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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings 23-February-2023
Universalis/Jerusalem Bible ^

Posted on 02/23/2023 6:17:30 AM PST by annalex

23 February 2023

Thursday after Ash Wednesday

St. Polycarp Church, Smyrna

Readings at Mass

Liturgical Colour: Violet. Year: A(I).

First reading
Deuteronomy 30:15-20 ©

I set before you today life or death, blessing or curse

Moses said to the people: ‘See, today I set before you life and prosperity, death and disaster. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I enjoin on you today, if you love the Lord your God and follow his ways, if you keep his commandments, his laws, his customs, you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to make your own. But if your heart strays, if you refuse to listen, if you let yourself be drawn into worshipping other gods and serving them, I tell you today, you will most certainly perish; you will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today: I set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live, in the love of the Lord your God, obeying his voice, clinging to him; for in this your life consists, and on this depends your long stay in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob he would give them.’

Responsorial PsalmPsalm 1:1-4,6 ©
Happy the man who has placed his trust in the Lord.
Happy indeed is the man
  who follows not the counsel of the wicked;
nor lingers in the way of sinners
  nor sits in the company of scorners,
but whose delight is the law of the Lord
  and who ponders his law day and night.
Happy the man who has placed his trust in the Lord.
He is like a tree that is planted
  beside the flowing waters,
that yields its fruit in due season
  and whose leaves shall never fade;
  and all that he does shall prosper.
Happy the man who has placed his trust in the Lord.
Not so are the wicked, not so!
For they like winnowed chaff
  shall be driven away by the wind:
for the Lord guards the way of the just
  but the way of the wicked leads to doom.
Happy the man who has placed his trust in the Lord.

Gospel AcclamationPs50:12,14
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
A pure heart create for me, O God,
and give me again the joy of your help.
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
Repent, says the Lord,
for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!

GospelLuke 9:22-25 ©

Whoever loses his life for my sake will save it

Jesus said to his disciples:
  ‘The Son of Man is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.’
  Then to all he said:
  ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, that man will save it. What gain, then, is it for a man to have won the whole world and to have lost or ruined his very self?’

Christian Art


Each day, The Christian Art website gives a picture and reflection on the Gospel of the day.

The readings on this page are from the Jerusalem Bible, which is used at Mass in most of the English-speaking world. The New American Bible readings, which are used at Mass in the United States, are available in the Universalis apps, programs and downloads.

You can also view this page with the Gospel in Greek and English.

TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; lk9; ordinarytime; prayer
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 02/23/2023 6:17:30 AM PST by annalex
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To: All

KEYWORDS: catholic; lk9; ordinarytime; prayer

2 posted on 02/23/2023 6:18:08 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Alleluia Ping

Please FReepmail me to get on/off the Alleluia Ping List.

3 posted on 02/23/2023 6:18:57 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
Jim still needs our prayers. Thread 2
Prayer thread for Salvation's recovery
Pray for Ukraine
4 posted on 02/23/2023 6:19:21 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
 English: Douay-RheimsLatin: Vulgata ClementinaGreek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
 Luke 9
22Saying: The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the ancients and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day rise again. dicens : Quia oportet Filium hominis multa pati, et reprobari a senioribus, et principibus sacerdotum, et scribis, et occidi, et tertia die resurgere.ειπων οτι δει τον υιον του ανθρωπου πολλα παθειν και αποδοκιμασθηναι απο των πρεσβυτερων και αρχιερεων και γραμματεων και αποκτανθηναι και τη τριτη ημερα αναστηναι
23And he said to all: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Dicebat autem ad omnes : Si quis vult post me venire, abneget semetipsum, et tollat crucem suam quotidie, et sequatur me.ελεγεν δε προς παντας ει τις θελει οπισω μου ελθειν απαρνησασθω εαυτον και αρατω τον σταυρον αυτου και ακολουθειτω μοι
24For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it; for he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall save it. Qui enim voluerit animam suam salvam facere, perdet illam : nam qui perdiderit animam suam propter me, salvam faciet illam.ος γαρ εαν θελη την ψυχην αυτου σωσαι απολεσει αυτην ος δ αν απολεση την ψυχην αυτου ενεκεν εμου ουτος σωσει αυτην
25For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, and cast away himself? Quid enim proficit homo, si lucretur universum mundum, se autem ipsum perdat, et detrimentum sui faciat ?τι γαρ ωφελειται ανθρωπος κερδησας τον κοσμον ολον εαυτον δε απολεσας η ζημιωθεις

5 posted on 02/23/2023 6:21:29 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Catena Aurea by St. Thomas Aguinas


23. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

24. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

25. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

26. For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.

27. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA. (non occ.) Great and noble leaders provoke the mighty in arms to deeds of valour, not only by promising them the honours of victory, but by declaring that suffering is in itself glorious. Such we see is the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ. For He had foretold to His disciples, that He must needs suffer the accusations of the Jews, be slain, and rise again on the third day. Lest then they should think that Christ indeed was to suffer persecution for the life of the world, but that they might lead a soft life, He shews them that they must needs pass through similar struggles, if they desired to obtain His glory. Hence it is said, And he said unto all.

BEDE. He rightly addressed Himself to all, since He treats of the higher things (which relate to the belief in His birth and passion) apart with His disciples.

CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. 55. in Matt.) Now the Saviour of His great mercy and lovingkindness will have no one serve Him unwillingly and from constraint, but those only who come of their own accord, and are grateful for being allowed to serve Him. And so not by compelling men and putting a yoke upon them, but by persuasion and kindness, He draws unto Him every where those who are willing, saying, If any man will, &c.

BASIL. (in Cons. Mon. cap. 4.) But He has left His own life for an example of blameless conversation to those who are willing to obey Him; as He says, Come after me, meaning thereby not a following of His body, for that would be impossible to all, since our Lord is in heaven, but a due imitation of His life according to their capacities.

BEDE. Now unless a man renounces himself, he comes not near to Him, who is above him; it is said therefore, Let him deny himself.

BASIL. (in reg. fus. int. 6.) A denial of one’s self is indeed a total forgetfulness of things past, and a forsaking of his own will and affection.

ORIGEN. (in Matt. tom. 12.) A man also denies himself when by a sufficient alteration of manners or a good conversation he changes a life of habitual wickedness. He who has long lived in lasciviousness, abandons his lustful self when he becomes chaste, and in like manner a forsaking of any crimes is a denial of one’s self.

BASIL. (ubi sup.) Now a desire of suffering death for Christ and a mortification of one’s members which are upon the earth, and a manful resolution to undergo any danger for Christ, and an indifference towards the present life, this it is to take up one’s cross. Hence it is added, And let him take up his cross daily.

THEOPHYLACT. By the cross, He speaks of an ignominious death, meaning, that if any one will follow Christ, he must not for his own sake flee from even an ignominious death.

GREGORY. (Hom. 32. in Ev) In two ways also is the cross taken up, either when the body is afflicted through abstinence, or the mind; touched by sympathy.

GREEK EXPOSITOR. (Isaac. Monac.) He rightly joins these two, Let him deny himself, and let him take up his cross, for as he who is prepared to ascend the cross conceives in his mind the intention of death, and so goes on thinking to have no more part in this life, so he who is willing to follow our Lord, ought first to deny himself, and so take up his cross, that his will may be ready to endure every calamity.

BASIL. (ubi sup. lnt. 8.) Herein then stands a man’s perfection, that he should have his affections hardened, even towards life itself, and have ever about him the answer (ἀποκρίμα.) of death a, that he should by no means trust in himself. (2 Cor. 1:9.) But perfection takes its beginning from the relinquishment of things foreign to it; suppose these to be possessions or vain-glory, or affection for things that profit not.

BEDE. We are bid then to take up the cross of which we have above spoken, and having taken it, to follow our Lord who bore His own cross. Hence it follows, And let him follow me.

ORIGEN. (ut sup.) He assigns the cause of this when He adds, For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; that is, whosoever will according to the present life keep his own soul fixed on things of sense, the same shall lose it, never reaching to the bounds of happiness. But on the other hand He adds, but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, shall save it. That is, whosoever forsakes the things of sense looking upon truth, and exposes himself to death, as it were losing his life for Christ, shall the rather save it. If then it is a blessed thing to save our life, (with regard to that safety which is in God,) there must be also a certain good surrender of life which is made by looking upon Christ. It seems also to me from resemblance to that denying of one’s self which has been before spoken of, that it becomes us to lose a certain sinful life of ours, to take up that which is saved by virtue.

CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA. (non occ.) But that incomparable exercise of the passion of Christ, which surpasses the delights and precious things of the world, is alluded to when he adds, What is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world and lose himself, or be a cast away? As if he says, When a man, through his looking after the present delights, gains pleasure, and refuses indeed to suffer, but chooses to live splendidly in his riches, what advantage will he get then, when he has lost his soul? For the fashion of this world passeth away, and pleasant things depart as a shadow. (1 Cor. 7:31. Sap. 5:9.) For the treasures of ungodliness shall not profit, but righteousness snatches a man from death. (Prov. 10:2.)

GREGORY. (Hom. 32. in Ev.) Since then the holy Church has one time of persecution, another time of peace, our Lord has noticed both times in His command to us. For at the time of persecution we must lay down our soul, that is our life, which He signified, saying, Whosoever shall lose his life. But in time of peace, those things which have the greatest power to subdue us, our earthly desires, must be vanquished; which He signified, saying, What does it profit a man, &c. Now we commonly despise all fleeting things, but still we are so checked by that feeling of shame so common to man, that we are yet unable to express in words the uprightness which we preserve in our hearts. But to this wound the Lord indeed subjoins a suitable application, saying, For whoever shall be ashamed of me and my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed.

THEOPHYLACT. He is ashamed of Christ who says, Am I to believe on Him that is crucified? He also is ashamed of His words who despises the simplicity of the Gospel. But of him shall the Lord be ashamed in His kingdom, in the same manner as if a master of a household should have a bad servant, and be ashamed to have him.

CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA. Now he strikes fear into their hearts, when He says that He will descend from heaven, not in His former humility and condition proportioned to our capacities for receiving Him, but in the glory of the Father, with the Angels ministering unto Him. For it follows, When he shall come in his own glory, and his Father’s, and of the holy angels. Awful then and fatal will it be, to be branded as an enemy, and slothful in business, when so great a Judge shall descend with the armies of Angels standing round Him. But from this you may perceive, that though He has taken to Himself our flesh and blood, the Son is no less God, seeing that He promises to come in the glory of God the Father, and that Angels shall minister to Him as the Judge of all, Who was made man like unto us.

AMBROSE. Now our Lord while He ever raises us to look to the future reward of virtue, and teaches us how good it is to despise worldly things, so also He supports the weakness of the human mind by a present recompense. For it is a hard thing to take up the cross, and expose your life to danger and your body to death; to give up what you are, when you wish to be what you are not; and even the loftiest virtue seldom exchanges things present for future. The good Master then, lest any man should be broken down by despair or weariness, straightway promises that He will be seen by the faithful, in these words, But I say unto you, There are some standing here who shall not taste of death till they see the kingdom of God.

THEOPHYLACT. That is, the glory in which the righteous shall be. Now He said this of His transfiguration, which was the type of the glory to come; as if He said, There are some standing here, Peter, James, and John, who shall not reach death before they have seen at the time of My transfiguration what will be the glory of those who confess Me.

GREGORY. (Hom. 32. in Ev.) Or, by the kingdom of God in this place, is meant the present Church; and some of His disciples were to live in the body up to that time, when they should behold the Church of God built and raised up against the glory of the world.

AMBROSE. If then we also wish not to fear death, let us stand where Christ is. For they only cannot taste death who are able to stand with Christ, wherein we may consider from the nature of the very word, that they will not experience even the slightest perception of death, who are thought worthy to obtain union with Christ. At least let us suppose that the death of the body is tasted by touch, the life of the soul preserved by possession; for here not the death of the body, but of the soul, is denied.

Catena Aurea Luke 9

6 posted on 02/23/2023 6:22:47 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Condemnation of St Lawrence by the Emperor Valerian

Fra Angelico

Fresco, 271 x 235 cm
Cappella Niccolina, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican

7 posted on 02/23/2023 6:23:18 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


23 February

Born between 69 and 70AD of Christian parents, he learnt the teachings of Christ directly from the Apostles and became a disciple of St John the Evangelist. Irenaeus, who was his pupil and then Bishop of Lyon, and the historian Eusebius of Caesarea, write of him thus: "Polycarp was not only educated by the Apostles and lived with many of those who had seen the Lord, but it was the Apostles who sent him to Asia as Bishop of the Church of Smyrna". (Adversus Haereses III, 3,4, Historia Ecclesiastica IV, 14,3,4) The Martyrium Polycarpi, considered by many to be the oldest and most authentic of the Acts of the Martyrs, was written by one who was an eyewitness to his martyrdom. It is the first work in which a martyr is defined as one who dies for the faith. During his long time as Bishop, Polycarp stood out for his zeal in faithfully preserving the doctrine of the Apostles, for spreading the Gospel among the pagans, and for fighting heresies. Irenaeus describes him as a patient and lovable preacher, with great solicitude for widows and slaves.

Friendship with Ignatius of Antioch


In 107 Polycarp welcomed Ignatius of Antioch to Smyrna Ignatius was on his way to Rome, under escort, to be judged. The seven letters that Ignatius addressed to the churches along the way, are famous. The first four start from Smyrna. The, from Troas, he wrote to the faithful of Smyrna and to their bishop Polycarp, asking him to transmit his memory to the Church of Antioch, and describing Polycarp as a good pastor and fighter for the cause of Christ. In fact, the Philippians asked Polycarp to collect the letters of Ignatius for them. The Bishop of Smyrna did so, adding his own letter in which he urges them to serve and fear God, to believe in Him, to hope in the resurrection, and to walk in the path of justice, always having before their eyes the example of the martyrs - and Ignatius himself. Polycarp’s letter to the Philippians is well known. In our own day it is important in in terms of the historical information that can be drawn from it and for the dogmas on the Creed that it contains. Around the end of the year 154, Polycarp left for Rome as a representative of the Christians of Asia Minor. His mission was to meet with Pope Anicetus and discuss different issues, including the date of Easter, The Eastern Churches celebrated Easter on the 14th of the Jewish month of Nisan, and in Rome on the following Sunday. No agreement was reached, but relations between the Churches remained friendly.

Martyred at 86 years of age

Christians in Smyrna were persecuted under the Emperor Antoninus Pius, and Polycarp was arrested. The acts of his martyrdom narrate that he was "brought before the Proconsul, who tried to persuade him to recant, saying: 'Think of your age ... change your mind ... swear and I will free you. Curse the Christ '. Polycarp replied: 'I have served Him for eighty-six years, and he has done me no harm. How could I curse my King who saved me? ... Listen clearly: I am a Christian'". He was burned at the stake, but remained unharmed as the flames never touched him. Finally, he was killed by the sword. We read these accounts in the Martyrium Polycarpi, from which we know that Polycarp was the twelfth to suffer martyrdom in Smyrna, that he was martyred on a Saturday at the eighth hour, the seventh day before the calends of March. This dates his martyrdom as February 23rd in the year 155.
8 posted on 02/23/2023 6:28:26 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

9 posted on 02/23/2023 6:32:23 AM PST by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

From: Deuteronomy 30:15-20

Israel Facing Life and Death: The Two Ways
[15] "See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil. [16] If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you this day, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances, then you shall live arid multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to take possession of it. [17] But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, [18] I declare to you this day, that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land which you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. [19] I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, [20] loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice, and cleaving to him; for that means life to you and length of' days, that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them."


30:15-20. The last verses of the discourse addresses a touching and solemn appeal to Israel, spelling out what its responsibilities are: it is completely free to choose between good and evil; but depending on whether it is faithful or unfaithful, it will he blessed or punished by the Lord.

The concluding exhortation (vv. 19-20) is particularly moving: "choose life", loving the Lord, for "that means life". In the New Testament we find passages which echo the same ideas: "I am the life," our Lord will say (Jn 14:6); and St Paul: "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Gal 2:20); "for to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Phil 1:21).

Cf. RSV footnote to v. 36: this follows the (fuller) Septuagint Greek (as do the New Vulgate and the Spanish). The words "if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God" do help to stress the contrast with what it says in v. 17.

10 posted on 02/23/2023 5:25:00 PM PST by fidelis (👈 Under no obligation to respond to rude, ignorant, abusive, bellicose, and obnoxious posts.)
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To: fidelis
From: Luke 9:22-25

First Prophecy of the Passion
[22] [Jesus said to his disciples] "The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised."

The Need for Self-Denial
[23] And He said to all, "If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. [24] For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for My sake, he will save it." [25] For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?"


22. Jesus prophesied His passion and death in order to help His disciples believe in him. It also showed that He was freely accepting these sufferings He would undergo. "Christ did not seek to be glorified: He chose to come without glory in order to undergo suffering; and you, who have been born without glory, do you wish to be glorified? The route you must take is the one Christ took. This means recognizing Him and it means imitating Him both in His ignominy and in His good repute; thus you will glory in the Cross, which was His path to glory. That was what Paul did, and therefore he glorified in saying, `Far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ' (Galatians 6:14)" (St. Ambrose, "Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam, in loc.").

23. "Christ is saying this again, to us, whispering it in our ears: the cross EACH DAY. As St. Jerome puts it: `Not only in time of persecution or when we have the chance of martyrdom, but in all circumstances, in everything we do and think, in everything we say, let us deny what we used to be and let us confess what we now are, reborn as we have been in Christ' ("Epistola" 121, 3) [...]. Do you see? The DAILY cross. No day without a cross; not a single day in which we are not to carry the cross of the Lord, in which we are not to accept His yoke" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 58 and 176). "There is no doubt about it: a person who loves pleasure, who seeks comfort, who flies from anything that might spell suffering, who is over-anxious, who complains, who blames and who becomes impatient at the least little thing which does not go his way--a person like that is a Christian only in name; he is only a dishonor to his religion for Jesus Christ has said so: Anyone who wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross every day of his life, and follow Me" (St. John Mary Vianney, "Selected Sermons", Ash Wednesday).

The Cross should be present not only in the life of every Christian but also at the crossroads of the world: "How beautiful are those crosses on the summits of high mountains, and crowning great monuments, and on the pinnacles of cathedrals...! But the Cross must also be inserted in the very heart of the world.

"Jesus wants to be raised on high, there in the noise of the factories and workshops, in the silence of libraries, in the loud clamor of the streets, in the stillness of the fields, in the intimacy of the family, in crowded gatherings, in stadiums.... Wherever there is a Christian striving to lead an honorable life, he should, with his love, set up the Cross of Christ, who attracts all things to Himself" (St J. Escriva, "The Way of the Cross", XI, 3).

25. By this radical statement Jesus teaches us to do everything with a view to eternal life: it is well worth while to devote our entire life on earth to attaining eternal life. "We have been warned that it profits man nothing if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself. Far from diminishing our concern to develop this earth, the expectance of a new earth should spur us on, for it is here that the body of a new human family grows, foreshadowing in some way the age which is to come. That is why, although we must be careful to distinguish earthly progress clearly from the increase of the Kingdom of Christ, such progress is of vital concern to the Kingdom of God, insofar as it can contribute to the better ordering of human society" (Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 39).

Source: Daily Word for Reflection—Navarre Bible

11 posted on 02/23/2023 5:25:32 PM PST by fidelis (👈 Under no obligation to respond to rude, ignorant, abusive, bellicose, and obnoxious posts.)
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To: fidelis
Click here to go to the My Catholic Life! Devotional thread for today’s Gospel Reading
12 posted on 02/23/2023 5:26:17 PM PST by fidelis (👈 Under no obligation to respond to rude, ignorant, abusive, bellicose, and obnoxious posts.)
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