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Sunday, June 13, 2021

  Third Sunday after Pentecost (11 th S. Ord. Time) ST. ANTHONY   2 Kings, Chapter 6, Verse 16 Elisha answered, “Do not be AFRAID ....

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Friday, August 10, 2018


Introduction to Hebrews[1]


As early as the second century, this treatise, which is of great rhetorical power and force in its admonition to faithful pilgrimage under Christ’s leadership, bore the title “To the Hebrews.” It was assumed to be directed to Jewish Christians. Usually Hebrews was attached in Greek manuscripts to the collection of letters by Paul. The main theme is the priesthood and sacrifice of Jesus as a means of restoring their lost fervor and strengthening them in their faith. Another important theme of the letter is that of the pilgrimage of the people of God to the heavenly Jerusalem. This theme is intimately connected with that of Jesus’ ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. This work is a “message of encouragement”. Hebrews is probably therefore a written homily, to which the author gave an epistolary ending. The author begins with a reminder of the preexistence, incarnation, and exaltation of Jesus that proclaimed him the climax of God’s word to humanity. He dwells upon the dignity of the person of Christ, superior to the angels. Christ is God’s final word of salvation communicated not merely by word but through his suffering in the humanity common to him and to all others. This enactment of salvation went beyond the pattern known to Moses, faithful prophet of God’s word though he was, for Jesus as high priest expiated sin and was faithful to God with the faithfulness of God’s own Son. Just as the infidelity of the people thwarted Moses’ efforts to save them, so the infidelity of any Christian may thwart God’s plan in Christ. Christians are to reflect that it is their humanity that Jesus took upon himself, with all its defects save sinfulness, and that he bore the burden of it until death out of obedience to God. God declared this work of his Son to be the cause of salvation for all. Although Christians recognize this fundamental teaching, they may grow weary of it and of its implications, and therefore require other reflections to stimulate their faith. Therefore, the author presents to the readers for their reflection the everlasting priesthood of Christ, a priesthood that fulfills the promise of the Old Testament. It also provides the meaning God ultimately intended in the sacrifices of the Old Testament: these pointed to the unique sacrifice of Christ, which alone obtains forgiveness of sins. The trial of faith experienced by the readers should resolve itself through their consideration of Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary and his perpetual intercession there on their behalf. They should also be strengthened by the assurance of his foreordained parousia, and by the fruits of faith that they have already enjoyed. It is in the nature of faith to recognize the reality of what is not yet seen and is the object of hope, and the saints of the Old Testament give striking example of that faith. The perseverance to which the author exhorts the readers is shown forth in the earthly life of Jesus. Despite the afflictions of his ministry and the supreme trial of his suffering and death, he remained confident of the triumph that God would bring him. The difficulties of human life have meaning when they are accepted as God’s discipline, and if Christians persevere in fidelity to the word in which they have believed, they are assured of possessing forever the unshakable kingdom of God. The letter concludes with specific moral commandments, in the course of which the author recalls again his central theme of the sacrifice of Jesus and the courage needed to associate oneself with it in faith.

AUGUST 10 Friday
FEAST OF ST. LAWRENCE


Hebrews, Chapter 2, Verse 14-15
14 Now since the children share in blood and flesh, he likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life.

On today’s date science by the use of a heart and lung transplant was able to save the life of Jamie Gavin who was recorded as the youngest transplant patient.

Jamie Gavin[2]

Jamie Gavin made headlines worldwide in 1985 when he became the world's youngest heart and lung transplant patient in Harefield hospital, Middlesex. Jamie's surgery was regarded as a success and he returned to Dublin to his brother John and his three sisters Leslie, Katie and Melanie. He was able to live a normal life to a certain extent and attended school with his friends, despite having to regularly return to England for tests and checkups, as well Crumlin hospital in Dublin. The bravery of Jamie was recognized a year after his surgery when Princess Diana presented him with a child of courage award.  Tragedy struck the household when Jamie passed away from lymphoma at the age of 11.

Science is a great gift to mankind, yet it does not erase the fear of death; only Christ can do this. In fact, we are engaged in a great spiritual battle where our fears are the very chains that enslave us.
Napoleon Hill writes in his tale “Outwitting the Devil”[3] his thoughts on fear during an imaginary interview with the devil to obtain his secrets.

Q. Go ahead and describe your clever tricks, Your Majesty.

A. One of my cleverest devices for mind control is fear. I plant the seed of fear in the minds of people, and as these seeds germinate and grow, through use, I control the space they occupy. The six most effective fears are the fear of poverty, criticism, ill health, loss of love, old age, and death.

Q. Which of these six fears serves you most often, your majesty?

A. The first and the last-poverty and death! At one time or another during life I tighten my grip on all people through one or both of these. I plant these fears in the minds of people so deftly that they believe them to be their own creation. I accomplish his end by making people believe I am standing just beyond the entrance gate of the next life, waiting to claim them after death for eternal punishment. Of course, I cannot punish anyone, except in that person's own mind, through some form of fear-but fear of the thing which does not exist is just as useful to me as fear of that which does exist. All forms of fear extend the space I occupy in the human mind.

Although Napoleon thoughts may not be theologically correct; he still makes a strong case as does our God that fear is the root of sin.

St. Lawrence[4] is the patron of cooks-today, have a BBQ in honor of his death for the faith.
This young deacon and heroic martyr is numbered among those saints who were most highly venerated by the ancient Roman Church. Even though we have no genuine account of St. Lawrence's martyrdom, we do possess considerable evidence from most ancient times regarding the particulars of his passion. Legendary Acts tell how Lawrence was a disciple of Pope Sixtus II (257-258), who dearly loved him because of his special talents, but principally because of his innocence; in spite of his youth, the Pope numbered him among the seven deacons of Rome and raised him to the position of archdeacon. As such, Lawrence had the immediate care of the altar and was at the side of the saintly Pope whenever he offered the holy Sacrifice; to him also was confided the administration of the goods of the Church and the responsibility of caring for the poor. During the persecution of Emperor Valerian (253-260), Sixtus II and his four deacons were martyred. Lawrence was dispersing items in the house of a certain Narcissus, a blind man named Crescentius asked for healing help by the imposition of hands. The holy deacon made the Sign of the Cross over him and the man began to see. From his relations with Pope Sixtus, it was known that he acted as the steward over the Church's property. He was arrested and while in prison Lawrence cured the blind Lucillus and several other blind persons. Ordered by the authorities to surrender the treasures of the Church, Lawrence asked for two days’ time during which to gather them. The request was granted and he brought together the poor and the sick that he had supported. These he led to the judge. "Here are the treasures of the Church!" Lawrence was tortured, scourged, and scorched with glowing plates; in other words Barbequed alive. In the midst of excruciating pain he prayed: "Lord Jesus Christ, God from God, have mercy on Your servant!" And he besought the grace of faith for the bystanders. At a certain point the soldier Romanus exclaimed: "I see before you an incomparably beautiful youth. Hasten and baptize me." He had observed how an angel dried the wounds of Lawrence with a linen cloth during his passion. Again during the night he was dragged before the judge and threatened with immediate death. But he replied: "My God I honor and Him alone I serve. Therefore, I do not fear your torments; this night shall become as brightest day and as light without any darkness." When placed upon the glowing gridiron, he jested with his executioners and the cruel tyrant. "Now you may turn me over, my body is roasted enough on this side." Shortly after this had been done, he cried again: "At last I am finished; you may now take from me and eat." Then turning to God in prayer: "I thank You, O Lord, that I am permitted to enter Your portals." To comfort him during his torments God said to him: "My servant, do not be afraid. I am with you." He was put to death upon the Viminal Hill and buried on the Tiburtinian Way.

Blessed the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commands.

The Way[5]

"Read these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in the end you will be a more worthy soul."

40.  That pose and that self-satisfied manner don't suit you at all: they are easily seen to be affected. Try, at least, to use them neither with God, nor with your Director, nor with your brothers: and between them and you there will be one barrier less.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Please Pray for Senator McCain and our country; asking Our Lady of Beauraing to intercede.
·         Peace Through Strength




[1]http://usccb.org/bible/scripture.cfm?bk=Hebrews&ch=
[4] http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2016-08-10
[5]http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/the_way-point-1.htm

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