Thursday, May 3, 2018



Zechariah


The prophecies of First Zechariah can be dated to the late sixth century B.C., contemporary with those of Haggai; the oracles of Second Zechariah are somewhat later. The most striking feature of First Zechariah is a series of visions in which the prophet describes the centrality of Jerusalem, its Temple, and its leaders, who function both in the politics of the region and of the Persian empire and in God’s universal rule. These visions clearly relate to the Temple restoration begun in 520 B.C. The prophet is acutely aware of the devastation that comes from disobedience to God’s word, as had been spoken by God’s prophetic emissaries. Yet, it was now clear in this century after the rebuilding of the Temple and the repatriation of many of the exiles, that Judah would not soon regain political autonomy and a Davidic king. So the various poems, narratives, oracles, and parables of Second Zechariah maintain the hope of previous prophets by depicting a glorious restoration. At that time all nations will recognize Jerusalem’s centrality and acknowledge God’s universal sovereignty.



MAY 3 FEAST OF SAINTS PHIILLIP and JAMES

Zachariah, Chapter 8, Verse 13-15
13 Just as you became a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you that you may be a blessing. Do not fear; let your hands be strong. 14 Thus says the LORD of hosts: Just as I intended to harm you when your ancestors angered me—says the LORD of hosts—and I did not relent, 15 so again in these days I intend to favor Jerusalem and the house of Judah; do not fear!

As gentiles who are God-fearing we must accept our salvation by living the Shema Israel daily seeking to love Him with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength (let our hands be strong). This morning as I said the Shema Israel I thought Lord I don’t understand how to love you with my whole soul but I decided to say the prayer looking in the mirror at myself.  I then said, “Hear O Israel that the Lord our God is one, and you shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, (I touched my heart) and with your whole mind, (I touched the side of my temple) with your whole soul (I instinctively touched my eyes; which are the windows of the soul) and flexed my arms and said with my whole strength.

 It was then that I realized what the Lord had revealed to me.  My eyes: with my eyes I see things as a child of God, or as a selfish clot. With my eyes I see the good in the world or I see things that I want. With my eyes I see another human as a beloved or as an object to be used. Yes, indeed with my eyes my soul does exist and I will now love the Lord my God with my whole eyes which are the windows of the soul.

Today reflect on how the Rosary meditations show us how Mary, Jesus and the Holy Spirit show us how to love God with our whole Heart, Mind, Soul and Strength.

National Day of Prayer[1]



National Day of Prayer is an annual holiday that serves to encourage Americans to pray, meditate and repent. It is also used to draw awareness to prayer and religious beliefs. The origins of National Day of Prayer date back to 1787. Benjamin Franklin, asked President George Washington to open each day with prayer, and to realize that prayer is deeply intertwined in the fabric of the United States.  However, it was not until February 1952 during the Korean War that Reverend Billy Graham petitioned support of Representative Percy Priest to observe a national day of prayer. On April 17, 1952 President Harry Truman signed a bill proclaiming National Day of Prayer, to encourage Americans to turn to God in prayer and meditation. National Prayer Day is celebrated every year on the first Thursday of May.

National Day of Prayer Facts & Quotes

·         2018 marks the 67th Anniversary of the National Day of Prayer
·         According to the Pew Research Center's Religious Landscape Study of 2015, 23% of Americans have indicated that they are not part of any religion.  The survey is based on responses of more than 35,000 Americans.
·         On October 3, 2008, The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sued President George W. Bush and staff to challenge the designation of a National Day of Prayer.  On April 14, 2011, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the National Day of Prayer did not cause harm and a feeling of alienation cannot suffice as injury.
·         According to the Pew Research Center, more than 55% of Americans pray every day.  60% of older Americans are likely to pray every day, compared to 45% of young Americans.
·         Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart. - Mahatma Gandhi, Civil Rights and Freedom Activist

National Day of Prayer Top Events and Things to Do

·         Attend a religious service at your place of worship on the National Day of Prayer.
·         Offer a prayer for your loved ones and for those who are serving at the frontlines to protect America.
·         Attend a spiritual retreat that appeals to your beliefs.
·         Practice mindfulness by focusing upon the internal and external experience of each moment of life.  Mindfulness creates awareness and encourages one to be grateful for their blessings.
·         Attend a prayer event on Prayer Day. There are many local events, some religious based, others meditation oriented.

Philip and James[2]

PHILIP, born at Bethsaida, was one of the first followers of Our Lord. After receiving the Holy Ghost he preached the Gospel in Scythia and Phrygia (Turkey, Syria and Iran), converting great numbers to the faith, and was finally crucified and then stoned at Hierapolis, in Phrygia.

Prayer to St. Philip

O St. Philip, chosen disciple of the Lord, who brought Nathaniel to Christ, who most zealously preached thy Lord, Jesus Christ, and out of love to Him willingly gave thyself to be nailed to the cross, and put to death, obtain, I beseech thee, for me, and for all men, grace with zeal to bring others to the practice of good works, to have a great desire after God and His truths, and, in hope of the eternal blissful contemplation of God, to bear patiently the adversities and miseries of this life. Amen.

JAMES, the son of Cleophas, called the Less, and on account of his sanctity surnamed the Just, and for his kinship with Christ known as His brother, was, with his brother Judas Thaddeus, chosen an apostle in the second year of Christ’s ministry. St. James was the first Bishop of Jerusalem. One day, being requested to preach against Christ, he publicly proclaimed Him to be the Messiah, in Whom men were bound to believe, at which the Jewish priests became so enraged that they threw him down from a pinnacle of the temple, cast stones upon him, and finally killed him outright with a fuller’s rod (tool used in wool making)

Prayer to St. James

O St. James, who lived so temperately and strictly, who, like thy master, prayed so earnestly and constantly for thy tormentors, I beseech thee that thou wouldst procure us from Jesus grace, after thy example, to live sober and penitential lives, and to worship God in spirit and in truth. Obtain for us, therefore, the spirit with which thou didst write thine epistle, that we may follow thy doctrine, be diligent in good works, and, like thee, love and pray for our enemies. Amen.

St James TL/St Philip History[3]

This Observance celebrates the lives of Saint Philip and James the Lesser, two of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ. The apostle Philip is the patron saint of hat makers and pastry chefs. He's also the patron saint of Luxembourg and Uruguay. He is famous for being one of Jesus' first disciples. James, sometimes called James the Lesser, is known as the writer of the epistle of James in the Bible.  He was bishop of Jerusalem in the early church. He is the patron saint of pharmacists, hat makers, and the dying.
St James TL / St Philip Facts & Quotes

·         The mother of St James, Mary was either a sister or a close relative of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and for that reason, according to Jewish custom, he was sometimes called the brother of Jesus.
·         In the Orthodox Church, St. James is commemorated on October 22.  St. Philip is revered on November 14.
·         The Roman Catholic feast day of St. Philip and St. James, Apostles, is held May 3.  It honors James, traditionally considered to be the brother of Jesus, and Philip, considered by scripture to be one of Jesus' earliest disciples (John: 1:43).
·         Philip teaches us ... to let ourselves be won over by Jesus, to be with him and also to invite others to share in this indispensable company; and in seeing, finding God, to find true life. - St. Benedict XVI
St James TL/St Philip Top Events and Things to Do

·         Read the Epistle of James.  This is a letter that addresses several problems occurring in the early church involving the rich, lack of humility, and other issues.
·         Read the first chapter of the Gospel of John.  Philip invites others to come and see what Jesus was teaching, a common theme in the Gospel of John.
·         Bake a pastry in honor of St. Philip since he is the patron saint of bakers.
·         Say a prayer for the dying in honor of St. James, who is the patron saint of those living their last days of mortal life.

Daily Devotions

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Novena to the Holy Face Day 8
·         Please pray for me and this ministry




[1]https://www.wincalendar.com/National-Day-of-Prayer
[2]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

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