Fifth Sunday after Easter
ST. DAMIEN OF MOLOKAI-MOTHERS DAY
Jeremiah, Chapter 33, Verse 9
Then this city shall become joy for me, a name of praise and pride, before all the nations of the earth, as they hear of all the good, I am doing for them. They shall fear and tremble because of all the prosperity I give it.
God promised the restoration of Jerusalem which was fulfilled in 1948. Furthermore, God imagines the world without war; this is why He sent His son to bring peace to the world. Yet, we are still at war for our enemy is not just evil men but the devil and his cohort. Therefore, when our enemy brings forth horse and chariot and all manner of evils; do not be afraid for the victory has already been won! Trust in Jesus who will send St. Michael the Archangel to defend us and cover us with his strong shield and lead us safely through the midst of our enemy. Our prayer then is having fought the good fight and having a lifetime of devotion to the Blood of Jesus that when the last hour of our earthly life draws near and we await the awful moment when our soul must leave our bodies it will be St. Michael that will defend us in our most vulnerable moments protecting us from the satanic hosts when they make their final assault upon our souls.
Fifth Sunday after Easter
The liberty of the New Covenant and its perfection in prayer and the Spirit.
THE Introit of the Mass is again a joyful thanksgiving for our redemption. “Declare the voice of joy, and let it be heard, alleluia; declare it even to the ends of the earth; the Lord hath delivered His people, alleluia, alleluia” (Isaias xlviii.20). “Shout with joy to God, all the earth, sing ye a psalm to His name, give glory to His praise.”
Prayer. O God, from Whom all good things proceed, grant to Thy suppliants that by Thy inspiration we may think those things that are right, and by Thy direction perform them.
EPISTLE. James i. 23-27.
Dearly Beloved: Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only: deceiving your own selves. But if a man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer: he shall be compared to a man be holding his own countenance in a glass: for he beheld himself, and went his way, and presently forgot what manner of man he was. But he that hath looked into the perfect law of liberty, and hath continued therein, not becoming a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. And if any man think himself to be religious, not bridling his tongue, but deceiving his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation: and to keep one’s self unspotted from this world.
GOSPEL. John xvi. 23-30.
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: Amen, amen I say to you: if you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it you. Hitherto you have not asked anything in My name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full. These things I have spoken to you in proverbs. The hour cometh when I will no more speak to you in proverbs, but will show you plainly of the Father : in that day you shall ask in My name : and I say not to you, that I will ask the Father for you: for the Father Himself loveth you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world and I go to the Father. His disciples say to Him: Behold now Thou speakest plainly, and speakest no proverb; now we know that Thou knowest all things, and Thou needest not that any man should ask Thee. By this we believe that Thou comest forth from God.
Why does God wish us to pray to Him? To remind us:
1. That all good things come from Him, and that without Him we have nothing.
2. That we may confide in Him and try to make ourselves worthy of His divine grace, by thoughts pleasing to Him, and valuing more, and using better, the graces we receive.
Why is our prayer often not heard? Because we often ask for something that would be more hurtful than profitable to us.
When ought we to pray? At all times, but especially at,
1. morning, noon, and night.
2. in time of great temptation.
3. when receiving the sacraments.
4. when about to undertake anything important.
5. at the hour of death.
Which is the best of all prayers? The Lord’s Prayer: but though we say it a hundred times, it will fail to produce its beneficial effects if we repeat it thoughtlessly, without thinking of its meaning or purpose.
SHORT EXPLANATION OF THE LORD’S PRAYER.
Why does this prayer commence with Our Father? To encourage us thereby to a child-like confidence in God. as our Father, Who loves all men, and is ever ready to help them.
Why do we say, Who art in heaven, since God is everywhere? To admonish us to lift up our hearts to heaven, our true home, where God has set up the throne of His kingdom.
What do we ask of God in this prayer? In the first petition, hallowed be Thy name, we pray that God may be known and loved by all men, and that His name may be glorified by a Christian life.
In the second petition, Thy kingdom come, we pray God to enter and rule in our hearts by His grace, to spread His Church throughout the whole world, and after our death to award us eternal happiness.
In the third petition, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven, we offer ourselves entirely to God, and declare ourselves ready to be subject to the dispositions of His holy will, as are the angels in heaven, and pray to Him for grace to do this.
In the fourth petition, give us this day our daily bread, we ask for all things which we need; for the body, as food and clothing, and for the soul, as grace and the divine word.
In the fifth petition, forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us, we pray to God for forgiveness, but only so far as we forgive those that injure us. We must therefore remember that we shall not obtain forgiveness from God so long as we have in our heart’s hatred against anyone
In the sixth petition, and lead us not into temptation, we acknowledge our frailty, and ask God to remove temptations from us, or, if He permit us to fall into those which the world, the flesh, and the devil prepare for us, to give us grace not to consent to them, but, by combating and overcoming them, to Gain the merit and the crown of justice.
In the seventh petition, but deliver us from evil, we pray to God to preserve us from sin, and the occasions of sin; an evil death and hell; also, from all temporal evils, so far as may be for the salvation of our souls.
St. Damien of Molokai
Joseph De Veuster, the future Father Damien, was born at Tremelo in Belgium, January 3rd, 1840. His was a large family and his father was a farmer-merchant. When his oldest brother entered the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts (called 'Picpus' after the street in Paris where its Generalate was located), his father planned that Joseph should take charge of the family business. Joseph, however, decided to become a religious. At the beginning of 1859 he entered the novitiate at Louvain, in the same house as his brother. There he took the name of Damien. In 1863, his brother who was to leave for the mission in the Hawaiian Islands, became ill. Since preparations for the voyage had already been made, Damien obtained permission from the Superior General to take his brother's place. He arrived in Honolulu on March 19th, 1864, where he was ordained to the priesthood the following May 21st. He immediately devoted himself, body and soul, to the difficult service of a "country missionary" on the island of Hawaii, the largest in the Hawaiian group. At that time, the Hawaiian Government decided on a very harsh measure aimed at stopping the spread of "leprosy," the deportation to the neighboring island of Molokai, of all those infected by what was thought to be an incurable disease. The entire mission was concerned about the abandoned "lepers" and the Bishop, Louis Maigret ss.cc., spoke to the priests about the problem. He did not want to send anyone "in the name of obedience," because he knew that such an order meant certain death. Four Brothers volunteered, they would take turns visiting and assisting the "lepers" in their distress. Damien was the first to leave on May 10th, 1873. At his own request and that of the lepers, he remained definitively on Molokai. He brought hope to this hell of despair. He became a source of consolation and encouragement for the lepers, their pastor, the doctor of their souls and of their bodies, without any distinction of race or religion. He gave a voice to the voiceless, he built a community where the joy of being together and openness to the love of God gave people new reasons for living.
After Father Damien contracted the disease in 1885, he was able to identify completely with them: "We lepers." Father Damien was, above all, a witness of the love of God for His people. He got his strength from the Eucharist: "lt is at the foot of the altar that we find the strength we need in our isolation..." It is there that he found for himself and for others the support and the encouragement, the consolation and the hope, he could, with a deep faith, communicate to the lepers. All that made him "the happiest missionary in the world," a servant of God, and a servant of humanity. Having contracted "leprosy" himself, Fr. Damien died on April 15th, 1889, having served sixteen years among the lepers. His mortal remains were transferred in 1936 to Belgium where he was interred in the crypt of the church of the Congregation of Sacred Hearts at Louvain. His fame spread to the entire world. In 1938 the process for his beatification was introduced at Malines (Belgium): Pope Paul VI signed the Decree on the "heroicity of his virtues" on July 7th, 1977. He was canonized on October 11th, 2009.
In Father Damien, the Church proposes an example to all those who find sense for their life in the Gospel and who wish to bring the Good News to the poor of our time.
Things to Do:
Be adventurous and prepare a Hawaiian luau in honor of St. Damien.
In honor of Mother’s Day, here are a few quotes from John Paul II’s apostolic letter On the Dignity of Women (Mulieris Dignitatem) about the unique vocation of motherhood.
John Paul II: “Motherhood involves a special communion with the mystery of life, as it develops in the mother’s womb. The mother is filled with wonder at this mystery of life, and ‘understands’ with unique intuition what is happening inside her. In the light of the ‘beginning’, the mother accepts and loves as a person the child she is carrying in her womb. This unique contact with the new human being developing within her gives rise to an attitude towards human beings – not only towards her own child, but every human being – which profoundly marks the woman’s personality.”
“Motherhood implies from the beginning a special openness to the new person: and this is precisely the woman’s ‘part’. In this openness, in conceiving and giving birth to a child, the woman ‘discovers herself through a sincere gift of self’.”
“Human parenthood is something shared by both the man and the woman. Even if the woman, out of love for her husband, says: ‘I have given you a child’, her words also mean: ‘This is our child’. Although both of them together are parents of their child, the woman’s motherhood constitutes a special ‘part’ in this shared parenthood, and the most demanding part. Parenthood – even though it belongs to both – is realized much more fully in the woman, especially in the prenatal period. It is the woman who ‘pays’ directly for this shared generation, which literally absorbs the energies of her body and soul. It is therefore necessary that the man be fully aware that in their shared program of parenthood he owes a special debt to the woman.”
John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem (1988), no. 18
Mother's Day Top Events and Things to Do
· Take mom out to brunch or dinner. Be sure to book in advance as Mother's Day brunches are always very busy.
· Clean the house for your mother or grandmother.
· Send mom and grandma flowers. You can either pick them up or deliver them yourself if you are nearby or use one of many online services that ship directly to her door.
· Give mom a gift she will really appreciate - a day at the spa or a weekend off.
· A simple phone call to mom will suffice. Let her know that you love her and think about her.
· 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.