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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 08-01-2020, Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Posted on 08/01/2020 8:48:44 AM PDT by annalex

August 1, 2020

Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Reading 1

JER 26:11-16, 24

The priests and prophets said to the princes and to all the people,
“This man deserves death;
he has prophesied against this city,
as you have heard with your own ears.”
Jeremiah gave this answer to the princes and all the people:
“It was the LORD who sent me to prophesy against this house and city
all that you have heard.
Now, therefore, reform your ways and your deeds;
listen to the voice of the LORD your God,
so that the LORD will repent of the evil with which he threatens you.
As for me, I am in your hands;
do with me what you think good and right.
But mark well: if you put me to death,
it is innocent blood you bring on yourselves,
on this city and its citizens.
For in truth it was the LORD who sent me to you,
to speak all these things for you to hear.”
Thereupon the princes and all the people
said to the priests and the prophets,
“This man does not deserve death;
it is in the name of the LORD, our God, that he speaks to us.”
So Ahikam, son of Shaphan, protected Jeremiah,
so that he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.

Responsorial Psalm

R.(14c) Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Rescue me out of the mire; may I not sink!
may I be rescued from my foes,
and from the watery depths.
Let not the flood-waters overwhelm me,
nor the abyss swallow me up,
nor the pit close its mouth over me.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
But I am afflicted and in pain;
let your saving help, O God, protect me.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.”
R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus
and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist.
He has been raised from the dead;
that is why mighty powers are at work in him.”

Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison
on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip,
for John had said to him,
“It is not lawful for you to have her.”
Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people,
for they regarded him as a prophet.
But at a birthday celebration for Herod,
the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests
and delighted Herod so much
that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for.
Prompted by her mother, she said,
“Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests who were present,
he ordered that it be given, and he had John beheaded in the prison.
His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl,
who took it to her mother.
His disciples came and took away the corpse
and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.

TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; mt14; ordinarytime; prayer
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 08/01/2020 8:48:44 AM PDT by annalex
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To: All

KEYWORDS: catholic; mt14; ordinarytime; prayer;

2 posted on 08/01/2020 8:49:20 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping

Please FReepmail me to get on/off the Alleluia Ping List.

3 posted on 08/01/2020 8:50:06 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
Salvation is having a surgery and will be back in a few days or weeks.

Prayer thread

4 posted on 08/01/2020 8:50:43 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Matthew 14
1 AT that time Herod the Tetrarch heard the fame of Jesus. In illo tempore audivit Herodes tetrarcha fama Jesu : εν εκεινω τω καιρω ηκουσεν ηρωδης ο τετραρχης την ακοην ιησου
2 And he said to his servants: This is John the Baptist: he is risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works shew forth themselves in him. et ait pueris suis : Hic est Joannes Baptista : ipse surrexit a mortuis, et ideo virtutes operantur in eo. και ειπεν τοις παισιν αυτου ουτος εστιν ιωαννης ο βαπτιστης αυτος ηγερθη απο των νεκρων και δια τουτο αι δυναμεις ενεργουσιν εν αυτω
3 For Herod had apprehended John and bound him, and put him into prison, because of Herodias, his brother's wife. Herodes enim tenuit Joannem, et alligavit eum : et posuit in carcerem propter Herodiadem uxorem fratris sui. ο γαρ ηρωδης κρατησας τον ιωαννην εδησεν αυτον και εθετο εν φυλακη δια ηρωδιαδα την γυναικα φιλιππου του αδελφου αυτου
4 For John said to him: It is not lawful for thee to have her. Dicebat enim illi Joannes : Non licet tibi habere eam. ελεγεν γαρ αυτω ο ιωαννης ουκ εξεστιν σοι εχειν αυτην
5 And having a mind to put him to death, he feared the people: because they esteemed him as a prophet. Et volens illum occidere, timuit populum : quia sicut prophetam eum habebant. και θελων αυτον αποκτειναι εφοβηθη τον οχλον οτι ως προφητην αυτον ειχον
6 But on Herod's birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced before them: and pleased Herod. Die autem natalis Herodis saltavit filia Herodiadis in medio, et placuit Herodi : γενεσιων δε αγομενων του ηρωδου ωρχησατο η θυγατηρ της ηρωδιαδος εν τω μεσω και ηρεσεν τω ηρωδη
7 Whereupon he promised with an oath, to give her whatsoever she would ask of him. unde cum juramento pollicitus est ei dare quodcumque postulasset ab eo. οθεν μεθ ορκου ωμολογησεν αυτη δουναι ο εαν αιτησηται
8 But she being instructed before by her mother, said: Give me here in a dish the head of John the Baptist. At illa præmonita a matre sua : Da mihi, inquit, hic in disco caput Joannis Baptistæ. η δε προβιβασθεισα υπο της μητρος αυτης δος μοι φησιν ωδε επι πινακι την κεφαλην ιωαννου του βαπτιστου
9 And the king was struck sad: yet because of his oath, and for them that sat with him at table, he commanded it to be given. Et contristatus est rex : propter juramentum autem, et eos qui pariter recumbebant, jussit dari. και ελυπηθη ο βασιλευς δια δε τους ορκους και τους συνανακειμενους εκελευσεν δοθηναι
10 And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. Misitque et decollavit Joannem in carcere. και πεμψας απεκεφαλισεν τον ιωαννην εν τη φυλακη
11 And his head was brought in a dish: and it was given to the damsel, and she brought it to her mother. Et allatum est caput ejus in disco, et datum est puellæ, et attulit matri suæ. και ηνεχθη η κεφαλη αυτου επι πινακι και εδοθη τω κορασιω και ηνεγκεν τη μητρι αυτης
12 And his disciples came and took the body, and buried it, and came and told Jesus. Et accedentes discipuli ejus, tulerunt corpus ejus, et sepelierunt illud : et venientes nuntiaverunt Jesu. και προσελθοντες οι μαθηται αυτου ηραν το σωμα και εθαψαν αυτο και ελθοντες απηγγειλαν τω ιησου

5 posted on 08/01/2020 8:51:47 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Catena Aurea by St. Thomas Aguinas


1. At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus.

2. And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.

3. For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife.

4. For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.

5. And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.

GLOSS. (non occ.) THE. Evangelist had above shewn the Pharisees speaking falsely against Christ’s miracles, and just now His fellow-citizens wondering, yet despising Him; he now relates what opinion Herod had formed concerning Christ on hearing of His miracles, and says, At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the fame of Jesus.

CHRYSOSTOM. It is not without reason that the Evangelist here specifies the time, but that you may understand the pride and carelessness of the tyrant; inasmuch as he had not at the first made himself acquainted with the things concerning Christ, but now only after long time. Thus they, who in authority are fenced about with much pomp, learn these things slowly, because they do not much regard them.

AUGUSTINE. (De Cons. Ev. ii. 43.) Matthew says, At that time, not, On that day, or, In that same hour; for Mark relates the same circumstances, but not in the same order. He places this after the mission of the disciples to preach, though not implying that it necessarily follows there; any more than Luke, who follows the same order as Mark.

CHRYSOSTOM. Observe how great a thing is virtue; Herod fears John even after he is dead, and philosophizes concerning the resurrection; as it follows; And he saith to his servants, This is John the Baptist, he is risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works are wrought in him.

RABANUS. From this place we may learn how great the jealousy of the Jews was; that John could have risen from the dead, Herod, an alien-born, here declares, without any witness that he had risen: concerning Christ, whom the Prophets had foretold, the Jews preferred to believe, that He had not risen, but had been carried away by stealth. This intimates that the Gentile heart is more disposed to belief than that of the Jews.

JEROME. One of the Ecclesiastical interpreters asks what caused Herod to think that John was risen from the dead; as though we had to account for the errors of an alien, or as though the heresy of metempsychosis was at all supported by this place—a heresy which teaches that souls pass through various bodies after a long period of years—for the Lord was thirty years old when John was beheaded.

RABANUS. All men have well thought concerning the power of the resurrection, that the saints shall have greater power after they have risen from the dead, than they had while they were yet weighed down with the infirmity of the flesh; wherefore Herod says, Therefore mighty works are wrought in him.

AUGUSTINE. (ubi sup.) Luke’s words are, John have I beheaded: who is he of whom I hear such things? (Luke 9:9.) As Luke has thus represented Herod as in doubt, we must understand rather that he was afterwards convinced of that which was commonly said—or we must take what he here says to his servants as expressing a doubt—for they admit of either of these acceptations.

REMIGIUS. Perhaps some one may ask how it can be here said, At that time Herod heard, seeing that we have long before read that Herod was dead, and that on that the Lord returned out of Egypt. This question is answered, if we remember that there were two Herods. On the death of the first Herod, his son Archelaus succeeded him, and after ten years was sent into exile to Vienne in Gaul. Then Cæsar Augustus gave command that the kingdom should be divided into tetrarchies, and gave three parts to the sons of Herod. This Herod then who beheaded John is the son of that greater Herod under whom the Lord was born; and this is confirmed by the Evangelist adding the tetrarch.

GLOSS. (ord.) Having mentioned this supposition of John’s resurrection, because he had never yet spoken of his death, he now returns, and narrates how it came to pass.

CHRYSOSTOM. And this relation is not set before us as a principal matter, because the Evangelist’s only object was to tell us concerning Christ, and nothing beyond, unless so far as it furthered this object. He says then, For Herod had seized John, and bound him.

AUGUSTINE. (De Cons. Ev. ii. 44.) Luke does not give this in the same order, but where he is speaking of the Lord’s baptism, so that he took beforehand an event which happened long afterwards. For after that saying of John’s concerning the Lord, that His fan is in His hand, he straightway adds this, which, as we may gather from John’s Gospel, did not follow immediately. For he relates that after Jesus was baptized, He went into Galilee, and thence returned into Judæa, and baptized there near to the Jordan before John was cast into prison. But neither Matthew nor Mark have placed John’s imprisonment in that order in which it appears from their own writings that it took place; for they also say that when John was delivered up, the Lord went into Galilee, and after many things there done, then by occasion of the fame of Christ reaching Herod they relate what took place in the imprisonment and beheading of John. The cause for which he had been cast into prison he shews when he says, On account of Herodias his brother’s wife. For John had said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.

JEROME. The old history tells us, that Philip the son of Herod the greater, the brother of this Herod, had taken to wife Herodias daughter of Aretas, king of the Arabs; and that he, the father-in-law, having afterwards cause of quarrel with his son-in-law, took away his daughter, and to grieve her husband gave her in marriage to his enemy Herod. John the Baptist therefore, who came in the spirit and power of Elias, with the same authority that he had exerted over Ahab and Jezebel, rebuked Herod and Herodias, because that they had entered into unlawful wedlock; it being unlawful while the own brother yet lives to take his wife. He preferred to endanger himself with the King, than to be forgetful of the commandments of God in commending himself to him.

CHRYSOSTOM. Yet he speaks not to the woman but to the husband, as he was the chief person.

GLOSS. (ord.) And perhaps he observed the Jewish Law, according to which John forbade him this adultery. And desiring to kill him, he feared the people.

JEROME. He feared a disturbance among the people for John’s sake, for he knew that multitudes had been baptized by him in Jordan; but he was overcome by love of his wife, which had already made him neglect the commands of. God.

GLOSS. (ord.) The fear of God amends us, the fear of man torments us, but alters not our will; it rather renders us more impatient to sin as it has held us back for a time from our indulgence.


6. But when Herod’s birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.

7. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask.

8. And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger.

9. And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath’s sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her.

10. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.

11. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother.

12. And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.

GLOSS. (non occ.) The Evangelist having related John’s imprisonment, proceeds to his putting to death, saying, But on Herod’s birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced in the midst.

JEROME. We find no others keeping their birthday besides Herod and Pharaoh, that they who were alike in their wickedness might be alike in their festivities.

REMIGIUS. It should be known that it is customary not for rich only but for poor mothers also, to educate their daughters so chastely, that they are scarce so much as seen by strangers. But this unchaste woman had so brought up her daughter after the same manner, that she had taught her not chastity but dancing. Nor is Herod to be less blamed who forgot that his was a royal palace, but this woman made it a theatre; And it pleased Herod, so that he swore with an oath that he would give her whatsoever she should ask of him.

JEROME. I do not excuse Herod that he committed this murder against his will by reason of his oath, for perhaps he took the oath for the very purpose of bringing about the murder. But if he says that he did it for his oath’s sake, had she asked the death of her mother, or her father, would he have granted it or not? What then he would have refused in his own person, he ought to have rejected in that of the Prophet.

ISIDORE. (Lib. Syn. ii. 10.) In evil promises then break faith. That promise is impious which must be kept by crime; that oath is not to be observed by which we have unwittingly pledged ourselves to evil. It follows, And she being before instructed of her mother said, Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger.

JEROME. For Herodias, fearing that Herod might some time recover his senses, and be reconciled to his brother, and dissolve their unlawful union by a divorce, instructs her daughter to ask at once at the banquet the head of John, a reward of blood worthy of the deed of the dancing.

CHRYSOSTOM. Here is a twofold accusation against the damsel, that she danced, and that she chose to ask an execution as her reward. Observe how Herod is at once cruel and yielding; he obliges himself by an oath, and leaves her free to choose her request. Yet when he knew what evil was resulting from her request, he was grieved, And the king was sorry, for virtue gains praise and admiration even among the bad.

JEROME. Otherwise; It is the manner of Scripture to speak of events as they were commonly viewed at the time by all. So Joseph is called by Mary herself the father of Jesus; so here Herod is said to be sorry, because the guests believed that he was so. This dissembler of his own inclinations, this contriver of a murder displayed sorrow in his face, when he had joy in his mind. For his oath’s sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given. He excuses his crime by his oath, that his wickedness might be done under a pretence of piety. That he adds, and them that sat at meat with him, he would have them all sharers in his crime, that a bloody dish might be brought in in a luxurious feast.

CHRYSOSTOM. If he was afraid to have so many witnesses of his perjury, how much more ought he to have feared so many witnesses of a murder?

REMIGIUS. Here is a less sin done for the sake of another greater; he would not extinguish his lustful desires, and therefore he betakes him to luxurious living; he would not put any restraint on his luxury, and thus he passes to the guilt of murder; for, He sent and beheaded John in prison, and his head was brought in a charger.

JEROME. (Liv. xxxix. 43.) We read in Roman history, that Flaminius, a Roman general, sitting at supper with his mistress, on her saying that she had never seen a man beheaded, gave permission that a man under sentence for a capital crime should be brought in and beheaded during the entertainment. For this he was expelled the senate by the censors, because he had mingled feasting with blood, and had employed death, though of a criminal, for the amusement of another, causing murder and enjoyment to be joined together. How much more wicked Herod, and Herodias, and the damsel who danced; she asked as her bloody reward the head of a Prophet, that she might have in her power the tongue that reproved the unlawful nuptials.

GREGORY. (Mor. iii. 7.) But not without most deep wonder do I consider, that he who in his mother’s womb was filled with the spirit of prophecy, than whom there arose not a greater among them that are born of women, is cast into prison by wicked men, and is beheaded because of the dancing of a girl, and that a man of such severe life dies for the sport of shameful men. Are we to think that there was any thing in his life which this so shameful death should wipe away? God thus oppresses His people in the least things, because He sees how He may reward them in the highest things. And hence may be gathered what they will suffer whom He casts away, if He thus tortures those He loves.

GREGORY. (Mor. xxix. 7.) And John is not sought out to suffer concerning the confession of Christ, but for the truth of righteousness. But because Christ is truth, he goes to death for Christ in going for truth. It follows, And his disciples came, and took up his body, and buried it.

JEROME. By which we may understand both the disciples of John himself, and of the Saviour.

RABANUS. (Antiq. xviii. 5 Machærus.) Josephus relates, that John was sent bound to the castle of Mecheron, and there beheaded; but ecclesiastical history relates that he was buried in Sebastia, a town of Palestine, which was formerly called Samaria.

CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. xlix.) Observe how John’s disciples are henceforth more attached to Jesus; they it is who told Him what was done concerning John; And they came and told Jesus. For leaving all they take refuge with Him, and so by degrees after their calamity, and the answer given by Christ, they are set right.

HILARY. Mystically, John represents the Law; for the Law preached Christ, and John came of the Law, preaching Christ out of the Law. Herod is the Prince of the people, and the Prince of the people bears the name and the cause of the whole body put under him. John then warned Herod that he should not take to him his brother’s wife. For there are and there were two people, of the circumcision, and of the Gentiles; and these are brethren, children of the same parent of the human race, but the Law warned Israel that he should not take to him the works of the Gentiles and unbelief which was united to them as by the bond of conjugal love. On the birthday, that is amidst the enjoyments of the things of the body, the daughter of Herodias danced; for pleasure, as it were springing from unbelief, was carried in its alluring course throughout the whole of Israel, and the nation bound itself thereto as by an oath, for for sin and worldly pleasures the Israelites sold the gifts of eternal life. She (Pleasure), at the suggestion of her mother Unbelief, begged that there should be given her the head of John, that is, the glory of the Law; but the people knowing the good that was in the Law, yielded these terms to pleasure, not without sorrow for its own danger, conscious that it ought not to have given up so great glory of its teachers. But forced by its sins, as by the force of an oath, as well as overcome by the fear, and corrupted by the example of the neighbouring princes, it sorrowfully yields to the blandishments of pleasure. So among the other gratifications of a debauched people the head of John is brought in in a dish, that is by the loss of the Law, the pleasures of the body, and worldly luxury is increased. It is carried by the damsel to her mother; thus depraved Israel offered up the glory of the Law to pleasure and unbelief. The times of the Law being expired, and buried with John, his disciples declare what is done to the Lord, coming, that is, to the Gospels from the Law.

RABANUS. Otherwise; Even at this day we see that in the head of the Prophet John the Jews have lost Christ, who is the head of the Prophets.

JEROME. And the Prophet has lost among them both tongue and voice.

REMIGIUS. Otherwise; The beheading of John marks the increase of that fame which Christ has among the people, as the exaltation of the Lord upon the cross marks the progress of the faith; whence John had said, He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30.)

Catena Aurea Matthew 14

6 posted on 08/01/2020 8:54:30 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

The beheading of St. John the Forerunner

7 posted on 08/01/2020 8:55:14 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Saint Alphonsus Liguori’s Story

Moral theology, Vatican II said, should be more thoroughly nourished by Scripture, and show the nobility of the Christian vocation of the faithful and their obligation to bring forth fruit in charity for the life of the world. Alphonsus, declared patron of moral theologians by Pius XII in 1950, would rejoice in that statement.

In his day, Alphonsus fought for the liberation of moral theology from the rigidity of Jansenism. His moral theology, which went through 60 editions in the century following him, concentrated on the practical and concrete problems of pastors and confessors. If a certain legalism and minimalism crept into moral theology, it should not be attributed to this model of moderation and gentleness.

At the University of Naples, Alphonsus received a doctorate in both canon and civil law by acclamation, at the age of 16, but he soon gave up the practice of law for apostolic activity. He was ordained a priest, and concentrated his pastoral efforts on popular parish missions, hearing confessions, and forming Christian groups.

He founded the Redemptorist congregation in 1732. It was an association of priests and brothers living a common life, dedicated to the imitation of Christ, and working mainly in popular missions for peasants in rural areas. Almost as an omen of what was to come later, he found himself deserted after a while by all his original companions except one lay brother. But the congregation managed to survive and was formally approved 17 years later, though its troubles were not over.

Alphonsus’ great pastoral reforms were in the pulpit and confessional—replacing the pompous oratory of the time with simplicity, and the rigorism of Jansenism with kindness. His great fame as a writer has somewhat eclipsed the fact that for 26 years he traveled up and down the Kingdom of Naples preaching popular missions.

He was made bishop at age 66 after trying to reject the honor, and at once instituted a thorough reform of his diocese.

His greatest sorrow came toward the end of his life. The Redemptorists, precariously continuing after the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773, had difficulty in getting their Rule approved by the Kingdom of Naples. Alphonsus acceded to the condition that they possess no property in common, but with the connivance of a high Redemptorist official, a royal official changed the Rule substantially. Alphonsus, old, crippled and with very bad sight, signed the document, unaware that he had been betrayed. The Redemptorists in the Papal States then put themselves under the pope, who withdrew those in Naples from the jurisdiction of Alphonsus. It was only after his death that the branches were united.

At 71, Alphonsus was afflicted with rheumatic pains which left incurable bending of his neck. Until it was straightened a little, the pressure of his chin caused a raw wound on his chest. He suffered a final 18 months of “dark night” scruples, fears, temptations against every article of faith and every virtue, interspersed with intervals of light and relief, when ecstasies were frequent.

Alphonsus is best known for his moral theology, but he also wrote well in the field of spiritual and dogmatic theology. His Glories of Mary is one of the great works on that subject, and his book Visits to the Blessed Sacrament went through 40 editions in his lifetime, greatly influencing the practice of this devotion in the Church.


Saint Alphonsus was known above all as a practical man who dealt in the concrete rather than the abstract. His life is indeed a practical model for the everyday Christian who has difficulty recognizing the dignity of Christian life amid the swirl of problems, pain, misunderstanding and failure. Alphonsus suffered all these things. He is a saint because he was able to maintain an intimate sense of the presence of the suffering Christ through it all.

Saint Alphonsus Liguori is the Patron Saint of:


Additionally, patronage: confessors, moralists

8 posted on 08/01/2020 9:00:26 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

San Alfonso María de Ligorio

Basilica in Pagani, Italy

9 posted on 08/01/2020 9:04:01 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
Navarre Bible Commentary (RSV)

From: Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24

Jeremiah arraigned (continued)
[11] Then the priests and the prophets said to the princes and to all the people, "This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears."

[12] Then Jeremiah spoke to all the princes and all the people, saying, "The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. [13] Now therefore amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God, and the Lord will repent of the evil which he has pronounced against you. [14] But as for me, behold, I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you. [15] Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the Lord sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears."

[16] Then the princes and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, "This man does not deserve the sentence of death, for he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God."

[24] But the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah so that he was not given over to the people to be put to death.


26:1-24. This chapter deals with the same incident in the temple that was narrated in 7:1-8:3 (see note), and which occurred in 608 BC. It contains a summary of what the prophet said on that occasion, and people's reactions to it (vv. 7-24). The religious life of the nation hinged on the temple, whose importance had increased further as a result of Josiah's recent reforms; but Jeremiah proclaims that the temple will be destroyed; it will he reduced to rubble, like the old shrine at Shiloh (vv. 2-6). This prophecy so angered people, priests and prophets that they called for Jeremiah's death (vv. 7-9), but the authorities managed to calm them down and Jeremiah escaped with his life (vv. 10-19), probably because his sincerity impressed the rulers: he was a man ready to risk his life in order to be faithful to his prophetic mission. Although one cannot he sure where the New Gate (v. 10) was, the rulers' intervention clearly had a judicial character to it, since legal proceedings took place at the city gates. The New Testament contains clear echoes of this account -- in the deliberations of the Sanhedrin on what to do with Jesus after he was arrested (cf. Mt 26:5-68 and par.), in the sentence handed down by Pilate (cf. Lk 23:22), and also in the account of the martyrdom of St Stephen (cf. Acts 6: 12-14).

This episode dramatically illustrates the sort of clashes that Jeremiah became involved in when carrying out his mission from the Lord. He has harsh things to say, and meets resistance from the people, who have even begun to think that nothing that offends their sensibilities or contradicts their desires can come from God. Even so, Jeremiah does not back down, for the Lord gives him the strength to stay true to his calling (cf. 1:7-10).

26:18-24. In the course of these exchanges, some of the elders bring up the case of the prophet Micah (quoting words from Micah 3:12), in order to save Jeremiah's life. However, the sacred writer recalls what happened in the case of Uriah, who was put to death (vv. 17-24). These two prophets preached a message that was very similar to Jeremiah's. Because Hezekiah, the king, was very interested in religious reform, he listened to the prophet Micah. Jehoiakim, however, had a very different outlook: just as he killed Uriah, so he could kill Jeremiah. In other words, it could have gone either way for Jeremiah; fortunately, he was defended by a senior official of the late King Josiah, Ahikam, the father of Gedaliah, who would be governor of Judah after the last deportation (cf. 39:14; 2 Kings 25:22-26).

10 posted on 08/01/2020 9:06:07 AM PDT by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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To: fidelis
From: Matthew 14:1-12

The Death of John the Baptist

[1] At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus; [2] and he said to his servants, "This is John the Baptist, he has been raised from the dead; that is why these powers are at work in him." [3] For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison, for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife; [4] because John said to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her." [5] And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet. [6] But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company, and pleased Herod, [7] so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. [8] Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter." [9] And the king was sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given; [10] he sent and had John beheaded in the prison, [11] and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. [12] And his disciples came and took the body and buried it; and they went and told Jesus.


1. Herod the tetrarch, Herod Antipas (see the note on Mt 2:1), is the same Herod as appears later in the account of the Passion (cf. Lk 23:7ff). A son of Herod the Great, Antipas governed Galilee and Perea in the name of the Roman emperor; according to Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian ("Jewish Antiquities", XVIII, 5, 4), he was married to a daughter of an Arabian king, but in spite of this he lived in concubinage with Herodias, his brother's wife. St. John the Baptist, and Jesus himself, often criticized the tetrarch's immoral life, which was in conflict with the sexual morality laid down in the Law (Lev 18:16;20:21) and was a cause of scandal.

[Note on Mt 2:1: "King Herod": four different Herods are mentioned in the New Testament. The first is Herod the Great, referred to in this passage and in the next; the second, his son, Herod Antipas, who had St. John the Baptist beheaded (Matthew 14:1-12) and who abused our Lord during His passion (Luke 23:7-11); the third, Herod Agrippa I, a nephew of Herod the Great, who executed the Apostle St. James the Greater (Acts 12:1-3), imprisoned St. Peter (Acts 12:4-7), and died suddenly and mysteriously (Acts 12:20-23). The fourth, Herod Agrippa II, was Herod Agrippa's son. It was before him that St. Paul answered Jewish accusations when he was a prisoner in Caesarea (Acts 25:23).] 3-12. Towards the end of the first century Flavius Josephus wrote of these same events. He gives additional information--specifying that it was in the fortress of Makeronte that John was imprisoned (this fortress was on the eastern bank of the Dead Sea, and was the scene of the banquet in question) and that Herodias' daughter was called Salome.

9. St Augustine comments: "Amid the excesses and sensuality of the guests, oaths are rashly made, which then are unjustly kept" ("Sermon 10"). It is a sin against the second commandment of God's Law to make an oath to do something unjust; any such oath has no binding force. In fact, if one keeps it--as Herod did--one commits an additional sin. The Catechism also teaches that one offends against this precept if one swears something untrue, or swears needlessly (cf. "St Pius V Catechism", III, 3, 24). Cf. note on Mt 5:33-37.

11 posted on 08/01/2020 9:06:47 AM PDT by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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