NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
Start March 12 to December 12

Wednesday, February 28, 2028

 Wednesday in the Second Week of Lent 

Ester, Chapter 5, Verse 9

That day Haman left happy and in good spirits. But when he saw that Mordecai at the royal gate did not rise, and showed no FEAR of him, he was filled with anger toward him. 

Change one letter in the name of Haman and it becomes human. How many times have you been in good spirits and happy when bam all of the sudden something upsets you and now you are in the pit of despair. Haman was happy because his pride was enriched, and he saw himself a god and then upon exiting the gate of the palace that Jew Mordecai was sitting at the gate and refused to stand and showed no fear of the great and powerful Haman and reminded him he is mortal. Bam-get even time. Haman goes home and brews telling his perfectly evil mate Zeresh. 

Devil Woman[1]

Together with her husband, Haman, she plotted to annihilate the entire Jewish nation and to hang Mordecai upon towering gallows. Thankfully, we know how well her plans worked out in the end… Every Purim, in the Shoshanat Yaakov poem, we memorialize her wickedness by gleefully singing, “Cursed be Zeresh, wife of [Haman], who terrorized me.”

Who Was Zeresh? 

Zeresh’s name appears twice in the Book of Esther, both times as an advisor to her husband. She is the one who suggests that Haman rid himself of Mordechai by hanging him on a gallow 50 cubits tall. In her second appearance, she advises him that he will never be able to vanquish Mordechai but will instead fall ignobly. Combing through the classic sources, we can piece together some parts of her personality. Her father was Tattenai, “the ruler of across the river, who makes an appearance in the Book of Ezra when he tries (unsuccessfully) to halt the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. In the first chapter of the Book of Esther, Queen Vashti refuses her drunken husband’s order to appear before him at the feast. The king consults with his wise men, and one Memuchan advises him to dispose of his rebellious wife and find a better one. Some say that Memuchan is a pseudonym for Haman, who wished to take revenge against Vashti for not inviting his wife, Zeresh, to her party for women.

Her Advice. The sources describe Zeresh as a very wise woman who even knew the secrets of sorcery. According to the Midrash, Haman had 365 advisors, but Zeresh’s advice was the best he received. She found an original way to kill Mordechai, one that had never been tried, telling her husband: You must remember that Mordechai is a Jew. If you try to kill him with a sword, know that Pharaoh attempted to decapitate Moses and failed. If you wish to stone him, remember how David slew Goliath with stones. If you try to drown him, remember how G‑d tore the sea before Israel. If you want to exile him to the desert, remember how Israel wandered in the desert for forty years and thrived. Joseph was released from jail and became the viceroy. Chananya, Mishael and Azarya went out from a fiery furnace, and Daniel left the lion’s den. Don’t try to blind him; remember how many people Samson killed whilst sightless. There is one remaining way for you: hang Mordechai on a tree. (We see this done to Christ and see how that worked for the evil forces.) Not satisfied with simply advising, Zeresh went with her husband to find the tallest tree in Shushan, which turned out to be quite a thorny specimen. With the tree chosen, the Book of Esther tells us, Haman ran to the king’s palace to discuss his plans to hang Mordechai upon it. Yet, in a divinely orchestrated twist of events, he soon found himself leading Mordechai through the streets of Shushan shouting, “Thus shall be done to the man whom the king wishes to honor!” Returning home, he meets his wife, who tells him, “Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him—you will surely fall before him!"

Zeresh’s Legacy. Scripture is silent regarding the end of her life. Tradition tells us that after Haman was hanged on the tree that he had prepared for Mordecai, Zeresh fled in disgrace with his remaining 70 sons. They were reduced to begging from door to door in order to stay alive. We remember Zeresh every year when we sing the poem Shoshanat Yaakov after reading the Megillah. Interestingly, some medieval communities would stamp their feet and make noise when Zeresh’s name was mentioned during the Megillah reading, just as we do today when we hear the name of her wicked husband, Haman. In the book Mechir Yayin, Rabbi Moshe Isserles (known as the Ramah, 1530-1572) describes Zeresh as the embodiment of delusion, whose fantasies of honor and wealth distract a person from the worthwhile pursuits of intellectual enlightenment and divine wisdom.

Today let us seek enlightenment and divine wisdom

 from Christ’s mother.


Wednesday in the Second Week of Lent[2]

 

Prayer. regard Thy people, O Lord, we beseech Thee, and grant that we, whom Thou commandath to abstain from carnal food, may also cease from hurtful vices.

 

EPISTLE. Esther xiii. 9-17.

 

In those days Mardochai prayed to the Lord, saying: Oh, Lord, Almighty King, for all things are in Thy power, and there is none that can resist Thy will, if Thou determine to save Israel. Thou hast made heaven and earth, and all things that are under the cope of heaven. Thou art Lord of all, and there is none that can resist Thy majesty. Thou knowest all things, and Thou knowest that it was not out of pride and contempt, or any desire of glory, that I refused to worship the proud Arnan. (For I would willingly and readily for the salvation of Israel have kissed even the steps of his feet.) But I feared lest I should transfer the honor of my God to a man, and lest I should adore anyone except my God. And now, O Lord, O King, O God of Abraham, have mercy on Thy people, because our enemies resolve to destroy us, and extinguish Thy inheritance. Despise not Thy portion, which Thou hast redeemed for Thy self out of Egypt. Hear my supplication, and be merciful to Thy lot and inheritance, and turn our mourning into joy, that we may live and praise Thy name, O Lord, and shut not the mouths of them that sing to Thee, O Lord our God.

 

GOSPEL. Matt. xx. 17-28.


 

At that time: Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples apart, and said to them: Behold we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be betrayed to the chief priests and the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death. And they shall deliver Him to the gentiles to be mocked, and scourged, and crucified, and the third day He shall rise again. Then came to Him the mother of the sons of Zebedee with her sons, adoring and asking something of Him. Who said to her: What wilt thou?

 

She saith to Him: Say that these my two sons may sit, the one on Thy right hand, and the other on Thy left, in Thy kingdom. But Jesus answering, said: You know not what you ask. Can you drink the chalice that I shall drink?

 

They say to Him: We can. He saith to them: My chalice indeed you shall drink but to sit on My right or left hand, is not Mine to give to you, but to them for whom it is prepared by My Father. And the ten hearing it, were moved with indignation against the two brethren. But Jesus called them to Him and said: You know that the princes of the gentile’s lord it over them: and they that are the greater exercise power upon them. It shall not be so among you, but whosoever will be the greater among you, let him be your minister. And he that will be first among you, shall be your servant. Even as the Son of man is not come to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a redemption for many.

 

Lenten Calendar

Read: During Lent, it is important for us to remember the corporal works of mercy, which are found in the teachings of Jesus and give us a model for how we should treat all others: as if they were Christ in disguise. 

Reflect: What small changes would allow you to perform corporal works of mercy: Can you allocate your time differently, so you have a couple extra hours to volunteer? Do you discard food that could instead be donated to a local soup kitchen? When was the last time you participated in a blood drive?

Pray: With mercy on your mind.

Act: Pick one of the seven corporal works of mercy and do it this week! 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION TWO-THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

CHAPTER TWO-YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF

ARTICLE 4-THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT

I. The Family in God's Plan

The nature of the family

2201 The conjugal community is established upon the consent of the spouses. Marriage and the family are ordered to the good of the spouses and to the procreation and education of children. The love of the spouses and the begetting of children create among members of the same family personal relationships and primordial responsibilities.

2202 A man and a woman united in marriage, together with their children, form a family. This institution is prior to any recognition by public authority, which has an obligation to recognize it. It should be considered the normal reference point by which the different forms of family relationship are to be evaluated.

2203 In creating man and woman, God instituted the human family and endowed it with its fundamental constitution. Its members are persons equal in dignity. For the common good of its members and of society, the family necessarily has manifold responsibilities, rights, and duties.

The Christian family

2204 "The Christian family constitutes a specific revelation and realization of ecclesial communion, and for this reason it can and should be called a domestic church." It is a community of faith, hope, and charity; it assumes singular importance in the Church, as is evident in the New Testament.

2205 The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit. In the procreation and education of children it reflects the Father's work of creation. It is called to partake of the prayer and sacrifice of Christ. Daily prayer and the reading of the Word of God strengthen it in charity. the Christian family has an evangelizing and missionary task.

2206 The relationships within the family bring an affinity of feelings, affections and interests, arising above all from the members' respect for one another. The family is a privileged community called to achieve a "sharing of thought and common deliberation by the spouses as well as their eager cooperation as parents in the children's upbringing."

Every Wednesday is Dedicated to St. Joseph

The Italian culture has always had a close association with St. Joseph perhaps you could make Wednesdays centered around Jesus’s Papa. Plan an Italian dinner of pizza or spaghetti after attending Mass as most parishes have a Wednesday evening Mass. You could even do carry out to help restaurants. If you are adventurous, you could do the Universal Man Plan: St. Joseph style. Make the evening a family night perhaps it could be a game night. Whatever you do make the day special.

·         Do the St. Joseph Universal Man Plan.

·         Devotion to the 7 Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph

 

 

Coffee with Christ 

Christ sips his coffee and looks at me and says, “My presence is with you therefore rest in me. I am the spouse of your soul therefore maintain your fidelity to me in all things. Avoid things that take your mind, heart, soul, and strength away from the path of righteousness. Be present to the truth.” 

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Binding and suppressing the Devils Evil Works

·         Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 14


·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Rosary


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