It was the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time on 13 July 2014.
The Readings that were read in the Eucharistic Celebrations all over the world on that day are shown above & in the previous page:
First Reading: Isaiah 55:10-11,
Responsorial: Psalm 65:10-14,
Second Reading: Romans 8:18-23 &
Gospel Reading: Matthew 13:1-23.
We have extracted the Homilies of Saint Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you, so that you could similarly be encouraged:
JOHN PAUL II
Les Combes (Italy)
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
1. For the seventh time I have had the joy of spending a few days of rest in this splendid area of Les Combes in the district of Introd, surrounded by the Val d'Aosta mountains. For this I thank the Lord and everyone offering me hospitality. I extend a cordial greeting to the mayor of Introd and the regional authorities, as well as to dear Bishop Giuseppe Anfossi of Aosta. Among the guests I also see Bishop Alberto Careggio, who introduced me to this summer experience in the Val d'Aosta.
I am happy to be with you again, dear residents and holiday-makers. I hope that this will be a successful season for the many families who earn their living from tourism, and that those who, like me, are on holiday will be able to enjoy all this natural beauty - the air, the woods, the water ... - with great respect for the treasures the Creator entrusts to us.
2. Every time I can go to the mountains and contemplate this scenery, I thank God for the majestic beauty of creation. I thank him for his own Beauty, of which the universe is a reflection capable of stirring attentive hearts and prompting them to praise his greatness.
A mountain, in particular, is not only a magnificent scene to contemplate but a school of life as it were. In this school we learn to strive for a goal and to help one another in difficult moments, to enjoy silence together and to recognize one's own littleness in so solemn and majestic a setting.
3. All this invites us to reflect on man's role in the universe. Called to tend and keep the garden of the world (cf. Genesis 2:15), the human being has a specific responsibility towards his living environment, not only for the present but also for future generations. The great ecological challenge finds in the Bible a clear, sound spiritual and ethical basis for a solution that respects the great good of life, of every life. May humanity of the year 2000 be reconciled with creation and find the ways for harmonious and sustainable development.
O Mary, you shine with rare beauty: help us to appreciate and respect creation. You who are so loved by mountain dwellers and venerated in numerous shrines in these valleys, protect the inhabitants of Val d'Aosta, so that they will be faithful to their traditions and remain always open and hospitable.
Help us to make our life an ascent to God and to follow faithfully Jesus Christ, your Son, who guides us to our goal, where we will enjoy fullness of life and peace in the new creation.
After leading the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father said:
Today, 11 July, is the liturgical feast of St Benedict, patriarch of Western monasticism and patron of Europe. I extend a cordial greeting to all the monks and nuns of the Benedictine Order, recalling that it is precisely today that celebrations begin for the 1,500th anniversary of when St Benedict founded his first monastery at Subiaco. Benedictine monastic life, marked by prayer and work according to the famous motto "ora et labora", will be a most timely witness for humanity of the year 2000. I hope that this ideal of total dedication to Christ will flourish anew, for the benefit of the Church and the whole human family.
I warmly greet the inhabitants of Val d'Aosta, who have welcomed me to their beautiful region where, in contemplating creation, we discover God's greatness. I extend a cordial greeting to all the French-speaking faithful who have joined us to pray the Angelus. At the beginning of the holidays, a good time for interior silence, I ask the Virgin Mary to help them make this period of rest an opportunity for spiritual renewal.
In this Alpine valley I do not forget the people who have died in the mountains in France and Italy, especially the victims of last winter's avalanches. I also entrust to the Lord those who died in the Mont Blanc tunnel accident, and I share the grief of all their families.
To all the faithful I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.
JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 7 July 2002
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. Maria Goretti died 100 years ago, on 6 July 1902. She had been mortally injured the day before by the blind violence of her attacker. My Venerable Predecessor, the Servant of God Pius XII, canonized her in 1950, holding her up to everyone as a model of courageous fidelity to the Christian vocation, even to the supreme sacrifice of life.
St Maria Goretti is an example for the new generations who are threatened by a non-committal attitude that finds it difficult to understand the importance of the values which admit of no compromise.
2. Although she was poor and deprived of a school education, Maria, who was not yet 12 years old had a strong and mature personality, shaped by the religious instruction she had received in the family. This made her capable not only of defending herself with heroic chastity, but even of forgiving her murderer.
Her martyrdom reminds us that the human being is not fulfilled by following the impulses of pleasure but by living life with love and responsibility.
I well know, dear young people, how sensitive you are to these ideals. As I look forward to meeting you in Toronto in two weeks time, I would like to repeat to you today: do not let the consumer culture and pleasure numb your conscience! Be alert and vigilant "watchmen", be the real champions of a new humanity.
Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the Homilies of Saint Pope John Paul II, so that they could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us.
St Peter's Square
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Tomorrow is the feast of St Benedict, Patron of Europe, a saint and abbot particularly dear to me as you can guess from my choice of his name.
Born in Norcia around 480, Benedict completed his first studies in Rome but, disappointed with city life, withdrew to Subiaco, where for about three years he lived in a grotto - the famous "Sacro Speco" - and dedicated himself entirely to God. Making use of the ruins of a cyclopean villa of the Emperor Nero at Subiaco, he built several monasteries together with his first followers. Thus, he brought into being a fraternal community founded on the primacy of love for Christ, in which prayer and work were alternated harmoniously in praise of God.
Some years later, he perfected the form of this project at Monte Cassino and wrote it down in the "Rule", his only work that has come done to us. Seeking among the ashes of the Roman Empire first of all the Kingdom of God, Benedict perhaps unknowingly scattered the seed of a new civilization that would develop, integrating Christian values with the classical heritage on the one hand, and on the other, the Germanic and Slav cultures.
Today, I would like to emphasize one typical aspect of his spirituality. Benedict, unlike other great monastic missionaries of his time, did not found a monastic institution whose principal aim was the evangelization of the barbarian peoples; he pointed out to his followers the search for God as the fundamental and indeed, one and only aim of life: "Quaerere Deum" [to seek God].
He knew, however, that when the believer enters into a profound relationship with God, he cannot be content with a mediocre life under the banner of a minimalistic ethic and a superficial religiosity. In this light one can understand better the expression that Benedict borrowed from St Cyprian and summed up in his Rule (IV, 21), the monks' programme of life: "Nihil amori Christi praeponere", "Prefer nothing to the love of Christ". Holiness consists of this, a sound proposal for every Christian that has become a real and urgent pastoral need in our time, when we feel the need to anchor life and history to sound spiritual references.
Mary Most Holy is a sublime and perfect model of holiness who lived in constant and profound communion with Christ. Let us invoke her intercession, together with St Benedict's, so that in our time too the Lord will multiply men and women who, through witnessing to an enlightened faith in their lives, may be the salt of the earth and the light of the world in this new millennium.
After the recitation of the Angelus the Holy Father said:
We all feel a deep sorrow for the atrocious terrorist attacks in London last Thursday. Let us pray for the people killed, for the injured and for their loved ones. But let us also pray for the attackers: may the Lord move their hearts. To all who nurture sentiments of hatred and to all who carry out such repugnant terrorist acts I say: God loves life, which he created, and not death. Stop, in God's name!
Tomorrow I will be going to the Aosta Valley where I shall spend a short period of rest. I will be staying as a guest in the house that frequently offered hospitality to Pope John Paul II. I thank all those who will accompany me with their prayers and I say to you all with affection, "see you soon".
The Pope then greeted pilgrims; to the English-speaking faithful he said:
I offer a cordial greeting to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors gathered for this Angelus prayer. With great affection I invoke upon you and your families an abundance of joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ.
I wish you all a good Sunday!
27 July 2014