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TODAY’S BIBLE READING (PROVERBS 21:1-6, 10-13)

(Week 25 of the year: Tuesday)

VARIOUS PROVERBS.

As the divisions of waters, so the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord: whithersoever he will he shall turn it.

Ever way of a man seemeth right to himself: but the Lord weigheth the hearts.

To do mercy and judgment, pleaseth the Lord more than victims.

Haughtiness of the eyes is the enlarging of the heart: the lamp of the wicked is sin.

The thoughts of the industrious always bring forth abundance: but every sluggard is always in want.

He that gathereth treasures by a lying tongue, is vain and foolish, and shall stumble upon the snares of death.

The soul of the wicked desireth evil, he will not have pity on his neighbour.

When a pestilent man is punished, the little one will be wiser: and if he follow the wise, he will receive knowledge.

The just considereth seriously the house of the wicked, that he may withdraw the wicked from evil.

He that stoppeth his ear against the cry of the poor, shall also cry himself and shall not be heard.

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

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2014 in Prayers for Ordinary Time

 

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DO YOU WANT TO BE WELL AGAIN? (Jn 5:6)

• “Turn to the Lord for his powerful help.

• Gospel Reading: John 5:1-3, 5-16

• Do you want to be well again? (John 5:6)

• Jesus asked the man who had been sick for thirty eight years what appears to be a self-evident question: ‘Do you want to be well again?’ (John 5:6). We don’t know for sure but perhaps the man had grown so accustomed to his disability that, although prepared to go through the ritual of immersion in the healing pool at Bethzatha, he did not really expect or anticipate that he would actually be healed. Consider, if you will, that the same question is asked of us by the Lord this Lent, ‘Do you want to be well?’ Each of us, whoever we are, because of sin, weaknesses and shortcomings, need God’s healing. We turn to the Lord for his powerful help.

• ‘Lord, help us to understand that the whole point of this life is the healing of the heart’s eye through which God is seen.’ (St Augustine).

• Our Father…, Ten Hail Marys…, Glory be…

• Today my prayer is for… ”
– This short meditation was published in “A Lenten Journey of Prayer for 2009” by AlivePublishing. For information about their booklets please visit http://www.alivepublishing.co.uk (external link).

 

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1st APRIL, BIBLE READING (EZEKIEL 47:1-9, 12)

I SAW A STREAM OF WATER COMING FROM THE TEMPLE, BRINGING LIFE TO ALL WHEREVER IT FLOWED.

The angel brought me back to the entrance of the Temple, where a stream came out from under the Temple threshold and flowed eastwards, since the Temple faced east. The water flowed from under the right side of the Temple, south of the altar. He took me out by the north gate and led me right round outside as far as the outer east gate where the water flowed out on the right-hand-side. The man went to the east holding his measuring line and measured off a thousand cubits; he then made me wade across the stream; the water reached my ankles. He measured off another thousand and made me walk across the stream again; the water reached my knees. He measured off another thousand and made me wade across again; the water reached my waist. He measured off another thousand; it was now a river which I could not cross; the stream had swollen and was now deep water, a river impossible to cross.

He then said, “Do you see, son of man?” He took me farther, then brought me back to the bank of the river. When I got back, there were many trees on each bank of the river. He said, “This water flows east down to the Arabah and to the sea; and flowing into the sea makes its waters wholesome. Wherever the river flows, all living creatures teeming in it will live. Fish will be very plentiful, for wherever the water goes it brings health, and life teems wherever the river flows. Along the river, on either bank, will grow every kind of fruit tree with leaves that never wither and fruit that never fails; they will bear new fruit every month, because this water comes from the sanctuary. And their fruit will be good to eat and the leaves medicinal.”

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

 

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24th MARCH, RESPONSORIAL PSALM (PSALMS 41, 42)

R. My soul is thirsting for God,
the God of my life;
when can I enter and see
the face of God?

1. Like the deer that yearns
for running streams,
so my soul is yearning
for you, my God. (R.)

2. My soul is thirsting for God,
the God of my life;
when can I enter and see
the face of God? (R.)

3. O send forth your light and your truth;
let these be my guide.
Let them bring me to your holy mountain
to the place where you dwell. (R.)

4. And I will come to the altar of God,
the God of my joy.
My redeemer, I will thank you on the harp,
O God, my God. (R.)

ACCLAMATION

Now is the favourable time;
this is the day of salvation.

 

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24th MARCH, BIBLE READING (2 KINGS 5:1-15)

THERE WERE MANY LEPERS IN ISRAEL, BUT NONE OF THESE WAS CURED, EXCEPT THE SYRIAN, NAAMAN.

Naaman, army commander to the king of Aram, was a man who enjoyed his master’s respect and favour, since through him the Lord had granted victory to the Aramaeans. But the man was a leper. Now on one of their raids, the Aramaeans had carried off from the land of Israel a little girl who had become a servant of Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would approach the prophet of Samaria. He would cure him of his leprosy.”

Naaman went and told his master. “This and this,” he reported, “is what the girl from the land of Israel said.” “Go by all means,” said the king of Aram, “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten festal robes. He presented the letter to the king of Israel. It read: “With this letter, I am sending my servant Naaman for you to cure him of his leprosy.” When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his garments. “Am I a god to give death and life,” he said, “that he sends a man to me and asks me to cure him of his leprosy? Listen to this, and take note of it and see how he intends to pick a quarrel with me.”

When Elisha heard that the king of Israel had torn his garments, he sent word to the king, “Why did you tear your garments? Let him come to me, and he will find there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman came with his team and chariot and drew up at the door of Elisha’s house. And Elisha sent him a messenger to say, “Go and bathe seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will become clean once more.” But Naaman was indignant and went off, saying, “Here was I thinking he would be sure to come out to me, and stand there, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the spot and cure the leprous part. Surely Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, are better than any water in Israel? Could I not bathe in them and become clean?” And he turned round and went off in a rage.

But his servants approached him and said, “My father, if the prophet had asked you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? All the more reason, then, when he says to you, ‘Bathe and you will become clean.’” So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, as Elisha had told him to do. And his flesh became clean once more like the flesh of a little child.

Returning to Elisha with his whole escort, he went in and stood before him. “Now I know,” he said, “that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel.”

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

 

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23rd MARCH, GOSPEL READING (JOHN 4:5-15, 19-26, 39-42)

THE SAMARITAN WOMAN AT THE WELL

Jesus came to the Samaritan town called Sychar, near the land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph, Jacob’s well is there, and Jesus, tired by the journey, sat straight down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, “What? You are a Jew and you ask me, a Samaritan, for a drink?” – Jews, in fact, do not associate with Samaritans.

Jesus replied, “If you only knew what God is offering and who it is that is saying to you ‘Give me a drink’, you would have been the one to ask, and he would have given you living water.” “You have no bucket, sir,” she answered, “and the well is deep: how could you get this living water? Are you a greater man than our father Jacob who gave us this well and drank from it himself with his sons and his cattle?”

Jesus replied, “Whoever drinks this water will get thirsty again; but anyone who drinks the water that I shall give will never be thirsty again: the water that I shall give will turn into a spring inside him, welling up to eternal life.” “Sir,” said the woman, “give me some of that water, so that I may never get thirsty and never have to come here again to draw water.” Jesus said, “Go, call your husband, and come back here.” The woman answered, “I have no husband.” And Jesus replied, “You are right to say, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you said is true.” The woman then said to him, “I see you are a prophet, sir. Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, while you say that Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”

Jesus said, “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know; for salvation comes from the Jews. But the hour will come – in fact it is here already – when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth: that is the kind of worshipper the Father wants. God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth.”

The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah – that is, Christ – is coming; and when he comes he will tell us everything.” “I who am speaking to you,” said Jesus, “I am he.” Many Samaritans of that town believed in him on the strength of the woman’s testimony, so, when the Samaritans came up to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed for two days, and when he spoke to them many more came to believe; and they said to the woman, “Now we no longer believe because of what you told us; we have heard him ourselves and we know that he really is the saviour of the world.”

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

 

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23rd MARCH, BIBLE READING I (EXODUS 17:3-7)

WATER FROM THE ROCK

Tormented by thirst, the people complained against Moses. ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt?’ they said. ‘Was it so that I should die of thirst, my children too, and my cattle?’

Moses appealed to the Lord. ‘How am I to deal with this people?’ he said. ‘A little more and they will stone me!’ The Lord said to Moses, ‘Take with you some of the elders of Israel and move on to the forefront of the people; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the river, and go. I shall be standing before you there on the rock, at Horeb. You must strike the rock, and water will flow from it for the people to drink.’

This is what Moses did, in the sight of the elders of Israel. The place was named Massah and Meribah because of the grumbling of the sons of Israel and because they put the Lord to the test by saying, ‘Is the Lord with us, or not?’

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

 

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ROSARY MEDITATIONS: THE WEDDING FEAST AT CANA

THE WEDDING FEAST AT CANA (2nd LUMINOUS MYSTERY; JOHN 2:1-10)

“Jesus performs His first miracle at the Wedding Feast in Cana”

TURNING WATER INTO WINE

And the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and his disciples, to the marriage. And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: “They have no wine.” And Jesus saith to her: “Woman, what is that to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come.”

His mother saith to the waiters: “Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.” Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece.

Jesus saith to them: “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And Jesus saith to them: “Draw out now and carry to the chief steward of the feast.” And they carried it. And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water: the chief steward calleth the bridegroom, and saith to him: “Every man at first setteth forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse. But thou hast kept the good wine until now. (John 2:1-10)

The sign of water turned into wine at Cana already announces the Hour of Jesus’ glorification. It makes manifest the fulfilment of the wedding feast in the Father’s kingdom, where the faithful will drink the new wine that has become the Blood of Christ.

May I draw ever nearer to the Blessed Virgin Mary who will always encourage me to do whatever Jesus says.

– This article was published in “The Crusader” (Magazine of the Crusade of Mary Immaculate) issue March 2014. For subscriptions or to join the Crusade please visit http://www.thefriary.businesscatalyst.com (external link).

 
 

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10th JANUARY, BIBLE READING (1 JOHN 5:5-13)

THE SPIRIT, THE WATER AND THE BLOOD.

Who can overcome the world?
Only the man who believes that Jesus is the Son of God:
Jesus Christ who came by water and blood,
not with water only,
but with water and blood,
with the Spirit as another witness –
since the Spirit is the truth –
so that there are three witnesses,
the Spirit, the water and the blood,
and all three of them agree.

We accept the testimony of human witnesses,
but God’s testimony is much greater,
and this is God’s testimony,
given as evidence for his Son.
Everybody who believes in the Son of God
has this testimony inside him;
and anyone who will not believe God
is making God out to be a liar,
because he has not trusted
the testimony God has given about his Son.
This is the testimony:
God has given us eternal life
and this life is in his Son;
anyone who has the Son has life,
anyone who does not have the Son does not have life.
I have written all this to you
so that you who believe in the name of the Son of God
may be sure that you have eternal life.

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

 
 

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WHY SOMETIMES THE CHURCH MAY SAY “NO” TO A BAPTISM

“A priest may not, in fact, lawfully baptise a child unless he has a solidly founded hope that the baby will be raised properly as a Catholic.”

THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM IS PERFORMED BY WASHING WITH WATER BY WAY OF IMMERSION OR POURING, ACCORDING TO LOCAL CUSTOM.

“It is true that, according to our earliest biblical records (as in Acts 2, for example), perhaps only adults were baptised, though we can’t be sure of that. Soon afterward, however, infants were included as whole families were brought into Christian communities.

All Eastern and most Western churches consider infant baptism as having been the norm from the beginning of the Christian era.

The three main sources for correct Catholic practice of baptism are the Rite of Baptism, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and Canon Law.

Canon No. 854 says simply that baptism is to be conferred by immersion of the person into the water or pouring water over the person.

According to the baptism ritual (18.2), the sacrament is performed by washing with water by way of immersion or pouring, according to local custom.

The RCIA [Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults] is more explicit. If the individual is baptised by immersion, the whole body or the head only is immersed. If water is poured, it is poured three times over the bowed head (No. 226). Many prominent authors of sacramental theology have held that baptism of another major part of the body rather than the head (such as the breast or shoulders) is most probably valid, and the baptism would not need to be repeated.

All this notwithstanding, the Church’s principle is that in administering the sacraments the safest option should govern what we do. For baptism, this means that the head is immersed, or water is poured over it, as the baptism words are spoken.

Some priests do refuse baptism to an innocent child if they judge parents are not ‘Catholic’ enough. Others welcome infants with open arms, even if their parents are ‘fringe’ Catholics.

When Catholic parents (or a Catholic partner in an interfaith marriage) are seriously deficient in their Catholic practice, the priest is obliged to delay baptism until he can help the parents rethink their faith.

THE NEW TESTAMENT MAKES CLEAR THAT, FROM THE BEGINNING, BAPTISM WAS THE COMMON WAY TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN.

True, children should be baptised “within the first weeks” after birth (Canon 867). The law assumes, however, that parents are practising their faith, prepared to raise their children as faithful Catholic men and women. Thus, the same law requires that immediately after birth or before, the parents go to their parish priest to request the Sacrament of Baptism and to be properly prepared for it.

A priest may not, in fact, lawfully baptise a child unless he has a solidly founded hope that the baby will be raised properly as a Catholic. If evidence for this hope is lacking, he should delay the baptism and explain the reason to the parents (Canon 868).

The ritual for baptism emphasises the point. At least twice during the ceremony, Catholic parents profess adherence to the faith in which the child is being baptised and promise to give the example needed for the child to be raised in their faith. Normally, this promise cannot be made unless the Catholic parents themselves are faithful in their Catholic practice and are not simply bringing the child for baptism because of family tradition or a vague feeling that ‘it’s the right thing to do.’ In other words, the Church is concerned that parents not be placed in the position of making a profession of faith they do not honestly believe. But – and this is a crucial point – the story does not end there.

The parish priest is obliged to help parents who are not yet ready genuinely to profess their faith, to assist them in assuming responsibility for the religious education of their children and then to decide the right time for baptism…

It remains vital that Catholic parents desire in their own hearts that the baptism of their child will be what it was meant to be, an earnest recommitment of all their family to the faith they hope to share with their child.”
– This article by Father John was published in “The Catholic Universe”, issue Sunday 16th June, 2013. For subscriptions, please visit http://www.thecatholicuniverse.com (external link).

• If you are an ADULT who wishes to learn about the Catholic faith in order to “brush up” or to be initiated for the first time, please type “RCIA” into this blog’s search engine for information whether your baptism is recognised by the Catholic Church (if you were for example baptised Protestant), and info for those of you who would like to become Catholic without having been baptised previously.

 

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