Tuesday, February 24, 2015

JE #34

Today is the feast of St. Matthias

 
So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
(Acts 1:21-26 ESV)

Monday, February 23, 2015

JE #33

Today is the commemoration of Polycarp, pastor at Smyrna and martyr



"Let us then continually persevere in our hope, and the earnest of our righteousness, which is Jesus Christ, “who bore our sins in His own body on the tree,” who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth,” but endured all things for us, that we might live in Him.  Let us then be imitators of His patience; and if we suffer for His name’s sake, let us glorify Him.  For He has set us this example in Himself, and we have believed that such is the case." - Polycarp
 
 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.’" (Revelation 2:8-11 ESV)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

JE #32

Today we observe the commemoration of Martin Luther, doctor and confessor


Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy Word;
Curb those who fain by craft and sword
Would wrest the kingdom from Thy Son
And set at naught all He hath done.
 
Lord Jesus Christ, Thy pow’r make known,
For Thou art Lord of lords alone;
Defend Thy Christendom that we
May evermore sing praise to Thee.
 
O Comforter of priceless worth,
Send peace and unity on earth.
Support us in our final strife
And lead us out of death to life.
- Martin Luther, 1541

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

JE #31

Today is Ash Wednesday

I, a sinner, come to Thee
With a penitent confession;
Savior, mercy show to me
Grant for all my sins remission.
Let these words my soul relieve:
Jesus sinners doth receive.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

JE #30

Today we observe the commemoration of Philemon and Onesimus



 I thank my God always when I remember you [Philemon] in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. (Philemon 1:4-7 ESV)

 yet for love's sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus—I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment. (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. (Philemon 1:9-16 ESV)

JE #29

Yesterday was the commemoration of Philip Melanchthon, confessor


"But faith is not belief in the history of Christ, as the godless think, but belief in the purpose of Christ’s incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection. For he took on flesh, was crucified, and rose from the dead in order to justify all who would believe in him.”

Saturday, February 14, 2015

JE #28

Today is the feast of St. Valentine, martyr


Today's feast is kind of a tricky thing. St. Valentine has fallen out of favor in the last 50 years as his story (or stories) relies on tradition rather than any hard facts. His feast appears to be a co-opted pagan fertility festival which has morphed into a useless Hallmark holiday. Nevertheless, it is on the calendar and I have chocolates and lovey-dovey cards to give to my dear Mr. Bee and our sweet little Bees.

Pictured above is the altar of St. Valentine's Polish National Catholic Church in Philadelphia, and may I say WOW! WHAT AN ALTAR! I hope they are celebrating a wedding there today.