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Monday, March 29, 2021

 

Monday of Holy Week

HOLI

 Psalm 27, verse 1:

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should, I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid? 

This verse is and should be our declaration of faith.  Let us commit it to memorization and repeat it to ourselves daily or when fear and doubt rears its ugly head within our depths.  Doing this will help us trust the Lord and develop a true relationship of love with the Trinity through prayer.  God will become our sanctuary and we will be able to put away our fears and rest in the arms of God. 

We will no longer have to pretend that we are not afraid for we will trust the Lord with our whole being offering our lives, families, time and treasure with total peace.  We will be able to sleep and awaken easily.  The old Navajo adage will no longer apply to us; you cannot wake a person who is pretending to be asleep; due to our faith in God. 

Through our reliance in Him we will be able to say with King David, “I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:13-14).

Monday of Holy Week

Prayer. GRANT, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who fail through our infirmity, in so many adversities may be relieved by the passion of Thy Son, making intercession for us.

EPISTLE. Isaias 1. 5-10.

In those days Isaias said: The Lord God hath opened my ear, and I do not resist I have not gone back. I have given my body to the strikers, and my cheeks to them that plucked them: I have not turned away my face from them that rebuked me, and spit upon me. The Lord God is my helper, therefore am I not confounded: therefore, have I set my face as a most hard rock, and I know that I shall not be confounded. He is near that justifieth me, who will contend with me? let us stand together, who is my adversary? let him come near to me. Behold the Lord God is my helper: who is he that shall condemn me?

Lo, they shall all be destroyed as a garment, the moth shall eat them up. Who is there among you that feareth the Lord, that heareth the voice of His servant, that hath walked in darkness, and hath no light? let him hope in the name of the Lord, and lean upon his God.

GOSPEL. John xii. 1-9.

Six days before the Pasch Jesus came to Bethania, where Lazarus had been dead, whom Jesus raised to life. And they made Him -a supper there: and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of them that were at table with Him. Mary therefore took a pound of ointment of right spikenard, of great price, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, he that was about to betray Him, said: Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence and given to the poor?

Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and having the purse, carried the things that were put therein. Jesus therefore said: Let her alone, that she may keep it against the day of My burial. For the poor you have always with you: but Me you have not always. A great multitude therefore of the Jews knew that He was there: and they came, not for Jesus’s sake only, but that they might see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.

Monday of Holy Week[1]

 

The Gospel for the Mass gives an account of Judas' character, foreshadowing his act of betrayal.

 

Spring Cleaning Just as the Hebrews cleaned and swept the whole house in preparation for the Pasch (Passover), so too is there an ancient custom in Christianity that the first three weekdays of Holy Week be a time for the year's most thorough cleaning. Everything is to be scrubbed and polished, and all work is to be completed by Wednesday evening (in time for Tenebrae).

 

Tenebrae consists of the divine office of Matins and Lauds for Maundy Thursday. It is generally held on the night of "Spy Wednesday" of Holy Week, so-called because it is believed to be the night on which Judas Iscariot betrayed our Lord. 

Timeline of Holy Week[2] 

·         Jesus curses the fig tree. (Mt 21:18-19; Mk 11:12-14) 

·         Jesus cleanses the temple. (Mt 21:10-17; Mk 11:11; Lk 19:45-46; Jn 2:13-25)

·         Parable of the wicked tenants (Mt 21:33-46; Mk 12:1-12; Lk 20:9-19)

·         Returns to Bethany at night.

 

On Monday[3], Jesus returned with his disciples to Jerusalem. Along the way, He cursed a fig tree because it had failed to bear fruit. Some scholars believe this cursing of the fig tree represented God's judgment on the spiritually dead religious leaders of Israel. Others believe the symbolism extended to all believers, demonstrating that genuine faith is more than just outward religiosity. True, living faith must bear spiritual fruit in a person's life. When Jesus arrived at the Temple he found the courts full of corrupt money changers. He began overturning their tables and clearing the Temple, saying, "The Scriptures declare, 'My Temple will be a house of prayer,' but you have turned it into a den of thieves." (Luke 19:46) On Monday evening Jesus stayed in Bethany again, probably in the home of his friends, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus

 

Holi-Another Pagan Fest[4]


 

Holi is the ancient Hindu Festival of Love and also known as the Festival of Colors.  The origins of Holi lie in ancient Hindu traditions where Holi was celebrated to mark the arrival of spring.  Holi is also related to the legend of Holika, the evil sister of demon king Hiranyakashipu, who tried to burn Hiranyakashipu's son Prahlada.  Prahlada had maintained faith in god (Vishnu), while Hiranyakashipu contended that he was god.  Wearing a cloak that guarded her from fire, Holika lured Prahlada into a fire but the cloak that was guarding Holika flew and protected Prahlada instead.  Because of this Holi also celebrates the triumph of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and love over hate.

 

Holi Facts & Quotes

 

·         The name Holi stems from Holiya, who was the evil sister of a demon god that tried to burn her nephew.  According to ancient Sanskrit scriptures, Holiya died in the fire while her nephew was unharmed.  Since then, on the eve of Holi, a bonfire named Holiya is lit to signify the triumph of good over evil.

·         Central to most Holi festivals are bright colors that are often thrown, sprayed or painted on. For this reason, Holi is often refered to as the Festival of Colors.

·         Traditionally colors were achieved through dyes that were made from turmeric, sandalwood, flower and leaf extracts, and beetroots.  In recent times Synthetic Color dyes are often used during Holi festivals.  These dyes are often toxic or cause allergic reactions.  It's a good idea to rub coconut oil into your skin beforehand, to prevent toxic color dyes from absorbing.

·         Bhang, tea made from cannabis leaves, is frequently served at some Holi celebrations in India and Nepal. Bhang also contains milk, butter and spices (cinnamon or nutmeg).

·         Holi is the day to express love with colors. It is a time to show affection. All the colors that are on you are of love. – Anonymous

Catholics and Holi[5]

With Indians and Hindus celebrating Holi, a spring festival of colors, today, Bishop Thomas Dabre of Poona has encouraged the faithful to participate in the celebration, which is meant to promote spiritual and social harmony. Holi is celebrated with everyone throwing brightly dyed powders on each other. It marks the setting aside of differences and grudges in a spirit of reconciliation. Observing the collective celebratory spirit of Holi which integrates joy, enthusiasm and freedom, Bishop Dabre said the day “gives a message of joy and happiness.”

Nevertheless, Bishop Dabre cautioned that “Holi must live the holy joy, and the joy a religion should spread is not without norms or principles but must be coupled with the observance of commandments.” The true joy that emanates from religion must respect the freedom of others; not impose our likes and dislikes on others,” he reflected. Hindus begin the celebration with a Holika bonfire the evening prior to Holi, which relates to the myth upon which the festival is based. However, the throwing of color and water which all Indians participate in is a manifestation of joy and friendship across religious lines.  Bishop Dabre also noted that “religion must be experienced as a liberating experience of freedom, and this is very significant in the context of religious terrorism and extremism in different parts of the world, and in India.”

He lamented the rise of such groups as the Taliban, Boko Haram, and Islamic State, saying that in these cases, “religion has become a cause of fear, terror, injustice and oppression.” In the light of recent persecution and discrimination against Christians in India, Bishop Dabre lamented that “even in our country, in the name of religion unreasonable restriction are imposed on the people; force and pressure is employed to reconvert people and to ban the adoption of a religion of one’s choice … also gruesome crimes are committed against women and people of the so-called low caste. Thus, religion has become a matter of grievous concern. “However, “in such a situation Holi gives an important lesson that religion must spread true joy and freedom,” he added.

May the Lord help us conquer our fear[6]

“In these days there's so much suffering. There's a lot of fear.” Pope Francis’ …

“The fear of the elderly who are alone in nursing homes, or hospitals, or in their own homes, and don't know what will happen. The fear of those who don’t have regular jobs and are thinking about how to feed their children. They foresee they may go hungry. The fear of many civil servants. At this moment they're working to keep society functioning and they might get sick. There’s also the fear, the fears, of each one of us. Each one knows what their own fears are. We pray to the Lord that He might help us to trust, and to tolerate and conquer these fears.”

He based his thoughts on the first reading from Exodus 32:7-14.

From the Living God to idols

Pope Francis explained how the chosen people turned into idolaters. They lose patience waiting for Moses to return from the mountain. They “get bored”, the Pope said. A “nostalgia for idolatry” overtakes them.

“It was a true apostasy. From the Living God to idolatry not knowing how to wait for the Living God. This nostalgia is an illness, which is ours. We begin to walk enthusiastically toward freedom, but then the complaining begins: ‘This is really difficult. It's a desert. I’m thirsty. I want water. I want meat… In Egypt we ate good things. There's nothing here’.

Idolatry is selective

The Pope then described how idolatry is “selective”.  “It makes you think of the good things that it gives you. But it doesn't allow you to see the bad things”, he said. The chosen people remembered all the good things that were on their tables when they were in Egypt. “But they forgot that it was the table of slavery”, Pope Francis pointed out.

Idolatry takes everything

Idolaters lose everything, the Pope continued. The chosen people handed over all of their gold and silver to make the golden calf. They constructed the golden calf with gifts God had given to them. It was He who had to ask the Egyptians for their gold before they took flight.

“This mechanism also happens to us. When we do things that lead us to idolatry, we become attached to things that distance us from God. We make another god with the gifts that the Lord has given us: with our intelligence, our will, our love, our heart. We use God’s very gifts to make idols.”

Idols in our hearts

The crucifixes or images of Our Lady that we have in our houses are not our idols. “They are in our hearts”, the Pope said. Each of us should ask ourselves what idols we have hidden in our hearts. Idolatry can even affect our prayer. After all, the chosen people wanted to worship the idol they made. One way we do this is by changing “the celebration of a sacrament into a secular celebration”, the Pope suggested.

The question today

“What are my idols?” “Where do I hide them?” These are the questions to ask we today, the Pope said, concluding his homily.

“May the Lord not find us at the end of our lives and say to us: ‘You apostatized. You deviated from the way that I marked out. You prostrated yourself before an idol’. We ask the Lord for the grace of recognizing our own idols.” 

Daily Devotions/Activities

·         Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels

·         Manhood of the Master-week 6 day 6

·         Monday: Litany of Humility

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary



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