Saturday, November 14, 2020

Sunday Mass Online - Readings and Video : Sunday, November 15, 2020 - 33rd Ord. Time - In Your Virtual Church



Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 157
Reading 1
PRV 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
When one finds a worthy wife,
her value is far beyond pearls.
Her husband, entrusting his heart to her,
has an unfailing prize.
She brings him good, and not evil,
all the days of her life.
She obtains wool and flax
and works with loving hands.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her fingers ply the spindle.
She reaches out her hands to the poor,
and extends her arms to the needy.
Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting;
the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her a reward for her labors,
and let her works praise her at the city gates.
Responsorial Psalm Ps
128:1-2, 3, 4-5 
R. (cf. 1a) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Reading 2
1 THES 5:1-6
Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters,
you have no need for anything to be written to you. 
For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come
like a thief at night.
When people are saying, "Peace and security,"
then sudden disaster comes upon them,
like labor pains upon a pregnant woman,
and they will not escape.
But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness,
for that day to overtake you like a thief. 
For all of you are children of the light
and children of the day.
We are not of the night or of darkness. 
Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do,
but let us stay alert and sober.
Alleluia
JN 15:4A, 5B
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain in me as I remain in you, says the Lord.
Whoever remains in me bears much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
MT 25:14-30 
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one--
to each according to his ability. 
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two. 
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master's money.
"After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward
bringing the additional five. 
He said, 'Master, you gave me five talents. 
See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. 
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities. 
Come, share your master's joy.’
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
'Master, you gave me two talents. 
See, I have made two more.'
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. 
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master's joy.’
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, 
'Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. 
Here it is back.'
His master said to him in reply, 'You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter? 
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? 
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. 
For to everyone who has,
more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'"
Or
Mt 25:14-15, 19-21
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one--
to each according to his ability. 
Then he went away.
"After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them. 
The one who had received five talents came forward
bringing the additional five. 
He said, 'Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.'
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master's joy.'"
Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion-
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion.
At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Saint November 15 : St. Albert the Great - a Dominican Doctor of the Church and Patron of Sciences, Philosophers, Scientists, Students

“It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to man, and man to God. But where charity is not found, God cannot dwell. If, then, we possess charity, we possess God, for ‘God is Charity.’”
Today, November 15, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Albert the Great (1206-1280), Doctor of the Church, bishop, teacher, theologian, and one of the Church’s greatest intellects. Widely admired for his wisdom and learning, he was known as “Albertus Magnus” to his contemporaries (“Albert the Great”), and by those who came after him as “Doctor universalis” (“Teacher of all that there is to know”). Saint Albert is the patron saint of scientists. His works constantly remind us of the importance of both faith and reason, and that there can be no separation between these—in fact, faith and reason reinforce and sustain each other.
 
Albert was born the son of a military Lord in service to Emperor Frederick II. The family lived in Lauingen on the Danube, near Ulm, Germany. His parents were wealthy, which afforded him the finest education. Also quite pious, they instructed him in the ways of the faith. As a child, he was drawn to scientific pursuits, and demonstrated an unexpected aptitude for reasoning given his age. So advanced was his thinking, he began studying humanities and natural sciences at the university of Bologna at just 15. The university, closely associated with the Dominican Order, drew Albert closer to his commitment to serving the Lord. This was further fired by the arrival of Blessed Reginald of Orleans, a Dominican preacher and former professor in Paris, who arrived at the college to preach.
Not long after, a second Dominican, Blessed Jordan of Saxony, arrived in Padua. An eloquent preacher, he drew many—including young Albert—toward religious life. Albert’s family was opposed to his entering the Order, given his youth and exceptional scientific prowess, but Albert was torn. One night, in his dreams, he saw himself entering the order, only to depart soon afterwards. The very next day, he heard Blessed Jordan preach, specifically about how the Devil turns those who would enter religious orders away from their calling through dreams and false promises. After Mass, Albert found Blessed Jordan, inquiring: “Master, who revealed my heart to you?” He subsequently entered the Order that summer, at the age of 16.
As a Dominican, Albert continued his studies, earning a Doctorate in theology. He obediently taught, wherever he was sent, traveling to Cologne, Padua, Bologna, Saxony, Fribourg, Ratisbonne, and Strasbourg. In each of these places he attracted numerous disciples, some of them destined for illustrious careers. However, Albert himself remained humble and focused only o the Lord.
When Blessed Jordan died in 1237, Albert assumed his duties as General until his successor was elected. At that point, he returned to Cologne, where he was to meet his most illustrious disciple, Saint Thomas Aquinas. While his classmates saw Thomas as a mute and unlearned man, Albert recognized in him the grace and glory of the Lord. Together, they traveled to the University of Paris, where Saint Albert’s theology and philosophy blossomed and changed the manner in which the world thought. While he wrote many scientific works, he was, first and foremost, a Catholic. Gifted with encyclopedic knowledge, he used this gift in service to the Church. He used his reason and thinking diligently. He was a brilliant scholar, student and seeker for truth. His writings fill thirty-eight volumes. His explanations on vast subjects took twenty years to complete. Albert possessed boundless writing energies and wrote exclusively on natural science, logic, rhetoric, mathematics, astronomy, ethics, economics, politics, metaphysics, physics, mineralogy, chemistry, biology, botany and human/animal physiology.
While Saint Albert would have been quite content to remain in Paris, writing and teaching, obedience to his Order bade him travel back to Germany when he was elected Provincial. He thereafter served his community, traveling to all the monasteries in his jurisdiction by foot, without any money, across long distances—Austria, Bavaria, Saxony, and Holland. In 1260, he was appointed bishop of Regensberg. After three years, he was permitted to resign, but was subsequently called to be an adviser to the pope and was sent on several diplomatic missions. Amid his journeys and works of zeal, Saint Albert found the time to write his thirty-eight volumes on the natural sciences, philosophy and theology.
Saint Albert died, apparently of fatigue, at the age of seventy-three. His body was buried at the Dominican Church, Saint Andrea’s, in Cologne. Three years after his death, his body was in a state of perfect preservation and his body exuded the delightful fragrance or sanctity recorded at the graves of many saints. Miraculous healings were reported at his tomb side. Others received visions that were recorded due to Albert's intercession. His relics continue to be venerated there today.
It is often said of Saint Albert the Great: "He was great in science, greater in philosophy, greatest in theology." He discovered a science above all other sciences—the knowledge that only God can impart, a heavenly wisdom that comes when reason and faith are joined together in charity towards others in prayer and action. Saint Albert reminds us not to rely on anything or trust anyone more than God. In this trust, faith and reason unite, leading us toward a greater knowledge of eternity.
Marian Prayer of Saint Albert the Great:
“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” For note, Mary, for you have found grace, not taken it as Lucifer tried to so. You have found grace, not lost it as Adam did. You have found favor with God because you desired and sought it. You have found uncreated Grace, that is, God himself became your Son, and with the Grace you have found and obtained every uncreated good.”
Selected Quotation from Saint Albert the Great:
"There are some people who attribute all these things to divine order and say that we must not consider in them any other cause but the will of God. This in part we can agree to. Yet we do not say that he does this because of a natural cause of which he is the first mover, since he is the cause of all movement; for we are not seeking a reason or explanation of the divine will but rather investigating natural causes which are as instruments through which God's will is manifested. It is not sufficient to know these things in a general sort of way; what we are looking for is the cause of each individual thing according to the nature belonging to it. This is the best and most perfect kind of knowledge."
PRAYER
God Our Father,
you endowed St. Albert with the talent of combining human wisdom with divine faith. Keep us true to his teachings that the advance of human knowledge may deepen our knowledge and love of you. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Source: 365 Rosaries

Bishops of Poland Say St. Pope John Paul II was Deceived by Former Cardinal McCarrick in Statement on Report - FULL TEXT



 The report published on November 10th by the Holy See shows that Saint John Paul II was deceived regarding ex-Cardinal McCarrick, said the President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki.

„Before McCarrick’s nomination to Washington, the Pope did not receive full and complete information about his moral behavior from the American bishops, and McCarrick himself lied—in a letter of 6 August 2000—, saying that he had no sexual relations with anyone,” said the Metropolitan Archbishop of Poznan.

The President of the Polish Episcopate emphasized that the Church’s response to the report on ex-Cardinal McCarrick are the words Pope Francis pronounced at the Wednesday Audience, during which the Pope manifested his closeness to the victims of all forms of exploitation and stressed the need to root this evil out from the Church.

„The case of ex-Cardinal McCarrick is also harmful to St. John Paul II, who was cynically deceived by him,” emphasized the President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference.

Source: Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference - https://episkopat.pl/

Quote to SHARE by St. Therese “The Rosary is a long chain that links heaven and earth. One end of it is in our hands and the other end is in the hands ..."


“The Rosary is a long chain that links heaven and earth. One end of it is in our hands and the other end is in the hands of the Holy Virgin…The Rosary prayer rises like incense to the feet of the Almighty. Mary responds at once like a beneficial dew, bringing new life to human hearts.” -
by St. Therese of Lisieux

Latest Research Shows Restrictions on Religion Reaches its Highest Level Globally


Pew Research Forum reports that Government Restrictions on Religion Reach Highest Level Globally in More Than a Decade

Authoritarian governments are more likely to restrict religion


In 2018, the global median level of government restrictions on religion – that is, laws, policies and actions by officials that impinge on religious beliefs and practices – continued to climb, reaching an all-time high since Pew Research Center began tracking these trends in 2007.

The year-over-year increase from 2017 to 2018 was relatively modest, but it contributed to a substantial rise in government restrictions on religion over more than a decade. In 2007, the first year of the study, the global median score on the Government Restrictions Index (a 10-point scale based on 20 indicators) was 1.8. After some fluctuation in the early years, the median score has risen steadily since 2011 and now stands at 2.9 for 2018, the most recent full year for which data is available.

The increase in government restrictions reflects a wide variety of events around the world, including a rise from 2017 to 2018 in the number of governments using force – such as detentions and physical abuse – to coerce religious groups.

The total number of countries with “high” or “very high” levels of government restrictions has been mounting as well. Most recently, that number climbed from 52 countries (26% of the 198 countries and territories included in the study) in 2017 to 56 countries (28%) in 2018. The latest figures are close to the 2012 peak in the top two tiers of the Government Restrictions Index.

As of 2018, most of the 56 countries with high or very high levels of government restrictions on religion are in the Asia-Pacific region (25 countries, or half of all countries in that region) or the Middle East-North Africa region (18 countries, or 90% of all countries in the region).

Rising government restrictions in the Asia-Pacific region

Out of the five regions examined in the study, the Middle East and North Africa continued to have the highest median level of government restrictions in 2018 (6.2 out of 10). However, Asia and the Pacific had the largest increase in its median government restrictions score, rising from 3.8 in 2017 to 4.4 in 2018, partly because a greater number of governments in the region used force against religious groups, including property damage, detention, displacement, abuse and killings.

In total, 31 out of 50 countries (62%) in Asia and the Pacific experienced government use of force related to religion, up from 26 countries (52%) in 2017. The increase was concentrated in the category of “low levels” of government use of force (between one and nine incidents during the year). In 2018, 10 Asia-Pacific countries fell into this category, up from five the previous year. (For a full list of countries in the Asia-Pacific region, see Appendix C.)

In Armenia, for example, a prominent member of the Baha’i faith was detained on religious grounds, according to members of the community.1 And in the Philippines, three United Methodist Church missionaries were forced to leave the country or faced issues with visa renewals after they were involved in investigating human rights violations on a fact-finding mission.2

But the region also saw several instances of widespread use of government force against religious groups. In Burma (Myanmar), large-scale displacement of religious minorities continued. During the course of the year, more than 14,500 Rohingya Muslims were reported by Human Rights Watch to have fled to neighboring Bangladesh to escape abuses, and at least 4,500 Rohingya were stuck in a border area known as “no-man’s land,” where they were harassed by Burmese officials trying to get them to cross to Bangladesh.3 In addition, fighting between the Burmese military and armed ethnic organizations in the states of Kachin and Shan led to the displacement of other religious minorities, mostly Christians.4

Meanwhile, in Uzbekistan, it is estimated that at least 1,500 Muslim religious prisoners remained in prison on charges of religious extremism or membership in banned groups.5

Some countries in the Asia-Pacific region saw all-time highs in their overall government restrictions scores. This includes China, which continued to have the highest score on the Government Restrictions Index (GRI) out of all 198 countries and territories in the study. China has been near the top of the list of most restrictive governments in each year since the inception of the study, and in 2018 it reached a new peak in its score (9.3 out of 10).

The Chinese government restricts religion in a variety of ways, including banning entire religious groups (such as the Falun Gong movement and several Christian groups), prohibiting certain religious practices, raiding places of worship and detaining and torturing individuals.6 In 2018, the government continued a detention campaign against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other Muslims in Xinjiang province, holding at least 800,000 (and possibly up to 2 million) in detention facilities “designed to erase religious and ethnic identities,” according to the U.S. State Department.7

Tajikistan also stands out with a GRI score of 7.9, an all-time high for that country. In 2018, the Tajik government amended its religion law, increasing control over religious education domestically and over those who travel abroad for religious education. The amendment also requires religious groups to report their activities to authorities and requires state approval for appointing imams. Throughout the year, the Tajik government continued to deny minority religious groups, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, official recognition. In January, Jehovah’s Witnesses reported that more than a dozen members were interrogated by police and pressured to renounce their faith.8

While these are examples of countries with “very high” government restrictions on religion in Asia and the Pacific, there also are several notable countries in the “high” category that experienced an increase in their scores. India, for example, reached a new peak in its GRI score in 2018, scoring 5.9 out of 10 on the index, while Thailand also experienced an all-time high (5.4).

In India, anti-conversion laws affected minority religious groups. For example, in the state of Uttar Pradesh in September, police charged 271 Christians with attempting to convert people by drugging them and “spreading lies about Hinduism.” Furthermore, throughout the year, politicians made comments targeting religious minorities. In December, the Shiv Sena Party, which holds seats in parliament, published an editorial calling for measures such as mandatory family planning for Muslims to limit their population growth. And law enforcement officials were involved in cases against religious minorities: In Jammu and Kashmir, four police personnel, among others, were arrested in connection with the kidnapping, rape and killing of an 8-year-old girl from a nomadic Muslim family, reportedly to push her community out of the area.9

In Thailand, as part of broader immigration raids in 2018, the government arrested hundreds of immigrants who allegedly did not have legal status, including religious minorities from other countries who were seeking asylum or refugee status. Among the detainees were Christians and Ahmadi Muslims from Pakistan as well as Christian Montagnards from Vietnam. During the year, Thai authorities also detained six leading Buddhist monks, a move that the government said was an effort to curb corruption but that some observers called a politically motivated attempt to assert control over temples.10 

Source: https://www.pewforum.org/2020/11/10/in-2018-government-restrictions-on-religion-reach-highest-level-globally-in-more-than-a-decade/