October 6, 2017


October 4, 2017:  St. Francis of Assisi

See 18 connections with today?
Legend below

For St. Francis
For Psalm 137
Pope Francis and beyond

General Audience:  St. Francis is a true missionary of the joyful hope born of Christ’s victory over death.  Jesus asks us to be witnesses of that hope, confident in the Spirit's transforming power.  Joy is the sign of Christian hope, but at times the gift of hope proves costly.

Christians persecuted today, and all martyrs, inspire us to continue to hope in Christ’s promises.  As missionaries of hope, may we rejoice in God’s saving power, never lose heart, help others look ahead with confidence, and open 
a space for salvation.  When the sky is cloudy, it's a blessing for those who know the sun.  True Christians are not complacent and angry but convinced by the strength of the resurrection….”  More

October prayer intentionPray that all workers receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.

Cardinal Parolin re child dignity in the digital world:  Safeguarding children takes deep care, competence, and tenacity.  Our efforts must be expanded and deepened so minors' dignity and rights may be better protected and defended.  The world is characterized, ever more pervasively, by new communications technologies and devices.  Offenses against minors' dignity spread through the new parameters of the digital world.  Minors are exposed to new risks, or old risks newly manifested, that we must address.  The forms of violence against minors are interwoven:  human trafficking, child soldiers, absence of education, hunger, and poverty.  "We need courage to respond and guard this joy from today's Herods, who devour children's innocence" (Pope Francis).  Sexual abuse is an aspect and a consequence of violence that ignores respect for a child's body, soul, vulnerability, and dignity.  You're establishing dialogue among people from many disciplines trying to defend minors' dignity and direct the digital world to serve the dignity of minors.  Today's minors are tomorrow’s human race.

Children and youths are growing up in a digital world within a largely undeveloped context.  We have a responsibility to them, as do companies that promote and drive the development of the digital world.  Minors in the "peripheries" (areas of economic or spiritual poverty, loneliness, loss of life's meaning) are preferred targets for exploitation and of organized online violence.  Family and school must guarantee minors a sound education essential to the promotion of their dignity.  The 2nd principle of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child says that every child should have the means to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually, and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity.  St. John Paul II affirmed the need to do more to safeguard children's well-being and to enunciate and protect their rights.  Each minor is a human person, created in God's image, with unique, unrepeatable value; each must be taken seriously and protected so that they may fulfill their purpose.  The destiny and the life of each of them is supremely important, precious in the sight of human beings and in the sight of God.   God came among us as a vulnerable, needy child, assuming an infant's fragility and hope.

To abuse children is both crime and sacrilege, a profanation of God's sacred presence.  Sexual desire is wonderful when it advances humanity, but it can be perverted to become a source of suffering; it must be elevated and directed.  Moral responsibility and the correct use of freedom are essential.  May the sense of the beauty and mystery of human persons, of their great vocation, and the duty to protect them inspire you and bear concrete fruit.

  • Neh 2:1-8  I offered some wine to the king, who asked me, “Why do you look sad?”  I answered, How could I not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins?”  “What do you wish?” / “If it please you, send me to Judah to rebuild it.” / "How long will it take?" I set a date acceptable to him, and he agreed that I might go.  “If it please you, give me letters for the governors, that they may afford me safe conduct till I arrive in Judah; and a letter for the keeper of the royal park, that he may give me wood.”  He granted my requests, for God's favor was upon me.
  • Ps 137:1-6  "Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you!"  We wept by the streams of Babylon when we remembered Zion.  Our captors asked the lyrics of our songs, and our despoilers urged us to be joyous, but how could we sing of the Lord on foreign land?  Let me never forget you or place my joy ahead of Jerusalem.
  • Lk 9:57-62  Someone / Jesus:  “I'll follow you wherever you go.” / “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son has nowhere to rest his head.”  Another:  “Let me bury my father first.” / “Let the dead bury their dead.  You go proclaim the Kingdom.”  Another:  “I'll follow you, but first let me say farewell to my family.” / “No one who looks back is fit for the Kingdom.”
  • Universalis:  Francis, son of prosperous cloth merchant, lived evangelical poverty, preached God's love to all, loved creation, celebrated everything as gift, understood disciples must carry Jesus' cross, founded Franciscan order...
  • Creighton:  Today’s gospel can seem harsh, but Jesus saw the disciples' commitments were conditional:  One said he'd follow wherever Jesus go, but Jesus asked, what if I don’t have a place to go?  The others had things to do first, but Jesus told them the time was now.  Keeping commitments requires persistence and consistency.  Today’s gospel invites us to deeper commitment.  How appropriate we remember Francis of Assisi today.  May our commitment become more concrete, leading to something new and valuable.
    St. Francis abandons his father
    Di Giovanni
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Rebuild my church":  Nehemiah set out to rebuild Jerusalem.  God instilled concern in him and prepared him by granting him the king's favor.  When Francis heard God command him, "Rebuild my church," he set out to repair several church buildings.  Once he discerned the Lord wanted him to rebuild the people, he built up a religious order whose ministry brought people new life.  What's your role in rebuilding the Church?  Rebuilding your family?  God will supply what you need and prepare you.  Put your hand to the plow and rebuild.
  • Passionist:  Jesus asks for total commitment.  Francis of Assisi, accepting the challenge, gave himself to Jesus in a life of praise, sacrifice, and service. As a youth he heard Jesus' call, renounced his possessions, and redirected his life to poverty and preaching.  He loved all God’s creation.  God used him to call others to lives of radical discipleship.  Francis compiled a “rule of life” and established religious communities of men and women.  In his 44 years he shared the joy of Jesus' early disciples and sparked a renewal that continues to inspire.  Jesus and Francis challenge us to live generously and promote God’s Kingdom.  How do we respect God’s presence in people, nature, created things, daily events?  How do we reflect the simplicity and humility of Jesus and Francis?  How do we proclaim God’s mercy and compassion and so help build the Church?  May we be simple, faith-filled, joy-filled, compassionate, and respectful disciples of Jesus, channels of God’s peace!

  • DailyScripture.net:  "Fit for God's kingdom":  When the Lord calls, he discloses the cost and gives grace to respond and strength to persevere.  Detachment is a necessary step; it frees us to give without reserve.  We must be willing to part with whatever might stand in the way.  A plowman who looked back caused his line to become crooked.  Crooked lines can make the whole field a mess.  If we look back on what we leave behind, our path can diverge and we'll miss what God has for us.  Am I ready?
Dress legend
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  King Artaxerxes (1st reading)
  • 'Heart' pin:  "You must be sad at heart" (1st reading)
  • 'Fire' pin:  "The city gates were eaten out by fire" (1st reading)
  • 'Letters' tie:  "Give me letters for the governors..." (1st reading)
  • 'Wood block' tie pin:  Request for wood (1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  God's favoring hand was on me (1st reading); "if I forget Jerusalem, may my right hand be forgotten" (psalm); “no one who sets a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for God's Kingdom” (gospel)
  • 'Musical note' tie pin:  Our captors asked the lyrics of our songs (psalm)
  • 'Car with tongue' pin:  "Let my tongue be silenced if I forget you!" (psalm)
  • 'Bird' pin:  "Birds have nests, but the Son has nowhere to rest his head" (gospel)
  • 'Skeleton' tie pin:  “Let the dead bury their dead” (gospel)
  • 'Nail' and 'blood drop' pins:  St. Francis's stigmata
  • White and blue shirt:  White for St. Francis memorial, blue for the streams of Babylon (psalm)

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