Saturday, October 22, 2011


Consecration of the Church and the World to the Blessed Virgin Mary

O you, who more than any other human being
have been consecrated to the Holy Spirit,
help your Son's Church to persevere
in the same consecration,
so that she may pour out upon all men
the ineffable benefits of redemption
and of sanctification
for the liberation of the whole of creation [cf. Rom 8:21].
You, who were with the Church in the beginning of her mission,
intercede for her in order that,
going all over the world,
she may continually teach all the nations
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
May the Word of Divine Truth
and the Spirit of Love
find an opening in the hearts of men,
who, without this truth
and without this love
really cannot live the fullness of life.

You, who have known in the fullest way
the power of the Holy Spirit,
when it was granted to you
to conceive in your virginal womb
and to give birth to the Eternal Word,
obtain for the Church
that she may continue to give new birth
through water and the Holy Spirit
to the sons and daughters
of the whole human family,
without any distinction of language,
race, or culture,
giving them in this way
the "power to become children of God" [Jn 1:12].

You, who are so deeply
and maternally bound to the Church,
preceding the whole People of God
along the way of faith,
hope and charity,
embrace all men who are on the way,
pilgrims through temporal life
towards eternal destinies,
with that love which the Divine Redeemer himself,
your Son, poured into your heart from the Cross.
Be the Mother of all our earthly lives,
even when they become tortuous,
in order that we may all find ourselves,
in the end, in that large community
which your Son called the fold,
offering his life for it as the Good Shepherd.

You, who are the first handmaid
of the unity of the body of Christ,
help us, help all the faithful,
who feel so painfully
the drama of the divisions of Christianity,
to seek with constancy the way
to the perfect unity of the Body of Christ
by means of unconditional faithfulness
to the Spirit of Truth and Love,
which was given to them by your Son
at the cost of the cross and of death.

You, who have always wished to serve!
You who serve as mother of the whole family
of the children of God,
obtain for the Church that,
enriched by the Holy Spirit
with the fullness of hierarchical
and charismatic gifts,
she may continue with constancy
towards the future along the way
of that renewal which comes from
what the Holy Spirit says
and which found expression in the teaching of Vatican II,
assuming in this work of renewal everything
that is true and good,
without letting herself be deceived
either in one direction or in the other,
but discerning assiduously
among the signs of the times
what is useful for the coming of the Kingdom of God.

Mother of men and peoples,
you know all their sufferings
and their hopes.
You feel in a motherly way
all the struggles between good and evil,
between the light and the darkness
which shakes the world
accept our cry addresses
to the Holy Spirit
directly to your heart
and embrace with the love of the Mother
and the Handmaid of the Lord
the peoples who await this
embrace the most and likewise the peoples
whose consecration you, too,
are particularly awaiting.
Take under your motherly protection
the whole human family
which we consecrate to you, O Mother,
with affectionate rapture.
May the time of peace and freedom,
the time of truth,
justice and hope,
approach for everyone.

O you,
who through the mystery of your particular holiness,
free of all stain from the moment of your conception
feel in a particular deep way that
"the whole creation has been groaning in travail." [Rom.8:22],
while, "subjected to futility,"
it hopes that it will be
"set free from its bondage to decay" [Rom.8:20-21],
You contribute unceasingly
to the "revealing of the sons of God,"
for whom "the creation waits with eager longing." [Rom. 8:19],
to enter the freedom of their joy [cf. Rom.8:21].

O Mother of Jesus,
now glorified in heaven in body and in soul,
as the image and beginning of the Church,
which is to have its fulfillment
in the future age here on earth,
until the day of the Lord comes [cf. 2 Pet. 3: 10],
do not ceases to shine
before the pilgrim people of God
as a sign of sure hope and consolation (cf. Lumen Gentium 68).

Holy Spirit of God,
Who are worshipped and glorified
with the Father and the Son!
Accept these words of humble consecration
addressed to You in the heart of Mary of Nazareth,
Your bride and mother of the Redeemer,
who the Church too calls her mother,
because right from the Upper Room at Pentecost
she has learned from her own motherly vocation!
Accept these words of the pilgrim Church,
uttered amid toils and joys,
fears and hopes,
words which are the expression
of humble and confident trust,
words with the Church,
forever consecrated to You,
Spirit of the Father
and of the Son,
in the Upper Room at Pentecost,
does not cease to repeat together with you
to her divine Bridegroom.

"The Spirit and the Bride say to the Lord Jesus
'Come..." [cf. Rev. 22:17].
"Thus the Church is seen to be
a people brought into unity of the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Spirit" (Lumen Gentium, 4).
Thus we repeat today:
"Come", trusting in your motherly intercession,
O Clement, O Loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

By Pope John Paul II
Prayed before the icon of Our Lady,
in Salus Populi Romani, on December 8,1990.


Saturday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Rom 8:1-11

Brothers and sisters:

Now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus
has freed you from the law of sin and death.
For what the law, weakened by the flesh, was powerless to do,
this God has done:
by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh
and for the sake of sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
so that the righteous decree of the law might be fulfilled in us,
who live not according to the flesh but according to the spirit.
For those who live according to the flesh
are concerned with the things of the flesh,
but those who live according to the spirit
with the things of the spirit.
The concern of the flesh is death,
but the concern of the spirit is life and peace.
For the concern of the flesh is hostility toward God;
it does not submit to the law of God, nor can it;
and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh;
on the contrary, you are in the spirit,
if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
But if Christ is in you,
although the body is dead because of sin,
the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
the one who raised Christ from the dead
will give life to your mortal bodies also,
through his Spirit that dwells in you.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 24:1b-2, 3-4ab, 5-6

R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

The LORD's are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.

R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.

R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.

R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Lk 13:1-9

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.'"


October 22

Blessed Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

“Open wide the doors to Christ,” urged John Paul II during the homily at the Mass when he was installed as pope in 1978.

Born in Wadowice, Poland, Karol Jozef Wojtyla had lost his mother, father and older brother before his 21st birthday. Karol’s promising academic career at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University was cut short by the outbreak of World War II. While working in a quarry and a chemical factory, he enrolled in an “underground” seminary in Krak√≥w. Ordained in 1946, he was immediately sent to Rome where he earned a doctorate in theology.

Back in Poland, a short assignment as assistant pastor in a rural parish preceded his very fruitful chaplaincy for university students. Soon he earned a doctorate in philosophy and began teaching that subject at Poland’s University of Lublin.

Communist officials allowed him to be appointed auxiliary bishop of Krakow in 1958, considering him a relatively harmless intellectual. They could not have been more wrong!

He attended all four sessions of Vatican II and contributed especially to its Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. Appointed as archbishop of Krakow in 1964, he was named a cardinal three years later.

Elected pope in October 1978, he took the name of his short-lived, immediate predecessor. Pope John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. In time, he made pastoral visits to 124 countries, including several with small Christian populations.

He promoted ecumenical and interfaith initiatives, especially the 1986 Day of Prayer for World Peace in Assisi. He visited Rome’s Main Synagogue and the Western Wall in Jerusalem; he also established diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Israel. He improved Catholic-Muslim relations and in 2001 visited a mosque in Damascus, Syria.

The Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, a key event in John Paul’s ministry, was marked by special celebrations in Rome and elsewhere for Catholics and other Christians. Relations with the Orthodox Churches improved considerably during his ministry as pope.

“Christ is the center of the universe and of human history” was the opening line of his 1979 encyclical, Redeemer of the Human Race. In 1995, he described himself to the United Nations General Assembly as “a witness to hope.”

His 1979 visit to Poland encouraged the growth of the Solidarity movement there and the collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe 10 years later. He began World Youth Day and traveled to several countries for those celebrations. He very much wanted to visit China and the Soviet Union but the governments in those countries prevented that.

One of the most well-remembered photos of his pontificate was his one-on-one conversation in 1983 with Mehmet Ali Agca, who had attempted to assassinate him two years earlier.

In his 27 years of papal ministry, John Paul wrote 14 encyclicals and five books, canonized 482 saints and beatified 1,338 people.

In the last years of his life, he suffered from Parkinson’s disease and was forced to cut back on some of his activities.

Pope Benedict XVI beatified John Paul II on May 1, 2011, Divine Mercy Sunday.


O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Invitatory Psalm

Psalm 99 (100)
The Lord’s is the earth and its fulness: come, let us worship.

The Lord’s is the earth and its fulness: come, let us worship.
Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.
The Lord’s is the earth and its fulness: come, let us worship.
Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
– his people, the sheep of his flock.
The Lord’s is the earth and its fulness: come, let us worship.
Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts for ever,
his faithfulness through all the ages.
The Lord’s is the earth and its fulness: come, let us worship.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
The Lord’s is the earth and its fulness: come, let us worship.


Great God of boundless mercy, hear!
Thou Ruler of this earthly sphere;
In substance one, in Persons three,
Dread Trinity in Unity!
Do thou in love accept our lays
Of mingled penitence and praise;
And set our hearts from error free,
More fully to rejoice in thee.
Our reins and hearts in pity heal,
And with thy chastening fires anneal;
Gird thou our loins, each passion quell,
And every harmful lust expel.
Now as our anthems, upward borne,
Awake the silence of the morn,
Enrich us with thy gifts of grace,
From heaven, thy blissful dwelling place!
Hear thou our prayer, almighty King;
Hear thou our praises, while we sing,
Adoring with the heavenly host
The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Psalm 130 (131)
Childlike trust in God

Whoever humbles himself like a little child will be greater in the kingdom of heaven.

Lord, I do not puff myself up or stare about,
or walk among the great or seek wonders beyond me.
Truly calm and quiet I have made my spirit:
quiet as a weaned child in its mother’s arms –
like an infant is my soul.
Let Israel hope in the Lord, now and for all time.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Whoever humbles himself like a little child will be greater in the kingdom of heaven.

Psalm 131 (132)
God's promise to the house of David

With an honest heart I have offered up all things joyfully, O my God.

Lord, remember David
and how he served you.
He swore to the Lord,
vowed a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
“I will not go into my tent, my home,
nor go up to my bed of rest;
I will not let my eyes sleep
or my eyelids grow heavy
until I have found a place for the Lord,
a dwelling-place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
We heard that it was in Ephratha,
we found it in the plains of Jaar.
So let us go into his dwelling-place
and let us worship before his footstool.
Rise up, Lord, and come to your place of rest.
Come with the Ark of your power.
Let your priests be robed in your justice,
and let your chosen ones rejoice.
Remember what David did for you,
and do not turn your face from your Anointed.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
With an honest heart I have offered up all things joyfully, O my God.

Psalm 131 (132)

The Lord swore an oath to David and he will not go back on his word; he made his kingdom firm for ever.

The Lord swore David a true oath,
he will not go back on his word:
“The fruit of your body
I will place on your throne.
If your children keep my covenant and the commands I teach them,
their children’s children will occupy your throne for ever.”
For the Lord has chosen Zion,
taken it for his dwelling-place:
“Here will I take my rest for all time:
here will I live, such is my desire.
I will bless its crops with my blessing,
I will fill its poor with bread.
I will clothe its priests with righteousness.
Its chosen ones will exult with joy.
There will I plant the sign of David,
and prepare a lamp for my anointed one.
I will wrap his enemies in confusion,
but over his head my crown will shine.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
The Lord swore an oath to David and he will not go back on his word; he made his kingdom firm for ever.

Come and see the works of the Lord,
who has done wonders on the earth.


Baruch 3:9-15,24-4:4
Listen, Israel, to commands that bring life;
hear, and learn what knowledge means.
Why, Israel, why are you in the country of your enemies,
growing older and older in an alien land,
sharing defilement with the dead,
reckoned with those who go to Sheol?
Because you have forsaken the fountain of wisdom.
Had you walked in the way of God,
you would have lived in peace for ever.
Learn where knowledge is, where strength,
where understanding, and so learn
where length of days is, where life,
where the light of the eyes and where peace.
But who has found out where she lives,
who has entered her treasure house?
How great, Israel, is the house of God,
how wide his domain,
immeasurably wide,
infinitely lofty!
In it were born the giants, famous to us from antiquity,
immensely tall, expert in war;
God’s choice did not fall on these,
he did not reveal the way to knowledge to them;
they perished for lack of wisdom,
perished in their own folly.
Who has ever climbed the sky and caught her
to bring her down from the clouds?
Who has ever crossed the ocean and found her
to bring her back in exchange for the finest gold?
No one knows the way to her,
no one can discover the path she treads.
But the One who knows all knows her,
he has grasped her with his own intellect,
he has set the earth firm for ever
and filled it with four-footed beasts.
he sends the light – and it goes,
he recalls it – and trembling it obeys;
the stars shine joyfully at their set times:
when he calls them, they answer, ‘Here we are’;
they gladly shine for their creator.
It is he who is our God,
no other can compare with him.
He has grasped the whole way of knowledge,
and confided it to his servant Jacob,
to Israel his well-beloved;
so causing her to appear on earth
and move among men.
This is the book of the commandments of God,
the Law that stands for ever;
those who keep her live,
those who desert her die.
Turn back, Jacob, seize her,
in her radiance make your way to light:
do not yield your glory to another,
your privilege to a people not your own.
Israel, blessed are we:
what pleases God has been revealed to us.

How rich are the depths of God, how deep his wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is to penetrate his motives or understand his methods!
Only he who knows all things possesses wisdom, and he has given it to Israel his well-beloved. How impossible it is to penetrate his motives or understand his methods!


A sermon by St Peter Chrysologus
The word, the wisdom of God, was made flesh

The holy Apostle has told us that the human race takes its origin from two men, Adam and Christ; two men equal in body but unequal in merit, wholly alike in their physical structure but totally unlike in the very origin of their being. The first man, Adam,he says, became a living soul, the last Adam a life-giving spirit.

The first Adam was made by the last Adam, from whom he also received his soul, to give him life. The last Adam was formed by his own action; he did not have to wait for life to be given him by someone else, but was the only one who could give life to all. The first Adam was formed from valueless clay, the second Adam came forth from the precious womb of the Virgin. In the case of the first Adam, earth was changed into flesh; in the case of the second Adam, flesh was raised up to be God.

What more need be said? The second Adam stamped his image on the first Adam when he created him. That is why he took on himself the role, and the name, of the first Adam, in order that he might not lose what he had made in his own image. The first Adam, the last Adam; the first had a beginning, the last knows no end. The last Adam is indeed the first; as he himself says: I am the first and the last.

I am the first, that is, I have no beginning. I am the last, that is, I have no end. But what was spiritual, says the Apostle,did not come first; what was living came first, then what is spiritual. The earth comes before its fruit, but the earth is not so valuable as its fruit. The earth exacts pain and toil; its fruit bestows subsistence and life. The prophet rightly boasted of this fruit:Our earth has yielded its fruit. What is this fruit? The fruit referred to in another place: I will place upon your throne one who is the fruit of your body. The first man, says the Apostle, was made from the earth and belongs to the earth; the second man is from heaven, and belongs to heaven.

The man made from the earth is the pattern of those who belong to the earth; the man from heaven is the pattern of those who belong to heaven. How is it that these last, though they do not belong to heaven by birth, will yet belong to heaven, men who do not remain what they were by birth but persevere in being what they have become by rebirth? The reason is, brethren, that the heavenly Spirit, by the mysterious infusion of his light, gives fertility to the womb of the virginal font. The Spirit brings forth as men belonging to heaven those whose earthly ancestry brought them forth as men belonging to the earth, and in a condition of wretchedness; he gives them the likeness of their Creator. Now that we are reborn, refashioned in the image of our Creator, we must fulfil what the Apostle commands: So, as we have worn the likeness of the man of earth, let us also wear the likeness of the man of heaven.

Now that we are reborn, as I have said, in the likeness of our Lord, and have indeed been adopted by God as his children, let us put on the complete image of our Creator so as to be wholly like him, not in the glory that he alone possesses, but in innocence, simplicity, gentleness, patience, humility, mercy, harmony, those qualities in which he chose to become, and to be, one with us.

As one man’s fall brought condemnation on everyone, in the same way the good act of one man brings life to all men and justifies them.
Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it. In the same way the good act of one man brings life to all men and justifies them.

Let us pray.

Almighty, ever-living God,
make us ever obey you willingly and promptly.
Teach us how to serve you
with sincere and upright hearts
in every sphere of life.
We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.


Let us bless the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.