When Jesus Comes to Be Baptized

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When Jesus comes to be baptized,
He leaves the hidden years behind,
The years of safety and of peace.
To bear the sins of all mankind.

The Spirit of the Lord comes down,
Anoints the Christ to suffering,
To preach the word, to free the bound,
And to the mourner, comfort bring.

He will not quench the dying flame,
And what is bruised he will not break,
But heal the wound injustice dealt,
And out of death his triumph make.

Our everlasting Father, praise,
With Christ, his well-beloved Son,
Who with the Spirit reigns serene,
Untroubled Trinity in One.

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#ShortNews: Construction begins on first Christian church in Turkey built since 1923

The works for the construction of what will become the first newly built church in the Republic of Turkey will begin by next February. This was announced on Tuesday, January 8th, by Bulent Kerimoglu, mayor of Bakirkoy, the district of Istanbul where the new church will be built.

The construction works should last for a maximum of two years. The church will be built in the Yesilkoy district of Bakirkoy, in an area not far from the Ataturk International Airport, and will accommodate more than 700 faithful. The construction of the new church was in fact already announced in 2015 by the then Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu during a meeting at Dolmabahçe palace with representatives of Turkish non-Muslim religious minorities.

Read full article: http://www.fides.org/en/news/65357-ASIA_TURKEY_The_beginning_of_the_construction_of_the_first_church_in_Turkish_territory_since_1923_has_been_announced

#ShortNews: Israel’s Christian population on the rise

A Christian population that is growing, even with a lower child birth rate compared with Jews and Muslims, thanks also to the arrival of migrant workers. A good level of education among young people, with a figure that almost equals the Jewish majority and a percentage of increasingly significant active participation in the life of the country.

According to the document, Christians today in Israel are about 175 thousand equal to 2% of the total population. In 2017, the population growth of the minority reached 2.2%, a marked increase compared to 1.4% in the previous year. According to experts, growth is linked to the arrival of 597 migrants from Ethiopia rather than a boom in new births (where problems remain).

Education, health and above all tourism – in particular pilgrimages  -are the sectors in which the Christian community finds its most frequent employment.

Here to read full article: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Christians-in-Israel-grow-%28slightly%29-through-immigration.-Educated-and-active-45909.html

#ShortNews: God always answers prayers, Pope reassures audience

Papal’s General Audience took place at 9.20 a.m. in the Paul VI Hall, where the Holy Father Francis met with groups of pilgrims and faithful from Italy and all over the world.

“We can be sure that God will respond. The only uncertainty is due to time, but let us have no doubt that He will respond. Perhaps we will have to persevere for a lifetime, but He will answer. He has promised us: He is not like a father who gives a snake in place of a fish. There is nothing surer: the desire for happiness that we all carry in our heart will be fulfilled one day. Jesus says. “Will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night?” (Lk ,18: 7). Yes, He will do justice, He will listen to us. What a day of glory and resurrection that will be! Praying is even now victory over solitude and desperation. Pray. Prayer changes reality, let us not forget. Either it changes things, or it changes our heart, but it always changes. Praying is even now victory over solitude and desperation. It is like seeing every fragment of creation swarming in the torpor of a story whose reason at times we are at times unable to grasp. But it is in movement, it is in journeying, and at the end of every road, what is there at the end of our road? At the end of prayer, at the end of a time in which we are praying, at the end of life: what is there? There is a Father Who awaits everything and awaits everyone with open arms. Let us look to that Father.”

Read full of the Papal’s greetings; http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2019/01/09/190109a.html

What’s stopping you?

Are you involved in a ministry or service that needs a resurrection? Perhaps you’ve been working on something for a long time and have not yet succeeded. Does it seem like your efforts are pointless, fruitless? Where has progress been too slow or too lethargic? Are you hedged in and unable to do what you believe you’re called to do? Is it time to cast your net over the other side of the boat, as in our Gospel reading (Luke 24:35-48)?

In the first reading, Peter and John experience the first roadblock in their preaching ministry. They are put into prison because someone wants to stop them. The next day, they will be ordered by the authorities to never mention Jesus publicly again.

Would this have stopped you? What is stopping you now?Read More »

Saint Francis Xavier

On April 7, 1506, Francis Xavier was born in Xavier Castle, located near Sangüesa, in the kingdom of Navarre (part of present-day Spain). He was a member of a noble family, and his childhood was one of privilege—however, it was disrupted by his father’s death, as well as by outside efforts to take control of Navarre.

He was the third son of the president of the council of the king of Navarre, most of whose kingdom was soon to fall to the crown of Castile (1512). Francis grew up at Xavier and received his early education there. As was often the case with younger sons of the nobility, he was destined for an ecclesiastical career, and in 1525 he journeyed to the University of Paris, the theological centre of Europe, to begin his studies.

In 1529 Ignatius of Loyola, another Basque student, was assigned to room with Francis. A former soldier 15 years Francis’s senior, he had undergone a profound religious conversion and was then gathering about himself a group of men who shared his ideals. Gradually, Ignatius won over the initially recalcitrant Francis, and Francis was among the band of seven who, in a chapel on Montmartre in Paris, on August 15, 1534, vowed lives of poverty and celibacy in imitation of Christ and solemnly promised to undertake a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and subsequently to devote themselves to the salvation of believers and unbelievers alike. Francis then performed the Spiritual Exercises, a series of meditations lasting about 30 days and devised by Ignatius in light of his own experience of conversion to guide the individual toward greater generosity in the service of God and humankind. They implanted in Francis the motivation that carried him for the rest of his life and prepared the way for his recurrent mystical experiences.Read More »

“Come, and see the victories of the cross. Christ’s wounds are thy healings, His agonies thy repose, His conflicts thy conquests, His groans thy songs, His pains thine ease, His shame thy glory, His death thy life, His sufferings thy salvation.”

“Come, and see the victories of the cross. Christ’s wounds are thy healings, His agonies thy repose, His conflicts thy conquests, His groans thy songs, His pains thine ease, His shame thy glory, His death thy life, His sufferings thy salvation.” ~ Matthew Henry