January 7, 2016

Jan. 7

January 7, 2016:  Thursday after Epiphany

  • 'Scroll' pin:  Love of God = keep his commandments (1st reading); Jesus read Isaiah 61 from the scroll (gospel)
  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  love one another (1st reading)
  • 'Book reader' tie:  Jesus read from scroll (gospel)
  • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  Spirit of the Lord (gospel)
  • 'Star' tie pin:  star guiding the magi (Epiphanytide)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  peace shall flourish (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  If you don't love someone you've seen, you can't love God (1st reading); the Spirit sent me to bring recovery of sight to the blind; everyone's eyes looked intently at Jesus (gospel)
  • 'Olympics' tie pin:  Whoever is begotten by God conquers the world (1st reading); "Lord, every nation will adore you" (psalm)
  • White shirt and socks:  today's liturgical color
Pope Francis homily
In the 1st reading John writes of remaining in the Lord.  A Christian remains in God and has and is guided by the Spirit.  We need to test spirits to see whether they're from God.  To do this, we need to discern whether we're following the Spirit.  See what happens in your heart, what's at the root of what you feel, where it comes from.  This is to test whether what I’m hearing comes from God.  Worldliness distances us from the Spirit of God.  John gives us a guideline for discernment of what's happening in our soul:  the Incarnation.  If my ideas and feelings don't lead to God who became flesh, don't lead me to my neighbor, they're not from God.  So John says, "This is God's commandment:  believe in his son Jesus Christ and love one another."
We can have plans and imagine new ways to get closer to the people, but if we don't follow the path of God who became flesh, we're not on the path of the good spirit; it's the Antichrist, worldliness, the spirit of the world.  Many people seem spiritual but don't talk about doing works of mercy, but works of mercy are the visible sign of our confession that the Son of God became flesh, because people, whom we must love, are the flesh of Christ.  God became flesh to identify with us.  And those who suffer are the suffering Christ.
Serving our neighbor in need, maybe in need of good advice or a listening ear, is the sign we're following the path of the good spirit, the path of the Word made flesh.  Ask the Lord for the grace to know what happens in your heart, your desires, whether we're open to the Spirit of God, that brings me to serve others, or to the spirit of the world that revolves around myself.
  • 1 Jn 4:19-5:4  God first loved us.  How can you love God if you don't love others?  Loving God is keeping his commandments.  Whoever is begotten by God conquers the world, through faith.
  • Lk 4:14-22  Jesus went into the synagogue, stood to read, was handed a scroll of Isaiah, and read "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor...."  He handed it back and told them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”  All were amazed.
      St.Raymond of Peñafort
      (Da Modena)

    • Creighton:  Try as we might to forgive, most of us know people we can “love” only in that we wish them no harm, and maybe pray for them.  Many saints battled with others, not always charitably.  Jesus reprimanded the apostles for squabbling over who was most important.  I doubt Jesus and John would have admonished us so frequently to love each other if it hadn't been a big problem.  We do our best, knowing our loving, forgiving God understands our struggles and weaknesses....
      St. André Bessette
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Are you loving?"   We're loving if  we've received God's love, love God with all our heart, obey God's commandments, love ourselves, love those we see in our daily life, and love our enemies, and the Spirit has poured love into our hearts.  Loving is a gift, given by God to those willing to receive it.  Our best Christmas gift is love, from Love.
    • Passionist:  Help me, God, to see you in my life, in the real people and events you bless me with each day....
    • DailyScripture.net:  "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me":  Wherever Jesus went, people gathered.  His words and actions brought hope, joy, favor, wonder, and freedom.  'Gospel' means "good news."  Isaiah prophesied the Messiah would come to bring freedom from physical, mental, and spiritual oppression. Jesus came to set people free.  God alone can save us from dejection, hopelessness, and emptiness....
        • Raymond of Peñafort, Dominican priest worked on canon law, wrote Summa casuum on how best to administer the sacrament of Reconciliation; see Catholic EncyclopediaWikipedia.

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