Sunday, January 31, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Monday, February 1, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church


Monday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 323
Reading I
Heb 11:32-40
Brothers and sisters:
What more shall I say?
I have not time to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah,
of David and Samuel and the prophets,
who by faith conquered kingdoms, 
did what was righteous, obtained the promises;
they closed the mouths of lions, put out raging fires,
escaped the devouring sword;
out of weakness they were made powerful, became strong in battle,
and turned back foreign invaders.
Women received back their dead through resurrection.
Some were tortured and would not accept deliverance,
in order to obtain a better resurrection.
Others endured mockery, scourging, even chains and imprisonment.
They were stoned, sawed in two, put to death at sword’s point;
they went about in skins of sheep or goats,
needy, afflicted, tormented.
The world was not worthy of them.
They wandered about in deserts and on mountains,
in caves and in crevices in the earth.
Yet all these, though approved because of their faith,
did not receive what had been promised.
God had foreseen something better for us,
so that without us they should not be made perfect.
Responsorial Psalm
 

 Ps 31:20, 21, 22, 23, 24
R.    (25)  Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
How great is the goodness, O LORD,
    which you have in store for those who fear you,
And which, toward those who take refuge in you,
    you show in the sight of the children of men.
R.    Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
You hide them in the shelter of your presence
    from the plottings of men;
You screen them within your abode
    from the strife of tongues.
R.    Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
Blessed be the LORD whose wondrous mercy
    he has shown me in a fortified city. 
R.    Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
Once I said in my anguish,
    “I am cut off from your sight”;
Yet you heard the sound of my pleading
    when I cried out to you.
R.    Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
Love the LORD, all you his faithful ones!
    The LORD keeps those who are constant,
    but more than requites those who act proudly.
R.    Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.
Alleluia
Lk 7:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
 
Gospel
Mk 5:1-20
Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea,
to the territory of the Gerasenes.
When he got out of the boat,
at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him.
The man had been dwelling among the tombs,
and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain.
In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains,
but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed,
and no one was strong enough to subdue him.
Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides
he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones.
Catching sight of Jesus from a distance,
he ran up and prostrated himself before him,
crying out in a loud voice,
“What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?
I adjure you by God, do not torment me!”
(He had been saying to him, “Unclean spirit, come out of the man!”)
He asked him, “What is your name?”
He  replied, “Legion is my name.  There are many of us.”
And he pleaded earnestly with him
not to drive them away from that territory.
Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside.
And they pleaded with him,
“Send us into the swine.  Let us enter them.”
And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine.
The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea,
where they were drowned.
The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town
and throughout the countryside.
And people came out to see what had happened.
As they approached Jesus,
they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion,
sitting there clothed and in his right mind.
And they were seized with fear.
Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened
to the possessed man and to the swine.
Then they began to beg him to leave their district.
As he was getting into the boat,
the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him.
But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead,
“Go home to your family and announce to them 
all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.”
Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis
what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.
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 February 1 : St. Bridgid of Ireland : Patron of Babies; Children of Unwed Parents; Fugitives; Ireland; Midwives; Poets

 

 Feast Day: February 1 
Born: 451 or 452 at Faughart, County Louth, Ireland 
Died: 1 February 525 at Kildare, Ireland 
Patron of:
babies; blacksmiths; boatmen; cattle; chicken farmers; children whose parents are not married; dairymaids; dairy workers; fugitives; infants; Ireland; mariners; midwives; milk maids; newborn babies; nuns; poets; poultry farmers; poultry raisers; printing presses; sailors; scholars; travellers; watermen
VIRGIN, PATRONESS OF IRELAND
Born in 451 or 452 of princely ancestors at Faughart, near Dundalk, County Louth; d. 1 February, 525, at Kildare. Refusing many good offers of marriage, she became a nun and received the veil from St. Macaille. With seven other virgins she settled for a time at the foot of Croghan Hill, but removed thence to Druin Criadh, in the plains of Magh Life, where under a large oak tree she erected her subsequently famous Convent of Cill-Dara, that is, "the church of the oak" (now Kildare), in the present county of that name. It is exceedingly difficult to reconcile the statements of St. Brigid's biographers, but the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Lives of the saint are at one in assigning her a slave mother in the court of her father Dubhthach, and Irish chieftain of Leinster. Probably the most ancient life of St. Brigid is that by St. Broccan Cloen, who is said to have died 17 September, 650. It is metrical, as may be seen from the following specimen:
Ni bu Sanct Brigid suanach Ni bu huarach im sheire Dé, Sech ni chiuir ni cossens Ind nóeb dibad bethath che.
(Saint Brigid was not given to sleep,
Nor was she intermittent about God's love; Not merely that she did not buy, she did not seek for The wealth of this world below, the holy one.)
Cogitosus, a monk of Kildare in the eighth century, expounded the metrical life of St. Brigid, and versified it in good Latin. This is what is known as the "Second Life", and is an excellent example of Irish scholarship in the mid-eighth century. Perhaps the most interesting feature of Cogitosus's work is the description of the Cathedral of Kildare in his day: "Solo spatioso et in altum minaci proceritate porruta ac decorata pictis tabulis, tria intrinsecus habens oratoria ampla, et divisa parietibus tabulatis". The rood-screen was formed of wooden boards, lavishly decorated, and with beautifully decorated curtains. Probably the famous Round Tower of Kildare dates from the sixth century. Although St. Brigid was "veiled" or received by St. Macaille, at Croghan, yet, it is tolerably certain that she was professed by St. Mel of Ardagh, who also conferred on her abbatial powers. From Ardagh St. Macaille and St. Brigid followed St. Mel into the country of Teffia in Meath, including portions of Westmeath and Longford. This occurred about the year 468. St. Brigid's small oratory at Cill- Dara became the centre of religion and learning, and developed into a cathedral city. She founded two monastic institutions, one for men, and the other for women, and appointed St. Conleth as spiritual pastor of them. It has been frequently stated that she gave canonical jurisdiction to St. Conleth, Bishop of Kildare, but, as Archbishop Healy points out, she simply "selected the person to whom the Church gave this jurisdiction", and her biographer tells us distinctly that she chose St. Conleth "to govern the church along with herself". Thus, for centuries, Kildare was ruled by a double line of abbot-bishops and of abbesses, the Abbess of Kildare being regarded as superioress general of the convents in Ireland. Not alone was St. Bridget a patroness of students, but she also founded a school of art, including metal work and illumination, over which St. Conleth presided. From the Kildare scriptorium came the wondrous book of the Gospels, which elicited unbounded praise from Giraldus Cambrensis, but which has disappeared since the Reformation. According to this twelfth- century ecclesiastic, nothing that he had ever seen was at all comparable to the "Book of Kildare", every page of which was gorgeously illuminated, and he concludes a most laudatory notice by saying that the interlaced work and the harmony of the colours left the impression that "all this is the work of angelic, and not human skill". Small wonder that Gerald Barry assumed the book to have been written night after night as St. Bridget prayed, "an angel furnishing the designs, the scribe copying". Even allowing for the exaggerated stories told of St. Brigid by her numerous biographers, it is certain that she ranks as one of the most remarkable Irishwomen of the fifth century and as the Patroness of Ireland. She is lovingly called the "Queen of the South: the Mary of the Gael" by a writer in the "Leabhar Breac". St. Brigid died leaving a cathedral city and school that became famous all over Europe. In her honour St. Ultan wrote a hymn commencing: Christus in nostra insula Que vocatur Hivernia Ostensus est hominibus Maximis mirabilibus Que perfecit per felicem Celestis vite virginem Precellentem pro merito Magno in numdi circulo. (In our island of Hibernia Christ was made known to man by the very great miracles which he performed through the happy virgin of celestial life, famous for her merits through the whole world.) The sixth Life of the saint printed by Colgan is attributed to Coelan, an Irish monk of the eighth century, and it derives a peculiar importance from the fact that it is prefaced by a foreword from the pen of St. Donatus, also an Irish monk, who became Bishop of Fiesole in 824. St. Donatus refers to previous lives by St. Ultan and St. Aileran. When dying, St. Brigid was attended by St. Ninnidh, who was ever afterwards known as "Ninnidh of the Clean Hand" because he had his right hand encased with a metal covering to prevent its ever being defiled, after being he medium of administering the viaticum to Ireland's Patroness. She was interred at the right of the high altar of Kildare Cathedral, and a costly tomb was erected over her. In after years her shrine was an object of veneration for pilgrims, especially on her feast day, 1 February, as Cogitosus related. About the year 878, owing to the Scandinavian raids, the relics of St. Brigid were taken to Downpatrick, where they were interred in the tomb of St. Patrick and St. Columba. The relics of the three saints were discovered in 1185, and on 9 June of the following year were solemnly translated to a suitable resting place in Downpatrick Cathedral, in presence of Cardinal Vivian, fifteen bishops, and numerous abbots and ecclesiastics. Various Continental breviaries of the pre-Reformation period commemorate St. Brigid, and her name is included in a litany in the Stowe Missal. In Ireland today, after 1500 years, the memory of "the Mary of the Gael" is as dear as ever to the Irish heart, and, as is well known, Brigid preponderates as a female Christian name. Moreover, hundreds of place-names in her honour are to be found all over the country, e.g. Kilbride, Brideswell, Tubberbride, Templebride, etc. The hand of St. Brigid is preserved at Lumiar near Lisbon, Portugal, since 1587, and another relic is at St. Martin's Cologne. Viewing the biography of St. Brigid from a critical standpoint we must allow a large margin for the vivid Celtic imagination and the glosses of medieval writers, but still the personality of the founder of Kildare stands out clearly, and we can with tolerable accuracy trace the leading events in her life, by a careful study of the old "Lives" as found in Colgan. It seems certain that Faughart, associated with memories of Queen Meave (Medhbh), was the scene of her birth; and Faughart Church was founded by St. Morienna in honour of St. Brigid. The old well of St. Brigid's adjoining the ruined church is of the most venerable antiquity, and still attracts pilgrims; in the immediate vicinity is the ancient mote of Faughart. As to St. Brigid's stay in Connacht, especially in the County Roscommon, there is ample evidence in the "Trias Thaumaturga", as also in the many churches founded by her in the Diocese of Elphim. Her friendship with St. Patrick is attested by the following paragraph from the "Book of Armagh", a precious manuscript of the eighth century, the authenticity of which is beyond question: "inter sanctum Patricium Brigitanque Hibernesium columpnas amicitia caritatis inerat tanta, ut unum cor consiliumque haberent unum. Christus per illum illamque virtutes multas peregit". (Between St. Patrick and St. Brigid, the columns of the Irish, there was so great a friendship of charity that they had but one heart and one mind. Through him and through her Christ performed many miracles.) At Armagh there was a "Templum Brigidis"; namely the little abbey church known as "Regles Brigid", which contained some relics of the saint, destroyed in 1179, by William Fitz Aldelm. It may be added that the original manuscript of Cogitosus's "Life of Brigid", or the "Second Life", dating from the closing years of the eighth century, is now in the Dominican friary at Eichstätt in Bavaria. (Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)
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Seven Sundays Devotion to St. Joseph - Special Prayers to Saint Joseph during the Year of St. Joseph 7 Sundays Honoring his Sorrows and Joys



Pope Francis has declared this the year of Saint Joseph. St. Joseph, because of his unique relationship to Jesus and Mary, is among heaven’s most powerful protectors and intercessors. 

A traditional devotion is called the Seven Sundays Devotion it honors St. Joseph’s Seven Sorrows and Seven Joys. 

The Seven Sundays in honor of St. Joseph are observed by receiving Holy Communion in his honor on seven consecutive Sundays, and on each Sunday the prayers in honor of the Seven Sorrows and the Seven Joys of St. Joseph are recited. This devotion may be practiced at any time of the year, but especially on the seven Sundays preceding his solemnity on March 19th. 

SEE ALSO: Litany of St. Joseph -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gws4Zd-GRoQ

The prayers were Composed by Ven. Januarius Sarnelli, C.S.S.R. (d. 1744)

Say one set of prayers each Sunday:

First Sorrow: The doubt of St. Joseph. (Matt. 1:19)

But Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wishing to expose her to reproach, was minded to put her away privately.

First Joy: The message of the Angel. (Matt. 1:20)

But while he thought on these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Do not be afraid, Joseph, son of David, to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit.

chaste Spouse of Mary most holy, glorious St. Joseph, great was the trouble and anguish of your heart when you wert minded to put away privately your inviolate Spouse, yet your joy was unspeakable when the surpassing mystery of the Incarnation was made known to you by the Angel!

By this sorrow and this joy, we beseech you to comfort our souls, both now and in the sorrows of our final hour, with the joy of a good life and a holy death after the pattern of your own, in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Our Father . . .  Hail Mary . . .  Glory be . . . 

Second Sorrow: The poverty of Jesus’ birth. (Luke 2:7)

And she brought forth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Second Joy: The birth of the Savior. (Luke 2:10-11)

And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be to all people; for today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you, who is Christ the Lord.”

O most blessed Patriarch, glorious St. Joseph, who was chosen to be the foster father of the Word made flesh, your sorrow at seeing the Child Jesus born in such poverty was suddenly changed into heavenly exultation when you did hear the angelic hymn and beheld the glories of that resplendent night.

By this sorrow and this joy, we implore you to obtain for us the grace to pass over from life’s pathway to hear the angelic songs of praise, and to rejoice in the shining splendour of celestial glory.

Our Father . . .  Hail Mary . . .  Glory be . . . 

Third Sorrow: The Circumcision. (Luke 2:21)

And when eight days were fulfilled for his circumcision, his name was called Jesus, the name given to him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Third Joy: The Holy Name of Jesus. (Matt. 1:25)

And he did not know her until she brought forth her first born son. And he called his name Jesus.

O glorious St. Joseph you faithfully obeyed the law of God, and your heart was pierced at the sight of the Precious Blood that was shed by the Infant Savior during His Circumcision, but the Name of Jesus gave you new life and filled you with quiet joy.

By this sorrow and this joy, obtain for us the grace to be freed from all sin during life, and to die rejoicing, with the holy Name of Jesus in our hearts and on our lips.

Our Father . . .  Hail Mary . . .  Glory be . . . 

Fourth Sorrow: The prophecy of Simeon. (Luke 2:34)

And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother, “Behold this child is destined for the fall and the rise of many in Israel, and for a sign that shall be contradicted. And your own soul a sword shall pierce.

Fourth Joy: The effects of the Redemption. (Luke 2:38)

And coming up at that very hour, she began to give praise to the Lord, and spoke of him to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

O most faithful Saint who shared the mysteries of our Redemption, glorious St. Joseph, the prophecy of Simeon regarding the sufferings of Jesus and Mary caused you to shudder with mortal dread, but at the same time filled you with a blessed joy for the salvation and glorious resurrection which, he foretold, would be attained by countless souls.

By this sorrow and this joy, obtain for us that we may be among the number of those who, through the merits of Jesus and the intercession of Mary the Virgin Mother, are predestined to a glorious resurrection.

Our Father . . .  Hail Mary . . .  Glory be . . . 

Fifth Sorrow: The flight into Egypt. (Matt. 2:14)

So he arose, and took the child and his mother by night, and withdrew into Egypt.

Fifth Joy: The overthrow of the idols of Egypt. (Is. 19:1)

The burden of Egypt. Behold the Lord will ascend upon a swift cloud and will enter into Egypt, and the idols of Egypt will be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst thereof.

O most watchful Guardian of the Incarnate Son of God, glorious St. Joseph, what toil was your in supporting and waiting upon the Son of the most high God, especially in the flight into Egypt! Yet at the same time, how you did rejoice to have always near you God Himself, and to see the idols of the Egyptians fall prostrate to the ground before Him.

By this sorrow and this joy, obtain for us the grace of keeping ourselves in safety from the infernal tyrant, especially by flight from dangerous occasions; may every idol of earthly affection fall from our hearts; may we be wholly employed in serving Jesus and Mary, and for them alone may we live and happily die.

Our Father . . .  Hail Mary . . .  Glory be . . . 

Sixth Sorrow: The return from Egypt. (Matt. 2:22)

But hearing that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there; and being warned in a dream, he withdrew into the region of Galilee.

Sixth Joy: Life with Jesus and Mary at Nazareth. (Luke 2:39)

And when they had fulfilled all things prescribed in the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, into their own town of Nazareth.

O glorious St. Joseph, an angel on earth, you did marvel to see the King of Heaven obedient to your commands, but your consolation in bringing Jesus out of the land of Egypt was troubled by your fear of Archelaus; nevertheless, being assured by the Angel, you dwelt in gladness at Nazareth with Jesus and Mary.

By this sorrow and this joy, obtain for us that our hearts may be delivered from harmful fears, so that we may rejoice in peace of conscience and may live in safety with Jesus and Mary and may, like you, die in their company.

Our Father . . .  Hail Mary . . .  Glory be . . . 

Seventh Sorrow: The loss of the Child Jesus. (Luke 2:45)

And not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem in search of him

Seventh Joy: The finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple. (Luke 2:46)

And it came to pass after three days, that they found him in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.

glorious St. Joseph, pattern of all holiness, when you did lose, through no fault of your own, the Child Jesus, you sought Him sorrowing for the space of three days, until with great joy you did find Him again in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors.

By this sorrow and this joy, we supplicate you, with our hearts upon our lips, to keep us from ever having the misfortune to lose Jesus through mortal sin; but if this supreme misfortune should befall us, grant that we may seek Him with unceasing sorrow until we find Him again, ready to show us His great mercy, especially at the hour of death; so that we may pass over to enjoy His presence in Heaven; and there, in company with you, may we sing the praises of His Divine mercy forever.

Our Father . . .  Hail Mary . . .  Glory be . . . 

Antiphon: And Jesus Himself was beginning about the age of thirty years, being (as it was supposed) the Son of Joseph.

V. Pray for us, O holy Joseph.

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray.

O God, Who in Your ineffable Providence did vouchsafe to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Your most holy Mother, grant, we beseech You, that he whom we venerate as our protector on earth may be our intercessor in Heaven. Who lives and reigns forever and ever.Amen.

*** An effective means of obtaining special graces through the intercession of St. Joseph is to honor his seven sorrows and seven joys by the practicing the Seven Sundays devotion. The Seven Sundays in honor of St. Joseph are observed by receiving Holy Communion in his honor on seven consecutive Sundays, and on each Sunday the prayers in honor of the Seven Sorrows and the Seven Joys of St. Joseph are recited. This devotion may be practiced at any time of the year, but especially on the seven Sundays preceding his solemnity on March 19th. 

Source: https://yearofstjoseph.org/

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Prayer of Miracles according to St. John Bosco - Novena to Our Lady Help of Christians of St. John Bosco -


A Novena is a prayer that is said for 9 days. Saint John Bosco, feast January 31, composed this prayer to Our Lady Help of Christians. He is quoted as saying "Have faith in Mary help of Christians, and you will see what miracles are." 

Everyday of the Novena:
 Our Father...
Hail Mary, full of grace…
Glory Be...
V. Pray for us, O Immaculate, Help of Christians
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray
Heavenly Father, place deep in our hearts the love of Mary, our help and the help of all Christians. May we
fight vigorously for the faith here on earth, and may
we one day praise your victories in heaven. Grant this
in the name of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.
Amen.
First Day
O Mary, you readily agreed to the Angel’s request when you were asked to be the mother of God’s Son, and throughout your life your one desire was to do the will of your Father in heaven. Help me always to be obedient and humble. May I, like you, always have the generosity to follow Jesus, wherever he calls.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)

Second Day
O Mary, by your visit to your cousin, Saint Elizabeth, you joyfully spread the good news of the coming of Jesus into the world. May many young people generously follow your example, and give their lives totally to the service of your Son as priests, brothers and sisters.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Third Day
O Mary, ever since the wedding feast of Cana you have always been the powerful help of all those who have asked your aid and protection. By your prayers, keep me free from all dangers and help me always to rise above my faults and failings.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Fourth Day
O Mary, by your presence at the foot of the cross, you comforted and strengthened your son as he offered his life to the Father. Be with me at the hour of my death, and lead me quickly to the joys of your Son’s kingdom in heaven.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Fifth Day
O Mary, by your presence in the upper room you strengthened and encouraged the apostles and disciples as they waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. May I always be open to the gifts of the Spirit, and may my faith always be deep and living.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Sixth Day
O Mary, throughout her long history you have always defended your Son’s Church from the attacks of her enemies. Be with her again in our days. Help each one of us to be her loyal subjects and to work without ceasing for that unity of peace and love for which your Son so fervently prayed.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Seventh Day
O Mary, you have always been the special guide and protector of Saint Peter’s successor, the Bishop of Rome. Keep our present Holy Father in your loving care. Defend him from all harm and give him all those gifts he needs to be the faithful shepherd of your Son’s flock.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Eight Day
O Mary, the wonderful way you helped Saint John Bosco’s work to grow and spread shows that you have a great love for the young. As you watched over the child Jesus at Nazareth, so now watch over all young people, especially those most in need, and help them to grow daily in love of your Son.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Ninth Day
O Mary, you so often showed great courage during your life here on earth. Help all those who are suffering pain and persecution as they try to worship your Son. Obtain for me a deep love of Jesus, so that my life may always be pure, my service of others generous and loving, and my death a truly happy one.
(add in this moment all your personal intentions)
Source: Salesians of St. Don Bosco
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Pope Francis says "Let us listen to the words of Jesus....Carry a small copy of the Gospel in your pocket or in your bag, in order to read it during the day..." FULL TEXT + Video

POPE FRANCIS

ANGELUS

Library of the Apostolic Palace
Sunday, 31 January 2021

 Dear brothers and sisters, buongiorno!

Today’s Gospel passage (cf. Mk 1:21-28) tells of a typical day in Jesus’ ministry; in particular, it is the Sabbath, a day dedicated to repose and prayer: people went to the synagogue. In the synagogue of Capernaum, Jesus reads and comments on the Scriptures. Those present are attracted by His manner of speaking; their astonishment is great because He demonstrates an authority different to that of the scribes (v. 22). Furthermore, Jesus shows Himself to be powerful also in His deeds. Indeed, a man of the synagogue turns to Him, addressing Him as God’s Envoy: He recognises the evil spirit, orders him to leave that man, and so drives him out (vv. 23-26).

Two characteristic elements of Jesus’ work can be seen here: preaching, and the therapeutic action of healing: He preaches and heals. Both of these aspects stand out in the passage of the evangelist Mark, but preaching is emphasised the most; exorcism is presented as a confirmation of His singular “authority” and His teaching. Jesus preaches with His own authority, as someone who possesses a doctrine derived from Himself, and not like the scribes who repeated previous traditions and laws. They repeated words, words, words, only words: as the great singer Mina sang, [“Parole, parole, parole”]; that is how they were. Just words. Instead Jesus, His word has authority, Jesus is authoritative. And this touches the heart. Jesus' teaching has the same authority as God who speaks; for with a single command He easily frees the possessed man from the evil one, and heals him. Why? Because his word does what He says. Because He is the definitive prophet. But why do I say this, that He is the definitive prophet? Remember Moses’ promise: Moses says, “After me, long after, a prophet like me will come - like me! - who will teach you”. Moses proclaimed Jesus as the definitive prophet. The teaching of Jesus has the same authority as God who speaks: indeed, with a single command he easily frees the possessed man from the evil one, and heals him. This is why he speaks not with human, but with divine authority, because he has the power to be the definitive prophet, that is, the Son of God who saves us, who heals us all.

The second aspect, healing, shows that Christ’s preaching is intended to defeat the evil present in humankind and the world. His word is pointedly directed at the kingdom of Satan: it puts him in crisis and makes him recoil, obliging him to leave the world. Touched by the Lord’s command, this possessed, obsessed man is freed and transformed into a new person. In addition, Jesus’ preaching conforms to a logic contrary to that of the world and of the evil one: His words reveal the upheaval of a mistaken ordering of things. In fact, the demon present in the possessed the man cries out as Jesus approaches: “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us?” (v. 24). These expressions indicate the total extraneousness between Jesus and Satan: they are on completely different planes; there is nothing in common between them; they are the opposite of each other. Jesus, authoritative, who attracts people by his authority, and also the prophet who liberates, the promised prophet who is the Son of God who heals. Let us listen to the words of Jesus, which are authoritative: always, do not forget!

Carry a small copy of the Gospel in your pocket or in your bag, in order to read it during the day, to listen to that authoritative word of Jesus. And then, we all have our problems, we all have our sins, we all have spiritual malaises; ask Jesus: “Jesus, you are the prophet, the Son of God, He who was promised to us to heal us. Heal me!” Ask Jesus for healing, from our sins, from our ills.

The Virgin Mary always kept Jesus’ words and deeds in her heart, and followed Him with complete availability and faithfulness. May she help us too to listen to Him and follow Him, to experience the signs of His salvation in our lives.


After the Angelus the Holy Father continued:

Dear brothers and sisters,

The day after tomorrow, 2 February, we will celebrate the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, when Simeon and Anna, both elderly, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, recognised Jesus as the Messiah. The Holy Spirit still stirs up thoughts and words of wisdom in the elderly today: their voice is precious because it sings the praises of God and safeguards the roots of peoples. They remind us that old age is a gift and that grandparents are the link between generations, passing on the experience of life and faithto the young. Grandparents are often forgotten and we forget this wealth of preserving roots and passing on. For this reason, I have decided to establish World Grandparents' and Elders' Day, which will be held in all the Church every year on the fourth Sunday of July, close to the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, Jesus’“grandparents”. It is important for grandparents to meet their grandchildren and for grandchildren to meet their grandparents, because - as the prophet Joel says - grandparents, before their grandchildren, will dream, and have great desires, and young people, taking strength from their grandparents, will go forward and prophesy. And 2 February is indeed the feast of the encounter between grandparents and their grandchildren.

Today we celebrate World Leprosy Day, initiated more than sixty years ago by Raoul Follereau and continued by the associations inspired by his humanitarian work. I express my closeness to those who suffer from this disease, and I encourage the missionaries, health care workers and volunteers who are engaged in their service. The pandemic has confirmed how vital it is to protect the right to health for the most fragile people: I hope that the leaders of nations will unite in their efforts to treat those suffering from Hansen’s disease and to ensure their social inclusion.

I greet with affection the boys and girls of Catholic Action in this diocese of Rome - some of them are here -, gathered in safety in their parishes or connected online, on the occasion of the Caravan of Peace. Despite the health emergency, this year too, with the help of parents and educators and assisting priests, they have organised this wonderful initiative. They are going ahead with the initiatives, well done to you! Keep up the good work! Well done to you all, thank you. And now let us listen together to the message that some of them here beside us, on behalf of us all, will read.

[Reading of the Message]

Normally, these young people would bring balloons to throw into the air from the window, but today we’re locked in here, so it won't be possible. But next year you will certainly do it!

I extend my cordial greetings to all of you who are connected through the various media. I wish you all a good Sunday. Please do not forget to pray for me. Enjoy your meal and arrivederci!

#BreakingNews Pope Francis Establishes World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly for the Church Every Year in July


Pope Francis has decided to institute a Church-wide celebration of a World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. It will be held on the fourth Sunday of July, near to the liturgical memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus. After the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis announced the institution of World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, which will be starting on July 25, 2021 and every 4th Sunday in July.

 He announced this while mentioning the upcoming feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple – when the elderly Simeon and Anna encountered the child Jesus and recognized Him as the Messiah – Pope Francis said, “the Holy Spirit even today stirs up thoughts and words of wisdom in the elderly.” The voice of the elderly “is precious,” he said, “because it sings the praises of God and preserves the roots of the peoples.”  
The elderly, he continued, “remind us that old age is a gift and that grandparents are the link between the different generation, to pass on to the young the experience of life.” 
 The elderly must not be forgotten The Holy Father said he instituted the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly because “grandparents are often forgotten, and we forget this wealth of preserving roots and passing on” what the elderly have received. He emphasized the importance of grandparents and grandchildren getting to know one another, because “as the prophet Joel says, grandparents seeing their grandchildren dream,” while “young people, drawing strength from their grandparents, will go forward and prophesy.” First fruits of the Amoris Laetitia Family Year In a press release following the announcement, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, the establishment of the Day of Grandparents and the Elderly “is the first fruits of the Amoris Laetitia Family Year, a gift to the whole Church that is destined to continue into the future.” 
The statement from the Dicastery notes that Pope Francis is expected to celebrate the first World Day by presiding at Mass on the evening of Sunday, 25 July, in St Peter’s, subject to health measures in place at the time. 
Edited from Vatican News 
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Thanks and God bless!