February 14, 2015

Cyril and Methodius

February 14, 2015:  SS. Cyril, Monk, and Methodius, Bishop

  • 'Apple' pin:  symbol of forbidden fruit (whatever it is; 1st reading)
  • 'Serpent' tie pin:  “The serpent tricked me into eating it.” (1st reading) (Don't say it's a dolphin unless you can find me something closer to a serpent :-)
  • 'Tree' pin:  Tree of knowledge of good and evil (1st reading)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  By your sweat shall you get bread to eat (1st reading); multiplication of the loaves (gospel)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  “The man must not be allowed to put out his hand to take from the tree of life” (1st reading)
  • 'Angel' and 'sword' pins:  God stationed the cherubim and the fiery sword... (1st reading)
  • 'Clock' tie bar:  1,000 years are as yesterday to you (psalm)
  • 'Calculator' tie, 'owl' pin:  Teach us to number our days, that we may gain wisdom (psalm); multiplication of the fish (gospel) [OK, it's probably a remote control, but I've been wearing my abacus too much.]
  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  "My heart is moved with pity" (gospel); Valentine's Day
  • 'Fish' tie pin:  Multiplication of the fish (gospel)
“Cardinal” is from cardo, hinge, a pivot, an essential point of support and movement.  You are “hinges” “incardinated” in the Church of Rome.  “Presiding” flows from charity, must be exercised in charity, and is ordered towards charity.  Preside in charity, guided by Paul's words listing the marks of charity.  May Mary, who gave the world Charity, help us to receive the Word and advance on the Way.  May she assist us by her humility and tenderness, because charity grows wherever they're found.  Charity...
  • "is patient and kind."  Our hearts must expand as Christ's heart.  Patience/forbearance is being able to love without limits, being faithful in particular situations, loving the great without neglecting the small.  Love through acts of kindness.  Kindness/benevolence is always willing others' good.
  • “is not jealous or boastful, it is not puffed up with pride”.  This is surely a miracle of love, since we humans – all of us, at every stage of our lives – are inclined to jealousy and pride, since our nature is wounded by sin.  Nor are Church dignitaries immune from this temptation.  But for this very reason, dear brothers, the divine power of love, which transforms hearts, can be all the more evident in us, so that it is no longer you who live, but rather Christ who lives in you.  And Jesus is love to the fullest.
  • “is not arrogant; it doesn't insist on its own way.”  Those who abide in it aren't self-centred.  The self-centred become disrespectful, often without noticing, since respect is acknowledging others' dignity, condition, and needs.  The self-centred seek their own interests, but charity draws us back from the center to set ourselves in the real center, Christ; only then can we be attentive to others' good.
  • “isn't irritable or resentful.”  Pastors have plenty of opportunities to be irritable. Charity alone can free us from the risk of impulsiveness, of doing the wrong thing, of pent-up or smoldering anger.
  • “rejoices not at the wrong but in the right.”  You need a strong sense of justice, so any injustice is unacceptable, even if it brings gain to you or the Church.  You must “rejoice in the right,” captivated by truth.
  • “bears, believes, hopes, and endures all things.”  Christs's love, poured into our hearts, enables us to live like this, ready to forgive, trust, inspire hope, and bear situations and people, in union with Christ, who bore the burden of our sins.
God is love and accomplishes this in us if we're docile to the Spirit.
Happy Valentine's Day
  • Gn 3:9-24  God/Adam:  “Where are you?” / “I was naked, so I hid.” / “You ate the forbidden fruit!” / “The woman you put here gave it to me.”  God/Eve:  “Why?” / “The serpent tricked me.” / “[Serpent,] you're banned....  I'll make you and Eve, and your offsprings, enemies.”  “[Eve,] in pain shall you bear children....” “[Adam,] cursed be the ground because of you!  In toil shall you eat its yield.  By your sweat shall you get bread....  You're dirt, and to dirt you'll return.”  Eve became mother of all the living.  “The man must not be allowed to live forever,” so God banished him from the garden and stationed cherubim and a sword to guard the tree of life.
  • Ps 90:2, 3-4abc, 5-6, 12-13 "In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge."  From everlasting to everlasting you are God.  You turn man back to dust.  A thousand years are as yesterday to you.  Teach us to number our days and so gain wisdom of heart....
  • Mk 8:1-10  Jesus / disciples:  “I'm moved with pity; the crowd has been with me three days with no food.” / “Where can anyone get bread out here?” / “How many loaves do you have?” / “Seven.”  He took them, gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to distribute, and they distributed them.  They also had a few fish.  He blessed them and ordered them distributed too.
  • They ate and were satisfied, and seven baskets were left over.  There were about 4,000....
    • Creighton:  "A Holy Madness Called Love":  “Love is a madness and deserves a dark house and whip as madmen do: they're not so punished and cured because the whippers are in love too” (As You Like It, 3.2).  Jesus’ call to holiness was intertwined with his passionate love for people.  He was sensitive to their needs; in today’s gospel he, moved by love, blessed loaves and fish to feed the crowd.  Lord, fill my heart with your love, forgiveness, and compassion.  Walk with me, give me a smile, and help me to be sensitive to others' needs.
    • One Bread One Body:  "Daily grind or daily bread?"  After we sinned, we and the world changed; we were no longer in harmony.  We had to sweat to get food, and the ground was cursed.  Then Jesus came and told us that the Father would provide our daily bread, and we could now work for Jesus (Col 3:23) rather than for perishable food (Jn 6:27). Jesus is "the Bread of life" (Jn 6:35). He can multiply a few loaves and fish to feed thousands of people (Mk 8:9). He can change bread and wine into His Body and Blood. He has removed the curse of sin. Jesus is Lord of all creation.
    • Passionist:  Mark's version of the multiplication of the loaves reads like a love story.  A Jesus did then, he wants to enter our lives and help.  It takes two; we need to love the Lord and accept the love he pours out.
    • DailyScripture.net:  The crowd was hungry for more than food; they hung upon Jesus' words.  When they fled Egypt, the Israelites had the same dilemma the disciples did: "Where can we find food?"  God provided manna and Jesus provided his word and bread, abundantly.  The multiplication of the loaves prefigures the Eucharist, the "bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live forever in Christ" (Ignatius of Antioch), healing for body and soul, strength for our journey.  Do I hunger for Jesus?

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