November 30, 2013

St. Andrew

November 30, 2013:   St. Andrew, Apostle

  • Rom 10:9-18  All (Jew or Gentile) who call on the Lord of All will be saved.  People need to be sent to preach so others can hear, believe, and call.  Faith comes from what is heard, through Christ's word.  How beautiful the feet of those who bring good news!  Their voice has gone forth to all the earth.
Wordle: Readings 11-30-13
  • Ps 19:8, 9, 10, 11  "The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just." or "Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life."  The law of the Lord is perfect, trustworthy, right, clear, pure, true, just, precious, and sweet, giving refreshment, wisdom, joy, and light.
  • Mt 4:18-22  Jesus to fishermen Simon and his brother Andrew:  “Come; I'll make you fishers of men.”  They followed him.  He called James and John; they left boat and father to follow him.
Pope Francis
  • To students and teachers:  Faithful God intervenes in us, brings his work to fruition, requires our collaboration and bravery.  Be protagonists, not just spectators, confronting challenges with strength and courage, not mediocrity or boredom.  Cultivate big projects, not imprisoned by weak thought or lower standards.  Be faithful to Christian principles; find courage to go against the tide.
  • To Patriarch of Constantinople, assuring intention to pursue relations, reflecting on their deep bonds:  we share concern for those suffering due to violence, war, hunger, poverty, and disasters.  Dialogue, pardon, and reconciliation are the ways to resolve conflicts.  We must give common witness to spread the message of salvation and safeguard the right to express faith publicly and to be treated fairly when promoting Christianity.
      • "Gospel Joy 1.I" (Evangelii Gaudium drill-down), based on the start of Chapter 1 of his new exhortation (continuing my series), especially appropriate on this apostolic feast:
      Church’s Missionary Transformation:  As God called Abraham, Moses, and Jeremiah, God challenges us “to go forth,” discerning the path, leaving our comfort zone to reach all who need the Gospel.  The Gospel joy is a missionary joy Jesus, the disciples, and the first converts felt—a sign the Gospel is bearing fruit.  As Jesus went to other towns once seed was sown, let's always press forward.  God’s word is powerful, as seed growing while farmers sleep; accept its unruly freedom that surpasses our thinking.  Communion and mission are deeply connected.  Go preach to all always and everywhere, without hesitation, reluctance, or fear, taking the first step, being involved and supportive, and rejoicing, seeking the fallen, welcoming outcasts, showing mercy, knowing God loved us first.
      Let's become more involved, washing feet as Jesus did, getting involved in lives, bridging distances, abasing ourselves, embracing human life, touching suffering, taking the “smell of the sheep.”  An evangelizing community is also supportive (standing by people, no matter how difficult), patient, persevering, faithful, concerned with fruit, and fruitful, not grumbling or overreacting when seeing weeds among wheat but rather finding how to let the word take flesh now and bear new life, however imperfect or incomplete, putting our lives on the line bearing witness to Christ.  Our goal is to see God's word accepted and renewal revealed, not to make enemies.  An evangelizing community is joy-filled, celebrating every step forward.  The Church evangelizes and is evangelized through the liturgy, a celebration of the task of evangelization and the source of renewed self-giving.  (1.I, 19-24; pp. 19-23) 
      • Creighton:  Do I accept Christ’s loving invitation and the gifts he offers?
      •  Jesus chooses and uses ordinary people.  Am I responding to God's call?  Do I let Christ's light shine and show people gospel joy?
      • Universalis:  St Andrew, fisherman apostle; St. Cuthbert Mayne, convert, martyr
      • Marian retreat, day 26 from Blessed John Paul II:  Mary cooperated with Son's whole mission including suffering with him at the cross, sharing his redemptive love, entering specially into his mediation between God and us, upgrading her motherhood.
      • Telephone tie bar:  calling on the Lord (1st reading), Jesus calling fishermen (gospel)
      • Fish pin:  Jesus called during fishing expedition (gospel)
      • Crown of Claddagh pin:  Christ the King
      • Clock tie bar:  Ordinary Time countdown (on last day)
      • Green shirt (+green windbreaker, not shown): color of Ordinary Time (ending today)

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      November 29, 2013

      November 29

      November 29, 2013:   Friday, 34th week, Ordinary Time

      • Dn 7:2-14  Daniel's vision:  beasts emerge:  lion with eagle wings, given human mind; bear ordered to eat flesh; leopard with bird wings, four heads, receiving dominion; terrifying, strong beast with horns, devouring with iron teeth, trampling with feet.  Snow-bright Ancient One took throne; myriads attended him.  Beast slain, burnt up.  One like a son of man comes, receives dominion and glory.
        Wordle: Readings 11-29-13
      • Dn 3:75-81  "Give glory and eternal praise to him!"  Mountains, hills, growing things, springs, seas, rivers, dolphins, water creatures, birds, beasts, bless the Lord!
      • Lk 21:29-33  As when tree buds open you know summer is near, when you see these signs, know God's Kingdom is near.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but not my words.
      Pope Francis
      • Today's homily:  The spirit of the world wants an enslaved thoughtless mob, not a community; it doesn't want us to ask why before God, or it says it's OK for us to think as we like.  Jesus asks us to think freely to understand; we need the Spirit’s help to understand what God wants in my life and in the world.  With thought according to God—of mind, of heart, and soul—we can seek meaning and understand signs.  Ask the Lord for ability to understand the signs of the time.
      • Thursday's homily:  We can look to Jesus for strength to resist evil;  Jesus endured insults, lies, and trials but triumphed over evil.  People are discouraged from speaking of religion in public.  When this attitude reaches its height is when the end times will come, when the Son will return in glory.  Do I worship and adore the Lord?  Ask for grace to worship to the end with trust and fidelity.
      • "Gospel Joy 0.III" (Evangelii Gaudium drill-down), based on the end of the intro of Pope Francis's new exhortation (continuing the series):
      New evangelization calls all to transmit the faith in pastoral ministry to the faithful, to the baptized lacking meaningful relationship with Church, and to those who don't know or have rejected Christ.  Attract by sharing your joy.  All ministry should be missionary.  Promote sound decentralization. 

      To show their implications for our mission, I'll discuss reform of the Church in her missionary outreach, temptations pastoral workers face, the Church as God's people evangelizing, the homily, inclusion of the poor, peace, and the spiritual motivation for mission; they all help shape an evangelization style I ask you to adopt in your every activity, so we can rejoice in the Lord always.  (0.III, 14-18; pp. 13-18) 
      • Creighton:  Daniel's terrifying vision ended in hope:  God will destroy evil so all who stand firm will triumph.  People of faith can resist temptation, conquer adversity.  What challenges block me?
        •  God's kingdom buds and bears fruit in hearts receptive to and trusting his word.  God gives signs, comes, whispers, shows the way, gives hope.  Do I recognize his presence/action and listen?

        • Lion pin:  beasts in Daniel's vision (1st reading); "beasts, bless the Lord" (psalm)
        • Tree pin:  read signs like the tree (gospel)
        • Crown of Claddagh pin:  Christ the King
        • "Clock" tie bar:  countdown to end of liturgical year (tomorrow)
        • Green shirt, windbreaker:  Ordinary Time season
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              November 28, 2013


              November 28, 2013:
              Thanksgiving Day 
              Thursday, 34th week, Ordinary Time

              Readings for Thanksgiving
                Wordle: Readings 11-28-13 Thanksgiving
                • Sir 50:22-24  Bless God who's done wondrous things, who fashions people.  May he grant you joy and peace.
                • Ps 145:2-11  "I will praise your name for ever, Lord."  Great is the Lord, his splendor, wonders, goodness, justice, mercy...
                • 1 Cor 1:3-9  I thank God for you.  Faithful God called you to fellowship with Jesus and will keep you to the end.
                • Lk 17:11-19  Ten lepers ask Jesus for pity and are cleansed enroute to the priests; one returns to say thanks.  "Where are the others?  Go; your faith has saved you."
                Readings for the weekday
                • Dn 6:12-28  Men find Daniel praying, tell King Darius who orders him cast into the lions' den.  King returns to den, finding Daniel unhurt.  Daniel was removed; his accusers were cast into the den and crushed.  King Darius:  Reverence the God of Daniel:  he lives forever, saves, works signs, and delivered Daniel from the lions.
                  Wordle: Readings 11-28-13 weekday
                • Dn 3:68-74  "Give glory and eternal praise to him."  Dew, rain, frost, chill, ice, snow, nights, days, light, darkness, lightnings, clouds, earth:  bless the Lord!
                • Lk 21:20-28  Time of punishment:  Woe, signs, calamity, and judgment will come.  People will fall, be taken captive, and trampled.  Son of Man will come with power and glory.  Stand erect; your redemption is at hand.
                • "Gospel Joy 0.II":  Yesterday I began a drill-down of Evangelii Gaudium of Pope Francis.  Here's a taste of the section II of his intro:
                The Joy of Evangelizing: Goodness spreads.   Once liberated, you become more sensitive to others’ needs.  We must reach out to others to lead a fulfilling life. Evangelization is personally fulfilling; life weakens in isolation but grows when given away.  Mission is offering life to others; don’t look like you just got back from a funeral!  May all be enabled to receive the good news from ministers who have received Christ’s joy and whose lives glow.
                A renewal of preaching can offer new joy.  The message will never grow old: God revealed his love in Christ and renews his faithful.  Christ is the same, but his riches are always new, his wisdom so deep that we can always go deeper.  Jesus breaks through dull categories and amazes us by creativity.  When we recover the Gospel’s freshness, new paths of creativity open up: expressions, signs and words with new meaning.  Authentic evangelization is always new.
                Jesus, the first and greatest evangelizer, calls us to cooperate with him.  Reveal that God takes the initiative, loving first, to maintain joy.  God offers and asks for everything.  The joy of evangelizing arises from grateful remembrance; newness doesn’t displace history.  Don’t forget how you were introduced to the life of faith; the believer is essentially one who remembers.  (0.II, 9-13; pp. 9-13)
                • Pope Francis to Council for Interreligious Dialogue:  Be open in truth and love.  Remain firm in your convictions, and be open to understand others.  Constructive dialogue overcomes fear.  Respect diversity; acknowledge right to religious freedom. 
                • Creighton:  Gratitude, even amid daily annoyances or worse, opens me to God’s love.
                •  The greatest gift is redemption and adoption as God's children.  Discipleship costs, but Jesus will keep us safe.  Fill me with gratitude and hope...
                • Marian retreat, day 24:  Bl. John Paul II:  God entrusted himself to Mary in giving her his Son.  Mary became her Son's first disciple in faith and pondering God's word.

                      • Lion pin:  Lions' den (weekday 1st reading)

                      • Sword  (weekday gospel)
                      • Heart of Claddagh pin:  "joy of heart" (Thanksgiving 1st reading)
                      • Crown of Claddagh tie pin:  King Darius (1st reading); Christ the King
                      • People tie pin:  lepers including the thankful one (Thanksgiving gospel)
                      • "Kneeling person" tie bar:  prayer of thanksgiving
                      • Green in tie and suspenders:  Ordinary Time season
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                      November 27, 2013

                      November 27

                      November 27, 2013:   Wednesday, 34th week, Ordinary Time

                        Wordle: Readings 11-27-13
                        • Dn 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28  At King Belshazzar's banquet, fingers appear and write on the wall.  Terrified, king asks Daniel to interpret:  “You rebelled against the Lord.  God sent the hand to write mene, tekel, peres:  God has put an end to your kingdom; you've been found wanting; and your kingdom has been given to the Medes and Persians.
                        • Dn 3:62-67  "Give glory and eternal praise to him."  Sun, moon, stars, showers winds, fire, heat, cold, and chill, bless the Lord!
                        • Lk 21:12-19  Jesus:  “They'll persecute you and hand you over because of me, leading to your giving testimony.  I'll give you wisdom nobody can refute.  All will hate you, but by perseverance you'll be safe.
                        • Pope Francis homily:  Prayer and discernment help us decipher our lives and guide us to God.  Hope illuminates our path and final moment.  Time is God's, not ours!  Walk with God-given wisdom and hope to live within God's design.
                        • Pope Francis audience re creed's “resurrection of the body”:  Christ’s resurrection shows us the meaning of death.  We're made for, and we yearn for, the eternal.  We die as we live; life now prepares us for life to come.  Remain close to God, especially through charity to the poor and solidarity with those in need, and welcome death and eternal life.
                        • "Gospel Joy 0.I" (Evangelii Gaudium drill-down):  Yesterday I wrote a 230-word teaser for the pope's new exhortation, saying it didn't do it justice.  Today, as an encouragement to dig deeper, I begin an occasional feature teasing individual sections starting with the first part of his intro:
                        Embark upon new evangelization marked by the Gospel joy that fills all who encounter Jesus and so are set free from sin and emptiness.  Resist anguish from complacency, covetousness, pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and blunted conscience.  When we're caught up in our own concerns, there's no room for others, the poor, or God’s voice, joy, or love; the desire to do good fades; and we become resentful, angry, and listless—no way to live a fulfilled life in the Spirit. 
                        Let Christ encounter you daily; he's waiting and never tires of forgiving:  "Save me, embrace me, again."  No one can strip us of the dignity his love gives; his tenderness can restore our joy, and we can start anew.  Don't give up; may he impel us onward! 
                        Isaiah, Zechariah, and Zephaniah predicted joy of salvation, and the Gospel invites us to rejoice (Gabriel, Mary, the Baptist, Jesus, first Christians, Paul's jailer…).  Why shouldn't we too enter into this joy?  But some live like Lent without Easter.  Joy may not be expressed the same in hard times, but it endures as a flicker, born of certainty that we're loved.   Suffering people grieve, but faith can revive. 
                        The most beautiful joy I've seen has been in poor people.  Joy flows from God's love.  Encountering God’s love liberates us from self-absorption.  We become fully human when we become more than human, when we let God bring us beyond ourselves.  How can we then fail to evangelize, to share that love? (0.I, 1-8; pp. 1-8) 
                        • Creighton:  Heed the writing on the wall, the cry for justice, despite impediments.  Draw strength from what's more real than the surrounding fraud.
                        •  Jesus counters hostility with love, forbearance, and forgiveness.  God's love purifies.  He'll give grace, endurance, strength, wisdom, and courage as we witness to Christ's truth and love in trials and temptations.  Gospel is good news of love and salvation in Christ with power to set us free from sin and destruction; testify to its joy and power:  love enemies, forgive, be patient, and show compassion.
                        • Universalis:  St. Ferga (Vergilius), nobleman turned abbot and bishop
                        • Marian retreat, day 23: Vatican II's Lumen Gentium on Mary's maternal mediation: The mother in order of grace, through her singular cooperation in the Savior's work, continues to love, care for, pray for us.  Christ the sole Mediator shares his role with her and others.  [How do I act as mediator or avoid it?  Do I show mercy?]
                        Music (from Christ the King)

                              • Crown of Claddagh pin:  King Belshazzar (1st reading); Christ the King
                              • "Clock" tie bar:  countdown to end of liturgical year (Saturday)
                              • Green shirt (and windbreaker not shown):  Ordinary Time season
                              • "#1 Dad" tie:  I could say it's for God the Father, but it's actually a birthday present from our daughter I'm wearing for the first time.

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                                    November 26, 2013

                                    November 26

                                    November 26, 2013:   Tuesday, 34th week, Ordinary Time


                                      Wordle: Readings 11-26-13
                                    • Dn 2:31-45  Daniel to King Nebuchadnezzar re vision and interpretation:  “You saw a statue of gold, silver, bronze, iron, and clay tile, being crumbled by stone.  You're the head.  Kingdoms replacing yours are the silver, bronze, iron with clay.  Last won't stay united.  God will set up a permanent kingdom”

                                    • Dn 3:57-61  "Give glory and eternal praise to him."  Works of the Lord, angels, heavens, waters, and hosts, bless the Lord.

                                    • Lk 21:5-11  Jesus re temple:  “Days will come when nothing you see here will remain.  Don't follow the false prophets or fear the wars.  There will be earthquakes, famines, and plagues, as well as awesome sights and signs from the sky.”
                                    • Pope Francis released Evangelii Gaudium, incorporating 2012 Synod on new evangelization:  Gospel joy fills all who encounter Jesus.  Embark on new chapter of proclaiming the gospel.  Open your heart to God's love and forgiveness; bring Christ’s love to others, conquering desolation, anguish, blunted conscience.  When we're caught up in our interests, there's no room for others, for the poor.  Recover Gospel's freshness via conversion.  Renew church structures and reexamine customs to make them more mission-oriented, decentralized.  Leave church, sacraments' doors open to God-seekers; Eucharist nourishes the weak.  A Church bruised, hurting, and dirty from being out on the streets is preferable to one caught up with obsessions and procedures; what should disturb us is that many live without Jesus' friendship.

                                      Resist individualism, cooling of fervor, pragmatism wearing down faith.  Be signs of hope; bring a revolution of tenderness.  Accept responsibility for others; vanquish worldliness seeking human glory over God's.  Avoid preoccupation for liturgy, doctrine, or prestige without concern for Gospel's impact on people.  Promote growth of laity's, women's responsibility in Church and decision making.  Church is poor and for the poor; attend to homeless, addicted, refugees, elderly, migrants, victims of trafficking, unborn children, marginated.  We've done little to accompany women in situations where abortion seems a quick fix.  Church's face is varied; don't demand all imitate one form of expression.  Don't be content with desk-bound theology.  [This 200-word teaser doesn't do justice to his 224-page apostolic exhortation; please check it out.]
                                    • Creighton:  St. John Berchmans, not noted for extraordinary feats of holiness or austerity, lived with kindness and fidelity.  "My penance is to live community life."  The path to holiness can lie in the ordinary.  Do ordinary things in extraordinary ways.
                                    •  Jesus used signs to point to higher truth of his imperishable, enduring kingdom.  God works through signs to renew and purify us to set our hearts on him alone.  Destruction of temple warns of judgment, points to mercy for those who heed him.  Seek kingdom of justice and peace.
                                    Music (most for yesterday's 1st reading)
                                    I found the above while looking for They who wait on the Lord (audio) (which I remember from Caltech Christian Fellowship "noon sings"), with refrain based on Is 40:31 and a verse about the three youths, but I couldn't find it, not even on the CCF obscure songs list.  If you have a lead, please comment or e-mail me.

                                    • "Stone" tie pin:  stone crumbling statue (1st reading)
                                    • "Sun" tie, white shirt:  white-hot fiery furnace to which Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego (of 1st reading) are headed (Dn 3)
                                      • Crown of Claddagh tie pin:  King Nebuchadnezzar; Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
                                      • "Clock" tie bar:  countdown to end of liturgical year (Saturday)
                                      • Green windbreaker (not shown):  Ordinary Time season
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                                            November 25, 2013

                                            4th monthiversary

                                            November 25, 2013:  Fourth monthiversary

                                            Boldface links are the most visited; italic ones are my favorites.

                                            4th month highlights; not all posts are listed
                                            Wordle: Readings 10-26-13 through 11-25-13
                                            Word cloud for 4th month's readings
                                            See 1st quarterversary post for highlights of the first three months.

                                            New to top 5:  Aug. 18 including original Psalm 40 setting (robo-sung via Virtual Singer via Melody Assistant and NWC2MusicXML...)

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                                            November 25

                                            November 25, 2013:   Monday, 34th week, Ordinary Time

                                              Wordle: Readings 11-25-13
                                            • Dn 1:1-6, 8-20  King Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem.  Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah avoid defilement from king's food by passing 10-day vegetable test.  God gave them knowledge and understanding.  They entered the king’s service, were found better than the rest.
                                            • Dn 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56  "Glory and praise for ever!"  Blessed are you in the temple, on the throne, in heaven...
                                            • Lk 21:1-4  Jesus seeing the wealthy give offerings and poor widow giving two coins:  “This widow put in more than all the rest; they offered from their surplus, but she gave her livelihood.”
                                            • Pope Francis homily:  The four from 1st reading remained faithful, even at risk of life, and the widow gave all.  They trusted, knowing God is faithful.  Choosing to be faithful is important in little and big things alike.  Lives of persecuted Christians encourage us to offer everything.  Think about those who made/make courageous choices and about parents who make small choices of faith daily with their families.  Ask God for courage, every day and in extreme situations.
                                            • Pope Francis angelus:  Evangelii gaudium  presented before tomorrow's release.  With the Angelus prayer, we invoke Mary's protection, especially for the many persecuted because of their faith.
                                            • Creighton:  Widow gave all from her poverty.  What's most important?  Reach out to those not feasting this Thursday.  Reflect on our gifts and the Giver.
                                            •  Real giving comes from the heart ; gifts given out of love are precious.  If I put all I have at God's disposal, God will do with it/us what's beyond imagination. Do I give out of love and gratitude for what God's given me? 
                                              • Universalis:  St. Catherine of Alexandria, virgin martyr; St. Colman of Cloyne, bard turned bishop
                                              Music (including some from yesterday, Christ the King)

                                              • "Penny pincher" pin:  wealthy's offering from surplus, widow's of all she had (gospel)
                                              • Crucifix pin:  Jesus made peace through blood of cross (1st reading)
                                                • Crown of Claddagh tie pin:  Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
                                                  • "Love" sticker, heart of Claddagh pin:  Widow's total offering; Christ, King of Love
                                                  • "Clocks" tie:  Ordinary Time closing, Day of the Lord coming
                                                  • Green shirt, suspenders, and windbreaker:  Ordinary Time

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