Daily Update: Sunday, July 16th, 2017

15th Sunday of Ordinary Time and Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Today is the Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time. Today is also the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and the birthday of my first cousin Paul in California (1957).

Our Gospel reading for the Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time comes from Matthew 13:1-23: On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.” The disciples approached him and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted, and I heal them. But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. Hear then the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” Turning to our Marian feast, the first Carmelites were Christian hermits living on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land during the late 12th and early to mid 13th centuries. They built a chapel in the midst of their hermitages which they dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, whom they conceived of in chivalric terms as the “Lady of the Place.” Since the 15th century, popular devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel has centered on the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, also known as the Brown Scapular, a sacramental associated with promises of Mary’s special aid for the salvation of the devoted wearer. Traditionally, Mary is said to have given the Scapular on July 16th, 1251  to an early Carmelite named Saint Simon Stock (died 1265). (I have never gotten the Scapular, and really have no desire to have it; and so far as I know, my devout sister Liz Ellen does not have one, either.) The solemn liturgical feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was probably first celebrated in England in the later part of the 14th century. Its object was thanksgiving to Mary, the patroness of the Carmelite Order, for the benefits she had accorded to it through its rocky early existence. The institution of the feast may have come in the wake of the vindication of their title “Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary” at Cambridge, England in 1374. The date chosen was July 17th; on the European mainland this date conflicted with the feast of St. Alexis, necessitating a shift to July 16th, which remains the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel throughout the Catholic Church. Today is also the birthday of my first cousin Paul in California (1957).

Last night I continued reading Sycamore Row by John Grisham via Kindle on my tablet before going to sleep.

When I woke up this morning to get ready for work, I did my Book Devotional Reading. On our way to work, we stopped by the ATM, but it was temporarily not working, and I did my Internet Devotional Reading. Once at the casino after we clocked in, Richard was at first the Relief Dealer for Let It Ride, the second Three Card Poker table, and Four Card Poker; when those tables closed, he became the dealer on Pai Gow. I was on the second Mississippi Stud table all day, and was busy all day. On my breaks I continued reading Sycamore Row by John Grisham via Kindle on my tablet.

On our way home I continued reading Sycamore Row by John Grisham via Kindle on my tablet until I got to a good stopping place, and we took cash out from the ATM, which was now working. Once home, I made my lunch salads for tomorrow and Tuesday, and Richard went down to Wal-Mart to get some cold meds. I then ate my lunch salad while reading the Sunday papers. And I am now at the computer doing today’s Daily Update; when I finish this Daily Update I will be going to bed for the duration. And the Last Quarter Moon will arrive at 2:38 pm.

We have no Saints to honor, but tomorrow is the World Day of International Justice. Richard and I will return to the casino to work our assigned tasks in Table Games, and I will finish reading Sycamore Row by John Grisham via Kindle on my tablet. After work I will go to the Clinic and have my appointment with either the Doctor or the Nurse Practitioner at 11:00 am. In the afternoon I will take care of paperwork and work on Advance Daily Update Drafts, along with doing my Book Review for this weblog and for my Goodreads and Facebook accounts for Sycamore Row by John Grisham.

Our Parting Quote this Sunday afternoon comes to us from Stephen Covey, American educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker. Born in 1932 in Salt Lake City, Utah, he was the grandson of Stephen L Richards, an apostle and counselor in the first presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints under David O. McKay. Covey was athletic as a youth but contracted slipped capital femoral epiphysis in junior high school, requiring him to change his focus to academics. He was a member of the debate team and graduated from high school early. He then earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Utah, an MBA from Harvard University (he would occasionally preach on Boston Common), and a Doctor of Religious Education (DRE) from Brigham Young University. He served a two-year mission in England for the LDS Church. Covey served as the first president of the Irish Mission of the church starting in July 1962. His first two books, Spiritual Roots of Human Relations (1970) and The Divine Center (1982) were Mormon devotional works. In 1985 Covey established Stephen R. Covey and Associates which in 1987 became The Covey Leadership Center. He changed his focus in his books in 1989 with The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, his best-known book, which has sold more than twenty-five million copies worldwide. In the book Covey adamantly refused to conflate principles and values; he saw principles as external natural laws, while values remain internal and subjective. Covey proclaimed that values govern people’s behavior, but principles ultimately determine the consequences, and presented his teachings in a series of habits, manifesting as a progression from dependence via independence to interdependence. In 1997 The Covey Leadership Center merged with Franklin Quest to form FranklinCovey, a global professional-services firm and specialty retailer selling both training and productivity tools to individuals and to organizations. In late 1997 he giving the keynote address at a $1,000-per-plate fundraiser in Honolulu for Save Traditional Marriage 98 (“STM 98”), a political action committee that was sponsoring a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages in the state. In 1998, following Covey’s apology over his comments at STM 98, Franklin Covey rewrote its nondiscrimination policy to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. A father of nine and a grandfather of fifty-two, he received the Fatherhood Award from the National Fatherhood Initiative in 2003. His 2004 book The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness was published by Free Press, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. The Covey Leadership Center. In March 2008 Covey launched the Stephen Covey’s Online Community. The site was a collection of online courses, goal management and social networking. Covey used it to teach his thoughts and ideas on current topics and self leadership. Covey released The Leader in Me — How Schools and Parents Around the World Are Inspiring Greatness, One Child at a Time in November 2008. In 2009 he launched a career development webinar series to help people struggling in the economic downturn. Its purpose was to offer timely and current topics on a regular basis. In February 2010 Covey announced his hire as a professor and first incumbent of the Jon M. Huntsman Presidential Chair in Leadership at the Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University (USU). Huntsman and Covey were longtime friends. At USU he taught courses, performed research, and helped to establish the Stephen R. Covey Center for Leadership, in order to better train students in innovation and ethics. On April 20th, 2010 he made his first post to an education blog entitled Our Children and the Crisis in Education which appears on the Huffington Post news and blog-aggregation website. FranklinCovey also established a Web site dedicated exclusively to The Leader in Me concept, and it holds periodic conferences and workshops to train elementary school administrators who want to integrate The Leader in Me process into their school’s academic culture. In April of 2012 he took a fall from his bicycle on a steep road; complications from this accident led to his death (died 2012): “Remember, to learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know.”

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