January 27, 2014

January 27

January 27, 2014:  Monday, 3rd Week, Ordinary Time

Readings
  • 2 Sm 5:1-7, 10  Israel to David:  “When Saul was king, you led Israel and brought them back.  God told you, ‘You shall be commander of Israel.’”  David made an agreement, and they anointed him king.  David reigned for forty years.  The king and his men set out against the Jebusites.  David took the stronghold of Zion.  He grew more powerful, for the Lord was with him.
    Wordle: Readings 1-27-14
  • Ps 89:20-22, 25-26  "My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him."  I have anointed David, that my hand be with him and make him strong.
  • Mk 3:22-30  Scribes:  “Jesus drives out demons by their prince.” Jesus: A kingdom divided cannot stand.  No one can plunder property unless he first ties up the strong man.  All sins will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes the Spirit is guilty of an everlasting sin.
Pope Francis
  • Homily:  Without anointing, David would have been just a CEO, but God chose and anointed him, and the Spirit came to him; so too now for  bishops and priests.  Bishops, though sinners, are anointed and have the Spirit.  We want to grow in faithfulness to our anointing.  Priests [and presumably deacons], sharing in the bishops' mission of service, are anointed too.  Anointing brings us closer to God, giving us strength to carry people forward and help them serve.  It gives the joy of feeling chosen and watched lovingly by God.  Papers don't carry news of priests' good work—one falling tree makes more noise than a growing forest—but they've strengthened people, taught the faith, and given the sacraments; thank them.
It's not enough just to be connected on the digital highway; connections need to grow into encounters.  Don't live closed in on yourself, but love and be loved.  We need tenderness.  Strategies don't ensure beauty, goodness, and truth in communication; media producers need to be concerned with humanity and show tenderness.  The digital world can be a network of people, rich in humanity.  Only those who go out of themselves in their communication can help others; personal engagement is the basis of a communicator's trustworthiness.

Prefer a bruised Church on the streets to a self-absorbed one.  The “streets” are where people live and can be reached.  The digital highway is teeming with people who are  hurting, looking for salvation and hope.  Over the internet, the Christian message can reach the ends of the earth.  Keeping church doors open also means keeping them open in the digital world so people can enter and the Gospel can reach them.  Can we communicate the image of a Church that's the home of all?  Communication, including over social networks, can express our missionary vocation; networks are one way to discover the beauty of encountering Christ.  In the area of communications, we need to bring warmth and stir hearts.
    Special place of the poor:  God who himself became poor and worked with his own hands, has a special place for the poor. They’re present throughout salvation history, including in Mary, families around the manger, crowds, the beatitudes....  Since we’re called to have the mind of Christ, we made an option for the poor, primacy of charity.  I want a Church which is poor and for the poor. We must let them evangelize us: they know the suffering Christ. Acknowledge the saving power at work in them, put them at the center of the Church’s journey, find Christ in them, lend our voice to their causes, be their friends, listen to them, speak for them, and embrace their wisdom. 
    Our commitment isn’t just to promote and assist them but also to be united with them, be attentive, appreciate their goodness, experience, culture, and faith life, be concerned, and seek their good. Love permits us to serve because the other is beautiful beyond appearances.  The poor, when loved, are esteemed as of great value; we need to be close to them to help liberate them; they must feel at home in every Christian community.  Without the option for the poor, the proclamation of the Gospel, the prime form of charity, risks being misunderstood.

    We Catholics have discriminated against the poor regarding spiritual care.  The poor are especially open to the faith; offer them God’s friendship, blessing, word, sacraments, and spiritual growth.  Don’t say you can’t be close to the poor because other areas need more attention; no one is exempt from concern for the poor and for justice:  Find creative ways of accepting this call.  (4.II, 197-201, pp. 155-59)
    Reflections
      • Creighton:  If I don't give everything to God all the time, I'm a "house divided."
      • RC.net:  Jesus asserted his authority to cast out demons as evidence of God's reign.  Jesus speaks of blasphemy against the Spirit as the unforgivable sin.  A sin can only be unforgivable if repentance is impossible.  If people repeatedly close themselves to God, they no longer recognize God nor seek forgiveness.  (To fear such a state means one is not dead to God.)
      • Universalis:  St. Angela Merici, religious, educator, foundress.  Bl. Edward Oldcorne, Jesuit priest, martyr, reconciled many to the Church.
      Apparel


      • "Keyboard with dove" tie pin:  Spirit came to anointed David (1st reading)
      • Abacus tie pin:  A kingdom divided (gospel) [here's how to divide on an abacus]
      • "Fish" tie:  Jesus called fishermen (yesterday's gospel)

      Dress your life!

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