December 14, 2018

John of the Cross

December 14, 2018:  St. John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor

See 16 connections with today?
Legend below

Pope Francis to artists
The Church’s mission has always been expressed through artists' creativity and talent.  
Refugee children must have suffered terrible situations.  Jesus descended to earth from a place where he lived in wisdom, light and love with the Father and the Spirit.  Here he experienced our limitations and sins to give us the Trinity’s love.  He had to escape Herod’s wrath.  The Holy Family was persecuted.  Half of today’s refugees are children, guiltless victims of injustice.  One way the Church responds is through educational networks.  Refugee children need formation so that they may work towards the common good.  Education helps people get back on their feet, with their dignity, courage, and appreciation of their talents.
Artists have always helped the Church express its mission.  They touch consciences.  Pursue your work; enkindle the warmth and tenderness of Christmas in every heart.
Contemplate Trinity; overcome division:  Fr. Cantalamessa's 2nd Advent sermon

The Trinity is like a musical triangle that vibrates and gives the same sound from whatever it's struck.  The Father, the Son, and Spirit are always glorifying each other.  The Trinity is the only place where "love your neighbor as yourself" is perfectly practiced.  The model for all representations of the Trinity is Rublev's 1425 icon.  The Persons are distinct, closely resemble each other, and are ideally positioned within a circle highlighting their unity, crying out, “Be one as we are.”
Trinity/ Rublev
The Trinity shows us the path to unity:  no confusion, identifying with the other, self-giving, other-sustaining.  True unity is so hard to achieve because we want it around our point of view.  The Trinity is a living and vibrant reality, the absolute manifestation of love.  Contemplating it helps us overcome hateful division.  We can be divided in thought but never in heart.  We must imitate the Trinity's unity:  unity in diversity.
Christ left us a way more blessed than contemplating or imitating the Trinity:  entering into it via the Eucharist.  At Communion, Christ's words “I in them and you in me” are actualized, and we're offered the grace to be the Trinity's table guests.  Full text

  • Is 48:17-19  I teach and lead you for your good.  Hearken to my commandments; receive prosperity, vindication, and descendants.
  • Ps 1:1-4, 6  "Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life."  Those who delight in God's law are like trees yielding fruit; they prosper.
"You didn't dance to the flute..."
  • Mt 11:16-19  This generation is like children who didn't dance to the flute or mourn to a dirge, rejecting John the Baptist and the Son of Man.  But wisdom's works vindicate her.
  • Fr. Jose Rueda homily video:  John of the Cross, mysticism, mystery, and Advent:  Look for the Beloved in Scripture, Sacraments, Church.  Be wounded by love; go through the cross to consolation; help others fall in love.
  • Creighton:  In today's gospel Jesus points out that people are often too critical, and they never seem to be satisfied, comparing them to children who complain because they don't get what they want.  Today we don't want to compromise or revisit our opinions, and we're angry and critical when things don't turn out as we want.  Jesus speaks as a father correcting his children, pointing out bad behavior so they may see it.  May this season be one of joy and peace, not criticism or dissatisfaction.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Pregnant for Christmas":  The Lord wants to lead us.  If we follow, Christmas we will be "like a river, waves, the sand..."; we'll be full of life and fruitful.  He promised: "I came that they may have life... abundantly." We'll be spiritually pregnant. "God is God of the living."  "Choose life, by loving the Lord, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him."

  • Passionist:  In the first reading we hear the “Lord will tell you what is good” and “will lead us.”  The psalm says, follow the Lord, and have the light of Life.  But at times we want to lead, thinking we understand what we need better.  We don’t want to change; we just need God's help, and we pray like that.  But to follow the Lord, we need to seek him, know more about him, trust, and surrender.  May we seek him in prayer, the sacraments, the Bible, and spiritual books.  Let’s slow down and see where he's leading us and what he wants of us....
  •  "The Lord will lead you":  God’s kingdom is available to those teachable, receptive, and obedient to God's word; they receive wisdom and peace and become blessings to their offspring.  Jesus compares proud teachers and scholars with stubborn playmates who don't follow wise counsel.  His parable about a group of musicians and their friends who refuse to dance challenges us to examine whether only hear and do what we want.  The young musicians react with dismay because they can't get anyone to follow them.  The parable echoes "There's atime to weep, a time to laugh, a time to mourn, a time to dance."  Am I in tune with God's message?  Do I heed God's wisdom and truth?  Jesus' message gives joy and hope to those who listen and obey but warn of disaster for those who refuse it.  The jealous scribes and Pharisees attributed John the Baptist's austerities to the devil and attributed Jesus' table fellowship as evidence for pretending to be Messiah. Their closed hearts and ears frustrated God's plan for their lives.  Indifference and contempt can make us spiritually dull, deaf to God's voice....
St. John of the Cross/ Chapin
St. John of the Cross
Dress legend
  • 'Helm' tie pin:  "I lead you on the way you should go" (1st reading)
  • 'Wave' tie bar:  "If you hearken to my commandments, your vindication will be like the waves of the sea,..." (1st reading)
  • Sand-colored suspenders:  "...and your descendants would be like the sand" (1st reading)
  • 'Lights' tie:  Light of life (psalm)
  • 'Tree' tie bar:  One who meditates on God's law is like a tree... (psalm)
  • 'Celebrate teaching' pin with 'apple' inside:  ...bearing fruit (psalm); "I teach you what is for your good" (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  The Lord watches over the way of the just (psalm)
  • 'Children' pin:  Children in the marketplace... (gospel)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  ...who 'call' to one another (gospel)
  • 'Clef' tie pin:  "We played the flute, but you didn't dance, sang a dirge but you didn't mourn" (gospel)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  The Son of Man came eating and drinking... (gospel)
  • 'Owl' pin:  Wisdom is vindicated by her works (gospel)
  • 'Red cross' pin: John of the Cross, 'Doctor' of the Church
  • 'Cross' pin with purple robe:  St. John of the Cross, Advent season
  • White shirt: St. John of the Cross memorial

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