January 18, 2020

Jan. 18

January 18, 2020:  Saturday, 1st week, Ordinary Time

See 18 connections with today?
Legend below
For gospel
For Psalm 21
For week of prayer for Christian unity
    • Make us one/ Keyes, Wickham, Gungor, Brown (music, lyrics, chords)
  • 1 Sm 9:1-4, 17-19; 10:1  The Lord assured Samuel, “Saul is to govern my people.”  Saul met Samuel who anointed him:  “The Lord anoints you commander.  Govern his people and save them from their enemies.”
  • Ps 21:2-7  "Lord, in your strength the king is glad."  You welcomed, blessed, and crowned him and gave him life, majesty, and joy.
  • Mk 2:13-17  Jesus taught the crowd.  He invited Levi to follow him, and he got up and followed.  Scribes saw Jesus eating with sinners and tax collectors and asked his disciples why.  Jesus:  “The healthy don't need a doctor; sick people do.  I came to call sinners.”
      • Creighton:  Today's gospel doesn't provide much context about Levi, but most scholars believe he was a tax collector.  Jesus encountered many tax collectors, sinners, and troubled souls, and when scholars of his time challenged his disciples time about it, he responded, “I came to call sinners.”  We're all imperfect, thirsting for spiritual nourishment and healthy faith.  Pope Francis has said that wearing the 'Christian' or 'Catholic' label isn't enough to belong to Jesus; we need to speak Jesus' language of love.  He challenged us to ask, “Do I have at least one poor person as a friend?”  Let's improve our relationships with the poor, including the spiritually poor, who may have lost their way or never found it, listening to their stories, avoiding judgment, and modeling Christ’s disposition....
        Feast in the House of Levi/ Veronese
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Great sinners to great saints":  Levi (Matthew), apostle, evangelist, missionary, and martyr, was also a great sinner; Jesus implied he was spiritually sick.  Even after Jesus transformed his life, Matthew abandoned him on the cross, but Matthew repented, received the Spirit, and became a great saint.  Each of us is called to greatness; we're privileged to do our part in God's saving plan. By grace and faith, we can do even greater things than Jesus.  We're God's adopted children, "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people he claims for his own."  But we've sinned and still do, contributing to Jesus' sufferings on the cross (Catechism 598), but the Lord calls us to repent, wanting to give us a new Pentecost and restore us to greatness and make us even greater.  May we like Matthew rise from sin to the greatness of God's children.
      • Passionist:  Levi was despised for 'bullying' and exploiting people, but Jesus, seeing something in him, joined him and other tax collectors for dinner, maybe hoping to get an insight into them or to challenge their practices.  When the Pharisees challenged Jesus, he challenged them with their own false righteousness, essentially saying, you think you don't need God’s help.  We need to ‘check in’ with Jesus every day through prayer and conversation, listening, seeing him in our activities, and allow him to move and shape us and prevent us from drifting away from him; we need to let him see something in us and call us; then we need to respond and follow.
        Meal with sinners/ Köder
      • DailyScripture.net:  "Sinners sitting with Jesus":  Many were drawn to Jesus, including the unwanted, unlovable, sick, homeless, public sinners, and despised men like Matthew/Levi.  Jesus shocked the Orthodox Jews, who divided people into those who rigidly kept the Law, and everyone else, whom they avoided, didn't do business with, didn't marry, and didn't eat with. When the Pharisees challenged him, he said doctors are for the sick.  Jesus, the divine physician, sought out those in need to restore them to wholeness, while orthodox Jews were so preoccupied with their religious practice that they neglected the needy.  Ironically, the orthodox were as needy as those they despised.  The Lord, who fills us with grace and mercy, wants us to seek others' good, showing them the kindness and mercy we've received..
      Dress legend
      • 'Crown' tie bar:  Samuel anointed Saul king (1st reading); in your strength the king is glad; you placed a gold crown on him (psalm)
      • 'Prize' pin:  In your victory the king greatly rejoices (psalm)
      • 'Heart' pin, You granted him his heart’s desire;... (psalm)
      • 'Car with mouth' pin:  ...you refused not the wish of his lips (psalm)
      • 'Musical notes with 'joy'" pin:  You gladdened the king with the joy of your face (psalm)
      • Gold-colored accessories:  You placed a gold crown on his head (psalm)
      • 'Celebrate teaching' pin:  Jesus taught the crowd (gospel)
      • 'Phone' tie bar:  Jesus 'called' Levi/Matthew; Jesus came to 'call' sinners (gospel)
      • 'Money bag' pin:  Levi/Matthew, tax collector
      • '?' tie pin, 'silverware' tie bar:  "Why does Jesus eat with tax collectors and sinners?" (gospel)
      • 'Doctor's office' tie:  Sick people need a doctor (gospel)
      • 'WWJD' pin:  Jesus:  "Follow me" (gospel)
      • Blue and green in shirt:  Blue for sea (gospel), green for Ordinary Time season
      • 'Precious feet' pin:  The unborn deserve respect and protection...
      • OneLife LA button:  ...as does all human life:  event is today!

      January 17, 2020


      January 17, 2020:  St. Anthony, Abbot

      See 16 connections with today?
      Look below

      For Psalm 89
      Pope Francis

      Homily:  After the paralytic was lowered from the roof, Jesus first told him, “Your sins are forgiven,” then ordered him to get up, take up his mat, and go home.   Jesus heals but isn't a medicine man; he teaches but is more than a teacher; he focuses on the essential.

      Physical health is a gift we must preserve, but he teaches us we must also preserve spiritual health.  In the episode of the sinful and weeping woman, he also said, “Your sins are forgiven,” but the people were scandalized.  Similarly, he told the sick man who never got to the pool on time to be healed, “Don't sin any more.”  To the Samaritan woman, he goes to what's essential:  relationship with God.   We often forget, as if afraid of encountering the Lord.  It's good we do a lot for our physical health, but do we think about our heart's health?

      Jesus' words to the paralytic can help:  “Child, your sins are forgiven.”   We get so used to this medicine of forgiveness that it loses strength and power, but today Jesus tells each of us, “I want to forgive your sins.”  Forgiveness is the medicine needed to be healed from concrete sins, diseases of the soul.  Watch over your body and soul, and go to the Doctor who can heal and forgive:  Jesus, who came and gave his life for this.

      To Finnish ecumenical delegation:  Christians give thanks for their baptism, and this gratitude unites all the baptized.  “As members of the mystical body of Christ, Christians are bound to one another and must bear one another’s burdens” ("Justification in the Life of the Church," Catholic-Lutheran dialogue group for Sweden and Finland).  Tomorrow begins the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, with theme “They showed us unusual kindness,” Paul's words to to the inhabitants of Malta, who received him, and hundreds of shipwrecked people, with hospitality.   Christ wishes to meet us Christians precisely in the shipwrecked.  Those who show hospitality grow richer; givers receive.  The humanity we show others makes us partakers in God's goodness.

      We're journeying together in the community of the baptized.  Our gratitude for our baptism links and expands our hearts, opening us to our neighbors, our beloved brothers and sisters.  The community of the baptized doesn't merely stand beside one another but wants to stand together.

      • 1 Sm 8:4-7, 10-22a  Elders to Samuel:  “Appoint a king over us.”  Samuel, displeased, prayed and heard:  “Grant their request; they're rejecting me as their king.”  Samuel told them, “The king will take your children, fields, crops, flocks, and servants and make you slaves.”  They said, “No!  We must have a king over us.”  Samuel told the Lord, who replied, “Grant their request; appoint them a king.”
      • Ps 89:16-19  "For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord."  You're our strength; our King belongs to you.
      • Mk 2:1-12  While Jesus was preaching to the crowds, four men brought him a paralytic through the roof.  Jesus / scribes:  “Your sins are forgiven.” / “He's blaspheming; only God can forgive sins!” / “What's easier to say:  ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Rise and walk’?  But so you know the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins:  [to paralytic] “Rise, and go home.”  He did; all were astounded.
      • Creighton:  In the 1st reading, the people seem to know what they want from a king:  being in charge, fighting their battles, making them like other nations.  The exchange reads like a whiny child begging for what others have.  The request seems odd:  why ask to be judged and told what to do?  But a king would take on the leadership burden, including the hard decisions and the blame when things don't turn out well.  God reminds Samuel not to take their request personally:  “They're rejecting me, not you.”  Then through Samuel he tells his children, “OK; you can have a king, but you won't like it.  I'd treat you better, but I see your mind is made up.”  In the psalm, we proclaim the role of a king.  To the Holy One of Israel belongs our King.  A good king knows he's not God but belongs to God.  We sing the goodness of the Lord, our true king.  In today's gospel, the king heals and forgives; there's no doubt he rules; he has the authority to heal and forgive.  Here he heals and forgives not based on the paralytic’s faith, but on the friends'; the community’s faith and love moved him to heal.  My community can carry me to Christ when I can’t make it there myself....
        Christ healing the paralytic.../ Murillo
      • One Bread, One Body:  To love Jesus, we must know him. What's foremost on his mind?  When he saw the paralyzed man, he said: "Your sins are forgiven."  He's preoccupied with forgiveness; he even died to take away our sins.  When he saw the men lowering the paralytic, he saw their faith.  He's on the lookout for faith; by faith we can accept his forgiveness, and by his forgiveness we can grow in faith.  'Jesus' means "The Lord saves"; we should expect he'd be preoccupied with our salvation, such as grace, faith, forgiveness, and eternal life.  To relate to him rightly, we must have his mind and his priorities.  As we try to think and be more like him, we'll love him with heart and mind....
      • Passionist:  With people spilling out of the house, the paralytic's friends carried him up to the roof, pulled away part of it, and lowered him down.  We're all called to Jesus, but we need others' help, encouragement, support, and guidance to reach him.  The paralytic's friends went to extremes to bring him to Jesus.  We can't journey to God on our own; we need companions to help us stay close to Jesus and to draw us nearer.  As the paralytic's friends brought him to Jesus, so too did he in his need brought them to Jesus.  If we don’t do it together, we don’t do it at all.
      • DailyScripture.net:  "We never saw anything like this!"  Jesus' treatment of sinners upset the religious teachers.  When a cripple was brought to Jesus because of his friends' faith, Jesus first forgave his sins. The scribes regarded this as blasphemy because only God could forgive sins.  Jesus both proved his authority came from God and showed the power of God's love and mercy by healing the man's physical paralysis; he also freed him from his from his burden of guilt. The Lord is ready to heal us of body, mind, and spirit.  What cripples you?  "The Lord, wanting to save sinners, shows himself to be God both by his knowledge of secrets and by the wonder of his actions. 'What's easier, to say, "Your sins are forgiven" or, "Rise and walk"?'  He shows the likeness of the resurrection.  Besides healing body and mind, he also forgives sins of the spirit, removes the weakness of the flesh, and thus heals the whole person. It's great to forgive people's sins, and God alone can, but God also forgives through those to whom he has given power of forgiveness. But it's more divine to give resurrection to bodies, since the Lord is the Resurrection" (Ambrose, Exposition of the Gospel of Luke).
      • Universalis:  Anthony, originator of the monastic life, gave his belongings to the poor, led a life of penitence, poverty, prayer, and work, suffering and overcoming temptation. Disciples gathered round him, attracted by his wisdom, moderation, and holiness.  He supported victims of persecution, helped Athanasius fight Arianism, and lived to be over 100.
      Dress legend
      • 'Chariot' and 'horse' tie pins:  "A king will assign your children to his chariots and horses" (1st reading)
      • 'Chalice' tie pin:  "A king will take the best of your vineyards and tithe them" (1st reading)
      • 'Silverware' tie bar:  "He'll use your daughters as cooks and bakers" (1st reading)
      • 'Crown' tie bar:  "Appoint a king over us" (1st reading); the Lord is our King (psalm)
      • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin:  Blessed those who know the joyful shout;... (psalm)
      • 'Street light' tie bar:  ...in Your light they walk (psalm)
      • 'Horn' tie pin:  By your favor our horn is exalted (psalm)
          • 'Heart' pin:  "Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?" (gospel)
          • '?' and 'walker' tie pins:  Why are you thinking that?  What's easier to say:  "Your sins are forgiven," or "Rise and walk" (gospel)
          • 'Doctor's office' tie:  Jesus heals a paralytic (gospel)
          • 'Eyeball' pin:  Healed paralytic  went away in the sight of everyone; "we've never seen anything like this" (gospel)
          • White shirt:  St. Anthony memorial

            January 16, 2020

            Jan. 16

            January 16, 2020:  Thursday, 1st week, Ordinary Time

            How many connections with today do you see?
            Legend below
            The leper's simple request to Jesus, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean,” is both act of confidence and challenge.   "I know he can do it and entrust myself to him."  The leper prayed like that because he saw Jesus' compassionate actions.  Compassion is a refrain in the Gospel, seen in the Nain widow story and the Good Samaritan and Prodigal Son parables.  Compassion comes from the heart, gets involved, and leads to action; it's “suffering with,” taking another's suffering upon yourself to resolve and heal it.  This was Jesus' mission:  he didn't come to preach the law then leave; he came in compassion, to suffer with and for us and give us life.  His compassion is so great, it led him to the Cross.  Because of his compassion, he involves himself in our sorrows, others' problems.  He didn't come just to give sermons and return to heaven; he came to be close to us and remain at our side.

            Use the prayer often, from the heart:  “Lord, if you will, you can heal, forgive, and help me.”  Or, “Lord, I'm a sinner; have mercy and compassion on me.”  The leper, with his miraculous prayer, was healed thanks to Jesus' compassion.  Jesus isn't ashamed of us.  He came for us sinners; the greater sinner you are, the closer he is to you.  Repeat the prayer, confident that the Lord is close and will take our problems and diseases upon himself.


            • 1 Sm 4:1-11  The Philistines defeated Israel in battle.  Israel's elders asked, “Why did the Lord allow this?  Let's fetch the ark of the Lord that it may save us.”  They brought the ark, and when it arrived, all Israel shouted.  When the Philistines heard the shouting and learned the ark had come, they were afraid:  “Gods have come to them.  Woe to us!  Who can deliver us from these gods that struck the Egyptians with plagues?  Take courage or else you'll become the Hebrews' slaves”  They defeated Israel, killed 30,000, and captured the ark.
            • Ps 44:10-11, 14-15, 24-25  "Redeem us, Lord, because of your mercy."  You cast us off and let our foes drive us back.  Why do you forget our woe?
            • Mk 1:40-45  A leper knelt and begged Jesus, “If you wish, you can make me clean.”  Jesus, stretching out to touch him:  “I do; be made clean,” and he was cleansed. “Don't tell anyone.”  But he publicized the matter...
              • Creighton:  “Lepers” (any blemish, e.g., acne, would have been considered leprosy) had to stay away from people, lest they render them unclean.  The leper didn't come shouting "Unclean!"; Jesus touched and cleansed him.  His question, whether Jesus wished to cleanse him, opened the door to a possible counter-question Jesus didn't ask but did to the paralytic:  "Do you want to be healed?"  Being made whole means we have no excuse to expect others to meet our needs, so Jesus essentially asked, "Are you willing to stand on your own two feet?"  Do I really want to be healed?
                Christ cleansing a leper/ Doze
              • One Bread, One Body:  When we suffer tragedy, ask God why, then wait to receive the Lord's revelation. The defeated Israelites asked the right question but didn't wait, assuming they wouldn't get an answer and so fighting, and losing, another battle.  If we don't wait to hear God, we can make tragedies worse.  Don't just do something; sit there.  "By waiting and by calm you shall be saved; in quiet and trust your strength lies."  In bad times, don't get stampeded into activity and decision-making.  Even if we aren't good at hearing God, no alternative is acceptable.  If we act without hearing God, we're doing our own thing, apart from Jesus' lordship, and hastening our downfall.  If we try to listen, the Lord will break through our deafness.
              • Passionist:  Ancient Judaism, rejecting physical manifestations of spirituality and God’s presence, focused on action and belief.  Abraham shattered the golden calf after descending from Sinai with God's commandments.  Jews don't venerate relics or man-made symbols of the Holy, except for the Ark of the Covenant, revered as the only symbol of God's presence.  While in a losing battle, they sent for it to be brought to their camp.  There was great rejoicing and they were filled with confidence and trust in God, but the Philistines defeated them.  Why, especially considering Jesus' cleansing of the leper?  We're still puzzled at how there can be darkness, but beyond the darkness, we can discover unexpected new life and hope.  God is a mystery, but with great mercy and love....

              • DailyScripture.net:  "Jesus can make me clean":  Unlike others who fled at the sight of a leper, Jesus touched the leper who approached him and made him clean.  Lepers were outcasts driven away and left on their own, shunned and regarded as dead.  Jewish law forbade anyone from approaching them.  But this leper approached Jesus confidently and humbly, expecting healing.  Normally a leper would be stoned or at least warded off if he approached a rabbi, but Jesus grants his request and demonstrates God's love, compassion, and tenderness through his touch, contact that would have been regarded as risking infection.  Jesus met the leper's misery with kindness, communicating God's love more eloquently than with words.  The Lord is always ready to show us his mercy and free us from whatever makes us unclean, unapproachable, or unloving towards others.  Do I show kindness and mercy to those who are hard to love, or whom others shun?"
                    • Fursa, missionary monk
                    • Joseph Vaz, Oratorian priest, missionary to Sri Lanka
                  Dress legend
                  • 'Car' pin:  You've let us be 'driven' back by our foes (psalm)
                  • 'Boundless mercy' button:  "Redeem us, Lord, because of your mercy" (psalm)
                  • 'Wish bone' tie bar:  "If you wish, you can make me clean" (gospel)
                  • 'Doctor's office' tie:  Jesus healed the leper (gospel)
                  • Doctor's hands:  Jesus stretched out his hand (gospel)
                    • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

                    January 15, 2020

                    Jan. 15

                    January 15, 2020:  Wednesday, 1st week, Ordinary Time

                    See 14 connections with today?
                    Legend below

                    • Fever/ Cooley, Blackwell (gospel-inspired :-)
                    For Psalm 40
                    Pope Francis General Audience

                    Paul's journey to Rome proves that our journeys, if lived in faith, can become a place for God's salvation, capable of transforming situations and opening new paths.  Luke ends Acts not with Paul’s martyrdom but by describing his proclamation of the Gospel, showing God’s word can never be chained.  His missionary journeys, culminating in Rome, reveal the power of grace to open hearts to the Gospel's saving message.

                    In Rome, Paul first meets his brothers and sisters in Christ, who welcome him and give him courage.  Though he was a prisoner, he could meet with notable Jews to explain why he was forced to appeal and to speak to them about God's kingdom. He tries to convince them about Jesus, starting from Scripture, showing the continuity between Christ and the "hope of Israel," announcing God's kingdom, and trying to open them to faith.

                    Since not everyone is convinced, he denounces the hardening of their hearts, the cause of their condemnation, and celebrates the salvation of those sensitive to God who can listen to the Gospel of life.  Paul doesn't have freedom to move but can speak; the Word is not chained but ready to be sown.  Paul sows it with frankness, unimpeded.  The Church, though persecuted, misunderstood, and chained, never tires of welcoming everyone and proclaiming the love of the Father who made himself visible in Jesus.  Our poverty is a tool, not an obstacle; God's grace manifests itself in weakness.

                    • 1 Sm 3:1-10, 19-20  While Samuel and Eli were asleep. the Lord called Samuel, who answered, “Here I am” and ran to Eli:  “You called. ”  Eli answered, “I didn't; go back to sleep.”  Again God called Samuel, who went to Eli, who answered, “No; go to sleep.”  The Lord called Samuel a third time, and he again went to Eli, who now understood God was calling him and said, “If you're called again, reply, ‘Speak, Lord; your servant is listening.’”  The Lord called again, and Samuel so answered.  Samuel grew; the Lord was with him.  Israel came to know Samuel as a prophet.
                    • Ps 40:2, 5, 7-10  "Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will."  I have waited for the Lord, and he heard my cry.  Blessed those who trust the Lord.  You didn't want oblation but gave me ears open to obedience.  To do your will is my delight.
                      • Mk 1:29-39 Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick; Jesus took her hand; the fever left her.  He cured many of the sick, drove out demons, left for a deserted place to pray, then went to nearby villages to preach and heal.
                      • Creighton:  This may be the only mention of a mother-in-law in the gospels.  Where there’s a mother-in-law, there's likely a wife and children.  I imagine Jesus enters Simon’s mother-in-law's room, she looks with joy at her son-in-law, then at Jesus, who kneels beside her, takes her hand, encourages her to rise, and supports her as she does.  She smiles, stands, hugs Jesus, welcomes him, then joins her daughter preparing a meal.  Children enter and shriek “Uncle Jesus”; he grabs them, leans over, and listens as, happy to see him, they say what they've been doing.  Things settle down; they go back outside, Jesus helps with meal prep, wine flows into cups.  I feel I'm the ill mother-in-law, Jesus takes my hand, helps me stand and resume serving.  And I'm one of the children Jesus holds close, loves, plays with, listens to, and nurtures.  As "Uncle Jesus" was special to the family, he wants to be special in our lives.  May we welcome him in.
                        Christ healing the mother of Simon Peter's wife/ Bridges
                      • One Bread, One Body:  "Listen for God's voice":  Our world is full of noise; everyone demands to be heard on the radio and TV and online.  Samuel learned to listen for the Lord; he "stilled and quieted his soul."  He heard God and became effective in speaking his word that the Israel came to the Lord within 20 years.  Listening prayer is important.  We must set a daily time to quiet our soul, silence the noise, say, "Speak, Lord; your servant is listening," and listen.  It's equally important to hear what God has revealed by reading Scripture and the Catechism.  "Anyone committed to the truth hears My voice."  Jesus is the Truth.  The Spirit is Truth.  "Whoever is of God hears every word God speaks."
                        Healing of Peter's mother-in-law/ Bahuet
                      • Passionist:  “Jesus cured many who were sick and drove out many demons.”  Why not all? Maybe not all desired healing.  We can get comfortable with our demons, attachments, and sicknesses and not be sure who we are without them, fear surrender and what life will look like after healing.  What prevents us from living more fully in God’s light:  un-forgiveness of self or others, pride, overindulgence, control, the need to be right...?  God wants to heal us and fill the empty space with grace.  Maybe we're not aware but others are.  Are they trying to bring you to Jesus for healing?  Or do you desire healing for another?  Like Samuel, may we hear God calling us to deeper freedom and allow him to speak to us.  May we trust in God's power at work in us to heal us from all that could harm us.  May Jesus grasp us by the hand so that we may rise freed from our fever to wait on others, pray, be nourished, receive courage, and go beyond the comfortable to discover God's Kingdom among us.
                      • DailyScripture.net:  "Jesus healed many who were sick":  Jesus' disciples brought their troubles to him because he was ready to deal with them.  "Can you imagine Jesus standing before your bed and you continue sleeping?  It's absurd that you'd stay in bed.  Jesus is already among you offering himself.  God's kingdom is in your midst.  If you can't seize his hand, prostrate yourself at his feet.  If you can't reach his head, wash his feet with your tears. Our repentance is his perfume" (Jerome, paraphrased).  Let Jesus be Lord and healer in your life, family, and community; approach him with faith. His healing restores us to health and to active service."
                      • Msgr. Jim Halley homily video:  Jesus had compassion on the marginalized and chose to heal them.  May we choose to contact and help the needy.
                      Dress legend
                      • 'Eyeball' pin:  Eli's eyes had grown so weak he couldn't see (1st reading)
                      • 'Street light' tie bar:  The lamp of God was not yet extinguished (1st reading)
                      • 'Phone' tie bar:  The Lord 'called' Samuel (1st reading) and the psalmist
                      • 'Clocks' suspenders:  I've waited, waited for the Lord (psalm)
                      • 'Scroll' pin:  In the scroll it's prescribed for me to do your will (psalm)
                      • 'Heart' pin:  Your law is within my heart (psalm)
                      • 'Golden calf' tie pin:  Blessed those who don't turn to idolatry (psalm)
                      • 'Hand' tie pin:  Jesus grasped Simon's mother-in-law's hand and helped her up (gospel)
                      • 'Doctor's office' tie:  Jesus healed Simon's mother-in-law and many who were sick... (gospel)
                      • 'Car with mouth' tie pin:  ...and 'drove' out many demons (gospel); "I didn't restrain my lips" (psalm)
                        • 'Hand' tie pin:  Jesus grasped Simon's mother-in-law's hand and helped her up (gospel)
                        • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

                          January 14, 2020

                          Jan. 14

                          January 14, 2020:  Tuesday, 1st week, Ordinary Time

                          See 15 connections with today?
                          Legend below

                            For gospel
                            Pope Francis homily

                            As Jesus preached in the synagogue, the people reacted to his authority, unlike that of the scribes, who exercised authority without having it.  Jesus' authority is one of “lordship” with which taught, healed and listened; coming from within, it demonstrated the consistency between his teaching and his actions.  Such consistency gives authority to a person, but the scribes weren't consistent, so Jesus admonished the people to do what they say, not what they do; they were in a “pastoral schizophrenia.”

                            Jesus describes them as hypocrites.  People tolerate hypocritical and schizophrenic pastors, but they can recognize the power of grace, as in today's 1st reading, where the priest Eli had lost all authority, with only the grace of anointing remaining, with which he blessed and performed the miracle for Hannah who in distress was praying to have a boy.  God's people can distinguish between someone's authority and the grace of anointing; they can make out a confessor after the heart of Christ.  Our wise people can tolerate inconsistent pastors and even Christians who go to Mass but live like pagans.   Inconsistent Christians and pastors who don’t give witness do much harm.  May all the baptized have the authority that comes from being consistent, being a witness, and so being companions on the way of the Lord.

                            • 1 Sm 1:9-20  Hannah prayed, promising:  “Lord, if you give your handmaid a male child, I will give him to the Lord.” Eli: “May God grant you what you have asked.”  She conceived and bore a son whom she called Samuel [asked of/heard by God].
                            • 1 Sm 2:1, 4-7, 8abcd  "My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior."  The barren wife bears seven sons.  The Lord puts to death and gives life, casts down and raises up, makes poor and makes rich, humbles and exalts.
                            • Mk 1:21-28  People were astonished at Jesus' teaching, for he taught with authority.  He rebuked an unclean spirit; all were amazed.
                            • Creighton:  The Dark Spirit lies to me, but I can hear it as truth:  “You're not good enough.  You don't deserve love.”  My relationship with God tells me I'm enough, I'm loved, and I'm created in his image.  When the Dark Spirit arrives, can I listen for the truth, the voice of the Holy Spirit who lives within me and keeps reminding me I'm made in Love's image and loved.  The gift and tool of discernment helps me do this:  listening for God's voice of Love and Truth and noticing when what I hear is the Dark Spirit's lying voice.  Discerning the difference can be hard, especially since the Dark Spirit is sneaky, but practicing this tool has made it easier.  May we be more attuned to the voice of Love and Truth as we rebuke the lies with the strength and courage given to us through grace.
                              For this child I prayed/ Young
                            • One Bread, One Body:  "Sounds of Satan":  There's demonic activity in our neighborhood; we need Jesus to give the command:  "Come out"!  Much of the entertainment industry may be serving Satan; we need Jesus to command them, "Come out"!  As Satan breaks families up, we hope Jesus commands, "Come out"!  He comes "not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street"; he's the silent Savior and Deliverer. "It is good to hope in silence for the Lord's saving help." "By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust your strength lies."  "Be still, and know I am God!"
                              The Possessed Man
                              in the Synagogue/ Tissot
                            • DailyScripture.net:  "Jesus taught with authority":  Jesus spoke God's word as no one had before.  The prophets spoke with delegated authority, but he was authority incarnate.  "Faith is mighty, but without love it profits nothing. The devils confessed Christ, but lacking charity it availed nothing....  They confessed a sort of faith, but without love" (Augustine).  Without love faith profits nothing.  Faith works through love and abounds in hope.  Love orients us to the supreme good, God himself, and good of our neighbor, created in his image.  Hope anchors faith and purifies our desires for things that last.  Christ's word can free us.  "The devil, because he deceived Eve with his tongue, is punished by the tongue, that he might not speak" (Bede, Homilies on the Gospels).  Faith is God's gift and our assent to the truth.  To live, grow, and persevere in faith, we must nourish it with God's word and the Spirit's light.  May we approach his word with trust and submission, eager to do what he wants.
                            Hannah prays to the Lord for a son
                            who will be Samuel (Chagall)
                            Hannah art and more
                            Dress legend
                            • 'Silverware' tie bar:  Hannah rose after a meal; she ate and drank with her husband (1st reading)
                            • 'Drop' pin:  Hannah wept during her prayer (1st reading)
                            • 'Chalice' pin:  Eli:  Sober up from your wine!” / Hannah:  I was pouring my troubles to the Lord (1st reading)
                            • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  Eli to Hannah:  "Go in peace" (1st reading)
                            • 'Car with mouth' pin:  Eli watched Hannah's mouth; her lips were moving (1st reading); Jesus 'drove' out the unclean spirit (gospel)
                              • 'Heart' pin:  "My heart exults in the Lord;..." (canticle)
                              • 'Horn' tie pin:  ...My horn is exalted in my God (canticle)
                              • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin:  "I rejoice..." (canticle)
                              • 'Prize' pin:  "...in my victory" (canticle)
                                • 'Children' tie (7 are showing):  The barren wife bears seven sons (canticle)
                                • 'Celebrate teaching' pin:  Jesus entered the synagogue and taught with authority (gospel)
                                • '?' tie pin:  "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?" / "What is this?" (gospel)
                                  • Green shirt and suspenders:  Ordinary Time season