Monday, July 24, 2017


'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Sharbel Makhlūf, Priest, O.L.M. (1828-1898, also spelt Charbel Makhlouf): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He was a Maronite monk & priest from Lebanon. During his life he obtained a wide reputation for holiness & intercessory power.
A monk who is also a priest is called a
hieromonk, in Eastern Christianity.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Kinga of Poland, Abbess, O.S.C. (1224-1292, A.K.A. Cunegunda, Kunigunde, et al.): Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duae, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Great-niece of St. Hedwig of Silesia [16 October], niece of Ss. Elizabeth of Hungary [17 November] & Agnes of Prague [2 March], & sister of St. Margaret of Hungary [18 January] & Bl. Yolanda of Poland [11 June].

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Louise of Savoy, Religious, O.S.C. (1461-1503): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Daughter of Bl. Amadeus of Savoy (Duke Amadeus IX the Happy) [30 March].

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Feria
The Book of Exodus, chapter fourteen, verses five thru eighteen;
The Book of Exodus, chapter fifteen, verses one(b,c) & two, three & four, & five & six;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter twelve, verses thirty-eight thru forty-two.

Commentary: Gospel reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today in our Gospel some Pharisees ask Jesus for a sign. And Jesus replies, "An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet," who was in the belly of the whale for three days and nights.

Jonah was called by God to preach conversion to Nineveh, which is described as an enormously large city. It took, they said, three days to walk through it. I can't help but think of Nineveh as one of our large, modern cities, a center of all sorts of worldly activity and preoccupation.

What would its conversion look like? A turning back to God as the only enduring good. After hearing the word of Jonah, the Ninevites "proclaimed a fast, and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth." What is the purpose of these ascetic practices? To wean people away from an attachment to worldly pleasures.

Go beyond the mind that you have. Repent. Live as though nothing in this world finally matters. And you will be living in the Kingdom of God!
Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Sharbel Makhlūf
The Book of Sirach, chapter three, verses seventeen thru twenty-four;
Psalm Fifteen, verse one;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter nineteen, verses twenty-seven, twenty-eight, & twenty-nine.

Speaking of Maronites, the week before last I had the chance finally to attend the annual Mid-East Festival at Our Lady of Lebanon, metropolitan Flint's own Maronite Catholic church. Holy smokes! The food was exquisite (when is shawarma anything but?) & the dancing, both by ringers & by the community, was not only a beautiful expression of culture, but as awe-inspired expression of such pure joy! If there is one thing we square, ethnically heterogeneous Euro-American Catholics don't do properly or often enough, it is dance.

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