November 30, 2016


November 30, 2016:  St. Andrew, Apostle

See 13 connections with today?
Legend below

Pope Francis
General AudienceTomorrow is UN-promoted World AIDS Day.  Millions live with this illness and only half have access to life-saving therapies.  Pray for them and their families and promote solidarity so the poor can benefit from adequate diagnosis and treatment.  Act responsibly to prevent further spread of AIDS.
To Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew:  I'm joyful to send a delegation to the celebration of the feast of St. Andrew, patron of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, to convey my best wishes to you, the Holy Synod, the clergy, and all gathered to remember him.  The exchange of delegations between Rome and Constantinople is a sign of the bonds that unite Rome and Constantinople and an expression of yearning for deeper communion.  The intercession of our patrons and the martyrs sustain us in our journey towards eucharistic communion.
It is for Catholics a source of encouragement that we're committed to reestablishing the unity of Christians.  You've remained conscious of existing difficulties to unity and have kept fostering encounter and dialogue.  Because of past conflicts in relations between Christians, some cling to past attitudes, but prayer, common good works, and dialogue can enable us to overcome division.  Catholics and Orthodox have begun to recognize one another as brothers and sisters, to value each other’s gifts, and together to proclaim the Gospel, serve others, care for the needy and for creation, and promote peace, human dignity, and the value of the family.  Theological dialogue has contributed to mutual understanding.
I fondly recall our meeting in Assisi to appeal for world peace; it deepened our friendship, expressed in a shared vision regarding questions that affect the life of the Church and society.  I renew my best wishes for peace, health, and blessings on you and all entrusted to your care.
  • Rom 10:9-18  All, Jew or Gentile, who confess Jesus as Lord, believe God raised him, and call on the Lord will be saved.  People need to be sent to preach so others can hear, believe, and call on the Lord.  Faith comes from what is heard, through Christ's word.  How beautiful the feet of those who bring good news!  Their voice has gone forth to all the earth.
  • Ps 19:8-11  "The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just." or "Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life."  The law of the Lord is perfect, trustworthy, right, clear, pure, true, just, precious, and sweet, giving refreshment, wisdom, joy, and light.
  • Mt 4:18-22  Jesus to fishermen Simon and his brother Andrew:  “Come; I'll make you fishers of men.”  They followed him.  He called James and John; they left their boat and father and followed him.
    • Creighton:  We don't know much about what sets Andrew apart from the other eleven.  He was Peter’s brother, from Bethsaida but later settled down in Capernaum.  He was a disciple of John the Baptizer, who introduced him to Jesus as Lamb of God.  He told his brother he met the Messiah.  Paul’s description of evangelization helps us ponder our own call to be apostles and evangelists, messengers carrying the good news, called from baptism to share in the mission of Jesus as prophet, priest, and king.  Living the role of evangelist means talking about Jesus and our faith.  If talking about Jesus seems unnatural to us, maybe we haven't followed and been with Jesus like the apostles.  We can ponder Jesus’ life and teaching in Scripture, pray about and to Jesus as our Lord, and be with other disciples.  Meeting with kindred spirits to pray and talk about our efforts to live our faith helps us serve others in Jesus’ name; they'll ask what keeps us happy, loving, and hopeful.  The "new evangelization” is really the original evangelization practiced by the apostles, the seventy-two, the five hundred, Paul, and all the rest....
      St. Andrew icon
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Odd man out":  When Jesus called his first apostles, he started with Peter, Andrew, James, and John; actually Andrew introduced Peter to Jesus.  We see them together in other parts of the gospel, but Andrew seems to have been dropped from the inner circle:  only Peter, James, and John accompanied Jesus to the Transfiguration, the raising of Jairus' daughter, Gethsemane.  Andrew may have struggled with feeling excluded; we may have the struggle of being left out.  Even if it's God's will, we can feel jealous, resentful, or unforgiving.  But we won't be left out of the most important things, like God's grace, love, and eternal life.  May we be like Andrew and thank God for calling us to serve him, even if we're left out of some things....
    • Passionist:  Over a quarter of our bones are in our feet.  Our feet enable us to stand, dance, play sports, kick.  They can be the feet of Christ.  “Christ has no body but yours… Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good, the hands with which he blesses the world, the eyes..." (But did Teresa of Avila really say this?)  “How beautiful... are the feet of those who bring good tidings.”  We honor Andrew, the first to hear and answer Jesus' call and walk with him.  He went on to use his feet to bring good tidings to many places.  May his example inspire us to walk with Jesus. using our whole bodies in service of the gospel.
      • Andrew, fisherman, apostle, one of the first to follow Jesus, introduced his brother, Simon Peter, to him.
      • Cuthbert Mayne, priest, martyr
    Dress legend
    • NEW "What would Jesus do" pin:  "They left their nets and followed him" (gospel)
    • 'Feet' pin: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news! (1st reading)
    • 'Phone' tie bar:  All who 'call' on the Lord will be saved (1st reading); Jesus called fishermen (gospel)
    • 'Fishes' tie:  Jesus called during fishing expedition (gospel)
    • 'Fishing pole' tie bar: Peter and Andrew were fishermen (gospel)
    • 'Boat' tie bar: James and John were in a boat with their dad (gospel)
    • 'Heart' pin:  One believes with the heart and so is justified (1st reading); the Lord's precepts rejoice the heart... (psalm)
    • 'Eyeball' pin:  ...and enlighten the eye; (psalm)
    • Gold-colored accessories:  they're more precious than gold... (psalm)
    • Comb (in pocket, so I didn't count it):  ...and sweeter than honey from the 'comb' (psalm)
    • Red shirt:  St. Andrew, apostle
    • Purple in suspenders:  Advent season

    November 29, 2016

    Nov. 29

    November 29, 2016:  Tuesday, 1st week, Advent

    See 19 connections with today?
    Legend below


    For 1st reading
    For Psalm 72
    Pope Francis homily
    God reveals himself to the humble and childlike, not the wise and learned.  Today's 1st reading is full of references to little things such as the shoot from the stump of Jesse, rather than an army, to bring about liberation.  In the Christmas story too, the leading figures are small and humble:  baby, mother, and father have big hearts but a child's attitude.  This small shoot will have the virtue of the childlike and the fear of the Lord.  Fear of the Lord is not terror: no, it's practicing God’s commandment:  "Live in my presence; be perfect."  Fear of the Lord is humility.  Only the childlike can understand humility and fear of the Lord because they walk in front of the Lord, watched over, protected, feeling the Lord's strength.
    Living Christian humility means having fear of the Lord which is:  "You are God; I'm human; I journey with little things of life but walk in your presence and try to be perfect."  True humility is the virtue of the childlike, not theatrical humility, the humility of somebody who says, "I'm humble and proud of it."  The truly humble walk in the Lord's presence, don't speak badly about others, look only at serving, and feel small; that's where their strength lies.
    We see great humility in the girl to whom God sent his Son and then hastened to her cousin and said nothing about what happened.  Humility is journeying in the Lord's presence, happy and joyful.  Looking at Jesus who rejoiced because God reveals himself to the humble, we ask for the grace of humility, the grace of fear of God, of walking in his presence, trying to be perfect.  With this, we can be vigilant in prayer, carry out works of charity, and rejoice and give praise.
    • Is 11:1-10  From the stump of Jesse a shoot shall sprout and a bud blossom.  The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him.  He'll judge the poor with justice.  The wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie with the kid; the calf and the lion shall browse together, with a child guiding them.  Cow and bear shall be neighbors.  The baby shall play by the cobra’s den.  Earth shall be filled with knowledge of the Lord.  Gentiles shall seek the root of Jesse, for his dwelling shall be glorious.
    • Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17  "Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever."  The king shall govern with justice.  He shall rescue the poor and the afflicted.  He shall save the lives of the poor.  In him shall all the earth be blessed.
    • Lk 10:21-24  “I give you praise, Father, for you've revealed to the childlike things hidden from the wise.  The Father has handed all things over to me.”  To disciples:  “Blessed your eyes; many desired to see what you see and hear what you hear.”
        • Creighton:  The Messiah, savior, will come, so full of God's Spirit that God will spill out everywhere and cause enemies to seek each other out in peaceful companionship so rich that all creation will bear fruit from that peace.  If we believed in the truth of Jesus’ Incarnation and Paschal Mystery, we'd see ourselves sharing in the Spirit's outpouring, and those around us would know the Lord's glory.  Developing friendship and establishing peace calls for gentle, merciful, and vulnerable behavior, and we have to trust we've been given the Spirit to move us beyond our sinful impulses of division, dominance, and control.  Advent reminds us to gaze at the promise of what can be when “God is With Us” and we with God.  To dwell on God’s Mountain now is to host a feast of joy, forgiveness, and humility in cooperation with the Shoot that wants to bloom in us.  Jesus gives us the place and invites the guests:  those who need our prayers, forgiveness, repentance, hope, talents, resources; we provide the banquet out of generosity, courage, and mercy.  Kings and prophets wanted the grace we've received through the fulfillment of the messianic promise.  May we give the banquet of love away profligately; it's the only way to dwell on God’s Mountain today.  Praying Advent home page
          Root of Jesse/ Sr. Ansgar Holmberg, CSJ
        • One Bread, One Body:  "The wood of death leads to life":  A stump is wood of death, left over from what was a living tree.  But some trees, like the chestnut, are "stump-sprouters"; life sprouts from the wood of death.  Jesus, crucified, died on the cross, the wood of death, but he, the Shoot, sprouted, rising from the dead and now in glory with the Father.  The world sees stumps all around:  perhaps ruined marriages, disaster-ravaged towns, addicts, poor violence-riddled neighborhoods....  But in the eyes of faith, Christians see them as seed ground for new life.  "Death is swallowed up in victory."
        • Passionist:  The readings challenge us to see life in a new light.  In this gift-giving season God has gifts to give too; we just need to ask as children:  curious, willing to try new things:  curious enough about our faith that we keep learning about scripture, Church teachings, and prayer....  We don’t know what we've been given till we unwrap it and start using it.  When we're childlike, we see new possibilities; God gives us courage, wisdom, understanding, strength, knowledge and fear of the Lord....
        •  "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see!"  Jesus remarked that prophets and kings longed to see and understand God's plan.  When David’s throne was overthrown and vacant, God promised to raise up a king from the stump of David's father Jesse to rule forever because the Spirit of God would be with him.  Isaiah prophesied the Messiah would have the gifts of the Spirit.  He'd establish God's kingdom, not by force but by offering his life.  Jesus, Messiah-King, defeated Satan, overcame death, and won pardon and reconciliation.  God's plan of redemption included everyone.  Jesus makes us citizens of heaven, God's friends.  The Lord wants us to live in hope and expectation that he'll return to establish his kingdom of justice and peace.
        Jesus' prayer tells us God is loving Father and Lord of earth and heaven, Creator of all; it also warns us that pride can keep us from God.  Pride closes us to God's truth and wisdom, while the simple of heart see purely, acknowledge their dependence on and trust in God, and seek God.  Simplicity is wedded with humility, inclining the heart to grace and truth, allowing God's grace to take root, inclining us towards God, disposing us to receive his help.... 
        Dress legend
        • 'Tree' pin:  A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse (1st reading)
        • 'Dove' pin:  The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him (1st reading); Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit (gospel)
        • 'Owl' tie pin:  The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him:  a Spirit of wisdom...  (1st reading); You've hidden things from the wise but revealed them to the childlike (gospel) 
        • Belt:  Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt (1st reading)
        • 'Snake' pin:  The baby shall play by the cobra’s den, and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair (1st reading)
        • 'Scales of justice' pin:  He'll judge the poor with justice (1st reading); justice shall flourish (psalm) 
        • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  Peace will flourish (psalm)
          • 'Lamb,' 'cow,' 'lion,' 'bear' pins/tie bars:  Wolf as lamb's guest, calf and lion together, cow and bear as neighbors (1st reading)
          • 'Alps' pin:  There shall be no harm on my holy mountain (1st reading)
          • 'Children' tie:  A child will lead them (1st reading); You've revealed hidden things to the childlike (gospel)
          • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  Blessed the eyes that see what you see (gospel)
          • Purple suspenders:  Advent season 

          November 28, 2016

          Nov. 28

          November 28, 2016:  Monday, 1st week, Advent

          • 'Fire' pin:  The Lord will create a light of flaming fire (1st reading)
          • 'Blood drop' pin:  The Lord will purge Jerusalem’s blood (1st reading)
          • 'Feet' pin:  We've set foot within your gates (psalm)
          • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! (psalm)
          • 'Doctor's office' tie:  Jesus healed centurion's servant (gospel)
          • 'Fruit' pin:  The fruit of the earth will be honor and splendor (Sunday 1st reading)
          • 'Sword' tie pin:  They'll beat their swords into plowshares (Sunday 1st reading)
              • Purple in shirt and suspenders:  Advent season
              For Psalm 122
              Pope Francis homily
              Encountering Jesus is the grace we desire in Advent.  The season's liturgy shows us many encounters with Jesus:  with Mary in the womb, John the Baptist, the shepherds, the magi.  Advent is a time for journeying and meeting the Lord, not standing still.
              How do I prepare for encountering the Lord?  Vigilant prayer, industrious charity, and exultant praise.  I must pray with vigilance.  I must work hard to show charity – fraternal charity, not only giving alms, but being tolerant of people who annoy me, being tolerant when family members are difficult or children make too much noise.  And I must praise the Lord with joy.
              But there will be a surprise, because he's the Lord of surprises.  The Lord doesn't stand still either.  I'm on a journey to encounter him, he's on one to encounter me, and when we meet we see the surprise that he was seeking me before I began to seek him.  He's always first.  He makes his journey to find us, as with the Centurion.
              We take one step and he ten.  His grace, love, tenderness never tire of seeking us, even with small things.  We think encountering the Lord will be magnificent, like Naaman did.  It’s not easy; God surprised him too.  God seeks and awaits us, asking only our good will.  We must want to encounter him; then he helps.  He'll accompany us throughout our life, even if it seems to us he's far away.  He waits like the prodigal son's father.  When he sees we want to draw close, he comes out to meet us.  The encounter with the Lord is the important thing!  Faith is an encounter with Jesus, not a theory, philosophy, or idea.  If you haven't encountered his mercy, you can recite the Creed from memory and not necessarily have faith.
              The doctors of the Law knew everything but didn't have faith, because their hearts were far from God.  Father, give us the desire to meet your Christ, with good works, vigilant prayer, industrious charity, and exultant praise.  Then we'll encounter the Lord and will have a beautiful surprise. 
                Flaming fire....
              • Is 4:2-6  The branch of the Lord will be luster and glory, the fruit of the earth honor and splendor.  Those who remain in Zion will be called holy, everyone marked for life.  When the Lord purges Jerusalem’s blood with searing judgment, he'll create a smoking cloud by day and flaming fire by night.  His glory will be shelter and protection for all....
              • Ps 122:1-9  "Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord."  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
              • Mt 8:5-11  Centurion / Jesus:  “My servant is home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” / “I'll come and cure him.” / “I'm not worthy to have you enter; just say the word and he'll be healed, just as soldiers do what I say.” / “In no one in Israel have I found such faith.  Many will come and recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom.”
                • Creighton:  At Mass, as we're invited to Communion with our Lord, we say, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed,” the words the centurion uttered after Jesus said, “I will come and cure him.”  Do we feel unworthy to have Christ enter under our roof and into our lives, because our house is not in order?  It'll never be, but the Lord knows and just asks that we believe in his love and his willingness to forgive us.  Advent reminds us of Jesus' birth and return.  He's ready to enter under our roof and save us; all we have to do is ask.  How willing am I to let Jesus under our roof?  What am I afraid of?
                  Jesus healing the servant of a Centurion/ Veronese
                • One Bread, One Body:  "Can you believe this?"  Advent readings start with mind-boggling prophecies from Isaiah, painting a glorious picture of restoration fashioned by the coming Messiah.  Even now as Jerusalem is besieged by suicide bombers, the Lord wants to purge "Jerusalem's blood from her midst," to so transform it that instruction and God's word will go forth, not conflict.  Isaiah proclaims a powerful Messiah who can cause Israel and the Palestinians to cash in their weapons for seed and tractors....  The Messiah has awesome power and fantastic plans for good that include us.  Nearly everyone missed the Messiah's first coming, despite all the prophecies; now the readings tell us to get ready for Jesus' coming.  Will we also shrug off the prophecies and so miss his coming?
                • Passionist:  As we journey through Advent, may we focus on spreading the message of peace and joy among God’s people.  The centurion's faith amazed Jesus.  How's our faith?  May we rest in God’s love and protection in this busy season, taking time to share the Lord's peace and joy.  May this season be a time of renewed faith, hope, and love as we rest in the transforming joy of the Lord....
                  St. Catherine Labouré, pray for us.
                •  "Many will sit at table in the kingdom of God":  God invites everyone who will turn to him with faith and obedience.  Jesus promised that everyone who believed in him would feast at his Father's table; he said it in response to a centurion, an outsider despised by many, not one of the "chosen."  The Romans represented everything the Jews stood against:  foreign domination, pagan beliefs and practices....  This centurion was courageous and faith-filled; in seeking Jesus' help, he risked ridicule and mockery, but he approached with confidence and humility.  Slaves were usually treated as animals, but he loved his slave and wanted Jesus to heal him.  Am I willing to suffer ridicule in practicing my faith?  Do I approach the Lord with faith?
                Isaiah foretold a time of restoration and universal peace.  Jesus fulfills this prophecy by restoring Jews and Gentiles to friendship with God through his victory on the cross.  When he returns, he'll fully establish peace and justice and unite all things in himself.  His promise extends to all who believe in him.  The Lord wants us to seek him and his kingdom in our lives. We can approach him with faith, like the centurion did, knowing he'll show us mercy and give us help.
                RIP, Fr. General Peter-Hans Kovenbach, SJ

                November 27, 2016

                1st Sun. of Advent

                November 27, 2016:  First Sunday of Advent

                • 'Alps' pin:  Come, let us climb the Lord's mountain (1st reading)
                • 'Street lamp' tie bar:  Walk in the light of the Lord! (1st reading); put on the armor of light (2nd reading)
                • 'Feet' pin:  We've set feet within your gates (psalm)
                • 'Sword' pin:  "beat swords into plowshares" (1st reading)
                • 'Scales of justice' pin:  judgment (1st reading, psalm)
                • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  Peace (1st reading, psalm)
                • 'Clock' tie bar:  It's time to wake from your sleep (2nd reading); If the master knew the hour the thief would come... (gospel)
                • Purple in shirt, tie, suspenders:  Advent season

                For Psalm 122
                From Ed Bolduc's blog
                For next Sunday:  Psalm 72:  Flowing justice, full peace/ Celoni:  sheet music, just written
                Pope Francis Angelus
                Today's Gospel introduces us to one of the most “evocative” Advent themes:  the Lord's visit to humanity.  Recall his 3 visits:  Incarnation and Birth (past); visits every day (present), 'second' coming in glory to judge the living and the dead (future).  Advent encourages us to reflect on the contrast between our daily routine and the Lord's unexpected coming. 
                The Gospel is trying to open our horizons and give meaning to everyday occurrences, not to scare us.  This invites us sobriety, to keep things in their place rather to let them dominate us.  If we let ourselves be overpowered by concern for material things, we won't perceive our final encounter with the Lord.  Advent invites us to vigilance; we must always be ready to depart.  Enlarge the horizons of your heart; let daily life surprise you.  Don't depend on your own securities or plans; the Lord comes when we don’t expect.
                  Wordle: Readings 12-1-13
                • Is 2:1-5  Isaiah:  All shall stream toward Lord's mountain, beat swords into plowshares and spears into hooks, not raise the sword or train for war.  Walk in the light of the Lord!
                • Ps 122: 1-9  "Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord."  The tribes go to Jerusalem to give thanks.  Pray for peace!
                • Rom 13:11-14  Wake from sleep; salvation is near.  Throw off works of darkness; put on the armor of light, behaving properly.  Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
                • Mt 24:37-44  At the Son of Man's coming, two will be out in the field or grinding; one will be taken, the other left.  Stay awake!  If the master knew when thief would come, he would have stayed awake.  Son of Man will come when you don't expect it.
                  • Creighton:  Isaiah’s message, written in the midst of discouragement, calls us to rely on God, not ourselves, for salvation:  to be filled with hope.  Most Advent Masses include a reading from Isaiah.  Today's messages are to hope and to prepare for God.  The first reading is about a future of unity and peace.  No matter where we live, there are divisions and need for healing and reconciliation.  Sometimes we can’t imagine a reason to hope.  Isaiah reminds us our God is faithful, knows about our situation, and moves to bring us together.  Our hope of coming together is fidelity to God.  The closer we come to God, the closer we'll come toward each other.  When this unity comes, "they'll beat their swords into plowshares; they won't train for war again.”  We sing "let us go rejoicing" to this kind of unity and peace; it's a time to “wake from sleep,” to “throw off” things about darkness and “put on the armor of light,” to “put on Christ.”  In the Gospel, Jesus offers us the message:  "Prepare!  Get ready!"  We might not be attentive to signs of hope, to graces offered, to light.  In this Advent may I give myself to opportunities for bridge building, healing, and reconciliation by letting light into dark places:  making gestures of love to a spouse who bugs me, reaching out to those who've disappointed me, whom I might have hurt....  Advent isn't about getting ready to let God come to us, or saving ourselves, but recognizing God already with and in us, caring for us, even when we fail....
                  • One Bread, One Body:  "'Mary' Advent and Christmas":  Happy new Church year!  As we prepare for Christ's comings, we believe Jesus comes to us and is born in our lives.  Since Christmas is a spiritual birth, Advent is a spiritual pregnancy.  Since Christmas is about Christ's birth, Advent is a Marian pregnancy.  Mary's visit to Elizabeth was difficult visit because of her physical condition, walking into hill country, and the risk Mary would be killed if Elizabeth considered her an adulteress.  But she went, and Elizabeth and her baby, John, were filled with the Holy Spirit.  Mary endured another difficult journey while pregnant:  to Bethlehem with Joseph to register in the census.  Mary underwent what her Son would call the "cross."  Finally Mary was refused lodging and had to give birth in a stable.  To have a real Christmas, not a spiritual miscarriage, we must take up the crosses Mary bore:  self-sacrifice, submission, and forgiveness. "Mary" Christmas is for those who have a "Mary" Advent.
                  • Passionist:  Advent promises change; it opens up the possibility of softening my heart in God's presence.  It creates new visions; it offers the vision of a world where we'll support the crucified of the world.  Advent calls me to stand for justice, stand with immigrants, to stand up for those discriminated against and to the poor.  Advent declares that violence is no answer.  Advent requires change of heart.  Advent is hard work.  Pray that we may open ourselves to real change in our lives, hearts, and especially our actions!
                  •  "Watch and be ready; the day of the Lord's coming draws near":  Separation is a consequence of our choices, whether for God or against.  God chose to separate Noah and his family who were faithful to God from those who rejected God.  As God provided a place of refuge for Noah and his family, the Lord provides today a place of refuge in the ark of his people, the body of Christ.  God made a covenant of peace with Noah.  Noah's ark prefigured the new covenant the Jesus would accomplish through his death, resurrection, and outpouring of the Spirit.  Jesus came to fulfill God's promises, including the covenant God made with Noah.  Jesus' first coming set us free gave us life in his Spirit.  The Lord promised to return in glory to complete his work of redemption.  Jesus told his disciples the Father has given him authority to judge.  The "Son of man" is a Messianic title for God's Anointed who will establish a kingdom of justice and peace, given authority to judge and execute justice. When he comes again, everyone will know.
                  Jesus used the image of two workers in the field:  one suddenly taken away, the other left.  "Christ shows a judgment is coming, since between two in a field, one is taken up and one left behind.... The faithful will be accepted, the unfaithful abandoned.  When God's wrath rises, the saints will be hidden, but the faithless will be exposed to fire.  The two represent the faithful and the unfaithful, both surprised by the day of the Lord.  One will be taken, the other left...." (Hilary of Poitiers).  The unexpected turn of events is striking:  a summons to appear before the Judge on the day of reckoning. All who had faith receive joy and friendship in his kingdom.  Jesus' story of the thief in the night brings home the necessity for watchfulness.  Lack of vigilance invites disaster. 
                  Isaiah spoke of the Day when the Lord would judge and establish peace; the just would come to worship him and dwell with him in peace.  Advent reminds us we're living in the time between Jesus' first and second comings....

                  November 26, 2016

                  Nov. 26

                  November 26, 2016:  Saturday, 34th week, Ordinary Time

                  See 17 connections with today?
                  Legend below

                  For 1st reading (good transitions to Advent)
                  For Psalm 95
                  For gospel
                  'Tree of life'
                  • Rv 22:1-7  An angel showed me life-giving water, sparkling, flowing from God's throne, and the tree of life that produces fruit monthly.  God's servants will look on his face; he'll give them light, and they'll reign forever.  “I'm coming soon.”
                  • Ps 95:1-7ab  "Marana tha! [mar-an'-a-tha']  Come, Lord Jesus!"  Sing to the Lord; acclaim the Rock of our salvation.  The Lord is a great God, king above all gods.  The deep, mountains, sea, and land belong to him.  Worship; kneel before our Maker; we're the flock he guides.
                  • Lk 21:34-36  “Don't let daily life make you drowsy.  Be vigilant, and pray you have the strength to escape tribulations and stand before the Son of Man.”

                  Wrapping up the year
                  Word cloud from entire Church year's readings
                  May we dress every aspect of our lives to God's word in the coming year and beyond...  BTW there are now over 1,200 Liturgical Dress posts.  Thanks for your visits, comments, and other feedback over the 3+ years.  
                    • Creighton:  “New Year’s Eve":  Today is the last day of the church year, the last day in “Ordinary Time”;  Advent begins tomorrow.  Today's 1st reading tells of the Lord's second coming;  no more darkness, eternal light.  The powerful images are of life, healing, and peace.  With the strife we're facing, we need to look to something bigger and better.  The psalm cries out the Lord is coming.  We're eager to open our hearts.  We don't have to see our Lord's impact and worship him.  We're about to spend four weeks preparing for a life-changing event, our Savior's birth.  The gospel is clear:  be vigilant and pray you have the strength to escape the tribulations and to stand before the Son of Man.  May we prepare our heart and behavior, reflect on our faith, and live it every day....
                    • One Bread, One Body:  "Good spiritual shape":  Like our bodies, our spirits can become fat and bloated, unprepared for Jesus' coming.  The Lord has given us time to "train for the life of piety;.. the discipline of religion is valuable, with its promise of life."  "I discipline and master my body, for fear that after having preached to others, I myself should be rejected."  "Be holy in your conduct and devotion, looking for the coming of the day of God."  "If by the Spirit you put to death the evil deeds of the body, you'll live."  Let's live in the Spirit and prepare both for Jesus' Christmas coming and his final coming.
                    • Passionist:  Today's readings, appropriate for this last day of the church year, call us to be attentive, prepared to see the Son of Man when he comes as judge.  No politician or policy can give us what we need and want.  Jesus heals, forgives, calls us to community and service, welcomes the stranger, and sits with sinners.  We who trust in him alone are called to move into Advent with hope to find the Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, God-with-Us, Jesus our Lord.
                    •  "Lest your hearts be weighed down":  Things can weigh us down, but our Lord offers us true freedom, from sin, wasted life, unruly desires, and disordered passions.  Jesus wants us to be ruled only by his love and truth that enables us to choose good and to reject evil.  Jesus warns us not to slack off, not to become idle, lazy, indifferent, distracted, or inattentive to God.  He knows our struggles, weaknesses, and shortcomings and assures us we don't need to carry our burdens alone....
                    Dress legend
                    • 'Angel' pin:  An angel showed me the river... (1st reading)
                    • 'Crystal' pin:  ...Sparkling like crystal,... (1st reading)
                    • 'Lamb' tie bar:  ...Flowing from the Lamb's throne (1st reading); we're the flock the Lord guides (psalm)
                    • 'Tree' pin:  The tree of life grew along its sides (1st reading)
                    • 'Street light' pin:  The Lord shall give them light,... (1st reading)
                    • 'Crown' tie bar:  ...and they'll reign forever (1st reading); the Lord is king (psalm)
                    • 'Clocks' suspenders:  “I'm coming soon” (1st reading); last day of Church year
                    • 'Rock' tie pin:  Acclaim the Rock of our salvation (psalm)
                    • 'Hands' pin:  The heights and depths are in God's hands; his hands formed the land (psalm)
                    • Blue shirt:  River (1st reading), sea (psalm)
                    • 'Heart' pin:  Don't let your heart become drowsy... (gospel)
                    • 'Catcher's mitt' pin:  ...or let the day 'catch' you by surprise (gospel)
                    • Green in tree:  Ordinary Time season ends today