AUGUST 12 Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost (19th S Ord Time)
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Mary shows us how the just live by faith. Although she was literally the mother of God she did not count herself equal to God. Although throughout her life she lived in poverty she was generous to a fault. Although a mother and wife she was chaste to her spouse the Holy Spirit. Let us ask her to intercede for us that we may never dread to fall into the hands of the living God. As Mary said, “His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.” (Lk. 1:50)
If tornadoes are to occur in our lives, and possibly present a challenge to us, then we must deal with the reality of this powerful occurrence, and how it could affect us. Outside of a storm cellar, there is little we can do physically to prepare for one of these whirlwinds. In case of danger, I suggest that we do move to safety, but also pray and fall on our face before God, and ask His protection and mercy. Only He can divert such a powerful thing away from us.–
In the recent tornado event in my state, I had to do this. An E F 3 Tornado that was a mile wide, spinning at 175 miles per hour, and advancing forward at a pace of 50 miles per hour, was heading straight for my house. We already had reports that it was a mile from my house, and headed my way. This was too powerful for me, but there was Someone who was more than able to help me. I immediately began to pray, and ask for God’s help and protection. It says in God’s Word that if we ask anything of the Father, according to His will (which is to protect and love his own), in Jesus name, that it would be done. I believe in this promise because God said it. God answered my prayer in His abundant mercy, and I am forever grateful that he protected my home and family. I encourage all to do the same, and not to wait until there is an emergency either. We should all seek God’s face early, and establish this relationship of trust and protection and provision. God is faithful to hear our prayers.
Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
Focus: True and laudable service as we run to attain the eternal promises and increase in faith, hope, and love
GOSPEL Luke x 23-37
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: Blessed are the eyes that see the things which you see. For I say to you that many prophets and kings have desired to see the things that you see and have not seen them; and to hear the things that you hear and have not heard them. And behold a certain lawyer stoodup, tempting Him, and saying: Master, what must I do to possess eternal life? But He said to him: What is written inthe law? How readest thou? He answering, said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbor as thyself. And He said to him: Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said to Jesus: And who is my neighbor? And Jesusanswering, said: A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, who also stripped him: and, having wounded him, went away leaving him half dead. And it chanced that a certain priest went down the same way: and seeing him, passed by. In like manner also a Levite, when he was near the place and saw him, passed by. But a certain Samaritan being on his journey came near him: and seeing him, was moved with compassion. And going up to him, bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine: and setting him upon his own beast, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two pence (worth two days wages), and gave to the host, and said: Take care of him: and whatsoever thou shalt spend over and above, I at my return will repay thee. Which of these three in thy opinion was neighbor to him that fell among the robbers? But he said: He that showed mercy to him. And Jesus said to him: Go and do thou in like manner.
Why does Jesus call His disciples blessed? Because they had the happiness which so many kings, patriarchs, and prophets had desired in vain of seeing the Savior of the world, and of hearing His teaching.
What is it to love God? To acknowledge God as the highest and most perfect good; to desire that He should be known, honored, loved, by all men; that His will should be fulfilled by all; and so zealously to observe His commandments that we would lose all the goods of life, and even life itself, rather than transgress these commands and be separated from God.
What does it mean to love God with the whole heart, etc.? “With thy whole heart”, signifies with all the motions and inclinations of the heart “with thy whole soul”, with all the thoughts, conceptions of the soul, “with thy whole mind”, with all the desires, wishes, and determination of the will; “with all thy strength”, with all the powers and faculties of body and soul with all the acts and motions of the senses. All these should be directed to God alone, as the last object and end of man.
How can this be done? By doing whatever we do, whether it be mental or manual labor, eating, drinking, or recreation, with the intention of doing the will of God and what is pleasing to Him. By this it is understood that idle talk, intemperance in meat and drink, and in general all sinful works, cannot be offered to God, because they are contrary to His will and therefore deserve punishment.
Is that true love which loves God because He does us good? That love is truly good and praiseworthy, but not perfect, for self-interest creeps in with it.
What, then, is the perfect love of God? When we love God only because He is in Himself the highest good and most worthy of love. In such manner must we endeavor to love God; not out of self-interest, not from the expectation of reward, nor yet from fear of punishment.
Can everyone thus love God? Yes; for there is no state of life in which we cannot refer everything to God. Love does not require great deeds, but that we should avoid evil, and refer everything to God; and all can do this.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
International Youth Day
International Youth Day seeks to raise awareness to the cultural and legal issues faced by youth throughout the world. The United Nations defines youth as people between the ages of 15 and 24 years, although locally, youth can be interpreted in a more flexible manner. In 1995, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) adopted the World Programme of Action for Youth with the intention of establishing guidelines and policies for action and support that would lead to a brighter future for tomorrow's youth. The World Programme of Action for Youth, which consists of 15 priority areas, including education, employment, hunger and poverty, health, environment and drug abuse, paved the way for the UN's declaration of International Youth Day in 1999. Since its inception on August 12, 2000, International Youth Day has served to increase the quality and quantity of opportunities available to the youth to actively participate in society. In 2009, the UN Economic and Social Council further expanded each of the 15 youth priority areas by developing goals and targets for monitoring youth progress, an expansion that now serves as the basis for International Youth Day's annual theme. Each year, the theme is selected based upon immediate and relevant issues that youth are facing today.
International Youth Day Facts & Quotes
· Of the 1.8 billion youth in the world today, half survive on less than $2 per day.
· Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society's margins, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies. - Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Check out the United States Congresses program for youth:
"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. Hold your tongue! Don't be childish, the caricature of a child: telltale, mischief-maker, little sneak! With your stories and tales you have chilled the glow of charity: you couldn't have done more harm, and if by any chance that wagging tongue of yours has shaken the walls of other people's perseverance, your own perseverance ceases to be a grace from God, for it has become a treacherous instrument of the enemy.
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.