- Website with Catholic Answers to Today's Sticky Moral Questions (under the laptop picture)
- Husband Washes Wife's Feet Instead of Tossing Garter, Says She Deserves to be Cherished
(Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- History of the Hail Mary (Helpful Hints for Life)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
Solemnity of Christ the King
Everyone generally likes the pageantry of Kings, I think. Perhaps only those who have not lived under kings or those who never knew a bad king. But a king is not everyone’s idea of a good time.
The prophet laying out the consequences when Israel rejects God as their king and desires to have an earthly king over them says that the sons of families must sign up for military service and taxes will now be levied for war and the king’s city. Trade, craftsmans, building, and much more will be directed by the king so that his plans and construction of the kingdom can take shape and many more changes so that an earthly king can rule in Israel. Also, all will now be SERVING THE KING.
Jesus Christ, the King of Glory, is a different sort of king. He starts by SERVING US. He walks our walks, and talks our talk. He gives us words of life to live by. He cures the sick, drives out demons, and calls us to be more than ourselves. He dies our death, to give Himself as food in the Holy Eucharist so that we might live forever in Heaven.
And those of us that would make Him the king of their hearts, He only asks that we live like Him by His strength. We must of course, “deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him.” But He helps us with grace to deny ourselves. He helps us to take up and carry our cross and to follow Him. To follow Him to heaven, and with Him to lead all to their ultimate and true happiness: with God forever.
Who is going to be your king this Sunday and the rest of your life?
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This coming Sunday is the Solemnity of Christ the King, the 34rd and last Sunday of Ordinary Time and the Church year! The readings can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/112419.cfm (Readings with reflections and questions are at the end of the e-weekly.)
a) for us to be slaves
b) for us to do whatever we want, whenever we want
c) to know, love, and serve Him, and be happy with Him forever in heaven
d) to discover Him on our own accord if we want to
CHAPTER ONE: Man's Capacity for God - “You are great, O Lord, and greatly to be praised [...] You have made us for yourself and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” (Saint Augustine)
2. Why does man have a desire for God? (CCC 27-30, 44-45)
a) God has written it on our hearts
b) if it is ignored, God still will draw by this desire
c) this intimate bond confers on us our fundamental dignity
d) all of the above
3. How is it possible to know God with only the light of human reason? (CCC 31-36, 46-47)
a) one can look at one’s self, and know that self is destined for more than death
b) one can look at one’s self, and see humanity has brought about humanity
c) it is not possible
d) Nothing is clear with only human reason
4. Is the light of reason alone sufficient to know the mystery of God? (CCC 37-38)
a) the light of human reason can shine sufficiently on all the mysteries of God
b) since God has made us, he has made us to be able to figure out all we need to know about Him by reason
c) both a and b
d) neither a and b
Domini Nostri Iesu Christi Universorum Regis
(“Our Lord, Jesus Christ, King of the Universe [or ‘King of All’]”)
- official Church title of the last Sunday of the Church year, last SOLEMNITY of the Church year
Solemnity (from Latin sollemnis “regularly appointed”)
-highest rank of liturgical celebration in the Catholic Church;
-a marked feast day of great importance and significance
History of the Hail Mary
The Angelic Salutation is a most concise summary of all that Catholic theology teaches about the Blessed Virgin. It is divided into two parts, that of praise and that of petition. The first shows everything that goes to make up Mary's greatness; and the second, all we need to ask, and all that we can expect from her goodness.
The Most Holy Trinity revealed the first part; Saint Elizabeth, inspired by the Holy Spirit, gave the second; and the Church added the conclusion in the year 430 when she condemned the Nestorian heresy at the Council of Ephesus and defined that the Blessed Virgin is truly the Mother of God. The council commanded us to invoke the Holy Virgin under this glorious title with these words: "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death."
-Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort
The Admirable Secret of the Rosary (# 35)
As the visions during the night continued, I saw one like a Son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; when he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him, the one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship. -Daniel 7:13
Ancient of Days is a name given to God by the Prophet Daniel in which he contrasts His eternal powers with the frail existence of the empires of the world. It is from these descriptions of the Almighty that Christian art derived its general manner of representing the first person of the Holy Trinity. God as the Ancient of Days presents us with a marvelous image of God the Father's eternal wisdom, eternal steadfastness, and eternal reliability. God is simple and unchanging. This image is particularly vivid in the book of Daniel, where the prophet Daniel has a vision of "someone like a son of Man" who gained privileged access to the "Ancient of Days," and from the Ancient of Days received "rulership and dignity and kingdom, that the peoples, national groups and languages should all serve even him." (Dan. 7:13-14) The "son of Man" referred to by the Prophet Daniel is, of course, the very title assumed by Jesus during the course of his ministry here on earth. In the Gospels, Jesus refers to himself as the "son of Man" eighty-one times, almost certainly his most frequent designation. Jesus' appropriation of the title "son of Man" suggests that He was claiming unique access to God the Father, the Ancient of Days, and to have received from Him rulership over the entirety of creation.
Further Reading: Daniel 7:9-22; Psalms 90:1-2; Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 4:2-3
The sign of the cross makes kings of all those reborn in Christ and the anointing of the Holy Spirit consecrates them as priests, so that, apart from the particular service of our ministry, all spiritual and rational Christians are recognized as members of this royal race and sharers in Christ's priestly office. What, indeed, is as royal for a soul as to govern the body in obedience to God? And what is as priestly as to dedicate a pure conscience to the Lord and to offer the spotless offerings of devotion on the altar of the heart? Catechism of the Catholic Church #786
This website showcases the masterpiece of the prominent Catholic moral theologian, Germain Grisez. The three volume set of The Way of the Lord Jesus is available online, with the fourth volume to be added as it becomes available.
The Way of the Lord Jesus strives to respond to Vatican II’s mandate for a thorough-going renewal of moral theology, so that it would be centered on Jesus Christ, enriched by sacred Scripture, and grounded in the fundamental truths of Catholic faith.
JESSE TREE FOR ADVENT
Parish can do a Jesse Tree through Parish School, PSR or CCD, or simply before the Sunday Mass. A Jesse Tree comes from the Middle Ages and was used to tell Salvation History from Creation to Jesus Birth at Christmas through the primary persons involved.
This is a wonderful way for your parish to be reminded or learn of God working through time saving us, and for them to enter more into the Holy Bible. It can incorporate children of the parish and have a beautiful visual in front of the parish of God's Love.
Create your own Jesse Tree with branch or one that has been put together that can be used in another way such as attached to the wall (see below) or one can be purchased. Then throughout Advent, each day or each Sunday, ornaments (or cards) are read and shown and added to the tree to grow until it becomes a full tree bearing Christ at Christmas time. This can involve older children to read, young to hang ornaments, etc.
Catholic speaker, podcaster, and television personality Stacey Sumereau shared an experience she had with her husband at her wedding reception – and the post went completely viral!
Instead of throwing her garter, her husband washed her feet.
Sumeraeu explained that “the garter toss signifies Eros,” which is “sexual attraction and a public hint of the private intimacy the newlyweds will enjoy.”
Her husband washed her feet because it signifies Jesus’ sacrificial love.
“Jesus washed his disciples’ feet the night before he gave his life for them on the Cross…Husbands vow to love their brides like Christ loves the Church. 🏼 To be the leader of our family is to be a servant.”
Here’s the full text of Sumereau’s post:“My husband washed my feet at our wedding reception instead of tossing a garter.
“The garter toss signifies Eros- sexual attraction and a public hint of the private intimacy the newlyweds will enjoy. Physical attraction is a wonderful and beautiful part of marriage. However, I LOVE that my groom chose to surprise me with something different… 🤩
“Jesus washed his disciples’ feet the night before he gave his life for them on the cross. That kind of love is agape: sacrifice.
“Husbands vow to love their brides like Christ loves the Church. 🏼 To be the leader of our family is to be a servant. Whether it’s prioritizing my desire of where we go to dinner or getting up with the babies early when I’m exhausted, John lays down his life for me every day.
“And the beautiful thing is that you don’t gotta worry one tiny bit about erotic love disappearing when you work for agape love.
“So often our culture gets it backwards: ‘test drive,’ ‘try before you buy,’ cohabitation.
“But now that I’m living marriage day-to-day, I see that sustaining a relationship purely with Eros is like trying to live on cake: the sweetness can disappear in an instant, but it’s working together that lasts.
“We didn’t need to ‘try before you buy’ to have the both depth of agape and the sweetness of Eros together. I don’t feel ‘in love’ every second of every day. (And anyone who expects that is going to be disappointed!)
“But I trust my husband and feel security in his love. That allows for joy, laughter, and a peaceful relationship.”
“Listen to Dan and Amber DeMatte’s episode of my podcast, Called and Caffeinated, for LOTS more on how to sustain a strong marriage.
“Single friends, don’t buy what the culture is selling you! You deserve to be cherished–not just for a time, but forever.”
Let us all pray for the strength to love sacrificially!
by Elise Harris
Vatican City, Nov 18, 2017 / 07:59 am (EWTN News/CNA) -Pope Francis on Saturday sent a message to health workers and organizations, saying compassion is the heart of what they do, and stressed the need for a more equitable distribution resources and services throughout the world.
“A healthcare organization that is efficient and capable of addressing inequalities cannot forget its raison d’être, which is compassion,” the Pope said Nov. 18.
This includes the compassion of doctors, nurses, support staff volunteers and all others able to “minimize the pain associated with loneliness and anxiety,” he said, and stressed the importance for healthcare workers to focus not just on good organization, but on listening, accompanying and supporting the people they care for.
Compassion, Francis said, is “a privileged way to promote justice,” since empathizing with what others are experiencing allows us to not only understand their struggles, hardships and fears, but also “to discover, in the frailness of every human being, his or her unique worth and dignity.”
“Indeed, human dignity is the basis of justice, while the recognition of every person’s inestimable worth is the force that impels us to work, with enthusiasm and self-sacrifice, to overcome all disparities.”
Pope Francis sent his message to participants in the Nov. 16-18 conference “Addressing Global Health Inequalities,” organized by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in collaboration with the International Confederation of Catholic Healthcare Institutions.
The goal of the conference is to launch a network connecting all 116,000 Catholic health organizations around the world through a platform of collaboration and sharing aimed at exchanging information.
Another key goal of the conference is to raise awareness about global disparities in access to healthcare.
In his speech, he quoted from the Vatican's new Healthcare Charter, released in February, which states that “the fundamental right to the preservation of health pertains to the value of justice, whereby there are no distinctions between peoples and ethnic groups, taking into account their objective living situations and stages of development.”
The Church, he said, continuing the quote, “proposed that the right to health care and the right to justice ought to be reconciled by ensuring a fair distribution of healthcare facilities and financial resources, in accordance with the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity.”
To this end, he praised the participants for establishing the new platform, which he said will concretely address the challenges faced in healthcare in different geographical and social settings.
Francis said this task is something that belongs in particular to healthcare workers and their organizations, since they are committed in a special way to raising awareness among institutions, welfare agencies and the healthcare industry as a whole, “for the sake of ensuring that every individual actually benefits from the right to health care.”
This not only depends on the services provided, but also on the economic, social and cultural factors in decision making processes.
He also stressed the need to eradicate the structural causes of poverty, “because society needs to be cured of a sickness which is weakening and frustrating it, and which can only lead to new crises.”
Welfare projects should only be considered temporary responses, he said, explaining that “as long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems.”
Francis also offered a special word to representatives of pharmaceutical companies present, and who were invited to Rome to address the topic of access to antiretroviral therapies by paediatric patients.
Again quoting from the Vatican's healthcare charter, he said that while scientific knowledge and research on their part have their own laws to abide to, “ways must be found to combine these adequately with the right of access to basic or necessary treatments, or both.”
He also advocated for healthcare strategies that pursue the common good and that are “economically and ethically sustainable.”
Pope Francis closed his message thanking participants for their “generous commitment,” and gave his blessing.
Jesus Christ is the one whom the Father anointed with the Holy Spirit and established as priest, prophet, and king. The whole People of God participates in these three offices of Christ and bears the responsibilities for mission and service that flow from them.
Catechism of the Catholic Church #783
Little Johnny to his mom: “I shot 4 goals at the soccer match today!” Mom: “Wonderful, looks like your team won, right?” Little Johnny: “Not really, we played 2:2.”
Teacher asks, “Who can tell me the chemical formula for water?” Little Johnny pipes up, "HIJKLMNO"! The teacher is puzzled, “What on Earth are you talking about, Johnny?” Little Johnny looks hurt, “But sir, you yourself said yesterday that it's H to O!”
-I don’t suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.
-Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn’t have said.
-If Bill Gates had a penny for every time I had to reboot my computer…oh wait, he does.
-Money talks…but all mine ever says is good-bye.
Blessed Are...“What’s wrong, Bubba?” asked the pastor.
“I need you to pray for my hearing,” said Bubba.
The pastor put his hands on Bubba’s ears and prayed. When he was done, he asked, “So how’s your hearing?”
“I don’t know,” said Bubba. “It isn’t until next Tuesday.”
Father TimeThe last time we changed from daylight saving time, a preacher friend posted, “For those who habitually show up 15 minutes late to church, allow me to remind you that tonight is the night you set your clock back 45 minutes.”
Holy Family in a Plane
A Sunday school teacher asked her students to draw a picture of Jesus' family. After collecting the drawings, she noticed that one little boy's drawing depicted an airplane with four heads sticking out of the windows. "I see you drew three heads to show Joseph, Mary and Jesus," she said to the boy. "But who does the fourth head belong to?"
The boy replied, "That's Pontius the pilot."
A minister waited in line to have his car filled with gas just before a long holiday weekend. The attendant worked quickly, but there were many cars ahead of him. Finally, the attendant motioned him toward a vacant pump.
"Reverend," said the young man, "I'm so sorry about the delay. It seems as if everyone waits until the last minute to get ready for a long trip."
The minister chuckled, "I know what you mean. It's the same in my business."
Be Careful What You Say To Children
One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head.She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, 'Why are some of your hairs white, Mom?'
Her mother replied, 'Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white.'
The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, 'Mommy, how come ALL of grandma's hairs are white?'
The anointing with sacred chrism, perfumed oil consecrated by the bishop, signifies the gift of the Holy Spirit to the newly baptized, who has become a Christian, that is, one "anointed" by the Holy Spirit, incorporated into Christ who is anointed priest, prophet, and king.
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1241
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
November 24th, 2019
The First Reading- 2 Samuel 5:1-3
In those days, all the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said: "Here we are, your bone and your flesh. In days past, when Saul was our king, it was you who led the Israelites out and brought them back. And the LORD said to you, 'You shall shepherd my people Israel and shall be commander of Israel.'" When all the elders of Israel came to David in Hebron, King David made an agreement with them there before the LORD, and they anointed him king of Israel.
Here is recorded one of the pivotal points in the history of salvation, indeed, a pivotal point in the history of human civilization. David had been Saul’s son-in-law and commander of the army. Upon Saul’s death, David was made king of the sprawling southern tribe of Judah, but the northern tribes remained loyal to Saul’s son Ish-ba’al (a.k.a. Ishbosheth). Ish-ba’al was assassinated by his own men, however, making David the last viable successor to Saul. The northern ten tribes then came to David and make him their king. Note the phrase the Israelites use to approach David: “Here we are, your bone and flesh.” Literally: “Look here! Your bone and your flesh we are.” These words recall the statement of Adam to Eve in Genesis 2: “Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.” The parallel is not accidental, nor is it without significance. Many scholars agree that the phrase “Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” (or variants thereof) was a performative utterance used in covenant making rituals. It was not so much a recognition of a physical relationship as a declaration that from now on a kinship relationship exists between the two parties. Adam is declaring Eve to be his family. Based on the echo of Genesis 2 in 2 Samuel 5, we can say that there is a nuptial aspect to the covenant that is formed between David and the people of Israel. The people of Israel present themselves as David’s “bone and flesh”, that is, as Eve to his Adam, as Bride to his Groom, as the Church does to Christ.
Adults - What does it mean that the Church is the “Bride of Christ?”
Teens - How is the relationship between Christ and His Church similar to a marriage?
Kids - In what ways are is the Church a family?
Responsorial- Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
R.Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
"We will go up to the house of the LORD."
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
-This beautiful psalm reflects the golden age of Israel under the reign of Solomon, David’s successor. The Temple, the “House of the LORD,” has been built in Jerusalem, and all twelve tribes of the Kingdom of Israel are able to go up to the royal city to worship and seek justice from the princes of the House of David.
Christ dwells bodily in the Church - do you approach Him with joy?
The Second Reading- Colossians 1:12-20
Brothers and sisters: Let us give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light. He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.
This text of Paul emphasizes the cosmic nature of Jesus’ kingship. Christ is at the beginning of creation, and he is the principle of creation. All visible authorities (presidents, generals, dictators) and invisible authorities (angelic and demonic hosts) owe their existence to him and only rule with his permission. The implication of this teaching is that Christianity is the universal religion. If Christ is the one through whom all things were created, then his claims rest on all human beings. There is no compatibility of this teaching of Paul with religious relativism.
What is relativism and how does it affect Christianity in our world today?
The Holy Gospel according to Luke 23:35-43
The rulers sneered at Jesus and said, "He saved others, let him save himself if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God." Even the soldiers jeered at him. As they approached to offer him wine they called out, "If you are King of the Jews, save yourself." Above him there was an inscription that read, "This is the King of the Jews." Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us." The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
At first this Gospel reading seems like a sharp contrast with the previous Readings, which emphasized the glory and power of the Son of David. Here we see the Son of David mocked, reviled, humiliated, and killed. Yet there is paradoxical truth here. The cross is Jesus’ throne. His kingship is expressed in his death. He reigns from the cross. His is a kingdom of “redemption, the forgiveness of sins,” and sins cannot be forgiven unless he pays the price for them with his own blood. So here the king pays for the offenses of his subjects, in order “to make peace by the blood of his cross” (Col. 1:20). Eventually, every person must decide whether they are going to lead their life by following their own desires, or surrender their lives to Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe, the suffering King who will judge at the last day.
Adults - Do some research on the Catholic teaching of redemptive suffering this week.
Teens - What does it mean to follow Christ?
Kids - What would you say if someone asked you why you love Jesus?
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! - With an ever-growing desire, all Advent awaits the "coming King"; in the chants of the breviary we find repeated again and again the two expressions "King" and "is coming." On Christmas the Church would greet, not the Child of Bethlehem, but the Rex Pacificus — "the King of peace gloriously reigning." Within a fortnight, there follows a feast which belongs to the greatest of the feasts of the Church year -- the Epiphany. As in ancient times oriental monarchs visited their principalities (theophany), so the divine King appears in His city, the Church; from its sacred precincts He casts His glance over all the world....On the final feast of the Christmas cycle, the Presentation in the Temple, holy Church meets her royal Bridegroom with virginal love: "Adorn your bridal chamber, O Sion, and receive Christ your King!" The burden of the Christmas cycle may be summed up in these words: Christ the King establishes His Kingdom of light upon earth! — Excerpted from The Sunday Readings Cycle C, Fr. Kevin O' Sullivan, O.F.M.
1. What is the plan of God for man? c) to know, love, and serve Him, and be happy with Him forever in heaven
God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. In the fullness of time, God the Father sent his Son as the Redeemer and Savior of mankind, fallen into sin, thus calling all into his Church and, through the work of the Holy Spirit, making them adopted children and heirs of his eternal happiness.
2. Why does man have a desire for God? d) all of the above
God himself, in creating man in his own image, has written upon his heart the desire to see him. Even if this desire is often ignored, God never ceases to draw man to himself because only in God will he find and live the fullness of truth and happiness for which he never stops searching. By nature and by vocation, therefore, man is a religious being, capable of entering into communion with God. This intimate and vital bond with God confers on man his fundamental dignity.
3. How is it possible to know God with only the light of human reason? a) one can look at one’s self, and know that self is destined for more than death
Starting from creation, that is from the world and from the human person, through reason alone one can know God with certainty as the origin and end of the universe, as the highest good and as infinite truth and beauty.
4. Is the light of reason alone sufficient to know the mystery of God? d) neither a and b
In coming to a knowledge of God by the light of reason alone man experiences many difficulties. Indeed, on his own he is unable to enter into the intimacy of the divine mystery. This is why he stands in need of being enlightened by God’s revelation, not only about those things that exceed his understanding, but also about those religious and moral truths which of themselves are not beyond the grasp of human reason, so that even in the present condition of the human race, they can be known by all with ease, with firm certainty and with no admixture of error.