November 21, 2016

Mary's Presentation

November 21, 2016:  Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

  • 'Lamb' tie bar:  I saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion... (1st reading)
  • 'Faces on earth' tie:  "Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face."  Earth is the Lord’s (psalm)
  • 'Alps' pin:  Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord?...  (psalm)
  • 'Hands' pin:  ...The one with sinless hands (psalm)
  • 'Coin' button:  Poor widow putting in her livelihood of two small coins, vs. the "penny-pinching" wealthy (gospel)
  • 'Mary' pin:  Mary's Presentation (today's celebration)
  • 'Clocks' suspenders:  last week of Ordinary Time
  • 'Ruler' tie bar:  Christ the King, 'Ruler' of the universe (yesterday's celebration)
  • White shirt:  liturgical color for Presentation of Mary celebration

Pope Francis
New apostolic letter, Misericordia et misera:  Post-Jubilee of Mercy, we're still living in a time of mercy.  St. Augustine refers to Jesus' encounter with the woman caught in adultery as “mercy with misery.”  That gospel both throws light on the conclusion of the Jubilee and points out our future calling.  We thank God for the graces of mercy from the Jubilee but must keep celebrating mercy, especially at Mass and other Sacraments, especially Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick.
Continue the celebration of mercy, including an annual day to make Scripture better known and diffused.  Missionaries of Mercy, continue your ministry.  Society of St Pius X priests, I extend your faculties to hear confessions and grant absolution.  I extend the faculties of all priests to absolve the sin of procured abortion.  Abortion is a grave sin, because it ends an innocent life, but there's no sin God’s mercy can't wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking reconciliation.
The door of mercy of our heart stays wide open.  Continue to practice works of mercy; they're still proof of mercy’s immense positive influence as a social value.  The Church must continue to be vigilant and offer solidarity as human dignity is attacked.  This is the time of mercy because no sinner can ever tire of asking forgiveness, and all can feel the Father's welcoming embrace.
Let's celebrate the World Day of the Poor every year the Sunday before Christ the King.  The day will also be a form of new evangelization to renew the Church as she perseveres in pastoral conversion and witnessing to mercy.  Full text.
    "Two small coins"
  • Rv 14:1-3, 4b-5  I saw the Lamb standing on Mt. Zion with 144K unblemished ransomed followers singing to harp music.
  • Ps 24:1bc-4ab, 5-6  "Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face."  The God-seeking clean-hearted shall receive blessings from the Lord their savior.
  • Lk 21:1-4  Jesus, seeing wealthy people making offerings and a poor widow putting in 2 small coins:  “She put in more than the rest; they made offerings from their surplus, but she, from her poverty, offered her livelihood.”
      • Creighton:   We know of the Presentation of Mary from the Protoevangelium of James. / The widow's faith in offering all that she had, herself, is humbling and inspiring.  The wealthy people Jesus cites give from their surplus; he doesn't criticize their gift but extols the widow's.  Doing good is not a calculation but a sacrifice, not thoughtless but mindful.  Jesus praises the widow because she gives from her need.  Lord, give me the generosity the widow had, and help me fight my tendency to be calculating, safe, concerned with my security.
        Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Another collection":  Jesus still observing us as we make our offerings, not just in church.  He takes up a collection every day from married people, and people in any other vocation, as they give of themselves.  He looks for sacrifice.  He who put everything into the collection on Calvary gives us the grace to give as he did.  May I give without counting the cost....
      •  "She put in all that she had":  True love spends lavishly.  The widow's gift of love is more precious than gold.  Real giving must come from the heart, without a grudge, not for display. The widow could have kept one of her coins but didn't.  If we put all we have at the Lord's disposal, God can work with it and us beyond our imagining.
      • Universalis:  Today's memorial celebrates Mary’s “dedication” of herself to God from infancy, inspired by the Spirit, whose grace had filled her since her immaculate conception.

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