Thứ Sáu, 11 tháng 8, 2017


Saturday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 412

Reading 1DT 6:4-13
Moses said to the people:
"Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone!
Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God,
with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your strength.
Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today.
Drill them into your children.
Speak of them at home and abroad, whether you are busy or at rest.
Bind them at your wrist as a sign
and let them be as a pendant on your forehead.
Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.

"When the LORD, your God, brings you into the land which he swore
to your fathers: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
that he would give you,
a land with fine, large cities that you did not build,
with houses full of goods of all sorts that you did not garner,
with cisterns that you did not dig,
with vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant;
and when, therefore, you eat your fill,
take care not to forget the LORD,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.
The LORD, your God, shall you fear;
him shall you serve, and by his name shall you swear."

Responsorial PsalmPS 18:2-3A, 3BC-4, 47 AND 51
R. (2) I love you, Lord, my strength.
I love you, O LORD, my strength,
O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.
My God, my rock of refuge,
my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!
Praised be the LORD, I exclaim!
And I am safe from my enemies.
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.
The LORD live! And blessed be my Rock!
Extolled be God my savior!
You who gave great victories to your king,
and showed kindness to your anointed,
to David and his posterity forever.
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.

AlleluiaSEE 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.

A man came up to Jesus, knelt down before him, and said,
"Lord, have pity on my son, who is a lunatic and suffers severely;
often he falls into fire, and often into water.
I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him."
Jesus said in reply,
"O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you?
How long will I endure you? 
Bring the boy here to me."
Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him,
and from that hour the boy was cured.
Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said,
"Why could we not drive it out?"
He said to them, "Because of your little faith.
Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you will say to this mountain,
'Move from here to there,' and it will move.
Nothing will be impossible for you."

Meditation: "Nothing will  be impossible to you"
What kind of faith does the Lord expect of us, especially when we meet set-backs and trials? Inevitably there are times when each of us disappoint others or disappoint ourselves when we suffer some kind of set-back or failure. In this Gospel incident the disciples of Jesus fail to heal an epileptic boy. Jesus' response seems stern; but it is really tempered with love and compassion. We see at once Jesus' dismay with the disciples' lack of faith and his concern to meet the need of this troubled boy and his father. With one word of command Jesus rebukes the evil spirit that has caused this boy's affliction and tells the spirit to "never enter him again". 
Pray with expectant faith
Jesus tells his disciples that they can "remove mountains" if they have faith in God. The expression to "remove mountains" was a common Jewish phrase for removing difficulties. A wise teacher who could solve difficulties was called a "mountain remover".  If we pray with expectant faith God will give us the means to overcome difficulties and obstacles. When  you meet trials and disappointments how do you respond? With faith and trust in Jesus?
"Lord Jesus, help my unbelief! Increase my faith and trust in your saving power. Give me confidence and perseverance, especially in prayer. And help me to bring your healing love and truth to those I meet".
Daily Quote from the early church fathersFaith as a grain of mustard seed, by Origen of Alexandria (185-254 AD)
"The mountains here spoken of, in my opinion, are the hostile powers that have their being in a flood of great wickedness, such as are settled down, so to speak, in some souls of various people. But when someone has total faith, such that he no longer disbelieves in anything found in holy Scripture and has faith like that of Abraham, who so believed in God to such a degree that his faith was reckoned to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6), then he has all faith like a grain of mustard seed. Then such a man will say to this mountain - I mean in this case the deaf and dumb spirit in him who is said to be epileptic - 'Move from here to another place.' It will move. This means it will move from the suffering person to the abyss. The apostle, taking this as his starting point, said with apostolic authority, 'If I have all faith, so as to remove mountains' (1 Corinthians 13:2). For he who has all faith - which is like a grain of mustard seed - moves not just one mountain but also more just like it. And nothing will be impossible for the person who has so much faith. Let us examine also this statement: 'This kind is not cast out except through prayer and fasting' (Mark 9:29). If at any time it is necessary that we should be engaged in the healing of one suffering from such a disorder, we are not to adjure nor put questions nor speak to the impure spirit as if it heard. But [by] devoting ourselves to prayer and fasting, we may be successful as we pray for the sufferer, and by our own fasting we may thrust out the unclean spirit from him." (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON MATTHEW 13.7.19)


(Deuteronomy 6:4-13; Psalm 18)

KEY VERSE: "Nothing will be impossible for you" (v 20).
TO KNOW: No sooner had Jesus come down from the heavenly glory on the mountain of the Transfiguration (Mt 17:1-13), than he was confronted with an earthly problem. He encountered a lack of faith, even among his own disciples. They were unable to heal a young man suffering from epilepsy, and his father begged Jesus to cure him. Jesus reproached the unbelievers in the same way that Moses rebuked the people when he returned from the mountain of Sinai and saw the people's lack of faith (Ex 32:19). Jesus healed the boy with a simple command, and then told his disciples that with enough faith, they could move mountains, a well-known metaphor for removing difficulties in one’s life. Jesus meant that with faith in God, even the hardest tasks could be accomplished. He told his humbled disciples that they only needed the smallest amount of faith, the size of a tiny mustard seed, to remove immense obstacles that blocked their path to God.
TO LOVE: What obstacles stand in the way of my serving the Lord?
TO SERVE: Lord Jesus, increase my faith when I face overwhelming problems.​

Optional Memorial of Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, religious

Jane Frances de Chantal was the widow of the Baron of Chantal and she was left with four children. She was also very much loved by the poor. While visiting at Dijon, 1604, she heard Saint Francis de Sales preach. A correspondence began between them, and he became her spiritual director. Having provided for the welfare of her children, she went to Annecy with her two daughters. In 1610 she founded the Order of the Visitation of Our Lady for widows and laywomen who did not wish the full life of the orders. She spent the rest of her life in the cloister, but supervised the growth of the Order. Eighty-six houses were established before her death. Her literary works comprise letters and instructions on the religious life. Visitation Nuns today live a contemplative life, work for women with poor health, widows, and sometimes run schools. Canonized in 1767, her body lies in the basilica near Annecy, France.

Saturday 12 August 2017

St Jane Frances de Chantal.
Deuteronomy 6:4-13. Psalm 17(18):2-4, 47, 51. Matthew 17:14-20.
I love you, Lord, my strength — Psalm 17(18):2-4, 47, 51.
‘Because you have so little faith.’
In sports, they often talk about a player entering ‘the zone’. It’s the point where years of practice and repetition coalesce, where the skills required to do what needs to be done to win come so naturally the person doesn’t even need to think about it. A great basketballer in ‘the zone’ might seem unable to miss, a great AFL footballer in ‘the zone’ might seem to be getting the ball at will. When asked afterwards, very often they won’t be able to describe what happened – they did it without even thinking about it.
I wonder sometimes if that’s where our years of practicing our faith leads us – to a place where we can live with Christ unthinkingly, our actions and words effortlessly following his example. I pray today that this state of grace might be available to me at some point in my life.


"In Madame de Chantal I have found the perfect woman, whom Solomon had difficulty finding in Jerusalem". - St. Francis de Sales, her spiritual director.
St. Jane Frances de Chantal was born in Dijon, France, on January 28, 1572, and died at the Visitation Convent Moulins on December 13, 1641.

Jane (Jeanne) was born into nobility, her father being the president of the parliament of Burgundy. At age 20 she was married to the Baron de Chantal.  Jane had four children, and loved and served her young family deeply until the death of her husband in a hunting accident at age 28.

For seven years she was forced to live in the house of her father in law, a trial which she was forced to bare patiently due to his ill-disposition towards her, and it was during this time that she took a vow of perpetual chastity.

In all of her prayers, Jane asked God to send her a guide.  In a vision, He showed her the spiritual director that He held in reserve for her. During Lent, in 1604, she visited her father at Dijon, where St. Francis de Sales was preaching at the Sainte Chapelle. She recognized in him the mysterious director who had been shown to her, and she placed herself under his guidance. Then began the famous correspondence between the two saints which produced volumes of letters of spiritual direction, some of which are available today, but most of which were destroyed by her upon the death of St. Francis.

She went to Annecy in 1610, where she believed God was calling her to found an order for women and girls who felt called to live the life of Christian perfection, but not practice the severe asceticism of the religious orders of the time.

Thus the Congregation of the Visitation was canonically established at Annecy on June 6th, 1610, Trinity Sunday. The method of spiritual perfection of the Visitation nuns was that of St. Francis, which consisted in always keeping one's will united to the Divine will, in taking -so to speak- one's soul, heart, and longings into one's hands and giving them into God's keeping, and in seeking always to do what is pleasing to Him. There were 86 convents of the Visitation nuns at the time of her death 31 years later.

St. Jane Frances de Chantal's spirituality was a strong and resilient one; she did not like to see her daughters giving way to human weaknesses, and encouraged constant battle against the passions and habits which keep one from following God's will.

Her trials were continuous and borne bravely, and yet she was exceedingly sensitive. She endured interior crosses which, particularly during the last nine years of her life, kept her in an agony of soul, from which she was not freed until three months before her death.

Her reputation for sanctity was widespread. Queens, princes, and princesses flocked to the reception-room of the Visitation. Wherever she went to establish foundations, the people gave her ovations. "These people", she would say confused, "do not know me-they are mistaken".
Her body is venerated with that of St. Francis de Sales in the church of the Visitation at Annecy.  She was canonized in 1767.

Lectio Divina: 
 Saturday, August 12, 2017
Ordinary Time

Show us your continued kindness, Father,
and watch your people,
as we acknowledge your guide and your lead.
renews the work of your creation
and guard what you have renewed.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ ...
From the Gospel according to Matthew 17.14-20
At that time, when they came to the crowd a man approached, knelt down before Jesus, and said, "Lord, have pity on my son, for he is a lunatic and suffers severely; often he falls into fire, and often into water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him." Jesus said in reply, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him here to me." Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him, and from that hour the boy was cured. Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, "Why could we not drive it out?" He said to them, "Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
• Context. Our passage has Jesus in his work of healing. After having stayed with the disciples alone in the region of Caesarea Philippi (16.13 to 28) Jesus climbs a high mountain and is transfigured before three disciples (from 17.1 to 10) and then reaches the crowd (17.14 - 21) attempts a new approach to Galilee to regain (7.22). What to think of these geographical shifts of Jesus? It is not excluded that they could have a value of geographical, but Matthew press submit their role of spiritual journey. In his journey of faith community is increasingly called upon to retrace that spiritual which marked the life of Jesus from Galilee of his public and that his resurrection by way of the cross. A spiritual journey in which the power of faith plays a crucial role.
• The power of faith. Jesus, after his transfiguration, with its small community of disciples returned from the crowd, before returning to Galilee (v. 22) and arrive in Capernaum (v.24). And while in the crowd a man approached him and begged him to urgently intervene in the evil that keeps his imprisoned son. The description preceding the intervention of Jesus really clear: this is a case of epilepsy with all its pathological consequences on the psychic level. At the time of Jesus, this type of illness was traced to evil forces and specifically the action of Satan, enemy of God and man, and therefore the origin of evil and all evil. Faced with such a situation arise in which evil forces far beyond human capabilities to the disciples find themselves powerless to heal the child (vv.16-19) and because of their lack of faith (V.20). For the evangelist, this young epileptic is a symbol of those who devalue the power of faith (V.20), not mindful of the presence of God in their midst (V.17). The presence of God in Jesus, Emmanuel, is not recognized, the fact understand something of Jesus is not enough, we need the true faith. After Jesus rebuked the crowd, you bring the boy: "Bring him here" (V.17), heals and frees it when rebuked the devil. Not simply the miracle of healing a single person "" you must also heal the weak and uncertain faith of the disciples. Jesus approaches them who are confused or dazed for their impotence: "Because we could not throw it out?" (V.20). Jesus' answer is clear: "For your wavering faith". Jesus calls for faith that can move mountains of his heart to identify with his person, his mission, his divine power. It is true that the disciples have left everything to follow Jesus but have failed to heal the epileptic boy because of "little faith." It is not lack of faith, only that it is weak, vacillating for sure, with a predominance of mistrust and doubt. It is a faith that is rooted entirely in relationship with Christ. Jesus goes beyond the language when he says: "if you have faith like a mustard seed" can move mountains, is an exhortation to be guided by the power of faith in action, which becomes especially strong in times of trial and suffering and attains maturity when no offense most of the scandal of the cross. Faith can do anything, provided waivers to rely on their human capacity, can move mountains. The disciples, the early community have experienced that unbelief can not be won by prayer and fasting, but you must join the death and resurrection of Jesus
• Through musical meditation we observed that the disciples are placed in relation to epileptic and Jesus himself. You also find your way relationship with Jesus and with others using the power of faith?
• On the cross Jesus gives witness to the Father and reveals completely. Jesus' words that you thought you asked the total membership: you feel every day committed to move the heart of the mountains that stand between your self-interest and the will of God?
The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, stronghold in times of trouble. Those who honor your name trust in you; you never forsake those who seek you, LORD. (Psalm 9)