Wednesday, April 6, 2016

#PopeFrancis "The Sacrament of Reconciliation renders actual for each one the strength..." Audience FULL TEXT - Video

 Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
After having reflected on God’s mercy in the Old Testament, today we begin to meditate on how Jesus Himself brought it to its fulfilment. Jesus, in fact, is God’s mercy made flesh – a mercy that He expressed, realized and communicated always, in every moment of His earthly life. In meeting the crowds, in proclaiming the Gospel, in curing the sick, in approaching the last, in forgiving sinners, Jesus makes visible a love open to all: no one excluded! It is open to all without limits. It is a pure, free and absolute love, a love that reaches its culmination in the sacrifice of the Cross. Yes, the Gospel is truly the “Gospel of Mercy,” because Jesus is Mercy!
All four Gospels attest that, before undertaking His ministry, Jesus wished to receive Baptism from John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:29-34). This event imprints a decisive orientation to the whole of Christ’s mission. In fact, He did not present Himself to the world in the splendor of the Temple: He could have done so, He did not have Himself proclaimed by fanfare: He could have done so, He did not even come in the robes of a judge: He could have done so. Instead, after thirty years of a hidden life at Nazareth, Jesus went to the river Jordan, together with many of His people, and He put Himself in the queue with sinners. He was not ashamed; He was there with everyone, with sinners, to be baptized. Therefore, from the beginning of His ministry, He manifested Himself as the Messiah who takes on the human condition, moved by solidarity and compassion. As He Himself affirmed in the synagogue of Nazareth, identifying Himself with Isaiah’s prophecy:  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19).
All that Jesus did after His Baptism was the realization of the initial program: to take to all the love of God that saves; Jesus did not bring hatred, He did not bring enmity: He brought us love! – a great love, a heart open to all, to all of us! – a love that saves!
He made Himself close to the last, communicating to them God’s mercy, which is forgiveness, joy and new life. Jesus, the Son sent by the Father, is really the beginning of the time of mercy for the whole of humanity! Those who were present on the banks of the Jordan did not understand immediately the importance of Jesus’ gesture. John the Baptist himself was astonished by His decision (cf. Matthew 3:14) — but not the heavenly Father! He made His voice heard from on high:  ”You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11).
Thus, the Father confirmed the way the Son undertook as Messiah, while the Holy Spirit descended upon Him as a dove. So Jesus’ heart beats, so to speak, in unison with the heart of the Father and of the Spirit, showing all men that salvation is the fruit of God’s mercy.
We can contemplate the great mystery of this love even more clearly by turning our gaze to Jesus crucified. While He is about to die for us sinners, He entreats the Father: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). It is on the Cross that Jesus presents to the Father’s mercy the sin of the world, the sin of all, my sins, your sins. And there, on the Cross, He presents them to the Father. And with the sins of the world all our sins are cancelled. Nothing and no one remains excluded from this sacrificial prayer of Jesus. This means that we must not be afraid to acknowledge and confess ourselves sinners. How many times we say: “But he is a sinner, he has done this, and that …”, and we judge others. And you? Each one of us should ask himself: Yes, he is a sinner, and I?” We are all sinners, but we are all forgiven: we all have the possibility of receiving this forgiveness, which is God’s mercy. Therefore, we must not be afraid to acknowledge ourselves sinners, to confess ourselves sinners, because every sin was born by the Son on the Cross. And when we confess it repentant, entrusting ourselves to Him, we are certain of being forgiven. The Sacrament of Reconciliation renders actual for each one the strength of the forgiveness that flows from the Cross and renews in our life the grace of mercy that Jesus acquired for us! We must not be afraid of our miseries: each one of us has his own. The power of the love of the Crucified knows no obstacles and is never exhausted, and this mercy cancels our miseries.
Beloved, in this Jubilee Year, let us ask God for the grace to experience the power of the Gospel: the Gospel of mercy that transforms, which makes us enter in God’s heart, which enables us to forgive and to look at the world with greater kindness. If we receive the Gospel of the Risen Crucified One, the whole of our life is moulded by the strength of His love, which renews.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
Greetings for Italian-speakers present
I give a cordial welcome to the Italian-speaking pilgrims. I am happy to receive the faithful of the dioceses of Castellaneta and of Fidenza, accompanied by their Pastors, Monsignor Maniago and Monsignor Mazza; and the participants in the march of nourishing peace, with the Bishop of Gubbio, Monsignor Ceccobelli. I greet the Community of the Saint John Damascene Pontifical College, observing the 75 years of its foundation; the students and relatives of the Schools of the Congregation of Adorers of the Blood of Christ; the doctors of the European Society of Paediatric Orthopaedics as well as the faithful of Recco, Alatri, Vietri of Potenza and the students of Messina. In this Extraordinary Jubilee, I invite you to rediscover the need for the corporal and spiritual works of mercy as an opportunity to nourish our faith.
A particular thought goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Look at the model of the Virgin Mary to live this Paschal Time in listening to the Word of God and with the practice of charity, living with joy your membership in the Church, the family of the missionary disciples of the Risen Christ.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
The Holy Father’s Appeal
Today is the Third International Day of Sport for Development and Peace proclaimed by the United Nations. Sport is a universal language, which brings peoples close and can contribute to have persons meet and overcome conflicts. Therefore, I encourage you to live the sports dimension as a training ground of virtue in the integral growth of individuals and communities.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]

#PopeFrancis “every day each one of us is called to say ‘yes’ to God”. #Homily at Vatican

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Casa Santa Marta - OSS_ROM
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Casa Santa Marta - OSS_ROM
04/04/2016 12:31

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation encouraging the faithful to open their hearts to God and to say ‘yes’ to his message of salvation.
Speaking during the homily at morning Mass the Pope asked those present to ask themselves the question whether they are men and women who respond to the Lord’s call or whether they look the other way to avoid answering.
Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni:
Celebrating Mass at the Casa Santa Marta for the first time since the Easter break, the Pope took his cue from the April 4th Feast of the Annunciation which tells of  Mary’s “yes” to God and opens the door to the “yes” of Jesus.  
Pope Francis focused his homily on the chain of affirmative answers that run through the Scriptures.

He spoke of Abraham who obeyed the Lord and left his land without knowing his destination and he recalled that “humanity of men and women” – even although many were elderly like Abraham or Moses - “who said ‘yes’ to hope offered by the Lord.”
The Pope also mentioned those who initially refused or hesitated – like Isaiah or Jeremiah – but ended up saying “yes” to the Lord. 
And reflecting on the Gospel reading of the day, Pope Francis said it marks the end of ‘this chain’ while opening the door to yet another ‘yes’.

Mary's ‘yes’ – he explained – allows God not only to look over man and walk with him, but to become one of us and take on our flesh.
“Mary’s ‘yes’ opens the door to Jesus’ ‘yes’: I have come to do Your will, this is the ‘yes’ that Jesus carries with him throughout his life, until the cross” he said. 
And Pope Francis pointed out that Mary’s affirmative answer contains the whole history of salvation.
“Today, he said, is a beautiful day in which to thank God for showing us that path, but also for thinking about our lives”
With a special word for some of the priests present who were celebrating the 50th anniversary of their Ordination, the Pope said “every day each one of us is called to say ‘yes’ to God”. And he asked them to think of how many times they may have chosen to pretend they hadn’t heard, and he encouraged them to persevere in always listening to the Lord’s voice.
Finally, Pope Francis said, it is God’s ‘yes’ that creates and re-creates the world and man: “It is God’s ‘yes’ that sanctifies us and keeps us alive in Jesus Christ”.
He concluded inviting the faithful to thank God for all of this and prayed the Lord to give us the grace to always say ‘yes’ to His call.(Linda Bordoni)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. April 6, 2016

Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter
Lectionary: 269

Reading 1ACTS 5:17-26

The high priest rose up and all his companions,
that is, the party of the Sadducees,
and, filled with jealousy,
laid hands upon the Apostles and put them in the public jail.
But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison,
led them out, and said,
“Go and take your place in the temple area,
and tell the people everything about this life.”
When they heard this,
they went to the temple early in the morning and taught.
When the high priest and his companions arrived,
they convened the Sanhedrin,
the full senate of the children of Israel,
and sent to the jail to have them brought in.
But the court officers who went did not find them in the prison,
so they came back and reported,
“We found the jail securely locked
and the guards stationed outside the doors,
but when we opened them, we found no one inside.”
When the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard this report,
they were at a loss about them,
as to what this would come to.
Then someone came in and reported to them,
“The men whom you put in prison are in the temple area
and are teaching the people.”
Then the captain and the court officers went and brought them,
but without force,
because they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

Responsorial PsalmPS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
R. Alleluia.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
R. Alleluia.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
R. Alleluia.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
R. Alleluia.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 3:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 3:16-21

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

Saint April 6 : St. William of Eskilsoe : #Abbot and #Confessor

St. William of Eskilsoe
Feast: April 6


Feast Day:
April 6
1125 at Paris, France
6 April (Easter Sunday) 1203 in Denmark
21 January 1224 by Pope Honorius III
He was born of an illustrious family in Paris, about the year 1105, and received his education in the abbey of St. Germain-des-Prez, under his uncle Hugh, the abbot. By the regularity of his conduct, and the sanctity of his manners, he was the admiration of the whole community. Having finished his studies, he was ordained sub-deacon, and installed canon in the church of St. Genevieve au-Mont. His assiduity in prayer, love of retirement and mortification, and exemplary life, seemed a troublesome censure of the slothful and worldly life of his colleagues; and what ought to have gained him their esteem and affection, served to provoke their envy and malice against him.
Having in vain endeavored to prevail on this reformer of their chapter, as they called him, to resign his canonry, in order to remove him at a distance, they presented him to the curacy of Epinay, a church five leagues from Paris, depending on their chapter. But not long after, Pope Eugenius III. coming to Paris, in 1147, and being informed of the irregular conduct of these canons, he commissioned the celebrated Suger, abbot of St. Denys, and prime minister to King Louis the Young, to expel them, and introduce in their room regular canons from the abbey of St. Victor: which was happily carried into execution, Eudo of St. Victor's being made the first abbot. St. William with joy embraced this institute, and was by his fervor and devotion a pattern to the most perfect. He was in a short time chosen sub-prior.
The perfect spirit of religion and regularity which he established in that community, was an illustrious proof of the incredible influence which the example of a prudent superior has over docile religious minds. His zeal for regular discipline he tempered with so much sweetness and modesty in his injunctions, that made all to love the precept itself, and to practice with cheerfulness whatever was prescribed them. The reputation of his wisdom and sanctity reached the ears of Absalon, bishop of Roschild, in Denmark, who, being one of the most holy prelates of his age, earnestly sought to allure him into his diocese. He sent the provost of his church, who seems to have been the learned historian Saxo the Grammarian, to Paris on this errand. A prospect of labors and dangers for the glory of God was a powerful motive with the saint, and he cheerfully undertook the voyage. The bishop appointed him abbot of Eskille, a monastery of regular canons which he had reformed. Here St. William sanctified himself by a life of prayer and austere mortification; but had much to suffer from the persecutions of powerful men, from the extreme poverty of his house in a severe climate, and, above all, from a long succession of interior trials: but the most perfect victory over himself was the fruit of his constancy, patience, and meekness. On prayer was his chief dependence, and it proved his constant support.
During the thirty years of his abbacy, he had the comfort to see many walk with fervor in his steps. He never left off wearing his hair-shirt, lay on straw, and fasted every day. Penetrated with a deep sense of the greatness and sanctity of our mysteries, he never approached the altar without watering it with his tears, making himself a victim to God in the spirit of adoration and sacrifice, together with, and through the merits of the holy victim offered thereon: the dispositions in which every Christian ought to assist at it. He died on the 6th of April, 1203, and was canonized by Honorius III. in 1224.
See his life by a disciple in Surius, and at large in Papebroke's Continuation of Bollandus, t. 1, Apr. p. 620. Also M. Gourdan in his MSS. Lives of Illustrious Men among the regular Canons at St. Victor's, in Paris, kept in the library of MSS. in that house, in fol. t. 2, pp. 324 and 814.

SOURCE: The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and
Principal Saints, by Alban Butler