NINE-MONTH NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

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

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

 


Introduction to Second book of Maccabees[1]

 

The author of this book focuses on the Maccabean Revolt against Antiochus IV Epiphanes and concludes with the defeat of the Syrian general Nicanor in 161 BC by Judas Maccabeus, the hero of the hard work. Unlike 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees was written in Koine Greek, probably in Alexandria, Egypt, c 124 BC. It presents a revised version of the historical events recounted in the first seven chapters of 1 Maccabees, adding material from the Pharisaic tradition, including prayer for the dead and a resurrection on Judgment Day. Catholics and Eastern Orthodox consider the work to be canonical and part of the BibleProtestants and Jews reject most of the doctrinal issues present in the work. Some Protestants include 2 Maccabees as part of the Biblical Apocrypha, useful for reading in the church.   Unlike 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees does not attempt to provide a complete account of the events of the period. The author seems primarily interested in providing a theological interpretation of the events; in this book God's interventions direct the course of events, punishing the wicked and restoring the Temple to his people. It has been suggested that some events appear to be presented out of strict chronological order to make theological points, but there seems little reason to expect a sequential chronology anyway, and little evidence for demonstrating the point one way or the other. Some of the numbers cited for sizes of armies may also appear exaggerated, though not all of the manuscripts of this book agree. The Greek style of the writer is very educated, and he seems well-informed about Greek customs. The action follows a very simple plan: after the death of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Feast of the Dedication of the Temple is instituted. The newly dedicated Temple is threatened by Nicanor, and after his death, the festivities for the dedication are concluded. A special day is dedicated to commemorate the Jewish victory called "Adar" and each year it is celebrated two days before "Mordecai Day". 2 Maccabees demonstrates several points of doctrinal interpretation deriving from Pharisaic Judaism, and also found in Catholic and Eastern Orthodox theology. Doctrinal issues that are raised in 2 Maccabees include:

 

·         Prayer for the dead and sacrificial offerings, both to free the dead from sin

·         Merits of the martyrs

·         Intercession of the saints (15:11–17) (at least as seen from a Christian viewpoint); the New American Bible comments on verse 14 "Jeremiah’s prayer in heaven has been taken in the Roman Catholic tradition as a biblical witness to the intercession of the saints"

·         Resurrection of the dead

 

Specific mention of creation ex nihilo (II Maccabees 7:28)

In particular, the long descriptions of the martyrdoms of Eleazar and of a mother with her seven sons (2 Macc 6:18–7:42) caught the imagination of medieval Christians. Several churches are dedicated to the "Maccabeean martyrs", and they are among the few pre-Christian figures to appear on the Catholic calendar of saints' days (that number is considerably higher in the Eastern Orthodox churches' calendars, where they also appear). The book is considered the first model of the medieval stories of the martyrs. Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin examines Hebrews 11:35 ("Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life") and notes that this hope of eternal life after torture is not found anywhere in the Protocanonicals of the Old Testament, but is found in 2 Maccabees 7. 

MARCH 27 Wednesday of Holy Week Spy Wednesday 

2 Maccabees, Chapter 3, Verse 25

There appeared to them a richly caparisoned horse, mounted by a FEARSOME rider. Charging furiously, the horse attacked Heliodorus with its front hooves. The rider was seen wearing golden armor. 

A caparisoned horse would be a horse that has its mane and tail decoratively tied and saddle and accoutrements highly decorative with the rider in a golden armor being of kingly or princely rank. This imagery noted shows that God will defend His temple. Heliodorus was on a mission to defraud the temple of its funds when he was struck down by this vision. In many respects it is a shadow of the conversion of Saul when God defends the living temples of His church the new Christians. 

The True Temple of God 

Some thousand years before the time of Christ, the great Temple of Solomon was built. Previously, the tribes of Israel had worshipped God in sanctuaries housing the ark of the covenant. King David had desired to build a permanent house of God for the ark. But that work was accomplished by his son Solomon, equally famous for his wisdom and his eventual corruption. In the Old Testament, the Temple is often referred to as "the house of the Lord." Sometimes it is called "Zion," as in today's Psalm, a term that also referred to the city of Jerusalem. The Temple was a barometer of sorts for the health of the covenantal relationship between God and the people. Many prophets warned that a failure to uphold the Law and live the covenant would result in the destruction of the Temple. The prophet Jeremiah, for example, warned that having the temple couldn't protect the people from the consequences of their sins: "Put not your trust in these deceitful words: 'This is the Temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord'" (Jer 7:4). In 587 B.C., the Temple was destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians, marking the start of the exile. During that time, in the 25th year of exile, the prophet Ezekiel had a vision of a new temple (see Ez 40-48). The description of the temple hearkened back in various ways to the first chapters of Genesis (see 2:10-14), including references to pure water, creatures in abundance and unfading trees producing continuous fresh fruit. This heavenly temple, it was commonly believed, would descend from heaven and God would then dwell in the midst of mankind. After the exile, the Temple was rebuilt, then damaged and rebuilt again. Finally, not long before the birth of Christ, Herod built a glorious temple. It was there that Jesus was presented by Mary and Joseph and blessed by Simeon (see Lk 2:22-35) and where he, as a youth, spent time talking to the teachers of the Law (Lk 2:43-50). It was also the setting for the scene described in the Gospel -- the cleansing of the Temple and Jesus' shocking prophecy: "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." Was Jesus, in cleansing the Temple, attacking the Temple itself? No. And did Jesus, in making his remark, say he would destroy the temple? No. But, paradoxically, the love of the Son for his Father and his Father's house did point toward the demise of the Temple. "This is a prophecy of the Cross," wrote Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in "The Spirit of the Liturgy." "He shows that the destruction of his earthly body will be at the same time the end of the Temple." Why? Because a new and everlasting Temple was established by the death and resurrection of the Son of God. "With his resurrection the new Temple will begin: the living body of Jesus Christ, which will now stand in the sight of God and be the place of all worship. Into this body he incorporates men." The new Temple of God did, in fact, come down from heaven. It dwelt among man (see Jn 1:14). "It" is a man: "Christ is the true temple of God, 'the place where his glory dwells'; by the grace of God, Christians also become temples of the Holy Spirit, living stones out of which the Church is built" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1197). Through baptism we become joined to the one Body of Christ, and that Body, the Church, is the "one temple of the Holy Spirit" (No. 776). "Come! behold the deeds of the Lord," wrote the Psalmist, "the astounding things he has wrought on earth." Indeed, behold Jesus Christ, the true and astounding temple of God, and worship him in spirit and in truth. 

Wednesday of Holy Week[2]

Prayer. 

GRANT, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who are continually afflicted through our excesses, may be delivered by the passion of Thy only- begotten Son. 

EPISTLE. Isaias Ixii. 11, 12; Ixiii. 1-7 

Thus, saith the Lord God: Tell the daughter of Sion Be hold thy Savior cometh: behold His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. And they shall call them, The holy people, the redeemed of the Lord. But thou shalt be called: A city sought after, and not forsaken. 

Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bosra, this beautiful one in His robe, walking in the greatness of His strength? 

I, that speak justice, and am a defender to save. 

Why then is thy apparel red, and thy garments like theirs that tread in the wine press? 

I have trodden the wine- press alone, and of the gentile, there is not a man with Me: I have trampled on them in My indignation, and have trodden them down in My wrath, and their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My apparel. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, the year of My redemption is come. I looked about, and there was none to help: I sought, and there was none to give aid: and My own arm hath saved for Me, and My indignation itself hath helped Me. And I have trodden down the peoples in My wrath, and have made them drunk in My indignation, and have brought down their strength to the earth. I will remember the tender mercies of the Lord, the praise of the Lord for all the things that the Lord our God hath bestowed upon us. 

Instead of the gospel the Church reads to-day: 

THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST,

According to St. Luke xxii. and xxiii. 

At that time: The feast of unleavened bread, which is called the Pasch, was at hand. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might put Jesus to death: but they feared the people. And Satan entered into Judas who was surnamed Iscariot, one of the twelve. And he went and discoursed with the chief priests and the magistrates, how he might betray Him to them. And they were glad and covenanted to give him money. And he promised. And he sought opportunity to betray Him in the absence of the multitude. And the day of the unleavened bread came, on which it was necessary that the Pasch should be killed. And He sent Peter and John, saying: Go and prepare for us the Pasch, that we may eat. 

But they said, where wilt Thou that we prepare? 

And He said to them: Behold, as you go into the city, there shall meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water: follow him into the house where he entereth in: and you shall say to the goodman of the house: 

The Master saith to thee: Where is the guest-chamber, where I may eat the Pasch with My disciples? 

And he will show you a large dining-room furnished: and there prepare. And they going, found as He had said to them, and made ready the Pasch. And when the hour was come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. And He said to them: With desire I have desired to eat this Pasch with you before I suffer. For I say to you, that from this time I will not eat it, till it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And having taken the chalice He gave thanks, and said: Take, and divide it among you. For I say to you, that I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, till the kingdom of God come. And taking bread, He gave thanks, and brake: and gave to them, saying: This is My body which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of Me. In like manner the chalice also, after He had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the New Testament in My blood, which shall be shed for you. But yet behold, the hand of him that betrayeth Me is with Me on the table. And the Son of man indeed goeth, according to that which is determined: but yet wo to that man by whom He shall be betrayed. And they began to inquire among themselves which of them it was that should do this thing. And there was also a strife amongst them, which of them should seem to be greater. And He said to them: The kings of the gentile’s lord it over them: and they that have power over them, are called beneficent. But you not so: but he that is the greater among you, let him become as the younger: and he that is the leader, as he that serveth. 

For which is greater, he that sitteth at table, or he that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at table? 

but I am in the midst of you, as He that serveth: and you are they who have continued with Me in My temptations: and I dispose to you, as My Father hath disposed to Me, a kingdom: that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom: and may sit upon thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not: and thou being once converted, confirm thy brethren. Who said to Him: Lord, I am ready to go with Thee both into prison and to death. And He said: I say to thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, till thou thrice deniest that thou knowest Me. And He said to them: 

When I sent you without purse and scrip and shoes, did you want anything? 

But they said: Nothing. Then said He unto them: But now he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise a scrip: and he that hath not, let him sell his coat, and buy a sword. For I say to you, that this that is written, must yet be fulfilled in Me: And with the wicked was He reckoned. For the things concerning Me have an end. But they said: Lord, be hold here are two swords. And He said to them: It is enough. And going out He went according to His custom to the Mount of Olives. And His disciples also followed Him. And when He was come to the place, He said to them: Pray, lest ye enter into temptation. And He was withdrawn away from them a stone’s cast: and kneeling down He prayed: saying: Father, if Thou wilt, remove this chalice from Me: but yet not My will, but Thine be done. And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven strengthening Him. And being in an agony, He prayed the longer. And His sweat became as drops of blood trickling down upon the ground. And when He rose up from prayer, and was come to His disciples, He found them sleeping for sorrow. And He said to them: 

Why sleep you? 

arise, pray, lest you enter into temptation. As He was yet speaking, behold a multitude: and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near to Jesus for to kiss Him. And Jesus said to him: 

Judas, dost thou betray the Son of man with a kiss? 

And they that were about Him, seeing what would follow, said to Him: 

Lord, shall we strike with the sword? 

And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus answering, said: Suffer ye thus far. And when He had touched his ear, He healed him. And Jesus said to the chief priests, and magistrates of the temple, and the ancients that were come unto Him: 

Are you come out, as it were against a thief, with swords and clubs? 

When I was daily with you in the temple, you did not stretch forth your hands against Me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness. And apprehending Him, they led Him to the high priest’s house. But Peter followed afar off. And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were sitting about it, Peter was in the midst of them. Whom when a certain servant maid had seen him sitting at the light, and had earnestly beheld him, she said: This man also was with Him. But he denied Him, saying: Woman, I know Him not. And after a little while another seeing him, said: Thou also art one of them. But Peter said: O man, I am not. And after the space as it were of one hour, another certain man affirmed, saying: Of a truth this man was also with Him: for he is also a Galilean. And Peter said: Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately as he was yet speaking, the cock crew. And the Lord turning looked on Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, as He had said: Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny Me thrice. And Peter going out wept bitterly. And the men that held Him, mocked Him, and struck Him. And they blindfolded Him, and smote His face. And they asked Him, saying: 

Prophesy, who is it that struck Thee? 

And blaspheming, many other things they said against Him. And as soon as it was day, the ancients of the people, and the chief priests, and scribes came together, and they brought Him into their council, saying: If Thou be the Christ, tell us. And He said to them: If I shall tell you, you will not believe Me. And if I shall also ask you, you will not answer Me, nor let Me go. But hereafter the Son of man shall be sitting on the right hand of the power of God. Then said they all: 

Art Thou then the Son of God? 

Who said: You say that I AM And they said: 

What need we any farther testimony? 

For we ourselves have heard it from His own mouth. And the whole multitude of them rising up, led Him to Pilate. And they began to accuse Him, saying: We have found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Cesar, and saying that He is Christ the King. And Pilate asked Him, saying: 

Art Thou the King of the Jews? 

But He answering, said: Thou sayest it. And Pilate said to the chief priests and to the multitudes: I find no cause in this man. But they were more earnest, saying: He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place. But Pilate hearing Galilee, asked if the man were of Galilee. And when he understood that He was of Herod’s jurisdiction he sent Him away to Herod, who was also himself at Jerusalem in those days. And Herod seeing Jesus was very glad, for he was desirous of a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things of Him: and he hoped to see some sign wrought by Him. And he questioned Him in many words. But He answered him nothing. And the chief priests and the scribes stood by, earnestly accusing Him. And Herod with his army set Him at naught: and mocked Him, putting on Him a white garment, and sent Him back to Pilate. And Herod and Pilate were made friends that same day: for before they were enemies one to another. And Pilate calling together the chief priests, and the magistrates, and the people, said to them: You have presented unto me this man, as one that perverteth the people, and behold I, having examined Him before you, find no cause in this man in those things wherein you accuse Him. No, for Herod neither. For I sent you to him, and behold, nothing worthy of death is done to Him. I will chastise Him therefore, and release Him. Now of necessity he was to release unto them one upon the feast-day. But the whole multitude together cried out, saying: Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas, who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for a murder, was cast into prison. And Pilate again spoke to them, desiring to release Jesus. But they cried again, saying: Crucify Him, crucify Him. And he said to them the third time: 

Why, what evil hath this man done? 

I find no cause of death in Him: I will chastise Him therefore, and let Him go. But they were instant with loud voices requiring that He might be crucified: and their voices prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required. And he released unto them him who for murder and sedition had been cast into prison, whom they had desired: but Jesus he delivered up to their will. And as they led Him away, they laid hold of one Simon of Cyrene, coming from the country: and they laid the cross on him to carry after Jesus. And there followed Him a great multitude of people, and of women who bewailed and lamented Him. But Jesus turning to them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold the day shall come wherein they will say: Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the paps that have not given suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, fall upon us: and to the hills, Cover us. 

For if in the green wood they do these things, what shall be done in the dry? 

And there were also two other malefactors led with Him to be put to death. And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary, they crucified Him there: and the robbers, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. And Jesus said: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. But they dividing His garments, cast lots. And the people stood beholding, and the rulers with them derided Him, saying: He saved others, let Him save Himself, if He be Christ, the elect of God. And the soldiers also mocked Him, coming to Him, and offering Him vinegar, and saying: If Thou be the King of the Jews, save Thyself. And there was also a superscription written over Him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew: THIS is THE KING OF THE JEWS. And one of these robbers who were hanged, blasphemed Him, saying: If Thou be Christ, save Thyself, and us. But the other answering, rebuked him, saying: 

Neither dost thou fear God, seeing thou art under the same condemnation? 

And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done no evil. And he said to Jesus: Lord, remember me when Thou shalt come into Thy kingdom. And Jesus said to him: Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with Me in paradise. And it was almost the sixth hour: and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And Jesus crying with a loud voice, said: Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit. And saying this, He gave up the ghost. [All kneel]. Now the centurion seeing what was done, glorified God, saying: Indeed, this was a just man. And all the multitude of them that were come together to that sight, and saw the things that were done, returned striking their breasts. And all His acquaintance, and the women that had followed Him from Galilee, stood afar off beholding these things. And behold there was a man named Joseph, who was a counsellor, a good and a just man (the same had not consented to their counsel and doings), of Arimathea, a city of Judea, who also himself looked for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And taking Him down, he wrapped Him in fine linen, and laid Him in a sepulcher that was hewed in stone, wherein never yet any man had been laid. 

INSTRUCTIONS ON TENEBRAE 

The prayers and chants sung by the choir on the evenings of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week are called, Tenebrae. The Church thereby expresses her grief over the passion and death of Our Savior, and over the sins which were the cause thereof, in order to move the sinner to return to God. 

Why are these matins called Tenebrae? 

Because they are usually said in the evening, and because, also, they are mournful, and call us to sorrow. 

Why is this service held at night? 

In memory: 

1.      Of the evening when Christ was by force taken prisoner, like a murderer.

2.      Of the darkness which lasted three hours at His crucifixion.

3.      Of the spiritual darkness, confusion, and grief which prevailed in the minds of His disciples during Our Savior’s passion.

4.      Of the darkness which overspread mankind while Jesus was suffering for them.

What is meant by extinguishing, one after another, the twelve lights on the triangular candlestick, and finally all the rest? 

The twelve lights signify the twelve apostles, and the extinguishing of them is to represent how, one after another, they deserted Jesus. The putting out of all the lights reminds us of the darkness which prevailed upon the earth at the death of Jesus, of the blindness of the Jews, and of the gradual extinguishment of belief in Him. 

What is the meaning of the last light, which is hidden for a while, and then brought forth again when all is ended? 

It signifies Christ, whose body was buried in the grave, from which He soon after arose by His own power, and thereby showed Himself more clearly than before to be the Light of the world. 

What is signified by the noise made at the end of; Tenebrae, while the last light is hidden? 

It signifies the earthquake at the death of Jesus. 

Wednesday of Holy Week[3] Spy Wednesday 

The account of Christ's Passion according to St. Luke during the daily Mass; and the nocturnal office of Tenebrae, a sustained reflection on the treachery of Judas, the privation of holiness, and the need for conversion. Tenebrae consists of the divine office of Matins and Lauds for Maundy Thursday. It is generally held on the night of "Spy Wednesday" of Holy Week, so-called because it is believed to be the night on which Judas Iscariot betrayed our Lord. The service thus explores the nature of Judas' betrayal, the mental anguish of our suffering Lord, and the desecration of what was once holy and beautiful. Its ceremonies include the use of a "hearse," a triangular candelabrum that holds fifteen candles which are successively extinguished during the liturgy until the entire church is enveloped in darkness. Only one candle remains lit at the end, which is hidden by the Epistle side of the altar before the Miserere is chanted. The service concludes with a banging noise, followed by silence. The extinction of the fourteen candles calls to mind the fourteen holy men mentioned in the Bible who, from the foundation of the world to the very threshold of Christ's coming, were slain by their own wicked brethren. The hiding of the fifteenth candle, on the other hand, signifies the murder and resurrection of Christ Himself, while the banging noise commemorates the confusion of nature when its Creator died (Mt. 27.51).

The Service of shadows is silenced[4] 

Up to 1955 the three consecutive Tenebrae services for Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, including the typical ceremonies such as the extinguishing of candles, and each of these three services anticipated on the previous day, were widely celebrated as an integral part of the liturgy of Holy Week in churches with a sufficient number of clergy wherever the Roman rite was followed. A rich tradition of music composed for these central occasions had developed. From 1956 to 1970 the practice largely declined: 

The 1955 papal document restored the celebration of Matins and Lauds of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday to their original timing as 

·         morning services, with only a little allowance for anticipating any of them on the evening before. On these three days attention shifted from what became morning services to the services that were now to be held in the afternoon or evening. Communal celebration of Matins and Lauds became limited generally to communities that observed the full Divine Office in congregational form. Matins and Lauds, having lost their exceptional character, provided composers with little incentive to produce new music for them and there was no demand for grand performances of the existing music earlier composed for Tenebrae.

·         The Roman Breviary, as updated in 1961, did not mention any specific Tenebrae ceremonies to accompany the no longer anticipated Matins and Lauds of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

·         Finally, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, Matins and Lauds throughout the year were completely reformed. Matins, for instance, no longer had the nine psalms and Lauds the five psalms that determined the number of candles extinguished in the Tenebrae celebration. 

Lenten Calendar[5] 

Read: “Out of love he chose ‘to empty himself’ and make himself our brother; out of love he shared our condition, that of every man and every woman.” (Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, April 8, 2009) 

Reflect: Watch a video reflection on the day’s readings. 

Pray: Pray in thanksgiving for the challenges that were presented to you during this Lenten season and the spiritual growth you experienced. 

Act: Before embarking on these next three days of the Triduum, remember that in the end, God wins the day. Our long fast is followed by the greatest of feasts. Before long, we will be sharing Easter joy! 

Aids in Battle[6] The Enemy’s Strategies

·         The adversary of our human nature examines from every side all our virtues: theological, cardinal, and moral. Wherever he discovers the defenses of eternal salvation to be the weakest and most lacking, there he attacks and tries to take us by storm. ST. IGNATIUS LOYOLA

·         [St. Catherine of Siena reports that Our Lord said to her:] I have told you that the Devil invites men to the water of death— that is, to the things he has. Then, blinding them with the pleasures and circumstances of the world, he catches them with the hook of pleasure through the lure of something good. He could catch them in no other way; they would not allow themselves to be caught if they saw that no good or pleasure for themselves could be obtained in this manner. For the soul, by her very nature, always relishes good. Yet it is true that the soul, blinded by self-love, does not know and discern what is truly good and profitable to the soul and to the body. So, the Devil, seeing them blinded by self-love, wickedly places before these souls diverse and various delights, colored so as to have the appearance of some benefit or good. He tempts each one, according to his condition, to those principal vices to which that soul seems to be most disposed.

·         When the sly demon, after using many devices, fails to hinder the prayer of the diligent, he desists for a little while. But when the man has finished his prayers, the demon takes his revenge. He either fires the man’s anger and thus destroys the good condition produced by prayer, or he excites an impulse toward some animal pleasure and thus mocks the man’s mind. ST. NILUS OF SINAI

Timeline of Holy Week[7] 

·         Wednesday, the supper and anointing in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper. (Mt 26:6-13; Mk 14:3-9; Jn 12:1-8) Mark’s account is just after he says that it was two days before Passover.

·         The Bible doesn't say what the Lord did on the Wednesday of Passion Week. Scholars speculate that after two exhausting days in Jerusalem, Jesus and his disciples spent this day resting in Bethany in anticipation of Passover. Just a short time previously, Jesus had revealed to the disciples, and the world, that he had power over death by raising Lazarus from the grave. After seeing this incredible miracle, many people in Bethany believed that Jesus was the Son of God and put their faith in him. Also, in Bethany just a few nights earlier, Lazarus' sister Mary had lovingly anointed the feet of Jesus with expensive perfume. 

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 8-THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT

III. Offenses Against Truth

2475 Christ's disciples have "put on the new man, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." By "putting away falsehood," they are to "put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander."

2476 False witness and perjury. When it is made publicly, a statement contrary to the truth takes on a particular gravity. In court it becomes false witness. When it is under oath, it is perjury. Acts such as these contribute to condemnation of the innocent, exoneration of the guilty, or the increased punishment of the accused. They gravely compromise the exercise of justice and the fairness of judicial decisions.

2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:
- of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;
- of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them;
- of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.

2478 To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor's thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:

Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another's statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. and if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.

2479 Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one's neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity.

2480 Every word or attitude is forbidden which by flattery, adulation, or complaisance encourages and confirms another in malicious acts and perverse conduct. Adulation is a grave fault if it makes one an accomplice in another's vices or grave sins. Neither the desire to be of service nor friendship justifies duplicitous speech. Adulation is a venial sin when it only seeks to be agreeable, to avoid evil, to meet a need, or to obtain legitimate advantages.

2481 Boasting or bragging is an offense against truth. So is irony aimed at disparaging someone by maliciously caricaturing some aspect of his behavior.

2482 "A lie consists in speaking a falsehood with the intention of deceiving." The Lord denounces lying as the work of the devil: "You are of your father the devil, . . . there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

2483 Lying is the most direct offense against the truth. To lie is to speak or act against the truth in order to lead into error someone who has the right to know the truth. By injuring man's relation to truth and to his neighbor, a lie offends against the fundamental relation of man and of his word to the Lord.

2484 The gravity of a lie is measured against the nature of the truth it deforms, the circumstances, the intentions of the one who lies, and the harm suffered by its victims. If a lie in itself only constitutes a venial sin, it becomes mortal when it does grave injury to the virtues of justice and charity.

2485 By its very nature, lying is to be condemned. It is a profanation of speech, whereas the purpose of speech is to communicate known truth to others. the deliberate intention of leading a neighbor into error by saying things contrary to the truth constitutes a failure in justice and charity. The culpability is greater when the intention of deceiving entails the risk of deadly consequences for those who are led astray.

2486 Since it violates the virtue of truthfulness, a lie does real violence to another. It affects his ability to know, which is a condition of every judgment and decision. It contains the seed of discord and all consequent evils. Lying is destructive of society; it undermines trust among men and tears apart the fabric of social relationships.

2487 Every offense committed against justice and truth entails the duty of reparation, even if its author has been forgiven. When it is impossible publicly to make reparation for a wrong, it must be made secretly. If someone who has suffered harm cannot be directly compensated, he must be given moral satisfaction in the name of charity. This duty of reparation also concerns offenses against another's reputation. This reparation, moral and sometimes material, must be evaluated in terms of the extent of the damage inflicted. It obliges in conscience.

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

 Dara’s Corner

 

https://stanthonysmonastery.org/ 

Coffee with Christ 

Christ sips his coffee and looks at me and says, “I have given you victory over death, and I have forgiven all your sins which you have committed for mercy is greater than justice. Ask and you will receive. Do likewise for others.” 

Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Protection of Life from Conception until natural death.

·         Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Make reparations to the Holy Face

·         30 Days with St. Joseph Day 8

·         International Whisk(e)y Day

·         National Spanish Paella Day

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Universal Man Plan









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