“God is inexpressible. It is easier for us to say what He is not than what He is… Nothing is comparable to Him… If you could conceive Him, you would conceive something other than God.” St. Augustine of Hippo
This Feast is placed between Ascension and Pentecost because the Acts of the Apostles says that Matthias was chosen by lot to take the place of Judas during that period of time. Matthias was “chosen” to be one of the 12, we hope to be “chosen” to be with the Ascended Lord in heaven.
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” This is where the Discourse turns from Jesus’ teaching being a way to feed the people to His promise to give us His very self as food. The Jews didn’t think He was talking figuratively. They knew He meant what he said.
St. Stanislaus, Bishop and martyr, is the patron of Poland. He had a special concern for the poor. The king of Poland at the time was very corrupt. St Stanislaus rebuked him much like John the Baptist did with Herod Antipas with the same results (the king did the deed himself). First, official Polish martyr.
Why do we fast? To gain freedom from the grip of our bad habits or vices, to be in solidarity with those who are suffering, or to create a space within ourselves for more spiritual things. To concretely show our hunger and need for God. Whatever form our fasting takes, we need to do it with joy or else it is pointless.
Today is traditionally called Mardi Gras or “Fat Tuesday,” the day before Ash Wednesday. It was a time to use up all food products that could not be eaten during the Lenten fast. Most people think of Mardi Gras as the parade in New Orleans. The same sort of process happened to what was called “Carnival” literally in Latin “carne vale” or “farewell to meat.” Now, it is the major parade in Rio. What we should be doing is thinking of how we will spend this Lenten Season of 2018. If at the end of Lent we are no closer to God than when we began, then this sacred season will be a loss. Let’s grow together this Lent!
(1 Kings 12:26-32) Jeroboam had been the prefect of forced labor (of the 10 tribes of the North) under King Solomon. After Solomon’s death, he led a revolt and had himself made King of the North and called it “Israel.” David’s son, Rehoboam was King of the South, now called “Judah.” So, the Kingdom joined together by David didn’t last and was now split. Jeroboam didn’t want his people to go to Jerusalem in Judah to worship, so he sent up 2 golden calves and proclaimed them god, an act of idolatry. (Sound familiar) Do we have false gods in our lives: money, houses, drink, drugs, sex, etc. Idols come in varied shapes and sizes. Look around and see if there are golden calves around that we may not even be aware of.