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Ash Wednesday

Note: Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I had been compiled for you after the Mass Readings below. Happy Reading!

Liturgical Colour: Violet.

 

Mass Readings from ETWN.

See our Mass Readings extracts with pictures in Encouragements-375 or

Encouragements-197-198. 8-)

First Reading: Joel 2:12-18,

Responsorial: Psalm 50(51):3-6,12-14,17,

2nd Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2 &

Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6,16-18, Gospel Video.

 

Others:

Matthew Chapter 6 (video)

Venerable Fulton J. Sheen: Lesson 31 – Sin

Venerable Fulton J. Sheen: Lesson 32 - Sin and Penance

Venerable Fulton J. Sheen: Lesson 33 – Penance

See the “Media Tweets” of @Michael65413248 (we have not endorsed on their other Retweets).  Many Thanks Michael Lewis & Friends.

 

1. Criminal Investigation Department, Singapore Police Force.

2. See Singapore Police Officers harassing elderly innocent Cancer Survivor here.

Please spread the News to help the innocent victims who commit no crime. Many Thanks.

Till this day, there is no apology from the Rulers and no compensation paid for damages inflicted.

 

Homilies, Angelus / Regina Caeli

 

A. Pope Saint John Paul II

 

Homily, 12 February 1997

 

Homily, 25 February 1998

See our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-584. 8-)

 

Homily, 17 February 1999

See our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-375. 8-)

 

Homily, 8 March 2000

See our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-585. 8-)

 

Homily, 28 February 2001

 

Homily, 13 February 2002

See our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-376. 8-)

 

Homily, 5 March 2003

See our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-585. 8-)

 

Homily, 25 February 2004

See our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-198. 8-)

 

B. Pope Benedict XVI

 

Homily, 1 March 2006

See our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-585. 8-)

 

Homily, 21 February 2007

See our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-585. 8-)

 

Homily, 6 February 2008

See our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-376. 8-)

 

Homily, 25 February 2009

See our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-586. 8-)

 

Homily, 17 February 2010

See our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-586. 8-)

 

Homily, 9 March 2011

See our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-377. 8-)

 

Homily, 22 February 2012

See our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-198. 8-)

 

Homily, 13 February 2013

See our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-199. 8-)

 

C. Pope Francis I

 

Homily,  5 March 2014

See our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-377. 8-)

 

General Audience, 5 March 2014

See our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-377. 8-)

 

Homily, 18 February 2015

See our extracts with pictures in Encouragements-586. 8-)

 

Homily, 10 February 2016

The Word of God, at the start of the Lenten journey, addresses two invitations to the Church and to each of us.

The first is that of St Paul: “be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). It is not simply good fatherly advice, neither is it just a suggestion; it is a bona fide supplication on Christ’s behalf: “We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (ibid.). Why does he make such a solemn and earnest appeal? Because Christ knows how fragile and sinful we are, he knows the weakness of our heart. He immediately sees it wounded by the evil we have committed. He knows how much we need forgiveness, he knows that it is important for us to feel loved in order to do good. We cannot do it alone: this is why the Apostle does not tell us  to do something but to allow ourselves to be reconciled with God, to let him forgive us, with trust, because “God is greater than our hearts” (1 John 3:20). He conquers sin and lifts us out of misery, if we let him. It is up to us to acknowledge that we need mercy. This is the first step on the Christian path; it entails entering through the open door which is Christ, where he, the Saviour, awaits us and offers us a new and joyful life.

 

There may be a few obstacles, which close the door of the heart. There is the temptation to lock the doors, or to live with our sin, minimizing it, always justifying it, thinking we are no worse than others; this, however, is how the locks of the soul are closed and we remain shut inside, prisoners of evil. Another obstacle is the shame of opening the secret door of the heart. Shame, in reality, is a good symptom, because it shows that we want to break away from evil; however, it must never be transformed into apprehension or fear. There is a third pitfall, that of distancing ourselves from the door: it happens when we hide in our misery, when we ruminate constantly, connecting it to negative things, until sinking into the darkest repositories of the soul. Then we even become kindred with the sorrow that we do not want, we become discouraged and we are weaker in the face of temptations. This happens because we bide alone with ourselves, closing ourselves off and avoiding the light; while the Lord’s grace alone frees us. Therefore let us be reconciled, let us listen to Jesus who says to those who are weary and oppressed: “Come to me” (Matthew 11:28). Not to dwell within themselves, but to go to him! Comfort and peace are there.

 

There is a second invitation of God, who says, through the prophet Joel: “return to me with all your heart” (2:12). If we need to return it is because we have distanced ourselves. It is the mystery of sin: we have distanced ourselves from God, from others, from ourselves. It is not difficult to realize this: we all see how we struggle to truly trust in God, to entrust ourselves to him as Father, without fear; as it is challenging to love others, rather than thinking badly of them; how it costs us to do our true good, while we are attracted and seduced by so many material realities, which disappear and in the end leave us impoverished. Alongside this history of sin, Jesus inaugurated a history of salvation. The Gospel which opens Lent calls us to be protagonists, embracing three remedies, three medicines which heal us from sin (cf. Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18).

 

In the first place is prayer, an expression of openness and trust in the Lord: it is the personal encounter with him, which shortens the distances created by sin. Praying means saying: “I am not self-sufficient, I need You, You are my life and my salvation”. In the second place is charity, in order to overcome our lack of involvement with regard to others. True love, in fact, is not an outward act, it is not giving something in a paternalistic way in order to assuage the conscience, but to accept those who are in need of our time, our friendship, our help. It means living to serve, overcoming the temptation to satisfy ourselves. In the third place is fasting, penance, in order to free ourselves from dependencies regarding what is passing, and to train ourselves to be more sensitive and merciful. It is an invitation to simplicity and to sharing: to take something from our table and from our assets in order to once again find the true benefit of freedom.

 

“Return to me” — says the Lord — “return with all your heart”: not only with a few outward deeds, but from the depths of our selves. Indeed, Jesus calls us to live prayer, charity and penance with consistency and authenticity, overcoming hypocrisy. May Lent be a beneficial time to “prune” falseness, worldliness, indifference: so as not to think that everything is fine if I am fine; so as to understand that what counts is not approval, the search for success or consensus, but the cleansing of the heart and of life; so as to find again our Christian identity, namely, the love that serves, not the selfishness that serves us. Let us embark on the journey together, as Church, by receiving Ashes — we too will become ashes — and keeping our gaze fixed on the Crucifix. He, loving us, invites us to be reconciled with God and to return to him, in order to find ourselves again.

Pope Francis I (Homily, 10 February 2016)

 

Homily, 1 March 2017

“Return to me with all your heart… return to the Lord” (Joel 2:12, 13). The prophet Joel makes this plea to the people in the Lord’s name. No one should feel excluded: “Assemble the aged, gather the children, even infants at the breast, the bridegroom… and the bride” (v. 16). All the faithful people are summoned to come and worship their God, “for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (v. 13).

 

We too want to take up this appeal; we want to return to the merciful heart of the Father. In this season of grace that begins today, we once again turn our eyes to his mercy. Lent is a path: it leads to the triumph of mercy over all that would crush us or reduce us to something unworthy of our dignity as God’s children. Lent is the road leading from slavery to freedom, from suffering to joy, from death to life. The mark of the ashes with which we set out reminds us of our origin: we were taken from the earth, we are made of dust.  True, yet we are dust in the loving hands of God, who has breathed his spirit of life upon each one of us, and still wants to do so. He wants to keep giving us that breath of life that saves us from every other type of breath: the stifling asphyxia brought on by our selfishness, the stifling asphyxia generated by petty ambition and silent indifference – an asphyxia that smothers the spirit, narrows our horizons and slows the beating of our hearts. The breath of God’s life saves us from this asphyxia that dampens our faith, cools our charity and strangles every hope. To experience Lent is to yearn for this breath of life that our Father unceasingly offers us amid the mire of our history.

 

The breath of God’s life sets us free from the asphyxia that so often we fail to notice, or become so used to that it seems normal, even when its effects are felt. We think it is normal because we have grown so accustomed to breathing air in which hope has dissipated, the air of glumness and resignation, the stifling air of panic and hostility.

 

Lent is the time for saying no. No to the spiritual asphyxia born of the pollution caused by indifference, by thinking that other people’s lives are not my concern, and by every attempt to trivialize life, especially the lives of those whose flesh is burdened by so much superficiality. Lent means saying no to the toxic pollution of empty and meaningless words, of harsh and hasty criticism, of simplistic analyses that fail to grasp the complexity of problems, especially the problems of those who suffer the most. Lent is the time to say no to the asphyxia of a prayer that soothes our conscience, of an almsgiving that leaves us self-satisfied, of a fasting that makes us feel good. Lent is the time to say no to the asphyxia born of relationships that exclude, that try to find God while avoiding the wounds of Christ present in the wounds of his brothers and sisters: in a word, all those forms of spirituality that reduce the faith to a ghetto culture, a culture of exclusion.

 

Lent is a time for remembering. It is the time to reflect and ask ourselves what we would be if God had closed his doors to us. What would we be without his mercy that never tires of forgiving us and always gives us the chance to begin anew? Lent is the time to ask ourselves where we would be without the help of so many people who in a thousand quiet ways have stretched out their hands and in very concrete ways given us hope and enabled us to make a new beginning?

 

Lent is the time to start breathing again. It is the time to open our hearts to the breath of the One capable of turning our dust into humanity. It is not the time to rend our garments before the evil all around us, but instead to make room in our life for all the good we are able to do. It is a time to set aside everything that isolates us, encloses us and paralyzes us. Lent is a time of compassion, when, with the Psalmist, we can say: “Restore to us the joy of your salvation, sustain in us a willing spirit”, so that by our lives we may declare your praise (cf. Psalm 51:12.15), and our dust – by the power of your breath of life - may become a “dust of love”.

Pope Francis I (Homily, 1 March 2017)

 

See next page on the latest…

 

Homilies 2020

 

Angelus / Regina Caeli 2020

 

Audiences 2020

 

7th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, 23 February 2020

 

Note: This webpage has many hyperlinks to the Vatican Webpage. The above extracts were compiled for your easy reading.

This Publication is aimed to encourage all of Goodwill around the World. It is not for business or profit purposes but it is our way to thank our Creator for His continuous blessings!

 

Compiled on 24 February 2019

Last updated : 16 February 2020

 

 

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