September 16, 2017

Cornelius and Cyprian

September 16, 2017:  SS. Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs

  • 'Crown' tie bar:  Honor and glory to the king of ages...  (1st reading)
  • 'Smiling sun' button:  Praise the Lord from sunrise to sunset (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  The Lord looks on heaven and earth (psalm)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  "Why do 'call' me 'Lord...' but not do what I command?" (gospel)
  • 'Tree' pin:  A tree is known by its fruit..." (gospel)
  • 'Heart' pin:  People produce fruit from what's in their heart (gospel)
  • 'Houses' tie, NEW 'rock' tie pin:  Build your house on rock (gospel) :-(The 'rock' of the tie pin I used to wear for this came off the rest of the tie pin Thursday afternoon.)
  • Red shirt, 'blood drop' pin, red in suspenders:  Today's martyrs

For the gospel

For Psalm 113
Pope Francis homily for Our Lady of Sorrows
We need to contemplate the Mother of Jesus, this sign of contradiction, because Jesus is victorious, but on the Cross, a mystery it takes faith to come close to understanding.  Mary lived with a pierced heart, always right behind her Son, hearing the people's comments for or against him; that’s why we call her the first disciple.
She was there at the end, silent, at the Cross, watching her Son, perhaps hearing comments like: “Look:  the Mother of one of the criminals.”  At that moment she gave birth to the Church and all of us:  “Woman, behold your children.”  Today’s Gospel is a call to contemplation.  May the Spirit tell each of us that which we need to hear.”
  • 1 Tm 1:15-17  Christ Jesus came to save sinners.  He treated me the foremost with mercy so he might show patience as an example....
  • Ps 113:1b-7  "Blessed be the name of the Lord for ever."  From sunrise to sunset praise the Lord.  He raises up the lowly and poor....
  • Lk 6:43-49  "Every tree is known by its fruit.  A good person out of the goodness in his heart produces and speaks good; an evil person produces evil.  Why do you call me, "Lord," but not do what I command?  One who listens to and acts on my words one is like one building a house on rock; a flood won't shake it.  One who doesn't act on them is like one building a house with no foundation; when the river burst, the house collapsed."
    House built on rock
    vs. house built on sand
  • Creighton:  In a related parable about non-productive fruit trees, the manager convinces the owner to allow a tree to rejuvenate instead of removing it.  “Out of the store of goodness in his heart” a good person brings forth good.  'Store' implies an inventory that can grow or shrink; we control it by doing good or evil.  We change the harvest by how we live.  Some years trees are better cared for and produce more fruit.  Recently homes collapsed in the face of water torrents and strong winds.  We strengthen our foundations by growing a tree of goodness and building on a relationship with God, following his call.  No untended tree always bears good fruit.  No foundation can protect against all possible storms.  But pruning makes trees stronger, and building our foundation protects us against temptation.  If we do one good act at a time and prune our non-productive branches, we'll become strong and bear fruit.  Jesus is patient and forgives our shortcomings.  May we be a good stewards of the tree of our lives, with grace to prune what doesn't yield fruit.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Future floods":  Our lives are like houses about to face floods; only the ones with solid foundations will stand.  We're well founded if we hear and do God's Word, be founded only on Christ and his Body, the Church, itself founded on the apostles and prophets.  We build a solid foundation by giving our lives to Jesus and living our Baptisms and loving the Church.  May we build our foundations to withstand anything....
  • Passionist:  We can be a source of goodness toward others, or a source of evil and hatred.   When we see others' good actions, we want to get to know them.  When we seek goodness in others, is it our way of seeking Christ?  Is our foundation strong enough to withstand crises or storms, or will it be destroyed?  May we allow ourselves to be enveloped in God’s grace and know his love will save us....
    St. Cyprian
    St. Cornelius
  •  "Build on a solid foundation":  "Sow an act; reap a habit.  Sow a habit; reap a character.  Sow a character; reap a destiny" (Reade?).  Jesus connects soundness with good fruit.  Good fruit is the result of sound living.  Isaiah warned against the dangers of falsehood.  Falsehood produces an easy, cross-free Christianity without Jesus' hard sayings, sin, or judgment.  We avoid bad fruit by being true to God, his word, and his grace.  Disciples' fruit is marked by God-given faith, hope, love, justice, prudence, fortitude, and temperance.  "When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm."  The foundation we build determines how we survive the storms to come.  Builders lay foundations when weather and soil conditions are best; it takes foresight to know how a foundation will stand.  Our practice proves our sincerity.  Our choices reveal our character.  True persons are reliable before God, themselves, and others.
    Today's saints, from Universalis

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