August 11, 2014


August 11, 2014:  St. Clare, virgin

Dedicated to Fr. Kevin Kester and his loved ones.

St. Clare of Assisi

  • Ezk 1:2-5, 24-28c  God's word to Ezekiel:  The Lord's hand came upon me.  A stormwind came, a cloud with flashing fire; within it were figures resembling four living creatures with human form.  I heard their wings, roaring like mighty waters and God's voice.  I saw a throne on which was seated a man glowing and surrounded with splendor.  Such was the vision of the likeness of God's glory.
  • Ps 148:1-2, 11-14  "Heaven and earth are filled with your glory."  Praise the Lord from the heavens, in the heights, all angels and hosts.  Let everyone praise God:  kings, princes, judges, the young and old, everyone.  He alone is exalted, majestic.  He has lifted his people.
  • Mt 17:22-27  “The Son is to be handed over, killed, and raised.”  They were overwhelmed with grief.  Tax collectors / Peter:  “Does your teacher pay the temple tax?” / “Yes.”  Jesus / Peter:  “From whom do kings take tax?  Subjects or foreigners?” / “Foreigners.” / “Then subjects are exempt.  But that we not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook, take the first fish. open its mouth, find a coin worth twice the temple tax, and give it to them for us both.”
    • Creighton:  Jesus shared his concern with the disciples.  Pray for compassion, to be receivers of others’ pain and grief so we may share in it; they need a good listener.  SS. Clare and Francis were keen receivers of the Church’s suffering and of its need to be rebuilt but not overwhelmed with grief or depressed; they started rebuilding the Church by rebuilding their lives.  Our pope chose the name Francis and appropriated the mission to rebuild the Church.  With God’s grace we can rebuild our own lives, confident it'll help rebuild the Church.  (Tradition:  "St. Peter’s fish" = tilapia.)
    Wordle: Readings 8-11-14
    Words of today's readings
    • One Bread One Body:  Peter professed Jesus as Messiah but later showed he didn't fully understand; he didn't accept Jesus' words about the cross.  We've professed faith but denied him in our words and actions.  I need to put my life where my mouth is...
    • Passionist:  The NAB clouds Jesus' explanation of his tax exemption by translating 'sons' as 'subjects' and 'others' as 'foreigners.'  Jesus:  kings don't tax family, so the Son of God is exempt from paying tax for his Father's house, the Temple.  But Jesus pays anyway.  The fish symbolizes God's surprising extravagant provision, here the coin.  Jesus treated Peter as a son and paid his tax.  Jesus didn't have to but also paid our 'tax' with his life to redeem us.  At baptism, we became the king's children and heirs.
    •  Jesus:  We'll go beyond our duty and pay the tax so as not to cause bad example.  "Give no offense" = "put no stumbling block in the way" that would cause a fall.  Do I evade unpleasant responsibilities? / Jesus predicted he'd endure suffering and death.  The apostles were distressed:  they'd likely be treated the same.
    • Universalis:  St. Clare, under Francis’s guidance, began the Poor Clares.  The order's Rule of Life included radical poverty; nuns were to be sustained only by alms.  She was a contemplative and a caring mother to her nuns.  See Catholic Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.  As religious orders struggle with laxity vs. strictness, we oscillate between being too strict and too lax.
    "Roamin' Catholic" Report
    Ready for something different (having played at 20 Masses at the same parish within a few weeks), Mom and I attended a nearby Mass in Spanish:
    • Music ministry
      • 11 voices, mandolin and recorder (loved them), guitar, piano, well-balanced though fighting some feedback
      • Effective psalmist/leader for Mass parts would have been better if he'd been at the ambo (vs. podium) for the psalm, visible during the hymns, and had announced the hymns so I could sing along from Flor y canto on more than Quédate, Señor
      • Mix'n'match Mass parts including a Santo I hadn't heard.  ("Repeat-after-me" songs can be tricky, till you know them, when some but not other parts are repeated; this was no exception for me.)
    • Engaging presider/homilist who chanted his prayers with aplomb and after announcements took out a Bible and urged us to read the psalms and gospels, telling us how to find them
    • Prayer intentions based on local community, current events, and the day's readings
    • Friendly ministers of hospitality sensitive to Mom's special needs
    More "RC reports"
    • 'Angel with horn' pin:  "He has lifted up the horn of his people." (psalm)
    • 'Fish' tie with 'coin' button at mouth (this blog's favicon):  "Take the first fish and open its mouth; you'll find a coin worth twice the temple tax." (gospel)
    • White shirt:  St. Clare
    • Also-ran:  'cloud' tie' (displaced by 'fish' tie):  A stormwind came from the north, a huge cloud... (1st reading)
    Special greetings to and prayers for everyone at

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