November 20, 2014

Nov. 20

November 20, 2014:  Thursday, 33rd week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Angel' pin: A mighty angel proclaimed, “Who's worthy to open the scroll?”... (1st reading)
  • 'Lion' pin: ..."The lion of Judah can open it." (1st reading)
  • 'Lamb' tie bar: I saw a Lamb that seemed to have been slain (1st reading); The Lamb made us a kingdom of priests (psalm)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  "If only you knew what makes for peace..." (gospel)
  • 'Stone' tie pin: They won't leave one stone upon another within you... (gospel)
  • 'Clocks' tie: ...because you didn't recognize the time of your visitation (gospel); countdown to end of church year (next Sat.)
  • Worthy is the Lamb, from Messiah/ Handel (with "Blessing and honor and glory and power" and "Amen") (1st reading)

Pope Francis homily
Jesus wept over Jerusalem because they didn't recognize the One who brings peace; their hearts were closed.  They were busy, content, self-satisfied, with no need of God or salvation.  Jesus tells them, if you only knew what brings you peace.  They were afraid to be visited by the Lord and saved by his surprises, safe in their knowledge.
We too feel safe in what we can handle but can't handle surprises.  We fear happiness, the joy he brings, because we can't control it; we fear conversion because it allows God to lead us.  Today he knocks on our hearts and the Church and weeps over us. When God visits us, he brings joy and leads us to conversion.  The Cross shows us Jesus' love and what leads him to weep today.  Reflect and ask:  Am I content, having organized everything?  The Lord keeps knocking!

    'Sealed scroll' from today's readings
    (animate it)
  • Rv 5:1-10  I saw a sealed scroll with writing on both sides.  Angel:  “Who's worthy to open it?”  Elder:  “The lion of Judah; he triumphed.”  A Lamb came and received the scroll.  Elders, holding harps and incense-filled bowls:  “Worthy are you to receive and open the scroll, for you were slain and with your Blood you purchased for God those from every nation.  You made them a kingdom and priests for God, and they'll reign.”
  • Ps 149:1b-6a, 9b  "The Lamb has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God."  Sing praise to the Lord; rejoice in your king.  The Lord loves his people and adorns the lowly with victory.
  • Lk 19:41-44  As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he wept over it:  “If you only knew what makes for peace.  The days are coming when your enemies will hem you in and smash you and your children because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”
    • Creighton:   When things are going well, it’s easy to think less about God, but our relationship with God needs to be as strong in good times as well as bad.
    • One Bread One Body:   John hears the elder announce the entry of "the Lion of Judah" who has triumphed but sees a Lamb appearing to have been slain.   Jesus has the strength of a Lion but also the strength of love, displayed by the Lamb's meekness.   The chosen people expected the Messiah to be a "lion-king," preying and subduing his enemies (Gn 49:9-10), but also "like a lamb led to the slaughter" (Is 53:7).   Isaiah prophesied the lion and the lamb would be together (11:6-7); in Jesus the Lion and the Lamb, strength and dignity, are united.
    • Passionist:  Jesus laments Jerusalem's fate, sealed by the leaders' narrow vision and inability to recognize Jesus as fulfilling God's promise to Israel.   We too can fail to see God's presence and action, because of complacence, cynicism, self-righteousness, fear, disappointment, loss, or sin; our unbelief can trap us.   Am I struggling with past experiences that keep me from seeing God in my life or trusting more?
    •   Jerusalem gets its name from 'salem' ('shalom,' 'peace'); its temple reminded the people of God's presence.   Jesus wept over it because they "didn't know what makes for peace," refusing to accept him as Messiah.   Jesus is our hope; he alone can restore us to life and reconcile us with God and one another.

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