READING OF THE DAY: 29 OCTOBER, 2015

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“Brothers and sisters: If God is for us, who can be against us?

He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?

Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones?

It is God who acquits us.

Who will condemn?

It is Christ (Jesus) who died, rather, was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.

What will separate us from the love of Christ?

Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?

As it is written: “For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:31b-39.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 27 OCTOBER, 2015

Saint Frumentius

Bishop, Apostle of Ethiopia
(† 383)

Saint Frumentius

Saint Frumentius was still a child when his uncle, a Christian philosopher of Tyre in Phoenicia, took him and his brother Edesius on a voyage to Ethiopia. In the course of their voyage the vessel anchored at a certain port, and the barbarians of that country slew with the sword all the crew and passengers, except the two children.

Because of their youth and beauty they were taken to the king at Axuma, who, charmed with the wit and sprightliness of the two boys, took special care of their education, and later made Edesius his cup-bearer and Frumentius, who was a little older, his treasurer and secretary of state.

The king, on his deathbed, thanked them for their services and in reward gave them their liberty.

After his death the queen begged them to remain at court and assist her in the government of the state until the young prince came of age; this they did, using their influence to spread Christianity.

When the young king reached his majority, Edesius desired to return to Tyre, and Frumentius accompanied him as far as Alexandria.

There he begged Saint Athanasius, its Patriarch, to send a bishop to the country where they had spent many years; and the Patriarch, considering him the best possible candidate for this office, in the year 328 consecrated him bishop for the Ethiopians.

Vested with this sacred character he gained great numbers to the Faith by his discourses and miracles, and the entire nation embraced Christianity with its young king, thus fulfilling a famous prophecy of Isaiah, uttered 800 years before Christ. (Isaiah 45:14)

Saint Frumentius continued to feed and defend his flock until it pleased the Supreme Pastor to call him home and reward his fidelity and labors, in about the year 383.

We may note that the date of October 27th is also the feast day of a king of Ethiopia, Saint Elesbaan, who after overcoming the enemies of Christ, sent his royal diadem to Jerusalem in the time of the Emperor Justinus, and embraced monastic life.

He died 250 years after Saint Frumentius, in 523.

(SOURCE: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).)

READING OF THE DAY: 27 OCTOBER, 2015

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“Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like?

To what can I compare it?

It is like a mustard seed that a person took and planted in the garden.

When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and ‘the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.'”

Again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?

It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”” – Luke 13:18-21.

READING OF THE DAY: 26 OCTOBER, 2015

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“Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath.

And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect.

When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.”

He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.

But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, “There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.”

The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering?

This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day from this bondage?”

When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.” – Luke 13:10-17.

READING OF THE DAY: 25 OCTOBER, 2015

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“As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging.

On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”

And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.

But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.”

Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”

So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage; get up, he is calling you.”

He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.

Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?”

The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.”

Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.”

Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.” – Mark 10:46-52.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 24 OCTOBER, 2015

Saint Raphael the Archangel

Saint Raphael the Archangel

This holy Archangel identified himself to the exiled Jew Tobias as one of the Seven who stand before God (Tob. 12:15).

His name means the healing of God, and he is thought to be the Angel who came down and agitated the water of the pool of Bethsaida in Jerusalem.

The sick, who always lay around the pool, strove to be the first to enter the water afterwards, because that fortunate one was always cured.

We read of this in the story of the paralytic cured by Jesus, who had waited patiently for thirty-eight years, unable to move when the occasion presented itself.(Cf. John 5:1-9)

Saint Raphael is best known through the beautiful history of the two Tobias, father and son, exiled to Persia in the days of the Assyrian conquest in the eighth century before Christ. In their story, the Archangel plays the major role.

The father Tobias was a faithful son of Jacob and was old and worn out by his manifold good works; for many years he had assisted his fellow exiles in every possible way, even burying the slain of Israel during a persecution by Sennacherib, and continuing this practice despite the wrath that king manifested towards him.

Having been stripped of all his possessions, he desired to have his son recover a substantial sum of money he had once lent to a member of his family in a distant city.

He needed a companion for the young Tobias.

God provided that guide in the Archangel Raphael, whom the son met providentially one day, in the person of a stranger from the very area where he was to go, in the country of the Medes.

Raphael to all appearances was a young man like himself, who said his name was Azarias(Assistance of God).

Everything went well, as proposed; the young Tobias recovered the sum and then was married, during their stay in Media, to the virtuous daughter of another relative, whom Providence had reserved for him.

All aspects of this journey had been thorny with difficulties, but the wise guide had found a way to overcome all of them.

When a huge fish threatened to devour Tobias, camped on the shores of the Tigris, the guide told him how to remove it from the water, and the fish expired at his feet; then remedies and provisions were derived from this creature by the directives of Azarias.

When the Angel led Tobias for lodging in the city of Rages, to the house of his kinsman Raguel, father of the beautiful Sara, the young man learned that seven proposed husbands had died on the very day of the planned marriage.

How would Tobias fare?

The Angel reassured him that this would not be his own fate, and told him to pray with his future spouse for three nights, that they might be blessed with a holy posterity.

Sara was an only daughter, as Tobias was an only son, and she was endowed with a large heritage.

During the absence of the young Tobias, his father had become blind when the droppings of a pigeon had fallen into his eyes. When the two travelers returned after an extended absence, which had cost his mother many tears, the young Tobias was deeply grieved to find his father unable to see him and his new daughter-in-law.

But Raphael told the son how to cure his father’s blindness by means of the gall of the fish; and after the remedy had proved efficacious, all of them rejoiced time in their blessings.

When Tobias the son narrated his story and told his father that all their benefits had come to them through this stranger, both father and son wished to give Azarias half of the inheritance.

Raphael declined and revealed his identity, saying he was sent to assist the family of the man who had never failed to obey and honor the blessed God of Israel.

Raphael, before he disappeared, said to the family: It is honorable to reveal and confess the works of God. Prayer is good, with fasting and alms, more than to lay up treasures, for alms deliver from death and purge away sins, and cause the giver to find mercy and life everlasting… When thou didst pray with tears and didst bury the dead, and didst leave thy dinner to hide the dead by day in thy house, and bury them by night, I offered thy prayer to the Lord. And because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that trials prove thee… I am the Angel Raphael, one of the seven who stand before the Lord.

(SOURCE: The Holy Bible: Old and New Testaments)

READING OF THE DAY: 24 OCTOBER, 2015

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“Some people told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices.

He said to them in reply, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans?

By no means!

But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!

Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them –do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem?

By no means!

But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!”

And he told them this parable: “There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none,

he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none.

(So) cut it down.

Why should it exhaust the soil?’

He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.'” – Luke 13:1-9.