October 19, 2017

North American Martyrs

October 19, 2017:

  SS. John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests,
and Companions, Martyrs

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

For Psalm 130
Pope Francis
HomilyGod's revelation, heart, and salvation, the key to knowledge, is neglected.  If we forget God's closeness and mercy and the freedom of salvation, as the law practitioners did, we've taken away the key to knowledge.  The law doctors forgot God's initiative to save and instead stood on the law.  For them, salvation was a bunch of prescriptions, so they didn't have the power of God's justice.  When you forget the gift of salvation, you lose the sense of God's closeness and the key to understanding salvation history.  For them, God is the one who made the law, but the God of revelation is the one walked with his people from Abraham to Jesus Christ.  When you lose this relationship, you fall into the dull mindset that believes you can save yourself by observing the law.
Doctrine can't be taught, even by studying theology.  Theology kneels, close to God.  God's closeness comes to the highest point in Christ crucified, 'justified.'  So works of mercy are the cornerstone of fulfilling the law, because they touch the Christ's flesh and suffering.  When you lose the key to knowledge, you become corrupt.  When shepherds lose or take away the key of intelligence, they close the door on themselves and others.  A priest who won't baptize children not born in canonical marriage is closing the door; he's lost the key to knowledge.  Pray that we shepherds don't lose the key to knowledge and don't close the door.
To Institution des Chartreux students and staff:  While you prepare yourselves for careers in finance, your academic formation is providing you a strong human, philosophical, and cultural dimension.  Keep learning to be free from the lure of money and the slavery of those who worship money.  Train yourselves to promote and defend growth in equity, and to administer with uprightness our common home, the world.  Become responsible for it and for every person's life; every injustice against a poor person is an open wound that belittles your dignity.  Create bridges to help build a more just and humane society.  Work for good; be a humble seed of a new world.
    Don't take it away....
  • Rom 3:21-30  God's righteousness has been manifested through faith in Christ, apart from the law.  All have sinned and are deprived of God's glory.  They're justified by his grace through redemption in Christ, who proved his righteousness because of the forgiveness of sins through God's forbearance.  How can we boast?  Only on faith, for we're justified by faith.  God belongs to and will justify everyone....
  • Ps 130:1b-6ab  "With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption."  I cry to you, Lord; hear me!  If you mark iniquities, who can stand?  But with you is forgiveness.  I trust in and wait for the Lord....
  • Lk 11:47-54 “Woe to you who build memorials to the prophets your ancestors killed, giving consent to their deeds.  So God said, ‘I'll send them prophets and Apostles they'll kill’ so this generation might be charged with their blood.  Woe to you, scholars of the law!  You've taken away the key of knowledge and stopped those trying to enter.”  They began to act with hostility toward him and plotted to catch him at something he'd say.
  • Creighton:  Today's readings put us on the common ground of having sinned and being deprived of God's glory.  It's easy to overlook our own offenses while judging others.  Who saves us from our just deserts of wrath?  The offended One sends his only Son to take the form of a servant and empty himself, to the point of death on a cross.  Jesus demonstrated his love for us not by claiming equality but by condescending, being for and with the least.  May we remember and try to imitate his example.
The equality of falling short and requiring mercy can be transforming; gratitude for receiving mercy, even more so.  Pray for the grace to receive this mercy, for ourselves and others.  May we be transformed and renewed to bear the image of Christ more fully in our daily lives.

  • One Bread, One Body:  Throughout the history of Christianity, especially since the Reformation, 'just,' 'justice,' and 'justification' have been confusing.  God is just.  "Both law and prophets bear witness" to God's justice.  God's justice "works through faith in Christ for all believers."  "The gift of God undeservedly justifies everyone, through the redemption wrought in Christ."  "A person is justified by his works, not faith alone." Holy Spirit, teach us about justice.
  • Passionist:  The religious leaders of Jesus' day liked to boast, building memorials to prophets their ancestors killed, distancing themselves from responsibility, using their knowledge to twist truth, boasting in their false righteousness.  Jesus' truth and good works enraged them; they plotted to silence and kill him.  Pride distorts truth, driving us to boast about things we didn't do alone.  Humility isn't easy, but the saints we honor today overcame their desire to boast and put their future in God’s hands.  When martyred, they took their place beside Jesus.  May we rule out boasting in our life.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Don't lose the key of knowledge":  God sent his prophets to open people to God's word.  Prophets were rejected because they spoke for God, not human approval.  Jesus chastised religious leaders for being double-minded; they professed admiration for the prophets but opposed their message and so closed their ears to God's word.  As official interpreters of scripture, they held the "office of the keys," but their interpretations shut people out.  They rejected both the prophets and God's final prophet and Son, the Key of David, God's Wisdom, who opens heaven for those who accept him. He is the "Wisdom of God" and source of everlasting life.  Only the humble who thirst for God and acknowledge his word can truly understand God's wisdom.  God speaks to us and gives wisdom and understanding.  How are we listening?
Today's saints, via Universalis
  • John de Brébeuf, Isaac Jogues, Rene Goupil, John de Lalande, Anthony Daniel, Charles Garnier, Noel Chabanel and Gabriel Lalemant, Jesuit martyrs (6 priests, 2 brothers); see Wikipedia re de Brébeuf and Jogues and Catholic Encyclopedia re de Brébeuf (his killers, wanting his bravery, ate his heart) and Jogues.
Dress legend
  • 'Ruler' tie bar:  "Boasting is 'ruled' out" (1st reading)
  • 'Blood drop' pin:  Jesus proved his righteousness by his Blood... (1st reading); "this generation will be charged with the prophets' blood!" (gospel); North American martyrs
  • 'Clocks' suspenders:  My soul waits for the Lord (psalm)
  • 'Key' tie:  "You law scholars have taken away the key of knowledge." (gospel)
  • 'Owl' pin:  God's wisdom (gospel)
  • '?' tie pin:  The scribes and Pharisees began to interrogate Jesus... (gospel)
  • Red in shirt:  North American martyrs

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