May 26, 2017

Philip Neri

May 26, 2017:  St. Philip Neri, Priest

Find about a dozen connections with today?
Legend below


Pope Francis
Homily:  Scripture gives us three reference points for the Christian journey:
Memory:  The risen Jesus tells the disciples to go to Galilee, where they first encountered him.  Each of us has his own ‘Galilee,’ where Jesus shows himself for the first time, where we receive joy and enthusiasm for following him.”  To be good Christians, we must remember this encounter, and subsequent ones.  The grace of memory gives certainty in moments of trial.
Prayer:  When Jesus ascended, he didn't sever his relationship with us; he still intercedes for us.  He shows the Father his wounds, the price he paid to save us.  Ask for the grace to contemplate heaven, the grace of a relationship with Jesus in prayer.  When he hears us, he's with us.
Mission:  Before he left his disciples, Jesus told them, "Go into the world and make disciples."   Our place is in the world to proclaim the Word, to say we're saved, that he's come to give us grace and bring us with him.
A Christian must move in these three dimensions, requesting the grace of memory, praying, and going on mission, living and bearing witness to the gospel, making Jesus known.  If I tell people about Jesus and the Christian life but live like a pagan, the mission won't go forward.  If we live in memory, in prayer, and on mission, our life will be beautiful and joyful.  When we live like that, we'll know all things, and no one will be able to take our joy away, because I have the memory of my encounter with Jesus, I have certainty that Jesus is in heaven interceding for me, and I have the courage to go out of myself and bear witness with my life that the Lord is risen and alive.  May the Lord help us understand this topography of Christian life and to go forward with joy.
To Little Missionary Sisters of Charity:  You're dedicated to caring for the poor and marginalized.  Be missionaries without borders, bringing God’s love and mercy to all you meet.  Missionaries are called to be bold, creative people capable of rethinking their mission's goals, structure, style, and method.  We must rethink everything in light of what the Spirit is asking us.  Missionaries are called to be free and able to live with nothing but the Lord's word.  Free yourselves from any material or emotional ties that hinder you from your missionary journey.
You're called to be filled with the Spirit, guided as you bring the Gospel to the most unlikely places.  You're called to be prophets of mercy, provoked by the call for help in situations of pain and suffering.  Work together in a spirit of encounter and cooperation to share God’s love and forgiveness with all who seek God.
  • Acts 18:9-18  Lord to Paul via vision at Corinth:  “Fear not.  Speak up; I'm with you.  You'll be safe.”  He settled and taught the word of God, but then the Jews rose up against him:  “He's inducing people to worship contrary to the law.”  Proconsul Gallio drove them from the tribunal:  “If it were a crime, I'd hear your complaint, but since I don't want to judge matters of doctrine and your law, handle it yourselves.”  Paul remained, then sailed out.  At Cenchreae he shaved his head because of a vow he'd taken.
  • Ps 47:2-7  "God is king of all the earth."  God brings nations under our feet.  The Lord mounts his throne amid shouts of joy and trumpet blasts.
  • Jn 16:20-23  “You'll grieve, but your grief will become joy.  A woman in labor is in anguish, but once she gives birth, she forgets her pain because of her joy.  You're in anguish now, but you'll rejoice when I see you again.  Then you won't ask me about anything, and the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”
      No more questions
      • Creighton:  In times of suffering, sadness, or despair, we can ask God why bad things happen to us; it's hard to have hope and gratitude in the face of grief and sorrow.  Jesus' example of childbirth restores our hope:  the joy of seeing your newborn is worth the pain. Jesus was referring to the pain the disciples would feel when he was crucified and their joy at his resurrection.  In today's gospel he promised them they'd experience a joy no one would be able to take away.  We can take comfort in the risen Jesus' presence. Whatever we suffer, we'll experience the same joy.  For those close to Jesus, pain and joy are not incompatible.
      • One Bread, One Body:  "9 days to the Holy Spirit":  Today we begin the Pentecost novena of prayer in preparation for the outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost Sunday.  Today Jesus tells us to ask for the Spirit in his name.  "The Father will give the Spirit to those who ask him."  We need this time to prepare us to ask rightly. "We'll receive [what] we ask" if our consciences are clear, so the Lord wants us to focus on repentance.  The disciples "devoted themselves to constant prayer" and communal works.  Jesus' mother was central to the first Pentecost novena; her presence with the disciples meant forgiveness and unity....
      • Passionist:  Imagine Jesus telling the disciples, “You know what you’re doing, but I don’t think you know what you’re getting into.”  Without a plan, the early Church must have been filled with uncertainty, but through the gift of the Spirit, they knew what they were doing.  Philip Neri first served the poor alone; others soon joined him inspired by his zeal and holiness.  At the beginning, he couldn't have known he'd be the founder of the Congregation of the Oratory; he just stayed open to God.  We like certainty, but that's not a gift of the Spirit.  We want guarantees, but faith only guarantees Jesus' faithfulness, love, and presence.  “Don't be afraid; I am with you.”  When I entrust myself to Christ, I know what I'm doing even if I don't know what I'm getting into.
      •  "Your sorrow will turn into joy":  The way to happiness and joy in the kingdom is the cross.  Sin must be brought to the cross; only God's redeeming love can master evil.  The cross for Jesus was victory over sin, evil, and the devil.  Jesus won for us new life and freedom over the power of sin, despair, and death; his victory teaches us courage in the face of suffering and death, laying our fears to rest and giving us peace and joy.  We'll have troubles, but we know the final outcome is victory in Christ....
      • Universalis:  Unconventional tutor, priest, confessor, inventor of services begetting oratorios, cared for students, founded still-flourishing Congregation of the Oratory. May we aim for joy over respectability, make fools of ourselves, and see ourselves as God sees us.  See also New Advent.
      • Pope Francis:  Philip Neri was a renowned pastor and confessor who had special care for poor children, founding for them a school and a college.  Thanks to his apostolate, commitment to salvation of souls returned to be a Church priority; the Church recovered its understanding that pastors have to be with their people to guide and support their faith.  He's a luminous model of the Church's mission.  The Congregation of the Oratory is the first example of secular priests living a communal life....
      Dress legend
      • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  God spoke to Paul in a vision (psalm)
      • 'Crown' tie bar:  "God is king of all the earth" (psalm)
      • 'Angel with trumpet' pin:  The Lord mounts his throne amid trumpet blasts (psalm)
      • 'Hands' and 'feet' pins:  "Clap your hands"; "he brings nations under our feet" (psalm)
      • 'Clef' pin:  Sing praise to God our king (psalm)
      • 'Doctor's office' tie:  When a woman is in labor, she's in anguish, but when she's given birth, she's joyful (gospel)
      • 'Hearts' suspenders:  I'll see you again, and your hearts will rejoice... (gospel)
      • '?' tie pin:  ...and you won't question me about anything (gospel)
      • White shirt and socks:  St. Philip Neri, Easter season

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