Second Sunday After Epiphany
66, verse 16
Come and hear, all you who FEAR God, while I recount what has been done for me.
It is just that we recount how God has removed our faults and how he imputes no guilt on us when we sincerely repent and turn away from our sins and ask for forgiveness. Once He has freed us, it is then that we can gratefully receive the counsels of the Holy Spirit which show us our path.
The Shema Yisrael which is the same prayer the Christ prayed every morning tells us that God is to be loved.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your Heart, and with all your soul, and with your entire mind, and with all your strength.
Christ is the living example of God’s love for us. His heart could not rest until He repaid our debt. His soul was so tormented for love of us that He sweated blood in the garden for us. His mind was ever on us when He multiplied the loaves or healed the sick and with all His strength, He offered his life as an eternal sacrifice before the Father. He for love of us took the cup and drank it to the dregs during His passion.
To help us understand this love of His for us is the mission of the Confraternity of the Passion International who document the full suffering of our Lord to show us how we are loved knowing that Christ and His mother weep over lost souls and delight over converted ones.
ON KEEPING THE LORD'S DAY HOLY
The Celebration of the Creator's
From the Sabbath to Sunday
18. Because the Third Commandment depends upon the
remembrance of God's saving works and because Christians saw the definitive
time inaugurated by Christ as a new beginning, they made the first day after
the Sabbath a festive day, for that was the day on which the Lord rose from the
dead. The Paschal Mystery of Christ is the full revelation of the mystery of
the world's origin, the climax of the history of salvation and the anticipation
of the eschatological fulfilment of the world. What God accomplished in
Creation and wrought for his People in the Exodus has found its fullest
expression in Christ's Death and Resurrection, though its definitive fulfilment
will not come until the Parousia, when Christ returns in glory. In him,
the "spiritual" meaning of the Sabbath is fully realized, as Saint
Gregory the Great declares: "For us, the true Sabbath is the person of our
Redeemer, our Lord Jesus Christ". This is why the joy with which God, on
humanity's first Sabbath, contemplates all that was created from nothing, is
now expressed in the joy with which Christ, on Easter Sunday, appeared to his
disciples, bringing the gift of peace and the gift of the Spirit (cf. Jn
20:19-23). It was in the Paschal Mystery that humanity, and with it the whole
creation, "groaning in birth-pangs until now" (Rom 8:22), came
to know its new "exodus" into the freedom of God's children who can
cry out with Christ, "Abba, Father!" (Rom 8:15; Gal
4:6). In the light of this mystery, the meaning of the Old Testament precept
concerning the Lord's Day is recovered, perfected and fully revealed in the
glory which shines on the face of the Risen Christ (cf. 2 Cor 4:6). We
move from the "Sabbath" to the "first day after the
Sabbath", from the seventh day to the first day: the dies Domini
becomes the dies Christi!
Second Sunday after Epiphany
Christ manifests His
divinity and His mystical union with the Church with His first miracle at the
Wedding of Cana.
Introit the Church invites us to thank God for the incarnation of His only
begotten Son: “Let all the earth adore Thee, and sing to Thee, O God; let it
sing a psalm to Thy name, shout with joy to God, all the earth, sing ye a psalm
to His name, give glory to His praise”.
and everlasting God, “Who dost govern all things in heaven and on earth,
mercifully hear the prayers of Thy people, and grant us Thy peace in our days”.
Rom. xii. 6-16.
different gifts, according to the grace that is given us: either prophecy, to
be used according to the rule of faith, or ministry in ministering, or he that
teacheth in doctrine, he that exhorteth in exhorting, he that giveth with
simplicity, he that ruleth with carefulness, he that showeth mercy with
cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Hating that which is evil,
cleaving to that which is good: loving one another with the charity of
brotherhood: with honor preventing one another: in carefulness not slothful: in
spirit fervent: serving the Lord: rejoicing in hope: patient in tribulation:
instant in prayer; communicating to the necessities of the saints: pursuing
hospitality. Bless them that persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with
them that rejoice, weep with them that weep: being of one mind one towards
another: not minding high things, but consenting to the humble. Be not wise in
your own conceits.
lesson does the Apostle give us in this epistle?
should hate that which is evil, and love that which is good; that we should
love one another, and practice works of mercy; that we should be solicitous and
fervent, as in the service of God. We should cooperate with the grace of God,
and pray instantly.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUPERIORS.
must expect a severe judgment who seek office only for the sake of emolument,
caring little for their duty, and regarding bribes and presents rather than
give us Thy grace to follow faithfully what St. Paul teaches us of humility and
charity, that we may have compassion on all who are in need, and not exalt
ourselves above our neighbors, but, humbling ourselves with the humble, may
merit, with them, to be exalted. Amen.
John ii. 1-11
that time there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the Mother of Jesus was
there. And Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the marriage. And the
wine failing, the Mother of Jesus saith to Him: They have no wine. And Jesus
saith to her: Woman, what is to Me and to thee? My hour is not yet come. His
Mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye. Now there
were set there six water-pots of stone, according to the manner of the
purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece. Jesus saith to
them: Fill the water-pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And
Jesus saith to them: Draw out now and carry to the chief steward of the feast.
And they carried it. And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine,
and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water: the
chief steward calleth the bridegroom, and saith to him: Every man at first
setteth forth good wine, and when men have well drank, then that which is
worse; but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles
did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples
believed in Him.
Why was Jesus present
at the wedding with His Mother and disciples?
In order there to reveal His majesty, and by that means to establish and
confirm the belief in His divinity.
To show that marriage is pleasing to God.
To let us understand how pious the bridegroom and bride were.
To teach us that those pleasures are permitted which are in accordance with
reason and Christianity, and neither sinful nor leading to sin.
Why did Mary
intercede for the bride and bridegroom when the wine was failing?
She was sorry for them, for she is the tender-hearted mediatrix of the afflicted and destitute. Besides, the number of the guests had been considerably increased by the presence of Jesus and His disciples, so that the wine was not sufficient for all.
What is the meaning of the words, “Woman, what is that to Me and to thee?”
to the idiom of the Hebrew language, they mean as much as, Mother, be not
anxious; I will provide the wine as soon as the hour appointed by My Father is
come. Jesus did not mean to rebuke His Mother, but He thus gave her and all who
were present, to understand that He had not received the power of working
miracles as the son of woman, but that He possessed it as the Son of God and
should use it according to the will of His Father.
Lent is a month away
The Second Sunday in Ordinary Time is
exactly 31 days before Ash Wednesday. The Church has entered Tempus ad Annum,
"The Season Throughout the Year," most commonly referred to as "Ordinary
Time" and will soon enter the six-week period of Lent culminating in
the heart of the Liturgy and the Liturgical Year: Easter, the Paschal Feast. Although
not a liturgical season of the Church, the weeks after Christmas are
unofficially known as "Carnival," a season of balls, parades, parties
and rich food. There is no set beginning as Carnival begins on various dates
all over the world. Rio de Janeiro and Venice begin two and a half weeks before
Ash Wednesday. Most Americans are familiar with the South Louisiana Mardi Gras
which begins on Epiphany.
Regardless of when Carnival begins or
how it is celebrated, the celebration intensifies the closer it gets to the
beginning of Lent and comes to screeching halt on Ash Wednesday.
The word "carnival"
literally means "farewell to meat." In earlier times in the Church,
Lenten fasting, and abstinence had more stringent rules. Foods such as meat,
butter, cheese, milk, eggs, fat, and bacon were all forbidden in Lent, so
Carnival was a time to indulge and use up (and not waste) these foods. While
Lent doesn't have the formerly strict regulations, the word carnival in
a broad sense is also saying farewell to fleshly or worldly pleasures (even if
they are mere indulgences and not sinful) before our Lenten penances and
Carnival's Spiritual Connections
For centuries, all over the world,
this has been known as a time for preparing for Lent. "Preparing for
Lent" is an odd way to describe what goes on during Carnival, but it does
have religious connections. Perhaps some have forgotten the original intention,
but Carnival is a time of mental and physical preparation for the Lenten time
of self-denial. This is a time for family, food and fun before we face Ash
Wednesday and fill our days with prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
Although it seems like such a secular
and materialistic celebration, without the spiritual grounding there can be no
Carnival. As Josef Pieper explains:
Wherever festivity can freely vent itself in all its
possible forms, an event is produced that leaves no zone of life, worldly or
spiritual, untouched.... There are worldly, but there are no purely profane,
festivals. And we may presume that not only can we not find them, but that they
cannot exist. A festival without gods is a non-concept, is inconceivable. For
example, Carnival remains festive only where Ash Wednesday still exists. To
eliminate Ash Wednesday is to eliminate the Carnival itself. Yet Ash Wednesday
is obviously a day in Christendom's liturgical year (Josef Pieper, 1963, pp 33-34).
And Bernard Strasser elaborates on
this spiritual connection:
These carnival days in particular contain a remarkable
lesson of spirituality for us. According to their origin and the Church's
intention they are anything but days of thoughtless conviviality, and certainly
not of dissolute merrymaking. They are not a carryover from pagan times, of
which the Church was unable to destroy the memory and observance. Rather are
they an integral part of the Church year, with the significant task of
illustrating graphically the first part of the Church's sermon text for this season:
"You are fools, all of you who seek your final end in earthly things! I
your Mother will during the coming weeks of Lent show you where true happiness
may be found, Who it is that brought it, and how He merited it for us" (Carnival
and Ashes, Orate Fratres: A
Liturgical Review, Vol. XVII, No. 4,
Of course, over the centuries there
have been abuses of extremes, and the Church has counterbalanced by providing
spiritual balance, such as encouragement for Shriving (confessions), Eucharist
Adoration, especially the Forty Hours devotion before Ash Wednesday.
There is a juxtaposition of Carnival
and Lent. As Pieper mentioned that Carnival festivity "leaves no zone of
life, worldly or spiritual, untouched," similar to our observance of Lent.
The Church gives us this time to reexamine and reorder all aspects of our life.
We can see the contrast of Carnival indulgence and Lenten fasting not just in
foods, but all areas of life.
Balancing Family Fun Time
Maria von Trapp in Around the Year
with the Trapp Family recognized Carnival as a time for family celebration.
She suggested using this time of "merry-making" for dancing, singing,
games, parties and gatherings with family and friends. Perhaps some of her
suggestions seem subdued and old-fashioned for a very electronically connected
generation, but her emphasis was to enjoy the togetherness. Our attention is
focused outward nurturing family connections and friendships, with
opportunities in practicing dancing and music. The opposite is true in the
season of Lent: it is a season to reduce social activities, to turn off the
extra noise and visuals (electronics) and to turn inward to talk to and listen
In the modern world our lives are not
as connected to the days and the seasons of nature except as inconvenience or
enjoyment. Many of us are also disconnected to the rhythm of the Liturgical
Year, with its contrasting seasons and feasts. Maria von Trapp explained this
Nobody could stand a Thanksgiving Day dinner every day of
the year. There can only be mountains if there are also valleys. It is a pity
that the Reformation did away not only with most of the sacraments and all of
the sacramentals, but also, unfortunately, with the very breath of the Mystical
Body — that wonderful, eternal rhythm of high and low tide that makes up the
year of the Church: times of waiting alternate with times of fulfillment, the
lean weeks of Lent with the feasts of Easter and Pentecost, times of mourning
with seasons of rejoicing. Modern man lost track of this. Deep down in the
human heart, however, is imbedded the craving to celebrate, and, in a dumb way,
the other craving to abstain, perhaps to atone. In general, these cravings are
no longer directed in seasonal channels, as they are for the Catholic, or even
for the aborigine who participates in some tribal religious belief.....
It should be our noble right and duty
to bring up our children in such a way that they become conscious of high tide
and low tide, that they learn that there is "a time to weep, and a time to
laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance." The rhythm of nature as it
manifests itself in the four seasons, in day and night, in the individual's
heartbeat and breathing — this rhythm we should learn to recognize, and to
treat with more reverence. Modern man has become used to turning day into night
and night into day according to his whim or pleasure. He has managed to lose
contact completely with himself. He has lost the instinct for the right food
and drink, stuffing himself with huge quantities of the wrong things and
feeding himself sick. But worst of all, and this sounds almost ridiculous, in
the process of growing up he forgot the right kind of breathing....
Again, it is our faithful friend, Holy
Mother Church, who leads her children first back to nature in order to make
them ready to receive supernatural grace. "Gratia supponit naturam."
Looked upon in this light, the weeks
of Carnival are a most necessary time for the individual as well as for
families and communities. This period is set aside for us to "let off
steam," "to have a good time." And for this we need company.
Therefore, Carnival is most obviously the season for parties and family
get-togethers...with the avowed intention of having that good time together.
Carnival is the time to be social, to give and to receive invitations for
special parties. It is the time to celebrate as a parish group... (Maria von
Trapp, Around the Year with the Trapp Family, Carnival
or Mardi Gras).
Mrs. Trapp shared different activities
that her family enjoyed, such as folk dancing, singing folk songs, and playing
games. Growing up my family enjoyed similar ideas, even though we weren't as
musical as the Trapp Family. We loved to learn songs in rounds or harmony to
sing together. Other ideas: taking hikes that end singing around a campfire,
and Bunco parties, which any age can enjoy. Our local homeschool group just had
a sock-hop open to all ages, and checkers and chess tournaments on cold winter days.
Some gatherings can be quiet, like family movie nights with popcorn. And don't
forget just nurturing mothers with little social gatherings, maybe with themes
like a little craft or recipe exchange or just coffee or wine and adult
conversation. I have hosted socials where my friends and family come to learn
and practice writing pysanky (Ukrainian Easter eggs). Later in Lent we have
quiet times where we work on our eggs as meditative work, but during Carnival
time it's more of a fun social gathering. The object is to enjoy this time with
Carnival is a season with a spiritual
focus that encompasses the entire person. It provides contrasts with the
spiritual and material, with feasting and fasting, and with Ordinary Time and
Lent. We can embrace this time and find ways for merry making, focusing on
family and friends to highlight those contrasts in preparation for Lent. Happy
Orthodox New Year is
celebrated as the first day of the New Year as per the Julian calendar.
Orthodox New Year is a celebration of the year to come. It is often
referred to as Old New Year, and is celebrated by Orthodox churches in Russia,
Serbia, and other Eastern European countries on January 14. Although most
countries have adopted the Gregorian calendar, where New Year's Day is January
1, the Orthodox Church still follows the Julian calendar, which places
Christmas on January 7 and New Year's a week later.
Russian Orthodox churches in the United
States hold church services often with festive dinner and dancing to celebrate
the holiday. The traditional dishes include meat dumplings, beet salad,
pickled mushrooms, tomatoes, and cucumbers along with vodka.
Orthodox Serbians also celebrate Old New
Year, which is sometimes called the Serbian New Year. Many Serbians
Orthodox churches hold services, followed by dinner, and dancing.
Although the Old New Year is a popular
holiday for many practicing the Orthodox faith, it isn't an official holiday.
Macedonians, including those living in the
United States, also celebrate Old New Year's with traditional food, folk music,
and visiting friends and family.
· Many Russians enjoy extending the holiday season by including Orthodox New Year in it.
New Year Top Events and Things to Do
Enjoy a dinner dance at Orthodox Church
with native cuisine folk music.
Learn to cook some Russian or Eastern
European dishes. One of the most important Russian dishes during the
holiday season is kutya, a porridge made of grain, honey and poppy seeds.
It symbolizes hope, happiness, and success.
· Rent a movie Dr. Zhivago (1965). It depicts some of the lavish parties held during the holidays right before the Russian Revolution. The film is based on the 1957 novel by Boris Pasternak.
of the Catholic Church
PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST
SECTION ONE-MAN'S VOCATION LIFE IN THE
CHAPTER TWO-THE HUMAN
Article 2-PARTICIPATION IN SOCIAL LIFE
1897 "Human society can be
neither well-ordered nor prosperous unless it has some people invested with
legitimate authority to preserve its institutions and to devote themselves as
far as is necessary to work and care for the good of all."
By "authority" one means the quality by virtue of which persons or institutions make laws and give orders to men and expect obedience from them.
1898 Every human community
needs an authority to govern it. The foundation of such authority lies in
human nature. It is necessary for the unity of the state. Its role is to ensure
as far as possible the common good of the society.
1899 The authority required by
the moral order derives from God: "Let every person be subject to the
governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those
that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore, he who resists the
authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur
1900 The duty of obedience
requires all to give due honor to authority and to treat those who are charged
to exercise it with respect, and, insofar as it is deserved, with gratitude and
Clement of Rome provides the Church's most ancient prayer for political
authorities: "Grant to them, Lord, health, peace, concord, and
stability, so that they may exercise without offense the sovereignty that you
have given them. Master, heavenly King of the ages, you give glory, honor, and
power over the things of earth to the sons of men. Direct, Lord, their counsel,
following what is pleasing and acceptable in your sight, so that by exercising
with devotion and in peace and gentleness the power that you have given to
them, they may find favor with you."
1901 If authority belongs to
the order established by God, "the choice of the political regime and the
appointment of rulers are left to the free decision of the citizens."
The diversity of political regimes is morally acceptable, provided they serve the legitimate good of the communities that adopt them. Regimes whose nature is contrary to the natural law, to the public order, and to the fundamental rights of persons cannot achieve the common good of the nations on which they have been imposed.
1902 Authority does not derive
its moral legitimacy from itself. It must not behave in a despotic manner, but
must act for the common good as a "moral force based on freedom and a
sense of responsibility":
A human law
has the character of law to the extent that it accords with right reason, and
thus derives from the eternal law. Insofar as it falls short of right reason it
is said to be an unjust law, and thus has not so much the nature of law as of a
kind of violence.
1903 Authority is exercised
legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if
it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust
laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not
be binding in conscience. In such a case, "authority breaks down
completely and results in shameful abuse."
1904 "It is preferable that each power be balanced by other powers and by other spheres of responsibility which keep it within proper bounds. This is the principle of the 'rule of law,' in which the law is sovereign and not the arbitrary will of men."
Please pray for the intentions of my daughter Candace Faith, whose name means “Shining Faith” pray that the “Candace can do miracles”!
Today in honor of the Holy Trinity do the Divine Office giving your day to God. To honor God REST: no
shopping after 6 pm Saturday till Monday. Don’t forget the internet.
Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them
in fasting: Today's Fast: Families of St. Joseph Porters
Devout Instructions, 1896.