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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Prayer: Francis de Sales

There is nothing which edifies others so much as charity and kindness, by which, as the oil in our lamp, the flame of good example is kept alive.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Prayer: Thomas Aquinas

We are like children who stand in need of masters to enlighten us and direct us; and God has provided for this by appointing angels to be our teachers and guides.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

October 1, 2017
Ezekiel 18:25-28; Psalm 25; Philippians 2:1-11; Matthew 21:28-32

Today’s scripture teaches us to give others a chance. In the Old Testament reading, Ezekiel cautions against making rash, immediate judgments because one who is wicked might have a change of heart and do what is right and just. God judges the person’s fundamental direction in life and God wants to know whether we are becoming more loving, generous people. If we are moving in the direction of becoming more loving, then why should other humans condemn others and stop their forward progress. Ezekiel says that we are the ones whose ways are not fair, and he asks us to examine our ways.

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul asks us to align our hearts and minds to Christ’s, who did not seek glory or power, but acted out of compassion and mercy. Jesus could have had all the power in the world, but realized the world’s power did not lead to God’s glory. He let himself become human so that God’s glory could be act work through humanity, and he learned that his life became meaningful when we acted out of humility through hard-earned obedience.

In the Gospel reading, Jesus also teaches the priests and elders about the mistake of judging the whole life of a person because of a single action. The son who initially said yes had no intention of being obedient, but the son, who was honest and did not want to do his father’s will, eventually came around and realized it was better for him and his father if he fulfilled his dad’s request. The point is: we may make decisions in one stage in our life that does not have to indelibly mark our entire lives. He points out that tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of heaven even before this world’s leaders who judge by condemnation.

This past weekend, many people have strongly voiced their views about kneeling during national anthem during NFL games. Most have very strong opinions. Many are offended; many others are proud. Each side condemns the other definitively. We give no time and space to understand one another better. No, we have made ourselves the absolute experts, and the snap judgments we have made for today can never be challenged. We have let our hearts get hardened.

Jesus would ask us to move towards tranquility. Let the drama die down. Wait and see and watch and observe. If you feel you absolutely must speak, bite your tongue. There is no need to you to give your opinion on everything. The truth is: people will listen to rational, well-thought, informed opinions, and if people really want to know what you are thinking, they will ask you.  

Give people a chance. Learn their stories. Listen to their experience and leave the judging to God, who always gives people a second, third, fourth chance. Let time runs its course, and in the meantime, be grateful for the many blessings that surround you. We will find that we will be like Christ, who does not divide, but calls people together to himself.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (Zechariah 8) Lo, I will rescue my people from the land of the rising sun,
and from the land of the setting sun. I will bring them back to dwell within Jerusalem.
They shall be my people, and I will be their God, with faithfulness and justice.
Tuesday: (Zechariah 8) Thus says the LORD of hosts: In those days ten men of every nationality, speaking different tongues, shall take hold, yes, take hold of every Jew by the edge of his garment and say, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."
Wednesday: (Nehemiah 2) I prayed to the God of heaven and then answered the king: "If it please the king, send me to Judah, to the city of my ancestors' graves, to rebuild it." I set a date that was acceptable to him, and the king agreed that I might go.
Thursday: (Nehemiah 8) The whole people gathered as one in the open space before the Water Gate, and they called upon Ezra the scribe to bring forth the book of the law of Moses. Standing at one end of the open place that was before the Water Gate, he read out of the book from daybreak until midday, in the presence of the all and the people listened attentively to the book of the law.
Friday (Baruch 1) During the Babylonian captivity, the exiles prayed: We have neither heeded the voice of the Lord, our God, nor followed the precepts which the Lord set before us.
Saturday (Baruch 4) Fear not, my children; call out to God! He who brought this upon you will remember you. For he who has brought disaster upon you will, in saving you, bring you back enduring joy.

Monday: (Matthew 18) The disciples approached Jesus and said, "Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?". "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father."
Tuesday: (Luke 9) When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him.
Wednesday (Luke 9) I will follow you wherever you go. Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head. Jesus answered, No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.
Thursday (Luke 10) Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.
Friday (Luke 10) Jesus said to them, "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
Saturday (Luke 10) The seventy-two disciples returned rejoicing and said to Jesus, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name." Turning to the disciples in private he said, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.

Saints of the Week

October 1: Therese of Lisieux, doctor (1873-1897), entered the Carmelites at age 15 and died at age 24 from tuberculosis. During her illness, Pauline, her prioress, asked her to write about her life in the convent. These stories are captured in "The Story of a Soul." He focused on her "little way" of pursuing holiness in everyday life.

October 2: The Guardian Angels are messengers and intermediaries between God and humans. They help us in our struggle against evil and they serve as guardians, the feast we celebrate today. Raphael is one of the guardians written about in the Book of Tobit. A memorial was added to the Roman calendar In 1670 in thanksgiving for their assistance.

October 3: Francis Borgia, S.J. became a duke at age 33. When his wife died and his eight children were grown, he joined the Jesuits. His preaching brought many people to the church and when he served as Superior General, the Society increased dramatically in Spain and Portugal. He established many missions in the new territories.

October 4: Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) was from the wealthy Bernardone family who sold silk cloths. After serving as soldier as a prisoner of war, Francis chose to serve God and the poor. He felt called to repair God's house, which he thought was a church. His father was angry that he used family money so he disinherited him. He began to preach repentance and recruited others to his way of life. His order is known for poverty, simplicity, humble service, and delighting in creation.

October 6: Bruno, priest (1030-1101), became a professor at Rheims and diocesan chancellor. He gave up his riches and began to live as a hermit with six other men. They had disdain for the rampant clerical corruption. The bishop of Grenoble gave them land in the Chartreuse mountains and they began the first Carthusian monastery. After serving in Rome for a few years, Bruno was given permission to found a second monastery in Calabria.

October 7: Our Lady of the Rosary recalls the events in 1571 of the Christian naval victory over the Turks at Lepanto near Corinth. Victory was credited to Mary as confraternities prayed the rosary for her intercession.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Oct 1, 1546. Isabel Roser was released from her Jesuit vows by St Ignatius after eight months.
·      Oct 2, 1964. Fr. General Janssens suffered a stroke and died three days later. During his generalate, the Society grew from 53 to 85 provinces, and from 28,839 to 35,968 members.
·      Oct 3, 1901. In France, religious persecution broke out afresh with the passing of Waldeck Rousseau's "Loi d'Association."
·      Oct 4, 1820. In Rome, great troubles arose before and during the Twentieth General Congregation, caused by Fr. Petrucci's intrigues. He sought to wreck the Society and was deposed from his office as Vicar General, though supported by Cardinal della Genga (afterwards Leo XII).
·      Oct 5, 1981. In a letter to Father General Arrupe, Pope John Paul II appointed Paolo Dezza as his personal delegate to govern the Society of Jesus, with Fr. Pittau as coadjutor.
·      Oct 6, 1773. In London, Dr James Talbot, the Vicar Apostolic, promulgated the Brief of Suppression and sent copies to Maryland and Pennsylvania.

·      Oct 7, 1819. The death of Charles Emmanuel IV. He had been King of Sardinia and Piedmont. He abdicated in 1802 and entered the Jesuits as a brother in 1815. He is buried in San Andrea Quirinale in Rome.