January 4, 2018

Mother Seton

January 4, 2018:  St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Religious and Mother

See 15 connections with today?
Legend below
  • 1 Jn 3:7-10  Those who act justly are righteous, just as he is righteous, but sinners belong to the Devil.   No one who doesn't love others belongs to God.
  • Ps 98:1, 7-9  "All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God."  Sing to the Lord, for he has done wondrous deeds.  Let the sea, what fills it, the world, those dwelling in it, the rivers, and the mountains all shout for joy before the Lord; he comes to rule the earth with justice and equity.
  • Jn 1:35-42  As John stood with two of his disciples and watched Jesus walk by, he said, "Behold, the Lamb of God."  They heard him, followed Jesus, and asked where he was staying; Jesus said, "Come and see," and they went, saw, and stayed with him.  Andrew told his brother Simon, "We've found the Messiah" ('Christ'), and brought him to Jesus, who told him, "You are Simon; you'll be called Cephas" ('Peter').
  • Creighton:  How do we live?  John writes “no one begotten of God sins,” and “act in righteousness.”  Is that possible?  The psalm tells us to focus on God and his will for us, remembering his action in history and creation.  God is always with us, speaking to us.  Whether through the prophets or today, he understands the challenges of righteous living, doesn't give up on us, keeps reminding we're his children, forgives us, and helps us return to the life he's planned for us.  In the gospel, Jesus welcomed the two disciples of John the Baptist who left John to follow him, despite their sins and shortcomings; they just had to believe Jesus was the Messiah and follow him.  It should be no different for us now than for Andrew and Simon Peter then.  We can keep focused on Jesus and live according to his example.
Today we honor Mother Seton who lived in righteousness despite the challenges and heartbreak she faced.  At 3 she lost her mother three, and throughout life she endured further heartbreak, but she continued to nurse the sick and dying, working through and developing charitable organizations.  Her service continues to bless us in our Catholic schools, orphanages, and hospitals.  She refused to let setbacks and challenges divert her from God's call.
    Prayer of Mother Seton
  • One Bread, One Body:  "3-letter word for death":  Sin is deadly rebellion against God, rejection of Jesus, refusal to love, denial of reality, being deceived, manipulated, degraded, enslaved, and an abuse of freedom.  Though it can be enjoyable for a while, it's to be be avoided; it hurts us and others and causes all evils in the world.  May we repent....
  • Passionist:  “Come and see”:  The encounter in today’s gospel led to Jesus’ "come and see" invitation and to Andrew and Simon Peter's lives of discipleship and witness.  Jesus' invitation has touched the countless people over the centuries including St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.  Reared Episcopalian. she and her husband reared their five children.  An Italian family drew her to Catholicism.  When her husband died at 30, she embraced the Catholic faith and opened a parish school to support her family and witness her faith.  A group of young women joined her in her approach to education and Christian life; they formed the American Sisters of Charity and helped found other schools and orphanages.  As Jesus drew disciples to himself and began the Church, he touched her heart, and she said yes to him and worked tirelessly to build the Church.  As God invites us to come and see, may we deepen our relationship with Jesus, encourage others to “come and see” God’s love gathering us as Church, and generously serve those in need.

  • DailyScripture.net:  "We found the Messiah!"  John calls Jesus the Lamb of God, signifies his redemptive mission.  Jesus freely offered his life for us; his blood cleanses, heals, and frees us.  John was son of Zechariah, who participated in the sacrifice of a lamb for people's sins.  In Jesus John saw the sacrifice that could deliver us from bondage to sin.  The Holy Spirit revealed Jesus' nature to John so that he could bear witness to the Son of God.  The Spirit makes Christ known to us too.
John eagerly pointed beyond himself to the Christ (Messiah).  Jesus took the initiative to invite his disciples them into his company, asking, "What are you looking for?"  He asks the same of us.  Only God can show us our purpose.  Jesus invites each of us to draw near to know what he wants to offer us.  "If God hadn't called you, what could you have done to turn back?  The One who called you when you were opposed to him made it possible for you to turn back" (Augustine).   God initiates and draws us to himself; we can't find him on our own.
It's natural to want to share something good.  When Andrew discovered Jesus was the Messiah, he told his brother right away, bringing him to Jesus so he too could "come and see."  Jesus reached out to Simon as he had to Andrew; he revealed he knew who Simon was and where he came from, then gave him a new name signifying God's mission for him:  'Cephas,' Aramaic for 'rock,' translated as Peter (Greek 'Petros,' Latin 'Petrus'), also meaning 'rock.'  To call someone 'rock' was a great compliment. The rabbis said that when God saw Abraham, he exclaimed: "I discovered a rock to found the world on."  Through faith Peter grasped Jesus was the Messiah.  Faith in Christ makes us rocks or spiritual stones....
Dress legend
  • 'Children' pin:  "Children, let no one deceive you" (1st reading)
  • 'Olympics' tie pin:  "All the earth has seen God's saving power" (psalm)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' tie pin, 'Christmas music' tie:  Sing to the Lord a new song (psalm)
  • 'Hands' pin:  The Lord's right hand has won victory; let the rivers clap their hands... (psalm)
  • 'Alps' tie pin:  ...and the mountains shout with them for joy (psalm)
  • 'Ruler' tie bar:  The Lord comes to 'rule' the earth with justice (psalm)
  • 'Magnifying glass' (search icon) pin, '?' tie pin:  "What are you looking for?" (gospel)
  • 'Celebrate teaching' pin:  They said to him, "Rabbi..." ('Teacher') (gospel)
  • 'Lamb' tie bar:  "Behold, the Lamb of God" (gospel)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  "Come, and you'll see" (gospel)
  • 'Rock' tie pin:  "You'll be called Cephas" (gospel)
  • White shirt:  Color of today's liturgical celebration
  • Christmas pin, 'Christmas trees' suspenders:  Christmas season continues through Monday

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