July 15, 2021


July 15, 2021:  St. Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor

See 15 connections with today?
Legend below


For the gospel
From Messiah/ Handel (also for gospel)

For 1st reading
    For Psalm 105
    My yoke is easy...
  • Ex 3:13-20  Moses / Lord in burning bush:  “When I tell the Israelites, ‘God sent me to you’ and they ask me, ‘What's his name?’ what shall I say?” / “Tell them, I AM sent me.  The Lord, God of your fathers, sent me to you.  Tell the elders, The Lord, God of your fathers, said, I'm concerned about you and how you're being treated, so I'll lead you out of your misery into a land flowing with milk and honey.  They'll heed you.  Then you and the elders shall tell the king:  The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent us word.  Let us go a three-day journey in the desert and offer sacrifice.  He won't let you go unless he's forced, so I'll stretch out my hand and smite Egypt.  Then he'll send you away.”
  • Ps 105:1, 5, 8-9, 24-27  "The Lord remembers his covenant for ever."  Give thanks to the Lord; make his deeds known.  He increased and strengthened his people; he sent Moses and Aaron to do his signs and wonders.
  • Mt 11:28-30  “Come to me, you burdened, and I'll give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I'm meek and humble of heart.  My yoke is easy, my burden light.”
  • Pope Francis:  The yoke the poor and oppressed bear is the same one he bore before them:  for this reason the yoke is light.  He took upon his shoulders the pain and sins of all.  For a disciple, receiving Jesus’ yoke means receiving and accepting his revelation:  in Him God’s mercy takes on human poverty, making salvation possible for everyone.  Jesus can say these things because he became all things to everyone, close to all, to the poorest!
  • Creighton:  The God revealed today is concerned with our burdens.  God, who heard the cries of the enslaved Israelites and sent Moses to be a messenger and mediator of divine liberation, comes to us in Jesus Christ, who offers rest to the laboring and struggling.  
    Burning bush/ Bourdon
    In the ancient world, naming something implied control over it, but there's no controlling God, who identifies as I AM WHO AM, not a pagan deity to do my bidding.  Jesus offers us a chance to let go of our illusion of control, exercising detachment from the anxieties and worries that can tyrannize our thoughts.  May we entrust ourselves to our loving and liberating God who remembers his covenant forever.
  • One Bread, One Body:  After Moses brought the people out of Egypt, they would worship on Mount Horeb.  Moses asked for God's name to give those who asked who sent him:  "I Am Who Am.  Tell the Israelites:  I AM sent me to you"  If you tell someone, “I AM sent me to you,” will they understand?  Essentially the Lord sent Moses with nothing but faith.  Even his miraculous staff wasn’t much help since Egyptian magicians could perform the same signs. Power in ministry comes not from having things to fall back on but from having nothing to fall back on.  Will I accept Jesus sending me out with nothing but faith, like he sent the apostles?
  • Passionist
    Come to me...
     Jesus invites us to come to him, not once we're confident or feel we our life is in order, but in our need and struggles.  If I don't come, perhaps thinking I can handle things or he doesn't care, I make matters worse.  Then he invites us to take his yoke, a collar made for two, essentially assuring he'll remain close and will carry his share of our burden.  The Lord, who is Truth, Wisdom, Love, invites us to learn from him.  Maybe I'd rather the Lord not see me in my struggles and sin, but he says, "I'm gentle and humble of heart."  May we accept the invitation to be connected to him and bring him everything, and so find the rest only he can give.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me":  The Jews used the image of a yoke to express submission to God:  the yoke of the law, the commandments, the kingdom, God.  Jesus says his yoke is 'easy' (in Gk same as 'well-fitting').  Yokes were tailor-made for the oxen.  Jesus invites us to be yoked with him, united in life, will, and heart, in love, trust, and obedience.  Jesus says his "burden is light"; no burden is too heavy when given and carried in love.  When we yoke our lives with Jesus, he carries our burdens with us and gives us strength to follow his way of love, grace, and freedom....
    St. Bonaventure
    Dress legend
    • 'Tree' pin:  Moses at burning bush (1st reading)
    • White shirt:  St. Bonaventure; I'll lead you to the land of milk... (1st reading)
        • 'Honey' tie:  ...and honey (1st reading)
        • '?' tie pin:  Moses asked the Lord a question (1st reading)
        • 'Hand' tie pin:  "I'll stretch out my hand"  (1st reading)
        • 'Heart' clip:  The Lord changed the hearts of the Israelites' foes (psalm); "I'm meek and humble of heart" (gospel)
        • 'Children at school' pin:  "The inhabitants of the world can't bring salvation forth" (1st reading); from heaven the Lord looks down on the earth; the nations shall revere Your name (psalm); "learn from me" (gospel)
        • 'Clocks' suspenders:  "This is my name forever," 3-day journey (1st reading), the Lord remembers his covenant forever (psalm)
        • 'Street light' tie bar:  "My burden is 'light'" (gospel :-)
        • 'Celebrate teaching' pin:  "Learn from me" (gospel)
        • 'Red Cross' pin:  St. Bonaventure, 'doctor' of the Church

        July 8, 2021

        July 8

        July 8, 2021:  Thursday, 14th week, Ordinary Time

        See 17 connections with today?
        Legend below


        For Psalm 105
        • Gn 44:18-21, 23b-29; 45:1-5  Judah / Joseph: "We told you we have an aged father and young brother your servant told us to return with.  When we told our father, he begged us not to take him lest disaster befall him.”  Joseph had everyone else withdraw, sobbed, and told his brothers, “I'm Joseph.  Is my father OK?”  They were dumbfounded.  “You sold me, but don't be distressed or reproach yourselves; God sent me here to save lives.
        • Ps 105:16-21  "Remember the marvels the Lord has done."  When the Lord called down a famine, he sent  Joseph, sold as a slave.  When the Lord's word proved him true, the king set him free and made him ruler of his possessions.
        • Mt 10:7-15  “As you go, proclaim:  ‘The Kingdom is at hand.’  Cure the sick...  Without cost you've received; without cost give.  Travel light.  When you enter a house, wish it peace.  If you're not received or heard, leave and shake the dust from your feet; it won't be easy for them on judgment day.
        • CreightonIn the 1st reading, Joseph who'd suffered at his brothers' hands shows them compassion and reconciliation.  Initially stunned, they gradually open up to the gift he offers.  Note the parallel with the Resurrection:  confusion, clarity of sight, food, reconciliation...  The gospel commands us to tell this good news by our stories and example.   Have I heard the Good News, accepted the suffering caused by sin, and reached out in mercy to heal?  Do I get caught in jealousy or vengeance?  Do I welcome the stranger?  How do I share the Good News?
          Wolf in sheep's clothing
        • One Bread, One Body:  Joseph, though talented, handsome, rich, and important, was heartbroken, separated from his father for decades.  He expressed his longing with sobs, and as soon as he reveals his identity to his brothers, he asks, “Is my father in good health?”  We're all conceived separated from our heavenly Father, but Jesus saved us...
        • Passionist:  "Salvation and peace":  We save lives when we share God's word. Peace comes when people accept it.  God wants salvation for everyone  but won't force himself on anyone.  In the 1st reading, his salvation is demonstrated Joseph's words, “Come closer…. I am your brother… God sent me ahead of you to save lives.”  In the gospel Jesus, sending his Apostles to those burdened with problems, commands, “Cure the sick; raise the dead; cleanse lepers; drive out demons.  When you enter a home, say, 'Peace....'”  May we show our love for him and keep our hope....
          The recognition of Joseph by his brothers
        • DailyScripture.net:  "Freely you received; freely give":  Jesus commissioned his disciples to speak in his name and act with his power, bringing healing and mercy to the weary and oppressed.  May we honor him as Lord and King, serving in charity, peace, and simplicity, not diverted by other things, leaving behind what could distract us.  The Lord will free us from anything that keeps us from loving him and others.  We must share what Jesus has given us without expecting a reward.  May God reign in us and our world....
          • Kilian, missionary bishop, martyr
        Dress legend
        • 'Eyeball' pin:  "Bring your young brother to me that my eyes may look on him." (1st reading); "whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it" (gospel)
        • 'Chain links' tie bar:  "Joseph was bound with chains" (psalm)
        • 'Ruler' suspenders:  "The 'ruler' of the peoples set him free...  and made him 'ruler' of all his possessions"  (psalm)
        • 'Money' tie pin:  "I am your brother Joseph, whom you once sold into Egypt" (1st reading); Joseph, sold as a slave (psalm); "without cost you received; without cost give"; "the laborer deserves his keep" (gospel)
        • 'Crown' tie bar:  The king sent and released him (psalm); "the kingdom of heaven..." (gospel)
        • 'Hand' tie pin:  "...is at 'hand.'" (gospel)
        • 'Feet' pin:  "If they don't receive or listen to you,... shake the dust from your feet" (gospel)
        • 'Red Cross' pin:  "Cure the sick" (gospel)
        • 'Skeleton' tie pin:  "Raise the dead" (gospel)
        • 'Car' tie pin:  "'Drive' out demons" (gospel)
        • Gold- and silver-colored accessories, copper-coated penny (in change purse, not shown):  "Don't take gold or silver or copper" (gospel)
        • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  As you enter a house, wish it peace (gospel)
        • Sandals (not shown):  Don't take sandals (gospel)

        June 29, 2021

        Peter and Paul

        June 29, 2021:  SS. Peter and Paul, Apostles

        See over 50 connections with today?
        Legend below

        Pope Francis homily

        Peter and Paul were free because they were set free.  Peter, the fisherman from Galilee, was set free from his sense of inadequacy and experience of failure, thanks to Jesus' unconditional love.  Peter tasted fear and thought of giving up when he saw he'd catch nothing.  Though a disciple of the Lord, he thought by worldly standards, so didn't understand and accept the meaning of Christ’s cross.  Even after saying he'd give his life for Jesus, the suspicion that he was one of his disciples led him to denial.  Jesus nonetheless loved him and was willing to take a risk on him, encouraging him not to give up, giving him the joy of becoming a fisher of men, and calling him to strengthen his brothers in faith.  That was possible only because Peter had been set free.

        Paul also experienced the freedom Christ brought, freedom from slavery to self and from from religious fervor that had made him persecute Christians.  But God didn't spare him the hardships that rendered his mission more fruitful, so Paul came to realize God chose the weak to shame the strong.

        The Church sees in Peter and Paul Apostles who set the Gospel's power free in our world because their encounter with Christ set them free.  Jesus shared their life, as ours, with affection and closeness.  The Lord has touched and freed us, but we need to be freed repeatedly; only a free Church is credible.  Peter and Paul show us a Church entrusted to us but guided by the Lord with love and fidelity, a weak Church that finds strength in God's presence, that offers freedom the world can't give:  freedom from sin, death, resignation, and dehumanizing injustice and despair.  In giving his life, Jesus becomes a means of bringing us freedom.  May all freed by Christ be apostles of freedom.

        1st-century key for St. Peter (Animate)
        • Acts 3:1-10  Peter to cripple at Temple gate:  “I have neither silver nor gold, but I give you what I have:  in the name of Jesus, rise and walk.”  He leaped up and walked around,  praising God.  They recognized him as the beggar and were astonished.
        • Ps 19:2-5 "Their message goes out through all the earth."  The heavens declare God's glory...
        • Gal 1:11-20  The Gospel came through a revelation of Christ.  I tried to destroy the Church, but God revealed his Son to me...
        • Jn 21:15-19  Jesus/Peter, “Do you love me?” / “You know I do.” / “Feed my lambs....  Tend my sheep...  Feed my sheep...  Follow me.”
        1st-century book and sword for St. Paul
        • Acts 12:1-11  The Church was praying for Peter, whom King Herod imprisoned.  Angel to Peter:  “Get up, put on your belt, sandals, and cloak, and follow me!”  His chains fell, he dressed, he followed him past the guards, the gate opened, they went, and the angel left.  Peter:  “Now I know the Lord rescued me.”
        • Ps 34:2-9  "The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him."  I'll always bless the Lord; let's extol him together.  He delivered me.  Look to him and be radiant.  When the poor one called out, he heard and saved him.  Taste and see how good the Lord is...
        • 2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18  Paul:  I'm being poured out; I've competed well, finished the race, and kept the faith.  The Lord will award a crown to me and to all who have longed for him.  He gave me strength so through me all Gentiles might hear the proclamation.  The Lord will rescue me and bring me safe to his Kingdom.
        • Mt 16:13-19  Jesus / disciples, at Caesarea Philippi:  “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” / “John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or a prophet.” / “Who do you say I am?” / Simon Peter:  “The Christ, Son of the living God.” / “Blessed are you, Simon; my Father revealed this to you.  You're Peter, and upon this rock I'll build my Church.  I'll give you the keys to the Kingdom; what you bind or loose shall be so in heaven.”
        • Commentary on Jesus' questions to Peter in the vigil gospel:  love vs. love....
        • About "binding and loosing" (daytime gospel, future perfect tense); it also includes exegetical links and online resources to compare and explore Bible texts
        • Creighton:  St. Augustine suggests that choosing one date to celebrate them, though they likely died on different days, honors their oneness in following Christ.  
        The first reading tells us about Peter’s liberation from prison.  Herod was killing and jailing people associated with the Church to please his constituents, putting extra guards on Peter to make his captivity a spectacle, demonstrating his power.  Lacking moral compass, guided only by efforts to shore up his power by seeking others' approval from others.  People with no moral compass who pursue their will wind up empty and dissatisfied.  People-pleasing success is fleeting: Herod basked in the crowd's flattery, but then an angel struck him dead, and worms ate him.  We too seek approval and ignore the right thing, but truth exposes this weakness.  Humility and respect produce a better outcome than hubris. 

        Paul's metaphor about finishing a race and receiving a crown resonates with those who have trained to compete, perhaps satisfied from a strong performance.  The crown is awarded to all who run well.  Paul remains confident, even though he senses that the end is near.  He didn't escape death, but the Lord rescued him and brought him to his Kingdom.  May we too hold on when tried. 

        In the gospel Jesus promises to build his Church, which grows despite hardships.  Do we have a sense of wonder that the Church persists today?
        St. Peter and St. Paul/ El Greco
        • One Bread, One Body:  How did Jesus intend to hand on the faith to future generations?  He chose a lowly fisherman to lead the Church.  Peter felt unworthy: "Leave me, Lord; I'm a sinner."
        Paul also had a rocky start:  “I'm the least of the apostles;  because I persecuted the church, I don't deserve the name.” But Jesus said, “This man is the instrument I've chosen to bring My name to the Gentiles.”  If you’re feeling unworthy, join the club! We tend to place saints on a pedestal, but many have humble beginnings.  Look to Peter and Paul for inspiration; we're touched by grace like they were.
        • Passionist:  Peter and Paul recognized God had called them to be something greater, had courage to speak the truth Christ had spoken to them, endured hardship, and kept believing.  Even in prison Peter hoped in Christ; he listened and followed the angel, who had to wake him up.  If he was asleep, he wasn't afraid of the upcoming trial.  The passion he felt about Jesus must have grounded his hope and courage. He was open to the possibility Jesus was the Messiah and confirmed it when asked, “Who do you say that I am?”  Paul was also in prison, unafraid of death; he knew he'd completed what Christ had called him to do.  Once passionate about his Jewish faith to the point of persecuting Christians, he saw a flash of light, fell down, heard Jesus, and began to carry the gospel to the Gentiles.  He wasn't afraid to recognize and act on the truth in his heart.  May each of us have faith and hope in Christ and become something greater.  What is he calling you to?
        • DailyScripture.net:  "You are the Christ, Son of the living God":  Peter and Paul worked to spread the gospel to Israel and the nations, risking their lives and pouring out their blood in loyalty to Christ.  Peter recognized Jesus as the "anointed one" (Messiah, Christ) and Son of God; only God could have revealed this to him.  Jesus gave Peter authority to govern the church, giving him the name "rock" (Aramaic, Greek), a great compliment.  Rabbis said that when God saw Abraham, he exclaimed:  "I've discovered a rock to found the world on."  Abraham put his trust in God and founded his faith and life on God's word; through him God established a nation.  Through faith Peter grasped who Jesus was.  The church, the people of God, is a spiritual house and temple of the Holy Spirit with members joined as living stones.  Faith in Christ makes us into spiritual stones.  "Who do you say I am?"
            • Peter put his foot in his mouth, panicked on the water, blundered after professing faith, refused to be washed, and betrayed his master.  Yet he was chosen as rock on which the Church is built over James, John, or financially savvy Judas.  The Church’s foundation-stone and first leader is not all-wise, all-knowing, good, heroic, and beautiful but an ordinary man; if he'd been great and noble hero, we could have despaired of becoming like him and told ourselves the Church is only for saints.  But the Church is for confused, impetuous, cowardly people like him and us; grace holds it together and helps it grow.  Grace taught Peter patience and forbearance and helped him bear witness when it counted.  Admire that grace and pray we may receive and use it too.
            • Paul:  Many don't find him attractive, saying he badgered people into submission or invented a Christianity worse than Christ's, but God needed and called him, and he said and did what God wanted.  Paul reminds people of his weakness.  May we love the Lord our God with heart, soul, mind, and strength as Paul did.
          Dress legend (d: daytime; v: vigil)
          • Watch (not visible):  Guards kept 'watch' on the prison (1st reading d); 3:00 (1st reading v)
          • 'Money' tie pin:  Beggar asked for alms (1st reading v)
          • 'Walker/runner' tie pin:  "I have finished the race" (2nd reading d); "in the name of Jesus, walk" (1st reading v)
          • 'Blood drop' pin:  Peter's martyrdom; "flesh and blood didn't reveal this to you" (gospel d); "I didn't consult flesh and blood" (2nd reading v)
          • 'Hand' tie pin:  Herod laid hands on some Church members (1st reading d); the time of Paul's departure is at 'hand' (2nd reading d); Peter took the beggar by the hand,... (1st reading v); "you will stretch out your hands" (gospel v)
          • 'Feet' tie pin:  ...and his feet and ankles grew strong (1st reading v)
          • "JC" chain:  "You are the Christ" / "Follow me" (gospel d); God revealed his Son to me (2nd reading v); "follow me" (gospel v)
          • 'Sword' tie bar:  Herod had James killed by the sword (1st reading d)
          • 'Street light' tie bar:  Light shone in the cell (1st reading d)
          • Tie bar with descending chains:  Chains fell from Peter's wrists (1st reading d)
          • 'Angel' pin:  The angel of the Lord frees Peter from prison (1st reading d); "the angel of the Lord delivers those who fear him" (psalm d)
          • 'Wheat' pin:  It was the feast of Unleavened Bread (1st reading d)
          • 'Chalice' tie pin:  I am being poured out like a libation (2nd reading d)
          • 'Phone' tie bar"  God 'called' me through his grace (2nd reading v)
          • "Prayer, the original wireless connection" T-shirt (hard to see):  The Church was praying for Peter (2nd reading d)
          • 'Car with mouth' pin:  The Lord's praise shall be ever in my mouth (psalm d)
          • 'Musical notes with "joy" tie pin:  Look to the Lord and be radiant with joy (psalm d)
          • 'Clock' pin:  "I'll bless the Lord at all times" (psalm d)
          • Tie with globes:  Through all the earth their voice resounds (psalm v)
          • Belt and sandals (not shown):  “Put on your belt and your sandals.” (1st reading d) [call me a 'belt and suspenders man']
          • 'Caged lion' pin:  Cage for prison (1st reading d), lion for "I was rescued from the lion’s mouth." (2nd reading d)
          • 'Crown' tie bar:  "The crown of righteousness awaits me" (2nd reading d)
          • '?' tie pin:  “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” / “Who do you say I am?” (gospel d)
          • 'Rock' tie pin:  "Upon this rock I will build my Church" (gospel d)
          • 'Keys' tie pins:  "I'll give you the keys to the Kingdom.” (gospel d)
          • Red shirt:  Color of the day, martyrdom of SS. Peter and Paul
          • 'Eyeball' pin:  Peter thought he was seeing a vision (1st reading); Taste and see the Lord's goodness (psalm d); Peter looked intently at the beggar (1st reading v); people saw the man walking (1st reading v)
          • Flesh-colored suspenders:  "Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father" (gospel d); I didn't consult flesh and blood (2nd reading v)
          • 'Lamb' tie bar:  "Feed my lambs" (gospel v)
          • 'Sheep' tie bar:  "Tend my sheep" (gospel v)
          • 'Helm' tie pin:  Someone will lead you where you don't want to go (gospel v)
          • 'Heart' tie bar:  “Do you love me?” / "You know I do" (gospel v)

          June 22, 2021

          June 22

          June 22, 2021:  Tuesday, 12th week, Ordinary Time

          See 15 connections with today
          Legend below


          For Psalm 15
          • Gn 13:2, 5-18 Abram was rich in livestock, silver, and gold.  Lot also had flocks, herds, and tents, so the land couldn't support them bothAbram told Lot, “Let there be no strife between us or between our herdsmen.  Please separate from me; go the way you want, and I'll go the other.”  Lot chose the Jordan Plain, seeing how well watered it was, and they separated; Abram stayed in Canaan,while Lot pitched his tents near Sodom.   Sodom's inhabitants were wicked.  The Lord told Abram, “Look around; I'll give you and your descendants all the land you see.  I'll make your descendants too numerous to count.”  Abram settled at Hebron and built an altar to the Lord there.
          • Ps 15:2-4ab, 5  "He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord."  Those who walk blamelessly, think the truth, honor those who fear God, and don't slander, harm, take up reproach, lend at usury, or accept bribes will never be disturbed. 
          • Mt 7:6, 12-14  “Don't give what's holy to dogs, or your pearls to swine, lest they trample them then tear you to pieces.  Do to others what you'd have them do to you.  Enter through the narrow gate; many take the wide gate to destruction, but few find the narrow gate to life.”
          • Creighton:  As I meditate on Jesus’ admonition to do to others what we'd have them do to us, I think the contrary also applies:  we need to let others do for us what we'd happily do for them. I see Jesus telling us to support each other, and that’s harder than it seems.  When we deprive others of the joy of giving, we risk falling into the traps of martyrdom and victimhood that lead to resentment and guilt feelings.  Jesus wants us to form healthy relationships.  We need to play the roles of giver and receiver well.  When we give, we receive, but in receiving, we give others the chance to give....
          • One Bread, One Body:  Have you ever been tempted to toss your pearls before swine?  The point is not the pearls or the swine but the timing. Do I work at church when I should be home?  Am I sharing the Gospel with strangers but not my wife?  Is my timing off because I'm not obeying God?  We should be evangelizing whether we want to or not:  those closest to us, the hardest to talk to, those the Lord assigns to us.  We toss our pearls before swine when we do the “right” thing at the wrong time, to the wrong people, or in the wrong place.
          • Passionist:  False prophets are always the greatest threat to the Church and its teachings.  Their message is successfully propagated because people seek the path of least resistance. “Old time religion” is too confining and too hard!  People who want to do as they wish seek out beliefs that have no consequences nor demand effort.  Today false prophets promote secular humanism and the prosperity gospel, smugly assuming modern intellect is superior to what came before and abandoning spiritual writers and theologians.  Paul, recognizing this thought pattern, mocks these self-professed superiors:  “Professing to be wise, they become fools.”  They give rise to a system with no God where human value is recognized by adherence to the Golden Rule, not religious dogma or requirements.  We've been programmed to place our tribe's needs above others, to provide for ourselves and our loved ones without regard for others.  Charity, empathy and compassion have no place in a post-Christian world.  True prophets lead to our Father by word, and action.  False prophets promote the idea of a Universe without an uncreated creator.  Society accepts their secular thinking, but they must be identified and confronted, for their own benefit and for our world.
          • DailyScripture.net:  "Don't throw your pearls before swine":  Pearls were of great value, worn as jewels to make one appear more beautiful.  Holiness, likewise, is a jewel that radiates the beauty of God's truth and goodness through how we think, speak, act, and treat others.  The Talmud calls something that appears incongruous an "ear ring in a swine's snout"; Jesus' "pearls before swine" and "not giving dogs what is holy" expressions are similar.  Swine were considered unclean, and wild dogs were considered unfit for close contact.  Jesus’ concern is with keeping the faith and way of life God entrusted to us.  Before Communion the early church proclaimed:  Holy things to the holy, and the Didache  stated, "Only the baptized may eat or drink of your Eucharist; the Lord has said, 'Don't give what's holy to dogs.'"
          Jesus summed up and upgraded Old Testament law and prophets with the golden rule.  God's law of love requires more than not hurting others but rather seeking others' good and giving our best for them.  God's love fuels our love for others.  If we empty ourselves of what's unkind, unloving, and unforgiving, we'll have room for kindness, goodness, mercy, and charity.  May we love others and treat them like we want God to treat us.  Holy Spirit, transform my life with the fire of God's love.
          Jesus reinforced his lesson about choosing the way to peace with God with the illustration of a narrow gate opening to a life of security and happiness.  Psalms begins with an image of one who has chosen to follow the way of those obedient to God's word, not those who act contrary to it.  Our choices affect our lives.  Do my choices move me towards loving and following God?  "Let me love you, Lord, and see myself as I am, a pilgrim, a Christian called to respect and love all I touch....  Help me conquer anger with gentleness, greed by generosity, apathy by fervor.  Help me forget myself and reach out." (Clement XI) 
              • Thomas More, lawyer, reformer, author of Utopia, depicting a society regulated by natural virtues, impartial judge, martyr, “the king’s good servant, but God’s first.”   “May we in heaven merrily all meet together to everlasting salvation.”
              Prayer for enemies:  Almighty God, have mercy on ...., and on all that bear me evil will, and wish me harm, and their faults and mine by such tender, merciful means as your wisdom can devise; amend and redress and make us saved souls in heaven together, where we may live and love with you and your saints, for the passion of our sweet Savior Christ.  Lord, give me patience in tribulation and grace in everything, to conform my will to yours, that I may truly say, “Your will be done on earth as in heaven.”  Give me the grace to labor for what I pray for.  –St. Thomas More
                • John Fisher, bishop, martyr:  "I condemn no one's conscience: their conscience may save them, and mine must save me.  "We should remember... to treat opponents as if they were acting in good faith, even if they seem to us to be acting out of spite or self-interest."
                Dress legend
                • 'Cow' pin, silver- and gold-colored accessories:  Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold (1st reading); golden rule (gospel)
                • 'Sheep' tie bar:  Lot had flocks (1st reading)
                • 'Scales' pin:  Do justice; live in the Lord's presence (psalm)
                • 'Walker' tie pin:  Those who walk blamelessly will never be disturbed (psalm)
                • 'Heart' tie bar:  Those who think the truth in their heart...
                • 'Car with mouth' pin:  ...and don't slander with their tongue will live in the Lord's presence (psalm)
                • 'Money bag' pin:  Those who don't lend at usury won't be disturbed (psalm)
                • 'Dogs' tie:  Don't give dogs what's holy... (gospel)
                • 'Pearl' tie pin:  ...or throw your pearls... (gospel)
                • 'Swine' suspenders:  ...before swine... (gospel)
                • 'Precious feet' pin:  ...lest they be trampled underfoot (gospel)
                • 'Blood drop' pin:  SS. Thomas More and John Fisher, martyrs
                • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season