July 12, 2015

15th Sun., Ordinary Time

July 12, 2015:  Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  "I was a shepherd..." (1st reading)
  • 'Tree' pin:  "...and dresser of sycamores."  (1st reading)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  The Lord proclaims peace. (psalm)
  • 'Scales' pin: Justice shall look down from heaven.  (psalm)
  • 'Owl' tie pin:  In wisdom and insight, God made his will known to us  (2nd reading)
  • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  In him you were sealed with the promised Spirit  (2nd reading)
  • 'Cars' tie:  The Twelve 'drove' out demons  (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season
  • 'Precious feet' pin (ouch: lost; "Holy Tony, look around!  The feet are lost; they gotta be found."):  If they don't welcome you, shake the dust off your feet  (gospel)
Listen

  • Two by two, from Book of Mormon/ Stone, Parker, Lopez (gospel :-)
  • Two by two, from Two by Two/ Charnin, Rogers (really about the ark) 
Pope Francis
At vespers in Asunción:  Liturgical prayer is an expression of the whole Church striving to be conformed to her Lord.  True prayer expresses what we experience and what we ought to experience; it makes us put our prayer into practice.  As God's hands, we work to turn what's barren into fertile ground.  We fight, speak up, defend the dignity of every human life.  Prayer reflects our love for God, people, and all creation.  Love is the greatest way missionary disciples can be conformed to Jesus.  Union with Jesus deepens our Christian vocation, concerned with what Jesus “does,” with becoming more like him in all we do.  The beauty of the Church is born of this union of each member to Jesus.
Apostolic work is carried out in communion!  Cooperate, respecting the nature, role, vocation, and charisms of each person.  Work together for the common good; communion and harmony lead to fruitfulness, because they're attuned to the Spirit.  Each of us has our limitations; no one can reproduce Jesus in his fullness.  One called by God doesn't show off, seek recognition, or claim to be better than others.  We're to become perfect like “the great Shepherd of the sheep,” conformed to Jesus, who achieved perfection learning obedience through suffering.
Saturday homily in Paraguay:  I feel at home with you, at the feet of our Mother, the Virgin of Caacupé.  When we encounter her, we're reminded we're brothers and sisters.  We present our needs, give thanks, ask forgiveness, and begin again with a fresh desire to live the joy of the Gospel.  We gather as God's People at her feet to offer our love and faith.  When Mary heard the angel's greeting, she wondered what it could mean, but she knew that he came from God and so said yes.  Mary is the Mother of Yes:  yes to God's dream, God's care, and God's will.  Her yes was hard to live:  it bore no privileges and pierced her.  We love her as a true Mother, one who helps us keep faith and hope alive in complicated situations.  Reflect on these difficult moments in Mary’s life:
    • Jesus' birth:  There was no room for them, no place she could give birth, no nearby family.  She might have asked, "Where's the Lord now?"
    • The flight to Egypt:  Their lives were in danger; they had to go into exile.  She might have asked: "What happened to what the angel promised?"
    • Jesus’ crucifixion:  Nothing is harder for a mother than seeing her child die.  Mary was strong, faithful, and with her son, even to his death; then she encouraged and supported the disciples.
When we look at her, we feel heard and understood.  We can pray with her in a common language in the face of the situations we encounter, identifying with situations in her life.  We can tell her what's happening because she understands.
Mary believed; her life testifies God doesn't deceive or abandon us, even it might seem so.  Mary kept hope alive, staying with her cousin Elizabeth, and at the Cana wedding feast.  Today Mary is in our hospitals, schools, and homes, silently.  We're never alone.  She always wants to be among her children, her family.  She learned the meaning of “Fear not; the Lord is with you.”  She keeps telling us, “Do whatever he tells you.”  She doesn’t have a plan of her own or tell us something new; she just accompanies our faith with hers.
You women lifted up this country, kept the memory, found strength, and persevered, keeping faith through difficult situations, hoping against hope, doing what God told you.  God bless and encourage your faith.  “Rejoice, the Lord is with you” is a summons to cherish your memory, your roots, and the signs you're received as believers tested by trials.  Your faith has become life, hope, and charity.  May you be outstanding in love and bear this faith, life, and hope....
At Asunción children's hospital:  The only time Jesus got annoyed in Mark's gospel was when they wouldn’t let children come to him; he was mad.  He loved children, was happy to be with them, enjoyed being friends with them, and wanted them to be an example:  "Unless you become like children, you'll never enter the Kingdom."  They came to him; adults tried to keep them away, but he embraced them and brought them forward, so people could learn to be like them.  We need to learn from you:  your trust, joy, tenderness, ability to fight, strength, and endurance.   Looking at you gives us strength and courage to trust and move forward.
Parents and grandparents, there are times of suffering, uncertainty, and anguish but also times of immense happiness; the feelings collide within us.  But there's no better relief than your compassion and your closeness to one another.  It makes me happy that you help, encourage, and support each other, and keep going in these difficult moments.  Never forget Jesus is close to his children, very near, in our hearts.  Pray to him; talk to him; share your questions and pain.  He won't let us fall.  And wherever there's a child, there's a mother.  Wherever Jesus is, there's Mary, the Virgin of Caacupé.  Ask her to wrap us in her mantle, to protect and intercede for you and your families.
Read
  • Am 7:12-15  Amaziah / Amos:  “Flee!  Never prophesy again in Bethel.”  / “I was a shepherd and dresser of sycamores, not a prophet, but the Lord took me and said, Prophesy to my people Israel.”

  • Ps 85:9-14  "Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation."  God proclaims peace.  Salvation is near to those who fear him.  Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss....

  • Eph 1:3-14  Blessed be God, who has blessed us, chosen us to be holy and in accord with his purpose, destined us for adoption and redemption, made his will known to us, and sealed us with the Spirit.

  • Mk 6:7-13  Jesus sent the Twelve out two by two with authority over unclean spirits, telling them to take nothing but a walking stick.  “Wherever you enter, stay till you leave.   If they don't welcome or listen to you, leave and shake the dust off your feet.”  They went off, preached repentance, drove out demons, and anointed and cured the sick.
Reflect
    • Creighton:  The work of God is not a solitary affair; consider today's gospel, Paul and Barnabas, Moses and Aaron, Ruth and Naomi, and so on.  Thank God for friends, companions, and supporters who teach us faith, show us values, minister with us, and help us know God and ourselves better....
    • One Bread One Body:  "The 'in' crowd":  Paul is preoccupied with being "in Jesus."  He proclaims that in Jesus we have spiritual blessings, have been chosen to be holy and love-filled, have favor bestowed on us, and have been redeemed and forgiven.  Those who receive Jesus' body and blood remain in him, and he in them.  We can choose to not be in Jesus,  but "the state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called 'hell.'"
    Later in the day
    (Covers most readings, plus a pineapple :-)
    • Passionist:  In my daily life, am I a prophet, a bearer of the Good News?  Amos was chosen from a simple occupation and lived out his mission, calling people to return to their integrity despite the resistance and rejection he received.  God has chosen us too, broken as we are, and equipped us with all we need.
    • DailyScripture.net:  Jesus gave his apostles power and authority, commanding them to heal, cast out evil spirits, and speak God's word like he did.  He wedded power and authority with self-sacrificing love and humility.  He asked them to "travel light" because "poverty of spirit" frees us from greed and preoccupation with possessions and makes room for God's provision. The Lord wants his disciples to be dependent on him; he wants to work in and through each of us. Am I ready to place the authority, power, and talents God gave me at his service?
    • Trumped saint, thanks to Universalis:  John Jones (AKA John Buckley, John Griffith, Godfrey Maurice), Franciscan missionary priest, martyr; see Wikipedia.