AD SENSE

July 4th: US Independence Day

July 4 Saturday (U. S. Independence Day reflections on next page): Matthew 9:14-17: 14 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 15 And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come, when the bridegroom is  taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16 And no one puts a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made.  17 Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; if it is, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is  put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” USCCB video reflections: http://www.usccb.org/bible/reflections/index.cfm


 The context: Today’s Gospel passage gives Jesus’ reply to the question asked by a few disciples of John the Baptist about fasting and feasting. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving were three cardinal works of Jewish religious life. Hence, John’s disciples wanted to know why they and the Pharisees fasted while Jesus’ disciples were seen feasting with him and never fasting.
Jesus’ reply: Jesus responded to their sincere question using three metaphors: the metaphor of the “children of the bridal chamber,” the metaphor of patching torn cloth and the metaphor of wineskins. First, Jesus compared his disciples with the children of the bridal chamber, the selected friends of the bride and groom who feasted in the company of bride and groom during a week of honeymoon. Nobody expected them to fast. Jesus explained that his disciples would fast when he, the bridegroom, was taken away from them. In the same way, we are to welcome both the joys of Christian life and the crosses it offers us. Using comparisons of the danger of using new, unshrunken cloth to make a patch for an old garment and the danger of using old wineskins to store freshly fermented wine, Jesus told the questioners that they must have more elastic and open minds and larger hearts to understand and follow his new ideas which were in many cases different from the traditional Jewish teachings.

Life message: 1) We need to be adjustable Christians with open and elastic minds and hearts: The Holy Spirit, working actively in the Church and guiding the teaching authority in the Church, enables the Church to have new visions, new ideas, new adaptations and new ways of worship in the place of old ones. So, we should have the generosity and good will to follow the teachings of the Church. At the same time, we need the Old Testament revelations, the New Testament teachings and the Sacred Tradition of the Church as main sources of our Christian Faith. (Fr. Tony) (http://frtonyshomilies.com/) L/20

July 4: U. S. Independence Day: Synopsis of Independence Day Homily-2020
  1. This is a day to thank God for the political and religious freedom we enjoy and to pray for God’s special blessings on the rulers and the people of our country.
  2. It is a day to remember with gratitude the founding fathers of our democratic republic, especially, Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, and James Madison, the architect of the Constitution, who believed that all power, including political power, came from God and was given to the people who entrusted this power to their elected leaders.
  3. It is a day to remember and pray for all our brave soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice of their lives to keep this country a safe and a free country, and for those who are now engaged in the fight against terrorism in other countries.
  4.  It is day to remember the basic principle underlined in the constitution, that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
  5.  It is day to remind ourselves that we have a duty to protect these God-given rights by voting into power leaders who believe in God and who have character, integrity, experience, and strong belief in inalienable human rights.
  6.  It is day to fight for the fundamental right to life denied to pre-born children to grow and develop in their mothers’ wombs and to the sick and the elderly to die gracefully without fearing euthanasia.
  7.  It is day to pray for and work for liberation for all those who are still slaves in our free country – slaves to evil habits and addictions to nicotine, alcohol, drugs, pornography, promiscuity and sexual aberrations.
  8.  It is a day to take a pledge to become recommitted to doing something about our own growth in Christ, and to living as Americans who contribute something to our religion, Church, country, and the lives of others.
  9.  It is a day to remember where we came from, what we stand for, and the sacrifices that thousands of our countrymen have made on our behalf.
Life messages: 
  1. It is a day to raise our voice of protest against liberal, agnostic, and atheistic political leaders, media bosses, and activist, liberal judges who deny religious moral education to our young citizens.
  2. It is a day to offer our country and all its citizens on the altar of God, asking His special providential care, protection and blessings.
Intercessory prayers for Independence Day (USCCB)
  • For the people of the United States, that we may be united in building a society in which everyone can have the opportunity to live with dignity and hope, we pray to the Lord. . . .
  • For the Church, that we may be a witness to Christ’s love by practicing charity and promoting justice and peace throughout the world, we pray to the Lord.
  • For Catholics throughout our nation, that the values of our faith may guide us as we exercise our responsibility as voters, we pray to the Lord. . . .
  • For the members of this community, that we may find ways to help build a world of greater respect for human life and human dignity, we pray to the Lord. . . .
  • For those who serve in elected office, that they may lead with courage and wisdom, reflecting the Church’s teaching that the moral test of our society is how the weak, the poor, and the vulnerable are faring, we pray to the Lord. . . .
  • For all citizens of the United States, that our participation in the upcoming election may lead to a world of greater respect for life and commitment to justice and peace, we pray to the Lord. . . .
  • For those who are suffering from poverty and injustice, that our decisions this election year may lead to policies and programs that help them live in dignity, we pray to the Lord. . . .
  • For parishioners who have been elected to public office, that they might use their offices to protect the unborn and promote the dignity of the poor and vulnerable, we pray to the Lord. . . .
  • For the earth, that our nation’s leaders will be inspired by God’s Spirit to protect all of His creation, we pray to the Lord. . . .
  • For workers around the world, especially children who work long hours for little pay, that we might all seek ways to promote fairness, justice, and dignity in their lives, we pray to the Lord. . . .
  • For leaders around world, that they might find ways to bring an end to war and violence, and promote peace and development for all nations, we pray to the Lord. . . .
  • Concluding prayer by the priest