Second Sunday after Pentecost
CORPUS CHRISTI SUNDAY-FLAG DAY
Daniel, Chapter 10, Verse 11-14
11“Daniel, beloved,” he said to me, “Understand the words which I am speaking to you; stand up, for my mission now is to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up trembling. 12“Do not FEAR, Daniel,” he continued; “from the first day you made up your mind to acquire understanding and humble yourself before God, your prayer was heard. Because of it I started out, 13but the prince of the kingdom of Persia stood in my way for twenty-one days, until finally Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me. I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia, 14and came to make you understand what shall happen to your people in the last days; for there is yet a vision concerning those days.”
When I read this verse, I hear the Lord saying this to us all-Stay with me-do not be afraid. Today go to the Blessed Sacrament and spend some time with the Lord. There our Lord will pull us to Himself and transform us into warriors and conquerors. Daniel’s vision charges him with engaging him is spiritual warfare as are we by Christ. Daniel learns the lessons every leader who confronts evil in the world must master.
1. Spiritual leaders lead not only God’s family, but God’s army.
2. Prayer ignites spiritual warfare invisible to us.
3. Both spiritual kingdoms seem to have princes.
4. Spiritual warfare can delay victories.
5. We must not fear spiritual warfare.
6. Understanding warfare enables us to cooperate with God’s purposes.
Wisely face an invisible spiritual world around you. Draw near to Christ and He will transform your disenchantment with the world and help you along the road to holiness and sainthood.
Our lives are songs; God writes the words and we set them to music at pleasure; and the song grows glad, or sweet or sad, as we choose to fashion the measure. Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
More Alive, More Human
Do not be afraid of holiness. It will take away none of your energy, vitality or joy. On the contrary, you will become what the Father had in mind when he created you, and you will be faithful to your deepest self. To depend on God, sets us free from every form of enslavement and leads us to recognize our great dignity. We see this in Saint Josephine Bakhita: “Abducted and sold into slavery at the tender age of seven, she suffered much at the hands of cruel masters. But she came to understand the profound truth that God, and not man, is the true Master of every human being, of every human life. This experience became a source of great wisdom for this humble daughter of Africa”. To the extent that each Christian grows in holiness, he or she will bear greater fruit for our world. The bishops of West Africa have observed that “we are being called in the spirit of the New Evangelization to be evangelized and to evangelize through the empowering of all you, the baptized, to take up your roles as salt of the earth and light of the world wherever you find yourselves”. Do not be afraid to set your sights higher, to allow yourself to be loved and liberated by God. Do not be afraid to let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit. Holiness does not make you less human, since it is an encounter between your weakness and the power of God’s grace. For in the words of León Bloy, when all is said and done, “the only great tragedy in life, is not to become a saint”.
Second Sunday after Pentecost
ON this Sunday also, the Church, in consideration of God’s love towards us, animates us to love Him and our neighbor, and sings at the Introit of the Mass: “The Lord became my protector, and He brought me forth into a large place; He saved me because He was well pleased with me. I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength; the Lord is my rock, my refuge, and my deliverer.”
Prayer. Grant, O Lord, that we may have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy name, for Thou never ceasest to direct and govern, by Thy grace, those whom Thou instructest in the solidity of Thy love.
EPISTLE, I John iii. 13-18.
Dearly Beloved: Wonder not if the world hate you. “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not abideth in death; whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in himself. In this we have known the charity of God, because He hath laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. He that hath the substance of this world, and shall see his brother in need, and shall shut up his bowels from him, how doth the charity of God abide in him? My little children let us not love in word, nor in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
Explanation. A true Christian may be known by the love he has for his neighbor. For as it belongs to a child of this world, to the wicked, the godless, to hate and persecute the man whose life contradicts their own, so, on the other hand, love of one’s neighbor, of one’s enemy, is the mark by which to know whether a man is truly regenerated and translated from the death of sin to spiritual life. For he that loveth not, abideth in death cannot become a child of God, Who is love; has not in him the life of God; rather he is a murderer, because his lack of love, and his hatred, have first deprived him of spiritual life, and next. become the source of all other offences against his neighbor, of scandal, of seduction like Satan, of murder like Cain.
GOSPEL. Luke xiv. 16-24.
At that time Jesus spoke to the Pharisees this parable: A certain man made a great supper, and invited many. And he sent his servant at the hour of supper to say to them that were invited, that they should come, for now all things are ready. And they began all at once to make excuse. The first said to him: I have bought a farm, and I must needs go out and see it: I pray thee, hold me excused. And another said: I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to try them: I pray thee, hold me excused. And another said I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. And the servant returning told these things to his lord. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant: Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city: and bring in hither the poor and the feeble, and the blind and the lame. And the servant said: Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the Lord said to the servant: Go out into the highways and hedges; and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. But I say unto you that none of those men that were invited shall taste of my supper.
How is the parable of the great supper to be understood? By the supper is meant the kingdom of God upon earth, the Church of Christ, in which are deposited all the treasures of grace, for the nourishment, strengthening, and sanctification of our souls. It is a great supper, because the Church is to take in all men of all times. Jesus, the Godman, Himself prepares this supper by establishing His Church. The servant represents the apostles and the successors whom He sends into all the world, to call both Jews and gentiles. The first invited were the Jews, to whom the coming of the Messias had been announced beforehand, and who were the first called to the Church.
What is denoted by the excuses of those invited? He who bought a farm signifies those proud and avaricious men who seek only for temporal goods; he who wished to try his five yoke of oxen represents those too-busy persons who find no time to do anything for God and heaven; finally, he who could not come on account of his wife stands for those sensual persons who, through the lusts and pleasures of sense, render themselves insensible to heavenly joys. Now as the Jews, by such worthless excuses, had shown themselves unworthy to be received into the kingdom of God, they were accordingly shut out, and others called in their stead.
Who are these others? First, the humble and docile Jews, who were the opposite of the proud, avaricious, and sensual Pharisees; and in the next place those gentiles prepared for Christianity, who, through the apostles and their successors, were brought into the Church from the four quarters of the world.
In what other sense may this parable be understood? St. Gregory interprets it as referring to the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. That is, indeed, a feast to which all are invited, which offers the fulness of graces and spiritual gifts, and is, therefore, fitly called a great feast; it is despised by the sensual, proud, and earthly; but to the penitent, the humble, the loving, it conveys innumerable blessings and inestimable benefits.
LESSONS AGAINST IMPURITY.
“I have married a wife, and therefore cannot come.” Luke xiv. 20.
By introducing in this parable a wedding as an excuse, Our Saviour points out impurity as a hinderance to entering into the kingdom of heaven; that is, the violation of modesty, either in thought, imagination, or desire, in gesture, words, dress, or actions; thus He would show us how detestable, shameful, and pernicious is this vice, which makes men so miserable, and incite us to purity and chastity, in whatever state of life we may live. On account of this sin of impurity, God repented of having created mankind, and brought the flood upon the earth, destroyed Sodom and Gomorrha with fire and brimstone, cut off the brothers Her and Onan by sudden death, and gave nearly the whole tribe of Benjamin to be slain.
What are the best means to preserve us from impurity?
1. Avoid the following: (a) idleness, which breeds evil thoughts and desires; (b) reading bad books; (c) excess in eating and drinking; (d) bad company.
2. (a) Preserve modesty, which is a safeguard against impurity; (b) reverence God; (c) remember the bitter passion and death of Our Saviour; (d) think frequently of death, judgment, and hell.
3. Flee the first sin; dread the first thought, the first motion; avoid, also, what appears a trifling thing, if it offends modesty.
4. Be zealous in prayer to God, and to His blessed Mother.
5. Restrain your senses, particularly your eyes. Learn to be abstemious, and deny yourself even lawful enjoyments and pleasures, that you may the more easily give up those that are unlawful.
6. Watch always, and especially on occasions that cannot be avoided.
7. Finally, go often to holy communion, and choose a zealous confessor, in whom you ought to place entire confidence and follow as your father. Think on God; combat on every occasion promptly, without making terms; call confidently on God for help, and you will carry off the victory, and become worthy, one day, to be a follower of the Lamb.
Corpus Christi (Body and Blood of Christ) is a Eucharistic solemnity, or better, the solemn commemoration of the institution of that sacrament. It is, moreover, the Church's official act of homage and gratitude to Christ, who by instituting the Holy Eucharist gave to the Church her greatest treasure. Holy Thursday, assuredly, marks the anniversary of the institution, but the commemoration of the Lord's passion that very night suppresses the rejoicing proper to the occasion. Today's observance, therefore, accents the joyous aspect of Holy Thursday.
The Mass and the Office for the feast was edited or composed by St. Thomas Aquinas upon the request of Pope Urban IV in the year 1264. It is unquestionably a classic piece of liturgical work, wholly in accord with the best liturgical traditions. . . It is a perfect work of art.
Things to Do:
· The Directory on Popular Piety explains Eucharistic devotion and Eucharistic adoration.
· Encourage your pastor to have a Eucharist Procession on the Feast of Corpus Christi.
· Freshly baked bread would be a key dish at your celebratory Sunday dinner, as bread has always been symbolic for life giving and nourishment, as is the Eucharist. We have also highlighted a Christmas cookie recipe called Lebkuchen (life cake), which is rich in symbolism.
· Two newer church documents to read:
o The fourteenth encyclical letter of Pope John Paul II Ecclesia de Eucharistia (On the Eucharist in Its Relationship to the Church) released on Holy Thursday, April 17, 2003. The focus of the papal encyclical is the celebration of the Eucharist; the Pope reminds us that the Eucharist is the center of Catholic spiritual life.
o Redemptionis Sacramentum (On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist), an Instruction released by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on March 25, 2004.
SundayExcerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.
Patum de Berga
The Patum de Berga is a popular and traditional festival that is celebrated each year in the Catalan city of Berga (Barcelona) during Corpus Christi. It consists of a series of "dances" (balls) by townspeople dressed as mystical and symbolical figures. The balls are marked by their solemnity and their ample use of fire and pyrotechnics. It was declared a Traditional Festival of National Interest by the Generalitat de Catalunya in 1983, and as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005. In Catalonia, Corpus Cristi is celebrated with the tradition of the dancing egg. There is evidence this tradition dates from the 16th century.
National Flag Day is when Americans celebrate the meaning of their nation's flag, honor the traditions associated with its care, and educate those around them to its significance. The Flag of the United States is to be honored and carries with it both history and tradition. On June 14, 1777 the Flag Resolution was signed, making the current stars and stripes the National Flag of the United States of America. On May 30, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson called for the nation-wide observance of Flag Day. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed congress' decree, making June 14th of each year National Flag Day.
Flag Day Facts & Quotes
· Worn out flags may be given to the American Legion or Boy/Girl Scouts of America where they will burn the flags in a formal ceremony on June 14th.
· The Flag should never touch the ground when being taken down. It should be folded neatly and stored ceremoniously.
· You should fly the American Flag only between sunrise and sunset. If left hanging around the clock, it must be illuminated during the dark hours.
· The First Flag Act was signed by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777... Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.
Flag Day Top Events and Things to Do
· Fly the American Flag.
· Recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
· Visit a National Monument or National celebration.
· Attend a Flag retirement ceremony.
Who’s Flag are you under?
We are created in the image and likeness of God and 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 and freely live under the flag of Christ.
Father John Parks  states that the flag we choose to live under determines everything. He asks, “Whose flag are you under? Do we consciously choose to serve, or do we just let it happen? We have a choice here and indecision is a decision itself. Whose flag will you follow Christ’s or Satan’s. True freedom comes not from doing what you want but doing the things you were created to do. Father John recommends we follow the flag of Christ (poverty, chastity, obedience) and not that of Satan (greed, lust, pride) by having a battle plan.
1. Be in the state of grace at all times-Go to Mass if you fall get up go to confession.
2. Pray-we know who we are by knowing who’s we are. Remember Saint Joseph is known as the terror of demons.
3. Do your daily duty; there is great heroism in finishing the daily tasks.
4. Be Humble and obey. When you break a commandment, you do not break it as much as it breaks you.
5. Seek a community there is strength in numbers “Iron sharpens iron”. Remember the Holy Spirit is what sets us free.
Epistle of Barnabas
CHAP. III. — THE FASTS OF THE JEWS ARE NOT TRUE FASTS, NOR ACCEPTABLE TO GOD.
He says then to them again concerning these things, "Why do ye fast to Me as on this day, saith the Lord, that your voice should be heard with a cry? I have not chosen this fast, saith the Lord, that a man should humble his soul. Nor, though ye bend your neck like a ring, and put upon you sackcloth and ashes, will ye call it an acceptable fast." To us He saith, "Behold, this is the fast that I have chosen, saith the Lord, not that a man should humble his soul, but that he should loose every band of iniquity, untie the fastenings of harsh agreements, restore to liberty them that are bruised, tear in pieces every unjust engagement, feed the hungry with thy bread, clothe the naked when thou seest him, bring the homeless into thy house, not despise the humble if thou behold him, and not [turn away] from the members of thine own family. Then shall thy dawn break forth, and thy healing shall quickly spring up, and righteousness shall go forth before thee, and the glory of God shall encompass thee; and then thou shalt call, and God shall hear thee; whilst thou art yet speaking, He shall say, Behold, I am with thee; if thou take away from thee the chain [binding others], and the stretching forth of the hands [to sweat falsely], and words of murmuring, and give cheerfully thy bread to the hungry, and show compassion to the soul that has been humbled." To this end, therefore, brethren, He is long-suffering, foreseeing how the people whom He has prepared shall with guilelessness believe in His Beloved. For He revealed all these things to us beforehand, that we should not rush forward as rash acceptors of their laws.
· Do not pour out your feelings. A talkative soul will more easily be attacked by the devil. Pour out your feelings to the Lord only. Remember, the good and evil spirits hear what you say aloud. Feelings are fleeting. Truth is the compass. Interior recollection is a spiritual armor.
· 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.
 John Maxwell, The Leadership Bible.
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
 John Parks, Lecture at Catholic Men’s Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, 3/21/2015.