Monday, January 31, 2011

Daily Readings for Monday January 31, 2011

Reading 1, Heb 11:32-40

32 What more shall I say? There is not time for me to give an account of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, or of David, Samuel and the prophets.

33 These were men who through faith conquered kingdoms, did what was upright and earned the promises. They could keep a lion's mouth shut,

34 put out blazing fires and emerge unscathed from battle. They were weak people who were given strength to be brave in war and drive back foreign invaders.

35 Some returned to their wives from the dead by resurrection; and others submitted to torture, refusing release so that they would rise again to a better life.

36 Some had to bear being pilloried and flogged, or even chained up in prison.

37 They were stoned, or sawn in half, or killed by the sword; they were homeless, and wore only the skins of sheep and goats; they were in want and hardship, and maltreated.

38 They were too good for the world and they wandered in deserts and mountains and in caves and ravines.

39 These all won acknowledgement through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised,

40 since God had made provision for us to have something better, and they were not to reach perfection except with us.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 31:20, 21, 22, 23, 24

20 Safe in your presence you hide them, far from human plotting, shielding them in your tent, far from contentious tongues.

21 Blessed be Yahweh who works for me miracles of his faithful love (in a fortified city)!

22 In a state of terror I cried, 'I have been cut off from your sight!' Yet you heard my plea for help when I cried out to you.

23 Love Yahweh, all his faithful: Yahweh protects his loyal servants, but he repays the arrogant with interest.

24 Be brave, take heart, all who put your hope in Yahweh.

Gospel, Mk 5:1-20

1 They reached the territory of the Gerasenes on the other side of the lake,

2 and when he disembarked, a man with an unclean spirit at once came out from the tombs towards him.

3 The man lived in the tombs and no one could secure him any more, even with a chain,

4 because he had often been secured with fetters and chains but had snapped the chains and broken the fetters, and no one had the strength to control him.

5 All night and all day, among the tombs and in the mountains, he would howl and gash himself with stones.

6 Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and fell at his feet

7 and shouted at the top of his voice, 'What do you want with me, Jesus, son of the Most High God? In God's name do not torture me!'

8 For Jesus had been saying to him, 'Come out of the man, unclean spirit.'

9 Then he asked, 'What is your name?' He answered, 'My name is Legion, for there are many of us.'

10 And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the district.

11 Now on the mountainside there was a great herd of pigs feeding,

12 and the unclean spirits begged him, 'Send us to the pigs, let us go into them.'

13 So he gave them leave. With that, the unclean spirits came out and went into the pigs, and the herd of about two thousand pigs charged down the cliff into the lake, and there they were drowned.

14 The men looking after them ran off and told their story in the city and in the country round about; and the people came to see what had really happened.

15 They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there -- the man who had had the legion in him -- properly dressed and in his full senses, and they were afraid.

16 And those who had witnessed it reported what had happened to the demoniac and what had become of the pigs.

17 Then they began to implore Jesus to leave their neighbourhood.

18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed begged to be allowed to stay with him.

19 Jesus would not let him but said to him, 'Go home to your people and tell them all that the Lord in his mercy has done for you.'

20 So the man went off and proceeded to proclaim in the Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him. And everyone was amazed. 


Lodging in Rome snapped up for John Paul II's beatification

Rome is already bracing for the impact of the many pilgrims who will converge on St. Peter's for the May 1 beatification of Pope John Paul II.

Sleeping space in religious communities across the city - around 15,000 beds - was booked up within a day of the Jan. 14 announcement.

The Domus Aurelia hotel run by the Emmanuel Community has been reserved "since literally two minutes after the announcement," said Lorenzo Amico, who was working the hotel desk at the time. The hotel is located a short way from St. Peter's on foot

Two large groups made the reservations, filling the facility to capacity for an entire week.

"We've received calls continuously since then," Amico told CNA during a Jan. 31 phone conversation. "Even though the entire area is completely full, they keep on calling."

Rooms in hotels around the Vatican were snatched up quickly and those vacancies that remain are in establishments further from St. Peter's. They are priced at more than double - and even triple - normal rates, according to local media reports.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Daily Readings for Sunday January 30, 2011

Reading 1, Zep 2:3; 3:12-13

3 Seek Yahweh, all you humble of the earth, who obey his commands. Seek uprightness, seek humility: you may perhaps find shelter on the Day of Yahweh's anger.

12 But in you I shall leave surviving a humble and lowly people,

13 and those who are left in Israel will take refuge in the name of Yahweh. They will do no wrong, will tell no lies; nor will a deceitful tongue be found in their mouths. But they will be able to graze and rest with no one to alarm them.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 146:6-7, 8-9, 9-10

6 who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them. He keeps faith for ever,

7 gives justice to the oppressed, gives food to the hungry; Yahweh sets prisoners free.

8 Yahweh gives sight to the blind, lifts up those who are bowed down.

9 Yahweh protects the stranger, he sustains the orphan and the widow. Yahweh loves the upright,but he frustrates the wicked.

10 Yahweh reigns for ever, your God, Zion, from age to age.

Gospel, Mt 5:1-12a

1 Seeing the crowds, he went onto the mountain. And when he was seated his disciples came to him.

2 Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:

3 How blessed are the poor in spirit: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

4 Blessed are the gentle: they shall have the earth as inheritance.

5 Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted.

6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness: they shall have their fill.

7 Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be recognised as children of God.

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

11 'Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account.

12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.

Reading 2, 1 Cor 1:26-31

26 Consider, brothers, how you were called; not many of you are wise by human standards, not many influential, not many from noble families.

27 No, God chose those who by human standards are fools to shame the wise; he chose those who by human standards are weak to shame the strong,

28 those who by human standards are common and contemptible -- indeed those who count for nothing -- to reduce to nothing all those that do count for something,

29 so that no human being might feel boastful before God.

30 It is by him that you exist in Christ Jesus, who for us was made wisdom from God, and saving justice and holiness and redemption.

31 As scripture says: If anyone wants to boast, let him boast of the Lord. 


Catholics, Orthodox in Belarus celebrate Christian unity week

Catholic leaders in Belarus renowned the annual week devoted to Christian unity by meeting and breaking bread with local heads of Orthodox, Lutheran and other other Christian denominations.

From January 18 – 25, Christians around the globe noticeable the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity, a time when members from various denominations usually meet to pray together for union efforts among the faithful.

http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.com/

In Minsk, the capital of Belarus, Catholic Archbishop Kondrusiewicz and Orthodox Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk and Sluzk hosted a variety of initiatives, including daily prayer with Belarusians from frequent Christian backgrounds and traditions.

At a joint celebration on Jan. 22, at the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Minsk, Catholics, Orthodox, Eastern Catholics, Lutherans and Christians of other denominations gathered to pray, preach and representatively share a great loaf of bread.

In a Jan. 20 dialogue with global charity Aid to the Church in Need, Archbishop Kondrusiewicz remembered the words of Pope John Paul II, who said the churches in East and West were like two divide “lungs” and that "Europe must breathe again with both lungs."

The archbishop said that not only do all the Christian denominations “share the wish for unity,” but that they also seek conversation with the Jewish and Muslim communities as well.

Archbishop Kondrusiewicz said that the association between the Orthodox and the Catholic Churches is very peaceful and cordial. The Orthodox Church accounts for approximately 80 percent of the citizens of Belarus, while 14 percent or around 300,000 are Catholics.




Thursday, January 27, 2011

US bishops oppose return to workplace immigration raids

Speaking for the U.S. bishops, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles told the House Judiciary Committee on Jan. 26 that the country should not return to a model of colonization enforcement based on workplace raids. Instead, he urged lawmakers to seek immigration reform that is both humane and just.

“Immigration is eventually a humanitarian issue, because it impacts the basic human rights and self-respect of the human person,” he explained in his written testimony. “The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops believes that the humanitarian costs of workplace raids are vast, and unacceptable in a cultured society.” Archbishop Gomez chairs the conference's Committee on relocation.

http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.com/


With their new mass in the House of Representatives, some Republicans are looking for a return to the immigration enforcement strategies of the Bush administration, which paying attention on arresting groups of unauthorized migrant workers. The Obama administration has actually deported greater numbers of prohibited immigrants, while shifting its enforcement focus onto employers that hire them.


Archbishop Gomez rejected any notion that the government should place its uppermost priority on rounding up those who have broken U.S. immigration laws. The workplace raids, he said, often had the effect of breaking up families, especially by separating children from their parents for important periods of time.

Daily Readings for Thursday January 27, 2011

Reading 1, Heb 10:19-25

19 We have then, brothers, complete confidence through the blood of Jesus in entering the sanctuary,

20 by a new way which he has opened for us, a living opening through the curtain, that is to say, his flesh.

21 And we have the high priest over all the sanctuary of God.

22 So as we go in, let us be sincere in heart and filled with faith, our hearts sprinkled and free from any trace of bad conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

23 Let us keep firm in the hope we profess, because the one who made the promise is trustworthy.

24 Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works.

25 Do not absent yourself from your own assemblies, as some do, but encourage each other; the more so as you see the Day drawing near.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all it contains, the world and all who live there;

2 it is he who laid its foundations on the seas, on the flowing waters fixed it firm.

3 Who shall go up to the mountain of Yahweh? Who shall take a stand in his holy place?

4 The clean of hands and pure of heart, whose heart is not set on vanities, who does not swear an oath in order to deceive.

5 Such a one will receive blessing from Yahweh, saving justice from the God of his salvation.

6 Such is the people that seeks him, that seeks your presence, God of Jacob.Pause

Gospel, Mk 4:21-25

21 He also said to them, 'Is a lamp brought in to be put under a tub or under the bed? Surely to be put on the lamp-stand?

22 For there is nothing hidden, but it must be disclosed, nothing kept secret except to be brought to light.

23 Anyone who has ears for listening should listen!'

24 He also said to them, 'Take notice of what you are hearing. The standard you use will be used for you -- and you will receive more besides;

25 anyone who has, will be given more; anyone who has not, will be deprived even of what he has.' 


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Daily Readings for Wednesday January 26, 2011

Reading 1, 2 Tm 1:1-8

1 From Paul, apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God in accordance with his promise of life in Christ Jesus,

2 to Timothy, dear son of mine. Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord.

3 Night and day I thank God whom I serve with a pure conscience as my ancestors did. I remember you in my prayers constantly night and day;

4 I remember your tears and long to see you again to complete my joy.

5 I also remember your sincere faith, a faith which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I am sure dwells also in you.

6 That is why I am reminding you now to fan into a flame the gift of God that you possess through the laying on of my hands.

7 God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power and love and self-control.

8 So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to our Lord, or ashamed of me for being his prisoner; but share in my hardships for the sake of the gospel, relying on the power of God

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 110:1, 2, 3, 4

1 [Of David Psalm] Yahweh declared to my Lord, 'Take your seat at my right hand, till I have made your enemies your footstool.'

2 Yahweh will stretch out the sceptre of your power; from Zion you will rule your foes all around you.

3 Royal dignity has been yours from the day of your birth, sacred honour from the womb, from the dawn of your youth.

4 Yahweh has sworn an oath he will never retract, you are a priest for ever of the order of Melchizedek.

Gospel, Mk 4:1-20

1 Again he began to teach them by the lakeside, but such a huge crowd gathered round him that he got into a boat on the water and sat there. The whole crowd were at the lakeside on land.

2 He taught them many things in parables, and in the course of his teaching he said to them,

3 'Listen! Imagine a sower going out to sow.

4 Now it happened that, as he sowed, some of the seed fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate it up.

5 Some seed fell on rocky ground where it found little soil and at once sprang up, because there was no depth of earth;

6 and when the sun came up it was scorched and, not having any roots, it withered away.

7 Some seed fell into thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it produced no crop.

8 And some seeds fell into rich soil, grew tall and strong, and produced a good crop; the yield was thirty, sixty, even a hundredfold.'

9 And he said, 'Anyone who has ears for listening should listen!'

10 When he was alone, the Twelve, together with the others who formed his company, asked what the parables meant.

11 He told them, 'To you is granted the secret of the kingdom of God, but to those who are outside everything comes in parables,

12 so that they may look and look, but never perceive; listen and listen, but never understand; to avoid changing their ways and being healed.'

13 He said to them, 'Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables?

14 What the sower is sowing is the word.

15 Those on the edge of the path where the word is sown are people who have no sooner heard it than Satan at once comes and carries away the word that was sown in them.

16 Similarly, those who are sown on patches of rock are people who, when first they hear the word, welcome it at once with joy.

17 But they have no root deep down and do not last; should some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, at once they fall away.

18 Then there are others who are sown in thorns. These have heard the word,

19 but the worries of the world, the lure of riches and all the other passions come in to choke the word, and so it produces nothing.

20 And there are those who have been sown in rich soil; they hear the word and accept it and yield a harvest, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.' 


Monday, January 24, 2011

Daily Readings for Monday January 24, 2011

Reading 1, Heb 9:15, 24-28

15 This makes him the mediator of a new covenant, so that, now that a death has occurred to redeem the sins committed under an earlier covenant, those who have been called to an eternal inheritance may receive the promise.

24 It is not as though Christ had entered a man-made sanctuary which was merely a model of the real one; he entered heaven itself, so that he now appears in the presence of God on our behalf.

25 And he does not have to offer himself again and again, as the high priest goes into the sanctuary year after year with the blood that is not his own,

26 or else he would have had to suffer over and over again since the world began. As it is, he has made his appearance once and for all, at the end of the last age, to do away with sin by sacrificing himself.

27 Since human beings die only once, after which comes judgement,

28 so Christ too, having offered himself only once to bear the sin of many, will manifest himself a second time, sin being no more, to those who are waiting for him, to bring them salvation.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6

1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has performed wonders, his saving power is in his right hand and his holy arm.

2 Yahweh has made known his saving power, revealed his saving justice for the nations to see,

3 mindful of his faithful love and his constancy to the House of Israel. The whole wide world has seen the saving power of our God.

4 Acclaim Yahweh, all the earth, burst into shouts of joy!

5 Play to Yahweh on the harp, to the sound of instruments;

6 to the sound of trumpet and horn, acclaim the presence of the King.

Gospel, Mk 3:22-30

22 The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying, 'Beelzebul is in him,' and, 'It is through the prince of devils that he drives devils out.'

23 So he called them to him and spoke to them in parables,

24 'How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot last.

25 And if a household is divided against itself, that household can never last.

26 Now if Satan has rebelled against himself and is divided, he cannot last either -- it is the end of him.

27 But no one can make his way into a strong man's house and plunder his property unless he has first tied up the strong man. Only then can he plunder his house.

28 'In truth I tell you, all human sins will be forgiven, and all the blasphemies ever uttered;

29 but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, but is guilty of an eternal sin.'

30 This was because they were saying, 'There is an unclean spirit in him.' 


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Only Christ can heal divisions amid Christians today, says Pope

Divisions among Christians exist today as they did in St. Paul's time and there continues to be a single source of curative – repentant and turning to Christ – said the Pope on Sunday.

As he did the week prior at the general audience, Pope Benedict XVI again took up the theme of Christian agreement during his Jan. 23 address before the Angelus prayer.

http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.com/

The subject is relevant as the annual, global celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity continues. Observed from Jan. 18-25, this year's Christian unity week focuses on the Acts of the Apostles and the very first Christian community in Jerusalem.

The Geneva, Switzerland-based World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Vatican Council for the endorsement of Christian Unity partnered with the churches of Jerusalem to come up with the theme and resources to be used during the week.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday January 19, 2011

Reading 1, Heb 7:1-3, 15-17

1 Melchizedek, king of Salem, a priest of God Most High, came to meet Abraham when he returned from defeating the kings, and blessed him;

2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. By the interpretation of his name, he is, first, 'king of saving justice' and also king of Salem, that is, 'king of peace';

3 he has no father, mother or ancestry, and his life has no beginning or ending; he is like the Son of God. He remains a priest for ever.

15 This becomes even more clearly evident if another priest, of the type of Melchizedek, arises who is a priest

16 not in virtue of a law of physical descent, but in virtue of the power of an indestructible life.

17 For he is attested by the prophecy: You are a priest for ever of the order of Melchizedek.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 110:1, 2, 3, 4

1 [Of David Psalm] Yahweh declared to my Lord, 'Take your seat at my right hand, till I have made your enemies your footstool.'

2 Yahweh will stretch out the sceptre of your power; from Zion you will rule your foes all around you.

3 Royal dignity has been yours from the day of your birth, sacred honour from the womb, from the dawn of your youth.

4 Yahweh has sworn an oath he will never retract, you are a priest for ever of the order of Melchizedek.

Gospel, Mk 3:1-6

1 Another time he went into the synagogue, and there was a man present whose hand was withered.

2 And they were watching him to see if he would cure him on the Sabbath day, hoping for something to charge him with.

3 He said to the man with the withered hand, 'Get up and stand in the middle!'

4 Then he said to them, 'Is it permitted on the Sabbath day to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to kill?' But they said nothing.

5 Then he looked angrily round at them, grieved to find them so obstinate, and said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' He stretched it out and his hand was restored.

6 The Pharisees went out and began at once to plot with the Herodians against him, discussing how to destroy him. 


US bishops say health care law needs crucial changes in new Congress

In a Jan. 18 letters to members of the 112th Congress, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops advised important changes to the health care overhaul passed by the previous sitting of Congress.

One day after the conference released the letter to the public, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to cancel the law in question, the 2010 “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.com/
Significantly, the USCCB has selected neither to support, nor to oppose, Republican-led efforts to cancel the law. Instead, the bishops plan to “continue to devote our efforts to correcting serious moral problems in the current law, so health-care improvement can truly be life-affirming for all.”

Although the overall revoke measure stands little chance of passing in the Senate after its approval by the House, it is seen as the prelude to a strategy that could result in changes to important portions of the overhaul.

These changes could slot in some of the suggestions that the bishops made in their recent letter that explained their dangerous but nuanced position on health care reform.

The letter's signatories were Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, and Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles – the chairmen of the committees on Pro-life Activities, Domestic Justice and Human Development, and relocation, respectively.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thousands of pilgrims celebrate loyalty to Christ of Esquipulas in Guatemala

Thousands of Catholics from Central America and Mexico gathered to celebrate the conventional devotion to the Christ of Esquipulas in Guatemala Jan. 14 - 15.

The rector of the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Msgr. Diego Monroy Ponce, who attended the event, donated a replica of the unique image of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the Basilica of Esquipulas.

http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.com/

According to a press release issued by the basilica, Msgr. Monroy also presided at the Mass and Enthroning of the image on Jan. 14.

Priests asked Quirio Catano, a sculptor, to make the image in 1594.

Together with the rector of the shrine, Abbot Hector Sosa Paz, and Msgr. Monroy, the archbishop accessible the prayers of the faithful to Christ, especially for Guatemala’s upcoming elections.

The devotion to the Christ of Esquipulas in Guatemala dates back over 400 years and is also experiential in New York, New Mexico and Los Angeles.

Daily Readings for Tuesday January 18, 2011

Reading 1, Heb 6:10-20

10 God would not be so unjust as to forget all you have done, the love that you have for his name or the services you have done, and are still doing, for the holy people of God.

11 Our desire is that every one of you should go on showing the same enthusiasm till the ultimate fulfilment of your hope,

12 never growing careless, but taking as your model those who by their faith and perseverance are heirs of the promises.

13 When God made the promise to Abraham, he swore by his own self, since there was no one greater he could swear by:

14 I will shower blessings on you and give you many descendants.

15 Because of that, Abraham persevered and received fulfilment of the promise.

16 Human beings, of course, swear an oath by something greater than themselves, and between them, confirmation by an oath puts an end to all dispute.

17 In the same way, when God wanted to show the heirs of the promise even more clearly how unalterable his plan was, he conveyed it by an oath

18 so that through two unalterable factors in which God could not be lying, we who have fled to him might have a vigorous encouragement to grasp the hope held out to us.

19 This is the anchor our souls have, reaching right through inside the curtain

20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest for ever, of the order of Melchizedek.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 111:1-2, 4-5, 9-10

1 Alleluia! I give thanks to Yahweh with all my heart, in the meeting-place of honest people, in the assembly.

2 Great are the deeds of Yahweh, to be pondered by all who delight in them.

4 He gives us a memorial of his great deeds; Yahweh is mercy and tenderness.

5 He gives food to those who fear him, he keeps his covenant ever in mind.

9 Deliverance he sends to his people, his covenant he imposes for ever; holy and awesome his name.

10 The root of wisdom is fear of Yahweh; those who attain it are wise. His praise will continue for ever.

Gospel, Mk 2:23-28

23 It happened that one Sabbath day he was taking a walk through the cornfields, and his disciples began to make a path by plucking ears of corn.

24 And the Pharisees said to him, 'Look, why are they doing something on the Sabbath day that is forbidden?'

25 And he replied, 'Have you never read what David did in his time of need when he and his followers were hungry-

26 how he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the loaves of the offering which only the priests are allowed to eat, and how he also gave some to the men with him?'

27 And he said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath;

28 so the Son of man is master even of the Sabbath.'

Monday, January 17, 2011

Daily Bible Readings for Monday January 17, 2011

Reading 1, Heb 5:1-10

1 Every high priest is taken from among human beings and is appointed to act on their behalf in relationships with God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins;

2 he can sympathise with those who are ignorant or who have gone astray, because he too is subject to the limitations of weakness.

3 That is why he has to make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people.

4 No one takes this honour on himself; it needs a call from God, as in Aaron's case.

5 And so it was not Christ who gave himself the glory of becoming high priest, but the one who said to him: You are my Son, today I have fathered you,

6 and in another text: You are a priest for ever, of the order of Melchizedek.

7 During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, with loud cries and with tears, to the one who had the power to save him from death, and, winning a hearing by his reverence,

8 he learnt obedience, Son though he was, through his sufferings;

9 when he had been perfected, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation

10 and was acclaimed by God with the title of high priest of the order of Melchizedek.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 110:1, 2, 3, 4

1 [Of David Psalm] Yahweh declared to my Lord, 'Take your seat at my right hand, till I have made your enemies your footstool.'

2 Yahweh will stretch out the sceptre of your power; from Zion you will rule your foes all around you.

3 Royal dignity has been yours from the day of your birth, sacred honour from the womb, from the dawn of your youth.

4 Yahweh has sworn an oath he will never retract, you are a priest for ever of the order of Melchizedek.

Gospel, Mk 2:18-22

18 John's disciples and the Pharisees were keeping a fast, when some people came to him and said to him, 'Why is it that John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?'

19 Jesus replied, 'Surely the bridegroom's attendants cannot fast while the bridegroom is still with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.

20 But the time will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then, on that day, they will fast.

21 No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse.

22 And nobody puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins too. No! New wine into fresh skins!'

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Daily Bible Readings for Sunday January 16, 2011

Reading 1, Is 49:3, 5-6

3 He said to me, 'Israel, you are my servant, through whom I shall manifest my glory.'

5 And now Yahweh has spoken, who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him and to re-unite Israel to him;-I shall be honoured in Yahweh's eyes, and my God has been my strength.-

6 He said, 'It is not enough for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel; I shall make you a light to the nations so that my salvation may reach the remotest parts of earth.'

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10

2 He pulled me up from the seething chasm, from the mud of the mire. He set my feet on rock, and made my footsteps firm.

4 How blessed are those who put their trust in Yahweh, who have not sided with rebels and those who have gone astray in falsehood.

7 then I said, 'Here I am, I am coming.' In the scroll of the book it is written of me,

8 my delight is to do your will; your law, my God, is deep in my heart.

9 I proclaimed the saving justice of Yahweh in the great assembly. See, I will not hold my tongue, as you well know.

10 I have not kept your saving justice locked in the depths of my heart, but have spoken of your constancy and saving help. I have made no secret of your faithful and steadfast love, in the great assembly.

Gospel, Jn 1:29-34

29 The next day, he saw Jesus coming towards him and said, 'Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.

30 It was of him that I said, "Behind me comes one who has passed ahead of me because he existed before me."

31 I did not know him myself, and yet my purpose in coming to baptise with water was so that he might be revealed to Israel.'

32 And John declared, 'I saw the Spirit come down on him like a dove from heaven and rest on him.

33 I did not know him myself, but he who sent me to baptise with water had said to me, "The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is to baptise with the Holy Spirit."

34 I have seen and I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.'

Reading 2, 1 Cor 1:1-3

1 Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and Sosthenes, our brother,

2 to the church of God in Corinth, to those who have been consecrated in Christ Jesus and called to be God's holy people, with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord as well as ours.

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Daily Readings for Tuesday January 11, 2011

Reading 1, Heb 2:5-12

5 It was not under angels that he put the world to come, about which we are speaking.

6 Someone witnesses to this somewhere with the words: What are human beings that you spare a thought for them, a child of Adam that you care for him?

7 For a short while you have made him less than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honour,

8 put all things under his feet. For in putting all things under him he made no exceptions. At present, it is true, we are not able to see that all things are under him,

9 but we do see Jesus, who was for a short while made less than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour because he submitted to death; so that by God's grace his experience of death should benefit all humanity.

10 It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should, in bringing many sons to glory, make perfect through suffering the leader of their salvation.

11 For consecrator and consecrated are all of the same stock; that is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers

12 in the text: I shall proclaim your name to my brothers, praise you in full assembly; or in the text:
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 8:2, 5, 6-7, 8-9

2 even through the mouths of children, or of babes in arms, you make him a fortress, firm against your foes, to subdue the enemy and the rebel.

5 Yet you have made him little less than a god, you have crowned him with glory and beauty,

6 made him lord of the works of your hands, put all things under his feet,

7 sheep and cattle, all of them, and even the wild beasts,

8 birds in the sky, fish in the sea, when he makes his way across the ocean.

9 Yahweh our Lord, how majestic your name throughout the world!

Gospel, Mk 1:21-28

21 They went as far as Capernaum, and at once on the Sabbath he went into the synagogue and began to teach.

22 And his teaching made a deep impression on them because, unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority.

23 And at once in their synagogue there was a man with an unclean spirit, and he shouted,

24 'What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.'

25 But Jesus rebuked it saying, 'Be quiet! Come out of him!'

26 And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him.

27 The people were so astonished that they started asking one another what it all meant, saying, 'Here is a teaching that is new, and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.'

28 And his reputation at once spread everywhere, through all the surrounding Galilean countryside.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Daily Readings for Sunday January 09, 2011

Reading 1, Is 42:1-4, 6-7

1 Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom my soul delights. I have sent my spirit upon him, he will bring fair judgement to the nations.

2 He does not cry out or raise his voice, his voice is not heard in the street;

3 he does not break the crushed reed or snuff the faltering wick. Faithfully he presents fair judgement;

4 he will not grow faint, he will not be crushed until he has established fair judgement on earth, and the coasts and islands are waiting for his instruction.

6 I, Yahweh, have called you in saving justice, I have grasped you by the hand and shaped you; I have made you a covenant of the people and light to the nations,

7 to open the eyes of the blind, to free captives from prison, and those who live in darkness from the dungeon.

Gospel, Mt 3:13-17

13 Then Jesus appeared: he came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John.

14 John tried to dissuade him, with the words, 'It is I who need baptism from you, and yet you come to me!'

15 But Jesus replied, 'Leave it like this for the time being; it is fitting that we should, in this way, do all that uprightness demands.' Then John gave in to him.

16 And when Jesus had been baptised he at once came up from the water, and suddenly the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on him.

17 And suddenly there was a voice from heaven, 'This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on him.'
Reading 2, Acts 10:34-38

34 Then Peter addressed them, 'I now really understand', he said, 'that God has no favourites,

35 but that anybody of any nationality who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

36 'God sent his word to the people of Israel, and it was to them that the good news of peace was brought by Jesus Christ -- he is the Lord of all.

37 You know what happened all over Judaea, how Jesus of Nazareth began in Galilee, after John had been preaching baptism.

38 God had anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and because God was with him, Jesus went about doing good and curing all who had fallen into the power of the devil.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Daily Readings for Friday January 07, 2011

Reading 1, 1 Jn 5:5-13

5 Who can overcome the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

6 He it is who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with water alone but with water and blood, and it is the Spirit that bears witness, for the Spirit is Truth.

7 So there are three witnesses,

8 the Spirit, water and blood; and the three of them coincide.

9 If we accept the testimony of human witnesses, God's testimony is greater, for this is God's testimony which he gave about his Son.

10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has this testimony within him, and whoever does not believe is making God a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.

11 This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

12 Whoever has the Son has life, and whoever has not the Son of God has not life.

13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Gospel, Lk 5:12-16

12 Now it happened that Jesus was in one of the towns when suddenly a man appeared, covered with a skin-disease. Seeing Jesus he fell on his face and implored him saying, 'Sir, if you are willing you can cleanse me.'

13 He stretched out his hand, and touched him saying, 'I am willing. Be cleansed.' At once the skin-disease left him.

14 He ordered him to tell no one, 'But go and show yourself to the priest and make the offering for your cleansing just as Moses prescribed, as evidence to them.'

15 But the news of him kept spreading, and large crowds would gather to hear him and to have their illnesses cured,

16 but he would go off to some deserted place and pray.

Pakistani archbishop says assassination shows dangerous rise in extremism

http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.com/Assassinated Pakistani Gov. Salman Taseer was a “staunch defender” of the rights of minorities and stood up to extremist groups, the Catholic Archbishop of Lahore said Jan. 6. The archbishop decried the mindset of religious fanaticism in the country and warned that its extremists are winning.

“Christians are deeply shocked and disturbed by the death of a high profile leader,” Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha said in a Jan. 6 CNA interview. “Salman Taseer broke no law but he only questioned the validity of the present law, calling it a ‘man-made law’ which could be changed. For that he was killed.”

The Jan. 4 shooting of Gov. Taseer, who headed Punjab state, came at the hands of a bodyguard reportedly angered over the governor’s opposition to the country’s strict anti-blasphemy law. The governor had sought a pardon for Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five who has been sentenced to death under the law on what her lawyers say are fabricated charges.

On Jan. 6 a group of lawyers, religious leaders, and other supporters welcomed the accused murderer at the courts, with some showering him with rose petals and placing a garland around his neck. This reception, the archbishop said, was “shameful” and “indicative of the mindset of religious fanaticism prevailing in Pakistan today.”

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas tells us Jesus is still present on earth, Pope says

http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.com/The annual celebration of Christmas not only recalls Christ’s birth, it celebrates his continue presence in the world and in history, Pope Benedict XVI said. The Pope hosted his first general audience of the new year, Jan. 5, sheltered from the cold of Rome in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall.

In his message to a crowd of thousands, many of whom are still on vacation from work and school, he focused on the meaning of the Christmas liturgies.

Christmas continues to fascinate people, he said, "because everyone in one way or another is intuitively aware that the birth of Jesus concerns man's most profound aspirations and hopes."

The world is again renewed in the light of Christ in a "mysterious, yet real way" during Christmas. And, "each (liturgical) celebration is the real presence of the mystery of Christ and a prolongation of the history of salvation," he said.

Daily Readings for Wednesday January 05, 2011

Reading 1, 1 Jn 4:11-18

11 My dear friends, if God loved us so much, we too should love one another.

12 No one has ever seen God, but as long as we love one another God remains in us and his love comes to its perfection in us.

13 This is the proof that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us a share in his Spirit.

14 We ourselves have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as Saviour of the world.

15 Anyone who acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God.

16 We have recognised for ourselves, and put our faith in, the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.

17 Love comes to its perfection in us when we can face the Day of Judgement fearlessly, because even in this world we have become as he is.

18 In love there is no room for fear, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear implies punishment and no one who is afraid has come to perfection in love.

Gospel, Mk 6:45-52

45 And at once he made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side near Bethsaida, while he himself sent the crowd away.

46 After saying goodbye to them he went off into the hills to pray.

47 When evening came, the boat was far out on the sea, and he was alone on the land.

48 He could see that they were hard pressed in their rowing, for the wind was against them; and about the fourth watch of the night he came towards them, walking on the sea. He was going to pass them by,

49 but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost and cried out;

50 for they had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke to them and said, 'Courage! It's me! Don't be afraid.'

51 Then he got into the boat with them and the wind dropped. They were utterly and completely dumbfounded,

52 because they had not seen what the miracle of the loaves meant; their minds were closed.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Daily Readings for Tuesday January 04, 2011

Reading 1, 1 Jn 4:7-10

7 My dear friends, let us love one another, since love is from God and everyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.

8 Whoever fails to love does not know God, because God is love.

9 This is the revelation of God's love for us, that God sent his only Son into the world that we might have life through him.

10 Love consists in this: it is not we who loved God, but God loved us and sent his Son to expiate our sins.

Gospel, Mk 6:34-44

34 So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.

35 By now it was getting very late, and his disciples came up to him and said, 'This is a lonely place and it is getting very late,

36 so send them away, and they can go to the farms and villages round about, to buy themselves something to eat.'

37 He replied, 'Give them something to eat yourselves.' They answered, 'Are we to go and spend two hundred denarii on bread for them to eat?'

38 He asked, 'How many loaves have you? Go and see.' And when they had found out they said, 'Five, and two fish.'

39 Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass,

40 and they sat down on the ground in squares of hundreds and fifties.

41 Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing; then he broke the loaves and began handing them to his disciples to distribute among the people. He also shared out the two fish among them all.

42 They all ate as much as they wanted.

43 They collected twelve basketfuls of scraps of bread and pieces of fish.

44 Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.


Daily Readings for Tuesday January 04, 2011

Reading 1, 1 Jn 4:7-10

7 My dear friends, let us love one another, since love is from God and everyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.

8 Whoever fails to love does not know God, because God is love.

9 This is the revelation of God's love for us, that God sent his only Son into the world that we might have life through him.

10 Love consists in this: it is not we who loved God, but God loved us and sent his Son to expiate our sins.

Gospel, Mk 6:34-44

34 So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.

35 By now it was getting very late, and his disciples came up to him and said, 'This is a lonely place and it is getting very late,

36 so send them away, and they can go to the farms and villages round about, to buy themselves something to eat.'

37 He replied, 'Give them something to eat yourselves.' They answered, 'Are we to go and spend two hundred denarii on bread for them to eat?'

38 He asked, 'How many loaves have you? Go and see.' And when they had found out they said, 'Five, and two fish.'

39 Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass,

40 and they sat down on the ground in squares of hundreds and fifties.

41 Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing; then he broke the loaves and began handing them to his disciples to distribute among the people. He also shared out the two fish among them all.

42 They all ate as much as they wanted.

43 They collected twelve basketfuls of scraps of bread and pieces of fish.

44 Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.