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Pope Francis calls for prayers, sends condolences to Muslims, Christians killed in Burkina Faso

Pope Francis appears in a wheelchair at his general audience on Feb. 28, 2024. / Credit: Vatican Media

Rome Newsroom, Feb 28, 2024 / 12:01 pm (CNA).

Pope Francis this week called for prayers for and expressed his closeness to the victims of twin terrorist attacks on Catholic and Muslim communities in the West African country of Burkina Faso.

“We pray for the victims of the recent attacks on places of worship in Burkina Faso,” a papal aide read on behalf of the Holy Father during his Wednesday general audience. 

The pope’s comments come after an official telegram signed by the Vatican’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, was sent to Bishop Laurent Dabiré, president of the Episcopal Conference of Burkina Faso and of Niger, on Monday. That message expressed pain on the pontiff’s behalf for the families of those murdered. 

The Monday telegram denounced the killings and reiterated the pope’s appeal for peace, noting that “hatred is not the solution to conflicts.” The pope further expressed his hope that sacred spaces — which have been frequently targeted in the country — be respected, a call which is underscored by a broader “fight against violence in order to promote the values of peace.” 

The world reacted in shock this week after 15 Catholics were killed in a Sunday prayer service led by a lay catechist in the village of Essakane, located in the country’s northern region, which borders Mali and Niger.

Father Jean-Pierre Sawadogo, vicar general of the Diocese of Dori, deplored the killings as a terrorist attack, though he did not assign culpability to a specific organization. In the same statement, Sawadogo prayed for the conversion of those who “continue to wreak death and desolation in the country.”

The Diocese of Dori confirmed to Vatican News on Monday evening that 12 were killed in the initial attack, while three others died later in the hospital. 

Al Jazeera, meanwhile, reported that a mosque in Natiaboani was attacked on Sunday by armed rebels around 5 a.m., leaving dozens dead. 

“The terrorists entered the town early morning. They surrounded the mosque and shot at the faithful, who were gathered there for the first prayer of the day. Several of them were shot, including an important religious leader,” a local source told AFP, as reported in the French newspaper Le Monde.   

The two attacks are the latest examples of a dramatic escalation of violence directed toward religious groups in the country, which has experienced a broad destabilization brought about by the 2014 Libyan Civil War. 

The violence in the aftermath of the Libyan war has been compounded by the emergence and proliferation of terrorist organizations in the country as well as a political vacuum following two military coups in January and September 2022. 

In 2023, Dabiré noted that many Catholics there skip Mass out of fear of being caught in a firefight, and as a result, several parishes have been abandoned. The fear of violence has also affected missionary work and the distribution of much-needed aid in the country. 

Members of a Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Burkina Faso and Niger, held between Feb. 12–18, noted that the situation facing Catholics in the country has only deteriorated in the last year. 

“Overall, some 30 parishes and their associated structures (presbyteries, religious communities, health, and education facilities, etc.) remain closed or inaccessible,” a Feb. 18 statement by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Burkina Faso and Niger observed.

Pope Francis urges Armenian Catholic bishops to ‘take up the cry for peace’

Pope Francis meets at the Vatican with bishops from the Armenian Catholic Church o Feb. 28, 2024. / Credit: Vatican Media

CNA Staff, Feb 28, 2024 / 10:30 am (CNA).

Pope Francis on Wednesday urged the bishops of the Armenian Catholic Church to “take up the cry for peace” amid ongoing threats of conflict and religious persecution in the region. 

Armenia and Azerbaijan are engaged in peace talks following Azerbaijan's violent takeover of the Nagorno-Karabakh region late last year. The region has been a point of contention for years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

All but a few ethnic Armenians in the Nagorno-Karabakh region fled their ancestral homeland following Azerbaijan’s takeover. Human rights leaders last year warned of a possible “religious cleansing” of Armenian Christians during the conflict. 

In his address on Wednesday, Pope Francis urged the Synod of Bishops of the Patriarchal Church of Cilicia of the Armenians to pray for peace amid the conflict. 

“[H]ow can we not finally turn our thoughts to Armenia,” the Holy Father said, “not only in words but above all in our prayers, particularly for all those fleeing Nagorno-Karabakh and for the many displaced families seeking refuge.”

“So many wars, and so much suffering!” the pope said. “The First World War was supposed to be the last; it led to the formation of the League of Nations, the ‘precursor’ of the United Nations, in the belief that this would be sufficient to preserve the gift of peace.” 

“Yet since then, how many conflicts and massacres have we witnessed, always tragic and always pointless,” Francis noted.  

Declaring, “Enough!” the Holy Father urged the bishops to “take up the cry for peace, so that it may touch hearts, even hearts untouched by the sufferings of the poor and lowly.” 

“And above all, let us pray. I pray for you and for Armenia; and I ask you, please, to pray for me!” the pope said.

Pope urges synod to elect ‘the Bishops of tomorrow’

In his speech to the bishops, the pope also urged the leaders to “give your Church the Bishops of tomorrow.” 

“I urge you to choose them carefully, so that they will be devoted to the flock, faithful to pastoral care, and not driven by personal ambition,” the Holy Father said.

He urged that bishops “not be selected on the basis of our own ideas or preferences,” and that “great caution should be used with regard to those with ‘a nose for business’ or those ‘always with a suitcase in hand,’ leaving their people orphaned.”

“Bishops are not bought in the marketplace,” the pope said, stating that “it is Christ who chooses them as successors of his apostles and shepherds of his flock.”

Francis also urged the bishops to attend to “the pastoral care of vocations” in the region. 

Priests, “especially young priests, need to feel close to their Bishops, who will foster their fraternal communion, so that they will not grow discouraged by hardships but rather grow daily in docility to the creativity of the Holy Spirit, serving the people of God with the joy born of charity, not with the unbending and insensitive attitude of bureaucrats,” the pope said. 

Ex-priest sentenced to 15 months in prison for molestation of minor with cancer

null / Billion Photos / Shutterstock.

CNA Staff, Feb 28, 2024 / 10:18 am (CNA).

A former priest was sentenced to 15 months in prison this week for molesting an Ohio minor suffering from cancer. 

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office announced the indictment of Luis Barajas in November of last year. 

Barajas had been “acting in the capacity of a retired priest” when he “went to the victim’s residence” in order to “give her a blessing before her chemotherapy treatment.” During the blessing, Barajas “inappropriately touched the victim under a blanket,” the office said. The girl was 15 years old at the time of the assault. 

Barajas subsequently pleaded guilty to the felony of gross sexual imposition. Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Andrew Santoli announced the 15-month sentence on Tuesday. Barajas received time served and will be in prison for just under a year. 

“You admitted to sexually assaulting a child, which in and of itself is an absolutely horrendous crime,” Santoli said during the sentencing, according to media reports

But Barajas further “took advantage” of the family’s need for a priest during a difficult time, Santoli said, “and that warrants a serious consequence.”

The Diocese of Harrisburg in a statement last year identified Barajas as a “laicized priest.” 

This is not the first time Barajas has been linked to inappropriate conduct toward minors. 

Pennsylvania’s 2018 grand jury report on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church claimed that a priest in Harrisburg in the late 1980s had relayed “allegations” regarding Barajas’ “associations with the youth of the parish.” He had been employed with the Office of the Vicar for the Spanish-Speaking People, according to the grand jury report.

Some parishioners had also allegedly relayed “accusations of child molestation” to the priest regarding Barajas, though the priest said he “questioned their credibility.”

Barajas subsequently returned to Colombia in 1989. The grand jury report said Harrisburg’s Monsignor Damian McGovern wrote to a Church official in Rome that “for many serious reasons, the life and ministry of Father Barajas proved to be most unsatisfactory and, accordingly, he was asked to terminate his association with the Diocese of Harrisburg.”

The report said the Archdiocese of New York subsequently reached out to the Harrisburg diocese with an allegation of sexual misconduct regarding Barajas. The Diocese of Brooklyn subsequently “denied Barajas faculties,” the report said.

Pope Francis, weakened by ‘a bit of a cold,’ has aide read reflection before hospital visit

Pope Francis greets pilgrims at his Wednesday general audience in the Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican on Feb. 28, 2024. / Credit: Vatican Media

Rome Newsroom, Feb 28, 2024 / 07:44 am (CNA).

Pope Francis, still visibly suffering from a “cold,” visited a Rome hospital for diagnostic tests on Wednesday following his weekly general audience, at which an aide read the Holy Father’s prepared remarks.

The Holy See Press Office later confirmed the hospital visit, adding that the pope already had returned to the Vatican.

“I still have a bit of a cold, which is why I asked Monsignor [Filippo] Ciampanelli to read today’s catechesis,” Pope Francis said at the start of the morning general audience in the Paul VI Audience Hall. He arrived at the hall in his wheelchair shortly before 9 a.m. and did not walk to his chair with a cane as he typically does.

The pope also had an aide read his prepared remarks at an earlier morning meeting Wednesday with members of the Synod of Bishops of the Patriarchal Church of Cilicia of the Armenians.

On Saturday, Feb. 24, the 87-year-old pontiff canceled his audiences for the day due to what the Vatican described as a “mild flu-like condition.” He delivered the Angelus address the following day from the window of the Apostolic Palace without any obvious signs of illness. He cleared his schedule on Monday again as a “precautionary measure” due to “mild flu symptoms,” the Holy See Press Office said.

On Monday Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, spoke to journalists at an event in Rome, noting that the pope “had this flu episode but he recovered.” 

“I was supposed to go to him this evening, but I’m here, the hearing had not been suspended. So it means that he has recovered and resumed his normal activity,” Parolin said at the time.

Focus on envy, vainglory

During the Wednesday general audience, the pope continued his ongoing catechetical series on vice and virtue, focusing this time on envy and vainglory. 

Reflecting on the universal fascination of these closely associated vices, Pope Francis observed that envy is an “evil” that has been studied both under a Christian theological lens as well as by “philosophers and wise men of every culture.”

The pope’s reflection noted that envy sits at the matrix between “hate and love,” where “one desires evil for the other, but secretly desires to be like him.” The pope observed that this vice is predicated upon a “false idea of God,” noting that it arises when “we do not accept that God has his own ‘math,’ different from ours.” 

The pope’s reflection then turned to vainglory, which is tied to “the demon of envy.” When taken together they are “characteristic of a person who aspires to be the center of the world, free to exploit everything and everyone, the object of all praise and love,” he noted.

“Vainglory,” the pope’s reflection continued, “is an inflated and baseless self-esteem. The vainglorious person possesses an unwieldy ‘I.’ He has no empathy and takes no notice of the fact that there are other people in the world besides him.” For the pope, those who display this vice see human relations through a transactional lens and struggle with a mistaken sense of self-aggrandizement. 

“His person, his accomplishments, his achievements must be shown to everyone: He is a perpetual beggar for attention. And if at times his qualities are not recognized, he becomes fiercely angry,” the pope observed. 

The pope’s reflection closed by noting that the antidote to overcoming the internal weakness brought on by these twin vices is accepting the grace of God. 

“And his conclusion should also become ours: ‘I will therefore gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me,’” Pope Francis concluded, quoting from St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians. 

Pope Francis visits hospital for diagnostic tests after Wednesday audience

Pope Francis appears in a wheelchair at his general audience on Feb. 28, 2024. / Credit: Vatican Media

Vatican City, Feb 28, 2024 / 07:43 am (CNA).

Pope Francis went to the hospital on Rome’s Tiber Island on Wednesday morning after meeting with the public at his general audience.

The Vatican confirmed on Feb. 28 that the pope underwent “diagnostic tests” at the Gemelli Isola Tiberina Hospital before returning to his Vatican residence shortly after noon.

According to the Holy See Press Office, the pope has had “a mild flu-like condition” since at least Saturday when he canceled his scheduled public appearances.

The 87-year-old pope appeared in a wheelchair at his Wednesday audience in Paul VI Hall where he had an aide read his speech for him after telling the crowd that he was still not well.

“Dear brothers and sisters, I still have a bit of a cold,” Pope Francis said in a soft-spoken voice as he explained that Monsignor Filippo Ciampanelli would read the text of his catechesis for him.

Despite feeling unwell, the pope greeted the crowd at the end of the audience, shaking hands with visiting pilgrims, blessing newlywed couples, and speaking with bishops before visiting the hospital.

Italian media spotted the pope leaving the Vatican in the backseat of a white Fiat 500 one hour before the Vatican officially confirmed the hospital visit.

“After the general audience, Pope Francis went to the Gemelli Isola Tiberina Hospital for some diagnostic tests. At the end he returned to the Vatican,” the brief statement from the Holy See Press Office said.

The Vatican has yet to release details as to the results of the hospital’s diagnostic tests.

Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent

Reading 1 Jer 18:18-20

The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem said,
"Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah.
It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests,
nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets.
And so, let us destroy him by his own tongue;
let us carefully note his every word."

Heed me, O LORD,
and listen to what my adversaries say.
Must good be repaid with evil
that they should dig a pit to take my life?
Remember that I stood before you
to speak in their behalf,
to turn away your wrath from them.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 31:5-6, 14, 15-16

R. (17b) Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
You will free me from the snare they set for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
I hear the whispers of the crowd, that frighten me from every side,
as they consult together against me, plotting to take my life.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
But my trust is in you, O LORD;
I say, "You are my God."
In your hands is my destiny; rescue me
from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.

Verse Before the Gospel Jn 8:12

I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.

Gospel Mt 20:17-28

As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem,
he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves,
and said to them on the way,
"Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem,
and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests
and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death,
and hand him over to the Gentiles
to be mocked and scourged and crucified,
and he will be raised on the third day."

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her, "What do you wish?"
She answered him,
"Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom."
Jesus said in reply,
"You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?"
They said to him, "We can."
He replied,
"My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left,
this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many."
- - -

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Bishop who participated in Freemasonry event affirms its incompatibility with Catholicism

The president of the Pontifical Academy of Theology, Bishop Antonio Staglianò, affirms that Freemasonry is incompatible with Catholicism. / Credit: Public Domain

ACI Prensa Staff, Feb 27, 2024 / 18:00 pm (CNA).

The president of the Pontifical Academy of Theology, Bishop Antonio Staglianò, has reiterated the incompatibility of Catholics belonging to the Masons days after participating in an event organized by the Italian Grand Orient lodge in Milan.

Staglianò told Vatican News that “Freemasonry is a heresy that is fundamentally aligned with the Arian heresy” since it was Arius “who imagined that Jesus was a great architect of the universe” — the way Freemasons refer to God — “denying the divinity of Christ.”

This idea of the “Architect of the Universe” is incompatible with the Catholic faith because “it is the fruit of human reasoning that tries to imagine a god, while the God of Catholics is the fruit of the very revelation of God in Christ Jesus!”

“In essence,” the prelate continued, the Catholic faith “is the result of a historical event in which God became flesh, drew near to men, spoke to all human beings, and destined them for his salvation.”

In explaining the total incompatibility between being a Catholic and a Mason, Staglianò pointed out that “within Freemasonry, plots involving secret powers develop that are in contradiction with Christian action.”

“In short,” he added, “when we talk about incompatibility we are referring to profound contradictions.”

Freemasonry vs. the Catholic Church

Staglianò noted some of the most obvious differences between Masonic and Catholic doctrine. For example, in reference to the concept of fraternity, the president of the Pontifical Academy of Theology stated that “our fraternity is established on the sacrament of the love of God in Jesus; it is founded on the Eucharist, not only on the generic idea of being brothers.”

The Italian bishop pointed out that Christian charity “has nothing to do with Masonic philanthropy” because “Christian charity is based on the historical event of a God who died and rose again for us and asks his children not to be merely philanthropic but to be, finally, crucified for love.”

In addition, Freemasonry and Catholicism differ regarding the concept of mystery. While esotericism permeates Masonic teachings (such that they are only given to the initiated), in Catholic doctrine the mystery “hidden throughout the centuries does not cease to be a mystery but rather ceases to be hidden, because the mystery hidden throughout the centuries has been revealed,” Staglianò explained.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

Prosecutor vows to try ‘on a gurney’ 92-year-old Louisiana priest accused of rape

Credit: tglegend/Shutterstock

CNA Staff, Feb 27, 2024 / 17:20 pm (CNA).

A New Orleans priest accused of choking and raping a teenager in the 1970s is too sick to attend his own trial, his lawyers are claiming, though state prosecutors are vowing to bring him into the courtroom on a hospital stretcher in order to allow the trial to continue.

Lawrence Hecker was indicted on charges of aggravated rape, aggravated kidnapping, an aggravated crime against nature, and theft by an Orleans Parish special grand jury in September of last year. 

The sex abuse crimes are alleged to have occurred between Jan. 1, 1975, and Dec. 31, 1976, according to the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office

Hecker’s trial is scheduled for March 25. At a pretrial hearing this week, his attorneys claimed that the 92-year-old clergyman was too sick to stand trial, reportedly slipping “in and out of consciousness” while incarcerated in a medical facility. 

Prosecutors have vowed to proceed with Hecker’s trial regardless. Orleans Parish First Assistant District Attorney Ned McGowan promised at the hearing to “roll him in on a gurney” to try him, according to local media.

“Mr. Hecker was conscious and, in some respect, resting comfortably,” McGowan told Judge Ben Willard, according to reports. “The defense has not raised mental competency issues and if they wish to do so, we will need to convene a panel very quickly.” 

Hecker’s defense attorney Bobby Hjortsberg, meanwhile, suggested at the hearing that the priest was a “vegetable,” though he later clarified that medical records did not indicate as much. 

Neither the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office nor Hjortsberg responded to queries from CNA about Hecker’s medical state and his looming trial.

The Guardian reported in June 2023 that in 1999, Hecker admitted to sexual misconduct with seven teenage boys between 1966 and 1979 but was allowed to remain in ministry until his retirement in March 2002. 

The report noted that he was sent to a psychiatric treatment facility that diagnosed him with pedophilia after his confession but was not removed from ministry. 

“I had thought I had buried this part of my life and would only think about it to remind myself not to have anything like this happen again,” Hecker’s 1999 confession read in part, according to the Guardian. 

“I have made it a point not to be alone with anyone under 18, and if possible not to be alone with anyone — and certainly not to hold anyone, except for a ‘holy hug,’” he reportedly wrote.

The Archdiocese of New Orleans lists Hecker as among the priests who “are alive and have been accused of sexually abusing a minor which led to their removal from ministry.”

The archdiocesan website says it received allegations against Hecker in 1996 and removed him from ministry in 2002. 

The Archdiocese of New Orleans announced in May 2020 that its administrative offices were filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing financial pressure from clerical abuse litigation compounded by the coronavirus crisis.

Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent

Reading 1 Is 1:10, 16-20

Hear the word of the LORD,
princes of Sodom!
Listen to the instruction of our God,
people of Gomorrah!

Wash yourselves clean!
Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes;
cease doing evil; learn to do good.
Make justice your aim: redress the wronged,
hear the orphan's plea, defend the widow.

Come now, let us set things right,
says the LORD:
Though your sins be like scarlet,
they may become white as snow;
Though they be crimson red,
they may become white as wool.
If you are willing, and obey,
you shall eat the good things of the land;
But if you refuse and resist,
the sword shall consume you:
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken!

Responsorial Psalm Ps 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21 and 23

R. (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
"Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
for your burnt offerings are before me always.
I take from your house no bullock,
no goats out of your fold."
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
"Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?"
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
"When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
Or do you think that I am like yourself?
I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.
He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God."
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

Verse Before the Gospel  Ez 18:31

Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD,
and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.

Gospel Mt 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
"The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people's shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation 'Rabbi.'
As for you, do not be called 'Rabbi.'
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called 'Master';
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."
- - -

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Monday of the Second Week in Lent

Reading 1 Dn 9:4b-10

"Lord, great and awesome God,
you who keep your merciful covenant toward those who love you
and observe your commandments!
We have sinned, been wicked and done evil;
we have rebelled and departed from your commandments and your laws.
We have not obeyed your servants the prophets,
who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes,
our fathers, and all the people of the land.
Justice, O Lord, is on your side;
we are shamefaced even to this day:
we, the men of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem,
and all Israel, near and far,
in all the countries to which you have scattered them
because of their treachery toward you.
O LORD, we are shamefaced, like our kings, our princes, and our fathers,
for having sinned against you.
But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness!
Yet we rebelled against you
and paid no heed to your command, O LORD, our God,
to live by the law you gave us through your servants the prophets."

Responsorial Psalm Ps 79:8, 9, 11 and 13

R. (see 103:10a) Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
Remember not against us the iniquities of the past;
may your compassion quickly come to us,
for we are brought very low.
R. Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
Help us, O God our savior,
because of the glory of your name;
Deliver us and pardon our sins
for your name's sake.
R. Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
Let the prisoners' sighing come before you;
with your great power free those doomed to death.
Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
through all generations we will declare your praise.
R. Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.

Verse Before the Gospel See Jn 6:63c, 68c

Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.

Gospel Lk 6:36-38

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

"Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you."
- - -

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.