Introduction to the Book of Ezra
King Cyrus of Persia has just defeated the Babylonians. Inspired by God's spirit, he tells the Israelites that they can head home and rebuild their temple. He returns the sacred temple vessels stolen by the Babylonians and personally bankrolls the whole building project from his treasury. Zerubbabel and Jeshua the High Priest lead the people back and start laying down the foundations for a new Temple. But Israel's enemies are able to frustrate the building plans by getting the new Persian king Artaxerxes to order construction to a halt. Things stay that way until Darius comes to power in Persia. Two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, urge the Israelites to start building, so naturally the enemies of Israel again complain to the king and demand he check the records to see if Cyrus actually gave permission to build. But—when Darius finds Cyrus's original decree, he lets them start rebuilding. Ezra (earlier in time but not in the narrative) is sent by Artaxerxes to help the Israelites get their religious observance back on track. A big part of this involves Ezra breaking up marriages between Israelites and non-Israelites. He has a major meltdown when he hears about all the intermarriage, and manages to convince the men to send away their foreign wives and children.
JULY 4 Sixth Sunday after Pentecost (14th S. Ord. Time)
Ezra, Chapter 3, Verse 3
They set the altar on its foundations, for they lived in FEAR of the peoples of the lands, and offered burnt offerings to the LORD on it, both morning and evening.
Today is our Nations Independence Day and we honor those who have paid the supreme sacrifice of devotion watching our nation. Pray today for the souls of those taken in battle. In the communion of saints, it is our duty; no: our honor to pray for the souls of those in our company who have died; especially those who have passed through the valley of fear in the heat of battle.
Today due to the COVID and THE NEW WORLD ORDER; we are like those who followed Ezra; we are returning to rebuild our temple. The foundation of our church is that Christ rose from the dead; and is with us in the Eucharist. Do not, live in fear, of the DARK State and the peoples of this land. Pray morning and evening.
ON KEEPING THE LORDS DAY HOLY
The Day of the Risen Lord
and of the Gift of the Holy Spirit
An indispensable day!
30. It is clear then why, even in our own difficult times, the identity of this day must be protected and above all must be lived in all its depth. An Eastern writer of the beginning of the third century recounts that as early as then the faithful in every region were keeping Sunday holy on a regular basis. What began as a spontaneous practice later became a juridically sanctioned norm. The Lord's Day has structured the history of the Church through two thousand years: how could we think that it will not continue to shape her future? The pressures of today can make it harder to fulfil the Sunday obligation; and, with a mother's sensitivity, the Church looks to the circumstances of each of her children. In particular, she feels herself called to a new catechetical and pastoral commitment, in order to ensure that, in the normal course of life, none of her children are deprived of the rich outpouring of grace which the celebration of the Lord's Day brings. It was in this spirit that the Second Vatican Council, making a pronouncement on the possibility of reforming the Church calendar to match different civil calendars, declared that the Church "is prepared to accept only those arrangements which preserve a week of seven days with a Sunday". Given its many meanings and aspects, and its link to the very foundations of the faith, the celebration of the Christian Sunday remains, on the threshold of the Third Millennium, an indispensable element of our Christian identity.
Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
This Sunday stresses the need for constant repentance and fidelity to our baptismal vows.
THE Introit of the Mass of to-day is the prayer of a soul that confides in the powerful and benign protection of God. The Lord is the strength of His people, and the protector of the salvation of His anointed. Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thy inheritance, and rule them forever. Unto Thee will I cry, O my God be not Thou silent to me, lest I become like them that go down into the pit (Ps. xxvii. 8, 9, 1).
Prayer. O God of hosts, to Whom belongeth all that is best, infuse into our breasts the love of Thy name, and grant within us an increase of devotion, that Thou mayest nourish what is good, and by the pursuit of piety preserve what Thou hast nourished.
EPISTLE. Rom. vi. &-11.
Brethren: All we, who are baptized in Christ Jesus, are baptized in His death. For we are buried together with Him by baptism unto death: that as Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin may be destroyed, to the end that we may serve sin no longer. For he that is dead is justified from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall live also together with Christ: knowing that Christ rising again from the dead, dieth now no more, death shall no more have dominion over Him. For in that He died to sin, He died once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. So, do you also reckon that you are dead to sin, but alive unto God, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Explanation. St. Paul here exhorts us that as through baptism we become members of Christ’s mystical body, what was accomplished in Him actually must also take place in us spiritually. As Jesus died for our sins, was buried, rose again, and ascended into heaven, so also must we, once risen from sin, live henceforth to God, a new, holy life, conformed to that of Christ.
GOSPEL. Mark viii. 1-9.
At that time, when there was a great multitude with Jesus, and they had nothing to eat, calling His disciples together, He saith to them: I have compassion on the multitude; for behold they have now been with Me three days, and have nothing to eat. And if I shall send them away fasting to their home, they will faint in the way: for some of them came from afar off. And His disciples answered Him: From whence can anyone fill them here with bread in the wilderness? And He asked them: How many loaves have ye? Who said: Seven. And He commanded the multitude to sit down upon the ground. And taking the seven loaves, giving thanks, He broke, and gave to His disciples for to set before them, and they set them before the people. And they had a few little fishes and He blessed them, and commanded them to be set before them. And they did eat and were filled, and they took up that which was left of the fragments, seven baskets. And they that had eaten were about four thousand: and He sent them away.
Why did Jesus say, I have compassion on the multitude, etc.? To confirm by acts what He had previously, through St. Matthew (Matt. vi. 33), taught in words, namely, that to them who seek first the kingdom of God and His justice, all other things shall be added without asking; and to show us, at the same time, the greatness of God’s love, which takes account of every hour spent in His service, and compassionates every want of man. The multitude were not solicitous for food, and had not even asked it from Him, and yet He cared for them.
Renewal of Baptismal Promises
V. Do you reject Satan?
R. I do.
V. And all his works?
R. I do.
V. And all his empty promises?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
R. I do.
V. God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven all our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.
(This is a family service that is directed by one of the parents. The family members renew their baptismal vows and sprinkle themselves with the Easter water,)
Independence Day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Independence Day is the most important secular holiday held in the United States. Americans take this day to celebrate all that is American, remembering the great sacrifices of our forefathers as they fought and won our independence from Great Britain. The holiday is also referred to as 4th of July, named after the date on which it is celebrated each year.
Facts & Quotes
· In July 1776, there were approximately 2.5 million people living in the new nation.
· The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence didn't occur until July 8, 1776. It was sent to the printers on July 4th.
· The original Declaration of Independence can be viewed by visiting the National Archives, Washington D.C. The original copy is severely faded and sits under special glass in the Rotunda for the Chambers of Freedom.
· The Statue of Liberty is a great symbol of American Freedom. It was given to the US by France in 1886. It was delivered in 214 crates and assembled on what is known as Liberty Island, in New York Harbor.
· Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty. - John F. Kennedy
Independence Day Top
Events and Things to Do
· Attend or host a Barbeque.
· Watch Fireworks. Large cities such as New York, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles all have large firework displays.
· Read or recite the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence.
· Watch or attend Nathan's famous Hot Dog eating contest in Coney Island.
· Watch a Parade. Most local cities host parades to celebrate Independence Day.
Contribute to the independence of a veteran
Catholic Culture Library Related Articles
We hold these truths to be self-evident:
That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
Almighty God, Father of all nations, for freedom you have set us free in Christ Jesus (Gal 5:1). We praise and bless you for the gift of religious liberty, the foundation of human rights, justice, and the common good. Grant to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our liberties; by your grace may we have the courage to defend them, for ourselves and for all those who live in this blessed land. We ask this through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, our patroness, and in the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, with whom you live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Render unto Caesar
This country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor. John F. Kennedy
Have we become a soulless Nation? Have we in the pursuit of happiness; ignored the Gospel of Life. Realizing that if we put success or liberty as greater values than life that we are serving Caesar and not God. To understand this, we need to review the US Bishops “The Gospel of Life”.
The Gospel of Life
Brothers and sisters in the Lord:
At the conclusion of the 1998 ad limina visits of the bishops of the United States, our Holy Father Pope John Paul II spoke these words:
Today I believe the Lord is saying to us all: do not hesitate, do not be afraid to engage the good fight of the faith (cf. I Tim 6:12). When we preach the liberating message of Jesus Christ, we are offering the words of life to the world. Our prophetic witness is an urgent and essential service not just to the Catholic community but to the whole human family.
In this statement we attempt to fulfill our role as teachers and pastors in proclaiming the Gospel of Life. We are confident that the proclamation of the truth in love is an indispensable way for us to exercise our pastoral responsibility.
"Your country stands upon the world scene as a model of a democratic society at an advanced stage of development. Your power of example carries with it heavy responsibilities. Use it well, America!" --Pope John Paul II, Newark, 1995
When Henry Luce published his appeal for an "American century" in 1941, he could not have known how the coming reality would dwarf his dream. Luce hoped that the "engineers, scientists, doctors . . . builders of roads [and] teachers" of the United States would spread across the globe to promote economic success and American ideals: "a love of freedom, a feeling for the quality of opportunity, a tradition of self-reliance and independence and also cooperation." Exactly this, and much more, has happened in the decades since. U.S. economic success has reshaped the world. But the nobility of the American experiment flows from its founding principles, not from its commercial power. In this century alone, hundreds of thousands of Americans have died defending those principles. Hundreds of thousands more have lived lives of service to those principles -- both at home and on other continents -- teaching, advising and providing humanitarian assistance to people in need. As Pope John Paul has observed, "At the center of the moral vision of [the American] founding documents is the recognition of the rights of the human person . . ." The greatness of the United States lies "especially [in its] respect for the dignity and sanctity of human life in all conditions and at all stages of development."
the word of the Lord came to me saying: Before I formed you in the womb I knew
you, before you were born, I consecrated you; a prophet to the nations I
The Patriotic Rosary is prayed everywhere from within cloistered convents, to inside the Pentagon; from dangerous military ﬁelds around the globe to the quietness of the Bedroom of Apparitons and the Field of Apparitions at Caritas, which is the home of the Patriotic Rosary. The Patriotic Rosary quickly captured the hearts and attention of millions when ﬁrst heard and prayed. Inspired by Our Lady of Medjugorje, the Patriotic Rosary is a powerful prayer for divine protection and mercy for our Nation and its rebirth. The history of the writing of the Patriotic Rosary origins back to 1995 at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the ﬁrst promptings of Our Lady was felt and the impulse to form the Patriotic Rosary was given. The Patriotic Rosary, the Prayer to Heal Our Land, and the “Seven Novenas for the Reconciling of Ourselves, our Families and our Nation Back to God,” all for the rebirth of America, have the grounds at Caritas of Birmingham as their home. It is Caritas of Birmingham, whose founder, known as A Friend of Medjugorje, wrote the Patriotic Rosary, and that also operates the Official Medjugorje Site. It was a surprise in 1988, after many prayers near the Pine Tree for the healing of our Nation that Our Lady began to write a beautiful story, through Her Medjugorje apparitions at Caritas, telling us that a Nation and its healing, represented by the Pine in the Field, would come only through the individual, represented by the family bed. In those ﬁrst apparitions, Our Lady appeared in the Bedroom over the family bed, then on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1988, She appeared near the Pine, then back to the Bedroom for the remaining two months of daily apparitions. This spoke clearly that our Nation would be healed through strong marriages forming strong holy families raising strong individuals which will heal and make a strong nation. Our Nation’s future depends on the healing of the family. Pray the Patriotic Rosary.
· 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.
· Go to MASS
 Render unto Caesar, Charles J. Chaput