Gospel reflection for Sunday
How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5,1-12
The Beatitudes are a charter for those who recognise that without God there is something missing in life. They are the badges of a true disciple of Christ. The things they stand for are very beautiful: things such as peace, goodness, joy, love, gentleness, compassion, mercy and integrity. A person who lives according to the beatitudes is already living in the kingdom of heaven. Eternal life will merely be the full blossoming of a plant that is green with life. The word ‘happy’ in this context means ‘blessed’.
Bishops of Rome on Holy Scripture
Pope Benedict XVI
Saint Pope John Paul II
Pope Leo XIII
Indulgences attached to Scripture reading
An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment for sins, whose guilt is forgiven, which a properly disposed member of the Christian faithful obtains under certain and clearly defined conditions through the intervention of the Church, which, as the minister of Redemption, dispenses and applies authoritatively the treasury of the expiatory works of Christ and the Saints.
An indulgence is partial or plenary according to whether it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin.
To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.
Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.
To gain plenary indulgence, in addition to excluding all attachment to sin, even venial sin, it is necessary to perform indulgenced work and fulfil following three conditions:
- Sacramental Confession
- Eucharistic Communion
- Prayer for intentions of Sovereign Pontiff (one Our Father and one Hail Mary suffice, though choice of prayer is left to faithful).
Single Confession suffices for gaining several plenary indulgences; but Holy Communion and the prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father are needed to gain each plenary indulgence.
Three conditions may be fulfilled several days before of after indulgenced work, though it is fitted to receive Holy Communion and pray for Holy Father on the same day the indulgenced work is performed.
If any of the conditions of gaining plenary indulgence is not met, then partial indulgence is obtained.
Under general conditions a plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who read the Sacred Scriptures as spiritual reading, from a text approved by competent authority and with the reverence due to the Divine Word, for at least a half an hour; if the time is less, the indulgence will be partial.
To check approved versions of Sacred Scriptures in England and Wales go to website