where they thought: not in the royal palace of Jerusalem, but in a humble abode in Bethlehem. We saw this same paradox at Christmas. The Gospel spoke of the census of the entire world taken in the days of the Emperor Augustus, when Quirinius was governor (cf. Lk 2:2). But none of the great men of that time realized that the King of history was being born in their own time. Again, when Jesus, some thirty years of age, made himself known publicly, preceded by John the Baptist, the Gospel once more solemnly situates the event, listing all the “magnates” of the time, the great secular and spiritual powers: Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate, Herod, Philip, Lysanias, the high priests Annas and Caiaphas. And it concludes by saying that, at that time, “the word of God came to John, the son of Zechariah, in the wilderness” (Lk 3:2). To none of the magnates, but to a man who had withdrawn to the desert. Here is the surprise: God does not need the spotlights of the world to make himself known.


When we listen to that list of distinguished personages, we might be tempted to turn the spotlight on them. We might think that it would have been better had the star of Jesus appeared in Rome, on the Palatine Hill, where Augustus ruled over the world; then the whole empire would immediately have become Christian. Or if it had shone on the palace of Herod, he might have done good rather than evil. But God’s light does not shine on those who shine with their own light. God “proposes” himself; he does not “impose” himself. He illumines; he does not blind. It is always a very tempting to confuse God’s light with the lights of the world. How many times have we pursued the seductive lights of power and celebrity, convinced that we are rendering good service to the Gospel! But by doing so, have we not turned the spotlight on the wrong place, because God was not there. His kindly light shines forth in humble love. How many times too, have we, as a Church, attempted to shine with our own light! Yet we are not the sun of humanity. We are the moon that, despite its shadows, reflects the true light, which is the Lord. He is the light of the world (cf. Jn 9:5). Him, not us.

The light of God shines on those who receive it. Isaiah, in the first reading (cf. 60:2), tells us that that light does not prevent the darkness and the thick clouds from covering the earth, but shines forth on those prepared to accept it. And so, the prophet addresses a challenging summons to everyone: “Arise, shine” (60:1). We need to arise, to get up from our sedentary lives and prepare for a journey. Otherwise, we stand still, like the scribes that Herod consulted; they knew very well where the Messiah was born, but they did not move. We also need to shine, to be clothed in God who is light, day by day, until we are fully clothed in Jesus. Yet to be clothed in God, who like the light is simple, we must first put aside our pretentious robes. Otherwise, we will be like Herod, who preferred the earthly lights of success and power to the divine light. The Magi, instead, fulfil the prophecy. They arise and shine, and are clothed in light. They alone see the star in the heavens: not the scribes, nor Herod, nor any of the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

In order to find Jesus, we also need to take a different route, to follow a different path, his path, the path of humble love. And we have to persevere. Today’s Gospel ends by saying that the Magi, after encountering Jesus, “left for their own country by another road” (Mt 2:12). Another road, different from that of Herod. An alternative route than that of the world, like the road taken by those who surround Jesus at Christmas: Mary and Joseph, the shepherds. Like the Magi, they left home and became pilgrims on the paths of God. For only those who leave behind their worldly attachments and undertake a journey find the mystery of God.

This holds true for us too. It is not enough to know where Jesus was born, as the scribes did, if we do not go there. It is not enough to know that Jesus was born, like Herod, if we do not encounter him. When his place becomes our place, when his time becomes our time, when his person becomes our life, then the prophecies come to fulfilment in us. Then Jesus is born within us. He becomes the living God for me. Today we are asked to imitate the Magi. They do not debate; they set out. They do not stop to look, but enter the house of Jesus. They do not put themselves at the centre, but bow down before the One who is the centre. They do not remain glued to their plans, but are prepared to take other routes. Their actions reveal a close contact with the Lord, a radical openness to him, a total engagement with him. With him, they use the language of love, the same language that Jesus, though an infant, already speaks. Indeed, the Magi go to the Lord not to receive, but to give. Let us ask ourselves this question: at Christmas did we bring gifts to Jesus for his party, or did we only exchange gifts among ourselves?

If we went to the Lord empty-handed, today we can remedy that. The Gospel, in some sense, gives us a little “gift list”: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold, the most precious of metals, reminds us God has to be granted first place; he has to be worshiped. But do that, we need to remove ourselves

from the first place and to recognize our neediness, the fact that we are not self-sufficient. Then there is frankincense, which symbolizes a relationship with the Lord, prayer, which like incense rises up to God (cf. Ps 141:2). Just as incense must burn in order to yield its fragrance, so too, in prayer, we need to “burn” a little of our time, to spend it with the Lord. Not just in words, but also by our actions. We see this in the myrrh, the ointment that would be lovingly used to wrap the body of Jesus taken down from the cross (cf. Jn 19:39). The Lord is pleased when we care for bodies racked by suffering, the flesh of the vulnerable, of those left behind, of those who can only receive without being able to give anything material in return. Precious in the eyes of God is mercy shown to those who have nothing to give back. Gratuitousness!

In this Christmas season now drawing to its close, let us not miss the opportunity to offer a precious gift to our King, who came to us not in worldly pomp, but in the luminous poverty of Bethlehem. If we can do this, his light will shine upon us.

Sunday Mass Online : #Epiphany Sunday January 6, 2019 - #Eucharist - Readings + Video

The Epiphany of the Lord

Lectionary: 20

Reading 1IS 60:1-6

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem!  Your light has come,
the glory of the Lord shines upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth,
and thick clouds cover the peoples;
but upon you the LORD shines,
and over you appears his glory.
Nations shall walk by your light,
and kings by your shining radiance.
Raise your eyes and look about;
they all gather and come to you:
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.

Then you shall be radiant at what you see,
your heart shall throb and overflow,
for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you,
the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.
Caravans of camels shall fill you,
dromedaries from Midian and Ephah;
all from Sheba shall come
bearing gold and frankincense,
and proclaiming the praises of the LORD.

Responsorial PsalmPS 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13.

R. (cf. 11)  Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king's son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts;
the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute.
All kings shall pay him homage,
all nations shall serve him.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

Reading 2EPH 3:2-3A, 5-6

Brothers and sisters:
You have heard of the stewardship of God's grace
that was given to me for your benefit,
namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation.
It was not made known to people in other generations
as it has now been revealed
to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:
that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body,
and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

AlleluiaMT 2:2

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
"Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage."
When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,
He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea,
for thus it has been written through the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler,
who is to shepherd my people Israel."

Then Herod called the magi secretly
and ascertained from them the time of the star's appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said,
"Go and search diligently for the child.
When you have found him, bring me word,
that I too may go and do him homage."
After their audience with the king they set out.
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.