Friday, March 27, 2020

Holy Mass Online : Saturday, March 27, 2020 - #Eucharist in Lent - Readings + Video


Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 249
Reading 1JER 11:18-20
I knew their plot because the LORD informed me;
at that time you, O LORD, showed me their doings.
Yet I, like a trusting lamb led to slaughter,
had not realized that they were hatching plots against me:
“Let us destroy the tree in its vigor;
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
so that his name will be spoken no more.”
But, you, O LORD of hosts, O just Judge,
searcher of mind and heart,
Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause!
Responsorial Psalm7:2-3, 9BC-10, 11-12
R.    (2a) O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
O LORD, my God, in you I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers and rescue me,
Lest I become like the lion’s prey,
to be torn to pieces, with no one to rescue me.
R.    O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
Do me justice, O LORD, because I am just,
and because of the innocence that is mine.
Let the malice of the wicked come to an end,
but sustain the just,
O searcher of heart and soul, O just God.
R.    O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
A shield before me is God,
who saves the upright of heart;
A just judge is God,
a God who punishes day by day.
R.    O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.

Verse Before The GospelLK 8:15

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

GospelJN 7:40-53

Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
“This is truly the Prophet.”
Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family
and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him,
but no one laid hands on him.
So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees,
who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?”
The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.”
So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them,
“Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him
and finds out what he is doing?”
They answered and said to him,
“You are not from Galilee also, are you?
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”
Then each went to his own house.

Saint March 28 : St. Catherine of Bologna a Poor Clare and Patron of Art and Artists with Prayer

Poor Clare and mystical writer, born at Bologna, 8 September, 1413; died there, 9 March, 1463. When she was ten years old, her father sent her to the court of the Marquis of Ferrara, Nicolr d'Este, as a companion to the Princess Margarita. Here Catherine pursued the study of literature and the fine arts; and a manuscript illuminated by her which once belonged to Pius IX is at present reckoned among the treasures of Oxford. After the marriage of the Princess Margarita to Roberto Malatesta, Prince of Rimini, Catherine returned home, and determined to join the little company of devout maidens who were living in community and following the rule of the Third Order of St. Augustine in the neighboring town of Ferrara.
Later the community, yielding to the entreaties of Catherine, adopted the Rule of St. Clare, and in 1432 they were clothed with the habit of the Second Order of St. Francis by the provincial of the Friars Minor. The increasing number of vocations, however, made it necessary to establish other monasteries of the Poor Clares in Italy, and in pursuance of the Brief of Callistus III, "Ad ea qui in omnipotentis Dei gloriam", convents were founded at Bologna and Cremona. St. Catherine was chosen abbess of the community in her native town, which office she held until her death. The grievous and persistent temptations which in the early days of her religious life had tried her patience, humility, and faith, especially the latter virtue, gave place in later years to the most abundant spiritual consolation, and enjoyment of the heights of contemplation. A large part of St. Catherine's counsels and instructions on the spiritual life are to be found in her "Treatise on the Seven Spiritual Weapons", which contains, besides, an account of the saint's own struggles in the path of perfection, and which she composed with the aid of her confessor shortly before her death. The body of St. Catherine, which remains in-corrupt, is preserved in the chapel of the Poor Clares at Bologna. St. Catherine was canonized by Pope Benedict XIII. Her feast is kept on the 9th of March throughout the Order of Friars Minor. Source: The Catholic Encyclopedia
Prayer to St. Catherine: Dear saintly Poor Clare, Saint Catherine of Bologna, so rich in love for Jesus and Mary, you were endowed with great talents by God and you left us most inspiring writings and paintings for wondrous beauty. You did all for God’s greater glory and in this you are a model for all. Make artists learn lessons from you and use their talents to the full.

RIP Bishop Angelo Moreschi the 1st Catholic Bishop to Die of the Coronavirus, Former Missionary in Africa


AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - Mgr. Angelo Moreschi, Apostolic Vicar of Gambella has died due to Covid-19: a life for the mission in Africa
Friday, 27 March 2020

Brescia (Agenzia Fides) - The Apostolic Vicar of Gambella (Ethiopia), Mgr. Angelo Moreschi, SDB, died in the night between 24 and 25 March, in Brescia (Italy), due to the coronavirus infection. He was a guest at the Salesian institute of Nave, his hometown, due to health problems that had forced him to leave his beloved African missions, to which he always hoped to be able to return. Unfortunately, the situation worsened in recent days due to the coronavirus, and his hospitalization was necessary, where he died.
"His love and service for the poor and for social justice are a lasting legacy and inspiration for all of us", says to Fides Abba Joseph Mullugeta, priest of the Apostolic Vicariate of Gambella. His missionary adventure in Ethiopia began in Dilla, where he arrived in 1983 and where the Salesians began the mission founded in 1973 by the Comboni Missionaries. Many new initiatives were promoted: a secondary school, vocational school, an orphanage. In addition, Father Angelo developed a large agricultural project. "However, his greatest commitment was the pastoral one, as a parish priest", underlines the priest, recalling that he built numerous chapels especially in the surroundings and in the mountainous area, which increased the number of catechumens and the faithful.
In 2000 he was appointed the first apostolic Prefect of Gambella, and nine years later apostolic Vicar. "Since his arrival in Gambella, he devoted all his time and all his energies to serving the population of Gambella, without distinction of race, religion, culture and age. He dedicated his whole life to the mission. This allowed the Catholic Church to establish a good number of parishes and chapels in the region. He worked hard in pastoral and social development programs", recalls Abba Joseph Mullugeta, who then quotes the then Apostolic Nuncio, Mgr. Silvano Maria Tomasi:" The arrival of Father Moreschi marked the transformation of the Catholic Church in Gambella, according to a precise methodology: impulse to agriculture and food production, village development and first evangelization". A social priority was then to develop projects to ensure water for the population. "We thank him - concludes the priest - for his service to the holy people of God and for his fidelity to our Lord Jesus Christ, rest in peace!"
Angelo Moreschi was born in Nave (Brescia) on June 13, 1952. He made his first religious vows among the Salesians on September 1, 1974, his perpetual vows in Cremisan (Israel), on August 15, 1980. He was ordained a priest on October 2, 1982 in Brescia. He left as a missionary for Ethiopia in 1983, he was parish priest and Director in Dilla, Provincial Councilor for the then Salesian Vice Province of Africa Ethiopia-Eritrea. On November 16, 2000 he was appointed the first Apostolic Prefect of Gambella. On December 5, 2009 the Prefecture was elevated to Vicariate and he was appointed first Apostolic Vicar of Gambella, received episcopal consecration on January 31, 2010.
Ans Salesian Agency recalls that in during his mission Mgr. Moreschi continued to embody the Salesian preference for the little ones, accompanying them with a practical spirit and strong apostolic zeal. On his visits to the villages he arrived with a battered off-road vehicle - or by motorboat, in the communities along the Baro river, when the streets were flooded - and immediately began to distribute multivitamin biscuits to malnourished children. (AP/SL) (Full Text Source: Agenzia Fides, 27/3/2020) Image Source: https://www.bresciaoggi.it/home/padre-angelo-moreschi-vescovo-nave-in-festa-coi-poveri-d-etiopia-1.3883518/amp

Pope Francis LIVE Joins in Worldwide Prayers from Vatican with Urbi et Orbi Blessing to End the Coronavirus Pandemic - FULL Video


FULL Video and Full Text Prayers and Homily of Pope Francis below.
Join Pope Francis in prayer and receive his extraordinary “Urbi et orbi” blessing and plenary indulgence on Friday at 6pm Rome time.

Faithful across the world joined Pope Francis spiritually in prayer on Friday, 27 March at 6 pm Rome time.

The initiative was announced by Pope Francis on Sunday during the Angelus when he said “I invite everyone to participate spiritually through the means of communication”.


Pope Francis prayed before an empty Square from the sagrato of St. Peter’s Basilica, the platform at the top of the steps immediately in front of the fa├žade of the Church, as he explained when he made the announcement on Sunday and as he reiterated on Wednesday during the General Audience:

"We will listen to the Word of God, we will raise our supplication, we will adore the Blessed Sacrament, at the end I will impart the Urbi et orbi Blessing, and you will have the possibility of receiving a plenary indulgence."

It consisted in readings from the Scriptures, prayers of supplication, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; and will conclude with Pope Francis giving the Urbi et orbi Blessing, with the possibility of gaining a plenary indulgence for all those who listen to it live through the various forms of communication. This plenary indulgence will also be extended to those who may not be able to participate in the prayer through the media due to illness but who unite themselves in spiritual communion with the prayer.
EXTRAORDINARY MOMENT OF PRAYER
IN TIME OF EPIDEMIC CHAIRED BY THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
SAGRATO OF THE BASILICA OF SAIN PETER,
FRIDAY 27 MARCH 2020, 18.00
I. LISTENING TO THE WORD OF GOD


The Holy Father:
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
R /. Amen.

Let's pray.
Almighty and merciful God,
look at our painful condition:
comfort your children and open our hearts to hope,
because we feel among us
your presence as Father.
For Christ our Lord.
R /. Amen.

Gospel

Listen to the Word of the Lord from the Gospel according to Mark

On that day, when evening came, Jesus said to his disciples: "Let's go to the other shore." And dismissed the crowd, they took him with him, as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.
There was a great windstorm and the waves spilled into the boat, so much so that it was now full. He stood in the stern, on the pillow, and slept. Then they woke him up and said, "Master, don't you care that we're lost?"
He awoke, threatened the wind and said to the sea: "Be quiet, calm down!"
The wind stopped and there was great calm. Then he said to them, "Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith? »
And they were taken with great fear and said to each other: "Who is this man, then, that even the wind and the sea obey him?".


Homily (see below) of the Holy Father


II. EXPOSITION, ADORATION
AND EUCHARISTIC BLESSING

Litany:

Response: We adore you, Lord

True God and true man, truly present in this Holy Sacrament, We adore you, Lord
Our Savior, God-with-us, faithful and rich in mercy, We adore you, Lord
King and Lord of creation and history, We adore you, Lord
Winner of sin and death, We adore you, Lord
Friend of man, risen and alive at the right hand of the Father, We adore you, Lord


Response: We believe in you, O Lord

Only begotten son of the Father, descended from Heaven for our salvation, We believe in you, O Lord
Heavenly doctor, who bend over our misery, We believe in you, O Lord
Immolated lamb, which you offer to redeem us from evil, We believe in you, O Lord
Good Shepherd, who gives his life for the flock you love, We believe in you, O Lord
Live bread and immortality medicine, that gives us eternal life, We believe in you, O Lord


Response: Free us, O Lord

From the power of Satan and the seductions of the world, Free us, O Lord
From pride and the presumption of being able to do without you, Free us, O Lord
From the deceptions of fear and anguish, Free us, O Lord
From unbelief and despair, Free us, O Lord
From hardness of heart and the inability to love, Free us, O Lord


Response: Save us, O Lord

From all the evils that afflict humanity, Save us, O Lord
From hunger, famine and selfishness, Save us, O Lord
From diseases, epidemics and fear of the brother, Save us, O Lord
From devastating madness, from ruthless interests and violence, Save us, O Lord
From deception, from bad information and from manipulation of consciences, Save us, O Lord


Response: Console us, O Lord

Look at your church, which crosses the desert, Console us, O Lord
Look at humanity, terrified of fear and anguish, Console us, O Lord
Look at the sick and dying, oppressed by loneliness, Console us, O Lord
Look at the doctors and health professionals, exhausted from fatigue, Console us, O Lord
Look at politicians and administrators, who carry the weight of choices, Console us, O Lord


Response: Give us your Spirit, Lord

In the hour of trial and loss, Give us your Spirit, Lord
In temptation and fragility, Give us your Spirit, Lord
In the fight against evil and sin, Give us your Spirit, Lord
In the search for true good and true joy, Give us your Spirit, Lord
In the decision to remain in you and in your friendship, Give us your Spirit, Lord


Response: Open us to hope, Lord

If sin oppresses us, Open us to hope, Lord
If hatred closes our hearts, Open us to hope, Lord
If pain visits us, Open us to hope, Lord
If indifference worries us, Open us to hope, Lord
If death annihilates us, Open us to hope, Lord



Eucharistic blessing


The Holy Father: Let's pray. Lord Jesus Christ,
that in the admirable sacrament of the Eucharist
you left us the memorial of your Easter,
let us worship with living faith
the holy mystery of your body and your blood,
to always feel the benefits of redemption in us.
You who live and reign forever and ever.
R /. Amen.



PROCLAMATION OF INDULGENCE

The Cardinal:
The Holy Father Francis grants plenary indulgence, in the form established by the Church, to all those who receive the Eucharistic blessing, both through the different communication technologies, and by joining, even spiritually and with desire, to the present rite.


The Holy Father gives the blessing with the Blessed Sacrament.



Acclamation:

Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most Holy.
Blessed be her Holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her Glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints. Amen.
Source: http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/2020/documents/ns_lit_doc_20200327_preghiera_it.html
FULL TEXT Homily of Pope Francis: 
“When evening had come” (Mk 4:35). The Gospel passage we have just heard begins like this. For weeks now it has been evening. Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void, that stops everything as it passes by; we feel it in the air, we notice in people’s gestures, their glances give them away. We find ourselves afraid and lost. Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat... are all of us. Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying “We are perishing” (v. 38), so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this.
It is easy to recognize ourselves in this story. What is harder to understand is Jesus’ attitude. While his disciples are quite naturally alarmed and desperate, he stands in the stern, in the part of the boat that sinks first. And what does he do? In spite of the tempest, he sleeps on soundly, trusting in the Father; this is the only time in the Gospels we see Jesus sleeping. When he wakes up, after calming the wind and the waters, he turns to the disciples in a reproaching voice: “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” (v. 40).
Let us try to understand. In what does the lack of the disciples’ faith consist, as contrasted with Jesus’ trust? They had not stopped believing in him; in fact, they called on him. But we see how they call on him: “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” (v. 38). Do you not care: they think that Jesus is not interested in them, does not care about them. One of the things that hurts us and our families most when we hear it said is: “Do you not care about me?” It is a phrase that wounds and unleashes storms in our hearts. It would have shaken Jesus too. Because he, more than anyone, cares about us. Indeed, once they have called on him, he saves his disciples from their discouragement.
The storm exposes our vulnerability and uncovers those false and superfluous certainties around which we have constructed our daily schedules, our projects, our habits and priorities. It shows us how we have allowed to become dull and feeble the very things that nourish, sustain and strengthen our lives and our communities. The tempest lays bare all our prepackaged ideas and forgetfulness of what nourishes our people’s souls; all those attempts that anesthetize us with ways of thinking and acting that supposedly “save” us, but instead prove incapable of putting us in touch with our roots and keeping alive the memory of those who have gone before us. We deprive ourselves of the antibodies we need to confront adversity. In this storm, the façade of those stereotypes with which we camouflaged our egos, always worrying about our image, has fallen away, uncovering once more that (blessed) common belonging, of which we cannot be deprived: our belonging as brothers and sisters.
“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Lord, your word this evening strikes us and regards us, all of us. In this world, that you love more than we do, we have gone ahead at breakneck speed, feeling powerful and able to do anything. Greedy for profit, we let ourselves get caught up in things, and lured away by haste. We did not stop at your reproach to us, we were not shaken awake by wars or injustice across the world, nor did we listen to the cry of the poor or of our ailing planet. We carried on regardless, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick. Now that we are in a stormy sea, we implore you: “Wake up, Lord!”.
“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” Lord, you are calling to us, calling us to faith. Which is not so much believing that you exist, but coming to you and trusting in you. This Lent your call reverberates urgently: “Be converted!”, “Return to me with all your heart” (Joel 2:12). You are calling on us to seize this time of trial as a time of choosing. It is not the time of your judgement, but of our judgement: a time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not. It is a time to get our lives back on track with regard to you, Lord, and to others. We can look to so many exemplary companions for the journey, who, even though fearful, have reacted by giving their lives. This is the force of the Spirit poured out and fashioned in courageous and generous self-denial. It is the life in the Spirit that can redeem, value and demonstrate how our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people – often forgotten people – who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines nor on the grand catwalks of the latest show, but who without any doubt are in these very days writing the decisive events of our time: doctors, nurses, supermarket employees, cleaners, caregivers, providers of transport, law and order forces, volunteers, priests, religious men and women and so very many others who have understood that no one reaches salvation by themselves. In the face of so much suffering, where the authentic development of our peoples is assessed, we experience the priestly prayer of Jesus: “That they may all be one” (Jn 17:21). How many people every day are exercising patience and offering hope, taking care to sow not panic but a shared responsibility. How many fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday gestures, how to face up to and navigate a crisis by adjusting their routines, lifting their gaze and fostering prayer. How many are praying, offering and interceding for the good of all. Prayer and quiet service: these are our victorious weapons.

“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith”? Faith begins when we realise we are in need of salvation. We are not self-sufficient; by ourselves we founder: we need the Lord, like ancient navigators needed the stars. Let us invite Jesus into the boats of our lives. Let us hand over our fears to him so that he can conquer them. Like the disciples, we will experience that with him on board there will be no shipwreck. Because this is God’s strength: turning to the good everything that happens to us, even the bad things. He brings serenity into our storms, because with God life never dies.
The Lord asks us and, in the midst of our tempest, invites us to reawaken and put into practice that solidarity and hope capable of giving strength, support and meaning to these hours when everything seems to be floundering. The Lord awakens so as to reawaken and revive our Easter faith. We have an anchor: by his cross we have been saved. We have a rudder: by his cross we have been redeemed. We have a hope: by his cross we have been healed and embraced so that nothing and no one can separate us from his redeeming love. In the midst of isolation when we are suffering from a lack of tenderness and chances to meet up, and we experience the loss of so many things, let us once again listen to the proclamation that saves us: he is risen and is living by our side. The Lord asks us from his cross to rediscover the life that awaits us, to look towards those who look to us, to strengthen, recognize and foster the grace that lives within us. Let us not quench the wavering flame (cf. Is 42:3) that never falters, and let us allow hope to be rekindled.
Embracing his cross means finding the courage to embrace all the hardships of the present time, abandoning for a moment our eagerness for power and possessions in order to make room for the creativity that only the Spirit is capable of inspiring. It means finding the courage to create spaces where everyone can recognize that they are called, and to allow new forms of hospitality, fraternity and solidarity. By his cross we have been saved in order to embrace hope and let it strengthen and sustain all measures and all possible avenues for helping us protect ourselves and others. Embracing the Lord in order to embrace hope: that is the strength of faith, which frees us from fear and gives us hope.
“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith”? Dear brothers and sisters, from this place that tells of Peter’s rock-solid faith, I would like this evening to entrust all of you to the Lord, through the intercession of Mary, Health of the People and Star of the stormy Sea. From this colonnade that embraces Rome and the whole world, may God’s blessing come down upon you as a consoling embrace. Lord, may you bless the world, give health to our bodies and comfort our hearts. You ask us not to be afraid. Yet our faith is weak and we are fearful. But you, Lord, will not leave us at the mercy of the storm. Tell us again: “Do not be afraid” (Mt 28:5). And we, together with Peter, “cast all our anxieties onto you, for you care about us” (cf. 1 Pet 5:7).
********************** The extraordinary moment of prayer in time of pandemic will last about an hour. The “Salus Populi Romani” icon and the crucifix of St. Marcellus, will be placed in front of the central door of St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed on the altar in the atrium of the Vatican Basilica.
Edited from VaticanNews.va

Catholic Church in Nigeria Broadcasts Holy Mass from Cathedral via Media and Streets are Deserted


AFRICA/NIGERA - Streets deserted and Masses broadcast on TV: Nigerian Christians in the face of the coronavirus
Friday, 27 March 2020

Lagos (Agenzia Fides) - "The authorities of the State of Lagos, as well as of other Nigerian States in which the spread of coronavirus is more threatening (the greatest concentration is in the southwest of the Country, ed), have imposed the closure of schools and markets and encourage the whole population to stay at home and follow strict hygiene rules. The situation in Nigeria, however, varies between different states. Here gatherings of more than 20 people are banned and, consequently, masses with people have been suspended. We regularly broadcast mass from the cathedral through TV and are active with social media": this is how Mgr. Alfred Adewale Martins, Archbishop of Lagos comments the situation in an interview with Agenzia Fides.
At the moment there is no national strategy even though the Nigerian federal health system is starting to equip themselves. The Archbishop notes: "The central government is gradually reacting. The first move was to close the borders and we believe it is a fair measure, then public disinfestation and sanitation is being carried out. We believe it is important to increase the ability to carry out tests and find better logistic solutions for those in quarantine. Good news comes from the private sector which is providing support to the State both with tests and by providing reception places for those infected. People seem to be becoming more aware of the risks hour by hour. Here, for example, the streets have been deserted for days".
In the meantime, surveillance on the streets by law enforcement agencies has begun, which in some cases have entered the places of prayer. "Fortunately - the prelate continues - there have been no intimidating attitudes, it seems that the police have been behaving well. We hope to continue like this, because people are already very nervous and stressed by the situation".
The faithful understand the situation and act accordingly. The location and indications of the Nigerian Church differ from area to area. The statement by Archbishop Obinna of Owerri caused a stir, who recently declared "We will continue continue to observe the traditional handshake of peace during Masses and continue giving Holy Communion to worshippers on their tongues. "Sometimes there are or misleading opinions. The declarations of the Archbishop of Owerri, I believe, are due to the fact that in his area the infections were probably few or absent. We, however, are already very careful and faithfully follow all the precautions and measures imposed by the authorities".
With 155 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and looks with terror at the spread of the coronavirus on the continent. The infected in Africa continue to grow: the most affected nation is undoubtedly. In Nigeria, there are just over 50 cases, 30 of them in the state of Lagos, and the alarm is starting to spread. (LA) (Agenzia Fides, 27/3/2020)

Pope Francis Recommends "... silence of the just in the face of fury." as Jesus did - in Homily at Mass - Full Video


MORNING CELEBRATION BROADCAST LIVE
FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA

HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

"The courage to be silent"

Friday, March 27, 2020

Introduction to Mass

In these days news has come about how many people start to worry in a more general way than others, many people think of families who do not have enough to live, the elderly alone, the sick in the hospital and pray and try to get some help ... This is a good sign. We thank the Lord for arousing these sentiments in the hearts of his faithful.

Homily

The first reading is almost a chronicle before (anticipated) of what will happen to Jesus. It is a chronicle forward, it is a prophecy. It seems like a historical description of what happened next. What do the wicked say? "We tend to undermine the just who is inconvenient for us and opposes our actions. He reproaches us for the faults against the law and reproaches us for transgressions against the education received. It has become a condemnation of our thoughts for us. It is unbearable for us only to see him, because his life is not like that of others. If in fact the righteous is a child of God, he will come to his aid and free him from the hands of the adversary "(Wis. 2:12). Let's think about what they said to Jesus on the Cross: “If you are the Son of God, go down; may He come to save you "(Cf. Mt 27,40). And then, the plan of action: let's put it to the test "with violence and torment to know its mildness and test its spirit of endurance, and condemn it to an infamous death because according to his words, the help will come to him" (Cf. Sap. 2,19). It is a prophecy, precisely, of what happened. And the Jews tried to kill him, says the gospel. Then, they also tried to arrest him - the Gospel tells us - "but no one managed to get their hands on him, because his time had not yet come" (Jn. 7,30).

This prophecy is too detailed; the plan of action of these evil people is precisely details on details, do not save anything, let's test it with violence and torment, and test the spirit of endurance ... let's set them snares, let's put a trap, [to see] if it falls ... This is not it is a mere hatred, there is no bad action plan - certainly - of one party against another: this is another thing. This is called fury: when the devil who is behind, always, with every fury, tries to destroy and does not spare the means. Let's think of the beginning of the Book of Job, which is prophetic about this: God is satisfied with Job's way of life, and the devil says to him: "Yes, because he has everything, he has no proof! Test it! " (See Job 1,1-12; 2,4-6). And first the devil takes away his goods, then takes away his health and Job has never, ever turned away from God. But the devil, what he does: fury. Always. Behind every fury there is the devil, to destroy the work of God. Behind a discussion or an enmity, it may be that it is the devil but from afar, with normal temptations. But when there is fury, we do not doubt: there is the presence of the devil. And the fury is subtle subtle. Let us think of how the devil has raged not only against Jesus, but also in the persecutions of Christians; as he sought the most sophisticated means to bring them to apostasy, to move away from God. This is, as we say in everyday speech, this is diabolical: yes; diabolical intelligence.

Some bishops of one of the countries that suffered the dictatorship of an atheist regime told me in persecution about details like this: on Monday after Easter the teachers had to ask the children: "What did you eat yesterday?", And children said what was at lunch. And some said, "Eggs," and those who said "eggs" were then persecuted to see if they were Christians because they ate eggs on Easter Sunday in that country. Up to this point, to see, to espionage, where there is a Christian to kill him. This is fury in persecution and this is the devil.

And what do you do in the moment of fury? Only two things can be done: discussing with these people is not possible because they have their own ideas, fixed ideas, ideas that the devil has sown in [their] heart. We have heard what their plan of action is. What can be done? What Jesus did: keep silent. It is striking when we read in the Gospel that in front of all these accusations, Jesus kept silent about all these things. Faced with the spirit of fury, only silence, never justification. Never. Jesus spoke, he explained. When he understood that there were no words, silence. And in silence Jesus lived his Passion. It is the silence of the just in the face of fury. And this is also valid for - let's call them this - the small daily feats, when someone of us feels that there is a chatter against him, and they say things and then nothing comes out ... be quiet. Silent
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation