January 2, 2016

Basil and Gregory

January 2, 2016
SS. Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors

  • 'Children around the world' tie:  Children, remain in him (1st reading); All the ends of the earth have seen God's saving power (psalm)
  • 'Treble clef with cross' pin:  Sing to the Lord a new song (psalm)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  The Lord's right hand has won victory (psalm)
  • 'Christmas trees' suspenders, No-'L' pin, green shirt:  Christmas season continues through Jan. 10
  • Sandals (not shown):  "I'm unworthy to untie the sandal strap of the one coming after me" (gospel)

Psalm settings for next Sunday (sheet music, written today)
Pope Francis
World Day of Peace message:  Overcome indifference and win peacecontinued from yesterday
Kinds of indifference:  Every period of history has known people who close their hearts to others' needs, who avoid others' problems. But now indifference has taken on broader dimensions, producing “globalization of indifference.”
Indifference to God leads to indifference to others and the environment.  We think we're the creator of ourselves, our lives, and society. We feel self-sufficient, able to do without God, and that we don't owe anyone anything.  But neither we nor human development can, on our own, provide ultimate meaning.  True humanism must be open to the Absolute and a vocation that gives life its significance.
Indifference to neighbor shows itself in different ways.  Some people are well-informed but not engaged:  they follow the news but without involvement or compassion.  They know, but they focus their gaze, thoughts, and actions on themselves.  We need openness and a sense of solidarity to be concerned about others' problems; a glut of information can numb our sensibilities and downplay problems' gravity.  Some just blame the poor and poor countries for their troubles and claim that the solution is an ‘education’ that would tame them.  Widespread and deep corruption exacerbates the problem.  Indifference also shows itself as lack of concern for happenings that don't touch us directly.  Some people are deaf to the cry of the suffering.  We can grow incapable of feeling compassion and uninterested in caring for people.   When we're comfortable, we grow cold to others' problems, sufferings and injustices they suffer.
Because we dwell in a common home, we must ask about its health.  Indifference often results in pollution, exploitation of forests, and destruction of the environment, since everything is interrelated.  And the way we treat animals affects how we treat other people.  Indifference leads to self-absorption and a lack of commitment and so impedes peace with God, others, and the environment. [to be continued]
    Who's the liar?  (not lyre;
    image is for psalm)
  • 1 Jn 2:22-28  Whoever denies Jesus as the Christ is a liar; whoever confesses the Son has the Father too.  If what you heard remains in you, you'll remain in the Son and the Father.  He teaches you about everything; remain in him.
  • Ps 98:1-4  "All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God."  Sing to the Lord a new song; the Lord has made his justice, kindness, and faithfulness known.
  • Jn 1:19-28  When asked, “Who are you?” John admitted, “I'm not the Christ, Elijah, or the Prophet but one crying, ‘Make straight the Lord's way.’”  Pharisees / John:  “Then why do you baptize?” / “I baptize with water, but one is coming whose sandal I'm not worthy to untie.” 
    • Creighton:  What good are new year's resolutions without exploring who I am?  John the Baptist doesn't try to convince people about him or his mission; he doesn't explain away his behavior.  He's a model of self-knowledge and focus. I can gain insight by asking myself what the priests asked John:   “What do you have to say for yourself?”  The 1st reading reminds us we've been given all we need to love and serve God by having truth.
    • Passionist:  John gave testimony in response to a challenge.  His first questioners challenge his identity, but he denies each one they offer.  When out of frustration they ask, “Who are you?”,  he speaks of action, not a name:  “I'm the voice of one crying out in the desert, Make straight the way of the Lord.”  The point is repeated when the second group challenges him, “Then why do you baptize if you're not the Christ, Elijah, or the Prophet?”  He responds by saying what he does, “I baptize with water….” and testifying to his unworthiness.  The most honest testimony is action.  We testify to our care for human life by how we respond to natural tragedies, evaluate candidates for political office, and respond to heartbroken families.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Christ stands among you":  John the Baptist stirred peoples' expectation of the Messiah's arrival so well that many thought he himself might be the Messiah, or at least the prophet Elijah who was expected to return when the Messiah came.  But John knew he was only a voice to prepare the way for the Messiah King.  He bridged the Old and New Testaments as both last Old Testament prophet and first New Testament witness/martyr.  He prepared the way for Jesus and announced his mission.  He saw Messiah would redeem us and adopt us as God's children.  Though the greatest prophet, John lived as God's humble and faithful servant, pointing others to Jesus. We've given him the titles relating to his mission:  Witness of the Lord, Trumpet of Heaven, Herald of Christ, Voice of the Word, Precursor of Truth, Friend of the Bridegroom, Crown of the Prophets, Forerunner of the Redeemer, Preparer of Salvation, Light of the Martyrs, and Servant of the Word.  How does my life point others to Christ?...
    • Saint vs. seasoning?  Merriam-Webster shows both can be pronounced the same but prefers \ba-zəl\ (rhymes with 'dazzle') for the herb and \bā-zəl\ (rhymes with 'basal') for  the bishop

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