January 2, 2015

Basil and Gregory

January 2, 2015:

SS. Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors 
  • 'Children around the world' tie:  Children, remain in him (1st reading); All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God (psalm)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  His right hand has won victory (psalm)
  • Sandals:  "I'm unworthy to untie the sandal strap of the one coming after me" (gospel)
  • 'Medical' pin, still lost, but see it here:  today's saints, 'doctors' of the Church
  • 'Christmas trees' suspenders, No-'L' pin, green in socks and shirt:  Christmas season continues through Jan. 11

Pope Francis World Day of Peace message, conclusion of summary:
A shared commitment to ending slavery:  Sisters and other congregations have provided great support to victims, offering them assistance, working for their rehabilitation, and reintegrating them into society.  We also need institutional commitments to prevention, victim protection, prosecution of perpetrators, and elimination of the underlying global criminal networks.  Legislation must respect human dignity in the areas of migration, employment, adoption, movement of businesses offshore, and sale of items produced by slave labor.  Laws must uphold rights, restore them when violated, provide for rehabilitation, ensure victims' safety, recognize women's roles, and not leave room for corruption.  Businesses must ensure dignified working conditions and adequate salaries, and keep trafficking out of the distribution chain.  Consumers must exercise social responsibility, aware that purchasing is a moral (not just economic) act.  Organizations must awaken consciences and help uproot the culture of enslavement.
Globalizing fraternity, not slavery:  The Church, charged to proclaim Christ's love and show everyone the path of conversion, recognizes each person is a member of the human family with dignity deserving truth and freedom, and so is inspired to do charitable acts.  May St. Josephine Bakhita, slave from 9 who became free and dedicated her life to serve the most lowly and helpless, support the efforts of all committed to fighting against this open wound on society.  Practice acts of fraternity towards those kept in a state of enslavement.  Do I feel challenged when I meet a possible victim of trafficking, or when I'm tempted to buy something likely produced by exploiting others?  Small gestures like kind words or smiles have so much merit and can offer hope and change their and our lives.  If you witness contemporary slavery, don't become an accomplice or turn away from those deprived of freedom and dignity, but touch Christ's suffering flesh.  God will ask:  What did you do for your brother?
    Wordle: Readings 1-2-15
  • 1 Jn 2:22-28  Whoever denies Jesus as the Christ is a liar; whoever confesses the Son has the Father too.  If what you heard remains in you, you'll remain in the Son and the Father.  He teaches you about everything; remain in him.
  • Ps 98:1-4  "All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God."  Sing to the Lord a new song; the Lord has made his justice, kindness, and faithfulness known.
  • Jn 1:19-28  When asked, “Who are you?” John admitted, “I'm not the Christ, Elijah, or the Prophet but one crying, ‘Make straight the Lord's way.’”  Pharisees / John:  “Then why do you baptize?” / “I baptize with water, but one is coming whose sandal I'm not worthy to untie.” 
    • Creighton:  The 1st reading addresses 'antichrist,' temptation to replace Christ with a “quick fix.”  God invites us to be faithful, put him in the driver’s seat, trust his navigation, and use our gifts.  The Gospel continues with the lesson of our calling to be a witness of Christ, as John the Baptist heard God's word and encouraged people to “Make straight the Lord's way.”  We're asked to be faithful, humble, and confident.  If we trust in God, we too will “make straight the Lord's way.”
    • One Bread One Body:  "Truth serum":  To overcome the evil spirit, we need the Holy Spirit, the Truth....
    • Passionist:  The 1st reading addresses Jesus' followers as 'children'; the word (Gk. τεκνοι) is also used for the mentor/student relationship.  God-made-flesh asks us to abide in him and let him teach us to grow as a "child of God."  May I abide in him and use this new year to live as his child in the community of faith, the Church.
    • DailyScripture.net:  John the Baptist was the last "Old Testament Prophet" who points to the Messiah, first New Testament witness and martyr, and herald preparing Jesus' way and announcing his mission ("Behold the Lamb of God...").  He lived as a humble and faithful servant of God.  He's been given titles Witness of the Lord, Trumpet of Heaven, Herald of Christ, Voice of the Word, Precursor of Truth, Friend of the Bridegroom, Crown of the Prophets, Forerunner of the Redeemer, Preparer of Salvation, Light of Martyrs, and Servant of the Word.  Do I point others to Christ by my witness and example?

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