Sixth Sunday after Easter
ST MATTHIAS-Novena St. Rita-Mother’s Day-Chicken Dance
Deuteronomy, Chapter 11, Verse 25
What have you to fear with God at your back?
We as the heirs of God’s promises to the Hebrews must have the courage to support and defend Israel at each threshold of change that God brings about. Yes, there will be suffering, and we must be up to the challenge; to carry our cross, as God wills it.
ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY
The Eucharistic Assembly:
Heart of Sunday
The day of the Church
36. The Sunday assembly is the privileged place of unity: it is the setting for the celebration of the sacramentum unitatis which profoundly marks the Church as a people gathered "by" and "in" the unity of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. For Christian families, the Sunday assembly is one of the most outstanding expressions of their identity and their "ministry" as "domestic churches", when parents share with their children at the one Table of the word and of the Bread of Life. We do well to recall in this regard that it is first of all the parents who must teach their children to participate in Sunday Mass; they are assisted in this by catechists, who are to see to it that initiation into the Mass is made a part of the formation imparted to the children entrusted to their care, explaining the important reasons behind the obligatory nature of the precept. When circumstances suggest it, the celebration of Masses for Children, in keeping with the provisions of the liturgical norms, can also help in this regard.
At Sunday Masses in parishes, insofar as parishes are "Eucharistic communities", it is normal to find different groups, movements, associations and even the smaller religious communities present in the parish. This allows everyone to experience in common what they share most deeply, beyond the particular spiritual paths which, by discernment of Church authority,(53) legitimately distinguish them. This is why on Sunday, the day of gathering, small group Masses are not to be encouraged: it is not only a question of ensuring that parish assemblies are not without the necessary ministry of priests, but also of ensuring that the life and unity of the Church community are fully safeguarded and promoted.(54) Authorization of possible and clearly restricted exceptions to this general guideline will depend upon the wise discernment of the Pastors of the particular Churches, in view of special needs in the area of formation and pastoral care, and keeping in mind the good of individuals or groups — especially the benefits which such exceptions may bring to the entire Christian community.
Sixth Sunday after Easter
THIS Sunday is a preparation for the feast of Pentecost. At the Introit of the Mass, the Church sings: “Hear, O Lord, my voice, with which I have cried to Thee, alleluia. My heart hath said to Thee, I have sought Thy face; Thy face, Lord, will I seek; turn not away Thy face from me, alleluia, alleluia. The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall, I fear?
Prayer. O almighty and everlasting God grant us ever to entertain a devout affection towards Thee, and to serve Thy majesty with a sincere heart.
EPISTLE, i. Peter iv. 7-11.
Dearly Beloved: Be prudent, and watch in prayers. But before all things have a constant mutual charity among yourselves; for charity covereth a multitude of sins. Using hospitality one towards another without murmuring. As every man hath received grace, ministering the same to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speaks, let him speak as the words of God. If any man minister, let him do it as of the power which God administereth: that in all things God may be honored through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Practice. The virtues here recommended are excellent preparatives for receiving the Holy Ghost, for nothing makes us more worthy of His grace than temperance, prayer, charity, unity, and hospitality towards our neighbors. Endeavor, therefore, to exercise these virtues, and every day during the following week pray fervently to the Holy Ghost for help in your endeavors.
GOSPEL. John xv. 26, 27; xvi. 1-4.
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: When the Paraclete cometh Whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, Who proceedeth from the Father, He shall give testimony of Me: and you shall give testimony, because you are with Me from the beginning. These things have I spoken to you, that you may not be scandalized. They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh that whosoever killeth you will think that he doth a service to God. And these things will they do to you, because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the hour shall come, you may remember that I told you.
What kind of sin is scandal?
It is a frightful sin. By it countless sins are occasioned, thousands of souls are carried to perdition, while the loving design of God for the salvation of men is frustrated.
How, in general, is scandal given?
By saying, doing, neglecting to do something which becomes the occasion of sin to another.
When do parents give scandal?
When they set a bad example to their children. When they do not correct them for doing wrong, or neglect to keep them from what is bad and to teach them that which is good.
How do employers give scandal?
In much the same way that parents give scandal to their children: when, by bad example or by command, they keep their servants or other employees from divine service, or neglect to make them attend it. When they themselves use, or give to others, flesh-meat on days of abstinence. When they order the commission of sin.
It is only a few weeks since Good Friday when we commemorated the agonizing death of Christ on Mount Calvary. This was an excruciating, shameful death even for hardened criminals who deserved it.
But for our loving Savior, the innocent lamb of God, one who had never offended God or neighbor, it was something of which the whole human race should be ashamed forever. What caused Christ that torment and death on the cross was our sins, the sins of all mankind and not the spite and hatred of his Jewish opponents, who were only instruments in the tragedy. Atonement had to be made to God for the sins of the world, so that men could reach the eternal inheritance which the incarnation made available to them.
However, not all the acts of the entire human race could make a sufficient atonement to God. A sacrifice, an expiation of infinite value was needed. The death of the Son of God in his human nature was alone capable of making such an expiation. That Christ willingly accepted crucifixion for our sakes, that he gave the greatest proof of love which the world has ever known, by laying down his life for his friends, did not make his sufferings any less, did not ease any of the pains of Calvary. His agony in the Garden before his arrest shows this: he foresaw all the tortures and pains which he was to undergo and sweated blood at the thought of what awaited him. But he was to keep his Father's commandment "not my will but thine be done." We Christians must have hearts of stone, hearts devoid of all sense of gratitude, when we forget what Christ has done for us and deliberately offend him! Alas, this is what all of us do sometimes, and many of us do all the time. Christ died to bring us to heaven, but we tell him, by our sins, that he was wasting his time. We do not want to go to heaven, we are making our happiness here! How far can human ingratitude and thanklessness go?
Christ told us, through the disciples on Holy Thursday night, that he had made us his friends, his intimates. We are no longer servants in the household, who merely earn their daily wage and have no intimacy with the family and no hope of ever sharing in the family possessions.
Instead, we have been adopted into the family by Christ becoming man, we have been guaranteed all the rights of children intimacy with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the future sharing in the eternal happiness of that divine household. Christ's incarnation made us God's children, Christ's death on the cross removed sin. Sin is the one obstacle that could prevent us reaching our eternal inheritance. Because God gave us a free will we can in a moment of folly, a moment of madness really, deprive ourselves of the privileges and possessions which Christ has made available to us. We can choose to exchange an eternity of happiness for a few fleeting years of self-indulgence on earth. We can fling Christ's gift of love back in his face and tell him we don't want it. God forbid that we should ever act like this, that we should ever forget God's purpose in creating us. It is a marvelous thing to be alive, if we have hope in a future life. If nothing awaited us but the grave, then to live on this earth, which is a valley of sorrow and tears for the vast majority, would be the cruelest of jests. But of this we need have no fear. Life on earth is but a short prelude to our real existence. If we use this brief period as Christ has told us how to use it, death for us will be the passage into the eternal mansions. Be grateful to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; love the Blessed Trinity; prove your love by loving your fellowmen. By doing this you are fulfilling the whole law and the prophets; and you are assuring yourself of the place in heaven which Christ has won for you.
Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle
The feast of Saint Matthias was included in the Roman Calendar in the 11th century and celebrated on the sixth day to the Calends of March (24 February usually, but 25 February in leap years). In the revision of the General Roman Calendar in 1969, his feast was transferred to 14 May, so as not to celebrate it in Lent but instead in Eastertide close to the Solemnity of the Ascension, the event after which the Acts of the Apostles recounts that Matthias was selected to be ranked with the Twelve Apostles.
OF this apostle nothing certain is known beyond what is contained in the epistle. In the Introit of the Mass the Church sings: “To me Thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honorable; their principality is exceedingly strengthened. Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me; Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up.”
Prayer. O God, Who didst associate blessed Matthias to the company of the apostles, grant, we beseech Thee, that, by his intercession, we may ever experience Thy tender mercy towards us.
Prayer to St. Matthias. O St. Matthias, glorious apostle and martyr of Jesus Christ, who, by the special providence of God, wast added to the eleven apostles in the room of the traitor, I humbly beseech thee to obtain for us the grace of Him Who chose thee from all eternity, that, assisted thereby, we may, after thy example, keep the commandments of God, practice good works, and thus merit to be numbered with the elect. Amen.
Novena of St. Rita
This novena prayer, although short is sufficient. It would be better of course to add, if time permits, three Hail Mary’s or say five times the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be to the Father, or to use some of the many well-loved novena prayers from other sources. Remember that prayers must be said with the lips in order to gain the indulgences. This novena begins on May 14 and ends on May 22. Rita is the patron of the impossible.
Prayer: O glorious St. Rita! You who so wonderfully participated in the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, obtain for me the grace to suffer with patience the pains of this life and protect me in all my needs.
In honor of Mother’s Day, here are a few quotes from John Paul II’s apostolic letter On the Dignity of Women (Mulieris Dignitatem) about the unique vocation of motherhood.
John Paul II: “Motherhood involves a special communion with the mystery of life, as it develops in the mother’s womb. The mother is filled with wonder at this mystery of life, and ‘understands’ with unique intuition what is happening inside her. In the light of the ‘beginning’, the mother accepts and loves as a person the child she is carrying in her womb. This unique contact with the new human being developing within her gives rise to an attitude towards human beings – not only towards her own child, but every human being – which profoundly marks the woman’s personality.”
“Motherhood implies from the beginning a special openness to the new person: and this is precisely the woman’s ‘part’. In this openness, in conceiving and giving birth to a child, the woman ‘discovers herself through a sincere gift of self’.”
“Human parenthood is something shared by both the man and the woman. Even if the woman, out of love for her husband, says: ‘I have given you a child’, her words also mean: ‘This is our child’. Although both of them together are parents of their child, the woman’s motherhood constitutes a special ‘part’ in this shared parenthood, and the most demanding part. Parenthood – even though it belongs to both – is realized much more fully in the woman, especially in the prenatal period. It is the woman who ‘pays’ directly for this shared generation, which literally absorbs the energies of her body and soul. It is therefore necessary that the man be fully aware that in their shared program of parenthood he owes a special debt to the woman.”
John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem (1988), no. 18
Mother's Day Top Events and Things to Do
· Take mom out to brunch or dinner. Be sure to book in advance as Mother's Day brunches are always very busy.
· Clean the house for your mother or grandmother.
· Send mom and grandma flowers. You can either pick them up or deliver them yourself if you are nearby or use one of many online services that ship directly to her door.
· Give mom a gift she will really appreciate - a day at the spa or a weekend off.
· A simple phone call to mom will suffice. Let her know that you love her and think about her.
Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.
Today it is my daughter Dara Hope’s birthday; (her name means: House of Compassion and Hope) please pray the Novena of St. Rita for her. Also today is National Chicken Dance Day! Yes, she loves to do the chicken dance.
Chicken Dance Day
We’ve all seen it, it’s utterly ridiculous and usually performed in a bout of intoxicant driven lunacy. You tuck your hands into your armpits to make ‘wings’, and then you flap like an idiot in time with some particularly unfortunate music. All that aside, you’re having complete giggle fits with a bunch of your friends while you behave in a fashion that has the local sanitarium eyeballing you for membership. What are we talking about? The Chicken Dance of course! Chicken Dance Day commemorates this dance and its origins, and even gives you a chance to learn WHY anyone would do this terrible, terrible thing.
History of Chicken Dance Day
“Der Ententanz” was the name of the song that inspired all of this, and while the dance has come to be called “The Chicken Dance”, the song itself is called The Duck Dance. At least that was its original name, and now it has spread all over the world, undergoing multiple name changes in the process. It has been known as everything from The Little Bird Dance to De Vogeltjesdans, or “The dance of the little birds.” This rendition was actually the B-Side of a single released by a band called “De Electornica’s”. The A-Side simply wasn’t being well received by the radio stations audiences, so they flipped it over. At that moment, history was made and it rocketed to the Dutch charts and stayed there for nearly a year. So much has its popularity exploded that it has been recorded in no less than 140 versions with over 40,000,000 records published over its lifetime. In 1981 the dance brought to Oktoberfest in the United States, and due to a complete lack of duck costumes anywhere near the event, they had to settle for chicken costumes instead. The result of which is the name by which it is now known. The song responsible gets new covers done almost every year, with new lyrics added all the time. That’s right, there’s lyrics. You’re welcome.
How to Celebrate Chicken Dance Day
Need we say it? The best way to celebrate Chicken Dance Day is by getting out there and doing the Chicken Dance! It’s quite simple, and it all starts with making a beak with your hands, and ‘squawk’ them four times in beat with the music, then you make wings as described earlier, and flap them four times in time with the music. Then… ya know what? Just watch this: How to Chicken Dance.
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
1. I wish to speak to you about the most important and central teaching of our faith. What I share is “not too high for you.” It is not theology that is only meant for theologians and priests. This concerns the most important reality of our lives – the saving presence of our Lord. This is not a teaching that can be dumbed down or over simplified. This is a truth that we need to be clear and certain about. Be bold, then! Take up and read, drink in the truth, discuss and share it with others and allow Jesus, truly present in the Eucharist, to conform you further to Himself and fulfill the deepest longings of your heart.
2. From the time I was a little child, I knew Jesus was present in every Catholic Church. I could not have explained it, but I was certain He was there. The way my father genuflected before the Tabernacle, the quiet reverence of my mother, the way our pastor Father Daly sang the Tantum Ergo with such gusto and a thick Irish brogue, it was these actions and God’s grace, more than words, that imbedded in my heart a solid conviction about the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. And because our farm family prayed together every evening, during thunderstorms or blizzards, whether we had a bumper crop or hardly anything at all from drought-stricken soil, no matter what, we knew that the Lord Jesus we received at Mass was with us, every day and night, and that whatever we faced, all would be well because of Him.
3. Of course, that faith in the Eucharist has been tested many times over the years. As a seminarian in Tours, France, for example, during two months of intensive French language study, some classmates learning of my practice of daily Mass accosted me, sneering with venom, “You really believe Jesus is present in that piece of bread?” Shocked by their hate-filled tone, I could say nothing for what seemed like eternity; but after probably less than a minute, I managed to stammer, “Yes… I do.” That shocking and embarrassing moment, to my surprise, led ever so gradually to new gratitude for the gift of the Eucharistic faith and a deeper conviction about daily Mass and Eucharistic adoration. It also taught me to expect my faith in our Eucharistic Savior to face scorn and contradiction.
4. I invite you in this Exhortation to “put out into the deep” (Lk 5:4). Whether your faith in the Eucharist is strong or weak, whether you consider the Church your Home or you have recently decided to disassociate, or even if you have no faith at all, my sincere hope is that a true “Eucharistic amazement” will be ignited within you.
5. The People of Israel faced many obstacles, challenges, and sufferings as they crossed the desert and entered the Promised Land. But God had assured them of His presence and guidance on their arduous sojourn. In the Ark of the Covenant, they recognized the presence of God. Into battles and in dangerous lands, wherever the Israelites went, the Ark went with them because it assured them that God would be with them to fight their battles, to care for them and protect them. For this reason, the Ark became a powerful and enduring image of God’s presence.
6. When the People of Israel were preparing to cross the Jordan river and enter the Promised Land, Joshua stressed the importance of following the Ark: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord being carried, you are to set out from your positions and follow it… so that you can see the way to go, since we have never been this way before” (Josh. 3:2-4). This instruction was addressed to a people who would face the dangers of the crossing and the challenges and threats that awaited them in an unknown land.
To be continued…
Catechism of the Catholic Church
III. The Aim and Intended Readership of the Catechism
11 This catechism aims at presenting an organic synthesis of the essential and fundamental contents of Catholic doctrine, as regards both faith and morals, in the light of the Second Vatican Council and the whole of the Church's Tradition. Its principal sources are the Sacred Scriptures, the Fathers of the Church, the liturgy, and the Church's Magisterium. It is intended to serve "as a point of reference for the catechisms or compendia that are composed in the various countries".
12 This work is intended primarily for those responsible for catechesis: first of all the bishops, as teachers of the faith and pastors of the Church. It is offered to them as an instrument in fulfilling their responsibility of teaching the People of God. Through the bishops, it is addressed to redactors of catechisms, to priests, and to catechists. It will also be useful reading for all other Christian faithful.
· Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Catholic Politian’s and Leaders
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896