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Monday, January 2, 2017

Genesis, Chapter 9, Verse 2
Fear and dread of you shall come upon all the animals of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon all the creatures that move about on the ground and all the fishes of the sea; into your power they are delivered.

After the Flood that killed all the earth God gives Noah all the animals of the earth for food. Before the flood animals and humans are depicted as vegetarians. In view of the human propensity to violence, God changes the original prohibition against eating meat. However, God did not remake our bodies and many doctors will recommend a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in meats. We even see that while the Israelite's were in the desert grumbling to Moses and God because in the desert there are few things to eat and they were hungry complaining that they missed the fleshpots of Egypt. God provided for the Israelite's by giving them bread from heaven “manna” but told them only to collect enough for one day’s portion as a test of their will and trust in Him. He asks us to be content with one day’s portion, too. Yet, God’s goodness to the Israelite's continued for in the evening he sent quails as meat to eat. Our Lord knowing the human condition asked the Israelite's to collect a double portion on the 6th day to allow a day of rest. God gave them leisure time but leisure time is not idle time which creates lethargy and boredom. The seventh day is a Holy Day that should be pleasurable because the rest is earned by hard work and earnest effort. Without the work the rest means nothing. Today go out to work in the Lord’s vineyard: doing all things in moderation sharing your daily bread. Take only your portion and give thanks to God. After laboring six days rest on the seventh day; go to Mass and give glory to God.

For Catholics today is the Feast of St. Basil who stated, “When I think of all this, I am left terrorized and swallowed up with fear that, because of fickleness of heart or preoccupation with things of no importance, I may weaken in my love of God and even become a reason of shame or disorder for Christ.”

Today is also the 9th day of Christmas and the nine lady’s dancing is a sign of the fruits of the Holy Spirit for those who are not afraid:  love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

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