June 30, 2018

June 30

June 30, 2018:  Saturday, 12th week, Ordinary Time

See 14 connections with today?Legend below

  • Fever/ Cooley, Blackwell (gospel-inspired :-)
Since the beginning of Christianity, the mystery of love of the Blood of Christ has fascinated many.  Your founders have cultivated this devotion because they have understood that the Blood of Christ is the fount of salvation for the world.  God chose the sign of blood because no other can express so eloquently the love of a life given for others.  This gift of the Blood of Christ is renewed at every Eucharist when together with the Body of Christ, his Precious Blood is made really present.
Meditation on the sacrifice of Christ leads us to accomplish works of mercy, giving our lives for God and others.  The courage of the truth, attention to all, especially the most distant, and the ability to captivate and communicate will help you in your work and witness.
Be courageous people.  Build courageous communities unafraid to affirm the truth.  Go out to all in need, especially those farthest away, putting the Gospel in terms everyone can understand.  Let the Gospel and the Holy Spirit inspire your words and actions to help others open themselves to God and others.  Imitate Jesus; we live in a time when we need to carry out a revolution of tenderness.
The strength of Christian witness comes from the Gospel itself.  Rely on the superabundance of love expressed in the Lord's Blood, brought to light bu the Saints, especially your founder.  In Christ we find the principle of our existence.  He's our fundamental, definitive hope.
  • Lam 2:2, 10-14, 18-19  The Lord has consumed the dwellings of Jacob and brought her king down.  Old men strew dust on their heads, maidens bow their heads.  I weep.  Children faint and die.  Who can heal you?  Your prophets didn't lay bare your guilt.  Cry out to God; let your tears flow.  Pour out your heart and lift up your hands to the Lord for the lives of your little ones.
  • Ps 74:1b-7, 20-21  "Lord, forget not the souls of your poor ones."  Remember your flock, the tribe you redeemed.  Your foes triumph.  Look to your covenant.  May the humble not retire in confusion; may the afflicted and poor praise you.
  • Mt 8:5-17  Centurion / Jesus:  “My servant is home paralyzed.” / “I'll come cure him.” / “I'm not worthy to have you enter; only say the word and he'll be healed.  I'm subject to authority with soldiers subject to me...." / “I haven't found such faith.  Many will come and recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom, but the children of the Kingdom will be driven out.”  [to centurion:]  “Go; as you've believed, let it be done.”  His servant was healed.
Jesus entered the house of Peter and saw his mother-in-law in bed with a fever.  He touched her, the fever left, and she waited on him.  Later they brought many to himand he drove out spirits and cured the sick, fulfilling He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.
  • Creighton:  The centurion is clear about being in command and answering to others.  His faith gives him clarity.   Praying with this gospel gives me peace and a sense of purpose.  My true role and responsibility is to have faith, without which my efforts are meaningless.  May I hear God, so I may serve others.
    Jesus healing the servant of a Centurion/ Veronese
  • One Bread, One Body:  "The day of 'wreckoning'":  Jesus came to proclaim and establish God's kingdom and save the human race. He has to demolish structures not founded on him to lay new foundations.  Jesus is zealous for His house.  To build things the right way, he clears the ground, ripping out and cutting down unstable foundations.  Don't wait for Jesus to make a wreck out of what in your life is opposed to God's kingdom; rely on God's grace and do some wrecking yourself to prepare the Lord's way and give Jesus more time for building.  What needs to be eliminated from my life?...
  • Passionist:  Do we pray with humility?  Do we forgive before we pray?  Do we pray first for the coming of God’s kingdom?  Do we pray with love?  Do we give thanks for gifts received?  A rabbi asked “How come no one seems to see God?” responded, “No one bows low enough.”  The centurion bows low, praying with humility, recognizing Jesus' greatness.  If we reflect on creation, we'll bow before the Creator; if we gaze on the crucifix, we'll bow before the expression of God’s love.  If we consider our smallness relative to the universe, we'll be in awe that God would notice and have compassion on us.  So humbly pray with confidence....
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Say but the word...":  Jews hated Romans because they represented everything the Jews stood against:  pagan beliefs, idol worship, immoral practices, and suppression of the Israelites' claim to be a nation governed by God's law.  Centurions were the backbone of the Roman army, each in charge of 100 soldiers. "They must be men who can command,... not overanxious to rush into the fight, but ready to hold their ground, and die at their posts" (Polybius).  The centurion was courageous and faith-filled; he risked ridicule and mockery by seeking Jesus' help, but he approached Jesus with confidence and humility.  He was an extraordinary man; he loved his slave, though slaves were treated as property.  He believed Jesus could heal his slave....
  • Universalis:  First Martyrs of the See of Rome,  persecuted by Nero in 64.  They were thrown to beasts or soaked in tar then used as torches.
Dress legend
  • Dust-colored suspenders:  They strew dust on their heads (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  My eyes are worn out from weeping; your prophets had false visions; let there be no repose for your eyes (1st reading)
  • 'Grain' pin:  In vain they ask, “Where's the grain?” (1st reading)
  • 'Heart' money clip (oops; cropped out):  Pour out your heart like water in the Lord's presence (1st reading)
  • 'C' pin (sideways horseshoe :-):  The centurion, also Roman numeral for 100, the number centurions initially commanded (gospel)
  • 'Hands' pin:  Lift up your hands to the Lord (1st reading); Jesus touched Peter's mother-in-law's hand and healed her (gospel)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  Why are you angry with your sheep?  Remember your flock... (psalm)
  • 'Tree' pin:  Your foes are like men coming up with axes to trees (psalm)
  • 'Hammer' pin:  With chisel and hammer they hack at the sanctuary paneling (psalm)
  • 'Fire' pin:  They set your sanctuary on fire (psalm)
  • 'Tech words' "geek tie":  “Say the word and my servant will be healed" (gospel)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  "Many will come and recline at the heavenly banquet..." (gospel)
  • 'Car (with teeth)' tie pin:  "...but the children of the Kingdom will be 'driven' out into darkness"; Jesus 'drove' out evil spirits; there will be wailing and grinding of teeth (gospel)
  • 'Blood drop' pin:  Jesus' Precious Blood (pope's reflection)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

June 13, 2018

Anthony of Padua

June 13, 2018:  St. Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor

The young man's question to Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?,” contains the challenge of existence: what path must we walk to achieve the full and eternal life we want?  The greatest challenge isn't concrete problems; it's avoiding mediocrity and faintheartedness.  If you settle for bland mediocrity, even if you follow the rules, your life won't be full and authentic.  Ask the Lord for healthy restlessness.
Jesus tells the young man to follow the Commandments, but then points to something greater, because the young man's life isn't full.  The transition to maturity takes place when you start to accept your limits and become aware of what's lacking.  Jesus invited the young man to go beyond the Commandments:  sell, give to the poor, and follow him, and so have treasure in heaven.
Choose the rich, fulfilling life Jesus offers.  It's not nice to meet fainthearted Christians with shrunken hearts who are happy not going the whole way.  Jesus came not to abolish the Law but to fulfill it; he wants to give us something greater.  The young man had reached a threshold and was challenged leap beyond living only for himself to embrace Jesus’s offer of true wealth.  Pursue the path of true life, true love, true wealth!
Yodh (see below)
  • 1 Kgs 18:20-39  Elijah:  If the Lord is God, follow him; if Baal, follow him.  Let's call on our gods and see who answers with fire.”  They prepared bulls and called to their gods, but no one answered the prophets of Baal.  When Elijah called on the Lord, fire came down and consumed the offering.  All fell prostrate:  “The Lord is God!”
    • Ps 16:1b-2b, 4-5b, 8, 11  "Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope."  Those who court other gods multiply their sorrows.  You'll show me the path to life, joy, and delight.
    • Mt 5:17-19  “I came not to abolish the law and prophets but to fulfill them.  Whoever breaks the least commandment will be called least in the Kingdom, but whoever obeys and teaches the commandments will be called great.”
    • Yodh (Yud)the "smallest letter" of the Hebrew alphabet, is the first letter of God's Name; its top spur is "the smallest part of a letter" (Mt 5:18).  Not the smallest letter or part will disappear from the Word.  God uses the small to demonstrate his power.  More
      Tetragrammaton (YHWH)
      starting with Yodh
      (remember Hebrew is right-to-left)
    • Creighton:  Today’s Gospel challenges me to break out of the false dichotomy between commandments, laws, sacrifices and punishments demanded by “Old Testament God” and love, grace, forgiveness and salvation offered by “New Testament God.”  Jesus said, “Not the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law.”  God set the Commandments to help bound or guide our free will.   A person grows through stages, ideally adapting and integrating external factors and forces into personal beliefs and behaviors. Is Jesus teaching us that God begins with a tight grip, then allows for increasing freedom over time?  That God’s core laws are meant to become the fabric of our being, so we can better exercise God’s gift of free will, so that we may sin and forgive and grow in loved, so we may choose to incorporate the law and accept the grace?...   
    • Baby Jesus and St. Anthony of Padua
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Make disciples":  The Lord gave Elijah the job of bringing down the idolatrous kingdom of Ahab.  Elijah prophesied a 3-year drought, and it came to pass, crippling the economy, but Ahab and Jezebel survived.  Then Elijah called down fire on Mt. Carmel and slit the throats of Baal's prophets, and Ahab and Jezebel swore to kill Elijah.   Elijah became despondent, and God sent an angel to restore him.  Elijah heard God's whisper, God told him to make Elisha his disciple, through whom God worked to destroy the kingdom of Ahab.  Prophecies, drought, fire, and the extermination weren't enough, but making a disciple changed the world.  Be Jesus' disciple and make disciples.
    • Passionist:   Jesus says he came to fulfill the law.  The end of today's gospel seems to contain a tension on how to follow the commandments.  Was it a struggle for the community, mainly Jewish Christians?  How are they to understand the law?  Jesus assures them that the law still counts, but he'll continue with the "you've heard, but now I say" examples.  We don’t like change.  We can deny reality or strive to attain illusions, even harming ourselves on the way, even leading others astray.  But we must love, visit, clothe, feed, and show mercy to the least, like Elijah trusting God's power to act through us.  Jesus shows us how to live the commandments, to adjust our lens to reflect mercy and meet and love people where they are.  We become great by living the commandments; by following them we walk towards the light and away from harm.  May we remember the Good News when we go astray.  Our encounters must renew, remake, and restore us.  We must pay attention to God's movements. In accepting the least, we become great....
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Great are those who teach and obey the commandments":  Jesus' loved and meditated on God's law.  "The law" referred to the 10 commandments, the Pentateuch/Torah, or God's whole teaching to his people; Jews also used it to describe the oral law to which scribes added more than God intended.  Jesus made it clear God's commandments must be fulfilled.  God's law of grace, love, and freedom flows from his love, goodness, and holiness.  Jesus taught reverence for God, the Lord's Day, parents, life, property, oneself, and others.  Respect for God's commandments teaches us love of God and neighbor.  God gives us grace to love, forgive, think, and act like him.  We must love his commandments and hate wrongdoing.  The Spirit writes God's law on our hearts, gives us wisdom and understanding, helps us in our weakness, strengthens us in temptation, and transforms us into the likeness of Christ....
    • Universalis:  Anthony of Padua, monk, Franciscan friar; missionary to Africa, Italy, and beyond; theologian, "hammer of heretics," "evangelical doctor," "lost and found" patron; see also Wikipedia.
    Dress legend (too bad I lost the picture before posting this page)
    • 'Alps' pin:  Elijah and the prophets on Mt. Carmel (1st reading)
    • 'Golden calf' tie pin:  Elijah pits the Lord against the Baal prophets (1st reading)
    • 'Fire' pin:  Fire consumed Elijah's offering (1st reading)
    • 'Stone' tie pin:  Elijah built an altar with stones (1st reading) 
    • 'Sword' tie bar, 'blood drop' pin:  They slashed themselves with swords till blood gushed (1st reading); I won't pour out blood libations to other gods... (psalm)
    • 'Car with mouth' pin:  ...nor take their names on my lips (psalm)
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  With the Lord at my right hand I won't be disturbed (psalm)
    • 'J' tie bar (10th letter, like ×™):  "Not the smallest letter will pass from the law..."; Jesus is fulfillment of Law and Prophets (gospel)
        • 'Tablet' pin:  I came to fulfill, not abolish, the law...  (gospel) 
          • White shirt:  Liturgical color for St. Anthony
          • Doctor's office' tie:  Anthony of Padua, 'Doctor' of the Church [trumped 'commandments' tie]

          June 12, 2018

          June 12

          June 12, 2018:  Tuesday, 10th week, Ordinary Time

          See about a dozen connections with today?Legend below

          For gospel
          For Psalm 4
          Pope Francis
          Homily:  Christians are called to provide simple, habitual witness to Jesus, everyday holiness.  It can mean martyrdom, but another path is to point to Christ in our daily actions.  It seems small, but miracles are done through small things.
          Christian witness must be grounded in humility, being simple salt and light for others, helping them in their darkest hour.  Salt doesn't give flavor to itself but serves others; light doesn't illuminate itself but serves others.  Salt doesn't promote itself; it exists to serve others, by conserving things and giving flavor.  This is simple witness.
          Be salt and light so others may see and glorify God, not to receive merit.  We ignore the light, but we live illuminated by it.  When we eat, we don’t compliment the salt; we say the pasta or meat is good.  This impels Christians to be anonymous witnesses.  Don't act like the Pharisee who thanks God for his holiness.  We're not the authors of our merits.
          To Neocatechumenal Way on their 40th anniversary:  Your founder's symphony, The Suffering of the Innocents, commemorates the victims of the Shoah.  The memory of the Shoah and its atrocious violence must never be forgotten; it should constantly warn us of our obligation to reconciliation, reciprocal comprehension, and love toward our elder brothers, the Jews.

          • 1 Kgs 17:7-16  When the brook near Elijah ran dry, God sent him to a widow at Zarephath.  He asked her for water and bread, but she said she had so little that she and her son were about to die.  He told her that if after she fed him, the flour and oil wouldn't run out.  She did, and so it was.
          • Ps 4:2-5, 7b-8  "Lord, let your face shine on us."  Have pity and hear my prayer!
          • Mt 5:13-16  “You're the salt of the earth, but if salt loses its taste, it's no longer any good.  You're the light of the world.  People put lamps on stands to give light to all.  Shine your light so others may see your good deeds and glorify your Father.”
          • Creighton:  Today's readings say, You matter!  We matter!  We are the salt and light of the world.  We add flavor; we preserve; we enhance.  When we live as God's children, we preserve goodness, add flavor to a world that can be tasteless, light others' path, and are beacons of hope.  Sometimes ministry loses its vigor and flavor and isn't enjoyable, but Elijah and the widow show us that when we hear and obey God, our needs are met and purpose revealed.  If we trust our needs will be met, we'll keep our flavor and zeal to preserve goodness and love. May we act as salt and light, speak out, and let our good deeds be seen for God's greater glory.
          • One Bread, One Body:  "For God's sake!"  To see God's wonders, forget about them and just concentrate on his faithful servants.  Focus on the God of wonders, not the wonders of God:  his faithfulness, his heart, his ways, his kingdom. That's why Jesus taught us to pray to desire God's kingdom before we focus on our needs, as the widow did. She put a higher priority on God's kingdom than her own needs, and God blessed her more than she could have imagined: food and her son's life. "Go do the same."
          • Passionist:  Salt and light describe grace for me. Neither adds anything to what it's applied to:  sharpens flavor; light allows us to see what's already there. Jesus is a light in our world:  in the . light of his life we see who we are and what we can be.  In his light we discover our depth, width, length, and worth....
          • DailyScripture.net:  "Salt of the earth, light of the world":  Jesus used ordinary images to convey extraordinary truths that transform us.  Salt was a valuable commodity.  People traded with it, and it flavored and preserved food.  Jesus used the image of salt to describe the transforming effect of God's work and how the Spirit wants to work through us to bring God's power and blessing to others.  As salt purifies, preserves, and flavors our food, we disciples of Jesus are 'salt' for human society.  The Lord wants us to help purify, preserve, and spread the flavor of God's kingdom of justice, peace, and joy in the Spirit."
          Salt was put into ovens to intensify the heat, then when no longer useful, thrown onto the ground where it would get stepped on and swept away.  The Lord wants us to preserve our "saltiness" through virtuous living and rejection of sin, for our sake and others'.  We're called to be "the aroma of Christ to God among those being saved and among those perishing."  May we let the fragrance of Christ's love, truth, and holiness permeate every area of our life...
          Jesus also used the image of light to illustrate God's transforming work.  Lamps enable people to see and work in the dark and avoid stumbling.  Light also symbolized God's beauty, truth, and goodness of God.  "In his light we see light ." "His word is a lamp that guides us."  God illumines our darkness and fills us with spiritual light, joy, and peace.  As natural light enables one to see, so the light of Christ shines in believers and enables us to see God's kingdom.  Our mission is to bear the light of Christ so others may see the truth of the gospel and be freed from sin and deception....
          Dress legend
          • Wood-colored suspenders:  Zarephath widow gathered sticks (1st reading)
          • 'Wheat' pin:  “Please bring me some bread.” (1st reading); God puts gladness into my heart, more than when grain abounds (psalm)

          • 'Face of Jesus' pin:  "Lord, let your face..." (psalm)
          • 'Lights' tie, 'street light' tie bar:  "...shine on us." (psalm); you are the light of the world; shine before others, as lighted lamps give light to all (gospel)
          • 'Phone' tie bar:  The Lord will hear me when I 'call' on him (psalm)
          • 'Heart' pin:  "How long will you be dull of heart?...  You put gladness into my heart." (psalm)
          • 'Feet' pin:  Salt that's lost its taste is good for nothing but to be trampled underfoot (gospel)
          • 'Alps' pin:  A city set on a mountain can't be hidden (gospel)
          • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season