Thứ Hai, 31 tháng 7, 2017

AUGUST 01, 2017 : MEMORIAL OF SAINT ALPHONSUS LIGUORI, BISHOP AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 402

The tent, which was called the meeting tent,
Moses used to pitch at some distance away, outside the camp.
Anyone who wished to consult the LORD
would go to this meeting tent outside the camp.
Whenever Moses went out to the tent, the people would all rise
and stand at the entrance of their own tents,
watching Moses until he entered the tent.
As Moses entered the tent, the column of cloud would come down
and stand at its entrance while the LORD spoke with Moses.
On seeing the column of cloud stand at the entrance of the tent,
all the people would rise and worship
at the entrance of their own tents.
The LORD used to speak to Moses face to face,
as one man speaks to another.
Moses would then return to the camp,
but his young assistant, Joshua, son of Nun,
would not move out of the tent.

Moses stood there with the LORD and proclaimed his name, "LORD."
Thus the LORD passed before him and cried out,
"The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God,
slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity,
continuing his kindness for a thousand generations,
and forgiving wickedness and crime and sin;
yet not declaring the guilty guiltless,
but punishing children and grandchildren
to the third and fourth generation for their fathers' wickedness!"
Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship.
Then he said, "If I find favor with you, O LORD,
do come along in our company.
This is indeed a stiff-necked people; 
yet pardon our wickedness and sins,
and receive us as your own."

So Moses stayed there with the LORD for forty days and forty nights,
without eating any food or drinking any water,
and he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant,
the ten commandments.

R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.
The LORD secures justice
and the rights of all the oppressed.
He has made known his ways to Moses,
and his deeds to the children of Israel.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Alleluia
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.

Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
"Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field."
He said in reply, "He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the Evil One,
and the enemy who sows them is the Devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his Kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the Kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear."


Meditation: "The righteous will shine like the sun in the Father's kingdom"
Are you quick to judge the faults of others? Jesus' parable teaches us patience lest we judge before the time is right. Jesus also warns that there is an enemy who seeks to destroy the good seed of his word before it can bear fruit. Both good and evil can be sown in our hearts like tiny seeds which germinate, and in due time yield a harvest of good or bad fruit. We must stand guard lest evil take root in our hearts and corrupt us.
Reaping what we sow in this life
Charles Read wrote: "Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny." In the day of judgment each will reap what he or she has sown in this life. Those who sow good will shine in the kingdom of their Father. They will radiate with the beauty, joy, and fullness of God’s love. Do you allow the love of Jesus Christ to rule in your heart, thoughts, and actions?
"Lord Jesus, may your all-consuming love rule in my heart and transform my life that I may sow what is good, worthy, and pleasing to you.”
Daily Quote from the early church fathersLet us become friends of Jesus, by Origen of Alexandria (185-254 AD)
"Now, having discoursed sufficiently to the multitudes in parables, he sends them away and goes to his own house, where his disciples come to him. His disciples did not go with those he sent away. As many as are more genuine hearers of Jesus first follow him, then having inquired about his house, are permitted to see it. Having come, they saw and stayed with him for all that day, and perhaps some of them even longer. In my opinion, such things are implied in the Gospel according to John... And if then, unlike the multitudes whom he sends away, we wish to hear Jesus and go to the house and receive something better than the multitudes did, let us become friends of Jesus, so that as his disciples come, we may also come to him when he goes into the house. And having come, let us inquire about the explanation of the parable, whether of the tares of the field, or of any other. (excerpt from the COMMENTARY ON MATTHEW 10.1–3)

TUESDAY, AUGUST 1, MATTHEW 13:36-43
(Exodus 33:7-11, 34:5b-9, 28; Psalm 103)

KEY VERSE: "He who sows good seed is the Son of Man" (v 37).
TO KNOW: Jesus left the crowds who refused to believe his words, and addressed his instruction to his disciples. To them alone, he explained the parable of the weeds among the wheat. He told them that he was the one who sowed the good seed of the gospel in the world. The ones who heard and acted on his words were children of the kingdom, while the weeds represented the offspring of the evil one. Jesus told them that God was patient and allowed good and evil to exist side by side until the harvest on the Day of Judgment. At the end of the age, all evildoers who caused others to sin would be cast into perdition. The righteous would reign in the everlasting light of God's glory (Dn 12:3).
TO LOVE: Do I plant good or bad seed in my community?
TO SERVE: Lord Jesus, I pray that you will uproot the bitter weeds in my life.​

Memorial of Alphonsus Liguori, bishop and doctor of the Church

Alphonsus Liguori was ordained at age 29. He was noted for his simple, clear style of preaching, and his understanding manner in the confessional. He was often opposed by Church officials for a perceived laxity toward sinners. He founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Liguorians or Redemptorists). Alphonsus was appointed bishop in 1762, and worked to reform the clergy and revitalize the faithful in the diocese. In 1775 he resigned his office due to his health, and went into what he thought was a prayerful retirement. In 1777 the royal government threatened to disband his Redemptorists. Calling on his knowledge of theology, and his skills as a lawyer, Alphonsus defended the Redemptorists so well that they obtained the king's approval. Alphonsus was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX in 1871. 


Tuesday 1 August 2017

St Alphonsus Liguori.
Exodus 33:7-11; 34:5-9, 28. Psalm 102(103):6-13. Matthew 13:36-43
The Lord is kind and merciful — Psalm 102(103):6-13.
The virtuous will shine like the sun.
Working with her Sisters to help homeless women and girls in the Providences she established, Mary MacKillop dealt with the grim reality of extreme poverty, abuse and neglect. Many would have suffered from mental illness, without the medication now available, fearing incarceration in lunatic asylums.
Not much has changed. Governments siphon off a substantial part of the mental health budget to bolster general health. Mental health beds in hospitals are closed, supported housing sold off and services stretched to breaking point. There are critical incidents and suicides that are never publicized.
Jesus, inspire more people to reach out to abandoned and desperate people, as Mary did. Give others the courage to speak out against the diversion of funding from people in greatest need.

ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI

St. Alphonsus Liguori is a doctor of the Church who is widely known for his contribution to moral theology and his great kindness. He was born in 1696 in Naples to a well-respected family. He was very intelligent , even as a young boy, and he became a doctor of civil law at age 17. He resigned from a brilliant career as a lawyer in 1723 when he lost a case because he overlooked a small, but important, piece of evidence.

His resignation, however, proved profitable for the Church. He entered the seminary and was ordained three years later in 1726. He soon became a sought-after preacher and confessor in Naples. His so sermons were simple and well organized that they appealed to all people, both learned and unlearned. However, his time as a diocesan priest was short-lived: in 1732, he went to Scala and founded the Redemptorists, a preaching order.

He was a great moral theologian and his famous book, “Moral Theology”, was published in 1748. Thirty years later, he was appointed bishop, and he retired in 1775. He died just over 10 years later in 1787, and was canonized in 1839.

LECTIO: MATTHEW 13,36-43
Lectio Divina: 
 Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Ordinary Time

1) Opening prayer
God our Father and protector,
without you nothing is holy,
nothing has value.
Guide us to everlasting life
by helping us to use wisely
the blessings you have given to the world.
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.

2) Gospel Reading - Matthew 13,36-43
Then, leaving the crowds, Jesus went to the house; and his disciples came to him and said, 'Explain to us the parable about the darnel in the field.' He said in reply, 'The sower of the good seed is the Son of man. The field is the world; the good seed is the subjects of the kingdom; the darnel, the subjects of the Evil One; the enemy who sowed it, the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; the reapers are the angels. Well then, just as the darnel is gathered up and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of time. The Son of man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of falling and all who do evil, and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. Then the upright will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Anyone who has ears should listen!

3) Reflection
• The Gospel today presents the explanation of Jesus, at the petition of the disciples, of the parable of the wheat grain and the darnel. Some experts think that this explanation, which Jesus gives to his disciples, is not Jesus’, but of the community. This is possible and probable, because a parable, because of its nature, requires the involvement and the participation of the persons in the discovery of the significance. Like the plant is already contained within the seed, in the same way, certainly, the explanation of the community is in the parable. And it is precisely this objective that Jesus wanted and wants to attain with the parable. The sense which we are discovering today in the parable which Jesus told two thousand years ago was already enclosed, contained, in the story that Jesus told, like the flower is already contained in its seed.
• Matthew 13,36: The request of the disciples to Jesus: the explanation of the parable of the wheat grain and the darnel. The disciples, in the house, speak and ask for an explanation of the parable of the wheat grain and the darnel. (Mt 13,24-30). It has been said many times that Jesus, in the house, continued to teach his disciples (Mk 7,17; 9,28.33; 10,10). At that time, there was no television and people spent together the long winter evenings to speak about the facts and events of life. On these occasions, Jesus completed the teaching and the formation of his disciples.
• Matthew 13,38-39: The meaning of each one of the elements of the parable. Jesus responds taking again each one of these elements of the parable and giving them significance: the field is the world; the good seed are the members of the Kingdom; the darnel is the members of the adversary (the evil one); the enemy is the devil; the harvest is the end of time, the reapers are the angels. And now reread the parable (Mt 13,24-30) giving to each one of these six elements: field, good seed, darnel, enemy, harvest and reapers, the right significance. In this way the story assumes a completely new sense and it is possible to attain the objective that Jesus had in mind when he told people the parable of the darnel and the good seed. Some think that this parable should be understood as an allegory and not as a parable properly so called.
• Matthew 13,40-43: The application of the parable or of the allegory. With the information given by Jesus, you will understand better its application: Just as the darnel is gathered up and burnt in the fire, so it will be at the end of time. The Son of man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of failing and all who do evil, and throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. Then the upright will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father”.
The destiny of the darnel is the furnace; the destiny of the grain is to shine like the sun in the Kingdom of the Father. Behind these two images there is the experience of the persons. After they have listened to Jesus and have accepted him in their life, everything has changed for them. This means that in Jesus what they expected has taken place: the fulfilment of the promises. Now life is divided into before and after having accepted Jesus in their life. The new life has begun with the splendour of the sun. If they would have continued to live as before, they would be like the darnel in the furnace, life without meaning, which is good for nothing.
• Parable and Allegory. There is the parable. There is the allegory. There is the mixture of both which is the more common form. Generally, everything in the parable is a call. In the Gospel of today, we have the example of an allegory. An allegory is a story which a person tells, but when she is telling it, she does not think about the elements of the story, but about the theme which has to be clarified. In reading an allegory it is not necessary first to look at the story as a whole, because in an allegory the story is not constructed around a central point which later serves as a comparison, but rather each element has its own independent function, starting from the sense which it receives. It is a question of discovering what each element of the two stories tries to tell us about the Kingdom, as the explanation which Jesus gave of the parable: field, good seed, darnel, enemy, harvest, reapers. Generally the parables are also allegories, a mixture of both.

4) Personal questions
• In the field everything is mixed up: darnel and grain. In the field of my life, what thing prevails: darnel or grain?
• Have you tried to speak with other persons to discover the sense of some parable?

5) Concluding Prayer
How blessed is he who has Jacob's God to help him,
his hope is in Yahweh his God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them. (Ps 146,5-6)