Young Adults of St Francis

Archive for February 2014

HERE TODAY AND GONE TOMORROW

“You have no idea what kind of life will be yours tomorrow.” —James 4:14
Contrary to Scripture, most of us have many ideas about our lives tomorrow. We don’t expect major changes. We certainly don’t expect to die. We believe we’re in control.

God’s Word disagrees; it bluntly states: “You are a vapor that appears briefly and vanishes. Instead of saying, ‘If the Lord wills it, we shall live to do this or that,’ all you can do is make arrogant and pretentious claims” (Jas 4:14-16). We’re just thinking like everybody else, and God’s Word calls us “arrogant and pretentious.”

The Lord wants us neither to rest on our laurels nor count on the future but live for the present. “Now is the acceptable time! Now is the day of salvation!” (2 Cor 6:2) We’re not taking anything for granted. Life on earth is a gift, every heartbeat a grace. There’s no guarantee that I will be able to finish writing this sentence, or you will be able to finish reading it. Our lives are fragile, precarious, and fleeting. Anything can happen at any time.

“Only in God is my soul at rest; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my Rock and my Salvation, my Stronghold; I shall not be disturbed at all” (Ps 62:2-3).

Prayer: Jesus, in a constantly changing world, You are my Rock, my Fortress, my Refuge (see Ps 18:3).
Promise: “No man who performs a miracle using My name can at the same time speak ill of Me.” —Mk 9:39
Praise: Ronald committed as a young adult to pray daily for the conversion of six of his friends. Three of them converted within a year, two more converted within a decade, and the last one gave his life to Jesus many years later on his deathbed.
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2014 through March 31, 2014.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 8, 2013.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.

VIVO HOY Y DIFUNTO MAÑANA

“¿Saben acaso qué les pasará mañana?” (Santiago 4:14).
Contrario a las Escrituras, la mayoría de nosotros tenemos muchas ideas sobre nuestras vidas en el futuro. No esperamos cambios mayores, y desde luego que no esperamos que vayamos a morir. Creemos que estamos en control de todo.

La palabra de Dios no está de acuerdo; ya que dice claramente: “Ustedes son como el humo que aparece por un momento y luego se disipa. En vez de decir, “Si Dios quiere, viviremos y haremos esto o aquello”, “ustedes en cambio se glorían presuntuosamente y esa jactancia es mala” (Stg 4:14-16). Como simplemente pensamos como todos los demás, es por lo que la palabra de Dios nos califica de “pretenciosos y arrogantes”.

El Señor no quiere ni que contemos nuestros logros, ni que esperemos por el futuro, sino que vivamos el presente. “¡Este es el tiempo favorable, este es el día de la salvación!” (2Co 6:2). No estamos tomando nada por hecho. Nuestra vida en la tierra es un regalo, cada latido del corazón es una bendición. Nada me garantiza que yo voy a poder terminar de escribir esta frase, o de que tú vas a poder terminar de leerla. Nuestras vidas son frágiles, precarias, y fugaces. Cualquier cosa puede pasar en cualquier momento.

“Sólo en Dios descansa mi alma, de Él me viene la salvación. Sólo Él es mi Roca salvadora; Él es mi baluarte: nunca vacilaré” (Sal 62:2-3).

Oración: Jesús, en este mundo que cambia constantemente, Tu eres mi Roca, mi Fortaleza, mi Refugio (ver Sal 18:3).
Promesa: “No se lo impidan, porque nadie puede hacer un milagro en mi Nombre y luego hablar mal de mí” (Mc 9:39).
Alabanza: Ronaldo se comprometió de joven a orar diariamente por la conversión de seis de sus amigos. Tres se convirtieron al cabo de un año, dos se convirtieron después de una década, y el último dio su vida a Jesús muchos años después, cuando estaba en su lecho de muerte.
Rescripto: Según el Código de Derecho Canónico, se otorga el Imprimátur (permiso de publicar) a Un Pan, Un Cuerpo por el periodo desde 1 de febrero de 2014 hasta 31 de marzo de 2014 incluso.
†Reverendísimo Joseph R. Binzer, Obispo auxiliar y Vicario general de la Arquidiócesis de Cincinnati, 8 de augusto de 2013.
El Imprimátur (permiso de publicar) es una declaración que un libro o folleto se considera libre de error doctrinal o moral. No implica acuerdo con contenido, opiniones o afirmaciones expresadas en el mismo.

LENTEN MESSAGE
OF OUR HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
2014

He became poor,
so that by his poverty you might become rich

(cf. 2 Cor
8:9)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As Lent draws near, I would like to offer some helpful thoughts on our path of conversion as individuals and as a community. These insights are inspired by the words of Saint Paul: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (2 Cor 8:9). The Apostle was writing to the Christians of Corinth to encourage them to be generous in helping the faithful in Jerusalem who were in need. What do these words of Saint Paul mean for us Christians today? What does this invitation to poverty, a life of evangelical poverty, mean for us today?

1. Christ’s grace

First of all, it shows us how God works. He does not reveal himself cloaked in worldly power and wealth but rather in weakness and poverty: “though He was rich, yet for your sake he became poor …”. Christ, the eternal Son of God, one with the Father in power and glory, chose to be poor; he came amongst us and drew near to each of us; he set aside his glory and emptied himself so that he could be like us in all things (cf. Phil 2:7; Heb 4:15). God’s becoming man is a great mystery! But the reason for all this is his love, a love which is grace, generosity, a desire to draw near, a love which does not hesitate to offer itself in sacrifice for the beloved. Charity, love, is sharing with the one we love in all things. Love makes us similar, it creates equality, it breaks down walls and eliminates distances. God did this with us. Indeed, Jesus “worked with human hands, thought with a human mind, acted by human choice and loved with a human heart. Born of the Virgin Mary, he truly became one of us, like us in all things except sin.” (Gaudium et Spes, 22).

By making himself poor, Jesus did not seek poverty for its own sake but, as Saint Paul says “that by his poverty you might become rich“. This is no mere play on words or a catch phrase. Rather, it sums up God’s logic, the logic of love, the logic of the incarnation and the cross. God did not let our salvation drop down from heaven, like someone who gives alms from their abundance out of a sense of altruism and piety. Christ’s love is different! When Jesus stepped into the waters of the Jordan and was baptized by John the Baptist, he did so not because he was in need of repentance, or conversion; he did it to be among people who need forgiveness, among us sinners, and to take upon himself the burden of our sins. In this way he chose to comfort us, to save us, to free us from our misery. It is striking that the Apostle states that we were set free, not by Christ’s riches but by his poverty. Yet Saint Paul is well aware of the “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph 3:8), that he is “heir of all things” (Heb 1:2).

So what is this poverty by which Christ frees us and enriches us? It is his way of loving us, his way of being our neighbour, just as the Good Samaritan was neighbour to the man left half dead by the side of the road (cf. Lk 10:25ff ). What gives us true freedom, true salvation and true happiness is the compassion, tenderness and solidarity of his love. Christ’s poverty which enriches us is his taking flesh and bearing our weaknesses and sins as an expression of God’s infinite mercy to us. Christ’s poverty is the greatest treasure of all: Jesus’ wealth is that of his boundless confidence in God the Father, his constant trust, his desire always and only to do the Father’s will and give glory to him. Jesus is rich in the same way as a child who feels loved and who loves its parents, without doubting their love and tenderness for an instant. Jesus’ wealth lies in his being the Son; his unique relationship with the Father is the sovereign prerogative of this Messiah who is poor. When Jesus asks us to take up his “yoke which is easy”, he asks us to be enriched by his “poverty which is rich” and his “richness which is poor”, to share his filial and fraternal Spirit, to become sons and daughters in the Son, brothers and sisters in the firstborn brother (cf. Rom 8:29).

It has been said that the only real regret lies in not being a saint (L. Bloy); we could also say that there is only one real kind of poverty: not living as children of God and brothers and sisters of Christ.

2. Our witness

We might think that this “way” of poverty was Jesus’ way, whereas we who come after him can save the world with the right kind of human resources. This is not the case. In every time and place God continues to save mankind and the world through the poverty of Christ, who makes himself poor in the sacraments, in his word and in his Church, which is a people of the poor. God’s wealth passes not through our wealth, but invariably and exclusively through our personal and communal poverty, enlivened by the Spirit of Christ.

In imitation of our Master, we Christians are called to confront the poverty of our brothers and sisters, to touch it, to make it our own and to take practical steps to alleviate it. Destitution is not the same as poverty: destitution is poverty without faith, without support, without hope. There are three types of destitution: material, moral and spiritual. Material destitution is what is normally called poverty, and affects those living in conditions opposed to human dignity: those who lack basic rights and needs such as food, water, hygiene, work and the opportunity to develop and grow culturally. In response to this destitution, the Church offers her help, her diakonia, in meeting these needs and binding these wounds which disfigure the face of humanity. In the poor and outcast we see Christ’s face; by loving and helping the poor, we love and serve Christ. Our efforts are also directed to ending violations of human dignity, discrimination and abuse in the world, for these are so often the cause of destitution. When power, luxury and money become idols, they take priority over the need for a fair distribution of wealth. Our consciences thus need to be converted to justice, equality, simplicity and sharing.

No less a concern is moral destitution, which consists in slavery to vice and sin. How much pain is caused in families because one of their members – often a young person – is in thrall to alcohol, drugs, gambling or pornography! How many people no longer see meaning in life or prospects for the future, how many have lost hope! And how many are plunged into this destitution by unjust social conditions, by unemployment, which takes away their dignity as breadwinners, and by lack of equal access to education and health care. In such cases, moral destitution can be considered impending suicide. This type of destitution, which also causes financial ruin, is invariably linked to the spiritual destitution which we experience when we turn away from God and reject his love. If we think we don’t need God who reaches out to us through Christ, because we believe we can make do on our own, we are headed for a fall. God alone can truly save and free us.

The Gospel is the real antidote to spiritual destitution: wherever we go, we are called as Christians to proclaim the liberating news that forgiveness for sins committed is possible, that God is greater than our sinfulness, that he freely loves us at all times and that we were made for communion and eternal life. The Lord asks us to be joyous heralds of this message of mercy and hope! It is thrilling to experience the joy of spreading this good news, sharing the treasure entrusted to us, consoling broken hearts and offering hope to our brothers and sisters experiencing darkness. It means following and imitating Jesus, who sought out the poor and sinners as a shepherd lovingly seeks his lost sheep. In union with Jesus, we can courageously open up new paths of evangelization and human promotion.

Dear brothers and sisters, may this Lenten season find the whole Church ready to bear witness to all those who live in material, moral and spiritual destitution the Gospel message of the merciful love of God our Father, who is ready to embrace everyone in Christ. We can do this to the extent that we imitate Christ who became poor and enriched us by his poverty. Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt.

May the Holy Spirit, through whom we are “as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything” (2 Cor 6:10), sustain us in our resolutions and increase our concern and responsibility for human destitution, so that we can become merciful and act with mercy. In expressing this hope, I likewise pray that each individual member of the faithful and every Church community will undertake a fruitful Lenten journey. I ask all of you to pray for me. May the Lord bless you and Our Lady keep you safe.

From the Vatican, 26 December 2013
Feast of Saint Stephen, Deacon and First Martyr

 

FRANCISCUS

FLESH BE GONE

“Is it not your inner cravings that make war within your members?” —James 4:1
Our inner cravings (Jas 4:1) for pleasures (Jas 4:3) and our prideful (Jas 4:6) friendship with the world (Jas 4:4) are the origins of the conflicts and disputes in our lives and in this world (Jas 4:1). “Therefore submit to God; resist the devil and he will take flight. Draw close to God, and He will draw close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you backsliders. Begin to lament, to mourn, and to weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into sorrow. Be humbled in the sight of the Lord and He will raise you on high” (Jas 4:7-10).

This is not only the message for Lent next week, but also for life. “We lived at the level of the flesh, following every whim and fancy, and so by nature deserved God’s wrath like the rest” (Eph 2:3), but “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal 5:24). By God’s grace and only by God’s grace, we must “put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the desires of the flesh” (Rm 13:14). “You are not to spend what remains of your earthly life on human desires but on the will of God. Already you have devoted enough time to what the pagans enjoy” (1 Pt 4:2-3).

Prayer: Jesus, if You set me free, I will truly be free (Jn 8:36).
Promise: “If anyone wishes to rank first, he must remain the last one of all and the servant of all.” —Mk 9:35
Praise: For several decades, Linda has spent several weeks each summer organizing evangelistic missions to bring Jesus to rural Appalachia through the Legion of Mary.
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2014 through March 31, 2014.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 8, 2013.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.

¡CARNE, VETE!

“¿No es precisamente de las pasiones que combaten en sus mismos miembros?” (Santiago 4:1).
Nuestros deseos internos (Stg 4:1) por placeres (Stg 4:3) y nuestra soberbia (Stg 4:6) amistad con el mundo (Stg 4:4) son los origines de nuestros conflictos y disputas en nuestras vidas y en este mundo (Stg 4:1). “Sométanse a Dios; resistan al demonio, y él se alejará de ustedes. Acérquense a Dios y él se acercará a ustedes. Que los pecadores purifiquen sus manos; que se santifiquen los que tienen el corazón dividido. Reconozcan su miseria con dolor y con lágrimas. Que la alegría de ustedes se transforme en llanto, y el gozo, en tristeza. Humíllense delante del Señor, y él los exaltará” (Stg 4:7-10).

Este no sólo es el mensaje para la próxima semana de Pascua pero también para toda tu vida. “Todos nosotros también nos comportábamos así en otro tiempo, viviendo conforme a nuestros deseos carnales y satisfaciendo nuestra concupiscencia y nuestras malas inclinaciones, de manera que por nuestra condición estábamos condenados a la ira, igual que los demás” (Ef 2:3), pero “todos los que pertenecen a Cristo Jesús han crucificado su propia carne con sus pasiones y deseos” (Gal 5:24). Por la Gracia de Dios y solo por su Gracia, nosotros debemos “revestirnos del Señor Jesucristo, y no preocuparnos por satisfacer los deseos de la carne” (Rom 13:14). Para “vivir el resto de nuestra vida mortal, no según los deseos humanos, sino según la voluntad de Dios. Ya hemos vivido bastante tiempo conforme al criterio de los paganos” (1 Pe 4:2-3).

Oración: Jesús, si tú me liberas, yo voy hacer libre (Jn 8:36).
Promesa: “El que quiere ser el primero, debe hacerse el último de todos y el servidor de todos” (Mc 9:35).
Alabanza: Por muchas décadas, Linda paso muchas semanas durante el verano con una organización misionera, Legión de María, que predicaba el Evangelio de Jesús en las zonas rurales.
Rescripto: Según el Código de Derecho Canónico, se otorga el Imprimátur (permiso de publicar) a Un Pan, Un Cuerpo por el periodo desde 1 de febrero de 2014 hasta 31 de marzo de 2014 incluso.
†Reverendísimo Joseph R. Binzer, Obispo auxiliar y Vicario general de la Arquidiócesis de Cincinnati, 8 de augusto de 2013.
El Imprimátur (permiso de publicar) es una declaración que un libro o folleto se considera libre de error doctrinal o moral. No implica acuerdo con contenido, opiniones o afirmaciones expresadas en el mismo.

POPE FRANCIS

MORNING MEDITATION IN THE CHAPEL OF THE
DOMUS SANCTAE MARTHAE

Resist temptation

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

(by L’Osservatore Romano, Weekly ed. in English, n. 8, 21 February 2014)

Temptation presents itself to us in subtle ways, infecting the whole environment that surrounds us and always causes us to look for justifications. In the end it causes us to fall into sin, and encloses us in a cage from which it is difficult to escape. To resist temptation it is necessary to listen to the Word of God, because “he is waiting for us”, and he always gives us confidence and opens new horizons before us. This was the theme of Pope Francis’ homily at the Mass he celebrated in the Chapel of Santa Marta on Tuesday morning, 18 February.

The Pope took the opportunity to reflect on the liturgy of the day, particularly on the Letter of St James (12-18) in which the apostle, “after having spoken to us yesterday of patience… speaks to us today of resistance; the resistance to temptation. He explains how each person is tempted by his own passions, which attract and seduce him. Then the passions conceive and create sin, and once that sin is committed, it brings forth death”.

But where does temptation come from? How does it act within us? To answer these questions, the Pope again referred to the passage from the Letter of St James. “The Apostle”, he said, “tells us that sin does not come from God but from our passions, from our inner weaknesses, from the wounds that original sin has left within us. That is where temptation comes from”. He then pointed out the characteristics of temptation, which “grow and are contagious”.

Initially, temptation “begins in a soothing way”, but “then it grows. Jesus himself spoke about this when he told the parable of the seeds and the weeds (Mt 13: 24-30). The seeds grew, but the weeds planted by the enemy also grew. This is how temptation grows, it grows and grows. If one does not stop it, then it occupies everything”, and that is when infection occurs. Temptation grows, the Pope said, “and it hates solitude”; it will try to spread to another to have company. This is how it accumulates people, spreading to others”. The third feature is justification; “we justify ourselves in order to feel fine with ourselves”.

The Pope noted how temptation has always justified itself, “since the first original sin” when Adam blames Eve for convincing him to eat the forbidden fruit. Through this growth, infection and justification, it “locks us in a place where you cannot easily escape”. To explain this, the Pope referred to the Gospel of Mark (8:14,21): “This is what happened to the Apostles who were in the boat: they had forgotten to bring bread” and began to blame each other and discuss who had made the mistake of forgetting it. “Jesus looked at them, and I think”, the Pope said, “that he smiled as he watched them. And he said to them: do you remember the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod? Take heed, beware!”. Yet they “did not understand anything, because they were so caught up in blame that they did not have room for anything else, they did not have light to understand the Word of God”.

The same happens “when we fall into temptation. We do not hear the Word of God and we do not understand. Jesus had to remind them of the multiplication of the loaves, to help them to get out of the mindset that they were in”. The Holy Father explained that this happens because temptation closes every horizon “and in this way leads us to sin”. When we are being tempted, “only the Word of God, the Word of Jesus, can save us. Listening to his Word opens horizons”, because “he is always ready to help us escape from temptations. Jesus is great because not only does he help us to get out of temptation, but he also gives us more faith”.

Pope Francis then referred to a passage from the Gospel of Luke (22:31-32), He recounted the conversation between Jesus and Peter in which “the Lord tells Peter that the devil wants to sift him like wheat”. At the same time, Jesus tells him that he has prayed for him and gives him a new mission: “When you have turned back, strengthen your brethren”. Therefore, the Holy Father said, Jesus not only expects to help us escape temptation but he also trusts us. This is a great strength”, because “he always opens up new horizons” while, through temptation, the devil “closes and develops environments which cause you to fight” and “seek justification for accusing others”.

“Let us not be ensnared by temptation” the Holy Father said. You can only escape temptation through “listening to the Word of Jesus”. He concluded his homily with the words: “Let us ask the Lord to always say to us, in times of temptation, as he did with the disciples, with patience: Stop. Do not worry. Lift up your eyes, look to the horizon. Do not close yourself in, move forward. His Word will save us from falling into sin in moments of temptation”.

HOLY MASS WITH THE NEW CARDINALS

HOMILY OF POPE FRANCIS

Vatican Basilica
Sunday, 23 February 2014

“Merciful Father, by your help, may we be ever attentive to the voice of the Spirit” (Opening Prayer).

This prayer, the opening prayer of today’s Mass, reminds us of something fundamental: we are called to listen to the Holy Spirit who enlivens and guides the Church. By his creative and renewing power, the Spirit always sustains the hope of God’s People as we make our pilgrim way through history, and, as the Paraclete, he always supports the witness of Christians. In this moment, together with the new Cardinals, all of us want to listen to the voice of the Spirit as he speaks to us through the Scriptures we have just heard.

In the first reading, the Lord’s call to his people resounds: “You shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev 19:2). In the Gospel Jesus echoes this call: “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48). These words challenge all of us, as the Lord’s disciples. Today, they are especially addressed to me and to you, dear brother Cardinals, and in a particular way to those of you who yesterday entered the College. Imitating the holiness and perfection of God might seem an unattainable goal. Yet, the first reading and the Gospel offer us concrete examples which enable God’s way of acting to become the norm for our own. Yet we – all of us – must never forget that without the Holy Spirit our efforts are in vain! Christian holiness is not first and foremost our own work, but the fruit of docility – willed and cultivated – to the Spirit of God thrice holy.

The Book of Leviticus says: “You shall not hate your brother in your heart … You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge … but you shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Lev 19:17-18). These attitudes are born of the holiness of God. We, however, tend to be so different, so selfish and proud … and yet, God’s goodness and beauty attract us, and the Holy Spirit is able to purify, transform and shape us day by day. To make effort to be converted, to experience a heartfelt conversion: this is something that all of us – especially you Cardinals and myself – must do. Conversion!

In the Gospel Jesus also speaks to us of holiness, and explains to us the new law, his law. He does this by contrasting the imperfect justice of the scribes and Pharisees with the higher justice of the Kingdom of God. The first contrast of today’s passage refers to revenge. “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you … if anyone should strike you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Mt 5:38-39). We are required not only to avoid repaying others the evil they have done to us, but also to seek generously to do good to them.

The second contrast refers to our enemies: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy’. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Mt 5:43-44). Jesus asks those who would follow him to love those who do not deserve it, without expecting anything in return, and in this way to fill the emptiness present in human hearts, relationships, families, communities and in the entire world. My brother Cardinals, Jesus did not come to teach us good manners, how to behave well at the table! To do that, he would not have had to come down from heaven and die on the Cross. Christ came to save us, to show us the way, the only way out of the quicksand of sin, and this way of holiness is mercy, that mercy which he has shown, and daily continues to show, to us. To be a saint is not a luxury. It is necessary for the salvation of the world. This is what the Lord is asking of us.

Dear brother Cardinals, the Lord Jesus and mother Church ask us to witness with greater zeal and ardour to these ways of being holy. It is exactly in this greater self-gift, freely offered, that the holiness of a Cardinal consists. We love, therefore, those who are hostile to us; we bless those who speak ill of us; we greet with a smile those who may not deserve it. We do not aim to assert ourselves; we oppose arrogance with meekness; we forget the humiliations that we have endured. May we always allow ourselves to be guided by the Spirit of Christ, who sacrificed himself on the Cross so that we could be “channels” through which his charity might flow. This is the attitude of a Cardinal, this must be how he acts. A Cardinal – I say this especially to you – enters the Church of Rome, my brothers, not a royal court. May all of us avoid, and help others to avoid, habits and ways of acting typical of a court: intrigue, gossip, cliques, favouritism and partiality. May our language be that of the Gospel: “yes when we mean yes; no when we mean no”; may our attitudes be those of the Beatitudes, and our way be that of holiness. Let pray once more: “Merciful Father, by your help, may we be ever attentive to the voice of the Spirit”

The Holy Spirit also speaks to us today through the words of Saint Paul: “You are God’s temple … God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are” (1 Cor 3:16-17). In this temple, which we are, an existential liturgy is being celebrated: that of goodness, forgiveness, service; in a word, the liturgy of love. This temple of ours is defiled if we neglect our duties towards our neighbour. Whenever the least of our brothers and sisters finds a place in our hearts, it is God himself who finds a place there. When that brother or sister is shut out, it is God himself who is not being welcomed. A heart without love is like a deconsecrated church, a building withdrawn from God’s service and given over to another use.

Dear brother Cardinals, may we remain united in Christ and among ourselves! I ask you to remain close to me, with your prayers, your advice and your help. And I ask all of you, bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated men and women, and laity, together to implore the Holy Spirit, that the College of Cardinals may always be ever more fervent in pastoral charity and filled with holiness, in order to serve the Gospel and to help the Church radiate Christ’s love in our world.

TRIPLE FAITH

“I do believe! Help my lack of faith!” —Mark 9:24, our translation
The father of a demon-possessed son told Jesus that His disciples were not able to free his son. Jesus “replied by saying to the crowd, ‘What an unbelieving lot you are! How long must I remain with you? How long can I endure you? Bring him to Me’ ” (Mk 9:19). Jesus indicated that the lack of faith of the crowd and His disciples prevented the boy from being freed. In other words, our faith, or lack of it, sometimes makes a big difference for other people. Look at how Jesus healed the paralytic after He saw the faith of the stretcher-bearers of the paralyzed man (Mk 2:5).

Jesus remarked not only about the lack of faith among His disciples and the assembled crowd. He also challenged the father of the demon-possessed boy to exercise his faith. Jesus said: “All things are possible to one who believes” (Mk 9:23, our transl). The father accepted Jesus’ challenge and cried out: “I do believe! Help my lack of faith!” (Mk 9:24, our transl.) Thus, the faith of parents often makes a critical difference for their children.

Finally, we are all expected not only to depend on others’ faith but to have faith ourselves. Jesus repeatedly says in the Gospels: “Your faith has saved you” (e.g. Mk 5:34). We are saved by grace through faith (see Eph 2:8). Unlike the faith that accepts God’s healing, the faith accepting salvation can never be someone’s else faith, but only our own faith.

In summary, we are responsible to have faith for ourselves, and often responsible to have faith for our families (especially our children) and faith for others. Be men and women of faith.

Prayer: Father, give me faith to move mountains (Mt 17:20), drive out demons, and conquer kingdoms (Heb 11:33).
Promise: “If one of you is wise and understanding, let him show this in practice through a humility filled with good sense.” —Jas 3:13
Praise: When Mary went to a Bible study, her heart began to burn with a love of God’s Word.
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2014 through March 31, 2014.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 8, 2013.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.

FE Y EN TRIPLE

“¡Creo, ayúdame porque tengo poca fe!” (Marcos 9:24).
El padre de un hijo endemoniado le dijo a Jesús que sus discípulos no fueron capaces de liberar a su hijo. Jesús “respondió ‘¡Generación incrédula! ¿Hasta cuándo estaré con ustedes? ¿Hasta cuándo tendré que soportarlos? Tráiganmelo'” (Mc 9:19). Jesús indicó que la falta de fe de la multitud y sus discípulos impide al niño de ser liberado. En otras palabras, nuestra fe, o falta de ella, a veces hace una gran diferencia para los demás. Mira cómo Jesús sanó al paralítico después de ver la fe de sus camilleros (Mc 2:5).

Jesús destacó no sólo la falta de fe entre sus discípulos y la multitud reunida. También retó al padre del muchacho endemoniado a ejercer su fe. Jesús dijo: “Todo es posible para el que cree” (Mc 9:23). El padre aceptó el desafío de Jesús y exclamó: “¡Creo, ayúdame porque tengo poca fe!” (Mc 9:24). Por lo tanto, la fe de los padres a menudo hace una diferencia para sus hijos.

Por último, se espera que no sólo dependamos de la fe de los demás, sino que tengamos fe en nosotros mismos. Jesús dice en varias ocasiones en los Evangelios: “Tu fe te ha salvado” (por ejemplo, Mc 5:34). Somos salvos por la gracia mediante la fe (ver Ef 2:8). A diferencia de la fe que acepta la curación de Dios, la fe de la aceptación de la salvación no puede ser nunca la fe de alguien más, sino sólo nuestra propia fe.

En resumen, tenemos la responsabilidad de tener fe para con nosotros mismos, y muchas veces somos responsables de tener fe para con nuestras familias (especialmente los niños) y fe para con los demás. Sean hombres y mujeres de fe.

Oración: Padre, dame la fe para mover montañas (Mt 17:20), expulsar demonios, y conquistar reinos (Heb 11:33).
Promesa: “El que se tenga por sabio y prudente, demuestre con su buena conducta que sus actos tienen la sencillez propia de la sabiduría” (Stg 3:13).
Alabanza: Cuando María fue a un estudio de la Biblia, su corazón comenzó a arder con el amor por la Palabra de Dios.
Rescripto: Según el Código de Derecho Canónico, se otorga el Imprimátur (permiso de publicar) a Un Pan, Un Cuerpo por el periodo desde 1 de febrero de 2014 hasta 31 de marzo de 2014 incluso.
†Reverendísimo Joseph R. Binzer, Obispo auxiliar y Vicario general de la Arquidiócesis de Cincinnati, 8 de augusto de 2013.
El Imprimátur (permiso de publicar) es una declaración que un libro o folleto se considera libre de error doctrinal o moral. No implica acuerdo con contenido, opiniones o afirmaciones expresadas en el mismo.

TURN THE OTHER CHEEK

“But what I say to you is: offer no resistance to injury.” —Matthew 5:39
Jesus sounds so naive. Everybody knows we must resist injury. Jesus says that after we’ve been hit on one cheek, we should turn the other. We’ll get killed if we take His advice. However, the Sermon on the Mount is not “advice”; it is the Lord’s command. Yet we rationalize that Jesus’ message in the Sermon on the Mount is poetic, symbolic, anything but literal.

Sometimes Jesus does not speak literally, as when He said to gouge out our eye (Mt 5:29). So we’re tempted to assume the Sermon on the Mount, especially this part of it, must not be literal. However, Jesus did literally turn the other cheek, hand over His garments and walk the extra mile (Mt 5:39-41), even up Mount Calvary to be crucified.

If we deny that the Sermon on the Mount is literal, we may be denying that we must imitate the crucified Christ. Jesus is literally calling us to a radically different lifestyle. Following Jesus is not just a modification of a worldly life but an utterly new way to live.

Will you decide to be a Christian on Jesus’ terms — not as other people are, not as you want, but as He wills? Accept the Preacher and the preaching of the Sermon on the Mount.

Prayer: Jesus, it’s impossible to be a Christian without Your constant amazing grace. Pour out the Holy Spirit upon me (Rm 5:5) and give me the grace to receive in docility.
Promise: “For the wisdom of this world is absurdity with God.” —1 Cor 3:19
Praise: Praise the risen Jesus, the only Way to the Father (Jn 14:6). Alleluia!
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2014 through March 31, 2014.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 8, 2013.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.

PRESENTA LA OTRA MEJILLA

“Pero yo les digo que no hagan frente al que les hace mal” (Mateo 5:39).
Jesús parece tan ingenuo. Todo el mundo sabe que tenemos que hacer frente al mal. Jesucristo dice que después de que se nos da una bofetada en la mejilla, debemos presentar la otra. Se nos matará si seguimos Su consejo. Sin embargo, el Sermón de la Montaña no es un “consejo”; es el mandato del Señor. Sin embargo, racionalizamos que el mensaje de Jesucristo en el Sermón de la Montaña es poético, simbólico, cualquier cosa que no sea literal.

A veces Jesús no habla literalmente, por ejemplo cuando Él nos dijo arrancarnos el ojo (Mt 5:29). Por eso nos sentimos tentados de suponer que el Sermón de la Montaña, especialmente esta parte de ello, no debe ser literal. Sin embargo, Jesucristo sí literalmente presentó la otra mejilla, entregó Sus prendas y caminó una milla de sobra (Mt 5:39-41), incluso subiendo al Monte Calvario para ser crucificado.

Si negamos que el Sermón de la Montaña sea literal, es posible concluir que no es necesario imitar al Cristo crucificado. Jesús literalmente nos llama a un estilo de vida radicalmente distinto. Seguir a Jesucristo no sólo es una modificación de una vida terrenal sino una manera totalmente nueva de vivir.

¿Decidirás ser un cristiano según las condiciones de Jesucristo ni como otras personas son, ni como tú quieres, sino como Él manda? Acepta el Predicador y la predicación del Sermón de la Montaña.

Oración: Jesús, es imposible ser un cristiano sin tu gracia asombrosa y constante. Derrama el Espíritu Santo en mi corazón (Rom 5:5) y dame la gracia para recibirlo en docilidad.
Promesa: “Porque la sabiduría de este mundo es locura delante de Dios” (1 Co 3:19).
Alabanza: Alaba al Jesús resucitado, el único camino al Padre (Jn 14.6). ¡Aleluya!
Rescripto: Según el Código de Derecho Canónico, se otorga el Imprimátur (permiso de publicar) a Un Pan, Un Cuerpo por el periodo desde 1 de febrero de 2014 hasta 31 de marzo de 2014 incluso.
†Reverendísimo Joseph R. Binzer, Obispo auxiliar y Vicario general de la Arquidiócesis de Cincinnati, 8 de augusto de 2013.
El Imprimátur (permiso de publicar) es una declaración que un libro o folleto se considera libre de error doctrinal o moral. No implica acuerdo con contenido, opiniones o afirmaciones expresadas en el mismo.

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