April 27, 2018

April 27

April 27, 2018:  Friday, 4th week, Easter

See about a dozen connections with today?
Legend below
Pope Francis
Homily:  Paul tells the Jews the inhabitants of Jerusalem and their religious leaders didn't recognize Jesus, condemning him to death.  But he was raised.  Paul calls Jesus’ resurrection the fulfillment of God’s promise.  The people of God walked with this promise in their heart, knowing their status as elect.  Even when they were unfaithful, they trusted in the promise, knowing God is faithful.
We too are on the path to heaven, but we don’t know how best to explain heaven.  Some wonder whether it'll be boring there, but no!  Heaven is the encounter with Jesus.  Recall, “I'm travelling toward Jesus,” a meeting that will make us happy forever.
In the meantime, Jesus is working for us and praying for us.  Each of us must say, "Jesus is praying for me, working to prepare me a place."  He's faithful; he does so because he promised it.  Heaven will be this encounter, this meeting with the Lord who went ahead to prepare a place for us.  This increases our faith.  Jesus is the priestly intercessor, right up to the end of the world.  May the Lord make us aware of walking along a path with this promise and give us the grace to look to heaven and think:  ‘The Lord is praying for me.’”
Gaudete et exsultate nugget:  Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Peer into the depths of your heart:  where do you find your security?  Usually the rich feel secure in their wealth and think the meaning of their life can collapse without it.  Jesus spoke of a man sure of himself yet foolish, for it didn't dawn on him that he might die that day.

Wealth ensures nothing.  Once we think we're rich, we can become so self-satisfied that we leave no room for God, loving others, or enjoying the important things.  Jesus calls the poor in spirit, those with a poor heart, blessed, because he can enter with his perennial newness.

Spiritual poverty is closely linked to what Ignatius of Loyola calls “holy indifference,” which brings us to interior freedom:  “We need to train ourselves to be indifferent in our attitude to all created things... [so] we don't set our hearts on good health rather than bad, riches rather than poverty, honour rather than dishonour, a long life rather than a short one...” [SpEx 23d].

Luke doesn't speak of poverty “of spirit” but simply of the “poor,” inviting us to live a plain and austere life, share in the life of those most in need, and configure ourselves to Jesus who “made himself poor.” [67-70]
  • Acts 13:26-33  Paul in synagogue:  "To us this word of salvation has been sent.  Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize Jesus; they found no grounds for a death sentence but still asked Pilate to have him killed, but God raised him, and many are now his witnesses.  God fulfilled in the resurrection what he promised our ancestors."
  • Ps 2:6-11ab  "You are my Son; this day I have begotten you."  “I'll give you the ends of the earth to rule.”  Serve the Lord, and rejoice before him.
  • Jn 14:1-6  “Don't let your hearts be troubled.  Have faith in me.  In my Father’s house are many dwelling places.  I'll take you to myself, so that where I am you may be too.  I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.”
  • Creighton:  Jesus' words of encouragement aren't a vague hope for an unknown future; he reminds his disciples who they are, to whom they belong, and what they know and have (faith).  Thomas, then Philip, are understandably confused; Jesus says, “I am the way,” and, “You know my Father and me....”  When we're confused, troubled, or afraid (maybe from a conflict or decision), we want clarity and control.  Jesus tells us our clarity, security, and safety is only in and through him. We need to listen for his voice of Jesus, in prayer or through a faithful companion, encouraging us to trust.  Lord, help us recognize the faith you've given to us....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "No limits":  Why was Jesus exasperated with Philip but serious with Thomas?  Maybe because Thomas asked with the intent of knowing the way and following Jesus, while Philip ended his question saying that if he got what he wanted, it would be "enough."  Do I put limits on what Jesus can do in my life?
  • Passionist:  Jesus is speaking to his disciples the night before he is to die.  Everyone, including Jesus, is anxious.  The disciples are reflecting on separation from Jesus.  Anxiety is a signs of our times.  We hear bad news and read people's worries on social media.  Uncertainty gives birth to hostility, and anger crushes kindness.  May we heed Jesus' “Do not let your hearts be troubled” and be quiet in God's presence.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Don't let your hearts be troubled!"  Jesus knew we'd face trials and persecution.   Adversity can discourage us or press us closer to God and his promises.  Just as God went ahead of Moses and the Israelites to lead them to the promised land, Jesus says he's going ahead through his ascension to prepare a place for them in his Father's house:  a place of peace, friendship, and happiness with God.  God's house is never closed nor overcrowded; there's room for all believers.  Jesus' promise of eternal life puts our greatest fears to rest.
Traveling alone in unfamiliar places can be unnerving and bewildering, and some places are impossible to pass through without the right person.  The Lord Jesus promised his followers that he'd be their guide and friend and lead them to the source of peace, friendship, and life.  Jesus alone knows the way to the Father because he has been with him from the beginning.  He gives us more than a map or GPS; he personally is the way to the Father's kingdom, and we won't miss it if we follow him.  He accompanies us and watches over us.
Only Jesus can say, "I am the Truth."  One with the Father, he possesses the fullness of truth.  Jesus promised his disciples that if they continued in his word, they'd learn the truth, and it would set them free.
"I am the Life":  Jesus shows us the path of life and gives us everlasting life.
Dress legend
  • 'Heart' pin:  "Don't let your hearts be troubled" (gospel)
  • 'Castle' button:  "In my Father's house there are many dwelling places (sometimes translated 'mansions'); I'm preparing a place for you" (gospel)
  • 'Cars on roads' tie:  "I am the way" (gospel)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  "I have set up my king on Zion..." (psalm)
  • 'Ruler' tie bar:  "Take warning, you 'rulers' of the earth." (psalm)
  • Crucifix tie pin, 'tree' pin:  Jerusalem inhabitants and leaders had Jesus put to death and took him down from the tree... (1st reading)
  • 'Alps' tie pin:  "I have set up my king on my holy mountain" (psalm)
  • 'Olympics' tie pin:  "I'll give you the nations, the ends of the earth" (psalm)
  • '?' tie pin:  "How can we know the way?" (gospel)
  • White shirt and socks:  Easter season

April 25, 2018


April 25, 2018:  St. Mark, Evangelist

See over a dozen connections with today?
Legend below
For Psalm 89
Pope Francis
General audience:  Those who request Baptism have responded to the Gospel which has prompted them to believe, have learned how to listen to Jesus, and experience the Samaritan woman's thirst.  Their eyes are opened like the blind man; they rise like Lazarus.  The Litany of the Saints expresses that the whole Church accompanies them.  The exorcism and anointing with the oil of catechumens assure those preparing for Baptism that the Church's prayer assists them in the fight against evil.
Jesus fought and cast out demons to show God's kingdom had come.  His victory is a sign of his lordship.  Through the gift of Baptism, Jesus gives us the ability to fight evil.  The candidates receive a second anointing; fighters used to cover themselves with oil to tone their muscles and more easily escape the enemy’s grasp.  Christian life is a tiring struggle against evil, but we're accompanied by Mother Church who prays that her children conquer it by Christ's power:  “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”
Post-audience:  The upcoming Inter-Korean Summit is an opportunity to start dialogue leading to reconciliation and union, to guarantee peace.  May those with political responsibilities have the courage of hope making themselves artisans of peace continuing on the path begun for the good of all.
Gaudete et exsultate nugget:  In the light of the Master
There can be any number of theories about what constitutes holiness, with various explanations and distinctions. Such reflection may be useful, but nothing is more enlightening than turning to Jesus’ words and seeing his way of teaching the truth. Jesus explained with great simplicity what it means to be holy when he gave us the Beatitudes (cf. Mt 5:3-12; Lk 6:20-23). The Beatitudes are like a Christian’s identity card. So if anyone asks: “What must one do to be a good Christian?”, the answer is clear. We have to do, each in our own way, what Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount.[Homily 9 June 2014] In the Beatitudes, we find a portrait of the Master, which we are called to reflect in our daily lives.
The word “happy” or “blessed” thus becomes a synonym for “holy”. It expresses the fact that those faithful to God and his word, by their self-giving, gain true happiness. [63-64]
  • 1 Pt 5:5b-14  Clothe yourselves with humility; humble yourselves under God's mighty hand.  Cast your worries on him; he cares for you.  Be sober and vigilant.  Resist the devil.  God who called you will restore and strengthen you.  Remain firm in God's grace.  Greet each other with a loving kiss.  Peace to you all!
  • Ps 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17  "For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord."  I'll proclaim your faithfulness.  The heavens proclaim your wonders and your faithfulness....
  • Mk 16:15-20  Jesus to the Eleven:  "Go proclaim the Gospel to every creature.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.  These signs will accompany believers:  they'll drive out demons, speak new languages, pick up serpents, lay hands on and heal the sick...."  Then he was taken up into heaven and took his seat at God's right hand.  They preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them....
  • Creighton:  "Watching with one another":  The words “Be sober and vigilant” remind us that Christian life provides no immunity from struggles.  Those who consider the good news of Jesus’ resurrection as “bad news” can persecute believers; just as Jesus was rejected, so will we be.  Shall we live sobriety and vigilance alone, in fear, with hand-wringing?  No; in solidarity:  “Your brothers and sisters are also suffering.”  Perhaps those experiencing the consolation of faith might pray for those suffering harassment or persecution.  The suffering might pray to receive consolation through their brothers and sisters' prayers....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Making your Mark":  The early Church, and Mark, tried to proclaim the Gospel to the world, using every means available to them: walking, meetings in public places, synagogues, the Temple, and homes....  Mark, AKA John and John Mark, was part of the first missionary journey.  Trying to permeate the culture with the Gospel (Catechism 899), he found a new way to share the Good News:  the written word, a Gospel narrative.  People still read his gospel and give their lives to Jesus; many are in heaven thanks to his innovation and dedication.  Today there are many ways to communicate that didn't exist in Mark's time:  social media, websites, email, txt....  But traditional person-to-person contact is still the most effective way to reach a heart.  May you discover a lasting means to reach many with the Good News.
    St. Mark/ Theophilia
  • Passionist:  Mark ended his gospel with the empty tomb.  People of faith must write and live their own conclusion.  We preach Christ crucified, take up our cross, and become disciples on mission, proclaiming the resurrection.  Bear all that's unresolved in your heart, trying to love the questions themselves.  If you live the questions now, you'll gradually live into the answer.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Go and preach the gospel to all creation":  All four gospels proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, Savior of the world; Mark's is the shortest and likely earliest, likely written in Rome, likely written for Gentiles, especially Rome Christians.  "The Spirit willed to choose for the writing of the Gospel two [Mark and Luke] who were not even from the Twelve, so it might not be thought that the grace of evangelization had come only to the apostles" (Augustine, Sermon 239).  Mark ends his account with Jesus' last appearance to the apostles before his ascension.  Jesus' departure and ascension were an end and a beginning for his disciples:  the end of his physical presence with them, the beginning of his presence with them through the Spirit.  Jesus' last words to them point to their mission to be witnesses of his death and resurrection and to proclaim the good news.  God's love and salvation are for the whole world.  The gospel is God's power to forgive, heal, deliver, and to restore life.  All believers are to be heralds of the good news and ambassadors for Christ; the Lord works in and through us by the Spirit's power.
  • Universalis:  Mark, cousin of Barnabas, disciple of Peter, accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey, followed him to Rome, founded the Church in Alexandria.   His gospel is told from Peter’s point of view. See also Wikipedia.
Dress legend
  • 'Hands' pin:  "Humble yourselves under God's mighty hand" (1st reading); "Believers will lay hands on the sick, who will recover"; Jesus took his seat at God's right hand (gospel)
  • 'Lion' pin:  "Your opponent the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion" (1st reading); symbol of Mark the Evangelist and of Jesus' resurrection
  • 'Peace sign" tie bar:  "Peace to all you who are in Christ." (1st reading)
  • 'International stamps' tie:  "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel" (gospel)
  • 'Sign' pin:  "These signs will accompany believers:..." (gospel)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  God 'called' you to his glory... (1st reading)
  • 'Car with mouth' tie pin:  "Greet one another with a loving kiss" (1st reading); "believers will 'drive' out demons,..." (gospel)
  • 'Serpent' tie pin:  "...pick up serpents..." (gospel)
  • Red on tie:  Liturgical color for St. Mark feast
  • White in shirt and socks:  Easter season

April 24, 2018

April 24

April 24, 2018:  Tuesday, 4th week, Easter

See more than a dozen connections with today?
Legend below

"Good Shepherd" music
Pope Francis
Homily:  The close-minded observance of the doctors of the Law became rigidity.  They placed themselves at the center, untouched before the Spirit's work.  Their inability to discern the signs of the times was a type of prison:  they received a law that was life but “distilled” it, transforming it into an ideology they couldn't move beyond.  Anything new for them was a threat.
The opposite is true of the child of God for whom the Spirit is central.  The first disciples' docility before what was new to them led them to sow God's Word in new ways.  They remained docile to the Spirit and accomplished more than a revolution:  they put the Church in motion.  A Church, like a bicycle, can only achieve its balance when in motion.
A person can either be closed or open to the Holy Spirit.  The disciples and apostles were open, but there will always be resistance to the Spirit.  Lord, grant us the grace of knowing how to resist those we must resist, those who come from the evil one, those who deprive us of freedom.  May we open ourselves to the new things that come from you.  Give us the grace to discern the signs of the times in order to make the decisions we need to make.
Gaudete et exsultate nugget:  The summation of the Law:  A hierarchy of virtues bids us seek what's essential.  The primacy belongs to the theological virtues, which have God as their object and motive.  At the center is charity.  What counts is “faith working through love.”  “The one who loves another has fulfilled the law…”  “The whole law is summed up in, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

Amid precepts and prescriptions, Jesus clears a way to seeing two faces, the Father's and our brother's, or better yet, one:  God's, reflected in others, especially the least, most vulnerable, defenseless and needy.  The Lord will shape his final work of art with the scraps of our frail humanity.  “What endures, what has value, what riches don't disappear?  The Lord and our neighbor” [11-13-16].

May the Lord set the Church free from these new forms of gnosticism and pelagianism that block her path to holiness!  Reflect and discern whether they may be present in your life. [60-62]

  • Acts 11:19-26  The disciples scattered by the persecution were preaching only to Jews, some among them started proclaiming Jesus to Greeks too.  Many turned to the Lord.  When Barnabas arrived at Antioch, he rejoiced and encouraged them to remain faithful; then he brought Saul from Tarsus to Antioch, where they taught for a year.
  • Ps 87:1b-7  "All you nations, praise the Lord."  Glorious things are said of you, O city of God!
  • Jn 10:22-30  Jews gathered around Jesus and said, “If you're the Christ, tell us.”  Jesus answered them, “I told you and my works testify, but you don't believe because you're not my sheep.  They hear my voice and follow me; I give them life, and they'll never perish.  The Father and I are one.”
  • Fr. Jose Rueda homily video:  Jesus Christ: teacher, prophet, priest, mediator, healer, sanctifier, miracle worker, king, good shepherd
  • Creighton:  John's gospel focuses on Jewish feasts, especially Passover and Tabernacles (Booths).  Feasts are part of John’s symbolic world, helping illuminate the reality of Jesus as fulfillment of Jewish tradition.  The “feast of the Dedication [Renewal]” is Hanukkah, a commemoration of the Jews' successful rebellion against Antiochus Epiphanes IV, who was trying to stamp out what was distinctive about his Jewish subjects.  The Maccabean revolt enabled the Jews to reclaim the temple and their autonomy (till the Romans' conquest).  The celebration encouraged speculation about whether Jesus was the Messiah.  John’s mention of the feast and the name Solomon (son of David who reigned over the largest expansion of Israel) evokes what people were thinking.  When Jesus’ adversaries challenged him to identify himself as Messiah, Jesus said he saw himself as a shepherd, whose flock is those who accept him.  The vision of Ez 34 pictures another “David” who will shepherd Israel, find, heal, and feed the lost, in contrast to self-serving, abusive false leaders.  Ezekiel says God will be the true shepherd; hence the power of Jesus’ “The Father and I are one.”
In a narrative where Jesus had referred to himself as God's temple, readers would note this happens in the temple, already destroyed by the Romans.  Knowing Jesus as Lord, they knew he embodied what the temple stood for:  the “place” of God's presence, the “tenting” of God's Word among us, as John proclaims.  We believe the risen Jesus really is our shepherd who fulfills the vision of Ez 34:  not just consoler and protector of the shepherd figure but healer and leader who continues to gather God's scattered children, the ultimate leader we trust through troubled times.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "The 'look' of selfless love":  Disciples of Christ are tempted to do it all themselves, but Barnabas realized he needed help teaching Christians at Antioch.  Knowing that Saul had the needed gifts, he took the time to look for him.  Once he found him, "he brought him to Antioch.  For a year they instructed great numbers."  From there, the new church sent Barnabas and Saul on the first Christian missionary journey.  Barnabas did what was needed to bring full life to the Antioch Christians. If someone could help you in your ministry, would you ask them?  Would you seek them out at your expense?
    Christ, the Good Shepherd/ Murillo
  • Passionist:  Today's gospel enlightens us about prayer: “My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me.”  One of the first steps of communicating with God is to let him speak.  All good communication starts with listening.  Scripture contain “God's living and highly energetic Word.”  If we're serious about listening to God, we should have passionate interest in his Word!  Listening to it leads to intimacy with him, people asked Jesus, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense (Gk airo, air)?”  Without a strong prayer life, we're unlikely to know Jesus.  Most “grievously neglect the sacred and divine work of prayer.  We must listen attentively to God's Voice.  Prayer is intimacy with God” (Gregory of Nyssa).
The gospel says, “they follow me”; discipleship is often expressed as following Christ.  To follow someone, you need to be close.  Scripture also uses 'walk,' as in "Will you also walk away?"  Don't to walk away from Christ; “pray always so you're not left in bad way!”
  • DailyScripture.net:  "My sheep hear my voice":  Jesus speaks of his trust in his Father and the trust we should have because he's our Good Shepherd.  Sheep without a shepherd are defenseless and often get lost, so shepherds live with their sheep, guard them from danger, and lead them to food, drink, and rest.  The sheep recognize and heed their shepherd's voice.  We're like sheep who stray, becoming prey to forces that can destroy us.  Jesus came to free us from the grip of sin and to lead us to places where we can feed on his "word of life" and drink from the "living waters" of his Spirit.  Sheep who heed the Good Shepherd need not fear; he leads them to peace, joy, and fellowship with God and his people.  We can face our difficulties alone or can follow Jesus.  Today's gospel takes place during the Feast of the Dedication (Festival of Lights, Hanukkah), at which time Jesus also declared he is the Light of the World, in whom we can see God and find the path to heaven."
  • 'Dove' pin:  Disciples were docile to the Spirit; Barnabas was Spirit-filled. (1st reading)
  • 'Abacus' tie pin:  A large number was 'added' to the Lord (1st reading)
  • 'Heart' pin:  Barnabas encouraged them to remain firm of heart (1st reading)
  • 'Olympics' tie pin:  All you nations, praise the Lord (psalm)
  • 'Alps' tie pin:  The Lord loves his foundation on the holy mountains (psalm)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  The Lord's hand was with them (1st reading); no one can take my sheep out of my hand (gospel)
  • '?' tie pin:  "How long are you going to keep us in suspense?" (gospel)
  • 'Good Shepherd' tie, 'sheep' tie bar:  "My sheep hear my voice... and follow me" (gospel)
  • Green, blue, and white shirt; white socks:  Verdant pastures and restful waters (Ps 23:2, Good Shepherd gospel-inspired), Easter season

April 23, 2018

April 23

April 23, 2018:  Monday, 4th week, Easter

See over a dozen connections with today?
Legend below

For Psalms 42-43

  • Sicut cervus/ Palestrinaabout, including English text
  • My soul thirsts/ Schutte: non-Spotify excerpt, buy
  • Like the deer/ Schutte
  • Pope Francis
    Regina Cœli:  Today's readings help us rediscover our identity as disciples of the Risen Lord.  Peter declared the cripple's healing was accomplished in Jesus' Name, and salvation is through Jesus alone.  We see ourselves and our communities in the healed man.  We can all be healed if we put ourselves in the Risen Lord's hands.
    Who is the Christ who heals?  The good shepherd, who laid down his life for the sheep, who offered offered his life for us.  The gospel goes on to show the relationship that must exist between us and the Lord:  “I know my own, and my own know me.”  This knowledge is a personal relationship of love.  Jesus knows us intimately, and we're called to know him.  That implies an encounter with him, who gives us the desire to follow him along new paths.  If our desire to follow Jesus cools, we'll fall into ways of thinking and living not consistent with the Gospel.
    Gaudete et exsultate nugget:  New pelagians:  Some Christians insist on taking the path of justification by their own efforts, worshiping the will and their abilities; the result is loveless, self-centered, elitist complacency.  Maybe they're obsessed with the law, absorbed with social and political advantages or prestige, punctiliously concerned with liturgy and doctrine....  Let yourself be led in love by the Spirit.  Communicate the beauty and joy of the Gospel, and seek out those thirsting for Christ [EG 95].

    If Christians give excessive importance to certain rules or customs, the life of the Church can become a museum piece or the possession of a select few, and the gospel can be constricted, deprived of simplicity and allure.  This may be a form of pelagianism, subjecting the life of grace to human structures.  It can fossilize a movement and community that began with an intense life in the Spirit.

    Once we believe everything depends on our effort as channeled by ecclesial rules and structures, we complicate the Gospel and become enslaved to a blueprint that leaves little room for grace.  Precepts the Church adds to the Gospel should be imposed with moderation lest our religion become a form of servitude [ST I-II q107 a4]. [57-59]
    • Acts 11:1-18  Jews / Peter:  ‘You ate with the uncircumcised.” / “Three times I had a vision of a sheet from the sky with animals on it, heard ‘Slaughter and eat,’ said, ‘No; nothing unclean has entered my mouth,’ and heard ‘Don't call profane what God has made clean’; then everything returned to the sky.  Three men appeared; the Spirit told me to accompany them.  One said an angel directed, ‘Summon Peter; he'll speak saving words to you.’  As I spoke, the Spirit fell on them.  If God gave them the gift he gave us, who was I to get in the way?” / “God has granted life to the Gentiles too.”
    • Ps 42:2-3; 43:3-4  "Athirst is my soul for the living God."  Send your light and fidelity to lead me, and I'll go to God's altar and thank you!
    • Jn 10:1-10  “Whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd.  The sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own by name and leads them.  He walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they recognize his voice.  I am the gate.  Whoever enters through me will be saved and find pasture.  A thief comes to steal and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
    • Creighton:  The parable focuses on the shepherd, the explanation on Jesus as shepherd and gate.  The shepherd has an other-centered attitude toward the sheep.  Unlike the intruder, he seeks their good.  Just as each of us is “my brother’s keeper,” so too are we their shepherds.  We "lead" others by our words and actions, so we must we foster other-centeredness, asking not “What’s in it for me?” but rather “What’s in me for it?”
    The sheep trust the shepherd:  they know his voice, each feels addressed when the shepherd calls.  How familiar are we with our Shepherd?  When we face a decision, do we ask “What does God want of me?” or “What do you want of me, Lord?”, as Paul did?  Instead of asking WWJD, ask WWYD.  May we grow in this second-person rapport with the Shepherd, so we may recognize and hear his call.
      "I am the Good Shepherd"
      (St. John the Baptist Anglican Church)
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Without hindrance":  Peter asks: "Who was I to hinder God?"  We should ask the same.  How have we hindered God's work?  God has placed you in a unique situation on earth.  No one has the same influence on your family, parish, workplace, school, etc. as you.  The Lord has special plans to accomplish his will through you.  You can hinder, help, or hasten it.  God can work all things to the good despite you, but he wants to work through you because of your obedience and joyful service.  His will be done.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "I came that they may have life abundantly":  The Old Testament speaks of God as shepherd of his people:  "The Lord is my shepherd."  "Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel."  "We are the sheep of his pasture."  The Messiah is pictured as the shepherd of God's people:  "He will feed his flock like a shepherd."  Jesus is the Good Shepherd who will risk his life for the stray sheep; he is our Shepherd and Guardian.
    The Good Shepherd

    (St. Anthony's Monastery)
    At day's end shepherds brought their sheep into shelter.  Sheep know their shepherd's voice and come at his call.  Each is called by name.  In winter sheep were brought to a communal shelter a guardian kept secure; in summer they were kept in fields then gathered at night into a fold guarded by a shepherd, the door they had to pass through.
    God is a shepherd who brings his people security and peace.  "The Lord will keep your going and your coming forever."  Leaders are called shepherds:  they'll lead them out and bring them in, that the Lord's people not be as sheep without a shepherd.  As a shepherd watches and protects his sheep, so Jesus watches us as our Shepherd and Guardian.  Jesus laid down his life for his sheep, that he might change his body and blood into food, and nourish the sheep he redeemed.  He showed us the way.  We must use our goods in mercy for his sheep's needs, even giving our life. (St. Augustine, Homilies on the Gospel of John, tractate 46, paraphrased).
    Dress legend
    • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  Peter's vision:... (1st reading)
    • 'Animals' tie:  "I saw the animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles, birds..." (1st reading)
    • 'Angel' pin:  "I saw an angel telling me to summon Peter..." (1st reading)
    • 'Dove' pin:  The Spirit directed Peter; the Spirit fell on the Gentiles (1st reading)
    • 'Deer' tie pin:  "I long for God as the deer longs for water" (psalm)
    • 'Piano' (stringed instrument) pin:  I'll give you thanks on the harp (stringed instrument) (psalm)
    • 'Street light' tie bar:  Send your light and your fidelity;... (psalm)
    • 'Alps' tie pin:  ...They'll lead me to your holy mountain, your dwelling (psalm)
    • 'Sheep' tie bar:  The sheep hear the voice of the shepherd, who lays down his life for them (gospel)
    • 'Phone' tie bar:  He 'calls' his sheep by name (gospel)
    • 'Car' pin:  When the shepherd has 'driven' out all his own,... (gospel)
    • Walker/runner:  ...he walks ahead of them.  They follow him, but they'd run from a stranger (gospel)
    • Red and white shirt:  Red for "slaughter and eat" (1st reading), white for Easter season