Thursday, January 10, 2019

Pope Francis says we must Ask ourselves : “Do I pray for others? For those whom I like and for those whom I dislike?” in Homily

Pope at Mass: whoever loves God must also love his brother
If you don't love your brother, you can't love God. This was the message at the heart of Pope Francis’ homily during Mass at the Casa Santa Marta.
By Linda Bordoni

Speaking during his homily at Mass on Thursday morning, Pope Francis said that in order to love God concretely, one must also love one's brothers and sisters – all of them: both those we like and those we don’t like.

The Pope also said good Christians must not neglect to pray even for “the enemy”, nor give way to feelings of jealousy or engage in harmful gossip.

At the heart of his message was an encouragement to overcome a deceitful and divisive “worldly” spirit with the strength of faith.

The spirit of the world is deceitful
Taking his cue from the First Reading of the Day, the Pope noted that St. John the Apostle speaks of “worldliness” when he says that “whoever is begotten by God conquers the world”.

He explained that this refers to our everyday struggle against a worldly spirit that is deceitful and lacks in consistency while “God’s spirit is truthful”.

“The spirit of the world is a spirit of vanity, of things that have no strength, no foundation and that are destined to fall” he said.

The spirit of the world divides families, communities, society
The Pope said the Apostle shows us the way reminding us that if we go by God’s spirit, we will do good things.

Concretely, he says that “If anyone says, ‘I love God’ but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen”.

“If you are unable to love something you see” the Pope explained, “why would you love something you do not see?” Describing this as fantasy, he urged us to love “what you see, what you can touch, what is real. Not the fantasies that you do not see”.

Francis also said that if one does not show his love for God in a concrete manner, it is not true love.

He then spoke of the spirit of the world which he said can be divisive and create splits in families, communities and society.

“When divisions multiply they bring hatred and war” he said.

Pope Francis went on to dwell on three signs that indicate that one does not love one's brother.
The first, he said, is actually a question we must all ask ourselves: “Do I pray for others? For those whom I like and for those whom I dislike?”.

The second pertains to feelings of envy and jealousy and wishing someone ill: “Don’t let these feelings grow” he said, “They are dangerous”.

The third, he said, has to do with engaging in chatter - or gossip – that is harmful to others: “If I do this” he said, “I do not love God because with my words I am destroying another person”.

Faith is victorious in the fight against the spirit of the world
Pope Francis concluded saying that the spirit of the world is conquered with the spirit of faith: believing that God is really in the brother and sister who are close to me.

Only faith, he said, gives us the strength to tread the path of true love.
FULL TEXT Source: Vatican News va

#BreakingNews over 5 Million People in Catholic Procession of Black Nazarene in the Philippines

Over 5 million pilgrims at the Black Nazarene feast
Wednesday, 9 January 2019
Over 5 million pilgrims at the Black Nazarene feast

Manila (Agenzia Fides) - More than five million devotees attended the "Traslacion", the annual procession featuring the image of the Black Nazarene, which started on January 9th, with a prayer vigil during the night. This feast is a manifestation of popular devotion in the Philippines that has lasted more than four centuries, with millions of devotees who place their hopes in the suffering Christ.
The theme of the "2019 Traslacion" is "Devotees of the Lord Jesus the Nazarene: chosen to serve him". The peak of the program is the traditional procession through the streets of Manila with a statue, in black wood, depicting Christ carrying the cross towards the Calvary. Thousands of believers converge from all over the country to Manila to attend this feast.
The statue of the Black Nazarene was brought to Manila in 1607 by Augustinian missionaries from Mexico. It is also believed that it was partially burned and blackened when the galleon carrying it caught fire on a transpacific trip from Mexico, another Spanish colony at the time.
Mgr. Hernando Coronel, Rector of St. John the Baptist Church, in Quiapo district, in Manila, explained to Agenzia Fides: "The feast of the Black Nazarene revolves around the devotion to the suffering Christ, with whom Filipinos identify themselves, in their life marked by poverty and daily suffering. Along the route of the Traslacion, a procession of almost 24 hours carrying the statue begins at Quirino Grandstand, in Rizal Park, in the center of Manila, and ends once the statue reaches up Quiapo Church".
During the Mass celebrated today in the church, the Archbishop of Manila Luis Antonio Cardinale Tagle in his homily said that "the devotion to the Black Nazarene is the love for Jesus and it is not fanaticism". A true devotee loves: the essence of devotion is love. The fanatic clings only to something that gives value to himself. The devotee loves Jesus. The fanatic does not love", said the Cardinal to the faithful. (SD) (FULL Text Release by Agenzia Fides, 9/1/2019)

Pope Francis Prayer Intention for January 2019 - "That young people...follow the example of Mary and respond to the call of the Lord to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world."

Young People and the Example of Mary
"That young people, especially in Latin America, follow the example of Mary and respond to the call of the Lord to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world."

#BreakingNews New President of Democratic Republic of Congo Félix Tshisekedi amid Disputes over Election results

AFRICA/DR CONGO - Strong protests after the announcement of Tshisekedi's victory in the presidential elections
Thursday, 10 January 2019 
Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - On the night between 9 and 10 January the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) declared Félix Tshisekedi the winner of the Congolese presidential elections on 30 December. He obtained just over 7 million votes (38.57℅) against Martin Fayulu Madidi (who obtained 34.83% of the votes cast) and the candidate of the outgoing President's party, Joseph Kabila, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary who obtained 23.84%.
Félix Tshisekedi is the son of the historic Congolese opponent, Étienne Tshisekedi, who died in Brussels on 1 February 2017 (see Fides, 2/2/2017). His victory, however, was immediately contested by the other main opposition candidate, Martin Fayulu Madidi, who states that the results have been manipulated. "This result has nothing to do with the truth in the polls", said Fayulu, who denounced fraud on behalf of CENI. "The people of Congo have been defrauded of their elections and will never accept such fraud".
While supporters of Tshisekedi poured into the streets to celebrate the victory of their candidate in the capital, Kinshasa, in Lubumbashi, Mbuji-Mayi and Kananga, instead in Kisangani, in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, supporters of Fayulu clashed with the police who dispersed an unauthorized demonstration with tear gas.
Belgium and France have expressed doubts about the regularity of the proclamation of Tshisekedi's victory. There is now great expectation on the official position taken by the Congolese National Episcopal Conference (CENCO) which had deployed about 40,000 election observers during the vote. On 3 January CENCO (see Fides, 8/1/2019) declared that "the data we have obtained, obtained from the minutes issued by the polling stations, clearly reveal the choice of a candidate as President of the Republic". (L.M.) (Full Text Source: Agenzia Fides, 10/1/2019

Wow Vatican provides Shelter for Homeless and their Pets on Cold Winter nights in Rome

Because of the cold in Rome, the Vatican has stepped up its aid to the homeless in the Eternal City. Temperatures are currently falling below 0 degrees at night. The papal alms office not only distributed winter sleeping bags and provided more beds, but also thought of the dogs homeless, as reported by the portal "Vatican News".

In collaboration with the Order of Malta and a veterinary clinic in Ostia, homeless people can have their four-legged friends examined and treated for free on the third Sunday of each month.

Lunch for 250 people in need
For protection against freezing temperatures, the Alms Office created additional sleeping places in a homeless shelter run by nuns not far from St. Peter's Square. In addition, the church of San Calisto in Trastevere is again available at night as a place to sleep with 30 seats. Church help includes food and washing facilities for the needy.

Meanwhile, the Catholic community of Sant'Egidio called for donations. For Sunday, the organization announced in a communication also a lunch for 250 homeless people in Rome.

On Friday, a homeless man had been found dead on the banks of the Tiber in Rome. According to media reports, the cold could be responsible for the death of the 52-year-old man.
Full Text Source:

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday January 10, 2019 - #Eucharist

Thursday after Epiphany

Lectionary: 215

Reading 11 JN 4:19–5:4

Beloved, we love God because
he first loved us. 
If anyone says, "I love God,"
but hates his brother, he is a liar;
for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen 
cannot love God whom he has not seen. 
This is the commandment we have from him:
Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God,
and everyone who loves the Father
loves also the one begotten by him. 
In this way we know that we love the children of God
when we love God and obey his commandments. 
For the love of God is this,
that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome,
for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. 
And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.

Responsorial PsalmPS 72:1-2, 14 AND 15BC, 17

R. (see 11)  Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king's son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
From fraud and violence he shall redeem them,
and precious shall their blood be in his sight.
May they be prayed for continually;
day by day shall they bless him.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

AlleluiaLK 4:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Lord has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor
and to proclaim liberty to captives.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 4:14-22

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit,
and news of him spread throughout the whole region. 
He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all.

He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day. 
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. 
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
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.

Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. 
He said to them,
"Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing." 
And all spoke highly of him
and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.