St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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The Bible: Malachi

The Book of Malachi is three chapters long. The Name Malachi means “My Messenger”. It is believed to be written sometime before Nehemiah came to town around 455 BC. The people of God returned from exile, but their hearts were still not turned back to Him. The priests were still offering blemished sacrifices, but the prophecy in Chapter 1 verse 11 tells of the Sacrifice of the Mass. Chapter Three, verses two and three states, “But who will endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire, or like the fuller’s lye. He will sit refining and purifying [silver], and he will purify the sons of Levi, refining them like gold or silver that they may offer the due sacrifice to the Lord.” This is in reference to Zechariah 13:9 and Isaiah 1:25. But, all the Old testament references are pointing to the coming of Jesus. Jesus will offer the true sacrifice; the source of our worship at Mass. He will purify us with the once and for all sacrifice that comes to us in the Mass and whose power comes to us in Baptism, confession and anointing of the sick. Malachi sets the stage for the coming Messiah. Continue reading


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Bible: Micah Through Zechariah

Micah is seven chapters long. Micah lived at the same time as Isaiah. He challenged all those in authority within Judaism when they did wrong. It is noted that the reforms of Hezekiah were influenced by Micah and what he had to say. Micah prophesies doom and gloom with a little hope. That little hope that some are familiar with, is from Chapter 10:1-4 “But you, Bethlehem-Ephrathah, too small to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler over Israel; Whose origin is from of old, from ancient times. Therefore, the Lord will give them up, until the time when she who is to give birth has born, and the rest of his brothers shall return to the children of Israel. He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock by the strength of the Lord, in the majestic name of the Lord, his God; and they shall remain, for now his greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth; he shall be peace.” It is a prophecy of the coming of Jesus. Jesus is the Messiah, the long-awaited King of Israel! Continue reading


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The Bible: Joel – Jonah

The book of Joel is short, four chapters long, which translates into four pages. It was written about 400 BC. At about that time there was a great famine due to locusts and grasshoppers eating up the food of the land. It sounds like it was similar to one of the ten plagues in Egypt. By the end of this book comes hope and God makes a promise to the people that He will bless them. Continue reading


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The Bible: Daniel

The book of Daniel is 14 chapters long. It is considered an apocalyptic book. It deals with prophecy and stories of the Babylonian exile. Looking at the timeline, Daniel starts half way through the time of Jeremiah and goes just into the time of the return from exile. It was not written by Daniel. The author in unknown. The stories and prophecies revolve around Daniel. Continue reading


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The Bible: Ezekiel

The book of Ezekiel is one of the longer books of the prophets; it is 48 chapters long. It deals with the time during the exile. He is also a priest and has a prominence in the liturgy. He found his call to be a prophet in the land of Babylon which makes him the first prophet to receive his call outside of the Holy Land (EZ 1:1-3). Continue reading


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The Bible: Lamentations and Baruch

The book of Lamentations is one of the shorter books of the Bible, five chapters long. It was written lamenting the fall of Jerusalem which happened in 587 BC. It was an eyewitness account of all the hardships Jerusalem and its remaining inhabitants suffered. They were decimated. Many times it accounts that they were merely skin and bones. So much were they starving that Mothers would cook their dead children to eat (Lam 2:20 & 4:10). This happened again as it is accounted after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD which was predicted by Jesus (Mt 24:2). Continue reading