May 31, 2015


May 31, 2015:  Most Holy Trinity

  • 'Eyeball' pin:  Did any god take a nation from the midst of another as the Lord did for you before your very eyes? (1st reading); The Lord's eyes are on those who fear him (psalm)
  • 'Clock' tie bar:  I'm with you always (gospel); Our soul waits for the Lord,... (psalm) 
  • 'Shield' tie pin:  ...our help and our shield. (psalm)
  • 'I ♥ my dad' tie:  You received a Spirit of adoption through whom we cry, “Abba, Father!” (2nd reading) (Father of Trinity)
  • '[Sacred Heart of] Jesus' pin:  Son of Trinity
    • 'Holy Spirit' tie bar:  Spirit of Trinity:  those led by the Spirit of God are God's children. (2nd reading)
    • '3 stick figures together' tie pin:  Holy Trinity:  three Persons, one God
    • 'OneLife LA' button:  One God; promote culture of life (Pope's audience)
    • White shirt and socks:  color of Holy Trinity solemnity

    Selections from LectionarySong
    Don't forget Holy Spirit music; today is the octave of Pentecost

    Pope Francis
    Angelus:  Today we honor the most fundamental Christian belief, the mystery of the three equal, indivisible Persons of God; the celebration renews in us our mission to live in communion with God and each other.  We're called to live with, for,and in others, not without, above, or against them; this means welcoming and witnessing to the Gospel's beauty; loving each other, sharing joy and suffering, and learning how to forgive.  The Holy Spirit guides us towards full knowledge of Christ’s teachings, and Jesus came to acquaint us with the Father; everything revolves around the Trinity.  Live remembering for which glory you exist, work, fight, and suffer, and the immense prize you're called to participate in.  May Mary help the Church to be a hospitable community where everyone, especially the poor and marginalized, finds a warm welcome.

    To Science and Life Association  Christ's love urges us to become servants of the small and the elderly, of everyone, recognizing and protecting the primordial right to life.  Fix your gaze on the sacredness of life and the human person, so that science may be at our service, not vice versa.  Society’s progress is measured by its ability to protect life, especially in its most fragile stages.  Remember attacks on life:  abortion, leaving people on the boats in the Sicilian channel, death in the workplace, malnutrition, terrorism, war, violence, euthanasia....  Promote a culture of life, and embark in fruitful dialogue with the world of science.

    • Dt 4:32-34, 39-40  Moses:  "Did anything so great ever happen?  Did a people hear the voice of God from fire and live?  Did any god take a nation as the Lord did for you?  The Lord is God; there's no other.  Keep his commandments, that you and your children may prosper, and that you may have long life"
    • Ps 33:4-6, 9, 18-20, 22  "Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own."  The Lord's works are trustworthy.  He loves justice and right.  By his word the heavens were made.  The Lord's eyes are on those who hope for his kindness.  Our soul waits for the Lord, our help and shield.
    • Rom 8:14-17  Those led by the Spirit of God are God's children.  You received a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, “Papa!”  The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we're God's children and heirs, joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer and be glorified with him.
    • Mt 28:16-20  The eleven disciples worshiped Jesus but doubted.  Jesus:  "All power has been given to me.  Go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all I commanded you.  I am with you always."
        Holy Trinity, fresco by Rossetti da Orta
      • Creighton:  "God is not something vague, abstract, sentimental, or a 'God spray'; he's tangible, Love, with the love of the Father, origin of life, the love of the Son who died and was raised, the love of the Spirit who renews us all.   Thinking that God is love teaches us to love and give ourselves as Jesus did. Jesus walks beside usthrough life." (Pope Francis, Trinity Sunday 2014)
      Celebrate today not by thinking about concepts about the Trinity but rather by opening your heart to a deeper relationship with God, who is love.  We can have a relationship with each Person of the Trinity:  resting in the the merciful and faithful Father 's embrace (surrendering doubts, fears, wounds, judgments, and angers), celebrating Jesus' life, death, resurrection, and presence (loving him and asking to lay down our lives for others as he did), and accepting the Spirit's healing and peace (celebrating his work in and around us, letting him express our deep desires, help us choose mercy, reconciliation, care, and peace, and letting him inflame us to renew the face of the earth).
      • One Bread One Body:  "Father's Day":  We're created to be baptized  (immersed) in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, preoccupied with and consumed by the Trinity.  We enter into Trinitarian love and life through Jesus, the Way to the Father and the One Who baptizes us in the Spirit.  The Father reveals the Son, and the Spirit witnesses for Jesus, proclaiming Jesus as Lord.  To be drawn more deeply into God's love, the Spirit cries out in our hearts, "Abba, Father."  When we know the Father's love personally, we're immersed in the Trinity, though we may withdraw from it if we quench the Spirit by not trusting God, forgiving others, or repenting of sin.
        Old Testament Trinity icon/ Rublev
      • Passionist:  The Sign of the Cross is a powerful statement of faith; when I make it, I submit each action, deed, and thought to God.  When I say thank you, make someone laugh, work, or judge or hurt someone, God the Father, Son, and Spirit is there.  It’s easier to recognize God's work in good deeds and love we feel than in tragedy, betrayal, disease, and death.   O God, help me see you at work always and everywhere and act like a good and beloved child of the Trinity.
      •  Jesus' mission is to reveal God's glory to us and unite us with God in a community of love.  The Jews understood God as Creator and Father and understood Israel as God's firstborn son. Jesus revealed the Father in an unheard of sense:  by his relationship to his Son.   Jesus' and the Spirit's missions are the same.  Jesus revealed the Spirit as Paraclete and Helper to be with Jesus' disciples to teach and guide them.  In baptism we are called to share in the life of the Trinity.
      "What an astonishing mystery!  There is one Father of the universe, one Logos (Word) of the universe, and one Holy Spirit, everywhere one and the same...."  (St. Clement of Alexandria)
      The Spirit reveals the Father and Son to us and gives us faith to know and understand God's word.  Through the Spirit, we proclaim our faith.  Jesus promised that he would be with his disciples always and give them the Spirit's power to be his witnesses.  God's love and salvation is for the whole world.
      "May the Lord Jesus put his hands on our eyes also, for then we shall look not at what is seen but at what is not seen....  May he unseal the heart's vision, that we may gaze on God in the Spirit, through the same Lord, Jesus Christ, whose glory and power will endure...." (Origen)

      May 30, 2015

      May 30

      May 30, 2015:  Saturday, 8th week, Ordinary Time

      • 'Owl' tie pin:  I sought, delighted in, heeded, and attained wisdom (1st reading); the Lord's decree gives wisdom (psalm)
      • 'Jubilee year' button:  The Lord's precepts give joy (psalm)
      • 'Eyeball' pin:  The Lord's command enlightens the eye (psalm)
      • Gold-colored accessories:  The Lord's ordinances are more precious than gold;... (psalm)
      • 'Honey' tie:  ...they're sweeter than honey (psalm)
      • '?' tie pin:  “By what authority are you doing these things?”  Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin?”  Shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”  (gospel)
      • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time (season)

      • Sir 51:12cd-20  I thank and praise the Lord.  When I was young, I sought, prayed for, and delighted in wisdom and kept to the level path.  I became devoted to her, strove for good, and attained her.
      • Ps 19:8-11  "The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart."  The law of the Lord is perfect, trustworthy, right, clear, pure, true, just, precious, and sweet.
      • Mk 1:27-33  Chief priests... / Jesus:  “By what authority are you doing these things?” / “I'll tell you if you answer my question:  Was John’s baptism of heavenly or human origin?” / (“If we say heavenly, he'll ask why we didn't believe, but we can't say human because the crowd thinks he was a prophet.”)   “We don't know.” / “Then I won't tell you by what authority I do these things.”
        • Creighton:  Jesus challenged the authorities in his ministry.  We walk in balance, being in the world but striving not to be of it.  We're in a state of tension between God's wishes and the world's demands.  We can't let daily challenges reduce our zeal to proclaim the Gospel....
        • One Bread One Body:  "Seek the faithful":  A life of faithfulness is not a popular story; people aren't excited to hear about a priest or sister who accepted their vocation as a child and then never wavered from living their call faithfully.  Seek out and stay close to the faithful; faithfulness is caught more than taught.
        • Passionist:  Man / guru.  “Teach me wisdom.”  / “Pay attention.” / “I am.” / “Pay attention.”  William James:  “The mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”  For that we have to pay attention.  When we paid attention to our parents and teachers, we grew in knowledge.  When we pay attention to nature, we can learn its lessons, and when we pay attention to experience, we learn even more.  But wisdom is more than head knowledge; it's found in action.  The authorities paid attention to scripture and their traditions but not to the man Jesus, and lacked wisdom.  Jesus:  “Eternal life is knowing you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you sent.”  Biblical knowing is being in relationship; eternal life is being in loving relationship with Jesus.  When God's thoughts and will are ours, and his loving heart fills ours, we are “in Christ”  and wise.
        •  Leaders took offense at Jesus because they didn't accept his authority and tried to trap him:  if he answered 'God's authority,' they'd charge him with blasphemy, and if he said his own authority, they'd arrest him as a zealot.  They dodged Jesus' question, unwilling to face truth.  Do I know the joy and freedom of living in God's truth?
          • Luke Kirby, priest, martyr
          • Yorkshire Martyrs Margaret Clitherow (hid Catholic priests), Henry Walpole (lawyer, convert, priest) 20 Blessed and and 30 Venerable companions...

        May 29, 2015

        May 29

        May 29, 2015:  Friday, 8th week, Ordinary Time

        • 'Apple' pin:  “May no one ever eat of your fruit again!” (gospel)

        • 'Money' tie:  Jesus drove money changers from Temple (gospel)

        • 'Tree' pin:  Fig tree withered (gospel)

        • 'Kneeling person' tie bar:  Believe you'll receive what you pray for and it'll be yours (gospel)

        • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time (season)
        From the Vatican
        Pope Francis homily:  Ways of living, from the images of the fig tree, dealers in the temple, and people of faith:
        • Jesus condemns spiritual egoism:  The fig tree symbolizes a sterile life that is unable to give anything or be good to others.  The tree lives for itself, calm, selfish, not wanting problems; Jesus curses it because it hasn't given of itself to produce fruit.  It symbolizes those who live for themselves, doing nothing to help others; they become neurotic.  Jesus condemns sterile spirituality, spiritual egoism.  "May I lack nothing; others can fend for themselves."
        • Don’t make religion a business:  The dealers in the temple were changing money and selling animals for sacrifice, making religion a business by using God’s sacred site to do deals.  Remember too the priest who urged the faithful to make offerings and collected lots of money, even from the poor.  Jesus didn't mince his words when he drove them out:  "My house shall be a house of prayer, but you've turned it into a bandits’ den."  People on pilgrimage to implore God's blessing were being exploited instead of taught....
        • Faith helps others to do miracles:  Jesus gave us the example of a life of faith.  Faith and prayer help bring about miracles.  People with faith ask the Lord who will help them do good things.  But when you pray, first pardon anyone you bear a grudge against, as your Father pardons you.  Living in faith helps others to draw closer to God and creates miracles.
        May God teach us this life of faith and help us and the Church never to succumb to sterility and profiteering.
        Putting humanity at the heart of technology  (Msgr. Tighe, Pontifical Council for Social Communication Secretary):  Good communication is a human, not technical achievement. Don't presume technology alone will bring a better sense of unity or solidarity.  The term “responsible communications” is appropriate; to achieve our goal will take responsible determination and choices by individuals.  We need to make sure we can present our teachings, ideas, and perspectives in ways that will properly be present in a different kind of environment, finding ways to speak about our core values.  We have many strong, well-prepared, highly motivated communicators and technicians; we must work together to be ever more powerfully the Church's voice and presence in emerging digital arenas.  More
        Pope Francis to New Evangelization Council:  The Church is called to evangelize at a time of great change.  To proclaim the Gospel, we need to renew our language so all hearers can understand it.  People want a Church that can walk with them, offering a witness of faith, a Church for the marginalized in solidarity with those on the peripheries.  The meaning of the new evangelization is to become aware of the Father's merciful love for us and to become instruments of salvation.  Catechesis needs to go beyond the school sphere of educating believers; it's an encounter with Christ who awakens the desire to know and follow him better.  The challenge of the new evangelization and catechesis together is to discover the most consistent place to find, meet, and follow Christ.
        • Sir 44:1, 9-13  I'll praise our godly ancestors.  Their virtues are remembered; their heritage remains; their glory will never be blotted out.
        • Ps 149:1b-6a, 9b  "The Lord takes delight in his people." Be glad in your maker; sing and dance in praise; exult in glory.  The Lord loves his people and adorns the lowly with victory.
        • Mk 11:11-26  Jesus saw a barren fig tree and cursed it.  He entered the temple area, saw people selling and buying, and drove them out, overturning money changers' tables and sellers' seats.  “'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples?' but you've made it a robbers' den.”  Next morning, they saw the fig tree withered.  Peter / Jesus:  “Look!  The tree you cursed withered.” / “Have faith in God.  If you tell this mountain, ‘Be thrown into the sea’ and don't doubt, it'll be done.  If you believe you'll receive what you pray for, it'll be yours.  When you pray, forgive anyone you have a grievance against, so your Father may in turn forgive you.”
          • Creighton:  The faithful witness of holy people continues, and the transmission is important to us.  But most folks provide a witness through lives they touch; it's seen and remembered by those who value mercy, tenderness, and wisdom.  Our virtues endure in the mind of God, the cloud of witnesses, and in the goodness they create through lives that touch others.  When Jesus entered the temple area, he “looked around at everything.”  May we pause and look around instead of grasping at things as if we know all about them; it can be hard because it can change our understanding....

          • Christ driving the traders from the temple/ El Greco
            (more paintings and hidden meanings)
          • One Bread One Body:  "A golden finish":  In your "golden years," seal in the heritage you've sown.  Kings Hezekiah and Solomon had great starts in reforming their nation and turning people to God, but they slacked off in later years and left the nation in worse shape than it was before they started.  Jesus warned about laying a foundation but not completing the work.  Build a heritage that will endure for God's glory.
          • Passionist:  Jesus looks angry, with cause.  He didn't want people separated from God’s presence in the temple or anywhere else.   Separation from others and our world is also unjust.  Am I angry enough to “turn over the tables” when I see divisiveness?
          •  Fig trees were a common and important source of food; a decaying tree was linked with spiritual decay.  The barren fig tree symbolized the outcome of Israel's unresponsiveness to God; the prophets saw it as signifying Israel's desolation due to unfaithfulness. Jesus’ cursing of a fig tree is a prophetic action against the faithlessness of those who rejected his message.  Faith must be nourished with God's word and rooted in love.  Jesus' cleansing of the temple was also prophetic.  The money changers took advantage of the poor; their robbery of them not only dishonored God but also was unjust.  Jesus exhorted his disciples to have faith and pray with faith.  "To remove mountains" was an expression for removing difficulties; a teacher who solved difficulties was called a "mountain remover."   If we pray with faith, God will give us the means to overcome obstacles, but if we want God to hear our prayers, we must forgive as God has forgiven us.

          May 28, 2015

          May 28

          May 28, 2015:  Thursday, 8th week, Ordinary Time

          • 'Girl with heart' pin:  God plumbs the depths and penetrates the heart (1st reading)
          • 'Owl' tie pin:  Perennial is God's wisdom (1st reading)
          • 'Guitars' tie:  with the ten-stringed lyre chant the Lord's praises (psalm)
          • 'Eyeball' pin:  Jesus restored sight of 'Blind Bart' (gospel)
          • Green in shirt:  Ordinary Time (season)


          • Mercy, O thou Son of David/ Newton:  tune, lyrics+ (gospel)
          Pope Francis homily
          Examine your conscience to understand what kind of Christian you are:
          • Indifferent, concerned only with their own closed, selfish relationship with Jesus, not hearing others' cries, thinking life is their own little group, content, deaf to the clamor of people needing salvation, living for themselves alone, unable to hear Jesus
          • Silencing cries for Jesus, hearing the cries, but wanting to silence them, like the disciples when they sent away the children "so as not to disturb the Master":  Thinking he's their Master, not everyone's, they send away those who need faith and salvation.  People of affairs, in the Temple, seeming religious, close to Jesus, are here, but Jesus chased them away because they were doing business in God's house.  They prefer to take care of their business and use, instead of hear, God's people.  They don't bear witness; they're Christians in name, but their interior life is worldly; they drive away those who cry out for help from Jesus.  Rigorists, who place burdens on people, belong here too; Jesus rebukes them:  "Hypocrites, you exploit the people!"  They send people away instead of responding to their cries.
          • Coherent, consistent in what they believe and how they live, who help draw near to Jesus people crying out, seeking salvation, grace, and spiritual health.
          • Sir 42:15-25  God penetrates the heart, knows/understands all, sees what's to come, makes known the past and the future.  How beautiful his works!....
          • Ps 33:2-9  "By the word of the Lord the heavens were made."  Give thanks to the Lord; his word is upright and his works trustworthy.  Revere the Lord; he spoke, and it was made.
          • Mk 10:46-52, Msgr. Brennan-proclaimed:  Blind Bartimaeus / Jesus, “Son of David, have pity on me.” / “What do you want me to do for you?” / “Master, I want to see.” / Go; your faith has saved you.”  He received his sight and followed him.
          • Creighton:  Master, I want to see.  I've been entangled in my own life, space, and ideas.  Open my eyes to see the goodness of nature, to let go of my grumbling, to appreciate what life has to offer, to see you in everyone I meet, especially the hurting, unkempt, homeless, hungry, hopeless, and addicted.  And when my time has come, may I hear “Your faith has saved you” like Bartimaeus did.
            Christ healing the blind man/ Le Sueur
          • One Bread One Body:  "Losing your social securities":   We're spiritually blind but by grace can call to Jesus for pity.   When Jesus opens our eyes, we'll see our sin, our lives, and reality as he does.   Do I have the love and faith to be healed, and the guts to see?
          •  Bartimaeus was determined to get near the one who could meet his need.  The crowd was annoyed with his disturbing their peace and interrupting Jesus' teaching, but he was determined to get Jesus' attention.  Jesus could have rebuffed him but showed actions speak louder than words.   Jesus commended Bartimaeus for his eyes of faith and granted him physical sight too. Do I recognize my need for God's healing and seek Jesus with persistent faith?

          May 27, 2015

          May 27

          May 27, 2015:  Wednesday, 8th week, Ordinary Time

          • 'Lights' tie:  Show us the light of your mercies!  (1st reading, psalm)
          • '[Kentucky] sign' pin:  Give new signs and work new wonders.  (1st reading)
          • 'Sheep' tie bar:  We, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you  (psalm)
          • 'Crucifix' pin:  "The Son will be handed over, be condemned to death, mocked, and killed, and will rise" (gospel)
          • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time (season)


          Pope Francis
          To engaged couples:  Engagement is about trust and reliability.  It's beautiful you're undertaking a path where you learn from each other, sharing in this profound commitment.  Love demands deep reflection and an approach fully aware of what it means to enter into marriage, an alliance of love for life.  God’s alliance with his People is like an engagement, and the Church is identified as the bride betrothed to Christ.  Read Manzoni’s “The Betrothed,” a masterpiece on engagement about a couple called to trust in each other deeply as they overcome difficulties and obstacles. 
          Society and culture are increasingly indifferent to marriage and don't help couples in this delicate moment; take a marriage prep course, a precious aid to help reflect on your love, your future, and on the importance of faith and prayer in your shared life.  Pray for people looking forward to marriage, that they may prepare with the wisdom, hope and joy born of their faith.
          To Franciscans:  The world is your cloister...
          • Sir 36:1, 4-5a, 10-17  God, help us, look on us, show us your mercies, give signs, work wonders, fulfill prophecies, reward those who hope in you, hear our prayer, and lead us in the way of justice, so all will know you're God.
          • Ps 79:8, 9, 11, 13  "Show us, O Lord, the light of your kindness."  Help us, deliver us, and pardon our sins; then all will thank and praise you.
          • Mk 10:32-45  Jesus to Twelve:  “The Son of Man will be handed over, condemned, mocked, spat on, scourged, and killed, but after three days he'll rise.”  James and John / Jesus:  "Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” /  “Can you drink the chalice I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I'm baptized?” / "We can." / “Then you will, but the seats aren't mine to give.”  The other ten became indignant at James and John.  “Rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority felt, but if you wish to be great, serve.  The Son of Man didn't come to be served but to serve and to give his life as ransom for many.”
              St. Augustine of Canterbury
            • Creighton:  Jesus warned his disciples he'll suffer and die, then James and John audaciously tell him to grant whatever they ask. Jesus is so patient and forgiving with his apostles, and his loving patience is there for us too....
            • One Bread One Body:  "Cross-words":  The first time Jesus spoke of the cross, Peter reprimanded him, and Jesus rebuked Peter.  After the Transfiguration, he tried again, but they didn't understand and were afraid to question him.  This time they also miss the point.  Do I take the cross to heart and serve others?
            • Passionist:  Mark framed the three Passion predictions with stories of the healing of blind men is to remind us the disciples were blind, unable to see Jesus’ destiny and their own.  How am I reluctant to hear or see what God tries to tell me?  Holiness is sensitivity to God’s presence in my life, "getting on God's wavelength."  Re Moses’ call, Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote:  “Earth’s crammed with heaven, / and every common bush afire with God, But only he who sees takes off his shoes; / The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.” (Aurora Leigh)  How patient the Lord was with his Twelve in their “blindness”! How patient with me when I don’t pay attention.
            •  Jesus called himself “Son of Man,” a common Jewish title for the Messiah.  Isaiah foretold God willed the “Suffering Servant” make atonement for sin.  Jesus set us free from the tyranny of sin and death. He wedded authority with service and sacrifice. What kind of "cup" does the Lord have for me? Physical suffering, or the sacrifices and struggles of daily Christian life?

            May 26, 2015

            Philip Neri

            May 26, 2015:  St. Philip Neri, Priest

            • 'Hand' tie pin:  Appear not before the Lord empty-handed (1st reading)
            • 'Happy faces' tie:  "With each contribution show a cheerful countenance, and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy." (1st reading)
            • 'Abacus' tie pin:  "The Lord will repay you sevenfold" (psalm); "If you give up house, family, or land for Jesus' sake, you'll receive a hundredfold" (gospel)
            • Green in shirt (and socks):  Ordinary Time (season)

            A Christian can't have heaven and earth; don't be attached to things:  In responding to Peter, Jesus doesn't speak of riches but promises the Kingdom, but with persecution, with the cross.  A Christian attached to things gives the impression of one who wants to have both heaven and earth.  When James and John’s mother asked Jesus to secure place at his side for her children, she took the worldly interest in following Jesus.  But at Pentecost the disciples' hearts were cleansed, and they understood everything.  The gratuitousness of following Jesus is the answer to the gratuitousness of love and salvation he gives us.  Wanting to be with Jesus and the world, with poverty and riches, is halfway Christianity; it's the spirit of worldliness.
            Riches, vanity, and pride take us away from Jesus:  These Christians are "limping on two legs" [about translation] because they don't know what they want.  Remember Jesus says "the first shall be last and the last first," meaning the greatest one must be the servant, the smallest.  Following Jesus is serving as he did.  If the Lord gives you the chance to be first, act like the last one:  serve.  If the Lord gives you the ability to have possessions, act in service to others.  Riches are dangerous because they make you vain, you think you're important, and you lose your head and yourself.
            A worldly Christian is a counter-witness:  The Lord wants us to strip ourselves of worldly things.  It took Jesus a long time to get this across to his disciples.  Ask him to teach you this science of service, of humility, of being the last, of service.  It's sad to see a Christian who wants to follow Jesus and worldliness; it distances others from Jesus.  If we leave everything to follow Jesus, Jesus will reward us with resemblance to him:  Big 'recompense', to be like Jesus!
            • Sir 35:1-12  To keep the law is a great offering:  works of charity, almsgiving, refraining from evil, avoiding injustice.  The just one’s offering enriches the altar, rises as a sweet odor before God, is pleasing, and won't be forgotten.  Give to the Most High as he's given to you, generously, cheerfully.  The Lord will give back to you sevenfold....
            • Ps 50:5-8, 14, 23  "To the upright I will show the saving power of God."  Glorify God:  offer praise as your sacrifice, and fulfill your vows.  "I'll show salvation to those who go the right way."
            • Mk 10:28-31  “All who have given up house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or lands for my sake and the Gospel's will receive a hundred times more:  houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, lands, with persecutions, and eternal life.  Many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
              • Creighton:  We spend time and money accumulating and maintaining “stuff” and build attachments to it.  Does my time and effort go there or in service of the gospel?  May I recognize my gifts and respond with gratitude.
              • One Bread One Body:  "The sacrifice":  The Lord revealed to the Jews that sacrifice entailed more than material things, revealing the sacrifices of obedience, charity, and justice.  Jesus revealed that sacrifices involved even more:  persecution and self-sacrifice.  We're called to sacrifice time, preferences, money, and possessions.   The Lord wants us to learn how to share his sufferings by being formed into the pattern of His death.
              • Passionist:  The readings are centered on giving things up to God: keeping the law by doing justice, charity, and giving alms. “Give as God has given to you....”
                St. Philip Neri/ Guercino
                “My God, I love you not so I may gain a greater place in heaven, nor because those who don't love you will burn in hell.  No, my Jesus, while on the tree, you encompassed me in your arms, enduring nails and lance....” (St. Francis Xavier)  He knew Jesus loved him personally and gave himself up for love of him, and he simply had to love back.  We can gaze at Jesus crucified and ponder how he did this for us.  As we gaze, we don’t have to worry about our sins; he'll take care of them:  he'll make them known to us, and we'll deal with them, and the root of our sin, as he wants us to.  Gazing upon the generosity of God’s love will lead us to be generous ourselves.
                •  When we lose our lives for Christ, we gain treasure and an everlasting inheritance. Do I give freely and generously out of love?  After a rich young man went away sad, Peter asked what he and others who accept Jesus would receive, and Jesus told him they'd receive a hundredfold now and later, plus persecution.  Should we be surprised if we're opposed for promoting justice?
                St. Philip Neri
                • Pope Francis (for 500th anniversary):  St. Philip Neri was a renowned pastor and confessor who had special care for poor children, founding for them a school and a college.  Thanks to his apostolate, commitment to salvation of souls returned to be a Church priority; the Church recovered its understanding that pastors have to be with their people to guide and support their faith.  He's a luminous model of the Church's mission.  The Congregation of the Oratory is the first example of secular priests living a communal life....