April 7, 2014

April 7

April 7, 2014:  Monday, 5th week of Lent

Readings
    Daniel Proving Susanna's Innocence/ Gerard
  • Dn 13:1-19, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62  Two wicked elders lusted for Susanna, hurried to her when she was alone bathing, and threatened to testify against her if she didn't lie with them.  She shrieked, people rushed in and heard their accusation, believed them, condemned her to death, she cried to God, and God stirred Daniel:  “Don't condemn her without examination or evidence.  Return to court; they testified falsely.”  All returned.  “Separate the two.”  He asks each what tree she was under, their answers differed, the assembly rose up against them, and put them to death, sparing Susanna's innocent blood.
  • Ps 23:1-6  "Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side."  The Lord is my shepherd; he gives me repose, guides me, gives me courage...  Only goodness and kindness follow me, and I'll dwell with the Lord.
  • Jn 8:1-11  The scribes and Pharisees brought Jesus a woman caught in adultery to test him:  Moses commanded us to stone such women.  What do you say?”  Jesus wrote on the ground with his finger, but when they persisted, he said, “Let the one without sin be the first to throw a stone” and kept writing; they went away.  Once he was alone with her:  Has no one condemned you?” / “No one.” / “Neither do I.  Go, and sin no more.”
Pope Francis
Wordle: Readings 4-7-14
"Wordle" word cloud of today's readings
  • Homily:  Marriage is a symbol of a faithful relationship between God and his people; when a marriage is spoilt by adultery, it spoils the relationship with God.  But the Pharisees cared nothing about the woman or adultery; they just wanted to trap Jesus.  Jesus defended the woman against just condemnation, didn't humiliate her, and went beyond forgiveness; he shows mercy in saying to go in peace and not sin again.  Our condemnation would be just, but with the same mercy he forgives and goes beyond, putting sin to the side.  God's mercy is like the sun overpowering the stars:  a light of tender love, forgiving and healing
  • San Gregorio Magno visit including Sunday homily:  Parts of our heart are dead; only Jesus can help us come out of these tombs of sin.  When we're attached to them, our soul starts to stink; it's the stench of sin.  Jesus will open these tombs and let us out; he can restore life to the dead.  Do we have the strength to hear Jesus' “Come out?”
[To sick and elderly:]  Offer your suffering with Jesus on the Cross. 
[To ex-cons and addicts:]  The Lord is in our frailty.
Reflections
    • Creighton:  In the first reading, the truth of claims was investigated, guilt established, and punishment meted out; in the gospel; Jesus steers the elders away from judgment and doesn't himself condemn.  “Who am I to judge” when I'm not God and don't know people's hearts?   Just treat others with compassion, forgiveness, and mercy.
      • Moved to greater love Jesuit meditation on union with Jesus while journeying with Him to the cross:  How have I judged and "stoned" others while being blinded to my own sin?  What areas in my life weigh on me?  What areas need forgiveness or healing?  Where am I called to restore human dignity, as Christ did?  "In the Hands of God" (Arrupe after stroke); "A Fire that Kindles Other Fires" (SJ GC 35, Decree 2) on discipleship, announcing the gospel to the poor, faith and justice, human needs, and Jesus' healing ministry.
      • Universalis:  St. John Baptist de la Salle, priest, educator of the poor, "Christian Brothers" founder; St. Henry Walpole, convert, Jesuit priest, martyr
        Music
        Apparel
        • Two tree pins:  wicked elders' testimonies differed (1st reading)  [I'm proudest of this one.]
        • "Kneeling person" tie bar:  Susanna's prayer (1st reading)
        • "Skeleton" tie pin:  Lazarus had been dead 4 days (Sunday gospel)
        • "Stone" tie pin:  "let him without sin cast the first stone" (gospel); "roll away the stone" (Sunday gospel)
        • "Clocks" tie:  "Are there not 12 hours in a day?" (Sunday gospel); countdown to Holy Week
        • "Hearts" suspenders:  Jesus' merciful love (today's and Sunday's gospels)
        • Purple shirt:  Lenten season
        Roamin' Catholic report (more at j.mp/roamincatholic)
        • Sunday's family Mass with parish elementary school choir.  (I wish there had been room for them in front, vs. choir loft.
        • Highlights:  What wondrous love is this (choral setting); and Where are the angels/ Schram (more from her) after Communion organ instrumental.  I wish the logistics could have permitted an assembly-sung Communion song while the children were receiving.
        • Song leading:  4 robed students led from around the podium mic when they weren't upstairs.  Hats off to these girls for being in front at those times, but I (in front row) couldn't hear them (likely because they couldn't get closer to the mic).  The chanted Mass parts worked well, though a few cues were missed.  I wish one had sung the responsorial psalm so we could have sung (vs. reciting) the antiphon.
        • Entrance/Exit:  Lord, who throughout these forty days and Led by the Spirit, both Lent songs but IMHO better earlier in the season

        Dress your life!