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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 09-15-13, Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 09-15-13 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 09/14/2013 7:47:16 PM PDT by Salvation

September 15, 2013

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

 

Reading 1 Ex 32:7-11, 13-14

The LORD said to Moses,
“Go down at once to your people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt,
for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them,
making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it,
sacrificing to it and crying out,
‘This is your God, O Israel,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’
“I see how stiff-necked this people is, ” continued the LORD to Moses.
Let me alone, then,
that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.
Then I will make of you a great nation.”

But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying,
“Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt
with such great power and with so strong a hand?
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Israel,
and how you swore to them by your own self, saying,
‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky;
and all this land that I promised,
I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.’”
So the LORD relented in the punishment
he had threatened to inflict on his people.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 17, 19

R. (Lk 15:18) I will rise and go to my father.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. I will rise and go to my father.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. I will rise and go to my father.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. I will rise and go to my father.

Reading 2 1 Tm 1:12-17

Beloved:
I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because he considered me trustworthy
in appointing me to the ministry.
I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and arrogant,
but I have been mercifully treated
because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.
Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant,
along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
Of these I am the foremost.
But for that reason I was mercifully treated,
so that in me, as the foremost,
Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example
for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life.
To the king of ages, incorruptible, invisible, the only God,
honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel Lk 15:1-32

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So to them he addressed this parable.
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.

“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one
would not light a lamp and sweep the house,
searching carefully until she finds it?
And when she does find it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors
and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’
In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.”

Then he said,
“A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father,
‘Father give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’
So the father divided the property between them.
After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings
and set off to a distant country
where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
When he had freely spent everything,
a severe famine struck that country,
and he found himself in dire need.
So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens
who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed,
but nobody gave him any.
Coming to his senses he thought,
‘How many of my father’s hired workers
have more than enough food to eat,
but here am I, dying from hunger.
I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him,
“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I no longer deserve to be called your son;
treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’
So he got up and went back to his father.
While he was still a long way off,
his father caught sight of him,
and was filled with compassion.
He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him,
‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;
I no longer deserve to be called your son.’
But his father ordered his servants,
‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him;
put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Take the fattened calf and slaughter it.
Then let us celebrate with a feast,
because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;
he was lost, and has been found.’
Then the celebration began.
Now the older son had been out in the field
and, on his way back, as he neared the house,
he heard the sound of music and dancing.
He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
The servant said to him,
‘Your brother has returned
and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf
because he has him back safe and sound.’
He became angry,
and when he refused to enter the house,
his father came out and pleaded with him.
He said to his father in reply,
‘Look, all these years I served you
and not once did I disobey your orders;
yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns,
who swallowed up your property with prostitutes,
for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’
He said to him,
‘My son, you are here with me always;
everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found.’”

Or LK 15:1-10

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So to them he addressed this parable.
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.

“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one
would not light a lamp and sweep the house,
searching carefully until she finds it?
And when she does find it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors
and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’
In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.”



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

1 posted on 09/14/2013 7:47:16 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping!
 
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please Freepmail me.

2 posted on 09/14/2013 8:00:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14

The Lord’s Ire


[7] And the LORD said to Moses, “Go down; for your people, whom you brought
up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves; [8] they have turned aside
quickly out of the way which I commanded them; they have made for themselves
a molten calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘These are your
gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!”’ [9] And the LORD
said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people;
[10] now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I
may consume them; but of you I will make a great nation.”

Moses’ Prayer for Israel


[11] But Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, “0 LORD, why does thy
wrath burn hot against thy people, whom thou hast brought forth out of the land
of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?

[13] “Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou didst
swear by thine own self, and didst say to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants
as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your
descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.”’ [14] And the LORD repented of
the evil which he thought to do to his people.

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

32:7-14. The Lord’s dialogue with Moses contains the doctrinal basis of salvation
history—Covenant, sin, mercy. Only the Lord knows just how serious this sin is:
by adoring the golden calf the people have taken the wrong road and have vitia-
ted the whole meaning of the Exodus; but most of all, they have rebelled against
God and turned their backs on him, breaking the Covenant (cf. Deut 9:7-14). God
no longer calls them “my people” (cf. Hos 2:8) but “your people” (Moses’) (v. 7).
That is, he shows him that they have acted like anyone else, guided by human
leaders.

The punishment that the sin deserves is their destruction (v. 10), for this is a stiff-
necked nation (cf. 33:3; 34:9; Deut 9:13). The sin deserves death, as the first sin
did (Gen 3:19) and the sin which gave rise to the flood (cf. Gen 6:6-7). However,
mercy always prevails over the offense.

As Abraham did in another time on behalf of Sodom (Gen 18:22-23), Moses inter-
cedes with the Lord. But this time intercession proves successful, because Israel
is the people that God has made his own; he chose it, bringing it out of Egypt
in a mighty way; so, he cannot turn back now; in fact, he chose it ever since he
swore his oath to Abraham (cf. Gen 15:5; 22:16-17; 35:11-12). He established the
Covenant with Israel, as Moses reminds him when he refers to “thy people, whom
thou has brought forth out of the land of Egypt’ (v. 11). Thus, promise, election
and Covenant form the foundation which guarantees that God’s forgiveness will
be forthcoming, even if they commit the gravest of sins.

God forgives his people (v. 14) not because they deserve to be forgiven, but out
of pure mercy and moved by Moses’ intercession. Thus God’s forgiveness and the
people’s conversion are, both of them, a divine initiative.

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


3 posted on 09/14/2013 8:06:58 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 1 Timothy 1:12-17

Greeting


[1] Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of
Christ Jesus our hope,

[2] To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from
God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Paul Recalls His Own Conversion


[12] I thank him who has given me strength for this, Christ Jesus our
Lord, because he judged me faithful by appointing me to his service,
[13] though I formerly blasphemed and persecuted and insulted him; but
I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, [14] and the
grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in
Christ Jesus. [15] The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance,
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save. And I am the foremost
of sinners; [16] but I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the
foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience for an example
to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. [17] To the king of
ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever
and ever. Amen.

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

12-13. This clearly autobiographical passage, which shows the
Apostle’s humility (cf., e.g., 1 Cor 15:9-10), is evidence of the
letter’s Pauline authorship: it is difficult to believe that a later
disciple would have dared to call St Paul a “blasphemer”,
“persecutor” or “insulter” or made him describe himself as “the
foremost of sinners”.

St Paul’s conversion is an example of a miracle of grace; only by the
mercy of God could he have been changed and become the Apostle of
the Gentiles and such a faithful minister of the Gospel. This change
which grace worked in Paul can also help all who approach the Church
to have great confidence in God’s mercy and forgiveness; like a good
father, God is always ready to receive the repentant sinner.

The sacred text shows quite clearly that the initiative lies with God
when it comes to calling people to Church office. The call to the
priesthood is a grace from God; it is God who makes the choice
and then he gives the person he has chosen the strength to fulfill
his office worthily. In this connection Bishop Alvaro del Portillo
has written: “Christian priesthood is not, then, in the line of ethical
relationships among men nor on the level of a merely human attempt
to approach God: it is a gift from God and it is irreversibly located on
the vertical line of the search for man by his Creator and Sanctifier
and on the sacramental line of the gratuitous opening up to man
of God’s intimate life. In other words, Christian priesthood is
essentially (this is the only possible way it can be understood) an
eminently sacred mission, both in its origin (Christ) and in its
content (the divine mystery) and by the very manner in which it is
conferred—a sacrament” (”On Priesthood”, pp. 59f).

14. “In Christ Jesus”: this expression is being used with a special
technical meaning: it refers to the position of the new man who,
after the “washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit”
(Titus 3:5) which takes place at Baptism, is now united to Christ,
made a Christian. At Baptism the mercy of God not only justifies
the sinner but causes him to share profoundly in God’s own life by
means of grace, faith and love. These three gifts are a sign that the
Christian has truly been built into the body of Christ (cf. 2 Tim
1:13).

15. “The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance”: or, more
literally, “Word of honor, which you can totally rely on”. This form
of words is used a number of times in the Pastoral Epistles to focus
attention on some important doctrinal point (cf. 1 Tim 3:1; 4:9; 2 Tim
2:11; Tit 3-8).

The point being emphasized here is that “Christ Jesus came into the
world to save sinners”. The Apostle has condensed into very few words
God’s plan for the redemption of mankind, which he will go on to say
more about later (cf. 1 Tim 2:3-7; Tit 2:11-14; 3:3-7). “The mercy of
God is infinite,” says St Francis of Assisi, “and, according to the
Gospel, even if our sins were infinite, his mercy is yet greater than
our sins. And the Apostle St Paul has said that Christ the blessed
came into the world to save sinners” (”The Little Flowers of St Francis”,
chap. 26).

This is in fact one of the basic truths of faith and appears in the Creed:
“For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven”. He
came to save us from the only evil, that which can separate us from
God—sin.

By his victory over sin Christ gave men and women the honor of being
sons and daughters of God; this new character and status equips them
o light up the world around them with the brightness of their Christian
lives (cf. Phil 2:15). They can have this effect on others if they really
commit themselves to have the same mind as “was in Christ Jesus”
(Phil 2:5), for “it is impossible to live according to the heart of Jesus
Christ and not to know that we are sent, as he was, ‘to save all
sinners’ (1 Tim 1:15), with the clear realization that we ourselves
need to trust in the mercy of God more and more every day. As a result,
we will foster in ourselves a vehement desire to be co-redeemers with
Christ, to save all souls with him” ([St] J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing
By”, 121).

17. This section (vv. 12-17) closes with a solemn doxology. Similar
exclamatory passages in praise of God appear elsewhere in the Apostle’s
writings (Rom 2:36; 16:27; Phil 4:20; etc.). This was probably an early
formula used in the liturgy of Ephesus and other Asia Minor churches.
The fact that it ends with an “Amen” seems to confirm this. In contrast
to the energetic attempts of the civil authorities at the time to foster
emperor-worship, Christians proclaimed that God is lord of the universe
and will reign forever.

It is true, of course, that because God’s glory is infinite, it cannot be
enhanced by man extolling God’s attributes. However, once one knows
the greatness of God, creator and ruler of the universe, and knows that
all things are dependent on him, one has a duty to show God due honor
both internally and externally. Actions of that kind are expressions of
the virtue of religion, whose “actions are directly and immediately
ordered to the honor of God” (”Summa Theologiae” II-II, q. 81, a. 61).
“Of all the duties which man has to fulfill that, without doubt, is the
chiefest and holiest which commands him to worship God with devotion
and piety. This follows of necessity from the truth that we are ever in
the power of God, are ever guided by his will and providence, and,
having come forth from him, must return to him” (Leo XIII, “Libertas
Praestantissimum”, 25).

*********************************************************************************************
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.


4 posted on 09/14/2013 8:08:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 15:1-32

Parable’s of God’s Mercy


[1] Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear
Him (Jesus). [2] And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying,
“This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

The Lost Sheep


[3] So He told them this parable: [4] “What man of you, having a
hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the
ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost,
until he finds it? [5] And when he has found it, he lays it on his
shoulders, rejoicing. [6] And when he comes home he calls together
his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, `Rejoice with me, for I
have found my sheep which was lost.’ [7] Just so, I tell you, there will
be more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over
ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

The Lost Coin


[8] “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she lost one coin,
does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until
she finds it? [9] And when she has found it, she calls together her
friends and neighbors, saying, `Rejoice with me, for I have found the
coin which I has lost.’ [10] Just so, I tell you, there is joy before
the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

The Prodigal Son


[11] And He said, “There was a man who had two sons; [12] and the
younger of them said to his father, `Father, give me the share of
property that falls to me.’ And he divided his living between them. [13]
Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took
his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in
loose living. [14] And when he had spent everything, a great famine
arose in that country, and he began to be in want. [15] So he went and
joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him
into his fields to feed swine. [16] And he would gladly have fed on
the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. [17] But
when he came to himself he said, `How can many of my father’s hired
servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with
hunger! [18] I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him,
“Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before you; [19] I am no
longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired
servants.’” [20] And he arose and came to his father. But while he was
yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran
and embraced him and kissed him. [21] And the son said to him,
`Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before you; I am no longer
worthy to be called your son.’ [22] But the father said to his servants,
`Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his
hand, and shoes on his feet; [23] and bring the fatted calf and kill it,
and let us eat and make merry; [24] for this my son was dead, and
is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to make
merry.

[25] “Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near
to the house, he heard music and dancing. [26] And he called one of
the servants and asked what this meant. [27] And he said to him, `Your
brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because
he has received him safe and sound.’ [28] But he was angry and refused
to go in. His father came out and entreated him, [29] but he answered
his father, `Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never
disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might
make merry with my friends. [30] But when this son of yours came,
who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted
calf!’ [31] And he said to him, `Son, you are always with me, and all
that is mine is yours. [32] It was fitting to make merry and be glad,
for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is
found.’”

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

Commentary:

1-32. Jesus’ actions manifest God’s mercy: He receives sinners in order
to convert them. The scribes and Pharisees, who despised sinners, just
cannot understand why Jesus acts like this; they grumble about Him; and
Jesus uses the opportunity to tell these Mercy parables. “The Gospel
writer who particularly treats of these themes in Christ’s teaching is
Luke, whose Gospel has earned the title of `the Gospel of mercy’” (John
Paul II, “Dives In Misericordia”, 3).

In this chapter St. Luke reports three of these parables in which Jesus
describes the infinite, fatherly mercy of God and His joy at the conversion
of the sinner.

The Gospel teaches that no one is excluded from forgiveness and that
sinners can become beloved children of God if they repent and are
converted. So much does God desire the conversion of sinners that each
of these parables ends with a refrain, as it were, telling of the great
joy in Heaven over sinner who repents.

1-2. This is not the first time that publicans and sinners approach
Jesus (cf. Matthew 9:10). They are attracted by the directness of the
Lord’s preaching and by His call to self-giving and love. The
Pharisees in general were jealous of His influence over the people
(cf. Matthew 26:2-5; John 11:47) a jealousy which can also beset
Christians; a severity of outlook which does not accept that, no matter
how great his sins may have been, a sinner can change and become
a saint; a blindness which prevents a person from recognizing and
rejoicing over the good done by others. Our Lord criticized this
attitude when He replied to His disciples’ complaints about others
casting out devils in His name: “Do not forbid him; for no one who does
a mighty work in My name will be able soon after to speak evil of Me”
(Mark 9:39). And St. Paul rejoiced that others proclaimed Christ and
even overlooked the fact they did so out of self-interest, provided
Christ was preached (cf. Philippians 1:17-18).

5-6. Christian tradition, on the basis of this and other Gospel passages
(cf. John 10:11), applies this parable to Christ, the Good Shepherd, who
misses and then seeks out the lost sheep: the Word, by becoming man,
seeks out mankind, which has strayed through sinning. Here is St.
Gregory the Great’s commentary: “He put the sheep on His shoulders
because, on taking on human nature, He burdened Himself with our
sins” (”In Evangelia Homiliae”, II, 14).

The Second Vatican Council applies these verses of St. Luke to the way
priests should approach their pastoral work: “They should be mindful
that by their daily conduct and solicitude they display the reality of
a truly priestly and pastoral ministry both to believers and unbelievers
alike, to Catholics and non-Catholics; that they are bound to bear
witness before all men of the truth and of the life, and as good
shepherds seek after those too who, whilst having been baptized in
the Catholic Church, have given up the practice of the Sacraments, or
even fallen away from the faith” (”Lumen Gentium”, 28). However, every
member of the faithful should show this same kind of concern—expressed
in a fraternal way—towards his brothers and sisters, towards everyone
on the road to sanctification and salvation.

7. This does not mean that our Lord does not value the perseverance
of the just: He is simply emphasizing the joy of God and the saints
over the conversion of a sinner. This is clearly a call to repentance,
to never doubt God’s readiness to forgive. “Another fall, and what a
fall!... Must you give up hope? No. Humble yourself and, through
Mary, your Mother, have recourse to the merciful Love of Jesus. A
“miserere”, and lift up your heart! And now begin again” ([St] J.
Escriva, “The Way”, 711).

8. This silver coin was a “drachma”, of about the same value as a
denarius, that is, approximately a day’s wage for an agricultural
worker (cf. Matthew 20:2).

11. This is one of Jesus’ most beautiful parables, which teaches us
once more that God is a kind and understanding Father (cf. Matthew
6:8; Romans 8:15; 2 Corinthians 1:3). The son who asks for his part
of the inheritance is a symbol of the person who cuts himself off from
God through sin. “Although the word `mercy’ does not appear, this
parable nevertheless expresses the essence of the divine mercy in
a particularly clear way” (John Paul II, “Dives In Misericordia”, 5).

12. “That son, who receives from the father the portion of the
inheritance that is due him and leaves home to squander it in a far
country `in loose living’, in a certain sense is the man of every
period, beginning with the one who was the first to lose the
inheritance of grace and original justice. The analogy at this point
is very wide-ranging. The parable indirectly touches upon every breach
of the covenant of love, every loss of grace, every sin” (”Dives In
Misericordia”, 5).

14-15. At this point in the parable we are shown the unhappy effects
of sin. The young man’s hunger evokes the anxiety and emptiness a
person feels when he is far from God. The prodigal son’s predicament
describes the enslavement which sin involves (cf. Romans 1:25; 6:6;
Galatians 5:1): by sinning one loses the freedom of the children of God
(cf. Romans 8:21; Galatians 4:31; 5:13) and hands oneself over the
power of Satan.

17-21. His memory of home and his conviction that his father loves him
cause the prodigal son to reflect and to decide to set out on the right
road. “Human life is in some way a constant returning to our Father’s
house. We return through contrition, through the conversion of heart
which means a desire to change, a firm decision to improve our life and
which, therefore, is expressed in sacrifice and self-giving. We return to
our Father’s house by means of that sacrament of pardon in which, by
confessing our sins, we put on Jesus Christ again and become His
brothers, members of God’s family” ([St] J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing
By”, 64).

20-24. God always hopes for the return of the sinner; He wants him to
repent. When the young man arrives home his father does not greet him
with reproaches but with immense compassion, which causes him to
embrace his son and cover him with kisses.

20. “There is no doubt that in this simple but penetrating analogy to
the figure of the father reveals to us God as Father. The conduct of
the father in the parable and his whole behavior, which manifests his
internal attitude, enables us to rediscover the individual threads of
the Old Testament vision of mercy in a synthesis which is totally new,
full of simplicity and depth. The father of the prodigal son is faithful to
this fatherhood, faithful to the love that he had always lavished on his
son. This fidelity is expressed in the parable not only by his immediate
readiness to welcome him home when he returns after having
squandered his inheritance; it is expressed even more fully by that
joy, that merrymaking for the squanderer after his return, merrymaking
which is so generous that it provokes the opposition and hatred of the
elder brother, who had never gone far away from his father and had
never abandoned the home.

“The father’s fidelity to himself [...] is at the same time expressed in a
manner particularly charged with affection. We read, in fact, that when
the father saw the prodigal son returning home `he had COMPASSION,
ran to meet him, threw his arms around his neck and kissed him.’ He
certainly does this under the influence of a deep affection, and this
also explains his generosity towards his son, that generosity which
so angers the elder son” (”Dives In Misericordia”, 6).

“When God runs towards us, we cannot keep silent, but with St. Paul
we exclaim, “ABBA PATER”: `Father, my Father!’ (Romans 8:15), for,
though He is the creator of the universe, He doesn’t mind our not using
high-sounding titles, nor worry about our not acknowledging His
greatness. He wants us to call Him Father; He wants us to savor that
word, our souls filling with joy [...].

“God is waiting for us, like the father in the parable, with open arms,
even though we don’t deserve it. It doesn’t matter how great our debt
is. Just like the prodigal son, all we have to do is open our heart,
to be homesick for our Father’s house, to wonder at and rejoice in the
gift which God makes us of being able to call ourselves His children,
of really being His children, even though our response to Him has been
so poor” ([St] J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 64).

25-30. God’s mercy is so great that man cannot grasp it: as we can
see in the case of the elder son, who thinks his father loves the younger
son excessively, his jealousy prevents him from understanding how his
father can do so much to celebrate the recovery of the prodigal; it
cuts him off from the joy that the whole family feels. “It’s true that
he was a sinner. But don’t pass so final a judgment on him. Have pity
in your heart, and don’t forget that he may yet be an Augustine, while
you remain just another mediocrity” ([St J. Escriva, “The Way”, 675).

We should also consider that if God has compassion towards sinners,
He must have much much more towards those who strive to be faithful
to Him. St. Therese of Lisieux understood this very well: “What joy to
remember that our Lord is just; that He makes allowances for all our
shortcomings, and knows full well how weak we are. What have I to fear
then? Surely the God of infinite justice who pardons the prodigal son
with such mercy will be just with me `who am always with Him’?” (”The
Story of a Soul”, Chapter 8).

32. “Mercy, as Christ has presented it in the parable of the prodigal son,
has THE INTERIOR FORM OF THE LOVE that in the New Testament is
called AGAPE. This love is able to reach down to every prodigal son,
to every human misery, and above all to every form of moral misery, to
sin. When this happens, the person who is the object of mercy does not
feel humiliated, but rather found again and `restored to value’. The father
first and foremost expresses to him his joy, that he has been `found
again’ and that he has `returned to life’. This joy indicates a good that
has remained intact: even if he is a prodigal, a son does not cease to
be truly his father’s son; it also indicates a good that has been found
again, which in the case of the prodigal son was his return to the truth
about himself” (”Dives In Misericordia”, 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.


5 posted on 09/14/2013 8:09:25 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading

Exodus 32:7-11,13-14 ©

The Lord spoke to Moses, ‘Go down now, because your people whom you brought out of Egypt have apostatised. They have been quick to leave the way I marked out for them; they have made themselves a calf of molten metal and have worshipped it and offered it sacrifice. “Here is your God, Israel,” they have cried “who brought you up from the land of Egypt!”’ the Lord said to Moses, ‘I can see how headstrong these people are! Leave me, now, my wrath shall blaze out against them and devour them; of you, however, I will make a great nation.’

  But Moses pleaded with the Lord his God. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘why should your wrath blaze out against this people of yours whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with arm outstretched and mighty hand? Remember Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, your servants to whom by your own self you swore and made this promise: “I will make your offspring as many as the stars of heaven, and all this land which I promised I will give to your descendants, and it shall be their heritage for ever.”’

  So the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.


Psalm

Psalm 50:3-4,12-13,17,19 ©

I will leave this place and go to my father.

Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.

  In your compassion blot out my offence.

O wash me more and more from my guilt

  and cleanse me from my sin.

I will leave this place and go to my father.

A pure heart create for me, O God,

  put a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from your presence,

  nor deprive me of your holy spirit.

I will leave this place and go to my father.

O Lord, open my lips

  and my mouth shall declare your praise.

My sacrifice is a contrite spirit.

  A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn.

I will leave this place and go to my father.


Second reading

1 Timothy 1:12-17 ©

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, and who judged me faithful enough to call me into his service even though I used to be a blasphemer and did all I could to injure and discredit the faith. Mercy, however, was shown me, because until I became a believer I had been acting in ignorance; and the grace of our Lord filled me with faith and with the love that is in Christ Jesus. Here is a saying that you can rely on and nobody should doubt: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I myself am the greatest of them; and if mercy has been shown to me, it is because Jesus Christ meant to make me the greatest evidence of his inexhaustible patience for all the other people who would later have to trust in him to come to eternal life. To the eternal King, the undying, invisible and only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.


Gospel Acclamation

cf.Ep1:17,18

Alleluia, alleluia!

May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

enlighten the eyes of our mind,

so that we can see what hope his call holds for us.

Alleluia!

Or

2Co5:19

Alleluia, alleluia!

God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself,

and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled.

Alleluia!

EITHER:

Gospel

Luke 15:1-32 ©

The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. ‘This man’ they said ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So he spoke this parable to them:

  ‘What man among you with a hundred sheep, losing one, would not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the missing one till he found it? And when he found it, would he not joyfully take it on his shoulders and then, when he got home, call together his friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” he would say “I have found my sheep that was lost.” In the same way, I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine virtuous men who have no need of repentance.

  ‘Or again, what woman with ten drachmas would not, if she lost one, light a lamp and sweep out the house and search thoroughly till she found it? And then, when she had found it, call together her friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” she would say “I have found the drachma I lost.” In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.’

  He also said, ‘A man had two sons. The younger said to his father, “Father, let me have the share of the estate that would come to me.” So the father divided the property between them. A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.

  ‘When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch, so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs. And he would willingly have filled his belly with the husks the pigs were eating but no one offered him anything. Then he came to his senses and said, “How many of my father’s paid servants have more food than they want, and here am I dying of hunger! I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants.” So he left the place and went back to his father.

  ‘While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly. Then his son said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we are going to have a feast, a celebration, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.” And they began to celebrate.

  ‘Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing. Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about. “Your brother has come” replied the servant “and your father has killed the calf we had fattened because he has got him back safe and sound.” He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out to plead with him; but he answered his father, “Look, all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends. But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property – he and his women – you kill the calf we had been fattening.”

  ‘The father said, “My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found.”’

OR:

Gospel

Luke 15:1-10 ©

The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. ‘This man’ they said ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So he spoke this parable to them:

  ‘What man among you with a hundred sheep, losing one, would not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the missing one till he found it? And when he found it, would he not joyfully take it on his shoulders and then, when he got home, call together his friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” he would say “I have found my sheep that was lost.” In the same way, I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine virtuous men who have no need of repentance.

  ‘Or again, what woman with ten drachmas would not, if she lost one, light a lamp and sweep out the house and search thoroughly till she found it? And then, when she had found it, call together her friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” she would say “I have found the drachma I lost.” In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.’


6 posted on 09/14/2013 8:12:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray with Pope Benedict

The Light of Faith (Lumen Fidei)[Catholic Caucus]

Year of Faith: Does God Command Evil Actions in the Bible? Part II (Part I linked
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

7 posted on 09/14/2013 8:46:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
8 posted on 09/14/2013 8:49:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
9 posted on 09/14/2013 8:49:50 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.

10 posted on 09/14/2013 8:51:51 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]


11 posted on 09/14/2013 8:53:03 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ 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 the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

12 posted on 09/14/2013 8:56:34 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"

   

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.


13 posted on 09/14/2013 8:58:56 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Our Blessed Lady's Sorrows

Sea of Sorrow

Oh! on what a sea of sorrow
Was the Virgin-Mother cast,
When her eyes with tears o'erflowing
Gazed upon her Son aghast,
From the bloodstained gibbet taken,
Dying in her arms at last.

In her bitter desolation,
His sweet mouth, His bosom too,
Then His riven side beloved,
Then each hand, both wounded through,
Then His feet, with blood encrimsoned,
Her maternal tears bedew.

She, a hundred times and over,
Strains Him closely to her breast
Heart to Heart, arms arms enfolding,
Are His wounds on her impressed:
Thus, in sorrow's very kisses,
Melts her anguished soul to rest.

Oh, dear Mother! we beseech thee,
By the tears thine eyes have shed,
By the cruel death of Jesus
And His wounds' right royal red,
Make our hearts o'erflow with sorrow
From thy heart's deep fountainhead.

To the Father, Son, and Spirit,
Now we bend on equal knee:
Glory, sempiternal glory,
To the Most High Trinity;
Yea! perpetual praise and honor
Now and through all ages be.

Novena Prayer To Our Sorrowful Mother

Most Blessed and afflicted Virgin, Queen of Martyrs, who didst stand generously beneath the cross, beholding the agony of thy dying Son; by the sword of sorrow which then pierced thy soul, by the sufferings of thy sorrowful life, by the unutterable joy which now more than repays thee for them; look down with a mother's pity and tenderness, as I kneel before thee to compassionate thy sorrows, and to lay my petition with childlike confidence in thy wounded heart. I beg of thee, O my Mother, to plead continually for me with thy Son, since He can refuse thee nothing, and through the merits of His most sacred Passion and Death, together with thy own sufferings at the foot of the cross, so to touch His Sacred Heart, that I may obtain my request,
For to whom shall I fly in my wants and miseries, if not to thee, O Mother of mercy, who, having so deeply drunk the chalice of thy Son, canst most pity us poor exiles, still doomed to sigh in this vale of tears? Offer to Jesus but one drop of His Precious Blood, but one pang of His adorable Heart; remind Him that thou art our life, our sweetness, and our hope, and thou wilt obtain what I ask, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hail Mary
Virgin Most Sorrowful, pray for us
(Seven times each)

Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into thy Heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it shall please Our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy sorrows, so that: every thought of my mind and every beat of my heart may be an act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on me, reconcile me to thy Divine Son, Jesus; keep me in His grace and assist me in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in Heaven and sing thy glories.

Most holy Virgin and Mother, whose soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the Passion of thy Divine Son, and who in His glorious Resurrection wast filled with never ending joy at His triumph, obtain for us who call upon thee, so to be partakers in the adversities of Holy Church and the Sorrows of the Sovereign Pontiff, as to be found worthy to rejoice with them in the consolations for which we pray, in the charity and peace of the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Litany of the Seven Sorrows

For private use only.

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary,
Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God,
Pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, etc.
Mother crucified,
Mother sorrowful,
Mother tearful,
Mother afflicted,
Mother forsaken,
Mother desolate,
Mother bereft of thy Child,
Mother transfixed with the sword,
Mother consumed with grief,
Mother filled with anguish,
Mother crucified in heart,
Mother most sad,
Fountain of tears,
Abyss of suffering,
Mirror of patience,
Rock of constancy,
Anchor of confidence,
Refuge of the forsaken,
Shield of the oppressed,
Subduer of the unbelieving,
Comfort of the afflicted,
Medicine of the sick,
Strength of the weak,
Harbor of the wrecked,
Allayer of tempests,
Resource of mourners,
Terror of the treacherous,
Treasure of the faithful,
Eye of the Prophets,
Staff of the Apostles,
Crown of Martyrs,
Light of confessors,
Pearl of virgins,
Consolation of widows,
Joy of all Saints,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Look down upon us, deliver us, and save us from all trouble,
in the power of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Let Us Pray.
Imprint, O Lady, thy wounds upon my heart, that I may read therein sorrow and love
--- sorrow to endure every sorrow for thee, love to despise every love for thee. Amen.

Conclude with the Apostles Creed, Hail Holy Queen, and three Hail Marys,
in honor of the Most Holy Heart of Mary.

Stabat Mater Dolorosa

Stabat mater dolorosa
iuxta Crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.

Cuius animam gementem,
contristatam et dolentem
pertransivit gladius.

O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedicta,
mater Unigeniti!

Quae maerebat et dolebat,
pia Mater, dum videbat
nati poenas inclyti.

Quis est homo qui non fleret,
matrem Christi si videret
in tanto supplicio?

Quis non posset contristari
Christi Matrem contemplari
dolentem cum Filio?

Pro peccatis suae gentis
vidit Iesum in tormentis,
et flagellis subditum.

Vidit suum dulcem Natum
moriendo desolatum,
dum emisit spiritum.

Eia, Mater, fons amoris
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.

Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum
ut sibi complaceam.

Sancta Mater, istud agas,
crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.

Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati,
poenas mecum divide.

Fac me tecum pie flere,
crucifixo condolere,
donec ego vixero.

Iuxta Crucem tecum stare,
et me tibi sociare
in planctu desidero.

Virgo virginum praeclara,
mihi iam non sis amara,
fac me tecum plangere.

Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
passionis fac consortem,
et plagas recolere.

Fac me plagis vulnerari,
fac me Cruce inebriari,
et cruore Filii.

Flammis ne urar succensus,
per te, Virgo, sim defensus
in die iudicii.

Christe, cum sit hinc exire,
da per Matrem me venire
ad palmam victoriae.

Quando corpus morietur,
fac, ut animae donetur
paradisi gloria. Amen.

Prayer To Our Lady of Sorrows, by St. Bridget

O Blessed Virgin Mary, Immaculate Mother of God, who didst endure a martyrdom of love and grief beholding the sufferings and sorrows of Jesus! Thou didst cooperate in the benefit of my redemption by thine innumerable afflictions and by offering to the Eternal Father His only begotten Son as a holocaust and victim of propitiation for my sins. I thank thee for the unspeakable love which led thee to deprive thyself of the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus, true God and true Man, to save me, a sinner. Oh, make use of the unfailing intercession of thy sorrows with the Father and the Son, that I may steadfastly amend my life and never again crucify my loving Redeemer by new sins, and that, persevering till death in His grace. I may obtain eternal life through the merits of His Cross and Passion. Amen.

Mother of love, of sorrow and of mercy, pray for us.

Saint Alphonsus Liguori's Prayer To The Mother Of Sorrows

O, my Blessed Mother, it is not one sword only with which I have pierced thy heart, but I have done so with as many as are the sins which I have committed. O, Lady, it is not to thee, who art innocent, that sufferings are due, but to me, who am guilty of so many crimes. But since thou hast been pleased to suffer so much for me, by thy merits, obtain me great sorrow for my sins, and patience under the trials of this life, which will always be light in comparison with my demerits; for I have often deserved Hell.
Amen.


 

Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 7 Sorrows (Dolours) and 7 Joys of Our Lady
The Seven Dolors (Sorrows) of Mary [Catholic/Orthodox Devotional]
Apparition in Africa: Our Lady of Sorrows [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Catholic Caucus Devotional]
Feast of Our Lady/Mother of Sorrows
Homilies on Our Lady of Sorrows
Starkenburg:Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Sorrows Shrine
Our Mother of Sorrows
ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI, OF THE DOLOURS OF MARY, The Glories [Sorrows] of Mary
Our Lady of Sorrows - Sep 15



14 posted on 09/14/2013 8:59:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
September 2013

Pope's Intentions

Value of Silence. That people today, often overwhelmed by noise, may rediscover the value of silence and listen to the voice of God and their brothers and sisters.

Persecuted Christians. That Christians suffering persecution in many parts of the world may by their witness be prophets of Christ's love.

15 posted on 09/14/2013 9:00:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Daily Gospel Commentary

Twenty-fourth 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, VII, 224f. ; SC 52

« Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead » (Eph 5,14)

“I shall go to my father and say: 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.'” Such is our first confession to our Creator, our merciful lord, the judge of our sins. For although he knows all things, God is waiting for an expression of our confession. For “if you confess with your mouth... you will be saved” (Rm 10,10)...


This is how the younger son spoke to himself. But it isn't enough just to speak unless you come to the Father. Where are we to look for him? Where will we find him? “He got up.” Get up first of all, you who have hitherto been sitting down asleep. This is what the apostle Paul says: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead” (Eph 5,14)... Up you get, then, and hurry along to the Church: there is the Father, there the Son, there the Holy Spirit. He who hears you speaking in the intimate depths of your soul is coming to meet you, and when you are still far off he sees you and starts running. He sees your heart; he runs up lest anyone delay you and embraces you... He flings his arms around your neck to raise you up, you who were prostrate, burdened with sins, face to the ground. He turns you over to face heaven so that you can seek your Creator there. Christ flings his arms around you so as to free your neck from slavery's yoke and set his gentle yoke upon you... He is embracing you when he says: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you” (Mt 11,28). Such is his manner of embrace if you repent.


He causes a robe, a ring and sandals to be brought. The robe is the garment of wisdom..., spiritual clothing, the wedding garment. What is the ring if not the seal of a genuine faith and the imprint of truth? And as for the sandals: these are the preaching of the Gospel.


16 posted on 09/14/2013 9:06:05 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Zenit.org

3 Adjectives for a Unique Love: Humanly Senseless, Motherly Eager, Divinely Paternal

Lectio Divina: 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Rome, September 13, 2013 (Zenit.org) Monsignor Francesco Follo | 590 hits

1)     Pastoral mercy

      In addition to giving his profound and beautiful teaching Jesus’ parables show God’s point of view. That is what happens in today’s parables where Christ tells about the lost sheep, the lost coin and the prodigal son underlining the “Gospel’s heart” that is merciful love.

     Already in the first parable we can see a behavior that is not human, or better, senseless from a human point of view. To the question “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?” (Lk 15:4) we would respond “No one”. Which man of sense would leave 99 sheep alone in the desert and go after the lost one in spite of the danger of the desert at night?

      The desert’s dangers are hunger, thirst, robbers, beasts, and loosing orientation in the darkness of the night, which makes it almost impossible to carry on the search. Christ the divine good shepherd is moved by a love that is humanly senseless but divinely logical and therefore goes in search of us.

       God continues the search of us since the time man has hidden himself in the Garden of Eden and down to the netherworld. For Him we have more value than himself. In fact it is true that He died for us.

       We could say that our search for God starts when God had finished his founding us, forgiving us and celebrating with us.

     In the parable of the lost and found sheep, it is underlined that the shepherd doesn’t stop his search until the sheep is found. It is an obstinate and unflinching search and the shepherd is determined not to leave the sheep to its destiny. We understand that the shepherd’s decision was not senseless but on the contrary it was a courageous one being born out of a courageous intelligence and of a heart that loves intensively.

     This allows me to point out that this parable in the same way as the two others, ends telling about the joy of God for having found the sheep, the coin and the son “there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”  (Lk 15:10)

     We can found two teachings. The first one is clear: to God’s eyes man has a limitless value even and because he is a sinner. The second one is implicit:  divine Joy “grows” with the found glory of an only sinner.

2)     Motherly mercy

     Similar in essence is the second parable, the one of the lost coin[i] .

     Here too the search for what has been lost is carried out in a methodical way. The woman lights the lamp and puts it in the best position, then sweeps slowly and with lot of attention the entire house, looks with care[ii] until she finds the lost coin. When she has found it she calls her friends and neighbors so that they can rejoice with her about the “coin lost and found”. If in the first parable that tells about the Shepherd (that in the Jewish world meant also the King) we can see the " pastoral” love of the one who guides, in the second parable we see the “eager” love of the mother that turns upside-down the “world" to search for the “treasure” that is the reason of her life, her son.

     A woman and a mother very well knows the value of a son and in this parable we see that it represents God who with infinite motherly and paternal love, “does his utmost” to search the precious lost coin.

     We find an example of this in the consecrated Virgins. They are called to motherly “do the utmost of themselves” praying begging forgiveness for the sinners, offering their prayer in intercession (RCV 28) for the lost ones and above all for the ones who have lost faith in the divine mercy, and in taking the everlasting forgiving love of God where they live and work.

3)     Paternal mercy

     Here is the third parable. If for a coin and for a sheep there is celebration in heaven, you can very well image how happy is God when the ‘found one’ is a man, a lost and found son.

     This son, that is called prodigal because he has wasted the paternal inheritance and now is extremely poor and hungry, is ‘lost’. He has lost the knowledge of the beauty of his identity. He has lost the joyful memory of the father’s look and of his mercy. This page of the Gospel is an announcement that carries joy for us: when we feel of being ‘lost’, let’s give ourselves to the one who is searching for us and let’s trust his great love. This is the Father’s will. We are precious to His eyes.

     In this context we understand the meaning of the reading from the Exodus (Roman Rite) where the people of Israel, liberated from slavery, often forget God up to the point of “making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it and sacrificing to it.” For this they should deserve God’s punishment, but the master forgives them because of the moving and profound prayer of intercession of Moses. In the same way the apostle Paul (second reading) states that Jesus was born to save the sinners. He feels that he is a big sinner… but he was pardoned.

     Mercy is the expression of the omnipotence and of the infinite, tender and adult, caring and demanding love of God: it is God’s image.

    Let’s use often to the sacrament of Reconciliation that is to make in us the coming home of the prodigal son.

     The experience of sin that is “to be lost”, becomes the occasion for more lasting and true  encounter with the God that “ persecutes”[iii] us with his merciful love and rejoices because he has found us.

[i]   At Jesus’ times one coin was the daily pay of a worker

[ii] The Greek word epimelos means “with care, with attention”

[iii] From the Latin verb PERSEQUI, made of PER and SEQUI= to follow, meaning “to follow with constancy and zeal.” From it come “ to persecute” and “ persecution.”


17 posted on 09/14/2013 9:12:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY LK 15:1-32

Following our dreams

Fr. Jerry J. Pokorsky

We all will find ourselves somewhere in the parable of the prodigal son: loving father, faithful but embittered brother, or prodigal son himself. The parable is so powerful and touching as it stands that homilies risk damaging the poignant message. Still, we soldier on and ask if it is possible to apply it as a metaphor to an entire culture.

The parable, of course, is a story of distinct individuals. The son prevails upon his father for his portion of the inheritance (the father isn’t dead yet so calculating the inheritance likely rattles the entitlement sensibilities of the remaining faithful son). The prodigal son follows his dreams and ruins his life. (Ruined lives happen, especially when our dreams have to do with greed, lust and the five other capital sins.) Reality — poverty, exhaustion, loneliness — eventually slaps the son in the face and he comes to his senses.

 

Remembering his father’s goodness he recalibrates his dreams and returns to dad, repentant. As the father greets him with open arms in ready forgiveness, the faithful brother resents the father’s mercy as too indulgent. He even dares to deny his relationship with his brother by referring to him as “this son of yours.” The parable ends with the father patiently explaining his joy at his son’s return.

Our “post-Christian” or “post-modern” world has gone the way of the prodigal son. Arguably, there is no longer a strong Christian influence on society. A large number of Catholics — along with the culture in the main — have too often followed the greedy and obscene dreams of the prodigal son: a hostile cultural view of fathers and fatherhood; the denial of femininity and the hatred and despair associated with radical feminism; a completely unrestrained pornographic entertainment industry; etc. Oppose any of these “dreams” and you will almost certainly be accused of being “intolerant” or “judgmental.”

There is no need to expound upon the result of our cultural profligacy with statistics. This lamentable —and now self-evident — litany will suffice: broken families, dire poverty, crime and violence, the exploitation of women and children, epidemic levels of sexually transmitted disease — all of which calls for a return to God. But our cultural prodigal son, mired in sin, would rather dream of greater government funding further enabling the sins. As a result it is far safer for a politician to favor and fund the institutionalization of most forms of sexual promiscuity (and irresponsibility in general) than dare to oppose any manifestation of the sexual and cultural revolution.

But if we as a culture have, in the main, followed the dreams of the prodigal son, is there reasonable hope of a return to a loving father? Can we expect the culture to sober up, realize the errors of its ways and be reconciled with the Father? The cultural prodigal son unfortunately does not have the memory of a loving father to dream about. And very few Catholics — not to mention the population at large — spend time reading papal encyclicals and Gospel commentaries.

The ministry of Christ might similarly be considered “wasted time.” His proclamation of the kingdom of God began in the synagogues (with the institutional memory of God’s love) but didn’t end well. The horror of a crucifixion can have a chilling effect on a political movement. The Gospel, however, with the “civilization of love” it brings was never — and can never be — a political movement. “My kingdom is not of this world.”

After the Ascension, it didn’t take long for the early Christians to turn to the proclamation of the Gospel to the Gentiles. Hints of the inevitable expansion of His sacred ministry can be found in the parable of the good Samaritan, the woman at the well and His specific instructions to His disciples. These early Christian communities reaching across the Roman Empire at once attracted converts and the ire of the Roman authorities. Despite immense obstacles, the Christian “civilization of love” became embedded within an exhausted pagan culture, a culture like ours today awash in greed and debauchery with lives devoid of meaning.

When today’s cultural prodigal son meets with the same spiritual exhaustion, will it return to the Father’s love? Here is where the parable as a cultural metaphor needs another direction. With no memory of the Father’s love among countless troubled souls, the path to God can only be made through living witnesses of Christ. Elsewhere in the Gospel, Christ provides the remedy: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Mt 5:14-16).

With the grace of Christ, we must make visible the love of the Father in our families and, please God, in our communities and nation. This is our hope, our dream and our grave responsibility before the Lord. Our salvation — and the salvation of our cultural prodigal son — depends upon it.

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


18 posted on 09/14/2013 9:22:50 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Work of God

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Rejoice with me.

Rejoice with me. Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit Luke 15:1-32

1 NOW the publicans and sinners drew near him to listen to him.
2 And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying: This man receives sinners, and eats with them.
3 And he spoke to them this parable, saying:
4 What man of you that has a hundred sheep: and if he shall lose one of them, does he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert, and go after that which was lost, until he finds it?
5 And when he has found it, lay it upon his shoulders, rejoicing:
6 And coming home, call together his friends and neighbours, saying to them: Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost?
7 I say to you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that does penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance.
8 Or what woman having ten silver coins; if she loses one, does not light a candle, and sweeps the house, and seeks diligently until she finds it?
9 And when she has found it, call together her friends and neighbours, saying: Rejoice with me, because I have found the silver coin which I had lost.
10 So I say to you, there shall be joy before the angels of God upon one sinner who repents.
11 And he said: A certain man had two sons:
12 And the younger of them said to his father: Father, give me the portion of inheritance that belongs to me. And he divided unto them his inheritance.
13 And not many days after, the younger son, gathering all together, went abroad into a far country: and there wasted his inheritance, living riotously.
14 And after he had spent all, there came a mighty famine in that country; and he began to be in want.
15 And he went and cleaved to one of the citizens of that country. And he sent him into his farm to feed swine.
16 And he desired to fill his stomach with the husks the swine did eat; and no man gave anything to him.
17 And returning to himself, he said: How many hired servants in my father's house abound with bread, and I perish here with hunger?
18 I will arise, and will go to my father, and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you:
19 I am not worthy to be called your son: make me as one of your hired servants.
20 And rising up he came to his father. And when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and running to him fell upon his neck, and kissed him.
21 And the son said to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you, I am not now worthy to be called your son.
22 And the father said to his servants: Bring forth quickly the first robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring here the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat and be happy:
24 Because this, my son was dead, and has come to life again: was lost, and has been found. And they began to be happy.
25 Now his elder son was in the field, and when he came and was close to the house, he heard music and dancing:
26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27 And he said to him: your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe.
28 And he was angry, and would not go in. His father therefore came out and began to entreat him.
29 And answering, he said to his father: Behold, for so many years do I serve you, and I have never transgressed your commandment, and yet you have never given me a kid to be happy with my friends:
30 But as soon as this, your son has come, who has devoured his inheritance with harlots, you have killed for him the fatted calf.
31 But he said to him: Son, you are always with me, and all I have is yours.
32 But it was fit that we should be merry and rejoice, for this your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.

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

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Rejoice with me. The message to repent is my strongest message; to see a sinner coming back to grace gives me the greatest joy. Repentance is the result of my word, and the benefit of that new life is salvation. I was very happy amidst sinners because my conversation brought them to repentance. I was highly criticized for doing that, but let me assure you that my joy was great when someone gave up his or her sinful ways to follow me.

So my joy is even greater than that of the shepherd who loses his sheep and then finds it, or the woman who loses her valued coin and then finds it or the joy of the father of the prodigal son who welcomes his son back after he has repented.

I am the Saviour of the world and my greatest joy is to bring salvation to souls. Every one is of great value to me because everyone has cost me my life. I will insist throughout the life of every person to declare my love openly until the soul understands my call and falls in love with me. I am willing to forgive because this is the perfection of my merciful love. I don’t look at the sins of anyone, I look at a soul that is perishing and needs my healing love. My nature is to be merciful to all. No exception.

Come to me all of you who are overburdened with sin and guilt, let me heal your souls, let me renew you with the infinite healing power of my merciful love; let me restore you to peace, love and joy. Repent of all the sins of your past life, meditate on the damage that you have caused to your soul and on the insult you have given to your God, think that if I did not forgive you, you would be totally lost; see me suffering and shedding my blood for you, see me crucified for your sins and come to me for forgiveness. Say the words of the prodigal son, “Father, I have sinned against you and against the world, I don’t deserve to be called your son, forgive me” Those words will be sweet to my ears, I will look at the humility of your hearts, at the sorrow that you feel for your sins and I will grant you peace and inner healing that will let you live a life in keeping with repentance.

Pray for your brothers and sisters to come to me too, all of them need me. Give testimony of my Divine Mercy to everyone and encourage them to live a holy life. I have prepared a new world of joy for all those who are willing to contemplate my sufferings as a way of amending their lives. My sacrifice is the great offering of my love for you, come to the altar of my suffering and receive my love.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary

19 posted on 09/14/2013 9:29:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Archdiocese of Washington

Crazy! A Homily for the 24th Sunday of the Year

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

Crazy! – The three parables of today’s lengthy Gospel challenge our conventional thinking. All three of them are quirky and describe people doing things that we most likely would NOT do. In fact all three of them, especially the first two, seem crazy. Who would ever do what the shepherd of the lost sheep and the woman of the lost coin do? No one, really. Likewise the Father in the Story of the Prodigal Son breaks all the rules of “tough love.” His forgiveness has an almost reckless quality. No father of Jesus’ time would ever tolerate such insolence from his sons. It just wasn’t accepted. So all three of these parables, at one level, are just plain crazy.

But that is one of the most fundamental points Jesus seems to be making here. The Heavenly Father’s love for us is just plain “crazy.” I do not mean it is irrational by using this word, but it does stretch the limits of our human thinking. Neither do I intend irreverence by using the word “crazy.” Permit a preacher’s hyperbole so that we can enter into the astonishing quality of God’s love and mercy. It cannot be understood or really explained in human terms. Who really understands unlimited and unconditional love? Who can really grasp the depths of God’s mercy? His grace is “amazing” in that it goes completely beyond my ability to comprehend. It transcends merely human concepts. Thank God! If God were like us we’d all be in trouble, frankly, we’d all be in Hell.

Let’s look at each Parable. The Gospel texts are too lengthy to reproduce here. But you can read the whole of it here: Luke 15

I. The Parable of the Lost Sheep- The Lord speaks of a shepherd who leaves ninety-nine sheep to search for one who is lost. Would a shepherd likely do this? Probably not! The passage drips with irony, even absurdity. Perhaps if the lost sheep was near at hand he might venture over the next hill. But the average human shepherd would cut his losses and stay with the ninety-nine. Many of us might even consider it irresponsible to leave ninety-nine to search for one.

Some people try and make sense of this parable by appealing to possible shepherding practices of the First Century. And while theories abound, this seems to miss the point that God’s love is extravagant, personal, and puzzling. In the end, it would seem that God loves us for “no good reason.” He seems to love us even “more” when we stray. He intensifies his focus on the one who strays. To us this is not only crazy, it is dangerous, possibly enabling. But don’t try to figure it out. Don’t analyze it too much. Just be astonished, be amazed. Yes, this is crazy. That God loves me is crazy, unexplainable.

II. The Woman and the Lost coin- A woman loses a drachma. It is a small coin. Not worth that much really, perhaps one day’s wages for an agricultural worker. In modern terms less than $100. Not insignificant, but not really huge amount either. She sweeps diligently for it. So far, this seems reasonable. I’d probably look around a while for a missing “Benjamin” ($100 bill).

But then it gets crazy. She finds it and rejoices to such an extent that she spends most, if not all of it, on a party celebrating the found coin! Crazy!

But that is exactly the point. God doesn’t count the cost. He doesn’t weigh his love for us in terms of if it is “worth it.” Some commentators try to explain the craziness away by suggesting that perhaps the coin had sentimental value as part of her dowry or ceremonial head-dress of ten coins. But here too, over analyzing and trying to explain or make sense of it may well miss the point.

This woman is crazy because God is “crazy.” His love for us is extravagant beyond what is humanly reasonable or explainable. Don’t try to figure it out. Don’t analyze too much. Just be astonished, be amazed. Yes, this is crazy. That God loves me is crazy, unexplainable.

III. The Prodigal Son- A young son, entitled by law to a third of the Estate (since he was the younger son) tells his Father to drop dead. He wants his inheritance now and the old man isn’t dying fast enough. Incredibly the father gives it to him!

Crazy! No father in the ancient world would ever tolerate such irreverence and insolence from a son. The Father is a nobleman (land owner) and could hand his son over to serious retribution for such dishonor. The son leaves his father and goes off to “a distant land” where he sinks so low, he ends up looking up to pigs. He comes to his senses, rehearses a speech and returns to his father, hoping only to be a hired worker.

But here’s where it gets even crazier! The Father sees him a long way off (meaning he was looking for him). He does something a nobleman would not do: he runs. Running was considered beneath the dignity of a nobleman since it would imply he was either a slave on an errand or a fugitive running. Further, in order for a person to run in the ancient world, they had first to gird the loins of their garments. Since the garments were long flowing robes they had to be “hiked up.” Otherwise, the legs would get tangled in the garment and the person would trip. But for a nobleman to show his legs was considered an indignity.

Get the picture? This nobleman, this father, is debasing himself, humbling himself. He is running and his legs are showing. This is crazy. Do you know what this son has done? Does he deserve this humble love? No! This father is crazy! -

Exactly! The heavenly Father is “crazy” too. He actually loves me and humbles himself for me. He even sent his own Son for me. Do you and I know what we have done? Do we deserve this? No! It’s crazy.

The second son is also a handful. When he hears of the party for the wayward brother he refuses to enter. Again this is unthinkable in the ancient world for a son to refuse to report when summoned by a father. What does the father do? He comes out and pleads with him!

Again, crazy! Unthinkable. No father in the ancient world would ever permit a son to speak to him in the way this second son spoke. The son basically calls him a slave-driver who issues orders and refuses to enter the party that his father is hosting. He says he’d rather celebrate with his friends than with his father. But (pay attention here), the goal in life is not celebrate with your friends. The goal in life is to celebrate with the Father in heaven.

This father is crazy. He is crazy because God the Father is crazy. Do you know what it is to refuse to do what God says? And yet we do it every time we sin! The heavenly Father should not have to tolerate this. He is God and we are creatures. If he wanted, he could squash us like a bug. But he does not. The father in this parable is almost “dangerously” merciful. Shouldn’t his sons learn a lesson here? Shouldn’t he punish them both for their insolence? Yes, all our human thinking kicks in.

But God is God, not man. There are other scriptures that speak of his punishments. But in the end, none of us get what we really deserve. The point of Jesus here is that God is merciful and his love is crazy. It makes no human sense. His love for us is extravagant beyond what is humanly reasonable or explainable. Don’t try to figure it out. Don’t analyze too much. Just be astonished, be amazed. Yes, this is crazy. That God loves me is crazy, unexplainable.

Crazy!


20 posted on 09/14/2013 9:41:53 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Gospel Reflections

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I: Exodus 32:7-11,13-14 II: 1 Tm 1:12-17


Gospel
Lk 15:1-32

1 The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to him,
2 but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
3 So to them he addressed this parable.
4 "What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?
5 And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
6 and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, 'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.'
7 I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.
8 "Or what woman having ten coins and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it?
9 And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says to them, 'Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.'
10 In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
11 Then he said, "A man had two sons,
12 and the younger son said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.' So the father divided the property between them.
13 After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
14 When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need.
15 So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
16 And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any.
17 Coming to his senses he thought, 'How many of my father's hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger.
18 I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
19 I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers."'
20 So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
21 His son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.'
22 But his father ordered his servants, 'Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
23 Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast,
24 because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.' Then the celebration began.
25 Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing.
26 He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
27 The servant said to him, 'Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'
28 He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him.
29 He said to his father in reply, 'Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends.
30 But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.'
31 He said to him, 'My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.
32 But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.'"


Interesting Details
One Main Point

Jesus uses three different images to portray the compassion and love of God. Nothing and no one is insignificant to God.


Reflections
  1. When, or in what area of life, do I feel worthless, inconsequential, helpless, or defeated? What does God say to me and the second son then?
  2. Have I felt being treated unjustly, and not wanting to consider the offender my brother or sister? What does God say to me and the older son then?
  3. Different people have different problems, but God loves, consoles, and helps each one. Do I experience this unconditional love as I go through different phases of life?

21 posted on 09/14/2013 9:48:00 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14
Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 17, 19
1 Timothy 1:12-17
Luke 15:1-32 or 15:1-10

We guard with care the faith that we have received from the Church, for without ceasing, under the action of God's Spirit, this deposit of great price, as if in an excellent vessel, is constantly being renewed and causes the very vessel that contains it to be renewed.

-- St. Iranaeus, Adversus haereses


22 posted on 09/14/2013 9:51:18 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

23 posted on 09/14/2013 9:53:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


24 posted on 09/14/2013 9:54:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Our Lady of Sorrows

Our Lady of Sorrows
Memorial
September 15th


Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows
Adriaen Isenbrant
1518-35
Panel
O.L. Vrouwekerk, Bruges

The Virgin Mary, who believed in the word of the Lord, did not lose her
faith in God when she saw her Son rejected, abused and crucified. Rather she
remained beside Jesus, suffering and praying, until the end. And she saw the
radiant dawn of His Resurrection. Let us learn from her to witness to our
faith with a life of humble service, ready to personally pay the price of
staying faithful to the Gospel of love and truth, certain that nothing that
we do will be lost.
— Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus - September 13, 2009

 

Stabat Mater Dolorosa - Sequence Hymn

History of the Devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows

The seven founders of the Servite Order, in 1239, five years after they established themselves on Monte Senario, took up the sorrows of Mary, standing under the Cross, as the principal devotion of their order. The feast originate by a provincial synod of Cologne (1413) to expiate the crimes of the iconoclast Hussites; it was to be kept on the Friday after the third Sunday after Easter under the title: "Commemoratio angustix et doloris B. Marix V". Its object was exclusively the sorrow of Mary during the Crucifixion and Death of Christ. Before the sixteenth century this feast was limited to the dioceses of North Germany, Scandinavia, and Scotland. Being termed "Compassio" or "Transfixio", Commendatio, Lamentatio B.M.V.", it was kept at a great variety of dates, mostly during Eastertide or shortly after Pentecost, or on some fixed day of a month. Dreves and Blume (Analecta hymnica) have published a large number of rhythmical offices, sequences and hymns for the feast of the Compassion, which show that from the end of the fifteenth century in several dioceses the scope of this feast was widened to commemorate either five dolours (sorrows), from the imprisonment to the burial of Christ, or seven dolours, extending over the entire life of Mary.

Towards the end of the end of the sixteenth century the feast spread over part of the south of Europe; in 1506 it was granted to the nuns of the Annunciation under the title "Spasmi B.M.V.", Monday after Passion Sunday; in 1600 to the Servite nuns of Valencia, "B.M.V. sub pede Crucis", Friday before Palm Sunday. After 1600 it became popular in France and was termed "Dominx N. de Pietate", Friday before Palm Sunday. To this latter date the feast was assigned for the whole German Empire (1674). By a Decree of April 22, 1727, Benedict XIII extended it to the entire Latin Church, under the title "Septem dolorum B.M.V.", although the Office and Mass retain the original character of the feast, the Compassion of Mary at the foot of the Cross. At both Mass and Office the "Stabat Mater" of Giacopone da Todi (1306) is sung (see words in Latin and English below).

A second feast was granted to the Servites, June 9 and September 15, 1668. Its object of the seven dolours of Mary (according to the responsories of Matins).

The sorrows:

* at the prophecy of Simeon;
* at the flight into Egypt;
* having lost the Holy Child at Jerusalem;
* meeting Jesus on his way to Calvary;
* standing at the foot of the Cross;
* Jesus being taken from the Cross;
* at the burial of Christ.

This feast was extended to Spain (1735); to Tuscany (1807). After his return from his exile in France Pius VII extended the feast to the Latin Church (September 18, 1814). A feast, "B.M.V. de pietate", with a beautiful medieval office, is kept in honor of the sorrowful mother at Goa in India and Braga in Portugal, on the third Sunday of October; in the ecclesiastical province of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, last Sunday of May, etc. A special form of devotion is practiced in Spanish-speaking countries under the term of "N.S. de la Soledad", to commemorate the solitude of Mary on Holy Saturday. Its origin goes back to Queen Juana, lamenting the early death of her husband Philip I, King of Spain (1506).

(Principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition)


Collect:
O God, who willed
that, when your Son was lifted high on the Cross,
his Mother should stand close by and share his suffering,
grant that your Church,
participating with the Virgin Mary in the Passion of Christ,
may merit a share in his Resurrection.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Hebrews 5:7-9
In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to Him who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard for His godly fear. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered; and being made perfect He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.

Gospel Reading: John 19:25-27
Standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing near, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold, your son!" Then He said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

Alternative Gospel Reading: Luke 2:33-35
Jesus' father and mother marveled at what was said about Him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed."



Mater Dolorosa - Sorrowing Mother
Rogier van der Weyden - Deposition (detail) -- c. 1435 (Oil on oak panel)
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Stabat Mater Dolorósa
Sequence Hymn

Latin

Stabat Mater dolorósa
iuxta crucem lacrimósa,
dum pendébat Fílius.

Cuius ánimam geméntem,
contristátam et doléntem
pertransívit gládius.

O quam tristis et afflícta
fuit illa benedícta,
mater Unigéniti!

Quæ mærébat et dolébat,
pia Mater, dum vidébat
Nati poenas íncliti.

Quis est homo qui non fleret,
Matrem Christi si vidéret
tanto supplício?

Quis non posset contristári,
piam Matrem contemplári
doléntem cum Fílio?

Pro peccátis suæ gentis
vidit lesum in torméntis,
et flagéllis súbditum.

Vidit suum dulcem Natum
moriéndo desolátum,
dum emísit spíritum.

Eia, Mater, fons amóris
me sentíre vim dolóris fac,
ut tecum lúgeam.

Fac ut árdeat cor meum
in amándo Christum Deum,
ut sibi compláceam.

Sancta Mater, istud agas,
Crucifíxi fige plagas
cordi meo válide.

Tui Nati vulneráti,
tam dignáti pro me pati,
poenas mecum divide.

Fac me tecum pie flere,
Crucifíxo condolére,
donec ego víxero.

Iuxta crucem tecum stare,
ac me tibi sociáre
in planctu desídero.

Virgo vírginum præclára,
mihi iam non sis amára,
fac me tecum plángere.

Fac ut portem Christi mortem,
passiónis fac me sortem,
et plagas recólere.

Fac me plagis vulnerári,
cruce hac inebriári,
et cruóre Filii.

Flammis urar succénsus,
per te, Virgo, sim defénsus
in die iudícii.

Fac me cruce custodíri,
morte Christi præmuníri,
confovéri grátia.

Quando corpus moriétur,
fac ut ánimæ donétur
Paradísi glória.

English

At the cross her station keeping
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing
now at lenght the sword had passed.

Oh, how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother highly blessed,
of the sole-begotten One!

Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying, glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
'whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother's pain untold?

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
she beheld her tender Child
All with scourges rent.

For the sins of His own nation,
saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.

O sweet Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord.

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ, my Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified.

Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all our sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live.

By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of thee to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;

Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
by Thy Mother my defense,
by Thy Cross my victory;

While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
safe in paradise with Thee. Amen.


25 posted on 09/15/2013 6:26:25 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Stabet Mater Dolorosa (catholic/orthodox caucus)
[CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS] Spirituality: Our Lady of Sorrows
The Seven Swords Rosary Of Our Lady Of Sorrows [Catholic Caucus] Prayer and Meditation
The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows [Catholic Caucus] Prayer/Devotion
Our Lady of Sorrows, part I: "Her Martyrdom was longer and greater than that of all the martyrs"

Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 7 Sorrows (Dolours) and 7 Joys of Our Lady
The Seven Dolors (Sorrows) of Mary [Catholic/Orthodox Devotional]
Apparition in Africa: Our Lady of Sorrows [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Catholic Caucus Devotional]
Feast of Our Lady/Mother of Sorrows
Homilies on Our Lady of Sorrows
Starkenburg:Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Sorrows Shrine
Our Mother of Sorrows
ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI, OF THE DOLOURS OF MARY, The Glories [Sorrows] of Mary
Our Lady of Sorrows - Sep 15

26 posted on 09/15/2013 6:27:57 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Information: St. Catherine of Genoa

Feast Day: September 15

Born: 1447, Genoa, Italy

Died: 15 September 1510, Genoa, Italy

Canonized: 1737 by Pope Clement XII

27 posted on 09/15/2013 6:41:57 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Information: Our Lady of Sorrows

Feast Day: September 15

28 posted on 09/15/2013 6:48:00 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

Our Lady of Sorrows


Feast Day: September 15

Our Lady had many great joys as the mother of Jesus, but she had so much to suffer, as well.

Being a loving mother she suffered greatly as she helplessly watched when Jesus was treated so cruelly by his enemies. What terrible suffering to see her Son die on the cross.

Mary is the queen of martyrs because her spiritual pain was much greater than the bodily pain suffered by the martyrs. Her heart was like an altar when on Calvary she offered up her beloved Son Jesus to save us.

The seven times of great suffering during Mary's life were:

  1. The first was when she took Baby Jesus to the temple. There the prophet Simeon told her that a sword of suffering would pierce her heart when Jesus would be put to death.
  2. Her second sorrow was when she and St. Joseph had to flee to Egypt with Jesus because Herod's soldiers were trying to kill him.
  3. The third suffering came when Mary searched three days in Jerusalem for Jesus and finally found him in the temple.
  4. Our Lady's fourth sorrow was when Jesus was whipped and crowned with thorns.
  5. Her fifth great pain was caused by his being lifted on the cross, where he died after three hours of agony.
  6. Mary's sixth sorrow was the moment when Our Lord's sacred body was placed in her arms.
  7. And her seventh suffering came when he was buried in the tomb.

Mary did not feel sorry for herself or complain because she had to suffer so much during her life. Instead, she offered her sorrows to God for our sakes. She is our Mother. Because she loves us dearly, she was happy to suffer that we might some day share her joy with Jesus in heaven.


29 posted on 09/15/2013 6:55:38 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Luke
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 15
1 NOW the publicans and sinners drew near unto him to hear him. Erant autem appropinquantes ei publicani, et peccatores ut audirent illum. ησαν δε εγγιζοντες αυτω παντες οι τελωναι και οι αμαρτωλοι ακουειν αυτου
2 And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. Et murmurabant pharisæi, et scribæ, dicentes : Quia hic peccatores recipit, et manducat cum illis. και διεγογγυζον οι φαρισαιοι και οι γραμματεις λεγοντες οτι ουτος αμαρτωλους προσδεχεται και συνεσθιει αυτοις
3 And he spoke to them this parable, saying: Et ait ad illos parabolam istam dicens : ειπεν δε προς αυτους την παραβολην ταυτην λεγων
4 What man of you that hath an hundred sheep: and if he shall lose one of them, doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert, and go after that which was lost, until he find it? Quis ex vobis homo, qui habet centum oves, et si perdiderit unam ex illis, nonne dimittit nonaginta novem in deserto, et vadit ad illam quæ perierat, donec inveniat eam ? τις ανθρωπος εξ υμων εχων εκατον προβατα και απολεσας εν εξ αυτων ου καταλειπει τα ενενηκοντα εννεα εν τη ερημω και πορευεται επι το απολωλος εως ευρη αυτο
5 And when he hath found it, lay it upon his shoulders, rejoicing: Et cum invenerit eam, imponit in humeros suos gaudens : και ευρων επιτιθησιν επι τους ωμους εαυτου χαιρων
6 And coming home, call together his friends and neighbours, saying to them: Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost? et veniens domum convocat amicos et vicinos, dicens illis : Congratulamini mihi, quia inveni ovem meam, quæ perierat. και ελθων εις τον οικον συγκαλει τους φιλους και τους γειτονας λεγων αυτοις συγχαρητε μοι οτι ευρον το προβατον μου το απολωλος
7 I say to you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance. Dico vobis quod ita gaudium erit in cælo super uno peccatore pœnitentiam agente, quam super nonaginta novem justis, qui non indigent pœnitentia. λεγω υμιν οτι ουτως χαρα εσται εν τω ουρανω επι ενι αμαρτωλω μετανοουντι η επι ενενηκοντα εννεα δικαιοις οιτινες ου χρειαν εχουσιν μετανοιας
8 Or what woman having ten groats; if she lose one groat, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she find it? Aut quæ mulier habens drachmas decem, si perdiderit drachmam unam, nonne accendit lucernam, et everrit domum, et quærit diligenter, donec inveniat ? η τις γυνη δραχμας εχουσα δεκα εαν απολεση δραχμην μιαν ουχι απτει λυχνον και σαροι την οικιαν και ζητει επιμελως εως οτου ευρη
9 And when she hath found it, call together her friends and neighbours, saying: Rejoice with me, because I have found the groat which I had lost. Et cum invenerit convocat amicas et vicinas, dicens : Congratulamini mihi, quia inveni drachmam quam perdideram. και ευρουσα συγκαλειται τας φιλας και τας γειτονας λεγουσα συγχαρητε μοι οτι ευρον την δραχμην ην απωλεσα
10 So I say to you, there shall be joy before the angels of God upon one sinner doing penance. Ita, dico vobis, gaudium erit coram angelis Dei super uno peccatore pœnitentiam agente. ουτως λεγω υμιν χαρα γινεται ενωπιον των αγγελων του θεου επι ενι αμαρτωλω μετανοουντι
11 And he said: A certain man had two sons: Ait autem : Homo quidam habuit duos filios : ειπεν δε ανθρωπος τις ειχεν δυο υιους
12 And the younger of them said to his father: Father, give me the portion of substance that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his substance. et dixit adolescentior ex illis patri : Pater, da mihi portionem substantiæ, quæ me contingit. Et divisit illis substantiam. και ειπεν ο νεωτερος αυτων τω πατρι πατερ δος μοι το επιβαλλον μερος της ουσιας και διειλεν αυτοις τον βιον
13 And not many days after, the younger son, gathering all together, went abroad into a far country: and there wasted his substance, living riotously. Et non post multos dies, congregatis omnibus, adolescentior filius peregre profectus est in regionem longinquam, et ibi dissipavit substantiam suam vivendo luxuriose. και μετ ου πολλας ημερας συναγαγων απαντα ο νεωτερος υιος απεδημησεν εις χωραν μακραν και εκει διεσκορπισεν την ουσιαν αυτου ζων ασωτως
14 And after he had spent all, there came a mighty famine in that country; and he began to be in want. Et postquam omnia consummasset, facta est fames valida in regione illa, et ipse cœpit egere. δαπανησαντος δε αυτου παντα εγενετο λιμος ισχυρος κατα την χωραν εκεινην και αυτος ηρξατο υστερεισθαι
15 And he went and cleaved to one of the citizens of that country. And he sent him into his farm to feed swine. Et abiit, et adhæsit uni civium regionis illius : et misit illum in villam suam ut pasceret porcos. και πορευθεις εκολληθη ενι των πολιτων της χωρας εκεινης και επεμψεν αυτον εις τους αγρους αυτου βοσκειν χοιρους
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks the swine did eat; and no man gave unto him. Et cupiebat implere ventrem suum de siliquis, quas porci manducabant : et nemo illi dabat. και επεθυμει γεμισαι την κοιλιαν αυτου απο των κερατιων ων ησθιον οι χοιροι και ουδεις εδιδου αυτω
17 And returning to himself, he said: How many hired servants in my father's house abound with bread, and I here perish with hunger? In se autem reversus, dixit : Quanti mercenarii in domo patris mei abundant panibus, ego autem hic fame pereo ! εις εαυτον δε ελθων ειπεν ποσοι μισθιοι του πατρος μου περισσευουσιν αρτων εγω δε λιμω απολλυμαι
18 I will arise, and will go to my father, and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee: surgam, et ibo ad patrem meum, et dicam ei : Pater, peccavi in cælum, et coram te : αναστας πορευσομαι προς τον πατερα μου και ερω αυτω πατερ ημαρτον εις τον ουρανον και ενωπιον σου
19 I am not worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. jam non sum dignus vocari filius tuus : fac me sicut unum de mercenariis tuis. και ουκετι ειμι αξιος κληθηναι υιος σου ποιησον με ως ενα των μισθιων σου
20 And rising up he came to his father. And when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and running to him fell upon his neck, and kissed him. Et surgens venit ad patrem suum. Cum autem adhuc longe esset, vidit illum pater ipsius, et misericordia motus est, et accurrens cecidit super collum ejus, et osculatus est eum. και αναστας ηλθεν προς τον πατερα αυτου ετι δε αυτου μακραν απεχοντος ειδεν αυτον ο πατηρ αυτου και εσπλαγχνισθη και δραμων επεπεσεν επι τον τραχηλον αυτου και κατεφιλησεν αυτον
21 And the son said to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, I am not now worthy to be called thy son. Dixitque ei filius : Pater, peccavi in cælum, et coram te : jam non sum dignus vocari filius tuus. ειπεν δε αυτω ο υιος πατερ ημαρτον εις τον ουρανον και ενωπιον σου και ουκετι ειμι αξιος κληθηναι υιος σου
22 And the father said to his servants: Bring forth quickly the first robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: Dixit autem pater ad servos suos : Cito proferte stolam primam, et induite illum, et date annulum in manum ejus, et calceamenta in pedes ejus : ειπεν δε ο πατηρ προς τους δουλους αυτου εξενεγκατε την στολην την πρωτην και ενδυσατε αυτον και δοτε δακτυλιον εις την χειρα αυτου και υποδηματα εις τους ποδας
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat and make merry: et adducite vitulum saginatum, et occidite, et manducemus, et epulemur : και ενεγκαντες τον μοσχον τον σιτευτον θυσατε και φαγοντες ευφρανθωμεν
24 Because this my son was dead, and is come to life again: was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. quia hic filius meus mortuus erat, et revixit : perierat, et inventus est. Et cœperunt epulari. οτι ουτος ο υιος μου νεκρος ην και ανεζησεν και απολωλως ην και ευρεθη και ηρξαντο ευφραινεσθαι
25 Now his elder son was in the field, and when he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing: Erat autem filius ejus senior in agro : et cum veniret, et appropinquaret domui, audivit symphoniam et chorum : ην δε ο υιος αυτου ο πρεσβυτερος εν αγρω και ως ερχομενος ηγγισεν τη οικια ηκουσεν συμφωνιας και χορων
26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. et vocavit unum de servis, et interrogavit quid hæc essent. και προσκαλεσαμενος ενα των παιδων επυνθανετο τι ειη ταυτα
27 And he said to him: Thy brother is come, and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe. Isque dixit illi : Frater tuus venit, et occidit pater tuus vitulum saginatum, quia salvum illum recepit. ο δε ειπεν αυτω οτι ο αδελφος σου ηκει και εθυσεν ο πατηρ σου τον μοσχον τον σιτευτον οτι υγιαινοντα αυτον απελαβεν
28 And he was angry, and would not go in. His father therefore coming out began to entreat him. Indignatus est autem, et nolebat introire. Pater ergo illius egressus, cœpit rogare illum. ωργισθη δε και ουκ ηθελεν εισελθειν ο ουν πατηρ αυτου εξελθων παρεκαλει αυτον
29 And he answering, said to his father: Behold, for so many years do I serve thee, and I have never transgressed thy commandment, and yet thou hast never given me a kid to make merry with my friends: At ille respondens, dixit patri suo : Ecce tot annis servio tibi, et numquam mandatum tuum præterivi : et numquam dedisti mihi hædum ut cum amicis meis epularer. ο δε αποκριθεις ειπεν τω πατρι ιδου τοσαυτα ετη δουλευω σοι και ουδεποτε εντολην σου παρηλθον και εμοι ουδεποτε εδωκας εριφον ινα μετα των φιλων μου ευφρανθω
30 But as soon as this thy son is come, who hath devoured his substance with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. Sed postquam filius tuus hic, qui devoravit substantiam suam cum meretricibus, venit, occidisti illi vitulum saginatum. οτε δε ο υιος σου ουτος ο καταφαγων σου τον βιον μετα πορνων ηλθεν εθυσας αυτω τον μοσχον τον σιτευτον
31 But he said to him: Son, thou art always with me, and all I have is thine. At ipse dixit illi : Fili, tu semper mecum es, et omnia mea tua sunt : ο δε ειπεν αυτω τεκνον συ παντοτε μετ εμου ει και παντα τα εμα σα εστιν
32 But it was fit that we should make merry and be glad, for this thy brother was dead and is come to life again; he was lost, and is found. epulari autem, et gaudere oportebat, quia frater tuus hic mortuus erat, et revixit ; perierat, et inventus est. ευφρανθηναι δε και χαρηναι εδει οτι ο αδελφος σου ουτος νεκρος ην και ανεζησεν και απολωλως ην και ευρεθη

30 posted on 09/15/2013 1:08:26 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
1. Then drew near to him all the Publicans and sinners for to hear him.
2. And the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, saying, This man receives sinners, and eats with them.
3. And he spoke this parable to them, saying,
4. What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
5. And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
7. I say to you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

AMBROSE; You had learnt by what went before not to be occupied by the business of this world, not to prefer transitory things to eternal. But because the frailty of man can not keep a firm step in so slippery a world, the good Physician has shown you a remedy even after falling; the merciful Judge has not denied the hope of pardon; hence it is added, Then drew near to him all the publicans.

GLOSS. That is, those who collect or farm the public taxes, and who make a business of following after worldly gain.

THEOPHYL. For this was His wont, for the sake whereof He had taken upon Him the flesh, to receive sinners as the physician those that are sick. But the Pharisees, the really guilty, returned murmurs for this act of mercy, as it follows, And the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, saying, &c.

GREG, From which we may gather, that true justice feels compassion, false justice scorn, although the just are wont rightly to repel sinners. But there is one act proceeding from the swelling of pride, another from the zeal for discipline. For the just, though without they spare not rebukes for the sake of discipline, within cherish sweetness from charity. In their own minds they set above themselves those whom they correct, whereby they keep both them under by discipline, and themselves by humility. But, on the contrary, they who from false justice are wont to pride themselves, despise all others, and never in mercy condescend to the weak; and thinking themselves not to be sinners, are so much the worse sinners. Of such were the Pharisees, who condemning our Lord because He received sinners, with parched hearts reviled the very fountain of mercy. But because they were so sick that they knew not of their sickness, to the end that they might know what they were, the heavenly Physician answers them with mild applications. For it follows, And he spoke this parable to them, saying What man of you having a hundred sheep, and if he lose one of them, does not go after it, &c. He gave a comparison which man might recognize in himself; though it referred to the Creator of men. For since a hundred is a perfect number, He Himself had a hundred sheep, seeing that He possessed the nature of the holy angels and men. Hence he adds, Having a hundred sheep.

CYRIL; We may hence understand the extent of our Savior's kingdom. For He says there are a hundred sheep, bringing to a perfect sum the number of rational creatures subject to Him. For the number hundred is perfect, being composed of ten decades. But out of these one has wandered, namely, the race of man which inhabits earth.

AMBROSE; Rich then is that Shepherd of whom we all are a hundredth part; and hence it follows, And if he lose one of them, does he not leave &c.

GREG. One sheep then perished when man by sinning left the pastures of life. But in the wilderness the ninety and nine remained, because the number of the rational creatures, that is to say of Angels and men who were formed to see God, was lessened when man perished; and hence it follows, Does he not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, because in truth he left the companies of the Angels in heaven. But man then forsook heaven when he sinned. And that the whole body of the sheep might be perfectly made up again in heaven, the lost man was sought for on earth; as it follows, And go after that &c.

CYRIL; But was He then angry with the rest, and moved by kindness only to one? By no means. For they are in safety, the right hand of the Most Mighty being their defense. It behoved Him rather to pity the perishing, that the remaining number might not seem imperfect. For the one being brought back, the hundred regains its own proper form.

AUG. Or He spoke of those ninety and nine whom He left in the wilderness, signifying the proud, who bear solitude as it were in their mind, in that they wish to appear themselves alone, to whom unity is wanting for perfection. For when a man is torn from unity, it is by pride; since desiring to be his own master, he follows not that One which is God, but to that One God ordains all who are reconciled by repentance, which is obtained by humility.

GREG. NYSS.. But when the shepherd had found the sheep, he did not punish it, he did not get it to the flock by driving it, but by placing it upon his shoulder, and carrying it gently, he united it to his flock. Hence it follows, And when he has found it, he lays it upon his shoulders rejoicing.

GREG. He placed the sheep upon his shoulders, for faking man's nature upon Him he bore our sins. But having found the sheep, he returns home; for our Shepherd having restored man, returns to his heavenly kingdom. And hence it follows, And coming he collects together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost. By his friends and neighbors He means the companies of Angels, who are His friends because they are keeping His will in their own steadfastness; they are also His neighbors, because by their own constant waiting upon Him they enjoy the brightness of His sight.

THEOPHYL. The heavenly powers thus are called sheep, because every created nature as compared with God is as the beasts, but inasmuch as it is rational, they are called friends and neighbors.

GREG. And we must observe that He says not, "Rejoice with the sheep that is found," but with me, because truly our life is His joy, and when we are brought home to heaven we fill up the festivity of His joy.

AMBROSE; Now the angels, inasmuch as they are intelligent beings, do not unreasonably rejoice at the redemption of men, as it follows, I say to you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons who need no repentance. Let this serve as an incentive to goodness, for a man to believe that his conversion will be pleasing to the assembled angels, whose favor he ought to court, or whose displeasure to fear.

GREG. But he allows there is more joy in heaven over the converted sinner, than over the just who remain steadfast; for the latter for the most part, not feeling themselves oppressed by the weight of their sins, stand indeed in the way of righteousness, but still do not anxiously sigh after the heavenly country, frequently being slow to perform good works, from their confidence in themselves that they have committed no grievous sins. But, on the other hand, sometimes those who remember certain iniquities that they have committed, being pricked to the heart, from their very grief grow inflamed towards the love of God; and because they consider they have wandered from God, make up for their former losses by the succeeding gains. Greater then is the joy in heaven, just as the leader in battle loves that soldier more who having turned from flight, bravely pursues the enemy, than him who never turned his back and never did a brave act. So the husbandman rather loves that land which after bearing thorns yields abundant fruit, than that which never had thorns, and never gave him a plentiful crop. But in the mean time we must be aware that there are v very many just men in whose life there is so much joy, that no penitence of sinners however great can in any way be preferred to them. Whence we may gather what great joy it causes to God when the just man humbly mourns, if it produces joy in heaven when the unrighteous by his repentance condemns the evil that he has done.

8. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, does not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
9. And when she has found it, she calls her friends and her neighbors together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.
10. Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents.

CHRYS. By the preceding parable, in which the race of mankind was spoken of as a wandering sheep, we were shown to be the creatures of the most high God, who has made us, and not we ourselves, and we are the sheep of his pasture. But now is added a second parable, in which the race of man is compared to a piece of silver which was lost, by which he shows that we were made according to the royal likeness and image, that is to say, of the most high God. For the piece of silver is a coin having the impress of the king's image, as it is said, Or what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one, &c.

GREG. He who is signified by the shepherd, is also by the woman. For it is God Himself, God and the wisdom of God, but the Lord has formed the nature of angels and men to know Him, and has created them after His likeness. The woman then had ten pieces of silver, because there are nine orders of angels, but that the number of the elect might be filled up, man the tenth was created.

AUG. Or by the nine pieces of silver, as by the ninety and nine sheep, He represents those who trusting in themselves, prefer themselves to sinners returning to salvation. For there is one wanting to nine to make it ten, and to ninety-nine to make it a hundred. To that One He ordains all who are reconciled by repentance.

GREG. And because there is an image impressed on the piece of silver, the woman lost the piece of silver when man (who was created after the image of God) by sinning departed from the likeness of his Creator. And this is what is added, y she lose one piece, does she not light a candle. The women lighted a candle because the wisdom of God appeared in man. For the candle is a light in an earthen vessel, but the light in an earthen vessel is the Godhead in the flesh. But the candle being lit, it follows, And disturbs the house. Because verily no sooner had his Divinity shone forth through the flesh, than all our consciences were appalled. Which word of disturbance differs not from that which is read in other manuscripts, sweeps, because the corrupt mind if it be not first overthrown through fear, is not cleansed from its habitual faults. But when the house is broken up, the piece of silver is found, for it follows, And seeks diligently till she find it; for truly when the conscience of man is disturbed, the likeness of the Creator is restored in man.

GREG. NAZ. But the piece of silver being found, He makes the heavenly powers partakers of the joy whom He made the ministers of His dispensation, and so it follows, And when she had found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors.

GREG. For the heavenly powers are nigh to Divine wisdom, inasmuch as they approach Him through the grace of continual vision.

THEOPHYL. Either they are friends as performing His will, but neighbors as being spiritual; or perhaps His friends are all the heavenly powers, but His neighbors those that come near to Him, as Thrones, Cherubims, and Seraphims.

GREG. NYSS.. Or else; this I suppose is what our Lord sets before us in the search after the lost piece of silver, that no advantage attaches to us from the external virtues which He calls pieces of silver, although all of them be ours, as long as that one is lacking to the widowed soul, by which in truth it obtains the brightness of the Divine image. Wherefore He first bids us light a candle, that is to say, the divine word which brings hidden things to light, or perhaps the torch of repentance. But in his own house, that is, in himself and his own conscience, must a man seer; for the lost piece of silver, that is, the royal image, which is not entirely defaced, but is hid under the dirt, which signifies its corruption of the flesh, and this being diligently wiped away, that is, washed out by a well-spent life, that which was sought for shines forth. Therefore ought she who has found it to rejoice, and to call to partake of her joy the neighbors, (that is, the companion virtues,) reason, desire, and anger, and whatever powers are observed round the soul, which she teaches to rejoice in the Lord. Then concluding the parable, He adds, There is joy in the presence of the angels over one sinner that repents.

GREG. To work repentance is to mourn over past sins, and not to commit things to be mourned over. For he who weeps over some things so as yet to commit others, still knows not how to work repentance, or is a hypocrite; he must also reflect that by so doing he satisfies not his Creator, since he who had done what was forbidden, must cut off himself even from what is lawful, and so should blame himself in the least things who remembers that he has offended in the greatest.

11. And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12. And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that fails to me. And he divided to them his living.
13. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave to him.

AMBROSE; St. Luke has given three parables successively; the sheep which was lost and found, the piece of silver which was lost and found, the son who was dead and came to life again, in order that invited by a threefold remedy, we might heal our wounds. Christ as the Shepherd bears you on His own body, the Church as the woman seeks for thee, God as the Father receives you, the first, pity, the second, intercession, the third, reconciliation.

CHRYS. There is also in the above-mentioned parable a rule of distinction with reference to the characters or dispositions of the sinners. The father receives his penitent son, exercising the freedom of his will, so as to know from whence he had fallen; and the shepherd seeks for the sheep that wanders and knows not how to return, and carries it on his shoulders, comparing to an irrational animal the foolish man, who, taken by another's guile, had wandered like a sheep. This parable is then set forth as follows; But he said, A certain man had two sons. There are some who say of these two sons, that the elder is the angels, but the younger, man, who departed on a long journey, when he fell from heaven and paradise to earth; and they adapt what follows with reference to the fall or condition of Adam. This interpretation seems indeed a lenient one, but I know not if it be true. For the younger son came to repentance of his own accord, remembering the past plenty of his father's house, but the Lord coming called the race of man to repentance, because he saw that to return of their own accord to whence they had fallen had never been in their thoughts; and the elder son is vexed at the return and safety of his brother, whereas the Lord says, There is joy in heaven over one sinner repenting.

CYRIL; But some say that by the elder son is signified Israel according to the flesh, but by the other who left his father, the multitude of the Gentiles.

AUG. This man then having two sons is understood to be God having two nations, as if they were two roots of the human race; and the one composed of those who have remained in the worship of God, the other, of those who have ever deserted God to worship idols. From the very beginning then of the creation of mankind the elder son has reference to the worship of the one God, but the younger seeks that the part of the substance which fell to him should be given him by his father. Hence it follows, And the younger of them said to his father, Give me the portion of goods which falls to me; just as the soul delighted with its own power seeks that which belongs to it, to live, to understand, to remember, to excel in quickness of intellect, all which are the gifts of God, but it has received them in its own power by free will. Hence it follows, And he divided to them his substance.

THEOPHYL. The substance of man is the capacity of reason which is accompanied by free will, and in like manner whatever God has given us shall be accounted for our substance, as the heaven, the earth, and universal nature, the Law and the Prophets.

AMBROSE; Now you see that the Divine patrimony is given to them that seek; nor think it wrong in the father that he gave it to the younger, for no age is weak in the kingdom of God; faith is not weighed down by years. He at least counted himself sufficient who asked, And I wish he had not departed from his father, nor had the hindrance of age. For it follows, And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country.

CHRYS. The younger son set out into a distant country, not locally departing from God, who is every where present, but in heart. For the sinner flees from God that he may stand afar off.

AUG. Whoever wishes to be so like to God as to ascribe his strength to Him, let him not depart from Him, but rather cleave to Him that he may preserve the likeness and image in which he was made. But if he perversely wishes to imitate God, that as God has no one by whom He is governed, so should he desire to exercise his own power as to live under no rules, what remains for him but that having lost all heat he should grow cold and senseless, and, departing from truth, vanish away.

AUG. But that which is said to have taken place not many days after, namely, that gathering all together he set out abroad into a far country, which is forgetfulness of God, signifies that not long after the institution of the human race, the soul of man chose of its free will to take with it a certain power of its nature, and to desert Him by whom it was created, trusting in its own strength, which it wastes the more rapidly as it has abandoned Him who gave it. Hence it follows, And there wasted his substance in riotous living. But he calls a riotous or prodigal life one that loves to spend and lavish itself with outward show, while exhausting itself within, since every one follows those things which pass on to something else, and forsakes Him who is closest to himself. As it follows, And when he had spent all, there arose a great famine in that land. The famine is the want of the word of truth.

It follows, And he began to be in want. Fitly did he begin to be in want who abandoned the treasures of the wisdom and the knowledge of God, and the unfathomableness of the heavenly riches.

It follows, And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country.

AUG. One of the citizens of that country was a certain prince of the air belonging to the army of the devil, whose fields signify the manner of his power, concerning which it follows, And he sent him into the field to feed swine. The swine are the unclean spirits which are under him.

BEDE; But to feed swine is to work those things in which the unclean spirits delight. It follows, And he would have filled his belly with the husks which the swine did eat. The husk is a sort of bean, empty within, soft outside, by which the body is not refreshed, but filled, so that it rather loads than nourishes.

AUG. The husks then with which the swine were fed are the teaching of the world, which cries loudly of vanity; according to which in various prose and verse men repeat the praises of the idols, and fables belonging to the gods of the Gentiles, wherewith the devils are delighted. Hence when he would fain have filled himself, he wished to find therein something stable and upright which might relate to a happy life, and he could not; as it follows, And no one gave to him.

CYRIL; But since the Jews are frequently reproved in holy Scripture for their many crimes, how agree with this people the words of the elder son, saying, Lo, these many years do I serve you, neither transgressed at any time your commandment. This then is the meaning of the parable. The Pharisees and Scribes reproved Him because He received sinners; He set forth the parable in which He calls God the man who is the father of the two sons, (that is, the righteous and the sinners,) of whom the first degree is of the righteous who follow righteousness from the beginning, the second is of those men who are brought back by repentance to righteousness.

BASIL; Besides, it belongs more to the character of the aged to have an old man's mind and gravity, than his hairs, nor is he blamed who is young in age, but it is the young in habits who lives according to his passions.

TIT. BOST. The younger son then went away not yet matured in mind, and seeks from his father the part of his inheritance which fell to him, that in truth he might not serve of necessity. For we are rational animals endowed with free will.

CHRYS. Now the Scripture says, that the father divided equally between his two sons his substance, that is, the knowledge of good and evil, which is a true and everlasting possession to the soul that uses it well. The substance of reason which flows from God to men at their earliest birth, is given equally to all who come into this world, but after the intercourse that follows, each one is found to possess more or less of the substance; since one believing that which he has received to be from his father, preserves it as his patrimony, another abuses it as something that may be wasted away, by the liberty of his own possession. But the freedom of will is shown in that the father neither kept back the son who wished to depart, nor forced the other to go that desired to remain, lest he should seem rather the author of the evil that followed. But the youngest son went afar off, not by changing his place, but by turning aside his heart. Hence it follows, He took a journey into a far country.

AMBROSE; For what is more afar off than to depart from one's self, to be separate not by country but by habits. For he who severs himself from Christ is an exile from his country, and a citizen of this world. Fitly then does he waste his patrimony who departs from the Church.

TIT. BOST. Hence too was the prodigal denominated one who wasted his substance, that is, his right understanding, the teaching of chastity, the knowledge of the truth, the recollections of his father, the sense of creation.

AMBROSE; Now there came to pass in that country a famine not of food but of good works and virtues, which is the more wretched fast. For he who departs from the word of God is hungry, because man does not live on bread alone, but on every word of God. And he who departs from his treasures is in want. Therefore began he to be in want and to suffer hunger, because nothing satisfies a prodigal mind. He went away therefore, and attached himself to one of the citizens. For he who is attached, is in a snare. And that citizen seems to lee a prince of the world. Lastly, he is sent to his farm which he bought who excused himself from the kingdom.

BEDE; For to be sent to the farm is to be enthralled by the desire of worldly substance.

AMBROSE; But he feeds those swine into whom the devil sought to enter, living in filth and pollution.

THEOPHYL. There then he feeds, who surpassed others in vice, such as are panders, arch-robbers, arch-publicans, who teach others their abominable works.

CHRYS. Or he who is destitute of spiritual riches, as wisdom and understanding, is said to feed swine, that is, to nourish in his soul sordid and unclean thoughts, and he devours the material food of evil conversation, sweet indeed to him who lacks good works, because every work of carnal pleasure seems sweet to the depraved, while it inwardly unnerves and destroys the powers of the soul. Food of this kind, as being swines' food and hurtfully sweet, that is, the allurements of fleshly delights, the Scripture describes by the name of husks.

AMBROSE; But he desired to fill his belly with the husks. For the sensual care for nothing else but to fill their bellies.

THEOPHYL. To whom no one gives a sufficiency of evil; for he is afar from God who lives on such things, and the devils do their best that a satiety of evil should never come.

GLOSS. Or no one gave to him, because when the devil makes any one his own, he procures no further abundance for him, knowing him to be dead.

17. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18. I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you,
19. And am no more worthy to be called your son: make me as one of your hired servants.
20. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21. And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight, and am no more worthy to be called your son.
22. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23. And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

GREG. NYSS.. The younger son had despised his father when first he departed, and had wasted his father's money. But when in course of time he was broken down by hardship, having become a hired servant, and eating the same food with the swine, he returned, chastened, to his father's house. Hence it is said, And when be came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, but I perish with hunger.

AMBROSE; He rightly returns to himself, because he departed from himself. For he who returns to God restores himself to himself, and he who departs from Christ rejects himself from himself.

AUG. But he returned to himself, when from those things which without unprofitably entice and seduce, he brought back his mind to the inward recesses of his conscience.

BASIL; There are three different distinct kinds of obedience. For either from fear of punishment we avoid evil and are servilely disposed; or looking to the gain of a reward we perform what is commanded, like to mercenaries; or we obey the law for the sake of good itself and our love to Him who gave it, and so savor of the mind of children.

AMBROSE; For the son who has the pledge of the Holy Spirit in his heart seeks not the gain of an earthly reward, but preserves the right of an heir. These are also good husbandmen, to whom the vineyard is let out. They abound not in husks, but bread.

AUG. But whence could he know this who had that great forgetfulness of God, which exists in all idolaters, unless it was the reflection of one returning to his right understanding, when the Gospel was preached. Already might such a soul see that many preach the truth, among whom there were some not led by the love of the truth itself, but the desire of getting worldly profit, who yet do not preach another Gospel like the heretics. Therefore are they rightly called mercenaries. For in the same house there are men who handle the same bread of the word, yet are not called to an eternal inheritance, but hire themselves for a temporal reward.

CHRYS. After that he had suffered in a foreign land all such things as the wicked deserve, constrained by the necessity of his misfortunes, that is, by hunger and want, he becomes sensible of what had been his ruin, who through fault of his own will had thrown himself from his father to strangers, from home to exile, from riches to want, from abundance and luxury to famine; and he significantly adds, But I am here perishing with hunger, As though he said; I am not a stranger, but the son of a good father, and the brother of an obedient son; I who am free and noble am become more wretched than the hired servants, sunk from the highest eminence of exalted rank, to the lowest degradations.

GREG. NYSS.. But he returned not to his former happiness before that coming to himself he had experienced the presence of overpowering bitterness, and resolved the words of repentance, which are added, I will arise.

AUG. For he was lying down. And I will go, for he was a long way off To my father, because he was under a master of swine But the other words are those of one meditating repentance in confession of sin, but not yet working it. For he does not now speak to his father, but promises that he will speak when he shall come. You must understand then that this "coming to the father" must now be taken for being established in the Church by faith, where there may yet be a lawful and effectual confession of sins. He says then that he will say to his father, Father.

AMBROSE; How merciful! He, though offended, disdains not to hear the name of Father. I have sinned; this is the first confession of sin to the Author of nature, the Ruler of mercy, the Judge of faith. But though God knows all things, He yet waits for the voice of your confession. For with the mouth confession is made to salvation, since he lightens the load of error, who himself throws the weight upon himself, and shuts out the hatred of accusation, who anticipates the accuser by confessing. In vain would you hide from Him whom nothing escapes; and you may safely discover what you know to be already known. Confess the rather that Christ may intercede for thee, the Church plead for you, the people weep over you: nor fear that you will not obtain; your Advocate promises pardon, your Patron favor, your Deliverer promises you the reconciliation of your Father's affection. But he adds, Against heaven and before you.

CHRYS. When he says, Before you, he shows that this father c must be understood as God. For God alone beholds all things, from Whom neither the simple thoughts of the heart can be hidden.

AUG. But whether was this sin against heaven, the same as that which is before you; so that he described by you name of heaven his father's supremacy. I have sinned against heaven, i.e. before the souls of the saints; but before you in the very sanctuary of my conscience.

CHRYS. Or by heaven in this place may be understood Christ. For he who sins against heaven, which although above us is yet a visible element, is the same as he who sins against man, whom the Son of God took into Himself for our salvation.

AMBROSE; Or by these words are signified the heavenly gifts of the Spirit impaired by the sin of the soul, or because from the bosom of his mother Jerusalem which is in heaven, he ought never to depart. But being cast down, he must by no means exalt himself. Hence he adds, I am no more worthy to be called your son. And that he might be raised up by the merit of his humility, he adds, Make me as one of your hired, servants.

BEDE; To the affection of a son, who doubts not that all things which are his father's are his, he by no means lays claim, but desires the condition of a hired servant, as now about to serve for a reward. But he admits that not even this could he deserve except by his father's approbation.

GREG. NYSS.. Now this prodigal son, the Holy Spirit has engraved upon our hearts, that we may be instructed how we ought to deplore the sins of our soul.

CHRYS. Who after that he said, I will go to my father, (which brought all good things,) tarried not, but took the whole journey; for it follows, And he arose, and came to his father. Let us do likewise, and not be wearied with the length of the way, for if we are willing, the return will become swift and easy, provided that we desert sin, which led us out from our father's house. But the father pities those who return. For it is added, And when he was yet afar off.

AUG. For before that he perceived God afar off, when he was yet piously seeking him, his father saw him. For the ungodly and proud, God is well said not to see, as not having them 'before his eyes. For men are not commonly said to be before the eyes of any one except those who are beloved.

CHRYS. Now the father perceiving his penitence did not wait to receive the words of his confession, but anticipates his supplication, and had compassion on him, as it is added, and was moved with pity.

GREG. NYSS.. His meditating confession so won his father to him, that he went out to meet him, and kissed his neck; for it follows, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. This signifies the yoke of reason imposed on the mouth of man by Evangelical tradition, which annulled the observance of the law.

CHRYS. For what else means it that he ran, but that we through the hindrance of our sins cannot by our own virtue reach to God. But because God is able to come to the weak, he fell on his neck. The mouth is kissed, as that from which has proceeded the confession of the penitent, springing from the heart, which the father gladly received.

AMBROSE; He runs then to meet you, because He hears you within meditating the secrets of your heart, and when you were yet afar off, He runs lest any one should stop Him. He embraces also, (for in the running there is foreknowledge, in the embrace mercy,) and as if by a certain impulse of paternal affection, falls upon your neck, that he may raise up him that is cast down, and bring back again to heaven him that was loaded with sins and bent down to the earth. I had rather then be a son than a sheep. For the sheep is found by the shepherd, the son is honored by the father.

AUG. Or running he fell upon his neck; because the Father abandoned not His Only-Begotten Son, in whom He has ever been running after our distant wanderings. For God, was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. But to fall upon his neck is to lower to his embrace His own Arm, which is the Lord Jesus Christ. But to be comforted by the word of God's grace to the hope of pardon of our sins, this is to return after a long journey to obtain from a father the kiss of love. But already planted in the Church, he begins to confess his sins, nor says be all that he promised he would say. For it follows, And his son said to him, &c. He wishes that to be done by grace, of which he confesses himself unworthy by any merits of his own. He does not add what he had said, when meditating beforehand, Make me as one of your hired servants. For when he had not bread, he desired to be even a hired servant, which after the kiss of his father he now most nobly disdained.

CHRYS. The father does not direct his words to his son, but speaks to his steward, for he who repents, prays indeed, but receives no answer in word, yet beholds mercy effectual in operation. For it follows, But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him.

THEOPHYL. By the servants (or angels) you may understand administering spirits, or priests who by baptism and the word of teaching clothe the soul with Christ Himself. For as many of us as have been baptized in Christ have put on Christ.

AUG. Or the best robe is the dignity which Adam lost; the servants who bring it are the preachers of reconciliation.

AMBROSE; Or the robe is the cloak of wisdom, by which the Apostle covers the nakedness of the body. But he received the best wisdom; for there is one wisdom which knew not the mystery. The ring is the seal of our unfeigned faith, and the impression of truth; concerning which it follows, And put a ring on his hand.

BEDE; That is, his working, that by works faith may shine forth, and by faith his works be strengthened.

AUG. Or the ring on the hand is a pledge of the Holy Spirit, because of the' participation of grace, which is well signified by the finger.

CHRYS. Or he orders the ring to be given, which is the symbol of the seal of salvation, or rather the badge of betrothment, and pledge of the nuptials with which Christ espouses His Church. Since the soul that recovers is united by this ring of faith to Christ.

AUG. But the shoes on the feet are the preparation for preaching the Gospel, in order not to touch earthly things.

CHRYS. Or he bids them put shoes on his feet, either for the sake of covering the soles of his feet that he may is walk firm along the slippery path of the world, or for the mortification of his members. For the course of our life is called in the Scriptures a foot, and a kind of mortification takes place in shoes; inasmuch as they are made of the skins of dead animals. He adds also, that the fatted calf must be frilled for the celebration of the feast. For it follows, And bring the fatted calf, that is, the Lord Jesus Christ, whom he calls a calf, because of the sacrifice of a body without spot; but he called it fatted, because it is rich and costly, inasmuch as it is sufficient for the salvation of the whole world. But the Father did not Himself sacrifice the calf, but gave it to be sacrificed to others. For the Father permitting, the Son consenting thereto by men was crucified.

AUG. Or, the fatted calf is our Lord Himself in the flesh loaded with insults. But in that the Father commands them to bring it, what else is this but that they preach Him, and by declaring Him cause to revive, yet unconsumed by hunger, the bowels of the hungry son? He also bids them kill Him, alluding to His death. For He is then killed to each man who believes Him slain. It follows, And let us eat.

AMBROSE; Rightly the flesh of the calf, because it is the priestly victim which was offered for sin. But he introduces him feasting, when he says, Be merry; to show that the food of the Father is our salvation; the joy of the Father the redemption of our sins.

CHRYS. For the father himself rejoices in the return of his son, and feasts on the calf, because the Creator, rejoicing in the acquisition of a believing people, feasts on the fruit of His mercy by the sacrifice of His Son. Hence it follows, For this my son was dead, and is alive again.

AMBROSE; He is dead who was. Therefore the Gentiles are not, the Christian is. Here however might be understood one individual of the human race; Adam was, and in him we all were. Adam perished, and in him we all have perished. Man shell is restored in that Man who has died. It might also seem to be spoken of one working repentance, because he dies not who has not at one time lived. And the Gentiles indeed when they have believed are made alive again by grace. But he who has fallen recovers by repentance.

THEOPHYL. As then with respect to the condition of his sins, he had been despaired of; so in regard to human nature, which is changeable and can be turned from vice to virtue, he is said to be lost. For it is less to be lost than to die. But every one who is recalled and turned from sin, partaking of the fatted calf, becomes an occasion of joy to his father and his servants, that is, the angels and priests. Hence it follows, And they all began to be merry.

AUG. Those banquets are now celebrated, the Church being enlarged and extended throughout the whole world. For that calf in our Lord's body and blood is both offered up to the Father, and feeds the whole house.

25. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing.
26. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27. And he said to him, your brother is come; and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.
28. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him.
29. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve you, neither transgressed I at any time your commandment: and yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
30. But as soon as this your son was come, which has devoured your living with harlots, you have killed for him the fatted calf.
31. And he said to him, Son, you are ever with me, and all that I have is yours.
32. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this your brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

BEDE; While the Scribes and Pharisees were murmuring about His receiving sinners, our Savior put three parables to them successively. In the two first He hints at the joy He has with the angels in the salvation of penitents. But in the third He not only declares His own joy and that of His angels, but He also blames the murmurings of those who were envious. For He says, Now his elder son was in the field.

AUG. The elder son is the people of Israel, not indeed gone into a distant country, yet not in the house, but in the field, that is, in the paternal wealth of the Law and the Prophets, choosing to work earthly things. But coming from the field he began to draw nigh to the house, that is, the labor of his servile works being condemned by the same Scriptures, he was looking upon the liberty of the Church. Whence it follows; And as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing; that is, men filled with the Holy Spirit, with harmonious voices preaching the Gospel.

It follows, And he called one of the servants, &c. that is, he takes one of the prophets to read, and as he searches in it, asks in a manner, why are those feasts celebrated in the Church at which he finds himself present? His Father's servant, the prophet, answers him.

For it follows; And he said to him, your brother is come, &c. As if he should say, your brother was in the farthest parts of the earth, but hence the greater rejoicing of those who sing a new song, because His praise is from the end of the earth; and for his sake who was afar off, was slain the Man who knows how to bear our infirmities, for they who have not been told of Him have seen Him.

AMBROSE; But the younger son, that is the Gentile people, is envied by Israel as the elder brother, the privilege of his father's blessing. Which the Jews did because Christ sat down to meat with the Gentiles, as it follows; And he was angry, and would not go in, &c.

AUG. He is angry even also now, and still is unwilling to enter. When then the fullness of the Gentiles shall have come in, His father will go out at the fit time that all Israel also may be saved, as it follows, therefore came his father out and entreated him. For there shall be at some time an open calling of the Jews to the salvation of the Gospel. Which manifestation of calling he calls the going out of the father to entreat the elder son. Next the answer of the elder son involves two questions; for it follows, And he answering said to his father, Lo these many years do I serve you, either transgressed I at any time your commandment. With respect to the commandment not transgressed, it at once occurs, that it was not spoken of every command, but of that most essential one, that is, that he was seen to worship no other God but one, the Creator of all. Nor is that son to be understood to represent all Israelites, but those who have never turned from God to idols. For although he might desire earthly things, yet sought he them from God alone, though in common with sinners. Hence it is said, I was as a beast before you, and I am always with you. But who is the kid which he never received to make merry upon? for it follows, You never gave me a kid, &c. Under the name of a kid the sinner may be signified.

AMBROSE; The Jew requires a kid, the Christian a lamb, and therefore is Barabbas released to them, to us a lamb is sacrificed. Which thing also is seen in the kid, because the Jews have lost the ancient rite of sacrifice. Or they who seek for a kid wait for Antichrist.

AUG. But I do not see the object of this interpretation, for it is very absurd for him to whom it is afterwards said, You are ever with me, to have wished for this from his father, i.e. to believe in Antichrist. Nor altogether can we rightly understand any of the Jews who are to believe in Antichrist to be that son.

And how could he feast upon that kid which is Antichrist who did not believe in him? But if to feast upon the slain kid, is the same as to rejoice at the destruction of Antichrist, how does the son whom the father did not entertain say that this was never given him, seeing that all the sons will rejoice at his destruction? His complaint then is, that the Lord Himself was denied him to feast upon, because he deems Him a sinner. For since He is a kid to that nation which regards Him as a violator and profaner of the Sabbath, it was not meet that they should be made merry at his banquet. But his words with my friends are understood according to the relation of the chiefs with the people, or of the people of Jerusalem with the other nations of Judea.

JEROME; Or he says, You never gave me a kid, that is, no blood of prophet or priest has delivered us from the Roman power.

AMBROSE; Now the shameless son is like to the Pharisee justifying himself. Because he had kept the law in the letter, he wickedly accused his brother for having wasted his father's substance with harlots. For it follows, But as soon as this your son is come, who has devoured your living, &c.

AUG. The harlots are the superstitions of the Gentiles, with whom he wastes his substance, who having left the true marriage of the true God, goes a whoring after evil spirits from foul desire.

JEROME; Now in that which he says, You have killed for him the fatted calf, he confesses that Christ has come, but envy has no wish to be saved.

AUG. But the father does not rebuke him as a liar, but commending his steadfastness with him invites him to the perfection of a better and happier rejoicing. Hence it follows, But he said to him, Son, you are ever with me.

JEROME; Or after having said, "This is boasting, not truth," the father does not agree with him, but restrains him in another way, saying, You are with me, by the law under which you are bound; not as though he had not sinned, but because God continually drew him back by chastening. Nor is it wonderful that he lies to his father who hates his brother.

AMBROSE; But the kind father was still desirous to save him, saying, You are ever with me, either as a Jew in the law, or as the righteous man in communion with Him.

AUG. But what means he that he adds, And all that I have is yours, as if they were not his brother's also? But it is thus that all things are looked at by perfect and immortal children, that each is the possession of all, and all of each. For as desire obtains nothing without want, so charity nothing with w ant. But how all things? Must then God be supposed to have subjected the angels also to the possession of such a son? If you so take possession as that the possessor of a thing is its lord, certainly not all things. For we shall not be the lords, but the companions of angels. Again, if possession is thus understood, how do we rightly say that our souls possess truth? I see no reason why we may not truly and properly say so. For we do not so speak as to call our souls the mistresses of truth. Or if by the term possession we are hindered from this sense, let that also be set aside. For the father says not, "You possess all things," but All that I have is yours, still not as if you were its lord. For that which is our property may be either food for our families, or ornament, or something of the kind. And surely, when he can rightly call his father his own, I do not see why he may not also rightly call his own what belongs to his father, only in different ways. For when we shall have obtained that blessedness, the higher things will be ours to look upon, equal things ours to have fellowship with, the lower things ours to rule. Let then the elder brother join most safely in the rejoicing.

AMBROSE; For if he ceases to envy, he will feel all things to be his, either as the Jew possessing the sacraments of the Old Testament, or as a baptized person those of the New also.

THEOPHYL. Or to take the whole differently; the character of the son who seems to complain is put for all those who are offended at the sudden advances and salvation of the perfect, as David introduces one who took offense at the peace of sinners.

TIT. BOST. The elder son then as a husbandmen was engaged in husbandry, digging not the land, but the field of the soul, and planting trees of salvation, that is to say, the virtues.

THEOPHYL. Or he was in the field, that is, in the world, pampering his own flesh, that he might be filled with bread, and sowing in tears that he might reap in joy, but when he found what was being done, he was unwilling to enter into the common joy.

CHRYS. But it is asked, whether one who grieves at the prosperity of others is affected by the passion of envy. We must answer, that no Saint grieves at such things; but rather looks upon the good things of others as his own. Now we must not take every thing contained in the parable literally, but bringing out the weaning which the author had in view, search for nothing farther. This parable then was written to the end that sinners should not despair of returning, knowing that they shall obtain great things. Therefore he introduces others so troubled at these good things as to be consumed with envy, but those who return, treated with such great honor as to become themselves an object of envy to others.

THEOPHYL. Or by this parable our Lord reproves the will of the Pharisees, whom according to the argument he terms just, as if to say, Let it be that you are truly just, having transgressed none of the commandments, must we then for this reason refuse to admit those who turn away from their iniquities?

JEROME; Or, in another way, all justice in comparison of the justice of God is injustice. Therefore Paul says, Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? and hence were the Apostles moved with anger at the request of the sons of Zebedee.

CYRIL; We also ourselves sometimes; for some live a most excellent and perfect life, another ofttime even in his old age is converted to God, or perhaps when just about to close his last day, through God's mercy washes away his guilt. But this mercy some men reject from restless timidity of mind, not counting upon the will of our Savior, who rejoices in the salvation of those who are perishing.

THEOPHYL. The son then says to the father, For nothing I left a life of sorrow, ever harassed by sinners who were my enemies, and never have you for my sake ordered a kid to be slain, (that is, a sinner who persecuted me,) that I might enjoy myself for a little. Such a kid was Ahab to Elijah, who said, Lord, they have killed your prophets.

AMBROSE; Or else, This brother is described so as to be said to come from the farm, that is, engaged in worldly occupations, so ignorant of the things of the Spirit of God, as at last to complain that a kid had never been slain for him. For not for envy, but for the pardon of the world, was the Lamb sacrificed. The envious seeks a kid, the innocent a lamb, to be sacrificed for it. Therefore also is he called the elder, because a man soon grows old through envy. Therefore too he stands without, because his malice excludes him; therefore could he not hear the dancing and music, that is, not the wanton fascinations of the stage, but the harmonious song of a people, resounding with the sweet pleasantness of joy for a sinner saved. For they who seem to themselves righteous are angry when pardon is granted to one confessing his sins. Who are you that speak against your Lord, that he should not, for example, forgive a fault, when you pardon whom you will? But we ought to favor forgiving sin after repentance, lest while grudging pardon to another, we ourselves obtain it not from our Lord. Let us not envy those who return from a distant country, seeing that we ourselves also were afar off.

Catena Aurea Luke 15
31 posted on 09/15/2013 1:09:01 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


The Parable of the Prodigal Son

Frans Francken II

1633
Oil on wood, 61 x 86 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

32 posted on 09/15/2013 1:09:23 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All
Catholic Almanac

Sunday, September 15

Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Memorial of Our Lady of
Sorrows. Traditionally, 7 Hail Mary's have
been recited daily during the month of
September as a devotion in remembrance
of the 7 sorrows of Mary.

33 posted on 09/15/2013 2:48:01 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

 

Daily Readings for: September 15, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Look upon us, O God, Creator and ruler of all things, and, that we may feel the working of your mercy, grant that we may serve you With all our heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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Ordinary Time: September 15th

Twenty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Old Calendar: Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

"Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son." But his father ordered his servants, "Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found."

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.


Sunday Readings
The first reading is taken from the Book of Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14. During the forty days that Moses spent on top of Mt. Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments the people melted their gold and made a small effigy of the Egyptian bull, a golden calf. They declared this to be their god who brought them out of Egypt. They had returned to paganism and idolatry. God decided to punish them, but because of the intercession of Moses He stayed His hand and forgave them.

The second reading is from the first letter of St. Paul to Timothy 1:12-17. The Apostle wrote two letters to Timothy, advising and encouraging him to continue his great work for Christ. This First Epistle was written in 65 or 66 A.D. from Macedonia. St. Paul spent his Christian life regretting his sinful past and wondering at the infinite mercy of Christ, the Son of God, who not only forgave all his past sins but showered His graces on him so abundantly. He realized that his past crimes against Christ, whom he judged as an impostor who was perverting the Chosen People of God, and also his persecution of the Jewish converts to Christ, were caused by his own pride. Yet he blames himself for the ignorance which caused this pharisaical pride in him, while Christ on the other hand excused him because of this ignorance. The conclusion he rightly draws from this is that there is no sinner so wicked but can be forgiven, and will be forgiven, if only he listens to the call of Christ.

The Gospel is from St. Luke 15:1-32. The lesson that these stories, made up by our Lord himself, has for us is clearly a lesson of hope and confidence in the infinite mercy of God in His dealings with us. We are all sinners in one way or another. We have all gone astray, got lost like the sheep and the coin in those stories, sometime or other. What is worse, we are all capable of going astray from God again at any moment. If we had only the justice of God to deal with we might well despair, our chances of reaching heaven would be slight indeed.

We are dealing, however, with a God of infinite mercy, who loves us with a love we cannot grasp or understand. All this infinite mercy of God is there for our benefit as long as we have the breath of life in us in this world. The whole of the Old Testament is full of examples and proofs of this mercy of God for man. It is in the New Testament, however, which begins with that almost incredible act of divine mercy, the Incarnation, that the infinite mercy of God for all mankind is seen in its fullness. The coming of the Son of God on earth in our human nature, His teaching, His sufferings and death, His resurrection were all accomplished for us, so that we could rise glorious from the dead and share the joys of heaven, to which we have no claim whatever, except the merciful goodness and generosity of God.

God does not need us to make his existence happy. He is all-powerful, all-perfect, all-happy in himself. Because He is a God of love, a God of infinite generosity, He wants to give us a share in His happiness. At times one must wonder how any man who knows of God's generosity and of what that generosity has led Him to do for us, could ever think of abandoning that loving God, or get lost in futile earthly folly. Yet that does happen when we sin grievously.

God does not cast us out forever as sinners unworthy of His gifts. Instead, He foresees such folly on our part, and has left us lessons of encouragement, as in today's parables, and set up in the Church ways and means to carry on His work of mercy for weak, mortal men. During His life on earth, Christ dealt mostly with sinners—he said he came to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He told the Pharisees that it was the sick who needed a doctor, not those who were well. The Pharisees in their pride thought they were not sick but they were, and He was only too ready to heal them too if only they would let Him.

He spent his days then among sinners, the tax-gatherers, the robbers, the adulterers, the usurers. The twelve special friends He chose from amongst His followers had more than their share of human failings.

We are all sinners to a greater or lesser degree. With this knowledge and conviction, which any true Christian must have, of the infinite mercy of God, no sinner need ever, and should never, despair. No sinner was ever lost and no sinner will ever be lost, because of his sins. Sinners are lost only because they will not trust and believe in God's mercy and turn to Him to ask for pardon.

Not a day passes but our merciful Father sends out and calls to us His erring children to return to our Father's household. Today, one of those calls is in the very words of the parables you have heard. There may be another call for the sinners amongst us. There may not. Heed this one and the other call will not be necessary. Turn to God today with a truly contrite heart. God will do the rest.

— Excerpted from The Sunday Readings Cycle C, Fr. Kevin O' Sullivan, O.F.M.


34 posted on 09/15/2013 2:58:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Word Among Us

Meditation: Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 17, 19

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love. (Psalm 51:3)

One of the very first things we do at every Mass is celebrate the Penitential Rite. We are invited to reflect silently on our sins and then pray, “Lord, have mercy.” The rite concludes as the priest expresses our common trust in God’s forgiving love.

It’s easy to slide over this ritual. If we happen to arrive a bit late, we feel we haven’t missed much. We tend to see the reading of God’s word and the Eucharistic prayer as the essential parts of the Mass.

Today’s Gospel reading, however, redirects our focus.

Before he could enter into the joy of his father’s celebration, the runaway son had to acknowledge his wrongdoing and journey home with words of repentance. It’s also likely that the boy’s older brother could not join the party because he didn’t grasp how dependent he was on his father’s mercy and provision.

God doesn’t proportion his mercy based on how deserving or sinful we are. No, his mercy is as great as his unconditional love. He offers it to everyone who asks. He stations himself on the road, eager to welcome the first glimpse of every beloved child who seeks to return to him.

From the sad example of the older brother, we can also learn the value of another reconciling moment during Mass: the kiss of peace. This is the point when we are invited to share the peace of Christ with acquaintances and strangers alike. This brief moment offers us the chance to seek mercy, to put aside anything that divides us so that we can receive Communion, one in heart and mind. This call for peace, unity, and reconciliation is crucial if we want to know genuine communion—both with the Lord and with each other.

So today at Mass, make sure you take advantage of these opportunities. Your Father wants to pour so much grace and mercy on you!

“Father, wash away my guilt. Cleanse me of my sin. I believe that you will never scorn a contrite, humbled heart.”

Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14; 1 Timothy 1:12-17; Luke 15:1-32

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

1. The first reading today speaks of the idol erected by the Israelites after they left Egypt. It also describes God’s wrath against those who would put created things above him. We, as Catholics, can put the things of this world ahead of our worship and obedience to God. We too often have a tendency to return to familiar patterns of behavior or even sin when confronted with difficulties. What areas of your life have the potential to be (or are) “idols”?

2. The responsorial psalm speaks of David’s cry for the forgiveness and the mercy of God. It is also a cry for a “clean heart” and a “steadfast spirit.” How might you take better advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation to receive a “clean heart” and a “steadfast spirit”?

3. In the letter to Timothy, Paul tells how he himself, once “the foremost” of sinners, received God’s mercy and came to serve the Lord. He went on to say that he was “mercifully treated” so that in him, “Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example for all those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life” (1Timothy 1:16). How might your service to God and the Church be seen as an example to others of God’s love and mercy? How willing are you to tell others of God’s love and mercy?

4. In the Gospel, we read of the complaints being made against Jesus; that he “welcomes” sinners. How well are you reaching out to others, especially those less fortunate than you? How might you go the “extra mile” to serve your spouse, your family, your parish, your co-workers, and others?

5. The Gospel also recounts the parable of the prodigal son. Like the son, how have you valued what God could do for you more than you valued your relationship of love and intimacy with him? How might you use the example of the father in the parable as an inspiration in your own life? What is your level of hope and trust in your heavenly Father’s love for your family, especially for those who may be far from the Lord right now?

6. The meditation speaks of the importance of opening ourselves at Mass to God’s mercy, love, and grace when we celebrate the Penitential Rite and the kiss of peace. The meditation ends with these words: “So today at Mass, make sure you take advantage of these opportunities. Your Father wants to pour so much grace and mercy on you!” What additional steps can you take during these times at Mass to open yourself more to God’s healing mercy and love.

7. Take some time now to pray and ask God the Father to allow you to experience more deeply his mercy, love, and grace.. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as a starting point.


35 posted on 09/15/2013 3:20:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Christian Pilgrim

14 Sep

GOD REJOICES WHEN ONE OF HIS CHILDREN RETURNS TO HIM IN REPENTANCE

(Biblical reflection on the 24th Ordinary Sunday, [Year C] – September 15, 2013

First Reading: Exodus 32:7-11,13-14; Psalms: Psalm 51:3-4,12-13,17,19; Second Reading: 1Timothy 1:12-17; Gospel Reading: Luke 15:1-32

LUK 15 ANAK YANG HILANG KEMBALI

“Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance…… Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Lk 15:7,10 RSV).

How God rejoices when one of His children returns to Him in repentance! Jesus’ “parable of the prodigal son” paints the picture of a huge celebration, with music, dancing, and an elaborate feast – all because a lost son had returned. How often do we picture God rejoicing over our repentance? I can seem so foreign to us, mostly because of the way we tend to respond when someone asks our forgiveness. We usually feel awkward or want to hold onto our resentment. But God, who loves each of us completely, does rejoice.

The parable of the prodigal son gives us a moving image of how glorious a person’s conversion can be. When the young man decided to return to his father and ask to be taken on as a hired hand, he was not expecting a warm welcome. But, seeing him way off in the distance, his father ran toward him, embraced him, and covered him with kisses. In his mind, there was only one thing to do. Celebrate a joyous reunion! “This brother of yours was dead, and is alive, he was lost, and is found” (Luke 15:32)! What could be more wonderful?

This beautiful story reveals the mystery of the heart of God. As Christians, God invites each of us to share in his concern for those whom he longs to save. We are not hired hands, but children of God. As His children, we have the privilege of joining Him in the work of building His Kingdom here on earth.

Do we want to see our friends and family members come to a deeper conversion? God wants us to know that it is a very real possibility. Let us pray and intercede for ourselves and those we know who are far from Jesus. Let us be assured that our prayer can move God’s heart as we appeal to His fatherly compassion. He will not fail to welcome His children home.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we praise You for Your heart that is so full of tenderness and mercy. We cry out to You for your lost sons and daughters. Call them home, dear Father. May every person find a place at Your heavenly banquet. Amen.

36 posted on 09/15/2013 3:27:07 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Christian Pilgrim

TO RUN OR SHUN?

(Biblical reflection on the 24th Ordinary Sunday, [Year C] – September 15, 2013

First Reading: Exodus 32:7-11,13-14; Psalms: Psalm 51:3-4,12-13,17,19; Second Reading: 1Timothy 1:12-17; Gospel Reading: Luke 15:1-32

ANAK YANG HILANG - 01

This parable, traditionally known as The Prodigal Son, is also called The Forgiving Father. It exemplifies compassion in action. Some of the following thoughts are credited to Dr. Kenneth Bailey of the School of Theology in Beirut, Lebanon. He notes that in Middle Eastern society, like our own, the father may or may not make a will, but in any case he would always retain the rights to and the interest of the money until he died. If the children were to request their share of the estate prematurely, it would be like telling their dad to “drop dead”.

In this parable, the younger son insults his father in two ways. First, he asks for the money now, showing that he can’t wait for him to die; secondly, in his demand for the share of the estate and his right to dispose of it, he has completely ignored his father’s future needs. Yet the father complies with his son’s request, and although deeply hurt, he is not angry.

Once the son had spent the money, we might wonder why he would not have come home earlier. One reason would have been that he was ashamed to return; another was that he would be subjected to the “shun” – no one would speak to or associate with him in any way. A man was subjected to the shun if he married an immoral woman or lost his money to the gentiles. In these cases the guilty one was to confess his sin, compensate for the loss and remain outside the community until proven worthy to reenter.

In this parable, the father initiates a new way of forgiveness. Rather than applying the shun, he runs (something old men normally did not do) to meet his son, who had openly and deliberately insulted him. The father does not wait for apologies but forgives him immediately and totally. The young man is delighted by this unexpected and overflowing love.

Jesus uses the story as an example of God’s forgiveness to us and as a model of our forgiveness to each other. The father’s love had healed the past; the son’s repentance and conversion would correct the future.

Note that the elder son did apply the shun; he refused to welcome home his brother. We can either imitate the compassionate father or the merciless elder brother when it comes to pardoning another person. We can hurry to meet them with open arms, or turn our back and refuse to speak to them. Which way do you choose – to run or shun?

Each time we remit and forget past hurts and offenses, we grow a little bigger and better. If we are living in the midst of bitterness and hatred, we are slowly starving ourselves. It is high time to “break away and return to the Father”.

Note: Taken from Fr. James McKarns, GO TELL EVERYONE, Makati, Philippines: St. Paul Publications, 1985, pages 265-266.

37 posted on 09/15/2013 3:32:43 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Marriage = One Man and One Woman Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for September 15, 2013:

(Reading: The Prodigal Son) Which person in this parable do you identify with—the father, the younger son, the older son? Ask your spouse. It’s a good way to start a thought-provoking conversation.

38 posted on 09/15/2013 3:38:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Grow Where You Are Planted

Pastor’s Column

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 15, 2013

 

 

          Like many of you, I planted many tomato plants this spring; and, if there was any flaw with this system, it was that they all seemed to bear fruit right at the same time. I also had this rather awful groundcover that I had dug up and discarded last winter; but I also saved a little bit to make a nice potted plant (because it can’t get out and spread everywhere). 

          In the spring, however, I noticed a renegade tomato plant coming out of the side of this beautiful and flourishing potted plant – one tomato plant which destroyed the symmetry. I thought it was ugly and pulled the thing out. This odd tomato plant must have hitched a ride with the transplant job I’d done earlier in the year or perhaps some bird had dropped a seed. Well, a couple of weeks later the darn thing came back, and I thought, “This scrappy tomato plant has a will to live. I think I’ll leave it alone and nurture it and see what happens.” And, so it has encircled the table and actually looks quite pretty now and is offering me a variety of tomatoes I did not plant.

          How many of us, like this plant, have gone off the wrong path or find ourselves planted in a pot where we don’t feel we belong and can’t get out of! We look to God for mercy in our lives and the Master Gardener sees us as a struggling plant and cares for that plant. He doesn’t pull it up at once because he knows that to do so will destroy the plant. Instead, he puts it on a table where it can have some support and waters it, fertilizes it, keeps it in the sunlight and nurtures it even though it might be better off in another location, even though an ordinary gardener would have simply pulled it out and thrown it away.

          Other plants, which do not need all this attention, are left to grow and bear fruit. God pays special attention to those plants which are broken or misplaced or for whatever reason are in great need. God is not an ordinary gardener! The reward for him is that he is, in the end, able to receive beautiful fruits that would not otherwise exist. And hopefully, unlike my tomato plant which cannot think, we human beings, realizing how much mercy and attention God has devoted to us, sooner or later will want to glorify God and thank him forever that instead of being uprooted, we were allowed to grow and flourish and bear fruit.

          Perhaps the misplaced tomato plants of life will, in the end, give more glory to God than the ones that never needed special attention. This is why the more weaknesses and struggles we have, the more we can glorify God by allowing him to take care of us and then bear what fruit we can. This plant taught me something about tenacity, the will to succeed against all odds, and in a strange way, a little something about compassion. We sometimes run into other “tomato plants” that are struggling or seem to not be where they belong. Do your bit to help them instead of cutting them off, condemning them or criticizing them about their ugliness. Buy some fertilizer, water them and encourage them to grow. We too can glorify God by simply bearing fruit and growing where we are planted.

                                                                                      Father Gary


39 posted on 09/15/2013 3:52:33 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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St. Paul Center Blog

Seeking the Lost: Scott Hahn Reflects on the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn on 09.13.13 |



Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14
Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 17, 19
1 Timothy 1:12-17
Luke 15:1-10

The episode in today’s First Reading has been called “Israel’s original sin.” Freed from bondage, born as a people of God in the covenant at Sinai, Israel turned aside from His ways, fell to worshipping a golden calf.

Moses implores God’s mercy, as Jesus will later intercede for the whole human race, as He still pleads for sinners at God’s right hand and through the ministry of the Church.

Israel’s sin is the sin of the world. It is your sin and mine. Ransomed from death and made His children in Baptism, we fall prey to the idols of this world. We remain a “stiff-necked people,” resisting His will for us like an ox refuses the plowman’s yoke (see Jeremiah 7:26).

Like Israel, in our sin we push God away, reject our divine sonship. Once He called us “my people” (see Exodus 3:10; 6:7). But our sin makes us “no people,” people He should, in justice, disown (see Deuteronomy 32:21; 1 Peter 2:10).

Yet in His mercy, He is faithful to the covenant He swore by His own self in Jesus. In Jesus, God comes to Israel and to each of us - as a shepherd to seek the lost (see Ezekiel 34:11-16), to carry us back to the heavenly feast, the perpetual heritage promised long ago to Abraham’s children.

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,” Paul cries in today’s Epistle. These are the happiest words the world has ever known. Because of Jesus, as Paul himself can testify, even the blasphemer and persecutor can seek His mercy.

As the sinners do in today’s Gospel, we draw near to listen to Him. In this Eucharist, we bring Him the acceptable sacrifice we sing of in today’s Psalm - our hearts, humbled and contrite.

In the company of His angels and saints, we rejoice that He has wiped out our offense, celebrate with Him - that we have turned from the evil way that we might live (see Ezekiel 18:23).


40 posted on 09/15/2013 3:58:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Scripture Study

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle C

September 15, 2013

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Exodus 32:7-11,13-14

Psalm: 51:3-4,12-13,17,19

Second Reading: 1 Timothy 1:12-17

Gospel Reading: Luke 15:1-32

 

QUESTIONS:

Closing Prayer

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  §§ 545, 1439, 1468

 

What have I to fear, then? Surely the God of infinite justice who pardons the prodigal son with such mercy will be just with me “who am always with him”? –St. Therese of Lisieux

41 posted on 09/15/2013 4:02:36 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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24th Sunday:  Are you lost?

 

(Tissot: The Good Shepherd)

"I have found my lost sheep . . ."

Sunday readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/091513.cfm

 

Ex 32: 7-11, 13-14

I Tim 1: 12-17
Lk 15: 1-32

Have you ever been lost? Maybe as a child or driving in a car futilely looking for an address only to find that your ever reliable GPS has led you astray? Or maybe you lost the keys to your house or your car?  “St. Anthony, help me find those keys!”  

 

God forbid the horror parents would suffer should they lose one of their own children. Why do we often become so distraught when losing our cell phone, house/car keys, or become frustrated when we can’t find our way?  Because we place so much value on the object we have lost or the important destination that we are desperately searching for or the precious value of that person in our lives.  If we find the object of our search, we rejoice!  In the case of loved ones, our lives are whole again and we may indeed feel reconciled to the one who wandered away. So, maybe the greatest find is that of coming home. After a long period of travel it’s always great to come home.  Your own bed suddenly feels like a luxurious pillow top mattress.  

 

This Sunday our scriptures clearly deal with the lost and found.  Yet, it is more about the nature of a God who is merciful and forgiving; about a God who searches out the lost.

 

The lost coin, the wandering sheep, and the father who waits with patience and hope that his wayward son would return home all indicate to us the very nature of our God.  Still, how can one coin be so valuable beyond the value of all the others that one would, “. . . light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it . . .?” (Lk 15)

 

Or what’s the big deal about, “. . . losing one (sheep) . . .” when you still have ninety-nine more? What kind of shepherd would, “. . . leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? . . .” In doing so he leaves the group unprotected as he wanders off to look for the lost one. 

"Ok, whose missing??"

 

Or what kind of parent would tolerate the extreme bad and disrespectful behavior of an ungrateful son who insults his own father, then wanders off to squander the money his father gave to him? As the son comes to his senses, how many fathers would be sitting day and night focused on the hopeful return of their son.  When he does return, they “. . . ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him . . .” Then they throw a party on his return! Through God’s eyes we see far more.

 

In our first reading from Exodus we hear of a “stiff-necked” (stubborn) people.  God is furious with the Hebrews who seem to have forgotten who their true God is for them.  They have made a false idol, a molten calf and offered worship to this thing over the true living God who rescued them from the Egyptians.  He wants to let his, “. . . wrath blaze up against them to consume them . . .” What an ungrateful lot!

 

However, Moses appeals to God to chill out for a moment and reminds God of his faithful servants of the past: Abraham, Isaac, and Israel who received God’s promise (covenant) of fidelity to his “stiff-necked” people.  Why would God now destroy the object of his love and generosity? It is a very human view of God’s “wrath,” though God’s anger is not to be dismissed.  Yet, it certainly makes the point that the nature of God is to show mercy and forgiveness because even the stiff-necked ones remain precious in God’s eyes.

 

So, it seems clear these images of sheep, coins, a wandering son, and a stubborn short-sighted people remind us that God desires all be gathered into his love and find their way home to him which illustrate the mystery of God’s infinite desire that all be saved by his grace.   

 

How do you feel about a God who appears so blind to bad behavior or a God who whose seemingly risks the safety of others in order to go after the one that is lost? The God which Jesus teaches us cares about all with an infinite mercy and love that is beyond what we mortal humans can do.

 

Jesus reminds us, though, that despite God’s apparent tolerance of our irresponsible or stubborn behavior to control our own lives and dismiss him, we still have some mending to do.  The merciful father in the parable loved his son completely and rejoiced at his return.   But, the damage done cannot be ignored and taking an active part in reconciliation is essential.

 

When we have done harm to another or to ourselves or ignored the importance of our spiritual life, what must I do to reconcile?  In practical terms, who must I seek forgiveness from?  What sort of restitution must I offer?  What spirit must I embrace to find forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation? What lesson should I learn about conversion?    

 

God cares about the lost in particular and through his cross and resurrection, has sacrificed absolutely everything in order to have us reconciled with him and each other.  Our Eucharist remembers this great act on the part of God and seeks our response of love and humility.  

Look upon us, O God,
creator and ruler of all things,
and, that we may feel the working of your mercy,
grant that we may serve you with all our heart.

(Roman Missal: Collect for Sunday)


42 posted on 09/15/2013 4:19:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Insight Scoop

The Parable of the Perfect Father

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for Sunday, September 15, 2013 | Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
• Ex 32:7-11, 13-14
• Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 17, 19
• 1 Tim 1:12-17
• Lk 15:1-32

The parable of the prodigal son is well known, arguably the most famous of Jesus’ parables. Yet, as Scripture scholar Joachim Jeremias states in The Parables of Jesus (New York, 1963), it “might more correctly be called the parable of the Father’s Love…”, for it is a powerful and unforgettable depiction of God’s love and mercy.

While the two sons are decidedly human—sinful, self-centered, materialistic—the father exhibits a serene, pervasive holiness that reveals the heart of the heavenly Father. In Dives in misericordia, his encyclical on the mercy of God, Pope John Paul II noted that although the word “mercy” doesn’t appear in the famous parable, “it nevertheless expresses the essence of the divine mercy in a particularly clear way.” Read carefully, the parable offers a wealth of insight into our relationship with our heavenly Father; it offers a glimpse of the Father’s face. But it also is a mirror that confronts us with our own distorted priorities and self-centered attitudes.

For example, the younger son’s request for his share of the estate was not just an impulsive, youthful demand for autonomy, but a harsh renunciation of his father. In essence, his demand was a way of publicly declaring, “I wish you were dead!” The son, wrote St. Peter Chrysologus, “is weary of his father’s own life. Since he cannot shorten his father’s life, he works to get possession of his property.” In rejecting his father and the life-giving communion he once had with him, he lost the privilege of being a son and embarked upon a calamitous course.

As a father myself, I think it is safe to say that most ordinary fathers would have objected to the son’s request, even refused to consider it. Yet our heavenly Father does not object; he respects our freedom—his great gift to us—even when we use it to rebel against him. So the father divided up the property; in doing so, grace was destroyed and communion was severed. The familial bond was broken, and the son took his money into the “far country,” a reference to a place of utter emptiness and spiritual desolation.

“What is farther away,” asked St. Ambrose, “then to depart from oneself, and not from a place? … Surely whoever separates himself from Christ is an exile from his country, a citizen of the world” The physical distance was not as painful as the loss of familial love and embrace; the son’s inner life vanished as quickly as did his inheritance. He is soon faced with eating unclean swill while tending unclean animals, the swine.

How did the son come to his senses? An answer can be found in today’s epistle, in which St. Paul confesses his sins of blasphemy, persecution, and arrogance, and explains he has “been mercifully treated because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.” By God’s grace he—a prodigal son—recognized his sinfulness. Confronted by Christ on the dusty road to Damascus, he experienced divine grace and mercy.

The prodigal son knew his father had every right to disown him, to consider him dead and gone. But he was willing to admit his sin and become a nameless hired hand. Yet, even as he tried to articulate a cry for mercy, he was wrapped in mercy—held, kissed, clothed, and restored to life. Having walked away in petulant selfishness, the son had embraced death; having been embraced by his patient and compassionate father, he was restored to life.

John Paul II explained that God is not just Creator, but “He is also Father: He is linked to man, whom He called to existence in the visible world, by a bond still more intimate than that of creation. It is love which not only creates the good but also grants participation in the very life of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For he who loves desires to give himself.” The merciful Father waits for the dead, eager to clothe them with new life.

(This is "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the September 12, 2010, edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


43 posted on 09/15/2013 5:36:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Regnum Christi

Lost and Found
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Luke 15: 1-10

The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." So to them he addressed this parable. "What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ´Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.´ I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance. "Or what woman having ten coins and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it? And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says to them, ´Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.´ In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

 

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe that you came into this world to redeem sinners. I hope in you, and in your power to transform my soul, by your grace, from sinfulness to holiness. Lord, I love you and offer you the longings of my heart to put you truly first in my life. I want to love you with all my mind, heart, soul and strength.

Petition: Lord, save me from my sinful habits and help me grow in virtue.

1. “This Man Welcomes Sinners and Eats with Them”: Jesus is willing to sit down and share a meal with me. In other words, my Lord and Redeemer overlooks my unworthiness in order to speak with me. This attracts my attention. I know my guilt yet I do not feel judged, and so I draw near and listen to him. In so many of my misguided actions, I have sought personal benefits which I do not deserve. I accept, even demand favors from those around me, while hypocritically not respecting their needs or the common good. Often there is no difference between my lifestyle and that of a “tax collector” or “sinner.” Still, Jesus is willing to lower himself and share a meal at my table, despite the criticism and rebuke he receives on my account. I can connect with him at his level, since he has lowered himself to mine, in order to lift me up.

2. “Rejoice with Me Because I Have Found My Lost Sheep”: For Christ, every soul has value. Every soul has been created through him, in God’s image and likeness. No sin, while this time of mercy lasts, can escape the reach of the Redeemer’s infinite love. Christ has shed his blood and passed through death in order to save those souls who have died in their sins, and he restores them to life. All that I have to do is hear his shepherd’s voice that calls out to me and finds me where I am. I need only to let myself be found, let him take me up in his arms, let him dispel my darkness and fear by the warmth of his love, and let him return me to the fold. “Justification consists in both victory over the death caused by sin and a new participation in grace” (CCC, 654). Every sin confessed, and every new virtue acquired, is a triumph of God’s grace in my soul.

3. “Rejoice with Me Because I Have Found the Coin That I Lost”: In Christ, there is communion. No Christian is left to stand alone. God’s grace in a soul radiates out to others. This is one of the most beautiful fruits wrought by Christ’s redemption: A soul is brought into union with his Mystical Body. Communion between the members of Christ’s Body produces joy, and I am meant to proclaim it. In the same way that others rejoice whenever the light of God’s grace shines in my soul through good works (Cf. Matthew 5:16), so too, I should lift praise to God whenever I discover his goodness in others. “Jesus himself called his disciples after his Resurrection: ‘Go and tell my brethren.’ We are brethren not by nature, but by the gift of grace, because that adoptive filiation gains us a real share in the life of the only Son, which was fully revealed in his Resurrection” (CCC, 654)

Conversation with Christ: Lord, you do not judge or discriminate against me, so long as I am willing to listen to your voice and respond to your promptings. Please continue to grant me your merciful grace, so that your call to holiness will triumph in the life of my soul. Let me rejoice with others.

Resolution: Today I will consciously choose to exercise a virtue that will help me break one of my sinful habits.


44 posted on 09/15/2013 5:42:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Scripture Speaks:Finding the Lost

by Gayle Somers on September 13, 2013 ·

 

The religious elites of Jesus’ day complained because He ate with sinners.  He is still doing that in the Mass.  Why?

Gospel (Read Lk 15:1-32)

St. Luke tells us “tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus.”  In Jewish society, these people were outcasts.  The tax collectors were hated for colluding with the oppressive Roman government.  The “sinners” were people who had publicly broken the Law of Moses.  Yet, they were drawn to Jesus.  They wanted to hear what He had to say.  Jesus’ willingness to “welcome sinners and eat with them” greatly provoked the Pharisees and scribes.  Why would a rabbi, a trusted teacher in Israel, share table fellowship with people who had, in one way or another, repudiated their Jewish covenant with God?  His critics judged Him harshly for this.

Jesus uses three parables to remind the religious elites of something they had forgotten about God.  Yes, He cares about righteousness and justice.  Yes, He calls His people to live in a way that reflects their relationship with Him.  However, He is more than simply a just Judge.  He is merciful.

The parables of the lost sheep and coin set the stage for the parable Jesus really wants to tell His critics.  He points to a well-known experience in human life—when we lose something, search hard for it, and finally find it, we want to celebrate by sharing our joy with others:  “Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep … the coin I lost.”  Jesus says this kind of familiar joy on earth is also experienced among the angels in heaven “over one sinner who repents.”  So, these parables make clear that God considers repentant sinners to be His lost treasures, for whom He has long searched; they are not His enemies.

Now, Jesus moves into a story that will help His critics identify themselves and recognize their own problem, not His.  It is the beloved parable of the prodigal son.  A father has two sons; the younger one demands his inheritance from his father and bolts.  In this, he utterly rejects his Jewish covenant, the one in which he was circumcised and raised.  He goes “off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.”  He couldn’t have been more sinful than that!  However, when the consequences of his bad choices kick in, they are so painful that they jolt him back to his “senses.”  What are his “senses”?  He remembers the just life his father had always lived.  In other words, the light and winsomeness of a faithful covenant life penetrated his darkness.  He resolved to return to his father, repent, and ask for mercy.  He knew he deserved to lose his sonship; he counted on his father’s mercy to accept him simply as a hired worker.

Upon his return, the joy of the father erupts and overflows onto his son, who cannot even finish his full confession.  Forget the “hired worker” life!  The father dresses him in fine clothing (discarding what surely must have been the soiled and tattered rags he was wearing), and throws a huge party:  “Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.”  There was great merriment in that household over the repentant sinner except for the older brother, the one who had never repudiated life with his father.  He was disgusted with the lavish party his father threw for his wastrel brother.  He wouldn’t even go into the house.

The father comes out to explain:  “My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.”  Did the Pharisees and scribes who criticized Jesus recognize themselves now in this story?  They were the ones who had tried to keep the covenant.  They had not lost their inheritance from God.  However, their younger, foolish brothers (the tax collectors and sinners) had grieved their Father’s heart by their rebellion.  When Jesus called them to repent and believe in the Gospel, they became like the younger son in the parable.  The Father says, “We must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.”

Is it any wonder that Jesus told the apostles to celebrate a meal as the centerpiece of their worship after He departed for heaven?  He continues to welcome repentant sinners to His table; we are those who were dead and have come to life again.  The Father rejoices over us.

Possible response:  Heavenly Father, help me remember that when I turn away from my sin and turn to you, I give You great joy.

First Reading (Read Ex 32:7-11, 13-14)

Here we have a conversation between God and Moses after the Israelites, fresh from deliverance from Egypt, broke the covenant with God into which they were willingly sealed with blood (see Ex 24:3-8).  God explodes in anger:  “Let Me alone,” He says to Moses, “that My wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.  Then I will make of you a great nation.”

Wait a minute.  What happened to the merciful God Jesus taught about in His parables?  This looks much more like the reaction to sinners that the Pharisees and scribes thought appropriate.  After all, the people had freely entered the covenant at Mt. Sinai, and it clearly stipulated that death was the penalty for breaking it.  It was time for justice.  Let the fire and brimstone begin

“But Moses implored the Lord.”  Moses urges God to have mercy on sinners.  He gives excellent reasons for God to spare them.  They are His “own people,” and God had sworn a promise to their forefathers that they would be His “perpetual heritage.”  This intercession worked; “the Lord relented in the punishment He had threatened to inflict on His people.”  What are we to make of this?

First, we must ask why Moses wanted God to spare this stiff-necked people who had made his own life miserable at times (see Ex 17:4).  Where did Moses get this impulse for mercy?  He was, himself, a murderer who had once fled justice for killing an Egyptian.  He balked when God appeared to him at the burning bush: he did not want to deliver the Israelites.  The only explanation for this dramatic change in him is what God told him when He first called him:  “I will be with you” (see Ex 3:12).  God’s Spirit was upon Moses; he was anointed to be the leader of God’s people.  In the exchange between them in our reading, we can see that God takes the part of justice, and He allows Moses to take the part of mercy, standing in for sinners to preserve their lives.  God punished the people, but their lives as His people were preserved.

God agrees to Moses’ request because he is a pre-figuring of Jesus, Who steps in to appease God’s justice on the Cross and gains for all sinners God’s ocean of mercy.  This kind of redemptive mercy is a constant theme of the Old Testament, beginning in the Garden of Eden.  The religious elites who criticized Jesus in our Gospel should have known this.  When they complained that Jesus welcomed sinners and ate with them, He could have legitimately answered, “Well, why wouldn’t I?”

Possible response:  Heavenly Father, thank You that You have always had a plan for justice and mercy to meet, to kiss—Jesus.

Psalm (Read Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 17, 19)

This psalm is traditionally attributed to David, king of Israel, after his sins of adultery and murder.  It is full of the contrition and repentance of a sinner:  “Have mercy on me, O God, in Your goodness; in the greatness of Your compassion wipe out my offense.”  Here again we see that in the history of God and His people, those anointed with the Holy Spirit, like Moses and David, know that God is merciful.  When we make an offering to the Lord of a humble and contrite heart, we know He “will not spurn” us.  We can always sing, “I will rise and go to my Father.”

Possible response:  The psalm is, itself, a response to our other readings.  Read it again prayerfully to make it your own.

Second Reading (Read 1 Tim 1:12-17)

St. Paul gives us a moving personal testimony about the mercy of God on sinners.  He had been a “blasphemer and a persecutor and arrogant.”  Yet God chose him to be an apostle, because he had “acted out of ignorance” in his unbelief.  Recall that from the Cross, Jesus pleaded for God’s mercy for those who killed him, blaming their ignorance, not wickedness.  How much of what we judge in sinners comes from ignorance, not wickedness?  St. Paul goes on to assure us:  “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.  Of these I am the foremost.”  He understood that his conversion was (and always will be) living proof of the patience and kindness of God.

Do we believe this for ourselves?  Do we believe it for other sinners?

Possible response:  Heavenly Father, help me have the same patience and kindness for sinners that You have shown me, a sinner in need of Your mercy.


45 posted on 09/15/2013 6:05:51 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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This Sunday’s Gospel: Sons and Calves

by Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D. on September 13, 2013 ·

 

21

Everyone knows the bible stories of the Prodigal Son and the Golden Calf.  But they don’t usually put the two together as this Sunday’s readings do.  So what do the two tales have in common?

Answer: they both speak volumes about the nature of sin.  Think about it.  God sees an enslaved people in miserable bondage to the mightiest nation on earth.  He champions their cause, smashes the armies of Pharaoh, brings them out of Egypt into freedom, and makes them his own chosen people.  And while he is giving to their leader a blueprint for their new life, they decide to worship what their next-door neighbors, the Canaanites, worshiped: power, virility, fertility, prosperity.  The golden bull symbolizes all those things, and for this very reason, was a leading idol in the Ancient Near East.

Now let’s look at the Prodigal Son.   He’s born into a prosperous family and receives all good things from his father.  But rather than waiting for his dad to die, he demands his inheritance now, thumbs his nose at his father, takes the money and runs.  He wastes all that he has on partying and fast living, pursuing the very same idols as the Israelites in the desert

The food sated him.  The wine exhilarated him.  The carousing titillated him.  But after it was all over, he found himself broke, empty, and alone.

This is the grand illusion of sin.  It is dangled before our eyes as the key to fulfillment and happiness.  It is all about enjoying the gifts of creation in defiance of the Creator, in a way contrary to his wise and loving design.  And because those things were in fact created good by God, it seems to work at first.  Sin initially tastes good.  But ultimately, it always turns sour and leaves us with an empty, aching sadness.   In contrast, God’s will may at first sting, but later brings a profound joy that makes our hearts sing.

So how do the stories of the golden calf and the Prodigal Son differ?  It’s really the difference between the Old and New Testaments, between a preliminary, partial revelation of God and the full revelation of God in Christ.  In Exodus, God Almighty reacts to sin with righteous anger, as he did in Genesis when he sweeps the world clean of sin through the flood.  If not for Moses’ intercession, he likewise would have destroyed the bull-worshipers and started over.

In the gospel, God, the compassionate Father, looks past the sin to focus on the sinner.  The older brother of the Prodigal wants punishment.  The Father insists on mercy.

There is a very important point in the story that should not escape our attention.  The motivation of the prodigal son is not sincere sorrow at how badly he has offended his father.  It is not even that he misses his father.  It comes back simply because he is hungry.  He admits his sin and wants pardon, yes, but it is to save his skin.

Does the Father care?  Does he insist that the son’s contrition be pure or perfect?  Does he even pay attention to the son’s rehearsed speech?  No.  He is overjoyed that the son has begun the journey home, for whatever reason.  He lavishes gifts upon him before he even gets to the house.  The elder brother insists that he does not deserve such treatment.  The Father does not contest this.  The Prodigal deserves nothing.   But the Father gives him everything.

God’s freely given, unmerited grace precedes even our expression of sorrow.  In fact, without God’s grace, we can’t make the first step on the road back to him.  He loves us when we were yet sinners, and seems to lavish the greatest graces on the most undeserving.

Ask St. Paul about this.  Perhaps he writes more about grace than any other biblical author because he needed it so much more.   Was it Benjamin Franklin who said that God helps those who help themselves?  Paul, the foremost of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), understood that it is quite the opposite: God helps those who can’t help themselves.  That’s what grace is all about.


46 posted on 09/15/2013 6:08:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Español

All Issues > Volume 29, Issue 5

<< Sunday, September 15, 2013 >> 24th Sunday Ordinary Time
 
Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14
1 Timothy 1:12-17

View Readings
Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 17, 19
Luke 15:1-32

Similar Reflections
 

HAVE YOU QUIT FORGIVING,GIVING, AND LIVING?

 
"Let Me alone, then, that My wrath may blaze up against them to consume them." —Exodus 32:10
 

The Lord was about to end His relationship with His chosen people, but He forgave them instead. Jeremiah wanted to quit his prophetic ministry (Jer 20:9) after he did not forgive the Israelites (see Jer 18:23). If Jesus hadn't prayed on Calvary for His Father to forgive us (see Lk 23:34), He may have been severely tempted to come down from the cross and quit the plan of salvation (see Mt 27:42).

Unforgiveness usually results in our quitting something the Lord wants us to continue, while forgiveness keeps it going on. If a wife refuses to forgive her husband, she may quit her marriage or at least quit trying in her marriage. If parents quit forgiving their children, they might easily quit parenting them. At best, they will just go through the motions.

Unforgiveness is the main cause of divorce, abuse, dysfunction, and neglect. When we quit forgiving seventy times seven (see Mt 18:22), we quit giving, loving, and trying. Eventually, we quit life and eternal life. If we quit forgiving one person, we quit our relationship with the Lord, for we pray that He forgive us as we forgive others (Mt 6:12). We must forgive as the father of the prodigal son did, or we will be like his older unforgiving son (see Lk 15:20, 28). Forgive — or risk quitting life, love, and God.

 
Prayer: Father, I decide now to accept Your grace to forgive all those who have ever hurt me in any way.
Promise: "You can depend on this as worthy of full acceptance: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." —1 Tm 1:15
Praise: Praise Jesus, Whose Spirit empowers us to forgive! Thank You, Jesus, for forgiving my sins.

47 posted on 09/15/2013 6:18:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

48 posted on 09/15/2013 6:19:59 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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http://resources.sainteds.com/showmedia.asp?media=../sermons/homily/2013-09-15-Homily%20Fr%20Gary.mp3&ExtraInfo=0&BaseDir=../sermons/homily


49 posted on 09/22/2013 2:51:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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