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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 10-27-13, Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 10-27-13 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 10/26/2013 7:57:35 PM PDT by Salvation

October 27, 2013

 

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

 

Reading 1 Sir 35:12-14, 16-18

The LORD is a God of justice,
who knows no favorites.
Though not unduly partial toward the weak,
yet he hears the cry of the oppressed.
The Lord is not deaf to the wail of the orphan,
nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint.
The one who serves God willingly is heard;
his petition reaches the heavens.
The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds;
it does not rest till it reaches its goal,
nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds,
judges justly and affirms the right,
and the Lord will not delay.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 34:2-3, 17-18, 19, 23

R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the Lord hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
The LORD redeems the lives of his servants;
no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

 

Reading 2 2 Tm 4:6-8, 16-18

Beloved:
I am already being poured out like a libation,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have competed well; I have finished the race;
I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day, and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance.

At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf,
but everyone deserted me.
May it not be held against them!
But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength,
so that through me the proclamation might be completed
and all the Gentiles might hear it.
And I was rescued from the lion's mouth.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat
and will bring me safe to his heavenly kingdom.
To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel Lk 18:9-14

Jesus addressed this parable
to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
and despised everyone else.
"Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity --
greedy, dishonest, adulterous -- or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But the tax collector stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed,
'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.'
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
for whoever exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted."



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; ordinarytime; prayer
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 10/26/2013 7:57:35 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Catholic Ping!

Since my ping list got deleted, please let me know if you want back on it.


2 posted on 10/26/2013 7:59:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

yes, please.


3 posted on 10/26/2013 8:01:08 PM PDT by Louis Foxwell (This is a wake up call. Join the Sultan Knish ping list.)
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To: Louis Foxwell

Got it!


4 posted on 10/26/2013 8:06:07 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18

Worship pleasing to God


[12] Do not offer him a bribe, for he will not accept it;
and do not trust to an unrighteous sacrifice;
for the Lord is the judge, and with him is no partiality.
[13] He will not show partiality in the case of a poor man;
and he will listen to the prayer of the one who is wronged.
[14] He will not ignore the supplication of the fatherless,
nor the widow when she pours out her story.
[16] He whose service is pleasing to the Lord will be accepted,
and his prayer will reach to the clouds.
[17] The prayer of the humble pierces the clouds,
and he will not be consoled until it reaches the Lord;
he will not desist until the Most high visits him,
and does justice for the righteous, and executes judgment.

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

The Navarre has no commentary for this reading. Please reflect on God’s word
and invite the Holy Spirit to enter your heart with His inspiration.

*********************************************************************************************
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 10/26/2013 8:12:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18

The Crown of Righteousness


[6] For I am already on the point of being sacrificed; the time of my departure has
come. [7] I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
[8] Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord,
the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to
all who have loved his appearing.

[17] For the Lord stood by me and gave me strength to proclaim the word fully,
that all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. [18]
The Lord will rescue me from every evil and save me for his heavenly kingdom.
To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

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

6-8. Conscious of his closeness to death, St Paul writes in poetic strain about
his life in the service of the Gospel, about the meaning of death and his hope of
heaven. The imagery he uses shows how he interprets his experience in the
light of faith. “On the point of being sacrificed” — literally “poured out in sacrifice”
— death is an offering to God, like the libations of oil poured on the altar of sacri-
fices. Death is the beginning of a journey: “the point of my departure has come,”
the anchor is being weighed, the sails unfurled.

The Christian life is like magnificent Games taking place in the presence of God,
who acts as the judge. In Greece the Games had close connections with reli-
gious worship; St Paul presents the Christian life as a type of spiritual sport:
“races” indicates the continuous effort to achieve perfection (cf. Phil 3:14); trai-
ning for athletics indicates the practice of self-denial (cf. 1 Cor 9:26-27); fighting
stands for the effort required to resist sin even if that means death, as can hap-
pen in the event of persecution (cf. Heb 12:4). It is well worthwhile taking part in
this competition, because, as St John Chrysostom points out, “the crown which
it bestows never withers. It is not made of laurel leaves, it is not a man who pla-
ces it on our head, it has not been won in the presence of a crowd made up of
men, but in a stadium full of angels. In earthly competitions a man fights and
strives for days and the only reward he receives is a crown which withers in a
matter of hours [. . .]. That does not happen here: the crown he is given is a
glory and honor whose brilliance lasts forever (”Hom. on 2 Tim, ad loc”.).

All Christians who “have loved his appearing”, that is, who stay true to Christ,
share St Paul’s expectation of eternal life. “We who know about the eternal joys
of the heavenly fatherland should hasten to reach it by the more direct route”
(St Gregory the Great, “In Evangelia Homiliae”, 16).

9-18. In his letters St Paul often asks people to do things for him; his messa-
ges here are particularly moving, given as they are on the eve of his martyrdom.
He is following the example of Christ: he puts his trust in God even though his
friends desert him (vv. 10-12, 16); his enemies harass him more than ever, yet
he forgives them (vv. 14, 16); in the midst of his sufferings he praises the Lord (v.
18). His mention of Thessalonica, Galatia, Dalmatia, Ephesus, Troas, Corinth
and Miletus show how warmly he remembers places which were very receptive
to the Christian message. These few verses constitute a mini-biography.

His generosity of spirit is shown by the fact that he mentions so many disciples
by name; to all he gave of his best; some of them fell by the wayside but most
of them stayed faithful; some are mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles or in
other letters, but for others this is the only mention in the New Testament. How-
ever, all without exception must have been very present to the Apostle who be-
came “all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Cor 9:22).

16-17. St Paul points to the contrast between the way men treat him and the
way God does. Because of the hazards involved in staying with Paul or defen-
ding him, some of his friends, even some of his closest friends, have deserted
him; whereas God stays by his side.

“You seek the company of friends who, with their conversation and affection,
with their friendship, make the exile of this world more bearable for you. There
is nothing wrong with that, although friends sometimes let you down. But how
is it you don’t frequent daily with greater intensity the company, the conversa-
tion, of the great Friend, who never lets you down?” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”,
88).

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


6 posted on 10/26/2013 8:13:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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From: Luke 18:9-14

Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector


[9] He (Jesus) also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they
were righteous and despised others: [10] “Two men went up into the temple to
pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. [11] The Pharisee stood and
prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank Thee that I am not like other men, extor-
tioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. [12] I fast twice a week,
I give tithes of all that I get.’ [13] But the tax collector, standing far off, would not
even lift up his eyes to Heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to
me a sinner!’ [14] I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than
the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles
himself will be exalted.”

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

9-14. Our Lord here rounds off His teaching on prayer. In addition to being perse-
vering and full of faith, prayer must flow from a humble heart, a heart that repents
of its sins: “Cor contritum et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies” (Psalm 51:19);
the Lord, who never despises a contrite and humble heart, resists the proud and
gives His grace to the humble (cf. Peter 5:5; James 4:6).

The parable presents two opposite types—the Pharisee, who is so meticulous a-
bout external fulfillment of the Law; and the tax collector, who in fact is looked on
as a public sinner (cf. Luke 19:7). The Pharisee’s prayer is not pleasing to God,
because his pride causes him to be self-centered and to despise others. He be-
gins by giving thanks to God, but obviously it is not true gratitude, because he
boasts about all the good he has done and he fails to recognize his sins; since
he regards himself as righteous, he has no need of pardon, he thinks; and he re-
mains in his sinful state; to him also apply these words spoken by our Lord to a
group of Pharisees on another occasion: “If you were blind, you would have no
guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains” (John 9:41). The Phari-
see went down from the temple, therefore, unjustified.

But the tax collector recognizes his personal unworthiness and is sincerely sor-
ry for his sins: he has the necessary dispositions for God to pardon him. His eja-
culatory prayer wins God’s forgiveness: “It is not without reason that some have
said that prayer justifies; for repentant prayer or supplicant repentance, raising
up the soul to God and re-uniting it to His goodness, without doubt obtains par-
don in virtue of the holy love which gives it this sacred movement. And therefore
we ought all to have very many such ejaculatory prayers, said as an act of loving
repentance and with a desire of obtaining reconciliation with God, so that by thus
laying our tribulation before our Savior, we may pour out our souls before and wi-
thin His pitiful heart, which will receive them with mercy” (St. Francis de Sales,
“Treatise on the Love of God”, Book 2, Chapter 20).

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


7 posted on 10/26/2013 8:14:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Jerusalem Bible published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading

Ecclesiasticus 35:15-17,20-22 ©

The Lord is a judge

  who is no respecter of personages.

He shows no respect of personages to the detriment of a poor man,

  he listens to the plea of the injured party.

He does not ignore the orphan’s supplication,

  nor the widow’s as she pours out her story.

The man who with his whole heart serves God will be accepted,

  his petitions will carry to the clouds.

The humble man’s prayer pierces the clouds,

  until it arrives he is inconsolable,

And the Lord will not be slow,

  nor will he be dilatory on their behalf.


Psalm

Psalm 33:2-3,17-19,23 ©

The poor man called; the Lord has heard him.

I will bless the Lord at all times,

  his praise always on my lips;

in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.

  The humble shall hear and be glad.

The poor man called; the Lord has heard him.

The Lord turns his face against the wicked

  to destroy their remembrance from the earth.

The just call and the Lord hears

  and rescues them in all their distress.

The poor man called; the Lord has heard him.

The Lord is close to the broken-hearted;

  those whose spirit is crushed he will save.

The Lord ransoms the souls of his servants.

  Those who hide in him shall not be condemned.

The poor man called; the Lord has heard him.


Second reading

2 Timothy 4:6-8,16-18 ©

My life is already being poured away as a libation, and the time has come for me to be gone. I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith; all there is to come now is the crown of righteousness reserved for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that Day; and not only to me but to all those who have longed for his Appearing.

  The first time I had to present my defence, there was not a single witness to support me. Every one of them deserted me – may they not be held accountable for it. But the Lord stood by me and gave me power, so that through me the whole message might be proclaimed for all the pagans to hear; and so I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from all evil attempts on me, and bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


Gospel Acclamation

Mt11:25

Alleluia, alleluia!

Blessed are you, Father,

Lord of heaven and earth,

for revealing the mysteries of the kingdom

to mere children.

Alleluia!

Or

2Co5:19

Alleluia, alleluia!

God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself,

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

Alleluia!


Gospel

Luke 18:9-14 ©

Jesus spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on being virtuous and despised everyone else: ‘Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer to himself, “I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like the rest of mankind, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes on all I get.” The tax collector stood some distance away, not daring even to raise his eyes to heaven; but he beat his breast and said, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” This man, I tell you, went home again at rights with God; the other did not. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the man who humbles himself will be exalted.’

 


8 posted on 10/26/2013 8:19:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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On Mary, Model of Faith, Charity and Union with Christ [Weekly Audience]
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

9 posted on 10/26/2013 8:21:56 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
40 Days for Life runs [September 25] through November 3 in 306 cities
10 posted on 10/26/2013 8:23:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
11 posted on 10/26/2013 8:23:36 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
12 posted on 10/26/2013 8:24:01 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.

13 posted on 10/26/2013 8:24:58 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]


14 posted on 10/26/2013 8:26:13 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
+

15 posted on 10/26/2013 8:26:51 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.


16 posted on 10/26/2013 8:27:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 

October Devotion: The Holy Rosary
 

This feast was established by Pope Pius V to commemorate the great victory of the Christian army against the Turks in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

All soldiers on the battlefield prayed the Rosary for three hours and the wind has shifted in their favor. They were able to defeat an army three times bigger, in one of the greatest naval victory in history.

Pope Pius V named this the Feast of Our Lady of Victories, to be celebrated on October 7th.

In 1573, Pope Gregory XIII changed the title of this memorial to Feast of the Holy Rosary.

 

 

Pope Paul VI established the form that we celebrate this feast today, in 1969 under the name “Our Lady of the Rosary”.

“The celebration of this day invites all to mediate upon the mysteries of Christ, following the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary who was so singularly associated with the incarnation, passion and glorious resurrection of the Son of God.”



Madonna del Rosario

Caravaggio

1607

Pray the Rosary

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

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

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

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

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. 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 Joyful Mysteries
(Mondays and Saturdays)
1. The Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) [Spiritual fruit - Humility]
2. The Visitation (Luke 1: 39-56) [Spiritual fruit - Love of Neighbor]
3. The Nativity (Luke 2:1-20) [Spiritual fruit - Poverty of Spirit]
4. The Presentation (Luke 2:21-38) [Spiritual fruit - Purity of mind & body]
5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52) [Spiritual fruit - Obedience ]

The Luminous Mysteries or Mysteries of Light
(Thursdays) see Rosarium Virginis Mariae
1. Jesus' Baptism in the Jordan (II Corinthians 5:21, Matthew 3:17 and parallels) [Spiritual fruit - Gratitude for the gift of Faith]
2. Jesus' self-manifestation at the wedding of Cana (John 2:1- 12) [Spiritual fruit - Fidelity]
3. Jesus' proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with His call to conversion (Mark 1:15, Mark 2:3-13; Luke 7:47- 48, John 20:22-23) [Spiritual fruit - Desire for Holiness]
4. Jesus' Transfiguration (Luke 9:35 and parallels) [Spiritual fruit - Spiritual Courage]
5. Jesus' institution of the Eucharist, as the sacramental expression of the Paschal Mystery. (Luke 24:13-35 and parallels, 1 Corinthians 11:24-25) [Spiritual fruit - Love of our Eucharistic Lord]

The Sorrowful Mysteries
(Tuesdays and Fridays)
1. The Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46) [Spiritual fruit - God's will be done]
2. The Scourging at the Pillar (Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15, John 19:1) [Spiritual fruit - Mortification of the senses]
3. The Crowning with Thorns (Matthew 27:27-30, Mark 15:16-20, John 19:2) [Spiritual fruit - Reign of Christ in our heart]
4. The Carrying of the Cross (Matthew 27:31-32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26-32, John 19:17) [Spiritual fruit - Patient bearing of trials]
5. The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:33-56, Mark 15:22-39, Luke 23:33-49, John 19:17-37) [Spiritual fruit - Pardoning of Injuries]

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

 

The Fifteen Promises Granted to Those Who Recite the Rosary [Catholic Caucus]
Essays for Lent: The Rosary

Radio Replies Second Volume - The Rosary
Town Rejects Rosary as Offensive and the Prayers that Changed Everything
No-contact order over a student's rosary
Collecting 860 rosaries result of a lifelong passion (Catholic Caucus)
After rosary campaign, Florida sheriff abruptly shuts down abortion clinic on Marian feast
Public Rosary in San Francisco to draw thousands [Catholic Caucus]
Chicago's Incredible Floating Rosary
Enourmous Rosary floats over Chicago
Surprised by the Joyful Mysteries (of the Rosary) [Catholic Caucus]
HISTORY OF THE ROSARY [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

The Rosary-a tool for evangelization [Catholic Caucus]
OUR LADY AND HEAVEN’S PEACE PLAN (Say the Rosary) [Ecumenical]
[CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS] 5th Joyful Mystery: The Finding in the Temple (Patristic Rosary)
[CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS] 4th Joyful Mystery: The Presentation (Patristic Rosary)
[CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS] 3rd Joyful Mystery: The Nativity (Patristic Rosary)
Praying the Holy Rosary in October
[CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS] 2nd Joyful Mystery: The Visitation (Patristic Rosary)
[CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS] 1st Joyful Mystery: The Annuniciation (Patristic Rosary)
[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] On the Rosary
Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: 15 [20] Mysteries of the Holy Rosary & When They Are Prayed

It Was the Rosary: Mainz Priest Talks About His Vocation
Rosary to Halt Construction of NYC Mosque (Catholic Caucus)
British Soldier Shot in Afghanistan is Saved by His ROSARY...Like His Great-Grandfather in WWII
Catholic Caucus: Rosary Beads Saved My Life, British Soldier Says
British soldier shot in Afghanistan is saved my his ROSARY
Rosary returned to Vietnam vet as pledged 44 years ago
Rosary for the Bishop celebrates six months of prayer, global expansion
Rosary Rallies for Priests Give Final Flourish to Their Special Year (ECUMENICAL)
The Unseen Power of the Rosary
Worldwide Rosary Relay to Offer Prayer for Priests

Boy Suspended For Rosary -- Reinstated
NY school sued after teen suspended over rosary
Student Suspended for Wearing Rosary Beads
[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] The 3:30 Beads!
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Private Devotions to Mary: The Rosary
Benedict XVI Promotes Rosary in Fatima [Catholic Caucus]
Archbishop Naumann, Bishop Finn Lead Mother's Day Rosary at Planned Parenthood
Did the Apostles Pray the Rosary? (First Novena to the Holy Spirit?) [Catholic Caucus]
The Importance of the Meditated Holy Rosary -- What the Popes have to say [Catholic Caucus]
A Ladder from Earth to Heaven: The Rosary for All Christians

Jesus is in the Holy Rosary
The Rosary, a powerful weapon against the devil
History of The Scriptural Rosary [Ecumenical]
The Lord Is with Thee
Rosary of Our Lady's Tears(Catholic Prayer Thread)
The Rosary and Me - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
Rosary promoted as path to Christ and peace [at third annual Rosary Bowl NW]
The Efficacy and Power of One Hail Mary [Ecumenical]
“ Let Us Do It!“ (Sunday: Rosary to be simultaneously prayed on five continents)
The Fruits of the Mysteries of the Rosary

[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
The Family Rosary [Try it for Lent!] (Catholic Caucus)
History of the Scriptural Rosary - Meditating on The Word
Rosary Resurgence [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: How to Pray the Rosary: Contemplating Christ With Mary [Ecumenical]
[Oregon] Rosary Bowl focuses on links between prayer, evangelization
Praying the Rosary By Bishop Fulton J. Sheen(Catholic Caucus)
Rosary-Prayers Aiming to Break Record [Catholic Caucus]
Rosary vs. Repetitious Prayer [Ecumenical]
The Luminous Mysteries [of the Rosary]: Knowing Jesus in His Public Ministry

Rosary Is a School of Mary, Says Pope: Encourages Recitation [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
New campaign launched to promote family rosary
The Rosary and the Republic
Chant the Rosary... in Latin!
(...)and the rosary
Estimated 50,000 recite rosary in event at Rose Bowl
Our Lady of Victory (HLI Page)
Rosary to Mark St. Martha's Feast
Pray the Rosary
Rosary Aids Spiritual Growth, Says Pope


Image Detail

Remembering Lepanto
The Battle that Saved the Christian West (October 7, 1571: Battle of Lepanto)
Battle of Lepanto: Armada of the Cross
Remember Lepanto
How Europe Escaped Speaking Arabic
Bishop compares election to Battle of Lepanto
Bishop compares election to Battle of Lepanto
The Battle of Lepanto
Civilization in the Balance: The Battle of Lepanto and Election ‘08
LEPANTO

A Call To Prayer: This Lepanto Moment [Repost]
Lepanto, 1571: The Battle That Saved Europe
Celebrating the Battle of Lepanto
Clash of civilizations: Battle of Lepanto revisited
Lepanto, Bertone e Battesimo, Oh My!
Lepanto Sunday
Our Lady of the Rosary of La Naval (A Mini-Lepanto in the Philippines)
Swiss Guards at the Battle of Lepanto, 7 October 1571
Battle of Lepanto
LEPANTO, 7 OCTOBER 1571: The Defense of Europe

Battle of Lepanto
Remember Lepanto!
The Battle of Lepanto
On This Day In History, The Battle of Lepanto
The Battle of Lepanto
Chesterton's Lepanto
The Miracle At Lepanto...
Lepanto
The Naval Battle of Lepanto
The Battle of Lepanto

17 posted on 10/26/2013 8:28:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
October 2013

Pope's Intentions

People in Despair: That those feeling so crushed by life that they wish to end it may sense the nearness of God's love.

World Mission Day: That the celebration of World Mission Day may help all Christians realize that we are not only receivers but proclaimers of God's word.

18 posted on 10/26/2013 8:28:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Daily Gospel Commentary

Commentary of the day
Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Discourses on the Psalms, Ps 86[85], 2-3

"O God, be merciful to me a sinner"

“Turn your ear, O Lord, and give answer, for I am poor and needy” (Ps 86[85],1). He doesn't turn his ear to the rich man but to the poor and needy one, towards the man who is humble and acknowledges his sins, the one who begs his mercy not the one who is satisfied, who takes a superior position, who vaunts himself as though he lacked for nothing and who has just said: “I thank you that I am not like this publican”. For that rich Pharisee made much of his worthiness; the poor publican confessed his sins...


All those who reject pride are poor before God and we know that he turns his ear to the poor and needy. They have recognized that their hope can't rest in
gold or silver or those possessions they own in abundance for a season... When someone despises within himself everything for which pride knows so well how to flatter itself, then that person is one of God's poor. God inclines his ear to him for he knows the sufferings of his heart...


Learn, then, to be poor and needy whether you own something in this world or not. We may find a proud beggar and a rich man who is pierced by the feeling of his own unworthiness. “God refuses the proud” whether they are clothed in silk or covered with rags; “he gives his grace to the humble” (Jas 4,6; Prv 3,34) whether they possess or do not posses this world's goods. God looks on what is within: that's what he weighs, that's what he tests. You don't see God's weights; your feelings, plans, thoughts, these are what he sets on the scale... If there is around or within you something prompting you to self-satisfaction, reject it. Let God be all your certainty. Be poor in him that he may fill you with himself.

 


19 posted on 10/26/2013 8:34:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Zenit.org

Without Humility Prayer Degenerates into Arrogance

Lectio Divina: 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Paris, October 25, 2013 (Zenit.org) Monsignor Francesco Follo | 3004 hits

1) Prayer must be humble

 

     Last Sunday’s Liturgy of the Word has taught us that prayer to be true must be pure, confident, vigilant and constant.  Today’s Liturgy completes the teaching underlining that prayer is true when it is humble.

      In the introduction to the commentary to the Our Father Saint Thomas of Aquinas writes: “Prayer must be humble because God “heeds the plea of the lowly not scorning their prayer” (Ps 102:18). Consider also the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector (Lk 18:10-14) and the prayer of Judith “You are God of the lowly, helper of those of little account” (Jud9:11). This humility can be observed in the Our Father. In fact there is true humility when one doesn’t count on his own but awaits everything from the divine power to whom like a beggar he turns to”.

To pray we need the humility that makes the heart contrite and takes God closer, as in the Psalm:  “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, saves those whose spirit is crushed. The Lord is the redeemer of the souls of his servants and none are condemned who take refuge in him” ( Ps 34: 18-23) The psalm can also help us to better understand the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector ( Lk 18:9-11)  proposed this Sunday,  that speaks about  humble prayer. It is a humility expressed not only by the words spoken, but also by the behavior of the tax collector who recognizes his sins. When we pray it is not important what we say to the Lord, but also how we say it. The “how” we live our relationship with God is at stake.

       What must be improved or corrected in our prayer are not the words we use, but the way we live our relationship with God saying at the beginning of our meditation: “Lord before you speak to me, forgive me” (“Antequam discutias mecum, Domine, miserere Mei” Ambrosian antiphon).

       Let’s now look at the main characters of the Gospel’s narration.

       The Pharisee is considered by standards the true observant one. He follows meticulously the practices of his religion and has a spirit of sacrifice. He is not satisfied with what are the minimum requirements but does more.  He doesn’t fast one day per week as prescribed by law, but he does it two times per week.

     However Christ says that he is not justified and not saved. Why? He abides by law and cannot be judged a hypocrite, but he makes the mistake to be too sure of his justice. He believes that he can claim credit by God, doesn’t wait for His mercy, and doesn’t expect salvation as a free and underserved gift but as a reward for having done his duty. He says “Lord I thank you” and makes a list of what he does as an observant person and shows to God his concept of justice.  In reality he has lost the original and free dependence from God, who is a Father to us because he loves us, not because He must “pay us back” for what we have done. The Pharisee besides having said “Thank you” at the beginning, doesn’t pray, doesn’t look up to God, doesn’t ask God for advice doesn’t expect anything from Him and doesn’t ask anything. He is concentrated on himself and compares himself with the others judging them severely. In his behavior there is no prayer. He doesn’t ask for anything and God doesn’t give anything to him.

    Let’s now consider the second person in the parable, a tax collector who goes to the temple to pray and whose behavior is the opposite of the one of the Pharisee. He stops afar, beats his chest and says: “O God, be merciful to me a sinner” (Lk 18:13). In recognizing himself as a sinner he speaks the truth: he works for the Romans, invaders and pagan, and demands exorbitant taxes. He certainly is a sinner but knows it, feels in need of a change and above all knows that he cannot exact anything from God. He doesn’t have anything to be proud of and nothing to exact. He can only ask. He counts on God, not on himself. This man had his head bent, but his heart is outstretched toward the High by whom he awaits mercy.

     The conclusion is clear and simple: the only right way to put oneself in front of God in prayer and before that, in life, is to feel always the need of His forgiveness and of His love. We must do good deeds but we must not brag about it. And we must not compare ourselves with others.

      The tax collector “went home justified”. He had been forgiven not because he was better or humbler than the Pharisee (we don’t earn God even with humility) but because he opens himself- like a door that opens to the sun- to a God bigger that his sin, to a God that is not earned but welcomed, to a forgiving God that regenerates and makes the tax collector’s heart innocent like the one of a child.

       As God has made “just” the sinful tax collector, so he is “good” to us penitent sinners and will make us “just,” readmitted to divine friendship, saints, pure and reinstated in the life of faith. 

       The Pharisee is condemned. Why? Because he said” I’m not like the rest of humanity, greedy, dishonest, adulterous” – and up to this point he didn’t offend anybody - but he added “or even like this tax collector” (Lk 18:11). Doing so he went against his neighbor, did wrong towards him and consequently towards God who had said: “For it is loyalty that I desire, not sacrifice and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings”. (Hosea 6:6)  He had confirmed it through His Son’s words “Go and learn the meaning of the words ”I desire mercy, not sacrifice”. (Mt 9:13) and had reasserted: “If you knew what this meant, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice";you would not have condemned these innocent men”. (Mt 12:7). The sin of the Pharisee consists formally in the condemnation of the brother but above all in the cause of this condemnation “for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted”. (Lk 18:14). It is the same sentence used for the conceited guests that wanted the best seats at the banquet (see Lk 14:11)

     Let’s imitate Christ that didn’t exalt himself but “emptied” his Divinity into the most wretched humiliation, the one of the cross. For that God has exalted him above every other name (see Phil 2:6-11).

     The consecrated Virgins are called to live in a special way this humility of Christ in prayer and in life. These women have welcomed the invitation of the Savior “learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves”. (Mt 11:29). This humility makes them spiritually fruitful. “If you want to know the name of this virtue, that is how it is called by the philosophers, you should know that the humility upon which God put His eyes is the same virtue that the philosophers call atyphia or metriotes. We can define it with this sentence: humility is the condition of a man that doesn’t elevate himself but lowers him. The one that swells will fall, as the Apostle says “into the devil’s behavior” who began to swell with pride. The Apostle writes “so that he may not become conceited and thus incur the devil’s punishment”. (1 Tim 3:6) “Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid”: God has looked at me, says Mary, because I’m humble and because I search the virtue of mildness and hiding” (see Origen, Homilies on Luke, VIII 5-6).They live the spirit of Mary: “if according to the flesh, one was the mother of Christ, according to faith all the souls generate Christ: every one of them welcomes the Word of God” (Saint Ambrose of Milan, Exposition on the Gospel of Luke, 2:26-27). In the final prayer the Bishop says:” May Jesus our Lord, faithful spouse of the ones that are consecrated to Him, give you a happy and fruitful life” (see Rite of the Consecration of the Virgins). Doing so, he invites them and, through their example, us to act so that in our heart and in our life the Lord finds his home. We must not only carry him in our heart, we must “generate” Him and carry him in our time and in the entire world.


20 posted on 10/26/2013 8:46:12 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY LK 18:9-14

Prayer that pierces the clouds

 

Fr. Jack Peterson, YA

Jesus tells a parable of two kinds of Jews with whom all Jews of His day are familiar and most dislike. There is the Pharisee who knows the law, keeps the commandments and practices the faith, but some have a reputation for being hypocritical, judgmental and hung up on externals. Then there is the tax collector who is considered both a traitor to the Jewish people and a thief who extorts more than the people owe to the Romans as a means to personal wealth. Both enter the temple area to pray. Jesus says that one goes home justified and the other does not. Why?

St. Luke gives the simple answer to this question in the introduction to the parable: “Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.” The sin of pride, which is at the root of all sin, often leads to an attitude of self-righteousness that is offensive to both man and God. It also leads one to look down upon and even despise our neighbor.

The Pharisee’s prayer is pretty ugly: “O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and I pay tithes on my whole income.” The Pharisee has convinced himself that he is earning his salvation by good works alone, not by God’s mercy and generosity. We can’t make ourselves right with God without His assistance. Plus, this Pharisee is looking down his nose at everyone around him.

Sadly, I think if we are honest with ourselves, most of us have at least been tempted to offer a similar prayer. “I am not like my classmates who have sex every weekend with a different person; I am not like my officemates who are so lazy and self-centered; I am not like my husband/wife who can be so selfish and never tries to understand what I am going through right now.”

In contrast, Jesus praises the tax collector who stands off at a distance (in part because he was not allowed in the temple proper), does not even feel comfortable raising his eyes to heaven, strikes his breast and prays, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.” There are no proclamations about others in this prayer and no statements of how good he is. Rather, there is only a humble admittance of being a sinner and a simple request for God’s tender mercy. This prayer is very pleasing to God.

The inspired author of the Book of Sirach addresses this same truth from an Old Testament perspective: “The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds: It does not rest till it reaches its goal, nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds.”

The Mass is full of opportunities for us to imitate the tax collector and offer to God the prayer of the lowly. During the penitential rite, if we recite the Confiteor, we strike our breast three times admitting our most grievous fault. If we use the other common form of the penitential rite, we beg God three times to have mercy on us. The Mass follows with the Gloria (on Sundays and solemnities), which admits that Jesus takes away the sins of the world and implores God again to “have mercy on us.” As we approach holy Communion, we proclaim the Agnus Dei, which repeats our need for God’s tender mercies. We also repeat the beautiful words of the Roman centurion, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

At the start of Pope Francis’ famous interview with the Jesuit journalist Father Antonio Spadaro, he was asked: “Who is Jorge Mario Bergolio?” After pausing for a moment, Pope Francis responded, “I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. … I am a sinner whom the Lord has looked upon.” How refreshing and humble.

It is clear what God wants from us, humble and contrite hearts. It is clear what helps spread our Christian faith around the world: humble and contrite hearts. “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.”

Fr. Peterson is assistant chaplain at Marymount University in Arlington and director of the Youth Apostles Institute in McLean.


21 posted on 10/26/2013 8:52:21 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Work of God

Every one that exalts himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbles himself, shall be exalted.

Catholic Gospels - Homilies, Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit  Every one that exalts himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbles himself, shall be exalted. Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year C

 -  30th Sunday in Ordinary time

Every one that exalts himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbles himself, shall be exalted.

Every one that exalts himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbles himself, shall be exalted. Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit Luke 18:9-14

9 And to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others, he spoke also this parable:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give you thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican.
12 I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing far away, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O god, be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather that the other: because every one that exalts himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbles himself, shall be exalted.

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

30th Sunday in Ordinary time - Every one that exalts himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbles himself, shall be exalted. The just man sins seven times a day and rises again (Prov. 24:16). And indeed who can call himself just, if there is only one who is just? Who can call himself holy, if there is only one who is holy? Saint Paul says in Philippians 2:12 that you must work out your salvation with fear and trembling. He is exhorting you to humility.

Therefore, remember that there is only one Lawgiver and Judge, one who is able to save or destroy, and that you should not justify yourself or judge others (James 4:12). Let me be the judge, be justified by your faith in me, the Son of the true God.

I am the light of the world and I can see the heart and the mind, I can read the secret thoughts of all creatures, nothing is hidden from me, since I can be everywhere. If anyone wants to follow me he must learn from me because I am meek and humble of heart. I made myself small so that you would learn that first lesson from me. Humility is what I taught with my life as a human being, by my poverty and my example.

If anyone wants to impress me, he must renounce himself, in other words he must disregard his own self-opinion and humbly accept my judgment. He who gives his life to me does not expect any reward for his actions, since he is doing all that is good in order to please me. His work will become my work, and all his good actions will be the works of my spirit. He does not live anymore for himself but for me, he does not have to attract my attention, he already lives in my presence.

I will be his protector; I will keep him alert when temptation comes. If he sins, he will humble himself and obtain my forgiveness, my grace will always bless him and what he offers me will be the object of my pleasure. When adversity comes into his life he will still put his trust in me and I will rescue him out of his distress. He will live for me and I will be always with him.

On the other hand, the man who justifies himself is already rejecting my judgment, he stands alone since he thinks he is so strong, eventually he will fall and his pride will make it very hard for him to come to my mercy.

I will resist the proud until they become humble. But the humble will always find a reassuring welcome in the love of my heart.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


22 posted on 10/26/2013 9:04:25 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Archdiocese of Washington

It’s Me Oh Lord, Standin’ in the Need of Prayer – A Homily for the 30th Sunday of the Year

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

There’s an old saying on pride that goes: “Faults in others I can see, but praise the Lord, they’re none in me!” It’s a steel trap statement because one is snared in sin by the very act of claiming they have no sin. And it’s the biggest sin of all: Pride!

In today’s Gospel, the Lord illustrates this very point in speaking to us of two men who go to to the temple and pray. One man commits the greatest sin of all, pride, and leaves unjustified. The other, though a great sinner, receives the gift of justification through humility. Let’s look at what the Lord teaches us.

1. Prideful Premise - Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness. When it comes to parables, it is possible for us to go right to the parable and miss the introductory statement that often tells us what spurred Jesus to give the parable. Many simply see this parable as being about arrogance. But there is more to it than that.

Jesus is addressing this parable to those who are convinced of their own righteousness. They are under the illusion that they are capable of justifying and saving themselves. They think they can have their “own righteousness,” and that it will be enough to save them.

But the truth is, there is no saving righteousness apart from Christ’s righteousness. I do not care how many spiritual push-ups you do, how many good works you do, how many commandments you keep. It will never be enough for you to earn heaven. On your own you are not holy enough, to ever enter heaven or save yourself. Scripture says, One cannot redeem himself, pay to God a ransom. Too high the price to redeem a life; he would never have enough (Psalm 49:8-9)

Only Christ and HIS righteousness can ever close the gap, can ever get you to heaven. Even if we do have good works, they are not our gift to God, they are his gift to us. We cannot boast of them, they are his. Again Scripture says, For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should walk in them (Eph 2:8-10).

But the Pharisee in the Parable has a prideful premise that is operative. Jesus says he is convinced of his OWN righteousness. Notice how, in his brief prayer he says “I” four times:

It is also interesting that the Lord, when telling the of the prideful Pharisee, indicates that he “spoke this prayer to himself.” Some think it merely means he did not say the prayer out loud. But others suspect that more is at work here, a double meaning if you will. In effect, the Lord is saying that his prayer is so wholly self-centered, so devoid of any true appreciation of God, that it is actually spoken only to himself. He is congratulating himself more than really praying to God, and his “thank you” is purely perfunctory and serves more a premise for his own prideful self adulation. He is speaking to himself alright. He is so prideful that even God can’t even hear him.

Hence we see a prideful premise on the part of the Pharisee who sees his righteous as his own, as something he has achieved. He is badly mistaken.

2. Problematic Perspective - and despised everyone else. To “despise” means to look down on others with contempt, to perceive others as beneath us. Now the Lord says the Pharisee did this. Notice how the Pharisee is glad to report that he is “not like the rest of humanity.”

Not only is his remark foolish, it is also impertinent. For, it is a simple fact that you and I will not get to heaven merely by being a little better than someone else. No indeed, being better than a tax collector, prostitute, drug dealer, or dishonest business man is not the standard we must meet. The standard we must meet is Jesus. He is the standard. And Jesus said, Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matt 5:48). Now, somebody say, Lord have mercy! It is so dangerous, and a total waste of time, to compare our self with others because it wholly misses the point.

The point is that we are to compare our selves to Jesus and to be conformed to him by the work of his grace. And, truth be told, any honest comparison of our self to Jesus should make us fall to our knees and cry out for mercy, because the only way we stand a chance is with boatloads of grace and mercy.

It is so silly, laughable really, that we compare our selves to others. What a pointless pursuit! What a fool’s errand! What a waste of time! God is very holy and we need to leave behind the problematic perspective of looking down on others and trying to be just a little better than some poor (and fellow) sinner. It just won’t cut it.

There’s a lot of talk today about being “basically a nice person.” But being nice isn’t how we get to heaven. We get to heaven by being Jesus. The goal in life isn’t to be nice, the goal is to be made holy. We need to set aside all the tepid and merely humanistic notions of righteousness and come to understand how radical the call to holiness is and how unattainable it is by human effort. Looking to be average, or a little better than others, is a problematic perspective. It has to go and be replaced by the Jesus standard.

Let’s put it in terms of something we all can understand: money. Let’s say that we’re on our way to heaven and you have $50 and I have $500. Now I might laugh at you and feel all superior to you. I might ridicule you and say, “I have ten times as much as you!” But then we get to heaven and find out the cost to enter is 70 trillion dollars. Oops. Looks like we’re both going to need a LOT of mercy and grace to get in the door. In the end, we are both in the same boat and all my boasting was a waste of time and quite silly to boot. We have a task so enormous and unattainable that we simply have to let God grant it and accomplish it for us. And this leads to the final point.

3. Prescribed Practice - But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ Given everything we have reflected on, we can only bow our head and cry from the heart, “Lord have mercy!” Deep humility coupled with lively hope are the only answers.

And here too, being humble isn’t something we can do. We have to ask God for a humble and contrite heart. Without this gift we will never be saved. We are just to proud and egotistical in our flesh. So God needs to give us a new heart, a new mind. Notice that the tax collector in today’s parable did three things, three things we ought to do:

  1. Realize your distance - the text says he stood off at a distance. He realizes that he is a long way from the goal. He knows how holy God is, and he himself is very distant. But his recognition of his distance is already a grace and a mercy. God is already granting the humility by which he stands a chance.
  2. Recognize your disability – The text says he would not even raise his eyes to heaven. Scripture says, No one can see on God and live (Ex 33:20). We are not ready to look on the face of God in all its glory. That is evident by the fact that we are still here. Scripture also says, “Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God” (Matt 5:8). This tax collector recognizes his disability, his inability to look on the face of God for his heart is not yet pure enough. So in humility he looks down. But his recognition of his disability is already a grace and a mercy. God is already granting the humility by which he stands a chance.
  3. Request your deliverance – the text says he beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God be merciful to me, a sinner.” Notice then how his humility is steeped in hope. He cannot save himself but God can. He cannot have a saving righteousness of his own, but Jesus does. So this tax collector summons those twins called grace and mercy. In this man’s humility, a grace given him by God. He stands a chance. For, by this humility, he invokes Jesus Christ who alone can make him righteous and save him. Beg for humility. Only God can really give it to us. The humble, contrite heart the Lord will not spurn (Ps 51:17). And thus Jesus says, whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Beware of Pride. It is our worst enemy. Beg for the gift of humility, for only with it do we even stand a chance.

I have it on the best of authority that, as he left the Temple, the tax collector sang this song: “It’s Me O Lord, Standing in the Need of Prayer!” Here it is sung by a German choir which explains their unusual pronunciation of “prayer.” It’s OK though, I don’t pronounce “Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung” (speed limit) very well either!


23 posted on 10/26/2013 9:11:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Gospel Reflections

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I: Sirach 35:12-14,16-18 II: 2 Timothy 4:6-8,16-18


Gospel
Luke 18:9-14

9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others:
10 "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
12 I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.'
13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!'
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."


Interesting Details


One Main Point

Righteousness comes from being faithful to the covenant relationship with God, through which God justifies us.


Reflections

  1. What does "being faithful to the covenant relationship with God" mean for me? Am I faithful to that relationship? What helps? (Consider the liturgy of the Eucharist; the Jesus prayer, "Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me"; prayers before meals; prayers at bed time and at dawn)
  2. To what extent am I proudly self-sufficient without God? Does my culture encourage this?
  3. Whom do I think I am superior to? Who is the "tax collector" in my eyes?

24 posted on 10/26/2013 9:26:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18
Psalm 34:2-3, 17-19, 23
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
Luke 18:9-14

Give ear, O Lord, to my words, understand my cry: hearken to the voice of my prayer, O my King and my God.

-- Psalm v. 2,3


25 posted on 10/26/2013 9:29:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

26 posted on 10/26/2013 9:30:33 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. 


27 posted on 10/26/2013 9:31:36 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Yes, thanks.


28 posted on 10/27/2013 7:16:45 AM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: Salvation

YES!


29 posted on 10/27/2013 11:09:20 AM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo....Sum Pro Vita - Modified Descartes)
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To: Salvation
Luke
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 18
9 And to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others, he spoke also this parable: Dixit autem et ad quosdam qui in se confidebant tamquam justi, et aspernabantur ceteros, parabolam istam : ειπεν δε προς τινας τους πεποιθοτας εφ εαυτοις οτι εισιν δικαιοι και εξουθενουντας τους λοιπους την παραβολην ταυτην
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. Duo homines ascenderunt in templum ut orarent : unus pharisæus et alter publicanus. ανθρωποι δυο ανεβησαν εις το ιερον προσευξασθαι ο εις φαρισαιος και ο ετερος τελωνης
11 The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. Pharisæus stans, hæc apud se orabat : Deus, gratias ago tibi, quia non sum sicut ceteri hominum : raptores, injusti, adulteri, velut etiam hic publicanus : ο φαρισαιος σταθεις προς εαυτον ταυτα προσηυχετο ο θεος ευχαριστω σοι οτι ουκ ειμι ωσπερ οι λοιποι των ανθρωπων αρπαγες αδικοι μοιχοι η και ως ουτος ο τελωνης
12 I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess. jejuno bis in sabbato, decimas do omnium quæ possideo. νηστευω δις του σαββατου αποδεκατω παντα οσα κτωμαι
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O god, be merciful to me a sinner. Et publicanus a longe stans, nolebat nec oculos ad cælum levare : sed percutiebat pectus suum, dicens : Deus propitius esto mihi peccatori. και ο τελωνης μακροθεν εστως ουκ ηθελεν ουδε τους οφθαλμους εις τον ουρανον επαραι αλλ ετυπτεν εις το στηθος αυτου λεγων ο θεος ιλασθητι μοι τω αμαρτωλω
14 I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather that the other: because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted. Dico vobis, descendit hic justificatus in domum suam ab illo : quia omnis qui se exaltat, humiliabitur, et qui se humiliat, exaltabitur. λεγω υμιν κατεβη ουτος δεδικαιωμενος εις τον οικον αυτου η γαρ εκεινος οτι πας ο υψων εαυτον ταπεινωθησεται ο δε ταπεινων εαυτον υψωθησεται

30 posted on 10/27/2013 2:02:57 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
9. And he spoke this parable to certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10. Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a Publican.
11. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this Publican.
12. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13. And the Publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.

AUG. Since faith is not a gift of the proud but of the humble, our Lord proceeds to add a parable concerning humility and against pride.

THEOPHYL. Pride also beyond all other passions disturbs the mind of man. And hence the very frequent warnings against it. It is moreover a contempt of God; for when a man ascribes the good he does to himself and not to God, what else is this but to deny God? For the sake then of those that so trust in themselves, that they will not ascribe the whole to God, and therefore despise others, He puts forth a parable, to show that righteousness, although it may bring man up to God, yet if he is clothed with pride, casts him down to hell.

GREEK EX. To be diligent in prayer was the lesson taught by our Lord in the parable of the widow and the judge, He now instructs us how we should direct our prayers to Him, in order that our prayers may not be fruitless. The Pharisee was condemned because he prayed heedlessly. As it follows, The Pharisee stood and prayed with himself.

THEOPHYL. It is said "standing," to denote his haughty temper. For his very posture betokens his extreme pride.

BASIL; "He prayed with himself," that is, not with God, his sin of pride sent him back into himself. It follows, God, I thank you.

AUG. His fault was not that he gave God thanks, but that he asked for nothing further. Because you are full and abounds, you have no need to say, Forgive us our debts. What then must be his guilt who impiously fights against grace, when he is condemned who proudly gives thanks? Let those hear who say, "God has made me man, I made myself righteous. O worse and more hateful than the Pharisee, who proudly called himself righteous, yet gave thanks to God that he was so.

THEOPHYL. Observe the order of the Pharisee's prayer. He first speaks of that which he had not, and then of that which he had. As it follows, That I am not as other men are.

AUG. He might at least have said, "as many men;" for what does he mean by "other men," but all besides himself? "I am righteous, he says, the rest are sinners."

GREG. There are different shapes in which the pride of self-confident men presents itself; when they imagine that either the good in them is of themselves; or when believing it is given them from above, that they have received it for their own merits; or at any rate when they boast that they have that which they have not. Or lastly, when despising others they aim at appearing singular in the possession of that which they have. And in this respect the Pharisee awards to himself especially the merit of good works.

AUG. See how he; derives from the Publican near him a fresh occasion for pride. It follows, Or even as this Publican; as if he says, "I stand alone, he is one of the others."

CHRYS. To despise the whole race of man was not enough for him; he must yet attack the Publican. He would have sinned, yet far less if he had spared the Publican, but now in one word he both assails the absent, and inflicts a wound on him who was present. To give thanks is not to heap reproaches on others. When you returns thanks to God, let Him be all in all to you. Turn not your thoughts to men, nor condemn your neighbor.

BASIL; The difference between the proud man and the scorner is in the outward form alone. The one is engaged in reviling others, the other in presumptuously extolling: himself.

CHRYS. He who rails at others does much harm both to himself and others. First, those who hear him are rendered worse, for if sinners they are made glad in finding one as guilty as themselves, if righteous, they are exalted, being led by the sins of others to think more highly of themselves. Secondly, the body of the Church suffers; for those who hear him are not all content to blame the guilty only, but to fasten the reproach also on the Christian religion. Thirdly, the glory of God is evil spoken of for as our well-doing makes the name of God to be glorified, so our sins cause it to be blasphemed. Fourthly, the object of reproach is confounded and becomes more reckless and immovable. Fifthly, the ruler is himself made liable to punishment for uttering things which are not seemly.

THEOPHYL. It becomes us not only to shun evil, but also to do good; and so after having said, I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, he adds something by way of contrast, I fast twice in a week. They called the week the Sabbath, from the last day of rest. The Pharisees fasted upon the second and fifth day. He therefore set fasting against the passion of adultery, for lust is born of luxury; but to the extortioners and usurists he opposed the payment of tithes; as it follows, I give tithes of all I possess; as if he says, So far am I from indulging in extortion or injuring, that I even give up what is my own.

GREG. So it was pride that laid bare to his wily enemies the citadel of his heart, which prayer and fasting had in vain kept closed. Of no use are all the other fortifications, as long as there is one place which the enemy has left defenseless.

AUG. If you look into his words, you will find that he asked nothing of God. He goes up indeed to pray, but instead of asking God, praises himself; and even insults him that asked. The Publican, on the other hand, driven by his stricken conscience afar off, is by his piety brought near.

THEOPHYL. Although reported to have stood, the Publican yet differed from the Pharisee, both in his manner and his words, as well as in his having a contrite heart. For he feared to lift up his eyes to heaven, thinking unworthy of the heavenly vision those which had loved to gaze upon and wander after earthly things. He also smote his breast, striking it as it were because of the evil thoughts, and moreover rousing it as if asleep. And thus he sought only that God would be reconciled to him, as it follows, saying, God, be merciful.

CHRYS. He heard the words, that I am not as the Publican. He was not angry, but pricked to the heart. The one uncovered the wound, the other seeks for its remedy. Let no one then ever put forth so cold an excuse as, I dare not, I am ashamed, I cannot open my mouth. The devils have that kind of fear. The devil would fain close against you every door of access to God.

AUG. Why then marvel you, whether God pardons, since He himself acknowledges it. The Publican stood afar off, yet drew near to God. And the Lord was nigh to him, and heard him, For the Lord is on high, yet has he regard to the lowly. He lifted not so much as his eyes to heaven; that he might be looked upon, he looked not himself. Conscience weighed him down, hope raised him up, he smote his own breast, he exacted judgment upon himself. Therefore did the Lord spare the penitent. You have heard the accusation of the proud, you have heard the humble confession of the accused Hear now the sentence of the Judge; Verily I say to you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other.

CHRYS This parable represents to us two chariots on the race course, each with two charioteers in it. In one of the chariots it places righteousness with pride, in the other sin and humility. You see the chariot of sin outstrip that of righteousness, not by its own strength but by the excellence of humility combined with it, but the other is defeated not by righteousness, but by the weight and swelling of pride. For as humility by its own elasticity rises above the weight of pride, and leaping up reaches to God, so pride by its great weight easily depresses righteousness. Although therefore you are earnest and constant in well doing, yet think you may boast yourself, you are altogether devoid of the fruits of prayer. But you that bears a thousand loads of guilt on your conscience, and only think this thing of yourself that you are the lowest of all men, shall gain much confidence before God. And He then goes on to assign the reason of His sentence. For every one who exalts himself shall be abased, and he that humbles himself shall be exalted. The word humility has various meanings. There is the humility of virtue, as, A humble and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. There is also a humility arising from sorrows, as, He has humbled my life upon the earth. There is a humility derived from sin, and the pride and insatiability of riches. For can any thing be more low and debased than those who grovel in riches and power, and count them great things?

BASIL; In like manner it is possible to be honorably elated when your thoughts indeed are not lowly, but your mind by greatness of soul is lifted up towards virtue. This loftiness of mind is seen in a cheerfulness amidst sorrow; or a kind of noble dauntlessness in trouble i a contempt of earthly things, and a conversation in heaven. And this loftiness of mind seems to differ from that elevation which is engendered of pride, just as the stoutness of a well-regulated body differs from the swelling of the flesh which proceeds from dropsy.

CHRYS. This inflation of pride can cast down even from heaven the man that takes not warning, but humility can raise a man up from the lowest depth of guilt. The one saved the Publican before the Pharisee, and brought the thief into Paradise before the Apostles; the other entered even into the spiritual powers. But if humility though added to sin has made such rapid advances, as to pass by pride united to righteousness, how much swifter will be its course when you add to it righteousness? It will stand by the judgment-seat of God in the midst of the angels with great boldness. Moreover if pride joined to righteousness had power to depress it, to what a hell will it thrust men when added to sin? This I say not that we should neglect righteousness, but that we should avoid pride.

THEOPHYL. But should any one perchance marvel that the Pharisee for uttering a few words in his own praise is condemned, while Job, though he poured forth many, is crowned, I answer, that the Pharisee spoke these at the same time that he groundlessly accused others; but Job was compelled by an urgent necessity to enumerate his own virtues for the glory of God, that men might not fall away from the path of virtue.

BEDE; Typically, the Pharisee is the Jewish people, who boast of their ornaments because of the righteousness of the law, but the Publican is the Gentiles, who being at a distance from God confess their sins. Of whom the one for His pride returned humbled, the other for his contrition was thought worthy to draw near and be exalted.

Catena Aurea Luke 18
31 posted on 10/27/2013 2:03:27 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


A Publican and a Pharisee

Unidentified manuscript illumination

I was searching for attribution of this illumination and instead found an excerpt from the homily of Blessed Gregory of Palamas on ths subject:

From St Gregory Palamas (c. 1296-1359), Archbishop of Thessaloniki, 'Homily Two, On the Lord's Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee':
13. [Having discussed the Pharisee's prayer, St Gregory begins,] These are the words of the Pharisee. By contrast, the Publican 'standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast saying, God be merciful to me a sinner' (Luke 18:13). See the extent of his humility, faith, and self-reproach. See the utter abasement of his thoughts and feelings, and, at the same time, contrition of heart mingled with this publican's prayer. When he went up into the Temple to pray for the remission of his sins, he brought with him good advocates before God: unashamed faith, uncondemned self-reproach, contrition of heart that is not despised and humility that exalts. He linked attention to prayer most excellently. It says, 'The publican standing afar off'. Not 'stood', as in the case of the Pharisee, but 'standing', to show that he was standing for a long time continuously praying and asking for mercy. Without any other intention or thought he paid attention only to himself and God, turning over and repeating the supplication of a single thought,* the most effective of all prayers.

14. 'And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven' (Luke 18:13). As he stood he bowed down, and his bearing was not only that of a lowly servant, but also of a condemned man. It also proclaims a soul delivered from sin. Although still far from God, without the boldness towards Him that comes from good works, it hopes to draw near to him because it has already renounced evil and is intent on good. 'Standing afar off the publican would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven', showing his self-condemnation and self-reproach by his manner and appearance. He saw himself as unworthy either of heaven or of the earthly Temple, so he stood on the threshold of the Temple, not daring even to turn his gaze towards heaven, still less towards the God of heaven. In his intense contrition he smote upon his breast to show he was worthy of punishment. He sighed in deepest mourning, bowing his head like a condemned man, calling himself a sinner and begging with faith for forgiveness, saying, 'God be merciful to me a sinner'. For he believed Him Who said, 'Turn ye unto me, and I will turn unto you' (Zech. 1:3), and the Prophet who bore witness, 'I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, and thou forgavest the iniquity of my heart' (cf. Ps. 32:5).

(The Homilies of Saint Gregory Palamas, Vol. 1: Homilies I-XXI, ed. Christopher Veniamin [South Canaan, PA: St Tikhon's Seminary, 2002], pp. 16-17)

(Source)

32 posted on 10/27/2013 2:04:39 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: SumProVita; cloudmountain

Got both of you. Thanks.


33 posted on 10/27/2013 2:06:59 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Today is Priesthood Sunday, sponsored by the Serra Clubs throughout the world.

Send a note, a card or a spiritual bouquet to your priest.


34 posted on 10/27/2013 2:09:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Information: St. Frumentius

Feast Day: October 27

Born: Tyre (modern Sur, Lebanon)

Died: 380 in Ethiopia

Patron of: Abyssinia, Ethiopia

35 posted on 10/27/2013 2:48:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Always a pleasure, Salvation!


36 posted on 10/27/2013 3:02:27 PM PDT by cloudmountain
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CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Sunday, October 27

Liturgical Color: Green>

Today the Church honors St. Emilina,
religious. Because of her deep prayer
life and gift of prophecy people came to
her for counsel. She used her gift to
help others grow stronger in their faith.
St. Emilina died in 1178.

37 posted on 10/27/2013 3:03:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Catholic Culture

 

 

Daily Readings for:October 27, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Almighty ever-living God, increase our faith, hope and charity, and make us love what you command, so that we may merit what you promise. 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    Beef Brisket with Fall Vegetables

o    Cold-Oven Rum Pound Cake

o    Creamy Baked Corn

o    Garlic Mashed Potatoes

ACTIVITIES

o    Elementary Parent Pedagogy: Training by Doing, Children and the Whole Church

PRAYERS

o    Prayer for Charity

LIBRARY

o    Christ the King Is Lord of the World and History | Pope John Paul II

Ordinary Time: October 27th

Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Old Calendar: Feast of Christ the King

Jesus spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on being virtuous and despised everyone else; "Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer to himself, 'I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like the rest of mankind, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here (Lk 18:9-11)."'

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


Sunday Readings
The first reading is taken from the book of Ecclesiasticus 35:15-17, 20-22. This wise man has some very solid instructions today, on the justice of God, who deals equally with all men and has no favorites. He answers the prayers of all, but the oppressed, the orphan, the widow, the ones who can least help themselves, are always his concern. The best prayer is that of loyal, willing service. The prayer of the humble man will be answered.

The second reading is from the second letter of Paul to Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18. In his three pastoral letters to Timothy and Titus, St. Paul often quotes his own life and sufferings to encourage his disciples and successors to persevere in their apostolic labors. He now feels that his earthly life is nearing its end but he has full confidence in God, his just judge, who will give him his eternal reward.

The Gospel is from St. Luke 18:9-14. During His hidden life in Nazareth, and especially during His public life when He traveled through the towns and villages of Palestine, our Lord met sinners of all kinds. There is not a single record of a harsh word spoken by Him to any of them. In fact, He was accused of mixing too freely with them. His answer was that "it was those who were ill who needed a doctor, not those who were in good health." The sinners He met knew that they were ill. They regretted their sins. He forgave them.

There was one group, however, and only one, against whom He uttered condemnation and for whom He foretold an unhappy ending. These were the Pharisees. In Mt. 23, the whole chapter is devoted to Christ's condemnation of them. It contains eight "woes" which He utters against them. He calls them by many unflattering names. One was "whited sepulchres, appearing beautiful to men on the outside but full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness within" (23: 27). Such harshness, coming from the gentle Christ, may surprise us, but knowing as He did that pride, the first and basic sin of mankind and the root of all other evil in the world, was so ingrained in their very hearts, that they could never seek forgiveness, He stated nothing but the truth concerning them or to them.

In this parable which He addressed to the Pharisees themselves, He tells them once more where their pride will lead them. They will be excluded from the kingdom of God, because they will not admit or repent of their pride and their lack of charity. Instead of thanking God for the many gifts He had given them, they almost demanded thanks from God for being such pious people. They had virtues. They avoided serious injustices. They did not commit adultery. They fasted often. They paid all their Temple dues, but it was all done, not for the honor and glory of God, but for their own honor and glory. They told the world about it. They demanded the first places in the synagogues, and special marks of reverence on the streets. They had to be called "masters" as they claimed to represent and interpret Moses to the ordinary people.

One thing that we can learn from this sad story of the Pharisees is that, while God approves of no sin, His mercy and His forgiveness is available for all sinners except the proud. It isn't that God cannot or will not forgive the sin of pride but that the proud man will not ask for God's forgiveness.

We must all be on our guard against this insidious and destructive vice. It is insidious because it can grow in us almost without our knowing it, and once it has taken root it is difficult to eradicate. It is destructive because it spoils every other virtue we practice and every good work we do. Charity, or brotherly love, cannot flourish in a proud heart, for a proud heart is so full of self that it has no room for others. No true love of God can exist in a proud heart, for even the very acts of religion which a proud man performs, are done for the motive of self-glory and not for the glory of God. The Pharisee in this parable proves that fact. He boasted of his good works.

A few simple straight questions can tell us whether or not we are proud. Do we like others to see and hear of our good works, or do we prefer to do them in secret? Do we give as generously to charitable causes when no list of benefactors is published? Do we willingly take part among the rank and file in parish activities or do we feel offended if we are not the leaders? Do we criticize offhand those who are not all they should be, or do we thank God that we were saved from similar temptations? Do we always try to find an excuse for the failings of others or have we excuses for our own faults only? God forbid that any one in this congregation should be suffering from this, the worst of all vices. If anyone recognizes that he is, let him pray to God from the bottom of his heart for the opposite virtue, the true Christian virtue of humility, and look for every possible occasion to practice it. Let us all remember the two men praying in the Temple. One was full of himself and boasted to God and to all present, of his many good works. The Other just humbly beat his breast and asked for mercy-he had nothing to boast of. Yet, he left the Temple forgiven, the other returned home a worse sinner than when he had entered the Temple.

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


38 posted on 10/27/2013 3:15:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Word Among Us

Meditation: Luke 18:9-14

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The one who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 18:14)

Self-confidence is a virtue in business, in our families, and in our parishes. Think about St. Paul. He was very confident in his abilities. He was a fearless evangelist. He established churches everywhere he went. He taught, wrote, and performed miracles. Without self-confidence, Paul would not have been able to accomplish all that he did. A modern-day psychologist might describe Paul as having a “strong ego.”

But that’s a lot different from a person who has a “large ego.”

People with strong egos have let life’s ups and downs reveal their strengths and weaknesses—and they have learned how to use their strengths in a productive way. Paul was bold and pushy. He liked to get his way. He made a lot of mistakes. But he learned from them. He let them teach him humility. He even spoke about how proud and self-centered he was before he met the Lord (Philippians 3:3-10).

By contrast, people with large egos are self-centered. They are always looking for adulation and recognition. They elevate themselves over others and look down on the people they consider inferior to themselves. The Pharisee in today’s parable had a large ego. He lived a moral life. He fasted, and he gave money to the poor. But he let his goodness go to his head, as he looked down on the repentant tax collector. His ego was so large that he didn’t have room for anyone else—not even the Lord—in his life.

God wants us to be confident. He wants us to develop the gifts that he has given to us to their fullest potential so that we can push forward and build the kingdom. But we have to watch out for the trap of pride. Being confident is a good thing. But we always have to be sure that our confidence is grounded in humility, not self-glory. That’s the secret to having a strong ego, not a large one.

“Lord, teach me true humility and strength of character.”

Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18; Psalm 34:2-3, 17-19, 23; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(Sirach 35:12-14,16-18; Psalm 34:2-3,17-19,23; 2 Timothy 4:6-8,16-18; Luke 18:9-14)

1. In the first reading, we hear that "the one who serves God willingly is heard; his petition reaches the heavens." How "willing" is your response to God? To what extent do you respond just out of duty versus responding out of an experience of God’s love and mercy toward you? How would you describe the difference between these two ways of responding to God?

2. The responsorial psalm say that God hears the cries of the “lowly,” “just,” "brokenhearted,” and those who are “crushed in spirit.” Why do you think this is so? Do you know of some people who are going through difficult circumstances right now? What additional steps can you take individually, or with others, to reach out to them?

3. In the letter to Timothy, Paul uses a sport’s metaphor when he says these words: “I have completed well; I have finished the race," that is, God’s call for his life. When you look at your life, how important is it to have “competed well” and “finished the race” God has given you? Why?

4. In the Gospel, the tax collector, whose prayer was humble and lowly, "went home justified" by God, while the Pharisee did not. What are some specific qualities of humility in the short, but powerful, prayer of the tax collector? How could they be incorporated by you into your own prayers?

5. The meditation describes the difference between “strong egos” and “large egos.” How would you describe the difference? How do these differences apply to you?

6. Take some time now to pray and ask the Lord to show you the difference between true humility and false humility, and for the grace to live a life of true humility. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as a starting point.


39 posted on 10/27/2013 3:34:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Christian Pilgrim

26 Oct

HE WHO HUMBLES HIMSELF WILL BE EXALTED

(Biblical reflection on the 30th Ordinary Sunday [Year C] – October 27, 2013)

Gospel Reading: Luke 18:9-14

First Reading: Sirach 35:12-14,16-18; Psalms: Psalm 34:2-3,17-19,23; Second Reading: 2Timothy 4:6-8,16-18

Pharisee_and_Publican_1061-171

Scripture Text:

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank Thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breath, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14 RSV)

Image the scene Jesus paints in the parable: Standing with lowered eyes behind the other men at prayer in the temple was a tax collector, well aware of his unworthiness. He was filled with contrition, and he had come in hopes of finding forgiveness and peace with God. In front of him stood a Pharisee, a frequent visitor to the temple. Obviously pleased with himself and expecting God to be pleased as well, he offered as his prayer a list of his spiritual achievements. He thanked God that his works placed him above others – especially above the pititul man behind him.

But Jesus said that it was the tax collector who went home justified (Luke 18:14). What did He find so pleasing in this lowly figure?

Once, when critized for eating with other “tax collectors and sinners”, Jesus said He had come not for the healthy but for the sick (see Luke 5:31-32). Of course, everyone is spiritually sick and in need of Jesus’ help. But only those with humble and contrite hearts will recognize and confess their need. People like the Pharisee consider themselves in good spiritual health – and through their own efforts! They are in danger of judgment because they believe that their efforts have earned them God’s favour. Failing to see themselves as spiritually empty, they see no need for God’s grace and mercy.

What about us? Do we see ourselves as sinners desperately needing God’s grace and forgiveness? Or are we good, upright people who just need to keep improving our character a little bit at a time? Though it may seem strange that we become healthy when we acknowledge our need, this is indeed the only way. Relying on the merits of Christ rather than on our own perceived goodness, we can discover that “when I am weak, then I am strong” (2Corinthians 12:10). If we trust in our self-sufficiency instead, we will ultimately be let down.

Today at Holy Mass, let us allow the blood of Jesus to wash over us and fill us with His mercy. Let us humbly confess our sins, confident that God will delight in lifting us up and send us home “justified”!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, have mercy on me because I need You. I see my sin and want to be done with it forever. Cleanse me, Lord God, that I might do Your will. I love You. Amen.

40 posted on 10/27/2013 3:49:32 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 October 27, 2013:

In today’s Gospel (Luke 18:9-14) Jesus tells us that those who humble themselves will be exalted. How can I humble myself in marriage today? Make an effort to take the back seat today and let your spouse shine.

41 posted on 10/27/2013 4:34:51 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Scripture Study

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle C

October 27, 2013

 

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Sirach 35:12-14,16-18

Psalm: 34:2-3,17-19,23

Second Reading: 2 Timothy 4:6-8,16-18

Gospel Reading: Luke 18:9-14

 

QUESTIONS:

Closing Prayer

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  §§ 2559, 2513, 588, 2631, 2667, 2839

 

For me, prayer is an aspiration of the heart; it is a simple glance directed to Heaven, it is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy. Finally, it is something great and supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus. –St. Therese of Lisieux


42 posted on 10/27/2013 4:57:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Why Is This Prayer So Pleasing to God?

Pastor’s Column

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 27, 2013

 

“O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”

                                                                             from Luke 18:9-14

 

          Two men went up to the temple to pray. One was a religious professional, the other a deeply notorious sinner. Jews normally prayed at three specific times of the day. Jesus points out here that one man’s prayer was pleasing to God, while the other’s prayer was not. There was no occupation more sinful than a tax collector in Jewish society, except for being a prostitute; so what a surprise it is that it was the religious professional whose prayer was offensive to God – whereas the notorious sinner went home justified. We need to know why this was, because it is shocking! What was it about the Pharisee’s prayer that makes him so displeasing? 

          In one word, the answer was humility or, rather, the lack of it. The Pharisee, in his prayers, is really talking to himself rather than God. His prayer consists in telling God about all the great things he does. Is there room for a Savior when someone thinks they can do it all by themselves? There was nothing wrong with what the Pharisee was doing; for example, it is a very good thing to fast, to tithe and to pray at regular hours, but then he makes a cardinal error, going on to compare himself with others. The Pharisee is careful to notice the big sinner he sees in the back pew, and feels he looks great by comparison. This is not how God looks at us, however. 

          Whenever we compare ourselves with others we get in trouble. We have no idea how much grace the person sitting next to us has received, or what trials they are going through. Perhaps you are doing more things right in the sight of God, but you also may have been given more opportunities than that other person. God is not going to compare us to others; but, rather, he will evaluate our life’s work based on what graces we received and what we did with them. 

          What hope this story gives all of us. We may be the most notorious sinner around, but Jesus is attracted by our very neediness and misery! All that’s needed, no matter how badly we have sinned, is to come to God exclaiming, “O God, have mercy on me, a sinner” and really mean it. This is precisely what gives the Sacrament of Reconciliation so much power with God. Prideful people are displeasing to everyone around them, and God is not impressed with them either. But humility, which makes us like Christ, opens every door in heaven! O God, be merciful to me, a sinner. 

                                                                                                Father Gary


43 posted on 10/27/2013 5:25:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Reflections from Scott Hahn

No Favorites: Scott Hahn Reflects on the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn on 10.25.13 |


Readings:
Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18
Psalm 34:2-3,17-19, 23
2 Timothy 4:6-8,16-18
Luke 18:9-14

Jesus draws a blunt picture in today’s Gospel.

The Pharisee’s prayer is almost a parody of the thanksgiving psalms (see for example Psalms 30,118). Instead of praising God for His mighty works, the Pharisee congratulates himself for his own deeds, which he presents to God in some detail.

The tax collector stands at a distance, too ashamed even to raise his eyes to God (see Ezra 9:6). He prays with a humble and contrite heart (see Psalm 51:19). He knows that before God no one is righteous, no one has cause to boast (see Roman 3:10; 4:2).

We see in the Liturgy today one of Scripture’s abiding themes - that God “knows no favorites,” as today’s First Reading tells us (see 2 Chronicles 19:7; Acts 10:34-35; Romans 2:11).

God cannot be bribed (see Deuteronomy 10:17). We cannot curry favor with Him or impress Him - even with our good deeds or our faithful observance of religious duties such as tithing and fasting.

If we try to exalt ourselves before the Lord, as the Pharisee does, we will be brought low (see Luke 1:52).

This should be a warning to us - not to take pride in our piety, not to slip into the self-righteousness of thinking that we’re better than others, that we’re “not like the rest of sinful humanity.”

If we clothe ourselves with humility (see 1 Peter 5:5-6) - recognize that all of us are sinners in need of His mercy - we will be exalted (see Proverbs 29:33).

The prayer of the lowly, the humble, pierces the clouds. Paul testifies to this in today’s Epistle, as He thanks the Lord for giving him strength during his imprisonment.

Paul tells us what the Psalmist sings today - that the Lord redeems the lives of His humble servants.

We too must serve Him willingly. And He will hear us in our distress, deliver us from evil, and bring us safely to His heavenly kingdom.


44 posted on 10/27/2013 5:41:37 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

45 posted on 10/27/2013 5:42:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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30th Sunday: How God will listen


"Two people went up to the temple area to pray."
 
Sunday readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/102713.cfm


Sirach 35: 12-14, 16-18
2 Tm 4: 6-8, 16-18
Lk 18: 9-14

With Halloween and the celebrations of All Saints Day and All Souls Day on the horizon, the basic lesson on practical prayer in today’s readings is helpful.  In its beginning, Halloween was a religious holiday in which Christians would prepare for the Eve of all the holy ones.  Sadly, in its present secular, non-religious context, it has lost all religious significance.

Yet, we learn from the Saints and from our brothers and sisters who have left this life bound for eternity in God’s mercy, we know that prayer is powerful and an essential life blood to holiness.  Even Jesus prayed and the Apostles inquired of the Lord might help them to pray.  The countless Saints before us and now among us, teach us that communication with God (prayer) is not an option if one desires to be a true Christian disciple. So, many people pray; that’s a given. Still the readings today offer us the essential answer to the question: “How must I pray for God to hear me?”

In this first reading from Sirach we hear that God is a “God of justice, who knows no favorites . . . who hears to cry of the oppressed . . . is not deaf to the wail of the orphan, nor to the widow . . . The one who serves God willingly is heard . . .”

God cares about the social order of things.  How we live together in community and how we include or exclude the poor and disadvantaged makes a difference in the eyes of our just God and whether our pleas for help, our prayers, will be accepted by Him. Enter the Pharisee and tax collector of the Gospel parable.

Right away the passage begins as Luke sets up the point of the story: “Those convinced of their own self-righteousness (Pharisee) and despised everyone else (tax collectors and all sinners).”

It’s interesting the Pharisee finds his position for prayer in the Temple. Apparently, being a man of his stature and righteous state, very much at home in the Temple, that his position was for public visibility.  The Pharisee stood for prayer so that others could see him easily and as Jesus states, “spoke this prayer to himself.”  Himself?  What happened to God? The implication may well be that God is not even listening. Or if he is, he isn’t pleased about what he hears.  

So, goes his “prayer to himself.”  “I” thank you that “I” am not like the rest of humanity.” Then he proceeds to tell God what humanity is like as if God is clueless:  “greedy, dishonest, adulterous – or even like this tax collector.” (That bum behind me in case you didn’t notice him.)

Then the accomplishments: “I” fast . . . “I” pay tithes.”  What a good boy I am, God. Finally, after using the pronoun “I” four times and passing judgment on humanity and in particular that greedy tax collector whose posture is one of deep repentance: hands crossed, head bowed, standing off at a distance, likely in some hidden recess of the Temple as he beat his breast.

But, truth be told, the Pharisee is honest about his life.  He is not greedy, dishonest or adulteress.  He is a perfect Jew in a sense as he does all the right things and so rightly feels justified before God.  Yet, his prayer remains empty because though he may be correct, he has done it all for the wrong reasons.  Their egos have become enlarged, their motivations were shallow, and their self-image is so filled with self that God has been pushed out as a spectator not a participant.

By stark contrast, the tax collector in the posture of humility simply prays: “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.” He knows he’s done wrong and has come to repentance.  He is the example of how our prayers will be heard by God.  It’s clear this is no self-serving prayer, no prayer “to himself” but a cry for mercy and trust in a God who forgives.  I think God heard this prayer loud and clear.

Jesus offers two extreme examples again about our disposition in prayer.  Whether we stand, kneel, or sit in prayer is less important than how we approach God. We must be like the tax collector whose entire approach was that of the prodigal son who came to his senses, returned to his father, and begged mercy.

How do you pray?  Our posture is important and helpful but a prayer from the heart that is simple and sincere opens the ears of God and always gets his attention.  Is God a participant in your prayer or merely a spectator?

In our celebration of the Eucharist we hear words of pleading, humility, mercy: “Accept, O Lord . . . Grant us, almighty God . . . May your grace, O Lord, we pray . . . we dare to say . . . Lord, have mercy. . . Lord, I am not worthy . . .”  Our liturgy is filled with right position before God, that of creatures before their creator who recognize their own weakness. 

Take some time to pray more this week.  Try keeping your prayer simple, not lengthy or wordy.  Begin by asking for mercy the same way we do each Sunday when the Church gathers.  As Pope Francis so recently said about himself: “I am a sinner.” Such an approach to God is the way to be heard. 

(Psalm 51, an excerpt)

"Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me."
And now we begin to pray . .

46 posted on 10/27/2013 6:02:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Insight Scoop

The Prayers of Pharisees and Tax Collectors

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for Sunday, October 27, 2013  | Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:
• Ex 17:8-13
• Ps 121:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
• 2 Tm 3:14-4:2
• Lk 18:1-8

“But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

That direct and challenging question concluded last week’s Gospel reading, the parable of the widow and the unrighteous judge. It is worth repeating here, first, because it is a question for each of us to contemplate on a regular basis and, secondly, because today’s Gospel reading is both an explanation of the question and an exhortation to authentic faith.

Having asked the question, Jesus then told a parable specifically addressed “to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.” There is, in other words, a false righteousness and a true righteousness. The former is a product of our own making, based in the belief that we can make the rules and then fulfill them perfectly on our own. This usually involves external actions, especially those deeds that draw positive attention to ourselves, for our own sake.

This, of course, is what the Pharisee does in going up to the temple and taking “up his position”, that is, a position of prominence. However, we should be careful to not simply write off the Pharisee as an arrogant hypocrite; we should be mindful that his fasting and tithing required real and substantial effort. In fact, as biblical scholar Joachim Jeremias notes, “To its first hearers the parable must have seemed shocking and inconceivable”, precisely because the Pharisee’s prayer was the sort of prayer a Pharisee—a defender and interpreter of the Law—would be expected to utter. It was the norm, and as such Jesus’ criticism of it was likely startling to many of his listeners.

As is the case in many parables, Jesus purposefully created a strong contrast between two very different groups or individuals. His point was not to say that all Pharisees were alike. The portrayal of the Pharisees in the Gospels is far more nuanced and varied than is often admitted: Nicodemus came to visit Jesus in secret (Jn. 3:1-5) and other Pharisees were clearly interested in learning from Jesus (cf. Lk. 7:36-50; 14:1-6). We are used to hearing of how hypocritical and disingenuous were the Pharisees, but that perception was hardly widespread in first century Judaism.

In a related way, it would have been rather strange to hear of a repentant, humbled tax collector, for tax collectors were widely reviled for being corrupt, greedy, and ruthless men who put allegiance to the Roman empire ahead of any other concern. Yet the tax collector “stood off at a distance” and would not even raise his eyes to heaven, a sign of his clear recognition of sin and unworthiness before God. “You see him abstaining from all boldness to speech,” observed St. Cyril of Alexandria, “He seems devoid of the right to speak and beaten down by the scorn of conscience. … You also see that he accuses his own depravity by his external manner.”

The tax collector’s prayer, it appears, was silent; he knew he was deadly ill with mortal sin and in desperate need of a divine physician. He was, without a doubt, the very thing the Pharisee believed him to be: greedy and dishonest and everything else. But rather than mention, like the Pharisee, what he has done, the tax collector simply begs for mercy while stating directly who and what he is—a sinner. Perhaps he was familiar with the great Psalm of David, which states, “My sacrifice, God, is a broken spirit; God, do not spurn a broken, humbled heart” (Psa. 51:19).

Authentic righteousness and holiness are gifts. “The sinner is justified,” taught St. Thomas Aquinas, “by God moving him to righteousness…” Humility is necessary, for humility is the recognition of who we are in the light of God’s holiness. “Never place yourself above anyone,” warned St. Basil the Great, “not even great sinners. Humility often saves a sinner who has committed many terrible transgressions.” God is the God of all, but he is the Savior of the humble and contrite.

(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the October 24, 2010, edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


47 posted on 10/27/2013 6:55:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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All Issues > Volume 29, Issue 6

<< Sunday, October 27, 2013 >> 30th Sunday Ordinary Time
 
Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18

View Readings
Psalm 34:2-3, 17-19, 23
Luke 18:9-14

Similar Reflections
 

GOING HOME FROM CHURCH

 
"Believe Me, this man went home from the temple justified but the other did not." —Luke 18:14
 

When you walk out of church today, will you be justified? Or will you walk away sad? (see Mk 10:22) We are justified, forgiven, and free when we serve God willingly (Sir 35:16). It is our Sunday obligation to attend church, but we must go beyond this and serve God willingly if our petition is to reach the heavens (Sir 35:16). Is your Sunday obligation also a Sunday privilege? If not, you will not leave church justified.

We will go home from church justified and our prayer will pierce the clouds if we are lowly (Sir 35:17). Jesus, God Himself, was lowly in emptying Himself and becoming a human being (see Phil 2:7). He was so lowly as to die on the cross for love of us. He is so lowly as to come to us in Holy Communion under the appearance of bread and wine. If we humble ourselves, admit we are sinners, and cry out for God's mercy (see Lk 18:13), we become lowly and justified.

The willing and the lowly go home from church and go home to heaven justified.

 
Prayer: Father, do whatever You must in me so that You may do whatever You will through me.
Promise: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on a merited crown awaits me." —2 Tm 4:7-8
Praise: Alleluia! Jesus has risen and will raise me from the dead! Alleluia!

48 posted on 10/27/2013 7:01:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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49 posted on 10/27/2013 7:02:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Scripture Speaks: Sinner or Pharisee?

by Gayle Somers on October 25, 2013 · 0 Comments

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Today, Jesus tells a story about two men praying in the Temple; one is seriously religious, the other a serious sinner.  What can they teach us?

Gospel (Read Lk 18:9-14)

One of the men praying in the Temple was a Pharisee.  Who were the Pharisees?  The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible can help us understand them better (pg 69):St. Luke, in reporting one of Jesus’ parables, explains its meaning before we actually read it:  “Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.”  So, we know this will be a story about human pride and how it can lead to contempt for others.  This sounds like a terribly ugly affliction.  We may already start to think of people we know to whom it might apply.  Yet, there are some surprises in this parable, and we would do well to give it our close attention.

“Although not Israel’s official teachers or leaders, the Pharisees were popular and held great sway with the masses.  They were deeply concerned with the cultural and religious crisis of the day:  How does one live as a faithful Jew in a land that is ruled and occupied by pagans (Romans)?  The Pharisees’ answer:  Israel must separate itself from all Gentile impurity and defilement, since only in this way will God rescue His people from the clutches of Rome.  Even their name, which means “separated ones,” underscores their national agenda.  The Pharisees gave considerable attention to ritual purity, insisting that even laymen should maintain a high level of priest-like holiness in their personal lives.  Scrupulous observance of Jewish laws (circumcision, the Sabbath day, food laws, tithing, etc.) meant the Pharisees could proudly assert their identity in the midst of their Gentile neighbors.  This background inevitably led to a clash between the Pharisees and Jesus.  They tried to insulate Israel from the Gentiles, while Jesus was reaching out to embrace all the nations with God’s mercy.  The Pharisees were religious isolationists; Jesus’ proclamation of God’s kingdom was open and inclusive.”

How does this seriously religious man pray in the Temple—a man devoted to preserving the ritual purity of God’s covenant people?  First, Jesus tells us that he prayed “to himself.”  How odd!  His visit to the Temple to pray was not meant to actually address God, although it began with the words, “O God.”  He did not make any kind of appeal to God.  Even when he expressed gratitude (“I thank You”), it was not thanksgiving for anything in or from God.  Instead, the Pharisee was thankful that he was “not like the rest of humanity.”  He was not “greedy, dishonest, or adulterous.”  In other words, he practiced virtue, not like “this tax collector.”  He went on to describe his impressive religious observances—fasting twice a week and paying tithes on his whole income.  This is sobering, isn’t it?  Here is a religious man who cares deeply about the rules God had given His people, practicing them without fail, but to what has all that led?  In his own eyes, he is perfect; he is not a sinner “like the rest of humanity.”

What about the tax collector, the serious sinner?  The Pharisees despised tax collectors for several reasons:  (1) Collecting revenue involved frequent contact with Gentile sinners (2) Since taxes were collected for the Romans, Jewish tax collectors were branded as traitors (3) Collectors were often guilty of extorting personal commissions above the tax amount.  No wonder the “tax collector stood off at a distance.”  He was truly an outcast among his people, but he went to the Temple anyway.  Why would he be willing to subject himself to the contempt he was sure to face there?  This sinner braved it because he wanted to talk to God.  No matter what others might think of him, all he cared about was what God thought of him.  We can tell by his body language what was in his mind and heart, before we hear his prayer:  “[He] would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast.”  Here is a man convinced of his sin and his great need of God’s mercy:   “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.”  His prayer was much shorter than the Pharisee’s prayer.  Which one was most effective?

Jesus tells us the tax collector went home “justified” (his sins were forgiven), not the Pharisee.  Why was the outcast the one who experienced God’s mercy and not the religious man?  Jesus explains:  “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”  The warning against self-exaltation is a constant theme in Jesus’ teaching (see Mt 18:4, 23:12; Lk14:11; 1 Pet 5:6).  The tax collector asked for God’s mercy and got it; the Pharisee didn’t think he needed it, so he didn’t bother to ask.

The paradoxical, uncomfortable truth is that we religious people are highly susceptible to self-exaltation, especially in our own day.  Many of us believe ourselves to be involved in a “culture war” similar to the one the Pharisees struggled against.  Sometimes in our campaigns to preserve morality in our laws and societal norms, we can become self-righteous.  We despise sinners, forgetting that we, too, are sinners in great need of God’s mercy.  This parable serves as a warning to people like us, who are conscientious enough in our religious lives to write or read commentary on lectionary readings.  In our prayers, our pious practices, and our participation in Mass, are we more aware of the sins of others than our own?  Do we make the sinners around us feel ostracized and judged?  Are we willing to beat our breasts and cry out for God’s mercy, knowing how needy we are?  Whose prayer sounds most like ours—the Pharisee’s or the tax collector’s?

Possible response:  Lord Jesus, forgive me for the times I have looked down on those whose sins are more obvious than my own.

First Reading (Read Sir 35:12-14, 16-18)

This reading from Sirach helps us understand why the prayer of the tax collector in our Gospel resulted in his justification, while the Pharisee left the Temple unchanged:  “The Lord is a God of justice, Who knows no favorites.”  Although the religious man had much about which to brag, it was the tax collector’s heartfelt cry for mercy that was heard in Heaven:  “The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it teaches its goal, nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds.”  We can never be the judge of other people’s hearts, but only of our own, confident that God “judges justly and affirms the right.”

Possible response:  Heavenly Father, I thank You that You always hear the prayers of the humble, of those who know You are our only hope in life.

Psalm (Read Ps 34:2-3, 17-19, 23)

There is great comfort for us in this psalm, if we keep ourselves in the posture of lowliness.  We are reminded of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s response to being chosen as the mother of God’s Son (a reason to brag if ever there was one):  “[God] has looked with favor on His lowly servant” (Lk 1:48).  The psalm assures us that when we count ourselves as lowly, brokenhearted, or crushed in spirit (this was the tax collector’s prayer posture in the Temple), God hears, and from all our distress He rescues us.  How much better it is for us to think of ourselves as poor in spirit, as described by Jesus in the beatitudes.  When we pray from this kind of poverty, we can affirm, with joy and gratitude, “The Lord hears the cry of 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 2 Tim 4:6-8, 16-18)

In this reading, we have an interesting interplay between what could, at first glance, look like the spiritual pride of the Pharisee in our Gospel, and the humility of the tax collector, all in one person—St. Paul.  This letter was probably written during St. Paul’s final imprisonment, right before his martyrdom, when he was “poured out like a libation,” or sacrifice, for his testimony to Jesus.  He tells St. Timothy, “I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.”  Is this the same kind of bragging we saw in the Pharisee?  It might be, if we didn’t read on.  We can see St. Paul’s utter dependence on the Lord, at the very end of his life, to give him “the crown of righteousness” that is destined for “all who have longed for His appearance.”  St. Paul does not single himself out for special treatment; the crown he anticipates isn’t a crown for his own righteousness.  All who hope in Jesus will receive God’s own righteousness as reward for their faith and faithfulness.  In addition, we see that when others, his Christian friends, deserted him during his trial before a Roman court, he begged that it “not be held against them.”  In this, he shows the mercy Jesus showed to the sinners who crucified Him.  There is no contempt for sinners here.  St. Paul acknowledges that it was God’s work in and through him that made all the difference.  It is this humility—believing that anything good in us comes from God, not ourselves—that enables God, in the end, to exalt us and bring us “safe to His heavenly kingdom.”  So, St. Paul, filled with this kind of humility, ends his epistle with these words:  “To Him be glory forever and ever.  Amen.”  Yes, St. Paul, amen.

Possible response:  St. Paul, please pray for me to remember that anything good in me comes from the Father.  I have no reason to boast.


50 posted on 10/27/2013 7:37:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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