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 

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