December 10, 2014

Dec. 10

December 10, 2014:  Wednesday, 2nd week, Advent

  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  Lift up your eyes and see the Creator (1st reading)
  • 'Abacus' tie pin:  He numbers the army (1st reading)
  • 'Birds' tie:  Those who wait on the Lord will soar with eagles' wings;... (1st reading)
  • 'Runner' tie pin [ignore the shot or bowling ball]:  They'll run and not grow weary (1st reading)
  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  I'm meek and humble of heart (gospel)
  • Purple shirt:  Advent season
1st reading

    • God rest ye merry, gentlemen:  (I didn't say which season. :-)  Lyrics and more:  main alternatives are "born upon this day" (vs. "born on Christmas Day") and "This holy tide of Christmas doth bring redeeming grace" (vs. "all others doth deface"); Sr. Rosanne points out that there are ways to elevate the importance of Christmastide, but usually Eastertide is the season normally considered preeminent.   Fr. Chris points out the catechetical value of Christmas songs even during Advent, and we hear them anyway. 
Pope Francis audience, starting series on the family
Some Synod media coverage was like sports or political coverage, but the meeting began with frank discussion of pastoral challenges affecting the Family in light of fundamental truths about the sacrament of Matrimony, proceeded to a Final Report from which came the Final Message being sent to Bishops worldwide, and the consultation will be brought to next October's Synod meeting, for which the Lineamenta preparatory document was just published.  The synod isn't parliament but protected space where the Spirit can work and bishops can dialogue.  The Fathers' strong words were a sign of the freedom there is in the Church.
  • Is 40:25-31  God is creator; he has no equal, leads and numbers the army, never grows weary, knows all, and gives strength.  They who hope in the Lord will renew their strength...
    "Yoke" from today's readings
  • Ps 103:1-4, 8, 10  "O bless the Lord, my soul!"  He pardons, heals, redeems; he crowns you with compassion.  He's merciful, gracious, slow to anger, and kind; he doesn't deal with us according to our sins.
  • Mt 11:28-30  “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I'll give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I'm meek and humble.  My yoke is easy, my burden light.”
    • Creighton:  The readings challenge us to prepare for salvation, to hope in our eternal future.  Only in God and Jesus is true rest.  Yokes can't be used alone; Jesus offers to share it.  If I bind myself to him, I'll find a new way to live, with humility, and soaring.
    • One Bread One Body:  God, unequaled in anything, offers to share his strength with us if we come to him.  "In him, Source of my strength, I have strength for everything" (Phil 4:13).
    • Passionist:  We wear masks to be accepted and loved, even by God.  But God knows and understands me and longs to give me strength and share my yoke.  People have a hard time grasping God loves them, especially if others have never really accepted or loved them.  Show love and kindness to act like Christ:  compliment people, say thanks....  It will lighten burdens, improve the world, and help others believe God loves them.
    •  Jews used the yoke image to express submission to God:  yoke of the law, commandments, kingdom, God.  Jesus says his yoke is 'easy'; the Greek can also be translated 'well-fitting.'  Yokes were tailor made to fit their oxen.  Jesus says his "burden is light."  No burden is too heavy when given and carried in love.  When we yoke our lives with Jesus, he carries our burdens with us and gives us strength to follow his way.  The yoke liberates us from the burden of guilt.  The yoke is his way of power and freedom to live in love, peace, and joy as God's children
    • Universalis:
      • St. Melchiades, 3-year pope
      • St. John Roberts, OSB, convert, monk, priest, missionary, martyr; see Wikipedia, Downside Abbey.
      • SS. Edmund Gennings and Eustace White, converts, priests, martyrs
      • St. Polydore Plasden/Oliver Palmer, priest, martyr
      • St. Swithin Wells, martyr
      • Thomas Merton, wild man turned Trappist monk, spiritual autobiographer (The Seven Storey Mountain:  active life has no value unless contemplation overflows into action....); see Thomas Merton Center.

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