Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Wednesday, March 24, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church

 Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 253
Reading I
Dn 3:14-20, 91-92, 95
King Nebuchadnezzar said:
“Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
that you will not serve my god,
or worship the golden statue that I set up?
Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made,
whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet,
flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe,
and all the other musical instruments;
otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace;
and who is the God who can deliver you out of my hands?”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar,
“There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you
in this matter.
If our God, whom we serve,
can save us from the white-hot furnace
and from your hands, O king, may he save us!
But even if he will not, know, O king,
that we will not serve your god
or worship the golden statue that you set up.”
(Mass starts at 14:35 Mark after the Stations)
 King Nebuchadnezzar’s face became livid with utter rage
against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual
and had some of the strongest men in his army
bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
and cast them into the white-hot furnace.
Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles,
“Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?”
“Assuredly, O king,” they answered.
“But,” he replied, “I see four men unfettered and unhurt,
walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God.” 
Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed,
“Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
who sent his angel to deliver the servants who trusted in him;
they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies
rather than serve or worship any god
except their own God.”
Responsorial Psalm
Dn 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56
R.    (52b)  Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
    praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;
And blessed is your holy and glorious name,
    praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.”
R.    Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
    praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
R.    Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,
    praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.”
R.    Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you who look into the depths
    from your throne upon the cherubim;
    praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.”
R.    Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven,
    praiseworthy and glorious forever.”
R.    Glory and praise for ever!
Verse before the Gospel
See Lk 8:15
Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.
Jn 8:31-42
Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him,
“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham
and have never been enslaved to anyone. 
How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.
A slave does not remain in a household forever,
but a son always remains. 
So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free.
I know that you are descendants of Abraham.
But you are trying to kill me,
because my word has no room among you. 
I tell you what I have seen in the Father’s presence;
then do what you have heard from the Father.”
They answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraham.” 
Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children,
you would be doing the works of Abraham. 
But now you are trying to kill me,
a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God;
Abraham did not do this.
You are doing the works of your father!”
So they said to him, “We were not born of fornication. 
We have one Father, God.” 
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me,
for I came from God and am here;
I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”
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 March 24 : St. Catherine of Sweden who Lived in Chastity with her Husband and the Pro-Life Patron Against Abortion, Miscarriage



1331 at Sweden
24 March 1381
1484 (cultus confirmed) by Pope Innocent VIII
Patron of:
against abortion, against miscarriages
The fourth child of St. Bridget and her husband, Ulf Gudmarsson, born 1331 or 1332; died 24 March, 1381. At the time of her death St. Catherine was head of the convent of Wadstena, founded by her mother; hence the name, Catherine Vastanensis, by which she is occasionally called. At the age of  seven she was sent to the abbess of the convent of Riseberg to be educated and soon showed, like her mother, a desire for a life of self-mortification and devotion to spiritual things. At the command of her father, when about thirteen or fourteen years, she married a noble of German descent, Eggart von Kürnen. She at once persuaded her husband, who was a very religious man, to join her in a vow of chastity. Both lived in a state of virginity and devoted themselves to the exercise of Christian perfection and active charity. In spite of her deep love for her husband, Catherine accompanied her mother to Rome, where St. Bridget went in 1349. Soon after her arrival in that city Catherine received news of the death of her husband in Sweden. She now lived constantly with her mother, took an active part in St. Bridget's fruitful labours, and zealously imitated her mother's ascetic life. Although the distinguished and beautiful young widow was surrounded by suitors, she steadily refused all offers of marriage. In 1372 St. Catherine and her brother, Birger, accompanied their mother on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land; after their return to Rome St. Catherine was with her mother in the latter's last illness and death.
In 1374, in obedience to St. Bridget's wish, Catherine brought back her mother's body to Sweden for burial at Wadstena, of which foundation she now became the head. It was the motherhouse of the Brigittine Order, also called the Order of St. Saviour. Catherine managed the convent with great skill and made the life there one in harmony with the principles laid down by its founder. The following hear she went again to Rome in order to promote the canonization of St. Bridget, and to obtain a new papal confirmation of the order. She secured another confirmation both from Gregory XI (1377) and from Urban VI (1379) but was unable to gain at the time the canonization of her mother, as the confusion caused by the Schism delayed the process. When this sorrowful division appeared she showed herself, like St. Catherine of Siena, a steadfast adherent of the part of the Roman Pope, Urban VI, in whose favour she testified before a judicial commission. Catherine stayed five years in Italy and then returned home, bearing a special letter of commendation from the pope. Not long after her arrival in Sweden she was taken ill and died. In 1484 Innocent VIII gave permission for her veneration as a saint and her feast was assigned to 22 March in the Roman martyrology. Catherine wrote a devotional work entitled "Consolation of the Soul" (Sielinna Troëst), largely composed of citations from the Scriptures and from early religious books; no copy is known to exist. Generally she is represented with a hind at her side, which is said to have come to her aid when unchaste youths sought to ensnare her.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Prayer for Avoiding Miscarriages or Abortion

Dear Saint Catherine, you know the temptations of mothers today as well as the dangers that await unborn infants. Intercede for us that miscarriage may be avoided and a healthy baby may be brought forth; who will become a true child of God.
Also pray for all mothers, that they may not resort to abortion but will bring new life into our world. Dear Heavenly Father, I thank and praise You for the gift of all human life.
I am most grateful for new life in the womb – the unborn child forming.
Through the prayers of Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the intercession of Saint Catherine of Sweden, I beg You to watch over and protect little ones inside the womb.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Tanzania Mourns their President John Magufuli, who Died in Office and Welcomes their 1st Woman President Samia Suluhu Hassan

The President of Tanzania, John Magufuli, has died in office on March 17, 2021. He is replaced by his Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan. Tanzanians lined the streets of Dar es Salaam to pay their last respects to President. 
 “Dear Tanzanians, it is sad to announce that today 17 March 2021, around 6 p.m., we lost our brave leader, President John Magufuli, who died from heart illness at Mzena hospital in Dar es Salaam where he was getting treatment,” the vice president said on State broadcaster TBC.
Samia Suluhu Hassan has been sworn in as Tanzania's first female president at the State House in Dar es Salaam on Friday, making history as the first woman to hold the top position. The 61-year-old's inauguration came two days after she announced the passing of President John Magufuli.   She said, it's 'Time to stand together' in her first public address as president. Suluhu Hassan is known as Mama Samia. She will complete Magufuli's second five-year term in office, which began in October 2020 after he won general elections. Hassan also announced 21 days of mourning for the controversial former president, as well as public holidays for his funeral.  They both belong to the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party. Suluhu Hassan is  born in Zanzibar and she is a practicing Muslim.    President John Magufuli held his position as president for five-and-a-half years.

U.S. Bishops’ Statement on Discrimination Against the Asian Community ".. we must always stress that every human being is a brother or sister in Christ" FULL TEXT


Statement of U.S. Bishops’ Chairman for Asian and Pacific Island Affairs on Discrimination Against the Asian Community

WASHINGTON — Following deadly shootings at three businesses in the greater Atlanta area this past week and the dialogue that has been ignited about other reported incidents of aggression against people of Asian descent, Bishop Oscar A. Solis of Salt Lake City, and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs decried the culture of death, hatred and violence that underlies these incidents and called for solidarity with the vulnerable. The full statement follows:
“I am deeply saddened to hear of another mass shooting that has tragically taken the lives of eight people and has renewed concerns about a rise of hostility against individuals of Asian descent. As bishops, we decry any kind of hatred and violence, particularly based on race, ethnicity, or sex. We pray for the families and friends of those who were lost, and for their communities, who may feel unsafe and vulnerable at this time.
“This latest incident has prompted national dialogue on addressing anti-Asian bias that has taken the form of numerous other acts of physical violence, verbal attacks and destruction of property against those of Asian descent over the last year that have left communities across the country traumatized. 
“I echo Archbishop Gregory Hartmayer’s words that ‘[w]e must support all victims of violence and stand in solidarity with those who are vulnerable in our communities.’ More broadly, we must always stress that every human being is a brother or sister in Christ, created in the image and likeness of a loving God. Particularly during this season of Lent, let us remember God’s love and mercy for each one of us and renew the call for conversion of heart, that we may be more united to God’s love and share it with all of our neighbors.”
Last May, in the midst of increased reports of incidents of racism and xenophobia against Americans of Asian and Pacific Island heritage, three bishop chairmen issued a statement expressing their “call for a stronger resolve towards unity, demonstrated through acts of solidarity, kindness and love toward one another, so that we can emerge from this crisis renewed and stronger as one American people; a people that places value in every human life, regardless of race, ethnic origin, gender or religious affiliation.”
Source: USCCB

#BreakingNews Victims and Shooter Identified from Mass Shooting in Colorado, USA, that Killed 10 People

On March 22, 2021, there was a mass shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, USA. 10 people were killed, and dozens of agencies continued to investigate the mass shooting at the King Soopers at 3600 Table Mesa Drive.
The Boulder County Coroner’s Office worked overnight to identify all of the victims and notify the next of kin.
The last victim was removed from the scene at 1:30 a.m. today (Tuesday, March 23). 
By 2:02 a.m., all of the victims had been identified. 
By 3:59 a.m., the families of the victims had been notified.
The names of the deceased are as follows:
Denny Stong, 20
Neven Stanisic, 23
Rikki Olds, 25 (picture above, who worked at the store and was attending college)
Tralona Bartkowiak, 49
Suzanne Fountain, 59
Teri Leiker, 51
Eric Talley, 51 (picture above - police officer)
Kevin Mahoney, 61
Lynn Murray, 62
Jody Waters, 65
“Our hearts go out to all of the victims killed during this senseless act of violence. We are committed to a thorough investigation and will bring justice to each of these families,” Police Chief Maris Herold said. “The Boulder community is strong and compassionate, and I know we will come together to take care of each other during this time.”
Detectives are asking anyone with any information about this crime to submit it online. You can also call the tipline at 1-800-CALL-FBI. For digital media, you can submit information at www.fbi.gov/bouldershooting.
The timeline is as follows:
*At approximately 2:40 p.m. on Monday, March 22, officers were dispatched to the King Soopers at 3600 Table Mesa Drive for a report of an active shooter
*Officers arrived on scene within minutes and immediately entered the store and engaged the suspect. There was an exchange of gunfire during which the suspect was shot. No other officers were injured. The suspect was then taken into custody at 3:28 p.m. He was transported to the hospital for treatment and is now in stable condition. 

The suspect has been identified as Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 21, of Arvada. He has been charged with 10 counts of murder in the first degree and will be transported to the Boulder County jail today.  
Images Source: FB Screenshots
Please Pray for the victims and their families. 

Pope Francis says "I invite you, as Saint Alphonsus did, to go out to meet the fragile brothers and sisters of our society..." FULL TEXT





To the Rev. Fr. Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R., Superior General of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer and Moderator General of the Alphonsian Academy

One hundred and fifty years ago, Pius IX , on March 23, 1871, proclaimed Saint Alphonsus Maria de 'Liguori Doctor of the Church.

The Bull of proclamation of the doctorate of Saint Alphonsus highlights the specificity of his moral and spiritual proposal, having been able to indicate "the sure way in the tangle of conflicting opinions of rigorism and laxism" [1] .

One hundred and fifty years after this joyful anniversary, the message of St. Alphonsus Maria de 'Liguori, patron saint of confessors and moralists, and model for the whole Church outgoing missionary, still strongly indicates the high road to bring consciences closer to the face. welcoming of the Father, because "the salvation which God offers us is the work of his mercy" ( EG 112 ).

Listening to reality

The Alphonsian theological proposal arises from listening to and welcoming the fragility of the most spiritually abandoned men and women. The Holy Doctor, formed in a rigorous moral mentality, converts to "kindness" by listening to reality.

The missionary experience in the existential peripheries of his time, the search for those far away and listening to confessions, the foundation and guidance of the nascent Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, and again the responsibilities as Bishop of a particular Church, lead him to become a father and teacher of mercy, certain that "God's paradise is the heart of man" [2] .

The gradual conversion towards a decidedly missionary pastoral care, capable of being close to the people, of knowing how to accompany the step, of concretely sharing their life even in the midst of great limitations and challenges, prompted Alphonsus to review, not without difficulty, also the theological approach. and juridical received in the years of his formation: initially marked by a certain rigorism, it was then transformed into a merciful approach, an evangelizing dynamism capable of acting by attraction.

In theological disputes, preferring reason to authority, he does not stop at the theoretical formulation of principles, but allows himself to be challenged by life itself. Advocate of the least, the fragile and the rejected by the society of his time, he defends the "right" of all, especially the most abandoned and the poor. This path led him to the decisive choice of placing himself at the service of consciences that seek, despite a thousand difficulties, the good to do, because they are faithful to God's call to holiness.

Sant'Alfonso, therefore, «is neither lax nor rigorist. He is a realist in the true Christian sense "because he well understood that" community life and commitment to others are at the very heart of the Gospel "( EG 177 ).

The proclamation of the Gospel in a rapidly changing society requires the courage to listen to reality, to "educate consciences to think differently, in discontinuity with the past" [3] .

Every pastoral action has its roots in the salvific encounter with the God of life, it is born from listening to life and is nourished by a theological reflection that knows how to take on people's questions in order to indicate viable paths. Following the example of Alphonsus, I invite moral theologians, missionaries and confessors to enter into a living relationship with the people of God, and to look at existence from their angle, to understand the real difficulties they encounter and to help heal the wounds, because only true fraternity "knows how to look at the sacred greatness of neighbor, who knows how to discover God in every human being, who knows how to bear the harassment of living together by clinging to the love of God, who knows how to open the heart to divine love in order to seek the happiness of others as their good Father seeks it "(EG, no. 92 ).

Faithful to the Gospel, Christian moral teaching called to proclaim, deepen and teach, should always be a response "to the God who loves us and who saves us, recognizing him in others and going out of himself to seek the good of all" ( EG, no. 39 ). Moral theology cannot reflect only on the formulation of principles and norms, but it needs to take on purposefully the reality that goes beyond any idea (cf. EG, n. 231 ). This is a priority (cf. EG, nn. 34-39) because the mere knowledge of theoretical principles, as Saint Alphonsus himself reminds us, is not enough to accompany and support consciences in the discernment of the good to be done. Knowledge must become practical by listening to and welcoming the least, the frail and those who are considered rejected by society.

Mature consciences for an adult church

Following the example of Saint Alphonsus Maria de 'Liguori, the renewal of moral theology [4], it becomes desirable and therefore necessary to accompany, accompany and support those most deprived of spiritual aid on the path towards redemption. The radicality of the Gospel should not be contrasted with the weakness of man. It is always necessary to find the path that does not distance but bring hearts closer to God, as Alphonsus did with his spiritual and moral teaching. All this because “the immense majority of the poor have a special openness to the faith; they need God and we cannot fail to offer them his friendship, his blessing, his Word, the celebration of the Sacraments and the proposal of a journey of growth and maturation in faith. The preferential option for the poor must mainly translate into a privileged and priority religious attention "( EG 200 ).

Like St. Alphonsus we are called to go out to meet the people as an apostolic community that follows the Redeemer among the abandoned. This reaching out to those without spiritual help helps to overcome individualistic ethics and to promote a moral maturity capable of choosing the true good. By forming responsible and merciful consciences, we will have an adult Church capable of constructively responding to social frailties, in view of the kingdom of heaven.

Going to meet the most fragile allows us to fight the "logic" of competitiveness and the law of the strongest "which" considers the human being in himself as a consumer good, which can be used and then thrown away "giving" beginning to the culture of waste "" (cf. EG, n. 53 ).

In recent times, the challenges that society is facing are innumerable: the pandemic and the work in the post-Covid world, the care to be ensured for all, the defense of life, the inputs that come to us from artificial intelligence, the safeguard of creation, the undemocratic threat and the urgency of brotherhood. Woe to us if in this evangelizing commitment, we separate the "cry of the poor"  [5] from the "cry of the earth" [6] .

Alfonso de 'Liguori, teacher and patron of confessors and moralists, offered constructive responses to the challenges of the society of his time, through popular evangelization, indicating a style of moral theology capable of holding together the need for the Gospel and the frailties human.

I invite you, following the example of the Holy Doctor, to seriously address on the level of moral theology "the cry of God who asks all of us:" Where is your brother? " Gen 4 : 9). Where is your slave brother? Where is what you are killing every day in the small clandestine factory, in the prostitution network, in the children you use for begging, in the one that has to work in secret because it has not been regularized? " EG, n. 211 ).

Faced with epochal passages such as the current one, the risk of absolutizing the rights of the strong, forgetting the most needy, is clearly evident.

The formation of consciences for good appears to be an indispensable goal for every Christian. Giving space to consciences - a place where the voice of God resounds - so that they can carry out their personal discernment in the concreteness of life (cf. AL 37) is a formative task to which we must remain faithful. The attitude of the Samaritan ( Lk 10 : 33-35), as I indicated in Brothers all , spurs us in this direction.

Moral theology must not be afraid to welcome the cry of the least of the earth and to make it its own. The dignity of the frail is a moral duty that cannot be evaded or delegated. It is necessary to testify that law always means solidarity.

I invite you, as Saint Alphonsus did, to go out to meet the fragile brothers and sisters of our society. This involves the development of a moral theological reflection and pastoral action, capable of committing oneself to the common good which has its roots in the proclamation of the kerygma , which has a decisive word in defense of life, towards creation and brotherhood.

On this special occasion I encourage the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer and the Pontifical Alphonsian Academy, as its expression and center of high theological and apostolic formation, to engage in constructive dialogue with all the requests coming from every culture [7] , to seek apostolic answers, moral and spiritual in favor of human frailty, knowing that dialogue is marturya .

Sant'Alfonso Maria de 'Liguori and the Virgin Mary of Perpetual Help are always traveling companions.

Rome, San Giovanni in Laterano, March 23, 2021

Source: Vatican.va

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

 Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 252
Reading I
Nm 21:4-9
From Mount Hor the children of Israel set out on the Red Sea road,
to bypass the land of Edom.
But 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 away from us.”
So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses,
“Make a saraph and mount it on a pole,
and whoever looks at it after being bitten 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
102:2-3, 16-18, 19-21
R.    (2)  O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.
O LORD, hear my prayer,
    and let my cry come to you.
Hide not your face from me
    in the day of my distress.
Incline your ear to me;    
    in the day when I call, answer me speedily.
R.    O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.
The nations shall revere your name, O LORD,
    and all the kings of the earth your glory,
When the LORD has rebuilt Zion
    and appeared in his glory;
When he has regarded the prayer of the destitute,
    and not despised their prayer.
R.    O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.
Let this be written for the generation to come,
    and let his future creatures praise the LORD:
“The LORD looked down from his holy height,
    from heaven he beheld the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoners,
    to release those doomed to die.”
R.    O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.
Verse before the Gospel
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
all who come to him will live for ever.
Jn 8:21-30
Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“I am going away and you will look for me,
but you will die in your sin.
Where I am going you cannot come.”
So the Jews said,
“He is not going to kill himself, is he,
because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?”
He said to them, “You belong to what is below,
I belong to what is above.
You belong to this world,
but I do not belong to this world.
That is why I told you that you will die in your sins.
For if you do not believe that I AM,
you will die in your sins.”
So they said to him, “Who are you?”
Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning.
I have much to say about you in condemnation.
But the one who sent me is true,
and what I heard from him I tell the world.”
They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father.
So Jesus said to them,
“When you lift up the Son of Man,
then you will realize that I AM,
and that I do nothing on my own,
but I say only what the Father taught me.
The one who sent me is with me. 
He has not left me alone,
because I always do what is pleasing to him.”
Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in 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