August 8, 2016


August 8, 2016:  St. Dominic, Priest

  • 'Fish' tie with 'coin' button at mouth (this blog's favicon):  "Take the first fish and open its mouth; you'll find a coin worth twice the temple tax." (gospel)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  The hand of the Lord came upon me (1st reading); the Son of Man is to be 'handed' over (gospel)
  • 'Fire' pin:  A cloud with flashing fire came (1st reading)
  • 'Angel with horn' pin:  Praise the Lord, you angels; He has lifted up the 'horn' of his people (psalm)
  • White shirt:  Color of St. Dominic memorial

Pope Francis en route from World Youth Day
The youth are our future, and we must dialogue.  The relationship between youth and grandparents is important.  Youth say stupid and good things, as we do, but hear and speak with them so we learn from each other.
[Re remarks on Armenian genocide:]  Harm to Catholics must always be avoided, but not at the price of the truth! 
[Re Cardinal Pell:]  The accusations are in the hands of justice.  Let's not judge before they do.
[Re "Islamic violence":]  I don’t like to speak about it, because baptized Catholics commit violent acts too.  Every religion has a small group of fundamentalists.  Fundamentalism can kill with words, and with a knife.  Most Muslims seek peace, encounter.  We can coexist well.  But how many young people that we've left empty of ideals and work take drugs or join fundamentalist groups?
Terrorism is everywhere; it grows when the center of the economy is money, not people.  Casting out the wonder of creation and putting money in its place is basic terrorism against all humanity! 
  • Ezk 1:2-5, 24-28c  God's word to Ezekiel:  The Lord's hand came upon me.  A stormwind came, a cloud with flashing fire; within it were figures resembling four living creatures with human form.  I heard their wings, roaring like mighty waters and God's voice.  I saw a throne on which was seated a man glowing and surrounded with splendor.  Such was the vision of the likeness of God's glory.
  • Ps 148:1-2, 11-14  "Heaven and earth are filled with your glory."  Praise the Lord from the heavens, in the heights, all angels and hosts.  Let everyone praise God:  kings, princes, judges, the young and old, everyone.  He alone is exalted, majestic.  He has lifted his people.
  • Mt 17:22-27  “The Son is to be handed over, killed, and raised.”  They were overwhelmed with grief.  Tax collectors / Peter:  “Does your teacher pay the temple tax?” / “Yes.”  Jesus / Peter:  “From whom do kings take tax?  Subjects or foreigners?” / “Foreigners.” / “Then subjects are exempt.  But that we not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook, take the first fish. open its mouth, find a coin worth twice the temple tax, and give it to them for us both.”

    • Creighton:  St. Dominic lived as a contemplative in action, recognizing that conversion of others required action and being a role model.   He lived in austerity with the people and showed great devotion to Mary, promoting the Rosary.  We're part of the kingdom of God, and the king protects his subjects and wants them to thrive.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Tell a vision":  In Ezekiel's vision, God called him to prophesy to the hardened Israelites.  The people were about to suffer exile like King Jehoiachin.  The Lord sends Ezekiel to prophesy to "rebels hard of face and obstinate..." who "refuse to listen."  God tells Ezekiel to not be afraid and to speak his words; Ezekiel was "spiritually stirred, while the hand of the Lord rested" on him.  God is also calling you to be prophets to the hardened.  Don't fear; God will make you strong.  Accept your calling, and speak God's words.
    • Passionist:  Jesus insists he’s exempt from the Temple tax.  The NAB clouds his explanation by translating the Greek for 'sons' as 'subjects' and 'others' as 'foreigners':  kings don't tax family, so the Son of God is exempt, but he pays the tax anyway.  The fish symbolizes God’s provision.  As he treated Peter as his son and paid his tax, so did he treat us as children and pay our 'tax' with his life.  At our baptism, we sinners became the king's children and heirs.
    •  "Not to give offense":  When questioned about paying the temple tax, Jesus said they must pay so as not to cause bad example.  In Scripture, 'give no offense' means put no stumbling block in another's way that would cause them to trip.  Do I evade unpleasant responsibilities?  The apostles are distressed at Jesus' prediction of betrayal, rejection, and death; they'd likely be treated the same.   Isaiah foretold God willed that the "Suffering Servant" atone for sins through his suffering and death, and John the Baptist described Jesus as "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."  Jesus came to rescue us and restore us life with God.  Sin separates us from God and leads us to corruption and death, but Jesus set us free....

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