Monday, April 30, 2012

S Pius V: "whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep"

Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the "rock" of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock. "The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head." This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church's very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.
-- CCC 881

Saturday, April 28, 2012

"If we are being examined ... about a good deed done ... know it was in the name of Jesus of Nazareth": the Church, marriage, and salvation

Even God obeyed His own plan for the family, even when He did not have to do so, in choosing a father for Jesus when a human father was not necessary for bringing Him into the world, conceived as the Lord was by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary.

Let's conduct an experiment this evening (morning) and imagine how we might implement practical improvements upon the daily life of the holy family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

For example, if Jesus had two fathers wouldn't it be obvious that he would benefit from having two men who would be able to provide a masculine role model around the clock, working in shifts to make sure he was never without? Would not two mothers better be able to give him the benefit of learning how to respect women and learn from their wisdom and experience, and to reject the temptation to like them for what they do rather than love them for who they are?

"But, Father", you might respond, "that's the Holy Family! You can't even suggest such a thing! Isn't that blasphemous?" And I would respond, "Exactly: you cannot change a thing about the Holy Family. And to attempt to do so is blasphemous. But not for the reason that you might think. You cannot and should not change a thing about the Holy Family because they are a family. That is reason enough."

You see, God understood that even though Mary was a single mother (and we can pretty well bet Mary would likely have been the best and most capable single mother the world would ever know because she is the holiest of all mothers), God chose a foster father for Jesus even though He could have made any other choice he wanted because He is God and therefore all-powerful. Even God obeyed His own plan for the family, even when He did not have to do so, in choosing a father for Jesus when a human father was not necessary for bringing Him into the world, conceived as the Lord was by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary.

Every child has a right, just as Jesus did, to be loved and raised with a man-father and a woman-mother. And no one, not even God, has the right to change this truth. Marriage is not a selfish and do-it-yourself living arrangement whereby two adults come together create their own life-style, even when they claim it is about "love". Marriage is also about children, about the next generation that might come into the world through a husband and wife who cooperate with God by sharing in the marital act in a holy way.

And that's the second point. Every family is called to be holy, just as the Holy Family was, by cooperating with God's plan for the man, woman and children that make up the family as the holy way of life God intended. Every family is called to recognize that family life is a holy way of life, the "domestic Church". And when families fall short and do not live and act in holy ways we do not need to change the truth about the family because we have the sacrament of God's forgiveness for serious sin in Confession. Confession is the answer that God gives in Christ for those who sometimes fail in their struggle to live up to the holiness that is proper to God's plan for marriage and family. Families are holy because families are the way to salvation for every human person.

"If we are being examined today
about a good deed done to a cripple,
namely, by what means he was saved,
then all of you and all the people of Israel should know
that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean
whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead;
in his name this man stands before you healed."

The Church is being "examined" with intensity in these days for her healing mission to people who are "crippled" in various ways: pregnant women, children in the womb, people confused about personal identity and marriage and about God and the truth itself.

Some people examine what the Church does and say she is "anti-choice" even though the "choice" of directly taking an innocent child's life in the womb is never morally permissible. The right choice is God's choice: life. Some people judge the Church by describing the defense of and teaching about marriage as "hatred". This is a judgment and a libel and morally wrong also for those who cloak themselves in righteousness in their destructive and disruptive agenda to use the word marriage to describe something other than the life-long union of one man-husband and one woman-wife.

The Church's role of serving the salvation of the world is in teaching right and wrong, good and evil, and to teach about the dignity of the human person in the use of freedom to choose what is right and good and to reject what is evil.

Even the Church's freedom to proclaim that salvation in Christ is the reason for these and her many good works of service, teaching, healing and caring is in peril for being under attack by the godless agenda that rules in the halls of our government. The Church can not and will not obey any unjust and evil law which demands the funding of the killing of unborn boys and girls and endangering their mothers through any means whether abortifacients or abortion procedures.

The Church insists upon her freedom to teach the moral truth to all those "crippled" by ignorance of the truth whether willfully and responsibly or whether without culpability as those who do not know the truth through no fault of their own.

We are called to have missionary motivation wherever our vocations place us.

"It is from God's love for all men that the Church in every age receives both the obligation and the vigor of her missionary dynamism, 'for the love of Christ urges us on.' Indeed, God 'desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth'; that is, God wills the salvation of everyone through the knowledge of the truth. Salvation is found in the truth. Those who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth are already on the way of salvation. But the Church, to whom this truth has been entrusted, must go out to meet their desire, so as to bring them the truth. Because she believes in God's universal plan of salvation, the Church must be missionary." (CCC 851)

Compassion means giving the truth to others, not pretending that one can change it in order to manipulate their feelings. It is not our role to make others happy. That is a gift for them to receive when they meet, know and love Christ and decide heroically, generously and selflessly to do God's holy will despite their personal preferences, feelings or theories.

Saturday, Easter Wk III: "This saying is hard; who can accept it?"

"Does this shock you?
What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
It is the Spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail.
The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe."
The first announcement of the Eucharist divided the disciples, just as the announcement of the Passion scandalized them: "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" The Eucharist and the Cross are stumbling blocks. It is the same mystery and it never ceases to be an occasion of division. "Will you also go away?": the Lord's question echoes through the ages, as a loving invitation to discover that only he has "the words of eternal life" and that to receive in faith the gift of his Eucharist is to receive the Lord himself.
-- CCC 1336

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday, Easter Wk III: "How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?"

"Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood,
you do not have life within you.
--Jn 6:52-59

The Lord addresses an invitation to us, urging us to receive him in the sacrament of the Eucharist: "Truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you."
-- CCC 1384

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thursday, Easter Wk III: "No one can come to me ... "

... unless the Father who sent me draw him
"O blessed light, O Trinity and first Unity!" God is eternal blessedness, undying life, unfading light. God is love: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God freely wills to communicate the glory of his blessed life. Such is the "plan of his loving kindness", conceived by the Father before the foundation of the world, in his beloved Son: "He destined us in love to be his sons" and "to be conformed to the image of his Son", through "the spirit of sonship". This plan is a "grace [which] was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began", stemming immediately from Trinitarian love. It unfolds in the work of creation, the whole history of salvation after the fall, and the missions of the Son and the Spirit, which are continued in the mission of the Church.
-- CCC 257

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Saint Mark, Evangelist: "proclaim the Gospel"

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.
--Mk 16:15-20

The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are "reborn of water and the Spirit." God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.
-- CCC 1257

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday, Easter Wk III: "I am the bread of life"

whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst."
The miracles of the multiplication of the loaves, when the Lord says the blessing, breaks and distributes the loaves through his disciples to feed the multitude, prefigure the superabundance of this unique bread of his Eucharist. The sign of water turned into wine at Cana already announces the Hour of Jesus' glorification. It makes manifest the fulfillment of the wedding feast in the Father's kingdom, where the faithful will drink the new wine that has become the Blood of Christ
-- CCC 1335

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday, Easter Wk III: "the work of God"

that you believe in the one he sent.
--Jn 6:22-29

One cannot believe in Jesus Christ without sharing in his Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals to men who Jesus is. For "no one can say "Jesus is Lord", except by the Holy Spirit", who "searches everything, even the depths of God. . No one comprehends the thoughts of God, except the Spirit of God." Only God knows God completely: we believe in the Holy Spirit because he is God.

The Church never ceases to proclaim her faith in one only God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

-- CCC 152

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Third Sunday of Easter: "The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments"

Christ is risen, Alleluia!

In this Easter Season our first and constant desire is to proclaim the risen life of Jesus Christ in which all of us share through the grace of our baptism. This gift is meant to grow, welling up to Eternal Life. Thus our words, actions and interior life of every day are meant to be examined for their conformity to this new and risen life of God in us.

When the Church speaks out about issues that are being taken up in politics of the current day she is accused of being "political". Is it not the truth rather that those who attack the Church for speaking out when the laws of men violate the laws of God in regard to human life, marriage and the good of children are in fact in the wrong? The laws of God are the highest good and eternal truths and those who claim to follow Jesus Christ cannot at the same time support human laws which disobey and contradict God's holy will.

"Those who say, 'I know him,' but do not keep his commandments are liars, and the truth is not in them." (1 Jn 2:1-5a)

"Fruit of the Spirit and fullness of the Law, charity keeps the commandments of God and his Christ: 'Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love.' " (CCC 1824)

Many today advocate divorcing love for Jesus from any association with Church, commandments, moral rights and wrongs or involvement by Christians in the political sphere. Christ makes clear that following Him places certain demands upon those who would say that they love Him which include acting on those commands in the voting booth as well as in other facets of life.

"To this first reply Jesus adds a second: "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." This reply does not do away with the first: following Jesus Christ involves keeping the Commandments. The Law has not been abolished, but rather man is invited to rediscover it in the person of his Master who is its perfect fulfillment. In the three synoptic Gospels, Jesus' call to the rich young man to follow him, in the obedience of a disciple and in the observance of the Commandments, is joined to the call to poverty and chastity. The evangelical counsels are inseparable from the Commandments." (CCC 2053)

People ask why Pope Benedict does not condemn more often the laws of men which contradict and oppose the laws of God for example during his recent visit to Mexico, where laws about marriage and human life were recently passed which violate the sacredness of these gifts and the will of God that they be treated with reverence as sacred things.

Question: A month ago you were in Valencia. Anyone who was listening carefully noticed how you never mentioned the words "homosexual marriage," you never spoke about abortion, or about contraception. Clearly your idea is to go around the world preaching the faith rather than as an "apostle of morality." What are your comments?

Benedict XVI: Obviously, yes. Actually I had only two opportunities to speak for 20 minutes, and when you have so little time you can't say everything you want to say about "no." Firstly you have to know what we really want, right? Christianity, Catholicism, isn't a collection of prohibitions: it's a positive option. It's very important that we look at it again because this idea has almost completely disappeared today. We've heard so much about what is not allowed that now it's time to say: we have a positive idea to offer ... I believe we need to see and reflect on the fact that it's not a Catholic invention that man and woman are made for each other, so that humanity can go on living: all cultures know this. As far as abortion is concerned, it's part of the fifth, not the sixth, commandment: "Thou shalt not kill!" We have to presume this is obvious and always stress that the human person begins in the mother's womb and remains a human person until his or her last breath. ... But all this is clearer if you say it first in a positive way.

Perhaps all of us could explore more fully this "affirmative orthodoxy" of Benedict XVI. If we understand the goodness and holiness of God's plans for marriage, family and human life then we naturally oppose and try to prevent the plans and laws of men that would attack these good things of God give for us and for our benefit as an expression of His love. Thus, law and love in God are one thing for us as they have always been and will be for Him.

"But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him." (1 Jn 2:1-5a)

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever. He is truly risen, Alleluia!


Saturday, Easter Wk II: "they began to be afraid"

"It is I. Do not be afraid."
--Jn 6:16-21

The faithful should bear witness to the Lord's name by confessing the faith without giving way to fear. Preaching and catechizing should be permeated with adoration and respect for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
-- CCC 2145

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday, Easter Wk II: "they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus"

rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.
--Acts 5:34-42

Whoever is called "to teach Christ" must first seek "the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus"; he must suffer "the loss of all things. . ." in order to "gain Christ and be found in him", and "to know him and the power of his resurrection, and [to] share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible [he] may attain the resurrection from the dead".
-- CCC 428

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday, Easter Wk II: "We must obey God rather than men"

We are witnesses of these things,as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.
-- Acts 5:27-33

Citizens are obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order. "We must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).
-- CCC 2256

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday, Easter Wk II: "whoever does not believe has already been condemned"

the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil.
-- Jn 3:16-21

All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another's credulity.
-- CCC 2117

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesday, Easter Wk II: "You must be born from above."

the Son of Man be lifted up,so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
-- Jn 3:7b-15

The Church is born primarily of Christ's total self-giving for our salvation, anticipated in the institution of the Eucharist and fulfilled on the cross. "The origin and growth of the Church are symbolized by the blood and water which flowed from the open side of the crucified Jesus." "For it was from the side of Christ as he slept the sleep of death upon the cross that there came forth the 'wondrous sacrament of the whole Church.'" As Eve was formed from the sleeping Adam's side, so the Church was born from the pierced heart of Christ hanging dead on the cross.
-- CCC 766

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday, Easter Wk II: "enable your servants to speak your word with all boldness"

As they prayed, the place where they were gathered shook,and they were all filled with the Holy Spiritand continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
-- Acts 4: 23-31

2778 This power of the Spirit who introduces us to the Lord's Prayer is expressed in the liturgies of East and of West by the beautiful, characteristically Christian expression: parrhesia, straightforward simplicity, filial trust, joyous assurance, humble boldness, the certainty of being loved.
-- CCC 2778

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Divine Mercy Sunday: "Whose sins you forgive"

SECOND Sunday of Easter
Acts 4, 32-35; Psalm 118; 1 John 5, 1-6; John 20, 19-31

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

New life is found in the forgiveness of our sins! Christ makes himself present by conquering sin in the heart of the repentant believer. The sign of this new life through the presence of the risen Christ is joy, the absence of fear.

In confession our communion of charity with the saving Lord is restored and its fruit is joy.

“The fruits of charity are joy, peace, and mercy; charity demands beneficence and fraternal correction; it is benevolence; it fosters reciprocity and remains disinterested and generous; it is friendship and communion: Love is itself the fulfillment of all our works. There is the goal; that is why we run: we run toward it, and once we reach it, in it we shall find rest.” (CCC 1829)

The apostles were bound by the imprisonment of fear before they had received the Easter gift of peace through the love of the risen Christ. Believing it a protection from the object of their fears, they have locked themselves into the upper room. It was there that "Jesus came and stood before them...Then he breathed on them and said: 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men's sins, they are forgiven them; if you hold them bound, they are held bound.' "

In this Easter season, we celebrate the Divine gift of the third person of the Blessed Trinity, the Holy Spirit, as an outpouring of the Risen Christ. Today the Church shares in the Resurrection and the life of Christ by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. What does this gift mean to the Church? The peace of Christ, always ours with the forgiveness of our sins.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) teaches us what the Church has always believed by professing in the Creed "I believe in the forgiveness of sins": our gift for salvation in the Holy Spirit. The Creed links "the forgiveness of sins" with profession of faith in the Holy Spirit because the risen Christ entrusted to the apostles the power to forgive sins when he gave them the Holy Spirit.

Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of the forgiveness of sins: it unites us to Christ, who died and rose, and gives us the Holy Spirit. By Christ's will, the Church possesses the power to forgive our sins after baptism and exercises it through bishops and priests normally in the sacrament of Penance. "In the forgiveness of sins, both priests and sacraments are instruments which our Lord Jesus Christ, the only author and liberal giver of salvation, wills to use in order to efface our sins and give us the grace of justification." (CCC 984-987)

If you would be preserved "from all anxiety" as we pray in the Mass, regularly practice the Sacrament of Confession. Salvation begins now as we are released from the bonds of fear and anxiety, in the first place by the forgiveness of our sins. Confession is an Easter sacrament. Celebrate Easter: celebrate Confession. The Holy Spirit will give you the peace of confidence in Christ's saving passion and Resurrection.

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" -Father Cusick

Meeting Christ in the Liturgy (Publish with permission.)

Saturday in the Octave of Easter: "The leaders ... ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus"

It is impossible for us to not speak about what we have seen and heard

-- Acts 4, 13-21

The Christian creed - the profession of our faith in God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and in God's creative, saving and sanctifying action - culminates in the proclamation of the dead on the last day and in life everlasting.

-- CCC 988

Friday in the Octave of Easter: "Cast the net"

It is the Lord!

-- John 21, 1-14

In the office of the Apostles there is one aspect that cannot be transmitted: to be the chosen witnesses of the Lord's resurrection and so the foundation stones of the Church. But their office also has a permanent aspect. Christ promised to remain with them always. The divine mission entrusted by Jesus to them "will continue to the end of time, since the Gospel they handed on is the lasting source of all life for the Church ..."

-- CCC 860

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday in the Octave of Easter: "Some women from our group ... have astounded us"

they were at the tomb early in the morning
and did not find his Body

The empty tomb and the linen cloths lying there signify in themselves that by God's power Christ's body had escaped the bonds of death and corruption. They prepared the disciples to encounter the Risen Lord.

-- CCC 657

"Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen." The first element we encounter in the framework of the Easter events is the empty tomb. In itself it is not a direct proof of Resurrection; the absence of Christ's body from the tomb could be explained otherwise. Nonetheless the empty tomb was still an essential sign for all. Its discovery by the disciples was the first step toward recognizing the very fact of the Resurrection. This was the case, first with the holy women, and then with Peter. The disciple "whom Jesus loved" affirmed that when he entered the empty tomb and discovered "the linen cloths lying there", "he saw and believed". This suggests that he realized from the empty tomb's condition that the absence of Jesus' body could not have been of human doing and that Jesus had not simply returned to earthly life as had been the case with Lazarus.

-- CCC 640

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday in the Octave of Easter: “I have seen the Lord”

Mary went and announced to the disciples
-- Jn 20:11-18

Mary Magdalene and the holy women who came to finish anointing the body of Jesus, which had been buried in haste because the Sabbath began on the evening of Good Friday, were the first to encounter the Risen One. Thus the women were the first messengers of Christ's Resurrection for the apostles themselves. They were the next to whom Jesus appears: first Peter, then the Twelve. Peter had been called to strengthen the faith of his brothers, and so sees the Risen One before them; it is on the basis of his testimony that the community exclaims: "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!"
-- CCC 641

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter - Buona Pasqua: "He is risen, Alleuia! E risorto, Alleluia!"

Wishing friends of MCITL a most joyful and prayerful Easter Season.

Grazie - Salamat - Danke - Gracias - Merci - Kamsahamnida -
- Tesekur - Dhanyavaad - Shukriyaa - Shukran - Cam on -Domo arigato - Kam sia

Thank you

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday: "we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted"

But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins, Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed.We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; But the LORD laid upon him the guilt of us all.
Moved by so much suffering Christ not only allows himself to be touched by the sick, but he makes their miseries his own: "He took our infirmities and bore our diseases." But he did not heal all the sick. His healings were signs of the coming of the Kingdom of God. They announced a more radical healing: the victory over sin and death through his Passover. On the cross Christ took upon himself the whole weight of evil and took away the "sin of the world," of which illness is only a consequence. By his passion and death on the cross Christ has given a new meaning to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive Passion.
-- CCC 1505

Good Friday: Our sins, His sufferings

In her Magisterial teaching of the faith and in the witness of her saints, the Church has never forgotten that "sinners were the authors and the ministers of all the sufferings that the divine Redeemer endured." Taking into account the fact that our sins affect Christ himself, the Church does not hesitate to impute to Christians the gravest responsibility for the torments inflicted upon Jesus, a responsibility with which they have all too often burdened the Jews alone:

We must regard as guilty all those who continue to relapse into their sins. Since our sins made the Lord Christ suffer the torment of the cross, those who plunge themselves into disorders and crimes crucify the Son of God anew in their hearts (for he is in them) and hold him up to contempt. And it can be seen that our crime in this case is greater in us than in the Jews. As for them, according to the witness of the Apostle, "None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." We, however, profess to know him. And when we deny him by our deeds, we in some way seem to lay violent hands on him.
Nor did demons crucify him; it is you who have crucified him and crucify him still, when you delight in your vices and sins.

-- CCC 598

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday of Holy Week: "I gave my back to those who beat me"

"Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
--Mt 26:14-25

Jesus gave the supreme expression of his free offering of himself at the meal shared with the twelve Apostles "on the night he was betrayed". On the eve of his Passion, while still free, Jesus transformed this Last Supper with the apostles into the memorial of his voluntary offering to the Father for the salvation of men: "This is my body which is given for you." "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."
-- CCC 610

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tuesday of Holy Week: "Where I am going, you cannot follow me now"

you will follow later
-- Jn 13:21-33, 36-38

In all of his life Jesus presents himself as our model. He is "the perfect man", who invites us to become his disciples and follow him. In humbling himself, he has given us an example to imitate, through his prayer he draws us to pray, and by his poverty he calls us to accept freely the privation and persecutions that may come our way.
-- CCC 520

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday of Holy Week: "Here is my servant"

You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.
-- John 12: 1-11

Beginning with the Old Testament, all kinds of juridical measures (the jubilee year of forgiveness of debts, prohibition of loans at interest and the keeping of collateral, the obligation to tithe, the daily payment of the day-laborer, the right to glean vines and fields) answer the exhortation of Deuteronomy: "For the poor will never cease out of the land; therefore I command you, 'You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor in the land.'" Jesus makes these words his own: "The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me." In so doing he does not soften the vehemence of former oracles against "buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals . . .," but invites us to recognize his own presence in the poor who are his brethren:

When her mother reproached her for caring for the poor and the sick at home, St. Rose of Lima said to her: "When we serve the poor and the sick, we serve Jesus. We must not fail to help our neighbors, because in them we serve Jesus.
-- CCC 2449