June 30, 2014

Rome martyrs

June 30, 2014:  Monday, 13th week, Ordinary Time


Wordle: Readings 6-30-14
  • Am 2:6-10, 13-16  Lord:  Israel has committed crimes.  I who led you through the desert and destroyed the strong Amorites, will now crush you, and you won't escape.
  • Ps 50:16bc-23  "Remember this, you who never think of God."  Why do you recite my statutes but hate discipline?  You steal, commit adultery, speak against others, and spread rumors.  I'll correct you.  Those who offer praise as a sacrifice glorify me, and I'll save all who go the right way.
  • Mt 8:18-22  Jesus, seeing the crowd, gave orders to cross to the other shore.  Scribe / Jesus:  “I'll follow you wherever you go.” / “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest.”  Disciple / Jesus:  “Let me go bury my father first.” / “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”
Pope Francis
  • Homily:  The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.  A plant's growth makes us think of what Jesus said:  "The kingdom of heaven is like a seed someone planted and then went home.  The seed grew and blossomed.”  The seed is God's Word that grows to become the Kingdom of Heaven; it becomes Church thanks to the Holy Spirit and Christians' witness.  There's no growth without the Spirit, but Christians' witness is needed too.  When situations require strong witness, there are martyrs, the greatest witnesses.  Martyrdom begins with daily witness and can end with blood as with Jesus, the first martyr, the first witness.
The one condition necessary for true witness is there be no conditions.  Jesus told the disciples, ‘Follow me without conditions.’  Your witness must be firm, with the strong language Jesus used:  ‘Yes for yes, no for no.’  This is the language of testimony.  There are many persecuted Christians today, and more martyrs than there were in the first centuries.  Pray for our brothers and sisters who are persecuted, suffer, and die to nurture the seed of many little Churches.
  • Angelus:  Faith made Peter and Paul brothers, and martyrdom made them one.  They responded to Christ's call by offering their lives.  Though Peter had denied Christ and Paul had persecuted the Church, both allowed God's love to transform them; they became friends and apostles of Christ.  They continue to speak to us and show the path of salvation.  God can transform us too, even if we fall into the gravest sins and darkest night, forgiving us everything, thus transforming the darkness of sin into the dawn of light.  God can change our lives, as he changed theirs.  God's grace pushes us to overcome our selfishness and follow the Master.  The Lord is ready to forgive us for anything, as long as we ask.  The celebration of Peter and Paul confronts us with the work of mercy in these two great sinners.  God wants to fill us with grace as he filled them.
Music (including some from Sunday)
    • Creighton:  We start with good intentions to please the Lord, but things get in the way.  Obedience is hard when it's not on our terms, but that's our call.
    • One Bread One Body:  The Lord promised to crush the Israelites because of their sins.  We must repent.  The Lord wants to forgive and save us but won't force us to accept his love.
    • Passionist:  There is power in making a commitment.  We get fully involved and become imaginative, creative, intuitive, courageous, and strong.  Jesus looks for such love and commitment, and we know nothing will impede his love for and commitment to us.
    • Universalis:  The First Martyrs of the See of Rome, whom Emperor Nero had thrown to wild beasts or soaked in tar and used as torches.
    • Silver [colored] accessories, sandals:  "they sell the just man for silver, and the poor man for a pair of sandals." (1st reading); "put on your sandals" (Sunday 1st reading)
    • Tree, fruit pins:  "I destroyed the Amorites, who were as tall as cedars and as strong as oaks.  I destroyed their fruit..." (1st reading)
    • Horse tie pin:  "The horseman won't save his life." (1st reading)
    • Eyeball tie pin:  "I'll draw evildoers up before your eyes." (psalm); Peter to paralytic:  “Look at us.” (Sun. 1st reading); Peter thought he was seeing a vision (Sun. 1st reading); "Taste and see the Lord's goodness" (Sun. psalm)
    • Birds tie:  "birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” (gospel)
    • "Caged lion" pin:  Cage for prison (Sun. 1st reading), lion for "I was rescued from the lion’s mouth." (Sun. 2nd reading)
    • "Blood drop" pin, red shirt:  Rome martyrs, Peter, and Paul

    June 29, 2014

    Peter and Paul

    June 29, 2014:  SS. Peter and Paul, apostles


    • Acts 3:1-10  When the cripple at the Beautiful Gate asked Peter and John for alms, Peter said, “I'll give you what I have:  in the name of Jesus Christ, walk!”  He leaped up, walked, jumped and praised God.  They all recognized him as the beggar and were amazed.
    • Gal 1:11-20  The Gospel I preached is not of human origin; it came through a revelation of Christ.  I used to persecute the Church, But when God revealed his Son to me, I went to Arabia and returned to Damascus, then went to Jerusalem to confer with Cephas....
    • Jn 21:15-19  Jesus / Simon Peter, after miraculous breakfast:  “Do you love me more than these?” / “You know I love you.” / “Feed my lambs.  Do you love me?” / “You know I do.” / “Tend my sheep.  Do you love me?” / Peter, distressed he asked a third time:  “Lord, you know I love you.” / “Feed my sheep.  When you were younger, you used to go where you wanted; but when you grow old, someone else will lead you where you don't want to go.  Follow me.”  He said this signifying by what kind of death he'd glorify God.
    • Acts 12:1-11  The Church was praying for Peter, whom King Herod imprisoned.  Angel to Peter:  “Get up quickly.  Put on your belt, sandals, and cloak, and follow me.”  His chains fell, he dressed, he followed him past the guards, the gate opened, they went, and the angel left.  Peter:  “Now I know the Lord rescued me.”
      Wordle: Readings 6-29-14 daytime
      Word cloud of daytime readings
    • Ps 34:2-9  "The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him."  I'll always bless the Lord; let's extol him together.  He delivered me.  Look to him and be radiant.  When the poor one called out, he heard and saved him.  Taste and see how good the Lord is...
    • 2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18  Paul:  I'm being poured out; I've competed well, finished the race, and kept the faith.  The Lord will award a crown to me and to all who have longed for him.  He gave me strength so through me all Gentiles might hear the proclamation.  The Lord will rescue me and bring me safe to his Kingdom.
    • Mt 16:13-19  Jesus / disciples, at Caesarea Philippi:  “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” / “John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or a prophet.” / “Who do you say I am?” / Simon Peter:  “The Christ, Son of the living God.” / “Blessed are you, Simon; my Father revealed this to you.  You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.  I'll give you the keys to the Kingdom; what you bind or loose shall be so in heaven.”
    Pope Francis
    • Homily with pallium conferral:  When Peter began his ministry to Jerusalem Christians, people feared because of Herod’s persecution, but the Lord liberates us from fear and all that enslaves us.  Bishops, what are we afraid of, and what forms of refuge do we seek?  Peter's witness reminds us our refuge is trust in God; it frees us from fear, slavery, and temptation.  Peter's example challenges us to assess our own trust in the Lord.
    Peter recovered trust when he confessed his love for Jesus, making up for his denials. He regrets the disappointment he caused the Lord; when he entrusts himself, fear, insecurity and cowardice dissipate.  He experienced how God’s fidelity, greater than our infidelity, dispels fear.  Today Jesus asks us, “Do you love me?” because he knows our fears and struggles.  Peter shows us:  we need to trust the Lord, who knows everything in us.  Jesus never abandons us.  God is the source of our confidence and peace.  The Lord’s fidelity to us enkindles our desire to serve him and others.
    Today the Lord repeats, Follow me!  Don't dwell on secondary things, but look to what's essential.  Disregard difficulties.  Preach the Gospel to all, especially the least, so they'll hear the word that sets us free to trust God.  Live shaped by the grace you've received.  Speak of me to those with whom you live, work, and converse, and to friends.  Follow me!
    (Not this Peter and Paul :-)
      • Creighton:  The acknowledgment of Jesus Simon made came through revelation from the Father, but Simon's protest after Jesus foretells his passion, death, and resurrection, is from human weakness. (Pope Benedict XVI, homily for 6-29-2012)
      The angel tells Peter in prison, "Get up; get ready; follow me," and he responds, trusting the angel.  When we fall into the prison of fear, perhaps after being caught up in God, let's do likewise:  get up, get ready, and follow the Spirit who wants to free us.  We'll know we lived like Peter and Paul if we can look back and see we've emptied ourselves in service of God and the poor.
      • Passionist:  Peter and Paul were human beings open to God's Spirit.  God met them where they were.  God approaches us the same way.
      • DailyScripture.net:  Peter and Paul risked their lives to spread the gospel to all nations.  Through faith Peter recognized Jesus as the "anointed one" (Messiah/Christ).  Jesus gave him authority to govern the church.
        Wordle: Readings 6-29-14 vigil
        Wordle of vigil readings
      • Universalis:  Peter walks on the water but then panics, professes faith then blunders, refuses to be washed then demands to be washed, and swears he'll stand by Jesus then betrays him.  He's ordinary and makes mistakes, not a wise and noble hero, but God still chose him.  If he'd been a hero, we could have despaired of becoming like him; if he'd been great and noble, we could have thought the Church isn't for us.  But the Church is for confused, cowardly people like us; though it's made of inferior materials, it grows, and grace holds it together.  Let's admire the grace Peter was given, and pray we may also be given it and use it.
      Paul reminds people of his weakness, but his mind shaped the early Church.  Let's pray for grace to love God with our minds, as he did.
      • See June 6 for commentary on Jesus' questions to Peter in the vigil gospel.
      • About "binding and loosing" (daytime gospel, future perfect original), see August 14, including exegetical links and online resources to compare and explore Bible texts
      • For liturgy people:  they moved today's pallium conferral from after the homily to before Mass to make it shorter, to make it easier to stay focused on the Mass, and to avoid confusion that it's a Sacramental rite.  "Rites... following the homily are normally Sacramental:  Baptism, Confirmation, Ordination, Matrimony, Anointing of the Sick."
      • "Eyeball" tie pin:  Peter to paralytic:  “Look at us.” (1st reading v); Peter thought he was seeing a vision (1st reading d); "Taste and see the Lord's goodness" (psalm d)
      • "Walker" tie pin:  "walking and jumping and praising God" (1st reading v)
      • "Children around the earth" tie:  "Their message goes out through all the earth." (psalm v)
      • "Hearts" suspenders:  “Simon, do you love me?” (gospel v)
      • "Lamb" tie bar:  “Feed my lambs.” / "Tend my sheep" / "Feed my sheep" (gospel v)
      • "Hand" tie pin:  "when you grow old, you'll stretch out your hands...>” (gospel v)
      • "Sword" pin:  Herod had James killed by the sword (1st reading d)
      • "Angel" pin:  the angel of the Lord frees Peter from prison (1st reading d); "the angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him" (psalm d)
      • Belt and sandals (not shown):  “Put on your belt and your sandals.” (1st reading d)
      • "Caged lion" pin:  Cage for prison (1st reading d), lion for "I was rescued from the lion’s mouth." (2nd reading d)
      • "Question mark" tie pin:  “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” / “Who do you say that I am?” (gospel d)
      • "Rock" tie pin:  "upon this rock I will build my Church" (gospel d)
      • "Keys" tie pins:  "I'll give you the keys to the Kingdom.” (gospel d)
      • Red shirt:  color of the day
      *v for vigil, d for daytime reading

      June 28, 2014

      Immaculate Heart of Mary

      June 28, 2014:  Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

      Tagxedo word cloud 6-28-14
      • Lam 2:2, 10-14, 18-19  The Lord has consumed the dwellings of Jacob and brought her king down.  Old men strew dust on their heads, maidens bow their heads.  I weep.  Children faint and die.  Who can heal you?  Your prophets didn't lay bare your guilt.  Cry out to God; let your tears flow.  Pour out your heart and lift up your hands to the Lord for the lives of your little ones.
      • Ps 74:1b-7, 20-21  "Lord, forget not the souls of your poor ones."  Remember your flock, the tribe you redeemed.  Your foes triumph.  Look to your covenant.  May the humble not retire in confusion; may the afflicted and poor praise you.
      • Lk 2:41-51  When Jesus was 12, he and his parents went to Jerusalem, but he stayed behind and his parents didn't notice.  They returned to look for him and found him three days later in the temple, listening to and questioning the teachers to the astonishment of all.  Mary / Jesus:  “Why have you done this to us?  We've been anxiously looking for you." / “Why?  Didn't you know I'd be in my Father’s house?”  They didn't understand.  He went with them and obeyed them, and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
      Pope Francis
      • Friday homily for Gemelli Hospital visit:  God has bound himself to us and chosen us not because we're faithful, but because he is and bears our unfaithfulness.  Our Father is love and creates ties that liberate, not constrain.  We're encouraged to negotiate the roots of our faith, but without fidelity to our roots, we can't truly advance.  God's faithful love is manifested and realized in Christ, who to honor the bond between God and us became our slave, not giving up despite our ingratitude and rejection.  "If we're unfaithful, he remains faithful" (2 Tim 2:13).  When we're wrong, he's waiting to forgive.
      Jesus' love and faithfulness manifest the humility of his heart; he didn't come to conquer but to love:  "I am meek ​​and humble of heart" (Mt 11:29).  The meaning of the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is to discover and be enveloped in Christ's humility, faithfulness, and gentleness, the revelation of the Father's mercy.  Savor his tender love in joy, sadness, health, sickness—always.  God's faithfulness teaches us to accept life as an event of his love and allows us to witness this love to others with humility​​.  Jesus' every gesture and word reveals the Father's faithful and merciful love.  Ask, "how is my love for others?"  Lord Jesus, make my heart more like yours, full of love and fidelity. [apoligies for rough paraphrase from the original Italian]
        • Creighton:  Sacred Heart of Jesus (yesterday) + Immaculate Heart of Mary (today) = liturgical diptych.  Sacred Heart:  God's love shown in Jesus' incarnation, life, passion, and death; Immaculate heart:  Church's love for God enacted in loving service of others.  Mary’s human love illuminates our call to love God by loving our broken world.  Present suffering and grieving to God in prayer, standing in the presence of God’s deep, abiding love on behalf of all shattered people.
        • Passionist:  Mary ‘kept all these things in her heart"; in her heart she found peace and gained strength.  God invites us to go deeper and trust more to be nourished and at peace.
        • DailyScripture.net:  Jesus stayed in Jerusalem, recognizing his Father's call.  Our Father calls me too, giving grace to say yes and to persevere.  Do I recognize God's call and trust him?
        • Universalis:  If not Mary-trumped:  St. Irenaeus, bishop, started biblical scholarship by helping decide what books to accept into the New Testament, giving reasons for/against each.  Fight against Gnostics and Valentinians.  Against heresies and other works online

        • "Eyeball" tie pin:  Worn out from weeping are my eyes; your prophets had false visions for you; Let there be no repose for your eyes. (1st reading)
        • "Grain" pin:  In vain they ask their mothers, “Where is the grain?” (1st reading)
        • "Heart" tie:  Pour out your heart like water (1st reading); his mother kept all these things in her heart (gospel)
        • "Sheep" tie bar:  Why does your anger smolder against your sheep?  Remember your flock...  (psalm)
        • "Tree" pin:  Your foes are like men coming up with axes to a clump of trees. (psalm)
        • "Hammer" pin:  With chisel and hammer they hack at the sanctuary paneling. (psalm)
        • "Question mark" tie pin:  Jesus was listening to the teachers and asking them questions (gospel)
        • Blue in shirt and tie:  "Blessed Mother blue"

        June 27, 2014

        Sacred Heart of Jesus

        June 27, 2014:  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus


        • Dt 7:6-11  Moses:  "You're sacred to the Lord; he chose you to be his own, setting his heart on you because he loved you.  The Lord keeps his covenant toward those who love him.  Keep the commandments...
        • Ps 103:1-4, 6-7, 8, 10  "The Lord's kindness is everlasting to those who fear him."  Bless the Lord!  He pardons, heals, redeems, and crowns you.  He's kind, merciful, gracious, and slow to anger...
        • 1 Jn 4:7-16  Love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.  God revealed his love for us by sending his Son and giving the Spirit.  If we love one another, God dwells in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.  God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.
        • Mt 11:25-30  "I give praise to you, Father, for though you've hidden things from the wise, you've revealed them to little ones....  Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I'll give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I'm humble of heart; you'll find rest.  My yoke is easy and my burden light."
        Pope Francis
        • Homily:  This feast is a celebration of God’s love in Jesus Christ.  Two aspects to this love:
          • Tagxedo word cloud 6-27-14
          • Love is more about giving and receiving:  love always communicates and is received by the one who's loved.
          • Love is more about actions than words:  love generates life and makes us grow.

        We need to become like a child; God seeks a relationship like that between father and child.  God gives us a caress and tells us:  "Don't be afraid; I’m by your side holding your hand."  Our Lord's tenderness gives us strength to be tender.    Jesus says,  ‘I am meek and humble of heart’;  Even the Son of God lowers himself to receive his Father’s love.
        God waits for us and gives us grace to enter into his love.  When we arrive, he’s there.  When we look for him, he's been looking for us.  He always waits to receive us in his loving heart.  He needs us to lower ourselves  like children, and he needs our astonishment when we look for him and find him waiting.
        Music:  click to hear
        • From Messiah/ Handel (gospel)
          • Creighton:  Pray to God from the heart, as a child.
          • One Bread One Body:  The Sacred Heart of Jesus proclaims a God who loves us so much.  God's love is forgiving, merciful, unconditional, crucified, infinite, perfect, everlasting, Trinitarian, eucharistic, and mysterious.  May we come to know and believe in God's love for us.
          • Passionist:  Today's feast is about God's love for everyone.  May I be less self-centered and more God-centered.
          • DailyScripture.net:  Jesus' prayer tells us God is Father, Lord, Creator, Origin, Goodness, and Love.  Pride can keep us from knowing and loving God; it makes the heart cold and closes the mind to God's wisdom.  Jesus contrasts it with childlike simplicity and humility.  The simple of heart recognize their dependence on God who can sustain them.  Humility inclines the heart to truth and grace; only the humble can receive God's wisdom and understand God's goodness.
          The yoke is an image of submission to God:  the yoke of the law, the commandments, the kingdom, God.  The Greek word for 'easy' can also mean 'well-fitting.'  Yokes were tailor-made to fit the oxen well.  The yoke of Christ's kingdom liberates us from guilt and sin.  Jesus invites us to his way of grace and freedom.
            • Sacred Heart of Jesus devotion, promoted by St. Gertrude, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, and St. John Eudes, is devotion to Jesus in his human nature, referring to the heart as the seat of the emotions.
          If not Sacred Heart-trumped:
            • St. Cyril of Alexandria, bishop, fought Nestorian heresy
            • St. John Southworth, priest, martyr

          • "Hand" tie pin:  The Lord brought you out with his strong hand (1st reading)
          • "Crowns" tie:  He crowns you with kindness and compassion. (psalm)
          • "Dove" pin:  we know we remain in him and he in us because he's given us his Spirit. (2nd reading)
          • "Children" pin:  "you revealed hidden things to little ones." (gospel)
          • "Hearts" suspenders:  "Love one another"; "God is love..." (2nd reading); "I am meek and humble of heart" (gospel)

          June 26, 2014

          June 26

          June 26, 2014:  Thursday, 12th week, Ordinary Time


          • 2 Kgs 24:8-17  Jehoiachin reigned three months in Jerusalem, doing evil in God's sight.  King Nebuchadnezzar's officials attacked Jerusalem, and Jehoiachin surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar, who took him captive, carried off the treasures, and deported all Jerusalem.  He deported Jehoiachin and led captive the king’s mother, wives, functionaries, and chief men.  He appointed his uncle Mattaniah king, changing his name to Zedekiah.
            Wordle: Readings 6-26-14
          • Ps 79:1b-2-5, 8, 9  "For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us."  The nations have defiled your temple, laid Jerusalem in ruins, and fed your dead servants to the birds.  Will you be angry and jealous forever?  May your compassion quickly come to us.
          • Mt 7:21-29  “Only those who do my Father's will will enter the Kingdom,  Many will say, ‘Didn't we do mighty deeds in your name?,’ but I'll say, ‘I never knew you; depart, you evildoers.’  One who acts on my words is like one who built his house on rock; it stood despite rain, floods, and winds.  One who doesn't act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand; rain, floods, and winds ruined it.”  The crowds were astonished, for he taught with authority.
          Pope Francis
          • Homily:  The crowds followed Jesus because his teaching astonished them.  Others were speaking in Jesus' day:
            • Pharisees made religion into over 300 commandments, weighing people down, reducing faith to casuistry.
            • Sadducees had lost the faith and made deals with political and economic powers.
            • Zealots wanted to cause a revolution to free Israel from Roman occupation, but the people knew the fruit wasn't ripe and didn’t follow them.
            • Essenes were good monks consecrated to God but far from the people, and the people couldn’t follow them.
            None of them warmed people's hearts, but Jesus did!  He approached and healed people, understood their difficulties, and spoke with sinners.  He was happy to be with his people; that's why he's the Good Shepherd whose voice the sheep hear and follow, a pastor one with the Father and close to people, speaking truth with authority in their language so they loved the things of God.  Ask "Do I want to follow those who quibble or talk about abstract things, faith-free negotiators, people doing destructive things not in line with the Lord, or distant contemplatives?"  May the question bring us to follow Jesus and be amazed at this word.
            • To Vatican Observatory Galaxies course participants:  You're an impressive example of dialogue and cooperation.  The Church is committed to dialogue with science because faith can expand and enrich the horizons of reason (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 238).  The sciences can be an effective means of promoting peace and justice.  We see science as a sign of the mind's God-given potential.  Share the knowledge you've acquired; few have access to it, and it opens us to questions about where we come from and are going and about the meaning of the universe.  The search for answers can lead us to an encounter with the Creator, the loving Father, in whom we live, move, and have our being.
              • Creighton:  Jesus' warnings are like weather warnings we may choose to ignore to avoid inconvenience.  (Do we take inventory and prepare for a disaster?)  Let's listen and act on God's words, live the gospel, and take refuge in the Lord.
              • DailyScripture.net The foundation we build our lives on will determine how we survive upcoming trials.  Our choices reveal our character; our actions, our sincerity.  Make God's word your foundation so nothing will shake you.

              • "Birds" tie:  "the nations have given your servants' corpses as bird food" (psalm)
              • "Blood [donor] drop" pin:  They've poured out their blood (psalm) [+ blood drive at work today]
              • "Rock" tie pin:  “Everyone who listens to and acts on my words will be like one who built his house on rock." (gospel)
              • Green leaves:  Ordinary Time

              June 25, 2014

              June 25

              June 25, 2014:  Wednesday, 12th week, Ordinary Time


              Wordle: Readings 6-25-2014
              • 2 Kgs 22:8-13; 23:1-3  High priest / scribe:  “I found the book of the law in the temple.”  When the king heard the contents, he commanded:  “Consult the Lord for me, for the people, for all Judah, about its stipulations; God is angry with us, because our ancestors didn't obey.”  He went to the temple with the people, had the book read out, and made a covenant before the Lord that they'd follow him.
              • Ps 119:33-37, 40  "Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord."  Give me discernment, that I may keep your law with all my heart.  I long for your precepts; give me life.
              • Mt 7:15-20  “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but are wolves underneath.  By their fruits you'll know them.  Good trees bear good fruit; rotten trees, bad fruit.  Every tree that doesn't bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
              Pope Francis
              • Audience:  Belonging to the Church means being formed by members who have received the faith, i.e. being part of a living tradition.  The Church, the community of faith, is the essential and necessary mediator of grace, including the grace of knowledge of and relationship with the Lord.  Some believe you can have a personal relationship with Christ outside the communion and the mediation of the Church, but our relationship with Christ is personal but not private; it's born of and enriched by the Church.  Our shared pilgrimage isn't easy:  we encounter human weakness, limitations, and even scandal in the Church.  God has nevertheless called us to know and love him by loving our brothers and sisters, by persevering in the Church, and by seeking to grow in faith and holiness as members of the body of Christ.
                • Creighton:  I must examine myself to be sure I'm following God and listen to the “nag” I get when rationalizing.
                • One Bread One Body:  When the king heard the book of the law, he rent his garments, knowing the people accountable to obey God's Word weren't doing so.  We've disobeyed too but can return to our merciful Lord, rending our hearts [Jl 2:13].
                • Passionist:  Josiah takes charge of Judah at 8 and rules for 31 years.  Once he reads the Book of the Law, he gathers his people and makes a covenant with the Lord.  God will be faithful to him.
                • DailyScripture.net:  Fruit is good when free from decay/disease and healthy. Good fruit is the result of sound living.  Bad fruit makes for easy religion, Christianity sans cross.  Be true to God, his word, and his grace; live with faith, hope, love, justice, prudence, fortitude, and temperance.
                "Roamin' Catholic" music ministry report (for Sunday afternoon Mass)
                • Ensemble:  youths/young adults (4 men, 4 women, 3 acoustic guitarists, 1 pianist) in area right of sanctuary (converted from assembly seating?), visible from front but not back of church.  Cantor was at sanctuary podium (even, unfortunately, during psalm), visible to all.  IMHO his t-shirt and jeans deserved an upgrade to show respect for the Mass and the music ministry even if he would have fit into the assembly.  (Is this "liturgical dress" blogger too old-fashioned in this regard?)
                • Assembly singing was strong, reflecting well on the whole community.  Sound reinforcement unfortunately overpowered the assembly with music ministers and also contributed some pesky feedback.
                • Responsorial psalm:  Taste and see/ Angrisano:  Psalm 34 is good for Corpus Christi, and this is a good setting, but since we shouldn't normally trump the psalm of the day on a solemnity, I  would've preferred today's Psalm 89 here and this "Taste and see" elsewhere in the Mass.  (As I alluded earlier, I would have also preferred it being proclaimed/let from the ambo to associate the psalm more tightly with the Liturgy of the Word.)
                • Selected other music:
                  • Taste and see/ Moore:  great communion song, but IMHO the busy piano accompaniment detracted from it
                  • Seed scattered and sown/ Feiten:  good song for today done faster as a recessional; IMHO it works better elsewhere and a bit slower (maybe not as slow as this recording though)
                (Other Roamin' Catholic reports)
                • "Eyeball" tie pin:  Turn away my eyes from seeing what is vain (psalm)
                • "Sheep" tie bar:  “Beware false prophets, wolves in sheep’s clothing" (gospel)
                • "Apple" pin:  "By their fruits you will know them." (gospel)
                • "Grapes" pin:  "Do people pick grapes from thornbushes?" (gospel)
                • "Tree" pin:  "every good tree bears good fruit" (gospel)
                • Green in shirt:  Ordinary Time season

                June 24, 2014

                Birth of John the Baptist

                June 24, 2014:  Birth of John the Baptist, solemnity



                • Jer 1:4-10  Lord / Jeremiah:  "Before you were born I formed and dedicated you and appointed you prophet." / “I'm too young.” / “Don't say that or be afraid; I'm with you.  You'll go where I send you and speak what I command.  I set you over nations to tear down and build."
                  Wordle: Readings 6-24-14 vigil
                • Ps 71:1-4a, 5-6ab, 15ab, 17  "Since my mother’s womb, you have been my strength."  Hear, rescue, and deliver me; you're my hope and trust.  I'll declare your justice and salvation.
                • 1 Pt 1:8-12  Though you haven't seen Jesus, you love and believe in him and rejoice as you attain the salvation that prophets searched and investigated...
                • Lk 1:5-17  Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous God's eyes but old and childless.  Angel to Zechariah:  “Your prayer has been heard.  Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John.  Many will rejoice; he'll be great in God's sight, filled with the Holy Spirit.  He'll turn the children of Israel to the Lord and prepare a people fit for the Lord.
                • Is 49:1-6  The Lord called and formed me:  "You're my servant.  Through you Jacob and Israel will be gathered to me.  I'll make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach the ends of the earth."
                • Ps 139:1b-3, 13-15  "I praise you, for I am wonderfully made."  You've formed me and know me....
                  Wordle: Readings 6-24-14 daytime
                • Acts 13:22-26  Paul:  “God raised up David as king and brought to Israel a savior, Jesus, from his descendants.  John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance, and as he was completing his course, he said, ‘One is coming after me; I'm not worthy to unfasten his sandals.’  This word of salvation has been sent to you sons of Abraham and others who fear God.”
                • Lk 1:57-66, 80  Elizabeth gave birth; her neighbors and relatives rejoiced.  They were going to name him Zechariah, but she said, “No:  John.” / “But none of your relatives has that name.”  They made signs asking his father; he wrote, “John,” all were amazed, his mouth was opened, he spoke blessing God, fear came upon the neighbors, and everyone talked about it:  “What will this child be?  God's hand was with him."  The child grew and became strong in spirit...
                Pope Francis
                • Homily:  John the Baptist, the greatest prophet, is a model for Christians in his vocations to prepare, discern, and diminish:
                  • John prepared the way for Jesus without taking glory for himself.  People sought and followed him because he was a powerful preacher, but he said he was just preparing the Lord's way.
                  • John discerned, among many good people, who the Messiah was.  When he saw Jesus, he told the disciples, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” They looked but let Jesus go on, so John repeated it the next day.
                  • John diminished himself so the Lord could grow in others.  This was the hardest, because Jesus didn't behave like John expected.  John, full of doubt, sent his disciples to ask Jesus whether he was really the chosen one.  John was humiliated through death but also in his doubts, but he remains a model for Christians.
                We too must prepare the Lord's way, discern the truth, and diminish ourselves so the Lord may grow in us and others.
                • John/ Winter (Medical Mission Sisters) (gospel) [leadsheet and note]
                  • Creighton:  God surprises Elizabeth, Zechariah, and us.  God finds us in many ways, as he drew John to the desert to prepare the Lord's way.
                  • Passionist:  John defined himself as a voice.  Voice is an expression for word; we're at our best when we voice Jesus' words, and we must be good listeners to achieve intimacy with God or others.
                  • DailyScripture.net:  John burned to point others to Christ and the kingdom.  Christ filled him with the Spirit from the start (Lk 1:15, 41); when Mary visited Elizabeth, John leapt in her womb.  The Spirit made John the forerunner of the Messiah, leading him into the wilderness to be tested and grow.  John spoke God's word to awaken listeners' interest, unsettle them, and help them recognize and receive Christ when he came.  God fills us with the Spirit, quickens our faith, and invites us to make our life an offering to him.
                  • Universalis:  Only Mary, Joseph, and John the Baptist have two feast days.  John spread the news with courage.  Pray that we never give in to envy.
                  • "Hand" tie pin:  the Lord extended his hand to Jeremiah (1st reading v); "rescue me from the hand of the wicked" (psalm v); "the hand of the Lord was with [John]" (gospel d)
                  • "Plant" pin:  "I set you ... to build and to plant" (1st reading v)
                  • "Rock" tie pin:  "Be my rock of refuge" (psalm v)
                  • "Angel" pin:  An angel appeared and spoke to Zechariah (gospel v)
                  • "Sword" tie pin:  The Lord made of me a sharp-edged sword (1st reading d)
                  • Sandals (not shown):  "I'm not worthy to unfasten his sandals" (2nd reading d)
                  • "Children around the world" tie:  John will turn the children of Israel to the Lord (gospel v); I set you over the nations (1st reading v); I'll make you a light to the nations (1st reading d)
                  • "Blood [donor] drop" pin:  martyrdom of John the Baptist
                  • White and red shirt:  white for today's celebration, red for John's martyrdom (see Aug. 29 post)
                  *:  v=vigil reading, d=daytime reading
                  Dress your life!