This blog is based on references in the Bible to fear. God wills that we “BE NOT AFRAID”. Many theologians state that the eighth deadly sin is fear. It is fear and its natural animal reaction to fight or flight that is the root cause of our failings to create a Kingdom of God on earth. By “the power of the Holy Spirit” we can be witnesses and “communicators” of a new and redeemed humanity “even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7 8). This blog is dedicated to Mary the Mother of God.
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Sunday, May 12, 2019
Fourth Sunday after
2 Samuel, Chapter 1, Verse 14
said to him, “How is it that you were not afraid
to put forth your hand to desecrate the LORD’s anointed?
The lesson here is,
do not be a person who seeks to gain from another’s misfortune.
2 Samuel begins, Saul and Jonathan have just died fighting the Philistines
while David almost fought for the Philistines, but ended up getting
excused at the last second, and headed off to fight the Amalekites.
had committed suicide after seeing his defeat was inevitable (with, as it turns
out, a little help), and Jonathan was killed in the battle.
survivor from Saul's army finds David and tells him the news. It turns out the
survivor was an Amalekite who (at Saul's request) helped Saul finish dying,
giving him a fatal sword thrust, before bringing Saul's crown and armlet to
David is offended that this guy had the guts to help kill the Lord's anointed,
so he has one of his own men kill the Amalekite.
David sings the blues. In a song, he laments the deaths of Saul and Jonathan,
singing, "How the mighty have fallen!"
hails them both, paying tribute to their strength and good qualities, and
telling the rest of Israel to weep for them in mourning.
also says that Jonathan's love for him was "wonderful, passing the love of
a woman," before repeating again, "How the mighty have fallen."
It appears that the Amalekite was trying to get a
reward for killing the enemy of David (Saul). Everyone in the nation knew that
Saul and David were at odds and that Saul was trying to kill David. When he
stumbled onto the body of Saul, he thought that he had hit the jackpot. Instead
of telling the truth about what he found he lied to David with the hope of
getting gain. David was faultless in killing him because the man told David
that he had killed the Lords anointed. In David’s eye that was a serious crime
and the man brought it on himself. Notice and verse 14 of second Samuel he says
"How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lords
anointed?" and in verse 16, "And David said unto him, thy blood be on
thy upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying I have
slain the Lords anointed." Even though he did not kill Saul he lied in
hopes of being rewarded and he was, just not in the way he thought though. The
wages of sin is death.
Fourth Sunday after EasterA description of
the meekness and patience of Christ's flock and an explanation of the necessity
of the Ascension.
THE Introit of the Mass of to-day is a song of praise
ye to the Lord a new canticle, alleluia, for the Lord hath done wonderful
things, alleluia. He hath revealed His justice in the sight of the gentiles,
alleluia, alleluia. His right hand hath wrought for Him salvation, and His arm
Prayer. O God, Who
dost unite the hearts of the faithful in one will, grant to Thy people to love
what Thou commandest, and to desire what Thou dost promise, that among the
changes of this world our hearts may be fixed on that place where true joys reside.
EPISTLE. James i.
Dearly Beloved: Every best gift, and every perfect
gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is
no change, nor shadow of alteration. For of His own will hath He begotten us by
the word of truth, that we might be some beginning of His creatures. You know,
my dearest brethren. And let every man be swift to hear but slow to tspeak, and
slow to anger. For the anger of man worketh not the justice of God. Wherefore
casting away all uncleanness, and abundance of naughtiness, with meekness
receive the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
In this epistle the Church teaches us that every good
gift comes from God. But the most precious gift is, that He of His grace
through the doctrines and institutions of Christianity, has made us new men,
children of God, and heirs of the kingdom of heaven. The Church admonishes us,
further, to walk worthy of this grace; to love God as our Father, to listen to
His word willingly, without complaining when He chastises us, and to shun all
impurity, anger, and multiplicity of words, in which “there shall not want sin”
(Prov. x. 19).
Aspiration. Help me, O God, to preserve the
grace received in baptism; give me, therefore, a great love for Thy word.
Deliver me from all inordinate passions, that I may walk worthy of Thee, purely
and with patience.
GOSPEL. John xvi.
that time Jesus said to His disciples: I go to Him that sent Me; and none of
you asketh Me: Whither goest Thou? But because I have spoken these things to
you, sorrow hath filled your heart. But I tell you the truth: it is expedient
to you that I go: for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you: but if I
go, I will send Him to you. And when He is come, He will convince the world of
sin, and of justice, and of judgment; of sin: because they believed not in Me.
And of justice: because I go to the Father: and you shall see Me no longer. And
of judgment: because the prince of this world is already judged. I have yet
many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now. But when He the Spirit
of truth is come, He will teach you all truth; for He shall not speak of
Himself; but what things soever He shall hear, He shall speak, and the things
that are to come He shall show you. He shall glorify Me because He shall
receive of Mine, and shall show it to you.
Why did Jesus say, “I go to My
reprove His disciples for giving way to excessive sorrow over His departure,
which was to be the means of purifying and strengthening their virtue, and of perfecting
the work of redemption, for them and for all the world. Learn from this, not to
give way to too much sorrow in adversity.
How has the Holy Ghost convinced
the world of sin, of justice, and of judgment? He has convinced the world,
1.of sin, by making the Jews know and
lament the monstrous crime which they committed against Christ, and this He
effected particularly at Pentecost.
2.Of justice, by teaching the
innocence and holiness of Jesus, on account of which God gave Him a kingdom,
and required men to worship Him as the true God.
3.Of judgment, by everywhere
overcoming the prince of darkness, destroying his kingdom, casting down the
temples of idolatry, and in their place, by seemingly weak means, establishing
the kingdom of truth and virtue.
How does the Holy Ghost teach all
preserving the pastors and teachers of the Church from all errors, in their
teaching of faith and morals, and by instructing each, member of the Church in
the truths of salvation.
Aspiration. Whither am I going? Will my life
bring me to God? O my God and my Lord direct my feet in the way of Thy
commandments, and keep my heart free from sin, that the Holy Ghost, finding
nothing in me worthy of punishment, may teach me all truth, and bring me safely
to Thee, Who art the eternal truth. Amen.
honor of Mother’s Day, here are a few quotes from John Paul II’s apostolic
letter On the Dignity of Women (Mulieris
Dignitatem) about the unique vocation of motherhood.
Paul II: “Motherhood
involves a special communion with the mystery of life, as it develops in the
mother’s womb. The mother is filled with wonder at this mystery of life, and ‘understands’ with unique
intuition what is happening inside her. In the light of the ‘beginning’, the
mother accepts and loves as a person the child she is carrying in her womb.
This unique contact with the new human being developing within her gives rise
to an attitude towards human beings – not only towards her own child, but every
human being – which profoundly marks the woman’s personality.”
“Motherhood implies from
the beginning a special openness to the new person: and this is precisely the woman’s
‘part’. In this openness, in conceiving and giving birth to a child, the woman
‘discovers herself through a sincere gift of self’.”
parenthood is something shared by both the man and the woman. Even if the
woman, out of love for her husband, says: ‘I have given you a child’, her words
also mean: ‘This is our child’. Although both of them together are parents of
their child, the woman’s motherhood
constitutes a special ‘part’ in this shared parenthood, and the
most demanding part. Parenthood – even though it belongs to both – is realized
much more fully in the woman, especially in the prenatal period. It is the
woman who ‘pays’ directly for this shared generation, which literally absorbs
the energies of her body and soul. It is therefore necessary that the man
be fully aware that in their shared program of parenthood he owes a special
debt to the woman.”
Paul II, Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem
(1988), no. 18
1 Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 13-16 13Now who is going
to harm you if you are enthusiastic for what is good?14But even if you should suffer because of righteousness, blessed are
you. Do not be afraid or terrified
with fear of them,15but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give
an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,16 but do it with
gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are
maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to
shame. Archbishop Sheen
explained that suffering is an integral part of becoming a new person in Christ
by the giving up the self and ego in sacrifice to the other. On the marriage of
my oldest son his little brother was asked to say something at the reception.
Vincent got up (he is 6’6”) and while all eyes were on him stated, “First Chris
called Kate and there was the telephone ring:
then there was a bond establish …
Sirach, Chapter 1, Verse 27-30For the fear of the Lord is wisdom
and discipline; faithfulness and humility are his delight. 28 Do not disobey the fear
of the Lord, do not approach it with duplicity of heart. 29 Do not be a hypocrite before
others; over your lips keep watch. 30 Do not exalt yourself lest
you fall and bring dishonor upon yourself; for then the Lord will reveal your
secrets and cast you down in the midst of the assembly. Because you did not
approach the fear of the Lord, and your heart was full of deceit. Ben Sira uses
the expression “fear of the Lord” twelve times and the noun “wisdom” seven
times to emphasize the connection between the two ideas. He describes the
blessings that come to those who fear the Lord, i.e., those who practice true
religion by loving and serving God and keeping the Law. Attempting to serve the
Lord with duplicity of heart is hypocrisy and self-exaltation, deserving of
ROE vs. WADE-VINCENT OF SARAGOSSA Mark, Chapter 9, Verse 31-32 31 He was teaching his disciples and
telling them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill
him, and three days after his death he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand the saying, and they were
afraid to question him. Many times, we are afraid to ask a question of the Lord because we do not want to know
the answer. We measure success with an earthly yardstick and not a heavenly
one. Christ asks us to trust in Him. The heavenly yardstick is this as spoken
by Michael the Archangel, “Who is like God? We are in a battle with the world, the
flesh and the Devil. Let us remember that St. Michael, along with our Guardian
Angel stand to defend us from perdition. No harm can come to the children of
God who place their trust in the Precious Blood. We must not be afraid to ask
for Michaels help and to always call on Mary the Queen of Angels whose children
we are through Christ. We must not be afraid to question…
Sirach, Chapter 2, Verse 7-10 7 You that fear the Lord, wait for his mercy,
do not stray lest you fall. 8 You that fear the Lord, trust in him, and
your reward will not be lost. 9 You that fear the
Lord, hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy. 10 Consider the
generations long past and see: has anyone trusted in the Lord and been
disappointed? Has anyone persevered in his fear and been
forsaken? Has anyone called upon him and been ignored? Serving the Lord is not without its trials; but no matter what
happens, the genuine believer will remain sincere, steadfast, and faithful.
Misfortune and humiliation are means of purification to prove one’s worth. Ben
Sira believed that patience and unwavering trust in God are ultimately rewarded
with the benefits of God’s mercy and of lasting joy. Ben Sira gives a stern
warning to those who compromise their faith in time of affliction; they fail in
courage and trust and therefore have no security. But those who …
Psalm 56, Verse 3-5 3 My foes treat me harshly all the day;
yes, many are my attackers. O Most High, 4 when I am afraid, in
you I place my trust. 5 I praise the word of
God; I trust in God, I do not fear.
What can mere flesh do to me? Trust in God and not the world; we must be in the world but not of the
world. Christ in His Sermon on the Mount taught us how our lifestyle is to be. 1.Be not afraid but
be brave in the world loving even the loveless. 2.Do not
become prideful and self-important but show humility; reverence
and respect to all: for they are created by the hand of God. 3.Do not envy the wicked;
but let your desire be to be kind remembering they must account for themselves before God;
respect and be loyal to them. 4.Let your anger be at
injustice; showing patience, compassion and forgiveness to the sinner. 5.Be temperate and do all things in
moderation; do not greedily take things to yourself but share your
wealth with those in need. Remember to …
Chapter 2, Verse 15-17 15 Those who fear the Lord do not disobey his words;
those who love him keep his ways. 16 Those who fear the Lord seek to please him; those who love him are filled
with his law. 17
Those who fear the Lord prepare their
hearts and humble themselves before him. “Perfect
love casts out all fear.” Many of us are conscious of our sins and failures.
The older we get, the more we become aware that we have not measured up to what
God had in mind for us from all eternity. We begin to worry about Judgment Day.
Fear. Even when we are younger, if we have a good conscience, we worry over our
sins. Remember that God loved us so much that he sent his Son to save us.
Remember that Jesus gave his life for each of us personally. Remember that God
is not like us: He loves us with an everlasting love. We need to realize this
love of God so that it will cast out all fear from our hearts. We must not be
presumptive, but we must be appreciative. Remember th…
Wisdom, Chapter 18, Verse 17-18 17 Then, at once, visions in horrible dreams perturbed them and
unexpected fears assailed them; 18 and cast half-dead, one here, another there, they revealed why
they were dying. Egyptians had just had the tenth plague the death of
the first born; all their horrible dreams and visions had come true. The day
before or even the hour before they were happy; they continued to revele in
their ungodly ways. They had 10 chances to change and now the last plague. Nightmares in Ancient Egypt The dream in ancient Egypt functioned as a liminal
zone between the land of the living and the afterlife. However, the dream
was also a phenomenon over which the dreamer had little control, and its
permeable boundaries allowed both the divine and the demonic inhabitants of the
beyond access to the visible world. Sometimes the result was a positive
beneficial experience, as is attested in New Kingdom royal texts and elite
hymns that relate the awe-inspiri…
Chapter 26, Verse 5-7 5They have known about
me from the start, if they are willing to testify, that I have lived my life as
a Pharisee, the strictest party of our religion. 6But now I am standing
trial because of my hope in the
promise made by God to our ancestors. 7 Our twelve tribes hope to attain to that promise as they
fervently worship God day and night; and on account of this hope I am accused by Jews, O king. Paul clearly explains that his entire life was in
preparation for the hope of Israel, Christ Jesus, who Israel did not recognize
as the son of God. Paul states that the prophets and Moses had foretold that
the Christ would suffer, and as first to be raised from the dead, he would
proclaim light to both God’s people and the Gentiles. The resurrection is God’s
promise to Israel. Paul like Christ ultimately was a victim of intolerance. Twenty Fifth Sunday after Pentecost GOSPEL Matthew 13: 24 – 30 At that time
Jesus spoke this parable…
Thursday of the
Third Week of LentJoshua, Chapter
4, Verse 14That day the
LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel,and so during
his whole life they feared him as
they had feared Moses. Sometimes we are
tempted to follow any leader who is popular. We forget God’s warning about
following the proud and evil hearted, for
lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all
evildoers will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,
leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts. (Mal 3: 19) We may think
that following the leadership of our bishops is a waste of time. You have said, “It is useless to serve God;
what do we gain by observing God’s requirements, and by going about as mourners-before
the LORD of hosts? But we call the arrogant blessed; for evildoers not only
prosper but even test God and escape.” (Mal 3:14-15) God knows the
heart of a man and if his heart be true God raises that man up as He did Joshua
and Moses. God is not…