November 24, 2016


November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Day / St. Andrew Dung-Lac, Priest, And Companions, Martyrs

See 19 connections with today?
Legend below

For Thanksgiving Day
For weekday 1st reading

For Thanksgiving gospel
For the psalms

For martyrs of Vietnam
    Pope Francis
    Homily:  Today's readings speak of the end of the world, judgment, and redemption.  Corruption is blasphemous, worldly living, the language of Babylon; there's no God, only the gods of money and well-being through exploiting others.  But this worldliness will be torn down, just as we hear the angel's victory cry announcing the fall of proud, evil Babylon.
    There's another powerful voice, the multitude praising God, God's people saved because though sinners they're not corrupt.  Sinners who can ask for forgiveness and seek salvation learn how to adore God.  We're good at asking for things in prayer, but we must learn how to praise God; better to learn now than to learn in a hurry when the end comes.  Pray at the tabernacle, “You're God; I'm a poor child you love.”
    There's a third voice, the angel whispering, “Write, 'Blessed those called to the Lamb's wedding feast.'”  The Lord’s invitation is gentle, like God's voice to Elijah; God speaks to us like a breath of silent sound.  It'll be our salvation.  Invited will be the bad, the good, the blind, deaf, and lame, all us sinners with enough humility to say, “I'm a sinner and God will save me.”
    Today's gospel reminds us that “when these signs begin”–the destruction of pride–“stand and raise your heads, because your redemption is at hand.”  Lord, give us grace, to prepare ourselves and listen to your invitation to the wedding feast. 
    At Pontifical Academy of Sciences "Narcotics: Problems and Solutions" conference:  Those who fall into drugs have lost their freedom in return for a new slavery.  Drug dependency results from a variety of factors:  absence of a family, social pressure, propaganda from traffickers, desire for new experiences...  but every addict has a distinct history, which should be listened to, understood, loved, and, where possible, cured.  Don't classify them like objects or junk; rather, value and appreciate the dignity of each of them. More than ever, they have dignity as persons and children of God.
    The supply of drugs is an important part of organized crime; we must rooted out and destroyed supply chains.  We must halt the demand through education, social programs, and family support.  Integral formation can give people instruments of discernment, so they may discern options and help others.  It's principally oriented to the most vulnerable, such as children and youth, but should also be extended to families and the marginalized.  Prevention and rehabilitation are both important.  Those who seemingly have nothing to give offer us a treasure:  the face of God, who speaks to and challenges us.
    • Sir 50:22-24  Bless God who's done wondrous things, who fashions people.  May he grant you joy and peace; may his goodness endure and deliver us.
    • Ps 145:2-11 "I will praise your name for ever, Lord."  Great are you, Lord; your majesty, wondrous works, goodness, justice, mercy, kindness, and compassion.  May your faithful bless you, speaking of your kingdom's glory and your might.
    • 1 Cor 1:3-9  I thank my God for God's grace given to you as you await Christ's revelation.  He'll keep you firm to the end.  By our faithful God you were called to fellowship with Christ our Lord.
    • Lk 17:11-19  Ten lepers:  “Jesus, have pity on us!” / “Show yourselves to the priests.”  They were cleansed on the way.  One returned, glorifying God and thanking Jesus.  One returned, glorifying God and thanking Jesus.  Has none but this foreigner given thanks?  Go; your faith has saved you.”
    • Rv 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9a  Angel with authority, lighting earth:  “Fallen is Babylon; she'd become a cage for unclean spirits and beasts.”  Angel, throwing a stone into the sea:  “With such force will Babylon be thrown down.  No music will be heard in you, no tradespeople found, no light seen.  You led nations astray.”  Heavenly multitude:  “Alleluia!  Salvation, glory, and might belong to our just God; he condemned the harlot who corrupted the earth.  Smoke will rise from her forever.  Blessed are those called to the Lamb's wedding feast.”
    • Ps 100:1b-5  "Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb."  Sing to the Lord; serve the Lord.  We're God's people, his flock.  Enter with thanksgiving and praise.  The Lord is good, forever kind and faithful.
    • Lk 21:20-28  A time of punishment, woe, signs, calamity, fright, and judgment will come.  People will fall, be taken captive, and trampled.  The Son of Man will come with power and glory.  Stand erect; your redemption is at hand.
        The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth/ Brownscombe
      • Creighton:  Luke is likely addressing a community who recently saw Jerusalem fall, so they knew the horrors of war.  When bad events happen, especially repeatedly, we feel dismayed, afraid, and hopeless and don't see the potential to grow.  The gospel tells us that by surviving the struggle, we've won and should stand proud.  When we're in despair, it's hard to step out of it, but Jesus says we should remember we're strong, know we've survived, and look ahead with courage, sure that God and others are with God’s love.
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Turkey talk?"  In Revelation, Babylon refers to Rome; today, it may refer to secular humanism.  If we don't break ties with Babylon, we'll be led astray.  The Lord commands us to "have no love for what the world affords." May we reject Satan, his works, and his empty promises and live for Jesus alone.
        Martyrs of Vietnam
      • Passionist:  "Anatomy of Thanksgiving":   “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you":  thanksgiving is a requirement, not an option.  Eucharisteō (thanks, from eu, good or beautiful, + chairō, joy) appears 83 times in the New Testament.  The gift is beautiful and gives joy.  To be thankful is to appreciate the gift and in so doing acknowledge the Giver.  We can have little thanks if we have little knowledge of the gift!  In Hebrew thanks is expressed by admiring the giver, usually using the word for praise (yādâ); if someone prepares a great meal, you'd praise the cook.  Everything we have in life is a gift from our Father.  “Every creature is a word of God!” (Eckhart)
      •  "The Son of man is coming with great glory":  Jesus' prophetic description of Jerusalem's and the world's destruction and of judgment day echoed the prophets Isaiah, Joel, Amos, and Zephaniah.  Jerusalem's vengeance resulted from her indifference to God's visitation.  Jesus told his disciples the cost of following him and promised he'd never leave them alone.  Jesus offers us safety in the face of earth's threats; his disciples may lose body but not soul.  The greatest gift is our redemption and our adoption as God's children.  We can be thankful because of our hope in heaven and the promise that Jesus will return to fully his reign.  The Lord will raise our bodies to be like his  Jesus speaks of his return as fact, an event marked by signs all will recognize, to vindicate the faithful.  His judgment is a sign of hope for those who trust him.
      Dress legend
      • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  May peace abide among you (Thanksgiving 1st reading)
      • 'Heart' pin:  Joy of heart (Thanksgiving 1st reading)
      • 'Stick figures' tie pin:  Lepers including the thankful one (Thanksgiving gospel)
      • 'Doctor's office' tie:  Jesus healed the lepers (Thanksgiving gospel)
      • 'Angel' pin (weekday 1st reading)
      • 'Sword' tie pin:  They'll fall by the sword (weekday gospel)
      • 'Stone' tie pin:  An angel picked up a stone...  (weekday 1st reading)
      • Red in shirt, 'blood drop' pin:  Vietnamese martyrs (today's memorial); he avenged his servants' blood (weekday 1st reading)
      • 'Sheep' tie bar:  We're the flock the Lord tends (weekday psalm)
      • 'Lamb' tie bar:  Blessed those called to the Lamb's wedding feast (weekday 1st reading and psalm)
      • 'Alps' tie pin:  They must flee to the mountains (weekday gospel)
      • 'Hand' tie pin:  Jerusalem's desolation will be at hand; your redemption is at hand (weekday gospel)
      • 'Feet' pin:  Gentiles will trample Jerusalem underfoot (weekday gospel)
      • 'Sign' and 'star' pins:  There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and stars (weekday gospel); thanks for God's boundless mercy (Thanksgiving)
      • 'Wave' tie bar:  ...perplexed by the waves (weekday gospel)
      • 'Clock' suspenders:  Countdown to end of church year

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