Thứ Năm, 22 tháng 6, 2017

JUNE 22, 2017 : THURSDAY OF THE ELEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 368

Reading 12 COR 11:1-11
Brothers and sisters:
If only you would put up with a little foolishness from me!
Please put up with me.
For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God,
since I betrothed you to one husband
to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning,
your thoughts may be corrupted
from a sincere and pure commitment to Christ.
For if someone comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached,
or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received
or a different gospel from the one you accepted,
you put up with it well enough.
For I think that I am not in any way inferior to these "superapostles."
Even if I am untrained in speaking, I am not so in knowledge;
in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.

Did I make a mistake when I humbled myself so that you might be exalted,
because I preached the Gospel of God to you without charge?
I plundered other churches by accepting from them
in order to minister to you.
And when I was with you and in need, I did not burden anyone,
for the brothers who came from Macedonia
supplied my needs.
So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way.
By the truth of Christ in me,
this boast of mine shall not be silenced
in the regions of Achaia.
And why? Because I do not love you?
God knows I do!

Responsorial PsalmPS 111:1B-2, 3-4, 7-8
R. (7a) Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Majesty and glory are his work,
and his justice endures forever.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
R. Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
sure are all his precepts,
Reliable forever and ever,
wrought in truth and equity. 
R. Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaROM 8:15BC
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You have received a spirit of adoption as sons
through which we cry: Abba! Father!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 6:7-15
Jesus said to his disciples:
"In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

"This is how you are to pray:

'Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.'
"If you forgive others their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions."


Meditation: "Your Father knows what you need"
Do you pray with joy and confidence? The Jews were noted for their devotion to prayer. Formal prayer was prescribed for three set times a day. And the rabbis had a prayer for every occasion. Jesus warns his disciples against formalism, making prayer something mechanical and devoid of meaning, with little thought for God. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray he gave them the disciple’s prayer, what we call the Our Father or Lord’ Prayer. This prayer dares to call God "our Father" and boldly asks for the things we need to live as his sons and daughters.
It is through the gift of the Holy Spirit that we can know God personally and call him "Abba, Father" (Romans 8:15). We can approach God our Father with confidence and boldness because Jesus Christ has opened the way to heaven for us through his death and resurrection. When we ask God for help, he fortunately does not give us what we deserve. Instead, he responds with grace and favor and mercy. It is his nature to love generously and to forgive mercifully. When he gives he gives more than we need so we will have something to share with others in their need as well.
God is kind and forgiving towards us and he expects us to treat our neighbor the same. Do you treat others as they deserve, or do you treat them as the Lord would treat you with his grace and favor and mercy? Jesus' prayer includes an injunction that we must ask God to forgive us in proportion as we forgive those who have wronged us. Ask the Lord to free your heart of any anger, bitterness, resentment, selfishness, indifference, or coldness towards others. Let the Holy Spirit fill you with the fire of his burning love and compassion and with the river of his overflowing mercy and kindness.
"Father in heaven, you have given me a mind to know you, a will to serve you, and a heart to love you. Give me today the grace and strength to embrace your holy will and fill my heart with your love that all my intentions and actions may be pleasing to you. Give me the grace to be charitable in thought, kind in deed, and loving in speech towards all."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersBlessed are they who recognize their Father! by Tertullian, 160-225 A.D.
"Our Lord so frequently spoke to us of God as Father. He even taught us to call none on earth father, but only the one we have in heaven (Matthew 23:9). Therefore, when we pray to the Father, we are following this command. Blessed are they who recognize their Father! Remember the reproach made against Israel, when the Spirit calls heaven and earth to witness, saying, 'I have begotten sons and they have not known me' (Isaiah 1:2). In addressing him as Father we are also naming him God, so as to combine in a single term both filial love and power. Addressing the Father, the Son is also being addressed, for Christ said, 'I and the Father are one.' Nor is Mother Church passed over without mention, for the mother is recognized in the Son and the Father, as it is within the church that we learn the meaning of the terms Father and Son." (excerpt from ON PRAYER 2.2–6)



THURSDAY, JUNE 22, MATTHEW 6:7-15
Weekday

KEY VERSE: "This is how you are to pray..." (v 9).
TO KNOW: Unlike the pagans who sought their god's approval by lengthy repetition, Jesus taught his followers a simple prayer. He told his disciples that they could approach God as "Father," a loving parent who was intimately present and already knew their needs. At the same time, they were to reverence God "in heaven," and to obey the divine will so that God's reign would be established "on earth." Just as Israel had to depend upon God's providence during their wilderness journey (Ex 16:4,15), Jesus' disciples were to put their trust in God on their spiritual journey. They were to imitate God's mercy by extending forgiveness to others. Jesus' disciples should pray that they would not fail God in the final test.
TO LOVE: Father God, help me to trust you each day as I journey to your kingdom.
TO SERVE: How do I need to obey God's will today?
Optional Memorial of Saint Paulinus of Nola, bishop

Paulinus of Nola was a friend of Saint Augustine, and was mentioned for his holiness by at least six of his contemporary saints. A distinguished lawyer, he held several public offices in the Empire, then retired from public work with his wife, Therasia, first to Bordeaux, where they were baptized, and then to Therasia's estate in Spain. After the death of their only son at the age of only a few weeks, the couple decided to spend the rest of their lives devoted to God. They moved to Nola, gave away most of their estates and dedicated themselves to increasing their holiness and helping the poor. Paulinus was chosen bishop of Nola by popular demand, and governed the diocese for more than 21 years while living in his own home as a monk. His writings contain one of the earliest examples of a Christian wedding song

Optional Memorial of Saint John Fisher, bishop and martyr

John Fisher studied theology at Cambridge University and gained a reputation for his teaching abilities and became Chancellor of Cambridge. He was made Bishop of Rochester at age 35, and worked to raise the standard of preaching. When in 1527 he was asked to study the problem of Henry VIII's marriage, he became the target of Henry's wrath by opposing the King's divorce proceedings against Catherine, his wife, and steadfastly rejecting Henry's claim to be head of the Church in England. John Fisher spent 14 months in prison without trial before execution for treason. He was martyred in 1535 on Tower Hill, London, England; buried in the churchyard of All Hallows, without rites or a shroud. His head was exhibited on London Bridge for two weeks as an example, then thrown into the River Thames. He was canonized in 1935 by Pope Pius XI.


Optional Memorial of Saint Thomas More, martyr

Thomas More studied at London and Oxford. A lawyer, he was twice married, father of one son and three daughters, and a devoted family man. A friend of King Henry VIII, Thomas was made Lord Chancellor of England, a position of power second only to the king. He opposed the king on the matter of royal divorce, and refused to swear the Oath of Supremacy which declared the king the head of the Church in England. He resigned the Chancellorship, and was imprisoned in the Tower of London. He was beheaded in 1535 for his refusal to bend his religious beliefs to the king's political needs. Thomas More's head was kept in the Roper Vault, Saint Dunstan's church, Canterbury, England, and his body at Saint Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London, England. He was canonized in 1935 by Pope Pius XI.


Thursday 22 June 2017

2 Corinthians 11:1-11. Psalms 110(111):1-4, 7-8. Matthew 6:7-15.
Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth — Psalms 110(111):1-4, 7-8.
‘Pray, then, in this way …’
Dear Lord, thank you for showing us how to pray your way. We were brought up knowing the ‘Our Father’. Most of us have been taught, practically from the cradle, to pray it daily. Help us today to reflect on it as though it were a new prayer. What do we find?
The first thing is to praise God. Then we can ask for what we really need—bread, not chocolates and champagne.
We find that in order to be forgiven—and we all need forgiveness—we must let go our cherished grudges and forgive others for any real or imaginary injuries.
Then, to keep us on track, you tell us to call on you for help in temptation.
Finally, we ask you to deliver us from the beguiling influences of evil.


ST. PAULINUS OF NOLA

On June 22, the Catholic Church remembers Saint Paulinus of Nola, who gave up his life in politics to become a monk, a bishop, and a revered Christian poet of the 5th century.
In a December 2007 general audience on St. Paulinus, Pope Benedict XVI remarked on the saint's artistic gifts, which inspired “songs of faith and love in which the daily history of small and great events is seen as a history of salvation, a history of God with us.”
The poet-bishop's ministry, Pope Benedict said, was also “distinguished by special attention to the poor” – confirming his legacy as “a bishop with a great heart who knew how to make himself close to his people in the sorrowful trials of the barbarian invasions” during the 5th century.
Born at Bordeaux in present-day France during 354, Paulinus came from an illustrious family in the Roman imperial province of Aquitania. He received his literary education from the renowned poet and professor Ausonius, and eventually rose to the rank of governor in the Italian province of Campania.
Not yet baptized or a believer in Christ, Paulinus was nonetheless struck by the Campanians' devotion to the martyr Saint Felix at his local shrine. He took the initiative to build a road for pilgrims, as well as a hospice for the poor near the site of Felix's veneration.
But Paulinus grew dissatisfied with his civil position, leaving Campania and returning to his native region from 380 to 390. He also married a Spanish Catholic woman named Therasia. She, along with Bishop Delphinus of Bordeaux, and St. Martin the Bishop of Tours, guided him toward conversion.
Paulinus and his brother were baptized on the same day by Delphinus. But it was not long into his life as a Christian, that two shattering upheavals took place. Paulinus' infant son died shortly after birth; and when Paulinus' brother also died, he was accused in his murder.
After these catastrophes, Paulinus and Therasia mutually agreed to embrace monasticism, living in poverty and chastity. Around 390, they both moved to Spain. Approximately five years after his change of residence and lifestyle, the residents of Barcelona arranged for Paulinus' ordination as a priest.
During 395 he returned to the Italian city of Nola, where he and his wife both continued to live in chastity as monks. Paulinus made important contributions to the local church, particularly in the construction of basilicas. In 409, the monk was consecrated as the city's bishop.
Paulinus served as the Bishop of Nola for two decades. His gifts as a poet and composer of hymns were matched by his knowledge of Scripture, generosity toward the poor, and devotion to the saints who had preceded him – especially St. Felix, whose intercession he regarded as central to his conversion.
Praised by the likes of St. Augustine and St. Jerome for the depth of his conversion to Christ, the Bishop of Nola was regarded as a saint even before his death on the evening of June 22, 431.
ST. THOMAS MORE

On June 22, the Catholic Church honors the life and martyrdom of St. Thomas More, the lawyer, author and statesman who lost his life opposing King Henry VIII's plan to subordinate the Church to the English monarchy.
Thomas More was born in 1478, son of the lawyer and judge John More and his wife Agnes. He received a classical education from the age of six, and at age 13 became the protege of Archbishop John Morton, who also served an important civic role as the Lord Chancellor. Although Thomas never joined the clergy, he would eventually come to assume the position of Lord Chancellor himself.
More received a well-rounded college education at Oxford, becoming a “renaissance man” who knew several ancient and modern languages and was well-versed in mathematics, music and literature. His father, however, determined that Thomas should become a lawyer, so he withdrew his son from Oxford after two years to focus him on that career.
Despite his legal and political orientation, Thomas was confused in regard to his vocation as a young man. He seriously considered joining either the Carthusian monastic order or the Franciscans, and followed a number of ascetic and spiritual practices throughout his life – such as fasting, corporal mortification, and a regular rule of prayer – as means of growing in holiness.
In 1504, however, More was elected to Parliament. He gave up his monastic ambitions, though not his disciplined spiritual life, and married Jane Colt of Essex. They were happily married for several years and had four children together, though Jane tragically died in childbirth in 1511. Shortly after her death, More married a widow named Alice Middleton, who proved to be a devoted wife and mother.
Two years earlier, in 1509, King Henry VIII had acceded to the throne. For years, the king showed fondness for Thomas, working to further his career as a public servant. He became a part of the king's inner circle, eventually overseeing the English court system as Lord Chancellor. More even authored a book published in Henry's name, defending Catholic doctrine against Martin Luther.
More's eventual martyrdom would come as a consequence o f Henry VIII's own tragic downfall. The king wanted an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, a marriage that Pope Clement VII declared to be valid and indissoluble. By 1532, More had resigned as Lord Chancellor, refusing to support the king's efforts to defy the Pope and control the Church.
In 1534, Henry VIII declared that every subject of the British crown would have to swear an oath affirming the validity of his new marriage to Anne Boleyn. Refusal of these demands would be regarded as treason against the state.
In April of that year, a royal commission summoned Thomas to force him to take the oath affirming the King's new marriage as valid. While accepting certain portions of the act which pertained to Henry's royal line of succession, he could not accept the king's defiance of papal authority on the marriage question. More was taken from his wife and children, and imprisoned in the Tower of London.
For 15 months, More's wife and several friends tried to convince him to take the oath and save his life, but he refused. In 1535, while More was imprisoned, an act of Parliament came into effect declaring Henry VIII to be “the only supreme head on earth of the Church in England,” once again under penalty of treason. Members of the clergy who would not take the oath began to be executed.
In June of 1535, More was finally indicted and formally tried for the crime of treason in Westminster Hall. He was charged with opposing the king's “Act of Supremacy” in private conversations which he insisted had never occurred. But after his defense failed, and he was sentenced to death, he finally spoke out in open opposition to what he had previously opposed through silence and refusal.
More explained that Henry's Act of Supremacy, was contrary “to the laws of God and his holy Church.” He explained that “no temporal prince” could take away the prerogatives that belonged to St. Peter and his successors according to the words of Christ. When he was told that most of the English bishops had accepted the king's order, More replied that the saints in heaven did not accept it.
On July 7, 1535, the 57-year-old More came before the executioner to be beheaded. “I die the king's good servant,” he told the onlookers, “but God's first.” His head was displayed on London Bridge, but later returned to his daughter Margaret who preserved it as a holy relic of her father.
St. Thomas More was beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1886 and canonized in 1935 by Pope Piux XI. The Academy Award-winning film “A Man For All Seasons” portrayed the events that led to his martyrdom.


LECTIO DIVINA: MATTHEW 6,7-15
Lectio Divina: 
 Thursday, June 22, 2017
Ordinary Time

1) OPENING PRAYER
Almighty God,
our hope and our strength,
without you we falter.
Help us to follow Christ
and to live according to your will.
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
2) GOSPEL READING - MATTHEW 6,7-15
Jesus said to his disciples: 'In your prayers do not babble as the gentiles do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So you should pray like this:
Our Father in heaven, may your name be held holy,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us.
And do not put us to the test, but save us from the Evil One.
'Yes, if you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours; but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.
3) REFLECTION
• The Gospel today presents the prayer of the Our Father, the Psalm which Jesus has left us. There are two redactions of the Our Father, of Luke (Lk 11, 1-4 and of Matthew (Mt 6, 7-13). The redaction of Luke is briefer. Luke writes for the community coming from paganism. He tries to help the persons who are beginning a path of prayer. In the Gospel of Matthew, the Our Father is found in the part of the Discourse of the Mountain, where Jesus orientates the disciples in the practice of the three works of piety: alms giving (Mt 6, 1-4), prayer (Mt 6, 5-15) and fasting (Mt 6, 26-18). The Our father forms part of a catechesis for the converted Jews. They were used to pray, but they had certain vices which Matthew wanted to correct. In the Our Father, Jesus summarizes all his teaching in seven petitions addressed to the Father. In these seven petitions, he takes the promises of the Old Testament and orders to ask the Father to help us to realize them. The first three refer to our relationship with God. The other four have to do with the community relationship that we have with others.
• Matthew 6, 7-8: The introduction to the Our Father. Jesus criticises the persons for whom prayer was a repetition of magic formulae, of strong words, addressed to God to oblige him to respond to their petitions and needs. Anyone who prays has to seek, in the first place, the Kingdom, much more than the personal interests. The acceptance of prayer by God does not depend on the repetition of words, but rather on the goodness of God who is Love and Mercy. He wants our good and he knows our needs, even before we pray.
• Matthew 6,9a: The first words: “Our Father in Heaven!” “Abba, Father, is the name which Jesus uses to address himself to God. It expresses the intimacy that he has with God and manifests the new relationship with God which should characterize the life of people in the Christian communities (Ga 4, 6; Rm 8, 15). Matthew adds to the name of Father the adjective our and the expression in Heaven. The true prayer is a relationship which unites us to the Father, to the brothers and sisters, to nature. Familiarity with God is not intimist, but expresses the awareness of belonging to the great human family, in which all persons participate; of all races and of all creeds: Our Father. To pray to the Father is to enter in intimacy with him, it is also to be in harmony with the cry of all the brothers and sisters. It is to seek the Kingdom of God, in the first place. The experience of God the Father is the foundation of the universal fraternity.
• Matthew 6, 9b-10: The three petitions for the cause of God: the Name, the Kingdom, the Will. In the first part of the Our Father, we ask to restore our relationship with God. To do this Jesus asks (a) the sanctification of the Name revealed in Exodus on the occasion of the liberation from Egypt; (b) to ask for the coming of the Kingdom, expected by the people after the fall of the monarchy; (c) to ask for the fulfilment of God’s Will, revealed in the Law which was in the centre of the Covenant. The Name, the Kingdom, the Law: are three axis taken from the Old Testament which express how the new relationship with God should be. The three petitions indicate that it is necessary to live in intimacy with the Father, making his Name known, making him loved, doing in such a way that his Kingdom of love and of communion becomes a reality that his Will may be done on earth as it is in Heaven. In heaven, the sun and the stars obey the law of God and create the order of the Universe. The observance of the Law of God “on earth as it is in heaven” should be a source and a mirror of harmony and of well being for the whole creation. This renewed relationship with God becomes visible only in the renewed relationship among us, which on his part is the object of other four petitions: our daily bread, the forgiveness of debts, not to fall into temptation, to deliver us from evil.
• Matthew 6, 11-13: The four petitions for the brothers: Bread, Forgiveness, Victory, Liberty. In the second part of the Our Father we ask to restore and renew the relationship between persons. The four petitions indicate how the structures of the community and of society should be transformed in such a way that all the children of God may live with equal dignity. The daily bread: “Daily Bread” (Mt 6, 11) recalls the daily manna in the desert (Ex 16, 1-36). The manna was a “test” to see if the people were capable to follow the Law of the Lord (Ex 16, 4), that is, if they were capable to store food only for one day as a sign of faith that Divine Providence passes through the fraternal organization. Jesus invites them to walk toward a new Exodus, toward a new way of fraternal living together which can guarantee bread for all. Forgiveness of debts: the request of “forgiveness of debts” (6, 12) recalls the sabbatical year which obliged creditors to forgive all the debts to the brothers (Dt 15, 1-2). The objective of the sabbatical year and of the jubilee year (Lev 25, 1-22) was to do away with inequalities and to begin anew. How to pray today: “Forgive us our debts as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us”? The rich countries, all of which are Christian, are getting richer, thanks to the external debt. Not to fall into Temptation: the petition “not to fall into temptation” (6, 13) reminds us of the errors committed in the desert, where the people fell into temptation (Ex 18, 1-7; Nb 20, 1-13; Dt 9, 7-29). To imitate Jesus who was tempted and obtained victory (Mt 4, 1-17). In the desert, the temptation pushed people to follow other paths, to go back, not to undertake the road of liberation and to be demanding on Moses who guided them. Freedom from Evil: evil is the Evil One, Satan, who seeks to deviate and who in many ways, seeks to lead persons not to follow the path of the Kingdom, indicated by Jesus. He tempted Jesus to abandon the Project of the Father and to be the Messiah according to the idea of the Pharisees, the Scribes and other groups. The Evil One takes us away from God and is a reason of scandal. He also entered in Peter (Mt 16, 23) and he also tempted Jesus in the desert. Jesus overcame him. (Mt 4, 1-11).
4) PERSONAL QUESTIONS
• Jesus says “forgive us our debts”, but today we say “forgive us our offences”, what is easier to forgive offences or to cancel the debts?
• How do you usually pray the Our Father: mechanically or putting all your life and all your efforts in the words you pronounce?
5) CONCLUDING PRAYER
The mountains melt like wax,
before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his saving justice,
all nations see his glory. (Ps 97,5-6)