October 2, 2017

Guardian Angels

October 2, 2017:  Guardian Angels

  • 'Alps' tie pin;  Jerusalem shall be called... the holy mountain of the Lord (1st reading)
  • 'Sun' pin:  I'll rescue my people from the land of the rising sun and the land of the setting sun (1st reading)
  • 'Angel' pin:  Guardian angels (today's celebration); these children's angels look on my Father's face (gospel)
  • 'Children on street' tie:  The city shall be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets (1st reading); turn, become like, receive children (gospel)
  • White shirt and socks:  Color of angels' memorial
  • Angels/ Amy Grant ("Angels watching over me...")

For Psalm 102
For Psalm 27

Pope Francis
Bologna homily for "1st Sunday of the Word":  God's Word makes our hearts burn; it makes us feel the Lord's love and consolation.  There's a great difference between the lazy son and his hypocrite brother:  in the one who first said no, the father's voice resonated, but in his brother the voice was buried.
We too can choose to be sinners who listen to the Father, repent, and rise, or seated sinners, self-justifying hypocrites willing to do only what's convenient.  Jesus said the latter weren't wrong about how they thought about God and religion but rather in how to live.  They were inflexible guardians of human traditions, incapable of understanding that life in God is a journey requiring the humility to be open, repent, and begin anew.  Repentance allows us to not be rigid, to transform our 'no' into 'yes,' the 'no' of sin into the 'yes' of loving God.  We can be penitent sinners or hypocritical sinners.  God's Word penetrates into each heart and calls us back to a father/son relationship.  Never reject encounter, dialogue; always seek new paths to walk together.
Three 'P's help us see where we're headed:  Parola (word), the compass that leads us in humble journeying; Pane (bread), the Eucharist, the starting point of everything; and Poveri (the poor), the materially and spiritually poor:  in all we find Jesus, who entered the world in poverty, through self-emptying.  May we never forget these three “foods” that sustain us.
To Italian Donation Institute:  The greatest gift God has given each of us is life, part of God's gift of creation.  All of us must feel the responsibility to safeguard creation and hand an intact planet down to future generations.  The gifts of life and creation usher from God’s love.  As we open ourselves to and welcome God’s love, we can become love to others.  God's love is particularly demonstrated at the Last Supper where Jesus left the “new commandment” of love; the newness lies the donation of his life for us, the service of others.  This love humbles itself, refuses violence, respects freedom, promotes dignity, and rejects discrimination.  Unarmed love is stronger than hatred.  Model yourself to Jesus' way.
Donation Day helps open children and youth to brotherhood, sharing, and building the civilization of love.  May they discover that donating is giving ourselves to others, makes both giver and recipient happy, and creates bonds that strengthen hope.

    Clipartfest image, WordArt-animated
  • Zec 8:1-8  Lord:  I am jealous for Zion.  I will return to dwell within Jerusalem.  The old shall sit in its streets; boys and girls will play in its streets.  I'll rescue my people and bring them back to Jerusalem.  They shall be my people, and I will be their faithful and just God.
  • Ps 102:16-21, 29, 22-23  "The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory."  The nations shall revere you when you've rebuilt Zion, appeared in your glory, and regarded the prayer of the destitute.  “The Lord looked down to hear prisoners' groaning, to release the doomed....”
  • Mt 18:1-5, 10  Disciples:  “Who's the greatest in the Kingdom?”  “Unless you turn and become like children, you won't enter the Kingdom.  Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest, and whoever receives a child receives me.  These little ones' angels look on my Father's face.”
    • Ex 23:20-23  Heed the angel I send to go before, guard, and lead you.

    • Jb 19:21-27  Job:  Pity me, friends; God's hand struck me!  Why do you hound me as if you were divine, and prey on me?  I know my Vindicator lives; from my flesh I shall see God.  I'm consumed with longing.

    • Ps 27:7-8-9abc, 13-14  "I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living."  Hear my call, have pity, and answer me.  Don't repel me or hide.  Wait for the Lord with courage.

    • Ps 91:1-6, 10-11  "The Lord has put angels in charge of you, to guard you in all your ways."  God will rescue, shelter, and shield you.
    • CreightonWhen I hear, “Unless you turn and become like children, you won't enter the Kingdom,” I recall that infants rely on their parents for everything.  May we rely completely on our loving God, delight in discovering something good, be willing to admit we're not experts, and just be able to be as we are.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Baptized, evangelistic, Catholic":  Jesus attracted people of all kinds.  We're like him when we attract people of all kinds to Christ, making disciples of all nations by living our baptisms in the Spirit's power....
      More angel memes
    • Passionist:  In yesterday's gospel Jesus’ accuses the priests and elders:  “When John came to you,... you didn't believe him, but tax collectors and prostitutes did.  Even when you saw that, you didn't change your minds and believe.”  He accuses the “leadership” of not seeing beyond their power; they rejected what “ordinary sinners” saw and accepted.  Today we celebrate God's intention to guide us in our daily responsibilities.  Our Guardian Angels are the parallel of John the Baptist; as John came to call people to conversion and prepare them to recognize Jesus as Savior, our Guardian Angels help us find our way home to the Father.  If we close ourselves off to the inspirations of God in our lives (“angels”), we're like those who didn't listen to John's message.  God surrounds us with warnings and foreknowledge.  We can ignore it, or choose the path of solidarity and help others towards a life of truth, justice, and compassion.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Their angels behold the Father in heaven":  Scripture is full of examples of how the angels serve as messengers and protectors; recall Peter's and Daniel's  St. John Chrysostom compared guardian angels to troops defending borders.  St. Basil said, "Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life." Angels ministered to Jesus after his temptations and in his agony in the garden.  At Christ's return angels will announce and serve at his judgment.  Angels show us creation is more than material.  Scripture describes fallen angels as evil spirits seeking our destruction; God gives us angelic help and spiritual weapons to resist them.  Through the Spirit we join the angels in singing God's praise.
    • Universalis:  The doctrine that every individual has a guardian angel is present in both Old and New Testaments.  All angels used to be celebrated on the feast of St. Michael, but a separate Guardian Angel celebration was introduced locally in 1411 and upgraded to worldwide in 1608; it reminds us God cares for each of us individually.

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