Let us pray. O God, you found in your confessor, Saint John, a father and a teacher of the young, and willed that he should establish with the help of the Virgin Mary new religious orders. May we be inspired by the same love to seek souls and to devote ourselves to your service alone. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Monthly Archives: January 2014
A MAN THROWS SEED ON THE LAND. WHILE HE SLEEPS THE SEED IS GROWING; HOW, HE DOES NOT KNOW.
Jesus said to his disciples: “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come.”
He also said, “What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.”
Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were alone.
V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
R. Have mercy on us, Lord, for we have sinned.
1. Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.
In your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin. (R.)
2. My offences truly I know them;
my sin is always before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned;
what is evil in your sight I have done. (R.)
3. That you may be justified when you give sentence
and be without reproach when you judge,
O see, in guilt I was born,
a sinner was I conceived. (R.)
4. Make me hear rejoicing and gladness,
that the bones you have crushed may thrill.
From my sins turn away your face
and blot out all my guilt. (R.)
Make me grasp the way of your precepts,
and I will muse on your wonders.
YOU HAVE SHOWN CONTEMPT FOR ME AND TAKEN THE WIFE OF URIAH TO BE YOUR WIFE.
At the turn of the year, the time when kings go campaigning, David sent Joab and with him his own guards and the whole of Israel. They massacred the Ammonites and laid siege to Rabbah. David however remained in Jerusalem.
It happened towards evening when David had risen from his couch and was strolling on the palace roof, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. David made enquiries about this woman and was told, “Why, that is Bathsheba, Eliam’s daughter, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” Then David sent messengers and had her brought. She came to him, and he slept with her; now she had just purified herself from her courses. She then went home again. The woman conceived and sent word to David, “I am with child.”
Then David sent Joab a message, “Send me Uriah the Hittite,” whereupon Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came into his presence, David asked after Joab and the army and how the war was going. David then asked Uriah, “Go down to your house and enjoy yourself.” Uriah left the palace, and was followed by a present from the king’s table. Uriah however slept by the palace door with his master’s bodyguard and did not go down to his house.
This was reported to David; “Uriah,” they said, “did not go down to his house.” The next day David invited him to eat and drink in his presence and made him drunk. In the evening Uriah went out and lay on his couch with his master’s bodyguard, but he did not go down to his house.
Next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by Uriah. In the letter he wrote, “Station Uriah in the thick of the fight and then fall back behind him so that he may be struck down and die.” Joab, then besieging the town, posted Uriah in a place where he knew there were fierce fighters. The men of the town sallied out and engaged Joab; the army suffered casualties, including some of David’s bodyguard; and Uriah the Hittite was killed too.
V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.
THE ‘JANUARY BLUES’
“People should tackle ‘January blues’ by reaching out to others through Facebook and Twitter, a bishop has said.
Bishop Richard Moth, who is the lead bishop for the bishop’s conferences Mental Health Project, said January could be a ‘very tough month for people’ facing debt, a return to loneliness and isolation or stress at work. ‘Many people are affected by the long dark winter nights,’ he said.
A SHORT UPLIFTING MESSAGE
The bishop added: ‘While professional help should always be sought if necessary, for many a simple loving gesture can help to alleviate their immediate symptoms. Twitter, Facebook and SMS offer all of us a free and easy way to send someone a short uplifting message. Do consider those you know who might benefit from contact at the moment, and please don’t leave it there.
‘If you can pay someone a visit, or give them a phone call, don’t hold back. Your little gesture could make all the difference in the world.'”
– This article by Madeleine Teahan entitled “Bishop: reach out to lonely” was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue January 24 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).
O Creator past all telling, you have appointed from the treasures of your wisdom the hierarchies of angels, disposing them in wondrous order above the bright heavens, and have so beautifully set out all parts of the universe. You we call the true fount of wisdom and the noble origin of all things.
Be pleased to shed on the darkness of mind in which I was born the twofold beam of your light and warmth to dispel my ignorance and sin.
You make eloquent the tongues of children. Then instruct my speech and touch my lips with graciousness. Make me keen to understand, quick to learn, able to remember, make me delicate to interpret and ready to speak. Guide my going in and going forward, lead home my going forth. You are true God and true man, and live for ever and ever. Amen.
– St Thomas Aquinas
[From the obituary of the recently deceased Bishop Paul Liu Jinghe of the Catholic Diocese of Yongping, the People’s Republic of China.]
“Bishop Paul was born in 1920 in Huanghuagang and entered a minor seminary in 1931 and then a major seminary in 1939, where he began his studies in theology and philosophy. Paul was ordained a priest in 1945 and was sent to do pastoral work in Lulong and Tangshan in the Diocese of Yongping. When the communists took power in China they eventually formed the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, which took away the power of the Pope in Rome and gave the government state supervision over mainland China’s Catholics.
It was during this time that Fr Paul was imprisoned three times for his Catholic Faith and loyalty to the Pope in Rome. In 1970 Fr Paul was then sent to a re-education camp and forced to work first in a textile factory, then in a chemical plant and finally in a stone quarry. Fr Paul was released from this camp after 9 years and he continued his pastoral work in a new setting. He then accepted being ordained as a Bishop in 1981 by the state controlled Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. This meant that his ordination as a Bishop was not accepted or recognised by the Pope and he was thus excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church by this action.
After a while Bishop Paul began to realise the error of his way and deeply regretted going against the wishes of the Pope and putting himself outside of the unity of the Church in Rome.
In an act of humility Bishop Paul then made contact with the Pope and expressed his sincere apology, asking for forgiveness and reconciliation, requesting the legitimisation of his role as Bishop in union with the Church in Rome. It was Pope Benedict who in 2008 accepted the apology and re-established Bishop Paul’s full communion with the successor of St Peter and the Church in Rome. Bishop Paul retired from active ministry in 2010 due to failing health and always refused to take part in any activities of the state controlled Chinese Patriotic Association as a sign of communion and obedience to the Pope. Bishop Paul died recently just before his 93rd birthday.
The experience of Bishop Paul reminds us of what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches about the unity of the Church:
‘The Pope, Bishop of Rome, and Peter’s successor, is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and the whole company of the faithful… The college or body of bishops has no authority unless united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter’s successor’ (sections 882 & 883).”
– From: “Spiritual Thought from Fr Chris”
APART FROM YOU, LORD, WHAT DO I WANT UPON EARTH?
God has created me to do him some definite service; he has committed some work to me which he has not committed to another. I have my mission – I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do his work; I shall be a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep his commandments and serve him in my calling.
Therefore, my God, I will put myself without reserve into your hands. What have I in heaven, and apart from you what do I want upon earth? My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the God of my heart, and my portion for ever. Amen.
– Bl. John Henry Newman
Let us pray through the intercession of Saint John Bosco:
R. Watch over your people and guide them!
For the young and those who form and educate them:
– be their light, O Lord. (R.)
For troubled youth and those physically, morally, or spiritually endangered by their environment:
– be their life, O Lord. (R.)
For children and young people who have been abused or abandoned:
– be their help, O Lord. (R.)
For all Christian teachers and all who administer programmes of Christian formation:
– be their foundation, O Lord.
May the Lord our God bless us in all the work that our hands undertake. (cf. Dt 14:19)