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February 14: Memorial of St. Valentine
"The popular customs associated with Saint Valentine's Day undoubtedly had their origin in a conventional belief generally received in England and France during the Middle Ages, that on 14 February, i.e. half way through the second month of the year, the birds began to pair." [New Advent]

February 17: Memorial of Seven Founders of the Order of Servites
"These seven men were the founders of the Servite Order, a community instituted for the special purpose of cultivating the spirit of penance and contemplating the passion of Christ and Mary's Seven Sorrows."  [Catholic Culture]

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Only those who deeply know the Lord and are converted to his love can become his courageous heralds and witnesses in every circumstance.

The Gospel of Sunday, February 20, 2005
Second Sunday of Lent
Mt: 17:1-9

"This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased" (Mt 17:5).

The Father's invitation to the disciples who where privileged witnesses of the extraordinary event of the Transfiguration still echoes today for us and for all the Church. Like Peter, James and John, we too are invited to climb Mount Tabor with Jesus and to let ourselves be awed by the splendour of his glory. On this Second Sunday of Lent, we contemplate Christ enveloped in light, in the company of Moses and Elijah, authoritative spokesmen of the Old Testament. To him we renew our personal adherence: he is the Father's "beloved Son".

Listen to him! This pressing appeal spurs us to intensify our Lenten journey. It is an invitation to let the light of Christ illumine our life and give us the strength to proclaim and bear witness to the Gospel to our brothers and sisters. It is a task, as we know well, which sometimes means hardship and suffering. This is also stressed by St Paul, who says to his faithful disciple Timothy: "Take your share of suffering for the Gospel" (2 Tm 1:8).

The experience of Jesus' Transfiguration prepares the Apostles to face the tragic events of Calvary by showing them in advance what will be the full and definitive revelation of the Master's glory in the paschal mystery. Meditating on this Gospel passage, we too are preparing to relive the decisive events of the Lord's Death and Resurrection, following him on the way of the Cross to attain light and glory. Indeed, we must first "suffer and so come to the glory of his Resurrection" (Preface).

...For the sacrament of Penance to be truly celebrated, it is necessary that the confession of sins arise from serious and careful reflection on the Word of God and living contact with the person of Christ. For this purpose, an appropriate catechesis is needed, as the Catechism recalls, which aims at putting people in communion with Jesus, for only he can lead us to the love of the Father in the Holy Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity (cf. n. 426).

O God, "who gave us the joy of walking in the light of the Gospel, open our hearts to hear your Son" (Collect, Messale Romano, p. 969). This is how we prayed at the beginning of our Eucharistic celebration. Pastoral work is entirely aimed at this openness of spirit, so that the believer can listen to the word of the Lord and docilely accept his will. Truly listening to God means obeying him. From this flows the apostolic zeal indispensable for evangelizing: only those who deeply know the Lord and are converted to his love can become his courageous heralds and witnesses in every circumstance.

Is it not precisely from knowing Christ, his person, his love and his truth that those who experience him personally feel an irresistible desire to proclaim him to everyone, to evangelize and to lead others to the discovery of the faith? I sincerely hope that each of you will be more and more inspired by this longing for Christ, the source of genuine missionary spirit.

"Abram went, as the Lord had told him" (Gn 12:4).

An exemplary and model believer, Abraham trusts in God. Called by Yahweh, he leaves his land with all its security, sustained only by his faith and trusting obedience in his Lord. God calls him to take the "risk" of faith, he obeys, and thus becomes the father in faith of all believers.

Like Abraham, we too would like to continue our Lenten journey, renouncing our security and abandoning ourselves to God's will. Let us take heart in the certainty that the Lord is faithful to his promises, despite our weakness and our sins.

With a truly repentant spirit, let us make our own the words of the Responsorial Psalm: "Our soul waits for the Lord... Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you".
Blessed Virgin, Star of evangelization, help us to understand your Son's words and to proclaim them generously and consistently to our brethren. ...Amen!

February 14, 2005

Excerpted from the HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II, Second Sunday of Lent, 28 February 1999.

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02.11.05   Godspy says:
Only those who deeply know the Lord and are converted to his love can become his courageous heralds and witnesses in every circumstance.

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