Monday, March 13, 2017

Happy 4th Anniversary as Pontiff to Pope Francis - 266th Pope - his motto "Miserando atque eligendo" - Lowly but chosen

Vatican Radio report: Jorge Bergoglio became the 266th Pope on March 13, 2013. His humble and direct style was immediately clear as he uttered his first words as pontiff: “buona sera.” 
Four years on, his reform of the Church and of the Curia ploughs ahead, he continues to enjoy the acclaim of cheering crowds every Wednesday at the weekly General Audience and at all public appearances, his call for mercy and his openness and pastoral outreach towards the peripheries and towards the most vulnerable stand out as constant traits of his ministry.
The past year of France’s pontificate has given us unforgettable moments and important teachings such as the historic embrace with the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in Cuba, his silent prayer in Auschwitz, the canonization of Mother Teresa, his ecumenical journey to Lund to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the publishing of his Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia”, to name but a few.
The Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, one of Pope Francis’ closest collaborators looked back on the year gone by with Vatican Radio’s Alessandro Gisotti starting with that unique “buona sera” with which the new Bishop of Rome greeted his flock asking it for prayers, thus entrusting himself not only to the Lord, but  to “the holy people of God”.
It was immediately clear, Parolin said, that his vision of a Church going forth, of walking together – shepherd and flock – entrusted to prayer and to the grace and the mercy of God, would be important characteristics of the new Pontificate. A trait that Bergoglio reinforced with the choice of the name “Francis” and his attitude which exudes simplicity, peace and serenity.
Cardinal Parolin highlighted the fact that although Pope Francis continues to call for a Church that goes forth and that is able to accompany men and women in the difficulties and challenges of everyday life, he does so always attentive to the voice and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
He also pointed out that although the Jubilee Year of Mercy is concluded, mercy continues to be one of the pillars of Frances’ pontificate. He explained however that the Pope’s insistence on mercy does not derive from a personal sensitivity, but focuses attention on God’s love and on the mystery of salvation.
“The Pope, Parolin said, is directing us to God’s love and making sure the Church acts as a channel for that love and a place of encounter between God’s mercy and man as he lives the concrete  joys and sorrows of life on earth.”
Parolin also said that the fruits the Year of Mercy have yielded are many including the ‘re-discovery’ on the part of many Christians of the Sacrament of Confession and a heightened attention towards situations of poverty and need.
Regarding the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia”, Parolin described it as a gift that has given great impulse to the pastoral ministry of the family, and has produced fruits of renewal, hope and accompaniment for those in fragile family situations.
Cardinal Parolin also mentioned the reality of some criticism towards the Church and expressions of dissent saying “there have always been critical voices in the Church!”  
The important thing, he said, as the Pope himself says is that they be “sincere and constructive, and willing to find a way to make progress together and a better way of putting God’s will to work!”
At the heart of Pope Francis’s pontificate, Parolin concluded, is the desire to continue to reform the Curia because he believes that – to use an evangelical word – “the Church must continuously seek conversion, it must strive to be evermore authentic, get rid of the crusts accumulated in centuries of history and shine forth with the transparency of the Gospel”.

#PopeFrancis "We must look at the Cross a lot! It is Jesus-God — “this is my Son,” “this is my Son, the Beloved!” #Homily and Mass in Lent - FULL TEXT + Video

The Holy Father’s Homily
In this passage of the Gospel (cf. Matthew 17:1-9) reference is made twice to the beauty of Jesus, of Jesus-God, of luminous Jesus, of Jesus full of joy and of life. First, in the vision: “He was transfigured.” He was transfigured in front of them, the disciples: “His face shone like the sun, and His garments became white as light.”
And Jesus is transformed, is transfigured. The second time, while they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them not to speak of this vision before He had risen from the dead, that is, in the Resurrection Jesus will have – He had had, but at the moment He had not yet risen – the same luminous, brilliant face, it will be like that! But what did He wish to say? That between this transfiguration, so beautiful, and the Resurrection, there would be another face of Jesus: there will be a not so beautiful face; there will be a awful face, disfigured, tortured, scorned, bloodied by the crown of thorns . . . Jesus’ whole body in fact will be something to discard — two transfigurations and in between Jesus Crucified, the Cross. We must look at the Cross a lot! It is Jesus-God — “this is my Son,” “this is my Son, the Beloved!” –, Jesus, the Son of God, God Himself, in whom the Father is well pleased: He annihilated Himself to save us! And to use a very strong, a very strong word, perhaps one of the strongest words of the New Testament, a word that Paul uses: He was made sin (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:21). Sin is the most awful thing; sin is an offense to God, a slap to God, it’s to say to God: “ I don’t care about you, I prefer this . . . ‘ And Jesus was made sin, He annihilated Himself, He lowered Himself to this . . . And to prepare the disciples not to be scandalized to see Him like this, on the Cross, He underwent this transfiguration.
We are used to talking about sins: when we go to Confession – “I did this sin, I did that other . . . –; and also in Confession, when we are forgiven, we feel we are forgiven because He has taken this sin in the Passion: He became sin. We are used to talking about others’ sins. It’s an awful thing . . . Instead of talking about others’ sins, I don’t say we make ourselves sin, because we can’t, but <we must> look at our sins and <look> at Him, who became sin. This is the path to Easter, to the Resurrection: to go ahead with the certainty of this transfiguration; to see this most luminous, most beautiful face, which will be the same in the Resurrection and the same we will see in Heaven, and also to see this other face, which was made sin; He paid in this way for all of us. Jesus was made sin, He was made God’s malediction for us: in the Passion the blessed Son became the accursed, because He took our sins upon Himself (cf. Galatians 3:10-14). Let us think of this – so much love! So much love! And let us think also of the beauty of the transfigured face of Jesus that we will see in Heaven.
And may this contemplation of the two faces of Jesus – the transfigured and the one made sin, accursed – encourage us to go ahead on the path of life, on the path of Christian life. May it encourage us to ask for forgiveness of our sins, not to sin so much . . . May it encourage us especially to have confidence, because if He became sin it is because He took our sins upon Himself. And He is always willing to forgive us. We must only ask for it.
Text Only - Blog SHARE from ZENIT [Original text: Italian] [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday March 13, 2017 - #Eucharist

Monday of the Second Week in Lent
Lectionary: 230

Reading 1DN 9:4B-10

"Lord, great and awesome God,
you who keep your merciful covenant toward those who love you
and observe your commandments!
We have sinned, been wicked and done evil;
we have rebelled and departed from your commandments and your laws.
We have not obeyed your servants the prophets,
who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes,
our fathers, and all the people of the land.
Justice, O Lord, is on your side;
we are shamefaced even to this day:
we, the men of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem,
and all Israel, near and far,
in all the countries to which you have scattered them
because of their treachery toward you.
O LORD, we are shamefaced, like our kings, our princes, and our fathers,
for having sinned against you.
But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness!
Yet we rebelled against you
and paid no heed to your command, O LORD, our God,
to live by the law you gave us through your servants the prophets."

Responsorial PsalmPS 79:8, 9, 11 AND 13

R. (see 103:10a) Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
Remember not against us the iniquities of the past;
may your compassion quickly come to us,
for we are brought very low.
R. Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
Help us, O God our savior,
because of the glory of your name;
Deliver us and pardon our sins
for your name's sake.
R. Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
Let the prisoners' sighing come before you;
with your great power free those doomed to death.
Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
through all generations we will declare your praise.
R. Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.

Verse Before The GospelSEE JN 6:63C, 68C

Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.

GospelLK 6:36-38

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

"Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you."

Saint March 13 : St. Roderic and St. Salomon : Martyrs in #Spain - #EspaƱa

Sts. Roderic and Salomon
Feast: March 13

9th century southern Spain

Roderic, also called Rudericus and Rodrigo, was a priest at Cabra who was assaulted by his two brothers, one a Muslim and the other a lapsed Catholic. He was denounced by the Muslim brother and imprisoned for falling away from the Islamic faith. Roderic proclaimed that he had always been a Christian but was charged with apostasy. In prison, he met Salomon, a man under the same charge. They were beheaded at Cordoba after a long period of imprisonment.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia

Saint March 13 : St. Euphrasia : Virgin

Feast: March 13

Feast Day:March 13
Virgin, b. in 380; d. after 410. She was the daughter of Antigonus, a senator of
Constantinople, and a relation of Emperor Theodosius. Her father died shortly after her birth, and her mother, also Euphrasia, devoted her life thenceforth exclusively to the service of God.

To carry out this ideal she abandoned the capital, and, with her seven-year-old daughter, repaired to Egypt, where she dwelt on one of her estates, near a convent, and adopted the nuns' austere mode of life. This example aroused in her daughter the desire to enter the convent, and her mother gave her into the care of the superior, that she might be trained in the ascetic life.

After her mother's death she declined an offer of marriage made, by the Emperor
Theodosius, on behalf of a senator's son, transferred to the emperor her entire fortune, to be used for charitable purposes, and took up, with a holy ardour, the rigorous practices of Christian perfection. She was about thirty when she died. Her feast is celebrated in the Greek Church on 25 July, and in the Latin Church on 13 March. She is mentioned by St. John Damascene, in his third "Oratio de imaginibus".

Image - Google Images