POPE FRANCIS’ 2017 BEAUTIFUL HOMILY ON THE EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST (Jan. 6, 2017). Long for God and worship Him.

jan-06-pope-francis-2017-homily

POPE FRANCIS’ 2017 HOMILY
THE EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
(Jan. 6, 2017).
Long for God and worship Him.

Dear brethren in Christ, below is an English translation of the Pope’s homily. Happy reading and meditation, in particular for those who live in places where the Epiphany will be celebrated this Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017.

Cordially inviting you to like our page in www.facebook.com/Catholicsstrivingforholiness so we could have a wider apostolic reach and thus help more people in their Christian life. Thanks and God bless!
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo

+++POPE’S HOMILY BEGINS HERE.
TITLES AND FORMATTING MINE.+++

OUTLINE

  1. Long for God with an open and humble heart.
  2. Herod’s closed heart and cauterized conscience impeded him to see God and led him to make people suffer.
  3. The Magi were able to worship God because they longed for God and had the courage to set out to seek Him in spite of the arduous and complicated journey.

 

“Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews?  For we have observed his star in the East, and have come to worship him” (Mt 2:2).

With these words, the Magi, come from afar, tell us the reason for their long journey: they came to worship the newborn King.  To see and to worship.  These two actions stand out in the Gospel account.  We saw a star and we want to worship.

These men saw a star that made them set out.  The discovery of something unusual in the heavens sparked a whole series of events.  The star did not shine just for them, nor did they have special DNA to be able to see it.  As one of the Church Fathers rightly noted, the Magi did not set out because they had seen the star, but they saw the star because they had already set out (cf. Saint John Chrysostom).  Their hearts were open to the horizon and they could see what the heavens were showing them, for they were guided by an inner restlessness.  They were open to something new.

1. Long for God with an open and humble heart.

The Magi thus personify all those who believe, those who long for God, who yearn for their home, their heavenly homeland.  They reflect the image of all those who in their lives have not let their hearts become anesthetized.

            A holy longing for God wells up in the heart of believers because they know that the Gospel is not an event of the past but of the present.  A holy longing for God helps us keep alert in the face of every attempt to reduce and impoverish our life.  A holy longing for God is the memory of faith, which rebels before all prophets of doom.  That longing keeps hope alive in the community of believers, which from week to week continues to plead: “Come, Lord Jesus”.

This same longing led the elderly Simeon to go up each day to the Temple, certain that his life would not end before he had held the Saviour in his arms.  This longing led the Prodigal Son to abandon his self-destructive lifestyle and to seek his father’s embrace.  This was the longing felt by the shepherd who left the ninety-nine sheep in order to seek out the one that was lost.  Mary Magdalen experienced the same longing on that Sunday morning when she ran to the tomb and met her risen Master.  Longing for God draws us out of our iron-clad isolation, which makes us think that nothing can change.  Longing for God shatters our dreary routines and impels us to make the changes we want and need.   Longing for God has its roots in the past yet does not remain there: it reaches out to the future.  Believers who feel this longing are led by faith to seek God, as the Magi did, in the most distant corners of history, for they know that there the Lord awaits them.  They go to the peripheries, to the frontiers, to places not yet evangelized, to encounter their Lord.  Nor do they do this out of a sense of superiority, but rather as beggars who cannot ignore the eyes of those who for whom the Good News is still uncharted territory. 

2. Herod’s closed heart and cauterized conscience impeded him to see God and led him to make people suffer.

An entirely different attitude reigned in the palace of Herod, a short distance from Bethlehem, where no one realized what was taking place.  As the Magi made their way, Jerusalem slept.  It slept in collusion with a Herod who, rather than seeking, also slept.  He slept, anesthetized by a cauterized conscience.  He was bewildered, afraid.  It is the bewilderment which, when faced with the newness that revolutionizes history, closes in on itself and its own achievements, its knowledge, its successes.  The bewilderment of one who sits atop his wealth yet cannot see beyond it.  The bewilderment lodged in the hearts of those who want to control everything and everyone.  The bewilderment of those immersed in the culture of winning at any cost, in that culture where there is only room for “winners”, whatever the price.  A bewilderment born of fear and foreboding before anything that challenges us, calls into question our certainties and our truths, our ways of clinging to the world and this life.  Herod was afraid, and that fear led him to seek security in crime: “You kill the little ones in their bodies, because fear is killing you in your heart” (SAINT QUODVULTDEUS, Sermon 2 on the Creed: PL 40, 655).

3. The Magi were able to worship God because they longed for God and had the courage to set out to seek Him in spite of the arduous and complicated journey.

We want to worship.  Those men came from the East to worship, and they came to do so in the place befitting a king: a palace.  Their quest led them there, for it was fitting that a king should be born in a palace, amid a court and all his subjects.  For that is a sign of power, success, a life of achievement.  One might well expect a king to be venerated, feared and adulated.  True, but not necessarily loved.  For those are worldly categories, the paltry idols to which we pay homage: the cult of power, outward appearances and superiority.  Idols that promise only sorrow and enslavement.

It was there, in that place, that those men, come from afar, would embark upon their longest journey.  There they set out boldly on a more arduous and complicated journey.  They had to discover that what they sought was not in a palace, but elsewhere, both existentially and geographically.  There, in the palace, they did not see the star guiding them to discover a God who wants to be loved.  For only under the banner of freedom, not tyranny, is it possible to realize that the gaze of this unknown but desired king does not abase, enslave, or imprison us.  To realize that the gaze of God lifts up, forgives and heals.  To realize that God wanted to be born where we least expected, or perhaps desired, in a place where we so often refuse him.  To realize that in God’s eyes there is always room for those who are wounded, weary, mistreated and abandoned.  That his strength and his power are called mercy.  For some of us, how far Jerusalem is from Bethlehem!

Herod is unable to worship because he could not or would not change his own way of looking at things.  He did not want to stop worshiping himself, believing that everything revolved around him.  He was unable to worship, because his aim was to make others worship him.  Nor could the priests worship, because although they had great knowledge, and knew the prophecies, they were not ready to make the journey or to change their ways.

The Magi experienced longing; they were tired of the usual fare.  They were all too familiar with, and weary of, the Herods of their own day.  But there, in Bethlehem, was a promise of newness, of gratuitousness.  There something new was taking place.  The Magi were able to worship, because they had the courage to set out.  And as they fell to their knees before the small, poor and vulnerable Infant, the unexpected and unknown Child of Bethlehem, they discovered the glory of God.

HOMILY SOURCE: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/01/06/the_popes_homily_on_the_feast_of_the_epiphany/1283919

PHOTO SOURCE: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/13/67/09/13670973bc3c1cd460929861f5e4e24e.jpg

SEE AS WELL:

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Advertisements

Top Posts & Pages

Archives

Categories

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,262 other followers

Follow Catholics Striving for Holiness on WordPress.com

Blog Stats

  • 1,208,532 hits

Instagram

ST. AUGUSTINE ON THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD.. From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop (caps mine). Today our Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven; let our hearts ascend with him. Listen to the words of the Apostle: If you have risen with Christ, set your hearts on the things that are above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God; seek the things that are above, not the things that are on earth. FOR JUST AS HE REMAINED WITH US EVEN AFTER HIS ASCENSION, SO WE TOO ARE ALREADY IN HEAVEN WITH HIM, even though what is promised us has not yet been fulfilled in our bodies. CHRIST IS NOW EXALTED ABOVE THE HEAVENS, BUT HE STILL SUFFERS ON EARTH ALL THE PAIN THAT WE, THE MEMBERS OF HIS BODY, HAVE TO BEAR. He showed this when he cried out from above: Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? and when he said: I was hungry and you gave me food. WHY DO WE ON EARTH NOT STRIVE TO FIND REST WITH HIM IN HEAVEN EVEN NOW, THROUGH THE FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE THAT UNITES US TO HIM? WHILE IN HEAVEN HE IS ALSO WITH US; AND WE WHILE ON EARTH ARE WITH HIM. HE IS HERE WITH US BY HIS DIVINITY, HIS POWER AND HIS LOVE. WE CANNOT BE IN HEAVEN, AS HE IS ON EARTH, BY DIVINITY, BUT IN HIM, WE CAN BE THERE BY LOVE. HE DID NOT LEAVE HEAVEN WHEN HE CAME DOWN TO US; NOR DID HE WITHDRAW FROM US WHEN HE WENT UP AGAIN INTO HEAVEN. The fact that he was in heaven even while he was on earth is borne out by his own statement: No one has ever ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven. These words are explained by our oneness with Christ, for he is our head and we are his body. No one ascended into heaven except Christ because we also are Christ: he is the Son of Man by his union with us, and we by our union with him are the sons of God. So the Apostle says: Just as the human body, which has many members, is a unity, because all the different members make one body, so is it also with Christ. He too has many members, but one body. OUT OF COMPASSION FOR US HE DESCENDED FROM HEAVEN, AND ALTHOUGH HE ASCENDED ALONE, WE ALSO ASCEND, BECAUSE WE ARE IN HIM BY GRACE. Thus, no one but Christ descended and no one but Christ ascended; not because there is n
TO MOTHER MARY AND ALL MOTHERS, OUR SINCERE GRATITUDE TO WHO YOU ARE AND ALL THE YOU DO!
OUR PRAYER FOR ALL MOTHERS. In some countries, especially in the Philippines. Mother's day will be celebrated this Sunday, May 13, 2018. Let us thank God with prayers and deeds for giving us the wonderful and irreplaceable gift of having our mother. Let us thank all mothers as well for all the love and sacrifice you have given us your children, but above all for the gift of life. Fr. Rolly Arjonillo
ASCENSION OF OUR LORD: THE GLORIFICATION OF THE SACRED HUMANITY OF CHRIST. "Now the Master is teaching his disciples: he has opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and he appoints them witnesses of his life and his miracles, of his Passion and Death, and of the glory of his resurrection (Luke 24:45 and 48). Then he brings them out as far as the outskirts of Bethany and blesses them. And as he does so, he withdraws from them and is carried up to heaven (Luke 24:51) until a cloud takes him out of their sight (Acts 1:9). Jesus has gone to the Father. Two Angels in white garments approach us and say, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up to heaven?” (Acts 1:11). Peter and the others go back to Jerusalem — cum gaudio magno — “with great joy” (Luke 24:52). It is fitting that the sacred humanity of Christ should receive the homage, the praise and adoration of all the hierarchies of the Angels and of all the legions of the Blessed in Heaven. But you and I feel like orphans: we are sad, and we go to Mary for consolation." -St. Josemaria, The Holy Rosary, 2nd Glorious Mystery
OUR SINCERE GRATITUDE AND PRAYERS TO MOTHER MARY AND TO ALL THE MOTHERS IN THE WORLD! O Mother of mothers, you are yourself one. Pray for, guide and protect all the mothers in the world, so that they may love their children in the same way you loved your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY MOTHER MARY AND TO ALL OF YOU, DEAR MOMS! THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR LOVE AND SACRIFICE! WE LOVE YOU VERY MUCH! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY MOTHER MARY! OUR LADY OF FATIMA, PRAY FOR ALL THE MOTHERS, PRAY FOR US!
DAILY FATIMA PRAYER.
OUR PRAYER FOR ALL MOTHERS. As we prepare for Mothers' Day this year which falls on May 6 or 13, 2018, let us thank God with prayers and deeds for giving us the wonderful and irreplaceable gift of having our mother. Fr. Rolly Arjonillo
A WAY OF SHOWING YOUR LOVE TO OUR LADY FROM ST. PADRE PIO.
TOMORROW IS THE 1ST SATURDAY OF THE MONTH. Here is a short prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May we honor and love her, imitating her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and as we do, let us pray for the conversion of many souls and in reparation for the sins of humanity. Fr. Rolly Arjonillo.
HUMILITY: NECESSARY TO PLEASE GOD. St Peter the Apostle speaks to us of the need to be humble if we are to please God. “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble, 1 Pet 5:5.” Nothing can separate us from God as much as pride. • A heart that is filled with self-love has no room for God. • The holiness we seek can be summed up in the words that John the Baptist spoke of Christ: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Our Lord's life must increase within us until we become "other Christs", and our intellect and our will, our powers and our affections, all we are and all we do, become entirely his. • Humility is essential if we are to achieve complete self-giving, and if we are to become channels by which God's grace can reach mankind. As St. Josemaria wrote: “Let us be humble. Let us seek nothing but the glory of God. Our life of silent and hidden self-giving should be a constant act of humility. Humility is the foundation for our whole life, the means and prerequisite for our effectiveness. Pride and vanity might attract us to the vocation of a Chinese lantern, which shines and sparkles for everyone to admire, but which lasts only one night and then goes out, leaving no trace behind. Vita vestra est abscondita cum Christo in Deo. (Your life is hidden with Christ in God. What God thinks, not what other people think, is what matters.” These words of St. Josemaria light up our whole life. • Without humility, everything we do would be sterile. If we allowed self-sufficiency and pride into our interior life, dialogue with God would be impossible. • In our apostolate, which should be based on friendship, pride would put a barrier between us and others, and make it impossible for us to help or understand them. • Our cheerfulness also depends on our being humble, because it is humility that enables us to lead an authentic existence, in which we aim to serve God and others, but without being worried about appearing less than perfect, and without letting our faults upset us. “Humility prevents us from becoming discouraged at our own faults. Our Father God knows what kind of clay w
BLESSED POPE PAUL VI ON MAY, THE MONTH OF MARY. “The month of May is … a month which the piety of the faithful has long dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. Our heart rejoices at the thought of the moving tribute of faith and love which will soon be paid to the Queen of Heaven in every corner of the earth. For this is the month during which Christians, in their churches and their homes, offer the Virgin Mother more fervent and loving acts of homage and veneration; and it is the month in which a greater abundance of God's merciful gifts comes down to us from our Mother's throne. We are delighted and consoled by this pious custom associated with the month of May, which pays honor to the Blessed Virgin and brings such rich benefits to the Christian people. Since Mary is rightly to be regarded as the way by which we are led to Christ, the person who encounters Mary cannot help but encounter Christ likewise. For what other reason do we continually turn to Mary except to seek the Christ in her arms, to seek our Savior in her, through her, and with her? To Him men are to turn amid the anxieties and perils of this world, urged on by duty and driven by the compelling needs of their heart, to find a haven of salvation, a transcendent fountain of life.” Blessed Pope Paul VI, Enc. Mense Maio, nn. 1-2 CSFH PHOTO of La Virgen y el Niño, by Armando Pareja
ST. JOSEMARIA ON THE HOLY EUCHARIST Jesus has remained within the Eucharist for love... of you. He has remained, knowing how men would treat him... and how you would treat him. He has remained so that you could eat him, so that you could visit him and tell him what's happening to you; and so that you could talk to him as you pray beside the Tabernacle, and as you receive him sacramentally; and so that you could fall in love more and more each day, and make other souls, many souls, follow the same path. (The Forge, 887) The humility of Jesus: in Bethlehem, in Nazareth, on Calvary. But more humiliation and more self-abasement still in the Sacred Host: more than in the stable, more than in Nazareth, more than on the Cross. That is why I must love the Mass so much ('Our' Mass, Jesus...) (The Way, n. 533) When you approach the Tabernacle remember that he has been awaiting you for twenty centuries. (The Way, 537) There he is: King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, hidden in the Bread. To this extreme has he humbled himself through love for you. (The Way, 538) Jesus has remained in the Sacred Host for us so as to stay by our side, to sustain us, to guide us. And love can only be repaid with love. How could we not turn to the Blessed Sacrament each day, even if it is only for a few minutes, to bring him our greetings and our love as children and as brothers? (Furrow, 686) Go perseveringly to the Tabernacle, either bodily or in your heart, so as to feel safe and calm: but also in order to feel loved... and to love. (The Forge, 837) Keep struggling, so that the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar really becomes the centre and the root of your interior life, and so your whole day will turn into an act of worship — an extension of the Mass you have attended and a preparation for the next. Your whole day will then be an act of worship that overflows in aspirations, visits to the Blessed Sacrament and the offering up of your professional work and your family life. (The Forge, 69) Build up a gigantic faith in the Holy Eucharist. Be filled with wonder before this ineffable reality. We have God with us; we can receive him every day and, if we want to, we can speak intimately with him
TOMORROW IS THE FIRST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH (MAY 4, 2018). SHORT PRAYER OF CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART. Sacred Heart of Jesus, filled with infinite love, broken by my ingratitude, pierced by my sins, yet loving me still, accept the consecration that I make to You, of all that I am and all that I have. Take every faculty of my soul and body, and draw me, day by day, nearer and nearer to Your Sacred Side, and there, as I can bear the lesson, teach me Your blessed ways. Amen.
GOD CALLS US ALL TO HOLINESS AND HE WILL GIVE US THE GRACE TO LIVE BY OUR MISSION. LET US HAVE RECOURSE TO THE SOURCES OF HIS GRACE. Pope Francis recently reminded us in Gaudete et exultate of our divince vocation to holiness. Yes, you and I as well, for "This is God's will, our sanctification" As such, we must not be afraid of holiness, but rather desire and strive for it, absolutely certain that God will provide us the graces we need in the means He has put within our reach: prayer, sacraments and sacrifice.Let us then have frequent recourse to the sources of His grace. Mother, Help of Christians, pray for us! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo.
SACRED HEART OF JESUS: SHORT PRAYER OF CONSECRATION.
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: