Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Wednesday, January 20, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church

Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 313
Reading I
Heb 7:1-3, 15-17
Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of God Most High,
met Abraham as he returned from his defeat of the kings
and blessed him.
And Abraham apportioned to him a tenth of everything.
His name first means righteous king,
and he was also “king of Salem,” that is, king of peace.
Without father, mother, or ancestry,
without beginning of days or end of life,
thus made to resemble the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.
It is even more obvious if another priest is raised up
after the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become so,
not by a law expressed in a commandment concerning physical descent
but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed.
For it is testified:
    You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Responsorial Psalm
110:1, 2, 3, 4
R.    (4b)    You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand
    till I make your enemies your footstool.”
R.    You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
 The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion:
    “Rule in the midst of your enemies.”
R.    You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
“Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor;
    before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you.”
R.    You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent:
    “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”
R.    You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
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 3:1-6
Jesus entered the synagogue.
There was a man there who had a withered hand.
They watched Jesus closely
to see if he would cure him on the sabbath
so that they might accuse him.
He said to the man with the withered hand,
“Come up here before us.”
Then he said to the Pharisees,
“Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?”
But they remained silent.
Looking around at them with anger
and grieved at their hardness of heart,
Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”
He stretched it out and his hand was restored.
The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel
with the Herodians against him to put him to death.
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 20 : St. Sebastian a Martyr and the Patron of Soldiers and Athletes with Special Prayer

A Saint who Died in 288AD
Patron of:
Soldiers, plagues, arrows,  athletes
Roman martyr; little more than the fact of his martyrdom can be proved about St. Sebastian. In the "Depositio martyrum" of the chronologer of 354 it is mentioned that Sebastian was buried on the Via Appia. St. Ambrose ("In Psalmum cxviii"; "Sermo", XX, no. xliv in PL, XV, 1497) states that Sebastian came from Milan and even in the time of St. Ambrose was venerated there. The Acts, probably written at the beginning of the fifth century and formerly ascribed erroneously to Ambrose, relate that he was an officer in the imperial bodyguard and had secretly done many acts of love and charity for his brethren in the Faith. When he was finally discovered to be a Christian, in 286, he was handed over to the Mauretanian archers, who pierced him with arrows; he was healed, however, by the widowed St. Irene. He was finally killed by the blows of a club. These stories are unhistorical. The earliest mosaic picture of St. Sebastian, which probably belongs to the year 682, shows a grown, bearded man in court dress but contains no trace of an arrow. It was the art of the Renaissance that first portrayed him as a youth pierced by arrows. In 367 a basilica which was one of the seven chief churches of Rome was built over his grave. The present church was completed in 1611 by Scipio Cardinal Borghese. His relics in part were taken in the year 826 to St. Medard at Soissons. Sebastian is considered a protector against the plague. Celebrated answers to prayer for his protection against the plague are related of Rome in 680, Milan in 1575, and Lisbon in 1599. His feast day is 20 January.
Prayer to Saint Sebastian

Dear Commander of the Roman Emperor’s court, You chose to also be a soldier of Christ
And dared to spread faith in the King of Kings, For which you were condemned to die.
Your body, however, proved athletically strong And the executing arrows extremely weak. So another means to kill you was chosen And you gave your life to the Lord.
May athletes always be as strong as their faith As their Patron Saint so clearly has been.

Saint January 20 : St. Fabian a Pope and Martyr during the Persecution of Decius, in 250 AD

January 20, 250 Rome, Italy

He succeeded St. Anterus in the pontificate in the year 236. Eusebius relates that in an assembly of the people and clergy, held for the election of a pastor in his room, a dove, unexpectedly appearing, settled, to the great surprise of all present, on the head of St. Fabian, and that this miraculous sign united the votes of the clergy and people in promoting him, though not thought of before, as being a layman and a stranger. He governed the church sixteen years, sent St. Dionysius and other preachers into Gaul, and condemned Privatus, a broacher of a new heresy in Africa, as appears from St. Cyprian. St. Fabian died a glorious martyr in the persecution of Decius, in 250, as St. Cyprian and St. Jerome witness. The former, writing to his successor, St. Cornelius, calls him an incomparable man, and says that the glory of his death had answered the purity and holiness of his life.
The saints made God, and the accomplishment of his holy will, the great object of all their petitions in their prayers, and their only aim in all their actions. "God," says St. Austin,[3] "in his promises to hear our prayers, is desirous to bestow himself upon us; if you find any thing better than him, ask it, but if you ask any thing beneath him, you put an affront upon him, and hurt   yourself by preferring to him a creature which he framed: pray in the spirit and sentiment of love, in which the royal prophet said to him, 'Thou, O Lord, art my portion.'[4] Let others choose to themselves portions among creatures; for my part, Thou are my portion, Thee alone I have chosen for my whole inheritance."

(Taken from Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler)

Pope Francis says "It is indispensable that we always return to Jesus, that we gather in sacramental fraternity.." FULL TEXT to Clergy



[19-20 January 2021]

 Dear brother Bishops and Priests,

I thank the Lord for the opportunity to be able to address you on this day when you begin a virtual meeting, taking into account the difficulties that also oppress so many of our brothers and sisters in Venezuela and throughout the world. This is an opportunity to share, in a spirit of ministerial brotherhood, your priestly experiences, your labors, your uncertainties, as well as your longings and your conviction to carry on the work of the Church, which is the work of the Lord.

In these difficult moments, the passage from Mark's Gospel comes to mind (cf. 6: 30-31), which tells how the Apostles, on their return from the mission to which Jesus had sent them, gathered around him. They told him all this. they had done, everything they had taught. Then Jesus invited them to go, alone with Him, to a deserted place to rest for a while.

Our being Pastors of the Church, even in the current context, asks us to act in this way. We cannot act alone, isolated, self-sufficient, with hidden agendas. It is indispensable that we always return to Jesus, that we gather in sacramental fraternity, to tell him and tell each other "everything we have done and taught", with the conviction that it is not our work but God's. It is he who saves us, we we are only tools in his hands.

This assembly, which is taking place virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic, aims to allow the meeting of those who have received the mission of witnessing and extending the Lord's paternity in the holy faithful people of God. By the way, to point out to you two principles which should never be lost sight of, and which guarantee the growth of the Church, if we are faithful: love of neighbor and service to one another . These two principles are anchored in two Sacraments that Jesus institutes at the Last Supper, and which are the foundation, so to speak, of his message: the Eucharist, to teach love, and the washing of the feet, to teach service. Love and service belong together, otherwise they won't work.

This is what the Lord wants: experts in the task of loving others and capable of showing them, in the simplicity of small daily gestures of affection and attention, the caress of divine tenderness. We also need servants of our brothers, but humble servants, because it is Jesus who sends us and reminds us that the servant is not greater than his Lord, nor is the one sent greater than the one who sent him. It is necessary to revive in life the desire to imitate the Good Shepherd, and to learn to be "servants" of all, in particular of the less fortunate and often discarded brothers and sisters, and to ensure that, in this time of crisis, they feel accompanied, supported, loved.

Dear brother Bishops and Priests, I invite you to go forward, working with joy and determination in your pastoral work. To renew the gift of yourselves to the Lord and to his holy people. I thank you for the witness of love and service to Venezuelan brothers and sisters, manifested in your attention to the sick, to whom you have brought the strength of the Word of God and the Eucharist; manifested in your accompaniment to medical staff, paramedics and volunteers who assist patients in this pandemic; in your zeal to help the poor and the excluded, and those who lack the necessary to survive and move forward in dignity. Thank you, thank you for all this!

With gratitude I assure my closeness and my prayers to all of you who carry on the mission of the Church in Venezuela, in the proclamation of the Gospel and in the numerous initiatives of charity towards brothers exhausted by poverty and the health crisis. I entrust you all to the intercession of Our Lady of Coromoto and of Saint Joseph.

And may the Lord bless you and accompany you. Bless and accompany your work, your heart, your hands, your knees when you pray. Bless and accompany your hopes, good intentions and, above all, bless and accompany your unity. Don't split up, brothers! Don't split up. There is always a chance to join. As always there is a possibility of isolating oneself and creating an attitude of the sectarian heart, outside the unity of the Church.

The Lord bless you and accompany you! And please, I ask you to pray for me. Thanks!

Source: Vatican.va - Image: Screenshot

RIP Archbishop Abel Gabuza - Death of Coadjutor Catholic Archbishop from South Africa due to COVID at Age 65

It is with the greatest sorrow that we announce the death of our Coadjutor Archbishop Abel Gabuza. 
Archbishop Abel died at Hillcrest Hospital at 11.35am on the 17th January 2021.
The Archbishop had not been with us in Durban long- just short of two years- but in that time we came to recognize him as a gentle, caring and warm-hearted pastor. Through his gentleness, caring and warmth he made an immediate impact on everyone who was privileged to make his acquaintance. That’s an added reason why his passing is such a tremendous loss to us and to the entire church in Southern Africa.
We extend our heartfelt condolences to Archbishop Abel’s sister, Hildegarde, to his cousin and best friend, Khomotso and extended family as well as the Archbishop and people of Pretoria, his home city and home diocese until he came to Durban via Kimberly. We also feel very much for the Church and People of Kimberly who suffer a double loss, first with their beloved Bishop being transferred to Durban and now his permanent transfer to the Lord’s kingdom.
On behalf of the priests, deacons and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Durban, we commend his soul to the hands of God and pray that he may now enjoy eternal rest.
The Pope’s Ambassador to Southern Africa , Archbishop Peter Wells, has been informed. He in turn will inform the Holy See and ultimately Pope Francis.
To all we express sincere thanks for the many prayers and sacrifices offered up on behalf of our beloved Brother and Coadjutor Archbishop Abel Gabuza.
May he rest in peace.
Well done good and faithful servant, enter the Kingdom of your Father.
+Wilfrid Cardinal Napier OFM

RIP Archbishop Philip Wilson - Sudden Death of Archbishop Emeritus of Adelaide, Australia at Age 70

Media Release - Sunday January 17 2021
Archbishop Philip Wilson, who served as Bishop of Wollongong and Archbishop of Adelaide during 45 years of priestly ministry, has died in Adelaide this afternoon at the age of 70.
Born in the Hunter region of New South Wales, a young Philip Wilson studied at St Columba’s College, Springwood and St Patrick’s College Manly before being ordained a priest of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
Ordained Bishop of Wollongong in 1996, he was seen as an important figure in introducing reforms to help the Catholic Church respond to the issue of child sexual abuse.
In 2001, he was appointed Archbishop of Adelaide, a post he held until his resignation in 2018.
He served as president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for two terms, from 2006 to 2010.
Archbishop Wilson had suffered a series of health problems in recent years, including cancer. Even so, his death on Sunday was unexpected.
“We know that Philip was much loved by people across the country, but especially in the places he served – in Maitland-Newcastle, in Wollongong and here in Adelaide,” said Archbishop Patrick O’Regan, who last year succeeded Archbishop Wilson.
“He made major contributions to the Church and the wider communities in which he ministered, and was seen as a valuable part of the Bishops Conference, including during four years as president of the national assembly of about 40 bishops.”
Archbishop O’Regan said while his predecessor had been charged with failing to respond adequately to allegations of child sexual abuse while a priest in the Hunter region, he was acquitted of all charges.
“A harrowing period of allegations, charges, conviction and eventually acquittal was a significant chapter on Philip’s life, but his record of supporting and advocating on behalf of victims and survivors is part of his legacy,” Archbishop O’Regan said.
“Philip knew what pain many people had endured and suffered as a result of the sickening actions of some within the Church. He was part of the solution, and widely recognised as such.”
Details of Archbishop Wilson’s funeral have not yet been finalised.

Saint January 19 : St. Canute IV the Famous King of Denmark who was Martyred with 17 others during Mass

1043, Denmark
July 10, 1086, Odense
Major Shrine:
Saint Canute's Cathedral, Odense
Patron of:
Martyr and King of Denmark, date of birth uncertain; d. 10 July 1086, the third of the thirteen natural sons of Sweyn II surnamed Estridsen. Elected king on the death of his brother Harold about 1080, he waged war on his barbarous enemies and brought Courland and Livonia to the faith. Having married Eltha, daughter of Robert, Count of Flanders, he had a son Charles, surnamed the good. He was a strong ruler, as is proved by his stern dealing with the pirate Eigill of Bornholm. The happiness of his people and the interests of the Church were the objects he had most at heart. To the cathedral of Roskilde, still the royal burying-place, he gave his own diadem. His austerity was equalled by his assiduity in prayer. An expedition to England, in favour of the Saxons against William the Conqueror, planned by him in 1085, failed through the treachery of his brother Olaf. His people having revolted on account of the cruelties of certain tax-collectors, Canute retired to the island of Funen. There, in the church of St. Alban, after due preparation for death, the king, his brother Benedict, and seventeen others were surrounded and slain, 10 July, 1086. His feast is 19 January, translation, 10 July; his emblems, a lance or arrows, in memory of the manner of his death.
(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia

US Bishops' Resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
January 18-25
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has a history of over 100 years , in which Christians around the world have taken part in an octave of prayer for visible Christian unity.  By annually observing the WPCU, Christians move toward the fulfillment of Jesus' prayer at the Last Supper "that they all may be one."  (cf. John 17:21)

In preparation for the WPCU, ecumenical partners in a particular region were asked to prepare a basic text on a biblical theme. Then an international group organized through the World Council of Churches (WCC) and The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity edited this text, which was jointly published by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and WCC, through their Commission on Faith and Order


 The WCC accompanied the entire production process of the text. The final material was sent to member churches and Roman Catholic dioceses, and they were invited to translate the text and contextualize it for their own use.

Further promotional and preparatory materials for the 2021 WPCU can be found through the World Council of Churches and the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute websites, including:

  • Suggestions for observing the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
  • Thematic poster art, music, and prayer cards (English/Spanish)
  • Scripture readings, commentaries and questions for reflection
  • Ecumenical prayer service model
  • Historical and contextual information
  • Source: USCCB

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church

Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 312
Reading I
Heb 6:10-20
Brothers and sisters:
God is not unjust so as to overlook your work
and the love you have demonstrated for his name
by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones.
We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness
for the fulfillment of hope until the end,
so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who,
through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.
When God made the promise to Abraham,
since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,
and said, I will indeed bless you and multiply you.
And so, after patient waiting, Abraham obtained the promise.
Now, men swear by someone greater than themselves;
for them an oath serves as a guarantee
and puts an end to all argument.
So when God wanted to give the heirs of his promise
an even clearer demonstration of the immutability of his purpose,
he intervened with an oath,
so that by two immutable things,
in which it was impossible for God to lie,
we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged
to hold fast to the hope that lies before us.
This we have as an anchor of the soul,
sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil,
where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner,
becoming high priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.
Responsorial Psalm
111:1-2, 4-5, 9 and 10c
R.    (5)  The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R.    Alleluia.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
    in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
    exquisite in all their delights.
R.    The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R.    Alleluia.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
    gracious and merciful is the LORD.
He has given food to those who fear him;
    he will forever be mindful of his covenant.
R.    The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R.    Alleluia.
He has sent deliverance to his people;
    he has ratified his covenant forever;
    holy and awesome is his name.
    His praise endures forever.
R.    The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R.    Alleluia.
See Eph 1:17-18
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to our call.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Mk 2:23-28
As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath,
his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain.
At this the Pharisees said to him,
“Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?”
He said to them,
“Have you never read what David did
when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry?
How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest
and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat,
and shared it with his companions?”
Then he said to them,
“The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”
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