Friday, September 15, 2023

The Feast of Saints Cornelius and Cyprian.

Feast of Saints Cornelius & Cyprian, Martyrs. 

"Jesus said to his disciples: “A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.

"For every tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not pick figs from thornbushes, nor do they gather grapes from brambles.

"A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.

Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I command? 

"I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when the flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it because it had been well built. 

"But the one who listens and does not act is like a person who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed.” (Luke 6: 43 - 49).

Saturday 16th September 2023 in the 23rd Week of Ordinary Time is the feast of Saints Cornelius (Pope and Martyr) and Cyprian (Bishop and Martyr). 

Pope Cornelius was martyred under Emperor Gallus in 253.  St Cyprian, a Bishop from Carthage (modern Tunisia) was martyred in 258 under Emperor Valerian.

The two saints we honor today were acquainted with one another. They lived under one of the most severe persecutions of the Church. Tens of thousands were martyred. Rome was determined to stamp out once and for all Christianity in the empire.

Many Christians did not have the courage to face martyrdom. So they denied Jesus in order to preserve their lives. When the violent persecution abated, those Christians who denied Jesus wanted to be received back into the Church.  Some Bishops said Yes. Other Bishops refused them a second chance. The controversy nearly split the Church asunder.

Pope Cornelius wanted the Christians who apostasized to confess their sins and do appropriate penance and be allowed to rejoin the Church. Many Bishops opposed him. 

St Cyprian from the powerful African Church in Carthage came to his support. Their side won and schism was prevented. 

In the Prayer over the Gifts for this Mass, the Church affirmed that the Eucharist gave Saints Cornelius and Cyprian the courage to offer their lives for Christ. The same Eucharist can keep us faithful in all our trials, the Church prays. If you can receive the Eucharist more than once a week and do not do so, how can you justify your abstinence from such a Gift? It is simply ridiculous. 

[Receive, we pray, O Lord, the offerings of your people

in honor of the passion of your holy Martyrs

Saints Cornelius and Cyprian,

and may the gifts that gave them courage under


make us, too, steadfast in all trials.

Through Christ our Lord.] 

Remember the Choice and Call of Peter, James and John to be Fishers of Men? Jesus asked them to cast the net into the deep water to catch fish. They did and caught incredible quantity of fish.

In today's Gospel, Jesus asks us to dig Deep into the rock to build a safe home that will withstand flood and hurricane and other natural disaster.

We have in our key Scripture for today basic common sense message about building a family home. 

One of my favorite psalms is Psalm 127: 1:  

"Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain."

Jesus ends this ominous teaching by saying:

"But the one who listens and does not act is like a person who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed.”

Floods and hurricanes are part of life. Houses are simple enough to be replaced. But lives are much harder. He who builds on the word of God builds on a solid foundation. How do you build your "family house" on the word of God? 

You use the tested building materials of expert builders: the 7 Daily Habits of Saints:

  1. Prayer. 

  2. Word of God. 

  3. Eucharist. 

  4. Reconciliation. 

  5. Examen. 

  6. Spiritual Reading. 

  7. Faith Sharing/Ministry. 

"The riches of My kingdom are for all whom I have redeemed with My own Blood, but it pleases Me to bestow them through My Mother, the Queen and Mediatrix who stood at the foot of My Cross, offering Me and offering herself with Me. Today she reigns with Me in paradise.  All that I won for souls from My Father on the altar of the Cross, with My Mother at My side, I will now pour out on souls through her Heart and through her hands. This, too, is the secret of a fruitful priesthood. In every priestly act and in all of life, place your hands in the hands of My Mother and your heart in her Heart." (IN SINU JESU page 35).

In September, the Church honors the Sorrowful Heart of Mary. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows obtain for us  mercies from her Son Jesus. 

For Prayers of Consecration to the Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of Mary, Litany, Promises of Mary to those who say the Holy Rosary, etc click the link below:

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