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Saturday, September 28, 2019

Sunday, September 29, 2019


Sixteen Sunday af. Pentecost (26th S. Ord. Time)
FEAST OF SAINT MICHAEL- ROSH HASHANAH begins at sundown


2 Maccabees, Chapter 12, Verse 22
But when Judas’ first cohort appeared, the enemy was overwhelmed with fear and terror at the manifestation of the all-seeing One. Scattering in every direction, they rushed away in such headlong flight that in many cases they wounded one another, pierced by the points of their own swords.

With the death of Antiochus IV the gang warfare of sorts ceases for a while, yet the problem with Hellenization has not ended and the temple needs to be defended by Judas. Small battles ensue and although Antiochus VI is dead the real power was placed in Lysias who was in charge of the government and military. Judas defeats him with the power of God when a mysterious horseman appears to help the armies of the Lord. Peace with the Syrians is temporary, but the gang warfare continues. Judas marches into the Transjordan when he comes upon a large force which he engages. Here we see that despite the enemies of God having an overwhelming force they are put to route by a mysterious being (all seeing) and flee causing their own destruction.[1]

Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost[2] Do good works with humility


IN the Introit of the Mass let us implore, with great confidence, the mercy of God. “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I have cried to Thee all the day; for Thou, O Lord, art sweet, and mild, and plenteous in mercy, to all that call upon Thee. Bow down Thy ear to me, O Lord, and hear me, for I am needy and poor”. (Ps. Ixxxv.).

Prayer. May Thy grace, O Lord, ever precede and follow us, and make us ever intent upon good works.

EPISTLE. Eph. iii. 13-21.

Brethren: I pray you not to faint at my tribulations for you: which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, of Whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened by His Spirit with might unto the inward man, that Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts: that being rooted and founded in charity, you may be able to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth, and length, and height, and depth: to know also the charity of Christ, which surpasseth all knowledge, that you may be filled unto all the fulness of God. Now to Him Who is able to do all things more abundantly than we desire or understand, according to the power that worketh in us: to Him be glory in the Church, and in Christ Jesus, unto all generations, world without end. Amen.

Explanation. St. Paul was in prison at Rome when he wrote this epistle, and was anxious lest the Ephesians might think that the faith, the proclaimers of which were thus persecuted, was not from God. He therefore exhorts them to remain firm in their belief; assures them that his sufferings would be for their glory if they remained as firm as he: and prays that they may be enlightened to know the love of God that is, what Christ had done and suffered for us. Hence, we learn to ask earnestly of God grace to understand the mysteries of faith.

Aspiration. O heavenly Father, according to the example of St. Paul, I humbly pray that Thy spirit, Thy knowledge, Thy charity, may be deeply implanted in us, that Thou mayest possess our hearts, and that we, filled with all the fulness of Thy grace, may serve Thee more perfectly, and give Thee thanks forever.

GOSPEL. Luke xiv. 1-11.

At that time, when Jesus went into the house of one of the chief of the Pharisees, on the Sabbath-day, to eat bread, they watched Him. And behold there was a certain man be fore Him that had the dropsy. And Jesus answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying: Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath-day? But they held their peace. But He, taking him, healed him, and sent him away. And answering them, He said: Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fall into a pit, and will not immediately draw him out on the Sabbath day? And they could not answer Him to these things. And He spoke a parable also to them that were invited, marking how they chose the first seats at the table, saying to them: When thou art invited to a wedding, sit not down in the first place, lest perhaps one more honorable than thou be invited by him, and he that inviteth thee and him, come and say to thee: Give this man place: and then thou begin with shame to take the lowest place: but when thou art invited, go sit down in the lowest place: that when he who invited thee cometh, he may say to thee: Friend, go up higher. Then shalt thou have glory before them that sit at the table with thee. Because everyone that exalteth himself shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Why did the Pharisees watch Jesus so closely? To discover something in Him for which they might censure and accuse Him. How like them are those Christians who watch every step of their neighbors, and particularly of priests, hoping to find something for which to blame them, and represent them as evil persons!

Who is, spiritually, like the man with the dropsy? The avaricious man; for as a dropsical person is never satisfied with drinking, so the avaricious man never has enough; and like the dropsy, too, avarice is hard to cure, since it grows worse with age, and generally does not leave a man till he comes to the grave.

Why is avarice reckoned among the seven deadly sins? Because it is the root of many evils; for it leads to usury, theft, the use of false weights and measures, to the retaining of unjustly gotten goods, to the oppression of the poor, of widows and orphans, to the denial and suppression of justice, to apostasy from the faith, and to despair. Hence the Apostle says, “They that will become rich fall into temptation and into the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition” (i.Tim. vi. 9). An efficacious remedy for avarice is the consideration that we are only the stewards, and not the owners of our goods, of which we can take nothing with us at the hour of our death (i. Tim. vi. 7); and that one-day God will require of us a strict account of what we have had.

Commentary

"'For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted".
Jesus reveals His Love by curing the victim of dropsy[3]. Love overcomes all human obstacles. The humble man does not, of course, expose his talents to the contempt of others. But he does recognize that every best gift is from above, loaned not for himself alone, but for his less favored neighbor as well. For this reason, I bend my knees to the Father, exclaims St. Paul, as he reflects on His glorious riches: how Divine love PURGES us by strength through His Spirit, ILLUMINATES us through our faith and then UNITES us in Christ's love. . .unto. . .the fullness of God. Humbly must we recognize the power that is at work in us.

Feast of Saint Michael[4]


SAINT MICHAEL is the prince of the heavenly armies, who first contended against the proud Lucifer. The holy Church honors him as a particular defender, and the faithful call upon him in all dangers of soul and body, but they particularly implore his intercession at the hour of death, in order that, after having, according to his example, courageously fought against Satan, they may receive the crown of victory, and that their souls may by him be brought before the throne of God. Let us also venerate him, and, full of confidence, cry out with the holy Church, “Holy archangel Michael, protect us in battle that we may not perish in the tremendous judgment.”

Prayer. O God, Who with wonderful order dost direct the ministry of angels and of men, mercifully grant that our life on earth may be protected by those who ever minister before Thee in heaven. Through Christ Jesus our Lord etc. Amen.

EPISTLE. Apocalypse i. 1-5.

In those days God made known the things which must shortly come to pass : and signified, sending by His angel to His servant John, who hath given testimony to the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, what things soever He hatli seen. Blessed is he that readeth and heareth the words of this prophecy: and keepeth those things which are written in it. For the time is at hand. John to the seven churches which are in Asia : Grace be unto you and peace from Him that is, and that was, and that is to come, and from the seve:i spirits which are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, Who is the faithful witness, the first- begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth, Who hath loved us, and washed us from our sins, in His own blood. This epistle is read to-day because St. Michael so bravely contended against the sedition of Satan, and, after gaining the victory, drove him and his adherents from heaven.

GOSPEL. Matt, xviii. 1-10.


At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who thinkest Thou is the greater in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus calling unto Him a little child, set him in the midst of them, and said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the king dom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven. And he that shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me. But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. Wo to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless, wo to that man by whom the scandal cometh. And if thy hand or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from tliee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. See that you despise not one of these little ones : for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of My Father Who is in heaven.

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

Great prince of heaven, St. Michael, to thy protection I commend my soul and body, and, by the glory which thou possessest in heaven, I beseech thee that thou wouldst ever assist me, particularly at the close of my life; that thou wouldst strengthen my faint-heartedness, and obtain for me from God the remission of my sins, and an entire submission to His holy will, that my soul may depart full of comfort. Then receive it, and bring it, under the guidance of the holy angels, before the face of God, to enjoy the contemplation of Him for all eternity. Amen.

St. Michael, Champion of the Church[5]

The Church of God has always considered Saint Michael as its special protector. The archangel himself has acknowledged this to Constantine after the completion of a church in his honor saying, “I am Michael, the chief of the angelic legions of the Lord of hosts, the protector of the Christian religion, who whilst thou wast battling against godless tyrants, placed the weapons in thy hands.” Assuredly, St. Michael will not fail to come to the aid of our Holy Church. His assistance shall be forth coming in these troubled times when legions of evil are visible throughout the world exciting the minds of men. We behold their activities in the events of the media and the world-wide propaganda against morality and religion everywhere. Yet, despite this we are beneath his mighty leadership and with the aid of his own unvanquishable legions we shall not fail.

Michaelmas (September 29th)


The anniversary of the dedication of St. Michael the Archangel's basilica outside of Rome by Pope Boniface II in 530 A.D. affords the Church the opportunity to honor one of its most significant saints. Tradition holds that Michael is the heavenly spirit who cast Satan and his minions into Hell after their revolt from God. As the "Governor of Heaven" (Praepositus Paradisi), he is ranked only below the Mother of God in the Confiteor. The Roman church also identifies him as the angel whom St. John saw in heaven standing near the altar of God and offering the prayers of the saints like an odor of sweetness (see the offertory blessing of incense at a High Mass). He is also singled out in the Requiem Mass as the banner-bearer who leads the departed to purgatory and heaven (see offertory prayers). Finally, Michael's victory over the devil's army renders him not only the patron saint of souls, but of Christian soldiers. All of this leads to the conclusion that Michael is one of our most potent allies and helps us see why the Roman rite has traditionally venerated him with such affection and respect.

Consequently, Michaelmas (pronounced "mikk-el-mes") was one of the great public holidays and religious feasts of early and medieval Europe. Saint Michael's parades, Michael's fairs, Michael's Plays, etc. would in many places constitute the climax of autumn harvest celebrations. Michaelmas also coincided with the "quarter days" in Northern Europe, one of the four times in the year when free men would sit in court, make laws, and pay rents.[6]


Things to do:[7]
  • This is a good feast to learn more about the angels. Children especially are fascinated by these celestial beings. The best place to start is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 328-336 to see the teachings of the Church on angels. John Paul II also did a Catechesis on the Angels during his General Audiences from July 9 to August 20, 1986.
  • Find the passages in the Bible about angels, in particular the passages about Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.
  • Read the section on angels in the Directory on Popular Piety and Liturgy. The document examines the doctrine and devotions of the angels. Devotion to angels is good, but also can have deviations.
Devotion to the Holy Angels gives rise to a certain form of the Christian life which is characterized by:
    • devout gratitude to God for having placed these heavenly spirits of great sanctity and dignity at the service of man;
    • an attitude of devotion deriving from the knowledge of living constantly in the presence of the Holy Angels of God — serenity and confidence in facing difficult situations, since the Lord guides and protects the faithful in the way of justice through the ministry of His Holy Angels. Among the prayers to the Guardian Angels the Angele Dei is especially popular, and is often recited by families at morning and evening prayers, or at the recitation of the Angelus.
217. Popular devotion to the Holy Angels, which is legitimate and good, can, however, also give rise to possible deviations:
    • when, as sometimes can happen, the faithful are taken by the idea that the world is subject to demiurgical struggles, or an incessant battle between good and evil spirits, or Angels and daemons, in which man is left at the mercy of superior forces and over which he is helpless; such cosmologies bear little relation to the true Gospel vision of the struggle to overcome the devil, which requires moral commitment, a fundamental option for the Gospel, humility and prayer;
    • when the daily events of life, which have nothing or little to do with our progressive maturing on the journey towards Christ are read schematically or simplistically, indeed childishly, so as to ascribe all setbacks to the devil and all success to the Guardian Angels. The practice of assigning names to the Holy Angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of Gabriel, Raphael and Michael whose names are contained in Holy Scripture.
  • Also read All About the Angels.
  • Memorize the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. Although no longer formally recited after Mass, our Holy Father John Paul II has encouraged us to recite this prayer daily. Read about this prayer. Here is the Regina Caeli message from April 24, 1994 during which the pope encouraged this prayer.
  • In honor of St. Gabriel, Learn the Angelus and recite it daily. Traditionally, the prayer is prayed at the 6:00 and 12:00 hours (am and pm). There is a partial indulgence attached to those who pray this prayer.
  • Read the Book of Tobit for the story of St. Raphael helping Tobit and Tobias.
  • Make some recipes related to Michaelmas. Of special mention is the St. Michael Bannock from Scotland, roast goose and stuffing from Britain, waffles from France, and roast duck from Germany or France, gnocchi from Italy. Blackberries, apples and carrots also play a large role on this feast in various countries. Other ideas: make an angel food cake, devil's food cake or angel hair pasta. Decorate with white, symbolizing the angels, or use other symbolic colors (see above). Non-dessert items: deviled eggs, deviled meats, etc.
  • Try to find the Michaelmas daisy, a purple aster, to use for decoration. It also comes in other colors, including white, but purple is the most popular. It usually blooms in late summer until October. The official name is Aster novi-belgii, but is also known as New York aster. If you find plants or seeds to plan for next year's garden. This site has photos and gardening information for the Michaelmas daisy.
  • Folklore in the British Isles suggests that Michaelmas day is the last day that blackberries can be picked. It is said that when St. Michael expelled Lucifer, the devil, from heaven, he fell from the skies and landed in a prickly blackberry bush. Satan cursed the fruit, scorched them with his fiery breath, and stamped and spat on them, so that they would be unfit for eating. A traditional Irish proverb says:
    On Michaelmas Day the devil puts his foot on the blackberries.
If you have access to blackberries, make this the last picking and eating. Perhaps make a blackberry pie? See Michaelmas Pie for a great recipe.

Rosh Hashanah[8]


Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: ראש השנה) is the Jewish New Year.  Rosh Hashanah literally translates to the Head of the Year.  It is a two-day festival.  In the Bible, it is called Yom Ha-Zikkaron, the day of remembrance or Yom Teruah the day of the sounding of the shofar-(Leviticus 23:24-25). Jews start Rosh Hashanah festivals with lighting of the candles and synagogue prayers.  On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, Jews eat an apple dipped in honey to signify a sweet new year to come.  They also place a fish’s head at the table to commemorate 'being a head and not a tail'.

Rosh Hashanah Facts

·         In synagogues it is common for 100 notes to be sounded with a Ram's horn as a call to repentance.
·         Jews typically wear new clothes on Rosh Hashanah and eat new fruits that have not yet been tasted in the season.  Customary foods include round hallah bread with raisins, pomegranates, pumpkins, carrots, and honey cake.
·         For Rosh Hashana, many Jews 'cast off their sins' to a running water stream/sea containing fish (the Tashlich custom).  This is to symbolically purge one's body of sin and cast the sins onto the fish.
·         On Rosh Hashanah, it is believed that the fate of all Jews and Gentiles is defined by God for that year.  Jews greet each other with many Happy New Year wishes.  It is customary to therefore greet people with a wish for a happy New Year and to 'be inscribed for a good year' - meaning to be allocated by God a full year of healthy life.
·         New Year prayers include many passages relating to the sovereignty and dominion of God over the entire world.  One of these prayers is recited daily and is called Aleinu leshabei'ach (it is our duty to praise God).  However, on Rosh Hashanah, during this prayer, Orthodox Jews bow down to accept the full Sovereignty of the Lord.

Rosh Hashanah Top Events and Things to Do


·         Send New Year's Greeting Cards to your Jewish friends.
·         Celebrate the Jewish New Year with a Rosh Hashana Concert.  Popular concerts are held in major cities such as New York and London.
·         Attend a local Rosh Hashanah service in a synagogue near you.


35 Promises of God[9] cont.
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 8:38-39

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Battle for the Soul of America-Day 45
·         Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after SUNSET ON SATURDAY till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.



[1]The Collegeville Bible Commentary, 1986.
[2]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
[3] It was called hydropsy or dropsy. It is a generalized swelling due to accumulation of excess water. And you can see a patient that you know quite well today, too. This is not a new thing. But that is the way heart failure was known: dropsy. https://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/557959
[4] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
[5] St. Michael and the Angels, Tan Books, 1983.
[7]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2018-09-29

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