October 12, 2019

Oct. 12

October 12, 2019:  Saturday, 27th week, Ordinary Time

Find about a dozen connections with today?
Legend below
  • Jl 4:12-21  Come; I'll sit in judgment.  The harvest is ripe, the wine press fullvats overflow, so great their malice.  The day of the Lord is near.  Sun, moon, and stars are dark.  The Lord roars, but the Lord is a refuge to his people.  Then you'll know I am your God,  Jerusalem shall be holy.  Mountains shall drip new wine, hills milk. and channels of Judah water.  Egypt shall be a waste, because of the violence done, innocent bloodshed.  But Judah and Jerusalem shall abide....
  • Ps 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12  "Rejoice in the Lord, you just!"  The Lord is king.  Justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.  Mountains melt like wax before him.  All see his glory.  Light dawns for the just.
  • Lk 11:27-28  Woman / Jesus:  “Blessed the womb that carried you and the breasts you sucked.” / “Rather, blessed those who hear and observe God's word.”
Reflect
  • Creighton:  Mary is significant not just because she was chosen to be Jesus' mother but because she said yes unconditionally; she heard and acted on God’s word her whole life.  Jesus too heard and acted on his Father's word, even unto his death.  So it must be for us.   What is God asking of us?  May we listen, reflect, and act....
    The Virgin suckling the Child/ Cranach
    30 more; Vatican:
    "Show tender images of Mary breastfeeding"
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Live the life of blessing":  Elizabeth proclaimed, "Blest are you among women and blest is the fruit of your womb."  Mary prophesied, "All ages shall call me blessed."  "A woman from the crowd" confirmed Mary's prophecy:  "Blest the womb that bore You...."  Jesus agreed Mary was blessed, but for hearing and keeping God's Word.  We too can be blessed if we accept God's grace to bo beyond our tendency to passivity and do, love, and share God's Word....
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Hear the word of God and keep it":  Mary heard and believed God's word and submitted herself to God's plan. Jesus said that whoever does God's is a friend of God and member of his family; they're blessed because they know God personally and rejoice in hearing and obeying him.  We were made for God and are restless till we rest in him.  "A Christian's only relatives are the saints" (Lucian of Antioch).  Those who follow Christ enter into a new family, of saints here and in heaven.  Kinship goes beyond flesh and blood; our adoption as God's children transforms our relationships and requires loyalty to God and his kingdom.
Today's saints, from Universalis
  • Wilfrid, abbot, bishop, supported Church traditions against prevailing ‘Celtic’ customs
    • Kenneth (Cainnech, Canice, Kenny, Canicus), abbot, monastery founder, priest, missionary, taught the "12 Apostles of Ireland"
    Dress legend
    • 'Sun' pin:  The sun... is darkened (1st reading)
    • 'Star' tie pin:  The stars withhold their brightness (1st reading)
    • 'Blood drop' pin:  Egypt shall be a waste, because they shed innocent blood.  I will avenge their blood (1st reading)
    • 'Crown' tie bar:  The Lord is king (psalm)
    • Blue shirt:  Water (1st reading)
    • Dark tie:  Darkness is round about him (psalm)
      • 'Street light' tie bar:  "Light dawns for the just" (psalm)
        • 'Alps' pin:  "The mountains shall drip new wine" (1st reading); the mountains melt like wax before the Lord (psalm)
        • 'Mary' pin:  “Blessed the womb that carried you and the breasts you sucked” (gospel)

        October 10, 2019

        Oct. 10

        October 10, 2019:  Thursday, 27th week, Ordinary Time

        See 16 connections with today?
        Legend below
        Listen
        Read
        • Mal 3:13-20b  You've defied me, saying, “What good is it to keep God's command?  Evildoers prosper....”  The Lord listened attentively.  Those who fear and trust me shall be mine, says the Lord.  I'll have compassion on them.  You'll see the distinction between just and wicked.  The proud and evildoers will be stubble, but for you who fear me, the sun of justice will arise.
        • Ps 1:1-4, 6  "Blessed are they who hope in the Lord."  They're like trees yielding fruit in due season, but the wicked are like chaff the wind drives away.  The Lord watches over the just....
        • Lk 11:5-13  “If your friend comes to you at midnight and says, ‘lend me three loaves of bread,’ and you reply, ‘Don't bother me; the door is locked and we're in bed,’ even if you don't give him the loaves because of your friendship, you will because of his persistence.  Ask and receive; seek and find; knock and the door will be opened.  Who would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish, or a scorpion when he asks for an egg?  If you know how to give your children good gifts, how much more will the Father give the Spirit to those who ask?”
        Reflect
        • Creighton:  Many people ask God “what good is it to keep your command?”  Today’s readings are about how God loves and welcomes us.  God doesn’t give to askers based on their worthiness but rather on their persistence.  It takes faith to be persistent, but persistence is more about learning to live justly than getting what you want.  The persistent don’t lose faith when they don’t get what they want or when evil prospers; they're satisfied, so it seems like everything they do prospers.  It's tempting for those who feel loved and blessed to think they're more deserving, but there's no room for judgment against others.  Being able to see all as gift is itself a gift.  The door to God’s blessings is open to all.  May we live in a way that others see God’s love at work in blessings available to all.
        • One Bread, One Body:  "Value prayer":   Most people don't set aside a time for daily prayer, pray with their spouses and families, or pray at work, on the street, or on the phone. Such omissions contribute to weak faith, weak marriages and families, and weak churches.  Not valuing prayer highly and not praying always make it possible for the culture of death to spread.  The Lord assures us he wants to answer our prayers; he'll give us what we seek or better.  "Ask and you'll receive; seek and you'll find; knock and it shall be opened to you."  In fact, the Lord will give us more:  the Spirit, who "helps us in our weakness, for we don't know how to pray as we ought."   Then we'll pray with greater commitment, power, and efficacy, and we'll move from grace to grace.  Always pray in the Spirit.
          St. Francis Borgia helps
          a dying impenitent man/ Goya
        • Passionist:  I used to believe prayer was to change God’s mind.  God was a kind of Santa Claus, giving toys to some, denying them to others, and persuaded by those who make a good case.  Many still hold the Santa view, but I don't.  We don't change God’s mind.  God always wants what's best for me and never withholds it,  I pray to change myself, to allow God to work in and transform myself, to be freed from unhealthy desires, to recognize his will and work, and to be receptive and accept what God is trying to give.  Jesus says those who ask will receive, but he promises the Spirit, not wealth, physical healing, or whatever we ask for.  God will give me all I need:  patience, strength, peace, wisdom, knowledge, sensitivity, perseverance, faith, and more.  God will give me the Spirit.  When I pray and allow God to work, God molds me into a better person; I often surrender what I wanted, because I trust God knows what's best.  Jesus didn’t have everything someone in his day would want, but he had the Spirit, and whenever he prayed, he deepened his relationship to his Father. That allowed him to be effective, healing, strong, and prophetic and gave him what he needed to endure suffering, betrayal, and death.  Prayer isn't a laundry list but a deepening of relationship so we can become more like Christ.  When I ask for that, I'll receive.
        • DailyScripture.net:  "More":  Jesus used the illustration of a midnight traveler to teach about how God treats us in contrast to what we might expect from neighbors. The rule of hospitality required community cooperation in entertaining an unexpected guest, always serving a meal.  Bread was essential as a utensil for dipping and eating; asking for bread was common; refusing to give it was inhospitable and brought shame.  If you could impose on a neighbor to give bread at midnight, how much more hospitable is God, who's always generous and ready to give what we need.  "God, who doesn't sleep and who awakens us from sleep that we may ask, gives much more graciously" (Augustine).  The Lord is ever ready to give us more than we can expect:  his Spirit, that we may share his life and joy.
        Today's saints, from Universalis
          • St. Daniel Comboni, evangelist to Central Africa's poor and abandoned; motto “Africa or death”
          Dress legend
          • Purple shirt:  You said, “What do we profit by keeping his command, and going about in penitential dress...?" (1st reading)
          • 'Money bag' tie pin:  "Evildoers prosper" (1st reading)
          • 'Boundless mercy' button:  I'll have compassion on those who fear the Lord and trust him (1st reading)
            • 'Sun' pin:  For you who fear me, the Sun of Justice will arise (1st reading)
            • 'Tree' and 'fruit' pins:  You who delight in and meditate on the Lord's law are like fruitful trees...  (psalm)
            • '?' tie pin:  "What have we spoken against you?"  "What do we profit by keeping God's command? (1st reading); "ask and you'll receive....  The Father will give the Spirit to all who ask" (gospel)
            • 'Dove' pin:  "The Father will give the Spirit to those who ask" (gospel)
            • 'Wheat' pin:  "Friend, lend me some bread" (gospel)
              • 'Key' tie pin:  "Don't bother me; the door is locked" (gospel)
              • 'Door knocker' pin:  "Knock and the door will be opened to you" (gospel)
              • 'Snake' pin, 'fish' tie:  What father would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? (gospel)
              • Egg-shaped tie pin with green center:  What father would hand his son a scorpion when he asks for an egg? (gospel); green for Ordinary Time season

              October 9, 2019

              Oct. 9

              October 9, 2019:  Wednesday, 27th week, Ordinary Time

              See a dozen connections with today?
              Legend below
              Listen
              For gospel

                • Familiar chant (but we usually sing it faster and more in rhythm with the spoken word)
              Pope Francis General Audience

              Saul was a religious ideologue who persecuted Jesus’ followers.   That same sinner became Paul after his conversion, offering us an example of the power of God’s love.  Saul hunted and captured early Christians, under the authority of the High Priest.  For Saul, religion had become a religious, social, and political ideology.  His anger and conflictual attitude invite us to ask whether we meet others or set ourselves up against them.  "Do I belong to the universal Church, or do I hold a selective ideology?  Do I adore God or a dogmatic formulation?"


              God converted Saul by touching his heart.  Blinded, Saul heard a voice asking him why he was persecuting Jesus.  An attack against a Church member is an attack against Christ!  Ideologues who they desire so-called Church “purity” attack Christ.  After his conversion, Paul is transformed, and what he considered his “glory” became “dross” to be discarded in Christ’s name.  Baptism marks the beginning of a new life, accompanied by a new view of God, ourselves, and others, turned from enemies into brothers and sisters in Christ.

              Read

                Gourd-eating worm
                (animate)
              • Jon 4:1-11  Jonah, angry God didn't carry out the evil he threatened:  “Lord, this is why I fled.  I knew you're gracious and merciful, slow to anger, loath to punish.  Take my life; it's better for me to die.” / “Have you reason to be angry?” / Jonah built himself a hut and waited under it to see what would happen.  The Lord provided a gourd plant over his head to give shade, and Jonah was happy about the plant.  But then God sent a worm that attacked the plant, and later a burning wind, and the sun beat on Jonah till he grew faint.  “I'd be better off dead.” / “Have you reason to be angry?” / “Yes, enough to die.” / “You're concerned over the plant which cost you no labor.  Should I not be concerned over Nineveh, in which over 120,000 can't tell their right hand from their left?”
              • Ps 86:3-6, 9-10  "Lord, you are merciful and gracious."  Have mercy on me; I call You all day.  Hearken to my prayer.  All shall come worship You and glorify Your name....
              • Lk 11:1-4  “Teach us to pray.” / “Say:  Father, hallowed be your name; your Kingdom come.  Give us our daily bread, and forgive our sins for we forgive those in our debt, and don't subject us to the final test.”
              Reflect
              • Creighton:  I guess I've gotten close to Jonah's experience in the 1st reading and not trusted God in tough times.  I have to learn God is wiser than I am.  I get discouraged and feel sorry for myself, telling God I have good reason.  But God gently puts us in our place, assuring us that he alone dispenses judgment, mercy, and blessings.  Most of us call on the Lord in hard times.  But I often plead, feeling marginalized with God.  Like the Psalmist, I recognize God's greatness and wondrous deeds and my need for mercy and uplifting, but I think Jesus is teaching me to pray with greater confidence in my relationship with God.  In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus brings us closer to God, inviting us to address God as Father and be open to the coming of the Kingdom.  We just need to trust in God who gives us what we need and forgives us daily, as easily as we can forgive others.  The Lord’s prayer, a prayer of trust and gratitude, guides me to a closer relationship with God and to freedom from anxiety....
              • One Bread, One Body:  "Jonah v. Our Father":  Jonah's actions and the Our Father petitions are in striking opposition.  Jesus teaches that we must address God intimately, yet reverently, as our Father. We act to hallow the Father's name, but Jonah was far from doing that.  Jesus teaches us to ask the Father that his will be done, but Jonah opposed God's will, even spending his own money against it, opposing God's mercy, and heading "away from the Lord."  Jesus teaches us to ask our Father for our needs, but Jonah berated God for eliminating a luxury.  Jesus teaches us to forgive, but Jonah didn't forgive the Ninevites for their brutalities, headed away when God commanded him to prophesy repentance, and hoped to see them burn.  May we live the Our Father.
              • Passionist:  "Jonah, prophet and history teacher":  This year's weekday Old Testament readings show God’s love in the history of the Chosen People.  Next year, the prophets are prominent and we'll hear Israel's challenge to justice and faithfulness.  We've read of the return of Israel from Babylon and the rebuilding of the temple. King Cyrus conquers the Babylonians and to protect his kingdom will cultivate good relationships with neighboring countries.  Israel sees God’s hand in this, but not all Jews in Babylon wanted to return.  Those who did weren't welcomed, had to guard the ruins of Jerusalem, feared attack, and had lost their land to foreigners.  Rebuilding temple and city would be neither quick nor easy.  They were discouraged, but eventually succeeded in rededicating the Temple.  The return from Babylon marked a new direction for the Jews:  the community became strict, separate from outsiders, with more rituals and laws.  Jonah is a rebellious writing from this period, attacking an approach that closes Israel.  Israel is the light of the nations.  Don't hide or be defensive; go where God sends.  The reverence of the pagans, startled that Jonah doesn't do God's bidding, outshines Jonah's.  In the end Jonah can't fathom the merciful love extended to Israel.
              Today we can stand with Old Testament Israel, challenged by what we may overlook:  may God's kingdom come as we empty our hands to welcome it; give us bread so we may share it; forgive us; may we forgive; may we know and proclaim your care....
              • DailyScripture.net:  "Lord, teach us to pray":  The Jews were noted for their devotion to prayer.  When Jesus' disciples asked him for such a prayer, he gave them the Our Father.  The prayer tells us God is Father both as Creator and by relationship with his Son.  We can address God as Father and ask for what we need.  We can approach him confidently and boldly because Christ opened the way to heaven for us.  God doesn't give us what we deserve but responds with grace and mercy; he's kind and forgiving and expects us to be the same.   We can pray with expectant faith because our Father loves us, treats us as his children, and delights to give us what's good.  He transforms us, making us like himself so we can love and serve as Jesus taught and did.  Do I treat others as they deserve, or do you as the Lord would with grace and mercy?  Do I forgive others as the Jesus forgives me?
              Today's saints, from Universalis:
              Dress legend
              • 'Hand' tie pin:  "Nineveh has more than 120,000 who can't tell their right hand from their left,...” (1st reading)
              • 'Cow' pin:  "...not to mention the cattle" (1st reading)
              • 'Sun' pin:  The sun beat on Jonah (1st reading)
              • 'Boundless mercy' button: "I knew you're a gracious and merciful God" (1st reading); "You are merciful and gracious" (psalm)
              • 'Olympics' tie pin:  All nations shall come, worship, and glorify You (psalm)
                • 'Phone' tie bar:  "I 'call' to You all day" (psalm)
                • 'Celebrate teaching' pin:  "Lord, teach us to pray" (gospel)
                • 'Crown' tie bar:  "Your Kingdom come" (gospel)
                • 'Wheat' pin:  "Give us our daily bread" (gospel)
                • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

                October 8, 2019

                Oct. 8

                October 8, 2019:  Tuesday, 27th week, Ordinary Time

                See a dozen connections with today?
                Legend below
                Listen

                For the gospel
                Jonah ran away from God who wanted him to be his prophet.  Setting sail, he had to be thrown overboard to calm a storm the Lord started.  The whale that swallowed him and spewed him out after three days reminds us of Christ’s Resurrection.

                In the 1st reading, Jonah obeys God, preaches to the Ninevites who convert, and God relents.  “Stubborn Jonah” did his job well this time.   Tomorrow’s reading shows Jonah angry at the Lord who in his mercy doesn't do what he threatened.  Jonah tells him he'd rather die than prophesy, then builds a hut and sees what will happen.  The Lord gives him shade from a gourd, but when the plant withers, Jonah is outraged.  The Lord tells him that if he's concerned about the plant, why can't God have mercy on Nineveh?  The heated exchange is between two hardheads:  Jonah stubborn with his convictions, the Lord in his mercy.  Never leaving us, God knocks on our heart till the end.   Jonah, putting conditions on his faith, is the model of Christians who say, "I'm a Christian so long as things are done my way" and consider changes heresies; they condition God, faith, and God's action.  Christians who set conditions are locked in their own ideas and prefer the ugly path of ideology to faith.  They fear growth and the challenges of life, the Lord, and challenges of history and are attached to their ideologies.  They move away from the community,  Afraid to place themselves in God's hands, they'd rather judge everything from their small hearts.

                The Jonah story presents two figures of Church:  one rooted in ideology, the other in the Lord who approaches all situations without disgust.  Our sins don’t disgust him.   He approached and caressed lepers and the sick because he came to heal and save, not condemn.

                Read

                  Martha, Mary, Jesus (animate)
                • Jon 3:1-10  “Set out for Nineveh and announce the message I'll give you.”  Jonah:  “40 days and Nineveh shall be destroyed.”  The people, king included, believed, fasted, and repented.  "God may relent and forgive."  God, seeing they turned from evil, didn't carry out the evil he'd threatened.
                • Lk 10:38-42  Martha, burdened with serving while her sister Mary was listening to Jesus at his feet / Jesus, “Don't you care my sister left me serving by myself?  Tell her to help.” / “Martha, you're anxious and worried about many things, but only one is needed.  Mary has chosen the better part, and it won't be taken from her.”

                Reflect
                • Creighton:  In the "Prodigal" parable, the wise father allowed his sons to pursue their own ways.  The younger demanded his inheritance, the father gave it, the son squandered it, and the father hoped he'd return.  The elder didn't ask for anything but remained faithful.  The younger repented, the father welcomed him home and celebrated.  The elder, given nothing, was angry and resentful.  Today’s gospel is about Martha and her sister Mary offering hospitality.  Martha faithfully prepared the food and served the guests.  What did Martha feel as Mary neglected her duties to sit at Jesus' feet:  anger, resentment, embarrassment?  Jesus addresses them:  "Mary has chosen the better part, and it won't be taken from her.”  What “better part”?  Sitting at Jesus’ feet?   Could it mean more?  Is Jesus inviting Mary to step beyond herself, to take a different path?  Is he offering her a new way of being, not within the confines of others' expectations?  He didn't scold Martha; he comforted her with soft words.  The parable is about the intimacy between Mary and Jesus, and between us and Jesus, who invites us to come closer, moving beyond our comfort zone.
                  Christ in the House of Martha and Mary/ Vermeer
                  In these parables we hear of brothers and sisters who wrestle with their choices in the face of God's invitations.  We hear of the father's loving, attentive, comforting, and unconditional acceptance.  God will always love us, encouraging us to accept his invitations, step beyond ourselves, grow, and become.    If we entertain temptations, God will embrace our return with love and forgiveness....
                  • One Bread, One Body:  "Better":  We can't choose our parents, siblings, national origin, skin color, and much more.  So much is beyond our control; we may be tempted to feel insignificant and hopeless.  But rejoice over our control, our freedom to choose Jesus.  When we do, we choose the Best.  No one can take us from him; nothing can separate us from him.  We won't be deprived of him.  Only I can separate myself from him.  When I choose the better portion and put my life in him hands, I allow him to wrap me in his embrace; when I fix my eyes on him, I'll see he's the "better portion." Satan, knowing he can't deprive me of Jesus, tries to distract me from looking at Jesus, knowing that if I focus on enticements, I might choose them, consider Jesus' embrace a choke-hold, and demand he take his hands off me. May we always choose Jesus as the "better portion" and so never be deprived of him.
                  • Passionist:  "Put your heart into it":  Jonah moved the Ninevites to repentance; they chose to love God and each other, and God accepted their repentance and relented on the punishment he'd planned.  Jesus transforms each of our own lives.  Mary chose a life of contemplation, heart on Jesus.  Worried Martha needed to realize that love for Jesus would unify her busyness and activity.  If we tell ourselves life isn't good now but will get better, we may keep waiting to live, not accepting reality, missing graces, not putting our hearts into living today to the full.  God asks only one thing at a time.  May we put our hearts into it, simply and calmly.
                  • DailyScripture.net:  "You're anxious; one thing is needful":  Jesus enjoyed Martha and Mary's hospitality.  Martha loved to serve, but her anxious waiting on Jesus caused unrest.  Mary simply waited on him at his feet, knowing the Lord wanted her attentive presence.  Anxiety and preoccupation keep us from listening and giving the Lord our attention.  The Lord can meet any need we have; he frees us from needless concern and preoccupation.  He wants us to make a place for him in our hearts, homes, and lives.  We honor the Lord when we offer to him all we have and do.  Paul urges us to give God glory in everything. When you entertain, remember the Lord is your guest.  When Abraham opened his home and welcomed unknown travelers, he welcomed the Lord who blessed him.  The Lord wants us to glorify him in how we treat others and use the gifts he's given us....
                  Dress legend
                  • 'Crown' tie bar:  King of Nineveh,... (1st reading)
                  • 'Sackcloth and ashes'-colored suspenders:  ...covering himself with sackcloth and sitting in ashes,... (1st reading)
                  • 'Phone' tie bar:  ...proclaimed, "'call' loudly to God;..." (1st reading)
                  • 'Helm' tie pin:  "...'Turn' from your evil way and the violence..." (1st reading)
                  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "...you have in 'hand'" (1st reading)
                  • 'Whales' tie in Jonah's memory (1st reading)
                  • 'Clock' pin:  Wait for the Lord (psalm)
                  • 'Silverware' tie pin:  Martha was serving... (gospel)
                  • 'Feet' pin:  ...while Mary was at Jesus' feet (gospel)
                  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season