Lost and Found

Crown of Thorns (Wisdom) Beating Heart (Love)

Greetings on this the Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Readings: Ez 34:11-16; Ps 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6; Rom 5:5b-11; Lk 15:3-7
Notes: Bringing to the Height of the Most Sacred Heart. He seeks the lost.

During the Novena I preached daily on the Sacred Heart, some reminders:

  • Wednesday – Lamb of God, gentle, meek, and approachable. Invite the Lord to the secret of your heart (Elijah in the cave story). Elijah prayed for himself and Elisha even on his biggest day!
  • Thursday – Prayer. Ask – from the secret place. Seek – from the secret place. Knock – from the secret place. Alms, prayer and fasting – in the secret place of your heart.
  • Friday – Treasure and Store. Treasure (or store) is the source of your strength. Gain your strength from the treasury of Heaven. Whatever you are going through, the Lord makes for good, somehow, someway.
  • Saturday – Good Shepherd. Lamb and Shepherd. Meek and Wise. Gentle and Strong. Do not take from the wrong treasury that, although looks good, is from the thief who comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy.
  • Sunday – Know. The image of the Sacred Heart is a crown of thorns surrounding a heart. The thorns are a reminder of the need and mistake, not as punishment, but as wisdom. The heart is fresh, strong and (for my imagination) a beating, throbbing presence of God’s love for us. Strong, pulsing, alive and real.
  • Monday – Splinters! Story of the cars side by side gong down the road, me racing, she steady. Bumm, bumm, bumm… My beam of the eye, you are my aid, my friends! But once I chose to dwell with her (talk, relate, share), the beam became a splinter then became nothing at all.
  • Tuesday – You are Holy. You are the pearls. All these exterior things can be troubling. But the Lord overcomes all of them.
  • Wednesday – Blood and Water from the side of Jesus which brings salvation. Good fruit – the gifts of the Holy Spirit bring the fruit which brings peace with God and man.
  • Thursday – Living Water (the Holy Spirit, a gift from Jesus) We Are Cracked Pots – we are all cracked pot but the living water leaks out of us and goodness and kindness follow us all the days of our lives.

Franciscan Reflections:

https://www.franciscanmedia.org/franciscan-spirit-blog/the-sacred-heart-of-jesus
https://www.franciscanmedia.org/franciscan-spirit-blog/sacred-heart-a-symbol-of-love-and-mercy

First reading
Thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will look after and tend my sheep. As a shepherd tends his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so will I tend my sheep.

Responsorial Psalm
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life.

Second reading
Brothers and sisters:
The love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Alleluia Verse
Take my yoke upon you, says the Lord,
and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.

Gospel Portion
Jesus addressed this parable to the Pharisees and scribes:
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?

The greatest sorrow of a fireman is losing a child to a fire. Children, when there is a fire in the home, tend to hide somewhere (closet, under bed, beneath a pile of clothes). It is so difficult to find them quickly and get out alive. It is a sad thing to be lost/hidden in the wrong ways.

The Lord will find you, if you allow him, embrace the love that seeks your good for your good and a lifetime of joy.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

John is his name

Courage to speak the truth!

Greetings on this the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist
Mass during the Day
Readings: Is 49:1-6; PS 139:1b-3, 13-14ab, 14c-15; Acts 13:22-26; Lk 1:57-66, 80
Notes: Jesus is born six months from now. The Blessed Mother visited Elizabeth for the first three months of her own pregnancy. His herald, John is his name, we celebrate his birth.

After naming John, Zechariah gave us The Canticle of Zechariah, regarding his son:

And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.

Franciscan Reflection
https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/nativity-of-saint-john-the-baptist

First reading
One of Four servant of the Lord Oracles.
Set apart to do the Lord’s work.
Applies to all who serve the Lord and especially to John and Jesus.

The LORD called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.

Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God.

He said to me, You are my servant, in you, Israel, I show my glory.

Responsorial Psalm
I praise you, for I am wonderfully made.

Second Reading
From this man’s descendants God, according to his promise, has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus. John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel; and as John was completing his course, he would say, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he.

Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.’

Alleluia Verse
You, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.

Gospel Portion
All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him. The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.

Take this to heart. You have been called as well to be a Herald:
a. to give your people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.
b. to know the tender mercy of our God.
c. to be visited from on high.
d. to shine on those who sit in darkness and death’s shadow.
e. to guide our feet into the path of peace.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Beware of false prophets

From Catholic Link

Greetings on this the Wednesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: 2 Kgs 22:8-13; 23:1-3; PS 119:33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 40; Mt 7:15-20
Notes: By their fruits you will know them.

If it ain’t these then it’s FALSE.

Based on sacred writings, fruitful in holiness.

First reading
He had the entire contents of the book of the covenant that had been found in the temple of the LORD, read out to them.
Standing by the column, the king made a covenant before the LORD that they would follow him and observe his ordinances, statutes and decrees
with their whole hearts and souls,
thus reviving the terms of the covenant
which were written in this book.
And all the people stood as participants in the covenant.

Responsorial Psalm
Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord.

Alleluia Verse
Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.

Gospel Portion
So by their fruits you will know them.

The 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit
The 12 fruits are charity (or love), joy, peace, patience, benignity (or kindness), goodness, longanimity (or long-suffering), mildness (or gentleness), faith, modesty, continency (or self-control), and chastity. (Longanimity, modesty, and chastity are the three fruits found only in the longer version of the text.)

Richert, Scott P. “What Are the 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit?” Learn Religions, Aug. 28, 2020, learnreligions.com/the-fruits-of-the-holy-spirit-542103.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Go Silent or Speak Up

Locks of Love

Greetings on this the Memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious
Readings: 2 Kgs 19:9b-11, 14-21, 31-35a, 36; PS 48:2-3ab, 3cd-4, 10-11; Mt 7:6, 12-14
Notes:

  • a. Sometimes we must speak boldly and evangelize the Good News even in the face of grave danger.
  • b. Sometimes the right thing to do is to protect yourself.

Like Hezekiah in the first reading we must seek the Lord’s guidance on which is the proper answer.

In the matter of your person:

  1. You are Holy, made in the image and likeness of God. Nobody has the right or attractiveness to ruin.
  2. You are a Pearl of Great Price. Nobody has the right to trample you or throw you into the mud.
  3. Do not submit yourself to be torn to pieces. Either outright or as a secondary effect of surrendering your person to dogs or swine (those without faith).
  4. Fools will not listen to you and only discount the truth you are in Christ.

This is about protecting yourself and not harming anyone else.

On this memorial: Aloysius had to face a new penance. The penance of facing new ideas and engaging the world as it is not as the imagination would force it to be.

https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-aloysius-gonzaga

First reading
Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it;
then he went up to the temple of the LORD,
and spreading it out before him,
he prayed in the LORD’s presence.

Responsorial Psalm
God upholds his city for ever.

Alleluia Verse
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.

Gospel Portion
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine,
lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Do not speak in the hearing of fools;
they will despise the wisdom of your words (Prv 23:9)

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Forced Migration

Greetings on this the Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: 2 Kgs 17:5-8, 13-15a, 18; PS 60:3, 4-5, 12-13; Mt 7:1-5
Notes: Ancient scripture has a variety of focal points. There are several ways to encounter the stories of old because they resonate in many different ways.

Today I will focus on forced migration.

Forced migration can come about by war, famine, or greed. Human history is filled with these stories as are the sacred writings. For people of faith we frame the events in the divine-human exchange. While that is good, it is not sufficient and sometimes childish and without good purpose.

  • The Hebrews needed rescue and became wanderers in the desert preferable to the mistreatment of Egypt.
  • Israel suffered their end and a diaspora into Assyria due to military conquest.
  • The people of Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim likewise were forced deported to Samaria as occupiers.

Regarding the Book of Kings: Judah’s kings, on the other hand, follow a cyclic pattern of infidelity followed by reform, with each reformer king (Asa, Joash, Hezekiah, Josiah) greater than the last (NASRE).

BTW: Excellent introduction to the book of Kings (1 and 2) https://bible.usccb.org/bible/1kings/0

Knowing all this we would do a very bad disservice to not account for the behaviors of man toward the fellow man. Puppeteering theology (we are merely puppets to the divine consequences of our actions) is woefully inadequate.

These

  • Cause
  • Consequence
  • Action

are not tightly wrapped concepts.

There are vectors of approach and multiplicity of cause.

But ALL of them are often encountered with judgment and a superior moral and ethical façade. Our gospel pericope today, blasts through our bias and judgement.

Jesus wants us to come to the aid of all without the baggage of judgment, for we too are lamentable in our action and purpose at times.

First reading
They rejected his statutes,
the covenant which he had made with their fathers, and the warnings which he had given them, till, in his great anger against Israel, the LORD put them away out of his sight. Only the tribe of Judah was left.

Responsorial Psalm
Help us with your right hand, O Lord, and answer us.

Alleluia Verse
The word of God is living and effective,
able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.

Gospel Portion
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Eucharistic Pointillism

Together, we are the dots that form the Image of Christ

Greetings on this the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Readings: Gn 14:18-20; Ps 110:1, 2, 3, 4; 1 Cor 11:23-26; Lk 9:11b-17
Notes: We collectively embody Christ’s real presence in the world. It is said and it is done!

Pointillism

Pointillism is a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image.

Eucharist

The transformation (transubstantiation) that occurs is not only of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, but of the community as well. Through Eucharist, the faithful become what they receive, namely the body and the blood of Christ. They are not individually transubstantiated into the real presence of Christ, but collectively embody Christ’s real presence in the world (see footnote).

– Allman, Mark

First reading
Melchizedek, priest.
Jesus in the order of Melchizedek.

Responsorial Psalm
You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.

Second reading
In our second reading, Saint Paul asserts the importance of sacred Tradition. Just like in the development of the Old Testament, the New Testament went first through a period of Oral Tradition. Before it was written as a canon, it was spoken and shared face to face and then written in real time. It is not until much later it becomes canon and ‘set’ for all time.

We literally say a portion of this text in the Eucharistic Prayer and in the Memorial (anamnesis) Narrative.

More correctly to say: It is said and it is done!

Brothers and sisters:
I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Sequence
https://deacongerrypalermo.blog/2022/06/19/lauda-sion-2/

Alleluia Verse
I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord;
whoever eats this bread will live forever.

Gospel Portion
The Return of the Twelve and the Feeding of the Five Thousand.

Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom of God,
and he healed those who needed to be cured.

Then taking the five loaves and the two fish,
and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing over them, broke them,
and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.
They all ate and were satisfied.
And when the leftover fragments were picked up,
they filled twelve wicker baskets.

In Jesus, the gospel portion brings to light his saving work:

  • Be healed.
  • Be filled.
  • Be satisfied.
  • Become a dot in the Eucharistic Pointillism.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

References
Allman, Mark. “EUCHARIST, RITUAL & NARRATIVE: FORMATION OF INDIVIDUAL AND COMMUNAL MORAL CHARACTER.” Journal of Ritual Studies, vol. 14, no. 1, 2000, pp. 60–68. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/44368578. Accessed 19 Jun. 2022.

Lauda Sion

Praise, O Sion

Sequence

Laud, O Zion, your salvation,
Laud with hymns of exultation,
Christ, your king and shepherd true:

Bring him all the praise you know,
He is more than you bestow.
Never can you reach his due.

Special theme for glad thanksgiving
Is the quick’ning and the living
Bread today before you set:

From his hands of old partaken,
As we know, by faith unshaken,
Where the Twelve at supper met.

Full and clear ring out your chanting,
Joy nor sweetest grace be wanting,
From your heart let praises burst:

For today the feast is holden,
When the institution olden
Of that supper was rehearsed.

Here the new law’s new oblation,
By the new king’s revelation,
Ends the form of ancient rite:

Now the new the old effaces,
Truth away the shadow chases,
Light dispels the gloom of night.

What he did at supper seated,
Christ ordained to be repeated,
His memorial ne’er to cease:

And his rule for guidance taking,
Bread and wine we hallow, making
Thus our sacrifice of peace.

This the truth each Christian learns,
Bread into his flesh he turns,
To his precious blood the wine:

Sight has fail’d, nor thought conceives,
But a dauntless faith believes,
Resting on a pow’r divine.

Here beneath these signs are hidden
Priceless things to sense forbidden;
Signs, not things are all we see:

Blood is poured and flesh is broken,
Yet in either wondrous token
Christ entire we know to be.

Whoso of this food partakes,
Does not rend the Lord nor breaks;
Christ is whole to all that taste:

Thousands are, as one, receivers,
One, as thousands of believers,
Eats of him who cannot waste.

Bad and good the feast are sharing,
Of what divers dooms preparing,
Endless death, or endless life.

Life to these, to those damnation,
See how like participation
Is with unlike issues rife.

When the sacrament is broken,
Doubt not, but believe ‘tis spoken,
That each sever’d outward token
doth the very whole contain.

Nought the precious gift divides,
Breaking but the sign betides
Jesus still the same abides,
still unbroken does remain.

Lo! the angel’s food is given
To the pilgrim who has striven;
see the children’s bread from heaven,
which on dogs may not be spent.

Truth the ancient types fulfilling,
Isaac bound, a victim willing,
Paschal lamb, its lifeblood spilling,
manna to the fathers sent.

Very bread, good shepherd, tend us,
Jesu, of your love befriend us,
You refresh us, you defend us,
Your eternal goodness send us
In the land of life to see.

You who all things can and know,
Who on earth such food bestow,
Grant us with your saints, though lowest,
Where the heav’nly feast you show,
Fellow heirs and guests to be. Amen. Alleluia.

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

Worry About Worrying

Worry is Alt Truth

Greetings on this the Saturday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: 2 Chr 24:17-25; PS 89:4-5, 29-30, 31-32, 33-34; Mt 6:24-34
Notes: Does worry have you worried?

Worry

  • Noun – a state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems
  • Verb – give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles
  • Alt verb – (of a dog or other carnivorous animal) tear at, gnaw on, or drag around with the teeth.

The first reading shows that worry brought about the attempt to be loyal to God and amass mammon to protect you from worry. Eek! A tough place any of us can fall into.

First reading
Key to understand this first reading are these verses early in the 24th chapter:

  1. Joash did what was right in the LORD’s sight as long as Jehoiada the priest lived (v2).
  2. Jehoiada grew old, full of years, and died; he was a hundred and thirty years old (v15).
  3. After the death of Jehoiada, the princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king; then the king listened to them. They forsook the temple of the LORD, the God of their fathers, and began to serve the sacred poles and the idols (v17-18a).

Then the Spirit of God possessed Zechariah,
son of Jehoiada the priest.
He took his stand above the people and said to them:
“God says, ‘Why are you transgressing the LORD’s commands,
so that you cannot prosper?
Because you have abandoned the LORD, he has abandoned you.’”

For our gospel reading today, in light of the Sacred Heart, one must ask the question:

  • What was Joash worried about?
  • Why did he turn from the Lord after the death of Jehoiada?

I don’t want to throw shade at him. But the hint of money and wealth available at the rebuilding of the temple seems to be a hidden primary theme for Joash.

He gathered together the priests and Levites and said to them: “Go out to all the cities of Judah and gather money from all Israel that you may repair the house of your God over the years. You must hurry this project.” But the Levites did not (v5).

Yes, Joash rebuilt the temple (the good) and Joash/princes stole some for themselves (the bad).

Hence the warning about: God and mammon.

Responsorial Psalm
For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.

“I will punish their crime with a rod
and their guilt with stripes.
Yet my mercy I will not take from him,
nor will I belie my faithfulness.”

Alleluia Verse
Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.

Gospel Portion
Jesus said to his disciples:
“No one can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.

Jesus counsels about worry FOUR times in this gospel portion. Worry about worrying and then give the worry to the Lord.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Refreshing Store

Empty Flower Basket – Seeds from what store? Heaven, is best

Greetings on this the Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: 2 Kgs 11:1-4, 9-18, 20; PS 132:11, 12, 13-14, 17-18; Mt 6:19-23
Notes: What is in your pantry?

What food stores do you have in your home right now?
We are in Hurricane season (June 1st – November 30th, each year) and we are instructed to place in our store many items to survive an extended period of time without access to food markets.

Our store is our survival.

So in Jesus’ instruction to ‘store up treasures in heaven’ isn’t creating things for use while in heaven (like a heavenly reward). It is for our life here on Earth.

Our store should be from heaven and the gifts from heaven are the best gifts to aid us in this life. Our supply and our reserve.

A pontifical blessing by a Bishop:
V: Blessed be the name of the Lord.
R: Now and forever.
V: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R: Who made heaven and earth.

V: May Almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
R; Amen.

Friday and Saturday readings lead well into the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ on Sunday.

Taking part in the eucharistic sacrifice, which is the fount and apex of the whole Christian life (LG, 11)

Also translated: Source and Summit.

First reading
For six years he remained hidden with her in the house of the LORD, while Athaliah ruled as queen over the land.

A reminder our store is in the Lord. Our safety is in the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.

Alleluia Verse
Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.

Gospel Portion
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
But store up treasures in heaven

  • For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.
  • What your eye looks to, there is the source of your light.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry