Daily Mass readings and feast days

Discussion in 'Scriptural Thoughts' started by Waiting by the window, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. January 18
    Saturday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

    Reading 1 1 Sm 9:1-4, 17-19; 10:1
    There was a stalwart man from Benjamin named Kish,
    who was the son of Abiel, son of Zeror,
    son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite.
    He had a son named Saul, who was a handsome young man.
    There was no other child of Israel more handsome than Saul;
    he stood head and shoulders above the people.

    Now the asses of Saul’s father, Kish, had wandered off.
    Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the servants with you
    and go out and hunt for the asses.”
    Accordingly they went through the hill country of Ephraim,
    and through the land of Shalishah.
    Not finding them there,
    they continued through the land of Shaalim without success.
    They also went through the land of Benjamin,
    but they failed to find the animals.

    When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the LORD assured him,
    “This is the man of whom I told you; he is to govern my people.”

    Saul met Samuel in the gateway and said,
    “Please tell me where the seer lives.”
    Samuel answered Saul: “I am the seer.
    Go up ahead of me to the high place and eat with me today.
    In the morning, before dismissing you,
    I will tell you whatever you wish.”

    Then, from a flask he had with him, Samuel poured oil on Saul’s head;
    he also kissed him, saying:
    “The LORD anoints you commander over his heritage.
    You are to govern the LORD’s people Israel,
    and to save them from the grasp of their enemies roundabout.

    “This will be the sign for you
    that the LORD has anointed you commander over his heritage.”

    Responsorial Psalm 21:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
    R. (2a) Lord, in your strength the king is glad.
    O LORD, in your strength the king is glad;
    in your victory how greatly he rejoices!
    You have granted him his heart’s desire;
    you refused not the wish of his lips.
    R. Lord, in your strength the king is glad.
    For you welcomed him with goodly blessings,
    you placed on his head a crown of pure gold.
    He asked life of you: you gave him
    length of days forever and ever.
    R. Lord, in your strength the king is glad.
    Great is his glory in your victory;
    majesty and splendor you conferred upon him.
    For you made him a blessing forever;
    you gladdened him with the joy of your face.
    R. Lord, in your strength the king is glad.

    Alleluia Lk 4:18
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor
    and to proclaim liberty to captives.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mk 2:13-17
    Jesus went out along the sea.
    All the crowd came to him and he taught them.
    As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus,
    sitting at the customs post.
    Jesus said to him, “Follow me.”
    And he got up and followed Jesus.
    While he was at table in his house,
    many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples;
    for there were many who followed him.
    Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that Jesus was eating with sinners
    and tax collectors and said to his disciples,
    “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
    Jesus heard this and said to them,
    “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
    I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

    Feast day of Saint Prisca
    Prisca was a young Roman woman tortured and executed for her Christian faith in about the year 270. She is revered as a pre-schism Western saint and martyr by the Orthodox Church and as a saint and a martyr by the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.
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  2. January 19
    Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

    Reading 1 Is 49:3, 5-6
    The LORD said to me: You are my servant,
    Israel, through whom I show my glory.
    Now the LORD has spoken
    who formed me as his servant from the womb,
    that Jacob may be brought back to him
    and Israel gathered to him;
    and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
    and my God is now my strength!
    It is too little, the LORD says, for you to be my servant,
    to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
    and restore the survivors of Israel;
    I will make you a light to the nations,
    that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10
    R/ (8a and 9a) Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
    I have waited, waited for the LORD,
    and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.
    And he put a new song into my mouth,
    a hymn to our God.
    R/ Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
    Sacrifice or offering you wished not,
    but ears open to obedience you gave me.
    Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
    then said I, “Behold I come.”
    R/ Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
    “In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
    to do your will, O my God, is my delight,
    and your law is within my heart!”
    R/ Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
    I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
    I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
    R/ Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.

    Reading 2 1 Cor 1:1-3
    Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
    and Sosthenes our brother,
    to the church of God that is in Corinth,
    to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy,
    with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.
    Grace to you and peace from God our Father
    and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Alleluia Jn 1:14a, 12a
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us.
    To those who accepted him,
    he gave power to become children of God.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Jn 1:29-34
    John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
    “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
    He is the one of whom I said,
    ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me
    because he existed before me.’
    I did not know him,
    but the reason why I came baptizing with water
    was that he might be made known to Israel.”
    John testified further, saying,
    “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven
    and remain upon him.
    I did not know him,
    but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me,
    ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain,
    he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
    Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”

    Feast day of Saint Wulstan, Bishop
    Wulstan, a Benedictine monk, was one of the most outstanding figures in the religious history of England. Born about 1009, he spent about 25 years in a monastery in Worcester where he became highly regarded for his asceticism and humility. In 1062 he reluctantly accepted the office of Bishop of Worcester and went on to administer it with great effectiveness till his death in 1095. Together with Archbishop Lanfranc of Canterbury, he succeeded in putting to an end the slave trade that flourished between England and Ireland. In the secular struggles of the time, this saintly man assisted William I against the Barons and William II against the Welsh, and refused to resign in the face of William the Conqueror. He inaugurated the custom of pastoral visitations in England. (from Lives of the Saints)
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  3. January 20
    Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

    Reading 1 1 Sm 15:16-23
    Samuel said to Saul:
    “Stop! Let me tell you what the LORD said to me last night.”
    Saul replied, “Speak!”
    Samuel then said: “Though little in your own esteem,
    are you not leader of the tribes of Israel?
    The LORD anointed you king of Israel and sent you on a mission, saying,
    ‘Go and put the sinful Amalekites under a ban of destruction.
    Fight against them until you have exterminated them.’
    Why then have you disobeyed the LORD?
    You have pounced on the spoil, thus displeasing the LORD.”
    Saul answered Samuel: “I did indeed obey the LORD
    and fulfill the mission on which the LORD sent me.
    I have brought back Agag, and I have destroyed Amalek under the ban.
    But from the spoil the men took sheep and oxen,
    the best of what had been banned,
    to sacrifice to the LORD their God in Gilgal.”
    But Samuel said:
    “Does the LORD so delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
    as in obedience to the command of the LORD?
    Obedience is better than sacrifice,
    and submission than the fat of rams.
    For a sin like divination is rebellion,
    and presumption is the crime of idolatry.
    Because you have rejected the command of the LORD,
    he, too, has rejected you as ruler.”

    Responsorial Psalm 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21 and 23
    R. (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
    “Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
    for your burnt offerings are before me always.
    I take from your house no bullock,
    no goats out of your fold.”
    R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
    “Why do you recite my statutes,
    and profess my covenant with your mouth,
    Though you hate discipline
    and cast my words behind you?”
    R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
    “When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
    Or do you think that I am like yourself?
    I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.
    He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
    and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.”
    R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

    Alleluia Hb 4:12
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    The word of God is living and effective,
    able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mk 2:18-22
    The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast.
    People came to Jesus and objected,
    “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast,
    but your disciples do not fast?”
    Jesus answered them,
    “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?
    As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast.
    But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
    and then they will fast on that day.
    No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak.
    If he does, its fullness pulls away,
    the new from the old, and the tear gets worse.
    Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
    Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins,
    and both the wine and the skins are ruined.
    Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”

    feast day of Saint Fabian, Pope, martyr
    Pope Fabian was the Bishop of Rome from 10 January 236 to his death in 250, succeeding Anterus. He is famous for the miraculous nature of his election, in which a dove is said to have descended on his head to mark him as the Holy Spirit's unexpected choice to become the next pope. As pope, he sent Dionysius and other preachers of the Gospel into Gaul, and condemned Privatus, the originator of a new heresy in Africa. St. Cyprian called Pope Fabian an incomparable man. He suffered martyrdom on 20 January 250, in the persecution under the Emperor Decius.

    feast day also of Saint Sebastian, martyr, patron of athletes
    Sebastian was born at Narbonne in Gaul, educated in Milan, and martyred at Rome about the year 284. It is believed he entered the army at Rome, about the year 283, in order to privately render assistance to the martyrs. When Diocletian left for the East, Sebastian continued to enjoy the esteem of Maximian, a coadjutor governor in the Empire. Sebastian prudently concealed his faith, but he was detected and accused before Diocletian, who condemned him to be shot to death by arrows. He was tied to a tree and shot with arrows, though this did not kill him. Restored to health by the care of a pious widow, he boldly appeared before the Emperor and reproached him for his persecution of Christians. The Emperor, recovering from his surprise at seeing Sebastian alive, commanded that he be beaten to death with clubs. His body was thrown in a sewer, but a pious widow had it privately removed and buried it in the catacombs.
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  4. Sam

    Sam Powers

    Oh, woe is me!:eek:
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  5. Sam, that is so funny that you highlighted that because since today is MLK holiday, I was able to go to Mass, and that exact portion of the first reading stood out to me as well.

    But Samuel said:
    “Does the LORD so delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
    as in obedience to the command of the LORD?
    Obedience is better than sacrifice,
    and submission than the fat of rams.
    For a sin like divination is rebellion,
    and presumption is the crime of idolatry.

    Because you have rejected the command of the LORD,
    he, too, has rejected you as ruler.”

    God bless you!
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  6. January 21
    Memorial of Saint Agnes, virgin and martyr

    Reading 1 1 Sm 16:1-13
    The LORD said to Samuel:
    “How long will you grieve for Saul,
    whom I have rejected as king of Israel?
    Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way.
    I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem,
    for I have chosen my king from among his sons.”
    But Samuel replied:
    “How can I go?
    Saul will hear of it and kill me.”
    To this the LORD answered:
    “Take a heifer along and say,
    ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’
    Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I myself will tell you what to do;
    you are to anoint for me the one I point out to you.”

    Samuel did as the LORD had commanded him.
    When he entered Bethlehem,
    the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and inquired,
    “Is your visit peaceful, O seer?”
    He replied:
    “Yes! I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.
    So cleanse yourselves and join me today for the banquet.”
    He also had Jesse and his sons cleanse themselves
    and invited them to the sacrifice.
    As they came, he looked at Eliab and thought,
    “Surely the LORD’s anointed is here before him.”
    But the LORD said to Samuel:
    “Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature,
    because I have rejected him.
    Not as man sees does God see,
    because he sees the appearance
    but the LORD looks into the heart.”
    Then Jesse called Abinadab and presented him before Samuel,
    who said, “The LORD has not chosen him.”
    Next Jesse presented Shammah, but Samuel said,
    “The LORD has not chosen this one either.”
    In the same way Jesse presented seven sons before Samuel,
    but Samuel said to Jesse,
    “The LORD has not chosen any one of these.”
    Then Samuel asked Jesse,
    “Are these all the sons you have?”
    Jesse replied,
    “There is still the youngest, who is tending the sheep.”
    Samuel said to Jesse,
    “Send for him;
    we will not begin the sacrificial banquet until he arrives here.”
    Jesse sent and had the young man brought to them.
    He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold
    and making a splendid appearance.
    The LORD said,
    “There–anoint him, for this is he!”
    Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand,
    anointed him in the midst of his brothers;
    and from that day on, the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David.
    When Samuel took his leave, he went to Ramah.

    Responsorial Psalm 89:20, 21-22, 27-28
    R. (21a) I have found David, my servant.
    Once you spoke in a vision,
    and to your faithful ones you said:
    “On a champion I have placed a crown;
    over the people I have set a youth.”
    R. I have found David, my servant.
    “I have found David, my servant;
    with my holy oil I have anointed him,
    That my hand may be always with him,
    and that my arm may make him strong.”
    R. I have found David, my servant.
    “He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
    my God, the Rock, my savior.’
    And I will make him the first-born,
    highest of the kings of the earth.”
    R. I have found David, my servant.

    Alleluia Eph Eph 1:17-18
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
    enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
    that we may know what is the hope
    that belongs to our call.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mk 2:23-28
    As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath,
    his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain.
    At this the Pharisees said to him,
    “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?”
    He said to them,
    “Have you never read what David did
    when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry?
    How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest
    and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat,
    and shared it with his companions?”
    Then he said to them,
    “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
    That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”

    Feast day of Saint Agnes, Virgin and martyr, patron of children devoted to Mary
    According to tradition, Agnes was a member of the Roman nobility, born in AD 291 and raised in an early Christian family. She suffered martyrdom at the age of twelve or thirteen during the reign of the Emperor Diocletian, on 21 January 304.

    A beautiful young girl from a wealthy family, Agnes had many suitors of high rank, and the young men, slighted by her resolute devotion to religious purity, submitted her name to the authorities as a follower of Christianity. Agnes told them that she had chosen a Spouse who could not be seen with mortal eyes. She said that Christ chose her first and He made her soul beautiful with the jewels of grace and virtue and exclaiming that she belonged to Him whom the angels serve.

    The Prefect Sempronius condemned Agnes to be chained, but Agnes' wrists were so small that the chains slipped off. Then it was ordered that she be dragged naked through the streets to a brothel. In one account, as she prayed, her hair grew and covered her body. It was also said that a man that attempted to rape her was immediately struck blind. The son of the prefect was struck dead but revived after she prayed for him, causing her release. There commenced a trial from which Sempronius recused himself, allowing another figure to preside and sentence St. Agnes to death. She was led out and bound to a stake, but the bundle of wood would not burn, or the flames parted away from her, whereupon the officer in charge of the troops drew his sword and beheaded her, or, in some other texts, stabbed her in the throat. It is also said that her blood poured to the stadium floor where other Christians soaked it up with cloths.

    Agnes was buried beside the Via Nomentana in Rome. A few days after her death, her foster-sister, Emerentiana, was found praying by her tomb; she claimed to be the daughter of Agnes' wet nurse, and was stoned to death after refusing to leave the place and reprimanding the pagans for killing her foster-sister. Emerentiana was also later sainted. The daughter of Constantine I, (Constance) was said to have been cured of leprosy after praying at Agnes' tomb. She is one of the best known Roman martyrs and her name is still spoken in the Canon of the Mass. (from Wikipedia and the Lives of the Saints)
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  7. January 22
    In the United States this day is the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

    Reading 1 1 Sm 17:32-33, 37, 40-51
    David spoke to Saul:
    “Let your majesty not lose courage.
    I am at your service to go and fight this Philistine.”
    But Saul answered David,
    “You cannot go up against this Philistine and fight with him,
    for you are only a youth, while he has been a warrior from his youth.”

    David continued:
    “The LORD, who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear,
    will also keep me safe from the clutches of this Philistine.”
    Saul answered David, “Go! the LORD will be with you.”

    Then, staff in hand, David selected five smooth stones from the wadi
    and put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s bag.
    With his sling also ready to hand, he approached the Philistine.

    With his shield bearer marching before him,
    the Philistine also advanced closer and closer to David.
    When he had sized David up,
    and seen that he was youthful, and ruddy, and handsome in appearance,
    the Philistine held David in contempt.
    The Philistine said to David,
    “Am I a dog that you come against me with a staff?”
    Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods
    and said to him, “Come here to me,
    and I will leave your flesh for the birds of the air
    and the beasts of the field.”
    David answered him:
    “You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar,
    but I come against you in the name of the LORD of hosts,
    the God of the armies of Israel that you have insulted.
    Today the LORD shall deliver you into my hand;
    I will strike you down and cut off your head.
    This very day I will leave your corpse
    and the corpses of the Philistine army for the birds of the air
    and the beasts of the field;
    thus the whole land shall learn that Israel has a God.
    All this multitude, too,
    shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves.
    For the battle is the LORD’s and he shall deliver you into our hands.”

    The Philistine then moved to meet David at close quarters,
    while David ran quickly toward the battle line
    in the direction of the Philistine.
    David put his hand into the bag and took out a stone,
    hurled it with the sling,
    and struck the Philistine on the forehead.
    The stone embedded itself in his brow,
    and he fell prostrate on the ground.
    Thus David overcame the Philistine with sling and stone;
    he struck the Philistine mortally, and did it without a sword.
    Then David ran and stood over him;
    with the Philistine’s own sword which he drew from its sheath
    he dispatched him and cut off his head.

    Responsorial Psalm 144:1b, 2, 9-10
    R. (1) Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
    Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
    who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war.
    R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
    My refuge and my fortress,
    my stronghold, my deliverer,
    My shield, in whom I trust,
    who subdues my people under me.
    R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
    O God, I will sing a new song to you;
    with a ten-stringed lyre I will chant your praise,
    You who give victory to kings,
    and deliver David, your servant from the evil sword.
    R. Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

    Alleluia Mt 4:23
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom
    and cured every disease among the people.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mk 3:1-6
    Jesus entered the synagogue.
    There was a man there who had a withered hand.
    They watched Jesus closely
    to see if he would cure him on the sabbath
    so that they might accuse him.
    He said to the man with the withered hand,
    “Come up here before us.”
    Then he said to the Pharisees,
    “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil,
    to save life rather than to destroy it?”
    But they remained silent.
    Looking around at them with anger
    and grieved at their hardness of heart,
    Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”
    He stretched it out and his hand was restored.
    The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel
    with the Herodians against him to put him to death.

    If you feel called to pray and fast for the end of abortion, please do so today.
    Feast day of Saint Vincent of Saragossa, Deacon and martyr, patron of winegrowers
    Vincent was a deacon of the third century. Together with his Bishop, Valerius of Saragossa, they were persecuted by Dacian, the governor of Spain for refusing to offer pagan sacrifices. Valerius was exiled but Vincent was tortured. The tortures included piercing of the flesh with iron hooks, burning him on an iron, and being thrown on the floor of the prison that was littered with broken pottery shards. Through it all, Vincent didn't forsake his Faith and even his jailer was moved to conversion. Vincent survived until his friends were allowed to see him. They prepared a bed upon which Vincent died.
  8. January 23
    Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
    Lectionary: 314

    Reading 1 1 Sm 18:6-9; 19:1-7
    When David and Saul approached
    (on David’s return after slaying the Philistine),
    women came out from each of the cities of Israel to meet King Saul,
    singing and dancing, with tambourines, joyful songs, and sistrums.
    The women played and sang:

    “Saul has slain his thousands,
    and David his ten thousands.”

    Saul was very angry and resentful of the song, for he thought:
    “They give David ten thousands, but only thousands to me.
    All that remains for him is the kingship.”
    And from that day on, Saul was jealous of David.

    Saul discussed his intention of killing David
    with his son Jonathan and with all his servants.
    But Saul’s son Jonathan, who was very fond of David, told him:
    “My father Saul is trying to kill you.
    Therefore, please be on your guard tomorrow morning;
    get out of sight and remain in hiding.
    I, however, will go out and stand beside my father
    in the countryside where you are, and will speak to him about you.
    If I learn anything, I will let you know.”

    Jonathan then spoke well of David to his father Saul, saying to him:
    “Let not your majesty sin against his servant David,
    for he has committed no offense against you,
    but has helped you very much by his deeds.
    When he took his life in his hands and slew the Philistine,
    and the LORD brought about a great victory
    for all Israel through him,
    you were glad to see it.
    Why, then, should you become guilty of shedding innocent blood
    by killing David without cause?”
    Saul heeded Jonathan’s plea and swore,
    “As the LORD lives, he shall not be killed.”
    So Jonathan summoned David and repeated the whole conversation to him.
    Jonathan then brought David to Saul, and David served him as before.

    Responsorial Psalm 56:2-3, 9-10a, 10b-11, 12-13
    R. (5b) In God I trust; I shall not fear.
    Have mercy on me, O God, for men trample upon me;
    all the day they press their attack against me.
    My adversaries trample upon me all the day;
    yes, many fight against me.
    R. In God I trust; I shall not fear.
    My wanderings you have counted;
    my tears are stored in your flask;
    are they not recorded in your book?
    Then do my enemies turn back,
    when I call upon you.
    R. In God I trust; I shall not fear.
    Now I know that God is with me.
    In God, in whose promise I glory,
    in God I trust without fear;
    what can flesh do against me?
    R. In God I trust; I shall not fear.
    I am bound, O God, by vows to you;
    your thank offerings I will fulfill.
    For you have rescued me from death,
    my feet, too, from stumbling;
    that I may walk before God in the light of the living.
    R. In God I trust; I shall not fear.

    Alleluia 2 Tm 1:10
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
    and brought life to light through the Gospel.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mk 3:7-12
    Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples.
    A large number of people followed from Galilee and from Judea.
    Hearing what he was doing,
    a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem,
    from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan,
    and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon.
    He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd,
    so that they would not crush him.
    He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases
    were pressing upon him to touch him.
    And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him
    and shout, “You are the Son of God.”
    He warned them sternly not to make him known.

    Feast day of Saint Marianne Cope
    Cope was baptized Maria Anna Barbara Koob, later anglicizing her last name to "Cope". She was born January 23, 1838, in Heppenheim (Germany) to Peter Koob (1787–1862) and Barbara Witzenbacher (1803–1872). The following year her family emigrated to the United States, settling in the industrial city of Utica, New York. They became members of the Parish of Saint Joseph and Maria attended the parish school. By the time she was in eighth grade, her father had become an invalid. As the oldest child, Cope left school to work in a textile factory to help support her family.
    By the time their father Peter Cope died in 1862, the younger children in the family were of age to support themselves, so Maria pursued her long-felt religious calling. She entered the novitiate of the Sisters of the Third Order Regular of Saint Francis in Syracuse, New York. After a year of formation, Cope received the religious habit of the Franciscan Sisters along with the new name Marianne. She became first a teacher and then a principal in newly established schools for the region's German-speaking immigrants. Following the revolutions of 1848, numerous German immigrants entered the United States.

    By 1870, Cope had become a member of the governing council of her religious congregation and she helped found two Catholic hospitals in Central New York. She was appointed to govern St. Joseph's Hospital, the first public hospital in Syracuse, serving from 1870 to 1877.
    In 1883, Cope, by then Superior General of the congregation, received a plea for help from King Kalākaua of Hawaii to care for leprosy sufferers. More than 50 religious congregations had already declined his request for Sisters to do this, because leprosy was considered to be highly contagious. She responded enthusiastically to the letter:

    I am hungry for the work and I wish with all my heart to be one of the chosen Ones, whose privilege it will be, to sacrifice themselves for the salvation of the souls of the poor Islanders... I am not afraid of any disease, hence it would be my greatest delight even to minister to the abandoned 'lepers.'

    continued in next post
  9. [​IMG]
    The Sisters of St. Francis, at the Kakaʻako Branch Hospital.
    Walter Murray Gibson with the Sisters of St. Francis and daughters of Hansen's disease patients, at the Kakaʻako Branch Hospital.
    Cope departed from Syracuse with six other Sisters to travel to Honolulu to answer this call, arriving on November 8, 1883. They traveled on the SS Mariposa. With Mother Marianne as supervisor, the Sisters' task was to manage Kakaʻako Branch Hospital on Oʻahu, which served as a receiving station for Hansen's disease patients gathered from all over the islands. The more severe cases were processed and shipped to the island of Molokaʻi for confinement in the settlement at Kalawao, and then later at Kalaupapa.

    The following year, at the request of the government, Cope set up Malulani Hospital, the first general hospital on the island of Maui. Soon, she was called back to the hospital in Oahu. She had to deal with a government-appointed administrator's abuse of the leprosy patients at the Branch Hospital at Kakaako, an area adjoining Honolulu. She told the government that either the administrator had to be dismissed or the Sisters would return to Syracuse. She was given charge of the overcrowded hospital. Her return to Syracuse to re-assume governance of the congregation was delayed, as both the government and church authorities thought she was essential to the success of the mission.

    Two years later, the king awarded Mother Marianne with the Cross of a Companion of the Royal Order of Kapiolani for her care of his people. The work continued to increase. In November 1885, Cope opened the Kapiolani Home with the support of the government, to provide shelter to homeless female children of leprosy patients. The home was located on the grounds of a leprosy hospital because only the Sisters were willing to care for children so closely associated to people suffering from leprosy.

    In 1887, a new government came into office. It ended the forced exile of leprosy patients to Molokai and closed the specialty hospital in Oahu. A year later, the authorities pleaded with Cope to establish a new home for women and girls on the Kalaupapa peninsula of Molokai. She accepted the call, knowing that it might mean she would never return to New York. "We will cheerfully accept the work…" was her response.[5]

    Mother Marianne Cope and Sister Leopoldina Burns beside the funeral bier of Father Damien
    Mother Marianne Cope (in the wheelchair) only a few days before she died.

    In November 1888, Cope moved to Kalaupapa. She cared for the dying Father Damien, SS.CC., who was already known internationally for his work in the leper colony, and began to take over his burdens. She had met him shortly after her arrival in Hawaii.

    When Father Damien died on April 15, 1889, the government officially gave Cope charge for the care of the boys of Kalaupapa, in addition to her existing role in caring for the female residents of the colony. A prominent local businessman, Henry Perrine Baldwin, donated money for the new home. Mother Marianne and two assistants, Sister Leopoldina Burns and Sister Vincentia McCormick, opened and ran a new girls' school, which she named in Baldwin's honor.
    Cope died on August 9, 1918, due to natural causes. She was buried on the grounds of the Bishop Home. In 2005, her remains were brought to Syracuse for reinterment at her motherhouse. In 2014, her remains were returned to Honolulu and are enshrined at the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace.
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  10. January 24
    Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, bishop and doctor of the Church

    Reading 1 1 Sm 24:3-21
    Saul took three thousand picked men from all Israel
    and went in search of David and his men
    in the direction of the wild goat crags.
    When he came to the sheepfolds along the way, he found a cave,
    which he entered to relieve himself.
    David and his men were occupying the inmost recesses of the cave.

    David’s servants said to him,
    “This is the day of which the LORD said to you,
    ‘I will deliver your enemy into your grasp;
    do with him as you see fit.’”
    So David moved up and stealthily cut off an end of Saul’s mantle.
    Afterward, however, David regretted that he had cut off
    an end of Saul’s mantle.
    He said to his men,
    “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master,
    the LORD’s anointed, as to lay a hand on him,
    for he is the LORD’s anointed.”
    With these words David restrained his men
    and would not permit them to attack Saul.
    Saul then left the cave and went on his way.
    David also stepped out of the cave, calling to Saul,
    “My lord the king!”
    When Saul looked back, David bowed to the ground in homage and asked Saul:
    “Why do you listen to those who say,
    ‘David is trying to harm you’?
    You see for yourself today that the LORD just now delivered you
    into my grasp in the cave.
    I had some thought of killing you, but I took pity on you instead.
    I decided, ‘I will not raise a hand against my lord,
    for he is the LORD’s anointed and a father to me.’
    Look here at this end of your mantle which I hold.
    Since I cut off an end of your mantle and did not kill you,
    see and be convinced that I plan no harm and no rebellion.
    I have done you no wrong,
    though you are hunting me down to take my life.
    The LORD will judge between me and you,
    and the LORD will exact justice from you in my case.
    I shall not touch you.
    The old proverb says, ‘From the wicked comes forth wickedness.’
    So I will take no action against you.
    Against whom are you on campaign, O king of Israel?
    Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog, or a single flea!
    The LORD will be the judge; he will decide between me and you.
    May he see this, and take my part,
    and grant me justice beyond your reach!”
    When David finished saying these things to Saul, Saul answered,
    “Is that your voice, my son David?”
    And Saul wept aloud.
    Saul then said to David: “You are in the right rather than I;
    you have treated me generously, while I have done you harm.
    Great is the generosity you showed me today,
    when the LORD delivered me into your grasp
    and you did not kill me.
    For if a man meets his enemy, does he send him away unharmed?
    May the LORD reward you generously for what you have done this day.
    And now, I know that you shall surely be king
    and that sovereignty over Israel shall come into your possession.”

    Responsorial Psalm 57:2, 3-4, 6 and 11
    R. (2a) Have mercy on me, God, have mercy.
    Have mercy on me, O God; have mercy on me,
    for in you I take refuge.
    In the shadow of your wings I take refuge,
    till harm pass by.
    R. Have mercy on me, God, have mercy.
    I call to God the Most High,
    to God, my benefactor.
    May he send from heaven and save me;
    may he make those a reproach who trample upon me;
    may God send his mercy and his faithfulness.
    R. Have mercy on me, God, have mercy.
    Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
    above all the earth be your glory!
    For your mercy towers to the heavens,
    and your faithfulness to the skies.
    R. Have mercy on me, God, have mercy.

    Alleluia 2 Cor 5:19
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
    and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mk 3:13-19
    Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted
    and they came to him.
    He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles,
    that they might be with him
    and he might send them forth to preach
    and to have authority to drive out demons:
    He appointed the Twelve:
    Simon, whom he named Peter;
    James, son of Zebedee,
    and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges,
    that is, sons of thunder;
    Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew,
    Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus;
    Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean,
    and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

    Feast day of Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Bishop, Doctor of the Church, Patron of the Catholic press and writers
    Francis was born in Savoy on August 21, 1567. Showing an early inclination for the priestly vocation, he received tonsure at eleven years old. Soon afterward, he was sent to Paris to study philosophy and theology. He went on to the University of Padua where he earned a doctorate degree in both canon and civil law at the age of 24. Despite the opposition of his family and the offer of a high government position, he entered the religious life and was ordained in 1593. His first assignment was as a missionary in Chablais, which was then mostly Calvinist. Mobs and assassins repeatedly attacked him because of his work, but he persevered, writing tracts and little pamphlets, that he put in public places and under people's doors. Because of this, 72,000 Calvinists returned to the Catholic faith. While engaged in this work he received his appointment as coadjutor to the Bishop of Geneva, whom he succeeded as Bishop in 1602.
    Now Bishop Francis began to labor zealously in his diocese for the clergy and the people, and extended his labors elsewhere, preaching the Lenten sermons to various places outside of the diocese. Bishop Francis was one of the leaders of the Counter-Reformation, being well noted for his intellect and wisdom. Bishop Francis also founded schools and became the spiritual advisor of Baroness Jane Frances de Chantal (later St. Jane de Chantal), with whom he co-founded the Order of the Visitation nuns in 1610. In the midst of his constant pastoral work, Francis found time to write the book that is still popular called Introduction to the Devout Life (1609). It shows how ordinary life can be sanctified and he advises how the reader may be led to the love of God and the imitation of Christ. Other works by Francis are Treatise on the Love of God and a series of tracts called The Catholic Controversy which are considered spiritual classics.
    Francis manifested an exceptional restraint and meekness. His pastoral zeal, which was anxious for the sanctification of the laity and the adaptation of the religious life to new needs, marked a turning point in the history of spirituality. He died in 1622 with the word "Jesus" on his lips and was canonized in 1665.
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  11. January 25
    Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, Apostle

    Reading 1 Acts 22:3-16
    Paul addressed the people in these words:
    “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia,
    but brought up in this city.
    At the feet of Gamaliel I was educated strictly in our ancestral law
    and was zealous for God, just as all of you are today.
    I persecuted this Way to death,
    binding both men and women and delivering them to prison.
    Even the high priest and the whole council of elders
    can testify on my behalf.
    For from them I even received letters to the brothers
    and set out for Damascus to bring back to Jerusalem
    in chains for punishment those there as well.

    “On that journey as I drew near to Damascus,
    about noon a great light from the sky suddenly shone around me.
    I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me,
    ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’
    I replied, ‘Who are you, sir?’
    And he said to me,
    ‘I am Jesus the Nazorean whom you are persecuting.’
    My companions saw the light
    but did not hear the voice of the one who spoke to me.
    I asked, ‘What shall I do, sir?’
    The Lord answered me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus,
    and there you will be told about everything
    appointed for you to do.’
    Since I could see nothing because of the brightness of that light,
    I was led by hand by my companions and entered Damascus.

    “A certain Ananias, a devout observer of the law,
    and highly spoken of by all the Jews who lived there,
    came to me and stood there and said,
    ‘Saul, my brother, regain your sight.’
    And at that very moment I regained my sight and saw him.
    Then he said,
    ‘The God of our ancestors designated you to know his will,
    to see the Righteous One, and to hear the sound of his voice;
    for you will be his witness before all
    to what you have seen and heard.
    Now, why delay?
    Get up and have yourself baptized and your sins washed away,
    calling upon his name.’”


    Acts 9:1-22

    Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord,
    went to the high priest and asked him
    for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that,
    if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way,
    he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains.
    On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus,
    a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him.
    He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him,
    “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
    He said, “Who are you, sir?”
    The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
    Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.”
    The men who were traveling with him stood speechless,
    for they heard the voice but could see no one.
    Saul got up from the ground,
    but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing;
    so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus.
    For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank.

    There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias,
    and the Lord said to him in a vision, Ananias.”
    He answered, “Here I am, Lord.”
    The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight
    and ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul.
    He is there praying,
    and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias
    come in and lay his hands on him,
    that he may regain his sight.”
    But Ananias replied,
    “Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man,
    what evil things he has done to your holy ones in Jerusalem.
    And here he has authority from the chief priests
    to imprison all who call upon your name.”
    But the Lord said to him,
    “Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine
    to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel,
    and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name.”
    So Ananias went and entered the house;
    laying his hands on him, he said,
    “Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me,
    Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came,
    that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
    Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes
    and he regained his sight.
    He got up and was baptized,
    and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength.

    He stayed some days with the disciples in Damascus,
    and he began at once to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues,
    that he is the Son of God.
    All who heard him were astounded and said,
    “Is not this the man who in Jerusalem
    ravaged those who call upon this name,
    and came here expressly to take them back in chains
    to the chief priests?”
    But Saul grew all the stronger
    and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus,
    proving that this is the Christ.

    Responsorial Psalm 117:1bc, 2
    R. (Mark 16:15) Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Praise the LORD, all you nations;
    glorify him, all you peoples!
    R. Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
    and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
    R. Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Alleluia Jn 15:16
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    I chose you from the world,
    to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mk 16:15-18
    Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them:
    “Go into the whole world
    and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
    Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
    whoever does not believe will be condemned.
    These signs will accompany those who believe:
    in my name they will drive out demons,
    they will speak new languages.
    They will pick up serpents with their hands,
    and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
    They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
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  12. January 26
    Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
    Pope Francis has decreed that the Third Sunday of Ordinary time is 'Word of God' Sunday

    Reading 1 Is 8:23—9:3
    First the Lord degraded the land of Zebulun
    and the land of Naphtali;
    but in the end he has glorified the seaward road,
    the land west of the Jordan,
    the District of the Gentiles.

    Anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness:
    for there is no gloom where but now there was distress.
    The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light;
    upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom
    a light has shone.
    You have brought them abundant joy
    and great rejoicing,
    as they rejoice before you as at the harvest,
    as people make merry when dividing spoils.
    For the yoke that burdened them,
    the pole on their shoulder,
    and the rod of their taskmaster
    you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14
    R. (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.
    The LORD is my light and my salvation;
    whom should I fear?
    The LORD is my life’s refuge;
    of whom should I be afraid?
    R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
    One thing I ask of the LORD;
    this I seek:
    To dwell in the house of the LORD
    all the days of my life,
    That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
    and contemplate his temple.
    R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.
    I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
    in the land of the living.
    Wait for the LORD with courage;
    be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
    R. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

    Reading 2 1 Cor 1:10-13, 17
    I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    that all of you agree in what you say,
    and that there be no divisions among you,
    but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose.
    For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers and sisters,
    by Chloe’s people, that there are rivalries among you.
    I mean that each of you is saying,
    “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,”
    or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.”
    Is Christ divided?
    Was Paul crucified for you?
    Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
    For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel,
    and not with the wisdom of human eloquence,
    so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.

    Alleluia Mt 4:23
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the kingdom
    and cured every disease among the people.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mt 4:12-23 or 4:12-17
    When Jesus heard that John had been arrested,
    he withdrew to Galilee.
    He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea,
    in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,
    that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet
    might be fulfilled:
    Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
    the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
    Galilee of the Gentiles,
    the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,
    on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
    light has arisen.

    From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,
    “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

    As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
    Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
    casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
    He said to them,
    “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
    At once they left their nets and followed him.
    He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
    James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
    They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
    He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
    and followed him.
    He went around all of Galilee,
    teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom,
    and curing every disease and illness among the people.


    When Jesus heard that John had been arrested,
    he withdrew to Galilee.
    He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea,
    in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,
    that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet
    might be fulfilled:
    Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
    the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
    Galilee of the Gentiles,
    the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,
    on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
    light has arisen.

    From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,
    “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

    More about the 'Word of God Sunday'

    1. “He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Lk 24:45). This was one of the final acts of the risen Lord before his Ascension. Jesus appeared to the assembled disciples, broke bread with them and opened their minds to the understanding of the sacred Scriptures. To them, amid their fear and bewilderment, he unveiled the meaning of the paschal mystery: that in accordance with the Father’s eternal plan he had to suffer and rise from the dead, in order to bring repentance and the forgiveness of sins (cf. Lk 24:26.46-47). He then promised to send the Holy Spirit, who would give them strength to be witnesses of this saving mystery (cf. Lk 24:49).

    The relationship between the Risen Lord, the community of believers and sacred Scripture is essential to our identity as Christians. Without the Lord who opens our minds to them, it is impossible to understand the Scriptures in depth. Yet the contrary is equally true: without the Scriptures, the events of the mission of Jesus and of his Church in this world would remain incomprehensible. Hence, Saint Jerome could rightly claim: “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” (Commentary on the Book of Isaiah, Prologue: PL 24,17B).

    2. At the conclusion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, I proposed setting aside “a Sunday given over entirely to the word of God, so as to appreciate the inexhaustible riches contained in that constant dialogue between the Lord and his people” (Misericordia et Misera, 7). Devoting a specific Sunday of the liturgical year to the word of God can enable the Church to experience anew how the risen Lord opens up for us the treasury of his word and enables us to proclaim its unfathomable riches before the world. Here, we are reminded of the teaching of Saint Ephrem: “Who is able to understand, Lord, all the richness of even one of your words? There is more that eludes us than what we can understand. We are like the thirsty drinking from a fountain. Your word has as many aspects as the perspectives of those who study it. The Lord has coloured his word with diverse beauties, so that those who study it can contemplate what stirs them. He has hidden in his word all treasures, so that each of us may find a richness in what he or she contemplates” (Commentary on the Diatessaron, 1, 18).

    With this Letter, I wish to respond to the many requests I have received from the people of God that the entire Church celebrate, in unity of purpose, a Sunday of the Word of God. It is now common for the Christian community to set aside moments to reflect on the great importance of the word of God for everyday living. The various local Churches have undertaken a wealth of initiatives to make the sacred Scripture more accessible to believers, to increase their gratitude for so great a gift, and to help them to strive daily to embody and bear witness to its teachings.

  13. Apostolic Exhortation about Word of God Sunday continued
    The Second Vatican Council gave great impulse to the rediscovery of the word of God, thanks to its Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum, a document that deserves to be read and appropriated ever anew. The Constitution clearly expounds the nature of sacred Scripture, its transmission from generation to generation (Chapter II), its divine inspiration (Chapter III) embracing the Old and New Testaments (Chapters IV and V), and the importance of Scripture for the life of the Church (Chapter VI). To advance this teaching, Pope Benedict XVI convoked an Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in 2008 on “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church”, and then issued the Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini, whose teaching remains fundamental for our communities.[1] That document emphasizes in particular the performative character of the Word of God, especially in the context of the liturgy, in which its distinctively sacramental character comes to the fore.[2]

    It is fitting, then that the life of our people be constantly marked by this decisive relationship with the living word that the Lord never tires of speaking to his Bride, that she may grow in love and faithful witness.

    3. Consequently, I hereby declare that the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time is to be devoted to the celebration, study and dissemination of the word of God. This Sunday of the Word of God will thus be a fitting part of that time of the year when we are encouraged to strengthen our bonds with the Jewish people and to pray for Christian unity. This is more than a temporal coincidence: the celebration of the Sunday of the Word of God has ecumenical value, since the Scriptures point out, for those who listen, the path to authentic and firm unity.

    The various communities will find their own ways to mark this Sunday with a certain solemnity. It is important, however, that in the Eucharistic celebration the sacred text be enthroned, in order to focus the attention of the assembly on the normative value of God’s word. On this Sunday, it would be particularly appropriate to highlight the proclamation of the word of the Lord and to emphasize in the homily the honour that it is due. Bishops could celebrate the Rite of Installation of Lectors or a similar commissioning of readers, in order to bring out the importance of the proclamation of God’s word in the liturgy. In this regard, renewed efforts should be made to provide members of the faithful with the training needed to be genuine proclaimers of the word, as is already the practice in the case of acolytes or extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. Pastors can also find ways of giving a Bible, or one of its books, to the entire assembly as a way of showing the importance of learning how to read, appreciate and pray daily with sacred Scripture, especially through the practice of lectio divina.

    4. The return of the people of Israel to their homeland after the Babylonian exile was marked by the public reading of the book of the Law. In the book of Nehemiah, the Bible gives us a moving description of that moment. The people assembled in Jerusalem, in the square before the Water Gate, to listen to the Law. They had been scattered in exile, but now they found themselves gathered “as one” around the sacred Scripture (Neh 8:1). The people lent “attentive ears” (Neh 8:3) to the reading of the sacred book, realizing that in its words they would discover the meaning of their lived experience. The reaction to the proclamation of was one of great emotion and tears: “[The Levites] read from the book, from the law of God, clearly; and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading. And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, ‘This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep’. For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. Then he said to them, ‘Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength’” (Neh 8:8-10).

    These words contain a great teaching. The Bible cannot be just the heritage of some, much less a collection of books for the benefit of a privileged few. It belongs above all to those called to hear its message and to recognize themselves in its words. At times, there can be a tendency to monopolize the sacred text by restricting it to certain circles or to select groups. It cannot be that way. The Bible is the book of the Lord’s people, who, in listening to it, move from dispersion and division towards unity. The word of God unites believers and makes them one people.

    The rest of the letter may be read here http://w2.vatican.va/content/france...esco-motu-proprio-20190930_aperuit-illis.html
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  14. Jamuary 27
    Monday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
    Lectionary: 317

    Reading 1 2 Sm 5:1-7, 10
    All the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said:
    “Here we are, your bone and your flesh.
    In days past, when Saul was our king,
    it was you who led the children of Israel out and brought them back.
    And the LORD said to you, ‘You shall shepherd my people Israel
    and shall be commander of Israel.’”
    When all the elders of Israel came to David in Hebron,
    King David made an agreement with them there before the LORD,
    and they anointed him king of Israel.
    David was thirty years old when he became king,
    and he reigned for forty years:
    seven years and six months in Hebron over Judah,
    and thirty-three years in Jerusalem
    over all Israel and Judah.

    Then the king and his men set out for Jerusalem
    against the Jebusites who inhabited the region.
    David was told, “You cannot enter here:
    the blind and the lame will drive you away!”
    which was their way of saying, “David cannot enter here.”
    But David did take the stronghold of Zion, which is the City of David.

    David grew steadily more powerful,
    for the LORD of hosts was with him.

    Responsorial Psalm 89:20, 21-22, 25-26
    R. (25a) My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him.
    Once you spoke in a vision,
    and to your faithful ones you said:
    “On a champion I have placed a crown;
    over the people I have set a youth.”
    R. My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him.
    “I have found David, my servant;
    with my holy oil I have anointed him,
    That my hand may be always with him,
    and that my arm may make him strong.”
    R. My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him.
    “My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him,
    and through my name shall his horn be exalted.
    I will set his hand upon the sea,
    his right hand upon the rivers.”
    R. My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him.

    Alleluia 2 Tm 1:10
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
    and brought life to light through the Gospel.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mk 3:22-30
    The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus,
    “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and
    “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.”

    Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables,
    “How can Satan drive out Satan?
    If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
    And if a house is divided against itself,
    that house will not be able to stand.
    And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided,
    he cannot stand;
    that is the end of him.
    But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property
    unless he first ties up the strong man.
    Then he can plunder his house.
    Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies
    that people utter will be forgiven them.
    But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
    will never have forgiveness,
    but is guilty of an everlasting sin.”
    For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

    Feast day of Saint Angela de Merici
    Angela Merici or Angela de Merici was an Italian religious educator, who is honored as a saint by the Catholic Church. She founded the Company of St. Ursula in 1535 in Brescia, in which women dedicated their lives to the service of the Church through the education of girls.
    Born:21 March 1474, Desenzano del Garda, Province of Brescia, Republic of Venice
    Died:Jan 27, 1540, Brescia, Republic of Venice
    Beatified:30 April 1768, Rome, Papal States by Pope Clement XIII

    Pray for us!
  15. January 28
    Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, priest and doctor of the Church

    Reading 1 2 Sm 6:12b-15, 17-19
    David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom
    into the City of David amid festivities.
    As soon as the bearers of the ark of the LORD had advanced six steps,
    he sacrificed an ox and a fatling.
    Then David, girt with a linen apron,
    came dancing before the LORD with abandon,
    as he and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD
    with shouts of joy and to the sound of the horn.
    The ark of the LORD was brought in and set in its place
    within the tent David had pitched for it.
    Then David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
    When he finished making these offerings,
    he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts.
    He then distributed among all the people,
    to each man and each woman in the entire multitude of Israel,
    a loaf of bread, a cut of roast meat, and a raisin cake.
    With this, all the people left for their homes.

    Responsorial Psalm 24:7, 8, 9, 10
    R. (8) Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
    Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
    reach up, you ancient portals,
    that the king of glory may come in!
    R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
    Who is this king of glory?
    The LORD, strong and mighty,
    the LORD, mighty in battle.
    R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
    Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
    reach up, you ancient portals,
    that the king of glory may come in!
    R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
    Who is this king of glory?
    The LORD of hosts; he is the king of glory.
    R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!

    Alleluia Mt 11:25
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
    you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mk 3:31-35
    The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house.
    Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him.
    A crowd seated around him told him,
    “Your mother and your brothers and your sisters
    are outside asking for you.”
    But he said to them in reply,
    “Who are my mother and my brothers?”
    And looking around at those seated in the circle he said,
    “Here are my mother and my brothers.
    For whoever does the will of God
    is my brother and sister and mother.”

    Feast day of Saint Thomas Aquinus, priest and Doctor of the Church, patron of schools
    Thomas was born about the year 1226, the son of Landulph, Count of Aquino, who put him in the care of the Benedictines at the age of five. His teachers were surprised at the progress he made, for he surpassed his fellow students in learning and virtue. As a young man, Thomas renounced the things of this world and resolved to enter the Order of St. Dominic even though he did not have the support of his family. In 1243, at the age of seventeen, he joined the Dominicans of Naples. His family tried for two years to get Thomas to leave his vocation. They went as far as sending a woman to tempt him away from the religious order. Thomas, however, rejected their efforts and maintained his vocation. As a reward for his fidelity, God conferred upon him the gift of perfect chastity, which has merited for him the title of the Angelic Doctor.
    After making his profession at Naples, he studied at Cologne under St. Albert the Great. They nicknamed Thomas the 'dumb ox' because of his silent demeanor and large stature, but Thomas was a brilliant student. At the age of twenty-two, he was appointed to teach in Naples. At the same time, he began to publish his first works. After four years he was sent to Paris at which time he was a priest. At the age of thirty-one, he received his doctorate. In Paris, he became friends with King (Saint) Louis. Pope Urban IV called Thomas to Rome in 1261 to teach, but Thomas did not want to accept any new higher consecration to bishop, etc.

    Thomas' writings fill twenty volumes and are characterized by brilliant thought and clear language. His greatest work, Summa Theologica, was unfinished, for
    during the Feast of Saint Nicolas in 1273, Saint Thomas Aquinas had a mystical vision that made writing seem unimportant to him. At mass, he reportedly heard a voice coming from a crucifix that said, "Thou hast written well of me, Thomas; what reward wilt thou have?" to which Saint Thomas Aquinas replied, "None other than thyself, Lord."

    When his confessor, Father Reginald of Piperno, urged him to keep writing, he replied, "I can do no more. Such secrets have been revealed to me that all I have written now appears to be of little value." Saint Thomas Aquinas never wrote again. A little while later on his way to the Second Council of Lyons, he fell sick and died at the Cistercian monastery of Fossa Nuova in 1274.
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  16. January 29
    Wednesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
    Reading 1 2 Sm 7:4-17
    That night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said:
    “Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD:
    Should you build me a house to dwell in?
    I have not dwelt in a house
    from the day on which I led the children of Israel
    out of Egypt to the present,
    but I have been going about in a tent under cloth.
    In all my wanderings everywhere among the children of Israel,
    did I ever utter a word to any one of the judges
    whom I charged to tend my people Israel, to ask:
    Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’

    “Now then, speak thus to my servant David,
    ‘The LORD of hosts has this to say:
    It was I who took you from the pasture
    and from the care of the flock
    to be commander of my people Israel.
    I have been with you wherever you went,
    and I have destroyed all your enemies before you.
    And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth.
    I will fix a place for my people Israel;
    I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place
    without further disturbance.
    Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old,
    since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel.
    I will give you rest from all your enemies.
    The LORD also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you.
    And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
    I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
    and I will make his Kingdom firm.
    It is he who shall build a house for my name.
    And I will make his royal throne firm forever.
    I will be a father to him,
    and he shall be a son to me.
    And if he does wrong,
    I will correct him with the rod of men
    and with human chastisements;
    but I will not withdraw my favor from him
    as I withdrew it from your predecessor Saul,
    whom I removed from my presence.
    Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me;
    your throne shall stand firm forever.’”

    Responsorial Psalm 89:4-5, 27-28, 29-30
    R. (29a) For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.
    “I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
    I have sworn to David my servant:
    I will make your dynasty stand forever
    and establish your throne through all ages.”
    R. For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.
    “He shall cry to me, ‘You are my father,
    my God, the Rock that brings me victory!’
    I myself make him firstborn,
    Most High over the kings of the earth.”
    R. For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.
    “Forever I will maintain my love for him;
    my covenant with him stands firm.
    I will establish his dynasty forever,
    his throne as the days of the heavens.”
    R. For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.

    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
    all who come to him will live for ever.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mk 4:1-20
    On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea.
    A very large crowd gathered around him
    so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down.
    And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land.
    And he taught them at length in parables,
    and in the course of his instruction he said to them,
    “Hear this! A sower went out to sow.
    And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
    and the birds came and ate it up.
    Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil.
    It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.
    And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots.
    Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it
    and it produced no grain.
    And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.
    It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
    He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”

    And when he was alone,
    those present along with the Twelve
    questioned him about the parables.
    He answered them,
    “The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you.
    But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that
    they may look and see but not perceive,
    and hear and listen but not understand,
    in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.”

    Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable?
    Then how will you understand any of the parables?
    The sower sows the word.
    These are the ones on the path where the word is sown.
    As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once
    and takes away the word sown in them.
    And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who,
    when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy.
    But they have no roots; they last only for a time.
    Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
    they quickly fall away.
    Those sown among thorns are another sort.
    They are the people who hear the word,
    but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches,
    and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word,
    and it bears no fruit.
    But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it
    and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”

    Feast day of Saint Gildas the Wise
    a 6th-century British monk best known for his scathing religious polemic De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, which recounts the history of the Britons before and during the coming of the Saxons. Gildas also wrote penitential canons.
    Born:c. 500
    Died:570, Rhuys, Brittany
    Major shrine:Glastonbury Abbey, now destroyed, or Rhuys Church, extant.
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  17. January 30
    Thursday of the Third Wek in Ordinary Time

    Reading 1 2 Sm 7:18-19, 24-29
    After Nathan had spoken to King David,
    the king went in and sat before the LORD and said,
    “Who am I, Lord GOD, and who are the members of my house,
    that you have brought me to this point?
    Yet even this you see as too little, Lord GOD;
    you have also spoken of the house of your servant
    for a long time to come:
    this too you have shown to man, Lord GOD!

    “You have established for yourself your people Israel as yours forever,
    and you, LORD, have become their God.
    And now, LORD God, confirm for all time the prophecy you have made
    concerning your servant and his house,
    and do as you have promised.
    Your name will be forever great, when men say,
    ‘The LORD of hosts is God of Israel,’
    and the house of your servant David stands firm before you.
    It is you, LORD of hosts, God of Israel,
    who said in a revelation to your servant,
    ‘I will build a house for you.’
    Therefore your servant now finds the courage to make this prayer to you.
    And now, Lord GOD, you are God and your words are truth;
    you have made this generous promise to your servant.
    Do, then, bless the house of your servant
    that it may be before you forever;
    for you, Lord GOD, have promised,
    and by your blessing the house of your servant
    shall be blessed forever.”

    Responsorial Psalm 132:1-2, 3-5, 11, 12, 13-14
    R. (Lk 1:32b) The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father.
    LORD, remember David
    and all his anxious care;
    How he swore an oath to the LORD,
    vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob.
    R. The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father.
    “I will not enter the house where I live,
    nor lie on the couch where I sleep;
    I will give my eyes no sleep,
    my eyelids no rest,
    Till I find a home for the LORD,
    a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
    R. The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father.
    The LORD swore an oath to David
    a firm promise from which he will not withdraw:
    “Your own offspring
    I will set upon your throne.”
    R. The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father.
    “If your sons keep my covenant,
    and the decrees which I shall teach them,
    Their sons, too, forever
    shall sit upon your throne.”
    R. The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father.
    For the LORD has chosen Zion,
    he prefers her for his dwelling:
    “Zion is my resting place forever;
    in her I will dwell, for I prefer her.”
    R. The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father.

    Alleluia Ps 119:105
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    A lamp to my feet is your word,
    a light to my path.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mk 4:21-25
    Jesus said to his disciples,
    “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket
    or under a bed,
    and not to be placed on a lampstand?
    For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible;
    nothing is secret except to come to light.
    Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.”
    He also told them, “Take care what you hear.
    The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you,
    and still more will be given to you.
    To the one who has, more will be given;
    from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
    Feast day of Saint Bathildis, widow
    Saint Balthildis of Ascania, was queen consort of Burgundy and Neustria by marriage to Clovis II, the king of Burgundy and Neustria, and regent during the minority of her son. Bathildis became a trusted member of King Clovis Il's court and married him in 649. She bore him three sons: Clotaire Ill, Childeric II, and Thierry Ill, all of whom became kings. When Clovis died in 657, Bathildis served as regent for Clotaire III. She had founded a Benedictine convent at Chelles, as well as St. Denis Monastery and Corbie. When Clotaire III assumed the throne, Bathildis retired to Chelles, where she died on January 30.
    [​IMG] Please pray for us, especially for my special intention.
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  18. January 31
    Friday of the Third Week of Ordinary Time

    Reading 1 2 Sm 11:1-4a, 5-10a, 13-17
    At the turn of the year, when kings go out on campaign,
    David sent out Joab along with his officers
    and the army of Israel,
    and they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah.
    David, however, remained in Jerusalem.
    One evening David rose from his siesta
    and strolled about on the roof of the palace.
    From the roof he saw a woman bathing, who was very beautiful.
    David had inquiries made about the woman and was told,
    “She is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam,
    and wife of Joab’s armor bearer Uriah the Hittite.”
    Then David sent messengers and took her.
    When she came to him, he had relations with her.
    She then returned to her house.
    But the woman had conceived,
    and sent the information to David, “I am with child.”

    David therefore sent a message to Joab,
    “Send me Uriah the Hittite.”
    So Joab sent Uriah to David.
    When he came, David questioned him about Joab, the soldiers,
    and how the war was going, and Uriah answered that all was well.
    David then said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and bathe your feet.”
    Uriah left the palace,
    and a portion was sent out after him from the king’s table.
    But Uriah slept at the entrance of the royal palace
    with the other officers of his lord, and did not go down
    to his own house.
    David was told that Uriah had not gone home.
    On the day following, David summoned him,
    and he ate and drank with David, who made him drunk.
    But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his bed
    among his lord’s servants, and did not go down to his home.
    The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab
    which he sent by Uriah.
    In it he directed:
    “Place Uriah up front, where the fighting is fierce.
    Then pull back and leave him to be struck down dead.”
    So while Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah
    to a place where he knew the defenders were strong.
    When the men of the city made a sortie against Joab,
    some officers of David’s army fell,
    and among them Uriah the Hittite died.

    Responsorial Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6a, 6bcd-7, 10-11
    R. (see 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
    Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
    in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
    Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
    and of my sin cleanse me.
    R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
    For I acknowledge my offense,
    and my sin is before me always:
    “Against you only have I sinned,
    and done what is evil in your sight.”
    R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
    I have done such evil in your sight
    that you are just in your sentence,
    blameless when you condemn.
    True, I was born guilty,
    a sinner, even as my mother conceived me.
    R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
    Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness;
    the bones you have crushed shall rejoice.
    Turn away your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my guilt.
    R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

    Alleluia Mt 11:25
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
    you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mk 4:26-34
    Jesus said to the crowds:
    “This is how it is with the Kingdom of God;
    it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
    and would sleep and rise night and day
    and the seed would sprout and grow,
    he knows not how.
    Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
    first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
    And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
    for the harvest has come.”

    He said,
    “To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God,
    or what parable can we use for it?
    It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
    is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
    But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
    and puts forth large branches,
    so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
    With many such parables
    he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
    Without parables he did not speak to them,
    but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

    Feast of Saint John Bosco, Priest died 1888, Founder of the Salesian Order, patron of Editors, Laborers, Boys
    John Bosco was born on a poor farm near Turin, Italy in 1815. He tended sheep during his early youth. At about the age of nine, John had the first of a series of dreams which would play an influential role in his outlook and work. This first dream "left a profound impression on him for the rest of his life", because John saw a multitude of very poor boys who play and blaspheme, and a man, who "appeared, nobly attired, with a manly and imposing bearing". The man said to him: "You will have to win these friends of yours not with blows, but with gentleness and kindness. So begin right now to show them that sin is ugly and virtue beautiful." John then expressed his desire to become a priest and from that time on, he walked more than four miles daily to attend school except for the time he was needed on his farm. His older brother Antonio gave John a difficult time about his vocation and constantly discouraged him from becoming a priest.
    The day before he entered the seminary, his mother, laying her hands on his shoulders, said, "To see you dressed in this manner (clerical clothing) fills my heart with joy. But remember that it is not the clothing that gives honor to the state, but the practice of virtue. If at any time you come to doubt your vocation, I beseech you, lay it aside. I would rather have a poor peasant for my son than a negligent priest. When you came into the world I consecrated you to Our Lady; when you began to study I bade you honor her and have recourse to her in all your difficulties; now I beg you to take her for your own Queen." The motto on the Salesian coat of arms: Da mihi animas cetera tolle tibi- means: Give me only souls and keep all the rest.
    Father John Bosco became known as an "Apostle of Youth" in the city of Turin because he founded the Salesian Society of Saint Francis de Sales and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. In Turin, the young people suffered many of the ill-effects of industrialization and urbanization. At that time, the city of Turin had a population of 117,000 inhabitants. Numerous poor families lived in the slums of the city, having come from the countryside in search of a better life. In visiting the prisons, Father Bosco was disturbed to see so many boys from 12 to 18 years of age. He was determined to find a means to prevent them from ending up here. Because of population growth and migration to the city, Bosco found the traditional methods of parish ministry inefficient. He decided it was necessary to try another form of apostolate, and he began to meet the boys where they worked and gathered in shops and marketplaces. They were pavers, stone-cutters, masons, plasterers who came from far away places so Father Bosco dedicated his life to their betterment and education. Father Bosco is also known for the prophetic dreams he had which have been published for our edification including famous dream where the Church is a ship navigating the sea in a terrible storm with the Pope at the helm. The Pope steers the Church between the pillar of the Eucharist and the pillar of the Immaculate Conception. The storm then subsides and all the little boats that had been traveling the same way attach themselves to the ship, the Catholic Church.
    [​IMG]Please pray for us and the young people. Amen.
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  19. February 1
    Saturday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

    Reading 1 2 Sm 12:1-7a, 10-17
    The LORD sent Nathan to David, and when he came to him,
    Nathan said: “Judge this case for me!
    In a certain town there were two men, one rich, the other poor.
    The rich man had flocks and herds in great numbers.
    But the poor man had nothing at all
    except one little ewe lamb that he had bought.
    He nourished her, and she grew up with him and his children.
    She shared the little food he had
    and drank from his cup and slept in his bosom.
    She was like a daughter to him.
    Now, the rich man received a visitor,
    but he would not take from his own flocks and herds
    to prepare a meal for the wayfarer who had come to him.
    Instead he took the poor man’s ewe lamb
    and made a meal of it for his visitor.”
    David grew very angry with that man and said to him:
    “As the LORD lives, the man who has done this merits death!
    He shall restore the ewe lamb fourfold
    because he has done this and has had no pity.”

    Then Nathan said to David: “You are the man!
    Thus says the LORD God of Israel:
    ‘The sword shall never depart from your house,
    because you have despised me
    and have taken the wife of Uriah to be your wife.’
    Thus says the LORD:
    ‘I will bring evil upon you out of your own house.
    I will take your wives while you live to see it,
    and will give them to your neighbor.
    He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight.
    You have done this deed in secret,
    but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel,
    and with the sun looking down.’”

    Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”
    Nathan answered David: “The LORD on his part has forgiven your sin:
    you shall not die.
    But since you have utterly spurned the LORD by this deed,
    the child born to you must surely die.”
    Then Nathan returned to his house.

    The LORD struck the child that the wife of Uriah had borne to David,
    and it became desperately ill.
    David besought God for the child.
    He kept a fast, retiring for the night
    to lie on the ground clothed in sackcloth.
    The elders of his house stood beside him
    urging him to rise from the ground; but he would not,
    nor would he take food with them.

    Responsorial Psalm 51:12-13, 14-15, 16-17
    R. (12a) Create a clean heart in me, O God.
    A clean heart create for me, O God,
    and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
    Cast me not out from your presence,
    and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
    R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
    Give me back the joy of your salvation,
    and a willing spirit sustain in me.
    I will teach transgressors your ways,
    and sinners shall return to you.
    R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
    Free me from blood guilt, O God, my saving God;
    then my tongue shall revel in your justice.
    O Lord, open my lips,
    and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
    R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

    Alleluia Jn 3:16
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
    so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Mk 4:35-41
    On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples:
    “Let us cross to the other side.”
    Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was.
    And other boats were with him.
    A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat,
    so that it was already filling up.
    Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.
    They woke him and said to him,
    “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
    He woke up,
    rebuked the wind,
    and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”
    The wind ceased and there was great calm.
    Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified?
    Do you not yet have faith?”
    They were filled with great awe and said to one another,
    “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”

    Feast day of Saint Brigid of Ireland, Virgin
    Encyclopedia says that Brigid was born of a noble father and a slave mother in Dundalk about the year 450. It was written that her mother had been baptized by Saint Patrick. Brigid and her mother were sold to a Druid, whom she later converted to Christianity. On being set free, she returned to her father, who tried to marry her to the king of Ulster. Impressed by her piety, the king removed her from parental control. According to the Liber hymnorum (11th century), the Curragh, a plain in Kildare, was granted to St. Brigid by the king of Leinster. At Kildare she founded the first convent in Ireland. The community became a double abbey for monks and nuns, with the abbess ranking above the abbot. Her friend St. Conleth became, at Brigid’s beckoning, bishop of her people. She is said to have been active in founding other communities of nuns. See this link for miracles involving St. Brigid

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  20. February 2
    Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
    Reading 1 Mal 3:1-4
    Thus says the Lord GOD:
    Lo, I am sending my messenger
    to prepare the way before me;
    And suddenly there will come to the temple
    the LORD whom you seek,
    And the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.
    Yes, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
    But who will endure the day of his coming?
    And who can stand when he appears?
    For he is like the refiner’s fire,
    or like the fuller’s lye.
    He will sit refining and purifying silver,
    and he will purify the sons of Levi,
    Refining them like gold or like silver
    that they may offer due sacrifice to the LORD.
    Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem
    will please the LORD,
    as in the days of old, as in years gone by.

    Responsorial Psalm 24:7, 8, 9, 10
    R. (8) Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
    Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
    reach up, you ancient portals,
    that the king of glory may come in!
    R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
    Who is this king of glory?
    The LORD, strong and mighty,
    the LORD, mighty in battle.
    R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
    Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
    reach up, you ancient portals,
    that the king of glory may come in!
    R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
    Who is this king of glory?
    The LORD of hosts; he is the king of glory.
    R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!

    Reading 2 Heb 2:14-18
    Since the children share in blood and flesh,
    Jesus likewise shared in them,
    that through death he might destroy the one
    who has the power of death, that is, the Devil,
    and free those who through fear of death
    had been subject to slavery all their life.
    Surely he did not help angels
    but rather the descendants of Abraham;
    therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters
    in every way,
    that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God
    to expiate the sins of the people.
    Because he himself was tested through what he suffered,
    he is able to help those who are being tested.

    Alleluia Lk 2:32
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.
    A light of revelation to the Gentiles,
    and glory for your people Israel.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

    Gospel Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22-32
    When the days were completed for their purification
    according to the law of Moses,
    Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem
    to present him to the Lord,
    just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
    Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
    and to offer the sacrifice of
    a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
    in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

    Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
    This man was righteous and devout,
    awaiting the consolation of Israel,
    and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
    It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
    that he should not see death
    before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
    He came in the Spirit into the temple;
    and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
    to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
    he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

    “Now, Master, you may let your servant go
    in peace, according to your word,
    for my eyes have seen your salvation,
    which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples:
    a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and glory for your people Israel.”

    The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
    and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
    “Behold, this child is destined
    for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
    and to be a sign that will be contradicted
    --and you yourself a sword will pierce--
    so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
    There was also a prophetess, Anna,
    the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
    She was advanced in years,
    having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
    and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
    She never left the temple,
    but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
    And coming forward at that very time,
    she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
    to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

    When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
    of the law of the Lord,
    they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.
    The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
    and the favor of God was upon him.


    When the days were completed for their purification
    according to the law of Moses,
    Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem
    to present him to the Lord,
    just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
    Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
    and to offer the sacrifice of
    a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
    in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

    Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
    This man was righteous and devout,
    awaiting the consolation of Israel,
    and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
    It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
    that he should not see death
    before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
    He came in the Spirit into the temple;
    and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
    to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
    he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

    “Now, Master, you may let your servant go
    in peace, according to your word,
    for my eyes have seen your salvation,
    which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples:
    a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and glory for your people Israel.”

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