August 20, 2014


August 20, 2014:  St. Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church

Vision of St. Bernard
with Sts. Benedict
and John the Evangelist

(Fra Bartolomeo)
  • Ez 34:1-11  Lord to Ezekiel:  "Prophesy against the shepherds:  'The Lord says:  Woe to you shepherds who have been pasturing themselves instead of sheep!  You didn't strengthen the weak, bind up the injured, or seek the lost.  So they were scattered and became food for beasts.  I'll come against you, stop your shepherding, and claim my sheep to tend.'"
  • Ps 23:1-6  "The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want."  He gives me repose and leads, refreshes, and guides me, gives me courage, anoints me...
  • Mt 20:1-16  “The Kingdom is like a landowner who at dawn hired laborers for his vineyard and returned to hire more at 9, noon, 3, and 5.  When he paid them all the same, he told the ones who grumbled because they didn't get more for working longer, 'Take what's yours and go.  Didn't we agree on the usual daily wage?  Are you envious because I'm generous?’  The last will be first, and the first last.”
Pope Francis
  • On Korea trip:  The Church is the custodian of memory and hope.  Christ does not erase cultures or suppress peoples' pilgrimages; he brings good to fulfillment.  The Church took root and grew in Korea largely because of lay people, who sought to live like the first Christians, in equal dignity and solidarity with the poor.  May the Korean people continue to grow in faith and love, overcome divisions, and look to a future of reconciliation and hope.
    • Creighton:  St. Bernard helped re-emphasize Lectio Divina., treating Holy Scripture not merely as text but as the Living Word via reading, meditation, prayer, and contemplation.  God’s love and gifts are personalized for us:  I'm accepted, loved, blessed, moved, and called individually.  Don't compare; we don't have God's perspective or know others' needs...
      Wordle: Readings 8-20-14
      Words of today's readings
    • One Bread One Body:  The workers who started early didn't grasp the richness of the Master's mercy.  Would you rejoice or complain if a new parishioner succeeds in something you tried for years to accomplish, or if someone else gets the credit for your sacrifices for your family?  How is God teaching you about mercy?
    • Passionist:  Ezekiel prophesies to the spiritual leaders that they should shepherd God's people, not themselves.  It's hard to reach out with compassion and generosity to the sick, injured, lost, and wounded instead of getting lost in our own struggles; God, help us.
    •  Laborers had to (many still have to) wait to be hired for the day.  Our generous God gives us work for his kingdom and opens its doors to all, including those who come late.  The Lord calls each of us to serve with joy, zeal, and generosity.  Do I discharge my responsibilities diligently and cheerfully?  Do I give generously to those in need?
    • Universalis:  St. Bernard of Clairvaux, who joined a new Benedictine monastery to love more poorly and austerely, founded many new monasteries of his life; see OCSO, OCist, Bernardine Cistercians (you Bernardines who want your own domain name, is still available :-), and Order of Anglican Cistercians.  The Church is always in need of renewal.  If St. Bernard, so often ill, could help renew it, what's my excuse?  See Catholic Encyclopedia.

    • 'Sheep' tie bar:  "Shouldn't shepherds pasture sheep, not themselves?...  I'll tend my sheep." (1st reading); "The Lord is my shepherd" (psalm)
    • Green shirt:  verdant pastures (psalm), Ordinary Time (season)
    • 'Cups' tie (see yesterday):  "My cup overflows" (psalm) (sorry; no gift card winner for yesterday's challenge; watch for return of giveaway...)
    • 'Grapes' pin:  landowner hired laborers for his vineyard (gospel)
    • 'Clocks' tie:  master hired at different times (dawn, 9am, noon, 3pm, 5pm) (gospel) (but don't look carefully at the clocks' times)
    • 'Medical' pin:  St. Bernard, 'doctor' of the Church
    Special greetings to and prayers for the communities at...

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