September 23, 2015

Padre Pio

September 23, 2015:  St. Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest

  • 'Blood drop' and 'nail' pins:  Padre Pio's stigmata
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  I stretched out my hands to the Lord (1st reading); No one can escape his hand (psalm)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  Exalt the King of ages (psalm)
  • 'Feet' pin:  When you're not welcomed, shake the dust from your feet (gospel)
  • White shirt:  liturgical color for St. Pius/Padre Pio

Pope Francis in Santiago, Cuba

Homily:   The Lord calls us out of our house; God’s presence pushes us to do something.  We're visited so we can visit, encountered so we'll encounter others; we receive love so we can give it.  The joy of knowing God is with us gets our heart beating and legs moving.  When the Lord told Mary, about 16, she'd be the Savior's mother, she went to serve her cousin.  Mary visits men, women, children, the elderly, the young.  She's visited and accompanied many in their struggles and continues to bring us the Word of Life, her Son.  Here she's venerated as Mother of Charity.  “When we look to Mary, we believe again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness” (Evangelii Gaudium, 288).

We're asked to live the revolution of tenderness as Mary did, to “leave home” and open our hearts to others.  Our tenderness and joy become closeness and compassion and lead us to service.  Our faith calls us out to visit the sick, the prisoner, and those who mourn.  It makes us able to laugh and rejoice with others.  We want to be a Church which serves, going forth to accompany life, sustain hope, show unity. build bridges, break down walls, sow reconciliation, and accompany people's “pregnant” situations; a Church committed to life, culture, and society, walking with our brothers and sisters.
Our greatest treasure is to learn like Mary to set out on the path of visitation.  Pray with her; her prayer is of remembrance and gratitude; it's the canticle of God's People on pilgrimage; it's the living reminder that God passes through our midst, the memory that God has looked upon our lowliness and come to our aid as he promised.

To families:  When we come together as family, we feel at home.  Thank God and you for the warmth, welcome, and acceptance.

Jesus worked his first miracle at a family party.  Weddings are special times; they show us the joy and hope of young spouses and are an opportunity to be grateful.  Jesus entered into that sowing and reaping, of quests, efforts, and commitments.  He began his life in a family and continues to enter into our homes.
Note how Jesus shows up at dinners; he's not choosy.  And when he sent his disciples out, he told them to stay in the same house....  Today too Jesus chooses good and bad family times to show us God's love and help us discover the Spirit in our lives.  At home we learn to receive, to appreciate life, to realize we need one another; we forgive, are forgiven, and grow.  There's no room for masks; we are who we are and are called to do our best for others.  That's why we call families “domestic churches.”  Faith fills every corner, builds community; we discover God’s love present and at work.
Family experiences are disappearing.  We're growing apart, we have fewer moments in common, we don’t know how to be patient, ask permission or forgiveness, or say thanks.  Our homes are growing empty of relationships, contact, and encounter.  Without family, life grows empty; our network weakens.  Family saves us from fragmentation and uniformity, where people become isolated.  Divided, broken, or rigidly uniform societies are the result of broken family bonds.
The family teaches us to open our hearts to and be attentive to others.  Families are an opportunity, not a problem; care for, protect, and support them.  Perfect families, husbands, wives, parents, and children don't exist, but families are the answer.  God inspires us to love, and love engages with the beloved.  Care for our families, schools for the future, spaces of freedom, and centers of humanity.  The Eucharist is the meal of Jesus’ family; Jesus the Bread of Life wants to be present to nourish, sustain, and help us.
  • Ezr 9:5-9  I rose, fell on my knees, and said to the Lord, “I'm too ashamed to raise my face to you, for our guilt reaches to heaven.  We've been delivered up for our wicked deeds to foreign kings, the sword, captivity, pillage, and disgrace.  And now the Lord has given us mercy and relief.  We're slaves, but God has turned the Persian kings' good will toward us, giving us new life to restore the house of God....
  • Tobit 13:2, 3-4abefghn, 7-8  "Blessed be God, who lives for ever."  He scourges, then has mercy; casts down and brings up.  Praise him; though he's scattered you, he's shown you his greatness.  Bless the Lord, King of ages....
  • Lk 9:1-6  Jesus gave power and authority to the Twelve and sent them to proclaim the Kingdom and heal the sick:  “Take nothing.  Stay at and leave from whatever house you enter.  When they don't welcome you, shake the dust from your feet.”  They set out to proclaim the good news and cure diseases.
    • Creighton:  We're to share the good news and point people to God, but sometimes all we can do is sow seeds....
    • Passionist:  Though the people were in exile because of their sins, God had not abandoned them, and they were allowed to come home.  God keeps showing us mercy and offering new life.  Jesus sent the apostles out to help people rebuild their lives.  We're called to be his instruments of mercy to others.
      Padre Pio
    •  What kind of power and authority does God want you to exercise?  He can change our lives. Jesus wedded power and authority with love and humility, teaching us to use power for others' good.  He tells the apostles to travel light so they'll be free from greed and make room for God's provision. The Lord wants us to depend on him, not ourselves; he wants to work in and through us.  Do I place myself at his service?
    Today's saints, thanks to Universalis

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