August 21, 2017

Pius X

August 21, 2017:  St. Pius X, Pope




  • 'Golden calf' pin:  The children of Israel served other gods, abandoning the Lord (1st reading, psalm)
  • 'Celebrate teaching' pin:  "Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?" (gospel)
  • 'Coin' button:  Rich young man who went away sad (gospel)
  • '?' tie pin:  rich young man's three questions, Jesus' one question (gospel)
  • 'Scales' tie:  Judges (1st reading) 
  • Red and white shirt:  Red for God's anger flaring up (1st reading, psalm), white for Pope St. Pius X

Listen
May Jesus brighten our relationship so that it's fraternal and lively, never just formal or proper.  The Good Shepherd wants us to walk together, and his gaze embraces all of his disciples; he wants to see them fully united.  Walking towards full unity with hope, knowing God is stronger than evil, is all the more important in this world scarred by violence, fear, wounds, and indifference, where self-affirmation to others' detriment overshadows the simple beauty of welcome, sharing, and loving.  Our Christian witness must not yield to the world's logic:  help each other choose and live Christ's logic.
Read
Wordle: Readings 8-19-13
  • Jgs 2:11-19  Israel offended, abandoned, disobeyed the Lord, followed other gods.  The Lord, angry, delivered them to plunderers, enemies, disaster, distress, then took pity, raising up judges for them, saving them from enemies, but they relapsed.
  • Ps 106:34-37, 39-40, 43ab, 44 "Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people." They served idols, sacrificed to demons, became defiled. Angry Lord still regarded them.
  • Mt 19:16-22  Young man / Jesus:  “What must I do to gain eternal life?” / “Why ask me?  Only One is good.  Keep the commandments.” / “Which?” / “Don't kill, commit adultery, steal, or lie; honor your parents; love your neighbor...” / “I have.  What do I lack?” / “Go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you'll have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.”  The man went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Reflect
    • Creighton:  When Jesus asks the "rich young man" to sell everything, the man goes away sad.  Jesus sees the man is over-attached to material wealth.  As good as the man is (he does keep the commandments), and inspired to go further, he can't.  He has perfection in his grasp but chooses otherwise and so is sad.  We don't know whether he later reconsidered.
    The 1st reading parallels the gospel:  the Israelites serve false gods, then are thrown so far off that they need an intervention.  When they were oppressed, God sent them Judges to save them and to call them back to honoring God.  While a Judge was with them, they avoided false gods, but once he left, they relapsed.
    Both readings have idols in common:  wealth and false freedom.  May we look for and deal with our idols:   wealth, pride, focusing on ourselves over others and the Other....  Lord, help me to identify the idols that draw me away from those I love.  Help me see and hear you over their static....
    • One Bread, One Body:  Jesus was poor, loves the poor, and expects us to make great sacrifices for the poor.  Zacchaeus realized this:  "I give half my belongings to the poor."   So did the early Church:  some gave to the poor beyond their means so that Paul had to counsel them not to.  How is our giving by those standards?  How can we stand by when lives are at stake?  "How can God's love survive in one with enough of this world's goods who's closed to one in need?"
    • Passionist:  Pius X, Pope 1903-1914, tried to straighten things out when there was trouble, to “restore all things in Christ” in a time capped by the outbreak of WWI.  Today's 1st reading describes the situation of the Jewish people once they settled in the Promised Land.  Though they had the place they sought, they'd lost their leadership and got into trouble, associating with pagan nations not part of God’s chosen people.  Despite their glorious history, the Jews started to worship false gods, listen to the wrong voices, and pay the penalty of military defeats.  But God helped by providing 'Judges' (leaders), but their skills would disappear as fast as they came.
    Pius X appeared in history when he was needed.  His skills enabled him to meet the demands that would be laid on him as pope.  He was alert to the emergence of Modernism, which he described as “the synthesis of all heresies.”  He established the Pontifical Biblical Institute, encouraged frequent Communion, and lowered the First Communion age.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Give, and you'll have treasure in heaven":  The rich young man lacked what possessions couldn't provide but was dismayed at Jesus' direction because he hoped in his possessions.  The Lord is the greatest treasure, and giving all for him brings joy, but the man left sad because his hope was misplaced.  Possessiveness robs us of joy and life:  he was afraid to give for fear he'd lose what he had, but those generous to God and others find they cannot outdo the generosity of God who brings peace, joy, love, friendships that far outweigh material possessions which don't give enduring satisfaction.  Only God can satisfy our deepest longings and desires.  Will I part with what can keep me away?
      • Pope St. Pius X, child of poor family, ordained at 23, sought to restore all things in Christ, insisted on Church/State separation, revised canon law, founded institute for Bible studies, fought Modernism, started revision of Vulgate translation, reformed the liturgy, lived poorly even as pope, preached weekly, worked miracles.
      • Bl. Victoria Rasoamanarivo, born in powerful family, Jesuit- and Sisters-educated, baptized at 15, kept Madagascar Church alive, married/prayed for a violent alcoholic who converted on deathbed.