August 24, 2016


August 24, 2016:  St. Bartholomew, Apostle

  • 'Jewel' tie pin:  "Jerusalem's radiance was like that of a precious stone,... clear as crystal." (1st reading)
  • 'Angel' pin:  It had 12 gates where 12 angels were stationed (1st reading); "You'll see God's angels ascending and descending..." (gospel)
  • 'Crowns' tie:  "Your friends make known your Kingdom's splendor." (psalm); "You are the King of Israel" (gospel)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  The Lord is near to all who 'call' on him (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  "Come and see" (gospel)
  • 'Tree' pin:  "I saw you under the fig tree" (gospel)
  • Red shirt, tie, and suspenders:  color of St. Bartholomew feast

Pope Francis Amoris Laetitia capsule:  Growing in conjugal love
Conjugal love, the love between husband and wife, is sanctified, enriched, and illuminated by the grace of the sacrament of marriage.  It's affective union, spiritual and sacrificial, combining friendship and erotic passion, and enduring long after the passion subsides.  It permeates the duties of married life.  Spirit-infused, it reflects the covenant between Christ and humanity that culminated on the cross.  “The Spirit gives a new heart and renders man and woman capable of loving one another as Christ loved us.  Conjugal love reaches the fullness it's ordained to:  conjugal charity.”
Marriage is a precious sign, for when a man and a woman celebrate the sacrament, God is 'mirrored' in them, impressing in them his features and the character of his love.  Marriage is the icon of God’s love for us.  God is also communion:  the Father, Son and Spirit living in unity.  This is the mystery of marriage:  God makes one existence from two spouses.  It has concrete consequences, because the spouses are invested with a mission:  making visible the love with which Christ loves his Church....
But don't lay upon two persons the burden of reproducing the union between Christ and his Church, for marriage entails “a dynamic process that advances gradually with progressive integration of God's gifts.”  (IV:120-122)

  • Rv 21:9b-14  To show me the Lamb's bride, the angel took me, showed me radiant Jerusalem with its wall, 12 angel-staffed gates and 12 Apostle-inscribed courses of stones.
  • Ps 145:10-13, 17-18  "Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom."  Let your works thank you and your faithful bless you.  Your dominion is for all ages.  You are just, holy, and near.
  • Jn 1:45-51  Jesus / Nathanael [Bartholomew]:  “Here's a true child of Israel, duplicity-free.” / “How do you know me?” / “I saw you under the fig tree.” / “You're Son of God, King of Israel.” / “You believe because I told you I saw you under the tree?  You'll see greater things:  heaven opened, angels ascending/descending.”
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Will Christ's Church please stand up?"  The Church of Christ is founded on the apostles.  Our bishops, ordained by successors of the apostles, are successors of the apostles.  Apostolicity is the objective sign of the Church's authenticity. So we celebrate Bartholomew and the other apostles...
    • Passionist:  "Finding Jesus":  Philip was excited when he found Jesus and shared the news with Nathanael, who's skeptical.  The biggest and most critical search of our lives is for Christ.  “Our relationship with Jesus is primary; all else is secondary” (Pope Francis).  Until our lives are grounded in Christ, their foundations are hazardous.  But Jesus seeks us before we him.  Even before Christ we find God seeking his people.  “The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.”  Jesus, the good shepherd, "lays down his life for the sheep.”  “Who among you, if you have 100 sheep and lost one, doesn't leave the 99 to go after the one till you find it?”  Never underestimate the force of Christ’s zeal for others.  “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” The Greek word for welcome (προσδέχομαι) is high-energy, meaning open-armed reception for sinners.

    •  "Come and see":  Philip was eager to tell Nathanael (Bartholomew) about his decision to be Jesus' disciple; he tried to convince him Jesus was the Messiah.  Nathanael was skeptical because he didn't think the Messiah could come from Nazareth, a town he disliked and whose residents he considered unworthy of religious toleration.  Aren't we all a bit like that, skeptical when someone tries to convince us of the truth till we can comprehend it for ourselves?  Rather than argue, Philip just invited him to see for himself.  Arguments rarely win people over, but an encounter with Christ can.  Jesus opened Nathanael's heart, and he recognized Him as the Messiah.  When Jesus says "you'll see heaven opened, and God's angels ascending and descending...," he's referring to Jacob's dream.  Jesus promises Nathanael He will be the ladder that unites earth with heaven, the fulfillment of the promise to Jacob.  Jesus is the true stairway to heaven; in his incarnation we see heaven and earth united, God dwelling with us and bringing us into his heavenly kingdom...
      • St. Bartholomew, apostle, patron of the sick.  Went to India?  Martyred in Armenia?
    Special greetings to and prayers for the community at


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