Sunday, March 19, 2017

Not "fake news": Jesus reads the conscience of the Samaritan woman at the well

Third Sunday of Lent Year A

Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well: Not fake news.

What is news?

What is fake news?

We are often played between people on both sides of the spectrum, but no matter what happens we have to do what is best for ourselves and continue to seek the truth.

What's news for us? What is the truth for us? The "good news": the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ does not look at us impersonally, from a distance, but he reads our lives back to us from within, as he did with the Samaritan woman.

HIs love works through our conscience. Knowledge of our sins is real news but we are called to respond not with denial as if it were fake or useless.

He is Incarnate God with a heart like ours beating in his breast, one who was tempted as we are yet without sinning, one who walked the earth as we do, one who suffered fatigue and weariness, who needed to sleep and eat, needed to love friends and family.

And one who reads our sins back to us from the Cross and in the Resurrection tells the real news of His forgiving merciful love which confers life without end.

Just as is with the Samaritan woman, so for ourselves he reads our lives back to us as God. We are called respond to the truth about ourselves not with suspicion as fake news but as the good news, the truth. And called to respond in love, disciples who testify to His forgiving, life-giving love to others.

Jesus is the true "good news" for all of us but, before we can accept Him with authentic love, we must first face the real news about our sins with repentance.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Saturday, first week of Lent: "Love your enemies"

"But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your Heavenly Father"

Matthew 5

"Christ died out of love for us, while we were still 'enemies.' The Lord asks us to love as he does, even our enemies, to make ourselves the neighbor of those farthest away, and to love children and the poor as Christ himself. 

"The Apostle Paul has given an incomparable depiction of charity: 'charity is patient and kind, charity is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Charity does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Charity bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.'"

CCC 1825

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tuesday, Lent I: "If you forgive men's sins"

"This is how you are to pray:

"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.

"If you forgive men their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions."

"The Lord's Prayer "is truly the summary of the whole gospel."7 "Since the Lord . . . after handing over the practice of prayer, said elsewhere, 'Ask and you will receive,' and since everyone has petitions which are peculiar to his circumstances, the regular and appropriate prayer [the Lord's Prayer] is said first, as the foundation of further desires."8

CCC 2761

Saturday, February 25, 2017

8th Sunday of Ordinary Time A: "But seek first the kingdom of God ..."

"... and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given you besides."

http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/022617.cfm

"The virtue of solidarity goes beyond material goods. In spreading the spiritual goods of the faith, the Church has promoted, and often opened new paths for, the development of temporal goods as well. And so throughout the centuries has the Lord's saying been verified: "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well": 
"For two thousand years this sentiment has lived and endured in the soul of the Church, impelling souls then and now to the heroic charity of monastic farmers, liberators of slaves, healers of the sick, and messengers of faith, civilization, and science to all generations and all peoples for the sake of creating the social conditions capable of offering to everyone possible a life worthy of man and of a Christian."

CCC 1942

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,