Quiet Saints

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Greetings this Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Readings: Sir 44:1, 10-15; Ps 132:11, 13-14, 17-18; Mt 13:16-17
Notes: From time to time you will read my complaint about the overemphasis of Heroes, Saints and Martyrs as the focus of the Church and, for that matter, secular society. Mostly because we expect the Other to be a hero, saint or martyr but of our own household we are not held to such a standard.

  1. The mantra of “Good guy with guns will protect us” has failed disgracefully as an example.
  2. The demand that women with ectopic pregnancies should be Saints in facing certain doom, even if their religious tradition does not expect that of them, is an absurd misuse of the terms Saint and Martyr. This is only truly possible by conversion not coercion.

But, we do have heroes, saints and martyrs. They are remembered for their self-gift of life itself. They are our ideal and our model for our own behaviors. They are the huge crowd from every nation and race, people and tongue, before the Lamb dressed in white robes and holding palm branches (abb Rev 7:9-12).

Then we have the quiet Saints. Who faithfully worship God and obey the commandments and seek the consolation of Israel and of their own household.

Franciscans have a beautiful write-up on the quiet heroism of the parents of Mary. Below is their reflection part.

Reflection

This is the “feast of grandparents.” It reminds grandparents of their responsibility to establish a tone for generations to come: They must make the traditions live and offer them as a promise to little children. But the feast has a message for the younger generation as well. It reminds the young that older people’s greater perspective, depth of experience, and appreciation of life’s profound rhythms are all part of a wisdom not to be taken lightly or ignored.

https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saints-joachim-and-anne

First reading
Now will I praise those godly men [and women],
our ancestors, each in his/her own time:
These were godly men [and women]
whose virtues have not been forgotten;
Their wealth remains in their families,
their heritage with their descendants;
Through God’s covenant with them their family endures,
their posterity for their sake.

Responsorial Psalm
God will give him the throne of David, his father.

Alleluia Verse
They yearned for the comforting of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit rested upon them.

Gospel Portion
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Blessed are your eyes, because they see,
and your ears, because they hear.
Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people
longed to see what you see but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Walk – A Course of Conduct

Dreaming a Pilgrimage

Greetings on this the Feast of Saint James, Apostle
Readings: 2 COR 4:7-15; PS 126:1BC-2AB, 2CD-3, 4-5, 6; MT 20:20-28
Notes: Perhaps it is time to walk to walk. A walk is a course of conduct. A way of living. James would distinguish himself in service, even unto martyrdom (Acts 12:1-3a) but only after. After he abandoned his own goals and made the peace of God’s kingdom his walk of life.

The request of the sons of Zebedee, made through their mother, for the highest places of honor in the kingdom, and the indignation of the other ten disciples at this request, show that neither the two brothers nor the others have understood that what makes for greatness in the kingdom is not lordly power but humble service. Jesus gives the example, and his ministry of service will reach its highest point when he gives his life for the deliverance of the human race from sin. New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE) note on Matt 20:20 https://bible.usccb.org/bible/matthew/20?20

A personal goal to walk the walk one day: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camino_de_Santiago

Franciscan Media: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-james

First reading
Everything indeed is for you,
so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people
may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.

Responsorial Psalm
Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion, we were like men dreaming. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with rejoicing.

Alleluia Verse
I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.

Gospel Portion
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

The Seven Good Gifts

Good Gifts

Greetings on this the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Gn 18:20-32; Ps 138:1-2, 2-3, 6-7, 7-8; Col 2:12-14; Lk 11:1-13
Notes: I am trying to write for Sunday and hope to be back for May 31st Mass.

COVID

Like so many others the COVID virus is gone after the first 10 days. Now I deal with the inflammation and other lung damages that remain after the virus is defeated.

It is a good moral lesson too. The mistake can be in an instant. The effects can last a lifetime.

From American Media:

Pope Francis is about to embark on what he has called “a penitential pilgrimage” to Canada. From July 24 to July 29, he will meet with Indigenous People there to apologize and ask forgiveness, on their land, for abuses perpetrated in largely Catholic Church-run residential schools at the hands of clerics and consecrated religious women and men.

First reading
The immorality of the cities was already hinted at in 13:13, when Lot made his choice to live there. The “outcry” comes from the victims of the injustice and violence rampant in the city, which will shortly be illustrated in the treatment of the visitors. The outcry of the Hebrews under the harsh treatment of Pharaoh (Ex 3:7) came up to God who reacts in anger at mistreatment of the poor (cf. Ex 22:21–23; Is 5:7). Sodom and Gomorrah became types of sinful cities in biblical literature. Is 1:9–10; 3:9 sees their sin as lack of social justice, Ez 16:46–51, as disregard for the poor, and Jer 23:14, as general immorality. In the Genesis story, the sin is violation of the sacred duty of hospitality by the threatened rape of Lot’s guests. From https://bible.usccb.org/bible/genesis/18?20

In short, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah had lost the ability to give good gifts. They could no longer see the Other of themselves. And when that happens all is lost!

Responsorial Psalm
Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Second reading
Brothers and sisters:
You were buried with him in baptism,
in which you were also raised with him
through faith in the power of God,
who raised him from the dead.

Alleluia Verse
You have received a Spirit of adoption,
through which we cry, Abba, Father.

Gospel Portion
The Seven Good Gifts of today’s gospel portion:

  1. Prayer – direct access to the Father.
  2. Our Father petitions for Holiness, Kingdom, Bread, Forgiveness, Protection.
  3. Three loaves of bread – for the traveler by friendship or persistence.
  4. Ask, Seek and Knock – access to relief.
  5. Fish of Faith.
  6. Egg of Hope.
  7. The Holy Spirit as gift of Charity.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Resetting the broken bones

All Rights Reserved to Amo Mitchelo, artist.

Greetings on this the Memorial of Saint Benedict, Abbot
Readings: IS 1:10-17; PS 50:8-9, 16BC-17, 21 AND 23; MT 10:34-11:1
Notes: This is not a medical homily!

But, we can learn from the medical community about resetting broken bones as a metaphor for the broken family dynamics that exist today in so many homes.

Will you allow me?

Let us image a bone is broken but never set properly by a doctor.

If a break isn’t medically treated quickly (Adult, within 14 days) there are consequences.

Bones will heal as best they can without medical intervention.
Crooked, bulky, twisted, fused, and the list goes on. (8 AM Mass -not much more of this!)

Tissue also has less than ideal healing without medical assistance (skipping descriptions).

This is the metaphor of broken families.

Jesus has come to reset the bones.
And cut away the the healing gristle like tissue called callous, to reset the bones even if it means breaking them again to reset them.

Because he wants healthy families.
Because he wants the dividing line of evil to be taken out of the equation.

Broken bones need the Great Physician.

And as our first reading indicates, false worship is a part of the brokenness.

Memorial of Saint Benedict, Abbot
https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-benedict

Reflection

The Church has been blessed through Benedictine devotion to the liturgy, not only in its actual celebration with rich and proper ceremony in the great abbeys, but also through the scholarly studies of many of its members. Liturgy is sometimes confused with guitars or choirs, Latin or Bach. We should be grateful to those who both preserve and adapt the genuine tradition of worship in the Church (Franciscans)

Photos are from Sunday at the Steubenville Youth Conference

Chaperones Francisco and Amo, excellent men.

First reading
When you come in to visit me,
who asks these things of you?
Trample my courts no more!

When you spread out your hands,
I close my eyes to you;
Though you pray the more,
I will not listen.
Your hands are full of blood!
Wash yourselves clean!
Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes;
cease doing evil; learn to do good.
Make justice your aim: redress the wronged,
hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.

Responsorial Psalm
To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

Alleluia Verse
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.

Gospel Portion
Jesus: A Cause of Division.

Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth.
I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
For I have come to set
a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one’s enemies will be those of his household.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry