Sunday, September 13, 2020

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Monday, September 14, 2020 - Your Virtual Church

Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Lectionary: 638

Reading 1
NM 21:4B-9
With their patience worn out by the journey,
the people complained against God and Moses,
“Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert,
where there is no food or water?
We are disgusted with this wretched food!”

In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents,
which bit the people so that many of them died.
Then the people came to Moses and said,
“We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you.
Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us.”
So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses,
“Make a saraph and mount it on a pole,
and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live.”
Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole,
and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent
looked at the bronze serpent, he lived. 

Responsorial Psalm
PS 78:1BC-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38
R. (see 7b)  Do not forget the works of the Lord!
Hearken, my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable,
I will utter mysteries from of old.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
While he slew them they sought him
and inquired after God again,
Remembering that God was their rock
and the Most High God, their redeemer.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
But they flattered him with their mouths
and lied to him with their tongues,
Though their hearts were not steadfast toward him,
nor were they faithful to his covenant.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
But he, being merciful, forgave their sin
and destroyed them not;
Often he turned back his anger
and let none of his wrath be roused.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!

Reading II
PHIL 2:6-11
Brothers and sisters:
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
because by your Cross you have redeemed the world.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
JN 3:13-17
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Prayer to Make a 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 September 14 : The Exaltation of the Holy Cross Feast - #Cross

The Feast of the Cross like so many other liturgical feasts, had its origin at Jerusalem, and is connected with the commemoration of the Finding of the Cross and the building, by Constantine, of churches upon the sites of the Holy Sepulchre and Calvary. In 335 the dedication of these churches was celebrated with great solemnity by the bishops who had assisted at the Council of Tyre, and a great number of other bishops. This dedication took place on the 13th and 14th of September. This feast of the dedication, which fwas known by the name of the Encnia, was most solemn; it was on an equal footing with those of the Epiphany and Easter. The description of it should be read in the "Peregrinatio", which is of great value upon this subject of liturgical origins. This solemnity attracted to Jerusalem a great number of monks, from Mesopotamia, from Syria, from Egypt, from the Thebaïd, and from other provinces, besides laity of both sexes. Not fewer than forty or fifty bishops would journey from their dioceses to be present at Jerusalem for the event. The feast was considered as of obligation, "and he thinks himself guilty of a grave sin who during this period does not attend the great solemnity". It lasted eight days. In Jerusalem, then, this feast bore an entirely local character. It passed, like so many other feasts, to Constantinople and thence to Rome. There was also an endeavour to give it a local feeling, and the church of "The Holy Cross in Jerusalem" as intended, as its name indicates, to recall the memory of the church at Jerusalem bearing the same dedication.

The feast of the Exaltation of the Cross sprang into existence at Rome at the end of the seventh century. Allusion is made to it during the pontificate of Sergius I (687-701) but, as Dom Bäumer observes, the very terms of the text (Lib. Pontif., I, 374, 378) show that the feast already existed. It is, then, inexact, as has often been pointed out, to attribute the introduction of it to this pope. The Gallican churches, which, at the period here referred to, do not yet know of this feast of the 14th September, have another on the 3rd of May of the same signification. It seems to have been introduced there in the seventh century, for ancient Gallican documents, such as the Lectionary of Luxeuil, do not mention it; Gregory of Tours also seems to ignore it. According to Mgr. Duchesne, the date seems to have been borrowed from the legend of the Finding of the Holy Cross (Lib. Pontif., I, p. cviii). Later, when the Gallican and Roman Liturgies were combined, a distinct character was given to each feast, so as to avoid sacrificing either. The 3rd of May was called the feast of the Invention of the Cross, and it commemorated in a special manner Saint Helena's discovery of the sacred wood of the Cross; the 14th of September, the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, commemorated above all the circumstances in which Heraclius recovered from the Persians the True Cross, which they had carried off. Nevertheless, it appears from the history of the two feasts, which we have just examined, that that of the 13th and 14th of September is the older, and that the commemoration of the Finding of the Cross was at first combined with it.

The Good Friday ceremony of the Adoration of the Cross also had its origin in Jerusalem, as we have seen, and is a faithful reproduction of the rites of Adoration of the Cross of the fourth century in Jerusalem which have been described above, in accordance with the description of the author of the "Peregrinatio". This worship paid to the Cross in Jerusalem on Good Friday soon became general. Gregory of Tours speaks of the Wednesday and Friday consecrated the Cross—probably the Wednesday and Friday of Holy Week. (Cf. Greg., De Gloriâ Mart. I, v.) The most ancient adoration of the Cross in Church is described in the "Ordo Romanus" generally attributed to Saint Gregory. It is performed, according to this "Ordo", just as it is nowadays, after a series of responsory prayers. The cross is prepared before the altar; priests, deacons, subdeacons, clerics of the inferior grades, and lastly the people, each one comes in his turn; they salute the cross, during the singing of the anthem, "Ecce lignum crucis in quo salus mundi pependit. Venite, adoremus" (Behold the wood of the cross on which the salvation of the world did hang. Come, let us adore) and then Psalm 118. (See Mabillon, Mus. Ital., Paris, 1689, II, 23.) The Latin Church has kept until today the same liturgical features in the ceremony of Good Friday, added to it is the song of the Improperia and the hymn of the Cross, "Pange, lingua, gloriosi lauream certaminis".

Besides the Adoration of the Cross on Good Friday and the September feast, the Greeks have still another feast of the Adoration of the Cross on the 1st of August as well as on the third Sunday in Lent. It is probable that Gregory the Great was acquainted with this feast during his stay in Constantinople, and that the station of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, on Lætare Sunday (the fourth Sunday in Lent), is a souvenir, or a timid effort at imitation, of the Byzantine solemnity.

Text source: The Catholic Encyclopedia - Image Source: Google Images

Quote to SHARE by St John Chrysostom“Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness.”

“Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness.”
 St John Chrysostom

Free Christian Movie : Mary of Nazareth - The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Watch Full Film

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Cardinal Sarah's Letter, Approved by Pope Francis, Urges Catholics to Return to Church - Saying "Virtual" Mass does not Replace Participation

Vatican News report (original in French) : The "virtual" mass does not replace personal participation in the church.

In a letter addressed to the presidents of the bishops' conferences, Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, affirms the need to return to the normality of Christian life, where the health situation related to the coronavirus allows it: "Attending Mass through the media is not comparable to physical participation in church," he stresses.

There is an urgent need to return to the normality of Christian life with physical presence at Mass, where circumstances permit: no broadcast is comparable to or can replace personal participation, explains Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, in a Letter on the celebration of the liturgy during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, entitled "Let us return with joy to the Eucharist! The text, addressed to the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences of the Catholic Church, was signed on August 15 and approved by Pope Francis on September 3.

The community dimension of Christian life

The pandemic due to the new coronavirus," writes Cardinal Sarah, "has caused upheavals not only in social and family dynamics (...) but also in the life of the Christian community, including the liturgical dimension. The Prelate reminds us that "the community dimension has a theological meaning: God is the relationship of Persons in the Most Holy Trinity" and "he puts himself in relationship with man and woman and calls them in turn to a relationship with Him. Thus, "while the pagans built temples dedicated to the one divinity, to which people had no access, Christians, as soon as they enjoyed freedom of worship, immediately built places that would be domus Dei and domus ecclesiæ, where the faithful could recognize themselves as a community of God". This is why "the house of the Lord presupposes the presence of the family of the children of God".

Collaboration of the Church with the civil authorities

"The Christian community," the letter reads, "has never sought isolation and has never made the church a closed-door town. Formed in the value of community life and in the search for the common good, Christians have always sought insertion into society". "And even in the pandemic emergency, a great sense of responsibility emerged: listening and collaborating with civil authorities and experts, the bishops and their territorial conferences were quick to make difficult and painful decisions, even to the point of suspending for a long time the participation of the faithful in the celebration of the Eucharist," the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship said.

An urgency: to return to the normality of Christian life

"However, as soon as circumstances permit," Cardinal Sarah emphasizes, "it is necessary and urgent to return to the normality of Christian life, which has the church building as its home and the celebration of the liturgy, especially the Eucharist, as "the summit towards which the Church's action tends and at the same time the source from which all its strength emanates" (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 10). Aware that God never abandons the humanity he has created, and that even the hardest trials can bear fruits of grace, we have accepted the removal from the altar of the Lord as a time of Eucharistic fasting, useful in helping us rediscover its vital importance, its beauty and its immeasurable preciousness. As soon as possible," with "an increased desire to meet the Lord, to remain with him, to receive him and to bring him to our brothers and sisters with the witness of a life full of faith, love and hope," the Prelate assures us.

Need for personal participation at mass

As Cardinal Sarah went on to explain, "although the media provide a valued service to the sick and those who cannot go to church, and have provided a great service in the transmission of Holy Mass at a time when there was no possibility of celebrating it in a community manner, no transmission equals or can replace personal participation. In fact, these transmissions alone risk distancing us from a personal and intimate encounter with the incarnate God who gave himself to us not virtually, but really, saying: "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him". (Jn 6:56). This physical contact with the Lord is vital, indispensable, irreplaceable. Once concretely feasible measures have been identified and adopted to minimize the contagion of the virus, it is necessary that all resume their place in the Brethren Assembly", encouraging those who are "discouraged, frightened, and for too long absent or distracted".

Suggestions for a return to the celebration of the Eucharist

The letter also suggests "suggesting some lines of action to promote a quick and safe return to the celebration of the Eucharist. Particular attention to the norms of hygiene and safety cannot lead to the sterilization of gestures and rites," it warns. On the other hand, the Congregation counts on "the prudent but firm action of the bishops so that the participation of the faithful in the celebration of the Eucharist is not declassified by the civil authorities as a 'gathering' and is not considered comparable or even subordinate to forms of recreational aggregation. Liturgical norms are not a matter on which the civil authorities can legislate, only the competent ecclesiastical authorities can do so (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 22)". 

Respect for liturgical norms

Cardinal Sarah exhorts to "facilitate the participation of the faithful in the celebrations", "but without improvised ritual experiences and in full respect for the norms contained in the liturgical books that govern their conduct", and recognizing "the right of the faithful to receive the Body of Christ and to adore the Lord present in the Eucharist in the manner provided for, without limitations that go beyond what is provided for in the rules of hygiene issued by public authorities or by the bishops".

A sure principle: obedience to the bishops

On this point, the cardinal gives a precise indication: "Obedience is a sure principle in order not to make mistakes. Obedience to the norms of the Church, obedience to the bishops. In times of difficulty (e.g., wars, pandemics), bishops and episcopal conferences can give provisional regulations that must be obeyed. Obedience safeguards the treasure entrusted to the Church. These measures dictated by the bishops and episcopal conferences expire when the situation returns to normality".

Public health and eternal salvation

The Church, concludes the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, protects the human person "in its totality" and "to the necessary concern for public health," she "unites the proclamation and accompaniment of souls to the eternal salvation of souls.

Pope Francis Emphasizes Forgiveness at Angelus Asking "will you take your hatred" to the Coffin? FULL TEXT + Video

Saint Peter's Square - ANGELUS

Sunday, 13 September 2020
Dear brothers and sisters, good day! In the parable in today’s Gospel reading, that of the merciful King (see Mt 18:21-35), twice we find this plea: “Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full” (vv. 26, 29). The first time it is pronounced by the servant who owes his master ten thousand talents, an enormous sum. Today it would be millions and millions of dollars. The second time it is repeated by another servant of the same master. He too is in debt, not towards the master, but towards the same servant who has that enormous debt. And his debt is very small, maybe a week’s wages.

The heart of the parable is the indulgence the master shows towards his servant with the bigger debt. The evangelist underlines that, “moved with compassion the master”- we should never forget this word of Jesus: “Have compassion”, Jesus always had commission - “moved with compassion the masterlet him go and forgave him the loan” (v. 27). An enormous debt, therefore a huge remission! But that servant, immediately afterwards, showed himself to be pitiless towards his companion, who owed him a modest sum. He does not listen to him, he is extremely hostile against him and has him thrown in prison until he has paid his debt (see v. 30). The master hears about this and, outraged, calls the wicked servant back and has him condemned (see vv. 32-34). “I forgave you a great deal and you are not capable of forgiving so little?”
In the parable we find two different attitudes: God’s - represented by the king who forgives a lot, because God always forgives - and the human person’s. The divine attitude is justice pervaded with mercy, whereas the human attitude is limited to justice. Jesus exhorts us to open ourselves with courage to the strength of forgiveness, because in life not everything can be resolved with justice. We know this. There is a need for that merciful love, which is also at the basis of the Lord’s answer to Peter’s question, which precedes the parable. Peter’s question goes like this: “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him?” (v. 21). And Jesus replies, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times” (v. 22). In the symbolic language of the Bible this means that we are called to forgive always.
How much suffering, how many wounds, how many wars could be avoided if forgiveness and mercy were the style of our life!  Even in families, even in families. How many families are disunited, who do not know how to forgive each other. How many brothers and sisters bear resentment within. It is necessary to apply merciful love to all human relationships: between spouses, between parents and children, within our communities, in the Church and also in society and politics.

Today as we were celebrating the Mass, I paused, touched by a phrase in the first reading from the book of Sirach. The phrase says, remember your end and stop hating. A beautiful phrase. But think of the end. Just think, you will be in a coffin… and will you take your hatred there? Think that in the end you can stop hating and resenting. Let’s think of this phrase that is very touching. Remember your end and stop hating.

It is not easy to forgive because although in moments of calm we think “Yes, this person has done so many things to me but I have done many too. Better to forgive so as to be forgiven”, but then resentment returns like a bothersome fly in the summer that keeps coming back. Forgiveness isn’t something we do in a moment, it is a something continuous, against that resentment, that hatred that keeps coming back. Let’s think of our end and stop hating.
Today’s parable helps us to grasp fully the meaning of that phrase we recite in the Lord’s Prayer: “And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us” (see Mt 6:12). These words contain a decisive truth. We cannot demand God’s forgiveness for ourselves if we in turn do not grant forgiveness to our neighbour. It is a condition. Think of your end, of God’s forgiveness, and stop hating. Reject resentment, that bothersome fly that keeps coming back. If we do not strive to forgive and to love, we will not be forgiven and loved either.
Let us entrust ourselves to the maternal intercession of the Mother of God: May she help us to realise how much we are in debt to God, and to remember that always, so that our hearts may be open to mercy and goodness.

After the Angelus, the Holy Father continued:
Dear brothers and sisters!
In recent days, a series of fires have devastated the refugee camp of Moria on the Island of Lesbos, leaving thousands of people without a shelter, even a precarious one.  I still remember my visit there and the appeal I launched together with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, to “do our part towards giving migrants, refugees and asylum seekers a humane and dignified welcome in Europe” (16 April 2016). I express my solidarity and closeness to all the victims of these dramatic events.
In addition, in these weeks we are witnessing numerous popular protests all over the world - in many parts - expressing the growing unease of civil society in the face of particularly critical political and social situations. While I urge the demonstrators to present their demands peacefully, without giving in to the temptation of aggression and violence, I appeal to all those with public and governmental responsibilities to listen to the voice of their fellow citizens and to meet their just aspirations, ensuring full respect for human rights and civil liberties. Finally, I invite the ecclesial communities living in such contexts, under the guidance of their Pastors, to work for dialogue, always in favour of dialogue, and in favour of reconciliation - we have talked about forgiveness, reconciliation.
Due to the pandemic, this year the traditional Collection for the Holy Land has been moved from Good Friday to today, the eve of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. In today’s context, this Collection is an even greater sign of hope and solidarity with the Christians living in the land where God became flesh and died and rose again for us. Today we make a spiritual pilgrimage, in spirit, in our imagination, with the heart, to Jerusalem, where, as the Psalm says, are our sources (cf. Ps 87:7), and we make a gesture of generosity towards those communities.
I greet you all, Roman faithful and pilgrims from various countries. In particular, I greet the cyclists suffering from Parkinson's disease who have travelled the Via Francigena from Pavia to Rome. You have been fast! Thank you for your witness. I greet the Madonna Addolorata Confraternity of Monte Castello di Vibio. I see that there is also a Laudato si’ Community: thank you for what you do; and thank you for the meeting yesterday here, with Carlìn Petrini and all the leaders who are going forward in this struggle for the protection of creation.

I greet all of you, all of you, especially the Italian families who in August dedicated themselves to the hospitality of pilgrims. They are many of them! I wish you all a good Sunday. Please do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and arrivederci!