Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Saint September 21 : St. Matthew : #Apostle : Patron of Accountants, Taxes and Bankers

Apostle and evangelist.
The name Matthew is derived from the Hebrew Mattija, being shortened to Mattai in post-Biblical Hebrew. In Greek it is sometimes spelled Maththaios, BD, and sometimes Matthaios, CEKL, but grammarians do not agree as to which of the two spellings is the original. Matthew is spoken of five times in the New Testament; first in Matthew 9:9, when called by Jesus to follow Him, and then four times in the list of the Apostles, where he is mentioned in the seventh (Luke 6:15, and Mark 3:18), and again in the eighth place (Matthew 10:3, and Acts 1:13). The man designated in Matthew 9:9, as "sitting in the custom house", and "named Matthew" is the same as Levi, recorded in Mark 2:14, and Luke 5:27, as "sitting at the receipt of custom". The account in the three Synoptics is identical, the vocation of Matthew-Levi being alluded to in the same terms. Hence Levi was the original name of the man who was subsequently called Matthew; the Maththaios legomenos of Matthew 9:9, would indicate this.
The fact of one man having two names is of frequent occurrence among the Jews. It is true that the same person usually bears a Hebrew name such as "Shaoul" and a Greek name, Paulos. However, we have also examples of individuals with two Hebrew names as, for instance, Joseph-Caiaphas, Simon-Cephas, etc. It is probable that Mattija, "gift of Iaveh", was the name conferred upon the tax-gatherer by Jesus Christ when He called him to the Apostolate, and by it he was thenceforth known among his Christian brethren, Levi being his original name.
Matthew, the son of Alpheus (Mark 2:14) was a Galilean, although Eusebius informs us that he was a Syrian. As tax-gatherer at Capharnaum, he collected custom duties for Herod Antipas, and, although a Jew, was despised by the Pharisees, who hated all publicans. When summoned by Jesus, Matthew arose and followed Him and tendered Him a feast in his house, where tax-gatherers and sinners sat at table with Christ and His disciples. This drew forth a protest from the Pharisees whom Jesus rebuked in these consoling words: "I came not to call the just, but sinners".
No further allusion is made to Matthew in the Gospels, except in the list of the Apostles. As a disciple and an Apostle he thenceforth followed Christ, accompanying Him up to the time of His Passion and, in Galilee, was one of the witnesses of His Resurrection. He was also amongst the Apostles who were present at the Ascension, and afterwards withdrew to an upper chamber, in Jerusalem, praying in union with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and with his brethren (Acts 1:10 and 1:14).
Of Matthew's subsequent career we have only inaccurate or legendary data. St. Irenæus tells us that Matthew preached the Gospel among the Hebrews, St. Clement of Alexandria claiming that he did this for fifteen years, and Eusebius maintains that, before going into other countries, he gave them his Gospel in the mother tongue. Ancient writers are not as one as to the countries evangelized by Matthew, but almost all mention Ethiopia to the south of the Caspian Sea (not Ethiopia in Africa), and some Persia and the kingdom of the Parthians, Macedonia, and Syria. According to Heracleon, who is quoted by Clement of Alexandria, Matthew did not die a martyr, but this opinion conflicts with all other ancient testimony. Let us add, however, that the account of his martyrdom in the apocryphal Greek writings entitled "Martyrium S. Matthæi in Ponto" and published by Bonnet, "Acta apostolorum apocrypha" (Leipzig, 1898), is absolutely devoid of historic value. Lipsius holds that this "Martyrium S. Matthæi", which contains traces of Gnosticism, must have been published in the third century.
There is a disagreement as to the place of St. Matthew's martyrdom and the kind of torture inflicted on him, therefore it is not known whether he was burned, stoned, or beheaded. The Roman Martyrology simply says: "S. Matthæi, qui in Æthiopia prædicans martyrium passus est".
Various writings that are now considered apocryphal, have been attributed to St. Matthew. In the "Evangelia apocrypha" (Leipzig, 1876), Tischendorf reproduced a Latin document entitled: "De Ortu beatæ Mariæ et infantia Salvatoris", supposedly written in Hebrew by St. Matthew the Evangelist, and translated into Latin by Jerome, the priest. It is an abridged adaptation of the "Protoevangelium" of St. James, which was a Greek apocryphal of the second century. This pseudo-Matthew dates from the middle or the end of the sixth century.
The Latin Church celebrates the feast of St. Matthew on 21 September, and the Greek Church on 16 November. St. Matthew is represented under the symbol of a winged man, carrying in his hand a lance as a characteristic emblem.
Text shared from The Catholic Encyclopedia

#PopeFrancis "May he keep us all in his love and unite us..." FULL TEXT in #Assisi + FULL VIDEO - Ecumenical Peace Meeting

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis is in Assisi, the hilltop town in central Italy where Saint Francis was born.
His one day visit to Assisi sees him taking part  in the closing of the interreligious World Day of Prayer for Peace, organized by the Community of Sant’Egidio. The theme of the 3-day international meeting this year is “Thirst for Peace. Religions and Cultures in Dialogue”.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the First World Day of Prayer for Peace that St. John Paul convened back in 1986, an historic event which saw world leaders of different religions come together for the very first time to pray for peace.

The Pope travelled to Assisi by helicopter and after his landing near the  Basilica of St Mary of the Angels where Bishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi and the local authorities greeted him, the Pope travelled by car to the Holy Convent of Assisi. Here he was welcomed by Father Mauro Gambetti, Custodian of the Holy Convent, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, a Muslim reprepresentative, Dr Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, the Syro-Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, Efrem II, a Jewish representative and the Supreme Head of Tendai Buddhism (Japan). They then moved to the Cloister of Sixtus IV where the representatives of Christian denominations and World Religions were waiting. 
Pope Francis greeted all participants at the World Day of Prayer for Peace before having lunch in the refectory of the Holy Convent, a lunch that was also attended by and refugees from Syria.
During the afternoon Pope Francis met individually with Bartholomew I, a Muslim representative, Archbishop Justin Welby, Patriarch Efrem II and a Jewish representative.
From 4pm local time Prayers for Peace take place in different venues. The Ecumenical Prayer of Christians takes place in the Lower Basilica of St. Francis, after which all the participants are meeting with the Representatives of other religions who have prayed in different places before moving to the podium in the Square.
A closing ceremony takes place at 5.15pm in St. Francis Square with messages read by Pope Francis, by a victim of war, Patriarch Bartholomew I, a Muslim representative, a Jewish representative, Japanese Buddhist Patriarch and by Professor Andrea Riccardi, Founder of the Sant’Egidio Community.
A Letter appealing for peace is handed to children from various countries and all present observe a moment of silence for the victims of war. Then the signing of an Appeal for Peace,the lighting of two symbolic candles and the exchange of a sign of peace conclude the World Day of Prayer for Peace. 
Pope Francis is scheduled to depart from Assisi at 6.30pm and arrive back at the Vatican City Heliport 1 hour later.
Please find below the full text of Pope Francis’ Meditation during the Ecumenical prayer ceremony:
Meditation of His Holiness Pope Francis
Lower Basilica of Saint Francis, Assisi
Tuesday, 20 September 2016
Gathered before Jesus crucified, we hear his words ring out also for us: “I thirst” (Jn 19:28).  Thirst, more than hunger, is the greatest need of humanity, and also its greatest suffering. Let us contemplate then the mystery of Almighty God, who in his mercy became poor among men.  
What does the Lord thirst for? Certainly for water, that element essential for life. But above all for love, that element no less essential for living. He thirsts to give us the living waters of his love, but also to receive our love.  The prophet Jeremiah expressed God’s appreciation of our love: “I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride” (Jer 2:2). But he also gave voice to divine suffering, when ungrateful man abandoned love – it seems as if the Lord is also speaking these words today – “they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (v. 13).  It is the tragedy of the “withered heart”, of love not requited, a tragedy that unfolds again in the Gospel, when in response to Jesus’ thirst man offers him vinegar, spoiled wine.  As the psalmist prophetically lamented: “For my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink” (Ps 69:21).
“Love is not loved”: this reality, according to some accounts, is what upset Saint Francis of Assisi.  For love of the suffering Lord, he was not ashamed to cry out and grieve loudly (cf. Fonti Francescane, no. 1413).  This same reality must be in our hearts as we contemplate Christ Crucified, he who thirsts for love.  Mother Teresa of Calcutta desired that in the chapel of every community of her sisters the words “I thirst” would be written next to the crucifix.  Her response was to quench Jesus’ thirst for love on the Cross through service to the poorest of the poor.  The Lord’s thirst is indeed quenched by our compassionate love; he is consoled when, in his name, we bend down to another’s suffering.  On the day of judgment they will be called “blessed” who gave drink to those who were thirsty, who offered true gestures of love to those in need: “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40).
Jesus’ words challenge us, they seek a place in our heart and a response that involves our whole life.  In his “I thirst” we can hear the voice of the suffering, the hidden cry of the little innocent ones to whom the light of this world is denied, the sorrowful plea of the poor and those most in need of peace.  The victims of war, which sullies people with hate and the earth with arms, plead for peace; our brothers and sisters, who live under the threat of bombs and are forced to leave their homes into the unknown, stripped of everything, plead for peace.  They are all brothers and sisters of the Crucified One, the little ones of his Kingdom, the wounded and parched members of his body.  They thirst.  But they are frequently given, like Jesus, the bitter vinegar of rejection.  Who listens to them?  Who bothers responding to them?  Far too often they encounter the deafening silence of indifference, the selfishness of those annoyed at being pestered, the coldness of those who silence their cry for help with the same ease with which television channels are changed.
Before Christ Crucified, “the power and wisdom of God” (1 Cor 1:24), we Christians are called to contemplate the mystery of Love not loved and to pour out mercy upon the world.  On the cross, the tree of life, evil was transformed into good; we too, as disciples of the Crucified One, are called to be “trees of life” that absorb the contamination of indifference and restore the pure air of love to the world.  From the side of Christ on the Cross water flowed, that symbol of the Spirit who gives life (cf. Jn 19:34); so that from us, his faithful, compassion may flow forth for all who thirst today.
Like Mary by the Cross, may the Lord grant us to be united to him and close to those who suffer.  Drawing near to those living as crucified, and strengthened by the love of Jesus Crucified and Risen, may our harmony and communion deepen even more.  “For he is our peace” (Eph 2:14), he who came to preach peace to those near and far (cf. v. 17).  May he keep us all in his love and unite us, so that we may be “one” (Jn 17:21) as he desires.

#PopeFrancis "God is a God of peace." #Homily

(Vatican Radio)  The world needs to go “beyond the divisions of religions,” and feel the “shame” of war, without turning a “deaf ear” to the cries of those who are suffering: that’s what Pope Francis said in his Homily at Mass at Santa Marta Tuesday morning.  The Holy Father was speaking just hours before he was to leave for the Umbrian hill town of Assisi where he was to take part September 20, 2016 in the closing ceremony of an international summit of interfaith leaders to pray for world peace.  The first such gathering in Assisi was convened by Pope St. John Paul II in 1986.
"There is no god of war". War, the inhumanity of a bomb that explodes, killing and injuring people, and cutting off humanitarian aid so that it cannot get to children, the elderly, the sick, is uniquely the work of “the evil one” who "wants to kill everyone," said the Pope.  For this, it is necessary for all faiths to pray, even cry for peace - united in the conviction that "God is a God of peace."
Do not turn a deaf ear: the world is suffering!
At the start of his Homily, Pope Francis observed, "today, men and women of all religions, we will go to Assisi - not to make a show: simply to pray and to pray for peace.” He recalled his letter to all the bishops of the world  calling on them to organize prayer meetings on this day, inviting “Catholics, Christians, believers and all men and women of good will , of any religion, to pray for peace,"  because, he exclaimed, " the world is at war! The world is suffering! "
"Today's First Reading,” the Pope continued, “ends like this: 'He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will himself also call and not be heard.’  If we now shut our ears to the cry of these people who are suffering under the bombs, who suffer the exploitation of arms dealers, it may be that when it happens to us, we will not be heard. We cannot turn a deaf ear to the cry of pain of our brothers and sisters who are suffering from war. "
War begins in the heart
“We do not see" the war, Francis maintained. "We are scared"  by "some act of terrorism" but "this has nothing to do with what is happening in those countries, in those lands where the bombs, day and night,  fall and fall" and "kill children, the elderly, men, women…"  "The war is far away?"  asked the Pope. "No! It’s very close" because "the war touches everyone…war begins in the heart ."
"May the Lord grant us peace in our hearts,” Pope Francis prayed.  May He “take away all desire for greed, covetousness, for fighting. No! Peace, peace!” the Pope exclaimed again.  So that “our heart is the heart of a man or woman of peace. And beyond the divisions of religions: everyone, everyone, everyone! Because we are all children of God. And God is the God of peace. There is no god of war.  He who makes war is evil; it is the devil who wants to kill everyone. "
We should feel the shame
Faced with this, there can be no divisions between faiths, Francis insisted. It is not enough to simply thank God because maybe the war "does not affect us."  Let us be grateful for this, yes, added the Pope,  “but we must also think about the others" who are being affected by it.
We think today not only about the bombs, the dead, the wounded; but also about the people - children and the elderly – for whom humanitarian aid has yet to arrive so they can eat. Medicines cannot arrive. They are hungry, sick! Because the bombs are preventing the aid from getting to them. And, while we pray today, it would be nice if all of us were to feel ashamed. Ashamed of this: that humans, our brothers, are capable of doing this. Today, a  day of prayer, penance, crying for peace; a day to hear the cry of the poor. This cry that opens the heart to compassion, to love and saves us from selfishness.

Saint September 20 : St. Andrew Kim Taegon and Companions : #Martyrs : Patron of #Korean #Clergy


St. Andrew Kim Taegon
MARTYR
Feast: September 20
Information:
Feast Day:
September 20
Born:
August 21, 1821
Died:
September 16, 1846
Canonized:
6 May 1984 by Pope John Paul II
Major Shrine:
Chŏltusan (Martyr's Mound), Seoul, South Korea
Patron of:
Korean Clergy

Andrew Kim Taegon Previous (Andrew Johnson)Next (Andrew Marvell) Saint Andrew Kim Taegon Saintandrewkim.jpg Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gon Born August 21 1821 Died September 16 1846 (aged 25) Venerated in Catholic Church Beatified 1925 Canonized 6 May 1984 by Pope John Paul II Major shrine Chŏltusan (Martyr's Mound), Seoul, South Korea Feast 20 September (Roman calendar) Patronage Korean Clergy Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gon is known as Korea's first Roman Catholic priest. Born into a family of Christian converts at a time of unprecedented governmental opposition to Christianity (Christian teachings threatened the hierarchical system of Confucianism and ancestor worship), Kim and his family led lives of deprivation and hardship. Although there were repeated efforts made by the Korean monarchy (who feared European colonization of Korea through Christianity), to uproot the religion of the barbarian foreigners from 1794 to 1866, converts to Christianity continued to increase.
Even though Kim's family members and eventually Kim himself would suffer persecution, torture and eventual martyrdom under the repressive Korean monarchy, as it desperately tried to preserve itself and Korea's Confucian culture by eradicating Christianity; the sacrifice of these early Korean Christians became the foundation for the Christian Church in Korea to flourish today. Andrew Kim Taegon is revered today for his sacrifice and dedication in bringing Christianity to Korea.
Early Catholic Church In Korea
During the 1592 invasion of Korea by Japan, Japanese soldiers introduced Christianity into Korea by baptizing Koreans. A Japanese commander, Konishi Yukinaga, took a Korean girl, Julia Ota-a to Japan and she became one of the first Korean Christians. Father Gregorious de Cespedes, a Jesuit priest, visited Konishi in Korea in 1593. Korean diplomat, Yi Gwang-jeong returned to Korea from Beijing bearing several theological books written by Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit priest living in China. Some two centuries later, members of the Silhak (practical learning) school were drawn to Christian thought because it advocated a social structure based upon merit rather than birth rank. Most early Christians had family ties to the Silhak school.
During the late Joseon Dynasty and under its Confucian influence, Christianity was heavily suppressed and many Christians were persecuted and executed. Kim Taegon was born into this environment, and just one of several thousands of Catholic, Presbyterian, or Methodist Christians who were tortured and executed because of their faith during this time. In 1866, Regent Heungseon Daewongun (father of King Gojong) signed a decree to execute all Catholics. Over 2,000 Catholics were beheaded at Jeoldusan, "Beheading Hill." Their bodies were thrown into the Han River. Some were as young as 13. Fewer than 40 were identified.[1]
At this time, Korea was isolated from the world; the only outside contact being with Peking, where taxes were paid. Jesuits in China managed to smuggle Christian literature into Korea. When Korea saw its first missionaries arrive from France and America in the mid 1800s, several thousand Koreans were already practicing Christianity.
Kim Family
Andrew Kim Taegon was born in Nol-Mae (Solmoe), Chu’ung-Chong Province (in South Central Korea. At the age of seven, the Kim family moved to Golbaemasil Mankok-ri, Youngin-gun County (Mirinae) Kyungki Province. Kim’s great-grandfather, Kim Jin-Hu was martyred in 1814. Kim’s grand-uncle, Kim Han-hyun was also martyred in 1816. Kim’s father, Kim Je-jun (Ignatius Kim), was subsequently martyred in 1839 for practicing Christianity.[2] With so many male relatives martyred, Kim grew up very poor; his mother reduced to begging.
Ordination and Mission Work
After being baptized at the age of 15, Kim traveled over 1200 miles in 1836 to study at a seminary in the Portuguese Colony of Macau, China. He returned to Korea through Manchuria. That same year, he crossed the Yellow Sea to Shanghai, where he was ordained a priest in 1845 by the French Bishop, Jean Ferréol. He then returned to Korea to preach and evangelize. These grueling trips between China and Korea, on foot and by small unworthy fishing vessels, allowed Kim to explore the terrain and increase the accuracy of the maps he had been using to plan better routes for the French missionaries to infiltrate Korea.
Handwritten map by Father Andre Kim (Kim Tae Gon, the first Korean Catholic priest, who managed to make this map in the short time he had to travel and work in Korea, before he was executed, 1846.)
Imprisonment
In June of 1846, while trying to arrange for passage for additional missionaries to enter Korea by boat along the southeast coast, Kim was arrested by the border patrol. While imprisoned and awaiting his fate, Andrew Kim Taegon wrote to his parish:
"My dear brothers and sisters know this: Our Lord Jesus Christ upon descending into the world took innumerable pains upon and constituted the holy Church through his own passion and increases it through the passion of its faithful....Now, however, some fifty or sixty years since holy Church entered into our Korea, the faithful suffer persecutions again. Even today persecution rages, so that many of our friends of the same faith, among who am I myself, have been thrown into prison. Just as you also remain in the midst of persecution. Since we have formed one body, how can we not be saddened in our innermost hearts? How can we not experience the pain of separation in our human faculties? However, as Scripture says, God cares for the least hair of our heads, and indeed he cares with his omniscience; therefore, how can persecution be considered as anything other than the command of God, or his prize, or precisely his punishment?...We are twenty here, and thanks be to God all are still well. If anyone is killed, I beg you not to forget his family. I have many more things to say, but how can I express them with pen and paper? I make an end to this letter. Since we are now close to the struggle, I pray you to walk in faith, so that when you have finally entered into Heaven, we may greet one another. I leave you my kiss of love.
Execution
On September 26, at the age of 25, Kim was tortured and beheaded near Seoul on the Han River. His ears were pierced with arrows; his face covered with lime.[3] A group of Christians led, by Yi Min-Sik, later moved his body to Mt. Mi-ri-nai, about 35 miles from Seoul.
Before Father Jean Joseph Ferréol, the first Bishop of Korea, died from exhaustion on the third of February in 1853, he wanted to be buried beside Andrew Kim, stating: “You will never know how sad I was to lose this young native priest. I have loved him as a father loved his son; it is a consolation for me to think of his eternal happiness.”Shared from NewWorldEncyclopeidia

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday September 20, 2016


Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 450


Reading 1PRV 21:1-6, 10-13

Like a stream is the king’s heart in the hand of the LORD;
wherever it pleases him, he directs it.

All the ways of a man may be right in his own eyes,
but it is the LORD who proves hearts.

To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Haughty eyes and a proud heart–
the tillage of the wicked is sin.

The plans of the diligent are sure of profit,
but all rash haste leads certainly to poverty.

Whoever makes a fortune by a lying tongue
is chasing a bubble over deadly snares.

The soul of the wicked man desires evil;
his neighbor finds no pity in his eyes.

When the arrogant man is punished, the simple are the wiser;
when the wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.

The just man appraises the house of the wicked:
there is one who brings down the wicked to ruin.

He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself also call and not be heard.

Responsorial PsalmPS 119:1, 27, 30, 34, 35, 44

R. (35) Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
The way of truth I have chosen;
I have set your ordinances before me.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Give me discernment, that I may observe your law
and keep it with all my heart.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Lead me in the path of your commands,
for in it I delight.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
And I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.

AlleluiaLK 11:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are those who hear the word of God
and observe it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 8:19-21

The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him
but were unable to join him because of the crowd.
He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside
and they wish to see you.”
He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers
are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”