Monday, December 31, 2012

NEW YEAR'S DAY MASS ONLINE - MARY MOTHER OF GOD - JAN. 1, 2013

The Octave Day of Christmas
Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God
Lectionary: 18


Reading 1 Nm 6:22-27

The LORD said to Moses:
“Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them:
This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace!
So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites,
and I will bless them.”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8

R. (2a) May God bless us in his mercy.
May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
R. May God bless us in his mercy.
May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
R. May God bless us in his mercy.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R. May God bless us in his mercy.

Reading 2 Gal 4:4-7

Brothers and sisters:
When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son,
born of a woman, born under the law,
to ransom those under the law,
so that we might receive adoption as sons.
As proof that you are sons,
God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
crying out, “Abba, Father!”
So you are no longer a slave but a son,
and if a son then also an heir, through God.

Gospel Lk 2:16-21

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God
for all they had heard and seen,
just as it had been told to them.

When eight days were completed for his circumcision,
he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel
before he was conceived in the womb.

TODAY'S SAINT : JAN. 1 : MARY MOTHER OF GOD

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
Feast: January 1


Information:
Feast Day:January 1
The solemnity of the Mother of God, which now coincides with the octave-day of Christmas and the beginning of the new year, was probably assigned this day because of the influence of the Byzantine Church, which celebrates the synapsis of the most holy Theotokos on December 26. This is in accordance with the Eastern practice of honoring secondary persons on the day after the feast of the principal personage (in this case, the birth of Christ). The Coptic Church celebrates this feast on January 16, but in the West, as early as the fifth century, the feast was celebrated on the Sunday before Christmas, although in France it was celebrated on January 18 and in Spain on December 18. Even before Pope Sergius introduced four Marian feasts in the seventh century (the Birth of Mary, the Annunciation, the Purification and the Assumption), the octave day of Christmas was celebrated in Rome in honor of the Maternity of Mary. Later, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the feast of the Circumcision was added, although it had been introduced into Spain and France at the end of the sixth century and was later included in the Missal of Pope St. Pius V. The recent liturgical reform has restored the original Roman practice, which replaced the pagan feast of the New Year, dedicated to the god Janus, with this feast honoring the Mother of God.

A popular movement began in Portugal in the eighteenth century for a feast honoring Mary's maternity, and in 1914 the date of the feast was fixed at October 11. It was extended to the entire Latin Church in 1931, the fifteenth centenary of the Council of Ephesus. The restoration of the feast to January 1, which falls in the Christmas season and has an ecumenical significance, coincides with other anniversaries; for example, the octave day of Christmas, the circumcision of the Infant Jesus (assigned to the first Sunday of January); the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus (which dates back to 1721); and the day for peace, introduced by Pope Paul VI.

In the encyclical Marialis Cultus (1974) Pope Paul VI states: "This celebration, assigned to January 1 in conformity with the ancient liturgy of the city of Rome, is meant to commemorate the part played by Mary in this mystery of salvation. It is meant also to exalt the singular dignity which this mystery brings to the 'holy Mother . . . through whom we were found worthy . . . to receive the Author of life.' It is likewise a fitting occasion for renewed adoration of the newborn Prince of Peace, for listening once more to the glad tidings of the angels, and for imploring from God, through the Queen of Peace, the supreme gift of peace. For this reason . . . we have instituted the World Day of Peace, an observance that is gaining increasing support and is already bringing forth fruits of peace in the hearts of many" (no. 5).


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/S/solemnityofmary.asp#ixzz1iFrUNxIA

VATICAN : POPE : END OF YEAR HOMILY - MARY MOTHER OF GOD FEAST



Vatican Radio REPORT -   Below, please find the full text of Pope Benedict XVI's homily for Solemn First Vespers for the Feast of Mary the Mother of God (Monday, 31 Dec 2012):

Dear Cardinals,
Venerable brothers in the Episcopate and the Priesthood,
Distinguished authorities,
Dear brothers and sisters,

I thank all of you who have chosen to participate in this liturgy of the last hour of the year of the Lord 2012. This “hour” bears a particular intensity and becomes, in a sense, a synthesis of all the hours of the year that is about to come to an end. I cordially greet the Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful, and especially the many people from the ecclesial community of Rome. In a special way I greet the Authorities present, beginning with the Mayor of the City, and thank them for choosing to share with us this moment of prayer and thanksgiving to God.

The “Te Deum” that we raise to the Lord this evening, at the end of a calendar year, is a hymn of thanksgiving that opens with the praise - "We praise you, O God, we proclaim you to be the Lord" - and ends with a profession of faith - "You are our hope, we will not be confounded forever." For all that came to pass over the course of the year, whether easy or difficult, barren or fruitful, we give thanks to God. The Te Deum, in fact, contains a profound wisdom, the wisdom that makes us say that, despite everything, there is good in the world, and this good is destined to triumph, thanks God, the God of Jesus Christ, who became incarnate, died, and rose again. Certainly, it is difficult, sometimes, to accept this profound reality, since evil makes more noise than the good: a brutal murder, the spread of violence, serious injustices make the news. Gestures of love and service, on the contrary, daily struggles endured with patience and fidelity are often left in the shadows. And this is why we cannot rely solely on the news if we want to understand the world and life. We must be able to remain in silence, in meditation, in calm and prolonged reflection; we must know how to stop and think. In this way, our mind can find healing from the inevitable wounds of daily life, can go deeper into the events that occur in our lives and in the world, and come to the knowledge that allows us to evaluate things with new eyes. Especially in the recollection of conscience, where God speaks to us, we learn to look truthfully at our own actions, even at the evil within us and around us, to begin a journey of conversion that makes us wiser and better, more capable of creating solidarity and communion, of overcoming evil with good. The Christian is a man of hope, even and especially in the face of the darkness that often exists in the world, not as a consequence of God’s plans, but because of the wrong choices of man, because the Christian knows that the power of faith can move mountains ( cf. Mt 17:20): the Lord can brighten even the deepest darkness.

The Year of Faith, which the Church is living, should arouse in the heart of each believer a greater awareness that the encounter with Christ is the source of true life and a solid hope. Faith in Jesus allows a constant renewal of goodness and of the ability to rise from the quicksand of sin and to begin anew. In the Word made flesh is possible, to rediscover the true identity of man, who finds himself destined for the infinite love of God and called to a personal communion with Him. This truth, that Jesus Christ came to reveal, is the certainty that drives us to face with confidence the year we are about to begin.

The Church, which has received from her Lord the mission to evangelize, knows well that the Gospel is for all people, especially the younger generations, to quench that thirst for truth that everyone carries in his heart and that is often obscured by all those things that occupy life. This apostolic commitment is all the more necessary when the faith risks being obscured in cultural contexts which hinder its personal roots and its social presence. Rome, too, is a city where the Christian faith must be proclaimed again and again and witnessed in a credible manner. On the one hand, there is the growing number of believers of other religions, the difficulties parish communities have in attracting young people, the spread of lifestyles marked by individualism and moral relativism; on the other, the quest, in so many people, for a sense of their own existence and for a hope that will not disappoint, that cannot leave us indifferent. Like the Apostle Paul (cf. Rom 1:14-15) all the faithful of this city should consider themselves under obligation of the Gospel towards the other inhabitants!

For this reason, for several years now, our Diocese has been committed to highlighting the missionary dimension of ordinary pastoral care, so that the faithful, supported especially by the Sunday Eucharist, can become disciples and coherent witnesses of Jesus Christ. Christian parents, who are for their children the primary educators in the faith, are called in a special way to this coherence in their lives. The complexity of life in a great city like Rome and in a culture that often seems indifferent to God, demands that we not leave fathers and mothers alone in so crucial a task, but rather that we support and accompany them in their spiritual life. In this regard, I encourage those who work in family ministry to implement the pastoral activities that emerged from the last Diocesan Convention, dedicated to baptismal and post-baptismal pastoral care. It requires a generous commitment to develop the paths of spiritual formation that after the baptism of children will go with the parents in order to keep the flame of faith alive, offering concrete suggestions so that, from an early age, the Gospel of Jesus will be announced. The emergence of groups of families, in which the Word of God is heard and the experiences of Christian life are shared helps to strengthen the sense of belonging to the ecclesial community and to grow in friendship with the Lord. It is also important to build a relationship of cordial friendship with those of the faithful who, after having baptized their child, distracted by the demands of everyday life, do not show great interest in living this experience: they will be able to experience the love of the Church, as a caring mother, stands by them to promote their spiritual life.

In order to proclaim the Gospel and to allow those who still do not know Jesus, or have abandoned Him, to cross again the threshold of faith and live in communion with God, it is essential to know in depth the meaning of the truths contained in the Profession of Faith. The commitment to a systematic training of pastoral workers, which for some years now has taken place in the various prefectures of the Diocese of Rome, is a valuable tool that must be pursued with commitment in the future, in order to form lay people who know how to echo the Gospel in every house and in every room, even in those listening centres that have brought so much fruit since the time of the city Missions. In this respect, the “Dialogues in the Cathedral,” which have been held in the Basilica of St. John Lateran for some years, constitute a particularly appropriate experience to encounter the City and to dialogue with those who seek God and truth, and who are inquiring into the into the great questions of human existence.

As in the past, so today the Church of Rome is called to announce and to tirelessly witness to the riches of the Gospel of Christ. It must do so also by supporting the many people living in situations of poverty and marginalization, as well as families in need, especially when they have to assist sick and disabled people. I hope very much that the Institutions at various levels will not allow their activities to cease, so that all citizens might have access to what is essential to a dignified life.

Dear friends, on the last night of the year that is coming to an end, and at the threshold of the new, let us praise the Lord! Let us show to “He who is and who was and who is to come” (Rev. 1:8) repentance and asking for forgiveness for their offenses, as well as the sincere thanks for the countless benefits granted by the divine goodness. In particular, we give thanks for the grace and truth that have come to us through Jesus Christ. In Him the fullness of all human time is placed. The future of every human being is kept safe in him. In Him, the fulfilment of the hopes of the Church and of the world comes true. Amen.

SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

CATHOLIC MOVIES - WATCH ST. RITA - PART 15

IN HONOR OF THE YEAR OF FAITH - JCE NEWS WILL BE SHOWING SOME OF THE TOP CATHOLIC MOVIES OF ALL TIME. TUNE IN FOR THE NEXT PART OF ST. RITA- TOMORROW

STATISTICS PASTORAL WORKERS KILLED IN 2012

Agenzia Fides REPORT - Once again this year, Fides publishes an annual document of all the pastoral workers who lost their lives in a violent manner over the course of the last 12 months. According to information in our possession, during 2012, 12 pastoral care workers were killed, almost all priests: 10 priests, 1 religious sister, 1 lay person.
For the fourth consecutive year, the place most affected, with an extremely elevated number of pastoral workers killed is AMERICA, bathed with the blood of 6 priests. Following is AFRICA, where 3 priests and 1 religious sister were killed. ASIA, where 1 priest and 1 religious sister were killed. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 29/12/2012)

ASIA : INDIA : ORISSA : THOUSANDS OF HINDUS ATTEND CATHOLIC MASS

ASIA NEWS IT REPORT
by Nirmala Carvalho
For Mgr John Barwa, archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar, such an event is unprecedented in the history of the troubled state of Orissa. Hundreds of thousands of Catholics and Hindus brought flowers and candles to the Baby Jesus in all the parishes of the state. In his New Year message, the archbishop stresses the importance of young people in spreading and bearing witness to the message of Christ among the nations.


Bhubaneshwar (AsiaNews) - Hundreds of thousands of Christians and Hindus took part in Midnight Mass in the parishes of Kandhamal, Bubhaneshwar and other districts in Orissa. For Mgr John Barwa, archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar, "the level of participation is unprecedented in the history of the Church in Orissa". Interviewed by AsiaNews, the prelate said that "sense of peace, festivity and prayer was palpable in the churches."

Catholics and non-Christians came to Mass with their families. Hundreds of children brought flowers and candles, which they placed before crèches to pay homage to the Baby Jesus. In light of the anti-Christian pogroms by Hindu extremists in 2007 and 2008 that left hundreds dead, this is extraordinary fact.

"God came to earth to be with us," the archbishop noted. "Slowly, non-Christians are recognising that." For the prelate, the large crowd is a sign that Christ brings together people from all nations.

"A young Italian woman attending the Mass asked me why there were so many people," he said. "Because they want to share the joy of Jesus," he answered.

"Looking at all these people, I realised that I am not a pastor for Christians alone. All the people in my archdiocese belong to my flock. On 25 December, the Baby Jesus spoke to everyone with the simplicity of his presence, telling everyone: 'I am here!'"

In his message for 2012, Mgr Barwa thanked the civilian administration for protecting religious buildings during Christmas celebrations.

"All that we are and all that we have is God's gift," the archbishop said. "The New Year, 2013, the Year of Faith, is God's gift to us who are privileged. I hope the New Year will be rich in opportunities to work together and that it may bring hope, harmony and communion in Orissa."

For the archbishop, youth and children are the backbone of Orissa's Christian community. Through education to deepen faith in Jesus, they can be agents of social change and true messengers of Christ in a society divided by hatred and violence.SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : DEC. 31, 2012

John 1: 1 - 18
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2He was in the beginning with God;
3all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
4In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him.
8He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.
9The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.
10He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not.
11He came to his own home, and his own people received him not.
12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God;
13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.
15(John bore witness to him, and cried, "This was he of whom I said, `He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.'")
16And from his fulness have we all received, grace upon grace.
17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
18No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.