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THE MOST BLESSED - One Bread, One Body, Jul 27, 2017

Exodus 19:1-2, 9-11, 16-20 | Daniel 3:52-56 | Matthew 13:10-17

"To you has been given a knowledge of the mysteries of the reign of God, but it has not been given to the others." —Matthew 13:11

Less than one-third of the people on earth have been baptized into the Church and have become children of God. If you are in that number, consider yourself very blest.

Less than one-fifth of the world has received Holy Communion — even ... More

Philippines preparing for 7th Asian Youth Day ‎

(Vatican Radio) The biggest event of the Asian Catholic Church this year, is taking place in Yogyakarta city, Indonesia, next week.  The 7th Asian Youth Day (AYD7) is being hosted by the Archdiocese of Semarang, August 2-6, with over 2000 ‎‎young people from ‎‏‎21 ‎Asian countries rallying around the theme, “Joyful Asian Youth: Living the Gospel ‎in Multicultural Asia‎!”‎ The continent-level event has been held in various Asian cities since 1999 in intervals of 2, ‎‎3 ‎and 5 years, with the last AYD in Daejeon Diocese in Korea in 2014, in which Pope Francis participated. 

Organizers have divided the entire AYD into three events spread across 11 days from July 30 to August 9.  On arrival, the participants will head to the 11 of Indonesia’s 37 dioceses who will be hosting them from July 30 to August 2 in what is called Days in the Dioceses (DID).  All the participants will then converge in Yogyakarta from August 2 to 6 for the central event of the AYD7.   The 5 days will include a variety of activities such as adoration, confession, Mass, reflections, testimonies, workshops, group sharing, country exhibits and cultural performances.  After the main event, the Asian Youth Ministers will stay back for a meeting, August 6 to 9.

Among the 21 countries participating in the AYD is also the Philippines.  To know about it, we called Fr. Conegundo Garganta, the executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Youth of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.  Speaking to us on the phone from Manila Fr. Garganta  first talked about the Philippine youth delegation to the Asian Youth Day.



Fr. Garganta said that 69 young people have been officially registered with the AYD7 but with bishops and youth ministers accompanying them, the entire delegation has 82 members. 


The young people will first head to the Indonesian dioceses of Bogor and Jakarta for the Days in the Diocese (DID).  The young people have been preparing for the event following the pre-event modules of the AYD, that recommend reflecting and meditating on the suggested scripture passages, visiting churches, talking to priests, visiting non-Christian families and communities etc.   

Philippine contribution to AYD

Fr. Garganta also talked about the contribution that the Philippine young people will be brining to the AYD.  He talked about the warmth and friendship of the Filipino people, particularly visible in their smiles, and their strong faith.  They would also display the “multi-culturality” of the Philippines, where there are minority and tribal groups and followers of other faiths, “but still people are able to blend well.”


The executive secretary of the Philippine Episcopal Commission on Youth ‎sent a message to Filipinos abroad assuring them that despite numerous challenges and struggles, as in many countries, the faith of the Philippine people was leading them to hope  and to continue working for peace. The Church regards the young not merely as hope for the future but much more for the present.  Fr. Garganta urged the country, the Church and the government, also of other countries, to “really invest in the young people” , because they provide “new perspectives in ways of looking at life…” which promote solidarity, unity, friendship, and understanding.  

(from Vatican Radio)

FARM WORK - One Bread, One Body, Jul 26, 2017

Sts. Joachim & Ann
Exodus 16:1-5, 9-15 | Psalm 78:18-19, 23-28 | Matthew 13:1-9

"One day a farmer went out..." —Matthew 13:4

The kingdom of God is like breaking ground. The ground may be rock, a footpath (Mt 13:4), or just rocky (Mt 13:5). In our post-Christian, anti-Christian culture of death, groundbreaking is a major task. We can break open the hardest ground and ... More

THE CONTINUAL, CONSTANT CROSS - One Bread, One Body, Jul 25, 2017

St. James
2 Corinthians 4:7-15 | Psalm 126:1-6 | Matthew 20:20-28

"Continually we carry about in our bodies the dying of Jesus." —2 Corinthians 4:10

Although James and John wanted prosperity and success, Jesus wanted them to take up the cross (see Mt 20:22ff). Jesus invites us not only to suffer in the pattern of His death (Phil 3:10) but even to be crucified with Him (see Gal 2:19). ... More

Vatican on migration: an opportunity for development

(Vatican Radio) The integration of migrants and refugees in host nations can and must become an opportunity for new understanding, broader horizons and greater development for everyone.

This message was at the heart of a statement released on Monday by Father Michael Czerny at the UN in New York during an Informal Thematic Session in New York  to gather substantive input and recommendations to inform the Global Compact on Migration

Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni:

Father. Michael Czerny, who is the Undersecretary of the Section for Migrants and Refugees in the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development – which answers directly to  Pope Francis himself - focused his intervention on the need to promote a culture in which the consequences and impacts of migration become an opportunity for “human growth, encounter and dialogue in view of the promotion of peace and fraternity among peoples.”   

Pointing out that no one should ever be forced to leave his or her home due to lack of development or peace and that tragically the reasons that compel millions to go on the move today are to be found in endemic poverty, hunger, violence, inadequate work, environmental degradation, weak and corrupt institutions, Fr Czerny said that whether the effects of migration become a gain - for them, their families, their countries of destination and hopefully one day perhaps their countries of origin - depends on the extent to which  they are welcomed, protected, promoted and integrated.

That gain - he continued – hinges “on whether migrants and refugees are helped to transition from objects of emergency care to dignified subjects of their own development” and are permitted to use the education, skills, ambitions, experiences and cultural wisdom they already have, as well as those that could be enhanced through further schooling and training for the development of society.

For this desired win-win to occur, he concluded, migrants must first be received and treated as human beings, with dignity and respect for their rights, and they must be protected against all forms of exploitation and from being permanently cast-away, whether socially, economically or legally.


(from Vatican Radio)

GRAND STAND - One Bread, One Body, Jul 24, 2017

St. Sharbel Mahkluf
Exodus 14:5-18 | Exodus 15:1-6 | Matthew 12:38-42

"Stand your ground, and you will see the victory the Lord will win for you today." —Exodus 14:13

If we stand our ground, we will see the victory of the Lord, for He will fight for us (Ex 14:14). Moses made this promise before the Lord rescued the chosen people by drowning the Egyptians in the Red Sea. This is a symbol of Baptism.

When ... More

Angelus: Pope appeals for dialogue after Jerusalem violence

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has appealed for moderation and dialogue after a surge of violence and killings over Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

Addressing the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus, the Pope said he is following “with trepidation the grave tensions and violence of the last days in Jerusalem.”

Last week Arab gunmen, shooting from the site – which is Holy to Jews and to Muslims -  killed two Israeli policemen sparking a wave of violence in which three Palestinians were killed in street clashes and a Palestinian fatally stabbed three members of an Israeli family.

“I feel the need to express a heartfelt appeal for moderation and dialogue” Francis said and he invited all faithful to join him in prayer so that the Lord may inspire all sides to come together with proposals for reconciliation and peace. 

Tensions over the site, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount, have surged in the past couple of days following the installation by Israel of metal detectors after two Israeli policemen were killed near there earlier this month.

The measures angered the Palestinians, who accuse Israel of trying to take control over a sacred place.

Israel now says it is willing to consider alternatives to the controversial metal detectors it installed and has called on the Muslim world to put forward other suggestions.


(from Vatican Radio)

THE HOLY SPIRIT: PRAYER LEADER - One Bread, One Body, Jul 23, 2017

16th Sunday Ordinary Time
Wisdom 12:13, 16-19 | Romans 8:26-27 | Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16 | Matthew 13:24-43

"We do not know how to pray as we ought." —Romans 8:26

Jesus said there is "the necessity of praying always and not losing heart" (Lk 18:1). We are to "never cease praying" (1 Thes 5:17). Jesus prayed early in the morning (Mk 1:35) and late at night (Lk 22:39-41). Because we are His disciples, we ... More

I HOPE SO - One Bread, One Body, Jul 22, 2017

St. Mary Magdalene
Exodus 12:37-42 | Psalm 136:1, 23-24, 10-15 | John 20:1-2, 11-18 or Matthew 12:14-21

"In His name, the Gentiles will find hope." —Matthew 12:21

As we begin the third millennium, with much of the world ensconced in the culture of death after ending the last with the only two world wars in history, the Lord is calling us to hope in Him. The Church through Pope Pius XII defined the ... More

THE PASSOVER - One Bread, One Body, Jul 21, 2017

St. Lawrence of Brindisi
Exodus 11:10—12:14 | Psalm 116:12-13, 15-18 | Matthew 12:1-8

"It is the Passover of the Lord." —Exodus 12:11

Through the Passover, the Lord freed the Israelite nation from centuries of slavery. The Lord chose to do one of His greatest works through a family meal accompanied by prayer. This Passover meal was so important that it became "a memorial ... More