January 21, 2014

St. Agnes

January 21, 2014:  St. Agnes, virgin martyr

Readings
  • 1 Sm 16:1-13  God sent Samuel to Jesse, one of whose his sons he'd chosen as king.   Samuel invited Jesse and his sons to the sacrifice.  He saw Eliab and thought, “He must be the one,” but God said, “Don't judge from appearance; I've rejected him.”  Other sons followed, but Samuel told Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of them.  Do you have any others?”  “There is the youngest.”  “Send for him.”  Jesse had the young man brought to them.  Handsome, he made a splendid appearance.  The Lord said, “Anoint him!”  Samuel anointed David, on whom the Spirit of the Lord rushed. 
    Wordle: Readings 1-21-14
  • Ps 89:20-22, 27-28  "I have found David, my servant."  I've anointed him.  I'll always be with him and make him strong, the highest of the kings.”
  • Mk 2:23-28  While his disciples were picking heads of grain, Pharisees / Jesus:  “Why are they doing what's unlawful on the sabbath?” / “When David and his companions were hungry, they ate the bread of offering from the house of God?  The sabbath was made for man.  That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”
Pope Francis
  • Homily:  We look at appearances, but God has his own criteria, choosing the small and weak like David.  When David later sinned, he humbled himself, asked for pardon, and did penance, safeguarding his smallness.  Our Christian loyalty is about safeguarding our smallness so we can dialogue with God; humility, gentleness, and daily habits safeguard our smallness and please God.
Confession of faith and commitment to society:  The Father in loving all people gives them infinite dignity.  Each person has been taken up into God's heart through the Incarnation. The Cross demonstrates God's boundless love for each human being. Redemption has a social dimension; Christ redeems relationships as well as individuals.  The Spirit seeks to penetrate every situation and social bond, and evangelization should cooperate with this liberating work. We're created in the image of the communion of the Trinity; we can't be saved on our own.  The Gospel shows a deep connection between evangelization and human advancement.  When we receive God’s love and love him in return, we seek and protect others' good.

Scripture links the message of salvation with loving others; don’t lose your excitement and zeal for living the Gospel of fraternity and justice!  Our brothers and sisters extend the incarnation:  “As you did it to the least, you did it to me.”  How we treat others should correspond to God's love for us:  “Be merciful, as your Father is merciful.  Don't judge or condemn, and you won't be judged or condemned.  Forgive, and you'll be forgiven; give, and you'll receive.  The measure you give will be the measure you get.”  We must go to our brothers and sisters as one of the two great commandments and the clearest sign of response to God’s gift.  Charity is an indispensable expression of the Church's being.  The Church is missionary, abounding in effective charity and in compassion that understands, assists, and promotes.  (4.I, 178-79, pp. 139-42) 
Reflections
    • Creighton:  The Amish observe the Sabbath to stay closer to God, change rules that separate them from each other or God, and have the most sustainable farming communities in America.  See Healing a Broken World” about sustainability.
    • RC.net:  How do I honor God and treat my neighbor on Sunday?
    Apparel
    Sheep tie bar:  David was tending the sheep (1st reading)
    Dress your life!

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