Featured Post

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Introduction to Sirach The Wisdom of Ben Sira derives its title from the author, “Yeshua [Jesus], son of Eleazar, son of Sira” ( 5...

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Hebrews, Chapter 10, Verse 26-27
26 If we sin deliberately after receiving knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains sacrifice for sins 27 but a fearful prospect of judgment and a flaming fire that is going to consume the adversaries.

Have you not been attending Mass? Do you have habitual sins that plague you? Have you lost hope after having full knowledge of the truth? Do not abandon hope in the promises of Christ. There will be a second coming. Turn around for here is a very solemn warning about deliberate sin. If you turn your back on the sacrifice of Christ, there is no other sacrifice for sin to appeal to. Do not reject salvation that comes from the Son of God. Only His blood can save us from the inescapable judgment of God.[1] Therefore go to confession attend Mass weekly and increase in faith, hope, and love. 

Perseverance is Essential[2]

We need to persevere because confidence will be rewarded; obedience will be recognized; shrinking back will be regretted; and Christ’s return will be celebrated. Our journey is not a sprint, but a marathon. We must pace ourselves and endure to the end.

Blessing of Herbs and Fruits[3]

The Church "baptized" an old pre-Christian belief in the great healing power of herbs picked in August by instituting a ritual for the blessing of herbs and fruits on the Feast of the Assumption. Since that time, Christians from both East and West have blessed herbs and fruit on the Feast of the Assumption in the belief that these sacramentals provide protection against harm and danger. But this custom also hearkens back to the Hebrew observance of the harvest, and more importantly, it teaches us something about our Lady's role in the economy of salvation. Eve foolishly used herbs (fig leaves) to hide and aggravate her sin, thereby bringing about a disorder of body and soul (Gen. 3.7). By contrast, Mary, the new Eve whose soul and body are untouched by sin or the decay of death (as we celebrate on this day), foreshadows a healing of our corporeal frailties, a healing represented by herbs. Likewise, fruits are an appropriate symbol for the new Eve because she never ate of the forbidden fruit but brought forth only the fruit of good works and, most importantly, the Fruit of her womb, Jesus Christ. The blessed fruit thus betokens the fruit of a holy and generous life which we are called to enjoy from our Lord through the patronage of His mother. In any case the solemn blessing of herbs and fruits on this day became so popular that in central Europe August 15 was simply called Our Lady's Herb Day. Usually these blessings would take place before Mass and would involve whatever was brought by the congregation to the church. Afterwards the herbs would be kept for medicinal use while the fruit would be served at dinner. The following is one of the special blessings from the Roman ritual that is used for herbs and fruits on Assumption Day:

O God, who by Moses Thy servant didst command the children of Israel to carry their sheaves of new fruits to the priests for a blessing, to take the finest fruits of the orchards, and to make merry before Thee, the Lord their God: Kindly hear our supplications, and pour forth the abundance of Thy blessing upon us and upon these sheaves of new grain, new herbs, and assortment of fruits, which we gratefully present to Thee and which we bless on this feast in Thy name. And grant that men, cattle, sheep, and beasts of burden may find in them a remedy against sickness, pestilence, sores, injuries, spells, the poison of snakes, and the bites of other venomous and nonvenomous creatures. And may they bring protection against diabolical illusions, machinations, and deceptions wherever they are kept or carried, or with whatever arrangement is made of them: that with sheaves of good works and through the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary whose Feast of the Assumption we celebrate, we may deserve to be lifted up to heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God unto endless ages. Amen.

The blessing of herbs and fruits has also led to the lovely custom of giving and receiving baskets of fruit on the Feast of the Assumption, a custom which was especially popular in Sicily.






[1] The Collegeville Bible Commentary
[2] John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible

No comments:

Post a Comment