June 23, 2022

John the Baptist born

June 23, 2022:  Nativity of St. John the Baptist

See over 3 dozen connections with today?
Legend below

  • John/ Winter (Medical Mission Sisters) (gospel) [leadsheet and note]
Pope Francis

To ROACO (Reunion of aid agencies for the Oriental Churches):  Thank you for caring for those suffering the conflict that has wounded Ethiopia.  Thanks to all who receive refugees from Ukraine, where we've returned to the drama of Cain and Abel, to which we're called to react via prayer and works of charity, so weapons give way to negotiations.  I have faith that pride and idolatry will be lowered, and desolation and tears filled, but we'd like to see Isaiah's prophecy of peace fulfilled soon.  But everything seems to be going in the opposite direction: less food, more weapons.  ROACO is synodal:  each actor is called to dialogue with the others.  Remain tuned to others.  Flee temptations of isolation to stay open to welcome all who serve the Eastern Catholic Churches.  In the poverty and discouragement caused by the war that prostrated Syria, ROACO listened to others to identify priorities.  There have been sad events in Iraq and Syria and upheavals in Lebanon, but also lights of hope, such as the signing of the Document on Human Fraternity.  Find updated tools and suitable ways to express closeness to the Churches and resume the work of coordination....

To Anti-Mafia Investigation Directorate (DIA) and International Marian AcademyFraternal coexistence and friendship are possible where “houses” implement the pact between generations by preserving the roots of those who believe in the beauty of being together that develops in dialogue, kindness, and support for justice.  These houses make it possible to build a family open to the common good spreading a culture of legality, respect, and safety.  The DIA helps build houses that act antibodies to corruption, greed, and violence, the DNA of criminal organizations.  Mafias win when fear takes over the mind and heart, stripping people of their dignity and freedom from within.  Work so fear can't win:  continue on the path towards change, light amidst darkness, and freedom.  Be strong and bring hope, especially among the weakest.

When security and legality are lacking, the most fragile and the "last" are harmed first:  the weak are preyed on and made into slaves mafia economies are built on, “refuse” the mafia need to pollute life and the environment.  Stand next to victims of bullying by preventing and opposing crime.  We must also resist Mafia colonialism through research, study, and formation attesting that progress springs from justice, freedom, honesty, and solidarity, not corruption.  Continue with enthusiasm despite shadows in the social and ecclesial fabric where there's still error and immorality.  Embark on the path of justice and honesty.  Where there's been connivance, study the causes, leave space for healthy "shame" and cooperation for the common good.  Stand beside people with tenderness and compassion; promote love for the people, their lives, and their future.  Love can generate new relationships and give birth to a more just order through houses and families enlivened by equality, justice, and fraternity.


  • Jer 1:4-10  Lord / Jeremiah:  "Before you were born, I formed and dedicated you and appointed you prophet." / “I'm too young!” / “Don't say that or be afraid; I'm with you.  You'll go where I send you and speak what I command.  I set you over nations to tear down and build."
  • Ps 71:1-4a, 5-6ab, 15ab, 17  "Since my mother’s womb, you have been my strength."  Hear, rescue, and deliver me; you're my hope and trust.  I'll declare your justice and salvation.
    • 1 Pt 1:8-12  Though you haven't seen Jesus, you love and believe in him and rejoice as you attain the salvation that prophets searched for and investigated...
    • Lk 1:5-17  Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous God's eyes but old and childless.  Angel to Zechariah:  “Your prayer has been heard.  Elizabeth will bear you a son; name him John.  Many will rejoice; he'll be great in God's sight, filled with the Spirit.  He'll turn children of Israel to the Lord and prepare a people fit for the Lord.
    • Is 49:1-6  The Lord called and formed me:  "You're my servant.  Through you Jacob and Israel will be gathered to me.  I'll make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach the ends of the earth."
      "His name is John" (Animate)
    • Ps 139:1b-3, 13-15  "I praise you, for I am wonderfully made."  You've formed me and know me....
    • Acts 13:22-26  Paul:  “God raised up David as king and brought to Israel a savior, Jesus, from his descendants.  John heralded him by proclaiming a baptism of repentance, saying, ‘One is coming after me; I'm not worthy to unfasten his sandals.’  This word of salvation has been sent to you....”
      • Lk 1:57-66, 80  Elizabeth gave birth; her neighbors and relatives rejoiced.  They were going to name him Zechariah, but she said, “No:  John.” / “But none of your relatives has that name.”  They made signs asking his father; he wrote, “John,” all were amazed, his mouth was opened, he spoke blessing God, fear came upon the neighbors, and everyone talked about it:  “What will this child be?  God is with him."  The child grew and became strong in spirit...
      • Creighton:  Today we learn John got his name.  Imagine the friends and family gathering to celebrate his circumcision.  When Elizabeth announced the name John and Zechariah confirmed it, regained his speech, and praised God, all knew the baby was destined for great things.  I ask God to show me when I've been "stricken mute" by not putting my faith in God.  I pray for courage to speak up for the disenfranchised:  the poor, sick, incarcerated, homeless....  Thank God my family and friends surround and support me.
      • One Bread, One Body:  Many people, even Christians, aren't ready for Christ’s comings at Christmas, at the end of the world, or at their death. They need John the Baptist whose mission is to prepare the Lord's way by calling to repentance, turning fathers' hearts to their children and the rebellious to the wisdom of the just.  May we respond by repenting, forgiving, and changing our lives.
      • Passionist:  The circumstances around John the Baptist’s birth are remarkable. When Zechariah doubted the angel Gabriel when he said he and Elizabeth would have a child, he was struck mute until the child was circumcised. Elizabeth was thought barren, but for God nothing is impossible.  When Zechariah agreed with his wife that the baby would be named John, his tongue was freed, he praised God. and all asked, “What will this child be?”  Though our births may have ben unremarkable, the Lord's hand is with us too.  We may feel like Isaiah:  “I thought I'd toiled in vain....”  Did John feel like that in prison?  But even then, God is with us, and Isaiah realizes, “my reward is with the Lord....”  John testified to the truth about Jesus and was martyred, but his reward is with the Lord. Like him, we're called to testify to God’s love in Christ....
      • DailyScripture.net:  "The Lord's hand was with him":  Birthdays are a special time to remember and give thanks for the blessings that have come our way. Are yo"The hand of the Lord was with him":  John was named from above, and Elizabeth was determined to see God glorified through him.  'John' means "the Lord is gracious."  In the births of John and Jesus, God's grace breaks forth into a broken, hopeless world.  John’s miraculous birth shows God's mercy and favor in preparing his people for its Savior's coming.  John's passion was to point others to Christ and God's kingdom.  John was filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb.  The Spirit in John made him the forerunner of the Messiah.  The Spirit led John into the wilderness to be tested and grow in the word of God.  John broke prophetic silence by speaking God's word, chiding God's people for their unfaithfulness, and trying to awaken repentance in them.  When God acts to save us, he fills us with his Spirit and makes our faith come alive.  The Lord is always ready to renew us in faith, hope, and love and to make our life an offering to God.
      • Universalis:  John the Baptist (the only saint other than Mary and Joseph to have more than one feast days), prophet from before his birth, leaping in the womb to announce Jesus, proclaimed the fulfillment of all prophecies, and so his own obsolescence.  With courage he spread the news that he was the least in the kingdom of heaven.
      Dress legend*
      • 'Playing card' tie bar:  Zechariah was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary (1st reading d)
      • 'Prize' pin:  My reward is with the Lord (1st reading d)
      • 'Crown' tie bar:  King Josiah (1st reading v); God raised up David as king (2nd reading d)
      • 'Car with mouth' tie pin:  The Lord touched Jeremiah's mouth and put his words in it (1st reading v); "my mouth will declare your justice" (psalm v); Zechariah's mouth was opened and tongue freed (gospel d)
      • '?'  tie pin: "What will this child be?" (gospel d)
      • 'Hand' tie pin:  The Lord extended his hand to Jeremiah (1st reading v); "rescue me from the hand of the wicked" (psalm v); "the hand of the Lord was with [John]" (gospel d)
      • 'Plant' pin:  "I set you... to build and to plant" (1st reading v)
      • 'Rock' tie pin:  The Lord, my rock and fortress (psalm v)
        The Birth of John the Baptist/ Tintoretto
      • 'Eyeball' pin:  I'm made glorious in the Lord's sight (1st reading d); Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God's eyes; John will be great in the sight of the Lord (gospel v); though you haven't seen Jesus, you love and believe in him,... (2nd reading v)
      • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin:  ...and rejoice with glorious joy (2nd reading v); many will rejoice at John's birth (gospel v); they rejoiced with Elizabeth (gospel d)
      • 'Angel' pin:  Things angels longed to look into (2nd reading v); an angel appeared and spoke to Zechariah (gospel v)
      • 'Arrow' tie bar:  "He made me a sharpened arrow" (1st reading d)
      • 'Heart' tie bar:  John will turn hearts (gospel v); "I've found David a man after my own heart" (2nd reading d); all who heard took it to heart (gospel d)
      • 'Phone' tie bar:  The Lord 'called' me from birth (1st reading d); they made signs, asking Zechariah what he wished the child to be called (gospel d)
      • 'Sword' tie pin:  The Lord made of me a sharp-edged sword (1st reading d)
      • Sandals (not shown):  "I'm not worthy to unfasten the sandals (2nd reading d)
      • 'Feet' pin:  ...of his feet" (2nd reading d)
      • 'Children around the world' tie, 'street light' tie bar:  John will turn the children of Israel to the Lord (gospel v); I set you over the nations (1st reading v); I'll make you a light to the nations that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth (1st reading d); you knew me when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth (psalm d)
      • 'Tablet' pin:  Zechariah and Elizabeth observed the Lord's commandments (gospel v); Zechariah wrote "John is his name" on a tablet (gospel d)
      • White and red shirt, white socks, 'decapitated skeleton' tie pin:  White for today's celebration, red and pin for John's martyrdom
      • Celebrate teaching:  You have taught me from my youth (gospel v)
      • "Boundless mercy" button:  "John" is Hebrew for "God is merciful"; the Lord showed great mercy toward Elizabeth (gospel d)
      • 'Street light' tie bar:  I'll make you a light... (1st reading d)
      • Suspenders with globe:  ...to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth (1st reading d); I was fashioned in the depths of the earth (psalm d)

      • 'Helm' tie pin:  John will 'turn' many to the Lord (gv)

      • 'Alps' pin:  These matters were discussed throughout the hill country (gospel d)
      *:  v=vigil reading, d=daytime reading

      June 22, 2022

      June 22

      June 22, 2022:  Wednesday, 12th week, Ordinary Time

      See 11 connections with today?
      Legend below

      Listen to settings of today's psalm

      General audience:   The waning of physical strength with age offers a chance to follow Christ a new way.  Peter’s relationship with Jesus was tender, direct, free, and open, but not melancholic.  Jesus asks Peter, "Do you love me?," and invites him, “Tend my sheep,” but they still argue.  Can we have tender, direct, free, and open relationships?  We can sugarcoat gospel truth, distancing ourselves from Jesus.  Jesus warns Peter that as he grows old, his testimony will be accompanied by weakness.  Jesus invites him to learn to bear witness in a new way.  Your frailty, helplessness, and dependence on others will have to instruct and mold your discipleship.  In old age we learn to bear witness in a life largely entrusted to others.  Old age is a time of trial and temptation; Peter points to this when he asks Jesus, "What about [John]?"  Jesus responds frankly, "What does it matter to you?  Follow me.’”  The elderly shouldn't envy the young.  The honor of their faithfulness to their love and fidelity to their faith is the title of admiration for generations to come and of recognition from the Lord.  Your forcibly inactive act of listening to, contemplating, and following the Lord will become the best part of your lives.

      At World Meeting of Families Festival of Families:  I'm close to all married couples and families in your concrete situations. Start from where you are, then try to journey together.  I want the Church to be a Good Samaritan for you all, to draw near to you and help you move forward. Every family has a mission to carry out, a testimony to give.  Ask the Lord what he wants to speak through your life to those you meet.  What step is he asking of your family?  Stop, listen, and allow the Lord to change you, so you can change the world and make it home for all who need to feel welcomed and accepted, for all who need to encounter Christ and know they're loved.

        • 2 Kgs 22:8-13; 23:1-3  High priest / scribe:  “I found the book of the law in the temple.”  When the king heard the contents, he commanded:  “Consult the Lord for me, for the people, for all Judah, about its stipulations; God is angry with us, because our ancestors didn't obey.”  He went to the temple with the people, had the book read out, and made a covenant before the Lord that they'd follow him.
        • Ps 119:33-37, 40  "Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord."  Give me discernment, that I may keep your law with all my heart.  I long for your precepts; give me life.
        • Mt 7:15-20  “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but are wolves underneath.  By their fruits you'll know them.  Good trees bear good fruit; rotten trees, bad fruit.  Every tree that doesn't bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
        • Mt 7:15-20  “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but are wolves underneath.  By their fruits you'll know them.  Good trees bear good fruit; rotten trees, bad fruit.  Every tree that doesn't bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
        • Creighton:  Josiah “did what was right in the Lord’s sight.”  He waged a campaign against idolatrous practices.  He ordered the restoration of the temple, leading to the discovery of a book of God’s law.  Hearing it read, he realized how Judah had strayed and decided to lead in a new direction.  He directed the High Priest to seek God’s guidance.  God spoke through Huldah:  Because Josiah’s heart was responsive and he had humbled himself, God postponed his punishment against Judah. The gospel warns against being tempted by false prophets, whose message is inconsistent with the greatest commandments (love of God and neighbor) or Jesus' "new commandment" (to love like Jesus).  Jesus tells us to look at their “fruits.”  Do my priorities distract me from loving God?  Do I care for others, or do I view God's gifts as mine?  Do I love God's children, or show prejudice?  Do I judge?  Do I listen to God, following Jesus' example and the Spirit's prompting?  May we humble ourselves, seek God, and respond like Josiah.
        • One Bread, One Body:  "Fruit inspection":  Many, even Christians, deny Jesus’ commands in the Sermon on the Mount, such as poverty of spirit and love of enemies. Jesus said: “Know them by their deeds.” Look at the fruit.  Not following God leads to broken lives, marriages, and hearts, war, and slavery, not love....
        • Passionist:  Imagine the fear of apostles walking unprotected through deserts, then seeking a receptive audience as enemies sought to trap them.  Beware of false prophets; judge from their fruits.  Lord, help us combat evil and flourish....
        • DailyScripture.net:  "You'll know them by their fruits":  Jesus' audience was familiar with his 'fruit-imagery.'   As berries on a thorn bush can resemble grapes and a flower can resemble a fig, what we "hear" might resemble the truth but actually be false.  Jesus connects good fruit with sound living.  Isaiah warned against falsehood; it produces 'Christianity' without the cross, Jesus' hard sayings, or a sense of sin.  We avoid falsehood by being true to God, his word, and his grace.  Disciples' fruit is marked by faith, hope, and love, justice, prudence, fortitude, and temperance.
            • 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
              • Metal accessories:  "Your servants have smelted down the metals..." (1st reading)
              • 'Heart' pin:  King made covenant that they'd follow the Lord with all their heart (1st reading); incline my heart to your decrees (psalm)
              • 'Celebrate teaching' pin:  "Teach me the way of your decrees" (psalm)
              • 'Eyeball' pin:  Turn away my eyes from seeing what is vain (psalm)
              • 'Sheep' tie bar: “Beware false prophets, wolves in sheep’s clothing" (gospel)
              • 'Chalice with grapes' tie pin: "Do people pick grapes from thornbushes?" (gospel)
              • 'Fruits' tie: "By their fruits you will know them." (gospel)
              • NEW 'Trees' suspenders: "Every good tree bears good fruit" (gospel)
              • 'Blood drop' pin:  SS. Thomas More and John Fisher, martyrs
              • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

              June 21, 2022


              June 21, 2022:  St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious

              Can you find 20 connections with today?
              Legend below


              Pope Francis

              To First Meeting of States Parties:  Since the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons went into effect last January, 65 states have signed on, but no nuclear-armed countries.  We need to remain aware of the dangers of short-sighted approaches to security and the risks of nuclear proliferation.  I renew my appeal to silence weapons and to negotiate to eliminate the causes of conflict. Peace and security must be universal; and that we must all be responsible for our brothers' and sisters' well-being.  A nuclear weapon-free world is necessary and possible.  Nuclear weapons are a costly and dangerous liability.  Their use, even their possession, is immoral.  Mutual deterrence poisons relationships and obstructs dialogue.  Using them is a repugnant form of blackmail.  Disarmament must be complete, reaching our very souls.  There's a global, pressing need for public and personal responsibility and examination of conscience.  Disarmament treaties are both legal obligations and moral commitments, rooted in the trust citizens put in their governments, with consequences for current and future generations.  Adherence to disarmament agreements is strength, not weakness.  Promote a culture of life and peace based on the dignity of the human person, aware that we're all brothers and sisters.  The Church remains irrevocably committed to promoting peace....

              • 2 Kgs 19:9b-11, 14-21, 31-35a, 36  Sennacherib, king of Assyria, sent envoys to Hezekiah:  The kings of Assyria have doomed all other countries!  Will you be saved?’”  Hezekiah read the letter, then prayed, You alone are God.  Hear Sennacherib taunting you.  The kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and cast their gods into the fire because they were the work of human hands.  Save us from this man, that all may know you alone are God.”  Isaiah told him, “The Lord answers your prayer.  Out of Jerusalem shall come a remnant.  The king of Assyria won't reach this city.  I'll save this city....”  That night the Lord struck down 185,000 in the Assyrian camp, and Sennacherib went back home.
              • Ps 48:2-4, 10-11  "God upholds his city for ever."  Great is the Lord and wholly to be praised.  We ponder Your mercy and justice.
              • 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.”
              • CreightonMatthew places Jesus as the new Moses.  The New Law is Jesus extending his teaching to be written in our hearts.  The first gospel image is taken from the practice of sacrificing sheep and goats in the "holy" temple, not throwing them to dogs and pigs.  The “road” and “narrow gate” is an image of the spiritual life.  The road leading to destruction is paved with self-expectations, self-satisfying, self-constructing. If it's all about me, that's all I get, isolated, leading to chaos.  Jesus' spirituality is centered in our being created in Christ, to continue creation within and through us, to be constantly created, to enter into relationships as a blessing of creation.  Life flows into us and out  as God's creative Love.  Spiritual life isn't just about my and self-improvement; prayer and sacraments prepare us to be a creational presence and gift from God to others.  The “narrow way” is counter-cultural.  We receive to live and give.  The more I say yes, the less I'm mine and more yours.
              • One Bread, One Body:  King Sennacherib trusted in earthly power, particularly his army.  King Hezekiah trusted in God's power and protection, spreading out his problems before the Lord, surrendering all to God's mercy.  Many kings didn't trust God like he did.  Hezekiah entered “through the narrow gate”; God answered, “I've listened,” acted in power, and rescued Jerusalem.  Hezekiah came to the Lord, trusting in God's providence.  Prefiguring Jesus in the garden, he, holding nothing back, asked that God's will, not his, be done. Spread out your problems before the Lord, and pray....
              • Passionist:  In Jesus' time, pearls were precious, and swine and wild dogs were regarded as unclean.  Holiness is faithfulness to God's love in our thought, word, and deed.  Jesus encourages us to stay away from spiritually or morally unclean things and be prudent stewards of God's gifts, including our health and wellness.  Today's gospel includes the golden rule.  God calls us to unconditional love.  Jesus’ use of the narrow gate is about making right choices.  What choices am I making?  How do I steward God’s gifts?  How do I live the golden rule?....
              • 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) 
                St. Aloysius Gonzaga and...
                St. "Luigi"

                Dress legend
                • 'Crown' tie bar:  Kings Sennacherib and Hezekiah et al. (1st reading); Zion, city of the great King (psalm)
                • 'Letter' tie bar:  Hezekiah took the letter... (1st reading)
                • 'Hand' tie pin:  ...from the messengers' hand; the gods were the work of human hands,... (1st reading); Your hand is full... (psalm)
                • 'Scales' brooch:  ...of justice (psalm)
                    • 'Wood block' and 'stone' tie pins:  Wood and stone (1st reading)
                    • 'Eyeball' pin:  Open your eyes, O Lord, and see!  (1st reading)
                    • 'Angel' pin:  The Angel of the Lord struck down 185,000... (1st reading)
                    • 'Arrow' pin:  He won't shoot an arrow at this city (1st reading)
                    • 'Alps' pin:  Survivors will come from Mount Zion (1st reading); The Lord's holy mountain... (psalm)
                    • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin:  ...is the joy of all the earth (psalm)
                    • 'Boundless mercy' button:  God, we ponder your mercy (psalm)
                    • 'Castle' button:  God is with his city's castles (psalm)
                    • "Prayer:  the original wireless connection" T-shirt (faint under dress shirt; see here though mine has black text on grey background):  Hezekiah's prayer (1st reading)
                    • '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)
                    • Gold-colored accessories:  Golden rule (gospel)
                    • White shirt:  Liturgical color for St. Aloysius memorial

                    June 20, 2022

                    June 20

                    June 20, 2022:  Monday, 12th week, Ordinary Time

                    See a dozen connections with today?
                    Legend below


                    For Psalm 60
                    From the Vatican

                    Pre- World Meeting of Families"Growing in love" video of Rome suburbs working couple, parents of 2 girls, volunteering at day care center, paired with "Excuse me; thank you; sorry" catechesis:  With these words family members recognize their own limitations. Recognizing our weakness leads us to respect each other.  These simple words guide us to concrete steps towards holiness and love. When we accept we're not enough ourselves and leave space for others, we can live love in the family and experience faith.

                    • 2 Kgs 17:5-8, 13-15a, 18  King Shalmaneser took Samaria and deported the children of Israel to Assyria.  This came about because they sinned and venerated other gods; though the Lord warned, “Give up your evil ways and keep my commandments,” they didn't listen.  Only the tribe of Judah was left.
                    • Ps 60:3, 4-5, 12-13  "Help us with your right hand, O Lord, and answer us."  You've have rejected us, broken our defenses, rocked the country and split it open; repair its cracks.
                    • Mt 7:1-5  “Stop judging; you'll be judged as you judge.  Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye but not the beam in yours?  Hypocrite, remove the beam; then you'll see clearly to remove the splinter.”
                    • Gospel-related wisdom from Dr. Tom Keens, renowned bass in the St. Bede Choir:  People can be quick to judge, but before you judge or criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.  Then you'll be a mile away from them, and you'll have their shoes!  (Perhaps this nugget originated before Tom.  If you know, please tell me.)
                    • Creighton:  Jesus tells us not to judge because most of the time, our flaws are worse than those we judge.  How do we perceive our flaws before pick at others' flaws?   To not see others' flaws?  "Live and let live"?  Today's gospel challenges us to self-reflection.  After self-reflection and improvement, I might be able to help others. In a healthy community we can engage in self-reflection and stand in solidarity with and learn to forgive each other.  Unfortunately, in society people judge with no mercy.  May we model self-examination and forgiveness as we work to create hope for all.
                    • One Bread, One Body:  "Secular humanism":  Secular humanism is a religion that bows down before the god of self.. Whether or not adherents are atheists, they put people before God.  If we get caught up in the cult, we'll be manipulated, become perverse and empty, and perish. The Lord, patient and merciful, gives us a chance to repent and get the plank out of our eye.
                      • Passionist:   Jesus calls us to humility about our sinfulness. When I recognize my sin, I better understand my fellow sinners.  If I remove the beam from my eye, I see more clearly and may find the splinter isn't there at all, or that something else is getting in the way.  If I'm judgmental, I may see shyness as snobbery, but if I let go, I may see you need to be lifted up instead of taken down....  Lord, help us acknowledge our sin and see clearly to help others....
                      • DailyScripture.net:  "Take the log out of your eye":  Think the best of others to grow in love.  We can't see people's inner motives and intentions and don't have all the facts, we're swayed by instinct, and we react unreasonably.
                      "'Hypocrite,' pretender, is aptly used here, since denouncing evil is best viewed as a matter only for the upright.  We must avoid pretenders who under the guise of seeking advice censure, often moved by malice.  When you must reprove, proceed with discernment and caution.  If the fault is one you had but overcame, remember our common frailty so the correction and admonition will be with mercy.  If you've never had the fault, remember you could have.  If you have the fault, don't correct or rebuke, but bemoan your fault and induce the other to the same concern." (Augustine, Sermon on the Mount, paraphrased)
                      How we treat others will return to us.  The Lord sees everything, even imperfections and sins we don't see, draws us to his mercy seat, and removes the sin.  Lord, purify my heart so I may have room for charity and forbearance.  "Give us the humility that realizes its ignorance, admits its mistakes, recognizes its need, welcomes advice, and accepts rebuke.  Help us praise not criticize, sympathize not discourage, build not destroy, and think of people at their best not their worst." (Barclay)
                      Dress legend
                      • 'Golden calf' tie pin:  "The children of Israel venerated other gods" (1st reading)
                      • 'Hand' tie pin:  "Help us with your right hand, Lord." (psalm)
                      • 'Rock' tie pin:  "You have rocked the country" (psalm)
                      • 'Scales of justice' tie:  Stop judging, lest you be judged (gospel)
                      • 'Rulers' suspenders:  The measure you measure will be measured out to you (gospel)
                      • 'Crown' tie bar:  Shalmaneser, king of Assyria (1st reading)
                      • 'Wood block' tie pin:  Splinter in my brother’s eye vs. beam in mine (gospel)
                      • '?' tie pin:  Jesus' questions:  "Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye but not the beam in yours?  How can you say, ‘Let me remove that splinter’ while the beam is in your eye?  Can a blind person guide a blind person?  Won't both fall into a pit?" (gospel)
                      • 'Eyeball' pin:  Remove the beam from your eye (gospel)
                      • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season