November 13, 2017

Frances Xavier Cabrini

November 13, 2017:  St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin

See 10 connections with today?
Legend below

For the gospel
    • Look it up/ Presley, Orrall:  country song with verse about how hard it is for us to forgive ("forgiveness...  It's what Jesus has in store for you, but I don't...")  This Bailey and Lowe cover avoids the original's bad language.  Lyrics+
For 1st reading

For Psalm 139
Scandal wounds hearts and kills hope.  Don't scandalize.  Scandal wounds God’s People where they're most vulnerable, killing hopes, dreams, families, and hearts.  “Be on your guard!” is a warning for everyone, especially people who call themselves Christian but live as pagans.  How many Christians through their inconsistency drive people away from faith?  The devil uses incoherence to weaken God's People and divert us from the Lord, to say one thing and do another.  Incoherence gives scandal.
Ask, “How coherent is my life with the Gospel, with the Lord?”  Some Christian entrepreneurs exploit people, not paying just wages.  Some careless pastors see their sheep wander away.  We can't serve both God and money.  A pastor attached to money gives scandal.  Ask, "How is my friendship with money?"  Or the vain shepherd who seeks to climb instead of being humble and close to the people, or the one who lords it over everyone, proud, not a servant-pastor.  How do I give scandal?  Approach the Lord more closely.
Wordle: Readings 11-11-13
  • Wis 1:1-7  Love justice, believe and seek the Lord.  God is the witness of the inmost self, observer of the heart, listener of the tongue.  The Lord's all-embracing Spirit fills the world.
  • Ps 139:1b-10  "Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way."  You know me, my thoughts, my ways; your hand is on me.  Wherever I go, you hold and guide me.
  • Lk 17:1-6  “Better for you to have a millstone around your neck and be thrown into the sea than to cause little ones to sin.  Rebuke sinners; forgive those who repent.  If you have mustard seed-sized faith, you'd say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey.”
  • Creighton:  70 × 7 was a Semitic way of saying not to keep count of forgiving.  Forgiveness is not a spontaneous human reaction; revenge is more spontaneous. The unforgiving debtor was not unjust; it was his right to demand repayment. But he should have been forgiving, because he had been forgiven.  'Forgiven-ness' (awareness of being forgiven) provides the motivation for forgive-ness.  We may miss the spirit of forgiving, because we miss the meaning of forgiving:  it's not forgetting the offense or pretending it didn't hurt us; it's remembering it without wanting revenge.  If the person who offended me needed urgent help, would I help?  If so, I'm on the journey toward forgiveness, but it'll take time.
    Mulberry tree
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Scandalized or de-scandalized?"  Scandals inevitably arise.  Be on guard so as not to cause scandal, forgive others, pray for faith, and use your faith to further God's kingdom.  We need the Spirit's power to do these things; the Spirit will transform situations as he has throughout history.  Ask for the Spirit to be stirred into flame in you, and follow the Spirit's lead.
  • Passionist:  “Lord, increase our faith”:  Following Jesus and forgiving others demands our faith be strengthened.  Faith is letting God be God in your life; the gift is cultivated by prayer and surrender to God.  It's knowing the Holy Spirit fills the world and is all-embracing; it's beholding all that's beautiful and tending to the holy.  Letting go of what contaminates us opens us to life.  “Faith is stepping out into the unknown with nothing but a hand just beyond our grasp” (Buechner); it helps us believe God is filling and embracing the world even as we witness violence and family discord.  May we cultivate all that's true and pure in our hearts so we may know how to bring Christ's love to life.  Lord, ignite your love in us so we may set the world on fire with it.
    St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
  •  "Increase our faith":  Two forces are at work in our lives:  temptation to sin, and faith to overcome obstacles to loving God and others.  The Greek for temptation (scandalon) is like 'scandal,' originally meaning trap or stumbling block causing one to fall.  Scripture warns us about the enticement to go astray:  "Keep me from the trap they've laid for me!" "In one who loves and lives in the light there's no cause for stumbling."  Jews considered it unforgivable to teach another to sin and so to set a sin train in motion.  Jesus warns his disciples not to set any stumbling blocks by giving offense or bad example; he also demonstrates that faith can overcome obstacles and temptation.  What appears impossible is possible to those who believe in God's power.  God expects more than we can do by ourselves, but the Holy Spirit helps us grow strong in faith, persevere in hope, and endure in love. Our joy and privilege is to follow the Lord and serve with his love and goodness....
Today's saints, from Universalis

Dress legend
  • 'Owl' tie pin:  "Wisdom is a kindly spirit" (1st reading)
  • 'Heart' pin:  Seek the Lord in integrity of heart (1st reading)
  • 'Dove' pin:  The Spirit of the Lord fills the world (1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  You rest your hand upon me (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  "Your eyes saw me" (psalm)
  • 'Children's faces around the earth' tie:  Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.  The earth is the Lord's (psalm)  Don't cause little ones to sin (gospel)
  • 'Stone' tie pin:  Better that a millstone be put around your neck than you cause little ones to sin (gospel)
  • 'Tree' pin:  If you had seed-sized faith, you'd tell the tree to move and it would (gospel)
  • White shirt:  Liturgical color for St. Frances Cabrini
  • 'Clocks' suspenders:  "You don't know the day or hour" (yesterday's gospel)

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