There is always a choice for saint of the day. There are so many saints out there that several are being celebrated every day. I usually just go by whoever is the saint of the day on the US Conference of Catholic Bishops page. But today they had Saint Aura, virgin, sister of the sainted martyrs Adolphus and John. I couldn't find her picture or any other information about her, so I went with the saint that is on my handy-dandy little church calender. Today, we have the Blessed Virgin Mary listed as an optional memorial, which is on a lot of the Saturdays through spring and summer. I've included my favorite picture of all time of Mary, and you can check the link for more info about her.

First reading today: Micah 2:1-5

It seems that we are entering a new book that I still don't know anything about. This is from the NAB: Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah. Of his personal life and call we know nothing except that he came from the obscure village of Moresheth in the foothills. His were the broad vistas of the Judean lowland and the distant sea on the western horizon. With burning eloquence he attacked the rich exploiters of the poor, fraudulent merchants, venal judges, corrupt priests and prophets. To the man of the countryside the vices of the nation seemed centered in its capitals, for both Samaria and Jerusalem are singled out for judgment. An interesting notice in Jeremiah 26:17, 18 informs us that the reform of Hezekiah was influenced by the preaching of Micah.

I just read the passage. This is definitely a warning. God is always warning the Israelites in the old testament, and they are never listening. I guess hindsight is 20/20. If there were some crazy hillbilly running around the streets of Atlanta screaming this at all of the Christians, we'd ignore him too. We just need to listen with our hearts and minds to what God is saying to us through the world.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 12:14-21

My footnotes tell me that only in Matthew does Jesus know about the Pharisee plot to kill him. He went away, but he didn't escape. I'm pretty sure that a guy healing crowds of people was pretty easy to find, no matter how much he warned them to not talk about him.

Also, if there was all of this talk about gentiles in the prophecies about Jesus, why was it such a big debate among early Christians?

Our saint today is Saint Theodosia of Constantinople.
This info is from the USCCB site:

Of Constantinople, of Saint Theodosia, nun, who, for the sake of protecting the ancient icon of Christ which Emperor Leo the Isaurian had commanded be taken down from the Bronze Gate of the palace [in order that it might be destroyed], suffered martyrdom.

On to the readings. First reading today: Isaiah 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8

So, Hezekiah is ill, and Isaiah goes to him and tells him to get his affairs and his spiritual house in order, because he's going to die. When he cries out to the lord and prays, it seems like God softens up a little, and tells Isaiah the cure for this guy's illness, and tells him that he will live for another 15 years. He seems to be sick from a boil. This is some major boil that has gotten so big that it could kill him. Then Isaiah does this really cool miracle to prove to Hezekiah that the Lord is telling the truth about extending his life. This passage is telling me to open up your communication with God, because he will listen. BillP made a fantastic comment to yesterday's posting, and I think that it applies to this as well: "when do we listen? How do we know we have heard? And the answer is: now."

On to the Gospel: Matthew 12:1-8

I have two theories on this one. First, I think that Jesus may be talking about the spirit of the law versus the letter of the law. He wants everyone to follow the spirit of God's laws, and not let the letter of the law starve the most scrupulous followers. Second, he may only be saying that the priests need to mind their own business because he, Jesus, seeing as how he's God, can do whatever he wants and his followers are in the right because they are following him.

Now for some news: All faiths must defend freedom, reject hatred

Today is the feast day for Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. I have to admit, I really just like putting the pictures up here.

So, the first reading is a doozy: Isaiah 10:5-7, 13b-16

The footnotes say that the "impious nation" is Israel, and that "It was God's intention to use Assyria merely to punish, not to destroy, his people". So, I think that it is Assyria that is doing all of the bragging ("By my own power I have done it...") And in the last part of the reading, God is setting the record straight. Like the footnotes say, Assyria is merely a tool to punish, and it makes no sense for the tool to swagger. So are the last few lines a threat against Assyria or Israel? Is continuing to punish Israel for their sins, or Assyria for it's braggadocio?

On to the Gospel: Matthew 11:25-27

As I was reading the footnotes on the Gospel, I happened on a phrase that I think sums up both readings. I liked it so much that I made it the title of today. It refers to verses 28-29, which we didn't cover today, but it still applies: "These verses are peculiar to Matthew and are similar to Ben Sirach's invitation to learn wisdom and submit to her yoke (Sirach 51:23, 26)." Jesus is saying that only those willing to listen, to submit to the wisdom of God's will, are going to know and understand all of the hidden things that God wants us to see. Shot in the dark, but I think that I have it. Let me know if I am wrong.

Memorial of Saint Bonaventure, bishop and doctor of the Church  

Posted by siouxbhoney

Today is the Memorial of Saint Bonaventure, bishop and doctor of the Church.

So, reading #1: Isaiah 7:1-9

I read this 3 times. I think I have it now. It's more political intrigue, right? Actually, I was tempted to just cut and past this thing, and put a link on every word that I didn't understand. So, Rezin, king of Aram, and Pekah, king of Israel, go and lay siege to the king of Judah, Ahaz. God asks Isaiah to go and meet with Ahaz and his son and give him a message. The New Living Bible translates the message as this: "Tell him to stop worrying. Tell him he doesn't need to fear the fierce anger of those two burned-out embers". Then God promises to crush the embers within 65 years. The message ends with an admonition to stand strong in the face of adversity. "Unless your faith is firm you shall not be firm!"

Gospel Reading: Matthew 11:20-24

I love it when Jesus gets irate. He's just drawing from his roots as the angry old testament God. It's understandable, too. He goes out of his way, gets born as a human, performs miracles in front of these people, and they still can't find the time to repent and start following God's laws. So, he gets mad and starts yelling, and telling them where they can go. Or where they are gonna go. Whichever. I think today's readings tell us, in the words of my father: "Straighten up and fly right!"

Well today is the opening day for World Youth day in Australia. Read all about it: Cardinal Pell celebrates World Youth Day Opening Mass with over 140, 000 people

Memorial of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, virgin  

Posted by siouxbhoney

I love these special saint days. So, today is the Memorial of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, virgin. I really advise scanning the link, because she's an neat saint I've never heard of.

Well, I've been having a lot of trouble, for some reason, with formatting. I'm working on it.

First reading is Isaiah 1:10-17

Wow. God is so ticked off that he is comparing the Israelites to the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. It's a real threat. He's saying "Look what I did to them. I can do it to you, too." He's ticked because they are just going through the motions with their worship and sacrifice. At this point, he would rather them abandon what has become empty traditions, and actually go do some good among the needy: Those that have suffered injustice, orphans, and widows. It's a good start.

The gospel for today: Matthew 10:34-11:1
This reading always makes me want to go back and re-read The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis.
Jesus is telling us to put him first and ignore persecution even when it comes from our families. He's telling us that it will happen, and to be prepared.
More news on my favorite story: Bishop to lead flock to Rome after synod vote

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time  

Posted by siouxbhoney

Well, I'm breaking my own rules today, and posting before I go to church, but I'll never even get home today until here we go:

Reading 1: Isaiah 55:10-11

This one seems pretty simple to me. God is explaining to his prophet that his (God's) words are there to work good in the world. Maybe this is to help the prophet know that his work doesn't go completely unheeded. It seems like a reiteration that the bible is here for a purpose, it's not just that people accidentally got together and gathered the random stories from their wacky religion.

Reading 2: Romans 8:18-23

When I went and checked the footnotes from the NAB, and they cover this way better than I could, so here's a little cut and paste:

The glory that believers are destined to share with Christ far exceeds the sufferings of the present life. Paul considers the destiny of the created world to be linked with the future that belongs to the believers. As it shares in the penalty of corruption brought about by sin, so also will it share in the benefits of redemption and future glory that comprise the ultimate liberation of God's people (Romans 8:19-22). After patient endurance in steadfast expectation, the full harvest of the Spirit's presence will be realized. On earth believers enjoy the first fruits, i.e., the Spirit, as a guarantee of the total liberation of their bodies from the influence of the rebellious old self (Romans 8:23).

Gospel for today is: Matthew 13:1-23 or 13:1-9

Once again, the footnotes seem to cover this better than I can. Maybe I'm lazy today, but I have to admit, I am a little resistant to talk about these readings before I hear a sermon. Anyway, this is what the good folks at NAB have to say:

Since in Palestine sowing often preceded ploughing, much of the seed is scattered on ground that is unsuitable. Yet while much is wasted, the seed that falls on good ground bears fruit in extraordinarily large measure. The point of the parable is that, in spite of some failure because of opposition and indifference, the message of Jesus about the coming of the kingdom will have enormous success.


See Mark 4:14-20; Luke 8:11-15. In this explanation of the parable the emphasis is on the various types of soil on which the seed falls, i.e., on the dispositions with which the preaching of Jesus is received. The second and third types particularly are explained in such a way as to support the view held by many scholars that the explanation derives not from Jesus but from early Christian reflection upon apostasy from the faith that was the consequence of persecution and worldliness respectively. Others, however, hold that the explanation may come basically from Jesus even though it was developed in the light of later Christian experience. The four types of persons envisaged are (1) those who never accept the word of the kingdom (Matthew 13:19); (2) those who believe for a while but fall away because of persecution (Matthew 13:20-21); (3) those who believe, but in whom the word is choked by worldly anxiety and the seduction of riches (Matthew 13:22); (4) those who respond to the word and produce fruit abundantly (Matthew 13:23).

Well, my new favorite news story goes on: Anglican Traditionalist Bishop Argues against Hasty Reactions