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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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: Jeremiah

Jeremiah found his calling at least one hundred years after the fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. There is a partial timeline in the entryway of both churches in color for you to look at. We also have ten black and white copies in the back of church for you to take home. It illustrates the split in the Davidic Kingdom, the kings, the prophets and the time the books are addressing. It also has information on who was the ruling power and other historical events that help you put things into perspective. Jeremiah is just before 600 BC, right before the three deportations. Continue reading


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The Bible: History of the Northern Kingdom of Israel

Isaiah was a prophet before the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel. He prophesied the fall of the northern kingdom in 722 BC. Jeremiah came over 100 years later and served the southern kingdom of Judah. Remember that after King Solomon, his son was foolish and followed after worldly things which caused division of the kingdom that God had established through King David. This set up a constant fighting of the northern kingdom of Israel against the southern kingdom of Judah and vice versa. The kingdom was now divided into at least two. Continue reading


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The Bible: Isaiah

The Book of Isaiah is the longest of the books of the Prophets. This book of the Bible has 66 chapters. It was written addressing the late eighth century BC. During that time came the fall of the northern part of the Holy Land known as Israel. The southern region which contained Jerusalem was known as Judah. This time is divided into three, according to the kings, Jotham (742-735), Ahaz (735-715) and Hezekiah (715-687). Continue reading