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“FOR PITY’S SAKE,” THEY CRY, “DO NOT MENTION HIS NAME!”

AND YOU, WHERE WILL YOU BE?

“Go into a graveyard; consider all these skeletons, and above all, hear the words which each one addresses to you: ‘See what has happened to me, and learn what shall happen to you.’
Again, give heed to your surroundings; those family portraits, these walls, these rooms, these garments, these beds, all these things which you have inherited, have power to awaken thoughts of your own death, by recalling that of your parents and kindred.

How can you doubt that you have to die? On a certain day you were inscribed on the [register of births]; another day will come, a day already fixed upon by God, when you shall be inscribed on the register of deaths. Today you say, in speaking of your dead relatives: ‘my late father’, ‘my late uncle’, ‘my late brother’; soon those who survive will be speaking in the same way of you. In the past you have often heard [the death of others announced; some day your death will be announced in the same manner - and you shall be in eternity.]

THE GREAT OBLIVION

A man has just died, and the news spreads, ‘He was a man of honour’, says one; another adds: ‘what a loss! He was so amiable, so good!’ Some regret him because he pleased them and was of service to them; others rejoice at his death, because they reap certain advantages from it. At the most, there will soon be no more talk of it; after to-morrow he will begin to sink into oblivion. His nearest relatives will avoid awakening the remembrance of him, for fear of renewing their grief. During the visits of condolence the conversation turns on everything except him who is the occasion of them! And if, per chance, someone is about to introduce him into the conversation: ‘For pity’s sake,’ they cry, ‘do not mention his name!’

No doubt, your family will weep for you at first. But soon the pleasure of dividing your property will banish these tears and grievings; and the very apartment where you have breathed your last sigh, and heard your Final Sentence from the lips of Jesus Christ, will be the scene of family reunions and parties of pleasure. And your soul, where will it be?”
- Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (MATTHEW 13:10-17)

THE MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN ARE REVEALED TO YOU, BUT THEY ARE NOT REVEALED TO THEM.

The disciples went up to Jesus and asked, “Why do you talk to the crowds in parables?” “Because” he replied, “the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are revealed to you, but they are not revealed to them. For anyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. The reason I talk to them in parables is that they look without seeing and listen without hearing or understanding. So in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled:

You will listen and listen again, but not understand,
see and see again, but not perceive.
For the heart of this nation has grown coarse,
their ears are dull of hearing, and they have shut their eyes
for fear they should see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their heart,
and be converted
and be healed by me.

But happy are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear! I tell you solemnly, many prophets and holy men longed to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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TODAY’S PSALM (PSALM 35)

R. In you, Lord, is the source of life.

1. Your love, Lord, reaches to heaven;
your truth to the skies.
Your justice is like God’s mountain,
your judgement like the deep. (R.)

2. O Lord, how precious is your love.
My God, the sons of men
find refuge in the shelter of your wings.
They feast on the riches of your house;
they drink from the stream of your delight. (R.)

3. In you is the source of life
and in your light we see light.
Keep on loving those who know you,
doing justice for upright hearts. (R.)

ALLELUIA

Alleluia, alleluia!
Harden not your hearts today,
but listen to the voice of the Lord.
Alleluia!

 

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TODAY’S BIBLE READING (JEREMIAH 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13)

MY PEOPLE HAVE ABANDONED ME, THE FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATER, ONLY TO DIG CISTERNS FOR THEMSELVES, LEAKY CISTERNS THAT HOLD NO WATER.

The word of the Lord was addressed to me, saying,
“Go and shout this in the hearing of Jerusalem:
‘The Lord says this:
I remember the affection of your youth,
the love of your bridal days:
you followed me through the wilderness,
through a land unsown.
Israel was sacred to the Lord,
the first-fruits of his harvest;
anyone who ate of this had to pay for it,
misfortune came to them -
it is the Lord who speaks.’

I brought you to a fertile country
to enjoy its produce and good things;
but no sooner had you entered than you defiled my land,
and made my heritage detestable.
The priests have never asked, ‘Where is the Lord?’

Those who administer the Law have no knowledge of me.
The shepherds have rebelled against me;
the prophets have prophesied in the name of Baal,
following things with no power in them.
You heavens, stand aghast at this,
stand stupefied, stand utterly appalled
- it is the Lord who speaks.
Since my people have committed a double crime:
they have abandoned me,
the fountain of living water,
only to dig cisterns for themselves,
leaky cisterns
that hold no water.”

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 

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“IS IT THEFT TO KEEP A STRAY CAT WHICH DOESN’T SEEM TO BELONG TO ANYBODY?”

WHEN DOES CARE BECOME THEFT?

QUESTION: [excerpt] “A cat which was loitering in my garden began to spend increasing time at my house after I fed it. Eventually I discovered that it belonged to a neighbour. Some rigorist Catholic friends have accused me of stealing. When does care become theft?

ANSWER: It appears from your fuller account of this suburban tragic-comic drama that the cat in question had neither a collar nor a microchip which could have enabled you to identify its owner.

Therefore you can certainly be excused of any intent to steal before your neighbour presented her claim to ownership.

However the question remains of the objective matter itself. Theft involves the taking of another person’s property with the intention of depriving the rightful owner of it. Initially you had no intention to deprive anyone of the cat, but now, knowing that it has an owner, the question does arise.

As it turns out, the owner is sanguine about her cat being fed and nourished at your expense, and only concerned lest the animal become obese through the use of various ports of call: you have to accept in humility the possibility that the cat has shared its attentions among other local benefactors. You could reasonably assume that the owner’s attitude amounts to a permission, conditional on your doing what you can to ensure the health of the cat’s diet. Your intended kindness in arranging for the services of a cattery when you were away on holiday is more problematic, since this certainly deprived the owner of the cat.

Perhaps most important of all is the question of intellectual property rights. Should the cat do a funny dance, frighten off a dog, or jump from the table to the kitchen counter and miss, and if you also have the presence of mind to capture a video of the event and post it to YouTube, it would be important to seek the consent of the owner first, and to make a proper agreement regarding any advertising income deriving from the publicity.”
- This article by Fr Tim Finigan was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue July 11 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (MATTHEW 13:1-9)

IT PRODUCED CROP A HUNDREDFOLD.

Jesus left the house and sat by the lakeside, but such crowds gathered round him that he got into a boat and sat there. The people all stood on the beach, and he told them many things in parables.

He said, “Imagine a sower going out to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up straight away, because there was no depth of earth; but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Listen, anyone who has ears!”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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TODAY’S PSALM (PSALM 70)

R. My lips will tell of your justice.

1. In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, free me:
pay heed to me and save me. (R.)

2. Be a rock where I can take refuge,
a mighty stronghold to save me;
for you are my rock, my stronghold.
Free me from the hand of the wicked. (R.)

3. It is you, O Lord, who are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, since my youth.
On you I have leaned from my birth,
from my mother’s womb you have been my help. (R.)

4. My lips will tell of your justice
and day by day of your help.
O God, you have taught me from my youth
and I proclaim your wonders still. (R.)

ALLELUIA

Alleluia, alleluia!
Bend my heart to your will, O Lord,
and teach me your law.
Alleluia!

 

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