Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter
ST. LOUIS DE MONTFORT- HAATZMA'UT
Jeremiah, Chapter 5, Verse 22-24
22 Should you not FEAR me—oracle of the LORD—should you not tremble before me? I made the sandy shore the sea’s limit, which by eternal decree it may not overstep. Toss though it may, it is to no avail; though its billows roar, they cannot overstep. 23 But this people’s heart is stubborn and rebellious; they turn and go away, 24 and do not say in their hearts, “Let us FEAR the LORD, our God, Who gives us rain early and late, in its time; who watches for us over the appointed weeks of harvest.”
This stubborn and rebellious nature of people is what led to Christ’s death on the cross. His death was the fulfillment of the proclaiming of God’s name to all the peoples of the world; for over His head was placed a notice: King of the Jews.
It is thought-provoking to contemplate that Pilate’s notice was printed in three languages Hebrew, Latin and Greek. These three cultures in a sense represented the characteristics of God. The Hebrew’s were Gods people and represented the good of man and brought the idea that the person was created by God and is more valuable than the universe. Latin the language of the Romans brought the idea that truth is the highest value and the Greeks culture brought the idea of beauty being the greatest value. In Christ’s death is represented all three values. That a good God died for man; true to the end; and His shame was turned by love to beauty.
The Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, also represent these three values Michael the truth that angels and men are willing to fight for: Raphael the good and Gabriel the beauty. On further reflection I can see these same three attributes reflected the preamble of the US constitution: Life (good); Liberty (truth); and pursuit of happiness (beauty).
We can also recognize that the Name of God which is goodness; truth and beauty is feared by evil men and women when they are inspired by Satan and the demons to take away our life, liberty or our pursuit of happiness.
Surely, it is time for Christians to "rise from sleep," and to offer vigorous resistance to the enemies of salvation. The weapons in this conflict are not the arms of civil warfare, but the spiritual weapons of prayer and penance, increased fidelity to the Commandments of God, and frequent reception of the Sacraments. And surely, we can choose no better leader in this conflict than the powerful captain who led the faithful Angels to victory. Let us, then, with confident trust, invoke the aid and the protection of this mighty Archangel whose shield bears the inscription: "Michael-Quis ut Deus-Who is like unto God?"
St. Louis Mary de Montfort
Louis' life is inseparable from his efforts to promote genuine devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus and mother of the church. Totus tuus (completely yours) was Louis's personal motto; Karol Wojtyla chose it as his episcopal motto. Born in the Breton village of Montfort, close to Rennes (France), as an adult Louis identified himself by the place of his baptism instead of his family name, Grignion. After being educated by the Jesuits and the Sulpicians, he was ordained as a diocesan priest in 1700. Soon he began preaching parish missions throughout western France. His years of ministering to the poor prompted him to travel and live very simply, sometimes getting him into trouble with church authorities. In his preaching, which attracted thousands of people back to the faith, Father Louis recommended frequent, even daily, Holy Communion (not the custom then!) and imitation of the Virgin Mary's ongoing acceptance of God's will for her life. Louis founded the Missionaries of the Company of Mary (for priests and brothers) and the Daughters of Wisdom, who cared especially for the sick. His book, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, has become a classic explanation of Marian devotion. Louis died in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sevre, where a basilica has been erected in his honor. He was canonized in 1947.
Things to Do
· Read a longer biography of St. Louis de Montfort's life.
· Consider making the consecration to Mary recommended by St. Louis de Montfort.
· Resolve to pray the rosary daily starting today.
· Learn about the Missionaries of the Company of Mary (Montfort Missionaries) and support their work with your prayers, sacrifices and financial offerings.
Israel Independence Day
Yom Haazmaut (Hebrew: יום העצמאות) is Israel's Independence Day. Israel declared independence on May 14th, 1948. This was only a few hours before the British Mandate of Palestine was to draw to an end. Yom Haazmaut is a public holiday in Israel. All commercial establishments are closed, apart from Restaurants, Cafes and Bars. Israelis celebrate Yom Haazmaut with an opening ceremony, comprising lighting of the Masuot (twelve torches, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel). The honor of lighting each torch is given to outstanding Israelis, such as brave soldiers and policemen, scientists, artists, senior citizens and the like. Yom Haazmaut always occurs the day after Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day to honor fallen soldiers and soldier victims of terrorists). There are typically firework displays at night, airplane displays and bands during the day. Israeli citizens spend Yom Haazmaut with family and friends, often in a Park, on a beach or at home. The Israel Prize is given in scientific fields to notable scientists, artists and people who made a lifetime contribution to the State of Israel.
Yom HaAtzma'ut (Israel) Facts & Quotes
· Many Jewish prophets in the Bible prophesied that the Children of Israel would return to their land. Isaiah, Jeremiah and Zachariah made notable prophecies. For example, Jeremiah 29:10. This is what the Lord says: 'When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place'.
· In the 19th century, Theodor (Benjamin Zeev) Herzl was the visionary of the State of Israel in his book Altneuland, 'The Old New Land' in 1902. Tel Aviv (old hill/ new spring) was established in 1909.
· According to Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook and many others in the Religious Zionist camp, the founding of the State of Israel was considered to be Atchalta DeGeulah the beginning of the final redemption.
· In the Talmud (Sanhedrin 98a) it is stated by Rav Aba Ein lecha meg'uleh mizu, there is no greater indication of the end of days than that which the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 36:8) prophesizes, Now mountains of Israel, your branches shall come forth and your fruit will be offered to my people Israel.
· The return of Jews to the Holy Land was also mentioned by Isaiah: On that day (the day of the redemption) a great shofar will be sounded, and those who are lost in the land of Ashur (Assyria) and those who are dispersed in the Land of Egypt will return to the Holy Land. (Isaiah 27:13).
Yom HaAtzma'ut (Israel) Top Events and Things to Do
· Attend a Yom Haazmaut Party, held at many local Israeli/Jewish Communities on the Eve of Yom Haazmaut. Typically, Israeli food is served, followed by a fireworks display. A live broadcast of the Yom Haazmaut ceremony from Har Herzl, Jerusalem may be watched and culminates in the singing of the Hatikvah, the Israeli National Anthem.
· Attend a lecture on the connection between Jews, Israel and the Bible. Yeshivah University holds many public lectures on this topic.
· Attend a Yom Haazmaut Concert. There are many venues for Yom Haazmaut concerts including popular ones at New York City and Stamford (CT).
· Take part or view the Bible Quiz (Chidon Hatanach)