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Wednesday, April 27, 2022

 Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter 

Acts, Chapter 5, verse 26

Then the captain and the court officers went and brought them in, but without force, because they were AFRAID of being stoned by the people. 

The apostles were brought before the Sanhedrin for trial. These temple priests which were instrumental in causing the crucifixion of Christ were now enflamed with jealousy over the apostles, who by the resurrection of Christ no longer feared death or taxes. The people began to believe, and the world was never the same. 

The apostles after their release immediately resumed public teaching, they rendered unto God what was God’s. 

The apostles filled with the Holy Spirit were not afraid anymore. They practiced obedience, commitment, healthy relationships, and faith. They had generous hearts. 

Building Generosity into your life[1] 

Effective leaders gather for others then give it away. This is God’s economy which is radically different. By releasing our grasp and not clinging to our possessions we become more like Him who had nothing; the one who gave the only resource He had--Himself.

Building Generosity 

1.     Be grateful for whatever you have.

2.     Put people first.

3.     Don’t allow greed to control you.

4.     Regard money as a resource.

5.     Develop the habit of giving. 

“I now pray, not for more of this world’s goods and greater blessings, but to be worthy of that which I already have.” Napoleon Hill[2]

 

Roméo Dallaire

 

John McCain in his book Character is Destiny examined the character traits exemplified by Roméo Dallaire who in 1993, was appointed Force Commander for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), where he witnessed the country descend into chaos and genocide, leading to the deaths of more than 800,000 Rwandans. When the rest of the world looked away, he stayed behind in a manmade evil for the sake of duty and justice. Dallaire was in charge of a small overwhelmed African peacekeeping force, he could have left but he refused and witnessed the genocide. He is ashamed he could have not done more and the reaction of the world that stood by for 100 days doing nothing allowing the devil to reap carnage, terror and hopelessness. Dallaire was the one candle in a darkened room of despair created by the collective failure of mankind’s conscience along with the apathy and deceitfulness of world governments toward Rowanda’s plight. McCain writes of Dallaire’s dilemma:

The U.S. government, our allies, and the United Nations went to extraordinary and ridiculous lengths to avoid using the term, “genocide”, aware that once genocide was acknowledged, they would have to act. Day after day, long night after long night, for over three months, more men, women, and children were added to the rolls of the victims by their hate-crazed persecutors. Romeo Dallaire soldiered on, saving those he could and agonizing over those he couldn’t, all the while begging the UN, and the world, to send more troops, to do something, anything, to help. In his telling, his mission was to keep peace; peace was destroyed by unimaginable violence, and many thousands died. He failed. He tried to convince his superiors to send him more men. He failed. He tried to get the United States and other powerful countries to listen to their consciences and help. He failed. He tried to persuade the world to stop genocide. He failed. And while many, many people who had a responsibility to stop the killings looked the other way and never had a moment of doubt or a night of troubled sleep, Romeo Dallaire took his failures very, very seriously.

A righteous person, no matter how blameless, will always take humanity’s failures personally.

Rwanda Lessons Learned[3]

·       The first and enduring lesson of the Rwandan genocide – not unlike the Holocaust – is that they occurred not only because of the machinery of death, but because of state-sanctioned incitement to hate and genocide. It is this teaching of contempt, this demonizing of the other – this is where it all begins. Indeed, as the jurisprudence of the Rwandan tribunals has demonstrated, these acts of genocide were preceded by – and anchored in – the state-orchestrated demonization and dehumanization of the minority Tutsi population – using cruel, biological ascriptions of Tutsis as “inyenzi” (cockroaches) – prologue and justification for their mass murder.

·       The second lesson is the danger of indifference and the consequences of inaction. The genocide of Rwandan Tutsis occurred not only because of the machinery of death and a state-sanctioned culture of hate, but also because of crimes of indifference and conspiracies of silence. What makes the Rwandan genocide so unspeakable is not only the horror of the genocide, but that this genocide was preventable. Simply put, while the UN Security Council and the international community dithered and delayed, Rwandans were dying.

·       The third lesson is the danger of a culture of impunity. If the last century was the age of atrocity, it was also the age of impunity. Few of the perpetrators were brought to justice. Just as there cannot be a sanctuary for hate or a refuge for bigotry, neither can there be a haven for the perpetrators of the worst crimes against humanity.

·       The fourth lesson is the danger of the vulnerability of the powerless and the powerlessness of the vulnerable – the brutalized children, women victimized by massive sexual violence, the slaughter of the innocents – all the first targets of mass atrocity. It is our responsibility to empower the powerless while giving voice to the voiceless, wherever they may be.

·       The fifth lesson is the cruelty of genocide denial — an assault on memory and truth – a criminal conspiracy to whitewash the Rwandan genocide. In the obscenest form of genocide denial – as in the case also of Holocaust denial – it actually accuses the victims of falsifying this “hoax.” Remembrance of the Rwandan genocide is itself a repudiation of such denial – which tragically becomes more prevalent with the passage of time.

·       The sixth lesson is the importance of remembering the heroic rescuers, those who remind us of the range of human possibility; those who stood up to confront evil, prevailed, and transformed history.

Finally, and most important, we must remember and pay tribute to the survivors who endured the worst of inhumanity – of crimes against humanity – and somehow found in the resources of their own humanity the will to go on, to contribute and to make our society a better and more compassionate community. And so, this anniversary must be an occasion not only to remember but to learn the lessons of the crime whose name we should even shudder to mention – namely genocide – and most important: to act on these lessons.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH

SECTION TWO I. THE CREEDS

CHAPTER ONE-I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER

Article 1 "I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH"

Paragraph 3. THE ALMIGHTY



268 of all the divine attributes, only God's omnipotence is named in the Creed: to confess this power has great bearing on our lives. We believe that his might is universal, for God who created everything also rules everything and can do everything. God's power is loving, for he is our Father, and mysterious, for only faith can discern it when it "is made perfect in weakness".

"He does whatever he pleases"

269 The Holy Scriptures repeatedly confess the universal power of God. He is called the "Mighty One of Jacob", the "LORD of hosts", the "strong and mighty" one. If God is almighty "in heaven and on earth", it is because he made them. Nothing is impossible with God, who disposes his works according to his will. He is the Lord of the universe, whose order he established and which remains wholly subject to him and at his disposal. He is Master of History, governing hearts and events in keeping with his will: "It is always in your power to show great strength, and who can withstand the strength of your arm?

"You are merciful to all, for you can do all thing"

270 God is the Father Almighty, whose fatherhood and power shed light on one another: God reveals his fatherly omnipotence by the way he takes care of our needs; by the filial adoption that he gives us ("I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty"): finally by his infinite mercy, for he displays his power at its height by freely forgiving sins.

271 God's almighty power is in no way arbitrary: "In God, power, essence, will, intellect, wisdom, and justice are all identical. Nothing therefore can be in God's power which could not be in his just will or his wise intellect."

The mystery of God's apparent powerlessness

272 Faith in God the Father Almighty can be put to the test by the experience of evil and suffering. God can sometimes seem to be absent and incapable of stopping evil. But in the most mysterious way God the Father has revealed his almighty power in the voluntary humiliation and Resurrection of his Son, by which he conquered evil. Christ crucified is thus "the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." It is in Christ's Resurrection and exaltation that the Father has shown forth "the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe".

273 Only faith can embrace the mysterious ways of God's almighty power. This faith glories in its weaknesses in order to draw to itself Christ's power. The Virgin Mary is the supreme model of this faith, for she believed that "nothing will be impossible with God” and was able to magnify the Lord: "For he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name."

274 "Nothing is more apt to confirm our faith and hope than holding it fixed in our minds that nothing is impossible with God. Once our reason has grasped the idea of God's almighty power, it will easily and without any hesitation admit everything that [the Creed] will afterwards propose for us to believe - even if they be great and marvellous things, far above the ordinary laws of nature."

IN BRIEF

275 With Job, the just man, we confess: "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted" (Job 42:2).

276 Faithful to the witness of Scripture, the Church often addresses her prayer to the "almighty and eternal God" (“omnipotens sempiterne Deus. . ."), believing firmly that "nothing will be impossible with God" (Gen 18:14; Lk 1:37; Mt 19:26).

277 God shows forth his almighty power by converting us from our sins and restoring us to his friendship by grace. "God, you show your almighty power above all in your mercy and forgiveness. . ." (Roman Missal, 26th Sunday, Opening Prayer).

278 If we do not believe that God's love is almighty, how can we believe that the Father could create us, the Son redeem us and the Holy Spirit sanctify us?

Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph-

The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous, you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.

·       Devotion to the 7 Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph

·       Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.

Build Personal Holiness[4]

Personal holiness is not centered in the fight against sin but in love for Christ, who shows Himself to us as being truly human, fully aware of everything about us. The love of God for men and of men for God is a love of mutual friendship. And one of the specific characteristics of friendship is relationship. In order to love Our Lord, it is necessary to know Him, to speak to Him. We get to know Him by meditating on His life in the Holy Gospels. In them He shows Himself to us as being endearingly human and very close to our life. We meet Him in prayer and in the Sacraments, especially in the Blessed Eucharist.

·       Day 1 of Novena to the Holy Face in preparation for the First Friday of the Month of May.

April 27th Wednesday-King’s Day in Amsterdam

o   Honor St. Joseph-father of our King-Mass

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Protection of Life from Conception until natural death.



·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Manhood of the Master-week 10 day 4



·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Nineveh 90-Day 13




[1] John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.

[2] Napoleon Hill, Outwitting the Devil.

[4]https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2022-04-27



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