January 15, 2022

Jan. 14

January 14, 2022:  Friday, 1st week, Ordinary Time

See 15 connections with today?
Legend below
    • 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.
    Fr. Mike Perucho homily videoBy what authority?
    • Creighton:  When the people asked Samuel, who had spent his life serving them, for a new king, he gave way to their will and chose Saul.  1000+ years later, Jesus came, whose kingdom was not of this earth; Romans called him “King of the Jews” and rebel, and Jewish leaders called him charismatic, problematic, and blasphemous; their perceptions led to his crucifixion.  Now the true, everlasting king guides us. 
    Gospel:  When Jesus forgave the sins of the paralytic brought in through the roof, the crowd was shocked; then Jesus healed the man and astonished them, asking which was easier.  It's easier to believe what's seen, but which helps the eternal soul more?
    • One Bread, One Body:  The man on the stretcher wasn’t the only paralytic in the room.  The scribes' spiritually paralysis kept them from believing in Jesus, rejoicing in the paralytic’s healing, and recognizing their own paralysis.  But those who carried and lowered the paralytic acted in faith, not paralyzed by fear of failure, rejection, ridicule, or embarrassment.
      Are you paralyzed?  Worried about what others think?  Unable to forgive?  Can you share your faith?  Praise God?  Let Jesus heal your spiritual paralysis.
      • Passionist:  Hope in miracles:  Today’s readings talk about the authority of kings and of Jesus.  In the early Church, acts we call miracles were called signs.  Jesus tells us that to believe, you have to see.  He understood a sign needed to be performed for others to understand.  He spoke and acted on God’s behalf.   We can see the signs of Jesus' authority as more important than the corresponding miracles.  God is always with us, but like the scribes in today's gospel we want proof, despite the evidence of Jesus' authority in Scripture.  Let's examine the signs in our own lives:  creation, vocation, those around us, spiritual gifts.  God and grace are ever-present.  If we recognize his presence, we can hope.
      • 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).
      Dress legend
      • 'Chariot' and 'horse' tie pins:  "A king will assign your children to his chariots and horses" (1st reading)
      • 'Chalice with grapes' tie pin:  "A king will take the best of your vineyards and tithe them" (1st reading)
      • 'Gun' pin:  A king will set his subjects to make his war implements... (1st reading)
      • 'Sheep' tie bar:  ...and tithe your flocks (1st reading)
      • 'Silverware' tie bar:  "He'll use your daughters as cooks and bakers" (1st reading)
      • 'Crown' tie bar:  "Appoint a king over us [anyway]" (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)

          Jan. 13

          January 13, 2022:  Thursday, 1st week, Ordinary Time

          See eight connections with today?
          Legend below

          Pope Francis

          Vatican Media interview re
           Patris corde:  St. Joseph represents how we should be Christians. He became holy through what he had to face.  Events surrounding Jesus' birth were beset with obstacles, problems, persecution, and darkness.  Joseph defended, protected, and nourished Jesus and made him grow.  Joseph took on responsibilities in difficult times, listened to God, faced problems concretely, trusted God, and found creative solutions.  

          In these pandemic times; people are suffering, families face difficulties, people are uncertain, anxious about death.  Joseph, a bright witness, encourages, helps, and inspires us, as we face dark moments.  We make room for him to find our way.

          Each of us is a son or daughter, entrusted to someone who influences them.  New fathers want to treasure the good things and not repeat the mistakes.  Joseph's fatherhood influenced Jesus so much; look at the paternal imagery in his preaching.  Joseph was such a good father that Jesus found in his paternity such a beautiful reference to God.  Today’s children, tomorrow’s fathers, should decide what fathers they want to be, how to love, how to be responsible.

          You speak of Joseph father in the shadows, present but letting the child grow freely.  Freedom is a beautiful aspect of love.  Love creates freedom; it shouldn't be possessive.  Joseph didn't possess, manipulate, or distract him.  Do we have that capacity to love?  Can we remove ourselves so our children can emerge?  Can we humbly step aside and be a reference point, not an obstacle?  Joseph knew how so Jesus could shine.

          How can we strengthen the father-son relationship?  The Church is a loving, merciful, lifegiving, forgiving, reconciling Mother but should also be paternal, helping children assume responsibility, exercise freedom, make choices.  God's love heals, comforts, encourages, forgives, and spurs us to make decisions and go out.

          Today many can't make big decisions.  Young people are afraid to choose and take risks.  Fear of consequences can paralyze us.  Good fathers don't say all will go well, but you can still live with dignity.  Mature people grow in character through weakness and failure..

          Can priests be fathers?  They're not born fathers but have to learn, first by recognizing themselves as sons of God and the Church.  The Church is concrete, someone’s face.  We received our faith through a relationship, personal witness.  Are we grateful?  Can we distinguish what wasn't so good?  As good fathers help their children become themselves, make freedom possible, and spur them on, so too priests should show the way, provide interpretations, help discern.

          How do we strengthen the spiritual dimension of paternity?  Spiritual paternity often arises from experience.  Spiritual fathers can share their personal experience.  Only then can they help.  There is a great urgency for meaningful relationships we call spiritual paternity, and spiritual maternity; the role of accompanying is not specifically male or of priests.  Many religious/consecrated women and lay men/women have experiences to share.  We need to rediscover spiritual relationships without confusing them with psychological or therapeutic paths.

          What about parents without work?  I feel close to the families' suffering.  It's hard to be unable to feed your children.  My prayers, and the Church's support, are for these least ones, and families that flee war, are rejected at borders, or suffer injustice and aren't taken seriously.  They're heroes, risking their lives for love of family.  The suffering of Mary and Joseph, exiled because of Herod's violence, makes them close to those suffering such trials now.  May families turn to Joseph, who had such experience, and not feel alone.

          To Catholic Action France:  
          When disciples walked with Jesus, they recalled events they've experienced, recognized God's presence in them, and returned to Jerusalem to announce the resurrection.  Consider three stages:  See, judge, act:

          Seeing is observing events that make up our lives, our history, our family, cultural, and Christian roots.  Fratelli tutti begins with the worrisome world situation; it's necessary to move forward.

          Judging/discernment is when we allow ourselves to be questioned and challenged.  The key is Scripture, accepting that life is subject to the scrutiny of God's Word.  In the encounter among world events, our lives, and God's Word, we discern the Lord's appeals to us.  We need your contribution to the synodal process.  Synodality is a style to be adopted, with the Holy Spirit, who expresses himself in God's Word, as main protagonist.

          Action should always have God's initiative.  We should support and encourage God's action in hearts, adapting to evolving reality.  Today people who attend Christian movements are more skeptical about institutions; they seek less demanding, more fleeting relationships.  Young people are more sensitive to affectivity, more vulnerable, more fragile, and less rooted in faith, but still generous and seeking meaning and truth.

          Your mission has been to reach out to people as they are, to make them grow in the love of Christ and neighbor, and lead them to greater commitment, to be protagonists in their lives and the Church's, to change the world.

          Vatican Integral Human Development conference on post-pandemicDraw on science and Gospel realism, in solidarity with the marginalized. Define success as how many people move out of poverty, not profits or expansion.  Make commitments so the economy serves people and Mother Earth, and everyone can help transform the world.  May we all accept the responsibility to prepare a different future.  "Business as usual" isn't working; we must find new paths toward radical, holistic, systemic change so we may care for the least among us, in peace with our planet.

          Migration offers an opportunity for sustainable, inclusive growth, if governments help integrate migrants into society, and we opt for global governance of the flow, multilateral dialogue, coordinated response to emergencies, and intercultural, cohesive societies.  The economic model must move from exploiting people and planet to serving everyone and respecting ecological systems.  Reform requires peace, action (starting from listening and discernment and leading to visible results), words, interconnection, and concrete care.  We must change ourselves first.

          • 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:  Healing Touch:  Mk records a succession of Jesus’ healings, accomplished in various ways.  No one who saw the cleansing could miss the significance of Jesus’ touch.  If you touched a leper, you were rendered unclean, quarantined.  Jesus ignored that in order to heal and show mercy.  His boldness invites us to trust boldly in his healing mercy and beg Jesus to touch the untouchable parts of our lives and world, where shame, fear, or burdens isolate us.  Offer him the places where we need him; he's ready to touch, love, and heal.
          • One Bread, One BodyDon't make matters worse:  When the Israelites lost to the Philistines, the elders asked why, but without waiting for God’s answer returned to battle and were routed.  When something bad happens to us, we too can ask why but before receiving God’s answer go on to do something to make matters worse.  Pain and disappointment stampede us into “doing our own thing” and multiplying evils.  “Don’t just sit there; do something”?  When bad things happen, reverse it: “Don’t just do something; sit there.”  When the Israelites lost at Ai, they asked God why but didn't go back till they received and acted on God's answer; then they won.  Keep evil to a minimum:  wait and listen to God.
          • Passionist:  Jesus was moved with pity, wanting healing for the leper.  'Pity' has been described as 'womb' (Heb. Rakhem).  He had an almost maternal desire for healing.  May we come to know Jesus as a loving, caring, humble friend.  May we look to his love, care, and will for our healing instead of getting drawn into chaos and strife. Lord, fill our hearts with your humility and give us peace...
          • 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?"
          Dress legend
          • '?' tie pin:  “Why has the Lord permitted us to be defeated...? “What can this loud shouting mean?” "Who can deliver us...?"  (1st reading)  Why do you hide your face...?  (psalm)
          • '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)
          • 'Hand' tie pin:  Jesus stretched out his hand (gospel)
          • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

          January 9, 2022

          Jesus' Baptism

          January 9, 2022:  Baptism of the Lord

          See over 30 connections with today?
          Legend below


          For Is 40 reading

            For Psalm 29
            Pope Francis

            Angelus:  After some 30 years of living in hiding, Jesus' public life began when John the Baptist baptized Jesus on the Jordan's bank.  He didn't show up with a few miracles or teaching in a cathedral; he shared the lot of sinners, lining up with them to be baptized, coming down to us, dipping into our waters to heal them. 

            At the moment Jesus was baptized, he was praying. Jesus prayed often, in intimate relationship with the Father.  In today's gospel we see Jesus descending towards us and raising his gaze and heart to the Father.

            We're all immersed in problems, intricate situations, called to face difficulties and choices that pull us down.  We need to lift everything upwards.  Prayer is a way to let God work in us; it helps us, uniting us to God, opening us up to an encounter with him, opening our hearts to the Lord, giving us oxygen and breathing space even amid anguish, making us see things more widely, allowing us to feel like children loved by the Father.

            Baptism homily:  These infants will receive their Christian identity through the Sacrament of Baptism.  The role of parents and godparents is to help them deepen and preserve this identity.  It is a daily effort and commitment, the Pope added, underlining the importance to help the children grow in the blessing of the light they receive today.  The People of Israel went to the Jordan with their feet and soul exposed as a sign of their need for God and cleansing.  So too these infants are ready to receive justification and strength from God to go forward as their parents and godparents help them preserve their Christian identity.  Make your children feel at home and nurse them.... 

            • Is 42 :1-4, 6-7  Here's my servant; he'll bring justice.  I, the Lord, called you, grasped you, formed you, and set you as light for all, to open the eyes of the blind and to release prisoners and those in darkness.
              • Ps 29:1-4, 9-10  "The Lord will bless his people with peace."  Give the Lord glory; adore him in holy attire.  The mighty, majestic voice of the Lord is over the waters.  The Lord is king forever.
              • Acts 10:34-38  Peter: God shows no partiality; he accepts all who fear him and act uprightly.  God anointed Jesus with the Spirit and power; Jesus did good and healed the oppressed.
              • Is 40:1-5, 9-11  Comfort my people; proclaim to Jerusalem that her service is at an end,her guilt expiated.  A voice cries out:  Prepare the way of the Lord!  Every valley shall be filled in,
                mountains made low; rugged land made a plain; rough country, a valley.  All shall see the Lord's glory
                Cry out, Here is your God!  He rules by a strong arm.  Like a shepherd he feeds his flock, gathers and caries the lambs, and leads the ewes.
              • Ps 104:1b-4, 24-25, 27-30  "O bless the Lord, my soul."  You are great, majestic, and robed in light.  
                How manifold your works
                !  Earth and sea are full of your creatures; you fill the with good things.  When you send your spirit, they're created, and you renew the earth.  
              • Lk 3:15-16, 21-22  All were filled with expectation, asking whether John might be the Christ.  John answered, “I'm baptizing you with water, but one mightier is coming who will baptize you with the Spirit and fire.”  After all had been baptized and Jesus had been baptized, heaven was opened, the Spirit descended upon him like a dove. and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
              • Creighton:  Today's feast bridges Christmas and Ordinary Time.  The hopeful descriptions of the 1st readings build to good news, the glory of the Lord, justice, a kept promise, a chosen one, promise for the devastated exiles, for the whole world.  The Titus reading reminds us that God’s love, and the gift of our Savior, are because of his mercy.   The Acts reading reminds us God’s mercy is for all, showing no favorites.  In the gospel  John the Baptist paves the way for Jesus and baptizes him; then heaven was opened, the Spirit descended on Jesus, and a voice said “You are my beloved Son....” 
              What does this feast mean for us as we end our Christmas celebration, begin a new year, and move into Ordinary Time, still battling COVID-19, racism, divisiveness, and other injustices and struggles?  May we learn from and grow closer to Jesus as he begins his adult ministry, learning from and following him more closely.  May I better understand that God loves and is pleased with me and let that guide my actions.
              • One Bread, One Body:  "Love lasts":  On the last day of Christmas, my true Love, Jesus, revealed the Father to me in a new way and gave to me a deeper life in the Spirit; my true love, the Holy Spirit, cried in my heart “Abba” (“Papa”):  the Father spoke; Jesus saved; the Spirit descended.  May we grasp the breadth, length, height, and depth of Christ’s love, experience this love, and attain to God's fullness.  Am I ready to be loved as the Father loves Jesus, letting the Spirit pour out God's love in your heart.  God is Love, and all who abide in love abide in God, and God in them. Live love....
              • Passionist:  Today's feast adds to Christmas a dimension of ministry.  At baptism, we received the Holy Spirit and a commission to love as Christ loves....
              Jesus came to give us the fire of his Spirit that we may radiate gospel joy and truth to a world in need of God.  Like John the Baptist, we're called to give testimony to the light and truth of Jesus Christ.  Sinless Jesus' humble submission to John's baptism foreshadowed the "baptism" of his crucifixion.  His baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God’s suffering servant; he submitted himself to his Father's will.  The Father proclaimed his delight in his Son, and the Spirit was also present as he anointed Jesus for his ministry.  At Jesus' baptism heaven was opened and the waters were sanctified.  "Let us be buried with Christ by Baptism to rise with him; let us go down with him to be raised with him; and let us rise with him to be glorified with him" (St. Gregory Nazianzen)....
              Dress legend
              • 'Thunderbolt' pin:  The God of glory thunders (Ps 29)
              • 'Crown' tie bar:  The Lord is enthroned as king forever (Ps 29)
              • 'Peace' tie pin:  The Lord will bless his people with peace (Ps 29); God proclaimed peace through Jesus Christ (Acts 10)
              • 'Dove' pin:  I've put my spirit on my servant (Is 42); God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit (Acts 10); When you send forth your spirit, they're created, and you renew the earth (Ps 104); he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Spirit (Ti); he'll baptize you with the Spirit; Spirit descended on Jesus (gospel)
              • 'Scales' pin:  My servant shall bring justice (Is 42); God trained us to live justly (Ti)
              • Celebrate teaching:  The coastlands will wait for his teaching (Is 42)
              • 'Hand' tie pin:  I've grasped you by the hand (Is 42); Jerusalem has received double from the Lord's hand (Is 40); when you open your hand, they're filled with good things (Ps 104); Jerusalem has received from the hand of the Lord double for her sins (Is 40)
              • 'Lights' tie:  I set you as a light for the nations... (Is 42); Lord, you are robed in light (Ps 104)
              • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  ...to open the eyes of the blind (Is 42)
              • 'Sheep' tie bar:  He feeds his flock like a shepherd (Is 40)
              • 'Chariot' tie pin:  You make the clouds your chariot (Ps 104)
              • 'Owl' tie pin:  You wrought your works in wisdom (Ps 104)
              • 'Silverware' tie bar:  They look to you to give them food (Ps 104)
              • 'Phone' tie bar:  I, the Lord, have 'called' you (Is 42)
              • 'Car with mouth' pin:  The mouth of the Lord has spoken (Is 40)
              • 'Alps' pin:  Every mountain shall be made low; go up to a high mountain (Is 40)
              • 'Prize' pin:  The Lord's reward is with him (Is 40)
              • 'Palace' button:  You've constructed your palace upon the waters (Ps 104)
              • Dust-colored suspenders:  If you take away their breath, they perish and return to the dust (Ps 104)
              • 'Train' tie bar:  God's grace 'trained' us (Ti)
              • "Boundless mercy" button:  Our savior's love appeared because of his mercy (Ti)
              • 'Heart' pin:  The people were asking in their hearts whether John was the Messiah (gospel)
              • 'Noël' button:  Christmas season ends today
              • Blue and white shirt:  Blue: The Lord's voice is over the waters (Ps 29); I've baptized you with water (gospel); white for liturgical color of today
                • Sandals (not shown):  John:  I'm not worthy to loosen his sandals (gospel)