August 1, 2015

Aug. 1

August 1, 2015:  St. Alphonsus Liguori, bishop and doctor

  • 'Jubilee year' pin:  Celebrate year of jubilee every 50 years (1st reading)
  • 'Tie with grapes and other fruit':  Don't pick the grapes from untrimmed vines (1st reading); earth has yielded its fruits (psalm) [trumped 'doctor's office' tie for St. Alphonsus, 'doctor' of the Church]
  • 'Scales of justice' pin:  You rule the peoples in equity (psalm)
  • 'Headless skeleton' tie pin:  Herod had John the baptist beheaded (gospel)
  • White shirt:  color of St. Alphonsus day

  • Sign me up [for the Christian jubilee]/ Yancy, Metcalfe:  about  (1st reading-inspired)

  • The Dance of the Seven Veils from the Strauss opera Salome fits with the gospel, but what you'd find on YouTube might include adult content (which I keep off this blog).
Pope Francis
Prayer intentions for August
  • That volunteers may give themselves generously to the service of the needy (universal)
  • That setting aside our very selves we may learn to be neighbors to those who find themselves on the margins of human life and society (for evangelization)

In line with today's 1st reading, don't forget the Jubilee Year of Mercy Pope Francis recently announced!
  • Lv 25:1, 8-17  Lord to Moses:  “Sound the trumpet every 50 years on the Day of Atonement and make holy the jubilee year:  proclaim liberty, return to your property, and don't sow or reap aftergrowth.  When you sell or buy land, deal fairly, basing prices on the time since the last jubilee.  Stand in fear of your God.

  • Ps 67:2-3, 5, 7-8  "O God, let all the nations praise you!"  You rule in equity.  You have blessed us.  May the ends of the earth fear you!

Salome with the Head of John the Baptist

  • Mt 14:1-12  Herod to servants:  “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead; that's why power is at work in him.”  He had arrested and imprisoned him on account of Herodias, his brother's wife; John had told him, “It's not lawful for you to have her.”  He wanted to kill him but feared the people, who regarded him a prophet.  But at a birthday celebration, Herodias's daughter's dance delighted Herod so much that he promised her whatever she'd ask.  Prompted by her mother:  “Give me John's head.”  John was beheaded, and his head given to the girl, who took it to her mother.  His disciples took the corpse and buried him.
    • Creighton:  Keeping the law reminded faithful Jews that God loved and chose them; John challenged Herod about living with Herodias because it didn't distinguish Herod from unfaithful tribes. / Herod was bothered by Jesus, and he wanted to get rid of him, likely feeling he was threatening his kingdom.  How do I feel threatened by Jesus' teachings?
      St. Alphonsus Liguori
    • One Bread One Body:  "Who's the real prisoner?"  John the Baptist was a prisoner, but he was free, bold, prophetic, and unable to be manipulated; he stood up to Herod, speaking the truth.  Herod was powerful but fearful, delusional, guilt-ridden, and easily manipulated:  he appeared to triumph over John, but John's reproach reverberated in him. He thought he could stop him by incarceration, but John's message lived on.  Imprisoned in fear and lust, he couldn't stand up to his stepdaughter.  He was so fearful and guilt-ridden that when he heard of  Jesus' miracles, he thought John had been raised from the dead.  Who are the Herods in my life that threaten and punish me for speaking truth?  May I not let those prisoners keep me from being strong and free in Christ...
    • Passionist:  In the jubilee year, the land was to lie fallow to let it rest, debts were to be forgiven, and care was to be shown for the needy.  The idea of the command not to plant or sow was to be a reminder that the land was God's gift from God, not a personal possession.  Fair dealing with neighbors was an expression of reverence for God.  In the gospel Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great, orders John the Baptist's beheading, succumbing to his ego and promise to his stepdaughter despite his fear of John as a prophet.  The readings remind us that caring for the earth, God's gift entrusted to us, and condemning violence are deeply religious issues..

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