August 5, 2017

Aug. 5

August 5, 2017:  Saturday, 17th week, Ordinary Time

See about a dozen connections with today?
Legend below
1st reading-inspired

  • Dance of the Seven Veils, from Salome/ Strauss (gospel):  No YouTube link because I marked this site as free of adult content, but if you understand and tolerate the risk, you can do a search
Pope Francis

August prayer intention:  The arts give expression to the beauty of the faith and proclaim the Gospel message of the grandeur of creation.  When we admire a work of art or a marvel of nature, we discover how everything speaks to us of God and his love.  Pray that artists though their creativity may help us discover the beauty of creation.

To Tendai Buddhist Supreme Priest:  This [30th prayer meeting in Kyoto] helps build up a spirit of dialogue and friendship that allows followers of the world’s religions to work together to open new paths for peace.  Prayer inspires and sustains our efforts for peace because it helps to deepen our respect for each other as persons, strengthens bonds of love, and spurs us to work decisively towards just relations and solidarity.
    Salome with the Head of John the Baptist
  • Lv 25:1, 8-17  Lord to Moses:  “Sound the trumpet every 50 years on the Day of Atonement and make holy the jubilee year:  proclaim liberty, return to your property, and don't sow or reap aftergrowth.  When you sell or buy land, deal fairly, basing prices on the time since the last jubilee.  Stand in fear of your God.
  • Ps 67:2-3, 5, 7-8  "O God, let all the nations praise you!"  You rule in equity.  You have blessed us.  May the ends of the earth fear you!
  • Mt 14:1-12  Herod wanted to kill John the Baptist, but the people regarded him as a prophet.  At a birthday celebration for Herod, Herodias' daughter performed a dance that delighted Herod so much that he swore to give her anything.  She asked for John the Baptist's head; he had him beheaded and brought his head to the girl...
    • Creighton:  When Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount including the beatitude about the reward for enduring persecution, Herod’s murder of John the Baptist must have been in his and the crowd's minds.  Did they fight tears?  What personal impact John’s murder must have had on Jesus!  The beatitude suggests Jesus came to terms with his cousin's murder by offering the Kingdom as a reward to his listeners who might also face persecution, then and in the future.  John fearlessly fought for justice and inspired others to do the same.  Archbishop Romero and others murdered in El Salvador for fighting for justice were as tough and zealous, suffered the same fate, and received (I assume) the same reward.  May we gain a new insight into Jesus' humanity and have the courage to take more risks for sake of justice....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Know Jesus; know purity":  John the Baptist was martyred for telling Herod it was wrong for him to live with Herodias.  We have opportunities to repeat his words to today's Herods and be persecuted too.  But we need to hear those words of John in the context of his words about Jesus: "Look!  The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" It's incomplete to tell people to repent without telling them of the One who can forgive and save them.  We need crusaders for purity, but they'll only succeed if they constantly point to Jesus, Lamb of God....
      Our Lady of the Snows
    • Passionist:  Pope Francis heightened the importance of the Year of Mercy by making it a Jubilee Year.  The 1st reading gives the origin of the Jubilee Year, a joyful celebration of God's goodness and abundance and recognition of dependence on the Lord.  The issue was about trusting God, with joy, to provide, even when allowing the land to rest and returning workers and land.  The Gospel recounts John the Baptist’s arrest and execution by Herod Antipas, who though distressed by the girl's request didn't challenge it and in fact participated in the act.  What was it like for John, who in prison may have questioned everything?  And for Jesus who may have been looking ahead to his own fate after his cousin's?  Herod recognized Jesus' miracles and believed in the resurrection (was Jesus the resurrected John?), but did he notice Jesus directed his power only towards good?  Not many coins were made in his name, so he wasn't well remembered and likely had no conversion.  May we trust God and learn to use our power for good....
    •  "Herod's reaction to John the Baptist":  King Herod had everything he wanted except peace with God.  He respected and feared John, though John rebuked Herod for his adulterous relationship.  Herod, wanting to please family and friends, had John beheaded.  His conscience is pricked when he hears people are going to Jesus to hear his message of repentance and see his works.  Herod couldn't rid himself of sin by ridding himself of the man who confronted him with his sin.  God's grace enables us to fight fear with faith and not compromise good with evil....
    Today's celebrations, from Universalis
    • Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major ("Our Lady of the Snows"):  The Rome basilica, oldest in the West dedicated to Mary, was built shortly after the Council of Ephesus proclaimed Mary as Mother of God, a title emphasizing Jesus was divine and a man born of a woman.  (St. Ignatius Loyola celebrated his first Mass there.)
    Dress legend
    • 'Mountain' tie pin:  God said to Moses on Mt. Sinai... (1st reading)
    • 'Clock' tie bar:  Celebrate Jubilee Year every 50 years (1st reading)
    • 'Coin' pin:  Financial transactions during jubilee year (1st reading)
    • 'Olympics' tie pin:  May all the nations praise You (psalm)
    • 'Fruit' pin:  Don't pick the grapes from untrimmed vines (1st reading); earth has yielded its fruits (psalm)
    • 'Ruler' tie bar:  You 'rule' the peoples in equity (psalm)
    • 'Silverware' tie bar:  Herod's birthday feast (gospel)
    • 'Headless skeleton' tie pin:  Herod had John the baptist beheaded (gospel)
      • Tie with fishing bait/lures:  The dance of the daughter of Herodias 'lured' Herod to get John the Baptist beheaded.  (gospel)
      • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

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