Today's mass reading from the Bible August/1/2012 (Catholic church)

First Reading: Jeremiah 15: 10, 16 - 21

10 Woe is me, my mother, that you bore me, a man of strife and contention to the whole land! I have not lent, nor have I borrowed, yet all of them curse me.
16 Thy words were found, and I ate them, and thy words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I am called by thy name, O LORD, God of hosts.
17 I did not sit in the company of merrymakers, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone, because thy hand was upon me, for thou hadst filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain unceasing, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Wilt thou be to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail?
19 Therefore thus says the LORD: "If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them.
20 And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, says the LORD.
21 I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless."

Psalms 59: 2 - 4, 10 - 11, 17 - 18

2 deliver me from those who work evil, and save me from bloodthirsty men.
3 For, lo, they lie in wait for my life; fierce men band themselves against me. For no transgression or sin of mine, O LORD,
4 for no fault of mine, they run and make ready. Rouse thyself, come to my help, and see!
10 My God in his steadfast love will meet me; my God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.
11 Slay them not, lest my people forget; make them totter by thy power, and bring them down, O Lord, our shield!
17 O my Strength, I will sing praises to thee, for thou, O God, art my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 44 - 46

44 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,
46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

-- Saint Benedict of Narsia

Prayer ought to be short and pure, unless it be prolonged by the inspiration if Divine grace. 

-- Saint Benedict of Narsia 

Today's mass reading from the Bible July/31/2012 (Catholic church)

First Reading: Jeremiah 14: 17 - 22

17 "You shall say to them this word: `Let my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease, for the virgin daughter of my people is smitten with a great wound, with a very grievous blow.
18 If I go out into the field, behold, those slain by the sword! And if I enter the city, behold, the diseases of famine! For both prophet and priest ply their trade through the land, and have no knowledge.'"
19 Hast thou utterly rejected Judah? Does thy soul loathe Zion? Why hast thou smitten us so that there is no healing for us? We looked for peace, but no good came; for a time of healing, but behold, terror.
20 We acknowledge our wickedness, O LORD, and the iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against thee.
21 Do not spurn us, for thy name's sake; do not dishonor thy glorious throne; remember and do not break thy covenant with us.
22 Are there any among the false gods of the nations that can bring rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Art thou not he, O LORD our God? We set our hope on thee, for thou doest all these things.

Psalms 79: 8 - 9, 11, 13

8 Do not remember against us the iniquities of our forefathers; let thy compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low.
9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name; deliver us, and forgive our sins, for thy name's sake!
11 Let the groans of the prisoners come before thee; according to thy great power preserve those doomed to die!
13 Then we thy people, the flock of thy pasture, will give thanks to thee for ever; from generation to generation we will recount thy praise.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 36 - 43

36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field."
37 He answered, "He who sows the good seed is the Son of man;
38 the field is the world, and the good seed means the sons of the kingdom; the weeds are the sons of the evil one,
39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels.
40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age.
41 The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers,
42 and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.
43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

They shall look on Him - Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC


"They shall look on Him who they have pierced" (John 19:37)

 - Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

In the month of June, the Church celebrated the feasts of two moments in the history of salvation - the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) and the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Christ. These two feasts are intimately connected because they reveal to us the nature and purpose of the paschal mystery.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills” (Ps 121:1)

There was a legend about a certain high mountain in Africa. The people believed that one day a great leader will descend from this mountain and redeem them from the scourge of sickness, poverty and misery that had marked their life for centuries. Every parent would whisper this legend into the ears of the children. From generation to generation this hope was passed on.
There was a little boy in this village named Nathaniel. His father was sick and bedridden. No medicine was found to cure him. The chances of his recovery were fading away. The meagre earning of the daily labour of the mother was the only means of sustenance for the family. There were days of starvation when the mother had not been able to find work. The young boy would sit silent and sad in the corner of the house shedding tears of pain and despair. The mother seeing his tears would draw him to the window and point out to the high mountain reminding him of the hope of the great leader who would descend from the heights bringing a new dawn of life and light to the valley of tears they were now drowning in. The boy would run out of the house and look up to the mountain heights and wait for a sign of the hero. All he could ever see were cloud formations that thickly masked any ray of hope. Again he would slip into disappointment and find his way to that dark corner. But his mother kept urging him not to look down at the empty plate of their present poverty but to look up to the heights of the mountain. Years rolled on. But the hope lingered on.
One particular day when Nathaniel, now a young man, was looking up at the mountain, he felt a sudden and strong surge of desire to climb up the mountain. He followed his heart and waited there awhile. When he came down from the heights he felt a glow surrounding him and a new power flowing into his muscles and a determination marking his steps. As he entered the village, the people came out and immediately recognised an unmistakable difference in this young man and they all cried out “The leader has come! The promised leader has come to us!” They took him around the village in a procession and accepted him as leader of their tribe. He did much good and directed the people to a life of prosperity and power.

“I have seen God face to face” (Gen 32:30)

Where we look can transform our lives. “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light” (Mt 6:22). The higher our gaze rises the loftier will be the quality of our living. The psalmist directs us to raise our eyes to the Most High: “Look to Him and your faces shall become radiant” (Ps 34:5).

Moses looked at the face of God for 40 days and 40 nights and his own face became brilliant reflecting the glory of God so powerfully that the people were not even able to face him. The depressive days of brooding over the painful rejection by his own people in Egypt and the fear of the Pharaoh haunting him were swept away. The doubts that stifled him at the rock of Meribah (Ex 17) gave way to a certainty of faith in the plan of God. A leader was emerging after having experienced God speaking to him as a friend to a friend (Ex 33:11). He looked at the holiness of God and even when all went astray He could hold His own. He looked at the steadfast love and mercy of God and remained patient interceding for their every demand. In the intimate presence of God Moses was transformed from being an arrogant and impulsive murderer to being the meekest from among all men that were on the face of the earth (Num 12:3).
The apostle John draws us to look at the crucified Lord. St John brings us to a key moment in the history of our salvation. He describes how as Jesus was hanging on the cross a soldier thrust a lance into His side tearing open the heart of the crucified Lord. Blood and water flowed out. John looked at the heart of Jesus pierced open asserting then that he is a witness to this saving event. Here he found the fulfilment of the prophecy of Zachariah (Zach 12:10) "They shall look on him whom they have pierced" (Jn 19:37). The evangelist interprets that the heart of Jesus was pierced open that we may look at him and be transformed to a higher plane of our living. For this hope to transform our lives the Church directs our gaze to dwell on the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the adoration and celebration of the Eucharist - the Body and Blood of Christ.

“God proves His love for us” (Rom 5:8)

St John who leaned on the chest of God and saw the heart of God opened out before his eyes, concluded definitively “God is love” (1 Jn 4:8). This love was so complete that it could settle for nothing less than a total self offering on the cross of Calvary and continues in the daily Eucharistic celebration. Jesus offered Himself to be broken in order to become food for our eternal life.
What happened on the Cross was not so much an atrocity meted out to Jesus as an act of love through which the Son of God opted to save us. Jesus said “No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down of my own accord” (Jn 10:18). We should not imagine Jesus was merely a helpless victim. He was rather the High Priest making the offering that through every moment of His brokenness we may be saved and restored.
The cross is raised up high not as a sign of injustice but as a sure proof of the love of God that descends into our painful human circumstances. The purpose of that love was to raise us to the glory of salvation instead of abandoning us to the condemnation we chose for ourselves. And this is because Jesus himself accepted the sacrifice of the cross not as the culmination of all that went wrong but as the completion of God’s great mission to redeem His people from the pit of sin and death.
This radical change in the understanding of the Cross happened at Gethsemane. Here Jesus took up the Cross as a living out of His love commitment to the Father “Not my will but yours be done” (Mt 26:39). The Father’s will was to reach out in His great love that His people “may not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). This will of the Father became the mission of Jesus. In fact this determination marked His entry into His earthly existence as the letter to the Hebrews records for us: “Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, ‘Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God’ ” (Heb 10:5-7). From that moment whatever suffering came His way He accepted from the hands of the Heavenly Father and offered it for humankind to be saved. It was at the cross that this self offering reached its culmination. His heart was pierced open that even the last drops of blood and water contained within may be offered in this most holy sacrifice.

“You are precious in my eyes” (Is 43:4)

At Capernaum the Lord had made the grand offer: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world” (Jn 6:51). This great promise He fulfilled at the last supper when taking bread in His hands, He broke it and said “This is my body which is given for you” and taking the chalice of wine He turned to His disciples and said “This is my blood to be shed for you.” Once He made this offering Jesus directed them “Do this in memory of me” (Lk 22:14-20).
This directive we observe every time we gather around the altar. We remember and relive the saving love of the Son of God who offered Himself to be broken for us. This is a truth to be affirmed and experienced in a very personal way. As St Paul says “I live by the faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Gal 2:20). In fact it is when we stand at the altar that we realise how precious we are to God. For this realisation to take root in our hearts we need to gaze upon the heart of Jesus pierced open.
St Paul says that this experience is of paramount importance in our Christian life. His earnest prayer for all is “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God” (Eph 3:17-19). When our hearts are so filled then shall we experience every shadow vanishing from within us.

“Look to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Heb 12:2)

A young lady narrated to me a shattering yet life-changing episode of her life. She confided how broken she was when she discovered that her husband was cheating on her. Even before their wedding he had been involved intimately with another girl. He secretly continued in this relationship even after the marriage. One day while she was casually browsing the internet she found before her eyes all the details and photographs of their ongoing relationship. She could not contain the grief and the frustration. She wept her heart out. Hours later through her swollen eyes she looked up at the crucifix on the wall. She had seen and prayed before this crucifix many times but this time clearly the crucifix appeared very different. The wounds of Jesus were glistening and raw. In a clear vision she saw the heart of Jesus pierced open and blood and water streaming down. She felt the streams bathing her. In that experience of the love of God she felt her own anguish and hurts being soothed and healed. When her husband did return the next day she could face him and talk to him about all that she knew of his sinful life. She also conveyed to him that she was accepting him once again with love. Eventually the Holy Spirit convicted him of the injustice he was living out. The experience of her vision remained in her heart as a confidence in the sure intervention of God’s love reaching to comfort her in that hour of inconsolable distress.
When we brood over our hurts and wounds we will get only more lost in the strong currents of depression and loneliness. But we have an option to raise our eyes up to the heart of Jesus pierced open for us in love. If we remain there awhile the experience of healing and salvation will get rooted in us. Being rooted in this unchanging and all surpassing love of Christ we will not get shaken at the storms that must pass through our life while we walk this earth.

“I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (Mt 9:13)

It’s God’s mercy that saves us. The person who experiences deeply the saving mercy of God cannot but reflect this goodness of God that overcomes all evil. He will become a powerful channel for the healing flow from God to reach those in need. St Paul describes his own mission as a fruit of this experience: “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (1 Cor 1:3,4). In the brokenness of our heart we can identify ourselves with the Sacred Heart of Jesus that radiates an endless current of grace when it is pierced. And this connection to the heart of God is vital for us for all eternity.
Jesus clarifies that to enter the kingdom of God there is a qualification: “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:20). The righteousness of the Pharisees and scribes was stagnating with a rigorous sense of justice and retribution. In one parable Jesus draws a contrast between the self righteous Pharisee and repentant publican. Jesus dismisses the spirituality of the Pharisee who claimed approval from God for his righteous accomplishments despising the publican as unworthy. But Jesus clarifies that the approval of God was for the humble and contrite heart of the publican: “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other” (Lk 18:14). The human mathematics of justice that demands the good be rewarded and the evil be punished does not hold good in the kingdom of God.
The hue of God’s merciful love shines out again in the incident of the woman caught in adultery (Jn 8). Here the one effort of Jesus was to save her from condemnation and sin. This was in stark contrast to the thinking and ideas of justice prevalent in the minds of the pious Jews. By their understanding what was an urgent necessity was that she be eliminated because she was a threat to the moral health of the society. They were demanding a just punishment for her sin. We are told that Jesus began to write on the ground. The evangelist does not specify what exactly Jesus wrote. I for one believe that what Jesus wrote as a response to the multitude of voices demanding justice was the sign of the cross. The Pharisees and the scribes were justified in seeking punishment for the guilty woman. But when the cross of Jesus, the ultimate symbol of God’s mercy meets the sin of the woman, her punishment has been written off. As St Paul explains it: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us - for it is written, ‘Cursed be every one who hangs on a tree’ ” (Gal 3:13).
The mercy of God is revealed by the Cross. For us to experience the depths of this mercy we must remain gazing into the heart of Jesus pierced open for us and partake of His life by eating and drinking of His body and blood. Then shall we be able to overcome the obsession of human justice.
“By grace you have been saved; not because of works” (Eph 2:8,9)

There have been times when we have complained that God is not just. It is good for us to know that for it is true. We cannot say that God is just because justice really means giving each one his or her due. If God were just we can have no claims in life. When we honestly assess our lives we know that what is due to us is God’s wrath. But thankfully God is more than justice. He is mercy. Since the Pharisees and the scribes were not able to understand this mercy revealed in Jesus they crucified Him. For them the law of Moses meant an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. If someone caused injury to my right eye I have the right to injure only his right eye. They could never go beyond the strictures imposed by this legal system. But Jesus would only clarify that “mercy triumphs over justice” (Jas 2:13) when he declared to them that “the sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mk 2:27). It was after this that Jesus proceeded into a synagogue and healed a man with the withered hand on the Sabbath. The Pharisees were scandalised. They condemned the Son of God for breaking the law of Sabbath. In their determination to eliminate the transgressor they joined hands with the Herodians to plot His death. There was in fact a law among the Jews where a sick person could be treated on the Sabbath only if the sickness was life-threatening. The logical argument in the mind of the Jews was that there was no urgency for this man to be healed. Jesus could have waited for a day and observed the law. But for Jesus the misery of this man demanded an urgent and immediate action. This miraculous healing event is more a revelation of the heart of God. The sorrow of man is the urgent concern of God.
Only a person who remains in the presence of God and looks at His face constantly and takes in the heartbeat of God will be able to go beyond the bondage of the justice of the scribes and Pharisees. I am reminded of a CEO of a corporate company, who was very agitated about the unjust turn of events in the management of the company. It was at his initiative and with his know-how that the company was begun. He shared his idea with a few people and he convinced them to invest in the shares. He was consequently elected to the helm of administration. The company began to thrive and huge amounts of money were flowing in as profit. At that juncture a younger person joined the company as a member of the Directorial Board. He slowly began to make it impossible for the CEO to function. He maneuvered his way with the other members of the board and in a very ruthless manner evicted the CEO out of his chair. He himself got appointed to that post. It was then in such mental turmoil that the ousted man came for the retreat. After listening to him I shared with him my conviction that God understands the pain and anger of his heart and also that God is turning everything to His good. I cautioned him though that for God to be able to work out something we must firstly make a total surrender of the unfortunate position into the hands of God.
It was only natural that he was not able to understand why everything went against him. He confessed that he was struggling to accept this unhappy turn of events but he agreed to try. I led him with the prayer of Mother Mary offering everything in the hands of God: “Here am I, your servant, let it be done to me according to your Word.” During the retreat apart from listening carefully to the talks he spent a lot of time in personal prayer. He was still sore with the heartless and unjust manner in which he was shown the door. He could not yet comprehend why things went against him in an enterprise which was his own initiative. But he continued the prayer of Mother Mary.
During the prayer service for inner healing, he was participating in a hymn containing the prayer of Christ on the cross “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Lk 23:34). As he prayed he was still battling with the question “Why me, Lord?” Suddenly a word came to his heart in a strong clear manner: “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:20). He looked at the Eucharist and clearly perceived in a vision the pierced Heart of Jesus with blood and water streaming down. In that instant he promised the Lord that he would forgive his opponent and cooperate with him in all possible ways. An extraordinary surge of love flooded his heart. What happened later was amazing to all.
He went back to the meetings of the Board of Directors. He began to cooperate in a very generous way with new CEO. In the beginning he was eyed with suspicion. But as he began to teach the younger man the ropes, encourage him and warn him in the many decisions enabling him to make great successes and allowing him to enjoy all the credit, the apprehensions could not hold out. At one moment the young CEO directly enquired of him the rationale of his generous cooperation. He responded by sharing his God experience. The CEO was moved to tears. At the next meeting of the Board of Directors the CEO shared to all gathered his amazement at how God had worked in his life through the mercy of the one he had worked against. He continued to describe what God had done firstly in the elder man’s life and the convictions and generous support he responded to him with. Confessing his own guilt he pleaded for reinstating the elder man as CEO for he concluded that this was rightfully due to him. Everyone gathered was amazed at what was counter cultural to the corporate world they had lived in. No one could resist rejoicing in the grace of the moment. They reelected the elder man as the CEO. “This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes” (Ps 118:23).
Holding on to human justice is a bondage because it deprives us of the working of the Lord. When we wish to settle scores we are limited to retribution - to passing on the evil we were handed. And what we allow is a trail of evil. But if only we could turn to the Sacred heart of God and be touched by the self giving of Jesus we shall begin a new trail of graces that shall bless this world and generations to come.

Lord Jesus, I lift up my eyes to your heart that is opened out to pour your comforting love into our broken hearts. O God, you are the font of love and mercy and you reveal to us that love and goodness is greater than any evil that can ever happen. Lord we bring to you the many wounds in our hearts. We have searched for answers and for justice. But we know none of these that we look for can set things right. We pray therefore that as we gaze on your face let your light of love shine on us and lead us to live out your commandment of love and become channels of healing to this world. You offered your life for us at Calvary and daily at the altar that we may know that we are precious to you and you will never leave us in want. Lord we praise you for your love that towers above the heavens bringing light to the valley of our tears and for turning our mourning into a celebration of your unchanging love. Lord may we live for your love always and declare your glory to all those broken around us. Amen.

Today's mass reading from the bible July/30/2012 (Catholic church)

First Reading: Jeremiah 13: 1 - 11

1 Thus said the LORD to me, "Go and buy a linen waistcloth, and put it on your loins, and do not dip it in water."
2 So I bought a waistcloth according to the word of the LORD, and put it on my loins.
3 And the word of the LORD came to me a second time,
4 "Take the waistcloth which you have bought, which is upon your loins, and arise, go to the Euphra'tes, and hide it there in a cleft of the rock."
5 So I went, and hid it by the Euphra'tes, as the LORD commanded me.
6 And after many days the LORD said to me, "Arise, go to the Euphra'tes, and take from there the waistcloth which I commanded you to hide there."
7 Then I went to the Euphra'tes, and dug, and I took the waistcloth from the place where I had hidden it. And behold, the waistcloth was spoiled; it was good for nothing.
8 Then the word of the LORD came to me:
9 "Thus says the LORD: Even so will I spoil the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem.
10 This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this waistcloth, which is good for nothing.
11 For as the waistcloth clings to the loins of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the LORD, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen.

Deuteronomy 32: 18 - 21

18 You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth.
19 "The LORD saw it, and spurned them, because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters.
20 And he said, `I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end will be, for they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faithfulness.
21 They have stirred me to jealousy with what is no god; they have provoked me with their idols. So I will stir them to jealousy with those who are no people; I will provoke them with a foolish nation.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 31 - 35

31 Another parable he put before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field;
32 it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches."
33 He told them another parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened."
34 All this Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed he said nothing to them without a parable.
35 This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet: "I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world."

- Saint Lawrence of Brindisi

Saint Lawrence of Brindisi

God is love, and all his operations proceed from love. Once he wills to manifest that goodness by sharing his love outside himself, then the Incarnation becomes the supreme manifestation of his goodness and love and glory. So, Christ was intended before all other creatures and for his own sake. For him all things were created and to him all things must be subject, and God loves all creatures in and because of Christ. Christ is the first-born of every creature, and the whole of humanity as well as the created world finds its foundation and meaning in him. Moreover, this would have been the case even if Adam had not sinned. 

-- Saint Lawrence of Brindisi

Today's mass reading from the Bible Sunday July/29/2012

First Reading: 2 Kings 4: 42 - 44

42 A man came from Ba'al-shal'ishah, bringing the man of God bread of the first fruits, twenty loaves of barley, and fresh ears of grain in his sack. And Eli'sha said, "Give to the men, that they may eat."
43 But his servant said, "How am I to set this before a hundred men?" So he repeated, "Give them to the men, that they may eat, for thus says the LORD, `They shall eat and have some left.'"
44 So he set it before them. And they ate, and had some left, according to the word of the LORD.

Psalms 145: 10 - 11, 15 - 18

10 All thy works shall give thanks to thee, O LORD, and all thy saints shall bless thee!
11 They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and tell of thy power,
15 The eyes of all look to thee, and thou givest them their food in due season.
16 Thou openest thy hand, thou satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
17 The LORD is just in all his ways, and kind in all his doings.
18 The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.

Second Reading: Ephesians 4: 1 - 6

1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
2 with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love,
3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call,
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.

Gospel Reading: John 6: 1 - 15

1 After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiber'i-as.
2 And a multitude followed him, because they saw the signs which he did on those who were diseased.
3 Jesus went up on the mountain, and there sat down with his disciples.
4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.
5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a multitude was coming to him, Jesus said to Philip, "How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?"
6 This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.
7 Philip answered him, "Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little."
8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him,
9 "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?"
10 Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place; so the men sat down, in number about five thousand.
11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.
12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, "Gather up the fragments left over, that nothing may be lost."
13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten.
14 When the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, "This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!"
15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

Today's mass reading from the Bible July/28/2012

First Reading: Jeremiah 7: 1 - 11

1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
2 "Stand in the gate of the LORD's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the LORD.
3 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will let you dwell in this place.
4 Do not trust in these deceptive words: `This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.'
5 "For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly execute justice one with another,
6 if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt,
7 then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers for ever.
8 "Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail.
9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Ba'al, and go after other gods that you have not known,
10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, `We are delivered!' -- only to go on doing all these abominations?
11 Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, says the LORD.

Psalms 84: 3 - 6, 8, 11

3 Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at thy altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in thy house, ever singing thy praise! [Selah]
5 Blessed are the men whose strength is in thee, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6 As they go through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.
8 O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! [Selah]
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the LORD withhold from those who walk uprightly.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 24 - 30

24 Another parable he put before them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field;
25 but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.
26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also.
27 And the servants of the householder came and said to him, `Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?'
28 He said to them, `An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, `Then do you want us to go and gather them?'
29 But he said, `No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"
July 28 2012 - Gospel Church Reading, word of god for the day

Today's Mass reading from the Bible July/27/2012 (catholic church)

First Reading: Jeremiah 3: 14 - 17

14 Return, O faithless children, says the LORD; for I am your master; I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.
15 "`And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.
16 And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the LORD, they shall no more say, "The ark of the covenant of the LORD." It shall not come to mind, or be remembered, or missed; it shall not be made again.
17 At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the LORD, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the LORD in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart.

Jeremiah 31: 10 - 13

10 "Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands afar off; say, `He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.'
11 For the LORD has ransomed Jacob, and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him.
12 They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the LORD, over the grain, the wine, and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd; their life shall be like a watered garden, and they shall languish no more.
13 Then shall the maidens rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 18 - 23

18 "Hear then the parable of the sower.
19 When any one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in his heart; this is what was sown along the path.
20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.
22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty."

Today's mass reading from the Bible July/26/2012 (catholic church Thursday)

First Reading: Sirach 44: 1, 10 - 15

1 Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers in their generations.
10 But these were men of mercy, whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten;
11 their prosperity will remain with their descendants, and their inheritance to their children's children.
12 Their descendants stand by the covenants; their children also, for their sake.
13 Their posterity will continue for ever, and their glory will not be blotted out.
14 Their bodies were buried in peace, and their name lives to all generations.
15 Peoples will declare their wisdom, and the congregation proclaims their praise.

Psalms 132: 11, 13 - 14, 17 - 18

11 The LORD swore to David a sure oath from which he will not turn back: "One of the sons of your body I will set on your throne.
13 For the LORD has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his habitation:
14 "This is my resting place for ever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
17 There I will make a horn to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.
18 His enemies I will clothe with shame, but upon himself his crown will shed its luster."

Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 16 - 17

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.
17 Truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

-- Saint Boniface

Saint Boniface

Let us continue the fight on the day of the Lord. The days of anguish and of tribulation have overtaken us; if God so wills, "let us die for the holy laws of our fathers," so that we may deserve to obtain an eternal inheritance with them.

-- Saint Boniface

Infant Jesus Church Mass Timings Vivek Nagar Bangalore

05:45 AM Concelebration
06:30 AM English
09:00 AM Teleugu
10:00 AM Kannada
11:15 AM Tamil
04:00 PM Konkani
05:00 PM English
06:00 PM Tamil
07:30 PM Malayalam

05:45 AM Tamil
07:00 AM English
08:30 AM Tamil
10:00 AM Kananda
11:15 PM Tamil
05:00 PM English
06:00 PM Tamil
Other Days
05:45 AM Kannada
06:30 AM Tamil
11:15 AM Tamil
06:00 PM English

First Friday of the Month
05:45 AM Tamil
06:30 AM Kannada
08:45 AM Mass for School Children
11:15 AM Tamil
05:30 PM Adoration and mass in English

05:45 AM Kannada
06:30 AM English
11:15 AM Tamil
06:30 PM Tamil Procession and Adoration

Infant Jesus Church Vivek Nagar, Bangalore - Mass timings for Thursday (Morning & Evening), Mass timings / Adoration / Procession , Sunday Mass timings (Morning, Evening) Pilgrimage mass timings, Holy Hour, Location, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday.

Today's mass reading from the Bible July/25/2012 (Catholic church wednesday)

First Reading: 2 Corinthians 4: 7 - 15

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.
8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;
9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.
11 For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.
13 Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, "I believed, and so I spoke," we too believe, and so we speak,
14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.
15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

Psalms 126: 1 - 6

1 When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.
2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."
3 The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad.
4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the watercourses in the Negeb!
5 May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy!
6 He that goes forth weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 20: 20 - 28

20 Then the mother of the sons of Zeb'edee came up to him, with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something.
21 And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom."
22 But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?" They said to him, "We are able."
23 He said to them, "You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
24 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers.
25 But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.
26 It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant,
27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave;
28 even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

saint Aloysius Gonzaga

He who wishes to love God does not truly love Him if he has not an ardent and constant desire to suffer for His sake. 

-- Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

Today's mas reading from the Bible July/24/2012 (catholic church Tuesday)

First Reading: Micah 7: 14 - 15, 18 - 20

14 Shepherd thy people with thy staff, the flock of thy inheritance, who dwell alone in a forest in the midst of a garden land; let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old. 15 As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt I will show them marvelous things. 18 Who is a God like thee, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger for ever because he delights in steadfast love. 19 He will again have compassion upon us, he will tread our iniquities under foot. Thou wilt cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. 20 Thou wilt show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as thou hast sworn to our fathers from the days of old.

Psalms 85: 2 - 8

2 Thou didst forgive the iniquity of thy people; thou didst pardon all their sin. [Selah] 3 Thou didst withdraw all thy wrath; thou didst turn from thy hot anger. 4 Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away thy indignation toward us! 5 Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? Wilt thou prolong thy anger to all generations? 6 Wilt thou not revive us again, that thy people may rejoice in thee? 7 Show us thy steadfast love, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation. 8 Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints, to those who turn to him in their hearts.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 12: 46 - 50

46 While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. 48 But he replied to the man who told him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" 49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother."

Saint John Fisher, writing to the bishop of Winchester

Saint John Fisher

Had you but tasted one drop of the sweetness which inebriates the souls of those religious from their worship of this Sacrament, you would never have written as you have, nor have apostatized from the faith that you formerly professed. 

-- Saint John Fisher, writing to the bishop of Winchester 

Today's mass reading fromt the Bible July/23/2012 (Monday Catholic Church)

First Reading: Micah 6: 1 - 4, 6 - 8

1 Hear what the LORD says: Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice.
2 Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the LORD, and you enduring foundations of the earth; for the LORD has a controversy with his people, and he will contend with Israel.
3 "O my people, what have I done to you? In what have I wearied you? Answer me!
4 For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and redeemed you from the house of bondage; and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
6 "With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?
7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?"
8 He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Psalms 50: 5 - 6, 8 - 9, 16 - 17, 21, 23

5 "Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!"
6 The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge! [Selah]
8 I do not reprove you for your sacrifices; your burnt offerings are continually before me.
9 I will accept no bull from your house, nor he-goat from your folds.
16 But to the wicked God says: "What right have you to recite my statutes, or take my covenant on your lips?
17 For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you.
21 These things you have done and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you.
23 He who brings thanksgiving as his sacrifice honors me; to him who orders his way aright I will show the salvation of God!"

Gospel Reading: Matthew 12: 38 - 42

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, "Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you."
39 But he answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
41 The men of Nin'eveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
42 The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

-- Saint Thomas More

Saint Thomas More

Every tribulation which ever comes our way either is sent to be medicinal, if we will take it as such, or may become medicinal, if we will make it such, or is better than medicinal, unless we forsake it.

-- Saint Thomas More 

Today's mass reading from the Bible Sunday July/22/2012 (Catholic church)

Sunday First Reading: Jeremiah 23: 1 - 6

1 "Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!" says the LORD.
2 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: "You have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD.
3 Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply.
4 I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, says the LORD.
5 "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: `The LORD is our righteousness.'

Psalms 23: 1 - 6

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want;
2 he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters;
3 he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies; thou anointest my head with oil, my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Second Reading: Ephesians 2: 13 - 18

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility,
15 by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,
16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end.
17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near;
18 for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

Gospel Reading: Mark 6: 30 - 34

30 The apostles returned to Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught.
31 And he said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.
32 And they went away in the boat to a lonely place by themselves.
33 Now many saw them going, and knew them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns, and got there ahead of them.
34 As he went ashore he saw a great throng, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

Saint Augustine of Hippo from a sermon on the birth of John the Baptist

Saint Augustine of Hippo

The Church observes the birth of John as a hallowed event. We have no such commemoration for any other fathers; but it is significant that we celebrate the birthdays of John and of Jesus. This day cannot be passed by. And even if my explanation does not match the dignity of the feast, you may still meditate on it with great depth and profit. John appears as the boundary between the two testaments, the old and the new. That he is a sort of boundary the Lord himself bears witness, when he speaks of “the law and the prophets up until John the Baptist.” Thus he represents times past and is the herald of the new era to come. As a representative of the past, he is born of aged parents; as a herald of the new era, he is declared to be a prophet while still in his mother’s womb. For when yet unborn, he leapt in his mother’s womb at the arrival of blessed Mary. In that womb he had already been designated a prophet, even before he was born; it was revealed that he was to be Christ’s precursor, before they ever saw one another. These are divine happenings, going beyond the limits of our human frailty. When John was preaching the Lord’s coming he was asked, “Who are you?” And he replied: “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness.” The voice is John, but the Lord “in the beginning was the Word.” John was a voice that lasted only for a time; Christ, the Word in the beginning, is eternal.

-- Saint Augustine of Hippo from a sermon on the birth of John the Baptist 

Today's mass reading from the Bible July/21/2012 (Catholic church)

First Reading: Wisdom 8: 9 - 16

9 Therefore I determined to take her to live with me, knowing that she would give me good counsel and encouragement in cares and grief.
10 Because of her I shall have glory among the multitudes and honor in the presence of the elders, though I am young.
11 I shall be found keen in judgment, and in the sight of rulers I shall be admired.
12 When I am silent they will wait for me, and when I speak they will give heed; and when I speak at greater length they will put their hands on their mouths.
13 Because of her I shall have immortality, and leave an everlasting remembrance to those who come after me.
14 I shall govern peoples, and nations will be subject to me;
15 dread monarchs will be afraid of me when they hear of me; among the people I shall show myself capable, and courageous in war.
16 When I enter my house, I shall find rest with her, for companionship with her has no bitterness, and life with her has no pain, but gladness and joy.

Psalms 67: 2 - 5, 7 - 8

2 that thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving power among all nations.
3 Let the peoples praise thee, O God; let all the peoples praise thee!
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for thou dost judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. [Selah]
5 Let the peoples praise thee, O God; let all the peoples praise thee!
7 God has blessed us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!

Gospel Reading: Luke 9: 1 - 6

1 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases,
2 and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal.
3 And he said to them, "Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics.
4 And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart.
5 And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them."
6 And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

-- Saint Francis Xavier in a letter to Saint Ignatius Loyola

Saint Francis Xavier

I wish the university students would work as hard at converting these people as they do at their books, and so settle their account with God for their learning and the talents entrusted to them. 

This thought would certainly stir most of them to meditate on spiritual realities, to listen actively to what God is saying to them. They would forget their own desires, their human affairs, and give themselves over entirely to God's will and his choice. 

They would cry out with all their heart: "Lord, I am here! What do you want me to do?" Send me anywhere you like - even to India!"

-- Saint Francis Xavier in a letter to Saint Ignatius Loyola 

- Saint Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer

Saint Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer

Jesus suffers to carry out the will of the Father. And you, who also want to carry out the most holy Will of God, following the steps of the Master, can you complain if you meet suffering on your way?

-- Saint Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer 

Today's mass reading from the Bible July/19/2012 (catholic church)

First Reading: Isaiah 26: 7 - 9, 12, 16 - 19

7 The way of the righteous is level; thou dost make smooth the path of the righteous.
8 In the path of thy judgments, O LORD, we wait for thee; thy memorial name is the desire of our soul.
9 My soul yearns for thee in the night, my spirit within me earnestly seeks thee. For when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
12 O LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us, thou hast wrought for us all our works.
16 O LORD, in distress they sought thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them.
17 Like a woman with child, who writhes and cries out in her pangs, when she is near her time, so were we because of thee, O LORD;
18 we were with child, we writhed, we have as it were brought forth wind. We have wrought no deliverance in the earth, and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen.
19 Thy dead shall live, their bodies shall rise. O dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For thy dew is a dew of light, and on the land of the shades thou wilt let it fall.

Psalms 102: 13 - 21

13 Thou wilt arise and have pity on Zion; it is the time to favor her; the appointed time has come.
14 For thy servants hold her stones dear, and have pity on her dust.
15 The nations will fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.
16 For the LORD will build up Zion, he will appear in his glory;
17 he will regard the prayer of the destitute, and will not despise their supplication.
18 Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet unborn may praise the LORD:
19 that he looked down from his holy height, from heaven the LORD looked at the earth,
20 to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die;
21 that men may declare in Zion the name of the LORD, and in Jerusalem his praise,

Gospel Reading: Matthew 11: 28 - 30

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Saint Cyril of Alexandria from a letter

Saint Cyril of Alexandria

The divinely inspired Scriptures affirm that the Word of God was made flesh, that is to say, he was united to a human body endowed with a rational soul. He undertook to help the descendants of Abraham, fashioning a body for himself from a woman and sharing our flesh and blood, to enable us to see in him not only God, but also, by reason of this union, a man like ourselves. It is held, therefore, that there is in Emmanuel two entities, divinity and humanity. Yet our Lord Jesus Christ is nonetheless one, the one true Son, both God and man; not a defied man on the same footing as those who share the divine nature by grace, but true God who for our sake appeared in human form. We are assured of this by Saint Paul’s declaration: “When the fullness of time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law and to enable us to be adopted as sons.

-- Saint Cyril of Alexandria from a letter

Today's mass reading from the Bible July/18/2012

First Reading: Isaiah 10: 5 - 7, 13 - 16

5 Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger, the staff of my fury!
6 Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and seize plunder, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
7 But he does not so intend, and his mind does not so think; but it is in his mind to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few;
13 For he says: "By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I have understanding; I have removed the boundaries of peoples, and have plundered their treasures; like a bull I have brought down those who sat on thrones.
14 My hand has found like a nest the wealth of the peoples; and as men gather eggs that have been forsaken so I have gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved a wing, or opened the mouth, or chirped."
15 Shall the axe vaunt itself over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it? As if a rod should wield him who lifts it, or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!
16 Therefore the Lord, the LORD of hosts, will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors, and under his glory a burning will be kindled, like the burning of fire.

Psalms 94: 5 - 10, 14 - 15

5 They crush thy people, O LORD, and afflict thy heritage.
6 They slay the widow and the sojourner, and murder the fatherless;
7 and they say, "The LORD does not see; the God of Jacob does not perceive."
8 Understand, O dullest of the people! Fools, when will you be wise?
9 He who planted the ear, does he not hear? He who formed the eye, does he not see?
10 He who chastens the nations, does he not chastise? He who teaches men knowledge,
14 For the LORD will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage;
15 for justice will return to the righteous, and all the upright in heart will follow it.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 11: 25 - 27

25 At that time Jesus declared, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes;
26 yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.
27 All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

-- Saint Irenaeus of Lyons from "Against the Heresies"

Saint Irenaeus of Lyons

The glory of God gives life; those who see God receive life. Men will therefore see God if they are to live; through the vision of God they become immortal and attain to God himself. God is the source of all activity throughout creation. He cannot be seen or described in his own nature and in all his greatness by any of his creatures. Yet he is certainly not unknown. Through his Word the whole creation learns that there is one God the Father, who holds all things together and gives them their being. As it is written in the Gospel, “No man has ever seen God, except the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father; he has revealed him.” From the beginning the Son is the one who teacher us about the Father; he is with the Father from the beginning. The Word revealed God to men and presented men to God. Life in man is the glory of God; the life of man is the vision of God. If the revelation of God through creation gives life to all who live upon the earth, much more does the manifestation of the Father through the Word give life to those who see God.

-- Saint Irenaeus of Lyons from "Against the Heresies" 

Today's mass reading from the Bible July/17/2012

First Reading: Isaiah 7: 1 - 9

1 In the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, son of Uzzi'ah, king of Judah, Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remali'ah the king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but they could not conquer it.
2 When the house of David was told, "Syria is in league with E'phraim," his heart and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.
3 And the LORD said to Isaiah, "Go forth to meet Ahaz, you and She'ar-jash'ub your son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Fuller's Field,
4 and say to him, `Take heed, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, at the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria and the son of Remali'ah.
5 Because Syria, with E'phraim and the son of Remali'ah, has devised evil against you, saying,
6 "Let us go up against Judah and terrify it, and let us conquer it for ourselves, and set up the son of Ta'be-el as king in the midst of it,"
7 thus says the Lord GOD: It shall not stand, and it shall not come to pass.
8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin. (Within sixty-five years E'phraim will be broken to pieces so that it will no longer be a people.)
9 And the head of E'phraim is Sama'ria, and the head of Sama'ria is the son of Remali'ah. If you will not believe, surely you shall not be established.'"

Psalms 48: 2 - 8

2 beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King.
3 Within her citadels God has shown himself a sure defense.
4 For lo, the kings assembled, they came on together.
5 As soon as they saw it, they were astounded, they were in panic, they took to flight;
6 trembling took hold of them there, anguish as of a woman in travail.
7 By the east wind thou didst shatter the ships of Tarshish.
8 As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God, which God establishes for ever. [Selah]

Gospel Reading: Matthew 11: 20 - 24

20 Then he began to upbraid the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent.
21 "Woe to you, Chora'zin! woe to you, Beth-sa'ida! for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22 But I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you.
23 And you, Caper'na-um, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
24 But I tell you that it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you."

- Pope Saint Clement I of Rome from The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians


Pope Saint Clement I of Rome On Saints Peter and Paul

Let us take the noble examples of our own generation. It was due to jealousy and envy that the greatest and most holy pillars were persecuted and fought to the death. Let us pass in review the good Apostles: a Peter, who through unmerited jealousy underwent not one or two, but many hardships and, after thus giving testimony, departed for the place of glory that was his due. Through jealousy and strife Paul demonstrated how to win the prize of patient endurance: seven times he was imprisoned; he was forced to leave and stoned; he preached in the East and the West; and, finally, he won the splendid renown which his faith had earned. He taught the right manner of life to the whole world, traveled as far as the Western boundary, and, when he had given testimony before the authorities, ended his earthly career and was taken up into the holy place as the greatest model of patient endurance.

-- Pope Saint Clement I of Rome from The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians 

Today's mass reading from the Bible July/16/2012 (Catholic church)

First Reading: Isaiah 1: 10 - 17

10 Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom! Give ear to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomor'rah!
11 "What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of he-goats.
12 "When you come to appear before me, who requires of you this trampling of my courts?
13 Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and sabbath and the calling of assemblies -- I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me, I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil,
17 learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Psalms 50: 8 - 9, 16 - 17, 21, 23

8 I do not reprove you for your sacrifices; your burnt offerings are continually before me.
9 I will accept no bull from your house, nor he-goat from your folds.
16 But to the wicked God says: "What right have you to recite my statutes, or take my covenant on your lips?
17 For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you.
21 These things you have done and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you.
23 He who brings thanksgiving as his sacrifice honors me; to him who orders his way aright I will show the salvation of God!"

Gospel Reading: Matthew 10: 34 - 42 & 11: 1

34 "Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
36 and a man's foes will be those of his own household.
37 He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
38 and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.
40 "He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me.
41 He who receives a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward, and he who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward."
1 And when Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.

-- Pope Saint Clement I of Rome from The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians

Pope Saint Clement I of Rome On Martyrs of Rome

To these men who spent their lives in the practice of holiness, there is to be added a great multitude of the elect, who, having through envy endured many indignities and tortures, furnished. us with a most excellent example. Through envy, those women, the Danaids and Dircae, being persecuted, after they had suffered terrible and unspeakable torments, finished the course of their faith with stedfastness, and though weak in body, received a noble reward. Envy has alienated wives from their husbands, and changed that saying of our father Adam, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh." Envy and strife have overthrown great cities and rooted up mighty nations.

These things, beloved, we write unto you, not merely to admonish you of your duty, but also to remind ourselves. For we are struggling on the same arena, and the same conflict is assigned to both of us. Wherefore let us give up vain and fruitless cares, and approach to the glorious and venerable rule of our holy calling. Let us attend to what is good, pleasing, and acceptable in the sight of Him who formed us. Let us look steadfastly to the blood of Christ, and see how precious that blood is to God, which, having been shed for our salvation, has set the grace of repentance before the whole world. 

-- Pope Saint Clement I of Rome from The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians

Today's mass reading from the Bible Sunday July/15/2012 (catholic church)

First Reading: Amos 7: 12 - 15

12 And Amazi'ah said to Amos, "O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there;
13 but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king's sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom."
14 Then Amos answered Amazi'ah, "I am no prophet, nor a prophet's son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees,
15 and the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, `Go, prophesy to my people Israel.'

Psalms 85: 9 - 14

9 Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.
10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
12 Yea, the LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before him, and make his footsteps a way.

Second Reading: Ephesians 1: 3 - 10

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
5 He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
6 to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace
8 which he lavished upon us.
9 For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ
10 as a plan for the fulness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Gospel Reading: Mark 6: 7 - 13

7 And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.
8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts;
9 but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics.
10 And he said to them, "Where you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place.
11 And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them."
12 So they went out and preached that men should repent.
13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.

Saint Jose Isabel Flores Varela

God knows I am here. This is his will for me. 

-- Saint Jose Isabel Flores Varela 

Today's mass reading from the Bible 14th July 2012 (Catholic Church)

First Reading: Isaiah 6: 1 - 8

1 In the year that King Uzzi'ah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple.
2 Above him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
3 And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory."
4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!"
6 Then flew one of the seraphim to me, having in his hand a burning coal which he had taken with tongs from the altar.
7 And he touched my mouth, and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven."
8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."

Psalms 93: 1 - 2, 5

1 The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed, he is girded with strength. Yea, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
2 thy throne is established from of old; thou art from everlasting.
5 Thy decrees are very sure; holiness befits thy house, O LORD, for evermore.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 10: 24 - 33

24 "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master;
25 it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Be-el'zebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.
26 "So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
27 What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops.
28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's will.
30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
32 So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven;
33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.