January 17, 2014

St. Anthony

January 17, 2014:  St. Anthony, abbot

Readings

  • 1 Sm 8:4-7, 10-22a  Elders to Samuel:  “Appoint a king over us.”  Samuel, displeased, prayed  and heard:  “Grant their request; they're rejecting me as their king.”  Samuel told them, “The king will take your children, fields, crops, flocks, and servants and make you slaves.”  They said, “No!  We must have a king over us.”  Samuel told the Lord, who replied, “Grant their request; appoint them a king.”
    Wordle: Readings 1-17-14
  • Ps 89:16-19  "For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord."  You're our strength; our King belongs to you.
  • Mk 2:1-12  Four men brought Jesus a paralytic.  Jesus told him, “Your sins are forgiven.”  Scribes:  “Why does he blaspheme?  Only God can forgive.”  Jesus:  “Why are you thinking such things?  Which is easier, to say ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or ‘Rise and walk’?  But so you'll know the Son of Man has authority to forgive,” he told the paralytic, “Pick up your mat, and go.”  He rose and went, and all were astounded.

Pope Francis
  • Homily:  Don't sell out the gift of being God’s children for a distorted sense of normality.  Strive to remain faithful to God.  Don't sell out to the temptation of worldliness, living as if God didn’t exist.  Forgetting God's Word and listening to whatever is more fashionable is more dangerous than renouncing faith.  Resist the temptation of feeling inferior; it hardens the heart so God can't enter.  Our hearts must be open to receive God's Word, in order not to move away from being chosen by God.  Ask for grace to overcome selfishness and to listen to God's Word of truth.
Personal accompaniment:  Look sympathetically at others, making Christ’s closeness and personal gaze present. We need to teach and use the “art of accompaniment,” reverencing the other person, showing compassion that heals, liberates, and encourages growth in Christian life.  People who think they're free by avoiding God don't see that they're orphaned, helpless, and homeless drifters; accompanying them shouldn't support their self-absorption.  We need people familiar with processes calling for prudence, understanding, patience, and docility to the Spirit, to protect the sheep.  Listen with an open heart to find the right gesture and word to show you care, and awaken the desire to respond to God's love.  This takes patience; we need to introduce people step by step to full living of the mystery. 

Realize each person’s life is a mystery nobody can know from outside.  The Gospel tells us to correct others and help them grow, recognizing evil but without judging culpability.  Don't give in to frustrations but rather invite others to be healed and proclaim the Gospel themselves.  Our experience of being accompanied, and of openness to those accompanying us, will teach us.  Spiritual accompaniment begins and flourishes through evangelization.  Missionary disciples accompany missionary disciples.  (3.IV, 169-73, pp. 133-36) 
Reflections
    • Creighton:  Where there is sovereign vision borne out of faith and love, people thrive. May we be blessed with vision, courage to act on it, and friends to help us break through barriers.
    • RC.net:   Jesus proved his authority came from God, and he showed the power of God's love, lifting the paralytic's burden of guilt and restoring his body. The Lord can heal our body, mind, and soul.
    • Universalis:  St Anthony, abbot, father of monasticism:  gave everything to the poor, lived in the wilderness, poor, praying, working, overcoming temptations, fighting Arianism... (not to be confused with St. Anthony of Padua celebrated on June 13)
    Apparel


    • "Medical" pin:  healing of the paralytic (gospel)
    • "Phone" tie bar:  'call' to personal accompaniment, missionary discipleship (Gospel Joy), plus the many calls in this week's readings
    Dress your life!

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