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  ST. JOHN’S EVE-WIDOWS DAY   2 Chronicles, Chapter 17, Verse 10 Now the FEAR of the LORD was upon all the kingdoms of the countries ...

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Sunday, August 5, 2018



Introduction to Philippians[1]


Philippi, in northeastern Greece, was a city of some importance in the Roman province of Macedonia. Lying on the great road from the Adriatic coast to Byzantium, the Via Egnatia, and in the midst of rich agricultural plains near the gold deposits of Mt. Pangaeus, it was in Paul’s day a Roman town, with a Greek-Macedonian population and a small group of Jews. Originally founded in the sixth century B.C. as Krenides by the Thracians, the town was taken over after 360 B.C. by Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, and was renamed for himself, “Philip’s City.” The area became Roman in the second century B.C. On the plains near Philippi in October 42 B.C., Antony and Octavian decisively defeated the forces of Brutus and Cassius, the slayers of Julius Caesar. Octavian (Augustus) later made Philippi a Roman colony and settled many veterans of the Roman armies there. Paul established at Philippi the first Christian community in Europe. He came to Philippi, via its harbor town of Neapolis (modern Kavalla), on his second missionary journey, probably in A.D. 49 or 50, accompanied by Silas and Timothy and Luke, if he is to be included in the “we”. The Acts account tells of the conversion of a business woman, Lydia; the exorcism of a slave girl; and, after an earthquake, while Paul and Silas were imprisoned in Philippi, the faith and baptism of a jailer and his family. None of these persons, however, is directly mentioned in Philippians. Acts 16 concludes its account by describing how Paul (and Silas), asked by the magistrates to leave Philippi, went on to Thessalonica, where several times his loyal Philippians continued to support him with financial aid. Later, Paul may have passed through Philippi on his way from Ephesus to Greece, and he definitely stopped there on his fateful trip to Jerusalem. Paul’s letter to the Christians at Philippi was written while he was in a prison somewhere, indeed in danger of death. Although under guard for preaching Christ, Paul rejoices at the continuing progress of the gospel and expresses gratitude for the Philippians’ renewed concern and help in an expression of thanks. Much of the letter is devoted to instruction about unity and humility within the Christian community at Philippi and exhortations to growth, joy, and peace in their life together. Paul warns against false teachers who threaten to impose on the Philippians the burdens of the Mosaic law, including circumcision. This beautiful letter is rich in insights into Paul’s theology and his apostolic love and concern for the gospel and his converts. In Philippians, Paul reveals his human sensitivity and tenderness, his enthusiasm for Christ as the key to life and death, and his deep feeling for those in Christ who dwell in Philippi. With them he shares his hopes and convictions, his anxieties and fears, revealing the total confidence in Christ that constitutes faith. The letter incorporates a hymn about the salvation that God has brought about through Christ, applied by Paul to the relations of Christians with one another. Philippians has been termed “the letter of joy”. It is the rejoicing of faith, based on true understanding of Christ’s unique role in the salvation of all who profess his lordship.

AUGUST 5 Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost (18th S Ord Time)
NATIONAL SISTERS DAY

Philippians, Chapter 1, Verse 12-14
12 I want you to know, brothers, that my situation has turned out rather to advance the gospel, 13 so that my imprisonment has become well known in Christ throughout the whole praetorium* and to all the rest, 14 and so that the majority of the brothers, having taken encouragement in the Lord from my imprisonment, dare more than ever to proclaim the word fearlessly.

Christ is preached fearlessly by those who have known Him. You cannot preach Christ unless you know Him. Paul was always a warrior and as such he sought as Saul, before he met Christ, to kill any who got in the way of his purpose and then when Saul met Christ and became Paul; he discovered to live is Christ. To the warrior his purpose is to serve his king.

The power of Purpose[2]


 Paul was a leader who never durifted from his mission. George Washington Carver wrote: “No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving behind him distinct and legitimate reasons for having passed through it.” Paul purpose kept him in the battle even in prison. Consider the following:

1.      A purpose will motivate you.
2.      A purpose will keep your priorities straight.
3.      A purpose will develop your potential.
4.      A purpose will give you power to live in the present.
5.      A purpose will help you evaluate your progress.

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost[3]

Daily dying to our sins and rising to new life in Christ.

GOSPEL Mark vii 31-37

At that time, Jesus, going out of the coasts of Tyre, came by Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. And they bring to Him one deaf and dumb: and they besought Him that He would lay His hand upon him. And taking him from the multitude apart, He put His fingers into his ears, and spitting, He touched his tongue: and looking up to heaven, He groaned, and said to him: Ephpheta, which is, Be thou opened. And immediately his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spokeright. And He charged them that they should tell no man. But the more He charged them, so much the more a great deal did they publish it: and so much the more did they wonder, saying: He hath done all things well; He hath made both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

Who among Christians are like the deaf and dumb of this gospel?  Those who are deaf to the voice of God, and dumb in prayer, in the praise of God, in the defence of religion, and of the goodname of their neighbor, and in confessing their sins.

Why did Christ take the deaf and dumb man aside? Because He did not seek the praise of men, and at the sametime was loath to provoke too soon the hatred of His enemies.

Why did Jesus put His fingers into the ears of the deaf and dumb, and spitting, touch his tongue? To show this unfortunate person by signs that it was He Who freed him from his bodily evils, and that the healing power was not the consequence of secretly given remedies but proceeded immediately from Himself.

Why did Jesus look up to heaven and groan?
1. To show that He acted not as mere man, but that He had received all power from His eternal Father.
2. That He might thereby awaken and animate the deaf and dumb man to confidence in His power and belief in His divine mission. Learn hence to practise the beautiful virtue of compassion for others sufferings, and to acknowledge that every good gift is from above.

Why did Christ charge them that they should tell no man? That we might learn not to seek the praise of men for our good deeds. Let us learn to make known the works of God to His glory; for He is continually working before our eyes everyday so many wonders, in order that we may praise His benignity and omnipotence.

Aspiration: O Jesus, great physician of souls, open mine ears to attend to Thy holy will; loosen my tongue to proclaim and praise forever Thy love and goodness.

National Sister Day[4]

National Sister Day celebrates sisters, the special bond they share with their sisters, and their contributions to the family. It is your opportunity to show appreciation for that special family relationship. It is a day to love and acknowledge the joy that you sister brings to your life and make sure that she knows that you appreciate and cherish her.

National Sister Day Facts & Quotes

·         Studies form Brigham Young University show that sisters give siblings better mental health.
·         According to the Journal of Politics, boys with sisters are more likely to become republican. Young men who were raised with sisters are more typically more likely to express social conservative views on attitudes about gender roles.
·         Men with sisters are more likely to have involved interactions and be liked significantly more by their female acquaintances than those who did not have a sister. In short, brother benefit from having sisters by having a higher likelihood of getting a date.
·         There is nobody in this world that knows me better than my sister. – Tia Mowry, American actress and model.
·         Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship. – Margaret Mead, American Cultural Anthropologist.

The 8th of August will be my sister Linda’s Birthday I hope her day is special; please pray for her intentions.

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.  Why that fitful character? When are you going to apply your will to something definite? Drop that craze for foundation-stones and put the finishing touch to just one of your projects.

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


[2] John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.
[3]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
[5]http://www.escrivaworks.org/book/the_way-point-1.htm

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