Thursday in the Third Week of Lent

Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, for I am gracious and merciful.

Have you ever felt “divided” or that your foundation has been rocked? “If your spiritual edifice is tottering, or if everything seems to be up in the air,… lean on filial confidence in Jesus and Mary; it’s the firm and steady rock on which you should have built from the beginning” (The Way, no. 721).

 
A Reading from the Book of Jeremiah
Thus says the LORD:
This is what I commanded my people:
Listen to my voice;
then I will be your God and you shall be my people.
Walk in all the ways that I command you,
so that you may prosper.

But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed.
They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts
and turned their backs, not their faces, to me.
From the day that your fathers left the land of Egypt even to this day,
I have sent you untiringly all my servants the prophets.
Yet they have not obeyed me nor paid heed;
they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their fathers.
When you speak all these words to them,
they will not listen to you either;
when you call to them, they will not answer you.
Say to them:
This is the nation that does not listen
to the voice of the LORD, its God,
or take correction.
Faithfulness has disappeared;
the word itself is banished from their speech.
The Word of the Lord!

Responsorial Psalm
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
“Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
they tested me though they had seen my works.”
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord according to Luke
Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute,
and when the demon had gone out,
the mute man spoke and the crowds were amazed.
Some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,
he drives out demons.”
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
But he knew their thoughts and said to them,
“Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste
and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself,
how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,
by whom do your own people drive them out?
Therefore they will be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace,
his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him,
he takes away the armor on which he relied
and distributes the spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
The Gospel of the Lord!

“Christ’s thus casting out the devils, was really the destroying of their power. The heart of every unconverted sinner is the devil’s palace, where he dwells, and where he rules. There is a kind of peace in the heart of an unconverted soul, while the devil, as a strong man armed, keeps it. The sinner is secure, has no doubt concerning the goodness of his state, nor any dread of the judgment to come. But observe the wonderful change made in conversion. The conversion of a soul to God, is Christ’s victory over the devil and his power in that soul, restoring the soul to its liberty, and recovering his own interest in it and power over it. All the endowments of mind of body are now employed for Christ. Here is the condition of a hypocrite. The house is swept from common sins, by a forced confession, as Pharaoh’s; by a feigned contrition, as Ahab’s; or by a partial reformation, as Herod’s. The house is swept, but it is not washed; the heart is not made holy. Sweeping takes off only the loose dirt, while the sin that besets the sinner, the beloved sin, is untouched. The house is garnished with common gifts and graces. It is not furnished with any true grace; it is all paint and varnish, not real nor lasting. It was never given up to Christ, nor dwelt in by the Spirit. Let us take heed of resting in that which a man may have, and yet come short of heaven. The wicked spirits enter in without any difficulty; they are welcomed, and they dwell there; there they work, there they rule. From such an awful state let all earnestly pray to be delivered.”

Wake up!  Repent!  Repent for the Lord draws nigh!  Stop all hypocrisy, stop throwing out His Commandments!  Return to the Traditions of the Holy Church!  Repent!

Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent

Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life; you have the words of everlasting life.

“Long faces, coarse manners, a ridiculous appearance, a repelling air. Is that how you hope to inspire others to follow Christ?” (The Way, no. 661) Ask God to help you see how your Lenten resolutions are bringing you closer to Him, and also how joyfully fulfilling your resolutions is bringing those around you closer to Him.

A Reading from the Book of Deuteronomy
Moses spoke to the people and said:
“Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees
which I am teaching you to observe,
that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land
which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
Therefore, I teach you the statutes and decrees
as the LORD, my God, has commanded me,
that you may observe them in the land you are entering to occupy.
Observe them carefully,
for thus will you give evidence
of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations,
who will hear of all these statutes and say,
‘This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.’
For what great nation is there
that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us
whenever we call upon him?
Or what great nation has statutes and decrees
that are as just as this whole law
which I am setting before you today?

“However, take care and be earnestly on your guard
not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen,
nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live,
but teach them to your children and to your children’s children.”
The Word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion.
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
He sends forth his command to the earth;
swiftly runs his word!
He spreads snow like wool;
frost he strews like ashes.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord according to Matthew
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”
The Gospel of the Lord!

“Let none suppose that Christ allows his people to trifle with any commands of God’s holy law. No sinner partakes of Christ’s justifying righteousness, till he repents of his evil deeds. The mercy revealed in the gospel leads the believer to still deeper self-abhorrence. The law is the Christian’s rule of duty, and he delights therein. If a man, pretending to be Christ’s disciple, encourages himself in any allowed disobedience to the holy law of God, or teaches others to do the same, whatever his station or reputation among men may be, he can be no true disciple. Christ’s righteousness, imputed to us by faith alone, is needed by every one that enters the kingdom of grace or of glory; but the new creation of the heart to holiness, produces a thorough change in a man’s temper and conduct.”

Matthew Henry nails this right on the nose.  We absolutely cannot trifle with the Commands of Almighty God nor of the Commands of our Savior.  The Truth is meant to set people free, it may prick your heart but it will set you free.  Repent of your sins and follow the Holy and Mighty Commandments!

Tuesday in the Third week

“Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart; for I am gracious and merciful.” (Jl 2:12-13)

“Have you ever stopped to consider the enormous sum that many small amounts can come to?” (The Way, no. 827). After reading and contemplating today’s Gospel, ask God to help you see the small things that He forgives in your life daily… and then to see how much that amounts to when you sum up all the days of your life until now.

My apologies for not doing an in depth devotional.  I’m going over my material one last time today for my exam.  Please keep me in prayer at 17:30 I sit for the test.

Element 3 Exam

CQ! CQ! CQ!  de KC1FLG…

My brothers and sisters,
family both blood and spiritual,

I ask that you keep me in prayer.  I have enormous test anxiety when ever I take a test and tomorrow I sit for the Element 3 Amateur Radio Exam (General Class License Upgrade).  I will drive an hour northeast of my home to Merritt Island and take the 35 question exam at 17:30 Eastern Time.   I know the material and have been passing the practice exams.  Just a tad nervous.  If I recall I was this way prior to taken the Element 2 (Technician Class) which I passed with only two incorrect answers.  I thank you in advance for the prayers.

St. Joseph

The Solemnity of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of Mary, honors the foster-father of Jesus, St. Joseph. He is the patron saint of fathers, families, workers, and the Church. His main celebration falls on March 19.

Let us pray
That the Church will continue the saving work of Christ.

Father,
You entrusted our Savior to the care of St. Joseph,
By the help of his prayers
may the Church continue to serve its Lord,
Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Despite the attention given to him today, Saint Joseph is a relatively minor figure in the New Testament. The four canonical gospels provide a few details about his life. He was probably a relatively old man when Jesus was born, since he does not appear in the gospels during Jesus’ active ministry. The non-canonical Protevangelium, from around the 2nd century, attests to Joseph’s advanced age.

The Protevangelium also asserts that Joseph was a widower, who had grown children from his previous marriage. This story is used by many early Church Fathers to explain Scriptural references to Jesus’ “brothers,” who would have been step-brothers, and not biologically related. Finally, we know from the Scriptures that Joseph was a carpenter by trade, and a descendant of the Old Testament King David.

St. Joseph was betrothed (basically, engaged) to a virgin named Mary, and when she became pregnant without sexual intercourse with him, he intended to divorce her secretly. However, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, telling him that Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit, and that Joseph was to take Mary as his wife. The angel also instructed Joseph to name the child Jesus. Joseph, being a humble man, obeyed the angel and took Mary as his wife.

Various legends have grown-up about St. Joseph, and while not scriptural, and historically suspect, they are nonetheless fascinating. One legend suggests that the high-priest Zechariah told Mary that he was instructed in a revelation to bring together marriageable men and have each man leave his staff in the temple overnight. The husband chosen by God would be revealed through a sign. In the morning, Joseph the Carpenter’s staff blossomed, while the other suitors’ staffs did not. This was a sign that Mary was to marry Joseph.

St. Joseph is a model of humility and holiness, and is a model for fathers everywhere. He cared for the Son of God, despite Jesus not being his own biological Son. His devotion to Mary, despite his suspicions of her infidelity, and his willingness to listen to the angel of God, demonstrate his humility.

St. Joseph is a popular patron saint. He is the patron saint of the universal Church, a happy death, workers, carpenters, expecting mothers, families, and more.

Many traditions and customs have developed around St. Joseph and his feast day. March 19th has been a traditional day to show hospitality in my culture which is the Italian culture. On this day, all who come to the door are invited to dinner. The family table is extended full-length, moved against the wall (like the Church altar), and a statue of St. Joseph surrounded by flowers and candles is made the centerpiece. After the guests, have enjoyed the bounteous feast (blessed by a priest prior to the meal), the guests leave so other guests may enter. What is left is given to the poor. On a variation of this theme, a table is set up in the town square, and all families bring food. After Mass, everyone comes and shares a meal, which consists of a variety of foods, including bread baked in the shape of scepters and beards.

Let us pray.
O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of idleness, despondency, ambition, and idle talk. (Prostration).

But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant. (Prostration).

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see mine own transgressions and not to judge my brother, for Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration).

Spiritual Communion Prayer (when not able to attend Mass)
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.

I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen!

St. Joseph Day Reading

Blessed are those who dwell in your house, O Lord; they never cease to praise you.

Today, reflect on the life of St. Joseph and on the demands of your ordinary daily life, and take comfort knowing that: “St. Joseph, a father to Christ, is also your father and your lord. Have recourse to him”

A Reading from the Book of 2nd Samael
The LORD spoke to Nathan and said:
“Go, tell my servant David,
‘When your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
and I will make his kingdom firm.
It is he who shall build a house for my name.
And I will make his royal throne firm forever.
I will be a father to him,
and he shall be a son to me.
Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me;
your throne shall stand firm forever.'”
The Word of the Lord.

<Responsorial Psalm
R. The son of David will live for ever.
The promises of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness,
For you have said, "My kindness is established forever";
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R. The son of David will live for ever.
"I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations."
R. The son of David will live for ever.
"He shall say of me, 'You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.'
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm."
R. The son of David will live for ever.

A Reading from the Letter to the Romans
Brothers and sisters:
It was not through the law
that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants
that he would inherit the world,
but through the righteousness that comes from faith.
For this reason, it depends on faith,
so that it may be a gift,
and the promise may be guaranteed to all his descendants,
not to those who only adhere to the law
but to those who follow the faith of Abraham,
who is the father of all of us, as it is written,
I have made you father of many nations.
He is our father in the sight of God,
in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead
and calls into being what does not exist.
He believed, hoping against hope,
that he would become the father of many nations,
according to what was said, Thus shall your descendants be.
That is why it was credited to him as righteousness.
The Word of the Lord.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord according to Luke
Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old,
they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem,
but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan,
they journeyed for a day
and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him,
they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded
at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to him,
“Son, why have you done this to us?
Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And he said to them,
“Why were you looking for me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
But they did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth,
and was obedient to them.
The Gospel of the Lord.
 

Let us pray.
O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of idleness, despondency, ambition, and idle talk. (Prostration).

But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant. (Prostration).

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see mine own transgressions and not to judge my brother, for Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration).

Spiritual Communion Prayer (when not able to attend Mass)
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.

I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen!

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