“The Lord hears the cry of the poor.”
HAC for Fr.Nathan – image – Conegliano 1515
“..and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate..”
The greatest legacy that Pilate would have never expected is probably that line in the Nicene Creed. Pilate was as the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea from AD 26–36. He served under Emperor Tiberius, and is best known today for the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. There are few if any historical records of the man and his rule, save for some accounts of his actions recorded by the Jewish chroniclers Philo and Josephus . Both report that Pilate repeatedly caused near-insurrections among the Jews because of his insensitivity to Jewish customs.
In addition there is a description of Pilate by the Jewish historian Philo, that states that Pilate had “vindictiveness and furious temper”, and was “naturally inflexible, a blend of self-will and relentlessness”. Referring to Pilate’s governance, Philo further describes “his corruption, and his acts of insolence, and his rapine, and his habit of insulting people, and his cruelty, and his continual murders of people untried and uncondemned, and his never ending, and gratuitous, and most grievous inhumanity.”
There was little, if any hard archaeological evidence for the man, and there were, indeed, some modern liberalists ,who would argue that Pilate was a construct of the Gospels. However, there was discovered in 1961, by a team of Italian archaeologists led by Dr. Antonio Frova while excavating in the area of an ancient theatre built by decree of Herod the Great around 22-10 BC, along with the entire city of Caesarea, a fragment of the dedicatory inscription of a later building, probably a temple, that was constructed, possibly in honour of the Emperor Tiberius, dating to 26–36 AD. The stone bears a partial inscription:
- [DIS AUGUSTI]S TIBERIÉUM
- […PO]NTIUS PILATUS
- […PRAEF]ECTUS IUDA[EA]E
- […FECIT D]E[DICAVIT]
The translation from Latin to English for the inscription reads:
- To the Divine Augusti [this] Tiberieum
- …Pontius Pilate
- …prefect of Judea
- …has dedicated [this]
On November 1st, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of All Saints. Please join us on Tuesday November 1st at 7:00 pm for a solemn sung Mass at St. Bernard’s, with Eucharistic Adoration and Confessions to follow.
On November 2nd the Church celebrates the commemoration of All Souls. It is the venerable custom that priests celebrate 3 Masses on this day for all the faithful departed. Masses in our parish on Wednesday, November 2nd will be at 8:00 am at St. Bernard’s, Noon at Our Lady of the Assumption and 7:00 pm at St. Bernard’s. The 7:00 pm Mass will be a solemn sung Mass.
Pope Francis has asked that priests provide more opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation to be regularly offered in parishes. Beginning next week, the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available 45 minutes before the start of all Masses (with the exception of the 11:00am Sunday Mass at Assumption, though I am available after this Mass if anyone would like to celebrate this sacrament). The Sacrament of Reconciliation will continue to be available after the Tuesday evening Mass from 7:30-8:30pm.
The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. According to an account by fifteenth-century Dominican, Alan de la Roch, Mary appeared to St. Dominic in 1206 after he had been praying and doing severe penances because of his lack of success in combating the Albigensian heresy. Mary praised him for his valiant fight against the heretics and then gave him the Rosary as a mighty weapon, explained its uses and efficacy, and told him to preach it to others.
“Since the prayers of the Rosary come from such excellent sources — from Our Lord Himself, from inspired Scripture, and from the Church — it is not surprising that the Rosary is so dear to our Blessed Mother and so powerful with heaven.
“If we consider the power of the Rosary as seen in its effects, we find a great abundance of proofs of its wonderful value. Many are the favors granted to private individuals through its devout recitation: there are few devoted users of the Rosary who cannot testify to experiencing its power in their own lives. If we turn to history, we see many great triumphs of the Rosary. Early tradition attributes the defeat of the Albigensians at the Battle of Muret in 1213 to the Rosary. But even those who do not accept this tradition will admit that St. Pius V attributed the great defeat of the Turkish fleet on the first Sunday of October, 1571, to the fact that at the same time the Rosary confraternities at Rome and elsewhere were holding their processions. Accordingly, he ordered a commemoration of the Rosary to be made on that day. Two years later, Gregory XIII allowed the celebration of a feast of the Rosary in churches having an altar dedicated to the Rosary. In 1671, Clement X extended the feast to all Spain. A second great victory over the Turks, who once, like the Russians, threatened the ruin of Christian civilization, occurred on August 5, 1716, when Prince Eugene defeated them at Peterwardein in Hungary. Thereupon Clement XI extended the feast of the Rosary to the whole Church.
“Today, when dangers far greater than those of the ancient Turks threaten not only Christianity but all civilization, we are urged by our Blessed Mother to turn again to the Rosary for help. If men in sufficient numbers do this, and at the same time carry out the other conditions that she has laid down, we have the greater reason for confidence that we will be delivered from our dangers.” – Mary in our Life by Fr. William G. Most
God hears the prayer of the humble
Jesus reinforced this warning with a vivid story of two people at prayer. Why did the Lord accept one person’s prayer and reject the other’s prayer? Luke gives us a hint: despising one’s neighbor closes the door to God’s heart. Expressing disdain and contempt for others is more than being mean-minded. It springs from the assumption that one is qualified to sit in the seat of judgment and to publicly shame those who do not conform to our standards and religious practices. Jesus’ story caused offense to the religious-minded Pharisees who regarded “tax collectors” as unworthy of God’s grace and favor. How could Jesus put down a “religious person” and raise up a “public sinner”?
Jesus’ parable speaks about the nature of prayer and our relationship with God. It does this by contrasting two very different attitudes towards prayer. The Pharisee, who represented those who take pride in their religious practices, exalted himself at the expense of others. Absorbed with his own sense of self-satisfaction and self-congratulation, his boastful prayer was centered on his good religious practices rather than on God’s goodness, grace, and pardon. Rather than humbling himself before God and asking for God’s mercy and help, this man praised himself while despising those he thought less worthy. The Pharisee tried to justify himself before God and before those he despised; but only God can justify us. The tax collector, who represented those despised by religious-minded people, humbled himself before God and begged for mercy. His prayer was heard by God because he had true sorrow for his sins. He sought God with humility rather than with pride.
The humble recognize their need for God’s mercy and help
This parable presents both an opportunity and a warning. Pride leads to self-deception and spiritual blindness. True humility helps us to see ourselves as we really are in God’s eyes and it inclines us to seek God’s help and mercy. God dwells with the humble of heart who recognize their own sinfulness and who acknowledge God’s mercy and saving grace. I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit (Isaiah 57:15). God cannot hear us if we boast in ourselves and despise others. Do you humbly seek God’s mercy and do you show mercy to others, especially those you find difficult to love and to forgive?
Daily Quote from the early church fathers: The medicine of repentance, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.
“How useful and necessary a medicine is repentance! People who remember that they are only human will readily understand this. It is written, ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’ (1 Peter 5:5, James 4:6, Job 22:29, Proverbs 3:34). The Pharisee was not rejoicing so much in his own clean bill of health as in comparing it with the diseases of others. He came to the doctor. It would have been more worthwhile to inform him by confession of the things that were wrong with himself instead of keeping his wounds secret and having the nerve to crow over the scars of others. It is not surprising that the tax collector went away cured, since he had not been ashamed of showing where he felt pain.” (excerpt from Sermon 351.1)
We have added a page with a selection of Prayer Cards for your enjoyment and use. These may be accessed from the main page menu, or from this link.
These cards are in Adobe PDF format, and will require a PDF viewer for viewing and printing.
Feast days for the coming week:
Sunday – Oct.23 – St.John of Capistrano
Monday – Oct.24 – St. Anthony Mary Claret
Tuesday – Oct.25 – Sts. Crispin & Crispinian
Wednesday – Oct.26 – St.Alfred the Great
Thursday – Oct.27 – St.Odhran of Iona
Friday – Oct.28 – St. Simon and St. Jude – Apostles
Saturday – Oct.29 – St.Cuthbert Mayne
Sunday – Oct.30 – St.Herbert
HAC for Fr.Nathan
“Lord Jesus, may your love and truth transform my life – my inner thoughts, intentions, and attitudes, and my outward behavior, speech, and actions. Where I lack charity, kindness, and forbearance, help me to embrace your merciful love and to seek the good of my neighbor, even those who cause me ill-favor or offense. May I always love as you have loved and forgive others as you have forgiven.”
HAC for Fr.Nathan