December 12, 2021


December 12, 2021:  Third Sunday of Advent = Gaudete Sunday

See 17 connections with today?
Legend below
Pope Francis
Angelus:  In today's Gospel John the Baptist responds to those asking how to change their lives.  It reflects enthusiasm for the Lord's coming and a desire to prepare for it concretely.  We too should ask ourselves what we're called to do and become.

The question "What we are to do?" recalls life has a task for us, a gift the Lord grants us; he asks us to discover ourselves and work to make the dream that is your life come true.  Don't be afraid to ask the Lord  what you can do for him., and how it can be translated concretely into contributing to the good of the Church and society.  Advent is to stop and ask ourselves how to prepare for Christmas, what we should do for Jesus and others.  As John the Baptist gave each person a concrete reply, faith is incarnated in concrete life, touching us and transforming our lives.

Think concretely about what you can do to prepare for Christmas:  visiting someone who's alone, helping the elderly or ill, serving the poor or someone in need, asking for forgiveness, paying a debt, clarifying a misunderstanding, praying more...?

On Ukraine:  May the international community resolve tensions in Ukraine through dialogue; arms are not the way.  May this Christmas bring Ukraine peace.

  • Zep 3:14-18a  Shout and sing for joy!  The Lord has removed the judgment against youthe King of Israel is in your midst.  It shall be said:  Fear not!  The Lord is in your midst, a mighty savior; he'll rejoice over you and renew you in his love, he will sing joyfully because of you.
  • Is 12:2-6  "Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel."  God is my savior, my strength, and my courage.  Make known his deeds, his exalted name...
  • Phil 4:4-7  Rejoice in the Lord!  All should know your kindness; the Lord is near.  Have no anxiety; make your requests to God in prayer with thanksgiving.  Then God's peace will guard you in Christ.
  • Lk 3:10-18  Crowds /  John the Baptist:  “What should we do?” / “If you have cloaks or food, share with the person who has none.” [to tax collectors:]  “Don't collect more than what's prescribed.” [to soldiers:] “Don't extort or falsely accuse, and be satisfied with your wages.”  People were wondering whether John might be the Christ.  John:  “I baptize you with water, but one mightier is coming who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire....”  He preached good news to the people.
  • Creighton:  Today's readings are filled with hope, joy, and the anticipation that something great is about to happen.  God lives in and through me and with all that is.  “Rejoice!  The Lord is near.  Have no anxiety; God's peace will guard your hearts and minds.”  God is always present; there's always reason to “Rejoice!”  But the craziness of the lights, my to-do list, and overemphasis on consumerism draws me away from peace and joy; I can get caught up in the craziness and even get grumpy.  God may be touching us through Christmas crazies too.  May I experience the Reality of the season....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Doing Christmas":  The crowds, tax collectors, and soldiers asked John the Baptist, "What ought we to do?" So do we.  The Lord answers our question through the Church. Today is “Gaudete [=rejoice] Sunday.  We are to sing joyfully” and rejoice in the Lord!  Everyone should see how unselfish we are.  Even if circumstances are tragic, we rejoice that we've accepted Christ as our Lord and belong to him..  We rejoice in salvation and our repentance and faith....
  • Passionist:  We are other Christs. Think about how God is preparing you for Christ to be reborn in and through you. That birthing is modeled by Mary's birthing and nurturing the Son of God.  Don't miss the importance of Advent, of God dwelling within you, the birthing of Christ within you for the sake of those around us.  This weekend we celebrate Mary's presence in her apparition to St. Juan Diego amidst a massacre.  In the 16th century people feared Spain would dominate the world.  Genocide of native peoples of Mexico accompanied land conquests.  Mary nurtured her heart for the poor into her Son.  Jesus' heart is for the poor.  It's easy to miss this amidst other pre-Christmas activities.  As you let Christ enter and dwell within, ask what he's calling you to...
  •  "He who is mightier than I is coming":  John the Baptist began to prophesy centuries after other prophets; he announced the Messiah was coming.  The people recognized him as a prophet, came to hear him, and submitted to baptism.  John woke people from spiritual sleep and indifference and turned them to God; he wanted them to be ready to follow the Messiah.  Tax collectors and soldiers came to him; Jewish authorities regarded them as unclean and ostracized them, but John welcomed them.  His message of repentance was practical:  share, give everyone their due, and be content with what you have.  He said the Messiah would "baptize with the Spirit and fire."  Fire was associated with God and his action.  God sometimes manifested his presence with fire, and fire symbolized God's glory, protective presence, holiness, justice, and wrath against sin.  John expanded the image by illustrating the separation of wheat from chaff.  The image of fire is used for the Spirit; God's fire purifies us, inspires reverence, and fans our desire for holiness and meeting the Lord.  Jesus can give us the fire of his Spirit so we may radiate joy to those needing God.  God can transform us so we may point others to Christ.  How do I point others to Christ?
Dress legend
  • Blue 'crowns' tie: the King of Israel is in your midst (1st reading); I baptize you with water (gospel)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin:  Rejoice! (1st reading, psalm, 2nd reading, Gaudete Sunday)
  • 'Heart' clip:  The Lord will renew you in his love (1st reading); exult with all your heart (1st reading); God's peace will guard your hearts (2nd reading); all asked in their hearts whether John was the Messiah (gospel)
  • Suspenders with globe:  Make the Lord's deeds known among the nations (psalm)
  • Dove/peace pin:  God's peace will guard your hearts... (2nd reading)
  • '?' tie pin:  “What should we do?” (gospel)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  His winnowing fan is in his hand... (gospel)
  • 'Wheat' pin: gather the wheat (gospel)
  • 'Dove' pin:  He'll baptize you with the Spirit... (gospel)
  • Rose-colored shirt:  Liturgical color for Gaudete Sunday
  • Sandals (not shown): I'm not worthy to loosen his sandal strap (gospel)

October 17, 2021

29th Sun., Ordinary Time

October 17, 2021:  Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

See a dozen connections with today?
Legend below

For 1st reading
For 2nd reading
For Psalm 33
Pope Francis

AngelusI'm close to 
families who lost loved ones in last week's attacks in Norway, Afghanistan, and the UK, sad over the deaths and injuries. I appeal to the perpetrators to abandon violence; it leads to further violence, and everyone loses. 

Remember yesterday's beatification of Fr. Juan Elías Medina and 126 martyred companions killed during the religious persecution in Spain in the 1930s.  May their fidelity grant us, especially persecuted Christians, strength to witness to the Gospel courageously.

Ordination homily:  Jesus sent out the Apostles to proclaim the Gospel to all, leading them to salvation.  To perpetuate this apostolic ministry, they transmitted the gift of the Spirit to co-workers through the laying on of hands.  Through the succession of bishops, this ministry has been preserved, and the Savior's work continues.  Bishops Marini and Moreira, you've been chosen for a life of service.  Proclaim the Word at every opportunity, continue to study, and be close to their flock.  You'll be custodians of faith, service, and charity, mirroring God's compassion and tenderness.  Be close to God in prayer.  Pray with your heart, not like parrots.  Be close to other bishops, and remember the priests are your closest neighbors.  Be available to your priests like a father.  Be near your flock.  May you grow in closeness, imitating the Lord who has always been close and is always close to us.

  • Is 53:10-11  The Lord crushed him in infirmity.  If he gives his life as an offering for sin, the Lord's will shall be accomplished through him.  Because of his affliction, he'll see the lightthrough his suffering, my servant shall justify many, bearing their guilt.
  • Ps 33:4-5, 18-20, 22  "Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you."  The Lord's word is upright and his works trustworthy.  Earth is full of the Lord's kindness.  The Lord's eyes are on those who fear him and hope for his kindness, to deliver and preserve them.  Our soul waits for the Lord our help.
  • Heb 4:14-16  Since we have a great high priest, let us hold fast to our confession.  Our high priest can sympathize with our weaknesses; he's similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.  So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace.
  • Mk 10:35-45  James and John / Jesus:  "We want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." / "What do you wish?" / "That in your glory we may sit at your right and left hand." / "You don't know what you're asking.  Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with my baptism?"  / "We can." / "Then you will, but the seats aren't mine to give."  Jesus, to the ten now indignant at James and John:  "Those recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority felt.  But among you, whoever wishes to be great will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first will be the slave of all.   The Son didn't come to be served but to serve and to give his life as ransom for many."
  • Creighton:  As we approach the Christ the King celebration, the Church challenges us to consider the Harvest of God.  Many early Christians were killed because they claimed allegiance to Lord Jesus, not Caesar; the Mass's introductory rites begin Kyrie (Lord), Caesar's title.   Lord Jesus is all about, is, mercy.  Pope Francis talks about mercy as a verb:  Jesus “mercifies” us, transforming us in his mercy and making us effective in "mercifying" others. Jesus told those closest to him they must be servants like him, “mercifying” the world.  The 1st reading discloses the servant-leader as one who knows and loves his followers.  A servant leader, though without sin, enters the consequences of sin forgives, and heals.  Servant leaders are enriched only by God’s mercy so they may pour riches out on those served.  Every Christian is called to be merciful in our exercise of Jesus' servant-leadership, within the community and for the world.  The servant leader knows that Truth (God) is inseparable from Mercy.  Christ is all about mercy and challenges me to be mercy....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Good and bad suffering":  The Lord removes some sufferings to make room for other, redemptive, sufferings. He frees us to be vulnerable to hurt.  He gives us the grace to love ourselves so we can be hated and persecuted for the gospel's sake. He blesses us with self-acceptance so we can handle rejection and contempt.  Jesus wants to deliver us from useless suffering. “He went about... healing all in the devil's grip.”  Jesus declared war on sickness, suffering, and bondage.  “The Son of God revealed himself to destroy the devil’s works.”  Suffering in the pattern of Jesus’ death is good, redemptive, for the kingdom, and to be prayed for; it fills up what's lacking in Christ's sufferings for the sake of his Body.
  • Passionist:  May the Lord's will be accomplished through us (1st reading).  If it is, we will have achieved what we were born to do:  to help God’s goodness, justice, patience, kindness, mercy, and compassion break into the world through our attitudes, words, and actions.  We glorify God whenever God’s will is accomplished through us.  The gospel revolves around the question, “What does it mean to be important/great?” Apostles James and John want to matter; they want Jesus to assure them they'll sit at his right and left.  We may connect greatness with recognition, esteem, power, and wealth, but Jesus turns such thinking upside down. saying that true greatness is about serving others, transcending ourselves in love, goodness, generosity, and kindness, doing what we can to bring others to fuller life.  If we do, God's will shall be accomplished through us, and we'll truly be great.
  •"Not to be served but to serve":  We, like Jesus' disciples, thirst for recognition, power, and authority, but Jesus reversed the order of master/servant, lord/subject, first/last; he linked authority with love, position with sacrifice, and service with humility.  To serve with the Lord, we must be prepared to sacrifice our lives and all we have; we must "drink the cup."  What's my cup:  physical suffering/martyrdom, or daily sacrifices, disappointments, struggles, and temptations?  Jesus' disciples must daily be ready to lay down our lives in little and big sacrifices, but love makes such sacrifice a joy, not a burden.  We share in God's reign through humble service and love for each other. May we lay down our lives, serving others as Jesus taught and modeled for us.
  • Sunday-trumped saint:  Ignatius of Antioch2nd bishop of Antioch after St. Peter; wrote about Christ, Church structure, and Christian life.  Arrested, sentenced to death, thrown to wild beasts; described soldiers escorting him as like “ten leopards, who when they are kindly treated only behave worse.”   From famous letter  to the Romans;  "I am God's wheat and shall be ground by the teeth of wild animals.  (context).  More at Universalis, New Advent..
Dress legend
  • 'Street light' tie bar:  The Servant shall see the light (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  The Lord's eyes are on those who fear and hope in him (psalm)
  • 'Clock' tie bar:  Our soul waits for the Lord (psalm)
  • 'Mitt' tie pin:  Let us fold fast to our confession (2nd reading)
  • 'Boundless mercy' pin:  Lord, let your mercy be on us (psalm); approach the throne of grace to receive mercy (2nd reading)
  • 'Rulers' suspenders:  "Those recognized as the Gentiles' rulers lord it over them" (gospel)
  • '?' tie pin:  "Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I'm baptized with?" (gospel)
  • 'Cups' tie:  You'll drink the cup I drink (gospel)
  • 'Cross' pin:  The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and give his life (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

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.
  •  "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
        •  "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:  " 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)