Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 08-02-14, OM, St. Eusebius, Bishop, St. Peter Julian Eymard
Posted on 08/01/2014 8:18:07 PM PDT by Salvation
August 2, 2014
Reading 1 Jer 26:11-16, 24
The priests and prophets said to the princes and to all the people,
“This man deserves death;
he has prophesied against this city,
as you have heard with your own ears.”
Jeremiah gave this answer to the princes and all the people:
“It was the LORD who sent me to prophesy against this house and city
all that you have heard.
Now, therefore, reform your ways and your deeds;
listen to the voice of the LORD your God,
so that the LORD will repent of the evil with which he threatens you.
As for me, I am in your hands;
do with me what you think good and right.
But mark well: if you put me to death,
it is innocent blood you bring on yourselves,
on this city and its citizens.
For in truth it was the LORD who sent me to you,
to speak all these things for you to hear.”
Thereupon the princes and all the people
said to the priests and the prophets,
“This man does not deserve death;
it is in the name of the LORD, our God, that he speaks to us.”
So Ahikam, son of Shaphan, protected Jeremiah,
so that he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 69:15-16, 30-31, 33-34
R. (14c) Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Rescue me out of the mire; may I not sink!
may I be rescued from my foes,
and from the watery depths.
Let not the flood-waters overwhelm me,
nor the abyss swallow me up,
nor the pit close its mouth over me.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
But I am afflicted and in pain;
let your saving help, O God, protect me.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.”
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Gospel Mt 14:1-12
Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus
and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist.
He has been raised from the dead;
that is why mighty powers are at work in him.”
Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison
on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip,
for John had said to him,
“It is not lawful for you to have her.”
Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people,
for they regarded him as a prophet.
But at a birthday celebration for Herod,
the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests
and delighted Herod so much
that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for.
Prompted by her mother, she said,
“Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests who were present,
he ordered that it be given, and he had John beheaded in the prison.
His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl,
who took it to her mother.
His disciples came and took away the corpse
and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.
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From: Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24
Jeremiah arraigned (continued)
 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the princes and all the people, saying, “The
Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have
heard.  Now therefore amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice
of the Lord your God, and the Lord will repent of the evil which he has pronoun-
ced against you.  But as for me, behold, I am in your hands. Do with me as
seems good and right to you.  Only know for certain that if you put me to
death, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its
inhabitants, for in truth the Lord sent me to you to speak all these words in your
 Then the princes and all the people said to the priests and the prophets,
“This man does not deserve the sentence of death, for he has spoken to us in
the name of the Lord our God.”
 But the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah so that he
was not given over to the people to be put to death.
26:1-24. This chapter deals with the same incident in the temple that was nar-
rated in 7:1-8:3 (see note), and which occurred in 608 BC. It contains a summa-
ry of what the prophet said on that occasion, and people’s reactions to it (vv. 7-
24). The religious life of the nation hinged on the temple, whose importance had
increased further as a result of Josiah’s recent reforms; but Jeremiah proclaims
that the temple will be destroyed; it will he reduced to rubble, like the old shrine
at Shiloh (vv. 2-6). This prophecy so angered people, priests and prophets that
they called for Jeremiah’s death (vv. 7-9), but the authorities managed to calm
them down and Jeremiah escaped with his life (vv. 10-19), probably because his
sincerity impressed the rulers: he was a man ready to risk his life in order to be
faithful to his prophetic mission. Although one cannot he sure where the New
Gate (v. 10) was, the rulers’ intervention clearly had a judicial character to it,
since legal proceedings took place at the city gates. The New Testament con-
tains clear echoes of this account — in the deliberations of the Sanhedrin on
what to do with Jesus after he was arrested (cf. Mt 26:5-68 and par.), in the sen-
tence handed down by Pilate (cf. Lk 23:22), and also in the account of the mar-
tyrdom of St Stephen (cf. Acts 6: 12-14).
This episode dramatically illustrates the sort of clashes that Jeremiah became
involved in when carrying out his mission from the Lord. He has harsh things to
say, and meets resistance from the people, who have even begun to think that
nothing that offends their sensibilities or contradicts their desires can come from
God. Even so, Jeremiah does not back down, for the Lord gives him the strength
to stay true to his calling (cf. 1:7-10).
26:18-24. In the course of these exchanges, some of the elders bring up the
case of the prophet Micah (quoting words from Micah 3:12), in order to save Jere-
miah’s life. However, the sacred writer recalls what happened in the case of Uriah,
who was put to death (vv. 17-24). These two prophets preached a message that
was very similar to Jeremiah’s. Because Hezekiah, the king, was very interested
in religious reform, he listened to the prophet Micah. Jehoiakim, however, had a
very different outlook: just as he killed Uriah, so he could kill Jeremiah. In other
words, it could have gone either way for Jeremiah; fortunately, he was defended
by a senior official of the late King Josiah, Ahikam, the father of Gedaliah, who
would be governor of Judah after the last deportation (cf. 39:14; 2 Kings 25:22-
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.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.
From: Matthew 14:1-12
The Death of John the Baptist
1. Herod the tetrarch, Herod Antipas (see the note on Mt 2:1), is the same He-
rod as appears later in the account of the Passion (cf. Lk 23:7ff). A son of Herod
the Great, Antipas governed Galilee and Perea in the name of the Roman empe-
ror; according to Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian (”Jewish Antiquities”,
XVIII, 5, 4), he was married to a daughter of an Arabian king, but in spite of this
he lived in concubinage with Herodias, his brother’s wife. St. John the Baptist,
and Jesus himself, often criticized the tetrarch’s immoral life, which was in con-
flict with the sexual morality laid down in the Law (Lev 18:16;20:21) and was a
cause of scandal.
3-12. Towards the end of the first century Flavius Josephus wrote of these same
events. He gives additional information—specifying that it was in the fortress of
Makeronte that John was imprisoned (this fortress was on the eastern bank of
the Dead Sea, and was the scene of the banquet in question) and that Herodias’
daughter was called Salome.
9. St Augustine comments: “Amid the excesses and sensuality of the guests,
oaths are rashly made, which then are unjustly kept” (”Sermon 10”).
It is a sin against the second commandment of God’s Law to make an oath to do
something unjust; any such oath has no binding force. In fact, if one keeps it—as
Herod did—one commits an additional sin. The Catechism also teaches that one
offends against this precept if one swears something untrue, or swears needless-
ly (cf. “St Pius V Catechism”, III, 3, 24). Cf. note on Mt 5:33-37.
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.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.
Jeremiah 26:11-16,24 ©
The priests and prophets addressed the officials and all the people, ‘This man deserves to die, since he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.’ Jeremiah, however, replied to the people as follows:
‘The Lord himself sent me to say all the things you have heard against this Temple and this city. So now amend your behaviour and actions, listen to the voice of the Lord your God: if you do, he will relent and not bring down on you the disaster he has pronounced against you. For myself, I am as you see in your hands. Do whatever you please or think right with me. But be sure of this, that if you put me to death, you will be bringing innocent blood on yourselves, on this city and on its citizens, since the Lord has truly sent me to you to say all these words in your hearing.’
The officials and all the people then said to the priests and prophets, ‘This man does not deserve to die: he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.’
Jeremiah had a protector in Ahikam son of Shaphan, so he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.
Psalm 68:15-16,30-31,33-34 ©
In your great love, answer me, O God.
Rescue me from sinking in the mud;
save me from my foes.
Save me from the waters of the deep
lest the waves overwhelm me.
Do not let the deep engulf me
nor death close its mouth on me.
In your great love, answer me, O God.
As for me in my poverty and pain
let your help, O God, lift me up.
I will praise God’s name with a song;
I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
In your great love, answer me, O God.
The poor when they see it will be glad
and God-seeking hearts will revive;
for the Lord listens to the needy
and does not spurn his servants in their chains.
In your great love, answer me, O God.
Blessed are those who,
with a noble and generous heart,
take the word of God to themselves
and yield a harvest through their perseverance.
Happy those who are persecuted
in the cause of right,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 14:1-12 ©
Herod the tetrarch heard about the reputation of Jesus, and said to his court, ‘This is John the Baptist himself; he has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.’
Now it was Herod who had arrested John, chained him up and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. For John had told him, ‘It is against the Law for you to have her.’ He had wanted to kill him but was afraid of the people, who regarded John as a prophet. Then, during the celebrations for Herod’s birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company, and so delighted Herod that he promised on oath to give her anything she asked. Prompted by her mother she said, ‘Give me John the Baptist’s head, here, on a dish.’ The king was distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he ordered it to be given her, and sent and had John beheaded in the prison. The head was brought in on a dish and given to the girl who took it to her mother. John’s disciples came and took the body and buried it; then they went off to tell Jesus.
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 priests
This 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
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 -
Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of August is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The physical heart of Mary is venerated (and not adored as the Sacred Heart of Jesus is) because it is united to her person: and as the seat of her love (especially for her divine Son), virtue, and inner life. Such devotion is an incentive to a similar love and virtue.
This devotion has received new emphasis in this century from the visions given to Lucy Dos Santos, oldest of the visionaries of Fatima, in her convent in Tuy, in Spain, in 1925 and 1926. In the visions Our Lady asked for the practice of the Five First Saturdays to help make amends for the offenses given to her heart by the blasphemies and ingratitude of men. The practice parallels the devotion of the Nine First Fridays in honor of the Sacred Heart.
On October 31, 1942, Pope Pius XII made a solemn Act of Consecration of the Church and the whole world to the Immaculate Heart. Let us remember this devotion year-round, but particularly through the month of August.
O heart most pure of the Blessed Virgin Mary, obtain for me from Jesus a pure and humble heart.
Sweet heart of Mary, be my salvation.
ACT OF CONSECRATION
Queen of the most holy Rosary, help of Christians, refuge of the human race, victorious in all the battles of God, we prostrate ourselves in supplication before thy throne, in the sure hope of obtaining mercy and of receiving grace and timely aid in our present calamities, not through any merits of our own, on which we do not rely, but only through the immense goodness of thy mother's heart. In thee and in thy Immaculate Heart, at this grave hour of human history, do we put our trust; to thee we consecrate ourselves, not only with all of Holy Church, which is the mystical body of thy Son Jesus, and which is suffering in so many of her members, being subjected to manifold tribulations and persecutions, but also with the whole world, torn by discords, agitated with hatred, the victim of its own iniquities. Be thou moved by the sight of such material and moral degradation, such sorrows, such anguish, so many tormented souls in danger of eternal loss! Do thou, O Mother of mercy, obtain for us from God a Christ-like reconciliation of the nations, as well as those graces which can convert the souls of men in an instant, those graces which prepare the way and make certain the long desired coming of peace on earth. O Queen of peace, pray for us, and grant peace unto the world in the truth, the justice, and the charity of Christ.
Above all, give us peace in our hearts, so that the kingdom of God may spread its borders in the tranquillity of order. Accord thy protection to unbelievers and to all those who lie within the shadow of death; cause the Sun of Truth to rise upon them; may they be enabled to join with us in repeating before the Savior of the world: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will."
Give peace to the nations that are separated from us by error or discord, and in a special manner to those peoples who profess a singular devotion toward thee; bring them back to Christ's one fold, under the one true Shepherd. Obtain full freedom for the holy Church of God; defend her from her enemies; check the ever-increasing torrent of immorality; arouse in the faithful a love of purity, a practical Christian life, and an apostolic zeal, so that the multitude of those who serve God may increase in merit and in number.
Finally, even as the Church and all mankind were once consecrated to the Heart of thy Son Jesus, because He was for all those who put their hope in Him an inexhaustible source of victory and salvation, so in like manner do we consecrate ourselves forever to thee also and to thy Immaculate Heart, O Mother of us and Queen of the world; may thy love and patronage hasten the day when the kingdom of God shall be victorious and all the nations, at peace with God .and with one another, shall call thee blessed and intone with thee, from the rising of the sun to its going down, the everlasting "Magnificat" of glory, of love, of gratitude to the Heart of Jesus, in which alone we can find truth, life, and peace. Pope Pius XII
IN HONOR OF THE IMMACULATE HEART
O heart of Mary, mother of God, and our mother; heart most worthy of love, in which the adorable Trinity is ever well-pleased, worthy of the veneration and love of all the angels and of all men; heart most like to the Heart of Jesus, of which thou art the perfect image; heart, full of goodness, ever compassionate toward our miseries; deign to melt our icy hearts and grant that they may be wholly changed into the likeness of the Heart of Jesus, our divine Savior. Pour into them the love of thy virtues, enkindle in them that divine fire with which thou thyself dost ever burn. In thee let Holy Church find a safe shelter; protect her and be her dearest refuge, her tower of strength, impregnable against every assault of her enemies. Be thou the way which leads to Jesus, and the channel, through which we receive all the graces needful for our salvation. Be our refuge in time of trouble, our solace in the midst of trial, our strength against temptation, our haven in persecution, our present help in every danger, and especially) at the hour of death, when all hell shall let loose against u its legions to snatch away our souls, at that dread moment; that hour so full of fear, whereon our eternity depends. An,; then most tender virgin, make us to feel the sweetness of thy motherly heart, and the might of thine intercession with Jesus, and open to us a safe refuge in that very fountain of mercy, whence we may come to praise Him with thee in paradise, world without end. Amen.
Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954
Sacred Heart Of Jesus
Immaculate Heart of Mary
Blessed be the Most Loving Heart and Sweet Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the most glorious Virgin Mary, His Mother, in eternity and forever. Amen.
....Only the Heart of Christ who knows the depths of his Father's love could reveal to us the abyss of his mercy in so simple and beautiful a way ----From the Catechism. P:1439
From the depth of my nothingness, I prostrate myself before Thee, O Most Sacred, Divine and Adorable Heart of Jesus, to pay Thee all the homage of love, praise and adoration in my power.
The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus just as it invokes his most holy name. It adores the incarnate Word and his Heart which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins. Christian prayer loves to follow the way of the cross in the Savior's steps.-- >From the Catechism. P: 2669
The first is that we ought to love and honor whatever God loves and honors, and that by which He is loved and glorified. Now, after the adorable Heart of Jesus there has never been either in heaven or on earth, nor ever will be, a heart which has been so loved and honored by God, or which has given Him so much glory as that of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Never has there been, nor will there ever be a more exalted throne of divine love. In that Heart divine love possesses its fullest empire, for it ever reigns without hindrance or interruption, and with it reign likewise all the laws of God, all the Gospel maxims and every Christian virtue.
This incomparable Heart of the Mother of our Redeemer is a glorious heaven, a Paradise of delights for the Most Holy Trinity. According to St. Paul, the hearts of the faithful are the dwelling place of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ Himself assures us that the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost take up Their abode in the hearts of those who love God. Who, therefore, can doubt that the Most Holy Trinity has always made His home and established the reign of His glory in an admirable and ineffable manner in the virginal Heart of her who is the Daughter of the Father, the Mother of the Son, the Spouse of the Holy Ghost, who herself loves God more than all other creatures together?
How much then are we not obliged to love this exalted and most lovable Heart?
St. John Eudes
The Immaculate Heart of Mary [Devotional] Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Saturdays and the Immaculate Heart of Mary [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Brown Scapular (Catholic Caucus)
The History of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Homilies preached by Father Robert Altier on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Marian Associations Unite to Celebrate Immaculate Heart
Solemnity Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary
FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY, AUGUST 22ND
Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Universal: That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
For Evangelization: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.
Saturday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time
Commentary of the day
Blessed Guerric of Igny (c.1080-1157), Cistercian abbot
3rd Sermon for the Nativity of John the Baptist ; SC 202 (trans. ©Cistercian Fathers series)
John the Baptist’s greatness
This was John's greatness, in virtue of which he reached such heights of greatness among the great that he crowned his great and countless virtues… with the greatest of all the virtues, humility. Reckoned as he was the highest of all, he freely and with the greatest devotion preferred to himself the Most Lowly One—and he put him before himself to such an extent as to declare himself unworthy to take off his shoes (Mt 3,11).
Let others wonder that he was foretold by prophets, that he was promised by an angel and… that he came of so holy and noble parents, even though aged and sterile… that he preceded the coming of the Redeemer… and prepared his way in the desert, that he converted the hearts of fathers to their sons and of sons to their fathers, (Lk 1,17) that he merited to baptize the Son, to hear the Father and to see the Holy Spirit, (Lk 3,22), and finally, that he strove for the truth even to death and, so that he might go before Christ also to the lower regions, was Christ's martyr before Christ's passion. Let others, I say, wonder at these things…
What is set before us, brethren, not only to be wondered at but also to be imitated, is the virtue of his humility, by which he refused to be regarded as greater than he was, although he could have been… For as a faithful “friend of the Bridegroom”, (Jn 3,29) a lover more of the Lord than of himself, he wished that he himself might “diminish” in order that Christ might “grow” (v.30) and made it his business to increase Christ’s glory by means of his own diminution. Before St Paul he made his own in act and in truth those words of the Apostle: "We do not preach ourselves but the Lord Jesus Christ" (2Cor 4,5).
-- Saint Peter Julian Eymard
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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.
Saint Eusebius of Vercelli, Bishop
(+371). He fought staunchly against the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Jesus Christ, and the Arians tortured and exiled him. He was also the first Western bishop to unite the clerical and monastic life.
Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003
Lead us, Lord God, to imitate the constancy of Saint Eusebius
in affirming the divinity of your Son,
so that, by preserving the faith he taught as your Bishop,
we may merit a share in the very life of your Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading:1 John 5:1-5
Every one who believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God, and every one who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:1-12a
Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up on the mountain, and when He sat down His disciples came to Him. And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
"Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Related Link on the Vatican Website: Benedict XVI, General Audience, Saint Peter's Square, Wednesday, 17 October 2007, Saint Eusebius of Vercelli
Saint Peter Julian Eymard, Priest
from Prayer Card
O God, who adorned Saint Peter Julian Eymard
with a wonderful love for the sacred mysteries
of the Body and Blood of your Son,
that we, too, may be worthy to receive
the delights he drew from this divine banquet.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading: Acts 4:32-35
Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles' feet; and distribution was made to each as any had need.
Gospel Reading: John 15:1-8
"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of Mine that bears no fruit, He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in Me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.
Founder of the Society of the Blessed Sacrament, and of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, born at La Mure d'Isère, Diocese of Grenoble, France, February 4, 1811. From early childhood he gave evidence of great holiness and most tender devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. In 1829, he entered the novitiate of the Oblates of Mary, but illness compelled him to return home. At the age of twenty he entered the grand seminary of Grenoble, and was ordained priest July 20, 1834. He returned to the Marist novitiate in 1839. In 1845 he was appointed Provincial of the Oblates of Mary. His entire spiritual life was centered around the Eucharist. It was the subject of his sermons and exhortations, the object of his worship and prayers. Those who fell under his spiritual direction were taught by his counsel to fix their attention on the Blessed Sacrament.
In January of 1851 Peter Eymard made a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Fourvières, and there promised Mary to devote his life to founding a congregation of priests whose principal duty should be to honor the Blessed Sacrament. Having obtained the necessary ecclesiastical permission, he procured a small house in Paris, in which he and a single companion took up their abode. Here, on January 6, 1857, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed, and the nascent community of two members commenced the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as prescribed by their rule. Their founder received his first encouragement for the work in a laudatory Brief, blessing the work and its author, and signed by Pius IX, in 1857. Five years after, in 1862, Peter Eymard had enough spiritual sons to open a regular novitiate. From this date the congregation spread rapidly, until now its houses may be found in Rome, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Canada, the United States, and South America. The Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, a congregation of cloistered women who carry on perpetual adoration in their convents, were also founded by him in 1858. The Priests' Eucharistic League and the Archconfraternity of the Blessed Sacrament are evidences of his zeal among priests and the faithful. Peter Eymard's writings have been collected, and form four volumes: "The Real Presence", which has been translated into English; Retreat at the Feet of Jesus Eucharistic", "La Sainte Communion", and "L'Eucharistie et la Perfection Chrétienne". These writings have received the approbation of the Holy See. He died August 1, 1868. The author was declared Venerable August 11, 1908 and canonized on December 9, 1962 by Pope John XXIII.
(Principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition )
from Eymard's writings
- Although there are several methods of meditation, St. Eymard suggests one is truly Eucharistic since it is taken from the four ends of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The method is to divide Eucharistic Adoration into four quarters, Adoration, Thanksgivng, Reparation and Petition. He recommends preparing before going to church the subject of meditation and that one should be practical and consistent with his devotions toward God.
- According to St.Eymard the Stations of the cross was considered among the most important excercise of a retreat. He made the Stations daily until his death.
Source My Eucharistic Day, Rules and Practices recommended by St. Peter Julian Eymard, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press 1954.
Feast Day: August 2
Feast Day: August 2
Born: 283, Sardinia
Died: August 1, 371, Vercelli, Piemonte
Patron of: Vercelli
Feast Day: August 2
Born: 283 :: Died: 371
St. Eusebius (of Vercelli) was born on the island of Sardinia in Italy. His parents were faithful Christians and his father died a martyr for the Christian faith. Eusebius grew up to be a strong Christian and actively served his community. After his father's death his family moved to Rome and there he was ordained a Lector.
This was a time when the people elected bishops and when the people of Vercelli saw how well he served their Church; they willingly chose him as bishop. He and some of his priests lived a simple life and became eager and happy followers of Jesus. They learned from Eusebius how to guide the people who came to them for help and many of his priests later became bishops.
Emperor Constantius who was an Arian did not believe that Jesus was God and created lots of trouble for the Catholics. The Pope sent Eusebius on a mission to try and make peace. But the powerful Arians did not want to make peace and only tried to force their will on the Catholics. Because Eusebius was a champion of the truth, he was not afraid and refused to listen to Emperor Constantius.
So Constantius sent him away to Palestine where he lived with a kind man who was the only Catholic in town. But after the kind man died, the Arians kidnapped Eusebius; they insulted him by tearing his clothes and dragging him through the streets. They broke into his house and stole his belongings and food. Then they locked him in a tiny cell without food for four days.
When Emperor Constantius died all the Bishops who were sent away were allowed to return home.
But the problems were not over and Eusebius spent his last years working hard to spread the truth and strengthen the faith of the Christians. Bishop Eusebius died on August 1, 371.
Thursday, August 2
Liturgical Color: Green
Today is the Solemnity of Our Lady of
the Angels of Portiuncula. The basilica
dedicated to Our Lady, is the site where
St. Francis of Assisi founded the
Franciscan Order. He died there in
How do parents respect their children?
God entrusted children to parents so that they might be steady, righteous examples for those children, that they might love and respect them and do everything possible so that their children can develop physically and spiritually. Children are a gift from God and not the property of the parents. Before they are their parents' children, they are God's children. The primary duty of parents is to present to their children the Good News and to communicate the Christian faith to them.
How should a family live its faith together?
A Christian family should be a miniature church. All Christian family members are invited to strengthen one another in faith and to outdo one another in their zeal for God. They should pray for and with each other and collaborate in works of charity. Parents stand in for their children with their own faith, have them baptized, and serve as their models of faith. That means that parents should make it possible for their children to experience how valuable and beneficial it is to live in the familiar presence of the loving God. At some time, however, the parents, too, will learn from their children's faith and hear how God speaks through them, because the faith of young people is often accompanied by greater devotion and generosity and "because the Lord often reveals to a younger person what is better" (St. Benedict of Nursia, Rule, chap. 3, 3). (YOUCAT questions 372-373)
Dig Deeper: CCC section (2221-2231) and other references here.
Part 3: Life in Christ (1691 - 2557)
Section 2: The Ten Commandments (2052 - 2557)
Chapter 2: You Shall Love Your Neighbor as Yourself (2196 - 2557)
Article 4: The Fourth Commandment (2197 - 2257)
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you.4
He was obedient to them.5
The Lord Jesus himself recalled the force of this "commandment of God."6 The Apostle teaches: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother,' (This is the first commandment with a promise.) 'that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth."'7 ⇡
III. THE DUTIES OF FAMILY MEMBERS ⇡
The duties of parents ⇡
The fecundity of conjugal love cannot be reduced solely to the procreation of children, but must extend to their moral education and their spiritual formation. "The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute."29 The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable.30
Cf. FC 36.
Parents must regard their children as children of God and respect them as human persons. Showing themselves obedient to the will of the Father in heaven, they educate their children to fulfill God's law.
Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues. This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery the preconditions of all true freedom. Parents should teach their children to subordinate the "material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones."31 Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them: He who loves his son will not spare the rod. ... He who disciplines his son will profit by him.32
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.33
CA 36 § 2.
The home is the natural environment for initiating a human being into solidarity and communal responsibilities. Parents should teach children to avoid the compromising and degrading influences which threaten human societies.
Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents receive the responsibility and privilege of evangelizing their children. Parents should initiate their children at an early age into the mysteries of the faith of which they are the "first heralds" for their children. They should associate them from their tenderest years with the life of the Church.34 A wholesome family life can foster interior dispositions that are a genuine preparation for a living faith and remain a support for it throughout one's life.
LG 11 § 2.
Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child's earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God.35 The parish is the Eucharistic community and the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the catechesis of children and parents.
Cf. LG 11.
Children in turn contribute to the growth in holiness of their parents.36 Each and everyone should be generous and tireless in forgiving one another for offenses, quarrels, injustices, and neglect. Mutual affection suggests this. The charity of Christ demands it.37
Cf. GS 48 § 4.
Parents' respect and affection are expressed by the care and attention they devote to bringing up their young children and providing for their physical and spiritual needs. As the children grow up, the same respect and devotion lead parents to educate them in the right use of their reason and freedom.
As those first responsible for the education of their children, parents have the right to choose a school for them which corresponds to their own convictions. This right is fundamental. As far as possible parents have the duty of choosing schools that will best help them in their task as Christian educators.38 Public authorities have the duty of guaranteeing this parental right and of ensuring the concrete conditions for its exercise.
Cf. GE 6.
When they become adults, children have the right and duty to choose their profession and state of life. They should assume their new responsibilities within a trusting relationship with their parents, willingly asking and receiving their advice and counsel. Parents should be careful not to exert pressure on their children either in the choice of a profession or in that of a spouse. This necessary restraint does not prevent them quite the contrary from giving their children judicious advice, particularly when they are planning to start a family.
Some forgo marriage in order to care for their parents or brothers and sisters, to give themselves more completely to a profession, or to serve other honorable ends. They can contribute greatly to the good of the human family.
|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|1.||AT that time Herod the Tetrarch heard the fame of Jesus.||In illo tempore audivit Herodes tetrarcha fama Jesu :||εν εκεινω τω καιρω ηκουσεν ηρωδης ο τετραρχης την ακοην ιησου|
|2.||And he said to his servants: This is John the Baptist: he is risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works shew forth themselves in him.||et ait pueris suis : Hic est Joannes Baptista : ipse surrexit a mortuis, et ideo virtutes operantur in eo.||και ειπεν τοις παισιν αυτου ουτος εστιν ιωαννης ο βαπτιστης αυτος ηγερθη απο των νεκρων και δια τουτο αι δυναμεις ενεργουσιν εν αυτω|
|3.||For Herod had apprehended John and bound him, and put him into prison, because of Herodias, his brother's wife.||Herodes enim tenuit Joannem, et alligavit eum : et posuit in carcerem propter Herodiadem uxorem fratris sui.||ο γαρ ηρωδης κρατησας τον ιωαννην εδησεν αυτον και εθετο εν φυλακη δια ηρωδιαδα την γυναικα φιλιππου του αδελφου αυτου|
|4.||For John said to him: It is not lawful for thee to have her.||Dicebat enim illi Joannes : Non licet tibi habere eam.||ελεγεν γαρ αυτω ο ιωαννης ουκ εξεστιν σοι εχειν αυτην|
|5.||And having a mind to put him to death, he feared the people: because they esteemed him as a prophet.||Et volens illum occidere, timuit populum : quia sicut prophetam eum habebant.||και θελων αυτον αποκτειναι εφοβηθη τον οχλον οτι ως προφητην αυτον ειχον|
|6.||But on Herod's birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced before them: and pleased Herod.||Die autem natalis Herodis saltavit filia Herodiadis in medio, et placuit Herodi :||γενεσιων δε αγομενων του ηρωδου ωρχησατο η θυγατηρ της ηρωδιαδος εν τω μεσω και ηρεσεν τω ηρωδη|
|7.||Whereupon he promised with an oath, to give her whatsoever she would ask of him.||unde cum juramento pollicitus est ei dare quodcumque postulasset ab eo.||οθεν μεθ ορκου ωμολογησεν αυτη δουναι ο εαν αιτησηται|
|8.||But she being instructed before by her mother, said: Give me here in a dish the head of John the Baptist.||At illa præmonita a matre sua : Da mihi, inquit, hic in disco caput Joannis Baptistæ.||η δε προβιβασθεισα υπο της μητρος αυτης δος μοι φησιν ωδε επι πινακι την κεφαλην ιωαννου του βαπτιστου|
|9.||And the king was struck sad: yet because of his oath, and for them that sat with him at table, he commanded it to be given.||Et contristatus est rex : propter juramentum autem, et eos qui pariter recumbebant, jussit dari.||και ελυπηθη ο βασιλευς δια δε τους ορκους και τους συνανακειμενους εκελευσεν δοθηναι|
|10.||And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.||Misitque et decollavit Joannem in carcere.||και πεμψας απεκεφαλισεν τον ιωαννην εν τη φυλακη|
|11.||And his head was brought in a dish: and it was given to the damsel, and she brought it to her mother.||Et allatum est caput ejus in disco, et datum est puellæ, et attulit matri suæ.||και ηνεχθη η κεφαλη αυτου επι πινακι και εδοθη τω κορασιω και ηνεγκεν τη μητρι αυτης|
|12.||And his disciples came and took the body, and buried it, and came and told Jesus.||Et accedentes discipuli ejus, tulerunt corpus ejus, et sepelierunt illud : et venientes nuntiaverunt Jesu.||και προσελθοντες οι μαθηται αυτου ηραν το σωμα και εθαψαν αυτο και ελθοντες απηγγειλαν τω ιησου|
Daily Readings for:August 02, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)
Collect: Lead us, Lord God, to imitate the constancy of Saint Eusebius in affirming the divinity of your Son, so that, by preserving the faith he taught as your Bishop, we may merit a share in the very life of your Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
O God, who adorned Saint Peter Julian Eymard with a wonderful love for the sacred mysteries of the Body and Blood of your Son, graciously grant that we, too, may be worthy to receive the delights he drew from this divine banquet. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
· Ordinary Time: August 2nd
· Optional Memorial of St. Eusebius of Vercelli, bishop and Optional Memorial of Saint Peter Julian Eymard, priest
Old Calendar: St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori, bishop, confessor & doctor; St. Stephen I, pope & martyr; Our Lady of the Angels (Hist)
Born in La Mure, France, Saint Peter became a parish priest in 1834 and joined the Marists five years later. He fostered Eucharistic adoration throughout his life and founded a religious order of priest-adorers of the Holy Eucharist who came to be known as the Priests of the Blessed Sacrament.
St. Eusebius was a Roman priest of the fourth century. According to the acts relating his martyrdom he was condemned by Constantius, the Arian Emperor, to be starved to death in a room in his own house. He was buried in the cemetery of St. Calixtus. His cult has always enjoyed special favor in Rome and his house was transformed into a church.
According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Alphonsus de Liguori. His feast in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is now celebrated on August 1. It is also the commemoration of St. Stephen I, a Roman, who ruled the Church from 254 to 257 during the reign of the Emperor Valerian. He is famous for his correspondence with St. Cyprian about the validity of baptism administered by heretics. The pope's martyrdom was the beginning of Valerian's persecution.
Historically today is the feast of Our Lady of the Angels.
St. Peter Julian Eymard
Born in La Mure d'Isere in southeastern France, Peter Julian's faith journey drew him from being a priest in the Diocese of Grenoble (1834) to joining the Marists (1839) to founding the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament (1856). In addition to those changes, Peter Julian coped with poverty, his father's initial opposition to Peter's vocation, serious illness, a Jansenistic striving for inner perfection and the difficulties of getting diocesan and later papal approval for his new religious community.
His years as a Marist, including service as a provincial leader, saw the deepening of his Eucharistic devotion, especially through his preaching of Forty Hours in many parishes.
The Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament began working with children in Paris to prepare them to receive their first Communion. It also reached out to non-practicing Catholics, inviting them to repent and begin receiving Holy Communion again. He was a tireless proponent of frequent Holy Communion, an idea given more authoritative backing by Pope Pius X in 1905.
Inspired at first by the idea of reparation for indifference to the Eucharist, Peter Julian was eventually attracted to a more positive spirituality of Christ-centered love. Members of the men's community, which Peter founded, alternated between an active apostolic life and contemplating Jesus in the Eucharist. He and Marguerite Guillot founded the women's Congregation of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament.
Peter Julian Eymard was beatified in 1925 and canonized in 1962, one day after Vatican II's first session ended.
Excerpted from the Saint of the Day, Leonard Foley, O.F.M.
Things to Do:
St. Eusebius of Vercelli
Eusebius was the founder of the canons regular, priests living under a religious rule and dedicated to pastoral work. The canons regular was the immediate result of the rise of monasticism in the East, and St. Eusebius of Vercelli saw the possibilities of this new movement for the clergy. His example was imitated all over the West and brought about a renewal of clerical life. He was born in Sardinia and as a child was taken to Rome, where he became a member of the Roman clergy under Pope Julius. Consecrated for the see of Vercelli in 344, he gathered his clergy into a community life, founding also the dioceses of Turin and Embrun. In 355, he attended the Council of Milan as legate of Pope Liberius, which defended St. Athanasius against those Western bishops intimidated by the emperor. When Eusebius was ordered along with other bishops to condemn Athanasius, he refused, insisting instead that they all sign the Nicene Creed. When threatened by the emperor, Eusebius stood his ground and told the emperor he had no right interfering in Church matters.
In anger, the emperor sent Eusebius into exile in Palestine, where he was severely mistreated by the Arians. He was moved around from place to place and after his release by the Emperor Julian he consulted with Athanasius in Alexandria on the Arian crisis. Returning to Italy, he joined with St. Hilary of Poitiers in opposing the Arian bishop of Milan and returned to Vercelli amid the rejoicing of his people.
Eusebius is considered by many to be the author of the Athanasian Creed, and a copy of the Gospels written in his own hand is preserved in the cathedral at Vercelli. He died on August 1, 371, his courage in suffering for the faith inspiring other bishops to oppose the Arian heresy.
Excerpted from the The One Year Book of Saints by Rev. Clifford Stevens
Things to Do:
St. Stephen I
He is said to have been the chief deacon of Pope Lucius and recommended by him as his successor. He was soon involved in the case of two Spanish bishops who apparently had under persecution bought letters of safety from the persecutors. One of them, Martial, was deposed, and the other, Basilides, resigned, but then went to Rome and got the pope to reinstate him. He "imposed upon our colleague Stephen," declared the other Spanish bishops, "who lives a long way off and did not know the true facts of the case." St. Cyprian agreed that the two offenders were unfit to continue in office and the affair seems to have provoked a certain discord between him and Stephen, but what happened further is no longer known. Then Cyprian wrote to the pope in support of the bishops of Gaul, urging him to take action against the bishop of Arles, Marcian, who was accused of Novatianist rigorism but the result of this case is not on record either.
An important controversy then arose on the subject of baptism administered by heretics. St. Cyprian and three African synods declared that such baptism was null and void, and that one so baptized must be baptized anew upon becoming a Catholic; this innovation was supported by many bishops in Asia. St. Stephen faithfully upheld the ancient accepted teaching that, other things being equal, baptism given by heretics is valid, and was violently abused by Firmilian of Casarea in Cappadocia in consequence. "No innovation must be introduced," declared the pope, "but let that be observed which tradition has handed down," and refused to receive the delegates of the African synod that supported St. Cyprian in the year 256. Stephen thought of excommunicating the innovators, writes St. Augustine, "but, having the pity of holy charity, he judged it better to abide in union. The peace of Christ triumphed in their hearts," but the disagreement continued.
St. Stephen sent material succour to the faithful in the provinces of Syria and Arabia, and is said to have taken the first step in the emergence of liturgical vestments: the Liber Pontificalis states that he ordered that clothes worn by clerics at church services were to be kept for that purpose, and not taken into daily use or worn by laymen.
Excerpted from the A Dictionary of the Popes, Donald Attwater
Our Lady of the Angels
From the earliest days of the Church. Mary has held the title Our Lady Queen of Angels. At the Annunciation, at the Nativity, at her Assumption into heaven, and finally at her Coronation as Queen of Angels and Men, angels have been associated with Our Lady. There are a number of famous shrines dedicated to Mary under this title, including the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli at Assisi, where the great St. Francis recognized his vocation; the church in Rome which was designed and executed by Michelangelo on ruins from the time of Diocletian; the shrine of St. Mary of the Angels in Engeberg, Switzerland; Notre Dame des Anges near Lurs, France; the shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Angels at Boulogne, France; the church of Our Lady of the Angels in London, England; and the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles.
Excerpted from A Litany of Mary by Ann Ball
Saint Eusebius of Vercelli, Bishop
Herod … swore to give her whatever she might ask for. (Matthew 14:7)
Isn’t it amazing how powerful emotions can be? Just think of the sway Herodias’ daughter held over King Herod. She was able to manipulate his emotions so that he made, and later upheld, an oath that even he knew wasn’t a good idea—killing John the Baptist. But instead of allowing his reason to prevail, and instead of humbly admitting he had spoken rashly, Herod ordered John’s execution.
We have a contrasting situation with Jeremiah. Jerusalem’s priests kept pushing the political leaders to execute Jeremiah because he had the nerve to prophesy against the city. But when Jeremiah defended himself against the charges, one official, named Ahikam, responded to the voice of reason, not to the emotional arguments that were circulating. By protecting Jeremiah from death, Ahikam stood against the tide of public outrage and did what was right.
Now, we know that our God-given emotions are good and vital parts of who we are. Where would we be without love, which draws us to each other, or without fear, which warns us of danger and seeks to protect us? But at the same time, we know that our reason, not our emotions, is meant to rule us. We need to acknowledge what our emotions are telling us, but then test these feelings to see how they measure up against God’s word and the inner voice of our consciences. This is how good decisions are made!
The good news is that God allows U-turns, no matter how bad a decision is! Herod could have changed his mind up to the very last second, and God would have blessed him immensely for it. It’s never too late to let reason rein in our emotions. It’s never too late to turn from a bad decision and try to make it right. Just as Ahikam stood strong against the outrage and wounded pride of the priests, we can stand strong against our own pride, hurt feelings, or selfishness. God is ready, at every juncture, to give us the grace we need. So never give up! Always keep your eyes open, and let the Spirit continue to teach you how to choose wisely.
“Holy Spirit, help me see why I do what I do. Help me to submit my emotions to faith and reason so that I can make godly choices!”
Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24; Psalm 69:15-16, 30-31, 33-34
Daily Marriage Tip for August 2, 2014:
Since before Cinderella, stepparents have had a bad rap. Stepparents can play a precarious role, trying to love as a true parent but sometimes experiencing difficulties and unsure of their job. If you have a stepchild, pray, listen and wait to be accepted. If you dont have a stepchild, pray for those in step relationships [
|Heeding or Silencing the Conscience|
August 2, 2014. Saturday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
Matthew 14: 1-12
Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus and said to his servants, "This man is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him." Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, for John had said to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her." Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people, for they regarded him as a prophet. But at a birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for. Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist." The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given, and he had John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. His disciples came and took away the corpse and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe you are looking for me. You stand ready to come to me in this moment of prayer. You want to help me see your love and where I can grow to be more like you. Thank you for your patience and goodness with me. I want to give myself totally to you.
Petition: Lord, help me to hear your voice more clearly today.
1. A Disturbing Voice: John the Baptist had been sent to prepare the way for Christ. He was a witness to the holiness of God. He tried to awaken the sense of sin and the need for repentance. He spoke clearly and was afraid of no one. Sometimes the voice of God in my conscience can be bothersome, like John’s voice was to Herod. Yet a clear reminder of what is right and wrong is an act of mercy from God. He is giving us a chance to awaken from our lethargy and realize that our immortal souls are at stake. I should thank God when my conscience reminds me of things I need to change in my life.
2. What’s Wrong With a Little Entertainment? There is nothing wrong with having celebrations in our life and moments of joy and relaxation. A Christian’s life is rich in moments of happiness. But, as was the case in Herod’s birthday party, there exists the danger of looking for entertainment and relaxation in activities or pastimes which can simply manipulate our passions, weaken our morals, and deeply offend God. If we are unable to choose our entertainment wisely we can end up throwing away the richness of our spiritual inheritance for cheap thrills. Herod ends up as a murderer rather than a good king. His unchecked passions of sensuality and human respect make him use his power to destroy rather than protect. I must remember that even in the moments of relaxation I have the responsibility to protect and foster my Christian identity. I should look for healthy pastimes where I can share the joy of Christian living with my friends and family.
3. The Proverbial Second Chance: When Herod hears of Jesus, his conscience pricks him. He knew he had killed a man of God. Somewhere in his heart he knew that God would have the last word. The presence of Christ is an additional grace that the Father offers Herod so that he may be converted. Unfortunately it is a grace that Herod will not take advantage of, just as he did not take advantage of the presence of John the Baptist. In my own life, how many times does the Father have to remind me of my call to holiness? Do I realize how much mercy the Lord has already shown me? What is it that I am still withholding from him? Today I will seek a deep conversion of heart in that area where I know I have still been withholding myself from God.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, thank you for enlightening my conscience with your Gospel. Help me to see where I have become deaf or insensitive to the call of your teachings. I want your grace to triumph in my life. Help me to be brave to change what offends you and to live a life of Christian authenticity.
Resolution: I will receive the sacrament of reconciliation today and also invite someone else to receive it.
August 2, 2014
King Herod had a choice. He was the king, after all. He could have said no to the daughter of Herodias. No matter how important it was for a king to keep his oath, having someone innocent beheaded for the sake of not losing face is still wrong. He knew that. But because of his weak character, he agreed to do it.
This passage reminds us of how easily people can be persuaded to do the wrong thing for whatever reason we have. It can teach us the value of choosing to listen to what people say or to listen to what God says. In King Herod’s case, he chose to give in to a girl’s wish out of pride at the cost of the life of John the Baptist.
What do we know about John de Baptist? He was one person who fully committed his life to God. He always tried to do the right thing, even at the expense of his life. He never compromised his beliefs or convictions to please anyone. He knew obeying God was the best and the only thing to do, so he did that. He loved God more than his own life. Can we honestly say the same?
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