Introduction to the Gospel of Matthew
The gospel begins with a genealogy of Jesus starting with Abraham, the father of Israel. Jesus is designated as “the son of David, the son of Abraham” In the first of the episodes of the infancy narrative that follow the genealogy, the mystery of Jesus’ person is declared. He is conceived of a virgin by the power of the Spirit of God the gospel shows that he was the one to whom the prophecies of Israel were pointing, he shall be named Emmanuel, for in him God is with us. The announcement of the birth of this newborn king of the Jews greatly troubles not only King Herod but all Jerusalem, yet the Gentile magi are overjoyed to find him and offer him their homage and their gifts. Thus his ultimate rejection by the mass of his own people and his acceptance by the Gentile nations is foreshadowed. He must be taken to Egypt to escape the murderous plan of Herod. By his sojourn there and his subsequent return after the kings’ death he relives the Exodus experience of Israel. The words of the Lord spoken through the prophet Hosea, “Out of Egypt I called my son,” are fulfilled in him; if Israel was Gods son, Jesus is so in a way far surpassing the dignity of that nation, as his marvelous birth and the unfolding of his story show. Back in the land of Israel, he must be taken to Nazareth in Galilee because of the danger to his life in Judea, where Herod’s son Archelaus is now ruling. The sufferings of Jesus in the infancy narrative anticipate those of his passion, and if his life is spared in spite of the dangers, it is because his destiny is finally to give it on the cross as “a ransom for many. Thus the word of the angel will be fulfilled, “…he will save his people from their sins.
Matthew begins his account of the ministry of Jesus, introducing it by the preaching of John the Baptist, the baptism of Jesus that culminates in God’s proclaiming him his “beloved Son”, and the temptation in which he proves his true sonship by his victory over the devil’s attempt to deflect him from the way of obedience to the Father. The central message of Jesus’ preaching is the coming of the kingdom of heaven and the need for repentance, a complete change of heart and conduct, on the part of those who are to receive this great gift of God. Galilee is the setting for most of his ministry; he leaves there for Judea only in and his ministry in Jerusalem, the goal of his journey, is limited to a few days. There are five great discourses of Jesus, each concluding with the formula “When Jesus finished these words” or one closely similar. These are an important structure of the gospel. The discourses are, the “Sermon on the Mount, the missionary discourse (Mt 10:5–42), the parable discourse (Mt 13:3–52), the “church order” discourse (Mt 18:3–35), and the eschatological discourse (Mt 24:4–25:46).
· In the “Sermon on the Mount” the theme of righteousness is prominent, and even at this early stage of the ministry the note of opposition is struck between Jesus and the Pharisees, who are designated as “the hypocrites. The righteousness of his disciples must surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees; otherwise, in spite of their alleged following of Jesus, they will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Righteousness means doing the will of the heavenly Father, and his will is proclaimed in a manner that is startling to all who have identified it with the Law of Moses. Jesus’ claimed that he has come not to abolish but to fulfill the law. What is meant by fulfillment of the law is not the demand to keep it exactly as it stood before the coming of Jesus, but rather his bringing the law to be a lasting expression of the will of God, and in that fulfillment there is much that will pass away. Should this appear contradictory to his saying that “until heaven and earth pass away” not even the smallest part of the law will pass, that time of fulfillment is not the dissolution of the universe but the coming of the new age, which will occur with Jesus’ death and resurrection. While righteousness in the new age will continue to mean conduct that is in accordance with the law, it will be conduct in accordance with the law as expounded and interpreted by Jesus, “…all that I have commanded you”). Though Jesus speaks harshly about the Pharisees in the Sermon, his judgment is not solely a condemnation of them. The Pharisees are portrayed as a negative example for his disciples, and his condemnation of those who claim to belong to him while disobeying his word is no less severe. The Sermon on the Mount is composed principally of accounts of those merciful deeds of Jesus, but it is far from being simply a collection of stories about miraculous cures.
· The nature of the community that Jesus will establish is shown; it will always be under the protection of him whose power can deal with all dangers, but it is only for those who are prepared to follow him at whatever cost, not only believing Israelites but Gentiles who have come to faith in him. The disciples begin to have some insight, however imperfect, into the mystery of Jesus’ person. They wonder about him whom “the winds and the sea obey, and they witness his bold declaration of the forgiveness of the paralytic’s sins. That episode of the narrative moves on two levels. When the crowd sees the cure that testifies to the authority of Jesus, the Son of Man, to forgive sins, they glorify God “who had given such authority to human beings. The forgiveness of sins is now not the prerogative of Jesus alone but of “human beings,” that is, of the disciples who constitute the community of Jesus, the church. The end of the section prepares for the discourse on the church’s mission. Jesus is moved to pity at the sight of the crowds who are like sheep without a shepherd, and he sends out the twelve disciples to make the proclamation with which his own ministry began, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand, and to drive out demons and cure the sick as he has done. Their mission is limited to Israel as Jesus’ own was, yet in Mt 15:16 that perspective broadens and the discourse begins to speak of the mission that the disciples will have after the resurrection and of the severe persecution that will attend it. Matthew deals with the growing opposition to Jesus and Hostility toward him, but it becomes more intense. The rejection of Jesus comes, as before, from Pharisees, who take “counsel against him to put him to death” and repeat their earlier accusation that he drives out demons because he is in league with demonic power. But they are not alone in their rejection. Jesus complains of the lack of faith of “this generation” of Israelites and reproaches the towns “where most of his mighty deeds had been done” for not heeding his call to repentance. This dark picture is relieved by Jesus’ praise of the Father who has enabled “the childlike” to accept him, but on the whole the story is one of opposition to his word and blindness to the meaning of his deeds. The whole section ends with his declaring that not even the most intimate blood relationship with him counts for anything; his only true relatives are those who do the will of his heavenly Father. The narrative of rejection leads up to the parables.
· The reason given for Jesus’ speaking to the crowds in parables is that they have hardened themselves against his clear teaching, unlike the disciples to whom knowledge of “the mysteries of the kingdom has been granted “and he dismisses the crowds and continues the discourse to his disciples alone, who claim, at the end, to have understood all that he has said. But, lest the impression be given that the church of Jesus is made up only of true disciples, the explanation of the parable of the weeds among the wheat, as well as the parable of the net thrown into the sea “which collects fish of every kind, shows that it is composed of both the righteous and the wicked, and that separation between the two will be made only at the time of the final judgment. Jesus is shown preparing for the establishment of his church with its teaching authority that will supplant the blind guidance of the Pharisees, whose teaching, curiously said to be that of the Sadducees also, is repudiated by Jesus as the norm for his disciples.
· The church of Jesus will be built on Peter, who will be given authority to bind and loose on earth, an authority whose exercise will be confirmed in heaven. The metaphor of binding and loosing has a variety of meanings, among them that of giving authoritative teaching. This promise is made to Peter directly after he has confessed Jesus to be the Messiah, the Son of the living God, a confession that he has made as the result of revelation given to him by the heavenly Father; Matthew’s ecclesiology is based on his high Christology. Directly after that confession Jesus begins to instruct his disciples about how he must go the way of suffering and death. Peter, who has been praised for his confession, protests against this and receives from Jesus the sharpest of rebukes for attempting to deflect Jesus from his God-appointed destiny. The future rock upon whom the church will be built is still a man of “little faith. Both he and the other disciples must know not only that Jesus will have to suffer and die but that they too will have to follow him on the way of the cross if they are truly to be his disciples. They must care for one another and guard each other’s faith in Jesus, to seeking out those who have wandered from the fold, and to repeated forgiving of their fellow disciples who have offended them. But there is also the obligation to correct the sinful fellow Christian and, should one refuse to be corrected, separation from the community is demanded. Jesus and his disciples depart from Galilee for Jerusalem. In the course of their journey Jesus for the third time predicts the passion that awaits him at Jerusalem and also his resurrection. At his entrance into the city he is hailed as the Son of David by the crowds accompanying him. He cleanses the temple, and in the few days of his Jerusalem ministry he engages in a series of controversies with the Jewish religious leaders, meanwhile speaking parables against them, against all those Israelites who have rejected God’s invitation to the messianic banquet, and against all, Jew and Gentile, who have accepted but have shown themselves unworthy of it. Once again, the perspective of the evangelist includes not only the time of Jesus’ ministry but that of the preaching of the gospel after his resurrection.
· The narrative culminates in Jesus’ denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees, reflecting not only his own opposition to them but that of Matthew’s church, and in Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem. The last of the great structural discourses of the gospel, Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple and his own final coming. The time of the latter is unknown, and the disciples are exhorted in various parables to live in readiness for it, a readiness that entails faithful attention to the duties of the interim period. The coming of Jesus will bring with it the great judgment by which the everlasting destiny of all will be determined. The story of Jesus’ passion and resurrection, the climax of the gospel, throws light on all that has preceded. In Matthew “righteousness” means both the faithful response to the will of God demanded of all to whom that will is announced and also the saving activity of God for his people. In Jesus’ absolute faithfulness to the Father’s will that he drink the cup of suffering, the incomparable model for Christian obedience is given; in his death “for the forgiveness of sins”, the saving power of God is manifested as never before. Matthew’s portrayal of Jesus in his passion combines both the majestic serenity of the obedient Son who goes his destined way in fulfillment of the scriptures, confident of his ultimate vindication by God, and the depths of fear and abandonment that he feels in face of death. These two aspects are expressed by an Old Testament theme that occurs often in the narrative, i.e., the portrait of the suffering Righteous One who complains to God in his misery, but is certain of eventual deliverance from his terrible ordeal. The passion-resurrection of God’s Son means nothing less than the turn of the ages, a new stage of history, the coming of the Son of Man in his kingdom. That is the sense of the apocalyptic signs that accompany Jesus’ death and resurrection. Although the old age continues, as it will until the manifestation of Jesus’ triumph at his second coming, the final age has now begun. This is known only to those who have seen the Risen One and to those, both Jews and Gentiles, who have believed in their announcement of Jesus’ triumph and have themselves become his disciples. To them he is constantly, though invisibly, present, verifying the name Emmanuel, “God is with us”.
JUNE 29 Wednesday
PETER & PAUL-MOST CHASTE HEART OF ST. JOSEPH
Matthew, Chapter 1, verse 19-20:
her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to
shame, decided to divorce her quietly.
20 Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to
him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be AFRAID to take
Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this
child has been conceived in her.
Even righteous people become afraid at times but Mark Shea a catholic writer points out that Joseph being a devote Jew may have had Holy fear as the basis of his being afraid.
Modernity assumes it was because he thought her guilty of adultery, but the typical view in antiquity understood the text to mean he was afraid of her sanctity — as a pious Jew would be afraid to touch the Ark of the Covenant. After all, think of what Mary told him about the angel's words: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the Child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God."
We should follow the example of Joseph and be not afraid to take Mary into our home!
I know one small way I have taken Mary in my home is to silently say a Hail Mary when I wash my hands to eat-praying,
“Mary help me not to wash your son’s blood from my hands as Pilot did. Help me to have no innocent blood on my hands. Let me not wash off responsibility for others.”
Feast of Saint Peter and Paul
Today is the grand rejoicing in the two Princes of the Apostles and founders of the Church in Rome.
PETER, formerly called Simon, was a son of Jonas, of Bethsaida, in Galilee, and a brother of Andrew, by whom he was brought to Christ, Who at once changed his name and called him Peter. When, soon after, Jesus said to both of them on the Sea of Tiberias, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” they both left their nets and followed Him. From this time forward Jesus was constantly giving him particular proofs of His love. From the ship of Peter, He taught the thronging multitude, and to him He promised that on him, as upon a rock, He would build His Church, against which the gates of hell should not prevail. Our Lord took Peter with Him at the raising of Jairus daughter from the dead; at His own transfiguration on Mount Tabor; at the beginning of His passion in the Garden of Gethsemane. To him He promised the keys of the kingdom of heaven; for him He specially prayed that his faith might not fail; and him He commanded to strengthen his brethren. After His resurrection He appeared particularly to Peter, and three times commanded him to feed His flock. But Peter had, above all the other apostles, made himself worthy of this preeminence by his living faith, his humility, his love, and his zeal for the honor of Jesus; for he it was who, before the other apostles, made the confession, “Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.” He showed his humility when, at the miraculous draught of fishes, he said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Out of love he desired to remain always with Christ on Mount Tabor to prevent Him from suffering; and out of love he declared himself ready with Christ to live or die; nay, he even declared most confidently that, though all should be scandalized in Christ, yet he would not be. When Jesus was taken prisoner, Peter showed himself to be most courageous by cutting off the ear of one of his master’s enemies, and by following Him to the house of Caiaphas. Three times, indeed, did he, as no one else did, deny his Lord out of fear; but the look of forgiving love which Jesus cast upon him forced from him tears of the deepest contrition, and three times afterwards, accordingly, he made that confession, “Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee.” After he had received the Holy Ghost, full of courage, he confessed Christ crucified, and preached Him in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Ionia, and Bithynia. At Jerusalem he was once already condemned to death, but was set free by an angel. In the year 54 he went to Rome, whence, after a nine years residence, he was banished, with many other Christians. Upon returning thither again he was confined in the Mamertine prison, and finally, on June 29, in the year A.D. 67, under the Emperor Nero, he was crucified; his head, by his own desire, hung downwards, because he thought himself unworthy to die like Christ.
Paul, before his conversion called Saul, was of the tribe of Benjamin, a native of Tarsus, in Cilicia, and a pupil of Gamaliel. Full of zeal for the law, he bitterly opposed the Christians. As he was travelling to Damascus to persecute them, he was, on the way, converted by Christ. How indefatigably he thenceforward worked in the vineyard of the Lord, and what dangers and persecutions he underwent, no pen can describe. It is almost incredible with what zeal and perseverance he preached Christ, in chains and fetters, under blows and scourges, in hunger and thirst, and untold times at the peril of his life. And yet he was so humble that he counted himself the least of the apostles, and always praised God that He had thought him worthy to suffer for His name. After he had at last fought a good fight, and finished his course having everywhere zealously preached the Gospel, and still more zealously practiced it he received the crown of justice (n. Tim. iv. 6). The Emperor Nero caused him to be beheaded on the same day that Peter was crucified.
The Introit of the Mass is in the words spoken by St. Peter after his delivery from the prison at Jerusalem: Now I know in very deed that the Lord hath sent His angel and hath delivered me out of the hands of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews (Acts xii. 11). “Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me; Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up” (Ps. cxxxviii. 1, 2).
Prayer. O God, Who hast consecrated this day by the martyrdom of Thy apostles SS. Peter and Paul, grant to Thy Church, in all things, to follow their doctrines, through whom the true faith was first proclaimed.
EPISTLE. Acts xii. 1-11.
In those days: Herod the king stretched forth his hands, to afflict some of the Church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And seeing that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take up Peter also. Now it was in the days of the Azymes. And when he had apprehended him, he cast him into prison, delivering him to four files of soldiers to be kept, intending after the Pasch to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the Church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him: and a light shined in the room: and he striking Peter on the side raised him up, saying: Arise quickly. And the chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said to him: Gird thyself, and put on thy sandals. And he did so. And he said to him: Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And going out he followed him, and he knew not that it was true which was done by the angel: but thought he saw a vision. And passing through the first and the second ward, they came to the iron gate that leadeth to the city, which of itself opened to them. And going out, they passed on through one street: and immediately the angel departed from him. And Peter coming to himself, said: Now I know in very deed that the Lord hath sent His angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.
GOSPEL. Matt. xvi. 13-19.
At that time Jesus came into the quarters of Caesarea Philippi: and He asked His disciples, saying: Who do men say that the Son of man is? But they said: Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them: But who do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father Who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.
Why did Christ ask His disciples, Who do men say that the Son of man is? To give them an opportunity to confess their belief in Him as the true Son of God, and upon that open confession to ground a promise of the highest importance.
Why does Christ call Himself the Son of man? In order that, His Godhead being veiled under the form of man, He might thus test the faith of His disciples, and teach us that He was both true God and true man.
What did Peter mean to say by those words, “Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God?” He thereby confesses that Christ is the Son of God, begotten from all eternity, and therefore of the same substance with the Father; that by Him all things were made, and that from Him comes our life in soul and body.
What reward did Peter receive for his confession? Christ pronounced him blessed that God had given him such grace, conveyed to him the highest authority in His Church, and gave him the pre-eminence above all the apostles.
What is the meaning of the expression “to bind and to Loose”? According to Isaias, it signifies to open and to shut heaven, and here consequently denotes the power, as representative of Jesus Christ, to receive persons into the Church, and to excommunicate them from it; to forgive sins, or to retain them; to impose or to remit punishments for them; to establish laws and prohibitions, to abolish them, to change them, and, in general, to govern and direct in everything, as shall be necessary for the preservation of unity and order in the Church, and for the good of the faithful.
Was the power to bind and to loose given to Peter only? No, but to the rest of the apostles also; the power of the keys, however, Jesus gave only to Peter. Peter, therefore, and his successors, possess this supreme power, while the other apostles and their successors, the bishops, possess the authority entrusted to them by Christ, to be exercised by them in unity with the rock, that is, with Peter and his successors.
Of the Pope
What is the Pope to the Catholic? The representative of Jesus Christ, and the visible head, appointed by Him, for the government of His Church.
Did Christ actually appoint such a supreme head? Yes, and that in the person of St. Peter. He gave him the significant name Peter the rock, distinguished him always above the other apostles, and laid upon him the charge to feed His lambs, that is, the faithful, and His sheep, that is, the bishops themselves; and this power Peter uniformly exercised.
Why did Christ appoint a visible head for the Church? Because the Church is an outward, visible society, united together not only by inward faith in Christ, but also by outward, visible signs. Such a visible head is as necessary for the Church as for a body, a family, a society, a state, to prevent disunion, confusion, and the consequent destruction of the whole; this supreme head is the center of the whole, the final judge, the authoritative teacher.
Who is now this supreme head? The Bishop of Rome, or the Pope. It is undeniable that Peter occupied the bishop’s see at Rome, and that he died there. Equally indisputable is it that the successor of St. Peter entered upon possession of his rights, and, together with the episcopal see of Rome, inherited also the office possessed by him. From the first centuries this has ever been acknowledged by the faithful, who have accordingly called the Bishop of Rome Pope that is, the father of the faithful. And how clearly does history show that Peter and his successors are the rock upon which the Lord has immovably founded His Church! What storms have not broken upon the Church!
Persecutions from without and within, heresies and schisms without number, and infidelity in its most hideous form, have raged against the Church, and what has been the consequence? Nations have often fallen away from the Church, single bishops have proved betrayers of their flocks, the sees of the apostles themselves have been subject to the vicissitudes of time. And amid all these storms Rome alone has, for over eighteen hundred years, stood firm. She has come out of every contest victorious, has remained the center of faith and discipline, and has preserved the unbroken succession of bishops from Peter. Who does not see herein the assistance of Him Who forever fulfills that promise of His, “Upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” The Pope is, therefore, the visible supreme head of the Church, appointed by Christ for all time; the invisible, all-governing head is Christ Himself.
Things to do
· Take a pilgrimage to Rome to visit the burial places of St. Peter and Paul.
· Go fishing in honor of St. Peter. He was a fisherman before he became Jesus' disciple, and is the patron saint of fisherman and net makers.
· Go camping in honor of St. Paul. Before his conversion to Christianity, Paul was a tent maker. He is the patron saint of tent makers as well as writers. In addition to being an accomplished preacher, Paul wrote epistles that are included in the Bible's New Testament.
· Attend Mass and learn how both Peter and Paul, two men with very different visions, formed the early church and how Christianity rapidly spread.
Insalata Di Tarocci
- 4 blood oranges or other small, sweet oranges
- 1 small red onion, cut into very thin slices*
- 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. freshly chopped Italian parsley; stems discarded
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Combine a dozen or so men with large sackes draped over their shoulders; ox-drawn carts bearing the image of San Paolo (himself holding a snake and a book in one hand, a sword pointing to the heavens in the other); squads of flagbearers and swordsmen; a cotillion of old men with black berets playing an indescribable array of instruments (many homemade); a piazza packed with local residents dressed in Sunday finery; and long tables filled with all manner of food and beverage, and you have a beginner's idea of what to expect if you find yourself in Aragona in southern Sicily on June 29, the feast of St. Paul. (If you decide to visit the church however, you no longer have to fear the ritual called La benedizione deglie serpe, whereby residents presented snakes to the priest for benediction. The ritual was done away with a few years ago. If you do venture to Aragona for this festival, the blood orange and red onion salad presented here is one of the many foods you're likely to sample. Although any type of orange can be substituted to following is made with tarocci or blood oranges, which are one of Sicily's most famous products. Exceptionally high in vitamin C, strongly fragrant, and with brilliant red peel and pulp, the tarocci is widely used in salads, frozen ice cream desserts, and sorbets.
Italians have become very fond of cipolle de tropea a type of sweet red onion that comes from Calabria and is not yet available in the US. To achieve the same sweetness, soak the sliced red onion in water for thirty minutes before using.
1. Peel the oranges and remove the pith. Cut horizontally into thin slices. Put in a bowl and set aside.
2. Separate the onion slices into individual layers and put in the bowl with the oranges. Add the oil and half the parsley to the bowl, season with salt and pepper, and toss until all ingredients are well coated.
3. Arrange the orange and onion slices in a circular pattern on a round platter. Drizzle with the oil left in the bowl, sprinkle with the remaining parsley, and serve.
Make Ahead: The oranges can be tossed with the marinade earlier in the day.
How to Serve: On its own as a midsummer appetizer, followed by a light pasta, or as a salad course accompanying an especially piquant entree.
Feast of the Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph
These apparitions were approved by Bishop Dom Carillo Gritti on January 31, 2010. The messages of Itapiranga contain 10 promises to those who are devoted to the Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph. Jesus, Mary and Joseph disclose these promises for the benefit of the whole Church. The Feast of the Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph is to be celebrated on the first Wednesday after the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
I - St Joseph: I promise to all that honor this Most Chaste Heart of mine, and who do here on earth good deeds in favor of the most needy, especially of the sick and dying for whom I am a consoler and protector, to receive in their last moment of their lives the grace of a good death. I myself will be to these souls their petitioner to my Son Jesus and, together with my spouse, Most Holy Mary, we will console them in their last hours here on earth with our holy presence, and they will rest in the peace of our Hearts.
II - St. Joseph: I promise to all the faithful that honor my Most Chaste Heart with faith and love, the grace to live with holy purity of soul and body and the strength to resist all attacks and temptations by the Devil. I myself will preciously protect you.
III - St. Joseph: I promise to intercede before God for those who come to me, honoring this Heart of mine. I will give them the graces to be able to resolve the most difficult problems and urgent necessities, that to the eyes of man seem impossible, but that, through my intercession to God, will be possible.
IV - St. Joseph: I promise all who will trust in my Most Chaste Heart, devoutly honoring it, the grace to be consoled by me in their greatest afflictions of the soul and in the danger of judgment, when by misfortune lose divine grace because of their grave sins. To these sinners, who have recourse to me, I promise the graces of my Heart for the purpose of amendment, of repentance and of sincere contrition of their sins.
V - St. Joseph: To all who honor this Heart of mine and trust in me and in my intercession, I promise they will not be abandoned in their difficulties and in the trials of life. I will ask Our Lord to help them with his Divine Providence in their material and spiritual problems.
VI – St. Joseph: Mothers and fathers – consecrate yourselves to my Heart, likewise your families, and you will receive my help in your afflictions and problems. Just as I brought up the Son of the Most Hight in his holy laws, I will assist you with the upbringing and education of your children. I will help all fathers and mothers that consecrate their children to me, to bring them up with love in the holy laws of God, so they may find the secure road to salvation.
VII – St. Joseph: So then, my son, tell all those that honor this Chaste Heart of mine they will receive the grace of my protection from all evils and dangers. For those who surrender to me will not be slaughtered by misfortunes, by wars, hunger, by diseases and other calamities, they will have my Heart as a refuge for their protection. Here, in my Heart, all will be protected against the divine justice in the days that will come. All who consecrate themselves to my Heart, honoring it, they will be looked upon by my Son Jesus with eyes of mercy. Jesus will pour out his love and will take to the glory of his Kingdom all those I put in my Heart.
VIII – St. Joseph: All those who propagate the devotion to my Heart, and practice it with love, have the certainty of having their names engraved on it just as my Son Jesus' cross and the "M" of Mary are engraved on it, as formed by wounds. This also applies for all priests whom I love with predilection. The priests who have a devotion to my Heart and spread it will have the grace of touching the most hardened hearts and convert obstinate sinners.
IX – Our Lady: All who honor the Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph will benefit with my maternal presence in their lives in a special way. I will be at the side of each son and daughter of mine, helping and comforting them with a mothers' Heart, just as I helped and comforted my Most Chase Spouse Joseph in this world. To those who ask of his Heart with trust, I promise to intercede before the Eternal Father, my Divine Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I will obtain for them, from God, the grace to reach perfect sanctity in the virtues of St. Joseph, this way reaching the perfect love in which he lived. Men will learn to love my Son Jesus and myself with the same love as my Most Chaste Spouse Joseph, receiving the most pure love from our Hearts.
X – Our Lord Jesus Christ: All who will honor my Virginal Father Joseph's Most Chaste Heart, will receive at the hour of death the grace to resist the schemes of the enemy of salvation, receiving victory and the deserved recompense in the Kingdom of my Heavenly Father. Those who devoutly honor this Chaste Heart in this world have the certainty of receiving great glory in Heaven. The devoted souls of my Virginal Father Joseph will benefit from the beatific vision of the Holy Trinity and will have the profound knowledge of the One Triune God, the thrice Holy. They will enjoy the presence of my Heavenly Mother and my Virginal Father Joseph in the heavenly Kingdom. These souls will be loved by the Holy Trinity and by my Holy Mother Mary and will encircle the Most Chaste Heart of my Virginal Father Joseph like the most beautiful of lilies.
Waffle Iron Day is the perfect time to celebrate this delicious breakfast staple!
Waffle Irons were first found in that area of Northwestern Europe known as the Low Countries, which includes Belgium and the Netherlands as well as other places. Originally, they were made to be used over an open flame, and were thus constructed on the end of two long, typically wooden, handles with a clamshell system at one end, which would be held over a fire to bake.
The origin of the waffle iron can be traced back to the middle ages, where they were developed from a device known as the ‘wafer iron’. These were commonly used in the creation of the communion wafer, but larger varieties existed, consisting of nothing more than two flat irons often engraved with elaborate scenes. For the communion wafer, it was depictions of the crucifixion of Christ. While the larger secular designs varied widely, often engraved with artistic floral designs, illumination, or just about any other form of design you could imagine.
· The Belgians celebrate the feast of St. Michael by eating waffles; perhaps we could start celebrating Mondays with waffles in honor of the angels; remembering we too like Michael must be as strong as iron against the enemy and we must not waffle. Sorry I couldn’t resist.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY
SECTION ONE THE SACRAMENTAL ECONOMY
CHAPTER ONE THE PASCHAL MYSTERY IN THE AGE OF THE CHURCH
- Article 1 THE LITURGY - WORK OF THE HOLY TRINITY
1110 In the liturgy of the Church, God the Father is blessed and adored as the source of all the blessings of creation and salvation with which he has blessed us in his Son, in order to give us the Spirit of filial adoption.
1111 Christ's work in the liturgy is sacramental: because his mystery of salvation is made present there by the power of his Holy Spirit; because his Body, which is the Church, is like a sacrament (sign and instrument) in which the Holy Spirit dispenses the mystery of salvation; and because through her liturgical actions the pilgrim Church already participates, as by a foretaste, in the heavenly liturgy.
1112 The mission of the Holy Spirit in the liturgy of the Church is to prepare the assembly to encounter Christ; to recall and manifest Christ to the faith of the assembly; to make the saving work of Christ present and active by his transforming power; and to make the gift of communion bear fruit in the Church.
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.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.