Tuesday in Octave of Corpus Christi
1 Kings, Chapter 17, Verse 13
Elijah said to her, “Do not be AFRAID. Go and do as you have said. But first make me a little cake and bring it to me. Afterwards you can prepare something for yourself and your son.
Anyone can be for the Lord during the good times; but can you still have a heart of faith and love during the worst of times. Here Elijah asked the widow of Zarephath to not be afraid and make a cake for him from the last of her food during the worst famine in her lifetime. What she did was just that and by her faith Elijah was able to multiply the oil and flour and later even raises her son back to life. The lesson here is sin brings suffering fidelity brings nourishment. The power of Yahweh to take away life and to restore it is here demonstrated, as is Elijah’s confidence in the Lord.
The Widow’s Generosity
The widow of Zarephath was challenged by the prophet Elijah to share what little she had, in spite of her desperate circumstances. Because of this poor woman’s generosity and goodness, and Elijah’s faithfulness, God strengthened the prophet’s faith and renewed his capacity for ministry. The Lord used the prophet to bring consolation and peace of mind and heart to the widow and her son. Authentic ministry is always mutual: we set out to help others and we end up being helped and blessed by the very people we set out to help! The Lord will provide for us, beyond outward appearances of weakness, failure, fatigue, trepidation and fear. God always does far more than we can ever ask for or imagine! This striking Old Testament story forces us to ask some serious questions of our own lives. How have I responded to the needs of those around us when we've felt that we’ve got little or nothing to give? Do we worry that there will not be enough for us if we give away our money or our time? Elijah exhorted the widow with the words, "Do not be afraid." This same admonition is repeated in the Gospels and was also the refrain of St. John Paul II's long, fruitful, prophetic Petrine ministry: "Be not afraid!" How does fear affect our lives and keep us from obeying the spirit of the Lord? Do we cling to those things that cannot help us, forgetting to trust in the goodness of God? The widow of Zarephath was generous with Elijah. She gave to the limit of her resources, and God rewarded both the widow and her son. Do we have that same radical faith and trust? Do we behave as if we are owners of our talents and resources or simply as if we are God's steward? This reading causes us to make some firm resolves with our own lives. Let me suggest a few concrete actions based on this story from the First Book of Kings. It is important to consider our own willingness to be generous with both material goods and with our very being. Perhaps this week we can ask God for the grace to respond charitably to those who ask of us, whether it is a worthwhile charity or the neighbor, friend or colleague who simply needs to talk and to be heard. The well-to-do who put money in the treasury were never condemned by Jesus; he simply pointed out the nature of their contribution. They gave from their surplus, and thus it did not "cost" them as much to give. Do we have a surplus from which to contribute? If so, do we use this money in the best way possible? How do we consider our charitable giving? Are we concerned with the poor, the sick, the homeless, refugees and those on the peripheries of society? Do we use our wealth to help create a culture of life? Or are we more interested in building up our personal security? Perhaps we can pray this week for wisdom and a spirit of generosity so that we will use our money to help further the kingdom of God.
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,
III. Worthy Reception of Holy Communion – Conforming our life with Christ
64. There are situations when we can honor God more by abstaining from Holy Communion than by satisfying a personal desire to sacramentally receive Him in communion. I know of a Catholic mother who because she did not want to show irreverence or contempt for what is truly the Body and Blood of Christ, abstained from Holy Communion for several years because she was living in an irregular marriage. This was the case even though she still faithfully attended Mass with her children each week and was a regular Eucharistic adorer at her parish because of her deep faith and devotion to Christ present in the Eucharist. She, nonetheless, would not present herself for Communion. She was raised to understand that Christian believers should avoid receiving Holy Communion unworthily. Aware of the scriptural admonitions and the teachings of the Church she would offer up her sacramental encounter with the Lord and make instead a spiritual communion each Sunday. So much was her young son clearly edified by her quiet example of faith and fidelity that he became a moral theologian and now teaches moral theology at a Catholic seminary.
65. In this perennial teaching that is scriptural and clear, Holy Communion is meant to be the consummation of the loving union between Jesus the Bridegroom and His Bride the Church, between Him and each believer. The Church invites everyone to the Wedding Banquet while at the same time commits herself to helping everyone arrive properly dressed in a purified baptismal garment, lest the greatest Gift – the Eucharist – becomes his or her spiritual destruction.
66. For this reason, the Church requires Catholic leaders who have publicly supported gravely immoral laws such as abortion and euthanasia to refrain from receiving Holy Communion until they publicly repent and receive the Sacrament of Penance. Not all moral issues have the same weight as abortion and euthanasia. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is an intrinsically grave sin and that there is a grave and clear obligation for all Catholics to oppose them by conscientious objection. “In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law or vote for it’” (Evangelium Vitae, 73). The Aparecida document, which Pope Francis is acknowledged as one of the main authors during his time as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, teaches clearly: “We hope that legislators [and] heads of government … will defend and protect [the dignity of human life] from the abominable crimes of abortion and euthanasia; that is their responsibility…. We must adhere to ‘eucharistic coherence,’ that is, be conscious that they cannot receive Holy Communion and at the same time act with deeds or words against the commandments, particularly when abortion, euthanasia, and other grave crimes against life and family are encouraged. This responsibility weighs particularly over legislators, heads of governments, and health professionals.”
67. In the current political climate of our country, the Church can be easily accused of favoring one party and singling out politicians of a certain party with such a teaching. However, the Church is only faithfully reaffirming its perennial teaching on the Eucharist and the worthy reception of Holy Communion which applies to every single person. Eucharistic coherence means that our “Amen” at Holy Communion includes not only the recognition of the Real Presence but also a communion bound together by embracing and living Christ’s entire teaching handed down to us through the Church.
68. The Holy Eucharist is the ongoing Redemption of the world through Christ’s real presence among and within us. The Lord Jesus in the Eucharist in whom we believe and from whom we are sustained, wants to bring our whole life into communion with Him, so that we may not only live because of Him but also live for Him and with Him. Jesus also wishes to live through us, to love through us and to preach and serve through us. For Jesus to do so, we need to make the Eucharist the source and summit of our whole life, allow Him to fill us with awe and wonder, to live with a great faith in Him and His words and follow Him more closely along the path that leads to eternal life.
Which are the fruits of the Holy Ghost? They are the twelve following:
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 second step which is Continency.
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 10 "I BELIEVE IN THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS"
976 The Apostle's Creed associates faith in the forgiveness of sins not only with faith in the Holy Spirit, but also with faith in the Church and in the communion of saints. It was when he gave the Holy Spirit to his apostles that the risen Christ conferred on them his own divine power to forgive sins: "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
(Part Two of the catechism will deal explicitly with the forgiveness of sins through Baptism, the sacrament of Penance, and the other sacraments, especially the Eucharist. Here it will suffice to suggest some basic facts briefly.)
· -June 9-12-Chicago is the place to visit in June, especially if you’re a fan of the blues. The Chicago Blues Festival is the largest free blues music festival in the world. Over three days, more than 500,000 people converge on Grant Park to hear well-renown performers perform on the festival’s five stages.
The Week Ahead
· June 8th Ember Wednesday
· June 10th Ember Friday
· June 11th Ember Saturday
· June 12th Trinity Sunday
· Make reparations to the Holy Face-Tuesday Devotion
· Pray Day 1 of the Novena for our Pope and Bishops
· Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
The Collegeville Bible Commentary, 1986.