Roman Style Mass Chasuble
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Gothic Style Mass Chasuble
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Brethren: You gladly suffer the foolish; whereas yourselves are wise. For you suffer if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take from you, if a man be lifted up, if a man strike you on the face. I speak according to dishonour, as if we had been weak in this part. Wherein if any man dare (I speak foolishly), I dare also. They are Hebrews: so am I. They are Israelites: so am I. They are the seed of Abraham: so am I. They are the ministers of Christ (I speak as one less wise): I am more; in many more labours, in prisons more frequently, in stripes above measure, in deaths often.
Of the Jews five times did I receive forty stripes, save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once I was stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I was in the depth of the sea. In journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils from my own nation, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils from false brethren. In labour and painfulness, in much watchings, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
Besides those things which are without: my daily instance, the solicitude for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is scandalized, and I am not on fire? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things that concern my infirmity. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for ever, knoweth that I lie not. At Damascus, the governor of the nation under Aretas the king, guarded the city of the Damascenes, to apprehend me. And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and so escaped his hands.
If I must glory (it is not expedient indeed): but I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ above fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I know not, or out of the body, I know not; God knoweth), such a one caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I know not: God knoweth): That he was caught up into paradise, and heard secret words, which it is not granted to man to utter. For such an one I will glory; but for myself I will glory nothing, but in my infirmities.
For though I should
have a mind to glory, I shall not be foolish; for I will say the truth.
But I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth
in me, or any thing he heareth from me. And lest the greatness of
the revelations should exalt me, there was given me a sting of my flesh,
an angel of Satan, to buffet me. For which thing thrice I besought
the Lord, that it might depart from me. And he said to me:
My grace is sufficient for thee; for power is made perfect in infirmity.
Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ
may dwell in me.
Please stand for the Holy Gospel.
The Gospel appointed to be read during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass today is taken from the Holy Gospel of Saint Luke, Chapter 8, Verses 4-15.
At that time: When a very great multitude was gathered together, and hastened out of the cities unto Him, He spoke by a similitude.
The sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And other some fell upon a rock: and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And other some fell among thorns, and the thorns growing up with it, choked it. And other some fell upon good ground; and being sprung up, yielded fruit a hundredfold.Saying these things, He cried out: He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And His disciples asked Him what this parable might be. To whom He said: To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to the rest in parables, that seeing they may not see, and hearing may not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. And they by the way side are they that hear; then the devil cometh, and taketh the word out of their heart, lest believing they should be saved. Now they upon the rock, are they who when they hear, receive the word with joy: and these have no roots; for they believe for a while, and in time of temptation, they fall away. And that which fell among thorns, are they who have heard, and going their way, are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and yield no fruit. But that on the good ground, are they who in a good and perfect heart, hearing the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit in patience.
Thus far are the words of today's Holy Gospel.
Oconomowoc is a Pottawatomie Indian word which means “where the waters meet”.
Oconomowoc is the name of a small town in Wisconsin which is about 30 miles, mostly West, and slightly North, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The population of the town in the 2000 A.D. census was 12,382.
One of the interesting things about this small town is what happened there on Saturday, August 12, 1939 A.D. in the Strand Theatre because it was in this humble theater that the movie, The Wizard of Oz, was first premiered.
One of the more interesting characters of the movie was played by actor Ray Bolger. The day after his death, which happened on Thursday, January 15, 1987 A.D. in Los Angeles, California at the age of 83, a prominent editorial cartoonist referenced the cultural impact of this film, portraying the scarecrow who wanted a brain - which was the character Ray Bolger played - running along the yellow brick road to catch up with the other characters, as they all danced off into the sunset on their way to see the Wizard of Oz.
We remember when We were growing up in the Mid-West how, even back then, it was becoming more and more rare to see a scarecrow set out in a field to scare away all of the birds, especially crows - hence the name, scarecrow - something to scare away the crows so they would not devour the seeds that farmers planted in their fields.
In today’s Gospel Parable there is much food for thought. What seems to be rarely examined are “the fowls of the air” which “devoured” some of the seed the farmer sowed.
What are the lessons Christ is teaching all of us with these symbols so many centuries before scarecrows were invented in about 1592 A.D. in the West to keep away “the fowls of the air”?
The fowls of the air are birds which symbolize evil spirits for three reasons:
1) Because, just as birds are quick, by analogy, evil spirits are very quick to do evil.I. The first point is that evil spirits are quick to do evil. This manifests itself in three ways.
2) Because, just as birds have a certain nature, so also evil spirits have a somewhat analogous nature to birds.
3) Because, just as birds devour the seeds the farmer plants, by analogy, evil spirits devour three kinds of seeds planted in the fertile field of the heart of honest and sincere men, women, and children.
1) From their high “nest” from which they are on the look-out for their prey as the Scripture testifies: “thou build thy nest in a rock.” (Numbers 24:21).II. The second point is that evil spirits have a nature which is somewhat analogous to the nature of birds in three distinct ways.
2) From their quickness of “flight” where the Scripture reads: “Our persecutors were swifter than the eagles of the air.” (Lamentations 4:19).
3) From their rapacity, i.e. greed, they live by devouring the Souls that they have seized as Ezechiel says: “A large eagle with great wings, long-limbed, full of feathers, and of variety, came to Libanus [Jerusalem], and took away the marrow of the cedar. He cropped off the top of the twigs thereof.” (Ezechiel 17:3 -4).
1) From their origin because all evil spirits, including Lucifer, were not created on terra firma, i.e. on the hard ground of the earth, nor in Heaven per se, but rather in the high heavens of the earth, in other words, in the sky, as the Scripture points out: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer.” (Isaias 14:12).III. The third point is that evil spirits devour three kinds of seeds planted in the fertile field of the hearts of honest and sincere men, women, and children.
2) From their lightness where you read of Lucifer, whose name signifies lightness and the beauty of nature: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, who didst rise in the morning?” (Isaias 14:12).
It should be noted that in the Latin Vulgate Saint Jerome uses the word cælo which root word is cælum which can mean either Heaven or sky. The original Hebrew word is shâmeh (shaw-meh') which is the dual of an unused singular which is from an unused root which means to be lofty. It can also mean the sky in terms of aloft, or the heavens, which connote the curvature of the sky over the curvature of the earth.
In addition, the original Hebrew of “who didst rise in the morning?” is better literally translated as “whose sun rises in the morning” and, in a more free translation, which would be closer to the original meaning: “who rises as the morning sun”.
Therefore, while maintaining a stricter context, a better English translation would be: “How art thou fallen from the sky, O Lucifer, who didst rise as the morning sun?” (Isaias 14:12) because two verses later you read where Lucifer said in his heart: “I will ascend above the height of the clouds [which is to say the sky or the height of the heavens], I will be like the most High [God]” (Isaias 14:14).
3) From their habitation on high in the sky as God the Holy Ghost says they are: “The spirits of wickedness in the high places.” (Ephesians 6:12).
1) The first kind of seed the evil spirits devour is the Seed of the Word of God, or, as the Evangelist writes: “The seed is the Word of God... then the Devil cometh, and [first] taketh the Word [of God] out of their heart” (Luke 5:11-12) and then, in place of the Seed of the Word of God, the Devil sows the seed of error in the mind of man as the Scripture testifies:“In whom the god of this world [Lucifer] hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.” (2 Corinthians 4:4).2) The second kind of seed the evil spirits devour is the Seed of Justice as Saint Paul writes:“He who soweth sparingly, shall also reap sparingly” (2 Corinthians 9:6) because the Devil entices a person to commit sin as the Beloved Apostle writes: “You are of your father the Devil, and the desires of your father you will do.” (John 8:44).3) The third kind of seed the evil spirits devour is the Seed of Good Works as the Psalmist says:“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Going they went and wept, casting their seeds. But coming they shall come with joyfulness, carrying their sheaves” (Psalm 125:5-7) but then the Devil tempts people to glory in their good works as you read in Saint Matthew:
“Take heed that you do not your justice before men, to be seen by them: otherwise you shall not have a reward of your Father Who is in Heaven. Therefore when thou dost an almsdeed, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be honoured by men. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward.” (Matthew 6:1-2).
“It can neither profit me, the speaker, to speak, nor you, the hearers, to hear, unless we comply with the things which are spoken, ...so let us not limit the display of our zeal to hearing only, but let us observe what is said in our deeds. For it is indeed a good thing to spend time continually in hearing the Divine oracles: but this good thing becomes useless when the benefit to be derived from hearing is not linked with it.” (Patriarch Saint John Chrysostom [b. Antioch, c. 347 A.D. - d. at Commana in Pontus on Friday, September 14, 407 A.D.], Patriarch of Constantinople [Thursday, February 26, 398 A.D. - Thursday, June 24, 404 A.D.], exiled from his See the 2nd time on Thursday, June 24, 404 A.D., Father and Doctor of the Catholic Church. Sermon on Romans 12:20; emphasis added.)
For our resolutions, let all of us, by the Grace of God, firmly resolve to pray to Our Lady of Mount Carmel to continue to continuously keep her mantle of protection around you and your loved ones and also around all of your Spiritual seeds because they must be guarded from the “fowls of the air”, i.e. from the Devil and all evil spirits so that your seeds may bring forth fruit of “an hundredfold” (Matthew 13:8) which is the eternal joy and happiness of Heaven.