January 31, 2016

4th Sun., Ordinary Time

January 31, 2016:  Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

See ten connections with today?
Legend below
For next Sunday
Pope Francis Angelus
The balloons symbolize peace
The only privilege in God's eyes is to have no privileges and to be abandoned in God's hands.  Don't treat religion as a human investment and think you can bargain with God to obtain your interests, but open your heart to the Lord and his Revelation.  When Jesus spoke at the Synagogue, he mentioned great prophets like Elijah and Elisha who weren't given credit; then he was driven out but passed through their midst.  The passage is fulfilled today as it was during Jesus' time.
God cares for all his creatures, even the smallest and the most insignificant in our eyes, and he always takes the first step, visiting us with his mercy and raising us from our sins.  He holds out his hand to draw us back from the abyss and invites us to welcome the Gospel and walk on the right paths.  He looks for us; and no human condition can exclude us from his heart.
  • Jer 1:4-5, 17-19  Before you were born, I knew you and appointed you prophet.  Tell them all I command you.  I've fortified you and am with you to deliver you.

  • Ps 71:1-6, 15-17  "I will sing of your salvation."  Hear and rescue me; I take refuge in you.

  • 1 Cor 12:31—13:13  If I speak in tongues, or prophesy, or have knowledge and faith, or give away all I have, but don't have love, I gain nothing.  Love is patient and kind, not jealous, pompous, inflated, rude, self-interested or quick-tempered.  Love rejoices in the truth, bears, believes, hopes, and endures; it never fails.  Prophecies, tongues, and knowledge will end.  We know and prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.  I used to act like a child, but now that I'm grown, I put childish ways aside.  We see indistinctly but will see face to face.  I know partially now but shall know fully.  Faith, hope, love remain, but the greatest is love.
  • Lk 4:21-30  Jesus spoke in the synagogue:  “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”  All spoke highly of him and were amazed. They asked, “Isn’t this Joseph's son?”  He said to them, “No prophet is accepted in his own native place:  there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, but he was sent only to a widow in Zarephath.  There were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha, but only Naaman the Syrian was cleansed.”  When they heard this, they were furious, drove him out, and led him up a hill to hurl him down, but he passed through them and left.
Roamin' Catholic Report for early Sunday morning Mass
Music selections:

    • Preparation of gifts:  classical instrumental
Unfortunately, everything but the Lamb of God was instrumental; fortunately the organist was good and played an especially good arrangement of the Communion song.  I understand the early Mass crowd may want a short Mass, but I'd suggest chanting the Alleluia and Great Amen so they'd be singing (some :-) in both the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist; it wouldn't add any time either.
Homily:  Good, and short:  Trust Jesus, not like the people at the Nazareth synagogue who became furious
(I try to post a "Roamin' Catholic" report whenever I don't play at my home parish.  More reports)
    • Creighton:  “The word of the Lord came to me”:  The 1st reading, psalm, and 2nd reading all speak of love.  The Lord and I are entwined in a love relationship beyond understanding.  The Lord's love for me sustains me, and I I struggle to live in the fullness of his love.  Jesus suffered the pain of temptation but was faithful to his Father, then returned, filled with the Spirit, and taught and was praised, but not by his own people, who doubted he could be the fulfillment of scripture.  Though the gospel ends with Jesus going away, we know he returned to those in doubt, pain, hurt, and unbelief and didn't leave.  The Lord's love is constant....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "To love is divine":  We must love, but true love is humanly impossible; we must ask the Lord for it.  He loves us first and purifies us through obedience.  The Spirit graces us with faith, virtue, discernment, self-control, perseverance, piety, care for our brothers and sisters, and finally love.  God, Love, is the Source of love....
    • Passionist:  Today’s Gospel picks up just after Jesus was tempted in the desert for 40 days and remained faithful.  He reveals himself to the people who know him best, who likely had a hard time accepting who he said he was, and his mission.  The reading foreshadows the end of Jesus' life:  it begins with people praising him and being amazed but ends with them furious, taking him up a mountain to hurl him down.  Loved and accepted, but then pushed to death.  Those who praised Jesus on Palm Sunday would later scream, “Crucify him!”  God nevertheless pursued us.  How has God pursued me, and how have I tried to thwart him?  What finally led me to accept him?
    • DailyScripture.net:  Do you believe God wants to act with power in your life today, to heal leprosy of soul and body?  "Naaman was sent to the Jordan as to the remedy capable to heal a human being.  Sin is the leprosy of the soul, though our senses don't perceive it.  We must be delivered from it by Christ's power.  Naaman represents all our purification through baptism." (Ephrem the Syrian, Commentary on 2 Kings 5.10-1)  The Lord wants to renew in each of us the gift of faith and regenerating power of baptism and the Spirit that cleanses us of the leprosy of sin and makes us God's "newborn" children.
    When Jesus first proclaimed the good news to his own townspeople, he confronted them with their sin of indifference and unbelief, startling them by saying no prophet could receive honor among his own people.  He then angered them, complimenting Gentile "outsiders" who had shown more faith than Jews.  They threw him out and would have done him harm had he not stopped them.  We all need God's grace and merciful help every day.  He'll set us free if we let him cleanse and heal us.
      • John Bosco, priest, cared for the young (night classes, boarding house...), founded the Salesians
      • Thomas Green (Reynolds) and Alban Roe, priests and martyrs
    Dress legend
    • 'Musical note' tie pin:  "I will sing of your salvation" (psalm)
    • 'Rock' tie pin:  You are my rock (psalm)
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  Rescue me from the hand of the wicked (psalm); "If I 'hand' my body over but don't have love, I gain nothing" (2nd reading)
    • 'Hearts' suspenders:  Love (2nd reading)
    • 'Bear' tie bar:  Love 'bears' all things (2nd reading)
    • 'Eyeball' pin:  We see indistinctly but will see face to face (2nd reading)
    • 'We work together' tie:  Isn't he Joseph [the carpenter]'s son (gospel)
    • 'Car' tie pin:  Furious, they 'drove' him out of the town (gospel)
    • Green shirt and jacket:  Ordinary Time (season)

    January 30, 2016

    Jan. 30

    January 30, 2016:  Saturday, 3rd week, Ordinary Time

    • 'Ewe lamb' tie bar:  poor man's ewe; "that man is 'you'" (1st reading, 2 Sm 12:7)
    • 'Sword' tie pin:  (See here, the day it fell off during the OneLife LA march)  "The sword shall never depart from your house" (1st reading)
    • 'Girl with heart' pin:  "Create a clean heart in me" (psalm)
    • 'Blood drop' pin:  Free me from blood guilt... (psalm)
    • 'Musical note' tie pin:  "Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise." (psalm)
    • 'Boats' tie:  Disciples took Jesus in the boat, and other boats were with him (gospel)
    • Green in shirt:  Ordinary Time season

    Pope Francis Jubilee audience
    As Christians, we're called to be missionaries of the Gospel.  Just as we naturally share with others the beautiful moments of our lives, we're called also and especially to share the joy of encountering Christ.  To encounter Jesus is to experience his love, that transforms us and compels us to share it.
    Every Christian is a bearer of Christ.  The Father gives us mercy not solely for our benefit, but for the good of all, by transforming us into instruments, missionaries of mercy.  The mercy we receive from the Father is a private consolation, but it also makes us tools so others may receive the same gift.  Never tire of feeling the need of his forgiveness, because when we're weak, his proximity makes us strong and enables us to live our faith with greater joy.
      Ewe lambs
    • 2 Sm 12:1-7a, 10-17  Nathan / David:  “A rich man took a poor man's ewe to cook for his guest.” / “He deserves to die.” / “You are the man!  God says the sword shall never depart from you because you took Uriah's wife.” / “I have sinned.” / “The Lord has forgiven you, but the child must die.”  The child became desperately ill, and David begged God for him.
    • Ps 51:12-17  "Create a clean heart in me, O God."  Give me back the joy of your salvation.  Open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
    • Mk 4:35-41  A squall filled a boat with water while Jesus was asleep.  The disciples woke him, he rebuked the wind, calm ensued, and he asked, “Why are you terrified?  Where's your faith?”  They wondered, “Who is he whom even wind and sea obey?”
    Named after 1st reading
    • Creighton:  God’s mercy is available for everyone who truly wants it.  King David was a great sinner:  bloodthirsty, a violent, short-tempered, adulterous, murderer.  He knew his wrongs and that he deserved death for them.  But he confessed his sin to the Lord, and God forgave him.  If I think some are beyond God’s mercy or wish they were, I don't understand God's mercy...,
      Christ in the storm on the Lake of Galilee
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Only convicts are free":  David committed adultery, lied, and had people killed, but he didn't feel very guilty because sin can blind and numb.  But once Nathan convicted David of his sins, David repented.  We too need to be convicted of our sins; the Holy Spirit convicts us "about sin, justice, and condemnation" and convinces us there's hope for us because of our Father's mercy and the cleansing power of Jesus' blood....
    • Passionist:  In today’s gospel, Jesus' disciples didn't yet trust him enough.  The Church has endured turbulence and storms but stays afloat, and the ministry of fishing, of saving, goes on.  The Church has been “afflicted but not crushed: perplexed but not driven to despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down by not destroyed.”  When you encounter storms, remember our Father is at the helm and won't let you be crushed, forsaken, or destroyed.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Why are you afraid?"  Jesus' sleeping presence on the storm-tossed sea reveals his disciples' sleeping faith.  The Lord, ever present to us, asks us, "Why are you afraid?  Have you no faith?"  Faith is a gift from God; the Spirit moves and opens us to understand and accept God's truth and to relate to God rightly and confidently by believing and adhering to his word.  Fear need not cripple or rob us. Courage and faith enable us to embrace God's truth and love with confidence and act on it with hope.  God's love strengthens us in faith and enables us to act justly towards our neighbor.  May I let his love rule my heart, mind, and will....

    January 29, 2016

    Jan. 29

    January 29, 2016:  Friday, 3rd week, Ordinary Time

    • 'Crown' tie bar:  Kind David (1st reading, psalm)
    • NEW 'Camera' and 'eyeball' tie pins:  David spying Bathsheba (1st reading), "I have done evil in your eyes" (psalm)
    • 'Girl with heart' pin:  "Create in me a clean heart" (psalm)
    • 'Skeleton' tie pin:  "The bones you have crushed will rejoice" (psalm)
    • White, green in shirt:  "wash me, and I'll be whiter than snow" (skipped verse of psalm); Ordinary Time season
    • 'Fruits' tie:  "of its own accord the land yields fruit" (gospel)

    Pope Francis homily
    We can sin often, and always return to God for forgiveness, confident he'll grant it, but if we become corrupt and no longer see the need to be forgiven, problems begin. The corrupt feel they don’t need God, as King David when he became enamored with Bathsheba.  When he found out she was pregnant, he tried to cover up his adultery. and when that didn't work, he had her husband killed. 
    David is a saint, but also a sinner; yet God loves him very much.  See how sin passes to corruption, as can happen in our own lives; it's easy when you have power like David did.  Sin can become corruption; then we think we don't need forgiveness.  Pray that the Lord save the Church, the Pope, Bishops, priests, the consecrated, and the lay faithful, from corruption.  We're all sinners, but may we never become corrupt!
    • 2 Sm 11:1-4a, 5-10a, 13-17  David saw a beautiful woman bathing, learned she was Uriah's wife, and had relations with her.  He sent Uriah home; when he didn't go, he ordered him placed up front to be killed in battle.
    • Ps 51:3-7, 10-11  "Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned."  I acknowledge my offense against you.  Let me rejoice.
    • Mk 4:26-34  The Kingdom is like a man scattering seed that yields fruit he harvests.  The Kingdom is like a mustard seed that grows large.  He spoke parables to all and explained them to his disciples.
      • Creighton:  This episode of David’s life is not provided to point fingers; rather, the focus in the psalm is the grace of God, who forgives him and lets him continue as king.  The psalm describes God with the Hebrew words hanan (mercy), hesed (steadfast love), and rahamim (compassion).  When we experience God’s mercy and forgiveness, we can stop hurting ourselves and others.
        Mustard bush (gospel)
      • One Bread, One Body:  "A sin-sick Church":  Even if the Church in some areas is as small as a mustard seed, it will grow.  Christians are weak, but the Church will become strong, for God's power reaches perfection in our weakness.  But our sins can curtail and delay the growth.  Sin hurts the Church, our families, ourselves, the poor, children, and everyone.  May we repent by God's grace....
      • DailyScripture.net:  "What the kingdom of God is like":  The tiny mustard seed grew to be a tree that attracted numerous birds who loved its seeds.  Similarly, God's kingdom starts from small beginnings in our hearts, works unseen, and causes transformation from within.  We can't become like God till he gives us the Spirit's power.  When we yield to the Lord and allow his word to take root, our lives are transformed.
      The "tree of the cross" spread its branches and grew into a community of faith offering its fruit to the whole world:  "We must sow this seed in our minds and let it grow into a great tree of understanding elevating our faculties; then it'll spread out branches of knowledge, the savor of its fruit will make our mouths burn, its kernel will inflame us, and its taste will dispel our repugnance.  A mustard seed is an image of God's kingdom:  Christ is the kingdom of heaven.  Sown like a seed in Mary's womb, he grew up into the tree of the cross whose branches stretch across the world.  Crushed in the mortar of the passion, its fruit has flavored and preserved every living creature it comes in contact with.  As long as a mustard seed remains intact, its properties lie dormant; but when it's crushed they're evident.  So it was with Christ; he chose to have his body crushed to reveal its power….  He became all things to restore us in himself.  He received the mustard seed that represents God's kingdom; as a man he received it, though as God he'd always possessed it.  He sowed it in his garden, his bride the Church, a garden extending over the world, tilled by the plow of the gospel, fenced in by doctrine and discipline, cleared of weeds by apostles' labor....  When he promised the patriarchs a kingdom, the seed took root in them; with the prophets it sprang up; with the apostles it grew; in the Church it became a great tree of gift-laden branches.  Take the wings of the psalmist’s dove, gleaming in the sunlight, and fly to rest among those branches.  No snares will trap you there; fly with confidence and dwell in its shelter." (Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 98, paraphrased)
      • Passionist:  Our smallest action can help build God's kingdom....

      January 28, 2016

      Thomas Aquinas

      January 28, 2016:  St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor

      • 'Crown' tie bar:  King David (1st reading); God will give him David's throne (psalm)
      • 'Mansion' button:  Bless the house of your servant (1st reading)
      • 'Eyeball' pin:  I'll give my eyes no sleep (psalm)
      • 'Lights' tie:  Don't you place lamps on lampstands?  Everything will come to light.  See below re wire. (gospel)
      • 'Ruler' tie bar:  The measure you measure will be measured to you (gospel)
      • White in shirt:  Liturgical color for St. Thomas

      For gospel
      For psalm
      From St. Thomas Aquinas
      Pope Francis
      Homily:  We Christians received God's light in Baptism and must give it.  We're witnesses of Christ, God's Light, so we must show his light.  When I prefer my own darkness, I'm not a true Christian; I need to put the light on the lampstand of my life.

      Jesus says: "The measure you measure will be measured to you, and more will be given you."  Christians are magnanimous, because we're children of a magnanimous father, of great heart.  The Christian heart is magnanimous, always open, never selfishly closed in or calculating/limiting.  When you enter Jesus' light and friendship and let the Spirit guide you, your heart becomes magnanimous.  You lose, not gain, and in this 'defeat' you gain Jesus; you gain by becoming Jesus’ witness.
      To bioethics committee:  The Church is sensitive to ethical issues.  It's important to serve everyone with attention and care, from the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.  The Church and civil society are called to cooperate.  Biotechnology may never be used detrimental to human dignity, or guided solely by industrial or commercial purposes.  Bioethical research on complex issues isn't easy and doesn't always quickly reach a harmonious conclusion; it requires humility and realism.  Please work in these areas:
      • Interdisciplinary analysis of the causes of environmental degradation:  formulate guidelines, in areas about life sciences, to stimulate conservation, preservation and care of the environment. 
      • Disability and marginalization of the vulnerable:  Tackle “the culture of waste” in its many forms, such as treating human embryos, the sick, and elderly approaching death as disposable. 
      • Increase international dialogue to reach harmonization of biological and medical standards and rules so they recognize core values ​​and fundamental rights.
          1st-century lamp
        • 2 Sm 7:18-19, 24-29  King David prayed:  “Who are we that you have brought me to this point?  You've established your people and have become their God.  Confirm the prophecy you made concerning your servant and his house, and do as you have promised.  Bless the house of your servant, and it shall be blessed forever.”
        • Ps 132:1-5, 11-14  "The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father." Remember David and his anxious care; God swore to set his offspring on the throne.
        • Mk 4:21-25  Is a lamp to be placed under a basket?  All that is hidden will come to light.  The measure you measure will be measured out to you.  Those who have will be given more; the others will lose the little they have.
        St. Thomas Aquinas:  original works online
          • From Fr. Paul Griesgraber's homily:  As a string of Christmas lights, we're lights connected to each other, but we must all be connected to a Power Source.  The 'house' God built for David was his descendants, leading to Jesus himself, in whom we all dwell.
          • Creighton:  My faith is first about God.  Acknowledging God loved us first leads to responding with gratitude to God and love for others.  Christian life is [re]discovering God loved us first, and responding accordingly.  King David was planning to build God a house (temple) till Nathan told him God was going to build him a "house" (dynasty).  What we listen to leads to how we'll “walk....”
          • One Bread, One Body:  "Going to extremes":  The more you share from God's Word, the more you'll receive....
          • Passionist:  St. Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican, taught, wrote, and contributed greatly to philosophy and theology; he's called "Angelic Doctor."  He stopped writing the Summa, his greatest work, about three months before he died, humbly saying, “I can't go on…  All I've written seems to me like straw compared to what I've seen and what's been revealed to me.”  He used the gifts God gave him, and his light continues to shine.  Can we place our lamp on a stand so others may see God's glory?  Can we serve humbly and faithfully as Thomas did?  Can we give up our unfinished agendas and accept God's plan for us and trust that what needs to be accomplished will happen in God’s time?
          • DailyScripture.net:  "The measure you give":  Lamps enable people to see and work in the dark and avoid stumbling.  The Jews understood 'light' as an expression of God's beauty, truth, and goodness. God's grace not only illumines our darkness but also fills us with spiritual light, joy, and peace.  We're to live in the light of Christ's truth and love.  Just as natural light illumines darkness, so the light of Christ shines in our hearts and enables us to see God's kingdom.  We're to be light-bearers of Christ so others may see the truth of the gospel....
          • Universalis:  St. Thomas Aquinas, Benedictine-educated Dominican, reconciled Christianity and Aristotle, wrote Summa Theologica and poetry for Corpus Christi liturgy.  After vision at Mass that made his writings seem like straw, he stopped.  [This great theologian and philosopher is patron of all Catholic educational establishments.]  May the Spirit inspire us to love God with our minds as well as hearts; and if we come across something apparently contradicting our faith, may we investigate...

          January 27, 2016

          Jan. 27

          January 27, 2016:  Wednesday, 3rd week, Ordinary Time

          See 11 connections with today?
          Legend below
          For gospel
          For psalm

          Pope Francis
          General Audience:  The Lord always accompanied the Israelites, and God continues to work.  The Joseph story is an example of grace and reconciliation, and the Jubilee of Mercy is a good opportunity to reconcile with family members.  Moses' leading the Israelites shows that mercy can't remain indifferent in the face of suffering, violence, or slavery.  Suffering can make us feel impotent and tempt us to indifference, but God isn't indifferent; he never looks away from suffering.  He hears the groaning of the poor and intervenes to save them, raising up people to hear their cries and work on their behalf.  As Moses was God’s instrument to free the Israelites, we too can be mediators of God’s mercy.  We can do so many good things!  God made a covenant with his people, creating a privileged relationship.  This relationship, brought to fulfilment in Christ, destroys our sin through forgiveness, and makes us God's children.  May we, because of the mercy God has shown us, cooperate with God in accomplishing works of mercy.
          Communication and Mercy: A Fruitful Encounter (World Communications Day message), concluded:  Email, txt, social networks, and chats can be human communication.  The heart and our capacity to use available means determine whether communication is authentic, not the technology itself.  Social networks can facilitate relationships and promote good but can also lead to polarization and division.  The digital world is a public square where we can either encourage or demean, discuss or attack.  May that this Jubilee Year, lived in mercy, open us to more fervent dialogue so we might know and understand one another better; and that it eliminate closed-mindedness and disrespect, and drive out violence and discrimination” (Misericordiae Vultus, 23).  The internet can help us to be better citizens.  Access to digital networks entails responsibility for the neighbor we don't see but who's nonetheless real and has dignity we must respect.  The internet can be used wisely to build a healthy society open to sharing.
          Communication has opened up broader horizons for many; it's a gift of God that involves great responsibility.  I refer to this power of communication as “closeness.”  The encounter between communication and mercy will be fruitful inasmuch as it generates closeness that cares, comforts, heals, accompanies, and celebrates.  In a broken, fragmented, polarized world, communicating with mercy helps create healthy, free, fraternal closeness between God's children and the one human family. 
          • 2 Sm 7:4-17  God told David via Nathan:  Should you build me a house?  Did I ever ask my judges to build me a house?  I chose you; I've been with you.  I'll establish a house for you.  Your heir shall build me a house, and I'll make his Kingdom firm; I'll be a father to him and won't withdraw my favor.  Your house shall endure.
          • Ps 89:4-5, 27-30  "For ever I will maintain my love for my servant."  I've made a covenant with David my chosen to make your dynasty endure.  I'll maintain my love for and covenant with him.
          • Mk 4:1-20  Jesus taught a parable:  "A sower sowed:  some seed fell on the path; birds ate it.  Other seed fell on rocky ground and withered.   Some fell among thorns that choked it.  And some fell on rich soil and produced fruit....  The sower sows the word. To the ones on the path, Satan comes and takes it away.  The ones on rocky ground receive it but have no roots and so fall away.  The ones among thorns hear it but, choked by anxiety and cravings, bear no fruit.  Those on rich soil accept it; they bear fruit.”
            • Creighton:  God is faithful!  God tells David all he had done for him and will do for him and his descendants.  In the psalm, God reconfirms his covenant.  God wants to be with us and asks our permission, and that we open our heart to him.  But we sometimes hold back, wondering what we'll have to do, what will need to change....  The parable is about God's invitation and what we do about it.  Do I let God into my heart, life, relationships, thoughts, activities?  May we trust God’s unconditional love for us....
              The Sower/ Van Gogh
            • One Bread, One Body:  "God's seed; God's methods":  Modern agriculture sows seed very precisely, but in Jesus' time they used the "broadcast" method, scattering seed by the handful while walking, in the hope that a good harvest grows.  Often we share the Gospel with friends like us but "space over" people who are poor, different, or enemies.  Jesus tells us to spread the Gospel everywhere, in all directions, and allow God to work in each person's life.  God's Word can do the job in every heart; we just need to get the Word out.
            • DailyScripture.net:  "Jesus taught people using parables":  Jesus used parables to help people understand God and his kingdom, using images and characters from everyday life to illustrate his message. Over a third of the synoptics contain his parables.  "Parables are word pictures not of visible things, but rather of things of the mind and spirit.  What our eyes can't see, a parable reveals to the eyes of the mind, informing the intellect by means of things perceivable by the senses." (Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke, Sermon 41)
            The sower parable is aimed at hearers of Jesus' word. There are different ways of accepting God's word and they produce different kinds of fruit:  prejudiced ones with closed minds, unteachable and blind to what they don't want to hear; shallow ones who don't think things through and eventually wander off; ones with many cares who don't hear what's really important; and open-minded ones willing to listen, learn, and understand, never too proud or busy.
            Origen re why Jesus distinguishes between those ready to hear and understand from those not ready:  "Sometimes it's not an advantage to be healed quickly or superficially, especially if it makes the disease more shut up inside to rage.  So God, who knows all, delays healing of such persons, healing by not healing, lest premature recovery render them incurable.  This pertains to those our Lord addressed as 'those outside,' whom he searches out.  Jesus covered up deeper mysteries to those not yet ready to receive his teaching directly; he wanted to prevent them from being speedily converted and only cosmetically healed.  If the forgiveness of their sins were too easily obtained, they'd fall into the same sin they imagined could be cured easily" (On First Principles 3.1.7, paraphrased)
            The Lord will give us understanding if we approach him with faith, humility, and readiness to be taught....
              • Bl. Edward Oldcorne, Jesuit priest, martyr
            Dress legend
            • 'Castle' pin:  House of David (1st reading)
            • 'Crown' tie bar:  I'll raise up your heir and make his Kingdom firm (1st reading); I'll establish his throne (psalm)
            • 'LOVE' suspenders sticker (thanks, Lucy):  Forever I'll maintain my love for my servant (psalm)
            • 'Boat' tie bar:  Jesus got into a boat... (gospel)
            • 'Birds' tie:  birds ate seed that fell on the path (gospel)
            • 'Rock' tie pin:  seeds that fell on rocky ground withered (gospel)
            • 'Roses' pin:  thorns choked some seeds (gospel)
            • 'Apple' pin:  seeds on good soil bore fruit (gospel)
            • 'Eyeball' pin:  To those outside everything comes in parables, so they may see but not perceive (gospel)
            • Green in shirt and suspenders:  Ordinary Time season