Mass to commemorate the 44th Anniversary of Cardijn's death
Bishop Pibul Visitnondachai of Nakhon Sawan, president of the Catholic Office for Emergency Relief and Refugees (COERR) and National Catholic Commission for Migration (NCCM) celebrated the anniversary Mass on Saturday 23 July.
True Fasting (Isaiah 58:1-12 GNB)
The LORD says, "Shout as loud as you can! Tell my people Israel about their sins! They worship me every day, claiming that they are eager to know my ways and obey my laws. They say they want me to give them just laws and that they take pleasure in worshiping me."
The people ask, "Why should we fast if the LORD never notices? Why should we go without food if he pays no attention?"
The LORD says to them, "The truth is that at the same time you fast, you pursue your own interests and oppress your workers. Your fasting makes you violent, and you quarrel and fight. Do you think this kind of fasting will make me listen to your prayers? When you fast, you make yourselves suffer; you bow your heads low like a blade of grass and spread out sackcloth and ashes to lie on. Is that what you call fasting? Do you think I will be pleased with that?
"The kind of fasting I want is this: Remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free. Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor. Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear, and do not refuse to help your own relatives.
"Then my favor will shine on you like the morning sun, and your wounds will be quickly healed. I will always be with you to save you; my presence will protect you on every side. When you pray, I will answer you. When you call to me, I will respond.
"If you put an end to oppression, to every gesture of contempt, and to every evil word; if you give food to the hungry and satisfy those who are in need, then the darkness around you will turn to the brightness of noon. And I will always guide you and satisfy you with good things. I will keep you strong and well. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water, like a spring of water that never goes dry. Your people will rebuild what has long been in ruins, building again on the old foundations. You will be known as the people who rebuilt the walls, who restored the ruined houses."
Letter of James 2:14-26
Faith without commitment is dead
How does it help, my brothers, when someone who has never done a single good act claims to have faith? Will that faith bring salvation? If one of the brothers or one of the sisters is in need of clothes and has not enough food to live on, and one of you says to them, 'I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty,' without giving them these bare necessities of life, then what good is that?
In the same way faith, if good deeds do not go with it, is quite dead. But someone may say: So you have faith and I have good deeds? Show me this faith of yours without deeds, then! It is by my deeds that I will show you my faith.
You believe in the one God -- that is creditable enough, but even the demons have the same belief, and they tremble with fear. Fool! Would you not like to know that faith without deeds is useless?
Was not Abraham our father justified by his deed, because he offered his son Isaac on the altar? So you can see that his faith was working together with his deeds; his faith became perfect by what he did.
In this way the scripture was fulfilled: Abraham put his faith in God, and this was considered as making him upright; and he received the name 'friend of God'. You see now that it is by deeds, and not only by believing, that someone is justified.
There is another example of the same kind: Rahab the prostitute was she not justified by her deeds because she welcomed the messengers and showed them a different way to leave?
As a body without a spirit is dead, so is faith without deeds.
'The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off in his joy, sells everything he owns and buys the field.
'Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls; when he finds one of great value he goes and sells everything he owns and buys it.
'Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet that is cast in the sea and brings in a haul of all kinds of fish.
When it is full, the fishermen bring it ashore; then, sitting down, they collect the good ones in baskets and throw away those that are no use.
This is how it will be at the end of time: the angels will appear and separate the wicked from the upright,
To throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.
'Have you understood all these?' They said, 'Yes.'
And he said to them, 'Well then, every scribe who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of Heaven is like a householder who brings out from his storeroom new things as well as old.'