Monday, February 28, 2011

Daily Bible Readings for Monday February 28, 2011

Reading 1, Ecclesiasticus / Sirach 17:19-27

19 Their actions are all as plain as the sun to him, and his eyes rest constantly on their conduct.

20 Their iniquities are not hidden from him, all their sins are before the Lord.


22 Almsgiving is like a signet ring to him, he cherishes generosity like the pupil of an eye.

23 One day he will rise and reward them, he will repay their deserts on their own heads.

24 But to those who repent he permits return, and he encourages those who have lost hope.

25 Return to the Lord and renounce your sins, plead before his face, stop offending him.

26 Come back to the Most High, turn away from iniquity and hold all that is foul in abhorrence.

27 Who is going to praise the Most High in Sheol if we do not glorify him while we are alive?

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7

1 [Of David Poem] How blessed are those whose offence is forgiven, whose sin blotted out.

2 How blessed are those to whom Yahweh imputes no guilt, whose spirit harbours no deceit.

5 I made my sin known to you, did not conceal my guilt. I said, 'I shall confess my offence to Yahweh.' And you, for your part, took away my guilt, forgave my sin.Pause

6 That is why each of your faithful ones prays to you in time of distress. Even if great floods overflow, they will never reach your faithful.

7 You are a refuge for me, you guard me in trouble, with songs of deliverance you surround me.Pause

Gospel, Mk 10:17-27

17 He was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt before him and put this question to him, 'Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?'

18 Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.

19 You know the commandments: You shall not kill; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not give false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.'

20 And he said to him, 'Master, I have kept all these since my earliest days.'

21 Jesus looked steadily at him and he was filled with love for him, and he said, 'You need to do one thing more. Go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.'

22 But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.

23 Jesus looked round and said to his disciples, 'How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!'

24 The disciples were astounded by these words, but Jesus insisted, 'My children,' he said to them, 'how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!

25 It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for someone rich to enter the kingdom of God.'

26 They were more astonished than ever, saying to one another, 'In that case, who can be saved?'

27 Jesus gazed at them and said, 'By human resources it is impossible, but not for God: because for God everything is possible.' 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Daily Bible Readings for Sunday February 27, 2011

Reading 1, Is 49:14-15

14 Zion was saying, 'Yahweh has abandoned me, the Lord has forgotten me.'

15 Can a woman forget her baby at the breast, feel no pity for the child she has borne? Even if these were to forget, I shall not forget you.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 62:2-3, 6-7, 8-9

2 he alone is my rock, my safety, my stronghold so that I stand unshaken.

3 How much longer will you set on a victim, all together, intent on murder, like a rampart already leaning over, a wall already damaged?

6 He alone is my rock, my safety, my stronghold, so that I stand unwavering.

7 In God is my safety and my glory, the rock of my strength. In God is my refuge;

8 trust in him, you people, at all times. Pour out your hearts to him, God is a refuge for us.Pause

9 Ordinary people are a mere puff of wind, important people a delusion; set both on the scales together, and they are lighter than a puff of wind.

Gospel, Mt 6:24-34

24 'No one can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or be attached to the first and despise the second. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.

25 'That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and what you are to wear. Surely life is more than food, and the body more than clothing!

26 Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they are?

27 Can any of you, however much you worry, add one single cubit to your span of life?

28 And why worry about clothing? Think of the flowers growing in the fields; they never have to work or spin;

29 yet I assure you that not even Solomon in all his royal robes was clothed like one of these.

30 Now if that is how God clothes the wild flowers growing in the field which are there today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, will he not much more look after you, you who have so little faith?

31 So do not worry; do not say, "What are we to eat? What are we to drink? What are we to wear?"

32 It is the gentiles who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all.

33 Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on God's saving justice, and all these other things will be given you as well.

34 So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.'

Reading 2, 1 Cor 4:1-5

1 People should think of us as Christ's servants, stewards entrusted with the mysteries of God.

2 In such a matter, what is expected of stewards is that each one should be found trustworthy.

3 It is of no importance to me how you or any other human court may judge me: I will not even be the judge of my own self.

4 It is true that my conscience does not reproach me, but that is not enough to justify me: it is the Lord who is my judge.

5 For that reason, do not judge anything before the due time, until the Lord comes; he will bring to light everything that is hidden in darkness and reveal the designs of all hearts. Then everyone will receive from God the appropriate commendation.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday February 23, 2011

Reading 1, Ecclesiasticus / Sirach 4:11-19

11 Wisdom brings up her own children and cares for those who seek her.

12 Whoever loves her loves life, those who seek her early will be filled with joy.

13 Whoever possesses her will inherit honour, and wherever he walks the Lord will bless him.

14 Those who serve her minister to the Holy One, and the Lord loves those who love her.

15 Whoever obeys her rules the nations, whoever pays attention to her dwells secure.

16 If he trusts himself to her he will inherit her, and his descendants will remain in possession of her;

17 for though she takes him at first through winding ways, bringing fear and faintness on him, trying him out with her discipline till she can trust him, and testing him with her ordeals,

18 she then comes back to him on the straight road, makes him happy and reveals her secrets to him.

19 If he goes astray, however, she abandons him and leaves him to his own destruction.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 119:165, 168, 171, 172, 174, 175

165 Great peace for those who love your Law; no stumbling-blocks for them!

168 I observe your precepts, your judgements, for all my ways are before you.

171 May my lips proclaim your praise, for you teach me your will.

172 May my tongue recite your promise, for all your commandments are upright.

174 I long for your salvation, Yahweh, your Law is my delight.

175 May I live only to praise you, may your judgements be my help.

Gospel, Mk 9:38-40

38 John said to him, 'Master, we saw someone who is not one of us driving out devils in your name, and because he was not one of us we tried to stop him.'

39 But Jesus said, 'You must not stop him; no one who works a miracle in my name could soon afterwards speak evil of me.

40 Anyone who is not against us is for us. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Catholics protect Cathedral of Lima against gay provocation with prayer

Hundreds of Peruvian Catholics gathered at the entry to the Cathedral of Lima to pray a Rosary for Peace in reply to a “Kiss-in Against Homophobia” prearranged by a small group of homosexuals and lesbians just a few yards away from the church.

This was the second time gay activists staged a “kiss-in,” after their first protest ruined with police forcibly removing them from the steps of the cathedral on Feb. 12.

This time they came with the open blessing of Lima’s mayor, Susana Villaran, who has voiced her support for homosexual unions on many occasions.
Despite a heavy media campaign to endorse the Feb. 19 “kiss-in,” only eight people showed up in Lima’s central square.

In response to the planned protest, some 200 Catholics showed up at 3:30 p.m. exterior the cathedral and formed a human barrier for more than three hours. The group spent the time quietly praying the Rosary and singing hymns.

Not surprisingly, a large dependent of reporters and cameramen showed up to cover the protest by three gay couples and a pair of lesbians.

Daniel Torres Cox, who came to pray the rosary, told ACI Prensa, “We are really here to defend our faith in some way.” He called the homosexual protest “an attack on what we consider in, and that’s why we are here, to simply protect that.”

Daily Bible Readings for Tuesday February 22, 2011

Reading 1, 1 Pt 5:1-4

1 I urge the elders among you, as a fellow-elder myself and a witness to the sufferings of Christ, and as one who is to have a share in the glory that is to be revealed:

2 give a shepherd's care to the flock of God that is entrusted to you: watch over it, not simply as a duty but gladly, as God wants; not for sordid money, but because you are eager to do it.

3 Do not lord it over the group which is in your charge, but be an example for the flock.

4 When the chief shepherd appears, you will be given the unfading crown of glory.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6

1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

2 In grassy meadows he lets me lie. By tranquil streams he leads me

3 to restore my spirit. He guides me in paths of saving justice as befits his name.

4 Even were I to walk in a ravine as dark as death I should fear no danger, for you are at my side. Your staff and your crook are there to soothe me.

5 You prepare a table for me under the eyes of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup brims over.

6 Kindness and faithful love pursue me every day of my life. I make my home in the house of Yahweh for all time to come.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6

1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

2 In grassy meadows he lets me lie. By tranquil streams he leads me

3 to restore my spirit. He guides me in paths of saving justice as befits his name.

4 Even were I to walk in a ravine as dark as death I should fear no danger, for you are at my side. Your staff and your crook are there to soothe me.

5 You prepare a table for me under the eyes of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup brims over.

6 Kindness and faithful love pursue me every day of my life. I make my home in the house of Yahweh for all time to come. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Daily Bible Readings for Sunday February 20, 2011

Reading 1, Lv 19:1-2, 17-18

1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:

2 'Speak to the whole community of Israelites and say: "Be holy, for I, Yahweh your God, am holy.

17 You will not harbour hatred for your brother. You will reprove your fellow-countryman firmly and thus avoid burdening yourself with a sin.

18 You will not exact vengeance on, or bear any sort of grudge against, the members of your race, but will love your neighbour as yourself. I am Yahweh.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 103:1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-13

1 [Of David] Bless Yahweh, my soul, from the depths of my being, his holy name;

2 bless Yahweh, my soul, never forget all his acts of kindness.

3 He forgives all your offences, cures all your diseases,

4 he redeems your life from the abyss, crowns you with faithful love and tenderness;

8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger and rich in faithful love;

10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor repay us as befits our offences.

12 As the distance of east from west, so far from us does he put our faults.

13 As tenderly as a father treats his children, so Yahweh treats those who fear him;

Gospel, Mt 5:38-48

38 'You have heard how it was said: Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.

39 But I say this to you: offer no resistance to the wicked. On the contrary, if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well;

40 if someone wishes to go to law with you to get your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.

41 And if anyone requires you to go one mile, go two miles with him.

42 Give to anyone who asks you, and if anyone wants to borrow, do not turn away.

43 'You have heard how it was said, You will love your neighbour and hate your enemy.

44 But I say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you;

45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on the bad as well as the good, and sends down rain to fall on the upright and the wicked alike.

46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Do not even the tax collectors do as much?

47 And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional?

48 Do not even the gentiles do as much? You must therefore be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.'

Reading 2, 1 Cor 3:16-23

16 Do you not realise that you are a temple of God with the Spirit of God living in you?

17 If anybody should destroy the temple of God, God will destroy that person, because God's temple is holy; and you are that temple.

18 There is no room for self-delusion. Any one of you who thinks he is wise by worldly standards must learn to be a fool in order to be really wise.

19 For the wisdom of the world is folly to God. As scripture says: He traps the crafty in the snare of their own cunning

20 and again: The Lord knows the plans of the wise and how insipid they are.

21 So there is to be no boasting about human beings: everything belongs to you,

22 whether it is Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, the world, life or death, the present or the future -- all belong to you;

23 but you belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God.

New start available for those who believe Christ, says Pope

"A new form of existence driven by love and intended to eternity" is possible through imitation of Christ, said Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday.

Before the conventional noon Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square on Feb. 20, the Pope spoke of the day's Mass readings. He said the readings "speak ... of the will of God to make men participants in his life."

The words, "Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy," from the Book of Leviticus were an request to the chosen people to be faithful to the agreement with the Lord, the Pope said. They also "founded social legislation on the commandment 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself'."

"If we listen, then, to Jesus ... we find that same call, that same daring objective. The Lord says, in fact, 'be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect'."

"But who could become perfect?" asked the Pope. "Our perfection is living as children of God satisfying concretely his will."

Man corresponds to God's fatherhood by praising and glorifying him through good conduct, he explained.

"In what way can we imitate Jesus?" the Pope asked.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pope John Paul II beatification events to last three days, all events free

The Vatican has released new details about the future beatification of Pope John Paul II.

The celebrations will run from April 30-May 2, with the beatification itself taking place on May 1. For most events, the Vatican said, no tickets will be necessary and all will be welcomed.

The festivities will begin with a prayer vigil in the huge open field of the Circus Maximus - where ancient Romans once held chariot races -- on the evening of April 30. The vigil will be led by the diocese's vicar general, Cardinal Agostino Vallini. Pope Benedict will also join the meeting by way of a video link.

The beatification will begin on Sunday, May 1 in St. Peter's Square. The Vatican said police will control access to the square, but that there will be no tickets necessary for the event.

Immediately following the beatification ritual, the remains of Pope John Paul II will be in front of the Altar of the Confession in St. Peter's Basilica for veneration.

The Basilica will be open to pilgrims for “as long as the realistic continue to arrive,” according to the Vatican announcement.

The following day, Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone will control over a Mass of thanksgiving again in St. Peter's Square.

After the celebrations, the leftovers of John Paul II will privately be interred in the Vatican basilica's Chapel of St. Sebastian.

Daily Bible Readings for Friday February 18, 2011

Reading 1, Gn 11:1-9

1 The whole world spoke the same language, with the same vocabulary.

2 Now, as people moved eastwards they found a valley in the land of Shinar where they settled.

3 They said to one another, 'Come, let us make bricks and bake them in the fire.' For stone they used bricks, and for mortar they used bitumen.

4 'Come,' they said, 'let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top reaching heaven. Let us make a name for ourselves, so that we do not get scattered all over the world.'

5 Now Yahweh came down to see the city and the tower that the people had built.

6 'So they are all a single people with a single language!' said Yahweh. 'This is only the start of their undertakings! Now nothing they plan to do will be beyond them.

7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language there, so that they cannot understand one another.'

8 Yahweh scattered them thence all over the world, and they stopped building the city.

9 That is why it was called Babel, since there Yahweh confused the language of the whole world, and from there Yahweh scattered them all over the world.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 33:10-11, 12-13, 14-15

10 Yahweh thwarts the plans of nations, frustrates the counsels of peoples;

11 but Yahweh's own plan stands firm for ever, his heart's counsel from age to age.

12 How blessed the nation whose God is Yahweh, the people he has chosen as his heritage.

13 From heaven Yahweh looks down, he sees all the children of Adam,

14 from the place where he sits he watches all who dwell on the earth;

15 he alone moulds their hearts, he understands all they do.

Gospel, Mk 8:34-9:1

34 He called the people and his disciples to him and said, 'If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me.

35 Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.

36 What gain, then, is it for anyone to win the whole world and forfeit his life?

37 And indeed what can anyone offer in exchange for his life?

38 For if anyone in this sinful and adulterous generation is ashamed of me and of my words, the Son of man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.'

1 And he said to them, 'In truth I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.' 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pope’s meeting with Russian president signals new era in relationship

Pope Benedict XVI met with president Dmitry Medvedev at the Vatican on Feb. 17 in their first meeting since the Holy See and Russia determined to upgrade their diplomatic relationship in 2009.

Medvedev was accompanied by his wife and several assistants, as well as his minister for foreign affairs, Sergey Lavrov. The Russian president is also in Italy for two days to meet with government leaders and induct a year of cultural exchange between the two nations.

“This is a very important meeting,” the Pope told the Medvedev as they exchanged greetings briefly before concluding the doors for their private audience in the papal library.

After an strangely long encounter of more than a half-hour, the doors were opened again to reporters who witnessed the exchange of gifts.

The Pope received a two-volume set of letters from the former Russian president to foreign heads of state and Pope John Paul II from 1996-99. He also was given “Orthodox encyclopedia” and a painting of the Moscow with a sight of the Russian government headquarters of the Kremlin.

Daily Bible Readings for Thursday February 17, 2011

1 God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, 'Breed, multiply and fill the earth.

2 Be the terror and the dread of all the animals on land and all the birds of heaven, of everything that moves on land and all the fish of the sea; they are placed in your hands.

3 Every living thing that moves will be yours to eat, no less than the foliage of the plants. I give you everything,

4 with this exception: you must not eat flesh with life, that is to say blood, in it.

5 And I shall demand account of your life-blood, too. I shall demand it of every animal, and of man. Of man as regards his fellow-man, I shall demand account for human life.

6 He who sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God was man created.

7 Be fruitful then and multiply, teem over the earth and subdue it!'

8 God spoke as follows to Noah and his sons,

9 'I am now establishing my covenant with you and with your descendants to come,

10 and with every living creature that was with you: birds, cattle and every wild animal with you; everything that came out of the ark, every living thing on earth.

11 And I shall maintain my covenant with you: that never again shall all living things be destroyed by the waters of a flood, nor shall there ever again be a flood to devastate the earth.'

12 'And this', God said, 'is the sign of the covenant which I now make between myself and you and every living creature with you for all ages to come:

13 I now set my bow in the clouds and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

16 when Yahweh builds Zion anew, he will be seen in his glory;

17 he will turn to hear the prayer of the destitute, and will not treat their prayer with scorn.

18 This shall be put on record for a future generation, and a people yet to be born shall praise God:

19 Yahweh has leaned down from the heights of his sanctuary, has looked down from heaven to earth,

20 to listen to the sighing of the captive, and set free those condemned to death,

21 to proclaim the name of Yahweh in Zion, his praise in Jerusalem;

22 nations will gather together, and kingdoms to worship Yahweh.

23 In my journeying my strength has failed on the way;

27 Jesus and his disciples left for the villages round Caesarea Philippi. On the way he put this question to his disciples, 'Who do people say I am?'

28 And they told him, 'John the Baptist, others Elijah, others again, one of the prophets.'

29 'But you,' he asked them, 'who do you say I am?' Peter spoke up and said to him, 'You are the Christ.'

30 And he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone about him.

31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of man was destined to suffer grievously, and to be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and to be put to death, and after three days to rise again;

32 and he said all this quite openly. Then, taking him aside, Peter tried to rebuke him.

33 But, turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said to him, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are thinking not as God thinks, but as human beings do.' 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Coptic Catholic patriarch welcomes fall of Mubarak

Cardinal Antonios Naguib, patriarch of the Coptic Catholic Church, has issued a declaration welcoming the fall of the regime of Hosni Mubarak.

“The Egyptian Catholic Church joins all Egypt's loyal citizens to thank God enormous for the wonderful success he granted to the daring youth of the January 25 movement,” he said. “Thanks are due to the crowds of patriotic youth who aggravated the spark from which this movement started off and became an erupting volcano that cannot be extinguished and that gathered all the forces that refuse the wrong situation scheming the country for so long, by looking forward to a better and brighter future for the Egyptian civilization, and meeting around one cause which is the love of Egypt and the self-respect of its citizens.”

“This experience has shaped a reality that was absent for so long, which is the unity of the citizens, the youth and the old, Christians and Muslims, without any distinction or discrimination, in purpose and action for the good of Egypt, and for the protection and safety in the country,” he added. “We are convinced that these feelings that reigned in the hearts will last for the near and distant future.”

“We want Egypt to have its location among the modern countries,” he continued. “A civil country, a democratic one based on laws, justice and equality, that respects one’s freedom and dignity based only on the citizenship, allows contribution for all categories without reducing persons and categories to one member, and achieves what the analysts, politicians and intellectuals have called for in order to prevent divisions that caused bend in all the fields. Here they are the loyal Egyptians ready for making all efforts for the good of the dear nation. And the Catholic Church with all its institutions will work with them in reconstructing and happening along this path for a better future.”

Daily Readings for Tuesday February 15, 2011

5 Yahweh saw that human wickedness was great on earth and that human hearts contrived nothing but wicked schemes all day long.

6 Yahweh regretted having made human beings on earth and was grieved at heart.

7 And Yahweh said, 'I shall rid the surface of the earth of the human beings whom I created -- human and animal, the creeping things and the birds of heaven -- for I regret having made them.'

8 But Noah won Yahweh's favour.

1 Yahweh said to Noah, 'Go aboard the ark, you and all your household, for you alone of your contemporaries do I see before me as an upright man.

2 Of every clean animal you must take seven pairs, a male and its female; of the unclean animals you must take one pair, a male and its female

3 (and of the birds of heaven, seven pairs, a male and its female), to preserve their species throughout the earth.

4 For in seven days' time I shall make it rain on earth for forty days and forty nights, and I shall wipe every creature I have made off the face of the earth.'

5 Noah did exactly as Yahweh commanded him.

10 Seven days later the waters of the flood appeared on earth.

1 [Psalm Of David] Give Yahweh his due, sons of God, give Yahweh his due of glory and strength,

2 give Yahweh the glory due to his name, adore Yahweh in the splendour of holiness.

3 Yahweh's voice over the waters, the God of glory thunders; Yahweh over countless waters,

4 Yahweh's voice in power, Yahweh's voice in splendour;

8 Yahweh's voice convulses the desert, Yahweh convulses the desert of Kadesh,

9 Yahweh's voice convulses terebinths, strips forests bare. In his palace all cry, 'Glory!'

10 Yahweh was enthroned for the flood, Yahweh is enthroned as king for ever.

14 The disciples had forgotten to take any bread and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.

15 Then he gave them this warning, 'Keep your eyes open; look out for the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.'

16 And they said to one another, 'It is because we have no bread.'

17 And Jesus knew it, and he said to them, 'Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not understand, still not realise? Are your minds closed?

18 Have you eyes and do not see, ears and do not hear? Or do you not remember?

19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of scraps did you collect?' They answered, 'Twelve.'

20 'And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full of scraps did you collect?' And they answered, 'Seven.'

21 Then he said to them, 'Do you still not realise?' 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bishops take steps to end fighting in Mexico

The bishops of Mexico lately met with Church officials in Columbia to talk about ways to end the violence that has claimed the lives of nearly 35,000 in Mexico.

Several bishops from Mexico attended the 15th Plenary Assembly of bishops in Colombia to seek guidance on how to deal with the fighting that has swept Mexico.

Archbishop Carlos Garfias Merlos of Acapulco, Mexico reflected on the conference Feb. 10 saying, the work carried out by the Church in Colombia to disband equipped rebel groups could also be simulated in Mexico.

He noted that while it is still uncertain whether the Church in Mexico will be asked to help out in ending the violence in the country, arrangements should be made, as such a request could come “in the short or medium term.”

Archbishop Garfias later told Vatican Radio that the gathering gave the Mexican bishops a chance “to learn about the experience and the charity that the Church has made to society in Colombia.”

Over the course of the Feb. 7 – 11 meeting in Bogota, Colombia, the bishops communal pastoral experiences on solving armed conflict and discussed elements that are necessary for peace building.

The Mexican bishops received “excellent guidance during these three days, and we are bringing back a lot of ideas that I think will be helpful,” Archbishop Garfias concluded.

Daily Bible Readings for Monday February 14, 2011

Reading 1, Gn 4:1-15, 25

1 The man had intercourse with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. 'I have acquired a man with the help of Yahweh,' she said.

2 She gave birth to a second child, Abel, the brother of Cain. Now Abel became a shepherd and kept flocks, while Cain tilled the soil.

3 Time passed and Cain brought some of the produce of the soil as an offering for Yahweh,

4 while Abel for his part brought the first-born of his flock and some of their fat as well. Yahweh looked with favour on Abel and his offering.

5 But he did not look with favour on Cain and his offering, and Cain was very angry and downcast.

6 Yahweh asked Cain, 'Why are you angry and downcast?

7 If you are doing right, surely you ought to hold your head high! But if you are not doing right, Sin is crouching at the door hungry to get you. You can still master him.'

8 Cain said to his brother Abel, 'Let us go out'; and while they were in the open country, Cain set on his brother Abel and killed him.

9 Yahweh asked Cain, 'Where is your brother Abel?' 'I do not know,' he replied. 'Am I my brother's guardian?'

10 'What have you done?' Yahweh asked. 'Listen! Your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground.

11 Now be cursed and banned from the ground that has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood at your hands.

12 When you till the ground it will no longer yield up its strength to you. A restless wanderer you will be on earth.'

13 Cain then said to Yahweh, 'My punishment is greater than I can bear.

14 Look, today you drive me from the surface of the earth. I must hide from you, and be a restless wanderer on earth. Why, whoever comes across me will kill me!'

15 'Very well, then,' Yahweh replied, 'whoever kills Cain will suffer a sevenfold vengeance.' So Yahweh put a mark on Cain, so that no one coming across him would kill him.

25 Adam had intercourse with his wife, and she gave birth to a son whom she named Seth, 'because God has granted me other offspring', she said, 'in place of Abel, since Cain has killed him.' 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Daily Readings for Thursday February 10, 2011

Reading 1, Gn 2:18-25 

18 Yahweh God said, 'It is not right that the man should be alone. I shall make him a helper.'

19 So from the soil Yahweh God fashioned all the wild animals and all the birds of heaven. These he brought to the man to see what he would call them; each one was to bear the name the man would give it.

20 The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of heaven and all the wild animals. But no helper suitable for the man was found for him.

21 Then, Yahweh God made the man fall into a deep sleep. And, while he was asleep, he took one of his ribs and closed the flesh up again forthwith.

22 Yahweh God fashioned the rib he had taken from the man into a woman, and brought her to the man.

23 And the man said: This one at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh! She is to be called Woman, because she was taken from Man.

24 This is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife, and they become one flesh.

25 Now, both of them were naked, the man and his wife, but they felt no shame before each other.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 128:1-2, 3, 4-5

1 [Song of Ascents] How blessed are all who fear Yahweh, who walk in his ways!

2 Your own labours will yield you a living, happy and prosperous will you be.

3 Your wife a fruitful vine in the inner places of your house. Your children round your table like shoots of an olive tree.

4 Such are the blessings that fall on those who fear Yahweh.

5 May Yahweh bless you from Zion! May you see Jerusalem prosper all the days of your life,

Gospel, Mk 7:24-30

24 He left that place and set out for the territory of Tyre. There he went into a house and did not want anyone to know he was there; but he could not pass unrecognised.

25 At once a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him and came and fell at his feet.

26 Now this woman was a gentile, by birth a Syro-Phoenician, and she begged him to drive the devil out of her daughter.

27 And he said to her, 'The children should be fed first, because it is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to little dogs.'

28 But she spoke up, 'Ah yes, sir,' she replied, 'but little dogs under the table eat the scraps from the children.'

29 And he said to her, 'For saying this you may go home happy; the devil has gone out of your daughter.'

30 So she went off home and found the child lying on the bed and the devil gone.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pope prays for peaceful ending of Egyptian unrest

Pope Benedict XVI prayed for a peaceful ending of the political unrest in Egypt, and the Vatican spokesman said he hoped the changes in the area would lead to greater religious freedom.

"In these days I am following closely the fragile situation of the dear Egyptian nation," the pope told pilgrims at his noon blessing at the Vatican Feb. 6.

"I ask God that this land, blessed by the attendance of the Holy Family, may find again tranquility and peaceful coexistence, in a shared commitment to the common good," the pope said.

It was Pope Benedict's first remark on nearly two weeks of protest demonstrations that have shaken President Hosni Mubarak's nearly 30-year hold on power.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, reviewed the political turmoil in Egypt in a commentary Feb. 5 on Vatican Radio. He said it was not wrong to speak of a "revolution" in countries of North Africa and the Middle East, where extensive political opposition has emerged for the first time.

Father Lombardi said that along with economic causes of the unrest, many people of the region -- particularly young people -- want more freedom and a more responsive government. He noted that at the new Synod of Bishops for the Middle East, leaders of Christian minorities there made similar calls for religious freedom.

"Now there are whole populations that, in order to more fully realize their dignity, are asking to exercise more responsibly the right of citizenship that belongs to every person of whatever religion," the spokesman said.

"If these mostly Muslim nations succeed in the crucial undertaking of growth in dialogue, in the respect of the rights of everyone, in contribution and in freedom, then the world will be a safer place," Father Lombardi said.

Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday February 09, 2011

Reading 1, Gn 2:4b-9, 15-17

4 Such was the story of heaven and earth as they were created. At the time when Yahweh God made earth and heaven

5 there was as yet no wild bush on the earth nor had any wild plant yet sprung up, for Yahweh God had not sent rain on the earth, nor was there any man to till the soil.

6 Instead, water flowed out of the ground and watered all the surface of the soil.

7 Yahweh God shaped man from the soil of the ground and blew the breath of life into his nostrils, and man became a living being.

8 Yahweh God planted a garden in Eden, which is in the east, and there he put the man he had fashioned.

9 From the soil, Yahweh God caused to grow every kind of tree, enticing to look at and good to eat, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

15 Yahweh God took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden to cultivate and take care of it.

16 Then Yahweh God gave the man this command, 'You are free to eat of all the trees in the garden.

17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you are not to eat; for, the day you eat of that, you are doomed to die.'

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 104:1-2, 27-28, 29-30

1 Bless Yahweh, my soul, Yahweh, my God, how great you are! Clothed in majesty and splendour,

2 wearing the light as a robe! You stretch out the heavens like a tent,

27 They all depend upon you, to feed them when they need it.

28 You provide the food they gather, your open hand gives them their fill.

29 Turn away your face and they panic; take back their breath and they die and revert to dust.

30 Send out your breath and life begins; you renew the face of the earth.

Gospel, Mk 7:14-23

14 He called the people to him again and said, 'Listen to me, all of you, and understand.

15 Nothing that goes into someone from outside can make that person unclean; it is the things that come out of someone that make that person unclean.

16 Anyone who has ears for listening should listen!'

17 When he had gone into the house, away from the crowd, his disciples questioned him about the parable.

18 He said to them, 'Even you -- don't you understand? Can't you see that nothing that goes into someone from outside can make that person unclean,

19 because it goes not into the heart but into the stomach and passes into the sewer?

20 And he went on, 'It is what comes out of someone that makes that person unclean.

21 For it is from within, from the heart, that evil intentions emerge: fornication, theft, murder,

22 adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly.

23 All these evil things come from within and make a person unclean.'