Skip to main content

Saturday, September 24, 2022

 


Introduction to Colossians

This letter is addressed to a congregation at Colossae in the Lycus Valley in Asia Minor, east of Ephesus. At the time of writing, Paul had not visited there. The community had apparently been established by Epaphras of Colossae. Problems, however, had arisen, brought on by teachers who emphasized Christ’s relation to the universe (cosmos). Their teachings stressed angels; “principalities and powers,”, which were connected with astral powers and cultic practices and rules about food and drink and ascetical disciplines. These teachings, Paul insists, detract from the person and work of Christ for salvation. Such teachings are but “shadows”; Christ is “reality”. For help in dealing with these problems that the new teachers posed at Colossae, Epaphras sought out Paul, who was then imprisoned. Paul, without entering into debate over the existence of angelic spirits or their function, simply affirms that Christ possesses the sum total of redemptive power and that the spiritual renewal of the human person occurs through contact in baptism with the person of Christ, who died and rose again. It is unnecessary for the Christian to be concerned about placating spirits or avoiding imagined defilement through ascetical practices in regard to food and drink. True Christian asceticism consists in the conquering of personal sins and the practice of love of neighbor in accordance with the standard set by Christ. Paul commends the community as a whole; this seems to indicate that, though the Colossians have been under pressure to adopt the false doctrines, they have not yet succumbed. The apostle expresses his prayerful concern for them. His preaching has cost him persecution, suffering, and imprisonment, but he regards these as reflective of the sufferings of Christ, a required discipline for the sake of the gospel. His instructions to the Christian family and to slaves and masters require a new spirit of reflection and action. Love, obedience, and service are to be rendered “in the Lord”. Colossians follows the outline of a typical Pauline letter. It is distinguished by the poetic lines concerning who Christ is and what Christ means in creation and redemption. Paul interprets the relation between the body of Christ, which he insists is the church, and the world or cosmos to be one not simply of Christ’s preexistence and rule but one of missionary advance into the world by the spreading of the word. In this labor of the missionary body of Christ, Paul as a minister plays a prime part in bringing Christ and the gospel as hope to the Gentiles. To “every creature under heaven” the word is to be proclaimed, so that everyone receives Christ, is established in faith, and walks in Christ.

SEPTEMBER 24 Ember Saturday

Colossians, Chapter 3, Verse 22

Slaves, obey your human masters in everything, not only when being watched, as currying favor, but in simplicity of heart, FEARING the Lord.

 

Paul reminds the Colossians as he did the Ephesians that we serve Christ not the rulers of this world but because the rulers are also sons of God we should obey them.

 

One of my greatest challenges mentally and physically was when I was a member of a crew of engineers that finished the construction of the South Pole Station. I recorded my service there in a book entitled, “The Ice is Nice and Chee Chee is Peachy.”

 

Ember Saturday of September-Commemoration of Yom Kippur and the Feast of Tabernacles (both of which occur in the Jewish calendar around this time), two important foreshadowing’s of the Christ event.[1] The church reminds us of the profound importance of total conversion. 


Meditation: Ember Saturday, A Day for expiation and thanksgiving! This excerpt from Pius Parsch is based on the 1962 Missal. The current Missal does not include special propers and readings for Ember Days.

1. Holy Mass (Venite). Ember Saturday is the official thanksgiving day for all the blessings of the past quarter-year. Especially in autumn when we garner the fruits of nature should we be more conscious of God’s Providence both in the temporal and spiritual orders. In ancient times today’s Mass served as a thanksgiving sacrifice and as a renewals of the Christian covenant with God. The text presumes that the Ember days are the Christian counterpart to the Old Testament feasts of Atonement and Tabernacles, highlighting penance and and gratitude respectively. The liturgical celebration, observed during the night between Saturday and Sunday and of obligation for all the faithful, was unusually festive. The faithful gathered at St. Peter’s for an entrance song the Invitatory (Psalm 94) was sung. The first four Lessons belonged specifically to the night-vigil and formed a greeting worthy of the enthroned King. The Readings tap the marrow of the Ember celebration, its connection with the Jewish feasts of the seventh month, Yom Kippur and the feast of Tabernacles. The autumn Ember days are days of penance for past failings and of gratitude for the harvest (and redemption); such too is the spiritual import of the Lessons. The first reviews the Mosaic legislation concerning the Day of Atonement, the second concerning the feast of Tabernacles, Israel’s great thanksgiving feast.

The two Graduals echo their respective Lessons; the first “Forgive” (Day of Atonement), the second, “How lovely are Thy tabernacles” (feast of Tabernacles). The third and fourth Lessons, from the prophets Micheas and Zacharias, are comforting messages in which God reaffirms His readiness to forgive the sins of His people and to grant them good things provided they remain faithful. God is also concerned over the manner in which we fast: “The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness and a great solemnity!” By which our Ember days, of course, are meant. The Orations offer God our festive fast and plead forgiveness. As on other Ember Saturdays, the fifth Lesson is already part of the morning service; the assembled faithful are praying Lauds; the three youths in the fiery furnace prefigure the resurrection of Christ and of Christians.

In the Epistle St. Paul shows how the ceremonies of the old covenant were types of the new; our day of atonement is Good Friday when Christ, the divine High Priest, entered the most holy sanctuary of heaven with His own Blood and wrought eternal redemption; every Mass is Good Friday repeated. In the Tract we chant the shortest Laud psalm as we express our gratefulness for God’s merciful work of redemption and HIs fidelity in fulfilling the prophecies.

Presently the High Priest Himself appears, first “teaching on the Sabbath” (in the Foremass), then offering Himself (in the Oblation). The unfruitful “fig tree in the orchard” and the “bowed-down woman” are the faithful. God is the landlord, Christ the pleading gardener; till now we have been unfruitful.

We also resemble the bowed-down woman; wholly taken up with earthy concerns, too often we are “unable to look upward”; but on this Christian Sabbath, Christ seeks “to free us from the bonds of Satan” and make us spiritually “erect.” Thus the Gospel insinuates the workings of grace in today’s holy Sacrifice.

At the sacrificial Banquet we once more recall the institution of the feast of Tabernacles as a remembrance of the deliverance from Egypt and the wanderings through the wilderness—for the Eucharist is the fulfillment of those two historical events by providing deliverance from sin and the true Manna from heaven. A classic, thought-packed Postcommunion: May the sacramental energy of the Eucharist realize its power in us, and may we one day enjoy face to face what now we see in a veiled manner. Three realities are noted: the first is the sign—this shows the sacrament. Underneath the sign is hidden the second reality, the sacrament’s efficacy—what the sacraments contain. And lastly, the rerun veritas, the future unveiling.

2. A “Spiritual Renewal” Day. For a “day of recollection” no better meditation points could be found than those in the Lessons of today’s Ember Mass. Of the two areas of thought proper to the formulary, viz., the Ember festivity is the Christian “Day of Atonement” and the Christian Feast of Tabernacles (or thanksgiving day at harvest time), let us pursue the former in some detail.

a) The Old Testament type. The Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, was the great penitential observance of Mosaic Law, Israel’s “confession day.” With us “penance days” are not feast days, but among the Jews it was otherwise; Yom Kippur was a day of strict rest, absolutely no type of work was permitted and the spirit of the occasion was festive, celebrabitis. The day’s liturgy exemplified the nation’s effort to expiate sin; on this one day of the year, the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies with sacrificial blood and sprinkle the ark of the covenant in atonement for his own and his people’s sins. Meanwhile the people did penance through fasting, humbling themselves before Yahweh.

b) The New Testament fulfillment. Mosaic festivals were shadows which took on flesh and blood in the Church of Christ. Good Friday was the real, the unique day of atonement in the sight of God. How well St. Paul affirmed this truth in the Epistle of today’s Mass: “Christ appeared as the high priest of coming (Messianic) blessings. He entered the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by human hands (i.e., heavenly in nature) not with the blood of goats and steers but with His own blood—once and for all He entered the (heavenly) Holy of Holies—after He had effected an eternal redemption (i.e., one with lasting effects in contrast to the annually repeated Jewish day of atonement).” For the sacrifice on the Cross constituted the perfect reconciliation of God with mankind; and every holy Mass, as it renders present that sacrifice on Golgotha, is Yom Kippur par excellence.

Every Sunday then would be the Christian atonement feast. But because we Christians are so irresponsive and dull to the inner nature of spiritual realities, holy Church introduced special expiation days during the course of the Church year. Among these are Ember days. Ember Saturdays, particularly September Ember Saturday, have preserved best this original spirit. Anyone who seeks to develop his spiritual life on a liturgical basis would have to use the Ember days during the four seasons as times of genuine spiritual renewal. The peculiar means of keeping these days is evident from the liturgy itself—acts of penance and fasting, confession of sin, humbling ourselves before God and neighbor, and nevertheless rejoicing, in the best sense of the word. Our conduct would exemplify the prophet’s statement (fourth Lesson), “The fast proper to the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months (i.e., the four Ember weeks) should mean joy and exultation to the house of Judah (viz,, Catholics) and high festival; you only need to love truth (obedience) and peace.”

c) Application. God appeals directly to my heart in the Gospel. The two parables, one in word and one in sign, should move me deeply. I am that barren fig tree. The infinitely just God is the landlord, our Savior the pleading caretaker. If God should summon me to His judgement seat today (the command to destroy the tree), would there be any “fruit”? To what extent would I resemble the barren fig tree? Why does it occupy ground? But Christ intercedes, says a kindly word in my behalf: “Perhaps there will be some return—next crop! If not, it can then be cut down.” The coming quarter-year mark must mark a change, genuine improvement.

The parable in sign is equally instructive. My soul is so badly bowed down to earth, it find “looking upwards” toward heavenly realities extremely painful. Christ must make me stand erect again. The coming season as no other is the season of hope, of preparation for the parousia, of longing for the heavenly Jerusalem, of expectation for the returning Lord. Jesus, have mercy. Free me from stooping down to the earthly, the sensual. Straighten me out for heaven. Now! Jesus, have mercy.

—Excerpted from Pius Parsch, Year of Grace, Volume 5.

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY

SECTION TWO-THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH

CHAPTER FOUR OTHER LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS

IN BRIEF

1677 Sacramentals are sacred signs instituted by the Church. They prepare men to receive the fruit of the sacraments and sanctify different circumstances of life.

1678 Among the sacramentals blessings occupy an important place. They include both praise of God for his works and gifts, and the Church's intercession for men that they may be able to use God's gifts according to the spirit of the Gospel.

1679 In addition to the liturgy, Christian life is nourished by various forms of popular piety, rooted in the different cultures. While carefully clarifying them in the light of faith, the Church fosters the forms of popular piety that express an evangelical instinct and a human wisdom and that enrich Christian life.

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: End to the use of Contraceptives

·       Saturday Litany of the Hours Invoking the Aid of Mother Mary

·       Religion in the Home for Preschool: September

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Iceman’s 40 devotion

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Rosary



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thursday, May 27, 2021

  Auxilium Christianorum - Praying for Persecuted Priests Monday, May 24 is the Feast of Mary Mother of the Church. It is also the Feast of  Mary Help of Christians  (Auxilium Christianorum). Please consider joining this Auxilium Christianorum family to pray daily for our holy and courageous persecuted priests. The Church teaches us that it is divided into the  Church Triumphant  (which includes the members of the Church in heaven), the  Church Suffering  (this includes the members of the Church in purgatory), and the  Church Militant  (this refers to those members of the Church who are alive in this world). Because we are part of the Church Militant, we are in a spiritual warfare and this spiritual warfare requires that we recognize, as Saint Paul teaches us "For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places." ( Ephesians 6:12 ) The me

Friday, August 26, 2022

 Switch of Manliness Legacy OUR LADY OF CZESTOCHOWA   Acts, Chapter 10, verse 1-4 1 Now in Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Cohort called the Italica, 2 devout and God-fearing along with his whole household, who used to give alms generously to the Jewish people and pray to God constantly. 3 One afternoon about three o’clock, he saw plainly in a vision an angel of God come into him and say to him, “Cornelius.” 4 He looked intently at him and seized with FEAR , said, “What is it, sir?” He said to him, “Your prayers and almsgiving have ascended as a memorial offering before God.   Cornelius’ Cohort was an auxiliary unit of archers, men who are expert at hitting a mark or target.   Sin is the act of violating God's will. Sin can also be viewed as anything that violates the ideal relationship between an individual and God, or as any diversion from the ideal order for human living. To sin has been defined as "to miss the mark" to have a harden

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

  Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter PINOT GRIGIO DAY John, Chapter 14, verse 27 Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or AFRAID .   Shalom, which means peace, is a Hebrew salutation. Yet Christ tells us that HIS shalom is different. It is a gift of salvation a messianic blessing. Through the spirit we are born again, sons and daughters of the eternal. The world and its attractions to sin lose its sparkle to us. Yes, we may fall from time to time, but the spirit and peace of Christ is always with us, and we rise up again. 10 things happy professionals do before 10 a.m. [1]   Success often seems like a visionary goal — a feat in life that’s attempted only after many strides, plenty of pitfalls and a healthy serving of endurance. However, for those who consider themselves fulfilled by their career, it’s not only a sense of accomplishment and an impressive LinkedIn profile that defines

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

  Introduction to Philippians [1] Philippi, in northeastern Greece, was a city of some importance in the Roman province of Macedonia. Lying on the great road from the Adriatic coast to Byzantium, the Via Egnatia, and in the midst of rich agricultural plains near the gold deposits of Mt. Pangaeus, it was in Paul’s day a Roman town, with a Greek-Macedonian population and a small group of Jews. Originally founded in the sixth century B.C. as Krenides by the Thracians, the town was taken over after 360 B.C. by Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, and was renamed for himself, “Philip’s City.” The area became Roman in the second century B.C. On the plains near Philippi in October 42 B.C., Antony and Octavian decisively defeated the forces of Brutus and Cassius, the slayers of Julius Caesar. Octavian (Augustus) later made Philippi a Roman colony and settled many veterans of the Roman armies there. Paul established at Philippi the first Christian community in Europe. He c

Sunday, September 4, 2022

  Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost   Acts, Chapter 27, verse 29 FEARING that we would run aground on a rocky coast, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come.   Paul was under arrest and was an inmate on a prison ship bound for Rome, when the ship he was on, was in danger of being sunk. Yet, God had not abandoned Paul. His faith saved him and also the crew. Paul in this case really did lead from behind.   The Law of Influence : An Inmate Takes Command (Acts 27:4-44) [1]   1.      Paul built trust which influences his jailer, Julius, to allow special privileges, noting his trustworthiness. 2.      He took the initiative by stepping in when action was needed. 3.      He possessed good judgment through his use of wisdom and experience. 4.      He spoke with authority and credibility based on earlier actions. 5.      He showed optimism and confidence by speaking boldly. 6.      He gave encouragement to the hopeless that feared their

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

LOVE LITIGATING LAWYERS DAY   Acts, Chapter 23, verse 10 The dispute was so serious that the commander, AFRAID that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, ordered his troops to go down and rescue him from their midst and take him into the compound.   During Paul’s time the Jewish people were divided into two camps. Paul in his fearlessness had spoken the truth and it struck a nerve with both sects wanting his death. How often is truth and reason ignored? Men find it easier to fall into camps and rationalize or justify their actions. Christ tells us to use reason much as He did with Thomas and believe. God has given us intelligent foresight as well as the Holy Spirit. The Virtue of Foresight: A Mark of Wisdom [1] The ancient philosophers identified man ’ s capacity for thought by the use of different words for perceiving reality: sensus (the five senses), imaginatio (the ability of the mind to recall pictures from the past or paint pictures of the future), ratio (the abil

Thursday, September 15, 2022

  OUR LADY OF SORROWS   2 Corinthians, Chapter 9, Verse 3-4 3 Nonetheless, I sent the brothers so that our boast about you might not prove empty in this case, so that you might be ready, as I said, 4 for FEAR that if any Macedonians come with me and find you not ready, we might be put to shame (to say nothing of you) in this conviction.   Christ died for all. This was Paul’s message, yet he was not blind to cultural distrusts, nor should we be, we should be aware of them and work to bring the peace of Christ to all.   At once [Jesus] spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” (Mt. 14:27)   Let’s Play Who Hates Who! [1] Indian nationalists hate Muslims, Christians, Whites, Asians and Blacks. Really everyone who is not a Hindu. Chinese nationalists hate Whites, Blacks, Jews, Southeast Asians and the non-Han people of China. Remember Huax? Korean nationalists hate Japanese, Chinese, Whites, Jews, and Blacks. Remember Hacienda? Vietnamese nationalists hate

Saturday, September 17, 2022

  Oktoberfest September 17-Oct . 3. Raise a stein to  Oktoberfest . This annual, 16-day celebration of all thing’s beer kicks off in late September in Munich. Can’t make it to Germany? Bring your taste for brewski to these  US Oktoberfest events . Oktoberfest [1]   Remember no carousing or drunkenness!!! Oktoberfest is a 16-day folk festival celebrated in Munich, Bavaria, Germany.  It is also the world’s largest Volksfest , which are German events that combine beer festivals with traveling funfairs.  Oktoberfest first emerged on October 12, 1910 when King Ludwig I married Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Citizens of Munich celebrated the marriage in fields leading to the city gates.  These fields were named ‘Theresienwiese’ in honor of the Princess.  The wedding celebrations ended on October 17th with horse races and until 1960, horse races were held annually. Eventually, carnivals, amusement rides, food booths, beer tents and parades were all added to the celebrations

Friday, September 16, 2022

    2 Corinthians, Chapter 11, Verse 3 But I am AFRAID that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts may be corrupted from a sincere [and pure] commitment to Christ.   Paul was concerned here about the faithfulness of the church knowing that where the mind goes so does the heart and soul. We are often plagued by worldly hearts.   Let us listen to the words of Saint John Vianney: The World is Everything and God is Nothing! [1] If people would do for god what they do for the world, my dear people, what a great number of Christians would go to Heaven! But if you, dear children, had to pass three or four hours praying in a church, as you pass them at a dance or in a cabaret, how heavily the time would press upon you! If you had to go to a great many different places in order to hear a sermon, as you go for your pastimes or to satisfy your avarice and greed, what pretexts there would be, and how many detours would be taken to avoid going at all. But nothing is

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

  FEAST OF THE HOLY CROSS  2 Corinthians, Chapter 7, Verse 15 And his heart goes out to you all the more, as he remembers the obedience of all of you, when you received him with FEAR and trembling.   We know that if our fear gives way to a deep sense of peace and joy when we seek to be reconciled to God; then it is the holy fear of God and we are on the right path.   Let those turn to me who fear you and acknowledge your decrees. (Ps. 119:79)   The Masculine Spirit [1]   In America we are gradually seeing the wholesale destruction of the masculine spirit. We are so confused many of us don’t know which bathroom to use. Is this just another attempt by Satan to kill the body as God created it? Men and women need to value themselves and value the beneficial characteristics of masculinity and to reject the false images of being male. Men and women were created to be different. They were created to be in partnership, neither one dominating the other, each using their God-g