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Monday, October 14, 2019


Romans, Chapter 1, Verse 5-8
5 Through him we have received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith, for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles, 6 among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ; 7 to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 8 First, I give thanks to my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is heralded throughout the world.

Christ has called all of us as Paul states to holiness and apostleship.

"The apostolate of the laity derives from their Christian vocation and the Church can never be without it." These words come from the opening lines of the “Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity” (Apostolicam Actuositatem). This particular document on the laity shows that the Church is dependent on the apostolate of all people. But the term “apostolate” seems so daunting; clearly the word is rooted in the idea of being an apostle. I tend to think back to the Twelve Apostles, which creates a certain amount of anxiety. How can I even think about living up to the great examples of these twelve?  Yet they are our example, and our apostleship is essential to the life of the Church. In the Church we tend to use the word apostle quite a bit and in many different ways. It appears in terms such as: apostolic, apostolate, and apostleship. To find a secular answer, I looked up the word “apostle” in a Merriam-Webster dictionary. In using a dictionary, my hope was that I might come to a better understanding of what it means to be an apostle.  The first definition that I came across for apostle was "one sent on a mission." This first meaning really helps expand the idea of the New Evangelization in simple terms. The discovery of this definition led me to formulate the following question: "What is our mission as baptized Catholics?" This is a very important question that has been the subject of major debate. A simple answer is that we are called to go out into the world around us and proclaim the Good News of our Lord, Jesus Christ. How this is accomplished is a decision that must be made by each one of us. We must find our own niche in the greater mission of Christ. We have been given a divine mission that we must go out and complete.

Columbus Day[2]

Columbus Day is the celebration of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas on October 12, 1492. Christopher Columbus was an Italian-born explorer who discovered the Americas for the Spanish King in 1492. King Ferdinand of Spain sponsored the expedition west in the hopes of sailing to India. In August of 1492, Columbus set off into the Atlantic with three ships, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. Two months later he would set foot on the Bahamas and establish settlements on Hispanola Island (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Upon his return to Spain, he spoke of gold in the New World and thus the Americas were opened up for European colonization. In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared October 12th every year as Columbus Day. In the US, Columbus Day is celebrated by all US states except for Hawaii, South Dakota and Alaska.  Columbus Day now occurs on the second Monday in October each year.
Columbus Day Facts & Quotes

·         Colorado was the first state to officially recognize and celebrate Columbus Day in 1906.
·         Christopher Columbus' first settlement on Hispaniola Island was called Villa de Navidad (Christmas Town)
·         In 1971, the official holiday was moved to the second Monday in October in order to give workers in the US a long weekend. This was part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.
·         Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. - Robert F. Kennedy
·         You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. - Christopher Columbus

Columbus Day Top Events and Things To Do

·         Attend a Columbus Day Parade.  The parade in New York City is one of the largest.
·         Eat some good Italian food.
·         Watch a parade.
·         Visit the Library of Congress's online exhibit 1492: An Ongoing Voyage.
·         Host a scavenger hunt for the neighborhood kids and let them become Explorers for the afternoon.

Thanks to the efforts of Father Michael J. McGivney, assistant pastor of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven and some of his parishioners, the Connecticut state legislature on March 29, 1882, officially chartered the Knights of Columbus as a fraternal benefit society. The Order is still true to its founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity. The Knights was formed to render financial aid to members and their families. Mutual aid and assistance are offered to sick, disabled and needy members and their families. Social and intellectual fellowship is promoted among members and their families through educational, charitable, religious, social welfare, war relief and public relief works. The history of the Order shows how the foresight of Father Michael J. McGivney, whose cause for sainthood is being investigated by the Vatican, brought about what has become the world's foremost Catholic fraternal benefit society. The Order has helped families obtain economic security and stability through its life insurance, annuity and long-term care programs, and has contributed time and energy worldwide to service in communities. The Knights of Columbus has grown from several members in one council to  15,342 councils and 1.9 million members throughout the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam, Saipan, Lithuania, Ukraine, and South Korea.

Visit from Isaac[4] (part of the 7-day feast of Sukkot)

·         Three years after he had sent Ishmael away, Abraham went to visit his son, swearing to Sarah that he would not dismount his camel in Ishmael’s vicinity. Abraham arrived at midday and met Ishmael’s wife, a Moabite woman. He asked her, “Where is Ishmael?”
·         She replied, “He and his mother went to bring fruits and dates from the wilderness.”
·         “Give me some bread and water,” Abraham asked of her, “for I am tired from the rigors of the journey through the wilderness.”
·         “I have neither water nor bread,” she answered
·         He told her, “When Ishmael comes, say to him, ‘An old man came from the land of Canaan to see you, and he said that you should change the threshold of your house, which is not good for you.’”
·         When Ishmael returned from the wilderness, she told him what had happened. Ishmael understood his father’s message, and he sent his mother to find a wife for him from his father’s house.
·         Three years later, Abraham again went to visit his son, and again he swore to Sarah that he would not get off his camel while there. Abraham arrived at midday and found Ishmael’s new wife, Fatimah. He asked her, “Where is Ishmael?”
·         She replied, “He and his mother went to herd camels in the wilderness.”
·         “Please give me some bread and water,” he asked of her, “for I am tired from the rigors of the journey through the wilderness.”
·         She brought forth bread and water and gave them to him.
·         Abraham stood and prayed to G‑d, and Ishmael’s house was filled with bounty and blessing. When Ishmael came back, his wife told him what had happened, and he understood that his father still loved him, even though he was a bandit.
·         From then on, Abraham and Ishmael continued to visit each other.

Ishmael and Isaac Debate Circumcision

·         Once, when Ishmael was visiting Abraham, he got into an altercation with his brother Isaac. Ishmael said to Isaac, "I am more beloved to G‑d than you, since I [agreed to be] circumcised at the age of 13, but you were circumcised as a baby and could not refuse."
·         Abraham and Ishmael continued to visit each other
·         Isaac retorted, "All that you have sacrificed to G‑d was three drops of blood. But I am now 37 years old, yet if G‑d desired that I be slaughtered, I would not refuse."
·         Said the Holy One, blessed be He, "This is the moment!"
·         G‑d then commanded Abraham, “Please take your son, your only one, whom you love, Isaac, and go away to the land of Moriah and bring him up there for an offering on one of the mountains, of which I will tell you."
·         The next morning, Abraham and Isaac, accompanied by Ishmael and Abraham’s servant Eliezer, set out for what was to be Abraham’s tenth and final test, the Akeidah.
·         Eventually, Ishmael repented and made up with his brother Isaac, and when it came time to bury their father Abraham, Ishmael honored his brother by letting Isaac go first.

Ishmael and Isaac—Rational and Suprarational

·         The mystics explain that the key difference between Isaac and Ishmael can be found in the debate the two had over circumcision. Ishmael initially claimed that his connection to G‑d was greater, for he was circumcised when he was 13 years old, fully cognizant of what would happen. Isaac, on the other hand, claimed a superior connection due to his being circumcised when he was eight days old, an age at which the child is not aware of what is going on.
·         This difference can also be discerned in the circumstances of their births. Ishmael was born in a natural manner, while Isaac was miraculously born to Sarah, who was originally barren.
·         Thus, Ishmael signifies a thoughtful and rational relationship with G‑d, while Isaac expresses the dimension beyond reason, the willingness to accept even that which cannot be understood. This is why Isaac was chosen to father the Nation of Israel, for the relationship between G‑d and His people is one that transcends the natural and the rational.

Coming of the Lord and the Last Judgment[5]

As Catholics, we are mindful and profess in our Creed that Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead. The Second Vatican Council's "Dogmatic Constitution on the Church" states, "Already the final age of the world is with us and the renewal of the world is irrevocably under way; it is even now anticipated in a certain real way, for the Church on earth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real though imperfect" (No. 48). To try to grasp the when, what and how of this Second Coming and last judgment, we really need to glean the various passages in Sacred Scripture to see how our Church has interpreted them. They are united in one drama. Our Lord in the Gospel spoke of His second coming. He indicated that various signs would mark the event.

1.      Mankind would suffer from famine, pestilence and natural disasters.
2.      False prophets who claim to be the Messiah will deceive and mislead people.
3.      Nations will wage war against each other.
4.      The Church will endure persecution.
5.      Worse yet, the faith of many will grow cold and they will abandon the faith, even betraying and hating one another.
6.      St. Paul describes a "mass apostasy" before the Second Coming, which will be led by the "son of perdition," the "Man of Lawlessness," the "adversary who exalts himself above every so-called god proposed for worship." This "lawless one" is part of the work of Satan, and with power, signs, wonders and seductions will bring to ruin those who have turned from the truth.
7.      However, "the Lord Jesus will destroy him with the breath of His mouth and annihilate him by manifesting His own presence." The Catechism affirms, "God's triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the last judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world" (No. 667).
8.      Our Lord will come suddenly. "The Son of Man in His day will be like the lightening that flashes from one end of the sky to the other" St. Peter predicts, "The day of the Lord will come like a thief and on that day the heavens will vanish with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire and the earth and all its deeds will be made manifest" (2 Pt 3:10).
9.      Death will be no more. The dead shall rise and those souls who have died will be united again to their bodies. All will have a glorious, transformed, spiritualized body as St. Paul said, "He will give a new form to this lowly body of ours and remake it according to the pattern of His glorified body...".
10.  At this time, the final, or general judgment will occur. Jesus said, "Those who have done right shall rise to life; the evildoers shall rise to be damned". Our Lord described this judgment as follows: "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, escorted by all the angels of heaven, He will sit upon His royal throne and all the nations will be assembled before Him. Then He will separate them into two groups, as a shepherd separated sheep from goats" Here each person will have to account for his conduct and the deepest secrets of his soul will come to light. How well each person has responded to the prompting of God's grace will be made clear. Our attitude and actions toward our neighbor will reflect how well we have loved our Lord. "As often as you did it for one of My least brothers, you did it for Me". Our Lord will judge us accordingly. For those who have died and already have faced the particular judgment, their judgment will stand. Those living at the time of the Second Coming will receive judgment.

a.       Those who have rejected the Lord in this life, who have sinned mortally, who have no remorse for sin and do not seek forgiveness, will have condemned themselves to hell for all eternity.
b.      "By rejecting grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one's works and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love (Catechism, No. 678).
c.       The souls of the righteous will enter heavenly glory and enjoy the beatific vision and those who need purification will undergo it.

We do not know when the Second Coming will occur. Jesus said, "As to the exact day or hour, no one knows it, neither the angels in heaven nor even the Son, but only the Father. Be constantly on the watch! Stay awake! You do not know when the appointed time will come"

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Ask for the Prayers and assistance of the Angels

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