December 13, 2013

St. Lucy

December 13, 2013:   St. Lucy, virgin martyr

Wordle: Readings 12-13-13Readings
  • Is 48:17-19  I teach and lead you for your good.  Hearken to my commandments; receive prosperity, vindication, descendants.
  • Ps 1:1-4, 6  Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.  One who delights in God's law is like a tree yielding fruit; he prospers.
  • Mt 11:16-19  This generation is like children who didn't dance to the flute, rejecting John the Baptist and the Son of Man.  But wisdom's works vindicate her.
Pope Francis
  • Receiving Christmas tree:  Just as a great light surrounded the shepherds, Jesus shines his light into our darkness. Let us be swathed in that light, so Gospel joy can fill all who encounter Jesus.
  • Receiving ambassadors:  Human trafficking is slavery harming the weak, in whom we see Christ.   It threatens individuals, values, security, justice, the economy, families, and society.  Nobody of good will can allow people to be used then discarded.  Free victims and stop this crime; develop effective strategies, so people will be respected.
No to spiritual worldliness:  it seeks human glory, personal well-being, not Christ's interests; gnosticism (subjective faith seeking a particular knowledge or experience imprisons you in your thoughts and feelings) and neopelagianism (self-trust) fuel it.  It lacks concern for Christ or others; it analyzes instead of evangelizing, exhausts instead of opening to grace.

Examples:  * Preoccupation for liturgy, doctrine, or Church prestige without concern for Gospel's impact on people with their needs.  Church life turns into a museum piece belonging to few.  * Fascination with social/political gain, obsession with programs, concern to be seen, appearances, business mentality benefiting Church more than people, lacking mark of Christ incarnate, crucified and risen, forming closed groups without effort to seek the distant or thirsty, replacing fervor with complacency and self-indulgence. 
The Church is glorious because of sacrifice, hope, struggle, service, and work. Instead, we waste time discussing “what needs to be done” and giving instructions from on high; we call it the sin of habriaqueísmo, indulging in fantasies and losing contact with people's lives and difficulties.

The spiritually worldly reject prophecy, discredit questioners, point out mistakes, and are obsessed by appearances; they don't learn from their sins and aren't open to forgiveness.  Avoid it by making the Church go out from herself, keeping our mission focused on Christ and the poor.  God save us from a Church that looks spiritual and pastoral but is really worldly!  Only the Spirit's liberating air can heal it, freeing us from self-centeredness cloaked in outward religiosity bereft of God.  Don't be robbed of the Gospel!  (2.II, 93-97; pp. 75-79)
      Reflections
      • Creighton:  “Prosperity” isn't material; it comes from a pure soul.  “Vindication” is not earthly but heavenly.
      • RC.net:  Do I seek God's peace and heed his wisdom or have selective hearing loss?  Is my life in tune with Jesus?  Do I know the joy of obedience to God?
        Apparel

        • People tie pin:  Hearken to commandments; descendants will be as the sand (1st reading)
        • Tree and apple pins:  One who meditates on God's law is like a tree bearing fruit (psalm)
        • Accordion pin:  We played the flute (same instrument family :-) and you didn't dance (gospel)
        • Eyeball tie pin:  Lucy's eyeballs were gouged (feast)
        • Red and white shirt:  Lucy's martyrdom (feast); light of life (psalm)/light of Christ (season, Pope's remarks)
        • Purple tie and suspenders:  Advent season
        Special blessings to and prayers for the communities at St. Lucy parish and school in Long Beach, St. Lucy's in Los Angeles, St. Lucy's Priory High School in Glendora, and to our daughter Lucy!

        Dress your life!


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