Ninth Sunday after Pentecost (19th S. Ord. Time)
FEAST OF ST. CLARE- EID AL-ADHA- Int’l Left-Handers Day
Wisdom, Chapter 18, Verse 6
That night was known beforehand to our ancestors, so that, with sure knowledge of the oaths in which they put their faith*, they might have courage.
Wisdom’s author believed that some in the Jewish community at Alexandria were on the brink of abandoning their faith in favor of the latest trends. He wrote the Book of Wisdom to encourage them to rediscover their roots and to remind them that true wisdom comes not from philosophy but from God — the same God who had chosen them, made them his people, and protected them time and again. Wisdom 18:6–7 reads: “That night was known beforehand to our ancestors, so that, with sure knowledge of the oaths in which they put their faith, they might have courage. “That night” was the night of the Exodus, when the Israelites ate the Passover supper and fled the life of slavery they had known in Egypt. At the Red Sea, they watched Pharaoh’s chariots on the horizon and waited confidently for God to rescue them, for he had already forced Pharaoh to free them by working 10 signs and wonders. In a sense, the author of Wisdom was saying, “Remember how your ancestors had courage and held fast to faith because they knew God was faithful to his promises? That same God is our God. We must remember his faithfulness, too!” The Book of Wisdom ends with these words: “For every way, Lord! you magnified and glorified your people; unfailing, you stood by them in every time and circumstance.” (19:22) In our day there are plenty of philosophies, ideas, distractions and superficial “spiritualities” vying for our attention and allegiance. They are fleeting substitutes for the real thing, and they soon disappoint. None of them has the power to save us or satisfy our deepest longing. It is God alone who stands by us in every circumstance and guides us where we long to be. Thus, the author prays for God’s wisdom: “She is fairer than the sun and surpasses every constellation of the stars.” (7:29) “Send her forth from your holy heavens and from your glorious throne dispatch her that she may be with me and work with me, that I may know what is pleasing to you. For she knows and understands all things, and will guide me prudently in my affairs and safeguard me by her glory.” (9:10-11) The Lord Jesus is not an idea, nor did he teach a philosophy. He is Someone, the Son of God, who calls, teaches and forms us, who shows us the way because he is The Way. He himself is the wisdom of God, and over and through all things, he is Love. May we always look to his light, and may we never let go of his hand.
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost-The necessity of being faithful to the end
Call upon God for help and assistance against all temptations of your enemies, both visible and invisible, and say with the priest, in the Introit of the Mass, “Behold, God is my helper, and the Lord is the protector of my soul ; turn back the evils upon my enemies, and cut them off in Thy truth, O Lord, my protector. Save me, O God, by Thy name, and deliver me in Thy strength” (Ps. liii.).
Prayer. Let the ears of Thy mercy, O Lord, be open to the prayers of Thy suppliants, and that Thou mayest grant what Thy petitioners desire, make them ask those things which are pleasing to Thee.
EPISTLE, i. Cor. x. 6-13.
Brethren: We should not covet evil things, as they also coveted. Neither become ye idolaters, as some of them: as it is written: The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed fornication, and there fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ: as some of them tempted, and perished by the serpents. Neither do you murmur as some of them murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them in figure: and they are written for our correction, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall. Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human: and God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able, but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it.
Can we sin by thought and desire alone? Certainly, if we desire evil and unlawful things, or of our own free will dwell upon them with pleasure.
What is it to tempt God? It is presumptuously to expect signs of God s omnipotence, benignity, providence, and justice. Such a sin it would be,
1, to desire that matters of faith should be made known and confirmed by new miracles;
2, to expose ourselves unnecessarily to danger of body or soul, expecting God to deliver us;
3, to reject the ordinary and natural means of deliverance in sickness or other peril, trusting in God s immediate assistance.
GOSPEL. Luke xix. 41-47.
At that time, when Jesus drew near Jerusalem, seeing the city, He wept over it, saying: If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace, but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee: and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee and compass thee round: and straiten thee on every side: and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee, and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation. And entering into the temple, He began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought, saying to them: It is written: My house is the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves. And He was teaching daily in the temple.
Why did the Saviour weep over the city of Jerusalem? Because it had not known and profited by its time of visitation and through impenitence was hastening to destruction.
What was the time of its visitation? The period in which God sent to the Jews one prophet after another, whom they derided and calumniated, stoned and put to death (Matt, xxiii. 34). But especially was it the time of the ministry of Christ, who so often proclaimed His life-giving doctrine; pointed out and demonstrated, by the greatest miracles, that He was the Messias and the Saviour of the world, and yet was despised by this hardened and impenitent city, and even put to death on the cross.
Does God hide from the wicked the truths of salvation? No; but sinners so blind themselves by their sins that the divine inspirations fail to move them to penance.
What do we learn by Jesus casting out of the temple those who sold and bought? We learn how severely He will punish those who in church forget where they are; forget that Jesus Christ is present in the tabernacle; who laugh, talk, amuse themselves, cherish sinful thoughts, and give scandal by their improper dress and unbecoming behavior.
Prayer: O Jesus, who didst weep over the city of Jerusalem because it knew not the time of its visitation, I beseech Thee enlighten my heart, that I may know and profit by the season of grace; and grant that I may always behave with reverence in Thy church, and never turn it into a resort for evil thoughts and desires or for worldly cares.
LESSONS UPON DEATH-BED REPENTANCE
Can the sinner rely upon being converted at the end of his life? No for this would be to sin against the mercy of God, which is much the same as the sin against the Holy Ghost. Says St. Augustine, “usually punishes such sinners by allowing them at the last to forget themselves, who in the days of their health and strength have allowed themselves to forget Him. “God Himself also says: They have turned their back to Me and not their face, and in the time of their affliction they will say, Arise and deliver us. Where are thy gods whom thou hast made thee? Let them arise and deliver thee in the time of thy affliction” (Jer. ii. 27, 28). It is true we have a consoling example of conversion at the moment of death in the penitent thief, but, as St. Augustine further says, while this one example is given so that no sinner may despair, it is the only one, so that no sinner may defer repentance through presumption.
What may we hope of those who are converted at the close of life? Everything that is good, if they be really converted; but this is a most rare thing. (Of the hundreds of thousands whose lives have been wicked,” writes St. Jerome, “hardly one will be converted at the hour of death and obtain forgiveness of his sins.” And St. Vincent Ferrer says it would be a greater miracle for a person who has lived wickedly to die well than for one who is dead to be restored to life. And no wonder; for repentance at the hour of death is generally but an extorted repentance. It is not so much that the sinner forsakes his sins as that his sins forsake him; and the resolution of amendment is one which he would hardly make, were he not driven to it by the agonies of death.
What is there to expect from such repentance? When, therefore, ought we to do penance? While we are in possession of our reason and strength; for, as St. Augustine says, the repentance of the sick is a sickly repentance. In time of sickness, as experience teaches, the pains of disease, the hope of recovery, the fear of death, the torments of conscience, the temptations of the devil, and the care of all depending on him, so continually distract a man that he can hardly collect his thoughts at all, much less bestow them upon a work of a true repentance. If to many it is so difficult to do penance while they are yet in health and hindered by nothing from raising their thoughts to God, how much more difficult will it be when the body has already become weak! We have heard a number of persons who had been sick admit after their recovery that they had no knowledge of what happened to them during their illness, and even had no recollection of having received the holy sacraments. Accordingly, Isaias admonishes us: “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near (Isaias Iv. 6). And Christ says: You shall seek Me and shall not find Me, and you shall die in your sin” (John vii. 34; viii. 21). If, therefore, you have committed mortal sin, delay not to return to God, by perfect contrition and a good confession. Put it not off from one day to another; for repentance thereby becomes more and more difficult; for, as St. Gregory says, one unrepented sin by its own weight impels a man to still further sins, and all the while makes him the weaker, and his adversary, the devil, the stronger; so that at last he cannot be converted without the extraordinary grace of God.
But how can the presumptuous sinner expect such grace? God will laugh in his destruction, in like manner as he has despised His instruction, counsel, and reproof (Prov. i. 26-28). “Therefore, whilst we have time, let us work good.” (Gal. vi. 10), for who knows whether we may not be suddenly prevented, by severe sickness, from working out our salvation!
The Lady Clare, "shining in name, more shining in life," was born in the town of Assisi about the year 1193. She was eighteen years old when St. Francis, preaching the Lenten sermons at the church of St. George in Assisi, influenced her to change the whole course of her life. Talking with him strengthened her desire to leave all worldly things behind and live for Christ. The following evening, she slipped away from her home and hurried through the woods to the chapel of the Portiuncula, where Francis was then living with his small community. He and his brethren had been at prayers before the altar and met her at the door with lighted tapers in their hands. Before the Blessed Virgin's altar Clare laid off her fine cloak, Francis sheared her hair, and gave her his own penitential habit, a tunic of coarse cloth tied with a cord. When it was known at home what Clare had done, relatives and friends came to rescue her. She resisted valiantly when they tried to drag her away, clinging to the convent altar so firmly as to pull the cloths half off. Baring her shorn head, she declared that Christ had called her to His service, she would have no other spouse, and the more they continued their persecutions the more steadfast she would become. Francis had her removed to the nunnery of Sant' Angelo di Panzo, where her sister Agnes, a child of fourteen, joined her. This meant more difficulty for them both, but Agnes' constancy too was victorious, and in spite of her youth Francis gave her the habit. Later he placed them in a small and humble house, adjacent to his beloved church of St. Damian, on the outskirts of Assisi, and in 1215, when Clare was about twenty-two, he appointed her superior and gave her his rule to live by. She was soon joined by her mother and several other women, to the number of sixteen. They had all felt the strong appeal of poverty and sackcloth, and without regret gave up their titles and estates to become Clare's humble disciples. Within a few years similar convents were founded in the Italian cities of Perugia, Padua, Rome, Venice, Mantua, Bologna, Milan, Siena, and Pisa, and also in various parts of France and Germany. Agnes, daughter of the King of Bohemia, established a nunnery of this order in Prague, and took the habit herself. The "Poor Clares," as they came to be known, practiced austerities which until then were unusual among women. They went barefoot, slept on the ground, observed a perpetual abstinence from meat, and spoke only when obliged to do so by necessity or charity. Clare herself considered this silence desirable as a means of avoiding the innumerable sins of the tongue, and for keeping the mind steadily fixed on God. Francis or the bishop of Assisi sometimes had to command her to lie on a mattress and to take a little nourishment every day. Discretion, came with years, and much later Clare wrote this sound advice to Agnes of Bohemia: "Since our bodies are not of brass and our strength is not the strength of stone, but instead we are weak and subject to corporal infirmities, I implore you vehemently in the Lord to refrain from the exceeding rigor of abstinence which I know you practice, so that living and hoping in the Lord you may offer Him a reasonable service and a sacrifice seasoned with the salt of prudence."Saint Clare, Virgin, Foundress of the Poor Clares.
Eid Al-Adha Facts
- Unlike regular prayers, prayers for Eid al-Adha takes place in any large, open field. There Muslims from many mosques congregate together. Usually, mosques collaborate together to find a field that is convenient for everyone to go to. In the United States, Eid prayers often occur in parks.
- Festivities begin with a prayer service, followed by a brief sermon on the morning of the first day. During the prayer, Muslims recite verses from the Quran, lead by an Imam, prostrate to God, and send their peace to Muhammad and Abraham.
- Since this festival occurs immediately after the Day of Arafah, many of those who go to pilgrimage celebrate it in Mina (Saudi Arabia), where thousands of animals are slaughtered for sacrifice.
- It is customary for Muslims perform a ritual body washing shower, called "ghusl," before walking to the place of prayers. This is in accordance with the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad.
Eid al-Adha Top Events and Things to Do
- Often, a large party is thrown by Muslims on one of the three days of Eid al-Adha. Meat from slaughtered animals is served.
- It is customary for Muslim men who have lost loved ones visit graveyards on Eid al-Adha.
- It is Islamic tradition to wear your most beautiful clothes on the first day of Eid al-Adha. A few days before Eid al-Adha, Muslims shop for their new Eid clothes. Merchants in Islamic countries often hold their biggest sales before Eid al-Adha.
International Left-Handers Day
International Left-Handers Day is a day to bring attention to the struggles which lefties face daily in a right-handed society. August 13th is observed as International Left-Handers Day.
International Left-Handers Day Facts
· 10% of people are left-handed according to a report by Scientific American.
· Geniuses are more likely to be left-handed - 20% of the top scoring SAT takers are left-handed.
· In 2013, 31% of Major League Baseball pitchers are left-handed.
· lefties: Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo da Vinci
· Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God.
* A person with fear of the Lord is filled with peace, faith, hope and love.
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.