December 2, 2016

Dec. 2

December 2, 2016:  Friday, 1st week, Advent

  • 'Apple' pin:  Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  The eyes of the blind shall see (1st reading); Jesus restores sight (gospel)
  • 'Hands' pin:  When they see the work of my hands, they'll keep my name holy (1st reading)
  • 'Clock' tie bar:  Wait for the Lord (psalm)
  • 'Street lamp' tie bar:  The Lord is my light...  (psalm)
  • Purple in shirt, tie, and suspenders:  Advent season

Pope Francis to Piarists
You've exercised your ministry in schools, incarnated your charism in other areas, and have been able to respond to other pastoral requests of the Church.  More than ever we need an evangelizing pedagogy capable of changing hearts and reality in harmony with God's Kingdom, making people protagonists and participants.  Christian education, especially of the poor and marginalized, is a privileged means to achieve the goal....
  • Is 29:17-24  Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard.  The deaf shall hear, the blind see, the lowly and poor find joy, and evildoers be cut off.  When the children of Jacob see my handiwork, they'll keep my name holy and be in awe of God.
    The blind shall see...
  • Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14  "The Lord is my light and my salvation."  I seek to dwell in God's house and gaze on his loveliness.  Wait for the Lord with courage....
  • Mt 9:27-31  Two blind men / Jesus:  “Son of David, have pity on us!” / “Do you believe I can do this?” / “Yes, Lord.” / “Let it be, according to your faith,” and their eyes were opened. “See that no one knows about this,” but they spread the word.
    • Creighton:  Isaiah tells us all good things are possible:  earth will be restored, we'll be healed and lifted out of darkness, tyrants will disappear, evil will be cut off, and the just will be vindicated!  We'll see God's work, reverence him, and keep his name holy.  The weak will acquire understanding; fault-finders will get redirected. But the Psalmist says we have to wait, an active waiting in which we reflect on what we really need and want, and work to make it happen.  Advent is a special time of raising the level of our hope, waiting for the fullness of the Lord, experiencing the Lord's light and salvation in our lives, grappling with our fears and unbelief, being stouthearted.  If we believe, Jesus can do anything for us.  All things are possible, but we must have courage.  May Advent be a time of hope, courage, and anticipation for a better world.  If we believe, we can do this with, for, and in him.
      Jesus heals two blind men/ Schnorr
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Transformations":  Tyrants will be no more, the arrogant will go, the deaf hear, the blind see. Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard....  Isaiah's words also apply to spiritual transformation:  Saul the persecutor becomes Paul the evangelist.  Are there people or sins you can't imagine changing?  We believe in the "good news" of Jesus. God can change anything.  On the cross, Jesus made the greatest transformation of all:  death to new life.
    • Passionist:  Advent is divided into two parts. The first, until 12/16, features cosmic scripture passages about earth yearning for its savior who will restore the hierarchy of God among believers; the second, till Christmas Eve, focuses on the Savior to be born.  The “O Antiphons” inspire us to hope for the transformation about to come through the Incarnation.  Today's 1st reading reminds us of the longing for a day of deliverance.  The gospel, restoration of sight, shows how our Savior responds to need.  We see pressing need to become a people of hope and confidence....
    •  "Do you believe?"  When the two blind men approached Jesus, he questioned their earnestness, not to rebuff them but to strengthen their faith and trust.  He touched their eyes, to identify with their affliction and to awaken their faith, which grew as they responded with confident hope.  Jesus restored their sight to the reality of God's kingdom. Faith opens the way for us to see God's power and experience his healing.  Jesus is the fullness of God's mercy and power to save from death, forgive sins, lift the burden of guilt, heal infirmities, and release the oppressed.  Jesus always brought God's mercy to those who sought it.  God gives mercy to the lowly, those who recognize their need for God and his forgiveness and healing.  God wants to transform us, setting us free to live as his children.  Faith must be linked with trust and obedience.  The Lord wants us to live in expectation that he'll bring us into the fullness of his kingdom of justice, peace, and joy.

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