Thursday, March 12, 2020

Happy 7th Anniversary as Pontiff to Pope Francis - 266th Pope - his motto "Miserando atque eligendo" - Lowly but chosen





Jorge Bergoglio became the 266th Pope on March 13, 2013. His first words as pontiff: “buona sera.” He was born on December 17, 1936 (age 83 years), in Flores, Buenos Aires, Argentina. His focus is on the call for mercy and pastoral outreach towards the peripheries and towards the most vulnerable are unique traits of his ministry. Here is a video for the anniversary:
Historic moments of his Pontificate include the trip to the Arab peninsula, embrace with the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in Cuba, his silent prayer in Auschwitz, the canonization of Mother Teresa, his ecumenical journey to Lund to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the publishing of his Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia”, and more. Edited from Vatican News Va
The pope has completed 32 apostolic trips during his pontificate, and hopes to visit Iraq and South Sudan. He has a confirmed trip to Malta in May, 2020.

Saint March 13 : St. Roderic and St. Salomon : Martyrs of Spain - #EspaƱa



Sts. Roderic and Salomon MARTYRS OF SPAIN 
Feast: March 13 Born: 9th century southern Spain  Died: 857   Roderic, also called Rudericus and Rodrigo, was a priest at Cabra who was assaulted by his two brothers, one a Musliand the other a lapsed Catholic. He was denounced by the Muslim brother and imprisoned for falling away from the Islamic faith. Roderic proclaimed that he had always been a Christian but was charged with apostasy. In prison, he met Salomon, a man under the same charge. They were beheaded at Cordoba after a long period of imprisonment. (Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Pope Francis at LIVE Video Mass says “We pray for those who govern, who must make decisions regarding the measures” Full Video



Pope offers Mass for civil authorities
Civil authorities were the subject of Pope Francis’ prayer on Thursday morning during Mass at the Casa Santa Marta.
By Vatican News

“We pray for those who govern, who must make decisions regarding the measures” to be taken to contain the Covid-19 coronavirus. May they “feel accompanied by the prayer of the people”, Pope Francis said at the beginning of the sacred liturgy he celebrated on Thursday at Casa Santa Marta. “Many times they make decisions that people don't like but it's for our good”.

The Pope then turned to the Gospel of the day from the Gospel of Luke (16:19-31) during his homily.

The rich man
Pope Francis described the rich man in Jesus’ parable as someone who was satisfied, happy, without any concerns. His clothes were probably made by the best fashion designers of his day. He may have had to take medication for high cholesterol due to the banquets he gave every day. His life was going along quite well.

The drama
The rich man knew that a poor man lived at his door step. He even knew his name was Lazarus. The problem is that Lazarus “didn’t matter”. He thought it was normal and that Lazarus would take care of himself. Both men died.

“The Gospel says that Lazarus ‘was taken to heaven with Abraham, to the bosom of Abraham’. Regarding the rich man, it says he ‘was buried’. Period.”

The great abyss
Pope Francis was impressed by the “great abyss” between the two.

“ ‘Between us there is a great abyss. We can’t communicate. We can’t go from one side to the other’. It was the same abyss that had existed between the rich man and Lazarus while they were alive.”

The drama of indifference
Pope Francis described the rich man’s drama as being “very much informed”. That information, the Pope said, “never penetrated his heart. He wasn’t moved by the drama that others were living”. This is our drama too, he said.

“We all know because we've heard it on the television or we've read it in the newspapers: How many children suffer hunger today in the world, how many children don't have the necessary medicines, how many children can’t go to school. We say, ‘poor things’ and continue on.… We know these things exist, but it doesn’t penetrate our heart.”

Indifference
The drama is that we are well-informed but that we do not “feel the reality” that others live. “This is the abyss, the abyss of indifference”, Pope Francis said. This indifference robs us even of our name, as in the case of the rich man, whose name we don’t know. It is egoism, the Pope said, that “makes us lose our real identity, our name”. This leads to a “culture of adjectives where your value is in what you have”.

“Indifference brings us to the point of losing our name…. We are this or that. We are adjectives.”

Pope’s Prayer
Pope Francis concluded with the prayer:

“We ask the Lord today for the grace of not falling into indifference. The grace that all the information we have about human suffering might penetrate our hearts and move us to do something for others.”
Full TEXT Source: VaticanNews.va

#BreakingNews over 120,000 People Infected and over 4, 700 Deaths - World Health Organization declares Coronavirus a Pandemic



The World Health Organization has declared the Coronavirus or COVID-19 a Pandemic. It has reached 114 countries and infected about 120,000 people. China tries to resume production and lighten lockdown imposed in many cities and provinces.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday that the coronavirus epidemic that originated in Wuhan (Hubei) in China is now a pandemic, having now reached 114 countries and infected about 120 thousand people.
Italy has the largest number of cases, over 12,000 outside of China and their death toll is over 800 people. Iran also has over 10,000 cases.

In Geneva, the WHO head, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that “in the days and weeks that will come we expect to see more and more cases of [infection], the number of deaths, the number of countries affected ".

Because of the epidemic, China has postponed many political and economic appointments.

The country's economy has been badly hit. Many analysts fear that the Chinese giant may experience heavy negative growth in the first quarter of 2020 (-6% compared to the previous quarter and -3% compared to the same period in 2019). If so, it would be the first time since the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) that Beijing is facing a recession.

The total number of infected in China is 80,980; 62,887 have recovered; 3173 people have died.
Edited from AsiaNewsIT

How to Go to Confession - An Easy Guide so You can Go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation - Explained - Lent is the Perfect Time!


By Confession the Church means: to tell your sins (or wrong things you have done) to a Priest, receive a penance (usually a prayer) and receive forgiveness. Confession, also known as the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance, is a sacrament of the Catholic Church; it was instituted by Christ as mentioned in the Bible: 


"Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:21 NIV

How often should I go to Confession?
Catholics are obliged to go to Confession at least once per year. However, many people go more often 1 per week, every 2 weeks or every month. The priest is not permitted to reveal your sins to anyone. 
How Should I Make a Confession?
Usually, parishes have scheduled confession times that are written in their bulletins. Or, you might have to approach and ask a priest for a scheduled day and time. If there are regularly scheduled confessions, you might have to line up with others before a confessional and enter when it is your turn. You might enter through a curtain or a small room and kneel down. When you approach as a penitent, the priest might welcome you with words or be silent. Remember: Jesus, the merciful Lord, is present spiritually. 
When ready say "Bless me Father for I have sinned" and make the sign of the cross, saying,
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Then say how long it has been since your last confession.
The priest might say these or similar words or be silent:
May God, who has enlightened every heart, help you to know your sins and trust in his
mercy.

At this point you confess your sins. (say what you have done wrong; for example sins that are common include: hatred, anger, lust, jealousy, greed, pride, gluttony, laziness, etc.)
If necessary, the priest helps you with questions and suitable advice. He will ask you to perform a penance, which is usually a prayer.
The priest, then, invites the penitent to manifest repentance by reciting the Act of Contrition or another similar formula:
O my God, I am sorry with all my heart for having offended you, and I detest all my sins because of your just punishments, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to amend my life, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Amen.
Or
Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Or
Lord, remember your love,
your faithfulness enduring forever.
Do not bear in mind my sins:
remember me in your mercy,
for the sake of your goodness, Lord. (Ps 24:6-7)
The priest, might place his hands upon the head of the penitent, or raise his hands in the penitent's direction.
He says, God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son, has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church
may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins
in the name of the Father and of the Son + and of Holy Spirit.
You respond: Amen.
After absolution the priest continues: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
You respond: His mercy endures forever.
The priest then takes leave of you, saying: The Lord has freed you from your sins. Go in peace. You can say: Thank-you, Fr.
How Should I Prepare for Confession?
When asked about what counsels he would give penitents for a good confession, Pope Francis replied, “They should consider the truth of their lives before God, what they feel, what they think. They should be able to observe themselves and their sin with sincerity. And they should feel themselves to be sinners and let themselves be surprised, amazed by God” (Pope Francis, The Name of God Is Mercy,
pp. 58-59).


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Questions to Ask Yourself before you Go to Confession also known as an "Examination of Conscience"
It consists of asking ourselves about the evil committed and the good omitted in relation to God, our neighbor, and ourselves.
In Relation to God
Do I address God only when I am in need?
Do I take part in the Mass on Sundays and days of obligation?
Do I begin and end my day with prayer?
Have I taken the name of God, Mary, or the saints in vain?
Have I been ashamed to be seen as a Christian?
What do I do to grow spiritually? How? When?
Do I rebel against God’s designs?
Do I expect Him to do my will?
In Relation to Our Neighbor
Am I able to forgive, show compassion for, and help my neighbor?
Have I defamed, robbed, or disdained children and the defenseless?
Am I envious, wrathful, or biased?
Do I take care of the poor and the sick?
Am I ashamed of the humanity of my brother or my sister?
Am I honest and just to everyone or do I foster the “culture of casting aside”?
Have I incited others to do wrong?
Do I observe the Gospel’s moral teaching on marriage and the family?
How do I handle my educational responsibilities towards my children?
Do I honor and respect my parents?
Have I refused newly-conceived life?
Have I extinguished the gift of life?
Have I helped to do so?
Do I respect the environment?
In Relation to Ourselves
Am I a bit worldly and a bit of a believer?
Do I exaggerate in eating, drinking, smoking, and entertainment?
Am I too concerned about my physical health and my possessions?
How do I use my time?
Am I lazy? Do I want to be served?
Do I love and cultivate purity of heart and in thoughts and actions?
Do I think about revenge or hold grudges?
Am I meek and humble, a builder of peace?

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday, March 12, 2020 - #Eucharist in Lent


Thursday of the Second Week of Lent

Lectionary: 233

Reading 1JER 17:5-10

Thus says the LORD:
Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings,
who seeks his strength in flesh,
whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He is like a barren bush in the desert
that enjoys no change of season,
But stands in a lava waste,
a salt and empty earth.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
It fears not the heat when it comes,
its leaves stay green;
In the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.
More tortuous than all else is the human heart,
beyond remedy; who can understand it?
I, the LORD, alone probe the mind
and test the heart,
To reward everyone according to his ways,
according to the merit of his deeds.

Responsorial Psalm1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6

R.    (40:5a)  Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R.    Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R.    Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Not so, the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R.    Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Verse Before The GospelLK 8:15

Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.

GospelLK 16:19-31

Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man’s table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am suffering torment in these flames.’
Abraham replied, ‘My child,
remember that you received what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
to prevent anyone from crossing
who might wish to go from our side to yours
or from your side to ours.’
He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him
to my father’s house,
for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them,
lest they too come to this place of torment.’
But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.’
He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham,
but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
Then Abraham said,
‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded
if someone should rise from the dead.’”