December 30, 2013

December 30

December 30, 2013:  6th day in Christmas Octave 

Readings

  • 1 Jn 2:12-17  Children, your sins have been forgiven.  Fathers, you know Him.  Young men, God's word is in you, and you've conquered the Evil One.  Children, you know the Father.  If you love the world, the Father's love isn't in you; all in the world is not from the Father.  The world is passing away, but if you do God's will, you'll remain.
    Wordle: Readings 12-30-13
  • Ps 96:7-10  "Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!" Praise and worship the Lord; God is king and governs with equity. 
  • Lk 2:36-40  Prophetess Anna, 84, worshiped night and day.  She thanked God and spoke about the child.  Joseph, Mary, and Jesus returned to Nazareth; Jesus grew and became strong, filled with wisdom and God's favor.


Pope Francis
Words that set hearts on fire:  Dialogue enriches those who express love in words.  The homily is quasi-sacramental; lecturing or purely moralistic preaching detracts from its heart-to-heart communication.  Truth, beauty, and goodness should meet.  Homilies should communicate the beauty of God's images and encourage doing good, not deal with abstract truths.  Hearts growing in hope from joyful practice of love they've received will sense that Scripture is a gift before it is a demand. 
In preaching, enlighten via synthesis and fan fervor; don't bore with detached ideas.  Join the loving hearts of the Lord and his people to strengthen the covenant and the bond of charity.  In the homily, believers allow God to speak.  The Lord and his people speak directly in other ways, but here the preacher serve as an instrument to express their feelings in so that afterwards, each may chose how to continue the conversation.  The word requires an intermediary to present it; what we preach is not ourselves but Christ as Lord.

Our hearts must not just be on fire but also enlightened by revelation and the path of God’s word in the Church and history; that Christian identity, with the Father's baptismal embrace and Mary's embrace, makes us desire the embrace of the merciful Father who awaits us in glory.  Preachers help people feel they live in these embraces; the task is hard but beautiful.  (3.II, 142-144, pp. 112-114)
Reflections
    • Creighton:  Picture 84-year-old Anna [="Favor"] announcing Jesus in the Temple.  God can use obscure people to announce great news. 
    • RC.net:  Hope grows with prayer and perseverance. Anna had hope that God would fulfill his promises.  She's a model for us; without hope in God, age and  disappointments can make us cynical.  Her hope grew with age and fueled her zeal.  
    Attire (since psalm uses the word)
    Christmas pin and sweater (season)
    Dress your life!

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