Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church



 Wednesday of the First Week of Lent
Lectionary: 226
Reading I
Jon 3:1-10
The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:
“Set out for the great city of Nineveh,
and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”
So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh,
according to the LORD’s bidding.
Now Nineveh was an enormously large city;
it took three days to go through it.
(Mass Starts After the Stations of the Cross at the 15:15 mark)  

Jonah began his journey through the city,
and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing,
“Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,”
when the people of Nineveh believed God;
they proclaimed a fast
and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.
When the news reached the king of Nineveh,
he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe,
covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes.
Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh,
by decree of the king and his nobles:
“Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep,
shall taste anything;
they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water. 
Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God;
every man shall turn from his evil way
and from the violence he has in hand.
Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath,
so that we shall not perish.”
When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;
he did not carry it out.
Responsorial Psalm
51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19
R.    (19b) A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
    in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
    and of my sin cleanse me.
R.    A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
    and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
    and your Holy Spirit take not from me. 
R.    A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
    should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
    a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R.    A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Verse before the Gospel
Jl 2:12-13
Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart
for I am gracious and merciful.
Gospel
Lk 11:29-32
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
“This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah. 
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment 
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation 
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here. 
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here.”
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 24 : St. Ethelbert : King of Kent who Helped St. Augustine Convert a Heathen Temple into a Church and Died in 616

KING OF KENT
Born:
552
Died:
24 February 616
King of Kent; b. 552; d. 24 February, 616; son of Eormenric, through whom he was descended from Hengest. He succeeded his father, in 560, as King of Kent and made an unsuccessful attempt to win from Ceawlin of Wessex the overlordship of Britain. His political importance was doubtless advanced by his marriage with Bertha, daughter of Charibert, King of the Franks (see BERTHA I). A noble disposition to fair dealing is argued by his giving her the old Roman church of St. Martin in his capital of Cantwaraburh (Canterbury) and affording her every opportunity for the exercise of her religion, although he himself had been reared, and remained, a worshipper of Odin. The same natural virtue, combined with a quaint spiritual caution and, on the other hand, a large instinct of hospitality, appears in his message to St. Augustine when, in 597, the Apostle of England landed on the Kentish coast
In the interval between Ethelbert's defeat by Ceawlin and the arrival of the Roman missionaries, the death of the Wessex king had left Ethelbert, at least virtually, supreme in southern Britain, and his baptism, which took place on Whitsunday next following the landing of Augustine (2 June, 597) had such an effect in deciding the minds of his wavering countrymen that as many as 10,000 are said to have followed his example within a few months. Thenceforward Ethelbert became the watchful father of the infant Anglo-Saxon Church. He founded the church which in after-ages was to be the primatial cathedral of all England, besides other churches at Rochester and Canterbury. But, although he permitted, and even helped, Augustine to convert a heathen temple into the church of St. Pancras (Canterbury), he never compelled his heathen subjects to accept baptism. Moreover, as the lawgiver who issued their first written laws to the English people (the ninety "Dooms of Ethelbert", A.D. 604) he holds in English history a place thoroughly consistent with his character as the temporal founder of that see which did more than any other for the upbuilding of free and orderly political institutions in Christendom. When St. Mellitus had converted Sæbert, King of the East Saxons, whose capital was London, and it was proposed to make that see the metropolitan, Ethelbert, supported by Augustine, successfully resisted the attempt, and thus fixed for more than nine centuries the individual character of the English church. He left three children, of whom the only son, Eadbald, lived and died a pagan.
(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)
KING OF KENT Feast: February 24
(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia) 

#BreakingNews Holy Family Catholic Church in Nigeria Burned and Destroyed by Armed Gang



The Catholic Church of the Holy Family in Kaduna state, northern Nigeria, Africa was set on fire.   A Catholic church in northern Nigeria burned and destroyed and according to the authorities, the perpetrators are members of an "armed gang". Fides reports that the armed men entered the village of Kikwari, Kajuru County, where they set fire to the Catholic Church of the Holy Family and two other buildings. The villagers fled after learning of the attackers' arrival in their community.

Fides reports that, State Commissioner for Homeland Security and Internal Affairs Samuel Aruwan confirmed the incident in a statement released on Sunday, February 21, 2021. According to the commissioner, Governor El-Rufai also condemned the attack and expressed his solidarity with the villagers. Aruwan said the governor has "asked believers to stand firm in their faith and devotion, and to regard the assault as an act perpetrated by enemies of peace, humanity and diversity who will not succeed but will be defeated by the grace of God".El-Rufai meanwhile instructed the state crisis team in Kaduna to quickly assess the damage caused and take appropriate measures. The governor also assured that the security authorities will increase control measures in the region.Meanwhile, in an attack on another village, also in Kaduna state, at least two people were killed and nine others kidnapped. Edited from Agenzia Fides

Pro-Life Victory as Arkansas Senate Passes Unborn Child Protection Act to Protect All Unborn Babies



Pro-Lifers are hopeful because on Monday, February 22, 2021, the Arkansas Senate passed S.B. 6 that would ban abortions in the Natural State. Sen. Jason Rapert (R – Conway) and Rep. Mary Bentley (R – Perryville) were the key sponsors of the legislation that the state Senate approved on a 27-7 vote.

Life News reports that the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act will ban abortions unless it’s to save a mother’s life and the bill now heads to the state House, which is expected to approve it as well.

“Arkansas is asking and pleading that the U.S. Supreme Court take a look at this and make a decision that once again allows the states to protect human life,” Republican state Sen. Jason Rapert, the bill’s sponsor, said before the vote, according to the AP.

The central question in abortion is whether the baby is a human being worthy of legal protection, Sen. Bob Ballinger said during the debate.

“The question really is, is it a baby or not? Is it a little person or not? If it’s not a little person – what the heck are we doing?” Ballinger stated. “If it is a little human being and we agree with it, it doesn’t matter how they were created.”

The bill now heads to the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor House Committee.

The question after House passage would be whether Gov. Asa Hutchinson would sign it. In a statement released to KATV, Hutchinson  said:

“The legislature has historically included rape and incest as exceptions to abortion prohibitions. It makes sense to add the exceptions because if you are going to do a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, then it is important to have exceptions that the public generally supports. As a former member of Congress, I supported the Hyde amendment that prohibited taxpayer funds from being used for abortions, but it always included the exception language for rape and incest. I will continue to watch how the bill proceeds through the House.”

“If enacted, S.B. 6 would save thousands of unborn children every year and give the federal court system an opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade and other pro-abortion decisions,” it said. “This is an opportunity for Arkansas to be a real leader in the effort to end abortion in America. Many people have been saying for almost fifty years that abortion should be illegal. The time has come for us to make it so.” (Edited from LifeNews.com)

Retired Priest Commits Suicide in Germany after Abuse Accusation - Investigation Continues by Archdiocese












In Cologne, Germany, a retired chaplain, who was recently prohibited from exercising priestly ministry, committed suicide last weekend.

The archdiocese had released the retired chaplain from his duties four days earlier, and prohibited him from exercising priestly service and contact with children / young people.

The pastor was forbidden from exercising the priestly service and contact with children and minors. He was suspected of sexual abuse of a boy, who was underage at the time of the crime, which the retired chaplain allegedly committed in the 1990s. When the decree was handed over, the Archdiocese offered the chaplain and psychological support.

The person concerned, who accused the retired chaplain of sexual abuse, turned to the Archdiocese of Cologne at the end of December 2020. In order to clarify this, the Archdiocese of Cologne initiated the prescribed preliminary canonical investigation in January 2021, which included a detailed discussion with the person concerned, which took place in mid-January. The entire case was finally forwarded to the Bonn public prosecutor's office on February 3, 2021 with a request for a legal review and initiation of the necessary steps.

The pastors of the parishes in which the retired clergyman was active during his priestly service have been informed of the allegations. The Archdiocese of Cologne takes every case or suspicion of sexual abuse and sexual violence very seriously. Even if the accused pastor has died in the meantime, the Archdiocese of Cologne will continue to investigate the case and clarify it in full.

It is important to the Archdiocese of Cologne to provide each and every potentially affected person with the necessary help and support. For this reason, phone numbers will be published next weekend (February 27/28) at all past pastors' locations to encourage any other affected persons to contact the archdiocese. 

The Archdiocese of Cologne would like to expressly encourage those affected and / or witnesses of sexual abuse and sexual violence to contact them.

https://www.erzbistum-koeln.de/news/Ruhestandsgeistlicher-begeht-Suizid/

11 Christians Killed and 2 Wounded by Fulani Herdsman in Nigeria on Valentine's Day - Please Pray!



 Eleven Christians have been Killed and 2 Wounded by Fulani Herdsman in Nigeria. Muslim Fulani herdsmen ambushed the four members of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) at about 8 p.m. in Kwall District, Bassa County of Plateau state, three of them near Ri-Bakwa village and one in Zirshe village, according to David Mali, spokesman for the Irigwe Development Association (IDA). The IDA unites the predominantly Christian, ethnic Irigwe of Plateau state.

JOS, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslim Fulani herdsmen shot four Christians to death on Sunday (Feb. 14) in north-central Nigeria, following the killing of seven other Christians earlier in the month.

“Irigwe nation has again been thrown into the state of grief, heart-brokenness following the unwarranted killing of four of our Christian men by the Fulani herdsmen at two villages of Kwall District, Bassa LGA of Plateau state,” Mali said in a press statement. “Four of them from Rikwe-Chongu village were ambushed along Ri-Bakwa axis near Kpachudu, and three were killed instantly while one sustained gunshot injury. The other one from Zirshe (Ntireku) was ambushed and killed instantly.”

Mali identified the slain Christians as Ezekiel Maja, 29; Emmanuel Agaba, 39; Moses Daburu, 26; and Kefas Bulus David, 31. Wounded was Bitrus Ezra, 42.

The herdsmen burned several houses and food grains worth millions of naira in Zirshe village, he said.

“Irigwe nation is our land, and no amount of evil force can compel us to relinquish it to those who hate us and our Christian faith,” Mali said. “We are known for resilience, and so we shall remain till the end of age.”

Such unprovoked violence must be stopped, and the Christian Irigwe’s decision to be a peace-loving people who will not retaliate should not be taken as an act of cowardice, Mali said.

The killings followed a Feb. 7 Fulani herdsmen attack on Christians in the villages of Kishosho and Zirshe in southern Kaduna state’s Kauru County, Mali said. Church elder Danlami Sunday, 40, and four other Christians were killed, he said. There are villages called Zirshe in both Kaduna state and Plateau state.

“In recent times, Fulani herdsmen have killed hundreds of our people, with thousands displaced, houses razed down and farmed crops destroyed, leaving behind 200 orphans and vulnerable children, as well as 50 women widowed,” he said.

Country with Most Christians Killed

Nigeria was the country with the most Christians killed for their faith last year (November 2019-October 2020), at 3,530, up from 1,350 in 2019, according to Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List. In overall violence, Nigeria was second only to Pakistan, and it trailed only China in the number of churches attacked or closed, 270, according to the list.

Nigeria led the world in number of kidnapped Christians last year with 990, according to the WWL report. In the 2021 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria broke into the top 10 for the first time, jumping to No. 9 from No. 12 the previous year.

Numbering in the millions across Nigeria and the Sahel, predominantly Muslim Fulani comprise hundreds of clans of many different lineages who do not hold extremist views, but some Fulani do adhere to radical Islamist ideology, the United Kingdom’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom or Belief (APPG) noted in a recent report.

“They adopt a comparable strategy to Boko Haram and ISWAP [Islamic State West Africa Province] and demonstrate a clear intent to target Christians and potent symbols of Christian identity,” the APPG report states.

Christian leaders in Nigeria have said they believe herdsmen attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt are inspired by their desire to forcefully take over Christians’ lands and impose Islam as desertification has made it difficult for them to sustain their herds.

Edited from Morning Star News: If you would like to help persecuted Christians, visit https://morningstarnews.org/resources/aid-agencies/ for a list of organizations that can orient you on how to get involved.  

US Bishops Send Letter to Congress with Grave Concerns over Equality Act's "...novel and divisive viewpoints regarding “gender” - FULL TEXT


The USCCB sends letter to Congress today to express grave concerns with the Equality Act of 2021.
Full Text letter:
"Dear Representative/Senator:
As chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Religious Liberty, ProLife, Marriage, Catholic Education, and Domestic Justice committees, we write to share our support for laws that protect the dignity and ensure the respect that is due all people, as well as our grave concerns with the Equality Act of 2021 (H.R. 5). Human dignity is central to what Catholics believe because every person is made in the image of God and should be treated accordingly, with respect and compassion. This commitment is reflected in the Church’s charitable service to all people, without regard to race, religion, or any other characteristic. It means we need to honor every person’s right to gainful employment free of unjust discrimination or harassment, and to the basic goods that they need to live and thrive. It also means that people of differing beliefs should be respected. In this, we whole-heartedly support nondiscrimination principles to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected. The Equality Act purports to protect people experiencing same-sex attraction or gender discordance from discrimination. But instead, the bill represents the imposition by Congress of novel and divisive viewpoints regarding “gender” on individuals and organizations. This includes dismissing sexual difference and falsely presenting “gender” as only a social construct. As Pope Francis has reflected, however, “‘biological sex and the socio-cultural role of sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated.’ … It is one thing to be understanding of human weakness and the complexities of life, and another to accept ideologies that attempt to sunder what are inseparable aspects of reality.”
(1)
Tragically, this Act can also be construed to include an abortion mandate, a violation of precious rights to life and conscience.(2) Rather than affirm human dignity in ways that meaningfully exceed existing practical protections, the Equality Act would discriminate against people of faith. It would also inflict numerous legal and social harms on Americans of any faith or none. If passed, this legislation would: • punish faith-based charities such as shelters and foster care agencies, and in turn their thousands of beneficiaries, simply because of their beliefs on marriage and sexuality (§§ 3, 6); • force both people and organizations in many everyday life and work settings to speak or act in support of “gender transitions,” including health care workers and licensed counselors, even when it’s against their professional judgment (§§ 3, 6, 7); • risk mandating taxpayers to pay for abortions, and health care workers with conscience objections to perform them, ultimately ending more human lives (§§ 3, 6, 9); 1 Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, no. 56 (2016). 2 See USCCB Fact Sheet, “The Equality Act: Its Impact on Government Funding of Abortion.” • force girls and women to compete against boys and men for limited opportunities in school sports, and to share locker rooms and shower spaces with biological males who claim to identify as women (§§ 6, 9); • expand the government’s definition of public places into numerous settings, even forcing religiously operated spaces, such as some church halls and equivalent facilities owned by synagogues or mosques, to either host functions that violate their beliefs or close their doors to their broader communities (§ 3); • exclude people from the careers and livelihoods that they love, just for maintaining the truth of their beliefs on marriage and sexuality (§ 3); and • discriminate against individuals and religious organizations based on their different beliefs by partially repealing the bipartisan Religious Freedom Restoration Act, an unprecedented departure from that law and one of America’s founding principles (§ 9). Each year the Catholic Church, as the largest non-governmental provider of human services in the United States, helps millions of people in need through its parishes, schools, hospitals, shelters, legal clinics, food banks, and other charities. The same core beliefs about the human person--made with inherent dignity and in the image of God--motivate both our positions on life, marriage, and sexuality, and also our call to serve the most vulnerable and the common good. We oppose this legislation. Sincerely, *Most Rev. Michael C. Barber, S.J. Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley Bishop of Oakland Archbishop of Oklahoma City Chairman, Committee on Catholic Education Chairman, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development *His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan
* Most. Rev. David A. Konderla Archbishop of New York Bishop of Tulsa Chairman, Committee for Religious Liberty Chairman, Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage *Most Rev. Joseph F. Naumann Archbishop of Kansas City, KS Chairman, Committee on Pro-Life Activities
For for more information on this issue go to
FULL TEXT USCCB

Quote to SHARE by St. Thomas Aquinas for Lent - “Fasting cleanses the soul, raises the mind, subjects one’s flesh to the spirit....quenches the fire of lust, kindles the true light of chastity.”


“Fasting cleanses the soul, raises the mind, subjects one’s flesh to the spirit, renders the heart contrite and humble, scatters the clouds of concupiscence, quenches the fire of lust, kindles the true light of chastity.” 
St. Thomas Aquinas