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)

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