Saturday, May 18, 2019

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. May 19, 2019 - #Eucharist in Eastertide - Readings + Video



Fifth Sunday of Easter
Lectionary: 54

Reading 1ACTS 14:21-27

After Paul and Barnabas had proclaimed the good news
to that city
and made a considerable number of disciples,
they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.
They strengthened the spirits of the disciples
and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying,
"It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships
to enter the kingdom of God."
They appointed elders for them in each church and,
with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord
in whom they had put their faith.
Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia.
After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia.
From there they sailed to Antioch,
where they had been commended to the grace of God
for the work they had now accomplished.
And when they arrived, they called the church together
and reported what God had done with them
and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.

Responsorial PsalmPS 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13

R. (cf. 1) I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
 and speak of your might.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Let them make known your might to the children of Adam,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2REV 21:1-5A

Then I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The former heaven and the former earth had passed away,
and the sea was no more.
I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
"Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race.
He will dwell with them and they will be his people
and God himself will always be with them as their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain,
for the old order has passed away."

The One who sat on the throne said,
"Behold, I make all things new."

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.

GospelJN 13:31-33A, 34-35

When Judas had left them, Jesus said,
"Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
If God is glorified in him,
God will also glorify him in himself,
and God will glorify him at once.
My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.
I give you a new commandment: love one another.
As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
This is how all will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another."

Saint May 19 St. Celestine V - Pope who Resigned in 1294 and Died 1296 AD



Born:
1210 at Isneria, Abruzzi, Italy
Died:
19 May 1296 in Ferentino, Italy
Canonized:
1313
Humility raised this saint above the world, and preserved his soul free from its poison, both amidst its flatteries and under its frowns. He was born in Apulia about the year 1221. His parents were very virtuous, and charitable to the poor to the uttermost of their abilities. After his father's death, his mother, though she had eleven other sons, seeing his extraordinary inclination to piety, provided him with a literary education. His progress gave his friends great expectations; but he always considered that he had only one affair in this world, and that an affair of infinite importance, the salvation of his soul: that no security can be too great where an eternity is at stake: moreover, that the way to life is strait, the account which we are to give of all our actions and thoughts most rigorous, the judge infinitely just, and the issue either sovereign happiness or sovereign misery. He therefore made the means, by which he might best secure to himself that bliss for which alone he was created, his constant study. An eremitical state is only the vocation of souls, which are already perfect in the exercises of penance and contemplation. Peter had made the practice of both familiar to him from his tender years; and by a long noviceship was qualified for such a state, to which he found himself strongly inclined. Therefore at twenty years of age he left the schools, and retired to a solitary mountain, where he made himself a little cell under ground, but so small that he could scarce stand or lie down in it. Here he lived three years in great austerities, during which he was often assailed by violent temptations; but these he overcame by the help of such practices and austerities as the grace of God suggested to him. Notwithstanding the care he took to sequester himself from the world, he was discovered, and some time after compelled to enter into holy orders. He was ordained priest at Rome; but in 1246 returned into Abruzzo, and lived five years in a cave on mount Morroni, near Sulmona. He received great favors from heaven, the usual recompense of contemplative souls who have crucified their affections to this world: but then they are purchased through severe interior trials; and with such Peter was frequently visited. He was also molested with nocturnal illusions during his sleep, by which he was almost driven to despair, insomuch that he durst not say mass, and once determined to abandon his solitude; but was encouraged by the advice of a religious man, his confessor, who assured him that it was no more than a stratagem of the enemy, by which he could not be hurt if he despised it. For further satisfaction, he determined to go to Rome to consult the pope on that subject, and received great comfort by a vision he was favored with on the road; a certain holy abbot lately deceased appearing to him, who gave him the same counsel, and ordered him to return to his cell and offer every day the holy sacrifice, which he accordingly did. The wood on his mountain being cut down in 1251, he with two companions removed to mount Magella. There, with the boughs of trees and thorns, these three servants of God made themselves a little enclosure and cells, in which they enjoyed more solid pleasure than the great ones of the world can find in their stately palaces and gardens. The devil sometimes endeavored to disturb them; but they triumphed over his assaults. Many others were desirous to put themselves under his direction; but the saint alleged his incapacity to direct others. However, his humility was at length overcome, and he admitted those who seemed the most fervent.

Peter spent always the greatest part of the night in prayer and tears which he did not interrupt, while he was employed in the day in corporal labor or in copying books. His body he always treated as a most dangerous domestic enemy. He never ate flesh; he fasted every day except Sunday. He kept four lents in the year, during three of which, and on all Fridays, he took nothing but bread and water, unless it were a few cabbage leaves in lieu of bread. The bread which he used was so hard, that it could only be chopped in pieces. His austerities were excessive, till he was admonished in a vision not to destroy that body which his duty to God required him to support. If the Holy Ghost sometimes conducted the saints by extraordinary paths, we must learn from their fervor the condemnation of our sloth, who dare undertake nothing for the sake of virtue, and who shrink often under indispensable duties. St. Peter wore a shirt of horse-hair full of knots, and a chain of iron about his waist. He lay on the ground, or on a board, with a stone or log of wood for a pillow. It was his chiefest care always to nourish his soul with heavenly contemplation and prayer; yet he did not refuse to others the comfort of his spiritual succors. He gave advice, except on Wednesdays and Fridays, and during his rents, which he passed in inviolable silence. Finding his solitude too much disturbed, he went with some of his disciples to a cavern which was almost inaccessible on the top of mount Magella. This did but increase the ardor of others to pursue him. Wherefore he returned to mount Morroni, where many lived in scattered cells under his direction, till he assembled them in a monastery; and in 1271 obtained of pope Gregory X. the approbation of his religious order, under the rule of St. Bennet, which he restored to its primitive severity. The saint lived to see thirty-six monasteries, and six hundred monks and nuns; and this institute has been since propagated over all Europe, but is at present much mitigated.
Upon the death of Nicholas IV. the see of Rome continued vacant two years and three months, when the cardinals assembled at Perugia unanimously chose our saint for his successor, out of pure regard for his eminent sanctity. This election, on account of its disinterestedness, met with a general applause, and the saint seemed the only person afflicted on the occasion. He was indeed alarmed beyond measure at the news; and finding all the reasons he could allege for his declining the charge ineffectual, betook himself to flight in company with Robert, one of his monks, but was intercepted. He would gladly have engaged Robert still to attend him, but the good monk excused himself by an answer worthy of a disciple of the saint: "Compel me not," says he, "to throw myself upon your thorns. I am the companion of your flight, not of your exaltation." Peter thereupon dropped his request, and sighing before God, returned to Morroni, where the kings of Hungary and Naples, besides many cardinals and princes, waited for him. Thence he proceeded to the neighboring cathedral of Aquila, to be ordained bishop of Rome, being accompanied by the two kings, and an incredible number of princes and others; yet could not be prevailed upon to travel any other way than riding on an ass: he even thought it a great deal that he did not go on foot, as he desired to do. He was consecrated and crowned at Aquila on the 29th of August, taking the name of Celestine V., from an allusion to the Latin name of heaven, where he always dwelt in his heart: his monks have been distinguished by the name of Celestines ever since. Charles, king of Naples, persuaded him to go with him to his capital, to regulate certain ecclesiastical affairs of that kingdom, and to fill the vacant benefices. The new pope disgusted many of the cardinals by employing strangers in the conducting matters, the care of which had been usually intrusted to them. He was sometimes led by others into mistakes, which gave occasion to complaints, and increased his own scruples for having taken upon him so great a charge, to which he found himself unequal; especially on account of his want of experience in the world, and his not having studied the canon law. He continued his former austerities, and built himself a cell of boards in the midst of his palace, where he lived in solitude amidst the crowds which surrounded him, humble on the pinnacle of honor, and poor in the midst of riches. He shut himself up to spend the Advent in retirement, that he might prepare himself for Christmas, having committed the care of the church to three cardinals. This again was an occasion of fresh scruples, when he reflected that a pastor is bound himself to a personal attendance on the duties of his charge. These fears of conscience, the weight of his dignity, which he felt every day more and more insupportable, and the desire of enjoying himself in solitude, moved him at length to deliberate whether he might not resign his dignity. He consulted cardinal Benedict Cajetan, a person the best skilled in the canon law, and others, who agreed in their advice, that it was in the power of a pope to abdicate. When this became public, many vigorously opposed the motion; but no solicitations or motives could make the holy man alter his resolution. Wherefore, some days after, he held at Naples a consistory of the cardinals, at which the king of Naples and many others were present: before them he read the solemn act of his abdication, then laid aside his pontifical robes and ornaments, put on his religious habit, came down from his throne, and cast himself at the feet of the assembly, begging pardon for his faults, and exhorting the cardinals to repair them in the best manner they were able, by choosing a worthy successor to St. Peter. Thus, having sat in the chair four months, he abdicated the supreme dignity in the church, on the 13th of December, 1294, with greater joy than the most ambitious man could mount the throne of the richest empire in the world. This the cheerfulness of his countenance evidenced, no less than his words. Cardinal Benedict Cajetan, the ablest civilian and canonist of his age, was chosen in his place, and crowned at Rome on the 16th of January following.

Men, as it usually happens on such occasions, were divided in their sentiments with regard to this extraordinary action, of which we see a specimen in the writings of those great men who in that age began to restore at Florence the true taste of polite literature. Dante, who has stained his reputation with many blots in his moral and civil conduct, and his works with many falsities and unjust prepossessions, ascribes this cession of Celestine to pusillanimity. But this base censure is justly chastised by his country man Petrarch, who passed his unjust and glorious banishment at Vaucluse near Avignon, respected by the whole world, till he was courted by his fellow-citizens to honor his native country again with his presence, though he preferred to it a retirement to Papua. This great man, speaking of the abdication of our holy pope, says: "This action I call a sublime and heavenly fortitude, which he only possesses who knows the emptiness of all worldly dignities. The contempt of honors arises from a heroic courage, not from a want of that virtue; as the desire of them shows that a soul raiseth not herself above herself."

St. Celestine immediately stole away privately to his monastery of the Holy Ghost, at Morroni. But several who were offended at some acts of justice and necessary severity in the new pope, raised various reports, as if he had by ambition and fraud supplanted Celestine: others advanced that a pope could not resign his dignity. Boniface, moreover, was alarmed at the multitudes which resorted to Morroni to see Celestine, on account of the great reputation of his sanctity; and fearing he might be made a handle of by designing men, the consequence whereof might be some disturbance in the church, he entreated the king of Naples to send him to Rome. The saint, seeing that he could not be permitted to return to his cell, betook himself to flight, and put to sea, with a view to cross the Adriatic gulf; but was driven back by contrary winds into the harbor of Vieste, where he was secured by the governor, pursuant to an order of the king of Naples, and conducted to pope Boniface at Anagni. Boniface kept him some time in his own palace, often discoursing with him, that he might discover if he had ever consented to those that called his abdication null and invalid. The saint's unfeigned simplicity bearing evidence to the contrary, many advised the pope to set him at liberty, and send him to his monastery. But Boniface, alleging the danger of tumults and of a schism, confined him in the citadel of Fumone, nine miles from Anagni, under a guard of soldiers. The authors of the life of the saint say, that he there suffered many insults and hardships, which yet never drew from his mouth the least word of complaint. On the contrary, he sent word to Boniface, by two cardinals who came to see him, that he was content with his condition, and desired no other. He used to say, with wonderful tranquillity: "I desired nothing in the world but a cell; and a cell they have given me." He sang the divine praises almost without interruption, with two of his monks who were assigned him for his companions. On Whit-Sunday, in 1296, after he had heard mass with extraordinary fervor, he told his guards that he should die before the end of the week. He immediately sickened of a fever, and received extreme unction. Even in that dying condition he would never suffer a little straw to be strewed on the hard boards upon which he always lay, and prayed without interruption. On Saturday, the 19th of May, finishing the last psalm of lauds at those words, Let every spirit praise the Lord, he calmly closed his eyes to this world, and his soul passed to the company of the angels, he being seventy-five years old. During his ten months' imprisonment he never abated any thing of his ordinary austerities. Pope Boniface, with all the cardinals, performed his funeral obsequies at St. Peter's. His body was sumptuously buried at Ferentino; but was afterwards translated to Aquila, and is kept in the church of the Celestines near that city. Many miracles are authentically recorded of him, and he was canonized by Clement V., in 1313. Boniface fell into great calamities. Philip the Fair, Icing of France, who was his declared enemy, sent a body of troops, under the command of William Noggret, to support the conspiracy of Stephen and Chiarra Colonna against him, by whom he was made prisoner at Anagni. After much ill-treatment, he was rescued out of their hands by the Ursini from Rome; but died soon after of grief, in 1303.

A spirit of retirement, or a love of holy solitude and its exercises, and an habitual interior recollection, are essential to piety and a true Christian life. Some, by a particular call of God, dedicate themselves to his service in a state of perfect solitude, in which the first motive may be self-defence of preservation. In the world, snares are laid everywhere for us, and its lusts often endeavor to court and betray us, and the torrent of its example, or the violence of its persecutions, to drive and force us into death. Whoever, therefore, prudently fears that he is not a match for so potent an enemy, may, nay sometimes ought, to retire from the world. This is not to decline the service of God or man, but sin and danger: it is not to prefer ease and security before industry and labor, but before a rash presumption and a fatal overthrow. But entire solitude is a safer state only to those who are animated with such a love and esteem for all its exercises as give an assurance of their constant fervor in them; also who seriously cultivate interior solitude of mind, and will never suffer it to gad abroad after the objects of worldly affairs, vanities, or pleasures: lastly, whose souls are free from envy, emulation, ambition, desire of esteem, and all other busy and turbulent passions, which cannot fail by desires and hankerings to discompose the mind, and muddy the pure stream, and adulterate the relish of a retired life. The soul must be reduced to its native purity and simplicity, before it will be able to taste the blessings of true liberty, of regular devotion, and elevated meditation.

Secondly: An indication that God designs certain persons for retirement, is the discovery of talents fitted for this state rather than for any public station. For there are active and contemplative gifts. Those who are destined by heaven to a retired life, in it become most eminently serviceable to the world,  by proving excellent examples of innocence, and the perfect spirit of every Christian virtue, and by their prayers and continual pure homages of praise and thanksgivings to God, from which others may reap far more valuable benefits than from the labors of the learned or the bountiful alms of the rich. Thus the world never loses a member, but enjoys Its service in its proper place, and the most effectual manner, says an ingenious Protestant writer; who adds, that such a one retires not from the world to avoid its service, but its fooleries.

Thirdly: The same author observes, that the main end of retirement ought always to be to dedicate ourselves entirely to God by the exercises of compunction and holy contemplation. This may be easily demonstrated both from reason and religion, and from the examples of so many illustrious saints. Retirement is recommended by particular motives to persons who, after going through the station of a public life, are at liberty to embrace it in order to fit themselves for eternity. Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler##

Free Movie : "Karol : A Man who became Pope" on the Life of St. John Paul II - #JPII

"Karol: A Man Who Became Pope" (2005) "Karol, un uomo diventato Papa" (original title) TV Movie - 186 min - Biography | Drama - 15 August 2005 (USA) The life of the Pope John-Paul II, from his youth as a writer, actor, and athlete in war-torn occupied Poland to his election as Pope at the age of 58. Director: Giacomo Battiato Writers: Giacomo Battiato (screenplay), Gianfranco Svidercoschi (book) Stars: Piotr Adamczyk, Malgorzata Bela, Ken Duken
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Pope Francis tells Food Banks "..even if evil is at large in the world, with God’s help and the good will...the world can be a better place."





ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN FOOD BANKS FEDERATION
Consistory Hall
Saturday, 18 May 2019

Dear Friends,
After having heard what your President said, I felt the temptation not to speak, because he spoke like a Holy Father! Thank you, because I understood that what you said were words from the heart.  Thank you!
I greet you warmly, and through you I would like to greet all the members and volunteers of the Food Banks of Europe.  I am happy to welcome you at the conclusion of your annual meeting held here in Rome on the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of the Food Bank of Italy: congratulations on your anniversary!
I would like to thank you for what you do: providing food to those who are hungry.  This does not mean merely offering benefits but rather providing an initial tangible gesture of accompaniment on the path of liberation.  When I look at you, I can visualize the commitment of so many people who work quietly without reward, offering so much help.  It is always easy to speak about others; it is much harder to give to others, and yet this is what matters.  You get involved not with words, but with real life, because you are fighting against food wastage, salvaging what would have gone to waste.  You take what is thrown into the vicious cycle of waste and insert it into the “virtuous circle” of good use.  Your work is like that of trees – this is the image that comes to mind – which breathe in pollution but give back oxygen.  And like trees, you do not keep the oxygen: you distribute the quantity required for living so that it reaches those in need.
Fighting against the terrible scourge of hunger means also fighting waste.  Waste reveals an indifference towards things and towards those who go without.  Wastefulness is the crudest form of discarding.  I think of the moment when Jesus, after the distribution of the loaves to the crowd, asks for the scraps to be gathered up, so that nothing would go to waste (cf. Jn 6:12).  Gathering in order to redistribute; not production that leads to waste.  To throw food away means to throw people away.  It is scandalous today not to notice how precious food is as a good, and how so much good ends up so badly.
Wasting what is good is a nasty habit that can insinuate itself anywhere, even in charitable works.  At times, good initiatives guided by the best intentions can get frustrated by extended bureaucracy, excessive administrative costs, or become forms of welfare that do not lead to authentic development.  In today’s complex world it is important that good is done well, and that it is not the fruit of improvisation; it requires intelligence, the capacity for planning and continuity.  It needs an integrated vision, of persons who stand together: it is difficult to do good while not caring for each other.  In this sense, your experiences, even recent ones, take us back to the roots of solidarity in Europe; for they seek unity within concrete goodness.  It is good to see languages, beliefs, traditions and different approaches converging, not for self-interest, but rather to give dignity to others.  The work you do, without many words, sends a clear message: it is not by seeking our own advantage that we build the future; the progress of all advances each time we walk with those who are left behind.
The economy has a profound need of this.  Everything is connected and rapid today, but the frenetic scramble for money is accompanied by an interior frailty that is ever more acute, and by an increasingly evident disorientation and loss of meaning.  What I care about is an economy that is more humane, that has a soul, and not a reckless machine that crushes human beings.  Too many people today are without work, dignity or hope; and still others are oppressed by inhuman demands of production that empty human relations and have a negative impact on both family and personal life.  Sometimes, when I exercise the ministry of Confession, there are young people who have children, and I ask them: “Do you play with your children?”  And many times the answer is: “Father, I don’t have time... When I leave home to go to work they are still asleep, and when I return home they are already in bed”.  This is inhuman: this vertigo of inhuman work.  The economy that was established to “look after the home”, has become dehumanized; instead of serving humanity, it enslaves us, subjugates us to monetary mechanisms that are ever more distant from real life and increasingly difficult to control.  Financial mechanisms are “liquid”, they are “gaseous”, they have no consistency.  How can we live comfortably when human persons are being reduced to numbers, when statistics replace human faces, when lives depend on stock markets? 
What can we do?  Faced with an economic situation that is ailing, we cannot intervene with brute force and risk causing death.  Yet we must find a cure: not by creating instability or dreaming of the past, but rather supporting what is good and taking up paths of solidarity, being constructive.  We must come together to relaunch what is good, knowing full well that, even if evil is at large in the world, with God’s help and the good will of so many like yourselves, the world can be a better place.  We need to support those who wish to change things for the better; we need to encourage models of growth based on social equality, on the dignity of human persons, on families, on the future of young people, on respect for the environment.  A circular economy is no longer something we can put off.  Waste cannot be the last word bequeathed to posterity by the well-off few, while the majority of humanity remains silent. 
With these expressions of concern and hope that I wanted to share with you, I extend to you once more my gratitude and I encourage you to go forward, involving everyone you meet, especially the youth, so that they can join you in promoting the good, to the advantage of all.

Thank you!
Text Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Trans. - Image source: Vatican.va

#BreakingNews Missouri and Louisiana Legislatures pass Pro-Life Bills protecting Unborn once a Heartbeat is Detected


Life News reports that the Missouri legislature passed a major pro-life bill Thursday that would ban abortions after unborn babies have detectable heartbeats.

The Senate approved the bill in a 24-10 vote early Thursday and the House put the finishing touches on the bill Friday. Republican Gov. Mike Parson supports the legislation and is expected to sign it into law.

“Until the day that we no longer have abortions in this country, I will never waver in the fight for life,” Parson said during a Wednesday pro-life rally.

The Missouri health department indicates 3,903 babies were killed in abortions in the state in 2017 and 119 of those were babies killed after 20 weeks.


The bill declares the state of Missouri and all its political subdivisions a “sanctuary of life” and bans discriminatory abortions for reasons of sex, race, or Down syndrome, it requiring abortionists to have adequate malpractice insurance, and more. The bill now returns to the House for final approval.
It also requires that a minor notify both parents before she has an abortion.

“Don’t lose your commitment to protecting life. Because until the day that we no longer have abortions in this country, I will never waver in the fight for life,” Parson said.

Louisiana is also moving forward with a bill that would ban abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat begins as a Senate committee and a House committee both passed the legislation.

The Heartbeat Bill, when it goes into effect, will prohibit abortion when a human heartbeat can be detected. An abdominal ultrasound can detect a heartbeat between eight and twelve weeks.

The measure is Senate Bill 184 by Sen. John Milkovich, D-Shreveport, and Louisiana’s proposed bill is modeled after a similar Mississippi law that is being debated in a federal appeals court. It would only go into effect if the Mississippi bill is upheld.

“States across the nation are saying, ‘We are no longer going to devalue life,” Milkovich said. “We are going to acknowledge the sanctity of human life.’”

Pro-Life Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is likely to sign it into law.

“We feel like this bill is an important statement about Louisiana’s devotion to the unborn,” Milkovich said. “This bill is a step forward in our efforts to protect life.”
Edited and shortened from combined reports by LifeNews.com

Happy 99th Birthday Saint Pope John Paul II - Born on May 18, 1920 in Poland as Karol Wojtyla - #JP2

Pope John Paul II, who was born in Poland on May 18, 1920, reigned as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from October 16, 1978 until his death on April 2, 2005.
He was born in Wadowice, Poland with the name: Karol Jozef Wojtyla.
His father was Karol Wojtyla, an officer in the Polish Army and his mother was Emilia Wojtyla.
His mother's maiden surname was Scholz. Emilia, who was a schoolteacher, died in childbirth in 1929, when Wojtyła was eight years old. His elder sister Olga had died before his birth, and his brother Edmund, nicknamed Mundek, was 13 years his senior. Edmund's work as a physician led to his death from scarlet fever.
Karol received a doctorate in Philosophy and a Doctorate in Sacred Theology, Jagiellonian University. Saint Pope John Paul II was canonized on April 27, 2013, at a celebration in Saint Peter's Square, presided by Pope Francis. His Feast day is October 22. He wrote: Apostolic Letters‎: ‎45 Encyclicals‎: ‎14 Apostolic Exhortations‎: ‎14. He was the first non-Italian Pope in 400 years. Pope John Paul II was famous for his influence in bringing down the wall in Germany and fighting Communism. (in the pic. below Pope Francis kneels in prayer before the tomb of St. John Paul II)

Pope Francis explains "the first motivation to evangelize is the love of Jesus that we have received..." FULL TEXT


SPEECH OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE GENERAL CHAPTER
OF THE SOCIETY OF AFRICAN MISSIONS

Hall of the Consistory
Friday, 17 May 2019


Dear brothers and sisters,

I welcome you, members of the Society of African Missions, on the occasion of your General Assembly held in Rome. This meeting allows me to thank the Lord for the great work of evangelization that you carry out in Africa, especially among the most remote rural populations, where the Christian community is still fragile or non-existent. I also welcome your willingness to develop new forms of presence among people of African origin in other parts of the world, with particular attention to migrants.

These new pastoral horizons are the sign of the vitality of the Holy Spirit who lives in you and who urges you to respond to the "ever new challenges of the Church's evangelizing mission" to "reach all the peripheries that need the light of the Gospel" (Esort. ap. Evangelii gaudium, 20). I thank you for your missionary zeal, imbued with courage, which leads you to go out to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ, sometimes putting yours at risk, following in the footsteps of your founding fathers, the Servant of God Melchior de Marion Brésillac and Father Augustin Planque. In this regard, I would like to join in your prayer for your brother Father Pierluigi Maccalli, kidnapped for several months in Niger, and to assure the concern and attention of the Holy See regarding this worrying situation.

This year you wanted to highlight the fact that your apostolic community forms a family, with the Missionary Sisters and the associated lay people. A joyful family, growing thanks to the many vocations in Africa and Asia. This family character is certainly a wealth that you do well to emphasize and develop.

Evangelization, in fact, is always made by a community that acts "through works and gestures in the daily life of others, shortens distances, lowers to humiliation if necessary, and takes on human life, touching suffering flesh of Christ in the people "(ibid., 24). I also encourage you to persevere in your commitment, in close collaboration with members of other religions and institutions, at the service of children and the most fragile people, victims of war, disease, and human trafficking. Because the choice for the least, for those that society rejects and sets aside, is a sign that concretely manifests the presence and solicitude of the merciful Christ. Thus, driven by the Spirit, you can be servants of a culture of dialogue and encounter, which takes care of the little ones and the poor, to contribute to the advent of a true human fraternity.

Faithful to your roots, you are called, as a family and as a family, to witness to the risen Christ through the love that unites you to one another, and with the radiant joy of an authentic fraternal life. I therefore invite you to constantly seek, in listening to the Word of God, in the sacramental life and in the service of the brothers, the means to renew, in each of you, your personal encounter with Christ. In fact, "the first motivation to evangelize is the love of Jesus that we have received, the experience of being saved by him that drives us to love him more and more. [...] Therefore it is urgent to recover a contemplative spirit, which allows us to rediscover every day that we are repositories of a good that humanizes, which helps us to lead a new life "(ibid., 264).

Dear brothers and sisters, I thank you once again for your visit, as well as for the witness you are giving. I encourage you to persevere, with renewed enthusiasm and dynamism, on the path traveled by the Society of African Missions and which has produced many fruits of conversion to Christ. In listening to the Spirit, do not be afraid to open new roads, to show that "God is always new, that continually pushes us to start again and change place to go beyond the known, to the peripheries and the borders" (Exhortation ap. Gaudete et exsultate, 135). With this hope, I entrust your missionary family to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, asking her to support your efforts. I bless you and pray for you. And you, please, don't forget to pray for me. Thank you.
Text Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Trans. - Image source: Vatican.va

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Saturday, May 18, 2019 - #Eucharist in Eastertide


Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 284

Reading 1ACTS 13:44-52

On the following sabbath
almost the whole city
gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy
and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said.
Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said,
"It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first,
but since you reject it
and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life,
we now turn to the Gentiles.
For so the Lord has commanded us,
I have made you a light to the Gentiles,
that you may be an instrument of salvation
to the ends of the earth."


The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this
and glorified the word of the Lord.
All who were destined for eternal life came to believe,
and the word of the Lord continued to spread
through the whole region.
The Jews, however, incited the women of prominence who were worshipers
and the leading men of the city,
stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas,
and expelled them from their territory.
So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them
and went to Iconium.
The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Responsorial PsalmPS 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4

R.(3cd) All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 8:31B-32

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 14:7-14

Jesus said to his disciples:
"If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him."
Philip said to Jesus,
"Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us."
Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it."