April 11, 2018


April 11, 2018:  St. Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr

See 14 connections with today?
(One is a stretch)
Legend below

For Psalm 34
Pope Francis
General audience:  Baptism is a gift, the door to the other sacraments; thanks to it Christians can grow in grace until reaching their heavenly homeland.  The font illuminates our life, guiding our steps toward heaven.  The Sacrament assumes a journey of faith, the catechumenate, most evident when an adult asks to be baptized, but even children are baptized into their parents' faith.  Trust the Spirit; don’t put off baptizing your children because they can't understand.
Baptism is the foundation of Christian life; it marks a profound change in your existence, a passage from one condition to another, a purification for a new beginning.  Why not remember and celebrate our baptism day like our birthday?  It's when the Spirit entered our lives, our second birthday, our rebirth.
In Jesus, all children of Adam are called to new life.  Baptism immerses us in Christ and makes us members of his body, the Church, and participants in its mission.  The baptismal promises we renew at the Easter Vigil must be reaffirmed daily, so that baptism ‘Christifies’ whoever has received it, rendering us another Christ.
Power and Money foreword:  Never before has the finance and commerce world allowed so many to benefit from so many goods, while also exploiting resources, increasing inequality, and deteriorating the planet.  I've seen the paradox of a global economy that could feed, cure, and house everyone but instead concentrates half the world's wealth in very few people.  Economic issues are gospel issues because they affect people.  We can't remain silent before injustice and suffering; we must join the millions who peacefully say no to injustice and do what we can to create equity.
We can make people aware of the gravity of the problem, as Zanzucchi has done here.  My teaching is situated within the path outlined by Church social doctrine.  Not even sin can erase God's imprint in every person.  This gives us hope that working together the present situation can be improved.  The Lord is as much in our factories, businesses, and banks as in homes, slums, and refugee camps.
Gaudete et exsultate nugget:  The saints "next door":  The Holy Spirit bestows holiness among God’s faithful, for God has sanctified and saved people, not as individuals with no bond between them but as a people to acknowledge and serve him (Lumen Gentium 9) No one is saved as an isolated individual; God draws us to himself amid the complex relationships of a human community.  God entered into our life and history.
Holiness is present in the patience of God’s people:  parents who rear their children with love, workers supporting their families, the sick, elderly religious, next-door neighbors who reflect God’s presence, “the middle class of holiness” (Malègue).
Christ shows us holiness in the humble who share his prophetic office, living in faith and charity (LG 12); many make history.  “The greatest figures of prophecy and sanctity step forth out of darkness.... Decisive turning points in history are co-determined by souls no history book mentions; we'll only find out about them when all that is hidden is revealed” (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross).
Holiness is the most attractive face of the Church, but even outside the Church, the Spirit raises up “signs of his presence that help Christ’s followers” (Novo Millennio Ineunte 56).  “The witness to Christ in the shedding of blood has become a common inheritance of Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, and Protestants” (Tertio Millennio Adveniente 37).  Martyrs “speak more powerfully than the causes of division” (John Paul II, 5-7-2000 homily 5). [6-9]
  • Acts 5:17-26  The Sadducees jailed the Apostles, but an angel opened the prison doors and led them out.  They went to the temple and taught.  After the Sanhedrin sent for them, the officers returned to say," We found the jail locked and the guards stationed, but no one inside,” then someone reported, “They're teaching at the temple.”  Then the officers brought them, but without force because they feared being stoned.
  • Ps 34:2-9  "The Lord hears the cry of the poor."  Glorify the Lord; he answered and delivered me.  Look to him and be radiant with joy; the angel of the Lord delivers those who fear him.  Taste and see how good the Lord is.
  • Jn 3:16-21  God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so everyone who believes might have life.  God sent his Son to save, not condemn, the world.  The light came, but people preferred darkness; whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so their works may be seen as done in God.
  • CreightonJohn 3:16 reminds me of Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, in which a tree shows its love for a boy through its self-gift, but the boy doesn't grasp the tree’s love that's both the gift's source and the gift itself.  Often I receiving God’s gifts without recognizing their Source or the love behind them.  Jesus came to save, and we're called to recognize his presence in our lives....
    Liberation of St. Peter
    a la ter Brugghen [More]
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Darkness to light":  The apostles released from prison didn't run away to save themselves; they trusted and obeyed God, teaching in the Temple, resulting in many hearing the Good News.  Paul and Silas when freed from prison also didn't run to save themselves; they trusted and obeyed God to minister the Good News to the jailer and his household.  If they'd run away, there would have been a dead jailer, a grieving wife and household, and wounds all over Paul and Silas, but instead, jailer and household were saved and the Philippian church formed.  How is Jesus calling you to stand firm in the midst of danger, and trust?  Maybe to announce the Good News?
  • PassionistThe Gospel in a nutshell:  “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”  But the passage has been clipped from its context, so its meaning and impact are lost.  The issue is with 'gave,' a word with both literal and deeper meaning.  The Greek (didomi) means not only 'give' but also 'surrender' or 'hand over,' as in Jesus was handed over, surrendered for crucifixion.  Yes, God loved us so much that he gave us his greatest gift, his son, and surrendered his greatest gift, his son, to crucifixion....
    Liberación de San Pedro/ Murillo
  • DailyScripture.net:  "God so loved the world...":  True lovers hold nothing back from their beloved.  God proved his love for us by giving us his best, his only Son, who offered his life for us.  Abraham's sacrifice of his only son prefigured Jesus' offering; it showed a redemptive love that embraces the whole world, and a personal love for each person God created.  God can't rest till his children have returned to him.  God loves each of us as if there were only one of us to love (Augustine).  God gives us the freedom to choose whom and what we'll love.  We can love the darkness of sin and unbelief or we can love the light of God's truth, beauty, and goodness.  If our love is guided by what's true, good, and beautiful, we'll choose for God and love him above all....
Dress legend
  • 'Caged lion' pin:  Cage bars look like prison bars (1st reading)
  • 'Hands' pin:  Jealous Sadducees laid hands on the apostles and jailed them (1st reading)
  • 'Stone' tie pin:  The captain and officers didn't use force on the apostles because they were afraid of being stoned (1st reading)
    St. Stanislaus
  • 'Angel' pin:  The angel of the Lord (1st reading, psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  "See the Lord's goodness; look to the Lord and be radiant..." (psalm)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin:  "...with joy" (psalm)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  When the poor 'called,' the Lord heard (psalm)
  • 'Hearts' tie:  God so loved the world... (gospel)
  • 'Crucifix':  ...that he gave his only Son (gospel)
  • 'Street lamp with dark background' tie bar:  The light came into the world, but people preferred darkness. Come to the light.... (gospel)
  • Red and white shirt, 'blood drop' pin, white socks:  Martyrdom of Stanislaus, Easter season

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