Monday, February 22, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church

 Tuesday of the First Week of Lent
Lectionary: 225
Reading I
Is 55:10-11
Thus says the LORD:
Just as from the heavens
    the rain and snow come down
And do not return there
    till they have watered the earth,
    making it fertile and fruitful,
Giving seed to the one who sows
    and bread to the one who eats,
So shall my word be
    that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me void,
    but shall do my will,
    achieving the end for which I sent it.
Responsorial Psalm
34:4-5, 6-7, 16-17, 18-19
R.    (18b)  From all their distress God rescues the just.
Glorify the LORD with me,
    let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears. 
(Mass Starts After the Stations of the Cross at the 14:15 mark)  
 R.    From all their distress God rescues the just.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
    and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
    and from all his distress he saved him.
R.    From all their distress God rescues the just.
The LORD has eyes for the just,
    and ears for their cry.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
    to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
R.    From all their distress God rescues the just.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
    and from all their distress he rescues them.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
    and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
R.    From all their distress God rescues the just.
Verse before the Gospel
Mt 4:4b
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
Mt 6:7-15
Jesus said to his disciples:
“In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This is how you are to pray:
    Our Father who art in heaven,
        hallowed be thy name,
        thy Kingdom come,
    thy will be done,
        on earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread;
    and forgive us our trespasses,
        as we forgive those who trespass against us;
    and lead us not into temptation,
        but deliver us from evil.
“If you forgive men their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”
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 February 23 : St. Polycarp : Bishop and Martyr who modeled his life after Christ and Patron of Against Earaches, and Dysentery

155 at Smyrna
Patron of:
against dysentery, against earache
Saint Polycarp (69-155), whose feast day we celebrate today, was a holy and learned bishop of Smyrna—a second generation Christian who heard the word of the Lord directly from the apostle John. He is the first Christian martry whose acts of martyrdom were written at the time of his death, and preserved to demonstrate his faith and lack of fear in persecution. In a time of struggle an unrest in the fledgling faith, Polycarp, along with his friend Saint Ignatius of Antioch, looked to the life and Word of Christ as the example of how to celebrate the liturgy, how to worship, and how to live. Saint Ignatius said of Saint Polycarp, “Your mind is grounded in God as on an unmovable rock.”
Polycarp was Bishop of Smyrna at a time when Roman persecution of Christians was in full effect. Despite the constant rear of arrest, torture, and death, Polycarp remained resolute in his faith, candidly preaching his belief in Christ, and telling those of other faiths who demanded recognition and respect, “Yes I recognize you- I recognize you as the son of Satan.”
Polycarp was well-known in the early community as learned, patient, and wise. He demonstrated forgiveness, humility, and diplomacy in settling conflict and controversy in the Church. He wrote prolifically, although few of his work survives. Only one letter, a letter to the Philippians, has been preserved. In this letter, Polycarp summarizes and transmits the teachings of Christ:
“Therefore, prepare yourselves. Serve God in reverence and truth, leaving behind empty, fruitless talk and the deception of the crowd, believing in the one who raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead and gave him glory and a throne at his right hand, to whom all things in heaven and earth are subject, whom every breathing thing worships, who is coming as judge of the living and dead, whose blood God will require from those who disobey him. But the one who raised him from the dead also will raise us if we do his will and follow in his commandments and love the things he loved—refraining from all unrighteousness, greediness, love of money, evil speech, and false witness, not paying back evil for evil or abuse for abuse or blow for blow or curse for curse, but remembering what the Lord said when he taught: Do not judge so that you may not be judged; forgive and then you will be forgiven; show mercy so that you will be shown mercy; with what measure you measure out it will be measured again to you; and that blessed are the poor and those being persecuted for the sake of righteousness; for theirs is the kingdom of God.” (Polycarp to the Philippians, 2) Saint Polycarp modeled his life after Christ. He did not seek out martyrdom as did some at the time, instead, like Jesus, waiting until the Lord decided it was his time. When the Romans, bloodthirsty for the death of Christians, called for his death at the hands of wild animals in the arena, Polycarp was persuaded by friends to hide in a small farmhouse outside of the populated area. While there, Polycarp had a dream in which his pillow caught fire, leading him to tell his followers that he would be martyred by fire. There he was eventually found, after the Romans tortured the servant boys providing him food. Hearing the soldiers approaching, Polycarp came out of hiding to greet them, saying “God’s will be done.” He offered them a meal, and asked permission to pray for one hour before being arrested. Given that he was 86 at the time, calm and gentle, and had showed them hospitality, the soldiers allowed him two hours of prayer, during which he prayed for the continuation of the Church, and “every person he had ever known.” Saint Polycarp was then led to the arena for martyrdom. Prior to release of the wild animals, expected to tear him to bits, the magistrate asked him to renounce Christ, unwilling to send an 86 year old man to his death. Polycarp answered, “Eighty six years have I been His servant, and He hath done me no wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” Again, the magistrate asked for Polycarp to renounce his faith and pledge an oath of allegiance to Caesar. Polycarp responded, "If you imagine that I will swear by Caesar, you do not know who I am. Let me tell you plainly, I am a Christian." Running out of options, the magistrate begged Polycarp to change his mind, or else be thrown to the wild animals. Unafraid, Polycarp responded, "Change of mind from better to worse is not a change allowed to us."
Polycarp, due to his lack of apparent fear, was sentenced to being burned alive. As they were tying him to the stake and lighting the fire, Polycarp prayed to Heaven:
"Lord God Almighty, Father of your beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have received knowledge of you, God of angels and powers, of the whole creation and of the whole race of the righteous who live in your sight, I bless you, for having made me worthy of this day and hour, I bless you, because I may have a part, along with the martyrs, in the chalice of your Christ, to resurrection in eternal life, resurrection both of soul and body in the incorruptibility of the Holy Spirit. May I be received today, as a rich and acceptable sacrifice, among those who are in you presence, as you have prepared and foretold and fulfilled, God who is faithful and true. For this and for all benefits I praise you, I bless you, I glorify you, through the eternal and heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom be to you with him and the Holy Spirit glory, now and for all the ages to come. Amen."
The flames were lit, but miraculously did not touch the saint. Rather then spread around him like an arch, causing him to glow with a heavenly light. Seeing what was happening, the Roman soldiers stabbed him in the throat, killing him, his blood quenching the flames of the fire. His body was subsequently burned by the Romans to prevent him from being worshipped, although his bones were stolen by Christians and saved as relics. Saint Polycarp is an inspiration to us, especially during our Lenten season of preparation. He remained true in his faith, candid in his words, and did not go looking for a glorious martyr’s death. But when it came looking for him, he readily accepted the will of the Lord, proclaiming the Good News until the moment he expired. His courage and confidence in the face of persecution inspires us to step outside of our own perceived strength and power, and to look to Him who provides all for us—our Father in heaven. For he will provide us all that we need: hope, endurance, love, strength, and righteousness. All we need to do is repent, believe, and ask.
Therefore we should persevere unceasingly in our hope and down payment of our righteousness, which is Christ Jesus, who bore our sins in his own body on the tree, who committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth, but because of us, in order that we might live in him, endured all things. Therefore let us be imitators of his endurance, and if we should suffer because of his name, we should glorify him. For this is the example he set for us in himself, and this we have believed. (Polycarp to the Philippians, 8) Text shared from 365 Rosaries Blog

Pope Francis says “Ask Jesus for the gift of mercy” and JPII “wanted the message of God’s merciful love to reach everyone in the world.” on 90th Anniversary of Divine Mercy

Vatican News reports that Pope Francis wrote a letter marking the 90th anniversary of the first apparition to St Maria Faustina Kowalska in Płock, Poland. 
Vatican News report by Christopher Wells - 
Pope Francis has written a letter to the Bishop and Church of Płock, Poland, on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the first apparition of the Merciful Jesus to St Maria Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun. The apparitions to St Faustina formed the basis of the Divine Mercy devotion.
In his letter, Pope Francis recalls the words heard by St Faustina on 22 February 1931: “Paint a picture according to the pattern you see, with the caption: Jesus, I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated first in your chapel and then throughout the world.” The image of the Divine Mercy has subsequently spread around the globe.
“I share the joy of the Church of Płock that this special event is already known throughout the world and remains alive in the hearts of the faithful,” Pope Francis writes.

Pope Francis adds feast of Saint Faustina to Roman Calendar
“Ask Jesus for the gift of mercy”
The Holy Father encourages the faithful to “ask Christ for the gift of mercy,” to allow Christ’s mercy “to embrace us and penetrate us,” to have “the courage to return to Jesus, to encounter His love and mercy in the Sacraments," and to “feel His closeness and tenderness,” so that we “might be more capable of mercy, patience, forgiveness, and love.”
He notes that his predecessor, St John Paul II, whom he calls “the Apostle of Mercy,” “wanted the message of God’s merciful love to reach everyone in the world.”
In 2002, during a visit to the Divine Mercy Shrine in Krakow, the Polish Pope said, “This fire of mercy needs to be passed on to the world. In the mercy of God the world will find peace and mankind will find happiness!”
Pope Francis in his turn insists, “This is a special challenge for the Church of Płock, marked by this revelation”; for Sister Faustina’s community, the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy; for the city of Płock, “and for each one of you.”
“Pass on the fire of Jesus’ merciful love,” Pope Francis writes in conclusion. “Be for everyone a sign of His presence among you.”
Edited from Vatican News by Christopher Wells

Bishops of Myanmar Write Letter of Appeal for Peace and Reconciliation amid Protests and Violence

Bishops of Myanmar make an appeal to all parties for peace and reconciliation.
10 bishops issued a message which calls for no bloodshed and a return to dialogue and hope for democracy.  This is in response to the escalation of violence by the junta and rising resistance from the population.
This message was signed by all of them and dated February 21, 2021. It asks that there be no bloodshed anywhere and that the violence in the streets stop. The appeal is aimed above all at "those in power", to return to dialogue and still give the nation the hope of peace and democracy.  Here is the complete text of the message (translation by AsiaNews).
Dear Brothers and Sisters of Myanmar and those in power. Greetings of peace to each one of you.
We, Catholic Bishops representing sixteen Catholic dioceses, spread all over the country, send this appeal to specially those in power, pleading for restraint in the streets and return to dialogue This comes amidst deep anguish and pain of witnessing more blood in the streets. The sad and shocking recent events have brought huge sorrow to our nation.
The heartrending scenes or youth dying in the streets wound the conscience of a nation. This nation has a reputation of being called a golden land.  Let not its sacred ground be soaked in fraternal blood, Sadness or parents burying their children has to stop.  Mothers' tears are never a blessing to any nation.
Just a month ago, this nation held in her heart a great promise: dreams of enhanced peace and robust democracy. Despite the onslaught of global pandemic, the nation held an election. The world admired our capacity for managing our differences. Today the world weeps with us, shattered by the fragmentation of this nation once again. Our youth deserve better.
With prayers in our hearts, we plead with all the stakeholders, return to dialogue. Be a nation known for its pristine spiritual spring, let us invest our energy in reconciliation. Healing needs to start with release of detained leaders.
 We Join with the reverend "Ma Ha Na" monks and urge the leaders to heed their warning: Myanmar can become history and wiped off the map o! the world, if we cannot solve problems in a peaceful way! We concur with their call tor reconciliation through dialogue.
Urgently, the recourse to violence has to stop. The past lessons warn us violence never wins. Seventy-two years after independence, those in power need to invest in peace. The peace dividend will heal this nation. Give peace a chance. Peace is possible, peace is the only way.
With prayers and best wishes for peace.
Edited from Asia News IT