SAINT VINCENT PALLOTTI
"Do we live our lives as a seeker of God or realize that God is seeking us? God is indeed seeking us. In fact, we have been found in our Baptism. We enter into the mission of the Son who was sent by the Eternal Father into the world to save us. We are co-responsible for this mission and are in “holy cooperation” with the Most Blessed Trinity. Therefore, we are sent by Christ as his apostles or missionary disciples into the Church and the world to revive faith and rekindle charity. We accompany other seekers in becoming found in Christ and through his Church."
- Fr. Frank Donio SAC (Washington DC, USA)
Saint Vincent Pallotti. Born in Rome on April 21, 1795, Vincent Pallotti was a well-known priest in the city because of his great apostolic action and exemplary holiness. Truly a radical for his time, St. Vincent was known for approaching the "faithful of every class, rank, and condition" to minister to "those who are most spiritually needy." During his lifetime, he founded the Union of Catholic Apostolate, an association to revive faith and rekindle charity among Catholics and propagate faith to all. He believed that all are called to be apostles of Jesus Christ. [Catholic Apostolate Center]
The world has seen many religions and priests, but it doesn’t even remember their names, and nothing is left of them. People used to throw their hands up in prayer and preach passionate sermons, but no one really cares about them any longer. It is easy to proclaim a new religion now and we see them all the time, the new gods, new ideologies, new systems. They don’t last long and fall into oblivion like many before. Jesus Christ is the only true priest of the One God. Jesus Christ is not only the priest but also the sacrifice. His sacrifice lasts and will continue as long as we need to be rescued from death. When you see the priest at the altar celebrating the Holy Mass think of Jesus Christ who is our eternal Priest.
“He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.”
- Gospel, Mark 3: 1-6
We have incredible medical science and technology that can safe life and can work miracles. We know how to care for each other. We can sacrifice ourselves to protect other human beings, but we don’t know how to treat hardened hearts. God can heal body and soul. God can cure withered hand and God can heal a broken and cold heart. We don’t need technology, we don’t need science to believe, we just need to meet Jesus who comes our way.
BISHOP'S PASTORAL LETTER
BISHOP OF HAMILTON
FOR THE COMMON GOOD
On the Pandemic Sacrifices
My dear friends,
The decision to close our churches and suspend public celebrations of the Mass has been a
painful one for our clergy, religious, and all the lay faithful in the Diocese. While the
sadness of our inability to gather to celebrate the Eucharist is profound, some of the
responses to this closure — in addition to falling short of the demands of charity — betray a
fundamental lack of understanding not only of why this great sacrifice is being made, but
also whose example we follow in so doing ... (read here the full letter)
We know that this life is only a tiny piece of the life that we are destined to enjoy in God. Once born we are not going to die because even behind the curtain of death there is only more life, a life without end, a life in eternal happiness. We only see the curtain now, but we know what is behind, because we believe Jesus who already walked behind the curtain and will show us the way ...
January 18 to 25 marks the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. "The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has a history of over 100 years in which Christians around the world have taken part in an octave of prayer for visible Christian unity. By annually observing the WPCU, Christians move toward the fulfillment of Jesus' prayer at the Last Supper "that they all may be one."' (cf. John 17:21)
SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
This week we are back to John the Baptist and to Jordan river but in a different context and perspective. John’s prophecy about Jesus started to come true. Jesus started to act as the Messiah … but on this occasion Jesus didn’t organize a spectacular kick off event with fireworks. Jesus first was looking for the people he could trust, for the disciples. He didn’t need bodyguards, or admirers, or supermen but he was looking for the people of faith who could carry on that faith across the ages. He found them, they found him.
Jesus had very specific way of testing his disciples. He let them to stay with him. This is what Jesus always does for those who are interested to follow him, He invites them to his home. We find Jesus in every Church. There is His constant presence and joy when He is seeing us coming together, united in our faith. The church is his home, and it is our home. Not being able to visit him there is the true reason why we are so saddened now when the church door is closed.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
I remember when doing my grocery shopping, sometimes I could here children behind my back whispering to their parents, “Mom, look, Father Luke is buying milk.” I felt like a little paparazzi busted me, but I was also glad that they could recognize me as an ordinary guy who needs to buy milk and on other occasion is standing at the altar and gives them Jesus. This time is over, at least for some time since no one can see my face behind the mask or see mee smiling when I recognize them.
Isolation, loneliness is the big problem of this pandemic. I can imagine only how big its impact is on the people who don’t have many family or fiends to see or give a call to. I assume we have many parishioners in this situation. When on the phone with someone like that the conversation is going on and on, just can’t stop.
As soon as this social distancing will be over, we must do something to connect our parishioners who feel lonely. We have space to have them over. We have chairs and tables they can sit around. Tea or coffee, prayer or game or just ordinary conversation, something that can bond them together so that in case of another pandemic and lockdown they can call each other, care about each and other simply be together despite physical distancing. Just an idea worth to give a thought.
... GOD FOR EVER AND EVER
"Following a request from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the
Sacraments in Vatican the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops agreed to adjust the English-language wording to the conclusion of the Collect (the opening prayer) in the Roman Missal as approved for use in Canada.
As of Ash Wednesday, 17 February 2021, the word “one” is to be omitted from the conclusion of the Collect, and likewise of similar prayers in the liturgy (for example, the Blessing of Water at the Easter Vigil). Instead of ending “one God, for ever and ever”, the Collect will now end “God, for ever and ever”.
Until now, the word “one” has been used in the conclusion to the Collect in both the earlier and
the current English-language translations of the Roman Missal. However, in consultation with the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, the Bishops of English-speaking countries are in the process of deciding when and how each country will implement this change. The reason for it is to avoid possible misunderstandings about the identity of the Son within the Blessed Trinity, or even the misconception that Our Lord Jesus Christ is “one God” among others.
With this change, the English will now also be consistent with the Latin text, as well as conform
with translations into other European languages including French..."
(Diocese of Hamilton Liturgical Office Instructions, Jan 2021)
Collect for today:
Attend to the pleas of your people with heavenly care,
O Lord, we pray,
that they may see what must be done
and gain strength to do what they have seen.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
(one) God, for ever and ever.
I am always very grateful to all my friends and parishioners who make sure to issue to Santa “you were a good boy certificate” and consequently make some beautiful presents appearing under my Christmas Three. This year I want to highlight one of them. I was really excited to open the package and find inside a rare gift, a brand new Word on Fire Bible. It is a collection of four Gospels only, but it is published in a special way.
Father Casey Cole was also surprised by the gift of this Bible and recorded a nice presentation explaining why this edition is so special ... Thnak you for all the gifts!
The closed door is not a barrier for prayer and love!