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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 06-12-11, Solemnity, Feast of Pentecost at the Vigil
USCCB.org/New American Bible ^ | 06-12-11 | New American Bible

Posted on 06/11/2011 10:27:50 AM PDT by Salvation

June 12, 2011


 

Pentecost Sunday
At the Vigil Mass

 

Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2
Gospel


Reading 1

Gn 11:1-9
The whole world spoke the same language, using the same words.
While the people were migrating in the east,
they came upon a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there.
They said to one another,
“Come, let us mold bricks and harden them with fire.”
They used bricks for stone, and bitumen for mortar.
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city
and a tower with its top in the sky,
and so make a name for ourselves;
otherwise we shall be scattered all over the earth.”

The LORD came down to see the city and the tower
that the people had built.
Then the LORD said: “If now, while they are one people,
all speaking the same language,
they have started to do this,
nothing will later stop them from doing whatever they presume to do.
Let us then go down there and confuse their language,
so that one will not understand what another says.”
Thus the LORD scattered them from there all over the earth,
and they stopped building the city.
That is why it was called Babel,
because there the LORD confused the speech of all the world.
It was from that place that he scattered them all over the earth.

or

Ex 19:3-8a, 16-20b

Moses went up the mountain to God.
Then the LORD called to him and said,
“Thus shall you say to the house of Jacob;
tell the Israelites:
You have seen for yourselves how I treated the Egyptians
and how I bore you up on eagle wings
and brought you here to myself.
Therefore, if you hearken to my voice and keep my covenant,
you shall be my special possession,
dearer to me than all other people,
though all the earth is mine.
You shall be to me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation.
That is what you must tell the Israelites.”
So Moses went and summoned the elders of the people.
When he set before them
all that the LORD had ordered him to tell them,
the people all answered together,
“Everything the LORD has said, we will do.”

On the morning of the third day
there were peals of thunder and lightning,
and a heavy cloud over the mountain,
and a very loud trumpet blast,
so that all the people in the camp trembled.
But Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God,
and they stationed themselves at the foot of the mountain.
Mount Sinai was all wrapped in smoke,
for the LORD came down upon it in fire.
The smoke rose from it as though from a furnace,
and the whole mountain trembled violently.
The trumpet blast grew louder and louder, while Moses was speaking,
and God answering him with thunder.

When the LORD came down to the top of Mount Sinai,
he summoned Moses to the top of the mountain.

or

Ez 37:1-14

The hand of the LORD came upon me,
and he led me out in the spirit of the LORD
and set me in the center of the plain,
which was now filled with bones.
He made me walk among the bones in every direction
so that I saw how many they were on the surface of the plain.
How dry they were!
He asked me:
Son of man, can these bones come to life?
I answered, “Lord GOD, you alone know that.”
Then he said to me:
Prophesy over these bones, and say to them:
Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!
Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones:
See!  I will bring spirit into you, that you may come to life.
I will put sinews upon you, make flesh grow over you,
cover you with skin, and put spirit in you
so that you may come to life and know that I am the LORD.
I, Ezekiel, prophesied as I had been told,
and even as I was prophesying I heard a noise;
it was a rattling as the bones came together, bone joining bone.
I saw the sinews and the flesh come upon them,
and the skin cover them, but there was no spirit in them.
Then the LORD said to me:
Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, son of man,
and say to the spirit:  Thus says the Lord GOD:
From the four winds come, O spirit,
and breathe into these slain that they may come to life.
I prophesied as he told me, and the spirit came into them;
they came alive and stood upright, a vast army.
Then he said to me:
Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.
They have been saying,
“Our bones are dried up,
our hope is lost, and we are cut off.”
Therefore, prophesy and say to them: Thus says the Lord GOD:
O my people, I will open your graves
and have you rise from them,
and bring you back to the land of Israel.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD,
when I open your graves and have you rise from them,
O my people!
I will put my spirit in you that you may live,
and I will settle you upon your land;
thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.

or                                                                      

Jl 3:1-5

Thus says the LORD:
I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh.
Your sons and daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
your young men shall see visions;
even upon the servants and the handmaids,
in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
And I will work wonders in the heavens and on the earth,
blood, fire, and columns of smoke;
the sun will be turned to darkness,
and the moon to blood,
at the coming of the day of the LORD,
the great and terrible day.
Then everyone shall be rescued
who calls on the name of the LORD;
for on Mount Zion there shall be a remnant,
as the LORD has said,
and in Jerusalem survivors
whom the LORD shall call.

 
Responsorial Psalm

R. (cf. 30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
You are clothed with majesty and glory,
robed in light as with a cloak.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
How manifold are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you have wrought them allC
the earth is full of your creatures;
bless the LORD, O my soul!  Alleluia.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Creatures all look to you
to give them food in due time.
When you give it to them, they gather it;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
If you take away their breath, they perish
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

 
Reading II

Brothers and sisters:
We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now;
and not only that, but we ourselves,
who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
we also groan within ourselves
as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
For in hope we were saved.
Now hope that sees is not hope.
For who hopes for what one sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.

In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts
knows what is the intention of the Spirit,
because he intercedes for the holy ones
according to God’s will.

 
Gospel

On the last and greatest day of the feast,
Jesus stood up and exclaimed,
“Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink.
As Scripture says:
Rivers of living water will flow from within him who believes in me.”

He said this in reference to the Spirit
that those who came to believe in him were to receive.
There was, of course, no Spirit yet,
because Jesus had not yet been glorified.



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; easter; holyspirit; pentecost
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For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 06/11/2011 10:27:55 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping!
 
If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be, 
please Freepmail me.

2 posted on 06/11/2011 10:29:57 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

3 posted on 06/11/2011 10:36:18 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
The Sunday liturgy supersedes any saint's day.



Information:
St. John of Sahagun
Feast Day: June 12
Born: 1419, Sahagún, Province of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Spain
Died: June 11, 1479, Salamanca, Province of Salamanca, Kingdom of Castile, Spain
Canonized: October 16, 1690, Rome by Pope Alexander VIII
Patron of: Salamanca, Spain


4 posted on 06/11/2011 10:43:09 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. John of Sahagun

Feast Day: June 12
Born: 1419 :: Died: 1479

John Gonzales de Castrillo was born at Sahagun, Léon in Spain. He was the first of seven children born to wealthy parents who did not have any children for the first sixteen years of their marriage. His parents John and Sancia brought their children up well and taught them how to love God.

He studied at the Fagondez abbey run by Benedictine monks of his town Sahagun. When he grew up John became a priest. He could have lived a very comfortable life in the cathedral parish or in other wealthy parishes. But John preferred the poverty and simple lifestyle that Jesus had lived. Father John chose to keep charge only of a small chapel. There he celebrated Mass, preached and taught catechism.

Father John realized that he needed to know theology (religious studies) better. He started attending classes at the great Catholic University of Salamanca. After four years of hard study, he became a famous preacher.

Nine years later after he got seriously ill, John joined a community of Augustinian friars. They were very impressed by the way he practiced the Christian virtues. He was obedient to his superiors and humble, too. He also continued his preaching.

His beautiful homilies or sermons changed the hearts of the people of Salamanca who had been quarreling violently among themselves. Often young noblemen fought each other in revenge. St. John was able to end many of these bitter fights and convinced people to forgive one another.

He was not afraid to correct evils, even when the evildoers were powerful people who could take revenge. Once he corrected a duke at Alba de Tormes for the way he was making the poor people suffer. In anger, the duke sent two of his men to kill St. John. The two men approached Father John and found him so calm and kind. Both men were sorry they had come to harm this holy priest and asked him to forgive them.

Then the duke became sick and was healed through the prayers of St. John. He repented of his sins and recovered fully. St. John could read hearts of people at confession. People traveled great distances to seek his advice and ask for spiritual guidance.

It was the graces he received from prayer and from the Mass that gave St. John his special power as a preacher. He celebrated the Mass with great devotion and often saw the Host surrounded by light. He sometimes saw Jesus in body at the moment of consecration.

St. John was known to work many miracles. Once in Salamanca a small child fell into a well. The people did all they could but could not save the child and they quickly sent for Father John. When he got to the well, he laid his waistband on the stone wall of the well, and prayed that the waters return the child. The well water rose to ground level, floating the child to safety.

St. John of Sahagun died on June 11, 1479

Reflection: Let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us become more like Jesus. May everything we say and do bring others to Christ.


5 posted on 06/11/2011 10:45:53 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
John
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  John 7
37 And on the last, and great day of the festivity, Jesus stood and cried, saying: If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink. In novissimo autem die magno festivitatis stabat Jesus, et clamabat dicens : Si quis sitit, veniat ad me et bibat. εν δε τη εσχατη ημερα τη μεγαλη της εορτης ειστηκει ο ιησους και εκραξεν λεγων εαν τις διψα ερχεσθω προς με και πινετω
38 He that believeth in me, as the scripture saith, Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. Qui credit in me, sicut dicit Scriptura, flumina de ventre ejus fluent aquæ vivæ. ο πιστευων εις εμε καθως ειπεν η γραφη ποταμοι εκ της κοιλιας αυτου ρευσουσιν υδατος ζωντος
39 Now this he said of the Spirit which they should receive, who believed in him: for as yet the Spirit was not given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. Hoc autem dixit de Spiritu, quem accepturi erant credentes in eum : nondum enim erat Spiritus datus, quia Jesus nondum erat glorificatus. τουτο δε ειπεν περι του πνευματος ου εμελλον λαμβανειν οι πιστευοντες εις αυτον ουπω γαρ ην πνευμα αγιον οτι ιησους ουδεπω εδοξασθη

6 posted on 06/11/2011 12:01:47 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
37. In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink.
38. He that believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39. (But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe in him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

CHRYS. The feast being over, and the people about to return home, our Lord gives them provisions for the way: On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to Me, and drink.

AUG. The feast was then going on, which is called scenopegia, i.e. building of tents.

CHRYS. Which lasted seven days. The first and last days were the most important; In the last day, that great day of the feast, says the Evangelist. Those between were given chiefly to amusements. He did not then make the offer on the first day, or the second, or the third, lest amidst the excitements that were going on, people should let it slip from their minds, He cried out, on account of the great multitude of people present.

THEOPHYL. To make Himself audible, inspire confidence in others, and show an absence of all fear in Himself.

CHRYS. If any thirsts: as if to say, I use no compulsion or violence: I but if any have the desire strong enough, let him come.

AUG. For there is an inner thirst, because there is an inner man: and the inner man of a certainty loves more than the outer. So then if we thirst, let us go not on our feet, but on our affections, not by change of place, but by love.

CHRYS. He is speaking of spiritual drink, as His next words show: He that believes in Me, as the Scripture truth said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But where here does the Scripture say this? No where. What then? We should read, He that believes in Me, as said the Scripture, putting the stop here; and then, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water: the meaning being, that that was a right kind of belief, which was formed on the evidence of Scripture, not of miracles. Search the Scriptures, he had said before. JEROME. Or this testimony is taken from the Proverbs, where it is said, Let your fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.

AUG. The belly of the inner man, is the heart's conscience. Let him drink from that water, and his conscience is quickened and purified; he drinks in the whole fountain, nay, becomes the very fountain itself. But what is that fountain, and what is that river, which flows from the belly of the inner man? The love of his neighbor. If any one, who drinks of the water, thinks that it is meant to satisfy himself alone, out of his belly there does not flow living water. But if he does good to his neighbor, the stream is not dried up, but flows.

GREG. When sacred preaching flows from the soul of the faithful, rivers of living water, as it were, run down from the bellies of believers. For what are the entrails of the belly but the inner part of the mind; i.e. a right intention, a holy desire, humility towards God, mercy toward man.

CHRYS. He says, rivers, not river, to show the copious and overflowing power of grace: and living water, i.e. always moving; for when the grace of the Spirit has entered into and settled in the mind, it flows freer than any fountain, and neither fails, nor empties, nor stagnates. The wisdom of Stephen, the tongue of Peter, the strength of Paul, are evidences of this. Nothing hindered them; but, like impetuous torrents, they went on, carrying every thing along with them.

AUG. What kind of drink it was, to which our Lord invited them, the Evangelist next explains; But this He spoke of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive. Whom does the Spirit mean, but the Holy Spirit; For every man has within him his own spirit.

ALCUIN. He promised the Holy Spirit to the Apostles before the Ascension; He gave it to them in fiery tongues, after the Ascension. The Evangelist's words, Which they that believe in Him should receive, refer to this.

AUG. The Spirit of God was, i.e. was with God, before now; but was not yet given to those who believed on Jesus; for our Lord had determined not to give them the Spirit, till He was risen again: The Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.

CHRYS. The Apostles indeed cast out devils by the Spirit before, but only by the power which they had from Christ. For when He sent them, it is not said, He gave them the Holy Spirit, but, He gave to them power. With respect to the Prophets however, all agree that the Holy Spirit was given to them but this grace had been withdrawn from the world.

AUG. Yet we read of John the Baptist, He shall be filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother's womb. And Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied. Mary was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied of our Lord. And so were Simeon and Anna, that they might acknowledge the greatness of the infant Christ. We are to understand then that the giving of the Holy Spirit was to be certain, after Christ's exaltation, in a way in which it never was before. It was to have a peculiarity at His coming, which it had not before. For we no where read of men under the influence of the Holy Spirit, speaking with tongues which they had never known, as then took place, when it was necessary to evidence His coming by sensible miracles.

AUG. If the Holy Spirit then is received now, why is there no one who speaks the tongues of all nations? Because now the Church herself speaks the tongues of all nations. Whoso is not in her, neither does he now receive the Holy Spirit. But if only you love unity, whoever has any thing in her, has it for you. Put away envy, and that which I have is yours. Envy separates, love unites: have it, and you have all things: whereas without it nothing that you can have, will profit you. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which its given to us. But why did our Lord give the Holy Spirit after His resurrection? That the flame of love might mount upwards to our own resurrection: separating us from the world, and devoting us wholly to God. He who said, He that believes in Me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water, has promised life eternal, free from all fear, and change, and death. Such then being the gifts which He promised to those in whom the Holy Spirit kindled the flame of love, He would not give that Spirit till He was glorified: in order that in His own person He might show us that life, which we hope to attain to in the resurrection.

AUG. If this then is the cause why the Holy Spirit was not yet given; viz. because Jesus was not yet glorified; doubtless, the glorification of Jesus when it took place, was the cause immediately of its being given. The Cataphryges, however, said that they first received the promised Paraclete, and thus strayed from the Catholic faith. The Manichaeans too apply all the promises made respecting the Holy Spirit to Manichaeus, as if there were no Holy Spirit given before.

CHRYS. Or thus; By the glory of Christ, He means the cross. For, whereas we were enemies, and gifts are not made to enemies, but to friends, it was necessary that the victim should be first offered up, and the enmity of the flesh removed; that, being made friends of God, we might be capable of receiving the gift.

Catena Aurea John 7
7 posted on 06/11/2011 12:02:27 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex


The Pentecost

Giotto di Bondone (ca. 1266 - 1337)

Assisi, Upper Basilica

8 posted on 06/11/2011 12:02:54 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
9 posted on 06/11/2011 9:34:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Continue to Pray for Pope Benedict [Ecumenical]
10 posted on 06/11/2011 9:35:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The First Pentecost [Catholic Caucus]
The Priest's Mission as Guide
On the Church’s Birthday, Let’s Pray for Our Priests (Archbishop Charles Chaput) [Catholic Caucus]
On Mary's Maternal Presence at Pentecost (Catholic Caucus)
A Pentecost Monday Lesson: “And Paul VI Wept.”
Pentecost, the Birthday of the Church [Catholic Caucus]
The Holy Spirit and Middlemen
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal

COME HOLY SPIRIT [Ecumenical]
Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts [Devotional]
Did the Apostles Pray the Rosary? (First Novena to the Holy Spirit?) [Catholic Caucus]
It is the Decision of the Holy Spirit and Us….On the Council of Jerusalem...(Catholic Caucus)
The Holy Spirit And Mary (Catholic Caucus)
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part 1: The Apostles’ Creed, “ I Believe in the Holy Spirit”
The Essentials of theCatholic Faith,Part1:Apostles’ Creed:“Conceived-Holy Spirit,Born-Virgin Mary
Benedict XVI's Homily for Solemnity of Pentecost
Pentecost Past and Present
The Purpose of Pentecost: and the New Missionary Age of the Church

Pentecost: the Holy Spirit Comes
Pentecost on Mount Athos (where earthly time is one and the same as the eternal today of heaven)
Pentecost Continues
Vigil of the Pentecost and Whitsunday
THE CHURCH IS ALWAYS IN A STATE OF PENTECOST
Father Cantalamessa on Pentecost - Pontifical Household Preacher on Sunday's Readings
The Ever-Present Pentecost
The Advocate vs. The Accuser (Fr. Euteneuer Column)
Always be followed by your conscience (Rainbow Sashers get ready for Pentecost Sunday)

Pentecost worries Vatican [Pentecostals in the Philippines]
Prayer and Meditation: Pentecost
Pentecost Anticipation: The Catholic Charismatic Renewal and Me
Paul's Teaching on the Holy Spirit
Today's Pentecost! Come, Holy Spirit!
Breath of the Savior
Pentecost: The Descent of the Holy Spirit
PENTECOST - Rite of Kneeling
CATECHISM CC - Pt. 1 - Chap. 3 - I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
CATECHISM CC - Pt 1, Chap 3, ARTICLE 8 "I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT"

11 posted on 06/11/2011 9:36:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Jesus. High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

12 posted on 06/11/2011 9:37:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  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. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]


13 posted on 06/11/2011 9:38:53 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

14 posted on 06/11/2011 9:40:07 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Bachmann: Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

Psalm 109:8

    "Let his days be few; and let another take his place of leadership."

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


15 posted on 06/11/2011 9:40:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

June Devotion: The Sacred Heart

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of June is set apart for devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. "From among all the proofs of the infinite goodness of our Savior none stands out more prominently than the fact that, as the love of the faithful grew cold, He, Divine Love Itself, gave Himself to us to be honored by a very special devotion and that the rich treasury of the Church was thrown wide open in the interests of that devotion." These words of Pope Pius XI refer to the Sacred Heart Devotion, which in its present form dates from the revelations given to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1673-75.

The devotion consists in the divine worship of the human heart of Christ, which is united to His divinity and which is a symbol of His love for us. The aim of the devotion is to make our Lord king over our hearts by prompting them to return love to Him (especially through an act of consecration by which we offer to the Heart of Jesus both ourselves and all that belongs to us) and to make reparation for our ingratitude to God.

INVOCATION

O Heart of love, I put all my trust in Thee; for I fear all things from my own weakness, but I hope for all things from Thy goodness.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

PRAYER TO THE SACRED HEART

Devotion to the Sacred Heart was the characteristic note of the piety of Saint Gertrude the Great (1256-1302), Benedictine nun and renowned mystic. She was, in fact, the first great exponent of devotion to the Sacred Heart. In our efforts to honor the Heart of Jesus we have this prayer as a model for our own:
Hail! O Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and quickening source of eternal life, infinite treasure of the Divinity, and burning furnace of divine love. Thou art my refuge and my sanctuary, 0 my amiable Savior. Consume my heart with that burning fire with which Thine is ever inflamed. Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Thy love, and let my heart be so united with Thine, that our wills may be one, and mine in all things be conformed to Thine. May Thy divine will be equally the standard and rule of all my desires and of all my actions. Amen.
Saint Gertrude

FOR THE CHURCH

O most holy Heart of Jesus, shower Thy blessings in abundant measure upon Thy holy Church, upon the Supreme Pontiff and upon all the clergy; to the just grant perseverance; convert sinners; enlighten unbelievers; bless our relations, friends and benefactors; assist the dying; deliver the holy souls in purgatory; and extend over all hearts the sweet empire of Thy love. Amen.

A PRAYER OF TRUST

O God, who didst in wondrous manner reveal to the virgin, Margaret Mary, the unsearchable riches of Thy Heart, grant that loving Thee, after her example, in all things and above all things, we may in Thy Heart find our abiding home.
Roman Missal

ACT OF LOVE

Reveal Thy Sacred Heart to me, O Jesus, and show me Its attractions. Unite me to It for ever. Grant that all my aspirations and all the beats of my heart, which cease not even while I sleep, may be a testimonial to Thee of my love for Thee and may say to Thee: Yes, Lord, I am all Thine;
pledge of my allegiance to Thee rests ever in my heart will never cease to be there. Do Thou accept the slight amount of good that I do and be graciously pleased to repair all m] wrong-doing; so that I may be able to bless Thee in time and in eternity. Amen.
Cardinal Merry del Val

MEMORARE TO THE SACRED HEART
Remember, O most sweet Jesus, that no one who has had recourse to Thy Sacred Heart, implored its help, or sought it mercy was ever abandoned. Encouraged with confidence, O tenderest of hearts, we present ourselves before Thee, crushes beneath the weight of our sins. In our misery, O Sacred Hear. of Jesus, despise not our simple prayers, but mercifully grant our requests.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

June and the Sacred Heart of Jesus: Do not be afraid to be pious
Only for Love: The Sacred Heart and the Priesthood [Catholic Caucus]

Catholic Word of the Day: LITANY OF THE SACRED HEART, 10-19-09
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Devotion to the Sacred Heart Today
The Biblical Foundation of Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [Ecumenical]
Heart to Heart (Sacred Heart of Jesus Devotion) [St. Margaret Mary Alacoque]
(June) The Month of the Sacred Heart {Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [St. Margaret Mary Alacoque]
The Heart of the World (On the Sacred Heart of Jesus) (Catholic Caucus)
The Sacred Heart Is The Holy Eucharist(Catholic Caucus)
The Origin of the Sacred Heart Badge

Importance of Devotion to the Sacred Heart
An Awesome Homily on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Father Edmond Kline
Catholic Prayer and Devotion: June the Month of the Sacred Heart
Catholic Devotions: Sacred Heart of Jesus
Pope Urges Jesuits to Spread Sacred Heart Devotion
Homilies preached by Father Altier on the Feast of the Sacred Heart
Catholic Meditation and Devotion: The Sacred Heart of Jesus
Daily Recomendation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus powerful prayer!
The Sacred Heart and the Eucharist
The Love of the Sacred Heart

On the Sacred Heart - "We Adore God's Love of Humanity"
HAURIETIS AQUAS (On Devotion To The Sacred Heart) - Encyclical by Pope Pius XII
Solemnity Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary
Sacred Heart a Feast of God's Love, Says John Paul II
The Sacred Heart of Jesus: Symbol of Combativity and the Restoration of Christendom
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus-The Early Church, Middle Ages up to St. Margaret Mary
See this Heart
‘God Will Act and Will Reign’
About Devotion To The Sacred Heart:The Story Of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
Rediscover Feast of Sacred Heart, John Paul II Tells Youth

 
 

"Behold this Heart which has loved men so much, and yet men do not want to love Me in return. Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth."

- Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary

Our Lord also made 12 promises to St. Margaret Mary for those that are devoted to His Sacred Heart.

  1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.
  2. I will give peace in their families.
  3. I will console them in all their troubles.
  4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
  5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
  6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
  7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
  8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
  9. I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honoured.
  10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
  11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.
  12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at the last hour.

16 posted on 06/11/2011 9:41:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

June 2011

Pope Benedict XVI's Intentions

General Intention: That priests, united to the Heart of Christ, may always be true witnesses of the caring and merciful love of God.

Missionary Intention: That the Holy Spirit may bring forth from our communities numerous missionary vocations, willing to fully consecrate themselves to spreading the Kingdom of God.


17 posted on 06/11/2011 9:42:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Genesis 11:1-9

Babel: the confusion of language


[1] Now the whole earth had one language and few words. [2] And as men
migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
[3] And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them
throughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. [4] Then they
said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens,
and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face
of the whole earth.” [5] And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower,
which the sons of men had built. [6] And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one
people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what
they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.
[7] Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not
understand one another’s speech.” [8] So the Lord scattered them abroad from
there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. [9] Therefore
its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all
the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the
earth.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

11:1-9. The text goes on to describe the growth of evil (cf. 8:21; 9:20-27), and,
as one of its results, the fact that mankind is scattered and its God-given unity is
fragmented. Thus, the text begins by talking about mankind when it was still toge-
ther; it came from the east, where it originated and settled in the plains of Meso-
potamia (in Shinar; cf. 10:10). But the people are filled with pride, and want to
make a name for themselves, and to guarantee their own security by reaching
heaven by their own efforts. This attitude is epitomized by the project of building
a massive tower (we can get some idea of it from the tower-temples of Mesopota-
mia, the ziggurats, on whose high terraces the Babylonians thought they could
gain access to the godhead and thus dominate God).

The text also offers an explanation for why there are so many languages; it sees
language as a sign of division and misunderstanding between individuals and na-
tions. It is based on the popular meaning of the word “babel”, connecting it with
the Hebrew balbalah, confusion; but in fact Babel means “gate of God”. We have
here an instance of literary devices being used to expound deep convictions – in
this case the view that disunion in mankind is the outcome of men’s pride and
sinfulness.

Babel thus becomes the opposite of Jerusalem, the city to which, the prophets
say, all the nations will flock (cf. Is 2:2-3). And it will be in the Church, the new
Jerusalem, that men of all nations, races and tongues will join in faith and love,
as will be seen in the Pentecost event (cf. Acts 2:1-13). There the phenomenon
of Babel will be reversed: all will understand the same language. In the history
of mankind, in effect, the Church is a kind of sign or sacrament of the union of
God and men, and of the unity of the whole human race (cf. Vatican II, Lumen
Gentium, 1).

11:4. St Augustine explains the frustration of man’s designs against God in this
way: “Where would man’s vain presumption have ended if it succeeded in rearing
a building of such size and height, even to the sky in the face of God – since
they would have been higher than any mountain and would have reached beyond
the limits of our atmosphere? In any case, no harm could have come to God from
any straining after spiritual or physical elevation” (De civitate Dei, 16, 4).

This new sin of mankind is basically the same sort of sin as was committed in
paradise; it is a kind of continuation of it. It is the sin of pride to which man is
always prone and it has been well described in the following words of St. Jose-
maria Escriva when he comments on 1 John 2:16: “They eyes of our soul grow
dull. Reason proclaims itself sufficient to understand everything, without the aid
of God. This is a subtle temptation, which hides behind the power of our intellect,
given by our Father God to man so that he might know and love him freely. Se-
duced by this temptation, the human mind appoints itself the centre of the uni-
verse, being thrilled with the prospect that ‘you shall be like gods’ (cf. Gen 3:5).
So, filled with love for itself, it turns its back on the love of God. In this way does
our existence fall prey unconditionally to the third enemy: pride of life. It’s not
merely a question of passing thoughts of vanity or self-love, it’s a state of gene-
ral conceit. Let’s not deceive ourselves, for this is the worst of all evils, the root
of every false step. The fight against pride has to be a constant battle, to such
an extent that someone once said that pride only disappears twenty-four hours
after a person dies. It is the arrogance of the Pharisee whom God cannot trans-
form because he finds in him the obstacle of self-sufficiency. It is the haughti-
ness which leads to despising other people, to lording it over them, and so mis-
treating them. For ‘when pride comes, then comes disgrace’ (Prov 11:2)” (Christ
Is Passing By, 6)

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


18 posted on 06/11/2011 9:45:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Exodus 19:3-8a, 16-20b

God promises a Covenant


[3] And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him out of the mountain
saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel:
[4] You have seen that I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’
wings and brought you to myself. [5] Now therefore, if you will obey my voice
and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples; for
all the earth is mine, [6] and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy
nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

[7] So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them
all these words which the Lord had commanded him. [8] And all the people an-
swered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

[16] On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings, and a
thick cloud upon the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the peo-
ple who were in the camp trembled. [17] Then Moses brought the people out of
the camp to meet God; and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain; [18]
And Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in
fire; and the smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain
quaked greatly. [19] And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Mo-
ses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. [20] And the Lord came down up-
on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain;

*******************************************************************************************
Commentary:

19:1-25. This chapter is written as part of a magnificent liturgy is which the
events of Sinai are re-enacted for the reader. The sacred author, then, does not
seek to provide an exact, scholarly report on what happened there; what he is
providing, rather, is a theological interpretation of the real contact which took
place between God and his people.

As in other important sections of this book, it draws on the great traditions of
Israel but combines them so skillfully that they have become inseparable; only
now and then can one identify traces of particular traditions. The text as it now
stands is all of a piece. In this chapter there is a prologue (v. 9), summing up
what follows, and the theophany proper (vv. 10-25).

19:3-9. This passage summarizes the meaning of the Covenant that is going to
be established. So, it contains the idea of election, though it does not use the
term, and the idea of demands being made by God. Furthermore, we can see
here the new status of the people (it is God’s own property) and the basis of its
hope (in the sense that Israel attains its dignity as a people to the extent that it
is faithful to the divine will).

All the basic teachings are contained herein: a) The basis of the Covenant is Is-
rael’s deliverance from bondage (this has already happened: v. 4): the people are
the object of God’s preferential love; God made them a people by bringing about
that deliverance. b) If they keep the Covenant, they will become a very special
kind of people. This offer will take effect the moment they take on their commit-
ments, but Israel will develop towards its full maturity only to the extent that it
listens to/obeys the will of God. c) What God is offering the people is specified
in three complementary expressions – “My own possession”, “holy nation”,
“kingdom of priests”.

The first of these expressions means private property, personally acquired and
carefully conserved. Of all the nations of the earth Israel is to be “God’s property”
because he has chosen it and he protects it with special care. This new status
is something which will be stressed frequently (cf. Deut 7:6; 26:17-19; Ps 135;4;
Mal 3:17).

By being God’s possession Israel shares in his holiness, it is a “holy nation”, that
is, a people separated out from among the nations so as to keep a close relation-
ship with God; in other passages we are told more – that this is the relationship
of “a son of God” (cf. 4:22; Deut 14:1). This new way of being means that there is
a moral demand on the members of the people to show by their lives what they
are by God’s election: “You shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev
19:2).

And the expression “kingdom of priests” does not mean that they will be ruled by
priests, or that the entire people will exercise the role of priest (which is in fact re-
served to the tribe of Levi); rather, it reflects the fact that God gives Israel the pri-
vilege of being the only nation in his service. Israel alone has been chosen to be
a “kingdom for the Lord”, that is, to be the sphere where he dwells and is recog-
nized as the only Sovereign. Israel’s acknowledgment of God is shown by the
service the entire people renders to the Lord.

This section (vv 7-8) ends with Moses’ proposal of God’s plans to the people and
their acceptance of these plans by the elders and by all the people; “All that the
Lord has spoken we will do” (v. 8). The same wording will be used twice again in
the ceremony to ratify the Covenant (cf. 24:3, 7).

In the New Testament (1 Pet 2:5; Rev 1:6; 5:9-10) what happened here will be
picked up again with the very same words, applying it to the new situation of the
Christian in the Church, the new people of God and the true Israel (cf. Gal 3:20):
every Christian shares in Christ’s priesthood through his incorporation into Christ
and is “called to serve God by his activity in the world, because of the common
priesthood of the faithful, which makes him share in some way in the priesthood
of Christ. This priesthood – though essentially distinct from the ministerial priest-
hood–gives him the capacity to take part in the worship of the Church and to help
other men in their journey to God, with the witness of his word and his example,
through his prayer and work of atonement” (St. J. Escriva, Christ is Passing By,
120).

19:10-25. This description of the theophany on Sinai contains features of a so-
lemn liturgy in order to highlight the majesty and transcendence of God. Verses
10-15 cover as it were the preparation for the great event, and vv. 16-20 the event
itself.

The preparation is very detailed: ritual purification in the days previous, ablutions
and everything possible done to ensure that the participants have the right dispo-
sitions, even a ban on sexual intercourse (cf. Lev 15:16ff) as a sign of exclusive
concentration on God who is coming to visit. Also, the fact that the people have
to keep within bounds is a tangible way of showing the transcendence of God.
Once Jesus Christ, God made man, comes, no barrier will any longer to imposed.

The manifestation of God took place on the third day; The smoke, the fire and
the earthquake are external signs of the presence of God, who is the master of
nature. The two trumpet blasts (vv. 16, 19), the people’s march to the foot of the
mountain and then standing to attention – all give a liturgical tone to their acknow-
ledgment of the Lord as their only Sovereign. All these things and even the voice
of God in the thunder convey the idea that this awesome storm was something
unique, for what was happening this special presence of God on Sinai, could
never happen again.

Israel will never forget this religious experience, as we can see from the Psalms
(cf. Ps 18:8-9; 29:3-4; 77:17-18; 97:2ff). In the New Testament, extraordinary di-
vine manifestations will carry echoes of this theophany (cf. Mt 27:45; 51; Acts
2:2-4).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States


19 posted on 06/11/2011 9:46:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Ezekiel 37:1-14

The dry bones


[1] The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the
Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; it was full of bones. [2] And he
led me round among them; and behold, there were very many upon the valley; and
lo, there were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
And I answered, “O Lord God, thou knowest.” Again he said to me, “Prophesy to
these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says
the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you
shall live. [6] And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon
you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you
shall know that I am the Lord.”

[7] So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise,
and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. [8] And as
I looked, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin
had covered them; but there was no breath in them. [9] Then he said to me, “Pro-
phesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the
Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain,
that they may live.” [10] So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath
came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great
host.

[11] Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.
Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut
off.’ [12] Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold,
I will open their graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people; and I will
bring you home into the land of Israel. [13] And you shall know that I am the Lord,
when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. [14] And
I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own
land; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done it, says
the Lord.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

37:1-14. This remarkable vision of the bones being brought back to life sets the
scene for the climax of the resurgence of Israel, the unification of the two king-
doms (cf. 37:15-28). The dramatic contrast drawn here between death and life,
bones and spirit, shows that the revitalization that God will bring about goes
much further than material reconstruction or simply a return to the promised
land; it implies, rather, a new beginning, both personal and social.

The vision itself (vv. 2-10) takes place on an immense plain (cf. 3:22-23) and it
addresses the exiles’ profound concern about their future: “Our bones are dried
up, and our hope is lost” (v. 11). It is one of Ezekiel’s most famous and most
commented-on visions because it is very vivid and easy to understand. The pro-
phet himself explains it as having to do with the destruction-restoration of Israel
(vv. 11-14), though the Fathers of the Church see in it veiled references to the re-
surrection of the dead: “The Creator will revive our mortal bodies here on earth;
he promises resurrection, the opening of sepulchers and tombs, and the gift of
immortality […]. And in all this, we see that he alone is God, who can do all
things, the good Father who from his endless bounty will give life to the lifeless”
(St Irenaeus, Adversus haereses, 5, 15, 1). St Jerome writes in similar terms:
“The image of the resurrection would not have been used to describe the resto-
ration of the people of Israel if the future resurrection of the dead had not been
foreseen, because no one can be led to draw a conclusion from an idea that
has no basis in reality” (Commentarii in Ezechielem, 27, 1ff.

“I will put my Spirit within you” (v. 14). The spirit of the Lord is, at least, the po-
wer of God (cf. Gen 2:7) performing an act of creation. It is also the principle of
life causing man to “become a living being” (Gen 2:7); and, certainly, it is the
principle of supernatural life. The same God that created all things can revitalize
his demoralized people in Babylon and can allow humankind to partake of his
own life. This promise, like others found in the prophets (cf. 11:19; Jer 31:31-34;
Joel 3:1-5) will find its complete fulfillment at Pentecost, when the Spirit descends
on the apostles: “According to these promises, at the ‘end time’ the Lord’s Spirit
will renew the hearts of men, engraving a new law in them. He will gather and re-
concile the scattered and divided peoples; he will transform the first creation, and
God will dwell there with men in peace” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 715).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


20 posted on 06/11/2011 9:47:53 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Joel 2:28-32 (Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition and New Vulgate)
Joel 3:1-5 (New American Bible)

The Spirit poured out


[28] And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
[29] Even upon the menservants and maidservants
in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

[30] and I will give portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and co-
lumns of smoke. [31] The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood,
before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. [32] And it shall come to pass
that all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion
and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and
among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

2:18-3:21. The second part of the book is all about salvation. The Lord’s compas-
sion (2:18) is shown by the message he sends via the prophet to the people in
response to their conversion: “The Lord answered and said to his people” (2:19).
On the Lord’s behalf the prophet encourages Judah and Jerusalem, telling them
that they have no reason to be afraid, for the Lord is going to deliver them from
their afflictions and provide them with every sort of earthly good (symbolized here
by the produce of the earth – grain, wine, oil: 2:19-27).

But the high point will be when God pours out his “spirit on all flesh …” (2:28).
The outpouring of the Spirit is the definitive sign that the “day of the Lord” has
come. That “day” is mentioned five times in the book (1:15; 2:1, 11, 31; 3:14),
each time with greater emphasis. The day of the Lord is an End time when a
number of things will happen: wickedness will be punished (1:15; 2:1-3); the po-
wer of the Lord will be manifested by portents in the heavens and on earth (2:30-
31); and, above all, it is the day when the Lord will judge all nations (3:1-8).

2:28-32. This is the great passage about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The
word “afterward” in v. 28 marks the transition from the material benefits de-
scribed in the previous verses to spiritual benefits. The outpouring of the Spirit
involves charismatic and prophetical gifts primarily (moral gifts derive from these).
This infusion of the Spirit is the fulfillment of an ancient promise, found in Num-
bers 11:16-30: “Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, […] and I will
take some of the spirit which is upon you and put it upon them, […] Would that
all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!”
This hope is accentuated in Joel, for now no limits are placed on who will benefit
from it – elders, young people, and even servants (vv. 28-29). And the Lord will
once more perform wondrous things through them (v. 30), like those done by
prophets in the strict sense (cf. Deut 13:2; etc.).

St Peter sees this promise being fulfilled when the Holy Spirit is poured out on
the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21). “Peter turns to this passage from Joel to ex-
plain the significance of what has occurred, and the signs which those present
have seen: ‘the pouring out of the Holy Spirit’. It is a super-natural work of God,
carried out with the signs typical of the coming of the Lord, as they were foretold
by the prophets and realized in the New Testament with the coming of Christ”
(John Paul II, Address, 8 November 1989). Therefore, too, in the tradition of the
Church, this descent of the Holy Spirit is seen as an extension of his descent on
Jesus in the river Jordan: “God promised through the mouths of his prophets that
in the last days he would pour out his Spirit on all his servants, and that they too
would prophesy. Thus, the Spirit of God, who had become the Son of man, so
that by remaining within him, he would inhabit the heart of mankind and animate
all the works carried out by the hands of God, fulfilling the will of the Father
through all men and making all men new – new creations in Christ. Luke tells us
that after the ascension of the Lord, the Spirit descended on the apostles at Pen-
tecost, to restore men to new life and to bring the new covenant to completion.
Therefore, the disciples praised God in all the tongues of men, laying all peoples
open to the action of the Spirit and all nations open to the power and authority of
God” (St Irenaeus, Adversus haereses, 3, 17, 1-2).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


21 posted on 06/11/2011 9:48:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Romans 8:22-27

Christians are Children of God (Continuation)


[22] We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until
now; [3] and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of
the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our
bodies. [24] For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope.
For who hopes for what he sees? [25] But if we hope for what we do not see,
we wait for it in patience.

[26] Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to
pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for
words. [27] And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of
the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of
God.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

19-21. To make his point more vividly St Paul, in a metaphor, depicts the whole
of creation, the material universe, as a living person, groaning in pain impatiently
waiting for a future event, raising its head, straining to see something appear on
the horizon.

The material world is indeed, through God’s design, linked to man and his des-
tiny. “Sacred Scripture teaches that man was created ‘in the image of God,’ as
able to know and love his Creator, and as set by him over all earthly creatures
that he might rule them, and make use of them, while glorifying God” (Vatican II,
“Gaudium Et Spes”, 12). The futility to which creation is subject is not so much
corruption and death as the disorder resulting from sin. According to God’s plan
material things should be resources which enable man to attain the ultimate
goal of his existence. By using them in a disordered way, disconnecting them
from God, man turns them into instruments of sin, which therefore are subject
to the consequences of sin.

“Are we of the twentieth century not convinced of the overpoweringly eloquent
words of the Apostle of the Gentiles concerning the ‘creation (that) has been
groaning in travail together until now’ and ‘waits with eager longing for the revea-
ling of the sons of God’, the creation that’ was subjected to futility’? Does not the
previously unknown immense progress—which has taken place especially in the
course of this century—in the field of man’s dominion over the world itself reveal—
to a previously unknown degree—that manifold subjection ‘to futility’? [...] The
world of the previously unattained conquests of science and technology—is it not
also the world ‘groaning in travail’ that ‘waits with eager longing for the revealing
of the sons of God’?” (John Paul II, “Redemptor Hominis”, 8).

Reestablishment of the order willed by God, bringing the whole world to fulfill its
true purpose, is the particular mission of the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life, the true
Lord of history: “’The arm of the Lord has not been shortened.’ God is no less po-
werful today than he was in other times; his love for man is no less true. Our faith
teaches us that all creation, the movement of the earth and the other heavenly
bodies, the good actions of creatures and all the good that has been achieved in
history, in short everything, comes from God and is directed toward him.

“The action of the Holy Spirit may pass unnoticed because God does not reveal
to us his plans, and because man’s sin obscures the divine gifts. But faith tells
us that God is always acting. He has created us and maintains us in existence,
and he is leading all creation by his grace towards the glorious freedom of the
children of God” (St J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 130).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States


22 posted on 06/11/2011 9:49:53 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: John 7:37-39

Different opinions about Jesus


[37] On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed,
“If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. [38] He who believes in me, as
the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” [39] Now
this he said about the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive; for
as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

37-39. On each of the eight days of the Feast of Tabernacles the high priest went
to the pool of Siloam and, used a golden cup to bring water to the temple and
sprinkle it on the altar, in remembrance of the water which sprang up miraculous-
ly in the desert, asking God to send rain in plenty (cf. Ex l7:1-7). Meanwhile, a
passage from the prophet Isaiah was chanted (cf. Is 12:3) which told of the com-
ing of the Saviour and of the outpouring of heavenly gifts that would accompany
him; Ezekiel 47 was also read, in which it spoke of the torrents of water which
would pour out of the temple. Jesus, who would have been at this ceremony,
now proclaims – in the presence of a huge crowd, undoubtedly, because it was
the most solemn day of the festival – that that time has come: “If any one thirst,
let him come to me and drink . . .”. This invitation recalls the words of divine wis-
dom: “Come to me, you who desire me, and eat your fill” (Sir 24:19; cf. Prov 9:
4-5). Our Lord presents himself as him who can fill man’s heart and bring him
peace (cf. also Mt 11:28). In this connexion St Augustine exclaims: “You made
us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you” (Con-
fessions, 1, 1, 1).

Jesus’ words as preserved in v. 37 led St Alphonsus to write this tender commen-
tary full of love for our Saviour: “In Jesus Christ we have three fountains of grace.
The first is the fountain of mercy, where we can be purified of all the stains of our
sins. […] The second is that of love: no one who meditates on the suffering and
shame that Jesus Christ undergoes out of love for us, from his birth to his death,
can fail to be kindled by that happy fire which comes down on earth to set on fire
the hearts of all men. […] The third is the fountain of peace: let him who seeks
peace of heart come to me, who is the God of peace” (Meditations for Advent,
med. 8).

Furthermore, when Jesus speaks of “rivers of living water” flowing out of his heart,
he is probably referring to the prophecy in Ezekiel 36:25ff where it is announced
that in messianic times the people will be sprinkled with clean water and will be
given a new spirit and their heart of stone will be changed for a heart of flesh. In
other words, Jesus, once he has been exalted as befits his position as Son of
God, will end at Pentecost the Holy Spirit, who will change the hearts of those
who believe in him. “For this reason, Christian tradition has summarized the at-
titude we should adopt towards the Holy Spirit in just one idea – docility. That
means we should be aware of the work of the Holy Spirit all around us, and in
our own selves we should recognize the gifts he distributes, the movements and
institutions he inspires, the affections and decisions he provokes in our hearts”
(St. J. Escriva, Christ is Passing By, 130).

To say that the Holy Spirit will come visibly on the day of Pentecost does not
mean that he has not been active before: when the prophets of the Old Testa-
ment speak they are inspired by the Holy Spirit (cf. 2 Pet 1:21) and there are
countless passages in the New Testament where we are told that he is acting:
for example, he overshadows the Blessed Virgin at the Annunciation (cf. Lk
1:35); he moves Zechariah to prophesy the wonders of the Lord (cf. Lk 1:67-79),
and Simeon to proclaim that the Saviour of the world has come (cf. Lk 2:25-38).

But, asks St Augustine, “how are the words of the Evangelist to be understood:
“The Spirit had not yet been given, since Jesus was not yet glorified’, if not in
the sense that, after the glorification of Christ, there would certainly be a giving
or sending of the Holy Spirit of such a kind as there had never been before?” (De
Trinitate, 4, 20). Our Lord was referring, therefore, to the coming of the Holy Spi-
rit after his ascension into heaven, an outpouring which St John sees as symbo-
lically anticipated when Christ’s side is pierced by a lance and blood and water
flow out (Jn 19:34). The Fathers saw in this the birth of the Church and the sanc-
tifying power of the sacraments, especially those of Baptism and the Eucharist.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


23 posted on 06/11/2011 9:51:21 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings

These readings are for the day of the feast itself. Readings for the Vigil mass (on the evening before) are shown further down the page.


First reading Acts 2:1-11 ©
When Pentecost day came round, they had all met in one room, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.
  Now there were devout men living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled, each one bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language. They were amazed and astonished. ‘Surely’ they said ‘all these men speaking are Galileans? How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya round Cyrene; as well as visitors from Rome – Jews and proselytes alike – Cretans and Arabs; we hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God.’

Psalm Psalm 103:1,24,29-31,34

Second reading 1 Corinthians 12:3-7,12-13 ©
No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ unless he is under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
  There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit; there are all sorts of service to be done, but always to the same Lord; working in all sorts of different ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of them. The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose. Just as a human body, though it is made up of many parts, is a single unit because all these parts, though many, make one body, so it is with Christ. In the one Spirit we were all baptised, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as citizens, and one Spirit was given to us all to drink.

Gospel John 20:19-23 ©
In the evening of the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’, and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.
‘As the Father sent me,
so am I sending you.’
After saying this he breathed on them and said:
‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
For those whose sins you forgive,
they are forgiven;
for those whose sins you retain,
they are retained.’

These readings are for the Vigil Mass on the evening before the feast:


First reading Genesis 11:1-9 ©
Throughout the earth men spoke the same language, with the same vocabulary. Now as they moved eastwards they found a plain in the land of Shinar where they settled. They said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks and bake them in the fire.’ (For stone they used bricks, and for mortar they used bitumen). ‘Come,’ they said ‘let us build ourselves a town and a tower with its top reaching heaven. Let us make a name for ourselves, so that we may not be scattered about the whole earth.’
  Now the Lord came down to see the town and the tower that the sons of man had built. ‘So they are all a single people with a single language!’ said the Lord. ‘This is but the start of their undertakings! There will be nothing too hard for them to do. Come, let us go down and confuse their language on the spot so that they can no longer understand one another.’ The Lord scattered them thence over the whole face of the earth, and they stopped building the town. It was named Babel therefore, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth. It was from there that the Lord scattered them over the whole face of the earth.

Alternative first reading Exodus 19:3-8,16-20 ©
Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘Say this to the House of Jacob, declare this to the sons of Israel:
  ‘“You yourselves have seen what I did with the Egyptians, how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself. From this you know that now, if you obey my voice and hold fast to my covenant, you of all the nations shall be my very own, for all the earth is mine. I will count you a kingdom of priests, a consecrated nation.”
  ‘Those are the words you are to speak to the sons of Israel.’
  So Moses went and summoned the elders of the people, putting before them all that the Lord had bidden him. Then all the people answered as one, ‘All that the Lord has said, we will do.’
  Now at daybreak on the third day there were peals of thunder on the mountain and lightning flashes, a dense cloud, and a loud trumpet blast, and inside the camp all the people trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the bottom of the mountain. The mountain of Sinai was entirely wrapped in smoke, because the Lord had descended on it in the form of fire. Like smoke from a furnace the smoke went up, and the whole mountain shook violently. Louder and louder grew the sound of the trumpet. Moses spoke, and God answered him with peals of thunder. The Lord came down on the mountain of Sinai, on the mountain top, and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain.

Alternative first reading Ezekiel 37:1-14 ©
The hand of the Lord was laid on me, and he carried me away by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley, a valley full of bones. He made me walk up and down among them. There were vast quantities of these bones on the ground the whole length of the valley; and they were quite dried up. He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, ‘You know, Lord.’ He said, ‘Prophesy over these bones. Say, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. The Lord says this to these bones: I am now going to make the breath enter you, and you will live. I shall put sinews on you, I shall make flesh grow on you, I shall cover you with skin and give you breath, and you will live; and you will learn that I am the Lord.”’ I prophesied as I had been ordered. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a sound of clattering; and the bones joined together. I looked, and saw that they were covered with sinews; flesh was growing on them and skin was covering them, but there was no breath in them. He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man. Say to the breath, “The Lord says this: Come from the four winds, breath; breathe on these dead; let them live!”’ I prophesied as he had ordered me, and the breath entered them; they came to life again and stood up on their feet, a great, an immense army.
  Then he said, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole House of Israel. They keep saying, “Our bones are dried up, our hope has gone; we are as good as dead.” So prophesy. Say to them, “The Lord says this: I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, the Lord, have said and done this – it is the Lord who speaks.”’

Alternative first reading Joel 3:1-5 ©
Thus says the Lord:
‘I will pour out my spirit on all mankind.
Your sons and daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men see visions.
Even on the slaves, men and women,
will I pour out my spirit in those days.
I will display portents in heaven and on earth,
blood and fire and columns of smoke.’
The sun will be turned into darkness,
and the moon into blood,
before the day of the Lord dawns,
that great and terrible day.
All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved,
for on Mount Zion there will be some who have escaped,
as the Lord has said,
and in Jerusalem some survivors whom the Lord will call.

Psalm Psalm 103:1-2,24,27-30,35

Second reading Romans 8:22-27 ©
From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free. For we must be content to hope that we shall be saved – our salvation is not in sight, we should not have to be hoping for it if it were – but, as I say, we must hope to be saved since we are not saved yet – it is something we must wait for with patience.
  The Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness. For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our hearts knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God.

Gospel John 7:37-39 ©
On the last day and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood there and cried out:
‘If any man is thirsty, let him come to me!
Let the man come and drink who believes in me!’
As scripture says: From his breast shall flow fountains of living water.
  He was speaking of the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive; for there was no Spirit as yet because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

24 posted on 06/11/2011 10:04:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Viewing the Church Through the Lens of the Holy Spirit, Biblical Reflection for the Solemnity of Pentecost by Father Thomas Rosica, CSB

Viewing the Church Through the Lens of the Holy Spirit


Biblical Reflection for the Solemnity of Pentecost

By Father Thomas Rosica, CSB

TORONTO, JUNE 7, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Pentecost is the 50th day that signals the start of the universal mission of the Church -- a mission that overcomes human obstacles and has the Spirit as its driving force. The mighty breath of God and the fire of the Spirit's presence engulf the group of disciples gathered in prayer around Mary, Mother of the Lord in the upper room.

Luke's narrative of Pentecost in today's first reading from Acts (2:1-13) consists of an introduction, a speech ascribed to Peter declaring the resurrection of Jesus and its messianic significance (14-36), and a favorable response from the audience (2:37-41). The Twelve were not originally in a position to proclaim publicly the messianic office of Jesus without incurring immediate reprisal from those religious authorities in Jerusalem who had brought about Jesus' death precisely to stem the rising tide in his favor.

Psalm 104 reminds us that this Holy Spirit, this breath of God that we as Christians have received, is the same Spirit that sustains the constant renewal of all created things.

Paul's theology of charisms

In today's second reading (1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13), St. Paul reminds the Corinthian Christians that the different gifts of the Holy Spirit are given for a purpose: a service to be offered for the good of all. They are not ends in themselves. Christians are called to establish a unity that brings together in Jesus Christ all peoples, religions and states of life.

Ecstatic and charismatic activity was common in early Christian experience, as they were in other ancient religions. But the Corinthians seem to have developed a disproportionate esteem for certain phenomena, especially tongues, to the detriment of order in the liturgy. Paul reminds the Corinthians that ecstatic phenomena must be judged by their effect.

Power to confess Jesus as Lord can come only from the Spirit, and it is inconceivable that the Spirit would move anyone to curse the Lord. We learn that there are some features common to all charisms, despite their diversity: all are gifts (charismata), grace from outside ourselves; all are forms of service (diakoniai), an expression of their purpose and effect; and all are workings (energemata), in which God is at work. Paul associates each of these aspects with what later theology will call one of the persons of the Trinity, an early example of "appropriation."

The image of a body (12-26) is introduced to explain Christ's relationship with believers (12). Paul applies this model to the church: by baptism all, despite diversity of ethnic or social origins, are integrated into one organism. The reading then develops the need for diversity of function among the parts of a body without threat to its unity.

He breathed on them

The Gospel of John (19:20-23) describes another way the Holy Spirit is given to the apostles: the risen Jesus breathing on the apostles to impart the Holy Spirit. The power of the Spirit not only authorizes, but also empowers the apostles to forgive and to retain sins. Jesus formally sends out to the world his apostles, as he had been sent to the world by the Father. Jesus' breathing on the apostles huddled in the Upper Room recalls Genesis 2:7, where God breathed on the first man and gave him life; just as Adam's life came from God, so now the disciples' new spiritual life comes from Jesus.

Behind the scenes

In my work at Salt and Light Television Network in Canada, I have had to quickly learn about broadcast technology, and all that goes into making a good film. One important aspect of television is the intricate camera work "behind the scenes."

The close up and wide-angle camera shots make all the difference in filming and telling a story. If we use too many close-ups, we lose sight of the bigger picture. If we overuse the wide-angle lens without attention to the particulars, it doesn't make for good television. Good television combines the wide-angle or panoramic shots, the intermediate views of the surface, and finally the close-ups that offer attention to detail and often provide necessary depth for understanding the whole picture.

I would like to offer three lenses through which we might consider this feast: 1) the wide-angle lens that looks at our belonging to the Church; 2) an intermediate lens that focuses in on the ideologies at work in the Church today; and 3) a zoom lens to sharpen our hope, the great manifestation of the Holy Spirit to the Church.

"Sentire cum ecclesia"

Pentecost is considered to be the birth of the Church. Our baptismal consecration in service to Christ cannot be separated from consecration in service to the Church. One of the main themes permeating the thought of St. Ignatius of Loyola is his exhortation "Sentire cum ecclesia" or "think with the Church." "Sentire cum ecclesia" also means to feel with the Church and to love the Church.

Pentecost invites us once again to walk with the Church, breathe with the Church, hope with the Church, feel with the Church, "sentire cum ecclesia." What does the Church mean for me as an individual? What is my personal relationship with the Church? Do I love the Church? Do I feel loved by the Church?

Moving beyond ideology

From the wide-angle view of the Church, let us take a closer look at our current ecclesial reality. Today, some of us seem to be stuck in the ideological battles that followed the Second Vatican Council. Perhaps we are frozen in categories of left and right; traditional vs. avant-garde; male vs. female; hierarchical vs. lay-led, or prophetic vs. static.

Our inter-ecclesial and inter-community fixations and polarizations on all sides of the ecclesial spectrum can distract us from addressing with requisite depth and discernment the issues facing us today. Whatever is not purified and transformed within us is transmitted to others -- especially to the next generation.

When we sell ourselves to cynicism and despair, meanness of heart, smallness of spirit and harshness in ecclesial discourse, we betray our deepest identity as bearers of joy, hope and truth. Is joy present in our Christian witness? What prevents me as an individual and us as a community from giving a robust, joyful witness to Jesus Christ, the Catholic Faith and the Church?

Zooming in on hope

Finally, let us zoom in on hope, a true manifestation of the Spirit at Pentecost. Is it not true that many of us in the Church today feel like we are caught in a flash flood that is unexpected, powerful, destructive and filled with despair? The flame seems to have gone out and our influence is terribly diminished. The media exerts a powerful influence on the thinking, the attitudes and the faith of people.  

The flash flood bears down with immense force on all of us. Some view our present situation with great pessimism and grow disheartened, depressed and even cynical. Perhaps we have chosen to look at everything only from the data of sociology, psychology, polls and predictions, blogs and brief Twitter messages, and foresee an inevitable, almost deterministic future designed more or less by demographic, social, and economic forces, a future which is dismal and dark.

For the world of sound bites, hope usually means that we make ourselves believe that everything is going to turn out all right. We use the word hope lightly and cheaply. This is not the hope of Christians. We must be icons of hope, a people with a new vision, a people that learn to see the world through the lenses of Christ, the Spirit, and the Church.

Signs of the times

Vatican II encouraged Christians to read the signs of the times, and for Pope John XXIII, these were signs of hope and glimpses of the Kingdom's presence in our midst. It is not a kingdom of this world, so that it cannot be identified specifically in this or that location, but it is nevertheless here already, fostered by the Eucharist which is the pattern to be reproduced in all society, as well as still to come.

The Kingdom manifests itself through the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, courage, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. And the Spirit's fruits make the Kingdom palpable and palatable: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, long suffering, mildness, faith, modesty, continence and chastity.

It is also possible to follow a "via negativa" and to say where the Kingdom is not. Where there is no justice, no peace, no sharing, no mutual trust, no forgiveness, there is no Kingdom. Where there is rancor, envy, distrust, hatred, ignorance, indifference, a lack of chastity, cynicism, there is no Kingdom and certainly no life.

"Duc in altum!"

We cannot weigh the life of faith and judge the vitality of the Church solely on the basis of demographical or sociological indicators, numbers, polls, and outside statistics, as helpful as they may be. The fire of Pentecost invites us to rediscover the depth, beauty and vastness of the Church's mission. 

What is required of those imagining and building the Church is to think big, and to cast our nets into the deep. "Duc in altum!" We must shape our vision on the firm conviction in the victory of the Cross and in Jesus Christ's triumph over sin and death. Individuals and communities without vision and a Church without a mission are like a person without relationships.

Unless we are able to go beyond ourselves, we will remain undeveloped personalities. When the Spirit truly dwells within us, we will be blessed anew with creativity, imagination and hope.

Guarantee of the Spirit's presence

What is the deepest and surest assurance and intimation that the Holy Spirit is present in our world and Church today? The answer is: joy. If there is joy present you can bet that the Holy Spirit has something to do with this precious gift.

St. Augustine who was the most musically passionate of the Fathers of the Church memorably evokes the experience of this joy with these words: "Whenever people must labor hard they begin with songs whose words express their joy. But when joy brims over and words are not enough they abandon even this coherence and give themselves to the sheer sound of singing.

"What is this jubilation? What is this exultant song? It is the melody that means our hearts are bursting with feelings that cannot express themselves. And to whom does this jubilation most surely belong? Truly to God who is unutterable, if words will not come and may not remain silent what else can you do but let the melody soar? This is the song of the Holy Spirit."

On this great feast of the birth of the Church, let us ponder anew the whole reality of the Church, from the wide-angle view of its vastness and beauty, to the sometimes turbulent and complex surface, zooming in finally on hope, one of the deepest manifestations of the Spirit alive in the Church. In doing so, we can marvel once again at the mercy and generosity of God and give thanks to the Lord who continues to call us to fidelity and joy.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, / and reignite in us the fire of your Love! / Make us joyful witnesses to your hope in the Church! / Move us beyond our ideologies that divide and blind us. / Lord, send us your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth... / the face of our Church, the face of our local communities, our own faces, our own hearts. Amen.

[The readings for Pentecost are Acts 2:1-11; 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13; John 20:19-23]

* * *

Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, chief executive officer of the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation and Television Network in Canada, is a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.


25 posted on 06/11/2011 10:23:14 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: All
Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY JN 20:19-23
Come, Holy Spirit!
 
 
By Fr. Jerome Magat
The solemnity of Pentecost commemorates the event that occurred 50 days after Easter when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles and Mary, firmly establishing the Church and invigorating the apostles with the zeal to proclaim the Gospel to the farthest ends of the earth. Pentecost, however, is not a holy day private to Catholics. Pentecost originated as a Jewish harvest feast — it’s one of the three major feasts of the Jewish calendar. Of course, for the apostles, the harvest would not be wheat crops but the first believers of the Gospel.

What we know of the events of Pentecost is not recorded in any of the Gospels; rather, our scriptural account that narrate these events is found in the Acts of the Apostles. Hence, the Gospel passage for this Sunday depicts Easter Sunday night when Christ breathed on the apostles and promised them that he would send the Holy Spirit. The Greek word for “breathe” used in this account is found in only one other place is Scripture: in the Book of Genesis, when God breathed life into Adam. In the Gospel, Christ is breathing new life into the Church. At the time of the apostles’ encounter with Jesus in the upper room at Easter, they are portrayed as a band of scared and inept men; at Pentecost, their lives would be changed forever.

It never occurred to the apostles that the Gospel should be kept a private affair among themselves. Instead, they evangelized the known world. Their evangelical posture is a challenge to Catholics who refuse to talk about their faith — those who fear that such discourse might offend less pious ears. For others, their “private Catholicism” is a form of politeness so as not to “impose” the good news on others. This apathy and lack of courage is not a sign of the Holy Spirit that filled the apostles at Pentecost. Had the apostles not evangelized the world, would we have known names like Beethoven, Mozart, Palestrina, Michelangelo, Bramante, Fra Angelico, Louis Pasteur, Blaise Pascal, Leonardo DaVinci, Dorothy Day, Blessed Junipero Serra (the father of California), Blessed Teresa of Kolkata and Blessed Pope John Paul II? Would the Church have been the developer and the genius behind the modern system of economics (based on monastery bartering systems) or the system of modern diplomacy, or Western music (all rooted in Gregorian chant) or even the Julian or Gregorian calendars?

A true spirit of evangelization can only be accomplished through the Holy Spirit. This power cannot be overestimated. It is the same Spirit that pours forth the virtues and the gifts of the Holy Spirit into the soul of every person who is baptized. It is the same Spirit whom the priest invokes at every Mass during the eucharistic prayer. The Holy Spirit gives power to our sacraments and makes Jesus present in the Church today as He has from Her inception, two millennia past. Let us call upon the Spirit in confidence to assist our efforts to proclaim the good news!

 

Fr. Magat is parochial vicar of St. William of York Parish in Stafford.


27 posted on 06/11/2011 10:37:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
The Work of God

Receive the Holy Spirit Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year A

 -  Pentecost Sunday

Receive the Holy Spirit

Receive the Holy Spirit Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit John 20:19-23

19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."
20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."
22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.
23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." (NRSV)

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Pentecost Sunday - Receive the Holy Spirit Peace be with you. Do you realize what this means? Can you understand that the peace I give is the peace of God, something that no one had before my resurrection?

Peace is with you, by this I mean the peace of reconciliation between God and men that I achieved with my suffering, my passion agony and death. I reconciled men with God; I brought mercy into the world to give everyone the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of my incarnation. Glory to God in the highest heavens; and peace on earth to men of good will.

Receive the Holy Spirit.

Do you understand what I am saying when I say “receive the Holy Spirit”?

I am not giving you anything that belongs to this world. I am not giving you anything that I could give before my resurrection; I am giving you the great love of God, which is the will of my father and mine. I am giving you my peace first, to prepare you for the gift of the Holy Spirit, the fire of love, which purifies you and then fills you with love.

And how, you may say, can you receive peace now and experience my gift of the Holy Spirit? It is all very simple.

Repent of your sins.

Imagine that you are experiencing the last judgment at this moment. Think about all the sins of your life and make a list. Go through the list with a magnifying glass. Meditate on the consequences of those sins on other people; feel sorry for them and for your soul.

Realize that it was you, who made me suffer and crucified me; so that by my death on the cross I could die for the forgiveness of your sins.

Do an examination of conscience based on the ten commandments, realize that as a human being you are a sinner, you are no exception, you have offended God.

But it is not time to hate yourself or to find excuses to prove your innocence. I have the cure for your sins. Don’t simply hide your darkness and increase it, by doing nothing to change your way of life.

I am the way. Simply follow my instructions. I am the truth therefore see your soul with my eyes, but know that I am ready to forgive you. I am the life, your sins are your death, choose me and you will live. Only if you accept your guilt and come to me with sorrow for what you have done, will you obtain mercy. You will have to humble yourself to make up for the pride of your past.

Go to a priest and confess your sins, I will be listening to you through him and will absolve you of your sins through the power that I have given to my Church. Unless you receive my forgiveness, you will struggle in life without ever knowing what peace of God really means.

Receive the Holy Spirit. Immerse your self in the fire of my love, be purified from evil and come to know me, love me and serve me.

I am Love, be united to me. Love me by keeping my commandments, and by loving one another. Receive my love, as you desire to be with me.

Receive the Holy Spirit. Receive the greatest gift that God has offered men. Receive the spirit of love, God Himself.

A good father on earth gives good things to his children when they ask him. I give you the Holy Spirit if you come to me. I give you the love of the Father and my love.

Receive the Holy Spirit.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


28 posted on 06/11/2011 10:40:27 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
The Sacred Page

Friday, June 10, 2011

Let the Fire Fall! Reflections on the Readings for Pentecost

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The Lectionary provides a wealth of Scriptural inspiration for this weekend’s celebration of the gift of the Spirit at Pentecost.

As usual, there is too much beauty and richness for us to deal with it all in depth.  I was minded only to deal with the Sunday Mass Readings, but the Vigil’s selections are just too rich to pass without a brief comment on each:


The First Reading Options for the Vigil:

  1. Genesis 11:1-9.  This the Tower of Babel narrative.  Holy Mother Church suggests this reading because it is a kind of “bookend” near the beginning of Scripture that pairs with a “bookend” near the end of the Scriptural story: Pentecost.  Notice the contrast and comparison between Babel and Pentecost: in both cases, all humanity is represented (the list of nations in Gen 10 is roughly summarized in contemporaneous terminology by St. Luke in Acts 2:9-11).  In both cases, there is confusion because of speaking.  At Babel, they are confused because they do not understand.  At Pentecost, they are confused because they do understand.  The Tower of Babel tells us how mankind was fractured.  Pentecost tells us how mankind is reunited as a family: by the Spirit, which forms the Church, which is the new Family of God.  Notice that at Pentecost, Peter’s leadership and preaching is highlighted (Acts 2:14-42).  Peter’s role in the Spirit-unified Family of God is crucial.  Without his leadership, the Family breaks up into autocephalous communions or various denominations.  Only where his Spirit-empowered leadership is respected does the Family maintain its transnational unity.

  1. Exodus 19:3-20.  The Sinai Narrative.  The reason Holy Mother Church suggests this reading is that the Jewish Feast of Pentecost—which literally means “Fifty”, taken from the fifty days counted after Passover—was the Jewish liturgical celebration of the Giving of the Law at Sinai.  This parallel and its significance is missed by modern readers, but not by ancient Jewish readers of Acts!  At Sinai the Law was given in a fearsome storm, and on tablets of stone.  At Pentecost, there is a “peaceful storm” of the Spirit (the rushing wind, the lightning-like tongues of flame) and the giving of the Law on the Heart.  As St. Thomas says in his treatment of the Old Law in the Summa, “the law of the New Covenant is nothing other than the Holy Spirit.”  The Spirit is the Law written on the heart promised with the New Covenant  (see Jer 31:31-34).  Hebrews 12:18-24 is a must-read for the connection between the Sinai account and Pentecost!  The pouring out of the Spirit makes the members of the Church into a Kingdom of Priests (Exod 19:5-6; see 1 Peter 2:9), a promise that was rejected by the Tribes at the Golden Calf episode, but is renewed to the Apostles and the other Israelites who heed their preaching in Jerusalem at Pentecost, and also to all us Gentiles who also partake in the same Spirit.
  2. Exod 37:1-14.  The Resurrection of the Dry Bones in Ezekiel’s Vision.  The dry bones in this vision, at one level, represent the national hopes of God’s people Israel, which have “died” and been “scattered” by war, exile, and diaspora.  At Pentecost, we see a remarkably widespread, representative group of Israelites from around the world, gathered together in Jerusalem and “reunited” or even “resurrected” as the New Israel through the blowing of God’s Spirit.  They form the infant Church.
  3. Joel 3:1-5.  The Outpouring of the Spirit in the Last Days.  The connection of this reading is obvious, since St. Peter quotes it as being fulfilled during his sermon at Pentecost in Acts 2:17-20.

The Psalm.  Psalm 104, the great “Creator Spirit” Psalm, is the Responsorial for both the Vigil and the High Mass of the Feast Day.  Verse 30 is used as the refrain: this verse is virtually the theme of the “decade” of the Spirit that we celebrate from Ascension to Pentecost.  Psalm 104 celebrates God’s glory revealed in his creation, which is brought forth, maintained, and renewed by the Spirit (compare Genesis 1:2).  At Pentecost, the Wind that blew over the waters of the young earth blows again over the believers gathered around the Apostles.  The Church is the foretaste or first-fruits of the New Creation, since Christ’s resurrected Body is our food.  As St. Paul says, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation!” (2 Cor 5:17).  This concept flows nicely into the Second Reading (Rom 8:22-27), where Paul refers to us as having “the firstfruits of the Spirit,” that is, already in a mysterious way participating in the Creation that is to come in the next age, a participation which as yet is denied to rocks, trees, petunias, and Labrador Retrievers.  We have the “down payment” of the Spirit, yet we await a fuller experience of the New Creation which will come at the resurrection, when the rest of nature also will be renewed.

The Gospel.  This is the famous passage (John 7:37-39) where Jesus identifies himself as the Source of the River of Life which flows from the New Temple (see Ezekiel 47).  This image is based historically on the spring called the Gihon, which emerges just below the Temple and flows down the City of David (a very old part of Jerusalem) to the Pool of Siloam, which provided the water for all of the populace of the city.  The Gihon is the “river whose streams make glad the city of God.”  In Ezekiel’s vision, the Gihon is replaced with a much more spectacular river flowing from the Temple.  In John 7, Jesus identifies himself as the New Temple, and the Spirit as the River which flows from him.  The NAB translation of this passage is defensible, but I believe a different division of the Greek clauses is to be preferred.  In my opinion, the Greek of John 7:37-38 should be understood as follows:

“Whoever thirsts, let him come to me,
and let him drink who believes in me.
As the Scripture says,
‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water’”

Translated this way, it is clearly Jesus’ heart that flows with rivers of living water.  I think this division of the clauses makes better contextual, narrative sense as well as theological sense.

Jesus’ Scriptural “quote” here is a paraphrase and summary of the vision of Ezekiel 47 and other passages from the prophets that foresee a supernatural river coming forth from the New Temple.  The Church sees in Pentecost the definitive realization of this vision.  The River of the Spirit is the water of baptism, which conveys the Spirit to believers (Acts 2:38).

(The comments on the Sunday Mass Readings will have to wait till tomorrow ...)

Posted by John Bergsma


29 posted on 06/11/2011 10:42:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Archdiocese of Washington

There is a rather humorous aspect of the story of the Tower of Babel in the Book of Genesis. You likely know the basic story which begins with the men of that early time saying, Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves (Gen 11:4). It was an image of pride, of grandiosity. The humor comes, that when the tower is built, the great tower, with its top reaching to the heavens, the truth is, it is actually so puny that God has to come down from heaven to see it. The text says, And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built (Gen 11:5).

Now, of course, as omniscient, God clearly sees everything, and the humor in the text is not some primitive notion of God. Rather the humor is for our benefit. For in effect it says that our greatest, tallest, most prominent and glorious work that we saw as reaching heaven itself, is in fact so puny that God has to stoop to “see” it. He has to descend to get a glimpse of it. What ultimately DOES alarm God is how colossal our pride is, and he has to humble us, by confusing our language and scattering us about the planet.

I recalled this story as I viewed the video below. It is wonderful footage of earth, taken from the Space Shuttle. There is verbal commentary and explanation by one of the astronauts, explaining some of the features we are seeing, and where on the globe we are looking as the pictures pass by. The view is remarkable. But what is more remarkable is what we do NOT see: us!

It is an astonishing thing that, even though the shuttle is passing over well populated areas, there is no visual evidence that we even exist. No cities or buildings are visible, no planes streaking through the skies, even large scale agricultural features seem lacking. There is only one mention of a color difference across the Great Salt Lake, due to a railroad bridge preventing lake circulation. But the bridge is in no way visible, only its effect.

We think of ourselves as so big, so impressive. And yet even in low earth orbit, we cannot be seen. It is true, at night, our cities light the view, but during the day – next to nothing says we are here. Even the magnified picture on my 30″ iMac screen shows no evidence of us below.

And having viewed the video I think of Psalm 8:

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens….When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? Yet, You made him a little lower than the angels and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Yes, we are so powerful (by God’s gift), and yet so tiny as to be nearly invisible from a short distance into space. Our mighty buildings rise. But they rise on a speck of space dust called earth, revolving around a fiery point of light, called the sun. Yet our huge sun is but one point of light in the Milky Way Galaxy of over 100 Billion Stars. And the Milky Way Galaxy, so huge to us as to be incomprehensible, is but one Galaxy of an estimated 200 Billion Galaxies.

What is man O Lord that you are mindful of him? Jesus says of us: And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered (Matt 10:30). Yes, God who knows the numbers of the stars and calls them by name also knows the number of the hairs on each of our heads. Nothing escapes him.

And old preacher’s saying goes: “We serve a God who sits high, yet looks low!” Indeed, never forget how tiny you and I are, yet never cease to marvel that God knit you together in your mother’s womb and sustains every fiber of your being. We cannot even be seen from low earth orbit, but God who sees all, looks into our very heart. Do not cease to marvel that, though tiny, you and I are wonderfully, fearfully made (Psalm 139), and that He has put all things under our feet.

Photo: Frerieke at Creative Commons


30 posted on 06/11/2011 11:02:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Archdiocese of Washington

As we prepare to celebrate Pentecost Sunday we ought to consider how  the Church is strengthened and empowered for her great mission to go unto all the nations. The principal account of it took place in the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2).

As we encounter the Church we find a Church that has been given quite a tall task:

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you (Matt 28:19-20).

And Luke adds a detail in his account:

Jesus said “Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And (behold) I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Lk 24:46-49)

And so the Church gathered in Jerusalem, about 120 in all, and prayed for nine days (the origin of the Catholic practice of “Novena” wherein one prays nine days for an intention). On the Tenth Day the Holy Spirit came. During those nine days we find the little Church somewhat fearfully gathered. There is no evidence that they are boldly seeking converts. They are a small community huddled together, fearful, behind closed doors, and awaiting a fulfillment of the promise of Jesus to send the Spirit. This was something they probably only vaguely understood.

So there’s the image: a community fearfully and apprehensively huddled together, wonder how they would ever Go unto all the nations when they were too afraid even to go out side the doors where the huddled together.

This is all about to change, but for a moment, grasp the picture and consider with me if it does not look a lot like many of our Catholic parishes today. Increasingly small communities that huddle together and talk only privately about the Lord but are afraid to go out of the doors of the Church and speak a word about the Lord. Perhaps they will be laughed at, scorned or asked questions they cannot answer. The general approach of most Catholic parishes in terms of evangelization does not seem to be to open the doors and go out but, rather to open the doors and hope people come in. But Christ said “GO.” And still we huddle together fearfully and with an inward focus. We spend most of our time talking about inward things like what color to paint the women’s restroom, who will be the new Holy Name Society President, why women can’t be ordained etc. All perhaps important issues to resolve but the main mission of evangelization is neglected and we focus on inward things too much.

Hence we are huddled together, fearful, and lacking in proper focus. Outside the Church doors is a world that needs to hear from us, but still we huddle together, timid and fearful of opening the doors and going out.

To be sure it is not wrong to huddle together. It is essential for us to gather each week as a community to ponder the word of the Lord, hear his teaching and plan, be fed and strengthened for our mission. But if all we do is huddle, we are missing the point.

Consider a football game. The offensive team always huddles before the play. This is essential to make sure all the team members are on the same page and know their roles. The quarterback makes clear what each is to do. But at a certain point it is time to break the huddle and come out and execute the play. If you went to a foot ball game where all they did was huddle you wouldn’t stay long. The huddle is not the game or the point, is to prepare the play. And then it is time to hustle up and run the play.

What would you think of a football player that was afraid to come out of the huddle and run the play? Perhaps he is afraid of getting hit or something. Well it’s clear that we’d think he’s a pretty poor excuse for a football player. But this is our struggle as Christians. Too many of us are afraid to come out of the huddle (the Mass) and run the play. What play you say? “Go there are make disciples of all nations…..” The deacon or priest says it at every Mass: “The Mass is ended, Go in peace.” And this is short for “Go make disciples….” And so it is that the huddle is supposed to break and we are to go out on the (mission) field. But in too many of our parishes this is not happening. We are not passing on the faith well even to our children, let alone strangers.

Come Holy Spirit – The early Church was also huddled together behind closed doors. But on that tenth day (Pentecost) the Holy Spirit descended on them as a strong rushing wind and tongues of fire. And suddenly they started speaking boldly. The next thing we notice is that the door is open and Peter preaches a sermon to the crowd so bold that three thousand are added to their number that day.

And the Church went forth that day, unto all the nations. Sure there were fits and starts but the mission to the world had begun. The huddle broke and the play was executed. Surely the Church would huddle frequently, but then they would break huddle and hustle up to the line to execute the play: Go therefore.

How about your parish? How about you? Don’t just huddle….., hustle! When the Mass concludes “Go in peace” don’t miss that this is a commissioning. Get out on the field and execute the play. Move the ball, gain some yards! And if you loose some yards, get back up, huddle up again, and hustle again. But don’t give up! First huddle then hustle.

Here is an excerpt from the Sermon I preached last Pentecost at my parish here in Washington DC that makes some of these points. We have been conducting a neighborhood outreach this past year.


31 posted on 06/11/2011 11:04:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Archdiocese of Washington

What a wondrous and challenging feast we celebrate at Pentecost. A feast like this challenges us, because it puts to the lie a lazy, sleepy, hidden, and tepid Christian life. The Lord Jesus had said to Apostles, and still says to us: I have come to cast a fire on the earth! (Luke 12:49). This is a feast about fire, about a transformative, refining, and purifying fire that the Lord wants to kindle in us and in this world.

The Readings today speak to us of the Holy Spirit in three ways: The Portraits of the Spirit, the Proclamation of the Spirit and the Propagation by the Spirit. Let’s look at all three.

I. The Portraits of the Spirit – The Reading today speaks of the Holy Spirit using two images: rushing wind, and tongues of fire. These two images recall Psalm 50 which says, Our God comes, he does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire, round about him a mighty tempest. (Psalm 50:3).

Rushing Wind – Notice how the text from Acts opens: When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were.

This text brings us to the very root meaning of the word “Spirit.” For “spirit” refers to “breath,” and we have this preserved in our word “respiration,” which means breathing. So, the Spirit of God is the breath of God, the Ruah Adonai (the Spirit, the breath of God).

Genesis 1:2 speaks of this saying the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. And Genesis 2:7 speaks even more remarkably of something God did only for man, not the animals: then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Gen 2:7).

So the very Spirit of God was breathed into Adam! But, as we know, Adam lost this gift and died spiritually when he sinned.

Thus we see in this passage from Acts an amazing and wonderful resuscitation of the human person as these first Christians (120 in all) experience the rushing wind of God’s Spirit breathing spiritual life back into them. God does C.P.R. and brings humanity, dead in sin, back to life! The Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us once again as in a temple (cf 1 Cor 3:16). It has been said that Christmas is the feast of God with us, Good Friday is the Feast of God for us, but Pentecost is the Feast of God in us.

Tongues of Fire – The text from Acts says, Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them.

The Bible often speaks of God as fire, or in fiery terms. Moses saw God as a burning bush. God led the people out of Egypt through the desert as a pillar of fire. Moses went up on to a fiery Mt. Sinai where God was. Psalm 97 says, The LORD reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are round about him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him, and burns up his adversaries round about. His lightnings lighten the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory. (Ps 97:1-6). Scriptures call God a Holy fire, a consuming fire (cf Heb 12:29) and a refining fire (cf Is. 48:10; Jer 9:7; Zec 13:9; & Mal 3:3).

And so it is that our God, who is a Holy Fire, comes to dwell in us through his Holy Spirit. And as a Holy Fire, He refines us by burning away our sins and purifying us. As Job once said, But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold (Job 23:10).

And he is also preparing us for judgement, for if God is a Holy Fire, then who may endure the day of his coming or of our going to Him? What can endure the presence of Fire Himself? Only that which is already fire. Thus we must be set afire by God’s love.

So, in the coming of the Holy Spirit God sets us on fire to make us a kind of fire. In so doing, he purifies and prepares us to meet him one, He who is a Holy Fire.

II. The Proclamation of the Spirit. - You will notice that the Spirit Came on them like “tongues” of Fire. And the reference to tongues is no mere accident. For notice how the Holy Spirit moves them to speak, and ultimately to witness. The text says: And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, “Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his native language? We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God.”

So behold how the Holy Spirit moves them to proclaim, not just in the safety of the upper room, but also in holy boldness before the crowds who have gathered.

Notice the transformation! Moments ago these were frightened men who gathered only behind locked doors, in secrecy. They were huddled together in fear. But now they go forth to the crowds and boldly proclaim Christ. They have gone from fear to faith, from cowardice to courage, from terror to testimony!

And how about us? Too many Christians are silent, dominated by fear. Perhaps they fear being called names, or not being popular. Perhaps they are anxious about being laughed at, or resisted, or of being asked questions they don’t feel capable of answering. Some Christians are able to gather in the “upper room” of the parish and be active, even be leaders. But once outside the “upper room” they slip into undercover mode. They become secret agent Christians.

Well, the Holy Spirit wants to change that, and to the degree that we have really met Jesus Christ and experienced his Holy Spirit we are less “able” to keep silent. An old Gospel song says, I thought I wasn’t gonna testify, but I couldn’t keep it to myself, what the Lord has done for me. The Holy Spirit, if authentically received, wants to give us zeal and joy, and burn away our fear, so that testifying and witnessing are natural to us.

Note also how the Spirit “translates” for the apostles, for the crowd before them spoke different languages, but all heard Peter and the others in their own language. The Spirit therefore assists not only us, but also those who hear us. My testimony is not dependent only on my eloquence, but also on the grace of the Holy Spirit who casts out deafness and opens hearts. Every Christian should remember this. Some of our most doubtful encounters with others can still bear great fruit on account of the work of the Holy Spirit who “translates” for us and overcomes many obstacles that we might think insurmountable.

III. The Propagation by the Spirit – In the great commission the Lord said, Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age (Matt 28:19ff). He also said, as we have noted, I have come to cast a fire on the earth and How I wish the blaze were already ignited (Luke 12:49).

But how is the Lord going to do this?

Perhaps a picture will help. My parish church is dedicated to the Holy Spirit under the title: Holy Comforter. Above the high altar is the Latin inscription: Spiritus Domini, replevit orbem terrarum (The Spirit of the Lord, filled the orb of the earth). (See photo, above right, of our high altar).

And yet, we may wonder how He will do this.

But the walls of my parish Church answer the question. The clerestory walls are painted Spanish Red, and upon this great canvas are also painted the lives of 20 saints, surrounding us like a great cloud of witnesses (cf Heb 12:1). (See also, video below). And over the head of every saint is a tongue of fire.

THIS is how the Spirit of the Lord fills the earth. It is not “magic fairy dust,” it is in the fiery transformation of every Christian, going forth into the world  to bring light and warmth to a dark and cold world. THIS is how the Lord casts fire on earth, THIS is how the Spirit of the Lord fills the orb of the earth: in the lives of saints, and, if you are prepared to accept it, in YOU.

In the end, the Great Commission (Matt 28) is “standing order No. 1.” No matter what else, we are supposed to do this. Parishes do not deserve to exist if they do not do this. We as individual Christians are a disgrace, and not worthy of the name, if we fail to win souls for Jesus Christ. The Spirit of the Lord is going to fill the orb of the earth, but only through us. The spread of the Gospel has been placed in your hands (scary isn’t it?).

Last year, my own parish, after a year of training, stepped out into our neighborhood, and went door to door and into the local park. And we announced Jesus Christ, and invited people to discover him in our parish, and in the sacraments.

Before we count even a single convert, this is already success because we are obeying Jesus Christ who said, simply, “Go!” “Go make disciples.” And, truth be told, we ARE seeing an increase in my parish. Our Sunday attendance has grown from about 450 to 520, a 15% increase. We are growing, and our attendance, while average for a downtown city parish, is going in the right direction. God never fails. God is faithful.

Spread the news: it works if you work it, so work it because God is worth it. Go make disciples. Ignore what the pollsters tell you about a declining Church and let the Lord cast a fire on the earth through you! Fires have way of spreading! Why not start one today? The Spirit of God will not disappoint.

I know this, my parish has a future because we are obeying Jesus Christ, we are making disciples. How about you and yours? If parishes do not obey, they do not deserve to exist and can expect to close one day, no matter how big they are today. I, in my short 50 years on this planet, have seen it: parishes once big, booming, and, (frankly), arrogant, are now declining and some are near closure. It happens to the best, if they do not evangelize, if they do not accomplish “Job 1.” The Lord wants to light a fire. Why not become totally fire? Let the Spirit propagate the Church through you (I am not talking about the person next to you, I am talking to you).

Happy feast of Pentecost. But don’t forget that the basic image is very challenging, for it means getting out of the “upper room,” opening the doors, and proclaiming Christ to the world. Let the Holy Spirit light a fire in you, and then, you can’t help but spread light and heat to a cold and dark world.

Let the evangelization of the whole world begin with you.

This video features details from the clerestory (upper window level) of my parish of Holy Comforter here in DC. Notice the tongue of fire above each saint. The paintings show how the Spirit of the Lord fills the orb of the earth, (see photo above), through the lives of the lives of the saints (this means you). It is not magic, it is grace, working in your life, through your gifts, and your relationships, that the Lord will reach each soul. The cloud of witnesses on the walls of my Church say simply, You are the way he will fill the earth and set it on fire. Let the blaze be ignited in you!

The song says: We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, looking on, encouraging us to do the will of the Lord. Let us stand worthy, and be faithful to God’s  call….We must not grow weary…!


32 posted on 06/11/2011 11:07:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Gospel Reflections

Pentecost Sunday
Reading I:
Acts 2:1-11 II: 1Cor 12:3-7,12-13
Gospel
John 20:19-23

19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."
20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you."
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.
23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."


Interesting Details
  • (v.19) The disciples were afraid. They did not respond to Jesus' appearance or greeting. They probably did not even recognize him.
  • (v.20) Jesus identified himself by his hands and his side, which is to say, his suffering. This brought recognition and joy.
  • (v.21) Jesus sent the disciples to continue his mission.
  • (v.22) "He breathed on them." The word Spirit means breath, wind, and symbolizes power. Wind was experienced as a powerful force in the ancient world. People in the Old Testament considered the wind as God's breath, or God's power and spirit. Therefore in Genesis God's breath gave life to Adam, and now bestows even a greater life as God's children.
  • (v.23) John mentioned "sin" (singular) 25 times and "sins" (plural) only 6 times. The singular form indicates an evil force in general, instead of a list of specific sins.
  • See also the explanations on the second Sunday of Easter (Jn 20:19-31).

One Main Point

The disciples receive the Holy Spirit and Jesus' mission.

Jesus breathed on the disciples to give them new life as children of God. With this new life or new force, they will be able to fight against sin or the forces of evil.


Reflections
  1. See Jesus saying to me "Peace be with you" repeatedly. Notice his tone, his gestures, his eyes, and so on.
  2. Feel Jesus' breath on me. Have I received such a "holy force"? Have I ever felt it, and if so, when?
  3. With that holy force, do I struggle against sin or the evil force (my own evil tendencies as well as those in the greater society around me)?

33 posted on 06/11/2011 11:22:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Pentecost Sunday (Solemnity)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Acts 2:1-11
Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34
1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13
John 20:19-23

Turn away from sin, and be faithful to the Gospel.

-- Ash Wednesday



34 posted on 06/11/2011 11:38:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

This prayer,  which dates from the twelfth century, is substituted for the Angelus during Easter Season.

 
The Regina Coeli 
 

Glory to God in the highest!

In Latin

In English

Regina coeli, laetare, alleluia: Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia. Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, Alleluia,

R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

Oremus: Deus qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus, ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.

R. Amen.

Queen of Heaven rejoice, alleluia: For He whom you merited to bear, alleluia, Has risen as He said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia.

V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.

R. Because the Lord is truly risen, alleluia.

Let us pray: O God, who by the Resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, granted joy to the whole world: grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may lay hold of the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.


35 posted on 06/11/2011 11:39:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Abba Father!
 
 
And the child grew
and became strong in spirit.  Luke 1:80
 
Pray to end abortion.

36 posted on 06/11/2011 11:41:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Office of Readings and Invitatory Psalm

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.


Introduction
O God, come to my aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.

Hymn
When God of old came down from heaven,
In power and wrath he came.
Before his feet the clouds were riven,
Half darkness and half flame;
But when he came the second time,
He came in power and love.
Softer than gale at morning prime
Hovered his holy Dove.
The fires that rushed on Sinai down
In sudden torrents dread,
Now gently light, a glorious crown,
On every sainted head.
And when the Spirit of our God
Came down his flock to find,
A voice from heaven was heard abroad,
A rushing, mighty wind.
It fills the Church of God, it fills
The sinful world around;
Only in stubborn hearts and wills
No place for it is found.
Come Lord, come Wisdom, Love and Power,
Open our ears to hear.
Let us not miss the accepted hour!
Save, Lord, by love or fear.

Psalm 103 (104)
Hymn to God the Creator
The Holy Spirit is like a wind that blows wherever it pleases: you hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. Alleluia.
Bless the Lord, my soul!
  Lord, my God, how great you are!
You are robed in majesty and splendour;
  you are wrapped in light as in a cloak.
You stretch out the sky like an awning,
  you build your palace upon the waters.
You make the clouds your chariot,
  you walk upon the wings of the wind.
You make the breezes your messengers,
  you make burning fire your minister.
You set the earth upon its foundation:
  from age to age it will stand firm.
Deep oceans covered it like a garment,
  and the waters stood high above the mountains;
but you rebuked them and they fled;
  at the sound of your thunder they fled in terror.
They rise to the mountains or sink to the valleys,
  to the places you have decreed for them.
You have given them a boundary they must not cross;
  they will never come back to cover the earth.
You make springs arise to feed the streams,
  that flow in the midst of the mountains.
All the beasts of the field will drink from them
  and the wild asses will quench their thirst.
Above them will nest the birds of the sky,
  from among the branches their voices will sound.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
The Holy Spirit is like a wind that blows wherever it pleases: you hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. Alleluia.

Psalm 103 (104)
Suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind. Alleluia.
From your palace you water the mountains,
  and thus you give plenty to the earth.
You bring forth grass for the cattle,
  and plants for the service of man.
You bring forth bread from the land,
  and wine to make man’s heart rejoice.
Oil, to make the face shine;
  and bread to make man’s heart strong.
The trees of the Lord have all that they need,
  and the cedars of Lebanon, that he planted.
Small birds will nest there,
  and storks at the tops of the trees.
For wild goats there are the high mountains;
  the crags are a refuge for the coneys.
He made the moon so that time could be measured;
  the sun knows the hour of its setting.
You send shadows, and night falls:
  then all the beasts of the woods come out,
lion cubs roaring for their prey,
  asking God for their food.
When the sun rises they come back together
  to lie in their lairs;
man goes out to his labour,
  and works until evening.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind. Alleluia.

Psalm 103 (104)
Send forth your spirit and new life will begin; you will renew the face of the earth. Alleluia.
How many are your works, O Lord!
  You have made all things in your wisdom,
  and the earth is full of your creatures.
The sea is broad and immense:
  sea-creatures swim there, both small and large,
  too many to count.
Ships sail across it;
  Leviathan lives there, the monster;
  you made him to play with.
All of them look to you
  to give them their food when they need it.
You give it to them, and they gather;
  you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
But turn away, and they are dismayed;
  take away their breath, and they die,
  once more they will turn into dust.
You will send forth your breath, they will come to life;
  you will renew the face of the earth.
Glory be to the Lord, for ever;
  let the Lord rejoice in his works.
He turns his gaze to the earth, and it trembles;
  he touches the mountains, and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord all my life;
  as long as I exist, I will sing songs to God.
May my praises be pleasing to him;
  truly I will delight in the Lord.
Let sinners perish from the earth,
  let the wicked vanish from existence.
Bless the Lord, my soul!
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Send forth your spirit and new life will begin; you will renew the face of the earth. Alleluia.

The spirit of the Lord fills the whole world, alleluia.
That which holds all things together has true knowledge, alleluia.

Reading Romans 8:5-27 ©
The unspiritual are interested only in what is unspiritual, but the spiritual are interested in spiritual things. It is death to limit oneself to what is unspiritual; life and peace can only come with concern for the spiritual. That is because to limit oneself to what is unspiritual is to be at enmity with God: such a limitation never could and never does submit to God’s law. People who are interested only in unspiritual things can never be pleasing to God. Your interests, however, are not in the unspiritual, but in the spiritual, since the Spirit of God has made his home in you. In fact, unless you possessed the Spirit of Christ you would not belong to him. Though your body may be dead it is because of sin, but if Christ is in you then your spirit is life itself because you have been justified; and if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, then he who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.
  So then, my brothers, there is no necessity for us to obey our unspiritual selves or to live unspiritual lives. If you do live in that way, you are doomed to die; but if by the Spirit you put an end to the misdeeds of the body you will live.
  Everyone moved by the Spirit is a son of God. The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again; it is the spirit of sons, and it makes us cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God. And if we are children we are heirs as well: heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory.
  I think that what we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us. The whole creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal his sons. It was not for any fault on the part of creation that it was made unable to attain its purpose, it was made so by God; but creation still retains the hope of being freed, like us, from its slavery to decadence, to enjoy the same freedom and glory as the children of God. From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free. For we must be content to hope that we shall be saved – our salvation is not in sight, we should not have to be hoping for it if it were – but, as I say, we must hope to be saved since we are not saved yet – it is something we must wait for with patience.
  The Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness. For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our hearts knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God.
Responsory
Because through faith you are sons of God in union with Christ Jesus, God has sent into our hearts the Spirit of his Son, crying ‘Abba, Father’, alleluia.
The spirit that God gave us is no craven spirit, but one to inspire strength, love, and self-discipline. God has sent into our hearts the Spirit of his Son, crying ‘Abba, Father’, alleluia.

Reading A treatise "Against the Heresies" by St Irenaeus
The sending of the Holy Spirit
When the Lord told his disciples to go and teach all nations and baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, he conferred on them the power of giving men new life in God.
  He had promised through the prophets that in these last days he would pour out his Spirit on his servants and handmaids, and that they would prophesy. So when the Son of God became the Son of Man, the Spirit also descended upon him, becoming accustomed in this way to dwelling with the human race, to living in men and to inhabiting God’s creation. The Spirit accomplished the Father’s will in men who had grown old in sin, and gave them new life in Christ.
  Luke says that the Spirit came down on the disciples at Pentecost, after the Lord’s ascension, with power to open the gates of life to all nations and to make known to them the new covenant. So it was that men of every language joined in singing one song of praise to God, and scattered tribes, restored to unity by the Spirit, were offered to the Father as the first-fruits of all the nations.
  This was why the Lord had promised to send the Advocate: he was to prepare us as an offering to God. Like dry flour, which cannot become one lump of dough, one loaf of bread, without moisture, we who are many could not become one in Christ Jesus without the water that comes down from heaven. And like parched ground, which yields no harvest unless it receives moisture, we who were once like a waterless tree could never have lived and borne fruit without this abundant rainfall from above. Through the baptism that liberates us from change and decay we have become one in body; through the Spirit we have become one in soul.
  The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and strength, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of God came down upon the Lord, and the Lord in turn gave this Spirit to his Church, sending the Advocate from heaven into all the world into which, according to his own words, the devil too had been cast down like lightning.
  If we are not to be scorched and made unfruitful, we need the dew of God. Since we have our accuser, we need an advocate as well. And so the Lord in his pity for man, who had fallen into the hands of brigands, having himself bound up his wounds and left for his care two coins bearing the royal image, entrusted him to the Holy Spirit. Now, through the Spirit, the image and inscription of the Father and the Son have been given to us, and it is our duty to use the coin committed to our charge and make it yield a rich profit for the Lord.
Responsory
When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples were all together in one place, and suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house, alleluia.
While they were all together in one place, suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house, alleluia.

Hymn Te Deum
God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:
“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.
Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.
You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.
And so we ask of you: give help to your servants, whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.
The final part of the hymn may be omitted:
Bring your people to safety, Lord, and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.
Lord God,
  you sanctify your Church in every race and nation
  by the mystery we celebrate on this day.
Pour out the gifts of the Holy Spirit on all mankind,
  and fulfil now in the hearts of your faithful
  what you accomplished when the Gospel was first preached on earth.
[We make our prayer] through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  God for ever and ever.
Amen.

37 posted on 06/12/2011 7:27:03 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Prayer of the Week:

ACT OF CHARITY

O MY GOD, I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.


38 posted on 06/12/2011 7:40:18 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Catholic
Almanac:

Sunday, June 12

Liturgical Color: Red


Today is the Solemnity of Pentecost. Red vestments are worn at Mass today symbolizing the love of the Holy Spirit and commemorating the tongues of fire by which He appeared on the first Pentecost.


39 posted on 06/12/2011 1:44:59 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: June 12, 2011
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Almighty and ever-living God, you fulfilled the Easter promise by sending us your Holy Spirit. May that Spirit unite the races and nations on earth to proclaim your glory. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Easter: June 12th

  Pentecost Sunday Old Calendar: Pentecost Sunday

"And when the days of Pentecost were drawing to a close, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a violent wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as of fire, which settled upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in foreign tongues, even as the Holy Spirit prompted them to speak" (Acts 2, 1-4).

Pentecost (Whitsunday), with Christmas and Easter, ranks among the great feasts of Christianity. It commemorates not only the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and Disciples, but also the fruits and effects of that event: the completion of the work of redemption, the fullness of grace for the Church and its children, and the gift of faith for all nations.


Pentecost
After Jesus had ascended to heaven from Mt. Olivet, the apostles and disciples returned to the Holy City. They remained together in the Upper Room or Cenacle, the place where Jesus had appeared to them and which may well be called the first Christian church. About a hundred and twenty persons were assembled there. They chose Matthias as an apostle in place of the unhappy Judas; they prayed and waited for the Paraclete.

Ten days had passed, it was Sunday, the seventh Sunday after the resurrection. At about nine o'clock in the morning, as they were together praying fervently, the Holy Spirit descended upon them. Note how all the great theophanies in Christ's life occurred during the course of prayer. After His baptism, for instance, when Jesus was praying the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove; likewise, it was during prayer at night that the transfiguration took place on Tabor. Surely too it was while Mary was praying that Gabriel delivered his message, and the Holy Spirit overshadowed her. Pentecost followed precedent. The small community of Christians had prepared themselves through prayer for the coming of the Paraclete. The same is true at Mass today, every day; through prayer we ready our souls for the advent of the Spirit.

The descent upon the apostles was internal and invisible in nature although accompanied by certain visible phenomena. There came a mighty roar, like the onrush of a violent wind. It came suddenly, from heaven; but unlike storms that strike a structure from without, this one penetrated and filled the room where the disciples were gathered. Therefore it was not a natural wind, it was a miracle peculiar to the occasion. A second visible sign consisted in tongues of fire that descended upon each one present. These fiery tongues gave visible evidence that the Holy Spirit had descended upon them.

Today at Mass, particularly at holy Communion, the power of the Holy Spirit will come down upon us; fiery tongues will not be seen, but invisible tongues of fire will not be absent. There was still another external manifestation of the Holy Spirit; the apostles and disciples were enabled to speak various languages.

After the roar of the wind many of Jerusalem's pilgrims hurried to the Cenacle. Pentecost was one of the three festivals which obliged all Jews to be present in Jerusalem. Jews from distant lands, and Jewish converts from paganism too, attended these feasts. As a result, a colorful crowd speaking a variety of languages surrounded the house. Now the apostles, who so shortly before had hid in fear behind locked doors, came forth and courageously walked among the multitude speaking to each in his native tongue. It was indeed amazing! Galileans, and multilingual?

But the malicious too were present; they had the answer. Nothing marvelous at all! Those Galileans were simply drunk, and their drunken babble sounded like a foreign language! Peter showed no hesitation in answering the charge. None of their number, he said, were intoxicated; it was but nine o'clock in the morning, and at that hour men usually are sober. What the multitude saw was, in fact, the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy: In those days (of the Messiah), God will pour forth His Spirit upon men and they will prophesy. . . . Then the apostle pointed his words more directly against the accusers: they had killed Jesus, had nailed Him to the Cross; but God had awakened Him and after His departure to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit.

The pilgrims who had heard Peter give this first pentecostal sermon "were pierced to the heart and said: Brethren, what shall we do? But Peter said to them: Repent and be baptized; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Three thousand responded.

One final question: why the miracle of tongues? In answer, recall the story regarding the tower of Babel. Puffed up by pride, men attempted to build a tower that would touch the heavens. To punish their sin, God confused their speech. Sin causes confusion and division. Now Christ came to gather all men into His Church and thereby to unite them to Himself. This should result in creating but one family of nations again. To this blessed state the miracle of tongues points.

Yes, even we as individuals have a gift of tongues which all men can understand. It is the gift of love infused into us by the Holy Spirit. Love unites, love is a common language, by means of love we can speak to all nations.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Things to Do:



40 posted on 06/12/2011 1:48:14 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Lauds -- Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer (Lauds)

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.


Introduction
O God, come to my aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.

Hymn
Come, Holy Ghost, who ever one
Art with the Father and the Son,
Come, Holy Ghost, our souls possess
With thy full flood of holiness.
In will and deed, by heart and tongue,
With all our powers, thy praise be sung;
And love light up our mortal frame,
Till others catch the living flame.
Almighty Father, hear our cry
Through Jesus Christ our Lord most high,
Who with the Holy Ghost and thee
Doth live and reign eternally.

Psalm 62 (63)
Thirsting for God
How good and how kind, O Lord, is your Spirit in us! Alleluia.
O God, you are my God, I watch for you from the dawn.
My soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you.
I came to your sanctuary,
  as one in a parched and waterless land,
  so that I could see your might and your glory.
My lips will praise you, for your mercy is better than life itself.
Thus I will bless you throughout my life,
  and raise my hands in prayer to your name;
my soul will be filled as if by rich food,
  and my mouth will sing your praises and rejoice.
I will remember you as I lie in bed,
  I will think of you in the morning,
for you have been my helper,
  and I will take joy in the protection of your wings.
My soul clings to you; your right hand raises me up.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
How good and how kind, O Lord, is your Spirit in us! Alleluia.

Canticle Daniel 3
All creatures, bless the Lord
Let every spring of water bless the Lord; let everything that lives in water sing a hymn to God. Alleluia.
Bless the Lord, all his works,
  praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, you heavens;
  all his angels, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, you waters above the heavens;
  all his powers, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, sun and moon;
  all stars of the sky, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, rain and dew;
  all you winds, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, fire and heat;
  cold and warmth, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, dew and frost;
  ice and cold, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, ice and snow;
  day and night, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, light and darkness;
  lightning and storm-clouds, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, all the earth,
  praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, mountains and hills;
  all growing things, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, seas and rivers;
  springs and fountains, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, whales and fish;
  birds of the air, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, wild beasts and tame;
  sons of men, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, O Israel,
  praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, his priests;
  all his servants, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, spirits and souls of the just;
  all who are holy and humble, bless the Lord.
Ananias, Azarias, Mishael, bless the Lord,
  praise and exalt him for ever.
Let us bless Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
  praise and exalt them for ever.
Bless the Lord in the firmament of heaven,
  praise and glorify him for ever.
Let every spring of water bless the Lord; let everything that lives in water sing a hymn to God. Alleluia.

Psalm 149
The saints rejoice
The apostles spoke in different tongues and proclaimed the wonderful deeds of God. Alleluia.
Sing a new song to the Lord,
  his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker,
  and the sons of Zion delight in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing,
  sing to him with timbrel and lyre,
for the Lord’s favour is upon his people,
  and he will honour the humble with victory.
Let the faithful celebrate his glory,
  rejoice even in their beds,
the praise of God in their throats;
  and swords ready in their hands,
to exact vengeance upon the nations,
  impose punishment on the peoples,
to bind their kings in fetters
  and their nobles in manacles of iron,
to carry out the sentence that has been passed:
  this is the glory prepared for all his faithful.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
The apostles spoke in different tongues and proclaimed the wonderful deeds of God. Alleluia.

Short reading Acts 5:30-32 ©
It was the God of our ancestors who raised up Jesus, but it was you who had him executed by hanging on a tree. By his own right hand God has now raised him up to be leader and saviour, to give repentance and forgiveness of sins through him to Israel. We are witnesses to all this, we and the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.

Short Responsory
They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, alleluia, alleluia.
They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, alleluia, alleluia.
And they started to speak.
They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, alleluia, alleluia.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, alleluia, alleluia.

Canticle Benedictus
The Messiah and his forerunner
Receive the Holy Spirit. Those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven. Alleluia.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
  for he has come to his people and brought about their redemption.
He has raised up the sign of salvation
  in the house of his servant David,
as he promised through the mouth of the holy ones,
  his prophets through the ages:
to rescue us from our enemies
  and all who hate us,
to take pity on our fathers,
  to remember his holy covenant
and the oath he swore to Abraham our father,
  that he would give himself to us,
that we could serve him without fear
 – freed from the hands of our enemies –
in uprightness and holiness before him,
  for all of our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High:
  for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his path,
to let his people know their salvation,
  so that their sins may be forgiven.
Through the bottomless mercy of our God,
  one born on high will visit us
to give light to those who walk in darkness,
  who live in the shadow of death;
  to lead our feet in the path of peace.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Receive the Holy Spirit. Those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven. Alleluia.

Prayers and Intercessions
With firm faith let us pray to Christ the Lord, who has gathered his Church together by the Holy Spirit:
Lord, renew the face of the earth.
Lord Jesus, when you were raised on the cross you poured rivers of living water from your side:
  pour out the Spirit upon us and make us live.
Lord, renew the face of the earth.
Lord Jesus, when you were raised to God’s right hand in glory, you bestowed the Father’s gift on your disciples:
  send forth the Spirit to make this world new.
Lord, renew the face of the earth.
Lord Jesus, you gave the Apostles the power, in the Spirit, to forgive sins:
  wipe out sin from the world.
Lord, renew the face of the earth.
You promised that the Holy Spirit would teach us everything and make us understand everything you had said:
  send forth your Spirit to illuminate our faith.
Lord, renew the face of the earth.
You promised to send the Spirit of truth to bear witness to you:
  send forth your Spirit to make us faithful witnesses.
Lord, renew the face of the earth.

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.

Lord God,
  you sanctify your Church in every race and nation
  by the mystery we celebrate on this day.
Pour out the gifts of the Holy Spirit on all mankind,
  and fulfil now in the hearts of your faithful
  what you accomplished when the Gospel was first preached on earth.
[We make our prayer] through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  God for ever and ever.
Amen.

May the Lord bless us and keep us from all harm; and may he lead us to eternal life.

AMEN


41 posted on 06/12/2011 1:57:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Acts 2:1-11

Pentecost

They were all filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:4)

Happy Pentecost! Today we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit, and Luke gives us a dramatic picture of the event: The Spirit came upon the apostles with a “strong driving wind” and with “tongues as of fire” (Acts 2:2,3).

It is clear, as you read Chapter 2 of Acts, that something radical happened in the lives of the apostles when they were filled with the Spirit. They were filled with excitement and began speaking all about Jesus and his resurrection. Their hearts were burning with love for the Lord and with a desire to share his good news with everyone. They were so excited, in fact, that many of the people who saw them assumed that they were drunk!

But then Peter took the lead. He told the people how Jesus was nailed to a cross, “But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death, because it was impossible for him to be held by it” (Acts 2:24). Peter’s words cut the people to the heart, and they asked what they should do. Peter’s answer was simple and direct: “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (2:38). Many of the people took his words to heart and were filled with the Spirit that day. And so the church was born!

This story tells us that Pentecost is meant to be experienced. The Spirit wants to burn the knowledge of God’s love and mercy into our hearts. He wants to fill us with the same joy that the apostles knew— the joy of our salvation and the joy of knowing Jesus. As we feel this joy, we will yearn for God’s presence every day, and we will want to avoid everything—every sin—that would separate us from him and his love.

“Lord, fill us all anew with your Holy Spirit. Melt us with your fire, and refresh us with your wind. May our lives be changed today— forever!”


Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104:1,24,29-31,34; 1 Corinthians 12:3-7,12-13; John 20:19-23)

1. The first reading describes the moment when the Holy Spirit “came to rest” on each one of the disciples. Witnesses are described as “confused”, “astounded” and “in amazement.” Each of us, as baptized Catholics, has also received the Holy Spirit. Do you believe there is enough evidence in your life to “convict” you of being a Christian with the Holy Spirit indwelling you? Do you believe that the Lord wants to give you a deeper infilling of his Spirit? How can this happen?

2. The responsorial psalm says the Holy Spirit will “renew the face of the earth”. What in your life would you like the Holy Spirit to renew?

3. The second reading says that spiritual gifts are given to each of us for the benefit of others. What spiritual gifts have you received from the Holy Spirit that can benefit your family, your parish, and others? How are you using them?

4. The second reading also uses the metaphor of a body to describe our Church, “and all parts of the body, though many, are one body.” In Christ, all differences are united. How tolerant are you of other members of the body of Christ who are different than you? What steps can you take, individually or with a group, to bring more unity to your parish? Are you also willing to reach out to non-Catholics Christians as well? Why or why not?

5. In the Gospel, Jesus’ first words to the disciples after his resurrection were words of consolation and reassurance: “peace be with you.” Following his example, what practical steps can you take this week to bring the Lord’s love, comfort, and peace to others? What are the obstacles in you that keep you from witnessing God’s love to others? How can you overcome them?

6. The meditation tells us that “Pentecost is meant to be experienced.” What do these words mean to you? In what specific ways would you have the Holy Spirit manifest himself more powerfully in your life?

7. Take some time now to pray for a deeper infilling of the Holy Spirit. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.


42 posted on 06/12/2011 2:04:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

WITH THE COMING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, EVERYTHING CHANGES

(A biblical reflection on the DAY OF PENTECOST, Sunday June 12, 2011) 

First Reading: Acts 2:1-11 

Psalms: Ps 104:1,24,29-31,34, Second Reading: 1Cor 12:3-7,12-13; Gospel Reading: Jn 20:19-23 

The Scripture Text

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” (Acts 2:1-11 RSV)  

Fifty days ago we celebrated Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. But what difference would His resurrection have made had He not also poured out His Spirit? It is the Holy Spirit who reveals Jesus to us and makes our redemption a living reality in our hearts. It is the Holy Spirit who makes us shares in the life of God and empowers us to live as His children. Today, we celebrate Pentecost. This is perhaps the Church’s most exciting feast day of the year, for the Holy Spirit animates and makes real everything we believe. How wonderful are the fulfilments that took place on that day! How faithful God is to His promise to save His people. 

With the coming of the Holy Spirit, everything changes. We are refreshed and filled with love. Dwelling in us, the Holy Spirit bears witness to our hearts that we are children of God (Rom 8:15-16). The Spirit of God prays in us (Rom 8:26). He guides us in the truth (Jn 14:26). He empowers us to serve the Lord in love (Rom 7:6). He transforms us, developing His wonderful fruits in our lives (Gal 5:22-23). 

This feast is also connected to Jewish worship in the Old Testament. For ancientIsrael, Pentecost – fifty days after Passover – was a feast during which the whole community thanked God for the first fruits of the early harvest (Deut 16:9-12). Over time, it came to be observed also as a feast of thanksgiving for the Torah, the Law received by Moses onMount Sinai. 

Jesus has fulfilled the words of the Old Testament. He alone was able to please God the Father. Now, the Holy Spirit has come. He has inaugurated the harvest of all God’s people. Now, the covenant, written so long ago on tablets of stone, can be written deep in our hearts. We have a wonderful hope! All that is impossible for us according to our natural ability is made possible by the Holy Spirit’s power and grace. Let us open our hearts to the Holy Spirit today and welcome Him more deeply in our lives. 

Short Prayer: Lord Jesus, send Your Spirit upon us, and renew the whole world. Lord, we pray, by the power of the Holy Spirit, that You would come and save us and that You would come again in glory!” Amen. 


43 posted on 06/12/2011 3:30:25 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Marriage = One Man and One Woman

Daily Marriage Tip for June 12, 2011:

“There are different forms of service but the same Lord” (1 Cor. 12:5). Equality doesn’t mean sameness. As males and females we are differently made. As human beings we have unique talents and personalities. How does your spouse “serve” your family and the community?


44 posted on 06/12/2011 3:33:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Scripture Study

Pentecost Sunday

June 12, 2011

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Acts 2:1-11

Psalm: 104:1,24,29-31,34

Second Reading: Romans 8:22-27

Gospel Reading: John 20:19-23

  • This Sunday’s Gospel is a reading that we just heard on the 2nd Sunday of Easter. For this Pentecost Sunday, therefore, we will instead be looking at the First Reading for this Sunday, taken from the Acts of the Apostles.
  • The setting is at Jerusalem in the upper room where the Last Supper had been held. It is10 days after the Ascension, at which time Jesus had left them specific instructions (Acts 1:45). About 120 people, including Mary, were present. It is the time of the Jewish feast of Pentecost.
  • Pentecost, or the Feast of Weeks (in Hebrew, Shavout), was one of three major Jewish pilgrim feasts, celebrated seven weeks after Passover (Deuteronomy 16:16). Devout Jews from all over the known world would be in Jerusalem for these two feasts (verses 9-11). Originally a harvest festival where God’s people would offer him the first fruits (best part) of the harvest, it came to be also a commemoration of the giving of the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai on the fiftieth day after the Exodus from Egypt (from the Greek Petekoste, meaning “fiftieth”).
  • Christians now celebrate Pentecost as the “birthday” of the Church, and a celebration of the giving of the New Law of the Spirit written on the hearts of believers (Jeremiah 31:31-34; 2 Corinthians 3:4-6) as was promised to the Apostles by Our Lord (John 15:26;16:13; 20:22, Luke 24:49).

 

QUESTIONS:

  • Even though as Christians, we have “the first fruits of the Spirit” (2nd Reading, verse 23). How is it, then, that we are “groaning within ourselves as we are awaiting adoption” [by God]? How do verses 24 through 26 help to answer this?
  • What was the original meaning of the Feast of Pentecost for Jews (Deuteronomy 16:9-10)? What theological significance did they add to this feast? Why do you think God chose the Jewish Feast of Pentecost to give the Holy Spirit to the Church? What is the meaning of Pentecost for Christians (Acts 2:32-33; CCC 715)?
  • How far have these pilgrims come (verses 9-11)? What attracts them to the disciples? Would you respond more like those in verse 12 or those in verse 13? Why?
  • When have you experienced an empowering from God to witness about Christ?  How does being filled with the Spirit relate to bearing witness about Christ?
  • Have you ever had a strong religious conversion experience? If so, how did your behavior change, and what did your family and friends think about it? What did you think about it?

Closing Prayer

Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 2623, 696, 1287, 715

 

Those who are led by the Holy Spirit have true ideas; that is why so many ignorant people are wiser than the learned. The Holy Spirit is light and strength.

St. John Vianney


45 posted on 06/12/2011 3:36:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

A Glass of Water on the Altar

Pastor’s Column

Pentecost Sunday

June 12, 2011

 

          Let’s suppose for a moment that I have placed a glass of water on our altar.  What might your first reaction to this glass sitting there be? That it should not be there!  As a matter of fact, the altar is a holy place.  It is the place where the Holy Spirit comes down like a dove during the Eucharistic prayer and changes ordinary bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. This same Spirit flows out like water to you, the body of Christ, when you look on him or adore him, believe in him, and then consume him, and he becomes like fire within you. 

          All of what I have just described that God is doing is invisible.  This is why not everyone on earth believes what we believe!  But still we are left with a glass of water on the altar.  Actually, this glass of water tells us a lot about why God chooses to remain invisible to our bodily eyes (this analogy is taken from the words of Pope Benedict XVI).  There is no doubt that there is a glass of water on the altar.  It is a simple fact.  So what’s the point?

          God is not going to plop himself down -- on the altar – or in this world –- or in our lives – like this glass of water, because this would completely take away our freedom to choose, and that is exactly what we are here to do.  Life is just one little choice after the other, ending in that final choice for or against God at the end of our lives.  But if God made his actions so obvious that we could not avoid knowing he really exists, like you could not help but see the glass is a reality, then we would no longer be free to say no to God either.

          This explains why the Lord, at present, appears to be hidden, though he is in fact very real.  His Holy Spirit really will descend like a dove on this altar; he really will flow like water out from here into your hearts; he really will blow like the wind in the words of scripture; he wishes to put a fire in your heart.  But we must want this; we must ask for the gift of faith; we are free to reject these gifts.  He will almost never make himself so obvious in YOUR life or OUR church or THIS world that we have NO CHOICE but to accept him!

          You and I are like a glass of water on the altar.  You are the glass and the Holy Spirit is the water.  We are a vessel that God keeps trying to mold and expand and shape all our lives.  He does this through suffering; through experiences; through the scriptures; through the church; through our service to each other, and in many other ways.   At the moment of death, the size of this glass -- your soul -- will be set forever.  Then God will perfect the glass and fill it in heaven.  But we will not all have the same size of glass (though we will all be as full as we are able to be), and that is why it is so important to try to cooperate with the Holy Spirit now during this brief life, once we understand what he is trying to do.  The level of spiritual maturity that we have reached at the moment of death is the level that we shall be perfected at for all eternity.  The Holy Spirit may not be as obvious as this glass of water is on the altar, but he is no less real.  

                                                                                Father Gary


46 posted on 06/12/2011 5:48:00 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pentecost: Our Exposive God

Nasa: suface of the Sun

Acts 2: 1-11
1 Cor 12: 3b-7,12-13  http://www.usccb.org/nab/061211b.shtml
John 20: 19-23

Now and then we see pictures of large hotels, old hospitals, many storied parking garages, or tall unsightly smoke stacks rigged with explosive charges top to bottom. At the count of “3-2-1” the structure explodes in a deafening boom and crashes to the ground in a cloud of dust and debris. What was formerly a grand edifice is now a pile of rubble so that something new and more imposing or efficient can be built in its place. At one time it might have been difficult to imagine that this hotel or tall tower or freeway bridge could be replaced. But through the skills of engineers and more intricate building plans something better, sturdier, more beautiful and useful now takes its place.

This weekend we celebrate an explosion of sorts; a release of divine power that enters with great fanfare. The old has been replaced by a new birth; a fresh but ever present power of God is released on the world. We hear in the first reading, “Suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind . . . then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them . . .” (Acts 2: 2-3). The Apostles are filled with this blast of power from heaven as the Holy Spirit is made present to them in wind and fire. This Spirit, whose breath was present at the creation of the world, now takes a specific role as the guide and protector of the Church universal.

Like the sometime gawkers at the destruction of a building, the crowds outside the room where the Apostles were gathered, heard the sound of the wind and they were “astounded and in amazement . . .” This show of divine power is only to be made more wondrous as the Apostles speak in “different tongues” and the international crowd outside hears them, “in his native language . . .” God powerfully expands his presence in the world so the new Church may be built upon the foundation of ancient faith. Jesus’ mission expands outward and the age of the Spirit is inaugurated.

By contrast this show of divine fire from above takes a more gentle form in the Gospel. Jesus appears to his Apostles through locked doors of the room where the disciples were barred shut in fear. Here, there is no wind, fire or ecstatic speech. There is only the gentle word of the risen Christ, “’Peace . . . As the Father has sent me, so I send you’ . . . he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven . . . whose sins you retain are retained.” (Jn 20: 19-23).

Here the presence of the Spirit is shown not through impressive special effects but rather through the warm breath of the living Christ. Through the presence of Peace which takes away the fear of the disciples and offers the healing power of forgiveness. The command to forgive, to reconcile and to heal is given to these men as the core of the message of Christ. That mission, that Spirit of hope is to be taken beyond the confines of their hide-out to “the ends of the earth.”

So, Pentecost is the beginning of a new perspective – from a small point to an expansive vision for all humankind in Christ. It is a truly “Catholic” moment for the Christian Church because of its universal and inclusive implications. From Jerusalem Jesus sent his missionaries out to the larger world and since that moment, the sending has never stopped. Each generation carries the torch like Olympic runners who pass off the fire to the next runner. Today's challenge to Christian morality and threats to life, marriage, and the dignity of the human person are formidable forces which call for a new flame of the Spirit's truth. A broken world surely needs to be reconciled to God.

In the Sacrament of Reconciliation we celebrate not our sinfulness but the breath of the Spirit through the forgiveness of sin as Jesus offers to his Apostles today. Forgiveness heals isolation and in a true sense brings us home within the family of the Church where we find Christ present in Word and Sacrament. Here we share in the mission of Christ as we make him present in the world through the love and service of our daily lives.

In the end it is God’s work, of course, that we do. Baptized in the name of the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we are called to be signs of reconciliation and hope. God has energized his presence in explosive ways and each one of us can be a flame giving warmth to a cold world.

As we hear in Confirmation, may we be "sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit." This is one flame we pray will burn us.
 
Fr. Tim

47 posted on 06/12/2011 6:03:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Wisdom - desire for the things of God, and to direct our whole life and all our actions to His honor and glory
Understanding - enable us to know more clearly the mysteries of faith
Counsel - warn us of the deceits of the devil, and of the dangers to salvation
Fortitude - strengthen us to do the will of God in all things
Knowledge - enable us to discover the will of God in all things
Piety - love God as a Father, and obey Him because we love Him
Fear of the Lord - have a dread of sin and fear of offending God

(www. our lady's warriors.org)

48 posted on 06/12/2011 6:05:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Insight Scoop



A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for Pentecost Sunday, June 12, 2011 | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
• Acts 2:1-11
• Psa. 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
• 1 Cor. 12:3b-7, 12-13
• Jn. 20:19-23

After many years of leading a weekly Bible study at my parish I am more convinced than ever of a simple fact: if you do not appreciate the Old Testament, you will fail to understand nearly anything and everything in the New Testament. The New Testament is like a treasure chest of priceless jewels, but without the map of the Old Testament, it is very difficult to find and open that chest. Saint Augustine put it this way: “The New lies hidden in the Old and the Old is unveiled in the New.”

Today’s reading from The Acts of the Apostles, which describes a pivotal, transforming event in the early Church, is a perfect case in point. Even though The Acts of the Apostles and the third Gospel were written by a Gentile, Saint Luke, they are deeply rooted in the history and beliefs of the Jewish people. And Luke assumed that his readers would know and appreciate the key events, beliefs, and practices of the Jews.

First, there is the feast of Pentecost, which the Israelites called “the feast of weeks”, a reference to the seven weeks from the Passover to the celebration of Pentecost (cf., Lev 23:9-21; Deut 16:9-12). The number seven signified completion and fullness. Originally, the feast focused on giving thanks for the harvest; it later was associated with the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, traditionally believed to have occurred fifty days after the first Passover in Egypt. The description of the coming of the Holy Spirit upon those in the Upper Room is concise, but is clearly meant to invoke a connection to the great theophanies, or appearances by God, that took place on Mount Sinai (also known as Mount Herob), which were accompanied by noises from heaven, strong winds, and fire (Ex 19:16-19; 1 Kngs 19:11-12; cf., CCC 696).

In addition, the breath or voice of God is closely associated with fire: “The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire” (Ps 28:7). Following the Resurrection, as recounted in today’s Gospel reading, Jesus, the Word made flesh, came to the apostles, breathed on them, and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” He thus gave them the authority to forgive and absolve sins. On Pentecost, God sent the Holy Spirit—marked by the appearance of “tongues as of fire”—so that the disciples could speak in different languages and proclaim the Gospel to all men. This gift of tongues was not so much about spiritual ecstasy as it was about spiritual transformation, which led to the bold, public communication of person, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:14-47).

Jesus had promised the disciples that the Holy Spirit would teach them “all things” and help them remember his words (Jn 14:26). Likewise, Paul told the Christians at Corinth—a difficult and unruly bunch!—that no one can proclaim, “Jesus is Lord,” unless he is led by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son so as to give witness to the Son and to draw men to the Father. “The gift of the Spirit,” states the Catechism, “ushers in a new era in the ‘dispensation of the mystery’ the age of the Church, during which Christ manifests, makes present, and communicates his work of salvation through the liturgy of his Church, ‘until he comes.’” (CCC 1076). Thus Paul wrote, “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body…” The Holy Spirit preserves the unity of the Church, and he is described as the soul of the Mystical Body of Christ (CCC 809).

The feast of Pentecost, then, is a celebration of the harvest—the spiritual fruits given by God—and the recognition of New Law of Christ, which is established in divine love and through the Holy Spirit. As Saint Leo the Great observed, we “may easily perceive that the beginnings of the Old Covenant were at the service of the beginnings of the gospel and that the same Spirit who established the first established the Second.”

(This "Opening the Word" column originally in a slightly different form in the May 11, 2008, issue of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


49 posted on 06/12/2011 6:11:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Insight Scoop

"Faith is a tongue of fire that burns us and melts us..."

An excerpt from Joseph Ratzinger's  Images of Hope: Meditations on Major Feasts (Ignatius Press, 2006):

The Holy Spirit points to the Trinity, and thereby he points to us. For the trinitarian God is the archetype of the new united humanity, the archetype of the Church, as the prayer of Jesus may be seen as its word of institution: "that they may be one, even as we are one" (Jn 17:11b, cf. 21f.). The Trinity is measure and foundation of the Church. The Trinity brings the word of creation day to its goal, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Gen 1:26). In the Trinity, mankind, which in its disunity became a counter image of God, should become once again the one Adam, whose image, as the Fathers say, was defaced by sin and now lies about in pieces. The divine measure of man should again come to prominence, unity, in it, "as we are one". So the Trinity, God himself, is the archetype of the Church. Church does not mean another idea in addition to man, but rather man on the way to himself. If the Holy Spirit expresses and is the unity of God, then he is the real vital element of the Church in which distinction is reconciled in togetherness and the dispersed pieces of Adam are fit together again. ...

A tongue of fire has been added to being human. We must now correct this expression. Fire is never something that is simply due to another and therefore exists beside him. Fire burns and transforms. Faith is a tongue of fire that burns us and melts us so that ever more it is true: I and no longer I. Whoever, of course, meets the average Christian of today must ask himself: Where is the tongue of fire? That which comes from Christian tongues is unfortunately frequently anything but fire. It tastes therefore like stale, barely lukewarm water, not warm and not cold. We do not want to burn ourselves or others, but in this way we keep distant from the Holy Spirit, and Christian faith deteriorates into a self-made world-view that as far as possible does not want to infringe on any of our comforts and saves the sharpness of protest for where it can hardly disturb us in our way of life. When we yield to the burning fire of the Holy Spirit, being Christian becomes comfortable only at first glance. The comfort of the individual is the discomfort of the whole. When we no longer expose ourselves to the fire of God, the frictions with one another become unbearable and the Church is, as Basil expressed it, torn by the shouts of factions. Only when we do not fear the tongue of fire and the storm it brings with it does the Church become the icon of the Holy Spirit. And only then does she open the world to the light of God. Church began as the disciples assembled and prayed together in the room of the Last Supper. Thus she begins again and again. In prayer to the Holy Spirit we must call for this anew each day. 

Here is more information about Images of Hope.


50 posted on 06/12/2011 6:13:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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