October 31, 2014

Oct. 31

October 31, 2014:  Friday, 30th week, Ordinary Time / All Hallows Eve

  • 'Heart' tie bar:  I'll thank God with all my heart (psalm); I hold you in my heart... (1st reading)
  • 'Caged lion' button:  ...in my imprisonment (1st reading)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  Jesus went to dine at a Pharisee's home (gospel)
  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  People were observing Jesus carefully (gospel)


  • Phil 1:1-11  I thank God for you and pray for you with joy, because of your partnership for the Gospel.  The one who began a good work in you will complete it.  You're partners with me in grace, in my imprisonment, and in defending the Gospel; I hold you in my heart.  May your love increase in knowledge and perception, to discern what's of value, so you may be blameless for the day of Christ, full of righteousness, for God's glory.
  • Ps 111:1-6  "How great are the works of the Lord":  majesty, glory, justice, mercy, faithfulness.
  • Lk 14:1-6  Jesus to law scholars and Pharisees, before man with dropsy:  “Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath?”  They kept silent; he healed and dismissed the man.  “Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath?”  They couldn't answer.
Pope Francis
To Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowship:  Unity doesn't imply uniformity, doing everything together, or thinking in the same way, or loss of identity; it's recognition, acceptance, and use of the gifts the Spirit gives to each.  Every Christian needs a heart open to the Spirit's sanctifying action.  As breathing is inhaling and exhaling, spiritual life is nourished by prayer and expressed through mission. When we inhale/pray, we receive the fresh air of the Spirit; when we exhale, we announce Christ risen by the same Spirit. As no one can live without breathing, there's no Christian life without praise and mission.  The Charismatic Renewal is ecumenical; we pray and proclaim together that Jesus is Lord and come together to help the poor.  The blood of Jesus, poured out by many martyrs, compels us towards unity.
    • Creighton:  As in the gospel, some are still more concerned about rules than giving comfort and support.  Jesus and Pope Francis call us to reach out to those on the margins and embrace them with mercy.  Jesus' focus was on healing; he was fulfilling, not breaking, the law.
    • One Bread One Body:  "Finishing school":  Because we're baptized into Christ and have the mind of Christ, we can confidently say, "The Lord will complete what he has done for me" (Ps 138:8).
    • Passionist:  Jesus rendered the Pharisees speechless.  The Sabbath was to celebrate God's goodness, pause everyday work, to make time for refreshment, not to stop love of God and neighbor.  Honor the Sabbath by loving God and people in thought, word, and deed.
    • DailyScripture.net:  Each of the 7 times we read of Jesus healing on the Sabbath incited hostility from religious leaders.  The scribes and Pharisees wanted to catch him breaking the Sabbath to discredit him, but God's work of love and mercy never rests.  The law of love supersedes the law of rest.  How do I honor the Lord's Day?
    We have a winner!

    Yesterday I posted 3 outfits and offered a gift card to the first to match them to the days' readings.  I'm awarding it to Diocese of Des Moines Technology Manager and DISC VP Roni Argetsinger who matched them to the readings a different way:

    Tie Jim Roni

    • 'People holding hands':  "You're no longer strangers but fellow citizens with the holy ones... (1st reading)
    • 'Stone' tie pin:  ...and members of God's household... with Christ as capstone." (1st reading)
    • 'Earth' tie:  "Their message goes out through all the earth." (psalm)
    • 'Children around the world' tie:  "Be kind, imitate God, Children of Light."

    • 'Children' tie:  "Live as children of light" (1st reading); "Behave as God's dear children." (psalm)
    • 'Sword/shield' tie pin:  "I'll kill you with the sword"; "God, my shield" (Sunday readings)
    • 'Children w/arms in air' tie:  "Children, obey your parents. Who do we strive to be?"

    • 'Heart' tie bar:  family love (1st reading)
    • 'Crowns' tie:  "Let your faithful ones make your Kingdom's splendor known" (psalm)
    • 'Phone' tie bar:  Jesus 'calls' us to enter through the narrow gate (gospel)
    • 'Crowns' tie:  Simon & Jude, apostles...I count 12 crowns on your tie.

    October 30, 2014

    Oct. 30

    October 30, 2014:  Thursday, 30th week, Ordinary Time

    • 'Ruler' tie bar:  Our struggle is with the rulers of this present darkness (1st reading)
    • 'Breastplate/shield/sword' tie pin:  Be clothed with righteousness as a breastplate; take the sword of the Spirit; hold faith as a shield... (1st reading)
    • 'Arrow' tie bar:  ...to quench the arrows of the Evil One (1st reading)
    • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  Shoe your feet in readiness for the Gospel of peace (1st reading)
    • 'Helmet' tie pin:  T ake the helmet of salvation (1st reading)
    • 'Rock' tie pin:  Blessed be the Lord, my Rock... (psalm)
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  ...who trains my hands for battle (psalm)
    • 'Bass guitars' tie:  With a 10-stringed lyre I'll chant your praise (psalm) [I know they only have 4 strings, but it's the best fit I have]
    • 'Stone' tie pin:  Jerusalem, you who stone those sent to you, how I've yearned to gather your children... (gospel)
    • 'Hen' pin [shh, it might be a rooster]:  ...as a hen gathers her brood (gospel)
    • 'Love' suspenders:  Jesus' love-driven healings, lament for Jerusalem (gospel)
    Today's contest

    Thanks to Sr. Rosanne, Yvonne, and Manny for guest-posting while I was away Sun. afternoon through yesterday!  Now that I'm back, I'm posting my "liturgical dress" for my days away (not necessarily in order).  First one to comment below on which is for each day and how each fits one or more of the corresponding readings (before I post answers tomorrow or Saturday) wins an Amazon gift card!

    Listen to 1st-reading songs

    Pope Francis
    • Homily:  Christian life, a battle against world, flesh, and devil, has to be defended with strength and courage.   Paul tells us to put on God’s full armour, meaning that God defends us.  No spiritual life is possible without resisting temptation, without putting on God’s armor that strengthens and protects us.   Our battle isn't against little things but against the devil and his followers; m any believe the devil's a myth or the idea of evil, but the devil exists and we must fight against him.  The devil's a liar, and we must fight him with truth.  We must always have faith in God, like a shield, when fighting; the devil throws burning arrows, not flowers.   Christian life is a beautiful battle, because God's victory gives us joy, the joy that the Lord is the victor within us, with his gift of salvation.  We’re lazy in the battle and let ourselves get carried away by temptation—because we're sinners!  But don’t get discouraged; the Lord is with us.

      Breastplate of righteousness
      Click for animation
    • Eph 6:10-20  [quintessential "dress your life" reading!] Draw your strength from the Lord and his power.  Put on God's armor to stand firm against the Devil; our struggle is with principalities, powers, rulers of the present darkness, with evil spirits.  So put on God's armor to resist and hold your ground.  Stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod, ready for the Gospel of peace.  Hold faith as a shield, to quench the Evil One's flaming arrows.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, God's word.  Pray in the Spirit.  Be watchful with perseverance and supplication for all the holy ones and for me, that I may make the Gospel known with courage.
    • Ps 144:1b, 2, 9-10  "Blessed be the Lord, my Rock," mercy, fortress, stronghold, deliverer, and shield.  O God, I'll sing praise to you...
    • Lk 13:31-35  Pharisees / Jesus:  “Go away; Herod wants to kill you.” / “Go tell that fox, ‘I cast out demons and heal today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose.  I must continue; prophets die in Jerusalem.’  “Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets, how I've yearned to gather your children, but you were unwilling!  Your house will be abandoned.  You won't see me till the time when you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”
      • Creighton:   Pray in the Spirit – pray with the Holy Spirit as companion.   For me, it means realizing God’s gifts to me can be challenging and negative, but in them the Spirit is present, available, open, nourishing, sharing, and being my partner.  My prayer expresses my dependence on God and believe in God's love .
      • Passionist:   Paul tells us to battle the devil and evil spirits.  Their tactics can be subtle to get us to drop our guard; the battle can be within (e.g., disordered passions and fears).  Faith will extinguish the fiery darts.   If we draw strength from the Lord, we'll win the battles within and without.
      • DailyScripture.net:   When King Herod heard people were coming to Jesus, he decided it was time to eliminate him.  Pharisees warned Jesus, but he warned them to listen to God and the prophets.  Don't fear those who oppose God.   Jesus called Herod a fox; foxes were regarded as sly destructive, hard to get rid of, and signs of what was worthless.  Jesus contrasted his desire for Jerusalem with Jerusalem's lack of desire for him as Messiah.  He set his face toward Jerusalem, knowing he'd meet rejection and death.

      October 29, 2014

      Oct. 29

      October 29, 2014:  Wednesday, 30th week, Ordinary Time

      Communion of Saints tapestry, by John Nava,
      at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

      • Eph 6:1-9  Children, obey your parents.  Fathers, don't provoke your children; instruct them in the Lord.  Slaves, be obedient to your masters in sincerity of heart, as slaves of Christ.  Masters, act in the same way towards them, and stop bullying, knowing that both they and you have a Master in heaven and that with him there is no partiality.
      • Ps 145:10-14  "The Lord is faithful in all his words."  Let your works thank you and your faithful bless you.  The Lord is faithful and holy; he lifts up the falling and raises those bowed down.
      • Lk 13:22-30  “Strive to enter through the narrow gate; many will try but won't be strong enough.  After the master locks the door, you'll say, ‘Open the door for us,’ he'll reply, ‘I do not know you,’ you'll say, ‘We ate and drank with you...,’ he'll say, ‘I don't know you; depart, you evildoers!’ and there will be grinding of teeth.  Some of the last will be first, and some of the first, last.”

      Today's scripture points our gaze toward the relationships in our lives and our relationship with our God.  Who do we strive to be? Whether mother or father, daughter or son, or disciple, how we respond to one another and to God determines all things in our lives. It's not about status or prestige but how we love and serve.  At the heart of the matter is our conversion.

      Covenant relationship requires mercy and commitment from both sides as well as adhering to the promises made and accepted.  As followers of Jesus, we are called to be present and love those around us.  It is not as important to be perfect as to be constant and steadfast in seeking to bring about the Kingdom of God.

      In my own daily struggles to follow Jesus, I often realize how I fail to be love and accept love in my relationships.  Usually it's when I feel stressed and pressured by all the demands placed on my time and energy that I discover that I'm most likely to compromise my values, act harshly, and ignore the need around me.  In those moments, I turn to in prayer to the Communion of Saints for inspiration and guidance.  I include the loved ones that have gone before and remember their presence and unique gifts of each life striving toward love.  The Saints offer hope to us all.  —Yvonne Huitron, Guest Blogger
        • One Bread One Body:  "The Lord of the works and the works of the Lord"  Interpret 'slaves' in the first reading as 'employees'....
        • Passionist:  The narrow entrance to the Kingdom comes with requirements.  Inscription over Gethsemani Trappist monastery entrance:  "God Alone."  Enter the Kingdom with hearts open; leave everything else behind.  Jesus led the way on the Cross, stripped of everything, alone and full of love for us and God.  May we all follow Him into the Kingdom of God!
        • DailyScripture.net:  Jesus' story about the door being shut to latecomers suggests they'd offended the host and deserved exclusion; teachers would close the door on tardy students for a week.  Jesus said being people in a covenant relationship with God isn't an admission ticket to God's kingdom; Jesus is the door.  Following the Lord requires effort and commitment.  Strive (can be translated 'agony') to enter his kingdom; struggle against opposition, even temptations to indifference, apathy, or compromise, and hope in Jesus' promises and love for God.  The Lord is with us to strengthen us in our struggles.
        • Universalis:  The Blessed Martyrs of Douai College.  St. Colman MacDuagh, abbot, bishop; see Wikipedia.

        October 28, 2014

        Simon and Jude

        October 28, 2014:  SS. Simon and Jude, Apostles

        Look - Finding Jesus in your life will bring you closer to God. Saying YES to God and being like the Apostles and Saints is our primary vocation.
        "Finding Jesus" shirt made for St. Philip Benizi's
        Confirmation Retreat 2013
        Listen - One must hear God's call in order to respond.
        Here I am Lord / Eric Tom

        • Eph 2:19-22  You're no longer strangers and sojourners but fellow citizens, members of God's household, with Christ as capstone.  Through him the structure grows into a sacred temple; in him you're being built into a dwelling place of God.
        • Ps 19:2-5  "Their message goes out through all the earth."  The heavens declare God's glory.
        • Lk 6:12-16  After Jesus spent the night in prayer, he called his disciples, choosing 12 and naming them Apostles:  Simon whom he named Peter, his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon (called a Zealot), Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

        I love how the first reading gives much light to Gospel. By first meditating on the first reading, one can envision the laborious fruits that the Apostles laid down for us.  Because of them, and with Jesus and the Holy Spirit as their guide, we are here today as fellow believers; we are all brother and sisters in Christ. We belong.

        What an honor it must have been to be Called by Jesus himself, in the flesh, to follow him. Knowing now, the history of their work, I see it as a no-brainer to follow Christ, but I don't imagine it was such an easy decision for them. In fact, we know it was a difficult decision because Luke tells us of the Would-be Followers of Jesus (Lk 9:57-62).

        It is also beautiful knowing that the same Triune-God calls us to greatness as well because we too have a choice to go and follow the path God has given us. Saying yes to God's call to holiness is our first vocation. We too can impact this world as the twelve Apostles and all the saints before us have done so. God is calling... God is asking us to continue the work set forth by our brothers and sisters who are already in Heaven.  

        We can be like those would-be followers and place things on a higher level of importance. We can place God last in our lives. But imagine, for a moment, the possibilities if we always say yes to God's will? I assure you, its a lot nicer of a picture than saying no.

        Sts. Simon and Jude... Pray for us!

          • Creighton:  Our commitment to follow Jesus puts us at odds with the culture in many ways, but we share the company of the saints.  I belong to something bigger than myself, even with my hopes and dreams.  Life as citizen and household member has responsibilities.  How am I living up to the privilege conferred upon me? / Jesus chose imperfect disciples, including ones who would desert and betray him.  Can I find hope and faith when I feel like an alien?
          • One Bread One Body:  "House of the rising Son":  The Catholic Church is maligned now:  leaders scorned, dissent from within...  It was in Jesus' time too:  apostles had their failings.  Rejoice that you, a living stone, are called to be "fitted" into the Church, that you're resting upon the shoulders of the apostles and their successors.  Go out take the place Jesus made for you.
          • Passionist:  "Their message goes out through all the earth" was Simon and Jude's role and is ours.  "Every baptized person is called to speak of their faith and invite others to share it, becoming ‘missionary disciples' just as Jesus' first followers." (Evangelii Gaudium 120)  How do I share our faith and spread the message of Christ?  May you find a place, person, event, or process that nurtures your call to proclaim the message of Christ.  The Spirit of God will lead and sustain us.
          • DailyScripture.net:  What is God's call on your life?  Jesus chose ordinary people to be apostles:  non-professionals, common people, uneducated, no social position; he chose them for what they could become under his direction.  When the Lord calls, don't think you have nothing to offer.  The Lord takes what we can offer and uses it for his kingdom.  What holds me back from giving myself unreservedly?  People came to Jesus because they heard what he did.  They were hungry for God and wanted healing; power came from Jesus and they were healed.  Jesus offers freedom to all who seek him with faith.  How do I respond?
          Thanks again, for allowing me to be a guest blogger. God bless you all.



          October 27, 2014

          Oct. 27

          October 27, 2014:  Monday, 30th week, Ordinary Time

          • Eph 4:32-5:8  Be kind, compassionate, forgiving.  Imitate God and live in love.  Give thanks; no immorality, impurity, greed (all idolatry), obscenity, suggestive talk.  Don't be deceived by empty arguments.  You were once darkness, but now you're light in the Lord; live as children of light.
          • Ps 1:1-4, 6  "Behave like God as his very dear children."  Blessed those who delight in and meditate on God's law; they bear fruit and prosper, while the wind drives away the wicked.
          • Lk 13:10-17  Jesus to crippled woman:  “You're set free of your infirmity.”  She stood up and glorified God.  Leader (indignant he cured on the sabbath) / Jesus:  “Don't come on the sabbath to be cured.” / “Hypocrites!  You water your ox on the sabbath.  Shouldn't this daughter of Abraham have been set free today?”  His adversaries were humiliated, and the crowd rejoiced...
          Pope Francis homily

          If our words are hypocrisy, taking from here and there to fit in, they're empty.  If they're vulgar, trivial, or worldly, they're not of children of light, the Spirit, Jesus, or the Gospel.  What are the words of the Saints?  "Imitate God, walk in love, goodness, meekness, mercy, forgiveness."  Those who walk in this way are children of light.

          There are bright Christians, full of light, who seek to serve the Lord in the light, and dark ones, distant from the Lord, who use words that belong to the evil one, but there are also Christians of they gray area, on one side, then the other.  They're lukewarm.  The Lord tells them, "You're neither hot nor cold.  Because you're lukewarm—in the gray area—I'll vomit you out of my mouth." (Rev 3:15-16)  They say, "I'm a Christian but don't overdo it!" and so cause harm; their witness is negative, sowing confusion.  The Lord has strong words for them.  Don't be deceived by empty words but behave as children of light.  Ask, "Am I a Christian of the light, of the dark, or of the gray area?"  Then we can take a step forward to meet the Lord.


          Paul tells us, Be kind, compassionate and forgiving.  That behavior is the pathway to the freedom Jesus alludes to in the Gospel.  By giving of ourselves in acts of kindness and compassion, we break the bonds of oppression.  We pierce the shield of darkness that is frequently cast over us.  When we forgive, another life suddenly seems brighter.  The path to peace is illuminated and we can see the way forward.
          • Creighton:  When I walk with God, I might not see him, but I know he's there and that our walks are important.
          • Passionist:  Jesus levels the playing field in healing today's cripple.

          About the blogger
          Sr. Rosanne Belpedio is the director for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Office of Liturgy and has dedicated many years to Initiation Ministry, training parish teams and coordinators to implement the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

          October 26, 2014

          30th Sun., Ordinary Time

          October 26, 2014:  30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

          • 'Sword' pin:  "I will kill you with the sword" (1st reading)
          • 'Rock,' 'shield,' and 'angel with horn' pins:  "My God, my rock of refuge, my shield, the horn of my salvation" (psalm)
          • 'Golden calf' tie pin:  "You turned from idols to serve the true God" (2nd reading)
          • 'Hearts' tie:  "You shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart... and love your neighbor as yourself" (gospel)


          Pope Francis

          Angelus:  God's law is summed up in love for God and neighbor; you can't love God without loving our neighbor and you can't love your neighbor without loving God.  The novelty of Christ’s teaching is the union of the two commandments; read Benedict XVI's reflection on this in Deus caritas est paragraphs 16-18.  Jesus completes the law, which he unites in himself, divinity and humanity, a single mystery of love.  Love is the measure of faith, and faith is the soul of love; we can't separate the life of piety from service to others.

          To International Association of Criminal Law:  The death penalty, and extralegal execution, is homicide committed behind the screen of law.  Fight for the abolition of the death penalty and improvement of prison conditions to respect human dignity.  Life sentence = concealed death sentence.  There's been conviction that public punishment can solve social problems, as if the same medicine could treat different diseases; it's pushed the system into the realm of freedom and human rights without effectiveness.  We can lose sight of the proportionality of penalties to the scale of our values.

          Detention of suspects is a illicit hidden punishment; it punishes people who haven't been convicted.  Much detention is inhuman and degrading; it can be from deficiencies of law, lack of infrastructure or planning, or arbitrary and merciless exercise of power.  Maximum-security prison is a form of torture; the isolation results in an increased tendency to suicide.  Children, sole guardians of them or of disabled people, and the old, sick, pregnant, or disabled must at least within limits be spared imprisonment.

          Human trafficking is the result of the cycle of poverty that traps a billion people and forces millions to flee.  It's impossible to commit such a crime without the complicity of the State.  The corrupt may persecute whomever contradicts them; corruption, a greater evil than sin, must be cured.  Criminal sanction captures only the small fish and leaves the big to swim free.  Corruption that causes grave social damage must be attacked most severely.  Respect for human dignity must not only limit officials' excesses but also orient the repression of attacks against it. (to International Association of Criminal Law)

          • Ex 22:20-26  "Don't oppress aliens.  Don't wrong a widow or orphan; if you do, I'll hear their cry and kill you.  If you lend, don't extort by demanding interest.  If you take your neighbor's cloak as a pledge, return it before sunset; if you don't I'll hear his cry, for I'm compassionate."
          • Ps 18:2-4, 47, 51  "I love you, Lord, my strength," my rock of refuge, fortress, deliverer, God, shield, horn of salvation, and stronghold!  Praised be you who gave victory to your king and showed kindness to your anointed.
            Click for animation
          • 1 Thes 1:5c-10  You became imitators of us and the Lord, receiving the word in affliction, with joy, to become a model for believers.  For from you the Lord's word has sounded forth so we don't need to say anything.  They declare how you turned from idols to serve the living God and await his Son Jesus who delivers us.
          • Mt 22:34-40  Law scholar / Jesus:  "Which commandment in the law is the greatest?" / "First and greatest:  Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind.  The second is like it:  Love your neighbor as yourself.  The law and prophets depend on these two."
            • Creighton:  Jesus lived and rarely lightened the Law and Prophets' moral mandates.  Jesus started his answer with the Shema (Dt 6:5): “Hear, O Israel...,” then added "love your neighbor" (Lv 19:18), perhaps originally meaning 'fellow countryman,' but Jesus broadened it.
            • One Bread One Body:  God is Love.  By God's grace, we love Love with our heart, soul, mind, and strength and love ourselves, our neighbors, and our enemies.
            • Passionist:  To love and serve God is to love and serve neighbor.  God's word becomes flesh, becomes real, as we welcome the stranger, heal the sick, feed the hungry, and show compassion.  Luke's version of today's gospel (10:25-37) answers "Who is my neighbor."  God defends the poor, outcasts, widows, and sinners.  How can I be a good neighbor today to those in need?  We intuitively know...
            • DailyScripture.net:  God puts us first; do I put God first?  True love freely gives to others for their sake.
            • Saints from Universalis, if not trumped by Sunday:  St. Chad, abbot, bishop.  St. Cedd, Chad's brother, bishop.

            October 25, 2014

            Oct. 25

            October 25, 2014:  Saturday, 29th week, Ordinary Time

            • 'Ruler' suspenders:  "Grace was given to us according to the measure of Christ’s gift." (1st reading)
            • 'Baby feet' tie:  He equipped us till we attain maturity, so we may no longer be infants (1st reading); We've set foot within your gates (psalm)
            • 'Body' tie pin (sorry head is missing; don't read anything into it):  We should grow into Christ, from whom the Body grows and builds itself up in love (1st reading)
            • 'Blood drop' pin:  Some told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. (gospel)
            • 'Barren tree' pin:  Parable of the barren fig tree (gospel)

            For 1st reading
            For psalm
              Wordle: Readings 10-25-14
            • Eph 4:7-16  Grace was given to each of us.  Christ descended and ascended that he might fill all things.  He equips the holy ones for ministry, for building up the Body of Christ.  We should grow into Christ, from whom the Body grows and builds itself up in love.
            • Ps 122:1-5  "Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord."  We've set foot within your gates....
            • Lk 13:1-9  “You think that because these Galileans suffered they were greater sinners?  No!  But if you don't repent, you'll perish as they did!  Do you think those killed when the tower fell on them were more guilty?  No!  But if you don't repent, you'll perish as they did!” / “Someone with a fig tree in his orchard came for fruit but found none, then asked the gardener to cut it down.  ‘Leave it another year; I'll cultivate around it and fertilize it, and it may bear fruit.  If not, you can cut it down.’”
              • Creighton:  The ways Paul lists of belonging to the Body of Christ don't include the new ones for today.  We must find our role and live it generously, seriously, and joyfully.  For that we need to pray and seek familiarity with the Spirit.
              • Passionist:  We can ‘dry up' and become ‘unproductive,' but Paul reminds us grace abounds.  God never gives up, treats us with compassion, and gives us opportunities to come back to him, and welcomes us with open arms.
              • DailyScripture.net:  Jesus used calamities (Pilate's order to slaughter Galileans who offered sacrifice, and a tower that collapsed) to teach about God's kingdom and the consequences of bad choices.  Jews thought calamities were consequences of sin.  The time for repentance and forgiveness is now; the real calamity Jesus points out is not preparing to meet the Judge. / The barren fig tree parable warns about the consequences of letting sin take root.  Fig trees were an important food source; failed ones were felled to make room for healthy ones.  A decaying one with bad fruit symbolized spiritual corruption; here it's Israel's unresponsiveness to God.  Prophets depicted Israel's desolation, from her unfaithfulness, as a languishing fig tree; Jeremiah likened people to figs that were good or rotten (24:2-8).  God is patient, but don't presume....

              October 24, 2014

              Oct. 24

              October 24, 2014:  Friday, 29th week, Ordinary Time

              • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  Preserve unity through the bond of peace (1st reading)
              • 'Phone' tie bar:  Live worthy to the 'call' you received. (1st reading)
              • 'Hands' tie:  The one with sinless hands can ascend the Lord's mountain (psalm)
              • 'No-excuses' sign:  Read the signs... (gospel)
              • 'Clock' tie bar:  ...of the times (gospel)
              • 'Scales of justice' pin:  Settle on the way to court... (gospel)
              • 'Penny' button:  ...lest the judge hand you over till you've paid the last penny (gospel)
              • 'Stone' tie pin:  Church is built on living stones (homily)

              King of glory/ Tomlin (1st reading, psalm)

              Pope Francis homily
              Peter speaks of the Church as a temple made of living stones—that's us.  The opposite is the temple of pride, the Tower of Babel:  the first brings unity; the second, disunity.  Building Church unity is every Christian's job.  When you build, first you find suitable land, then you lay the cornerstone.  The cornerstone of the Church is Jesus, and the cornerstone of her unity is his prayer at the Last Supper:  "Father, may they be one!"  Jesus is the rock, the foundation, on which we build unity.  Building unity is the work of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus sent to make the Church one, strong, and growing.
              Peter said we're living stones; Paul tells us to be weak bricks.  Humility, gentleness, and magnanimity are weak.  He says to bear with one another through love, having unity at heart.  The weaker we are with these virtues, the stronger stones we become; it's the path of Jesus, who became weak, then strong.  When you build, the architect draws plans.  What's the plan for Church unity?  Hope:  of journeying towards the Lord, of living in a living Church; only then can we advance in Church unity.  We've been called to great hope; let's go there, with the strength Jesus' prayer for unity gives us, with docility to the Spirit who can make living stones from bricks, and with the hope of encountering the Lord who called us.

              • Eph 4:1-6  Live in a manner worthy of the call you received, with humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with one another, preserving unity through peace; one Body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God...
                Wordle: Readings 10-24-14
              • Ps 24:1-4ab, 5-6  "Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face."  The Lord founded and established the earth.  The Lord will bless those with sinless hands and clean heart.
              • Lk 12:54-59  “Hypocrites!  You can interpret the appearance of earth and sky; why don't you interpret the times?  Settle before you go with your opponent before a magistrate, or else you'll be turned over to judge, constable, and jailer and stay till you've paid the last penny.”
                • Creighton:  Letting God’s love germinate and mature is a lifelong process; one of its fruits is willingness and ability to be reconciled with one another.  Paul:  live with humility (truth we're created and blessed, leading to gratitude and generosity), gentleness (being with and treating others like Jesus did, out of compassion), and patience (giving others time and space to grow, bearing with them); the times (cf. gospel) call for it.  Paul:  strive for unity:  one Body, Spirit, hope, Lord, faith, baptism, God; God helps us get there.  Be agents of peace and reconciliation; start at home, work, and communities.
                • Passionist:  'Interpret/discern' is from Greek dokae, 'watch,' see as tested, genuine, or valuable.'  When we're dumbfounded, shocked, and startled at God's love and what we mean to him, we'll discern better.
                • DailyScripture.net:  Jesus expects his disciples to read the signs of the times.  We work hard at and reap benefits from weather prediction; how much more should we work at spiritual discernment, with God's help.  Am I read for Christ's light to reveal my sin and free me?
                • Universalis:  St. Antony Claret, ex-Jesuit, bishop, founded Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretians), reformed clergy, built hospital and schools...; see Wikipedia.

                October 23, 2014

                Oct. 23

                October 23, 2014:  Thursday, 29th week, Ordinary Time

                • 'Kneeling person' tie bar:  "I kneel before the Father" (1st reading)
                • 'Hearts' tie:  "May Christ dwell in your hearts" (1st reading)
                • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  "The Lord's eyes are on those who fear him" (psalm)
                • Yellow shirt:  “I have come to set the earth on fire" (gospel)
                • 'No-peace' button:  "I've come to establish division, not peace." (gospel)

                  Pope Francis homily

                  Paul's love for Christ led him to leave everything.  He bends his knees in adoration and asks God to send the Spirit to strengthen us.  We can't go forward without the Spirit's power; the Spirit changes hearts and keeps us advancing in virtue.  Paul asks the Father for the presence of Christ, to help us grow in charity.  His mystical experience teaches us the prayer of adoration.  He bursts out in praise, helps us understand Christ's love, and thanks the Father.  It's a beautiful prayer.  With that inner life, we understand how he gave up everything to gain Christ.  Worship and praise God; enter the world of grandeur, generosity, and love, and move forward in love of God and neighbor.

                    Eph 3:14
                    Click for animation
                  • Eph 3:14-21  May the Father grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit, and may Christ dwell in your hearts through faith; so that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to know Christ's love and be filled with God's fullness.  To God be glory in the Church and in Christ forever!
                  • Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19  "The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord."  Exult in the Lord who is just and kind and whose word is upright and works trustworthy.  The Lord's plan and design stands forever.  The Lord's eyes are on those who fear him and hope for his kindness, to deliver and preserve them.
                  • Lk 12:49-53  "I've come to set the earth on fire; how I wish it were already blazing!  There's a baptism with which I must be baptized; my anguish is great till then!  I haven't come to establish peace but rather division.  Households will be divided..."
                  • One Bread One Body:  Jesus "came to light a fire" to purify and renew us.  God, grant us interior strength, your indwelling, and grounding in love...
                  • Passionist:  Radical discipleship—turning the other cheek, forgiving; enemy-loving, self-denial—affects how we live and work and often puts us in conflict with others.  May we seek peace as we serve the One who can do more than we can ask or imagine.
                  • DailyScripture.net:   The image of fire was associated with God's glory, holiness, protection, justice, and wrath, and with the Holy Spirit.  God's fire purifies, cleanses, and inspires reverence. / Jesus used hyperbole in saying he came for division not peace.  The gospel can heal, restore, and unite, but ignoring it can hurt.  Jesus may have recalled Micah:  Our enemies are in our own household (7:6).  To place a person or thing above God is idolatry.  Whom do I love foremost and put first in what I do?
                  • Universalis:  St. John of Capistrano, judge, Franciscan priest, patron of military chaplains; see Wikipedia.
                  Another twist on "no peace"