Saturday, June 20, 2020

Introduction to Joel[1]

In the two speeches that make up this book, Joel uses an agricultural crisis to measure his audience’s knowledge of its God, warn them of a worse disaster if they ignore his preaching, and express his conviction that all faithful Judahites would someday enjoy a secure future. Inadequate winter rains and a spring locust infestation have devastated Judah’s grain fields, vineyards, and orchards. Because the people carry on with business as usual, unaware that this crisis is the work of the Lord in their midst, Joel fears that the Lord may soon deliver a death blow by withholding the rains that normally fall in the late autumn. However, Joel’s efforts to avert this crisis are successful. The first speech ends with Joel’s assurance that at the end of the next agricultural year the people will enjoy a superabundant harvest. The second speech begins with the prophet’s hope that Judah’s God will one day destroy its enemies and make Jerusalem secure once and for all. This divine intervention will create a more inclusive community, cutting across boundaries of gender, class, and age. The rest of Joel’s second speech uses the imagery of drought and locusts from the first speech and introduces the metaphor of a grape harvest and wine making to describe the attack of the Lord’s heavenly army on Judah’s enemies. In the renewal of Judah’s hillsides by the winter rains, the prophet sees the revitalization of the people because the Lord dwells with them.

 JUNE 20 Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary Saturday


 Joel, Chapter 2, Verse 21-22

21 Do not FEAR, O land! Delight and rejoice, for the LORD has done great things 22Do not FEAR, you animals in the wild, for the wilderness pastures sprout green grass. The trees bear fruit; the fig tree and the vine produce their harvest.

 Notice the prophet here acknowledges that God in his power has complete control over nature.  They do not fear. They are perfectly happy because nature does not have freewill and cooperates with God living their existence in accordance with their created function.

 Yet we because we were created in the image and likeness of God, we have a choice. To do good or to do evil. Daily we must decide if we are for ourselves and pursue the things of the world or are, we going to follow Christ by picking up our cross daily.

 Amoris Lætitia[2] (Joy) the Work of your Hands

 “You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you”. It is clear from the very first pages of the Bible that work is an essential part of human dignity; there we read that “the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it”

 This is why any charity must include some type of work to preserve the dignity of the person such as the practice of gleaming or the use of loans in the Old Testament for food. Labor also makes possible the development of society and provides for the sustenance, stability and fruitfulness of one’s family. The Book of Proverbs also presents the labor of mothers within the family; their daily work is described in detail as winning the praise of their husbands and children. Paul was so convinced of the necessity of work that he laid down a strict rule for his communities: “If anyone will not work, let him not eat”.

 This having been said, we can appreciate the suffering created by unemployment and the lack of steady work, as reflected in the Book of Ruth, Jesus’ own parable of the laborers forced to stand idly in the town square, and his personal experience of meeting people suffering from poverty and hunger. Sadly, these realities are present in many countries today, where the lack of employment opportunities takes its toll on the serenity of family life. Yet, those that employ are often trapped by their own greed and power and instead of using the joy in their work; they are selfish and instead of founding living sustainability with their work their actions often lead to the desertification of the earth By our work we are to build up a garden and make, no create with God, a better world, not rape it and by love make it better.

Immaculate Heart of Mary[3]

The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a devotional name used to refer to the interior life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her joys and sorrows, her virtues and hidden perfections, and above all, her virginal love for God the Father, her maternal love for her son Jesus, and her compassionate love for all persons.  Two elements are essential to the devotion, Mary’s interior life and the beauties of her soul, and Mary’s virginal body.  According to Roman Catholic theology, soul and body are necessary to the constitution of man.  It was in 1855, that the Mass of the Most Pure Heart of Mary formally became a part of the Catholic practice.  Traditionally, the heart of Mary in artwork is depicted with seven wounds or swords, in homage to the seven sorrows of Mary.  Also, roses or another type of flower may be wrapped around the heart.  Veneration of the Immaculate Heart of Mary generally coincides with the worship of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. 

However, there is a difference that explains the Roman Catholic devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is especially directed to the “Divine Heart”, as overflowing with love for humanity.  In the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on the other hand, the attraction is the love of her Immaculate Heart for Jesus and for God.

A second difference is the nature of the devotion itself.  In devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Roman Catholic venerates in a sense of love, responding to love.  In devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, love is formed from study and imitation of Mary’s yes to God as the mother of Jesus.  In this devotion, love is more the result, than the “object” of the devotion; the object being rather to love God and Jesus by uniting one’s self to Mary for this purpose and by imitating her virtues, to help one achieve this. History of the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is connected in many ways to that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Christians were drawn to the love and virtues of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and this paved the devotion from the beginning.  Early Christians had compassion for the Virgin Mary, and the Gospels recount prophecy delivered to her at Jesus’ presentation in the temple, and that her heart would be pierced with a sword.  The image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary with the pierced heart is the most popular representation.  St. John’s Gospel further invites us to the attention of Mary’s heart with its depiction of Mary at the foot of the cross at Jesus’ crucifixion.  St. Augustine tells us that Mary was more blessed in having born Christ in her heart, than in having conceived him in the flesh.

Things to Do:[4]

·         Read the entire article from the Catholic Encyclopedia about the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

·         Read this article about Saturdays and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Summer Solstice[5]

The Summer Solstice marks the beginning of the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere.  On this day, the North Pole is tilted towards the Sun at the highest degree of angle. Places in the Northern Hemisphere experience the longest hours of sunlight throughout the year on this day. The history of the Summer Solstice is rooted in both ancient mysticism and nature. This day takes place somewhere around June 20th or 21st each year.

Summer Solstice Facts

·         On the Summer Solstice, the North Pole receives 24 hours of daylight, and the South Pole receives 24 hours of darkness.

·         Solstice comes from the Latin words for "Sun" and "to stop."

·         Many Native American tribes celebrated the Summer Solstice by holding "sun dances".

·         On the summer solstice, the Earth's axis is tilted the most, up to 26°.

Summer Solstice Top Events and Things to Do

·         Host a bonfire to celebrate the arrival of summer.

·         Visit Stonehenge and take the Summer Solstice Tour.

·         Go fishing - it is the longest fishing day of the year.

·         Visit the polar circle and enjoy nearly 24 hours of daylight.

·         Remember at the South Pole it is a day of total darkness,

Daily Devotions

·         Do not fear struggle; courage itself often intimidates temptations, and they dare not attack us. Courage, God is.

·         Saturday Litany of the Hours Invoking the Aid of Mother Mary

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary


[2] Pope Francis, Encyclical on Love.




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