Tuesday of Holy Week
Baruch, Chapter 6, Verse 2-4
2 When you reach Babylon you will be there many years, a long time—seven generations; after that I will bring you back from there in peace. 3 And now in Babylon you will see gods of silver and gold and wood, carried shoulder high, to cast fear upon the nations. 4 Take care that you yourselves do not become like these foreigners and let not such fear possess you.
Do not let fear possess you! Sometimes people lose hope when they enter a strange land. John McCain highlights in his book Character is Destiny the hopefulness of John Winthrop who left the security of his native country to face the dangers of an unknown world to create and shape the character of a new civilization in America. Is there still hope in this country He helped found? Only if we have hope!
John was a puritan and followed the idea that they are to be in the world but not of the world. They should not love earthly pleasures but neither should they shun the blessings of God. To be humble and grateful and give hope to others, by being faithful and encouraging in their own society. John believed men should strive to build a shining city on the hill by putting ones duty to God and community before one’s own personal desires and to never despair.
He wrote and preached the sermon, “Model of Christian Charity” to give hope to others. He led always by example and never, never gave up hope.
Tuesday of Holy Week
Traditionally the account of Christ's Passion according to St. Mark is read today and most people continue with spring cleaning. Also today marks the bargaining of Judas with the Sanhedrin as the Jewish way of tracking time makes Tuesday evening Wednesday as days changed after sunset and not at midnight following the Roman time keeping method.
We learned yesterday from St. John that Judas was a thief. He robbed from Christ, from the other apostles, from the incipient Church. Jesus, for him, had become merely an excuse to seek after his own interests. Jesus was not the one thing necessary, as he was for Mary of Bethany. Jesus wasn't even an end, but merely a means for Judas to satisfy his own greed. Judas supposedly had serious qualms of conscience about the failure to sell the years’ worth of aromatic nard with which Mary had anointed Jesus' feet, but he thought nothing about selling Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Judas had been a disciple merely in his body, not in his heart. Judas had been called personally by the Lord, had lived with him for about 1,000 days, had followed him for three years, had heard him preach and teach, had seen him walk on water, still stormy seas, feed thousands with a five rolls and two sardines, raise three people from the dead, heal on countless occasions the sick, blind and lame and have mercy on countless sinners, had even received from the Lord the power to do many of these same things himself, and had been entrusted by him with the money bag for the Twelve. But he tragically had never gotten to know Jesus, and even more tragically had never gotten to love him. He remained just a follower of Jesus on the outside, not on the inside. In betraying Jesus, Judas valued him less than a handful of coins, forgetting that it would profit him nothing to gain the whole world and forfeit his life.
Fasting and Mortification
Modern man and the media often portray persons that fast as deranged, passé or even ignorant. However, fasting and bodily discipline are truly the marks of a man or woman of mature intellect which has mastery over not only the mind but also the body and spirit. St. Paul put it in stronger terms, “put to death therefore what is earthly in you (Col. 3:5).” Jesus has also said, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Christ knew we become attached to created things and to the pleasure they bring us. St. Augustine said that sin begins as a turning away from God and a turning toward lesser goods. When we sin, we don’t choose evil. We choose something less than God and His will. Our bodies want more than they need, so we must give them less than they want. Our bodies must be subject to our reason—or our reason will soon be subjected to our bodies. St. Paul went even further. “I pommel my body and subdue it” (1 Cor. 9:27). Nevertheless our goal should be to let our reason/soul cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
Chassidic philosophy demonstrates three ways in which the body and soul can interact:
Ø The soul can try and mitigate the urges of the body. Things that look good, taste good and feel good are stimulating and addictive. Most of us live life with our body in the driver’s seat. The soul just can’t compete. And so the soul tries to negotiate reasonably, and encourages moderation.
Ø Or, the soul can choose to reject the body and abhor anything associated with materialism. The soul-driven person would then rebel against society’s shallow and false veneers. Simplicity and ascetism become the ultimate goals of the soul.
Ø The third scenario is not a compromise between the first two. It is an entirely new approach, where the body and soul learn to work together. The soul neither leans towards the body nor rejects it. It does not react; it pro-acts. In a proactive position, the soul directs and channels the body’s inclination in a constructive way. In this last approach, instead of repressing the body’s needs, the soul views them as an opportunity to serve God in a whole new way. 
Using the third approach we should fast with a purpose like Moses or Elijah for example before going into God’s presence or to strengthen us or for the benefit of others. Jesus fasted not because He needed to, but as a model for us. We should make self-sacrifices in an effort to make others happy or out of love for our God to share in his plan of salvation. By dying to self, daily, we prepare ourselves for our own moment of death.
Aids in Battle Help from Saints
Saints are veterans of the spiritual war that continues to rage in this world. Their insights, born of long experience in combat with the Enemy, can make us wise and strong in battle.
· God has fashioned and shaped only one enmity, and that an irreconcilable one, which will endure and even increase, until the end: It is that between the Virgin Mary and the Devil, between the children and servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and accomplices of Satan; so that the most terrible of the enemies of Satan created by God is Mary, his Blessed Mother. ST. LOUIS DE MONTFORT
· Men do not fear a powerful, hostile army as much as the powers of hell fear the name and protection of Mary. ST. BONAVENTURE
· You, O Lady, by the simple invocation of your most powerful name, give security to your servants against all the assaults of the Enemy. ST. GERMANUS
· By invoking the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, Satan is driven out of men. ST. IRENAEUS
· We are all inclined to sin, my children; we are idle, greedy, sensual, given to the pleasures of the flesh. We want to know everything, to learn everything, to see everything. We must watch over our mind, over our heart, and over our senses, for these are the gates by which the Devil penetrates. See, he prowls round us incessantly; his only occupation in this world is to seek companions for himself. All our life he will lay snares for us; he will try to make us yield to temptations. We must, on our side, do all we can to defeat and resist him. We can do nothing by ourselves, children. But we can do everything with the help of the good God. Let us pray Him to deliver us from this enemy of our salvation, or to give strength to fight against him. With the Name of Jesus we shall overcome the demons; we shall put them to flight. With this name, though they may sometimes dare to attack us, our battles will be victories, and our victories will be crowns for heaven, all brilliant with precious stones. ST. JOHN VIANNEY
· Manhood of the Master-Day 3 week 9
· Do 60 min. in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
· Please pray for me and this ministry
 McCain, John and Salter, Mark. (2005) Character is destiny. Random House, New York.
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 27. Fasting and Mortification.
 Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.
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