Sunday, November 24, 2013

Meditation: Colossians 1:12-20

This is taken from The Word Among Us Website

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
… that in all things he himself might be preeminent. (Colossians 1:18)
The solemnity of Christ the King was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925. This feast was the Holy Father’s response to the atheistic and totalitarian regimes of his era. While the feast may not be very old, the truth that Jesus Christ is King of all creation is ageless.
Today’s feast tells us that the kingdom of God is ruled by a desire for every human being to enjoy life fully and in freedom. How did Jesus express these designs of his Father? He did it through parables like the prodigal son, which illustrate the limitless mercy that God has for his children. He did it through parables lik the good Samaritan, which calls us to love and serve each other. And he did it by teaching us how to pray and how to live a life of beatitude.
Jesus knew that the best way to teach us the principles and rules of his kingdom was to act them out in person so that he could show us the way and not just tell us about it. His heart was set on seeking and obeying his Father’s wishes—just as ours should be. He was determined to love everyone, even those who opposed him—just as he calls us to do. He prioritized mercy and forgiveness over justice and punishment, and he wants us to do the same.
Pope Pius XI initiated the feast of Christ the King because he wanted every person to know that Jesus is superior to all the other would-be kings of his day: Mussolini’s Fascism, Hitler’s Nazism, Stalin’s Communism, Freud’s psychological determinism, and American materialism. The Holy Father wanted to tell the Church then, and us today, that only Jesus can fill our deepest desires for love, peace, and happiness.
May we all gather under the banner of Jesus Christ, our King. May we live today as true citizens of his kingdom.
“Jesus, you are the King of ages. You are the incorruptible, invisible, only God. We give you honor and glory forever.”
2 Samuel 5:1-3; Psalm 122:1-5; Luke 23:35-43

Homily for Today

My brothers and sisters in Christ, this Sunday, the Feast of Christ the King, marks the closing of Year C of the Liturgical Calendar. This special Feast reminds us that over and above being the universal King, Christ is the Head of the Body, the Church. His Divine reign stretches out from the alpha of time to the omega. There is no other true King, for God is One.

Today's First Reading from the Second Book of Samuel [2 Sam. 5:1-3] spoke of the elders anointing David as the king of Israel. This was the second time that David had been anointed as king. In 2 Samuel, verse 2:4, we read that David was anointed as king over the house of Judah.

In a way, king David was an image of things to come. At the same time, we must keep in mind that there was two distinct differences. Both Jesus and king David were anointed as kings. [2 Sam. 2:4, 5:3; Mt. 21:1-11; Mk. 11:1-11; Lk. 19:28-40; Jn. 12:12-9] Both Jesus and king David ruled over a twofold kingdom. King David ruled over Judah and Israel. Christ the King rules over a twofold kingdom, His Kingdom in Heaven to which belongs all the saints who have departed from this world and the Kingdom on earth to which belongs all those who have been baptized.

Both king David and the Lord Jesus were shepherds. The Almighty Father who chose David to shepherd His people Israel [2 Sam. 5:2] is the same God who chose Christ the King as the Shepherd Who gave His life for the sheep. [Jn. 10:11]

The first distinct difference between the kingdoms of David versus the Kingdoms of Christ the King are:

(1) While David ruled over a twofold kingdom, they remained as distinct entities.

(2) Christ the King rules over a twofold Kingdom that is called the Mystical Body of Christ. In this age, the two Kingdoms of Christ are growing together to form One Body. Through the Sacrament of Baptism, the believer is admitted into the Kingdom of Christ on earth as a first step towards admission into the eternal Kingdom of God in Heaven.

The second distinct difference between the kingdoms of David versus the Kingdoms of Christ the King are:

(1) Both kingdoms of kingdom David were physical in nature.

(2) Both Kingdoms of Christ are spiritual in nature. Regarding the Heavenly Kingdom, Jesus said, "My Kingdom is not from this world. If My Kingdom were from this world, My followers would be fighting to keep Me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, My Kingdom is not from here." [Jn. 18:36] Regarding the earthly spiritual Kingdom, Jesus said, "The Kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There it is!' For, in fact, the Kingdom of God is among (within) you." [Lk. 17:20-1] The Kingdom of God is within us because it is spiritual in nature.

While keeping in mind that the Kingdoms of Christ are spiritual in nature, it can be argued that the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, being part of the Mystical Body of Christ, is physical in nature. Although this cannot be denied, it must be remembered that the visible Church is a reflection of the invisible Body of Christ. "It is not the spiritual that is first, but the physical, and then the spiritual." [1 Cor. 15:46]

To be born again of the spiritual nature in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, one must first be born of the physical nature. "No one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit." [Jn. 3:5] What is born of the flesh is flesh and what is born of the Spirit is spirit." [Jn. 3:6] Once born of the Spirit, the believer can "worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." [Jn. 4:23-4] It is no wonder that The Letter to the Hebrews states, "We had human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not be even more willing to be subject to the Father of spirits and live?" [Heb. 12:9]

Finally, from the First Reading, we notice that in the Old Testament, there is a situation where the government of the two states, Judah and Israel, are joined together in the person of David. In the New Testament, we find a situation where the earthly and heavenly spiritual Kingdoms are united in the Person of Christ the King.

The Second Reading from The Letter of Paul to the Colossians [Col. 1:12-20] began by telling us to "Give thanks to the Father, who has enabled (us) to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light." [Col. 1:12] As Christians who are united in the Body of Christ the King, we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that we may proclaim the mighty acts of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvellous light. [1 Pet. 2:9]

The Heavenly Father rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His beloved Son Jesus Christ. [Col. 1:13] When speaking of the Kingdom of God, or the Church, we come to the realization that the initiative is always with God the Father. Our deliverance from the captivity of sin was manifested by the grace of the Heavenly Father and the power of the Holy Spirit through the person of Jesus Christ. While the Kingdom of God and the Church rightfully belongs to the Father, they have been entrusted to Jesus until comes the end, when Christ the King hands over the Kingdom of God to the Father, after He has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. [1 Cor. 15:24-6]

Our redemption, our forgiveness of sins, comes through the Lord Jesus Christ. Our forgiveness of sins comes through the Sacraments of Baptism and Confession. Our redemption comes through the aforementioned in addition of the Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Communion. For we need the Holy Spirit to sanctify us while we continually feed on the Bread of Life.

Colossians 1:15 tells us that "Christ is the image of the invisible God." [Heb. 1:3; 2 Cor. 4:4; 1 Cor. 11:7] This is a very powerful verse because they echo the words of Jesus. When Philip said to Jesus, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied" [Jn. 14:8] Jesus replied, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father?'" [Jn. 14:9]

Regarding the indwelling of the Father within Jesus, the Council of Ephesus, 431 A.D, in the Third letter of Cyril to Nestorius, stated,
"But we do not say that the Word of God dwelt as in an ordinary man born of the holy virgin, in order that Christ may not be thought of as a God-bearing man. For even though "the Word dwelt among us", and it is also said that in Christ dwelt "all the fullness of the godhead bodily", we understand that, having become flesh, the manner of his indwelling is not defined in the same way as he is said to dwell among the saints, he was united by nature and not turned into flesh and he made his indwelling in such a way as we may say that the soul of man does in his own body."
The indwelling of the Father within the Son was in such a way as we may say that the soul of man does in his own body. As it is impossible for anyone to show his soul to a person who ask, "Show me your soul?" it was impossible for Jesus to show the Father to His disciples. The physical body is a reflection, the true image, of the spiritual form of the person. When you look in a mirror, you see your reflection. When you look at the physical body of a person, you see the reflection of the spiritual body.

Verse 15 continues by saying that Christ is the firstborn of all creation. When it is stated that Christ is the firstborn of all creation, the word "creation" is not a reference to the animals, the trees, etc... It is a reference to Christ as the new Adam, the head of a new creation. Adam was created in the image of God [Gen. 1:27] and commissioned to rule over all the earth. [Gen. 1:28] Through disobedience, he failed his mission. Christ the King, as the new Adam, the new head of humanity, fulfilled this mission.

Christ is the firstborn within a "large family." [Rom. 8:29] When it is said that He is the firstborn, it is implied that many others will follow. And if many other will follow, because Christ the King is the firstborn, as the firstborn, He holds the position of supremacy, authority and power over all creation. "For in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers all things have been created through him and for him." [Col. 1:16]

Through Jesus, the created universe obtains its unity and harmony. All things, visible or invisible, angelic or human beings, were created to come under the final authority of Christ the King. "Christ is before all things, and in him all things hold together." [Col. 1:17] He was in the beginning with God. [Jn. 1:2] Before Abraham was, He was. [Jn. 8:58]

"Christ (the King) is the Head of the Body, the Church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything." [Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22-3] Christ is the King of the new creation. [Gal. 6:15; 2 Cor. 5:17]

"In Christ all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell bodily. [Col. 1:19, 2:9] In Christ dwelled the fullness of God, the Father, [Jn. 14:9] the Son, and the Holy Spirit. [Lk. 23:46]

"Through Christ, God was pleased to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in Heaven, by making peace through the Blood of His Cross." [Col. 1:20] Through Christ, mankind has found peace with God the Father. Through Christ, the power was taken away from the evil angelic powers that battled in Heaven and accused the believers. [Rev. 12:7-10]

Having explained how Christ the King is the incarnation of God, the Head of the Body, the Church, and the firstborn of a new creation, we come to today's Gospel Reading [Lk. 23:35-45] when the sinner crucified beside Jesus said, "Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." [Lk. 23:42] In other words, Jesus, remember me when You come to the fulness of Your glory for I want to be with You.

To the thief, Jesus replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise." [Lk. 23:43] Jesus did not tell the thief that he would be "before" Him as a servant. He said, you will be "with" Me. In other words, the presence of the thief alongside Jesus would not be one of a slave or servant but of one who would be sharing in His royalty. The thief was called to be one of the many who would follow the Firstborn, Christ the King.

In life, we have a choice. We could be like the soldiers who mocked Jesus. [Lk. 23:36] We could be like the criminal on the cross who kept deriding Jesus. [Lk. 23:39] Or we could be like the repentant thief who said, "We indeed have been condemned justly for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." [Lk. 23:41] The choice is ours!

Above the head of Jesus was inscribed, "This is the King of the Jews." [Lk. 23:38] Because the Jewish nation rejected their King, Christ the King, through the love and mercy of God, the door was opened to the gentiles, our forefathers. For that we are grateful to the Jewish people. For had they accepted Christ the King as their Saviour, salvation may not have come to us. But, in His infinite Wisdom, the heavenly Father permitted that the heart of His people be hardened so He may expand His adoption of children to include each and everyone of us, our families, our relatives, our descendants.

As we continue with the celebration of today's Holy Mass, let us be thankful to Christ the King for having called up to partake in His eternal Kingdom. Let us always remain loyal to Christ who is the Head of the Body, the Church.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe


 Reading 1 2 Sm 5:1-3

In those days, all the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said:
"Here we are, your bone and your flesh.
In days past, when Saul was our king,
it was you who led the Israelites out and brought them back.
And the LORD said to you,
'You shall shepherd my people Israel
and shall be commander of Israel.'"
When all the elders of Israel came to David in Hebron,
King David made an agreement with them there before the LORD,
and they anointed him king of Israel.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5

R. (cf. 1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
"We will go up to the house of the LORD."
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Reading 2 Col 1:12-20

Brothers and sisters:
Let us give thanks to the Father,
who has made you fit to share
in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.
He delivered us from the power of darkness
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile all things for him,
making peace by the blood of his cross
through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

Gospel Lk 23:35-43

The rulers sneered at Jesus and said,
"He saved others, let him save himself
if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God."
Even the soldiers jeered at him.
As they approached to offer him wine they called out,
"If you are King of the Jews, save yourself."
Above him there was an inscription that read,
"This is the King of the Jews."

Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,
"Are you not the Christ?
Save yourself and us."
The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply,
"Have you no fear of God,
for you are subject to the same condemnation?
And indeed, we have been condemned justly,
for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes,
but this man has done nothing criminal."
Then he said,
"Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
He replied to him,
"Amen, I say to you,
today you will be with me in Paradise."

A Prayer for Today

King of the universe,
who opens the eyes of the blind.
Blessed are You, O Lord our God,
King of the universe,
who clothes the naked.
Blessed are You, O Lord our God,
King of the universe,
who raises up those who are bowed down.
Blessed are You, O Lord our God,
King of the universe,
who gives strength to the weary. Amen.

Traditional Jewish Prayer

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Morning Prayer

Give me the grace, Lord,
to be strong, prudent,
just and wise in all things.
Give me an exact faith,
generous love
and unshakeable trust in you.
Fill me with the spirit
of intelligence and wisdom.
Let me always be
considerate of other people.
O perfect and eternal light,
enlighten me!

Alcuin of York

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 Mal 3:19-20a

Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven,
when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble,
and the day that is coming will set them on fire,
leaving them neither root nor branch,
says the LORD of hosts.
But for you who fear my name, there will arise
the sun of justice with its healing rays.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:5-6, 7-8, 9

R. (cf. 9) The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth,
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Reading 2 2 Thes 3:7-12

Brothers and sisters:
You know how one must imitate us.
For we did not act in a disorderly way among you,
nor did we eat food received free from anyone.
On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day
we worked, so as not to burden any of you.
Not that we do not have the right.
Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you,
so that you might imitate us.
In fact, when we were with you,
we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work,
neither should that one eat.
We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a
disorderly way,
by not keeping busy but minding the business of others.
Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly
and to eat their own food.

Gospel Lk 21:5-19

While some people were speaking about
how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
Jesus said, "All that you see here--
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down."

Then they asked him,
"Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?"
He answered,
"See that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying,
'I am he,’ and 'The time has come.’
Do not follow them!
When you hear of wars and insurrections,
do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,
but it will not immediately be the end."
Then he said to them,
"Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place;
and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.

"Before all this happens, however,
they will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives."

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Homily and Reflections

"He is God not of the dead, but of the living." [Lk. 20:38; Mt. 22:32] Why is He the God of the living? It is because He is "the living God." [Jn. 11:27; Acts 14:14; Rom. 9:26; 1 Thess. 1:9; 1 Tim. 3:15, 4:10, 6:17; 2 Cor. 3:3, 6:16; Heb. 3:12, 9:12, 10:31, 12:22; Rev. 7:2] He is the living God Who has chosen to make His dwelling within us.

"For we are the temple of the living God; as God said: 'I will live in them, and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.'" [2 Cor. 6:16; Lev. 26:12; Ezek. 37:27]

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body." [1 Cor. 6:19-20] "If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple." [1 Cor. 3:16-7]

How did we become temples of the Holy Spirit? When we received the Sacrament of Baptism, we were born again of water and Spirit. [Jn. 3:5] At that moment, we received our new creation of the godly seed [1 Jn. 3:9] in fulfillment of the promises of the Heavenly Father that are found in the Old Testament. During our admission in the Body of Christ as new creations, we received as our "first instalment," [Eph. 1:13-4; 2 Cor. 1:22, 5:5] the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit for the purpose of our sanctification.

Therefore, as "living stones, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God's sight, and like living stones, (we are) built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." [1 Pet. 2:4]

The new creation that we have received as our first instalment is in preparation for the final instalment that awaits all those who persist to the end in their living faith. Then, at the final resurrection of the bodies, in a moment, in the twinkle of an eye, at the last trumpet, they will all be changed [1 Cor. 15:52-3] in the image of Christ. [1 Cor. 15:49] Their perishable bodies will put on imperishability, and their mortal bodies will put on immortability. [1 Cor. 15:54]

At that moment, all shall be rewarded according to their works. "Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever." [Dan. 12:3] What beautiful imperishable bodies they shall possess for eternity!

During today's First Reading from 2 Maccabees, [2 Mac. 7:1-2, 9-14] we heard of the martyrdom of the mother and her seven sons. We heard that each and everyone of them were willing to die for the Law of Moses because they believed that at the last trumpet, the King of the universe would raise them up to an everlasting life. The just were ready to die rather than sin, trusting in the Lord God to raise them up again with their bodies being fully restored. What an incredible faith these holy martyrs have displayed in the face of death and torture!

When the fourth brother was about to die, he said, "One cannot but choose to die at the hands of mortals and to cherish the hope God gives of being raised again by him. But for you there will be no resurrection to life!" [2 Macc. 7:14] For the wicked, there is no resurrection to eternal life as a child of God. "Shame and everlasting contempt" [Dan. 12:2] awaits the wicked.

Today's Second Reading from the Second Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians [2 Thess. 2:16-3:5] opens our eyes to the fact that the Lord strengthens our hearts in every good work and word. [2 Thess. 2:16-7]

We learn that through prayer, the word and the work of the Lord that is manifested through us rapidly spreads so God may be glorified everywhere. [2 Thess. 3:1]

Also through our prayers for each other, we faithful children of God are rescued from the wicked and evil people. The Lord is faithful, strengthening us and guarding us against the evil one. [2 Thess. 3:2-3] "Do you suppose that it is for nothing that the Scripture says, 'God yearns jealously for the spirit that he has made to dwell in us?'" [Jas. 4:5] To protect us, God placed His Holy Spirit within each and everyone of us so that we may follow His statutes and keep His ordinances and obey them.

"May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant (us) to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together (we) may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" [Rom. 15:5-6]

Today's reading from the Gospel of Luke [Lk. 20:27-38] provides us with a glimpse of our "blessed hope." [Tit. 2:13] First of all, to summarize why Jesus revealed this knowledge.

The Sadducees, non-believers in the resurrection, asked Jesus if seven brothers married the same woman and they all died, "in the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be?" [Lk. 20:33] Now the brothers did not all marry the same woman at the same time! This was done in accordance with the "Levirate Marriage."

"When brothers reside together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband's brother shall go in to her, taking her in marriage, and performing the duty of a husband's brother to her, and the firstborn whom she bears shall succeed to the name of the deceased brother, so that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. But if the man has no desire to marry his brother's widow, then his brother's widow shall go up to the elders at the gate and say, 'My husband's brother refuses to perpetuate his brother's name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of a husband's brother to me.' Then the elders of his town shall summon him and speak to him. If he persists, saying 'I have no desire to marry her,' then his brother's wife shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, pull his sandal off his foot, spit in his face, and declare, 'This is what is done to the man who does not build up his brother's house.' Throughout Israel his family shall be known as 'the house of him whose sandal was pulled off.'" [Deut. 25:5-10]

Answering the Sadducees, Jesus said, "Those who belong to his age marry and are given to marriage; but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection." [Lk. 20:34-6]

In other words, in the resurrection, when we are transformed at the twinkle of an eye, just like the angels of God, we will receive spiritual bodies that are incorruptible. In this physical world, God has instituted the Sacrament of marriage [Gen 2:24] and procreation [Gen. 3:16] for mankind to multiply and spread all over the earth. But once in Heaven, there will be no more procreation.

On this subject, Saint Paul tells us, "What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, 'The first man, Adam, became a living being'; the last Adam (Jesus) became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first, but the physical, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven." [1 Cor. 15:42-7]

The man from Heaven does not live by the same rules as the man of dust. The man of Heaven no longer feels hunger or thirst. He no longer gets tired or needs to sleep. He no longer experiences day or night, warmth or cold. He no longer sheds tears for he continuously enjoys the beatific vision of God. Death shall have been conquered through the Sacred Blood of Jesus Christ. With death shall depart suffering and pain.

In eternal life, those who have persevered to the end, they shall all enjoy the fulness of life as it was meant to be enjoyed. They shall be counted among the living, all sharing the same Father, the living God. May His Holy Name be glorified and praised forever!

For "He is God not of the dead, but of the living." [Lk. 20:38]

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 2 Mc 7:1-2, 9-14

It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested
and tortured with whips and scourges by the king,
to force them to eat pork in violation of God's law.
One of the brothers, speaking for the others, said:
"What do you expect to achieve by questioning us?
We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors."

At the point of death he said:
"You accursed fiend, you are depriving us of this present life,
but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever.
It is for his laws that we are dying."

After him the third suffered their cruel sport.
He put out his tongue at once when told to do so,
and bravely held out his hands, as he spoke these noble words:
"It was from Heaven that I received these;
for the sake of his laws I disdain them;
from him I hope to receive them again."
Even the king and his attendants marveled at the young man's courage,
because he regarded his sufferings as nothing.

After he had died,
they tortured and maltreated the fourth brother in the same way.
When he was near death, he said,
"It is my choice to die at the hands of men
with the hope God gives of being raised up by him;
but for you, there will be no resurrection to life."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15

R. (15b) Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
My steps have been steadfast in your paths,
my feet have not faltered.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my word.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
Keep me as the apple of your eye,
hide me in the shadow of your wings.
But I in justice shall behold your face;
on waking I shall be content in your presence.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.

Reading 2 2 Thes 2:16-3:5

Brothers and sisters:
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,
who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement
and good hope through his grace,
encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed
and word.

Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us,
so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified,
as it did among you,
and that we may be delivered from perverse and wicked people,
for not all have faith.
But the Lord is faithful;
he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.
We are confident of you in the Lord that what we instruct you,
you are doing and will continue to do.
May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God
and to the endurance of Christ.

Gospel Lk 20:27-38

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying,
"Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone's brother dies leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.

Now there were seven brothers;
the first married a woman but died childless.
Then the second and the third married her,
and likewise all the seven died childless.
Finally the woman also died.
Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?
For all seven had been married to her."
Jesus said to them,
"The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
and to the resurrection of the dead
neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die,
for they are like angels;
and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise
even Moses made known in the passage about the bush,
when he called out 'Lord, '
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
and he is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive."

Or LK 20:27, 34-38

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward.

Jesus said to them,
"The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
and to the resurrection of the dead
neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die,
for they are like angels;
and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise
even Moses made known in the passage about the bush,
when he called out 'Lord, '
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
and he is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive."

Saturday, November 9, 2013

God Searches for the Lost With a Special Love, Pope Francis says (1078)

The Holy Father says God has a “certain loving weakness” for the lost and has joy in restoring them, bringing them home.

 11/08/2013Comments (2)
VATICAN CITY — In his Nov. 7 homily, Pope Francis reflected on the Parables of the Lost Sheep and Coin, saying that God has a special love for sinners who are lost.
“God is not a good loser, and this is why, in order not to lose, he goes out on his own, and he goes, he searches. … He searches for all those who are far away from him, like the shepherd who goes to search for the lost sheep,” the Pope said during his daily Mass.
The Holy Father directed his words to those present inside the chapel of the Vatican’s St. Martha guesthouse, where he resides.
In his opening comments, Pope Francis remarked on the attitude of the scribes and the Pharisees from the daily readings, describing how they were scandalized by the things that Jesus did and murmured against him because he ate “with the publicans and the sinners.”
Jesus responds to this “music of hypocrisy,” noted the Pope, by answering “this murmuring with a joyful parable.”
“The words ‘joy’ and ‘happiness,’” he said, appear in the short reading “four times: three times joy and once happiness. That is the most profound message of this story: the joy of God, a God who doesn’t like to lose.”
“He can’t stand losing one of his own,” the Pope said, adding that on the night Jesus was arrested, he prays, asking his Father, “May none get lost, of those you have given to me.”
“He is a God who walks around searching for us and has a certain loving weakness for those who are furthest away, who are lost,” the Holy Father said. “He goes and searches for them.”
“And how does he search?” asked the Pope, “He searches until the end, like the shepherd who goes out into the darkness, searching, until he finds the sheep. Or like the woman, when she loses a coin, who lights a lamp and sweeps the house and searches carefully. That’s how God searches.”
Pope Francis went on to describe how, once the shepherd finds his lost sheep and brings it back to the flock, no one should say that “You are lost,” but that “You are one of us,” because this returns dignity to the lost sheep.
“There is no difference,” he said, because God “returns to the fold everyone he finds. And when he does this, he is a God who rejoices.”
“The joy of God is not the death of the sinner, but the life of the sinner.”
Concluding his reflections, the Pope highlighted how far from Jesus were those who “murmured against” him, adding, “They didn’t know him.”
“They thought that being religious, being good people meant always being well-mannered and polite, and often pretending to be polite, right?” he said. “This is the hypocrisy of the murmuring.”
“But,” said the Pope, “the joy of God the Father, in fact, is love. He loves us.”
Pope Francis stated that, although people are often hesitant to receive the love of God due to their sins, Jesus tells them, “I love you anyway, and I go out searching for you, and I bring you home.”
“This is our Father,” he said. “Let’s reflect on this.”

Pope warns against 'unclean bread' of corruption

Pope warns against 'unclean bread' of corruption
by Elise Harris
Pope Francis greets the crowds outside the Basilica of St. John Lateran on April 7, 2013 Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA
Pope Francis greets the crowds outside the Basilica of St. John Lateran on April 7, 2013 Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA
.- During his daily Mass, Pope Francis cautioned those present to be aware the dangers of bribery, stating that those who are dishonest in their work deprive themselves of dignity.
"This man, this steward," said the Pope about the unjust steward from the day’s readings "he brought bread home, but how? He fed his children unclean bread!"
The pontiff centered the reflections of his Nov. 8 homily, given in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse, on the servant in the Gospel of Luke who is accused of being dishonest, and so bribes his master in order not to be fired.
Warning of the dangers "of worldliness and mundane affairs," Pope Francis highlighted how Jesus "prayed to the Father that his disciples might not fall into the trap of worldliness," which he referred to as "the enemy."
"When we think of our enemies, we really think of the devil first, because it’s the devil that harms us," noted the Pope, adding that "the devil enjoys the atmosphere, the lifestyle of worldliness. And this steward is an example of worldliness."
"Some of you," he continued, "might say: 'But this man only did what everyone does!' But no, not everyone! Some company administrators, some public administrators, some government administrators…perhaps there are not even very many."
"But it’s that attitude of the shortcut, of the most comfortable way to earn a living."
Explaining how at the end of the parable the master praises the unjust steward for his cunningness, Pope Francis stressed that "This is praise for bribes! And the habit of bribes is a mundane and extremely sinful habit."
"It’s a habit," he emphasized, "that does not come from God: God has commanded us to bring bread home through our own honest work!"
The children who have eaten the "unclean bread" brought home by their father, and who were "perhaps educated in expensive colleges, perhaps raised in learned environments," observed the Pope, were actually "fed dirt by their father, because their father, by bringing home unclean bread, had lost his dignity!"
"And this is a grave sin. Because we might start with a small bribe, but it’s like a drug!"
In this way we are able to become dependent on the habit of bribery, the Pope explained, revealing that on the contrary, if there is a "mundane cunning," there is also a "Christian cunning, of doing things not in the spirit of worldliness," but of truthfulness.
This is what Jesus means, explained the pontiff, when he tells his disciples to be as cunning as serpents, but as pure as doves, adding that the ability to merge the two "is grace from the Holy Spirit," and a gift that we must ask for.
Pope Francis concluded his reflections encouraging those present to "pray for the many children and young people who are fed unclean bread by their parents: they are hungry too, they are starved of dignity!"
"Let us pray," he continued, "that the Lord may change the hearts of these people who are faithful to the goddess of bribes. Let them realize that dignity comes from dignified work, from honest work, from daily work, and not from these shortcuts."
Turning a final thought to the man in the Gospel who had stored up for himself many granaries and silos that were "so full that he didn’t know what to do with them," the Pope recalled how the Lord said to him "You must die tonight."
"These poor people who have lost their dignity in the habit of bribes take with them not the money they have earned, but only their lack of dignity! Let us pray for them!"

A Prayer for Today

O Holy Spirit, most merciful Comforter:
you proceed from the Father
in a manner beyond our understanding.
Come and take up your abode in my heart.
Purify and cleanse me from all sin, and sanctify my soul.
Cleanse it from every impurity,
water its dryness, melt its coldness,
and save it from its sinful ways.
Make me truly humble and resigned,
that I may be pleasing to you,
and that you might abide with me forever.
Most blessed Light, most amiable Light, enlighten me.
O rapturous joy of paradise, fount of purest delight,
my God, give yourself to me and kindle in my innermost soul
the fire of your love.
My Lord, instruct, direct, and defend me in all things.
Give me strength against all immoderate fears
and against despondency.
Bestow upon me a true faith, a firm hope,
and a sincere and a perfect love.
Grant that I always do your most gracious will. Amen. 
 St. Antiochus

Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome

Reading 1EZ 47:1-2, 8-9, 12

The angel brought me
back to the entrance of the temple,
and I saw water flowing out
from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east,
for the fa├žade of the temple was toward the east;
the water flowed down from the southern side of the temple,
south of the altar.
He led me outside by the north gate,
and around to the outer gate facing the east,
where I saw water trickling from the southern side.
He said to me,
“This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah,
and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh.
Wherever the river flows,
every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live,
and there shall be abundant fish,
for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.
Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow;
their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.
Every month they shall bear fresh fruit,
for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.
Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9

R. (5) The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!
God is our refuge and our strength,
an ever-present help in distress.
Therefore, we fear not, though the earth be shaken
and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea.
R. The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!
There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God,
the holy dwelling of the Most High.
God is in its midst; it shall not be disturbed;
God will help it at the break of dawn.
R. The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!
The LORD of hosts is with us;
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.
Come! behold the deeds of the LORD,
the astounding things he has wrought on earth. 
R. The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High!

Reading 21 COR 3:9C-11, 16-17

Brothers and sisters:
You are God’s building.
According to the grace of God given to me,
like a wise master builder I laid a foundation,
and another is building upon it.
But each one must be careful how he builds upon it,
for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there,
namely, Jesus Christ.

Do you not know that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God’s temple,
God will destroy that person;
for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.

GospelJN 2:13-22

Since the Passover of the Jews was near,
Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves,
as well as the money-changers seated there.
He made a whip out of cords
and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen,
and spilled the coins of the money-changers
and overturned their tables,
and to those who sold doves he said,
“Take these out of here,
and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”
His disciples recalled the words of Scripture,
Zeal for your house will consume me.
At this the Jews answered and said to him,
“What sign can you show us for doing this?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
The Jews said,
“This temple has been under construction for forty-six years,
and you will raise it up in three days?”
But he was speaking about the temple of his Body.
Therefore, when he was raised from the dead,
his disciples remembered that he had said this,
and they came to believe the Scripture
and the word Jesus had spoken.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1WIS 11:22-12:2

Before the LORD the whole universe is as a grain from a balance
or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth.
But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things;
and you overlook people's sins that they may repent.
For you love all things that are
and loathe nothing that you have made;
for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.
And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it;
or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?
But you spare all things, because they are yours,
O LORD and lover of souls,
for your imperishable spirit is in all things!
Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little,
warn them and remind them of the sins they are committing,
that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O LORD!

Responsorial PsalmPS 145:1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13, 14

R. (cf. 1) I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
I will extol you, O my God and King,
and I will bless your name forever and ever.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
The LORD is faithful in all his words
and holy in all his works.
The LORD lifts up all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.

Reading 22 THES 1:11-2:2

Brothers and sisters:
We always pray for you,
that our God may make you worthy of his calling
and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose
and every effort of faith,
that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you,
and you in him,
in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ. 

We ask you, brothers and sisters,
with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
and our assembling with him,
not to be shaken out of your minds suddenly, or to be alarmed
either by a "spirit," or by an oral statement,
or by a letter allegedly from us
to the effect that the day of the Lord is at hand.

GospelLK 19:1-10

At that time, Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. 
Now a man there named Zacchaeus,
who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
was seeking to see who Jesus was;
but he could not see him because of the crowd,
for he was short in stature. 
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus,
who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
"Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
for today I must stay at your house." 
And he came down quickly and received him with joy. 
When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying,
"He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner." 
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
"Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over."
And Jesus said to him,
"Today salvation has come to this house
because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. 
For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save what was lost."

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Pope Francis: Sanctity is for everyone, saints are not 'supermen'

.- On the Feast of All Saints, Pope Francis stressed that the saints are not “supermen” who are “born perfect,” but rather are ordinary people who followed God “with all their heart.”
“They are like us, they are like each of us, they are people who before reaching the glory of heaven lived a normal life, with joys and griefs, struggles and hopes,” the Pope said before the noontime Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square Nov. 1.
Each saint changed his or her life “when they recognized the love of God, they followed him with all their heart, without conditions and hypocrisies.”
“They spent their lives in the service of others, they endured suffering and adversity without hatred and responded to evil with good, spreading joy and peace,” he said.
“Sanctity is beautiful! It is a beautiful way!” Pope Francis stressed. “The saints give us a message. They tell us: be faithful to the Lord, because the Lord does not disappoint! He does not disappoint ever, and he is a good friend always at our side.”
The Pope emphasized that everyone can be a saint.
“To be a saint is not a privilege of a few... all of us in baptism have the inheritance of being able to become saints. Sanctity is a vocation for everyone.”
“All of us are called to walk in the way of sanctity, and this way has a name, a face: the face of Jesus Christ.
Pope Francis said the Feast of All Saints “reminds us that the goal of our existence is not death, it is paradise!”
“The saints, the friends of God, assure us that this promise does not disappoint,” he added. “In their earthly existence, in fact, they had lived in profound communion with God. In the smallest and most despised faces of their brothers, they saw the face of God, and now they contemplate him face to face in his glorious beauty.”
The saints show joy and love, he said.
“The saints are men and women who have joy in their hearts and spread it to others. Never hating, but serving the other, is the greatest need. To pray and to live in joy: this is the way of sanctity!”
The saints do not “place conditions” on God, the Pope explained. In addition, they “are not violent but merciful and they seek to be makers of reconciliation and peace.”
“The saints never have hated,” the Pope added. “Understand this well: Love is of God, but where does hatred come from? Hatred does not come from God, but from the devil!”
Pope Francis said the Kingdom of Heaven is for those who trust in the love of God and do not put their security in material things. It is for those with humility and a “simple heart” who do not judge others. The Kingdom of Heaven is for “those who suffer with the one who suffers and rejoice with the one who rejoices.”
The saints are also a source of fortitude and hope, he noted.
“The saints encourage us with their witness not to have fear of going against the current or fear of being misunderstood and derided when we speak of the Lord and of the Gospel,” the Pope said. “They show us with their lives that the one who remains faithful to God and to his words experiences now on this earth the comfort of his love and then experiences it a ‘hundredfold’ in eternity.”
After the Angelus prayer, the Pope voiced special prayers for the victims of violence, especially Christians who have lost their lives because of persecution. He also prayed for those men, women and children who have died because of hunger and thirst.


So I have been torn lately as to which parish to attend. I have been going back and forth all year. One parish is an English/Polish parish and has very traditional masses and very beautifully done so for me a very spiritual mass.
 The other parish a lot more informal but does have a lot of extra curricular activity to help develop your faith and better understand the faith and strengthen your faith. Good young priests as well.
 Last week though the end for me came at the more modern parish when praying after Communion I was sitting back from praying when as I slid back into the pew I noticed the lady behind me was texting. It was bad enough all through mass she was talking to her daughter making it hard to focus on what was a wonderful homily. Really disgusted me. I guess you can call me old fashioned but I was taught that when you go to church you are quiet you are in the presence of the lord and you show your respect. This parish has always been a bit cavalier to the point where this summer in the bulletin they asked people to observe a basic dress code and not come in cut offs and flip flops.
 It is also not the first time a cell phone has been at play here as there have been numerous times when you would here the phones ring or here the alert for an incoming text etc.. For me the latest incident was too much. So yesterday it was back to the more traditional church. I decided that maybe even though they offer less outside of mass they have a good and traditional mass where you can be in touch with the lord and not be worried about any interruption from a phone ringing or people coming in dressed like they just left a rave. I decided there is enough available elsewhere in the Internet world to help develop y foundation in the faith.
 It was funny when I saw the lady texting the interview I saw with Cardinal Arinze where he said we are not going to a concert or a football match. We are going to Holy mass to be with the lord and we should act appropriately. I thought if was here he would surely stop mass and start chucking people!
 So there in a nutshell it is. I guess call me old fashioned but the texting was beyond any form of comprehension for me, maybe I over reacted but to me I want to be with the lord for the small time there and I do not want to here people catching up calling or texting during mass.

The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)

Reading 1 Wis 3:1-9

The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

Responsorial Psalm PS 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6

R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
with your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.

Reading 2 Rom 5:5-11

Brothers and sisters:
Hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
For Christ, while we were still helpless,
died at the appointed time for the ungodly.
Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person,
though perhaps for a good person
one might even find courage to die.
But God proves his love for us
in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
How much more then, since we are now justified by his Blood,
will we be saved through him from the wrath.
Indeed, if, while we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son,
how much more, once reconciled,
will we be saved by his life.
Not only that,
but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Or Rom 6:3-9

Brothers and sisters:
Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus
were baptized into his death?
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death,
so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead
by the glory of the Father,
we too might live in newness of life.

For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his,
we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.
We know that our old self was crucified with him,
so that our sinful body might be done away with,
that we might no longer be in slavery to sin.
For a dead person has been absolved from sin.
If, then, we have died with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with him.
We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more;
death no longer has power over him.

Gospel Jn 6:37-40

Jesus said to the crowds:
“Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.”

Morning Prayer

welcome into your calm
and peaceful kingdom
those who have departed
out of this present life
to be with you.
Grant them rest
and a place with the spirits of the just;
and give them the life that knows no age,
the reward that passes not away,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

– St. Ignatius Loyola