December 5, 2016

Dec. 5

December 5, 2016:  Monday, 2nd week, Advent

Find 11 connections with today?
Legend below

Pope Francis homily
The 1st reading speaks to us about renewal.  Everything will be changed for the better.  Jesus healed people, helping them see a path of change.  People followed him because his message touched their hearts.  Jesus transformed, not like make-up but from the inside.  He re-created:  God created the world; we fell into sin; Jesus came to re-create.  Before healing the paralytic, he forgave his sins.  He re-created him, changing him from a sinner to a just man, and it gave scandal.  So the Doctors of the Law murmured, unable to accept his authority.  Jesus can make us sinners new persons.  Mary Magdalen intuited that Jesus could heal both body and soul.
The Lord helps us to prepare for Christmas with faith:  the re-creation he brings requires great faith.  Jesus brings the grace of salvation, of transformation.  We need to allow ourselves with courage to be transformed, re-created.  Let the Lord go to the root of your sin and re-create it; then that root will flourish with works of justice, and you'll be new.  If we confess then go on as before, we don’t allow the Lord to re-create us.  Two coats of paint, and we think the story’s over.  No!  Name your sins, be ashamed at heart, open your heart, ask the Lord to re-create you, and go with true faith and courage towards Christmas.
We seek to hide the gravity of our sins.  We can diminish envy, but it's as ugly as venom that seeks to destroy the other!  Get to the bottom of your sins, then give them to the Lord, so he'll cancel them, make you new, and help you go forward.  Lord, give us faith to believe this.
  • Is 35:1-10  The parched land will exult; the steppe bloom and rejoice.  They'll see the Lord's glory.  Strengthen feeble hands; make weak knees firm; say to the frightened, "Be strong!"  Your God comes with vindication to save you.  Blind eyes will be opened, deaf ears cleared; the lame will leap, the mute will sing, and streams will burst forth in the desert.  A highway will be there; no one unclean may pass over it.  On it the redeemed will walk.  Those the Lord has ransomed will return singing, crowned with joy; sorrow and mourning will flee.
  • Ps 85:9ab, 10-14  "Our God will come to save us!"  God proclaims peace to his people.  His salvation is near.  Kindness and truth shall meet, justice and peace shall kiss.  Truth and justice shall spring forth.  The Lord will give his benefits....
  • Lk 5:17-26  Some men brought a paralyzed man to Jesus, lowering him through the roof because of the crowd.  Jesus, seeing their faith:  “Your sins are forgiven.”  Scribes and Pharisees / Jesus:  “Who is this blasphemer?  Only God can forgive sins!” / “What's easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Rise and walk’?  But so you may know the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins” (to the paralyzed man:)  “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”  He stood immediately, picked up the stretcher, and went home, glorifying God.  All were astonished and glorified God...
    • Creighton:  Today’s 1st reading is an invitation to come home, to return to where God wants us to be, a place of wholeness, harmony, and unity, where life, energy, and beauty abound, where causes of fear and mistrust are removed.  Maybe we've been feeble, weak, frightened, foolish, in a spiritual or emotional desert.... “A highway will be there, the holy way, for those with a journey to make.”  We all have a journey to return to the way of living and being God wants for us. The gospel shows us that if we just wait around for things to happen or get better, we'll have a long wait.   The paralytic and his friends "made it happen."  We must choose and take steps toward healing, life, and unity.  What steps?...
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Wanted:  Stretcher-bearers and roofers":  Consumer-oriented Christmas hype has displaced Christ for many.  Some can still see Jesus and hope; others are so trapped that they need special help, like the paralytic did.  Whom does the Lord want you to carry to Christmas?  Pray for them, talk with them, and lower them to Jesus....
    • Passionist:  In Jesus' day, sin was understood as missing the mark in one's relationship with God, and only God could restore the relationship.  So many considered Jesus' forgiveness of the paralytic as blasphemy.   The older we become, the harder forgiveness can seem.  Jesus also wanted to prove his authority; he did so with word and deed.  We can claim his authority when we do works of mercy....
      Justitia et pax/ Dell'Orto
      "Justice and peace shall kiss" (psalm)
    •  "Your God will come and save you":  The prophets foretold that when the Messiah came, the blind would see, the deaf hear, and the lame walk.  Jesus brought healing of body, mind, heart, and soul.  He came to bring us life, but unbelief, indifference, and pride can stifle that life and transformation.  Sin cripples us more than any physical ailment can, and Jesus' forgiveness is the only solution.  Jesus' treatment of sinners upset the religious teachers of the day; he claimed authority only God had.  But he proved his authority came from God and showed the power of God's love and mercy by healing the cripple of his physical and spiritual paralysis.  The Lord wants to heal our body, mind, and soul too....
    Dress legend
    • 'Flowers' pin:  The desert and the parched land will bloom with abundant flowers,... (1st reading)
    • 'Treble clef with inner cross' pin:  ...and rejoice with joyful song (1st reading)
    • 'Deer' pin:  The lame will leap like a stag (1st reading)
    • Blue shirt:  Streams and rivers will burst forth; burning sands will become pools... (1st reading)
    • 'Highway' tie:  A highway will be there, the holy way (1st reading)
    • 'Eyeball' pin:  The eyes of the blind will be opened (1st reading); "We've seen incredible things today" (gospel)
    • 'Jubilee year' pin:  They'll meet with joy and gladness (1st reading)
    • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  The Lord proclaims peace to his people (psalm)
    • '?' tie pin:  "What are you thinking in your hearts?  Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Rise and walk’?" (gospel)
    • Purple suspenders:  Advent season

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