ST. THOMAS-FULL BUCK MOON
Judges, Chapter 8, Verse 19-20
19“They were my brothers, my mother’s sons,” he said. “As the LORD lives, if you had spared their lives, I would not kill you.” 20Then he said to his firstborn, Jether, “Go, kill them.” But the boy did not draw his sword, for he was AFRAID, for he was still a boy.
Gideon Ushers In a Golden Age of Israel
· Gideon's army continues to pursue the fleeing Midianites, led by their kings Zebah and Zalmunna.
· They pass through the towns of Succoth and Penuel, and both refuse to give food to Gideon's army. This is rude, and Gideon promises he'll make them pay when he's done with Zebah and Zalmunna.
· His army defeats Midian and captures Z&Z.
· On their way back, Gideon captures a young man from Succoth, who identifies the elders and princes of the city that were so inhospitable before.
· Gideon beats them with thorns and briars. That'll teach them!
· He also returns to Penuel and breaks down their tower and kills the men of the city. Seriously—don't mess with Gideon.
· While interrogating Z&Z, Gideon finds out that they killed his brethren in Tabor. Their life expectancy suddenly plummets dramatically.
· Gideon tells his oldest son, Jether, to kill these fools. Jether is still just a boy, though, and he doesn't want to.
· Z&Z say, "You know what, Gid? Why don't you do the honors? You're stronger anyway" (see KJV 8:21).
· So he does, and he takes the ornaments from their camels' necks because, hey, free camel jewelry.
· Israel asks Gideon to be their king, and his sons after him, because he's delivered them from Midian.
· Gideon refuses and tells them that the Lord will be their king.
Jether was still a boy when asked by his father to continue the cycle of violence. Sometimes children are wiser than parents. Children instinctively know that being fair starts with understanding your own shortcomings and listening to that small voice of conscience.
The reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) knew the value of conscience when he stated:
Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love. Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the white man, but to win his friendship and understanding. “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Feast of St Thomas
St. Thomas was one of Jesus' disciples. He is best known for being the one disciple who wanted proof of Jesus' resurrection. St. Thomas is celebrated with a feast day in both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. He is often referred to as Doubting Thomas, and also the name The Twin. Many Christians see themselves in St. Thomas because he doubted the resurrection until he received proof from Christ himself. He also confessed to not understanding Jesus when Christ told his disciples at the Last Supper that he was preparing a place for them.
St Thomas Facts
· An early church text claims that Thomas was the only witness to the Assumption of Mary into heaven. As her body entered heaven, she dropped her girdle. Medieval art often depicts Thomas catching the girdle.
· Thomas didn't believe the apostles when they saw Jesus the first time after the resurrection. He saw Jesus himself during his second appearance and touched the wounds on his hands and side (John 20:24-29).
· Church tradition says that Thomas traveled to eastern lands, including Persia, to evangelize to the people there about Jesus. He is thought to have settled in India.
· The feast day is held July 3, but sermons the following Sunday may also mention St. Thomas and faith. Originally the feast day for St. Thomas was on Dec. 21, the shortest day of the year. All sorts of traditions surrounded the day, including serving meat pies and charitable giving.
St Thomas Top Events and Things to Do
· Read writings by St. Thomas. Several early church documents bearing Thomas' name are popular, including the Gospel of Thomas, which is a collection of Jesus' sayings. Other texts include the Acts of Thomas and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. None of these texts were included in the Bible.
· Thousands of Indians claim to be descendants of the Christians that Thomas helped to convert. Join them on a pilgrimage in Paylador to the traditional spot of Thomas' tomb, Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral of the Syro-Malabar Archdiocese of Trichur (Kerala, India).
· If you are a single woman, try an ancient custom performed on the Feast of St. Thomas to get an idea who you will marry. Unmarried Austrian women would climb into bed over a stool, throw their shoes with toes pointing downward toward the bedroom door, and then sleep with their head at the foot of the bed. Women who performed this ritual were thought to dream about their future husbands.
· Say a blessing prayer for your property on the feast of St. Thomas. An ancient custom was for farmers and their sons or hands to drive off evil spirits in preparation for Christmas. They were sprinkling holy water across the land, while other family members stayed inside and prayed the rosary.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
SECTION TWO-I. THE CREEDS
I BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST, THE ONLY SON OF GOD
ARTICLE 2-"AND IN JESUS CHRIST, HIS ONLY SON, OUR LORD"
III. The Only Son of God
441 In the Old Testament, "son of God" is a title given to the angels, the Chosen People, the children of Israel, and their kings. It signifies an adoptive sonship that establishes a relationship of particular intimacy between God and his creature. When the promised Messiah-King is called "son of God", it does not necessarily imply that he was more than human, according to the literal meaning of these texts. Those who called Jesus "son of God", as the Messiah of Israel, perhaps meant nothing more than this.
442 Such is not the case for Simon Peter when he confesses Jesus as "the Christ, the Son of the living God", for Jesus responds solemnly: "Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven." Similarly Paul will write, regarding his conversion on the road to Damascus, "When he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles..." "and in the synagogues immediately [Paul] proclaimed Jesus, saying, 'He is the Son of God.'" From the beginning this acknowledgment of Christ's divine sonship will be the centre of the apostolic faith, first professed by Peter as the Church's foundation.
443 Peter could recognize the transcendent character of the Messiah's divine sonship because Jesus had clearly allowed it to be so understood. To his accusers' question before the Sanhedrin, "Are you the Son of God, then?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am." Well before this, Jesus referred to himself as "the Son" who knows the Father, as distinct from the "servants" God had earlier sent to his people; he is superior even to the angels. He distinguished his sonship from that of his disciples by never saying "our Father", except to command them: "You, then, pray like this: 'Our Father'", and he emphasized this distinction, saying "my Father and your Father".
444 The Gospels report that at two solemn moments, the Baptism and the Transfiguration of Christ, the voice of the Father designates Jesus his "beloved Son". Jesus calls himself the "only Son of God", and by this title affirms his eternal pre-existence. He asks for faith in "the name of the only Son of God". In the centurion's exclamation before the crucified Christ, "Truly this man was the Son of God", that Christian confession is already heard. Only in the Paschal mystery can the believer give the title "Son of God" its full meaning.
445 After his Resurrection, Jesus' divine sonship becomes manifest in the power of his glorified humanity. He was "designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his Resurrection from the dead". The apostles can confess: "We have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."
Full Buck Moon
According to the almanac today we are having a Full Buck Moon; plan to spend some time, if you are not a hunter, out hiking with your children or grandchildren. In Arizona deer season starts in August but you can hunt Bison and Elk.
· Eat waffles and Pray for the assistance of the Angels
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
· Monday: Litany of Humility
Pop! Boom! Bang! July spells independence, with glorious fireworks nationwide. Celebrate Independence Day with a visit to the annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks display over the Hudson River. And if N.Y.C.’s not on your itinerary, check out more of America’s best fireworks displays — in St. Louis, Addison, Texas and Chicago’s Navy Pier.
· San Fermin Festival (Pamplona, Spain)
Run for your life! Join hundreds of thousands of locals and tourists who flock to the northern Spanish city of Pamplona for the annual San Fermin Festival. At 8 a.m. on July 7, the celebration unfolds with six bulls and another six steers running down a half-mile stretch of narrow streets. The week-long event culminates in a final, grand fight in a bullring.
· July Calgary Stampede
Our "Neighbor to the North" marks its birthday this month. Get in on the festivities during the Calgary Stampede! This 10-day event is Canada’s largest annual rodeo, and one of its largest festivals to boot. Billed as the "Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth," the rodeo draws more than 1 million visitors each year.
McCain, John and Salter, Mark. (2005) Character is destiny. Random House, New York
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.