This past Friday and Saturday, Pope Francis made a quick trip over to Portugal and canonize two of the three shepherds (Jacinta and Francisco Marto), Rocco Palmo over at Whispers in the Loggia has a great recap of all that happened. It began simply enough with Pope Francis bringing a Golden Rose and bestowing it to our lady, it is Fatima’s third rose. The main event was Saturday the one hundredth with the Canonization mass. This bishop dressed in white delivered a message which had double meaning in the United States this weekend of “honoring your mother” since Mary is Mother to us all. The Homily at the Canonization I think gave the greatest reason why we should honor Mary. Pope Francis echoes Mary’s message from 100 years ago and added to it a bit “Our Lady foretold, and warned us about, a way of life that is godless and indeed profanes God in his creatures. Such a life – frequently proposed and imposed – risks leading to hell.” Sure Russia and the World have been Consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary several times but perhaps we need to do something about it rather than just says that it’s been consecrated. We need to pull out those Rosaries and get to praying.
On this upcoming Saturday one hundred year ago Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto were herding sheep outside of Fátima, Portugal. Pope Francis will be canonizing Jacinta and Francisco when he travels to Fatima this Friday and Saturday. Saturday will be the hundredth year since the shepherd children first saw a woman “brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal goblet filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun.” This woman asked the children to devote themselves to the Holy Trinity and to pray the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the war (World War I). This was the first of six appearances to the children between May and October of 1917, now these were about once a month and I’ll go into those during their months.
EWTN has a nice website up about the Fatima Apparitions. If you want an easy overview of all the apparitions take a look at their site. I think that if Mary were to come today she’d ask us to do the same thing devote ourselves to the Trinity and to pray the Rosary for world peace. I hope that as we reflect on the events in Fatima this year we are compelled to pick up a Rosary and pray it. Pope John Paul II also has a connection with Fatima as on May 13 in 1981 John Paul was shot and critically wounded, and John Paul believed that it was through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima that his life was spared. Next week we will reflect on what Pope Francis did and said in Fatima.
There were a couple of cool thing I found on the internet yesterday first off. His Holiness Pope Francis Skyped in a TED talk in it Francis talks about how the only future worth living in is one in which we all work together. It’s basically the message from the parable of the Good Samaritan, we need to look out for each other no matter who they are.
The other interesting thing is a nice article on Huffington Post about Kenan Thompson, from All That, Kenan and Kel, and currently SNL. It offers a unique look at how important Kenan is to the show. Thompson who is currently in his record tying 14th season with SNL and it doesn’t look like will be leaving the show anytime soon. It nice to see a kid grow up doing sketch comedy and be successful at it.
There two news items are on opposite sides of the spectrum, one was widely speculated and the other is a bit unexpected.
Fatima: As we’ve all sort of guessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto, two of the children of Fatima who died a long time ago will be Canonized by Pope Francis when he visits Fatima on May 13. I still sort of feel like we should all be expecting Lucia will be Beatified before the year is over as well, perhaps on October 13?
X-Files: On the other side of things Fox has decided to bring back Mulder and Scully for another ten episodes. The show which last aired the six episode “Event series” in early 2016 will air during the 2017-18 television season. Fans are clamoring for them to bring back the old team of writers with the likes of Vince Gilligan, want William to show up at some point, some redemption for characters and for Chris Carter not to write an episode. We will have to wait and see what all they can bring together but hopefully the 10 episode season will get the right balance of episode types.
I am sure you’ve all heard that this year in the one hundredth year since Our Lady appeared to the three children in Fatima. Later on this year on the thirteenth of May through October we will focus on what all happened at Fatima and talk about the secrets of Fatima as well. In what seen like the least kept secret it has been confirmed by the Vatican that Jacinta and Francisco Marto will be canonized during the Papal visit to Fatima in May. It also seems likely to think that Sister Lucia will be beatified sometime this year, since she is also connected with Fatima. Lucia’s cousins, Jacinta and Francisco will become two of the youngest saints who are not martyrs as they died at nine and ten.
To mark the end of the Year of Mercy Pope Francis has written an Apostolic Letter, in which he reflects on the year and what we should do. Pope Francis begins by saying that mercy need to be apart of our lives, looking at the Gospel story of Jesus and the woman taken in adultery (John 8:1-11) the woman by the Law of Moses should be stoned, but Jesus reminds us the intent of the Law. There is love at the heart of the Law for it is God’s Law and God is love. Pope Francis goes on to the time the woman came and washed the feet of Jesus with her tears and anointed them, Jesus says that “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke 7:47) It all comes down to forgiveness which is the most visible sign of God’s love and mercy is a concrete action of love.
The letter goes into a what can we do now that the year is over. Francis make an appeal for confession and he says that the provisions made during this Jubliee year for regular priest forgiving Abortion and the faithful in SPPX communities can obtain absolution for their sins will continue. The Pontiff continues “The Jubilee now ends and the Holy Door is closed. But the door of mercy of our heart continues to remain wide open.” Let us all remember that Mercy is available to all of us in all shapes. Pope Francis the names the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time as the World Day of the Poor. If you have some time over this upcoming holiday weekend take a look at this Apostolic Letter. Mercy is distilled down to love, let us all go out into the world filled with love for one another.
NFL on TV: According to Engadget watching NFL RedZone saves fans 35 hours of commercials a season. This is sort of ridiculous as to how many commercials are being aired during an average game. The ads account for a third of what is being broadcast during a game, this added to the fact that football contains according to the Wall Street Journal, about 11 minutes of action. There is some talk about the NFL considering fewer ads but in the age of instant streaming through the likes of Netflix or Hulu where there are no or only a couple of ads per show. I have found myself watching more of the NFL Network’s NFL GameDay Live which is basically RedZone or not even watching another football game on Sunday. The NFL has got to see this dip in people watching football and try to figure out how to make a better experience for people watching at home.
Stranger in a Strange Land: Syfy is working on adapting this book into a new series. Would it be a great show, that really is the main question but it is nice to see Syfy going into the Science Fiction catalogue and finding another book to adapt for the screen as they are already working on adapting Brave New World into a series. If this works it would be a wonderful change for the network which as of late has rested on face off, ghost shows and shows from Canada. Sure Heinlein’s book is a great work but it seem like the one that has the most problems with it, the whole religion and sex aspect might cause some problems with some audiences.
Pope Francis: Four Cardinals have asked Francis to clarify Amoris Laetitia for them specifically Chapter 8. It is interesting to see that even after eight months there are people who are not sure what all was said in this Apostolic Exhortation. Now let us remember that an Exhortation isn’t a doctrinal document and is used to encourage a community to do something. In Amoris Laetita, the focus is on the family as the Synod on the Family had wrapped up and this is the document which summarizes and coalesces the ideas in one place.
This week the readings come from Isaiah 66:18-21; Psalm 117; the Letter to the Hebrews 12:5-7,11-13; and Luke’s Gospel 13:22-30.
The readings focus on salvation this week we begin with Isaiah where we basically have salvation for all people from Tarshish, Put, Lud, Mosoch, Tuba and Javan. If you have a great memory and remember that these names are descendants of Noah congratulations. The Noahic Covenant is still in effect and all people of all nations are in on the deal (that God will not flood the world to destroy everything. The focus shifts in the epistle where we hear that following the Lord isn’t easy as it requires discipline as those who the Lord love he disciplines. Sin is bound to happen but it is better to sin and repent on earth compared to suffering in the afterlife. This idea lead into the Gospel where Luke has Jesus warning us that “some who are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” It a peculiar saying in a world where we care about whoever comes out on top, we’ve spent the past two weeks doing this at the Olympics and in November as those in the US decide between Donny and Hillary. Yet these result really don’t matter as we should care more about the least of our brother and sister than we do about the rich and powerful. As Oscar Romero, Dorothy Day and Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis have pointed toward in Catholic Social Teaching , the poor (the least in the world) are the most important people in the world. We are a church of the poor.
We finish off the Franciscan Crown with the final two Glorious mysteries. These next two (Assumption and Coronation) can be combined or just one of them used. It seems like the Assumption of Mary is the more traditional of the two. After her life on earth was over Mary was taken to heaven, there is some differences as to if she died before hand or if was she put to sleep and then brought to heaven. In a matter of days we will celebrate this feast as well as the Dormition of the Theotokos. Let us all turn to our heavenly mother, Mary this month and reflect on the choices that she made in her life to live closer to the Lord. What would we do if we were in the same situation? Mary said Yes, and most of us hem and haw over what to do. As Pope Francis reminded us at World Youth Day The Lord calls us all by name and wants to be apart of our lives all we need to do is make some room and say “yes” every once in a while to this call.
For the past five or so days young pilgrims from around the world have gathered together in Krakow, Poland. This World Youth Day had added significance as Krakow was where Karol Wojtyla later Pope John Paul II, current Saint John Paul served as Archbishop before he became Pope. World Youth Day is one of the ideas that John Paul developed and this is the thirty-second World Youth Day and the fifteenth global celebration. As every year since 1984 there have been celebration at the diocesan level and about every three years there is a International gathering. The next World Youth Day will be in Panama in 2019. Hopefully the next World Youth Day will take place in like Africa or
On the final day (Sunday) at Mass the Gospel reading was the Zacchaeus story and in his homily Pope Francis talked about how we are all like Zacchaeus. If you have some time read the whole homily. It was what Francis said towards the end that caught my mind, it was what Jesus says to Zacchaeus “Come down, for I must stay with you today.” it isn’t asking to stay it’s Jesus saying I must stay. This is the same message to us all Jesus must stay with us. Pope Francis notes that “The Lord doesn’t want to remain in this beautiful city, or in cherished memories alone. He wants to enter your homes, to dwell in your daily lives: in your studies, your first years of work, your friendships and affections, your hopes and dreams.” At our baptism we are given a special name and the Good Shepherd uses this to calls us to draw nearer to him. Let us all listen for our names and remember that World Youth Day continues tomorrow in our lives at our homes, outside of the “mountaintop experience” of something like a World Youth Day. We can’t be like Peter asking to put us tents to prolong the Transfiguration we should take what we got and bring it into our lives to use.