December 14, 2013

St. John of the Cross

December 14, 2013:   St. John of the Cross, priest, doctor

Readings

  • Sir 48:1-4, 9-11  Elijah appeared, awesome, bringing down fire, to end wrath, turn hearts.  Blessed be your friends..
  • Ps 80:2ac, 3b, 15-16, 18-19  "Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved."  Shepherd of Israel, shine, rouse your power, take care of the vine you planted, help the son of man, and give us life.
  • Mt 17:9a, 10-13  "Elijah came, unrecognized; they did what they pleased to him.  So too the Son of Man will suffer."  Disciples understood he was speaking of John the Baptist.
Pope Francis
  • Yesterday's homily:  As those closed to God's word in John the Baptist and Jesus criticized the preacher and preferred their own religion, some are still allergic to preachers. preferring life caged in their compromises or disembodied spirituality, afraid of the Spirit's freedom.  The scandal of preaching is the scandal of the Cross:  God speaks through limited, sinful people—and Jesus who died as a criminal.  Believe in the Spirit, the freedom that comes from preaching that admonishes and teaches us and makes us grow.  Open the door to the Spirit; heed preaching; receive freedom.
No to warring among ourselves:  How many wars take place within our communities, caused by envy, spiritual worldliness, or the quest for power, prestige, or security!  Some belong to a "special" group more than the whole Church. 
We're torn by violence and wounded by individualism, conflicts, and divisions.  Be radiant witnesses of communion; love, care for, encourage, and accompany each other, so the world may believe.  Beware jealousy; our gifts belong to all, and we're all in the same boat!
May those who find forgiveness hard see the luminous witness of reconciled communities.  Whom can we evangelize if we tolerate enmity, calumny, revenge, jealousy, and witch hunts?  Love in spite of everything; overcome evil with good.  When angry with people, pray for them; it's a loving act of evangelization.  Don't be robbed of fraternal love!  (2.II, 98-101; pp. 79-81)
      Reflections
      • Creighton:  Elijah brought down fire by God's power but wasn't recognized; John the Baptist came to prepare the Lord's the way but wasn't heeded; Jesus came but wasn't recognized or heeded.  Help us to recognize and heed.
      • RC.net:  John the Baptist pointed to and prepared the way for Jesus, fulfilling the role Jews expected of Elijah.  Repent to prepare for the Lord's coming.
      • Universalis:  St. John of the Cross, Carmelite, reformer, poet, imprisoned and punished by Church
        Music
        Apparel


        • Red tie:  Elijah's fire (1st reading)
        • Heart of Claddagh pin:  Elijah came to turn hearts (1st reading)
        • Vine pin:  Take care of the vine you planted (psalm)
        • White shirt:  today's color

        Dress your life!


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