Sunday, March 3, 2019
Deuteronomy, Chapter 17, Verse 12-13
12Anyone who acts presumptuously and does not obey the priest, who officiates there in the ministry of the LORD, your God, or the judge, shall die. Thus shall you purge the evil from Israel. 13And all the people, on hearing of it, shall fear, and will never again act presumptuously.
Do not be cheeky with God!
The definition of Presumption is:
- An act or instance of taking something to be true or adopting a particular attitude toward something, especially at the start of a chain of argument or action.
- Behavior perceived as arrogant, disrespectful, and transgressing the limits of what is permitted or appropriate. "he lifted her off the ground and she was enraged at his presumption"
synonyms: brazenness, audacity, boldness, audaciousness, temerity, arrogance, resumptuousness, forwardness; cockiness, insolence, impudence, bumptiousness, impertinence, effrontery, cheek, cheekiness; rudeness, impoliteness, disrespect, familiarity; informal nerve, chutzpah, sass, sassiness; archaic assumption "he apologized for his presumption"
Five Enslaving Habits We Must Avoid
While the horror of slavery is thankfully dead as an institution, it sadly lives on in many other forms in many lives today, all around us, in ways maybe not considered slavery by some. I hope to get you to reconsider. But let’s first define our terms:
Slave: “One that is totally subservient to a dominating influence.” ~ Merriam-Webster-There are 5 basic areas of life in which we can become totally subservient to dominating influences, and thereby live less-than-ideal and something less than happy lives.
5 Ways Slavery is still with us
1. Slavery to addictions: Whether we are talking about being enslaved to tobacco or alcohol, or whether we’re talking about enslavement to illicit material online or simply to the TV or to junk food or gossip, any addictions rob us of a measure of freedom and independence. But freedom is required for happiness. So, anything that enslaves us limits the degree of joy we can have in life.
2. Slavery to the office: When spouse and family and our spiritual lives are playing second fiddle to the office, things are likely out of whack. Of course, there will be times, like the first few years of starting a business, when things will be lopsided. But if the office always is master and you are always its servant, then change may be needed for the fullness of a happy life to be experienced. Remember, your family is not a footnote to your journey. They are there in the thick of things, experiencing it with you, alongside you, maybe, in some ways, because of you. So, give them the time of day, from time to time!
3. Slavery to success: When success becomes more important than integrity or honor or self-respect, then our subservience to the call of the dollar sign becomes self-destructive, as all addictions are. Happiness is robbed of its internal rewards when our insides are all twisted inside out as we compromise our values in the pursuit of wealth.
4. Slavery to pleasure: Is the pursuit of pleasure hurting your relationship with your spouse? Are you pursuing pleasure at the expense of your spouse’s pleasure? Is that pursuit violating sacred vows and trusts? Are you spending your family into debt as you chase pleasure from one mountain top to another – or one casino to another – or one vacation to another – or one, well, you get the idea.
5. Slavery to fear: Does fear and worry prevent you from taking steps to break free of a dissatisfying life? Do you wish for something more, but keep the door closed and locked and continue to do what you’ve always done? Are you trapped in a cycle of sameness, worried that if you tried to start a business, or tried to learn a skill, or tried an adventure on for size, or tried to learn to write or sing or climb, that you would fail and fall and sink and drown?
Slavery may be dead as a formal institution of human bondage, but it is alive and well in the hearts and minds and lives of too many people who have the ability to loose the shackles but haven’t exercised the courage to do it yet. Perhaps you could dedicate freeing yourself from one of these chains during lent.
"We are going up to Jerusalem" -- a setting of the stage for the pilgrimage of Lent, and the one thing we must bring with us: charity. [Also, traditional time for going to confession]
In the Roman Catholic Church, the terms for this Sunday (and the two immediately before it — Sexagesima and Septuagesima Sundays) were eliminated in the reforms following the Second Vatican Council, and these Sundays are part of Ordinary Time. According to the reformed Roman Rite Roman Catholic calendar, this Sunday is now known by its number within Ordinary Time — fourth through ninth, depending upon the date of Easter. The earlier form of the Roman Rite, with its references to Quinquagesima Sunday, and to the Sexagesima and Septuagesima Sundays, continues to be observed in some communities. In traditional lectionaries, the Sunday concentrates on Luke 18:31–43, "Jesus took the twelve aside and said, 'Lo, we go to Jerusalem, and everything written by the prophets about the Son of Man shall be fulfilled' ... The disciples, however, understood none of this," which from verse 35 is followed by Luke's version of Healing the blind near Jericho. The passage presages the themes of Lent and Holy Week.
ON this Sunday the Church, in the Introit, calls upon God for help, with a sorrowful but confident heart. Be Thou unto me a protector and place of refuge; save me, for Thou art my strength and refuge, and for Thy name s sake Thou wilt be my leader, and wilt nourish me. In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped; let me never be confounded; deliver me in Thy justice, and set me free; (Ps. xxx. 3, 4, 2).
Mercifully hear our prayers, O Lord, we beseech Thee, and, absolving us from the bonds of sin, preserve us from all adversity. Amen.
EPISTLE, i. COT. xiii. 1-13.
Brethren: If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal ; and if I should have prophecy, and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely, is not puffed up, is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth: beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. We see now through a glass in a dark manner: but then face to face. Now I know in part: but then I shall know even as I am known. And now there remain, faith, hope, charity: these three, but the greatest of these is charity.
Explanation. St. Paul here teaches the Romans, and us in them, the necessity, the qualities, and the advantages of charity: The necessity because all natural and supernatural gifts all good works, virtues, and sacrifices even martyrdom itself cannot save us if we have no charity. By charity only are we and our works pleasing to God. The qualities of charity which are good-will without envy, suspicion, perversity, or malice; pure intention without selflove, ambition, immodesty, or injustice; untiring patience without hastiness; and, finally, humble submission to God, Who is all to him that possesses charity. The advantages of charity in that it gives to good works their value, and that it never fails; for while all things else cease while faith passes into seeing, hope into possession, knowledge in part into knowledge of the whole charity is ever lasting, and therefore the greatest of the three. Faith, “says St. Augustine,”; lays the foundation of the house of God; hope builds up the walls; charity covers and completes it.”
Aspiration. O God of love pour into my heart the spirit of charity, that, according to the spirit of St. Paul, I may always endeavor to be in the state of grace, that so all my works may be pleasing to Thee, and of merit to me. Amen.
GOSPEL. Luke xviii. 31-43.
Why did Our Saviour so often predict His sufferings to His apostles?
1. To show that He already knew of them, thereby indicating His omniscience; and that,
2. He desired to suffer.
3. In order that His disciples should not be scandalized at His humiliation, nor think evil of Him as if He had deceived them, but by remembering His words, be rather confirmed in their belief in Him as the Son of God and Redeemer of the world.
Did not the apostles understand anything of what He thus predicted in regard to His sufferings? They may have known that He was to suffer, for St. Peter undertook to dissuade Him from it (Matt. xvi. 22), but they could not reconcile these predictions with their expectation of a future glorious kingdom. Nor would we be able to cast off our prejudices, and understand the truths of the faith, however plainly taught, were we not enlightened by the Holy Ghost.
What should we learn from this history of the blind man?
1. The inexpressible misfortune of blindness of the heart a state in which we know not our God, our Redeemer and Sanctifier, and see neither the way of divine life, nor the hindrances to our salvation, but grope about in the darkness of ignorance and sin.
2. Where to find One Who will save us from this awful condition, in Jesus Christ healing and enlightening us through and in His Church.
3. The holy zeal and perseverance with which we should seek and call upon Him for deliverance, disregarding alike the bad examples, persecutions, and mockery of the world.
4. How fervently we should thank God, and how faithfully we should follow Him, after He has opened the eyes of our soul and freed us, by His grace, from the spiritual blindness of sin.
Eastern Orthodox Church
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, its equivalent, the Sunday before Great Lent, is called "Forgiveness Sunday", "Maslenitsa Sunday", or "Cheesefare Sunday". The latter name comes because this Sunday concludes Maslenitsa, the week in which butter and cheese may be eaten, which are prohibited during Great Lent. The former name derives from the fact that this Sunday is followed by a special Vespers called "Forgiveness Vespers" which opens Great Lent. On this day the Eastern Orthodox Church Christians at the liturgy listen to the Gospel speaking of forgiveness of sins, fasting, and the gathering of treasures in heaven. On this day, all Orthodox Christians ask each other for forgiveness to begin the Great Lent with a good heart, to focus on the spiritual life, to purify the heart from sin in confession, and to meet Easter - the day of the Resurrection of Jesus with a pure heart. This is the last day before Lent when non-Lenten food is eaten.
Preparing for Battle
Know Your Battle
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. EPHESIANS 6: 10– 13
The ordinary activity of demons is subtle and occurs within our thought life. They plant ideas within our minds seeking to influence our reason, memory, and imagination— and ultimately, our will. They use various methods to tempt us.
- First, the demons tempt through deception. (The Devil is the father of lies)
- Second, demons tempt through accusation.
- Third, the Devil tempts us through doubt as he seeks to diminish our faith. (Don’t hesitate in faith)
- Fourth, demons tempt us through enticement. (Don’t take the bait)
- Finally, demons can tempt us through provocation. (Don’t give into vexations)
We should always remember that not all temptations come directly from Satan and his minions. Many of them arise simply from our own weakness and the habits of sin we have developed.
Leadership and fasting
The practice of fasting that pleases God and goes further than going without food. God does not delight in our denying ourselves but in us turning eyes from ourselves to others and begin to loosen the chains that bind others. God is calling us to live from His values and ethics not ours. Fasting is good in that it redirects our focus and helps us to bring the body back under the control of the mind and spirit, but we must not fast while continuing to harbor destructive thoughts, assumptions and attitudes. Consider what God expects from the “Fasted life.”
1. Liberate the oppressed.
2. Share with the needy
3. Shelter the homeless
4. Clothe the naked
5. Stop judging and accusing others
NOVENA TO THE HOLY FACE
DAILY PREPARATORY PRAYER
We now implore all the Angels and Saints to intercede for us as we pray this Holy Novena to the Most Holy Face of Jesus and for the glory of the most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Psalm 51, 16-17.
O rescue me, God my helper, and my tongue shall ring out your goodness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.
Through the merits of your precious blood and your Holy Face, O Jesus, grant us our petition, Pardon and Mercy.
Prayer to Saint Peter
Pray one (1) Our Father, (3) Hail Mary’s, (1) Glory Be.
O Bleeding Face, O Face Divine, be every adoration Thine. (Three times)
The Way Examination of conscience
"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."
Ask for light. Keep on asking, until the root is laid bare and you can get at it with your battle-axe, the particular examination.
· Hike and Meditate on the Divine Mercy Novena Day 6 and pray for the souls of the meek and humble and of children especially those who are to be born.
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.
 Maxwell, John. The Maxwell Leadership Bible.
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