July 27, 2014

17th Sun. of Ordinary Time

July 27, 2014:  17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings

  • 1 Kgs 3:5, 7-12  Lord in dream / Solomon:  “Ask something of me and I'll give it to you.” / “Lord, you made me, your servant, king, but I don't know how to act.  Give me an understanding heart to judge and distinguish right from wrong.”  God, pleased:  “Because you asked for this—not long life, riches, or your enemies' life but understanding—I give you a heart more wise and understanding that anyone before or after you.”
    "Treasure chest" from
    words of today's readings

    (tagul.com)
  • Ps 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-130  "Lord, I love your commands."  Your law is precious to me.  Let your kindness comfort me.  I observe your wonderful decrees.  Your words give understanding to the simple.
  • Rom 8:28-30  All things work for good for those who love God, whom he foreknew, predestined to be conformed to his Son, called, justified, and glorified.
  • Mt 13:44-52  “The kingdom of heaven is like buried treasure a person finds then buys with all he has.  The kingdom is like a merchant who finds a fine pearl then buys it with all he has.  The kingdom is like a net thrown into the sea which when full of fish is hauled ashore; what's good is put into buckets, and the rest is thrown out.  At the end of the age, angels will separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the furnace.”
Pope Francis
  • Homily:  Have the courage to say no to corruption and lawlessness.  To inherit the Kingdom, put God first.  Jesus' presence transforms us, makes us sensitive to others' needs, and invites us to accept everyone, including foreigners and immigrants.  Giving primacy to God means having the courage to say no to evil, violence, and oppression; to serve others and favor lawfulness and the common good.  When you find God, the true treasure, you leave behind selfishness and seek to share God's love.  You become a friend of God, love others, safeguard their lives and well-being, and respect the environment and nature.  This requires everyone to be servants of the truth and live a Gospel-inspired life, manifested in self-giving and attention to the poor and excluded.
Music (B means we sang it today at St. Bede's)
Reflections
    • NEW See Tuesday for a sweet interpretation of today's gospel.
    • Creighton:  Understanding (1st reading) and knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom (gospel) are God's gifts.  The kingdom is something we seek and have joy around when we find it; it's priceless.  It's present in Jesus' ministry and ours to one another; understanding it is a gift from God.  Imagine how Jesus would use a current object to describe the kingdom, e.g., “The kingdom is like this telephone; it connects you to everyone no matter who or where they are.”  May my life be a living sign of the kingdom.
    • Passionist:  One can get disillusioned and cynical by an "Anything Goes" (Cole Porter, 1934) attitude, anesthetized by infidelity, tragedy, and terror.  Gandhi: "When I despair, I remember that the way of truth and love always wins.  Tyrants and murderers seem invincible but in the end fall."  There's hope!  Hope isn't blind optimism (wishful thinking) but is grounded in reality.  Jesus says the Kingdom must be our priority; the world tells us we can have many, but we can only have one.  Every choice is a renunciation; that helps explain why we struggle to make choices (St. Thomas Aquinas).
    • DailyScripture.net:  The Kingdom is the greatest possible treasure:  God.  Selling all to obtain this treasure could mean losing friends, job, lifestyle, free time....  Treasure is connected to desire, will, and focus. / As a dragnet takes in all kinds of fish, flotsam, and jetsam, the church gathers all comers; net and church don't discriminate.  God's kingdom is open to all....
      • Universalis:  If not trumped by Sunday:  Bl. Titus Brandsma, Carmelite, philosophy prof, journalist, anti-Nazi, martyred at Dachau.  Bl. Robert Sutton, convert, priest, martyr; before execution, he spoke of the candle given at baptism and the hour of death and said he lived and died in the light of the Catholic faith.
      Apparel

      • 'Owl' tie pin, 'scales of justice' pin:  give me an understanding heart to judge your people and distinguish right from wrong (1st reading)
      • Gold- and silver-colored accessories:  Your law is more precious than gold and silver (psalm)
      • 'Pearl' tie bar:  When the merchant finds a pearl of great price, he sells all he has and buys it. (gospel)
      • '[Inter]net tie:  "the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea..." (gospel)
      • 'Fish' pin:  "...which collects fish of every kind." (gospel)
      • 'Angel' pin:  The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous (gospel)
      • Green shirt (and in tie and suspenders):  Ordinary Time season
      Preview tomorrowDress your life!