November 24, 2014

Nov. 24

November 24, 2014:  St. Andrew Dũng-Lạc, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs

  • 'Lamb' tie bar:  I saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion...
  • 'Faces on earth' tie:  "Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face."  Earth is the Lord’s (psalm)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  The one with sinless hands can ascend the Lord's mountain (psalm)
  • 'Coin' button:  Poor widow putting in her livelihood of two small coins, vs. the "penny-pinching" wealthy (gospel)
  • Red shirt:  martyrs of Vietnam
  • 'Clock' tie bar:  last week of Ordinary Time
  • 'Ruler' suspenders:  Christ the King, 'Ruler' of the universe

Pope Francis homily:  H + P = F
The Gospel captures the Church tempted by vanity, and the "poor Church," which like the widow must have no other riches than her Spouse.  The Church is a widow because she waits for her Bridegroom; she has him in the Eucharist, the Word of God, and the poor, but she's still waiting.  Like the widow, the Church mustn't shine on her own light but the light that comes from her Bridegroom.  If our mission is to illuminate humanity, the light we shine must be what we've received from Christ in humility.  Everything we do is to help us receive that light.  Service without it is no good: it makes the Church rich, powerful, or power-hungry; it makes her take the wrong road.
When the Church is faithful to hope and her Bridegroom, it's a joy to receive his light, to be 'widow,' waiting.  When she's humble, poor, and admits her wretchedness, then she's faithful.  She says: ‘I'm dark, but my light comes from him!'  Pray to this widow now in Heaven, to teach us to be a humble Church that gives everything to the Lord and others, not boasting of our own light but seeking the Lord's.
"2 small coins"

  • Rv 14:1-3, 4b-5  I saw the Lamb standing on Mt. Zion with 144K unblemished ransomed followers singing to harp music.
  • Ps 24:1bc-4ab, 5-6  "Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face."  The God-seeking clean-hearted shall receive blessings from the Lord their savior.
  • Lk 21:1-4  Jesus, seeing wealthy people making offerings and a poor widow putting in 2 small coins:  “She put in more than the rest; they made offerings from their surplus, but she, from her poverty, offered her livelihood.”
    • Creighton:  The widow teaches us two dimensions of trust:  trusting she could live without her livelihood, and trusting her contribution was significant.  It reminds me of Mother Teresa's story:  "Once a beggar offered me all he got.  I thought:  if I take it, he won't eat tonight, but if I don't, he'll be hurt—so I took it.  I've never seen such joy on anyone’s face.  It was a big sacrifice for him.  I can't get anything with such a small amount, but as he gave it up with such love, it became like thousands [A Simple Path].  Our contributions may be small, but let's give what we have and are, and trust.
    • One Bread One Body:  Jesus wants all-giving":  what we can't afford. Then we're empty and he fills us....
      Martyrs of Vietnam
    • Passionist:  Giving is at the heart of Christianity:  The widow gave all she had.  The Father gave himself to the Son and the Son to the Spirit.  "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son" (Jn 3:16).  We must love others by cheerful giving (2 Cor 9:7).  "Give, and it will be given to you; the measure you use will be measured to you." (Mt 6:38)  Cheerfulness comes when I make another's needs as important as mine.
    •  True love is lavish!  True giving is from the heart.  What we have may seem small, but if we put it at the Lord's service, God will do with it, and us, more than we can imagine.

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