Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Thursday, January 14, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church

Thursday of the First Week of Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 308
Reading I
Heb 3:7-14
The Holy Spirit says:
    Oh, that today you would hear his voice,
        “Harden not your hearts as at the rebellion
        in the day of testing in the desert,
    where your ancestors tested and tried me
        and saw my works for forty years.
    Because of this I was provoked with that generation
        and I said, ‘They have always been of erring heart,
        and they do not know my ways.’
    As I swore in my wrath,


‘They shall not enter into my rest.’”
Take care, brothers and sisters,
that none of you may have an evil and unfaithful heart,
so as to forsake the living God.
Encourage yourselves daily while it is still “today,”
so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin.
We have become partners of Christ
if only we hold the beginning of the reality firm until the end.
Responsorial Psalm
95:6-7c, 8-9, 10-11
R.    (8)  If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us bow down in worship;
    let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
    and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R.    If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
    “Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
    as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
    they tested me though they had seen my works.” 
R.    If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Forty years I was wearied of that generation;
    I said: “This people’s heart goes astray,
    they do not know my ways.”
Therefore I swore in my anger:
    “They shall never enter my rest.”
R.    If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
See Mt 4:23
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom
and cured every disease among the people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Mk 1:40-45
A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said,
“If you wish, you can make me clean.”
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,
touched the leper, and said to him, 
“I do will it. Be made clean.”
The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once.
Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything,
but go, show yourself to the priest
and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed;
that will be proof for them.”
The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.
He spread the report abroad
so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.
He remained outside in deserted places,
and people kept coming to him from everywhere. 
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 January 14 : Saint Felix of Nola a Helper of the Poor and the Patron of Eyes, Against Lies; Pets

Born at Nola, near Naples, and lived in the third century.
After his father's death he distributed almost all his goods amongst the poor, and was ordained priest by Maximum Bishop of Nola. In the year 250, when the Decian persecution broke out, Maximus was forced to flee. The persecutors seized on Felix and he was cruelly scourged, loaded with chains, and cast into prison. One night an angel appeared to him and bade him go to help Maximus. His chains fell off, the doors opened, and the saint was enabled to bring relief to the bishop, who was then speechless from cold and hunger. On the persecutors making a second attempt to secure Felix, his escape was miraculously effected by a spider weaving her web over the opening of a hole into which he had just crept. Thus deceived, they sought their prey elsewhere.
The persecution ceased the following year, and Felix, who had lain hidden in a dry well for six months, returned to his duties. On the death of Maximus he was earnestly desired as bishop, but he persuaded the people to choose another, his senior in the priesthood.
The remnant of his estate having been confiscated in the persecution, he refused to take it back, and for his subsistence rented three acres of land, which he tilled with his own hands. Whatever remained over he gave to the poor, and if he had two coats at any time he invariably gave them the better. He lived to a ripe old age and died 14 January (on which day he is commemorated), but the year of his death is uncertain. Five churches were built in his honour, outside Nola, where his remains are kept, but some relics are also at Rome and Benevento. St. Paulinus, who acted as porter to one of these churches, testifies to numerous pilgrimages made in honour of Felix. The poems and letters of Paulinus on Felix are the source from which St. Gregory of Tours, Venerable Bede, and the priest Marcellus have drawn their biographies (see PAULINUS OF NOLA). There is another Felix of Nola, bishop and martyr under a Prefect Martianus. He is considered by some to be the same as the above. Text shared from Catholic Encyclopdia - New Advent 
Prayer of St. Paulinus to St. Felix: Father and lord, best of patrons to servants however unworthy, at last our prayer is answered to celebrate your birthday within your threshold. . . .You know what toils on land and sea have . . . kept me far from your abode in a distant world, because I have always and everywhere had you near me, and have called on you in the grim moments of travel, and in the uncertainties of life.. . . I never sailed without you, for I felt your protection in Christ the Lord when I overcame rough seas. On land and water my journeying is always made safe through you. Felix, I beg you, address a prayer on behalf of your own to that Embodiment of the calm of eternal love and peace, to him on whose great name you depend. (Source: Loyola Press)

Pope Francis says "The Saints show us that we can always give praise, in good times and bad, because God is the faithful Friend." FULL TEXT + Video



Library of the Apostolic Palace
Wednesday, 13 January 2021


Catechesis on prayer - 21. The prayer of praise

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Let us continue our catechesis on prayer, and today we will give space to the dimension of praise.

We will take as our starting point a critical passage in the life of Jesus. After the first miracles and the involvement of the disciples in the proclamation of the Kingdom of God, the mission of the Messiah goes through a crisis. John the Baptist doubts and makes Him receive this message - John is in jail: “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Mt 11:3), because he feels this anguish of not knowing whether he is mistaken in his proclamation. There are always dark moments, moments of spiritual nighttime, and John is going through this moment. There is hostility in the villages along the lake, where Jesus had performed so many prodigious signs (see Mt 11:20-24).  

 Now, precisely in this disappointing moment, Matthew relates a truly surprising fact: Jesus does not lift up a lament to the Father, but rather He raises a hymn of jubilation: “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth”, says Jesus,"that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes” (Mt 11:25). So, in the midst of a crisis, amid the darkness of the soul of so many people, such as John the Baptist, Jesus blesses the Father, Jesus praises the Father. But why?

First and foremost, He praises Him for who He is: “Father, Lord of heaven and earth”. Jesus rejoices in His spirit because He knows and He feels that His Father is the God of the Universe, and vice versa, the Lord of all that exists is Father “My Father”. Praise springs from this experience of feeling that He is “Son of the Most High”. Jesus feels he is Son of the Most High.

And then Jesus praises the Father for favouring the little ones. It is what He Himself experiences, preaching in the villages: the “learned” and the “wise” remain suspicious and closed, who are calculating; while the “little ones” open themselves and welcome His message. This can only be the will of the Father, and Jesus rejoices in this. We too must rejoice and praise God because humble and simple people welcome the Gospel. When I see these simple people, these humble people who go on pilgrimages, who go to pray, who sing, who praise, people who perhaps lack many things but whose humility leads them to praise God… In the future of the world and in the hopes of the Church there are the "little ones": those who do not consider themselves better than others, who are aware of their own limitations and their sins, who do not want to lord it over others, who, in God the Father, recognise that we are all brothers and sisters.

Therefore, in that moment of apparent failure, where everything is dark, Jesus prays, praising the Father. And His prayer also leads us, the readers of the Gospel, to judge our personal defeats in a different way, to judge differently the situations in which we do not see clearly the presence and action of God, when it seems that evil prevails and there is no way to stop it. In those moments Jesus, who highly recommended the prayer of asking questions, at the very moment when He would have had reason to ask the Father for explanations, instead begins to praise Him. It seems to be a contradiction, but it is there, it is the truth.

To whom is praise helpful? To us or to God? A text of the Eucharistic liturgy invites us to pray to God in this way, it says this: “Although you have no need of our praise, yet our thanksgiving is itself your gift, since our praises add nothing to your greatness, but profit us for salvation” (Roman Missal, Common Preface IV). By giving praise, we are saved.

The prayer of praise serves us. The Catechism defines it this way - the prayer of praise “shares in the blessed happiness of the pure of heart who love God in faith before seeing Him in glory” (no. 2639). Paradoxically it must be practised not only when life fills us with happiness, but above all in difficult moments, in moments of darkness when the path becomes an uphill climb. That too is the time for praise. Like Jesus [who] in the dark moment praises the Father. Because we learn that, through that ascent, that difficult path, that wearisome path, those demanding passages, we get to see a new panorama, a broader horizon. Giving praise is like breathing pure oxygen: it purifies the soul, it makes you look far ahead so as not to remain imprisoned in the difficult moment, in the darkness of difficulty.

There is a great teaching in that prayer that for eight centuries has never lost its beat, that Saint Francis composed at the end of his life: the “Canticle of Brother Sun” or “of the creatures”. The Poverello did not compose it in a moment of joy, in a moment of wellbeing, but on the contrary, in the midst of hardship. Francis was by then almost blind, and he felt in his soul the weight of a solitude he had never before experienced: the world had not changed since the beginning of his preaching, there were still those who let themselves be torn apart by quarrels, and in addition he was aware that death was approaching ever nearer. It could have been the moment of disillusionment, of that extreme disillusionment and the perception of his own failure. But Francis prayed at that instant of sadness, in that dark instant: “All praise is yours, my Lord”. He prays by giving praise. Francis praises God for everything, for all the gifts of creation, and even for death, which he courageously calls “sister”. These examples of saints, of Christians, and also of Jesus, of praising God in difficult moments, open to us the gates of a great road to wards the Lord, and they purify us always. Praise always purifies.

The Saints show us that we can always give praise, in good times and bad, because God is the faithful Friend. This is the foundation of praise: God is the faithful friend, and His love never fails. He is always beside us, He always awaits us. It has been said, “He is the sentinel who is close to you and keeps you going with confidence”. In difficult and dark moments, let us have the courage to say: “Blessed are you, O Lord”. Praising the Lord. This will do us so much good. Thank you.

Special Greetings

I cordially greet the English-speaking faithful. May the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which we have just celebrated, remind us of our own baptism and inspire us to follow Jesus Christ more faithfully each day. Upon you and your families I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord. God bless you!

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wants to be Vaccinated Against COVID-19 along with the Entire "Mater ecclesiae" Monastery where he Lives

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will also be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the Prefect of the Papal Household, announced, that Benedict XVI will also do like his successor. As soon as the ordered Covid vaccine is available in the Vatican State, the former Pope Benedict XVI, now aged 93, also wants to be vaccinated. Benedict's private secretary, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, told the Katholischen Nachrichten-Agentur (KNA) on Monday evening that the entire household in the Vatican monastery "Mater ecclesiae" wants to be immunized with the emeritus. Pope Francis had said in a television interview broadcast on Sunday evening that he would be vaccinated against the coronavirus "next week" . "I've signed up, it has to be done," said the leader of the church. 
Last week, the head of the Vatican Health Department, Andrea Arcangeli, announced that the vaccine doses would be delivered within a few days. Arcangeli confirmed that the Vatican State had ordered around 10,000 doses of the vaccine from the Mainz-based manufacturer Biontech and its US partner Pfizer . These were sufficient for internal needs. In addition to employees of the Holy See and the Vatican City, relatives and pensioners who are also insured are eligible for the vaccination. The workers had to explain before Christmas whether they wanted a vaccination or not. 

RIP Abida and Sajida - Murder of 2 Christian Girls in Pakistan for Refusing to Convert

ASIA/PAKISTAN - Murder of two young Christians, killed for not wanting to give up their faith according to the pastor of their Protestant community

Tuesday, 12 January 2021religious 

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - "The merciless murder of Abida and Sajida is a tragedy that shows how the lives of religious minorities in Pakistan are held by a thread or is worthless. Rape, kidnappings, forced conversions and even murders of young Christian girls are worrying phenomena. The government must not deny this and has the duty to stop the violence against Christians". This is what Nasir Saeed, Director of the NGO CLAAS (Center for Legal Aid Assistance & Settlement) said in a note sent to Agenzia Fides, commenting on the case in recent days which has provoked outrage and the protest of the community of the faithful in Pakistan.

Two young Christian sisters, Abida, 26, and Sajida, 28, residing in the Christian neighborhood of Makhan, near Lahore, were murdered last December after stubbornly refusing to convert to Islam. Police arrested two Muslims, Mumtaz Khan and Muhammad Naeem, suspected of killing the women. As Fides learned, Mushtaq Masih, Sajida's husband, reported that the two sisters worked in a medicine factory and that they disappeared on November 26, 2020. The family filed a formal complaint following their disappearance, reporting to the police his fears of kidnapping, as the two sisters had indicated that they had been often sexually harassed and had received from two work colleagues, Muhammad Naeem and Mumtaz Khan, the request, always rejected, to convert to Islam.

The news of the murder was confirmed by the police in recent days. According to the officers, who found the bodies, both sisters were killed in the same manner: they were handcuffed and strangled. Investigators suspect that the two men arrested abducted and killed the two sisters and are carrying out the appropriate investigations.

According to Nasier Saeed, although the Prime Minister of the Province of Punjab, Usman Buzdar, has requested an investigative report from the Inspector General of Police, "there is little hope that the family will ever get justice, as this is very expensive in Pakistan, trials are long and poor families cannot afford the legal costs. Furthermore, when the perpetrator of a crime is Muslim and the victim is Christian, persuading judges is much more difficult, because religion plays its role in all walks of life in Pakistan".

Protestant Pastor Amir Salamat Masih, who followed the victims' family, reports to Fides that most of the population of the Makhan neighboorhood is made up of poor and illiterate Christians who "have no choice but to work as laborers in the surrounding factories, to produce clothes, shoes, medicines, various materials". Here often, explains Pastor Masih, "Christian women workers are abused, face hatred and are considered inferior to Muslims, while young Christian girls - especially attractive ones - are often harassed and are the object of attention of Muslim men. The case of Sajida e Abida is not isolated, but highlights a very common practice in the workplace. Such cases happen daily in different parts of the country, but are hardly reported". "These two sisters - he concludes - died only because they were Christians, because they did not want to give up their faith in Christ even at the cost of their lives".

Chiosa Nazir S. Bhatti, director of Pakistan Christian Post, a local newspaper that followed the case, said: "In theory and on paper, minorities in Pakistan enjoy equal rights enshrined in the Constitution. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has pledged to ensure minorities are safe and happy in Pakistan. When we see cases of false accusations of blasphemy, kidnappings, forced conversions and murder of Christian girls, it must be emphasized that, in practice, this is not true and that the condition of Christians in society is getting worse". (PA) (FULL TEXT Source: Agenzia Fides, 12/1/2021)

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church

 Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 307
Reading I
Heb 2:14-18
Since the children share in blood and Flesh,
Jesus likewise shared in them,
that through death he might destroy the one
who has the power of death, that is, the Devil,
and free those who through fear of death
had been subject to slavery all their life.
Surely he did not help angels
but rather the descendants of Abraham;
therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way,    
that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God
to expiate the sins of the people.
Because he himself was tested through what he suffered,
he is able to help those who are being tested.
Responsorial Psalm
105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
R.    (8a)  The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
R.    Alleluia.
 Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
    make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
    proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
R.    (8a)  The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
R.    Alleluia.
Glory in his holy name;
    rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD in his strength;
    seek to serve him constantly.
R.    (8a)  The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
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.    (8a)  The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
R.    Alleluia.
He remembers forever his covenant
    which he made binding for a thousand generations-- 
Which he entered into with Abraham
    and by his oath to Isaac. 
R.    (8a)  The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
R.    Alleluia.
Jn 10:27
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord.
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Mk 1:29-39
On leaving the synagogue
Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.
Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever.
They immediately told him about her.
He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.
Then the fever left her and she waited on them.
When it was evening, after sunset,
they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.
The whole town was gathered at the door.
He cured many who were sick with various diseases,
and he drove out many demons,
not permitting them to speak because they knew him.
Rising very early before dawn, 
he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.
Simon and those who were with him pursued him
and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages
that I may preach there also.
For this purpose have I come.”
So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons 
throughout the whole of Galilee.
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