November 4, 2014

Charles Borromeo

November 4, 2014:  St. Charles Borromeo, Bishop

  • Crucifix:  Jesus was obedient to the point of death on a cross (1st reading)
  • 'Kneeling person' tie bar:  At the name of Jesus every knee should bend (1st reading); all shall bow before the Lord (psalm)
  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  May your hearts be ever merry! (psalm)
  • Silverware:  dinner parable (gospel)
  • 'Crowns' tie:  the King's banquet (gospel-related)


For 1st reading (kenosis hymn)
Pope Francis

Today's homily:   The invited who decline are examples:  the one who went to examine his field needed to feel powerful and proud instead of sitting among others, the one occupied with his business didn't want to waste time with others, and the one who didn't want to bring his bride wanted to keep her affection to himself.  All preferred their own interests to sharing; they didn't know what it means to celebrate.  This self-interest is what Jesus called “repayment.”

The gratuity shocked them.  It's hard to listen to God when you believe the world revolves around you.  We're afraid of God’s gratuity.   We're at home in our sins and limitations, afraid to leave to answer God's invitation.  We all have this fear:  Catholic, but not too; trusting, but not too.  This 'but not too' marks our lives, belittling us.

Then the Lord asks the servant to compel people to come.  So often the Lord has to that with us, with trials.  "C ompel them to believe in my gratuity, that my gift is free, that salvation is the greatest gift, my love!"  But we're afraid and so become Pelagian as if we can obtain holiness on our own!  Holiness, salvation is gratuity.

Jesus paid for the banquet with his death, the great gratuity.  See the crucifix as an invitation.  "Yes, Lord, I'm a sinner.  I have many things but look to you and go to the banquet.  I trust and won't be disappointed, because you paid."  Don't be afraid of God's gratuitousness:  open your hearts and do as much as you can; he'll prepare the banquet.

"Mass of remembrance" homily:   Stand before the Cross of Jesus, like Mary, the women, and the centurion.  Go to the tomb to see the stone rolled back and hear the news:  “He has been raised.”   The Resurrection fills our faith with truth and eternal life.

  • Phil 2:5-11  Have Christ's attitude:  He didn't grasp at his equality with God but emptied and humbled himself, obedient to death.  God exalted him, that at Jesus' name every knee should bend and tongue confess him as Lord.
    Wordle: Readings 11-4-14
  • Ps 22:26b-30abe, 31-32  "I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people."  All shall turn to and bow before the Lord who has shown justice.
  • Lk 14:15-24  “A man invited many to dinner.  When they excused themselves, he commanded, ‘Bring in the poor, crippled, blind, and lame.’  When there was still room, he ordered, ‘Go make people come that my home be filled.  None who were invited will taste my dinner.’”
    • Creighton:  Be humble like Jesus.   Share how your faith and living it affects you.  Attend to your relationship with God and others; don't make excuses.  A ctively participate in and proclaim faith:  pray, reflect, celebrate, and serve.
    • One Bread One Body:  "Empty, room":   God always invites us to share his life, live in his love, receive him, read his Word, share our faith, and serve, suffer, and die for him, but we may ignore the invitations because we're preoccupied.  We'll be oblivious till we empty ourselves as Jesus did.   As there was no room for Jesus in the inn, do I have so much 'stuff' that I don't make room for him?  Am I empty enough to accept his invitation and be filled with him?
      St. Charles Borromeo
      giving Communion
      to the infected
    •  An invitation to share bread was a sign of favor and intimacy; your dinner companions showed whom you valued and trusted.  We're invited to the most important banquet of all.  Jesus' examples of why guests declined though invited personally well in advance:  putting personal business, possessions, or home and family ahead of God.  Invite God into work, home, and life.  Then the master invited those who had no claim on him:   an invitation of grace, but with a warning for those who refuse it.  Grace is free but carries responsibility.   Am I ready to feast at the Lord's banquet table?
    • Universalis:   St. Charles Borromeo, bishop, reformer, taught children the faith, fed the hungry, visited the sickest and got his clergy to, survived assassination attempt; see Catholic Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
    • Passionist:  St. Charles Borromeo accepted Jesus' invitation to faith and service.   As bishop and cardinal, he encouraged the intellectual and moral growth of clergy and religious.  He helped author the Catechism of the Council of Trent (PDF, other formats), started the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD), and reached out to the poor, sick, hungry, and dying.
    • Sacred Space

      Please pray for all voters, candidates, and public officials this election day.

      Special greetings to and prayers for the community at
      St. Charles Borromeo parish and school!

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