October 17, 2014

Ignatius of Antioch

October 17, 2014:  St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr

  • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  In him you were sealed with the Holy Spirit (weekday 1st reading)
  • Tie with closed doors and housetops:  "What you've whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops." (weekday gospel)
  • 'Bird' tie pin:  "You're worth more than a flock of sparrows.” (weekday gospel)
  • Crucifix:  redemption in Christ Jesus, savior, whom God set forth as an expiation, by his blood (weekday 1st reading, feast 1st reading)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  "unless a grain of wheat dies..." (feast gospel); St. Ignatius, wheat of Christ (feast)
  • 'Lion' pin:  St. Ignatius ground by beasts (feast)
  • Red shirt and suspenders:  martyrdom of St. Ignatius

For weekday psalm
For weekday gospel
Pope Francis homily

Paul told the Ephesian Christians that in believing in the Gospel they received the seal of the Spirit, through which God chose us and gave us a way of life, an identity.  The Holy Spirit has sealed our hearts and walks with us and is a down payment on our inheritance.  Heaven begins with the Spirit; we're already living in Heaven, eternity, because the Spirit sealed us.  But having the pledge of Heaven doesn't keep us from slipping; we can dull our identity down, be lukewarm, like Christians who go to Mass but live like pagans, or pretending to be Christian but not acting like one—the hypocrisy Jesus condemns.  A Christian life lived according to Spirit-created identity shows "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."  his is our path to Heaven, our road.  Ask for grace to be careful with this seal, our Christian identity.

Synod corner

Christ-centered focus on family (small-group reflections on mid-term Relatio) :  The vision of the world and family must pass through the lens of the Gospel and encourage conversion.  Stress the positive message of the Gospel of the family, marriage as sacrament, gift from God; encourage faithful couples.  Mention adoption, biotechnology, spread of culture via the internet, and importance of pro-family policies.  Pay attention to the presence of the elderly within families and to families in poverty.  Emphasize families' role in evangelization.  The Church should welcome everyone, but don't use confusing language.  Promote “spiritual communion.”  Re Eucharist for the divorced and remarried:  keep status quo, or open up communication based on compassion and mercy?  Divorced persons who haven't remarried are often heroic witnesses of fidelity.  Accelerate annulment procedures.  Children are gifts from God, not burdens.  Emphasize Matrimony/Baptism link.  Accompany homosexuals pastorally, protecting their dignity, without implying approval of their way of life.  Reflect more on Mary and the Holy Family, model for families.

Towards consensus over difficult family/relationship issues:  Highlight witness of sacrificial, loving families.  Make sure our words are welcoming and from the heart and our outreach is rooted in Scripture and Church teaching.  Clarify that the annulment process is free.  Don't forget families who show love through adoption.

Respect:  Media have depicted bitter conflict between 'traditional' and 'reform-minded' bishops, but discussion has been open and sincere.  Reform is development of doctrine in light of new challenges.  Pastoral conversion requires going out of churches and into streets, treating all with respect and welcome.  Look first at persons, not sexual orientation; welcome is basic human and Christian behavior.  Respect for every person isn't respect for every behavior, but we seek positive seeds of truth in every situation:  don't peer behind bedroom doors but embrace love found in living rooms.

St. Ignatius of Antioch
Universalis profile:  2nd bishop of Antioch after St. Peter; wrote letters about Christ, Church structure, and Christian life.  Arrested, sentenced to death, thrown to wild beasts in the arena; described soldiers escorting him as like “ten leopards, who when they are kindly treated only behave worse.”See Wikipedia, Catholic Encyclopedia.
Today's patristic reading is the famous excerpt from his letter to the Romans; look below "I am God's wheat and shall be ground by the teeth of wild animals." Here's the whole letter, context, and more, also from Universalis.
  • Eph 1:11-14  In Christ we were chosen, destined in accord with God's purpose, so we might exist for his praise.  In him you who heard and believed were sealed with the Spirit, the first installment of our inheritance.
    Wordle: Readings 10-17-14 weekday
  • Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 12-13  "Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own."  Exult in the Lord; give thanks on harp and lyre.  God's word is upright, his works trustworthy.  He is just and kind.
  • Lk 12:1-7  “Beware the Pharisees' leaven, hypocrisy.  There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, no secret that won't be known.  What you said in darkness will be heard in the light; what you whispered will be proclaimed on the housetops.  Don't fear those who can only kill the body; fear the one who can cast into Gehenna.  Sparrows are sold for small coins, but God notices them all; even the hairs of your head have been counted.  Fear not; you're worth more than many sparrows.”
Wordle: Readings 10-17-14 Ignatius

  • Phil 3:17-4:1  Imitate me; stand firm.  We're citizens of heaven; Christ will change our body to conform with his.
  • Ps 34:2-9  "The Lord delivered me from all my fears."  Praise God always.  Look to him; be radiant.  He saved me, saves all who fear him.  Taste and see Lord's goodness; take refuge.
  • Jn 12:24-26  If a wheat grain dies, it produces fruit; otherwise it's just a grain.  If you love life, lose it.  To serve me, follow me; Father will honor you.

  • Creighton:  Did Jesus call the Pharisees’ hypocrisy leaven because it spread through their lives and message?  His saying that all will be revealed sheds light on the dangers of hypocrisy:  the truth always emerges.  "Even your hairs have been counted" expresses how much God cares for me how aware he is of my needs.
  • One Bread One Body:  "Father, Son, and Down payment":  the Spirit is the Pledge of our inheritance, the down Payment against redemption.  By the Spirit we experience God's love, become empowered, receive freedom, and are transformed into God's image and likeness; these experiences confirm God will do what he promised (Jos 23:14).
    Guest dressers:
    thanks, Silvia and Fr. Ed!

    (see more)
  • Passionist:  After Jesus denounced the Pharisees and scholars for restricting God's love, he comforts and reassures his disciples of God's great love.  How do I surrender to God's will?  How do I praise?
  • DailyScripture.net:  Leaven was a sign of evil; fermentation was associated with decay. Jesus turned the table on the Pharisees by declaring outward appearance doesn't always match the heart.  'Hypocrite' (?p????t??) = 'actor,' one who pretends to be what they're not.  Hypocrisy thrives appearance and masking, but God's light exposes and transforms evil so we can love and be humble and true.

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