Sunday, June 24, 2018


JOHN THE BAPTIST

 John, Chapter 6, verse 19-20:
19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid 20 but he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.”

After rowing three or four miles they must have been exhausted and there must have been no wind, for surely any sailor would have used the wind if it was blowing. The conditions on the sea that night had to have been unnerving but there must have been some light from the moon as they had seen our Lord nevertheless they were afraid.  Then He said, “It is I” or literally “I AM” which was the name of God which no pious Jew could even say!

I wonder if they were thinking of the words of the Torah, “The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” (Genesis 4:2) When they had seen and heard Christ.  They must have known at that point that here was the messiah because they believed. Immediately they arrived on shore and Christ spoke on the “Bread of Life” discourse stating” Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.” (John 6:54).

At this saying all but these 12 walked away because they believed!

We too are like the Apostles in that boat, the boat which we call the Holy Catholic Church.  Let us resolve like the Apostles to believe, follow the precepts of our church and row three or four miles if we must.

Saint John the Baptist[1]

John the Baptist has the honor of being the only other person besides the Blessed Virgin and our Lord whose birthday the Church celebrates with a special feast. No doubt this has something to do with the unique role that John plays in the economy of salvation. As the "Precursor of the Lord" and the greatest of the prophets (Lk. 7.28), John was given the commission of preparing the way for the Son of God. In the Confiteor he is ranked higher than Saints Peter and Paul and is subordinate only to the Blessed Virgin and St. Michael the Archangel. (Tradition holds that like the prophet Jeremiah, John was consecrated in the womb to be free from all mortal sin.) But there is also something special about his birthday itself: John's conception in the womb of his aged mother Elizabeth was miraculous, as was the Angel Gabriel's prophecy about his mission and name (Lk. 1.5-26, 41-80). Even the birthday's location in the year is profoundly significant: because of the summer solstice, the days begin to grow shorter and shorter after his birthday. The days after Christ's birthday, on the other hand, begin to lengthen. Hence John's statement about Jesus, "He must increase, and I must decrease" (Jn. 3.30), is echoed in the cycle of the cosmos. No wonder that in speaking of John, the Archangel Gabriel declares, "many shall rejoice in his birthday" (Lk. 1.14).

ST. JOHN the Baptist could not have had any greater panegyrist than Jesus Christ Himself, who said: There hath not risen, among them that are born of women [in the natural manner], a greater than John the Baptist (Matt. xi. 11). The Lord made him great, even from his mother’s womb, by causing his birth to before told by an angel, by giving him his name, and by sanctifying him while yet in his mother’s womb through the presence of Christ. To escape from the world and its allurements he withdrew to the desert, and there occupied himself only with God and with what concerned his vocation. His food was locusts and wild honey; his clothing a garment of camel s hair, fastened by a leathern girdle; his bed the hard ground. Thus, he lived till his thirtieth year, in which, by the command of God, he was to proclaim the coming of the Messias, whom he himself afterwards baptized and pointed out to men as the Lamb of God. With extraordinary zeal and earnestness, he preached the necessity of true penance. For having reproved Herod for living in adultery he was thrown into prison, and finally, at the instigation of Herodias, was beheaded. We celebrate the day of his birth rather than that of his death, as is the case of most saint’s days, because, while other saints arrive at sanctity only through long and difficult contests, John was already sanctified in his mother’s womb. (Goffine’s Devout Instructions)


Today go out into the desert and when you return; renew your baptismal vows while taking a lap in the pool.

Take a Lap Day[2]

Take a lap!  Around the pool that is, swim a Lap Day is a day to get in the swimming pool. Swimming is a great way of getting exercise, especially for those who have health problems that make traditional exercise difficult due to weakness or difficulty moving. Swimming has been an activity human have indulged in at least as far back as 7,000 years ago, a time from which depictions of this activity can be seen in stone age paintings. People have been engaging in swimming for all these years for many reasons, with recreation being by far the most common among them. Swimming is, in fact, ranked among the most popular forms of physical activity, even among otherwise sedentary individuals. The buoyant nature of water makes it much easier on those with physical limitations to get out and have a good time, and the act of coursing through the water is often described as feeling a bit like flying! Swimming has also been shown to be excellent for your health Those engaged in swimming tend to engage in the activity for longer than other forms of exercise, and the act of swimming often engages the entire body while moving through the water This also results in the body drawing on large supplies of oxygen during almost all stages of the activity Other benefits seen from this activity include a reduction in stress related illnesses by reduction of the same, and it can even improve posture! Military applications of swimming go back quite a long way, particularly in those engagements requiring infiltration. Especially at night, it’s difficult to see someone who is swimming underwater, and many cities and forts had vulnerabilities at the areas where waste was washed out of the location. Everyone loves pirates, and a common practice to taking a ship was to slip through the water from a distance, so as not to reveal the presence of their vessel. They’d then stealthily slip up the side of the target and take the ship by surprise!

There are many health benefits to swimming, and it’s an activity especially encouraged for those suffering from degenerative diseases, and ones that impede mobility such as arthritis. It’s low impact nature allows those whose movement would otherwise be restricted to engage in a full body workout without causing further damage. Even those who are of advanced age can find an ability to remain active in this sport! Due to it’s full body nature, this sport is also excellent for building cardiovascular and respiratory health, increasing how much oxygen the body can take advantage, as well as how much blood the heart is able to move with each stroke.

 Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Please pray for me and this ministry
·         Please Pray for Senator McCain and our country; asking Our Lady of Beauraing to intercede.

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