February 14, 2017

Cyril and Methodius

February 14, 2017:  Cyril, Monk, and Methodius, Bishop

See 17 connections with today?
Legend below

For Psalm 29
Pope Francis homily
We need sowers of the Word, missionaries, true heralds to form God's people, like Cyril and Methodius.  Envoys of God's word have:
Frankness, including strength and courage:  God's Word can't be given as a proposal or good idea; it needs to be proposed with frankness, force, courage, so the Word penetrates to the bone.  You need spiritual courage, courage of heart; being in love with Jesus brings courage!
Prayer:  God's Word should always be proclaimed with prayer.  Without prayer, you can have a good conference, but not the Word of God.  With prayer, the Lord can accompany sowing of the Word, and water the seed so the Word will sprout.
Humility:  The true preacher knows he's weak and can't defend himself.  St. John Chrysostom said, "If you don't go like sheep, but like a wolf among wolves, the Lord won't defend you; you’ll have to fend for yourself."  When the preacher believes he's too intelligent or tries to be clever, it'll end badly, or you'll bargain the Word away....
This is the missionary character of the Church and the heralds who helped the Church grow:  courage, prayerfulness, humility.  May Cyril and Methodius help us proclaim God's Word like they did.
    Noah's ark/ Holodook
  • Gn 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10  When God saw how evil people were, he regretted creating them:  “I'll wipe them out, and the beasts, animals, and birds too.”  But Noah found favor with God.  To Noah:  “Go into the ark; I've found you just.  Take 7 pairs of every clean animal and bird, one pair of each unclean animal and bird.  In a week I'll bring rain down for 40 days and wipe out all creatures I made.”  Noah did as commanded, and the flood came.
  • Ps 29:1a, 2, 3ac-4, 3b, 9c-10  "The Lord will bless his people with peace."  Give the Lord glory and praise; adore him in holy attire.  God's voice, mighty and majestic, is over the waters.  The Lord is enthroned above the flood as king.
  • Mk 8:14-21  The disciples had forgotten to bring bread.  Jesus:  “Watch out for the Pharisees' and Herod's leaven....”  “Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread?  Are your hearts hardened?  Don't you see or hear?  Don't you remember how much was left over after I fed the 5,000 and the 4,000?  Don't you understand yet?”
    • Creighton:  In yesterday's gospel, the Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign.  Today Jesus warns his disciples against the leaven of the Pharisees.  Leaven is a symbol of their skeptical disposition, their need to see a sign to believe Jesus is from God.  Leaven changes bread by making it rise, just as their need to test Jesus changes their relationship with God.  Their skepticism made it impossible for the Pharisees to see God is with Jesus, to see what Jesus had done as a sign.  Leaven makes bread different from Passover bread, a sign of God’s covenant.  Jesus was trying to get the disciples to understand he's the unleavened bread, sign of the covenant....
      Noah's ark/ Hicks
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Under the influence":  Jesus told us to be on guard about what we allow to influence our lives.  Secular culture sprinkles its yeast into our lives, such as immorality from media, temptation to abandon Mass, and dissuasion from family prayer.  Jesus says: "Be on your guard...  Get rid of the old yeast to make of yourselves fresh dough.  Let the Eucharist be your bread....
    • Passionist:  God regretted creating the world because of all the evil.  Perhaps the author of Genesis was expressing something within him:  so much evil, the only way to get beyond it would be a calamity leading to a new beginning.  The flood story is an amazing tale of power, divine regret transformed to mercy, and a new beginning from God whose love is limitless.  Noah had seven days to prepare, to do the impossible to carry on God’s plan.  I sometimes wonder even now why God doesn’t want to start over again, but that just reflects my own discouragement at our failure to love one another and God's earth.  God will never give up on us, so we shouldn't give up either!  There are new beginnings every day; we have to look for them in the darkness, embrace them when we find them, then carry on, knowing God is always with and for us.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Beware the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod":  Despite Jesus' multiplication of the loaves, his disciples were worried because they forgot to bring bread.  How easy it is to forget God's works and doubt his promises.  Jesus cautioned them to beware of bread that corrupts.  Leaven transforms dough into life-enriching bread, but leftover leavened dough rots.  Leaven was a sign of evil influence, of what rots and corrupts.  Jesus warned his disciples to avoid the way of the Pharisees and Sadducees who sought their own counsels over God's; blinded by their arrogance, they couldn't recognize the truth Jesus spoke in his Father's name.  What leaven do you let influence your thinking and living?
    As the disciples worried about their lack of bread, Jesus reminded them of his miraculous provision of bread, then upbraided them for their lack of trust in God.  We too can get preoccupied with problems, needs, and worries and forget God's abiding presence.  When the Israelites wandered, God was always with them and provided for them as long as they trusted him.  Jesus teaches us to trust in God's presence and promise to provide what we need to live as his children.
      • Methodius translated liturgical texts to Slavonic and invented Glagolithic and maybe the Cyrillic alphabet, evangelized; see also Wikipedia.
      • Cyril, Methodius's brother, also translated texts and co-invented the alphabets, preached; see also Wikipedia.
    Dress legend
    • 'Bird' pin; 'beasts' tie:  “I'll wipe out [all] I created”; ark contents  (1st reading)
    • 'Boat' tie bar:  Noah's ark (1st reading); only one loaf on the boat (gospel)
    • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  "The Lord will bless his people with peace." (psalm)
    • Blue shirt:  Flood waters (1st reading); the Lord's voice over the waters (psalm)
    • 'Lightning bolt' pin:  The God of glory thunders (psalm)
    • 'Crown' tie bar:  The Lord is enthroned as king forever (psalm)
    • 'Wheat' pin:  The disciples forgot to bring bread... (gospel)
    • 'Hearts' suspenders:  The Lord's heart was grieved; he saw how desires of the human heart were evil (1st reading); "Are your hearts hardened?" (gospel)
    • 'Eyeball' pin with white:  "Do you have eyes and not see?" (gospel); white for today's memorial celebration
    • 'Question mark' tie pin:  "Do you still not understand?" (gospel) [Would you after those questions?]
    • Buttonholes (behind tie):  Adore the Lord in 'holey' attire (psalm :-)
    • Green in tie:  Ordinary Time season

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