February 14, 2016

1st Sun. of Lent

February 14, 2016:  First Sunday of Lent

Guest dressers Sid and Flor
(See my 18 connections below) 

For the psalm
Pope Francis in Mexico
To civil authorities and diplomats:  I come as a missionary of mercy and peace and also to pay homage to my mother, the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe, and place myself under her care.
Mexico’s principal richness today is your young people, over half your population.  You can renew and transform yourself, look ahead with hope, and be challenged to construct a Mexico you want to pass on.  A future of hope is forged in a present of upright, honest people capable of working for the common good.  When we seek benefits for a few to the detriment of the rest, society becomes fertile for corruption, drug trade, exclusion, violence, human trafficking, kidnapping, suffering, and death.
Your hope is shaped in trying historical moments and forged by citizens' witness and agreement between political, social, and financial institutions, and people committed to the common good and human dignity.  Find new forms of dialogue, negotiation, and bridges that can lead to solidarity.  Starting with Christians, all must commit to build life on a human basis where no one feels a victim of the culture of waste.
Leaders have the duty to offer citizens the opportunity to contribute to their own future, within their families and wherever there's social interaction; it helps citizens have real access to indispensable goods:  housing, employment, food, justice, security, a healthy and peaceful environment.   Not only must laws be updated, but also individuals' personal responsibility and respect for others must be formed.  The Church renews its commitment and willingness to build the civilization of love.
In my time here I'll renew with you the experience of mercy as a horizon of opportunity that brings justice and peace.  I entrust myself to Mary, the Virgin of Guadalupe, so that by her intercession, the merciful Father may make the future an opportunity for encounter, unity, and peace.

  • Dt 26:4-10  Moses:  “Declare before the Lord, ‘My father was a wandering Aramean who lived there as an alien but became a great nation.  When the Egyptians oppressed us, we cried to God and he heard our cry, brought us out of Egypt, brought us into this country, and gave us this land.  So I've brought you the firstfruits that you gave me.’  And having set them before the Lord, you'll bow in his presence.”
  • Ps 91:1-2, 10-15  "Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble."  No evil shall befall you; God has commanded his angels to guard you.  I'll deliver him, answer him, be with him, and glorify him.
  • Rom 10:8-13  The word is near you, in your heart.  If you confess Jesus as Lord and believe God raised him, you'll be saved.  For there's no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, enriching all who call upon him.  Everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved.
  • Lk 4:1-13  "Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus was led into the desert for 40 days to be tempted by the devil; he ate nothing,  Devil / Jesus:  “If you're God's Son, command this stone to become bread.” / “One doesn't live on bread alone.” / “I'll give to you power and glory if you worship me.” / “It's written: Worship and serve the Lord alone.” / “If you're God's Son, throw yourself down, for it is written:  he'll command his angels to guard you...” / “It also says, Don't test the Lord.”  When the devil finished, he departed from him for a time.
    • Creighton:  Jesus was not alone in the desert; he was filled with the Spirit.  We're not alone either.  As Jesus was hungry and empty after his 40-day fast, we're also invited to empty ourselves, decrease our ego, become hungry, so we may be filled with the Spirit.  If we let the Spirit fill us, then when we're tempted, we'll be able to respond as Jesus did.  This is the Lenten call to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, to let go of our egos and make room for God, to reconnect with who and whose we are as God's children.  One way to empty ourselves is to enter into the silence of retreat.  Jesus’ desert experience was like a retreat before he started his ministry.  How is the Spirit leading me into the desert?
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Not negotiable":  Jesus never engages Satan in dialogue; he simply speaks the truth and ends the conversation.  Jesus uses Scripture to defeat each temptation.  The devil's promises are lies.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Jesus fasted forty days and was tempted by the devil":  Jesus followed the pattern God had set for Moses and Elijah:  a 40-day journey of prayer and fasting to meet with God.  God tested Moses and Elijah to prepare them for a prophetic mission and leadership.  While Moses and Elijah prayed and fasted, God fed them.  Their time enabled them to be renewed for God's call.  Jesus likewise prepared by spending 40 days in solitude and prayer.  His tempter is the same deceiver who tempted Adam and Eve.  Satan knew Jesus was embarking on an important mission; perhaps he saw an opportunity to strike while Jesus seemed vulnerable.  The fundamental temptation is, My way or God's?  My will or God's?  Jesus refused to perform any sign that might test God.  Jesus relied on the Spirit for strength, wisdom, courage, and self-control.  We can't fight temptation on our own.  We're called to journey with the Lord in this season of prayer, fasting, almsgiving, repentance, and renewal.  The Lord gives us food and strength to seek him and prepare for combat and testing.  May we follow the way of the cross and share Christ's victory....
    Dress and legend
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  "All this power and glory has been handed over to me" (gospel); the Lord brought us out of Egypt with strong hand and outstretched arm... (1st reading); angels shall bear you up upon their hands... (psalm)
    • 'Stone' tie pin:  ...lest you dash your foot against a stone (psalm, gospel); "if you're God's Son, command this stone to become bread" (gospel)
    • 'Honey' tie [jar under Winnie the Pooh; see here]:  The Lord gave us this land flowing with milk and honey (1st reading)
    • 'Angel' pin:  God has given his angels command about you to guard you (psalm, gospel)
    • 'Snake' tie pin:  You'll tread upon the asp and the viper (psalm); Satan tempted Jesus (gospel)
    • 'Lion' pin:  You'll trample down the lion (psalm)
    • 'Phone' tie bar:  He'll call upon me, and I'll answer him (psalm); the Lord enriches all who call upon him (2nd reading)
    • 'Girl with heart' pin:  If you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you'll be saved (2nd reading) [You thought it was for Valentine's Day?]
    • NEW 'Holy Spirit' tie pin:  Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit (gospel)
    • 'Wheat' pin:  "One doesn't live on bread alone" (gospel)
    • 'Clock' tie bar:  When the devil finished tempting Jesus, he departed from him for a time.

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