December 2, 2013

December 2

December 2, 2013:   Monday, 1st week of Advent


Wordle: Readings 12-2-13
  • Is 4:2-6  The branch of the Lord will be luster; the fruit of the earth, splendor.  Those who remain will be called holy.  When judgment washes away filth and blood, God will shelter and protect.
  • Ps 122:1-9  "Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord" where judgment seats are set up.  Peace!
  • Mt 8:5-11  Centurion/Jesus:  “My servant is paralyzed.”  “I'll come.”  “I'm not worthy; only say the word.  I'm subject to authority and my soldiers to me."  “Such faith!  Many will come and recline at the banquet in the Kingdom

Pope Francis

  • Homily:  The most beautiful gift we can receive is our encounter with Jesus.  We meet Jesus in the Sacraments and when we do good, visit the sick, help the poor, think of others, aren't selfish…  Sins may hold us up and discourage us, but Jesus wanted to meet sinners, came for those who need healing, and heals our sins.
      • "Gospel Joy 1.III" (Evangelii Gaudium drill-down), continuing Chapter 1 of Pope Francis's exhortation (a series):  Putting everything in a missionary key affects how we communicate, or else our message can be distorted, reduced, or taken out of context.  We have to concentrate on essentials and so be convincing:  God’s saving love in Jesus Christ who died and rose.  Likewise for moral teaching, what counts most is faith working through love.  Works of love directed to our neighbor perfectly manifest the grace of the Spirit; mercy is the greatest virtue.  We must maintain proportion, preaching more about charity and justice than temperance, grace than law, Christ than the Church, God’s word than the Pope.  No virtue can be excluded, no truth denied, the Gospel’s integrity not deformed, but truths are better understood in relation to the Christian message’s harmonious totality.  Faithful preaching emphasizes certain truths, and it becomes clear that Christian morality is not merely stoicism, self-denial, philosophy, or a catalog of sins.  The Gospel invites us to respond to our loving, saving God, to see God in others, and to go forth to seek others’ good; if the invitation doesn’t radiate, we’re just preaching ideologies, the message can lose its freshness, and our moral teaching can become a house of cards.  (1.III, 34-39; pp. 30-34) 
      • Creighton:  We've given up on God's presence and action now.  Our hope is too small.  Let's trust and get out of the way.  Centurion comes to Jesus in faith, not asking for specifics.  Isaiah challenges us to trust God's actions now.  Can we hope without demanding a particular outcome?  Can we let God be present in whatever way God wants?  
      •  Advent reminds us God wants us to seek him and his kingship in our lives.  The centurion, uncharacteristically caring about his slave, was courageous and faith-filled; risking ridicule, he came to Jesus humbly and confidently.  Am I willing to suffer ridicule in practicing my faith?  Do I approach God with faith?
      • Marian retreat, day 28 from Blessed John Paul II re Divine Mercy:  evil is spreading, but God's merciful love is more powerful; Mary can bring us to God the Fountain of Mercy.  Entrustment to Mary is accepting her help to offer ourselves to God.

      • "Scales of justice" pin:  judgment (1st reading, psalm)
      • Peace-sign tie bar:  pray for peace (psalm)
      • Fruit pin:  "fruit of the earth will be honor and splendor" (1st reading)
      • Purple shirt and tie:  Advent season

      Dress your life!

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