(Special Mass of Our Lady of Lourdes) Monday, 11 February 2013 : Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes (Gospel Reading)

John 2 : 1-11

Three days later there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus was also invited to the wedding with His disciples. When all the wine provided for the celebration had been served, and they had run out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

Jesus replied, “Woman, what concern is that to you and Me? My hour has not yet come.”

However, His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” Nearby were six stone water jars, set there for ritual washing as practiced by the Jews; each jar could hold twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them to the brim. Then Jesus said, “Now draw some out and take it to the steward.” So they did.

The steward tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing from where it had come; for only the servants who had drawn the water knew. So, he called the bridegroom to tell him, “Everyone serves the best wine first, and when people have drunk enough, he serves that which is ordinary. Instead you have kept the best wine until the end.”

This miraculous sign was the first, and Jesus performed it at Cana in Galilee. In this way, He let His glory appear, and His disciples believed in Him.

(Special Mass of Our Lady of Lourdes) Monday, 11 February 2013 : Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes (Psalm)

Judith 13 : 18bcde, 19

My daughter, may the Most High God bless you more than all women on earth. And blessed be the Lord God, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has led you to behead the leader of our enemies.

Never will people forget the confidence you have shown; they will always remember the power of God.

(Special Mass of Our Lady of Lourdes) Monday, 11 February 2013 : Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes (First Reading)

Isaiah 66 : 10-14c

“Rejoice for Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her. Be glad with her, rejoice with her, all you who were in grief over her, that you may suck of the milk from her comforting breasts, that you may drink deeply from the abundance of her glory.”

For this is what YHVH says : “I will send her peace, overflowing like a river, and the nations’ wealth, rushing like a torrent towards her. And you will be nursed and carried in her arms and fondled upon her lap. As a son comforted by his mother, so will I comfort you. At the sight of this, your heart will rejoice; like grass, your bones will flourish. For it shall be known that YHVH’s hand is with His servant.”

Monday, 11 February 2013 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes (Gospel Reading)

Mark 6 : 53-56

Having crossed the lake, they came ashore at Gennesaret, where they tied up the boat. As soon as they landed, people recognised Jesus, and ran to spread the news throughout the countryside.

Wherever He was, they brought to Him the sick lying on their mats; and wherever He went, to villages, towns, or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplace, and begged Him to let them touch just the fringe of His cloak. And all who touched Him were cured.

Monday, 11 February 2013 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes (Psalm)

Psalm 103 : 1-2a, 5-6, 10 and 12, 24 and 35c.

Bless the Lord, my soul! Clothed in majesty and splendour; o Lord, my God, how great You are! You are wrapped in light as with a garment.

You set the earth on its foundations, and never will it be shaken. You covered it with the ocean like a garment, and waters spread over the mountains.

You make springs gush forth in the valleys winding among mountains and hills. Birds build their nests close by and sing among the branches of trees.

How varied, o Lord, are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all – the earth full of Your creatures. Bless the Lord, my soul!

Monday, 11 February 2013 : 5th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes (First Reading)

Genesis 1 : 1-19

In the beginning, when God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth had no form and was void; darkness was over the deep and the Spirit of God hovered over the waters.

God said, “Let there be light”‘; and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. God called the light ‘Day’ and the darkness ‘Night’. There was evening and there was morning : the first day.

God said, “Let there be a firm ceiling between the waters and let it separate waters from waters.” So God made the ceiling and separated the waters below it from the waters above it. And so it was. God called the firm ceiling ‘Sky’. There was evening and there was morning : the second day.

God said, “Let the waters below the sky be gathered together in one place, and let dry land appear.” And so it was. God called the dry land ‘Earth’, and the waters gathered together He called ‘Seas’. God saw that it was good.

God said, “Let the earth produce vegetation, seed-bearing plants, fruit trees bearing fruit with seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth.” And so it was. The earth produced vegetation : plants bearing seed according to their kind and trees producing fruit which has seed, according to their kind. God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning : the third day.

God said, “Let there be lights in the ceiling of the sky to separate day from night and to serve as signs of the seasons, days, and years; and let these lights in the sky shine above the earth.” And so it was. God therefore made two great lights, the greater light to govern the day and the smaller light to govern the night; and God made the stars as well. God placed them in the ceiling of the sky to give light on the earth and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning : the fourth day.

Thursday, 28 February 2013 : What a memorable day indeed to me

Thursday, 28 February 2013, will therefore be a very memorable day to me. Not only that, on that day, is my parent’s silver wedding anniversary (They married on 28 February 1988 – 25 years ago), but also on that day, Pope Benedict XVI will, at 20:00 Rome time, no longer be our beloved Pope.

We pray for him in his retirement and also for his successor, who will be elected soon, and I will also pray for my parents’ and their loving and happy marriage that it will continue to be so. I hope they will be there when I become a priest, and if God willing, maybe a bishop, a Cardinal, and Pope. Reminds me of Cardinal Sarto (later to become Pope Pius X), whose mother managed to stay on until just after he was made Cardinal. It was he himself who presided over the funeral.

I want to give my mom a Catholic funeral, because although my mom’s identity doesn’t say that she is, she is and always is a Catholic since the day of her baptism many years ago. But that is still long to come, and while she and my dad are still with me, I will treasure them, just as I treasure the Lord in my heart.

Full text of Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement on resignation/retirement, effective Thursday, 28 February 2013 at 20:00 Rome time

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-benedict-xvi-announces-his-resignation-at-end

Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity toadequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.

For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

From the Vatican, 10 February 2013
BENEDICTUS PP XVI

Prophecy of the Popes by St. Malachy (No! The last one is not the next one, only God knows!)

To those who believe in the Prophecy of St. Malachy on the Popes :

Do not think that the next Pope will be the last one, since there is no number assigned to the last prophecy, and therefore there will be a number of Popes before the last one. After all, it is only God who knows the time, not us. To the Saint is revealed the vision of the prophecy, but the last was purposely made vague so that we will always be ready for the coming of the Lord, whenever it will be. God be with Pope Benedict XVI and his successors!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prophecy_of_the_Popes

In persecutione extrema Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae sedebit Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus : quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur, Iudex tremedus iudicabit populum suum. Finis.

(In the extreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit (as the Bishop of Rome), Peter the Roman (Petrus Romanus), who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations : and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills (Rome) will be destroyed, and the ‘terrible’ Judge (Christ) will judge His people. The end.)

Even the last Bishop of Rome will likely face martyrdom for his faith in the Lord, from the enemies of His Church, in the command of the evil one, who are now increasing their attacks on the Lord’s faithful. Pray for our current Pope Benedict XVI, and whoever his successor as the Bishop of Rome will be. That our next Pope will be a great shepherd, a guide in our journey towards Christ, and a unifier of the Church!

Pope Benedict XVI will retire, effective on Thursday, 28 February 2013, at 20:00 Rome time due to old age.

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-benedict-xvi-announces-his-resignation-at-end

If there is a news that will shake the world, this is it. I myself was very surprised, but I can rather expect the news. It is not the first that a Pope has resigned, although extremely rare (Canon Law does allow Popes to retire), and the last to resign was Pope Gregory XII in 1415 who resigned to end the Great Schism in the Church, and allow the Church to formally reunite again, and another Pope to resign was the great Pope St. Celestine V, who was elected as Pope at a very old age, just like our current Pope Benedict XVI, and showed example through his great leadership and great holiness. He also resigned due to old age, and wished to spend the rest of his life in prayer and quietness, just like our current Pope Benedict XVI wished to do.

Pope Benedict XVI, as Cardinal Ratzinger before his election as the Bishop of Rome, has repeatedly asked the late Pope John Paul II then to be allowed to retire and return to his native Bavaria, which because of his election as the Bishop of Rome, was not able to do so. Now that Holy Father will retire at the end of this month, let us all pray for him, that he can have a great and fulfilling holy life dedicated in prayer to God, and may God be with him always, and also with his successor, whoever it will be. Amen!