Tag Archives: Readings

How NOT to be Saved

The late Fr. Al Lauer, founder of Presentation Ministries, provides for us encouragement to go to Mass and some insight on how you can avoid going to hell.

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To download the episode, just click this link: What You Need To Go To Hell – Tuesday, August 17, 2010

To subscribe to this podcast yourself, simply copy the following link and paste it into your favorite Podcatcher!

Podcast Title: Daily Bread – Catholic Reflections
Podcast URL: http://www.presentationministries.com/dbread/dbreadpodcast.asp


Today’s Scripture Readings for Mass:

Tuesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

First Reading: Ezekiel 28:1-10

The word of the LORD came to me: Son of man,
say to the prince of Tyre:
Thus says the Lord GOD:

Because you are haughty of heart,
you say, “A god am I!
I occupy a godly throne
in the heart of the sea!”—
And yet you are a man, and not a god,
however you may think yourself like a god.
Oh yes, you are wiser than Daniel,
there is no secret that is beyond you.
By your wisdom and your intelligence
you have made riches for yourself;
You have put gold and silver
into your treasuries.
By your great wisdom applied to your trading
you have heaped up your riches;
your heart has grown haughty from your riches–
therefore thus says the Lord GOD:
Because you have thought yourself
to have the mind of a god,
Therefore I will bring against you
foreigners, the most barbarous of nations.
They shall draw their swords
against your beauteous wisdom,
they shall run them through your splendid apparel.
They shall thrust you down to the pit, there to die
a bloodied corpse, in the heart of the sea.
Will you then say, “I am a god!”
when you face your murderers?
No, you are man, not a god,
handed over to those who will slay you.
You shall die the death of the uncircumcised
at the hands of foreigners,
for I have spoken, says the Lord GOD.

Responsorial Psalm: Deuteronomy 32:26-27ab, 27cd-28, 30, 35cd-36ab

R. (39c) It is I who deal death and give life.
“I would have said, ‘I will make an end of them
and blot out their name from men’s memories,’
Had I not feared the insolence of their enemies,
feared that these foes would mistakenly boast.”
R. It is I who deal death and give life.
“‘Our own hand won the victory;
the LORD had nothing to do with it.’”
For they are a people devoid of reason,
having no understanding.
R. It is I who deal death and give life.
“How could one man rout a thousand,
or two men put ten thousand to flight,
Unless it was because their Rock sold them
and the LORD delivered them up?”
R. It is I who deal death and give life.
Close at hand is the day of their disaster,
and their doom is rushing upon them!
Surely, the LORD shall do justice for his people;
on his servants he shall have pity.
R. It is I who deal death and give life.

Gospel: Matthew 19:23-30

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich
to enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Again I say to you,
it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said,
“Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For men this is impossible,
but for God all things are possible.”
Then Peter said to him in reply,
“We have given up everything and followed you.
What will there be for us?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you
that you who have followed me, in the new age,
when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory,
will yourselves sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters
or father or mother or children or lands
for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more,
and will inherit eternal life.
But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

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How NOT to be Saved

The late Fr. Al Lauer, founder of Presentation Ministries, provides for us encouragement to go to Mass and some insight on how you can avoid going to hell.

var agent=navigator.userAgent.toLowerCase();
var is_iphone = (agent.indexOf(‘mobile’)!=-1) && ((agent.indexOf(‘iphone’)!=-1) || (agent.indexOf(‘ipod’)!=-1));
if (is_iphone) {
$(‘quicktime_embed-EGfIxjencl’).show();
$(‘flash_embed-EGfIxjencl’).hide();
}
else {
$(‘flash_embed-EGfIxjencl’).show();
$(‘quicktime_embed-EGfIxjencl’).hide();
}

To download the episode, just click this link: What You Need To Go To Hell – Tuesday, August 17, 2010

To subscribe to this podcast yourself, simply copy the following link and paste it into your favorite Podcatcher!

Podcast Title: Daily Bread – Catholic Reflections
Podcast URL: http://www.presentationministries.com/dbread/dbreadpodcast.asp


Today's Scripture Readings for Mass:

Tuesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

First Reading: Ezekiel 28:1-10

The word of the LORD came to me: Son of man,
say to the prince of Tyre:
Thus says the Lord GOD:

Because you are haughty of heart,
you say, “A god am I!
I occupy a godly throne
in the heart of the sea!”—
And yet you are a man, and not a god,
however you may think yourself like a god.
Oh yes, you are wiser than Daniel,
there is no secret that is beyond you.
By your wisdom and your intelligence
you have made riches for yourself;
You have put gold and silver
into your treasuries.
By your great wisdom applied to your trading
you have heaped up your riches;
your heart has grown haughty from your riches–
therefore thus says the Lord GOD:
Because you have thought yourself
to have the mind of a god,
Therefore I will bring against you
foreigners, the most barbarous of nations.
They shall draw their swords
against your beauteous wisdom,
they shall run them through your splendid apparel.
They shall thrust you down to the pit, there to die
a bloodied corpse, in the heart of the sea.
Will you then say, “I am a god!”
when you face your murderers?
No, you are man, not a god,
handed over to those who will slay you.
You shall die the death of the uncircumcised
at the hands of foreigners,
for I have spoken, says the Lord GOD.

Responsorial Psalm: Deuteronomy 32:26-27ab, 27cd-28, 30, 35cd-36ab

R. (39c) It is I who deal death and give life.
“I would have said, ‘I will make an end of them
and blot out their name from men’s memories,’
Had I not feared the insolence of their enemies,
feared that these foes would mistakenly boast.”
R. It is I who deal death and give life.
“‘Our own hand won the victory;
the LORD had nothing to do with it.’”
For they are a people devoid of reason,
having no understanding.
R. It is I who deal death and give life.
“How could one man rout a thousand,
or two men put ten thousand to flight,
Unless it was because their Rock sold them
and the LORD delivered them up?”
R. It is I who deal death and give life.
Close at hand is the day of their disaster,
and their doom is rushing upon them!
Surely, the LORD shall do justice for his people;
on his servants he shall have pity.
R. It is I who deal death and give life.

Gospel: Matthew 19:23-30

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich
to enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Again I say to you,
it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said,
“Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For men this is impossible,
but for God all things are possible.”
Then Peter said to him in reply,
“We have given up everything and followed you.
What will there be for us?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you
that you who have followed me, in the new age,
when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory,
will yourselves sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters
or father or mother or children or lands
for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more,
and will inherit eternal life.
But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first."

How NOT to be Saved

The late Fr. Al Lauer, founder of Presentation Ministries, provides for us encouragement to go to Mass and some insight on how you can avoid going to hell.

var agent=navigator.userAgent.toLowerCase();
var is_iphone = (agent.indexOf(‘mobile’)!=-1) && ((agent.indexOf(‘iphone’)!=-1) || (agent.indexOf(‘ipod’)!=-1));
if (is_iphone) {
$(‘quicktime_embed-EGfIxjencl’).show();
$(‘flash_embed-EGfIxjencl’).hide();
}
else {
$(‘flash_embed-EGfIxjencl’).show();
$(‘quicktime_embed-EGfIxjencl’).hide();
}

To download the episode, just click this link: What You Need To Go To Hell – Tuesday, August 17, 2010To subscribe to this podcast yourself, simply copy the following link and paste it into your favorite Podcatcher!

Podcast Title: Daily Bread – Catholic Reflections
Podcast URL: http://www.presentationministries.com/dbread/dbreadpodcast.asp
Today’s Scripture Readings for Mass:

Tuesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

First Reading: Ezekiel 28:1-10

The word of the LORD came to me: Son of man,
say to the prince of Tyre:
Thus says the Lord GOD:

Because you are haughty of heart,
you say, “A god am I!
I occupy a godly throne
in the heart of the sea!”—
And yet you are a man, and not a god,
however you may think yourself like a god.
Oh yes, you are wiser than Daniel,
there is no secret that is beyond you.
By your wisdom and your intelligence
you have made riches for yourself;
You have put gold and silver
into your treasuries.
By your great wisdom applied to your trading
you have heaped up your riches;
your heart has grown haughty from your riches–
therefore thus says the Lord GOD:
Because you have thought yourself
to have the mind of a god,
Therefore I will bring against you
foreigners, the most barbarous of nations.
They shall draw their swords
against your beauteous wisdom,
they shall run them through your splendid apparel.
They shall thrust you down to the pit, there to die
a bloodied corpse, in the heart of the sea.
Will you then say, “I am a god!”
when you face your murderers?
No, you are man, not a god,
handed over to those who will slay you.
You shall die the death of the uncircumcised
at the hands of foreigners,
for I have spoken, says the Lord GOD.

Responsorial Psalm: Deuteronomy 32:26-27ab, 27cd-28, 30, 35cd-36ab

R. (39c) It is I who deal death and give life.
“I would have said, ‘I will make an end of them
and blot out their name from men’s memories,’
Had I not feared the insolence of their enemies,
feared that these foes would mistakenly boast.”
R. It is I who deal death and give life.
“‘Our own hand won the victory;
the LORD had nothing to do with it.’”
For they are a people devoid of reason,
having no understanding.
R. It is I who deal death and give life.
“How could one man rout a thousand,
or two men put ten thousand to flight,
Unless it was because their Rock sold them
and the LORD delivered them up?”
R. It is I who deal death and give life.
Close at hand is the day of their disaster,
and their doom is rushing upon them!
Surely, the LORD shall do justice for his people;
on his servants he shall have pity.
R. It is I who deal death and give life.

Gospel: Matthew 19:23-30

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich
to enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Again I say to you,
it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said,
“Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For men this is impossible,
but for God all things are possible.”
Then Peter said to him in reply,
“We have given up everything and followed you.
What will there be for us?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you
that you who have followed me, in the new age,
when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory,
will yourselves sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters
or father or mother or children or lands
for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more,
and will inherit eternal life.
But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

Optional Memorial of the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome

Old Calendar: Commemoration of St. Paul, apostle

This memorial is in honor of the nameless followers of Christ brutally killed by the mad Emperor Nero as scapegoats for the fire in Rome. The pagan historian Tacitus and St. Clement of Rome tell of a night of horror (August 15, 64 A.D.) when in the imperial parks Christians were put into animal skins and hunted, were brutally attacked, and were made into living torches to light the road for Nero’s chariot. From 64 to 314 “Christian” was synonymous with “execution victim.”

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the commemoration of St. Paul. The Church emphasizes St. Peter’s prerogatives on yesterday’s feast and today recalls the special mission of Paul as Apostle of the Gentiles.


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First Martyrs of the Church of Rome

There were Christians in Rome within a dozen or so years after the death of Jesus, though they were not the converts of the “Apostle of the Gentiles” (see Romans 15:20). Paul had not yet visited them at the time he wrote his great letter in A.D. 57-58.

There was a large Jewish population in Rome. Probably as a result of controversy between Jews and Jewish Christians, the Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome in A.D. 49-50. Suetonius the historian says that the expulsion was due to disturbances in the city “caused by the certain Chrestus” [Christ]. Perhaps many came back after Claudius’s death in A.D. 54. Paul’s letter was addressed to a church with members from Jewish and gentile backgrounds.

In July of A.D. 64, more than half of Rome was destroyed by fire. Rumor blamed the tragedy on Nero, who wanted to enlarge his palace. He shifted the blame by accusing the Christians. According to the historian Tacitus, a “great multitude” of Christians were put to death because of their “hatred of the human race.” Peter and Paul were probably among the victims.

Threatened by an army revolt and condemned to death by the senate, Nero committed suicide in A.D. 68 at the age of thirty-one.

Wherever the Good News of Jesus was preached, it met the same opposition as Jesus did, and many of those who began to follow him shared his suffering and death. But no human force could stop the power of the Spirit unleashed upon the world. The blood of martyrs has always been, and will always be, the seed of Christians.

Excerpted from Saint of the Day, Leonard Foley, O.F.M.

Symbols: Red is the color for marytrs; red rose symbol of martyrdom; crown, symbolizing victory over death and sin; white horse with a white banner and cross and sword; fire or flames; palm, symbol of victory.

Things to Do:

  • St. Augustine gives us thoughts on why we celebrate the martyrs:

    Christians celebrate the memory of the martyrs with religious ceremony in order to arouse emulation and in order that they may be associated with their merits and helped by their prayers. But to none of the martyrs do we erect altars as we do to the God of martyrs; we erect altars at their shrines. For what bishop standing at the altars over the bodies of martyrs ever said: We offer to Peter or Paul or Cyprian? Mass is offered to God who crowned the martyrs, at the shrine of the martyrs, so that the very spot may remind us to arouse in ourselves a more fervent charity toward those whom we imitate and toward Him who gives us the power to do so.

  • Bake a special dessert, either some recipe originating from Rome, or the highlighted nameday cakes.
  • This feast was created with the reform of the General Calendar in 1969. Many Roman martyrs feasts were removed from the General Calendar, since there wasn’t too much historical information about them. This feast celebrates the nameless men and women who were martyred in Nero’s Circus in the year 64 AD.
  • Media_httpwwwcatholic_welii
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    Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

    Reading 1

    Am 5:14-15, 21-24

    Seek good and not evil,

    that you may live;

    Then truly will the LORD, the God of hosts,

    be with you as you claim!

    Hate evil and love good,

    and let justice prevail at the gate;

    Then it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts,

    will have pity on the remnant of Joseph.

     

    I hate, I spurn your feasts, says the LORD,

    I take no pleasure in your solemnities;

    Your cereal offerings I will not accept,

    nor consider your stall-fed peace offerings.

    Away with your noisy songs!

    I will not listen to the melodies of your harps.

    But if you would offer me burnt offerings,

    then let justice surge like water,

    and goodness like an unfailing stream.

     

    Responsorial Psalm

    R.    (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

    “Hear, my people, and I will speak;

    Israel, I will testify against you;

    God, your God, am I.”

    R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

    “Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,

    for your burnt offerings are before me always.

    I take from your house no bullock,

    no goats out of your fold.”

    R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

    “For mine are all the animals of the forests,

    beasts by the thousand on my mountains.

    I know all the birds of the air,

    and whatever stirs in the plains, belongs to me.”

    R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

    “If I were hungry, I should not tell you,

    for mine are the world and its fullness.

    Do I eat the flesh of strong bulls,

    or is the blood of goats my drink?”

    R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

    “Why do you recite my statutes,

    and profess my covenant with your mouth,

    Though you hate discipline

    and cast my words behind you?”

    R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

     

    Gospel

    When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes,

    two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him.

    They were so savage that no one could travel by that road.

    They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God?

    Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?”

    Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding.

    The demons pleaded with him,

    “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.”

    And he said to them, “Go then!”

    They came out and entered the swine,

    and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea

    where they drowned.

    The swineherds ran away,

    and when they came to the town they reported everything,

    including what had happened to the demoniacs.

    Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus,

    and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.

    Optional Memorial of the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome

    Old Calendar: Commemoration of St. Paul, apostle

    This memorial is in honor of the nameless followers of Christ brutally killed by the mad Emperor Nero as scapegoats for the fire in Rome. The pagan historian Tacitus and St. Clement of Rome tell of a night of horror (August 15, 64 A.D.) when in the imperial parks Christians were put into animal skins and hunted, were brutally attacked, and were made into living torches to light the road for Nero’s chariot. From 64 to 314 “Christian” was synonymous with “execution victim.”

    According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the commemoration of St. Paul. The Church emphasizes St. Peter’s prerogatives on yesterday’s feast and today recalls the special mission of Paul as Apostle of the Gentiles.


    First Martyrs of the Church of Rome

    There were Christians in Rome within a dozen or so years after the death of Jesus, though they were not the converts of the “Apostle of the Gentiles” (see Romans 15:20). Paul had not yet visited them at the time he wrote his great letter in A.D. 57-58.

    There was a large Jewish population in Rome. Probably as a result of controversy between Jews and Jewish Christians, the Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome in A.D. 49-50. Suetonius the historian says that the expulsion was due to disturbances in the city “caused by the certain Chrestus” [Christ]. Perhaps many came back after Claudius’s death in A.D. 54. Paul’s letter was addressed to a church with members from Jewish and gentile backgrounds.

    In July of A.D. 64, more than half of Rome was destroyed by fire. Rumor blamed the tragedy on Nero, who wanted to enlarge his palace. He shifted the blame by accusing the Christians. According to the historian Tacitus, a “great multitude” of Christians were put to death because of their “hatred of the human race.” Peter and Paul were probably among the victims.

    Threatened by an army revolt and condemned to death by the senate, Nero committed suicide in A.D. 68 at the age of thirty-one.

    Wherever the Good News of Jesus was preached, it met the same opposition as Jesus did, and many of those who began to follow him shared his suffering and death. But no human force could stop the power of the Spirit unleashed upon the world. The blood of martyrs has always been, and will always be, the seed of Christians.

    Excerpted from Saint of the Day, Leonard Foley, O.F.M.

    Symbols: Red is the color for marytrs; red rose symbol of martyrdom; crown, symbolizing victory over death and sin; white horse with a white banner and cross and sword; fire or flames; palm, symbol of victory.

    Things to Do:

    • St. Augustine gives us thoughts on why we celebrate the martyrs:

      Christians celebrate the memory of the martyrs with religious ceremony in order to arouse emulation and in order that they may be associated with their merits and helped by their prayers. But to none of the martyrs do we erect altars as we do to the God of martyrs; we erect altars at their shrines. For what bishop standing at the altars over the bodies of martyrs ever said: We offer to Peter or Paul or Cyprian? Mass is offered to God who crowned the martyrs, at the shrine of the martyrs, so that the very spot may remind us to arouse in ourselves a more fervent charity toward those whom we imitate and toward Him who gives us the power to do so.

    • Bake a special dessert, either some recipe originating from Rome, or the highlighted nameday cakes.
    • This feast was created with the reform of the General Calendar in 1969. Many Roman martyrs feasts were removed from the General Calendar, since there wasn’t too much historical information about them. This feast celebrates the nameless men and women who were martyred in Nero’s Circus in the year 64 AD.
    If you found this helpful, our Liturgical Preview can give you a review the next two weeks of the Liturgical Year.

    Progress toward our June expenses ($448 or 2% to go):

    $22,000.00 (98%) of $21,551.90

    Please Register or Login.

    Please support CatholicCulture.org.

    Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

    Reading 1

    Am 5:14-15, 21-24

    Seek good and not evil,

    that you may live;

    Then truly will the LORD, the God of hosts,

    be with you as you claim!

    Hate evil and love good,

    and let justice prevail at the gate;

    Then it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts,

    will have pity on the remnant of Joseph.

     

    I hate, I spurn your feasts, says the LORD,

    I take no pleasure in your solemnities;

    Your cereal offerings I will not accept,

    nor consider your stall-fed peace offerings.

    Away with your noisy songs!

    I will not listen to the melodies of your harps.

    But if you would offer me burnt offerings,

    then let justice surge like water,

    and goodness like an unfailing stream.

     

    Responsorial Psalm

    R.    (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

    “Hear, my people, and I will speak;

    Israel, I will testify against you;

    God, your God, am I.”

    R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

    “Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,

    for your burnt offerings are before me always.

    I take from your house no bullock,

    no goats out of your fold.”

    R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

    “For mine are all the animals of the forests,

    beasts by the thousand on my mountains.

    I know all the birds of the air,

    and whatever stirs in the plains, belongs to me.”

    R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

    “If I were hungry, I should not tell you,

    for mine are the world and its fullness.

    Do I eat the flesh of strong bulls,

    or is the blood of goats my drink?”

    R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

    “Why do you recite my statutes,

    and profess my covenant with your mouth,

    Though you hate discipline

    and cast my words behind you?”

    R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

     

    Gospel

    When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes,

    two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him.

    They were so savage that no one could travel by that road.

    They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God?

    Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?”

    Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding.

    The demons pleaded with him,

    “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.”

    And he said to them, “Go then!”

    They came out and entered the swine,

    and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea

    where they drowned.

    The swineherds ran away,

    and when they came to the town they reported everything,

    including what had happened to the demoniacs.

    Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus,

    and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.

    Optional Memorial of the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome

    Old Calendar: Commemoration of St. Paul, apostle

    This memorial is in honor of the nameless followers of Christ brutally killed by the mad Emperor Nero as scapegoats for the fire in Rome. The pagan historian Tacitus and St. Clement of Rome tell of a night of horror (August 15, 64 A.D.) when in the imperial parks Christians were put into animal skins and hunted, were brutally attacked, and were made into living torches to light the road for Nero’s chariot. From 64 to 314 “Christian” was synonymous with “execution victim.”

    According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the commemoration of St. Paul. The Church emphasizes St. Peter’s prerogatives on yesterday’s feast and today recalls the special mission of Paul as Apostle of the Gentiles.


    First Martyrs of the Church of Rome

    There were Christians in Rome within a dozen or so years after the death of Jesus, though they were not the converts of the “Apostle of the Gentiles” (see Romans 15:20). Paul had not yet visited them at the time he wrote his great letter in A.D. 57-58.

    There was a large Jewish population in Rome. Probably as a result of controversy between Jews and Jewish Christians, the Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome in A.D. 49-50. Suetonius the historian says that the expulsion was due to disturbances in the city “caused by the certain Chrestus” [Christ]. Perhaps many came back after Claudius’s death in A.D. 54. Paul’s letter was addressed to a church with members from Jewish and gentile backgrounds.

    In July of A.D. 64, more than half of Rome was destroyed by fire. Rumor blamed the tragedy on Nero, who wanted to enlarge his palace. He shifted the blame by accusing the Christians. According to the historian Tacitus, a “great multitude” of Christians were put to death because of their “hatred of the human race.” Peter and Paul were probably among the victims.

    Threatened by an army revolt and condemned to death by the senate, Nero committed suicide in A.D. 68 at the age of thirty-one.

    Wherever the Good News of Jesus was preached, it met the same opposition as Jesus did, and many of those who began to follow him shared his suffering and death. But no human force could stop the power of the Spirit unleashed upon the world. The blood of martyrs has always been, and will always be, the seed of Christians.

    Excerpted from Saint of the Day, Leonard Foley, O.F.M.

    Symbols: Red is the color for marytrs; red rose symbol of martyrdom; crown, symbolizing victory over death and sin; white horse with a white banner and cross and sword; fire or flames; palm, symbol of victory.

    Things to Do:

    • St. Augustine gives us thoughts on why we celebrate the martyrs:

      Christians celebrate the memory of the martyrs with religious ceremony in order to arouse emulation and in order that they may be associated with their merits and helped by their prayers. But to none of the martyrs do we erect altars as we do to the God of martyrs; we erect altars at their shrines. For what bishop standing at the altars over the bodies of martyrs ever said: We offer to Peter or Paul or Cyprian? Mass is offered to God who crowned the martyrs, at the shrine of the martyrs, so that the very spot may remind us to arouse in ourselves a more fervent charity toward those whom we imitate and toward Him who gives us the power to do so.

    • Bake a special dessert, either some recipe originating from Rome, or the highlighted nameday cakes.
    • This feast was created with the reform of the General Calendar in 1969. Many Roman martyrs feasts were removed from the General Calendar, since there wasn’t too much historical information about them. This feast celebrates the nameless men and women who were martyred in Nero’s Circus in the year 64 AD.

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    Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

    Reading 1

    Am 5:14-15, 21-24

    Seek good and not evil,

    that you may live;

    Then truly will the LORD, the God of hosts,

    be with you as you claim!

    Hate evil and love good,

    and let justice prevail at the gate;

    Then it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts,

    will have pity on the remnant of Joseph.

    I hate, I spurn your feasts, says the LORD,

    I take no pleasure in your solemnities;

    Your cereal offerings I will not accept,

    nor consider your stall-fed peace offerings.

    Away with your noisy songs!

    I will not listen to the melodies of your harps.

    But if you would offer me burnt offerings,

    then let justice surge like water,

    and goodness like an unfailing stream.

    Responsorial Psalm

    R.    (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

    “Hear, my people, and I will speak;

    Israel, I will testify against you;

    God, your God, am I.”

    R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

    “Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,

    for your burnt offerings are before me always.

    I take from your house no bullock,

    no goats out of your fold.”

    R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

    “For mine are all the animals of the forests,

    beasts by the thousand on my mountains.

    I know all the birds of the air,

    and whatever stirs in the plains, belongs to me.”

    R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

    “If I were hungry, I should not tell you,

    for mine are the world and its fullness.

    Do I eat the flesh of strong bulls,

    or is the blood of goats my drink?”

    R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

    “Why do you recite my statutes,

    and profess my covenant with your mouth,

    Though you hate discipline

    and cast my words behind you?”

    R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

    Gospel

    When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes,

    two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him.

    They were so savage that no one could travel by that road.

    They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God?

    Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?”

    Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding.

    The demons pleaded with him,

    “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.”

    And he said to them, “Go then!”

    They came out and entered the swine,

    and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea

    where they drowned.

    The swineherds ran away,

    and when they came to the town they reported everything,

    including what had happened to the demoniacs.

    Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus,

    and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.

    Prepare for the Spirit of Truth

    Today’s Gospel reading pretty powerful stuff. Let’s examine it together shall we? 

    Gospel Reading for Today (Jn 16:12-15)

    Jesus said to his disciples:

    [12] “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. [13] But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. [14] He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. [15] Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”

    Jesus is preparing His Apostles for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. But He is lso preparing us for our own personal Pentecost not only as it occurs when one receives the Sacrament of Confirmation but also the “little” Pentecosts that occur when a person submits themselves to the guidance of the Spirit of Truth.

    The wisdom of the the Magisterium is such that if places this passage of the Gospel after the experience of St. Paul as depicted in Act where he preaches to the Athenians.

    [22]…”You Athenians, I see that in every respect you are very religious. [23] For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines, I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God.’ What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you. [24] The God who made the world and all that is in it, the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands, [25] nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything. Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything.

    St. Paul took a cue from the Holy Spirit and spoke to the Greeks at Athens with the very words needed to move some to conversion and leading them to the Truth of Christ Jesus.

    For my Protestant brothers and sisters, the Gospel passage also speaks to the Holy Spirit’s role in guiding the seeking person to revealed truths. However, a misapplication of this role made by Protestants who assume that their personal interpretation of Scripture is correct and brought about by the Spirit of Truth. This is contrary to Scripture itself (2 Pt 1:20) and is, in effect, a turning Taway from God to seek God, which is sin and can lead one to mortal error. The myriad of Protestant churches and their varying degrees of theological distance between themselves and the Church provide substantial evidence that not all are listening to the call of Our Lord.

    God speaks with only One Voice (1 Cor 14:3).Moreover, I am of the opinion that the Holy Spirit only reveals the truth that is apportioned for you to know (Jn 16:12) so as to guide you to the Fullness of the Truth found only within the Catholic Church. The Gospel reading today reminds us that Jesus gave His Church a special charism under the guarantee of the Holy Spirit of Whom there is only One.

    ***On a side note, the account of St. Paul preaching to the Athenians comes on a day on which I find myself in the middle of the second chapter of the book I am presently reading called Angels and Their Mission by French theologian, Jean Cardinal Danielou, S.J. and published by Sophia Institute Press. In this second chapter, the author cites ancient Jewish and Patristic writings expressing the theological understanding that all the nations of the earth were entrusted to individual angels in order to protect and guide them (pagans) to the Truth of God noting that, “No matter how perverted they are (pagan religions), they retain some vestige of the natural revelation, and that vestige is is due to the angels who have passed it on to them and who strive to keep it alive among them (p. 18).” This statement is in line with Church teaching concerning truths found in other religions:

    “The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men. Indeed, she proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ “the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn 14,6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself.” (NOSTRA AETATE 2)

    “The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as “a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life.” (1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church 843)

    This is consistent with Sacred Scripture, recalling the covenant that God made with Noah the symbol of which “was the rainbow (ibid., p. 15, Gen 9:12-17).” Cardinal Danielou goes on to cite Acts 14:16-17,

    “[16] In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways; [17] yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good and gave you from heaven rains and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”  (Acts (RSV) 14)

    Expect more on this book later.

    Prepare for the Spirit of Truth

    Today’s Gospel reading pretty powerful stuff. Let’s examine it together shall we? 

    Gospel Reading for Today (Jn 16:12-15)

    Jesus said to his disciples:

    [12] “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. [13] But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. [14] He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. [15] Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”

    Jesus is preparing His Apostles for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. But He is lso preparing us for our own personal Pentecost not only as it occurs when one receives the Sacrament of Confirmation but also the “little” Pentecosts that occur when a person submits themselves to the guidance of the Spirit of Truth.

    The wisdom of the the Magisterium is such that if places this passage of the Gospel after the experience of St. Paul as depicted in Act where he preaches to the Athenians.

    [22]…”You Athenians, I see that in every respect you are very religious. [23] For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines, I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God.’ What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you. [24] The God who made the world and all that is in it, the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands, [25] nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything. Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything.

    St. Paul took a cue from the Holy Spirit and spoke to the Greeks at Athens with the very words needed to move some to conversion and leading them to the Truth of Christ Jesus.

    For my Protestant brothers and sisters, the Gospel passage also speaks to the Holy Spirit’s role in guiding the seeking person to revealed truths. However, a misapplication of this role made by Protestants who assume that their personal interpretation of Scripture is correct and brought about by the Spirit of Truth. This is contrary to Scripture itself (2 Pt 1:20) and is, in effect, a turning Taway from God to seek God, which is sin and can lead one to mortal error. The myriad of Protestant churches and their varying degrees of theological distance between themselves and the Church provide substantial evidence that not all are listening to the call of Our Lord.

    God speaks with only One Voice (1 Cor 14:3).Moreover, I am of the opinion that the Holy Spirit only reveals the truth that is apportioned for you to know (Jn 16:12) so as to guide you to the Fullness of the Truth found only within the Catholic Church. The Gospel reading today reminds us that Jesus gave His Church a special charism under the guarantee of the Holy Spirit of Whom there is only One.

    ***On a side note, the account of St. Paul preaching to the Athenians comes on a day on which I find myself in the middle of the second chapter of the book I am presently reading called Angels and Their Mission by French theologian, Jean Cardinal Danielou, S.J. and published by Sophia Institute Press. In this second chapter, the author cites ancient Jewish and Patristic writings expressing the theological understanding that all the nations of the earth were entrusted to individual angels in order to protect and guide them (pagans) to the Truth of God noting that, “No matter how perverted they are (pagan religions), they retain some vestige of the natural revelation, and that vestige is is due to the angels who have passed it on to them and who strive to keep it alive among them (p. 18).” This statement is in line with Church teaching concerning truths found in other religions:

    “The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men. Indeed, she proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ “the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn 14,6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself.” (NOSTRA AETATE 2)

    “The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as “a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life.” (1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church 843)

    This is consistent with Sacred Scripture, recalling the covenant that God made with Noah the symbol of which “was the rainbow (ibid., p. 15, Gen 9:12-17).” Cardinal Danielou goes on to cite Acts 14:16-17,

    “[16] In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways; [17] yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good and gave you from heaven rains and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”  (Acts (RSV) 14)

    Expect more on this book later.

    Baptism Now Saves You!

    This truncated statement comes from 1 Peter 3:21, “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…(1Peter (RSV) 3)”

    The verse immediately sprang into my mind studying today’s first reading for Mass (Acts 16:22-34). Verses 30-34 particularly caught my eye as they present a very interesting scenario concerning the Sacrament of Baptism.


    [30]…and brought them out and said, “Men, what must I do to be saved?” [31] And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” [32] And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house. [33] And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds, and he was baptized at once, with all his family. [34] Then he brought them up into his house, and set food before them; and he rejoiced with all his household that he had believed in God.  (Acts (RSV) 16)

    Examining the passage above we see that in response to the jailer’s question about salvation (verse 30) Paul and Silas stated that he must believe in Christ (verse 31). In doing so not only will the jailer be saved but his family as well. It is prudent at this point to ask how this will occur?

    A sola fide Protestant would answer that is obvious that it is through the sole faith of the jailer that he is saved. But what about Paul and Silas’ statement concerning his family?

    While this is indeed plausible that the jailer could be saved by his faith is is not independent (solely) of his actions (works). In fact, would the jailer die at that very instant he still would not be guaranteed salvation as his current state would violate John 3:5. It is my understanding that the Church also teaches that baptism can, in extraordinary circumstances, be effectively administered through desire (a catechumen who dies prior to baptism) or through blood (a person who knowingly dies for Jesus without having ever been baptized. Examples of this are shown in the Good Thief and John the Baptist, respectively.

    Verses 32-34 recount the preaching of the Word by Paul and Silas in the home of the jailer and the later baptism. This is where doctrinal differences begin to arise between Catholics and Protestants. Verse 33 states that “he was baptized at once, with all his family.” The Church teaches that verses such as this to not exclude infants from baptism as it does not specifically rule them out of the “family.” The wisdom in the Church’s logic is:

    1. Jesus required baptism as the minimum for entry into heaven (John 3:5)
    2. Scolded the apostles for hindering the parents if children (must have included infants) from coming to Him
    3. Coupled with verses such as Acts 16:33 where infants are not clearly excluded

    4. In addition to Colossians 2:11-12 where Paul equates baptize to circumcision.

    Then it must be that Christ wishes that children be baptized as an act of faith on the part of their parents thus ensuring that these children are in a state of grace should they die prior to committing personal sin willfully losing that gift of grace.

    Catechism 1261 states:

    As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children which caused him to say: “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,” allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church’s call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.

    Would you desire the uncertainty of salvation for your children or would you guarantee it by doing as God wishes and baptizing them as infants?

    Prepare for the Spirit of Truth

    Today’s Gospel reading pretty powerful stuff. Let’s examine it together shall we? 

    Gospel Reading for Today (Jn 16:12-15)

    Jesus said to his disciples:

    [12] “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. [13] But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. [14] He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. [15] Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”

    Jesus is preparing His Apostles for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. But He is lso preparing us for our own personal Pentecost not only as it occurs when one receives the Sacrament of Confirmation but also the “little” Pentecosts that occur when a person submits themselves to the guidance of the Spirit of Truth.

    The wisdom of the the Magisterium is such that if places this passage of the Gospel after the experience of St. Paul as depicted in Act where he preaches to the Athenians.

    [22]…”You Athenians, I see that in every respect you are very religious. [23] For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines, I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God.’ What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you. [24] The God who made the world and all that is in it, the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands, [25] nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything. Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything.

    St. Paul took a cue from the Holy Spirit and spoke to the Greeks at Athens with the very words needed to move some to conversion and leading them to the Truth of Christ Jesus.

    For my Protestant brothers and sisters, the Gospel passage also speaks to the Holy Spirit’s role in guiding the seeking person to revealed truths. However, a misapplication of this role made by Protestants who assume that their personal interpretation of Scripture is correct and brought about by the Spirit of Truth. This is contrary to Scripture itself (2 Pt 1:20) and is, in effect, a turning Taway from God to seek God, which is sin and can lead one to mortal error. The myriad of Protestant churches and their varying degrees of theological distance between themselves and the Church provide substantial evidence that not all are listening to the call of Our Lord.

    God speaks with only One Voice (1 Cor 14:3).Moreover, I am of the opinion that the Holy Spirit only reveals the truth that is apportioned for you to know (Jn 16:12) so as to guide you to the Fullness of the Truth found only within the Catholic Church. The Gospel reading today reminds us that Jesus gave His Church a special charism under the guarantee of the Holy Spirit of Whom there is only One.

    ***On a side note, the account of St. Paul preaching to the Athenians comes on a day on which I find myself in the middle of the second chapter of the book I am presently reading called Angels and Their Mission by French theologian, Jean Cardinal Danielou, S.J. and published by Sophia Institute Press. In this second chapter, the author cites ancient Jewish and Patristic writings expressing the theological understanding that all the nations of the earth were entrusted to individual angels in order to protect and guide them (pagans) to the Truth of God noting that, “No matter how perverted they are (pagan religions), they retain some vestige of the natural revelation, and that vestige is is due to the angels who have passed it on to them and who strive to keep it alive among them (p. 18).” This statement is in line with Church teaching concerning truths found in other religions:

    “The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men. Indeed, she proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ “the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn 14,6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself.” (NOSTRA AETATE 2)

    “The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as “a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life.” (1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church 843)

    This is consistent with Sacred Scripture, recalling the covenant that God made with Noah the symbol of which “was the rainbow (ibid., p. 15, Gen 9:12-17).” Cardinal Danielou goes on to cite Acts 14:16-17,

    “[16] In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways; [17] yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good and gave you from heaven rains and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”  (Acts (RSV) 14)

    Expect more on this book later.