23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Note: Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I had been compiled for you after the Mass Readings below. Happy Reading!
Liturgical Colour: Green.
Mass Readings from ETWN.
See our compilation with Pictures in Encouragements-292. 8-)
First Reading: Wisdom 9:13-18,
Responsorial: Psalm 90:3-6,12-14,17,
2nd Reading: Philemon 9-10, 12-17 &
Please spread the News to help the innocent victims who commit no crime. Many Thanks.
Till this day, there is no apologies from the Rulers and no compensation paid for damages inflicted.
Homilies, Angelus / Regina Caeli
But there is an antidote to depression. What is it? To have in our hearts a great ideal, authentic values, which can give meaning to our life.
2. This is the condition of the true Christian. He can nurture a trustful optimism, because he is certain of not walking alone. In sending us Jesus, the eternal Son made man, God has drawn near to each of us. In Christ he has become our traveling companion. If time marches on inexorably, often shattering even our dreams, Christ, the Lord of time, gives us the possibility of an ever new life.
In journalistic language, the great flow of people as they leave on holiday and return home is often called an “exodus” and a “reverse exodus”. These expressions have a remote “biblical flavour”. As everyone knows, the Exodus was the great event in which the chosen people were freed from slavery in Egypt, while from the Christian standpoint, it recalls the paschal mystery and the journey that man is called to make by following Jesus, who frees us from sin and opens us to communion with God and our brethren.
All of Christian life is an “exodus”, that is, a journey in which we draw closer and closer to the Father’s house. Dear brothers and sisters, let us live this spiritual “exodus” and not allow material things to worry us to the point of becoming the only horizon of our life. Let us rediscover the joy of lifting our gaze to heaven, in order to give everything a more inward dimension that is deeper and richer in hope.
3. May the Blessed Virgin fill our hearts with a sense of life as a journey to be made in God’s company, just as it was for her. Many times the Gospel presents her to us on a journey, both before and after Jesus’ birth, until the final journey which led her to the foot of the Cross. Thus we see her as a “pilgrim” on the roads marked out by the divine plan. Let us call upon her as “St Mary of the Way”, as we follow in her footsteps and feel the presence of her motherly love.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 30 August 1998)
See our compilation with Pictures in Encouragements-292. 8-)
3. Dear Friends, I invite you to renew your "yes" and I consign to you three duties: the first is "contemplation": strive to walk on the path of holiness, keeping your gaze fixed on Jesus, the one Teacher and Saviour of all.
The second duty is "communion": endeavour to promote the spirituality of unity with the Pastors of the Church, with all the brethren in the faith and with the other ecclesial associations. Be the leaven of dialogue with all people of good will.
The third duty is "mission": as lay people, take the leaven of the Gospel to homes and schools, to places of work and recreation. The Gospel is a word of hope and salvation for the world.
May the sweet Lady of Loreto obtain for you fidelity to your vocation, generosity in carrying out your daily duties and enthusiasm in dedicating yourselves to the mission that the Church entrusts to you!
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 5 September 2004)
See our compilation with Pictures in Encouragements-293. 8-)
See our compilation with Pictures in Encouragements-293. 8-)
We have listened to the Word of God and it comes naturally to welcome it, on this occasion, thinking again of Pope Leo XIII and of the legacy he has bequeathed to us. The main theme that emerges from the biblical Readings is that of the primacy of God and of Christ. In the Gospel passage from St Luke, Jesus himself frankly states the three conditions necessary for being his disciples: to love him more than anyone else and more than life itself; to carry one's cross and to walk after him; to renounce all one's possessions. Jesus sees a great crowd following him with his disciples and wants to make it quite clear to all that following him is demanding and cannot depend on enthusiasm or opportunism. It must be a carefully considered decision taken after asking oneself, in all conscience: who is Jesus for me? Is he truly "Lord", does he take first place, like the sun around which all the planets rotate? And the First Reading from the Book of Wisdom indirectly suggests to us the reason for this absolute primacy of Jesus Christ: in him we find the answers to the questions of human beings in every epoch who seek the truth about God and about themselves. God is out of our reach and his plans are unknown to us. Yet he has chosen to reveal himself, in creation and especially in the history of salvation, while in Christ he fully manifested himself and his will. Although it remains true that "No one has ever seen God" (John 1: 18), we now know his "name" and his "face" and even his will, because Jesus, who is the Wisdom of God made man, has revealed them to us. "Thus", writes the sacred author of the First Reading, "men were taught what pleases you, and were saved by wisdom" (Wisdom 9: 18).
This fundamental reminder of the Word of God makes us think of two aspects of the life and ministry of your venerable Fellow Citizen whom we are commemorating today, the Supreme Pontiff Leo XIII. First of all it should be emphasized that he was a man of great faith and profound devotion. This still continues to be the basis of everything for every Christian, including the Pope. Without prayer, that is, without inner union with God, we can do nothing, as Jesus clearly tells his disciples at the Last Supper (cf. John 15: 5). Pope Pecci's deep religious feeling shone out through his words and actions and was also reflected in his Magisterium: among his numerous Encyclicals and Apostolic Letters, like the theme running through a series of books, there are those of a properly spiritual character which aim above all at increasing Marian devotion, especially through the Holy Rosary. It is a true and proper "catechesis", which marks the 25 years of his Pontificate from beginning to end. Yet we also find Documents on Christ the Redeemer, on the Holy Spirit, on the consecration to the Sacred Heart, on the devotion to St Joseph, on St Francis of Assisi. Leo XIII had special ties with the Franciscan Family as he belonged to the Third Order. I like to consider all these different elements as facets of a single reality: love of God and of Christ, to which absolutely nothing must be preferred. And Vincenzo Gioacchino Pecci assimilated this, his first and principal quality, here in his native town from his parents and from his parish.
However there is also a second aspect which once again derives from the primacy of God and of Christ. It is found in the public action of every Pastor of the Church in particular of every Supreme Pontiff with the characteristics proper to the personality of each one. I would say that the very concept of "Christian wisdom", which emerged earlier in the First Reading and in the Gospel, offers us the synthesis of this structure according to Leo xiii it is not by chance that it is also the incipit of one of his Encyclicals. Every Pastor is called to pass on to the People of God "wisdom" not abstract truths; in other words a message that combines faith and life, truth and practical reality. Pope Leo XIII, with the help of the Holy Spirit was able to do this in one of the most difficult periods of history for the Church by, staying faithful to tradition and, at the same time, measuring up to the great open questions. And he succeeded precisely on the basis of "Christian wisdom", founded on the Sacred Scriptures, on the immense theological and spiritual patrimony of the Catholic Church and also on the sound and crystal clear philosophy of St Thomas Aquinas, whom he esteemed highly and promoted throughout the Church.
At this point after considering the basis, in other words the faith and spiritual life and hence the general framework of Leo XIII's Message, I shall refer to his social Magisterium. The Encyclical Rerum Novarum brought it undying fame but it was enriched by many other interventions that constitute an organic body, the first nucleus of the Church's social doctrine. Let us start with St Paul's Letter to Philemon. Which the Liturgy felicitously makes us read this very day. It is the shortest text of all the Pauline Letters. During a period in prison the Apostle transmitted the faith to Onesimus, a slave originally from Colossae, after he had escaped from his master Philemon, a rich inhabitant of that city, and had become Christian together with his relatives, thanks to Paul's preaching. The Apostle now writes to Philemon asking him to receive Onesimus no longer as a slave but as a brother in Christ. The new Christian brotherhood overcame the separation between slaves and free men, and grafted on to history a principle of the promotion of the individual that was to lead to the abolition of slavery and also to surmounting other barriers that still exist today. Pope Leo XIII dedicated to the theme of slavery his Encyclical Catholicae Ecclesiae, of 1890.
This particular experience of St Paul with Onesimus can give rise to a broad reflection on the incentive to human promotion contributed by Christianity in the process of civilization and also on the method and style of this contribution, that are in conformity with the Gospel images of "seed" and "leaven": within historical reality Christians, acting as individual citizens or in an association, constitute a beneficial and peaceful force for profound change, encouraging the development of the potentials inherent in reality itself. It is this form of presence and action in the world that is proposed by Church's social doctrine, which always focuses on the development of consciences as a condition for effective and lasting transformations.
We must now ask ourselves: what was the context into which, 200 years ago, was born the man who 68 years later was to become Pope Leo XIII? Europe was then weathering the great Napoleonic storm that followed the French Revolution. The Church and many expressions of Christian culture were radically disputed (think only of examples such as, calculating the years no longer from Christ's birth but from the beginning of the new revolutionary era, or of removing the names of Saints from the calendar, from streets, from villages...). Rural populations were not of course favourable to these overwhelming changes and remained firm to religious traditions. Daily life was hard and difficult: the conditions of health and of nourishment left much to be desired. In the meantime industry was developing and with it the workers' movement, more and more politically organized. The Magisterium of the Church, at its highest level, was driven and aided by local thoughts and experiences to compile an overall interpretation in view, of the new society and of its common good. Thus when Leo XIII was elected Pope in 1878 he felt called to bring this interpretation to completion in the light of his extensive knowledge of international breadth, but also of many projects put into practice "on the spot" by Christian communities and men and women of the Church.
Indeed, dozens and dozens of Saints and Blesseds, from the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th, sought and tested, with the creativity of charity, many ways to put the Gospel message into practice in the new social situations. There is no doubt that such initiatives, with the sacrifices and reflection of these men and women, prepared the ground for Rerum Novarum and for Pope Pecci's other social Documents. Since the time when he was Apostolic Nuncio in Belgium, he had realized that the social question could be positively and effectively confronted with dialogue and mediation. In a time of harsh anti-clericalism and passionate demonstrations against the Pope, Leo XIII knew how to guide and support Catholics on the path to a constructive participation, rich in content, firm on principles and capable of openness. Subsequent to Rerum Novarum, in Italy and in other countries an authentic explosion of initiatives arose: associations, rural and artisan country banks, newspapers... a vast "movement" of which the Servant of God Giuseppe Toniolo was an enlightened animator. A very elderly Pope but, wise and far-sighted, Leo XIII was able to usher into the 20th century a rejuvenated Church with the right approach to facing the new challenges. He was a Pope still politically and physically a "prisoner" in the Vatican, but in reality, with his Magisterium, he represented a Church which could face without complexes the important questions of the contemporary age.
Dear friends of Carpineto Romano, we do not have time to examine these subjects in depth. The Eucharist which we are celebrating, the Sacrament of Love, recalls to us the essential: charity, the love of Christ that renews men and women and the world. This is the essential and we see it clearly, we almost perceive it in the words of St Paul in his Letter to Philemon. In that short note, in fact, can be felt all the gentleness at the same time as the revolutionary force of the Gospel; one feels the discreet and at the same time irresistible style of charity, which, as I wrote in my social Encyclical Caritas in Veritate, it is "the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity" (n. 1). With joy and affection I therefore leave you the old and ever new commandment: love one another as Christ has loved us, and with this love may you be the salt and light of the world. Thus you will be faithful to the legacy of your great and venerable Fellow Citizen, Pope Leo XIII; and so may it be throughout the Church! Amen.
Pope Benedict XVI (Homily, 5 September 2010)
First I would like to apologize for arriving late! I have just returned from Carpineto Romano where, 200 years ago, Pope Leo XIII, Vincenzo Gioacchino Pecci, was born. I thank the Lord for having been able to celebrate the Eucharist with his fellowcitizens on this important anniversary. I now wish briefly to present my Message published a few days ago addressed to the young people of the world for the 26th World Youth Day that will be taking place in Madrid in a little less than a year.
The theme I have chosen for this Message uses an expression from St Paul's Letter to the Colossians: "Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith" (2: 7). It is definitely a proposal that goes against the tide! Indeed who today suggests to young people that they be "rooted" and "firm"? Rather uncertainty, mobility and volubility are extolled... all aspects that reflect a culture unsure about basic values, about the principles on whose basis to direct and regulate life. In fact, because of my experience and the contacts I have with youth I know well that every generation, indeed, every individual person, is called to take anew the path of the discovery of life's meaning. And it is for this very reason that I chose to propose again a Message in the biblical style that evokes the images of a tree and a house. A young person, in fact, is like a growing tree: to develop healthily it needs deep roots which when stormy gales come will keep it firmly planted in the ground. The image of the building under construction also recalls the need for good foundations so that the house will be solid and safe.
And this is the heart of the Message: it is inherent in the words "in Christ" and "in the faith". The full maturity of the person, his or her inner stability, are founded in the relationship with God, a relationship that passes through an encounter with Jesus Christ. A relationship of deep trust, of authentic friendship with Jesus, can give a young person what he or she needs to face life: serenity and interior enlightenment, an aptitude for thinking positively, broadmindedness with regard to others, the readiness to pay in person for goodness, justice and truth. One last and very important aspect: in order to become a believer a young person is supported by the faith of the Church; if no one is an island, neither is the Christian who discovers in the Church the beauty of faith shared with others in brotherhood and in the service of charity.
My Message to young people is dated 6 August, the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. May the light of Christ's Face shine in the heart of every young person! And may the Virgin Mary accompany and protect communities and youth groups towards the important Meeting in Madrid in 2011.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 5 September 2010)
See our compilation with Pictures in Encouragements-294. 8-)
See our compilation with Pictures in Encouragements-294. 8-)
“Who can learn the counsel of God?” (Wisdom 9:13). This question from the Book of Wisdom that we have just heard in the first reading suggests that our life is a mystery and that we do not possess the key to understanding it. There are always two protagonists in history: God and man. Our task is to perceive the call of God and then to do his will. But in order to do his will, we must ask ourselves, “What is God’s will in my life?”
We find the answer in the same passage of the Book of Wisdom: “People were taught what pleases you” (Wisdom 9:18). In order to ascertain the call of God, we must ask ourselves and understand what pleases God. On many occasions the prophets proclaimed what was pleasing to God. Their message found a wonderful synthesis in the words “I want mercy, not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6; Matthew 9:13). God is pleased by every act of mercy, because in the brother or sister that we assist, we recognize the face of God which no one can see (cf. John 1:18). Each time we bend down to the needs of our brothers and sisters, we give Jesus something to eat and drink; we clothe, we help, and we visit the Son of God (cf. Matthew 25:40). In a word, we touch the flesh of Christ.
We are thus called to translate into concrete acts that which we invoke in prayer and profess in faith. There is no alternative to charity: those who put themselves at the service of others, even when they don’t know it, are those who love God (cf. 1 John 3:16-18; James 2:14-18). The Christian life, however, is not merely extending a hand in times of need. If it is just this, it can be, certainly, a lovely expression of human solidarity which offers immediate benefits, but it is sterile because it lacks roots. The task which the Lord gives us, on the contrary, is the vocation to charity in which each of Christ’s disciples puts his or her entire life at his service, so to grow each day in love.
We heard in the Gospel, “Large crowds were travelling with Jesus” (Luke 14:25). Today, this “large crowd” is seen in the great number of volunteers who have come together for the Jubilee of Mercy. You are that crowd who follows the Master and who makes visible his concrete love for each person. I repeat to you the words of the Apostle Paul: “I have indeed received much joy and comfort from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you” (Philemon 1:7). How many hearts have been comforted by volunteers! How many hands they have held; how many tears they have wiped away; how much love has been poured out in hidden, humble and selfless service! This praiseworthy service gives voice to the faith – it gives voice to the faith! – and expresses the mercy of the Father, who draws near to those in need.
Following Jesus is a serious task, and, at the same time, one filled with joy; it takes a certain daring and courage to recognize the divine Master in the poorest of the poor and those who are cast aside, and to give oneself in their service. In order to do so, volunteers, who out of love of Jesus serve the poor and the needy, do not expect any thanks or recompense; rather they renounce all this because they have discovered true love. And each one of us can say: “Just as the Lord has come to meet me and has stooped down to my level in my hour of need, so too do I go to meet him, bending low before those who have lost faith or who live as though God did not exist, before young people without values or ideals, before families in crisis, before the ill and the imprisoned, before refugees and immigrants, before the weak and defenceless in body and spirit, before abandoned children, before the elderly who are on their own. Wherever someone is reaching out, asking for a helping hand in order to get up, this is where our presence – and the presence of the Church which sustains and offers hope – must be”. And I do this, keeping alive the memory of those times when the Lord’s hand reached out to me when I was in need.
Mother Teresa, in all aspects of her life, was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making herself available for everyone through her welcome and defence of human life, those unborn and those abandoned and discarded. She was committed to defending life, ceaselessly proclaiming that “the unborn are the weakest, the smallest, the most vulnerable”. She bowed down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity; she made her voice heard before the powers of this world, so that they might recognize their guilt for the crime – the crimes! – of poverty they created. For Mother Teresa, mercy was the “salt” which gave flavour to her work, it was the “light” which shone in the darkness of the many who no longer had tears to shed for their poverty and suffering.
Her mission to the urban and existential peripheries remains for us today an eloquent witness to God’s closeness to the poorest of the poor. Today, I pass on this emblematic figure of womanhood and of consecrated life to the whole world of volunteers: may she be your model of holiness! I think, perhaps, we may have some difficult in calling her “Saint Teresa”: her holiness is so near to us, so tender and so fruitful that we continual to spontaneously call her “Mother Teresa”. May this tireless worker of mercy help us increasingly to understand that our only criterion for action is gratuitous love, free from every ideology and all obligations, offered freely to everyone without distinction of language, culture, race or religion. Mother Teresa loved to say, “Perhaps I don’t speak their language, but I can smile”. Let us carry her smile in our hearts and give it to those whom we meet along our journey, especially those who suffer. In this way, we will open up opportunities of joy and hope for our many brothers and sisters who are discouraged and who stand in need of understanding and tenderness.
Pope Francis I (Homily, 4 September 2016)
As we prepare to conclude this celebration, I wish to greet and to thank all of you who have participated.
First of all the Missionaries of Charity, who are Mother Teresa’s spiritual family. May your holy Foundress always watch over your path and help you to always be faithful to God, to the Church and to the poor.
With grateful respect I greet the authorities present, in particular those from countries most linked to the figure of the new Saint, as well as the official Delegations and the numerous pilgrims who have come from these countries for this happy occasion. May God bless your nations.
I affectionately greet all of you, dear volunteers and people who carry out works of mercy. I entrust you to the protection of Mother Teresa: may she teach you to contemplate and adore Jesus Crucified every day in order to recognize him and serve him in our brothers in need. We ask this grace also for all those who are united with us by means of the media, in all parts of the world.
At this time I would like to draw attention to those people who place themselves at the service of others in difficult and dangerous environments. I am thinking especially of the many women religious who give their lives without holding back. Let us pray especially for the Spanish missionary nun, Sr Isabel, who was killed two days ago in the capital of Haiti, a country so tried, for which I hope for an end to such violent acts and that there will be greater security for all. Let us also remember other Sisters who recently have suffered violence in other countries.
Let us do so by turning in prayer to the Virgin Mary, Mother and Queen of all the saints.
Pope Francis I (Angelus, 4 September 2016)
Note: This webpage has many hyperlinks to the Vatican Webpage. The above extracts were compiled for your easy reading.
This Publication is aimed to encourage all of Goodwill around the World. It is not for business or profit purposes but it is our way to thank our Creator for His continuous blessings!
Compiled on 1 September 2019