December 6, 2017

Dec. 6

December 6, 2017:  Wednesday, 1st week, Advent / St. Nicholas

See 14 connections with today?
Legend below

For 1st reading and gospel
For St. Nicholas

For Psalm 23
Pope Francis General Audience
My recent Pastoral Visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh was memorable for my encounter with those great peoples and a variety of fruitful meetings.  Myanmar is gradually moving towards new freedom and peace.  At Mass, the celebration with youth, my encounter with interreligious leaders in that predominantly Buddhist country, and my meetings with authorities, I stressed the importance of dialogue and cooperation to build a society where everyone is accepted and respected.  In Bangladesh, of Muslim majority, I reaffirmed the importance of Christian-Muslim dialogue and cooperation and expressed solidarity with the country’s efforts to provide relief for Rohingya refugees.  The final Mass with youth was also attended by young followers of Islam and other religions.  My Pastoral Visit ended in a sign of hope for Bangladaesh, Asia, and the world.
  • Is 25:6-10a  The Lord will provide a feast of rich food and choice wines, destroy the veil, wipe away tears, and remove reproach.  “Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!  Rejoice and be glad!”
    Loaves and fishes (animate)
  • Ps 23:1-6  "I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life."  The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He leads, refreshes, and guides me; he gives me repose, courage, goodness, and kindness.  You spread the table before me and anoint my head.
  • Mt 15:29-37  Crowds came to Jesus with the lame, blind, deformed, mute, and others, whom he cured.  Amazed, they glorified God.  Jesus / disciples:  “I'm moved with pity; they've been here three days with nothing to eat.” / “Where could we get enough bread for them?” / “How many loaves do you have?” / “Seven, and a few fish.”  He took them, gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to the disciples, who gave them to the crowds; all were satisfied, and seven baskets were left over.
"Loaves and fishes" gallery
20 more
  • Creighton:  The gospel recounts a miracle whether Jesus multiplied the loaves physically or the people were moved to share with others what they brought for themselves.  Are we willing to share our time, talent, and treasure?  Are we willing to give food, share our earnings, or volunteer time to help those in need?  What a miracle it would be if we all gave more of ourselves....
    The real St. Nicholas
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Believe in Christmas":  Christmas is a real coming of Christ.  Jesus has come, is everywhere, and will come on Judgement Day, but he'll also come this Christmas.  Many have had visions of Jesus, but it doesn't always help them love Christ.  Christmas and life are matters of believing, not seeing. "Though you haven't seen him, you love him, and without seeing you believe and rejoice... because you're achieving faith's goal, your salvation." Christmas joy comes from meeting our Savior, through faith.  By faith, we can receive and give the Christmas gifts of death destroyed, tears wiped away, reproach removed, salvation, the mute speaking, the deformed made sound, cripples walking, the blind seeing, and resources multiplied.  "Your faith has been your salvation," and is your Christmas.
  • Passionist:  Today's readings show a Father who provides for his children, even when things look bleak.  He doesn’t complain that 5 loaves and 2 fish aren't enough but rather prays, looking beyond what is to what's possible with faith.  May I live with such confidence; I often look first at what's lacking instead of what God can do.  We live in a culture of never enough; we wake up and say we didn’t get enough sleep and go to bed saying we didn’t have enough time (Brown, Daring Greatly); perceiving scarcity instead of blessing can discourage us.  What if we wake up, thank God for the day, and believing he'll provide for our needs according to his riches!  Living with grateful hearts will help us live in peace and joy, focusing on our blessings; Brown calls it “living wholeheartedly....”
  •"This is the Lord; we've waited for him":  Jesus fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy.  Jesus' miracles are a sign of God’s kingdom and a demonstration of his power and mercy.  The disciples had the same challenge as the Israelites trying to find nourishment in the wilderness.  Jesus provided bread, and all were satisfied.  God knows our needs, he cares, and he gives in abundance.  He nourishes us with his word and with bread from heaven....

Dress legend
  • Green tie pin:  In verdant pastures he gives me repose (psalm)
  • 'People' pin:  Great crowds came to Jesus (gospel)
  • 'Heart' pin:  "My heart is moved with pity for the crowd..." (gospel)
  • 'Fruit with grapes' tie:  The Lord will provide a feast of rich food and choice wines (1st reading); feeding the crowd (gospel); you spread the table before me (psalm)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  The Lord is my shepherd (psalm)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  "We have 7 loaves..." (gospel)
  • 'Fish' tie pin:  "...and a few fish" (gospel)
  • 'Hand' tie pin: "The hand of the Lord will rest..." (1st reading)
  • 'Alps' pin:  "...on this mountain" (1st reading)
  • 'Abacus' tie pin:  Jesus 'multiplies' the loaves and fishes
  • 'Santa Claus' suspenders:  Today's St. Nicholas memorial
  • Purple shirt:  Advent season

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