Wednesday of the Octave of Easter
- Dan’s Deliberations, Discoveries, & Declarations
- Today in Catholic History
- Joke of the Day
- Today’s Gospel Reading
- Reflection on Today’s Gospel
- New Translation of the Mass
- A Franciscan’s Saint of the Day
- Franciscan Formation Reflection
- Reflection on part of the SFO Rule
Dan’s Deliberations, Discoveries, & Declarations:
With a bitter-sweet feeling, I am announcing that this will be my last WEDNESDAY Gospel reflection blog. The Sunday Gospel blog will continue as always; hopefully getting better in the end result.
I have been attempting to finish TWO books, plus some other ventures – – all with little success due to time. With changing my format somewhat, I hopefully can achieve a greater success in my other areas of interest.
I still plan on blogging throughout the week, just not to the extent I am presently, and without an enormous amount of meditation, reflection, and multiple rewrites and changes. Thank you all for your understanding.
Today in Catholic History:
† 1509 – Pope Julius II excommunicates (places under interdict) Italian state of Venice
† 1522 – Battle at Bicacca: Charles I & Pope Adrianus VI beat France
† 1605 – Death of Leo XI, [Alessandro O de’ Medici], Italian Pope, at age 69 (b. 1535)
† 1613 – Death of Robert Abercromby, Scottish Jesuit (b. 1532)
† 1939 – Birth of Stanislaw Dziwisz, Polish Cardinal
† Feasts/Memorials: Saint Floribert; Saint Liberalis; Saint Mariana; Saint Zita
(From the “On This Day” Blog Site
“Today in Catholic History”
Joke of the Day:
“People are like tea bags – you have to put them in hot water before you know how strong they are.” ~ Unknown
Today’s reflection is about the “Road to Emmaus” discovery that Jesus Christ was among them, during the breaking of the bread.
(NAB Luke 24:13-35) 13 Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, 14 and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. 15 And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, 16 but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?” 19 And he replied to them, “What sort of things?” They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. 21 But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. 22 Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning 23 and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. 24 Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! 26 Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures. 28 As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. 29 But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. 31 With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. 32 Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning (within us) while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” 33 So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them 34 who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
Jesus’ death scattered His disciples. His death shattered their hopes and dreams; their “Messiah” was now dead. They hoped so much that He would be the one to redeem Israel. They saw the cross as a tool and sign of defeat. Most of His disciples could not understand the meaning of the empty tomb until the Jesus Christ personally appeared to them, giving them an understanding previously incomprehensible.
The event in today’s Gospel reading centers on the interpretation of Holy Scripture – – by the “Risen” Jesus Christ Himself – – and the recognition of Him by the two journeying to Emmaus in the breaking of the bread at the evening meal.
With His fellow travelling partners, Jesus references quotations of Holy Scripture, and explains the references.
“And he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures.” (Luke 24:25-27).
Jesus rebuked His disciples on the road to Emmaus for their “slowness of heart” to believe what Holy Scriptures had said concerning prophesies
concerning the “Messiah”. They did not recognize a “Risen” Jesus Christ until He had “broken bread” with them.
Jesus proclaims to them the message of His whole ministry on earth: a kerygmatic proclamation; a good news to the poor and the blind and the
“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” (Luke 24:34),
Kerygma is related to a Greek verb “kerusso”, meaning to cry or proclaim as a herald, and means proclamation, announcement, or preaching.
“Kerygma” is a Greek word used in the New Testament for proclaiming and/or preaching. Other examples include the following New Testament verses:
“In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea.” (Matthew 3:1);
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19);
“But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach?” (Romans 10:14).
“And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them.” (Luke 24:30)
For me, the events happening in today’s reading seem to very overtly suggest a primarily a catechetical and liturgical reference, rather than an apologetic (Removing intellectual impediments to Catholic faith, thereby enhancing believers’ confidence in, and weakening skeptics’ objections.)
or teaching reference as for Luke’s audience.
Emmaus was about “seven miles” from Jerusalem. In the original Greek, it is literally, “sixty stades.” With a “stade: being a measurement of 607 feet (Per NAB footnote), this equates to 36,420 feet or 6.9 miles. Because some old and historical manuscripts read that Emmaus was “160 stades” (more than eighteen miles) the exact location of Emmaus is disputed by some scholars. I believe 18 miles was to long of a distance for people to routinely travel, especially in the rough and robber-ridden wilds of Palestine. For this reason, I am in the belief of the former; the seven mile separation between Jerusalem and Emmaus.
There is a consistent and on-going element of the “Resurrection” narratives.
“And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.” (Luke 24:15-16)
“They were so disturbed when they saw him hanging on the cross that they forgot His teaching, did not look for His resurrection, and failed to keep his promises in mind” (Sermon 235.1).
“Their eyes were obstructed, that they should not recognize Him until the breaking of the bread. And thus, in accordance with the state of their minds, which was still ignorant of the truth ‘that the Christ would die and rise again’, their eyes were similarly hindered. It was not that the truth Himself was misleading them, but rather that they were themselves unable to perceive the truth.” (From The Harmony of the Gospels, 3.25.72)
It seems that the “Risen” Jesus Christ appeared somehow different, and initially unrecognizable. He only becomes recognizable after an encounter with Him had already been instituted for a period of time:
“But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost.” (Luke 24:37);
“After this he appeared in another form to two of them walking along on their way to the country.” (Mark 16:12);
“When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus.” (John 20:14);
“When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.” (John 21:4).
Luke is the only New Testament writer to speak clearly, openly, and overtly of a “suffering Messiah”:
“Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory? And he said to them, ‘Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day.’” (Luke 24:26, 46);
“God has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Messiah
would suffer.” (Acts 3:18);
“… expounding and demonstrating that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead, and that ‘This is the Messiah, Jesus, whom I proclaim to you.’” (Acts 17:3);
“The Messiah must suffer and that, as the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.” (Acts 26:23).
The image, and concept of a suffering Messiah is not found in the Old Testament or in other Jewish literature prior to the New Testament
period, although the idea of the Suffering Servant is hinted at in Mark:
“He [Jesus] began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.’” (Mark 8:31-33).
I wonder if Luke is possibly alluding to Isaiah in calling Jesus the “Suffering Servant”:
“Though he was harshly treated, he submitted and opened not his mouth; Like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers, he was silent and opened not his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7);
“I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting.” (Isaiah 50:6)
How often do we fail to recognize the Lord when He speaks to our hearts and opens His mind to us? The Risen Jesus Christ is ever ready to speak His word to us and to give us understanding of His ways and plan for salvation. Listen to the “Word of God” attentively, and allow His “Word” to change and transform you?
“Help me to Know”
“You gift me with all the good gifts that make me the person you created me to be. Help me to know and find your will and to trust that you will help me to understand the path you call me to journey in life. Where there is doubt give me courage. Give me a heart open to your quiet voice so I can hear your call to me. Help me to know your faithfulness and help me to be faithful to that which you call me to. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
New Translation of the Mass
In November of 2011, with the start of the new Liturgical year and Advent, there will be a few noticeable changes in the Mass. It will still be the same ritual for celebrating the Eucharist. The Mass will still have the same parts, the same patterns, and the same flow as it has had for the past several decades. It is only the translation of the Latin that is changing.
The new translation seeks to correspond much more closely to the exact words and sentence structure of the Latin text. At times, this results in a good and faithful rendering of the original meaning. At other times it produces a rather awkward text in English which is difficult to proclaim and difficult to understand. Most of those problems affect the texts which priests will proclaim rather than the texts that belong to the congregation as a whole. It is to the congregation’s texts that I will address with each blog, in a repetitive basis until the start of Advent.
In the words of Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium, #11, the Eucharist is the “source and summit” of Christian life. Anything we can do to understand our liturgy more deeply will draw us closer to God.
A big change occurs in the text of the “Creed” (Our “Profession of Faith”). The first obvious change is with the very first word. Currently we begin with “We believe.” The new, revised text has “I believe” instead of “We”. Another noticeable change comes in the tenth line, regarding the Son’s divinity. We currently say Jesus is “one in being with the Father.” The new text will now say Jesus is “consubstantial with the Father.”
Consubstantial is not really a translation. In reality, It is a transliteration—the same Latin word, spelled in English— of the Latin “consubstantialis”, which means “one in being.” Translation versus transliteration is not the point. The point is that Jesus is God, one with the Father.
A third noticeable change occurs in how we speak of Christ’s human nature. We currently say, “by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary and became man.” The new text will now say, “and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man.”
Incarnate means “made flesh.” So, using the term here reminds us that he was human from the moment of his conception and not just at his birth.
There are several other minor changes in the text of the “Creed” (new version is shown below). It will certainly take us some time to commit the new version to memory, and to be able to profess it together easily.
The new missal also allows the option of using the “Apostles’ Creed” instead of this version of the “Nicene Creed”, especially during Lent and Easter. The “Apostles’ Creed” is another ancient Christian creed, long in used by Roman Catholics in our baptismal promises and at the beginning of the Rosary.
I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial
with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate
of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord,
the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son
is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and
I confess one baptism for the
forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the
resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come.
Material from “Changing How We Pray”, by Rev. Lawrence E. Mick
A Franciscan’s Saint of the Day: St. Louis Mary de Montfort (1673-1716)
Louis’s life is inseparable from his efforts to promote genuine devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus and mother of the Church. Totus tuus(completely yours) was Louis’s personal motto; Karol Wojtyla chose it as his episcopal motto. Born in the Breton village of Montfort, close to Rennes (France), as an adult Louis identified himself by the place of his Baptism instead of his family name, Grignion. After being educated by the
Jesuits and the Sulpicians, he was ordained as a diocesan priest in 1700.
Soon he began preaching parish missions throughout western France. His years of ministering to the poor prompted him to travel and live very simply, sometimes getting him into trouble with Church authorities. In his preaching, which attracted thousands of people back to the faith, Father Louis recommended frequent, even daily, Holy Communion (not the custom then!) and imitation of the Virgin Mary’s ongoing acceptance of God’s will for her life.
Louis founded the Missionaries of the Company of Mary (for priests and brothers) and the Daughters of Wisdom, who cared especially for the sick. His book, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, has become a classic explanation of Marian devotion.
Louis died in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, where a basilica has been erected in his honor. He was canonized in 1947.
Like Mary, Louis experienced challenges in his efforts to follow Jesus. Opposed at times in his preaching and in his other ministries, Louis knew with St. Paul, “Neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:7). Any attempt to succeed by worldly standards runs the risk of betraying the Good News of Jesus. Mary is “the first and most perfect disciple,” as the late Raymond Brown, S.S., described her.
“Mary is the fruitful Virgin, and in all the souls in which she comes to dwell she causes to flourish purity of heart and body, rightness of intention and abundance of good works. Do not imagine that Mary, the most fruitful of creatures who gave birth to a God, remains barren in a faithful soul. It will be she who makes the soul live incessantly for Jesus Christ, and will make Jesus live in the soul” (True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin).
Saint of the Day: Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.;
revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
(From http://www.americancatholic.org website)
Franciscan Formation Reflection:
Daily Conversion I
How much of Francis’ life was spent in “conversion”?
As an SFO member, what is the primary meaning of the title given me by Francis?
Do I live this “penance” from a sense of duty, or of a love relationship? How so?
Could it be said that being “brothers and sisters of penance” means that the spirit of lent is not just for 40 days a year?
Prologue to the Secular Franciscan Order
Exhortation of Saint Francis to the Brothers and Sisters in Penance
In the name of the Lord!
Concerning Those Who Do Penance
All who love the Lord with their whole heart, with their whole soul and mind, with all their strength (cf. Mk 12:30), and love their neighbors as themselves (cf. Mt 22:39) and hate their bodies with their vices and sins, and receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and produce worthy fruits of penance.
Oh, how happy and blessed are these men and women when they do these things and persevere in doing them, because “the spirit of the Lord will rest upon them” (cf. Is 11:2) and he will make “his home and dwelling among them” (cf Jn 14:23), and they are the sons of the heavenly Father (cf. Mt 5:45), whose works they do, and they are the spouses, brothers, and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Mt 12:50).
We are spouses, when by the Holy Spirit the faithful soul is united with our Lord Jesus Christ; we are brothers to him when we fulfill “the will of the Father who is in heaven” (Mt 12:50).
We are mothers, when we carry him in our heart and body (cf. 1 Cor 6:20) through divine love and a pure and sincere conscience; we give birth to him through a holy life which must give life to others by example (cf. Mt 5:16).
Oh, how glorious it is to have a great and holy Father in heaven! Oh, how glorious it is to have such a beautiful and admirable Spouse, the Holy Paraclete.
Oh, how glorious it is to have such a Brother and such a Son, loved, beloved, humble, peaceful, sweet, lovable, and desirable above all: Our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave up his life for his sheep (cf. Jn 10:15) and prayed to the Father saying:
“Oh, holy Father, protect them with your name (cf. Jn 17:11) whom you gave me out of the world. I entrusted to them the message you entrusted to me and they received it. They have known that in truth I came from you; they have believed that it was you who sent me. For these I pray, not for the world (cf. Jn 17:9). Bless and consecrate them, and I consecrate myself for their sakes. I do not pray for them alone; I pray also for those who will believe in me through their word (cf. Jn 17:20) that they may be holy by being one, as we are (cf. Jn 17:11). And I desire, Father, to have them in my company where I am to see this glory of mine in your kingdom” (cf. Jn 17:6-24).