July 21, 2018

July 21

July 21, 2018:  Saturday, 15th week, Ordinary Time

See a dozen connections with today?
Legend below
The Church condemns sin but embraces all who recognize themselves as sinners.  As your work is inspired by the figure of the prodigal son, recognize yourselves in this lost son who returns to the Father who never tires of embracing him and reaffirming him with love.  This is how the Church behaves with sinners, offering them God's mercy.
Open your hearts, look within, and recognize you're sinners desiring the Lord's redemption.  Christ's open arms on the cross show that no one is excluded from the Father's love and mercy.  Jesus doesn't resign himself to losing any of his children; he urges us to go out to seek them.

  • Mi 2:1-5  Woe to those who plan iniquity, coveting and seizing fields and houses, or cheating.  The Lord is planning against them; they'll chant, “Our ruin is complete!”
  • Ps 10:1-4, 7-8, 14  "Do not forget the poor, O Lord!"  The wicked harass the afflicted, glory in their greed, disregard the Lord, curse, and murder the innocent.  The unfortunate depend on you.
  • Mt 12:14-21  When Jesus realized the Pharisees were planning to kill him, he withdrew, curing all who followed him.  This was to fulfill Isaiah's prophecy:  "I shall place my Spirit upon my servant... in whom Gentiles will hope."
  • CreightonToday’s readings and psalm scream for justice, portraying the wicked as driving for possessions and power.  Jesus' example was to not make himself known “until he brings justice to victory.”  What am I doing to fight injustice?
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Hope amidst trials":  Even today farmers, homeowners, and others are victimized by subtle maneuvers, plots are hatched, people are tortured and children aborted, but also Jesus is working to apply the fruits of his redemption. The lives of the baptized are hidden with Christ in God.  Our lives are charged with power because we're God's children living in him. Evils are taking place, but grace is at work, so we have cause for hope.
    St. Lawrence of Brindisi
  • PassionistMicah was familiar with the issue of land or property in his community:  how the asset was abused.  Micah, motivated by God, seeing people seizing fields and houses, announced an indictment against such activity.  Jesus, aware of plots against him, wasn't passive in today's gospel; he escaped them. We need not fear being caught by surprise, unprepared.  St. Lawrence of Brindisi addressed disagreements between Catholics and Protestants, mobilized Christian military forces against invaders, and led his own community, not searching these tasks but, aware of his talents, accepting responsibility to engage them as situations arose.  Lord, make us aware of our talents and show us how to use them in your service.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Until Jesus brings justice to victory":  The mounting confrontation between the Pharisees and Jesus was a decisive event and crisis in Jesus' life.  He met their defiance with courage and determination to do his Father's will and teach his disciples God's way to success, the cross of suffering and humiliation. We're also called to take up our cross, to die to sin, selfishness, envy, pride,... and lay down our lives in humble service and love, as Jesus did for us.  Matthew quotes Isaiah to explain the Messiah would accomplish his mission through love and sacrificial service.  Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would bring justice to the Gentiles.  To the Greeks, justice involved giving to God and others their due, but Jesus taught his disciples to love without measure....  Jesus brings the justice of God's kingdom with mercy, understanding, compassion, hope, courage, and strength to persevere.  Nothing can keep us from God's mercy, help, and grace....
Dress legend
  • 'Light' tie bar:  "In the morning light they accomplish iniquity" (1st reading)
  • 'Castle' button:  They covet houses and take them (1st reading)
  • 'Ruler' tie bar:  "The fields of my people are measured out" (1st reading)
  • 'Car with mouth' pin:  The mouths of the wicked are full of cursing, guile, and deceit (psalm)
  • 'Gun' pin:  The wicked murder the innocent (psalm)
  • 'Hands' pin:  You take misery and sorrow in your hands (psalm)
  • 'Penny pincher' button:  The wicked glory in their greed (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  Their eyes spy upon the unfortunate (psalm)
  • 'Dove' tie pin:  "I shall place my Spirit upon him,..." (gospel)
  • 'Scales' brooch:  "...and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles" (gospel)
  • 'Doctor's office' tie:  Many followed him, and he cured them all (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

July 20, 2018

July 20

July 20, 2018:  Friday, 15th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Houses' tie:  "Put your house in order" (1st reading)
  • '"Boundless mercy" sign' button:  "This will be the sign for you" (1st reading); "I desire mercy, not sacrifice" (gospel); the Lord's mercy in answering Hezekiah's prayer (1st reading) and saving him (canticle)
  • 'Grain' pin:  Jesus' disciples picked and ate grain (gospel)
  • 'Blood drop' pin:  Martyrdom of St. Apollinaris
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

For the gospel
Go out and proclaim the Good News.  May you be challenged to missionary discipleship and transformation, setting your vision beyond the Philippine archipelago to Asia and beyond.  It's vital that the church go forth and preach the Gospel to all, always, without hesitation, reluctance, or fear.  Gospel joy is for everyone.  Find inspiration in Jesus who manifested the face of the God of Mercy in his command that the disciples feed the multitude.
    Hezekiah's prayer
  • Is 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8  As Hezekiah was dying, Isaiah told him:  “The Lord says:  Put your house in order; you won't recover.”  Hezekiah prayed and wept, and the Lord told Hezekiah through Isaiah, “I've heard your prayer and will give you 15 years and rescue and shield the city.”  Hezekiah / Isaiah:  “What's the sign?” / “The Lord will make the shadow... retreat 10 steps.”  It did.
  • Is 38:10-12abcd, 16  "You saved my life, O Lord; I shall not die."  I said, “I shall see the Lord no more in the land of the living,” but those live whom the Lord protects....
  • Mt 12:1-8  Pharisees seeing Jesus' disciples picking and eating grain on the sabbath / Jesus:  “What your disciples are doing on the sabbath is unlawful.” / “When David was hungry, he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering reserved for priests; something greater is here.  If you understood 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you wouldn't have condemned these men.  The Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”
  • CreightonToday's gospel focuses on Jesus trying to help Pharisees realize there's something more important than prohibiting work on the Sabbath.  How do I reconcile my desires and wants with actual needs?  Do I lose sight of what's most important?
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Now is the time":  God, Lord of time, added 15 years to Hezekiah's life, stopped time for Joshua, and reversed time.  The Lord has given us time to serve him to advance his kingdom; we can by repentance, evangelization, holiness, and prayer, now. Make the most of the opportunity "Now is the acceptable time, the day of salvation!"
  • Passionist“I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”  We must begin with mercy to understand who God is and what God wants.  In today's gospel Pharisees challenge Jesus whose disciples are violating the Sabbath; Jesus reminds them of times people have broken the Law but were innocent because of extenuating circumstances. Do we judge others starting from the law, or mercy?
    Learn this
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Mercy, not sacrifice":  The Sabbath was set apart to praise God, his work, and his saving actions, to remember and celebrate the goodness of God and his work.  It was intended to bring everyday work to a halt and to provide needed rest and refreshment.  The Pharisees scolded the apostles not for plucking and eating corn but for doing it on the Sabbath.  Jesus argues that human need trumps ritual.  While ritual sacrifice is important to God, mercy and kindness in response to human need are more so.  How do I honor God in my treatment of others?
Lord, make us walk in your way:  where there's love and wisdom, there's no fear or ignorance; where there's patience and humility, there's no anger or annoyance; where there's poverty and joy, there's no greed or avarice; where there's peace and contemplation, there's no restlessness; where there's the fear of God, no enemy can enter; where there's mercy and prudence, there's no excess or harshness.... (Francis of Assisi)

July 19, 2018

July 19

July 19, 2018:  Thursday, 15th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  Lord, you give us peace (1st reading)
  • 'Skeleton' tie pin:  Your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise (1st reading)
  • 'Street light' tie bar:  Your dew is a dew of light (1st reading)
  • 'Stone' tie pin:  Zion's stones are dear to your servants... (psalm)
  • Dust-colored suspenders:  ...and her dust moves them to pity (psalm)
  • 'Children around the world' tie:  "The inhabitants of the world can't bring salvation forth" (1st reading); from heaven the Lord looks down on the earth; the nations shall revere Your name (psalm); learn from me (gospel) [children from yesterday's gospel]
  • 'Heart' clip:  The Lord changed the hearts of the Israelites' foes (psalm); "I'm meek and humble of heart" (gospel)
  • 'Celebrate teaching' pin:  "Learn from me" (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

For Psalm 102
For the gospel
From Messiah/ Handel (also for gospel)
  • Is 26:7-9, 12, 16-19  The path of the just you make level.  We yearn for and look to you who give us peace and have accomplished all we've done.  We cried out to you; we can't bring salvation, but your dead shall live.
    My yoke is easy
  • Ps 102:13-14ab, 15-21  "From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth" to hear prisoners' groaning and release those doomed to die.  You abide forever.  All shall revere you when you've regarded the prayer of the destitute.
  • Mt 11:28-30  “Come to me, you burdened, and I'll give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I'm meek and humble of heart.  My yoke is easy, my burden light.”
  • CreightonGod makes the way of justice clear.  The unjust can learn from their punishment, change, and be rewarded with new life in God.  When Jesus says, "Come to me, you burdened,..." the burden is sin, the labor like the suffering of the unjust changing their ways. If we shed the burden of sin and follow the clear path, we can rest in the Lord and have everlasting life.
  • One Bread, One Body:  Maimonides listed 613 commandments in the Old Testament, and the New Testament commands are even more challenging.  If we don't act on God's Word, we deceive ourselves; whoever falls into sin on one point of the law becomes guilty on all counts. We must obey but can't, but Jesus rescues us: "Come to me...."  If we ask, trustworthy Jesus will take over our lives and accomplish all we need to do.  Christian life isn't DIY but "let-it-be-done"; we can't achieve salvation on our own.  No one but Jesus can save us.  His grace makes obeying his commands easy.  May we give our lives to the Light.
  • PassionistHard work is not just physical labor but also making hard choices.  And there are the burdens of life like the death of loved ones, disappointments, and financial strain.  And there's the injustice around us and burdens of society.  These take their toll on us as individuals and a society.  By surrendering to Jesus, we discover someone meek and humble who will enable us to rest.  We're filled with personal, emotional, social, and political unrest, but if we accept Jesus’ invitation, we'll find rest and peace in him, his word, gospel, truth, and life, death, and resurrection.  If I strive to love others, treat them with kindness and dignity, forgive, I'll find peace and rest....
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me":  The Jews used the image of a yoke to express submission to God:  the yoke of the law, the commandments, the kingdom, God.  Jesus says his yoke is 'easy' (in Gk same as 'well-fitting').  Yokes were tailor-made for the oxen.  Jesus invites us to be yoked with him, united in life, will, and heart, in love, trust, and obedience.  Jesus says his "burden is light"; no burden is too heavy when given and carried in love.  When we yoke our lives with Jesus, he carries our burdens with us and gives us strength to follow his way of love, grace, and freedom....
  • UniversalisSt. John Plessington, priest, martyr:  “If a priest ordained by authority from Rome is to die as a traitor, what's to become of all Church of England clergy?  The Church of Rome ordained their first bishops....”

July 18, 2018


July 18, 2018:
Wednesday, 15th week, Ordinary Time
St. Camillus de Lellis, Priest

See more than a dozen connections with today?
Legend below

For the gospel
For Psalm 94

  • Is 10:5-7, 13b-16  Woe to Assyria!  My hand has seized nations' riches.  The Lord will send leanness among his fat ones.
  • Ps 94:5-10, 14-15  "The Lord will not abandon his people."  Shall God not see as they're trampled down?  Judgment shall be with justice, and the upright shall follow it.
  • Mt 11:25-27  “I give you praise, Father, for you've revealed to the childlike things hidden from the wise.  You handed everything over to me.  No one knows me but you, and no one knows you except me and who I wish.”

  • CreightonWe need to be childlike (vs. childish) in welcoming God's kingdom.  Children trust; they grasp what we say and who we are. They know their parents and friends more than they know about them. Eternal life is knowing the Father and the One he sent.  When Jesus asked the disciples who people said the Son of Man is, they answered with things about Jesus.  Knowing about is intellectual; knowing, more existential, how we know our parents and friends through interaction, not study.  "The heart has reasons reason knows not of" (Pensées IV, 277).  Jesus challenges us to know him in a childlike way.  Christology helps us to know about Jesus; Christianity helps us to know Jesus.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "We're God's instruments and children":  Our loving Father employs us according to who we are and what gifts we have, using our free choices and his loving omnipotence.  As children of a loving Father, we can be useful in God's kingdom.  If God uses bad guys like the kings of Assyria and Persia, how much more can he use his obedient children!  May we be childlike in the Father's hands, allowing him to tune us as he sees fit, then let use us.
    St. Camillus de Lellis
  • PassionistThe Pharisees lacked a humble childlike spirit and a sense of need for and dependence on God.  Jesus praised his Father for revealing hidden things to those with the wonder and awe of babes who hope, in contrast to the "wise" leaders who dismissed his message and miracles.  How am I closed to God’s revelation?  How do I react instead of respond?  We must open our hearts and let God teach us to love.  If people can learn to hate, they can learn to love, which comes more naturally....
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Heavenly things revealed to infants":  Jesus' prayer tells us God is Father, Lord, and Creator and cares for his children.  He warns that pride can keep us from knowing and loving God.  Pride, a cold heart, or stubbornness shut God out.  Pride (inordinate self-love, exaggerated self-assessment) makes us cold and indifferent towards God and closes us to truth and wisdom.  Jesus contrasts pride with simplicity and humility.  The simple see purely and acknowledge their dependence on and trust in God; they seek the greatest good, God himself.  Humility inclines us towards grace and truth; the only soil grace can take root in, it allows God to do all.  Jesus makes it possible for us to know God personally; in him we see God's perfect love....
  • Convert, priest, devoted to the care of the sick, reformed hospitals, founded Servants of the Sick (now Camillians); see also Wikipedia.
  • From the Office of Readings:  Charity, root of all virtue, was his most characteristic trait; he was on fire with it toward God and others, especially the sick.  The sight of the sick melted his heart.  When he took care of patients, he exhausted himself, so great his devotion and compassion.  In them he saw Christ, showing them great reverence and even begging them to forgive his sins.  He impressed Jesus' words on his religious brothers:  "I was sick and you visited me."  He'd also say, “If there were no poor people, we'd need to go below to look for and rescue them....” (paraphrased)
Dress legend
  • 'Money bag' tie pin:  "I've pillaged the treasures of peoples" (1st reading)
  • '♥' clip:  "It is in his heart to destroy" (1st reading); "All the upright of heart shall follow the just judgment" (psalm)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "My hand has seized nations' riches" (1st reading); Father 'handed' everything over to Jesus (gospel)
  • 'Owl' tie pin:  "By my wisdom I've done it" (1st reading); "You fools, when will you be wise?" (psalm); God has revealed to the childlike things the wise don't see (gospel)
  • 'Fire' pin: "Instead of the Lord's glory there will be kindling as of fire" (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  "Shall he who formed the eye not see?" (psalm)
  • 'Children' pin:  Father, you've revealed hidden things to the childlike (gospel)
  • 'Doctor's office' tie:  Ministry of St. Camillus to the sick
  • Green and white shirt: Green for Ordinary Time season, white for St. Camillus
Special greetings to and prayers for the community at
St. Camillus Center for Pastoral Care, Los Angeles and all they serve

July 17, 2018

July 17

July 17, 2018:  Tuesday, 15th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Heart' clip, 'crown' tie bar:  The king's and people's hearts trembled... (1st reading)
  • 'Tree' pin:  ...as the trees trembled in the wind (1st reading)

  • 'Alps' pin:  The Lord's holy mountain... (psalm)
  • Musical notes with "joy" tie pin:  ...is the joy of all the earth. (psalm)

  • 'Blood drop' pin:  Today's martyrs

  • 'Castle' button:  God is with her castles (psalm)

  • Green in tie and shirt:  Ordinary Time season


  • Is 7:1-9  The kings of Aram and Israel attacked but couldn't conquer Jerusalem.  Lord to Isaiah:  Tell Ahaz: Take courage and don't fear; the mischief plotted against you shall not be!  Within 65 years, Ephraim shall be crushed.  Unless your faith is firm, you won't be firm!
  • Ps 48:2-8  "God upholds his city for ever."  Great is the Lord and wholly to be praised.  His holy mountain is the joy of the earth.
  • Mt 11:20-24  Jesus reproached the towns since they hadn't repented:  “Woe to you, Chorazin and Bethsaida, for not repenting as even Tyre and Sidon did.  Capernaum, you'll go down to the nether world; Sodom will fare better.”
  • CreightonToday's 1st reading tells us the Kingdom of Israel allied with Aram/Syria to fight against Assyria.  King Ahaz of Judah, a descendant of David, didn't want to join the coalition; he believed the Assyrians would destroy Judah.  So Israel and Aram resolved to attack Judah to keep Judah from entering an agreement with the Assyrians.  As the Israel/Aram armies approached Jerusalem and camped, the Lord sent Isaiah to tell Ahaz remain tranquil and not fear or lose courage because the coalition won't stand.   To be firm, you need firm faith; it gives us strength to withstand attack.  May we be strong in faith and see God’s plan for us.  In the gospel Jesus reprimands people for not heeding his words and living his message.  Do we act on Jesus' words?
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Judgment day":  We'll have to appear before God's judgment seat. After dying and at the end of the world, we'll be judged according to our conduct. The Lord will bring to light what's hidden and manifest intentions. Those who have lost their lives by giving them to Jesus will be saved; those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior and Lord will be saved.  Those living their baptisms in love will see Jesus face to face.  Those who have turned away from God, having decided to be apart from God's presence and glory, will be judged worthy of punishment and be thrown out to wail in the second death!  Remember judgment day but don't worry about it; give your life to Jesus the Judge, Love.
  • PassionistWhy in today's gospel are the words of Jesus, God's messenger of love and peace, about judgment and condemnation, not comfort?  They misunderstood the purpose of his miracles:  though he worked miracles in each town, their people refused to change; their hearts remained closed.  His miracles were not to entertain or draw attention to himself but to show his care for the suffering and needy and call people to reform, change their sinful ways, open their hearts to God, show the poor God's merciful love, and so keep his miracles alive.  Jesus can invite us to conversion but can't force it; we can harden our hearts, cutting ourselves off from God and life.  If we do, Jesus will rightly be as exasperated with us as he was with them, but that's a sign of his love.

  • DailyScripture.net"Will you be exalted to heaven?"  What would Jesus say to your community today, and how would you respond?  Chorazin and Bethsaida had been blessed with the good news and Jesus' wonderful works.  Jesus expressed sorrowful pity, grief, and dismay over their folly, sin, and ignorance.  They likely responded with indifference instead of change of heart and life.  "Most High God, enlighten our darkness and give us true faith, certain hope, and perfect love.  Give us a sense of the divine and knowledge of yourself, so that we may do everything in fulfillment of your holy will" (Francis of Assisi).
    • Bl. John Sugar, priest and martyr, and Robert Grissold, martyr.  Sugar on the scaffold:  “Be merry; it's an occasion of joy.  Though I'll have a sharp dinner, I trust in Christ that I'll have a sweet supper.”

July 16, 2018

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

July 16, 2018:
Monday, 15th week, Ordinary Time
Our Lady of Mount Carmel

See a dozen connections with today?
Legend below
  • Is 1:10-17  Lord to Sodom and Gomorrah:  I loathe your offerings and festivals.  Your hands are bloody!  Wash yourselves clean!  Cease doing evil; learn to do good.  Make justice your aim:  redress the wronged, hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.
  • Ps 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21, 23 "To the upright I will show the saving power of God."  Why do you profess my covenant with your mouth but cast my words behind you?  I'll correct you.  Those who offer a sacrifice of praise glorify me; I'll save all who go the right way.
  • Mt 10:34-11:1  “I came to bring the sword, not peace, setting family members against each other.  If you love others more than me or don't take up your cross and follow me, you're not worthy of me.  If you lose your life for my sake, you'll find it.  Whoever receives you receives me and him who sent me.  Whoever gives a cup of water to a disciple will be rewarded....”
  • Creighton:  "Chaos!"  Wait:  Jesus not bringing peace?  If you follow Jesus, you're likely to find yourself in opposition to those near and dear to you.  Jesus, raised in the knowledge of Moses and the prophets, is himself prophet, new Moses, New Creation, and Hope, but he speaks of what it may take and what might happen to bring about the Reign of God.
As Jesus is sending his apostles forth, he's essentially telling them to expect chaos, judgment, and hope.  Carrying out the mission may take force, but Jesus seemed open to the force of dialogue with those who disagreed, challenged, and threatened him and his message. He responded nonviolently and imaginatively with the sword of words, parables, or actions (feeding the hungry...). Others who do will receive a prophet’s, or disciple’s, reward.
We live in a time of chaos and divisions to be repaired and transformed through nonviolent openness, dialogue, and discernment, and works of mercy.  Attempting to change through signing petitions and voting are deeds that give voice.  Letting go of things can let our hopes become real; letting go of selfish behaviors enables discovery of the true self and a God who desires a relationship, peace, and life for all....
    Our Lady of Mount Carmel
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Nothing but the cross":  We Christians follow Jesus, who saved us through suffering; he came to earth to pay the price for our salvation and reconcile us to God.  Jesus suffered horribly in the flesh, was humiliated and scorned as a criminal, and died a disgraceful death, bearing a cross meant for a murderer.  We must take up our cross daily, deny ourselves, and follow in his steps.  We can't on our own, but through baptism we become sharers in God's nature and can embrace the cross as Jesus did and so discover who we are.  Jesus understands if we falter; he fell while carrying his cross.  Heavy as the cross is, he wants us to know the joy of sharing his sufferings. Avoid anything that leads you away from his cross.
  • Passionist:  Will we continue to stand with Christ as we face life's challenges such as family who balk at challenges to the status quo?  Will we meet challenges with love, forgiveness, generosity and peace?  When Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James and John, James and John were mending their nets with their father but dropped everything to leave immediately.  The disciples become steeped in their intimate relationship with Christ, over family ties.  Jesus knows how easy it can be to lose sight in the face of rejection.  Jesus enters each situation before and with us; we need only to change our heart and ways

  • DailyScripture.net:  "I came to bring a sword, not peace":  Jesus came to bring a 'sword' to cut through our core to expose our corruption.  God's word is a sword that divides soul and spirit, discerning thoughts and intentions, with power to free us from whatever binds us to sin and deception so we may live as God's children.  Jesus said following him would be costly.  Great calls inevitably cause division between those who accept and reject them.  The love of God compels us to put God first in our lives and show charity for others.  Any kindness shown, any help given will be rewarded....
    Dress legend
    • 'Blood drop' pin:  "Your hands are full of blood" (1st reading)
    • 'Calf' pin, 'lamb' tie bar:  "In the blood of calves, lambs, and goats I find no pleasure" (1st reading)
    • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  "Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes" (1st reading); "I'll correct you by drawing them up before your eyes." (psalm)
    • 'No peace' button:  "I came not to bring peace..." (gospel)
    • 'Sword' tie pin:  "...but the sword" (gospel)
    • 'Abacus' tie pin:  "...but division."  (gospel, other translations)
    • 'Cross' pin:  "Whoever doesn't take up his cross and follow me isn't worthy of me" (gospel)
    • 'Cups' tie:  "Whoever gives a cup of water to one of these will be rewarded" (gospel)
    • Blue in shirt:  Cup of water (gospel)
    • Green suspenders:  Ordinary Time season