December 17, 2018

Dec. 17

December 17, 2018:  Monday, 3rd week, Advent

See ten connections with today?
Legend below

Music bonus:  printable Christmas carol booklets
Pope Francis
To International Commission Against the Death Penalty:  The truth that every life is sacred convinced me to commit myself to abolishing the death penalty, an attack on human dignity.  The commitment became concrete with the recent change of Catechism 2267.   The death penalty is always inadmissible, and an incarceration that doesn't allow for moral rehabilitation and reinsertion into the community is a “hidden death.”  No one can be deprived of life or hope for redemption and reconciliation.

The international community must also oppose the death penalty; human dignity must be universally recognized.  Where the death penalty is legal but not applied, there should be a moratorium on both imposing and applying it.  Where it's still applied, I beg for a moratorium.

Society has developed penalties based on injury to others or their rights, not so much the omission of doing good.  An ethic of caring must complement the traditional approach to justice;  causes of behavior, social context, vulnerable offenders' situations, victims' suffering, and God's mercy must be factored in.  Care for one another is the basis for a loving society where people are committed to the common good.  All people of good will are called to help eradicate of capital punishment and other forms of cruel punishment....
Happy 82nd birthday!

  • Gn 49:2, 8-10 Jacob to sons:  Scepter shall never depart from Judah, while he receives homage.
  • Ps 72:1-4ab, 7-8, 17 "Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever."  Blessed be the King who shall govern with justice, defend the afflicted, save the poor...
  • Mt 1:1-17 Genealogy of Jesus Christ:  14 generations from Abraham to David, 14 from David to Babylonian exile, 14 from exile to Christ.
  • Today's O Antiphon:  O Wisdom of our God Most High, guiding creation with power and love:  come to teach us the path of knowledge!
  • Creighton: Finding God's Wisdom lies in our responding to God’s invitation to cooperate with God in creating a world that enables us to become the people God desires us to be.  God wants us to be truly human.  God sent us his son, truly human, to show us what we can be.  Advent can be a time for us to prepare to be fully human, to let God's power and love into our hearts and join in partnership with God to bring about the peace, love, joy and justice God sends through Jesus....
  • One Bread, One Body:  To the Jews, family/bloodline was extremely important.  Jesus, entering into family life and lines, showed God's personal love.  Jesus bore our burdens, our human nature, and our family line. We can't choose our family heritage, but Jesus transformed it, entering into it with all its dysfunction. His family line contains dysfunction and boredom and is full of sinful people, but he loves it.  He's not ashamed to be our God or relative.  He loves us so much, he entered our human family.
  • Passionist: Today’s readings testify Jesus will be a king unlike other kings and a savior easy to overlook. The 1st reading foretells the royal life of Israel.  Jacob announces to Judah that he will conquer his enemies, receive homage, and be like a lion, “king of beasts,” everyone fears to approach.  The psalm response, in contrast, foretells God's reign that comes in Jesus:  wisdom, mercy, and goodness, justice and peace, liberation of the poor, comfort and healing for the suffering.  The gospel recounts Jesus' genealogy.  God works through human beings—including dramatically flawed ones—to bring about the extraordinary, but easy to miss because God enters our world as a helpless child in a family of refugees. To prepare for Christ's coming, look for Jesus where you least expect him, beseeching our help in the stranger, migrants, the poor and homeless, all who need hospitality. Are we open to receive them and help?
  • "The genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David":  Genealogies show us our roots and help us understand our heritage.  Jesus is the direct descent of Abraham and David, rightful heir to David's throne.  God fulfilled his promises to Abraham and David to send a Savior and King to rule the house of Israel and deliver them.  Jacob foretold that Judah would receive the promise of royalty to be fulfilled in David. We also see in the blessing a foreshadowing of God's fulfillment in raising up his Messiah king.  Jesus fulfills God's promises; he's the hope for all nations, Savior of the world in whom we receive adoption into a royal priesthood and holy nation as God's children living God.  May we accept our spiritual genealogy....
Dress legend
  • 'Owl' tie pin:  "O Sapientia"/"O Wisdom," today's O Antiphon
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  Jacob 'called' his sons... (1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "Your hand on the neck of your enemies..." (1st reading)
  • 'Lion' pin:  He crouches like a lion recumbent (1st reading)
  • 'Alps' pin:  The mountains shall yield peace, the hills justice (psalm)
  • 'Sun' pin:  As long as the sun his name shall remain (psalm)
  • 'Scales' brooch:  Justice shall flourish... (psalm)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  ...and fullness of peace (psalm)
  • 'Book' tie:  "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ" (gospel)
  • Purple shirt and suspenders:  Advent season

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