Fourth Sunday After Epiphany
feast of st. blaise-super bowl
Deuteronomy, Chapter 4, Verse 9-10
9 However, be on your guard and be very careful not to forget the things your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your heart as long as you live, but make them known to your children and to your children’s children, 10 that day you stood before the LORD, your God, at Horeb, when the LORD said to me: Assemble the people for me, that I may let them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me as long as they live in the land and may so teach their children.
Moses use of the word fear here not in the sense of “be terrified,” but rather “manifest reverence or awe.” Christ’s mission of love was to move our hearts from reverence or awe of pure love: A love in which the heart of the beloved longs to do good works secretly in emulation of the God that is good to saint and sinner alike. Our church often instructs us to increase ourselves in Faith, Hope and Charity.
Lord, teach me to be generous. Teach me to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost…to labor and not to ask for reward, except to know that I am doing your will. (Saint Ignatius, Prayer for Generosity)
Lord, let me not fear death with an empty fear, but with a wise and holy fear. An empty fear does not make men any better, but a wise and holy fear urges them to improve their lives. I will prepare for death by trying today to please you more and more in my thoughts, desires, words and actions. If I live this day as You desire, I shall be ready at any moment, and death will be nothing worse than Your loving call. Amen
Fourth Sunday After Epiphany
From a ship (typifying the Church), Christ commands the winds and the sea
GOSPEL. Matt. viii. 23-27.
At that time, when Jesus entered into the boat, His disciples followed Him: and behold a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves, but He was asleep. And His disciples came to Him, and awakened Him, saying: Lord, save us, we perish. And Jesus saith to them, why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up He com manded the winds, and the sea; and there came a great calm. But the men wondered, saying, What manner of man is this, for the winds and the sea obey Him?
Why did Jesus sleep while a great tempest arose in the sea?
1. He thereby tested the faith of His disciples and confirmed it by the miracle of their escape.
2. He, by this occasion, taught the just and pious not to be scandalized or dis couraged if God should visit them with affliction, such as sickness, poverty, or other miseries.
3. He teaches us also to seek refuge in Him and encourages us to hope for help. Why did Our Saviour reprove His disciples? Because they showed a want of faith and confidence. Ever had they been then drowned; such a death would have been to them the entrance to eternal life. Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, . . . but blessed be the man that trusteth in the Lord” (Jer. xvii. 5, 7). Let us, therefore, in any adversity or danger be firm in our belief that God cares for us and have confidence in Him and He will hear our prayers, if it be for our good, as He quieted the wind and the sea with His almighty word.
What can we further learn from this gospel?
1. How willingly Jesus assists us.
2. That He will protect His Church in all storms and persecutions, since He, the Almighty, is always with her.
3. How willingly we should follow Jesus, since even the winds and waves obey Him.
4. That we should not look with indifference at the wonders of God’s omnipotence and benevolence, but from them learn to raise our thoughts in love to Him. For if those men wondered, saying, “Who is this? for even the winds and the sea obey Him,” how much rather should we know and love God from the innumerable miracles of His love and power.
Aspiration. Grant us, O most benign Jesus, great confidence in Thy divine assistance whenever we are in need and allow us not to be of little faith. Be our Saviour in the many dangers that surround us ; make use of Thy omnipotence against our enemies; command the impetuous winds and sea of persecution that they may be calm; and give peace and quiet to Thy Church, which Thou hast redeemed with Thy precious blood, that we may serve Thee in sanctity and justice, and come safely to the wished-for haven of eternal happiness. Amen.
Feast of St. Blaise
While he was in prison, the Armenian Bishop Blaise (who suffered martyrdom in the fourth century) miraculously cured a little boy choking on a fishbone lodged in his throat. Ever since then, St. Blaise has been the patron saint of throats. Saint Blaise Sticks (pan bendito) are distributed on his feast and kept in the home to be eaten for a sore throat. The most popular custom, however, is the Blessing of Throats.
Blessing of throats
The rite of the blessing of throats may take place before or after Mass. The priest or deacon places the candles around the throat of whoever seeks the blessing, using the formula: "Through the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you free from every disease of the throat, and from every other disease. In the name of the Father and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit. R. Amen."
Things to Do
· Take your children to Mass to receive the blessing of throats today.
· Establish a home altar with the blessed candles (symbols of Saint Blaise) from the feast of the Presentation, February 2.
WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, KS and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities has issued the following statement in response to several states moving forward with legislation that would permit a baby to be aborted at nine months.
Archbishop Naumann’s full statement follows:
“Abortion has always been built on a lie. Today, the lie is switching from 'abortion is a choice' to 'abortion is healthcare.' A law recently passed in New York not only legalizes abortion essentially for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy but removes any protection for children born alive after abortion. A similar bill was proposed in Virginia along with several other states, all in the name of women’s health.
This legislation is evil, pure and simple. And it shocks the conscience to see such evil legislation greeted with raucous cheers and standing ovations. Most grieving to our Lord of Life is that those who advocate for abortion put their eternal souls in jeopardy.
It is sickeningly dishonest to claim that women’s lives or health depend on intentionally killing their children. This is especially true for late-term abortion, which always involves the purposeful destruction of a child which could have been born alive, with much less risk to the mother, had they both received real healthcare.
Now is the time for all Catholics—bishops, priests, and laity—to fight for the unborn with renewed vigor. We must educate family, friends, legislators, and fellow citizens about how it is never necessary to intentionally kill unborn children in order to save their mothers. Local action is especially important. Though ending Roe v. Wade is a central goal of the pro-life movement, if the decision were overturned, only eleven states would immediately ban abortion; the other thirty-nine states would still allow it.
I urge Catholics, and thoughtful Americans of all religions or none at all to advocate for local change. Sign up for your State Catholic Conference or diocesan pro-life advocacy network, which can help you communicate to elected officials. Or seek out state and local pro-life groups, including parish respect life groups, that are making a difference at the state level.
Though we live in very dark days, we know that the Lord has already triumphed over death. But we must use this time on earth to be His hands and feet. This means each of us rededicating ourselves to prayer, and fighting for the most vulnerable among us, especially unborn children and their mothers.”
The Super Bowl is the season final championship game of National Football League (NFL) in the United States of America. The matchup for this game is the winning teams of the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). Super Bowl 1 was held in February of 1967. The 2016 game was Super Bowl 50. The Super Bowl is one of the most watched television events in the United States. Nielsen Media Research, in had over 114.4 million viewers in 2015. It is held on the first Sunday in February.
Super Bowl Facts
· Super Bowl Sunday is the second biggest eating day of the year - after Thanksgiving. According to the National Chicken Council, in 2015 a total of 1.25 million chicken wings were eaten during the game.
· The winner receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Vince Lombardi was the coach for the Green Bay Packers who won the first two Super Bowls back-to-back.
· The record for the most points scored by a single team during a Super Bowl, is held by San Francisco. San Francisco scored a total of 55 points against Denver in Super Bowl XXIV.
Super Bowl Top Events and Things to Do
· Attend the Super Bowl. You can purchase second-hand tickets through various online marketplaces. According to Seat Geek, the average price for a ticket in 2015 was $2,670.
· Have a Super Bowl party with friends and family.
· Organize or purchase boxes in a football pool. A football pool is a table that contains all of the score combinations based on the last digit of each team’s score. The score numbers are drawn at random after all boxes are assigned. Because of this, the odds of winning are the same regardless of each participant’s knowledge of the game.
· Watch the Super Bowl commercials. Commercials for the big game are the most expensive on TV and for many, more entertaining than the game.
· Make guacamole. This is the quintessential (and healthy!) super bowl dip.
The Way Penance
"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."
Say to your body: I would rather keep you in slavery than be myself a slave of yours.
 Paone, Anthony J., S.J. My Daily Bread, Confraternity of the Precious Blood.
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896