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Matthew 25:31-46 > Encouragements-78.

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In the light of my recent Encyclical Letter on Christian love, I would like to underline the importance of the service of love for the support and promotion of human life. In this regard, even before active initiatives, it is fundamental to foster a correct attitude towards the other:  the culture of life is in fact based on attention to others without any forms of exclusion or discrimination. Every human life, as such, deserves and demands always to be defended and promoted.

We are well aware that all too often this truth risks being opposed by the hedonism widespread in the so-called society of well-being:  life is exalted as long as it is pleasurable, but there is a tendency to no longer respect it as soon as it is sick or handicapped. Based on deep love for every person it is possible instead to put into practice effective forms of service to life:  to new-born life and to life marked by marginalization or suffering, especially in its terminal phase.   - Pope Benedict XVI

BENEDICT XVI

ANGELUS

Saint Peter's Square
Sunday, 5 February 2006

 


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Pro-Life Day is being celebrated today throughout Italy and is a precious opportunity for prayer and reflection on the themes of the defence and promotion of human life, especially when it is found to be in difficult conditions.

 

Many of the lay faithful who work in this area are present in St Peter's Square, some of whom are involved in the Pro-Life Movement. I address my cordial greeting to them, with a special thought for Cardinal Camillo Ruini who has accompanied them, and I once again express my appreciation for the work they do to ensure that life is always received as a gift and accompanied with love.

As I invite you to meditate on the Message of the Italian Bishops, which has as its theme
"Respecting life", I think back to beloved Pope John Paul II, who paid constant attention to these problems. I would like in particular to recall the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, which he published in 1995 and which represents an authentic milestone in the Church's Magisterium on a most timely and crucial issue.

 

Inserting the moral aspects in a vast spiritual and cultural framework, my venerable Predecessor frequently reasserted that human life has a value of paramount importance which demands recognition, and the Gospel asks that it always be respected.

 

In the light of my recent Encyclical Letter on Christian love, I would like to underline the importance of the service of love for the support and promotion of human life. In this regard, even before active initiatives, it is fundamental to foster a correct attitude towards the other:  the culture of life is in fact based on attention to others without any forms of exclusion or discrimination. Every human life, as such, deserves and demands always to be defended and promoted.

We are well aware that all too often this truth risks being opposed by the hedonism widespread in the so-called society of well-being:  life is exalted as long as it is pleasurable, but there is a tendency to no longer respect it as soon as it is sick or handicapped. Based on deep love for every person it is possible instead to put into practice effective forms of service to life:  to new-born life and to life marked by marginalization or suffering, especially in its terminal phase.

 

The Virgin Mary received with perfect love the Word of life, Jesus Christ, who came into the world so that human beings might "have life... abundantly" (John 10: 10). Let us entrust to her expectant mothers, families, health-care workers and volunteers who are committed in so many ways to the service of life. Let us pray in particular for people in the most difficult situations.

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After the Angelus


I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present for today's Angelus. May the healing power of Christ transform your lives and fill you with his peace! I trust your time in Rome will be filled with joy and deepen your love of the universal Church. God bless you all!

 

I wish everyone a good Sunday!

BENEDICT XVI

ANGELUS

St. Peter's Square
Sunday, 5 February 2012

[Video]

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

 

This Sunday’s Gospel presents to us Jesus who heals the sick: first Simon Peter’s mother-in-law who was in bed with a fever and Jesus, taking her by the hand, healed her and helped her to her feet; then all the sick in Capernaum, tried in body, mind and spirit, and he “healed many… and cast out many demons” (Mark 1:34). The four Evangelists agree in testifying that this liberation from illness and infirmity of every kind was — together with preaching — Jesus’ main activity in his public ministry.

 

Illness is in fact a sign of the action of Evil in the world and in people, whereas healing shows that the Kingdom of God, God himself, is at hand. Jesus Christ came to defeat Evil at the root and instances of healing are an anticipation of his triumph, obtained with his death and Resurrection.

Jesus said one day: “those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick” (Mark 2:17). On that occasion he was referring to sinners, whom he came to call and to save. It is nonetheless true that illness is a typically human condition in which we feel strongly that we are not self-sufficient but need others. In this regard we might say paradoxically that illness can be a salutary moment in which to experience the attention of others and to pay attention to others!

 

However illness is also always a trial that can even become long and difficult. When healing does not happen and suffering is prolonged, we can be as it were overwhelmed, isolated, and then our life is depressed and dehumanized. How should we react to this attack of Evil? With the appropriate treatment, certainly — medicine in these decades has taken giant strides and we are grateful for it — but the Word of God teaches us that there is a crucial basic attitude with which to face illness and it is that of faith in God, in his goodness. Jesus always repeats this to the people he heals: your faith has made you well (cf. Mark 5:34, 36).

 

Even in the face of death, faith can make possible what is humanly impossible. But faith in what? In the love of God. This is the real answer which radically defeats Evil. Just as Jesus confronted the Evil One with the power of the love that came to him from the Father, so we too can confront and live through the trial of illness, keeping our heart immersed in God’s love.

 

We all know people who were able to bear terrible suffering because God gave them profound serenity. I am thinking of the recent example of Blessed Chiara Badano, cut off in the flower of her youth by a disease from which there was no escape: all those who went to visit her received light and confidence from her! Nonetheless, in sickness we all need human warmth: to comfort a sick person what counts more than words is serene and sincere closeness.

 

Dear friends, next Saturday, 11 February, the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, is the World Day of the Sick. Let us too do as people did in Jesus’ day: let us present to him spiritually all the sick, confident that he wants to and can heal them. And let us invoke the intercession of Our Lady, especially for the situations of greater suffering and neglect. Mary, Health of the Sick, pray for us!

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After the Angelus:

 

Dear brothers and sisters, today the Day for Life is being celebrated in Italy. It began in order to defend unborn life and was then extended to all the phases and conditions of human existence. This year the Message of the Bishops proposes the theme: “Youth Open to Life”. I join the Pastors of the Church in affirming that real youth is achieved in acceptance, in love and in the service to life. I rejoice at the meeting organized in Rome yesterday by the Schools of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the Universities of Rome to reflect on the “Promotion and Protection of Unborn Human Life”. And I greet Bishop Lorenzo Leuzzi, the teachers and young people present today in St Peter’s Square. Welcome! Thank you for coming.

 

I offer greetings to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present for today’s Angelus. In the Gospel this Sunday, we learn of the healing that Jesus brought to many who were suffering from diseases of one kind or another. We commend to him all those known to us who are in need of healing and we ask him to take away our own hardness of heart, so that we may respond more generously to his love. May God bless all of you!

 

I wish you all a good Sunday!

VISIT TO THE ROMAN PARISH
"SAN MICHELE ARCANGELO A PIETRALATA"

HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS

Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time, 8 February 2015

[Multimedia]

 

This is what Jesus’ life was like: “he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons” (Mark 1:39). Jesus who preaches and Jesus who heals. The whole day was like this: preaching to the people, teaching the Law, teaching the Gospel. And the people look for Him to listen to Him and also because He heals the sick. “That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons.... And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons” (Mark 1:32, 34). And we are before Jesus in this celebration: Jesus is the One who presides at this celebration. We are priests in the name of Jesus, but He is the President, He is the true Priest, who offers the sacrifice to the Father. We could ask ourselves whether we let Jesus preach to us. Each one of us: “Do I let Jesus preach to me, or I know all? Do I listen to Jesus or do I prefer to listen to something else, perhaps people’s gossip, or stories...”. Listening to Jesus. Listening to Jesus’ preaching. “How can I do this, Father? On which TV channel does Jesus speak?”. He speaks to you in the Gospel! And this is an attitude that we still do not have: to go to seek the word of Jesus in the Gospel. To always carry a Gospel with us, a small one, or to have one at our fingertips. Five minutes, 10 minutes. When I am travelling or when I have to wait..., I take the Gospel from my pocket, or from my bag and I read something; or at home. And Jesus speaks to me, Jesus preaches to me there. It is the Word of Jesus. And we have to get accustomed to this: to hear the Word of Jesus, to listen to the Word of Jesus in the Gospel. To read a passage, think a bit about what it says, what it is saying to me. If I don’t feel it is speaking to me, I move to another. But to have this daily contact with the Gospel, to pray with the Gospel; because this way Jesus preaches to me, He says with the Gospel what He wants to tell me. I know people who always carry it and when they have a little time they open it, and this way they always find the right word for the moment they are living in. This is the first thing I wanted to say to you: let the Lord preach to you. Listen to the Lord.

 

And Jesus heals: let yourselves be healed by Jesus. We all have wounds, everyone: spiritual wounds, sins, hostility, jealousy; perhaps we don’t say hello to someone: “Ah, he did this to me, I won’t acknowledge him anymore”. But this needs to be healed! “How do I do it?”. Pray and ask that Jesus heal it”. It’s sad in a family when siblings don’t speak to each other for a small matter; because the devil takes a small matter and makes a world of it. Then hostilities go on, often times for many years, and that family is destroyed. Parents suffer because their children don’t speak to each other, or one son’s wife doesn’t speak to the other, and thus, with jealousy, envy.... The devil sows this. And the only One who casts out demons is Jesus. The only One who heals these matters is Jesus. For this reason I say to each one of you: let yourself be healed by Jesus. Each one knows where his wounds are. Each one of us has them; we don’t have only one: two, three, four, 20. Each one knows! May Jesus heal those wounds. But for this I must open my heart, in order that He may come. How do I open my heart? By praying. “But Lord, I can’t with those people over there. I hate them. They did this, this and this...”. “Heal this wound, Lord”. If we ask Jesus for this grace, He will do it. Let yourself be healed by Jesus. Let Jesus heal you. Let Jesus preach to you and let Him heal you. This way I can even preach to others, to teach the words of Jesus, because I let Him preach to me; and I can also help heal many wounds, the many wounds that there are. But first I have to do it: let Him preach to me and heal me.

 

When the bishop comes to make a visit to the parishes, we do many things. We can also make a nice proposal, a small one: the proposal to read a passage of the Gospel every day, a short passage, in order to let Jesus preach to me. And the other proposal: to pray that I let myself be healed of the wounds I have. Agreed? Shall we sign? Okay? Let’s do it, because this will be good for everyone. Thank you.

POPE FRANCIS

ANGELUS

Saint Peter's Square
Sunday, 8 February 2015

[Multimedia]

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning,

 

Today’s Gospel (cf. Mark 1:29-39) presents us Jesus who, after having preached in the Synagogue on the Sabbath, heals many sick people. Preaching and healing: this was Jesus’ principle activity in his public ministry. With his preaching he proclaims the Kingdom of God, and with his healing he shows that it is near, that the Kingdom of God is in our midst.

 

Entering the house of Simon Peter, Jesus sees that his mother-in-law is in bed with a fever; he immediately takes her by the hand, heals her, and raises her. After sunset, since the Sabbath is over the people can go out and bring the sick to Him; He heals a multitude of people afflicted with maladies of every kind: physical, psychological, and spiritual. Having come to earth to proclaim and to realize the salvation of the whole man and of all people, Jesus shows a particular predilection for those who are wounded in body and in spirit: the poor, the sinners, the possessed, the sick, the marginalized. Thus, He reveals Himself as a doctor both of souls and of bodies, the Good Samaritan of man. He is the true Saviour: Jesus saves, Jesus cures, Jesus heals.

 

The reality of Christ’s healing of the sick invites us to reflect on the meaning and virtue of illness. This also reminds us of the World Day of the Sick, which we shall celebrate on Wednesday, 11 February, the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes. I bless the initiatives prepared for this Day, in particular the Vigil that will take place in Rome on the evening of 10 February. Let us also remember the President of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers (Health Pastoral  Care), Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, who is very sick in Poland. A prayer for him, for his health, because it was he who organized this Day, and he accompanies us in his suffering on this Day. Let us pray for Archbishop Zimowski.

 

The salvific work of Christ is not exhausted with his Person and in the span of his earthly life; it continues through the Church, the sacrament of God’s love and tenderness for mankind. In sending his disciples on mission, Jesus confers a double mandate on them: to proclaim the Gospel of salvation and to heal the sick (cf. Matthew 10:7-8). Faithful to this teaching, the Church has always considered caring for the sick an integral part of her mission.

 

“The poor and the suffering you will always have with you”, Jesus admonishes (cf. Matthew 26:11), and the Church continually finds them along her path, considering those who are sick as a privileged way to encounter Christ, to welcome and serve him. To treat the sick, to welcome them, to serve them, is to serve Christ: the sick are the flesh of Christ.

 

This also occurs in our own time, when, notwithstanding the many scientific break-throughs, the interior and physical suffering of people raises serious questions about the meaning of illness and pain, and about the reason for death. They are existential questions, to which the pastoral action of the Church must respond with the light of faith, having before her eyes the Crucifixion, in which appears the whole of the salvific mystery of God the Father, who out of love for human beings did not spare his own Son (cf. Romans 8:32). Therefore, each one of us is called to bear the light of the Word of God and the power of grace to those who suffer, and to those who assist them — family, doctors, nurses — so that the service to the sick might always be better accomplished with more humanity, with generous dedication, with evangelical love, with tenderness. Mother Church, through our hands, caresses our suffering and treats our wounds, and does so with the tenderness of a mother.

 

Let us pray to Mary, Health of the Sick, that every person who is sick might experience, thanks to the care of those who are close to them, the power of God’s love and the comfort of her maternal tenderness.

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After the Angelus:

 

Dear brothers and sisters, today, 8 February, is the Feast of St Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese nun, who as a child had the traumatic experience of being a victim of human trafficking. The Unions of Superiors and Superiors General of Religious Institutes have organized the Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking. I encourage those who work helping the men, women and children who are enslaved, exploited, abused as instruments of work or pleasure, who are often tortured and mutilated. It is my hope that government leaders may work decisively to remove the causes of this disgraceful scourge, it is a scourge unworthy of society. May each one of us feel committed to being a voice for our brothers and sisters, who have been humiliated in their dignity. Let us all pray to Our Lady for them and for their family members. [Hail Mary...]

 

I wish everyone a happy Sunday. Please do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and arrivederci!

 

Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the Homilies of Saint Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I, so that they could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us. 

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Second Reading: Extracted from the first letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1

Whatever you eat, whatever you drink, whatever you do at all, do it for the glory of God.

Never do anything offensive to anyone – to Jews or Greeks or to the Church of God; just as I try to be helpful to everyone at all times, not anxious for my own advantage but for the advantage of everybody else, so that they may be saved.

Take me for your model, as I take Christ.

 

Gospel Acclamation

cf. Ephesians 1:17,18

Alleluia, alleluia!

May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our mind,

so that we can see what hope his call holds for us.

Alleluia!

Or

Luke 7:16

Alleluia, alleluia!

A great prophet has appeared among us; God has visited his people.

Alleluia!

 

 

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21 March 2015, 3:00pm SGT

Psalm 121 > Encouragements-90.

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Responsorial: Psalm 32:1-2,5,11

Responsorial: You are my refuge, O Lord; you fill me with the joy of salvation.

 

Happy the man whose offence is forgiven, whose sin is remitted.

O happy the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt, in whose spirit is no guile.

 

But now I have acknowledged my sins; my guilt I did not hide.

I said: ‘I will confess my offence to the Lord.’

And you, Lord, have forgiven the guilt of my sin.

 

Rejoice, rejoice in the Lord, exult, you just!

O come, ring out your joy, all you upright of heart.

You are my refuge, O Lord; you fill me with the joy of salvation.

我不是鱷魚,請合作!