November 4, 2015

Charles Borromeo

November 4, 2015:  St. Charles Borromeo, Bishop

  • 'Law of Moses' tie:  Love is the fulfillment of the law (1st reading)
  • 'Penny' button:  "Blessed the man who lends to those in need." (psalm)
  • 'Cross' pin:  Whoever doesn't carry his cross can't be my disciple. (gospel)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  What king marching into battle wouldn't decide whether he can be successful?  (gospel)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  If not, he'll send a delegation to ask for peace terms. (gospel)
  • White shirt:  St. Charles Borromeo memorial; the gracious person is a light for the upright (psalm)
1st reading-inspired
For psalm
The family is important as the place we learn the value of forgiveness.  Each day we ask God to forgive us and to grant us the grace to forgive others.  As difficult as forgiveness may be, it is essential for our growth and for our capacity to acknowledge our failures and mend broken relationships.  It's a virtue we learn first in the family.  Forgiveness strengthens families in love and makes society more loving and humane.  It's a rock to build our lives on and a sign of our discipleship and obedience to the Father.  May the coming Jubilee of Mercy encourage all families to rediscover the power of forgiveness, and may it enable the family of the Church to proclaim the power of God’s reconciling love.
  • Rom 13:8-10  "Love your neighbor as yourself" sums up the commandments.  Love does no evil; love fulfills the law.
  • Ps 112:1b-2, 4-5, 9  "Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need."  He is merciful and just, a light for the upright.
  • Lk 14:25-33  "If you don't renounce your possessions, carry your cross, and come after me, you can't be my disciple.  One building a tower first calculates the cost.  If a king marching into battle thinks his troops can't oppose his opponent's, he'll ask for peace terms."
    • Creighton:  Becoming Christ's disciple means a complete dedication of self, an abandonment of other attachments and involvements, far beyond prudence.  You must completely entrust yourself to him, let him dictate the proper attachments, and let him take care your well-being.  If prudence wins, you're not following Jesus with all your heart.  But if we follow Christ, we don't have to worry about perfection, only about loving and serving him as well and generously as we can....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Good to the last drop":  If we don't make our relationship with Jesus "all in all," if we don't take up his cross daily and renounce our possessions, we will not have what it takes to build the tower, fight the war, or run the race.  It takes all our time, effort, and resources. "Our God is a consuming Fire."  Love Jesus as he loves us, heart, soul, strength, and mind....
    •  "The cost of discipleship":  'Hate' often meant to 'prefer less.'  Jesus used strong language to make clear that nothing should take precedence over God.  God put us first in his love and concern, sacrificing his son for us; our love for him is a response to his for us.  We must 'count the cost' and be ready to follow the Lord in the way of the cross.  When my will crosses with God's, his will must be done. The way involves the sacrifice of laying down my life daily; God's love poured out for us makes it possible.  We can't outgive God.
    The men in the parables risk serious loss if they don't plan ahead.  In a shame and honor culture, people want to avoid being mocked for failing to complete a task.  The parables echo Proverbs:  "By wisdom a house is built....  By wise guidance you can wage a war."  Landowners walled in their orchards to protect them from intruders.  A tower was usually built in a corner and a guard posted when thieves would likely try to abscond with the goods.  Not finishing a project because of poor planning would invite the scorn of the village.  Likewise, a king who waged war against a stronger opponent would be considered foolish if he did not come up with a good plan.  Disciples must count the cost, but Jesus offers joy, peace, and happiness to all willing to pay.  He told his disciples it would cost them; we either give our lives to him or keep them for ourselves. "You are not your own.  You were bought with a price."  To place any relationship or possession above God is idolatry.  What/whom do I love  love foremost?
    St. Charles Borromeo
    • Passionist:  St. Charles was a true pastor who accepted Jesus' invitation to faith and service; he helped reform and grow the Church.  As bishop and Cardinal, he encouraged the intellectual and moral growth of clergy and religious.  He helped author the Catechism of the Council of Trent (PDFother formats), started the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) for children's growth in their faith, and helped incorporate the message and teachings of the Council of Trent in his diocese.  He reached out to the poor, sick, hungry, and dying, sacrificing wealth, honor, and influence to serve them.
    Special greetings to and prayers for the community at
    St. Charles Borromeo parish and school!

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