October 4, 2016


October 4, 2016:  St. Francis of Assisi

  • 'Nail' and 'blood drop' pins:  St. Francis's stigmata
  • 'Silverware' tie pin:  Martha was serving... (gospel)
  • 'Feet' pin:  ...while Mary was at Jesus' feet (gospel)
  • 'Airplane' pin:  Paul's travels (1st reading); "My journeys... you scrutinize" (psalm)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  "He called me through his grace" (1st reading)
  • 'Blood drop' pin:  "I didn't immediately consult flesh and blood" (1st reading)
  • 'Car' pin:  "Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way" (psalm)
  • 'Magnifying glass' tie bar:  "My journeys and rest you scrutinize" (psalm)
  • 'Messiah' T-shirt:  God revealed his Son to me (1st reading); Mary was at the feet of Jesus (gospel); today's musical selection

For St. Francis
For the gospel

      Pope Francis
      Pray for journalists:  How can media be put to the service of a culture of encounter?  We need information leading to compromise for the good of humanity and the planet.  Join me praying that journalists, in carrying out their work, may always be motivated by respect for truth and a strong sense of ethics.  Video
      To Azerbaijan political and civil authorities:  Your efforts to strengthen institutions and promote the nation's growth requires attention towards all, especially the weakest, and is possible thanks to a society that recognizes the benefits of multiculturalism.  This leads to mutual collaboration and respect in society and across religions.  Harmonizing differences shows we can bear witness to one’s own ideas without abusing the rights of others with different perspectives.  Every religious path must exclude attitudes and approaches that misuse their own convictions, or God's name.  Continue on the way of cooperation.  May harmony and peaceful coexistence always give you vitality and allow you to contribute to the common good. 
      To oppose intolerance and violence and to safeguard the rights of the weakest, promote peace, fostered by willingness for dialogue and awareness that we must search for shared solutions.  Persevere on the path of harmony, progress, and freedom within and between states, to bring peace and spare people pain. May the international community help solve the refugee crisis, reduce bloody conflicts, and overcome differences.
      The Catholic Church participates in your joys and shares your challenges, and I'm pleased with relations among the Catholic, Muslim, Orthodox, and Jewish communities.  May friendship and cooperation increase further; the good relations foster world peace and demonstrate that cordial relations are possible among the followers of different religions.  May faith in God inspire mutual understanding and respect, and reciprocal help, in pursuit of the common good.  
      • Gal 1:13-24  I used to persecute and try to destroy the Church and zealously progress in Judaism, but when he who called me revealed his Son to me, I went into Arabia, returned to Damascus, went to Jerusalem to spend two weeks with Cephas, then went to Syria and Cilicia.  The churches of Judea glorified God that the one once persecuting them was now preaching the faith.
      • Ps 139:1b-3, 13-15  "Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way."  Lord, you formed me and know me, my thoughts, and my actions,  Your works are wonderful.
      • Lk 10:38-42  Martha, burdened with serving while her sister Mary was listening to Jesus at his feet / Jesus, “Don't you care my sister left me serving by myself?  Tell her to help.” / “Martha, Martha, you're anxious and worried about many things, but only one is needed.  Mary has chosen the better part, and it won't be taken from her.”
          Christ in the House of Martha and Mary/ Vermeer
        • Creighton:  Martha shows a growing friendship with Jesus from the time the sisters invited him for dinner.  Maybe she blamed Jesus for keeping Mary chatting or listening while she was swamped in chores, but she doesn't seem free enough to confront Jesus about it.  So she blames Mary for leaving her with chores, perhaps because she wasn't assured enough to confront Jesus directly.  Even when she tells him: Don't you care?  Tell her to help me, she's addressing Mary indirectly.  The scene recalls the synagogue president blaming those present after Jesus cured on the Sabbath, instead of confronting Jesus.  In addressing Mary through a “reproach” to Jesus, Martha is communicating obliquely.  Are we free to “complain” to Jesus, or do we take it out on family, fellow workers, community members...?  We may need to grow in our friendship with the Lord, like Martha did.  After her brother died, she “complained” to the Master directly, essentially saying, "Why didn't you come earlier?"
        There will be situations when we're not sure of ourselves or of the meaning of our experience in our relationship with God.  We're invited to be assured even when we're not sure and to address our uneasiness to Jesus directly, not obliquely.  Francis of Assisi found himself in a Church situation that deserved confrontation; he confronted it by embracing a lifestyle opposite to what he saw in the Church, essentially using constructive oblique communication. Today Pope Francis confronts unjust situations facing us both with the constructive oblique communication of his example, and with direct words.
        • Passionist:  Paul could “boast” in Jesus Crucified and look to the Cross as the means of salvation.  Francis heard Jesus' call, gave himself to Jesus, and began a life of praise and sacrifice.  To boast of Jesus Crucified, praise God in all of creation, and rest in the Lord and learn to love God and neighbor:  Jesus offers transformation through joyful love, poverty, humility, and simplicity.
        St. Francis abandons his father
        Di Giovanni
        Jesus' call radically changed Francis; he renounced his possessions and lived evangelical poverty and preaching.  Francis was charismatic, compassionate, and in love with creation; others were attracted to his life style.  He compiled a “rule of life” and established religious communities.  In his 44 years, he sparked a spiritual renewal that still thrives.  How do I respect God’s presence in people, nature, created things?  How are simplicity and humility part of my life?  How am helping build up the Church?  Francis invites us to boast in Jesus Crucified and praise God in our simplicity and respect for all God’s Life.
        • DailyScripture.net:  "You're anxious; one thing is needful":  Jesus enjoyed Martha and Mary's hospitality.  Martha loved to serve, but her anxious waiting on Jesus caused unrest.  Mary simply waited on him at his feet, knowing the Lord wanted her attentive presence.  Anxiety and preoccupation keep us from listening and giving the Lord our attention.  The Lord can meet any need we have; he frees us from needless concern and preoccupation.  He wants us to make a place for him in our hearts, homes, and lives.  We honor the Lord when we offer to him all we have and do.  Paul urges us to give God glory in everything. When you entertain, remember the Lord is your guest.  When Abraham opened his home and welcomed unknown travelers, he welcomed the Lord who blessed him.  The Lord wants us to glorify him in how we treat others and use the gifts he's given us....
        St. Francis of Assisi
        • Universalis:  Francis, son of prosperous cloth merchant, lived evangelical poverty, preached God's love to all, loved creation, celebrated everything as gift, understood disciples must carry Jesus' cross, founded Franciscan order...

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