November 17, 2017

Elizabeth of Hungary

November 17, 2017:  St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious

  • 'Lightning' pin:  If they were struck by their might and energy, let them realize how much more powerful their Maker (1st reading)
  • 'Olympics' tie pin:  Their message resounds throughout the earth (psalm)
  • 'Boat' tie bar:  Noah's ark (gospel)
  • 'Food' tie, 'silverware' tie bar:  "They were eating and drinking,..." (gospel)
  • 'Fire' pin:  "...then the flood or fire destroyed them" (gospel); "they considered fire,..." (1st reading)
  • 'Star' tie pin:  "...the stars, or other things as gods" (1st reading)
  • 'Clocks' suspenders:  You don't know the day or hour (Sunday gospel)
  • White shirt:  St. Elizabeth of Hungary
Listen

For Psalm 19
Pope Francis
Today's homily:  The Church, our Mother, wants us to consider our own death.  We're used to the routine of life, but the day will come when the Lord will call us, perhaps unexpected, perhaps after a long illness.  Then there will be another surprise:  eternal life.  This is why the Church asks us to pause to think about death.  Don't become accustomed to earthly life as though it were eternity.  A day will come when you'll be taken away to go with the Lord.  Thinking about death doesn't have to be gruesome.  When we die, we'll meet the Lord; that's the beauty of death.  The Lord will say, “Come with me, you blessed by my Father.”
Once an old ailing priest went to the doctor, who said, “We'll try this treatment, and if it doesn’t work, we’ll try another, and if that doesn’t work, we'll begin to walk together, and I'll accompany you to the end.”  Like the doctor, we must accompany one another, doing all we can to assist the sick, but always looking toward our final destiny, when the Lord will come take us home with him.
Thursday homily:  The Pharisees’ question about when God's Kingdom would come could be asked in good faith.  There's always curiosity and doubt about when the Kingdom will come.  Jesus answers with the "glad tidings" he proclaimed in the Nazarath synagogue:  God's Kingdom is in your midst. 
Like a seed that when sown grows from within, so the Kingdom grows “in hiding,” in our midst.  It's like the gem or treasure, but in humility.  God, the Holy Spirit, within us, makes the seed grow.  The Spirit of meekness, obedience, and simplicity makes the Kingdom grow, not pastoral plans.  The Spirit, in hiding, makes it grow, the moment arrives, and fruit appears.  How was the seed sown in the good thief's heart?  By his mother, or rabbi explaining the law?  Then it was forgotten, but then the Spirit made it grow.  God's Kingdom is always a surprise, a God-given gift.  The Kingdom doesn't attract attention; no one will say, "Look!"  It's not a show or carnival, though sometimes we think of it like that.  It doesn't love publicity; it grows while humble and hidden.  Mary remained in hiding.  When she was at the cross, people must have said, "Poor woman, mother of this criminal."’  Nobody understood.
How is my relationship with the Spirit, who makes the Kingdom grow in me?  Do I believe the Kingdom is in our midst, hidden?  Or do I prefer spectacle?  Holy Spirit, give us the grace to make the seed of God's Kingdom grow in us and the Church, with strength, so it may become large, give refuge to many, and give the fruit of sanctity.
Read
  • Wis 13:1-9  All ignorant of God were foolish.  God, creator, is more excellent than their idols, created things.  God-seekers are distracted because the things they see are fair.

  • Ps 19:2-5ab  "The heavens proclaim the glory of God" through all the earth.
  • Lk 17:26-37  “As it was in the days of Noah and Lot, so too in the days of the Son of Man:  they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, and building, then the flood came or fire and brimstone rained.  When the Son is revealed, don't go back to get what you left behind.  Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it....
Reflect
  • Creighton:  Welles Crowther, who died at 24 rescuing people from the Twin Towers on 9/11, could have preserved his earthly life but lost it to serve others, in line with today's gospel.  Jesus is telling us to find ways to die to self to gain eternal life.  The gospel also reminds us that death transforms life rather than ending it....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "The last day":  Jesus will return and the world will end when we least expect it, when it's business as usual, suddenly, after severe persecution, after "earthquakes, plagues, and famines... fearful omens, and great signs," after apostasy, after the Antichrist is destroyed, when the love of most has grown cold, after the gospel has been proclaimed worldwide," when Israel has been saved, and when the Church is "holy and immaculate."  Are you ready?  Are you trying to hasten his return?  In love, faith, repentance, and holiness, wait in joyful hope for his coming."
    St Elizabeth washing a beggar
    St. Elisabeth Cathedral, Slovakia
  • Passionist:  We Catholics believe we can encounter God in the beauty of creation.  Our God draws near to us in a starry sky, autumn colors, and our neighbors, images of God.  If we “seek God and wish to find him,” we can just open our eyes to the beauty around us.  But we can be so captivated by creation's greatness and beauty that we don’t look beyond them to the Creator; we see the gift but forget Giver.  The remedy is to remember that the purpose of a sacrament is to bring God closer to us so we might draw closer to God.  If we see creation's beauty and goodness, we'll see the Creator's beauty and goodness.
In the gospel Jesus suggests we won't be prepared for the Son's final coming.  Perhaps the best way to be ready is to seek him daily in the world around us.  In a sacramental world, the Lord isn’t about to come; he's with us every moment.

  • DailyScripture.net:  "One will be taken, the other left":  Eagles are attracted to carrion; they swoop to catch their prey when conditions are right, especially if the prey is vulnerable to attack.  Nobody knows when judgment day will be, but it'll be obvious when it comes:  those who have rejected God will perish, and believers will be vindicated and rewarded.  The Day will come unexpectedly; may we not be caught off guard.  The Lord gives us freedom to accept or reject him, to live as citizens of his kingdom or to oppose him, but he offers us grace, strength, and help to turn to him and gives us us his Spirit to lead and guide us.  The Lord's warning is motivated by his love for us.  He doesn't want anyone's death but wants us to choose life.  The Day of the Lord will be a cause for great joy for those who have put their trust in the Lord.  The choices we make now will lead us on the path of life or death....
Today's saints, from Universalis
  • Hilda, religious, abbess
  • Hugh of Lincoln, Carthusian prior, bishop, cared for the sick and oppressed