January 5, 2018

John Neumann

January 5, 2018:  St. John Neumann, Bishop

See a dozen connections with today?
Legend below

For 1st reading
For Psalm 100
Pope Francis

January prayer intention:  That religious minorities in Asia be able to practice their faith freely

To elementary teachers:   Promote a culture of encounter. Educate children to be open and interested in others, respecting their histories, strengths, weaknesses, resources, limitations.  Children must learn to be free of prejudices stemming from a competitive, aggressive culture that sees others as obstacles.  Teach children to care for our common home; help them develop and live an integrated Christian environmental ethic.  Rebuild educational alliances between schools, families, and the state.
  • 1 Jn 3:11-21  Love one another.  Cain slaughtered his brother because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.  Don't be amazed if the world hates you.  We know we've passed from death to life because we love our brothers.  Everyone who hates is a murderer, without eternal life.  We came to know love through Jesus' laying down his life for us; so we should lay down our lives for others.  If you refuse compassion to one in need, how can God's love remain in you?  Love in deed and truth, not word or speech.  If our hearts don't condemn us, we have confidence in God.
  • Ps 100:1b-5  "Let all the earth cry out to God with joy."  We're his people, his flock.  The Lord is good, kind, and faithful.
  • Jn 1:43-51  Jesus told Philip, "Follow me."  Philip told Nathanael, "We found the one Moses and the prophets wrote about, Jesus from Nazareth." / "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" / "Come and see." / Jesus:  "Here is a true child of Israel." / "How do you know me?" / "I saw you under the fig tree." / "You are the Son of God, the King of Israel."  / "You'll see greater things; you'll see angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
  • Creighton:  The Christmas season will end Monday at the feast of Jesus' Baptism.  Can I carry the messages God has for me this season past Monday?  There's meaning to most everything we do, but we need to stop and recognize it.  May we be contemplatives in action, reflecting on the day and what we've done and seeing how the Spirit is at work and calling us to act. The examen is a great tool for this.
  • Passionist:  Today's 1st reading gives a concrete way to show love.  Don't become paralyzed by the great need you see, but just do good wherever you are....
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Come and see":  Philip was eager to tell Nathaniel (AKA Bartholomew) about his decision to follow Jesus.  Nathanael was skeptical because he didn't think the Messiah could come from Nazareth.  How could he, when the prophets said he'd come from Bethlehem?  We're skeptical when someone tries to convince us of truth till we can understand it ourselves.  Instead of arguing, Philip invited Nathanael to "come and see" for himself, and the encounter with Jesus Christ changed his life.  When people see his love in action, the Lord touches them and opens them to recognize he's the Son of God who reveals the Father's love and truth.  When Philip brought Nathanael to Jesus, Jesus opened Nathanael's heart and called him a true "Israelite in whom there is no guile."  Nathanael, like Jacob, hungered for God and believed.  Nathanael, seeker of God, waiting for the fulfillment of God's promises, was willing to meet Jesus and see whether he might be the Messiah.
The fig tree was a sign of God's peace and blessing.  Rabbis often gathered their disciples under its shade to teach Scripture.  "He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit."  There Nathanael recognized Jesus as Messiah, "Son of God and King of Israel."
In Jacob's dream, God opened a door for Jacob that brought him and his people into a new relationship with God.  God revealed his angels, showed him the throne of heaven, and him that he and his descendants would dwell with God.  Jesus promises to open the way for access God's throne, fulfilling God's promise to Jacob and his descendants; he's the is the way to the Father, the true ladder/stairway uniting earth with heaven.  In Jesus' incarnation heaven and earth unite; God makes his dwelling with us and brings us into the reality of his kingdom through his Son.  Jesus opens the way for us to "ascend to heaven" and bring "heaven to earth" in our daily lives.  God's kingdom is present in those who seek and follow him....
Dress legend
  • 'LOVE' suspenders sticker:  Love one another... (1st reading)
  • 'Gun' pin:  ...not like Cain who slaughtered his brother....  If you hate your brother, you're a murderer.(1st reading)
  • 'Heart' pin:  God is greater than our hearts.  Reassure your heart.... If our hearts don't condemn us... (1st reading)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' tie pin:  Sing joyfully to the Lord (psalm)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  We're the flock the Lord tends (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  "Come and see" (gospel)
  • 'Tree' pin:  "I saw you under the fig tree" (gospel)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  Nathanael:  "You're the Son of God, the King of Israel" (gospel)
  • 'Angel' pin:  You'll see angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man" (gospel)
  • White shirt:  Color of today's memorial

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