Fourth Sunday After Epiphany
Sirach, Chapter 26, Verse 3
A good wife is a generous gift bestowed upon him who FEARS the Lord.
So, does this mean that if you don’t fear the Lord, you are to be cursed with a bad wife?
I don’t think that is the message here though; the point is that if our primary relationship with the Lord is right then as a natural result all our relationships will be improved. If you fear the Lord, that is Love the Lord, then you will love those around you and not see others as objects to be used but as persons of worth and dignity. As a husband seek to love your wife as Christ loved the church giving Himself up for her.
Today we are a community living in the fulfillment of faith in Christ and He asks us to do something unthinkable,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of
the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever
eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the
last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats
my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living
Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds
on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from
heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread
will live forever.” (John 6:53-58)
ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY
Sunday: Day of Joy, Rest and Solidarity
The "full joy" of Christ
58. Yet there is no conflict whatever between Christian joy and true human joys, which in fact are exalted and find their ultimate foundation precisely in the joy of the glorified Christ, the perfect image and revelation of man as God intended. As my revered predecessor Paul VI wrote in his Exhortation on Christian joy: "In essence, Christian joy is a sharing in the unfathomable joy, at once divine and human, found in the heart of the glorified Christ". Pope Paul concluded his Exhortation by asking that, on the Lord's Day, the Church should witness powerfully to the joy experienced by the Apostles when they saw the Lord on the evening of Easter. To this end, he urged pastors to insist "upon the need for the baptized to celebrate the Sunday Eucharist in joy. How could they neglect this encounter, this banquet which Christ prepares for us in his love? May our sharing in it be most worthy and joyful! It is Christ, crucified and glorified, who comes among his disciples, to lead them all together into the newness of his Resurrection. This is the climax, here below, of the covenant of love between God and his people: the sign and source of Christian joy, a stage on the way to the eternal feast". This vision of faith shows the Christian Sunday to be a true "time for celebration", a day given by God to men and women for their full human and spiritual growth.
Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
O God! Who knowest that, placed amidst so many dangers, we cannot, through human frailty, stand, grant us safety of mind and body, that we may, by Thy aid, surmount those things which we suffer for our sins. Amen.
EPISTLE. Rom. xiii. 8-10.
Brethren: Owe no man anything, but to love one another; for he that loveth his neighbor hath fulfilled the law. For thou shalt not commit adultery: Thou shalt not kill: Thou shalt not steal: Thou shalt not bear false witness: Thou shalt not covet and if there be any other commandment, it is comprised in this word: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The love of our neighbor worketh no evil. Love, therefore, is the fulfilling of the law. How are we to understand those words of St. Paul, " He that loveth his neighbor hath fulfilled the law"? St. Augustine explains them as follows: " Our love towards our neighbor must have its origin in the love of God; for if we love our neighbor, we must love him for God’s sake. Now he who loves God keeps the first four commandments, for he believes in God, hopes in Him, loves Him, and honors Him, while he also loves and honors his parents. But he who loves his neigh bor keeps the rest of the commandments also, since that love prevents him from doing any injury to his neighbor, so that he will not kill, nor steal, nor calumniate, nor bear false witness; thus, he fulfills the law, for " upon these two commandments depend the whole law and the prophets " (Matt. xxii. 40).
GOSPEL. Matt. viii. 23-27.
At that time, when Jesus entered into the boat, His disciples followed Him: and behold a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves, but He was asleep. And His disciples came to Him, and awakened Him, saying: Lord, save us, we perish. And Jesus saith to them, why am you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up He commanded the winds, and the sea; and there came a great calm. But the men wondered, saying, what manner of man is this, for the winds and the sea obey Him?
Why did Jesus’ sleep while a great tempest arose in the sea?
1. He thereby tested the faith of His disciples and confirmed it by the miracle of their escape.
2. He, by this occasion, taught the just and pious not to be scandalized or discouraged if God should visit them with affliction, such as sick ness, poverty, or other miseries.
3. He teaches us also to seek refuge in Him and encourages us to hope for help.
Why did Our Savior reprove His disciples?
Because they showed a want of faith and confidence. Ever had they been then drowned; such a death would have been to them the entrance to eternal life. Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, . . . but blessed be the man that trusteth in the Lord " (Jer. xvii. 5, 7). Let us, therefore, in any adversity or danger be firm in our belief that God cares for us and have confidence in Him and He will hear our prayers, if it be for our good, as He quieted the wind and the sea with His almighty word.
What can we further
learn from this gospel?
1. How willingly Jesus assists us.
2. That He will protect His Church in all storms and persecutions, since He, the Almighty, is always with her.
3. How willingly we should follow Jesus, since even the winds and waves obey Him.
4. That we should not look with indifference at the wonders of God’s omnipotence and benevolence, but from them learn to raise our thoughts in love to Him. For if those men wondered, saying, " Who is this? for even the winds and the sea obey Him," how much rather should we know and love God from the innumerable miracles of His love and power.
Grant us, O most benign Jesus, great confidence in Thy divine assistance
whenever we are in need and allow us not to be of little faith. Be our Savior
in the many dangers that surround us; make use of Thy omnipotence against our
enemies; command the impetuous winds and sea of persecution that they may be
calm; and give peace and quiet to Thy Church, which Thou hast redeemed with Thy
precious blood, that we may serve Thee in sanctity and justice, and come safely
to the wished-for haven of eternal happiness. Amen.
The legend of how the croissant came to be is that in 1683, the Turkish Empire laid siege on Vienna, Austria. The Turks made several attempts to conquer the city by force, but were unsuccessful, so decided to try underground tunnels. The bakers of Vienna, who worked in the basement storerooms, heard the sound of digging and alerted the cities army. For their vigilance, the bakers received high honors and thanks for their assistance in outwitting the Turks. In celebration, they baked their bread in the shape of a crescent moon—the symbol of the Ottoman Empire. After the Turks were defeated, it became custom to serve morning coffee with the crescent-shaped pastry! The legend continues to say that over a hundred years later, Marie Antoinette introduced the pastry to the French who dubbed it a “croissant”. Celebrate Croissant Day in style by eating an abundance of this tasty treat!
On September 12, 1683, the great army of Turks which had besieged the city of Vienna for two months was finally attacked by the combined forces of Germans, Austrians, and Poles under the titular command of King John Sobiesky of Poland. The fierce battle lasted from dawn to evening, when the Turks, utterly beaten, retreated in headlong flight. Among the immense booty, the victors found a great number of sacks filled with strange green beans. They took them to be fodder for the camels which the Turkish Pasha had brought along. Since the camels had fled with the army, this part of the booty seemed useless, and it was decided to dump it in the Danube. However, one of the inhabitants of the city, a man named Kolsinsky, who had been a prisoner of the Turks and knew their ways, explained that it was a fruit from which the Turks, after roasting it, made a popular drink. In return for valuable services rendered during the siege he asked permission to open a shop where he could sell this Turkish drink. The permission was readily granted, and he opened the first "coffee house" in the city. When the people of Vienna tried the new drink, they found it not to their liking, for Kolsinsky served it the Turkish way — in small cups, with the grounds, black and unsweetened. A friend then advised him to make the drink more acceptable: "Strain it," he said, "so the grounds won't grit between the teeth. Add some milk to make it look brighter and sugar to make it sweet. And serve it together with something to eat. Why not use a new kind of pastry? Shape it in the form of the Turkish half-moon?" (The Turks had put their Mohammedan crescent on every church steeple in the place of the Christian cross.) Kolsinsky followed the advice, and his products immediately became very popular. The people now enjoyed drinking the coffee prepared in this manner, and they gleefully devoured the "Turkish Crescent," the sight of which had filled them with terror during the war. Thus, started the custom, which has since spread from Vienna all over the world, of drinking coffee without grounds in the cup, of mixing it with milk or cream, and sweetening it with sugar. The pastry in form of the Turkish half-moon (crescent, croissant, Kipfel) also has remained a familiar sight on coffee tables up to this day.
Dissolve yeast in water. Combine sugar, butter, salt and milk. Add milk mixture and egg to yeast when cool. Stir in flour; beat well. Turn into greased bowl. Cover and let rise in warm place to double in bulk. Turn dough onto lightly floured board; knead for 1 minute. Return to bowl and let rise again to double in bulk. Roll dough to a very thin sheet, about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 5-inch squares. Cut each square diagonally into 2 triangles. Brush with melted butter. Roll triangles, beginning on diagonal. Shape in crescent shape. Place on greased baking sheet, let rise until light. Bake in 400° oven for 15 minutes.
· 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.