FEAST OF ST. FLORIAN-STAR WARS DAY
Zachariah, Chapter 9, verse 5-6
5Ashkelon will see it and be afraid; Gaza too will be in great anguish; Ekron also, for its hope will wither. The king will disappear from Gaza, Ashkelon will not be inhabited, 6 and the illegitimate will rule in Ashdod.
Ashkelon was a coastal city of the Philistines usually at war with Israel. What God is saying to the Israelite’s is that He has got their backs and is in the process of restoring Israel. God’s mercy is so great that not only does he restore Israel but, God the Father, eventually will restore all those who have Holy Fear. “The Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” (John 3:14-15)
“The fact that Jesus suffered for us means that our suffering now has somewhere to go. Our pain, our battle with sin, our struggle to truly believe in him, all of this can be laid within the wounds of Christ and healed. When we carry our scars alone, they blind us. They paralyze us. They prevent us from experiencing joy. But when we unite our own wounds to those of Christ, when we allow ourselves to encounter the wounded but glorified Christ, we are able to move beyond our own.
Let us this day say the prayer of Everyman
Into thy hands, Lord, my soul I commend; receive it, Lord, that it be not lost; and save me from the fiend’s boast, that I may appear with the blessed host that shall be saved at the day of doom. Into thy hands-of might’s most forever-I commend my spirit.
Here we see God’s mercy is always greater than His justice. Be daring for we are favored and great is His mercy to us.
Christ shows us the Father in His forgiveness. Christ would not relent for as you read the gospels it is clear Christ teaches forgiveness and tells us to ask for the strength to forgive other people. Christ in his first sermon made it abundantly clear we need forgiveness and in His death His last words were about forgiveness. God shows us in this verse to not keep score. How often we tabulate all the wrongs others have done to us. We hold grudges; we plot and wait for vengeance. Christ shows us the depth of His love by forgiving even his executioners.
The late Stephen Covey created a metaphor called the Emotional Bank Account. In the same way we use a bank account to save up money and withdraw it when we need it our emotional bank account works similarly but instead of money we deposit TRUST.
Covey identifies six ways to make deposits (or reduce withdrawals):
1) Understanding the Individual. This means listening intently to what the other person is saying and empathizing with how they may feel. It’s important to care for others and act with kindness toward them.
2) Keeping Commitments. How do you feel when someone arrives right on time when you have a meeting? How about when people simply do what they say they will do? You build up an emotional reserve by keeping your commitments.
3) Clarifying Expectations. We are not mind readers, and yet we consistently expect others to know what we expect of them. Communicating our expectations can help create a higher level of trust. When we ask for what we want, and we get it, we can then trust a little more.
4) Attending to the Little Things. Don’t you find that the little things tend to become the BIG things when they do not receive our attention? Doing the little things is how we honor and show respect for others. Small kindnesses, a smile, a little extra effort, a hug, doing something you didn’t “have” to: these are the things that build trust.
5) Showing Personal Integrity. Integrity is the moral floor upon which trusting relationships are built. When we operate with sound moral character, it makes it so easy for others to trust us.
6) Apologizing When We Make a Withdrawal. We will make mistakes; it’s part of life. But when you see you have violated a trust, sincerely apologizing is how we make a deposit to counteract the damage we have done. When your trust level is high, because you’ve made lots of deposits, communication is almost effortless. You can be yourself, and others understand and appreciate you. Then, when you make mistakes or offend someone unexpectedly, you draw on that reserve and the relationship still maintains a solid level of trust.
Conversely, when you are discourteous, disrespect others, interrupt others, speak sarcastically or ignore others, your emotional bank account becomes overdrawn because you have jeopardized the trust level.
Saint Florian was born in the mid-third century A.D., perhaps around the year 250, somewhere around current-day Austria. He rose through the Roman army ranks to become a commander. Besides his duties to the military, he was charged with leading the firefighting brigade of the day. Florian was a Christian in a time when the Roman emperors were trying to eliminate Christianity throughout their realm. At one point he was ordered to offer up a sacrifice to the Roman gods, something in which he did not believe. Other stories state that he refused to participate in the ongoing persecution of Christians, in which the army had been ordered to participate.
In either case, Florian's beliefs became known. When questioned, he again stated that he was a Christian. The popular method of disposing of Christians in that day was to burn them to death, and it was suggested that Florian suffer the same fate. He, however, stated his intention to "climb to Heaven on the flames" of the funeral pyre being prepared for him. The soldiers decided at that point to dispense with him via another route: he was flogged, then flayed, then a large stone was tied around his neck and he was thrown into the Ennis River to drown. A faithful lady recovered and buried his body, which was later moved to the Augustinian Abbey of St. Florian, near current-day Linz, Austria. In 1138 some of St. Florian's relics were given to King Casimir of Poland and the Bishop of Cracow. Since his relics arrived in Poland, he has beenregarded as the patron saint of that country. Because of his association with fire, St. Florian is the patron saint of firefighters and chimney sweeps and has been invoked for protection from both fire and water. A statue of St. Florian installed at the front of the main firehouse in Vienna, Austria survived a 1945 bombing with barely a scratch.
Please pray the Stations of the Cross for our firefighters from 911 and The Yarnell Hill Firefighters; which where lost in a wildfire near Yarnell, Arizona, ignited by lightning on June 28, 2013. On June 30, it overran and killed 19 City of Prescott firefighters, members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. It was the third deadliest U.S. wildfire since the 1991 East Bay Hills fire, which killed 25 people; and the 2017 Northern California wildfires, which killed over 40, the deadliest wildland fire for U.S. firefighters since the 1933 Griffith Park Fire, which killed 29; and the deadliest incident of any kind for U.S. firefighters since the September 11, 2001, attacks, which killed 343. It is the sixth-deadliest American firefighter disaster overall and the deadliest wildfire ever in Arizona.
May the Farce Be with You
May 4th has become commonly known as Star Wars Day. And who could be surprised? The words, “May the 4th” seem to beg the rest of the catchphrase be uttered. Regardless of whether you prefer Star Wars or Star Trek, or if are even a sci-fi aficionado at all, the influence of George Lucas’ Star Wars on pop culture is undeniable.
The History of Star Wars Day
Star Wars, an epic space opera written and directed by George Lucas, premiered in 1977 and became an almost instant cult classic. Even today, almost 40 years later, Star Wars remains one of the most financially successful films of all time. The franchise it began remains the most successful one of all time, earning over 2.5 billion dollars since the release of the first film. However, the money it’s earned over the years is hardly the most impressive aspect of Star Wars. As famous film critic Roger Ebert put it: “Like The Birth of a Nation and Citizen Kane, Star Wars was a technical watershed that influenced many of the movies that came after.” Star Wars was a real game-changer, beginning a new era of special effect-packed motion pictures bursting with excitement, adventure and imagination that appealed enormously to younger audiences as well as older ones. Many of today’s most acclaimed film directors, such as Peter Jackson, Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan and James Cameron, cite Star Wars as a great influence on their careers. Star Wars has also had enormous cultural impact on other areas besides filmmaking, including politics–the Reagan Administration’s Startegic Defense Program was mockingly nicknamed “Star Wars”. As recently as 2013, President Barack Obama used the phrase “Jedi miind meld” to describe what some people were expecting him to do on his opposition to make them accept his ideas. “May the Fourth be with you” was first used by Margaret Thatcher’s political party to congratulate her on her election on May 4th, 1979, and the saying quickly caught on. However, the first celebration of May 4th took place much later, at the Toronto Underground Cinema in 2001. This first official Star Wars Day’s festivities included a costume contest and a movie marathon. Fans’ favorite parodies of the franchise were also enjoyed, as were some of the most popular mash-ups and remixes. Since then, Star Wars Day has gained popularity and is celebrated by Star Wars Fans worldwide.
How to Celebrate Star Wars Day
The way you celebrate Star Wars day will depend on how well you know this cultural phenomenon. If you are a longtime fan of the franchise, you might want to get a group of friends together and attend one of the many Star Wars events organized in different parts of the world. Such events range from costume contests to museum exhibits to tours of space centers. And if you’re not feeling up to going out, there’s no reason why a Star Wars Day party organized by you at home should be any less fun. Movie marathons with friends, Star Wars trivia games and even Star Wars themed snacks (Death Star piñata, anyone?) will guarantee this day is full of fun as well as being very educational. “Vadering” another person has also become an extremely popular thing to do on this day, and the photos you take of this are sure to bring a smile to your face for years to come. Because Star Wars itself is such an enormous topic, the ways of celebrating the day dedicated to it are virtually endless. So choose one, have fun, and May the 4th be with you!
|BROTHER FAT SAYS "MAY THE FARCE BE WITH YOU"|
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 Liturgical Publications Inc.
 Everyman other Miracle and Morality Plays, Dover Press 1995
 Allen R. Hunt, Everybody needs to forgive somebody.