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Sunday, February 25, 2018


Second Sunday in Lent

Isaiah, Chapter 50, verse 10
Who among you fears the LORD, heeds his servant’s voice? Whoever walks in darkness, without any light, yet trust in the name of the LORD and rely upon their God!

The English Standard version of the bible states this verse accordingly, “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of his servant?  Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.”

It has been said the body is an excellent servant but a poor master. When we obey the voice of our servant the body it ultimately leads to our destruction and eventually we walk in darkness. Yet, when we trust in the Lord and master our bodies from addiction and or lusts of the flesh we thrive. God’s ultimate wish is for us to thrive. The Lord offers a choice to those who walk in darkness: either trust in the true light, or walk in their false light and suffer the consequences.

James 1:12-15 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”


So let our sacrifice be in your presence today as we follow you unreservedly; for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame. And now we follow you with our whole heart, we fear you and we pray to you. Do not let us be put to shame, but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy. (Dn. 3:40-42)

Whom do you serve? What is the first thing you think of when you get up or the last thing before you sleep? We all serve something; whom or what do you serve?

FOLLOW ONE MASTER ONLY

What a sad life does he lead who wants both to please the world and to serve God! It is a great mistake to make, my friends. Apart from the fact that you are going to be unhappy all the time, you can never attain the stage at which you will be able to please the world and please God. It is as impossible a feat as trying to put an end to eternity. Take the advice that I am going to give you now and you will be less unhappy: give yourselves wholly to God or else wholly to the world. Do not look for and do not serve more than one master, and once you have chosen the one you are going to follow, do not leave him. You surely remember what Jesus Christ said to you in the Gospel: you cannot serve God and Mammon; that is to say, you cannot follow the world and the pleasures of the world and Jesus Christ with His Cross. Of course you would be quite willing to follow God just so far and the world just so far! Let me put it even more clearly: you would like it if your conscience, if your heart, would allow you to go to the altar in the morning and the dance in the evening; to spend part of the day in church and the remainder in the cabarets or other places of amusement; to talk of God at one moment and the next to tell obscene stories or utter calumnies about your neighbor; to do a good turn for your next-door neighbor on one occasion and on some other to do him harm; in other words, to do good and speak well when you are with good people and to do wrong when you are in bad company.[1]

Second Sunday of Lent[2]

"This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
 "Rise, and do not be afraid."

Traditionally for this Sunday Paul exhorts us to keep up our progress and we hear the story of the Transfiguration as a heartening foretaste of Christ's ultimate triumph.

Why was Jesus transfigured before His disciples on Mount Tabor?

1. To give them a manifest proof of His divinity.
2. To prevent all doubt on their part when they should see Him on Mount Calvary.
3. To encourage all the faithful to patience under agony and suffering.
4. To show us how our glorified bodies shall rise from the dead (i. Cor. xv. 52).

Why did Moses and Elias appear with Our Lord? To testify that Jesus was the Savior of the word spoken of by the law and the prophets.

The Devil and Temptations[3]

There are many and varied ways in which sin and evil are presented to us in an attractive way.

In The Home--Seeking God's Presence

·         Although you are not a priest, as a baptized Catholic you have a power that you do not realize. St. Paul, in his letter, told the Ephesians this truth (Eph. 1:19): "How very great is his power that works in us is the same as the mighty strength which He used when He raised Christ from death and seated Him at his right side in the heavenly world. " Think about that for awhile! The power of prayer is greater than we know.
·         Although we do not have the power of an ordained priest, we can ask God to protect and bless our homes. It is good for us to keep blessed water in our homes and use it frequently. If we wish to ask God's blessing on our own homes, we can say a simple prayer of blessing and then sprinkle holy water in each room. Such a prayer of blessing could be something like the following:
·         "Heavenly Father, we ask your blessing upon our home. In the name of your Son Jesus we ask to be delivered from sin and all evil influence. Protect us from sickness, accidents, theft and all domestic tragedies. We place our home under the Lordship of Jesus and consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May all who live here receive your blessing of peace and love."
·         An "Our Father" and "Hail Mary" could also be recited.
·         The consecration of the family and the home to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is another beautiful Catholic custom. We need to have a crucifix and pictures of the Sacred Heart and Our Blessed Lady in our homes. We want home to be a sacred place.
·         There needs to be a place in the home where the members of the family come together to pray. In some Mexican families the custom of having a little altar with pictures or statues, not only of Jesus, Mary and the saints, but also pictures of members of the family is observed. It reminds us to pray for them.

Other Forms of Asceticism[4]

Since Lent recapitulates time spent in the desert, other forms of asceticism have accrued to its observance. Unessential travel and diversion are discouraged. In former times, certain forms of entertainment, such as live theatre and secular music, were banned, as was the holding of court. Weddings were also forbidden in the early Church; even after this changed, the Solemn Nuptial Blessing could not be given during a Lenten wedding. Finally, married couples were once admonished to abstain from conjugal relations during this time (as they were admonished to do during all solemn fasts and feasts). Again, the principle is the same: withdrawal from the preoccupations of the flesh in order to focus on the spirit. 

Today, plan to do at least one Novena for the calendar year for yourself and for your Family. I always plan to do the Divine Mercy Novena by hiking for nine Saturdays starting on the Saturday before Divine Mercy Sunday.

The Church’s Calendar[5]

We often learn our doctrine much more deeply and effectively simply by celebrating the feasts and fasts of the Church.

In fact in Orthodox Judaism the calendar is the catechism of Israel. According to Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, “On the pinions of time which bear us through life, God has inscribed the eternal words of His soul-inspiring doctrine, making days and weeks, months and years the heralds to proclaim His truths. Nothing would seem more fleeting than these elements of time, but to them God has entrusted the care of His holy things, thereby rendering them more imperishable and more accessible.”


2698 The Tradition of the Church proposes to the faithful certain rhythms of praying intended to nourish continual prayer. Some are daily, such as morning and evening prayer, grace before and after meals, the Liturgy of the Hours. Sundays, centered on the Eucharist, are kept holy primarily by prayer. The cycle of the liturgical year and its great feasts are also basic rhythms of the Christian's life of prayer.

No one knows human nature better than the God who created it. The book of Genesis tells us that the Lord God made the world in six days and rested on the seventh. He rested not because he was weary-God does not tire-but because He wanted to provide a model for human labor and rest. The Church calendar coincides with the cosmic rhythms of God. The Church calendar reflects this fact: That Christ rose from the dead in payment for our sins and is the Jewish Messiah that was hoped for.

Stations of the Cross[6]

 

Though technically only the last fourteen days of Lent explicitly consider the sufferings of our Lord, the Stations of the Cross (a.k.a. the Way of the Cross) have long been a popular Lenten devotion for any or all of the forty days (though they tend to be done on Fridays). These fourteen scenes from the via dolorosa, the sorrowful path that Christ took while carrying His cross to Golgotha, help direct one's heart to the mysterium fidei of our Lord's selfless sacrifice.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Nineveh 90 Day 56
·         Manhood of the Master-Day 8 week 4
·         Lenten Calendar Day 12
·         Day 5 Devotion to the Holy Face
·         Please pray for me and this ministry

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