January 13, 2015

Jan. 13

January 13, 2015:  Tuesday, 1st week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Angel' pin:  God didn't subject the world to come to angels (1st reading); "You made people little less than the angels" (psalm)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar, 'fish' tie pin, 'feet' tie:  You put sheep, oxen, birds, fishes... under our feet (psalm)
  • Green in socks and shoes:  Ordinary Time (season)

Pope Francis

Sunday Angelus:  Jesus' baptism marks the end of closed heavens.  Sin alienates us from God and causes misery, but open heavens indicate God's grace and the world's transformation into God's dwelling, and each of us can meet the Son of God and experience his love and mercy.  He's present in the Sacraments and in our brothers and sisters, especially the poor, sick, imprisoned, and refugees.

At Jesus' baptism of Jesus, God spoke, "You are my beloved Son," and the Spirit descended, enabling Christ, the anointed, to inaugurate his mission of our salvation.  We forget to pray to the Spirit but need to ask for his help, strength, and inspiration.  The Spirit guides our existence.  Placing our lives and mission under the Spirit means rediscovering courage to overcome worldly comforts. A Christian deaf to the Spirit becomes mute, unable to speak or evangelize.

In Sri Lanka:   So many communities are at war with themselves.  The inability to reconcile disagreements has led to tensions and violence.  Injustice, hostility, and mistrust can only be overcome by doing good, fostering reconciliation, solidarity, and peace. and pursuing truth to promote justice, healing, and unity.  Everyone must work together, have a voice, be free to express their concerns, needs, aspirations and fears, accept one another, respect legitimate diversities, and learn to live as one family.

  • Heb 2:5-12  God didn't subject the world to angels.  It was fitting that God should make Jesus our Savior perfect through suffering.
Wordle: Readings 1-13-15
  • Ps 8:2ab, 5-9  "You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands."  Lord, how glorious is your name!  You made us little less than the angels, crowned us with glory and honor, and put everything under our feet.
  • Mk 1:21-28  People were astonished at Jesus' teaching with authority.  Man with an unclean spirit / Jesus:  “What have you to do with us, Jesus—destroy us?  I know you're God's Holy One!” / “Come out of him!”  The spirit convulsed him and came out; all were amazed, and his fame spread.
Roamin' Catholic report for Sunday
Music ministry:  cantor/director, pianist, guitarist, drummer (in order of relative volume; not a bad mix).  Selections were good for the Baptism of the Lord:
  • Mass parts (Gloria, Alleluia, Holy, Mystery of Faith, Amen, Lamb of God) from Mass of Joy and Peace/ Alonso; +points for consistency 
  • Responsorial psalm was recited; I was surprised because it's usually sung, and there are good settings of both the day's options. 
  • Sacred silence, good choice given the prayer to the Holy Spirit, so prominent in the day's readings
  • We belong to you, repeating vv. 1-2 after vv. 1-4 to keep singing during Communion, then classical piano instrumental till everyone had received Communion, then a minute of silent prayer
The cantor has a lovely, and not overpowering, voice, made good eye contact with us, and used her arms effectively to bring us in.  I'd have preferred it if instead of introducing songs, "Please join me in our opening song, River of Glory, #567 in your Breaking Bread," she used something like "Let's sing #567..." or "Please turn to #567 and sing...."  Please comment below with your recommendations!
  • Readers:  the first was great, including pace, level, and eye contact; the second was OK though choppy.  Both were well dressed.
  • Homily:  live faithful to your baptism; [re]commit yourself at the blessing of holy water.
  • Creed:  Easter Vigil-style ("Do you believe?"/"I do")
  • Blessing (#2), of 1st-year Confirmation teens after Communion, with applause at end.  This was probably on the calendar for months and couldn't be moved, but IMHO it would have been better to have just the post-homily blessing at this Mass and the parent blessing the following week.
  • OneLife LA announcement (after the other announcements) by Respect Life team lead, with an outstanding video (with Mother Teresa voiceover) showing how the event is about respect for all human life (homeless, pre-born, immigrants, elderly, incarcerated...).  Normally, I just tolerate announcements, especially ones in the bulletin, but in this case, if I hadn't already signed up for the event, this announcement  and video would have sealed the deal.

  • Technology:  I understand that the screen, distracting though it was, was down throughout the Mass because lowering it before the video would have been even more distracting (especially loud), but it would've been nice if the screen had been dark till the video.  Unfortunately it showed this from the beginning of Mass through the homily; imagine it at 12×16' :
  • Assembly, sad to say, didn't look engaged; their eyes weren't on the center of action, and folks were talking to their neighbor, on their phone (maybe using Universalis or another app like I do, but maybe not), chewing gum, yawning, fighting sleep, or yielding to it.  (If they were awake with eyes closed as in private prayer, that's still not engagement in the communal celebration.)  I panned the assembly during the Amen (familiar lyrics :-) and only saw one person singing, and not strong at that.  (More sang, including my mom, but it was a small fraction.)  God, help us.  Feel free to comment below...
      • Creighton:  Today we remember St. Hilary of Poitiers, bishop, husband, father, and theologian.  His orthodoxy didn't inhibit his compassion; his family life didn't inhibit his concern for the poor and outcasts.  Today's readings reflect what he defended:  God the Creator and Jesus incarnate (not created).  We can lose sight of the role of humanity as steward and servant of creation.  Jesus' authority flowed from his “being” and “doing” as well as what he said.  We're called to be his partners, "living into" his kingdom by imitating his humanity, serving others as he did. 
        St. Hilary of Poitiers
      • One Bread One Body:  What of today's reference to demons and the others through the year?  Christians believe Satan is a rebellious angel, a creature, not merely symbol or force.  Demons/devils, the other fallen angels, are equally real, but we can drive them all away by Jesus' power.
      • Passionist:  Imagine the heads turning when Jesus first spoke in that synagogue, with such authority.  Our God of surprises, a light shining in darkness, breaks into our lives too; may we receive his Word.
      • DailyScripture.net:  God’s word has power free and transform us.  Faith works through love and abounds in hope.  "Faith is mighty, but without love it profits nothing.  The devils confessed Christ, but lacking charity it availed nothing" (St. Augustine).  Love orients us to Good:  God, and neighbor created God's image.  Hope anchors our faith in God's promises and purifies our desires.  "The devil, because he had deceived Eve with his tongue, is punished by the tongue, that he might not speak" (St. Bede, Homilies on the Gospels 1.8).  Faith must be nourished with the Word of God.

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