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Apr 212017
 

Saint Peter's Square from the dome

Prophets of all times since the Old Testament have mentioned the Shepherd Who would gather His flock.

“Here comes with power the Lord God, who rules by his strong arm; here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care” (Isaiah 40, 10-11).

Ezekiel clearly tells us about the Shepherd and His Flock:

“For thus says the Lord God: I myself will look after and tend my sheep. As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so I will tend my sheep. I will rescue them from every place where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. I will lead them from among the peoples and gather them from foreign lands; I will bring them back to their own country and pasture them upon the mountains of Israel … In good pastures will I pasture them, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing ground. There they shall lie down on good grazing ground, and in rich pastures shall they be pastured on the mountains of Israel. I myself will pasture my sheep; I myself will give them rest, says the Lord God” (Ezekiel 34, 11-15).

Ezekiel devotes the whole Chapter 34 to show that the Lord Himself will guide His people, the Church.

“You, my sheep, you are the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, says the Lord God” (Ezekiel 34, 31).

The Lord has such a great zeal for His Flock that He Himself will replace the bad shepherds.

“Woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been pasturing themselves! Should not shepherds, rather, pasture sheep? You have fed off their milk, worn their wool, and slaughtered the fatlings, but the sheep you have not pastured. You did not strengthen the weak not heal the sick nor bind up the injured. You did not bring back the strayed nor seek the lost, but you lorded it over them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and became food for all the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered and wandered over all the mountains and high hills; my sheep were scattered over the whole earth, with no one to look after them or to search for them… my shepherds did not look after my sheep, but pastured themselves and did not pasture my sheep…I swear I am coming against these shepherds, I will claim my sheep from them and put a stop to their shepherding my sheep so that they may no longer pasture themselves. I will save my sheep, that they may no longer be food for their mouths. …I myself will look after and tend my sheep” (Ezekiel 34, 1-11).

This long prophecy by Ezekiel shows God’s Love and great care for His people, nowadays gathered in the Church. This great Love makes the Shepherd lay down His life for His sheep.

“I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10, 11).

The Church is also represented in the Gospel as “God’s field”, or “God’s building”, as Saint Paul says:

“For, we are God’s co-workers; you are God’s field, God’s building” (The First Letter to the Corinthians 3, 9).

Professor Felipe Aquino

Professor Felipe Aquino is a widower, father of five children. On TV Canção Nova he presents the program “Escola da Fé” [School of faith] and “Pergunte e Responderemos” [Ask and respond], on Radio he presents the program “in the heart of the Church”. On weekends he preaches deepening meetings throughout Brazil and abroad. He wrote 73 books of Catholic background by publishers, Loyola and Cleopas and Canção Nova. His teacher’s page:www.cleofas.com.br Twitter: @pfelipeaquino

 Posted by at 01:01
Apr 202017
 

God pours his mercy over our lives!

Márcio Mendes, on  the program Sorrindo Pra Vida [Smiling at Life ], talks about the mercy of God, who reaches our hearts and transforms our lives. Check out:

The word is meditated on Micah 7:18-19
Who is a God like you, who removes guilt
and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance;
Who does not persist in anger forever,
but instead delights in mercy,
And will again have compassion on us,
treading underfoot our iniquities?
You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins;

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Deus não age pela ira, mas sim pela misericórdia

Photo: file/cancaonova.com

Out of love for us, God passes over our faults He is not angry, because he prefers to mercy.

The sin is not us, however, it does not leave us. Once having sinned, the Lord never tires of forgiving us. Even if you don’t see the the way out, he didn’t give up on us.

God will win in our life

If God puts Himself in our reach and forgives us of our bad actions. What paths have we trodden? What has taken us in the right direction? Why we are sad and worn out? Who loves us does not wants us to live in error.

We don’t want to Sin? Flee from what we takes us from God. Sin is the result of the evil one, but God is our protection and refuge.

This world is dangerous! The spiritual world is far more dangerous without the presence of God.

The confession is salvation!

After a disagreement with someone, we run the risk of facing the person and we are afraid if that person will forgive us or not. God can’t wait to transform our life. He forgives all our faults. When we confess our sins, they are wiped out.

What a human enemy against us?

When we face a human enemy, he does everything to try and destroy us. Similarly, the enemy of God also wants to destroy us and the tricks that he uses are heavy.

Purifies our soul’s confession

When we wash our souls before God, there is nothing and no one who can accuse us. When we confess, we are covered with the blood of Jesus! Today, washing in His blood is to take possession of the forgiveness that He gives us.

We want to be released? Let’s start with the confession. Jesus did not come to take away sin, but to give us life. Sometimes we have the feeling that we’re lifeless, so he is ready to give us a new life.

The Lord wants to make us able to not sin anymore! By winning over sin on the cross he won so that every sin  lost power and influence over our lives.

God is closer than we think. By love, He put himself within reach of our possibilities. If someone wants to find God, he or she will find.

Today, the Lord came to pick us up. A mother wouldn’t think twice to give her life for their children, the same way God is the mother who gives his life for us.

Márcio Mendes
Canção Nova Community mission

Transcription and adaptation: Ariele Silva

Portuguese version

Apr 192017
 

We need to find the one who is the biggest reason of  joy, blessing, and our own existence

“‘ Jesus said, ‘ woman, why do you weep? Who is it you are looking for? ‘ Thinking he was the gardener, Mary said: ‘ Lord, if you took tell me where you put Him, I will search for Him ‘ ” (John 20, 15).

Mary Magdalene was outside the Tomb, in fact, she wouldn’t let go of that grave for anything. Since the day that Jesus met Mary and changed her life, she never left him.

When the Lord was crucified, she accompanied him. When he was placed in the Tomb there was Mary. So she was honored to be the first witness, first disciple, who, in fact, contemplated the risen one. She was still crying, disconsolate, looking for the Lord.

Sometimes we meet Mary: outside the Tomb, looking for the Lord

Mary Magdalene was actually looking for the joy and the reason of her life; she searched for he who was the resurrected, first; The one who had given reason to her existence.

Mary was crying because she was looking for the reason of her life and the men had him taken away. But she wanted to see him, even if it was just his body.

You know, I also cried a lot in life. Each has his reason to cry, each has the reason to his or her sadness. But we cry at times and we are disappointed and, sometimes, we let ourselves be consoled momentarily by a human, that brings us then to other sorrows in life.

We need consolation, we need to find the one that is the biggest reason for joy, for blessing of our own existence. Mary found Him and her life was never the same! Since she found Jesus, she made him the biggest reason of her life.

It is not enough to just meet with the risen Jesus. It is necessary to allow him to be the greatest reason of our life. You need to allow him to be the definitive full joy of our joyful heart, our life and our existence. It is necessary to make Jesus the Lord of your life.

Our heart will no longer be the same, our life will never be the same. Our tears will be shed, but we will be consoled and by Christ himself. We can’t lose him. And if you still haven’t found it, you need to find him and do as Mary Magdalene did: witness to all that Jesus is alive and is the Lord.

Bring to all the good news of the resurrection of Jesus.

God bless you!

Fr. Roger Araujo

You can write to Fr. Roger at padrerogercn@gmail.com

 Posted by at 01:01
Apr 182017
 

Self-knowledge helps us in our weakness and leads us to be better

conhecer o coração

Our self-knowledge of our weakness brings forth in us humility and true peace. Here are the Beatitudes of tears of which the Gospel speaks not those easy and sensitive tears that express nothing, but those tears deep of the heart, these returns and conversions that call us to humility and the painful heartache of sins committed, that contrition of the heart.

In the Gospel we see those tears our Lord called “Blessed”: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (5.4 Mt), the forgiven sinner’s tears, the tears of Peter who denied the master, tears of my heart, that you and I have experienced and that God wants us to concede to us.

God provides, God will provide. Trust! His mercy won’t be lacking.

 

Your brother,

Wellington Jardim (Eto)
Co-founder of the community and administrator of FJPII Canção Nova

Portuguese version

Apr 172017
 

If Christ had not risen, vain would our faith

This month we have the biggest fact of all time, the great truth that divided history to “before and after Christ”: the resurrection of Jesus. This is because, if Christ had not risen, our faith would be in vain and the Christian life would be meaningless. Christ is risen! He is really the way to God, the truth for which every human being searches. The Life we all strive for, with total quality in abundance, true to life.

 

Photo: Daniel Mafra/cancaonova.com

The shroud of Turin shows that the Romans were vicious in the flagellation of Christ. Despite not having the custom  to give so many lashes, so the practice began and ended with the body of Jesus. He just persevered because he was a strong man. He was all bruised, in pain from head to toe. Jesus was wounded by our sins. We were all like stray sheep, each following his own path. Do we still do this today, leading our life the way that suits us. It’s not what the Father wanted, but it was for our redemption, that the Lord did put upon Him all our sins. Jesus knew what he was supporting was for our salvation.

Jesus was not a defendant, he was innocent. He was crucified for you and for me. Jesus accepted death because this was the means to save us. He took upon himself the sins of all humanity, he let the curse fall upon himself. He died for us, but also he rose for us, to make it clear that this project of the father be realized in our life. Just as Jesus was resurrected for a definitive life, we too will raise up at the last day, the Lord wants us to live the present life in this way, making sure that one day we shall resurrect with him.
Our body is still subject to sin, but we need to use all members, no more for evil, but for the sake of righteousness, because that’s why we were created.

“If Christ is in you, your body, without doubt, is destined to death because of sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness. And if the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Jesus Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies for your spirit that dwells in you “(Rm -11 8.10).

Although your body is weak, subject to sin and walks to death and corruption, if Jesus is in you, although your body is bound to the physical death, your spirit lives. The most beautiful reality is that your body also begins to experience the resurrection and the life. It becomes full of life, resurrection, and the signs that begin to appear in you, that becomes strong, brave by the power of Jesus. You stop being discouraged, a person who lives dragging through life, and you becomes a brave, fearless, kind person, who gives itself, full of courage, facing overwhelming odds, by the grace of God.

All this for what? Because of the presence of Jesus. Everyone will see your face, in your eyes, the true joy, enthusiasm, optimism, because Christ lives in you. And if the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Jesus Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies for your spirit that dwells in you “(Rm 8.11). In the Valley of tears, (problems, difficulties, diseases), we will see people full of the resurrection and life. You are invited to be a transmitter of life for all those living in death.

The world needs Jesus! He is not physically with us, but we, Christians, by the power of the Holy Spirit are the source of living water to the world, as He. Jesus is the resurrection and the Life. There are a multitude of men in death, as in the vision of Ezekiel: “How parched bones scattered on the ground” (Ez 37.2). The Lord wants you to be resurrection and life for these people, to so many prodigal children who want to return home, they need to receive the embrace of the father of mercies. A person who has life and gives life to the point of saying: How Jesus is in me, how He lives in me and how I allow Him to penetrate me, I too am the resurrection and life.

To have that life we need to be in communion with the Lord, take communion the body and blood of Jesus, because “he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I shall rise on the last day” (Jo 6.54). Simply do not receive communion, but enter into intimate communion with the Lord. The Eucharist is the great means for our body, our soul and our spirit to come into communion with Jesus. How to assimilate the food we eat, and it becomes life for our body, so it happens when we enter into intimate communion with Jesus.

Raising up on the last day will be just a natural consequence of a lifetime. When our body you discard as the seed falls apart on Earth, eternal life will be on us. I always wondered why Mary Magdalene was the first to see the Lord. It wasn’t any of the Apostles. She’s the one who goes and announces to Peter and John that the Lord had risen. Mary Magdalene was chosen because she was the more determined, more determined to follow the Lord. While the Apostles went into hiding for fear of the Jews, she took her companions and, at dawn, determined, even at risk, she went to the Tomb, to express the great love she had for Jesus, because she had broken from her old life. We need to be as determined as she was!

If we stay on the fence, in “more or less” correct “neither hot nor cold,” and we’re not going anywhere. Mary Magdalene knew if she stayed in mourning, she wouldn’t want to go anywhere. My brethren, the Church wants us to live in this expectation of resurrection, because the resurrection of Jesus is the certainty of our resurrection. If we are living in the light, if we took the word of God and she takes effect in our lives, if we persevere and fight, especially in today’s world, where we are against the current, when we die, by the grace and mercy of God we shall resurrect to eternal life, eternal award, and not for conviction.

And the word of God, which attests to the resurrection of Jesus, we aim also to his glorious coming. We are between these two wonderful events, seeking in each Easter, our resurrection and new life. At the same time, we turn to the happy expectation of the coming of Jesus in glory, and we turn, every day, by the powerful action of the Holy Spirit who was given to us. You see: the same Holy Spirit,-tells us the Scriptures –, who raised Jesus from the dead, has been given to us and dwells in us, to enact in each of us the resurrection of Christ and to lead us to new life!

Your brother,

Monsignor Jonas Abib
Founder of the community Canção Nova

Portuguese version

Apr 162017
 

098 Sanok, Diacons preparing to light the Christ candle prior to Easter Vigil mass, 2010.JPG
(photo: By SilarOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link)

I don’t know if you heard that a war almost happened this weekend. I am not being sarcastic, the reality is that what I just said is true. It seems that according to online reports linked to Drudge several English language publications indicated that North Korea showed off its latest submarine nuclear ballistic missile, but the Chinese news service mistranslated it and reported to the Chinese that North Korea fired off its latest submarine nuclear ballistic missile.

Obviously, if people did not catch the error that could have started a war or drawn us closer to war. It seems that we are kind of living the Cuban Missile Crisis in another form. At the same time, this is Easter weekend and it is the time we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It would seem that those two events are not related, but they are very related. Why are we living in a time where people especially in Asia are on edge? Why is there concern that a situation could go out of control quite quickly which the Chinese have warned repeatedly? The answer is simple, we are a race of beings that no matter how hard we try, we cannot build a world that is permanently at peace. To use a phrase that to the apostles would be completely unknown, but is clearly in accords with Church teaching, our inability to build the perfect world is not in our DNA.

We know that Jesus died to save us from our sins, but his death is meaningless without his resurrection. If Jesus did not resurrect from the dead then He is nothing more than an Aramaic speaking version of Socrates. However, since he raised from the dead, He has demonstrated to us who He is, in contrast to who we are and invites to be on the road that leads us to be more like Him into eternal life.

The other option is to be his polar opposite which is not Satan, for Satan is not human. In fact, his polar opposite has appeared many times in different forms.

One of my favorite folk tunes is Jack Hardy’s Ragman which you can find on Youtube where he talks about the different vicious leaders that have appeared over the years who have created great destruction throughout history especially the Twentieth Century. We can think of our own Ragmen the obvious ones from the Twentieth Century are of course Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pinochet and, of course, the entire family line of North Korean Dictators. If they exist for any reason, it is to remind us that such evil is a potential within every one of us, in one form or another. That is because the ability tDNA Furcheno be perfect and build a perfect world is not in our DNA but to do things that hurt and destroy is.

Jesus’ resurrection is a call to us to recognize who we are and to make a choice whether we will follow the prince of peace into eternal life or try to solve our own problems here. But we do not have the right DNA to succeed without Christ who does.

This is why this Sunday is not just a liturgical feast that is the height of the entire liturgical year. It is celebration that leads us to confront the question to our very being which path do we want to follow: The one that is led into resurrection by the true prince of peace or the one built on the false notion that he is a myth and we can solve our own problems.

I learned many years ago as a sailor in the Navy, which, let’s face it, is still the most powerful Navy in the world, that it is Christ who is the one to follow for as St. Peter says in John 6, he is the only who has the words of eternal life.

In fact, when we look at the history of the world, Jesus is God, He is the Son of God, but when He died on that cross the whole world was not on edge. Indeed the whole world yawned, because the world did not know him and all that he promises. Meanwhile about a hundred years ago a horrible war started to come to an end. It began three years earlier because a man was shot after his driver took a wrong turn and ended up on the wrong street. That man was Archduke Ferdinand. Whole nations collapsed and the world never was the same after that driver innocently took a wrong turn.

In whom do you put your hopes? Do you put it in those who do not get that they do not have the DNA to build a perfect world, to solve the world’s problems? Or do you put in the one who by resurrecting from the dead promised us eternal life in a kingdom where that DNA would be repaired? It is your choice.

Not only is it your choice, but you have been called agents of that kingdom to lead others to see the truth.

When I was a teenager, my friend and I went to some show at the Hynes Convention Center, it may have been the fishing and camping show. Outside there was a man who had a pin on a table and a ball suspended from a line in front of the pin. The man invited us for maybe a dollar to use the ball and move make it swing around the pin so that on the return swing, it would knock over the pin. He demonstrated it and it worked every time. When we did it, it failed and he took our money. Well, we later learned in physics class that the man was a scam artist. He used a magnet to fool us when he demonstrated it, but in reality without the magnet it was literally a physical impossibility. We did not know enough science to understand it. We later learned the truth in high school physics class.

Jesus’ resurrection is a reminder of the same mission in reality. To believe we can build the perfect world is to be like myself and my friend who believed we could make the ball knock over the pin on the return swing. It looks possible, but it is impossible. When we put our trust in Christ the resurrected one, we can see the true way to build the perfect world and it begins by following Him, because after all he alone came back to show us the way.

A Blessed Easter,

Fr.Robert J Carr

Fr. Carr is member of the Segundo Elo  of the Canção Nova Community. He is the pastor of Holy Trinity Quincy, MA and is the editor of this blog. He is the author of several books, blogs and hundreds of videos all of which you may find on Youtube You can follow him on twitter as @frbobcarr and on Google plus as+FrRobertCarr, his website is Carrbooks.com Thoughts, comments on the homily? Let us know at Facebook

 Posted by at 01:01
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