February 11, 2015

Feb. 11

February 11, 2015:  Wednesday, 5th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Tree' pin:  God made various trees grow in the garden of Eden (1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  When you open your hand, they're filled with good things (psalm)

  • 'Earth' tie:  When you send forth your spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth (psalm)

  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  "What comes out from your heart defiles you" (gospel)
Listen

Pope Francis
For World Day of Prayer for the Sick:  “Eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame”
Consider Job 29:15 from the perspective of sapientia cordis (wisdom of heart).  This 'wisdom' is  “pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits...” (Jas 3:17), a way for us to see Spirit-infused things.  “Teach us to number our days that we may gain wisdom of heart” (Ps 90:12).
Serve others.  “I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame” points to how Job served those in need, including the poor, orphans, and widows.  Many Christians serve the sick; it can become tiring and burdensome.  It's hard to look after someone for months or years, often without thanks.  Rely on the Lord's closeness....
Be with others; time spent with the sick praises God who conforms us to his Son, who came to serve and to give his life.  Appreciate the time; thanks to our affection, many feel more loved and comforted.  Lives affected by grave illness are worth living!
Go forth.  We're rushed, our world forgets the value of time with the sick, and we forget about giving ourselves, taking care of others, and being responsible.  ‘Going forth’ grounds moral norms and is a clear sign of spiritual growth.  The Church's missionary nature is the wellspring of charity and compassion.
Show solidarity without judging.  Charity takes time, time to visit and care for the sick.  Job’s friends judged him, thinking his misfortune was God's punishment for sin.  Charity is sharing which doesn't judge or demand others' conversion; it's free of false humility that, deep down, is self-satisfied.  Job’s suffering finds response only in Jesus' cross, the supreme act of God’s solidarity.  This love-response remains on the risen Christ's body; his wounds are proof of faith.  Even when it's hard to reach out, suffering can transmit grace and help you grow in sapientia cordis.  We come to understand how Job eventually said to God:  “I'd heard of you, but now my eye sees you.”  People immersed in suffering, when they accept it in faith, can become witnesses of faith, embracing suffering, even without understanding it.
Seek the maternal protection of Mary, who gave birth to Wisdom incarnate, Jesus our Lord.  Mary, Seat of Wisdom, intercede for the sick and those who care for them!  Grant that, through our service, and the experience of suffering, we may receive and cultivate wisdom of heart!
Audience:  "Look; they come to you—your sons from afar, your daughters in the arms of their nurses.  You'll see and be radiant, your heart shall throb and overflow"(Is 60:4-5a).  What a beautiful image of the happiness realized in reunion of parents and children, walking toward a future of freedom and peace, after a period of separation.  There's a close bond between hope and harmony between generations.
Children are a gift and joy, each unique but tied to their roots, carrying the memory and hope of their parents' love.  A child is created by us but destined for the good of family, society, humanity.  Being a child allows us to discover the gratuitous dimension of love; we're loved without deserving it, even before coming into the world!  In every child God puts the seal of this love, a personal dignity nothing and no one can destroy.
Our Father leaves us free but never alone.  When we fail, he's patient and keeps loving, wanting us to progress.  Children shouldn't fear the commitment to build a new world!  The fourth commandment comes right after the ones concerning God; it contains something divine and at the root of all human respect.  
The virtuous link between generations is a guarantee of the future.  A society of children who don't honor their parents is one without honor, destined to fill itself with greed; a generation that doesn’t want children is depressed and selfish.  Life rejuvenates and acquires energy when it multiplies! Children learn to take charge, mature in sharing sacrifices, and grow in appreciation of  gifts.  The experience of joyful fraternity animates parents' respect and care.  Jesus, eternal Son, made child in time, help us find the way of a new outpouring of experience of being children, so simple and great....
Read
  • Gn 2:4b-9, 15-17  When God made the earth and the heavens, the Lord formed man out of clay gave him the breath of life, so man became a living being.  Then the Lord planted a garden in Eden and placed there the man he'd formed and made trees grow, delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  The Lord settled the man in the garden, to care for it, ordering, “You may eat from any tree but the tree of knowledge of good and evil; if you eat from it, you're doomed.”
  • Ps 104:1-2a, 27-30  "O bless the Lord, my soul!"  You are great, clothed with majesty, robed in light.  All creatures look to you to give them food.  When you send your spirit, they're created, and you renew the face of the earth.
  • Mk 7:14-23  Jesus to crowd:  “Nothing entering you from outside can defile you; but what comes out from within defiles.”  To disciples:  “What goes into a person from outside can't defile, since it enters not the heart but the stomach and passes out.  But what comes out from the heart defiles:  evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy....”
Reflect
    • Creighton:  Today’s gospel comes after Jesus scolded the Pharisees for setting aside God's command to uphold their tradition;  Jesus says that what really counts is what comes out of our hearts.  As Lent approaches, reflect on how to change to be more open to God.
    • One Bread One Body:  "God is good":  God freely and lovingly created us and gave us life, food, and an environment delightful to look at. God appointed man to "care for" the earth, but man "didn't care."  Even our tragic choices don't change God's nature of God.  God is good and loving and provides what we need.
    • DailyScripture.net:  The religious leaders were concerned about avoiding ritual defilement, but Jesus says defilement is from within; sin springs from our inner thoughts, intentions, and desires.  When Cain became jealous, God warned him: "Sin is couching at the door; its wants you, but you must master it."  Cain allowed his jealousy to grow into hatred. When sinful desires knock, how do I respond?  God gives us the grace and strength to resist and overcome temptation.  The Lord wants to set us free from guilt and sin, to purify and our hearts and renew our minds so we can freely choose to love and do what is right, good, just, and wise. The Lord Jesus is ready to change and purify us through the Spirit's help. Like a physician, God brings sin into light that we may recognize it and call upon his mercy and grace.  The Spirit is our Counselor and Helper; he enables us to choose good and to reject evil.
    • Universalis:  Our Lady of Lourdes:  Mary appeared to poor Bernadette Soubirous, 14, near Lourdes, calling sinners to change.  She's inspired great love of prayer and good works, especially service of the poor and the sick; see Catholic Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.  St. Gobnait:  see Wikipedia. 
    Blessings to and prayers for the communities at