December 7, 2016


December 7, 2016:  St. Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor

  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  Lift up your eyes and see the Creator (1st reading)
  • 'Abacus' tie pin:  He numbers the army (1st reading)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  He 'calls' the by name (1st reading)
  • 'Birds' tie:  "Those who wait on the Lord will soar with eagles' wings;..." (1st reading)
  • 'Runner' tie pin:  "...They'll run and not grow weary" (1st reading)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  The Lord crowns you with kindness and compassion (psalm)
    • 'Heart' pin:  I'm meek and humble of heart (gospel)
    • Purple suspenders:  Advent season
    1st reading

    Psalm 103
      • Come unto me from Messiah/ Handel:  another, with recitativ and duet; cue after He shall feed his flock 
    St. Ambrose
    Pope Francis
    General Audience:  "Hope series" launch:  Advent is a time of expectation, when we prepare to welcome the consoling mystery of the Incarnation and the light of Christmas.  When evil seems to have the upper hand, hope comforts us with the assurance of Christ’s lordship, victory over sin, and constant presence.  We hear Isaiah's message of consolation:  “Comfort my people”; he tells us God will bring his people home and desires that a way be prepared for him.  This summons to faith and trust in God’s saving power is addressed to us too.  John the Baptist echoed these words as he prepared the way for Jesus' coming.  Scripture shows us how people like Mary, Joseph, Zechariah and Elizabeth prepared for Christ’s birth; they never lost their trust in God’s promises.  May we imitate their hope, and await the coming of the Savior, who turns the desert of our lives into a garden of delight.
    Appeal for human rights:  We observe International Anti-Corruption Day and Human Rights Day this Friday and Saturday.  We must fight corruption (individual consciences, civil life...) and promote human rights for everyone.  May the Lord sustain us in this twofold commitment.

    Tertio interview:
    War and fundamentalism:  No religion can foment war.  Terrorism and war are unrelated to religion, though they may use religious deformations to justify their acts.  All religions have fundamentalist groups, but they deform and sicken their religions and cause division, a form of war.
    WWIII fought piecemeal:  100 years after WWI the world is still in conflict.  We say, "Never again war" but still produce and sell weapons.
    Jubilee of Mercy:  My predecessors Paul VI and John Paul II prepared the idea, as well as St. Faustina.  The idea for an Extraordinary Jubilee came out in a conversation with Archbishop Fisichella.  I felt the Lord was asking this of me.

    Unity in diversity:  The Church is born from the community.  There's either a pyramidal Church (what Peter says is done) or a synodal Church (Peter is Peter but accompanies the Church, listens, helps it grow, learns from her, and seeks to harmonize, discerning and returning what comes from the churches).  The Synods on the family were the best experience of this, expressing the Church's “unity in diversity.”  Everyone said what they thought without fear of being judged, everyone listened, and we discussed like brothers.  A synodal Church means movement from above to below and below to above.  The Church needs to advance in this synodality.
    To priests:  Love the Virgin Mary, allow yourselves to be gazed on by Jesus, and seek the suffering flesh of Jesus in your brothers; there you'll find Jesus.

      "My yoke is easy"
    • Is 40:25-31  God is creator; he has no equal, leads and numbers the army, never grows weary, knows all, and gives strength.  They who hope in the Lord will renew their strength...
    • Ps 103:1-4, 8, 10  "O bless the Lord, my soul!"  He pardons, heals, redeems; he crowns you with compassion.  He's merciful, gracious, slow to anger, and kind; he doesn't deal with us according to our sins.
    • Mt 11:28-30  “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I'll give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I'm meek and humble.  My yoke is easy, my burden light.”
      • Creighton:  The Advent journey to Christ can be laborious and hard to navigate.  When I rely on my own strength, schedule, and abilities, I feel defeated and exhausted.  Today's readings offer a different way:  joining Jesus and finding rest.  He yearns to be with us in our daily lives. Perhaps we can offer him ourselves, our activities, our struggles more completely, hoping in the Lord, renewing our strength....
        St. Ambrose,
        maybe made when he was alive
      • One Bread, One Body:  "O, come, O come, to the cross":  When we come to Jesus with our weariness and burdens, he'll give us rest by unburdening us, then re-burdening us with his yoke, the cross.  When we realize Jesus is going to put the cross in our lives, we may feel like running, but if we trust him and take up the cross, we'll be surprised it feels light, heavy though it may be.  Jesus bore its weight; we have only a small share of his sufferings.  Burdens + faith in Jesus + the cross = rest + greater faith in Jesus + strength. "O come, all ye faithful."
      •  "Come to me and I'll give you rest":  The Jewish people used the image of a yoke to express submission to God:  yoke of the law, the commandments, the kingdom, God.  Jesus says his yoke is 'easy'; the Greek can also mean 'well-fitting.'  Yokes were tailor-made for the oxen.  Oxen were yoked two by two.  Jesus invites each of us to be yoked with him, to unite our life, will, and heart with his.  Jesus also says his "burden is light."  No burden is too heavy when it's given and carried in love.  When we yoke our lives with Jesus, he carries our burdens and gives us strength. The prophets foretold the Messiah would establish God's kingdom of justice and peace.  Those who trust God receive peace with God and strength for living his way.  The yoke of Christ's kingdom liberates us from the burden of guilt and disobedience.  Jesus used the yoke analogy to explain how we can exchange the burden of sin for a yoke of glory, freedom, and joy.  Jesus invites us to embrace his way of power and freedom to live in love, peace, and joy as his children.

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