June 30, 2014

Rome martyrs

June 30, 2014:  Monday, 13th week, Ordinary Time

Readings

Wordle: Readings 6-30-14
  • Am 2:6-10, 13-16  Lord:  Israel has committed crimes.  I who led you through the desert and destroyed the strong Amorites, will now crush you, and you won't escape.
  • Ps 50:16bc-23  "Remember this, you who never think of God."  Why do you recite my statutes but hate discipline?  You steal, commit adultery, speak against others, and spread rumors.  I'll correct you.  Those who offer praise as a sacrifice glorify me, and I'll save all who go the right way.
  • Mt 8:18-22  Jesus, seeing the crowd, gave orders to cross to the other shore.  Scribe / Jesus:  “I'll follow you wherever you go.” / “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest.”  Disciple / Jesus:  “Let me go bury my father first.” / “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”
Pope Francis
  • Homily:  The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.  A plant's growth makes us think of what Jesus said:  "The kingdom of heaven is like a seed someone planted and then went home.  The seed grew and blossomed.”  The seed is God's Word that grows to become the Kingdom of Heaven; it becomes Church thanks to the Holy Spirit and Christians' witness.  There's no growth without the Spirit, but Christians' witness is needed too.  When situations require strong witness, there are martyrs, the greatest witnesses.  Martyrdom begins with daily witness and can end with blood as with Jesus, the first martyr, the first witness.
The one condition necessary for true witness is there be no conditions.  Jesus told the disciples, ‘Follow me without conditions.’  Your witness must be firm, with the strong language Jesus used:  ‘Yes for yes, no for no.’  This is the language of testimony.  There are many persecuted Christians today, and more martyrs than there were in the first centuries.  Pray for our brothers and sisters who are persecuted, suffer, and die to nurture the seed of many little Churches.
  • Angelus:  Faith made Peter and Paul brothers, and martyrdom made them one.  They responded to Christ's call by offering their lives.  Though Peter had denied Christ and Paul had persecuted the Church, both allowed God's love to transform them; they became friends and apostles of Christ.  They continue to speak to us and show the path of salvation.  God can transform us too, even if we fall into the gravest sins and darkest night, forgiving us everything, thus transforming the darkness of sin into the dawn of light.  God can change our lives, as he changed theirs.  God's grace pushes us to overcome our selfishness and follow the Master.  The Lord is ready to forgive us for anything, as long as we ask.  The celebration of Peter and Paul confronts us with the work of mercy in these two great sinners.  God wants to fill us with grace as he filled them.
Music (including some from Sunday)
Reflections
    • Creighton:  We start with good intentions to please the Lord, but things get in the way.  Obedience is hard when it's not on our terms, but that's our call.
    • One Bread One Body:  The Lord promised to crush the Israelites because of their sins.  We must repent.  The Lord wants to forgive and save us but won't force us to accept his love.
    • Passionist:  There is power in making a commitment.  We get fully involved and become imaginative, creative, intuitive, courageous, and strong.  Jesus looks for such love and commitment, and we know nothing will impede his love for and commitment to us.
    • Universalis:  The First Martyrs of the See of Rome, whom Emperor Nero had thrown to wild beasts or soaked in tar and used as torches.
    Apparel
    • Silver [colored] accessories, sandals:  "they sell the just man for silver, and the poor man for a pair of sandals." (1st reading); "put on your sandals" (Sunday 1st reading)
    • Tree, fruit pins:  "I destroyed the Amorites, who were as tall as cedars and as strong as oaks.  I destroyed their fruit..." (1st reading)
    • Horse tie pin:  "The horseman won't save his life." (1st reading)
    • Eyeball tie pin:  "I'll draw evildoers up before your eyes." (psalm); Peter to paralytic:  “Look at us.” (Sun. 1st reading); Peter thought he was seeing a vision (Sun. 1st reading); "Taste and see the Lord's goodness" (Sun. psalm)
    • Birds tie:  "birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” (gospel)
    • "Caged lion" pin:  Cage for prison (Sun. 1st reading), lion for "I was rescued from the lion’s mouth." (Sun. 2nd reading)
    • "Blood drop" pin, red shirt:  Rome martyrs, Peter, and Paul