Memorial of Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church Lectionary: 421
Reading 1EZ 34:1-11
The word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, in these words prophesy to them to the shepherds: Thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been pasturing themselves! Should not shepherds, rather, pasture sheep? You have fed off their milk, worn their wool, and slaughtered the fatlings, but the sheep you have not pastured. You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick nor bind up the injured. You did not bring back the strayed nor seek the lost, but you lorded it over them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered for the lack of a shepherd, and became food for all the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered and wandered over all the mountains and high hills; my sheep were scattered over the whole earth, with no one to look after them or to search for them.
Therefore, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: As I live, says the Lord GOD, because my sheep have been given over to pillage, and because my sheep have become food for every wild beast, for lack of a shepherd; because my shepherds did not look after my sheep, but pastured themselves and did not pasture my sheep; because of this, shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: Thus says the Lord GOD: I swear I am coming against these shepherds. I will claim my sheep from them and put a stop to their shepherding my sheep so that they may no longer pasture themselves. I will save my sheep, that they may no longer be food for their mouths.
For thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will look after and tend my sheep.
Responsorial Psalm PS 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6
R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose; Beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul. R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. He guides me in right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side With your rod and your staff that give me courage. R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. You spread the table before me in the sight of my foes; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Only goodness and kindness will follow me all the days of my life; And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come. R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Gospel MT 20:1-16
Jesus told his disciples this parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. Going out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.’ So they went off. And he went out again around noon, and around three o’clock, and did likewise. Going out about five o’clock, he found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’ When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.’ When those who had started about five o’clock came, each received the usual daily wage. So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage. And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’ He said to one of them in reply, ‘My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?’ Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.
(Vatican Radio) As protests continue in the town of Ferguson in the United States, Archbishop Robert Carlson of Saint Louis has issued a letter calling on Catholics to work for peace. Quoting Pope Francis, he said, “All men and women of good will are bound by the task of pursuing peace.”
Archbishop Carlson has invited the Catholic faithful to attend a Mass for Justice and Peace, set to take place at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, just a few miles from the site of the protests. During the Mass, a collection will be taken up to assist food pantries and parishes in the area that offer assistance to those affected by looting and the destruction of property.
In addition, Archbishop Carlson is calling on parishes to offer Masses for peace in the community, and offering appropriate resources through the Archdiocesan Office of Worship.
The commitment to peacebuilding extends to various initiatives throughout the Archdiocese, especially to Catholic schools, many of which are beginning classes in the coming weeks. Archbishop Carlson is encouraging Catholic schools to begin a daily Rosary for peace, and to offer special intentions during all school Masses.
Concluding his letter, Archbishop Carlson pointed again to the example and teaching of the Holy Father. Pope Francis, he says, “has encouraged us again and again to ask Our Lady, the Undoer of Knots, to intercede for us in difficult circumstances. So too, I ask all the faithful in the Archdiocese of St. Louis to join me in praying to Our Blessed Mother and to her son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, for peace and justice in our community.”
August 18, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ST. LOUIS – Today, His Excellency, Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, issued the following letter to the faithful in the Archdiocese of St. Louis:
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
We are all aware of the turmoil and tragedy our St. Louis community is experiencing. The residents of Ferguson, Missouri, are struggling to find peace in the chaos. As people of Christ, we are struggling to find direction in the unrest.
I have personally visited Ferguson and Michael Brown's memorial to offer my prayers for everyone affected by this tragedy. As I have been observing this situation and reflecting on it through much prayer, I find strength in the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi: "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace." In all circumstances, but especially in these difficult times, we are all called to be instruments of peace through our words and actions. Pope Francis recently stated that, "All men and women of good will are bound by the task of pursuing peace."
To that end, I invite the Catholic faithful to attend a Mass for Peace and Justice which I will celebrate at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, on Wednesday, August 20th, at 5 p.m. During the Mass a special collection will be taken to assist food pantries and parishes in the Ferguson area that offer assistance to those who have been affected by the looting and destruction of property. Additionally, I encourage all parishes to offer Masses for peace in our community. The Office of Worship will contact pastors to provide the appropriate resources. Additional parish activities could include Holy Hours, a parish rosary, or a special collection this week to assist in the effort.
Because many Catholic schools are beginning classes both this and in the coming weeks, I have asked our Catholic schools to begin a daily rosary for peace and to offer special intentions during all school Masses. Catholic Family Services, an agency of Catholic Charities, has made counselors available to any Catholic school that requests assistance. Catholic Family Services has also publicized tips for parents and schools when dealing with crisis situations.
Pope Francis has encouraged us again and again to ask Our Lady, the Undoer of Knots, to intercede for us in difficult circumstances. So too, I ask all the faithful in the Archdiocese of St. Louis to join me in praying to Our Blessed Mother and to her son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, for peace and justice in our community.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson Archbishop of St. Louis