April 29, 2019

Catherine of Siena

April 29, 2019:  St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor

See 17 connections with today,
and some ties to yesterday's celebration?

Legend below
From Handel's Messiah

Your pilgrimage to the tombs of the Apostles and meeting with me show the importance you attach to the Christian faith and the religious dimension that characterizes your association.
Your patron, St. Martin de Porres, was accepted into the Dominicans only as a tertiary, then brother and co-worker.  He accepted this condition, living humbly, radiated by love.  With self-sacrifice, he devoted himself to the poor and the sick, providing them with health care.  Today he helps you bear witness to Christian values and encourages you to practice your profession in a Christian style, treating customers with kindness, encouraging them, not giving in to the temptation of gossip.  Each of you can always act justly and so make a positive contribution to the common good.

  • Acts 4:23-31  Peter and John reported what the chief priests and elders told them.  The people said, “Lord, you said through David:  Why did the Gentiles rage?  Kings took their stand against the Lord and his anointed.  Herod and Pilate, with Jews and Gentiles, gathered to do what you'd willed long ago.  Lord, let your servants speak your word boldly and do signs and wonders in Jesus' name.”  They were filled with the Spirit and continued to speak God's word boldly.
  • Ps 2:1-9  "Blessed are all who take refuge in the Lord."  Why do the nations rage?  Kings rise up against the Lord and his anointed.  The Lord derides, then terrifies them.  The Lord told me, “You are my Son.  You shall rule and shelter the nations.”
  • Jn 3:1-8  Pharisee Nicodemus / Jesus:  “Rabbi, we know you're from God; no one can do these signs unless God is with him.” / “Unless you're born from above, you can't see God's Kingdom.” / “How can an old man be born again?” / “Unless you're born of water and Spirit, you can't enter.  Flesh begets flesh and spirit spirit.  The wind blows where it wills; you hear it but don't know where it's from or where it's going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
  • Creighton:  "The Spirit among us":  As Dante embarks on his journey through hell, he enters the plain where the spiritually indifferent are left behind.  Neither hell nor heaven wants them, so they are blown about like tumbleweed.  We need one another to face the spirit.  Like winds that bring spring to plains, the spirit moves when we gather in need and fear and hope.  Then we come alive and are reborn.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Easter presents":  Today Jesus gives us holy boldness, assurance, confidence, simplicity, trust, the certainty of being loved.  When we pray with such assurance and confidence, we're filled with the Spirit.  If you accept this gift, you commit yourself to use it, to witness for Christ even if you'll be persecuted.  If you love Christ, you'll be impelled to speak up for him, so boldness may be just what you want and need, but if your love is cold, you don't want it.  Jesus asks you what he asked Peter:  "Do you love me?"  He commands, "Receive the Holy Spirit" of love.  Say yes to Love:  receive the gifts of love and boldness.
    Christus und Nikodemus/ von Uhde
  • Passionist:  “Start being brave about everything.  Drive out darkness and spread light.  Don’t look at your weaknesses.  Realize instead that in Christ crucified you can do everything” –Saint Catherine of Siena, who listened to God with love and was open to the Holy Spirit, influenced Pope Gregory XI to return to Rome from Avignon.  She challenges us to drive out darkness and spread light to those around us.  We tend to look at our shortcomings despite but focusing instead on the gifts and talents God has given us will strengthen us.  If we walk in the light, we'll have all we need.  Our sins are forgiven through Jesus’ offering of his Blood.  During Easter time it's easier to choose light and bask in the Resurrection; it's harder when Easter joy fades and we return to old habits or our comfort zone.  Easter is about new life and living in it.  May we not return to the habits we worked to change in Lent.  How will I bring the Light of Christ to others today?
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Unless one is born anew":  Nicodemus was no ordinary Jew; he was a religious ruler, Sanhedrin member, teacher, a devout Pharisee seeking to follow the law of Moses.  He probably chose to meet with Jesus at night because he wasn't ready publicly to associate with Jesus in the face of opposition; rabbis said the best time to study the law was at night.  Nicodemus addressed Jesus as rabbi (teacher) and acknowledged his teaching came from God.  The new birth Jesus spoke about was spiritual birth, from God himself; he explained it could only come through the Spirit.  To be reborn in the Spirit is to enter the community in which God is honored and obeyed.  Those who willingly accept God's rule in their lives become citizens of God's kingdom and his adopted children and enter into his everlasting life of love, peace, joy, and freedom.
Dress legend
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  "Enable your servants to speak your word boldly, as you heal and work signs and wonders..." (1st reading); "no one can do the signs you're doing unless God is with him" (gospel); “peace be with you!” (Sun. gospel)
  • 'Olympics' tie pin:  Herod, Pilate, the Gentiles, and Israel gathered against Jesus (1st reading); "I will give you the nations and the ends of the earth" (psalm)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  "The kings of the earth took their stand" (psalm, quoted in 1st reading); "I have set up my king..." (psalm)
  • 'Alps' pin:  "...on my holy mountain" (psalm)
  • 'Dove' pin:  "They were all filled with the Holy Spirit" (1st reading); one not born of water and Spirit can't enter the Kingdom (gospel)
  • 'Hands' pin:  "Enable us to speak your word boldly, as you stretch your hand to heal" (1st reading); Jesus showed them his hands; Thomas:  "unless I put my hand into his side" (Sunday gospel)
  • 'Ruler' tie bar:  Nicodemus, a 'ruler' of the Jews (gospel)
  • 'Celebrate teaching' pin:  "Rabbi, we know you're a teacher from God" (gospel)
  • '?' tie pin:  "How can a man be born again?" (gospel)
  • Flesh-colored suspenders:  What is born of flesh is flesh (gospel)
  • 'Key' tie pin:  Locked doors (Sun. gospel)
  • 'Doctor's office' tie:  Catherine of Siena, "doctor" of the Church
  • White shirt and socks:  Easter season; Catherine of Siena, virgin

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