December 16, 2017

Dec. 16

December 16, 2017:  Saturday, 2nd week, Advent

See a dozen connections with today?
Legend below


    For Psalm 80
    Pope Francis
    To newspaper reporters:  Communicate news with serenity, precision, and completeness, using calm ‎language, thoughtful and clear words; reject the tempers of ‎allusive, clamorous, and ambiguous speech,  Offer criteria of judgment and information patiently and methodically so ‎the public may understand and discern.  Offer everyone a version of the facts as close as possible to reality.  Your free and responsible voice is fundamental in any democratic society, to assure exchange of ideas and profitable debate based on real data.
    In this time often dominated by speed, sensationalism, and overheated emotions, ‎we urgently need reliable, verified information, and news that aims not to ‎excite but to create a healthy critical sense so readers may reach justified conclusions.‎  Scrupulously respect the right to information and the dignity of every human person, so no one risks damage in the absence of real evidence.  The "sins of communications," misinformation and defamation, are grave and damage journalists and others.

    To Catholic Action Youth:  This meeting with you is particularly joyful, especially because it serves as an occasion for you to update me on you activities of solidarity in favor of the poor and most disadvantaged.  The elderly are the historic memory of every community, a heritage of wisdom and faith to be heard, preserved, and valued.  Fix your attention on the decisive events of Jesus' life; seek to become more like him, your most faithful friend.  Be good photographers of the things Jesus has done and of the world around you.  Be attentive to the forgotten, the poor, the weak, and those relegated to society's margins because they're considered a problem; they're your peripheries.  Seek out those no one ever sees; dare to take the first step to meet them, give them your time, a smile, an act of tenderness.

    • Sir 48:1-4, 9-11  Elijah appeared, shattered their staff, brought down fire, will end wrath, turn fathers' hearts, was taken up.
    • Ps 80:2ac, 3b, 15-16, 18-19  "Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved."  O shepherd, shine forth, rouse your power, care for this vine, help the man of your right hand.  Give us life, and we'll call on you.
    • Mt 17:9a, 10-13  “Elijah will indeed come restore all things; he's already come, but they didn't recognize him or act accordingly.  The Son will suffer at their hands.”  They understood he was speaking about John the Baptist.
    • Creighton:  Elijah appeared like fire and his words were like a furnace as he focused not on himself but on bringing people home to the Lord.  May we recognize people who can bring us closer to God, share the good news of Jesus, and not let our busy schedule and obligations turn us away from God.

    • One Bread, One Body:  "Prelude to glory":  Elijah's ministry preceded Jesus' Incarnation, Christ's coming this Christmas, and his final coming.  Elijah's ministry is to reestablish God's people and restore all things.  At this time, the following prophecies are being fulfilled by new Elijahs:  "Build up, prepare the way, remove the stumbling blocks from my people's path."  "The ruins shall be rebuilt, and you'll raise up foundations from the past; they'll call you 'Repairer of the breach' and 'Restorer of ruined homesteads.'"  "They shall rebuild the ancient ruins, raise up the former wastes, and restore the ruined cities...."  New Elijahs will work miracles, and Jesus will come to do the divine. The Lord is doing more than we could ask for or imagine. "Eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor has it dawned on us, what God has prepared....."  "Despite the increase of sin, grace has far surpassed it." "Rejoice in the Lord."
    • Passionist:  Peter, James, and John had just experienced Jesus' transfiguration, had seen him conversing with Moses and Elijah and had heard the Father saying, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”  Matthew chooses to recount but one question they asked: “Why do the scribes say Elijah must come first?” Jesus explains that John fulfilled Elijah’s role and was killed; he then prophesied he'd face the same fate.  For disciples, joy and success are often followed by pain and failure....
    •  "Elijah must first come":  God gives signs to show what he'll do.  John the Baptist is one, pointing to and Jesus and preparing the way.  John is the last and greatest prophet of the old kingdom.  The Jews expected that when the Messiah would come, Elijah would appear.  John fills Elijah's role and prepares the way for the coming of Christ by preaching a baptism of repentance.  As servants, we too must prepare by turning from sin and whatever would keep us from pursuing his will....
    Dress legend
    • 'Fire' pin:  Elijah appeared like a fire, brought down fire (1st reading)
    • 'Wheat' pin:  Elijah shattered their staff of bread... (1st reading)
    • 'Chariot' and 'horse' tie pins:  ...and was taken up in a chariot with fiery horses. (1st reading)
    • 'Hearts' suspenders:  He'll turn fathers' hearts to their sons (1st reading)
    • Tie with 'grapes':  Take care of this vine... (psalm)
    • 'Hands' pin:  ... and protect what your right hand has planted; may your help be with the man of your right hand (psalm); The Son will suffer at the scribes' hands (gospel)
    • 'Phone' tie bar:  Give us new life, and we'll 'call' on you (psalm)
    • 'Alps' tie pin:  The disciples were coming down from the mountain (gospel)
    • Purple shirt:  Advent season...

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