October 31, 2016

Oct. 31

October 31, 2016:  Monday, 31st week, Ordinary Time / Hallowe'en

  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  Be united in heart (1st reading); my heart is not proud (psalm)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  In you, Lord, I have found my peace. (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  my eyes aren't haughty (psalm); when you hold a banquet, invite the blind (gospel)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  Jesus went to dine with a leading Pharisee (gospel)
  • Green shirt, Shrek hat:  Ordinary Time season...

Lutheran-Catholic event at Malmö:  Christian unity is a priority; more unites us than separates us.  The journey to unity is God's gift.  We look together to our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our dialogue has helped us grow in mutual understanding, fostered trust, and confirmed our desire to advance towards full communion.  Today we sign a joint statement to develop and strengthen cooperation and promote human dignity and social justice.  May we join the many who help build a world responsive to God’s plan:  caring for our common home, living our faith, cultivating harmony, working together for peace, helping the vulnerable, responding to situations of need.... Everything done to help those in need is a gesture of solidarity and a recognition of their dignity.  Go out and meet the outcasts and the marginalized, and make God's tender and merciful love felt.  Don't get discouraged in the face of adversity.  Work more closely together.  Make daily gestures of peace and reconciliation, to be valiant witnesses of Christian hope.
Homily at Lund ecumenical prayer service:  Jesus' words, “Abide in me as I in you,” let us peer into the heart of Christ, beating with love and desiring the unity of all believers.  He is the true vine and we the branches; to bear fruit, we must be one with him as he is one with the Father.  “Lord, help us to be more closely united to you and each other, to bear witness of faith, hope, and love.”  Thank God for the efforts of those who kept the hope of reconciliation alive.  We Catholics and Lutherans have undertaken a common journey of reconciliation and can now mend history by moving beyond disagreements to mutual understanding.
The Father is the vinedresser who tends the vine to make it bear more fruit; he wants us to be one with him.  His loving gaze inspires us to purify our past and work towards unity, recognizing our past error and seeking forgiveness.  Our division distanced us from the longing of God’s people for unity, and the "powerful" perpetuated that division.  Both sides wanted to uphold the faith, but we were closed out of fear of or bias against those with a different accent and language.  “Don't set yourselves up as judges but become messengers of truth” (John Paul II, 10-31-83).  "Don't claim to correct what took place, but tell the history differently" (From Conflict to Communion).
“Apart from me, you can do nothing.”  He sustains us and spurs us on to make our unity more visible.  Our separation has caused suffering and misunderstanding but also led us to recognize that without him we can do nothing; it's enabled us better to understand our faith.  The Reformation gave greater centrality to Scripture.  May God's word nourish us and keep us united.
Luther's spiritual experience reminds us that apart from God we can do nothing.  Luther asked how he could get a propitious God and encountered him in the Good News of Jesus, incarnate, dead and risen.  “By grace alone” reminds us God always takes the initiative and seeks to awaken our response.  The doctrine of justification expresses the essence of human existence before God.
Jesus intercedes for us before the Father, praying that his disciples be one; it inspires us to be one with him and to pray for unity, that the world believe in the power of God's mercy.  We'll be credible witnesses of mercy as we experience forgiveness, renewal, and reconciliation.  We concretely manifest God’s mercy when we promote the dignity of every person.  May we be living members, abiding in him, in need of his grace, bringing his word to the world....
  • Phil 2:1-4  Be of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart.  Do nothing out of selfishness or vainglory; humbly regard others as more important.  Look out for others' interests.
  • Ps 131:1bcde, 2-3  "In you, O Lord, I have found my peace."  I'm not proud or busy with sublime things; I've stilled my soul like a weaned child.  Hope in the Lord...
  • Lk 14:12-14  “When you hold a banquet, don't invite friends, family, or wealthy neighbors, in case they invite you back and repay you.  No:  invite the poor, crippled, lame, and blind; you'll be blessed because they can't repay you.  You'll be repaid at the resurrection.”
    Complements Bishop Brennan's article?
  • Creighton:  The Spirit links us, filling us with faith and love.  Paul knew faith-filled people acting selflessly could change societies, but the power had to be directed by being of the same mind.  Paul wants unity in mind, heart, and soul for selfless acts of love.  When one aspect is emphasized over others, we feel out of balance....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Living and loving as never before":  Baptism gives us a new nature:  to appreciate others' gifts, to look to their interests, to serve them, to help those who can't repay us, to help anonymously.  May we serve unselfishly with humility....
  • Passionist:  “Hallowe'en” is a contraction of “All Hallows Eve,” the vigil of All Saints Day.  We should invite everyone to the table and welcome and help them.  May we welcome as the Lord welcomes us....
  • DailyScripture.net:  "You'll be repaid at the resurrection of the just":  Jesus lectured his host on whom to invite:  maybe the host expected a favor or wanted to impress others?  Generosity springs from God's mercy and compassion; it demands self-sacrifice.  May we respond with gratitude and show favor to those who can't repay us:  the poor, the sick, the disadvantaged....

October 30, 2016

31st Sun., Ordinary Time

October 30, 2016:  Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

  • 'Balance' pin:  "Before God the universe is as a grain from a balance..." (1st reading)
  • '[Blood] drop' pin:  "...or a dew drop come down" (1st reading)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  "O my God and King" (psalm)
  • 'Clocks' tie and suspenders:  Don't be 'alarmed' about the Lord's coming (2nd reading); countdown to end of liturgical year and Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy
  • 'Letter' tie bar, 'hand' tie pin:  Don't be shaken by a 'letter' allegedly from us saying the day of the Lord is at 'hand' (2nd reading)
  • 'Tree' pin:  Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

  • Upcoming (just-written sheet music)
Pope Francis Angelus
Imagine the amazement of Zacchaeus at Jesus' response!  Jesus’ mission of salvation, the Father's mercy, includes everyone, even dishonst, despised Zacchaeus.  Jesus' gaze goes beyond sins and prejudices to see future good; he doesn't stop at appearances but looks into the heart. So too with us, God overcomes sin with love so we desire good.  God finds good in each person. 
Sometimes we try to correct and convert sinners by rebuking them, but Jesus shows us another way: helping them to see their worth as God does and so help them grow and change.  May the Virgin Mary help us see the good in the people we encounter each day, so they might be encouraged to bring out the image of God impressed on their hearts.  May my upcoming voyage to Sweden to commemorate the Protestant Reformation usher in a new stage in the journey toward full communion.  Live video (in Italian)
Come down from the sycamore!
  • Wis 11:22-12:2  Before You the universe is a grain, a dewdrop.  You have mercy on all, overlook sin so we may repent, love all, loathe nothing, spare everything, warn gently.
  • Ps 145:1-2, 8-11, 13-14  "I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God."  The Lord—merciful, kind, compassionate, faithful—raises the falling.
  • 2 Thes 1:11-2:2  May God fulfill you.  Don't be alarmed about the Lord's coming.
  • Lk 19:1-10  Zacchaeus climbs a tree to see Jesus.  "Zacchaeus, come down; I must stay at your house."  "I'll give to the poor, make restitution."  "Salvation has come to this house.  The Son has come to seek and save what was lost."
    • Creighton:  Zacchaeus used his position to exploit people, but his encounter with Jesus led to a change of heart.  He was ready to climb a tree to "see who Jesus is."  This story comes just after "accept the kingdom like a child," the official blinded by his wealth, and Jesus' healing of a blind beggar who knows he needs healing.  Zacchaeus, though rich, is sufficiently childlike to scamper up a tree; his openness makes him ready to be healed of his greed and his readiness to exploit.  May we seek the truth with childlike openness and be ready to encounter and respond to the Lord.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "The return of the penitential people":  When we repent, we'll want to do penance and help repair the damage we've done, as Zacchaeus did.  Sin does extensive damage.  Zacchaeus is a patron of reparation and penance....
      Christ and Zacchaeus/ Larsen Stevns
    • Passionist:  The crowd sees Zacchaeus, tax collector and wealthy man, as a sinner, but he converts from selfishness to generosity.  Jesus didn't work a miracle for him, but his time with him was enough to turn him around.  In The 5 Love Languages, Chapman identifies giving “quality time” as a language of love.  Jesus did that:  he gave Zacchaeus attention, affirmation, and a non-judgmental attitude; he listened and enjoyed his company; he nourished his spirit by a loving attitude.  “The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own” (Disraeli).  Make the effort to be present to another, and see their goodness pour forth.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Zacchaeus received Jesus joyfully":  Jesus often "dropped in" and visited the "uninvited":  the poor, the lame, even public sinners like Zacchaeus.  Tax collectors were treated as outcasts; they accumulated wealth at others' expense.  Everybody hated chief tax collector Zacchaeus.  When Zacchaeus came to Jesus, he found more than he thought possible.  His repentance included giving to the poor and making restitution; his change of heart resulted in a change of life.
      "Zacchaeus saw Jesus, unimpeded by the crowd.  The crowd laughs at the lowly, prevents Jesus from being seen, boasts when it can get back what it owns, and blocks the sight of the one who said, 'Father, forgive them...'  Ignoring the crowd, Zacchaeus climbed a tree of 'silly fruit.'  'We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews, but folly to the Gentiles.'  The wise of this world laugh at us about the Cross.  'This world's wisdom is folly with God.'  Climb the sycamore tree and see Jesus; if you're ashamed to climb it, you won't see him.  Let Zacchaeus grasp the tree, and let the humble climb the cross.  Don't be ashamed of the cross but fix it on our forehead, the seat of shame.  You make fun of the sycamore, but that's what enabled me to see Jesus.  'God's foolishness is wiser'" (Augustine, Sermon 174.3, paraphrased; cf. CCEL).
      The Lord is always ready to make his home with each of us. Do I make room for Jesus in my heart and every area of life?
          • St. Marcellus, martyr, proclaimed his Christian identity and refused to worship Roman gods
          • Blessed Martyrs of Winchester:  Roger Dicconson, “undercover priest”; John Slade, schoolmaster; Ralph Milner, convert; Laurence Humphreys, convert, catechist; James Bird

        October 29, 2016

        Oct. 29

        October 29, 2016:  Saturday, 30th week, Ordinary Time

        • 'Dove' pin:  Proclaiming Christ will deliver me through your prayers and support from the Spirit (1st reading)
        • 'Magnifying glass' tie pin:  I hope Christ will be magnified in my body (1st reading)
        • 'Deer' tie:  As a hind longs for running water, so I long for You (psalm)
        • Silverware:  Jesus dined at the Pharisee's house (gospel)
        • 'Prize' pin:  As guests were choosing places of honor:  "Don't recline in the place of honor" (gospel)
        • Green suspenders:  Ordinary Time season

        Listen to Psalm 42 [inspired] settings

        Pope Francis La Civiltà Cattolica interview
        The interreligious meeting for peace in Assisi was very important.  We spoke of and asked for the peace religions truly want.  Lutherans can teach us about reform and Scripture:  Luther’s tried to reform the Church, though it led to separation; the Church is semper reformanda, always reforming.  Luther took a great step by putting God's Word into the people's hands.  Looking at the Lutheran tradition can help us deepend our reform and our regard for Scripture.
        The ecumenical movement can move forward by continuing theological dialogue, though it won't be easy because we understand some theological questions differently.  I believe enthusiasm must shift towards common prayer and works of mercy.  To do  something  together is a high and effective form of dialogue.  We can also work together in education, not in a sectarian way.  To proselytize in the ecclesial field is a sin.  Full text
        • Phil 1:18b-26  I rejoice when Christ is proclaimed.  It'll deliver me through your prayers and support from the Spirit.  I hope that Christ will be magnified in my body.  To me life is Christ, and death is gain.  I'm caught between them:  I long to depart this life and be with Christ, but remaining here is more necessary for you.  I'll remain and continue serving you all for your progress and joy in the faith...
        • Ps 42:2, 3, 5cdef  "My soul is thirsting for the living God" as the hind longs for water.  I led the throng to the house of God amid cries of joy and thanks.
        • Lk 14:1, 7-11  While Jesus was dining at a leading Pharisee's house, noticing how guests were choosing places of honor, he told a parable:  “When you're invited to a wedding banquet, don't recline in the place of honor, or else the host might ask you to give your place to a more distinguished guest, and you'd go with embarrassment to take the lowest place.  No; take the lowest place, so when the host comes he'll say, ‘My friend, move up higher.’  Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, but those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
          • Creighton:  May we long for God with a child's faith, with our whole heart, without shame or self-censorship.....
          • One Bread, One Body:  "All that matters":   Some Christians have promoted Jesus with the wrong motives:  to make Paul's imprisonment harsher, to provoke the Romans to torture or kill Paul.  But Paul's reaction was, "All that matters is that Christ is being proclaimed!"  Evil motives are overshadowed by proclamation of the Gospel.  Many still preach Jesus for motives of greed, pride, and ambition. Lamentable, but the Good News is more important than the bad news.  The Lord will be glorified through or despite us....
            The Lowest Places at the Feast/ Bube
          • Passionist:  Paul wrestles with staying vs. going, then realizes it's God’s will that he stay.  When making a decision, we look at pros and cons, thinking of family, career, living situation, and other factors.  So did Paul, including Christ in the process.  In discernment, we look at all factors, then pray for the grace to be open to God.  Paul was open to whatever God asked of him; he was ready to keep working for God or to let go of his earthly life.  Do I invite Christ into all aspects of my life?  Do I pray and listen to where Christ is leading me?
          • DailyScripture.net:  "Humble yourself":  Self-promotion is often achieved at others' expense.  Jesus' parable reinforces Proverbs.  True humility isn't low self-esteem (which focuses attention on ourselves); it's truth in self-understanding and action, seeing ourselves as God does.  Humility frees us to be ourselves and avoid despair and pride, unswayed by fame, reputation, success, or failure.  Humility enables us to view ourselves correctly; it leads to self-knowledge, honesty, strength, and dedication to something greater than ourselves. Humility frees us to love and serve others for their sake, as Jesus did.

          October 28, 2016

          Simon and Jude

          October 28, 2016:  SS. Simon and Jude, Apostles

          • 'Stone' tie pin:  You're members of God's household, built on Christ as capstone (1st reading)
          • 'Dove' pin:  You're being built into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit (1st reading)
          • 'Airplane' tie pin, 'earth' tie:  "Their message goes out through all the earth." (psalm)
          • 'Phone' tie bar:  Jesus 'called' his disciples (gospel)
          • Red shirt:  Color of apostles' feast


          Pope Francis homily
          Jesus went up to spend the night in prayer; then the rest followed:  crowds, choosing disciples, healing, casting out demons…  Jesus is praying; he prayed then and continues to pray for the Church.  The cornerstone of the Church is our Lord interceding to the Father on our behalf, praying for us.  We pray to him, but the key is that he prays for us.
          Jesus always prayed for his followers, be it at the Last Supper or before performing a miracle such as the raising of Lazarus; and he ended his life in prayer.  Jesus praying for us, for me, is our security, our foundation, our cornerstone.  I'm certain Jesus is in front of the Father praying for me by name.  Jesus in prayer is the cornerstone of the Church.
          Before his Passion, Jesus told Peter he'd been praying for him to withstand Satan’s temptation and hold firm.  What he told him, he tells each of us:  "I've prayed for you, and I'm praying for you now."  This gives us a great sense of security.  I belong to a community that’s solid because Jesus is its cornerstone, praying for us.  Reflect on the mystery of the Church; we're a building with Jesus as its foundation, Jesus praying for us, for me.

          • Eph 2:19-22  You're no longer strangers and sojourners but fellow citizens, members of God's household, with Christ as capstone.  Through him the structure grows into a temple; in him you're being built into a dwelling place of God.
          • Ps 19:2-5  "Their message goes out through all the earth."  The heavens declare God's glory.
          • Lk 6:12-16  Jesus spent the night in prayer, then called his 12 'Apostles':  Simon whom he named Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, Simon (called a Zealot), Judas, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
              • Creighton:  The apostles followed Jesus, sensing in him something wonderful, awaited, special, and appealing.  Jesus called them to become the New Israel.  Jesus called ordinary people.  We too are ordinary, but special because we're called.  We need only say yes to God's loving call and follow Jesus....
                SS. Simon and Jude
              • Passionist:  As fellow citizens, we join Simon, Jude, and the other apostles, called to take care of God’s people.  The works of mercy remind us of the needs of the poor, immigrants, refugees, the sick, disabled, homeless, lonely, disenfranchised, and forgotten.  May we help all created in God's image....
              • DailyScripture.net:  "Jesus chose twelve apostles":  Jesus chose 12 ordinary people as his friends and apostles, nonprofessionals, common people, sans wealth, position, special education, or social advantages; he wanted people who could follow him well.  When the Lord calls, don't shrink back thinking you have nothing to offer; he uses us for greatness in his kingdom.  People came to Jesus because they heard what he did and wanted healing. Jesus offers true freedom to all who seek him with faith....
                • Jude (Thaddeus), apostle, at the Last Supper asked Jesus why he showed himself only to the disciples; patron saint of lost and desperate causes.

              October 27, 2016

              Oct. 27

              October 27, 2016:  Thursday, 30th week, Ordinary Time

              Find 22 connections with today?
              Legend below

              For 1st reading
              For Psalm 144
              Pope Francis

              Homily:  Jesus had his Father's tenderness when he wept over Jerusalem.  Somebody said God became man to be able to weep over what his children had done.  The weeping in front of Lazarus' tomb is the weeping of a friend.  In the same way, we can look at the behavior of the prodigal son's father and what happens when the son asks for his inheritance and leaves home.  The father didn't go to his neighbors to say, “Look at the horrible thing that happened to me!  I'll curse this son…”  Maybe went to his bedroom and wept alone.  The Gospel doesn't talk about that; it just says he saw his son returning, meaning the Father was continually looking.  A father who does this is living in tears, waiting for his son to return.  This is the weeping of God the Father; with it, he recreates all creation through his Son.  When Jesus carried the cross, the pious women wept, not over him but their own children.

              God still weeps like parents:  in front of calamities, wars waged to worship the god of money, people killed by bombs.  He says, "My children, what are you doing?"  He also says it to the poor victims, arms traffickers, and all those who sell the life of people.  Think about how God became man to be able to weep and how God weeps today, over humanity that doesn't understand the peace he offers us, the peace of love.
              To John Paul II Institute:  The Church understands marriage and family as an expression and fulfillment of human nature, ordered to human flourishing.  It's a treasure in need of ransom from alarming intellectual, cultural, and social threats.  We must apply ourselves enthusiastically to the work of rehabilitating, "ransoming," this divine creation of marriage and family.  The work must be taken seriously, both in the doctrinal and practical senses; the dynamics of relationships between God, man, woman, and children are the key to understanding the world and history.  At times we've proposed an abstract and almost artificial ideal of marriage and family, removed from concrete situations and possibilities; it doesn't help make marriage more desirable and attractive.  A theological doctrine not guided and shaped by the Church's evangelizing purpose and pastoral concern is unthinkable....
                Breastplate of righteousness
              • Eph 6:10-20  Draw your strength from the Lord and his power.  Put on God's armor to stand firm against the Devil; our struggle is with principalities, powers, rulers of the present darkness, with evil spirits.  So put on God's armor to resist and hold your ground.  Stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod, ready for the Gospel of peace.  Hold faith as a shield, to quench the Evil One's flaming arrows.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, God's word.  Pray in the Spirit.  Be watchful with perseverance and supplication for all the holy ones and for me, that I may make the Gospel known with courage.
              • Ps 144:1b, 2, 9-10  "Blessed be the Lord, my Rock," mercy, fortress, stronghold, deliverer, and shield.  O God, I'll sing praise to you...
              • Lk 13:31-35  Pharisees / Jesus:  “Go away; Herod wants to kill you.” / “Go tell that fox, ‘I cast out demons and heal today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose.  I must continue; prophets die in Jerusalem.’  “Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets, how I've yearned to gather your children, but you were unwilling!  Your house will be abandoned.  You won't see me till the time when you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”
                • Creighton:  Today's 1st reading is a good guide on how to protect ourselves from evil.  Unless we pray and follow those instructions, chances are the evil one will infiltrate our lives. Visualize a time when darkness surrounded you and you trembled with fear.  Distractions came at you, you felt an evil presence, and a voice spoke untruths to you saying you weren't good enough, and there was no hope to escape.  Then you cry to God, see light, and are guided by God toward the light and protected.  He tells you you can stand firm if you hold onto him.  We must be prepared to fight evil today, protected, armed with his word, ready to share the Gospel of peace.  The devil would enjoy if we listened to him, but he's defeated when we fight with prayer in the Spirit.  The more we stand firm, the harder the evil one tries to get us to stumble, but salvation is ours....
                • One Bread, One Body:  "Don't budge":  Our goal in battle is to hold our ground and stand fast; the devil wants to manipulate us.  When we're anointed by God, we're invincible, so the devil tries to deceive and push us to give ground.  When we're out of place, we're on our own and are no match for the devil.  The devil tried to get Jesus to give in, but Jesus didn't deviate from doing his Father's will.  Even in agony on the cross he was tempted to come down, but he remained steadfast and conquered evil.
                • Passionist:  The readings are about preparation:   “Put on the armor of God so you may be able to stand firm... and to resist on the evil day.”  “The Lord trains my hands for battle.”  Jesus sets his face toward Jerusalem, where he'll accomplish his purpose.  Some say, just engage in the present moment, where God is present; if you live in the past or future, you may miss God.  Maybe the key is to stay aware of the grace of the present, knowing it may be my armor for the future.  The signs of God around me now are my armor, strength, and grace to carry me into God’s arms.
                • DailyScripture.net:  "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"  When King Herod heard thousands were coming to Jesus, he decided it was time to eliminate this threat; that's why some Pharisees warned Jesus to flee from Herod, but Jesus warned that they were in greater danger if they didn't heed God and the prophets.  Like the prophets, Jesus posed a threat to the authorities.
                Jesus called Herod a fox.  Foxes were regarded as sly and destructive; they symbolized what was worthless, insignificant, and destructive.  Jesus willingly exposed himself to danger but prayed for his persecutors and for those who rejected God's message.  Do I?  Jesus contrasted his desire for Jerusalem with Jerusalem's lack of desire for him; he compares his longing with a hen gathering her chicks.  "Under his wings you will find refuge."  "I am the door; if you enter by me, you'll be saved...."
                Dress legend
                • 'Breastplate/shield/sword' tie pin:  The Lord, my shield, delivered David from the evil sword (psalm); breastplate of righteousness, sword of the Spirit; shield of faith... (1st reading) 
                • 'Arrow' tie bar:  ...to quench the arrows of the Evil One (1st reading)
                • 'Helmet' tie pin:  Helmet of salvation (1st reading)
                • 'Rock/stone' tie pin:  "Jersusalem, you who stone those sent to you" (gospel); Blessed be the Lord, my Rock,... (psalm)
                • 'Hand' tie pin:  ...who trains my hands for battle (psalm)
                  • 'Dove' pin:  Sword of the Spirit; pray in the Spirit (1st reading) 
                  • 'Blood drop' pin:  Our struggle is not with flesh and blood... (1st reading)
                  • 'Ruler' tie bar:  ...but with the 'rulers' of this darkness (1st reading)
                  • 'Feet' pin, 'peace sign' tie bar:  Stand fast with feet ready for the Gospel of peace (1st reading)
                  • 'Bass guitars' tie:  With a 10-stringed lyre I'll chant your praise (psalm) [shhh; they only have 4 strings each]
                  • 'Hen' pin:  Jerusalem, I've yearned to gather your children as a hen her brood (gospel)
                  • 'Love' suspenders:  Jesus' love-driven healings, lament for Jerusalem (gospel)
                  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

                  October 26, 2016

                  Oct. 26

                  October 26, 2016:  Wednesday, 30th week, Ordinary Time

                  • 'Children around the world' tie:  Children, obey your parents (1st reading); people will come from east, west, north, and south... (gospel)

                  • 'Heart' pin:  Be obedient, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; do God's will from the heart (1st reading)'Key' tie pin:  The master locked the door (gospel)

                  • 'Silverware' tie bar, '?' tie pin:  "We ate and drank in your company..." / "I don't know where you come from" (gospel)

                  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

                  Pope Francis General Audience
                  Refugees fleeing war, famine, and poverty call us to welcome and care for them.  Through the centuries, so many have generously met the needs of people fleeing violence and injustice, but today's economic crisis fosters closure, not welcome.   Walls and barriers are being built, and the silent work of people trying to help refugees and migrants is being drowned out.   Closure actually ends up favoring criminal trafficking.  The only solution is solidarity with the migrant, with the foreigner:  no one excluded.  We're all called to welcome those fleeing war, hunger, violence, and cruelty.  When we help a refugee, there can be some discomfort, a ‘smell,’ but it brings fragrance to the soul and changes us.
                  So too, ‘clothing the naked’ increasingly means caring for those whose dignity has been stripped and working to ensure it's safeguarded, by giving clothes to those with none, or fighting exploitation of women by human traffickers....  Having no job, home, or just salary is a form of nakedness we're called to act on, as is suffering discrimination because of race or faith.  May we never close our hearts to those in need.  By being open, our lives are enriched, society can enjoy peace, and all can live with dignity.
                  • Eph 6:1-9  Children, obey your parents.  Fathers, don't provoke your children; instruct them in the Lord.  Slaves, be obedient to your masters in sincerity of heart, as slaves of Christ.  Masters, act in the same way towards them, and stop bullying, knowing that both they and you have a Master in heaven and that with him there is no partiality.
                  • Ps 145:10-14  "The Lord is faithful in all his words."  Let your works thank you and your faithful bless you.  The Lord is faithful and holy; he lifts up the falling and raises those bowed down.
                  • Lk 13:22-30  “Strive to enter through the narrow gate; many will try but won't be strong enough.  After the master locks the door, you'll say, ‘Open the door for us,’ he'll reply, ‘I do not know you,’ you'll say, ‘We ate and drank with you...,’ he'll say, ‘I don't know you; depart, you evildoers!’ and there will be grinding of teeth.  Some of the last will be first, and some of the first, last.”
                    • Creighton:  We need to be obedient and to believe in our Lord's faithfulness.  No matter whom we “serve” on earth, we should always serve the Lord.,,,
                    • One Bread, One Body:  "Work it out":  Translate 'slave' (1st reading) as 'employee.'  We should obey our bosses with the reverence, even when they're unreasonable.  Suffering injustice and enduring hardship through awareness of God's presence is the work of grace.  We're working for food that remains forever.  May we do God's will with all our heart....
                    • Passionist:  The "narrow gate" to the Kingdom of God seems to come with requirements:   We won’t make it with suitcases of money and treasures, supporters, or giant egos.  We have to pass through on our own.  The inscription at Abbey of Gethsemani entrance is, “God Alone.” We're called to enter the Kingdom with our hearts open and everything else left behind.  Jesus led the way on the Cross, stripped of everything, alone, full of love; may we follow him into the Kingdom.
                    • DailyScripture.net:  "Don't risk being shut out":  The latecomers to whom the door was shut had offended their host and deserved to be excluded.  (Teachers would close the door on tardy students and not let them back in for a week.)  Jesus said that being in a covenant with God didn't guarantee entry into God's kingdom, and that Gentiles would enter.  We can be excluded if we don't strive to enter by the narrow door, Jesus himself, who freed us from slavery to sin made us God's children, free to choose to serve the kingdom of truth and light or the that of falsehood and darkness.  To enter God's kingdom, we must follow the Lord on his way of the cross, renouncing our own will, life, and way for his.  'Strive' can be translated as 'agony.'  We must struggle against every opposing force, even the temptation to indifference or compromise.  But God's grace is with us in the struggle!
                      • Chad, abbot, bishop, holy and humble, dedicated to preaching the Gospel.
                      • Cedd, Chad's brother, monastery founder, bishop