October 19, 2017

North American Martyrs

October 19, 2017:

  SS. John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests,
and Companions, Martyrs

See about a dozen connections with today?
Legend below
Listen
For 1st reading

For Psalm 130
Pope Francis
HomilyGod's revelation, heart, and salvation, the key to knowledge, is neglected.  If we forget God's closeness and mercy and the freedom of salvation, as the law practitioners did, we've taken away the key to knowledge.  The law doctors forgot God's initiative to save and instead stood on the law.  For them, salvation was a bunch of prescriptions, so they didn't have the power of God's justice.  When you forget the gift of salvation, you lose the sense of God's closeness and the key to understanding salvation history.  For them, God is the one who made the law, but the God of revelation is the one walked with his people from Abraham to Jesus Christ.  When you lose this relationship, you fall into the dull mindset that believes you can save yourself by observing the law.
Doctrine can't be taught, even by studying theology.  Theology kneels, close to God.  God's closeness comes to the highest point in Christ crucified, 'justified.'  So works of mercy are the cornerstone of fulfilling the law, because they touch the Christ's flesh and suffering.  When you lose the key to knowledge, you become corrupt.  When shepherds lose or take away the key of intelligence, they close the door on themselves and others.  A priest who won't baptize children not born in canonical marriage is closing the door; he's lost the key to knowledge.  Pray that we shepherds don't lose the key to knowledge and don't close the door.
To Institution des Chartreux students and staff:  While you prepare yourselves for careers in finance, your academic formation is providing you a strong human, philosophical, and cultural dimension.  Keep learning to be free from the lure of money and the slavery of those who worship money.  Train yourselves to promote and defend growth in equity, and to administer with uprightness our common home, the world.  Become responsible for it and for every person's life; every injustice against a poor person is an open wound that belittles your dignity.  Create bridges to help build a more just and humane society.  Work for good; be a humble seed of a new world.
Read
    Don't take it away....
  • Rom 3:21-30  God's righteousness has been manifested through faith in Christ, apart from the law.  All have sinned and are deprived of God's glory.  They're justified by his grace through redemption in Christ, who proved his righteousness because of the forgiveness of sins through God's forbearance.  How can we boast?  Only on faith, for we're justified by faith.  God belongs to and will justify everyone....
  • Ps 130:1b-6ab  "With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption."  I cry to you, Lord; hear me!  If you mark iniquities, who can stand?  But with you is forgiveness.  I trust in and wait for the Lord....
  • Lk 11:47-54 “Woe to you who build memorials to the prophets your ancestors killed, giving consent to their deeds.  So God said, ‘I'll send them prophets and Apostles they'll kill’ so this generation might be charged with their blood.  Woe to you, scholars of the law!  You've taken away the key of knowledge and stopped those trying to enter.”  They began to act with hostility toward him and plotted to catch him at something he'd say.
Reflect
  • Creighton:  Today's readings put us on the common ground of having sinned and being deprived of God's glory.  It's easy to overlook our own offenses while judging others.  Who saves us from our just deserts of wrath?  The offended One sends his only Son to take the form of a servant and empty himself, to the point of death on a cross.  Jesus demonstrated his love for us not by claiming equality but by condescending, being for and with the least.  May we remember and try to imitate his example.
The equality of falling short and requiring mercy can be transforming; gratitude for receiving mercy, even more so.  Pray for the grace to receive this mercy, for ourselves and others.  May we be transformed and renewed to bear the image of Christ more fully in our daily lives.

  • One Bread, One Body:  Throughout the history of Christianity, especially since the Reformation, 'just,' 'justice,' and 'justification' have been confusing.  God is just.  "Both law and prophets bear witness" to God's justice.  God's justice "works through faith in Christ for all believers."  "The gift of God undeservedly justifies everyone, through the redemption wrought in Christ."  "A person is justified by his works, not faith alone." Holy Spirit, teach us about justice.
  • Passionist:  The religious leaders of Jesus' day liked to boast, building memorials to prophets their ancestors killed, distancing themselves from responsibility, using their knowledge to twist truth, boasting in their false righteousness.  Jesus' truth and good works enraged them; they plotted to silence and kill him.  Pride distorts truth, driving us to boast about things we didn't do alone.  Humility isn't easy, but the saints we honor today overcame their desire to boast and put their future in God’s hands.  When martyred, they took their place beside Jesus.  May we rule out boasting in our life.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Don't lose the key of knowledge":  God sent his prophets to open people to God's word.  Prophets were rejected because they spoke for God, not human approval.  Jesus chastised religious leaders for being double-minded; they professed admiration for the prophets but opposed their message and so closed their ears to God's word.  As official interpreters of scripture, they held the "office of the keys," but their interpretations shut people out.  They rejected both the prophets and God's final prophet and Son, the Key of David, God's Wisdom, who opens heaven for those who accept him. He is the "Wisdom of God" and source of everlasting life.  Only the humble who thirst for God and acknowledge his word can truly understand God's wisdom.  God speaks to us and gives wisdom and understanding.  How are we listening?
Today's saints, via Universalis
  • John de Brébeuf, Isaac Jogues, Rene Goupil, John de Lalande, Anthony Daniel, Charles Garnier, Noel Chabanel and Gabriel Lalemant, Jesuit martyrs (6 priests, 2 brothers); see Wikipedia re de Brébeuf and Jogues and Catholic Encyclopedia re de Brébeuf (his killers, wanting his bravery, ate his heart) and Jogues.
Dress legend
  • 'Ruler' tie bar:  "Boasting is 'ruled' out" (1st reading)
  • 'Blood drop' pin:  Jesus proved his righteousness by his Blood... (1st reading); "this generation will be charged with the prophets' blood!" (gospel); North American martyrs
  • 'Clocks' suspenders:  My soul waits for the Lord (psalm)
  • 'Key' tie:  "You law scholars have taken away the key of knowledge." (gospel)
  • 'Owl' pin:  God's wisdom (gospel)
  • '?' tie pin:  The scribes and Pharisees began to interrogate Jesus... (gospel)
  • Red in shirt:  North American martyrs

October 18, 2017

Luke

October 18, 2017:  St. Luke, Evangelist

See about a dozen connections with today?
Legend below

Listen

For Psalm 145
Pope Francis
General audience:  Death is a reality our world often sets aside leaves us unprepared for.  In the mystery of death is a grace and light for everyone.  Past civilizations faced death with courage; older generations taught the younger to see it as a door and a call to live for something greater than themselves.  Jesus shows us that it's natural to mourn the loss of a loved one; at the death of Lazarus he wept, prayed to the Father, and called Lazarus from the tomb.  Our hope is that Jesus came to heal us and save us from death.  “I am the resurrection and the life.”  If we believe in him, even if we die, we'll live.  In the face of our sorrow and fear, he invites us to faith in him.  When we mourn, we know Christ remains close.  Death lays bare our lives, forcing us to acknowledge the vanity of our actions born from pride, anger, and hatred and highlighting how the good things we've sown have germinated.  When we face death with living faith, Jesus will take us by the hand and say, “Arise,” and hope will become reality.  More
To Religions for PeaceReligions can't be neutral or ‎ambiguous about peacemaking.  Peace is both God's gift and a human achievement.  All believers are called to implore and pray for it.  Peacemaking and pursuing ‎justice go together,‎ and all people of good will are summoned to work for peace with heart, mind, and ‎hands.  Violence in the name of religion gravely offends God, ‎who is peace and the source of peace, and has left in ‎us a reflection of his wisdom, power ,‎and beauty.  Religions are ‎bound to promote peace ‎through justice, fraternity, ‎disarmament, and care for creation.‎  There's a need for cooperative effort in promoting an ‎integral ecology.  Religions can further a moral ‎covenant ‎to promote respect for human dignity and care for ‎creation.
Read

  • 2 Tm 4:10-17b Demas, Crescens, and Titus deserted me; only Luke is with me.  At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf; may it not be held against them!  But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed.
  • Ps 145:10-13, 17-18  "Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom."  You are just, holy, and near, and your Kingdom endures.
  • Lk 10:1-9  Jesus appointed and sent 72 disciples:  "The harvest is abundant but laborers few; ask the harvest master to send laborers.  Go; I send you like lambs among wolves.  Carry no money bag, sack, or sandals.  Cure the sick; say, 'The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.'"
Reflect
  • Creighton:  Paul doesn’t seem pleased with how his friends supported him in his need.  He feels deserted but realizes that God with him is enough.  He asks that his colleagues’ abandonment of him not be held against them.  When our friends, colleagues, and family seem to abandon us, we can overlook the strength of God's support, or expect God will just give us what we want, instead of the understanding we need of how the experience can bring us closer to God.  Paul’s forgiveness of those who deserted him is a great example for us, hard as it is to imitate.
St. Luke
“Let all your works give you thanks...” encourages us to find God in all things.  All things give the Lord thanks by just being.  Faithful ones bless God not only by being but also by discovering and fulfilling their purpose, acting “in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is—Christ” (Hopkins, As kingfishers catch fire), living as God calls them, acting as Christ in the “ten thousand places” where he lives, striving to “justice” (ibid.).
Jesus sends the disciples out to prepare the way for the Lord who is to come.  It took, and takes, faith to make a journey with no money bag, sack, or sandals,” relying on grace alone.  May we forgive those who abandon us, live as God calls me to, and have the faith to journey in simplicity with Christ. 
  • Passionist:  In Luke, all barriers are broken down:  Jesus is for saint and sinner, Jew and Gentile; Lk is written for everyone:  Samaritan, poor, women, outcasts....  God’s love is for everyone.  In today’s gospel, Jesus sends the seventy-two out in pairs, traveling light, to listen, notice, and bring peace.  Jesus sends each of us out, equipped and accompanied, to be his voice and face and build the kingdom, each with a role, though we can overthink our mission or cling to overreaching ideals.  How has God called you?  With whom?  Where?  What do you need to ‘shake off’ to respond?  Are you a peacemaker?
  • DailyScripture.net:  "God's kingdom has come near":  Jesus frequently used the image of a harvest, fruit of much labor and growth, to convey the coming of God's reign.  May we hear, accept, live, and share God's word.  Isaiah foretold a time when wolves and lambs will dwell in peace, Christ's second coming when the reign of God is fully established, but till then, we must expect opposition and persecution.  As Jesus laid down his life for us, we must be willing to offer our lives.
Seventy was a significant number:  number of elders Moses chose, Sanhedrin members, nations (so they thought)....  Jesus commissioned the seventy to speak in his name and act with his power, instructing them to serve without guile and with charity, peace, and simplicity, proclaiming God's kingdom, not diverted by other matters.  To focus on the task, they must only take essentials and leave the rest behind. They must give freely, not expecting payment. Poverty of spirit makes room for God’s provision; the Lord wants us to be dependent on him and to work in and through us....
  • Universalis:  Luke, Evangelist, Greek doctor who converted to Christianity, companion of Paul who wrote Lk in accordance with Paul’s teaching and Acts to narrate early Church history.  He explained Jewish customs and Hebrew words to Gentile readers.

  • Universalis:  Luke, Evangelist, Greek doctor who converted to Christianity, companion of Paul who wrote Lk in accordance with Paul’s teaching and Acts to narrate early Church history.  He explained Jewish customs and Hebrew words to Gentile readers.
Dress legend
  • 'Penny' button:  Alexander the coppersmith (1st reading; pennies are 2.5% copper); "carry no money bag" (gospel)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  "Your friends make known your Kingdom's splendor" (psalm); "God's Kingdom is at hand for you" (gospel)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  "The Lord is near to all who 'call' on him" (psalm)
  • 'Fruits' tie:  “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few" (gospel)
  • 'Lamb' tie bar:  "I'm sending you like lambs among wolves" (gospel)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  Say, "Peace to this household" (gospel)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  "Eat and drink what's offered to you" (gospel)
  • Red shirt:  Liturgical color for St. Luke feast
  • Sandals (not shown):  Don't carry sandals (gospel)

October 17, 2017

Ignatius of Antioch

October 17, 2017:  St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr

See 15 connections with today?
Legend below
Listen
For Psalm 19
For Psalm 34
Pope Francis homily
Jesus calls the Pharisees fools, as does Paul call the pagans and the Galatian Christians duped by “new ideas.”  The word is a signal, for foolishness leads to corruption.  Jesus told the doctors of the law they resembled whitewashed sepulchres; they worried only about external beauty, not internal corruption.  The pagans had the corruption of idolatry; they exchanged God's glory for idols.  People hold idolatries today:  consumerism, looking for a comfortable god, selling yourself to ideologies, even becoming an “ideologue of Christianity”; they all end up corrupt.
Folly is a form of not listening.  If I don't listen to the Word, I don't let it in and hearken to it.  Fools believe they're listening but aren't; they do their own thing, so God's word and love can't enter, or it enters distilled, transformed by my conception of reality.  Fools' deafness leads to corruption; there's no place for love or freedom.  They become slaves, exchange truth for lies, and worship creatures, not the Creator.
Do I listen to God?  Do I let his word in?  His word is alive and effective, revealing the heart's feelings and thoughts.  Do I transform his word into appearance, idolatry, or ideology?  Today there are foolish Christians, even foolish shepherds, but the Lord is knocking and waiting.  If we fall into stupidity, we move away from him, and he weeps for us whom he chose and loved....
Read

Weekday
  • Rom 1:16-25  The Gospel is God's power for the salvation of all believers; it reveals God's justice.  God's wrath is being revealed against the wicked.  Since he created the world,his divinity could be seen and understood in what he made.  They have no excuse:  though they knew God, they didn't give him glory but became fools exchanging God's glory for an image of a man or animal.  So God handed them over to impurity through their lusts; they exchanged truth for a lie and worshiped creature rather than creator.
  • Ps 19:2-5  "The heavens proclaim the glory of God" and his handiwork.  Every word is heard; their message resounds to the ends of the world.
  • Lk 11:37-41 Jesus to Pharisee who saw he hadn't washed:  “You cleanse the outside of the cup and dish but are filled with plunder and evil inside.  Fools!  Give alms, and everything will be clean for you.”
Memorial
Wordle: Readings 10-17-14 Ignatius
  • Phil 3:17-4:1  Imitate me; stand firm.  We're citizens of heaven; Christ will change our body to conform with his.
  • Ps 34:2-9  "The Lord delivered me from all my fears."  Praise God always.  Look to him; be radiant.  He saved me, saves all who fear him.  Taste and see Lord's goodness; take refuge.
  • Jn 12:24-26  If a wheat grain dies, it produces fruit; otherwise it's just a grain.  If you love life, lose it.  To serve me, follow me; Father will honor you.
St. Ignatius of Antioch

Universalis:  2nd bishop of Antioch after St. Peter; wrote letters about Christ, Church structure, and Christian life.  Arrested, sentenced to death, thrown to wild beasts in the arena; described soldiers escorting him as like “ten leopards, who when they are kindly treated only behave worse.”  See also New Advent.
Today's patristic reading is the famous excerpt from his letter to the Romans; look below "I am God's wheat and shall be ground by the teeth of wild animals." Here's the whole letter, context, and more, also from Universalis.
Reflect
  • Creighton:  The world often focuses on the superficial, but it's what's inside that counts.  family. We work to make things look good on the outside, but we don’t focus on the foundation, what’s inside.  The Pharisee is surprised to see Jesus not washing.  Jesus rebukes him:  you haven't cleaned the cup and dish if you just clean the outside but the inside is filled with evil.  If we're not clean inside, no matter how good we look on the outside, we're not fooling God, others, or even ourselves.  But Jesus accepts us, broken as we are.  We have to look inside even if we don’t like what’s there.  We can let God in to fill inner darkness with light.  May we open our hearts to God so we may show his love on the outside.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Ashamed of mercy?"  Are we embarrassed that the guilty when they repent and sin no more receive mercy and eternal life instead of the punishment they deserve?  "There's no condemnation for those in Christ" can look unfair.  People scream for punishment even before a trial; victims cry for restitution; lawyers press for damages. Jesus our Justice handles all parties' demands for justice, and "God is rich in mercy" and repays damages. Jesus receives the punishment in place of sinners and pours out mercy on both sinner and victim.  Our role is to beg Jesus for mercy and justice.  We can't do his job; his ways are beyond ours.  The demands of mercy and justice are no problem for Jesus, who is Mercy and Justice incarnate.
    Unless a grain of wheat...
  • Passionist:  Hints of God are all around.  God, who longs to be in relationship with us, finds ways to communicate with us:  through Jesus, other persons, creation....  We're created to give God glory and praise.  I can put something else at the center of my life, but that's self-destructive.  Jesus’ chastises the Pharisees for getting caught up with the wrong things, worrying more about externals than their hearts.  What do we give undue attention to, thus losing sight of the truly important?  What really matters is love and justice to the poor....
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Give alms from within":  At dinner, Jesus offended his host by not washing his hands, then chided the Pharisees for harboring thoughts that made them unclean of heart.  When we give to the needy, we express love and mercy, and if we're full of that, there's no room for envy, greed, or bitterness.  May we allow God's love to transform our heart, mind, and actions towards others.
Dress legend
  • 'Owl' tie pin:  They claimed to be wise... (1st reading)
  • 'Bird,' 'lion,' 'snake' pins:  ...but exchanged God's glory for an image of a man, bird, 4-legged animal, or snake (1st reading)
  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts (1st reading)
  • 'Olympics' pin:  Through all the earth their voice resounds, and to the ends of the world, their message (psalm)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  Pharisee invited Jesus to dine (gospel)
  • 'Cups and dishes' tie:  “You cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you're filled with evil.” (gospel)
  • 'John's Jokers' tie (trumped by above):  They became fools (1st reading); "You fools!" (gospel)
  • 'Blood drop' pin, red shirt:  Martyrdom of St. Ignatius of Antioch
  • Crucifix:  Redemption in Christ Jesus, savior, whom God set forth as an expiation, by his blood (feast 1st reading)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  "Unless a grain of wheat dies..." (feast gospel); St. Ignatius, wheat of Christ
  • 'Lion' pin:  St. Ignatius ground by beasts (feast)

October 16, 2017

Oct. 16

October 16, 2017:  Monday, 28th week, Ordinary Time

See about ten connections with today?
Legend below
Listen

Read
  • Rom 1:1-7  Paul, slave of Christ, called to be an Apostle, to God's beloved in Rome, called to belong to Christ and be holy, grace and peace from our Father and the Lord Jesus.  Jesus descended from David but was established as Son of God in power through resurrection from the dead.  Through him we've received the grace to bring about the obedience of faith among the Gentiles.
  • Ps 98:1bcde, 2-4  "The Lord has made known his salvation," wonders, victory, justice, kindness, and faithfulness.  Sing to the Lord a new song!
  • Lk 11:29-32  “This evil generation seeks a sign, but only the sign of Jonah will be given it.  As Jonah became a sign, so too the Son of Man.  The queen of the south will condemn you, because she came to hear Solomon's wisdom, and something greater than Solomon is here.  The Ninevites will condemn you, because they repented at Jonah's preaching, and something greater than Jonah is here.”
Pope Francis to UN FAO

Governments should work together to end the conflicts and climate change-related disasters that force people to migrate, but some are distancing themselves from the effort.
Negligence and greed over limited resources harm the planet and its most vulnerable people, forcing many to abandon their homes.  We can't leave to others the responsibility to change how resources are used.
Climate change has triggered conflicts, floods, and droughts that have increased the number of the chronically hungry.  Population control is a false solution to hunger and malnutrition.  We need better to manage the earth’s resources and prevent waste.  We need international cooperation based on love, fraternity, and solidarity that responds to the needs of the poor.  Pity gives emergency aid, but love inspires a just social order.
Reflect
  • Creighton:  Jesus said his generation was evil and faithless.  They looked for a sign, but Jesus himself was the sign.  The "sign of Jonah" he refers to is odd; Jonah was a reluctant hero:  he tried to run from his duty, and even after he did it, he didn't appreciate the outcome.  But as Jonah was in the whale for three days, so Jesus will be in the earth for three days; and as the Ninevites repented, so will people at the judgment.  If people converted for Jonah, who had to be forced into action, how much more will people convert for Jesus the fulfillment of all....
    The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon
    (Poynter)
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Called and loved by name:  Paul was conscious he was called to be an apostle and writing to those called to belong to Christ and called to holiness.  Being called was so important to the early Church that the word we translate 'church' (ekklesia) comes from 'call (kaleo) out of (ek).'  They considered themselves to be the elect, the chosen, called to a special love of the Lord.  We may not feel specially chosen because we know God loves everyone, but the Lord can indeed love everyone with a personal, individualized love.  He made each of us unique and knows us better than we ourselves.  He calls, knows, and loves each by name; he's numbered our hairs and counted our tears; he cares about our comings and goings.  May we answer his call and live in his love.
  • Passionist:  We want to see results from our efforts.  How do we know we're making progress in prayer?  We are if it's bearing fruit when we encounter the sign of Jonah in our life.  When hurled into the sea, Jonah spent time in the fish's belly before being spit onto shore:  death and resurrection.  If we die to ourselves and selfish desires, the life of Spirit is taking hold.
    Not this "sign of Jonah" :-)
  • DailyScripture.net:  "This evil generation seeks a sign":  When religious leaders demanded a sign from Jesus, he warned them to avert disaster.  Jews demanded "signs" from messengers to authenticate their claims.  They pressed Jesus to prove his claim to be God's sign.  The Ninevites recognized God's warning via Jonah and repented.  The Queen of Sheba recognized God's wisdom in Solomon. Jonah was God's sign and his message was God's message for the Ninevites, but the religious leaders didn't accept the signs before their eyes:  John the Baptist and Jesus.  Simeon had prophesied that Jesus was "destined for the falling and rising of many... and a sign that will be opposed...."  Jesus confirmed his message with miracles in preparation for his resurrection.  Jesus came to set us free.  He pours his love into our hearts that we may understand his will for us and follow him.  God shows us where we need his grace and help, calls us to seek him with repentance, humility, and honesty, and will transform us if we allow him to work in our lives.
  • Fr. Chris Bazyouros homily podcast: "Something greater":  God has called all to salvation and invites us to share his work.  The Church needs to live, breathe, move, and announce salvation along the way as a constant companion reflecting Jesus' presence and love, so that all may be open to experience Christ....
Today's saints, thanks to Universalis
  • Hedwig, mother of 7, helper of the poor and sick
Dress legend
  • 'Dove' pin:  Jesus was established as Son of God according to the Spirit (1st reading)
  • 'Clef' tie pin:  Sing to the Lord a new song (psalm)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  The Lord's right hand has won victory (psalm)
  • "I can do all things..." tie (yesterday's 2nd reading)
  • 'Crown' tie bar, 'owl' tie pin:  "The queen of the south came to hear Solomon's wisdom" (gospel)
  • 'Whale' tie pin:  "At Jonah's preaching Nineveh repented" (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season