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Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FORESTS 

1 Maccabees, Chapter 12, Verse 39-42

39Then Trypho sought to become king of Asia, assume the diadem, and do violence to King Antiochus. 40 But he was afraid that Jonathan would not permit him, but would fight against him. Looking for a way to seize and kill him, he set out and came to Beth-shan. 41 Jonathan marched out to meet him with forty thousand picked fighting men and came to Beth-shan. 42 But when Trypho saw that Jonathan had arrived with a large army he was AFRAID to do him violence.

 

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth-yes. Jonathan was speaking softly yet at the same time he was carrying a big stick which was his large army with him. As a former police officer we would in order to prevent any trouble show up in force thus preventing the need to take action.

 

Yet we must always be cautious for often evil men are vile and full of trickery. In this case Jonathan is finally undone for he is sucked into accepting gifts and praise from Trypho thus letting go of his stick; his army and is finally captured and killed.

 

Pride often goes before the fall. Is America doing the same?

 

Flawed Men Seek Love Wrongly[1]

27 The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for:

The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists it is because God has created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator.

28 In many ways, throughout history down to the present day, men have given expression to their quest for God in their religious beliefs and behavior: in their prayers, sacrifices, rituals, meditations, and so forth. These forms of religious expression, despite the ambiguities they often bring with them, are so universal that one may well call man a religious being:

From one ancestor [God] made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him - though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For "in him we live and move and have our being."

29 But this "intimate and vital bond of man to God" (GS 19 § 1) can be forgotten, overlooked, or even explicitly rejected by man. Such attitudes can have different causes: revolt against evil in the world; religious ignorance or indifference; the cares and riches of this world; the scandal of bad example on the part of believers; currents of thought hostile to religion; finally, that attitude of sinful man which makes him hide from God out of fear and flee his call.

30 "Let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice." Although man can forget God or reject him, He never ceases to call every man to seek him, so as to find life and happiness. But this search for God demands of man every effort of intellect, a sound will, "an upright heart", as well as the witness of others who teach him to seek God.

You are great, O Lord, and greatly to be praised: great is your power and your wisdom is without measure. And man, so small a part of your creation, wants to praise you: this man, though clothed with mortality and bearing the evidence of sin and the proof that you withstand the proud. Despite everything, man, though but a small a part of your creation, wants to praise you. You yourself encourage him to delight in your praise, for you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.

Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent[2]

Prayer. 

GRANT, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that the dignity of human nature, wounded by intemperance, may be reformed by healthful abstinence. 

EPISTLE. Daniel iii. 34-45. 

In those days Azarias prayed to the Lord, saying: O Lord our God, deliver us not up forever, we beseech Thee, for Thy name’s sake, and abolish not Thy covenant. And take not away Thy mercy from us for the sake of Abraham Thy beloved, and Isaac Thy servant, and Israel Thy holy one: to whom Thou hast spoken promising that Thou wouldst multiply their seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is on the seashore. For we, O Lord, are diminished more than any nation, and are brought low in all the earth this day for our sins. Neither is there at this time prince, or leader, or prophet, or holocaust, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, or place of first fruits before Thee, that we may find Thy mercy: nevertheless, in a contrite heart and humble spirit let us be accepted. As in holocausts of rams, and bullocks, and as in thousands of fat lambs: so, let our sacrifice be made in Thy sight this day, that it may please Thee: for there is no confusion to them that trust in Thee. And now we follow Thee with all our heart, and we fear Thee, and seek Thy face. Put us not to confusion, but deal with us according to Thy meekness, and according to the multitude of Thy mercy. And deliver us according to Thy wonderful works, and give glory to Thy name, O Lord: and let all them be confounded that show evils to Thy servants, let them be confounded in all Thy might, and let their strength be broken. And let them know that Thou art the Lord, the only God, and glorious over all the world, O Lord our God. 

GOSPEL. Luke vii. 36-50. 

At that time one of the Pharisees desired Him to eat with him. And He went into the house of the Pharisee and sat down to meat. And behold a woman that was in the city a sinner, when she knew that He sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment: and standing behind at His feet, she began to wash His feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment. And the Pharisee, who had invited Him, seeing it, spoke within himself, saying: This man if He were a prophet, would know surely who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth Him: that she is a sinner. And Jesus answering, said to him: Simon, I have somewhat to say to thee. But he said: Master, say it. A certain creditor had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And whereas they had not wherewith to pay, he forgave them both. 

Which therefore of the two loveth him most? 

Simon answering said I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And He said to him: Thou hast judged rightly. And turning to the woman, He said unto Simon: 

Dost thou see this woman? 

I entered into thy house, thou gavest Me no water for My feet: but she with tears hath washed My feet, and with her hairs hath wiped them. Thou gavest Me no kiss: but she, since she came in, hath not ceased to kiss My feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint but she with ointment hath anointed My feet. Wherefore I say to thee: Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much. But to whom less is forgiven, he loveth less. And He said to her: Thy sins are forgiven thee. And they that sat at meat with Him began to say within themselves: 

Who is this that forgiveth sins also? 

And He said to the woman: Thy faith hath made thee safe: go in peace.

Lenten Calendar 

Read: The Servant Songs, Day Four: 

(Within the Book of the Prophet Isaiah we encounter four poetic sections known as the Songs of the Suffering Servant. The specific identity of this Servant of the Lord remains the topic of scholarly debate. Perhaps it refers to the prophet Isaiah himself, perhaps the entire nation of Israel, or possibly the promised Messiah. Christian faith sees these prophetic utterances fulfilled in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Lord.  

Because of the Christian identification of the Suffering Servant with Jesus, the four Servant Songs become a way of encountering the Lord during this Lenten Season. Not only do they give us a sense of the commitment and endurance that characterized his messianic ministry, but they become a way of touching the bruised face of the Messiah, of hearing the resolute determination that sustained him in the midst of trial, and of rejoicing with him in God’s ultimate vindication of his calling and service.) 

The fourth song proclaims the salvific value of the Servant’s innocent suffering that will justify many and blot out their offenses. 

Reflect: Today we reflect on the last of the four Servant Songs.  

Pray: Take time with the fourth Servant Song today. Read from Isaiah 52:13 to Isaiah 53:12. 

Act: Here the prophet proclaims the “prosperity” of God’s servant, but it is not a worldly prosperity accomplished through human wisdom. “Who would believe what we have heard?” God’s silent and afflicted servant prospers through a life given to God as an offering for sin. Through suffering, the servant acquires great wealth and “offspring” before God: many are justified before God, iniquity is removed, wounds are healed, and sinners receive an intercessor. The servant prospers in what is true wealth to God.

 

Aids in Battle [3] The “Our Father” is a battle cry

 

In this prayer, Christ has just spoken of the Evil One, placing us on alert before the battle, reminding us of our enemy, and keeping us from negligence. “For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are Yours” (see Mt 6: 13).

·         The kingdom belongs to God, we should fear no one. For no one can withstand Him or tear apart His Empire.

·         “The power is Yours,” Christ says. For this reason, no matter how many forms your weakness may take, you may still rightly be confident in the battle.

·         “The glory is Yours.” Not only can God free you from the dangers you face; He can also make you glorious and outstanding in battle. His power is great, and His glory is beyond telling— they are both limitless and never come to an end. See how He has in every way anointed you, His champion, and surrounded you with confidence? ST. JOHN

International Day of Forests[4]

International Day of Forests seeks to celebrate forests while providing a platform to raise awareness of the importance of trees. The day also raises awareness of rapid deforestation and educates about the vital role that forests and trees play in sustaining and protecting humans by supplying us with freshwater and oxygen. In fact, forested watersheds and wetlands provide the world with nearly 75% of its accessible freshwater. International Day of Forests was declared in December 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly in an effort to promote the importance of forests to humans and aid in conservation efforts. International Day of Forests is observed annually on March 21st. Since then, International Forest Day has become one of the most influential global events advocating for forest conservation in the world.

International Day of Forests Facts & Quotes

·         According to the UN, forests cover one third of the Earth’s land mass.

·         Nearly one-third of the world's largest cities get their drinking water directly from protected forest areas. Forests act as natural filters for water by removing particles from it such as metals and nitrogen.

·         According to the UN, approximately 1.6 billion people worldwide depend on forests for their livelihood.

International Day of Forests Top Events and Things to Do

·         Join the celebration of the International Day of Forests and World Water Day in the Economic and Social Council Chamber of the UN. Every year they host a meet and greet style event in the chamber that the public can join in on.

·         Watch a movie that advocates for the protection of forests or showcases their rich biological diversity. Some of our favorites are Planet Earth, FernGully: The Last Rainforest, and Wild.

·         Spread awareness on social media by using the hashtags #InternationalDayofForests, #SavetheForests or #IntForestDay.

·         Share your favorite photo of a forest or plant with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN by emailing it to idf@fao.org. The UN will add it to a combined gallery of everyone’s pictures around the world!

·         Read a book that is advocating forest conservation. Some of our favorites are: The Sibley Guide to Trees, The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring, and Forest Ecology.

·         Resources:

o   https://www.trilliontrees.org/

o   https://www.fs.usda.gov/

o   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._National_Forests

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 7-THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT

V. Justice and Solidarity Among Nations

2437 On the international level, inequality of resources and economic capability is such that it creates a real "gap" between nations. On the one side there are those nations possessing and developing the means of growth and, on the other, those accumulating debts.

2438 Various causes of a religious, political, economic, and financial nature today give "the social question a worldwide dimension." There must be solidarity among nations which are already politically interdependent. It is even more essential when it is a question of dismantling the "perverse mechanisms" that impede the development of the less advanced countries. In place of abusive if not usurious financial systems, iniquitous commercial relations among nations, and the arms race, there must be substituted a common effort to mobilize resources toward objectives of moral, cultural, and economic development, "redefining the priorities and hierarchies of values."

2439 Rich nations have a grave moral responsibility toward those which are unable to ensure the means of their development by themselves or have been prevented from doing so by tragic historical events. It is a duty in solidarity and charity; it is also an obligation in justice if the prosperity of the rich nations has come from resources that have not been paid for fairly.

2440 Direct aid is an appropriate response to immediate, extraordinary needs caused by natural catastrophes, epidemics, and the like. But it does not suffice to repair the grave damage resulting from destitution or to provide a lasting solution to a country's needs. It is also necessary to reform international economic and financial institutions so that they will better promote equitable relationships with less advanced countries. The efforts of poor countries working for growth and liberation must be supported. This doctrine must be applied especially in the area of agricultural labor. Peasants, especially in the Third World, form the overwhelming majority of the poor.

2441 An increased sense of God and increased self-awareness are fundamental to any full development of human society. This development multiplies material goods and puts them at the service of the person and his freedom. It reduces dire poverty and economic exploitation. It makes for growth in respect for cultural identities and openness to the transcendent.

2442 It is not the role of the Pastors of the Church to intervene directly in the political structuring and organization of social life. This task is part of the vocation of the lay faithful, acting on their own initiative with their fellow citizens. Social action can assume various concrete forms. It should always have the common good in view and be in conformity with the message of the Gospel and the teaching of the Church. It is the role of the laity "to animate temporal realities with Christian commitment, by which they show that they are witnesses and agents of peace and justice."

Thursday Feast

Thursday is the day of the week that our Lord gave himself up for consumption. Thursday commemorates the last supper. Some theologians believe after Sunday Thursday is the holiest day of the week. We should then try to make this day special by making a visit to the blessed sacrament chapel, Mass or even stopping by the grave of a loved one. Why not plan to count the blessing of the week and thank our Lord. Plan a special meal. Be at Peace.

·         According to Mary Agreda[5] in her visions it was on a Thursday at six o'clock in the evening and at the approach of night that the Angel Gabriel approached and announced her as Mother of God and she gave her fiat.

Best Places to Visit in March

In Salt Lake City, you can expect the last of the snow to be falling in March. The Utah city is surrounded by the Wasatch Mountains, which house dozens of ski resorts. So, if you visit in March, you can still head out to enjoy the slopes and some adrenaline-inducing activities. At this time, the climate in the city center is much milder, though, which is ideal for city sightseeing. Some of the best things to do in Salt Lake City involve sightseeing outdoors, so March is a great time to get the best of both worlds.

Today’s Menu is from UTAH

·         Honey Pistachio Ice Cream

After Dinner Cigars 

Rachel’s Corner

2024 Airshow Calendar[6] 

There is nothing like experiencing the magic of flight firsthand! And with hundreds of airshows and aviation events across North America every year, you might be surprised at how easy it is to get up close and personal with aircraft. Browse our calendar of aviation events below to find an airshow near you! 

Our calendars bring together all the major performer schedules in one place. You can search by start date, event title and location, state/province, country, or filter on your favorite featured performers – like the US Navy Blue Angels – and track their entire season. 

Most calendar entries also link to a related discussion thread on our forums, where you can get more detailed show information like the full list of performers and when tickets go on sale. You might even get some insider tips from fellow airshow fans! 

Although we strive to include every airshow and aviation event in the US and Canada, this list is maintained by a small group of volunteers, and we rely on community input to keep the list complete and correct. If you know of anything that should be added or corrected, please contact us by e-mail, message AirshowStuff on Facebook or Instagram, or post the information in our discussion forums. 

Want to look even further ahead? You can jump to the 2025 Airshow Calendar! 

·         Luke Days March 23-24

·         Motivating Children to Perform Good Deeds

·         Brain Tumor Awareness month

The Iceman’s Air Show 

When I was about 10 years old my father worked for an intercom company called Executone. This was an intercom company that installed communication equipment in large areas such as auditoriums. As so happens my father was assigned to take a flight in a small aircraft the Cessna 150 and I was allowed to come along because I was loved and I could run the small wires in tight places because I was a skinny boy. The trip would take us by this aircraft from Phoenix to Nogales. After we finished the work we got back into the aircraft and on the way back the pilots son who was a year or two older than me was allowed to steer the plane; but then too my surprise the pilot asked me if I wanted to fly (note on this plane the steering wheel could be switch to the passenger side but the pedals were controlled only by the pilot) of course I said YES! The pilot’s son and I switched seats. Once up front in my excitement I grabbed the steering wheel and pulled it back all the way to my chest. Immediately the small plane responded and started a steep climb and the engine started to stall. I could hear the pilot yell. “Put the wheel forward we are stalling.” Immediately I responded by pushing the wheel all the way forward. Again, the plane responded by making a deep dive and started to spin and made the sound like a German Dive Bomber. I could see the ground coming up fast and hear the pilot say, “Pull it up-Pull it up-O God.” I immediately responded and tried to pull the wheel up but in the deep dive it was very hard to pull it up as I pulled with all my strength my arms started to shake and gradually to plane pulled out of the dive sounding like it was falling apart and slowly started to rise after we nearly missed the ground. After that I was able to gain control of the Aircraft when I heard his son say. “Wow we are really going to enjoy this flight.” I flew the plane all the way into Phoenix but the Pilot wouldn’t let me land it. My father was as silent as St. Joseph. Amen. 

Coffee with Christ 

Christ sips his coffee and looks at me and says, “Seek purity by the control of your senses. With your eyes lust not and with your tongue savor your life and the lives of others. Be grateful to our Father for your daily bread. When you feel the love of another or a peaceful breeze, thank our Father for that too. Do not listen to the sounds of chaos and let your heart sing out for the love of the Father; to be happy do the will of our Father. Smell the flowers and cherish all Life. Be open to forfeiting the good things the Father gives you so as to strengthen your self-control and make a cleaning of your past faults which will help to safeguard you against sin in the present and the future; thus, weakening the love of pleasure; and strengthen the love of heavenly things.” 

“Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.”

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: For the intercession of the angels and saints

·         do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         30 Days with St. Joseph Day 2



·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan



[2] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

[3] Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.

[5] Venerable Mary of Agreda. The Mystical City of God: Complete Edition Containing all Four Volumes with Illustrations (p. 770). Veritatis Splendor Publications. Kindle Edition





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