May 31, 2016

Mary's Visitation

May 31, 2016:  Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

  • Tie with hearts:  Exult with all your heart; he'll renew you in his love (1st reading); love one another (2nd reading)
  • Blue in shirt and suspenders:  "Blessed Mother blue" (feast); "With joy you'll draw water at the fount of salvation" (canticle)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  Mary 'called' on Elizabeth (gospel)
  • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit (gospel)
  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  God has looked with favor on his lowly servant. (gospel)
  • 'Visitation/Magnificat' pin for gospel and feast
  • Green in shirt:  Ordinary Time season

Magnificat settings (gospel)
Today's liturgy is full of joy that arrives like fresh air to fill our lives.  Christians with a grimace, sad Christians, are an ugly thing, but they're not fully Christian, even if they think they are.
Have an attitude of service, of helping others.  Mary sets off immediately with courage to visit her cousin, despite being pregnant and despite the risk of robbers along the way.  Courageous women in the Church are like Mary.  They bring up their families, rear their children, face hardships and pain, look after the sick….   They help others.  Serving others is a Christian sign.  Whoever doesn’t live to serve doesn’t serve to live.  Serving others and being joyful is the attitude I underline today.
Reaching out and meeting others is also important.  Mary and her cousin greeted each other with joy.  If we all serve and reach out, how much our world would change!  Reaching out is another Christian sign.  Persons who call themselves Christian but don't reach out aren't totally Christian.  Serving and reaching out both require going out of yourself.  Through Mary’s service and encounter, our Lord’s promise is renewed now, as it was then.  "The Lord, your God, is in your midst."  The Lord is about meeting and helping others.

  • Zep 3:14-18a  Shout for joy!  The Lord is in your midst and has removed the judgment against you.  Fear not!  The Lord will rejoice over you and renew you in his love.
    Visitation/ Giotto
  • Rom 12:9-16  Let love be sincere:  honor, be fervent, serve God, rejoice, endure suffering, keep praying, help the needy, be hospitable, bless your persecutors, weep with those who weep, and associate with the lowly.
  • Is 12:2-3, 4bcd-6  "Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel."  God is my savior, strength, and courage.  With joy you'll draw water at the fount of salvation.  Thank and praise the Lord; make his name and deeds known.  Shout with exultation!
  • Lk 1:39-56  Mary traveled to Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth, who cried, “Blessed are you and the fruit of your womb.  And how does my Lord's mother come to me?  When I heard you, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.  Blessed are you who believed God's word to you would be fulfilled.”  Mary:  “My soul proclaims the Lord's greatness; my spirit rejoices in God who looked on his servant.  All will call me blessed:  the Almighty is holy and has done great things for me.  He has mercy, showed strength, scattered the proud, cast down the mighty, lifted up the lowly, filled the hungry, sent away the rich, and helped Israel by remembering the promise he made to our fathers.”  Mary remained with her about three months, then returned.
      • Magnificat poem, by Fr. Peter J. Liuzzi, O.Carm
      I received a greeting card with Sr. Mary Southard's Visitation image, and message "In each encounter, the Life within is ignited, begins to glow, to dance, to grow."  We can all relate or aspire to “igniting Life,” or bringing Christ into the world in joyful ways.  We are to nurture the essence of Christ within us, to share the good news, to model God's joy and love in word and action.  May Mary and Elizabeth continue to be models for us.
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Late, great Pentecosts":  If you've received the Holy Spirit, you're acting like Mary, likely visiting people to share with them Jesus in you.  As you do, they're filled with the Spirit too.  Pentecost is contagious, catalytic.  One leads to another.  On the first Christian Pentecost, 120 received the Spirit in the morning, 3,000 by evening.  The Spirit renews the earth with momentum.  If you're moving in the Spirit, and visiting, don't stop; otherwise ask Mary to visit you and help you move better.
        Visitation/ Sr. Mary Southard, CSJ
      • Passionist:  After the angel told Mary she'd give birth to the Messiah, she hastened to Elizabeth's house and found her pregnant too.  John leaped for joy in Elizabeth’s womb.  “Though you haven't seen him, you love him; and though you don't see him now, you believe in him and are filled with joy.”  Even before his birth, John the Baptist was pointing the way to Christ.  What has God been calling me to grow into?  Mary brought Christ to Elizabeth, John, and the world, and Elizabeth and John recognized Christ within Mary.  As Mary, may I reveal Christ to the world, and as John, may I look for Christ in everyone I meet and experience and point the way; may I see and announce him.  "[John] has not yet left the womb but speaks by leaping; he can't cry out but makes himself heard by his actions; he hasn't seen the light but points out the Sun" (John Chrysostom).  Today:  Who have you been Christ to?  Who has been Christ to you?
      •  "Joyful anticipation of the Messiah":  Mary was blessed with being the mother of the Son of God, but that blessedness became a sword piercing her as he died.  "Without God's Son nothing could exist; without Mary's son, nothing could be redeemed" (Anselm).   To be chosen by God is a privilege and responsibility.  Mary received a crown of joy and a cross of sorrow, but her joy, fueled by her faith, hope, and trust  in God, was not diminished by her sorrow.  Jesus promised, "no one will take your joy from you."
      When Elizabeth greeted Mary and recognized the Messiah in Mary's womb, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and joyful anticipation of the fulfillment of God's promise of a Savior.  John, even before the birth of the Messiah, pointed to him as the Spirit revealed his presence.  The Spirit enables us to know and experience God and his kingdom.  May we through the Spirit live in the joy and knowledge of God's presence.

      May 30, 2016

      May 30

      May 30, 2016:  Monday, 9th week, Ordinary Time

      • 'Phone' tie bar:  Jesus our Lord 'called' us by his glory and power (1st reading); "he'll call on me and I'll answer him" (psalm)
      • Tie with grapes:  Parable of the vineyard (gospel)
      • 'Hand' tie pin:  Tenants sent servant away empty-handed. (gospel)
      • 'Gun' pin:  Tenants killed the son; the owner will kill them (gospel) 
      • 'Stone' tie pin:  "The stone the builders rejected became the cornerstone..." (gospel)
      • 'Eyeball' pin:  "It is wonderful in our eyes” (gospel)
      • Green in tie:  Ordinary Time season
      • Red, white, and blue shirt:  Memorial Day

      The killing of the master’s servants and son—representing the prophets and Christ himself—shows a people closed in on itself, not open to God's promises, without memory, prophecy and hope.  The leaders only want to erect a wall of laws; they cage the Holy Spirit by not allowing prophecy in hope.
      Jesus speaks to a religious system of corruption, worldliness, and concupiscence.  In the desert Jesus was tempted to lose the memory of his own mission, to not give way to prophecy, and to prefer security to hope.  So Jesus reproaches, "You traverse half the world to have one proselyte, and when you find him, you make him a slave." This 'church' makes slaves, so it's understandable how Paul reacts when he speaks of slavery to the law and of liberty that grace gives:  a people is free when it has memory, makes room for prophets, and doesn't lose hope.
      The vineyard is the image of the People of God, the Church, and our soul, for which the Father cares with love and tenderness.  To rebel against him is to lose the memory of God's gift.  To remember and not make mistakes, return to the roots.  Do I have the memory of the wonders the Lord has worked in my life?  Can I remember the Lord's gifts?  Can I open my heart to the prophets, to him who tells me, "this isn’t working, you have to go beyond; go ahead, take a risk"?  Am I open, or afraid, closed  in the cage of the law?  Do I have hope in God’s promises, like Abraham, who left his home without knowing where he was going, only because he hoped in God?
      • 2 Pt 1:2-7  God's power has given us life.  Through his promises you may share the divine nature.  Supplement your faith with virtue, knowledge, self-control, endurance, devotion, mutual affection, and love.
      Animate (but it won't wave)
      • Ps 91:1-2, 14-16  "In you, my God, I place my trust."  I will deliver him, answer him, be with him, glorify him, give him long life, and show him my salvation.
      • Mk 12:1-12  “A man leased his vineyard to tenant farmers and left.  When he sent a servant to obtain some of the produce, they beat him and sent him away empty-handed.  When he sent others, they beat or killed them.  He finally sent his son, thinking they'd respect him, but they killed him, expecting to inherit everything.  The owner will kill the tenants and give the vineyard to others.  "The stone the builders rejected has become the  cornerstone..."  They realized he'd addressed the parable to them....
        • Creighton:  This parable was meant for the chief priests, scribes, and elders, living their lives for God and serving his people; they didn’t start out vindictive like the tenants.  But it's hard when someone comes in from a different corner and tells you how to do things.  Outside perspectives can be valuable, listening can be more important that being right, and my best intentions can miss something.  May I trust God first and treat others in the vineyard with love.
          The wicked husbandmen/ Luyken
        • One Bread, One Body:  "Loving your child's murderers":  The owner of the vineyard seems naive for continuing to send slaves to beatings or death, then sending his son.  The owner represents God the Father, who sent prophet after prophet to turn us away from sin; almost all were murdered or otherwise rejected.  Then God sent his Son, knowing he'd be tortured and murdered.  If you knew a person would kill your child, would you send your child to him?  Would you create someone you knew would kill your child?  But God did this, out of love, when he created each of us and sent Jesus to save us.
        •  "They will respect my Son":  It was normal for owners to lease their estates.   Jesus' story about wicked tenants offended the scribes and Pharisees; they recognized it referred to God's dealing with a rebellious people.  The parable speaks to us today too, of God's generosity, trust, patience, and justice.  Jesus knew he'd be rejected and be killed but would rise.  We share his glory by submitting to his rule; he promises we'll bear fruit if we abide in him.  The Lord entrusts his gifts to us, gives us work in his vineyard, and promises our labor won't be in vain if we persevere.  We can expect trials but will triumph.
          • Luke Kirby, priest, martyr
          • Yorkshire Martyrs Margaret Clitherow (hid Catholic priests), Henry Walpole (lawyer, convert, priest) 20 Blessed and and 30 Venerable companions...

        May 29, 2016

        Body and Blood of Christ

        May 29, 2016:  Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

        • 'Blood drop' pin:  "This cup is the new covenant in my blood" (2nd reading)
        • 'Star' tie pin:  "Before the daystar... I have begotten you" (psalm)
        • 'Fish' tie pin:  "All we have is five loaves and two fish" (gospel)
        • 'Food' tie:  The Bread of Angels is made pilgrims' food (sequence)
        • 'Lamb' and 'sheep' tie bars:  Christ, Paschal Lamb, Good Shepherd (sequence)
        • 'Wheat' pin:  Melchizedek took bread (1st reading); Jesus took bread (2nd reading); Jesus fed the crowd from 5 loaves...  (gospel)
        • 'Silverware' tie bar:  "Take and eat" (2nd reading)
        • Red and white shirt:  Red for blood, white for today's feast
        • Green in tie:  Ordinary Time season

          Pope Francis

          Corpus Christi homily delivered Thursday

          • Gn 14:18-20  Melchizedek brought out bread and wine and blessed Abram:  "Blessed be Abram by God, creator of heaven and earth; and blessed be God, who delivered your foes into your hand."
          • Ps 110:1-4  "You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek."  The Lord will stretch forth your power....
          • 1 Cor 11:23-26  The Lord Jesus, the night he was handed over, took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and said, "This is my body, for you.  Do this in remembrance of me."  He took the cup:  "This cup is the new covenant in my blood.  Do this in remembrance of me."  As often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
          • Sequence - Lauda Sion  ...The Bread of Angels is made pilgrims' food: let the Bread of children not be cast to dogs.  It was prefigured when Isaac was immolated, when the Paschal Lamb was sacrificed, when manna was given to our ancestors.  Good Shepherd, True Bread, Jesus, have mercy on us, feed us, protect us, and make us see good things in the land of the living.  You who know and can do all things, who feed us, make us your guests, co-heirs, and companions of the citizens of heaven.  (see Britt, The Hymns of the Breviary and MissalBenziger 1922, pp. 181-184)
          • Lk 9:11b-17  Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom and healed those who needed to be cured.  The Twelve / Jesus:  "Dismiss them so they can go find lodging and provisions." / "You give them some food." / "We only have 5 loaves and 2 fish, unless we go buy food." (There were about 5,000 men.) / "Have them sit down in groups of about 50." They did. Taking the loaves and fish, he looked to heaven, said the blessing, broke them, and gave them to the disciples for the crowd.  All ate and were satisfied, and 12 baskets were left over.
          "Roamin' Catholic" report

          I didn't play keyboard at my parish this week, so I took Mom to a vigil Mass.  We were thrilled with the hospitality:  they wheeled Mom from the car up to the front pew and stayed with her till I arrived.  That was a big help since the lot was full and street parking was restricted.  This Mass started 10 minutes late, not because of us :-).  Liturgical ministers and assembly were well dressed.
          Mass was in English, but the first reading, and all the music, was in Tagalog!  Maybe this was only for today's celebration; the last time I was at this Mass, it was all English; there was no mention of it on the parish website.
          The music ministry (unison choir of 25+, guitar, unnecessarily miked piano, unfortunately no cantor/animator) was at our far right, on the side.  They sang most Mass parts (Lord have mercy, Alleluia, Glory to God, Holy, Mystery of faith, Amen, Lamb of God); presider and assembly sang the preface dialogue well, including the often messed up "It is right and just."  They also sang at entrance, preparation of the gifts, and Communion (3 songs); the end of Mass, and confused transition to the Corpus Christi procession, was silent.  The first Communion song was a vibrato-rich operatic solo I might have appreciated better had I understood the words.  But aside for that song (not intended for assembly singing despite its placement at Communion), assembly singing was strong, even in the absence of a songleader or songsheets!
          The procession explained the street parking restrictions and perhaps too the six banners in the sanctuary (3 on each side) representing parish groups; a representative of each group took one and joined the procession.  (I'm impressed the parish has all those groups, likely all thriving, but the banners distracted me a bit.)  We were all invited to join the procession, but Mom and I had to leave as the presider was processing out with the monstrance.
          [BTW, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) provides a fine service by publishing Roman Missal chants online, but the links from that home page to individual pages are currently broken.  To get to an individual page, add "/Chants" inside the incorrect address:  e.g., the "Order of Mass" link is broken, but typing in works.]
          More reports
              The Last Supper/ de Boulogne
            • Creighton:  Today's 2nd reading gives us the earliest report of the Last Supper, 10-20 years before the gospel accounts:  “The night he was betrayed” reminds us of Jesus' prayer in the garden, and his arrest, Passion, and death, and the human complicity in it all.  The identification of the bread and wine with his body and blood points to the death that separated blood from body and to the nurturing and empowering nature of his risen presence to the community.  “New covenant in my blood” reminds the community that it's part of God's renewed covenant people.  “Do this in memory of me” is a commission to repeat this ritual regularly; it reminds us we're the body of Christ meant for the life of the world.  “The death of the Lord until he comes” evokes not simply a craftsman but our Lord, now present and empowering us to love and service, and our hope for his future coming.  Paul includes this tradition in the letter to remind the Corinthian Christians that their failure to care for one another is a failure to “discern the body of Christ” as the Lord present in the Supper and as the community called to serve one another.  This feast challenges us to conversion; discerning the body involves us in unexpected ways with people and the world....
            • Passionist:  In today's readings bread is used for blessing, remembrance, and food for the hungry.  The Jewish sabbath begins with a blessing of bread and wine.  The home-baked challah, six strands of dough braided together, is a reminder of blessings received from the six days of work and unites them with our lives.  The bread is broken with hands; a knife is a symbol of violence.  Wine symbolizes joy and life. The wine is blessed first out of respect for the sacrifice the poor make to have it.  Bread and wine are present when Melchizedek blesses Abram and thanks God.  How has God blessed me?  How might I bless others?
            When we attend the Eucharist we remember Christ’s passion, death and resurrection and bring our sufferings, blessings, and thanksgivings.  Those gathered to hear Jesus also brought their sufferings, blessings, and thanksgivings; many were likely hungry.  Imagine the surprise and joy of receiving the bread and fish.  Today too we hear God's word, share in a feast....
              The Last Supper/ Tiepolo
            •  "All ate and were satisfied":  The feeding of the crowd pointed to God's provision of manna in the wilderness:  when people grumbled to Moses that they'd die of hunger, God told Moses he'd "rain bread from heaven" for them; the provision of bread foreshadows the heavenly bread Jesus offers.  Jesus makes a claim only God can make:  he's the "bread of life" who sustains us now and forever.  Jesus' feeding is a sign of God's care and provision for his people. God gives more than we need for ourselves so we may have something to share with those in need.  God multiplies what we have for the good of others....

            May 28, 2016

            May 28

            May 28, 2016:  Saturday, 8th week, Ordinary Time

            • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  Pray in the Spirit (1st reading)

            • 'Hand' tie pin, 'phone' tie bar:  "Lifting up my hands, I'll call on your name." (psalm)

            • '?' tie pin:  “I'll ask you one question." (gospel)

            • Green in shirt:  Ordinary Time season

            For the psalm
            Pope Francis Amoris Laetitia capsule

            Most families respect the elderly, showing them affection and considering them a blessing, but in industrialized societies, where the number of elderly persons is growing, some regard them as a burden.  The care they require can strain their loved ones.  Care and concern for the final stages of life is necessary.  The elderly are at times unfairly exploited for economic advantage.  Many families show us it's possible to approach the last stages of life by emphasizing the importance of a person’s sense of fulfillment and participation in the Lord’s paschal mystery.  Euthanasia and assisted suicide are serious threats; in many countries, they're legal.  The Church opposes them and assists families who take care of their elderly and infirm members.

            Many families live in dire poverty and great limitations.  If a single mother has to raise a child and needs to leave the child alone at home while she goes to work, the child is exposed to risks and obstacles to growth.  The Church must offer understanding, comfort, and acceptance, rather than imposing rules that lead people to feel judged and abandoned.  We must offer healing grace and the gospel message.... (II:48-49)
            • Jude 17, 20b-25  Build yourselves up in your faith; pray in the Holy Spirit.  Keep yourselves in God's love, and wait for the Lord's mercy.  Have mercy on the wavering; snatch people from the fire.  To God, through Christ, be glory, majesty, power, and authority forever!
            • Ps 63:2-6  "My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God."  Your kindness is better than life; I'll glorify you, call on you, and be satisfied.
            • Mk 11:27-33  Chief priests, scribes, and elders / Jesus:  “What's your authority?” / “If you answer my question, I'll tell you.  Was John’s baptism of heavenly or human origin?” / ["If we say heavenly, he'll ask why we didn't believe him, but we're afraid to say human because the crowd thinks John was a prophet,"] “We don't know.” / “So I won't tell you about my authority.”
              • Creighton:  “Build yourselves up in your faith.”  Faith can be harder to understand than hope and love.  We're more likely to believe someone who's been reliable before and doubt someone who's been unreliable, and if someone has acted consistently with what they say, our faith is stronger.  After Jesus' resurrection, people believed he rose; they either saw him in his glory or knew someone who had.  But the truth of their faith is their actions:  they lived as he called them to and refused to deny him, even in the face of martyrdom; their faith led to actions consistent with the truth.  “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase” (Martin Luther King, Jr.).  “Faith is to believe what you do n't see; the reward of faith is to see what you believe” (Augustine).   Jesus told Thomas that we who have not seen and still believe are blessed.  "Jude" knew those who manifested their faith by their actions, even in the face of death; Christianity has been based on their foundation of faith.
              • One Bread, One Body:  "Fallen-away Catholics?"  Each of us is in danger of falling away from our "devotion to Christ."  Even whole churches can fall away.  Most Christians will apostatize before Jesus comes again.  When he does, will he find faith on earth?  If you think you're upright, watch out lest you fall! "One can protect you from a fall and make you stand unblemished and exultant in his presence.  Glory to this only God our Savior."  We must resist temptation by growing strong in our "faith through prayer in the Spirit."  "Submit to God; resist the devil and he will take flight. Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you...."
              • Passionist:  God's love and mercy will overshadow the dark cloud of fear, mistrust, arrogance, bullying, and meanness that can pervade our existence.  We're called to stand up for our values and beliefs.
              •  "Who gave you this authority?"  Religious leaders didn't accept Jesus' authority. After Jesus cleansed the temple, leaders tried to trap him:  if he said his authority was divine, they'd charge him with blasphemy; if he did it on his own authority, they could arrest him as a mad zealot.  But Jesus saw through their trap....

              May 27, 2016

              May 27

              May 27, 2016:  Friday, 8th week, Ordinary Time

              • 'Hand' tie pin:  "The end is at 'hand.'" (1st reading)
              • Orange suspenders:  "A trial by fire is occurring among you," (1st reading)
              • 'Scales of justice' tie:  "The Lord comes to judge the earth" (psalm)
              • 'Crown' tie bar:  "The Lord is king." (psalm)
              • 'Tree' pin:  All the trees shall exult (psalm); fig tree (gospel)
              • 'Car' tie pin:  Jesus 'drove' the money changers out of the temple area (gospel)
              • 'Heart' tie bar:  Don't doubt in your heart (gospel) [Ouch:  I just discovered that my 'girl with heart' pin fell off before Wednesday's picture!  Unfortunately though a heart is engraved on this tie bar, I don't see it in the snapshot.]
              • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

              Pope Francis Amoris Laetitia capsule
              We must face migration and its negative effects on family life, expanding the Church's witness to the gospel in this area.  Human mobility can enrich families that migrate and countries that welcome them, but forced migration, because of war, persecution, poverty, or injustice, can put lives at risk, traumatize people, and destabilize families.  We must help families that migrate as well as members who remain behind.  Migration is particularly devastating when it takes place illegally and is supported by human trafficking, or when when it involves women or children forced to endure long periods in temporary facilities and camps, where they can't start an integration process.  Poverty and other family breakdown situations sometimes lead families to sell their children for prostitution or organ trafficking.  The persecution of Christians and minorities is a great trial for the Church and the international community.  We need to help families and Christian communities remain in their native lands,
              Dealing with a family member's disability can upset the family's equilibrium, desires, and expectations.  We admire families who lovingly accept a special needs child; they give witness of faithfulness to the gift of life.  They can discover, with us, new approaches, ways of acting, and ways of understanding and identifying with others, by welcoming and caring for the frail human life.  People with disabilities are gifts for their families and opportunities to grow in love, mutual aid, and unity.  When families accept the presence of special needs persons, they'll recognize and ensure the quality and value of every human life.  This will promote care and services on behalf of these disadvantaged persons and will encourage people to draw near them and provide affection.  Dedication to and concern for migrants and persons with special needs is a sign of the Spirit.  Both situations test our commitment to show mercy in welcoming others and to help the vulnerable.  (II:46-47)
              • 1 Pt 4:7-13  The end is near; be serious so you can pray.  Love one another intensely.  Be hospitable without complaining.  Serve with God-given strength.  Preach with God's words.  You're being tried, but rejoice that you share Christ's sufferings.
              • Ps 96:10-13  "The Lord comes to judge the earth."  The Lord is king.  He made the world and governs with equity.  Rejoice!
              • Mk 11:11-26  Jesus, hungry, saw the tree had no figs, cursed it.  He entered the temple area, drove out sellers, buyers, and money changers:  My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you've made it a robbers' den.”  The chief priests wanted to kill him but feared him because the crowd was astonished at his teaching.  Jesus, when they saw the withered tree:  “Have faith in God.  When you pray, believe you'll receive and you will.  Forgive, and your Father will forgive you.”
                  Cursing the fig tree
                  (Byzantine icon)
                • Creighton:  First the disciples heard Jesus curse a fig tree for not having any fruit, even though it wasn't in season; then they saw him angrily overturn tables in the temple.  Jesus wants them to know of his identity, authority, and power.  He chose us and appointed us to bear lasting fruit.  He looks for figs and is disappointed to find none; he didn't see any 'fruit' (good works) in the temple area either.  We'll wither if we reject his teachings.  We must put faith in God and pray believing we'll receive what we ask for.  God always keeps his promises and answers our prayers; nothing is impossible with him.  Prayer purifies or cleanses our heart and can remove guilt.  Jesus wants us to forgive and love like the Father.  "Love covers a multitude of sins."  “Since love grows within us, so beauty grows, for love is the soul's beauty” (Augustine).  God can turn our unforgiveness into love.  What do I need to surrender and entrust to the Lord?
                • One Bread, One Body:  "When your world falls apart," love one another, trust God, don't be perturbed, remain calm, pray, forgive, serve one another, don't be surprised you're being tried, and rejoice in sharing Christ's sufferings.  We can because of our personal relationship with Jesus. When we surrender our lives to him, we know nothing can separate us from his love."
                  Christ cleansing the temple/ Mei
                  More art
                • Passionist:  “Let your love for one another be intense....  Be hospitable to one another....  As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s grace.”  What are your gifts, and how do you share them in serving others?
                •  "Have faith in God":  Fig trees were an important source of food; a decaying tree was linked with spiritual decay.  The unfruitful tree symbolized Israel's unresponsiveness to God.  The languishing tree signified the desolation of Israel due to her unfaithfulness to God.  The history of Israel is a preparation for the Messiah's coming.  Jesus' cursing of a fig tree is a prophetic action against the faithlessness of those reject him.  Faith must be nourished with the Word and rooted in love to be fruitful.  Jesus cleansed the temple of those using it to exploit worshipers.  Money changers charged unfair prices to the poor; their 'robbery' dishonored God and was unjust toward others.  Then Jesus exhorts his disciples to have faith and pray with faith.  "To remove mountains" meant "to remove difficulties."  If we pray with faith, God will help us overcome obstacles.   If we want God to hear us, we must forgive those who wrong us....