February 10, 2015

Scholastica

February 10, 2015:  St. Scholastica, Virgin

See 12+ connections with today's readings and celebration?
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Hear yesterday's 10+ "creation" tracks
Pope Francis homily
God created us in his image.   We can't find the image of God on a computer or in an encyclopedia; the only way to find it and so understand our identity is to set out on a journey, or else you won't find the face of God.  Sedentary, lethargic Christians don't know God.  You need to be restless to set out on the path; God made us restless to bring us to him. 
 
Setting out and allowing God and life to test us is a risk, like Elijah, Jeremiah, and Job's; they braved danger and felt defeated.  If we're stationary, we falsify our search.  In the Gospel, Jesus met people afraid to set out on the path and who were content with a caricature of God, a fake ID.  They silenced their restlessness, replacing God with commandments; in doing so, they turned from God instead of journeying towards God.  People like that travel a path that goes nowhere, a slumberous path.
Today's readings are two ID cards we all have:  one saying, "Set out and you'll discover your identity, because you're God's image.  Get up and seek God," and the other, 'Fulfill all these commandments, and that's the face of God."  May the Lord give us courage to set out on the path, to seek the Lord's face, the face we must seek here and hope one day to see.
Read
Wordle: Readings 2-10-15
  • Gn 1:20—2:4a  God:  “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly.”  God created sea monsters, swimming creatures, and birds and blessed them:  day 5.  “Let earth bring forth creatures:  cattle, creeping things, and animals.”  God made animals, cattle, and creeping things and saw how good it was.  “Let us make man in our image.  Let them have dominion over fish, birds, cattle, animals, and crawling creatures.”  God created man in the divine image, male and female.  “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth.  I give you plants and trees with fruit as food.”  God looked at everything and found it very good:  day 6, completing heavens and earth.  Finished with the work, he rested on the 7th day; God blessed the day because on it he rested from the work of creation.
  • Ps 8:4-9  "O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!"  When I behold your heavens, moon, and stars—who are we that you should be mindful of us?  You've made us little less than the angels, crowned us with glory, and put everything under our feet.
  • Mk 7:1-13  The Pharisees and some scribes, observing some disciples ate with unwashed hands, asked Jesus why they didn't follow tradition.  Jesus:  “Isaiah prophesied about you hypocrites:  They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; they worship in vain, teaching human precepts as doctrine.  To uphold your tradition, you've set aside God's commandment!
Reflect
    • Creighton:  Creation isn't to be taken literally or rejected;  it could have taken eons but still have been directed by God.  The authority God gave us over creation is tempered by responsibility to care for creation.  We must find it good as God did.  At times it's easy to find God in it and be moved to gratitude and stewardship, but other times it may be less obvious or convenient.  “Creation isn't some possession for our pleasure, nor is it property of only some; it's God's marvelous gift for us to take care of and harness for the benefit of all, with respect and gratitude.” [Pope Francis audience 5-21-2014, paraphrased]
      Day five/ Bargmann
    • One Bread One Body:  "New creations":  God continues to create through the Spirit, Word, and light.  Our lives are a "formless wasteland" in need of God's order and peace.  We separate things in our life, as God separated light from darkness and land from sea.  Re-ordering is necessary for re-creation.  For God to create in us, we must "be fertile," bearing fruit for God's kingdom by leading others to new life in Christ.
    • Passionist:  I see the creation story as one of incarnation:  God's love and creative energy were too strong to be contained, so God created the universe.  The highest form of expression was when God created us in the divine image, and the ultimate form of incarnation was Jesus, but all creation are incarnations of God.  We know this when we experience God in a pet, a sunset, mountains, or oceans.  Saints Anthony of the Desert and Thomas Aquinas said Genesis is the natural world created as an expression of God:  "God brought things into being so creatures might communicate and represent his goodness; and because one creature can't represent it, he produced many, so another might supply what one lacks in representing it" (Summa Theologica).  If all creation embodies God, then I need to treat everyone and everything with respect.  What can I do to show more respect to God's creation?
    • DailyScripture.net:  The Scribes and Pharisees, upset with Jesus because he allowed his disciples to break with traditions, sent a delegation to confront him.  Jesus responded by looking at God's purpose and pointing out how they perverted commands to excuse themselves; he accused them of hypocrisy and of abandoning God's word by substituting clever arguments and interpretations.  If we hear God's word with faith, it'll enlighten and purify us so we may love and obey God.
    Clothing legend
    • 'Fish,' 'bird' tie pins:  God created swimming creatures, winged birds. (1st reading)
    • 'Animal' pins and tie:  God made wild animals, cattle, creeping things...  (1st reading)
    • 'Stick figures' tie:  God created people in his image, male and female...  (1st reading)
    • 'Plant' and 'tree' pins [oops, forgot to put these on]:  “I give you every seed-bearing plant and every tree...”  (1st reading)
    • 'Hand,' 'star' tie pins:  I behold the work of your fingers,... the stars you set in place (psalm); Pharisees noticed disciples ate with unwashed hands (gospel)
    • 'Angel' pin:  You made us little less than the angels (psalm)
    • 'Precious feet' pin, 'sheep' tie bar:  You put everything under our feet:  sheep, birds, fish... (psalm)
    • 'Heart' tie bar:  "Their hearts are far from me" (gospel)
    • Green and white shirt:  Ordinary Time season; St. Scholastica, virgin