November 23, 2017


November 23, 2017:  Thanksgiving Day

See 16 connections with today?
Legend below

For Thanksgiving Day
For Thanksgiving gospel
For Psalm 145 (Thanksgiving)
For Psalm 50 (weekday)
When a dictatorship practices cultural or ideological colonization, freedom is taken away, history and memory are deconstructed, and biased education is imposed.  A nation asking for a loan was told "Yes, if you teach this," erasing all that God created and how he has created it, erasing differences, eliminating history.  "Think like this, or else you'll be cast aside, even persecuted."
Those who opposed genocidal dictatorships were threatened, then deprived of freedom.  Ideological and cultural colonization also eliminates memory, reducing it to fables or lies.  As you recall the mother in today's 1st reading, remember the role of women in the custody of memory and history, preserving memory of salvation, memory of God's people, memory that strengthens faith of a persecuted people.  Memory helps us triumph over perverse education systems.  Remember values, history, and what we learn.  The tenderness and courage of the Maccabees' mother strengthens her children and all God's people.  Women's strength can resist cultural colonization, defend history, and convey faith.  The people of God continue on by the strength of valiant women who have given their children faith, conveying it in a native dialect.  May the Lord always give us grace to have memory, not to forget our native language, and to have courageous women.

  • 1 Mc 2:15-29  Mattathias and sons gather.  Officers enforcing apostasy:  “Obey as others have done and be rewarded.”  Mattathias:  “No; we'll keep to the covenant.”  He kills Jew who offered sacrifice and messenger forcing them, invites city to flee with him, leaving possessions.
  • Ps 50:1b-2, 5-6, 14-15  "To the upright I will show the saving power of God."  God the judge has summoned the earth.  “Offer praise as your sacrifice to God; fulfill your vows.  I'll rescue you.
  • Lk 19:41-44  Jesus wept over Jerusalem:  “If only you knew what makes for peace.  Your enemies will rise against you, hem you in, and smash you because you didn't recognize the time of your visitation.”
  • Sir 50:22-24  Bless God who's done wondrous things, who fashions people.  May he grant you joy and peace; may his goodness endure and deliver us.
  • Ps 145:2-11 "I will praise your name for ever, Lord."  Great are you, Lord; your majesty, wondrous works, goodness, justice, mercy, kindness, and compassion.  May your faithful bless you, speaking of your kingdom's glory and your might.
  • 1 Cor 1:3-9  I thank my God for God's grace given to you as you await Christ's revelation.  He'll keep you firm to the end.  By our faithful God you were called to fellowship with Christ our Lord.
  • Lk 17:11-19  Ten lepers:  “Jesus, have pity on us!” / “Show yourselves to the priests.”  They were cleansed on the way.  One returned, glorifying God and thanking Jesus.  Has none but this foreigner given thanks?  Go; your faith has saved you.”
  • Creighton:  Though our religion may not be under as fierce an attack as in the time of Mattathias and his sons, the same methods of seduction are in use:  everyone else is doing it; you'll be somebody if you do; the king will make it worth your while.  The world appeals to our desire for friendship, prestige, and wealth.  Some submit, but others resist, either by giving up their lives, or, like Mattathias and his sons, with arms; in both cases you have to be prepared to lose everything.  Mattathias gave up everything, except his religious customs and faith.
The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth/ Brownscombe
Dictators come and go, but God lives on, gathering and rescuing the faithful.  Don't fear the threats, but praise God and fulfill your vows to him.
If the people in the gospel had only seen Jesus for who he was, they would have had peace, but they didn't, it led to disaster, and Jesus wept.  Recognize God at work.  Today's readings call us to trust God, ask for wisdom to see he's at work, and resist evil.  God alone is faithful; the world's offer of friendship, fame, and wealth is illusory.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Day by day":  How do we relate to opposition in our life?  We are to kill the enemy, temptation within, by zeal for God's law, casting out whatever leads us away from the Lord.  People "make a covenant with death" by choosing death in little things.  Mattathias chose the Lord.  May we spring up and kill temptation.  We can't have two masters or "straddle the issue" between world and God.  If you're the world's friend, you're God's enemy.  Little things we let into our lives (articles, videos, TV shows...) can make us see or miss the time of our visitation.  We can grow so far from God as to miss his visitation, or, through seeking the Lord daily (prayer, scripture, Mass, works of mercy...) be built up to a place of strong commitment.  Choose life.
    Christ lamenting over Jerusalem/ Eastlake
  • Passionist:  In the Thanksgiving gospel, ten lepers begged for pity, Jesus cleansed them all, but only one returned to thank him.  The gratitude of the one may show internal, as well as external, cleansing.  When I’m grateful, I tend less towards envy or schadenfreude.  If I'm satisfied with what I have, I may not feel I have to steal, cheat, lie, or kill.  Gratitude is an indication that I can accept love, especially God’s.  Realizing God's gifts to me inspires me to be generous, especially to those in need.  Nothing can take away God’s love for us in Christ.  May we always be thankful, be open to God’s healing and love, and give what we've been given.
    Healing of the ten lepers/ Tissot
  •  "Know the time of your visitation":  Jesus' earthly ministry culminates in Jerusalem, the holy city, God's throne and dwelling place, the holy mountain God set his king on.  Jerusalem derives its name from 'salem' ('peace' as in shalom)  The temple reminded the people of God's presence.  Jesus wept over Jerusalem because they didn't know what makes for peace.  Throughout the city's history, rulers and inhabitants rejected prophets out of pride and unbelief; now they refuse to listen to Jesus, and their rejection leads to the city's destruction.  Jesus' lamentation and prophecy echoes Jeremiah's.  God comes to establish peace and justice by rooting out the world, flesh, and devil and leading us to justice, peace, love, and holiness.  Do I recognize God's visitation today?
Today's saints, from Universalis
Cleansing of the ten lepers
Pro Video
Dress legend
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  King Antiochus Ephiphanes (1st reading d)
  • Silver- and gold-colored accoutrements:  If you obey the king, you'll be enriched with silver and gold (1st reading d)
  • 'Heart' pin:  Joy of heart (Thanksgiving 1st reading); when Mattathias saw the apostate Jew, his heart was filled with fury... (1st reading d)
  • 'Gun' pin:  ...and he killed him and the king's messenger (1st reading d)
  • 'Alps' tie pin;  Mattathias fled to the mountains with his sons, leaving everything behind (1st reading d)
    Christ cures ten lepers
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  May peace abide among you (Thanksgiving 1st reading); “If only you knew what makes for peace..." (gospel d)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:   "...but now it's hidden from your eyes." (gospel d)
  • Circular tie pin:  Your enemies will encircle you... (gospel d)
  • 'Stone' tie pin:  ...and not leave one stone upon another within you... (gospel d)
  • 'Clock' tie bar:  ...because you didn't recognize the time of your visitation (gospel d); countdown till eschaton and end of church year (season)
  • 'People' pin:  Lepers including the thankful one (Thanksgiving gospel)
  • 'Doctor's office' tie:  Jesus healed the lepers (Thanksgiving gospel) [trumps 'scales of justice' tie for "God alone is the judge" (psalm d)]
  • Green for Ordinary Time season

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