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Thursday, July 4, 2019

Thursday in the Octave of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Matthew, Chapter 9, verse 2
And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith*, he said to the paralytic, “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.”

Meditate on if the healing of the paralytic or the forgiveness of his sins is a greater gift.

I believe…in the forgiveness of sins[1]
  • Some people bring a paralytic to Jesus so that he can be cured. But instead of healing him, Jesus forgives his sins. Blasphemy! At least that's what the scribes think to themselves. But Jesus is on top of things because (1) he does have the authority to forgive sins, and (2) he also has the power to heal the paralytic. Which is exactly what he does. 
  • Then Jesus stumbles upon a tax collector named Matthew (yep, that's our Matthew!), and requests that he become a follower. The Pharisees have a field day with this one. Tax collectors weren't the most popular people around town (some things never change), and the Pharisees call Jesus out for hanging out with Matthew and other sinners. 
  • Jesus will have none of that. He lets them know that he didn't come for the goody two-shoes. No, he came for the sinners. Now some of John's disciples ask Jesus why his disciples don't fast. Jesus tells them that no one mourns while the bridegroom is with them and that they will fast in mourning when the bridegroom is taken away. Confused? Don't worry, he explains with the parables of unshrunken cloth and old wineskins. Still confused? Yeah, so is almost everyone.
  • Jesus wastes no time in getting back to healing people. While he's on his way to bring a girl back to life, a woman suffering from a twelve-year-long hemorrhage touches Jesus's cloak to be made well again. Despite having a slew of people around him, Jesus feels her and says her faith has cured her. Oh yeah, and then he brings the little girl back to life.
  • News spreads fast. Next up to join the I've Been Healed by Jesus club are the two blind men who call out to "the Son of David." Okay, that gets Jesus's attention. He asks if they believe and says it's by their faith that they're healed. But then he tells them not to tell anyone. This again? 
  • Guess what? They tell people. You would think that since Jesus wants everyone to keep their mouths shut, he wouldn't drive the demon out of a mute demoniac. But Jesus is a good guy, and what do good guys do? They drive demons out of mute demoniacs.
  • Once again, the crowds are amazed. But the Pharisees accuse Jesus of driving out demons by the power of the prince of demons (a.k.a. Satan). That's not good. Jesus continues touring around, preaching at synagogues, talking about the kingdom of heaven, curing people…you know, the norm. He feels compassion toward those who follow him and says that the harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few.  Time to get more laborers.
It is evident that Christ wishes the freedom of souls from the oppression of sin and disease. Today reflect on our Declaration of Independence from the English Crown.

We hold these truths to be self-evident:

That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. 


Almighty God, Father of all nations, for freedom you have set us free in Christ Jesus (Gal 5:1). We praise and bless you for the gift of religious liberty, the foundation of human rights, justice, and the common good. Grant to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our liberties; by your grace may we have the courage to defend them, for ourselves and for all those who live in this blessed land. We ask this through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, our patroness, and in the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, with whom you live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Render unto Caesar[3]

This country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor.  John F. Kennedy

Have we become a soulless Nation? Have we in the pursuit of happiness; ignored the Gospel of Life. Realizing that if we put success or liberty as greater values than life that we are serving Caesar and not God. To understand this, we need to review the US Bishops “The Gospel of Life”.

The Gospel of Life[4]

Brothers and sisters in the Lord:

At the conclusion of the 1998 ad limina visits of the bishops of the United States, our Holy Father Pope John Paul II spoke these words:

Today I believe the Lord is saying to us all: do not hesitate, do not be afraid to engage the good fight of the faith (cf. I Tim 6:12).  When we preach the liberating message of Jesus Christ we are offering the words of life to the world.  Our prophetic witness is an urgent and essential service not just to the Catholic community but to the whole human family.

In this statement we attempt to fulfill our role as teachers and pastors in proclaiming the Gospel of Life.  We are confident that the proclamation of the truth in love is an indispensable way for us to exercise our pastoral responsibility.
"Your country stands upon the world scene as a model of a democratic society at an advanced stage of development.  Your power of example carries with it heavy responsibilities.  Use it well, America!"    --Pope John Paul II, Newark, 1995
When Henry Luce published his appeal for an "American century" in 1941, he could not have known how the coming reality would dwarf his dream.  Luce hoped that the "engineers, scientists, doctors . . . builders of roads [and] teachers" of the United States would spread across the globe to promote economic success and American ideals: "a love of freedom, a feeling for the quality of opportunity, a tradition of self-reliance and independence and also cooperation." Exactly this, and much more, has happened in the decades since.  U.S. economic success has reshaped the world.  But the nobility of the American experiment flows from its founding principles, not from its commercial power.  In this century alone, hundreds of thousands of Americans have died defending those principles.  Hundreds of thousands more have lived lives of service to those principles -- both at home and on other continents -- teaching, advising and providing humanitarian assistance to people in need.  As Pope John Paul has observed, "At the center of the moral vision of [the American] founding documents is the recognition of the rights of the human person . . ."  The greatness of the United States lies "especially [in its] respect for the dignity and sanctity of human life in all conditions and at all stages of development."

Now the word of the Lord came to me saying: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I consecrated you; a prophet to the nations I appointed you.
--Jeremiah 1:5

Independence Day[5]

Independence Day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Independence Day is the most important secular holiday held in the United States. Americans take this day to celebrate all that is American, remembering the great sacrifices of our forefathers as they fought and won our independence from Great Britain. The holiday is also referred to as 4th of July, named after the date on which it is celebrated each year.

Independence Day Facts & Quotes

·         In July 1776, there were approximately 2.5 million people living in the new nation.
·         The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence didn't occur until July 8, 1776.  It was sent to the printers on July 4th.
·         The original Declaration of Independence can be viewed by visiting the National Archives, Washington D.C.  The original copy is severely faded and sits under special glass in the Rotunda for the Chambers of Freedom.
·         The Statue of Liberty is a great symbol of American Freedom. It was given to the US by France in 1886.  It was delivered in 214 crates and assembled on what is known as Liberty Island, in New York Harbor.
·         Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty. - John F. Kennedy

Independence Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Attend or host a Barbeque.
·         Watch Fireworks. Large cities such as New York, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles all have large firework displays.
·         Read or recite the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence.
·         Watch or attend Nathan's famous Hot Dog eating contest in Coney Island.
·         Watch a Parade. Most local cities host parades to celebrate Independence Day.
·         Contribute to the independence of a veteran

Catholic Culture Library Related Articles[6]

·         On Being Catholic American
·         The Jefferson Bible
·         What Is Patriotism?

The Patriotic Rosary[7] is prayed everywhere from within cloistered convents, to inside the Pentagon; from dangerous military fields around the globe to the quietness of the Bedroom of Apparitons and the Field of Apparitions at Caritas, which is the home of the Patriotic Rosary. The Patriotic Rosary quickly captured the hearts and attention of millions when first heard and prayed. Inspired by Our Lady of Medjugorje, the Patriotic Rosary is a powerful prayer for divine protection and mercy for our Nation and its rebirth. The history of the writing of the Patriotic Rosary origins back to 1995 at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the first promptings of Our Lady was felt and the impulse to form the Patriotic Rosary was given. The Patriotic Rosary, the Prayer to Heal Our Land, and the “Seven Novenas for the Reconciling of Ourselves, our Families and our Nation Back to God,” all for the rebirth of America, have the grounds at Caritas of Birmingham as their home. It is Caritas of Birmingham, whose founder, known as A Friend of Medjugorje, wrote the Patriotic Rosary, and that also operates the Official Medjugorje Site. It was a surprise in 1988, after many prayers near the Pine Tree for the healing of our Nation that Our Lady began to write a beautiful story, through Her Medjugorje apparitions at Caritas, telling us that a Nation and its healing, represented by the Pine in the Field, would come only through the individual, represented by the family bed. In those first apparitions, Our Lady appeared in the Bedroom over the family bed, then on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1988, She appeared near the Pine, then back to the Bedroom for the remaining two months of daily apparitions. This spoke clearly that our Nation would be healed through strong marriages forming strong holy families raising strong individuals which will heal and make a strong nation. Our Nation’s future depends on the healing of the family.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         90 Days for our Nation, 54-day rosary-Day 50
·         Novena to the Holy Face Day 8
·         Go to MASS
·         Watch “Called and Chosen” Father Vincent R. Capodanno on EWTN. (4PM)

* A person with fear of the Lord is filled with peace, faith, hope and love.
[3] Render unto Caesar, Charles J. Chaput

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