January 22, 2016

Pray for protection of the unborn

January 22, 2016:  Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

  • "People" tie pin:  Saul's and David's armies (1st reading), the apostles (gospel)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "God forbid that I lay a hand on the Lord's anointed" (1st reading)
  • 'Dogs' tie:  "Are you pursuing a dead dog?"  (1st reading)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  "I know you'll be king" (1st reading)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  Jesus 'calls' the apostles... (gospel)
  • 'Thunderbolt' pin:  ...including James and John, whom he named "sons of thunder" (gospel)
  • 'Precious feet' pin:  The unborn deserve respect and protection...
  • OneLife LA button:  ...as does all human life
Listen

Pope Francis
Homily:  Jesus chose the Twelve to be with him and to preach and cast out demons." The Twelve are the first bishops.  Bishops are pillars of the Church, called to witness that the Lord is risen, alive, walks with us, saves us, gave his life for us, is our hope, welcomes us, and forgives us.  Our life must be a testimony.  Our first task is to be with Jesus in prayer; the second is to witness, to preach.  These two tasks are the pillars of the Church.  If they're weakened because we forget to pray or pray little, or because we take care of other things instead of announcing the Gospel, the Church weakens, and God's people suffer.
Pray for your bishops; it's an obligation of love and reverence so the family remains united in witness to Christ.  We bishops are sinners with weakness; we run the risk of not praying, or doing things instead of preaching and expelling demons.  Pray, so we're what Jesus desired, so we give witness. In every Mass we pray for Peter, for our bishop, and for all bishops, but it's not enough.  Pray for the bishop with your heart!  Lord, take care of my bishop and all bishops, and send us bishops who are true witnesses.
Letter to CDW prefect:  From now on, anyone can be chosen for Holy Thursday foot washing, not only males, to improve how it expresses the meaning of Jesus' gesture, his self-giving, his charity.  Pastors may choose faithful representing the variety and unity of every part of the People of God:  men and women, young and old, healthy and sick, clerics, consecrated persons, and laypeople. 
On pilgrims:  Making pilgrimages is an eloquent expression of faith; it's a form of evangelization to be promoted and valued.  At shrines to Mary and the Saints, there's a profound spirituality; each person brings a wish from the heart and a special prayer.  And those who go on pilgrimages personally live out their experience:  they carry their own history, faith, lights, and shadows, and when they enter a sanctuary, they feel at home, welcomed, understood, and supported.  They're often tired, hungry, and thirsty physically and spiritually.  Those who reach their destination should feel at home, loved, and looked on with eyes of mercy.  Anyone can receive a welcome, because each heart seeks God.  Those who approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation do so because they're repentant of their sins, and God welcomes and hugs them.  Priests who minister in sanctuaries must have hearts of mercy.  May people celebrate this Jubilee of Mercy as one big pilgrimage.
To Roman Rota tribunal:  Your roles as Tribunal of the Family and Tribunal of the Truth of the Sacred Bond are complementary.  The Church can show God's unfailing love to families, especially wounded ones, and proclaim the essential truth of marriage.  When the Church does, remember that those living in a state of error are still objects of Christ's and the Church's merciful love.
There can be no confusion between the family as God willed and every other union.  “Quality of faith” is not essential to marital consent, and faith infused at baptism influences the soul even when it hasn't been developed and seems to be psychologically absent.  Couples can discover God’s plan for marriage after their wedding, when they've begun to experience family life.  So we continue to propose marriage in its essentials—offspring, the couple's good, unity, indissolubility, sacramentality—not as ideal only for a few but as a reality that, in the grace of Christ, all the faithful can experience.
I'll summarize his 50th World Day of Social Communications message over several days.
Read
  • 1 Sm 24:3-21  Saul, searching for David, entered a cave, not realizing David was deep inside.  David’s servants told their master, “The Lord has delivered your enemy to you; do as you see fit.”  David cut off part of Saul’s mantle but then regretted it and told his men to leave the king alone.  As Saul left, David told him, “The Lord delivered you to me, but I took pity.  You hunt me down, but I've done no wrong and won't hurt you; look at your robe.”  Saul wept: “You treated me generously.  God reward you.”
  • Ps 57:2-6, 11  "Have mercy on me, God, have mercy."  I take refuge in you.  Save me.  Be exalted, O merciful, faithful God.
  • Mk 3:13-19  Jesus summoned the Twelve and they came to be with him and be sent to preach...
Reflect
    • Creighton:  Sometimes children, and grown-ups, “don’t hear” what we don't want.  In today's gospel, Jesus summoned his apostles, and they came to him.  To have the relationship with Jesus he wants, we need to respond.  What keeps me from hearing the call?  Busyness?  Worry?  How am I different today because I'm a follower of Jesus?  Can I recognize someone without dignity?  Show kindness?  Stand up for justice though I might be ridiculed?  Pray?  Jesus called Judas “who betrayed him.”  We too betray him at times, but he continues to ask for, accept, and love us.
      "Do you follow Jesus this close?"
      (fits with today's gospel, snapped on the way to work)
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Respecting God's choices":  David spared Saul's life because Saul was God's anointed.  Jesus summoned men he decided on; their only qualification is that he chose them.  Saul looked like a bad choice, and if you look at the apostles' mistakes and lack of understanding, they could look like bad choices too.  People complain that church leaders are incompetent or foolish, but God's folly exceeds our wisdom. God speaks through those he chooses.  May we imitate David, who so respected God's choice that he preferred to be persecuted rather do harm to the Lord's anointed.
    • Passionist:  Today, the anniversary of the day the US Supreme Court effectively declared unborn children as not human beings entitled to legal protection, we pray for peace and justice.  Every human life deserves our reverence and respect, from conception to natural death....
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Jesus appointed twelve to be with him":  What 's God's call to me?  Jesus chose twelve ordinary men to preach and heal, not for what they were but rather for what they could be under his direction.  The Lord takes what we can offer and uses it for greatness...
      • Publius, honored as Bishop of Malta, welcomed Paul and his companions