October 1, 2015


October 1, 2015:  St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor

Where are the 14 connections with today?
Legend below


For 1st reading
For gospel

For psalm
Pope Francis homily
The Israelites in their exile remembered their homeland; now the time came for their return and the rebuilding of Jerusalem.  Ezra read them the Law, and they felt God's Word; they experienced joy, and weeping, together.  They found their city, the city of God, and, hearing the Law, rediscovered their identity and wept with joy.
Their identity had weakened during their exile.  "Be not sad," said Nehemiah; "the joy of the Lord is our strength."  It's the joy the Lord gives when we discover who we really are; our identity is lost on the way, in deportations, or self-deportations, when we don't dwell in the house of the Lord.  How can we find our identity?  When you lose what was yours, there's nostalgia, and it brings you back home.  This people wept for joy, for their nostalgia for their true identity led them back home, a grace of God.
If we're full of food, we don't starve.  If we're comfortable where we are, we don't need to go elsewhere.  Ask yourself, ‘Am I calm, happy, not needing anything in my heart?  Is my nostalgia turned off?’  Look on this happy people, who wept and were joyful.  A heart that doesn't know nostalgia isn't joyful, can't feast, and this journey ends in a feast.  The people rejoice because they understood the words proclaimed to them.  Their hearts' longing spurred them forward.  How is our nostalgia for God?  Are we happy?  Do we want to move forward?  May our longing for God never be extinguished.
  • Neh 8:1-4a, 5-6, 7b-12  The people called on Ezra to bring forth the book of the law.  He brought it before them and read, and all listened attentively.  As he opened the scroll, everyone rose.  He blessed the Lord, and they answered, “Amen!” and bowed.  Ezra interpreted so all could understand.  Then Nehemiah, Ezra, and the Levites told the people:  “Today is holy to the Lord.  Don't be sad or weep.  Go, eat and drink, and allot portions to those with nothing.  Rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength!”  Levites:  “Hush, for today is holy....”  All ate and drank, distributed portions, and celebrated, for they understood.
  • 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, giving wisdom, joy, and light.
  • Lk 10:1-12  Jesus appointed and sent 72 disciples:  “The harvest is abundant but laborers few; ask the harvest master to send out laborers.  Go; I send you like lambs among wolves.  Carry no money, sack, or sandals, and greet no one along the way.  Into houses you enter, say, ‘Peace.’  If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it'll return to you.  Stay in the same house and eat what they offer you.  When they welcome you, cure the sick and say, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand’; when they don't, say, ‘We shake off the dust of your town against you.’  But know the Kingdom is at hand; it'll be more tolerable for Sodom....”
St. Thérèse
    Thérèse at 13
  • Universalis:  St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus (Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin) became Carmelite nun at 15, patroness of missions, wrote memoirs under obedience, died of TB at 24; see acclaimed biography by Bishop Guy Gaucher.  Thérèse was weak and vulnerable but not discouraged, hearing from St John of the Cross that God won't inspire desires that can't be fulfilled.  Her “little way” means letting Jesus' love wash away our sins and imperfections.  Seize daily opportunities of grace and advance to heaven in tiny steps. Weakness is no excuse for mediocrity.
    • Creighton:  St. Thérèse followed Jesus, enduring ill health, jealousy and criticism from her Carmelite community, and spiritual desolation even while dying.  From her cloister she offered her life and sufferings for God’s Kingdom, praying especially for priests.  May we imitate her by embracing our daily joys, works, and sufferings and by living love.
    • Passionist:  St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the “Little Flower,” had a brief but remarkable life; Pius X called her “the greatest saint of the modern era.”  She was recognized as a “doctor” of the Church for her “little way” of humility, love, fidelity, and authenticity in the ordinary.  She had strong missionary zeal; she wanted to be “apostle of the apostles.”  Pope Francis has a special devotion to her.  The night before he was elected, he told the Cardinals that people speak of Jesus knocking on the door of the Church wanting to get in, but maybe he's knocking to get out—into the world to bring the gospel to everyone.  May we embody the missionary spirit as Thérèse did.
      • One Bread One Body:  "Saying grace":  Jesus "graces" us for discipleship, vs. selling us.  Don't compromise...
      • DailyScripture.net:  Jesus gave his disciples a vision of a field ready to be harvested.  Harvest is the fruition of labor, from  sowing of seeds, through growth, to reaping of fruit.  Isaiah's prophecy of a time wolves and lambs will dwell in peace refers to the Lord's second coming when all will be under Jesus' lordship.  Meanwhile, the disciples must expect opposition; we must be willing to offer our lives for our Savior.  Seventy was significant number in biblical times:  Moses chose 70 elders.  The Sanhedrin had 70 members.  Seventy was held to be the number of world nations.  Jesus commissioned 70 to speak in his name and act with his power.   God commissions us to share his word boldly and plainly....
      Dress legend
      • 'Scroll' pin:  Ezra opened the scroll and read from the law of Moses (1st reading)
      • 'Jubilee year' button:  "Rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength!” (1st reading)
      • 'Apple being eaten' pin:  They went to eat, drink, and celebrate (1st reading)
      • 'Owl' tie pin:  The Lord's decree gives wisdom (psalm)
      • 'Girl with heart' pin:  The Lord's precepts rejoice the heart (psalm)
      • 'Eyeball' pin:  The Lord's command enlightens the eye (psalm)
      • Gold-colored accessories:  The Lord's ordinances are more precious than pure gold... (psalm)
      • 'Honey' tie:  ...and sweeter than honey from the comb (psalm)
      • 'Lamb' tie bar:  I'm sending you like lambs among wolves. (gospel)
      • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  When you enter, say, "Peace to this household." (gospel)
      • 'Hand' tie pin:  Tell them, "The Kingdom of God is at 'hand'..." (gospel); the people raised their hands after Ezra's reading (1st reading)
      • 'Feet' pin:  Where they don't receive you, shake the dust off your feet (gospel)
      • White shirt:  St. Thérèse, virgin
      • Sandals (not shown so not counted above :-):  Carry no sandals (gospel)

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