The parable that Matthew added to the main parable about the wedding feast (the man without the proper wedding garment) may seem confusing. Why did he add this? Probably because he wanted to make the point that there are requirements for the Kingdom of Heaven: the willingness to embrace and live according to the gospel message. His presence in the gospel challenges us to recognize God’s call to us. Do you remember a white garment that was given to you at baptism? Do you know where that garment is? We were told to keep it white (sinless). It was a call to live each day as Jesus tells us and shows us how to live. We need to “see Jesus more clearly; love Him more dearly; follow Him more nearly, day by day.”
This excerpt from Joel tells of the judgment that will come upon the nations and the restoration of Zion. A theme that runs throughout the Bible is that after God punishes He restores His people, His wrath can’t go on forever. God is a merciful God whose mercy endures forever.
The Book of Joel is one of the “Scroll of the 12,” or one of the so-called Minor Prophets. This doesn’t mean that Joel and the other 11 are not important (this includes Hosea and Amos, for example), but that the oracles of these 12 prophets can all fit on one scroll. Joel was written about 400 BC and its main theme is the “Day of the Lord.” There had been a devastating plague of locusts and Joel saw this as a metaphor for the “Day of the Lord,” a day of judgment. So, he called the people to repentance. We read from Joel every Ash Wednesday.
A Child’s Prayer to Mary
“Mary, mother whom we bless,
Full of grace and tenderness,
Defend me from the devil’s power
And greet me in my dying hour. Amen.”
Today is a new Optional Memorial for John XXIII. “Good old Pope John” was like one’s favorite grandfather. Warm and a person of the people, he “smelled like his sheep.” He had a wonderful sense of humor. The story goes that one day there was a tour of people going through the Vatican and one asked him how many people worked at the Vatican. The Pope replied, “Oh, about half!” I feel blessed to have attended the seminary that bears his name.
Spiritual Communion of St. Alphonsus
“My Jesus, I believe that You are in the Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things, and long for You in my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though You have already come, I embrace You and unite myself entirely to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.”
Prayer for Daily Neglects
“Eternal Father, I offer You the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with all its love, all its sufferings, and all its merits.
First: to expiate all the sins I have committed this day and during all my life.
Glory be to the Father…
Second: to purify the good I have done badly this day and during all my life.
Glory be to the Father…
Third: to supply for the good I ought to have done and that I have neglected to do this day and during all my life,
Glory be to the Father…”