Monday, September 30, 2013

More on Justification

DE MARIA September 29, 2013 at 7:51 am

There are two valid definitions for “Justification”.

1. The forgiveness of sins
2. A declaration of righteousness

The first is accomplished in the Sacraments, when our sins are washed away as we call upon His name (Acts 22:16).

The second is accomplished at the Judgment Seat of Christ where we will pay for all that we have done in the Body, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10).

The first is also what Scripture calls justification by grace (Romans 3:24). And justification by faith apart from works (Gal 2:16). It is the reason why we walk on Mt. Sion with the Saints (Heb 12:22-24). It is the advantage which Christians who are baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit have over all other nations and creeds. The Sacraements are pre-Judgment events.

But the second is the basis of all justification.
a. Because only those who believe God’s promises will be justified by God in the Sacraments (Mark 16:16; 1 Cor 11:28-29).
b. And only those who prove their faith by works of love will be justified by God (Romans 2:13; Gal 5:6).
c. And of course, it is the basis of our justification before the Just Judge on the Last Day, when God will bring to light what all men have done:

1 Corinthians 4:5
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

De Maria

Deep Misunderstanding about the Bible by Fr. Robert Barron

October 1, 2013

Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church 

Lectionary: 456
Reading 1 ZEC 8:20-23

Thus says the LORD of hosts:
The Lord spoke to Zechariah
There shall yet come peoples,
the inhabitants of many cities;
and the inhabitants of one city shall approach those of another,
and say, “Come! let us go to implore the favor of the LORD”;
and, “I too will go to seek the LORD.”
Many peoples and strong nations shall come
to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem
and to implore the favor of the LORD.
Thus says the LORD of hosts:
In those days ten men of every nationality,
speaking different tongues, shall take hold,
yes, take hold of every Jew by the edge of his garment and say,

“Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”
And the Lord told Zechariah, that a day would come when men of every nation would seek the God of Israel.  And that day has come.

Responsorial Psalm PS 87:1B-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (Zec 8:23) God is with us.
His foundation upon the holy mountains
the LORD loves:
The gates of Zion,
more than any dwelling of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you,
O city of God!
R. God is with us.
I tell of Egypt and Babylon
among those that know the LORD;
Of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia:
“This man was born there.”
And of Zion they shall say:
“One and all were born in her;
And he who has established her
is the Most High LORD.”
R. God is with us.
They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled:
“This man was born there.”
And all shall sing, in their festive dance:
“My home is within you.”
R. God is with us.
This is a prophecy of the Virgin Mary, of whom Scripture says:
Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
And it is also a prophecy of the Catholic Church, which gives birth to all who seek God by the new birth of Baptism. 

Gospel LK 9:51-56

When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled,
he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,
and he sent messengers ahead of him.
On the way they entered a Samaritan village
to prepare for his reception there,
but they would not welcome him
because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.
When the disciples James and John saw this they asked,
“Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven
to consume them?”
Jesus turned and rebuked them,
and they journeyed to another village.
The people of a certain Samarian town were insulted because Jesus wanted to keep the Feast of Passover in Jerusalem according to the Law of God.  And St. James and John were insulted in turn because they rejected Jesus.  But Jesus rebuked them and kept moving to another town where they would accepted Him.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

September 30, 2013

Memorial of Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Lectionary: 455
Reading 1 ZECHARIAH 8:1-8

This word of the LORD of hosts came:

Thus says the LORD of hosts:

I am intensely jealous for Zion,
stirred to jealous wrath for her.
Thus says the LORD:
I will return to Zion,
and I will dwell within Jerusalem;
Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city,
and the mountain of the LORD of hosts,
the holy mountain.
God loves Israel.  And He promises to live with Israel always.  This is the heavenly Israel which is eternal:
Hebrews 12:22
But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Which is the Catholic Church. 
Thus says the LORD of hosts: Old men and old women,
each with staff in hand because of old age,
shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem.
The city shall be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets.
Thus says the LORD of hosts:
Even if this should seem impossible
in the eyes of the remnant of this people,
shall it in those days be impossible in my eyes also,
says the LORD of hosts?
Thus says the LORD of hosts:
Lo, I will rescue my people from the land of the rising sun,
and from the land of the setting sun.
I will bring them back to dwell within Jerusalem.
They shall be my people, and I will be their God,
with faithfulness and justice.
Jerusalem will live again and be filled with joyful people.  This is the Heavenly Jerusalem where God will wipe every tear:
Revelation 21
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.  2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.  4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
Responsorial Psalm PS 102:16-18, 19-21, 29 AND 22-23

R. (17) The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
The nations shall revere your name, O LORD,
and all the kings of the earth your glory,
When the LORD has rebuilt Zion
and appeared in his glory;
When he has regarded the prayer of the destitute,
and not despised their prayer.
R. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
Let this be written for the generation to come,
and let his future creatures praise the LORD:
“The LORD looked down from his holy height,
from heaven he beheld the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoners,
to release those doomed to die.”
R. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
The children of your servants shall abide,
and their posterity shall continue in your presence.
That the name of the LORD may be declared in Zion;
and his praise, in Jerusalem,
When the peoples gather together,
and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.
R. The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory.
The Catholic Church is the New Zion, the New Jerusalem, the fulfillment of that which God revealed to Moses:
Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
Gospel LK 9:46-50

An argument arose among the disciples
about which of them was the greatest.
Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child
and placed it by his side and said to them,
“Whoever receives this child in my name receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
For the one who is least among all of you
is the one who is the greatest.”
Jesus was trying to teach His disciples humility.
Then John said in reply,
“Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name
and we tried to prevent him
because he does not follow in our company.”
Jesus said to him,
“Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”
Two things here.  
1.  Those who preach in the name of Christ, are for the Catholic Church, whether they realize it or not.
 2.  Those who are not against the Catholic Church are for the Catholic Church.  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn - Sept 29

September 29th 2013 - 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Listen Here!
A Great Chasm
Amos 6:1, 4-7
Psalm 146:7-10
1 Timothy 6:11-16
Luke 16:19-31 (see also ‘Who is the Rich Man’)

The rich and powerful are visited with woe and exile in today’s Liturgy - not for their wealth but for their refusal to share it; not for their power but for their indifference to the suffering at their door.

The complacent leaders in today’s First Reading feast on fine foods and wines, reveling while the house of Joseph, the kingdom of Israel (see Amos 5:6), collapses around them.

The rich man in today’s Gospel also lives like a king - dressed in royal purple and fine linen (see 1 Maccabees 8:14).

The rich man symbolizes Israel’s failure to keep the Old Covenant, to heed the commandments of Moses and the prophets. This is the sin of the rulers in today’s First Reading. Born to the nation God favored first, they could claim Abraham as their father. But for their failure to give - their inheritance is taken away.

The rulers are exiled from their homeland. The rich man is punished with an exile far greater - eternity with a “great chasm” fixed between himself and God.

In this world, the rich and powerful make a name for themselves (see Genesis 11:4) and dine sumptuously, while the poor remain anonymous, refused an invitation to their feasts.

But notice that the Lord today knows Lazarus by name, and Joseph in his sufferings - while the leaders and the rich man have no name.

Today’s Liturgy is a call to repentance - to heed the warning of One who was raised from the dead. To lay hold of the eternal life He promises, we must pursue righteousness, keep the commandment of love, as Paul exhorts in today’s Epistle.

“The Lord loves the just,” we sing in today’s Psalm.

And in this Eucharist we have a foretaste of the love that will be ours in the next life - when He will raise the lowly to the heavenly banquet with Abraham and the prophets (see Luke 13:28), where we too will rest our heads on the bosom of our Lord (see John 13:23).

‘Who is the Rich Man’
Very few of us can be numbered among the rich and the powerful who have the power to exploit the poor.

So how are we to apply to our own lives the readings for the 25th and 26th Sundays in Ordinary Time (Cycle C), which are so preoccupied with questions of social justice, wealth and poverty?

These readings remind us that the law of love (see John 15:12; Romans 13:8) means that each of us in some way will be judged by the mercy we show to the poor.

As the rich man learns in the parable of Lazarus - the distance between ourselves and God in the next life may be the distance we put between ourselves and the poor in this life (see Matthew 25:31-46; James 2:8,14-17).

But we also need to hear these readings in context of the Gospel message in recent months. Recall that among the stories we’ve heard is that of the teacher who wanted to know, “Who is my neighbor?” (see Luke 10:25-37) and of the rich fool who tried to store up earthly treasures (see Luke 12:13-21).

We may not be “rich men” or exploiters of the poor, but each of us should take to heart the persistent message of the Liturgy - that what we have and desire to have can separate us from God and our neighbor; that our possessions can come to possess us; that true riches are to be found in sharing what we have with the poor; and that this will gain us what we truly desire - the inheritance of treasure in heaven.

Yours in Christ,

Scott Hahn, Ph.D.

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We hold Mary as the most perfect example of Christian love.

Thomas said:
I don't know who wrote it... But I really like it. I'd like to share it with you.

Lord Jesus, Redeemer of all, hear my prayer.For the love You bear
to those who ask forgiveness,
look mercifully on me,
as once You looked on Mary Magdalene
and on Peter who denied You.

Look on me, Lord Jesus Christ,
as You looked on the thief on his cross
and on every sinner
whom You have ever forgiven.

Look on me, merciful Lord,
as You looked on Your mother, Mary,
standing in sorrow beneath Your cross.
Let me feel in my heart her compassion for You,
and let my eyes weep for the sorrows
my sins have caused.

Call me from darkness
to my Father's house,
give me a new heart
and a place at Your side
at the banquet of Your kingdom. Amen
Lutero asks:
Explain to me why you must feel in your heart HER COMPASSION for Christ. Shouldn't this be the Holy Spirit's doing to draw you to Him and not Marys'?

Where does he say, "must"? We hold Mary as the most perfect example of Christian love. But we don't pretend we can ever love Jesus as she did.
Lutero objects: 
Shouldn't this be the Holy Spirit's doing to draw you to Him and not Marys'?
Where does Thomas say that the Holy Spirit does not draw us to Christ? It is because the Holy Spirit draws us to Christ that we request of Him the grace of loving Christ as Mary did. In order that we can love Him as perfectly as humanly possible.


De Maria

September 29, 2013

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 138
Reading 1 AMOS 6:1A, 4-7

Thus says the LORD the God of hosts:
Woe to the complacent in Zion!
Lying upon beds of ivory,
stretched comfortably on their couches,
they eat lambs taken from the flock,
and calves from the stall!
Improvising to the music of the harp,
like David, they devise their own accompaniment.
They drink wine from bowls
and anoint themselves with the best oils;
yet they are not made ill by the collapse of Joseph!
Therefore, now they shall be the first to go into exile,
and their wanton revelry shall be done away with.
Caring very important.  Do you care about others?  Do you care about God?  Here is what God says about who don't care less about anyone but themselves:
Revelation 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
And perhaps you'll say, "I'm not rich."  If you make $50,000, you are in the top 1% of income in the world.  You might be lower middle class in the U.S.  But in the world, you are filthy rich.  So, thank God and use your wealth with loving discernment.
Responsorial Psalm PS 146:7, 8-9, 9-10

R. (1b) Praise the Lord, my soul!
R. Alleluia.
Blessed he who keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
R. Alleluia.
The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
the LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
R. Alleluia.
The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
R. Alleluia.
Turn to God and do righteous deeds.  Begin to care about others and don't worry about yourself.  Scripture says:
Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Reading 2 1 TM 6:11-16

But you, man of God, pursue righteousness,
devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Compete well for the faith.
Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called
when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses.
St. Paul is speaking to St. Timothy, a man whom he elected as Bishop.  And he is urging him to continue to pursue righteousness.  But we are all people of God and we all make a public profession to obey God in front of many witnesses.  Therefore, this advice applies to us all.
I charge you before God, who gives life to all things,
and before Christ Jesus,
who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate for the noble confession,
to keep the commandment without stain or reproach
until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ
that the blessed and only ruler
will make manifest at the proper time,
the King of kings and Lord of lords,
who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light,
and whom no human being has seen or can see.
To him be honor and eternal power. Amen.
Therefore, let us all seek to do good with perseverance until the end.  And God will bless us abundantly:
Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
Gospel LK 16:19-31

Jesus said to the Pharisees:
"There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
Dives, the rich man in this story, didn't care about the poor. Scripture says:
Matt 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man's table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
Lazarus was a righteous man, but he was poor and suffered from starvation and a variety of diseases.
1 Peter 4:1  Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
And when Lazarus died, he was carried by Angels to the bosom of Abraham.  The bosom of Abraham is a euphemism for the Limbo of the Fathers, where the righteous Jews went to await the redemption of their sins:
Hebrews 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise.  40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
Hebrews 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. 
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
The netherworld is another name for Limbo.  But purgatory is a type of limbo.  It is a place or condition of being between heaven and hell.  It is very possible that Lazarus was in purgatory.
And he cried out, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am suffering torment in these flames.'
This is very interesting because 
a.  Dives, the rich man, is technically praying to Father Abraham, a saint of God most high.
b.  Dives is alive, though dead.  He is exhibiting awareness and consciousness.  Though clearly, Jesus said that he has died. 
Abraham replied,
'My child, remember that you received
what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
More interesting stuff.  
a.  Abraham doesn't say, "Dives, don't talk to me.  You need to direct your requests (i.e. prayers) through God.  This is business as usual for the Patriarch.  He knows that he is in charge.  
b.  Abraham is essentially explaining that Dives is receiving the suffering due to him.  He says to Dives that the suffering he is receiving is that which is due to him because he didn't suffer at all in his life.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go
from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’
Jesus continues depicting this life after death conversation.  And Abraham explains that they, on the good side of Limbo, are forbidden from crossing over to the bad side and vice versa.
He said, 'Then I beg you, father,
The damned do not love anyone.  That is why they are condemned.  The fact that Dives calls Abraham, father and humbles himself before Abraham, is another indication that he is not in the hell of the damned.  But is suffering in purgatory for the expiation of his sins.
send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers,
so that he may warn them,
lest they too come to this place of torment.'
And since he obviously is now learning to care for others.  He is here asking for mercy for his five brothers.  
But Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.'
But Father Abraham informs him that they have the teachings of Moses and the Prophets.  These include the Ten Commandments and many calls to righteousness.  Yet the Jews have not obeyed the Word of God.
He said, 'Oh no, father Abraham,
but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'
But Dives insists saying that his brothers don't understand because they have no knowledge of spiritual things.  But, he claims,  if a spirit were to warn them, they would believe.
Then Abraham said, 'If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'"
Abraham counters that, if they do not listen to the Word of God taught to them by Moses and the Prophets, they will not believe anyone's testimony, even if they were raised from the dead.  And Abraham is right.  Two men were resurrected from the dead. First,  Lazarus:
John 11:43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.  44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
Then Jesus:
Acts 4:10  Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.

Friday, September 27, 2013

September 28, 2013

Saturday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time 
Lectionary: 454
Reading 1 ZEC 2:5-9, 14-15A

A reading from the book of Zechariah

I, Zechariah, raised my eyes and looked:
there was a man with a measuring line in his hand.
I asked, “Where are you going?”
He answered, “To measure Jerusalem,
to see how great is its width and how great its length.”
Zechariah sees a vision of the heavenly Jerusalem.

Then the angel who spoke with me advanced,
and another angel came out to meet him and said to him,
“Run, tell this to that young man:
People will live in Jerusalem as though in open country,
because of the multitude of men and beasts in her midst.
But I will be for her an encircling wall of fire, says the LORD,
and I will be the glory in her midst.”
And he learns that in the end, Jerusalem will be God's dwelling place with His people.

Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion!
See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD.
Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day,
and they shall be his people and he will dwell among you.
This will come to fulfillment in the end of days, when the Heavenly Jerusalem will be revealed to all who love the Lord (Rev 21:2).

Responsorial Psalm JER 31:10, 11-12AB, 13

R. (see 10d) The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
Hear the word of the LORD, O nations,
proclaim it on distant isles, and say:
He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together,
he guards them as a shepherd guards his flock.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
The LORD shall ransom Jacob,
he shall redeem him from the hand of his conqueror.
Shouting, they shall mount the heights of Zion,
they shall come streaming to the LORD’s blessings.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
Then the virgins shall make merry and dance,
and young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
I will console and gladden them after their sorrows.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
This is the prophecy of the coming of Jesus Christ.  He protects those who love God and keep the Commandments (Heb 5:9).

Gospel LK 9:43B-45

While they were all amazed at his every deed,
Jesus said to his disciples,
“Pay attention to what I am telling you.
The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.”
But they did not understand this saying;
its meaning was hidden from them
so that they should not understand it,
and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
The Apostles did not realize that Jesus had to die in order to redeem the sins of the Old Testament so that the faithful Jews which had been called, could receive the gift of eternal inheritance (Heb 9:15).
Nor either, that He had to die to give us an example that we should follow in His steps (1 Pet 2:21) that we who live might live no longer for ourselves, but for Him who died for us and rose again (2 Cor 5:15). 

How to confront anti-Catholicism

Thursday, September 26, 2013

October 10, 2013

Thursday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 464
Reading 1 MAL 3:13-20B

You have defied me in word, says the LORD,
yet you ask, “What have we spoken against you?”
You have said, “It is vain to serve God,
and what do we profit by keeping his command,
And going about in penitential dress
in awe of the LORD of hosts?
God revealed to Malachai, the hypocrisy of the Israelites.
Rather must we call the proud blessed;
for indeed evildoers prosper,
and even tempt God with impunity.”
Their hypocrisy reached the heights where they called evildoers blessed.
Then they who fear the LORD spoke with one another,
and the LORD listened attentively;
And a record book was written before him
of those who fear the LORD and trust in his name.
And they shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts,
my own special possession, on the day I take action.
And I will have compassion on them,
as a man has compassion on his son who serves him.
But they who fear the Lord remained staunch and God promised He would have compassion upon them.
Then you will again see the distinction
between the just and the wicked;
Between the one who serves God,
and the one who does not serve him.
For lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven,
when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble,
And the day that is coming will set them on fire,
leaving them neither root nor branch,
says the LORD of hosts.
But for you who fear my name, there will arise
the sun of justice with its healing rays.
And God will punish the wicked and God will bless the righteous.  And in the end of days, we will clearly see the difference between the good and the wicked.

Responsorial Psalm PS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6

R. (Ps 40:5a) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.

R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.

R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Blessed is the man who trusts in God and avoids the company of the wicked.  Blessed is he who continues doing good until the end.  

Gospel LK 11:5-13

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Suppose one of you has a friend
to whom he goes at midnight and says,
‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey
and I have nothing to offer him,’
and he says in reply from within,
‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked
and my children and I are already in bed.
I cannot get up to give you anything.’
I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves
because of their friendship,
he will get up to give him whatever he needs
because of his persistence.
Pray continually, pray day and night.  Be always in union with God.

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
What father among you would hand his son a snake
when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit
to those who ask him?”
Know that you have nothing which has not been given you by God.  Not your life, not your breath, not the clothes on your back.  Therefore, if you want anything, ask God to give it to you.  Because God is the source of all that is good.


Protestants restrict fellowship to the interaction of living Christians.  Therefore, they go to their assemblies to fellowship with other Christians and to pray for them.  But Scripture tells us that when we become Christians, when we are baptized, we fellowship with the saints and angels which are in heaven.  Let's go over the Scripture in detail.  Turn to Hebrews 12:18-24.  I'm using the King James Version (KJV).  We begin where St. Paul describes the Old Testament.  He says:

18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
He is distinguishing the Old Testament from the New.  And the Old seems a very impersonal and scary relationship with God compared to the New.  What St. Paul is describing here is described originally explained in the book of Exodus:
Exodus 19:11-13 
King James Version (KJV)
11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.  12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:  13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.
So, it is a clear distinction.  The Hebrew people literally "feared" the Lord.
19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
The Hebrew people feared the Lord so much that they begged Him no longer to speak directly to them but to speak to them through Moses:
Exodus 20:19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:
Even if an animal should touch God's abode, he should die.
21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
Most astounding of all, Moses, whom God called His friend, also confessed great fear.
22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
But it is totally different in the New Testament.  When we are baptized, we enter the City of God, which is the Church.  And in it we mingle with the angels.
23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
The general assembly is the Mass and those who participate in the Mass are the Church.  But the Church of the first born is the company of Saints whose names are written in heaven.  That means we are in the company of St. Mary the Mother of God, St. Joseph her spouse, Sts. Peter, James the greater, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Jude the brother of James, Simon, James the less, Matthew, Mark, Luke, the early church fathers, the canonized saints etc. etc.
We are in company with them! 
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
And we are in the company of our Lord!
This is the fellowship to which you have come when you become a Catholic.  This is why we are permitted to pray to and with the Saints who have come before us. Because we already commune with the Saints.  Just as your neighbor will pray for you, so will your brother in Christ who is already on Mount Sion with Christ.


De Maria

September 27, 2013

Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest 

Lectionary: 453
Reading 1 HG 2:1-9

A reading from the book of the Prophet Haggai

In the second year of King Darius,
on the twenty-first day of the seventh month,
the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai:
Tell this to the governor of Judah,
Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel,
and to the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak,
and to the remnant of the people:

Who is left among you
that saw this house in its former glory?
And how do you see it now?
Does it not seem like nothing in your eyes?
But now take courage, Zerubbabel, says the LORD,
and take courage, Joshua, high priest, son of Jehozadak,
And take courage, all you people of the land,
says the LORD, and work!
For I am with you, says the LORD of hosts.
This is the pact that I made with you
when you came out of Egypt,
And my spirit continues in your midst;
do not fear!
For thus says the LORD of hosts:
One moment yet, a little while,
and I will shake the heavens and the earth,
the sea and the dry land.
I will shake all the nations,
and the treasures of all the nations will come in,
And I will fill this house with glory,
says the LORD of hosts.
Mine is the silver and mine the gold,
says the LORD of hosts.
Greater will be the future glory of this house
than the former, says the LORD of hosts;
And in this place I will give you peace,
says the LORD of hosts!
The Lord began to gather the remnant of Israel and thus gave them permission to rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem.

Responsorial Psalm PS 43:1, 2, 3, 4

R. (5) Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.
Do me justice, O God, and fight my fight
against a faithless people;
from the deceitful and impious man rescue me.

R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.
For you, O God, are my strength.
Why do you keep me so far away?
Why must I go about in mourning,
with the enemy oppressing me?

R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.
Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling place.

R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.
Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;
Then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God!

R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.
Stay faithful to God and He will protect you (2 Sam 22:3).  Follow His commands and He will show you mercy (Exodus 20:6).  

Gospel LK 9:18-22

Once when Jesus was praying in solitude,
and the disciples were with him,
he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah;
still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’”
Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.”
He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.

He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”
Christ asked the disciples who they thought that He is.  And St. Peter immediately responded.  "You are the Messiah of God!"  This is why Jesus Christ appointed him the Rock upon which the Church was founded (Matt 16:18-19).

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

September 26, 2013

Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time 
Lectionary: 452
Reading 1 HG 1:1-8

A reading from the book of the Prophet Haggai

On the first day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius,
The word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai
to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel,
and to the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak:

Thus says the LORD of hosts:
This people says:
“The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD.”
(Then this word of the LORD came through Haggai, the prophet:)
Is it time for you to dwell in your own paneled houses,
while this house lies in ruins?

Now thus says the LORD of hosts:
Consider your ways!
You have sown much, but have brought in little;
you have eaten, but have not been satisfied;
You have drunk, but have not been exhilarated;
have clothed yourselves, but not been warmed;
And whoever earned wages
earned them for a bag with holes in it.

Thus says the LORD of hosts:
Consider your ways!
Go up into the hill country;
bring timber, and build the house
That I may take pleasure in it
and receive my glory, says the LORD.
In the past few days, God has been speaking through the prophet Ezra the very same message.  Both prophets were alive and active in the same period and spoke of the rebuilding of the Temple.

Responsorial Psalm PS 149:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6A AND 9B

R. (see 4a) The Lord takes delight in his people.
Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people,
and he adorns the lowly with victory.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy upon their couches;
Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
God loves those who love Him (Deuteronomy 7:9).
Gospel LK 9:7-9

Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening,
and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying,
“John has been raised from the dead”;
others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”;
still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.”
But Herod said, “John I beheaded.
Who then is this about whom I hear such things?”
And he kept trying to see him.
Herod's conscience was troubling him.  Because he had killed a prophet of God, St. John the Baptist.  And when he heard of Jesus, he thought maybe Jesus was St. John come back to life.

The Doctrine of Indulgences is based upon the Teaching of Our Lord:

Luteros said:
This article explains why indulgences can be EARNED in the Catholic Church.
What do you think? I am so amazed I have no comment. The Lutherans were in a state of shock.
What do I think?  I think the New York Times needs to do its homework.  The Catholic Church never stopped giving plenary indulgences.  That New York Times article is completely flawed.  The Doctrine of Indulgences is based upon the Teaching of Our Lord:

Here's what our Lord said to the Rich Young Man:Matthew 19:

King James Version (KJV)

20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

Here's another:
Luke 11:41

King James Version (KJV)

41 But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.

Catholic doctrine is perfectly in line with Scripture.

Lutero also said:
I doubt "the Church" returned the money back to those who bought their indulgences. They went ahead and built the Vatican and palaces with it though.

And what is wrong with that? Have you not read how much Solomon paid for the Temple of God? Have you not read how much Moses paid for the Ark of the Covenant?


De Maria

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Memorize Scripture - 2 Cor 9:7

I love this Scripture.

2 Corinthians 9:7
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

The only part I normally remember is "God loves a cheerful giver."  Then I say, "What verse is that?"

But now, I'm going to visualize 2 hearts (i.e. 2 Cor) baked into chocolate brownies, baked because of the b which translates to 9 and the k which translates to 7.  And I' see myself cheerfully handing them out to my fellow chocolate lovers.

That's easy and accomplishes the purpose I most desired there.

Now, let's see what I can do with the rest.
1.  Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, (visualize porpoises (dolphins) in the hearts of all men).

2.  so let him give - And all these men with porpoises in their heart are giving away baked brownies cheerfully.

3.  not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. - and all of them give cheerfully.

Now from memory:

2 Cor 9:7
Every man according to the purposes of his heart, let him give, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Let's compare:

2 Corinthians 9:7
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

Pretty good!


De Maria

September 25, 2013

Wednesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time 
Lectionary: 451
Reading 1 EZRA 9:5-9

At the time of the evening sacrifice, I, Ezra, rose in my wretchedness,
and with cloak and mantle torn I fell on my knees,
stretching out my hands to the LORD, my God.

I said: “My God, I am too ashamed and confounded to raise my face to you,
O my God, for our wicked deeds are heaped up above our heads
and our guilt reaches up to heaven.
From the time of our fathers even to this day
great has been our guilt,
and for our wicked deeds we have been delivered up,
we and our kings and our priests,
to the will of the kings of foreign lands,
to the sword, to captivity, to pillage, and to disgrace,
as is the case today.
Ezra prayed for the people of Israel that God might forgive their sins.

“And now, but a short time ago, mercy came to us from the LORD, our God,
who left us a remnant and gave us a stake in his holy place;
thus our God has brightened our eyes
and given us relief in our servitude.
For slaves we are, but in our servitude our God has not abandoned us;
rather, he has turned the good will
of the kings of Persia toward us.
Thus he has given us new life
to raise again the house of our God and restore its ruins,
and has granted us a fence in Judah and Jerusalem.”
And he recognizes the mercy of God in leaving a remnant of righteous Jews to continue the Judaic religion.

Responsorial Psalm TB 13:2, 3-4A, 4BEFGHN, 7-8

R. (1b) Blessed be God, who lives for ever.
He scourges and then has mercy;
he casts down to the depths of the nether world,
and he brings up from the great abyss.
No one can escape his hand.
R. Blessed be God, who lives for ever.
Praise him, you children of Israel, before the Gentiles,
for though he has scattered you among them,
he has shown you his greatness even there.
R. Blessed be God, who lives for ever.
So now consider what he has done for you,
and praise him with full voice.
Bless the Lord of righteousness,
and exalt the King of ages.
R. Blessed be God, who lives for ever.
In the land of my exile I praise him
and show his power and majesty to a sinful nation.
R. Blessed be God, who lives for ever.
Bless the Lord, all you his chosen ones,
and may all of you praise his majesty.
Celebrate days of gladness, and give him praise.
R. Blessed be God, who lives for ever.
We are not bastards who have no Father in heaven.  God punishes us as a Father, therefore, let us accept His discipline and be saved (Heb 12:8).

Gospel LK 9:1-6

Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority
over all demons and to cure diseases,
and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God
and to heal the sick.
He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey,
neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money,
and let no one take a second tunic.
Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there.
And as for those who do not welcome you,
when you leave that town,
shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.”
Then they set out and went from village to village
proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.
You have received from God freely.  Therefore freely give in return.  God's treasures are to be shared.  Therefore give joyfully.  For God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7).

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Catholic Church is the true Church

Lutero said:

Yes, the true church has faithfully taught the gospel through the ages since it was received. The false RCC church has taught it's own perverted gospel and persecuted those who taught the true and refused to submit to the false.
The false Church is every variant of Protestantism. It is the Catholic Church which is the true Church of Jesus Christ:
Ephesians 3:10

King James Version (KJV)

10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,


De Maria

September 24, 2013

Tuesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time 
Lectionary: 450
Reading 1 EZR 6:7-8, 12B, 14-20

A reading from the book of Ezra

King Darius issued an order to the officials
of West-of-Euphrates:
“Let the governor and the elders of the Jews
continue the work on that house of God;
they are to rebuild it on its former site.
I also issue this decree
concerning your dealing with these elders of the Jews
in the rebuilding of that house of God:
From the royal revenue, the taxes of West-of-Euphrates,
let these men be repaid for their expenses, in full and without delay.
I, Darius, have issued this decree;
let it be carefully executed.”
Again, a Pagan King does the will of God and pays the Jews who are in the service of God.

The elders of the Jews continued to make progress in the building,
supported by the message of the prophets,
Haggai and Zechariah, son of Iddo.
They finished the building according to the command
of the God of Israel
and the decrees of Cyrus and Darius
and of Artaxerxes, king of Persia.
They completed this house on the third day of the month Adar,
in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.
The children of Israel–priests, Levites,
and the other returned exiles–
celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy.
For the dedication of this house of God,
they offered one hundred bulls,
two hundred rams, and four hundred lambs,
together with twelve he-goats as a sin-offering for all Israel,
in keeping with the number of the tribes of Israel.
Finally, they set up the priests in their classes
and the Levites in their divisions
for the service of God in Jerusalem,
as is prescribed in the book of Moses.

The exiles kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.
The Levites, every one of whom had purified himself for the occasion,
sacrificed the Passover for the rest of the exiles,
for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.
Until, the Jews had rebuilt the Temple of Jerusalem and began again to keep their Faith as God intended.

Responsorial Psalm PS 122:1-2, 3-4AB, 4CD-5

R. (1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
The Catholic Church is the House of the Lord (1 Tim 3:15).  It is the heavenly Jerusalem (Heb 12:22-24) and we all enter this heavenly kingdom when we are baptized (Mark 16:16).

Gospel LK 8:19-21

The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him
but were unable to join him because of the crowd.
He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside
and they wish to see you.”
He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers
are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”
Mary is the perfect example of the one who hears the Word of God and acts upon it (Luke 1:42-44).

Sunday, September 22, 2013

September 23, 2013

Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest 

Lectionary: 449

Reading 1 EZR 1:1-6

A reading from the book of Ezra

In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia,
in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah,
the LORD inspired King Cyrus of Persia
to issue this proclamation throughout his kingdom,
both by word of mouth and in writing:
The Lord inspired a pagan King to do His will.
“Thus says Cyrus, king of Persia:
‘All the kingdoms of the earth
the LORD, the God of heaven, has given to me,
and he has also charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem,
which is in Judah.
Therefore, whoever among you belongs to any part of his people,
let him go up, and may his God be with him!
Let everyone who has survived, in whatever place he may have dwelt,
be assisted by the people of that place
with silver, gold, goods, and cattle,
together with free-will offerings
for the house of God in Jerusalem.’”
And the pagan King obeyed.

Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin
and the priests and Levites–
everyone, that is, whom God had inspired to do so–
prepared to go up to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem.
All their neighbors gave them help in every way,
with silver, gold, goods, and cattle,
and with many precious gifts
besides all their free-will offerings.
And God inspired many people to act of their own free will and accomplish His will.

Responsorial Psalm PS 126:1B-2AB, 2CD-3, 4-5, 6

R. (3) The Lord has done marvels for us.

When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.

R. The Lord has done marvels for us.

Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.

R. The Lord has done marvels for us.

Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.

R. The Lord has done marvels for us.

Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.

R. The Lord has done marvels for us.
God has truly done wonderful things for us.  Even the everyday common things we do are wonderful and beyond comprehension.  Such as breathing.  But there are even more sublime things than that.  Because we are aware that we breathe.  But we are not aware of the circulation of the blood in our bodies.  Nor how the nourishment of each cell in our bodies is accomplished.  God has done marvels for us.

Gospel LK 8:16-18

Jesus said to the crowd:
“No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel
or sets it under a bed;
rather, he places it on a lampstand
so that those who enter may see the light.
For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible,
and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.
Take care, then, how you hear.
To anyone who has, more will be given,
and from the one who has not,
even what he seems to have will be taken away.”
Don't hide your faith.  Let it be seen.  But not as the hypocrites.  But let it be seen by God who will reward you.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sunday Bible Reflections - September 22nd 2013 - 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn

-Read and listen to Dr. Scott Hahn's reflections on this Sunday's readings-

Listen Here!
Prudent Stewards
Amos 8:4-7
Psalm 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8
1 Timothy 2:1-8
Luke 16:1-13

The steward in today’s Gospel confronts the reality that he can’t go on living the way he has been. He is under judgment, must give account for what he has done.

The exploiters of the poor in today’s First Reading are also about to be pulled down, thrust from their stations (see Isaiah 22:19). Servants of mammon or money, they’re so in love with wealth that they reduce the poor to objects, despise the new moons and sabbaths - the observances and holy days of God (see Leviticus 23:24; Exodus 20:8).

Their only hope is to follow the steward’s path. He is no model of repentance. But he makes a prudent calculation - to use his last hours in charge of his master’s property to show mercy to others, to relieve their debts.

He is a child of this world, driven by a purely selfish motive - to make friends and be welcomed into the homes of his master’s debtors. Yet his prudence is commended as an example to us, the children of light (see 1 Thessalonians 5:5; Ephesians 5:8). We too must realize, as the steward does, that what we have is not honestly ours, but what in truth belongs to another, our Master.

All the mammon in the world could not have paid the debt we owe our Master. So He paid it for us, gave His life as a ransom for all, as we hear in today’s Epistle.

God wants everyone to be saved, even kings and princes, even the lovers of money (see Luke 16:14). But we cannot serve two Masters. By his grace, we should choose to be, as we sing in today’s Psalm - “servants of the Lord.”

We serve Him by using what He has entrusted us with to give alms, to lift the lowly from the dust and dunghills of this world. By this we will gain what is ours, be welcomed into eternal dwellings, the many mansions of the Father’s house (see John 14:2).

Yours in Christ,

Scott Hahn, Ph.D.

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September 22, 2013

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time 
Lectionary: 135
Reading 1

From the holy book of Amos 8:4-7

Hear this, you who trample upon the needy
and destroy the poor of the land!
“When will the new moon be over,” you ask,
“that we may sell our grain,
and the sabbath, that we may display the wheat?
We will diminish the ephah,
add to the shekel,
and fix our scales for cheating!
We will buy the lowly for silver,
and the poor for a pair of sandals;
even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!”
The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
Never will I forget a thing they have done!
Men worship the all mighty dollar to the extent they will take advantage of their brethren in order to make a profit.  They worship the all might dollar when they should be taking time to worship God and give thanks for their success.  But this is a grave sin before God.  

Responsorial Psalm PS 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8

R. (cf. 1a, 7b) Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
R. Alleluia.

Praise, you servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD.
Blessed be the name of the LORD
both now and forever.

R. Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
R. Alleluia.

High above all nations is the LORD;
above the heavens is his glory.
Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high
and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?

R. Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
R. Alleluia.

He raises up the lowly from the dust;
from the dunghill he lifts up the poor
to seat them with princes,
with the princes of his own people.

R. Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
R. Alleluia.
A man can't have two masters. He will love one and despise the other.  Therefore, let us turn to God and despise money, that it may be well with us when we come before God in the Judgment.

Reading 2 1 TM 2:1-8

First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers,
petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone,
for kings and for all in authority,
that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life
in all devotion and dignity.
St. Paul admonishes us to pray for our leaders even in earthly matters.  
This is good and pleasing to God our savior,
who wills everyone to be saved
and to come to knowledge of the truth.
Because God wants all men to be saved.  And our prayers will release the grace to accomplish conversions.
For there is one God.
There is also one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus,
who gave himself as ransom for all.
Jesus Christ is the one mediator by nature.  He is God and man, therefore, in Himself He naturally bridges mankind to the Divine.  But we are mediators by grace.  In the first verses, St. Paul admonishes us to mediate between Christ and our fellow man.
This was the testimony at the proper time.
For this I was appointed preacher and apostle
— I am speaking the truth, I am not lying —,
teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray,
lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.
Therefore, wherever we go, we should pray for all people and remain in peace with our neighbors.

Gospel LK 16:1-13

Jesus said to his disciples,
“A rich man had a steward
who was reported to him for squandering his property.
This is the parable of the unfaithful steward.  The Rich Man is God.  We are all "stewards" of God's gifts.  Therefore it is about us and how we should handle that which God gives us.
He summoned him and said,
‘What is this I hear about you?
Prepare a full account of your stewardship,
because you can no longer be my steward.’
God calls us to judgement.  Something like this could happen to a man who survives a heart attack.  An examination of conscience would be very important then.  But also, every night before we go to sleep.  Because we are not guaranteed to wake up.
The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do,
now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?
I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.
I know what I shall do so that,
when I am removed from the stewardship,
they may welcome me into their homes.’
Prior to this moment, the steward used all the masters resources for himself.  
He called in his master’s debtors one by one.
We are the steward.  We are also the debtors.  
To the first he said,
‘How much do you owe my master?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’
He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note.
Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’
Then to another the steward said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’
He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’
The steward said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note;
write one for eighty.’
From then on, the Steward began to use the Master's resources for the good of his fellow man.  In this way, he made friends who would help him out when he was in need.
Spiritually speaking, we are the Steward and we must use God's resources not just for us but for our neighbors.  In so doing, we will make friends who will use God's resources for themselves and for us and who will pray for us when we are in need.
And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.
God is well pleased when we treat each other with love.
“For the children of this world
are more prudent in dealing with their own generation
than are the children of light.
The children of this world are unbelievers.  And they party and have fun all the time.  Their motto is, " let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die."  
And frequently, Christians are morose and sad looking from too much fasting.  But, although fasting is good, we must learn to do things in moderation.  We must also be happy and rejoice in the Lord and His goodness.  And we must share that goodness with all whom we meet.  Then God will be well pleased. 
I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth,
so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
Dishonest wealth is a reference to things that we see as wealth but which aren't.  In other words, material things.  The things which men count as wealth will rot.  But we can use the material things to make friends in this life.  And when we die, we will find those friends waiting for us in before God's Judgment seat.  And they will there speak on our behalf for helping them when they were in need.
The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
Those who can be trusted with little things can also be trusted with big things.
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.
Those who can't be trusted with little things certainly can't be trusted with big things.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
And if we can't be trusted with that which seems worthwhile but isn't, silver, gold and other forms of material wealth.  How can we be trusted with people's hearts and souls?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
And if we can't be trusted with that which belongs to God and everything belongs to God. How can we be trusted with our own heart and soul?  
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and mammon.”
We can't serve two masters.  We will love one and despise the other.  We either serve God and despise money or love money and despise God.   Therefore, let us turn to God and away from the materials of this world and we shall be saved.
The secondary reading below is a subset of the primary.  No add'l commentary necessary.

Or LK 16:10-13

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and mammon.”

Friday, September 20, 2013

September 21, 2013

Lectionary: 643
Reading 1 EPH 4:1-7, 11-13

Brothers and sisters:
I, a prisoner for the Lord,
urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,
with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit
through the bond of peace:
St. Paul is calling all Christians to live in accordance with their conversion.  Those who believe in Jesus Christ should live in accordance with the Commandments of God.
one Body and one Spirit,
as you were also called to the one hope of your call;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all,
who is over all and through all and in all.
When we accept this call and are Baptized, we become one with Christ.

But grace was given to each of us
according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
And each of us received the grace of God according to the measure of our faith.

And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets,
others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,
to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,
for building up the Body of Christ,
until we all attain to the unity of faith
and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,
to the extent of the full stature of Christ.
Each of our gifts is unique.  All that we do we should do in the name of Christ.  

Responsorial Psalm PS 19:2-3, 4-5

R. (5) Their message goes out through all the earth.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.

R. Their message goes out through all the earth.

Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.

R. Their message goes out through all the earth.
The message of God's love has been spread throughout the world.  Even those who have never seen a Bible or a Church have the message of God written in their hearts.

Gospel MT 9:9-13

As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed him.
The Apostle, St. Matthew, was a tax collector.  When Jesus called, he got up immediately and followed Him.
While he was at table in his house,
many tax collectors and sinners came
and sat with Jesus and his disciples.
Jesus went to St. Matthews house to dine.  And many who dined there were outcasts of the Jews.  
The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples,
“Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
The Jews saw this and frowned, because it was against the Old Law.
He heard this and said,
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
But Jesus said, "I accept them because I am the Physician.  Those who are well do not need a doctor.  I came to save sinners to repentance."

Thursday, September 19, 2013

September 20, 2013

Lectionary: 447
Reading 1 1 TM 6:2C-12

Teach and urge these things.

Still speaking to St. Timothy, St. Paul urges him to keep teaching.
Whoever teaches something different
and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ
and the religious teaching
is conceited, understanding nothing,
and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes.
This is a description of the Protestants today.  It is the Catholic Church which teaches the words of Jesus Christ infallibly, but they continue to dispute the Word of God, replacing it instead with their man made traditions.
From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions,
and mutual friction among people with corrupted minds,
who are deprived of the truth,
supposing religion to be a means of gain.
We see this clearly in the multiplication of the Protestant sects, which continually divide and multiply because of rivalries and in fighting.
Indeed, religion with contentment is a great gain.
For we brought nothing into the world,
just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it.
If we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that.
Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into a trap
and into many foolish and harmful desires,
which plunge them into ruin and destruction.
For the love of money is the root of all evils,
and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith
and have pierced themselves with many pains.
This is important for everyone.  It is God who decides who is rich and who is poor.  Being rich in this life is a severe test of faith.  It may seem like  something desirable, but it is better to live in utter poverty in this life and with God in the nest, than to live in richness in this life and condemned to eternal punishment in the next.  You can't love God and money.  For you will wind up despising one and loving the other.  Therefore, love God and despise money.  God will take care of all you need.
But you, man of God, avoid all this.
Instead, pursue righteousness, devotion,
faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
Compete well for the faith.
Lay hold of eternal life,
to which you were called when you made the noble confession
in the presence of many witnesses.
Amen!  Seek righteousness and purity in this life.  And you will be blessed.  For God is not unrighteous as to forget your works of love in His name.

Responsorial Psalm PS 49:6-7, 8-10, 17-18, 19-20

R. Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!

Why should I fear in evil days
when my wicked ensnarers ring me round?
They trust in their wealth;
the abundance of their riches is their boast.

R. Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!

Yet in no way can a man redeem himself,
or pay his own ransom to God;
Too high is the price to redeem one’s life; he would never have enough
to remain alive always and not see destruction.

R. Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!

Fear not when a man grows rich,
when the wealth of his house becomes great,
For when he dies, he shall take none of it;
his wealth shall not follow him down.

R. Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!

Though in his lifetime he counted himself blessed,
“They will praise you for doing well for yourself,”
He shall join the circle of his forebears
who shall never more see light.

R. Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!
Be rich in righteousness, faithfulness and the love of God.  Be poor in self pride and self righteousness.  Put all your hope in God and you will be saved.

Gospel LK 8:1-3

Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another,
preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God.
Accompanying him were the Twelve
and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities,
Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza,
Susanna, and many others
who provided for them out of their resources.
Many holy people followed Jesus and His Apostles.  Many of them were women and they supported the group out of their funds.