November 27, 2014


November 27, 2014:  Thanksgiving Day / Thursday, 34th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  May peace abide among you (Thanksgiving 1st reading)
  • 'Sword' tie pin:  They'll fall by the sword (weekday gospel)
  • 'Stick figures' tie pin:  lepers including the thankful one (Thanksgiving gospel)
  • "Kneeling person" tie bar:  prayer of thanksgiving
  • 'Clock' tie bar:  countdown to end of church year
  • Green in tie bar:  Ordinary Time season
  • 'Medical' pin:  Jesus healed the lepers (Thanksgiving gospel)
  • 'Angel' pin:  A mighty angel... (weekday 1st reading)
  • 'Stone' tie pin:  ...picked up a stone (weekday 1st reading)

For Thanksgiving Day
For weekday 1st reading

For Thanksgiving gospel
For the psalms
Pope Francis homily
Both the Revelation and Luke readings point to the end of this world, speaking of the fall of cities that drifted from the Lord.  Babylon fell because of its corruption; when sin accumulates, you rot.  Corruption gives happiness, power, and self-satisfaction but leaves no room for the Lord, for conversion.  The worst corruption is worldliness, feeling like you're in heaven now while rotten inside.  Babylon is a symbol for all who distance themselves from God and love of neighbor.
Jerusalem fell because it wasn't aware of her Bridegroom's visit.  Distracted, she failed to welcome the Lord who came to rescue her.  She felt no need for salvation, thinking Moses and the prophets were enough.  The Lord was knocking, but she wasn't willing to receive him, listen, and be rescued.
Are we corrupt, self-sufficient, or distracted?  In both texts, there's hope.  Jesus urges us to be patient, not frightened.  When we think of the end, with our sins, think of the banquet and lift up your heads.  Don't give in to depression; hope!  Reality is ugly:  suffering, war, hatred, envy, worldliness, corruption—but it'll all fall!  Ask for grace to be prepared for the banquet, with head held high.
Thanksgiving readings
  • Sir 50:22-24  Bless God who's done wondrous things, who fashions people.  May he grant you joy and peace; may his goodness endure and deliver us.
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  • Ps 145:2-11 "I will praise your name for ever, Lord."  Great are you, Lord; your majesty, wondrous works, goodness, justice, mercy, kindness, and compassion.  May your faithful bless you, speaking of your kingdom's glory and your might.
  • 1 Cor 1:3-9  I thank my God for God's grace given to you as you await Christ's revelation.  He'll keep you firm to the end.  By our faithful God you were called to fellowship with Christ our Lord.
  • Lk 17:11-19  Ten lepers:  “Jesus, have pity on us!” / “Show yourselves to the priests.”  They were cleansed on the way.  One returned, glorifying God and thanking Jesus.  
Weekday readings
  • Rv 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9a  Angel with authority, lighting earth:  “Fallen is Babylon; she'd become a cage for unclean spirits and beasts.”  Angel, throwing a stone into the sea:  “With such force will Babylon be thrown down.  No music will be heard in you, no tradespeople found, no light seen.  You led nations astray.”  Heavenly multitude:  “Alleluia!  Salvation, glory, and might belong to our just God; he condemned the harlot who corrupted the earth.  Smoke will rise from her forever.  Blessed are those called to the Lamb's wedding feast.”
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  • Ps 100:1b-5  "Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb."  Sing to the Lord; serve the Lord.  We're God's people, his flock.  Enter with thanksgiving and praise.  The Lord is good, forever kind and faithful.
  • Lk 21:20-28  “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, its desolation is at hand.  Let those within escape and those outside stay out; it's the time of punishment when Scripture is fulfilled.  Calamity and wrathful judgment will come.  People will fall and be taken captive; Jerusalem will be trampled.  There will be signs, nations will be in dismay, and people will die of fright.  The Son of Man will come with power and glory.  Stand erect; your redemption is at hand.”
  • Creighton:  Revelation's apocalyptic writing, symbolic, mysterious, imaginative, allusive, with a vision of heaven, was popular.  The warning for Babylonians is thought to include Romans then controlling Israelites.  Despite difficulties, we're to trust in God’s promise and stay the course.  “When these signs happen, stand erect; your redemption is at hand.”
  • One Bread One Body:  May our Thanksgiving feast prefigure the heavenly wedding feast of the Lamb.  To come, we need the weakness of the Cross through which God's power is perfected.
  • Passionist:  In Stoppard's play Arcadia, character Valentine exudes, "It's the best time to be alive, when everything you thought you knew is wrong."  Disciples must be inclined to learn, be formed, and be transformed by Jesus. / Each of the saints canonized Sunday had a special connection with the poor and suffering:  "Closeness and tenderness are the rule of life for us.  The starting point of salvation is ... imitation of Jesus' works of mercy" (canonization homily).
  •  Prophets had foretold the end-of-the-world signs Jesus described.  Jesus warned Jerusalem would be destroyed because they rejected the Gospel; over a million died then.  Jesus offers us safety in the face of threats.  Thank God for redemption and adoption as God's children.
  • Universalis:  St. Ferga (Vergilius of Salzburg), abbot, bishop

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