Sunday, June 23, 2019


Second Sunday after Pentecost
ST. JOHN’S EVE- PATUM DE BERGA-WIDOWS DAY

2 Chronicles, Chapter 20, Verse 29
And the fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of the surrounding lands when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel.

Fear is a natural response to the unknown and to powers beyond comprehension. After experiencing our Lord for forty days after the resurrection and seeing him leave again and without the Holy Spirit’s presence the disciples were heartbroken but He promised them that He would send the Holy Spirit saying it is better for us that He leave us so we may receive power from on high. The first gift of the Holy Spirit is the gift of Holy fear; to respond to God’s love as a son or daughter rather than a servant. Christ gives us his very self, through the eucharist to help us worship God with all our strength; we in turn must give worship of the Father with our whole heart, mind and soul; and start to see the world with the eyes of Christ.

Second Sunday after Pentecost[1]

ON this Sunday also, the Church, in consideration of God’s love towards us, animates us to love Him and our neighbor, and sings at the Introit of the Mass: “The Lord became my protector, and He brought me forth into a large place; He saved me because He was well pleased with me. I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength; the Lord is my rock, my refuge, and my deliverer.”

Prayer. Grant, O Lord, that we may have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy name, for Thou never ceasest to direct and govern, by Thy grace, those whom Thou instructest in the solidity of Thy love.

EPISTLE, I John iii. 13-18.

Dearly Beloved: Wonder not if the world hate you. “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not abideth in death; whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in himself. In this we have known the charity of God, because He hath laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. He that hath the substance of this world, and shall see his brother in need, and shall shut up his bowels from him, how doth the charity of God abide in him? My little children let us not love in word, nor in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Explanation. A true Christian may be known by the love he has for his neighbor. For as it belongs to a child of this world, to the wicked, the godless, to hate and persecute the man whose life contradicts their own, so, on the other hand, love of one’s neighbor, of one s enemy, is the mark by which to know whether a man is truly regenerated and translated from the death of sin to spiritual life. For he that loveth not, abideth in death can not become a child of God, Who is love; has not in him the life of God; rather he is a murderer, because his lack of love, and his hatred, have first deprived him of spiritual life, and next. become the source of all other offences against his neighbor, of scandal, of seduction like Satan, of murder like Cain.

GOSPEL. Luke xiv. 16-24.

At that time Jesus spoke to the Pharisees this parable: A certain man made a great supper, and invited many. And he sent his servant at the hour of supper to say to them that were invited, that they should come, for now all things are ready. And they began all at once to make excuse. The first said to him: I have bought a farm, and I must needs go out and see it: I pray thee, hold me excused. And another said: I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to try them: I pray thee, hold me excused. And another said I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. And the servant returning told these things to his lord. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant: Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city: and bring in hither the poor and the feeble, and the blind and the lame. And the servant said: Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the Lord said to the servant: Go out into the highways and hedges; and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. But I say unto you that none of those men that were invited shall taste of my supper.

How is the parable of the great supper to be understood? By the supper is meant the kingdom of God upon earth, the Church of Christ, in which are deposited all the treasures of grace, for the nourishment, strengthening, and sanctification of our souls. It is a great supper, because the Church is to take in all men of all times. Jesus, the Godman, Himself prepares this supper by establishing His Church. The servant represents the apostles and the successors whom He sends into all the world, to call both Jews and gentiles. The first invited were the Jews, to whom the coming of the Messias had been announced beforehand, and who were the first called to the Church.


What is denoted by the excuses of those invited? He who bought a farm signifies those proud and avaricious men who seek only for temporal goods; he who wished to try his five yoke of oxen represents those too-busy persons who find no time to do anything for God and heaven; finally, he who could not come on account of his wife stands for those sensual persons who, through the lusts and pleasures of sense, render themselves insensible to heavenly joys. Now as the Jews, by such worthless excuses, had shown themselves unworthy to be received into the kingdom of God, they were accordingly shut out, and others called in their stead.

Who are these others? First, the humble and docile Jews, who were the opposite of the proud, avaricious, and sensual Pharisees; and in the next place those gentiles prepared for Christianity, who, through the apostles and their successors, were brought into the Church from the four quarters of the world.

In what other sense may this parable be understood? St. Gregory interprets it as referring to the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. That is, indeed, a feast to which all are invited, which offers the fulness of graces and spiritual gifts, and is, therefore, fitly called a great feast; it is despised by the sensual, proud, and earthly; but to the penitent, the humble, the loving, it conveys innumerable blessings and inestimable benefits.

LESSONS AGAINST IMPURITY.

“I have married a wife, and therefore cannot come.” Luke xiv. 20.

By introducing in this parable a wedding as an excuse, Our Saviour points out impurity as a hinderance to entering into the kingdom of heaven; that is, the violation of modesty, either in thought, imagination, or desire, in gesture, words, dress, or actions; thus He would show us how detestable, shameful, and pernicious is this vice, which makes men so miserable, and incite us to purity and chastity, in whatever state of life we may live. On account of this sin of impurity, God repented of having created mankind, and brought the flood upon the earth, destroyed Sodom and Gomorrha with fire and brimstone, cut off the brothers Her and Onan by sudden death, and gave nearly the whole tribe of Benjamin to be slain.

What are the best means to preserve us from impurity?

1. Avoid the following: (a) idleness, which breeds evil thoughts and desires; (b) reading bad books; (c) excess in eating and drinking; (d) bad company.

2. (a) Preserve modesty, which is a safeguard against impurity; (b) reverence God; (c) remember the bitter passion and death of Our Saviour; (d) think frequently of death, judgment, and hell.

3. Flee the first sin; dread the first thought, the first motion; avoid, also, what appears a trifling thing, if it offends modesty.

4. Be zealous in prayer to God, and to His blessed Mother.

5. Restrain your senses, particularly your eyes. Learn to be abstemious, and deny yourself even lawful enjoyments and pleasures, that you may the more easily give up those that are unlawful.

6. Watch always, and especially on occasions that cannot be avoided.

7. Finally, go often to holy communion, and choose a zealous confessor, in whom you ought to place entire confidence and follow as your father. Think on God; combat on every occasion promptly, without making terms; call confidently on God for help, and you will carry off the victory, and become worthy, one day, to be a follower of the Lamb.

Corpus Christi Sunday— Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.



Corpus Christi (Body and Blood of Christ) is a Eucharistic solemnity, or better, the solemn commemoration of the institution of that sacrament. It is, moreover, the Church's official act of homage and gratitude to Christ, who by instituting the Holy Eucharist gave to the Church her greatest treasure. Holy Thursday, assuredly, marks the anniversary of the institution, but the commemoration of the Lord's passion that very night suppresses the rejoicing proper to the occasion. Today's observance, therefore, accents the joyous aspect of Holy Thursday.

The Mass and the Office for the feast was edited or composed by St. Thomas Aquinas upon the request of Pope Urban IV in the year 1264. It is unquestionably a classic piece of liturgical work, wholly in accord with the best liturgical traditions. . . It is a perfect work of art.

Things to Do:[2]

·         The Directory on Popular Piety explains Eucharistic devotion and Eucharistic adoration.
·         Encourage your pastor to have a Eucharist Procession on the Feast of Corpus Christi.
·         Freshly baked bread would be a key dish at your celebratory Sunday dinner, as bread has always been symbolic for life giving and nourishment, as is the Eucharist. We have also highlighted a Christmas cookie recipe called Lebkuchen (life cake), which is rich in symbolism.
·         Two newer church documents to read:

o   The fourteenth encyclical letter of Pope John Paul II Ecclesia de Eucharistia (On the Eucharist in Its Relationship to the Church) released on Holy Thursday, April 17, 2003. The focus of the papal encyclical is the celebration of the Eucharist; the Pope reminds us that the Eucharist is the center of Catholic spiritual life.
o   Redemptionis Sacramentum (On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist), an Instruction released by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on March 25, 2004.

St. John Bonfires[3]



St. Johns bonfire is traditionally lit on the night before the Feast. The mood surrounding this solemn vigil is merry, since the day was regarded as a sort of summer Christmas. The Roman ritual even includes a special benedictio rogi, or blessing of the bonfire, for the birthday of the Baptist:


Lord God, Father almighty, unfailing Light who is the Source of all light: sanctify this new fire, and grant that after the darkness of this life we may be able to come with pure minds to Thee who art Light unfailing. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Domine Deus, Pater omnipotens, lumen indeficiens, qui es conditor omnium luminum: novum hunc ignem sanctifica, et praesta: ut ad te, qui es lumen indeficiens, puris mentibus post hujus saeculi caliginem pervenire valeamus. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

The bonfire, incidentally, is an excellent symbol for John, the untamed prophet who lived outside the city both literally and figuratively. It also makes an interesting contrast with the Paschal candle. On Easter vigil, a similarly "wild" fire representing Christ is made outside and is used to light the Paschal candle, which is then carried into the church. Significantly, in the Exultet the deacon praises this candle as the product of a beehive, symbol of a virtuous and harmonious city. The idea seems to be that Christ is also an outsider, though he succeeds through his death and resurrection in bringing the light of truth into the very citadel of darkness. On the other hand, John, who never lived to see Christ's triumph, can only bear witness to the light from the outside.

Things to Do[4]

·         St. John's Birth marks the summer solstice. On the eve of this feast many countries have celebrated with bonfires. This is especially true in Ireland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. See the list of suggested activities to read more about this tradition.
·         Read about St. John's Eve particularly in Ireland (note the link is a secular website).
·         From the Germanic countries, here is some information on the Summer Solstice.



The Patum de Berga is a popular and traditional festival that is celebrated each year in the Catalan city of Berga (Barcelona) during Corpus Christi. It consists of a series of "dances" (balls) by townspeople dressed as mystical and symbolical figures. The balls are marked by their solemnity and their ample use of fire and pyrotechnics. It was declared a Traditional Festival of National Interest by the Generalitat de Catalunya in 1983, and as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005. In Catalonia, Corpus Cristi is celebrated with the tradition of the dancing egg. There is evidence this tradition dates from the 16th century.

International Widows Day[6]

International Widows' Day serves to recognize widows and their unique situations worldwide. Widows are women whose husbands have died. After their husbands have passed, many widows are forced to fight for their human rights and overcome many obstacles to ensure their social and economic development. It is estimated that there are over 245 million widows worldwide, nearly half of which live in extreme poverty and are subject to cruel violence.

International Widows' Day was declared by the United Nations and first celebrated on June 23, 2011 in an effort to empower widows and help them to regain their rights, which have long been ignored and violated.


Today do something to help a widow or single parent. Check out www.flyingscarfs.com


Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         90 Days for our Nation, 54-day rosary-Day 41
·         Today Pray for our Nation asking the intersession of the Trinity.
·         Novena to Sacred Heart Day 5


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