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Tuesday In the First Week of Advent

Saint Andrew-Giving Tuesday

 

Proverbs, Chapter 22, Verse 4

The result of humility and FEAR of the LORD is riches, honor and life.

 

In reflecting on this stanza, the first thing I noticed is that the rewards listed in this proverb are reversed. In that riches are not more important to obtain for oneself than honor and honor is not as valuable as life….or is it. In thinking about this I questioned are we talking about material riches or some other kind of riches? Ghani has said, wealth without work is one of the great evils in the world. It has also been said that even if a poor person was suddenly rich they often again lose their wealth like the story of the prodigal son. True riches it seems actually comes from having sound and grounded thoughts, habits and philosophies; being humble and submitting all to God. Steve Siebold, noted author of “How Rich People Think,” noticed that yes rich people do think differently than the middle class or even the poor. If we can maintain our fear of the Lord, and develop these habits of thought, we can not only bless ourselves but also all those around us. Here are some of my favorite norms Steve lists from the 100 in his book.


 

1.     Middle class focuses on saving…World class focuses on earning. Imagine if instead of building up barns of wealth a blessed person used their excess to benefit others and sought the general wealthfare of mankind and focused on earning souls and true happiness for others by serving and solving problems.

2.     Middle class believes building wealth is a solitary effort…World class believes building wealth is a team effort. We cannot bring about the kingdom of heaven without a team effort; we must have the help of a team of saintly persons from all three churches help us here is the corporal church on earth; in the suffering church in purgatory and in the glorified church in heaven. The world class knows it takes a team to build wealth, and they focus much of the effort on finding the right people to leverage their actions and ideas.

3.     Middle class believes money is negative…World class believes money is positive. The love of money must be avoided but money is a necessary tool that can be used to create great good and it must be managed while maintaining a spirit of poverty. Money is seen by the rich as a positive tool that has the power to create freedom and opportunity for themselves and their families; whereas the heavenly class see it as a tool to bring the kingdom for God.

4.     Middle class believe rich people are shallow…World class believes rich people are strategic. We are in a battle and I like the word strategic. Note that the Catholic Church is one of the wealthiest organizations in the world we must use our resources in the battle for the Lord and souls. Being poor is not virtuous; you should not be giving your money to God if you cannot pay your rent. Like the rich we can build an empire but not for ourselves but for the Lord. We should use our resources like the rich, in honest and strategic ways, to serve others.

5.     Middle class believes money is earned through labor…World class believes money is earned through thought. Independent creative thinking is the most valuable asset anyone can acquire. Steve Forbes has said, “The real source of wealth in this new era is not material things. It is the mind, and human spirit, the human imagination, and our faith in the future.” Imagine the power of the creative mind inspired by the Holy Spirit for the glory of God!

Feast of Saint Andrew[1]

ANDREW, a brother of St. Peter, born at Bethsaida, was first a disciple of John the Baptist. Afterwards both the brothers were called by Christ, on the Sea of Galilee, before all the other apostles, with the words: Come after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men (Mark i. 17). Immediately they left all, and became faithful disciples of Jesus, arid witnesses of His deeds and sufferings, of His resurrection and ascension. After the descent of the Holy Ghost, Andrew travelled through Scythia, Epirus, and Thrace, and by his teachings and miracles converted vast numbers to Christ. As he was preaching at Patras, a city of Achaia, he was violently pressed by the proconsul, Aegeas, to offer sacrifice to the idols; but he nobly answered him, I daily offer sacrifice to God; not the flesh of oxen, nor the blood of rams, but an unspotted Lamb; and although all the faithful may have partaken of His flesh, yet the Lamb remains as before He was offered, alive and undivided. Aegeas, enraged, committed him to prison, and on the following day caused him to be scourged; and as he persevered in his declaration, condemned him to be put to death by crucifixion. When he saw the cross, the instrument of his death, he greeted it with joy, embraced it, and said, O good cross, that was adorned with the limbs of Christ, thee have I long desired; thee have I fervently loved; thee have I continually sought. Now thou art made ready for me, according to the wish of my heart. Take me away from men, and restore me again to my Master, that through thee I may come to Him Who through thee has redeemed me. After this he was nailed to the cross. Two days he remained hanging thereon, preaching faith in Jesus, until his soul was taken up to Him Whom he had so ardently desired to resemble in the manner of His death.

In the Introit of the Mass the Church announces to us how greatly the apostles were exalted by God, Who made them teachers and fathers of the whole world. She cries out, therefore, “To me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable; their principality is exceedingly strengthened. Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me; Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up” (Ps. cxxxviii.).

Prayer.

We suppliantly beseech Thy majesty, Lord, that as blessed Andrew the apostle was both a preacher and ruler of Thy Church, so he may be with Thee as a perpetual intercessor for us. Amen.

EPISTLE. Rom. x. 10-18.

Brethren: With the heart, we believe unto justice; but, with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture saith: Whosoever believeth in Him, shall not be confounded. For there is no distinction of the Jew and the Greek: for the same is Lord overall, rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him, in Whom they have not believed? Or how shall they believe Him, of Whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear, without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they be sent, as it is written: How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, of them that bring glad tidings of good things! But all do not obey the gospel. For Isaias saith: Lord, who hath believed our report? Faith then cometh by hearing: and hearing by the word of Christ. But I say: Have they not heard? Yes, verily, their sound hath gone forth into all the earth and their words unto the ends of the whole world.

GOSPEL. Matt. iv. 18-22.

At that time: Jesus walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea (for they were fishers). And He saith to them: Come ye after Me, and I will make you to be fishers of men. And they immediately leaving their nets, followed Him. And going on from thence, He saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets: and He called them. And they forthwith left their nets and father, and followed Him.

Explanation.

The alacrity with which Andrew followed the call of Jesus teaches us:

1. That we should, on the spot, give ear to God when He inspires us with a good thought, or calls us to a better course of life.

2. That, in order to follow His voice, we should cast behind us all desires for temporal goods, and even leave our parents, if they should prove a hindrance to us, for “he that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matt. x. 37).

Aspiration.

Mayest Thou be forever praised, most amiable Jesus, that Thou didst choose, not the wise, the mighty, or the rich, but, what in the eyes of the world was foolishness, to confound the wisdom and power of the world, and didst accordingly graciously look upon poor fishermen, and exalt them to the height of the apostolic dignity. Look also with fatherly regards upon us, Thy frail children; call, nay, draw, us in such manner to Thee that, after the example of St. Andrew, we may suffer nothing in the world to detain us from following Thee, and may always glory in Thy cross, which is our salvation, our life, and our resurrection.

Things to Do: [2]

·        Today's feast traditionally marks the end of the Church year and beginning of Advent. Advent always begins on the Sunday closest to November 30, with this day being the last possible day of the old Liturgical Year. Christmas is right around the corner. An old saying reflected this:

St Andrew the King
Three weeks and three days
before Christmas begins.

Because weddings were not allowed during Advent and Christmas and Andrew is the patron of unmarried maidens, many countries have marriage-related superstitions connected to this day. See Patron Saints Index for a few traditions.

·        Beginning today the Christmas Anticipatory Prayer, also known as the "Novena to St. Andrew" (Hail and Blessed be the hour...) is prayed every day until Christmas.

·        Read Anticipating Christmas, Beginning with the Saint Andrew.

·        View some of the art depictions of St. Andrew. Here's another Gallery of Images of Andrew.

·        Remember to pray for fishermen and all who make their livelihood by the sea.

·        Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, Russia, and Romania. The flag of Scotland (and the Union Flag and the arms and Flag of Nova Scotia) feature a saltire (X-shaped cross) in commemoration of the shape of St. Andrew's cross.

·        Read more about St. Andrew from Butler's Lives of the Saints. Also read about Andrew from The Golden Legend.

·        Foods connected with this feast: St. Andrew was a fisherman, so fish dishes and biblical themes would reign supreme. Women for Faith and Family have reprinted Evelyn Vitz's suggested "Biblical Dinner" menu. But there are other foods connected with this day

o   Scotland: St. Andrew is the patron of Scotland. Scones, haggis, sheepshead and fish dishes are traditional. The scones are called "wigs", although their shape is rectangular.

o   England: St Andrew is a patron of lace-makers. On his feast, sometimes known as "Tander", areas such as Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire celebrate by feasting, drinking elderberry wine, sports and serving a special cake called the Tandra Cake, particularly in Bedfordshire. It has a bread dough base to which lard, sugar, currants, lemon peel and eggs are added. This is also a day for squirrel hunting in England, so Brunswick Stew would be another dish on the table in England.

o   Slovakian Countries: Halushky (pasta dish) is cooked. Unmarried girls place slips of paper with names of single young men into the dish.

St Andrew Facts[3]

 

·       Andrew was fishing with Simon Peter, James the Greater, John, and their father, Zebedee, when Jesus came and said he would make them fishers of men (John 1:35-42).

·       Andrew was reportedly martyred on November 30 in the year 60 A.D by a Roman governor's order in Achaia (Greece).   He was crucified and bound to the cross to increase his suffering.  The cross was tilted to create an "x," which is known today as St. Andrew's cross and is the basis for the Scottish flag.

·       The Feast of St. Andrew is the last holiday of the Christian year.  It is held the day before Advent begins, November 30 in Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches.  St. Andrew's Day is a holiday in Scotland that honors the disciple as the country's patron saint.

·       St. Andrew is the brother of St. Peter (Simon Peter), who was the first leader of the church.

·       St. Andrew is the Patron saint of:  Amalfi (Italy), Barbados, Esgueira (Portugal), Luqa (Malta), Patras (Greece), Romania, Russia, Scotland and Ukraine.


 

St Andrew Top Events and Things to Do

 

·       Travel to Scotland to celebrate St. Andrew's Day.  The holiday commences many parties and festivals in Scotland, and it is also an official holiday in the country.

·       St. Andrew's remains, or relics, are thought to be buried in Italy at the cathedral in Amalfi.  Pilgrimage to Italy to visit.

·       Go fishing or enjoy a seafood dinner.  St. Andrew is the patron saint of fishermen.  He was a fisherman before he left his old life to follow Jesus Christ.



·       Visit St Andrew's Cathedral in Patras, Greece. It is the largest church in the Balkans region and one of the largest in Europe. According to history, St. Andrew was crucified just outside of the church.

·       Take pictures of yourself on St Andrew's Day and use the Instagram tag #myinstagram to win prizes.

 Giving Tuesday[4]

Giving Tuesday aims to celebrate and promote charity and generosity. After two of the largest shopping days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday aims to provide people with a day to give back to the world. Giving back can be through donations, volunteering time or any other form of charitable action. Giving Tuesday was first celebrated in 2012. Since its inception, there has been a 470% increase in online donations for the cause. It is celebrated annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving as a reminder of the importance of generosity over consumption.

 

Giving Tuesday Facts & Quotes

 

·       In 2015, there were a total of 1.3 million social media mentions of Giving Tuesday. It officially went viral.

·       In 2015, the mean gift size (meaning the average between everybody who donated) on Giving Tuesday was $107.47.

·       Over 71 countries around the world support and participate in Giving Tuesday.

·       You may have heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There's another day you might want to know about: Giving Tuesday. The idea is pretty straightforward. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, shoppers take a break from their gift-buying and donate what they can to charity. – Bill Gates, creator of Microsoft.

 

Giving Tuesday Top Events and Things to Do

 

·       Watch a movie on the joys of gifts and giving. Some suggestions are: Pay it Forward (2000), It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), and Millions (2004).

·       Spread awareness on social media by using the hashtag #GivingTuesday, #TuesdayGiveawayDay and #TuesdayMeansDonate.

·       Volunteer your time at a local homeless shelter or volunteer organization. Giving can be much more than simply giving your money or things away. Giving your time is equally as valuable and, in some ways, more important.

·       Read a book about the joys of sharing. Some suggestions are: The Giving Book, giving: How Each of Us Change the World and The Giving Tree.

·       Donate to a charity of your choice. Charity Navigator can help you find a charity that suits you.


 

Daily Devotions/Practices

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: The lonely and destitute.

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face-Tuesday Devotion

·       Pray Day 2 of the Novena for our Pope and Bishops

·       Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Pray for our nation.

·       Rosary.

 

 

 

DECEMBER

We turn our attention indoors with Advent prayers and preparations for the birth of Christ; for most of us, the indoors makes up the part of our environment in which we spend the most time. It is also the most unregulated and can be the most polluted part of the total environment –due to new home cleaning products and tighter ventilation. Consider a simpler home environment, where houseplants purify the air, where fresh air is plentiful, and where chemical products are limited and controlled. The yearly cycle of twelve months can make us more aware of our human environment and should help us as individuals and as a community to conduct a monthly examination of conscience.

Overview of December[5]

The liturgy of Advent focuses on remembering Christ's first coming at Bethlehem which then directs our mind to Christ's Second Coming at the end of time. The readings focus on the people of the Old Testament awaiting the Messiah, John the Baptist, heralding the way for Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary and her maternal preparations.

The feasts on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of December are:

3. Francis Xavier, Memorial
6. Second Sunday of Advent, Sunday
7. Ambrose, Memorial
8. Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patronal Feast day of the United States of America , Solemnity
9. Juan Diego (USA), Opt. Mem.
11. Damasus I, Opt. Mem.
12. Our Lady of Guadalupe (USA), Feast
13. Third Sunday of Advent, Sunday
14. John of the Cross, Memorial
20. Fourth Sunday of Advent, Sunday
21. Peter Canisius, Opt. Mem.
23. John of Kanty, Opt. Mem.
25. Christmas, Solemnity
26. Stephen, Feast
27. Holy Family, Feast
28. Holy Innocents, Feast
29. Thomas Becket, Opt. Mem.
31. Sylvester I, Opt. Mem.

Christmastide begins with the First Vespers (Evening Prayer) of Christmas on December 24th and ends on the Sunday after Epiphany. Christmas and Easter are the only solemnities with octaves attached in the revised calendar. The Christmas octave differs from Easter in that it includes some major feasts: St. Stephen (December 26), St. John the Evangelist (December 27), the Holy Innocents (December 28) and St. Sylvester I (December 31). The octave closes on January 1, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

The Reason for the Season

The month of December is filled with expectation and celebration. Preparation is the key word for the first 24 days of December. Everyone is getting ready for Christmas — shopping and decorating, baking and cleaning. Too often, however, we are so busy with the material preparations that we lose sight of the real reason for our activity.

Christmas is a Christian feast — and we must reclaim it as such! In the same way that a family eagerly prepares for a baby, so in Advent should we prepare for the coming of the Christ Child. We should keep Advent as a season of waiting and longing, of conversion and of hope and keep our thoughts on the incredible love and humility of our God in taking on the flesh of the Virgin Mary. Let us not forget to prepare a peaceful place in our hearts wherein our Savior may come to dwell.

The best person we can turn to for help during Advent is Mary, Christ's and our Mother. She awaited the day of His birth with more eagerness than any other human being. Her preparation was complete in every respect. Let's crown our preparation and borrow something of Mary's prayerfulness, her purity and whole-hearted submission to God's will.



[1]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

[2]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2019-11-30

[3]https://www.wincalendar.com/St-Andrew


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