Saturday, February 22, 2020

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. February 23, 2020 - #Eucharist - Readings + Video - 7th Ord. Time - A


Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time


Lectionary: 79 Reading 1LV 19:1-2, 17-18

The LORD said to Moses,
“Speak to the whole Israelite community and tell them:
Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.
“You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart.
Though you may have to reprove your fellow citizen,
do not incur sin because of him.
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against any of your people.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the LORD.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 103:1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-13

R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
He pardons all your iniquities,
heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Reading 21 COR 3:16-23

Brothers and sisters:
Do you not know that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person;
for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.
Let no one deceive himself.
If any one among you considers himself wise in this age,
let him become a fool, so as to become wise.
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God,
for it is written:
God catches the wise in their own ruses,
and again:
The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise,
that they are vain.
So let no one boast about human beings, for everything belongs to you,
Paul or Apollos or Cephas,
or the world or life or death,
or the present or the future:
all belong to you, and you to Christ, and Christ to God.

Alleluia1 JN 2:5

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever keeps the word of Christ,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 5:38-48

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand over your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Saint February 23 : St. Polycarp : Bishop and Martyr who modeled his life after Christ and Patron of Against Earaches, and Dysentery




Born:
69
Died:
155 at Smyrna
Patron of:
against dysentery, against earache


MARTYR AND BISHOP OF SMYRNA
Saint Polycarp (69-155), whose feast day we celebrate today, was a holy and learned bishop of Smyrna—a second generation Christian who heard the word of the Lord directly from the apostle John. He is the first Christian martry whose acts of martyrdom were written at the time of his death, and preserved to demonstrate his faith and lack of fear in persecution. In a time of struggle an unrest in the fledgling faith, Polycarp, along with his friend Saint Ignatius of Antioch, looked to the life and Word of Christ as the example of how to celebrate the liturgy, how to worship, and how to live. Saint Ignatius said of Saint Polycarp, “Your mind is grounded in God as on an unmovable rock.”
Polycarp was Bishop of Smyrna at a time when Roman persecution of Christians was in full effect. Despite the constant rear of arrest, torture, and death, Polycarp remained resolute in his faith, candidly preaching his belief in Christ, and telling those of other faiths who demanded recognition and respect, “Yes I recognize you- I recognize you as the son of Satan.”
Polycarp was well-known in the early community as learned, patient, and wise. He demonstrated forgiveness, humility, and diplomacy in settling conflict and controversy in the Church. He wrote prolifically, although few of his work survives. Only one letter, a letter to the Philippians, has been preserved. In this letter, Polycarp summarizes and transmits the teachings of Christ:
“Therefore, prepare yourselves. Serve God in reverence and truth, leaving behind empty, fruitless talk and the deception of the crowd, believing in the one who raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead and gave him glory and a throne at his right hand, to whom all things in heaven and earth are subject, whom every breathing thing worships, who is coming as judge of the living and dead, whose blood God will require from those who disobey him. But the one who raised him from the dead also will raise us if we do his will and follow in his commandments and love the things he loved—refraining from all unrighteousness, greediness, love of money, evil speech, and false witness, not paying back evil for evil or abuse for abuse or blow for blow or curse for curse, but remembering what the Lord said when he taught: Do not judge so that you may not be judged; forgive and then you will be forgiven; show mercy so that you will be shown mercy; with what measure you measure out it will be measured again to you; and that blessed are the poor and those being persecuted for the sake of righteousness; for theirs is the kingdom of God.” (Polycarp to the Philippians, 2) Saint Polycarp modeled his life after Christ. He did not seek out martyrdom as did some at the time, instead, like Jesus, waiting until the Lord decided it was his time. When the Romans, bloodthirsty for the death of Christians, called for his death at the hands of wild animals in the arena, Polycarp was persuaded by friends to hide in a small farmhouse outside of the populated area. While there, Polycarp had a dream in which his pillow caught fire, leading him to tell his followers that he would be martyred by fire. There he was eventually found, after the Romans tortured the servant boys providing him food. Hearing the soldiers approaching, Polycarp came out of hiding to greet them, saying “God’s will be done.” He offered them a meal, and asked permission to pray for one hour before being arrested. Given that he was 86 at the time, calm and gentle, and had showed them hospitality, the soldiers allowed him two hours of prayer, during which he prayed for the continuation of the Church, and “every person he had ever known.” Saint Polycarp was then led to the arena for martyrdom. Prior to release of the wild animals, expected to tear him to bits, the magistrate asked him to renounce Christ, unwilling to send an 86 year old man to his death. Polycarp answered, “Eighty six years have I been His servant, and He hath done me no wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” Again, the magistrate asked for Polycarp to renounce his faith and pledge an oath of allegiance to Caesar. Polycarp responded, "If you imagine that I will swear by Caesar, you do not know who I am. Let me tell you plainly, I am a Christian." Running out of options, the magistrate begged Polycarp to change his mind, or else be thrown to the wild animals. Unafraid, Polycarp responded, "Change of mind from better to worse is not a change allowed to us."
Polycarp, due to his lack of apparent fear, was sentenced to being burned alive. As they were tying him to the stake and lighting the fire, Polycarp prayed to Heaven:
"Lord God Almighty, Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have received knowledge of you, God of angels and powers, of the whole creation and of the whole race of the righteous who live in your sight, I bless you, for having made me worthy of this day and hour, I bless you, because I may have a part, along with the martyrs, in the chalice of your Christ, to resurrection in eternal life, resurrection both of soul and body in the incorruptibility of the Holy Spirit. May I be received today, as a rich and acceptable sacrifice, among those who are in you presence, as you have prepared and foretold and fulfilled, God who is faithful and true. For this and for all benefits I praise you, I bless you, I glorify you, through the eternal and heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom be to you with him and the Holy Spirit glory, now and for all the ages to come. Amen."
The flames were lit, but miraculously did not touch the saint. Rather then spread around him like an arch, causing him to glow with a heavenly light. Seeing what was happening, the Roman soldiers stabbed him in the throat, killing him, his blood quenching the flames of the fire. His body was subsequently burned by the Romans to prevent him from being worshipped, although his bones were stolen by Christians and saved as relics. Saint Polycarp is an inspiration to us, especially during our Lenten season of preparation. He remained true in his faith, candid in his words, and did not go looking for a glorious martyr’s death. But when it came looking for him, he readily accepted the will of the Lord, proclaiming the Good News until the moment he expired. His courage and confidence in the face of persecution inspires us to step outside of our own perceived strength and power, and to look to Him who provides all for us—our Father in heaven. For he will provide us all that we need: hope, endurance, love, strength, and righteousness. All we need to do is repent, believe, and ask.
Therefore we should persevere unceasingly in our hope and down payment of our righteousness, which is Christ Jesus, who bore our sins in his own body on the tree, who committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth, but because of us, in order that we might live in him, endured all things. Therefore let us be imitators of his endurance, and if we should suffer because of his name, we should glorify him. For this is the example he set for us in himself, and this we have believed. (Polycarp to the Philippians, 8) Text shared from 365 Rosaries Blog

Extremist kills 9 ethnic minorities in Hanau, Germany - Pope Francis offers prayers for victims


A 43-year-old German man, identified as Tobias Rathjen, shot and killed 9 people at several locations in a Frankfurt suburb overnight in attacks.
The gunman first attacked a bar and a nearby cafe in central Hanau, on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, killing several people. Then he attacked again, first on a car and then a sports bar, claiming more victims.

Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin sent a message on behalf of Pope Francis, expressing his sorrow for those killed and their families, in the shooting in Hanau.

Cardinal Parolin wrote in a telegram to Bishop Michael Gerber of Fulda, of the area of Hanau:
When he learned of the terrible act of violence in Hanau, which caused the death of innocent people, the Holy Father Francis was deeply affected. His Holiness manifests his participation in the mourning of family members, ensuring his closeness to their pain. In prayer, Pope Francis entrusts the dead to the mercy of God and implores Christ, Lord of life, so that mourners will find consolation and trust, and will be accompanied by God's blessing and peace.

The gunman, Tobias Rathjen, a suspected right extremist, was found dead at his home along with his mother. Turkish, ethnic Kurdish people with backgrounds from Bulgaria, Bosnia and Romania were among those killed.
Source: Vatican.va

Seiner Exzellenz
Bischof Michael Gerber
FULDA
Mit Bestürzung hat Papst Franziskus von der schrecklichen Gewalttat in Hanau Kenntnis erhalten, die unschuldige Menschen in den Tod gerissen hat. Seine Heiligkeit nimmt Anteil an der Trauer der Hinterbliebenen und bekundet ihnen seine Nähe in ihrem Schmerz. Im Gebet vertraut Papst Franziskus die Verstorbenen der Barmherzigkeit Gottes an. Er bittet Christus, den Herrn des Lebens, alle Trauernden mit Trost und Zuversicht zu erfüllen und sie mit seinem Segen und Frieden zu begleiten.
Kardinal Pietro Parolin
Staatssekretär Seiner Heiligkeit

Wow Miracle Recognized through Intercession of Teen Computer Techie Carlo Acutis - Pope Francis approves Beatification



Carlo Acutis was a young Italian computer techie who created a website about Eucharistic miracles before his death. VaticanNews reports that another miracle was recognized through the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Carlo Acutis, layman. He was born on May 3, 1991, in London (England) and died on October 12, 2006, in Monza (Italy). The young catechist had an ardent devotion to the Eucharist and the Virgin Mary. A normal boy who loved studying and playing football was also worked for homeless people and helped in soup kitchens. He is known for documenting Eucharistic miracles around the world and cataloguing them all onto a website that he himself created in the months before his death from leukemia at the age of 15. He has been cleared for beatification. (Edited from VaticanNews) - Image https://www.yumpu.com/de/document/view/62733022/carlo-acutis

L'Arche Releases Official Statement on Abuse findings of Founder Jean Vanier "We strongly condemn any behavior..." Full Text



Portland, February 22, 2020
Dear members and friends,
It is with a mix of pain and resolve that I share with you the results of the independent inquiry that L’Arche International launched in the summer of 2019.  Pain, because of the suffering of innocent lives.  Pain, because of the hurt that it might create in you, members and friends.  Resolve, because truth matters.  Resolve, because the value of every person matters.  Always.  Unconditionally.  Particularly when marginalized and silenced for many years.
We believe it is critically important for L’Arche around the world to acknowledge the results, although none of the inquiry’s findings relate to L’Arche in the United States.  As L’Arche International’s communication states, the inquiry found:
At least a decade before the founding of L’Arche, Jean Vanier was made aware of the fact that Father Thomas Philippe, his spiritual director, had emotionally and sexually abused adult women without disabilities. This abuse happened in the context of Philippe’s spiritual direction in 1951/1952.  It is common knowledge that Philippe was banned from exercising any public or private ministry in a trial conducted by the Catholic Church in 1956.  Jean Vanier repeatedly and publicly stated that he did not know why Philippe was convicted.  We now know that Jean Vanier lied.  He was aware of his mentor’s behaviors.
More so, as a member of a group of followers of Philippe, starting in the 1950s, Jean Vanier not only subscribed to Philippe’s theology, which the Catholic Church deemed heretical.  He also shared sexual practices, similar to those of Philippe, with several women.  The inquiry found no evidence that these specific relationships were not consensual.  It is clear that Jean Vanier enabled Philippe to be involved in the L’Arche community in Trosly until his death in 1993, and thus potentially failed to prevent further abuse.
In 2015, the Catholic Church convicted Philippe a second time for 14 cases of emotional and sexual abuse of adult women without a disability in the 1970s and 1980s.  Jean Vanier had heard from some of the survivors, but dismissed the pain and suffering of the women who confided in him. He did not pursue or report these allegations of sexual abuse.  Jean Vanier was thus complicit in covering up Philippe’s abuse.
Lastly, the inquiry reveals that Jean Vanier himself has been accused of manipulative sexual relationships and emotional abuse between 1970 and 2005, usually within a relational context where he exercised significant power and a psychological hold over the alleged victims.  These allegations have been brought forward by six courageous adult women.  None of them had an intellectual disability.  The inquiry has found the allegations to be credible.  Independently from one another, the witnesses describe similar occurrences, which had a long-lasting and negative impact on their personal lives and subsequent relationships.
It goes without saying that these revelations are shocking and saddening. We strongly condemn any behavior that violates the emotional and physical integrity of others.  At L’Arche, dignity matters: we believe in the inherent value of every human being. We are determined to reflect on what we believed to be true about L’Arche’s founder and L’Arche’s founding story.  We remain committed, as always, to safeguarding all of our members, with and without intellectual disabilities, here in the U.S. today.  A comprehensive safeguarding initiative is currently being implemented as part of our continuing commitment to these core values.
While we are unaware of similar allegations within L’Arche in the United States, we encourage anyone who has experienced or witnessed abusive behavior of any kind within L’Arche to report their concern.
We acknowledge the incredible courage of the witnesses who testified during this investigation. The bravery of these women calls us to recognize the importance of truth-telling and its alignment with our core values.  While many questions will yet be answered in the coming months and years, we stand today on the side of those who have been harmed.
With sincerity,
Tina Bovermann
National Leader/Executive Director
Source: https://www.larcheusa.org/

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Saturday, February 22, 2020 - #Eucharist - Feast of the Chair of St. Peter


Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle
Lectionary: 535 Reading 11 PT 5:1-4
Beloved:
I exhort the presbyters among you,
as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ
and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed.
Tend the flock of God in your midst,
overseeing not by constraint but willingly,
as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly.
Do not lord it over those assigned to you,
but be examples to the flock.
And when the chief Shepherd is revealed,
you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Responsorial Psalm23:1-3A, 4, 5, 6

R.    (1)  The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

AlleluiaMT 16:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church;
the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”