PMPC IV

Saint Charles

Saint Charles was born John Charles Marchioni in Sezze, Italy on October 19, 1613.  His family was extremely pious. They lived in a rural area and as a child Saint Charles worked as a shepherd.  Due to his lack of education, it is said he learned only the basics and could barely read and write. He joined the Franciscans as a lay brother in Naziano, where he served as a cook, porter, and gardener.

Saint Charles was known for his holiness, simplicity, and charity.  He was generous to travellers and sought out spiritual advice.  In 1656 he worked tirelessly with victims of the plague.  He also wrote several mystical works including his autobiography entitled "The Grandeurs of the Mercies of God".  Tradition states he was called to the bedside of the dying Pope Clement IX for a blessing.

Saint Charles died on January 6, 1670 in Rome of natural causes, and he is buried in Rome in the Church of Saint Francis.  He was Canonized by Pope John XXIII on April 12, 1959.


Hebrews 4:1-5, 11

1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest remains, let us fear lest any of you be judged to have failed to reach it.
2 For good news came to us just as to them; but the message which they heard did not benefit them, because it did not meet with faith in the hearers.
3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, "As I swore in my wrath, `They shall never enter my rest, '"although his works were finished from the foundation of the world.
4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way, "And God rested on the seventh day from all his works."
5 And again in this place he said, "They shall never enter my rest."
11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, that no one fall by the same sort of disobedience.


Mark 2:1-12

1 And when he returned to Caper'na-um after some days, it was reported that he was at home.
2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and he was preaching the word to them.
3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.
4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay.
5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven."
6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts,
7 "Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you question thus in your hearts?
9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, `Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, `Rise, take up your pallet and walk'?
10 But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" -- he said to the paralytic --
11 "I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home."
12 And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"


Psalms 78:3, 4, 6-8

3 things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders which he has wrought.
6 that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children,
7 so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments;
8 and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.


Lord, help me to deepen my faith in you

Fri 18th Jan 2019
1st Week in Ordinary Time
Heb. 4:1-5,11; Ps. 78(77):3,4,6-7,8;
Mk. 2:1-12

Hebrews was concerned about the unbelief of the Israelites when Moses was leading them to the promised land.  Those who had been unfaithful had not been allowed to enter.  It compared the unfaithfulness of the Israelites with the faithfulness required of Christians if they were to enter God’s rest.  What is God’s rest?  For Christians, the deep desire is to be with the Lord for all eternity. But that requires obedience.  It requires being open to God and not hardening our hearts. The writer encourages us to listen and be obedient so that we may be welcomed into God’s presence.

Jesus had been out in the villages preaching and teaching and healing.  When he returned to Capernaum, such a large crowd gathered that the door was blocked.  Therefore, some people lowered their paralyzed friend through the roof and Jesus was amazed at their faith. Previously Jesus had said that his main purpose was to proclaim the message of God’s love, so it isn’t surprising that he forgave the man’s sins prior to healing him.

When the scribes questioned Jesus’ ability to forgive sins, he healed the man to show that he did have that authority. Jesus asserted his own authority over that of the scribes and all human reasoning.  Two things are important - the faith of the paralyzed man and his friends and the authority and power and love of Jesus

Lord, help me to deepen my faith in you.