November 22, 2014

St. Cecilia

November 22, 2014:  St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr

  • 'Blood drop' pin:  The witnesses can turn water into blood (1st reading)
  • 'Rock' tie pin:  Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!...  (psalm)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  ...who trains my hands for battle (psalm)
  • 'Stick figures' tie pin:  There were seven brothers... (gospel)
  • 'Angel' pin:  Those deemed worthy are like angels (gospel)
  • Music manuscript tie and suspenders:  St. Cecilia, patroness of music
  • Blinged piano tie pin:  St. Cecilia
  • Red in shirt:  Cecilia's martyrdom
Pope Francis
To Missionary Congress:  All Christians are called to go out and proclaim the joy of the Gospel to all.  Don't remain indifferent to poverty, war, violence, abandonment of the elderly, anonymity of people in need, and the distance we keep from the least among us.  Work for peace; the Lord gives it to us, and world needs it.  Never renounce the dream of peace, even amid difficulties.
Being an outbound Church means remembering the many who wait for a word of mercy, comfort, and hope from us.  Go out to the periphery, like Jesus, who met the poor, the sick, the possessed, sinners, and prostitutes.  His word was the beginning of a spiritual and human revolution, the Good News of a Lord who died and rose for us.  Carry this missionary spirit to bring about a true missionary conversion of the whole Church.
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  • Rv 11:4-12  Here are my two witnesses; anyone wanting to harm them will be slain.  When they've finished testifying, a beast will conquer and kill them.  People will gaze on their corpses but not allow them to be buried.  After 3.5 days, a breath of life from God entered them, great fear fell on those who saw them, they heard a voice from heaven saying, “Come up,” and they went up to heaven in a cloud.
  • Ps 144:1-2, 9-10  "Blessed be the Lord, my Rock," mercy, fortress, stronghold, deliverer, and shield, in whom I trust.  I'll sing to you...
  • Lk 20:27-40  Sadducees / Jesus:   “Moses wrote, If a brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants.  Seven brothers married the same woman in sequence; each died childless.  At the resurrection, whose wife will she be?” / “The children of this age marry, but those who attain the resurrection of the dead don't.  They're children of God, like angels, and will rise.  Moses made it known that the dead will rise.  God is of the living, not the dead.”
    • Creighton:  The Sadducees, who don't believe in the resurrection (so they're sad, you see :-) ask Jesus a trick question.  Jesus says they're mistaken in thinking earth's rules apply in heaven, where we'll be in God's presence and live as God called us to.  Meanwhile, know God loves us without limit, be grateful, love actively, and hope.
    • One Bread One Body:  Revelation was written during Emperor Domitian's persecution of Christians to encourage fidelity to Jesus as many were being martyred.  The two witnesses are depicted as Moses and Elijah, shown as resurrected from the dead and in heaven.  The 3.5 days is like the 3.25 years the Maccabees revolted against Antiochus Epiphanes.  The witnesses triumphed.  Live in hope of the resurrection and be a strong follower of Jesus.
    • Passionist:  Elijah and Moses represent the Church that preaches that Jesus fulfills the Law and the Prophets.  The Church will continue to be persecuted, but the Risen Lord triumphs.  We have to contend with evil but choose to displace it through our love and goodness and so help build the Kingdom.  The anointing with chrism at Confirmation harks back to our baptism and reminds us of the anointing of athletes for upcoming contests.  We share the mission of the Gospel to battle against evil and advance goodness in our daily choices.  Am I ready to choose goodness every day?
    •  We're like the Sadducees when we try to make heaven into an earthly image.  Jesus says the scriptures prove the resurrection; God's friendship with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob can't end at death.  The ultimate proof is Jesus' own resurrection.  Do I live in the joy and hope of the life to come?
    • Universalis:  St. Cecilia, perfect example of a Christian woman; patroness of music and musicians because her death candentibus organis (with red-hot pipes) was misread cantantibus organis (with organ playing)?  See Catholic Encyclopedia.
    • Sing to God in Jubilation/ St. Augustine (Exposition on Psalm 32, from today's Office of Readings):  Only one restored through God's grace and sharing in his Kingdom can sing to God a new song; rid yourself of what's old and worn out.  Sing well, not with lips but with life.  Words can't describe God or express the heart's song; cry out for joy beyond words.

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