Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Thursday, April 22, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church - Eastertide



Thursday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 276
Reading I
Acts 8:26-40
The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip,
“Get up and head south on the road
that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route.” 
So he got up and set out. 
Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch,
a court official of the Candace,
that is, the queen of the Ethiopians,
in charge of her entire treasury,
who had come to Jerusalem to worship, and was returning home.
Seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
The Spirit said to Philip,
 
 “Go and join up with that chariot.” 
Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said,
“Do you understand what you are reading?” 
He replied,
“How can I, unless someone instructs me?” 
So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him. 
This was the Scripture passage he was reading:
    Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,
        and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
            so he opened not his mouth.
    In his humiliation justice was denied him.
        Who will tell of his posterity?
            For his life is taken from the earth.
Then the eunuch said to Philip in reply,
“I beg you, about whom is the prophet saying this?
About himself, or about someone else?” 
Then Philip opened his mouth and, beginning with this Scripture passage,
he proclaimed Jesus to him.
As they traveled along the road
they came to some water,
and the eunuch said, “Look, there is water. 
What is to prevent my being baptized?” 
Then he ordered the chariot to stop,
and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water,
and he baptized him. 
When they came out of the water,
the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away,
and the eunuch saw him no more,
but continued on his way rejoicing. 
Philip came to Azotus, and went about proclaiming the good news
to all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
Responsorial Psalm
66:8-9, 16-17, 20
R.    (1)  Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Bless our God, you peoples,
    loudly sound his praise;
He has given life to our souls,
    and has not let our feet slip.
R.    Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
    what he has done for me.
When I appealed to him in words,
    praise was on the tip of my tongue.
R.    Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Blessed be God who refused me not
    my prayer or his kindness!
R.    Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Alleluia
Jn 6:51
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord;
whoever eats this bread will live forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
Jn 6:44-51
Jesus said to the crowds:
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him,
and I will raise him on the last day.
It is written in the prophets:
    They shall all be taught by God.
Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father
except the one who is from God;
he has seen the Father. 
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes has eternal life. 
I am the bread of life. 
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven
so that one may eat it and not die. 
I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my Flesh for the life of the world.”
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 April 22 : St. Opportuna a Virgin and Abbess whose Brother was a Saintly Bishop

St. Opportuna VIRGIN AND ABBESS
Born:
at the castle of Exmes, Argentan, near Ayesmes, Normandy, France
Died:
22 April 770, Montreuil, France
Patron of:
Diocese of Séez
Virgin and abbess of Montreuil, three miles from Seez, an episcopal see in Normandy, of which her brother, St. Chrodegang, was bishop. This holy prelate, returning from a pilgrimage of devotion which he had made to Rome and other holy places, went to pay a visit to his cousin, St. Lantildis, abbess of Almanesches, in his diocese; but was murdered in the way, at Normant, on the 3rd of September, 769, by the contrivance of Chrodobert, a powerful relation, to whom he had intrusted the administration of his temporalities during his absence. He is honored in the Breviary of Seez on the day of his death: his head is enshrined in the abbey of St. Martin in the Fields, at Paris, and his body in the priory of Isle-Adam upon the Oise, near Pontoise. St. Opportuna did not long survive him, dying in 770, on the 22d of April, having lived an accomplished model of humility, obedience, mortification, and prayer. Her relics were carried from Seez during the incursions of the Normans, in the reign of Charles the Bald, to the priory of Moussy, between Paris and Senlis, in 1009: and some time after to Senlis. In the reign of Charles V., in 1374, her right arm was translated to Paris with great devotion and pomp, and deposited in the church which was built in her honor, in the reign of Charles the Bald, to receive a former portion of her relics then brought from Moussy. It was then a small church, built at the entrance of a wood, near a hermitage, called before, Notre Dames des Bois Paris. The town being since extended much beyond this church, it was made parochial and a collegiate of canons. Great part of the head of St. Opportuna remains at Moussy; her left arm, with part of her skull, at Almenesches: one jaw in the priory of St. Chrodegang, at l'Isle-Adam, and a rib, with her right arm, in her church at Paris. In processions, when the shrine of St. Genevieve is taken down, and carried, the ancient portion of the relics of St. Opportuna, kept in a large shrine, is also carried next the shrine of St. Honoratus. She is commemorated in the Paris Breviary, and is the titular saint of a parish in that city.
source:Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler

Pope Francis Explains "...when these negative feelings come knocking at the door of our hearts, we must be capable of defusing them with prayer and God's words..." FULL TEXT Catechesis + Video


 
POPE FRANCIS
GENERAL AUDIENCE
Library of the Apostolic Palace
Wednesday, 21 April 2021
 
Catechesis on prayer - 30. The vocal prayer
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Prayer is dialogue with God; and every creature, in a certain sense, “dialogues" with God. Within the human being, prayer becomes word, invocation, hymn, poetry… The divine Word is made flesh, and in each person’s flesh the word returns to God in prayer.
We create words, but they are also our mothers, and to some extent they shape us. The words of a prayer get us safely through a dark valley, direct us towards green meadows rich in water, and enable us to feast in front of the eyes of an enemy, as the Psalm teaches us (cf. Ps 23).  
 Words are born from feelings, but there is also the reverse path, whereby words shape feelings. The Bible educates people to ensure that everything comes to light through the word, that nothing human is excluded, censored. Above all, pain is dangerous if it stays hidden, closed up within us... Pain closed up within us, that cannot express or give vent to itself, can poison the soul. It is deadly.
This is why Sacred Scripture teaches us to pray, sometimes even with bold words. The sacred writers do not want to deceive us about the human person: they know that our hearts harbour also unedifying feelings, even hatred. None of us are born holy, and when these negative feelings come knocking at the door of our hearts, we must be capable of defusing them with prayer and God's words. We also find very harsh expressions against enemies in the Psalms - expressions that the spiritual masters teach us are to be directed to the devil and to our sins - yet they are words that belong to human reality and ended up in the riverbed of the Sacred Scriptures. They are there to testify to us that if, in the face of violence, no words existed to make negative feelings harmless, to channel them in such a way that they do no harm, then the world would be overwhelmed.
The first human prayer is always a vocal recitation. The lips always move first. Although we are all aware that praying does not mean repeating words, vocal prayer is nevertheless the surest, and can always be practised. Feelings, on the other hand, however noble, are always uncertain: they come and go, they leave us and return. Not only that, but the graces of prayer are also unpredictable: at times consolations abound, but on the darkest days they seem to evaporate completely. The prayer of the heart is mysterious, and at certain times it is lacking. Instead, the prayer of the lips that which is whispered or recited chorally is always accessible, and is as necessary as manual labour. The Catechism teaches us about this, and states that: “Vocal prayer is an essential element of the Christian life. To his disciples, drawn by their Master's silent prayer, Jesus teaches a vocal prayer, the Our Father” (n. 2701). “Teach us how to pray”, the disciples asked Jesus, and Jesus taught them a vocal prayer: the Lord’s Prayer. And everything is there, in that prayer…
We should all have the humility of certain elderly people who, in church, perhaps because their hearing is no longer acute, recite quietly the prayers they learned as children, filling the nave with whispers. That prayer does not disturb the silence, but testifies to their fidelity to the duty of prayer, practised throughout their lives without fail. These practitioners of humble prayer are often the great intercessors in parishes: they are the oaks that from year to year spread their branches to offer shade to the greatest number of people. Only God knows when and how much their hearts have been united to those prayers they recited: surely these people too had to face nights and empty moments. But one can always remain faithful to vocal prayer. It is like an anchor: one can hold on to the rope and remain, faithful, come what may.
We all have something to learn from the perseverance of the Russian pilgrim, mentioned in a famous work on spirituality, who learned the art of prayer by repeating the same invocation over and over again: “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Lord, have mercy on us, sinners!” (cf. CCC, 2616; 2667). He repeated only this: “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Lord, have mercy on us, sinners!”. If graces arrive in our life, if prayer becomes so warm one day that the presence of the Kingdom were perceived here among us, if that vision could be transformed until it became like that of a child, it would be because we have insisted on reciting a simple Christian exclamation. In the end, it becomes part of our breathing. It is beautiful, the story of the Russian pilgrim: it is a book that is accessible to all. I recommend you read it; it will help you to understand what vocal prayer is.
Therefore, we must not disregard vocal prayer. One might say, “Ah, this is for children, for ignorant folk; I am seeking mental prayer, meditation, the inner void so that God might come to me…” Please! Do not succumb to the pride of scorning vocal prayer. It is the prayer of the simple, the prayer that Jesus taught: Our Father, who is in heaven… The words we speak take us by the hand; at times they restore flavour, they awaken even the sleepiest of hearts; they reawaken feelings we had forgotten. And they lead us by the hand towards the experience of God, these words… And above all, they are the only ones that, in a sure way, direct to God the questions he wants to hear. Jesus did not leave us in a fog. He told us: “Pray then like this”. And he taught the Lord's Prayer (cf. Mt 6:9).
Special Greeting
I cordially greet the English-speaking faithful. In the joy of the Risen Christ, I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father. May the Lord bless you all!

Source: Vatican.va

#BreakingNews Historic 16th Century Church with Artwork Destroyed by Fire in France with 1 Million Euros of Damage


A beautiful 16th century church was destroyed by fire in Romilly-la-Puthenaye, Eure, France.
The Saint-Aubin church in Romilly-la-Puthenaye was completely destroyed by fire this Saturday, April 17, 2021, in the early morning hours. The mayor of Romilly-la-Puthenaye, Jean-Bernard Juin, "thought of Notre-Dame-de-Paris" "There were flames up to the top of the rooster and all of a sudden, everything collapsed. There are only the four walls. All the furniture is burnt including an altarpiece invaluable. It is a disaster. " 
Paintings and a statue of the Virgin were destroyed. The firefighters only managed to save a terracotta statuette dating from the 15th century and a few canvases that were in the sacristy. According to initial estimates, there is 1 million Euros in damage and work. The minister from Eure Sébastien Lecornu promises that the government will do "everything so that reconstruction is possible" .
According to the first observations of the firefighters, the fire would have started from the front facade of the Saint-Pierre church before spreading to the sacristy. Around forty firefighters were still on site to secure the building.

US Bishops' Conference says "The death of George Floyd highlighted and amplified the deep need to see the sacredness in all people....Whatever the stage of human life..." FULL TEXT



Statement of U.S. Bishop Chairmen on Verdict in Trial of Derek Chauvin
APRIL 20, 2021 
WASHINGTON – Following the verdict in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota today, Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, and Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development issued a statement.

The bishops’ full statement follows:

“Today, a jury found Derek Chauvin guilty of the murder of George Floyd. As we receive this result, we recall that God is the source of all justice, love, and mercy. The death of George Floyd highlighted and amplified the deep need to see the sacredness in all people, but especially those who have been historically oppressed. Whatever the stage of human life, it not only matters, it is sacred.

“The events following George Floyd's death also highlighted the urgent need for racial healing and reconciliation. As we have seen so plainly this past year, social injustices still exist in our country, and the nation remains deeply divided on how to right those wrongs. We join our voices and prayers in support of Archbishop Bernard Hebda of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and the entire Minnesota Catholic Conference which said today:

As a diverse community, the Catholic Church is committed to changing hearts and minds and to moving the conversation about race in this country beyond accusations and recriminations toward practical, nonviolent solutions to the everyday problems that are encountered in these communities.’

“Let us pray that through the revelation of so much pain and sadness, that God strengthens us to cleanse our land of the evil of racism which also manifests in ways that are hardly ever spoken, ways that never reach the headlines. Let us then join in the hard work of peacefully rebuilding what hatred and frustration have torn down. This is the true call of a disciple and the real work of restorative justice. Let us not lose the opportunity to pray that the Holy Spirit falls like a flood on our land again, as at Pentecost, providing us with spiritual, emotional, and physical healing, as well as new ways to teach, preach, and model the Gospel message in how we treat each other.”

The USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism has prepared resources for prayer which may be found here; earlier this week, Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda and priests across the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis offered special Masses “For the Preservation of Peace and Justice.” Last summer, several bishop chairmen of USCCB committees and the president of the Conference issued statements regarding George Floyd’s death in addition to the individual statements by bishops from around the United States.

FULL TEXT Release : USCCB

Quote to SHARE by St. Anselm "God does not delay to hear our prayers because He has no mind to give; but ... He may give us the more largely."

"God does not delay to hear our prayers because He has no mind to give; but that, by enlarging our desires, He may give us the more largely." 
St. Anselm