August 30, 2015

22nd Sun., Ordinary Time

August 30, 2015:  Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time



  • 'Abacus' tie pin:  Don't add to or subtract from the Lord's commandments. (1st reading)
  • 'Owl' tie pin:  Your observance will give evidence of your wisdom.  (1st reading)
  • 'Scales of justice' tie:  Those who do justice will live in God's presence (psalm)
  • 'Girl with heart' pin:  Whoever thinks the truth in his heart... shall never be disturbed (psalm); "This people's hearts are far from me" (gospel)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  Pharisees saw disciples ate without washing their hands (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season
Listen

Pope Francis Angelus
The literal observance of precepts is fruitless if it doesn't change the heart or translate into concrete attitudes:  opening you to encounter with God in prayer; seeking justice and peace; and assisting the poor, weak, and oppressed.  We know how much harm people do to the Church, how much scandal they give, when they say they're Catholic and go to church, but they neglect their family, speak ill of others, and so on.  Jesus condemned this counter-witness.
The border between good and evil passes within us.  Ask, "where's my heart?"  "Your heart is where your treasure is."   If my treasure is Jesus, then the heart is good.  If it's something else, the heart must be purified and converted. Without a purified heart, you can't have clean hands and lips to speak sincere words of love.  Lord, give us a clean heart, free of hypocrisy, so we may live according to the spirit of the law and achieve the law’s true purpose:  perfection of charity.
Read
  • Dt 4:1-2, 6-8  Moses:  “Israel, observe the statutes I'm teaching you, that you may live and have the land the Lord is giving you; don't add to or subtract from them.  Your observance will show your wisdom and intelligence, What nation has gods so close as the Lord is to us or has statues as just as the law I set before you now?
  • Ps 15:2-5  "One who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord."  Whoever walks blamelessly, thinks the truth, honors those who fear the Lord, and doesn't slander, harm, or reproach others, lend at usury, or accept bribes won't be disturbed.
  • Jas 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27  Every perfect gift is from above, from the Father of lights.  Humbly welcome the word planted in you that can save you.  Be doers of the word, not just hearers.  Pure religion is to care for orphans and widows and to keep yourself unstained.
  • Mk 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23  Pharisees and scribes observed some of Jesus' disciples not washing their hands before meals.  Jews keep their elders' tradition:  they wash their hands and observe many other things like purification of jugs and beds.  They / Jesus: “Why don't your disciples follow our elders' tradition and wash their hands?” / “Hypocrites!  Isaiah prophesied about you:  They honor me with their lips but not their hearts; they worship me in vain, teaching human precepts as doctrines.”  To crowd:  Nothing that enters you from outside defiles; only what comes out from within.  From the heart come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly; they defile.
Reflect
    • Creighton:  Sin can come so easily; it's challenging to have my actions match my faith.  My favorite back-to-school item is a day planner.  You can learn about someone's values from their calendar and check book.  Do I make time to be a doer of the word:  work for justice, spend with a friend having a hard time, improve my relationships, make peace...?
    • One Bread One Body:  "How to receive a gift":  Our Father gave us the gifts of birth and rebirth and will give us his word of truth.  If we listen and act on it, we'll receive our gift.  What is my Father trying to give me now?  How do I welcome and act on his word?
    • Passionist:  Evil gets in the heart by our letting in the wrong kind of thoughts.  “Our life is what our thoughts make it”  (Marcus Aurelius Antonius, 2nd c.).  “Change your thoughts and your change your world” (Norman Vincent Peale).  “Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bad fruit — and I'm my own gardener” (James Allen)  We need to take charge of our thoughts.  In the 1st reading Moses tells his people to let their thoughts be about God's statutes.  The psalm reminds us that the one “who thinks truth in his heart” will live in the Lord's presence.  James tells us to “welcome the word planted in you…”; reading, reflecting on, and studying Scripture is the first step to care for our thoughts.  The second step is to follow Paul’s advice:  “Whatever is just, pure, lovely, gracious, excellent, and praiseworthy, think about these things.”
    “Two wolves are fighting in my heart:  one is vengeful, angry, and violent; the other, loving, forgiving, and compassionate.  Which will win?” / “The one you feed.”  Feed on God's word and thoughts of beauty, and live in the Lord.
    • DailyScripture.net:  Jesus tells the religious leaders their notions of religion are clouding God's command; he calls them hypocrites.  Jesus says sin springs from our inmost being:  thoughts, intentions, desires....  If we admit our faults and ask forgiveness, Jesus will free us and restore us to life and goodness.  God told Cain:  "Sin is couching at the door; it desires you, but you must master it."  What do I allow into my mind and heart? God can cleanse our hearts through the Holy Spirit.  God's grace enables us to choose good and reject evil....
      • St Margaret Clitherow (Middleton), convert, martyred for hiding priests
      • St Anne Line (Heigham), taught children, took vows, kept safe house for priests, martyred
      • St. Margaret Ward, martyr, arrested after helping priest escape prison; under torture she refused to reveal his hiding place or renounce her faith.
      • Bl. Ghebre Michael ("Servant of Michael"), convert, monastery reformer, considered martyr; see Vincentian page.
      • St. Edmund Arrowsmith, Jesuit priest, martyr