Ephesians 4


​1 And so, as a prisoner in the Lord, I beg you to walk in a manner worthy of the vocation to which you have been called:

2 with all humility and meekness, with patience, supporting one another in charity.

3 Be anxious to preserve the unity of the Spirit within the bonds of peace.

4 One body and one Spirit: to this you have been called by the one hope of your calling:

5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in us all.

7 Yet to each one of us there has been given grace according to the measure allotted by Christ.

8 Because of this, he says: “Ascending on high, he took captivity itself captive; he gave gifts to men.”

9 Now that he has ascended, what is left except for him also to descended, first to the lower parts of the earth?

10 He who descended is the same one who also ascended above all the heavens, so that he might fulfill everything.

11 And the same one granted that some would be Apostles, and some Prophets, yet truly others evangelists, and others pastors and teachers,

12 for the sake of the perfection of the saints, by the work of the ministry, in the edification of the body of Christ,

14 So may we then no longer be little children, disturbed and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the wickedness of men, and by the craftiness which deceives unto error.

15 Instead, acting according to truth in charity, we should increase in everything, in him who is the head, Christ himself.

16 For in him, the whole body is joined closely together, by every underlying joint, through the function allotted to each part, bringing improvement to the body, toward its edification in charity.

17 And so, I say this, and I testify in the Lord: that from now on you should walk, not as the Gentiles also walk, in the vanity of their mind,

18 having their intellect obscured, being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is within them, because of the blindness of their hearts.

19 Such as these, despairing, have given themselves over to sexual immorality, carrying out every impurity with rapacity.

20 But this is not what you have learned in Christ.

21 For certainly, you have listened to him, and you have been instructed in him, according to the truth that is in Jesus:

22 to set aside your earlier behavior, the former man, who was corrupted, by means of desire, unto error,

23 and so be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

24 and so put on the new man, who, in accord with God, is created in justice and in the holiness of truth.

25 Because of this, setting aside lying, speak the truth, each one with his neighbor. For we are all part of one another.

26 “Be angry, but do not be willing to sin.” Do not let the sun set over your anger.

27 Provide no place for the devil.

28 Whoever was stealing, let him now not steal, but rather let him labor, working with his hands, doing what is good, so that he may have something to distribute to those who suffer need.

29 Let no evil words proceed from your mouth, but only what is good, toward the edification of faith, so as to bestow grace upon those who listen.

30 And do not be willing to grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you have been sealed, unto the day of redemption.

31 Let all bitterness and anger and indignation and outcry and blasphemy be taken away from you, along with all malice.

32 And be kind and merciful to one another, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you in Christ.

13 until we all meet in the unity of faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, as a perfect man, in the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ.

Ascension of our Lord

Ascension  Sunday Sunday

28  May  2017

(Acts 1:1-11;  Eph  1:17-23;  Mt  28:16-20)

As the  Apostles were looking on, Jesus was lifted up. Today  we  celebrate  the  day  of the  Ascension  of the  Lord  into  heaven  that  is  traceable  in  the  4th century’s  writings  of  Eusebius  and  5th  century  with St.  Augustine.

We  first  need  to  understand  that  the time  between  resurrection  and  ascension  was  not  40 days  but  Luke  uses  the  number  40  in  accordance  to the  meaning  of  it  among  the  Jews.  After  Jews  Paschal,  they  had  another feast  that  would  come  after  40  days  (Yom  habikkurim)  when  the  Jews used  to  take  their  first  fruits  for  blessings  and  we  find  it  when  the  feast  of Ascension  was  born  it  was characterized  by  blessing  of  beans  and  grapes as  the  first  fruits.  Candles  were  blessed  while  the  Easter  candle  is extinguished.  There  was  procession  with  torches  and  banners  (symbol  of lion  stepping  on  the  dragon  as  a  sign  of  Jesus’  victory)  to  commemorate Christ’s  entry  into  heaven.  This  was  the  only  day  the  deacons  and subdeacons  would  wear  mitre  like  that  of  the  bishop.

The  Pentecost (Shavu’ot)  was  on  the  50th  day  that  they  would  offer  new  meat  (Leviticus 23.16)  and  two  loaves  baked  with  leaven  (Leviticus  23.17)  of  bread,  as offering  to  the  Lord  17.  These  days  were  adapted  by  the  Church  Fathers in  order  to  lure  the  Jews  as  they  did  with  the  feast  day  of  the  Sun, Sunday.

I  believe  many  of  us  have  had  an  experience  of  escorting  somebody they  love  to  the  airport  or  train  station.  When  these  people  board  the  train or  they  check  in,  we  are  left  there  with  a  feeling  of  “missment.”  Some people  end  up  arriving  their  destination  even  before  those  who  escorted them  arrived  back  home.  When  you  call  to  say  you’ve  arrived  they  tell you,  actually  we  are  still  taking  coffee  at  the  airport!  I  wouldn’t  like  to say of those who  remain at  the cemetery hours  after the  funeral.

That  is  what  happened  to  the  disciples  when  Jesus  ascended  into heaven.  They  were  in  that  state  “missment”  and  actually  Jesus  arrived into  heaven  and  watching  down  he  saw  they  were  still  there  looking  at the sky.  He  had  to send his  messengers  to  come and  tell  them  to go  home. Some  say  that  Jesus  made  the  two  fingers  sign  (nowadays  we  term  as victory  sign  if  not  FORD  ASILI)  before  flying  and  was  misinterpreted  to have  meant  ‘Give  me  two  minutes’  but  the  expectantly  waiting  became two  hours,  two  days,  two  weeks,  two  years,  and  even  in  the  year  2000 there  were  people  waiting. That  is  the  best  thing  with  Hope.  Time  is inexistence!

(I don’t intend to be Rastafarian but I love Jah)

But  what  is  important  is  to  do  as  Jesus  commanded,  that  is,  to  go  out and  make  disciples  of  all  nations,  baptizing  and  teaching  them  to  observe all  Jesus  taught  trusting  that  Jesus  is  still  with  us  till  the  end  of  the  ages.

Unfortunately,  this  command  is  not  obeyed  enough.  Actually,  too  many Christians  are  no  longer  fishers  of  men  but  keepers  of  the  aquarium  if not tourist.

His  presence  is  to  be  experienced  in  the  Holy  Spirit.  Thus,  he commanded  the  disciples  not  to  depart  from  Jerusalem  before  receiving the  “the  promise  of  the  Father,”  the  Holy  Spirit.  Jesus  is  seated  at  the right hand  of the Father and  He has  all  power in heaven  and  on  earth.

We  conclude  with  the  blessing  of  St.  Paul  to  the  Ephesians  and  us today.

Dearly  beloved,  may  the  God  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  the  Father of  glory,  give  you  a  Spirit  of  wisdom  and  revelation  resulting  in knowledge  of  him.  May  the  eyes  of  your  hearts  be  enlightened,  that  you may  know  what  is  the  hope  that  belongs  to  his  call,  what  are  the  riches  of glory  in  his  inheritance  among  the  holy  ones,  and  what  is  the  surpassing greatness  of  his  power  for  us  who  believe,  in  accord  with  the  exercise  of his  great  might,  which  he  worked  in  Christ,  raising  him  from  the  dead and  seating  him  at  his  right  hand  in  the  heavens,  far  above  every principality,  authority,  power,  and  dominion,  and  every  name  that  is named  not  only  in  this  age  but  also  in  the  one  to  come.  And  he  put  all things  beneath  his  feet  and  gave  him  as  head over  all  things  to  the  church,  which  is  his  body, the  fullness  of  the  one  who  fills  all  things  in every way. Amen

St.  Therese of Lisieux,  pray for us. 

Sei amato

Sento il bisogno di isolarmi, di partecipare ad una celebrazione tranquilla, semplice, senza effetti speciali, senza grandi predicatori, senza folle plaudenti. Salgo in montagna in una piccola parrocchia: qui si celebra la Messa in Coena Domini che raggruppa quattro piccole comunità.

D’estate c’è un po’ di turismo ma qui, ora, solo la gente del posto.

Il parroco ha fatto venire i bambini del catechismo e le loro mamme. C’è anche la piccola cantoria inter-parrocchiale che canta dignitosamente senza accompagnamento. Si fa quel che si può.

Eccomi. Appena entro in chiesa mi sale l’emozione. 

Penso a quella sera, a quella notte. Alle donne affaccendate nel preparare la cena, al trambusto, al sorriso mesto del Signore. Così non mi disturba affatto il clima rilassato dei presenti, le chiacchiere, le ultime prove di canto. Il parroco, tenero, ha acceso il riscaldamento, c’è un bel clima tiepido.

Inizia la celebrazione. Semplice, quasi dimessa. 

Una mamma porta un secchio con l’acqua calda e la lavanda ai pochi bimbi presenti che ridacchiano è fatta con un catino di plastica. Nessuna solennità, nessuna afflato mistico, è tutto così vero.

Le emozioni ora debordano.

Penso a quei gesti, ripetuti, in questi giorni, in migliaia, in decina di migliaia di comunità. Nelle grandi Cattedrali, nelle celebrazioni solenni e pompose, nei chiesoni anonimi delle periferie, nelle chiese delle piccole comunità.

Quel gesto, quella cena. E poi le vie crucis. E la veglia pasquale.

Siamo alla fine della celebrazione, la piccola cantoria intona un dignitoso “Tantum Ergo”.

Ora Gesù è solo. Solo nelle sue scelte. Solo nel dramma di donare la propria vita quando, apparentemente, tutti fuggono. E gli parlo, lo consolo, in silenzio.

No, non sei solo, Signore.

Guarda quanto sei amato. Nella povertà di ciò che siamo. Nella piccolezza delle nostre celebrazioni. Nel limite che ci fa sempre inciampare.

Non è inutile il tuo sacrificio, non è persa la tua morte.

Siamo qui, amatissimo Signore. Qui grazie a te.

@@@@paolo curtaz@@@

 

Il corpo di Santa Rita


Il corpo di santa Rita a Cascia nell’urna.
I resti della santa sono conservati a Cascia, all’interno della basilica di Santa Rita, facente parte dell’omonimo santuario e fatta erigere tra il 1937 e il 1947. Il corpo è rivestito dall’abito agostiniano cucito dalle monache del monastero, come voluto dalla badessa Maria Teresa Fasce, e posto in una teca all’interno della cappella in stile neobizantino.

Ricognizioni mediche effettuate nel 1972 e nel 1997[6] hanno confermato la presenza, sulla zona frontale sinistra, di tracce di una lesione ossea aperta (forse osteomielite), mentre il piede destro mostra segni di una malattia sofferta negli ultimi anni di vita, forse associata ad una sciatalgia. Era alta 1 metro e 57 cm. Il viso, le mani e i piedi sono mummificati, il resto del corpo, coperto dall’abito agostiniano, è in forma di semplice scheletro.

Santa Rita

Monaca agostiniana Modifica


Lo “scoglio” di Roccaporena.

Abbandonata anche dai parenti del marito, Rita decise di prendere i voti ed entrare nel monastero agostiniano di Santa Maria Maddalena, a Cascia. Chiese per tre volte inutilmente il noviziato, che le venne rifiutato per ragioni non chiare; alcuni biografi pensano che rappresentasse un ostacolo la presenza di una parente del marito mai vendicato tra le monache. Tuttavia, con tenacia, fede e preghiera, Rita convinse la famiglia Mancini ad abbandonare ogni proposito di vendetta. Dopo aver riconciliato i Mancini con le fazioni degli assassini, Rita riuscì ad entrare in monastero intorno al 1407. Secondo la tradizione agiografica che si rifà alla biografia di Cavallucci, Rita, in piena notte, venne portata in volo dal cosiddetto “scoglio” di Roccaporena (altura dove andava spesso a pregare) fino dentro le mura del monastero di Cascia dai suoi tre santi protettori (Agostino, Giovanni Battista e Nicola da Tolentino, quest’ultimo canonizzato soltanto nel 1446).
Sempre secondo Cavallucci, la badessa del monastero mise a dura prova la vocazione e l’obbedienza di Rita, facendole annaffiare un arbusto di vite secco, presente nel chiostro del monastero. Il legno, dopo un po’ di tempo, riprese vita e dette frutto. Nello stesso chiostro, oggi, è presente una vite risalente al XIX secolo. Durante i quarant’anni di vita monacale, Rita non solo si dedicò alla preghiera, a penitenze e a digiuni nel monastero, ma uscì spesso per andare in servizio a poveri e ammalati di Cascia.

Blessing of Roses on the day of St Rita

Santuario di Santa Rita da Cascia

BLESSING OF THE ROSES
Solemn Form

BEGINNING AND GREETING

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

May God, the Source of Holiness, who calls us to be holy, be with you all. And with your Spirit.

INTRODUCTORY ADMONITION

The blessing of the roses, which we are going to do, recalls an episode from the life of Saint Rita.The Saint, in January 1457, while she was sick in her monastic cell of Cascia, asked a cousin to bring her from Roccaporena a rose of her land.

The tradition states that God granted this wish and the relative of Rita was able to pick for her a rose that had bloomed in the winter, in the snow.

We call upon the Lord, who generously gives spiritual and material graces to those who call on him, that he may deign to bless these roses, which are for us a tribute to the memory of Saint Rita. She miraculously had a rose as a consolation for the thorn that associated her for fifteen years with the redemptive passion of Jesus.

May these roses bring us hope, strength, health, joy and peace in imitation of Saint Rita.

READING OF THE WORD OF GOD

Hear the word of God from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians

(1 Cor 13, 1-7).

The hymn to charity

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,

but do not have love,

I am a noisy gong

or a clanging cymbal.
And if I have prophetic powers,

and understand all mysteries 

and all knowledge,

and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains,

but do not have love,

I am nothing.
If I give away all my possessions,

and if I hand over my body to be burned,

but do not have love,

I gain nothing.
Love is patient; love is kind.

Love is not envious

or boastful

or arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way;
it is not irritable

or resentful;
it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, 

but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things, 

believes all things,

hopes all things,

endures all things.

PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL
Brothers and sisters, we invoke God our Father, with deep devotion so that he bless us, guide us and sustain us always with the power of his Spirit.
Let us say: Bless your people, Lord.
O God of love, you accompanied with your grace the path of Saint Rita, support us too so that we may live with commitment the vocation to holiness.

Let us pray
O God of tenderness, you gave Rita a rose as a delicate sign of your love, grant that we too may become instruments of peace and consolation.

Let us pray
O God of all beauty, these flowers and the whole of creation tell us about yourself, help us to be in the world of every perfume and every call of Christ.

Let us pray
O God of all comfort, Saint Rita walked in faith among the thorns of life, grant us peace and strength in times of suffering.

Let us pray
Let us now turn to God the Father, reciting together the prayer that Jesus taught us:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen
Let us pray
O God, rich in mercy and the source of all consolation, pour out Your blessing + on these roses and those who receive them, so that, in memory of the miracle of the rose you gave to Saint Rita in the comfort for the thorn, that associated her for fifteen years to the redemptive Passion of Jesus, we may be filled with Your graces and bear witness to the Risen Christ:
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever. 

Amen
The roses are sprinkled with holy water.
CONCLUSION
Convert to thee the hearts of your faithful, and through the intercession of St. Rita guard all of us under your protection.

Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.
And may the blessing of almighty God 

Father, Son and Holy Spirit 

be upon you and remain with you always.

Amen.
+ ANTONIO AMBROSANIO, Archbishop of Spoleto – Norcia
 
Ordinary Form
V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

R. Who made heaven and earth.
Let us pray
O God, whose word sanctifies everything, pour out your blessing on these roses which we present in honour of Saint Rita and grant that those who will use it with devotion, through the merits of the cross and resurrection of your Son, may receive through your kindness, comfort and health in illness, perseverance in following your Son every day and in carrying with gratitude his own cross.
Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.
Or:
You, O God, grant generously spiritual and material graces to those who invoke you. Give your blessing on these roses, which are for us a tribute to the memory of Saint Rita. She miraculously had a rose as a consolation for the thorn that associated her for fifteen years with the redemptive passion of Jesus. May these roses bring us hope, strength, health, joy and peace in imitation of Saint Rita.
Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.
Or (cfr. Book of Blessings n.1641):
Lord God you make your Church shine with the virtues and deeds of the saints, look upon your faithful who, by carrying this rose in honour of St. Rita, may have what they need in this life and by adhering with love to your precepts may proceed safely to immortal life. To you honour and glory for ever.
Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

St Rita of Cascia

She is also known as Margarita of Cascia, Rita La Abogada de Imposibles, Saint of the Impossible


Memorial: 22 May

Profile

Daughter of Antonio and Amata Lotti, a couple known as the Peacemakers of Jesus; they had Rita late in life. From her early youth, Rita visited the Augustinian nuns at Cascia, Italy, and showed interest in a religious life. However, when she was twelve, her parents betrothed her to Paolo Mancini, an ill-tempered, abusive individual who worked as town watchman, and who was dragged into the political disputes of the Guelphs and Ghibellines. Disappointed but obedient, Rita married him when she was 18, and was the mother of twin sons. She put up with Paolo’s abuses for eighteen years before he was ambushed and stabbed to death. Her sons swore vengeance on the killers of their father, but through the prayers and interventions of Rita, they forgave the offenders.

Upon the deaths of her sons, Rita again felt the call to religious life. However, some of the sisters at the Augustinian monastery were relatives of her husband’s murderers, and she was denied entry for fear of causing dissension. Asking for the intervention of Saint John the Baptist, Saint Augustine of Hippo, and Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, she managed to bring the warring factions together, not completely, but sufficiently that there was peace, and she was admitted to the monastery of Saint Mary Magdalen at age 36.

Rita lived 40 years in the convent, spending her time in prayer and charity, and working for peace in the region. She was devoted to the Passion, and in response to a prayer to suffer as Christ, she received a chronic head wound that appeared to have been caused by a crown of thorns, and which bled for 15 years.

Confined to her bed the last four years of her life, eating little more than the Eucharist, teaching and directing the younger sisters. Near the end she had a visitor from her home town who asked if she’d like anything; Rita’s only request was a rose from her family’s estate. The visitor went to the home, but it being January, knew there was no hope of finding a flower; there, sprouted on an otherwise bare bush, was a single rose blossom.

Among the other areas, Rita is well-known as a patron of desperate, seemingly impossible causes and situations. This is because she has been involved in so many stages of life – wife, mother, widow, and nun, she buried her family, helped bring peace to her city, saw her dreams denied and fulfilled – and never lost her faith in God, or her desire to be with Him.

Born: 1386 at Roccaparena, Umbria, Italy

Died: 22 May 1457 at the Augustinian convent at Cascia, Italy of tuberculosis

Beatified: 1 October 1627 by Pope Urban VIII

Canonized: 24 May 1900 by Pope Leo XIII

Patronage

abuse victims, against infertility, against loneliness, against sickness, against sterility, against wounds, bodily ills, Cascia in Italy, Dalayap in Philippines, desperate causes, difficult marriages, forgotten causes, Igbaras, Iloilo, Philippines, IMPOSSIBLE CASES, lost causes, parenthood, sick people, sterile people, victims of physical spouse abuse, widows and wounded people