December 3, 2014

Francis Xavier

December 3, 2014:  St. Francis Xavier, priest

  • 'Food' tie, 'grapes' pin:  The Lord will provide a feast of rich food and choice wines (1st reading); feeding the crowd (gospel)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  The Lord is my shepherd (psalm)
  • 'Fish' tie pin:  "We have a few fish" (gospel)
  • 'Abacus' tie pin:  Jesus 'multiplies' the loaves and fishes (here's how to multiply on an abacus)
  • White shirt:  St. Francis Xavier memorial
  • Purple suspenders (oops, cropped out):  Advent season

For 1st reading and gospel
Pope Francis
"Fruits of Turkey days" audience:  Pray for unity with Orthodox Church and for Christian/Muslim solidarity.  May the visit bear fruits of dialogue in our relations with our Orthodox and Muslim brethren and on the path to peace.  The land is dear to Christians as the Paul's birthplace and host of seven ecumenical councils, and for the "House of Virgin Mary."  Forgetfulness of God generates violence, so I insisted Christians and Muslims must work together for solidarity, peace, justice, and freedom of worship.
The Spirit generates unity in the Church—in faith, charity, and inner cohesion—but it's up to us to welcome him and be inspired by him.  His Holiness Bartholomew I and I renewed our commitment to restore full communion between Catholics and Orthodox.  Prayer is the basis for fruitful ecumenical dialogue.
It was important for me to meet refugees from the war zones, to express my and the Church's closeness, and to emphasize the value of welcoming.  May God protect the Turkish people and their leaders; may they build a future of peace.  Through Mary's intercession, may the Holy Spirit make this journey fruitful and favor missionary fervor, to announce to all, in respect and fraternal dialogue, that Jesus is truth, peace, love, and Lord.
(Don't believe Pope Francis attends Mass in cutoffs; it's from The Onion.)
  • Is 25:6-10a  The Lord will provide a feast of rich food and choice wines, destroy the veil, wipe away tears, and remove reproach.  “Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!  Rejoice and be glad!”
  • Mt 15:29-37  Crowds came to Jesus with the lame, blind, deformed, mute, and others, whom he cured.  Amazed, they glorified God.  Jesus / disciples:  “I'm moved with pity; they've been here three days with nothing to eat.” / “Where could we get enough bread for them?” / “How many loaves do you have?” / “Seven, and a few fish.”  He took them, gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to the disciples, who gave them to the crowds; all were satisfied, and seven baskets were left over.
    • Creighton:  To set out on a mountain trail takes us away from the ordinary.  It's better to travel light.  Sounds of traffic fade. As we search for footing, our usual worry loses its grip.  When we arrive, we're not depleted, our vision clears, and we're invigorated.  Today’s readings' mountain scenes amaze people:  a God who wipes away tears, heals broken lives, shows warmth and mercy to all, gives food, loosens burdens...  Prayer brings us closer to God’s mountain, where all are welcome.
    • One Bread One Body:  Today's readings foreshadow the Eucharistic ('giving thanks') feast; Mass includes sacrifice, worship, Communion, thanksgiving, and being sent to serve.  Those who received the loaves and fishes wanted to make Jesus King (Jn 6:15); Jesus wants to build a kingdom of disciples who serve.
    • Passionist:  The readings show a Father who provides for his children.  In Daring Greatly, Brown says our living in a "culture of never enough" can discourage us as we perceive scarcity over blessing.  May we focus in gratitude on our blessings and how God provides, living "wholeheartedly" in peace and joy.
    •  Jesus' miracles are a sign of God’s kingdom and demonstrate God's power and mercy.  The multiplication of the loaves and fishes is a sign of how God always gives abundantly; seven (as in leftover baskets) is a symbol of completion and wholeness.

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