May 25, 2015

Bede

May 25, 2015:  Monday, 8th week, Ordinary Time / Memorial Day / St. Bede...




    • 'Kneeling person' tie bar:  The faithful shall pray to you in time of stress. (psalm); A man knelt before Jesus (gospel)


    • 'Commandments' tie:  "You know the commandments" (gospel)




      Listen

      When Jesus tells the rich young man he needs to sell his things, give to the poor, then follow him, the man's joy and hope vanish, because he doesn't want to give up his riches.  Attachment to riches is the beginning of all kinds of corruption:  in personal life, business, politics, and education...  Those who live attached to their own power and wealth believe they’re in heaven; closed, they have no horizon or hope.  Eventually they'll have to leave everything.
      Rich and sterile:  Riches can seduce, making us believe we're in paradise on earth.  But earthly paradise has no "horizon"; it's like a neighborhood of rich people who built walls and fences to defend their property.  Living without horizons is sterile; living without hope is sad.  Attachment to wealth makes us sad and sterile.  I say 'attachment,' not 'good administration,' because riches are for the common good.  If the Lord gives them to one person, it's so they may be used for the good of all.
      Open your hand and your horizons:  Wealth without generosity makes us believe we're powerful like God.  And in the end it takes away hope.  But Jesus indicates the right way to live:  "Blessed are the poor in spirit."  Strip off this attachment and make sure the riches the Lord has given one are for the common good.  Open your hand and heart; open up the horizon.  If you have a closed hand, your heart is also closed:  you have no horizons, you don't see others in need, and you'll end up far from God.
      Read
      • Sir 17:20-24  God provides a way back to the penitent and encourages those losing hope.  Return to him and give up sin.  How great the Lord's mercy and forgiveness!

      • Ps 32:1-2, 5-7  "Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord."  Blessed all whose fault is taken away.  I acknowledged my sin to you, and you took away my guilt.  The faithful shall pray to you in time of stress, and you'll preserve them.

      • Mk 10:17-27  Man / Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” / “Why do you call me good?  Only God is good.  You know the commandments....” / “I've observed them all from my youth.” / “You lack one thing:  Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you'll have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”  He went away sad, for he had many possessions.  Jesus / disciples:  “How hard it is for the wealthy to enter God's Kingdom!  It's easier for a camel to pass through a needle's eye than for a rich person to enter God's Kingdom.” / “Then who can be saved?” / “For people it's impossible, but for God all things are possible.”
      Reflect
      • Creighton:  Jesus' conversation with the man about eternal life takes a turn when he looks with love at him.  "Sell everything and give to the poor" isn't another commandment to keep; it's the way to become free to follow Jesus.  Eternal life is loving communion starting here with following Jesus.  What gets in the way of my receiving and responding to Jesus' “look of love”?  Attachment to material possessions, fear, guilt, shame...?  May I receive that look and live in his love.
      • One Bread One Body:  "Hope-loss?"  Hope in the Lord leads to strength. A people of hope is a people of strength.  Don't let disappointments, sadness, self-centeredness, or trials get in the way of hope.  Wait on the Lord; hope in God....
        St. Bede the Venerable
      • Passionist:  Things are not evil in themselves, but attachment to them–longing or possession–can make them evil for us.  If possessions cause us to make bad choices–like not sharing with those in need, or spending too much time with toys and hobbies–or if they become an obstacle in our relationship with God, they become evil, but the end of today's gospel gives us hope:  "for God, all things are possible."
      • DailyScripture.net:  The young man had mis-placed his hope in what he possessed.  Treasure has a special connection to the heart, the place of desire, longing, will, and focus.  Giving up everything to have the Lord as our treasure is great joy.  Selling all could mean letting go of attachments, friendships, influence, job, entertainment, life style and putting God first, giving him our best.  Those generous towards God and neighbor can't outmatch God's generosity toward us.  God blesses us with freedom from fear, the power of sin, selfishness, pride, loneliness, isolation, rejection, hopelessness, despair, and disillusionment....
      The camel was regarded as the largest animal in Palestine; the "eye of the needle" is either literal or refers to the narrow gate travelers used when the larger gate was locked.  A normal sized man had to "lower" himself to enter that gate; a camel would have to kneel and crawl through it.  Wealth can make us falsely independent, give us false security, or lead us to hurtful desires or selfishness.  We lose what we keep but gain what we give away.  Jesus offers us treasure no money can buy and no thief can steal.  Where is my treasure?
        • Mary Magdalen of Pazzi, Carmelite nun prayed for Church reform and conversion of the world, guided her fellow sisters; see Wikipedia, Catholic Encyclopedia.
      Special greetings to and prayers for St. Bede the Venerable parish and school!