Sunday, November 22, 2020
DAY 14 - MOTHER OF OUR SAVIOR, PRAY THAT WE RECEIVE THE GIFT OF PIETY!
PRAY A ROSARY
- Rosary of the Day: Glorious Mysteries
- Traditional 54 Day Rotation: Sorrowful Mysteries
Last Sunday of Church Year
CHRIST KING OF UNIVERSE-SAINT CECILIA
John, Chapter 5, Verse 20
For the Father LOVES his Son and shows him everything that he himself does, and he
will show him greater works than these, so that you may be amazed.
Does God derive anything from having us fear Him? His only wish is to see us truly growing and fruitful. He made us and as a loving father knows our needs both physical and spiritual. If we have a loving fear of our father, we are compelled by the Holy Spirit into spiritual leadership avoiding sloth which often comes as a result of being stuck in a victim mentality or not letting go of rage by forgiving the offender.
As we grow in our spiritual leadership we tend to be:
· Confident in God
· Know God
· Seek God’s will
· Serve all
· Motivated by love
· Trust the Holy Spirit
· Lead others
Our mindset connects or disconnects us with others—there are a number of ways we can “see” others from an inward mindset. Traditionally, Arbinger has categorized these three ways of seeing others as obstacles, vehicles or simply irrelevant.
1. When I’m seeing someone as an obstacle, I see them as “in my way”, or as a hindrance to what I’m seeking to accomplish.
2. When I’m seeing someone as a vehicle, I use them to get me what I want, or where I need to go. They might have information or connections that are valuable to me, so I “play nice” until I get what I want.
3. When someone is irrelevant to me, I don’t care about them and likely don’t allow their humanity to impact me in any way.
All three of these labels are ultimately ways that I
objectify others. When I’m seeing someone as an obstacle, vehicle or
irrelevancy, I’m not seeing them as a human being with needs, concerns, hopes
and fears similar to my own. Think of someone who you struggle to see as a
person. Perhaps they get on your nerves frequently, or perhaps you avoid them
at all costs. This person might be a coworker, a family member, a
neighbor—someone with whom you feel your relationship could improve. How do you
see this particular person? Are they often an obstacle? A vehicle? Mostly
irrelevant? If the person you have in mind feels like an obstacle to you,
consider how you might not be receiving their goodness or kindness. If this
person feels more like a vehicle to you, contemplate what needs they might have
that you’re failing to see? Are you looking to simply “get”, or are you willing
to give? For someone you’re seeing as irrelevant, what must it feel like for him or her to feel ignored, barely noticed or
hardly cared about? Have you ever been seen as an obstacle, a vehicle or
irrelevant? How did it feel? Ponder what underlying qualities you might be
missing in the person you’re thinking of. What might the people who love them
see in them?
ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY
6. Given this array of new situations and the questions which they prompt, it seems more necessary than ever to recover the deep doctrinal foundations underlying the Church's precept, so that the abiding value of Sunday in the Christian life will be clear to all the faithful. In doing this, we follow in the footsteps of the age-old tradition of the Church, powerfully restated by the Second Vatican Council in its teaching that on Sunday "Christian believers should come together, in order to commemorate the suffering, Resurrection and glory of the Lord Jesus, by hearing God's Word and sharing the Eucharist, and to give thanks to God who has given them new birth to a living hope through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (cf. 1 Pt 1:3)".(8)
The Ego and the King
On the last Sunday of the liturgical year, we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. Now see how he takes our nature out of love in His passion; Jesus is alone; the crowds who sang ‘hosanna!’ as he entered Jerusalem just five days previously are now shouting, ‘Crucify him!’ He has been accused unjustly. His mission has all but collapsed. His friends have run away; one of them has sold him, another says that he does not even know him. And now he stands before the most powerful person in the land on a falsified charge. This is a really bad day, and it is about to get worse. He will be flogged; he will walk the way of the Cross ... what happens next is well known to us all. It is a day which seems, by our normal standards, to be characterized by failure and abandonment. This is not our usual idea of what happens to a king. What we have here are two worlds, two kingdoms that come face to face as Jesus stands before Pilate. On the one side we have this earthly ruler representing the most successful empire the world had ever seen, a man with economic, political and military power: a successful man, with a reputation. This is someone to be taken seriously. And in Jesus we have God’s world, the Kingdom of God personified, and a completely different set of values where we are not subjects or slaves, but we are now friends. We are not equals; God is the Creator, the maker and author of all, but our relationship with God has been restored. We have a king who rules over an eternal kingdom which, in the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer for this feast, is described as:
· a kingdom of truth and life,
· a kingdom of holiness and grace,
· a kingdom of justice, love and peace.
But which world do we value? Inevitably as Christians we inhabit both of these worlds, we move between them. We may spend six days a week living in one kingdom, but only one matters, and we know which one, but it is often hard to choose. Pilate represents one kingdom; Jesus represents the other. In the Nicene Creed there are only two people (apart from Jesus) that are mentioned by name – Pilate and Mary – and again they show this same contrast: Pilate is wealthy, powerful, male, successful, secure, safely married; he has most of the things that many of us desire. Mary on the other hand, at the Annunciation, is a young woman, pregnant out of wedlock and therefore suspect, and at risk of exclusion from the Jewish community.
She is one of the anawim, the voiceless, the poor who yearn for good news. Few of us desire to be like this. We have these two worlds, two kingdoms. Only one of them is the Kingdom of God; only one of them is true, eternal and universal. But which do we choose? Which do we hope for? For which am I ambitious? If we are honest with ourselves, very often we would rather be Pilate. But it is not about us, it is about Jesus. He is king, no one else. To talk of kingship or lordship can evoke images of oppressive or coercive systems, but for Jesus kingship is about humility and service.
This feast is not to flatter a king with a fragile ego in need of reassurance, but to celebrate in gratitude the love and kindness of someone who is so committed to us that he will not compromise even in the face of the most powerful in the land, and who will not baulk even at death itself. The image of the Shepherd King may not be an especially rich one for most of us, but it was immensely powerful for the people of Israel, evoking ideas of care and love. All of this is in contrast to the kingship of power and domination, the reigns of kings that do not have the best interests of everyone at heart. This is the king who is lord over life and death and all there is. There is plenty of ambition in this world; that is not necessarily a bad thing.
But Christians are called to be ambitious for the Kingdom, not for ourselves; to seek power not in order to dominate, but to serve. The only throne that this king found was the cross. We are not to seek thrones of glory on which we can be admired, and if we do get them then we ought to pray for a very large dose of humility; we are to pray before the Throne of Glory from which we will receive mercy, love and hope. In a world where we are so often encouraged to seek power and success, it can be difficult to accept the truth of this; however, this truth is not a proposition or an idea, but a person to get to know. ‘Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice’, says Jesus – and Pilate does not hear him.
One of the reasons the Church says that each Sunday is a Holy Day of Obligation is because in order to get to know this person, in order to be people of the truth we have to meet him – in the Word and sacrament – and spend time with him, listen to his voice: to find out about the Kingdom of God. This is not easy, and we need the support of each other, the support of the Church. We, like Jesus, will probably encounter denial or betrayal. Like Judas and Peter, we may at times betray or deny him; these are risks for us also. But Christians are future-oriented people, and we are asked to have a vision of a better world, not just in the next life but in this, and to dream of a kingdom in which Christ is the king. We are people of hope –people who, in the future, can be free from our past and the worst we have done: our spectacular sins – the betrayals, the denials; and our mundane, ordinary and petty ones. But this hope is fragile and needs to be protected.
In the Mass for the Feast of Christ the King we are asked to bring our worst to the Lord, to bring our nightmares and our horror. Our nightmare can be turned into dreams of hope; there is a future, death is not the end, Good Friday is followed by the resurrection. God will make all things new. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus show us this. Bring your best and your worst, your dreams and your nightmares to the altar. We have a king who can cope with that, a king who can cope with us. Thank God for that.
Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
The Last Sunday of the Church Year
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, formerly referred to as "Christ the King," was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 as an antidote to secularism, a way of life which leaves God out of man's thinking and living and organizes his life as if God did not exist. The feast is intended to proclaim in a striking and effective manner Christ's royalty over individuals, families, society, governments, and nations. Today's Mass establishes the titles for Christ's royalty over men:
1) Christ is God, the Creator of the universe and hence wields a supreme power over all things; "All things were created by Him";
2) Christ is our Redeemer, He purchased us by His precious Blood, and made us His property and possession.
3) Christ is Head of the Church, "holding in all things the primacy”.
4) God bestowed upon Christ the nations of the world as His special possession and dominion.
Today's Mass also describes the qualities of Christ's kingdom. This kingdom is:
1) supreme, extending not only to all people but also to their princes and kings.
2) universal, extending to all nations and to all places.
3) eternal, for "The Lord shall sit a King forever”.
4) spiritual, Christ's "kingdom is not of this world." —
Indeed, we all are called to be fishers of men; the Lord calls all; truly we are not powerless for He gives us his very flesh that we may become Christ to everyone we encounter.
Christ the King as Represented in the Liturgy
The liturgy is an album in which every epoch of Church history immortalizes itself. Therein, accordingly, can be found the various pictures of Christ beloved during succeeding centuries. In its pages we see pictures of Jesus suffering and in agony; we see pictures of His Sacred Heart; yet these pictures are not proper to the nature of the liturgy as such; they resemble baroque altars in a gothic church. Classic liturgy knows but one Christ: The King, radiant, majestic, and divine.
With an ever-growing desire, all Advent awaits the "coming King"; in the chants of the breviary we find repeated again and again the two expressions "King" and "is coming." On Christmas the Church would greet, not the Child of Bethlehem, but the Rex Pacificus — "the King of peace gloriously reigning." Within a fortnight, there follows a feast which belongs to the greatest of the feasts of the Church year -- the Epiphany. As in ancient times oriental monarchs visited their principalities (theophany), so the divine King appears in His city, the Church; from its sacred precincts He casts His glance over all the world....On the final feast of the Christmas cycle, the Presentation in the Temple, holy Church meets her royal Bridegroom with virginal love: "Adorn your bridal chamber, O Sion, and receive Christ your King!" The burden of the Christmas cycle may be summed up in these words: Christ the King establishes His Kingdom of light upon earth!
If we now consider the Easter cycle, the luster of Christ's royal dignity is indeed somewhat veiled by His sufferings; nevertheless, it is not the suffering Jesus who is present to the eyes of the Church as much as Christ the royal Hero and Warrior who upon the battlefield of Golgotha struggles with the mighty and dies in triumph. Even during Lent and Passiontide the Church acclaims her King. The act of homage on Palm Sunday is intensely stirring; singing psalms in festal procession we accompany our Savior singing: Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe, "Glory, praise and honor be to Thee, Christ, O King!" It is true that on Good Friday the Church meditates upon the Man of Sorrows in agony upon the Cross, but at the same time, and perhaps more so, she beholds Him as King upon a royal throne. The hymn Vexilla Regis, "The royal banners forward go," is the more perfect expression of the spirit from which the Good Friday liturgy has arisen. Also characteristic is the verse from Psalm 95, Dicite in gentibus quia Dominus regnavit, to which the early Christians always added, a ligno, "Proclaim among the Gentiles: the Lord reigns from upon the tree of the Cross!" During Paschal time the Church is so occupied with her glorified Savior and Conqueror that kingship references become rarer; nevertheless, toward the end of the season we celebrate our King's triumph after completing the work of redemption, His royal enthronement on Ascension Thursday.
Neither in the time after Pentecost is the picture of Christ as King wholly absent from the liturgy. Corpus Christi is a royal festival: "Christ the King who rules the nations, come, let us adore" (Invit.). In the Greek Church the feast of the Transfiguration is the principal solemnity in honor of Christ's kingship, Summum Regem gloriae Christum adoremus (Invit.). Finally at the sunset of the ecclesiastical year, the Church awaits with burning desire the return of the King of Majesty.
We will overlook further considerations in favor of a glance at the daily Offices. How often do we not begin Matins with an act of royal homage: "The King of apostles, of martyrs, of confessors, of virgins — come, let us adore" (Invit.). Lauds is often introduced with Dominus regnavit, "The Lord is King". Christ as King is also a first consideration at the threshold of each day; for morning after morning we renew our oath of fidelity at Prime: "To the King of ages be honor and glory." Every oration is concluded through our Mediator Christ Jesus "who lives and reigns forever." Yes, age-old liturgy beholds Christ reigning as King in His basilica (etym.: "the king's house"), upon the altar as His throne.
Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
The most holy council, then, earnestly entreats all the laity in the Lord to answer gladly, nobly, and promptly the more urgent invitation of Christ in this hour and the impulse of the Holy Spirit. Younger persons should feel that this call has been directed to them especially and they should respond to it eagerly and generously. The Lord renews His invitation to all the laity to come closer to Him every day, recognizing that what is His is also their own (Phil. 2:5), to associate themselves with Him in His saving mission. Once again, He sends them into every town and place where He will come (cf. Luke 10:1) so that they may show that they are co-workers in the various forms and modes of the one apostolate of the Church, which must be constantly adapted to the new needs of our times. Ever productive as they should be in the work of the Lord, they know that their labor in Him is not in vain (cf. 1 Cor. 15:58).
Things to Do
· A procession for Christ the King on this feast day, either in the Church or at home is appropriate for this feast. The Blessed Sacrament would be carried, and the procession would end with a prayer of consecration to Christ the King and Benediction. Try to participate if your parish has a Christ the King procession. If not, try having one at home (minus the Blessed Sacrament).
· Read Pope Pius XI's encyclical Quas primas (On the Feast of Christ the King) which shows that secularism is the direct denial of Christ's Kingship.
· Learn more about secularism - read the Annual Statement of the Bishops of the United States released on November 14, 1947.
· Being a relatively newer feast on the Liturgical calendar, there are no traditional foods for this day. Suggested ideas: a wonderful family Sunday dinner, and bake a cake shaped as a crown or King Cake or a bread in shape of a crown in honor of Christ the King.
· A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who piously recite the Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King. A plenary indulgence is granted; if it is recite publicly on the feast of our Lord Jesus Christ King.
Octave of Christ
Upon research I have discovered there is no Octave of Christ the King of the Universe. However, I propose to make a retreat; an octave from now through the first Sunday of Advent.
The "eighth day" or octava dies was associated with the weekly Christian celebration of the resurrection of Christ every "eighth day", which became a name for Sunday. As circumcision was performed on the "eighth day" after birth, the number 8 became associated also with baptism, and baptismal fonts have from an early date often been octagonal. The practice of octaves was first introduced under Constantine I, when the dedication festivities of the basilicas at Jerusalem and Tyre, Lebanon were observed for eight days. After these one-off occasions, annual liturgical feasts began to be dignified with an octave. The first such feasts were Easter, Pentecost, and, in the East, Epiphany. This occurred in the fourth century and served as a period of time for the newly baptized to take a joyful retreat.
· I plan to attend Mass daily or via EWTN or the internet
· Mediate on the virtues of Mary (Humility, Generosity, Chastity, Patience, Temperance, Understanding/love and Wisdom. One for each day.
· Fast doing the Daniel fast (Monday-Saturday).
· Exercise-Universal Man Plan.
Her martyrdom probably occurred during the reign of Emperor Alexander Severus, about the year 230. In 1599 her grave was opened, and her body found in a coffin of cypress wood. It lay incorrupt, as if she had just breathed forth her soul. Since the middle Ages, Cecilia has been honored as patroness of Church music. Cecilia led a life of prayer and meditation and had vowed lifelong virginity, but a youth by the name of Valerian, relying upon the approval of her parents, hoped to marry her. When the wedding night arrived, she confided to Valerian, "There is a secret, Valerian, I wish to tell you. I have as a lover an angel of God who jealously guards my body." Valerian promised to believe in Christ if he would be enabled to see that angel. Cecilia explained how such was impossible without baptism, and Valerian consented to be baptized. After he was baptized by Pope Urban and had returned "He found Cecilia in her little room lost in prayer, and next to her the angel of the Lord was standing. When Valerian saw the angel, he was seized with great terror." The angel handed to them a bouquet of fiery red roses and snow-white lilies as a reward for Cecilia's love of chastity, a bouquet that would not wither, yet would be visible only to those who love chastity. As a further favor Valerian besought the conversion of his brother Tiburtius. Upon arriving to congratulate the newlyweds, Tiburtius was astounded by the unspeakably beautiful roses and lilies. As soon as he was informed regarding their origin, he too asked for the waters of baptism. "St. Cecilia said to Tiburtius: Today I acknowledge you as a brother-in-law, because the love of God has made you despise the idols. Just as the love of God gave me your brother as a spouse, so it has given you to me as a brother in-law."
When Almachius, the prefect, heard of the conversions, he ordered Maximus, his officer, to arrest and imprison all of them. Before being put to death, they instructed Maximus and his family, and baptized them during the night preceding execution. At dawn Cecilia roused the two brothers to struggle heroically for Christ, as the glow of morning disappeared, Cecilia called: "Arise, soldiers of Christ, throw away the works of darkness and put on the armor of light." Cecilia pursued her victory as the soldiers willingly listened, "We believe that Christ is the true Son of God, who has chosen such a servant." Led before the prefect, she professed her faith in Christ, "We profess His holy Name and we will not deny Him."
In order to avoid further show, the prefect commanded her to be suffocated in the baths. She remained unharmed and prayed, "I thank You, Father of my Lord Jesus Christ that through Your Son the fire was extinguished at my side." Beheading was next in order. The executioner made three attempts (the law prohibited more) and let her lie in her blood. She lived for three days, encouraging the poor and dedicating her home into a church.
Today is my grandson Philip Matthew’s birthday age one. Philip means “friend of horses” and Matthew “gift of God”. A Charger is a war horse. I pray God will give Philip the grace to be a
“Charger of Love the Gift of God”.
Please pray for his and his father’s intentions Christopher Gabriel “Bearer of Christ with the strength of God”
May our King make use of them! El Cristo Rey!
· Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.
 John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.