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Introduction to Zephaniah

Zephaniah’s prophecy of judgment on Judah and Jerusalem emphasizes, perhaps more than any other prophecy, the devastation and death that divine judgment will bring. Described as the day of the Lord, the Day of Judgment is pictured as a time of darkness, of anguish and distress, of destruction and plunder of cities, and of threat to all life, human and animal alike. The major sins motivating this judgment, in Zephaniah’s view, are Judah’s worship of other deities and its unjust and abusive leadership.[1]

JUNE 16 Thursday

TRADITIONAL FEAST OF CORPUS CHRISTI

 

Zephaniah, Chapter 3, verse 7

7I said, “Surely now you will FEAR me, you will accept correction; They cannot fail to see all I have brought upon them.” Yet the more eagerly they have done all their corrupt deeds. 

Zephaniah writes of the wickedness of Jerusalem and God’s desire for its leaders to accept His correction in the end it takes the act of God to set the world right. The prophet calls for the people of Judah to change their hearts for real change begins in the heart. Transformation happens from the inside out. John Maxwell[2] recommends we practice the following to enhance our own leadership:

 

1.     Work in the areas of your strength. We are most intuitive in the areas of our gifts and interests.

2.     Explore the opportunities in front of you. Our intuition comes most alive when we size up the options near us.

3.     Discern root causes for the issues you face. Work to get past superficial answers and solve root issues.

4.     Analyze past successes. Study your victories and see if you find a pattern that reveals how you won them.

5.     Listen to your gut. Effective leaders lead from their soul. Both your heart and your head have answers.

Thursdays are Special[3]

 

Traditional Feast of Corpus Christi


The Feast of Corpus Christi (Ecclesiastical Latin: Dies Sanctissimi Corporis et Sanguinis Domini Iesu Christi, lit. 'Day of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ the Lord'), also known as the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, is a Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Western Orthodox liturgical solemnity celebrating the Real Presence of the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the elements of the Eucharist. Two months earlier, the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper is observed on Maundy Thursday in a sombre atmosphere leading to Good Friday. The liturgy on that day also commemorates Christ's washing of the disciples' feet, the institution of the priesthood and the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The feast of Corpus Christi was proposed by Saint Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, to Pope Urban IV, in order to create a feast focused solely on the Holy Eucharist, emphasizing the joy of the Eucharist being the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Having recognized the authenticity of the Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena on input of Aquinas, in 1264, the pontiff, then living in Orvieto, established the feast of Corpus Christi as a Solemnity and extended it to the whole Roman Catholic Church.

The feast is liturgically celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday or, "where the Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is not a holy day of obligation, it is assigned to the Sunday after the Most Holy Trinity as its proper day".

At the end of Holy Mass, there is often a procession of the Blessed Sacrament, generally displayed in a monstrance. The procession is followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. A notable Eucharistic procession is that presided over by the Pope each year in Rome, where it begins at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran and passes to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, where it concludes with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

The celebration of the feast was suppressed in Protestant churches during the Reformation for theological reasons: outside Lutheranism, which maintained the confession of the Real Presence, many Protestants denied the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist other than as a merely symbolic or spiritual presence. Today, most Protestant denominations do not recognize the feast day. The Church of England abolished it in 1548 as the English Reformation progressed, but later reintroduced it. Most Anglican churches now observe Corpus Christi, sometimes under the name "Thanksgiving for Holy Communion".

 

A Eucharistic miracle inspired the Feast of Corpus Christi[4]

Q: I recently learned that the feast of Corpus Christi was inspired by a Eucharistic miracle. Can you please give more details about this? — A reader in Springfield

A: In the year 1263, a German priest, Peter of Prague, stopped at the town of Bolsena, north of Rome, while he was on a pilgrimage to Rome. Records indicate that Peter was a good, pious priest who strived for holiness. He was troubled by the apathy of many of the faithful; clerical immorality and laxity; and a lack of reverence at Mass. Worse, he was afflicted with doubt about the holy Eucharist. Like those in the Gospel, he asked himself, “How could this be? How can Jesus share with us His Body and Blood?” He agonized over whether at the words of consecration the bread and wine became the Body and Blood of Our Savior and whether Christ actually was present in the consecrated host. He knew well that the church believed and taught that the bread and wine were transformed into the Body and Blood of Our Lord at the consecration during the holy sacrifice of the Mass. Moreover, the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 had solemnly used the word “transubstantiation.” Yet, he had trouble believing and prayed that the Lord would increase his faith.

Father Peter placed the host in the corporal and then wrapped both in another linen. Arriving at Orvieto, Peter told the Holy Father what had happened. Urban IV then ordered an investigation. After all of the facts had been ascertained, the Holy Father declared a miracle had occurred. He ordered the relics to be brought to the Cathedral of Orvieto, which they were with a procession of great pomp and ceremony. The pope met the procession, and the relics were placed in the cathedral, where they are still be venerated today.

One year later, in1264, Pope Urban IV instituted the feast of Corpus Christi, a special feast day to recognize and to promote the great gift of the Blessed Sacrament. He commissioned St. Thomas Aquinas to compose a Mass and an office for the Liturgy of the Hours honoring the holy Eucharist. St. Thomas Aquinas also composed the beautiful Eucharistic hymns “Panis Angelicus,” “Pange Lingua,” “O Salutaris Hostia” and “Tantum Ergo.”

Today, at the Church of St. Christina in Bolsena, one finds the altar where the miracle took place, and the blood-stained stones of the miracle are preserved. The Cathedral of Orvieto possesses the blood-stained corporal as well as fragments of the miraculous host.

In 1964, to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the institution of the feast of Corpus Christi, Pope Paul VI celebrated the holy sacrifice of the Mass at the altar where the holy corporal is kept in the Cathedral of Orvieto. Then in 1976, Pope Paul VI visited Bolsena and spoke from there via television to the 41st International Eucharistic Congress meeting in Philadelphia, whose theme was “Jesus the Bread of Life.” In his address, the Holy Father said the holy Eucharist is “a mystery, great and inexhaustible.” How true, indeed.

Apostolic Exhortation[5]

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,

Part III

Loving and Adoring the Eucharistic Lord

V. Brother priests, make the Eucharist the source of all your priestly fruitfulness.

95. My beloved brother priests, let us make the Eucharist the source and beating heart of our priestly ministry, our refuge, our consolation, and our only reward!

96. So, I invite each priest to consider how he might be able to renew and deepen his priestly commitment to make the Eucharist the true source of his life and ministry. Here are some simple ways to consider:

  • Set aside time before the Blessed Sacrament each morning before engaging in pastoral work.
  • Do a Eucharistic Holy Hour daily.
  • Spend 30 minutes or more in adoration with fellow priests weekly or monthly.
  • Start or join a Jesus Caritas group to provide fraternal love and support ordered around Jesus’ Eucharistic love for His priests.
  • Celebrate the Mass each day, including days-off and vacations.

VI. Pastors, have one Eucharistic procession each year in your parish.

97. The well-known American author Willa Cather was not a Catholic. Nevertheless, she wrote of the impact of experiencing a Eucharistic procession. It awakened in her a deep longing for what they had. The sensual beauty and sheer public display of Catholic faith in the Eucharist made a deep impression on her imagination and her soul. Though Eucharistic processions have waxed and waned in popularity, we should consider the special opportunity provided today by this form of Eucharistic piety.  It is true that the “native environment” of the Eucharist is the Mass offered in churches. At the same time, centuries of Catholic practice suggest that there is indeed something uniquely enchanting, affective, and symbolic when a procession happens.

To be continued

Which are the fruits of the Holy Ghost? They are the twelve following:

1. Charity.

2. Joy.

3. Peace.

4. Patience.

5. Benignity.

6. Goodness.

7. Longsuffering.

8. Mildness.

9. Faith.

10. Modesty.

11. Continency.

12. Chastity.

These fruits should be visible in the Christian, for thereby men shall know that the Holy Ghost dwells in him, as the tree is known by its fruit.

Notice I have placed the Fruits of the Holy Spirit in stairstep fashion so we may reflect on them seeing that by concentrating on each step of our growth in the spirit we may progress closer and closer to our heavenly Father. Today we will be focusing on the Tenth step which is Joy. To be continued

Epistle of Barnabas[6]

CHAP. IV. — ANTICHRIST IS AT HAND: LET US THEREFORE AVOID JEWISH ERRORS. 

It therefore behooves us, who inquire much concerning events at hand, to search diligently into those things which are able to save us. Let us then utterly flee from all the works of iniquity, lest these should take hold of us; and let us hate the error of the present time, that we may set our love on the world to come let us not give loose reins to our soul, that it should have power to run with sinners and the wicked, lest we become like them. The final stumbling-block (or source of danger) approaches, concerning which it is written, as Enoch says, "For for this end the Lord has cut short the times and the days, that His Beloved may hasten; and He will come to the inheritance." And the prophet also speaks thus: "Ten kingdoms shall reign upon the earth, and a little king shall rise up after them, who shall subdue under one three of the kings. In like manner Daniel says concerning the same, "And I beheld the fourth beast, wicked and powerful, and more savage than all the beasts of the earth, and how from it sprang up ten horns, and out of them a little budding horn, and how it subdued under one three of the great horns." Ye ought therefore to understand. And this also I further beg of you, as being one of you, and loving you both individually and collectively more than my own soul, to take heed now to yourselves, and not to be like some, adding largely to your sins, and saying, "The covenant is both theirs and ours." But they thus finally lost it, after Moses had already received it. For the Scripture saith, "And Moses was fasting in the mount forty days and forty nights, and received the covenant from the Lord, tables of stone written with the finger of the hand of the Lord;" but turning away to idols, they lost it. For the Lord speaks thus to Moses: "Moses go down quickly; for the people whom thou hast brought out of the land of Egypt have transgressed." And Moses understood [the meaning of God], and cast the two tables out of his hands; and their covenant was broken, in order that the covenant of the beloved Jesus might be sealed upon our heart, in the hope which flows from believing in Him. Now, being desirous to write many things to you, not as your teacher, but as becometh one who loves you, I have taken care not to fail to write to you from what I myself possess, with a view to your purification. We take earnest heed in these last days; for the whole [past] time of your faith will profit you nothing, unless now in this wicked time we also withstand coming sources of danger, as becometh the sons of God. That the Black One may find no means of entrance, let us flee from every vanity, let us utterly hate the works of the way of wickedness. Do not, by retiring apart, live a solitary life, as if you were already [fully] justified; but coming together in one place, make common inquiry concerning what tends to your general welfare. For the Scripture saith, "Woe to them who are wise to themselves, and prudent in their own sight!" Let us be spiritually minded: let us be a perfect temple to God. As much as in us lies, let us meditate upon the fear of God, and let us keep His commandments, that we may rejoice in His ordinances. The Lord will judge the world without respect of persons. Each will receive as he has done: if he is righteous, his righteousness will precede him; if he is wicked, the reward of wickedness is before him. Take heed, lest resting at our ease, as those who are the called [of God], we should fall asleep in our sins, and the wicked prince, acquiring power over us, should thrust us away from the kingdom of the Lord. And all the more attend to this, my brethren, when ye reflect and behold, that after so great signs and wonders were wrought in Israel, they were thus [at length] abandoned. Let us beware lest we be found [fulfilling that saying], as it is written, "Many are called, but few are chosen."

 

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"

II. Heaven

1023 Those who die in God's grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they "see him as he is," face to face:

By virtue of our apostolic authority, we define the following: According to the general disposition of God, the souls of all the saints . . . and other faithful who died after receiving Christ's holy Baptism (provided they were not in need of purification when they died, . . . or, if they then did need or will need some purification, when they have been purified after death, . . .) already before they take up their bodies again and before the general judgment - and this since the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven - have been, are and will be in heaven, in the heavenly Kingdom and celestial paradise with Christ, joined to the company of the holy angels. Since the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, these souls have seen and do see the divine essence with an intuitive vision, and even face to face, without the mediation of any creature.

1024 This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity - this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed - is called "heaven." Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness.

1025 To live in heaven is "to be with Christ." the elect live "in Christ," but they retain, or rather find, their true identity, their own name.

For life is to be with Christ; where Christ is, there is life, there is the kingdom.

1026 By his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has "opened" heaven to us. the life of the blessed consists in the full and perfect possession of the fruits of the redemption accomplished by Christ. He makes partners in his heavenly glorification those who have believed in him and remained faithful to his will. Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Christ.

1027 This mystery of blessed communion with God and all who are in Christ is beyond all understanding and description. Scripture speaks of it in images: life, light, peace, wedding feast, wine of the kingdom, the Father's house, the heavenly Jerusalem, paradise: "no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him."

1028 Because of his transcendence, God cannot be seen as he is, unless he himself opens up his mystery to man's immediate contemplation and gives him the capacity for it. the Church calls this contemplation of God in his heavenly glory "the beatific vision":

How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with Christ your Lord and God, . . . to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of heaven with the righteous and God's friends.

1029 In the glory of heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God's will in relation to other men and to all creation. Already they reign with Christ; with him "they shall reign for ever and ever."

The Week Ahead

·       June 19th Corpus Christi Sunday

Daily Devotions

·       Do not ask everyone’s opinion, but only the opinion of your confessor; be as frank and simple as a child with him. Simplicity of life can drive out demons. Honesty is a weapon to defeat Satan, the Liar. When we lie, we put a foot in his camp, and he will try to seduce us all the more.



·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: For the Poor and Suffering

·       do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.

·       Eat your vegetables! It is fresh vegetable day

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Nineveh 90-Day 62

·       World Tapas Day

·       Rosary

 



[2] John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.

[3]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feast_of_Corpus_Christi#:~:text=The%20celebration%20of%20the%20feast%20was%20suppressed%20in,than%20as%20a%20merely%20symbolic%20or%20spiritual%20presence.

[4]https://catholicstraightanswers.com/what-eucharistic-miracle-inspired-the-feast-of-corpus-christi/


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