St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Mercy is the key to the life of faith

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
Every Sunday we remember the Lord Jesus’ Resurrection, but in this season after Easter, this Sunday has an even more illuminating meaning. In the Church’s tradition, this Sunday, the first after Easter, was called “in albis.” What does this mean? The expression intended to recall the rite carried out by all those who received Baptism in the Easter Vigil. Each one of them was given a white garment – “alba” – ”white” — to indicate their new dignity as children of God. This is also done today: newborns are given a small symbolic dress, whereas adults put on a true and proper one, as we saw in the Easter Vigil. And, in the past, that white garment was worn for a week. until this Sunday, and from this stems the name in albis deponendis, which means the Sunday in which the white garment is taken off. And thus, the white garment removed, the neophytes began their new life in Christ and in the Church.
There is something else. In the Jubilee of the Year 2000, Saint John Paul II established that this Sunday be dedicated to the Divine Mercy. It is true, it was a beautiful intuition: it was the Holy Spirit that inspired him in this. A few months ago we concluded the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy and this Sunday invites us to take up forcefully the grace that comes from God’s mercy. Today’s Gospel is the account of the Risen Jesus’ apparition to the disciples gathered in the Cenacle (cf. John 20:19-31). Saint John writes that, after greeting His disciples, Jesus said to them: “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” Having said this, He made the gesture of breathing on them and added: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven” (vv. 21-23). See the meaning of mercy that is presented in fact on the day of Jesus’ Resurrection as forgiveness of sins. The Risen Jesus transmitted to His Church, as her first task, His same mission to take to all the concrete proclamation of forgiveness. This is the first task: to proclaim forgiveness. This visible sign of His mercy brings with it peace of heart and the joy of a renewed encounter with the Lord.
In the light of Easter, mercy is perceived as a true form of knowledge. And this is important: mercy is a true form of knowledge. We know that one knows through many ways. One knows through the senses, one knows through intuition, through reason and also other ways. Well, one can also know through the experience of mercy, because mercy opens the door of the mind to understand better the mystery of God and of our personal existence. Mercy makes us understand that violence, rancor, vengeance make no sense, and the first victim is the one who lives these sentiments, because he deprives himself of his dignity. Mercy also opens the door of the heart and enables us to express closeness especially to all those who are alone and marginalized, because it makes them feel brothers and children of one Father. It fosters the recognition of all those in need of consolation and makes us find the appropriate words to give them comfort.
Brothers and sisters, mercy warms the heart and makes it sensitive to the needs of brothers with sharing and participation. In sum, mercy commits all to be instruments of justice, reconciliation and peace. Let us never forget that mercy is the turnkey in the life of faith, and the concrete way with which we give visibility to Jesus’ resurrection.
May Mary, Mother of Mercy, help us to believe and live all this with joy.

— Pope Francis


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Pope: Stop ‘Fake News’ by Putting People at Heart of Information

VATICAN CITY — In his message for the World Day of Social Communications, published Wednesday, Pope Francis said that in a world of lightning-fast communication, there is a responsibility to combat falsehood and misinformation with truth, treating journalism as a people-oriented mission.
“In today’s world, [the work of journalists] is, in every sense, not just a job; it is a mission,” the Pope wrote in his message released Jan. 24.
“Amid feeding frenzies and the mad rush for…

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pope-stop-fake-news-by-putting-people-at-heart-of-information


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How Tender Is God’s Love

According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis gave this reminder today, Dec. 14, 2017, during his daily morning Mass in his residence Casa Santa Marta, as he reflected on the day’s first reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah and the psalm where God says of himself: “… his tenderness expands over all creatures”.
Isaiah presents an image of a God who speaks to us as a father with his child, “imitating his voice to make it as similar as possible to his, and who”reassures the child: Do not be afraid. I will come to your need.”
“God makes us promises of joy, of a great…

Santa Marta: How Tender Is God’s Love


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Pope’s Homily for Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Holy Mass on the Occasion of the Liturgical Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Guadalupe

At 6:00 pm today, Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent, the Holy Father Francis presided over the Eucharistic Celebration in the Vatican Basilica, on the occasion of the liturgical feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Guadalupe.
Here is a ZENIT translation of the homily the Pope gave in the course of the Holy Mass. …

https://zenit.org/articles/popes-homily-for-feast-of-our-lady-of-guadalupe-2/


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Cultural Colonization Doesn’t Tolerate Differences

Cultural and ideological colonization doesn’t tolerate differences and makes everything equal, ending by persecuting believers,” said Pope Francis in his homily of the Mass celebrated this morning, November 21, 2017, in the chapel of Santa Marta Residence.
In his homily, the Holy Father said that “ideological and cultural colonizations only see the present, they deny the past and don’t see the future. They live in…

Santa Marta: Cultural Colonization Doesn’t Tolerate Differences


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Pope Approves Causes of Saints

Pope Francis on November 8, 2017, authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate Decrees regarding several causes for sainthood.  The Holy Father made the announcements in audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation.
Prominent among the decrees is that for Pope John Paul I.

Pope Approves Causes of Saints


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Santa Marta: ‘If a Living Jesus Isn’t in the Church, She Collapses’

“If a living Jesus isn’t in the Church, she collapses,” warned Pope Francis while celebrating Mass on November 9, 2017, feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, Rome’s Cathedral. In the course of the celebration at Saint Martha’s Residence in the Vatican, the Holy Father encouraged to “purify the Church,” beginning with oneself.
To “build the Church” one must remember that Jesus “is the cornerstone in this building. Without Jesus Christ there is no Church. Why? — because there is no foundation. And if one builds a church…

Santa Marta: ‘If a Living Jesus Isn’t in the Church, She Collapses’