February 29, 2020

Feb. 29

February 29, 2020:  Saturday after Ash Wednesday

See 17 connections with today?
Legend below

For Psalm 86
    • Mighty Lord/ Foley [needs banjo]; use free Spotify login
Querida Amazonia capsule

Ecological education and habits:  An integral ecology must go beyond fine-tuning technical questions and political, juridical, and social decisions to an educational dimension that encourages new habits.  Those with consumerist, wasteful habits must be encouraged to choose a less greedy and anxious, more serene, respectful, and fraternal lifestyle.

The emptier the heart, the more the person needs to buy, own, and consume.  We must be concerned not only about extreme weather events, but also the catastrophic consequences of social unrest.  Obsession with a consumerist lifestyle leads to violence and mutual destruction.  The Church desires to contribute to the region's protection and growth.  [2/29 III:58-60]

Pope Francis to Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi:  Fr. Maciel's criminal behavior generated a crisis in your Federation.  He founded the federation but is no example of holiness.  He led a double life and through his personalized government polluted the charism the Spirit had given the Church.  Once the situation was discovered, the Church took action and showed solicitude.  Your new Statutes and Constitution reflect a new spirit and vision of religious life in line with Vatican II.  You opened yourselves courageously to the Spirit's action and entered into true discernment.  Much work of discernment remains.  Continue the journey, looking ahead; look backward only to find that God's assistance has never been lacking.  Keep struggling to renew yourself.


  • Is 58:9b-14  If you remove oppression... and satisfy the afflicted, the Lord will guide and renew you.  If you honor the sabbath, you'll delight in the Lord, and I'll nourish you.
  • Ps 86:1-6  "Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth."  Have mercy on me.  I lift my soul to you; gladden it.  Attend to my pleading.
  • Lk 5:27-32  Jesus to Levi:  “Follow me”; he left everything and followed.  He gave a banquet for him with tax collectors and others; Pharisees complained:  “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”  Jesus:  “The healthy don't need a doctor; just the sick.  I came to call sinners.”
    • Creighton:  Prayer occurs when we're in right relationship with God, fasting marks a healthy relationship with our own bodies and a just participation in creation. Almsgiving, appropriate sharing of material goods so all have enough limited resources, marks authentic relationship with others.  
    Banquet in the House of Levi/ Veronese
    The 1st reading speaks of following goodness, compassion, and the freedom of generous love.  We must daily choose life over death.   Being alive means thriving, supporting the life of community and creation.  Because creation comes from God, everything is interrelated, we can thrive only in union with all that's alive on earth and in eternal life.  When we use what we've been given to help others thrive, we ourselves choose to thrive.  Closing in ourselves is the root of all evil, a choice for death, destroying life and hope, disrupting and destroying relationships, consuming and wasting resources, choosing hatred and violence; it presupposes we're trying to kill and that we can’t thrive unless we have it all.  Such destructive patterns harm enemies, friends, and ourselves.  If we trust God will provide, and we share what we have, all will be provided.
    The gospel reminds us God rescues each of us from our death choices and opens us to life choices.  When we judge others or don't embrace God’s mercy for them or us, we step off the path of life.   Jesus’ work and ours is to open doors of life to those who haven’t found the path to life.  As we've been invited to be forgiven, so must we invite others to forgiveness and the joy of God’s mercy.  Which of our gifts is Jesus inviting us to use to bring divine life to the created order by reconciling those in the dark to themselves, their community, and creation?
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Follow-up fasting":  Our culture of death is a culture of broken relationships.  The world desperately needs you.  Think of all you can see healed by your true fasting.  Fast from food and drink, and follow up by giving others opportunities for freedom, showing them mercy, and doing justice.  If you do, you'll see the Lord's promises from Is 58 fulfilled.  If you continue, the Lord will make you ride on the heights.  Show your love:  fast and follow up.
    • Passionist:  Today's readings focus on our call to follow God. The Church reminds us Lent is a time to grow closer to God, to reflect on how we're building up his Kingdom.  Isaiah reminds us of the gifts we receive when we do good for others and when we're focused on God.  In the Gospel Jesus calls Levi to follow him, and Levi leaves everything, gets up, and follows.  He must have walked away from the money he collected.  Wasn't he afraid the Roman authorities would come after him?  Jesus' call must have been powerful for Levi to leave everything behind.  This "leap day" let's leave ordinary tasks behind for something extraordinary, take time to reflect and be, listen to music, enjoy the day as a gift to be explored rather than filled.  I see Lent as a time to for more experiences of being, not letting in useless noise.  What extraordinary experiences await you?
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Jesus calls sinners to follow him":  When we bless others, especially those needing help, God blesses us.  The religious leaders were upset with Jesus' behavior towards public sinners.  Orthodox Jews avoided them, didn't do business with them, didn't give them anything.  Jesus' association with tax collectors and sinners shocked their sensibilities.  When they challenged him, he told them a doctor goes to the sick.  Jesus sought out those in greatest need.  Jesus came as Divine Physician and Good Shepherd to care for us and restore us.  The orthodox were so preoccupied, they neglected to help the people who needed it most.  Jesus came to call sinners, not the "righteous."  Ironically the orthodox were as needy as those they despised; all have sinned.  Thank God for his mercy; seek others' good.  "By 'follow' [Jesus] meant not so much the movement of feet as of the heart, carrying out a way of life.  One who says he lives in Christ ought to walk as Christ walked, not aim at earthly things or pursue perishable gains, but flee base praise, embrace contempt of all that is worldly for the sake of heavenly glory, do good to all, inflict injuries on no one, patiently suffer injury, ask God’s forgiveness for those who oppress, seek God's glory, and uphold what helps you love heavenly things.  In this way Matthew became a follower of One who had no riches. The Lord who outwardly called Matthew inwardly bestowed on him the gift of an invisible impulse so he could follow" (Bede the Venerable).
    Dress legend
    • 'Feet' pin:  Hold back your foot from following your own pursuits (1st reading)
    • 'Wheat' pin:  If you give your bread to the hungry, remove oppression, and satisfy the afflicted,... (1st reading)
    • 'Street lamp' tie bar:  ...then light shall rise for you,... (1st reading)
    • 'Helm' tie pin:  ...and the Lord will guide you always... (1st reading)
    • 'Alps' pin:  ...and make you ride on the heights of the earth (1st reading)
    • Blue shirt:  If you remove oppression, share your bread, and satisfy the afflicted,... you'll be like a watered garden, a spring whose water never fails (1st reading)
    • 'Car with mouth' pin:  The mouth of the Lord has spoken (1st reading)
    • 'Boundless mercy' pin:  Have mercy on me, Lord,... (psalm)
    • 'Phone' tie bar:  ...for I call to you all day (psalm); I came to call sinners (gospel)
    • 'Celebrate teaching' pin:  Teach me Your way,... (psalm)
    • 'Walker' tie pin:  ...that I may walk in Your truth (psalm)
    • 'Money bag' tie pin:  Jesus saw tax collector Levi; tax collectors at Levi's banquet (gospel)
    • 'WWJD' pin:  "Follow me" (gospel)
    • 'Silverware' tie bar:  Levi gave a great banquet for Jesus... (gospel)
    • 'Doctor's office' tie:  Only the sick need a doctor (gospel)
    • Purple suspenders:  Lent

    February 28, 2020

    Feb. 28

    February 28, 2020:  Friday after Ash Wednesday

    See 10 connections with today?
    Legend below
    For 1st reading
    For Psalm 51, see Wednesday

    40 Hymns & Worship Songs for Lent...

    Pope Francis for "Good Algorithm" AI workshop:  Church social teaching about human dignity, justice, subsidiarity, and solidarity can contribute to "algor-ethics," the ethical development of algorithms.  The complexity of the technological world demands a clear ethical framework, so as to make our service effective.  Algor-ethics can enable those principles to enter into digital technologies through cross-disciplinary dialogue so long as human rights are an important point of convergence.  The “good algorithm” points to the need for renewed reflection on rights and duties.   Your call to ethics, education, and law is an important step. 

    The scope and acceleration of the transformations of the digital era have raised unforeseen problems and situations that challenge our ethos.  The digital age is changing our perception of space, time, and the body, and users are often reduced to consumers, prey to private interests.   Algorithms extract data that enable habits to be controlled without our knowledge.   The asymmetry by which a few know everything about us while we know nothing about them dulls critical thought and the exercise of freedom.  Inequalities are expanding enormously as knowledge and wealth accumulate in a few hands. 

    The new technologies nevertheless offer immense potential.   Broader education and solid reasons need to be developed in pursuit of the common good.  We believers ought to let ourselves be challenged, so that God's word and our faith can help us interpret phenomena and identify paths of humanization.

    • Is 58:1-9a  On your fast day you quarrel and carry out your own pursuits, but the fast I want is releasing those bound unjustly, freeing the oppressed, sharing your bread, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, and caring for your own.  Then you'll have light, healing, and vindication, and God will answer you.
    • Ps 51:3-6ab, 18-19  "A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn."  Have mercy on me.
    • Mt 9:14-15  John's disciples / Jesus:  “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but not your disciples?” / “Wedding guests can't mourn while the groom is among them, but when he's taken away, they'll fast.
    Querida Amazonia capsule:  The prophecy of contemplation

    Frequently we let our consciences be deadened; we get distracted about how limited our world is.  We might think things aren't serious and continue our lifestyles and models of production and consumption, feed our vices by not acknowledging them, delay decisions, and pretend nothing will happen.  Each species has value, but each year thousands are lost forever, usually because of human activity.  We have no right to keep those species from glorifying God and conveying their message.

    The original peoples teach us to contemplate and love, not just analyze and use, the region, and so appreciate its transcendent mystery.  Love can awaken interest and spur us to feel part of it, not just defend it; then the region will become like a mother.  Let's reawaken our God-given aesthetic and contemplative sense.  If we admire something beautiful, we won't want to abuse it.  If we commune with the forest, our voices will blend into a prayer.

    God who created each being with love calls us to be his means for hearing the region's cry.  If we respond, we'll see our Father remembers its creatures; Jesus cries out to us from them, holding them to himself and directing them towards fullness.  Flowers and birds are imbued with his presence.  We encounter a space where God is revealed and summons his children. [III:53-57]

    • Creighton:  John the Baptist’s disciples ask Jesus about fasting, noticing that his disciples don't do the usual legal acts of holiness.  Jesus shares with them an image about a groom whose friends are happy till he leaves, when they grieve.  Holiness has to do with a relationship rather than legal practice; it's received, not achieved.  In addition to fasting from food and drink, what about fasting from self-negativity, spiritual inferiority, regret, past failures, disappointments, unhealthy competition and instead care for the lonely or lost, cure the broken and hurting, and being present and receptive to the inconvenient and awkward?  May we become more aware of who we are in the Church and become more intentional disciples who extend Christ's life, revealing him and his Spirit.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Growling stomachs, hungry minds":  Let's not spiritualize fasting and take away its essential material element.  Let us have both a natural and a spiritual Lent.  May our Lent be as physical as growling stomachs and hunger pangs and as spiritual as repentance, reconciliation, and commitment to the Lord.  May we "offer our bodies as a living sacrifice" and "be transformed by the renewal of our mind."
    • Passionist:  Lent challenges me to refresh my spirit so I may be an instrument of God’s peace and love.  Isaiah reminds us we are to help the poor, hungry, oppressed, homeless, naked, and all being victimized and treated unjustly.  Lent calls me to be present to the needy, pray with and for them, and try to relieve their suffering.  I believe we're also called to support programs that provide hope and comfort to the needy.  May we focus on the goodness around us and not succumb to ways that move us away from God.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Fasting for God's kingdom":  Hunger for God and fasting for his kingdom go hand in hand.  The Lord's disciples must bear the cross of affliction and purification; there's a time for rejoicing in the Lord's presence and goodness and a time for seeking him with humility, fasting, and mourning for sin.  May we allow the Holy Spirit to transform our life with God's power and grace.  Fasting can be done to gain freedom from a bad habit, share in others' suffering, or grow in hunger for God and things of heaven.  "Don't just abstain from meat. True fasting is refraining from vice.  Shred your unjust contracts.  Pardon your neighbors...." (Basil the Great).

    • Universalis:  St. Oswald, Benedictine monk, bishop, revived monastic life, celebrated liturgy well, loved the poor.

    Dress legend
    • 'Car' pin:  "On your fast day you 'drive' all your laborers" (1st reading)
    • 'Wheat' pin:  Share your bread with the hungry (1st reading)
    • 'Skeleton' tie pin:  Clothe the naked (1st reading)
    • 'Angel with trumpet' pin:  "Lift up your voice like a trumpet blast" (1st reading)
    • 'Lights' tie:  When you fast like God wants, your light shall break forth (1st reading)
    • 'Phone' tie bar:  You'll 'call' and the Lord will answer (1st reading)
    • 'Boundless mercy' button:  "Have mercy on me; in your compassion wipe out my offense..." (psalm)
    • 'Heart' clip:  You won't spurn a contrite, humbled heart (psalm)
    • Blue shirt:  Wash me from my guilt (psalm)
    • Purple suspenders:  Lenten season

    February 21, 2020

    Feb. 21

    February 21, 2020:  Friday, 6th week, Ordinary Time

    How many connections with today can you fine?
    Legend below

    For Psalm 112
    From today's Mass (Msgr. Ray East, presider)
    Pope Francis

    To Orthodox delegation:  Every visit brings a sharing of gifts.  Recall Mary’s visit to her cousin to share her joy at having received God’s gift.  Like Mary and Elizabeth, Churches carry a variety of gifts of the Spirit, to be shared for their mutual joy and benefit.  Your visit to Rome is both an opportunity to learn about the Catholic Church and a chance for us Catholics to receive the gift of the Spirit you bring.

    I thank God for the grace bestowed upon you.  Everything begins with our acknowledgment of grace, our recognition of God’s gracious work, our belief he's the source of goodness in us:  the beauty of the Christian vision of life.   I thank God for the your Oriental Orthodox Churches give.  Your Churches have sealed their faith in Christ in blood and continue to sow seeds of faith and hope, even in areas scarred by violence and war.  May your presence bear fruit in visible communion between us, in that full unity that Jesus ardently desires.

    To Council for Legislative Texts:  You assist me in my legislative function, help interpret canon law, aid other departments in matters of canon law, and supervise the legitimacy of texts enacted by Church legislators.  You also help bishops and Episcopal Conferences interpret and apply the law and spread knowledge of and attention to it.  The true meaning of law in the Church needs to be reacquired; juridical norms are necessary in the service of communion, though subordinate to God's word and the Sacraments.  It's important to help people understand the pastoral nature of canon law, how it helps save souls and promote justice.

    Canon law doesn't hinder pastoral effectiveness but rather seeks just, and so pastoral, solutions.  A lawless society without would be deprived of rights (Benedict XVI) .  In the world dictatorships are born and grow; that  can't happen in the Church.  Bishops “judge” the faithful entrusted to them and must remember their work must be towards communion, so penalties must only be used when other means to compliance prove ineffective.  Church law always has a pastoral significance, not only for the community but also for guilty persons' good.  Canonical punishment is medicinal, aimed at recovering the individual; it's a means to personal and common sanctification, rebuilding justice, and realizing the Kingdom....


    Wordle: Readings 2-21-14
    • Jas 2:14-24, 26  What good is it if you say you have faith but don't have works?  Faith without works is dead.
    • Ps 112:1-6  "Blessed the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands."
    • Mk 8:34-9:1  “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.  Whoever loses his life for my sake and the Gospel's will save it.  What profit is there for you to gain the world and forfeit your life?”
    • Creighton:  James doesn't say either that we can be justified by works (there can be no good activity for God's Kingdom without faith) or that faith without works is sufficient for salvation, but rather that living faith is actionable.  True faith is expressed in acts of love.  He doesn't suggest we use works instead of faith, or even that we do works in addition to faith; we do works to benefit others because of our faith.  Believers are responsible for caring for others; belief must lead to action, to following Jesus, who makes the choice clear: “Why gain the world and forfeit your life?”  What action is the Spirit calling you to today?
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Live shamelessly":  Never be ashamed of Jesus, his words, the gospel, God's law and precepts, the sentence to be passed upon the sinful, or being just, cautious, and discreet; rather, be ashamed of immorality, falsehood, flattery, crime, disloyalty, lying, stealing, overeating, stinginess, aloofness, impurity, insults, and betraying secrets.  Our belief in and love for Jesus gives us grace to resist temptation and not fall into sin. "There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus."  Lack of commitment to Jesus leads to shame or a dead conscience, but in Christ we're without shame and live in the dignity of God's children.
    • Passionist:  James says faith without works is dead, as a body that doesn't breathe.  Good works can take many forms:  loving your neighbor, meeting their needs....  What good deed might I do today to enliven my faith?  The psalm calls us to praise God and to give him the glory for the good we experience.  How often do I show my gratitude to God?  Lord, help me to carry my crosses in life and serve you....
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Whoever loses his life for my sake will save it":  In every decision we're shaping our character and helping determine our future.  Some may gain all they desire, then discover they missed the most important things.  Money can't buy heaven, mend a broken heart, or cheer a lonely person.  Jesus asks what we can give in exchange for our life.  We owe God everything, including our lives.  True disciples give up all they have in exchange for life with God who offers immeasurable joy.  The cross leads to victory and freedom.  To know Christ is to know the power of his death and resurrection. The Spirit gives us faith to know Jesus, power to live the gospel, and courage to witness the gospel's joy and truth to others....
    Dress legend
    • '1' button, thanks to OneLife LA:  You do well to believe God is one, but even demons do (1st reading)
    • 'Money bag' tie pin:  Riches shall be in the house of those who fear the Lord; well for those who are gracious and lend (psalm)
    • 'Lights' tie":  Light shines through the darkness for the upright (psalm)
    • 'Angel' pin:  "Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son will be ashamed of when he comes... with the holy angels” (gospel)
    • 'Cross' pin:  Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me (gospel)
    • Green shirt and suspenders:  Ordinary Time season