Tragedy has struck the human race. Sin has entered the world through our choice; and relationships with God, one another and creation in general have been definitively harmed only to be repaired through the resurrection of Jesus. God in His mercy expels us from the Garden of Eden so that we will not do further harm and the long journey back to salvation is begun! It is hard to grasp the depth of this tragedy until we understand it in such stark terms as sin depriving us of the grace of eternal beatitude whereby we walk face to face with God in the Garden of Eden.
9 The LORD God then called to the man and asked him, ?Where are you?? 10 He answered, ?I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself.? 11 Then he asked, ?Who told you that you were naked? You have eaten, then, from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!? 12 The man replied, ?The woman whom you put here with meshe gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it.? 13 The LORD God then asked the woman, ?Why did you do such a thing?? The woman answered, ?The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.? 14 Then the LORD God said to the serpent: ?Because you have done this, you shall be banned from all the animals and from all the wild creatures; on your belly shall you crawl, and dirt shall you eat all the days of your life. 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.? 16 To the woman he said: ?I will intensify the pangs of your childbearing; in pain shall you bring forth children. Yet your urge shall be for your husband, and he shall be your master.? 17 To the man he said: ?Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat, cursed be the ground because of you! In toil shall you eat its yield all the days of your life. 18 Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you, as you eat of the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face shall you get bread to eat, until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; for you are dirt, and to dirt you shall return.? 20 The man called his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all the living. 21 For the man and his wife the LORD God made leather garments, with which he clothed them. 22 Then the LORD God said: ?See! The man has become like one of us, knowing what is good and what is bad! Therefore, he must not be allowed to put out his hand to take fruit from the tree of life also, and thus eat of it and live forever.? 23 The LORD God therefore banished him from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he had been taken. 24 When he expelled the man, he settled him east of the garden of Eden; and he stationed the cherubim and the fiery revolving sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.
P S A L M
Psalm 90:2, 3-4, 5-6, 12-13
R: In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
2 Before the mountains were begotten and the earth and the world were brought forth, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (R) 3 You turn man back to dust, saying, ?Return, O children of men.? 4 For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday, now that it is past, or as a watch of the night. (R) 5 You make an end of them in their sleep; the next morning they are like the changing grass, 6 which at dawn springs up anew, but by evening wilts and fades. (R) 12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. 13 Return, O LORD! How long? Have pity on your servants! (R)
G O S P E L
Nothing is impossible for God. I have just finished reading a partial biography of John Paul II (up until about the year 2000). In his papacy we see him constantly confronted with situation after situation that seem utterly impossible to handle. However, with faith he entrusts them one after the other to the Lord and they are resolved, at least up to a point. There is still more work for God to do in many aspects of the Church?s life, however, no problem, Church related or otherwise, is beyond His power. Do you believe this?
1 In those days when there again was a great crowd without anything to eat, he summoned the disciples and said, 2 ?My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. 3 If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a great distance.? 4 His disciples answered him, ?Where can anyone get enough bread to satisfy them here in this deserted place?? 5 Still he asked them, ?How many loaves do you have?? ?Seven,? they replied. 6 He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then, taking the seven loaves he gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to distribute, and they distributed them to the crowd. 7 They also had a few fish. He said the blessing over them and ordered them distributed also. 8 They ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over ? seven baskets. 9 There were about four thousand people. He dismissed them 10 and got into the boat with his disciples and came to the region of Dalmanutha.
think: Nothing is impossible for God.
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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Numbers 29-31
GETTING TO KNOW THE SAINTS
Saint Henry Morse
Henry Morse was born in 1595 at Suffolk, England. For 19 years, he lived under the Protestant faith until 1614 when he went to Douai, Flanders to be converted to Catholicism.
After his conversion, Henry went back to England to prepare for the seminary. He was asked by English port authorities to take the oath of allegiance, recognizing the king's supremacy in religious matters. He refused to take the oath and was imprisoned for four years. Henry, along with a hundred religious rebels, was banished.
He was ordained in 1623 and was formally accepted in the Society of Jesus the year after. For 18 months, he spent his novitiate doing rural work in Northern England. In his return to Flanders to conclude his novitiate, the ship he was boarding was halted by soldiers searching for a priest disguised as a foreign merchant. Instead, they discovered Fr. Morse. Thus, he was arrested and imprisoned a second time. For three years, the priest continued his service in prison. He devoted his life in service to plague victims in the parish of St. Giles, outside London. He secured medicines for the sick, heard confessions, took viaticum to the dying, and prepared the dead for the burial. Since Fr. Morse was a priest, he was still arrested and imprisoned but was released two months later upon the intervention of Queen Henrietta Marie. For 18 months, he enjoyed his freedom but was again arrested and imprisoned by soldiers for the fourth and fifth time.
He was moved from local jails until his final trial at Old Bailey. His mere presence in England after his banishment proved him guilty of high treason, and he was thus sentenced to death.
After his final Mass on February 1, the priest was executed. His heart was removed, his insides burned, and his body quartered. In accordance with the custom, his head was exposed at London Bridge and his quartered body mounted on the city s four gates.
Fr. Henry Morse was beatified on December 15, 1929 and was canonized on October 25, 1997.