December 13, 2019


December 13, 2019:  St. Lucy, Virgin and Martyr

See over 15 connections with today?
Legend below
For St. Lucy
Pope Francis

To Divine Mercy pilgrims:  God wants to reach, touch, and help all human poverty.  Mercy is the ultimate, supreme act God comes to meet us with; it opens us to the hope of being loved forever, whatever our poverty and sin.  God's love for us is visible and tangible in Christ, not abstract.  I hope the theme of mercy keeps getting proposed with new enthusiasm and renewed pastoral action.  The Church must live and testify to mercy; her language and gestures must transmit mercy, touch the hearts of all, and inspire them to find the road to the Father (Misericordia Vultus 12).

Keep the mercy you bear witness to alive:  find ways to meet each other, pray, and share your difficulties, experiences, joys, and thanksgiving.  May the fulfilment of your charitable activities never stifle the tenderness and compassion that must animate them.  Look at others with understanding, appreciation, respect, and love, not condescension; we must be profoundly aware of the mercy we've received in order to be authentic apostles of mercy.

Contemplate the crib; it's an invitation to feel and touch the poverty the Son of God chose in his Incarnation and an implicit appeal to follow Jesus on the path of humility from manger to Cross, meeting and serving him with mercy to the most needy.

Happy golden ordination anniversary!  Divine Mercy has characterized his priestly life.  Priests leave everything to give others life, moved like Jesus when seeing people “like sheep without a shepherd."

Like the Good Shepherd, priests are close to their people, show mercy and compassion, and serve them, attentive to the wounded.  Wounds need to be treated.   Mercy first treats the wounds.

The priest is "decentralized"; Christ is the center of his life.  In the Eucharist we rediscover our identity as shepherds.  May we make Christ’s words ours:  "This is my Body, given up for you,"  daily renewing our ordination promises.

In the confessional priests can express God's mercy, caring for people, listening attentively, approaching situations with respect and truth, and accompanying them on the journey of reconciliation.  Priests need to be people of prayer.  Union with God overcomes temptation.  To contemplate Mary is to believe love and tenderness are revolutionary.  Humility and tenderness are virtues of the strong, who don't need not treat others poorly to feel important.

Priests' spirituality is embodied in everyday life.  They speak prophetically in the face of oppression.  The Church can't remain on the sidelines of the struggle for justice (Evangelii gaudium 183).  God's Kingdom begins here where we encounter Jesus:  we'll be judged on what we've done to Christ in the poor, the sick, strangers, prisoners, on how we've loved.  I pray for tired and lonely priests who labor amid those entrusted to them.  Our weariness is like incense rising to heaven, to the Father's heart.  It's positive; it comes from being in the midst of people, from having the smell of the sheep.  Saints can live with joy and a sense of humor.  Union with Jesus brings joy.  A sense of humor lifts you up; it's human but close to God's grace....

  • 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.
  • Creighton:  In today's gospel, the crowds used Jesus' encounters with sinners and tax collectors as a reason to reject his teaching.  Today we can also reject the truth in favor of more convenient ignorance.  In line with today's psalm, do we sink our roots deep into living waters, striving for a foundation to allow us to confront challenges?  May we strengthen our foundation in faith, accept the truth, and work together to set the world ablaze with the God’s love.
  • One Bread, One Body:  When we commit our lives to Jesus, our names are inscribed in the book of the living. "Don't rejoice so much in the fact that devils are subject to you as that your names are inscribed in heaven."  Our names can be blotted out ("Him who has sinned against me will I strike out of my book"), but not if we triumph over temptation ("The victor I will never erase from the book of the living but will acknowledge him...").  "Make your call and election permanent; those who do will never be lost.  Your entry into the everlasting kingdom of Christ will be richly provided for."
    St. Lucy/ Beccafumi
  • Passionist:  John's disciples likely asked Jesus whether he was “the one who to come, or should [they] look for another” because they rejected Jesus' message.  It still happens:  look around; look within!  The rejection must have hurt Jesus, but he continued his mission, not becoming bitter or resentful.  May we be firmly rooted in God, hope, and stay the course....
  •  "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....
  • Universalis:  Lucy, virgin, martyr at ~21, patroness of the blind and those with eye disorders
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); lead us to Your light (season, St. Lucy)
  • '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); Lucy, patroness of the blind and people with eye disorders
  • '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 and white shirt, 'blood drop' pin:  St. Lucy's martyrdom and virginity
  • 'No-L' button:  Departmental Christmas luncheon

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