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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Friday, 08 January 2010
Friday after Epiphany

Today the Church celebrates : St. Apollinaris, the Apologist, Bishop (2nd century)

Saint John Chrysostom : Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, "Be made clean."


First Letter of John 5:5-13.


Who (indeed) is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ, not by water alone, but by water and blood. The Spirit is the one that testifies, and the Spirit is truth. So there are three that testify, the Spirit, the water, and the blood, and the three are of one accord. If we accept human testimony, the testimony of God is surely greater. Now the testimony of God is this, that he has testified on behalf of his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has this testimony within himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar by not believing the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever possesses the Son has life; whoever does not possess the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you so that you may know that you have eternal life, you who believe in the name of the Son of God.

Psalms 147:12-13.14-15.19-20.

Glorify the LORD, Jerusalem; Zion, offer praise to your God,
Who has strengthened the bars of your gates, blessed your children within you,
Brought peace to your borders, and filled you with finest wheat.
The LORD sends a command to earth; his word runs swiftly!
The LORD also proclaims his word to Jacob, decrees and laws to Israel.
God has not done this for other nations; of such laws they know nothing. Hallelujah!


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 5:12-16.

Now there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where he was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, "Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean." Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, "I do will it. Be made clean." And the leprosy left him immediately. Then he ordered him not to tell anyone, but "Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them." The report about him spread all the more, and great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments, but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint John Chrysostom (c.345-407), priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church
Homilies on Saint Matthew's Gospel, no.25, 1-3

Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, "Be made clean."


Jesus did not just say: «I will do it. Be made clean.» He went further: «He stretched out his hand and touched him.» Now here is something worthy of our notice. Given that he cured him by an act of his will and with a word, why did he touch him with his hand? For no other reason, it seems to me, than to demonstrate that he is not inferior but superior to the Law and that, from now on, nothing is impure for those who are pure... Jesus' hand did not become impure at the leper's contact; to the contrary, the leper's body was purified by means of the holiness of the hand. For Christ did not just come to heal bodies but to raise up souls to sanctity, and here he teaches us to care for our soul and purify it without bothering ourselves about external ablutions. The only leprosy we need to be afraid of is leprosy of soul, that is to say, sin...

As for us, let us show thanksgiving to God at all times. Let us thank him, not only for the gifts he has given to us but, still more, for those he has granted to others. In this way we shall be able to destroy our envy and nurture and increase our love of neighbor..

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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Saturday, 09 January 2010
Saturday after Epiphany

Today the Church celebrates : SS. Julian and Basilissa, Martyrs (+ c. 313)

Diadochus of Photike : "The best man, who stands and listens for him, rejoices greatly"


First Letter of John 5:14-21.

And we have this confidence in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, we know that what we have asked him for is ours. If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly. We know that no one begotten by God sins; but the one begotten by God he protects, and the evil one cannot touch him. We know that we belong to God, and the whole world is under the power of the evil one. We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us discernment to know the one who is true. And we are in the one who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Children, be on your guard against idols.

Psalms 149(148):1-2.3-4.5-6.9.

Hallelujah! Sing to the LORD a new song, a hymn in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker, the people of Zion rejoice in their king.
Let them praise his name in festive dance, make music with tambourine and lyre.
For the LORD takes delight in his people, honors the poor with victory.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, cry out for joy at their banquet,
With the praise of God in their mouths, and a two-edged sword in their hands,
To execute the judgments decreed for them-- such is the glory of all God's faithful. Hallelujah!


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 3:22-30.

After this, Jesus and his disciples went into the region of Judea, where he spent some time with them baptizing. John was also baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was an abundance of water there, and people came to be baptized, for John had not yet been imprisoned. Now a dispute arose between the disciples of John and a Jew about ceremonial washings. So they came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing and everyone is coming to him." John answered and said, "No one can receive anything except what has been given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said (that) I am not the Messiah, but that I was sent before him. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom; the best man, who stands and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. So this joy of mine has been made complete. He must increase; I must decrease."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Diadochus of Photike (c.400-?), Bishop
On spiritual perfection, 12-14 ; PG 65, 1171

"The best man, who stands and listens for him, rejoices greatly"


Glory belongs to God by reason of his greatness and lowliness belongs to us because it makes us friends of God. If we thus act then we shall be joyful after the example of John the Baptist and will begin to repeat over and over again unceasingly: «He must increase and I must decrease.»

I know of someone who loves God so much – even though he is tormented that he doesn't love him as much as he wants – that his soul continually experiences this ardent desire: that God should be glorified in him and he himself should disappear. Such a man does not know what he is, even when he is praised, because, in his great desire to be humbled, he never thinks of his own dignity. He performs the divine liturgy but... in the extremity of his disposition of love for God, he hides all remembrance of his own dignity within the abyss of his love for God... He flees from pride, which he draws out of himself lest he should seem to himself to be anything except an unprofitable servant (Lk 17,10)... And this is what we should do too: flee from all honor and glory because of the Lord's overflowing love who has loved us so much.

All those who love God from the depths of their heart are known by him. Indeed, they possess the love of God to the extent they receive God's love into the depths of their soul. That is why, from henceforth, such people live with an ardent passion for the enlightenment of knowledge until they taste great interior satisfaction. Then they no longer know themselves; they are wholly transformed by God's love. Such as these are in this life without being in it. Should they continue to dwell in the body, they are continually leaving it through the soul's impetus of love carrying them towards God. From now on, without ceasing, with hearts burned by the fire of love, they remain irresistibly bound to God because they have been separated once and for all from self-love by the love of God.


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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Sunday, 10 January 2010
The Baptism of the Lord - Feast

Baptism of the Lord - Feast
Today the Church celebrates : Blessed María Dolores Rodríguez Sopeña (1848-1918), St. William of Bourges, Archbishop (+ 1209)

Saint Gregory Nazianzen : "Then heaven was opened"


Book of Isaiah 40:1-5.9-11.


Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; Indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD double for all her sins. A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; The rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all mankind shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. Go up onto a high mountain, Zion, herald of glad tidings; Cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God! Here comes with power the Lord GOD, who rules by his strong arm; Here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, Carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care.

Psalms 104(103):1-2.3-4.24-25.27-28.29-30.

Bless the LORD, my soul! LORD, my God, you are great indeed! You are clothed with majesty and glory,
robed in light as with a cloak. You spread out the heavens like a tent;
you raised your palace upon the waters. You make the clouds your chariot; you travel on the wings of the wind.
You make the winds your messengers; flaming fire, your ministers.
How varied are your works, LORD! In wisdom you have wrought them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
Look at the sea, great and wide! It teems with countless beings, living things both large and small.
All of these look to you to give them food in due time.
When you give to them, they gather; when you open your hand, they are well filled.
When you hide your face, they are lost. When you take away their breath, they perish and return to the dust from which they came.
When you send forth your breath, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.


Letter to Titus 2:11-14.3:4-7.

Beloved: The grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good. But when the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 3:15-16.21-22.

The people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ. John answered them all, saying, "I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire. After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint Gregory Nazianzen (330-390), Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Homily 39, for the feast of Epiphany; PG 36, 349 (trans. Breviary)

"Then heaven was opened"


Christ is illumined, let us shine forth with him; Christ is baptized, let us descend with him that we may also ascend with him... John baptizes, Jesus comes to him; perhaps to sanctify the Baptist himself, but certainly to bury the whole of the old Adam in the water. But before this, and for the sake of this, to sanctify Jordan. As he is Spirit and flesh, so he consecrates us by Spirit and water... Now Jesus goes up out of the water; for with himself he carries up the world and sees the heaven split open (cf. Mk 1,10) which Adam had shut against himself and all his posterity when he was expelled from the Paradise defended by the flaming sword.

Now the Spirit bears witness to his Godhead, for he descends upon one who is like him, as does the Voice from heaven (for he to whom witness is borne comes from thence), and like a dove seen in bodily form it bestows honor on his body since God, by showing himself in bodily form, has deified the body also. In the same way, in distant ages past, a dove came to proclaim an ending to the Deluge (Gen 8,11)...

As for us, let us venerate today the baptism of Christ and celebrate this feast in worthy fashion... Wash yourselves and keep yourselves clean. For God rejoices in nothing so much as the amendment and salvation of humankind, on whose behalf all these words and mystery are directed. Be like lights in the world (Phil 2,15), a life-giving force to others. Stand as perfect lights beside that great Light and learn the mystery of the illumination of heaven, enlightened more purely and more clearly by the blessed Trinity.


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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Monday, 11 January 2010
Monday of the First week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St Benet Biscop

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger [Pope Benedict XVI]: "The kingdom of God is at hand"


1st book of Samuel 1:1-8.


There was a certain man from Ramathaim, Elkanah by name, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives, one named Hannah, the other Peninnah; Peninnah had children, but Hannah was childless. This man regularly went on pilgrimage from his city to worship the LORD of hosts and to sacrifice to him at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were ministering as priests of the LORD. When the day came for Elkanah to offer sacrifice, he used to give a portion each to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters, but a double portion to Hannah because he loved her, though the LORD had made her barren. Her rival, to upset her, turned it into a constant reproach to her that the LORD had left her barren. This went on year after year; each time they made their pilgrimage to the sanctuary of the LORD, Peninnah would approach her, and Hannah would weep and refuse to eat. Her husband Elkanah used to ask her: "Hannah, why do you weep, and why do you refuse to eat? Why do you grieve? Am I not more to you than ten sons?"

Psalms 116(115):12-13.14-17.18-19.

How can I repay the LORD for all the good done for me?
I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.
I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
Too costly in the eyes of the LORD is the death of his faithful.
LORD, I am your servant, your servant, the child of your maidservant; you have loosed my bonds.
I will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.
I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,
In the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Hallelujah!


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 1:14-20.

After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God: This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel. As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." Then they abandoned their nets and followed him. He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger [Pope Benedict XVI]
Vom Sinn des Christseins

"The kingdom of God is at hand"


We need to question ourselves concerning Christ's real message: what exactly did he proclaim, what did he offer people? We recall that Saint Mark summarizes the message of Christ in a single saying: «This is the time of fulfilment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.»

«This is the time of fulfilment. The kingdom of God is at hand.» Behind this saying we are to see the whole history of Israel, of that insignificant people, plaything of the world's great powers. One after another it experienced, so to speak, each empire that succeeded within this locus of history. It knew just how incapable human power, including its own, was to achieve salvation. It knew only too well that human governments act according to human ways, that is to say in ways that, only too often, are second-rate and questionable. And in the midst of this experience of a history that was full of disappointment, subjection, injustice, Israel had ardently reached out towards a kingdom whose king would no longer be simply a man but God himself, the true Lord of the world and history. Only his very own reign - he who is Truth and Justice – was capable of bringing salvation and right to humankind. Now at last the Lord comes to meet this age-old expectation by proclaiming: now is the time of fulfilment, now the Kingdom of God is here...

Christian theology, having swiftly remarked the lacuna between this expectation and its accomplishment, began, over a period of time, to transform the Kingdom of God into a kingdom of a heaven situated somewhere in the beyond. Man's salvation had been changed into a salvation of souls which, too, would be realized in the beyond, after death. But this is no answer. Because the greatness of Christ's message is, precisely, that he did not just speak about souls and of the beyond but that he spoke to the whole person in their bodiliness and their insertion in history and the human community, and that he promised the Kingdom of God to people of flesh and blood living among others engaged in that same history.


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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Tuesday, 12 January 2010
Tuesday of the First week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St Marguerite Bourgeoys (1620-1700), St. Aelred, Abbot (1109-1167)

Saint Bonaventure : "What is this? A new teaching with authority"


1st book of Samuel 1:9-20.


Hannah rose after a meal at Shiloh, and presented herself before the LORD; at the time, Eli the priest was sitting on a chair near the doorpost of the LORD's temple. In her bitterness she prayed to the LORD, weeping copiously, and she made a vow, promising: "O LORD of hosts, if you look with pity on the misery of your handmaid, if you remember me and do not forget me, if you give your handmaid a male child, I will give him to the LORD for as long as he lives; neither wine nor liquor shall he drink, and no razor shall ever touch his head." As she remained long at prayer before the LORD, Eli watched her mouth, for Hannah was praying silently; though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard. Eli, thinking her drunk, said to her, "How long will you make a drunken show of yourself? Sober up from your wine!" "It isn't that, my lord," Hannah answered. "I am an unhappy woman. I have had neither wine nor liquor; I was only pouring out my troubles to the LORD. Do not think your handmaid a ne'er-do-well; my prayer has been prompted by my deep sorrow and misery." Eli said, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him." She replied, "Think kindly of your maidservant," and left. She went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and no longer appeared downcast. Early the next morning they worshiped before the LORD, and then returned to their home in Ramah. When Elkanah had relations with his wife Hannah, the LORD remembered her. She conceived, and at the end of her term bore a son whom she called Samuel, since she had asked the LORD for him.

1 Sam. 2:1.4-5.6-7.8.

and as she worshiped the LORD, she said: "My heart exults in the LORD, my horn is exalted in my God. I have swallowed up my enemies; I rejoice in my victory.
The bows of the mighty are broken, while the tottering gird on strength.
he well-fed hire themselves out for bread, while the hungry batten on spoil. The barren wife bears seven sons, while the mother of many languishes.
"The LORD puts to death and gives life; he casts down to the nether world; he raises up again.
The LORD makes poor and makes rich, he humbles, he also exalts.
He raises the needy from the dust; from the ash heap he lifts up the poor, To seat them with nobles and make a glorious throne their heritage. He gives to the vower his vow, and blesses the sleep of the just. "For the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he has set the world upon them.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 1:21-28.

Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are--the Holy One of God!" Jesus rebuked him and said, "Quiet! Come out of him!" The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another, "What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him." His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint Bonaventure (1221-1274), Franciscan, Doctor of the Church
Sermon « Christus unus omnium magister »

"What is this? A new teaching with authority"


There is no possibility of reaching certitude regarding revealed faith except by means of Christ's coming into the soul. He then comes into the flesh as word confirming every word of prophecy, of which it was said to the Hebrews: «In times past God spoke through the prophets in partial and various ways; in these last days he spoke to us through a Son» (Heb 1,1-2). That Christ is indeed the Father's all-powerful Word, we read: «His word is sovereign and who can say to him: What are you doing?» (Eccl 8,4). He is, too, a word full of truth – even more, he is truth itself – as Saint John says: «Consecrate them in the truth; your word is truth» (17,17)...

And so, because authority belongs to the word that is powerful and trustworthy, and Christ is the Word of the Father and, therefore, both Power and Wisdom, so all the strength of authority is founded and consummated in him. That is why all genuine doctrine, and that doctrine's preachers, referred to Christ's coming in the flesh as being the foundation of the entire christian faith: «According to the grace of God given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation... But no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ» (1Cor 3,10-11). For he alone is all genuine doctrine's foundation, whether apostolic or prophetic, according to both one Law and the other, new and old. Thus it is said to the Ephesians: You have built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ himself as the capstone» (2,20). And so it is clear that Christ is the teacher of knowledge according to faith; he is the Way according to his twofold coming, in spirit and in flesh.


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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Wednesday of the First week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St Hilary of Poitiers, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (c. 315- c. 367), St. Veronica of Binasco, Religious (144-1497)

Saint Augustine : "Jesus left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed"


1st book of Samuel 3:1-10.19-20.


During the time young Samuel was minister to the LORD under Eli, a revelation of the LORD was uncommon and vision infrequent. One day Eli was asleep in his usual place. His eyes had lately grown so weak that he could not see. The lamp of God was not yet extinguished, and Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was. The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, "Here I am." He ran to Eli and said, "Here I am. You called me." "I did not call you," Eli said. "Go back to sleep." So he went back to sleep. Again the LORD called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli. "Here I am," he said. "You called me." But he answered, "I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep." At that time Samuel was not familiar with the LORD, because the LORD had not revealed anything to him as yet. The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time. Getting up and going to Eli, he said, "Here I am. You called me." Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth. So he said to Samuel, "Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.'" When Samuel went to sleep in his place, the LORD came and revealed his presence, calling out as before, "Samuel, Samuel!" Samuel answered, "Speak, for your servant is listening." Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect. Thus all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba came to know that Samuel was an accredited prophet of the LORD.

Psalms 40:2.5.7-10.

I waited, waited for the LORD; who bent down and heard my cry,
Happy those whose trust is the LORD, who turn not to idolatry or to those who stray after falsehood.
sacrifice and offering you do not want; but ears open to obedience you gave me. Holocausts and sin-offerings you do not require;
so I said, "Here I am; your commands for me are written in the scroll.
To do your will is my delight; my God, your law is in my heart!"
I announced your deed to a great assembly; I did not restrain my lips; you, LORD, are my witness.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 1:29-39.

On leaving the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon's mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them. When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town was gathered at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him. Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, "Everyone is looking for you." He told them, "Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come." So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Letter to Proba on prayer, 8-9 ; CSEL 44,56f.

"Jesus left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed"


What is the use of wandering hither and thither, looking about for what we should be asking for in prayer? Let us rather say in the words of the psalm: «One thing I ask of the Lord; this I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life» (Ps 27[26],4). Now, there «all the days» do not pass by, coming and going, nor does one begin when another ends, but all exist at once; they have no end; because the life itself, whose days they are, is without end.

To enable us to win this blessed life, he who is in person the true life has taught us to pray. Not with a flood of words as though we would be answered by reason of our babbling. For indeed, as our Lord himself said, we are praying to him who knows what we need before we ask him (Mt 6,8)...

Does he know what we need before we ask him? In that case, why does he exhort us to pray without ceasing? (Lk 18,1). This might surprise us; but we should understand that our Lord God has no wish to be informed of our desire – of which he cannot be ignorant. But he wants our desire to be stirred up by prayer so that we might be able to receive what he is preparing to give us. For that is something very great, whereas we are small and of meagre capacity! That I why we are told: «Open wide your hearts» (2Cor 6,11.13). This is something very great indeed...: and we shall be all the more able to receive it insofar as we believe in it with more faith, hope for it with more confidence, desire it with more ardour. Thus it is in faith, hope, love and uninterrupted desire that we pray always.

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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Thursday, 14 January 2010
Thursday of the First week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. Sava, Abbot and patron of Serbia (+ 1255)

Saint John of the Cross : "Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him"


1st book of Samuel 4:1-11.


The Philistines gathered for an attack on Israel. Israel went out to engage them in battle and camped at Ebenezer, while the Philistines camped at Aphek. The Philistines then drew up in battle formation against Israel. After a fierce struggle Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who slew about four thousand men on the battlefield. When the troops retired to the camp, the elders of Israel said, "Why has the LORD permitted us to be defeated today by the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the LORD from Shiloh that it may go into battle among us and save us from the grasp of our enemies." So the people sent to Shiloh and brought from there the ark of the LORD of hosts, who is enthroned upon the cherubim. The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were with the ark of God. When the ark of the LORD arrived in the camp, all Israel shouted so loudly that the earth resounded. The Philistines, hearing the noise of shouting, asked, "What can this loud shouting in the camp of the Hebrews mean?" On learning that the ark of the LORD had come into the camp, the Philistines were frightened. They said, "Gods have come to their camp." They said also, "Woe to us! This has never happened before. Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods that struck the Egyptians with various plagues and with pestilence. Take courage and be manly, Philistines; otherwise you will become slaves to the Hebrews, as they were your slaves. So fight manfully!" The Philistines fought and Israel was defeated; every man fled to his own tent. It was a disastrous defeat, in which Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. The ark of God was captured, and Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were among the dead.

Psalms 44(43):10-11.14-15.24-25.

But now you have rejected and disgraced us; you do not march out with our armies.
You make us retreat before the foe; those who hate us plunder us at will.
You make us the reproach of our neighbors, the mockery and scorn of those around us.
You make us a byword among the nations; the peoples shake their heads at us.
Awake! Why do you sleep, O Lord? Rise up! Do not reject us forever!
Why do you hide your face; why forget our pain and misery?


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 1:40-45.

A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said, «If you wish, you can make me clean.» Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, "I do will it. Be made clean." The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. Then he said to him, "See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them." The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint John of the Cross (1542-1591), Carmelite, Doctor of the Church
Living Flame of Love, stanza 2 (©Institute of Carmelite Studies)

"Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him"


O divine life, you never kill unless to give life, never wound unless to heal. When you chastise, your touch is gentle, but it is enough to destroy the world. When you give delight you rest very firmly, and thus the delight of your sweetness is immeasurable. You have wounded me in order to cure me, O divine hand, and you have put to death in me what made me lifeless, what deprived me of God's life in which I now see myself live. You granted this with the liberality of your generous grace, which you used in contacting me with the touch of «the splendor of your glory and the figure of your substance» (Heb 1,3), which is your only begotten Son, through whom, he being your substance, «you touch mightily from one end to the other» (Wis 8,1). And your only begotten Son, O merciful hand of the Father, is the delicate touch by which you touched me with the force of your cautery and wounded me.

O you, then, delicate touch, the Word, the Son of God, through the delicacy of your divine being, you subtly penetrate the substance of my soul and, lightly touching it all, absorb it entirely in yourself in divine modes of delights and sweetnesses unheard of in the land of Canaan and never before seen in Teman (Bar 3,22)! O, then, very delicate, exceedingly delicate touch of the Word, so much more delicate for me insofar as, after overthrowing mountains and smashing the rocks to pieces on Mount Horeb with the shadow of the might and power that went before you, you gave the prophet Elijah the sweetest and strongest experience of yourself in the gentle breeze (1Kgs 19,11-12)! O gentle breeze, since you are a delicate and mild breeze, tell us: How do you, the Word, the Son of God, touch mildly and gently, since you are so awesome and mighty? O happy is the soul that you... gently and lightly touch... «You hide them in the secret of your face,» which is the Word, «from human disturbance» (Ps 31[30],21)
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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Friday, 15 January 2010
Friday of the First week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. Paul, the first Hermit (+ 342)

Saint John Chrysostom : "Seeing their faith"


1st book of Samuel 8:4-7.10-22.


All the elders of Israel came in a body to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, "Now that you are old, and your sons do not follow your example, appoint a king over us, as other nations have, to judge us." Samuel was displeased when they asked for a king to judge them. He prayed to the LORD, however, who said in answer: "Grant the people's every request. It is not you they reject, they are rejecting me as their king. Samuel delivered the message of the LORD in full to those who were asking him for a king. He told them: "The rights of the king who will rule you will be as follows: He will take your sons and assign them to his chariots and horses, and they will run before his chariot. He will also appoint from among them his commanders of groups of a thousand and of a hundred soldiers. He will set them to do his plowing and his harvesting, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will use your daughters as ointment-makers, as cooks, and as bakers. He will take the best of your fields, vineyards, and olive groves, and give them to his officials. He will tithe your crops and your vineyards, and give the revenue to his eunuchs and his slaves. He will take your male and female servants, as well as your best oxen and your asses, and use them to do his work. He will tithe your flocks and you yourselves will become his slaves. When this takes place, you will complain against the king whom you have chosen, but on that day the LORD will not answer you." The people, however, refused to listen to Samuel's warning and said, "Not so! There must be a king over us. We too must be like other nations, with a king to rule us and to lead us in warfare and fight our battles." When Samuel had listened to all the people had to say, he repeated it to the LORD, who then said to him, "Grant their request and appoint a king to rule them." Samuel thereupon said to the men of Israel, "Each of you go to his own city."

Psalms 89(88):16-17.18-19.

Happy the people who know you, LORD, who walk in the radiance of your face.
In your name they sing joyfully all the day; at your victory they raise the festal shout.
You are their majestic strength; by your favor our horn is exalted.
Truly the LORD is our shield, the Holy One of Israel, our king!


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 2:1-12.

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home. Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them. They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Child, your sins are forgiven." Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins? Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, "Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, pick up your mat and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth"-- he said to the paralytic, "I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home." He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint John Chrysostom (c.345-407), priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church (copyright Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers)
Separate homilies: On the paralytic

"Seeing their faith"


This paralytic believed in Jesus Christ. In what way is this manifest? From the very manner of his approach to Christ. They let the man down through the roof... You are surely aware that invalids are so faint-hearted and difficult to please as often to decline the treatment administered to them on their sick bed... But this paralytic had the fortitude to go outside the house, to be carried in the midst of the market-place and exhibit himself in the presence of the crowd...

This paralytic did not suffer from pride. When he saw that the place of assembly was filled, the approaches blocked, the entrance obstructed, he submitted to be let down through the roof. So skilful is desire, so rich in resources is love! «For those who seek, find, and to those who knock the door will be opened» (cf. Mt 7,8). The man did not say to his friends: «What is the meaning of this? Why make this fuss? Why such eagerness? Let us wait until the house is clear and everyone has gone. The crowds will disperse and then we shall be able to approach Jesus privately...» No, the paralytic said none of these things either to himself or to his bearers, but regarded it as an honor to have so many people made witnesses of his cure.



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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Saturday, 16 January 2010
Saturday of the First week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. Honoratus, Archbishop (+ 429), St. Marcellus, Pope and Martyr (+ 309)

John-Paul II: « Follow me»


1st book of Samuel 9:1-4.17-19.10:1.


There was a stalwart man from Benjamin named Kish, who was the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite. He had a son named Saul, who was a handsome young man. There was no other Israelite handsomer than Saul; he stood head and shoulders above the people. Now the asses of Saul's father, Kish, had wandered off. Kish said to his son Saul, "Take one of the servants with you and go out and hunt for the asses." Accordingly they went through the hill country of Ephraim, and through the land of Shalishah. Not finding them there, they continued through the land of Shaalim without success. They also went through the land of Benjamin, but they failed to find the animals. When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the LORD assured him, "This is the man of whom I told you; he is to govern my people." Saul met Samuel in the gateway and said, "Please tell me where the seer lives." Samuel answered Saul: "I am the seer. Go up ahead of me to the high place and eat with me today. In the morning, before dismissing you, I will tell you whatever you wish. Then, from a flask he had with him, Samuel poured oil on Saul's head; he also kissed him, saying: "The LORD anoints you commander over his heritage. You are to govern the LORD'S people Israel, and to save them from the grasp of their enemies round about. "This will be the sign for you that the LORD has anointed you commander over his heritage:

Psalms 21(20):2-3.4-5.6-7.

LORD, the king finds joy in your power; in your victory how greatly he rejoices!
You have granted him his heart's desire; you did not refuse the prayer of his lips. Selah
For you welcomed him with goodly blessings; you placed on his head a crown of pure gold.
He asked life of you; you gave it to him, length of days forever.
Great is his glory in your victory; majesty and splendor you confer upon him.
You make him the pattern of blessings forever, you gladden him with the joy of your presence.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 2:13-17.

Jesus went out along the sea. All the crowd came to him and he taught them. As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. He said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him. Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors and said to his disciples, "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?" Jesus heard this and said to them (that), "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

John-Paul II, Pope from 1978 to 2005
Osservatore Romano

« Follow me»


Each vocation is a personal and unique event but also a reality that is communal and ecclesial. No one is called to go forward on their own. Every vocation is raised up by the Lord as a gift for the whole christian community, which is to be enabled to draw profit from it...

It is especially to you, young people, that I should like to turn: Christ needs you if he is to accomplish his plan of salvation! Christ needs your youth and generous enthusiasm if the Gospel is to be proclaimed! Answer this call with the gift of your life to God and your brothers and sisters. Put your trust in Christ. He will not disappoint your desires and plans but will fill them with meaning and joy. He has said: «I am the Way, the Truth and the Life» (Jn 14,6).

Open your hearts trustfully to Christ! Allow his presence to be confirmed within you through daily, reverent attention to Holy Scripture, which constitutes the book of life and of those vocations that have been fulfilled.

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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Sunday, 17 January 2010
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. Anthony the Abbot, Patriarch of Monks (251-356)

Saint Romanos Melodios : "You have kept the good wine until now"


Book of Isaiah 62:1-5.


For Zion's sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not be quiet, until her vindication shines forth like the dawn and her victory like a burning torch. Nations shall behold your vindication, and all kings your glory; You shall be called by a new name pronounced by the mouth of the LORD. You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the LORD, a royal diadem held by your God. No more shall men call you "Forsaken," or your land "Desolate," But you shall be called "My Delight," and your land "Espoused." For the LORD delights in you, and makes your land his spouse. As a young man marries a virgin, your Builder shall marry you; And as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride so shall your God rejoice in you.

Psalms 96(95):1-3.7-8.9-10.

Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Sing to the LORD, bless his name; announce his salvation day after day.
Tell God's glory among the nations; among all peoples, God's marvelous deeds.
Give to the LORD, you families of nations, give to the LORD glory and might;
give to the LORD the glory due his name! Bring gifts and enter his courts;
bow down to the LORD, splendid in holiness. Tremble before God, all the earth;
say among the nations: The LORD is king. The world will surely stand fast, never to be moved. God rules the peoples with fairness.


First Letter to the Corinthians 12:4-11.

Brothers and sisters: There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 2:1-11.

There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." (And) Jesus said to her, "Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servers, "Do whatever he tells you." Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, "Fill the jars with water." So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, "Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter." So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now." Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint Romanos Melodios (?-c.560), composer of hymns
Hymn no.18, The Wedding at Cana (trans. SC 110, p. 307f. rev.)

"You have kept the good wine until now"


While Christ was attending the wedding and the crowd of guests were enjoying themselves, the wine ran out and their joy was turned to dismay... Seeing this, Mary most pure straightaway comes to say to her son: «They have no more wine; therefore I beg you, my child, show how you can do everything, you who created all things in wisdom.»

Revered Virgin, from which of his miracles, I pray, did you know that your son, without having harvested the grape, was able to bestow wine, when he had never yet accomplished a miracle before? Tell us... how was it you said to your son: «Give them wine, you who created all things in wisdom.»

« - - I saw myself how Elizabeth addressed me as Mother of God before I had given birth and, after giving birth, Symeon sang of me, Anna praised me. The wise men hastened to the crib from Persia for a star foretold this childbearing; shepherds and angels made themselves heralds of joy and creation rejoiced together with them. What greater miracles than these could I look for than to believe from their faith that my son is he who created all things in wisdom?»...

When Christ openly changed water into wine by his power the whole crowd rejoiced, finding the taste of this wine to be wonderful. Today the Church's banquet is where we are all seated for the wine is changed into the blood of Christ and we all drink of it in holy gladness, glorifying our great Bridegroom. For the true Bridegroom is Mary's son, the Word from all eternity, who took the form of a slave and created all things in wisdom.

O Most High, Holy One, Savior of all: keep unimpaired the wine within us since you preside over all. Cast out from us every perversity, evil thoughts that water down your wine so holy... By the prayers of the holy Virgin Mother of God deliver us from the anguish of the sins that oppress us, O merciful God who have created all things in wisdom.
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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Monday, 18 January 2010
Monday of the Second week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. Jaime Hilario, Martyr (1898-1937)

Rupert of Deutz : "The Bridegroom is with them"


1st book of Samuel 15:16-23.


Samuel said to Saul: «Stop! Let me tell you what the LORD said to me last night.» Saul replied, «Speak!» Samuel then said: "Though little in your own esteem, are you not leader of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king of Israel and sent you on a mission, saying, 'Go and put the sinful Amalekites under a ban of destruction. Fight against them until you have exterminated them.' Why then have you disobeyed the LORD? You have pounced on the spoil, thus displeasing the LORD." Saul answered Samuel: "I did indeed obey the LORD and fulfill the mission on which the LORD sent me. I have brought back Agag, and I have destroyed Amalek under the ban. But from the spoil the men took sheep and oxen, the best of what had been banned, to sacrifice to the LORD their God in Gilgal." But Samuel said: "Does the LORD so delight in holocausts and sacrifices as in obedience to the command of the LORD? Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission than the fat of rams. For a sin like divination is rebellion, and presumption is the crime of idolatry. Because you have rejected the command of the LORD, he, too, has rejected you as ruler."

Psalms 50(49):8-9.16-17.21.23.

Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you, nor for your holocausts, set before me daily.
I need no bullock from your house, no goats from your fold.
But to the wicked God says: "Why do you recite my commandments and profess my covenant with your lips?
You hate discipline; you cast my words behind you!
When you do these things should I be silent? Or do you think that I am like you? I accuse you, I lay the charge before you.
Those who offer praise as a sacrifice honor me; to the obedient I will show the salvation of God."


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 2:18-22.

The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to Jesus and objected, «Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?» Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Rupert of Deutz (c.1075-1130), Benedictine monk
On the Trinity and all His works, 42, On Isaiah, 2, 26

"The Bridegroom is with them"


«I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul..., Like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem, like a bride bedecked with her jewels.» Head and members, Bridegroom and Bride, Christ and the Church, we are all one body. Henceforward, in Christ the Bridegroom the crown of victory will shine for evermore – He who is my head and who suffered for a while. Whereas upon me, his Bride, will shine the jewels of his triumphs and graces.

«As the earth brings forth its plants and a garden makes its growth spring up, so will the Lord God make justice and praise spring up before all the nations.» He is the Bridegroom and I his Bride; he is the Lord God and I his land and garden; he is the gardener and I his field. The same one who, as Creator, is my Lord and God, is also my gardener since he became man... Since the gardener «plants and waters but God gives the increase», so he who is the Only One plants with his humanity and waters when he proclaims the Good News and gives the increase through his divinity thanks to his Spirit. Therefore I, the Church, «will bring forth and cause to spring up the justice of faith and praise of God», not just before the Jews but «before all the nations». They «will see my good deeds» when they read of the words and deeds of the patriarchs and prophets, when they hear the voice of the apostles and receive their light. They will see and believe and «glorify their heavenly Father».

(Biblical references: Is 61,10f.; 1Cor 12,12; Jn 15,1; 1Co 3,6-9; Mt 5,16)

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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Tuesday of the Second week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. Canutus, King of Denmark and Martyr (1040-1086)

Baldwin of Ford : "The Sabbath was made for man"


1st book of Samuel 16:1-13.


The LORD said to Samuel: «How long will you grieve for Saul, whom I have rejected as king of Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen my king from among his sons.» But Samuel replied: "How can I go? Saul will hear of it and kill me." To this the LORD answered: "Take a heifer along and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.' Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I myself will tell you what to do; you are to anoint for me the one I point out to you." Samuel did as the LORD had commanded him. When he entered Bethlehem, the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and inquired, "Is your visit peaceful, O seer?" He replied: "Yes! I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. So cleanse yourselves and join me today for the banquet." He also had Jesse and his sons cleanse themselves and invited them to the sacrifice. As they came, he looked at Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD'S anointed is here before him." But the LORD said to Samuel: "Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart." Then Jesse called Abinadab and presented him before Samuel, who said, "The Lord has not chosen him." Next Jesse presented Shammah, but Samuel said, "The LORD has not chosen this one either." In the same way Jesse presented seven sons before Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, "The LORD has not chosen any one of these." Then Samuel asked Jesse, "Are these all the sons you have?" Jesse replied, "There is still the youngest, who is tending the sheep." Samuel said to Jesse, "Send for him; we will not begin the sacrificial banquet until he arrives here." Jesse sent and had the young man brought to them. He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold and making a splendid appearance. The LORD said, "There-anoint him, for this is he!" Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand, anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and from that day on, the spirit of the LORD rushed upon David. When Samuel took his leave, he went to Ramah.

Psalms 89:20.21-22.27-28.

Once you spoke in vision; to your faithful ones you said: "I have set a leader over the warriors; I have raised up a hero from the army.
I have chosen David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him.
My hand will be with him; my arm will make him strong.
He shall cry to me,'You are my father, my God, the Rock that brings me victory!'
I myself make him firstborn, Most High over the kings of the earth.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 2:23-28.

As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath, his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain. At this the Pharisees said to him, At this the Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?" He said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry? How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat, and shared it with his companions?" Then he said to them, "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Baldwin of Ford (?-c.1190), Cistercian abbot
The Sacrament of the altar, 3, 2 (SC 94, p. 523 rev.)

"The Sabbath was made for man"


Blessed repose and a holy satisfaction are what make for true beatitude, and of this Sabbath and the manna are symbols. When he had given rest and satiety to his people with the Sabbath and manna, thus prefiguring the true blessedness he will give to those who obey, the Lord rebukes for his disobedience the man who might cause them to lose these most desirable possessions: «How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and laws?» (Ex 16,28). After this question of the Lord's, Moses invites his brethren to consider God's gifts: «Take note! The Lord has given you the Sabbath. That is why on the sixth day he gives you food for two days so that you may consent to serve him.» This warning means that God will give rest for their labours to his elect and the consolations of this present life in addition to those of the life to come.

But in addition to this, two forms of life are suggested to us by this passage: the active life in which we now have to work, and the contemplative life for which we are working and in which we shall be completely available to the contemplation of God. For although the contemplative life belongs especially to the world to come yet it must be represented even in this life by the holy Sabbath rest. Concerning this rest Moses adds: «On the Sabbath day everyone is to stay home and no one is to go out.» In other words: Everyone is to rest in their house and not go out for any kind of work on the Sabbath. This teaches us that during times of contemplation we should remain within ourselves, nor go out by means of forbidden desires but collect our whole intention «in purity of heart» [as Saint Benedict says] to think on God alone and love him only.

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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Wednesday of the Second week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. Sebastian, Martyr (c. 257-c. 288)

Melito of Sardis : "The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death"


1st book of Samuel 17:32-33.37.40-51.


David spoke to Saul: «Let your majesty not lose courage. I am at your service to go and fight this Philistine.» But Saul answered David, "You cannot go up against this Philistine and fight with him, for you are only a youth, while he has been a warrior from his youth." David continued: "The LORD, who delivered me from the claws of the lion and the bear, will also keep me safe from the clutches of this Philistine." Saul answered David, "Go! the LORD will be with you." Then, staff in hand, David selected five smooth stones from the wadi and put them in the pocket of his shepherd's bag. With his sling also ready to hand, he approached the Philistine. With his shield-bearer marching before him, the Philistine also advanced closer and closer to David. When he had sized David up, and seen that he was youthful, and ruddy, and handsome in appearance, he held him in contempt. The Philistine said to David, "Am I a dog that you come against me with a staff?" Then the Philistine cursed David by his gods and said to him, "Come here to me, and I will leave your flesh for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field." David answered him: "You come against me with sword and spear and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel that you have insulted. Today the LORD shall deliver you into my hand; I will strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will leave your corpse and the corpses of the Philistine army for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field; thus the whole land shall learn that Israel has a God. All this multitude, too, shall learn that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves. For the battle is the LORD'S, and he shall deliver you into our hands." The Philistine then moved to meet David at close quarters, while David ran quickly toward the battle line in the direction of the Philistine. David put his hand into the bag and took out a stone, hurled it with the sling, and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone embedded itself in his brow, and he fell prostrate on the ground. (Thus David overcame the Philistine with sling and stone; he struck the Philistine mortally, and did it without a sword.) Then David ran and stood over him; with the Philistine's own sword (which he drew from its sheath) he dispatched him and cut off his head.When they saw that their hero was dead, the Philistines took to flight.

Psalms 144:1.2.9-10.

Of David. Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war;
My safe guard and my fortress, my stronghold, my deliverer, My shield, in whom I trust, who subdues peoples under me.
O God, a new song I will sing to you; on a ten-stringed lyre I will play for you.
You give victory to kings; you delivered David your servant. From the menacing sword


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 3:1-6.

Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched him closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, "Come up here before us." Then he said to them, "Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?" But they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Melito of Sardis (?-c.195), Bishop
Homily on the Pasch, 82-90 (cf SC 123, p.107f.)

"The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death"



You have not seen God; you have not recognized the Lord; you did not know that it was he, God's Firstborn, he who was begotten before the morning star (Ps 110[109],3), who caused light to spring up, who caused day to shine forth when he separated it from darkness, who set the first limits, suspending the earth, drying up the great abyss, spreading out the firmament..., who created the angels in heaven, setting thrones there, and who shaped man of the earth. He it was who chose Israel and guided it from Adam to Noah, from Noah to Abraham, from Abraham to Isaac and Jacob and the twelve patriarchs. It was he who led your fathers in Egypt, who protected and fed them. He, who gave them manna from heaven, who quenched their thirst from the rock, who gave them the Law and the promised land, who sent prophets to them and raised up their kings. It is he who has come to you, healing the sick and raising the dead... It is he whom you wanted to put to death, he whom you handed over for money...

How have you esteemed the benefits bestowed on you?... Esteem now the withered hand he has restored to its body. Esteem now those born blind whom he has restored to the light with a word. Esteem now those dead he has raised from their tombs after three or four days. The gifts he has given you are priceless. And you..., you have repaid him evil for good, affliction for joy, death for life.

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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Thursday, 21 January 2010
Thursday of the Second week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr (+ 304) - Memorial

Saint Irenaeus of Lyons : "Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him "


1st book of Samuel 18:6-9.19:1-7.


When David and Saul approached (on David's return after slaying the Philistine), women came out from each of the cities of Israel to meet King Saul, singing and dancing, with tambourines, joyful songs, and sistrums. The women played and sang: "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands." Saul was very angry and resentful of the song, for he thought: "They give David ten thousands, but only thousands to me. All that remains for him is the kingship." (And from that day on, Saul was jealous of David. Saul discussed his intention of killing David with his son Jonathan and with all his servants. But Saul's son Jonathan, who was very fond of David, told him: "My father Saul is trying to kill you. Therefore, please be on your guard tomorrow morning; get out of sight and remain in hiding. I, however, will go out and stand beside my father in the countryside where you are, and will speak to him about you. If I learn anything, I will let you know." Jonathan then spoke well of David to his father Saul, saying to him: "Let not your majesty sin against his servant David, for he has committed no offense against you, but has helped you very much by his deeds. When he took his life in his hands and slew the Philistine, and the LORD brought about a great victory for all Israel through him, you were glad to see it. Why, then, should you become guilty of shedding innocent blood by killing David without cause?" Saul heeded Jonathan's plea and swore, "As the LORD lives, he shall not be killed." So Jonathan summoned David and repeated the whole conversation to him. Jonathan then brought David to Saul, and David served him as before.

Psalms 56(55):2-3.9-13.

Have mercy on me, God, for I am treated harshly; attackers press me all the day.
My foes treat me harshly all the day; yes, many are my attackers. O Most High,
My wanderings you have noted; are my tears not stored in your vial, recorded in your book?
My foes turn back when I call on you. This I know: God is on my side.
God, I praise your promise;
in you I trust, I do not fear. What can mere mortals do to me?
I have made vows to you, God; with offerings I will fulfill them,


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 3:7-12.

Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples. A large number of people followed from Galilee and from Judea. Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him. He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him. And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, "You are the Son of God." He warned them sternly not to make him known.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint Irenaeus of Lyons (c.130-c.208), Bishop, theologian and martyr
Demonstration of the apostolic preaching, 92 - 95 (trans. ©St Vladimir's Seminary press; cf SC 62, p. 159)

"Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him "


That he was going to be manifested to us – for the Son of God became the Son of man – and to be found amongst us, who before had no knowledge of him, the Word himself says in Isaiah, thus, «I became manifest to those that sought me not; I was found by those that asked not for me. I said: 'Behold, I am here,' to a nation that called not upon my name» (Is 65,1)... This is what was also said by John the Baptist: «God is able from stones to raise up children to Abraham» (Mt 3,9). For our hearts, drawn out by faith from the worship of stones, see God and become children of Abraham, who was made righteous by faith...

His disciples John also says: «And the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us» (Jn 1,14). For which reason the Church bears as fruit so great a number of the saved; for it is no longer an intercessor, Moses, nor an angel, Elias, but the Lord himself who saves us, bestowing a greater number of children on the Church than on the former synagogue, as Isaiah announced, saying: «Rejoice, O barren one who did not bear» (Is 54,1; Gal 4,27)... God was pleased to bestow his inheritance on the foolish Gentiles, who were neither of the citizenship of God nor knew who God is. Since, then, by this calling, life has been given and God has recapitulated in us the faith of Abraham, we should no longer turn back, that is, I mean, to the former legislation. For we received the Lord of the Law, the Son of God, and through faith in him we learn to love God with our whole heart and our neighbor as ourselves.

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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Friday, 22 January 2010
Friday of the Second week in Ordinary Time

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 22 January
Today the Church celebrates : St. Vincent, Deacon and Martyr (+ 304)

Catechism of the Catholic Church: "He appointed twelve that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach"


1st book of Samuel 24:3-21.


Saul took three thousand picked men from all Israel and went in search of David and his men in the direction of the wild goat crags. When he came to the sheepfolds along the way, he found a cave, which he entered to ease nature. David and his men were occupying the inmost recesses of the cave. David's servants said to him, "This is the day of which the LORD said to you, 'I will deliver your enemy into your grasp; do with him as you see fit.'" So David moved up and stealthily cut off an end of Saul's mantle. Afterward, however, David regretted that he had cut off an end of Saul's mantle. He said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD'S anointed, as to lay a hand on him, for he is the Lord's anointed." With these words David restrained his men and would not permit them to attack Saul. Saul then left the cave and went on his way. David also stepped out of the cave, calling to Saul, "My lord the king!" When Saul looked back, David bowed to the ground in homage and asked Saul: "Why do you listen to those who say, 'David is trying to harm you'? You see for yourself today that the LORD just now delivered you into my grasp in the cave. I had some thought of killing you, but I took pity on you instead. I decided, 'I will not raise a hand against my lord, for he is the LORD'S anointed and a father to me.' Look here at this end of your mantle which I hold. Since I cut off an end of your mantle and did not kill you, see and be convinced that I plan no harm and no rebellion. I have done you no wrong, though you are hunting me down to take my life. The LORD will judge between me and you, and the LORD will exact justice from you in my case. I shall not touch you. The old proverb says, 'From the wicked comes forth wickedness.' So I will take no action against you. Against whom are you on campaign, O king of Israel? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog, or a single flea! The LORD will be the judge; he will decide between me and you. May he see this, and take my part, and grant me justice beyond your reach!" When David finished saying these things to Saul, Saul answered, "Is that your voice, my son David?" And he wept aloud. Saul then said to David: "You are in the right rather than I; you have treated me generously, while I have done you harm. Great is the generosity you showed me today, when the LORD delivered me into your grasp and you did not kill me. For if a man meets his enemy, does he send him away unharmed? May the LORD reward you generously for what you have done this day. And now, since I know that you shall surely be king and that sovereignty over Israel shall come into your possession,

Psalms 57:2.3-4.6.11.

Have mercy on me, God, have mercy on me. In you I seek shelter. In the shadow of your wings I seek shelter till harm pass by.
I call to God Most High, to God who provides for me.
May God send help from heaven to save me, shame those who trample upon me. May God send fidelity and love. Selah
Show yourself over the heavens, God; may your glory appear above all the earth.
For your love towers to the heavens; your faithfulness, to the skies.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 3:13-19.

Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. He appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons: (he appointed the twelve:) Simon, whom he named Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Catechism of the Catholic Church
§ 74 – 79

"He appointed twelve that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach"


God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth":29 that is, of Christ Jesus.30 Christ must be proclaimed to all nations and individuals, so that this revelation may reach to the ends of the earth... "Christ the Lord, in whom the entire Revelation of the most high God is summed up, commanded the apostles to preach the Gospel, which had been promised beforehand by the prophets, and which he fulfilled in his own person and promulgated with his own lips. In preaching the Gospel, they were to communicate the gifts of God to all men. This Gospel was to be the source of all saving truth and moral discipline."

In keeping with the Lord's command, the Gospel was handed on in two ways: orally "by the apostles who handed on, by the spoken word of their preaching, by the example they gave, by the institutions they established, what they themselves had received - whether from the lips of Christ, from his way of life and his works, or whether they had learned it at the prompting of the Holy Spirit"; in writing "by those apostles and other men associated with the apostles who, under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit, committed the message of salvation to writing". In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority." Indeed, "the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time."

This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it is distinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, "the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes." "The sayings of the holy Fathers are a witness to the life-giving presence of this Tradition, showing how its riches are poured out in the practice and life of the Church, in her belief and her prayer.» The Father's self-communication made through his Word in the Holy Spirit, remains present and active in the Church.


(References : Vatican Council II : Dei Verbum, § 7 – 8)

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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Saturday, 23 January 2010
Saturday of the Second week in Ordinary Time

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 23 January
Today the Church celebrates : St John the Almoner, Patriarch of Alexandria (+ c. 620)

Saint Thomas Aquinas : Jesus gives himself wholly, even to his body and blood


2nd book of Samuel 1:1-4.11-12.19.23-27.


David returned from his defeat of the Amalekites and spent two days in Ziklag. On the third day a man came from Saul's camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. Going to David, he fell to the ground in homage. David asked him, "Where do you come from?" He replied, "I have escaped from the Israelite camp." "Tell me what happened," David bade him. He answered that the soldiers had fled the battle and that many of them had fallen and were dead, among them Saul and his son Jonathan. David seized his garments and rent them, and all the men who were with him did likewise. They mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the soldiers of the LORD of the clans of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. "Alas! the glory of Israel, Saul, slain upon your heights; how can the warriors have fallen! Saul and Jonathan, beloved and cherished, separated neither in life nor in death, swifter than eagles, stronger than lions! Women of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet and in finery, who decked your attire with ornaments of gold. "How can the warriors have fallen-- in the thick of the battle, slain upon your heights! "I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother! most dear have you been to me; More precious have I held love for you than love for women. "How can the warriors have fallen, the weapons of war have perished!"

Psalms 80(79):2-3.5-7.

Shepherd of Israel, listen, guide of the flock of Joseph! From your throne upon the cherubim reveal yourself
to Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh. Stir up your power, come to save us.
LORD of hosts, how long will you burn with anger while your people pray?
You have fed them the bread of tears, made them drink tears in abundance.
You have left us to be fought over by our neighbors; our enemies deride us.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 3:20-21.

He came home. Again (the) crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat. When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, "He is out of his mind."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Dominican theologian, Doctor of the Church
Instructions for the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ

Jesus gives himself wholly, even to his body and blood


The enormous blessings with which our Lord has lavishly gifted his christian people raise them to an immeasurable dignity. Indeed, there is not, and never has been, a nation whose gods were so close as our God is to us (cf. Dt 4,7). God's only Son, intending to make us participators in his divinity, assumed our nature and became man to make us divine. All that he borrowed from us he placed at the service of our salvation. For he offered his body to God the Father on the altar of the cross for our reconciliation, and he shed his blood as a ransom to reclaim us from our condition of slavery and purify us from all our sins through the washing of regeneration.

To believers he has left his body as food and blood as drink under the species of bread and wine, so that the remembrance of such great blessing might remain continually amongst us. O wonderful and precious feast that conveys salvation and contains sweetness in its all its fullness! What could there be more precious than this meal where, not the flesh of calves and bulls, but Christ, true God, is offered us?

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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Sunday, 24 January 2010
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 24 January
Today the Church celebrates : St. Francis of Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (+ 1622) - Memorial

Hugh of Saint Victor : « In the power of the Spirit»


Book of Nehemiah 8:2-4.5-6.8-10.


On the first day of the seventh month, therefore, Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, which consisted of men, women, and those children old enough to understand. Standing at one end of the open place that was before the Water Gate, he read out of the book from daybreak till midday, in the presence of the men, the women, and those children old enough to understand; and all the people listened attentively to the book of the law. Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that had been made for the occasion; at his right side stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, and on his left Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, Meshullam. Ezra opened the scroll so that all the people might see it (for he was standing higher up than any of the people); and, as he opened it, all the people rose. Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people, their hands raised high, answered, "Amen, amen!" Then they bowed down and prostrated themselves before the LORD, their faces to the ground. Ezra read plainly from the book of the law of God, interpreting it so that all could understand what was read. Then (Nehemiah, that is, His Excellency, and) Ezra the priest-scribe (and the Levites who were instructing the people) said to all the people: "Today is holy to the LORD your God. Do not be sad, and do not weep"-for all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law. He said further: "Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks, and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared; for today is holy to our LORD. Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the LORD must be your strength!"

Psalms 19:8.9.10.15.

The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The decree of the LORD is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart. The command of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eye.
The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The statutes of the LORD are true, all of them just;
Let the words of my mouth meet with your favor, keep the thoughts of my heart before you, LORD, my rock and my redeemer.


First Letter to the Corinthians 12:12-30.

As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit. Now the body is not a single part, but many. If a foot should say, "Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body," it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. Or if an ear should say, "Because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body," it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended. If they were all one part, where would the body be? But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, "I do not need you," nor again the head to the feet, "I do not need you." Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are all the more necessary, and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable we surround with greater honor, and our less presentable parts are treated with greater propriety, whereas our more presentable parts do not need this. But God has so constructed the body as to give greater honor to a part that is without it, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. If (one) part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy. Now you are Christ's body, and individually parts of it. Some people God has designated in the church to be, first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then, mighty deeds; then, gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work mighty deeds? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 1:1-4.4:14-21.

Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning and ministers of the word have handed them down to us, I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down in an orderly sequence for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings you have received. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region. He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all. He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord." Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, "Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Hugh of Saint Victor (?-1141), canon regular, theologian
Treatise on the Sacraments of christian faith, II, 1-2 ; PL 176, 415

« In the power of the Spirit»


Holy Church is the body of Christ: one Spirit quickens her, gives her unity in faith and sanctifies her. For members this body has believers, who together form one body because of the one Spirit and one faith... And so what belongs to each is not possessed for self alone, for he, who so generously bestows his possessions on us and shares them out so wisely, desires that each thing should belong to all and all to each. If someone has the happiness, then, of receiving a gift of God's grace, he should know that what he has does not belong only to him, even if he is the only one to have it.

It is by analogy with the human body that Holy Church, namely the body of believers, is called the body of Christ. Because she has also received Christ's Spirit, whose presence within the individual is indicated by the name «christian» that Christ gives. Indeed, this name designates Christ's members, those who share the Spirit of Christ, who receive the anointing of the anointed one. For the name christian comes from Christ, and «Christ» means «anointed»: anointed with the same oil of joy that he received in all its fullness above all his fellows (Ps 45[44],8), so that he might share it out among all his friends as the head does to each of the body's members. «It is as when the precious ointment upon the head runs down over the beard... till it runs down upon the collar of the robe» (Ps 133[132],2) to spill over everything and bring all to life. So when you become a christian, you become a member of Christ, a member of Christ's body, sharing in the Spirit of Christ.

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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Monday, 25 January 2010
The Conversion of Saint Paul, apostle - Feast

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 25 January
Today the Church celebrates : The Conversion of St Paul, apostle - Feast

Saint Augustine : Persecutor transformed into preacher


Acts of the Apostles 22:3-16.


"I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city. At the feet of Gamaliel I was educated strictly in our ancestral law and was zealous for God, just as all of you are today. I persecuted this Way to death, binding both men and women and delivering them to prison. Even the high priest and the whole council of elders can testify on my behalf. For from them I even received letters to the brothers and set out for Damascus to bring back to Jerusalem in chains for punishment those there as well. "On that journey as I drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from the sky suddenly shone around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?' I replied, 'Who are you, sir?' And he said to me, 'I am Jesus the Nazorean whom you are persecuting.' My companions saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who spoke to me. I asked, 'What shall I do, sir?' The Lord answered me, 'Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told about everything appointed for you to do.' Since I could see nothing because of the brightness of that light, I was led by hand by my companions and entered Damascus. "A certain Ananias, a devout observer of the law, and highly spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me and stood there and said, 'Saul, my brother, regain your sight.' And at that very moment I regained my sight and saw him. Then he said, 'The God of our ancestors designated you to know his will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear the sound of his voice; for you will be his witness before all to what you have seen and heard. Now, why delay? Get up and have yourself baptized and your sins washed away, calling upon his name.'

Psalms 117:1.2.

Praise the LORD, all you nations! Give glory, all you peoples!
The LORD'S love for us is strong; the LORD is faithful forever. Hallelujah!


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 16:15-18.

He said to them, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents (with their hands), and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

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Commentary of the day :

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Sermon 279

Persecutor transformed into preacher


From heaven's height Christ's voice overturned Saul. He received a command to carry out his persecutions no more and fell face downwards to the ground. He had first to be knocked down and afterwards raised up; first struck, then healed. For Christ would never have come to live in him if Saul had not died to his former life of sin. Cast down to the earth in this way, what was it he heard? «Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goad» (Acts 26,14). And he replied: «Who are you, Lord?» Then the voice from on high continued: «I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting». The members are still on the ground while the head cries out from the heights of heaven. It is not saying: «Why are you persecuting my servants?» but «Why are you persecuting me?»

And Paul, who had put all his energy into his persecuting, is already preparing to obey: «What do you want me to do?» The persecutor is already transformed into preacher, the wolf has become a sheep, the enemy a defender. Paul learns what he is to do: if he has become blind, if this world's light is held back from him for a while, it is so as to make the light within shine in his heart. Light is taken away from the persecutor so that it may be given to the preacher; at the very moment he no longer saw anything of this world, he saw Jesus. This symbolizes the believer: those who believe in Christ must fix the eyes of their soul on him without paying attention to outward things...

So Saul was led to Ananias; the ravaging wolf is led to the sheep. But the Shepherd, who guides everything from heaven above, reassures it...: «Don't worry. I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name» (Acts 9,16). What wonder is this! The wolf is led, a captive, to the sheep... The Lamb who died for the sheep teaches them not to be afraid any more.


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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Tuesday, 26 January 2010
Saint Timothy and Saint Titus, bishops - Memorial

Today the Church celebrates : Ss Timothy and Titus, Bishops - Memorial

Pope Benedict XVI: Timothy and Titus : two of Paul's collaborators


Second Letter to Timothy 1:1-8.


Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God for the promise of life in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, my dear child: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I am grateful to God, whom I worship with a clear conscienceas my ancestors did, as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day. I yearn to see you again, recalling your tears, so that I may be filled with joy, as I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and that I am confident lives also in you. For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.

Psalms 96(95):1-3.7-8.10.

Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Sing to the LORD, bless his name; announce his salvation day after day.
Tell God's glory among the nations; among all peoples, God's marvelous deeds.
Give to the LORD, you families of nations, give to the LORD glory and might;
give to the LORD the glory due his name! Bring gifts and enter his courts;
say among the nations: The LORD is king. The world will surely stand fast, never to be moved. God rules the peoples with fairness.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 10:1-9.

After this the Lord appointed seventy (-two) others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this household.' If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, 'The kingdom of God is at hand for you.'

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Pope Benedict XVI
General Audience of 13/12/2006 (© copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana)

Timothy and Titus : two of Paul's collaborators


Three Letters traditionally attributed to Paul are addressed to his two closest collaborators, two to Timothy and one to Titus. 'Timothy' is a Greek name which means "one who honours God". Whereas Luke mentions him six times in the Acts, Paul in his Letters refers to him at least 17 times (and his name occurs once in the Letter to the Hebrews). One may deduce from this that Paul held him in high esteem...

Then, as regards the figure of Titus, whose name is of Latin origin, we know that he was Greek by birth, that is, a pagan (cf. Gal 2: 3). Paul took Titus with him to Jerusalem for the so-called Apostolic Council, where the preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles that freed them from the constraints of Mosaic Law was solemnly accepted... After Timothy's departure from Corinth, Paul sent Titus there with the task of bringing that unmanageable community to obedience...

To conclude, if we consider together the two figures of Timothy and Titus, we are aware of certain very significant facts. The most important one is that in carrying out his missions, Paul availed himself of collaborators. He certainly remains the Apostle par excellence, founder and pastor of many Churches. Yet it clearly appears that he did not do everything on his own but relied on trustworthy people who shared in his endeavours and responsibilities. Another observation concerns the willingness of these collaborators. The sources concerning Timothy and Titus highlight their readiness to take on various offices that also often consisted in representing Paul in circumstances far from easy. In a word, they teach us to serve the Gospel with generosity, realizing that this also entails a service to the Church herself... Through our commitment in practice we can and must... be rich in good deeds and thus open the doors of the world to Christ, our Saviour.

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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Wednesday, 27 January 2010
Wednesday of the Third week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. Angela Merici, Virgin (c. 1470-1540)

Saint John Chrysostom : "Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear"


2nd book of Samuel 7:4-17.

But that night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said: "Go, tell my servant David, 'Thus says the LORD: Should you build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day on which I led the Israelites out of Egypt to the present, but I have been going about in a tent under cloth. In all my wanderings everywhere among the Israelites, did I ever utter a word to any one of the judges whom I charged to tend my people Israel, to ask: Why have you not built me a house of cedar?' "Now then, speak thus to my servant David, 'The LORD of hosts has this to say: It was I who took you from the pasture and from the care of the flock to be commander of my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you went, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you. And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth. I will fix a place for my people Israel; I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place without further disturbance. Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old, since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel. I will give you rest from all your enemies. The LORD also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you. And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm. It is he who shall build a house for my name. And I will make his royal throne firm forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. And if he does wrong, I will correct him with the rod of men and with human chastisements; but I will not withdraw my favor from him as I withdrew it from your predecessor Saul, whom I removed from my presence. Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.'" Nathan reported all these words and this entire vision to David.

Psalms 89(88):4-5.27-28.29-30.

I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn to David my servant:
I will make your dynasty stand forever and establish your throne through all ages." Selah
He shall cry to me,'You are my father, my God, the Rock that brings me victory!'
I myself make him firstborn, Most High over the kings of the earth.
Forever I will maintain my love for him; my covenant with him stands firm.
I will establish his dynasty forever, his throne as the days of the heavens.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 4:1-20.

On another occasion he began to teach by the sea. A very large crowd gathered around him so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down. And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land. And he taught them at length in parables, and in the course of his instruction he said to them, Hear this! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep. And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it and it produced no grain. And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit. It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold." He added, "Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear." And when he was alone, those present along with the Twelve questioned him about the parables. He answered them, "The mystery of the kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that 'they may look and see but not perceive, and hear and listen but not understand, in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.'" Jesus said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the word sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who, when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy. But they have no root; they last only for a time. Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Those sown among thorns are another sort. They are the people who hear the word, but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit. But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint John Chrysostom (c.345-407), priest at Antioch then Bishop of Constantinople, Doctor of the Church
Homily 44 on Saint Matthew, 3-4

"Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear"


Christ shows us in the parable of the sower that his words are addressed to everyone without distinction. Just as the sower of the parable does not distinguish between the different sorts of ground but scatters seed on every side, so our Lord does not distinguish between rich and poor, wise and foolish, careless and assiduous, courageous and cowardly, but addresses himself to all, and though he knows well what is to come, he strives hard on his part in such a way as to be able to say: «What more was there to do that I had not done?»

What is more, our Lord speaks this parable to encourage his disciples and teach them not to let themselves become demoralized, even if those who welcome the word are fewer than those who waste it. This is how it was for the Master himself who, in spite of knowing the future, never ceased to scatter his seed.

But, you may say, what is the use of scattering it among thorns or on rocks or on the path? If it were a question of a material seed and a material ground then there would be no point. But when it concerns souls and the Word, then it is a wholly praiseworthy act. One would rightly blame a laborer from acting like this: rock cannot become earth, a path cannot but be a path or thorns be thorns. But it is not so in the spiritual domain: rock can become a fertile land; the path can no longer be trampled by the passers-by but turn into a fertile field, the thorns be pulled up to allow the seed to ripen freely. If this were not so, the sower would not have scattered his seed as he did.

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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Thursday, 28 January 2010
Thursday of the Third week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest & Doctor of the Church (+ 1274) - Memorial

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta : "The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you"


2nd book of Samuel 7:18-19.24-29.


Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and said, "Who am I, Lord GOD, and who are the members of my house, that you have brought me to this point? Yet even this you see as too little, Lord GOD; you have also spoken of the house of your servant for a long time to come: this too you have shown to man, Lord GOD! You have established for yourself your people Israel as yours forever, and you, LORD, have become their God. And now, LORD God, confirm for all time the prophecy you have made concerning your servant and his house, and do as you have promised. Your name will be forever great, when men say, 'The LORD of hosts is God of Israel,' and the house of your servant David stands firm before you. It is you, LORD of hosts, God of Israel, who said in a revelation to your servant, 'I will build a house for you.' Therefore your servant now finds the courage to make this prayer to you. And now, Lord GOD, you are God and your words are truth; you have made this generous promise to your servant. Do, then, bless the house of your servant that it may be before you forever; for you, Lord GOD, have promised, and by your blessing the house of your servant shall be blessed forever."

Psalms 132(131):1-2.3-5.11.12.13-14.

A song of ascents. LORD, remember David and all his anxious care;
How he swore an oath to the LORD, vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob:
"I will not enter the house where I live, nor lie on the couch where I sleep;
I will give my eyes no sleep, my eyelids no rest,
Till I find a home for the LORD, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob."
The LORD swore an oath to David, a pledge never to be broken: "Your own offspring I will set upon your throne.
If your sons observe my covenant, the laws I shall teach them, Their sons, in turn, shall sit forever on your throne."
Yes, the LORD has chosen Zion, desired it for a dwelling:
"This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I desire it.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 4:21-25.

He said to them, "Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light. Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear." He also told them, "Take care what you hear. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you. To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997), founder of the Missionary Sisters of Charity
Something Beautiful for God (trans. La Joie du don, p. 30 rev.)

"The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you"


Since Christ is invisible we can't show him our love. But our neighbors are always visible and we can do for them what we would love to do for Christ, supposing he were visible.

Today it is the same Christ who is present in those for whom we have no need, whom we do not employ and do not tend, who are hungry, who are naked, who have no home. They seem to be useless to both State and society; nobody has any time to pay attention to them. It is we christians, you and I, worthy of Christ's love provided ours is a true love: it is our responsibility to find them, to help them. They are there so that we may find them.

To work for the sake of working: this is the danger that constantly threatens us. It is here that respect and love and dedication intervene so that we can direct our work to God, to Christ. And this is why we always try to do it as beautifully as possible.

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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Friday, 29 January 2010
Friday of the Third week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. Gildas the Wise, Abbot (6th century)

The letter to Diognetus : Sown in the earth


2nd book of Samuel 11:1-4.5-10.13-17.


At the turn of the year, when kings go out on campaign, David sent out Joab along with his officers and the army of Israel, and they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. David, however, remained in Jerusalem. One evening David rose from his siesta and strolled about on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing, who was very beautiful. David had inquiries made about the woman and was told, "She is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam, and wife of (Joab's armor-bearer) Uriah the Hittite." Then David sent messengers and took her. When she came to him, he had relations with her, at a time when she was just purified after her monthly period. She then returned to her house. But the woman had conceived, and sent the information to David, "I am with child." David therefore sent a message to Joab, "Send me Uriah the Hittite." So Joab sent Uriah to David. When he came, David questioned him about Joab, the soldiers, and how the war was going, and Uriah answered that all was well. David then said to Uriah, "Go down to your house and bathe your feet." Uriah left the palace, and a portion was sent out after him from the king's table. But Uriah slept at the entrance of the royal palace with the other officers of his lord, and did not go down to his own house. David was told that Uriah had not gone home. So he said to Uriah, "Have you not come from a journey? Why, then, did you not go down to your house?" David summoned him, and he ate and drank with David, who made him drunk. But in the evening he went out to sleep on his bed among his lord's servants, and did not go down to his home. The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab which he sent by Uriah. In it he directed: "Place Uriah up front, where the fighting is fierce. Then pull back and leave him to be struck down dead." So while Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to a place where he knew the defenders were strong. When the men of the city made a sortie against Joab, some officers of David's army fell, and among them Uriah the Hittite died.

Psalms 51(50):3-4.5-7.10-11.

Have mercy on me, God, in your goodness; in your abundant compassion blot out my offense.
Wash away all my guilt; from my sin cleanse me.
For I know my offense; my sin is always before me.
Against you alone have I sinned; I have done such evil in your sight That you are just in your sentence, blameless when you condemn.
True, I was born guilty, a sinner, even as my mother conceived me.
Let me hear sounds of joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Turn away your face from my sins; blot out all my guilt.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 4:26-34.

He said,"This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come." He said, "To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade." With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

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Commentary of the day :

The letter to Diognetus (around 200)
§6 (trans.©Maxwell Staniforth; SC 33 bis, p.65)

Sown in the earth


The relation of Christians to the world is that of a soul to the body. As the soul is diffused through every part of the body, so are Christians through all the cities of the world. The soul, too, inhabits the body, while at the same time forming no part of it; and Christians inhabit the world, but they are not part of the world (Jn 17,16). The soul, invisible herself, is immured within a visible body; so Christians can be recognized in the world, but their Christianity itself remains hidden from the eye. The flesh hates the soul, and wars against her without any provocation, because she is an obstacle to its own self-indulgence; and the world similarly hates the Christians without provocation, because they ate opposed to its pleasures. All the same, the soul loves the flesh and all its members, despite their hatred for her; and Christians, too, love those who hate them.

The soul, shut up inside the body, nevertheless holds the body together; and though they are confined within the world as in a dungeon, it is Christians who hold the world together. The soul, which is immortal, must dwell in a mortal tabernacle; and Christians, as they sojourn for a while in the midst of corruptibility here, look for incorruptibility in the heavens (cf.1Cor 15,50)... Such is the high post of duty in which God has placed them, and it is their moral duty not to shrink from it.

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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   The Daily Gospel - Page 8 Icon_minitimeWed Feb 03 2010, 15:52



DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Saturday, 30 January 2010
Saturday of the Third week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. Bathildes, Queen (c. 634-680)

Saint Augustine : A violent squall came up


2nd book of Samuel 12:1-7.10-17.


The LORD sent Nathan to David, and when he came to him, he said: "Judge this case for me! In a certain town there were two men, one rich, the other poor. The rich man had flocks and herds in great numbers. But the poor man had nothing at all except one little ewe lamb that he had bought. He nourished her, and she grew up with him and his children. She shared the little food he had and drank from his cup and slept in his bosom. She was like a daughter to him. Now, the rich man received a visitor, but he would not take from his own flocks and herds to prepare a meal for the wayfarer who had come to him. Instead he took the poor man's ewe lamb and made a meal of it for his visitor." David grew very angry with that man and said to Nathan: "As the LORD lives, the man who has done this merits death! He shall restore the ewe lamb fourfold because he has done this and has had no pity." Then Nathan said to David: "You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'I anointed you king of Israel. I rescued you from the hand of Saul. Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah to be your wife.' Thus says the LORD: 'I will bring evil upon you out of your own house. I will take your wives while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor. He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight. You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.'" Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." Nathan answered David: "The LORD on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die. But since you have utterly spurned the LORD by this deed, the child born to you must surely die." Then Nathan returned to his house. The LORD struck the child that the wife of Uriah had borne to David, and it became desperately ill. David besought God for the child. He kept a fast, retiring for the night to lie on the ground clothed in sackcloth. The elders of his house stood beside him urging him to rise from the ground; but he would not, nor would he take food with them.

Psalms 51(50):12-13.14-15.16-17.

A clean heart create for me, God; renew in me a steadfast spirit.
Do not drive me from your presence, nor take from me your holy spirit.
Restore my joy in your salvation; sustain in me a willing spirit.
I will teach the wicked your ways, that sinners may return to you.
Rescue me from death, God, my saving God, that my tongue may praise your healing power.
Lord, open my lips; my mouth will proclaim your praise.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 4:35-41.

On that day, as evening drew on, he said to them, "Let us cross to the other side." Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Quiet! Be still!" The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, "Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?" They were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?"

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Exposition on Psalm 25, no. 2

A violent squall came up


We, too, are rowing across a lake that lacks neither wind nor storm: the daily temptations of this world are almost swamping our boat. Why should this be except because Jesus is sleeping? If Jesus were not asleep in you, you would not be undergoing these squalls but would be enjoying great interior peace because Jesus would keep watch with you.

What does it mean: Jesus sleeps? It means that your faith in Jesus is asleep. The lake's tempests arise: you witness the wicked prospering and the virtuous suffering; this is a temptation, a buffeting by the waves. And you say to your soul: «O God, is this your justice? That the wicked should prosper and the virtuous be abandoned to suffering?» Yes, you say to God: «Is this your justice?» And God answers you: «And is this your faith? What in fact did I promise you? Did you become a christian so as to be a success in this world? Are you distressed by the lot of the wicked here below when all the time you are ignorant of their lot in the future world?»

How is it that you talk like this and are tossed by the waves on the lake and by the storm? It is because Jesus is asleep – I mean, that your faith in Jesus is asleep in your heart. What are you to do to be rescued? Waken Jesus and say to him: «Lord, we are lost!». The insecurities of our crossing over the lake trouble us; we are lost. But he will awake, that is to say, your faith will return to you and, with Jesus' help, you will think over it in your heart and note that the good things that are granted to the wicked today are not going to last. Those good things escape them during their lifetime or they will have to leave them behind at the moment of death. But where you are concerned it is the opposite: what is promised you will remain for eternity... So turn away from what falls apart and set your face towards what lasts. When Christ awakes, the storm will no longer buffet your heart nor the waves submerge your boat because your faith will command the winds and the waves and this peril will pass away.

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PostSubject: Re: The Daily Gospel   The Daily Gospel - Page 8 Icon_minitimeWed Feb 03 2010, 15:53


DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Sunday, 31 January 2010
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. John Bosco, Priest (1815-1888) - Memorial

Saint Cyril of Alexandria : To "renew the face of the earth" (Ps 104[103],30)


Book of Jeremiah 1:4-5.17-19.


The word of the LORD came to me thus: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you. But do you gird your loins; stand up and tell them all that I command you. Be not crushed on their account, as though I would leave you crushed before them; For it is I this day who have made you a fortified city, A pillar of iron, a wall of brass, against the whole land: Against Judah's kings and princes, against its priests and people. They will fight against you, but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.

Psalms 71(70):1-2.3-4.5-6.15.17.

In you, LORD, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue and deliver me; listen to me and save me!
Be my rock and refuge, my secure stronghold; for you are my rock and fortress.
My God, rescue me from the power of the wicked, from the clutches of the violent.
You are my hope, Lord; my trust, GOD, from my youth.
On you I depend since birth; from my mother's womb you are my strength; my hope in you never wavers.
My mouth shall proclaim your just deeds, day after day your acts of deliverance, though I cannot number them all.
God, you have taught me from my youth; to this day I proclaim your wondrous deeds.


First Letter to the Corinthians 12:31.13:1-13.

Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 4:21-30.

He said to them, "Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing." And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, "Isn't this the son of Joseph?" He said to them, "Surely you will quote me this proverb, 'Physician, cure yourself,' and say, 'Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.'" And he said, "Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place. Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land. It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon. Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian." When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Saint Cyril of Alexandria (380-444), Bishop, Doctor of the Church
On the prophet Isaiah, 5, 5; PG 70, 1352-1353 (©Friends of Henry Ashworth)

To "renew the face of the earth" (Ps 104[103],30)


Desiring to win over the whole world and bring its inhabitants to God the Father, raising all things to a higher condition and, in a sense, renewing the face of the earth, the Lord of the universe «took the form of a servant» (Phil 2,7) and brought the Good News to the poor. This, he said, was why he had been sent (Lk 4,18).

Now by the poor we may understand those who were then deprived of all spiritual blessings and who lived in the world without hope and without God, as Scripture says. They are those among the Gentiles who, enriched by faith in Christ, have gained the divine, the heavenly treasure, which is the saving proclamation of the gospel. Through this they have become sharers in the kingdom of heaven and companions of the saints. They have inherited blessings impossible to express or comprehend, for «eye has not seen», says Scripture, «nor ear heard, nor human heart conceived what God has prepared for those who love him» (1Cor 2,9)...

All that has been said, however, could also be applied to the Israelites, for they too were poor, brokenhearted, captives in a certain sense, and in darkness. But Christ came, and it was to the Israelites first that he made known the purpose of his coming: he came to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord (Lk 4,19), and the day of retribution.

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DAILY GOSPEL
«Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.» John 6,68


Monday, 01 February 2010
Monday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

Today the Church celebrates : St. Bridgid of Ireland (+ 523)

Pope Benedict XVI: "Unclean spirit, come out of the man!"


2nd book of Samuel 15:13-14.30.16:5-13.


An informant came to David with the report, "The Israelites have transferred their loyalty to Absalom." At this, David said to all his servants who were with him in Jerusalem: "Up! Let us take flight, or none of us will escape from Absalom. Leave quickly, lest he hurry and overtake us, then visit disaster upon us and put the city to the sword." As David went up the Mount of Olives, he wept without ceasing. His head was covered, and he was walking barefoot. All those who were with him also had their heads covered and were weeping as they went. As David was approaching Bahurim, a man named Shimei, the son of Gera of the same clan as Saul's family, was coming out of the place, cursing as he came. He threw stones at David and at all the king's officers, even though all the soldiers, including the royal guard, were on David's right and on his left. Shimei was saying as he cursed: "Away, away, you murderous and wicked man! The LORD has requited you for all the bloodshed in the family of Saul, in whose stead you became king, and the LORD has given over the kingdom to your son Absalom. And now you suffer ruin because you are a murderer." Abishai, son of Zeruiah, said to the king: "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over, please, and lop off his head." But the king replied: "What business is it of mine or of yours, sons of Zeruiah, that he curses? Suppose the LORD has told him to curse David; who then will dare to say, 'Why are you doing this?'" Then the king said to Abishai and to all his servants: "If my own son, who came forth from my loins, is seeking my life, how much more might this Benjaminite do so! Let him alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to. Perhaps the LORD will look upon my affliction and make it up to me with benefits for the curses he is uttering this day." David and his men continued on the road, while Shimei kept abreast of them on the hillside, all the while cursing and throwing stones and dirt as he went.

Psalms 3:2-7.

How many are my foes, LORD! How many rise against me!
How many say of me, "God will not save that one." Selah
But you, LORD, are a shield around me; my glory, you keep my head high.
Whenever I cried out to the LORD, I was answered from the holy mountain. Selah
Whenever I lay down and slept, the LORD preserved me to rise again.
I do not fear, then, thousands of people arrayed against me on every side.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 5:1-20.

They came to the other side of the sea, to the territory of the Gerasenes. When he got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him. The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain. In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones. Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him, crying out in a loud voice, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me!" (He had been saying to him, "Unclean spirit, come out of the man!") He asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "Legion is my name. There are many of us." And he pleaded earnestly with him not to drive them away from that territory. Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside. And they pleaded with him, "Send us into the swine. Let us enter them." And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine. The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they were drowned. The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town and throughout the countryside. And people came out to see what had happened. As they approached Jesus, they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion, sitting there clothed and in his right mind. And they were seized with fear. Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened to the possessed man and to the swine. Then they began to beg him to leave their district. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him. But he would not permit him but told him instead, "Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you." Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB



Commentary of the day :

Pope Benedict XVI
General Audience of 03/12/08 (© copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana)

"Unclean spirit, come out of the man!"


Thus, the existence of the power of evil in the human heart and in human history is an undeniable fact. The question is: how can this evil be explained?... Faith tells us: there exist two mysteries, one of light and one of night, that is, however, enveloped by the mysteries of light. The first mystery of light is this: faith tells us that there are not two principles, one good and one evil, but there is only one single principle, God the Creator, and this principle is good, only good, without a shadow of evil. And therefore, being too is not a mixture of good and evil; being as such is good and therefore it is good to be, it is good to live. This is the good news of the faith: only one good source exists, the Creator...

Then follows a mystery of darkness, or night. Evil does not come from the source of being itself, it is not equally primal. Evil comes from a freedom created, from a freedom abused. How was it possible, how did it happen? This remains obscure. Evil is not logical. Only God and good are logical, are light. Evil remains mysterious... We may guess, not explain; nor may we recount it as one fact beside another, because it is a deeper reality. It remains a mystery of darkness, of night.
But a mystery of light is immediately added. Evil comes from a subordinate source. God with his light is stronger. And therefore evil can be overcome. Thus the creature, man, can be healed... And finally, the last point: man is not only healable, but is healed de facto. God introduced healing. He entered into history in person. He set a source of pure good against the permanent source of evil. The Crucified and Risen Christ, the new Adam, counters the murky river of evil with a river of light. And this river is present in history: we see the Saints, the great Saints but also the humble saints, the simple faithful. We see that the stream of light which flows from Christ is present, is strong.

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