Sunday’s First Reading (Acts 7: 55-60)
‘Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and
saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. ‘I can see heaven
thrown open’ he said ‘and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ At
this all the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with
their hands; then they all rushed at him, sent him out of the city and stoned
him. The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called
Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, ‘Lord Jesus,
receive my spirit.
Pope Francis has urged people to more consistent in their
faith, even to the point of martyrdom. During
his morning homily at Casa Santa Marta on Thursday the pope described the true
Christian witness as someone who is “consistent” in what he says, what he does,
and what he has received, namely the Holy Spirit.
He continued: “It is the witness of our martyrs today – so many!
– chased out of their homeland, driven away, having their throats cut,
persecuted: they have the courage to confess Jesus even to the point of
From today’s Gospel:
‘Simon Peter said, ‘Lord, where are you going?’ Jesus
replied, ‘Where I am going you cannot follow me now; you will follow me later.’
Peter said to him, ‘Why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for
you.’ ‘Lay down your life for me?’ answered Jesus. ‘I tell you most solemnly,
before the cock crows you will have disowned me three times.’’
This small passage from today’s Gospel follows on nicely
from our reflection on yesterday’s Gospel when we compared the simple love Mary
had for Jesus in needing to be close to him with Martha’s need to be on the go.
Do you speak openly about your faith to others? Are you not afraid to be frank about how your
religion shapes your moral code? Do you
even go as far as to try to bring others round to your way of thinking on
social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter?
In the New Evangelisation just a few years back, Pope
Benedict XVI encouraged us to get out into the world to preach the Good News of
Jesus Christ. And he wanted us to use
every available platform at our disposal in order to do this.
The pope received several standing ovations in Congress
Pope Francis, in his historic address to US Congress, has urged the world to follow Christ’s Commandment of love. The pope used the opportunity to tackle critical issues such as the dignity of human life, the death penalty and the refugee crisis. He also addressed recent attacks on marriage and family life, and his concerns that the very basis of the family and marriage is being called into question.
Here are the main quotes from the pope’s address to USC ongress this afternoon:
We must take the narrow path to Christ
Today’s First Reading (1 Timothy 6:2-12):
‘This is what you are to teach the brothers to believe and persuade them to do. Anyone who teaches anything different, and does not keep to the sound teaching which is that of our Lord Jesus Christ, the doctrine which is in accordance with true religion, is simply ignorant and must be full of self-conceit – with a craze for questioning everything and arguing about words. All that can come of this is jealousy, contention, abuse and wicked mistrust of one another; and unending disputes by people who are neither rational nor informed and imagine that religion is a way of making a profit.
The TFP Student Action Group has set up a petition asking Pope Francis to reinforce Church teaching on marriage and the family at the upcoming Synod in Rome.
The petition has been started in response to some Bishops and also the mainstream media who are trying to force through change to fit with what society perceives as truth, as opposed to what Christ and his Church teaches as Truth.
Attacks on the family have been coming thick and fast over the last fifty or sixty years and this most basic yet most cherished aspect of life which has served us so well for so long is slowly being eroded to nothing.
Venerable Fulton Sheen
Isn’t it fair to say that our Catholic faith is under attack from many angles in our world today? The growth of relativism, aggressive secularism, and even attacks from within our own ranks, by people who suggest that Church teaching is wrong on certain matters.
In my own experience it is becoming abundantly clear that more and more self-proclaimed Christians (especially Catholics) are attaching less and less importance to the role of faith, and ultimately Christ, in their lives.
Only this man has the power to save us
Sunday’s First Reading (Acts 4:8-12):
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter said: ‘Rulers of the people, and elders! If you are questioning us today about an act of kindness to a cripple, and asking us how he was healed, then I am glad to tell you all, and would indeed be glad to tell the whole people of Israel, that it was by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the one you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by this name and by no other that this man is able to stand up perfectly healthy, here in your presence, today.
Pope Francis reacts to the miracle
Isn’t it intriguing that the world pays little attention to supernatural miracles? For example, if you were to put a no-hoper with the voice of a sick frog on the ‘The Voice’ and they ended up winning the coveted reality TV show’s top prize, the world would proudly announce it to be a “miracle”. However, witnessing the sudden liquefying of the blood of a near 2,000 year old man or the sudden transformation of a communion wafer to real flesh is something that is given little attention.