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Sunday, January 2, 2022

 Epiphany Sunday

HOLY NAME OF JESUS-ST. BASIL-9th Day-MOTIVATION 

Sirach, Chapter 4, Verse 20

My son, watch for the right time; FEAR what is evil; do not bring shame upon yourself. 

Shame is generally connected with sexual ungodliness. Leviticus which is the book of the law on holiness in chapter 18 lists every sort of sexual sin. Sex is good and was invented by God and carries no shame if it is done at the right time open to life between a husband and a wife. 

Leviticus 18 begins with: 

My decrees you shall carry out, and my statutes you shall take care to follow. I, the LORD, am your God. Keep, then, my statutes and decrees, for the person who carries them out will find life through them. I am the LORD.

 

None of you shall approach a close relative to have sexual intercourse. I am the LORD.  (Lv. 18:4-6)

 

Leviticus 18 ends with:

 

You, however, must keep my statutes and decrees, avoiding all these abominations, both the natives and the aliens resident among you—because the previous inhabitants did all these abominations and the land became defiled; otherwise the land will vomit you out also for having defiled it, just as it vomited out the nations before you. For whoever does any of these abominations shall be cut off from the people. Heed my charge, then, not to observe the abominable customs that have been observed before your time, and thus become impure by them. I, the LORD, am your God. (Lv. 18:26-30) 

Catechism of the Catholic Church 

I. "MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM . . ."


 

2331 "God is love and in himself he lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in his own image. God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion. "God created man in his own image male and female he created them"; He blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and multiply" "When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created."

 

2332 Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others.

 

2333 Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out.

 

2334 "In creating men 'male and female, God gives man and woman an equal personal dignity." "Man is a person, man and woman equally so, since both were created in the image and likeness of the personal God."

 

2335 Each of the two sexes is an image of the power and tenderness of God, with equal dignity though in a different way. The union of man and woman in marriage is a way of imitating in the flesh the Creator's generosity and fecundity: "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh." All human generations proceed from this union.

 

2336 Jesus came to restore creation to the purity of its origins. In the Sermon on the Mount, he interprets God's plan strictly: "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." What God has joined together, let not man put asunder.

 

The tradition of the Church has understood the sixth commandment as encompassing the whole of human sexuality.

 

ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY[1]

Radio and television

54. Finally, the faithful who, because of sickness, disability or some other serious cause, are prevented from taking part, should as best they can unite themselves with the celebration of Sunday Mass from afar, preferably by means of the readings and prayers for that day from the Missal, as well as through their desire for the Eucharist. In many countries, radio and television make it possible to join in the Eucharistic celebration broadcast from some sacred place. Clearly, this kind of broadcast does not in itself fulfil the Sunday obligation, which requires participation in the fraternal assembly gathered in one place, where Eucharistic communion can be received. But for those who cannot take part in the Eucharist and who are therefore excused from the obligation, radio and television are a precious help, especially if accompanied by the generous service of extraordinary ministers who bring the Eucharist to the sick, also bringing them the greeting and solidarity of the whole community. Sunday Mass thus produces rich fruits for these Christians too, and they are truly enabled to experience Sunday as "the Lord's Day" and "the Church’s Day".

Epiphany Sunday

WHAT mystery does the Church celebrate to-day?

She celebrates to-day a threefold mystery:

1. The arrival in Bethlehem of the Wise Men from the East to adore the new-born Savior.

2. The baptism of Jesus in the Jordan.

3. The first miracle of Jesus at the wedding in Cana.

Why is this festival called Epiphany, or the manifestation?

 

Because in the three events just mentioned Jesus manifested Himself not only to the Jews, but also to the gentiles, as the expected Messiah, the Redeemer of the world, and the beloved of His heavenly Father. The Church sings to-day with joy at the Introit, “Behold the Lord, the Ruler, is come, and a kingdom in his hand, and power and dominion” (Mai. iii. 1). “Give to the king Thy judgment, O God, and to the king’s son Thy justice” (Ps. Ixxi. 2).

Prayer.

O God, Who didst on this day reveal Thy only-begotten Son to the gentiles by the guidance of a star, grant in Thy mercy that we, who know Thee now by faith, may be brought to be hold the beauty of Thy majesty.

 

EPISTLE. Is. Ix. 1-6.

Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem: for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee: and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thy eyes round about and see all these- are gathered together, they are come to thee: thy sons shall come from afar and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side. Then shalt thou see and abound, and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea shall be converted to thee, the strength of the gentiles shall come to thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Epha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense, and showing forth praise to the Lord.

Of what does the prophet here speak?

 

He foretells the future manifestation of the light of the Lord Jesus to Jerusalem, which was a type of the Church, and that by that light the gentiles should enter into the one Church of Christ.

Prayer.

Give praise, O ye heavens, and rejoice, O earth; ye mountains, give praise with jubilation, because the Lord hath comforted His people, and will have mercy upon His poor ones (Is. xlix. 13).

GOSPEL. Matt. ii. 1-12.

When Jesus, therefore, was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of King Herod, behold, there came Wise Men from the East to Jerusalem, saying: Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East, and are come to adore Him. And King Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born. But they said to him, In Bethlehem of Juda: for so it is written by the prophet: And thou Bethlehem, the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the Captain that shall rule My people Israel. Then Herod, privately calling the Wise Men, learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them: and sending them into Bethlehem, said: Go and diligently inquire after the child: and when you have found Him, bring me word again, that I also may come and adore Him. Who having heard the king, went their way: and behold, the star which they had seen in the East, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was. And seeing the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary, His Mother, and falling down, they adored Him: and opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country.

Why did the Wise Men come from afar to seek the Savior in Jerusalem?

They lived in Arabia, and had acquired some information of the prophecies of Israel, particularly of the noted prophecy of Balaam, “A star shall rise out of Jacob, and a scepter shall spring up from Israel” (Num. xxiv. IT), which was the more significant to them because they were, as their name denotes, skilled in astronomy. But to these human considerations must be added the light of divine inspiration, as St. Leo says, “The star shone also in their hearts a beautiful example for us to follow, without delay, the inspirations of divine grace, and to do the will of God without fear of men”.

What was the significance of the presents which the Wise Men offered to the Savior?

In offering gold, the Wise Men honored the infant Jesus as King; in frankincense, as God; in myrrh, as suffering Man.

How can we offer to Jesus similar gifts?

We can present Him with gold by giving up to Him what we value most, our will; also, by giving alms in His name to the poor. We can present Him incense in fervent and devout prayers ascending to heaven; and myrrh, by preserving purity of body and soul.

Prayer.

Give to me, O my divine Savior, the faith of these Wise Men; enlighten my understanding with the light which enlightened them; but move my heart also, that I may follow that light, and sincerely seek Thee, and Thee only, Who didst first seek me. Grant that I may find and adore Thee, with the Wise Men, in spirit and in truth, offering to Thee, like them, gold in my obedience and alms, incense in my prayers, myrrh in my penances and mortifications, that, after having brought Thee the offerings of my faith on earth, I may adore Thee in Thy eternal glory. Amen.

Holy Name of Jesus[2]

The Name Jesus as had been foretold by the angel. The feast is meant to impress on us Christians the dignity of the Holy Name. What did a name signify originally? The name should express the nature of a thing. Thus, Adam in paradise gave the animals names in accordance with their being. Among the Jews God's name expressed His essence, Yahweh, i.e., I (alone) am who am (and cause all else to be). The Jews had the highest respect for the name of God, a reverence that finds continuation in the Our Father: "Hallowed be Thy Name." Persons who played prominent roles in the history of salvation often received their names from God Himself. Adam — man of the earth; Eve — mother of all the living; Abraham — father of many nations; Peter — the rock. The Savior's precursor was given the name God assigned him. According to divine precedent, then, the name of the Redeemer should not be accidental, of human choosing, but given by God Himself. For His name should express His mission. We read in Sacred Scripture how the angel Gabriel revealed that name to Mary: "You shall call His name Jesus." And to St. Joseph the angel not merely revealed the name but explained its meaning: "You shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins." The Messiah should not only be the savior but should be called Savior. With Jesus, therefore, the name actually tells the purpose of His existence. This is why we must esteem His name as sacred. Whenever we pronounce it, we ought to bow our heads; for the very name reminds us of the greatest favor we have ever received, salvation.

Jesus[3]

His name was called Jesus, which was called by the Angel before He was conceived in the womb." LUKE ii. 21.

1. It is not difficult to meditate upon the Holy Name, or to use the Holy Name in prayer. More than any other name, perhaps alone among all proper names, it is appropriate to the One Who owned it. Usually, the names of men are given at random; they mean nothing in themselves; a man who happens to be called John might just as well have been called Thomas or William; the mere name tells us nothing about him; it is a convenient means of distinguishing him from others, a label put upon him and little or no more With a few human beings it has been otherwise: Adam, Abraham, Josue, John the Baptist were given names that signified the men on whom they were bestowed. But with none is this so true as it is with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. With care the Angel impressed it on His Mother's mind: "Thou shalt call His name Jesus," he said, and there followed the description of His future greatness. With care it was repeated to Joseph: Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.

2. The Name stands as a complete summary and description of our Lord's character and office, and it is under this aspect that it has been regarded by thousands of saints, whose hearts have melted at its mere sound. To them Jesus is their God, Jesus is their King, Jesus is their Redeemer, Jesus is their Mediator, Jesus is their Savior, Jesus is their great Priest, Jesus is their Intercessor, Jesus is the Captain under Whom they fight, Jesus is the Leader Whom they follow, Jesus is their Teacher, Jesus is the Giver of their law, Jesus is the Spouse and Shepherd of their souls, Jesus is their Light, Jesus is their Life, Jesus is the Judge before Whom they rejoice to think that they must one day stand, Jesus is their final and eternal Reward, for which alone they live.

3. But He is also to them the mirror of all the most glorious and winning virtues. He is, and His Name tells them that He is, unbounded Charity, infinite Mercy, extremist Kindness, deepest Humility, most devoted Piety, transparent Simplicity, uttermost Poverty, Chastity without a stain. It is the prerogative of love to transform those who love into the likeness of Him Whom they love; and as the mere name of one who is loved cannot sound in the ear or be thought of in the mind without adding to the love which is already there, so the thought of the Holy Name and the mention of the Holy Name have a kind of sacramental power in the hearts of His saints. They seem to convey the grace which enables men to think like Him, to speak like Him, to act like Him, to sacrifice themselves like Him, and to Him, and for Him, and along with Him, to make Him known to others, not by word only, but also by reproduction of Him in themselves, and to win all men to love Him.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all that is within thee bless His Holy Name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and never forget all He hath done for thee. Ps. cii. i, 2.

Names are important.[4]

Most of us remember the elementary school playground and the mean names kids called each other. Author and speaker, Kary Oberbrunner, states that we all have a secret name that the One who made us gives us. Oberbrunner said, “My name is Kary, and I have a girl’s name.” He was no stranger to mean names on the playground. He went on to say that each of us has three names:

1.     Our birth name – the name assigned to us when we arrive in this world

2.     Our given names – the names assigned to us as we walk through the world. These names can be positive and negative, ranging from successful, beautiful, star athlete to those names assigned by mean kids, like concentration camp victim, stupid, addict.

3.     Our secret name – the name granted to us by God, Oberbrunner said the problem is our birth names and given names don’t ever fill up the void inside us. We pretend and wear masks.

What would God call you? When Christ called his apostles; He revealed to some of them God’s name for them. Sons of Thunder for John and James and for Simon son of John, He called him Peter which means “Rock”.

 

9th day of Christmas

 

The nine lady’s dancing is a sign of the fruits of the Holy Spirit for those who are not afraid:  love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.



Christmas Calendar[5]

 

Read: Today we read about St. Basil the Great, revered as a Doctor of the Church.

 

Reflect: "St. Basil, in a much-quoted homily, once declared that the bread we clutch in our hands belongs to the starving, the cloak we keep locked in our closet belongs to the naked, the shoes we are not using belong to the barefooted. In these ways in the post-biblical age Christians strove to keep a religious perspective on their use of material things." 

 

Pray: As many prepare to return to work after this Holy season, say a prayer for work.

 

Act: St. Basil once wrote, "Do everything possible to make yourself worthy of the Kingdom. Do not disdain the invitation you have received" (Exhortation to Baptism, 7-8).

 

When I think of all this, I am left terrorized and swallowed up with fear that, because of fickleness of heart or preoccupation with things of no importance, I may weaken in my love of God and even become a reason of shame or disorder for Christ.”

St. Basils Bread[6]

In the Eastern Churches St. Basil's Bread is blessed on his feast day. This blessing has been adapted for home use. The family gathers at the table where the bread is placed along with an icon of St. Basil (if available). The parts marked leader are done by the father or other suitable person.

Prayer

Leader: Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us!

All: Amen.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (three times) Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever. Amen.

Most holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, cleanse us of our sins. Master, forgive our transgressions. Holy One, come to us and heal our infirmities for Your Name's sake.

Lord, have mercy. (three times)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever. Amen.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

Leader: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever.

All: Amen.

Troparion - Tone 1 Your voice resounds throughout the world * which has excepted the lessons so well taught by you. * You have given explanation of divine truths. * You have clarified the nature of created things. * You have made a rule of life for men. * By your royal priesthood, O venerable father Basil, * intercede with Christ to save our souls.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever. Amen.

Kondakion - Tone 4 O venerable and heavenly inspired Basil, * you were a firm foundation of the Church * by giving to all treasure * and impressing them with your teachings.

Leader: Let us pray to the Lord. All: Lord, have mercy.

Prayer of Blessing

Leader: O Lord, King of the Ages and Creator of all things; You are abounding in mercy and plenteous in goodness! You accepted the gifts of the Wise Men in Bethlehem. You are the Bread of Life Who came down from heaven. You put times and years under Your authority and hold our lives in Your hands. Hear us on this auspicious day of the beginning of this New Year of (name the year) and bless + this sweet bread which is offered for Your glory and honor and in memory of our Father among the Saints Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappodocia. O Generous One, look down from heaven and send down Your heavenly gifts upon us, those who prepared this bread and all who shall partake of it, because we have placed our hope in You, the Eternal Living God! Bless our coming and going, enrich our lives with Your abundant blessings and direct our steps in the working of Your Divine commandments, because we shall not live by bread alone. Through the intercessions of Your all-pure and holy Mother, of our Father among the Saints, Basil the Great, and of all Your Saints, who have pleased You over the ages.

All: Amen.

The leader takes a knife and incises the sign of the Cross in the bottom of the loaf. It is then cut. It is eaten after the prayers are complete.

Closing Prayers

All: Lord, have mercy. (three times)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever. Amen.

More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who, a virgin, gave birth to God the Word, true Birth-giver of God, we magnify you!

Leader: Lord Jesus Christ, our true God, circumcised in the flesh, through the prayers of His most pure Mother, of Saint Basil the Great, whom we honor this day and of all the saints, have mercy on us and save us.

All: Amen.

Motivation and Inspiration Day[7]

It’s January 2nd, the beginning of a whole new year, and you’ve just gotten over your hangover—what time could possibly be better to be motivated and inspired? You have a whole 365 days ahead of you, and now is the time to start making them count! Even though to many, January 2nd is in fact just about finally getting over your New Year’s Party hangover, the history of Motivation and Inspiration Day is much more somber. National Motivation & Inspiration Day was passed by The United States Congress on December 18th, 2001, after the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. That was when Kevin L. McCrudden became the first and so far, only motivational and leadership speaker to ever have had such a day passed by Congress, acknowledging the importance of “motivation” and “inspiration” in our daily lives. After the tragedy that was September 11th, 2001, McCrudden felt that all Americans needed something to remind them that there were still many things to live on for. The reality was bleak at that time, and many people felt sad, scared or lost—especially those whose family members or friends had gotten killed suddenly in the World Trade Center attacks of just a few months before. McCrudden originally intended for this day to be dedicated to helping people become the best they can be and maximize their potential through the creation of annual goals. The idea caught on quite quickly, and Motivation and Inspiration Day is now celebrated in different places across the world as well as in the United States, encouraging people everywhere to change their lives for the better.

How to Celebrate Motivation and Inspiration Day

There are a few things you can do to celebrate this special day. Firstly, taking into consideration the events of September 11th, 2001 that led to the creation of Motivation and Inspiration Day, it would be good to just spend a minute or two in silence out of respect for the men and women who lost their lives to terrorism so suddenly that day. And then honor their memory by appreciating your own life and making it better! There are many ways to do this. One is to think of someone in your life who inspires you, whether it’s your mother, father, spouse or friend and find a way to show them an appreciation for being who they are. The gesture doesn’t have to be a grand one—take your mother, father or friend out to lunch and talk about their life and what helped to make them as strong as they are, thank them for showing you how to deal with life’s challenges. Buy a nice bottle of wine for your spouse and be sure to spend the evening with him or her, telling them how glad you are to be able to share your life with them. All too often in life, people take their close ones for granted, but we should never miss a chance to tell people who are special and inspirational to us just how much we appreciate them. You can also start doing something you’ve wanted to do for a long time but have kept putting off. Sign up for a martial arts class, start learning a new language, make a list of books to read, or buy a cookbook full of healthy recipes to make for your family instead of eating takeout every evening. Whatever way you decide to celebrate Motivation and Inspiration Day, make sure it changes your life for the better and helps you appreciate life more!

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.

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Restoring the Church

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Try a buffet after Mass it is national buffet day.

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Rosary



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Romans, Chapter 8, verse 14-15 14  For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15  For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear , but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” By the sacrifice of Christ, we are the adopted children of God, who feared none, and by whose sufferings and glory we share; by reason of the Holy Spirits presence within us. We are thus giving us a new life and relationship with God. ( Novena to the Holy Spirit ) To some is giving the gift of tongues. To which many years ago (40 to be exact February 1975) at the birth of my first born daughter I had gone to the Gunpowder Inn, in  Bermuda,  to celebrate her birth, with a couple of Native American friends. At the time I was in the Navy Seabees and we worked together. When I had got there, all of the sudden, I got an overwhelming feeling that I needed to speak in tongues to P. Graves and I did. I felt stupid an

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Leviticus, Chapter 25, Verse 17 Do not deal unfairly with one another, then; but stand in fear of your God. I, the LORD, am your God. Our loving God wants us free and He demands that we out of love treat each other with love and fairness. In the Jewish calendar God specified that we are to rest one out of seven days but it goes further with a rest after seven weeks ending in a year of Jubilee after the 49 th year called a Shemitah. The Shemitah Year is the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle mandated by the Torah for the Land of Israel and still observed in contemporary Judaism. When Moses received the Levitical law, God gave the commandment to rest on the seventh day… the Sabbath. Moses also applied the cycles of "seven" to weeks and years . A cycle of seven weeks points to the 50th day, called Pentecost. And a cycle of seven sets of seven years points to the 50th year, the year of Jubilee. The year of Jubilee is based on letting the land rest

Monday, January 7, 2019

Plough Monday ORTHODOX CHRISTMAS-DISTAFF DAY Psalm 2, verse 11 Serve the LORD with fear ; exult with trembling , accept correction lest he become angry and you perish along the way when his anger suddenly blazes up. Blessed are all who take refuge in him! To fully understand this verse, we must know who the writer is referring to. In verse 10 the writer states “ Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear.   Our God is a just God and to “those who have been given much; much is required”; to quote the spider man movie. Kings (and the 1 percent’ers) to be wise must humble themselves. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle then for a rich man to get into heaven. The "Eye of the Needle" has been claimed to be a gate in Jerusalem, which opened after the main gate was closed at night. A camel could only pass through this smaller gate if it was stooped and had its baggage removed. [1]   I a