Monthly Archives: July 2013

World Youth Day opens at Copacabana

(Vatican Radio) Copacabana beach was the place to be on Tuesday evening as thousands of people flocked to the famed spot to be part of the Mass celebrating the opening of World Youth Day. Our correspondent Seàn Patrick Lovett was there and sends this report.

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News Briefs, July 23

Catholic News Service is the official news agency of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Click here for their News Briefs for today.

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Wednesday of the 16th week in Ordinary Time – Commentary

Click here to see today’s Mass readings from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops

“A sower went out to sow”

Now if you ask me what Jesus Christ means by the sower who goes out early to sow seed in his field: my dear brethren, that sower is the good God himself! He began his work for our salvation from the beginning of the world by sending his prophets to us before the coming of the Messiah to teach us what we had to do to be saved. And, not satisfied with sending his servants, he came himself, marked out for us the way we should take, and came to preach his holy word.

Do you know what those people are like who aren’t sustained by that holy word or who abuse it? They are like the sick without a doctor, like a traveller who has gone astray without a guide, like a poor man without means. Let us rather say, my brethren, that it is altogether impossible to love God and please him without being nourished by this divine word. What is there that can draw us to attach ourselves to him if not because we know him? And what enables us to know him with all his perfections, beauty and love for us if not God’s word, which teaches us all he has done for us and the good things he is preparing for us in the life to come if we try hard to please him?

Saint John Marie Vianney
Patron of Parish Priests

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Pope Francis has free day

Pope Francis is pretty much taking the day off, resting up after the long flight to Rio and all the welcoming ceremonies. Good idea, because he has a grueling schedule for the rest of the World Youth Day activities!

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Pope Francis: welcome ceremony in Brazil

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Monday, beginning a week-long Apostolic visit to mark the twenty-eighth World Youth Day. After a brief formal greeting at Rio’s Galeão airport, the Holy Father proceeded to Guanabara Palace for the official Welcoming Ceremony, where he was received by the President of Brazil, Dilma Vana Rousseff Linhares, the Governor of Rio State, Sergio Cabral Filho, and the Mayor of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes.

In her formal remarks, the President expressed joy and gratitude at the Holy Father’s visit. The Holy Father returned those sentiments, and placed his visit in the context of World Youth Day. The Holy Father went on to offer particular encouragement to the young participants, to their families, and to those responsible for forming and empowering the new generation to take up their responsibilities as the future leaders of humanity.

After the exchange of speeches, the Pope and the President retired for a private meeting, during which Francis presented Mrs. Rousseff with a mosaic realized by the Vatican Mosaic Studio according to the centuries-old techniques used to apply the mosaics in St. Peter’s Basilica, and depicting a panoramic view of Rio from just behind and above the great Statue of Christ the Redeemer.

Read more, including full text of Pope Francis’ remarks.

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Commentary – Tuesday of the 16th week in ordinary time

Readings for today.

Have you ever considered yourself a brother or sister of Jesus?

Do you consider yourself as part of His family?

Hopefully your answer is an affirmative YES. However, if you have never considered yourself as part of Jesus’ family, He is inviting you today to consider the invitation. “Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

Some have tried to interpret this Gospel story in different ways:

1) They say that Jesus is putting down His mother Mary. This is not the case at all. Jesus is rather affirming all of us who try to do His will. And the Scriptures are clear about Mary’s role – “Blessed are you among women…” (Luke 1:42) And Jesus followed the 4th Commandment of honoring His father and mother.

2) Others say that this Scripture means that Jesus had biological siblings and therefore Mary is not ever-virgin. I think the key Scripture that points to Jesus not having siblings is John 19:27 – “John, behold your mother.” Jesus was watching out for His mother from the cross because in that society women only had social standing through the men in their families. Joseph had already died and Mary’s only son, Jesus, was about to die. If Jesus had brothers, Mary simply would have been entrusted to one of them. However, Jesus entrusted His mother to John, the beloved disciple.

The significance of this Scripture is that the Lord invites us all to be a part of His family – intimate members of His household. We become His sons and daughters through our baptism. But we must also do the will of God the Father to maintain that relationship. What must we do to do the will of the Father?

We must pray to know the will of the Father.

We must put our faith into action.

We must have the courage to follow wherever the Lord calls us.

Is there anything holding you back?

Are you spending quality time in prayerful conversation with the Lord every day in order to know His will?

Are you putting your faith into action?

Have a blessed day!

Fr. Burke

On the Papal Plane to Brazil

Here is a report from Catholic News Service on Pope Francis’ encounter with the journalists traveling on the papal plane to Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day.

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St. Mary Magdalene

O God,
whose Only Begotten Son
entrusted Mary Magdalene before all others
with announcing the great joy of the Resurrection,
grant, we pray, that through her intercession
and example we may proclaim the living Christ
and come to see him reigning in your glory.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
– Amen.

Background – St. Mary Magdalene

Saint Mary Magdalene

Memorial

Mary Magdalene lived in the first century. She was the leader of the women who accompanied Jesus and the apostles on their journeys. She was present at Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Jesus sent her to announce the resurrection to the others, and so she was called the “apostle of the apostles.” From early times, she has been identified as the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet in Simon’s house and with Mary, the sister of Martha; however, most contemporary scholars now abandon this connection. Mary Magdalene is the patron saint of the contemplative life and of women.

Written by Sarah Ciotti

Gospel – Feast of St. Mary Magdalene

Gospel Jn 20:1-2, 11-18

On the first day of the week,
Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”

Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping.
And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there,
one at the head and one at the feet
where the Body of Jesus had been.
And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “They have taken my Lord,
and I don’t know where they laid him.”
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?”
She thought it was the gardener and said to him,
“Sir, if you carried him away,
tell me where you laid him,
and I will take him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew,
“Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.
Jesus said to her,
“Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
But go to my brothers and tell them,
‘I am going to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he told her.