Sunday, March 22, 2020

Fourth Sunday of Lent
AUGUST VON GALEN-WATER DAY-Lailat al Miraj



John, Chapter 9, Verse 22
His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone acknowledged him as the Messiah, he would be expelled from the synagogue.

Christ had healed a man born blind to these parents on the Sabbath and in this verse the Jews questioned them about it and they were frightened as to the outcome.

The synagogue and the academy were the two institutions which preserved the essence of the Judaism of the Diaspora and saved it from annihilation. As the place of public worship, the synagogue became the pivot of each community, just as the Sanctuary at Jerusalem had been the center for the entire people. The synagogue, consequently, is the most important feature of the Jewish community, which is inconceivable without it.[1]

This was the equivalent to a social and spiritual death. To be expelled was alike to being made a leper and having a life of living death.

It was worse than being defriended on Facebook!

“When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him. (John 9: 35-38).

Do you belong to any human organizations that have blinded you to the truth? Are you afraid of being expelled by others if you truly believed? Walk into the light of Christ and “Be not afraid.


Fourth Sunday of Lent

A note of joy is struck, for having died to sin with Christ during Lent, we will rise again with Him and be part of His mystical Body, the Church which is the new Jerusalem. Thus, the Introit: "Rejoice, Jerusalem."

BY the Introit of the Mass the Church reminds us of the joys of heaven, to encourage us to persevering zeal in penance and fasting, and to patience under persecution, crosses, and sorrows.

The Introit of the Mass begins with the word Laetare (rejoice),
from which the Sunday derives its name: Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and come together, all you that love her. Rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow, that you may exult and be filled from the breasts of your consolation. I was glad at the things that were said unto me: we shall go into the house of the Lord.

Prayer. Grant, we beseech Thee, O Almighty God, that we, who are afflicted for our deeds as we deserve, may be relieved by the comfort of Thy grace.

EPISTLE. Gal. iv. 23-31.

Brethren: It is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bond-woman, and the other by a free-woman: but he who was of the bond-woman was born according to the flesh: but he of the free-woman was by promise: which things are said by an allegory: for these are the two testaments. The one from Mount Sina engendering unto bondage: which is Agar: for Sina is a mountain in Arabia, which hath affinity to that Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But that Jerusalem which is above is free, which is our mother. For it is written: Rejoice thou barren, that bearest not: break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for many are the children of the desolate, more than of her that hath a husband. Now, we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he, that was born according to the flesh, persecuted him that was after the spirit: so also, it is now. But what saith the Scripture?

Cast out the bondwoman and her son; for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not the children of the bondwoman, but of the free: by the freedom wherewith Christ hath made us free.

Explanation. The Jews, typified by Agar, served God like servants, from fear of punishment and in the hope of rewards. Christians, typified by Sara, lift up their hands to Him as their Father, and if they fulfil His will faithfully will become partakers of His glory in heaven.

Prayer. O Jesus, grant that by fasting, prayer, and patience under persecution I may partake in Thy sufferings, and be found worthy of Thy divine promises and Thy eternal consolations in the heavenly Jerusalem. Amen.

GOSPEL. John vi. 1-15.

At that time: Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is that of Tiberias: and a great multitude followed Him, because they saw the miracles which He did on them that were diseased. Jesus therefore went up into a mountain: and there He sat with His disciples. Now the Pasch, the festival-day of the Jews, was near at hand. When Jesus therefore had lifted up His eyes, and seen that a very great multitude cometh to Him, He said to Philip: Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?

And this He said to try him, for He Himself knew what He would do. Philip answered Him: Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that everyone may take a little. One of His disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, saith to Him: There is a boy here that hath five barley loaves, and two fishes: but what are these among so many?

Then Jesus said: Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. The men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when He had given thanks, He distributed to them that were sat down: in like manner also of the fishes as much as they would. And when they were filled, He said to His disciples: Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost. They gathered up therefore, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above to them that had eaten. Now those men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: This is of a truth the prophet that is to come into the world. Jesus, therefore, when He knew that they would come to take Him by force and make Him king, fled again into the mountain Himself alone.

Why did Christ thus try St. Philip?

1. To try his faith and confidence.

2. To teach us to make use of natural and ordinary means before we have recourse to the supernatural.

3. So that the miracle would be the more striking to the people, when they were satisfied that the provisions, they had been quite small and insufficient.

4. That we might have confidence in God, Who is a helper in time of tribulation (Ps. ix. 10).

What ceremonies did Our Savior use at this miracle, and why? He first looked up to heaven, to remind us that every good gift comes from above, and that it is God only Who opens His hand, and fills all with benediction. Second. He thanked His heavenly Father, to show us that we also should be careful to thank God for all His benefits. The table, says St. Chrysostom, which begins and ends with prayer shall never know want. Thirdly He blessed the bread that we might learn that it is the Blessing of God which gives success.

Why did Jesus flee after this miracle?

1. To teach us to seek not the admiration and applause of men, but only the glory of God and the good of our neighbor.

2. To love solitude, that far from the noise of the world, we may with more freedom converse with God.

Consolation in Poverty.

To those poor who follow Christ this gospel is full of consolation, as it shows that from the very beginning of the world God has cared for His children. For the comfort and preservation of His chosen people He sent Joseph before them into Egypt (Gen. xlv. 5; Ps. civ. 4). He sustained the children of [Israel during forty years in the wilderness with bread from heaven He fed the prophet Elias, sending him bread and flesh by a raven (in. Kings xvii. 6). He remembered Daniel lying in the lion’s den (Dan. xiv. 37). In the New Testament also God has shown His care for His own by nourishing and feeding them in their greatest need, at times through the instrumentality of animals and at other times by that of angels and of men as we read in the lives of the saints.

Aspiration. In Thy power and goodness, O my God, I put my trust. I firmly believe if I fear Thee, and do what is right, I shall, though poor here, after this life have abundance of good things from Thee.


Clemens August von Galen, Bishop of Münster (1933-1946)[2]


In the summer of 1941, in answer to unwarranted attacks by the National Socialists, Bishop von Galen delivered three admonitory sermons between July and August. He spoke in his old parish Church of St Lambert and in Liebfrauen-Ueberlassen Church, since the diocesan cathedral had been bombed. In his famous speeches, Bishop von Galen spoke out against the State confiscation of Church property and the programmatic euthanasia carried out by the regime. The clarity and incisiveness of his words and the unshakable fidelity of Catholics in the Diocese of Münster embarrassed the Nazi regime, and on 10 October 1943 the Bishop's residence was bombed. Bishop von Galen was forced to take refuge in nearby Borromeo College. From 12 September 1944 on, he could no longer remain in the city of Münster, destroyed by the war; he left for the zone of Sendenhorst. In 1945, Vatican Radio announced that Pope Pius XII was to hold a Consistory and that the Bishop of Münster was also to be present.

T4: The Nazis' Euthanasia Solution[3]

He who is bodily and mentally not sound and deserving may not perpetuate this misfortune in the bodies of his children. — Hitler, Mein Kampf. Beginning in 1939, the National Socialist regime begin systematically killing disabled children in "specially designated pediatric clinics" via starvation and overdose. By the end of World War II, an estimated 5,000 infants and children had been murdered by the Nazis. The program, code-named T4, was extended to adults beginning in 1940. Physicians working for the T4 program examined medical files (seldom the institutionalized patients themselves) and marked for death disabled and mentally ill adults, in most cases without the knowledge or consent of family members. Those selected for extermination were rounded up, processed, and directed into a facility for a "disinfecting shower." Instead, the victims were gassed to death via carbon monoxide. Their bodies were cremated, and the ashes sent to families with an official death certificate listing a fictitious cause of death. By 1941 the program had become public knowledge, in part because of the opposition from German clergymen, including Bishop von Galen. Hitler officially halted the adult killings, but the child program continued. In 1942 the adult killings resumed in secret and continued until the end of the war, with an ever-expanding range of victims, including the elderly, hospitalized war victims, and foreign laborers. In all, an estimated 200,000 people were executed as part of the Nazi "mercy killing" agenda.

Pray America may not continue in its own Euthanazia Solution and we have a religious rise like the Lion of Munster!



World Water Day[4]

World Water Day serves to raise awareness about water issues such as sanitation problems and water shortages in many parts of the world. Today, 1 in 10 people lack access to safe and clean water, a problem which has a direct impact on the economy, health of the population and well-being of women and children worldwide. In 1992, World Water Day was proposed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.  The United Nations General Assembly responded to the proposition in 1993 by declaring March 22 as World Water Day. Each year, the UN-Water agency allocates a theme corresponding to a current or potential challenge for World Water Day.


World Water Day Facts & Quotes

·         In developing nations, nearly 80% of illnesses can be linked to poor water and sanitation conditions.
·         Russia's Lake Baikal and North America's Great Lakes hold about 40% of the world's fresh water supply, the large remainder of the freshwater supply is in the form of icecaps and glaciers.
·         According to UNICEF, diarrhea is the second leading cause of death among children under the age of 5 in the world.
·         You ain't gonna miss your water until your well runs dry. - Bob Marley

World Water Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Don't waste water!!! Make a conscious effort to use less water on World Water Day and on other days. Some ways to reduce water consumption include, showers instead of baths, washing full loads of clothing only and turning off the tap while washing dishes and brushing teeth.
·         Donate to a charity or organization that supports water issues in developing nations. WaterAid is an organization that works in poor countries to set up and maintain water sources, UNICEF and UNCHR also provide support and relief efforts to improve water sanitation and hygiene globally.
·         Volunteer to help clean up trash and other debris along a beach or shore. This garbage and debris pollute the water that we need in our daily lives.
·         Watch documentaries about water-related issues such as pollution, contamination and diseases. Our top picks are Troubled Water, The Fight for Water, Flow for the Love of Water, Tapped, Thirst and Dhaka's Cholera Wars.
·         Take part in a local World Water Day celebration, such as a film screening or a water conservation event. One of the largest events, the White House Water Summit in Washington DC, will be live streamed.


Lailat al Miraj[5]Muslim Holiday

Lailatul Miraj (Arabic: الإسراء والمعراج) commemorates Prophet Muhammad's ascension to heaven. Muslims believe that on this night, an angel came to the Prophet, washed his abdomen with Zamzam water, and filled his heart with wisdom and belief. Then, Muhammad was called by God from Mecca to Jerusalem, where he prayed at the Masjid Al-Aqsa (Jerusalem). From Jerusalem, he ascended to heaven, where he was honored by being allowed to see God directly, visiting the highest levels of heaven, and leading all the past Prophets in prayer, including Joseph, Adam, Abraham, Moses, Aaron, Jesus, and John the Baptist. To get to his destinations, he rode Al-Buraq, a heavenly animal that was smaller than a mule but bigger than a donkey. He was given the gift of prayer by God. When he returned to Mecca, he accurately described a caravan that was headed to Mecca from Jerusalem to show the Quraish that had actually been there. Although the exact date of Laulatul Miraj is unknown, most believe it fell on 27 Rajab.

Lailat al Miraj Facts & Quotes

·         Muslims believe that there are several levels in heaven. Muhammad was taken to each one by Angel Gabriel. At each heaven, a gatekeeper asked both the angel and Muhammad to identify themselves before proceeding.
·         Muslims believe that Muhammad saw "Al-Bait-al-Mamur" (God's house). Gabriel told Muhammad that every day since the beginning of creation, 70,000 different angels pray there daily.
·         Muhammad is also believed to have seen "Sidrat al-Muntaha" (a tree) in the seventh heaven. Its leaves resembled elephant ears, its fruits resembled clay jugs, and from it originated four rivers. Two of them were hidden in heaven, while the other two were made apparent to man in the forms of the Nile and the Euphrates.
·         Muslims believe that God had originally assigned fifty daily prayers.  Moses, upon hearing about this from Muhammad, is reported to have encouraged Muhammad to negotiate and reduce the number of prayers God assigned, which He graciously reduced to five daily prayers. (Sahih al-Bukhari, volume 4, Book 54, Hadith number 429[6])
·         On the night Prophet Muhammad was taken on a night journey two cups, one containing wine and the other milk, were presented to him at Jerusalem.  He looked at it and took the cup of milk.  Gabriel said, 'Praise be to Allah Who guided you to the right path; if you had taken the cup of wine, your nation would have gone astray.' - Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 69, Number 482 This incidence is used to explain the fact that wine is forbidden to Muslims.

Lailat al Miraj Top Events and Things to Do

·         Muslims are actually discouraged from celebrating or fasting on this day because of two reasons: First, the exact date is unknown. Second, there are no real rewards from God for celebrating this day.
·         Read the award-winning book, 'The Sealed Nectar'.  It is Muhammad's biography and tells of the many events that happened on Muhammad's journey from Mecca to Lailatul Miraaj.

Daily Devotions
·         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.
·         Nineveh 90-Total Consecration to Mary-Day 15
·         Manhood of the Master-week 6 day 7
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Universal Man Plan




[2]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2019-03-22
[3]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2019-03-22

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