Introduction to Haggai
Haggai’s words concern conditions in the Persian province of Judah at the beginning of the reign of the Persian king Darius I (522–486 B.C.). The community in Judah is struggling with its identity in light of the loss of its statehood through the demise of the monarchy and the destruction of the Temple. Haggai’s oracles address both these problems. First, the provincial government, despite its subordination to Persian domination, is seen as the legitimate heir to the Davidic monarchy; the governor Zerubbabel, himself a descendant of the Davidic line, and the high priest Joshua together provide political, economic, and religious leadership for the survivors of the Babylonian destruction and the returnees from the Babylonian exile who live together in Judah. Still, the possibility for restoration of Davidic rule is not relinquished but rather is shifted to the future. Second, the Temple’s ruined state is addressed by a rebuilding program. The prophet links the well-being of the community to the work of Temple restoration, and his exhortations to the leaders and the people to begin work on this project are apparently heeded. The brief period of Haggai’s ministry (August to December 520 B.C.) marks the resumption of work on the Temple, the symbol of divine presence among the people.
JUNE 18 Saturday
INTERNATIONAL PICNIC DAY
Haggai, Chapter 1, verse 12
12 Then Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak, and all the remnant of the people obeyed the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, since the LORD their God had sent him; thus the people FEARED the LORD.
Haggai was a prophet to the Lord during the reign of the Persian King Darius who led the Jews who after the exile feared the Lord; they were the remnant. In today’s world with all its corruption we also are the remnant, let us this day rejoice and obey our Lord in Holy fear, which is Love.
A joyful heart comes to those who are at peace with themselves, their family and community and the world around them. Those blessed with the peace of Christ let nothing disturb them, nothing frightens them; knowing God never changes. They adhere to the principle of St. Teresa of Avila: Patience obtains all things. Nothing is wanting to him who possesses God. God alone suffices.
In fact, patience and kindness are the two primary pillars on which Holy love are built.
I, then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:1-6).
The virtues of gratitude, confidence and love, stimulated and motivated by the Holy Eucharist, are especially necessary in the modern world. Today gratitude has become a forgotten virtue; confidence in God has been replaced by arrogant self-reliance; love for God and for mankind has been driven from the hearts of many by a spirit of pagan selfishness.
Catholics must strive to revive these virtues and shall have the special help of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. If we cultivate a deep and persevering devotion to Him who dwells among us under the humble appearances of bread and wine, particularly if we receive Holy Communion frequently and fervently, we cannot but make progress in the spirit of gratitude, in unwavering confidence in God's assistance, and in ardent love both for God and for our fellowmen.
Veneremur Cernui – Down in Adoration Falling
of The Most
Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix,
to Priests, Deacons, Religious and the Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Phoenix
on the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist
My beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Loving and Adoring the Eucharistic Lord
VI. Pastors, have one Eucharistic procession each year in your parish.
101. Of course, any Eucharistic procession should be reverent, beautiful, peaceful, festive, and well-planned. But there will be much variation from parish to parish. For a particular parish the procession could be several miles and in highly public places; it could be shorter and simply around the parish campus. Perhaps it involves a few dozen or several hundred people, or even much larger crowds. For some parishes (like those in the cooler climates) the feast of Corpus Christi may be the best time for a procession. For others (like those in warmer places), parishes may want to choose another day each year. Possibilities include the celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe (our diocesan patroness), Christ the King, Epiphany, Pentecost, the parish’s patronal feast day, and the celebration of the anniversary of the dedication of the church.
VII. Pastors, consider how you can make Eucharistic adoration a more available evangelical opportunity.
102. As we discussed above, Eucharistic adoration can be a significant opportunity for evangelization because there we truly are able to bring a friend into the sacramental, living, bodily presence of Christ. The Eucharist is the greatest treasure of the Church for it is Christ Himself – and it is the treasure to which the church invites each man and woman in every place and time. But all priests know the confused and overwhelmed look that can often appear on the face of a non-Catholic after attending Mass for the first time. We can forget how rich, complex, and biblical are the symbolic words, images, and gestures in the Mass. It is like another world with a foreign language. For those unfamiliar with Catholic liturgy, this complexity can frequently be so alien as to be almost entirely impenetrable. Eucharistic adoration, on the other hand, is much simpler and less demanding for an un-evangelized person. It can be a kind of door or bridge to the full sacramental life of the church.
103. What would it look like if your parish made Eucharistic adoration more beautiful, available, and accessible to Catholics who could invite friends? Are times for adoration widely publicized? Is the place where adoration is held reverent, dignified, safe, and inviting? How often do Mass-going Catholics receive encouragement to invite friends and family members to adoration? Are there resources which can easily assist non-Catholics and fallen-away Catholics in beginning to learn to pray in the presence of the Eucharistic Lord?
To be continued…
International Picnic Day
International Picnic Day celebrates gathering together outdoors to eat and enjoy one another's company, which has traditionally been called Picnic. The true origin of International Picnic Day is unknown, but can be traced back to the end of the French Revolution and the Victorian Era. Picnics were ways for people to escape the restrictions of etiquette and formality. As an informal food holiday, there are few rules and lots of options. International Picnic Day is observed on June 18th each year.
International Picnic Day Facts & Quotes
- According to Guinness World Records, the largest picnic took place in Portugal, 2009. 22,232 people participated. Two other records were set during that same event, largest litter bin and loudest applause.
- The use of the phrase no picnic is used to describe something unenjoyable.
- Picnic was most likely invented by the French. Shortly after the French Revolution ended, the Royal Gardens were opened to the public for the first time. It was the new common pastime for the French to visit the gardens and take along a meal.
- You can plan a pretty picnic, but you can't predict the weather. - Andre 3000 (song 'Ms. Jackson')
- A few sandwiches short of a picnic. - is a phrase used to describe someone who is not mentally together.
International Picnic Day Top Events and Things to Do
- Arrange a picnic with friends in the nearby park. Prepare foods beforehand and enjoy eating in the nature.
- Take a Frisbee or a ball and play sport games after eating.
- Bring a music player with you and listen to favorite music while enjoying the food and conversation.
- Search in the internet for new food recipes and prepare new easy dishes for your picnic. Make a contest for the best recipe.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
SECTION TWO I. THE CREEDS
CHAPTER THREE-I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
Article 12 "I BELIEVE IN LIFE EVERLASTING"
1033 We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: "He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren. To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God's merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called "hell."
1034 Jesus often speaks of "Gehenna" of "the unquenchable fire" reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost. Jesus solemnly proclaims that he "will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire," and that he will pronounce the condemnation: "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!"
1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire." The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.
1036 The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few."
Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where "men will weep and gnash their teeth."
1037 God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want "any to perish, but all to come to repentance":
Father, accept this offering from your whole family. Grant us your peace in this life, save us from final damnation, and count us among those you have chosen.
· Do not examine with curiosity the roads down which I lead you. Choose to walk in faith. Resist the spirit of curiosity.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
 Stephen & Alex Kendrick, The Love Dare