Thirteenth Sunday aft. Pentecost (22nd S. Ord. Time)
PASSION OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST
1 Maccabees, Chapter 16, Verse 6
The narrative is nearing its end. Simon, the last of the Maccabean brothers to rule over the Jewish people, is getting too old to lead the troops into battle. He passes on the military leadership to his sons Judas and John, who like a true leader leads from the front. He is the first to step into danger.
Even in our present day we can see similarities in our own heroes and villains. What should we take away from this book? The contest described in this book is a struggle, not simply between Jew and Gentile, but between those who would uphold the law and those, Jews or Gentiles, who would destroy it. The books severest condemnation goes, not to the Seleucid politicians, but to the lawless apostates from among the Jewish people, adversaries of Judas and his brothers, who are models of faith and loyalty.
Fear binds us
There is so much fear and agony in us. Fear of people, fear of God, and much raw, undefined, free-floating anxiety. I wonder if fear is not our main obstacle to prayer.
When we enter into the presence of God and start to sense that huge reservoir of fear in us, we want to run away into the many distractions that our busy world offers abundantly.
we should not be afraid of our fears. We can confront them, give words to them,
cry out to God, and lead our fears into the presence of the One who says:
“Don’t be afraid, it is I.”
(Henri Nouwen, Spiritual Direction, 58)
ON KEEPING THE LORDS DAY HOLY
The Eucharistic Assembly:
Heart of Sunday
The day of hope
38. Viewed in this way, Sunday is not only the day of faith, but is also the day of Christian hope. To share in "the Lord's Supper" is to anticipate the eschatological feast of the "marriage of the Lamb" (Rev 19:9). Celebrating this memorial of Christ, risen and ascended into heaven, the Christian community waits "in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ". Renewed and nourished by this intense weekly rhythm, Christian hope becomes the leaven and the light of human hope. This is why the Prayer of the Faithful responds not only to the needs of the particular Christian community but also to those of all humanity; and the Church, coming together for the Eucharistic celebration, shows to the world that she makes her own "the joys and hopes, the sorrows and anxieties of people today, especially of the poor and all those who suffer". With the offering of the Sunday Eucharist, the Church crowns the witness which her children strive to offer every day of the week by proclaiming the Gospel and practicing charity in the world of work and in all the many tasks of life; thus she shows forth more plainly her identity "as a sacrament, or sign and instrument of intimate union with God and of the unity of the entire human race".
Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
UNITE your voice with the Church in the Introit of the Mass, and pray for assistance against her enemies. “Have regard, O Lord, to Thy covenant, and forsake not, unto the end, the souls of Thy poor: Arise, O Lord, and judge Thy cause, and forget not the voices of them that seek Thee. O God, why hast Thou cut us off unto the end? Why is Thy wrath enkindled against the sheep of Thy pasture”?
Prayer. O almighty and eternal God, grant to us an increase of faith, hope, and charity; and that we may deserve to obtain what Thou promisest, make us love what Thou commandest.
EPISTLE. Gal. iii. 16-22.
Brethren: To Abraham were the promises made, and to his seed. He saith not: And to his seeds, as of many: but as of one: And to thy seed, which is Christ. Now this I say, that the testament which was confirmed by God: the law, which was made after four hundred and thirty years, doth not annul, to make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise. But God gave it to Abraham by promise. Why then was the law? It was set because of transgressions, until the seed should come, to whom He made the promise, being ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not of one: but God is one. Was the law then against the promises of God? God forbid. For if there had been a law given which could give life, verily justice should have been by the law. But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by the faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Explanation. St. Paul shows the Galatians that they could not be justified by the Mosaic law, but only by active faith. The promise, he says, which God gave to Abraham, that all nations should be saved through faith in one of his seed, pointed to Christ. Even the Scriptures tell us that, notwithstanding the law and its sacrifices, the Jews remained sinners; it could not, therefore, by itself, justify man. It follows, therefore, that salvation was to be gained only through Jesus, Who delivered men from the Jewish law. Let us, then, by active faith in Him, make use of this grace for eternity.
GOSPEL. Luke xvii. 11-19
An increase in faith, hope, and love.
At that time, as Jesus was going to Jerusalem, He passed through the midst of Samaria in Galilee. And as he entered into a certain town, there met Him ten men that were lepers who stood afar oft: and lifted up their voice, saying: Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. Whom when He saw, He said: Go, show yourselves to the priests. And it came to pass, as they went, they were made clean. And one of them, when he saw that he was made clean, went back, with a loud voice glorifying God, and he fell on his face, before His feet, giving thanks; and this was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering, said: Were not ten made clean? and where are the nine? There is no one found to return and give glory to God, but this stranger. And He said to him: Arise, go thy way: for thy faith hath made thee whole.
What, in a spiritual sense, does leprosy mean? In a spiritual sense leprosy means sin, especially the sin of impurity. The Jewish law divided leprosy into three kinds, namely, that of the flesh, that of garments, and that of houses.
· the leprosy of the flesh may be likened to the impure, who easily corrupt others;
· the leprosy of garments, to luxury of dress and scandalous fashions, by which not only souls are seduced into sin, but many families and communities are brought to poverty and plunged into eternal ruin;
· the leprosy of houses, to places where wicked and immoral servants are kept; where immodest dances and plays occur, where licentious acts are committed, where meetings are allowed and encouraged to the injury of virtue and of our neighbor’s honor, where assistance or advice is given in wicked undertakings of any sort.
Why did the lepers stand afar off? Because it was thus commanded by the Jewish law, so that no one might catch contagion from them. From this we learn that we must as carefully shun scandalous persons, companies, and houses, as we would the plague. He that toucheth pitch shall be defiled with it, and he that hath fellowship with the proud shall put on pride.” (Ecclus. xiii. 1).
Why did Jesus ask for the nine others who also were made clean? To show how greatly ingratitude displeases Him. Injuries to Himself He generally submitted to in silence; but this ingratitude He would not suffer to pass uncondemned. So great a sin is ingratitude. On this account St. Bernard says, “Ingratitude is an enemy of the soul that destroys merit, corrupts virtue, and prevents grace. It is a scorching wind that dries up the fountain of the goodness and the mercy of God.”
Why does God require us to be grateful? This question St. Chrysostom answers very beautifully by saying: “God requires gratitude of us only that He may confer on us new graces.” Then let us not forget to thank Him morning and evening; before and after meals; as often as you recognize His blessing in your house, in your children, in your property, your cattle, your fields, your fruits. St. Augustine says: “We cannot think, speak, or write anything better or more acceptable than, Thanks be to God!”
Instruction on The Sacrament of Holy Orders.
“Go, show yourselves to the priests” Luke xvii. 14.
What are Holy Orders? A sacrament in which the priestly power is conferred on the candidate, together with a special grace to discharge its sacred functions.
What is the outward sign of this sacrament? The laying on of hands and the prayer of the bishop, and the presentation of the chalice with bread and wine, together with the verbal communication of authority to change the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, and to remit and retain sins.
When did Christ institute this sacrament? At the Last Supper, when, after changing the bread into His true body, and the wine into His true blood, He said to His apostles, “Do this for a commemoration of Me” (Luke xxii. 19).
Are Holy Orders reckoned a sacrament by the apostles? Yes, for St. Paul admonishes His disciple Timothy to stir up the grace of God received by the imposition of his hands. Hereby St. Paul teaches expressly that by the imposition of the hands of the apostles, or of the bishops, who are their successors, the grace of God is imparted to priests, in which consists the substance of the sacrament. Pray, then, for the priests; asking fervently of God, particularly on ember-days, to give His Church faithful pastors. Jesus Himself commands it, saying, the harvest indeed is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that He send laborers into His Harvest” (Luke x. 2).
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.
International Day against Nuclear Tests
The International Day against Nuclear Tests seeks to raise awareness about the negative effects of nuclear weapons and the need to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world. The day also serves to educate people everywhere about the need to ban nuclear weapon tests in order to ensure world safety. Since the first nuclear test in 1945, over 2,000 nuclear tests have been carried out and led to accidents, such as the Chernobyl, Ukraine accident of 1986, ending in tragedy, long-term radiation poisoning and atmospheric damage. International Day against Nuclear Tests was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2009. It is observed every year on the 29th of August, a day that commemorates the 1991 closure of the Soviet Semipalatinsk site, the world's largest nuclear testing facility, in the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan.
International Day against Nuclear Tests Facts & Quotes
· The US, the Soviet Union and France have carried out the most nuclear tests over the past 6 decades, with 1,032, 715 and 210 respectively.
· The cost of the Manhattan Project, where the first nuclear bomb was ever built, is estimated to have cost $20 Billion.
· The total number of nuclear missiles built from the year 1951 to the present is 67,500.
· There is an estimated total of 16,400 nuclear weapons on Earth today.
· So long as nuclear weapons continue to exist, so will the temptation to threaten others with overwhelming military force. – Daisaku Ikeda, Buddhist philosopher, educator, author and anti-nuclear activist.
Top Events and Things to Do
· Watch a movie or documentary about nuclear disasters. Some suggestions are: The Day After (1983), Threads (1984), Trinity and Beyond (1995), Fukushima Nuclear Disaster and Seconds from Disaster: Meltdown at Chernobyl.
· Read a book about nuclear issues in the world today. Some suggestions are: Contesting the Future of Nuclear Power (2011), In Mortal Hands (2009), and Nuclear or Not? Does Nuclear Power Have a Place in a Sustainable Energy Future? (2007).
· Spread awareness about the day by using the hashtag #InternationalDayAgainstNuclearWeapons, #notonuclear #againstnucleartests.
· 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.
- Join in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: The sick, afflicted, & infirm
· Go to MASS
The Collegeville Bible Commentary, 1986.
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896