September 30, 2017


September 30, 2017:  St. Jerome, Priest and Doctor

  • 'Doctor's office' tie:  St. Jerome, 'doctor' of the Church
  • 'Angel' pin:  An angel spoke to Zechariah (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' pin, 'ruler' tie bar, 'hand' pin:  Zechariah saw a man with measuring line in his hand (1st reading); the Lord will redeem Jacob from his conqueror's hand (psalm); the Son of Man will be 'hand'ed over (gospel)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  "The Lord will guard us as a shepherd his flock" (psalm)
  • White shirt:  Color of St. Jerome's memorial


For St. Jerome
A city should not permit one-way traffic of exasperated individualism or tolerate privatization of public spaces or corruption.  Have passion for the common good that allows each person and family to realize themselves and open themselves in communion with others.  Poverty and marginalization breed in areas that lack quality services, while elsewhere others are overly cared for. Reject plans that divide and make one person's life another's death.
Visit your peripheries; the point of view of the least teaches us true needs and solutions, both making us feel the injustice and showing the way to eliminate it and create a community where each one is recognized as a person with rights and duties.   When you're close to your people, things go well.  Overcome the challenge of migrants and refugees by offering spaces for personal encounter and knowledge of one another.  Thank you for promoting the culture of encounter and the exchange of artistic and cultural riches and for adopting the good practice of welcome and integration.
  • Zec 2:5-9, 14-15a  I, Zechariah, saw a man with a measuring line in his hand.  “Where are you going?” / “To measure Jerusalem.”  The angel who spoke with me advanced, and another met him and said, “People will live in Jerusalem as though in open country, but I'll be for her an encircling wall of fire and the glory in her midst.”  Rejoice, O Zion!  The Lord is coming to dwell among you....
  • Jer 31:10-12ab, 13  "The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock."  He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together.  The Lord shall ransom Jacob.  They shall come streaming to the Lord’s blessings, and all shall make merry.  I will turn their mourning into joy....
    • Lk 9:43b-45  Jesus to disciples:  “The Son of Man is to be handed over.”  The disciples didn't understand and were afraid to ask.
    St. Jerome
    • Universalis:  St. Jerome, unwillingly ordained a priest, founded monastery, hospice, and school, translated Bible into Latin, wrote many works, including letters and commentaries on Scripture, and helped refugees and those in need.
      St. Jerome/ Spada
      (Read about the skull)
    • Creighton:  Jerome was considered, even by saints of his time, hard to live with, cranky, and rude.  But he put his gifts of knowledge, language, and culture to the service of the Church in translating the Scriptures. He loved the Scriptures, wrote about them, and opened them for people through the centuries.  He translated the Bible into the common language of the Roman Empire, Latin, so well that all could understand.  Today’s 1st reading reminds us God is with us, surrounding and loving us.  God is closer than our breath, sheltering and protecting us.  In today’s gospel Jesus’ mission seems successful, but he tells the apostles he'll be handed over and brought low; they don't know what he's talking about and are afraid to ask.  I too have been confused about what Jesus is trying to tell me and afraid to find out what it might mean....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Measuring up?"  Zechariah had a vision of Jerusalem being measured in preparation for her restoration.  St. John was also given a rod to measure God's temple and altar, and count the worshippers.  God's people were measured to be protected.  The Lord still measures people.  In the end the Church will measure up to his standards:  "glorious, holy, immaculate, without stain or wrinkle."  The Lord gives us the grace to measure up....
    • PassionistAt Mass Jesus is present in the Blessed Sacrament, the Scriptures, the priest, and the assembly.  He's also present in those in need.  And "those who abide in love abide in God and God in them.”  Rejoice!
    •  "Astonished by God's majesty":  Ascribing majesty is acknowledging and respecting greatness.  Jesus' miracles revealed God's power, majesty, favor, and grace, especially towards the lowly.  But Jesus warned there's no share in God's glory without the cross. Jesus' prophecy of his crucifixion made no sense to his disciples; they thought the Messiah would free people from oppression but didn't know how.  They didn't want to know about the consequences of death on a cross and were afraid to ask, as someone afraid to ask a doctor out of fear of bad news.  How could the cross bring victory and lead to new life and freedom?  Lord, show us your glory that we may grow in reverence of you and your word.

    September 29, 2017


    September 29, 2017:  SS. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels

    See 16 connections with today?
    Legend below
    For Psalm 138
    Pope Francis homily
    Angels are masters of contemplation: they serve and contemplate the Lord who has sent them to accompany us.  We share their vocation to cooperate in God’s salvific design.  Michael, Gabriel and Raphael have an important role:
    Michael fights against the devil and protects us from the serpent who seduces us, makes us fall, and accuses us before God claiming us as his.  He helps us resist temptation.  Gabriel brings the good news; he announced to Zechariah the birth of John the Baptist and to Mary and Joseph the birth of Jesus.  He accompanies us, and when we “forget” the Gospel reminds us that Jesus came to save us.  Raphael walks with us, taking care of us and helping us not take a wrong step.
    They're at God’s service and ours.  Michael, help us in our battles; Gabriel, bring us the good news of salvation; Raphael: take us by the hand and lead us forward.
      • Dn 7:9-10, 13-14  The Ancient One took his throne, clothing and hair bright; thousands ministered to him.  One like a son of man came on the clouds of heaven, was presented before the Ancient One and received kingship.  His dominion is everlasting; it won't be taken away.
      • Rv 12:7-12ab  War broke out between Michael and his angels and the dragon.  The dragon, the ancient serpent called Satan, was thrown to earth.  From heaven:  “Salvation and power have come, and God's Kingdom, and his Anointed's authority.  The accuser of our brothers is cast out, conquered by the Blood of the Lamb.  So rejoice!”
      • Ps 138:1-5  "In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord."  I'll thank you, for you heard me; I'll worship at your temple.  You've made your name and promise great and built up strength within me.  All kings shall thank you and sing of your glory.
      • Jn 1:47-51  Jesus re Nathanael:  “Here's a true child of Israel, with no duplicity.”  Nathanael / Jesus:  “How do you know me?” / “I saw you under the fig tree.” / “Rabbi, you're the Son of God, King of Israel.” / “You believe because I saw you under the fig tree?  You'll see greater things.  You'll see heaven opened and God's angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

      • St. Gregory's famous homily on the Archangels:  “Angel” denotes function, not nature. Heavenly spirits are only called angels when they deliver a message; archangels are the ones who proclaim supremely important messages, as Archangel Gabriel announced to Mary the greatest of all messages.  Some angels are given names to denote the service they perform.  Whenever a powerful act must be performed such as battling Satan, Michael is sent, making clear no one can do what God does.  So too Gabriel, "God's strength," was sent to Mary to announce the humble One who would quell the cosmic powers.  Raphael, "God's remedy," touched Tobit’s eyes to banish the darkness of his blindness.
      • Creighton:  Gabriel is the only archangel the gospel mentions, as God's messenger to Mary.  We know about his message and patience; he's patron of communications (including "e[vangelium]-mail").  Raphael, who accompanied Tobit's son on a long journey and restored his sight (see Tobit) is patron saint for safe flights, comfortable accommodations, and healing and accompanying the blind.  Michael, our protector, defeated the devil.  Angels represent the history of God’s coming close.  Michael begins the tension between good and bad, a battle within us all.  In Raphael God walks us through our blindness. Gabriel announces the Good News that God in Jesus joined our battle with ourselves.  God took flesh so we see who we are in his sight.  We believe angels keep ascending, descending, battling, guiding, healing, announcing, and inviting.  St. Michael, defend us in our internal wars; convert our divided selves, families, nations, and world.  St. Raphael, help us see God.  St. Gabriel, help us respond to God's invitations, not fearing ourselves or the Sender.  Holy Angels, free us to be guided. Michael is still winning, Raphael still journeying, Gabriel still announcing....
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Reality check":  People's false impressions of angels contribute to a skewed view of God and salvation.  Angels are formidable, even terrifying. Michael's name ("Who is like God?") is a challenge to repentance and humility.  Gabriel doesn't tolerate foolishness (muting Zechariah when he didn't believe God's message).  Raphael said, "I came to you not out of favor on my part but because it was God's will."  Angels confront us with reality to keep us from making God in our own image.  Believe revelation about angels, tremble at God's Word, and know "it's fearful to fall into the hands of God," consuming Fire of love.
      • Passionist:  Michael is best known for his battle with evil, Gabriel ("God is my Strength") as the messenger to Mary and archangel of wisdom, revelation, prophecy, and visions, Raphael ("God's healing power") as companion, guide, and healer.  Angels assist God with tasks on earth and in heaven....
      •  "You'll see the angels of God":  In meeting with Nathanael, Jesus reveals how God looks at each of us and invites us into communion with him.  Nathanael was startled Jesus knew and understand him before he said anything.  The fig tree was a symbol of God's peace and blessing; it provided shade and refreshment for prayer and reflection.  Rabbis gathered their disciples under its shade to teach them from Scripture; they said, "He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit."  Maybe Nathanael was reflecting on the promised Messiah King and drifted into a nap like Jacob.  It was revealed to him that Jesus was the Messiah, "Son of God, King of Israel,"  Jesus offered him the gift of friendship with God and access to his throne.  In Jacob's dream God opened a door that brought Jacob and his people into a new relationship with God; God revealed his angelic host and the throne of heaven and promised Jacob that he and his descendants would dwell with God.
      Angels are God's servants and messengers, "mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to his voice," "ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation."  They belong to Christ and were created for and through him.  They also protect and guard:  "He will give his angels charge of you to guard you."  The armies of heaven fight for and with us and with us in the spiritual battle for our hearts, minds, and wills.
      Jesus promises Nathanael he'll be the ladder that unites earth with heaven; he proclaims he's the fulfillment of the promise to Jacob.  Jesus is the true stairway to heaven; in his incarnation and life, "things of heaven are wed to those of earth, and divine to the human" (Exsultet, referring to Easter).  Jesus opens the way for us to come into a new relationship with God as his children; he opens the way for us to "ascend to heaven" and bring "heaven to earth" in our daily lives. God's kingdom is present in those who seek him and do his will....
      From Universalis
      • Michael ("Who is like God?") is mentioned in Rv as leader of the heavenly host.  Patron of soldiers
      • Gabriel ('God's strength') appears in Dn to explain some of the prophet’s visions, and was also the bearer of the Annunciation to Mary.
      • Raphael ('God heals'):  In Tb, he heals Tobit of his blindness.
      Archangel prayers

      Dress legend

      • 'Fire' pin:  His throne was flames of fire... (1st reading)
      • White shirt:  Today's liturgical color; the Ancient One's clothing was bright as snow, hair was white as wool (1st reading)
      • 'Serpent' tie pin:  Ancient serpent (alt. 1st reading)
      • 'Heart' pin:  I'll thank you, Lord, with all my heart (psalm)
      • 3 'angel' pins:  Today's archangels.  Michael's angels vs. dragon's angels (1st reading); "in the angels' sight I'll sing Your praises" (psalm); "you'll see God's angels ascending and descending" (gospel)
      • 'Crowns' tie:  His kingship shall not be destroyed (1st reading); all kings shall thank you (psalm); "You're the King of Israel" (gospel)
      • 'Blood drop' pin, 'lamb' tie bar:  They conquered the Accuser by the Blood of the Lamb (alt. 1st reading)
      • 'Phone' tie bar:  When I called, you answered (psalm)
      • 'Tree' pin:  "I saw you under the fig tree" (gospel)

      September 28, 2017

      Sept. 28

      September 28, 2017:  Thursday, 25th week, Ordinary Time

      • 'Silverware' tie bar:  "You have eaten but not been satisfied" (1st reading)
      • 'Clock' pin:  "The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord" (1st reading)
      • 'Clothing' tie:  "You've clothed yourselves but not been warmed" (1st reading)
      • Red on tie:  SS. Wenceslaus, Lorenzo Ruiz, and companions, martyrs
      • 'Wood' tie pin:  "Bring timber, and build the house..." (1st reading)
      • 'Clef' tie pin:  Sing to the Lord (psalm)
      • '?' tie pin:  Herod was greatly perplexed...  Who is this I hear these things about?  (gospel)
      • 'Decapitated skeleton' tie pin:  Herod said, “John I beheaded.  Who's this?" (gospel)
      • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

      Some people associated Jesus with John the Baptist, Elijah, or another prophet.  Herod didn't know what to think about him but felt remorse and sought to see him to calm himself.  He wanted to see him do a miracle, but Jesus refused to hold a circus for him, so Herod handed him over to Pilate, and Jesus paid with his life.  Herod covered one crime with another and one remorse with another crime, like one who kills out of fear.
      Remorse is an open wound, but hidden, even to me, because I get used to carrying and anesthetizing it.  When it hurts, I feel remorse in body, soul, and life, aware of having done evil and tempted to cover it and not feel it.  It's a grace to feel our conscience accuse us, but we're tempted to notice others' sins instead.  We must "baptize" this wound, give it a name.  To remove it, pray, "Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner."  Then examine your life, and ask someone to help you to identify and name the wound:  "I feel remorse because I did this concrete act."  This is true humility, and it's necessary for healing.
      Learn the science and wisdom of accusing ourselves, feeling the wound's pain, learning its origin, and indicting ourselves.  Remorse is a sign of salvation.  Pray for the grace and courage to accuse yourself, to journey towards salvation.
      • Hg 1:1-8  Lord through Haggai to Judah governor Zerubbabel and high priest Joshua:  This people says:  “The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.”  Consider your ways!  You've sown much but brought in little, eaten but not been satisfied, drunk but not been exhilarated, clothed yourselves but not been warmed; and whoever earned wages earned them for a bag with holes.  Go bring timber, and build the house, that I may receive glory.
      • Ps 149:1b-6a, 9b  "The Lord takes delight in his people."  Sing to the Lord a new song.  Be glad in your maker; rejoice in your king; praise his name.  For the Lord loves his people and adorns the lowly with victory.
      • Lk 9:7-9 Herod was perplexed because people were saying, “John has been raised,” “Elijah has appeared,” and “A prophet has arisen.”  But he said, “John I beheaded, so whom is all this about?”  He kept trying to see him.
      • Fr. Jim Clarke homily video:  Let Jesus infest you; let your experience of him transform you.  Live in, with, and for him. Combat darkness with acts of love....
      • Creighton:  Jesus is performing miracles and Herod is perplexed?  I probably would be too, trying to understand what's happening, curious, maybe fearful.  In this time of devastating natural disasters, volunteers, first responders, and donors give promise that in times of despair we have an opportunity to care for each other. We are giving to each other and reach out to those in need. These acts of caring and giving show our humanity for each other. These humanitarian efforts make a difference and are remembered. However contributing, paying it forward and giving back are important as part of our daily lives. Give to those in need now, volunteer now. Make a difference for someone now. I can commit to do something everyday.
        St. Lorenzo Ruiz
      • One Bread, One Body:  "The full gospel":  We can be empty for many reasons; e.g. that we've committed idolatry by putting our concerns before God's.  "Worship of idols is the reason, source, and extremity of all evil."  We become empty when we go after idols.  To become fulfilled rather than empty, deny yourself and give your life to Jesus.  Hunger and thirst for justiceSeek God's kingdom.  "Do what [Jesus] tells you."  Give Jesus your life, and he who emptied himself to give us life will fill you with the Spirit.
      • Passionist:  Psalm 149 invites the people of Israel to celebrate God in song and dance because God chose them and gave them victory.  God's choice and victory should bring us immense joy and hope.  Recent hurricanes and earthquakes have left millions of suffering people in their wakes.  As we search for ways to bring them hope and healing, may we focus on how much better our lives can be when we're rooted in Christ.  May we spread God’s message of hope and peace....
      •  "Suppressing truth":  Herod had respected and feared John the Baptist but was more of a people-pleaser than God-pleaser; he silenced and eventually beheaded John to please his family and guests.  When reports of Jesus reached him, he became troubled, thinking John had risen.  He sought to meet Jesus more out of curiosity and fear than desire to know God; he didn't want to be troubled.  We can try to suppress the truth or what points us to truth, but only God can set us free from a guilty conscience or slavery to sin.  Relationships force us to respond or react, though we don't know the consequences....

      Today's saints, from Universalis
      • SS. Lorenzo Ruiz (1st Filipino martyr) and companions Dominic Ibañez de Erquicia, Francis Shoyemon, James Kyushei Tomonaga, Michael Kuroboiye, Lucas Alonso of the Holy Spirit, Matthew Kohioye of the Rosary, Antonio González, William Courtet / Thomas of St. Dominic, Niguel de Aozaraza, Vincent Schiwozuka of the Cross, and Lázaro of Kyoto, martyrs

      September 27, 2017

      Vincent de Paul

      September 27, 2017:  St. Vincent de Paul, Priest

      See ten connections with today?
      Legend below


      From the Vatican
      Pope Francis General Audience:  It's important to combat all that threatens our hope.  As Pandora’s box teaches us, hope is the treasure enabling us to face evil with trust in God’s providence.  Hope motivates many of our brothers and sisters forced to leave home and those who welcome them, trusting in a better tomorrow.  Hope is especially the virtue of the poor.  God came into this world among the poor, to bring the good news of our salvation.  Hope is also the virtue of the young, who deserve not to be robbed of it by society.  Hope’s greatest enemy is spiritual emptiness, the “noonday devil” that tempts us to stop fighting and to yield to discouragement.  Ask the Lord for grace to hope in his promises, confident that his victory will fill us with joy.
      For World Tourism Day:  Sustainable tourism, a tool for development:  Tourism is very important in light of all the travelers and workers involved, the economic, cultural, and social benefits it can bring, and the risks and dangers it can create.  Last year there were some 1.2 billion tourist arrivals.  Tourism is 10% of the GDP and provides 1 out of 11 jobs; it can foster growth and fight poverty.  But true development must go beyond the economic to develop the whole person (Populorum progressio 14), promoting “full-bodied humanism,” including all needs for the development of each person in dignity (42).  Integral human development includes sustainability and embraces all aspects of life.
      "Sustainable tourism"  must be responsible, not detrimental to the environment or the locality, respectful of the population and their heritage, dignity, and rights, especially of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable.  Holiday time is a noble time when everyone can add value to lives.  Sustainable tourism can provide new opportunities for economies in difficulty.  It helps eradicate poverty, protect the environment, improve quality of life, empower women and youth, and contribute to sustainable development, promoting ecological, social, and economic sustainability.   This year is an opportunity to encourage governments to adopt appropriate policies, the industry to embrace good practice, raise awareness, and highlight how tourism can foster sustainable development.
      We Christians want to offer our contribution so tourism may assist in the development of peoples, especially the most disadvantaged.  God created the universe and makes us brothers and sisters.  We must focus on the human person, recognizing the dignity of each person, relationships among persons, the common destiny of the human family, and the universal destination of goods.  We must be responsible stewards and understand the logic of gift and our duties of solidarity, justice, and charity.
      We invite all involved in the sector to discern and to promote sustainable tourism and corresponding behaviors and lifestyle changes.  The Church is launching initiatives that place tourism in the service of integral human development.  We talk about tourism with a human touch, based on projects of community tourism, cooperation, solidarity, and appreciation of the great, beautiful artistic heritage.
      Our common home must rise on the foundations of a right understanding of universal fraternity and respect for the sacredness of every human life; it must be built on the understanding of the sacredness of creation (Pope Francis to UN General Assembly).  May we live out this commitment!

      • Ezr 9:5-9  I rose, fell on my knees, and said to the Lord, “I'm too ashamed to raise my face to you, for our guilt reaches to heaven.  We've been delivered up for our wicked deeds to foreign kings, the sword, captivity, pillage, and disgrace.  And now the Lord has given us mercy and relief.  We're slaves, but God has turned the Persian kings' good will toward us, giving us new life to restore the house of God....
      • Tobit 13:2, 3-4abefghn, 7-8  "Blessed be God, who lives for ever."  He scourges, then has mercy; casts down and brings up.  Praise him; though he's scattered you, he's shown you his greatness.  Bless the Lord, King of ages....
      • Lk 9:1-6  Jesus gave power and authority to the Twelve and sent them to proclaim the Kingdom and heal the sick:  “Take nothing.  Stay at and leave from whatever house you enter.  When they don't welcome you, shake the dust from your feet.”  They set out to proclaim the good news and cure diseases.
      • Creighton:  Appreciating my God-given strengths and using them to serve others is integral to my spirituality.  May we play to our strengths as we meet people where they are and invite them to live the good news.
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Jesus' simple power":  When gave his apostles "power and authority to overcome demons and cure diseases," he didn't let them take staff, bag, bread, money, or extra clothes.  Worldly power is often complex, but power in Christ is often simple, based on having less, not more. The most powerful act in history is the death and Resurrection of Jesus, who lived in poverty and emptied himself; in weakness God's power reaches perfection.  "God exalted him and bestowed on him the name above every other."  Lord, make me poor and simple enough to be powerful....
        St. Vincent de Paul
      • Passionist:  Jesus sent the Twelve out with only the present moment and knowledge that God's Kingdom was at hand.  What do I need to proclaim the Kingdom?  The trappings I think I need can obscure the message.  I need to set aside whatever clouds the simple, beautiful, life-changing truth of God's love and invitation....
      •  "Jesus gave them authority":  What kind of power and authority does God want you to exercise?  He can change our lives. Jesus wedded power and authority with love and humility, teaching us to use power for others' good.  He tells the apostles to travel light so they'll be free from greed and make room for God's provision. The Lord wants us to depend on him, not ourselves; he wants to work in and through us.  Do I place myself at his service?
      Dress legend
      • 'Sword' tie pin:  We've been delivered up to the sword (1st reading)
      • 'Eyeball' pin:  God has brightened our eyes and given us relief (1st reading)
      • 'Hands' pin:  I stretched out my hands to the Lord (1st reading); No one can escape God's hand (psalm)
      • 'Boundless mercy' pin:  The Lord gave us mercy and relief (1st reading); God has mercy (psalm)
      • 'Crown' tie bar:  Exalt the King of ages (psalm)
      • 'Doctor's office' tie:  Jesus sent the Twelve to... heal the sick (gospel)
      • 'Feet' pin:  When you're not welcomed, shake the dust from your feet (gospel)
      • White shirt:  St. Vincent de Paul memorial