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BLESSED MIGUEL PRO/BLACK FRIDAY



Wisdom, Chapter 18, Verse 25
To these the destroyer yielded, these he feared; for this sole trial of anger sufficed.

The destroyer angel fears nothing but the name of God inscribed on the doorposts of the Jews written in the blood of the lamb. At this does he stop his destruction, at this name the angel turns aside; at the name of He that is the angel of death yields.

The Destroying Angel[1]



The particular term "destroying angel" (malakh ha-mashhit) occurs twice in the Bible, in II Samuel 24:16 and its parallel, I Chronicles 21:15. Other allusions to this "destroyer" (mashhit), can be found in Exodus 12:23 and Isaiah 54:16. In the cultures of the ancient Near East, gods were believed to be responsible for death and destruction. The Bible, however, does not portray such a configuration. Instead, the destructive agents act according to God's instruction: they are His messengers and it is the Lord who initiates death and destruction. We will see that the Bible refers to the angelic forces of destruction in a way that negates the ideas of neighboring cultures.

The Plagues of Egypt

The destroying angel seems to be alluded to in the Bible's description of the slaying of the firstborn, where he is called ha-mashhit: for the Lord will pass over the door and not let the Destroyer enter and smite your home (Ex. 12:23). While is stated explicitly that the Lord passed through Egypt to smite the firstborn (Ex. 12:12–13), and the text of the Passover Haggadah expounds this to mean, "I and not an angel," verse 23 attests that the Lord was accompanied by the destroying angel, whose nature is to strike down all whom he encounters, unless – as here – the Lord restrains him. This seems to be the intention of the Mekhilta's comment on verse 22, None of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning: "This indicates that when the destroying angel is given permission to do harm, he does not distinguish between the righteous and the wicked." The Psalmist's account of the plagues of Egypt (Ps. 78:49) indicates that the plagues were inflicted by mishlahat malakhei ra'im – a band of deadly [lit. evil] angels. The talmudic sages used the term mishlahat to describe a band of destructive creatures, specifically a wolf pack. Kraus believes that this "band of evil angels" does not refer to the "destroying angel" (mashhit) associated with the last plague (Ex. 12:23), but to the demonic powers that the Lord dispatches with every affliction. It seems, then, that we must distinguish the "destroying angel," ha-mashhit, from the messengers of death who come to punish individuals only. By contrast, the Destroyer is sent by the Lord to kill multitudes through a plague. Unlike the deadly messengers, who bring both natural and premature death, the Destroyer inflicts only a premature, painful death. Still, this mashhit is controlled by God.

Wrath

Another implicit allusion to the destroying angel can be found in For wrath [ketzef] has gone forth from the Lord: the plague has begun (Num. 17:11 [RSV 16:46]). Milgrom sees this wrath or anger as an independent entity, similar to the Destroyer that acts on behalf of the Lord. There are indeed several references to it in the Bible. Thus (Num. 1:53), The Levites, however, shall camp around the Tabernacle of the Pact, that the wrath [ketzef] may not strike the Israelite community. Similarly, the mandate continues, No outsider shall intrude upon you as you discharge the duties connected with the Shrine and the altar, that wrath [ketzef] may not again strike the Israelites (Num. 18:5). According to Rashi, this plague is spread by the Angel of Death, who is also known as "the Anger before the Lord with the authority to kill." In the Talmud, the Angel of Death (malakh ha-mavet) has assistants, one of whom is actually named Ketzef: "Rav Hisda said: 'They are: Fury, Anger and Wrath [Ketzef], Destroyer and Breaker and Annihilator'". Elsewhere, Ketzef is the name of an angel of destruction (Targum Yerushalmi, Numbers 17:11). He is also specifically noted as acting on behalf of God, not as an independent entity: Wrath [ketzef] has gone forth from the Lord (Num. 17:11). The Sages regarded the Destroyer as an amoral force that could be overcome only through sacrificial blood, incense, or some other ritual. However, these rituals were directed to God, not to the Destroyer himself. In the ancient Near East, incense was burned for the gods to placate them and still their anger. Egyptian reliefs depict Canaanite priests standing on a high place and offering incense to Pharaoh, who is massacring the inhabitants of a city. In both of the biblical stories about the Destroyer (the Tenth Plague and the threshing floor of Araunah), the plague is halted by a ritual act (placing blood on the doorpost, building an altar, burning incense), but it is God, not His messenger, who responds.

Conclusion

The destroying angel is explicitly mentioned twice in the Bible (II Sam. 24:16; I Chron. 21:15). In addition, there are several other passages in the Bible and rabbinic literature that refer to destructive supernatural forces. The idea of the destroying angel as an independent force, acting of its own accord, is foreign to the Hebrew Bible, which emphasizes that God is in control of these destructive forces so as to negate polytheistic beliefs. The angel can do nothing on its own initiative and must only act in compliance with the will of God. It is He alone who deals death and gives life.



Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro[2]

Miguel Pro was born January 13, 1891, at Guadalupe Zacatecas, Mexico. From his childhood, high spirits and happiness were the most outstanding characteristics of his personality. The loving and devoted son of a mining engineer and a pious and charitable mother, Miguel had a special affinity for the working classes which he retained all his life. At 20, he became a Jesuit novice and shortly thereafter was exiled because of the Mexican revolution. He traveled to the United States, Spain, Nicaragua and Belgium, where he was ordained in 1925. Father Pro suffered greatly from a severe stomach problem and when, after several operations his health did not improve, in 1926 his superiors allowed him to return to Mexico in spite of the religious persecution in the country. The churches were closed and priests were in hiding. Father Pro spent the rest of his life in a secret ministry to the sturdy Mexican Catholics. In addition to fulfilling their spiritual needs, he also carried out the works of mercy by assisting the poor of Mexico City with their temporal needs. He adopted many disguises to carry out his secret ministry. In all that he did, he remained filled with the joy of serving Christ, his King, and obedient to his superiors. Falsely accused in a bombing attempt on the President-elect, Pro became a wanted man. He was betrayed to the police and sentenced to death without the benefit of any legal process. On the day of his death, Father Pro forgave his executioners, prayed, bravely refused the blindfold, and died proclaiming "Viva Cristo Rey!" (Long Live Christ the King).


Black Friday[3]



Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days in the United States. It is marked by massive crowds and discounted prices that mean the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Black Friday events in the United States date back to 1932.  There are two ideas as to the origin of the name Black Friday, the first one is thought to have originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the burden of traffic that left black track marks on roads.  The second claims that Black Friday may also have stemmed from business accounting in the 1930s.  During this time, businesses noted losses using red ink and their profits in black ink.  Therefore, Black Friday may have been used to imply that businesses became profitable on this day as they go from being in the red to the black. Black Friday is the fourth Friday of November or the day after Thanksgiving Day in the US.

Black Friday Facts & Quotes

·         According to IBM, for the first time in history smartphones and tablets outpaced desktop computers for generating consumer traffic to websites during Black Friday in 2015.
·         According to consumerreports.org, heavily discounted televisions and other electronic items sold on Black Friday can be derivative models.  Derivatives are products that have been manufactured specifically for sale at events like Black Friday.  These products vary in specifications, quality and have less features than standard merchandise sold all-year long.
·         #BlackFriday tweets in 2015 saw many celebrities trying to also take part in Black Friday sales by selling their own merchandise:
Shania Twain tweeted Head over to the online store for new holiday items and 20% off. #blackfriday.
Taylor Swift’s website Taylor Nation tweeted Don’t let that turkey daze get to you. You still have time to shop TS #BlackFriday deals!.
Chris Brown promoted his album #BeforeTheParty is available now! This is for you #TeamBreezy! #BlackFriday #Royalty.
Pitbull also took the opportunity to promote his merchandise It's that time of year! #BlackFriday #sale #ShopPitbull #Dale.
·         Mall of America, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the largest mall in the US with 4,870,000 square feet retail space and more than 520 stores. The mall is also home to the largest indoor amusement park in the US.
·         With a net worth of more than $136 billion, the six @Wal-Mart heirs own more wealth than the bottom 42% of Americans. #BlackFriday , @Walmart shouldn’t be allowed to pay workers wages so low that many qualify for Medicaid, food stamps, and government housing. #BlackFriday . - Tweets by Senator Bernie Sanders in 2015

Black Friday Top Events and Things to Do

·         Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude.  Given that Black Friday follows Thanksgiving Day, use this day to spread gratitude and cheer to others.  If you have leftover turkey from Thanksgiving Day, then use it to make sandwiches.  You and your family can deliver these to the homeless people in your community.
·         Hours before Black Friday sales, most retailers send emails and secret offers to their subscribers.  Sign up and subscribe to your favorite retailers mailing list before this date.  Most stores will also send coupons specifically to use for Black Friday.
·         Make sure you have sufficient funds in cash or on credit cards.  Given that many will be shopping on Black Friday,  ATM machines may run out of funds or bank networks can be down intermittently.  Make sure to carry some cash in case this happens.
·         In 2015, more than 11 states across the U.S. provided free access to State Parks.  Rather than Black Friday shopping, explore the great outdoors with free passes to State Parks.  Our top parks picks:
1) Olympic Park, Washington
2) Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California
3) Nickerson State Park, Massachusetts
·         Carpool or take an Uber to your favorite shopping destination.  There will be limited parking space available on Black Friday and some bus routes will be operating on a holiday schedule.

Fitness Friday-Hunting Workout

Recognizing that God the Father created man on Friday the 6th day I propose in this blog to have an entry that shares on how to recreate and renew yourself in strength; mind, soul and heart.

Elk hunting[1] (or indeed any rough-country hunt where drastic elevation changes are a routine part of the hunt) requires a different kind of planning and conditioning than your usual whitetail hunt. The most common problem out-of-state hunters experience is not being in good enough physical condition to handle constant up-and-down foot travel at high elevation - especially when carrying a pack. The result is a physically exhausted hunter who is unable to perform. Hours and days of precious hunting time are wasted due to need for rest and recovery. Here’s a twelve-week plan that will prep you for the high country. There are two main components to physical prep for rough-country hunting: cardiovascular and muscular. Plan on exercising thirty to forty-five minutes per weekday, alternating between cardio and muscular workouts. Be sure to stretch and warm up gradually before workouts and cool off gradually afterwards.

Week One: Start out easy on yourself to lower risk of hurting joints or tendons.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Go for a brisk 45-minute walk, preferably including up and down terrain.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Spend 30 minutes climbing up and down the local bleacher stairs (or a nice steep hill). Take regular short rests.

Week Two: Step it up a little.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Add short stints of jogging to your walk.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: same 30-minute routine, just cut down on rest time.

Week Three: Start getting focused.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Begin pushing yourself, walking less and jogging more.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Same 30-minute routine, add three squats and three lunges (don’t use weights) alternately during short rest periods.

Week Four: You should be feeling much stronger by now, and hurting less. Remain careful to avoid injury.
Mon/Wed/Fri cardio: Try to jog the majority of your 45 minutes.
Tues/Thurs/Sat muscular: Try to spend the entire 30 minutes climbing your stairs or hillside, alternating between five squats and five lunges every few minutes. Only rest at the ten and twenty minute marks.



[1]https://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/game-changers/your-12-week-plan-get-shape-elk-hunting-season

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Please pray for me and this ministry

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