Wednesday after laetare Sunday: end of mid-lent
Jeremiah, Chapter 26, verse 19
Did Hezekiah, king of Judah, and all Judah condemn him to death? Did he not fear the LORD and entreat the favor of the LORD, so that the LORD had a change of heart regarding the evil he had spoken against them? We, however, are about to do great evil against ourselves.”
Have you ever been around people who cannot handle the truth! Speaking the truth got Jeremiah in dire straits. Unmoving, the temple officials and elders trashed Jeremiah nonetheless they were too afraid to kill him.
· At the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, God tells Jeremiah to stand in the court of the temple and speak to all the people and cities of Judah. They're getting another chance to repent. Maybe they'll actually listen this time.
· If the people don't finally come to their senses, God's going to do the same thing to Jerusalem that he did to Shiloh up north: it'll be devastated, but the priests and prophets don't want to hear it, and they threaten to kill Jeremiah.
· The king's officials come to the temple, and the priests and prophets tell them about what Jeremiah had just prophesied. They think he should die for it.
· Jeremiah says that he's only saying what God has made him say. If they want to kill him they can go right ahead, but innocent blood will be on their hands.
· The officials and the people agree that Jeremiah shouldn't be put to death. Some of the elders point out that Micah prophesied about Jerusalem's destruction during Hezekiah's reign and Hezekiah didn't kill him.
· And besides, God changed his mind and actually didn't destroy Jerusalem that time. Maybe that'll happen again.
The Devil and other demons would like us to believe that they are outdated, unenlightened superstitions, but the Catholic Church remains firm, clear, and consistent in her teaching about this reality.
· Our heavenly Father has placed over each of us an angel under whose protection and vigilance we may be enabled to escape the snares secretly prepared by our enemy, repel the dreadful attacks he makes on us.
· Never was anyone, conceived been liberated from the Devil’s dominion except by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the mediator between God and humanity, who was conceived without sin, was born and died. He alone by His death overthrew the enemy of the human race, cancelling our sins, and unlocked the entrance to the heavenly kingdom, which the first man by his sin had locked against himself and all his posterity. COUNCIL OF FLORENCE (ECUMENICAL, 1431– 1445), SESSION 2
· Men are separated into two diverse and opposite parts, of which the one steadfastly contends for truth and virtue, the other of those things which are contrary to virtue and to truth. The one is the kingdom of God on earth, namely, the true Church of Jesus Christ; and those who desire from their heart to be united with it, so as to gain salvation, must of necessity serve God and His only-begotten Son with their whole mind and with an entire will. The other is the kingdom of Satan, in whose possession and control are all who follow the fatal example of their leader and of our first parents, those who refuse to obey the divine and eternal law, and who have many aims of their own in contempt of God, and many aims also against God. POPE LEO XIII, HUMANUM GENUS (PAPAL ENCYCLICAL, 1884), 1
· Satan manages to sow in man’s soul the seed of opposition to the one who “from the beginning” would be considered as man’s enemy— and not as Father. Man is challenged to become the adversary of God! The analysis of sin in its original dimension indicates that, through the influence of the “father of lies,” throughout the history of humanity there will be a constant pressure on man to reject God, even to the point of hating Him: “Love of self to the point of contempt for God,” as St. Augustine puts it. POPE JOHN PAUL II, DOMINUM ET VIVIFICANTEM (PAPAL ENCYCLICAL, 1986), 38
The Value of Fasting
Prayer and fasting are extraordinary means (we may call them violent means) when other simpler ways are of no avail against the powers of hell. Look into the earthly life of our Savior. He is our model. He dwelt with us in order to teach us how to form our lives inwardly and outwardly. Christ Himself fasted often and accorded it high praise in His teaching. Recall how He fasted forty days before entering upon His work of teaching. At the beginning of Lent the Church wishes to stamp this fact deep in our hearts: our fasting must be in union with and in imitation of Christ's. Recall when the disciples were unable to cure a possessed boy, asked, "Why could we not cast him out?," and Jesus answered, "This kind can be driven out in no way except by prayer and fasting" (Mark 9:29). Now another saying of Jesus comes to mind. When John's disciples began to reproach Him, "Why do Your disciples not fast?," He replied: "Can you make the wedding guests fast as long as the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; in those days they will fast" (Luke 5:35). There is a hidden depth of meaning in these words. The coming of Christ among men was a wedding feast. Fasting had no place. But it is most proper to fast when the divine Bridegroom is taken away. Fasting on Fridays and during Holy Week, then, is in accord with Christ's own wishes. Once our Savior compared Himself with the Baptist in these words, "John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a devil!’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold a glutton and a wine drinker.’" John was a man devoted to penance, an ascetic, who fasted throughout his life. Not so Christ. His way of living was not based exclusively upon self-denial and mortification, but upon an ordered enjoyment of life. So we learn from the Savior that fasting should be the exception, not the rule, in Christian morality. Let us consider the passage in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus speaks of the three important pious exercises of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. He highly recommends all three, but warns against practicing these virtues in a pharisaical manner.
The main points in Jesus' doctrine on fasting, then, are:
- Fasting is an extremely important means of resisting the inroads of hell (hence Lent).
- Fasting should be practiced as a memorial of Christ's death (Friday, Holy Week).
- Fast days occur by way of exception in Christian life, they are not the normal practice.
- Fasting holds a place alongside prayer and almsgiving as a pious exercise.
Reverence for the Tabernacle
So let us worship God in His tabernacle for His goodness, truth and beauty. When we talk about the tabernacle of the Lord we are talking about the Bless Sacrament were Jesus is really present—body, blood, soul and divinity. Yet, there is another tabernacle which we do not recognize easily. That is our very bodies and those of others when we receive the Eucharist. We need to acknowledge Christ is in others just as we genuflect before the tabernacle. He must be worshipped! According to Church law, the tabernacle, which keeps the consecrated Eucharistic hosts, should be “immoveable, made of solid or opaque material, locked so that the danger of profanation may be entirely avoided.” We also as a tabernacle should be immoveable in our faith, give others solid support and lock our hearts from the love of the world. We should, apart from making our regular attendance at Mass, drop by the church and make a short “visit” to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The visit needn’t be long, just a few minutes to greet Jesus and offer a silent prayer.
· Manhood of the Master-Day 4 week 7
· Do 40 min. in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
· Please pray for me and this ministry
Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 38. Reverence for the Tabernacle.
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