READING OF THE DAY: 31 JANUARY, 2017

jesuscureshemorrhagicwoman
“When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.

One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet
and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.”

He went off with him, and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.

She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.

She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak.

She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.”

Immediately her flow of blood dried up.

She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.

Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”

But his disciples said to him, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?'”

And he looked around to see who had done it.

The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling.

She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.

He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”

While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”

Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”

He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.

When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.

So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.”

And they ridiculed him.

Then he put them all out.

He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was.

He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”

The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. (At that) they were utterly astounded.

He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat.” – Mark 5:21-43.

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READING OF THE DAY: 29 JANUARY, 2017

christ-preaching
“When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.

He began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”‘ – Matthew 5:1-12.

 

 

READING OF THE DAY: 28 JANUARY, 2017

calmsthesea
‘On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples: “Let us cross to the other side.”

Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was.

And other boats were with him.

A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up.

Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.

They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”

He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”

The wind ceased and there was great calm.

Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”

They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”‘ – Mark 4:35-41.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 28 JANUARY, 2017

Saint Peter Nolasco

Founder
(1189-1256)

 Saint Peter Nolasco
Saint Peter Nolasco

In the early thirteenth century the Moors still held much of Spain, and in sudden raids from the sea they carried off thousands of Christians, holding them as slaves in Granada and in their citadels along the African coast.

A hero of these unfortunates was Saint Peter Nolasco, born about the year 1189 near Carcassonne in France.

When he went to Barcelona to escape the heresy then rampant in southern France, he consecrated the fortune he had inherited to the redemption of the captives taken on the seas by the Saracens.

He was obsessed with the thought of their suffering, and desired to sell his own person to deliver his brethren and take their chains upon himself.

God made it known to him how agreeable that desire was to Him.

Because of these large sums of money he expended, Peter became penniless.

He was without resources and powerless, when the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and said to him: Find for Me other men like yourself, an army of brave, generous, unselfish men, and send them into the lands where the children of the Faith are suffering.

Peter went at once to Saint Raymond of Pennafort, his confessor, who had had a similar revelation and used his influence with King James I of Aragon and with Berengarius, Archbishop of Barcelona, to obtain approbation and support for the new community.

On August 10, 1218, Peter and two companions were received as the first members of the Order of Our Lady of Ransom, dedicated to the recovery of Christian captives.

To the three traditional vows of religion, its members joined a fourth, that of delivering their own persons to the overlords, if necessary, to ransom Christians.

The Order spread rapidly. Peter and his comrades traveled throughout Christian Spain, recruiting new members and collecting funds to purchase the captives.

Then they began negotiations with the slave-owners.

They penetrated Andalusia, crossed the sea to Tunis and Morocco, and brought home cargo after cargo of Christians.

Although Peter, as General of the Order, was occupied with its organization and administration, he made two trips to Africa where, besides liberating captives, he converted many Moors.

He died after a long illness on Christmas night of 1256; he was canonized by Pope Urban VIII in 1628.

His Order continues its religious services, now devoted to preaching and hospital service.

(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); Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 2)

READING OF THE DAY: 27 JANUARY, 2017

seeds2
“Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.

Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.

And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.”

He said, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it?

It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.

But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”

With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.

Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.” -Mark 4:26-34.

READING OF THE DAY: 23 JANUARY, 2017

preached-jesus
“The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.”

Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables, “How can Satan drive out Satan?

If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.

And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him.

But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man.

Then he can plunder his house.

Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them.

But whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.”

For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”‘ – Mark 3:22-30.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 22 JANUARY, 2017

Saint Vincent of Saragossa

Deacon and Martyr
(† 304)

Saint Vincent of Saragossa
Saint Vincent of Saragossa

Saint Vincent was archdeacon of the church at Saragossa, Spain. Valerian, the bishop, was prevented from preaching by a speech impediment, and named Vincent to preach in his stead.

He answered in the bishop’s name when, during the persecution of Diocletian, both were brought before Dacian, the presiding officer.

When the bishop was sent into banishment, Vincent was retained, to suffer and to die.

First he was stretched on the rack; and when he was almost torn asunder, Dacian asked him in mockery how he fared now.

Vincent answered, with joy on his countenance, that he had always prayed to be as he was then.

It was in vain that Dacian struck the executioners and goaded them on in their savage work.

The martyr’s flesh was torn with hooks; he was bound to a chair of red-hot iron; lard and salt were rubbed into his wounds; and amid all this he kept his eyes raised to heaven, and remained unmoved.

The holy martyr was cast into a solitary dungeon, his feet placed in the stocks; but the Angels of Christ illuminated the darkness, and assured Vincent that he was near his triumph.

His wounds were now ordered to be tended, to prepare him for fresh torments, and the faithful were permitted to gaze on his mangled body.

They came in troops, kissed his wounds and carried away as relics, cloths colored with his blood.

Before the tortures could resume, Saint Vincent’s hour came, and he breathed forth his soul in peace.

Even the dead bodies of the Saints are precious in the sight of God, and the hand of iniquity cannot touch them.

A raven guarded the body of Vincent where it lay flung upon the earth.

When it was sunk out at sea, the waves cast it ashore; and his relics are preserved to this day in the Augustinian monastery at Lisbon, for the consolation of the Church of Christ.

Reflection. Do you wish to be at peace amid suffering and temptation? Then make it your principal endeavor to grow in habits of prayer and in union with Christ. Have confidence in Him. He will make you victorious over your spiritual enemies and over yourself. He will enlighten your darkness and sweeten your sufferings, and in your solitude and desolation He will draw near to you with His holy Angels.

(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).)