April 30, 2015

April 30

April 30, 2015:  Thursday, Fourth Week of Easter

  • 'Girl with heart' pin:  "I've found David a man after my own heart" (1st reading)
  • Sandals:  "I'm not worthy to unfasten his sandals” (1st reading)
  • 'Sailboats' tie:  Paul and his companions set sail for Perga and beyond (1st reading)
  • 'Rock' tie pin:  "You are my father, my God, the Rock, my savior."  (psalm)
  • 'Precious feet' tie pin:  post-Jesus' washing of disciples’ feet (gospel)
  • White shirt and socks:  Easter season

History:  Paul, Peter, and other disciples proclaimed Jesus in the history of a people God led.  God enters into history and into the journey with his people:  The Christian is a person of history, not pertaining to himself alone but inserted into a people on a journey, not alone in a lab but inserted into a people with a long history and still journeying.
It's a history of grace, but also a history of sin:  Paul mentions King David, a saint, but before that, a great sinner.  Our history must take up saints and sinners. My own history, must take up my sin, and the grace of the Lord with us, accompanying us to forgive and to give grace.  There's no Christian identity without history.
Service:  Jesus washes the disciples' feet, inviting them to serve as he has done.  Christian identity is service.  Selfishness is a sin, a habit to break away from; ask for forgiveness and conversion. Being Christian isn't about appearance or social conduct, it’s not make-up for the soul because it should be a more beautiful; it's serving as Jesus did!  Ask, “What more can I do?  Do I have others serve me, or am I at others' service?”

  • Acts 13:13-25  Paul and his companions arrived at Perga, but John returned to Jerusalem.  They continued to Antioch.  One sabbath when they were invited to speak in the synagogue, Paul said, “The God of Israel chose our ancestors, led them out of Egypt, put up with them, gave them their land, provided judges, gave them Saul as king, then raised up David.  From his descendents God brought us a savior, Jesus, whom John heralded.
  • Ps 89:2-3, 21-22, 25, 27  "For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord."  I anointed David, my servant; my faithfulness and mercy shall be with him.  He'll say, ‘You are my father, my God, the Rock, my savior.’”
  • Jn 13:16-20  Jesus told the disciples after washing their feet, “No slave is greater than his master, no messenger greater than the one who sent him....  Whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”
    • Creighton:  It's important to heed the opportunities we're offered to serve God every day, showing mercy, refusing gossip....  Paul invited others to know Jesus as he did.  Let’s invite others into our faith, accepting their small invitations to share God’s love with them, praying for them....
    • One Bread One Body:  "Say 'I do' to I AM":  Jesus foretold that one of His apostles would betray Him so that, when it took place, the apostles would believe that Jesus was the I AM, God.  Jesus promised that, after he was lifted up, many would realize he was the I AM.  Since Jesus is the I AM, we must worship him, serve him, and give him our all.
    • Passionist:  We're small but made great through baptism, belonging to Christ though unworthy.  As members of Christ, our prayers are with and through Christ, and the Father always hears them.  May we be willing to serve as Jesus did.
    • DailyScripture.net:  Jesus knew one of his own disciples would betray him but expressed love, affection, and loyalty to all his own, eating bread with them as a gesture of friendship and trust.  Jesus loved his disciples to the end, proving his faithfulness even to death.  A Christian stands in the world for Christ, called to speak for him and act on his behalf.
    "Eternal God, light of the minds that know you, joy of hearts that love you, and strength of the wills that serve you; grant us to know you, that we may truly love you, and to love you that we may fully serve you, whom to serve is perfect freedom."  (St. Augustine)
      • Bl. Marie of the Incarnation, widow, religious, founded hospital and congregation; see Catholic Encyclopedia.

    April 29, 2015

    Catherine of Siena

    April 29, 2015:  St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor

    • 'Hand' tie pin:  They laid hands on Barnabas and Saul (1st reading)

    • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  They, sent forth by the Spirit, went to Seleucia and Cyprus (1st reading)

    • 'Lights' tie:  "I came into the world as light" (gospel)

    • White shirt and socks:  Easter season; St. Catherine of Siena, virgin

    The Christian seed of equality between men and women must bring new fruits.  The witness of marriage's social dignity shall become persuasive by witness that attracts.  So we must become more demanding, for example, by supporting the right to equal compensation for equal work; disparity is a scandal.
    We must also recognize the maternity of women and the paternity of men as a treasure, for children's benefit. Christian families’ hospitality is of crucial importance today, especially in situations of poverty, degradation, and domestic violence.
    Society is confronted with fewer marriages.  Separation of couples is increasing, while the number of children is decreasing. Broken marriage bonds affect the young most, as they come to view marriage as temporary.  Perhaps there's a fear of failure that prevents people from trusting in Christ’s promise of grace in marriage and family, but we know that almost everyone wants a secure and lasting relationship, a stable marriage, and a happy family.
    The most effective witness to marriage is good married and family life.  God's consecration is the source of peace and fidelity.  Invite Jesus and Mary to the marriage feast, for Christian spouses marry not only for themselves but for the good of all.
    • Acts 12:24-13:5a  Barnabas and Saul returned to Jerusalem, with John/Mark.  The Holy Spirit told the Antioch prophets and teachers, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul.”  They laid hands on them and sent them off to sail to Cyprus to proclaim God's word.
    • Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8  "O God, let all the nations praise you!"  May God have pity on us and bless us.  May all nations know your way and salvation.  You rule in equity, guiding the nations.
    • Jn 12:44-50  Jesus:  “Whoever believes in me also believes in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees him.  I came as light.  If anyone hears my words and doesn't observe them, I do not condemn him, for I came to save the world, but the word I spoke will condemn him.
      • Creighton:  “One who knows more, loves more” (St. Catherine of Siena, Dialog 66).  The more I learn from God and his manifestations in the world and around me, the better I'll be at life and love.  As a human being, Jesus didn't know everything, but he leaned on and communed with his Father and the Spirit during periods of uncertainty; nothing separated him from them.  “Obedient people never trust in themselves” (St. Catherine of Siena, Letter T201).  "The soul can't live without love.  She always wants to love something because love is the stuff she's made of, and through love I created her" (Dialog 51).  “There is life without love, but it's not worth a bent penny, a scuffed shoe, or the body of a dead dog nine days unburied” (Oliver, West Wind #2).  “Be who God meant you to be and you'll set the world on fire” (St. Catherine of Siena).  “You're rewarded not according to your work or time but your love (Dialog 165).
      • One Bread One Body:  "Words-worth":  Because we love God's Word, we're thrilled "the Lord's word spread and increased.  Because God's Word is sweeter than honey, we devour it; it becomes our joy and happiness.  Because it's more precious than gold and silver, we'll leave anything, go anywhere, and risk everything to proclaim the gospel.  Because it'll judge us on the last day, we obey it carefully and joyfully.  Because we love the Word of the Lord, we try to hear, live, and share it.
      • Passionist:  People were excited to hear Saul and Barnabas preach, but today's preaching often doesn't get the same response.  People can experience God’s love at the foot of the Cross; during relief work, seeing children and parents stripped of possessions and family, pain can present pivotal choices.   Suffering people are in a unique position to receive or reject God’s love.  Compassion becomes our language.  Am I compassionately standing with those who are suffering in today’s world?
      • DailyScripture.net:  Jesus warns us to avoid the darkness of unbelief and rejection of the Son and the Father.  Jesus speaks of himself as the light of the world.  Light is associated with God's truth and life:  The Lord is my light and my salvation.  As light exposes darkness and reveals the hidden, so God's word enables those with faith to perceive the truths of God's kingdom.  As light produces warmth and energy, God's light and truth enables us to grow in the life only he can offer.  To see Jesus, Word made flesh, is to see God; to hear his words is to hear God's voice.  He overcame the darkness of sin, ignorance, and unbelief and brings life, freedom, healing, pardon, and transformation.  
      "God our Father, we find it difficult to come to you, because our knowledge of you is imperfect.  In our ignorance we've imagined you as our enemy; we wrongly thought you take pleasure in punishing our sins; and we foolishly conceived you as a tyrant.  But Jesus showed you're loving, and that our resentment against you was groundless"  (St. Augustine)

      April 28, 2015

      April 28

      April 28, 2015:  Tuesday, Fourth Week of Easter

      • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  Disciples were docile to the Holy Spirit; Barnabas was Spirit-filled. (1st reading)
      • 'Abacus' tie pin (forgot, so see at right):  A large number was added to the Lord  (1st reading)
      • 'Hand' tie pin:  The hand of the Lord was with them (1st reading); No one can take my sheep out of my hand (gospel)
      • 'Good Shepherd' tie, 'sheep' tie bar:  "My sheep hear my voice... and follow me" (gospel)
      • Green, blue, and white shirt; white socks:  Verdant pastures and restful waters (Ps 23:2, Good Shepherd gospel-inspired), Easter season

      Pope Francis homily
      Don't be afraid of the God of surprises:  Is 60 prophesied the preaching of salvation to all, though many did not understand that God is the God of all things new.  This makes some people afraid.  On our own we can't see the truth, but with the Holy Spirit we can, as for Barnabas and Peter; we can study but not know Jesus' voice.  “My sheep hear my voice.  I know them and they follow me.”
      We move forward with the newness of the Spirit:  The progress of the Church is the work of the Spirit, who makes us listen to the Lord's voice.  To make sure the voice you hear is God's, pray; ask God to send the Spirit so we may discern what to do.  Barnabas was full of the Spirit and knew what to do.  Peter saw and said, "Who am I to deny Baptism here?"
      Christian life is not a museum of memories:  Doing things just because it's how we’ve always done them is a deadly attitude.  Risk, with prayer and with the humility to accept how the Spirit asks us to change.  Lord, You who are here with us in the Eucharist, who shall be within us, give us the grace of the Spirit, the grace not to be afraid when the Spirit tells me to take a step forward, the apostolic courage to bring life and not make our life a museum.
      • Acts 11:19-26  The disciples scattered by the persecution were preaching only to Jews, some among them started proclaiming Jesus to Greeks too.  Many turned to the Lord.  When Barnabas arrived at Antioch, he rejoiced and encouraged them to remain faithful; then he brought Saul from Tarsus to Antioch, where they taught for a year.
      • Ps 87:1b-7  "All you nations, praise the Lord."  Glorious things are said of you, O city of God!
      • Jn 10:22-30  Jews gathered around Jesus and said, “If you're the Christ, tell us.”  Jesus answered them, “I told you and my works testify, but you don't believe because you're not my sheep.  They hear my voice and follow me; I give them life, and they'll never perish.  The Father and I are one.”
        • Creighton:  In the gospel the skeptics are neither listening carefully to Jesus’ words nor are attentive to his works. We need to listen carefully to God, others, and ourselves....
        • One Bread One Body:  "Eternal life":  Jesus promised us eternal life, the kind of life lived in heaven; we received it when we were baptized and live it when we give our lives to Jesus and love completely.  Eternal life is primarily a life of total love for Life Himself.  Am I living eternal life right now?
        • Passionist:  Today's church, like the early church, is diverse, challenging, spirited, faith-filled and growing.  As ministers we are called, commissioned, scattered, and sent to preach the good news, and we have the same frustrations, joys, sorrows, hopes, and dreams of the early church leaders.   We're like Barnabas, joyful and encouraged as he witnessed God's grace at work.  God's hand is upon us also during times of persecution, failure, and dejection.  May we have the courage and faith of the early church leaders to pick ourselves up and keep singing Alleluia.
        • DailyScripture.net:  Sheep without a shepherd are defenseless against prey and often get lost and bewildered.  So shepherds live with their sheep in the field and mountainsides, guarding their sheep from danger and leading them to the best places for feeding, drinking, rest, and safety.  The sheep recognize their shepherd's voice and heed his call.  We're like sheep who stray, becoming easy prey to forces that can destroy us.  Jesus came not only to free us from sin but also to lead us to places where we can feed on his word and drink from the "living waters" of his Spirit.  The sheep who heed the Shepherd's voice have no fear; he leads them to places of peace, joy, and fellowship with God and his people.  We can face our trials alone or we can follow the true Shepherd, who will bring us to peace and security with God.
          • Peter Chanel, priest, martyr; see Wikipedia.

        April 27, 2015

        April 27

        April 27, 2015:  Monday, Fourth Week of Easter

        • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  Peter's vision:... (1st reading)
        • Tie with animals:  "I saw the animals of the earth, the wild beasts, the reptiles, and the birds of the sky." (1st reading) 
        • Green in suspenders:  Spirit gave the green light (1st reading)
        • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  The Spirit directed Peter; Spirit fell on the Gentiles (1st reading)
        • 'Deer' tie pin:  "I long for God as the deer longs for water" (psalm)
        • 'Sheep' tie bar:  Good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep (gospel)
        • Red and white shirt:  Red for "slaughter and eat" (1st reading), white for Easter season

        • As the deer longs/ Hurd (Note v3 ends with "Where, O where, are you?", not "Where the h*** are you?", though both likely express the Psalmist's sentiment)

        You about to be ordained, your homilies should come from the heart, so you'll reach people's hearts.  Never refuse anyone who asks for Baptism.  In the confessional, forgive; never condemn.  You're ministers of unity in the Church, in the family.  You're called to the a pastoral life that is like the Good Shepherd's.

        • Acts 11:1-18  Jews / Peter:  ‘You ate with the uncircumcised.” / “Three times I had a vision of a sheet from the sky with animals on it, heard ‘Slaughter and eat,’ said, ‘No; nothing unclean has entered my mouth,’ and heard ‘Don't call profane what God has made clean’; then everything returned to the sky.  Three men appeared; the Spirit told me to accompany them.  One said an angel directed, ‘Summon Peter; he'll speak saving words to you.’  As I spoke, the Spirit fell on them.  If God gave them the gift he gave uswho was I to get in the way?” / “God has granted life to the Gentiles too.”
        • Ps 42:2-3; 43:3-4  "Athirst is my soul for the living God."  Send your light and fidelity to lead me, and I'll go to God's altar and thank you!
        • Jn 10:11-18  “When a hired man sees a wolf, he leaves the sheep and the wolf scatters them, but I am the good shepherd; I know mine and mine know me.  I'll lay down my life for the sheep; I have power to lay it down and to take it up again.  There will be one flock, one shepherd....”
            The Good Shepherd
            (St. Anthony's Monastery)
          • Creighton:  The readings are about discerning God's voice.  In the gospel, Jesus' voice competes with bandits' and thieves', yet the sheep know their shepherd's voice.  In Acts, the discernment stretches out:  the Spirit-inspired Gentile voices offer Peter and his friends evidence of God's vision.  God's voice challenges Peter, guides him through his dream, and calls him to not make distinctions, and the angel's voice opens Cornelius to Peter's message.  God is persistent, but it takes time, prayer, conversation, debate, and hindsight to perceive God's voice. Discernment entails discipleship; we learn to listen by following....
          • One Bread One Body:  "The through-way":  Jesus is Good Shepherd, Lamb of God  and Sheepgate. Don't let anyone enter your life, family, or community except through Jesus.  Live in, with, and through Jesus. If we make Jesus our Gate and Way, we'll have fullness of life.  Jesus is the Through-Way.
          • Passionist:  People exclude “undesirables” in the name of religion, but  Jesus and Paul keep stretching the tent poles, allowing more to belong.  Israel’s identity was founded upon a distinction from other cultures and religious practices.  Suddenly, Paul claims that all are one:  Jew and Gentile, slave and free, male and female.  Pope Francis challenges us to go to the peripheries to proclaim God’s love.  He's made migration a pro-life issue, saying it's about welcoming people.  He likened us to the priest and Levite who walk by in the Good Samaritan parable.  He asked us to beg God for tears for our “globalized indifference.”
            Christ the Good Shepherd
            (Fr. Vladimir Lysak)
          • DailyScripture.net:  At the end of each day, the shepherd brought his sheep into shelter.  They knew his voice and came at his beckoning.  He called each by a distinct name.  In winter they were brought to a communal shelter a guardian locked and secured;  by a guardian; in summer they were kept in fields, gathered at night, and guarded by a shepherd all night.  He was literally the door the sheep had to pass through.  Scripture describes God as a shepherd bringing his people security and peace.  Leaders of God's people are called shepherds:  they shall lead them out and bring them in; that the congregation may not be as sheep with no shepherd.  As shepherds kept watch over and protected their sheep, so Jesus stands watch over his people as Shepherd and Guardian.
          "Jesus accomplished what he taught us:  he showed us what he commanded us to do.  He laid down his life for his sheep, that he might change his body and blood into food, and nourish his sheep with it. He showed us the way we must follow. He lay down the pattern we must conform to.  The first duty laid on us is to use our goods for his sheep's needs, and, if necessary, give our lives for them.  How will one who won't give of his substance for his sheep lay down his life for them?" (St. Augustine, paraphrased)
          • Today's Saints, thanks to Universalis:
            • Maughold, pirate turned bishop?
          Catch the Good Shepherd Sunday post if you missed it!


          April 26, 2015

          4th Sun. of Easter

          April 26, 2015:  Fourth Sunday of Easter / Good Shepherd Sunday / World Day of Prayer for Vocations

          • 'Stone' tie pin:  Jesus is the stone you rejected that's become the cornerstone (1st reading, psalm)

          • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  It's wonderful in our eyes (psalm); See what love the Father gave us; we'll see God as he is (2nd reading)

          • 'Sheep' tie bar:  I'm the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep (gospel)

          • Green and white shirt and suspenders, white socks:  Verdant pastures (Ps 23); Easter season

          Pope Francis
          Exodus, a fundamental experience of vocation:  The Good Shepherd knows, calls, feeds, and guides his sheep.  Pray that “the Lord of the harvest send laborers into his harvest.”  Jesus called not only the Apostles but 72 more disciples.  Our vocation is born of mission.  Hearing and following the Good Shepherd means letting him guide us, allowing the Spirit to draw us into missionary dynamism, awakening the desire, joy, and courage to offer our lives in service.
          I can only offer my life if I leave myself behind; that “exodus” is the heart of our response to the vocation God gives us.  “Exodus” evokes Moses and the journey to the Promised Land.  Exodus is a parable of salvation history but also faith's inner workings.  Passing from slavery to new life is a event of redemption that takes place through faith; “exodus,” the journey of each Christian and the whole Church, turning towards the Father, is at the root of every Christian vocation.  Belief means transcending ourselves, leaving behind our comfort and inflexible ego to center our life in Christ, going forward with trust, knowing God will show us the way.  It's not contempt for my life, feelings, or humanity but rather putting ourselves at God's service, rooted in love.  Our vocation is a call to love that draws us out of ourselves and triggers an exodus out of our closed self towards liberation through self-giving, self-discovery, and discovery of God.

          Good Shepherd/ Menon
          Exodus calls for a constantly renewed attitude of conversion and transformation, moving forward, passing from death to life.  From Abraham's and Moses' calls and Israel’s journey to Jesus' journey culminating in his resurrection, vocation is God's work; he leads us, frees us, breaks down our habits and indifference, and brings us to the joy of communion with him and others.  Responding to God’s call is leaving ourselves behind and striking out on the path leading to Christ.
          The Church is faithful when she “goes forth,” meeting God’s children wherever they are, feeling compassion.  God goes forth in a Trinitarian dynamic of love, hearing our cry and intervening to set us free; similarly, we're called to go out to encounter humanity, proclaiming the Gospel's liberating word, healing wounds with God's grace, and relieving the poor and suffering.  This exodus also represents the way for us to understand our humanity and foster the development of individuals and societies.  Hearing and answering God's call is a specific, real, total commitment embracing our existence and setting it at the service of God’s Kingdom.  Friendship with the Lord isn't flight from life or the world but rather involves profound interplay between communion and mission.
          Exodus fills our lives with joy and meaning.  Go out and begin the journey!  The Gospel brings freedom, transforms our lives, making them more beautiful.  Mary, never afraid to utter fiat, is at our side to guide us.  With courage she sang of the joy of leaving herself behind and entrusting her plans to God.  Turn to her, be open to God's plans for you, and go out with tender concern to others.
            Good Shepherd/ Plockhorst
          • Acts 4:8-12  Spirit-filled Peter:  “This man was healed in the name of Jesus Christ whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead.  He's the stone you rejected that's become the cornerstone.  There's no salvation through anyone else.”
          • Ps 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28-29  "The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone."  Give thanks to the Lord; his mercy endures forever.  Take refuge in the Lord.  You answered and saved me.
          • 1 Jn 3:1-2  See what love the Father bestowed on us, that we may be called his children.  The world doesn't know us because it didn't know him.  We're God’s children now, and we'll be like him, for we'll see him as he is.
          • Jn 10:11-18  “I am the good shepherd.  A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  A hired man who sees a wolf leaves the sheep and runs away because he has no concern for the sheep.  I know mine and mine know me.   I must also lead sheep not of this fold; they'll hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd....
            • Creighton:  Jesus the Good Shepherd is the cornerstone of our faith.  The Risen Jesus dwells within us  and we become part of God’s own family,  ”See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called children of God.”  Rejoice in God's gift to us through the Resurrected Jesus!
              Christ as the Good Shepherd
              Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Ravenna
            • One Bread One Body:  "The life of a sheep":  To be called a sheep is no compliment.  Sheep are backward and timid; they can't eat grass without destroying the field.  When Jesus called us sheep, he implied we were helpless. Without him we can do nothing.  What will we do when thieves or wolves come?  Some wolves are in sheep's clothing, and some "shepherds" are really hired hands who will abandon us.  We sheep are simple, weak, and in trouble, but the Good Shepherd is our hope.
            • Passionist:  Early Christians knew what shepherds were, what kind of life they lived, and what dangers sheep and shepherd faced.  In the face of persecution and martyrdom, the Good Shepherd was there for them.  The Good Shepherd image Pope Francis uses isn't the handsome, clean one from art but one of a real shepherd living a hard life in the field and smelling like sheep.  Jesus loves us enough to take on the messy and smelly side of our lives.  He chooses to live with us, to seek us when we stray, to carry us when we're tired, to lead us to green pastures, to lay down his life for us.  He wants us to be shepherds to the sheep given to us.  How do we lay down our lives for them?
            "Jesus shows in what manner a shepherd may be proved good and teaches he must be prepared to give his life defending his sheep.  We departed from God's love, fell into sin, and so were excluded from paradise, and became wolves' prey, but Christ the True Shepherd laid down his life for us, bearing the Cross to destroy death....  He died for us as truly Good, and truly our Shepherd, driving away death so he might join us to the blessed in heaven and grant us mansions in his Father’s house.  He tells us, 'Fear not, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you a kingdom.'" (Cyril of Alexandria)
            • Today's Saints (though Sunday-trumped), thanks to Universalis:  Bl. Robert Anderton and William Marsden, priests and martyrs

            April 25, 2015


            April 25, 2015:  St. Mark, Evangelist

            See 12 connections
            with today's Bible readings and celebration?
            Legend at bottom


            • Psalm 89/ Barrie [requires free Scorch plug-in] (psalm)

            Pope Francis
            To John Paul II Foundation:  John Paul II's canonization gave your mission a new impulse, making it even more universal.  You offer a precious contribution to the promotion of his spiritual legacy.  Thanks for your educational initiatives among youth, allowing his charism and paternity to continue to bear fruit.  Your formation opportunities help prepare people to accompany communities faced with cultural and pastoral challenges.  You can add the rich social doctrine he left us.
            One of the key words of social doctrine is “solidarity,” a word some thought had seen its day but that retains its prophetic force.  Live this solidarity among yourselves and nurture it with Christian fellowship animated by prayer and obedience to God's Word.

            • 1 Pt 5:5b-14  Clothe yourselves with humility; humble yourselves under God's mighty hand.  Cast your worries on him; he cares for you.  Be sober and vigilant.  Resist the devil.  God who called you will restore and strengthen you.  Remain firm in God's grace.  Greet each other with a loving kiss.  Peace to you all!
            • Ps 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17  "For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord."  I'll proclaim your faithfulness.  The heavens proclaim your wonders and your faithfulness....
            • Mk 16:15-20  Jesus to the Eleven:  "Go proclaim the Gospel to every creature.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.  These signs will accompany believers:  they'll drive out demons, speak new languages, pick up serpents, lay hands on and heal the sick...."  Then he was taken up into heaven and took his seat at God's right hand.  They preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them....
              • One Bread One Body:  "Are you learning your lessons?":   Mark learned the power of communal prayer when he saw Peter freed from prison through others' prayers.  He learned about serving the poor and building unity when he accompanied Barnabas and Paul on a relief mission.  He learned about spiritual warfare and his own weaknesses when he quit the first missionary journey.  He learned that we don't always get a second chance when Paul refused to take him on a second  journey, and that we sometimes do when Barnabas took him on a journey.  He learned more about Jesus and his Church when Peter spiritually adopted him. The Lord chose him to write one of the Gospels; the Holy Spirit graced him to write some of the most important words ever written.  The Lord is teaching us now; if we learn our lessons, we'll see the Spirit work through us in wondrous ways.
              • Passionist:  Tradition has it Mark accompanied Peter to Rome where he met Paul and put Peter’s teaching into writing.  Mark’s intention behind his gospel was likely to give to believers the essence of Jesus' words and actions.  It is now up to us to give witness to the resurrection and to proclaim Christ as savior.  The Easter season reminds us of our mission.  Don't keep your experience of the risen Lord to yourself; “go out to the world and proclaim the Good News to all.”
              • DailyScripture.net:  Mark's gospel is the shortest, likely the earliest, likely written in Rome, for Gentiles, especially Rome Christians.  "The Spirit chose for the writing of the Gospel two [Mark and Luke] not from the Twelve, so that it might not be thought that evangelization had come only to the apostles and that the fountain of grace had dried up" (St. Augustine).  Mark's gospel ends with Jesus' last appearance to the apostles before his ascension.  Jesus' departure and ascension was an end and a beginning:  end of his physical presence, the beginning of his presence through the Holy Spirit.  His last words to his apostles point to his saving mission and to their mission to be witnesses and to proclaim the good news of salvation to all the world.  God's love and salvation are for everyone who will accept it.  We're to be heralds of the good news and ambassadors for Christ, in the power of the Spirit.
              • Universalis:  St. Mark, cousin of Barnabas, disciple of Peter, accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey then followed him to Rome, founded the Church in Alexandria.   His gospel is told from Peter’s point of view.  See Catholic Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
              Dress legend
              • Humble clothing:  "Clothe yourselves with humility" (1st reading)
              • 'Hand' pin:  "Humble yourselves under God's mighty hand" (1st reading); "Believers will lay hands on the sick, who will recover"; Jesus took his seat at God's right hand  (gospel)
              • 'Lion' pin:  "Your opponent the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion" (1st reading)
              • 'Phone' tie bar:  "God who called you will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you..." (1st reading)
              • 'Peace sign" tie bar:  "Peace to all you who are in Christ." (1st reading)
              • 'World' tie:  "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel" (gospel)
              • 'Sign' pin (on suspenders):  "These signs will accompany believers:..." (gospel)
              • 'Car' tie pin:  "They'll 'drive' out demons,..." (gospel)
              • 'Serpent' tie pin:  "They'll pick up serpents..." (gospel)
              • White in shirt and socks:  Easter season