Thursday, July 25, 2019

Saint July 26 : St. Anne the Grandmother of Jesus and Patron of Wives and Women in Labor



St. Anne MOTHER OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Patron of:
Housewives, women in labor, cabinet-makers, and miners
Of St. Anne we have no certain knowledge. She is not mentioned in the New Testament, and we must depend on apocryphal literature, chiefly the Protoevangelium of James, which dates back only to the second century.

In this document we are told that Anne, wife of Joachim, was advanced in years and that her prayers for a child had not been answered. Once as she prayed beneath a laurel tree near her home in Galilee, an angel appeared and said to her, "Anne, the Lord hath heard thy prayer and thou shalt conceive and bring forth, and thy seed shall be spoken of in all the world." Anne replied, "As the Lord my God liveth, if I beget either male or female, I will bring it as a gift to the Lord my God; and it shall minister to Him in holy things all the days of its life " And thus Anne became the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The devotion of St. Anne was known in the East in the fifth century, but it was not diffused in the West until the thirteenth. A shrine at Douai, in northern France, was one of the early centers of the devotion. In 1382 her feast was extended to the whole Western Church, and she became very popular, especially in France. Her two most famous shrines are at St. Anne d'Auray in Brittany and at St. Anne-de Beaupre in the province of Quebec.

She is patroness of housewives, women in labor, cabinet-makers, and miners. Her emblem is a door. St. Anne has been frequently represented in art, and the lovely face depicted by Leonardo da Vinci comes first to mind in this connection. The name Anne derives from the Hebrew Hannah, meaning "grace."

Read more: The Catholic Encyclopedia

#BreakingNews Death Toll from Flooding in South Asia at 660 - with 12 Million Displaced - Please Pray

North India brought to its knees: Caritas activates relief (Photo)
Throughout South Asia the death toll has risen to 660 deaths; of these, 100 in Bihar and Assam. The Catholic association has carried out inspections with other partners and is beginning to distribute first aid kits to around 7 thousand families.


New Delhi (AsiaNews) - North India is on its knees: more than 100 people were killed in Assam and Bihar due to the violent monsoon rains that have been falling since the beginning of the month and nearly 12 million are displaced in the two states, according to updated data shared with AsiaNews by Caritas India.

The picture is dramatic: 90% of families in Assam and 50% of those in Bihar have no drinking water and all water resources (wells and manual pumps) are contaminated. Fr. Paul Moonjely, executive director of the Catholic association, appealed: "I appeal to all people of good will, come forward and help us support the victims affected by massive floods".

The heavy rainfall is devastating not only India but all of South Asia. The official numbers speak of 660 deaths and millions of people forced to leave their homes, trying to save everything possible. Like Mrs. Bimala Brahma, 65, who lived in the village of Dwimugori, district of Chirang (Assam): "I had a small piece of land where I cultivated rice. Now everything is submerged ". The woman is devastated by the pain and the loss of her only means of subsistence: having been widowed for some years, she lived alone in a small house, which was crumpled by the fury of the waters.

Caritas India conducted a survey in the area in collaboration with the Christian Aid and Adra NGOs, and with the support of members of the Inter-Agency Group (consortium of national and international humanitarian agencies) and local officials of the governments of the two Indian states. The objective of the evaluation was to identify the primary needs of the affected populations and start the first aid to deal with the emergency.

The scenario that emerged is bleak: 8,246 villages are under water due to the overflow of the Brahmaputra and Ganges rivers, which have broken their banks and flooded 30 districts in Assam and 12 in Bihar; 31% of families in Assam and 11% in Bihar no longer have a home.

With regards agriculture, the main sector of employment in the region, in Assam alone 179 thousand hectares of harvest were lost; for the State of Bihar there are no data available on the damage caused by the floods, since different areas are still inaccessible even to state inspectors. What is certain, points out Caritas, is that entire Dalit and Adivasi communities (the indigenous groups that inhabit the territory) have lost the "kharif" ("autumn" in Arabic), typical of the monsoon season. This will have serious consequences for their food security and survival capacity.

The educational institutions have suffered considerable damage and almost all the schools have become shelters for displaced persons. According to Caritas, the most affected sector is that of childhood: not only have school exams been lost due to the rains, but above all children need safe centers so as not to become victims of mental and physical abuse and human traffickers.

Caritas surveys have revealed that 44% of families in Assam and 10% in Bihar have immediate need for tents, non-food items such as tarpaulins, sheets, blankets, mosquito nets, ropes and mats. They also serve drinking water, baths and soaps for personal hygiene in order to avoid the risk of disease infection.

Fr. Moonjely assures: "Caritas is working in the field, has carried out an assessment of the situation and started distributing aid to 5 thousand families in Assam and 2 thousand in Bihar. In the coming days we will reach many other families, to whom we will guarantee sustenance and shelter ". (A.C.F.)
FULL TEXT Source: Asia News IT - Image Source: Google Images

Cardinal Tagle of the Philippines Encourages Youth during Homily at Popular Philippine Conference on New Evangelization


Homily of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle during the Send –Off Mass for Volunteers and Staff of Philippine Conference on New Evangelization
University of Santo Tomas
July 16. 2019

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we thank God for bringing us together on this almost rainy day so that in the Eucharist we will experience Jesus’ renewing love and presence. We are renewed by the Word of God, by the Body and Blood of Christ and the spirit formed into our community. And this is a wonderful, now a tradition before the PCNE that we, who are involved in the organization and in the actual holding of the event would first come together to worship, to pray, to give thanks to God and at the end of the Mass to go forth, to evangelize, to be missionaries. And one very concrete way of doing that mission is through this conference on the new evangelization. And our gathering, our Eucharistic gathering is made special because it happens to be the memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. So, to our Lady’s protection and guidance we command ourselves and the PCNE.

Allow me to share a few points and hopefully I could relate them with the PCNE focused on the youth. The Filipino Youth walking with Jesus.

First Carmel, Mount Carmel. It’s a place but more than just being a place especially in the Old Testament. Mount Carmel is always associated with the prophet Elijah’s challenge so the false prophets of the false god on Mount Carmel. The true God manifested His face, His power. So, Carmel is more than just a place that we can locate on the map. Carmel is a place where you need the true God.

At napakahalaga yan ngayon sa tinatawag na New Evangelization. Not only now but from the beginning of creation, of human history, from Genesis. One of the dramas of human existence is, Who is the true God? Remember the temptation, the serpent. How did the serpent innovate, allure Adam and Eve to go against God. Sabi niya, “Kaya kayo pinagbabawalan kumain ng bunga ng puno na yan, kasi pag kumain kayo niyan, you will be like God”. Sino ba ang tunay na Diyos? At minsan lahat tayo ay may ambition, sana ako ang Diyos. At bawat iral, maraming nagagawang mga bagong diyus-diyosan. And part of new evanelization is to go to Carmel, to the many Carmels especially of the youth where false Gods are being presented to them by false prophets. That’s where the walk should happen. Where are the Carmels of today? And can we help the vulnerable youth to discover the true God.

So, kahit saan kayo nakatira ngayon, iisa lang ang address natin, Carmel. Yung mga nakatira sa Mayumi Street, ngayon Carmel Street. Yung mga nakatira sa Arzobispo Street, ngayon Carmel Street yan. At lalo na ang mga kabataan, pumunta kayo sa Carmel ng buhay ninyo. Magpapakita ang tunay na Diyos.

The second point is Our Lady and the wisdom of women, the wisdom of women. The beauty of Carmel was very fascinating to some religious men and they formed religious order dedicated to Our Lady of the beautiful Mount Carmel. So, the wisdom of the women, the mother in leading us to the truth and the discovery of the true God. Of course, we know our Lady. Our Lady who was deserving of God’s will. And most especially the courage to let go of her plans when the true God manifested himself to her. That freedom of heart, to harmonize herself with the will and plan of the true God. Kaya nga siya ay ang bagong Eva. Hindi siya nagdi-diyos diyosan. Hindi niya sinabi yun sa Anghel Gabriel, “E, ang gulo mo naman nakahanda na ang plano ng buhay ko, magpapakasal na kami ni San Jose, huwag mo nang guluhin, ayos na ang plano ko.”

Kapag may plano ang tunay na Diyos, lahat ng plano mo, ano na? Kasi hindi naman ikaw ang Diyos, yung tunay na Diyos. And Mary, the new Eve did not pretend to be God but recognized the true God. And the plan of God, the design of God will always be the priority compared to her plan no matter how good that plan might be.

In the first reading from the Book of Exodus, we see also women, the Levite woman who was very wise, who hid her child to protect the child and the sister of the child watching, “Ano kaya ang mangyayari?”

Then, the daughter of Pharoah moved with compassion upon seeing in the basket is a Hebrew Boy at yung ate, “Gusto mo humanap ako ng mag-aalaga jan sa bata?” Very wise! Dinala naman doon sa nanay nila. E, di ang nag-alaga yung tunay na nanay. And they were very wise talaga, itong mga women dito, talaga naman. The feminine wisdom na talagang nasasalisihan ang Pharoah that focus on saving the life, saving this child out of not only concern but real compassion. And they did not know that this child that they were saving had a place in the plan of God. In their sincerity, in their creativity, they were participating in God’s walk. God is walking. Walking with them and they participated in God’s walk.

Moses, the one that will walk ahead of the people towards liberation. But how he was nurtured by the walk of these great women. And the new Moses, Jesus Christ always accompanied by his mother. Standing there at the foot of his cross after that arduous walk that we call the Via Crucis, the Way of the Cross, the mother walked with her son. And that walk was a participation in God’s revealing action.

Kaya Malaki ang papel talaga ng mga mothers, women in evangelization in this continuing walk in order to proclaim the Good News.

At panghuli po, yung ating tema, Filipino Youth Walking with Jesus. Ilang araw ko na ho iyang pinaglalaruan sa isip ko. Sabi ko nga ano ba ang mga walk ng Filipino youth? Kasi noong nanalo sa Miss Uniiversa yung isang Filipina, sabi nanalo raw siya dahil sa kanyang walk. Ano ba yung tawag sa walk niya? (crowd answered) Ano ho? (crowd answered again) Lava walk. Wag nyo kong…yung hindi ko alam, Lava walk.

Yun ang tanong ko, ano ba ngayon ang mga walks ng kabataang Filipino? Tapos sinasabi natin, there are many walks of life. Life has different types of walking and your state of life is a way of walking. Walk of life. Your mission is also your way of walking. Naku-curious ako. Ano ang mga lakad ng batang Pilipino? Lava! Ano pa kaya? Ano pa?

Sana itong mga darating na araw mamamngha ako. Ako man lang makita ko, ganyan na sila ngayon maglakad. Yan ang lakad. And then what we are saying that the Filipino youth with their walks, walk with Christ. Pero tinatanong ko rin, ano ba naman ang mga lakad ni Kristo? E, maglakad ka ba naman sa ibabaw ng tubig. Maglakad ka sa disyerto o kaya naman matulog ka habang naglalayag. Ang pagtulog ay isang uri ng paglakad ni Hesus. Naglalakad siya, mukha siyang multo. A ghost! Ang daming lakad ni Hesus.

Sana ang mga kabataan ang maging lakad nila yung lakad din ni Jesus pero papaano ba maglakad si Hesus? Lava walk ba rin? Di ba dun sa prophet Mica sabi, “Oh man you know what God desires of you. Do justice, do goodness, and walk humbly with God”.

Sabi po nung isang teacher ko, and kahulugan daw po nung walk humbly with God ay hindi so much yung dahil ang kasama mo ay Diyos, be humble as you walk with God. Tama rin daw yun pero hindi yun ang talaganang ano. You walk humbly with God because God’s walk is humble. So, you walk with God and follow God’s walk you will walk humbly because that’s how God walks. How does Jesus walk?

Yan ang new evangelization. Rediscovering the many walks of Jesus. Discovering also Jesus’ walks in the way the young walk especially the way of the cross leading to the walk of life and light. Via Crusis, Via lucis. Ay exciting ano ho? Iba-ibang walk kaya sa unang araw pa lang demonstrate your walk. Kayong tatlong mariang nandyan, babantayan ko kayo, ano ang walk ninyo? At titignan naming kung yan ay walk ni Christ.

O tama na, baka magalit na ang Lady of Mount Carmel sa akin.

So, we thank God for this opportunity to walk the youth and really the different walks of life and rediscover Jesus’ many creative ways of walking with humankind.
FULL TEXT Source: Veritas 846.ph

US Bishops' Chair calls for Reversal of “Expedited Removal” process which Separates Families - Full Text

Chair of USCCB Committee on Migration Calls for Reversal of the Expansion of Expedited Removal, cites Family Separation and Lack of Due Process Among Concerns

 
July 25, 2019
WASHINGTON— On Tuesday, the Administration significantly expanded the use of a controversial fast-track removal or “expedited removal” process for migrants suspected of being undocumented and includes migrants who cannot prove to an immigration officer that they have resided in the United States continuously for two years or longer. This move by the Administration gives the Department of Homeland Security authority to remove migrants suspected of being undocumented from the United States while circumventing important due process protections. Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin, Texas, Chair of the of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration, issued the following statement:
“I call on the Department of Homeland Security to reverse its decision to expand its policy of expedited removal. This action is yet another escalation of this Administration’s enforcement-only immigration approach, and it will have terrible human consequences. The new policy will allow for the deportation of many more individuals without providing them an opportunity to seek legal counsel and have a hearing before an immigration judge.
Even those migrants who have long-standing ties to the U.S. and have been in the country for more than the requisite two years required under the new policy may now be subjected to expedited removal if they are unable to prove such to the satisfaction of an individual immigration officer.
The implementation of this new policy will have unjust and unacceptable results and lead to more widespread family separation, stoking fear in our communities.”
FULL TEXT Release from USCCB - Image Source: Google Images
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Prayer to St. Christopher for Safe Travels and Motorists - Share #StChristopher 's Prayer!

Saint Christopher Prayer"Motorist's Prayer:" Grant me, O Lord, a steady hand and watchful eye, that no one shall be hurt as I pass by. Thou gavest life, I pray no act of mine may take away or mar that gift of Thine. Shelter those, dear Lord, who bear my company from the evils of fire and all calamity.Teach me to use my car for others need; Nor miss through love of undue speed. The beauty of the world; that thus I may with joy and courtesy go on my way. St. Christopher, holy patron of travelers, protect me, and lead me safely to my destiny.
Saint Christopher's Protection Prayer
 Dear Saint Christopher, protect me today in all my travels along the road's way. Give your warning sign if danger is near so that I may stop while the path is clear. Be at my window and direct me through when the vision blurs From out of the blue. Carry me safely to my destined place, like you carried Christ in your close embrace. Amen.

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 St. Christopher's Prayer
O Glorious St. Christopher you have inherited a beautiful name, Christbearer, as a result of the wonderful legend that while carrying people across a raging stream you also carried the Child Jesus. Teach us to be true Christbearers to those who do not know Him. Protect all of us that travel both near and far and petition Jesus to be with us always. Amen. Join us on

Novena to St. James the Greater the Patron of Arthritis, Veterinarians and #Compostela Pilgrims

Every Day of Novena 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be

First Day
The Call of James (Matthew 4:18-22)

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.
            He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.
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Reflection
Mending their nets on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, James and John look up to see Jesus.  And he calls them to do something totally new—to follow him; and to become something new as well—“fishers of men.”  Why did Jesus choose fishermen for his first disciples?  Perhaps because fishing takes strength, skill, persistence, and patience.  Perhaps because fishermen live amidst the beauty and danger of the natural world, and understand their dependence on God.  Perhaps because fishermen know when to work long, hard hours, and when to rest.  An Apostle needs all these qualities as well.
     When they hear the Lord’s call, James and John respond at once.  They do not ask questions, finish the task at hand, or even consult with their father; instead, “immediately” they leave the old life behind and follow Jesus. For us, too, the call to discipleship usually comes in the midst of the humdrum patterns of our daily lives, when we are least expecting it.  Are we ready to respond to the Lord’s call—to do something different; to become something new?

Second Day
The Sons of Thunder (Luke 9:51-56)

When the days for his being taken up were fulfilled, Jesus resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?"

            Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.

Reflection

Jesus gave Simon a special name – “Peter.”  Jesus also gives James and John a special name, “Boanerges,” which means “sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17).  Scripture scholars tell us that the giving of a new name is a sign of an inner transformation:  think of Abram, who became Abraham, and Jacob, who became Israel.  James and John must have been full of zeal for the Kingdom to receive a name like “sons of thunder.”
    We get a glimpse of that zeal for the Lord’s work in this passage from Luke.  When the people of one town refuse to welcome Jesus, James and John offer to “call down fire from heaven,” to destroy them as Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed when they refused to receive the Lord.  But Jesus “rebukes” them.  That is not the way of the Kingdom.  Jesus invites, but he does not command, and his disciples are to do the same.
How do we respond to rejection?  With the “thunder” of James, or with the peace of Christ?

Third Day
A Child Raised from the Dead (Luke 8:40-42, 49-56)

            A man named Jairus, an official of the synagogue, came forward. He fell at the feet of Jesus and begged him to come to his house, because he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying…. Someone from the synagogue official's house arrived and said, "Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the teacher any longer."

            On hearing this, Jesus answered him, "Do not be afraid; just have faith and she will be saved."
            When he arrived at the house he allowed no one to enter with him except Peter and John and James, and the child's father and mother. All were weeping and mourning for her, when he said, "Do not weep any longer, for she is not dead, but sleeping."
            And they ridiculed him, because they knew that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and called to her, "Child, arise!" Her breath returned and she immediately arose. He then directed that she should be given something to eat.
            Her parents were astounded, and he instructed them to tell no one what had happened.

Reflection

When Jesus raises the daughter of Jairus from the dead, he does not take all of his disciples with him.  Only Peter, James, and John are in the room with the girl and her parents, when, with a word and a touch of the hand, Jesus restores her to life.
            Jesus tells them all to keep silence about this great miracle.  Only when Jesus himself is raised from the dead will the three Apostles understand what it is they have witnessed:  the very power of God, triumphant over evil, over disease and sickness of every kind, over death itself.  James, with Peter and John, is a special witness to resurrection.  He will be able to speak to others the saving words of Christ:  “just have faith.”
James, Witness to the Glory of Christ (Matthew 17:1-9)

Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.  And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him.

            Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, "Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him."
            When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise, and do not be afraid." And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone.  As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, "Do not tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."

Reflection

In the Gospel according to Matthew, the Transfiguration of Jesus comes immediately following his first prediction of his Passion.  This is a hard teaching indeed:  how can the Messiah, the Chosen One of God, the Savior, be crucified?  Peter speaks for all of them when he says, “God forbid, Lord!  No such thing shall ever happen to you” (Matthew 16:22).  Jesus reply is harsh:  “get behind me, Satan!  You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”  The disciples begin to understand that to follow Jesus is to carry the cross.
            But there is more.  Jesus allows Peter, James, and John a blinding glimpse of his heavenly glory.  They see him shining brighter than the sun, speaking with Moses and Elijah; and they hear God’s voice, urging them to listen to what he says.  In glimpsing the Transfiguration of Jesus, Peter, James and John are glimpsing the Resurrection.  Jesus shows them this glimpse to help them understand that for all who follow Jesus, suffering and glory go hand in hand.
Fifth Day
With the Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-42)

            They came to a place named Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray."  He took with him Peter, James, and John, and began to be troubled and distressed. Then he said to them, "My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch."

            He advanced a little and fell to the ground and prayed that if it were possible the hour might pass by him; he said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will."
            When he returned he found them asleep. He said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?  Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak."
            Withdrawing again, he prayed, saying the same thing. Then he returned once more and found them asleep, for they could not keep their eyes open and did not know what to answer him.
            He returned a third time and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough. The hour has come. Behold, the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners. Get up, let us go. See, my betrayer is at hand."

Reflection

The same three who witnessed Christ in glory – Peter, James, and John – witness his sufferings in the Garden of Gethsemane.  As scripture commentator Marie Noonan Sabin observes, the contrasts between the two scenes are poignant.  There, Jesus shone with dazzling light; here, all is darkness.  There, Jesus stood above the mountain; here, he falls to the ground.  There, the Father spoke words of love; here, Jesus asks his Father to take the cup of suffering away from him.
     In this last hour, Jesus does not want to be alone:  he wants his friends at his side.  But these friends, who will scatter when Jesus is arrested, have already begun to abandon him:  they cannot even stay awake to keep him company.
     Peter, James, and John will become pillars of the Church, preaching the Good News far and wide.  Jesus wants these Apostles to be witnesses, not just of the divine signs and wonders he performs, but of his humanity and his suffering.  He wants them to be aware of his weakness—and their own.  Perhaps that is why the sacrament of penance is such an important part of our faith.  In becoming more aware of our own weakness, we become more compassionate and understanding towards others.
Sixth Day
James, one of the Twelve (Matthew 10:1-10)

            Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

            Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus, "Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'  Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep.”

Reflection

Jesus gives the Apostles a mission.  They are to drive out demons, cure the sick, and proclaim the Kingdom of God:  in other words, their mission is Christ’s mission.
     The Apostles have an incredible gift to give:  freedom, healing, life.  But they are to give this gift as freely as they have received it.  They are to travel not like rich people, with horses, chariots, and retinues, but like homeless wanderers:  alone, unarmed, without so much as a change of clothes.  They are given great “authority,” but they must also become totally vulnerable, accepting the hospitality and generosity of others.  They are to be, in short, like Jesus, who “emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, and coming in human likeness.” (Philippians 2)  The Church is called to do the same.
Seventh Day
Their Mothers’ Request (Matthew 20: 20-23)

            The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, "What do you wish?"

            She answered him, "Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom."
            Jesus said in reply, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?"
            They said to him, "We can."
            He replied, "My cup you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."

Reflection

In the Gospel according to Mark, James and John come to Jesus and ask for seats at his right and left—seats of honor and power—in the Kingdom.  In Matthew’s Gospel, it is their mother who makes the request.  It is ironic, to say the least, that this request comes immediately after Jesus tells his disciples, for the third time, what awaits him:  crucifixion and death; and after a whole series of parables with the theme “the last will be first, and the first will be last” (Matthew 20:16)!  Jesus responds honestly but gently to the ambition of the two brothers.  They will indeed drink his cup – James was the first of the Apostles to suffer martyrdom – but only the Father knows who will sit at his right and left in the Kingdom of heaven.  The only thing Jesus promises the brothers is suffering.

Eighth Day
Response of the Other Apostles (Matthew 20: 24-28)

When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus summoned them and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."


Reflection

The disciples have listened as Jesus teaches them in parables – parables that speak of the topsy-turvy logic of God – the first last, and the last first.  In asking to sit at the right and left of Jesus in the Kingdom, James and John become a parable.  Do not jockey for position, Jesus warns his followers.  Do not be ambitious.  Instead, if you want to be great, become a servant; if you want to be first, take the last place.  Why?  Because that is what Jesus did.

Ninth Day
James, Witness to the Resurrection (Matthew 20: 16-20)
The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.  When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."
Reflection
“Apostle” means “one who is sent.”  In calling James and the others to be his Apostles, Jesus is sending them forth to continue the work he himself has begun, baptizing the nations, teaching, and proclaiming the Kingdom.  How did James live this call?  We know that he became a leader of the Church in Jerusalem (Paul referred to him as one of the “pillars” [Galatians 2:9]).  We know that he preached the Gospel – tradition tells us that he journeyed as far as Spain, the “ends of the earth.”  And we know that he was the first of the Apostles to suffer death for Christ (Acts 12:2).  We are not all called to be Apostles, but we can all make the pattern of James’ life our own:  listening to Christ, living for Christ, and dying for Christ.

Feast of St. James
Let Catholics rejoice!
Let the citizens of Heaven be glad
This day.
Let the priest with beautiful songs
And with chants busy himself
This day.
This is the praiseworthy day,
Noble with divine light,
This day.
When James to the palace
Of the Heavens ascended
This day.
Conquering Herod's sword,
He received the reward of life
This day.
Therefore without end
Let us bless the Lord
This day.
To the great Father in Heaven
Let us offer thankful praises
This day.
Pilgrims Prayer 
St. James!
We come to you in eager pilgrimage.
We come as part of a great throng of pilgrims
who through the centuries have come to this place,
where you are pilgrim and host, apostle and patron.
We come to you today
because we are on a common journey.
Place yourself, patron of pilgrims,
at the head of our pilgrimage.
Teach us, apostle and friend of the Lord,
the WAY which leads to him.
Open us, preacher of the Gospel,
to the TRUTH you learned from your Master’s lips.
Give us, witness of the faith,
the strength always to love the LIFE Christ gives.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Saint July 25 : St. Christopher the Patron of Bachelors , Travelers and Toothache


Born:
Canaan
Died:
251, Asia Minor
MARTYR
 Patron of:
bachelors, transportation (drivers, sailors, etc.), travelling (especially for long journeys), storms, epilepsy, gardeners, holy death, toothache
St. Christopher, a martyr, probably of the third century. Although St. Christopher is one of the most popular saints in the East and in the West, almost nothing certain is known about his life or death. The legend says: A heathen king (in Canaan or Arabia), through the prayers of his wife to the Blessed Virgin, had a son, whom he called Offerus (Offro, Adokimus, or Reprebus) and dedicated to the gods Machmet and Apollo. Acquiring in time extraordinary size and strength, Offerus resolved to serve only the strongest and the bravest. He bound himself successively to a mighty king and to Satan, but he found both lacking in courage, the former dreading even the name of the devil, and the latter frightened by the sight of a cross at the roadside. For a time his search for a new master was in vain, but at last he found a hermit (Babylas?) who told him to offer his allegiance to Christ, instructed him in the Faith, and baptized him.
Christopher, as he was now called, would not promise to do any fasting or praying, but willingly accepted the task of carrying people, for God's sake, across a raging stream. One day he was carrying a child who continually grew heavier, so that it seemed to him as if he had the whole world on his shoulders. The child, on inquiry, made himself known as the Creator and Redeemer of the world. To prove his statement the child ordered Christopher to fix his staff in the ground. The next morning it had grown into a palm-tree bearing fruit. The miracle converted many. This excited the rage of the king (prefect) of that region (Dagnus of Samos in Lycia?). Christopher was put into prison and, after many cruel torments, beheaded.
The Greek legend may belong to the sixth century; about the middle of the ninth, we find it spread through France. Originally, St. Christopher was only a martyr, and as such is recorded in the old martyrologies. The simple form of the Greek and Latin soon gave way to more elaborate legends. We have the Latin edition in prose and verse of 983 by the subdeacon Walter of Speyer, "Thesaurus anecdotorum novissimus" (Augsburg, 1721-23), II, 27-142, and Harster, "Walter von Speyer" (1878). An edition of the eleventh century is found in the Acta SS., and another in the "Golden Legend" of Jacob de Voragine. The idea conveyed in the name, at first understood in the spiritual sense of bearing Christ in the heart, was in the twelfth or thirteenth century taken in the realistic meaning and became the characteristic of the saint. The fact that he was frequently called a great martyr may have given rise to the story of his enormous size. The stream and the wait of the child may have been intended to denote the trials and struggles of a soul taking upon itself the yoke of Christ in this world.
The existence of a martyr St. Christopher cannot be denied, as was sufficiently shown by the Jesuit Nicholas Serarius, in his treatise on litanies, "Litaneutici" (Cologne, 1609), and by Molanus in his history of sacred pictures, "De picturis et imaginibus sacris" (Louvain, 1570). In a small church dedicated to the martyr St. Christopher, the body of St. Remigius of Reims was buried, 532 (Acta SS., 1 Oct., 161). St. Gregory the Great (d. 604) speaks of a monastery of St. Christopher (Epp., x., 33). The Mozarabic Breviary and Missal, ascribed to St. Isidore of Seville (d. 636), contains a special office in his honour. In 1386 a brotherhood was founded under the patronage of St. Christopher in Tyrol and Vorarlberg, to guide travellers over the Arlberg. In 1517, a St. Christopher temperance society existed in Carinthia, Styria, in Saxony, and at Munich. Great veneration was shown to the saint in Venice, along the shores of the Danube, the Rhine, and other rivers where floods or ice-jams caused frequent damage. The oldest picture of the saint, in the monastery on the Mount Sinai dates from the time of Justinian (527-65). Coins with his image were cast at Wurzburg, in Wurtermberg, and in Bohemia. His statues were placed at the entrances of churches and dwellings, and frequently at bridges; these statues and his pictures often bore the inscription: "Whoever shall behold the image of St. Christopher shall not faint or fall on that day." The saint, who is one of the fourteen holy helpers, has been chosen as patron by Baden, by Brunswick, and by Mecklenburg, and several other cities, as well as by bookbinders, gardeners, mariners, etc. He is invoked against lightning, storms, epilepsy, pestilence, etc. His feast is kept on 25 July; among the Greeks, on 9 March; and his emblems are the tree, the Christ Child, and a staff. St. Christopher's Island (commonly called St. Kitts), lies 46 miles west of Antigua in the Lesser Antilles.
IMAGE SOURCE GOOGLE IMAGES- Text the Catholic Encyclopedia

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday, July 25, 2019 - #Eucharist


Feast of Saint James, Apostle
Lectionary: 605

Reading 12 COR 4:7-15

Brothers and sisters:
We hold this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.
We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.
For we who live are constantly being given up to death
for the sake of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith,
according to what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke,
we too believe and therefore speak, 
knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus
will raise us also with Jesus
and place us with you in his presence.
Everything indeed is for you,
so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people
may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.

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

R.(5) Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
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. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
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. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves. 
R. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

AlleluiaSEE JN 15:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 20:20-28

The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her,
"What do you wish?"
She answered him,
"Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom."
Jesus said in reply,
"You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?"
They said to him, "We can."
He replied,
"My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Saint July 25 : St. James the Greater the Apostle and Patron of Veterinarians, Pharmacists and Compostela in Spain -

APOSTLE AND PATRON SAINT OF SPAIN
Feast: July 25
Feast Day:

July 25
Born:
1st century
Died:
44, Judea
Major Shrine:
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia (Spain)
Patron of:
Veterinarians, equestrians, furriers, tanners, pharmacists The son of Zebedee (q.v.) and Salome (q.v. Cf. Matt., xvii, 56; Mark, xv, 40; xvi, 1). Zahn asserts that Salome was the daughter of a priest. James is styled "the Greater" to distinguish him from the Apostle James "the Less," who was probably shorter of stature. We know nothing of St. James's early life. He was the brother of John, the beloved disciple, and probably the elder of the two. His parents seem to have been people of means as appears from the following facts. Zebedee was a fisherman of the Lake of Galilee, who probably lived in or near Bethsaida (John, 1, 44), perhaps in Capharnaum; and had some boatmen or hired men as his usual attendants (Mark, 1, 20). Salome was one of the pious women who afterwards followed Christ and "ministered unto him of their substance" (cf. Matt., xxvii, 55, sq.; Mark, xv, 40; xvi, 1; Luke, viii, 2 sq.; xxiii, 55-xxiv, 1). St. John was personally known to the high-priest (John, xviii, 16); and must have had wherewithal to provide for the Mother of Jesus (John, xix, 27). It is probable, according to Acts, iv, 13, that John (and consequently his brother James) had not received the technical training of the rabbinical schools; in this sense they were unlearned and without any official position among the Jews. But, according to the social rank of their parents, they must have been men of ordinary education, in the common walks of Jewish life. They had frequent opportunity of coming in contact with Greek life and language, which were already widely spread along the shores of the Galilean Sea. Some authors, comparing John, xix, 25, with Matt., xxviii, 56, and Mark, xv, 40, identify, and probably rightly so, Mary the Mother of James the Less and of Joseph in Mark and Matthew with "Mary of Cleophas" in John. As the name of Mary Magdalen occurs in the three lists, they identify further Salome in Mark with "the mother of the sons of Zebedee" in Matthew; finally they identify Salome with "his mother's sister" in John. They suppose, for this last identification, that four women are designated by John, xix, 25; the Syriac "Peshito" gives the reading: "His mother and his mother's sister, and Mary of Cleophas and Mary Magdalen." If this last supposition is right, Salome was a sister of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and James the Greater and John were first cousins of the Lord; this may explain the discipleship of the two brothers, Salome's request and their own claim to the first position in His kingdom, and His commendation of the Blessed Virgin to her own nephew. But it is doubtful whether the Greek admits of this construction without the addition or the omission of kai (and). Thus the relationship of St. James to Jesus remains doubtful.

The Galilean origin of St. James in some degree explains the energy of temper and the vehemence of character which earned for him and St. John the name of Boanerges, "sons of thunder" (Mark. iii, 17); the Galilean race was religious, hardy, industrious, brave, and the strongest defender of the Jewish nation. When John the Baptist proclaimed the kingdom of the Messias, St. John became a disciple (John, i, 35); he was directed to "the Lamb of God" and afterwards brought his brother James to the Messias; the obvious meaning of John, i, 41, is that St. Andrew finds his brother (St. Peter) first and that afterwards St. John (who does not name himself, according to his habitual and characteristic reserve and silence about himself) finds his brother (St. James). The call of St. James to the discipleship of the Messias is reported in a parallel or identical narration by Matt., iv, 18-22; Mark, i, 19 sq.; and Luke, v, 1-11. The two sons of Zebedee, as well as Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew with whom they were in partnership (Luke, v, 10), were called by the Lord upon the Sea of Galilee, where all four with Zebedee and his hired servants were engaged in their ordinary occupation of fishing. The sons of Zebedee "forthwith left their nets and father, and followed him" (Matt., iv, 22), and became "fishers of men". St. James was afterwards with the other eleven called to the Apostleship (Matt., x, 1-4; Mark, iii, 13-19; Luke, vi, 12-16; Acts, i, 13). In all four lists the names of Peter and Andrew, James and John form the first group, a prominent and chosen group (cf. Mark, xiii, 3); especially Peter, James, and John. These three Apostles alone were admitted to be present at the miracle of the raising of Jairus's daughter (Mark, v, 37; Luke, viii, 51), at the Transfiguration (Mark, ix, 1; Matt., xvii, 1; Luke, ix, 28), and the Agony in Gethsemani (Matt., xxvi, 37; Mark, xiv, 33). The fact that the name of James occurs always (except in Luke, viii, 51; ix, 28; Acts, i, 13—Gr. Text) before that of his brother seems to imply that James was the elder of the two. It is worthy of notice that James is never mentioned in the Gospel of St. John; this author observes a humble reserve not only with regard to himself, but also about the members of his family.
Several incidents scattered through the Synoptics suggest that James and John had that particular character indicated by the name "Boanerges," sons of thunder, given to them by the Lord (Mark, iii, 17); they were burning and impetuous in their evangelical zeal and severe in temper. The two brothers showed their fiery temperament against "a certain man casting out devils" in the name of the Christ; John, answering, said: "We [James is probably meant] forbade him, because he followeth not with us" (Luke, ix, 49). When the Samaritans refused to receive Christ, James and John said: "Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them?" (Luke, ix, 54; cf. v. 49). On the last journey to Jerusalem, their mother Salome came to the Lord and said to Him: "Say that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left, in thy kingdom" (Matt., xx, 21). And the two brothers, still ignorant of the spiritual nature of the Messianic Kingdom, joined with their mother in this eager ambition (Mark, x, 37). And on their assertion that they are willing to drink the chalice that He drinks of, and to be baptized with the baptism of His sufferings, Jesus assured them that they will share His sufferings (ibid., v. 38-39). James won the crown of martyrdom fourteen years after this prophecy, A.D. 44. Herod Agrippa I, son of Aristobulus and grandson of Herod the Great, reigned at that time as "king" over a wider dominion than that of his grandfather. His great object was to please the Jews in every way, and he showed great regard for the Mosaic Law and Jewish customs. In pursuance of this policy, on the occasion of the Passover of A.D. 44, he perpetrated cruelties upon the Church, whose rapid growth incensed the Jews. The zealous temper of James and his leading part in the Jewish Christian communities probably led Agrippa to choose him as the first victim. "He killed James, the brother of John, with the sword." (Acts, xii, 1-2). According to a tradition, which, as we learn from Eusebius (Hist. Eccl., II, ix, 2, 3), was received from Clement of Alexandria (in the seventh book of his lost "Hypotyposes"), the accuser who led the Apostle to judgment, moved by his confession, became himself a Christian, and they were beheaded together. As Clement testifies expressly that the account was given him "by those who were before him," this tradition has a better foundation than many other traditions and legends respecting the Apostolic labours and death of St. James, which are related in the Latin "Passio Jacobi Majoris", the Ethiopic "Acts of James", and so on. The tradition asserting that James the Greater preached the Gospel in Spain, and that his body was translated to Compostela, claims more serious consideration.
According to this tradition St. James the Greater, having preached Christianity in Spain, returned to Judea and was put to death by order of Herod; his body was miraculously translated to Iria Flavia in the northwest of Spain, and later to Compostela, which town, especially during the Middle Ages, became one of the most famous places of pilgrimage in the world. The vow of making a pilgrimage to Compostela to honour the sepulchre of St. James is still reserved to the pope, who alone of his own or ordinary right can dispense from it (see VOW). In the twelfth century was founded the Order of Knights of St. James of Compostela.
With regard to the preaching of the Gospel in Spain by St. James the greater, several difficulties have been raised:
• St. James suffered martyrdom A.D. 44 (Acts, xii, 2), and, according to the tradition of the early Church, he had not yet left Jerusalem at this time (cf. Clement of Alexandria, "Strom.", VI, Apollonius, quoted by Euseb., "Hist. Eccl." VI, xviii).
• St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans (A.D. 58) expressed the intention to visit Spain (Rom., xv, 24) just after he had mentioned (xv, 20) that he did not "build upon another man's foundation."
• The argument ex silentio: although the tradition that James founded an Apostolic see in Spain was current in the year 700, no certain mention of such tradition is to be found in the genuine writings of early writers nor in the early councils; the first certain mention we find in the ninth century, in Notker, a monk of St. Gall (Martyrol., 25 July), Walafried Strabo (Poema de XII Apost.), and others.
• The tradition was not unanimously admitted afterwards, while numerous scholars reject it. The Bollandists however defended it (see Acta Sanctorum, July, VI and VII, where other sources are given).
The authenticity of the sacred relic of Compostela has been questioned and is still doubted. Even if St. James the Greater did not preach the Christian religion in Spain, his body may have been brought to Compostela, and this was already the opinion of Notker. According to another tradition, the relics of the Apostle are kept in the church of St-Saturnin at Toulouse (France), but it is not improbable that such sacred relics should have been divided between two churches. A strong argument in favour of the authenticity of the sacred relics of Compostela is the Bull of Leo XIII, "Omnipotens Deus," of 1 November, 1884.Shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia