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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 09-22-13, Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 09-22-13 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 09/21/2013 7:45:29 PM PDT by Salvation

September 22, 2013

 

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

 

Reading 1 Am 8:4-7

Hear this, you who trample upon the needy
and destroy the poor of the land!
“When will the new moon be over,” you ask,
“that we may sell our grain,
and the sabbath, that we may display the wheat?
We will diminish the ephah,
add to the shekel,
and fix our scales for cheating!
We will buy the lowly for silver,
and the poor for a pair of sandals;
even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!”
The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
Never will I forget a thing they have done!

Responsorial Psalm Ps 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8

R. (cf. 1a, 7b) Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise, you servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD.
Blessed be the name of the LORD
both now and forever.
R. Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
High above all nations is the LORD;
above the heavens is his glory.
Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high
and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?
R. Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He raises up the lowly from the dust;
from the dunghill he lifts up the poor
to seat them with princes,
with the princes of his own people.
R. Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 1 Tm 2:1-8

Beloved:
First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers,
petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone,
for kings and for all in authority,
that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life
in all devotion and dignity.
This is good and pleasing to God our savior,
who wills everyone to be saved
and to come to knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God.
There is also one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus,
who gave himself as ransom for all.
This was the testimony at the proper time.
For this I was appointed preacher and apostle
— I am speaking the truth, I am not lying —,
teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray,
lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.

Gospel Lk 16:1-13

Jesus said to his disciples,
“A rich man had a steward
who was reported to him for squandering his property.
He summoned him and said,
‘What is this I hear about you?
Prepare a full account of your stewardship,
because you can no longer be my steward.’
The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do,
now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?
I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.
I know what I shall do so that,
when I am removed from the stewardship,
they may welcome me into their homes.’
He called in his master’s debtors one by one.
To the first he said,
‘How much do you owe my master?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’
He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note.
Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’
Then to another the steward said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’
He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’
The steward said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note;
write one for eighty.’
And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.
“For the children of this world
are more prudent in dealing with their own generation
than are the children of light.
I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth,
so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and mammon.”

Or LK 16:10-13

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and mammon.”



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

1 posted on 09/21/2013 7:45:30 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping!
 
If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be, 
please Freepmail me.

2 posted on 09/21/2013 7:46:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Amos 8:4-7

Exploiters denounced


[4] Hear this, you who trample upon the needy,
and bring the poor of the land to an end,
[5] saying, “When will the new moon be over,
that we may sell grain?
And the Sabbath,
that we may offer wheat for sale,
that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great,
and deal deceitfully with false balances,
[6] that we may buy the poor for silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
and sell the refuse of the wheat?”

[7] The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
“Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.
[8] Shall not the land tremble on this account,
and every one mourn who dwells in it,
and all of it rise like the Nile,
and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?”

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

8:1-14. The fourth vision, that of the ripe fruit (vv. 13), introduces a denunciation
of injustices (vv. 4-8 and a further description of the “day of the Lord” (vv 9-14).
The three things are interconnected. In the vision, the prophet plays with the
words (v. 2) “summer fruit”, qayits, and “end”, qets (see notes q and r). In this
way he is saying that Israel’s rottenness has run its course (vv. 4-8); nothing can
be done about it now – nothing but wait for the day of the Lord’s judgment (vv. 9-
14).

In his denunciation of injustices, Amos mentions, specifically, fraud (v. 5) and
exploitation of others when they are suffering need (v. 6). Church catechesis
uses this and other passages (cf. Deut 24:14-15; 25:13-16; Jas 5:4) to spell out
what the virtue of justice involves: “We should not dedicate our lives to the
accumulation of money and wealth when there are so many others who struggle
to survive in abject poverty; thus shall we heed the warning contained in the
words of the prophet Amos: Hear this, you who trample upon the needy, and
bring the poor of the land to an end, saying, ‘When will the new moon be over,
that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale’”
(St Gregory Nazianzen, De pauperum amore [Oratio, 14], 24).

*********************************************************************************************
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 09/21/2013 7:55:05 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 1 Timothy 2:1-8

God Desires the Salvation of All


[1] First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers,
intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, [2] for kings and
all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life,
godly and respectful in every way. [3] This is good, and it is acceptable
in the sight of God our Savior, [4] who desires all men to be saved and to
come to the knowledge of the truth. [5] For there is one God, and there
is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, [6] who
gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to which was borne at the
proper time. [7] For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle (I am
telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

Men at Prayer, Women at Prayer


[8] I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy
hand without anger or quarreling.

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

1. St Paul here establishes regulations for the public prayer of all
the faithful; it is up to Timothy, as head of the church of Ephesus, to
specify these in detail, and to preside over them. He refers to four
types of prayer; however, since the first three are almost synonymous,
he is probably just stressing the key importance of prayer in the
Christian life. St Augustine uses this text to explain the various
parts of the Mass: “We take as ‘supplications’ those prayers which are
said in celebrating the Mysteries before beginning to bless (the bread
and wine) that lie on the table of the Lord. We understand ‘prayers’
as meaning those prayers that are said when (the offering) is blessed,
consecrated and broken for distribution, and almost the whole Church
closes this prayer with the Lord’s prayer [...]. ‘Intercessions’ are
made when the blessing is being laid on the people [...]. When this
rite is completed and all have received this great Sacrament, the whole
ceremony is brought to an end by ‘thanksgiving’—which is also the word
which concludes this passage of the Apostle’s” (”Letter 149”, 2, 16).

St Paul orders that prayers be said for all, not just for friends and
benefactors and not just for Christians. The Church helps people keep
this command by the Prayers of the Faithful or at Mass when “the people
exercise their priestly function by praying for all mankind” and “pray
for Holy Church, for those in authority, for those oppressed by various
needs, for all mankind, and for the salvation of the entire world”
(”General Instruction on the Roman Missal”, 45).

2. This desire to lead “a quiet and peaceful life” does not in any way
imply a relaxation of the demands St Paul makes in other letters. He
specifically says that prayers have to be said “for kings and all who
are in high positions” because they are responsible for ensuring that
civil law is in line with the natural law, and when it is citizens are
able to practise religious and civil virtues (to be “godly and respectful”).
Rulers have a heavy responsibility and therefore deserve to be prayed
for regularly.

St Paul’s instruction to pray for kings and others is particularly
interesting if one bears in mind that when he was writing this letter, Nero
was on the throne—the emperor who instigated a bloody persecution of
Christians. St Clement of Rome, one of the first successors of St
Peter at the see of Rome, has left us touching evidence of intercession
for civil authority: “Make us to be obedient to your own almighty and
glorious name and to all who have rule and governance over us on earth
[...]. Grant unto them, O Lord, health and peace, harmony and security,
that they may exercise without offense the dominion you have accorded
them [...]. Vouchsafe so to direct their counsels as may be good and
pleasing in your sight, that in peace and mildness they might put to
godly use the authority you have given them, and so find mercy with
you” (”Letter to the Corinthians”, 1, 60-61).

If one bears in mind the injustices and brutality of the world in which
Christians lived when St Paul wrote this letter, the tone of his teaching
shows that Christianity has nothing to do with fomenting political or
social unrest. The message of Jesus seeks, rather, to change men’s
consciences so that they for their part can change society from
within by working in an upright and noble way. The Church, through
its ordinary magisterium, teaches that “the political and economic
running of society is not a direct part of (the Church’s) mission (cf.
“Gaudium Et Spes”, 42). But the Lord Jesus has entrusted to her the
word of truth which is capable of enlightening consciences. Divine
love, which is her life, impels her to a true solidarity with everyone
who suffers. If her members remain faithful to this mission, the Holy
Spirit, the source of freedom, will dwell in them, and they will bring
forth fruits of justice and peace in their families and in the places
where they work and live” (SCDF, “Libertatis Conscientia”, 61).

3-4. God’s desire that all should be saved is a subject which appears
frequently in the Pastoral Epistles (cf. 1 Tim 4:10; Tit 3:4), and so
he is often given the title of “Savior” (cf. note on 1 Tim 1:1-2). Here
it is given special emphasis: pray for all men (v. 1), particularly those
in high positions (v. 2), that all may be saved (v. 6).

Since God wants all men to be saved, no one is predestined to be
damned (cf. Council of Trent, “De Iustificatione”). “He came on earth
because “omnes homines vult salvos fieri”, he wants to redeem the
whole world. While you are at your work, shoulder to shoulder with so
many others, never forget that there is no soul that does not matter to
Christ!” ([St] J. Escriva, “The Forge”, 865).

God desires man to be free as intensely as he desires his salvation;
by making man free he has made it possible for man to cooperate in
attaining his last end. “God, who created you without you,” St
Augustine reminds us, “will not save you without you” (”Sermon”, 169,
13).

In order to attain salvation, the Apostle lists as a requirement that
one must “come to the knowledge of the truth”. “The truth” is firstly
Jesus (cf. Jn 14:6; 1 Jn 5:20); knowledge of the truth is the same as
knowing the Christian message, the Gospel (cf. Gal 2:5, 14). The
human mind needs to come into play if one is to be saved; for, although
affections, emotions and good will are also involved, it would be wrong
to give them so much importance that the content of the truths of faith
is played down. As the original Greek word suggests, this “knowledge”
is not just an intellectual grasp of truth: it is something which
should have an impact on one’s everyday life; knowledge of the faith
involves practice of the faith.

“The Church’s essential mission, following that of Christ, is a mission
of evangelization and salvation. She draws her zeal from the divine love.
Evangelization is the proclamation of salvation, which is a gift of God.
Through the word of God and the Sacraments, man is freed in the
first place from the power of sin and the power of the Evil One which
oppress him; and he is brought into a communion of love with God.
Following her Lord who ‘came into the world to save sinners’ (1 Tim
1:15), the Church desires the salvation of everyone. In this mission,
the Church teaches the way which man must follow in this world in
order to enter the Kingdom of God” (SCDF, “Libertatis Conscientia”,
63).

5. Verses 5 and 6 compress a series of statements into the rhythmic
format of a liturgical hymn, a kind of summarized confession of faith
containing the truths one needs to believe in order to be saved (cf.
v. 4).

“One mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”: the
Apostle lays stress on Christ’s humanity, not to deny his divinity (which
he explicitly asserts elsewhere: cf. Tit 2: 13) but because it is as man
particularly that Christ is mediator; for if the function of a mediator is
to join or put two sides in touch, in this particular case it is only as man
that he is as it were “distant both from God by nature and from man by
dignity of both grace and glory [...], and that he can unite men to God,
communicating his precepts and gifts to them, and offering satisfaction
and prayers to God for them” (”Summa Theologiae”, III, q. 26, a. 2).
Christ is the perfect and only mediator between God and men,
because being true God and true man he has offered a sacrifice of
infinite value (his life) to reconcile men to God.

The fact that Jesus is the only mediator does not prevent those who
have reached heaven from obtaining graces and helping to build up the
Church’s holiness (cf. “Lumen Gentium”, 49). Angels and saints,
particularly the Blessed Virgin, can be described as mediators by
virtue of their union with Christ: “Mary’s function as mother of men
in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but
rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin’s salutary influence on
men originates not in any inner necessity but in the disposition of
God. It flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ”
(”Lumen Gentium”, 60).

6. “Ransom”: in the Old Testament God is said to ransom or redeem
his people particularly when he sets them free from slavery in Egypt
and makes them his own property (cf. Ex 6:6-7; 19:5-6; etc.). The
liberation which God will bring about in the messianic times is also
described as redemption (cf. Is 35:9) and implies, above all,
liberation from sin: “he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities” (Ps.
130:8). The same idea occurs in this verse: Jesus “gave himself”
in sacrifice to make expiation for our sins, to set us free from sin
and restore to us our lost dignity. “Unceasingly contemplating the
whole of Christ’s mystery, the Church knows with all the certainty
of faith that the Redemption that took place through the Cross has
definitively restored his dignity to man and given back meaning to
his life in the world, a meaning that was lost to a considerable extent
because of sin” (John Paul II, “Redemptor Hominis”, 10).

“At the proper time”: God’s plan for man’s salvation is eternal, it did
not start at a particular time; however, it unfolds gradually in God’s
good time (see the note on Eph 1:10).

8. The raising of the hands at prayer is a custom found among both
Jews (cf. Ex 9:29; Is 1:15; etc.) and pagans; it was also adopted by
the early Christians, as can be seen from murals in the Roman
catacombs.

External stances adopted during prayer should reflect one’s inner
attitude: “we extend our arms”, Tertullian explains, “in imitation of
the Lord on the Cross; and praying we confess Christ” (”De Oratione”,
14). St Thomas Aquinas, referring to liturgical rites, comments that
“what we do externally when we pray helps to move us internally.
Genuflections and other gestures of that type are not pleasing to God
in themselves; they please him because they are signs of respect
whereby man humbles himself interiorly; similarly, the raising of the
hands signifies the lifting of the heart” (”Commentary on 1 Tim, ad
loc.”).

Everyone should pray regularly (vv. 1-2) and be sure to have the right
dispositions; men need to make sure that they do not approach prayer
with their thoughts full of earthly ambition; and women need to be sure
vanity does not creep in. “Holy hands” refers to the need to pray with
a calm conscience, free from anger and spite. We already have our
Lord’s teaching that “if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there
remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift
there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and
then come and offer your gift” (Mt 5:23-24).

*********************************************************************************************
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 09/21/2013 7:55:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 16:1-13

The Unjust Steward


[1] He (Jesus) also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who
had a steward, and charges were brought to him that this man was
wasting his goods. [2] And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this
that I hear from you? Turn in the account of your stewardship, for you
can no longer be steward.’ [3] And the steward said to himself, ‘What
shall I do, since my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I
am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. [4] I have
decided what to do, so that people may receive me into their houses
when I am put out of the stewardship.’ [5] So, summoning his master’s
debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my
master?’ [6] He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ And he said to him,
‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ [7] Then he said
to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures
of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ [8] The
master commended the dishonest steward for his prudence; for the
sons of this world are wiser in their own generation that the sons of
light. [9] And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of
unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into
the eternal habitations.

[10] “He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and
he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. [11]
If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will
entrust to you the true riches? [12] And if you had not been faithful
in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?
[13] No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one
and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the
other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

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

1-8. The unfaithful steward manages to avoid falling on hard times. Of
course, our Lord presumes that we realize the immorality of the man’s
behavior. What he emphasizes and praises, however, is his shrewdness
and effort: he tries to derive maximum material advantages from his
former position as steward. In saving our soul and spreading the
Kingdom of God, our Lord wants us to apply at least the same ingenuity
and effort as people put into their worldly affairs or their attempts
to attain some human ideal. The fact that we can count on God’s grace
does not in any way exempt us from the need to employ all available
legitimate human resources even if that means strenuous effort and
heroic sacrifice.

“What zeal people put into their earthly affairs: dreaming of honors,
striving for riches, bent on sensuality. Men and women, rich and poor,
old and middle-aged and young and even children: all of them the same.
When you and I put the same zeal into the affairs of our souls, we
will have a living and operative faith: and there will be no obstacle
that we cannot overcome in our apostolic undertakings” ([St] J. Escriva,
“The Way”, 317).

9-11. “Unrighteous mammon” means temporal good which have been
obtained in some unjust, unrighteous way. However, God is very merciful:
even his unjust wealth can enable a person to practice virtue by making
restitution, by paying for the damage done and then by striving to help
his neighbor by giving alms, by creating work opportunities, etc. This
was the case with Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector, who undertook to
restore fourfold anything he had unjustly taken, and also to give half
his wealth to the poor. On hearing that, our Lord specifically declared
that salvation had that day come to that house (cf. Luke 19:1-10).

Our Lord speaks out about faithfulness in very little things, referring
to riches—which really are insignificant compared with spiritual
wealth. If a person is faithful and generous and is detached in the
use he makes of these temporal riches, he will, at the end of his life,
receive the rewards of eternal life, which is the greatest treasure of
all, and a permanent one. Besides, by its very nature human life is a
fabric of little things: anyone who fails to give them their importance
will never be able to achieve great things. “Everything in which we
poor men have a part—even holiness—is a fabric of small trifles which,
depending upon one’s intention, can form a magnificent tapestry of
heroism or of degradation, of virtues or of sins.

“The epic legends always relate extraordinary adventures, but never
fail to mix them with homely details about the hero. May you always
attach great importance to the little things. This is the way!”
([St] J. Escriva, “The Way”, 826).

The parable of the unjust steward is a symbol of man’s life.
Everything we have is a gift from God, and we are His stewards or
managers, who sooner or later will have to render an account to Him.

12. “That which is another’s” refers to temporal things, which are
essentially impermanent. “That which is your own” refers to goods
of the spirit, values which endure, which are things we really do
possess because they will go with us into eternal life. In other words:
how can we be given Heaven if we have proved unfaithful, irresponsible,
during our life on earth?

13-14. In the culture of that time “service” involved such commitment
to one’s master that a servant could not take on any other work or
serve any other master.

Our service to God, our sanctification, requires us to direct all our
actions towards Him. A Christian does not divide up his time,
allocating some of it to God and some of it to worldly affairs:
everything he does should become a type of service to God and
neighbor—by doing things with upright motivation, and being just and
charitable.

The Pharisees jeered at what Jesus was saying, in order to justify their
own attachment to material things; sometimes people make fun of total
commitment to God and detachment from material things because they
themselves are not ready to practice virtue; they cannot even imagine
other people really having this generosity: they think they must have
ulterior motives. See also the note on Matthew 6:24.

[The note on Matthew 6:24 states:

24. Man’s ultimate goal is God; to attain this goal he should commit
himself entirely. But in fact some people do not have God as their
ultimate goal, and instead choose wealth of some kind—in which case
wealth becomes their god. Man cannot have two absolute and contrary
goals.]

*********************************************************************************************
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 09/21/2013 7:56:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading

Amos 8:4-7 ©

Listen to this, you who trample on the needy

and try to suppress the poor people of the country,

you who say, ‘When will New Moon be over

so that we can sell our corn,

and sabbath, so that we can market our wheat?

Then by lowering the bushel, raising the shekel,

by swindling and tampering with the scales,

we can buy up the poor for money,

and the needy for a pair of sandals,

and get a price even for the sweepings of the wheat.’

The Lord swears it by the pride of Jacob,

‘Never will I forget a single thing you have done.’


Psalm

Psalm 112:1-2,4-8 ©

Praise the Lord, who raises the poor.

or

Alleluia!

Praise, O servants of the Lord,

  praise the name of the Lord!

May the name of the Lord be blessed

  both now and for evermore!

Praise the Lord, who raises the poor.

or

Alleluia!

High above all nations is the Lord,

  above the heavens his glory.

Who is like the Lord, our God,

  who has risen on high to his throne

yet stoops from the heights to look down,

  to look down upon heaven and earth?

Praise the Lord, who raises the poor.

or

Alleluia!

From the dust he lifts up the lowly,

  from the dungheap he raises the poor

to set him in the company of princes,

  yes, with the princes of his people.

Praise the Lord, who raises the poor.

or

Alleluia!


Second reading

1 Timothy 2:1-8 ©

My advice is that, first of all, there should be prayers offered for everyone – petitions, intercessions and thanksgiving – and especially for kings and others in authority, so that we may be able to live religious and reverent lives in peace and quiet. To do this is right, and will please God our saviour: he wants everyone to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth. For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and mankind, himself a man, Christ Jesus, who sacrificed himself as a ransom for them all. He is the evidence of this, sent at the appointed time, and I have been named a herald and apostle of it and – I am telling the truth and no lie – a teacher of the faith and the truth to the pagans.

  In every place, then, I want the men to lift their hands up reverently in prayer, with no anger or argument.


Gospel Acclamation

cf.Ac16:14

Alleluia, alleluia!

Open our heart, O Lord,

to accept the words of your Son.

Alleluia!

Or

2Co8:9

Alleluia, alleluia!

Jesus Christ was rich,

but he became poor for your sake,

to make you rich out of his poverty.

Alleluia!

EITHER:

Gospel

Luke 16:1-13 ©

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘There was a rich man and he had a steward denounced to him for being wasteful with his property. He called for the man and said, “What is this I hear about you? Draw me up an account of your stewardship because you are not to be my steward any longer.” Then the steward said to himself, “Now that my master is taking the stewardship from me, what am I to do? Dig? I am not strong enough. Go begging? I should be too ashamed. Ah, I know what I will do to make sure that when I am dismissed from office there will be some to welcome me into their homes.”

  Then he called his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, “How much do you owe my master?” “One hundred measures of oil” was the reply. The steward said, “Here, take your bond; sit down straight away and write fifty.” To another he said, “And you, sir, how much do you owe?” “One hundred measures of wheat” was the reply. The steward said, “Here, take your bond and write eighty.”

  ‘The master praised the dishonest steward for his astuteness. For the children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the children of light.

  ‘And so I tell you this: use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends, and thus make sure that when it fails you, they will welcome you into the tents of eternity. The man who can be trusted in little things can be trusted in great; the man who is dishonest in little things will be dishonest in great. If then you cannot be trusted with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches? And if you cannot be trusted with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own?

  ‘No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.’

OR:

Gospel

Luke 16:10-13 ©

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘The man who can be trusted in little things can be trusted in great; the man who is dishonest in little things will be dishonest in great. If then you cannot be trusted with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches? And if you cannot be trusted with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own?

  ‘No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.’


6 posted on 09/21/2013 8:09:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Pray with Pope Benedict

Audience: Pope continues catechesis on Church as our Mother
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 09/21/2013 8:15:59 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 09/21/2013 8:18:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
9 posted on 09/21/2013 8:29:35 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 09/21/2013 8:31:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

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

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, 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 09/21/2013 8:32:02 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 09/21/2013 8:32:45 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 09/21/2013 8:33:18 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 09/21/2013 8:33:52 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 09/21/2013 8:35:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Daily Gospel Commentary

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C

Commentary of the day
Saint Ambrose (c.340-397), Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church
Commentary on Saint Luke's Gospel, 7, 244s ; SC 52

« You have only one Master..., the Christ » (Mt 23,8)

“A servant cannot serve two masters.” Not that there are two; there is only one Master. For even if there are some people who serve money, it has no inherent right to be a master; they themselves are the ones who assume the yoke of this slavery. In fact, money has no rightful authority but constitutes an unjust bondage. That is why Jesus says: “Make friends for yourselves with deceitful money” so that by generosity to the poor we will win the favor of angels and saints.


The steward is not blamed. By this we learn that we are not masters but rather stewards of other people's wealth. He was praised even though he was in the wrong because, in paying out to others in his master's name he won support for himself. And how rightly Jesus spoke of “deceitful wealth” because love of money so tempts our desires with its various seductions that we consent to become its slaves. That is why he said: “If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours?” Riches are alien to us because they exist outside of our nature; they are not born with us, they don't follow us in death. But Christ, to the contrary, belongs to us because he is life... So don't let us become slaves of exterior goods because Christ is the only one we should acknowledge as our Lord.


16 posted on 09/21/2013 8:37:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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From Zenit.org

Pope Francis' Beautiful Mind

Deeper Into the Interview

Atchison, Kansas, September 20, 2013 (Zenit.org) Dr. Edward Mulholland | 2001 hits

Pope Francis grabbed headlines with the publication of a long interview yesterday. The superficial analysis has been done. Let’s go a bit deeper.

 

In the film “A Beautiful Mind,” John Nash doesn’t go to classes or do homework. As a grad student in math at Princeton, he doesn’t want to live grad school business as usual. He wants to find something deeper, something wide-ranging, a discovery that will make history. He is searching for a “governing dynamic.” The one paper he wrote in grad school formed the basis of his Nobel Prize winning game theory. (Of course, he also goes a bit crazy in the process. And the faithfulness of his wife throughout is the real charm of the film.)

Surely you have read the Pope’s interview. If not, go do it. Now. Maybe you have read the secular press speculation about a lot of what the Pope said. Don’t believe most of it. In general, don’t listen to what other people say about your parents. Be a true son or daughter and listen to them directly.

Fr. Zuhlsdorf has done a great job of getting deeper into the interview. He nails it in one sentence: “Francis’ pontificate is going to be about evangelization and putting a motherly face on the Church.”

I want to take one more step. What does it say about Pope Francis’ mind? Well, it’s a beautiful one, and it’s a fatherly one. That’s what pope means, right? Papa… dad!

He speaks a great deal about discernment, as a great gift of St. Ignatius to the Church. He is taking things slow. It certainly hasn’t been business as usual in Rome, and Francis says he has not spoken about certain things on purpose, even though he has taken flack for it (like John Nash not handing in homework.) What is he waiting for?

One of the most overlooked lines in the interview may be one of the most important: “We must not focus on occupying the spaces where power is exercised, but rather on starting long-run historical processes.”

What does this mean? It means that Francis, in his heart and in his beautiful mind, is discerning a foundational dynamic. He wants to start a long-run historical process. He wants to do this, very possibly, because he sees the long-run historical process of modernity in crisis. This is something the Church discerned during the Second Vatican Council. Francis is not about trying to win a shouting match with the world about moral issues.  He wants to start a process that will last centuries.

And that process starts with putting things in order. Francis may irk conservatives by not seeming to care much about an order of doctrines or addressing moral concerns in order of absoluteness. The reason is that, as a pastor, as a father, there are no abstract questions, there are only souls to save. That is why Francis is more concerned about homosexuals than he is about homosexuality. And he says God the Father is, too.

The Pope knew this interview was going to make a splash this week. So last Sunday in his Angelus message he spoke of the Church as Mother who listens, who waits, (who discerns, we could say,) and who prays unceasingly.

No mother whose son has fallen into drugs says “My son the drug addict.” Drug addiction is not some abstract issue to be confronted, nor is it her son’s identity. It is something that has stolen him from her and which prevents him from being the fullness of himself, from living out the full truth of who he is. It is an obstacle to his ultimate fulfillment and happiness. That is how Francis addresses moral issues. And it is very important.

At the beginning of the interview, he spoke of why he didn’t want to live in the Apostolic Palace. It was a narrow door with a big space. He says, “like an inverted funnel.” He likes open doors and narrow spaces.

That is Francis, and that is the dynamic he wants to start establishing in the Church.  We must start with a proclamation of Christ, of what He has done in our lives. Catechesis and moral doctrine come after that. In our Faith, a “no” is always in service of a yes. We can’t teach people “no” until they understand the yes. God didn’t give the Commandments until after He saved them from Pharaoah.

It is not a question of wanting the world to say “Ok, you’re right, abortion is wrong.” With that we win an argument. It is about healing souls. He calls the Church a “field hospital.” Academic debates about disease are not prevalent in field hospitals. It’s triage and saving lives. And it's not because those deabtes are not relevant, it's a matter of urgency and emphasis.

Read the interview again. Keep the deeper issues in mind. Don’t look at it like a lobbyist to see if his pet issues, be they righty or lefty, gained any yardage.

Pope Francis is the Universal Pastor of all Christians. He is slowly looking for, and slowly finding, a long-run process to set the Church upon for decades. And his doing so is a proof of the fidelity of the Church, Mother and Teacher.

A mother draws a child tightly to her heart, but only after a wide-armed embrace.

This is going to be one mother of a pontificate.


17 posted on 09/21/2013 8:59:43 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Arling Catholic Herald

Focus on eternity

Fr. Robert J. Wagner

In the Gospel this Sunday, Jesus describes a genuinely unlikeable person in the parable of the unjust steward. This steward is about to be fired after his master learns of his dishonest ways. With unemployment looming, the steward calls in his master’s debtors and lowers the amount each of them owes, a scheme the steward hopes will obtain their trust and gain him future employment with one of them after he is fired. At the end of the parable we expect this dishonest steward to be severely punished. Instead we hear Jesus tell us that the master commends this unjust steward for “acting prudently.”

No doubt we are uncomfortable with this outcome. It is contrary to our God-given sense of justice. However, Jesus says that this steward’s actions are worthy of imitation by those who seek the path of righteousness. But what lesson could we possibly learn from this scoundrel?

 

One attribute worthy of imitation is how this steward responds when his future is threatened. After he learns that he will be fired, he boldly deals with whatever and whoever he can in order to regain his security. While his injustice is despicable, his shrewdness and decisiveness are indeed admirable. By praising the steward, Jesus is saying that we, too, must act prudently and boldly in order to protect our future well-being. However, Jesus is not referring to our future here on earth. Instead, as “children of light,” we need to set our sights on securing our well-being in the next life.

In the Gospels, Jesus often speaks about death and the judgment that awaits each of us. It may be unsettling to hear Him say that we “must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come” (Lk 12:40). However, such a warning puts things in perspective, for when we meet Jesus, the work we have done to attain the things of this world means nothing if it has distracted us — or worse yet, driven us — from Jesus.

Looking at our lives, we find that many of our efforts are directed toward obtaining comfort, pleasure and security. While there is nothing wrong with seeking these goals, it is more important that we act prudently as to attain the final goal of eternal life in heaven. In his spiritual exercises, St. Ignatius of Loyola speaks plainly of the prudence we need as Christians in what he calls the “First Principle and Foundation.” He says that man is created “to praise, reverence and serve God Our Lord, and by this means to save his soul;” therefore he must use the things of the world that help him attain heaven and avoid the things that keep him from that goal. This idea is masterful in its simplicity, but in practice, we find that we do not live by this simple truth nearly enough. However, it is the wisdom of the saints, who were prudent in the things of this world because they always had their eyes fixed on heaven.

The unjust steward acted decisively when he recognized his future was in danger. We are called to do the same in our lives, with our focus on eternity. We must act deliberately, boldly and sometimes with great urgency. This may mean we have to deal with worldly things by breaking the sinful habits that endanger our eternal souls and damage our relationships with God and others. It may mean we urgently seek the grace the church offers in her sacraments, especially the Eucharist and confession. It may mean we deal with others by forgiving someone we have shunned for too long, or offering prayers and penance for a friend whose soul may be in danger. In many other ways, acting prudently means changing how we spend our money and our time so we can work with what the Lord gives us that we man gain salvation.

Jesus wants us to be bold and deliberate in securing our future. Let us pray that we be prudent with the things of this world, always acting that we may achieve our goal of becoming great saints and joining Our Lord in heaven for all eternity.

Fr. Wagner is Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde’s secretary.


18 posted on 09/21/2013 9:06:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Work of God

You cannot serve God and money.

Catholic Gospels - Homilies, Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit  You cannot serve God and money. Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year C

 -  Luke 16:1-13

1 AND he said also to his disciples: There was a certain rich man who had a steward: and the same was accused before him, that he had wasted his goods.
2 And he called him, and said to him: How is it that I hear this of you? give an account of your stewardship: for now you can not be steward any longer.
3 And the steward said within himself: What shall I do, since my lord takes away from me the stewardship? To dig I am not able; to beg I am ashamed.
4 I know what I will do, so that when I will be removed from the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.
5 Therefore calling together every one of his lord's debtors, he said to the first: How much do you owe my lord?
6 But he said: A hundred barrels of oil. And he said to him: Take your bill and sit down quickly, and write fifty.
7 Then he said to another: And how much do you owe? Who said: A hundred quarters of wheat. He said to him: Take your bill, and write eighty.
8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, forasmuch as he had done wisely: for the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light.
9 And I say to you: Make unto you friends of the money of iniquity; that when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting dwellings.
10 He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in that which is greater: and he that is unjust in that which is little, is unjust also in that which is greater.
11 If then you have not been faithful in the unjust money; who will trust you with that which is the true?
12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's; who will give you that which is your own?
13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

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

The love of riches, power and self-love has been the downfall of many. Some work very hard to achieve success in their lives at the cost of their own salvation. They make money their false god who cannot save but condemn. In the process they appear to be smarter than other men who struggle to survive in a world full of competition.

This is the wisdom of the children of the world, which is so revolting in my sight. All the riches that I have created are for the common benefit of mankind, not for the selfish growth of individuals who take advantage of others. In the previous parable it is shown how man is desperate for the high opinion of others and disregards the opinion of his master. It illustrates how a man is so inadequate to administer the riches that are given from above. Indeed, money has been the reason for corruption throughout the ages because it gives power and buys friends, but it is the weakness of the man who being so rich can not enter the kingdom of God, who amasses his fortune at the price of injustice and who places himself on a high place at the cost of charity.

The riches of this world are really nothing compared to the riches of everlasting life, therefore if a man cannot give a good account of the little wealth that he receives here; it is very difficult for him to receive more, since this may be the cause of his misfortune. The problem with the rich man is that he becomes obsessed with money, to such an extent that he forgets about the kingdom of Heaven. He becomes the slave of his own destruction.

I have come to give an example of detachment, self-denial and acceptance of the will of God. He who insists in becoming rich may obtain his goal but at the cost of his own salvation unless he practices charity and justice. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


19 posted on 09/21/2013 9:12:43 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Archdiocese of Washington

On Being Faithful in a few things before being ruler over many things. – A Sermon for the 25th Sunday of the Year.

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

The Lord Jesus gives a penetrating analysis of the state of the sinner and some very sobering advice to we would-be saints in today’s Gospel. Let’s look at the Gospel in two stages: The Analysis of the Sinner and the Advice to the Saints.

I. ANALYSIS OF THE SINNER - The Lord Jesus describes a sinful steward in the opening lines of this gospel. Let’s look at the description:

A. DELUSION (of the sinner)- Jesus said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward – Notice he is called a steward not an owner. God is the owner of everything, we are but stewards. A steward must deal with the goods of another according to the will of the owner. This is our state. We may have private ownership in relation to one another. But before God we own nothing, absolutely nothing.

Part of the essence of sin is to behave as though we were the owner. We develop an arrogant attitude that what I have is really mine to do with as I please. We think, “It’s mine, I can do what I want with it…..I call the shots…..I can do as I please with my own body….” and so forth. But the fact is everything belongs to God.

Scripture affirms, The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein (Ps. 24:1). Even of our bodies which we like to think of as ours, Scripture says: You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body (1 Cor 6:19). And old song says, “God and God alone created all these things we call our own. From the mighty to the small, the glory in them all is God’s and God’s alone….” So the Lord defines the sinner as a steward, though the steward acts as if he were an owner.

B. DISSIPATION (of the sinner) - who was reported to him for squandering his property. The Lord here describes the essence of many of our sins: that we dissipate, we squander the gifts of God. We waste the gifts we have received and using them for sinful ends.

For example in greed we hoard the gifts he given us to help others. Instead of helping, we store them up only for ourselves. Yet all the goods of the world belong to all the people of the world and they ought to shared to the extent that we have excess.

Other examples of squandering the things of God are in gossip, lying and cursing wherein we misuse the gift of speech; in laziness wherein we misuse the gift of time; in all sin wherein we abuse and squander our freedom. This is dissipation, this is the squandering of God’s goods.

God has given us many good things, and instead of using them to build the Kingdom, we squander them and dissipate the kingdom.

C. DEATH (of the sinner)He summoned him and said, ‘What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.’ – Here the Lord teaches and reminds us that someday we will all be called to account and our stewardship will end. Elsewhere scripture reminds us So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body (2 Cor 5:9 ).

We have an appointed time to exercise our stewardship but our stewardship will end and the books will be opened. Here too Scripture reminds: And books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. (Rev 20:11)

While it is true that many pay little heed to the fact of judgement Scripture warns Say not, “I have sinned, yet what has befallen me? For the Lord bids his time. Of forgiveness be not over-confident, adding sin upon sin. Say not, “Great is his mercy, my many sins he will forgive.” For mercy and anger are alike with him; upon the wicked alights his wrath. Delay not your conversion to the Lord, put it not off from day to day. For suddenly his wrath flames forth; at the time of vengeance you will be destroyed (Sirach 5:4).

Every steward (us) will die, our stewardship will end, and we will be called to render an account. It thus follows that we ought to listen to the advice which the Lord next gives.

II. ADVICE TO THE SAINTS- After analyzing the sinner the Lord has some advice for those of us sinners who want to be saints. He gives Four principles we ought to follow:

A. Principle of INTENSITY - The text says,  The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.’ He called in his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’ Then to another the steward said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’ The steward said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.’And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting shrewdly. For the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. –

The Lord is telling us here many of the worldly are more crafty in what matters to them than the Spiritually minded in what (supposedly) matters to them. The fact is many of us are very intense and organized when it comes to worldly matters. We spend years of preparation in college training for careers. We work hard and are dedicated to climbing the company ladder.

In worldly expertise many are dedicated to developing skills, and becoming incredibly knowledgeable. In earning money and holding a job many display great discipline, getting up early to go to work, working late and hard to please the boss.

But when it comes to faith many of the same people display a third grade knowledge of things spiritual and show little interest in advancing in the faith or of praying. They will please the boss, please man, but not God. Parents will fight for scholarships for their children to get into the best schools. Students will compete for scholarships. But when it comes to saving truth, the pews are empty, Sunday School is badly attended.

To all this, the Lord says to us here that the spiritually minded ought to show the same intensity, organization, dedication and craftiness that the worldly show in their pursuits. We ought to be zealous for the truth, for prayer, for opportunities to sharpen our spiritual skills and increase our holiness. We ought to be as zealous to be rich in grace as we are to be rich in money. So the first principle the Lord gives us is intensity.

B. Principle of INVESTMENT - I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. -

As to what the Lord means by “dishonest wealth”, read here: What does the Lord mean by “Unrighteous Mammon”

The Lord tells of how the dishonest steward made use of the money at his disposal to make friends who would help him in the next stage of his life. How about us? Are we willing to use our money and resources to bless others, especially the poor, who can bless us in the next stage of our life?

On the day of your judgment will the poor and needy be able to speak up on your behalf? Will they be among the angels and saints who welcome you to eternal dwellings? I don’t know about you, but I am going to want the poor to pray and speak to God on my behalf the Day I am judged. Scripture says that the Lord hears the cry of the poor and needy.

In this world the poor need us, but in the next world we are going to need them. In this world those with money and power get heard, in the Kingdom it is the poor and suffering who get heard. It is a wise investment to bless the poor and needy.

In effect the Lord Jesus tells us to be wise in our use of worldly wealth.  Just as the world tells us to take our wealth and invest it wisely so that it will reap future rewards, so the Lord says the same thing. He says, “Use your money wisely. Invest it well.” How? By storing it up it up in up in heaven. How do we do that? By giving it away! Then it will really be yours.

You can’t take it with you but you can send it on ahead. Scripture elaborates this elsewhere: Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. (1 Tim 6:17) Notice how the passage says that through their generosity here the rich lay up treasure in heaven.

This is the scriptural principle and the great paradox in the Kingdom of God: that we keep something eternally by giving it away. We save our find our life by losing it, we keep out treasure and store it in heaven by giving it away.

So invest my friends, invest wisely! Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Matt 6:20)

C. Principle of INCREASEThe person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones. If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours?

What is the “small matter” of which the Lord talks and in which we can prove trustworthy? The small matter is money. We make money the most important thing in life. But Spiritual matters are more important.

Scripture attests to this clearly: The Book of 1st Peter says our faith is more precious than fire-tried gold. The Book of Psalms (19:10) says The words of the Lord are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.

So God says let’s see how you are in the small but significant matter of money, then I’ll see if you are able to able to handle bigger blessings. Do you think you can handle heaven and the spiritual blessings of holiness? Well let’s see, if you are trustworthy with worldly wealth, God will give you true wealth. If you’re trustworthy is what belongs to God, he’ll give one day what is yours.

You want more even here? Use well what you’ve already received. Then God will know he can trust you with more. You want increase? A gospel song says: You must faithful over a few things to be ruler over many things. Be faithful unto death, and God will give you a crown of life.

D. Principle of INDIVISIBILITYNo servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon.

Pay attention. To serve, means to obey. Most people obey money, affluence and worship the American standard of living before they obey God. They meet their world obligations first and then give God what is left over.

But we are called to obey God alone, to have an undivided heart. The wording here is strong You CANNOT obey the world (money) and think you’re also going to obey God. You have to choose what will be more important.

Now don’t tell me we don’t need a lot of grace and mercy here! Money and the lure of the world is very powerful. It’s to get on our knees and pray for a miracle to prefer God to the world.

This song says, You must faithful in a few things to be ruler over many things. Be faithful unto death, and God will give you a crown of life…. The sung builds to wonderful refrain: Well done good and faithful servant, Well done!


20 posted on 09/21/2013 9:37:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Sunday Gospel Reflections

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I: Amos 8:4-7 II: 1 Timothy 2:1-8


Gospel
Luke 16:1-13

1 He also said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a steward, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his goods.
2 And he called him and said to him, 'What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.'
3 And the steward said to himself, 'What shall I do, since my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg.
4 I have decided what to do, so that people may receive me into their houses when I am put out of the stewardship.'
5 So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, 'How much do you owe my master?'
6 He said, 'A hundred measures of oil.' And he said to him, 'Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.'
7 Then he said to another, 'And how much do you owe?' He said, 'A hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and write eighty.'
8 The master commended the dishonest steward for his shrewdness; for the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.
9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations.
10 "He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much.
11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true riches?
12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?
13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."


Interesting Details


One Main Point

Use our possessions wisely (serving the poor) so that when it runs out and when we are summoned to God in the final day, we will be received into God's house.


Reflections

  1. What are in my possessions? How do I manage them? When God summons me, what can I say?
  2. When my possessions run out, what is left? Will the Lord receive me?

21 posted on 09/21/2013 9:44:00 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Amos 8:4-7
Psalm 113:1-2, 4-8
1 Timothy 2:1-8
Luke 16:1-13

Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church. And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and to thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.

-- Matthew xvi. 18-19


22 posted on 09/21/2013 9:48:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
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 09/21/2013 9:49:17 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 09/21/2013 9:49:49 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Information: St. Thomas of Villanova

Feast Day: September 22

Born: 1488, Spain

Died: 1555, in Valencia, Spain

Canonized: November 1, 1658 by Pope Alexander VII

25 posted on 09/22/2013 9:14:59 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Thomas of Villanova


Feast Day: September 22
Born: 1488 :: Died: 1555

Thomas was born at Fuentellana, Castile in Spain. From his kind parents, he learned to be very charitable with the poor. He did well in school and became a teacher of philosophy when he finished his studies.

Then he joined the Augustinian order as a priest. After he became a priest, he was given many important responsibilities. Later, he was made archbishop of the city of Valencia.

His priests tried to convince him to change his old, mended habit (long robe that priests wear) for new and nicer robes. However, St. Thomas told them his old clothes had nothing to do with his duty. He would take good care of the spiritual needs of his people.

Every day he fed hundreds of poor people. When he received a large sum of money to buy furniture for his house, he gave it to a hospital, saying, "What does a poor monk like me want with furniture?" No wonder he was called the "father of the poor"!

St. Thomas was very gentle with sinners at a time when most people were not. He encouraged rich people to be generous and follow his example too.

Once when he tried to encourage one man to change his sinful ways, the man angrily insulted him and stormed out of the room.

"It was my fault," said the humble archbishop. "I told him a little too roughly." Never would he permit anyone to criticize someone who wasn't there. "He may have had a good reason for doing what he did," the saint would say. "I, for one, believe he did."

Before he died, St. Thomas of Villanova gave to the poor everything he had. He made sure that even his bed was sent to the jail for prisoners to use. St. Thomas died in 1555.


26 posted on 09/22/2013 9:20:53 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 16
1 AND he said also to his disciples: There was a certain rich man who had a steward: and the same was accused unto him, that he had wasted his goods. Dicebat autem et ad discipulos suos : Homo quidam erat dives, qui habebat villicum : et hic diffamatus est apud illum quasi dissipasset bona ipsius. ελεγεν δε και προς τους μαθητας αυτου ανθρωπος τις ην πλουσιος ος ειχεν οικονομον και ουτος διεβληθη αυτω ως διασκορπιζων τα υπαρχοντα αυτου
2 And he called him, and said to him: How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship: for now thou canst be steward no longer. Et vocavit illum, et ait illi : Quid hoc audio de te ? redde rationem villicationis tuæ : jam enim non poteris villicare. και φωνησας αυτον ειπεν αυτω τι τουτο ακουω περι σου αποδος τον λογον της οικονομιας σου ου γαρ δυνηση ετι οικονομειν
3 And the steward said within himself: What shall I do, because my lord taketh away from me the stewardship? To dig I am not able; to beg I am ashamed. Ait autem villicus intra se : Quid faciam ? quia dominus meus aufert a me villicationem. Fodere non valeo, mendicare erubesco. ειπεν δε εν εαυτω ο οικονομος τι ποιησω οτι ο κυριος μου αφαιρειται την οικονομιαν απ εμου σκαπτειν ουκ ισχυω επαιτειν αισχυνομαι
4 I know what I will do, that when I shall be removed from the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. Scio quid faciam, ut, cum amotus fuero a villicatione, recipiant me in domos suas. εγνων τι ποιησω ινα οταν μετασταθω της οικονομιας δεξωνται με εις τους οικους αυτων
5 Therefore calling together every one of his lord's debtors, he said to the first: How much dost thou owe my lord? Convocatis itaque singulis debitoribus domini sui, dicebat primo : Quantum debes domino meo ? και προσκαλεσαμενος ενα εκαστον των χρεωφειλετων του κυριου εαυτου ελεγεν τω πρωτω ποσον οφειλεις τω κυριω μου
6 But he said: An hundred barrels of oil. And he said to him: Take thy bill and sit down quickly, and write fifty. At ille dixit : Centum cados olei. Dixitque illi : Accipe cautionem tuam : et sede cito, scribe quinquaginta. ο δε ειπεν εκατον βατους ελαιου και ειπεν αυτω δεξαι σου το γραμμα και καθισας ταχεως γραψον πεντηκοντα
7 Then he said to another: And how much dost thou owe? Who said: An hundred quarters of wheat. He said to him: Take thy bill, and write eighty. Deinde alii dixit : Tu vero quantum debes ? Qui ait : Centum coros tritici. Ait illi : Accipe litteras tuas, et scribe octoginta. επειτα ετερω ειπεν συ δε ποσον οφειλεις ο δε ειπεν εκατον κορους σιτου και λεγει αυτω δεξαι σου το γραμμα και γραψον ογδοηκοντα
8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, forasmuch as he had done wisely: for the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light. Et laudavit dominus villicum iniquitatis, quia prudenter fecisset : quia filii hujus sæculi prudentiores filiis lucis in generatione sua sunt. και επηνεσεν ο κυριος τον οικονομον της αδικιας οτι φρονιμως εποιησεν οτι οι υιοι του αιωνος τουτου φρονιμωτεροι υπερ τους υιους του φωτος εις την γενεαν την εαυτων εισιν
9 And I say to you: Make unto you friends of the mammon of iniquity; that when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting dwellings. Et ego vobis dico : facite vobis amicos de mammona iniquitatis : ut, cum defeceritis, recipiant vos in æterna tabernacula. καγω υμιν λεγω ποιησατε εαυτοις φιλους εκ του μαμωνα της αδικιας ινα οταν εκλιπητε δεξωνται υμας εις τας αιωνιους σκηνας
10 He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in that which is greater: and he that is unjust in that which is little, is unjust also in that which is greater. Qui fidelis est in minimo, et in majori fidelis est : et qui in modico iniquus est, et in majori iniquus est. ο πιστος εν ελαχιστω και εν πολλω πιστος εστιν και ο εν ελαχιστω αδικος και εν πολλω αδικος εστιν
11 If then you have not been faithful in the unjust mammon; who will trust you with that which is the true? Si ergo in iniquo mammona fideles non fuistis quod verum est, quis credet vobis ? ει ουν εν τω αδικω μαμωνα πιστοι ουκ εγενεσθε το αληθινον τις υμιν πιστευσει
12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's; who will give you that which is your own? Et si in alieno fideles non fuistis, quod vestrum est, quis dabit vobis ? και ει εν τω αλλοτριω πιστοι ουκ εγενεσθε το υμετερον τις υμιν δωσει
13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Nemo servus potest duobus dominis servire : aut enim unum odiet, et alterum diliget : aut uni adhærebit, et alterum contemnet. Non potestis Deo servire et mammonæ. ουδεις οικετης δυναται δυσιν κυριοις δουλευειν η γαρ τον ενα μισησει και τον ετερον αγαπησει η ενος ανθεξεται και του ετερου καταφρονησει ου δυνασθε θεω δουλευειν και μαμωνα

27 posted on 09/22/2013 1:23:59 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
1. And he said to his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused to him that he had wasted his goods.
2. And he called him, and said to him, How is it that I hear this of you? give an account of your stewardship; for you may be no longer steward.
3. Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord takes away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.
4. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.
5. So he called every one of his lord's debtors to him, and said to the first, How much owe you to my lord?
6. And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said to him, Take your bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty.
7. Then said he to another, And how much owe you? And he said, A hundred measures of wheat. And he said to him, Take your bill, and write fourscore.

BEDE; Having rebuked in three parables those who murmured because He received penitents, our Savior shortly after subjoins a fourth and a fifth on almsgiving and frugality, because it is also the fittest order in preaching that almsgiving should be added after repentance. Hence it follows, And he said to his disciples, There was a certain rich man.

PSEUDO. There is a certain erroneous opinion inherent in mankind, which increases evil and lessens good. It is the feeling that all the good things we possess in the course of our life we possess as lords over them, and accordingly we seize them as our especial goods. But it is quite the contrary. For we are placed in this life not as lords in our own house, but as guests and strangers, led whither we would not, and at a time we think not of. He who is now rich, suddenly becomes a beggar. Therefore whoever you are, know yourself to be a dispenser of the things of others, and that the privileges granted you are for a brief and passing use. Cast away then from your soul the pride of power, and put on the humility and modesty of a steward.

BEDE; The bailiff is the manager of the farm, therefore he takes his name from the farm. But the steward, or director of the household, is the overseer of money as well as fruits, and of every thing his master possesses.

AMBROSE; From this we learn then, that we are not ourselves the masters, but rather the stewards of the property of others.

THEOPHYL. Next, that when we exercise not the management of our wealth according to our Lord's pleasure, but abuse our trust to our own pleasures, we are guilty stewards. Hence it follows, And he was accused to him.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Meanwhile he is taken and thrust out of his stewardship; for it follows, And he called him, and said to him, What is this that I hear of you? give an account of your stewardship, for you can be no longer steward. Day after day by the events which take place our Lord cries aloud to us the same thing, showing us a man at midday rejoicing in health, before the evening cold and lifeless; another expiring in the midst of a meal. And in various ways we go out from our stewardship; but the faithful steward, who has confidence concerning his management, desires with Paul to depart and be with Christ. But he whose wishes are on earth is troubled at his departing.

Hence it is added of this steward, Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do, for my Lord takes away from me the stewardship? I cannot dig, to beg I all ashamed. Weakness in action is the fault of a slothful life. For no one would shrink who had been accustomed to apply himself to labor. But if we take the parable allegorically, after our departure hence there is no more time for working; the present life contains the practice of what is commanded, the future, consolation. If you have done nothing here, in vain then are you careful for the future, nor will you gain any thing by begging. The foolish virgins are an instance of this, who unwisely begged of the wise, but returned empty. For every one puts on his daily life as his inner garment; it is not possible for him to put it off or exchange it with another.

But the wicked steward aptly contrived the remission of debts, to provide for himself an escape from his misfortunes among his fellow-servants; for it follows, I am resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. For as often as a man perceiving his end approaching, lightens by a kind deed the load of his sins, (either by forgiving a debtor his debts, or by giving abundance to the poor,) dispensing those things which are his Lord's, he conciliates to himself many friends, who will afford him before the judge a real testimony, not by words, but by the demonstration of good works, nay moreover will provide for him by their testimony a resting-place of consolation. But nothing is our own, all things are in the power of God.

Hence it follows, So he called every one of his Lord's debtors to him, and said to the first, How much owe you to my Lord? And he said, A hundred casks of oil.

BEDE, A cadus in Greek is a vessel containing three urns. It follows, And he said to him, Take your bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty, forgiving him the half.

It follows, Then said he to another, And how much owe you? And he said, A hundred measures of wheat. A corus is made up of thirty bushels. And he said to him, Take your bill, and write fourscore, forgiving him a fifth part. It may be then simply taken as follows: whosoever relieves the want of a poor man, either by supplying half or a fifth part, will be blessed with the reward of his mercy.

AUG. Or because out of the hundred measures of oil, he caused fifty to be written down by the debtors, and of the hundred measures of w heat, fourscore, the meaning thereof is this, that those things which every Jew performs toward the Priests and Levites should be the more attendant in the Church of Christ, that whereas they give a tenth, Christians should give a half, as Zaccheus gave of his goods, or at least by giving two tenths, that is, a fifth, exceed the payments of the Jews.

8. And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.

AUG. The steward whom his Lord cast out of his stewardship is nevertheless commended because he provided himself against the future. As it follows, And the Lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely; we ought not however to take the whole for our imitation. For we should never act deceitfully against our Lord in order that from the fraud itself we may give alms.

ORIGEN; But because the Gentiles say that wisdom is a virtue, and define it to be the experience of w hat is good, evil, and indifferent, or the knowledge of what is and what is not to be done, we must consider whether this word signifies many things, or one. For it is said that God by wisdom prepared the heavens. Now it is plain that wisdom is good, because the Lord by wisdom prepared the heavens. It is said also in Genesis, according to the LXX, that the serpent was the wisest animal, wherein he does not make wisdom a virtue, but evil-minded cunning. And it is in this sense that the Lord commended the steward that he had done wisely, that is, cunningly and evilly. And perhaps the word commended was spoken not in the sense of real commendation, but in a lower sense; as when we speak of a man being commended in slight and indifferent matters, and in a certain measure clashings and sharpness of wit are admired, by which the power of the mind is drawn out.

AUG. On the other hand this parable is spoken that we should understand that if the steward who acted deceitfully, could be praised by his lord, how much more they please God who do their works according to His commandment.

ORIGEN; The children of this world also are not called wiser but more prudent than the children of light, and this not absolutely and simply, but in their generation. For it follows, For the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light, &c.

BEDE; The children of light and the children of this world are spoken of in the same manner as the children of the kingdom, and the children of hell. For whatever works a man does, he is also termed their sun.

THEOPHYL. By the children of this world then He means those who mind the good things which are on the earth; by the children of light, those who beholding the divine love, employ themselves with spiritual treasures. But it is found indeed in the management of human affairs, that we prudently order our own things, and busily set ourselves to work, in order that when we depart we may have a refuge for our life; but when we ought to direct the things of God, we take no forethought for what shall be our lot hereafter.

9. And I say to you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when you fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
10. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
11. If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
12. And if you have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?
13. No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

GREG. In order then that after death they may find something in their own hand, let men before death place their riches in the hands of the poor. Hence it follows, And I say to you, d/lake to yourselves friends of the man of unrighteousness, &c.

AUG. That which the Hebrews call mammon, in Latin is "riches." As if He said, "Make to yourselves friends of the riches of unrighteousness." Now some misunderstanding this, seize upon the things of others, and so give something to the poor, and think that they are doing what is commanded. That interpretation must be corrected into, Give alms of your righteous labors. For you will not corrupt Christ your Judge. If from the plunder of a poor man, you were to give any thing to the judge that he might decide for you, and that judge should decide for you, such is the force of justice, that you would be ill pleased in yourself. Do not then make to yourself such a God. God is the fountain of Justice, give not your alms then from interest and usury. I speak to the faithful, to whom we dispense the body of Christ. But if you have such money, it is of evil that you have it. Be no longer doers of evil. Zaccheus said, Half my goods I give to the poor. See how he runs who runs to make friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; and not to be held guilty from any quarter, he says, If have taken any thing from any one, I restore fourfold. According to another interpretation, the mammon of unrighteousness are all the riches of the world, whenever they come. For if you seek the true riches, there are some in which Job when naked abounded, when he had his hears full towards God. The others are called riches from unrighteousness; because they are not true riches, for they are full of poverty, and ever liable to chances. For if they were true riches, they would give you security.

AUG. Or the riches of unrighteousness are so called, because they are not riches except to the unrighteous, and such as rest in their hopes and the fullness of their happiness. But when these things are possessed by the righteous, they have indeed so much money, but no riches are theirs but heavenly and spiritual.

AMBROSE. Or he spoke of the unrighteous Mammon, because by the various enticements of riches covetousness corrupts our hearts, that we may be willing to obey riches.

BASIL; Or if you have succeeded to a patrimony, you receive what has been amassed by the unrighteous; for in a number of predecessors some one must needs be found who has unjustly usurped the property of others. But suppose that your father has not been guilty of exaction, whence have you your money? If indeed you answer, "From myself;" you are ignorant of God, not having the knowledge of your Creator; but if, "From God," tell me the reason for which you receive it. Is not the earth and the fullness thereof the Lord's? If then whatever is ours belongs to our common Lord, so will it also belong to our fellow-servant.

THEOPHYL. Those then are called the riches of unrighteousness which the Lord has given for the necessities of our brethren and fellow-servants, but we spend upon ourselves. It became us then, from the beginning, to give all things to the poor, but because we have become the stewards of unrighteousness, wickedly retaining what was appointed for the aid of others, we must not surely remain in this cruelty, but distribute to the poor, that we may be received by them into everlasting habitations. For it follows, That, when you fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.

GREG. But if through their friendship we obtain everlasting habitations, we ought to calculate that when we give we rather offer presents to patrons, than bestow benefits upon he needy.

AUG. For who are they that shall have everlasting habitations but the saints of God? and who are they that are to be received by them into everlasting habitations but they who administer to their want, and whatsoever they have need of, gladly supply. They are those little ones of Christ, who have forsaken all that belonged to them and followed Him; and whatsoever they had have given to the poor, that they might serve God without earthly shackles, and freeing their shoulders from the burdens of the world, might raise them aloft as with wings.

AUG. We must not then understand those by whom we wish to be received into everlasting habitations to be as it were debtors of God; seeing that the just and holy are signified in this place, who cause those to enter in, who administered to their necessity of their own worldly goods.

AMBROSE; Or else, make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that by giving to the poor we may purchase the favor of angels and all the saints.

CHRYS. Mark also that He said not, "that they may receive you into their own habitations." For it is not they who receive you. Therefore when He said, Make to yourselves friends, he added, of the mammon of unrighteousness, to show, that their friendship will not alone protect us unless good works accompany us, unless we righteously cast away all riches unrighteously amassed. The most skillful then of all arts is that of almsgiving. For it builds not for us houses of mud, but lays up in store an everlasting life. Now in each of the arts one needs the support of another; but when we ought to show mercy, we need nothing else but the will alone.

CYRIL; Thus then Christ taught those who abound in riches, earnestly to love the friendship of the poor, and to have treasure in heaven. But He knew the sloth of the human mind, how that they who court riches bestow no work of charity upon the needy. That to such men there results no profit of spiritual gifts, He shows by obvious examples, adding, He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much; and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

Now our Lord opens to us the eye of the heart, explaining what He had said, adding, If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteousness mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? That which is least then is the mammon of unrighteousness, that is, earthly riches, which seem nothing to those that are heavenly wise. I think then that a man is faithful in a little, when he imparts aid to those who are bowed down with sorrow. If then we have been unfaithful in a little thing, how shall we obtain from hence the true riches, that is, the fruitful gift of Divine grace, impressing the image of God on the human soul?

But that our Lord's words incline to this meaning is plain from the following; for He says, And if you have not been faithful in that which is another man's who shall give you that which is your own?

AMBROSE; Riches are foreign to us, because they are something beyond nature, they are not born with us, and they do not pass away with us. But Christ is ours, because He is the life of man. Lastly, He came to His own.

THEOPHYL. Thus then hitherto He has taught us how faithfully we ought to dispose of our wealth. But because the management of our wealth according to God is no otherwise obtained than by the indifference of a mind unaffected towards riches, He adds, No man can serve two masters.

AMBROSE; Not because the Lord is two, but one. For although there are who serve mammon, yet he knows no rights of lordship; but has himself placed upon himself a yoke of servitude. There is one Lord, because there is one God. Hence it is evident, that the power of the Father and the Son is one and He assigns a reason, thus saying, For either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.

AUG. But these things were not spoken indifferently or at random. For no one when asked whether he loves the devil, answers that he loves him, but rather that he hates him; but all generally proclaim that they love God. Therefore either he will hate the one, (that is, the devil,) and love the other, (that is, God;) or will hold to the one, (that is, the devil, when he pursues as it were temporal wants,) and will despise the other, (that is, God,) as when men frequently neglect His threats for their desires, who because of His goodness flatter themselves that they will have impunity.

CYRIL; But the conclusion of the whole discourse is what follows, You cannot serve God and man. Let us then transfer all our devotions to the one, forsaking riches.

BEDE; Let then the covetous hear this, that we can not at the same time serve Christ and riches; and yet He said not, "Who has riches," but, who serves riches; for he who is the servant of riches, watches them as a servant; but he who has shaken off the yoke of servitude, dispenses them as a master; but he who serves mammon, verily serves him who is set over those earthly things as the reward of his iniquity, and is called the prince of this world.

14. And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
15. And he said to them, you are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knows your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

BEDE; Christ had told the Pharisees not to boast of their own righteousness, but to receive penitent sinners, and to redeem their sins by almsgiving. But they derided the Preacher of mercy, humility, and frugality; as it is said, And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard these things; and derided him: it may be for two reasons, either because He commanded what was not sufficiently profitable, or cast blame upon their past superfluous actions.

THEOPHYL. But the Lord detecting in them a hidden malice, proves that they make a presence of righteousness. Therefore it is added, And he said to them, you are they which justify yourselves before men.

BEDE; They justify themselves before men who despise sinners as in a weak and hopeless condition, but fancy themselves to be perfect and not to need the remedy of almsgiving; but how justly the depth of deadly pride is to be condemned, He sees who will enlighten the hidden places of darkness. Hence it follows, But God knows your hearts.

THEOPHYL. And therefore you are an abomination to Him because of your arrogance, and love of seeking after the praise of men; as He adds, For that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

Catena Aurea Luke 16
28 posted on 09/22/2013 1:24:24 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Christ the Savior

Viktor Krivorotov, iconographer


29 posted on 09/22/2013 1:24:49 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
Catholic Almanac

Sunday, September 22

Liturgical Color: Green

Today the Church honors the 233
Martyrs of Valencia. They were priests,
religious and laity killed for their faith
during the Spanish Civil War (1936-
1939). Thousands of Catholics were
killed and many convents and churches
burned.

30 posted on 09/22/2013 1:47:08 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 22, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, who founded all the commands of your sacred Law upon love of you and of our neighbor, grant that, by keeping your precepts, we may merit to attain eternal life. 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.

RECIPES

o    Saucy Summer's End Cookout

ACTIVITIES

o    On how our Work is Love, and how we can work with Christ to save Souls with our Love

PRAYERS

o    Blessing of Children

o    Parents' Prayer for Children

o    Children's Prayer for Parents

LIBRARY

o    Becoming Like Little Children | Caryll Houselander

o    Children Are Supreme Gift of Married Life | Pope John Paul II

o    Marriage - Family - Children | Pope Paul VI

o    You Revealed These Things to Children | Pope John Paul II

Ordinary Time: September 22nd

Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Old Calendar: Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

"For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. I tell you make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings."

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


Sunday Readings
The first reading is taken from the Prophet Amos 8:4-7. Amos was a shepherd in the kingdom of Judah who was called by God to go to Israel, the northern kingdom. There he was to speak in God's name to the people. This was in the 8th century B.C. The country enjoyed material prosperity but idolatry and injustice were rife among the upper classes especially. Against these vices the prophet spoke fearlessly, until he was driven from the kingdom eventually. Today's reading deals with the injustices practiced against the poor and the helpless.

The second reading is from St. Paul's first letter to Timothy 2:1-8. What St. Paul is telling Timothy, the bishop of Ephesus, to teach his congregation is the necessity and the obligation of prayer.

The Gospel is from St. Luke 16:1-13. These words of Christ warning those who would follow him on the road to heaven not to become the slaves of earthly things are applicable to all of us. Most of us may feel that this warning is for millionaires and business magnates. Our Lord didn't say so. There was not a single millionaire in his audience. He meant it for all of us, for what he warned against was not the just acquisition of this world's goods but their unjust acquisition, and the dishonest use of them when they were justly acquired.

It was God who created all that exists in this world. He intended these goods for the use of man. We are only managers, therefore, of these worldly goods. It is on our way of managing these goods, not on the quantity we had to manage, that our judgment will be based. Millionaires can get to heaven while all paupers have no guarantee that they will make it. Our Lord deduces two lessons for us from the parable of the unjust manager or steward. Firstly, the enterprise which he showed in providing for his earthly happiness when he would lose his employment, was greater and keener than that shown by most of us in providing for our eternal happiness.

Did I give one hour a day to God and the things of God, helping the needy, learning more about my religion, giving a hand in parochial affairs, advising those in difficulties, spiritual or temporal, praying for my own and my neighbor's needs—yet even if I did, it is less than one-tenth of the free time I had at my own disposal.

If I did not, if I barely managed to to get in the Sunday Mass and a few hasty prayers, could anyone suggest that I was showing great interest and was very enterprising as far as my future life was concerned? God is very generous with me. He gives me lots of time for providing for my health and temporal needs each week, and a lot of free time besides. I should not express surprise if he is disappointed at how little of that wonderful gift of time I am willing to give back to him. The unjust steward was far more enterprising as regards earthly provision for himself.

The second lesson our Lord wishes to teach us is that we should use what we can spare of our earthly possessions in helping those who are in need of our help. By doing that, we will be making friends who will help us at the judgment seat to get a lasting reception in heaven. Remember that description of the judgment which our Lord gave when he said, "I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was naked and you clothed me"? What we do for the needy, we do for Him. Those whom we help, as far as we can, will be witnesses testifying for us when our final examination, on which our eternity will depend, comes upon us.

Two resolutions worthy of your serious consideration today in relation to earthly goods are: Never let them take up all your time. You have a far more serious purpose in life. Give it a little more thought and enterprise than you have been doing. Secondly, be grateful to God for what He has given you in this life. You might like to have a lot more, but God knows best. Work honestly and be generous with what you have. You are serving God, not money. God will be waiting for you where there is no currency, and where the one bank account that matters will be the good use that you made of your time and your share of this world's goods while you were alive.

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


31 posted on 09/22/2013 1:53:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Luke 16:1-13

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently. (Luke 16:8)

That’s right. The “hero” in this parable is a dishonest man who cheated his way out of a tough situation. Many commentators think the steward had been overcharging his master’s debtors so that he could take the extra money for himself. So by reducing their debts to reflect the amount they actually owed, the steward not only got rid of the evidence of his wrongdoing, he also won over the debtors. With a reputation for generosity and fair play, he could have had any job he wanted!

The prudence that Jesus highlighted in this parable is a matter of skillfully using available resources to accomplish a desired goal. This is the kind of shrewdness that Jesus wants us to take up as well. He’s not asking us to do anything dishonest, of course. But he is asking us to be careful, clever, even calculating as we live in this darkened world.

So what are some ways we can be shrewd? How about when dealing with our own sin? We are all capable of justifying ourselves, overlooking sin or explaining it away when we want to. What’s more, the devil likes to capitalize on that tendency, trying to trick us into sin. So be shrewd! Don’t fall into the trap of easy explanations or feeble excuses.

Or how about when you want to help someone come to know the Lord? You know that simply talking about the Apostles’ Creed won’t likely win people over. You have to find the right approach, the right words, and the right opportunities to share your faith. And that takes some strategizing as well as careful thought and prayer. It takes learning how to be “all things to all” people (1 Corinthians 9:22).

Being shrewd and prudent is the best way to build the kingdom. So may we all learn from today’s “dishonest steward”—without becoming dishonest ourselves!

“Jesus, help me to find creative ways to grow closer to you and to share your love. Lord, make me a shrewd evangelist!”

Amos 8:4-7; Psalm 113:1-2, 4-8; 1 Timothy 2:1-8

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

1. The first reading contains a strong warning to us to be fair and not to “trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land” (Amos 8:4). In what ways do we “trample” and “destroy” the poor, when we simply ignore their plight, rather than generously giving of our time, talent, and treasure.

2. In the responsorial psalm, we hear again how our God “raises up the lowly” and “lifts up the poor.” In light of these readings, what additional action(s) do you feel the Lord may be calling you to in order to better serve those less fortunate?

3. In the second reading, St. Paul strongly encourages prayers for all in authority. He goes on to say that they are “good and pleasing to God.” Is your partisanship so full of “anger or argument” that you might be unable to heed his admonition? Are you willing to pray on a regular basis for the president and all your elected officials, whether you agree with them or not? If not, why not?

4. In the Gospel, Jesus tells of the steward who was asked for a “full account” of his stewardship. How would you respond if Christ were to ask you to account for what he has given you? Are you willing to take some additional steps to improve the stewardship of your time, talents, and treasures? Why or why not?

5. Jesus also warns those who are not trustworthy “in very small matters.” Can you identify any situations in business, or in your relationships, where you might excuse yourself by saying, “it’s so small it really doesn’t matter?”

6. In describing the message of the parable in the Gospel, the meditation states that: “The prudence that Jesus highlighted in this parable is a matter of skillfully using available resources to accomplish a desired goal. This is the kind of shrewdness that Jesus wants us to take up as well. He’s not asking us to do anything dishonest, of course. But he is asking us to be careful, clever, even calculating as we live in this darkened world.” The meditation goes on to describe various ways to be “shrewd and prudent” in order to “build the kingdom.” How would you describe the ways the Lord wants you to be “shrewd and prudent”?

7. Take some time now to pray and ask the Lord for the grace to use the many gifts he has given you in order to draw closer to him, share his love with others, and build his kingdom. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as a starting point.


32 posted on 09/22/2013 2:01:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

SURELY I WILL NEVER FORGET ANY OF THEIR DEEDS

(Biblical reflection on the 25th Ordinary Sunday, [Year C] – September 22, 2013

First Reading: Amos 8:4-7

Psalms: Psalm 113:1-2,4-8; Second Reading: 1Timothy 2:1-8; Gospel Reading: Luke 16:1-13

AMOS THE PROPHET

Scripture Text:

Hear this, you who tramples upon the needy, and bring the poor of the land to an end, saying, “When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great, and deal deceitfully with false balances, that we may buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and sell the refuse of the wheat?

The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: “Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.” (Amos 8:4-7 RSV)

More than 700 years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Amos was on the biblical scene, preaching the need for integrity. He was a farmer from southern Israel, who travelled to the rich northern part of the country, by divine inspiration. His mission was to condemn the selfishness of the rich who refused to help their struggling brothers and sisters. Amos had a three word formula for making money: “Make it honestly”.

He was infuriated with those people who cheated in their business dealings, and he predicted that God would take revenge on them. In today’s reading we hear his anger blazing out against the cheats, the swindlers and all dishonest and selfish people.

Some are so greedy, Amos says, that they refuse to worship or rest on the Sabbath, lest they lose business. They are even impatient with nature, complaining that it taken too long for the wheat to ripen, before they can sell it.

Amos condemned the vendors who cheated their customers by using small measures (ephah) when selling grain by the bushel, and heavy scale weights (shekel) when buying by the pound. He also denounced those who offer bribes, pay-offs and kick-backs, and who entice the poor to do their “dirty work” by offering them a few silver pieces or a pair of shoes. Amos is an old-time preacher whose message needs to be heard in today’s world. Hear him shouting to the contemporary charlatans, “God will not forget what you have done.”

Generally speaking, is our society any better than the one Amos knew, 2700 years ago? Since we constitute our society, how would we answer the following questions? Am I an honest person? Have I ever “deliberately” cheated anyone? Am I 100% trustworthy with other people’s money and possessions? Do I consider it sinful to take advantage of others, even though it’s easy to do? If you don’t rate well, you might be helped by reading the Book of Amos. It’s only nine chapters.

Unfortunately, we live in an atmosphere of deception, which makes suspicious of others’ motives and fearful of being cheated. We face everything from deliberate frauds and vicious lies to psychological manipulations – like the price $19.99 to make us think it’s much cheaper than $20.00.

Honesty is not only the best policy but the only one. The integrity we use in dealing with our neighbour determines whether or not we are honest with God. Don’t we feel some obligation to be as good as our word and help people to continue to trust others? Jesus, like Amos, clearly taught that it is maliciously sinful to deceive or victimize the poor, the uninformed, the old, the young, or anyone.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we believe that as disciples of Christ, it is not our role to be prophets of doom. But not until we pass through the period of grief and anger so sensitively portrayed for us in the oracles of Amos of Tekoa, we will be able to arrive at the strong position of proclaimers of hope. Thank you, Lord God, for appointing Amos as your prophet to the broken world.

33 posted on 09/22/2013 2:11:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Marriage = One Man and One Woman Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for September 22, 2013:

What’s your shopping personality: In and out as quickly as possible; shopping as recreation; never met a bargain I didn’t like; research project? How do you reconcile your differences?

34 posted on 09/22/2013 2:14:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

“So That When It Fails You…”

Pastor’s Column

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

September 22, 2013

 

“I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails,
you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”

                                                                   Luke 16:1-13

 

          The gospel that we hear this weekend is found only in Luke. Jesus makes the interesting point that how we use our wealth – our money, time, and opportunities – is a very good indicator of our spiritual life and where our heart truly lies. Jesus calls wealth “dishonest” but what does he mean?

          What we possess – whether it is our health, our money, or our time – gives the illusion that it is permanent or that it leads to lasting happiness when in fact everything on earth is a temporary condition. Jesus points out that what we have is now on loan to us, and that the object of life is to trade with our possessions so as to gain eternal possessions and win friends for ourselves and eternal life. Wealth on earth does not last.

          Jesus points out that “worldly people” – people who are shrewd and know how to make money--are often better at what they do than the children of God are at earning true wealth in heaven. What opportunities have I squandered that God has given me? This gospel advises us to think about this and use our opportunities to win friends in heaven and on earth.

          It is like a person taking a long ocean voyage in which he has many credits that are good for services and entertainment onboard the ship. Only a fool would amass more and more credits that are only valuable as long as one is on board! A wise person would want to take the excess credits and trade them for something valuable after disembarking from the ship. Many people accumulate pleasures and experiences and possessions as if this were the only world there is, without any reference to the world to come.

          When I do an act of kindness for someone else, when I pray for the dead, when I give to the poor or help the food bank, tithe to my church, do some works of mercy, or pray and make sacrifices for others – all of these things and many others win us friends on earth and intercessors in heaven. All of us are really stewards of someone else’s possessions. When you think about it, everything that we have will one day pass on to someone else or disappear; so a wise person will be using this brief period of time that we call life on earth to become more and more a friend of God. Every person that I have assisted in life one way or another will be a friend for all eternity, while every selfish act is sterile and, in fact, deprives us of eternal joy.

          Worldly people who do not listen to this gospel, or who think that this is the only life there is, will not be prepared when their money fails them because they don’t want to see it. Christ wants us to have true wealth and to use the time we have on earth to gain the value that really lasts.                  

                                                                                      Father Gary   


35 posted on 09/22/2013 2:26:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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St. Paul Center Blog

Prudent Stewards: Scott Hahn Reflects on the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn on 09.20.13 |

 

Amos 8:4-7
Psalm 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8
1 Timothy 2:1-8
Luke 16:1-13

The steward in today’s Gospel confronts the reality that he can’t go on living the way he has been. He is under judgment, must give account for what he has done.

The exploiters of the poor in today’s First Reading are also about to be pulled down, thrust from their stations (see Isaiah 22:19). Servants of mammon or money, they’re so in love with wealth that they reduce the poor to objects, despise the new moons and sabbaths - the observances and holy days of God (see Leviticus 23:24; Exodus 20:8).

Their only hope is to follow the steward’s path. He is no model of repentance. But he makes a prudent calculation - to use his last hours in charge of his master’s property to show mercy to others, to relieve their debts.

He is a child of this world, driven by a purely selfish motive - to make friends and be welcomed into the homes of his master’s debtors. Yet his prudence is commended as an example to us, the children of light (see 1 Thessalonians 5:5; Ephesians 5:8). We too must realize, as the steward does, that what we have is not honestly ours, but what in truth belongs to another, our Master.

All the mammon in the world could not have paid the debt we owe our Master. So He paid it for us, gave His life as a ransom for all, as we hear in today’s Epistle.

God wants everyone to be saved, even kings and princes, even the lovers of money (see Luke 16:14). But we cannot serve two Masters. By his grace, we should choose to be, as we sing in today’s Psalm - “servants of the Lord.”

We serve Him by using what He has entrusted us with to give alms, to lift the lowly from the dust and dunghills of this world. By this we will gain what is ours, be welcomed into eternal dwellings, the many mansions of the Father’s house (see John 14:2).


36 posted on 09/22/2013 2:40:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Scripture Study

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle C

September 22, 2013

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Amos 8:4-7

Psalm: 113:1-2,4-8

Second Reading: 1 Timothy 2:2:1-8

Gospel Reading: Luke 16:1-13

 

QUESTIONS:

Closing Prayer

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  §§ 952, 2424

 

Oh, how precious time is! Blessed are those who know how to make good use of it. Oh, if only all could understand how precious time is, undoubtedly everyone would do his best to spend it in a praiseworthy manner! -St. Padre Pio

37 posted on 09/22/2013 2:47:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

25th Sunday: How much do I owe?

 

 

 

"The children of this world are more prudent . . . than are the children of light."

 

The Word for Sunday: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/092213.cfm


Am 8:4-7
1 Tm 2:1-8
Lk 16:1-13

Our Gospel this Sunday is one of the most complex and disturbing of all Jesus' parables but I think is also one of the most clever. Maybe a lesson from life is helpful to understand Jesus’ words.

 

As children, my father would often remind us: “I was raised in the school of hard knocks!”  We heard his axiom often enough that we would sarcastically finish the phrase for him when he would begin to speak.

 

When older, wiser, and more mature, we realized that my father, as so many of his generation in the 1920’s – 40’s, did indeed have to make many sacrifices and endure the “hard knocks” of the depression and the Second World War in order to make it. That experience formed them to be practical, realistic, no nonsense and careful with money. Even my Dad’s approach to religion was more pragmatic but at the same time very sincere.  Over time, he became clever in business yet at the same time faithful to God. Life often teaches us more than can be learned in any classroom.  

 

As life experience does, the parables of Jesus sometimes comfort us but other times they confuse us or may even shock us into serious reflection.  Our three parables last week, for example, from Luke 15 were comforting: the lost sheep, the coin of great price, and the ever inspiring story of the wayward son and the merciful father.

 

However, this Sunday we find an image from the Gospel that indeed may cause us to do a double take. The images are realistic. We can imagine such self-serving behavior as was found in the steward.  But it takes a turn:  Did Jesus really say: “. . . make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth?” (Lk 16: 9). The story speaks of a wily steward who cleverly turns the tables to his own benefit. He deliberately reduces the amount owed to his master from his master’s debtors in order to gain a benefit to himself rather than to his master who just fired him due to his own dishonesty.  To our surprise, the master commends him for “acting prudently!”

 

The fired steward, through his act of debt reduction, favored the debtors who now owe him a good turn. In that way, though fired by his master, he still has certain benefactors who owe him a good.  On face value, very shrewd. The steward is popular with the debtors as they thought he was speaking on behalf of a merciful master and the master, though he will now come up short on his own debts, wins the esteem of his debtors due to what they perceived as his generosity. Honor is everything. Clever.   

 

Jesus points out that, “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. I tell you make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”  (Lk 16: 8-9).  In other words, learn a lesson from the shrewdness of even the self-serving steward.  Use such skill and ingenuity in pursuing true wealth and value as “children of light.” Jesus implies that money isn’t everything.  It can be used for the good and should not be simply stacked up and hidden away for one’s own selfish purposes but to bring benefit to others. Yet, never at the cost of distracting us from the greater benefit that God offers us. Wealth should be a means to a higher good and not an end in itself.   

 

In the case of the spiritual life, the wealth which God offers, its value is more than anything the world can give. Then, in our spiritual life of prayer, good works, participation in the sacramental life of the Church, regular gathering with the community in worship, generosity and good stewardship of material wealth for the works of faith, personal sacrifices and humble service to others in Christ’s name, we find the true master whom we serve.

 

Our Eucharist reminds us of God’s generosity with us. How in Jesus’ own death and resurrection, whatever we owed to God is reduced and even more is possible to be wiped out through his mercy and forgiveness.  What he asks of us in return is that we be wise and faithful disciples.

O God, who founded all the commands of your sacred Law
upon love of you and of our neighbor,
grant that, by keeping your precepts,
we may merit to attain eternal life.


38 posted on 09/22/2013 3:01:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Insight Scoop

Parables, Puzzlement, and Prudence


"Prudentia" by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (mid-16th century)

Parables, Puzzlement, and Prudence | A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for September 22, 2013 | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
• Am 8:4-7
• Ps 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8
• 1 Tm 2:1-8
• Lk 16:1-13

How difficult is the parable of the dishonest steward, heard in today’s Gospel reading? “Of all of Jesus’ parables,” writes New Testament scholar Dr. Craig L. Blomberg in Preaching the Parables (Baker Academic, 2004), “this is probably the most puzzling. It is certainly the one on which more scholarly ink has been spilled than any other.”

There may be no need for “probably”; in my opinion, this is the most puzzling of the parables. The parable has a similar structure to the parable of the unforgiving, or ungrateful, steward (Matt 18:23-35; Lk. 7:41-43), with three levels of social status: the master, the steward, and the debtors. But whereas the parable of the unforgiving steward is straightforward in its moral message—if you wish to receive forgiveness, you must extend forgiveness—the moral and message of the parable of the dishonest steward is not immediately clear.

First, the steward, who has misused his master’s money and so faces the loss of job and status, uses dishonest means in order to open doors for future prospects. He doesn’t admit his guilt, ask for forgiveness, or attempt to make matters right. Secondly, having changed the amounts due on the promissory notes (and thus ingratiating himself to the debtors), the steward is—shockingly—commended by his master. Why? Because he had, Jesus said, acted prudently.

At this point, many readers might understandably move from being puzzled to being perplexed. It seems that Jesus not only presented a parable condoning dishonest and self-serving behavior, but had actually praised it! But St. Augustine, in preaching upon this parable, stated that Jesus “surely did not approve of that cheat of a servant who cheated his master, stole from him and did not make it up from his own pocket.” So why, he asked, “did the Lord put this before us”? We must be careful to not miss what Jesus indicated was a key point of the parable: “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.”

And, in fact, Augustine writes that the parable is not meant to praise the sins of the steward but to extol him “because he exercised foresight for the future. When even a cheat is praised for his ingenuity, Christians who make no such provision blush.” Put simply, the parable extols shrewdness and ingenuity, and urges Christians to employ them for the sake of the Kingdom. It is very much a commentary on Jesus’ statement, “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves” (Matt. 10:16). The Greek word denotes the virtue of prudence, that virtue which “disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1806).

Unfortunately, we can sometimes reject such shrewdness and prudence out of a sense of false piety, naivety, or fearfulness. Yet the Catechism, in speaking of prudence, says it “is not to be confused with timidity or fear, nor with duplicity or dissimulation.” As children of the light, we should seek to use every good and moral means available to us to build up the Kingdom of God, to proclaim the Gospel, and to defend the Catholic Faith. Yet, if we are honest, we recognize how timid and unsure we often are, especially in the face of the questions and attacks presented by the children of this world. “Instead of being as shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves,” Blomberg rightly states, “we become as wicked as serpents and as dumb as doves!”

In order to have and to increase prudence, we should always keep in mind Jesus’ concluding exhortation: “No servant can serve two masters.” Prudence is “right reason in action,” which means it is rooted in right priorities and the knowledge that we are not of this world, but are children of light and children of God.

(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the September 19, 2010, edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


39 posted on 09/22/2013 3:14:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

The Choice of Masters
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Luke 16: 1-13

Jesus said to his disciples, "A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property. He summoned him and said, ´What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.´ The steward said to himself, ´What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.´ He called in his master´s debtors one by one. To the first he said, ´How much do you owe my master?´ He replied, ´One hundred measures of olive oil.´ He said to him, ´Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.´ Then to another he said, ´And you, how much do you owe?´ He replied, ´One hundred kors of wheat.´ He said to him, ´Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.´ And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently. For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones. If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours? No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, you are the author of life and the giver of all that is good. You are the Prince of Peace and my mainstay. You are my healer and the cure itself. I need you, and I need to give you. I love you and commit myself to you entirely, knowing you could never let me down or deceive me. Thank you for giving me your very self.

Petition: Lord my Savior, today help me to exert my heart’s effort for your cause.

1. Two Faces: To say one thing and to do the opposite must be the hardest moral strife for the human heart to bear. Those who live with two faces indeed live in a restless state. Their conscience dictates one way, but their deeds are displayed conspicuously to the contrary. They bear a responsibility that they are obliged to fulfill, yet they waste time in peripheral nonsense. Thus they let down those who might reap the benefits had they been faithful to that responsibility. This rips the ethical peace in the two-faced individual.

2. A Worthy Solution: Having two faces creates suspicion in human relationships. Nevertheless, our Lord finds a redeeming mechanism in place – a worthy outcome to the deeds of this insincere steward. The steward, on learning that his time is limited, craftily conjures up friendships with the debtors he was doing business with from the start. His master praises the tactic used by the fired steward. The master even studies the prudence and creativity of this current, untrustworthy enemy so as to teach the incoming stewards how to deal trustworthily with customers and vendors. Such dedication in crunch times could be very useful and quite glorious – especially when it is performed by reliable stewards. What good could be truly achieved!

3. One-Sidedness: On one hand, there seems to appear a great blessedness when the steward implements skills like kindness and prudence, deals intelligently, and does more in less time. Yet, on the other hand, he still undermines the wishes and desires of the master. How do I see this in my life? In my relationship with Christ and his Church, do I recognize the great blessedness in possessing a love for God and in putting my skills, talents and gifts to use solely for God’s glory and the establishment of his Kingdom? Does everything I do, ranging from conducting a family activity to receiving a phone call in the office or going to a party, have this unifying drive for God’s glory and the establishment of his Kingdom?

Conversation with Christ: Thank you, Divine Master, for sharing with me briefly an important lesson in becoming a true follower of yours and becoming truly happy in the depths of my heart. Help me to raise my heart high, as I endeavor to praise you by my thoughts, words and deeds.

Resolution: Today, as I deal with someone, I will truly look for their benefit by helping them and being kind to them.


40 posted on 09/22/2013 4:33:21 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Scripture Speaks: Possession and Money

by Gayle Somers on September 20, 2013 ·

Gospel (Read Lk 16:1-13)

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells a parable in which a slightly sleazy steward becomes the hero of the story.  Very odd!  We must place this parable in its context in order to fully understand it.  Remember that in the previous chapter, not only were His disciples in attendance, but the Pharisees were, too (see 15:1-2).  They were full of criticism of Jesus for welcoming sinners and eating with them.  That criticism prompted the parable of the Prodigal Son.  Now, Jesus once again addresses His disciples, but the Pharisees were still there.  In Lk 16:14, the very first verse after our Gospel reading about money, St. Luke writes:  “The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this and scoffed at Him.”  So, this story is meant for that larger audience, both followers and critical skeptics.

The parable is about a steward who had squandered his master’s money and was about to be fired.  He began to worry about his future without a job:  “I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg.”  Was he a lazy and proud man?  Perhaps he was, but he was also shrewd.  He decided he needed friends, lots of them, who might welcome him into their homes when he was removed from his stewardship.  How could he get instant friends?  He visited his master’s debtors “one by one” and reduced their debts (a sure way to win friends and influence people, even in our day).  To them, of course, he immediately became a good guy.  Even his master, who got cheated out of some of his money, was impressed with the steward “for acting prudently.”

We know Jesus wasn’t encouraging us to be dishonest, as the steward was, so what was His point in telling this parable?  “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.”  Jesus suggests that those who want to follow Him, or even those simply listening to Him, would do well to think about their personal eternal futures with the same prudence as the steward prepared for his temporal one.  How can that be accomplished?  “I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”  Notice that Jesus is now addressing people in the crowd who, in one way or another, have ever been dishonest in how they acquired their money.  He is urging them to use that “dishonest wealth” in a way that will gain them virtue and salvation, a place among God’s friends in heaven.  Later in this Gospel, Jesus will have an opportunity to provide a living example of this in His encounter with Zaccheus, the tax collector (see 19:1-10).  Everyone knew that tax collectors profited from extorting money as they collected taxes.  When Jesus went into his house to visit him, a conversion took place:  “Zaccheus stood and said to the Lord, ‘The half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone, I restore it fourfold.’   And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house.’”  He was a man who used his “dishonest wealth” in exactly the way Jesus describes here.

In talking about how men get and use their money, Jesus reveals a profound truth:  “The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones.”  Likewise, dishonesty in “small matters” means dishonesty in “great ones.”  Compared to our eternal future, our money is a “small matter.”  If we desire the treasure of eternal life with God, we will pay attention to honesty in all the details of our lives.  Living this way, we can be assured that God will entrust to us the pearl of great price, forgiveness and redemption in Christ Jesus, our inheritance as His children.  Then Jesus addresses again those who have gained “dishonest wealth”:  “If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours?”  The untrustworthy eventually lose both their temporal and eternal treasure.

Now, Jesus gets to the real root of the problem all of us have with money.  It wants to master us, to enslave us.  We think we possess it, but it actually wants to possess us:  “No servant can serve two masters.  He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and mammon.”  It was this final statement that caused the Pharisees to scoff.  They were sure they could keep love of God and money in balance.  They did not believe their love of money could sabotage their relationship with God.

Do we?

Possible response:  Lord Jesus, help me stay strong against money’s seductive song, the constant music of our culture today.

First Reading (Read Amos 8:4-7)

The prophet, Amos, warned those with “dishonest wealth” in his day about the outcome of their treachery.  These people were ful

l of plans to make ever more money, even though it meant trampling the needy and destroying the poor.  Money had become their god, just as Jesus warned against in the Gospel.  In fact, they were impatient with the Jewish religious observances (“new moon” and “Sabbath”) that prohibited them from working and thus losing money.  They were so eaten up with love of money that they were willing to cheat and exploit “the lowly.”

What was their future with God going to be?  “Never will I forget a thing they have done!”

Possible response:  Heavenly Father, thank You for this frightening picture of what happens to us when love of money consumes us.  It is good medicine for me.

Psalm (Read Ps 113:1-2, 4-8)

 The psalmist gives us a glimpse of the future of the poor who put their trust in God.  We find this contrasts sharply with the future of those dishonestly rich, described in our First Reading:  “[God] raises up the lowly from the dust; from the dunghill He lifts up the poor to seat them with princes, with the princes of His own people.”  Better to be poor, with only God as our hope, than dishonestly rich, without God’s friendship forever (“blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”).  Temporal poverty won’t last.  Therefore, we can sing, “Praise the Lord, Who lifts up the poor.”

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 2:1-8)

This reading can seem unrelated to our Gospel theme of the love of God rather than money.  Although it is not specifically about wealth or poverty, it has the great value of describing for us the kind of life that really matters, the life God wants for all men.  St. Paul asks that prayers be made for “everyone” and especially for “kings and for all in authority.”  Why?  “That we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity.”  This is the goal of our temporal life—a preparation for the next one in eternity.  The civil order should allow that to be possible for all of us, because this is “good and pleasing to God our Savior.”  Civil unrest, persecution, unjust laws, and, yes, love of money can all put this kind of life at risk.  St. Paul wants all of us to pray to this end, so that we can live “without anger or argument.”  To serve God and not money makes us much more fit to pursue it.

Possible response:  Lord Jesus, I long to live a “quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity.”  Help me recognize what takes me away from this and to avoid it.

image: Hagia Sophia, Turkey. Detail of a Byzantine Mosaic. Vladimir Wrangel / Shutterstock.com


41 posted on 09/22/2013 4:43:59 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

This Sunday’s Gospel: A Lesson in Stewardship

by Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D. on September 20, 2013 ·

 

Our society tolerates religion, as long as it keeps to itself.  After all, America is about the separation of Church and state, right?  Education, entertainment, employment, politics are supposed to be “religion-free.”  The removal of the Ten Commandments from an Alabama courthouse several years ago was just one sign of this misguided divorce between faith and life.

 
God from entire areas of our everyday life.  A few years ago, a Gallup poll called “Religion in America” demonstrated that 89% of regular churchgoers live their lives exactly in the same way as non-churchgoers–same rate of marital infidelity, cheating on income taxes, etc.Like it or not, we are subtly influenced by this attitude and often exile

One area we keep God-free is politics.  We’ve heard prominent Catholic politicians say they are personally opposed to abortion, but cannot bring their faith into their political decision-making.  Another “God-free zone” is the financial arena.  It is interesting that Jesus speaks much more in the gospels about money than about sex. And yet should politics or money be mentioned from the pulpit, many become indignant.

If we do hear about money in Church, it is often in the context of stewardship, of the obligation to give of our “time, talent, and treasure.”

In Luke 16, Jesus provides a provocative lesson on stewardship.  He presumes we know that a steward is someone entrusted with the administration of his master’s property.  What is expected of the steward, anyway?  To conserve his masters property and maintain it, of course.  In this story, the master owns an agricultural business.  The nature of a business is to turn a profit. The steward’s job, then, was not just to maintain the property, but to grow the business.  If you entrust hard-earned money to the stewardship of a stock broker, don’t you expect him to grow that portfolio?  Remember the parable of the talents in Mat 25– the master was very stern with the steward who preserved what he’d been given but failed to make it grow.

The steward in Luke 16 did not increase his master’s property.  He squandered it.  It is not clear if he did so through dishonest greed or by foolish business decisions.  But in any case, he failed.  When he was given a termination notice, he suddenly kicked into gear. To ingratiate himself with those who could provide for him after he lost his job, he wrote off part of their debt.  Scripture scholars disagree about the meaning of this.  Some say he did this dishonestly at the expense of his master.  Others say that he was simply giving away his own commission.  I think the latter makes more sense, since rather than rebuking him, his master praised him for his prudence.

Prudence means taking initiative to get something done, coming up with a plan, and being willing to sacrifice some present pleasures (his commission on a few deals) to generate long-term benefits.

The moral?  How ironic it is that non-spiritual people often take more initiative, exercise more creativity, and expend more effort than spiritual people when it comes to getting what they want.

Stewardship means more than just throwing five bucks in the basket and signing up to help with the Lenten fish fry.  It means realizing that all we have is entrusted to us by God and that we have an obligation to grow it, making it as fruitful as possible for his glory.  The steward asks these questions: How can I free up the most time for the most important things – God, the Church, and family?  How can I develop my talents so as to be most effective for God’s glory?

When it comes to money, good stewards ask: how can I make better use of the money I already have to further God’s work?  But another question often needs also to be asked: how can I generate more income so as to give more?  Churches need to do this.  We call that fund-raising.  Christian individuals and families need to do this too.  We call this employment, business opportunity, and investment.  Making smart and profitable decisions in this regard is a spiritual and holy thing to do.

But what about Jesus’ warning that you can’t serve both God and mammon?  If financial decisions result in self-indulgence at the expense of honesty and justice (see Amos 8:4ff), then you are serving mammon.  If your increased profits finance your family, you parish, Christian education, evangelization, the crisis pregnancy center, or local homeless shelter, chances are you are serving God.


42 posted on 09/22/2013 4:45:50 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Español

All Issues > Volume 29, Issue 5

<< Sunday, September 22, 2013 >> 25th Sunday Ordinary Time
 
Amos 8:4-7
1 Timothy 2:1-8

View Readings
Psalm 113:1-2, 4-8
Luke 16:1-13

Similar Reflections
 

"FIRST OF ALL"

 
"First of all, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered." —1 Timothy 2:1
 

The injustices in our world are becoming increasingly severe. The needy are being trampled on and the poor are destroyed (Am 8:4). Millions of aborted babies, millions of starving people, and millions of refugees are only some of the injustices.

The Christian response to these injustices should be faith. Only by faith can we remove these mountains (see Mt 17:20). We must express our faith by our works (see Jas 2:26). Like the manager in today's Gospel reading, Christians should be "enterprising" and take "initiative" (Lk 16:8) in politics, economics, communications, education, etc. Nevertheless, our first response to injustice should be prayer. Paul taught: "First of all, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered for all men, especially for kings and those in authority" (1 Tm 2:1-2). "Prayer of this kind is good, and God our Savior is pleased with it, for He wants all men to be saved and come to know the truth" (1 Tm 2:3-4). When we pray first and act second, our actions will not be ineffective and misguided but powerful and redemptive.

The Lord promised that the demons behind the injustices in our society will be driven out by faith expressed in prayer and fasting (Mt 17:21 NAB). Our actions have not been effective because our prayer and fasting have not been sufficient. So pray and fast according to God's will, then act.

 
Prayer: Father, teach me to pray (see Lk 11:1) as much as You want and how You want.
Promise: "Make friends for yourselves through your use of this world's goods, so that when they fail you, a lasting reception will be yours." —Lk 16:9
Praise: Praise You, risen Jesus! You have delivered us from the power of evil. All honor and praise be to You!

43 posted on 09/22/2013 4:49:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

"Love one another as I have loved you."

44 posted on 09/22/2013 4:50:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

What a beautiful baby.


45 posted on 09/22/2013 4:52:38 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: All

http://resources.sainteds.com/showmedia.asp?media=../sermons/homily/2013-09-22-Homily%20Fr%20Gary.mp3&ExtraInfo=0&BaseDir=../sermons/homily


46 posted on 09/29/2013 4:44:07 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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