First Sunday of Lent, Called “Invocabit”
Judith, Chapter 11,
Then Holofernes said to her: “Take
courage, woman! Have no FEAR in your
heart! I have never harmed anyone who chose to serve Nebuchadnezzar, king of
all the earth.
meets the beast while he is reclining in bed. He wants her almost as much as
servant of the King of Assyria, tells the apple of his eye assuming she serves
his king to take courage. He is blinded to the fact that she serves the King of
Kings, the Lord of Lords and is a servant of Yahwah. Holofernes promises good
treatment for a servant of Nebuchadnezzar. Judith answer is a mixture of
cunning and truth. She states, “If you follow the words of your maidservant,
God will successfully perform a deed through you, and my lord will not fail to
achieve his designs.” She flatters and he loves it. In truth she states:
for Achior’s speech in your council, we have heard it…So then, my lord and
master, do not disregard his word, but bear it in mind, for it is true. Indeed,
our people are not punished, nor does the sword prevail against them, except
when they sin against their God.
now their sin* has caught up with them, by which
they will bring the wrath of their God upon them when they do wrong; so that my
lord will not be repulsed and fail, but death will overtake them. Because their
food has given out and all their water is running low, they have decided to
kill their animals, and are determined to consume all the things which God in
his laws has forbidden them to eat.
have decided that they would use the first fruits of grain and the tithes of
wine and oil, which they had consecrated and reserved for the priests who
minister in the presence of our God in Jerusalem—things which the people should
not so much as touch with their hands.
soon as I, your servant, learned all this, I fled from them. God has sent me to
perform with you such deeds as will astonish people throughout the whole earth
who hear of them.
As the Israelites did indeed hunger and thirst for food and water; let us hunger and thirst for our Lord in the Eucharist.
THE LORD'S DAY HOLY
The Day of the Risen Lord
and of the Gift
of the Holy Spirit
The day of the new creation
24. A comparison of the Christian
Sunday with the Old Testament vision of the Sabbath prompted theological
insights of great interest. In particular, there emerged the unique connection
between the Resurrection and Creation. Christian thought spontaneously linked
the Resurrection, which took place on "the first day of the week",
with the first day of that cosmic week (cf. Gn 1:1 - 2:4) which shapes
the creation story in the Book of Genesis: the day of the creation of light
(cf. 1:3-5). This link invited an understanding of the Resurrection as the
beginning of a new creation, the first fruits of which is the glorious Christ,
"the first born of all creation" (Col 1:15) and "the
first born from the dead" (Col 1:18).
First Sunday of Lent, Called
Sunday is called Invocabit from the first word of the Introit. All the Sundays
of Lent and those from Easter to Pentecost take their names from the Introits
of the Mass. In the Introit of this day, we are told: He shall cry to Me, and I
will hear him; I will deliver him and glorify him; I will fill him with length
of days. He that dwelleth in the aid of the Most High shall abide under the
protection of the God of heaven (Ps. xc. 15, 16, 1).
Prayer of the Church
O God, Who dost purify Thy Church by the yearly
observance of Lent, grant to Thy servants that what they endeavor to obtain of
Thee by abstinence they may secure by good works.
EPISTLE, Cor. vi.
We do exhort you, that you receive not the grace of God in vain: for He saith:
In an accepted time have I heard thee: and in the day of salvation have I
helped thee. Behold now is the acceptable time: behold now is the day of
salvation; giving no offence to any man, that our ministry be not blamed: but
in all things let us exhibit ourselves as the ministers of God, in much
patience, in tribulation, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in
prisons, in seditions, in labors, in watching’s, in fasting’s, in chastity, in
knowledge, in long-suffering, in sweetness, in the Holy Ghost, in charity
unfeigned, in the word of truth, in the power of God, by the armor of justice
on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good
report: as deceivers, and yet true: as unknown, and yet known: as dying, and
behold we live: as chastised, and not killed: as sorrowful, yet always
rejoicing: as needy, yet enriching many: as having nothing, and possessing all
things. By this epistle the Church admonishes us to profit by Lent as a season
of grace, to spend it in earnestly combating sin and in the diligent
performance of good works.
GOSPEL. Matt. iv.
At that time: Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert, to be
tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights,
afterwards He was hungry. And the tempter coming, said to Him: If Thou be the
Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. Who answered and said: It
is written, Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth
from the mouth of God. Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, and
set Him upon a pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him: If Thou be the Son of
God, cast Thy self-down; for it is written that He hath given His angels charge
over Thee, and in their hands shall they bear Thee up, lest perhaps Thou dash
Thy foot against a stone. Jesus said to him: It is written again:
Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil took Him up into a very high
mountain: and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them,
and said to Him: All these will I give Thee, if falling down Thou wilt adore
me. Then Jesus saith to him: Begone, Satan: for it is written:
The Lord thy God shalt thou adore and Him only shalt thou serve. Then
the devil left Him: and behold angels came and ministered to Him.
Savior was led by the Holy Ghost into the desert there to prepare by fasting forty
days and nights for His holy ministry. Here the tempter approaches and seeks to
betray Him. After He had overcome the Evil One’s angels came and ministered to
Him: by which we learn that they who overcome temptations enjoy the consolation
and assistance of the angels. This should encourage us to combat joyfully to
What is temptation?
is an inducement to transgress the commandments of God. Temptation comes from
our own concupiscence (James i. 14) for the flesh lusteth against the spirit (Gal.
How does the devil tempt us?
moves the natural concupiscence to such sins as he sees men particularly
inclined to, and then deceives and confuses the man’s mind, that he may not see
clearly either the temporal loss, or the dishonor and danger of sin. He can,
however, do nothing but what God permits. St. Augustine therefore compares him
to a chained dog that can hurt only those who put themselves within his reach.
Does God also tempt us?
James says (i. 13), Let no man, when he is tempted, say that he is tempted by
God; for God is not a tempter of evils, and He tempteth no man; But He allows
us to be tempted, sending us manifold trials.
Does God permit us to be tempted beyond our strength?
for He combats with us and gives you always as much strength as is required to
conquer temptations, and even to gain advantage from them (i. Cor. x. 13).
When do we consent to temptation?
we decide of our own free will to do the evil proposed; as long as we resist,
however little, we do not consent.
What are the best means to overcome temptation?
Humility and prayer.
The consideration of the suffering which follows sin, and of the happiness
which awaits those who resist temptation.
Invoking the aid of the Blessed Virgin, our guardian angel, and all the saints.
Praying devoutly, lead us not into temptation, and calling on the holy name of
Read: Today’s Gospel tells
the story of Jesus’s
journey into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
Reflect: Every day, but particularly in
Lent, Christians must face a struggle, like the one that Christ underwent in
the desert of Judea, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil, and then
in Gethsemane, when he rejected the most sever temptation, accepting the Father’s will to the very end.
is a spiritual battle waged against sin and finally, against Satan. It is a
struggle that involves the whole of the person and demands attentive and
(Pope Benedict XVI, Homily, March 1, 2006)
Pray: Say something from your heart.
Jesus’s response of “One does not live on bread alone” in mind, think of what ways you
can feed your spiritual life this Lent. Decide to do something during this
Lenten season that will nurture your relationship with God. Consider reading
one of the Psalms on Saturdays, challenge yourself to fast from speaking any
negative or critical word on Fridays, or do an act of generosity on
The Power of God’s Word
When Our Lord overcame the
Devil in the wilderness, He quoted Scripture. In Scripture, the Devil and his
demons go by several names and are portrayed by several vivid images, each one
pointing to some important aspect of
their nature and activity. To know these names and images is to understand
better the kind of opponents we face in spiritual warfare.
Devil, literally, “one who hurls
[himself] across” the path of God’s plan; Mt 4: 1.
Satan, literally, “adversary, attacker”;
Job 1: 6; Mt 4: 10.
Beelzebul, the prince of demons, the name of
a pagan Canaanite god meaning “the Prince-God”; the Jews interpreted the word
as “prince of demons” because they identified false gods with demonic spirits;
Mt 12: 24– 27. The form Beelzebub, used in some Bible translations, is a
contemptuous adaptation of the name that means “Lord of the flies”; see also
Baalzebub as a reference to the Canaanite god in 2 Ki 1: 2– 6.
Serpent, the malicious intruder in
the Garden of Eden who led our first parents into sin; Gn 3: 1; Rv 12: 9.
Demon, from the ancient Greek term for a
lesser deity; St. Paul identified such pagan gods with demonic spirits; 1 Cor
10: 20– 21.
Unclean spirit, in the sense of morally unclean
or impure; Mt 10: 1.
Devotion to the Trinity
The Trinity is the sum, substance, subject and object of our prayer. We are baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. One God, who is three persons, is a mystery too deep for anyone to fathom. St. Teresa of Avila had a vision on the Trinity she stated, “What was represented to me were three distinct persons, for we can behold and speak to each one. Afterward I reflected that only the Son took human flesh, through which this truth of the Trinity was seen. These persons love, communicate with, and know each other…and this is a very great truth…In all three persons there is no more than one will, one power, and one dominion, in such a way that one cannot do anything without the others.”
St. John Paul II stated also, “God in his deepest mystery is not a solitude but a family, since he has in himself fatherhood, sonship, and the essence of family, which is love.” We are created for the sake of love.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, (234) the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in Himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the "hierarchy of the truths of faith". The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men "and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin".
God the Father sent the Son so that we might receive the Spirit. God
became what we are, so that we might become what He is. He assumed our nature,
so that we might share in His. Heaven is nothing other than the sharing, that
communion, and it has begun with our baptism. All the sacraments and all
Catholic liturgy are about the Blessed Trinity. We have been taken up into the
life of the Trinity, even now. We do not have to wait to live in heaven, Heaven
has come to us—though we still await the day of consummation, when we shall be
like Him, for we shall see Him as He is (Jn. 3:2). Our very nature speaks of
the trinity through our Mind, emotions and will. Will to serve!
THE TREE OF HAPPINESS (Cont.)
“The situation is desperate”, King
Richard mentioned to Sir Michael. “The young knights have lost all self-discipline;
they have no love or sense of duty for the kingdom and most of the people never
attend the churches anymore.” King Richard didn’t mention it to Sir Michael,
but his one desire was to have his only daughter, “Dawn Tomorrow”, marry a
Knight and see him Crowned King and Dawn be a mother to a Great Nation. Richard
was a religious King, but due to the duties of his office he found it difficult
to do much else then keep his Knights in check. He wondered if anyone would be
found worthy to take the hand of Dawn Tomorrow in marriage. Utopia was a rich nation,
and the pleasures were many for all who could afford them. Even with heavy
taxes being imposed; most of the peasants in Utopia led lives of relative
richness in material things, but sadly most people lacked true happiness and so
the King asked Sir Michael for his advice. Sir Michael thought about it and
thought about it and could not come up with a solution to the problem. Then at
last he came upon an idea. A Quest! He remembered the legend his mother told
him of when he was a small boy. It was the legend of the Tree of Happiness. The
Tree of Happiness, according to the legend, was also in the Garden of Eden when
God banned Adam & Eve from Eden and although access to the Tree of Life was
guarded by the Angels, it is said that man may still have access to the fruit
of the Tree of Happiness. “That’s it”, Exclaimed Sir Michael. We will have a
crusade to find the Tree of Happiness and bring the fruit back to Utopia. To be continued.
of the Catholic Church
PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST
SECTION TWO-THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
ONE-YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR
SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND
Article 2 THE SECOND COMMANDMENT
I. The Name of the Lord is Holy
2142 The second commandment
prescribes respect for the Lord's name. Like the first commandment, it belongs
to the virtue of religion and more particularly it governs our use of speech in
2143 Among all the words of
Revelation, there is one which is unique: the revealed name of God. God
confides his name to those who believe in him; he reveals himself to them in
his personal mystery. The gift of a name belongs to the order of trust and intimacy.
"The Lord's name is holy." For this reason man must not abuse it. He
must keep it in mind in silent, loving adoration. He will not introduce it into
his own speech except to bless, praise, and glorify it.
2144 Respect for his name is an
expression of the respect owed to the mystery of God himself and to the whole
sacred reality it evokes. the sense of the sacred is part of the virtue of
feelings of fear and awe Christian feelings or not? . . . I say this, then,
which I think no one can reasonably dispute. They are the class of feelings we
should have - yes, have to an intense degree - if we literally had the sight of
Almighty God; therefore they are the class of feelings which we shall have, if
we realize His presence. In proportion as we believe that He is present, we
shall have them; and not to have them, is not to realize, not to believe that
He is present.
2145 The faithful should bear
witness to the Lord's name by confessing the faith without giving way to
fear. Preaching and catechizing should be permeated with adoration and
respect for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2146 The second commandment
forbids the abuse of God's name, i.e., every improper use of the names of God,
Jesus Christ, but also of the Virgin Mary and all the saints.
2147 Promises made to others in
God's name engage the divine honor, fidelity, truthfulness, and authority. They
must be respected in justice. To be unfaithful to them is to misuse God's name
and in some way to make God out to be a liar.
2148 Blasphemy is directly
opposed to the second commandment. It consists in uttering against God -
inwardly or outwardly - words of hatred, reproach, or defiance; in speaking ill
of God; in failing in respect toward him in one's speech; in misusing God's
name. St. James condemns those "who blaspheme that honorable name [of
Jesus] by which you are called." The prohibition of blasphemy extends
to language against Christ's Church, the saints, and sacred things. It is also
blasphemous to make use of God's name to cover up criminal practices, to reduce
peoples to servitude, to torture persons or put them to death. the misuse of
God's name to commit a crime can provoke others to repudiate religion.
Blasphemy is contrary to the respect due God and his holy name. It is in itself a grave sin.
2149 Oaths which misuse God's
name, though without the intention of blasphemy, show lack of respect for the
Lord. The second commandment also forbids magical use of the divine name.
is great when spoken with respect for the greatness of his majesty. God's name
is holy when said with veneration and fear of offending him.
Today is the Feast of St. Bernadette Soubirous
Muffins for Our Lady
(Blue) French Meal for Our Lady of Lourdes
Grotto for Our Lady
Immaculate Conception (An all-white dinner!)
Coffee with Christ
Christ sips his coffee and looks at me and says, “Joy and Peace” comes to those who trust in me. Have faith I lived, I died, and I rose from the grave. I left a record of my resurrection in my Shroud and in miracles of the Eucharist. I live in the tabernacle to enrich you and your brothers and sisters with life eternal. Give Glory to God the Father for His mercy is the way of joy and peace.
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.
The Collegeville Bible Commentary,
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual
Warfare. TAN Books.
 Hahn, Scott, Signs of Life; 40
Catholic Customs and their biblical roots. Chap. 34. Devotion to the Trinity.
ONE YEAR AGO
|March 17, 2024
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, its equivalent, the Sunday before Great Lent, is called "Forgiveness Sunday", "Maslenitsa Sunday", or "Cheesefare Sunday".