December 15, 2017

Dec. 15

December 15, 2017:  Friday, 2nd week, Advent

See a dozen connections with today?
Legend below

  • Is 48:17-19  I teach and lead you for your good.  Hearken to my commandments; receive prosperity, vindication, and descendants.
  • Ps 1:1-4, 6  "Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life."  Those who delight in God's law are like trees yielding fruit; they prosper.
"You didn't dance to the flute..."
  • Mt 11:16-19  This generation is like children who didn't dance to the flute or mourn to a dirge, rejecting John the Baptist and the Son of Man.  But wisdom's works vindicate her.

  • Creighton:  The one who follows the Lord's way (psalm) is like a tree 'planted,' set in place by someone who knows what he's doing, and the water is running, alive.  The tree has all it needs even if it's not apparent. The tree yields ongoing fruit.  Ez 47:12 and Rev 22:2 pick up on this:  the trees are symbolic and go beyond what we expect of ordinary trees.  God has planted us (like the tree) in the best time and place, gave us what we need, and wants us to flourish for others in season and out; we can only if we're open to God's support, grace.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Looking like Dad":  We were created in God's image, but our sin marred that image.  Our lives are to be restored to God's image by imitating Jesus, "the Image of the invisible God," but sin so blinds and confuses us that we're tempted to make everyone, even God, conform to our deformed image.  Though we're not the Creator, we're tempted to pretend to be God and get everyone to do our will.  We need to conform to God's will so our deformity may be reformed and transformed.  May we be his humble, docile, obedient children as he leads us.  When we give up our desire to conform the world to us, we'll be restored into God's image and find our true selves.
  • Passionist:  From 1st reading:  The “Lord will tell you what is good” and “lead us on the way.”  Psalm: follow the Lord, and have the light of Life.  But we want to lead, not follow; we think we understand our lives and what we need better.  We don’t want to change; we just need his help.  Tempted to think we know what God wants, we end up unsure of what we want or where we're going.  But to follow the Lord, we need to seek, know, and trust him.  May we truly seek him in prayer, the sacraments, scripture, and slowing down, so we may recognize him and see where he's leading us, and what he wants, then know peace and joy....
    •  "The Lord will lead you":  God’s kingdom is available to those teachable, receptive, and obedient to God's word; they receive wisdom and peace and become blessings to their offspring.  Jesus compares proud teachers and scholars with stubborn playmates who don't follow wise counsel.  His parable about a group of musicians and their friends who refuse to dance challenges us to examine whether only hear and do what we want.  The young musicians react with dismay because they can't get anyone to follow them.  The parable echoes "There's a time to weep, a time to laugh, a time to mourn, a time to dance."  Am I in tune with God's message?  Do I heed God's wisdom and truth?  Jesus' message gives joy and hope to those who listen and obey but warn of disaster for those who refuse it.  The jealous scribes and Pharisees attributed John the Baptist's austerities to the devil and attributed Jesus' table fellowship as evidence for pretending to be Messiah. Their closed hearts and ears frustrated God's plan for their lives.  Indifference and contempt can make us spiritually dull, deaf to God's voice....
    Dress legend
    • 'Celebrate teaching' pin:  "I teach you what is for your good" (1st reading)
    • 'Children' pin:  Your descendants will be as the sand (1st reading); children in the marketplace... (gospel)
    • 'Phone' tie bar:  ...who 'call' to one another (gospel)
    • 'Silverware' tie bar:  The Son of Man came eating and drinking... (gospel)
    • 'Lights' tie:  Light of life (psalm)
    • 'Tree' and 'apple' pins:  One who meditates on God's law is like a tree bearing fruit whose leaves never fade (psalm)
    • 'Eyeball' pin:  The Lord watches over the way of the just (psalm)
    • 'Accordion' pin:  We played the flute and you didn't dance (gospel) [I don't have a 'flute' pin but did use a flute image for today's word cloud below, with WordArt (formerly Tagul)'s help.]
    • 'Owl' pin:  Wisdom is vindicated by her works (gospel)
    • Purple shirt:  It's the Advent season...

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