28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
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: Green.
Mass Readings from ETWN.
See our compilation with Pictures in Encouragements-310. 8-)
First Reading: 2 Kings 5:14-17,
Responsorial: Psalm 98:1-4,
2nd Reading: 2 Timothy 2:8-13 &
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Homilies, Angelus / Regina Caeli
1. “Far be it from me to glory except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14).
St Paul’s words to the Galatians, which we have just heard, are well suited to the human and spiritual experience of Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, who has been solemnly enrolled among the saints today. She too can repeat with the Apostle: Far be it from me to glory except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Cross of Christ! Ever blossoming, the tree the Cross continues to bear new fruits of salvation. This is why believers look with confidence to the Cross, drawing from its mystery of love the courage and strength to walk faithfully in the footsteps of the crucified and risen Christ. Thus the message of the Cross has entered the hearts of so many men and women and changed their lives.
The spiritual experience of Edith Stein is an eloquent example of this extraordinary interior renewal. A young woman in search of the truth has become a saint and martyr through the silent workings of divine grace: Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, who from heaven repeats to us today all the words that marked her life: “Far be it from me to glory except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
4. Dear brothers and sisters! Because she was Jewish, Edith Stein was taken with her sister Rosa and many other Catholic Jews from the Netherlands to the concentration camp in Auschwitz, where she died with them in the gas chambers. Today we remember them all with deep respect. A few days before her deportation, the woman religious had dismissed the question about a possible rescue: “Do not do it! Why should I be spared? Is it not right that I should gain no advantage from my Baptism? If I cannot share the lot of my brothers and sisters, my life, in a certain sense, is destroyed”.
From now on, as we celebrate the memory of this new saint from year to year, we must also remember the Shoah, that cruel plan to exterminate a people — a plan to which millions of our Jewish brothers and sisters fell victim. May the Lord let his face shine upon them and grant them peace (cf. Numbers 6:25f.).
For the love of God and man, once again I raise an anguished cry: May such criminal deeds never be repeated against any ethnic group, against any race, in any corner of this world! It is a cry to everyone: to all people of goodwill; to all who believe in the Just and Eternal God; to all who know they are joined to Christ, the Word of God made man. We must all stand together: human dignity is at stake. There is only one human family. The new saint also insisted on this: “Our love of neighbour is the measure of our love of God. For Christians — and not only for them — no one is a ‘stranger’. The love of Christ knows no borders”.
5. Dear brothers and sisters! The love of Christ was the fire that inflamed the life of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Long before she realized it, she was caught by this fire. At the beginning she devoted herself to freedom. For a long time Edith Stein was a seeker. Her mind never tired of searching and her heart always yearned for hope. She traveled the arduous path of philosophy with passionate enthusiasm. Eventually she was rewarded: she seized the truth. Or better: she was seized by it. Then she discovered that truth had a name: Jesus Christ. From that moment on, the incarnate Word was her One and All. Looking back as a Carmelite on this period of her life, she wrote to a Benedictine nun: “Whoever seeks the truth is seeking God, whether consciously or unconsciously”.
Although Edith Stein had been brought up religiously by her Jewish mother, at the age of 14 she “had consciously and deliberately stopped praying”. She wanted to rely exclusively on herself and was concerned to assert her freedom in making decisions about her life. At the end of a long journey, she came to the surprising realization: only those who commit themselves to the love of Christ become truly free.
This woman had to face the challenges of such a radically changing century as our own. Her experience is an example to us. The modern world boasts of the enticing door which says: everything is permitted. It ignores the narrow gate of discernment and renunciation. I am speaking especially to you, young Christians, particularly to the many altar servers who have come to Rome these days on pilgrimage: Pay attention! Your life is not an endless series of open doors! Listen to your heart! Do not stay on the surface, but go to the heart of things! And when the time is right, have the courage to decide! The Lord is waiting for you to put your freedom in his good hands.
6. St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross was able to understand that the love of Christ and human freedom are intertwined, because love and truth have an intrinsic relationship. The quest for truth and its expression in love did not seem at odds to her; on the contrary she realized that they call for one another.
In our time, truth is often mistaken for the opinion of the majority. In addition, there is a widespread belief that one should use the truth even against love or vice versa. But truth and love need each other. St Teresa Benedicta is a witness to this. The “martyr for love”, who gave her life for her friends, let no one surpass her in love. At the same time, with her whole being she sought the truth, of which she wrote: “No spiritual work comes into the world without great suffering. It always challenges the whole person”.
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross says to us all: Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks truth! One without the other becomes a destructive lie.
7. Finally, the new saint teaches us that love for Christ undergoes suffering. Whoever truly loves does not stop at the prospect of suffering: he accepts communion in suffering with the one he loves.
Aware of what her Jewish origins implied, Edith Stein spoke eloquently about them: “Beneath the Cross I understood the destiny of God’s People.... Indeed, today I know far better what it means to be the Lord’s bride under the sign of the Cross. But since it is a mystery, it can never be understood by reason alone”.
The mystery of the Cross gradually enveloped her whole life, spurring her to the point of making the supreme sacrifice. As a bride on the Cross, Sr Teresa Benedicta did not only write profound pages about the “science of the Cross”, but was thoroughly trained in the school of the Cross. Many of our contemporaries would like to silence the Cross. But nothing is more eloquent than the Cross when silenced! The true message of suffering is a lesson of love. Love makes suffering fruitful and suffering deepens love.
Through the experience of the Cross, Edith Stein was able to open the way to a new encounter with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faith and the Cross proved inseparable to her. Having matured in the school of the Cross, she found the roots to which the tree of her own life was attached. She understood that it was very important for her “to be a daughter of the chosen people and to belong to Christ not only spiritually, but also through blood”.
8. “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).
Dear brothers and sisters, the divine Teacher spoke these words to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. What he gave his chance but attentive listener we also find in the life of Edith Stein, in her “ascent of Mount Carmel”. The depth of the divine mystery became perceptible to her in the silence of contemplation. Gradually, throughout her life, as she grew in the knowledge of God, worshiping him in spirit and truth, she experienced ever more clearly her specific vocation to ascend the Cross with Christ, to embrace it with serenity and trust, to love it by following in the footsteps of her beloved Spouse: St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross is offered to us today as a model to inspire us and a protectress to call upon.
We give thanks to God for this gift. May the new saint be an example to us in our commitment to serve freedom, in our search for the truth. May her witness constantly strengthen the bridge of mutual understanding between Jews and Christians.
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, pray for us! Amen.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Homily, 11 October 1998)
We conclude this solemn celebration by praying the Angelus. Let us look at Our Lady with the eyes of the new saint, who, in contemplating the mystery of the presentation in the temple, remarked: “When the Virgin Mary brought the Child to the temple, she received the prophecy that a sword would pierce her soul.... It is the prediction of the Passion, of the struggle between light and darkness, which already appeared before the crib!”.
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross understood that crib and Cross were closely connected. This inner awareness allowed her to become deeply attuned to the Blessed Virgin. She wrote of her: “Praying before God, loving him with all her heart, imploring his grace for her sinful people by offering herself in reparation for this people, and, as the servant of the Lord, being attentive to every one of his signs: this was her life”. Edith Stein, also a daughter of the Jewish people, spoke of Mary and, almost without realizing it, mapped out the plan of her own life decision.
Let us ask the new saint to intercede for us with the Blessed Virgin, so that we can all respond generously to our vocation.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 11 October 1998)
1. Last Sunday we celebrated the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. The whole month of October is dedicated to this beautiful prayer, which the Christian people love. On account of the present international situation, I have invited individuals and communities to pray the rosary for peace. I also renew this appeal today, underlining at the same time that the rosary is the contemplation of Christ in his mysteries, in close union with the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Contemporary spirituality feels the intense need, so to speak, to focus on the essential. Because of this, there is at present a promising rediscovery of the true nature of the rosary, as a prayer that helps us to stay in Christ's company, to know him better, assimilate his teaching, and live his Mysteries. And who, better than Mary, can accompany us in this journey of the mind and heart? This is why we repeat the Hail Mary, which "constitutes the warp on which the contemplation of the mysteries develops" (Apostolic Exhortation Marialis Cultus, n. 46).
May a constant prayer for peace rise in the Church with the praying of the rosary, both by individuals or by communities, keeping our gaze fixed on Jesus Christ, our peace.
2. The recitation of the rosary used to be very much practised in families, especially at the end of the day. This is what the spouses Luigi and Maria Beltrame Quattrocchi did daily, and next Sunday I will have the joy of proclaiming them Blessed.
On that occasion, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, the Italian Church has called a congress on the topic "The Family: Social Subject". I express my appreciation for this initiative and I hope that the family will once again be central to Italian society.
Next Saturday afternoon, Christian families are invited to a gathering for reflection and prayer in St Peter's Square. The next day, Sunday, the culminating moment with the solemn beatification of the two spouses will take place. It coincides with World Mission Sunday. It will be an apt occasion to highlight the role of families in the evangelizing mission of the Church.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 14 October 2001)
1. The International Eucharistic Congress on the theme: "The Eucharist, light and life of the new millennium" opened today in Guadalajara, Mexico. I join in spirit this important ecclesial event which also opens the Year of the Eucharist.
For this special Year, I addressed to the entire Church an Apostolic Letter that begins with these words: "Mane Nobiscum Domine - Stay with us, Lord" (cf. Luke 24: 29). This invocation rings out in every Christian community: by recognizing the risen Christ "in the breaking of the bread" (Luke 24: 35), may the faithful be ready to witness to him with fruitful charity.
2. The diocesan Caritas is a privileged expression of charity in the local Church. In Rome, Caritas is celebrating its 25th anniversary. I thank God for all the good fruits that have ripened in these years and I encourage the Ecclesial Community to continue in the work of formation and in activities at the service of the poor and needy.
3. Let us entrust these intentions to the intercession of Mary Most Holy, "Woman of the Eucharist" (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, chap. VI).
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 10 October 2004)
See our compilation with Pictures in Encouragements-310. 8-)
See our compilation with Pictures in Encouragements-311. 8-)
The month of October is called the month of the Rosary, a "spiritual cadence", so to speak, that derives from the liturgical Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary, which is celebrated on 7 October. We are therefore asked to let ourselves be guided by Mary in this prayer, ancient and ever new, which is especially dear to her because it leads us directly to Jesus, contemplated in his Mysteries of salvation: joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious. In the footsteps of Venerable John Paul II (cf. Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae), I would like to recall that the Rosary is a biblical prayer, interwoven with Sacred Scripture throughout. It is a prayer of the heart, in which the repetition of the Hail Mary directs the thoughts and affections to Christ and therefore becomes a trusting supplication to his Mother and ours. It is a prayer that helps us to meditate on the word of God and to assimilate Eucharistic Communion, modelling ourselves on Mary who cherished in her heart all that Jesus did and said, and his Presence itself.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 10 October 2010)
See our compilation with Pictures in Encouragements-311. 8-)
Homily, 9 October 2016 (EXTRAORDINARY JUBILEE OF MERCY)
This Sunday’s Gospel (cf. Luke 17:11-19) invites us to acknowledge God’s gifts with wonder and gratitude. On the way to his death and resurrection, Jesus meets ten lepers, who approach him, keep their distance and tell their troubles to the one whom their faith perceived as a possible saviour: “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” (v. 13). They are sick and they are looking someone to heal them. Jesus responds by telling them to go and present themselves to the priests, who according to the Law were charged with certifying presumed healings. In this way, Jesus does not simply make them a promise; he tests their faith. At that moment, in fact, the ten were not yet healed. They were restored to health after they set out in obedience to Jesus’ command. Then, rejoicing, they showed themselves to the priests and continued on their way. They forgot the Giver, the Father, who cured them through Jesus, his Son made man.
All but one: a Samaritan, a foreigner living on the fringes of the chosen people, practically a pagan! This man was not content with being healed by his faith, but brought that healing to completion by returning to express his gratitude for the gift received. He recognized in Jesus the true Priest, who raised him up and saved him, who can now set him on his way and accept him as one of his disciples.
To be able to offer thanks, to be able to praise the Lord for what he has done for us: this is important! So we can ask ourselves: Are we capable of saying “Thank you”? How many times do we say “Thank you” in our family, our community, and in the Church? How many times do we say “Thank you” to those who help us, to those close to us, to those who accompany us through life? Often we take everything for granted! This also happens with God. It is easy to approach the Lord to ask for something, but to return and give thanks... That is why Jesus so emphasizes the failure of the nine ungrateful lepers: “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:17-18).
On this Jubilee day, we are given a model, indeed the model, to whom we can look: Mary, our Mother. After hearing the message of the Angel, she lifted up her heart in a song of praise and thanksgiving to God: “My soul magnifies the Lord…” Let us ask our Lady to help us recognize that everything is God’s gift, and to be able to say “Thank you”. Then, I assure you, our joy will be complete. Only those who know how to say “Thank you”, will experience the fullness of joy.
It also takes humility to be able to give thanks. In the first reading we heard the singular story of Naaman, the commander of the army of the King of Aram (cf. 2 Kings 5:14-17). In order to be cured of his leprosy, he accepts the suggestion of a poor slave and entrusts himself to the prophet Elisha, whom he considered an enemy. Naaman was nonetheless ready to humble himself. Elisha asks nothing of him, but simply orders him to bathe in the waters of the River Jordan. This request leaves Naaman perplexed, even annoyed. Can a God who demands such banal things truly be God? He would like to turn back, but then he agrees to be immersed in the Jordan and immediately he is cured.
The heart of Mary, more than any other, is a humble heart, capable of accepting God’s gifts. In order to become man, God chose precisely her, a simple young woman of Nazareth, who did not dwell in the palaces of power and wealth, who did not do extraordinary things. Let us ask ourselves – it will do us good – if we are prepared to accept God’s gifts, or prefer instead to shut ourselves up within our forms of material security, intellectual security, the security of our plans.
Significantly, Naaman and the Samaritans were two foreigners. How many foreigners, including persons of other religions, give us an example of values that we sometimes forget or set aside! Those living beside us, who may be scorned and sidelined because they are foreigners, can instead teach us how to walk on the path that the Lord wishes. The Mother of God, together with Joseph her spouse, knew what it was to live far from home. She too was long a foreigner in Egypt, far from her relatives and friends. Yet her faith was able to overcome the difficulties. Let us cling to this simple faith of the Holy Mother of God; let us ask her that we may always come back to Jesus and express our thanks for the many benefits we have received from his mercy.
Pope Francis I (Homily, 9 October 2016)
I was greatly saddened to hear the news of the grave consequences of the hurricane that in recent days struck the Caribbean, and Haiti in particular, leaving behind many victims and homeless, in addition to considerable material damage. I assure my closeness to the population and express my confidence in the sense of solidarity of the international community, the Catholic institutions and people of good will. I ask you to join me in praying for these brothers and sisters, who are put to such a difficult test.
Yesterday in Oviedo, Spain, the priest Gennaro Fueyo Castañón and three lay believers were beatified. We praise the Lord for these heroic witnesses of the faith, joined to the multitude of martyrs who have given their lives in the name of Christ.
I send my most cordial greetings to all of you, dear pilgrims, who have participated in the Marian Jubilee. Thank you for your presence! I would like to repeat with you the words of St John Paul II pronounced on 8 October 2000, in the Act of Entrustment to Mary for the Jubilee: “Mother, we wish to entrust to you the future that awaits us. Humanity can turn this world into a garden, or reduce it to a pile of rubble”. At this crossroads, may the Virgin help us choose life, welcoming and practicing the Gospel of Christ the Saviour.
Pope Francis I (Angelus, 9 October 2016)
Note: This webpage has many hyperlinks to the Vatican Webpage. The above extracts were compiled for your easy reading.
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Compiled on 6 October 2019
Updated on 7 October 2019