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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 07-21-13, Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time ^ | 07-21+-13 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 07/20/2013 7:46:35 PM PDT by Salvation

July 21, 2013


Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time



Reading 1 Gn 18:1-10a

The LORD appeared to Abraham by the terebinth of Mamre,
as he sat in the entrance of his tent,
while the day was growing hot.
Looking up, Abraham saw three men standing nearby.
When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them;
and bowing to the ground, he said:
“Sir, if I may ask you this favor,
please do not go on past your servant.
Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet,
and then rest yourselves under the tree.
Now that you have come this close to your servant,
let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves;
and afterward you may go on your way.”
The men replied, “Very well, do as you have said.”

Abraham hastened into the tent and told Sarah,
“Quick, three measures of fine flour! Knead it and make rolls.”
He ran to the herd, picked out a tender, choice steer,
and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it.
Then Abraham got some curds and milk,
as well as the steer that had been prepared,
and set these before the three men;
and he waited on them under the tree while they ate.

They asked Abraham, “Where is your wife Sarah?”
He replied, “There in the tent.”
One of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year,
and Sarah will then have a son.”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 15:2-3, 3-4, 5

R. (1a) He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.
One who walks blamelessly and does justice;
who thinks the truth in his heart
and slanders not with his tongue.
R. He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.
Who harms not his fellow man,
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;
by whom the reprobate is despised,
while he honors those who fear the LORD.
R. He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.
Who lends not his money at usury
and accepts no bribe against the innocent.
One who does these things
shall never be disturbed.
R. He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.

Reading 2 Col 1:24-28

Brothers and sisters:
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake,
and in my flesh I am filling up
what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ
on behalf of his body, which is the church,
of which I am a minister
in accordance with God’s stewardship given to me
to bring to completion for you the word of God,
the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past.
But now it has been manifested to his holy ones,
to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory
of this mystery among the Gentiles;
it is Christ in you, the hope for glory.
It is he whom we proclaim,
admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.

Gospel Lk 10:38-42

Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
“Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me.”
The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.

TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; ordinarytime; prayer
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1 posted on 07/20/2013 7:46:35 PM 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 07/20/2013 7:49:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I found this reflection from Navarre. Still searching on the First and Second Readings.

From: Luke 10:38-42
Martha and Mary Welcome Our Lord
[38] Now as they went on their way, He (Jesus) entered a village; and a woman
named Martha received Him into her house. [39] And she had a sister called Ma-
ry, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to His teaching. [40] But Martha was
distracted with much serving; and she went to Him and said, “Lord, do You not
care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” [41]
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled a-
bout many things; [42] one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good position,
which shall not be taken away from her.”
38-42. Our Lord was heading for Jerusalem (Luke 9:51) and His journey took Him
through Bethany, the village where Lazarus, Martha and Mary lived—a family for
whom He had a special affection, as we see in other passages of the Gospel (cf.
John 11:1-14; 12:1-9).
St. Augustine comments on this scene as follows: “Martha, who was arranging
and preparing the Lord’s meal, was busy doing many things, whereas Mary pre-
ferred to find her meal in what the Lord was saying. In a way she deserted her
sister, who was very busy, and sat herself down at Jesus’ feet and just listened
to His words. She was faithfully obeying what the Psalm said: ‘Be still and know
that I am God’ (Psalm 46:10). Martha was getting annoyed, Mary was feasting;
the former coping with many things, the latter concentrating on one. Both occu-
pations were good” (”Sermon”, 103).
Martha has come to be, as it were, the symbol of the active life, and Mary that
of the contemplative life. However, for most Christians, called as they are to
sanctify themselves in the middle of the world, action and contemplation cannot
be regarded as two opposite ways of practising the Christian faith: an active life
forgetful of union with God is useless and barren; but an apparent life of prayer
which shows no concern for apostolate and the sanctification of ordinary things
also fails to please God. The key lies in being able to combine these two lives,
without either harming the other. Close union between action and contemplation
can be achieved in very different ways, depending on the specific vocation each
person is given by God.
Far from being an obstacle, work should be a means and an occasion for a
close relationship with our Lord, which is the most important thing in our life.
Following this teaching of the Lord, the ordinary Christian should strive to attain
an integrated life—an intense life of piety and external activity, orientated towards
God, practised out of love for Him and with an upright intention, which expresses
itself in apostolate, in everyday work, in doing the duties of one’s state in life.
“You must understand now more clearly that God is calling you to serve Him in
and from the ordinary, material and secular activities of human life. He waits for
us every day, in the laboratory, in the operating room, in the army barracks, in
the university chair, in the factory, in the workshop, in the fields, in the home and
in all the immense panorama of work. Understand this well: there is something
holy, something divine, hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to
each of you to discover it [...]. There is no other way. Either we learn to find our
Lord in ordinary, everyday life, or else we shall never find Him. That is why I can
tell you that our age needs to give back to matter and to the most trivial occur-
rences and situations their noble and original meaning. It needs to restore them
to the service of the Kingdom of God, to spiritualize them, turning them into a
means and an occasion for a continuous meeting with Jesus Christ” (St. J. Es-
criva, “Conversations”, 114).
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.

3 posted on 07/20/2013 8:17:27 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Navarre Bible Commentary

First Reading: From: Genesis 18:1-10a

The Apparition of God at Mamre


[1] And the Lord appeared to him (Abraham) by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. [2] He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men stood in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth, [3]and said, "My lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. [4] Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, [5] while I fetch a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on--since you have come to your servant." So they said, "Do as you have said." [6] And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, "Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes. [7] And Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. [8] Then he took curds, and milk, and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

Isaac's Birth is Promised


[9] They said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" And he said, "She is in the tent." [10a] The Lord said, "I will surely return to you in the spring, and Sarah your wife shall have a son."

**************************************** *******************************


18:1-19:38. These two episodes--God's appearance to Abraham at Mamre and the destruction of Sodom--form a single account. Once again we can see the sort of relationship that obtains between God and Abraham; this time, what is emphasized is not just the promise of a son for Sarah, but also the patriarch's intercession on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah. This intercession saves Lot and his family (cf. 19:29). Thus, Abraham is already a blessing for all the descendants of Lot. This narrative is quite colorful, and includes some curious little details--making it one of the most popular passages in the story of the patriarchs.

18:1-15. This new appearance of God to Abraham is somewhat mysterious: the three men stand for God. When Abraham speaks to them, sometimes he addresses them in the singular (as if there were one person there: cf. v. 3), and sometimes in the plural (as if there were three: cf. v. 4). That is why some Fathers interpreted this appearance as an early announcement of the mystery of the Holy Trinity; others, following Jewish tradition (cf. Heb 13:2) take these personages to be angels. The sacred text says that one of the three men (Yahweh, apparently) stays with Abraham (cf. v. 22), while the other two, who are referred to as angels, go to Sodom (cf. 19:1). Although the early chapters of Genesis do not expressly talk about the creation of angels, that creation can be read into the word "heavens" in Gen 1:1: "at the beginning of time, God created out of nothing both types of creatures, spiritual and corporeal, that is, angelic and earthly," says Lateran Council IV ("De Fide Catolica"). In Holy Scripture angels are mentioned as being servants and messengers of God, and, despite the way they are sometimes described, such as in this passage, they should be understood as being purely spiritual, personal and immortal creatures, endowed with intelligence and will. "Angels have been present since creation (cf. Job 38:7, where the angels are called 'sons of God') and throughout the history of salvation, announcing this salvation from afar or near and serving the accomplishment of the divine plan: they closed the earthly paradise (cf. Gen 3:24); protected Lot (cf. Gen 19); saved Hagar and her child (cf. Gen 21:17); stayed Abraham's hand (cf. Gen 22.11); communicated the law by their ministry (cf. Acts 7:53); led the people of God (cf. Ex 23:20-23); announced births (cf. Judg 13) and callings (cf. Judg 6:11-24; Is 6:6); and assisted the prophets (cf. 1 Kings 19:5), just to cite a few examples. Finally, the angel Gabriel announced the birth of the Precursor and that of Jesus himself (cf. Lk 1:11-26)" ("Catechism of the Catholic Church", 332).

In the general context of Genesis, this episode points up the new situation created by the Covenant. God speaks to Abraham directly, as he spoke to Adam before he committed sin. Abraham, for his part, receives God through his hospitality, and God again promises that Sarah will have a son (now specifying when the child will be born). "Because Abraham believed in God and walked in his presence and in covenant with him (cf. Gen 15:6; 17:1-2), the patriarch is ready to welcome a mysterious Guest into his tent. Abraham's remarkable hospitality at Mamre foreshadows the annunciation of the true Son of the promise (cf. Gen 18:1-15; Lk 1:26-38). After that, once God has confided his plan, Abraham's heart is attuned to his Lord's compassion for men and he dares to intercede for them with bold confidence (cf. Gen 18:16-33)" (ibid., 2571).

18:6. The measure mentioned here, a "seah" (pl. "seim") is a measure of dry grain (cf. 1 Sam 25:18; 2 Kings 7:1, 16, 18) which was probably a third of an ephah, that is, about seven liters or two gallons.

18:10. "In the spring"; this could also be translated as "next year". Literally, "the time of life", which some interpret as "the time of a woman's pregnancy", that is, nine months.

4 posted on 07/20/2013 8:22:50 PM PDT by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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To: fidelis
Navarre Bible Commentary

Second Reading: From: Colossians 1:24—2:3

St. Paul's Response to His Calling


[24] Now I (Paul) rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of His body, that is, the Church, [25] of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, [26] the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now made manifest to His saints. [27] To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. [28] Him we proclaim, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man mature in Christ.

**************************************** *******************************


24. Jesus Christ our Lord perfectly accomplished the work the Father gave Him to do (cf. John 17:4); as He said Himself when He was about to die, "It is finished", it is accomplished (John 19:30).

From the point onwards objective redemption is an accomplished fact. All men have been saved by the redemptive death of Christ. However, St. Paul says that he completes in his flesh "what is lacking in Christ's afflictions"; what does he mean by this? The most common explanation of this statement is summarized by St. Alphonsus as follows: "Can it be that Christ's passion alone was insufficient to save us? It left nothing more to be done, it was entirely sufficient to save all men. However, for the merits of the Passion to be applied to us, according to St. Thomas ("Summa Theologiae", III, q. 49, a. 3), we need to cooperate (subjective redemption) by patiently bearing the trials God sends us, so as to become like our Head, Christ" (St. Alphonsus, "Thoughts on the Passion", 10).

St. Paul is applying this truth to himself. Jesus Christ worked and strove in all kinds of ways to communicate His message of salvation, and then He accomplished the redemption by dying on the Cross. The Apostle is mindful of the Master's teaching and so he follows in His footsteps (cf. 1 Peter 2:21), takes up his cross (cf. Matthew 10:38) and continues the task of bringing Christ's teaching to all men.

Faith in the fact that we are sharing in the sufferings of Christ, [Pope] John Paul II says, gives a person "the certainty that in the spiritual dimension of the work of Redemption HE IS SERVING, like Christ, THE SALVATION OF HIS BROTHERS AND SISTERS. Therefore he is carrying out an irreplaceable service. In the Body of Christ, which is ceaselessly born of the Cross of the Redeemer, it is precisely suffering permeated by the spirit of Christ's sacrifice that is THE IRREPLACEABLE MEDIATOR AND AUTHOR OF THE GOOD THINGS which are indispensable for the world's salvation. It is suffering, more than anything else, which clears the way for the grace which transforms human souls. Suffering, more than anything else, makes present in the history of humanity the force of the Redemption" ("Salvifici Doloris", 27).

26-27. The "mystery", now revealed, is God's eternal plan to give salvation to men, both Jews and Gentiles, making all without distinction co-heirs of glory and members of a single body which is the Church (cf. Ephesians 3:6), through faith in Jesus Christ (cf. Romans 16:25-26).

In Christ, who has brought salvation to Gentile and Jew, the "mystery" is fully revealed. His presence in Christians of Gentile origin is in fact a very clear manifestation of the supernatural fruitfulness of the "mystery" and an additional ground for Christians' hope. Thanks to this presence people who do not form part of Israel are enable to attain salvation. Previously subject to the power of darkness and slaves of sin (verses 13-14), they have now died to sin through Baptism (cf. Romans 6:2-3) and Christ, through grace, dwells in their hearts (on the salvific "mystery", cf. notes on Ephesians 1:13-14 and Ephesians 1:9, and "Introduction to the Letters of St. Paul" in "The Navarre Bible: Romans and Galatians", pages 32-33).

In His infinite love Christ lives in us through faith and grace, through prayer and the Sacraments. Also, "He is present when the Church prays and sings, for He has promised `where two or three are gathered in My Name, there am I in the midst of them' (Matthew 18:20)" (Vatican II, "Sacrosanctum Concilium", 7).

"Christ stays in His Church, its Sacraments, its liturgy, its preaching--in all that it does. In a special way Christ stays with us in the daily offering of the Blessed Eucharist [...]. The presence of Christ in the host is the guarantee, the source and the culmination of His presence in the world.

"Christ is alive in Christians". Our faith teaches that man, in the state of grace, is divinized--filled with God. We are men and women, not angels. We are flesh and blood, people with sentiments and passions, with sorrows and joys. And this divinization affects everything human; it is a sort of foretaste of the final resurrection" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 102-103).

28: "In all wisdom": St. Paul is exhorting and teaching each and every one, communicating wisdom, the true teaching of Jesus Christ. The text clearly shows St. Paul's conviction that he is a faithful transmitter of teachings revealed by God. Possessed of such wisdom he is confident that he can lead his disciples to Christian perfection.

5 posted on 07/20/2013 8:24:56 PM PDT by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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To: fidelis

Thanks, fidelis. I finally found the Second reading in a September was a little more than what was here, but oh, well!

Bless you for your efforts.

6 posted on 07/20/2013 8:29:14 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

Readings at Mass

First reading

Genesis 18:1-10 ©

The Lord appeared to Abraham at the Oak of Mamre while he was sitting by the entrance of the tent during the hottest part of the day. He looked up, and there he saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them, and bowed to the ground. ‘My lord,’ he said ‘I beg you, if I find favour with you, kindly do not pass your servant by. A little water shall be brought; you shall wash your feet and lie down under the tree. Let me fetch a little bread and you shall refresh yourselves before going further. That is why you have come in your servant’s direction.’ They replied, ‘Do as you say.’

  Abraham hastened to the tent to find Sarah.’ ‘Hurry,’ he said ‘knead three bushels of flour and make loaves.’ Then running to the cattle Abraham took a fine and tender calf and gave it to the servant, who hurried to prepare it. Then taking cream, milk and the calf he had prepared, he laid all before them, and they ate while he remained standing near them under the tree.

  ‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ they asked him. ‘She is in the tent’ he replied. Then his guest said, ‘I shall visit you again next year without fail, and your wife will then have a son.’


Psalm 14:2-5 ©

The just will live in the presence of the Lord.

Lord, who shall dwell on your holy mountain?

  He who walks without fault;

he who acts with justice

  and speaks the truth from his heart.

The just will live in the presence of the Lord.

He who does no wrong to his brother,

  who casts no slur on his neighbour,

who holds the godless in disdain,

  but honours those who fear the Lord.

The just will live in the presence of the Lord.

He who keeps his pledge, come what may;

  who takes no interest on a loan

and accepts no bribes against the innocent.

  Such a man will stand firm for ever.

The just will live in the presence of the Lord.

Second reading

Colossians 1:24-28 ©

It makes me happy to suffer for you, as I am suffering now, and in my own body to do what I can to make up all that has still to be undergone by Christ for the sake of his body, the Church. I became the servant of the Church when God made me responsible for delivering God’s message to you, the message which was a mystery hidden for generations and centuries and has now been revealed to his saints. It was God’s purpose to reveal it to them and to show all the rich glory of this mystery to pagans. The mystery is Christ among you, your hope of glory: this is the Christ we proclaim, this is the wisdom in which we thoroughly train everyone and instruct everyone, to make them all perfect in Christ.

Gospel Acclamation


Alleluia, alleluia!

Open our heart, O Lord,

to accept the words of your Son.




Alleluia, alleluia!

Blessed are those who,

with a noble and generous heart,

take the word of God to themselves

and yield a harvest through their perseverance.



Luke 10:38-42 ©

Jesus came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking. Now Martha who was distracted with all the serving said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.’ But the Lord answered: ‘Martha, Martha,’ he said ‘you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her.

7 posted on 07/20/2013 8:35:00 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray with Pope Benedict

Francis "Lights" Up – Pope's First Encyclical Due Friday
Pope: Homily at Mass for Evangelium Vitae Day [full text]
Adoration with Pope energizing Catholics worldwide
Parishes Worldwide Prepare for Eucharistic Adoration Hour (June 2 at 11 am ET)
Pope [Francis] at Pentecost: Newness, harmony and mission
Audience: Do not be ‘part-time’ Christians
Pope Francis: Regina caeli
Pope to welcome 70,000 youths, confirm 44 (this Sunday) [Catholic Caucus]
Pope Francis’ General Audience focused on women. Feminists aren’t going to be happy
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio's "Letter On the Year of Faith" (Crossing Threshold of Faith)

Pope Francis – the real deal – has Audience with Cardinals
Benedict XVI's Final General Audience
On Ash Wednesday
On God As Creator of Heaven and Earth
On Abraham's Faith
On Christ As Mediator Between God and Man
On the Incarnation
On God the Almighty Father
Year of Faith: Indulgences and Places of Pilgrimage [Ecumenical]
On the Identity of Jesus

On the Faith of Mary, the Virgin Mother of Christ
Father Cantalamessa's 1st Advent Sermon (Catholic Caucus)
On The Unfolding of God's Self-Revelation
On the Beauty of God's Plan of Salvation
On Bearing Witness to the Christian Faith
On the Splendor of God's Truth
On the Knowledge of God
Archbishop Chaput says Year of Faith holds solution to relativism
Following the Truth: The Year Of Faith – 10 Things You Should Know [Catholic Caucus]
Papal Encyclical on Faith Announced

On the Desire for God
On the Ecclesial Nature of Faith
On the Nature of Faith
Catechism's benefits explained for Year of Faith (Catholic Caucus)
A Life of Faith: Papal Theologian Speaks on the Grace of Faith
ASIA/LAOS - "Year of Faith" amid the persecutions of Christians forced to become "animists"
From no faith to a mountain-top of meaning: Father John Nepil (Catholic Caucus)
Living the Year of Faith: How Pope Benedict Wants You to Begin [Catholic Caucus]
Share Your Faith in This Year of Faith: Two keys to help you do it.
On A New Series of Audiences for The Year of Faith

Pope will deliver year-long teaching series on restoring faith
Pope Benedict XVI Grants Plenary Indulgence to Faithful [Catholic Caucus]
Pope, at Marian shrine, entrusts Year of Faith, synod to Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Church Calls for Public Prayers in Offices on Fridays
Highlights in the Plan for Year of Faith: Traditional Events Will Take on Special Perspective
Catholic Church calls for public prayers in offices on Fridays
Vatican Unveils Logo for Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Miami Prelate Recalls Pope's Visit to Cuba, Looks to Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
The World-Changing Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican to Issue Recommendations for Celebrating Year of Faith

8 posted on 07/20/2013 8:46:03 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
9 posted on 07/20/2013 8:49:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
10 posted on 07/20/2013 8:49:55 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.

11 posted on 07/20/2013 8:52:48 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, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there 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 Spirit (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]

12 posted on 07/20/2013 8:53:36 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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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 the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.

13 posted on 07/20/2013 8:54:31 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
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"



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.

14 posted on 07/20/2013 8:55:03 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ

July Devotion: The Precious Blood

July Devotion: The Precious Blood 
Like the Sacred Wounds of Jesus, His Precious Blood deserves special honor because of its close relation to the Sacred Passion. That honor was given to it from the beginning by the Apostles who praised its redeeming power. (Rom. 5:9 "we are justified by His blood"; Heb. 13:12 "and so Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people by His blood, suffered outside the gate"; 1 John 1:7 "and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.") 
The Church has always held devotion to the Precious Blood in high esteem. We continue to recognize and publicly acknowledge the profound indebtedness of the whole human race to Christ, Priest and Victim. 
Standing at the foot of the cross, we see Jesus' head, hands, feet, and side pouring out streams of precious blood. It is precious because it: 
•      Redeems us and atones for our sins. Through His precious blood we are reconciled to God, made one with Him. Death ceases to be death and heaven's gates are opened to us.  
•      Cleanses us from all sin.  
•      Preserves us and keeps us safe from the grasp of evil.  When the Father sees us washed in the Blood of the Lamb we are spared.  
•      Comforts us. It is the constant reminder that Jesus - true God and true man suffered and died to save us and to open heaven to us because He loves us.  
•      Sanctifies us.  The same blood that justifies by taking away sin, continues to work within us.  Its action gives us the grace to continue on the path toward the Kingdom of God.  It assists us in achieving our new nature, leading us onward in subduing sin and in following the commands of God.  
Jesus shed His precious blood seven times during His life on earth.  They events were: 
•      Jesus shed His Blood in the Circumcision  
•      Jesus shed His Blood whilst praying in the Garden of Olives  
•      Jesus shed His Blood in the scourging  
•      Jesus shed His Blood in the crowning with thorns  
•      Jesus shed His Blood while carrying His cross  
•      Jesus shed His Blood in the crucifixion  
•      Jesus shed His Blood and water when His side was pierced 
The Power of the Precious Blood 
"I adore You, O Precious Blood of Jesus, flower of creation, fruit of virginity, ineffable instrument of the Holy Spirit, and I rejoice at the thought that You came from the drop of virginal blood on which eternal Love impressed its movement; You were assumed by the Word and deified in His person. I am overcome with emotion when I think of Your passing from the Blessed Virgin's heart into the heart of the Word, and, being vivified by the breath of the Divinity, becoming adorable because You became the Blood of God." (St. Albert the Great)

At their recent meeting, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had continuous Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for "healing and peace."   They encouraged parishes and communities to have ongoing Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  In these dark months of woundedness, pain and violence we need to turn to the Precious Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist, for healing, peace, and light.  
"What power we have in the Precious Blood of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist!  He is there to protect us, to be our refuge and our redemption.  (In Exodus 12, God told Moses to have His chosen people mark their door posts with the blood of an unblemished lamb, during the first Passover. Those who did this were spared when the Angel of the death passed by). This is why Archbishop Sheen said that we must call down the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.  For, he warned, when we stop calling down the Blood of the Lamb, we start calling down the blood of each other."  (From our book Bread of Life)      
"And the Lamb on the throne will shepherd them. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water" (Rev 7:17). 
"In the tumultuous events of our time, it is important to look to the Eucharist: it must be at the heart of the life of priests and consecrated people; the light and strength of spouses in putting into practice their commitment to fidelity, chastity and the apostolate; the ideal in education and in training children, adolescents and young people; the comfort and support of those who are troubled, of the sick and all who are weeping in the Gethsemane of life."  (Pope John Paul II)  
Precious Blood of Jesus, save us! 
"The only time our Lord asked the Apostles for anything was the night when He went into His agony.  But as often in the history of the church since that time, evil was awake, but the disciples were asleep.  That is why there came out of His anguished and lonely Heart a sigh: 'Could you not watch one hour with Me?'" (Mt 26:40).  Not for an hour of activity did he plead, but for an hour of friendship (Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen).  
St. Maria Goretti,  Patroness of Youth & Children of Mary, Feast-July 6 St. Maria of Italy (1890-1902), couldn't wait to make her First Communion.  She wanted to receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist so that she could become more beautiful and pure like Him; she wanted Him to live in her, close to her heart.  After she received Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for the first time, she stayed in Church for a long time after Mass to talk to Him. Maria's family lived with and worked for a farmer. His son Alessandro kept trying to make Maria sin against purity.  One day, when everyone else was working, Alessandro grabbed Maria and tried to make her sin.  Maria kept crying out for him to stop, and each time she did, he stabbed her. Courageously,   Maria resisted him and was stabbed fourteen times. St. Maria died the next day.  
"Look at Maria Goretti....  Like her, be capable of defending your purity of heart and body.  Be committed to the struggle against evil and sin.  Always esteem and love, purity and virginity." (Pope John Paul II, 1990)      
A Prayer for Priests 
O my God, help those priests who are faithful to remain faithful; to those who are falling, stretch forth Your Divine Hand that they may grasp it as their support.  In the great ocean of Your mercy, lift those poor unfortunate ones who have fallen, that being engulfed therein they may receive the grace to return to Your Great Loving Heart.  Amen.  Precious Blood of Jesus, protect them!
The Eucharist is the fruit of our Lords Passion. Jesus gave up His Body on the cross so that He may give you His Body in the Holy Eucharist. Jesus poured out His very last drop of Blood on the cross so that He may fill you with His Divine Love each time that you receive Him in Holy Communion and visit Him in Eucharistic Adoration! 
"The Eucharist, in the Mass and outside of the Mass, is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, and is therefore deserving of the worship that is given to the living God, and to Him alone" (Pope John Paul II, September 29, 1979, Phoenix Park, Ireland) 
"The bread and wine, fruit of human hands, transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit into the body and blood of Christ, become a pledge of the 'new heaven and new earth,' announced by the Church in her daily mission." "In Christ, whom we adore present in the mystery of the Eucharist, the father uttered his final word with regard to humanity and human history." "To live the Eucharist, it is necessary, as well, to spend much time in adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament, something which I myself experience every day drawing from it strength, consolation and assistance."  "How could the Church fulfill her vocation without cultivating a constant relationship with the Eucharist, without nourishing herself with this food which sanctifies, without founding her missionary activity on this indispensable support?" "To evangelize the world there is need of apostles who are 'experts' in the celebration, adoration and contemplation of the Eucharist" (Pope John Paul II, World Mission Message 2004).
The Power of the Precious Blood of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist  
"The Precious Blood belongs in an especial manner to men. Much more, therefore, does God invite them to come to its heavenly baths, and receive therein, not only the cleansing of their souls, but the power of a new and amazing life. Every doctrine in theology is a call to the Precious Blood.  Every ceremony in the Church tells of it . . . .  Every supernatural act is a growth of it. Everything that is holy on earth is either a leaf, bud, blossom or fruit of the Blood of Jesus. To its fountains God calls the sinner, that he may be lightened of his burdens. There is no remission of him in anything else.  Only there is his lost sonship to be found. The saints are no less called by God to these invigorating streams. It is out of the Precious Blood that men draw martyrdoms, vocations, celebacies, austerities, heroic charities, and all the magnificent graces of high sanctity.  The secret nourishment of prayer is from those fountains" (Father Faber, The Precious Blood).  

The Most Precious Blood of Jesus
July is traditionally associated with the Precious Blood of Our Lord. It may be customary to celebrate the votive Mass of the Precious Blood on July 1.

The extraordinary importance of the saving Blood of Christ has ensured a central place for its memorial in the celebration of this cultic mystery: at the centre of the Eucharistic assembly, in which the Church raises up to God in thanksgiving "the cup of blessing" (1 Cor 10, 16; cf Ps 115-116, 13) and offers it to the faithful as a "real communion with the Blood of Christ" (1 Cor 10, 16); and throughout the Liturgical Year. The Church celebrates the saving Blood of Christ not only on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, but also on many other occasions, such that the cultic remembrance of the Blood of our redemption (cf 1 Pt 1, 18) pervades the entire Liturgical Year. Hence, at Vespers during Christmastide, the Church, addressing Christ, sings: "Nos quoque, qui sancto tuo redempti sumus sanguine, ob diem natalis tui hymnum novum concinimus." In the Paschal Triduum, the redemptive significance and efficacy of the Blood of Christ is continuously recalled in adoration. During the adoration of the Cross on Good Friday the Church sings the hymn: "Mite corpus perforatur, sanguis unde profluit; terra, pontus, astra, mundus quo lavanturflumine", and again on Easter Sunday, "Cuius corpus sanctissimum in ara crucis torridum, sed et cruorem roesum gustando, Deo vivimus (194).

ST. GASPAR: Founder of the Society of the Precious Blood
Mass in the Cathedral of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (London, 9/18)

Devotion to the Drops of Blood Lost by our Lord Jesus Christ on His Way to Calvary (Prayer/Devotion)
Chaplet of the Most Precious Blood
Catholic Word of the Day: PRECIOUS BLOOD, 12-03-11
The Traditional Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Catholic Caucus)
Devotion to the Precious Blood
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,And More on the Precious Blood
Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

"Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you"  (Jn 6:53).

15 posted on 07/20/2013 8:56:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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July 2013

Pope's Intentions

World Youth Day. That World Youth Day in Brazil may encourage all young Christians to become disciples and missionaries of the Gospel.

Asia. That throughout Asia doors may be open to messengers of the Gospel.


16 posted on 07/20/2013 9:02:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C

Commentary of the day
Saint Ambrose (c.340-397), Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church
Commentary on Saint Luke's Gospel, 7, 85-86 ;  SC 52

Martha and Mary are welcoming the Wisdom of God together (1Co 1,24)

Virtue does not only have one face. Martha and Mary's example shows us active devotion in the works of the former and a heart's devout attention to the word of God in the latter. If this attentiveness is joined to a deep faith, it is to be preferred to works: “Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken away from her.” Let us then, too, try hard to gain possession of what no one will be able to take away from us, not by giving a distracted but an attentive ear, for it can happen that even the seed of the heavenly word can be carried off if it is sown along the path (Lk 8,5.12).

So be moved by a desire for wisdom, as Mary was: this is a greater and more perfect work. Do not let the cares of serving prevent you from welcoming the word from heaven. Do not criticize or judge to be lazy those you see to be occupied in gaining wisdom, for Solomon, that man of peace, invited it into his home to stay with him (Wsd 9,10). However, it is not a question of blaming Martha for her kind service: Mary is to be preferred because she has chosen the better part. Jesus has all kinds of treasures and he distributes them widely. The wiser of the women recognized and chose what is of more value.

The apostles also considered it was preferable not to abandon the word of God to serve at table (Acts 6,2). But both are works of wisdom: Stephen was chosen to be a servant, as a deacon, and he was full of wisdom (Acts 6,5.8)... Indeed, the body of the Church is one and if her members are many, they need each other: “The eye cannot say to the hand: I have no need of you, nor the head say to the feet: I have no need of you” (1Cor 12,21)... If some members are more important, the others are necessary nonetheless. Wisdom dwells in the head, activity in the hands.

17 posted on 07/20/2013 9:06:31 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Mary's Hospitality Is Not Idleness But Love

Lectio Divina: 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Paris, July 19, 2013 ( Monsignor Francesco Follo | 727 hits

1)    Mary’s hospitality was not dictated by laziness but by love.


Not only Martha but also Mary “did” something for Christ. In fact she has chosen the best way “to do”.

Let’s proceed in order.

The first reading and the Gospel of today’s Roman Rite show an event where hospitality is practiced:  Abraham’s way of hospitality, that I consider not too different from that one of Martha, and the way of Mary, Martha’s younger sister.

Abraham and Martha both go out of their way to be good hosts and to welcome the person, who has arrived. However the joy of the Lord’s visit becomes “exertion” for Martha and “perplexity” for Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of this Father of the Faith. He earned the honor to see God in human form and to welcome Him as his guest because he had offered himself to God and had welcomed Him. “He was lifted up to Him because he believed that men couldn’t be oriented to anything else, but considered every one of them as all and all as one.”[1] The given hospitality was transformed into the desired fecundity: “I will surely return to you about this time next year and Sarah, your wife, will then have a son” (Gn 18:10). After 25 years waiting Abraham and Sarah could say: “We have blossomed as a new people and we have germinated like new and prosperous spikes”[2].

Let’s put ourselves in Martha’s shoes. She is happy because Jesus arrives in her home. Together with Jesus also Peter, James, John, even Judas and perhaps also the women who were his followers arrive. For this reason the initial smile with which she welcomes Jesus becomes a grimace of nervousness as more people enter. Martha loses her patience towards her sister Mary because she is not helping, and even loses it with the Lord.

The problem of our life is that in welcoming the other (and there is always another to welcome) we don’t let ourselves be embraced by the One that engenders and loves us. The problem, and I should say the sin, is that we keep away from the One who engenders us loving us. All the exertion, all the sadness, all the anger and the waste of energy come from the fact that, like Martha, we are defined more by the things to do for the Host than by the relationship with the Loved One who knocks at the door of our heart and not only at the door of our house.

Let’s put ourselves in Mary’s shoes now. She lives Jesus’ coming into her house not with a particular inclination, but with the dimension typical of every Christian that cares for his friendship with Christ.

What does this “contemplative” do? She sits at Jesus’ feet and listens to him. I think however that before this, she had first washed his feet. She had already done so in the house of Simon, the Pharisee, utilizing a very expensive ointment. Surely she did it also in her house for the brotherly friend who had forgiven her giving back her dignity and life, and that had his feet dusty from the journey.

Martha embodies a typical feminine attitude towards the guest (at least according to the mentality of those times) being busy setting the table, however we can see that there is already something new in this event. For us it is normal that the lady of the house welcomes the guest; it was not so at that time. The woman could not welcome the guest because the owner of the house was the man (we know that it was Lazarus’ house, her brother). The evangelist Luke insists that it was woman who welcomed Jesus. On the other hand the first person who “welcomed” the Word of God was a woman: the Virgin Mary.

Mary goes further than her sister Martha. She engages herself with the guest taking on a position that was reserved to men. Moreover in sitting at the Teacher’s feet to listen to him Mary takes on the typical position of the disciple. This is also a novelty. Rabbis didn’t accept women as followers and only men could become disciples. For Jesus it is not so. The women too are called to be listeners and disciples.

2)             The school of the Word

The disciple (from the Latin verb discere = to learn) goes to school for learning. In the school of the Word made flesh he learns that the first service to be done to God -at to all- is to listen. It is from listening not from doing that the relationship begins. When the word becomes look then there is contemplation.

Maybe in one hundred years they will recognize that the greatest revolution of modern times has been made by the tiny Mother Theresa of Calcutta. That is not for what she has done or made people do (it was - as she used to say- a small drop in the desert of the huge poverty of the world) but for the look with which, starting from the contemplation of Jesus, she has looked at men, at every man from the poorest to the most powerful. What counts is to listen to the Lord and to his words as the prophet Jeremiah did: “When I found your words, I devoured them; your words were my joy, the happiness of my heart, because I bear your name, Lord, God of hosts”  (Jer 15:16).

The Father said: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; Listen to him” (Mt 17:5, Mk 9:6; Lk 9:35): “listen” to Jesus and you will become Jesus in listening.

This is the attitude of the bride. The bride is the one that welcomes the Word that is the groom. The mission of every man is to be the bride of God, the one who listens and welcomes the Word, seed that transforms us to his image and alikeness.

Man is man because he listens and becomes the Word that he listens. If he listens to God, he becomes God. He understands God not as a concept, but as a presence that changes spiritually and physically the life and the body as it has happened to the Virgin Mary in whom the apex of humanity is represented.

Listening to God for us means to understand Him, to conceive Him, to let Him come and stay in us. Human hospitality is to let that the others dwell in us. Christian hospitality is to make the Other and the others dwell in us. I think that it is for this reason that Saint Benedict has strongly “imposed” hospitality to his monks[3].

Finally we must remember that when Jesus in a brotherly way scolds Martha, saying that she is busy for too many things, he doesn’t criticize the preparing of the meal, but the stress. He doesn’t question the generous heart of Martha, but the anxiety. The words with which Jesus answers to Martha remind us that the service must not hassle us to the point of forgetting to listen: “Martha, Martha you are anxious and worried about many things.” To enclose these words of Jesus in the perspective of the active life in the world (Martha) and of the contemplative life of the cloister (Mary) means to change them. The perspective is wider and touches two attitudes that must be part of the life of every disciple: to listen and to serve. The tension is not between listening and serving but between listening and a diverting service. Martha is so busy serving the guest that she has no time to entertain him. An old rabbi speaking of a colleague used to say: “He is so busy in speaking to God that he has forgotten that He exists”.

If we too will sit at Christ’s feet we will learn the most important thing: love. Love is not only the best part; it is the good one because it discerns the superfluous from the necessary and the fallacious from the eternal. God “acts” loving and we must “do” the same.

The consecrated Virgins are of example to us. With their dedication  they indicate to us the truth of the following biblical sentence: “I will betroth you for me forever; I will betroth you to me with justice and with judgment, with loyalty and with compassion;  I will betroth you to me with fidelity and you shall know the Lord” ( Hos 2:21-22). To the question of today’s Gospel in the Ambrosian Rite “Who is God for me?” they answer:” He is my groom”. In this way these women renew their “yes” said on the day of their consecration: “Do you want to be consecrated to Jesus Christ, Son of God the Highest, and to acknowledge Him as your groom?” “Yes, I do want it” (Rite of the Consecration of the Virgins, n. 14).

Let’s pray: “Allow us Lord to love you and to receive as a gift You who are the Love, and give us the gift to do well so that we make of our life a praise to You” (This is one of the invocations of Monday’s Lauds of the second week).

[1] Saint Maxim the Confessor, Ep 2, page 91:400.

[2] Saint Justin, Dialogue with Trypho 119.

[3] See Rule of Saint Benedict. As a patristic reading here below I’m proposing Chapter 53 on hospitality.

18 posted on 07/20/2013 9:13:43 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Arlington Catholic Herald

The better part
Fr. Jerry J. Pokorsky

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Martha is busy serving the Lord while her sister, Mary, delights in the presence of Jesus. Martha came to Jesus and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” Martha’s lament seems perfectly reasonable, but she does not receive the expected response. “The Lord said to her in reply, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.’”

Thus begins the great tradition in the church favoring the contemplative life over the active life, a preference that at first glance does not seem quite fair.

The contemplative life most certainly is not restricted to religious orders but for purposes here, the example of contemplative religious orders provides a useful contrast. Contemplative orders (such as the Poor Clares and the Linden Dominicans in our diocese) after all, depend upon the wider church for their support. Bishops and pastors are very active in managing their respective dioceses and parishes. They collect the hard-earned contributions from the faithful who, in the main, not only support their families by their work, but the church — and the church’s apostolates — as well. In the grand scheme, it seems the active life should have pride and place — the “better part” — over contemplatives because the contemplative life, in large part, is supported by the hard work of benefactors.

It is helpful, however, to consider the nature of the “better part” of contemplation. Perhaps we are suspicious of the superiority of contemplation because we are all too familiar with its counterfeits: the vice of sloth and its close relative, boredom.

Boredom leads to the abuse of leisure time. Indeed boredom underlies a good deal of contemporary frantic activity. A bored child — or an adult — fixated on nonstop television may seem to be in a kind of contemplation. Tweeting and texting and surfing the Net are often means to dislodge boredom from our lives. Even the work we do is, in some instances, needless escapism from minds dulled by boredom. (There may be some virtue in “keeping busy” as a foil to boredom, just as recreation may be desirable, but these time-fillers fall short of contemplation.) True contemplation is not boring nor is it abusive of the gift of leisure.

Boredom can devolve into sloth. Sloth is the vice that wastes time that should be spent productively. And sloth can easily lead to grave sin. In the Old Testament, David, after taking the throne, rested on the laurels from his impressive exploits. The sacred writer in wonderful understatement describes King David’s sloth: “Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem” (2 Sm 11:1). In short order, David became a phony “contemplative”: “Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance” (2 Sm 11:2).

David’s sin of sloth led to the sin of adultery: “David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her” (2 Sm 11:3). The rest of this Old Testament account describes a shocking descent into evil, the murder of the woman’s lawful husband to cover David’s crime and the killing of David’s conscience until the prophet Nathan confronts him with his famous “Thou art the man!” indictment. Sloth is a vice that has many companion vices.

Contemplation, however, is never slothful.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, a brief phrase identifies the essence of contemplation: Mary “sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.” The purpose of contemplation is to listen attentively to the Lord. This is not the stuff of boredom; nor is it the stuff of sloth. In a real sense, contemplation is hard work where the mind and heart are totally engaged in listening to and conversing with Christ. In addition, contemplation might be perfectly compatible with the active life. Mothers know that one's deepest prayer might occur while rocking the baby or stirring the pudding, or pulling weeds (or twiddling a rosary) — any physical activity that leaves the mind completely free. And that includes cooking. One wonders if Martha would have suffered the same gentle rebuke if she invited Mary and Jesus to join her in peeling potatoes as they conversed.

Still, for the most part contemplation needs the gift of leisure time. But leisure time is not free. It must be purchased by the work of our hands or the work of others (six days of the week, according to the Bible). Hence, contemplation in no way denigrates the active life that provides for the possibility of holy leisure time (“the Sabbath”). But contemplation is the proper use of leisure time. As the “better part” of our lives, true contemplation uplifts, directs and purifies all human endeavors.

Most of our willful distractions are vain attempts to fill emptiness in our lives that can only be filled with prayerful contemplation and conversation with God. It is a sign of our fallen nature that we need a commandment to make room for contemplation: “Keep holy the Sabbath.” But the mature Christian no longer needs a decree to enter into conversation with God. A mature Christian habitually orders his life for the “better part” of listening to the Lord in private prayer and, above all, in the sacred liturgy.

Fr. Pokorsky is pastor of St. Michael Church in Annandale.

19 posted on 07/20/2013 9:23:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Work of God

Only one thing is necessary. Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year C

 -  16th Sunday in Ordinary time

Only one thing is necessary.

Only one thing is necessary. Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit Luke 10:38-42

38 Now it came to pass as they went, that he entered into a certain town: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sitting also at the Lord's feet heard his word.
40 But Martha was busy about much serving. Who stood and said: Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me alone to serve? Ask her therefore to help me.
41 And the Lord answering, said to her: Martha, Martha, you are careful, and are troubled about many things:
42 But one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her.

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

16th Sunday in Ordinary time - Only one thing is necessary. Life is full of problems, occupations and needs, yet I say; only one thing is necessary: to find God. Mary chose the best part of life while Martha who was doing other very good things to serve me, was less spiritual.

This is what I mean: seek the Kingdom of Heaven first, and everything else will be given unto you. Why worry so much about the things that are perishable and about the needs of life if the spiritual things are neglected? It doesn’t make any sense. A person may work very hard all his or her life seeking only what is temporary and neglecting to find God.

You are all human beings, with very short lives, you are full of needs and responsibilities in this world, but they should not occupy you so as to make you neglect the reason for your very existence. You have been created in the image of God; through your baptism you enter into my being and by my power I make you children of God. Your divinity is concealed and obscured by your sinfulness, but I have come to forgive your sins and to purify you in order to prepare you for eternal life.

You have been created to know me, to love me and to serve me. Some choose to ignore me thus rejecting me, some refuse to serve me by not loving others. What I desire from you is your sanctification through your daily life. I am not asking everyone to become priests or religious, this is a special gift of faith given to some. I ask you all to look up to Heaven, to realize that you belong there, that you must work for your salvation in this life by coming closer to me.

You can find me in your daily life if you desire to live in my Presence, if you think of me, if you do little things to please me, if you love others as if you were loving me.

I knock on the door of every heart but they are so deaf, they cannot hear me. They are busy with the failures of the past, with the problems of the present and with the plans of the future. They don’t stop worrying about life; they never find time for me who can provide all the answers.

My heart is opened for all of you to enter. Take refuge in my holy wounds and be healed. My blood is available to you to cleanse you from your sins and to give you the strength to live for me. My peace is waiting for those who come to me, so that they may find the purpose of life.

Put the first commandment into practice, love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul and with all your strength and love your neighbour as your self. Put aside some time of meditation and prayer for me. I will reward your faith with the gifts of peace and joy.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary

20 posted on 07/20/2013 9:30:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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