August 20, 2015

Aug. 20

August 20, 2015:  St. Bernard, Abbot and Doctor

  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  "I've prepared my banquet"  (gospel)
  • 'Cow' pin:  "My fattened cattle are killed"  (gospel)
  • Tie with streets:  The servants went out into the streets to invite guests (gospel)
  • 'Hand,' 'feet' pins:  (to guest without wedding garment) "Bind his hands and feet..." (gospel)
  • Dark purple shirt:  "...and cast him into the darkness outside" (gospel)
  • Note my restraint in not wearing my blinged skeleton tie pin in reference to Jephthah's sacrifice of her daughter (1st reading) 
Listen

    Read
      Don't just show up...
    • Jgs 11:29-39a  Jephthah vowed, “If you deliver the Ammonites into my power, I'll make a burnt offering of whomever first meets me on my return.”  He defeated them, and his daughter greeted him.  He / she:  “Alas, I've made a vow!” / “Do as you've vowed; the Lord saved you from your enemies.  But please spare me for two months.” / “Go.”  After the two months she returned, and he did as he'd vowed.
    • Ps 40:5, 7-10  "Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will." You wanted obedience, not sacrifice. “Behold I come.”  It's my delight to do your will; your law is in my heart!
    • Mt 22:1-14  “The Kingdom is like a king who gave his son a wedding feast.  The guests his servants invited refused to come:  some went away; others mistreated his servants.  King to servants, ‘The feast is ready, but the invited were unworthy.  Go invite whomever you find.’  They gathered bad and good to fill the hall.  King to man not dressed in wedding garment:  ‘How is it you came in like this?’ [to attendants:]  ‘Bind him and cast him into the darkness.’  Many are invited, but few chosen.”
    Reflect
        Vision of St. Bernard
        with Sts. Benedict
        and John the Evangelist

        (Fra Bartolomeo)
      • Creighton:  "The Invitation":  Jesus tells this story just before his death.  (Recall Jesus' 1st miracle was at a wedding feast.)  Jesus says the feast is ready, but those he invites are too busy or even respond with violence.  Everyone's invited!  The host provides the garments, so the man not properly dressed not donning them is a sign of disrespect.  Meaningless work, violence, anger are roadblocks to joy in God's Kingdom...
      • Jim's note:  I can't help but say something since this blog is about "dressing our lives" and the gospel includes the bit about the man without a wedding garment even though one was provided.  God continues to provide proper attire (grace, virtue...) to all guests invited to the banquet; may we wear it...
      • Passionist:  Today's violent stories caution us not to take commitments to God casually:  Jephthah's tragedy shows what can happen if we make a commitment to God without sufficient thought; the fate of the king's reluctant wedding guest shows what can happen when we refuse to honor our relationship with God.   The 1st reading foreshadows God’s commitment to us and his giving his only Son for us.  May we have the courage and perseverance to live out our commitments to God and each other.
        St. Bernard of Clairvaux
      • DailyScripture.net:  Today's parable has two stories:  about the original invited guests (∥ Jews), and about those who were invited later (∥ Gentiles).  God wants everyone to share in kingdom joy, but grace is also a responsibility.  Bonhoeffer contrasted "cheap" and "costly" grace:  "Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves... forgiveness without repentance... grace without discipleship, grace without the cross or Christ...  Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock; it's costly because it calls us to follow Christ and costs us our life, and it is grace because it gives us true life...."
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