TIM TIMMONS @ SJA on September 18th
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Tim Timmons is returning this September to St. Joan of Arc Church to lead a night of worship. He was here in December with Matt Maher and Audrey Assad, and we had many requests for him to come back. Tim's enthusiasm and passion for inviting people into a conversation with Jesus really comes through in his music. His presence is infectious and we can't wait to have him back. Please come and enjoy this night of worship with us at St. Joan of Arc.
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SJA Table Talk is a website with fun content to help you prepare for Mass as a family and to encourage faith-based conversations at the dinner table. The goal is to get our families into a rhythm of 2 quality meals per week and 10 minutes of preparation for Mass.
THIS WEEKS TABLE TALK (week of September 14th)
Conversation Starters for Family Time
- Feast Day | Our Lady of Sorrows (Sept 15th)
- Feast Day | The Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Sept 14th).
- Art | One of the most brutally realistic and spiritually powerful depictions of the crucifixion is the central panel of the Isenheim Altarpiece painted in the late fifteenth century by the German artist Matthias Grunewald. View and read more below.
- Sign of the Cross | Color this striking image with your children and discuss the symbolism of the Crucifix.
- Movie | The Lion King - read about the symbolism that makes the Lion King perhaps the most Catholic of Disney movies. One of the themes ties in with God wanting all of us to bear our own crosses - which is naturally relavent to the Feast Day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
- Movie | When the Game Stands Tall: Sport and Virtue. Jared Zimmerer (Word on Fire) interviews Coach Bob Ladouceur and Terry Eidson, inspiration for a new film titled When The Game Stands Tall.
- Movie | The Fault In Our Stars - John Green's teenage novel, "The Fault In Our Stars", recently hit movie screens to popular acclaim. Watch Father Barron's movie review where he explores the story's hidden spiritual themes.
- Enjoy some recipes with honey in honor of St. John Chrysostom.
- Enjoy some recipes with basil in honor of St. Helena and her efforts to find the Holy Cross
- Living the Gospel: The Twenty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Sept 14th)
- Preparing for Sunday: The Twenty-Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Sept 21st)
FEAST DAY | OUR LADY OF SORROWS (SEPT 15TH)
The month of September is dedicated to the Seven Sorrows of Mary. Devotion to the sorrows of the Virgin Mary dates from the twelfth century, when it made its appearance in monastic circles under the influence of St. Anselm and St. Bernard. In 1494 the feast appeared in Bruges, where the Precious Blood of Christ was venerated; later on it made its way into France.
September 14th is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Sorrows. This feast dates back to the 12th century. It was especially promoted by the Cistercians and the Servites, so much so that in the 14th and 15th centuries it was widely celebrated throughout the Catholic Church. In 1482 the feast was added to the Missal under the title of "Our Lady of Compassion." Pope Benedict XIII added it to the Roman Calendar in 1727 on the Friday before Palm Sunday. In 1913, Pope Pius X fixed the date on September 15. The title "Our Lady of Sorrows" focuses on Mary's intense suffering during the passion and death of Christ. "The Seven Dolors," the title by which it was celebrated in the 17th century, referred to the seven swords that pierced the Heart of Mary. The feast is like an octave for the birthday of Our Lady on September 8th. —Excerpted from Our Lady of Sorrows by Fr. Paul Haffner (Inside the Vatican, September 2004)
The Pietà (1498–1499) is a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo, housed in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City. Read more about The Peita >
FEAST DAY | The Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Sept 14th)
This feast was observed in Rome before the end of the seventh century. It commemorates the recovery of the Holy Cross, which had been placed on Mt. Calvary by St. Helena and preserved in Jerusalem, but then had fallen into the hands of Chosroas, King of the Persians. The precious relic was recovered and returned to Jerusalem by Emperor Heralius in 629.
The lessons from the Breviary tell us that Emperor Heraclius carried the Cross back to Jerusalem on his shoulders. He was clothed with costly garments and with ornaments of precious stones. But at the entrance to Mt. Calvary a strange incident occurred. Try as hard as he would, he could not go forward. Zacharias, the Bishop of Jerusalem, then said to the astonished monarch: "Consider, O Emperor, that with these triumphal ornaments you are far from resembling Jesus carrying His Cross." The Emperor then put on a penitential garb and continued the journey.
Historically today is also the feast of St. Notburga, a peasant who lived in the Tyrol, Austria and St. Maternus, Bishop of Cologne.
Things to Do:
- Study different symbols and types of crosses, history and/or significance. Then have an art project — creating own crosses, using different media, including paper. See variations of crosses for some ideas.
- Make sure that crucifixes are displayed prominently throughout your home. Point out the crucifix in every room even to the smallest ones. Your child's first word may be "Jesus"!
ART | Central panel of the Isenhiem Altarpiece
One of the most brutally realistic and spiritually powerful depictions of the crucifixion is the central panel of the Isenheim Altarpiece painted in the late fifteenth century by the German artist Matthias Grunewald. Jesus's body is covered with sores and wounds, his head is surrounded by a particularly brutal crown of thorns, his hands and feet are pierced, not with tiny nails, but with enormous spikes, and, perhaps most terribly, his mouth is agape in wordless agony. The viewer is spared none of the horror of this most horrible of deaths. To the right of hte figure of Jesus, Grunewald has painted, in an eloquent anachronism, John the Baptist, the herald and forerunner of the Messiah. John is indicating Jesus as the Lamb of God, but he does so in the most pecular way. Instead of pointing directly at the Lord, John's arm and hand are oddly twisted, as though he had to contort himself in order to perform this task. One wonders whether Grunewald was suggesting that our distorted expectations of what constitutes a joyful and free life have to be twisted out of shape (and hence back into proper shape) in order for us to grasp the strange truth revealed in the crucified Christ."
The iconography of the altarpiece has several unusual elements, several derived from closely following the accounts left by Saint Bridget of Sweden of her mystical visions. These had long had a significant influence on art, especially on depictions of the Nativity of Christ, a scene not included here. The crucifixion includes Saint John the Baptist, long dead by Gospel chronology. See below (click image to enlarge)
THE SIGN OF THE CROSS
Remind your family that each time we pray the Sign of the Cross, we pray to the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is the holiest of all signs.
Print this Picture and discuss it's symbolism: The picture includes a striking engraving of the crucifixion. Notice that the Father has no face, but can only be seen and known through the Son, and that the Father willingly upholds the cross. The Holy Spirit also lovingly hovers over the Crucified Jesus, just as the Spirit hovered over the waters in Genesis.
MOVIE | The Lion King. "Hakuna Matata". No worries? God says: think again.
The movie the Lion King is chock-full of Christian symbolism. My favorite message relates to the part of the movie where we first hear Hakuna Matata. This is where Simba finds refuge in the jungle -- where Timmon and Pumba teach him the mindset of Hakuna Matata -- No Worries for the rest of your days. Some people feel content to live a happy life - not to hurt people - to be a good person. But God has a calling for all of us - and will call us to take on a challenge that will stretch us and make us uncomfortable. In the movie it takes Rafiki - sort of the John the Baptist character - to convince Simba to look into the heavens toward his father and embrace his calling - to face his past and to be King - no matter how challenging and uncomfortable it may be. Enjoy this movie with your family and ask each other - how is God calling you? How can we take simple steps to make an impact - and to not take refuse by rationalizing a comfortable feeling just because we are not a bad person.
For more religous symbolism in the movie The Lion King, checkout ReligionandTheLionKing.com >
Here is the scene where Rafiki speaks to Simba:
MOVIE | When the Game Stands Tall
Jared Zimmerer interviews Coach Bob Ladouceur and Terry Eidson, inspiration for a new film titled When The Game Stands Tall.
MOVIE | The Fault In Our Stars
John Green's teenage novel, "The Fault In Our Stars", recently hit movie screens to popular acclaim. Father Barron explores the story's hidden spiritual themes.
Movie synopsis from Fandango: Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that Hazel's other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support group.
Enjoy some recipes with Honey in honor of St. John Chrysostom.
Honey Roasted Carrots | See Recipe>
Substitute apple juice for bourbon, if you prefer. Look for bunches of carrots that are all about the same size so they'll cook evenly. If some are too big--or if you can't find real (sometimes labeled French) baby carrots--just peel the bigger ones and halve them lengthwise before roasting.
Spinach Salad with Honey Dressing | See Recipe>
Use leftover dressing to marinate meat or perk up plain rice.
Rosemary Goat Cheese Stuffed Figs with Prosciutto & Honey
Honey Chicken Kabobs Recipe | See Recipe>
"Honey chicken kabobs with veggies. You can marinate overnight and make these kabobs for an outdoor barbecue as a tasty alternative to the usual barbecue fare! Fresh mushrooms and cherry tomatoes can also be used. (This can also be done in the broiler.)"
Honey-Bourbon Glazed Ham | See Recipe>
Roasting ham with cloves makes for a showstopping Southern classic. Your family and friends are sure to love the flavorful sweet glaze.
Basil in Honor of St. Helena
Tradition holds that sweet basil grew over the hill where St. Helena found the Holy Cross, so in Greece the faithful are given sprigs of basil by the priest. Cook a basil pesto, tomato basil salad (with the last of the summer tomatoes) or some other type of recipe that includes basil, and explain to the family.
Pasta Salad with Peaches and Basil | See Recipe>
Today, we head to Atlanta, Georgia. Out here in the heart of Peach Country, we combine grilled sweet Georgia peaches with toasted garlic in a simple pasta salad dressed with a fresh basil vinaigrette. A little chopped bacon adds savory, meaty balance to the sweet peaches. It’s an ideal summer salad.
Basil, Tomato and Mozzarella Sandwich | See Recipe>
This is a quick and refreshing no cook vegetarian meal. Basil, mozzarella and tomato on Italian bread. Great for those hot summer evenings when you don't feel like cooking.
GET TO KNOW THE GOSPEL - PREPARING FOR MASS
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Moses made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he or she was healed.
Do not forget the works of the Lord.
Jesus Christ, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God as a thing to be grasped.
As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, so that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
Background on the Gospel
In John’s Gospel, Jesus’ death on the cross as well as his resurrection and return to the Father are one event. For him, the cross isa sign of exaltation. The serpent that Moses lifted up in the desert to offer healing to those injured by snake bites prefigures Jesus’ being lifted up on the cross, bringing salvation.
The eternal life God offers through Jesus is not life without end but life lived in the unending presence of God. That is why it can begin now in this life. The world to which God sends the Son is not a place but those people who are at odds with Jesus and God. Jesus is sent to this world as a gift. Only believers accept the gift.
Finally, God’s judgment on the world is not a future cosmic event but a present reality. God sent the Son out of love for the world. However, the world has to decide to accept him. Those who accept him have eternal life at the moment of the decision. Those who reject him don’t.
PAINTING: The LORD said to Moses, “Make a Serpent and mount it on a pole, and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live.” (First Reading) Michelangelo, The Bronze (Brazen) Serpent 1508-1512, Sistine Chapel.
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY - READINGS FOR THE 25TH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME (Sept 21st)
God's ways are far beyond the ways of human beings
God is near to those who call upon him.
Paul tells the Philippians to live for Christ.
In the parable of the workers in the vineyard, Jesus teaches about God's generous mercy.
Background on the Gospel Reading
In today's Gospel, Jesus moves from Galilee to teach in Judea where he is sought out by great crowds and tested by the Pharisees on issues such as marriage and divorce. Jesus also encounters a rich young man who is unable to accept Jesus' demand that he leave his possessions to follow him. Jesus' response to the rich young man sounds very much like the conclusion we will find in today's Gospel: the first will be last and the last will be first.
On the surface, the parable of the workers in the vineyard appears to be an offense to common sense. Those who work a longer day ought to be paid more than those who work just an hour or two. When viewed in this way, the landowner seems unfair. That is because we are reading into the parable our own preconceived notions of how fairness and equality should be quantified.
A close read shows us that the landowner paid on the terms that were negotiated. The landowner, it seems, has acted completely justly. The parable goes beyond that, however, and we come to see that the landowner is not simply just, he is exceptionally just. He is radically just. He has given those who labored in the field for a full day their due pay. But he has also given a full-day's wage to those who worked only a single hour. No one is cheated, but a few receive abundantly from the landowner just as we receive from God more than what is merely justifiable or due. God, like the landowner, is radically just and abundantly generous. The workers who complain are made to look foolish as they lament the fact that landowner has made all workers equal. Indeed, what more could one ask for than to be treated as an equal at work or anywhere else?
The parable reminds us that although God owes us nothing, he offers abundantly and equally. We are occasionally tempted to think that our own actions deserve more reward, more of God's abundant mercy, than the actions of others. But God's generosity cannot be quantified or partitioned into different amounts for different people. When we think that way, we are trying to relate to God on our terms rather than to accept God's radically different ways.
THE PAINTING: “The landowner saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.’” Grape Harvet, late 15th Century
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