Daily Update: Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

Mary Magdalen

Today is the Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene (died first century).

According to Luke 8:2 and Mark 16:9, Jesus cleansed Mary, from the town of Magdala in Palestine, of “seven demons,” a concept usually associated in the New Testament with healing from illness, not with forgiveness of sin. She is the only person named by any of the canonical gospels as a witness to Jesus’ crucifixion, to his burial, and to the discovery of his tomb to be empty. In early Church writings she was referred to as “the Apostle to the Apostles”. One charming tradition concerning Mary Magdalene says that many years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, she used her position to gain an invitation to a banquet given by Emperor Tiberius. When she met him, she held a plain egg in her hand and exclaimed “Christ is risen!” Caesar laughed, and said that Christ rising from the dead was as likely as the egg in her hand turning red while she held it. Before he finished speaking, the egg in her hand turned a bright red, and she continued proclaiming the Gospel to the entire imperial house. In a sermon whose text was given in Patrologia Latina, Pope Gregory the Great (died 604) stated that he believed “that the woman Luke called a sinner and John called Mary was the Mary out of whom Mark declared that seven demons were cast”. While most Western writers shared this view, it was not seen as a Church teaching, but as an opinion, the pros and cons of which were discussed throughout the ages. At different times in history, Mary Magdalene was or has been confused or misidentified with almost every woman in the four Gospels, except for the mother of Jesus. In the popular media, the Magdalene as penitent sinner (especially in the area of sexual sin) became almost the only way of referring to her. With the liturgical changes made in 1969 there is no longer mention of Mary Magdalene as a sinner in Roman Catholic liturgical materials. On June 10th, 2016, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issued a decree which elevated Mary’s liturgical commemoration from an obligatory memorial to a feast day, like that of most of the Apostles (the exception being the joint feast of Peter and Paul, which is a solemnity). The Mass and Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office) remained the same as they were, except that a specific preface was added to the Mass to refer to her explicitly as the “Apostle to the Apostles”. She is the Patron Saint of hairdressers and pharmacists, and of women unjustly maligned.

Upon getting up to get ready for work today I did my Book Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. After the Pre-Shift Meeting, Richard spent the day on a Blackjack table; I was at first the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow, and then the Relief Dealer for Let It Ride, Mini Baccarat, and Pai Gow, and I can say without fear of contradiction that I dealt more Let It Ride today than I have done in a month of Sundays.

When we arrived home from work I set up my medications for next week (none to renew) and ate my lunch salad while reading the paper, and Richard mowed the grass. I then headed to the Adoration Chapel to do my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration; during my Hour I finished reading the July 10th, 2017 issue of my Jesuit America magazine, and started reading the July / August 2017 issue of The Bible Today. Also, Richard sent me a quick text asking me if I had anything for him to put on the storelist, and I told him what I felt we needed.

I arrived at 2:00 pm back at the house, and Richard arrived from the store not long after that. And I am finishing up my Daily Update for today; I am very tired, and once I finish this Daily Update I will go to bed for the duration.

Tomorrow is the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time and the Optional Memorial of Saint Bridget of Sweden, Religious (died 1373). It is also the birthday of my friend Mike in Arkansas, who I met via the Internet (and in so-called Real Life), and who is married to Rosa, whom he and I both met on the Internet (and whom I have never met in so-called Real Life) (1971). Richard and I will work our eight hours on the last day of the two-week pay period, and the New Moon will arrive at 4:47 am. And Callie and the baby (and perhaps our daughter) will come over in the afternoon.

Our Parting Quote this Saturday afternoon comes to us from Dennis Farina, American actor. Born in 1944 (on February 29th) in Chicago, Illinois, his parents were Sicilian-American. After his high school graduation he spent three years in the military, then became a member of the Chicago Police Department’s burglary division from 1967 to 1985. He once claimed in an interview that as a Chicago cop he was such a bad shot he earned the nickname “The Great Wounder.” He began his work in show business working for director Michael Mann as a police consultant, which subsequently led to an interest in acting when Mann cast him in a small role in the 1981 film Thief when he was thirty-seven. Farina proceeded to moonlight as an actor in the Chicago theater scene before Mann chose him for his Crime Story series to play Lieutenant Mike Torello in forty-three episodes from 1986 to 1988. Farina played the mobster Albert Lombard in Michael Mann’s other television show, Miami Vice, in three separate episodes, in 1984, 1985 and 1989. In 1986 he played Jack Crawford in Manhunter, and in 1988 he played Jimmy Serrano, the mob boss from Midnight Run. Farina was a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan and played an avid fan in a 1988 revival of the successful 1977 Organic Theater Company stage play The Bleacher Bums which was written by and starred fellow Chicago actors Joe Mantegna and Dennis Franz. He won an American Comedy Award for his performance of Ray “Bones” Barboni, a criminal in Get Shorty (1995) and played Army Lieutenant Colonel Walter Anderson in Saving Private Ryan (1998). Between 2004 and 2006 he played Detective Joe Fontana in forty-six episodes of Law & Order (he was the replacement for Detective Lennie Briscoe, played by Jerry Orbach); he also played the same character in a 2005 episode of Law & Order: Trial By Jury. He was the only actor playing a police officer in the Law & Order universe who had actually been a police officer in real life.. In October 2008 Farina became the new host of Unsolved Mysteries when it returned to television with a new five-season, 175-episode run on Spike TV. Farina replaced Robert Stack, who had hosted the series for its entire original fifteen-year run before his death in 2003. The series would include re-edited segments from previous incarnations on NBC, CBS, and Lifetime (all originally hosted by Stack) as well as several new original stories. Farina was arrested on May 11th, 2008, for carrying a loaded .22 caliber pistol through Los Angeles International Airport security. He was taken to LAPD’s Pacific Division and booked on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon, and bail was set at $25,000. He claimed he had simply forgotten the weapon was still in his briefcase and had never intended to take it on a plane. After police determined the weapon was unregistered, the charges were upgraded to a felony and bail was increased to $35,000. On July 17th, 2008, after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors, Farina pleaded no contest and was sentenced to two years’ probation. On July 17th, 2009, the judge in his case dismissed the charge and expunged it from Farina’s otherwise clean record. He co-starred in the 2012 HBO horse-race gambling series Luck, with Dustin Hoffman, directed by Michael Mann. He also had a recurring guest role in 2013 in the television comedy series New Girl. His last films were Authors Anonymous (2014) and Lucky Stiff (2014) (died 2013): “Some people approach acting with all these things in their head, making it more complicated than it needs to be, way too cerebral. I don’t want to know that an actor lived in a cave for 12 days so that he could prepare for a part.”

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