February 10, 2018


February 10, 2018:  St. Scholastica, Virgin

  • 'Golden calf' tie pin:  Jeroboam made calves of gold and told them, “Here is your God” (1st reading); "they made and adored a calf" (psalm)
  • 'Calculator' tie, 'abacus' tie pin:  Multiplication of the loaves... (gospel)
  • 'Fish' pin:  ...and fishes (gospel)
  • 'Heart' pin:  "If they sacrifice to the Lord, their hearts will return to their master and they'll kill me" (1st reading); Jesus' heart was moved with pity (gospel)
  • 'Boat' tie bar:  Jesus got into the boat with his disciples (gospel)
  • White shirt:  St. Scholastica, virgin

Pope Francis
At Stigmatine Fathers Chapter:  The fire the Lord came to cast on the earth is God’s love for us.  Rekindle in yourselves and your communities the fire of God's Word.  In the Bible God is compared to fire, but he's the fire of love, conquering hearts while respecting our freedom.  Lead people to conversion, to communion with Christ, through the joy of your life.  Your community of missionaries confirms the proclamation of the Gospel because you've been tested by fire.
Bring this fire into the Christian community, where faith needs to be reawakened.  Go announce the Gospel to the poor and those who don't feel anyone loves them:  the sad, the depressed, prisoners, the homeless, immigrants, those fleeing from war.  Pay special attention to the family after the example of St. Gaspar with his love for the Holy Spouses, Mary and Joseph.  May the Lord always inflame your mission with the fire of the Holy Spirit!
To postal workers:  Implement a business strategy faithful to your original calling, to be at citizens' service. Contrary to “marketplace logic,” put the care of persons, not profits, at the center of your business model.  Maintain an attitude of availability and good will in dealing with people, while reminding them they need to be patient and courteous in return.  Hard as it is, preserve an attitude of listening, openness, and respect.  This care of persons is shown not only in relations with its customers, but also employees.  Sad to say, businesses often ignore families' needs....
  • 1 Kgs 12:26-32; 13:33-34  King Jeroboam thought:  “The kingdom will return to David’s house.  If they offer sacrifices, the people will kill me.”  He made calves of gold and told them:  “Here is your God, who brought you up from Egypt”; this led to sin.  He made temples and priests.  His house was to be destroyed for this sin.
    Wordle: Readings 2-15-14
  • Ps 106:6-7ab, 19-22  "Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people."  We've sinned.  Our fathers made and adored a calf, forgetting God who had done great deeds.
  • Mk 8:1-10  Jesus / disciples:  “I'm moved with pity; the crowd has been with me with no food.” / “Where can anyone get bread here?” / “How much do you have?” / “Seven loaves.”  He gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to his disciples, and they distributed them.  He also blessed the few fish they had and had them distributed.  All ate and were satisfied, and seven baskets were left over.  There were about 4,000....
The miracle of the loaves and fishes
  • Creighton:  I find it challenging to trust that God will provide, maybe because what God provides isn't always what I want, maybe because I'm a control freak and appreciate my independence.  Why don't faith and trust go hand in hand?  Today’s gospel of Jesus' miracle of the loaves and fishes illustrates that Jesus is trustworthy; he recognized his followers' hunger and hardship and did something about it.  Reflect:  when did God give me strength or nourishment?

  • One Bread, One Body:  "Making up a religion":  Jeroboam committed the sin of making up his own religion, and we're tempted to, e.g. by rejecting certain teachings.  Many Christians make their religion a private matter, but since Jesus commanded us to witness, proclaim the good news, and not be ashamed of the gospel, isn't that also made-up religion?  Instead of making up religion, let's repent, make up with God, and submit to God's will.
  • Passionist:  Jesus lamented when people misinterpreted his message.  It began when he was a baby, when Herod, fearing loss of power, murdered innocent children.  Later, people focused on themselves and their power argued about who would have the top positions.  Jeroboam created idols, false temples, his own version of the priesthood, and he subverted people to keep his power, while Jesus sought solidarity with those with nothing to eat and fed them.  Jesus spent his ministry countering misguided attempts at overthrowing, regaining, retaining, or increasing people's power.  He healed anyone, fed body and soul, and taught a message of inclusion, compassion, justice, and sacrificial love.  He tried to correct false beliefs about God.  He considered others before himself.  He shed power others tried to thrust on him, and he worked for the common good.
St. Scholastica
So why do we still get it wrong?  We cut aid to the neediest, exclude people, and remain complacent in the face of injustice.  May we be transparent instruments of Christ, peace, love, and justice.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Can one feed with bread in the desert?"  The crowd was hungry for God, not just physical food.  When Jesus asked his disciples to feed them, they exclaimed, "Where can we get enough bread?," just like the Israelites fleeing Egypt.  Like the provision of manna in the wilderness, Jesus provides bread; he gives more than we deserve or need so we can share it, sustaining us with his word and heavenly bread.  When we receive the Eucharist, we unite ourselves to Christ. "One bread provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and makes us live for ever in Christ" (Ignatius of Antioch Ad Eph. 20:2).  In the Eucharist do I expect healing, pardon, comfort, and refreshment? The Lord has more for us than we can imagine:  union with Christ, charity, strength to break from disordered attachments and to be rooted in Christ....

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