October 18, 2015

29th Sun., Ordinary Time

October 18, 2015:  Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time


  • 'Eyeball' pin:  The Lord's eyes are on those who fear and hope in him (psalm)
  • 'Clock' tie bar:  Our soul waits for the Lord,... (psalm)
  • 'Shield' tie pin:  ...our help and our shield. [oops; forgot it till after the pic; see here]
  • 'Cups' tie:  "Can you drink the cup I drink?" (gospel) [Yes; it fit Tuesday too]
  • Crucifix:  The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life... (gospel)
  • 'LOVE' sticker:  leadership through loving service (homily); love shown by today's new saints
  • 'Precious feet' pin:  October is Respect Life month
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season
Listen

For 2nd reading
For psalm
Pope Francis canonization homily
Today’s readings call us to follow Jesus on the path of humility and the cross.  Isaiah depicts the Servant of the Lord and his saving mission.  The Servant is despised, a man of sorrows. He doesn't do great things but rather fulfills God’s plan through humble, quiet presence and suffering; this enables him to understand those who suffer, to shoulder and atone for others' guilt.  The Servant's abandonment and sufferings bring redemption to many.
Jesus is the Servant of the Lord. His life and death, marked by an attitude of service, were the cause of our salvation and reconciliation with God.  The Gospel testifies that his death and resurrection fulfilled the prophecies of the Servant of the Lord.  Urged on by their mother, James and John wanted to sit beside Jesus in God’s Kingdom, claiming places of honor in line with their hierarchical vision.  Jesus jolts them by speaking of his own journey:  “You'll drink the cup I drink, but the seats aren't mine to give....”  They can partake of his suffering, but he doesn't promise the places of honor; he invites them to follow him along the path of love and service.  Jesus' words to the disciples show us service is how authority is to be exercised in the Christian community.  Those who serve exercise true authority in the Church.  Jesus calls us to see differently, to pass from thirst for power to joy of service, to suppress our desire for power and instead exercise humility.
Jesus offers himself as model; by imitating him, we gain a new outlook on life.  The Son of Man receives “dominion, glory and kingship.”  Jesus fills this image with new meaning, showing he enjoys dominion because he's a servant, glory because he's capable of abasement, kingship because he's prepared to lay down his life.  By his passion and death, he takes the lowest place, attains the heights, and bestows this on his Church.  There can be no compatibility between worldly understanding of power and humble service.  Ambition is incompatible with discipleship; honor and fame with the logic of Christ crucified.  There's compatibility between Jesus, “man of sorrows,” and our suffering; Hebrews presents Jesus as high priest who shares our human condition, except for sin.  Jesus exercises a priesthood of mercy and compassion; he knows our difficulties first hand.  His glory is not born of ambition or thirst for power; it's the glory of one who loves and accepts people, shares their weakness, offers them grace, and accompanies them tenderly.
We share in Christ’s priesthood, so we can receive the charity that flows from his heart, for ourselves and for others.  We become channels of his love and compassion, especially for those who are suffering, discouraged, or alone.  The saints canonized today served with outstanding humility and charity, in imitation of the Master.  Vincent Grossi was a zealous parish priest, attentive to people's needs and concerned to break the bread of God’s word, a Good Samaritan to those in need.  Mary of the Immaculate Conception humbly devoted her life to serving the least, especially children of the poor and the sick.  Louis Martin and Marie-Azélie Guérin practiced Christian service in the family, creating an environment of faith and love which nurtured the vocations of their daughters, among whom was St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus.  These saints' radiant witness inspires us to persevere in joyful service, trusting in God's help and Mary's protection....
Read
  • Is 53:10-11  The Lord crushed him in infirmity.  If he gives his life as an offering for sin, the Lord's will shall be accomplished through him.  Because of his affliction, he'll see the lightthrough his suffering, my servant shall justify many, bearing their guilt.
  • Ps 33:4-5, 18-20, 22  "Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you."  The Lord's word is upright and his works trustworthy.  Earth is full of the Lord's kindness.  The Lord's eyes are on those who fear him and hope for his kindness, to deliver and preserve them.  Our soul waits for the Lord our help.
  • Heb 4:14-16  Since we have a great high priest, let us hold fast to our confession.  Our high priest can sympathize with our weaknesses; he's similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.  So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace.
  • Mk 10:35-45  James and John / Jesus:  "We want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." / "What do you wish?" / "That in your glory we may sit at your right and left hand." / "You don't know what you're asking.  Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with my baptism?"  / "We can." / "Then you will, but the seats aren't mine to give."  Jesus, to the ten now indignant at James and John:  "Those recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority felt.  But among you, whoever wishes to be great will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first will be the slave of all.   The Son didn't come to be served but to serve and to give his life as ransom for many."
Reflect
    • Creighton:  “Can you drink the cup I drink?”  James and John ask, “Teacher, grant… we may sit at your right and left.”  Hear their innocent, naïve eagerness.  They wanted to be as close to Jesus as possible.  Jesus asks, “Can you drink the cup?”  What does this mean for me?  Today Pope Francis is speaking Jesus’ words of compassion, generosity, care for the homeless, the poor, and our planet....   Jesus spoke the message often; the Pope continues to speak it.  We're a beloved people to whom Jesus offers love we're meant to share.  How do I receive this gift?  Am I sharing my bread?  Am I generous with my resources?  Do I invite the hungry to my table?  Do I see my homeless brother?  Do I listen to my sister’s story?   What I could do is….  What I'd like to do with and for others is….  I want to offer….  Jesus' cup is being poured out and offered to me; he holds it while I sip.  The words of his song are being sung.  Listen!
      Agnus Day's take on the gospel
    • One Bread One Body:  "Pains-taking prayer?"  The Lord commands us to "confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy, favor, and help."  But we should try to understand the implications of what we're asking.  If we ask for many to be saved, we're also asking to share in Christ's sufferings.  If we pray for the will of the Lord to be accomplished through us, we're also asking for the grace to give our lives.  If we ask to do great things for God's kingdom, we're also asking to be servants, even slaves.  When we pray, the Lord asks us, "Can you drink the cup I'll drink or be baptized in the same bath of pain?"  How will I answer? Considering that prayer is often in the shadow of the cross, it's no wonder so few pray seriously.  Do I love others so much that I'll pray and suffer for them?
    • Passionist:  Ambition isn't wrong in itself; we all desire to find meaning, belonging, and authenticity.  But such pursuits can be misdirected into an egocentric pursuit of status, power, or control.  James and John seem to be seeking status, but they miss Jesus' vision of leadership.  Jesus immediately links leadership to ability and willingness to sacrifice, suffer, and serve.  Does the others' indignation reveal their jealousy?  Our reactions can be useful guides to us; they can reveal our inner world with its harbored desires.  Exercise of power is a necessary part of life; power wisely and compassionately exercised can bring good. But power exercised in a self-centered way and used to further my own will at the expense of others’ legitimate needs reveals my weakness.  Jesus' leadership is through service and sacrifice.  We all “lead,” whether in relationships, marriage, family, work, or community.   then this comes with an inherent invitation to assume the posture of a slave, to be a servant and to give one’s life for the sake of others.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Are you able to drink the cup I drink?"  The desire for greatness seems to be inbred in us.  Jesus reversed the order to greatness.  To be first and great, we must put others' interests first and take on their cares and concerns.  Jesus wedded authority with love and service with self-sacrifice; authority without love is self-serving.  His disciples must drink his cup, lay down their life, to reign with him.  What cup does the Lord have in mind for me?  Martyrdom, or the daily sacrifices of routine Christian life?  The Lord who offered his life for us calls us to offer ourselves for others in a daily sacrifice of love and service.  Love makes such sacrifice a joy, not a burden; it can transform and change us and those around us.  If we allow God's love to transform us, no sacrifice will be too great.
    • Canonized today:  Louis & Zélie Martin, St. Thérèse of Lisieux's parents, "extraordinary witness of conjugal and family spirituality" (Card. Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints), first married couple with children to be canonized in the same ceremony.  They had 9 children:  4 died in infancy; 5 entered religious life.  The couple attended Mass daily, prayed, fasted, visited the elderly and the sick, and welcomed the poor into their home.
    • Sunday-trumped saint, from Universalis:  Luke, Evangelist, Greek doctor who converted to Christianity, companion of Paul who wrote Lk in accordance with Paul’s teaching and Acts to narrate early Church history.  He explained Jewish customs and Hebrew words to Gentile readers.