Saturday, July 27, 2019

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. July 28, 2019 - #Eucharist - Readings + Video - 17th in Ord. Time - B

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 111
Reading 1GN 18:20-32

In those days, the LORD said: "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great,
and their sin so grave,
that I must go down and see whether or not their actions
fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to me.
I mean to find out."

While Abraham's visitors walked on farther toward Sodom,
the LORD remained standing before Abraham.
Then Abraham drew nearer and said:
"Will you sweep away the innocent with the guilty?
Suppose there were fifty innocent people in the city;
would you wipe out the place, rather than spare it
for the sake of the fifty innocent people within it?
Far be it from you to do such a thing,
to make the innocent die with the guilty
so that the innocent and the guilty would be treated alike!
Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?"
The LORD replied,
"If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom,
I will spare the whole place for their sake."
Abraham spoke up again:
"See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord,
though I am but dust and ashes!
What if there are five less than fifty innocent people?
Will you destroy the whole city because of those five?"
He answered, "I will not destroy it, if I find forty-five there."
But Abraham persisted, saying "What if only forty are found there?"
He replied, "I will forbear doing it for the sake of the forty."
Then Abraham said, "Let not my Lord grow impatient if I go on.
What if only thirty are found there?"
He replied, "I will forbear doing it if I can find but thirty there."
Still Abraham went on,
"Since I have thus dared to speak to my Lord,
what if there are no more than twenty?"
The LORD answered, "I will not destroy it, for the sake of the twenty."
But he still persisted:
"Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time.
What if there are at least ten there?"
He replied, "For the sake of those ten, I will not destroy it."

Responsorial Psalm PS 138:1-2, 2-3, 6-7, 7-8

R.(3a) Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Because of your kindness and your truth;
for you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
The LORD is exalted, yet the lowly he sees,
and the proud he knows from afar.
Though I walk amid distress, you preserve me;
against the anger of my enemies you raise your hand.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Reading 2 COL 2:12-14

Brothers and sisters:
You were buried with him in baptism,
in which you were also raised with him
through faith in the power of God,
who raised him from the dead.
And even when you were dead
in transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh,
he brought you to life along with him,
having forgiven us all our transgressions;
 obliterating the bond against us, with its legal claims,
which was opposed to us,
he also removed it from our midst, nailing it to the cross.

AlleluiaROM 8:15BC

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You have received a Spirit of adoption,
through which we cry, Abba, Father.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 11:1-13

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished,
one of his disciples said to him,
"Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples."
He said to them, "When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread
and forgive us our sins
for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
and do not subject us to the final test."

And he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend
to whom he goes at midnight and says,
'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey
and I have nothing to offer him,'
and he says in reply from within,
'Do not bother me; the door has already been locked
and my children and I are already in bed.
I cannot get up to give you anything.'
I tell you,
if he does not get up to give the visitor the loaves
because of their friendship,
he will get up to give him whatever he needs
because of his persistence.

"And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
What father among you would hand his son a snake
when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"

Saint July 28 : St. Victor I the 1st Pope from Africa who Died in 199 AD

St. Victor I
Feast: July 28

(189-198 or 199), date of birth unknown. The "Liber Pontificalis" makes him a native of Africa and gives his father the name of Felix. This authority, taking the "Liberian Catalogue" as its basis, gives the years 186-197 as the period of Victor's episcopate. The Armenian text of the "Chronicle" of Eusebius (Leipzig, 1911, p. 223) places the beginning of Victor's pontificate in the seventh year of the reign of the Emperor Commodus (180-87) and gives it a duration of twelve years; in his "Church History" (V, xxxii, ed. Schwarts, Leipzig, 1902, p. 486) Eusebius transfers the beginning of the pontificate to the tenth year of the reign of Commodus and makes it last ten years. During the closing years of the reign of Commodus (180-192) and the early years of Septimius Severus (from 193) the Roman Church enjoyed in general great external peace. The favourable opinion of the Christians held by Commodus is ascribed to the influence of a woman named Marcia. According to the testimony of Hippolytus ("Philosophumena", IX, 12) she had been brought up by the presbyter Hyacinthus, was very favourably inclined towards the Christians, perhaps even a Christian herself (Hippolytus, loc. cit., calls her philotheos God-loving). One day she summoned Pope Victor to the imperial palace and asked for a list of the Roman Christians who had been condemned to forced labour in the mines of Sardinia, so that she might obtain their freedom. 
 The pope handed her the list and Marcia, having received from the emperor the required pardon, sent the presbyter Hyacinthus to Sardinia with an order of release for the Christian confessors. Callistus, afterwards pope, who had been among those deported, did not return to Rome, but remained at Antium, where he received a monthly pension from the Roman Christians. Irenaeus ("Adv. Haerses", IV, xxx, 1) points out that Christians were employed at this period as officials of the imperial Court. Among these officials was the imperial freedman Prosenes, whose gravestone and epitaph have been preserved (De Rossi, "Inscriptiones christ. urbis Romae", I, 9, no. 5). Septimius Severus, also, during the early years of his reign, regarded the Christians kindly, so that the influence of Christian officials continued. The emperor retained in his palace a Christian named Proculus who had once cured him. He protected Christian men and women of rank against the excesses of the heathen rabble, and his son Caracalla had a Christian wet nurse (Tertullian, "Ad Scapulam", IV). Christianity made great advances in the capital and also found adherents among the families who were distinguished for wealth and noble descent (Eusebius, "Hist. eccl.", V, xxi).
Internal dissensions during this era affected the Church at Rome. The dispute over the celebration of Easter . . . grew more acute. The Christians at Rome, who had come from the province of Asia, were accustomed to observe Easter on the 14th day of Nisan, whatever day of the week that date might happen to fall on, just as they had done at home. This difference inevitably led to trouble when it appeared in the Christian community of Rome. Pope Victor decided, therefore, to bring about unity in the observance of the Easter festival and to persuade the Quartodecimans to join in the general practice of the Church. He wrote, therefore, to Bishop Polycrates of Ephesus and induced the latter to call together the bishops of the province of Asia in order to discuss the matter with them. This was done; but in the letter sent by Polycrates to Pope Victor he declared that he firmly held to the Quartoceciman custom observed by so many celebrated and holy bishops of that region. Victor called a meeting of Italian bishops at Rome, which is the earliest Roman synod known. He also wrote to the leading bishops of the various districts, urging them to call together the bishops of their sections of the country and to take counsel with them on the question of the Easter festival. Letters came from all sides: from the synod in Palestine, at which Theophilus of Caesarea and Narcissus of Jerusalem presided; from the synod of Pontus over which Palmas as the oldest presided; from the communities in Gaul whose bishop of Irenaeus of Lyons; from the bishops of the Kingdom of Osrhoene; also from individual bishops, as Bakchylus of Corinth. These letters all unanimously reported that Easter was observed on Sunday.. Victor, who acted throughout the entire matter as the head of Catholic Christendom, now called upon the bishops of the province of Asia to abandon their custom and to accept the universally prevailing practice of always celebrating Easter on Sunday. In case they would not do this he declared they would be excluded from the fellowship of the Church.
This severe procedure did not please all the bishops. Irenaeus of Lyons and others wrote to Pope Victor; they blamed his severity, urged him to maintain peace and unity with the bishops of Asia, and to entertain affectionate feelings toward them. Irenaeus reminded him that his predecessors had indeed always maintained the Sunday observance of Easter, as was right, but had not broken off friendly relations and communion with bishops because they followed another custom (Eusebius, "Hist. eccl.", V, xxiii-xxv.) We have no information concerning the further course of the matter under Victor I so far as it regards the bishops of Asia. All that is known is that in the course of the third century the Roman practice in the observance of Easter became gradually universal. In Rome itself, where Pope Victor naturally enforced the observance of Easter on Sunday by all Christians in the capital, an Oriental named Blastus, with a few followers, opposed the pope and brought about a schism, which, however, did not grow in importance (Eusebius, loc. cit., B, xx). Pope Victor also had difficulties with a Roman priest named Florinus, who probably came from Asia Minor. As an official of the imperial court, Florinus had become acquainted in Asia Minor with St. Polycarp, and later was a presbyter of the Roman Church. He fell into the Gnostic heresy and defended the false learning of Valentine. St. Irenaeus wrote two treatises against him: "On the Monarchy [of God] and that God is not the Author of Evil", and "On the Ogdoad". Irenaeus also called Victor's attention to the dangerous writings of Florinus, who was probably degraded from his priestly functions by the pope and expelled from the Church (Eusebius, "Hist. eccl.", V, xv, 20).
During the pontificate of Victor a rich Christian, Theodotus the Leather-seller, came from Constantinople to Rome and taught false doctrines concerning Christ, Whom he declared to be merely a man endowed by the Holy Ghost, at baptism, with supernatural power. The pope condemned this heresy and excluded Theodotus from the Church. The latter, however, would not submit, but, together with his adherents, formed a schismatic party, which maintained itself for a time at Rome. Victor may also have come into contact with the Montanists. Tertullian reports ("Ad Praceam", 1) that a Roman bishop, whose name he does not give, had declared his acceptance of the prophecies of Montanus, but had been persuaded by Praxeas to withdraw. Duchesne ("Histoire ancienne de l'église", I, 278) and others think Tertullian means Pope Eleutherius, but many investigators consider it more probable that he meant Pope Victor, because the latter had had much to do with the inhabitants of Asia Minor, and because, between 190 and 200, Praceas had gone from Rome to Carthage, where he was opposed by Tertullian. The question cannot be decided positively
SOURCE: the Catholic Encyclopedia

Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece Introduces an ecclesiastical "Unborn Child's Day"

The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece has introduced an ecclesiastical "Unborn Child's Day". The Foundation "Pro Oriente" reported on Friday, citing the Greek Orthodox news portal "Romfea".

The aim of the new church memorial day, which is to be celebrated on the first Sunday after Christmas, is to raise awareness of the need to protect unborn life and raise awareness of the liberal abortion law and low birth rates in Greece. Since 1986, abortion has been in Greece legal. There is a twelve-week deadline, which can be extended in hardship cases - such as incest or rape. Every year, up to 150,000 children are aborted in Greece.

The "Let me live" movement, which proposed to the Holy Synod to introduce the "Unborn Child's Day", declared that it was "pleased and grateful". In fidelity to the gospel and to the tradition of the Orthodox Church, the movement is concerned that "the unborn child is a person and, from the conception, an image of God". To protect the lives of these children, the movement enters without "ifs and buts".
There has also been the introduction of a birth bonus for families from the third child, free access to kindergarten places in all eparchies as well as the involvement of parents in the organization of church education, the Orthodox Church had already tried in recent years to send a message.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signs Law preventing Religious Discrimination

On July 18, 2019, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a law that prevents "adverse actions" against companies or people on the basis of their religious views or actions.
 Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill with Chick-fil-A cups and a sandwich box around him.
"Discrimination is not tolerated in Texas," Abbott said.

State lawmakers recently tried to override an action by the San Antonio City Council in March, which voted against a Chick-fil-A restaurant at the municipal airport, citing the company's "legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior."
Chick-fil-A is a private company, closes on Sundays, has often received adverse reactions to it religious beliefs. Its president, Dan Cathy, voiced support for "the biblical definition of the family unit" in 2012.

"No business should be discriminated against simply because its owners gave to a church,  or to the Salvation Army, or to any other religious organization. No business should lose a government contract because of their religious beliefs," Abbott said. "The 'Save Chick-fil-A' legislation that I'm about to sign is a victory for religious freedom in Texas."

The Republican governor wrote in a tweet:

 Today I signed the ⁦@ChickfilA⁩ law in Texas.

And, had a great lunch.

No business should be discriminated against simply because its owners donate to a church, the Salvation Army, or other religious organization.

Texas protects religious liberty.
Edited from CBS News - Image Source: Google Images of Greg Abbott

RIP Father Leocir Pessini, Superior of Camillians Dies saying "I gave my whole life to the Order"

AMERICA/BRAZIL - "I gave my whole life to the Order": the Minister General of the Camillian Missionaries before dying Thursday, 25 July 2019
Granja Viana (Agenzia Fides) - On the night of 24 July, Father Leocir Pessini, Superior of the Order of Ministers of the Sick (Camillians), passed away due to the worsening of a serious illness. The news was sent to Agenzia Fides by the Secretary General of the Camillians, Fr. Gianfranco Lunardon.
Fr. Leocir, originally from Joaçaba, a city in the State of Santa Caterina in Brazil, comes from a family of Italian origins. A priest since 1980, he has always cultivated a great passion for the Camillian charism, the care of the sick, the humanization of the health world, the teaching of bioethical disciplines. Elected Superior General of the Order in June 2014, Fr. Pessini visited all the communities of the Order, met the confreres at all latitudes (39 nations), sharing with them efforts and hopes in the great challenge of embodying the charism of caring for the sick and teaching others to do the same.
"After the discovery of the disease, in September 2017, the Minister General spent a few months of therapy in Rome and from March 2019 he moved to San Paolo. The care on behalf of doctors, confreres and the affection of his parents and sisters, accompanied and consoled him in his encounter with the good and merciful face of God the Father", reads the note sent to Agenzia Fides.
"Before he died, Father Leo blessed those present - continued Fr. Lunardon. He expressed gratitude to everyone and wanted to reaffirm the commitment that characterized his existence: "I gave my whole life to the Order". To his mother, who was crying with his father and sister, he said: "they are tears of love, of pain and of dignity". (AP) (FULL TEXT Agenzia Fides, 25/7/2019)

Wow 100,000 from Various Faiths in Catholic procession honoring St. James in Tamil Nadu, India

A multi-faith crowd of 100,000 gather in Tamil Nadu for the procession of Saint James
St James is the first Catholic church on Rameswaram Island. The spread of Christianity on the island is the work of the Servant of God Antonio Criminali, the second martyr of India. Its façade has a cross as well as Hindu and Islamic symbols, to show that the believers of all religions are welcome.

New Delhi (AsiaNews/Agencies) – More than 100,000 people from different religious communities took part on Wednesday in the annual procession in the square in front of the small but highly decked out St James Catholic Church in Thangachimadam, Rameswaram (Pamban) Island, Tamil Nadu.

"Although it is a Christian holiday, people of other religions participate. It is only thanks to faith that devotees throng the festival,” said Ravichandrramavanni, president of the local Christian union.

The event attracts thousands of people every year, who come to the small island in the Gulf of Mannar for this and other religious celebrations. This event lasts ten days and the church knows that many other faithful will come. According to the president, "people crowd the church filled with faith in the power of healing through prayer".

The festival began with an overnight Mass, amid the lights of the decorations that illuminated the chariots and the church façade. The procession is called the ‘Chariot festival’ as three chariots carry three statues: The Virgin Mary, Jesus and Saint James on horseback.

The church, which is located in Ramanathapuram, a district that is part of the Diocese of Sivagangai, is the first Catholic place of worship on the island, which also has Hindu temples and Muslim mosques.

The church dates back to 1644 but Christianity arrived on the island with Italian Jesuit Antonio Criminali, Servant of God and second martyr of India, who began to proclaim the Gospel under a hut in 1546.

He was killed three years later by fishermen angry at Portuguese soldiers, but his sacrifice allowed his flock to escape by sea to safety.

Locally, the church is known as St James Santhiyagappar or Santhiya Rayapper Kovil. The original building was destroyed in 1933 and rebuilt seven years later in the same place.

The site draws Hindus and Muslims as well. Its façade has a Christian Cross, an Islamic crescent and a Hindu tower, meaning that in this place all faiths and faithful are respected.
FULL TEXT Source: Asia News IT

Executive of Philippine Bishops' calls Lawmakers to Refuse the Death Penalty

Church exec urges lawmakers not to heed Duterte on death penalty
By CBCP News

July 23, 2019

Manila, Philippines

The church’s prison ministry called on lawmakers not to heed President Rodrigo Duterte’s call to bring back death penalty in the country.

Duterte’s call, which was made before hundreds of assembled lawmakers and diplomats on Monday, was meant to deter heinous crimes related to drugs, as well as plunder.

Rodolfo Diamante, executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care, urged legislators to remain prudent over capital punishment.

“We urge them to study the bills thoroughly and determine if they will really address the problems of drug trafficking and plunder,” he said.

Diamante also urged the legislature dominated by allies of the Duterte administration not to pass measures just please the President.

“They have been elected by the people to work for their welfare, not the President’s,” he said.

The church official reiterated that capital punishment has never been a deterrent to crime and is anti-poor.

“Don’t give our people an illusion and a quick fix ‘solution’ to our problems. They deserve something better,” he added.

Duterte used his annual State of the Nation Address to call for death penalty as part of his bloody war on drugs and to supposedly address the nation’s deep-rooted corruption problem.

Pope Francis appoints Cristiane Murray of Brazil as Deputy Director of Press Office

Pope appoints Vatican News journalist as Deputy Director of Press Office
Cristiane Murray was born in Rio de Janeiro; she is married and has two children. She has been part of Vatican Radio since 1995. Since April 2018 she has also been collaborating with the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops in preparation for the upcoming Synod for the Pan-Amazon Region.
By Linda Bordoni

Pope Francis has appointed Vatican Radio’s Brazilian journalist, Cristiane Murray, as Deputy Director of the Holy See Press Office. She will join new Director, Matteo Bruni, whose mandate began on 22 July.

Born in 1962 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Cristiane Murray has a degree in Business Administration and Marketing from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio. She joined Vatican Radio in 1995 and since then has been part of the Brazilian team that broadcasts daily programmes and produces content for the Vatican News Portal in Portuguese, for the Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Reacting to the news of her appointment, Cristiane said she was deeply moved: “For all the journalists and my colleagues at the Dicastery for Communication, this represents an important sign of recognition for our daily work in bringing the message of the Gospel, the Pope and the Church to the world”.

Her personal thanks and the gratitude of all Vatican women, she said, go first of all to Pope Francis for having chosen her for this important task. She is profoundly grateful, she said, also to the Prefect, Paolo Ruffini, to the Editorial Director, Andrea Tornielli, as well as to the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops led by Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri with whom she has been working for over a year in preparation for the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region.  

“I guarantee my full commitment and my enthusiasm to the Director, Matteo Bruni, and to all the staff of the Press Office, at the service of the Holy See,” she said.

Pride of the Dicastery
Paolo Ruffini noted that with Cristiane Murray’s appointment as Deputy Director of the Holy See Press Office, the managerial staff of the institution is now complete.  He said that “the choice of a woman with roots in Brazil and an open gaze on the world is a testimony of the wish to build a team that knows how to speak to all”.

“I am sure that Cristiane, who has been working in Vatican media for so many years, and whose professionality and humanity have always been appreciated, will make a fundamental contribution of intelligence, sensitivity, historic memory and foresight in the service that we all seek to offer the Church,” he said.

The new Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, expressed his welcome to Cristiane saying that the experience she has gained in years of service to the Church and to the Holy See are extremely valuable assets for this new position.

Andrea Torniellli, the Editorial Director of the Dicastery, also expressed his gratitude for Cristiane’s appointment which, he said, reflects not only recognition for her work at Vatican Radio, but also for her work with the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon.
FULL TEXT Release from VaticanNews VA - Image Share from Google Images -  (Source - Catholic News Service, Twitter @CatholicNewsSvc)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Saturday, July 27, 2019 - #Eucharist

Saturday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 400

Reading 1EX 24:3-8

When Moses came to the people
and related all the words and ordinances of the LORD,
they all answered with one voice,
"We will do everything that the LORD has told us."
Moses then wrote down all the words of the LORD and,
rising early the next day,
he erected at the foot of the mountain an altar
and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel.
Then, having sent certain young men of the children of Israel
to offer burnt offerings and sacrifice young bulls
as peace offerings to the LORD,
Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls;
the other half he splashed on the altar.
Taking the book of the covenant, he read it aloud to the people,
who answered, "All that the LORD has said, we will heed and do."
Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying,
"This is the blood of the covenant
that the LORD has made with you
in accordance with all these words of his."

Responsorial PsalmPS 50:1B-2, 5-6, 14-15

R.(14a) Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
God the LORD has spoken and summoned the earth,
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
From Zion, perfect in beauty,
God shines forth.
R. Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
"Gather my faithful ones before me,
those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice."
And the heavens proclaim his justice;
for God himself is the judge.
R. Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
"Offer to God praise as your sacrifice
and fulfill your vows to the Most High;
Then call upon me in time of distress;
I will rescue you, and you shall glorify me."
R. Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.

AlleluiaJAS 1:21BC

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you
and is able to save your souls.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 13:24-30

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds.
"The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man
who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came
and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?'
He answered, 'An enemy has done this.'
His slaves said to him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'
He replied, 'No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
"First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn."'"