Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Wednesday, July 8, 2020 - Virtual Church

Wednesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 385
Reading 1HOS 10:1-3, 7-8, 12
Israel is a luxuriant vine
whose fruit matches its growth.
The more abundant his fruit,
the more altars he built;
The more productive his land,
the more sacred pillars he set up.
Their heart is false,
now they pay for their guilt;
God shall break down their altars
and destroy their sacred pillars.
If they would say,
“We have no king”—
Since they do not fear the LORD,
what can the king do for them?

The king of Samaria shall disappear,
like foam upon the waters.
The high places of Aven shall be destroyed,
the sin of Israel;
thorns and thistles shall overgrow their altars.
Then they shall cry out to the mountains, “Cover us!”
and to the hills, “Fall upon us!”

“Sow for yourselves justice,
reap the fruit of piety;
break up for yourselves a new field,
for it is time to seek the LORD,
till he come and rain down justice upon you.”
Responsorial Psalm105:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
R. (4b) Seek always the face of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
R. Seek always the face of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R. Seek always the face of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. Seek always the face of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaMK 1:15
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Kingdom of God is at hand:
repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 10:1-7
Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness.
The names of the Twelve Apostles are these:
first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew;
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
Philip and Bartholomew,
Thomas and Matthew the tax collector;
James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus;
Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot
who betrayed Jesus.

Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
“Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town.
Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”
Prayer to make Spiritual Communion:
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion.At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Saint July 8 : St. Priscilla and St. Aquila the Friends of St. Paul and Co-workers in Christ

Today, July 8, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Priscillaand St. Aquila (first century),disciples and friends of Saint Paul. Priscilla and Aquila were a Jewish couple who had been exiled to Corinth, and hosted Saint Paul on his visit to that city. Likely converted by Saint Paul, they are later mentioned in the New Testament several times as “co-workers in Christ” and went on to preach and evangelize throughout the region. Holy legend tells us that Saint Priscilla was martyred by an angry mob at the end of her holy life.Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus. 4 They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. (Romans 16: 3-4)

19 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house. 20 All the brothers and sisters here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss. (1 Corinthians 16:19-20)
Saints Priscilla and Aquila were tentmakers, sharing the same profession as Saint Paul, which is likely why he stayed with them. Priscilla and Aquila had likely been exiled from Rome by the order of Emperor Claudius who forbade Jews to live within the city walls. Following his time in Corinth, we learn in Acts of the Apostles that the holy couple—who Paul likely converted—accompanied him to Ephesus and worked alongside him for three years. It was in their home that Mass was likely celebrated.
1 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 

18 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sisters and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchreae because of a vow he had taken. 19 They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. (Acts 18: 1-3; 18-19)

Upon Saint Paul’s departure, Aquila and Priscilla stayed behind, where they continued the work of the Lord.

24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately. (Acts 18: 24-26)

Saints Priscilla and Aquila, as evident in the writings of Saint Paul, later met up with Paul in Rome, where they were likely martyred around the same time as Saint Paul. Catacombs in Rome are named for Saint Priscilla, where many holy men and women are buried.
It is interesting to note that Aquila and Priscilla are mentioned six times throughout the New Testament, and in half of those references, Aquila is listed first, whereas in the other half, Priscilla is mentioned first. This is likely indicative of Paul’s love of both, and his consideration of their being on equal terms in ministry and the eyes of the Lord. It is clear from the descriptions of this holy couple that Saint Priscilla was an effective teacher and evangelist without usurping or undermining her husband's ecclesial authority.

God of grace and might, we praise thee for thy servants Priscilla and Aquila, whom thou didst plenteously endow with gifts of zeal and eloquence to make known the truth of the Gospel. Raise up, we pray thee, in every country, heralds and evangelists of thy kingdom, that the world may know the immeasurable riches of our Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Shared from 365 Rosaries

Wow Musical Group - King's Return sings a Beautiful "Ubi Caritas" Chant that will Touch You!

A vocal band of brothers. The group was formed in 2016 from pre-existing friendships. Their sound is rooted in Gospel, Jazz, R&B & Classical music. Their name reminds them to be our brother's keeper and to pay homage to our King, Jesus, who has Himself, promised to return. They recorded this beautiful original Latin Gregorian Chant hymn "Ubi Caritas" set to a variation by Ola Gjeilo. It is so beautiful and might touch your heart! 
Latin Text :
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor. Exsultemus, et in ipso jucundemur. Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum. Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero. Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Simul ergo cum in unum congregamur: Ne nos mente dividamur, caveamus. Cessent iurgia maligna, cessent lites. Et in medio nostri sit Christus Deus. Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Simul quoque cum beatis videamus, Glorianter vultum tuum, Christe Deus: Gaudium quod est immensum, atque probum, Saecula per infinita saeculorum. Amen.
English Translation Where charity and love are, God is there. Love of Christ has gathered us into one. Let us rejoice in Him and be glad. Let us fear, and let us love the living God. And from a sincere heart let us love one. Where charity and love are, God is there. At the same time, therefore, are gathered into one: Lest we be divided in mind, let us beware. Let evil impulses stop, let controversy cease. And in the midst of us be Christ our God. Where charity and love are, God is there. At the same time we see that with the saints also, Thy face in glory, O Christ our God: The joy that is immense and good, Unto the World without end. Amen.

Cardinal Bo, the Head of Asian Bishops, Calls All Believers to Pray for Hong Kong and China in Letter on New Security Law

Asia News reports that Cardinal Bo asks Christians and all believers pray for Hong Kong and China.
National security law “threatens to undermine freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press and academic freedom. Freedom of religion and belief is also under threat. According to many reports, freedom of religion and belief in mainland China has suffered the most violent attacks since the Cultural Revolution."

Rangoon (AsiaNews / EdA) - "Christians of all traditions and all believers in Asia and the world pray for Hong Kong, for China and for its people". This is the appeal launched by Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, archbishop of Rangoon and president of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC), at the beginning of July in a letter on the entry into force of the national security law in Hong Kong, "without consultation of the local population".

This law, says Card. Bo, weakens the freedoms in Hong Kong and threatens the "high degree of autonomy" promised according to the "one country, two systems" principle. This represents a veritable constitutional change and contradicts the spirit of the agreement to hand over the special administrative region to China in 1997. Hong Kong is one of Asia's jewels, a "Pearl of the East", a crossroads between East and West, a gateway to China and a regional free trade center.

“So far, Hong Kong has enjoyed a mix of freedom and creativity. A national security law is not bad in itself. Every country has the right to legislate to protect and maintain its security. But this legislation must be balanced by guaranteeing respect for human rights, human dignity and fundamental freedoms. The imposition of this law by the Chinese National Congress clearly weakens the Hong Kong Legislative Council and its autonomy. It radically transforms its identity ”.

“I am concerned about the threats this law poses to freedoms and human rights in Hong Kong. This legislation threatens to undermine freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press and academic freedom. Freedom of religion and belief is also under threat. According to many reports, freedom of religion and belief in mainland China has suffered the most violent attacks since the Cultural Revolution. Even if freedom of worship in Hong Kong is not directly or immediately affected, the new security law and criminal law it implies (for acts of 'subversion', 'secession' and 'complicity with foreign political forces'), for example, could lead to the control of religious preaching, the penalization of candlelit prayer vigils and harassment in places of worship for the protection or assistance of protesters. I pray that this law will not induce the government to interfere with the internal affairs of religious organizations and with the pastoral services they offer to the public. My brother priests and bishops must be able to prepare their homilies with confidence, as well as members of the Protestant clergy to prepare their sermons, as well as religious leaders from other faiths."

“The participation of religious organizations in social affairs must not be compromised. Indeed, the Basic Law guarantees freedom of worship. From now on, will religious leaders be prosecuted for defending human dignity, human rights, justice, freedom and truth? We have experienced how, as soon as freedom is threatened as a whole, sooner or later freedom of religion or worship is compromised ".

“For more than a year, there have been numerous protests in Hong Kong, most of which have been peaceful. However, more than 9,000 demonstrators were arrested and not a single police officer was prosecuted for disproportionate use of force. Everyone, demonstrators and police, must be equal before the law. "

This law, concludes the document, "risks increasing tensions rather than providing solutions. For these reasons and in the spirit of the prophets, martyrs and saints of our faith, today I invite you to pray for Hong Kong. Pray for leaders from China and Hong Kong that they may keep their promises to respect fundamental rights and freedoms. I invite all of you to pray for peace."
FULL TEXT Source: AsiaNews IT

Statistics Show 6,000 Christians Killed in Nigeria, Africa by Terrorists since 2015 - Bishops write to COMECE

AFRICA/NIGERIA - Solidarity of the European Bishops with Nigerian Bishops: "No more violence against Christians in Nigeria"
Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "According to recent statistics, some 6,000 Nigerian Christians have been killed since 2015 by, mostly, Boko Haram and militant Fulani pastoralists, which have committed terrorist attacks against Christian farmers", reads the letter sent to the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN by the President of COMECE (Catholic Church in the European Union), His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Claude Cardinal Hollerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg.
In expressing their solidarity with the Nigerian confreres, COMECE calls "the Eu, its Member States and the international community to use diplomatic, political and financial instruments to assist Nigerian authorities to stop the violence, bringing the criminals to justice, supporting the victims and fully including Christians (47% of the national population) in all State structures and levels of administrations - including the police and armed forces".
In his message, Cardinal Hollerich recalls that "the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria condemned the Federal Government for failing its primary duty of protecting the lives of citizens and lamented that the "culture of death is becoming embedded into our daily lives". In addition, Nigerian Bishops clearly expressed that the ongoing violence, in reference to the Fulani herdsmen, "can no longer be treated as mere clash between pastoralists and farmers".
The European Parliament denounced the situation in its recent resolution of 16 January 2020 on Nigeria, deploring the recent terrorist attacks carried out by jihadist groups and the ‘your land or your blood’ policy carried out by Fulani militants, which force farmers to abandon their land to avoid being killed (see Fides, 18/6/2020).
The Parliament also condemned the constant discrimination suffered by Christians in the Nigerian regions where sharia is applied.
The situation in Nigeria is monitored by COMECE, which contributed to the public debate in preparation for the European Parliament January 2020 resolution. (L.M.) (Full Text Source: Agenzia Fides, 7/7/2020)

US Bishops' Grateful for Supreme Court's Decision Protecting Religious Liberty - Full Text

U.S. Bishops’ Religious Liberty and Catholic Education Chairmen Grateful for Supreme Court’s Decision in Blaine Amendment Case
 June 30, 2020 
WASHINGTON – Today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in the case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which challenged a decision by the Montana Supreme Court to invalidate a tax credit scholarship program because families benefiting include those who choose to send their children to religiously-affiliated schools, a violation of the Montana state constitution’s “Blaine Amendment” of 1889 against aid to religious schools. By vote of 5-4, the Court ruled in favor of the petitioners.  
Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop Michael C. Barber, S.J. of Oakland, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Catholic Education, have issued a statement:
“The Court has rightly ruled that the U.S. Constitution does not permit states to discriminate against religion. This decision means that religious persons and organizations can, like everyone else, participate in government programs that are open to all. This is good news, not only for people of faith, but for our country. A strong civil society needs the full participation of religious institutions. By ensuring the rights of faith-based organizations’ freedom to serve, the Court is also promoting the common good.
“The Court has also dealt a blow to the odious legacy of anti-Catholicism in America. Blaine Amendments, which are in 37 states’ constitutions, were the product of nativism and bigotry. They were never meant to ensure government neutrality towards religion, but were expressions of hostility toward the Catholic Church. We are grateful that the Supreme Court has taken an important step that will help bring an end to this shameful legacy.”
The USCCB filed an amicus curiae brief supporting the petitioners, which can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/amicus-briefs/upload/Laycock-Berg-CLS-Amicus-Brief.pdf

Join In a World-Wide E-Pilgrimage at Lourdes, France on July 16 to Help Lourdes Shrine in Loss of over $8 Million

The International Sanctuary of Lourdes launches :
"Lourdes United"
Global e-pilgrimage !

On July 16, the anniversary of the 18th and last apparition of the Virgin Mary, the Shrine of Lourdes will host an exceptional e-pilgrimage for the whole world, which will take place live from the Grotto of the Apparitions.

This extraordinary day will bring together millions of people from all continents, through television, radio and social networks, under the sign of hope and solidarity.

15 hours live in 10 languages !
On the agenda :
From 7 am to 22 pm (France) – Broadcasts of the celebrations, processions, rosaries, prayers. A new TV program will take place live from 4pm to 6pm at the Grotto. Religious and civil personalities will follow one another on the set, testifying to the role that Lourdes plays in their lives. The cameras will go behind the scenes of this unique place to better explain its mission.
Numerous interventions on the themes of solidarity, fraternity, commitment, (entr)aid, hope and the search for meaning, as well as reports, archive videos, live music, duplexes with foreigners and other highlights will complete these 2 hours of live coverage.

A time of reunion, hope and solidarity to reconnect with the spirit of Lourdes…
Lourdes, an international pilgrimage centre, mobilises nearly 100,000 volunteers to welcome 3 million pilgrims and visitors from all over the world each year, including more than 50,000 sick and disabled people. Multi-generational and multi-cultural, the “Lourdes United” e- pilgrimage will bring together all those who, in the four corners of the world, see Lourdes as a beacon of faith, commitment, sharing and hope. The world is facing an unprecedented economic and social crisis, coupled with an unprecedented quest for meaning. The fraternity, generosity and hope that the Shrine has been carrying for 162 years has never been so essential. At Lourdes, the poor, the frail, the sick and the handicapped have first place.

Lourdes United in the face of the crisis
The chaplains of the Shrine of Lourdes have always brought prayer for and with the world to the Grotto, and even more so during the global crisis we are experiencing. Hundreds of thousands of messages, cries for help, cries of suffering, but also testimonies of hope continue to reach Lourdes, hearts beating with prayer.

Closed for more than two months for the first time in its history, the Shrine has had all pilgrimages cancelled. In spite of its partial reopening, the Shrine can only welcome a very limited number of pilgrims, according to a strict sanitary protocol. He foresees an almost white season.

Lourdes without pilgrims is a Lourdes without resources to carry out its mission, to maintain the entire site, to guarantee its durability and the jobs of its 320 employees. The Sanctuary expects a historic loss of 8 million euros. Beyond that, almost the whole of the Lourdes catchment area is in immense difficulty.

This is an unprecedented situation and an unprecedented initiative: the e-pilgrimage “Lourdes United”.
On July 16, the Shrine will call upon the generosity of all those who wish to help Lourdes continue its work.

The world needs hope; the world needs Lourdes.
Help Lourdes to get up and prepare for the future!
FULL TEXT Release: https://www.lourdes-france.org/en/