Monday of the Second Week of Easter WEED DAY Isaiah, Chapter 54, verse 14: In justice shall you be established, far from oppressi...
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Ester, Chapter 4C, Verse 30
O God, whose power is over all, hear the voice of those in despair. Save us from the power of the wicked, and deliver me from my fear.”
Ester has determined here that she must overcome fear and risk death in order to save her people. To enter the Kings Throne room without, being called by him, was a taboo of the Persian court and to violate it carried an immediate sentence of death. Ester determined that to save her people she must appear to the King and risk death for her people.
Queen Ester and Our Lady of Fatima
Queen Esther is in anguish because Haman, the wicked aide has convinced the King to issue an order to kill all the Jews in his Empire. Haman did this because Mordecai, Esther’s cousin who raised her as a daughter, would not bow down and prostrate himself as Haman passed as the King had ordered. The date set for destruction was the 13th of the month of Adar which corresponds to either our month of February. It is also the very day that the Maccabees liberated Israel after a four-year battle with the Seleucid Empire. Sister Lucia to whom Our Lady of Fatima appeared died on this date. Our Lady of Fatima’s first appearance to the three shepherd children was May 13, 1917. Her last appearance was October 13,1917. On May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul II survived an assassination attempt. He credits Our Lady of Fatima with saving his life.
Queen Esther clothed herself in sackcloth and ashes. She fasted from food and water for three days and asks the Jews to do the same. After the three days, she approached the King without being summoned. She did this even though she was aware that the King could have sentenced her to death for doing so. When the Queen enters into the King’s presence, he extends his scepter thus sparing her life. He was so impressed by her courage and beauty that he promised her up to half of his kingdom. Instead, she invites him to two banquets and invites Haman – the man responsible for the order of the genocide of her people. At the second banquet she pleads for her life and the life of her people. The King is horrified by what Haman has done and orders him to be hung on the same gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Persian law did not permit the King to reverse his decree, but he issued another decree that the Jews could defend themselves. Instead of being destroyed, the Jewish people were saved and defeated their enemies in battle. The Jews celebrate this triumph each year as their Feast of Purim. It doesn’t always fall on the same day.
Many see Queen Esther as a type of Mary and the Book of Esther as a type of the Apocalypse. A figure type is a person, place, thing or event foreshadowing a New Testament archetype (a perfect model or type). The New Testament archetype is always greater than its Old Testament figure type. For example, Jonah’s time in the belly of the great fish is a type of Jesus in the tomb. Moses is a type of Jesus. The Jewish people were saved through the intercession of Queen Esther, so Mary intercedes for her people today. The Apocalypse foretells a great persecution of Christians at the end of time, but the Book of Revelation speak about the Ark of the Covenant appearing in the sky and the Woman crushing the head of the dragon. (Revelation 12) When the Blessed Mother appeared at Fatima, she wore the Star of Esther. In the Old Testament of the Hebrew text, her name was Hádássah - meaning myrtle, a white, five-pointed, star-shaped flower. In the Hebrew text, her name was Hádássah - meaning myrtle, a white, five-pointed, star-shaped flower.
Like Esther, Mary came at Fatima to spare her children from destruction. She asked people to repent of sin, pray the rosary, go to confession, and receive the Eucharist worthily. On July 13, 1917, Our Lady said to the child Lucia: “…I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, and various nations will be annihilated. ... In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and an era of peace will be granted to the world.” Had her requests been heeded the world would have been spared the horrors of World War II in which over 50 million people died and countless other wars and persecutions provoked by Communists throughout the world. In 1920, Russia was also the first country to legalize abortion. In 1913, Communist leader Vladimir Lenin demanded “the unconditional annulment of all laws against abortions or against the distribution of medical literature on contraceptive measures.” Great evils threaten our world. Sin increases. So many hearts are hardened. We need to call on Our Lady in prayer. Heed her requests at Fatima and Lourdes. Do penance, do the Five First Saturday devotion by going to confession, receiving the Eucharist, praying the rosary and meditating 15 minutes on the mysteries for five first Saturdays of the month in a row. Queen Esther asked her people to do pray and do penance with her. We must listen to the Blessed Mother today and ask her to intercede with her Son that he might spare us, our nation and our world.
The Destroying Angel
The particular term "destroying angel" (malakh ha-mashhit) occurs twice in the Bible, in II Samuel 24:16 and its parallel, I Chronicles 21:15. Other allusions to this "destroyer" (mashhit), can be found in Exodus 12:23 and Isaiah 54:16. The story of Sennacherib's siege of Jerusalem may also allude to a destroying angel, although the term used there is simply malakh. In the cultures of the ancient Near East, gods were believed to be responsible for death and destruction. The Bible, however, does not portray such a configuration. Instead, the destructive agents act according to God's instruction: they are His messengers and it is the Lord who initiates death and destruction.
THE PLAGUES OF EGYPT The destroying angel seems to be alluded to in the Bible's description of the slaying of the firstborn, where he is called ha-mashhit: for the Lord will pass over the door and not let the Destroyer enter and smite your home (Ex. 12:23). While is stated explicitly that the Lord passed through Egypt to smite the firstborn (Ex. 12:12–13), and the text of the Passover Haggadah expounds this to mean, "I and not an angel," verse 23 attests that the Lord was accompanied by the destroying angel, whose nature is to strike down all whom he encounters, unless – as here – the Lord restrains him. This seems to be the intention of the Mekhilta's comment on verse 22, None of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning: "This indicates that when the destroying angel is given permission to do harm, he does not distinguish between the righteous and the wicked." 3 The Psalmist's account of the plagues of Egypt (Ps. 78:49) indicates that the plagues were inflicted by mishlahat malakhei ra'im – a band of deadly [lit. evil] angels. The talmudic sages used the term mishlahat to describe a band of destructive creatures, specifically a wolf pack. 4 Kraus believes that this "band of evil angels" does not refer to the destroying angel" (mashhit) associated with the last plague (Ex. 12:23), but to the demonic powers that the Lord dispatches with every affliction. 5 It seems, then, that we must distinguish the "destroying angel," ha-mashhit, from the messengers of death who come to punish individuals only. By contrast, the Destroyer is sent by the Lord to kill multitudes through a plague. Unlike the deadly messengers, who bring both natural and premature death, the Destroyer inflicts only a premature, painful death. Still, this mashhit is controlled by God.
WRATH Another implicit allusion to the destroying angel can be found in for wrath [ketzef] has gone forth from the Lord: the plague has begun (Num. 17:11 [RSV 16:46]). Milgrom sees this wrath or anger as an independent entity, similar to the Destroyer that acts on behalf of the Lord. 10 There are indeed several references to it in the Bible. Thus (Num. 1:53), The Levites, however, shall camp around the Tabernacle of the Pact, that the wrath [ketzef] may not strike the Israelite community. Similarly, the mandate continues, No outsider shall intrude upon you as you discharge the duties connected with the Shrine and the altar, that wrath [ketzef] may not again strike the Israelites (Num. 18:5). 11 According to Rashi, this plague is spread by the Angel of Death, who is also known as "the Anger before the Lord with the authority to kill."
In the Talmud, the Angel of Death (malakh ha-mavet) has assistants, one of whom is actually named Ketzef: "Rav Hisda said: 'They are: Fury, Anger and Wrath [Ketzef], Destroyer and Breaker and Annihilator'". 13 Elsewhere, Ketzef is the name of an angel of destruction (Targum Yerushalmi, Numbers 17:11). He is also specifically noted as acting on behalf of God, not as an independent entity: Wrath [ketzef] has gone forth from the Lord (Num. 17:11). The Sages regarded the Destroyer as an amoral force that could be overcome only through sacrificial blood, incense, or some other ritual. However, these rituals were directed to God, not to the Destroyer himself. 14 In the ancient Near East, incense was burned for the gods to placate them and still their anger. Egyptian reliefs depict Canaanite priests standing on a high place and offering incense to Pharaoh, who is massacring the inhabitants of a city. 15 In both of the biblical stories about the Destroyer (the Tenth Plague and the threshing floor of Araunah), the plague is halted by a ritual act (placing blood on the doorpost, building an altar, burning incense), but it is God, not His messenger, who responds.
The Angel of Death receives his instructions from God. When permitted to take the souls of human beings, he does not distinguish between the good and the wicked. His function is to take men's souls. Only a chosen few of the nation's ancestors died by the Divine kiss and were not given over to this angel’s control. 21 He was created by God on the first day of Creation, operates under His authority, and performs His behest. Nevertheless, he is granted a degree of autonomy in his actions and choices, 22 certain actions by human beings making him more likely to strike them. 23
CONCLUSION The destroying angel is explicitly mentioned twice in the Bible (II Sam. 24:16; I Chron. 21:15). In addition, there are several other passages in the Bible and rabbinic literature that refer to destructive supernatural forces. The idea of the destroying angel as an independent force, acting of its own accord, is foreign to the Hebrew Bible, which emphasizes that God is in control of these destructive forces so as to negate polytheistic beliefs. The angel can do nothing on its own initiative and must only act in compliance with the will of God. It is He alone who deals death and gives life.
South Pole Discovery of the Eternal
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The work of researchers who reported detecting the signal left behind by the rapid expansion of space billions of years ago is rooted in the efforts of a Belgian priest whose mathematical computations in the 1920s laid the groundwork for the Big Bang theory. Msgr. George Lemaitre, a mathematician who studied alongside leading scientists of the first half of the 20th century exploring the origins of the universe, suggested that the cosmos began as a super-dense "primeval atom" that underwent some type of reaction that initiated the expansion of the universe which continues today. The priest's conclusions challenged the conventional hypothesis proposed by luminaries such as Albert Einstein and Fred Hoyle that the universe was in a steady state. Researchers in cosmology over the decades refined Msgr. Lemaitre's idea, leading to what became widely known as the Big Bang theory and later ideas that signs of the Big Bang can be detected. The most recent evidence supporting the Big Bang emerged March 17 when a team of scientists announced they detected polarization in light caused by primordial gravitational waves originating from the Big Bang. The measurements were made with the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization experiment, or Biceps2, located at near the South Pole
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