Wednesday, March 22, 2017

#PopeFrancis "Dear friends, we can never thank God enough for the gift of His Word, which is rendered present in the Scriptures." at Audience FULL TEXT + Video

The Holy Father’s Catechesis 
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
For some weeks now, the Apostle Paul has been helping us to understand better in what Christian hope consists. And we said that it was not optimism, it was something else. And the Apostle helps us to understand this. Today he does so by approaching it from two altogether important attitudes for our life and our faith experience: “perseverance” and “consolation” (vv. 4.5). They are mentioned twice in the passage of the Letter to the Romans that we just heard: first in reference to the Scriptures and then to God Himself. What is their most profound, truest meaning? And in what way do they throw light on the reality of hope? These two attitudes: perseverance and consolation.
We can describe perseverance in fact as patience: it is the capacity to endure, to carry on one’s shoulders, “support,” to remain faithful, even when the burden seems to be too great, unbearable, and we are tempted to judge negatively and to abandon everything and everyone. Consolation, instead, is the grace to be able to receive and show in every situation, even in those largely marked by disappointment and suffering, the compassionate presence and action of God. Now Saint Paul reminds us that particularly the Scriptures, namely, the Bible, transmit to us perseverance and consolation (v. 4). In fact, in the first place, the Word of God leads us to turn our gaze to Jesus, to know Him better and to be conformed to Him, to be ever more like Him. In the second place, the Word reveals to us that the Lord is truly “the God of perseverance and of consolation” (v. 5), who is always faithful to His love for us, namely, that He is perseverant in His love for us, He does not tire of loving us! He is perseverant: He always loves us! And He who takes care of us, covering our wounds with the caress of His goodness and His mercy, that is, He consoles us. He does not tire of consoling us, either.

Understood in this perspective also is the Apostle’s initial affirmation: “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves” (v.1). This expression “we who are strong” might seem presumptuous, but, in the logic of the Gospel, we know that it is not so, rather, it is in fact the contrary, because our strength does not come from ourselves, but from the Lord. One who experiences in his life the faithful love of God and His consolation is able, more than that, has the duty to be close to weaker brothers and take on their frailty. If we are close to the Lord we will have that strength to be close to the weakest, to the neediest and to console them and give them strength. This is what it means. We can do this without being pleased with ourselves but feeling ourselves simply as a “channel” that transmits the Lord’s gifts; and thus become concretely a “sower” of hope. This is what the Lord asks us, with that strength and capacity to console and to be sowers of hope. And today it is necessary to sow hope, but it is not easy . . . 
The fruit of this lifestyle is not a community in which some are “series A,” namely, the strong, and others “series B”, namely, the weak. Instead, as Saint Paul says, the fruit is “to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus” (v. 5). The Word of God nourishes a hope that is translated concretely in sharing, in mutual service. Because even one who is “strong” finds himself sooner or later experiencing frailty and the need of others’ comfort and, vice versa, in weakness one can always offer a smile or a hand to a brother in difficulty. And it is such a community that “with one spirit and one voice renders glory to God” (cf. v. 6). However, all this is possible if Christ and his Word are put at the center, because He is “strong. He is the one who gives us strength, who gives us patience, who gives us hope, who gives us consolation. He is the “strong brother,” who takes care of each one of us: all of us, in fact, are in need of being carried on the shoulders of the Good Shepherd and of feeling enveloped by His tender and solicitous gaze.
Dear friends, we can never thank God enough for the gift of His Word, which is rendered present in the Scriptures. It is there that the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is revealed as “God of perseverance and of consolation.” And it is there that we realize that our hope is not founded on our capacities and our strength, but on God’s support and on the faithfulness of His love, that is, on God’s strength and consolation. Thank you.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester] 
In Italian
Dear Italian-speaking pilgrims, welcome! I greet the participants in the Migrantes meeting for Directors and I encourage them to continue in their commitment to the reception and hospitality of the displaced and of refugees, fostering their integration, taking account of the mutual rights and duties of the one who receives and the one who is received. Let’s not forget that this problem of today of refugees and migrants is the greatest tragedy since that of World War II.
I greet the youngsters with Down’s Syndrome of the Diocese of Ascoli Piceno and the workers of the Italian Bathing Syndicate, of the Fruit Imprese Group and of the Accenture Services.
A particular greeting goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Next Saturday we will celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord to the Virgin Mary. Dear young people, be able to listen to the will of God like Mary; dear sick, do not get discouraged in the more difficult moments, knowing that the Lord does not give a cross that is beyond one’s strength; and you, dear newlyweds, build your marital life on the solid rock of the Word of God.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
The Holy Father’s Appeal
I invite all communities to live with faith the appointment of March 23 and 24, “24 Hours for the Lord,” to rediscover the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I hope that this year also this privileged moment of grace of the Lenten journey is lived in many churches to experience the joyful encounter of the mercy of the Father, who receives and forgives all.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday March 22, 2017 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent
Lectionary: 239

Reading 1DT 4:1, 5-9

Moses spoke to the people and said:
"Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees
which I am teaching you to observe,
that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land
which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
Therefore, I teach you the statutes and decrees
as the LORD, my God, has commanded me,
that you may observe them in the land you are entering to occupy.
Observe them carefully,
for thus will you give evidence
of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations,
who will hear of all these statutes and say,
'This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.'
For what great nation is there
that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us
whenever we call upon him?
Or what great nation has statutes and decrees
that are as just as this whole law
which I am setting before you today?

"However, take care and be earnestly on your guard
not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen,
nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live,
but teach them to your children and to your children's children."

Responsorial PsalmPS 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20

R. (12a) Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion.
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
He sends forth his command to the earth;
swiftly runs his word!
He spreads snow like wool;
frost he strews like ashes.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

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

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

GospelMT 5:17-19

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven."

Saint March 22 : Blessed Clemens August von Galen - Cardinal in Germany

Feast Day:
March 22
16 March 1878 at Dinklage Castle, Lower Saxony, Germany
22 March 1946 at Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
9 October 2005, Saint Peter's Plaza, Vatican, by Pope Benedict XVI

Clemens August von Galen was born on 16 March 1878 in Dinklage Castle, Oldenburg, Germany, the 11th of 13 children born to Count Ferdinand Heribert and Elisabeth von Spee.
His father belonged to the noble family of Westphalia, who since 1660 governed the village of Dinklage. For over two centuries his ancestors carried out the inherited office of camerlengo of the Diocese of Münster.
Clemens August grew up in Dinklage Castle and in other family seats. Due to the struggle between Church and State, he and his brothers were sent to a school run by the Jesuits in Feldkirch, Austria.
He remained there until 1894, when he transferred to the Antonianum in Vechta. After graduation, he studied philosophy and theology in Frebur, Innsbruck and Münster, and was ordained a priest on 28 May 1904 for the Diocese of Munster by Bishop Hermann Dingelstadt