- A Pentecostal, a Pope, and an IPhone for Christian Unity (Helpful Hints for Life)
- The Inspiring Message Pope St. Paul VI Sent to Apollo 11 Astronauts 50 Years Ago (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- A Simple Prayer for Christian Unity (the praying hands at the very last)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
Behold the Lamb of God
"Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center..."
Jesus is proclaimed as the Lamb of God by John the Baptist in the Holy Gospel:
John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world . - John 1:29
These are also the words we hear right before we kneel down before the Holy Eucharist as the priest holds Him up, and proclaims, "Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to supper of the Lamb."
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. To learn more of why a Lamb, read the piece in Catholic Term.
P.S. This coming Sunday is the 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time . > Readings
P.S.S. At the end of E-weekly is this week's readings with reflections and questions for self or family.
Lamb of God
- name given to Christ foreshadowed in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New Testament
[A symbol of Christ. Rendered in many forms as early as the fourth century. Various aspects show the animal balancing a staff by its right front leg, with a wound in its chest pouring blood into a chalice, representing Christ's Blood in the Passion; the staff bearing a flag signifying Christ's victory in the Resurrection; the lamb resting or standing on a closed book with its seven sealed streamers symbolizing Christ as the judge. The lamb is the emblem of docility; "harshly dealt with, he bore it humbly, he never opened his mouth like the lamb that is led to the slaughter house" (Isaiah 53:7). But the lamb triumphant is portrayed symbolically in the song ascribed to St. Ambrose, "Now at the Lamb's high royal feast," and St. John speaks of the wrath of the Lamb when the sixth seal is broken. As an emblem of St. John the Baptist, it is found in Chartres Cathedral on a banner that reads "Behold the Lamb of God," referring to Christ, "Who takes away the sins of the world." St. Agnes, the child virgin and martyr, is also symbolized by the lamb.]
–prayer of Saint Augustine of Hippo
There is more that unites Christians than divides them. Yet at times this is easy to forget. Jesus prayed in John 17:
Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are.
- John 17:11
A Pentecostal, a Pope and an iPhone for Christian Unity
Posted by Cindy Wooden
VATICAN CITY — The search for Christian unity is an enterprise that has taken the time and energy of scholars and popes. Recently it got a helping hand from an iPhone and YouTube.
Those involved in ecumenism insist on the power of prayer to heal Christian divisions and on the importance of involving not only high-powered theologians, but Christians of every community and every walk of life. They need to meet each other, get to know each other, help each other and pray with and for each other.
Putting those sentiments into practice, Pope Francis agreed to record a message to a group of Pentecostals in the United States. His guest, a bishop from a Pentecostal Christian community, did the camera work with an iPhone.
The pope’s message can be seen here, it begins at about 31:35 after Bishop Tony Palmer delivers a speech to a Kenneth Copeland Ministries about the importance of Christian unity for preaching salvation in Christ to the world. The bishop, who also serves as international ecumenical officer for the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, a group that is not affiliated with the Anglican Communion, takes a much simpler view of the path full Christian unity than the pope and the mainline Christian churches do.
The translation used for the English subtitles on the video are not precise, but the pope’s sincerity is clear.
The video can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ9Ssvs5cgY
John the Baptist is "more than a prophet." In him, the Holy Spirit concludes his speaking through the prophets. John completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah. He proclaims the imminence of the consolation of Israel; he is the "voice" of the Consoler who is coming. As the Spirit of truth will also do, John "came to bear witness to the light." In John's sight, the Spirit thus brings to completion the careful search of the prophets and fulfills the longing of the angels. "He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God. . . . Behold, the Lamb of God." -Catechism of the Catholic Church #719
Living and Sharing the fullness of the Faith. A worldwide lay apostolate centered on love for Christ, consecrated to Mary, loyal to Peter's successor. The world is in urgent need of discovering Jesus Christ and in being one with His Church. It is within Christ’s Catholic Church - "the pillar and foundation of truth" (1 Tim 3:15) - that the person comes to the fullness of his or her relationship with Jesus. You can be a powerful instrument in communicating this life transforming message.
Several Pro-Life laws Take Effect in South Dakota
By CNA Staff
Pierre, S.D., Jul 2, 2021 / 17:01 pm
Five pro-life laws went into effect in South Dakota on Thursday.
As of July 1, it is no longer legal to abort a child due to a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, and it will no longer be legal to require a surrogate to abort a child as part of her surrogacy contract.
SB 183, “An Act to declare certain contract provisions regarding abortion as deceptive acts or practices,” was introduced by state Sen. Lee Schoenbeck (R-05), the president pro tempore of the South Dakota Senate, and Rep. Jon Hansen (R-25), the speaker pro tempore of the House of Representatives.
The legislation makes it illegal to write a contract that “Include(s) a provision in a contract that, under any circumstances, requires a woman to have an abortion, or is intended to compel a woman to have an abortion.”
The law also makes a contract which coerces or compels a woman to have an abortion; punishes her for not having an abortion; or forces a woman to pay for a child she did not abort “void and unenforceable.”
Further, as of July 1, doctors in South Dakota will be required to provide appropriate medical care to a child who is born alive following an attempted abortion, and doctors must inform women seeking a medical abortion that it is possible to attempt to reverse the effects of the first abortion drug in a two-drug regimen.
Additionally, an updated definition of “abortion” in South Dakota is now law. This new definition states that abortion is the “intentional termination of the life of a human being in the uterus.”
The previous definition in South Dakota law stated that abortion was “the use of any means to intentionally terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with knowledge that the termination with those means will, with reasonable likelihood, cause the death of the fetus.”
The pope looked at the moon from a telescope and watched the landing on television from the Vatican Astronomical Observatory.
He dedicated Psalm 8 to the astronauts, giving them a handwritten letter to leave on the moon. He also blessed them once they landed. He then congratulated President Richard Nixon via telegram for the successful landing.
Pope St. Paul VI sent this message to Apollo 11 astronauts:“Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to men of good will!
Christ, when coming among us from the abysses of the divinity, made this blessed voice resound in the firmament.
Today, we, His humble representative, echo and repeat it as a festive hymn on the part of our whole terrestrial globe, no longer the insurmountable boundary of human existence but the open threshold to the wide expanse of boundless space and new destinies.
Glory to God!
And honor to you, the architects of this great space undertaking! Honor to the men responsible to the scientists, the planners, the organizers, and the technicians who made it a reality!
Honor to all those who have made possible this most daring flight. Honor to all of you who in any way played a part.
Honor to you who, seated at your marvelous instruments, control the flight; to you whom inform the world of the enterprise and its time-table, which extends to the depths of the heavens the wise and bold dominion of man.
Honor, greetings and blessings!
Here, from His Observatory at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, Pope Paul the Sixth is speaking to you astronauts.
Honor, greetings and blessing to you, conquerors of the Moon, pale lamp of our nights and our dreams! Bring to her, with your living presence, the voice of the spirit, a hymn to God, our Creator and our Father.
We are close to you, with our good wishes and with our prayers. Together with the whole Catholic Church, Paul the Sixth salutes you.”
INSPIRED BY POPE FRANCES, CALIFORNIA LEGAL COUNSEL CLINIC OFFERS FREE SERVICES
Oakland, Calif., Jul 19 (EWTN News/CNA) - Free legal counsel and advice may sound too good to be true, but in the Diocese of Oakland, it’s a reality.
On June 7, the Pope Francis Legal Clinic opened in Oakland, California, on the property of the Cathedral of Christ the Light.
“So many people have legal problems because law is everywhere,” Tom Greerty, director and co-founder of the clinic, told EWTN News.
“What we try and do is relieve the hardships of people.”
Experienced lawyers volunteer their time to offer free legal consulting, reconciliation, and resolution services to any adult in the community.
Greerty, who recently retired from his legal practice in Martinez, California, said the idea started while he was earning his master’s degree in theological studies from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley.
“My professor, Sister Marianne Farina, asked me to do a project which would be consistent with my job,” Greerty said.
That project became the Pope Francis Legal Clinic, and in less than two years, others helped to make his idea a reality.
Nico Herrera, another attorney in the diocese, helped co-found the clinic. The Order of Malta, which runs a health clinic on the cathedral grounds, made space available for the new endeavor with the help of Tony Sanchez Corea, a member of the board. Bishop Michael C. Barber embraced the idea and had the clinic’s name in mind.
“I want this to be called the Pope Francis Legal Clinic,” the bishop told Greerty.
“We agreed to that naturally,” Greerty said.
Bishop Barber had a desire for the clinic to be about mercy, not just the law.
“Mercy is ordinarily not about the law,” Greerty explained. “The law doesn’t think in terms of mercy. The law thinks in terms of justice.”
But Greerty said the bishop wanted him and other faithful lawyers to bring mercy and reconciliation to legal problems that Greerty said are “almost always a breakdown in human relations.”
The lawyers spend an hour with each client. They listen to the client’s story, go over the history of the client’s problem, and try to understand the “nature of the problem.”
“We try to honor the memory of Pope Francis, and what he is trying to do with the Year of Mercy, to try and help people in a merciful way with the law,” Greerty said.
He also noted that the idea could likely be replicated in other dioceses across the country. Many Catholic lawyers are retired or far enough along in their practices to have the time and resources to establish similar clinics, he said.
Bishop Barber blessed the clinic on June 4, the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the clinic was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart as well.
Right now, the clinic is open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Appointments are required.
According to Greerty, 10 lawyers have signed up to volunteer their services and more than 20 clients have already made appointments.
“I think we may be onto something,” he said.
POPE'S GENERAL AUDIENCE:
"BE COURAGEOUS AND GO TO CONFESSION"
Vatican City, 19 February (VIS) – The Holy Father dedicated his catechesis at this Wednesday's general audience to the Sacrament of penance. After touring St. Peter's Square in an open car, greeting the thousands of faithful who applauded as he passed, the Pope explained that “the forgiveness of our sins is not something we can offer to ourselves; it is not the result of our efforts, but rather a gift from the Holy Spirit, which fills us from the wellspring of mercy and grace that surges endlessly from the open heart of Christ, crucified and risen again. … It reminds us that it is only by allowing ourselves to be reconciled through the Lord Jesus with the Father and with our brothers that we may truly be at peace”.
Pope Francis explained that the celebration of this Sacrament has transformed from its previously public nature to the private and reserved form of Confession. However, “this should not lead to the loss of the ecclesiastical matrix, which constitutes its living context. Indeed, the Christian community is the place in which the presence of the Spirit is felt, which renews hearts in God's love and brings all brothers together as one, in Jesus Christ”. He continued, “For this reason, it is not enough to ask for the Lord's forgiveness in our own minds and hearts, but rather it is also necessary to humbly and trustfully confess our sins to a minister of the Church”.
The Bishop of Rome emphasised that the priest does not only represent God, but rather the community as a whole, and that anyone who seeks to confess only to God should remember that our sins are also committed against our brothers and against the Church, which is why it is necessary to ask forgiveness from them too, and to be ashamed for what we have done. “Shame can be good”, he affirmed; “It is good for us to have a certain amount of shame, because to be ashamed can be healthy. When someone has no shame, in my country we describe them as “sin verguenza”, shameless. Shame can be good as it can make us humble, and the priest receives this confession with love and tenderness, and forgives in the name of God. Also from a human point of view, to unburden oneself, it is good to speak with a brother and to tell the priest those things which lie so heavily upon our hearts. And one feels unburdened before God, with the Church, and with a brother. Do not be afraid of Confession!”
The Pontiff went on to ask those present when they last confessed, and strongly urged them not to overlook Confession. “If a long time has passed, do not waste another day, go, the priest will be good. It is Jesus who is there, and Jesus is better than a priest, Jesus will receive you, he will receive you with love. Be courageous and go to Confession! … Every time we confess, God embraces us, God celebrates! Let us go ahead on this path. May God bless you!”
After agreeing to baptize him along with the sinners, John the Baptist looked at Jesus and pointed him out as the "Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world". By doing so, he reveals that Jesus is at the same time the suffering Servant who silently allows himself to be led to the slaughter and who bears the sin of the multitudes, and also the Paschal Lamb, the symbol of Israel's redemption at the first Passover. Christ's whole life expresses his mission: "to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." -Catechism of the Catholic Church #608
Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources Officer asks a young engineer fresh out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "And what starting salary are you looking for?" The engineer replies, "In the region of $125,000 a year, depending on the benefits package." The interviewer inquires, "Well, what would you say to a package of five weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every two years, say, a red Corvette?" The engineer sits up straight and says, "Wow! Are you kidding?" The interviewer replies, "Yeah, but you started it."
Teacher: "If I gave you 2 cats and another 2 cats and another 2, how many would you have?"Johnny: "Seven."Teacher: "No, listen carefully... If I gave you two cats, and another two cats and another two, how many would you have?"Johnny: "Seven."Teacher: "Let me put it to you differently. If I gave you two apples, and another two apples and another two, how many would you have?"Johnny: "Six."Teacher: "Good. Now if I gave you two cats, and another two cats and another two, how many would you have?"Johnny: "Seven!"Teacher: "Johnny, where in the heck do you get seven from?!"Johnny: "Because I've already have a cat!"
42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
A Joke for the Older (and wiser?) Crowd
A distraught senior citizen phoned her doctor's office.
"Is it true," she wanted to know,
"that the medication you prescribed has
to be taken for the rest of my life?"
"Yes, I'm afraid so," the doctor told her.
There was a moment of silence before the senior lady replied,
"I'm wondering, then, just how serious is my condition
because this prescription is marked 'NO REFILLS'."
For the Married on the topic of OFFSPRING
• Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
• A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.
That we may be one Father as You and your Son are one. Amen.
Christ's death is both the Paschal sacrifice that accomplishes the definitive redemption of men, through "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world", and the sacrifice of the New Covenant, which restores man to communion with God by reconciling him to God through the "blood of the covenant, which was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins". –Catechism of the Catholic Church #613
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday, July 4th, 2021
The First Reading- Ezekiel 2:2-5
As the LORD spoke to me, the spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard the one who was speaking say to me: Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have revolted against me to this very day. Hard of face and obstinate of heart are they to whom I am sending you. But you shall say to them: Thus says the LORD GOD! And whether they heed or resist—for they are a rebellious house—they shall know that a prophet has been among them.
Do you ever feel like you’re talking to a wall? Like nobody’s listening? In our first reading, the Prophet Ezekiel is going to be sent to speak to Israel on behalf of God. But, before he goes, God gives him a warning: they are “hard of face and obstinate of heart”. They are “a rebellious house.” Sound familiar? Sure—we’ve all been there. And we’ve all been them. But, God says that even if they don’t change, they will know that a prophet has been there. It wasn’t Ezekiel’s job to make them do what God wanted—only to bring the message and plant the seeds. It’s not our job to make people do what we think is right—only to bring God’s message and plant the seeds.
Adults -Do you ever feel like your efforts to spread the Gospel are in vain? How does knowing that this has been going on since the beginning of time make you feel?
Teens - It’s often hard to feel like we are being rejected, and continue to reach out in spite of it. How does the first reading encourage you to continue to spread God’s love?
Kids - Do you ever feel like people don’t listen to you? How does it make you feel? What can you do about it?
Responsorial- Psalm 123: 1-2, 2, 3-4
R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.
To you I lift up my eyes
who are enthroned in heaven --
As the eyes of servants
are on the hands of their masters.
R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.
As the eyes of a maid
are on the hands of her mistress,
So are our eyes on the LORD, our God,
till he have pity on us.
R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.
Have pity on us, O LORD, have pity on us,
for we are more than sated with contempt;
our souls are more than sated
with the mockery of the arrogant,
with the contempt of the proud.
R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.
-Offer one of the Works of Mercy this week.
The Second Reading- 2 Corinthians 12: 7-10
Brothers and sisters: That I, Paul, might not become too elated, because of the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Paul has a condition that he’s asked God to take from him a number of times. God didn’t heal him. Instead, Paul feels that God wants him to be content with the spiritual comfort that God offers, but he will not be healed. Paul says, “when I am weak, I am strong” because he has to rely on God for his strength in that illness. That’s not an easy attitude to take. God didn’t give him that affliction, God didn’t cure it, but God holds him up in the midst of it.
-Say a special prayer this week for all those afflicted with physical or mental illness.
The Holy Gospel according to Mark 6: 1-6
Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.
The Gospel is reminiscent of one from a couple of weeks ago—Jesus is home and being rejected. They knew him when he was a kid, and they don’t feel that there was anything particularly remarkable about him then—why should he be such a big shot now? They don’t want to hear his message or have him perform any miracles. They want him to be normal or leave. So, he does. Just like as the first reading, we hear that God will send us what we need, but God won’t require us to be open to receiving it.
Adults -Is there someone in your life that you have written off as unimportant? How can you reach out to them, and maybe help them use their gifts for the Kingdom of God?
Teens -Why do you think Jesus was unable to perform many miracles in his hometown? Are you surprised at the reaction of his neighbors?
Kids - Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t teach people about Jesus because you’re too small. This reading shows us that people often don’t know as much about others as they think that they do!
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! – “Let us renew our loyalty to Christ today. He humbled himself so that we might be raised to the standing of sons of God. He shared our human nature with us so that we could share his divine nature. He died a cruel death on Calvary so that we could have an eternal life in heaven. We pray for light for those whose foolish pride has left them groping in darkness. Let us also ask the good God to keep us ever on the road of truth, the road of Christian humility which leads to the eternal home which Christ has won for us by his incarnation. -Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.