Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Thursday, December 3, 2020 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church





Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier, Priest
Lectionary: 178
Reading 1
IS 26:1-6
On that day they will sing this song in the land of Judah:
“A strong city have we;
he sets up walls and ramparts to protect us.
Open up the gates
to let in a nation that is just,
one that keeps faith.
A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace;
in peace, for its trust in you.
”Trust in the LORD forever!
For the LORD is an eternal Rock.
He humbles those in high places,
and the lofty city he brings down;
He tumbles it to the ground,
levels it with the dust.
It is trampled underfoot by the needy,
by the footsteps of the poor.
Responsorial Psalm
PS 118:1 AND 8-9, 19-21, 25-27A
R. (26a) Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes.
R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Open to me the gates of justice;
I will enter them and give thanks to the LORD.
This gate is the LORD’s;
the just shall enter it.
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
and have been my savior.
R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
O LORD, grant salvation!
O LORD, grant prosperity!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD;
we bless you from the house of the LORD.
The LORD is God, and he has given us light.
R. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.


Alleluia
IS 55:6
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call him while he is near.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
MT 7:21, 24-27
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”
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 December 3 : St. Francis Xavier a Jesuit Priest Missionary and Patron of Missionaries; Precious Blood; Navigators; Missions; Plague


JESUIT PRIEST AND GREAT MISSIONARY Feast: December 3
Born:
April 7, 1506, Javier, NavarreDied:
December 3, 1552, China
Canonized:
March 12, 1622 by Gregory XV
Patron of:
African missions; Apostleship of Prayer; Australia; Bombay, India; China; East Indies; Fathers of the Precious Blood; foreign missions; Goa India; India; Tokyo, Japan; missionaries; Missioners of the Precious Blood; navigators; parish missions; plague epidemics; Propagation of the Faith
Prayer to St. Francis 
O devoted Servant of God, Saint Francis Xavier, your heart was burning with love for Jesus. Impelled by his love, you went from country to country and spent yourself unto death to proclaim the name of Jesus and the good news of salvation. That is why the Father filled you with glory in heaven and preserved your body from corruption here on Earth. Filled with joy for these unique gifts, we join you in praising the Father.

And Now we ask your intercession for ourselves. ( Each one makes ones’s intention silently ) We ask you to obtain for us the fulfilment of these desires if they are pleasing to the Father. And for everything together with you we praise the Father, through Jesus in the Spirit. Amen.
Born in the Castle of Xavier near Sanguesa, in Navarre, 7 April, 1506; died on the Island of Sancian near the coast of China, 2 December, 1552. In 1525, having completed a preliminary course of studies in his own country, Francis Xavier went to Paris, where he entered the college de Sainte-Barbe. Here he met the Savoyard, Pierre Favre, and a warm personal friendship sprang up between them. It was at this same college that St. Ignatius Loyola, who was already planning the foundation of the Society of Jesus, resided for a time as a guest in 1529. He soon won the confidence of the two young men; first Favre and later Xavier offered themselves with him in the formation of the Society. Four others, Lainez, Salmeron, Rodriguez, and Bobadilla, having joined them, the seven made the famous vow of Montmartre, 15 Aug., 1534.
After completing his studies in Paris and filling the post of teacher there for some time, Xavier left the city with his companions 15 November, 1536, and turned his steps to Venice, where he displayed zeal and charity in attending the sick in the hospitals. On 24 June, 1537, he received Holy orders with St. Ignatius. The following year he went to Rome, and after doing apostolic work there for some months, during the spring of 1539 he took part in the conferences which St. Ignatius held with his companions to prepare for the definitive foundation of the Society of Jesus. The order was approved verbally 3 September, and before the written approbation was secured, which was not until a year later, Xavier was appointed , at the earnest solicitation of the John III, King of Portugal, to evangelize the people of the East Indies. He left Rome 16 March, 1540, and reached Lisbon about June. Here he remained nine months, giving many admirable examples of apostolic zeal.
On 7 April, 1541, he embarked in a sailing vessel for India, and after a tedious and dangerous voyage landed at Goa, 6 May, 1542. The first five months he spent in preaching and ministering to the sick in the hospitals. He would go through the streets ringing a little bell and inviting the children to hear the word of God. When he had gathered a number, he would take them to a certain church and would there explain the catechism to them. About October, 1542, he started for the pearl fisheries of the extreme southern coast of the peninsula, desirous of restoring Christianity which, although introduced years before, had almost disappeared on account of the lack of priests. He devoted almost three years to the work of preaching to the people of Western India, converting many, and reaching in his journeys even the Island of Ceylon. Many were the difficulties and hardships which Xavier had to encounter at this time, sometimes on account of the cruel persecutions which some of the petty kings of the country carried on against the neophytes, and again because the Portuguese soldiers, far from seconding the work of the saint, retarded it by their bad example and vicious habits.
In the spring of 1545 Xavier started for Malacca. He laboured there for the last months of that year, and although he reaped an abundant spiritual harvest, he was not able to root out certain abuses, and was conscious that many sinners had resisted his efforts to bring them back to God. About January, 1546, Xavier left Malacca and went to Molucca Islands, where the Portuguese had some settlements, and for a year and a half he preached the Gospel to the inhabitants of Amboyna, Ternate, Baranura, and other lesser islands which it has been difficult to identify. It is claimed by some that during this expedition he landed on the island of Mindanao, and for this reason St. Francis Xavier has been called the first Apostle of the Philippines. But although this statement is made by some writers of the seventeenth century, and in the Bull of canonization issued in 1623, it is said that he preached the Gospel in Mindanao, up to the present time it has not been proved absolutely that St. Francis Xavier ever landed in the Philippines.
By July, 1547, he was again in Malacca. Here he met a Japanese called Anger (Han-Sir), from whom he obtained much information about Japan. His zeal was at once aroused by the idea of introducing Christanity into Japan, but for the time being the affairs of the Society demanded his presence at Goa, whither he went, taking Anger with him. During the six years that Xavier had been working among the infidels, other Jesuit missionaries had arrived at Goa, sent from Europe by St. Ignatius; moreover some who had been born in the country had been received into the Society. In 1548 Xavier sent these missionaries to the principal centres of India, where he had established missions, so that the work might be preserved and continued. He also established a novitiate and house of studies, and having received into the Society Father Cosme de Torres, a Spanish priest whom he had met in the Maluccas, he started with him and Brother Juan Fernandez for Japan towards the end of June, 1549. The Japanese Anger, who had been baptized at Goa and given the name of Pablo de Santa Fe, accompanied them.
They landed at the city of Kagoshima in Japan, 15 Aug., 1549. The entire first year was devoted to learning the Japanese language and translating into Japanese, with the help of Pablo de Santa Fe, the principal articles of faith and short treatises which were to be employed in preaching and catechizing. When he was able to express himself, Xavier began preaching and made some converts, but these aroused the ill will of the bonzes, who had him banished from the city. Leaving Kagoshima about August, 1550, he penetrated to the centre of Japan, and preached the Gospel in some of the cities of southern Japan. Towards the end of that year he reached Meaco, then the principal city of Japan, but he was unable to make any headway here because of the dissensions the rending the country. He retraced his steps to the centre of Japan, and during 1551 preached in some important cities, forming the nucleus of several Christian communities, which in time increased with extraordinary rapidity.
After working about two years and a half in Japan he left this mission in charge of Father Cosme de Torres and Brother Juan Fernandez, and returned to Goa, arriving there at the beginning of 1552. Here domestic troubles awaited him. Certain disagreements between the superior who had been left in charge of the missions, and the rector of the college, had to be adjusted. This, however, being arranged, Xavier turned his thoughts to China, and began to plan an expedition there. During his stay in Japan he had heard much of the Celestial Empire, and though he probably had not formed a proper estimate of his extent and greatness, he nevertheless understood how wide a field it afforded for the spread of the light of the Gospel. With the help of friends he arranged a commission or embassy the Sovereign of China, obtained from the Viceroy of India the appointment of ambassador, and in April, 1552, he left Goa. At Malacca the party encountered difficulties because the influential Portuguese disapproved of the expedition, but Xavier knew how to overcome this opposition, and in the autumn he arrived in a Portuguese vessel at the small island of Sancian near the coast of China. While planning the best means for reaching the mainland, he was taken ill, and as the movement of the vessel seemed to aggravate his condition, he was removed to the land, where a rude hut had been built to shelter him. In these wretched surroundings he breathed his last.
It is truly a matter of wonder that one man in the short space of ten years (6 May, 1542-2 December, 1552) could have visited so many countries, traversed so many seas, preached the Gospel to so many nations, and converted so many infidels. The incomparable apostolic zeal which animated him, and the stupendous miracles which God wrought through him, explain this marvel, which has no equal elsewhere. The list of the principal miracles may be found in the Bull of canonization. St. Francis Xavier is considered the greatest missionary since the time of the Apostles, and the zeal he displayed, the wonderful miracles he performed, and the great number of souls he brought to the light of true Faith, entitle him to this distinction. He was canonized with St. Ignatius in 1622, although on account of the death of Gregory XV, the Bull of canonization was not published until the following year.
The body of the saint is still enshrined at Goa in the church which formerly belonged to the Society. In 1614 by order of Claudius Acquaviva, General of the Society of Jesus, the right arm was severed at the elbow and conveyed to Rome, where the present altar was erected to receive it in the church of the Gesu.

The Catholic Encyclopedia - Prayer Source: http://bomjesus.org/

Pope Francis says "...God’s grace changes lives: He takes us as we are, but He never leaves us as we are" and Prays for Victims in Nigeria - FULL TEXT + Video



GENERAL AUDIENCE

Library of the Apostolic Palace
Wednesday, 2 December 2020

 

Catechesis on prayer - 17. The blessing

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today we will reflect on an essential dimension of prayer: blessing. We are continuing the reflections on prayer. In the creation accounts (see Gn 1-2), God continually blesses life, always. He blesses the animals (1:22), He blesses the man and the woman (1:28), finally, He blesses the Sabbath, the day of rest and the enjoyment of all of creation (2:3). It is God who blesses. On the first pages of the Bible, there is a continual repetition of blessings. God blesses, but men give blessings as well, and soon they discover that the blessing possesses a special power that accompanies the person who receives it throughout his or her entire life, and disposes the person’s heart to allow God to change it (see Second Vatican Council Const. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 61).

At the world’s beginning, therefore, there is a God who “speaks well”[1], who blesses. He sees that every work of His hands is good and beautiful, and when He creates man, and creation is complete, He recognizes that he is “very good” (Gn 1:31). Shortly thereafter, the beauty that God had imprinted within His work will be altered, and the human being will become a degenerate creature, capable of spreading evil and death in the world; but nothing will ever take away God’s original imprint of goodness that God placed in the world, in human nature, in all of us: the capacity of blessing and of being blessed. God did not make a mistake with creation nor with the creation of man. The hope of the world lies entirely in God’s blessing: He continues to desire our good[2], He is the first, as the poet Péguy said,[3] to continue to hope for our good.

God’s greatest blessing is Jesus Christ; His Son is God’s greatest. He is a blessing for all of humanity, He is the blessing that saved us all. He is the eternal Word with which the Father blessed us “while we were yet sinners” (Rm 5:8), St Paul says: the Word made flesh and offered for us on the cross.

St Paul proclaims with emotion God’s plan of love. And he says it this way: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved” (Eph 1:3-6). There is no sin that can completely erase the image of Christ present in each one of us. No sin can erase that image that God has given us – the image of Christ. Sin can disfigure it, but not remove it from God’s mercy. A sinner can remain in error for a long time, but God is patient till the end, hoping that the sinner’s heart will eventually open and change. God is like a good father, He is a Father, and like a good mother, He is a good mother as well: they never stop loving their child, no matter what he or she may have done wrong, always. What comes to my mind is the many times that I have seen people in line to go into a prison, how many mothers are there in line to see their imprisoned child. They do not cease to love their child and they know that the people passing by on the bus are thinking: “Ah, that is the mother of a prisoner…”. They are not embarrassed about this. Yes, they are embarrassed but they go ahead. Just as their child is more important than their embarrassment, so we are more important to God than all of the sins that we can commit. Because He is a Father, He is a Mother, He is pure love, He has blessed us forever. And He will never cease blessing us.

What an impressive experience it is to read these biblical texts of blessing in a prison, or in a rehabilitation group. To allow these people to hear that they are still blessed, notwithstanding their grave errors, that the heavenly Father continues to desire their good and to hope that they will open themselves in the end to the good. Even if their closest relatives have abandoned them – many abandon them, they are not like those mothers who wait in life to see them, they are not important, they abandon them – they have abandoned them since they by now judge them to be irredeemable, they are always children to God. God cannot erase in us the image of sons and daughters, each one of us is His son, His daughter. At times we see miracles happen: men and women who are reborn because they find this blessing that has anointed them as children. For God’s grace changes lives: He takes us as we are, but He never leaves us as we are.

Let us think about what Jesus did with Zacchaeus (see Lk 19:1-10), for example. Everyone saw evil in him; instead, Jesus spots a glimmer of good, and from that – from his curiosity to see Jesus – He allows the mercy that saves to pass through. Thus, first Zaccaeus’s heart was changed, and then his life. Jesus sees the indelible blessing of the Father in the people who are rejected and repudiated. He was a public sinner, he had done so many awful things, but Jesus saw that indelible sign of the Father’s blessing and because of that, He had compassion. That phrase that is repeated often in the Gospel, “He was moved with compassion”, and that compassion leads Him to help him and to change his heart. What’s more, Jesus came to identify Himself with every person in need (see Mt 25:31-46). In the passage about the final protocol on which all of us will be judged, Matthew 25, Jesus says: “I was there, I was hungry, I was naked, I was in prison, I was in hospital, I was there”.

To the God who blesses we, too, respond by blessing – God has taught us how to bless and we must bless – through the prayer of praise, of adoration, of thanksgiving. The Catechism writes: “The prayer of blessing is man's response to God's gifts: because God blesses, the human heart can in return bless the One who is the source of every blessing” (n. 2626). Prayer is joy and thanksgiving. God did not wait for us to convert ourselves before beginning to love us, but He loved us a long time before, when we were still in sin.

We cannot but bless this God who blesses us; we must bless everyone in Him, all people, to bless God and to bless our brothers and sisters, to bless the world – and this is the root of Christian meekness, the ability of feeling blessed and the ability to bless. If all of us were to do this, wars would surely not exist. This world needs blessings, and we can give blessings and receive blessings. The Father loves us. The only thing that remains for us is the joy of blessing Him, and the joy of thanking Him, and of learning from Him not to curse, but to bless. Here, just one word for the people who have the habit of cursing, people who always have a bad word, a curse, on their lips and in their hearts. Each one of us can think: Do I have this habit of cursing like this? And ask the Lord the grace to change this habit because we have a blessed heart and curses cannot come out of a heart that has been blessed. May the Lord teach us never to curse, but to bless.



[1]Translator’s note: the Italian word for bless is benedirebene (well or good), dire (to speak), which literally corresponds with the English word benediction .

[2]Translator’s note: literal translation of the Italian expression volere bene: volere (to desire or wish), bene (well); this expression is used often in Italian to say “I love you”.

[3] The Portico of the Mystery of the Second Virtue; first edition, Le porche du mystère de la deuxième vertu, published in 1911.


Special Greetings

I cordially greet the English-speaking faithful. On our Advent journey, may the light of Christ illumine our paths and dispel all darkness and fear from our hearts. Upon you and your families I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!


APPEAL

I want to assure my prayers for Nigeria, where blood has unfortunately been spilled once more in a terrorist attack. Last Saturday, in the northeast of the country, more than one hundred farmers were brutally killed. May God welcome them in His peace and comfort their families, and convert the hearts of those who commit similar atrocities which gravely offend His name.

Today is the fortieth anniversary of the death of four North American missionaries killed in El Salvador: the Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford and Maura Clarke, Ursuline Sister Dorthy Kazel and the volunteer Jean Donovan. On 2 December 1980, they were kidnapped, raped and assassinated by a paramilitary group. They were serving in El Salvador within the context of the civil war. With evangelical dedication, and running great risks, they were bringing food and medication to the displaced and were helping poorer families. These women lived their faith with great generosity. They are an example for everyone to become faithful missionary disciples.


Diocese in Trier, Germany Unites in Prayer as 5 People Killed when Driver Rams Car into Pedestrians including Father and Baby






On Tuesday afternoon (December 1, 2020) 5 people were killed and many injured in a rampage in downtown Trier, Germany. Bishop Stephan Ackermann: "I am deeply shocked by the rampage that almost happened on our doorstep. We still know little about the circumstances or the background, but the incident shakes people far beyond the city of Trier. The cathedral is already there open to prayer; our emergency chaplains are on duty. " People who need to talk can contact the telephone counseling service on 0800-1110111. (It has been released by various media that the driver a 51-year-old local man, was drunk and has been arrested. The suspect drove for 1km killing: three women, aged 25, 52 and 73 and a 45-year-old father with his baby. The wife and one-year-old son were injured and admitted to hospital.)
 People can come to prayer in the cathedral without registering, the contact details are recorded on site. The cathedral is open for prayer and remembrance. A memorial site has been set up in front of the side altar. It is also possible to set up or put down candles or flowers there to commemorate. A condolence book was also laid out.
The city is united in prayer. On their website they wrote:
We mourn the victims of the rampage in downtown Trier on December 1st, 2020 02.12.2020. A minute of silence - bells will ring on Thursday, December 3rd, the bells of Trier Cathedral and the inner city churches will ring at 1:46 p.m. - exactly two days after the rampage - to commemorate the victims and those affected and as an invitation to silent prayer. The Mayor of Trier Wolfram Leibe had called for a minute of silence. The parishes of the diocese are invited to join the minute of silence and the ringing of bells.  Stunned and sad at the brutal act of violence, more than 100 people pray in the cathedral for the victims of the rampage After a car driver went amok with five dead and several injured in downtown Trier, on the evening of December 1st, more than 100 people prayed in Trier Cathedral for the victims of the crime and their relatives, for the almost 700 emergency services and rescue workers and all those affected . Bishop Stephan Ackermann and Jörg Weber, Superintendent of the Evangelical Church District Trier, had invited to the ecumenical prayer. 
Edited from : https://www.bistum-trier.de/home/triertrauert/ - Update on victims from BBC

Pope Francis' Video Message on the Presentation of the Roman Missal for Zaire, Africa "...commit yourselves in the same way to the whole ritual of the Sacraments..."



VIDEO MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

ON THE OCCASION OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE VOLUME PUBLISHED BY LEV
"POPE FRANCIS AND THE ROMAN MISSAL FOR THE DIOCESE OF ZAIRE"

I am delighted to be able to connect with you in this very important event for the Church in Africa. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to join this event of the presentation of the volume on the Congolese Rite of the celebration of Mass. One year after the celebration of the Holy Mass which I presided in the Congolese Rite in St. Peter's Basilica , the Vatican Publishing House publishes a volume on the event. The volume is edited by Sister Rita Mboshu Kongo and has as its subtitle “A promising rite for other cultures". Precisely this subtitle indicates the fundamental reason behind this publication: a book that is the testimony of a celebration lived with faith and joy. The spiritual and ecclesial significance and the pastoral purpose of the Eucharistic celebration in the Congolese Rite were the basis of the drafting of the volume. The principles of the need for scientific study, adaptation and active participation in the Liturgy, strongly desired by the Council, have guided the authors of this volume. Being the first and only inculturated rite of the Latin Church approved after the Second Vatican Council , the experience of the Congolese rite of the celebration of Mass can serve as an example and model for other cultures. One of the main contributions of the Second Vatican Council it was precisely that of proposing norms for adapting the disposition and traditions of various peoples. I urge you - as Saint John Paul II said to the Bishops of Congo on their visit ad limina Apostolorum on April 23, 1988 - to commit yourselves in the same way to the whole ritual of the Sacraments and the sacraments that you have in sight to complete this Rite.

Let us recall what we explicitly said in Querida Amazonia : “to collect in the liturgy many elements of the experience of the indigenous people in their intimate contact with nature and to stimulate native expressions in songs, dances, rites, gestures and symbols. The Second Vatican Council had already requested this effort to inculturate the liturgy in indigenous peoples, but more than 50 years have passed and we have made little progress in this direction "( n. 82 ).

The Congolese rite of the Eucharistic celebration enhances the different languages, colors, movements of the body, which interact by leveraging all the dimensions of the personality of the faithful, always taking into account the specific values ​​of each people.

This publication, dear brothers and sisters, reminds us that the true protagonist of the Congolese Rite is the People of God who sing and praise God, the God of Jesus Christ who has saved us all. I hope this publication will help in making progress in this regard. Thanks!