Sunday, March 24, 2019

Saint March 25 : The Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary : #Annunciation

(If this Solemnity occurs in Holy Week it is Transferred to Mon. after the 1st week of Easter since it cannot replace Holy Week or Easter)The fact of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is related in Luke 1:26-38. The Evangelist tells us that in the sixth month after the conception of St. John the Baptist by Elizabeth, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to the Virgin Mary, at Nazareth, a small town in the mountains of Galilee. Mary was of the house of David, and was espoused (i.e. married) to Joseph, of the same royal family. She had, however, not yet entered the household of her spouse, but was still in her mother's house, working, perhaps, over her dowry. (Bardenhewer, Maria Verk., 69). And the angel having taken the figure and the form of man, came into the house and said to her: "Hail, full of grace (to whom is given grace, favoured one), the Lord is with thee." Mary having heard the greeting words did not speak; she was troubled in spirit, since she knew not the angel, nor the cause of his coming, nor the meaning of the salutation. And the angel continued and said: "Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob forever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end." The Virgin understood that there was question of the coming Redeemer. But, why should she be elected from amongst women for the splendid dignity of being the mother of the Messiah, having vowed her virginity to God? (St. Augustine). Therefore, not doubting the word of God like Zachary, but filled with fear and astonishment, she said: "How shall this be done, because I know not man?"

The angel to remove Mary's anxiety and to assure her that her virginity would be spared, answered: "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." In token of the truth of his word he made known to her the conception of St. John, the miraculous pregnancy of her relative now old and sterile: "And behold, thy cousin Elizabeth; she also has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: because no word shall be impossible with God." Mary may not yet have fully understood the meaning of the heavenly message and how the maternity might be reconciled with her vow of virginity, but clinging to the first words of the angel and trusting to the Omnipotence of God she said: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word."
Since 1889 Holzmann and many Protestant writers have tried to show that the verses Luke 1:34-35, containing the message of conception through the Holy Ghost are interpolated. Usener derives the origin of the "myth" from the heathen hero worship; but Harnack tries to prove that it is of Judaic origin (Isaiah 7:14, Behold a Virgin shall conceive, etc.). Bardenhewer, however, has fully established the authenticity of the text (p. 13). St. Luke may have taken his knowledge of the event from an older account, written in Aramaic or Hebrew. The words: "Blessed art thou among women" (v. 28), are spurious and taken from verse 42, the account of the Visitation. Cardinal Cajetan wanted to understand the words: "because I know not man", not of the future, but only of the past: up to this hour I do not know man. This manifest error, which contradicts the words of the text, has been universally rejected by all Catholic authors. The opinion that Joseph at the time of the Annunciation was an aged widower and Mary twelve or fifteen years of age, is founded only upon apocryphal documents. The local tradition of Nazareth pretends that the angel met Mary and greeted her at the fountain, and when she fled from him in fear, he followed her into the house and there continued his message. (Buhl, Geogr. v. Palaest., 1896.) The year and day of the Annunciation cannot be determined as long as new material does not throw more light on the subject. The present date of the feast (25 March) depends upon the date of the older feast of Christmas.
The Annunciation is the beginning of Jesus in His human nature. Through His mother He is a member of the human race. If the virginity of Mary before, during, and after the conception of her Divine Son was always considered part of the deposit of faith, this was done only on account of the historical facts and testimonials. The Incarnation of the Son of God did not in itself necessitate this exception from the laws of nature. Only reasons of expediency are given for it, chiefly, the end of the Incarnation. About to found a new generation of the children of God, The Redeemer does not arrive in the way of earthly generations: the power of the Holy Spirit enters the chaste womb of the Virgin, forming the humanity of Christ. Many holy fathers (Sts. Jerome, Cyril, Ephrem, Augustine) say that the consent of Mary was essential to the redemption. It was the will of God, St. Thomas says (Summa III:30), that the redemption of mankind should depend upon the consent of the Virgin Mary. This does not mean that God in His plans was bound by the will of a creature, and that man would not have been redeemed, if Mary had not consented. It only means that the consent of Mary was foreseen from all eternity, and therefore was received as essential into the design of God.
Text shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Heavenly Choir Sings "Sicut Cervus" by Palestrina in Magnificent Church will Touch your Soul!

"Sicut cervus" Motet by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (who lived about 1525 – 2 February 1594): "Sicut cervus"
is based on Psalm 42:1 - This is usually sung on Holy Saturday
 In Latin is text is "Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum, ita desiderat anima mea ad te, Deus." which is translated to:
 As a heart longs for the flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O God. 
SHARE this Beautiful Heavenly Hymn with you Friends! 

Pope Francis "...the mercy of God, which leaves us a time for conversion. We all need to convert, to take a step forward.." FULL Text + Video


St. Peter's Square
III Sunday of Lent, March 24, 2019

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

The Gospel of this third Sunday of Lent (see Lk 13: 1-9) speaks to us of the mercy of God and of our conversion. Jesus tells the parable of the barren fig. A man has planted a fig in his own vineyard, and with great confidence every summer he goes to look for his fruits but he does not find any, because that tree is sterile. Driven by that disappointment repeated for a good three years, he thinks of cutting the fig tree to plant another one. He then calls the farmer who is in the vineyard and expresses his dissatisfaction, ordering him to cut the tree, so that it does not exploit the ground unnecessarily. But the winemaker asks the owner to be patient and asks him for a one-year extension, during which he will take care of reserving a more careful and delicate care for the fig tree, to stimulate its productivity. This is the parable. What does this parable represent? What do the characters in this parable represent?

The master depicts God the Father and the winemaker is the image of Jesus, while the fig tree is a symbol of indifferent and arid humanity. Jesus intercedes with the Father in favor of humanity - and he always does - and asks him to wait and give her some more time, so that the fruits of love and justice may spring up in it. The fig tree that the owner of the parable wants to eradicate represents a sterile existence, incapable of giving, unable to do good. He is a symbol of the one who lives for himself, full and calm, laid down in his comfort, unable to turn his eyes and heart to those who are close to him and find themselves in a state of suffering, poverty and discomfort. This attitude of selfishness and spiritual sterility is countered by the great love of the winemaker towards the fig tree: it makes the master wait, he has patience, he knows how to wait, he dedicates his time and his work to him. He promises his master to take special care of that unhappy tree.

And this similitude of the winemaker manifests the mercy of God, which leaves us a time for conversion. We all need to convert, to take a step forward, and God's patience, mercy, accompanies us in this. Despite the sterility, which sometimes marks our existence, God has patience and offers us the possibility of changing and making progress on the path of good. But the extension implored and granted while waiting for the tree to finally bear fruit, also indicates the urgency of the conversion. The winemaker tells the master: "Leave him this year" (v. 8). The possibility of conversion is not unlimited; therefore it is necessary to seize it immediately; otherwise it would be lost forever. We can think in this Lent: what must I do to get closer to the Lord, to convert, to "cut" those things that are not going well? "No, no, I'll wait for the next Lent". But will you be alive next Lent? Let us think today, each of us: what must I do before this mercy of God that awaits me and that always forgives? What should I do? We can rely heavily on God's mercy, but without abusing it. We must not justify spiritual laziness, but increase our commitment to respond promptly to this mercy with sincerity of heart.

In the time of Lent, the Lord invites us to conversion. Each of us must feel challenged by this call, correcting something in our lives, in our own way of thinking, acting and living relationships with others. At the same time, we must imitate the patience of God who trusts in the ability of all to be able to "get up" and resume the journey. God is Father, and does not extinguish the weak flame, but accompanies and cares for those who are weak so that they may be strengthened and bring their contribution of love to the community. May the Virgin Mary help us to live these days of preparation for Easter as a time of spiritual renewal and trusting openness to the grace of God and to his mercy.

After the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters,

since February 27, important talks are underway in Nicaragua to resolve the serious socio-political crisis facing the country. I accompany the initiative with prayer and encourage the parties to find a peaceful solution for the good of all as soon as possible.

Yesterday in Tarragona, Spain, Mariano Mullerat i Soldevila was beatified, a father of a family and a doctor, a young man, he died at 39 years of age, who took care of the physical and moral suffering of his brothers, bearing witness to the primacy of charity and forgiveness. An example for us, to which it is so much to forgive, to all of us. He intercedes for us and helps us to walk the paths of love and fraternity, despite the difficulties and tribulations. A round of applause for the new Blessed!
Today we celebrate the Day in memory of the martyr missionaries. During 2018, throughout the world, numerous bishops, priests, nuns and lay faithful suffered violence; while forty missionaries were killed, almost double compared to the previous year. Remembering this contemporary ordeal of brothers and sisters persecuted or killed because of their faith in Jesus, is a duty of gratitude for the whole Church, but also a stimulus to testify with courage our faith and our hope in Him who on the Cross has hatred and violence won forever with his love.

We pray for the many victims of the latest inhuman attacks in Nigeria and Mali. The Lord welcome these victims, heal the wounded, console the family and convert cruel hearts. Let us pray: "Hail Mary!"

I greet all of you from Rome, Italy and from different countries, in particular the pilgrims from Pula (Croatia), Coslada (Spain) and the community of the Pontifical French Seminary. I greet the faithful of Dogana, Carpi, Faenza, Castellammare di Stabia; the group of associated women to face together their peculiar pathology; the scouts of Campobasso, the confirmed of Cervarese Santa Croce, the boys of the profession of faith of Renate, Veduggio and Rastignano, the students of the Institutes of the Brothers of the Christian Schools in Turin and Vercelli, and those of the school of S. Dorotea of ​​Montecchio Emilia.

Tomorrow, the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, I will go to Loreto, in the House of the Virgin. I chose this place for the signature of the Apostolic Exhortation dedicated to young people. I ask for your prayer, so that the "yes" of Mary may become the "yes" of many of us.

I wish you all a good Sunday. And please don't forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!
FULL Text Source: - Unofficial Translation

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. March 24, 2019 - Readings + Video - 3rd of Lent - C

Third Sunday of Lent – Year C Readings
Lectionary: 30

Reading 1 EX 3:1-8A, 13-15

Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro,
the priest of Midian.
Leading the flock across the desert, he came to Horeb,
the mountain of God.
There an angel of the LORD appeared to Moses in fire
flaming out of a bush.
As he looked on, he was surprised to see that the bush,
though on fire, was not consumed.
So Moses decided,
“I must go over to look at this remarkable sight,
and see why the bush is not burned.”

When the LORD saw him coming over to look at it more closely,
God called out to him from the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
He answered, “Here I am.”
God said, “Come no nearer!
Remove the sandals from your feet,
for the place where you stand is holy ground.
I am the God of your fathers, “ he continued,
“the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.”
Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
But the LORD said,
“I have witnessed the affliction of my people in Egypt
and have heard their cry of complaint against their slave drivers,
so I know well what they are suffering.
Therefore I have come down to rescue them
from the hands of the Egyptians
and lead them out of that land into a good and spacious land,
a land flowing with milk and honey.”

Moses said to God, “But when I go to the Israelites
and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’
if they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what am I to tell them?”
God replied, “I am who am.”
Then he added, “This is what you shall tell the Israelites:
I AM sent me to you.”

God spoke further to Moses, “Thus shall you say to the Israelites:
The LORD, the God of your fathers,

the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob,
has sent me to you.

“This is my name forever;
thus am I to be remembered through all generations.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 103: 1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8, 11.

R. (8a)  The Lord is kind and merciful.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
He pardons all your iniquities,
heals all your ills,
He redeems your life from destruction,
crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
The LORD secures justice
and the rights of all the oppressed.
He has made known his ways to Moses,
and his deeds to the children of Israel.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Reading 21 COR 10:1-6, 10-12

I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,
that our ancestors were all under the cloud
and all passed through the sea,
and all of them were baptized into Moses
in the cloud and in the sea.
All ate the same spiritual food,
and all drank the same spiritual drink,
for they drank from a spiritual rock that followed them,
and the rock was the Christ.
Yet God was not pleased with most of them,
for they were struck down in the desert.

These things happened as examples for us,
so that we might not desire evil things, as they did.
Do not grumble as some of them did,
and suffered death by the destroyer.
These things happened to them as an example,
and they have been written down as a warning to us,
upon whom the end of the ages has come.
Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing secure
should take care not to fall.

Verse Before The GospelMT 4:17

Repent, says the Lord;
the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

GospelLK 13:1-9

Some people told Jesus about the Galileans
whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices.
Jesus said to them in reply,
"Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way
they were greater sinners than all other Galileans?
By no means!
But I tell you, if you do not repent,
you will all perish as they did!
Or those eighteen people who were killed
when the tower at Siloam fell on them—
do you think they were more guilty
than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem?
By no means!
But I tell you, if you do not repent,
you will all perish as they did!"

And he told them this parable:
"There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard,
and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none,
he said to the gardener,
'For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree
but have found none.
So cut it down.
Why should it exhaust the soil?'
He said to him in reply,
'Sir, leave it for this year also,
and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it;
it may bear fruit in the future.
If not you can cut it down.'"