Saturday, February 18, 2017

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A: "Be holy"

"... for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.

In spite of the holy Law that again and again their Holy God gives them - "You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy" - and although the Lord shows patience for the sake of his name, the people turn away from the Holy One of Israel and profane his name among the nations. For this reason the just ones of the old covenant, the poor survivors returned from exile, and the prophets burned with passion for the name.


CCC 2811

"Christ, 'holy, innocent, and undefiled,' knew nothing of sin, but came only to expiate the sins of the people. The Church, however, clasping sinners to her bosom, at once holy and always in need of purification, follows constantly the path of penance and renewal." All members of the Church, including her ministers, must acknowledge that they are sinners. In everyone, the weeds of sin will still be mixed with the good wheat of the Gospel until the end of time. Hence the Church gathers sinners already caught up in Christ's salvation but still on the way to holiness: 
The Church is therefore holy, though having sinners in her midst, because she herself has no other life but the life of grace. If they live her life, her members are sanctified; if they move away from her life, they fall into sins and disorders that prevent the radiation of her sanctity. This is why she suffers and does penance for those offenses, of which she has the power to free her children through the blood of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

CCC 827

Friday, February 10, 2017

Domenica in Septuagesima: "Who indeed is more justly to be likened to an householder than our Maker?"

"At that time, Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable: The kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. And having agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And about the third hour, he went out and saw others standing in the market place idle; and he said to them, ‘Go you also into the vineyard, and I will give you whatever is just.’ So they went. And again he went out about the sixth, and about the ninth hour, and did as before. But about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing about and he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here all day idle?’ They said to him, ‘Because no man has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘Go you also into the vineyard.’ But when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers, and pay them their wages, beginning from the last even to the first.’ Now when they of the eleventh hour came, they received each a denarius. And when the first in their term came, they thought that they would receive more; but they also received each his denarius. And on receiving it, they began to murmur against the householder, saying, ‘These last have worked a single hour, and you have put them on a level with us, who have borne the burden of the day’s heat.’ But answering one of them, he said, ‘Friend, I do you no injustice; did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go; I choose to give to this last even as to you. Have I not a right to do what I choose? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ Even so the last shall be first, and the first last; for many are called, but few are chosen.

Matt 20:1-16


"We hear that the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning, to hire labourers into his vineyard. Who indeed is more justly to be likened to an householder than our Maker, Who is the Head of the household of faith, bearing rule over them whom He hath made, and being Master of His chosen ones in the world, as a Master over those that are in his house? He it is That hath the Church for a vineyard, a vineyard that ceaseth not to bring forth branches of the True Vine, from righteous Abel to the last of the elect that shall be born in the world.

Homily by Pope St Gregory the Great

Cleanse my heart and my lips, O almighty God, who didst cleanse the lips of the prophet Isaias with a burning coal, and vouchsafe, through Thy gracious mercy, so to purify me, that I may worthily announce Thy holy Gospel. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 





The heart is the dwelling-place where I am, where I live; according to the Semitic or Biblical expression, the heart is the place "to which I withdraw." The heart is our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others; only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully. The heart is the place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives. It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death. It is the place of encounter, because as image of God we live in relation: it is the place of covenant
CCC 2563


Monday, February 6, 2017

Saint Titus, Bishop and Confessor: "in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils"

1 Tim 3:14-16;4:1
14 These things I write to thee, hoping that I shall come to thee shortly.
15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
16 And evidently great is the mystery of godliness, which was manifested in the flesh, was justified in the spirit, appeared unto angels, hath been preached unto the Gentiles, is believed in the world, is taken up in glory.
1 Now the Spirit manifestly saith, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils,

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time: "If you choose you can keep the commandments"

Reading 1 SIR 15:15-20

If you choose you can keep the commandments, they will save you;
if you trust in God, you too shall live;
he has set before you fire and water



"As early as the second century we have the witness of St. Justin Martyr for the basic lines of the order of the Eucharistic celebration. They have stayed the same until our own day for all the great liturgical families. St. Justin wrote to the pagan emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161) around the year 155, explaining what Christians did: 
"On the day we call the day of the sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place. The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read, as much as time permits.

When the reader has finished, he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate these beautiful things.

Then we all rise together and offer prayers* for ourselves . . .and for all others, wherever they may be, so that we may be found righteous by our life and actions, and faithful to the commandments, so as to obtain eternal salvation.
When the prayers are concluded we exchange the kiss.

Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren.

He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and for a considerable time he gives thanks (in Greek: eucharistian) that we have been judged worthy of these gifts.

When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all present give voice to an acclamation by saying: 'Amen.'

When he who presides has given thanks and the people have responded, those whom we call deacons give to those present the "eucharisted" bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent.

CCC 1345

5th Sunday after Epiphany: "Who has sown weeds in my field?"

From the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
Matt 13:24-30
At that time, Jesus said to the people a parable: The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man that sowed good seeds in his field. And so on.


Quest. Evang. Matth. xi., Bk. 4.
When the Shepherds of the Church wax careless, and since the Apostles sleep the sleep of death, cometh the devil, and soweth them whom the Lord calleth a seed of evil-doers. Now, are these seed of evil-doers the heretics, or Catholics of bad lives? It is possible to call even the heretics a seed of evil-doers because they have sprung up from the seed of the Gospel, and been begotten in the Name of Christ, though afterwards they have turned after crooked ways and lying doctrines.

- St Augustine 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time: "Shelter...the homeless"

Reading 1 IS 58:7-10

"Thus says the LORD:
Share your bread with the hungry,
shelter the oppressed and the homeless;
clothe the naked when you see them,
and do not turn your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard."

"The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him. 
Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants' duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens."

CCC 2241

Always in life there is a balance between competing goods, had the needs of persons always paramount:

“do not turn your back on your own”

We do have a duty toward our citizens and families before strangers, a duty imposed by God under the virtue of piety: our origin from our parents imposes a duty to honor them; also to country of origin.

As well, saying we welcome born strangers from other countries while being unwelcoming to the unborn child by supporting abortion is sinful, an affront to God which makes repentance and sacramental confession necessary before returning to receive Communion.

If we welcome the immigrant or refugee we can see but reject the preborn child we cannot see, we also reject God and sin in His sight. Coming forward to receive God in holy Communion while rejecting His image and creation in the preborn child adds sin to sin and frustrates out eternal salvation, placing us in jeopardy of damnation instead.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Third Sunday after Epiphany: "but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out"

“But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

By these words our Lord wished to signify that many persons born in infidelity shall be saved, and that many who are born in the bosom of the Church shall be cast into Hell, where the worm of conscience, by its gnawing, shall make them weep bitterly for all eternity.

Let us examine the remorses of conscience which a damned Christian shall suffer in Hell: the remorse arising from the thought of the little which was required to do in order to save his soul; from the remembrance of the trifles for which he lost his soul; from the knowledge of the great good which he has lost through his own fault ... 

Each of the reprobate will say for eternity: If I abstained from such a gratification; if in certain circumstances I overcame human respect; if I avoided the occasion of sin, such a companion, I should not now be damned; if I had frequented some pious sodality; if I had gone to confession every week; if in temptations I had recommended myself to God, I would not have relapsed into sin. I have so often proposed to do these things but I have not done them. I began to practice these means of salvation, but afterwards gave them up; and thus I am lost.

This torment will be increased by the remembrance of the good example given them by some young companions who led a chaste and pious life even in the midst of the world. It will be still more increased by the recollection of all the gifts which the Lord had bestowed upon them, that by their cooperation they might acquire eternal salvation; the gifts of nature – health, riches, respectability of family, talents; all gifts granted by God, not to be employed in the indulgence of pleasures and in the gratification of vanity, but in the sanctification of their souls, and in becoming saints.

Commentary by St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, C.Ss. R.