Thursday, July 6, 2017


'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Maria Goretti, Virgin & Martyr (1890-1902), martyred by her attempted rapist, Alessandro Serenelli: Martyr-link ┼źna, Martyr-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
St. Maria was born to a poor family at Corinaldi, Italy, in 1890. Near Nettuno she spent a difficult childhood assisting her mother in domestic duties. She was of a pious nature & often at prayer. In 1902 Alessandro Serenelli tried to seduce her but she refused. He became so angry that he stabbed her fourteen times. She died in the hospital after forgiving her attacker. On her deathbed Maria not only pardoned Alessandro, but she said, "I hope he too will join me in Paradise." in 1910, during his eighth year in prison, Alessandro was converted after a dream in which Maria presented him with a bouquet of lilies. He was released from prison in 1928 & after asking forgiveness from maria's mother, he received Communion with her at Christmas Mass. Both Alessandro & St. Maria Goretti's mother were present at her canonization in 1950.
'Tis also the festival of Blessed Thomas Aufield, Priest & Martyr (1552-1585, also spelt Alfield), martyred in the reign of the queen Elizabeth I: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Weekday
The Book of Genesis, chapter twenty-two, verses one(b) thru nineteen;
Psalm One Hundred Fifteen, verses one & two, three & four, five & six, & eight & nine;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter nine, verses one thru eight.

Commentary: Gospel reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in our Gospel today Jesus heals a paralytic but not before first forgiving his sins: "And … people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, 'Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.'" Jesus read the hearts of Scribes who had decided he was blaspheming, and so he replied, "Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk?'" When no reply came, Jesus sent the man off home carrying his stretcher.

The story affirms that Jesus offers us forgiveness and healing. Even though we are sinners, even though we are hopeless in our hatred and stupidity, even though we had gone (and would still go today) to the limits of killing God's own son, God still loves us; God still forgives us. We know that nothing can possibly separate us from the love of God because we hear in the greeting of the risen Jesus that every and any sin can be forgiven.
Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Maria Goretti
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter six, verses thirteen(c) thru fifteen(a) & seventeen thru twenty;
Psalm Thirty-one, verse six;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twelve, verses twenty-four, twenty-five, & twenty-six.

Bible Study—The Bible Timeline: Egypt & Exodus, Part 2
The Book of Exodus, chapter twenty-five (verses one thru forty);
The Book of Exodus, chapter twenty-six (verses one thru thirty-seven);
The Book of Exodus, chapter twenty-seven (verses one thru twenty-one);
The Book of Exodus, chapter twenty-eight (verses one thru forty-three);
The Book of Exodus, chapter twenty-nine (verses one thru forty-six).

Commentary: IV. The Dwelling & Its Furnishings: Collection of Materials (25:1-9), Plan of the Ark (25:10-22), the Table (25:23-30), the Lampstand (25:31-40), the Tent Cloth (26:1-14), the Wooden Walls (26:15-30), the Veils (26:31-37), the Altar of Holocausts (27:1-8), Court of the Dwelling (27:9-19), Oil for the Lamps (27:20-21), the Priestly Vestments (28:1-5), the Ephod & the Breastpiece (28:6-30), Other Vestments (28:31-43), Consecration of the Priests (29:1-9), & Ordination Sacrifices (29:10-46).

It is a constant struggle to remind myself that even these obtuse lists of minutia are the inspired Word of God & are of great value even to the Christian living in the twenty-first century, even though the Ark of the Commandments was long ago lost due to Israel's well-deserved punishment for disobedience & profanity & the LORD no longer dwells amidst His people in the Dwelling, but rather the Holy Spirit dwells within our very hearts, the soul of our souls. This is a struggle I don't always win.

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