Second Sunday After Epiphany
Sirach, Chapter 1, Verse 27-30
For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and discipline; faithfulness and humility are his delight. 28 Do not disobey the fear of the Lord, do not approach it with duplicity of heart. 29 Do not be a hypocrite before others; over your lips keep watch. 30 Do not exalt yourself lest you fall and bring dishonor upon yourself; for then the Lord will reveal your secrets and cast you down in the midst of the assembly. Because you did not approach the fear of the Lord, and your heart was full of deceit.
Ben Sira uses the expression “fear of the Lord” twelve times and the noun “wisdom” seven times to emphasize the connection between the two ideas. He describes the blessings that come to those who fear the Lord, i.e., those who practice true religion by loving and serving God and keeping the Law. Attempting to serve the Lord with duplicity of heart is hypocrisy and self-exaltation, deserving of public disgrace.
Second Sunday after Epiphany
Christ manifests His divinity and His mystical union with the Church with His first miracle at the Wedding of Cana.
THE Introit the Church invites us to thank God for the incarnation of His only begotten Son: “Let all the earth adore Thee, and sing to Thee, O God; let it sing a psalm to Thy name, shout with joy to God, all the earth, sing ye a psalm to His name, give glory to His praise”.
Almighty and everlasting God, “Who dost govern all things in heaven and on earth, mercifully hear the prayers of Thy people, and grant us Thy peace in our days.”. Amen.
Rom. xii. 6-16. Brethren:
We have different gifts, according to the grace that is given us : either prophecy, to be used according to the rule of faith, or ministry in ministering, or he that teacheth in doctrine, he that exhorteth in exhorting, he that giveth with simplicity, he that ruleth with carefulness, he that showeth mercy with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Hating that which is evil, cleaving to that which is good: loving one another with the charity of brotherhood: with honor preventing one another: in carefulness not slothful: in spirit fervent: serving the Lord: rejoicing in hope: patient in tribulation: instant in prayer; communicating to the necessities of the saints: pursuing hospitality. Bless them that persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that rejoice, weep with them that weep: being of one mind one towards another: not minding high things, but consenting to the humble. Be not wise in your own conceits.
What lesson does the Apostle give us in this epistle?
That we should hate that which is evil, and love that which is good; that we should love one another, and practice works of mercy; that we should be solicitous and fervent, as in the service of God. We should cooperate with the grace of God, and pray instantly.
PRACTICAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUPERIORS.
They must expect a severe judgment who seek office only for the sake of emolument, caring little for their duty, and regarding bribes and presents rather than justice.
O God, give us Thy grace to follow faithfully what St. Paul teaches us of humility and charity, that we may have compassion on all who are in need, and not exalt ourselves above our neighbors, but, humbling ourselves with the humble, may merit, with them, to be exalted. Amen.
GOSPEL. John ii. 1-11
At that time there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the Mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the marriage. And the wine failing, the Mother of Jesus saith to Him: They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is to Me and to thee? My hour is not yet come. His Mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye. Now there were set there six water-pots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece. Jesus saith to them: Fill the water-pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And Jesus saith to them: Draw out now and carry to the chief steward of the feast. And they carried it. And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water: the chief steward calleth the bridegroom, and saith to him: Every man at first setteth forth good wine, and when men have well drank, then that which is worse; but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
Why was Jesus present at the wedding with His Mother and disciples?
1. In order there to reveal His majesty, and by that means to establish and confirm the belief in His divinity.
2. To show that marriage is pleasing to God.
3. To let us understand how pious the bridegroom and bride were. 4. To teach us that those pleasures are permitted which are in accordance with reason and Christianity, and neither sinful nor leading to sin.
Why did Mary intercede for the bride and bridegroom when the wine was failing? She was sorry for them, for she is the tender-hearted mediatrix of the afflicted and destitute. Besides, the number of the guests had been considerably increased by the presence of Jesus and His disciples, so that the wine was not sufficient for all.
What is the meaning of the words, “Woman, what is that to Me and to thee?” According to the idiom of the Hebrew language, they mean as much as, Mother, be not anxious; I will provide the wine as soon as the hour appointed by My Father is come. Jesus did not mean to rebuke His Mother, but He thus gave her and all who were present, to understand that He had not received the power of working miracles as the son of woman, but that He possessed it as the Son of God and should use it according to the will of His Father.
The Holy League
History-Pope St. Pius V formed the original Holy League in response to the dire situation in which Christian Europe found itself in 1571. Small bands of Catholic men and remnant armies from various nations came together under the spiritual leadership of the saintly pontiff and the military leadership of Don John of Austria. By prayer and fasting, they implored the help of God’s grace, through the intercession of the Mother of God, and, by the grace of Almighty God, on October 7, 1571, at the Battle of Lepanto, the Christian fleet won a crushing victory over the Ottoman Turks, saving Christendom and western civilization.
The Battle Today
At this particular moment in time, the Church finds itself in a similar situation to that of the Church in the late Sixteenth Century. However, instead of a physical enemy on the horizon, the Church and the family (the domestic Church) are threatened daily by relativism, secularism, impurity, and confusion regarding Church teaching. The battle today “is not against human forces but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness, the evil spirits in the heavens” (Ephesians 6: 10-12). To combat the forces of evil in today’s society, the Holy League strives to call men back to the state of grace and to transforming the culture through prayer.” The Holy League, in fidelity to its mission as a Roman Catholic solidarity movement:
· Provides a Holy Hour format which incorporates Eucharistic adoration, prayer, short spiritual reflections, the availability of the Sacrament of Confession, Benediction and fraternity;
· Encourages consecration to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Purest Heart of Joseph;
· Promotes the Precepts and Sacraments of the Church; especially through devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament and the praying of the Most Holy Rosary;
· Creates a unified front, made up of members of the Church Militant, for spiritual combat;
· Strives to have a regular monthly Holy League Holy Hour available to men in every Roman Catholic parish.
Holy League Vision
The Vision of the Holy League is to develop a network of parish based regular monthly Holy Hours with confession and fraternity for men.
The Holy League, in a Spirit of Marian Chivalry, under the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Joseph, seeks to provide opportunities for the faithful to unite in prayer, especially monthly Eucharistic Holy Hours, for purification from sin and predisposition to Supernatural Grace for the fuller exercise of the threefold offices of Priest, Prophet, and King received at Baptism. The particular prayer of the Holy League is the monthly Eucharistic Holy Hour.
· 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.
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.