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Sunday, January 23, 2022

 Third Sunday After Epiphany

holy spouses-Capt. kangaroo 

Psalm 19, Verse 10-11

10 The FEAR of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The statutes of the Lord are true, all of them just; 11 More desirable than gold, than a hoard of purest gold, Sweeter also than honey or drippings from the comb. 

Our Lord showed no fear of the money changers or the priests when He overturned the tables in holy zeal for the statutes of the Lord. Is the Holy Spirit moving you to make a real change today? Are you being called to be holier, stronger, more committed to God and better prepared for the trials and persecution of our world? Consider the message of The Holy League.[1] 

The Holy League 

History-Pope St. Pius V formed the original Holy League in response to the dire situation in which Christian Europe found itself in 1571. Small bands of Catholic men and remnant armies from various nations came together under the spiritual leadership of the saintly pontiff and the military leadership of Don John of Austria. By prayer and fasting, they implored the help of God’s grace, through the intercession of the Mother of God, and, by the grace of Almighty God, on October 7, 1571, at the Battle of Lepanto, the Christian fleet won a crushing victory over the OttomanTurks, saving Christendom and western civilization. 

The Battle Today 

At this particular moment in time, the Church finds itself in a similar situation to that of the Church in the late Sixteenth Century. However, instead of a physical enemy on the horizon, the Church and the family (the domestic Church) are threatened daily by relativism, secularism, impurity, and confusion regarding Church teaching. The battle today “is not against human forces but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness, the evil spirits in the heavens” (Ephesians 6: 10-12). To combat the forces of evil in today’s society, the Holy League strives to call men back to the state of grace and to transforming the culture through prayer.” The Holy League, in fidelity to its mission as a Roman Catholic solidarity movement:

 

·       Provides a Holy Hour format which incorporates: Eucharistic adoration, prayer, short spiritual reflections, the availability of the Sacrament of Confession, Benediction and fraternity;

·       Encourages consecration to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Purest Heart of Joseph;

·       Promotes the Precepts and Sacraments of the Church; especially through devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament and the praying of the Most Holy Rosary;

·       Creates a unified front, made up of members of the Church Militant, for spiritual combat;

·       Strives to have a regular monthly Holy League Holy Hour available to men in every Roman Catholic parish. 

Holy League Vision 

The Vision of the Holy League is to develop a network of parish based regular monthly Holy Hours with confession and fraternity for men. 

Our Mission 

The Holy League, in a Spirit of Marian Chivalry, under the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Joseph, seeks to provide opportunities for the faithful to unite in prayer, especially monthly Eucharistic Holy Hours, for purification from sin and predisposition to Supernatural Grace for the fuller exercise of the threefold offices of Priest, Prophet, and King received at Baptism. The particular prayer of the Holy League is the monthly Eucharistic Holy Hour. 

ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY[2] 

CHAPTER IV 

DIES HOMINIS 

Sunday: Day of Joy, Rest and Solidarity 

The "full joy" of Christ

57. Therefore, if we wish to rediscover the full meaning of Sunday, we must rediscover this aspect of the life of faith. Certainly, Christian joy must mark the whole of life, and not just one day of the week. But in virtue of its significance as the day of the Risen Lord, celebrating God's work of creation and "new creation", Sunday is the day of joy in a very special way, indeed the day most suitable for learning how to rejoice and to rediscover the true nature and deep roots of joy. This joy should never be confused with shallow feelings of satisfaction and pleasure, which inebriate the senses and emotions for a brief moment, but then leave the heart unfulfilled and perhaps even embittered. In the Christian view, joy is much more enduring and consoling; as the saint’s attest, it can hold firm even in the dark night of suffering.  It is, in a certain sense, a "virtue" to be nurtured.

Third Sunday after Epiphany[3]

Under the traditional calendar the Church Christ cures the Jewish leper and the Roman centurion's servant, calling both Jew and Gentile to His flock.

THE Church, knowing that she cannot sufficiently love and praise God, at the Introit of the Mass invites all angels to praise Him: Adore God, all you His angels: Sion heard and was glad, and the daughters of Juda rejoiced. The Lord hath reigned, let the earth rejoice, let many islands be glad (Ps. xcvi.).

 

Prayer.

 

Almighty and eternal God mercifully look upon our infirmities, and extend the right hand of Thy majesty to help and defend us. Amen.

EPISTLE. Rom. xii. 16-21.

Brethren: Be not wise in your own conceits: to no man rendering evil for evil: providing good things not only in the sight of God, but also in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as in you, having peace with all men. Not revenging yourselves, my dearly beloved; but give place unto wrath, for it is written: Revenge to Me: I will repay, saith the Lord. But if thy enemy be hungry, give him to eat; if he thirst, give him drink; for doing this thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good.

 

What is the meaning of the words, “Revenge to Me: I will repay, saith the Lord”?

 

They mean that God alone has the right to revenge. “Are you impatient”, says St. Ambrose, “then you will be conquered: but do you suffer in patience, then you will be conqueror.”

 

What must we do, then, when our honor is attacked?

 

When an injury by others brings serious consequences upon us, it is not only permissible, but even a duty, to defend our honor and good name. In matters of less importance, we should leave our assailants to God, according to the admonition of the Apostle.

 

Is it wrong to wish our neighbor the evil that he wished us?

 

Certainly, for it is contrary to the law of God, Who commands us to love our enemies, to do good to them that hate us, and pray for them that persecute and calumniate us (Matt, v. 44; Luke vi. 35).

 

How are we to “heap coals of fire on the heads of our enemies”?

 

When, according to the will of God, we render good for evil, thereby confounding our enemies and causing them to burn with shame; St. Augustine says: You will heap burning coals of love on his head, for nothing sooner begets love than to meet one with love.

Prayer.

Enable me, O heavenly Father, so to follow these admonitions of St. Paul in regard to the love of my enemies that I may be Thy child, Who makest Thy sun to shine upon the evil and upon the good.


GOSPEL. Matthew viii. 1-18


 

At that time, when Jesus was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him: and behold a leper came and adored Him, saying: Lord, if Thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, stretching forth His hand, touched him, saying: I will. Be thou made clean. And forthwith his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith to him: See thou tell no man: but go show thyself to the priest and offer the gift which Moses commanded for a testimony unto them. And when He had entered into Capharnaum, there came to Him a centurion, beseeching Him, and saying: Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, and is grievously tormented. And Jesus saith to him: I will come and heal him. And the centurion, making answer, said: Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers; and I say to this: Go, and he goeth: and to another: Come, and he cometh: and to my servant: Do this, and he doth it. And Jesus hearing this, marveled: and said to them that followed Him: Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel. And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said to the centurion: Go, and as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee. And the servant was healed at the same hour.

 

Why did the leper say to Jesus, “Lord, if Thou wilt, thou canst make me clean”?

 

Because he believed Jesus to be the promised Messiah, Who, as true God, had the power to heal him. When we pray, we must be careful not to prescribe to God what He shall give us, but begin by saying, “If it be pleasing to Thee, and advantageous to me, give me this or that grace.

 

Why did Jesus stretch forth His hand and touch him?

 

So that he might understand that his leprosy was to be healed. Let us also imitate the example of Jesus by assisting each other in sickness, not shirking this work of charity from aversion or excessive delicacy.

 

Why did Jesus say, “I will, be thou made clean”?

 

To reveal His almightiness, and to show that all things were subject to Him.

 

Why did Jesus say, “See thou tell no man”?

 

To show His modesty and humility, and to teach us, when we do good works, not to speak of them, thus losing our reward (Matt. vi. 2, 3).

 

What does the Savior mean by saying, Go show thyself to the priest?

 

1. Christ wished to show His respect for the law of Moses, for lepers were required to show themselves to the priests, who were to decide whether they were clean or not. He also teaches us that priests should receive their proper respect.

 

2. He reminded him who was cleansed to give thanks to God by offering the gift which Moses commanded.

 

What does the solicitude of the centurion teach us?

 

That masters and mistresses should take care of their sick servants and do what they can to restore them to health.

 

Why did Our Savior say, I will come and heal him?

 

To show His profound humility, for although He was God, and the Lord of lords, He did not hesitate to visit a poor servant.

 

Why did the centurion say, Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof?

 

Out of humility, for he acknowledged Jesus to be Almighty God.

 

What is the meaning of the words, “That many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham”?

 

Christ meant that many unbelievers shall receive the Gospel, and, living according to it, shall thereby gain the kingdom of heaven, while the Jews, who were the chosen people of God, shall, for their unbelief and sins, be cast out into the exterior darkness that is, into the most excruciating pains of hell. 

Feast of The Holy Spouses[4] 

While there have been feasts of Mary and Joseph as individual saints, and more recently also a feast of the Holy Family, no feast honoring their marriage has entered into the universal liturgical calendar of the Church. At least as early as 1413 Jean Gerson had proposed the Feast of the Betrothal. It was introduced into the missal for the cathedral of Chartres in 1482 and by the Franciscans and Servite’s in 1537 and thereafter by many other particular liturgical calendars. Saint Joseph Marello (canonized on November 25, 2001) also introduced it into the congregation he founded, the Oblates of St. Joseph. The feast had become so widespread that it was included in the universal Roman Missal under the section pro aliquibus locis, when in 1961 the revision of the universal liturgical calendar suppressed such particular feasts, requiring their reintroduction by groups wishing to preserve them. In 1989 the feast of The Holy Spouses, Mary and Joseph, was reintroduced into the proper calendar of the Oblates of St. Joseph, with its proper texts for Mass and for the Liturgy of the Hours. (In 1991 Fr. Juan Antonio Morán, M.J., in El Salvador also prepared a Mass text for private use for November 26, when married couples were also invited to renew their vows.)

 

The approved texts for the Oblate version of the Mass are as follows:

 

·       Entrance Antiphon: Hail Mary, Mother of God, united by a sacred bond to Joseph, faithful guardian of your virginal motherhood.

·       Opening Prayer: Holy Father, you joined together by a virginal bond the glorious Mother of your Son and the just man, Saint Joseph, that they might be faithful cooperators in the mystery of the Word Incarnate. Grant that we who are united with you by the bond of baptism may live more intimately in our union with Christ and may walk more joyfully in the way of love. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ….

·       Readings: Isaiah 61:9-11; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2:41-52.

·       Prayer over the Gifts: Lord, look graciously upon the gifts which we present at your altar on the Feast of the Holy Spouses, Mary and Joseph, and enkindle in us the spirit of your love.

·       Preface: Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord. You give the Church the joy of celebrating the feast of the Holy Spouses, Mary and Joseph: in her, full of grace and worthy Mother of your Son, you signify the beginning of the Church, resplendently beautiful bride of Christ; you chose him, the wise and faithful servant, as Husband of the Virgin Mother of God, and made him head of your family to guard as a father your only Son, conceived by the work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, our Lord. For this gift of your kindness, we join….

·       Communion Antiphon: Joseph, son of David, have no fear about taking Mary as your wife. It is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived this child.

·       Prayer after Communion: Lord, by your holy gifts you have filled us with joy. By venerating the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, her spouse, may we be strengthened in your love- and live-in continual thanksgiving.

 

While the feast is celebrated on January 23 in all Oblate houses for all the faithful, the recent emphasis in the Holy Spouses Province of the Oblates of St. Joseph has been to extend a particular invitation to married and engaged couples. They are invited to look to Mary and Joseph as patrons and intercessors for their marriage, and to take them as the model husband and wife to strive to imitate in loving one another selflessly as spouses. Mary and Joseph may be shown to exemplify the two inseparable ends of marriage, love and life, and to refute the mentality of contraception and divorce.

 

Be a good husbandman[5] 

All men are called by God to be husbandmen. Some are called to the priesthood and they may hear Christ saying to them: 

Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Mt. 4:19) 

Others are called to the single life and they may serve the Lord via their work and there are those who are called to the married life, but all are husbandmen. What makes a good husbandman?

 

Let us look at St. Joseph as an example of a good husbandman.

 

·       St. Joseph in all his dealings was humble.

·       He was the provider and protector of Mary and Jesus

·       full of zeal and great courage,

·       Obedient to the will of God. Yet he was not rash; and with prudence pondered

·       His decisions trusting in divine providence.

·       He was a model of workers and

·       an example of married life and chaste love.

·       He valued prayer and the hidden life.

·       He was ready for the call of a neighbor or to the call of God;

·       He gave an immediate response.

·       His was a life of sacrifice; his was a life of simplicity.

 

To be a good husbandman is to:

 

Do the ordinary in an extraordinary way.” 

Life First[6] 9 Days for Life 

9 Days for Life is a "digital pilgrimage" of prayer and action focused on cherishing the gift of every person's life. A multi-faceted novena highlighting a different intention each day provides reflections, bonus information, and suggested actions. Join to receive the novena through the 9 Days for Life app, daily emails, or daily texts. See below for information on how else you can get involved! #9DaysforLife #OurPrayersMatter

 

Day Five: 

Intercession: May each person suffering from the loss of a child through abortion find hope and healing in Christ. 

Prayers: Our Father, 3 Hail Mary’s, Glory Be 

Reflection: After more than four decades of legalized abortion, many children’s lives have been ended, and many parents and family members suffer that loss—often in silence. Yet God’s greatest desire is to forgive. No matter how far we have each strayed from His side, He says to us, “Don’t be afraid. Draw close to my heart.” Be assured that it is never too late to seek God's forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. 

Acts of Reparation (Choose one.)

 

·        Abstain from meat today. If you are already abstaining from meat today, skip your favorite snack, too.
 

·        Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy (www.usccb.org/divine-mercy-chaplet) for those who are suffering the loss of a child through abortion, asking that they find healing and peace.
 

·        Offer some other sacrifice, prayer, or act of penance that you feel called to do for today’s intention. 

Captain Kangaroo[7] 

On Oct. 3, 1955, Bob Keeshan stepped onto a nautical-themed set wearing a captain's cap and a jacket with big, kangaroolike pockets. He smiled into the camera and became a television icon. Keeshan would play Captain Kangaroo for 36 years--more than 9,000 performances--to the amusement and betterment of generations of delighted children. 

Keeshan died (January 23, 2004) at a hospital in Windsor, Vt., after a long illness. Though no cause of death was announced, he had suffered from cardiac problems since the 1980s. He was 76. Unmistakable with his brushy mustache and bowl haircut, the Captain passed time with his good friend Mr. Green Jeans (Hugh "Lumpy" Brannum), visited with puppet animals such as Bunny Rabbit, whom he scolded for eating too many carrots, and Mr. Moose, who loved knock-knock jokes. The animal characters were voiced by Cosmo "Gus" Allegretti. Ahead of his time in recognizing the importance of early learning, Keeshan's Captain built confidence and intellectual development in children who were having too much fun to notice the lessons. "Play is the work of children," he said. "It's very serious stuff. And if it's properly structured in a developmental program, children can blossom." 

Captain Kangaroo most will remember--a grandfatherly figure (though Keeshan was just 28 at the beginning) who spoke directly to the camera, with no audience, no children in the cast, no intermediaries in the conversation he was having with his at-home viewers. "One of the reasons I work in television today," said David Kleeman, executive director of the Chicago-based American Center for Children and Media, "is because, when I was 4 or 5, I said `Hello' to Captain Kangaroo when he came on the screen, and he said `Hello' back to me. I really believed that he was talking to me. And I think he would have agreed. We're losing the generation of children's TV hosts who made a new mass medium personal--who could talk into the camera as though we were the only person on the other side." 

In later life Keeshan spoke often about the importance of good parenting. `Role models' "Parents are the ultimate role models for children," he said. "Every word, movement and action has an effect. No other person or outside force has a greater influence on a child than the parent." [Emphasis added] 

Keeshan insisted that viewers must always feel special, never just part of a huge audience. He screened advertising to assure that what he considered exploitative commercials would never be shown. Over the years, his stewardship of "Captain Kangaroo" was abundantly rewarded. The show won six Emmy Awards, three Gabriel’s for "uplifting" programming from a Catholic media group and three Peabody Awards. 

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: Increase in the Religious and Consecrated Life.

·       Carnival: Part Two, the Final Countdown

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Rosary




[3]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

[6]http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/january-roe-events/nine-days-of-prayer-penance-and-pilgrimage.cfm

[7]Charles Leroux, Tribune senior correspondent Chicago Tribune, January 24, 2004



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