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Saturday, September 8, 2018

Sunday, September 9, 2018

SEPTEMBER 9 Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost (23rd S. Ord Time)
ROSH HASHANAH begins at sundown-Grand Parents Day

Acts, Chapter 24, Verse 2-3
2 When he was called, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, “Since we have attained much peace through you, and reforms have been accomplished in this nation through your provident care, 3 we acknowledge this in every way and everywhere, most excellent Felix, with all gratitude.

The scene in this verse is set with Paul being on trial for sedition with the Roman governor of Palestine Felix. The peace that Tertullus alludes to is worldly peace which is not Christ’s peace; it is the peace that is giving to an enslaved people to be happy with the scraps given them for their meager existence. They have their lives if they follow the rules but little liberty or power to pursue their personal dreams.

Paul on Trial[1]

A. The Accusers (vv. 1-4)

1. Their identification (v. 1)"And after five days Ananias, the high priest, descended with the elders, and with a certain orator, named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul."

a) Ananias--Ananias was a corrupt high priest. He saw Paul as a threat, so he wanted to get rid of him. That's why he was part of the entourage that went to accuse Paul.

b) The elders--They were key leaders out of the Sanhedrin, the supreme court of Israel.

c) Tertullus--Ananias and the elders didn't want to accuse Paul themselves, so they hired a professional case reader by the name of Tertullus. He was probably well versed in the legal procedure of Rome and spoke eloquent Latin. Verse 1 says that he "informed the governor." The high priest and the elders stood silently while Tertullus did the talking.

2. Their flattery (vv. 2-4) It was very common for orators in those days to do what Tertullus did. In verses 2-4 he laid the flattery on thick. The Latin description of what he did is Captatio Benevolentiae. That could freely be translated as a "soft-soap job." Tertullus buttered up Felix with flattery. There wasn't much good that could be said about Felix, so Tertullus spoke in generalities. But that was a common approach to obtain a favorable hearing. Felix knew what Tertullus said wasn't true, but he liked to hear it anyway. That was true of Herod in Acts 12:21-22. As he sat on his throne and gave a speech, the people said that he wasn't a man, but a god. Herod loved receiving such praise even though he had to know it wasn't true. So Tertullus flattered Felix, even though the governor was intelligent enough to know that the Jewish people hated him.

a) The hearing begins (v. 2a) "And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him [Paul]" We can't be sure if the hearing was formal or informal, but there is a clue it was informal because Felix decided to defer the case to a later date according to verse 22. So Felix calls Tertullus, who begins his accusation.

b) The flattery begins (vv. 2b-4) Great peace (v. 2b) "Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness" Tertullus begins by telling Felix that he had brought peace. Yet Felix had made no contribution to Roman peace at all. The only occasion when Felix brought any peace was when he stopped a riot that shouldn't have started in the first place. He did such a bad job of it that he alienated everyone. He hadn't done anything that contributed to peace; Tertullus was just flattering him. Many of the Jewish people didn't see the Pax Romanus as peace at all. Calgacus, a chieftain who fought the Romans, said that where the Romans "make a desolation; they call it `peace'" (Tacitus, Life of Agricola, 29-30). It may have been peace for Rome, but it was oppression for everyone else.

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost[2] Be strong, fear not!

The church encourages us to do good works and practice humility. We are to recognize God and that we are workers in his vineyard and to not be rebellious.

Keeping Holy Sundays and Holy-Days of Obligation

How must we sanctify the Sundays and holy-days? As the third commandment enjoins, that is, on Sundays and holy-days, we must not only abstain from servile labor, but we must, as far as possible, attend divine service, both in the forenoon and afternoon; for God has not said, thou shalt be idle on the Sabbath-day, but thou shalt keep holy the Sabbath day. God will not suffer those who desecrate His holy- day to go unpunished; He will cover them with disgrace and scorn (Mai. ii. 3) and will send upon them all the evils of the time.


"'For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted".
Jesus reveals His Love by curing the victim of dropsy[3]. Love overcomes all human obstacles. The humble man does not, of course, expose his talents to the contempt of others. But he does recognize that every best gift is from above, loaned not for himself alone, but for his less favored neighbor as well. For this reason, I bend my knees to the Father, exclaims St. Paul, as he reflects on His glorious riches: how Divine love PURGES us by strength through His Spirit, ILLUMINATES us through our faith and then UNITES us in Christ's love. . .unto. . .the fullness of God. Humbly must we recognize the power that is at work in us.

Why did the Pharisees watch Jesus so closely? To discover something in Him for which they might censure and accuse Him. How like them are those Christians who watch every step of their neighbors, and particularly of priests, hoping to find something for which to blame them, and represent them as evil persons!

Who is, spiritually, like the man with the dropsy? The avaricious man; for as a dropsical person is never satisfied with drinking, so the avaricious man never has enough; and like the dropsy, too, avarice is hard to cure, since it grows worse with age, and generally does not leave a man till he comes to the grave.

Why is avarice reckoned among the seven deadly sins? Because it is the root of many evils; for it leads to usury, theft, the use of false weights and measures, to the retaining of unjustly gotten goods, to the oppression of the poor, of widows and orphans, to the denial and suppression of justice, to apostasy from the faith, and to despair. Hence the Apostle says, “They that will become rich fall into temptation and into the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition” (i.Tim. vi. 9). An efficacious remedy for avarice is the consideration that we are only the stewards, and not the owners of our goods, of which we can take nothing with us at the hour of our death (i. Tim. vi. 7); and that one-day God will require of us a strict account of what we have had.

Rosh Hashanah[4]

Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: ראש השנה) is the Jewish New Year.  Rosh Hashanah literally translates to the Head of the Year.  It is a two-day festival.  In the Bible, it is called Yom Ha-Zikkaron, the day of remembrance or Yom Teruah the day of the sounding of the shofar-(Leviticus 23:24-25). Jews start Rosh Hashanah festivals with lighting of the candles and synagogue prayers.  On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, Jews eat an apple dipped in honey to signify a sweet new year to come.  They also place a fish’s head at the table to commemorate 'being a head and not a tail'.

Rosh Hashanah Facts

·         In synagogues it is common for 100 notes to be sounded with a Ram's horn as a call to repentance.
·         Jews typically wear new clothes on Rosh Hashanah and eat new fruits that have not yet been tasted in the season.  Customary foods include round hallah bread with raisins, pomegranates, pumpkins, carrots, and honey cake.
·         For Rosh Hashana, many Jews 'cast off their sins' to a running water stream/sea containing fish (the Tashlich custom).  This is to symbolically purge one's body of sin and cast the sins onto the fish.
·         On Rosh Hashanah, it is believed that the fate of all Jews and Gentiles is defined by God for that year.  Jews greet each other with many Happy New Year wishes.  It is customary to therefore greet people with a wish for a happy New Year and to 'be inscribed for a good year' - meaning to be allocated by God a full year of healthy life.
·         New Year prayers include many passages relating to the sovereignty and dominion of God over the entire world.  One of these prayers is recited daily and is called Aleinu leshabei'ach (it is our duty to praise God).  However, on Rosh Hashanah, during this prayer, Orthodox Jews bow down to accept the full Sovereignty of the Lord.

Rosh Hashanah Top Events and Things to Do

·         Send New Year's Greeting Cards to your Jewish friends.
·         Celebrate the Jewish New Year with a Rosh Hashana Concert.  Popular concerts are held in major cities such as New York and London.
·         Attend a local Rosh Hashanah service in a synagogue near you.

Grand Parents Day/World wide Candle lighting Day[5]

For hundreds of years, lighting a candle has been a way to show respect for those that have died. This beautiful gesture shows that although someone may be gone from this world, their memory will endure, and the light of their flame will continue to inspire and guide others. Worldwide Candle Lighting Day is a celebration of solidarity and memory. It’s a day on which people around the world gather to light candles for children who have died and to show that they will always be loved and never forgotten. The candles are lit at the same time in every time zone, meaning that a consistent warm glow passes around the planet for a full 24-hour day.

The History of Worldwide Candle Lighting Day

Worldwide Candle Lighting Day was a gift to the bereavement community from The Compassionate Friend. The Compassionate Friend’s Worldwide Candle Lighting Day started in the United States in 1997 as a small internet observance in honor of children who lived tragically short lives for any number of reasons, from sickness, to accidents, to war, but has since spread throughout the world. Nowadays, hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held in many different countries and thousands of informal candle lightings are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who have died, but will never be forgotten. many organizations join in to observe this holiday, some f which are local bereavement groups, churches, funeral homes, hospitals, hospices, children’s gardens, schools, cemeteries, and community centers, and rememberance services have ranged in size from just a few people to nearly a thousand over the years since the creation of this special day. All of this just goes to show how necessary it was to set this day aside for this purpose.

How to Celebrate World Candle Lighting Day

As mentioned before, this day is celebrated with a quiet elegance: at 7 p.m. local time, people light candles for one hour to remember their loved ones. It is a moving occasion that bypasses geographical and cultural divides. As everyone lights their candles at seven pm local time, far-flung parts of the world get illuminated in turn, so that eventually the light has moved all around the globe. If you have experienced the loss of a child in your lifetime, this is a good moment to honor his or her memory by taking part in the candle lighting. You could also invite some close family members to spend this time with you and light their own candles for the late child.

This doesn’t only have to be a sad occasion, however. Children’s lives are mostly filled with fun and laughter, so reminiscing about all of the things the child you are honoring managed to enjoy before he or she passed may should serve to lighten the atmosphere up a little bit. Of course, nothing will ever make up for the loss of a child, but there is some solace to be taken in the fact that the child’s life was a good one, however short. No matter whether you’ll be lighting a candle at home or joining a gathering Worldwide Candle Lighting Day it is a way to show love and community.

Today is grandparent’s day talk with your Grandparent today and discover something about their grandparents; at 7pm light a candle for your departed ancestors and for the 40 millon babies that have been aborted in the US; having not experience life out of the womb.

35 Promises of God[6] cont.

9.      “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”-John 14:27

The Way[7]

"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."

55.  This tying of one's life to a plan, to a timetable, you tell me, is so monotonous! And I answer: there is monotony because there is little Love.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Pray the 54 Day Rosary

[2]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
[3] It was called hydropsy or dropsy. It is a generalized swelling due to accumulation of excess water. And you can see a patient that you know quite well today, too. This is not a new thing. But that is the way heart failure was known: dropsy.

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