Saturday, May 23, 2009

God Reigns Over All The Nations; For The King Of All The Earth Is God!

After staying in Antioch for some time, Paul left there and went from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, bringing strength to all the disciples.

Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, an eloquent orator, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and spoke with great fervor about Jesus, though he had experienced only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him they invited him to their home, and began to explain the Way of God more accurately to him.

When Apollos wanted to cross over to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On his arrival, he was a great help to those who had come to believe through grace. He vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, demonstrating from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.
Acts 18:23-38

Jesus said to his disciples:

I tell you truly, whatever you ask for in my name the Father will grant you. Until now, you have not asked anything in my name. Ask and you shall receive, and your joy will be complete.

Although I have told you this using figures of speech, the time is coming when I will no longer used this type of language, but will speak plainly to you about my Father. When that day arrives, you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I have come from God. I have come from the Father and have entered the world; now I am leaving the world, and returning to the Father.
John 23-38

In a letter to the Bishops, Priests, Consecrated Persons and Laity of the Catholic Church in China, dated May 27, 2007, Pope Benedict XIV wrote:

Dear Pastors and all the faithful, the date 24 May could in the future become an occasion for the Catholics of the whole world to be united in prayer with the Church which is in China. This day is dedicated to the liturgical memorial of Our Lady, Help of Christians, who is venerated with great devotion at the Marian Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai. I would like that date to be kept by you as a day of prayer for the Church in China. I encourage you to celebrate it by renewing your communion of faith in Jesus our Lord and of faithfulness to the Pope, and by praying that the unity among you may become ever deeper and more visible …

On that same day, the Catholic of the whole world – in particular those who are of Chinese origin – will demonstrate their fraternal solidarity and solicitude for you, asking the Lord of history for the gift of perseverance in witness, in the certainty that your sufferings past and present for the Holy Name of Jesus, and your intrepid loyalty to his Vicar on earth will be rewarded, even if at time everything can seem a failure.

Prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan

Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Incarnate Word and our Mother, venerated in the Shrine of Sheshan under the title “Help of Christians”, the entire Church in China looks to you with devout affection. We come before you today to implore your protection. Look upon the People of God and, with a mother’s care, guide them along the paths of truth and love, so that they may always be a leaven of harmonious coexistence among all citizens.

When you obediently said “yes” in the house of Nazareth, you allowed God’s eternal Son to take flesh in your virginal womb, and thus to begin in history the work of our redemption. You willingly and generously cooperated in that work, allowing the sword of pain to pierce your soul, until the supreme hour of the Cross, when you kept watch on Calvary, standing beside your Son, who died that we might live.

From that moment, you became, in a new way, the Mother of all those who receive your Son Jesus in faith and choose to follow in his footsteps by taking up his Cross. Mother of hope, in the darkness of Holy Saturday you journeyed with unfailing trust toward the dawn of Easter. Grant that your children may discern at all times, even those that are darkest, the signs of God’s loving presence.

Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China who, amid their daily trials, continue to believe, to hope, to love. May they never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world and of the world to Jesus. In the statue overlooking the Shrine you lift your Son on high, offering him to the world with open arms in a gesture of love. Help Catholics always to be credible witnesses to this love, ever clinging to the rock of Peter on which the Church is built. Mother of China and of all Asia, pray for us, now and for ever. Amen!

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