Fifth Week of Lent Friday of Sorrows
HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY
Jeremiah, Chapter 23, Verse 4
The Presence of God
For Jews, there was only one Temple. It was the one place on earth that could truly be called holy. It was the place where God’s Spirit dwelt. The Temple was a place where they could withdraw from the pollutions of the world and know God’s presence in purity. As Christians by the action of Christ we, our bodies, are the temple of God, and He is always with us. No longer was God’s presence and his purifying ritual confined to a single geographic location. No longer were they the exclusive privilege of a single ethnic group. Now the temple has no walls. It is universal—that is, it’s catholic. We are the temple of God’s presence.
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? ...God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are. (I Cor. 3:16-17)
When I was a youth of 20, I had the great honor of serving in the Navy Seabee’s and went to build the South Pole Station in Antarctica and breathing was difficult in the frozen thin air, here is an excerpt from my book,
“The Ice is Nice and Chee-Chee is Peachy.
Prayer. MERCIFULLY infuse Thy grace into our hearts, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that, by doing voluntary penance for our sins, we may be punished here, rather than be condemned to punishment for eternity.
EPISTLE. Jerem. xvii. 13-18.
In those days Jeremias said: O Lord, the hope of Israel: all that forsake Thee shall be confounded: they that depart from Thee, shall be written in the earth: because they have forsaken the Lord the vein of living waters: heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed: save me, and I shall be saved: for Thou art my praise. Behold they say to me: Where is the word of the Lord? let it come. And I am not troubled, following Thee for my pastor: and I have not desired the day of man, Thou knowest it. That which went out of my lips, hath been right in Thy sight. Be not Thou a terror unto me, thou art my hope in the day of affliction. Let them be confounded that persecute me and let not me be confounded: let them be afraid and let not me be afraid: bring upon them the day of affliction, and with a double destruction, destroy them, O Lord our God.
GOSPEL. John xi. 47-54.
At that time: The chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said: What do we, for this man doth many miracles?
If we let Him alone so, all will believe in Him, and the Romans will come, and take away our place and nation. But one of them named Caiphas, being the high priest that year, said to them: You know nothing. Neither do you consider that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this he spoke not of himself: but being the high priest of that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation. And not only for the nation, but to gather together in one the children of God, that were dispersed. From that day, therefore, they devised to put Him to death. Wherefore Jesus walked no more openly among the Jews, but He went into a country near the desert, unto a city that is called Ephrem, and there He abode with His disciples.
Read: “Wherefore, we ask, urgently and prayerfully, that we, as people of God, make of the entire Lenten Season a period of special penitential observance. Following the instructions of the Holy See, we declare that the obligation both too fast and to abstain from meat, an obligation observed under a stricter formality by our fathers in the faith, still binds on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. No Catholic Christian will lightly excuse himself from so hallowed an obligation on the Wednesday which solemnly opens the Lenten season and, on that Friday, called ‘Good’ because on that day Christ suffered in the flesh and died for our sins. . .. Gratefully remembering this, Catholic peoples from time immemorial have set apart Friday for special penitential observance by which they gladly suffer with Christ that they may one day be glorified with Him. This is the heart of the tradition of abstinence from meat on Friday where that tradition has been observed in the holy Catholic Church.”
(1966 USCCB Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence, no. 12 and no. 18)
Reflect: "If you have fasted two or three
days, do not think yourself better than others who do not fast. You fast and
are angry; another eats and wears a smiling face."
—St. Jerome, Letters, 22.37
Pray: Pray that abstinence from some of your favorite things this Lenten season will help bring you closer to God long after the season is over.
Act: Take note of the meatless meals you have enjoyed this Lent. Add your favorites to your family’s regular meal rotation once Lent is over.
Friday of Sorrows
A special commemoration, one week before Good Friday, of Mary's compassion for (literally, "suffering with") Her innocent son.
The Friday of Sorrows is a solemn pious remembrance of the sorrowful Blessed Virgin Mary on the Friday before Palm Sunday held in the fifth week of Lent (formerly called "Passion Week"). In Divine Worship: The Missal it is called Saint Mary in Passiontide and sometimes it is traditionally known as Our Lady in Passiontide.
In certain Catholic countries, especially in Mexico, Guatemala, Italy, Peru, Brazil, Spain, Malta, Nicaragua and the Philippines, it is seen as the beginning of the Holy Week celebrations and termed as Viernes de Dolores (Friday of Sorrows). It takes place exactly one week before Good Friday, and concentrates on the emotional pain that the Passion of Jesus Christ caused to his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is venerated under the title Our Lady of Sorrows. In certain Spanish-speaking countries, the day is also referred to as Council Friday, because of the choice of John 11:47-54 as the Gospel passage read in the Tridentine Mass on that day (which is now read in slightly expanded form on Saturday of the fifth week of Lent), which recounts the conciliar meeting of the Sanhedrin priests to discuss what to do with Jesus. Like all Fridays in Lent, this Friday is a day of abstinence from meat, unless the national episcopal conference has indicated alternative forms of penance. A similar commemoration in sympathy with the Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Solitude is held on Black Saturday.
Prayers for the Dead
Relationships never end and neither should our prayers for
the dead. In addition to PRAYERS, we should also offer up Masses for them and
offer indulgences for their benefit. The dead cannot pray for themselves but
they can pray for us and we in turn should pray for them.
Modern man and the media often portray persons that fast as deranged, passé or even ignorant. However, fasting and bodily discipline are truly the marks of a man or woman of mature intellect which has mastery over not only the mind but also the body and spirit. St. Paul put it in stronger terms, “put to death therefore what is earthly in you (Col. 3:5).” Jesus has also said, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Christ knew we become attached to created things and to the pleasure they bring us. St. Augustine said that sin begins as a turning away from God and a turning toward lesser goods. When we sin, we don’t choose evil. We choose something less than God and His will. Our bodies want more than they need, so we must give them less than they want. Our bodies must be subject to our reason—or our reason will soon be subjected to our bodies. St. Paul went even further. “I pommel my body and subdue it” (1 Cor. 9:27). Nevertheless, our goal should be to let our reason/soul cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
Chassidic philosophy demonstrates three ways in which the body and soul can interact:
Ø The soul can try and mitigate the urges of the body. Things that look good, taste good and feel good are stimulating and addictive. Most of us live life with our body in the driver’s seat. The soul just can’t compete. And so, the soul tries to negotiate reasonably, and encourages moderation.
Ø Or, the soul can choose to reject the body and abhor anything associated with materialism. The soul-driven person would then rebel against society’s shallow and false veneers. Simplicity and ascetism become the ultimate goals of the soul.
Ø The third scenario is not a compromise between the first two. It is an entirely new approach, where the body and soul learn to work together. The soul neither leans towards the body nor rejects it. It does not react; it pro-acts. In a proactive position, the soul directs and channels the body’s inclination in a constructive way. In this last approach, instead of repressing the body’s needs, the soul views them as an opportunity to serve God in a whole new way.
Using the third approach we should fast with a purpose like Moses or Elijah for example before going into God’s presence or to strengthen us or for the benefit of others. Jesus fasted not because He needed to, but as a model for us. We should make self-sacrifices in an effort to make others happy or out of love for our God to share in his plan of salvation. By dying to self, daily, we prepare ourselves for our own moment of death.
The Holocaust Remembrance Day, (Yom Hashoah, Hebrew: יום השואה), seeks to commemorate the Holocaust, a systematic and state-planned program to murder millions of Jews and other minority groups in Europe. This program of mass killing was run by the German Nazis in the 1930s and 40s during the Second World War, where Jews and minorities were brought into concentration camps and murdered at the hands of Nazi officials. This observance seeks to remember and honor the victims of the Holocaust, including six million Jews and thousands of Russians gypsies, homosexuals, disabled persons and other minorities.
Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Facts
· Yom Hashoah is an Israeli Festival, as opposed to an ancient Jewish festival. Yom Hashoah was inaugurated in 1953. It was instituted by the Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and the President Isaac (Yitzchak) Ben Zvi. The Ancient fast of the Tenth of Tevet (December) is the day on which the siege of Jerusalem commenced, prior to the destruction of the Holy Temple. Many Jews commemorate the Holocaust on this day.
· In Israel, on the Eve of Yom Hashoah, a siren is sounded, followed by an official memorial service headed by the Prime Minister, President, Army Officials and Holocaust survivors. The service includes speeches, Kaddish and El Maleh Rahamim (memorial prayers) and the Hatikvah (Israel National Anthem). Another siren is heard in the morning, followed by various memorial services.
Yom HaShoah Top Events and Things to Do
· Many communities read a list of those who perished in the camps and Ghettos. One way to commemorate the Holocaust is to browse the names in the Yad Vashem (Israel's Memorial to the Holocaust) names Database.
· Watch the mini-series Holocaust starring Meryl Streep. It depicts the story of a Jewish family's struggle to survive the Nazis.
· Attend a local memorial service. Tip: find one in your community by doing an internet search for Yom Hashoah.
· Donate to a charity that serves holocaust survivors or promotes education about the holocaust.
· Watch a movie about the Holocaust. Some popular picks: Schindler's List (1993), Auschwitz (2011), The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008), Life is Beautiful (1997) and The Pianist (2002).
Catechism of the Catholic Church
THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
"I BELIEVE" - "WE BELIEVE"
CHAPTER TWO-GOD COMES TO MEET MAN
Article 3 SACRED SCRIPTURE
II. Inspiration and Truth of Sacred Scripture
105 God is the author of Sacred Scripture. "The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit."
"For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself."
106 God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. "To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more."
107 The inspired books teach the truth. "Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures."
108 Still, the Christian faith is not a "religion of the book". Christianity is the religion of the "Word" of God, "not a written and mute word, but incarnate and living". If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, "open (our) minds to understand the Scriptures."
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 32. Presence of God.
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 40. Prayers for the Dead.
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40 Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 27. Fasting and Mortification.