Monthly Archives: June 2013

Pope Francis: resting our faith on the rock of Christ

(Vatican Radio) There are people who “masquerade as Christians,” and sin by being excessively superficial or overly rigid, forgetting that a true Christian is a person of joy who rests their faith on the rock of Christ. Some think they can be Christian without Christ; others think being Christian means being in a perpetual state mourning. This was the focus of Pope Francis’ homily at morning Mass on Thursday. Read more

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Tuesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

Increase in us, Lord,
the faith you have given us,
and bring to a harvest worthy of heaven
the praise we offer you at the beginning of this new day.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
– Amen.

Gospel – Tuesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

Gospel MT 7:6, 12-14

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine,
lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.

“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the Law and the Prophets.

“Enter through the narrow gate;
for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction,
and those who enter through it are many.
How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life.
And those who find it are few.”

Pope Francis: Mass on the Feast of St. John the Baptist

(Vatican Radio) The church exists for courageously proclaiming -until martyrdom- Christ, to serve and “take nothing for herself”. In his homily at morning Mass on Monday, Pope Francis pointed to St. John the Baptist as model for Church: he didn’t claim the Truth, the Word as his own; he diminished himself so Christ could shine. Read more.

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Ordination Anniversary

Thirty-four years ago today (June 24, 1979) in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, at the Papal Altar, I knelt before Blessed John Paul II, and he ordained me a priest, the first American to be ordained by the then-new pontiff (only because I was the shortest!) Wow! Thirty-four years of priesthood. How time has flown! Praise God!

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Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist – June 24

we pray, almighty God,
that your family may walk in the way of salvation and,
attentive to what Saint John the Precursor urged,
may come safely to the One he foretold, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
– Amen.

Gospel – Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist – June 24

Gospel Lk 1:57-66, 80

When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child
she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard
that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her,
and they rejoiced with her.
When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child,
they were going to call him Zechariah after his father,
but his mother said in reply,
“No. He will be called John.”
But they answered her,
“There is no one among your relatives who has this name.”
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,”
and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed,
and he spoke blessing God.
Then fear came upon all their neighbors,
and all these matters were discussed
throughout the hill country of Judea.
All who heard these things took them to heart, saying,
“What, then, will this child be?”
For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.
The child grew and became strong in spirit,
and he was in the desert until the day
of his manifestation to Israel.

June 24 backgrounder: Birth of St. John the Baptist

June 24

The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist


“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light” (Jn 1:6-9).

Today the Church celebrates the birth of Saint John the Baptist, the last of the line of prophets sent to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. As the Catechism teaches us, “The coming of God’s son to earth is an event of such immensity that God willed to prepare for it over centuries. He makes everything converge on Christ; all the rituals and sacrifices, figures and symbols of the ‘First Covenant.’ He announces him through the mouths of the prophets who succeeded one another in Israel.”

As such, we recognize Saint John the Baptist as surpassing all the other prophets. In the fullness of time, the prophetic cycle starting with Elijah came to completion; for in Saint John the Holy Spirit completed his work of making a people ready for God’s Son. Also, Saint John abundantly welcomed Christ into the world; he leaped for joy in his mother’s womb, foreshadowed Christ’s coming in his preaching, baptized and bore witness to Jesus in the Jordan, and gave his life in holy martyrdom. We celebrate Saint John the Baptist’s birth as a triumph to the hope and joy present in Christ’s coming.

Written by Sarah Ciotti


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Scripture Commentary – June 23

June 23, Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Cycle C. Readings:
1) Zechariah 12:10-11; 13:1
Psalm: 63:2-6, 8-9
2) Galatians 3:26-29
Gospel: Luke 9:18-24

If we’ve ever thought the phrase “timing is everything” carried a lot of wisdom, this week’s Scriptures confirm that. Whether it’s asking for a raise or correcting a friend, we know that there is a time when an action will bear fruit, but there may be many others when it could cause disaster.
If we think we have mastered the art of timing, think how much more accurate must be the timing of the One who created time and exists outside its realm.
In the Luke reading, Jesus asks his disciples who they say he is. Correctly, “Peter said in reply, ‘The Christ of God.'” Then Jesus rebuked his disciples for their answers, forbidding them from speaking of his identity because the time was not right, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the scribes.”
The time for proclaiming who Jesus was and why he had come had not arrived. This is a very mysterious passage until two books of the Bible later, in the second chapter of Acts, when on the streets of Jerusalem Peter and the disciples make their proclamation of who Jesus is and why he came.
At that point the time was ripe: The proclamation would bear great fruit when 3,000 conversions to this new message of the resurrected Messiah would take place on the very first day Peter and his brothers spoke out on Pentecost.
How often have we wondered about the will of God in our lives, wishing he would simply come out and tell us what to do? Maybe we need to take a lesson from both Luke’s Gospel and the second chapter of Acts. Perhaps we know what God wants us to do and proclaim, but, at the same time, we will only know the proper time of fulfillment by listening for the Spirit of God to speak to our hearts.

Has God asked you to speak or act in obedience to him? Is it something (like giving to the poor or being faithful to your spouse) that simply requires obedience, or are you waiting for a particular time when the action will be most appropriate or effective?

“O God, you are my God whom I seek; for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts.” — Psalm 63:2

From Catholic News Service
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Pope Francis celebrates Sunday Mass with Apostolic Nuncios

(Vatican Radio) This morning, Pope Francis celebrated mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. About 40 apostolic nuncios, who remained in the Vatican after the Pope’s meeting with them on Friday, were present. Commenting on the Sunday Gospel from Luke, in which Jesus asks the Apostles, “But who do you say that I am?”, the Pope underlined that we need to respond to Jesus from the heart, inspired by our veneration for him and from the rock of his love. Here is the report from Vatican Radio.

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