Happy are They…

On the Gospel of Matthew 5:1-12

All Saints’ Day

The Sermon on the Mount occupies three full chapters in Matthew’s Gospel, and gives the main body of Christ’s teaching about the moral life. Later in Matthew, Jesus gives a summing up of morality: ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets too’ (Mt 22:37-40). Nice and simple, right? But life isn’t simple, and the paths to holiness are not as stark and monolithic as this neat summary might imply.

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Hosting Jesus

Luke 19: 1-10

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time


Jesus was in Jericho and was passing through the town. Everybody wanted to see Him. One can imagine the crowds as they crammed every space. There was a little rich man, the chief tax collector whose name was Zacchaeus, who had the opportunity of personal gain through unjust means but he too wanted to see Jesus! Zacchaeus was short in stature and could not see over the crowds gathered around Jesus, so he perched atop a sycamore tree hoping to catch at least a small glimpse of Jesus as he passed through Jericho on his way to Jerusalem. As he drew closer, Jesus looked up noticing the little rich man and said to him: “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today” (Lk 19:5). The rich man hurried down with joy to go ahead to prepare to host Jesus.

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Truth in Humility!

On the Gospel of Luke (18:9-14)

To enter into a relationship with God we need to know ourselves and recognise God simply for who he is. He knows we will have trouble understanding Him, so he makes use of parables, which work like vivid picture-books revealing a God we can know and love. Like children, however, we ourselves are often confused as to who we are. Today’s Gospel calls us to look upon ourselves and our fundamental attitude to God.

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If you will, you can become all flame

On the Gospel of Luke (18:1-8)

Before I took the Dominican habit, I was a religion teacher in a secondary school. Teaching is a wonderful job, challenging and never dull, and most of my students were a pleasure to teach: engaged, switched on, curious, questioning. Like any teenagers, they could be difficult at times, but I could deal with a bit of misbehaviour or chattiness. However, the one aspect of classroom behaviour that I found impossible to deal with was apathy. When I was introducing what seemed to me to be a particularly interesting point of theology, nothing was more unwelcome than rows of glazed-over eyes, lacking any curiosity. I relished moments when students agreed with me passionately, or disagreed with me intelligently, but when I met lukewarmness, which is neither hot nor cold… well, Revelation 3:16 often came to mind.

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Saint Louis Bertrand OP

Saint Louis BertrandFeast day: 9th of October

Friar and Priest, Memorial
Saint Louis was born in Valencia, Spain, on January 1, 1526, and in 1544 entered the Order against the wishes of his parents. He came to so exemplify the ideals of Dominican life that he was appointed master of novices. Combining an austere life with zeal for spreading the gospel, he asked to be sent to the farthest parts of the Americas and in 1562 was sent to what is now Colombia. He was given the gift of communicating with the Indians in their own tongues and with the encouragement of Bartolomeo de Las Casas defended their rights against the Spanish conquerors. He returned to Spain in 1569 and again assumed the position of master of novices. He died at Valencia on October 9, 1591. Saint Louis is the patron of novitiates and formation personnel.

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Your faith has saved you

On the Gospel of Luke (17:11-19)

Jesus and his disciples are on the move. In today’s Gospel we find them traveling in the border area at the south extremity of the province of Galilee, and at the north end where the Samaritans lived. It is within this setting of a racially mixed area that Jesus encounters the lowest of the low in society. Leprosy in biblical times was a terrible thing. It was looked upon as something far more than just a physical illness. Once a person caught it, they were considered ‘unclean’ and social outcasts. Healing a leper had not been done in Israel for seven hundred years. The possibility of such a cure was thought to be an earmark of the Messianic Age (Luke 7:22) when leprosy would no longer afflict people.

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Our Lady of the Rosary

 Lavinia Fontana of the Blessed Mother giving the rosary to St. DominicFeast day: 7th of October

From its beginning the Order of Preachers has shown special honor and devotion to Mary, Mother of God. The Rosary, which places before us the chief mysteries of the life, passion and resurrection of our Savior, has been one of the chief ways in which the Order has expressed this devotion. Our brother, Alan de La Roche (1428-1478) helped to define the structure of the Rosary and zealously promoted its recitation. At Douai in 1470 he established the first Rosary Confraternity. In 1476 our brother Jacob Sprenger established at Cologne the first such Confraternity which had papal approval. Pope Saint Pius V gave the Rosary definitive form in is bull Consueverunt Romani Pontifcis (September 17, 1569).
Today’s feast commemorates the great naval victory won by Christian forces over the Turks at Lepanto on Sunday, October 7, 1571. Pope Saint Pius V decreed that a feast in honor of Our Lady of Victories be celebrated each year on that day. His successor, Gregory XIII, transferred the feast to the first Sunday of October under the new title of the Most Holy Rosary, since it was precisely through the invocation of Our Lady of the Rosary that the victory was thought to have been gained. In the reform of the liturgy the feast was returned to its original day.

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Blessed Raymond of Capua OP

Blessed Raymond of Capua OPFeast day: 5th of October

Friar, Priest and Master of the Dominican Order, Optional Memorial

Raymond delle Vigne was born at Capua, Italy, about 1330 and while studying at the University of Bologna entered the Order there in 1350. After holding various administrative and teaching positions in the Roman Province he was assigned to be spiritual director for Saint Catherine of Siena, whose friend, confidant, biographer, guide and disciple he became. In May, 1380, Raymond was elected Master of that portion of the Order which had remained faithful to the Roman Pontiff, Urban VI. He vigorously promoted reform within the Order while at the sane time working to restore unity to the Church, rent asunder as it was by the Western Schism.  He died at Nurenberg on October 5, 1399 while visitating the German priories.

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As Christians we are to have faith, faith that can up root a tree

On the Gospel of Luke (17:5-19)

Without a doubt this gospel passage does appear to be quite cryptic and confusing. We are told by Jesus ‘were your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea”, and it would obey you”. Then we are given an example of a slave being ordered by his master to do something, and not receiving any praise for carrying out the orders given to him. What on earth has the gift of faith to do with the expectation of a master from his slave? What on earth is Jesus trying to say to us today?

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Pope Benedict’s Message to Young People

Piazza, Westminster Cathedral,

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Mr Uche, Dear young friends, thank you for your warm welcome.

Heart Speaks unto heart, as you know I chose these words so dear to Cardinal Newman as the theme of my visit. In these few moments that we are together I wish to speak to you from my own heart, and I ask to open your hearts to what I have to say.

I ask each of you first and foremost to look into your own heart, think of all the love that your heart was made to receive, and also love it is meant to give, after all we were made for love. This is what the Bible means when it says that we are made in the image and likeness of God. We were made to know the God of love, the God who is father, son and Holy Spirit, and to find our supreme fulfilment in that Divine love that knows no beginning or end.

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