Day 9-Let Freedom Ring: Freedom from
Abuse of Sexuality Outside of the Marital State
We have allowed the temptation of the devil to move our hearts toward impurity and grave errors in sexuality.
We have allowed works of evil to foment within us a heart of unchastity and immorality.
Worse, through our own stubborn, prideful justification for our sins of impurity, we have not come to a more full understanding of Your Truth about the difference between God's Creation and plan for family, and the destruction wrought by Lucifer's plan, which is any-and-all-things-contrary to God's plan.
By allowing our hearts to move toward the darkness of impurity, and not toward the pure Light of chastity, we have allowed the ancient foe to advance in ourselves, revealed in the destruction of family.
We turn to you Lord, in our shame, and beg your forgiveness for any heart of impurity, and any failure to strive for a heart of chastity.
We beg for the grace of Your strength and power to grant us the resolve to turn back the falsehoods of the enemy by freely and openly speaking Your truth with love to a waiting world.
We know, Lord, if You will it, it will be done.
Trusting in You, we offer our prayer to You who live and reign forever and ever.
In Your power and goodness, You created all things.
You set a path for us to walk on and a way to an eternal relationship.
By the strength of Your arm and Word of Your mouth
Cast from Your Holy Church every fearful deceit of the Devil
Drive from us manifestations of the demonic that oppress us and beckon us to unchastity and immorality.
Still the lying tongue of the devil and his forces so that we may act freely and faithfully in imitation of You.
Send Your holy angels to cast out all influence that the demonic entities in charge of immorality have planted in Your church.
Free us, our families, our parish, our diocese, and our country from all trickery and deceit perpetrated by the Devil and his hellish legions.
Trusting in Your goodness Lord,
We know if You will it, it will be done in unity with Your Son and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, etc.
Light of the patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster-father of the Son of God,
Watchful defender of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most valiant,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of workmen ,
Glory of domestic life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the afflicted,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy Church,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
And prince over all His possessions.
O God, Who in Thine ineffable providence didst choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most Holy Mother, grant that as we venerate him as our protector on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in Heaven, Thou Who livest and reignest forever and ever. R. Amen.
To see the Goals, Methods and Levels of "Let Freedom Ring," go HERE
Introduction to the gospel of Matthew
The gospel begins with a genealogy of Jesus starting with Abraham, the father of Israel. Jesus is designated as “the son of David, the son of Abraham” In the first of the episodes of the infancy narrative that follow the genealogy, the mystery of Jesus’ person is declared. He is conceived of a virgin by the power of the Spirit of God the gospel shows that he was the one to whom the prophecies of Israel were pointing, he shall be named Emmanuel, for in him God is with us. The announcement of the birth of this newborn king of the Jews greatly troubles not only King Herod but all Jerusalem, yet the Gentile magi are overjoyed to find him and offer him their homage and their gifts. Thus his ultimate rejection by the mass of his own people and his acceptance by the Gentile nations is foreshadowed. He must be taken to Egypt to escape the murderous plan of Herod. By his sojourn there and his subsequent return after the kings’ death he relives the Exodus experience of Israel. The words of the Lord spoken through the prophet Hosea, “Out of Egypt I called my son,” are fulfilled in him; if Israel was Gods son, Jesus is so in a way far surpassing the dignity of that nation, as his marvelous birth and the unfolding of his story show. Back in the land of Israel, he must be taken to Nazareth in Galilee because of the danger to his life in Judea, where Herod’s son Archelaus is now ruling. The sufferings of Jesus in the infancy narrative anticipate those of his passion, and if his life is spared in spite of the dangers, it is because his destiny is finally to give it on the cross as “a ransom for many. Thus the word of the angel will be fulfilled, “…he will save his people from their sins.
Matthew begins his account of the ministry of Jesus, introducing it by the preaching of John the Baptist, the baptism of Jesus that culminates in God’s proclaiming him his “beloved Son”, and the temptation in which he proves his true sonship by his victory over the devil’s attempt to deflect him from the way of obedience to the Father. The central message of Jesus’ preaching is the coming of the kingdom of heaven and the need for repentance, a complete change of heart and conduct, on the part of those who are to receive this great gift of God. Galilee is the setting for most of his ministry; he leaves there for Judea only in and his ministry in Jerusalem, the goal of his journey, is limited to a few days. There are five great discourses of Jesus, each concluding with the formula “When Jesus finished these words” or one closely similar. These are an important structure of the gospel. The discourses are, the “Sermon on the Mount, the missionary discourse (Mt 10:5–42), the parable discourse (Mt 13:3–52), the “church order” discourse (Mt 18:3–35), and the eschatological discourse (Mt 24:4–25:46).
· In the “Sermon on the Mount” the theme of righteousness is prominent, and even at this early stage of the ministry the note of opposition is struck between Jesus and the Pharisees, who are designated as “the hypocrites. The righteousness of his disciples must surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees; otherwise, in spite of their alleged following of Jesus, they will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Righteousness means doing the will of the heavenly Father, and his will is proclaimed in a manner that is startling to all who have identified it with the Law of Moses. Jesus’ claimed that he has come not to abolish but to fulfill the law. What is meant by fulfillment of the law is not the demand to keep it exactly as it stood before the coming of Jesus, but rather his bringing the law to be a lasting expression of the will of God, and in that fulfillment there is much that will pass away. Should this appear contradictory to his saying that “until heaven and earth pass away” not even the smallest part of the law will pass, that time of fulfillment is not the dissolution of the universe but the coming of the new age, which will occur with Jesus’ death and resurrection. While righteousness in the new age will continue to mean conduct that is in accordance with the law, it will be conduct in accordance with the law as expounded and interpreted by Jesus, “…all that I have commanded you”). Though Jesus speaks harshly about the Pharisees in the Sermon, his judgment is not solely a condemnation of them. The Pharisees are portrayed as a negative example for his disciples, and his condemnation of those who claim to belong to him while disobeying his word is no less severe. The Sermon on the Mount is composed principally of accounts of those merciful deeds of Jesus, but it is far from being simply a collection of stories about miraculous cures.
· The nature of the community that Jesus will establish is shown; it will always be under the protection of him whose power can deal with all dangers, but it is only for those who are prepared to follow him at whatever cost, not only believing Israelites but Gentiles who have come to faith in him. The disciples begin to have some insight, however imperfect, into the mystery of Jesus’ person. They wonder about him whom “the winds and the sea obey, and they witness his bold declaration of the forgiveness of the paralytic’s sins. That episode of the narrative moves on two levels. When the crowd sees the cure that testifies to the authority of Jesus, the Son of Man, to forgive sins, they glorify God “who had given such authority to human beings. The forgiveness of sins is now not the prerogative of Jesus alone but of “human beings,” that is, of the disciples who constitute the community of Jesus, the church. The end of the section prepares for the discourse on the church’s mission. Jesus is moved to pity at the sight of the crowds who are like sheep without a shepherd, and he sends out the twelve disciples to make the proclamation with which his own ministry began, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand, and to drive out demons and cure the sick as he has done. Their mission is limited to Israel as Jesus’ own was, yet in Mt 15:16 that perspective broadens and the discourse begins to speak of the mission that the disciples will have after the resurrection and of the severe persecution that will attend it. Matthew deals with the growing opposition to Jesus and Hostility toward him, but it becomes more intense. The rejection of Jesus comes, as before, from Pharisees, who take “counsel against him to put him to death” and repeat their earlier accusation that he drives out demons because he is in league with demonic power. But they are not alone in their rejection. Jesus complains of the lack of faith of “this generation” of Israelites and reproaches the towns “where most of his mighty deeds had been done” for not heeding his call to repentance. This dark picture is relieved by Jesus’ praise of the Father who has enabled “the childlike” to accept him, but on the whole the story is one of opposition to his word and blindness to the meaning of his deeds. The whole section ends with his declaring that not even the most intimate blood relationship with him counts for anything; his only true relatives are those who do the will of his heavenly Father. The narrative of rejection leads up to the parables.
· The reason given for Jesus’ speaking to the crowds in parables is that they have hardened themselves against his clear teaching, unlike the disciples to whom knowledge of “the mysteries of the kingdom has been granted”and he dismisses the crowds and continues the discourse to his disciples alone, who claim, at the end, to have understood all that he has said. But, lest the impression be given that the church of Jesus is made up only of true disciples, the explanation of the parable of the weeds among the wheat, as well as the parable of the net thrown into the sea “which collects fish of every kind, shows that it is composed of both the righteous and the wicked, and that separation between the two will be made only at the time of the final judgment. Jesus is shown preparing for the establishment of his church with its teaching authority that will supplant the blind guidance of the Pharisees, whose teaching, curiously said to be that of the Sadducees also, is repudiated by Jesus as the norm for his disciples.
· The church of Jesus will be built on Peter, who will be given authority to bind and loose on earth, an authority whose exercise will be confirmed in heaven. The metaphor of binding and loosing has a variety of meanings, among them that of giving authoritative teaching. This promise is made to Peter directly after he has confessed Jesus to be the Messiah, the Son of the living God, a confession that he has made as the result of revelation given to him by the heavenly Father; Matthew’s ecclesiology is based on his high Christology. Directly after that confession Jesus begins to instruct his disciples about how he must go the way of suffering and death. Peter, who has been praised for his confession, protests against this and receives from Jesus the sharpest of rebukes for attempting to deflect Jesus from his God-appointed destiny. The future rock upon whom the church will be built is still a man of “little faith. Both he and the other disciples must know not only that Jesus will have to suffer and die but that they too will have to follow him on the way of the cross if they are truly to be his disciples. They must care for one another and guard each other’s faith in Jesus, to seeking out those who have wandered from the fold, and to repeated forgiving of their fellow disciples who have offended them. But there is also the obligation to correct the sinful fellow Christian and, should one refuse to be corrected, separation from the community is demanded. Jesus and his disciples depart from Galilee for Jerusalem. In the course of their journey Jesus for the third time predicts the passion that awaits him at Jerusalem and also his resurrection. At his entrance into the city he is hailed as the Son of David by the crowds accompanying him. He cleanses the temple, and in the few days of his Jerusalem ministry he engages in a series of controversies with the Jewish religious leaders, meanwhile speaking parables against them, against all those Israelites who have rejected God’s invitation to the messianic banquet, and against all, Jew and Gentile, who have accepted but have shown themselves unworthy of it. Once again, the perspective of the evangelist includes not only the time of Jesus’ ministry but that of the preaching of the gospel after his resurrection.
· The narrative culminates in Jesus’ denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees, reflecting not only his own opposition to them but that of Matthew’s church, and in Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem. The last of the great structural discourses of the gospel, Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple and his own final coming. The time of the latter is unknown, and the disciples are exhorted in various parables to live in readiness for it, a readiness that entails faithful attention to the duties of the interim period. The coming of Jesus will bring with it the great judgment by which the everlasting destiny of all will be determined. The story of Jesus’ passion and resurrection, the climax of the gospel, throws light on all that has preceded. In Matthew “righteousness” means both the faithful response to the will of God demanded of all to whom that will is announced and also the saving activity of God for his people. In Jesus’ absolute faithfulness to the Father’s will that he drink the cup of suffering, the incomparable model for Christian obedience is given; in his death “for the forgiveness of sins”, the saving power of God is manifested as never before. Matthew’s portrayal of Jesus in his passion combines both the majestic serenity of the obedient Son who goes his destined way in fulfillment of the scriptures, confident of his ultimate vindication by God, and the depths of fear and abandonment that he feels in face of death. These two aspects are expressed by an Old Testament theme that occurs often in the narrative, i.e., the portrait of the suffering Righteous One who complains to God in his misery, but is certain of eventual deliverance from his terrible ordeal. The passion-resurrection of God’s Son means nothing less than the turn of the ages, a new stage of history, the coming of the Son of Man in his kingdom. That is the sense of the apocalyptic signs that accompany Jesus’ death and resurrection. Although the old age continues, as it will until the manifestation of Jesus’ triumph at his second coming, the final age has now begun. This is known only to those who have seen the Risen One and to those, both Jews and Gentiles, who have believed in their announcement of Jesus’ triumph and have themselves become his disciples. To them he is constantly, though invisibly, present, verifying the name Emmanuel, “God is with us”.
JULY 15 Wednesday
Matthew, Chapter 2, Verse 21-22
21 He rose, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was AFRAID to go back there. And because he had been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee.
To Joseph the gift of dreams and visions was given but to some is giving the gift of tongues. To which many years ago (February 1975) at the birth of my first-born daughter I had gone to the Gunpowder Inn, in Bermuda, to celebrate her birth, with a couple of Native American friends. At the time I was in the Navy Seabees and we worked together.
When I had got there, all of the sudden, I got an overwhelming feeling that I needed to speak in tongues to P. Graves and I did. I felt stupid and fearful, but I spoke to him in languages I knew not and used sign, too. He told me I used 800-year-old languages that only a handful of people knew. The simple message from Christ was that he (P. Graves) who was the last living war chief of the Blackfoot tribe was not to assume his chieftainship and to let his son become chief or otherwise there would be much blood.
I never heard from P. Graves again after 1974 but as far as I know; no Blackfoot, has participated in any Wounded Knee violence.
Wounded Knee: Trouble Continues at Pine Ridge
“The troubles at Wounded Knee were not over after the siege. A virtual civil war broke out between the opposing Indian factions on the Pine Ridge reservation, and a series of beatings, shootings and murders left more than 100 Indians dead. When two FBI agents were killed in a 1975 gunfight, the agency raided the reservation and arrested AIM leader Leonard Peltier for the crime. The FBI crackdown coupled with AIM’s own excesses ended its influence at Pine Ridge. In 1977, Peltier was convicted of killing the two FBI agents and sentenced to life in prison. To this day, Peltier’s supporters continue to maintain his innocence and seek a presidential pardon for him.”
Tax Day (Taxes Due)
Tax Day marks the last day to file income taxes in the United States. The history of US Income Tax dates back to the Civil War and the Revenue Act of 1861. This tax was imposed to help pay the costs of the war. After several repeals, new taxes, and subsequent repeals, the 16th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified and went into law in 1913. This established the right of Congress to impose a Federal Income tax. The Income Tax remains the primary way (and borrowing from china) that the US Government finances itself to ensure that all monies due for the prior year are paid, a Tax Day was created. All US taxpayers are required to file taxes based on prior year’s earnings by this date. Traditionally this date has been on April 15 of each year. If this day falls on a weekend, the due date is extended. This date is also impacted by the Emancipation Day Holiday in Washington DC.
Tax Day (Taxes Due) Facts & Quotes
· In 1913, the original US income tax rates were 1% for incomes over $3,000; 6% for incomes over $500,000. (Now when will they take it all and give us food stamps and credits at their whim.)
· During World War I, around 1918, the highest income tax rate was over 77%.
· The power of taxing people and their property is essential to the very existence of government. - James Madison, U.S. President
· A tax loophole is something that benefits the other guy. If it benefits you, it is tax reform. - Russell B. Long, U.S. Senator
Tax Day (Taxes Due) Top Events and Things to Do
· Be sure to mail your Tax Return before the midnight of the designated Tax Day.
· File for an extension before midnight, if needed.
· Visit Office Depot and shred your old documents for Free.
· Take advantage of Tax Day Freebies at local restaurants.
· Watch a movie that deals with taxes and the consequences of unpaid taxes. Our picks: Stranger Than Fiction (2006), Catch Me If You Can (2012), The Firm (1993), The Mating Game (1959)
Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph
The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.
· Do Day 9 of Total Consecration to St. Joseph.
· Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
· Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus
· Practice fidelity to baptismal vows
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