Monday, April 8, 2019

Saint April 9 : St. Mary Cleophas : Mother of St. James the Less Apostle

St. Mary Cleophas
Feast: April 9

Feast Day:April 9
This title occurs only in John, xix, 25. A comparison of the lists of those who stood at the foot of the cross would seem to identify her with Mary, the mother of James the Less and Joseph (Mark 15:40; cf. Matthew 27:56). Some have indeed tried to identify her with the Salome of Mark, xv, 40, but St. John's reticence concerning himself and his relatives seems conclusive against this (cf. John 21:2). In the narratives of the Resurrection she is named "Mary of James"; (Mark 16:1; Luke 24:10) and "the other Mary" (Matthew 27:61; 28:1). The title of "Mary of James" is obscure. If it stood alone, we should feel inclined to render it "wife of (or sister of) James", but the recurrence of the expression "Mary the mother of James and Joseph" compels us to render it in the same way when we only read "Mary of James". Her relationship to the Blessed Virgin is obscure. James is termed "of Alpheus", i.e. presumably "son of Alpheus". St. Jerome would identify this Alpheus with Cleophas who, according to Hegesippus, was brother to St. Joseph (Hist. eccl., III, xi). In this case Mary of Cleophas, or Alpheus, would be the sister-in-law of the Blessed Virgin, and the term "sister", adelphe, in John, xix, 25, would cover this. But there are grave difficulties in the way of this identification of Alpheus and Cleophas. In the first place, St. Luke, who speaks of Cleophas (xxiv, 18), also speaks of Alpheus (6:15; Acts 1:13). We may question whether he would have been guilty of such a confused use of names, had they both referred to the same person. Again, while Alphas is the equivalent of the Aramaic, it is not easy to see how the Greek form of this became Cleophas, or more correctly Clopas. More probably it is a shortened form of Cleopatros. Source: Catholic Encyclopedia

Pope Francis to Newlyweds "For married life there are three key words.... "Can I?", "Thank you", "Sorry".

Meeting with newlyweds at Pastoral visit to San Giulio Papa parish


Holy Father, His presence today for all of us is a source of joy, of great emotion. It almost seems like a dream to have you in the places where for three years, on the initiative of our father Dario, there have been meetings on the path to the sacrament of marriage. Below I read some reflections on the conjugal love that emerged during our meetings.

Love is the gift of God that makes us feel protected, makes us rejoice in order to grow old together after a journey and a journey of life taken by the hand. Love is choosing oneself and understanding, seeing over time that even after years of marriage one is convinced that the choice made is the right one and, if we are ready to confirm and renew the choice, we resume ourselves. Love is giving oneself with patience, knowing how to listen, having the enthusiasm to look for oneself. Love is self-respect, but love is also knowing how to accept the weaknesses of others, the mistakes, the misunderstandings, the small human storms that often arise in married life. Love is being aware that the couple always sees and feels the presence of Jesus, it is the awareness of sharing and living in three. A couple's love is a safe place, it's like the rock that challenges the bad weather on which our life is based, it's the place to always feel at home.


Holy Father, we are here after a journey, a journey, after meditating a word from a common friend who tells us that love is placed more in works than in words. And after this and after a long discernment, and after above all the work of convincing Father Dario, the marriage preparation journey started again after so many years together with other couples. And some of these spouses asked us to be able to continue because they realized that this was just the beginning, it wasn't the end. The sacrament was the seal to begin. And therefore we meet every month, alternating prayer meetings and biblical meetings, in which instead we experience, we are confronted with couples of the Bible and this gives us great strength, great hope and makes us breathe a love greater than our own conjugal love. It makes us a family of families.


Holy Father, thank you for being here with us. It is a great joy because we arrive after the journey of Lent where we remembered together the gifts received. Deuteronomy 8: "Remember, Israel". We really feel lucky because we feel like people have been saved. Our journey together is from slavery to freedom as a couple. We are walking like this. We have prepared two symbolic gifts for you. One is the program of our course. We officially invite you, we invite you to participate. If you want, we will come to Santa Marta ... [laugh] We will then leave you the program, if you wish you can read it. The second gift is brought by our son, James, the firstborn. We have seen that he has already blessed faiths; we ask you to bless them again, because then we will exchange them ... These are the colors of your nation, Argentina, it is a gift for you. We will then try in the best way to remember the spouses of our wedding day, of our sacrament . The future spouses will have to have a little patience, they will resume the faiths, they will bring them with them already with His blessing. An added value. We really ask you to pray for us and we will do the same for you.

Pope Francis:

I like this because we think about marriage preparation. Once, in the "other diocese", a lady came, married for years, a little angry because she told me this: "You are unjust with us, because to become a priest you must study 8, 9 years. The bishop evaluates, the superiors evaluate the candidate and then accept him to be a priest; but then this priest goes ahead and if he does not like it, he takes another path and the Church tells him: yes, you can get married, go away and get married. And we, who [unite] for life, with 4 conferences set us up? No, it doesn't go. " Marriage preparation is not 4 conferences, all theoretical, no. And then it doesn't go. Preparation is a journey, it is a "catechumenate". When adults want to be baptized they must learn the doctrine, they must make a journey with the community. Marriage is the same, it is a catechumenate. Previous preparation is not only to know something about marriage but to live with the community, it is to hear other people's experiences, to share doubts. And then the catechumenate does not end there. It is very important that you continue after the wedding and that you accompany the first years, the first years of marriage. And I like to see that this is done here. Is very important.
I would only say two things. The first. For married life there are three key words, perhaps you know them, but they must learn with the mind and the heart: "can I?", "Thank you", "Sorry". "I can?". Always ask permission of the bride or groom, do not be intrusive, we are two. Yes, when I was alone I did what I wanted, but now you are two. Always say, "Can I?", Without being intrusive. "Thank you". Thank: "thank you". We forget to say thank you. It is so important that after lunch the husband would thank his wife: "Lunch was good". And after that, his wife, her husband ... Thanks. Thanks again, thanks for the children. And "sorry". Have the humility to say: yes, I was wrong, I'm sorry. Point, and the story ends. If there is not this third word, the story continues and is ugly.

And here the second thing I wanted to say. In normal marriages one quarrels, one argues. We must not be afraid to quarrel. When "the bomb" explodes I say three or four things, the dishes also fly, but the dishes are bought new, there is no problem ... But there is only one important thing: don't finish the day without making peace. Why? Because the cold war the next day is very dangerous. "Yes, but after all I've said and heard, how will I make peace?" Simple, do so [a caress] and bye. The story is over. The day ends in peace, and this saves so much pain. The three words and peace at the end. And don't forget about that cold war the day after that it's the worm that starts ruining a marriage.

Thanks, thanks for the testimony. Now we pray to Our Lady and Saint Joseph for you.


And come on, come on!

Meeting with the Caritas volunteers


Your Holiness, Your Eminence, Your Excellency, good afternoon, good afternoon to all of us, to all of you. I address you as a spokesman for parish charity. We represent a part of the community, one that is characterized specifically for concrete actions in favor of people in need. Welcoming you here is an extraordinary incentive to continue on the path undertaken following your invitation to offer concrete signs of solidarity before the temptation of indifference: the listening center, the collection and distribution of food, clothing and medicines, the food bank, which they go to touch the poorest part of our territory. Charity is also dealing with socializing through communication and the encounter with the circle of friendship, the embrace, the circle of men, the magazine and the website, aid to families with the presence of an after-school program that welcomes children every week , especially foreigners, and a family counseling center that offers valuable, truly valuable consultations. In this parish, the Gemma Project has been present since 1998 - perhaps following the example Saint John Paul II gave us - that helping mothers in difficulty to carry out pregnancy promotes the culture of life. Culture of life that even the community of Sant Egidio, present here with some of its representatives and present in our territory, encourages us to spread. We have also tried - she asked us in 2015 - to welcome a migrant; it was not possible for us, but we turned to other human frailties in our territory to integrate them, perhaps with a work contract and with our hospitality. This year then, collaborating with the diocesan Caritas, as regards the cold emergency we welcomed three people who presented our pastor to us with the commitment of many families in our community. There was a truly massive, moving initiative. We also have a blood collection service to donate to the Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital. Your Holiness, with this list I hope I did not give you the impression of a "supermarket of charity", an expression that the director of the diocesan Caritas used when he came here to make us understand that the parish is not the place where everyone enters, chooses something and leaves. I assure you that it is not so. We are in assiduous connection between us, we all move together, each with their own skills and with one goal, to reach out to the other in the name of the Gospel. We have a dream that we would like to realize and that we call "Solidarity Workshop". It is a project that needs space and the restructuring of existing ones, but which we would like to achieve with your consent and with the help of the diocese, if you can. In fact, in a short time the infant Jesus oncology pole will be born in our neighborhood: we would like to be ready to give hospitality and assistance to the families of the little patients. Through the acceptance of these multiple realities, even with our limitations, we strongly wish to share a broader idea of ​​the family, of the Church, in fraternal union between us and with others, as children of a single Father. 
We will not miss our prayers for your person and your mission for your pastoral ministry. We would also like you to bring a greeting to the Pope emeritus, His Holiness Benedict XVI. Last but not least, thank you, thank you, thank you for your precious presence!

Pope Francis:
I would say that there are three signs that show that a parish is fine. The first is prayer, when people pray: a parish that prays, people come to pray and even at home they pray. This is the first sign. See: here please or do not pray? And this is one of the things that avoid falling into that "supermarket" that we have heard. Because prayer transforms everything, everything. Second, it is the charity of facts, this that you do. Taking care of the needs of the brothers, sisters, families ... Even the hidden needs, which are not seen out of shame, but are there, there are many ... And always with that active charity, an active charity, the charity of the " yes ":" yes, I do this ", of" yes ", active. It is the second signal. And the third is passive charity. What does passive charity mean? May you love yourself and do not criticize yourselves. Gossip is a very strong disease, and when there is gossip in a parish, the parish is not good. It is a vice that enters, it enters subtly: bring news to talk about others ... No, please this is not right.

Now let's pray together the Madonna.
FULL TEXT Source and Image Share: - Unofficial Translation
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Recommended Book : "Pope Francis, The Family and Divorce: In Defense of Truth and Mercy" by Stephen Walford

"This book is totally faithful to the Magisterium of the Church and inspired by the pastoral vision of Pope Francis. It expresses love and concern for suffering families, especially those in irregular situations, and it is an invitation for them to draw close closer to the Lord. I highly recommend this book to all priests and to those in marriage and family ministry." recommendation by Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the Vatican Discastery for Laity, Family, and Life
In response to dissenters of the papal magisterium on Amoris Laetitia, Walford has written a book that is sure to spark discussion. It calls for approaching with love, compassion, and mercy those who find themselves in complex relationships. This is in keeping with the understanding that Pope Francis teaches with the authority of Christ. At once thorough yet accessible, this book speaks to lay persons as well as to clergy and members of academia.

 Stephen Walford writes, Chapter Eight will surely be remembered years from now as one of the most controversial things a Pope has written as part of the ordinary magisterium. In dealing with the pastoral care of those in irregular situations such as the divorced and civilly remarried it presents a substantial challenge, inviting all to step outside the comfort zone wrought by a general rule and discipline-based approach to complex moral issues.
About the Author: Stephen Walford is a teacher, author, and pianist living in the UK.
Text Source:
(He is pictured above with his family on a visit to Pope Francis at the Vatican- Source Google Image)

#BreakingNews Thousands at 14th March for Life in Poland celebrating the Sanctity of Life - Video

XIV. March of the Sanctity of Life passed through the streets of Warsaw with Thousands in attendance.
Every life is holy because it is a gift to God. Every father is a gift, and when he is missing, raising children is "lame" - emphasized the Warsaw bishops: Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz and Bishop Romuald Kamiński stood before the crowd during the 14th March of the Holiness of Life, which took place on Sunday. This year's slogan pointed out the role of fatherhood in the family.

The march of both Warsaw dioceses was preceded by Masses. Metropolitan of Warsaw Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz emphasized the importance to give witness, that every life is holy, because it is a gift of God.
- There is no contradiction in the fact that we are experiencing this joyful march at the end of Lent. The fifth Sunday of Lent is the final part of our journey to the resurrection, to Easter, for which we are created. We are in Christ saved by hope and faith in what Christ did for us when he took up his cross and offered him a sacrifice of redemption for each of us, said the cardinal.

Families with children and members of many communities and initiatives gathering fathers took part in the demonstration. Among them were representatives of such initiatives as, Knights of Columbus, Knights of John Paul II or the Alliance of Warriors.

Participants of the march held banners in their hands with the inscriptions: "Every conceived child has the right to life", "Children are great", "Every child a gift of heaven" or "Life is holy". In the parade, each participant was encouraged to chant the names of his parents.

As every year during the March, the "Diaper for Baby" campaign was held, in which the residents of Warsaw were able to offer articles for infants for the Home of the Single Mother in Chyliczki run by the Archdiocese of Warsaw.
Edited and Shortened from KAI -

Touching Song to Inspire for Lent by Josh Groban "Don't Give Up" because you are Loved!

This Amazing Viral Song by artist Josh Groban has reached over 5 Million Views - It is perfect for this season of Lent. Keep Praying, Fasting and Giving because you are Loved by God!
SHARE this to uplift your Friends Today!
"You Are Loved (Don't Give Up)" Lyrics:
 Don't give up
It's just the weight of the world
When your heart's heavy
I...I will lift it for you Don't give up Because you want to be heard If silence keeps you I...I will break it for you Everybody wants to be understood
Well I can hear you Everybody wants to be loved
Don't give up
Because you are loved
 Don't give up It's just the hurt that you hide When you're lost inside I...I will be there to find you
 Don't give up Because you want to burn bright If darkness blinds you I...I will shine to guide you Everybody wants to be understood
Well I can hear you Everybody wants to be loved
Don't give up
Because you are loved You are loved
Don't give up It's just the weight of the world
Don't give up Every one needs to be heard You are loved Music "You Are Loved (Don't Give Up)" by Josh Groban

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday, April 8, 2019 - #Eucharist in Lent

First Reading – Daniel 13:41C-62
The assembly condemned Susanna to death.
But Susanna cried aloud:
“O eternal God, you know what is hidden
and are aware of all things before they come to be:
you know that they have testified falsely against me.
Here I am about to die,
though I have done none of the things
with which these wicked men have charged me.”
The Lord heard her prayer.
As she was being led to execution,
God stirred up the holy spirit of a young boy named Daniel,
and he cried aloud:
“I will have no part in the death of this woman.”
All the people turned and asked him,
“What is this you are saying?”
He stood in their midst and continued,
“Are you such fools, O children of Israel!
To condemn a woman of Israel without examination
and without clear evidence?
Return to court, for they have testified falsely against her.”

Then all the people returned in haste.
To Daniel the elders said,
“Come, sit with us and inform us,
since God has given you the prestige of old age.”
But he replied,
“Separate these two far from each other that I may examine them.”
After they were separated one from the other,
he called one of them and said:
“How you have grown evil with age!
Now have your past sins come to term:
passing unjust sentences, condemning the innocent,
and freeing the guilty, although the Lord says,
‘The innocent and the just you shall not put to death.’
Now, then, if you were a witness,
tell me under what tree you saw them together.”
“Under a mastic tree,” he answered.
Daniel replied, “Your fine lie has cost you your head,
for the angel of God shall receive the sentence from him
and split you in two.”
Putting him to one side, he ordered the other one to be brought.
Daniel said to him, “Offspring of Canaan, not of Judah,
beauty has seduced you, lust has subverted your conscience.
This is how you acted with the daughters of Israel,
and in their fear they yielded to you;
but a daughter of Judah did not tolerate your wickedness.
Now, then, tell me under what tree you surprised them together.”
“Under an oak,” he said.
Daniel replied, “Your fine lie has cost you also your head,”
for the angel of God waits with a sword to cut you in two
so as to make an end of you both.”
The whole assembly cried aloud,
blessing God who saves those who hope in him.
They rose up against the two elders,
for by their own words Daniel had convicted them of perjury.
According to the law of Moses,
they inflicted on them
the penalty they had plotted to impose on their neighbor:
they put them to death.
Thus was innocent blood spared that day.
Responsorial Psalm – Psalms 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6
R. (4ab)  Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side.

Verse Before the Gospel – Ezekiel 33:11

I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord,
but rather in his conversion, that he may live.

Gospel – John 8:12-20

 Jesus spoke to them again, saying,
“I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”
So the Pharisees said to him,
“You testify on your own behalf,
so your testimony cannot be verified.”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Even if I do testify on my own behalf, my testimony can be verified,
because I know where I came from and where I am going.
But you do not know where I come from or where I am going.
You judge by appearances, but I do not judge anyone.
And even if I should judge, my judgment is valid,
because I am not alone,
but it is I and the Father who sent me.
Even in your law it is written
that the testimony of two men can be verified.
I testify on my behalf and so does the Father who sent me.”
So they said to him, “Where is your father?”
Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father.
If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
He spoke these words
while teaching in the treasury in the temple area.
But no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.