Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 07-24-13, OM, St. Sharbel Makhluf, Priest
Posted on 07/23/2013 9:13:27 PM PDT by Salvation
July 24, 2013
Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 Ex 16:1-5, 9-15
The children of Israel set out from Elim,
and came into the desert of Sin,
which is between Elim and Sinai,
on the fifteenth day of the second month
after their departure from the land of Egypt.
Here in the desert the whole assembly of the children of Israel
grumbled against Moses and Aaron.
The children of Israel said to them,
“Would that we had died at the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt,
as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread!
But you had to lead us into this desert
to make the whole community die of famine!”
Then the LORD said to Moses,
“I will now rain down bread from heaven for you.
Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion;
thus will I test them,
to see whether they follow my instructions or not.
On the sixth day, however, when they prepare what they bring in,
let it be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”
Then Moses said to Aaron, “Tell the whole congregation
of the children of Israel:
Present yourselves before the LORD,
for he has heard your grumbling.”
When Aaron announced this to the whole assembly of the children of Israel,
they turned toward the desert, and lo,
the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud!
The LORD spoke to Moses and said,
“I have heard the grumbling of the children of Israel.
Tell them: In the evening twilight you shall eat flesh,
and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread,
so that you may know that I, the LORD, am your God.”
In the evening quail came up and covered the camp.
In the morning a dew lay all about the camp,
and when the dew evaporated, there on the surface of the desert
were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground.
On seeing it, the children of Israel asked one another, “What is this?”
for they did not know what it was.
But Moses told them,
“This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.”
Responsorial Psalm PS 78:18-19, 23-24, 25-26, 27-28
R. (24b) The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
They tempted God in their hearts
by demanding the food they craved.
Yes, they spoke against God, saying,
“Can God spread a table in the desert?”
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Yet he commanded the skies above
and the doors of heaven he opened;
He rained manna upon them for food
and gave them heavenly bread.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Man ate the bread of angels,
food he sent them in abundance.
He stirred up the east wind in the heavens,
and by his power brought on the south wind.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
And he rained meat upon them like dust,
and, like the sand of the sea, winged fowl,
Which fell in the midst of their camp
round about their tents.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Gospel Mt 13:1-9
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
“A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched,
and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
From: Exodus 16:1-5, 9-15
The Manna and the Quails
 Then the Lord said to Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you;
and the people shall go out and gather a days portion every day, that I may prove
them, whether they will walk in my law or not.  0n the sixth day, when they pre-
pare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.
 And Moses said to Aaron, Say to the whole congregation the people of Israel,
Come near before the Lord, for he has heard your murmurings.  And as Aa-
ron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward
the wilderness and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.  And
the Lord said to Moses,  I have heard the murmurings of the people of Israel;
say to them, At twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall be filled
with bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.
 In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning dew
lay round about the camp.  And when the dew had gone up, there was on the
face of the wilderness a fine, flake like thing, fine as hoar frost on the ground. 
When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, What is it? For they
did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, It is the bread which the Lord
has given you to eat.
16:1-36. The prodigy of the manna and the quails was a very important sign of
Gods special providence towards his people while they were in the desert. It is
recounted here and in Numbers 11, but in both accounts facts are interwoven
with interpretation of same and with things to do with worship and ethics.
Some scholars have argued that the manna is the same thing as a sweet se-
cretion that comes from the tamarisk (tamarix mannifera) when punctured by
a particular insect commonly found in the mountains of Sinai. The drops of this
resin solidify in the coldness of the night and some fall to the ground. They have
to be gathered up early in the morning because they deteriorate at twenty-four
degrees temperature (almost eighty degrees Celsius). Even today desert Arabs
collect them and use them for sucking and as a sweetener in confectionery.
As we know, quails cross the Sinai peninsula on their migrations back and forth
between Africa and Europe or Asia. In May or June, when they return from Afri-
ca they usually rest in Sinai, exhausted after a long sea crossing; they can be
easily trapped at this point.
Although these phenomenon can show where the manna and the quail come
from, the important thing is that the Israelites saw them as wonders worked by
God. The sacred writer stops to describe the impact the manna had on the
sons of Israel. They are puzzled by it, as can be seen from their remarks when
it comes for the first time: What is it? they ask, which in Hebrew sounds like
man hu, that is, manna (v. 15), which is how the Greek translation puts it. In-
deed, the need to collect it every day gave rise to complaints about some peo-
ple being greedy (v. 20) and who did not understand the scope of Gods gift (v.
15). And just as manna is a divine gift to meet a basic human need (nourish-
ment), so too the divine precepts, specifically that of the sabbath, are a free gift
from the Lord (v. 28). So, obedience is not a heavy burden but the exercise of a
capacity to receive the good things that God gives to those who obey him.
The prodigy of the manna will resound right through the Bible: in the Deuterono-
ic tradition it is a test that God gives his people to show them that man does
not live by bread alone, but [...] by everything that proceeds from the mouth of
the Lord (Deut 8:3). The psalmist discovers that manna is the bread of the
strong (of angels, says the Vulgate and the RSV), which God sent in abun-
dance (Ps 78:23ff; cf. Ps 105:40). The book of Wisdom spells out the features
of this bread from heaven ready to eat, providing every pleasure and suited to
every taste (Wis 16:20-29). And the New Testament reveals the full depth of
this spiritual food (1 Cor 10:3), for, as the Catechism teaches, manna in
the desert prefigured the Eucharist, the true bread from heaven (Jn 6:32) (Ca-
techism of the Catholic Church, 1094).
16:2-3. The complaining that usually precedes the desert prodigies (cf. 14:11; 15:
24; 17:3; Num 11:1, 4; 14:2; 20:2; 21:4-5) brings into focus the chosen peoples
lack of faith and hope, and (by contrast) the faithfulness of God, who time and a-
gain alleviates their needs even though they do not deserve it. At the same time,
just as Moses and Aaron listened patiently to complaints, God too is always rea-
dy to dialogue with the sinner, sometimes listening to his complaints and sorting
them out, and sometimes simply giving him a chance to repent: Although God
could inflict punishment on those whom he condemns without saying anything,
he does not do so; on the contrary, up to the point when he does condemn, he
speaks with the guilty person and lets him talk, so as to help him avoid condem-
nation (Origen, Homiliae in leremiam, 1, 1).
Source: The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
From: Matthew 13:1-9
Parable of the Sower
3. Chapter 13 of St. Matthew includes as many as seven of Jesus parables,
which is the reason why it is usually called the parable discourse or the pa-
rabolic discourse. Because of their similarity of content and setting these para-
bles are often called the Kingdom parables, and also the parables of the Lake,
because Jesus taught them on the shore of Lake Gennesaret. Jesus uses these
elaborate comparisons (parables) to explain certain features of the Kingdom of
God which He has come to establish (cf. Matthew 3:2)its tiny, humble origins;
its steady growth; its worldwide scope; its salvific force. God calls everyone to
salvation but only those attain it who receive Gods call with good dispositions
and who do not change their attitude; the value of the spiritual benefits the King-
dom bringsso valuable that one should give up everything to obtain them; the
fact that good and bad are all mixed together until the harvest time, or the time
of Gods judgment; the intimate connection between earthly and heavenly as-
pects of the Kingdom, until it reaches its point of full development at the end
On Jesus lips, parables are exceptionally effective. By using parables He keeps
His listeners attention, whether they are uneducated or not, and by means of
the most ordinary things of daily life He sheds light on the deepest supernatural
mysteries. He used the parable device in a masterly way; His parables are quite
unique; they carry the seal of His personality; through them He has graphically
shown us the riches of grace, the life of the Church, the demands of the faith
and even the mystery of Gods own inner life.
Jesus teaching continues to provide every generation with light and guidance on
moral conduct. By reading and reflecting on His parables one can savor the ado-
rable humanity of the Savior, who showed such kindness to the people who crow-
ded around to hear Himand who shows the same readiness to listen to our pra-
yers, despite our dullness, and to reply to our healthy curiosity when we try to
make out His meaning.
3-8. Anyone who has visited the fertile plain to the west of the Lake of Gennesa-
ret will appreciate Jesus touching description in the parable of the sower. The
plain is crisscrossed by paths; it is streaked with rocky ground, often with the
rocks lying just beneath the surface, and with the courses of rivulets, dry for
most of the year but still retaining some moisture. Here and there are clumps
of large thorn bushes. When the agricultural worker sows seed in this mixed
kind of land, he knows that some seed will fare better than others.
9. Jesus did not explain this parable there and then. It was quite usual for para-
bles to be presented in the first instance as a kind of puzzle to gain the listeners
attention, excite his curiosity and fix the parable in his memory. It may well be
that Jesus wanted to allow his more interested listeners to identify themselves
by coming back to hear Him againas happened with His disciples. The rest
who listened out of idle curiosity or for too human reasons (to see Him work mi-
racles) would not benefit from hearing a more detailed and deeper explanation
of the parable.
Source: The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Exodus 16:1-5,9-15 ©
From Elim they set out, and the whole community of the sons of Israel reached the wilderness of Sin – between Elim and Sinai – on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had left Egypt. And the whole community of the sons of Israel began to complain against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness and said to them, ‘Why did we not die at the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we were able to sit down to pans of meat and could eat bread to our heart’s content! As it is, you have brought us to this wilderness to starve this whole company to death!’
Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Now I will rain down bread for you from the heavens. Each day the people are to go out and gather the day’s portion; I propose to test them in this way to see whether they will follow my law or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they have brought in, this will be twice as much as the daily gathering.’
Moses said to Aaron, ‘To the whole community of the sons of Israel say this, “Present yourselves before the Lord, for he has heard your complaints.”’ As Aaron was speaking to the whole community of the sons of Israel, they turned towards the wilderness, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the form of a cloud. Then the Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel. Say this to them, “Between the two evenings you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have bread to your heart’s content. Then you will learn that I, the Lord, am your God.”’ And so it came about: quails flew up in the evening, and they covered the camp; in the morning there was a coating of dew all round the camp. When the coating of dew lifted, there on the surface of the desert was a thing delicate, powdery, as fine as hoarfrost on the ground. When they saw this, the sons of Israel said to one another, ‘What is that?’ not knowing what it was. ‘That’ said Moses to them ‘is the bread the Lord gives you to eat.’
Psalm 77:18-19,23-28 ©
The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
In their heart they put God to the test
by demanding the food they craved.
They even spoke against God.
They said: ‘Is it possible for God
to prepare a table in the desert?
The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Yet he commanded the clouds above
and opened the gates of heaven.
He rained down manna for their food,
and gave them bread from heaven.
The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Mere men ate the bread of angels.
He sent them abundance of food;
he made the east wind blow from heaven
and roused the south wind by his might.
The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
He rained food on them like dust,
winged fowl like the sands of the sea.
He let it fall in the midst of their camp
and all around their tents.
The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Bend my heart to your will, O Lord,
and teach me your law.
The seed is the word of God, Christ the sower;
whoever finds this seed will remain for ever.
Matthew 13:1-9 ©
Jesus left the house and sat by the lakeside, but such large crowds gathered round him that he got into a boat and sat there. The people all stood on the beach, and he told them many things in parables.
He said, ‘Imagine a sower going out to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up straight away, because there was no depth of earth; but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Listen, anyone who has ears!’
Francis "Lights" Up Pope's First Encyclical Due Friday
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Adoration with Pope energizing Catholics worldwide
Parishes Worldwide Prepare for Eucharistic Adoration Hour (June 2 at 11 am ET)
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Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio's "Letter On the Year of Faith" (Crossing Threshold of Faith)
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On Ash Wednesday
On God As Creator of Heaven and Earth
On Abraham's Faith
On Christ As Mediator Between God and Man
On the Incarnation
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On the Identity of Jesus
On the Faith of Mary, the Virgin Mother of Christ
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On the Splendor of God's Truth
On the Knowledge of God
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Jesus, High Priest
We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.
Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.
Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.
Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.
Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.
Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.
O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.
Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priestsThis icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.
The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.
The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.
Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem. He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.
St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.
1. Sign of the Cross: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
2. The Apostles Creed: I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
3. The Lord's Prayer: OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
4. (3) Hail Mary: HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)
5. Glory Be: GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.
Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer. Repeat the process with each mystery.
End with the Hail Holy Queen:
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Final step -- The Sign of the Cross
The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]
St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:
"Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8"
PLEASE JOIN US -
A Prayer for PriestsO my God, help those priests who are faithful to remain faithful; to those who are falling, stretch forth Your Divine Hand that they may grasp it as their support. In the great ocean of Your mercy, lift those poor unfortunate ones who have fallen, that being engulfed therein they may receive the grace to return to Your Great Loving Heart. Amen. Precious Blood of Jesus, protect them!
The Most Precious Blood of Jesus
July is traditionally associated with the Precious Blood of Our Lord. It may be customary to celebrate the votive Mass of the Precious Blood on July 1.
The extraordinary importance of the saving Blood of Christ has ensured a central place for its memorial in the celebration of this cultic mystery: at the centre of the Eucharistic assembly, in which the Church raises up to God in thanksgiving "the cup of blessing" (1 Cor 10, 16; cf Ps 115-116, 13) and offers it to the faithful as a "real communion with the Blood of Christ" (1 Cor 10, 16); and throughout the Liturgical Year. The Church celebrates the saving Blood of Christ not only on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, but also on many other occasions, such that the cultic remembrance of the Blood of our redemption (cf 1 Pt 1, 18) pervades the entire Liturgical Year. Hence, at Vespers during Christmastide, the Church, addressing Christ, sings: "Nos quoque, qui sancto tuo redempti sumus sanguine, ob diem natalis tui hymnum novum concinimus." In the Paschal Triduum, the redemptive significance and efficacy of the Blood of Christ is continuously recalled in adoration. During the adoration of the Cross on Good Friday the Church sings the hymn: "Mite corpus perforatur, sanguis unde profluit; terra, pontus, astra, mundus quo lavanturflumine", and again on Easter Sunday, "Cuius corpus sanctissimum in ara crucis torridum, sed et cruorem roesum gustando, Deo vivimus (194).
Devotion to the Drops of Blood Lost by our Lord Jesus Christ on His Way to Calvary (Prayer/Devotion)
Chaplet of the Most Precious Blood
Catholic Word of the Day: PRECIOUS BLOOD, 12-03-11
The Traditional Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Catholic Caucus)
Devotion to the Precious Blood
DOCTRINE OF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,And More on the Precious Blood
Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ
NOTHING IS MORE POTENT AGAINST EVIL THAN PLEADING THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST
Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
World Youth Day. That World Youth Day in Brazil may encourage all young Christians to become disciples and missionaries of the Gospel.
Asia. That throughout Asia doors may be open to messengers of the Gospel.
Wednesday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time
Commentary of the day
Isaac the Syrian (7th century), monk near Mosul, saint of the Orthodox churches
Ascetical Discourses, 1st series, no.32
Just as all the force of the laws and commandments God gave to men comes to fulfillment in purity of heart (as the Fathers say), so all the means and methods with which God is prayed come to fulfillment in pure prayer. Groanings, prostrations, petitions, lamentations: all the forms that prayer can take have their end, in fact, in pure prayer... Meditation no longer has anything to detain it: neither prayers, nor movements, nor lamentation, nor power, nor liberty, nor petition, nor desire, nor pleasure in what it hopes for in this life or in that which is to come. After pure prayer there is no other... Beyond this limit lies wonder and no longer prayer; prayer ceases and contemplation begins...
Prayer is the sowing and contemplation the harvest of the grain. The reaper is astonished to see what cannot be expressed: how is it that from the tiny, bare seeds he has sown such abundant sheaves can have suddenly sprung up before his eyes? The sight of his harvest takes his breath away...
Just as hardly a man in several thousands can be found to fulfill a little less badly the commandments and things of the Law and come to purity of soul, so one in a thousand can be found who is worthy, with much vigilance, of attaining pure prayer, of crossing the threshold and discovering this mystery. For it is not granted to many but to few to know pure prayer.
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The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us.
What will be presented here is a very recent and well documented case of incorruption that occurred in modern times concerning the holy Catholic monk of the Maronite rite, St. Charbel Makhlouf (1828-1898).
Charbel Makhlouf(sometimes spelled Sharbel) was born on May 8, 1828, in the village of Biqa-Kafra in the high mountains of Northern Lebanon. He was given the name of Joseph at his baptism, and he was the last of the five children born to very poor but religious parents. From early childhood he showed a strong attraction to prayer and solitude, and at age 23 he left home to become a monk in the Monastery of St. Maroun at Annaya. After being received into the novitiate, he was given the name Charbel, the name of an early martyr.
After the usual theological and secular studies, he was ordained a priest on July 23, 1859 and was assigned to the Monastery of St. Maroun, where he spent sixteen years with his fellow bretheren, living a communal life of prayer and devotion to God.
In 1875 he received the permission of his superiors to live alone in a private hermitage named Saints Peter and Paul, which was not far from the monastery, and which was used by the priests during days of quiet personal retreat. It was a rugged and simple cabin, with poor heat and the bare necessities of life. It was in this secluded sanctuary that he spent the remaining twenty-three years of his life in the practice of severe scarifices and mortification. It is recorded by his companions that he often wore a hair shirt, slept on the hard ground, and ate only one meal a day.
During his lifetime he was most notable for his remarkable devotion to the Holy Eucharist and his preference for saying daily Mass at 11:00 a.m., so he could spend almost all the morning in preparation for the Mass, and the rest of the day in thanksgiving afterwards.
After 23 years of daily sacrifice in such a meager existence, in 1898 he suffered a seizure while saying Mass, and a priest assisting at the Holy Sacrifice was forced to pry the Holy Eucharist from his grasp. The holy monk died eight days later on Christmas Eve at the age of seventy. He was buried very simply in the monastery cemetery where so many saintly monks before him had been buried. According to monastic custom, the body, which was not embalmed, was dressed in the full habit of the Order and was placed into the ground without a coffin.
A miraculous light appears above his tomb
Given such a hidden existence, he would most certainly have been forgotten had not a most extraordinary phenomenon occurred at his grave in the form of an extraordinary bright light, which surrounded his tomb for forty-five nights following the interment. Countless local townspeople saw the miraculous light and because of it and the enthusiasm of the many witnesses of this prodigy, the officials of the monastery requested permission from the ecclesiastical authorities to exhume the body four months after the saint's death.
On the day of the exhumation, his grave was opened in the presence of the superiors of the Order, the monks of the monastery, and many villagers, the body was miraculously found in perfect condition to the amazement of everyone, even though, as the result of frequent rains which had inundated the cemetery several times since the burial, the body was found floating on mud in a flooded grave. Given that St Charbel was buried in the ground without a casket and in very wet conditions, such circumstances certainly should have expedited decompostition.
After being cleansed and reclothed in fresh garments, the body was reverently laid in a wooden coffin and placed in a corner of the private chapel of the monastery for the admiration and contemplation of the monks and the faithful.
Additionally, a remarkable phenomenon accompanied this exhumation; from the pores of the body there exuded a liquid described as perspiration and blood, which had the distinct odor of blood. As a result of this transpiration, the blood-stained clothing upon his person was changed twice a week. Small pieces of this cloth soaked in this mysterious fluid are distributed as relics and these have been said to effect cures.
Among the men of medicine who examined the body was Dr. Elias Elonaissi who declared on November 16, 1921:
"I observed that the pores emitted a matter like sweat; a strange and inexplicable thing according to the laws of nature, for this body that has been dead for so many years. I have renewed the same examination many times, at different periods; the phenomenon has always been the same."
Another physician, Dr. George Choukrallah, examined the body a total of 24 times during 17 years and declared:
"I have always been astonished at its state of preservation and espe¬cially this reddish liquid exuded by it. .. My personal opinion based on study and experience, is that this body is preserved by a supernatural power."
The phenomenon is more astounding when one considers that in 1918, following a simple autopsy, the body was exposed on the terrace during the heat of summer for three months without the body decomposing and without drying up the source of the fluid.
On July 24, 1927, after the body of Father Charbel was minutely examined by two physicians of the French Medical Institute at Beirut, it was clothed in sacerdotal garments and was placed in a new coffin of wood covered with zinc. Various documents drawn up by the physicians, the Judge of the Ecclesiastical Commission, the Defender of the Faith, a notary and superiors of the Order, were placed in a zinc tube, which was firmly closed and placed beside the body.
Then, after it was sealed with the episcopal crest of the Commission, the coffin was placed in a new tomb especially prepared in the wall of an oratory. The coffin was placed on two stones to prevent contact with the dampness of the soil, and after being carefully sealed with masonry, the tomb was left undisturbed for twenty-three years.
On February 25 of the Holy Year 1950, pilgrims to the shrine noticed a liquid seeping from a corner of the tomb and flowing onto the floor of the oratory. The father superior of the monastery, on exam¬ining the liquid and fearing damage to the contents of the tomb, had it opened in the presence of the assembled community. The tomb was found dry and the coffin in the same condition as when it was placed in position, except that a reddish colored liquid was seen dripping through a crack in the foot of the casket.
Permission to examine the contents of the sealed casket was ob¬tained, and in the presence of many ecclesiastical authorities, offi¬cials of the Order and attending physicians, the seal was broken on April 22, 1950. The body was once again found completely free of any trace of corruption and was perfectly flexible and lifelike. The sweat of liquid and blood continued to exude from the body, and the garments were found stained with blood, the white content of the fluid having collected on the body in an almost solidified condition. Part of the chasuble had rotted and the zinc tube containing the official documents was covered with corrosion.
And so it was for 67 years in modern times that the body of Saint Charbel remained perfectly preserved, the case itself be thoroughly documented and examined by medical professionals and described by all accounts as being supernaturally sustained during this 67 year period. For reasons known only to Himself, God chose not to continue the miracle, and at the time of the beatification in 1965, the body was found to have finally complied with the laws of nature. Today, only his bones remain, and these are of a red color, and the discharge of the fluid has ceased.
-“A Miraculous Star in the East, Charbel Makhlouf” by Paul Daher, published by the Monastery of St. Maron. Annaya-Djebeil, Lebanon 1952.
-“The Incorruptables” by Joan Carroll Cruz, 1977, Tan Books.
Thanks for your additions to the thread.
Saint Sharbel Makhluf, Priest
St. Sharbel taking vows as a Hermit
(1828-1898) Saint Sharbel was a Lebanese monk, born in a small mountain village and ordained in 1858. Devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, he spent the last twenty-three years of his life as a hermit. Despite temptations to wealth and comfort, Sharbel taught the value of poverty, self-sacrifice, and prayer by the way he lived.
Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003
O God, who called the Priest Saint Sharbel Makhluf
to the solitary combat of the desert
and imbued him with all manner of devotion,
grant us, we pray,
that, being made imitators of the Lord's Passion,
we may merit to be co-heirs of his Kingdom.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading: Sirach 3:17-24
My son, perform your tasks in meekness; then you will be loved by those whom God accepts. The greater you are, the more you must humble yourself; so you will find favor in the sight of the Lord. For great is the might of the Lord; he is glorified by the humble. Seek not what is too difficult for you, nor investigate what is beyond your power. Reflect upon what has been assigned to you, for you do not need what is hidden. Do not meddle in what is beyond your tasks, for matters too great for human understanding have been shown you. For their hasty judgment has led many astray, and wrong opinion has caused their thoughts to slip.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 19:27-29
Then Peter said in reply, "Lo, we have left everything and followed you. What then shall we have?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.
Feast Day: December 24
Born: May 8, 1828, Bekaa Kafra (North Lebanon)
Died: December 24, 1898
Canonized: October 9, 1977 by Pope Paul VI
St. Boris and St. Gleb
Feast Day: July 24
Born: (around) 980 :: Died: 1015
These two brothers were born in Russia and were sons of St. Vladimir of Kiev, the first Christian prince in Russia. Their father had had many wives before he became a Christian. Afterwards, he had lived as Jesus teaches us in the Gospel. Boris and Gleb were his sons by his Christian wife Anne of Constantinople and were brought up as good Christians.
When King Vladimir died, each son was to receive a portion of the kingdom. But the oldest son Svyatopolk, wished to rule alone. He first planned to kill his stepbrothers Boris and Gleb.
Boris was warned as he was coming back with his soldiers from a battle and his men at once prepared to defend him. But he would not allow it. "It is better for me to die alone," he said, "than to be the cause of death to many." Besides he explained that he could not raise a hand against his brother. So he sent them away and sat down to wait.
During the night, he thought about the martyrs who had been killed by their own close relatives. He knew how empty life can become if we make the things of earth too important. What really counts, he thought, is good deeds, true love and true religion. When in the morning, his brother's hired murderers arrived and began striking him with spears, Boris did nothing but call down peace on them.
St. Gleb was killed soon after. The wicked older brother invited him to come to his palace in Kiev for a friendly visit. As he was sailing down the river, Gleb's boat was boarded by fierce, armed men. He too would not defend himself by fighting, not even when he saw that they were determined to kill him. Instead, St. Gleb quietly prepared himself to die. "I am being killed," he said, "and for what I do not know. But you know, Lord. And I know you said that for your name's sake brother would bring death to brother."
A few years after they died, the people of Russia began going on pilgrimages to the tomb of the two brothers. Miracles took place. St. Boris and St. Gleb are called martyrs because they accepted death as Christ did, without defending themselves. They died in 1015.
Wednesday, July 24
Liturgical Color: Green
Today is the optional memorial of St.
Anthony Mary Claret, bishop. In 1849,
he founded a religious order known
today as the Claretians, and later was
named archbishop of Santiago, Cuba.
Daily Readings for: July 24, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)
Collect: O God, who called the Priest Saint Sharbel Makhluf to the solitary combat of the desert and imbued him with all manner of devotion, grant us, we pray, that, being made imitators of the Lord's Passion, we may merit to be co-heirs of his Kingdom. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Joseph Makhlouf was born in 1828 at Beqa-Kafra, Lebanon. His peasant family lived a strong faith, were attentive to the Divine Liturgy, and had a great devotion to the Mother of God.
At the age of 23, Charbel (the name he chose when entering Novitiate) left his closely knit family to enter the Lebanese-Maronite Monastery called Notre-Dame de Mayfouk. Following studies and profession at St. Cyprian de Kfifane Monastery, he was ordained in 1859.
For the next seven years, Charbel lived in the mountainous community of Anaya. After that he spent the next twenty-three years in complete solitude at Sts. Peter and Paul Hermitage near Anaya. He died there on Christmas Eve, 1898.
Charbel had a reputation for his austerity, penances, obedience, and chastity. At times, Charbel was gifted with levitations during prayer, and he had great devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament.
In all things, Charbel maintained perfect serenity. He was beatified in 1965 by Pope Paul VI and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1977.
On May 8, 1828 in a mountain village of Beka'kafra, the highest village in the near-east, Charbel was born to a poor Maronite family. From childhood his life revealed a calling to "bear fruit as a noble Cedar of Lebanon". Charbel "grew in age and wisdom before God and men." At 23 years old he entered the monastery of Our Lady of Mayfouk (north of Byblos) where he became a novice. After two years of novitiate, in 1853, he was sent to St. Maron monastery where he pronounced the monastic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Charbel was then transferred to the monastery of Kfeifan where he studied philosophy and theology. His ordination to the priesthood took place in 1859, after which he was sent back to St. Maron monastery. His teachers provided him with good education and nurtured within him a deep love for monastic life.
During his 19 years at St. Maron monastery, Charbel performed his priestly ministry and his monastic duties in an edifying way. He totally dedicated himself to Christ with undivided heart to live in silence before Nameless One. In 1875 Charbel was granted permission to live as a hermit nearby the monastery at St. Peter and Paul hermitage. His 23 years of solitary life were lived in a spirit of total abandonment to God.
Charbel's companions in the hermitage were the Sons of God, as encountered in the Scriptures and in the Eucharist, and the Blessed Mother. The Eucharist became the center of his life. He consumed the Bread of his Life and was consumed by it. Though this hermit did not have a place in the world, the world had a great place in his heart. Through prayer and penance he offered himself as a sacrifice so that the world would return to God. It is in this light that one sees the importance of the following Eucharistic prayer in his life:
"Father of Truth, behold Your Son a sacrifice pleasing to You, accept this offering of Him who died for me..."
On December 16, 1898 while reciting the "Father of Truth" prayer at the Holy Liturgy Charbel suffered a stroke. He died on Christmas Eve at the age of 70. Through faith this hermit received the Word of God and through love he continued the Ministry of Incarnation.
On the evening of his funeral, his superior wrote: "Because of what he will do after his death, I need not talk about his behavior". A few months after his death a bright light was seen surrounding his tomb. The superiors opened it to find his body still intact. Since that day a blood-like liquid flows from his body. Experts and doctors are unable to give medical explanations for the incorruptibility and flexibility. In the years 1950 and 1952 his tomb was opened and his body still had the appearance of a living one.
The spirit of Charbel still lives in many people. His miracles include numerous healings of the body and of the spirit. Thomas Merton, the American Hermit, wrote in his journal: "Charbel lived as a hermit in Lebanon—he was a Maronite. He died. Everyone forgot about him. Fifty years later, his body was discovered incorrupt and in short time he worked over 600 miracles. He is my new companion. My road has taken a new turning. It seems to me that I have been asleep for 9 years—and before that I was dead."
At the closing of the Second Vatican Council, on December 5, 1965 Charbel was beatified by Pope Paul VI who said:
"...a hermit of the Lebanese mountain is inscribed in the number of the blessed...a new eminent member of monastic sanctity is enriching, by his example and his intercession, the entire Christian people... May he make us understand, in a world largely fascinated by wealth and comfort, the paramount value of poverty, penance, and asceticism, to liberate the soul in its ascent to God..."
On October 9, 1977 during the World Synod of Bishops, Pope Paul VI canonized Blessed Charbel among the ranks of the Saints.
Taken from Opus Libani
Things to Do:
St. Christina of Bolsena
v:shapes="Picture_x0020_4">Saint Christina was the daughter of a rich and powerful magistrate named Urban. Her father, who was deep in the practices of paganism, had a number of golden idols. His young daughter broke them, then distributed the pieces among the poor. Infuriated by this act, Urban became the persecutor of his own daughter. He had her whipped with rods and thrown into a dungeon. Christina remained unshaken in her faith. Her tormentor brought her forth to have her body torn by iron hooks, then fastened to a rack beneath which a fire was kindled. But God watched over His servant and turned the flames back toward the onlookers, several of whom perished.
The torments to which this young girl was subjected would seem as difficult to devise as to imagine; but God was beside her at all times. After a heavy stone was attached to her neck, Saint Christina was thrown into the lake of Bolsena, but was rescued by an Angel and seen wearing a stole and walking on the water, accompanied by several Angels. Her father, hearing she was still alive, died suddenly amid atrocious sufferings. A new judge succeeded him, a cruel pagan experienced in persecuting the Christians. He tried to win her by reminding her of her nobility, suggesting she was in serious error. Her reply infuriated him: “Christ, whom you despise, will tear me out of your hands!” Then Saint Christina suffered the most inhuman torments. The second judge also was struck down by divine justice. A third one named Julian, succeeded him. “Magician!” he cried, “adore the gods, or I will put you to death!” She survived a raging furnace, after remaining in it for five days. Serpents and vipers thrown into her prison did not touch her, but killed the magician who had brought them there. She sent them away in the name of Christ, after restoring the unfortunate magician to life; he was converted and thanked the God of Christina and the Saint. Then her tongue was cut out.
The Saint prayed to be allowed to finish her course. When she was pierced with arrows, she gained the martyr’s crown at Tyro, a city which formerly stood on an island in the lake of Bolsena in Italy, but has since been swallowed up by the waters. Her relics are now at Palermo in Sicily. Her tomb was discovered in the 19th century at Bolsena, marked with an inscription dating from the 10th century.
Excerpted from Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 9.
Saint Sharbel Makhluf, Priest
“This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.” (Exodus 16:15)
Imagine that you grew up very poor, and always had to scrabble for your next meal. But now you’ve been flown to a wealthy country, and have been taken to a lavish all-you-can-eat buffet for dinner. When you arrive, the host welcomes you in with open arms and a warm smile.
He walks you to the buffet and invites you to eat and drink freely. You’re overwhelmed by the spread—it’s so foreign to you! As you move down the line, you see so many dishes filled with all kinds of new foods. You don’t dare take too much, because you’ve spent your whole life rationing every bite. But your host encourages you not to worry. There will be plenty for tomorrow and the next day as well.
As you help yourself to the first serving, you break into a smile and start laughing heartily. The anxieties that have burdened your heart for so long begin to diminish. As you take up another serving from another plate, you begin to feel peace and contentment. You can’t seem to get enough.
Just as he fed the Israelites in the desert, Jesus wants to feed us as well—only now with spiritual food. He wants to feed our souls with heavenly wisdom and guidance. He wants to our hearts with servings of joy, love and peace. He wants to nourish us so that we can find the strength to move mountains and accomplish all the wonderful things he has called us to do.
Where will we find this food? In the Eucharist, of course! Just as the manna seemed to drop from the sky, so the presence of Christ comes down from heaven every time the Mass is celebrated. And just as the manna seemed inconsequential—just a thin layer on the ground—but gave the Israelites all the strength they needed, so too with the Host that we receive at Mass. How wonderful of God to feed us so generously—so miraculously!
Listen! God is calling out to you right now: “Come without payment or cost (Isaiah 55:1). Come and receive all the good things I have ready for you. There’s always plenty of food to keep you satisfied!”
“Lord, I feast on the table you set before me. Thank you for your love and generosity!”
Psalm 78:18-19, 23-28; Matthew 13:1-9
Daily Marriage Tip for July 24, 2013:
Your spouse is priority #1. Dont let work, or projects, or hobbies, or even your children, bump him or her from first place. Its priceless
|A Hundred or Sixty or Thirty-Fold|
Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirty fold. Whoever has ears ought to hear."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, my prayer will “work” only if I have humility in your presence. So I am approaching you with meekness and humility of heart. I have an infinite need for you and your grace. Thinking about this helps me grow in humility. I trust in you and your grace. Thank you for the unfathomable gift of your love.
Petition: Lord, may I always respond to your grace in my heart with fervor and active love.
1. Tears of a Sower: Imagine Jesus preaching to the crowds, hoping for a positive response, but instead witnessing many people turning a deaf ear to his message of salvation. One day he is thinking about this as he watches a farmer sowing seed. He sees birds come immediately and take some away. He sees previously sown seed scorched by the sun. He sees some sprouts strangled by weeds. He then remembers the faces and perhaps even the names of people who heard his message, but who chose not to respond or whose response was short-lived. We are reminded of another Gospel passage: “As he drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying ‘If this day you only knew what makes for peace -- but now it is hidden from your eyes’” (Luke 19:41).
2. Rebellion or Rest: The admonition to heed the word of God is frequent in Scripture. In the Book of Hebrews the author warns us to “harden not your hearts as at the rebellion in the day of testing in the desert.” The people of Israel responded in this unfortunate way after the exodus from Egypt. “They have always been of erring heart, and they do not know my ways. As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter into my rest’” (Cf. Hebrews 3: 7-11). This helps us foster a healthy fear of the Lord, encouraging us to work hard to conquer all hardness of heart and remain close to Christ so as to enter into his rest.
3. Fruits of Virtue: “But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirty-fold.” The fruit that Our Lord wishes us to produce are virtues inspired by faith, hope and love. If we are growing in virtue each day in imitation of Christ and for love of him, we can be sure we are heeding his voice and are pleasing in his eyes. The greatest of all virtues is charity, a practical and effective love for our neighbor. We can contemplate the lives of the saints to see how these fruits are played out in a way truly pleasing to Christ.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, you know how easy it is for me to allow mediocrity to slip into my life. The cares and worries of life often push you and your kingdom to a secondary plane. Grant me the habit of carving out time for you in prayer each day, and carving out space for you in my life and the lives of those under my care.
Resolution: I will renew my effort with whatever prayer commitment I have allowed to waver or falter the most.
|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|1.||THE same day Jesus going out of the house, sat by the sea side.||In illo die exiens Jesus de domo, sedebat secus mare.||εν δε τη ημερα εκεινη εξελθων ο ιησους απο της οικιας εκαθητο παρα την θαλασσαν|
|2.||And great multitudes were gathered unto him, so that he went up into a boat and sat: and all the multitude stood on the shore.||Et congregatæ sunt ad eum turbæ multæ, ita ut naviculam ascendens sederet : et omnis turba stabat in littore,||και συνηχθησαν προς αυτον οχλοι πολλοι ωστε αυτον εις το πλοιον εμβαντα καθησθαι και πας ο οχλος επι τον αιγιαλον ειστηκει|
|3.||And he spoke to them many things in parables, saying: Behold the sower went forth to sow.||et locutus est eis multa in parabolis, dicens : Ecce exiit qui seminat, seminare.||και ελαλησεν αυτοις πολλα εν παραβολαις λεγων ιδου εξηλθεν ο σπειρων του σπειρειν|
|4.||And whilst he soweth some fell by the way side, and the birds of the air came and ate them up.||Et dum seminat, quædam ceciderunt secus viam, et venerunt volucres cæli, et comederunt ea.||και εν τω σπειρειν αυτον α μεν επεσεν παρα την οδον και ηλθεν τα πετεινα και κατεφαγεν αυτα|
|5.||And other some fell upon stony ground, where they had not much earth: and they sprung up immediately, because they had no deepness of earth.||Alia autem ceciderunt in petrosa, ubi non habebant terram multam : et continuo exorta sunt, quia non habebant altitudinem terræ :||αλλα δε επεσεν επι τα πετρωδη οπου ουκ ειχεν γην πολλην και ευθεως εξανετειλεν δια το μη εχειν βαθος γης|
|6.||And when the sun was up they were scorched: and because they had not root, they withered away.||sole autem orto æstuaverunt ; et quia non habebant radicem, aruerunt.||ηλιου δε ανατειλαντος εκαυματισθη και δια το μη εχειν ριζαν εξηρανθη|
|7.||And others fell among thorns: and the thorns grew up and choked them.||Alia autem ceciderunt in spinas : et creverunt spinæ, et suffocaverunt ea.||αλλα δε επεσεν επι τας ακανθας και ανεβησαν αι ακανθαι και απεπνιξαν αυτα|
|8.||And others fell upon good ground: and they brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, and some thirtyfold.||Alia autem ceciderunt in terram bonam : et dabant fructum, aliud centesimum, aliud sexagesimum, aliud trigesimum.||αλλα δε επεσεν επι την γην την καλην και εδιδου καρπον ο μεν εκατον ο δε εξηκοντα ο δε τριακοντα|
|9.||He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.||Qui habet aures audiendi, audiat.||ο εχων ωτα ακουειν ακουετω|
“Whoever has ears ought to hear”
The parable of the sower is one of the most important parables.
Appearing in three synoptic gospels, its importance is further
emphasized by its inclusion in the Sunday gospel.
Most of us have surely heard this parable. Many of us may also recall
its exact words. But how many of us can fully recall the explanation
Jesus gave to his disciples? Perhaps even fewer of us have reflected
more deeply on this parable and how it relates back to our own lives.
Maybe that is why our Lord Jesus said in one of his final reminders to
all of us: “Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
Have the thorns and thistles brought on in our daily lives so
deafened us from hearing the soft and comforting Word of God? Are we
the footpath, or our souls rocky ground? Or, perhaps, are we among the
thorns, or the rich soil?
When we read this parable, perhaps we need to ask ourselves: Have the
“ears of our hearts” heard what the Word of God wants to tell us? Have
we opened our hearts to listen to what God is telling us through the
everyday circumstances in our lives? Do we try to spend time listening
to God in silence or through the scripture?
Our Father in heaven, Thank you for everything. All creation
proclaims your glory. Grant us the grace to grow in love with your Word
so that as we respond more fully to Your love, we may produce good
fruit for your glory.
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Will you please pray to end abortion so that babies like me might live?