14

POPE FRANCIS

ANGELUS

Saint Peter's Square
Sunday, 15 February 2015

[Multimedia]

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning,

 

In these Sundays, Mark the Evangelist speaks to us about Jesus’ actions against every type of evil, for the benefit of those suffering in body and spirit: the possessed, the sick, sinners.... Jesus presents Himself as the One who fights and conquers evil wherever He encounters it. In today’s Gospel (cf. Mk 1:40-45) this struggle of His confronts an emblematic case, because the sick man is a leper. Leprosy is a contagious and pitiless disease, which disfigures the person, and it was a symbol of impurity: a leper had to stay outside of inhabited centres and make his presence known to passersby. He was marginalized by the civil and religious community. He was like a deadman walking.

 

The episode of the healing of the leper takes place in three brief phases: the sick man’s supplication, Jesus’ response, the result of the miraculous healing. The leper beseeches Jesus, “kneeling”, and says to Him: “If you will, you can make me clean” (v. 40). Jesus responds to this humble and trusting prayer because his soul is moved to deep pity: compassion. “Compassion” is a most profound word: compassion means “to suffer-with-another”. Jesus’ heart manifests God’s paternal compassion for that man, moving close to him and touching him. And this detail is very important. Jesus “stretched out his hand and touched him.... And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean” (vv. 41-42). God’s mercy overcomes every barrier and Jesus’ hand touches the leper. He does not stand at a safe distance and does not act by delegating, but places Himself in direct contact with our contagion and in precisely this way our ills become the motive for contact: He, Jesus, takes from us our diseased humanity and we take from Him his sound and healing humanity. This happens each time we receive a Sacrament with faith: the Lord Jesus “touches” us and grants us his grace. In this case we think especially of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which heals us from the leprosy of sin.

 

Once again the Gospel shows us what God does in the face of our ills: God does not come to “give a lesson” on pain; neither does He come to eliminate suffering and death from the world; but rather, He comes to take upon Himself the burden of our human condition and carries it to the end, to free us in a radical and definitive way. This is how Christ fights the world’s maladies and suffering: by taking them upon Himself and conquering them with the power of God’s mercy.

 

The Gospel of the healing of the leper tells us today that, if we want to be true disciples of Jesus, we are called to become, united to Him, instruments of his merciful love, overcoming every kind of marginalization. In order to be “imitators of Christ” (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:1) in the face of a poor or sick person, we must not be afraid to look him in the eye and to draw near with tenderness and compassion, and to touch him and embrace him. I have often asked this of people who help others, to do so looking them in the eye, not to be afraid to touch them; that this gesture of help may also be a gesture of communication: we too need to be welcomed by them. A gesture of tenderness, a gesture of compassion.... Let us ask you: when you help others, do you look them in the eye? Do you embrace them without being afraid to touch them? Do you embrace them with tenderness? Think about this: how do you help? From a distance or with tenderness, with closeness? If evil is contagious, so is goodness. Therefore, there needs to be ever more abundant goodness in us. Let us be infected by goodness and let us spread goodness!

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After the Angelus:

 

Dear brothers and sisters, I address a wish for serenity and peace to all the men and women who, in the Far East and in various parts of the world, are preparing to celebrate the Lunar New Year. This celebration offers them a propitious occasion to rediscover and live fraternity in an intense way. It is a precious bond of family life and the foundation of social life. May this annual return to the roots of the person and of the family help those Peoples to build a society characterized by interpersonal relationships, respect, justice and charity.

 

I greet all of you, Romans and pilgrims; in particular, those who have come on the occasion of the Consistory to accompany the new Cardinals; and I thank the countries that wished to attend this event with Official Delegations. Let us greet the new Cardinals with a round of applause!

 

Beloved, I encourage you to be joyous and courageous witnesses of Jesus in everyday life. I wish all of you a happy Sunday. Please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch. 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. 

 

21 March 2015, 3:00pm

Wow, the total income is going to be SGD 2,113,038.00 by end 2015, but the Church of St. Mary of the Angels, Singapore still gave us a Statement on 21/22 March 2015 that the Church will still end up at a deficit by the end of the year.

We shall not highlight all the relevant details to confuse all of you, as you can study them by clicking above.

Objectively, let’s look at this situation as reasonable men: If you know your household expenses are going to exceed your income, what will you do?

Obviously, you will try to reduce your expenses or to increase your income by doing more work. You should not be asking for more donations from the public.

To the Church Priests & Masterminds: Are you closing your eyes, shutting your ears and pretending that you never see how fragile the market is presently? Many people who are working don’t have job security at all. Do you choose not to care?

Although the Singapore economy is still manageable, this doesn’t mean people can squeeze more money out from their fellow Catholics. Look at all the expenses stated in your aforesaid statement, they are unreasonably “sky rocket high”! We will let All to decide if these are wasting behaviors!

Dear Jesus, we beg you to please come and take over this situation before it is going to become a huge scandal where other Churches in Singapore will follow, now it’s going out of hand! If all the Churches around the World behave as such, you decide if all your “beloved sheep” will be swallowed alive.

Dear Jesus, we offer our distress to you, please remove the “fierce wolves” (cf. Acts 20:28-35)!

Acts 20:28-35 > Encouragements-472 .

The Church Parishioners, 22 March 2015, 3:00pm

Important Note: The above mentioned is a paid Publication by Clients @MediShield15 which our Company accepts no responsibility or liability. We have no comment on what being published above.

23 March 2015

Dear Jesus,

     We are writing to report to you that these few years many of our Catholics in Singapore are in deep distressed seeing what has been happening in the Catholic Church in Singapore. As you know, some Churches have been using your Church as the “Money Grabbing Machine” to exploit “your sheep” who have already been suffering in this sluggish Global Economy.

     You know that earlier we have reported to you concerning Novena Church in Singapore (Encouragements-472). These few years they have been actively and energetically sourcing for donations to build a New Church and a New St. Clement Pastoral Centre. Please watch the YouTube record here.

     You know that the existing St. Clement Pastoral Centre was built around 1994 – 1995. We are able to remember this clearly because many of the Professionals had each contributed at least SGD 10,000.00 to 50,000.00 to the construction which the Church Priests gave instructions to tear down even they were of excellent structural conditions; other Catholics had also contributed much. The Church did major renovation works to increase the canteen usage space and the toilets around year 2000-2004, the funds were contributed by the Catholics generously. These are the structures that they have demolished. The reasons: To give way to the New Church and New St. Clement Pastoral Centre and New Basement Carpark, stating there is “over-capacity of people in the congregation and more parking spaces needed”, which we don’t agree!

     In these past 2-4 years, some of our Catholic Professionals had written to the Church Priests to suggest to them these problems could easily be resolved by increasing the numbers of Novena Sessions on Saturdays and Mass Services on Sundays. There is no burden on their part, because there are at least 10 Priests residing within the Church Compound at any time. Our suggestions were fallen on deaf ears as they were determined to tear down the structures that we had funded. The letters to them were also copied to the Archbishop of Singapore who took no action.

     In early 2015, the Priests of the Novena Church were extremely active again, going around all other Churches in Singapore sourcing for more funds. Formally they said they needed SGD45 million, now they told the Catholics that they want much more. Dear Jesus, please ask them if they want SGD60 million!

     Look at their passion in sourcing for funds, if this enthusiasm is used for evangelization works, would the whole World be converted? Have they forgotten that they have vowed to you that they will live a life of “obedience, chastity and poverty”? Dear Jesus, why don’t you enter the Priests’ House and see for yourself, do you see a luxurious palace? You decide if their “poverty” is just “a sham” and if they are “fierce wolves” exploiting us to enrich themselves at our expense.

     Dear Jesus, many of us used to attend Daily Masses to worship you, you know we love you and we want to cooperate with you in your works of redemption, but they are obstacles as the way they celebrate Mass now makes us feel sick. Let the congregation tell you if they have turned  many Homily sessions into “money talks”.

     Dear Jesus, you know many of them have been in the Priesthood for at least 10 years, please ask them to report to you what they have done so far. Do they have anything good to report?

     Dear Jesus, you decide if these people are a disgrace to the Catholic Church? Saint Paul says we should banish evil doers (cf. 1 Corinthians 5:13, Enouragements-92). Please remove them quickly. Thanks.

 

Loving You always,

Your beloved brothers & sisters in Singapore.

 

Important Note: The above mentioned is a paid Publication by Clients @MediShield15 which our Company accepts no responsibility or liability. We have no comment on what being published above.

Ash Wednesday 2015

Sharing:

It was Ash Wednesday on 18 February 2015. 

The Readings that were read in the Eucharistic Celebrations all over the world on the same day are shown in Encouragements-375 or Encouragements-197, 198:

1st Reading: Joel 2:12-18,

Responsorial: Psalm 51:3-6,12-14,17,

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

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

We have extracted the Homilies Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you, so that you could similarly be encouraged:

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me” (Psalm 50 [51]:10).

Let’s compare this with the prayer of Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah when they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace : “...But may the contrite soul, the humbled spirit, be as acceptable to you as burnt offerings of rams and bullocks, as thousands of fat lambs: such let our sacrifice be to you today, and may it please you that we follow you whole-heartedly, since those who trust in you will not be shamed…” (Daniel 3:39-40) Encouragements-16.

You asked, ‘Did they turn to become charcoal?’

Obviously No. Here’s the record: ‘But the angel of the Lord came down into the furnace beside Azariah and his companions; he drove the flames of the fire outwards from the furnace and, in the heart of the furnace, wafted a coolness to them as of the breeze and dew, so that the fire did not touch them at all and caused them no pain or distress.’ (Daniel 3: 49-50) Encouragements-17.

Burning fire became a pleasant air-con environment?

This is the message for me: I’m going to allow the Lord to convert me daily so that I may follow Him whole-heartedly to walk in justice. That’s the only way His Angel will team up with me and save me from all harm. Obviously I don’t want the Angel to team up with my opponent to fight me! 

識時務者為俊傑。選錯軍師,後果不堪設想。

LENTEN STATION PRESIDED OVER BY THE HOLY FATHER
IN THE BASILICA OF ST. SABINA ON THE AVENTINE HILL

EUCHARISTIC CELEBRATION

HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II

Ash Wednesday, 25 February 1998

   

1. “Return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.... Return to the Lord, your God” (Joel 2:12-13).

 

With the ancient prophet’s words today’s Ash Wednesday liturgy, preceded by the penitential procession, introduces us into Lent, a season of grace and spiritual rebirth: “Return ... repent”. At the beginning of the 40 days, these pressing appeals seek to establish a unique dialogue between God and man. Before the Lord who invites him to conversion, man makes his own the prayer of David by humbly confessing his sins:

 

“Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me,
Against you, you alone, have I
sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight ...
Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities”
(Psalm 50 [51]:1-4, 9).

 

2. The psalmist does not stop at confessing his own sins and asking forgiveness for them; he especially hopes for interior renewal from the Lord’s goodness: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me” (Psalm 50 [51]:10). Illumined by the Spirit about the devastating power of sin, he asks to become a new creature, to be, in a certain sense, created anew.

 

This is the grace of Redemption! Faced with the sin that defiles the human heart, the Lord bends over his creature to renew the saving dialogue and to open for him new prospects of life and hope. Particularly during the Lenten season the Church reflects deeply on this mystery of salvation.

To the sinner who wonders about his situation and whether he can still obtain God’s mercy, today’s liturgy replies with the Apostle’s words from the Second Letter to the Corinthians: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (5:21). In Christ, the heavenly Father’s boundless love for each person is proclaimed and offered to believers.

 

3. Here resounds the echo of what Isaiah announced from afar about the Servant of the Lord: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

 

God hears the pleas of sinners who entreat him with David: “Create in me a clean heart, O God”. Jesus, the suffering servant, takes upon his shoulders the Cross, which represents the weight of all humanity’s sins, and starts out for Calvary, to fulfil by his death the work of Redemption. Jesus crucified is the image of God’s boundless mercy for every man.

 

To remind us that “with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5), and to instil in us a horror of sin, the Church asks us to have frequent recourse to the devotion of the Via Crucis. For us here in Rome, the Via Crucis on Good Friday at the Colosseum is very significant: it gives us the opportunity of tangibly experiencing the powerful truth of the Redemption through the Cross, retracing in spirit the steps of the city’s first martyrs.

 

4. “Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities ... a broken and contrite heart, O God you will not despise” (Psalm 50 [51]:9, 17). This Lenten prayer is very moving!

 

Man, created by God in his image and likeness, proclaims: “Against you, you only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight” (Psalm 51 [50]: 4). Illumined by the grace of this penitential season, he feels the burden of the evil he has done and understands that God alone can deliver him. Then, from the depths of his misery, he exclaims in David’s words:Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!”. Oppressed by sin, he implores God’s mercy, calls on his fidelity to the covenant, and asks him to fulfil his promise: “Blot out all my iniquities” (Psalm 50 [51]:9).

 

At the beginning of Lent, we pray that in the “favourable” season of these 40 days we may accept the Church’s invitation to conversion. We pray that during this journey towards Easter the memory of the saving dialogue between God and man, which the Ash Wednesday liturgy sets before us, may be renewed in the Church and in humanity.

 

We pray that hearts will be prepared for the dialogue with God. For each individual he has a special word of forgiveness and salvation. May every heart willingly listen to God, to rediscover in his words the reasons for the hope that does not disappoint.

 

Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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28 March 2015, 7:00am SGT