January 31, 2019

John Bosco

January 31, 2019:  St. John Bosco, Priest

See 16 connections with today?
Legend below
For Psalm 24
When Don Bosco was ordained, his mother told him, “Today you'll begin to suffer.” Suffering is a sign things are going well, that you have courage, like John Bosco, to look on reality with human and divine eyes.  He saw the poor discarded and boys on the streets, and said, "this can't be!"  The boys might end up on the gallows.  He was moved as a man and thought of ways to raise them, to make them grow.  He also had the courage to see with God's eyes and pray, “How do I deal with this injustice?  These people you created for fullness are in the midst of a tragedy.”  Seeing reality with a father's love and seeing God with a beggar's eyes, he went forward.
To look on reality with human and divine eyes, you need to spend a lot of time before the tabernacle.  He drew close to the boys, played games with them, put them in groups, walked with them.  Don't just be functionaries, employees with office hours.  If you see with human eyes, you'll receive that sentiment, wisdom, and understanding that they're your children, your brothers and sisters, and you'll have courage to fight, to struggle with God.  There's the risk of regarding the human at the expense of the divine, or vice versa, but if we don't take the risk, we won’t accomplish anything.  This entails enduring suffering, persecution, and gossip.
Don't hide the light
Don Bosco knew from childhood what it meant to earn his daily bread.  He understood true piety.  God gave him a great heart, one of a father and a teacher.  If you see reality with human and divine eyes, you'll find joy.  If you don't find joy, stop and ask why.  Don Bosco made others joyful, rejoiced himself, and suffered.  Ask the Lord, through Don Bosco's intercession, for grace to be joyful and look at things with human eyes and God's.
  • Heb 10:19-25  Jesus is our great high priest; through his blood we can enter the sanctuary.  Approach with sincere heart and in trust, clean from evil, holding to your confession that gives hope.  Rouse each other to love and good works.  Don't stay away from the assembly, but encourage one another.
  • Ps 24:1-4ab, 5-6  "Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face."  The Lord's are the world and those who dwell in it.  Who may stand in his holy place?  Those of sinless hands and clean heart; they'll receive God's blessing.
  • Mk 4:21-25  "A lamp is to be placed on a stand, not under a bushel.  All will come to light.  The measure you measure will be measured out to you.  Those who have will be given more; the others will lose the little they have."
  • Creighton:  How could so many reject Jesus' message?  “The mystery of God's kingdom has been granted to [you], but to those outside, everything comes in parables, so that they may not perceive, understand, or be converted."  But everything will come to light.  Parables don't harden hearts; hearts harden on their own.
  • Passionist:  Our polarized world needs to see God’s face.  So many people are good, but there's so much horror.  “Rouse one another to love.”  We can change the world, starting in our own families.  A smile can change someone’s day, and maybe they'll treat someone else better…  Through sharing of light, billions can be lit.  We can’t turn a blind eye to all we abhor but rather love, show compassion, and serve.  We must be the change we want to see, proclaiming Christ by living in love and hope....
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Live in the light of God's truth and wisdom":  Lamps enable people to see and work in the dark and avoid stumbling.  The Jews understood 'light' as an expression of God's beauty, truth, and goodness.  We might refuse to face truth or try to suppress it, but truth can't remain hidden.  Just as light illumines darkness, so Christ shines in us and enables us to see God's kingdom.  John the Baptist, "a shining lamp," bore witness to God and pointed others to Jesus, true Light and Savior.  We're to be light-bearers of Christ so others may see the truth of the gospel and be set free.  We can try to hide things from others, ourselves, and God, but God knows and sees all.  Listen to and follow God, receive what you need to live as Christ's disciples, and shine with God's wisdom, truth, and love.
    • John Bosco, priest, cared for the young (night classes, boarding house...), founded the Salesians
Dress legend
  • 'Blood drop' pin:  Through Jesus' blood we can enter the sanctuary (1st reading)
  • 'Heart' clip:  Approach with sincere heart, clean of evil... (1st reading, psalm)
  • Blue and white shirt:  ...and bodies washed in pure water (1st reading); the Lord founded the earth upon the seas (psalm); white for St. John Bosco
  • 'Alps' pin:  Who can ascend the Lord's mountain? (psalm)
  • 'Hands' pin:  Those with sinless hands (psalm)
  • 'Prize' pin:  They'll receive a reward from God (psalm)
  • 'Earth' tie with faces:  Don't stay away from the assembly (1st reading); the Lord's are the earth and its fullness; this is the people that longs to see your face (psalm); St. John Bosco cared for youth; Catholic Schools Week
  • 'Street light' tie bar:  A lamp is to be placed on a stand; all will come to light (gospel)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  All will be made visible (gospel)
  • 'Rulers' suspenders:  The measure you measure will be measured to you (gospel)

January 30, 2019

Jan. 30

January 30, 2019:  Wednesday, 3rd week, Ordinary Time

See 16 connections with today?Legend below
For gospel

For Psalm 110
One thing that struck me during WYD is how parents lifted their children when I passed by.  Children are our pride and security for the future.  The dignity in their holding their children speaks volumes about Europe's winter without children.
Young people's joy permeated the journey.  It was a feast for them and for Panama, even Central America, which needs hope, peace, and justice.  WYD was a great symphony of faces and languages.  The flags waving together in the hands of people overjoyed to meet one another was a prophetic sign, contrary to nationalism that raises walls and is closed to universality and encounter.
WYD carried a strong Marian aspect.  Pray the Way of the Cross; it means following Jesus with Mary along the path of the Cross, where he gave his life for us.  In it we learn love that's patient, silent, and concrete.
The gifts of young people aren't just for tomorrow.  Young people are the today for tomorrow, the now of the Church and world.  Educate and form them so they may find work and a place in society.
    'Seeds' (animate)
  • Heb 10:11-18 Priests keep offering sacrifices that can't take away sins, but Jesus' offering made perfect forever those being consecrated.  The Spirit testifies to us, saying I'll put my laws in their hearts and minds and I'll remember their sin no more.  Where there's forgiveness, there's no longer a sin-offering.
  • Ps 110:1-4 "You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek."  “Yours is princely power, in holy splendor; before the daystar I've begotten you.”
  • Mk 4:1-20  Jesus taught a parable:  "A sower sowed:  some seed fell on the path; birds ate it.  Other seed fell on rocky ground and withered.  Some fell among thorns that choked it.  And some fell on rich soil and produced fruit....  The sower sows the word. To the ones on the path, Satan comes and takes it away.  The ones on rocky ground receive it but have no roots and so fall away.  The ones among thorns hear it but, choked by anxiety and cravings, bear no fruit.  Those on rich soil accept it; they bear fruit.”
  • Creighton:  In the gospel, Jesus likens seeds, and the ground they fall on, to how people hear the Word. As seed falling on the path is eaten by birds, so for some God's word “goes in one ear and out the other.”  What's my ground like?  How is the Word rooted in me?  Am I bearing fruit?  But what is Jesus saying about the Sower, an unfortunate farmer with an impractical agricultural plan?  If he hopes to bear fruit, there must be a better way than throwing seed everywhere. Might Jesus be saying something about how God, the Sower, “is” in the world, contrary to what we think might be more efficient, reasonable and productive?  Might God be throwing seed everywhere, confident there's always more, knowing the harvest will provide enough for everyone?  Perhaps the parable is about divine abundance, generosity, patience, even “wastefulness.”  I see a connection with forgiveness in the 1st reading.  Everyone gets seed....
  • One Bread, One BodyAll Jesus says about he farmer is that he went out sowing, but we can infer:  The seed/Word grew regardless of the farmer's skill. God's Word is greater than the sowers.  "God's word is living and effective."  All the farmer needed was to get out and spread the seed.  Don't keep God's Word to yourself; spread it everywhere like the farmer did, not filtering out people we don't think will be receptive.  Our efforts aren't wasted, even if we think they are.  A "30/60/hundredfold" harvest is miraculous. God's Word achieves his purposes.  Jesus can change to good ground what looks barren to us.  Sow!
    The Sower/ Van Gogh
  • Passionist:  “They hear the word, but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and craving for other things intrude and choke it, and it bears no fruit.”  We can get so busy, surrounded by noise, and put off prayer, lose awareness of God’s presence, forget to ask his will and thank him, and just live on the surface.  The sower sowed all over the place; he was magnanimous, not efficient.  May we grow in awareness of God’s love, then spread that love all over the place and bring a harvest of joy.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Jesus taught people using parables":  Jesus used parables to help people understand God and his kingdom, using images and characters from everyday life to illustrate his message. Over a third of the synoptics contain his parables.  "Parables are word pictures not of visible things, but rather of things of the mind and spirit.  What our eyes can't see, a parable reveals to the eyes of the mind, informing the intellect by means of things perceivable by the senses." (Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke, Sermon 41)
The sower parable is aimed at hearers of Jesus' word. There are different ways of accepting God's word and they produce different kinds of fruit:  prejudiced ones with closed minds, unteachable and blind to what they don't want to hear; shallow ones who don't think things through and eventually wander off; ones with many cares who don't hear what's really important; and open-minded ones willing to listen, learn, and understand, never too proud or busy.
Origen re why Jesus distinguishes between those ready to hear and understand from those not ready:  "Sometimes it's not an advantage to be healed quickly or superficially, especially if it makes the disease more shut up inside to rage.  So God, who knows all, delays healing of such persons, healing by not healing, lest premature recovery render them incurable.  This pertains to those our Lord addressed as 'those outside,' whom he searches out.  Jesus covered up deeper mysteries to those not yet ready to receive his teaching directly; he wanted to prevent them from being speedily converted and only cosmetically healed.  If the forgiveness of their sins were too easily obtained, they'd fall into the same sin they imagined could be cured easily" (On First Principles 3.1.7, paraphrased)
The Lord will give us understanding if we approach him with faith, humility, and readiness to be taught....
Dress legend
  • 'Dove' pin:  The Spirit testifies, "I'll no longer remember their sins..." (1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  “Sit at my right hand...” (psalm)
  • 'Feet' pin:  "...till I make your enemies your footstool" (1st reading, psalm)
  • 'Star' tie pin:  “Before the daystar I begat you.” (psalm)
  • 'Boat' tie bar:  Jesus got into a boat... (gospel)
  • 'Bird,' 'feet' pins:  Birds ate seed that fell on the footpath (gospel)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin:  Some receive the word with joy but, rootless, fall away (gospel)
  • 'Rock' tie pin:  Seeds that fell on rocky ground withered,... (gospel)
  • 'Sun' pin:  ...scorched by the sun (gospel)
  • 'Roses' pin:  Thorns choked some seeds (gospel)
  • 'Money bag' pin:  Lure of riches can choke the word (gospel)
  • 'Fruit' tie:  Seed on rich soil produced fruit... (gospel)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  To those outside everything comes in parables, so they may see but not perceive (gospel)
  • Green shirt and suspenders:  Ordinary Time season

January 29, 2019

Jan. 29

January 29, 2019:  Tuesday, 3rd week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Scroll' pin:  "As is written of me in the scroll, I come to do your will, O God." (1st reading)
  • 'Blood drop' pin:  Bull and goat blood can't take away sins (1st reading)
  • 'Heart' clip:  "I didn't hide your justice in my heart" (psalm)
  • 'Skeleton' tie pin:  "...offering you didn't desire, but a body you prepared for me" (1st reading)
  • 'Clock' tie bar:  "I've waited for the Lord" (psalm)
  • 'Clef' tie pin:  God put a new song into my mouth (psalm)
  • 'People' tie:  Crowds (though they weren't playing golf :-) (gospel)
  • 'Mary' pin:  The mother of Jesus (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season
Pope Francis
To Roman Rota:  Fidelity is possible; it's a gift for spouses and priests.  Secular society often doesn't help couples live unity and fidelity.  Catholic faithful must struggle to be witnesses of Gospel living.  Unity and fidelity are necessary in all interpersonal and societal relations.  We know the inconveniences when promises are not kept.  The Church’s ministers need to help prepare couples for a life of unity and faithful love, long before and near the wedding date, and throughout their married life.  Pastors and all layers of the Church community need to be involved.
SS. Aquila and Priscilla, a married couple, helped Paul in his evangelizing mission; he called them his synergoi, fellow workers.  This synergy was a gift of the Spirit to the first Christian communities.  We can help married couples live in unity and fidelity through nearness to the Word of God, catechesis, reception of the Sacraments, spiritual direction, and charitable works towards other families and those most in need.  Married couples who live unity and faithful love are a special resource for the Church’s pastoral work, offering everyone an example of love, they become witnesses and co-workers in the Church.  This type of couple reflects God's image and likeness.
To world balance conference:  Many events have endangered the equilibrium of civilization.  Come together in dialogue, in a framework of plurality, to achieve authentic human promotion.  Those committed to defend the dignity of persons can find in the Christian faith the deepest arguments for the commitment.
The human environment and the natural environment go hand in hand and can be degraded together. We can't address environmental degradation without understanding the causes of human and social degradation.  Foster a culture of encounter, especially in youth, by promoting friendship that unites people in the common objective of the promotion of persons.
Wordle: Readings 1-27-15
  • Heb 10:1-10  Since the law has only a shadow of things to come, it can't perfect those who worship with annual sacrifices; bull and goat blood can't take away sins.  He says, You didn't want sacrifices and [burnt and sin] offerings [offered according to the law], then I come to do your will; he takes away the first to establish the second.
  • Ps 40:2, 4ab, 7-8a, 10, 11  "Here am I Lord; I come to do your will."  I waited for the Lord; he stooped toward me and put a hymn to God in my mouth.  You didn't want sacrifice or oblation, but you opened me to obedience.  I announced your justice, faithfulness, salvation, kindness, and truth in the vast assembly.
  • Mk 3:31-35  Jesus, after crowd told him his family called him from outside:  “Who are my mother and brothers?  Whoever does God's will....”

  • Fr. Jim Clarke homily video:  Pray to discern God's unfolding will, then do it today.  Love works with us as we are.  Be dedicated to God.
  • Creighton:  We often feel we have to come to God perfect lest we be ashamed or unworthy, but that will just lead us away.  Today's readings remind us to keep showing up to Jesus, as we are, avoiding the temptation to present ourselves as all together.  Jesus redirects attention away from his family asking for him to those inside spending time with him; this defines you as family.  "Sacrifice you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me." The sacrifice God wants is our time and attention.  May we "Show up and shut up," spending time in God's company with open ears, saying only "Here I am Lord; I come to do your will."
  • One Bread, One Body:  God is Love.  He made us in his image, in the image of Love, so we're made for love and look for love.  We're happy to know we're loved, brokenhearted and depressed if we think we're not.  The Lord, wanting us to abide in Love and in him, became man, and died and rose for love of us, giving us intimacy with him beyond words and ideas.  God even adopted us.  If we do his will, we become Jesus' family.  He loves us so much, he gives us us his Body and Blood and will come back to take us to be with him in heaven.  The Lord's love for us is perfect, unconditional, and eternal.  We are to enter into and live in his love and "grasp... the breadth, length, height, and depth of Christ's love, and experience this love."  May we live in love, happy in God forever.
  • Passionist:  People love independence; they don't generally turn their will over to someone else.  But at Baptism we became God's children and are to listen to God's word as children listen to their parents.  God gives us the freedom to choose to follow his will or not.  Christ, open to God's will, allowed himself to be sacrificed for our salvation.  Mary was also open to God’s plan and so brought Christ into the world.  When we say “thy will be done,” we open ourselves to God's plan for us and to freedom to live more closely to God.  It may demand things we're not sure we can do or be, but it'll surely mold us into the person God created us to be.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister":  In today's gospel Jesus points to a reality of relationships higher than blood:  our relationship with God and his people.  God offers us union of heart, mind, and spirit with himself, author and source of love.  God's love never fails, forgets, compromises, lies, or disappoints; it's consistent, unconditional, unstoppable, though we may choose to separate ourselves from him.  He pursues, loves, and calls us no matter what.  He created us to be united with him and share in his love and unity.  He wants all our relationships to be rooted in his love.  The baptized who live as Jesus' disciples enter into a new family, a family of "saints" here and in heaven.  Jesus shows that true kinship is more than flesh and blood; our adoption as God's children transforms our relationships and requires loyalty to God and his kingdom of justice and peace....
  • Universalis:  Bl. Archangela Girlani (Eleanor Girlani), religious, prioress, mystic:  "Jesus, my Love."

January 27, 2019

3rd Sun., Ordinary Time

January 27, 2019:  Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

See 17 connections with today?
Legend below

For 1st reading
For Psalm 19

For 2nd reading (after week of prayer for Christian unity but still apropos)
Check out Ed Bolduc's blog
For next Sunday:  Psalm 71:  I will sing/ Celoni:  sheet music
Pope Francis at WYD
Vigil:  Say yes:  The Lord is the first to say ‘yes’, and he wants us to say ‘yes’ along with him, to be part of a love story.  Mary is the supreme example of how to say ‘yes’ and trust in God's love and promises.  This makes Mary the ‘influencer’ of God.  Her ‘yes’ echoes and expands in every generation.  Saying ‘yes’ to the Lord means embracing life as it comes, with all its fragility.  The Lord wants to write our love story through our frailties and flaws.  What a gift to know our Father embraces us despite our imperfections!
To grow, we need strong roots to support us:  education , employment, family, community.  Without them, we can't dream of a future; we can't answer the question what and whom I'm living for.  To be an “influencer” today is to be a guardian of roots, of everything that makes us feel part of one another, that makes us feel we belong.  A lively, happy, welcoming community that gives us a sense of belonging allows us to live the joy that comes from Jesus finding us.
Are you willing to say ‘yes,’ to be an ‘influencer’ like Mary?  Only love makes us more human and fulfilled.  Don't be afraid to tell Jesus you want to be part of his love story. 
At Good Samaritan Shelter:  The Church's maternal face can create a home, create community.  And creating a home is to create a family.  A home demands that everyone work together; it means learning patience and forgiving one another.  That's how the miracle takes place.  We feel we're reborn, because we feel God’s caress that enables us to dream of a more human world.
  • Neh 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10  Ezra brought the law before the assembly and read out of the book, and all listened attentively.  He opened the scroll, the people rose, he blessed the Lord, all answered “Amen!” and bowed, he read and interpreted, then Nehemiah, Ezra, and the Levites said, “Today is holy to the Lord.  Don't be sad.  Go, eat and drink, and allot portions to those who had nothing; for today is holy to our Lord.  Rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength!”
  • Ps 19:8-10, 15  "Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life."  The law of the Lord is perfect, trustworthy, right, clear, pure, true, and just, refreshing, giving wisdom, rejoicing the heart, enlightening the eye, everlasting.  May my words and thought find favor with You...
  • 1 Cor 12:12-30  As a body is one though it has many parts, so also Christ.  In one Spirit we were baptized into one body and given one Spirit.  God placed the parts in the body as he intended; all are necessary and have the same concern for each other.  You are Christ’s body, each a part.  God has designated some as apostles, prophets, teachers, miracle workers, healers, helpers, administrators, and tongues....
  • Lk 1:1-4; 4:14-21  Jesus returned in the Spirit's power; the news spread, he taught, and all praised him.  He stood up in the synagogue and read from Isaiah:  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim liberty, recovery of sight, freedom, and a year acceptable to the Lord.  Then he told them, “Today this passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
  • Creighton:  Scripture is fulfilled in Christ, who taught and continues to teach the world. May we listen and be open to the Spirit, following him, doing his will, giving glory to God, not caught up in the noise of life.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Guess what happened at church today":  For nearly 30 years, Jesus worshiped God in the synagogue; then the time of favor came, and the Spirit anointed and sent Jesus out, Scriptures were fulfilled, and Jesus prophesied in power and was nearly killed.
    Christ preaching in the synagogue at Nazareth/ Visoki
  • Today too Jesus is working in power.  We should never be complacent walking into Church but rather approach "the liturgy of the Lord" with reverence.  At any moment the Spirit may explode and an earthshaking ministry could be born.  Healings or life-changing revelations might occur.  Miracles occur:  bread and wine are transformed into Jesus' Body and Blood. The Scriptures will be fulfilled in the lives of many as Jesus comes alive in them and sets them free.  Today is holy to the Lord.  The Spirit anoints you.  Expect Mass to be charged with power as Jesus makes all things new.
  • Passionist:  Many consider today’s Gospel Jesus' Inaugural Address, charting out his platform for ministry.  What exciting, and demanding, words!  Earlier in Luke, Mary reinforced his prophetic role in her Magnificat, praising God who tears down the mighty from their thrones, lifts up the lowly, feeds the hungry, and sends the rich away empty.  Today’s readings introduce us to Jesus’ full ministry.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit":  Jesus was about 30 when he began his public ministry.  Right after the Spirit anointed him, he spent 40 days in the wilderness in prayer and fasting, then returned in the Spirit's power to his own land.  He began his public ministry in Galilee, not Jerusalem, in fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy.  He announced his mission in the Nazareth synagogue, where people were familiar with him.  Many knew him as a carpenter and Joseph's son. When the president called on him to read from Isaiah, he read what the Messiah would do when he came to restore God's kingdom. He prophesied God would send the Messiah and the Spirit would anoint him to preach good news and bring healing and freedom.  Jesus awakened their hope when he announced that he himself was fulfilling the prophecy.  People spoke well of him and received his word with wonder but also questioned how Joseph's son would do it. Jesus challenged them to believe God's word spoken through the prophet and the word he spoke then in the Spirit's power.  The Lord speaks the same word to each of us:  he comes to bring healing, restoration, pardon, and freedom from the oppression of sin, despair, and destruction.  He'll pour out his Spirit on all who trust in him. Lord, renew in me gospel joy and the freedom to live with faith, hope, and love.
Dress legend
  • 'Scroll' pin:  Ezra opened the law scroll and read (1st reading); Your words are Spirit and life (psalm); Jesus read from the scroll (gospel)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin:  Rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength (1st reading)
  • 'Clock' tie bar:  "The Lord sent me to proclaim a year acceptable to him" (gospel)
  • 'Owl' pin:  The Lord's decree gives wisdom to the simple (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  The Lord's command enlightens the eye (psalm); If an ear were to say, "Because I'm not an eye, I don't belong to the body"... (2nd reading); "The Lord sent me to proclaim recovery of sight to the blind"; all eyes looked at Jesus (gospel)
  • 'Heart' clip: The Lord's precepts rejoice the heart (psalm)
  • 'Rock' tie pin:  Lord, my Rock (psalm)
  • 'Skeleton' tie pin:  The body is one though it has many parts (2nd reading)
  • 'Dove' pin:  In one Spirit we were all baptized into one body (2nd reading); Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit; "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me" (gospel)
  • 'Precious feet' pin, 'hand' tie pin:  If a foot were to say, "Because I'm not a hand I don't belong to the body"... (2nd reading)
  • 'Classroom' tie:  Some people God has designated in the church to be... teachers (2nd reading)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season