Sept. 26: SAINTS COSMAS AND DAMIAN, Martyrs.

Sept. 26:
Sts. COSMAS AND DAMIAN, Martyrs
[Optional Memorial]

 
They were twins, born in Arabia, and practised the art of healing in the seaport Ægea, now Ayash (Ajass), on the Gulf of Iskanderun in Cilicia, Asia Minor, and attained a great reputation. They accepted no pay for their services and were, therefore, called anargyroi, “the silverless”. In this way they brought many to the Catholic Faith.
 
When the Diocletian persecution began, the Prefect Lysias had Cosmas and Damian arrested, and ordered them to recant. They remained constant under torture, in a miraculous manner suffered no injury from water, fire, air, nor on the cross, and were finally beheaded with the sword.
 
Their three brothers, Anthimus, Leontius, and Euprepius died as martyrs with them. The execution took place 27 September, probably in the year 287. At a later date a number of fables grew up about them, connected in part with their relics. The remains of the martyrs were buried in the city of Cyrus in Syria; the Emperor Justinian I (527-565) sumptuously restored the city in their honour.
 
Having been cured of a dangerous illness by the intercession of Cosmas and Damian, Justinian, in gratitude for their aid, rebuilt and adorned their church at Constantinople, and it became a celebrated place of pilgrimage.
 
At Rome Pope Felix IV (526-530) erected a church in their honour, the mosaics of which are still among the most valuable art remains of the city.
 
The Greek Church celebrates the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian on 1 July, 17 October, and 1 November, and venerates three pairs of saints of the same name and profession. Cosmas and Damian are regarded as the patrons of physicians and surgeons and are sometimes represented with medical emblems.
 
They are invoked in the Canon of the Mass and in the Litany of the Saints.
 
STS. COSMAS AND DAMIAN, PRAY FOR US!
 
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A FILIAL PRAYER TO MOTHER MARY

A FILIAL PRAYER TO MOTHER MARY

My dearest Mother Mary,
defend and protect me from the snares of the enemy.
Hold me tight in your arms and
show me the path that leads to your Son.
As Jesus depended on you,
I likewise do.

Help me please God in all things.
Teach me how to love Him more
by faithfully fulfilling His Will.
Be my teacher and guide,
so that at the end of my life,
I may eternally rest my soul with God.

My dearest Mother Mary,
do not abandon me. I love you.

-Catholics striving for holiness-

Sept. 27 ST. VINCENT DE PAUL, Priest Short bio + Divine office 2nd reading

Sept. 27
ST. VINCENT DE PAUL, Priest
Short bio + Divine office 2nd reading

Born in France, St. Vincente (1581-1660), as a priest, dedicated his life to the evangelization of the poor, the unfortunate, and the suffering. Together with Louise de Marillac, he founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity. He also founded the Congregation of Priests of the Mission, known as Lazarists. His life remained deeply rooted in humility in spite of his worldwide fame.

Second Reading
A writing of St Vincent de Paul
Serving the poor is to be preferred above all things

Even though the poor are often rough and unrefined, we must not judge them from external appearances nor from the mental gifts they seem to have received. On the contrary, if you consider the poor in the light of faith, then you will observe that they are taking the place of the Son of God who chose to be poor.

Although in his passion he almost lost the appearance of a man and was considered a fool by the Gentiles and a stumbling block by the Jews, he showed them that his mission was to preach to the poor: He sent me to preach the good news to the poor. We also ought to have this same spirit and imitate Christ’s actions, that is, we must take care of the poor, console them, help them, support their cause.

  Since Christ willed to be born poor, he chose for himself disciples who were poor. He made himself the servant of the poor and shared their poverty. He went so far as to say that he would consider every deed which either helps or harms the poor as done for or against himself. Since God surely loves the poor, he also loves those who love the poor. For when one person holds another dear, he also includes in his affection anyone who loves or serves the one he loves. That is why we hope that God will love us for the sake of the poor. So when we visit the poor and needy, we try to understand the poor and weak. We sympathise with them so fully that we can echo Paul’s words: I have become all things to all men. Therefore, we must try to be stirred by our neighbours’ worries and distress. We must beg God to pour into our hearts sentiments of pity and compassion and to fill them again and again with these dispositions.

  It is our duty to prefer the service of the poor to everything else and to offer such service as quickly as possible. If a needy person requires medicine or other help during prayer time, do whatever has to be done with peace of mind. Offer the deed to God as your prayer. Do not become upset or feel guilty because you interrupted your prayer to serve the poor. God is not neglected if you leave him for such service. One of God’s works is merely interrupted so that another can be carried out. So when you leave prayer to serve some poor person, remember that this very service is performed for God. Charity is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity. Since she is a noble mistress, we must do whatever she commands. With renewed devotion, then, we must serve the poor, especially outcasts and beggars. They have been given to us as our masters and patrons.

Responsory      

℟. Though I am not a slave of any man I have made myself the slave of everyone. For the weak I made myself weak;* I made myself all things to all men in order to save them all.

℣. I was eyes for the blind, and feet for the lame. Who but I was father of the poor?* I made myself all things to all men in order to save them all.

Let us pray.

O God, who for the relief of the poor and the formation of the clergy endowed the Priest Saint Vincent de Paul with apostolic virtues, grant, we pray, that afire with that same spirit, we may love what he loved ‘ and put into practice what he taught. Through our Lord.

25th Sunday O.T. (A). YOUR WAYS ARE NOT MY WAYS. God’s logic surpasses human logic.

25th Sunday OT A- Your ways are not my ways.png

25th Sunday O.T. (A).
YOUR WAYS ARE NOT MY WAYS.
God’s logic surpasses human logic.

OUTLINE

  1. Summary of ideas to today’s readings
  2. Your ways are not my ways
  3. The Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard: God calls us to different ways and at different hours, but gives us the same reward. 

1. Summary of ideas to today’s readings

Today’s Sunday readings remind us that God has His own ways which are different from ours: God’s logic is different from human logic. What seems to be reasonable and just for us could be different from what God has planned, for His thoughts and Will surpass all human expectations.

  • It is precisely in the 1st reading from Isaiah 55:6-9 where God manifested this:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.”

  • This important idea is exemplified in the 2nd reading and the Gospel as well. In the 2nd reading taken from St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians 1:20c-24, 27a, the Apostle of the Gentiles, we are reminded that “For to me life is Christ, and death is gain” and to “conduct ourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
    • To live Christ’s life, a life worthy of the Gospel, requires to die unto our self, very much contrary to the worldly ambition to aim to what is pleasurable and material, seeking one’s life instead.
  • The Gospel taken from St. Matthew 20:1-16a recounts the Parable of the labourers in the vineyard where God’s way of saving the humanity is a mystery in itself, arising from His Infinite Goodness and Mercy as manifested by the fact that those who were called at the 3rd, 6th and ninth hours received the same wages.

2. Your ways are not my ways

The fact that God’s thoughts and ways surpass what man could envision is a source of hope for each one of us and should spur us to trust more in God’s Will and thank Him for His Infinite Wisdom.

  • Many times we pray and hope for something, and in spite of our insistence, God seems to play deaf to our petitions. This is not the case.
  • God’s logic is different from ours, and so is His Divine Will from our finite and limited human will. We must always remember that GOD ALWAYS KNOWS MOST AND BEST if at times discouragement sets in due to unanswered prayers or to the presence of suffering and evil in the world which we see in our daily life.
  • The attitude of a Christian must always be: LORD, I TRUST IN YOU! IF THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT, THEN THIS IS WHAT I WANT. MAY THY MOST HOLY WILL BE PRAISED AND GLORIFIED.

3. The Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard: God calls us to different ways and at different hours, but gives us the same reward.

This parable is addressed to the Jewish people, whom God called at an early hour, centuries ago.

  • Now the Gentiles or non-Jews are also being called — with an equal right to form part of the new people of God, the Church.
  • In both cases it is a matter of a gratuitous, unmerited, invitation; therefore, those who were the “first” to receive the call have no grounds for complaining when God calls the “last” and gives them the same reward — membership of his people.
  • At first sight the labourers of the first hour seem to have a genuine grievance — because they do not realize that to have a job in the Lord’s vineyard is a divine gift. Jesus leaves us in no doubt that although he calls us to FOLLOW DIFFERENT WAYS AND AT DIFFERENT HOURS, all receive THE SAME REWARD — HEAVEN.

Let us thank the Most Blessed Trinity, who assured us that “I am the Savior of all people, says the Lord. Whatever their troubles, I will answer their cry, and I will always be their Lord. (Entrance antiphon),” for His Infinite Wisdom, Goodness, Love and Mercy. Let us always remember that His Ways are not our ways and He know most and what is best for each one of us so as to entrust and abandon our concerns, our life into His Hands.

Through the intercession of Our Lady of Ransom, we pray: Lord, do not consider what we truly deserve, but grant us your forgiveness.

PHOTO CREDIT: RICHARD FAENZA 2012 IN FLICKR

MASS READINGS: 25TH Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle A

25TH  Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Mass Readings

For the meditation of these readings see http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-2PY

1st Reading: Isaiah 55:6-9

Seek the LORD while he may be found,
call him while he is near.
Let the scoundrel forsake his way,
and the wicked his thoughts;
let him turn to the LORD for mercy;
to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
As high as the heavens are above the earth,
so high are my ways above your ways
and my thoughts above your thoughts.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

________________________________________

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18

R. (18a) The Lord is near to all who call upon him.

Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.

The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.

2nd Reading: St. Paul’s Letter to the  Philippians 1:20C-24, 27A

Brothers and sisters:
Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.
For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.
If I go on living in the flesh,
that means fruitful labor for me.
And I do not know which I shall choose.
I am caught between the two.
I long to depart this life and be with Christ,
for that is far better.
Yet that I remain in the flesh
is more necessary for your benefit.Only, conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

________________________________________

Alleluia CF. ACTS 16:14B

Alleluia, alleluia.
Open our hearts, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GOSPEL

The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit..

A reading + from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 20:1-16A

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o’clock,
the landowner saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.’
So they went off.
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o’clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o’clock,
the landowner found others standing around, and said to them,
‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’
They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’
He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.’
When those who had started about five o’clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
‘These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’
He said to one of them in reply,
‘My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?’
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

SEPT. 23: PRAYER CARD OF ST. PIO PIETRELCINA (PADRE PIO).

SEPT. 23: PRAYER CARD OF
ST. PIO PIETRELCINA (PADRE PIO)

Dear God, You generously blessed Your servant,
St. Pio of Pietrelcina, with the gifts of the Spirit.
You marked his body with the five wounds of Christ Crucified,
as a powerful witness to the saving Passion and Death of Your Son.
Endowed with the gift of discernment, St. Pio labored endlessly in the confessional for the salvation of souls.
With reverence and intense devotion in the celebration of Mass, he invited countless men and women to a greater union with Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
Through the intercession of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, I confidently beseech You to grant me the grace of (state your petition).Glory be to the Father… (3x). Amen.

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