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Sunday, May 5, 2019


Third Sunday of Easter
CINCO DE MAYO-RAMADAN (begins at sunset)


1 Samuel, Chapter 23, Verse 1-4
1 David was informed that the Philistines were attacking Keilah and plundering the threshing floors. 2 So he consulted the LORD, asking, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” The LORD answered, Go, attack them, and free Keilah. 3 But David’s men said to him: “Even in Judah we have reason to fear. How much more so if we go to Keilah against the forces of the Philistines!” 4 Again David consulted the LORD, who answered: Go down to Keilah, for I will deliver the Philistines into your power.

Again, we see David protecting the people; even the people who are the friends of Saul. The same Saul who; out of his envy, is seeking David and his follower’s deaths. David’s faith makes his actions beyond those of rational fairness; and David’s action show the very mercy of God.

Third Sunday of Easter[1]

Easter Patronage of St. Joseph


EPISTLE. Gen. xlix. 23-26.

JOSEPH is a growing son, a growing son and comely to behold: the daughters run to and fro upon the wall. But they that held darts provoked him, and quarrelled with him, and envied him. His bow rested upon the strong, and the bands of his arms and his hands were loosed, by the hands of the mighty one of Jacob: thence he came forth a pastor, the stone of Israel. The God of thy father shall be thy helper, and the Almighty shall bless thee with the blessings of heaven above, with the blessings of the deep that lieth beneath, with the blessings of the breasts and of the womb. The blessings of thy father are strengthened with the blessings of his fathers: until the desire of the everlasting hills should come; may they be upon the head of Joseph, and upon the crown of the Nazarite among his brethren.

GOSPEL. Luke iii. 21-23.

At that time: It came to pass when all the people was baptized, that Jesus also being baptized and praying, heaven was opened: and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape as a dove upon Him: and a voice came from heaven: Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well pleased. And Jesus Himself was beginning about the age of thirty years, being (as it was supposed) the son of Joseph.

WHAT WE ARE TO BELIEVE CONCERNING THE EVANGELICAL COUNSELS

In what does the perfection of the Christian life consist? In the perfection of love (Col. iii. 14). The more a man separates himself from the world, and unites himself with God, the more perfect he will be. We can attain to the perfection of the Christian life by means of certain excellent practices known as the evangelical counsels which Jesus Christ lays before us, and to which He calls us, without directly commanding us to adopt them. So that the difference between the commandments and the evangelical counsels consists in this: that the commandments bind us by an indispensable obligation, but the evangelical counsels do not. The evangelical counsels are:

1.       Voluntary poverty.
2.       Perpetual chastity.
3.       Entire obedience under a spiritual director. By voluntary poverty is understood a free-will renunciation of the riches and goods of this world in order to follow Jesus Christ in His poverty. By perpetual chastity we understand a free-will, life-long abstinence, not only from everything that is contrary to purity, but also abstinence from marriage, in order to live only for God and His holy service in virginal purity. By entire obedience we are to understand a voluntary renunciation of one’s own will in order to follow the will and command of a superior whom one chooses for himself. In practising the evangelical counsels there are three points to be observed, in order that they may serve, or help to eternal salvation:

·         They must be practised with a pure intention, seeking thereby nothing else than to please God and to praise His holy name.
·         With great humility, in no way giving ourselves preference over others.
·         By great fidelity in observing not only what one has vowed, but also what is commanded. Also, one should live diligently and strictly according to the commandments, otherwise the practising of the evangelical counsels will be of no avail.

INTROIT, PRAYER, EPISTLE, AND GOSPEL OF THE SUNDAY.

The Church continues to encourage us to rejoice and praise God for the resurrection of Jesus, and sings accordingly, at the Introit of the Mass, “Shout with joy to God, all the earth, alleluia. Sing ye a psalm to His name, alleluia. Give glory to His praise, alleluia! alleluia! alleluia! Say unto God how terrible are Thy works, O Lord. In the multitude of Thy strength, Thy enemies shall lie to Thee” (Ps. Ixv.).

O God, Who dost show the light of Thy truth to those that go astray that they may return to the way of justice, grant to all who are numbered among Christians to reject those things which are incompatible with this name, and to pursue those which are becoming.

EPISTLE, i. Peter ii. 11-19.

Dearly Beloved: I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, to refrain yourselves from carnal desires which war against the soul, having your conversation good among the gentiles: that whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may, by the good works which they shall behold in you, glorify God in the day of visitation. Be ye subject therefore to every human creature for God s sake: whether it be to the king as excelling : or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of the good: for so is the will of God, that by doing well you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men : as free, and not as making liberty a cloak for malice, but as the servants of God. Honor all men. Love the brother hood. Fear God. Honor the king. Servants be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thanks-worthy, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Explanation. St. Peter here reminds us,

1.       that we are only pilgrims on earth and should not fasten our hearts on the world and its goods. He admonishes us,
2.       to lead an edifying life, particularly when we are among the adversaries of our faith, for, while we may thus do great good, and awaken respect for the Church an un-Catholic and un -Christian life not only brings shame upon him who leads it, but gives scandal to non -Catholics, and places the Church in a false light. He admonishes us,
3.       to be subject to our superiors, for God s sake, for it is He Who commands this obedience (Rom. xiii. 1).

Aspiration. O Jesus, I will impress deeply upon my heart the teaching of Thy apostle, that this world is not my home. Though I should meet in my pilgrimage many adversities, I will patiently combat them, and will not suffer anything to keep me from the way to my true home, heaven. Give me Thy grace, O God, to fulfill this resolution.

GOSPEL. John xvi. 16-22.

At that time Jesus said to His disciples: A little while, and you shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and you shall see Me: because I go to the Father. Then some of His disciples said one to another: What is this that He saith to us: A little while, and you shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and you shall see Me, and because I go to the Father? They said therefore: What is this that He saith, a little while? we know not what He speaketh. And Jesus knew that they had a mind to ask Him, and He said to them: Of this do you inquire among yourselves, because I said: A little while, and you shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and you shall see Me?

Amen, amen, I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice, and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, hath sorrow, because her hour is come but when she hath brought forth the child, she remembereth no more the anguish for joy that a man is born into the world. So also, you now indeed have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice and your joy no man shall take from you.

What is the meaning of the expression, “yet a little While”? Jesus meant that He was soon to leave His disciples, and that during the time of His passion they would have much to endure; but that He would soon see them again, and that then no one should any more take their joy from them. What, in deed, are the sufferings of time, in comparison with the eternal joy to follow, but a small and trivial thing, passing away in the twinkling of an eye? (2 Cor. iv. 17, 18.)

Why did Jesus tell His disciples beforehand of their sufferings and joys?

1.       That they might bear their trials the more easily.
2.       That they might not believe their master to be unable to preserve them from sufferings.
3.       That by looking to the eternal joy they might make light of present troubles, and keep up their courage! Therefore, says St. Chrysostom, “Tell me, if you were called to a temporal kingdom, but before entering into the palace, where you were to be crowned, had to spend the night in a dark and offensive stable, would this be hard for you? would you not bear it cheerfully, in expectation of the kingdom?

ENCOURAGEMENT TO PATIENCE IN ADVERSITY
“You shall lament and weep”. John xvi. 20.


Many think that true happiness on earth consists in honors, riches, or pleasures, but Christ, calls, not the rich, but the poor and persecuted, “blessed.” He even predicts to His disciples nothing but sorrows in this world while to the rich and great, who set their hearts on this world, He predicts nothing but woe, mourning and weeping in the world to come. How much, therefore, are they to be pitied, who, regardless of this truth, think only of spending their days in luxury, but encourage themselves in the illusory hope of reaching heaven, when Christ and all saints have ascended thither only by the way of the cross, and of suffering, and when it is certain that no one can have part in their joys who has not also first borne part of their sorrows.

Cinco de Mayo[2]


Today is Cinco de Mayo; sometimes referred to as Cinco de Drunko, due to the heavy consumption of alcohol connected with the hedonistic celebration. Cinco de Mayo is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico. However, in America it is up there with some of our most celebrated: like the Fourth of July and St. Patricks day. The holiday has reinvented itself in America, from celebrating Mexico's win at the Battle of Puebla, to celebrating Mexican culture, and beer, and tequila. If we're being completely honest though, the actual meaning of Cinco de Mayo in America is pretty lost on us, but so is the meaning of St. Patrick’s day. Today instead of following this hedonistic celebration try and make it to Mass today.

Things to Do[3]: other than drinking yourself into unconsciousness
  • Attend a Cinco de Mayo Festival.  Popular such festivals can be found in San Antonio, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston.
  • Go eat or have drinks at a Mexican restaurant.
  • Make Margaritas with Mexican tequila.
  • Attend a Parade.
  • Make a piñata with your friends. Piñatas usually contain sweets or treats that fall out once it has been smashed open.
Instruction on Intemperance[4]

“Be sober and watch.” I. Peter v. 8.

St. Peter prescribes sobriety and watchfulness as necessary means for resisting the attacks of the devil, who by day and night goes about seeking whom he may devour. Woe to those who, by reason of their drunkenness, (The term drunkard applies to any person who is caught up in the addiction cycle, whether it is drink, gambling, drugs or sex.) live in a continual night and lie in the perpetual sleep of sin! How will it be with them if, suddenly awakened from this sleep by death, they find themselves standing, burdened with innumerable and unknown sins, before the judgment-seat of God? For who can number the sins, committed in and by reason of drunkenness, which the drunkard either accounts as trifles, easily pardoned, or else, not knowing what he has thought, said, and done in his fit of intoxication, considers to be no sins at all? Will the divine Judge, at the last day, thus reckon? Will He also find no sin in them? Will He let go unpunished the infamous deeds and the scandals of their drunkenness?

He Who demands strict account of every word spoken in vain, will He make no inquiry of so many shameful, scandalous, and blasphemous sayings, of so much time wasted, of so much money squandered, of so many neglects of the divine service, of the education of children, of the affairs of home, and of innumerable other sins? Will they be able to excuse themselves before this Judge by saying that they did not know what they were doing? Or that what they did was for want of reflection, or in jest? Or that they were not strong, and could not bear much? Will not such excuses rather witness against them that they are the worthier of punishment for having taken more than their strength could bear, thereby depriving themselves of the use of reason, making themselves like brutes, and, of their own free will, taking on themselves the responsibility for all the sins of which their drunkenness was the occasion? What, then, awaits them? What else than the fate of the rich glutton who, for his gluttony, was buried in hell? (Luke xvi. 22.) Yes, that shall be the place and the portion of the drunkard! There shall they in vain sigh for a drop of water. There, for all the pleasures and satisfactions which they had in the world, as many pains and torments shall now lay hold of them (Apoc. xviii. 7); there shall they be compelled to drain the cup of God’s anger to the dregs, as they, in life, forced others into drunkenness. This is what they have to hope for, for St. Paul says expressly that drunkards shall not possess the kingdom of God (i. Cor. vi. 10). What then remains for them but to renounce either their intemperance or heaven? But how rare and difficult is the true conversion of a drunkard! This is the teaching of experience. Will not such a one, therefore, go to ruin?

Ramadan[5]


Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, during which, for a period of thirty days, Muslims abstain from eating, and drinking from sunrise to sunset. Muslims do this because it is a pillar of Islam, and obligatory for everyone and the entire month is holy for Muslims so that they can increase their remembrance of life after death.  Muslims also abstain from all bad deeds and habits, like smoking, swearing, backbiting, and disrespectfulness. Muslims reflect upon themselves, their religion. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. Fasting and abstaining from bad habits teaches Muslims self-control, humility, and generosity. Ramadan is a time for charity, family, and good deeds.  Muslims fast because they believe it is vital for spiritual health. Unlike the fast of Ashurah, the fasts of Ramadan and salah (praying towards Mecca), fasting helps Muslims maintain spiritual and physical health. The month of Ramadan begins when the new moon of Ramadan is sighted and ends when the new moon of Sha'ban is sighted. Muslims also believe that devils are chained up during Ramadan.

Ramadan Facts & Quotes

·         Ramadan comes from the word ramadaa, which means 'sunbaked' in Arabic. This is perhaps a reference to the pangs of hunger Muslims feel when fasting.
·         According to Islamic tradition, menstruating women, women who are experiencing bleeding after giving birth, people who are sick (either with short term or long-term illnesses), and travelers are exempt from fasting. Pregnant women also have the option of skipping fasts.
·         In Islamic countries, when Ramadan ends and the crescent moon is first seen, people bang drums and give mighty shouts.
·         According to Sunnah belief, the Prophet Muhammad once said, there is no conceit in fasting.
·         who believe, fasting is decreed for you as it was decreed for those before you; perchance you will guard yourselves (Quran, 2:183)

Ramadan Top Events and Things to Do

·         The fast is usually broken in a family setting, where traditional foods are served. Most Muslims begin their meal with a few dates and a glass of milk because the Prophet Muhammad used to do the same.  The high sugar content of the dates sends energy to weary fasting Muslim, while the fiber in the dates and the protein in the milk fills them up and prevents nausea.
·         During Ramadan, Muslims congregate every night in the mosque to pray Taraweeh prayers in congregation. In the United States, in between sets of prayers, the Imam gives a brief sermon and encourages people to give to charity.
·         In Islamic countries, the end of the fast is signaled by a loud call to the sunset prayer. Most people eat a small meal, pray at the mosque, and then join their families for a large, festive dinner.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Universal Man Plan
·         Manhood of Christ Day 4, Ninth Week.




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