Sunday, June 6, 2021

 Second Sunday after Pentecost

CORPUS CHRISTI SUNDAY-D-Day MEMORIAL

 

2 Samuel, Chapter 12, Verse 26-28

26 Absalom then said, “If not you, then please let my brother Amnon come with us.” The king asked him, “Why should he go with you?” 27 But at Absalom’s urging, the king sent Amnon and with him all his other sons. Absalom prepared a banquet fit for a king. 28 But Absalom had instructed his attendants: “Now watch! When Amnon is merry with wine and I say to you, ‘Kill Amnon,’ put him to death. Do not be AFRAID, for it is I who order you to do it. Be strong and act like warriors.”

 

David’s family life, after the murder of Uriah, reads like a mafia tale with David being the Don and all his son’s vying for power. 

 

Amnon was the heir-apparent to David's throne; Amnon though is best remembered for the rape of his half-sister Tamar, daughter of David with Maachah. Despite the biblical prohibition on sexual relations between half-brothers and sisters, Amnon had an overwhelming desire for her. He acted on advice from his cousin, Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David's brother, to lure Tamar into his quarters by pretending to be sick and desiring her to cook a special meal for him. While in his quarters, and ignoring her protests, he raped her, and then expelled her from his house. King David was angry about the incident, but could not bring himself to punish his eldest son, while Absalom, Amnon's half-brother and Tamar's full brother, nursed a bitter grudge against Amnon for the rape of his sister. Two years later, to avenge Tamar, Absalom invited all of David's sons to a feast, and then had his servants kill Amnon after he had become drunk with wine.[1]

 

David’s sin had found him out. After he killed Uriah, it was like killing his own self and now he was not holding his children accountable. They became monsters. David’s youthful heart of gratitude and love for God was sorely wounded. David never regained the law of the Sacrifice. Yet, from David’s line comes Jesus Christ; His sacrifice saves us all and you can, “Stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.” (Lk. 21:28)

Apostolic Exhortation[2]

Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration Falling

of The Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix,
to Priests, Deacons, Religious and the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Phoenix on the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist

My beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Part II

III. Worthy Reception of Holy Communion – Conforming our life with Christ

61. From the very beginning, the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, passed down to us in the Didache – one of the oldest writings outside the New Testament – describes this ancient practice in which the priest, just before distributing Holy Communion says: “Whoever is holy, let him approach, whoever is not, let him do penance” (Didache 10). The Church has always stressed this perennial doctrine and discipline: before one receives Jesus Christ in Holy Communion one must be in communion of life, restored often by God’s mercy in the Sacrament of Penance. Otherwise, instead of receiving all the graces from Holy Communion, we are partaking of our own condemnation. Saint Paul declared, “Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.” In other words, whoever unworthily receives the Eucharist will have to answer for the Lord’s death. The Apostle further warned, “A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself” (1 Cor 11:27-29).

62. Thomas Aquinas painfully but clearly echoed Saint Paul’s warning in the hymn Lauda Sion Salvatorem reminding us that the “Bread of Life” becomes the bread of death for those who consume Jesus in the state of grave sin. “The good partake, the bad partake: with, however, an unequal share of life and death. It is death to the bad, life to the good: behold how unlike is the result of like partaking.” When one receives Holy Communion unworthily, the Sacrament becomes a sacrilege; the spiritual medicine becomes for that person — it is frightful to say — a form of spiritual poison. When we do not really believe in Jesus, when we do not really seek to conform our entire life to Him and receive Jesus even though we know that we have sinned against Him, then this just leads to a greater sin and betrayal.

63. In speaking of the Sacrament of Penance, I wish to gratefully acknowledge the dedication of our priests who generously offer their time to ensure that the faithful can always have the opportunity for confession. In the exercise of their ministry, they are also contributing to helping the faithful prepare worthily for Holy Communion. Pray for your priests who have faithfully made themselves available for this very purpose! Pray also that God may bless us with more vocations to the priesthood!

To be continued

Second Sunday after Pentecost[3]

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 hates 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 abides 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 Savior 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 Savior; (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 Sunday

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:[4]

·         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.

Sunday Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

Patum de Berga[5]



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.

D-Day Memorial 



The men who took the beach at D-Day were afraid because they too knew what may happen to them, yet too, they were succored by our Lord and our nation’s prayers. 

This is the prayer originally entitled "Let Our Hearts Be Stout" written by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as Allied troops were invading German-occupied Europe during World War II. The prayer was read to the Nation on radio on the evening of D-Day, June 6, 1944, while American, British and Canadian troops were fighting to establish five beach heads on the coast of Normandy in northern France. 

The previous night, June 5th, the President had also been on the radio to announce that Allied troops had entered Rome. The spectacular news that Rome had been liberated was quickly superseded by news of the gigantic D-Day invasion which began at 6:30 a.m. on June 6th. By midnight, about 57,000 American and 75,000 British and Canadian soldiers had made it ashore, amid losses that included 2,500 killed and 8,500 wounded.



My Fellow Americans:

 

Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

 

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

 

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

 

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

 

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

 

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest -- until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violence’s of war.

 

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

 

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

 

And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them -- help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

 

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

 

Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

 

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

 

And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment -- let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

 

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the scheming’s of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

 

Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt - June 6, 1944

 

The power of Diligence



In John McCain’s book Character is Destiny[6] he perceived the character traits exemplified by Winston Churchill who best displays the characteristic of DILIGENCE. Churchill persevered through every trial and misfortune to alert his countrymen to the approaching danger of Nazi Germany, and to save them when they ignored his warning. 

We must be just as diligent in our pursuit to do the will of God in our lives. 

Churchill’s most famous quote is, 

Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense.” 

Winston never did give in he led his country at the age of 67 living a life of many failures to become the prime minister of England during their greatest need. 

McCain says of Churchill: 

This extraordinarily diligent man, who would not give in to many bitter trials that would have forced most of us to surrender to a cruel and unrelenting fate, who had fought, been beaten, and risen again so many times to take his place among the great democratic leaders of world history, would, by the power of his speech and the unyielding courage of his example and convictions, lead his country through the most dangerous experience of its long history. He stood alone first, and then as Britain’s leader as she stood alone, letting no defeat, no danger, no impossibly overwhelming odds destroy his courage or his will. He would not give in. Never, never, never, never. And, due in great part to the courage he inspired in others, neither would his country.

 

Gardening Exercise Day[7]

Research indicates that Gardening Exercise Day originates with gardening clubs and groups. It is a day when people are encouraged to get off the couch, head out into the garden, and tend their patches. Not only does this help ensure that the garden looks good, but it also offers a healthy means of getting some exercise, while enjoying the benefits that fresh air can bring. To enjoy Gardening Exercise Day, all that is really required is to head out and water the plants, mow the lawn, and do some weeding, but more active people may choose to increase the intensity of their gardening efforts to really reap the rewards of exercise. Participants can consider using hand tools instead of electric and power tools, squatting instead of sitting, and bending from the back to limber the body up. Regardless of the type of exercise, any additional exercise will help the body, and being outside will mean a healthy and natural intake of vitamin D.

Let us honor and reflect on the Mother of Christ by creating a peaceful garden in our home (temple) in which to reflect on this.

 

Mary Garden[8]

The joy over the appearance of new plants and flowers in spring prompted man to attribute to them a special power of protection and healing. People planted special spring flower gardens; they brought branches of early-blossoming plants, like pussy willows, into their homes; they decorated themselves and their living rooms with wreaths of flowers and clusters of blossoms. A striking Christian variation of these nature rites was the medieval custom of planting "Mary gardens," which were made up of all the flowers and herbs that are ascribed by love and legend as a special tribute to the Blessed Virgin. This charming and inspiring tradition has been revived in many places in Europe and more recently in this country.

Directions

In a typical Mary Garden, the statue of the Madonna occupies a place of honor, either in the center or in a grotto against the wall, with, usually, a birdbath or bubbling fountain built in front of it. Some of the more familiar plants of the many that belong in a typical Mary Garden are:

·         Columbine and Trefoil are said to have sprung forth at the touch of Mary's foot, and consequently bear the popular names Our Lady's shoes or Our Lady's slippers.

·         Marigold (Mary's bud) has bell-shaped blossoms of vivid yellow. An old legend says, "Her dresses were adorned with Marigold." This flower was used to decorate her shrines for the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25) and during the month of May.

·         Lily-of-the-valley (Our Lady's tears). This delicate flower is still widely used in Germany, there it is called Maiglockchen (May bells), to decorate the Mary shrines in churches and homes during the Virgin's month (May).

·         Foxgloves thrive in moist and shaded places; they blossom in many colors and present a most attractive sight with their clusters of little bells, which were called Our Lady's thimbles in medieval times.

·         Snowdrop. This charming flower is the first herald of spring in Europe. It often blossoms as early as Candlemas (February 2) between batches of melting snow, hence the name. In Germany it is called "Snow bell" (Schneeglocklein). Little bouquets of snowdrops are the first floral tribute of the year at the shrines of the Madonna on Candlemas. It is a popular emblem of Mary's radiant purity and of her freedom from any stain of sin.

·         Lily. This stately and dignified flower has been associated from ancient times with Jesus and Mary, and is called Madonna lily in many parts of Europe. At Easter its brilliant and fragrant blossoms symbolize the radiance of the Lord's risen life. Later in the year it is used to decorate the shrines of Mary, especially on July 2, the Feast of the Visitation. It also is an old and traditional symbol of innocence, purity, and virginity.

·         Rosemary produces delicate and fragrant blossoms of pale blue color in early spring. according to legend, the plant originally bloomed in white; however, it turned blue (Mary's color) in reward for the service it offered when Our Lady looked for some bush on which to spread her Child's tiny garments after having washed them on the way to Egypt. The bushes do not grow very tall but as they grow older, they spread out and thicken, forming a dense bush. There is an old superstition that "the rosemary passeth not commonly the height of Christ when he was on earth."

·         Violets are dedicated to Mary as symbols of her humility. They are said to have blossomed forth outside her window when she spoke the words, "Behold, I am a handmaid of the Lord." Leaving her, the angel of God blessed the little flowers in passing, thus endowing them with the tenderest and most beautiful fragrance of all plants.

·         Roses were associated with Mary from early times. Saint Dominic (1221) is credited with the spreading of the familiar devotion called the "Rosary (rosarium) of the Blessed Virgin Mary." The word "rosary" originally meant a rose garden but was later used in the sense of "rose garland." Three colors are especially consecrated to Mary: white roses as symbols of her joys, red roses as emblems of her sufferings, and yellow (golden) roses as heralds of her glories.

Daily Devotions

·         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.

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Rosary



[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amnon

[3] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

[4]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2019-06-23

[6] McCain, John and Salter, Mark. (2005) Character is destiny. Random House, New York

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