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Sunday, March 6, 2022

 First Sunday of Lent, Called “Invocabit” 

Isaiah, Chapter 33, verse 6

That which makes her seasons certain, her wealth, salvation, wisdom, and knowledge, is the FEAR of the Lord, her treasure. 

Wherever your treasure is that is where your heart is and our hearts are made for the Lord. Fear of the Lord means that we have a father/son relationship of care, respect and love. Our God does not want to be objectified as some obtainable good. Nor does our God want to be appeased with our prayers and obedience. God is not an insurance agent that guarantees us against losses if we pay our premiums in prayers. If God is our treasure, he is our star, our life, our everything. 

In the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium of the Holy Father Francis, he states: 

We have a treasure of life and love which cannot deceive, and a message which cannot mislead or disappoint. It penetrates to the depths of our hearts, sustaining and ennobling us. It is a truth which is never out of date because it reaches that part of us which nothing else can reach. Our infinite sadness can only be cured by an infinite love. 

I am reminded of the love of Don Quixote in the play “Man from La Mancha”. If God is our treasure, he should be our Impossible Dream because we are His. 

ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY[1] 

CHAPTER I 

DIES DOMINI 

The fulfilment of the Sabbath

 

63. Christ came to accomplish a new "exodus", to restore freedom to the oppressed. He performed many healings on the Sabbath (cf. Mt 12:9-14 and parallels), certainly not to violate the Lord's Day, but to reveal its full meaning: "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" (Mk 2:27). Opposing the excessively legalistic interpretation of some of his contemporaries, and developing the true meaning of the biblical Sabbath, Jesus, as "Lord of the Sabbath" (Mk 2:28), restores to the Sabbath observance its liberating character, carefully safeguarding the rights of God and the rights of man. This is why Christians, called as they are to proclaim the liberation won by the blood of Christ, felt that they had the authority to transfer the meaning of the Sabbath to the day of the Resurrection. The Passover of Christ has in fact liberated man from a slavery more radical than any weighing upon an oppressed people — the slavery of sin, which alienates man from God, and alienates man from himself and from others, constantly sowing within history the seeds of evil and violence.

 

First Sunday of Lent, Called “Invocabit”. [2]

THIS, Sunday is called Invocabit from the first word of the Introit. All the Sundays of Lent and those from Easter to Pentecost take their names from the Introits of the Mass. In the Introit of this day, we are told: He shall cry to Me, and I will hear him; I will deliver him and glorify him; I will fill him with length of days. He that dwelleth in the aid of the Most High shall abide under the protection of the God of heaven (Ps. xc. 15, 16, 1).

Prayer of the Church

O God, Who dost purify Thy Church by the yearly observance of Lent, grant to Thy servants that what they endeavor to obtain of Thee by abstinence they may secure by good works.

EPISTLE, Cor. vi. 1-10.

Brethren: We do exhort you, that you receive not the grace of God in vain: for He saith: In an accepted time have I heard thee: and in the day of salvation have I helped thee. Behold now is the acceptable time: behold now is the day of salvation; giving no offence to any man, that our ministry be not blamed: but in all things let us exhibit ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in tribulation, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in prisons, in seditions, in labors, in watching’s, in fasting’s, in chastity, in knowledge, in long-suffering, in sweetness, in the Holy Ghost, in charity unfeigned, in the word of truth, in the power of God, by the armor of justice on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true: as unknown, and yet known: as dying, and behold we live: as chastised, and not killed: as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing: as needy, yet enriching many: as having nothing, and possessing all things. By this epistle the Church admonishes us to profit by Lent as a season of grace, to spend it in earnestly combating sin and in the diligent performance of good works.

GOSPEL. Matt. iv. 1-11.

At that time: Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards He was hungry. And the tempter coming, said to Him: If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. Who answered and said: It is written, Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God. Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, and set Him upon a pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him: If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thy self-down; for it is written that He hath given His angels charge over Thee, and in their hands shall they bear Thee up, lest perhaps Thou dash Thy foot against a stone. Jesus said to him: It is written again: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil took Him up into a very high mountain: and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, and said to Him: All these will I give Thee, if falling down Thou wilt adore me. Then Jesus saith to him: Begone, Satan: for it is written: The Lord thy God shalt thou adore and Him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil left Him: and behold angels came and ministered to Him.

Our Savior was led by the Holy Ghost into the desert there to prepare by fasting forty days and nights for His holy ministry. Here the tempter approaches and seeks to betray Him. After He had overcome the Evil One’s angels came and ministered to Him: by which we learn that they who overcome temptations enjoy the consolation and assistance of the angels. This should encourage us to combat joyfully to the end.

What is temptation? Temptation is an inducement to transgress the commandments of God. Temptation comes from our own concupiscence (James i. 14) for the flesh lusteth against the spirit (Gal. v.17.)

How does the devil tempt us? He moves the natural concupiscence to such sins as he sees men particularly inclined to, and then deceives and confuses the man’s mind, that he may not see clearly either the temporal loss, or the dishonor and danger of sin. He can, however, do nothing but what God permits. St. Augustine therefore compares him to a chained dog that can hurt only those who put themselves within his reach.

Does God also tempt us? St. James says (i. 13), Let no man, when he is tempted, say that he is tempted by God; for God is not a tempter of evils, and He tempteth no man; But He allows us to be tempted, sending us manifold trials.

Does God permit us to be tempted beyond our strength? No; for He combats with us and gives you always as much strength as is required to conquer temptations, and even to gain advantage from them (i. Cor. x. 13).

When do we consent to temptation? When we decide of our own free will to do the evil proposed; as long as we resist, however little, we do not consent.

What are the best means to overcome temptation?

1. Humility and prayer.

2. The consideration of the suffering which follows sin, and of the happiness which awaits those who resist temptation.

3. Invoking the aid of the Blessed Virgin, our guardian angel, and all the saints.

4. Praying devoutly, lead us not into temptation, and calling on the holy name of Jesus.

Lenten Calendar[3]

Read: Todays Gospel tells the story of Jesuss journey into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 

Reflect: Every day, but particularly in Lent, Christians must face a struggle, like the one that Christ underwent in the desert of Judea, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil, and then in Gethsemane, when he rejected the most sever temptation, accepting the Fathers will to the very end.  

It is a spiritual battle waged against sin and finally, against Satan. It is a struggle that involves the whole of the person and demands attentive and constant watchfulness.  (Pope Benedict XVI, Homily, March 1, 2006)

Pray: Say something from your heart.

Act: With Jesuss response of One does not live on bread alone in mind, think of what ways you can feed your spiritual life this Lent. Decide to do something during this Lenten season that will nurture your relationship with God. Consider reading one of the Psalms on Saturdays, challenge yourself to fast from speaking any negative or critical word on Fridays, or do an act of generosity on Mondays. 

Christ is the model for our fasting

Christ in the desert, and the kinds of temptations we can expect to encounter.

"Not by bread alone does man live, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God".

1. The devil tries to tempt us with the bread of fleshly desire. "Now is the acceptable time" to "ration" our self-indulgence, our worship of physical culture, and to feed our souls with the Divine Word. This temptation calls for the mortification of self.

2. The "pinnacle of the temple", recalls the pride of usurping God's power, of trying to live beyond His reach. We must topple ourselves from the pinnacle of pride and lift ourselves up by prayer to the pinnacle of God Himself.

3. The "kingdoms of the world," are those who covet mere earthly "glory." To offset this temptation there must be almsgiving or devoting one's talents to the service of one's neighbor.

The Epistle exhorts us not to receive "in vain" this plan of personal reformation, first by warning, then by encouraging us in the eternal struggle between Christ and Antichrist.

Excerpted from My Sunday Missal, Confraternity of the Precious Blood

Aids in Battle[4] The Power of God’s Word

When Our Lord overcame the Devil in the wilderness, He quoted Scripture. In Scripture, the Devil and his demons go by several names and are portrayed by several vivid images, each one pointing to some important aspect of their nature and activity. To know these names and images is to understand better the kind of opponents we face in spiritual warfare.

·       The Devil, literally, “one who hurls [himself] across” the path of God’s plan; Mt 4: 1.

·       Satan, literally, “adversary, attacker”; Job 1: 6; Mt 4: 10.

·       Beelzebul, the prince of demons, the name of a pagan Canaanite god meaning “the Prince-God”; the Jews interpreted the word as “prince of demons” because they identified false gods with demonic spirits; Mt 12: 24– 27. The form Beelzebub, used in some Bible translations, is a contemptuous adaptation of the name that means “Lord of the flies”; see also Baalzebub as a reference to the Canaanite god in 2 Ki 1: 2– 6.

·       The Serpent, the malicious intruder in the Garden of Eden who led our first parents into sin; Gn 3: 1; Rv 12: 9.

·       Demon, from the ancient Greek term for a lesser deity; St. Paul identified such pagan gods with demonic spirits; 1 Cor 10: 20– 21.

·       Unclean spirit, in the sense of morally unclean or impure; Mt 10: 1.

Devotion to the Trinity[5] 

The Trinity is the sum, substance, subject and object of our prayer. We are baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. One God, who is three persons, is a mystery too deep for anyone to fathom. St. Teresa of Avila had a vision on the Trinity she stated, What was represented to me were three distinct persons, for we can behold and speak to each one. Afterward I reflected that only the Son took human flesh, through which this truth of the Trinity was seen. These persons love, communicate with, and know each other…and this is a very great truth…In all three persons there is no more than one will, one power, and one dominion, in such a way that one cannot do anything without the others.” 

St. John Paul II stated also, “God in his deepest mystery is not a solitude but a family, since he has in himself fatherhood, sonship, and the essence of family, which is love.” We are created for the sake of love. 

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, (234) the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in Himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the "hierarchy of the truths of faith". The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men "and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin". 

God the Father sent the Son so that we might receive the Spirit. God became what we are, so that we might become what He is. He assumed our nature, so that we might share in His. Heaven is nothing other than the sharing, that communion, and it has begun with our baptism. All the sacraments and all Catholic liturgy are about the Blessed Trinity. We have been taken up into the life of the Trinity, even now. We do not have to wait to live in heaven, Heaven has come to us—though we still await the day of consummation, when we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is (Jn. 3:2). Our very nature speaks of the trinity through our Mind, emotions and will. Will to serve!

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

 

II. Transmit the faith: catechesis  

10   It is not surprising, therefore, that, in the dynamism of the Second Vatican Council (which Pope Paul VI considered to be the great catechism of modern times), the catechesis of the Church has once again attracted attention. The General Directory of Catechesis of 1971, the sessions of the Synod of Bishops consecrated to evangelization (1974) and to catechesis (1977), the corresponding apostolic exhortations, Evangelii nuntiandi (1975) and Catechesi tradendae (1979), bear witness to it. The extraordinary session of the Synod of Bishops in 1985 requested "that a catechism or compendium of all Catholic doctrine, both on faith and morals, be drafted" ( Relacion final II, B, a, 4). The Holy Father, John Paul II, endorsed this wish issued by the Synod of Bishops, recognizing that it "fully responds to a true need of the universal Church and of the particular Churches" (Closing address of the Synod, extraordinary assembly , 7 December 1985). The Pope arranged everything necessary for the Synod Fathers' request to be carried out. 

The Week ahead

 

·       Mar 7th-Orthdox Lent begins clean Monday

·       Mar 9th FAST Ember Wednesday

·       Mar 11th FAST Ember Friday

·       Mar 12th FAST Ember Saturday

Plan ahead for:

·       Saltwater Fishing-As the title indicates, saltwater fishing takes place out at sea giving fishermen the opportunity to catch large and exotic fishes such as the Marlin. The big drawback to this activity is that you have to have access to a boat (either own, know someone who does, or rent), and own special fishing gear that can handle large catches. 


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 internetUnite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: True Masculinity



·       Devotion of the Seven Sundays: St Joseph-5th Sunday

·       54 Day Rosary for Priest’s and Religious Day 15

·       Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 19



·       Manhood of the Master-week 3 day 1



·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Iceman’s 40 devotion

·       Universal Man Plan




[2] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

[4]Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.

[5] Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 34. Devotion to the Trinity.



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