Sunday, July 24, 2022

 Seventh Sunday after Pentecost


NATIONAL TEQUILA DAY

 

Mark, Chapter 16, Verse 5-8

5 On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed. 6 He said to them, “Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him. 7 But go and tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.’” 8 Then they went out and fled from the tomb, seized with trembling and bewilderment. They said nothing to anyone, for they were AFRAID.

 

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint him. They were doing an act of mercy to clean Christ’s corpse and properly bury him. When they experienced the power of God raising from the dead, they we shocked to silence.

 

The Law of Victory: Jesus’ Resurrection[1]

 

The disciples had lost the teacher and Lord. The Jewish leaders had silenced their opposition. The people had lost their hope of a revolution against Rome. Even the devil thought he had finally stopped this divine leader and brought about the abandonment of the Gospel. What a surprise awaited that first Resurrection Sunday morning! When Jesus rose from the dead, He gave His followers a potent hope to end every doubt about His kingdom.


 

The Wisdom of the Cross

 

The world can never recognize the wisdom of the cross. The other day while sitting in my church for mass it was revealed to me the wisdom of the cross.

 

·       As the Eucharistic celebration was being conducted, I was admiring our church and as I gazed on the altar, I notice we had the cross which represented Christ dead for our sins.

·       Behind the cross lit up with the sun waning was the stained glass of Christ ascending to the Father. I asked interiorly where the representation of Christ resurrected is? Then almost immediately an interior voice stated,

·       “You are the representation of Christ resurrected.” At first, I withdrew from the idea, sinner that I am. 

Then I knew that this was the divine wisdom that we by the frequent reception of the Blessed Sacrament the Holy Body of Christ physically and spiritually become the resurrected Christ to our families, neighbors, our friends and even dare I say our enemies. May God’s will and wisdom be done!

 

ON KEEPING THE LORDS DAY HOLY[2]

 

CHAPTER V

 

DIES DIERUM

 

Sunday: The Primordial Feast, Revealing the Meaning of Time

CONCLUSION

81. The spiritual and pastoral riches of Sunday, as it has been handed on to us by tradition, are truly great. When its significance and implications are understood in their entirety, Sunday in a way becomes a synthesis of the Christian life and a condition for living it well. It is clear therefore why the observance of the Lord's Day is so close to the Church's heart, and why in the Church's discipline it remains a real obligation. Yet more than as a precept, the observance should be seen as a need rising from the depths of Christian life. It is crucially important that all the faithful should be convinced that they cannot live their faith or share fully in the life of the Christian community unless they take part regularly in the Sunday Eucharistic assembly. The Eucharist is the full realization of the worship which humanity owes to God, and it cannot be compared to any other religious experience. A particularly efficacious expression of this is the Sunday gathering of the entire community, obedient to the voice of the Risen Lord who calls the faithful together to give them the light of his word and the nourishment of his Body as the perennial sacramental wellspring of redemption. The grace flowing from this wellspring renews mankind, life and history.

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost[3]

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord’, . . .but he who does the will of my Father. . .shall enter the kingdom of heaven". Not so much what one "says" about the Lord, but how he "does" His "Will," is what brings forth "good fruit". Deeds, not mere words, are acceptable to God, acceptable to neighbor also. Example is the best precept.

The final fruit of sin is "death;" the fruit of "justice" is "life everlasting".

The Holy Eucharist is the "health-giving" Fruit of Calvary, our antidote against the poison-laden Dead-Sea fruit of the world, the flesh and the devil.

"Faith cannot save without virtue" (St. John Chrysostom). 

IN[4] the Introit of the Mass the Church invites us to the praise of God in the following words: “Oh, clap your hands, all ye nations, shout unto God with the voice of joy, for the Lord is most high, He is terrible: He is a great king over all the earth”; (Ps.xlvi. 2, 3).

Prayer. O God, whose providence never faileth in what it doth order, we humbly beseech Thee to put away from us all things hurtful, and to give us all things profitable to us.

EPISTLE. Rom. vi. 19-23.

Brethren: I speak a human thing, because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as you have yielded your members to serve uncleanness and iniquity unto iniquity, so now yield your members to serve justice unto sanctification. For when you were the servants of sin you were free men to justice. What fruit therefore had you then in those things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of them is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants of God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end life everlasting. For the wages of sin is death, but the grace of God, life everlasting in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Explanation. In these words, St. Paul admonishes the Romans that they ought henceforward to devote themselves as zealously to the service of God as they had hitherto done to that of iniquity, because the service of sin is death, but the service of God is life everlasting. The words “servants, to serve”, denote the full and unconditional subjection of the Christian to God, without walking any longer according to his own will, just as, in regard to the state of sin, they indicate the dominion of the passions over the sinner. There is no requirement more reasonable than that a man should labor as much for God and his own salvation as he has labored for sin and hell. We should, therefore, often think on the wages of sin eternal death; and when we are tempted, ask ourselves, “What shall I gain by my lust, my in justice, my vengeance? Ah, nothing but eternal death! And shall I, created to inherit eternal life, shall I make myself the heir of eternal death?”

GOSPEL. Matt. vii. 15-21.

At that time Jesus said to His disciples: Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves: by their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit: neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit: every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be cut down and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Not everyone that saith to Me: Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of My Father Who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Who are meant by false prophets?

1. The world, which promises us honors and riches, but in the end rewards our toil and labor with disgrace and scorn.

2. The flesh, which promises pleasures and joys, but at last leaves nothing but the bitter reproaches of an unquiet conscience.

3. The devil, who promises us a long life, and time for repentance, while the obdurate sinner is cut off suddenly in the midst of his days.

4. All such evil-minded persons as conceal their wicked purpose under the mask of virtue and honesty, until they have entrapped unwary souls, and drawn them into all kinds of shameful misdeeds. It is these false prophets of Satan, and wolves of hell, that make the greatest havoc in the flock of Christ.

Why does Christ say, “every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be cut down and cast into the fire”? He thereby warns us that faith alone, without good works, or, in other. words, the mere desire for heaven without the practice of virtue, will not save us. Christ says plainly, “Not everyone that saith to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doth the will of My Father Who is in heaven.” Jesus also saith, “Whosoever shall do the will of My Father Who is in heaven, he is My brother, and sister, and mother; (Matt. xii. 50). Endeavor, therefore, O Christian, to fulfil in all things the will of God.

INSTRUCTION ON GOOD WORKS

 

What are good works? All actions of men which are done according to the will of God, from love of Him, and by the help of grace.

 

Which are the principal good works? Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Prayer including all acts belonging to the service of God: fasting, all mortifications of the body; almsgiving, all works of mercy.

 

How many are the works of mercy? Two: corporal and spiritual.

 

Which are the spiritual works of mercy? Those which have for their object the salvation of our neighbor; as,

 

1, to admonish the sinner.

2, to instruct the ignorant.

3, to counsel the doubtful.

4, to comfort the afflicted.

5, to bear wrongs patiently.

6, to forgive injuries and offences.

7, to pray for the living and the dead.

 

Which are the corporal works of mercy?

 

1, To feed the hungry.

2, to give drink to the thirsty.

3, to clothe the naked.

4, to visit the prisoners.

5, to shelter the houseless.

6, to visit the sick.

7, to bury the dead.

 


What is necessary to render works meritorious?

 

1, They must be good in themselves.

2, they must be done by the grace of God.

3, in the state of grace.

4, by free will.

5, with the good intention of pleasing God.

Can we be saved without good works? No; for Christ says expressly, “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be cut down and shall be cast into the fire.” And that servant in the Gospel (Matt. xxv. 25) who neither wasted his talent nor yet traded with it, but digged into the earth and hid his lord’s money, was therefore cast into the outer darkness. 

National Tequila Day[5] 

Another Hedonistic progressive holiday--Note: Humility and its source is where all goodness comes from; the Spirit of God, and not this spirit.

National Tequila Day is dedicated to recognizing Tequila, a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the blue agave plant and the main alcohol in a margarita.  Blue agave plants produce sugars such as fructose, which are ideal for preparing tequila.  The plant only grows in the rich and sandy soil of Jalisco, Mexico at altitudes of 1,500 meters.  

To make tequila, the heart or piña of the plant is removed when the plant is approximately 12 years old and weighs around 40-90kg.  The heart is then heated to extract sap which is fermented and distilled into tequila.  According to history, the Aztecs created fermented beverages from the agave plant prior to arrival of Spaniards in 1521.  The origins of National Tequila Day are not well understood; however, it appears that National Tequila Day began to emerge around the late 1990s. This holiday is celebrated every year on July 24.

National Tequila Day Facts & Quotes

·        During prohibition, tequila became more popular because smuggling liquor into the country was easiest from Mexico.

·        Hollywood celebrities have ventured into the tequila industry.  Here are some celebrities who have created their own tequila brands:
Justin Timberlake: 901 Silver Tequila
Carlos Santana: Casa Noble Tequila (Sold ownership in 2014)
Vince Neil: Tres Rios Tequila
Sammy Hagar: Cabo Wabo Tequila
George Clooney: Casamigos Tequila

·        According to Guinness World Records, the most expensive bottle of tequila was worth $225,000 in 2006.  The Platinum & White Gold Tequila bottle was sold by Tequila Ley .925 to a private collector.  The tequila was harvested from 100% blue agave plants that had been aged 6 years.

·        As per the Official Mexican Standard for Tequila (NOM-006-SCFI-2005), the alcohol content of tequila ranges from 35-55%.

·        As per the Consejo Regulador del Tequila (Tequila Regulatory Council), Mexico produced 118.9 million liters of 100% pure agave tequila, of which 77.9 million liters were exported.

·        I wanted to do my part to help preserve that golden age of travel… I step aboard the Patron Tequila Express railcar, and I go back in time to the days when a long journey was something fun and very special. - Billionaire John Paul DeJoria, Owner of the Patron Spirits Company

National Tequila Day Top Events and Things to Do

·        Try the World's Best Tequila.  Winner of the World's Best Tequila Award 2015, 1800 Anejo is produced by La Rojena.

·        Attend a tequila festival.  Here are some popular ones to consider:
1) Day of the Dead Tequila Festival
2) South Florida Tequila Festival
3) Northwest Tequila Fest
4) Texas Tequila and Margarita Festival

·        Tour tequila distilleries along the tequila trail in Jalisco, Mexico. The distilleries offer insight into the production process and offer ample opportunity to sample a variety of tequilas.

·        Try different categories of tequila.  These include:
1) Blanco (white) tequila which is unaged or has been aged for less than two months.
2) Joven (gold) tequila which is unaged silver tequila that is flavored with either caramel coloring or sugar-derived syrups, etc.
3) Resposado tequila which has been aged for a minimum of two months but less than 1 year in oak barrels.
4) Anejo tequila which has been aged for at least 1 year, but less than 3 years in oak barrels.
5) Extra Anejo tequila which has been aged for at least 3 years.

·        Try a tequila twist in your favorite recipes.  Many recipes can be infused with tequila, for example:
1) Citrus and tequila infused cupcakes.  Add some citrus zest and sprinkles of tequila to the cupcake frosting.
2) Tequila glazed chicken.  Just add a few spoons of tequila to your favorite chicken glaze recipe.
3) Barbecued tequila and lime pork spareribs.  Add lime and tequila to an overnight sparerib marinade.

Today is my millennial daughter Nicole Patience’s (Victorious Patience) birthday; hopefully she is eating cake and not slamming shots! I ask your prayers.

"Vaya con Dios, mi amor"

Novena of St. Ann[6]

Daily Prayer to Saint Ann

 

O glorious St. Ann, you are filled with compassion for those who invoke you and with love for those who suffer! Heavily burdened with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you to take the present intention which I recommend to you in your special care.

Please recommend it to your daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and place it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy issue. Continue to intercede for me until my request is granted. But, above all, obtain for me the grace one day to see my God face to face, and with you and Mary and all the saints to praise and bless Him for all eternity. Amen.

 

Our Father, . . . Hail Mary . . .

 

O Jesus, Holy Mary, St. Ann, help me now and at the hour of my death. Good St. Ann, intercede for me.

 

    EIGHTH DAY


 

Hail, St. Ann! I rejoice at your exalted glory. You gave birth to Mary, whose divine Son brought salvation to our lost world by conquering death and restoring life and hope to sinners. Pray to Him who, for love of us, clothed Himself with human flesh in the chaste womb of your daughter.

 

Glorious St. Ann, with your blessed daughter, deliver me from everything that is displeasing in the sight of God. Pray to your gentle and powerful Grandson that He may cleanse my soul in His precious blood, that He may send His Holy Spirit to enlighten and direct me in all that I do, always obedient to His holy inspirations.

 

Good mother keep a watchful eye on me. Help me bear all my crosses. Give me the fullness of your bounty and sustain me with courage.

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY

SECTION TWO-THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH

CHAPTER ONE-THE SACRAMENTS OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION

Article 1 THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM

VI. The Necessity of Baptism

1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are "reborn of water and the Spirit." God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.

1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.

1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery." Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.

1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them," allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.

The Week Ahead

National NFP Awareness Week – JULY 24-30

Life is God’s Gift[7]

Love, naturally! Is love something natural and part of being human? Of course, it is. Many of us may not be able to find the precise words to define love, but we know what it feels like when love is missing in our lives. We also know how satisfied we feel when we have love. And even better we know the deep fulfillment we feel when we offer our love to others, and they accept it. The natural ability to know, give, and receive love is a gift from God.

 

As Scripture teaches, it is rooted in our nature, being made in Gods image and likeness (Gen 1:27). How often have we heard this building block of our faith but have not thought about it? This basic truth of our humanity has profound implications for all human relationships, especially for those of us who are called to the vocation of marriage. All are called to love God has written the capacity to give and to receive love into the hearts of every man and woman. As St. Paul says, love is the greatest gift (1 Corinthians 13:13). Love is the foundation for other important characteristics such as gratitude, thankfulness, forgiveness, mercy, and selflessness, all of which foster good relationships. One beautiful expression of Gods plan of love is that He created us with sexuality male and female.

 

Being made male or female is the means through which we express love and form relationships. This can take many forms as we relate to neighbors, workmates, friends, and family members. It is precisely through human sexuality that husband and wife can form their family. These small communions of persons mirror the inner love of God as a Trinity of three loving persons. Human sexualitybeing created a man or a womanis woven into our very bodies.

 

This is true despite the many wounds to their sexuality that some people may experience. Human sexuality holds the powers of both love and life. The gift of fertility is a particular awe-inspiring attribute since it enables participation in Gods creation of new life. It is vital to be good stewards of these sacred gifts.

 

Chastity helps us to love well in a world wounded by sin, the virtue of chastity strengthens us to express love in ways that are holy and genuinewhether we are married, single, celibate, or vowed in religious life. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, chastity enables us to maintain the integrity of the powers of life and love therefore helping us to respect ourselves and the personal boundaries of other people (2338).

 

Marriage and parenthood of the various profound forms of human relationships, marriageor more properly, Holy Matrimonywas willed by God as a blessing. If you have forgotten that, look up the second chapter of Genesis (Genesis 2:18-25) of which Jesus Himself quotes in the Gospels when defending marriage to some Pharisees (see Mt 19:1-6). God did not want the man to be alone. God made a suitable partner for him. That partner is woman. She is equal to man in being made in Gods image, and she is also very different. She complements him. Together, they make the one flesh union of marriage which has the potential to give life and create a family. God intended marital love to be total, faithful, permanent, and fruitfulaccepting and nurturing the powers of love and life.

 

The nature of marriage calls husband and wife to sacred responsibilities. Within this vocation, a husband and wife are able to celebrate human sexuality in all its fullness. Their conjugal love is meant to express the full meaning of love, as willed by God, its power to bind a couple and its openness to new life (USCCB, Married Love and the Gift of Life, 4). Being open to life does not mean that married couples have to intend to get pregnant every time they have sexual relations. It means that children are not a mere footnote to marriagethey are a gift from God.

 

It is the responsibility of the married couple to respect Gods design and to be generously open to His call to receive and nurture new life. This is true despite the fact that some couples may not be able to have their own children.

 

How can husband and wife properly exercise their mutual stewardship over Gods gifts of love and life? Some may wonder if married couples are expected to leave their family size entirely to chance. The Church teaches that a couple may generously decide to have a large family, or for serious reasons (e.g., financial, physical, psychological, etc.), choose to postpone attempting a pregnancy temporarily or indefinitely (see Humanae vitae 10). That is where the methods of Natural Family Planning (NFP) enter. NFPcooperating with Gods design for married love in marriage, when serious reasons arise, a husband and wife may need to limit the size of their family. The ever-present temptation is to use a form of contraception to limit or avoid having children. But contraception is not the answer since it harms Gods creation and rejects His good gifts. It does this by blocking human fertility.

 

What are the moral methods of authentic family planning that couples can use? Authentic family planning honors Gods design by supporting the love-giving and lifegiving nature of sexual intercourse. It promotes openness to new life and the value of the child. And, it helps to enrich the marital bond between husband and wife. Authentic family planning builds healthy and holy families. Only NFP methods can boast of all these characteristics! NFP methods make use of fertility education. NFP education teaches husband and wife about their fertile time (the time of the wifes ovulation, when an egg is released from the ovary). NFP methods can be used to either attempt a pregnancy or to avoid one. When avoiding, couples simply abstain from conjugal relations during the wifes fertile time. No drugs, devices or surgical procedures are used. Any woman, no matter the variety in her menstrual cycle, can use an NFP method. Thats because NFP methods help the wife to recognize her unique signs of fertility which she can observe on a daily basis. Love, naturally Take the time to learn, reflect, and pray about Gods marvelous plan for men, women, and Holy Matrimony. Answer the call to cooperate with Gods design for married love! Let these divine gifts inform and transform your marriage so that you and your family may flourish!


Celebrate and reverence God's vision of human sexuality[8]

Natural Family Planning Awareness Week is a national educational campaign. The Natural Family Planning Program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops develops a poster each year with basic supportive materials. It is the individual dioceses, however, that offer a variety of educational formats in the local church to focus attention on Natural Family Planning methods and Church teachings that support their use in marriage.

The dates of Natural Family Planning Awareness Week highlight the anniversary of the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae (July 25) which articulates Catholic beliefs about human sexuality, conjugal love, and responsible parenthood. The dates also mark the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne (July 26), the parents of the Blessed Mother. Pope Francis has designated that feast as World Grandparents Day, a fitting commemoration during National NFP Awareness Week!

 

·       Monday, July 25th St. James, Apostle

·       Tuesday, July 26th St. Anne

·       July 31st Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Daily Devotions

·       It is traditional in Spain to make a yearly pilgrimage to St. James of Compostela on July 24. Read more about this custom. From Catholic Culture's Library: Pilgrimage To The Stars and Cycling through time on the Camino de Santiago.

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

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Religion in the Home for Preschool: July

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Let Freedom Ring Day 18

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Vanilla Ice Cream Day

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Rosary




[1] John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.

[3]My Sunday Missal, Confraternity of the Precious Blood

[4]Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896

[6]Blessed Sacrament Fathers, ST. ANNS SHRINE, Cleveland, Ohio 

[8]https://www.usccb.org/topics/natural-family-planning/national-nfp-awareness-week



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