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SAINT MOTHER THEODORE GUERIN 2 Maccabees, Chapter 15, Verse 18 They were not so much concerned about wives and children, or family an...

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Sunday, October 16, 2016 Sukkoth begins at sundown

Beloved: Remain faithful to what you have learned and believed...which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

John, Chapter 15, Verse 17-19
17 This I command you: love one another. 18 “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.

Rejoice if you love and no one loves you in return for He has chosen you! Yet, there is also the danger that you may have so much love for yourself that there is no room to love anyone but yourself and people are avoiding you out of respect for the love affair you have with yourself. Remember the story of the Grinch are you more like the Grinch or Cindy Lou Who.

The model of love for all true discipleship is extreme, limitless life for your friends as Jesus modeled the price of discipleship will be high. Just as Christ was hated so it will be for those of us who follow Him. You will be hated, persecuted, unaccepted. Yet, know that the deep down crime is that the secular world, the culture of death, has seen the evidence and refused to believe. Jesus has spoken to them, he has performed works never done before and they really know nothing about the Father who sent Jesus and in hating Him they hate the Father also.[1]

Who are hypocrites? Those who, in order to deceive their neighbors, show themselves outwardly pious, while within they are full of evil dispositions and malice; who have honey on the tongue, but gall in the heart; who, like scorpions, sting when one least expects it. Such men are cursed by God (Mai. i. 14).  The Lord hateth a mouth with a double tongue (Prov. viii. 13). “Assumed sanctity, says St. Jerome, “is a double maliciousness.”[2]

Sounds like 30 year career Politician’s to me. Yet, this too shall pass love endureth all things.

Amoris Lætitia[3] Love in Marriage; Love endures all things (118-119)

Love bears every trial with a positive attitude. It stands firm in hostile surroundings. This “endurance” involves not only the ability to tolerate certain aggravations, but something greater: a constant readiness to confront any challenge. It is a love that never gives up, even in the darkest hour. It shows a certain dogged heroism, a power to resist every negative current, an irrepressible commitment to goodness. Here I think of the words of Martin Luther King, “The person who hates you most has some good in him; even the nation that hates you most has some good in it; even the race that hates you most has some good in it. And when you come to the point that you look in the face of every man and see deep down within him what religion calls ‘the image of God’, you begin to love him in spite of [everything]. No matter what he does, you see God’s image there. There is an element of goodness that he can never sluff off… Another way that you love your enemy is this: when the opportunity presents itself for you to defeat your enemy, that is the time which you must not do it… When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat evil systems. Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love, but you seek to defeat the system… Hate for hate only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. If I hit you and you hit me and I hit you back and you hit me back and so on, you see, that goes on ad infinitum. It just never ends. Somewhere somebody must have a little sense, and that’s the strong person. The strong person is the person who can cut off the chain of hate, the chain of evil… Somebody must have religion enough and morality enough to cut it off and inject within the very structure of the universe that strong and powerful ele­ment of love”.  In family life, we need to cultivate that strength of love which can help us fight every evil threatening it. Love does not yield to resent­ment, scorn for others or the desire to hurt or to gain some advantage. The Christian ideal, es­pecially in families, is a love that never gives up. I am sometimes amazed to see men or women who have had to separate from their spouse for their own protection, yet, because of their en­during conjugal love, still try to help them, even by enlisting others, in their moments of illness, suffering or trial. Here too we see a love that never gives up.


Sukkot[4]

Sukkot (Hebrew: סוכות), meaning Tabernacles, is the autumnal 'foot festival' in which the Jews are commanded to leave their permanent houses and to dwell in booths for seven days. The idea behind this is to remember that the Israelites lived in booths in the Wilderness for forty years. Additionally, when the Temple stood in Jerusalem, this was a pilgrimage holiday to celebrate the harvest.  Tabernacles are typically built out of wood, sheets and have a roof of a natural product, such as leaves, palm branches, through which the stars can be seen at night. The Succah must be built of certain dimensions (not too low or too high) and should have three or four walls.  On Succot, it is customary for Jewish men buy a set of the four kinds/species comprising a lulav (a palm branch), an etrog (a citron), hadassim (myrtle) and aravot (willows).


Sukkot Facts


·         Sukkot is also a harvest festival, and is sometimes referred to as Chag Ha-Asif, the Festival of Ingathering.  No work is permitted on the first day, but some work is allowed on the intermediate days which are known as Chol Hamoed.

·         Each day of Succot is associated with Ushpezin (visitors), one of seven Succah visitors.  Each day has its visitor, starting with Abraham.  The other visitors are: Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, David and Solomon.

·         The book of Ecclesiastes is typically read in Synagogues.  This book relates to the futility of man under the sun, but concludes optimistically with the notion that we should just do our thing and serve God.

·         There is a special Priest's (Cohen's) blessing performed at the Western Wall during Succot.  The Western Wall is the last surviving wall of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the side of the Temple Mount.  Thousands of Priests, who are believed to be descendants of the original priests, assemble at the Western Wall and perform blessings.

·         In the days of Nehemiah, an original Bible was found with the passages relating to the building of a Succah.  

All the people came together as one in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the teacher of the Law to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel (Nehemiah 8:1).

·         They found written in the Law, which the Lord had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites were to live in temporary shelters during the festival of the seventh month (Nehemiah 8:14).


Sukkot Top Events and Things to Do


·         Purchase or make your own Sukkah.  They are typically designed to be assembled and disassembled quickly - in less than two hours by two people.

·         One can buy the four kinds (of material used to build Sukkot as per the Torah) or order them from Israel. The four kinds include palm branches, an Etrog (citron), three willow branches and two myrtle branches. The palm, myrtle and willow are bound together in a palm holder.  

·         See the movie Ushpezim with English subtitles.  It which relates to the four kinds and a couple's efforts to buy a most beautiful four species set, despite their poor economic situation.  Ushpizin can be viewed on YouTube.

·         Read the book of Ecclesiastes or watch a lecture about it.  It was written by King Solomon.  It relates to the futility of life, apart from basic belief and being righteous.
·         Attend a local Succot fair.






[1] The Collegeville Bible Commentary
[2] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
[3] Pope Francis, Encyclical on Love.
[4] http://www.wincalendar.com/Sukkot


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