November 30, 2008 - Daily Mass Readings

November 30, 2008

First Sunday of Advent

Reading 1
Is 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7

Thou, O Lord, art our father, our redeemer, from everlasting is thy name. Why hast thou made us to err, O Lord, from thy ways: why hast thou hardened our heart, that we should not fear thee? return for the sake of thy servants, the tribes of thy inheritance.

O that thou wouldst rend the heavens, and wouldst come down: the mountains would melt away at thy presence. When thou shalt do wonderful things, we shall not bear them: thou didst come down, and at thy presence the mountains melted away. From the beginning of the world they have not heard, nor perceived with the ears: the eye hath not seen, O God, besides thee, what things thou hast prepared for them that wait for thee. Thou hast met him that rejoiceth, and doth justice: in thy ways they shall remember thee: behold thou art angry, and we have sinned: in them we have been always, and we shall be saved. And we are all become as one unclean, and all our justices as the rag of a menstruous woman: and we have all fallen as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. There is none that calleth upon thy name: that riseth up, and taketh hold of thee: thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast crushed us in the hand of our iniquity. And now, O Lord, thou art our father, and we are clay: and thou art our maker, and we all are the works of thy hands.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19

R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
Give ear, O thou that rulest Israel:
thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep.
Thou that sittest upon the cherubims, shine forth
Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasses.
Stir up thy might, and come to save us.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
Turn again, O God of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see, and visit this vineyard:
And perfect the same which thy right hand hath planted:
and upon the son of man whom thou hast confirmed for thyself.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand:
and upon the son of man whom thou hast confirmed for thyself.
And we depart not from thee, thou shalt quicken us:
and we will call upon thy name.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.

Reading II
1 Cor 1:3-9

Grace to you and peace, from God our father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
I give thanks to my God always for you, for the grace of God that is given you in Christ Jesus:
That in all things you are made rich in him, in all utterance and in all knowledge; As the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that nothing is wanting to you in any grace, waiting for the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who also will confirm you unto the end without crime, in the days of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful: by whom you are called unto the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Gospel
Mk 13:33-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
Take ye heed, watch and pray. For ye know not when the time is. Even as a man who, going into a far country, left his house and gave authority to his servants over every work and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore (for you know not when the lord of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning): Lest coming on a sudden, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch.

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The readings on this site are not official for the Mass of Roman Rite of the Catholic Church in the USA, but are from The Challoner Douay Rheims version of the Sacred Bible, a source free from copyright and entirely in the public domain.

The Challoner Douay Rheims version was prepared by Bishop Richard Challoner, about A.D. 1749-1752, by revising the original Douay Rheims version and by comparing it to the Latin Vulgate version of the Bible.

Official Readings of the Liturgy at – http://www.usccb.org/nab/today.shtml

November 29, 2008 - Daily Mass Readings

November 29, 2008

Saturday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
Rv 22:1-7

And he shewed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal,
proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
In the midst of the street thereof, and on both sides of the river,
was the tree of life, bearing twelve fruits, yielding its fruits every month:
the leaves of the tree for the healing of the nations.
And there shall be no curse any more: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it.
And his servants shall serve him.
And they shall see his face: and his name shall be on their foreheads.
And night shall be no more. And they shall not need the light of the lamp,
nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall enlighten then.
And they shall reign for ever and ever.
And he said to me: These words are most faithful and true.
And the Lord God of the spirits of the prophets sent his angel
to shew his servant the things which must be done shortly.
And: Behold I come quickly.
Blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this book.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 95:1-2, 3-5, 6-7ab

R. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!
Come let us praise the Lord with joy:
let us joyfully sing to God our saviour.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving;
and make a joyful noise to him with psalms.
R. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!
For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
For in his hand are all the ends of the earth:
and the heights of the mountains are his.
For the sea is his, and he made it:
and his hands formed the dry land.
R. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!
Come let us adore and fall down:
and weep before the Lord that made us.
For he is the Lord our God:
and we are the people of his pasture
and the sheep of his hand.
R. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!

Gospel
Lk 21:34-36

And take heed to yourselves, lest perhaps your hearts be overcharged
with surfeiting and drunkenness and the cares of this life: and that day come upon you suddenly.
For as a snare shall it come upon all that sit upon the face of the whole earth.
Watch ye, therefore, praying at all times,
that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that are to come
and to stand before the Son of man.

————————————————————————————

The readings on this site are not official for the Mass of Roman Rite of the Catholic Church in the USA, but are from The Challoner Douay Rheims version of the Sacred Bible, a source free from copyright and entirely in the public domain.

The Challoner Douay Rheims version was prepared by Bishop Richard Challoner, about A.D. 1749-1752, by revising the original Douay Rheims version and by comparing it to the Latin Vulgate version of the Bible.

Official Readings of the Liturgy at – http://www.usccb.org/nab/today.shtml

Flight of Christians from Iraq is destabilizing the Middle East, archbishop says

November 28, 2008

.- Archbishop Louis Sako said this week, “Iraq without Christians is a poorer country.  It would be disastrous for peaceful coexistence and for tolerance not only in Iraq but in all of the Middle East.”

According to the SIR news agency, the archbishop made his comments during the national gathering of diocesan delegates for ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue in Italy.  He lamented the dramatic situation of Christians in Iraq, “half of whom are refugees in other countries to escape the violence, rapes, murders and kidnappings” they have been subject to by Muslim extremists.

“Iraq is a country run by terrorists whose leaders are not Iraqis but foreigners, and in which the cultural class is dispersed. Christians are the scapegoats to be eliminated, to be hunted down on the streets, in order to institute an Islamic state. They are considered ‘dhimmi,’ or second-class citizens.”  “We can celebrate our rites,” he continued, “but we cannot proclaim the Gospel. There are Muslims who ask for baptism in secret, but later they are forced to flee.  Freedom of conscience does not exist, and therefore conversion to other religions is not allowed,” he added.

However, the archbishop explained, all of this does not prevent inter-religious dialogue.  “We can dialogue with Islam about human life. We bear witness to our Muslim brethren of our faith in God with fidelity, Christian morality, patience, forgiveness and humility.  We bear witness to God with our charity.”

Devotion to ‘saint death’ is useless, says Mexican archbishop

November 28, 2008

- Archbishop Jose Ulises Macias Salcedo of Hermosillo said this week the devotion to “Saint Death” does not protect those who “pray” to him from anything and that those who believe in it are “badly misguided.”

According to the newspaper El Imparcial, “these things begin to take hold in the heart and people begin to believe in them.”  The devotion to this false saint gained strength in the recent past and “there are still some small chapels” dedicated to the practice along certain highways,” the archbishop explained. 

“I think people are beginning to realize they were fooled and that there is a God.  There is a saying that if you don’t know the true God, you’ll bow down before any old tree.  So if there is a God, what else are we looking for?” he asked.

The devotion to “Saint Death” has been condemned by the Archdiocese of Mexico on several occasions, which has stressed that it is not compatible with the Catholic faith.

L’Osservatore Romano launches 2009 calendar with 13 photos of John Paul II

November 28, 2008

- The photo service of the Vatican daily, the L’Osservatore Romano, will issue a 2009 calendar on December 3 featuring thirteen photos of the Servant of God John Paul II.

According to the newspaper, the calendar will be released in association with the newspaper Oggi and contains thirteen 42×30 centimeter photos of the late pontiff.

The creators of the calendar said the pictures have been printed on thick paper that will enable people to save them as mementos.

Bishop’s work to prevent illegal arms trade gains importance as conflicts flare up

November 28, 2008

- The work of an English bishop in helping to regulate the trade in small arms and light weapons took on a new importance this week as the Vatican’s permanent observer to the U.N. spoke out about the need to prevent illegal arms trading.

Bishop William Kenney, an auxiliary bishop in Birmingham, is a leading figure in the Gothenburg Process, an ecumenical initiative which aims to promote dialogue between parties involved in the arms trade.

Bishop Kenney, who previously served as Bishop of Stockholm before he returned to his native Birmingham in 2006, has been involved with the Gothenburg Process since it was founded in the 1990s.

He is now the international chairman of its steering committee, and its work to promote dialogue in the industry may now take on new importance after the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio to the United Nations, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, spoke out about the arms trade in a recent address to the U.N. Security Council.

In his address, Archbishop Migliore said illicit arms trades had turned tensions into armed conflicts and had compromised peace and development. The Vatican official said the Holy See supported the U.N. General Assembly for adopting a resolution which spells out initial steps that need to be taken in order to better regulate the trade and transfer of arms.

Archbishop Migliore added that the Vatican “shares the grave concern of conflict-ridden countries” where the illicit arms trade and its production hinder the peaceful settlement of disputes and prolong conflicts.

Speaking to The Universe, Bishop Kenney said the Gothenburg Process dealt solely with the legal supply of arms but that this supply often turned into a “slippery slope.”

The organization started after he was approached by a layman, Peter Brune, who expressed concerns over the growing proliferation in the arms trade following an initial decline after the Cold War. He felt the Churches needed to speak out on the problem.

“We deal with weapons legally held by armies and police forces, hunting groups and sporting associations,” Bishop Kenney said.

“What happens in many cases is that these legal arms eventually end up getting sold on. There are perhaps slight infringements at first, but it is a slippery slope.

“You have weapons being sold from countries such as Russia and China and then there is also sheer criminality such as weapons being stolen from armies.”

Bishop Kenney said the Gothenburg Process grew after an initial first conference in 2001. “The thing took off,” he said. “What we have done is encourage a dialogue between the users and the control authorities, that is, the political powers and the producers.”

The outbreak of wars, Bishop Kenney said, always resulted in problems with small arms in the future. Instances such as the current crisis in the DR Congo were classic examples of weapons which had once been bought legally now being used illegally, he explained.

“Weapons are stolen and no one notices until it’s too late to do anything about it,” he said.

While there is much work ahead, the fact that the parties involved in producing, regulating and using small arms are talking represents progress. Bishop Kenney said the organization had succeeded in getting people to reflect on the issue, and to get the control authorities, users and producers to look at the ethical position of using the weapons.

But in a stark summary of the problem, he added: “More people have now died as a result of small arms and light weapons than have died from nuclear weapons.”

For more information visit http://www.gothenburgprocess.org/

Bishops of India strongly condemn terrorist attacks

November 28, 2008

- The Bishops’ Conference of India has “unequivocally” condemned the terrorist attacks that have taken place in the city of Mumbai, calling them “one of the worst human tragedies of recent times.”

In a statement published by the SIR news agency, the bishops’ spokesman, Father Babu Joseph, said they are “praying for the repose of the souls of the victims,” and they hope “for a quick recovery of those wounded.”  They also expressed hope that “those who have been taken hostage will soon be released.”

Archbishop Stanislaus Fernandes, the bishops’ secretary general, said, “The terrorist attacks in various parts of Mumbai, in which innocent civilians, foreigners and politicians have been killed are acts of the utmost cruelty and should be strongly condemned by all.  Terrorism is an evil, and all those who are involved in it act against the very foundation of human life, which is sacred in the eyes of God.”

Asking the residents of Mumbai to “maintain peace and harmony in this hour of suffering and sorrow,” the bishops also called on the government “to take strong and effective measures to control the threat of terrorism in India.”

“Violence is not an acceptable means of achieving an end, no matter how noble it may be.  We must adopt peaceful means of resolving issues, which is the only way to have a more civil life in our society,” they stated.

Ad Showing Woman Seducing Santa Promotes Free Morning-After Pills and Condoms for Christmas

November 28, 2008

By Kathleen Gilbert

WARWICKSHIRE, U.K. (LifeSiteNews.com) - A new advertisement from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), sometimes described as the “British Planned Parenthood,” depicting a semi-pornographic Christmas scene is being used to tout free morning-after pills and condoms for the Christmas season.

The ad shows the lower half of a man clad in “Santa” get-up grasping the rear of a woman in a mini-skirt whose leg is entwined around the “Santa” figure, set against the backdrop of a typical Christmas living room scene.  “Santa only comes once a year … but that’s all it takes!” reads the ad, implying that the woman could get pregnant even if she only has sex with Santa once a year, without using contraception.

BPAS’s website explains that they “recognise that Christmas is a time when people don’t think about contraception as a priority, but accidents still happen.”  In order to remedy the shortened holiday schedule of family planning clinics and pharmacies, BPAS will be providing a “Free Christmas Pack” containing a dose of the abortifacient morning-after pill, three condoms, a leaflet on “what your options are in case the pill doesn’t work” and another on general sexual health services.

BPAS, a non-profit organization, like its U.S. counterpart Planned Parenthood, is the U.K.’s largest single abortion provider.

Anthony Ozimic, political secretary for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), responded to the ad with disgust. 

“It is certainly a despicable ploy which threatens unborn children, promotes promiscuity, undermines public health and insults the child-centred meaning of Christmas,” said Ozimic.  “The offensive sexual innuendo linked to Santa Claus is evidence of BPAS’s morally bankrupt status.” 

Ozimic also said it is revealing that the BPAS pack included information on “options” in case of unexpected pregnancy. “This makes us question whether not this free give-away isn’t a thinly-disguised attempt by BPAS to drum up more abortion business in the new year,” he said.

“This style of promoting the morning-after pill will have an adverse effect on many young and vulnerable women,” Ozimic continued.  “It will encourage men to see females as sex objects, who can be exploited without responsibility for the consequences. The morning-after pill’s promoters share in the abuse of women by misleading them about its potential effect, which, the manufacturers concede, may include causing an early abortion.”

The BPAS ad coincides with a Christmas campaign from the U.S. Planned Parenthood of Indiana, promoting gift cards to be redeemed for services such as birth control, STD testing, and abortions.

Statement President Bush - Mumbai, India

November 28, 2008

WASHINGTON DC (MetroCatholic) - The follow is a statement by the President:  

 

Laura and I are deeply saddened that at least two Americans were killed and others injured in Wednesday’s horrific attack in Mumbai.  We also mourn the great loss of life suffered by so many people from several other countries, and we have the wounded in our thoughts and prayers.

My Administration has been working with the Indian government and the international community as Indian authorities work to ensure the safety of those still under threat.  We will continue to cooperate against these extremists who offer nothing but violence and hopelessness.

Ohio Catholic University to feature Nativity scenes from around the world

November 28, 2008

- A Catholic university in Dayton, Ohio is displaying a unique Nativity scene complete with wise men, shepherds, the town butcher and even government spies.

The University of Dayton has announced that its annual display of crèches—which this year contains 30 different scenes—will showcase a huge 130-piece village from Czechoslovakia dating from the 1850s.

Father Johann Roten, S.M., director of the International Marian Research Institute and an expert on Nativity displays, explained the origins of the Czechoslovakian centerpiece, including the mysterious spies.

“The government forbid people from having these scenes in their homes,” he said. “So because chimney sweeps could get into everyone’s homes to clean chimneys, the sweeps were recruited to look inside the homes for hidden scenes.”

“Including the sweeps in the scene was really a political-religious statement about the government,” he added.

Since acquiring the set earlier this year, Fr. Roten related that volunteers have worked many hours cleaning and restoring the figures and buildings.

Fr. Roten also spoke about the significance of the “strong bond between culture and religion,” that can be found in Nativity scenes.  The value of crèches is that they demonstrate this bond in a highly visible, accessible way, by telling the Christmas story in the symbols and through the people of individual cultures, he said.

The display will be open to the public beginning on November 28 and admission is free. For more information please visit www.udayton.edu/mary.

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