February 1, 2016

Feb. 1

February 1, 2016:  Monday, 4th week, Ordinary Time

See ten connections with today?
Legend below
Listen

Pope Francis homily
King David was one step away from corruption, but Nathan makes him understand the evil he'd done.  David was a sinner, but holy; he wasn't corrupt because the corrupt don't realize they are.  It takes grace to change a corrupt person's heart.  David said, "It's true; I sinned!"  He acknowledged his guilt.  Nathan replied, "The Lord forgives you, but the corruption you sowed will grow.  The sword shall never depart from your house."  The wounds of corruption are difficult to heal.  We see this in many parts of the world.
David found his son had become corrupt, waging war on him.  But the king gathered his men and decided to leave. He didn't call on God to defend him; he left to save his people.  This is the way of holiness David began to follow.  He left amid jeers and Shimei's curse.  David accepted it:  "Let him curse since the Lord ordered him to."  David saw the signs:  it was his moment of humiliation, when he pays for his guilt.  "Perhaps the Lord will make it up to me...."  He puts himself in the Lord's hands.  From the moment of corruption to entrusting himself to God:  it's holiness; it's humility.  If somebody says something bad to us, we say it’s not true, but humility can only get in via humiliation.  If you can't put up with humiliations, you're not humble.  David’s destiny, holiness, came through humiliation.  The destiny of that holiness God gives to his children, to the Church, comes through his Son's humiliation.  David foreshadowed Jesus' humiliation.  Ask for the grace of humility, but also the grace to understand it can't be achieved without humiliation.
Read
  • 2 Sm 15:13-14, 30; 16:5-13  David, informed Israel is now loyal to his son Absalom, takes flight and weeps.  His kinsman Shimei curses and throws stones at him.  “God told him to curse; leave him alone.  Maybe God will make it up to me.”
  • Ps 3:2-7  "Lord, rise up and save me."  You, my shield, answer and sustain me.
  • Mk 5:1-20  Jesus / Gerasene with unclean spirit:  “Come out of the man!” / “What have you to do with me, Son of the Most High?  Don't torment me!” / “What is your name?” / “Legion; we are many.  Send us into the swine.”  They entered the swine and drowned all 2,000.  All saw the man cured and were amazed.  “Announce all the Lord has done for you.”
Reflect
    • Creighton:  God chose to use an unlikely candidate to show his power and mercy, even a possessed wild man people avoided.  God can choose anyone for great things.  I can become a conduit for Christ no matter how I’ve failed in the past.  The locals begged Jesus to leave, even though he'd just performed a miracle.  When Christ is working through me, how do I respond?
      Medieval illustration of Jesus healing the Gerasene
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Are you a loser?"  The Gerasenes, who lost 2,000 swine, realized that if Jesus stayed, they'd lose even more, so they told him to go.  They cut their losses by asking Jesus to leave.  We cut our losses when we refuse to lose anything by getting more involved in God's kingdom.  We must embrace that we're losers.  We lose money, friends, homes, possessions, and even our lives.  The more closely we follow Jesus, the more we wind up losing.
    • Passionist:  Most of Jesus’ mission takes place in the Jewish area but here he and his disciples land in Gentile territory.  As he and his disciples come ashore, a demoniac living among tombs confronts him.  We hear he's wild, uncontrollable, crying out, abusing himself with stones, dehumanized, and isolated.  In the biblical world, the root of illness was demonic power.  But Jesus is filled with God’s life-giving Spirit.  His mission is revealed in all his healings and exorcisms and his ultimate self-giving.  In today’s gospel, Jesus confronts the evil destroying his life.  The demon’s name, “Legion,” refers to the Roman legions that held the region in their grip.  The evil Jesus confronts takes many forms, all destructive.  The man Jesus liberated becomes calm and restored to his family.  The townspeople, amazed and fearful, beg Jesus to leave, but the man Jesus restored pleads to stay with him.  But Jesus asks him to “go home to your family and announce to them that the Lord has done for you.”  The man responds and begins to what Jesus had done for him.  He becomes the first missionary to the Gentiles in Mark.  This story of redemption and transformation reveals Jesus’ mission of liberation.  Our circumstances may not be as dire as the demoniac's, but we all need healing....
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Tell them  how much the Lord has done for you":  A legion is an army of more than 5,000.  Legions committed atrocities. Our age has also witnessed crimes and mass destruction at the hands of possessed rulers and their armies.  What's more remarkable:  the destructive force of this man, or one at Jesus' feet imploring mercy?  No destructive force can keep anyone from the peace and safety God offers?  Jesus took pity on the man.  The destructive force of the demons is evident to all who see the swine fall.  No one had demonstrated such power and authority as Jesus did.  They begged him to leave, likely because the price for such liberation was too high for them.  Am I willing to part with whatever keeps me from Jesus' love and grace?
      • Henry MorseJesuit priest, martyr
    Dress legend 
    • 'Blood drop' pin:  "The Lord has requited you for all the bloodshed..." (1st reading)
    • 'Crown' tie bar:  "...and given over the kingdom to your son Absalom." (1st reading)
    • 'Dogs' tie:  “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king?” (1st reading); “Legion is my name, for we are many (gospel, since there are many dogs on the tie)
    • 'Shield' tie pin:  You, Lord, are my shield (I miss the sword/shield pin I lost at OneLife LA) (psalm) [I didn't count this one since you couldn't see it]
    • 'Phone' tie bar:  When I call out to the Lordhe answers me (psalm)
    • 'Chain links' chain:  No one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain (gospel)
    • 'Flying pig' tie pin:  Herd of swine feeding on the hillside flew down to their death (gospel)
    • 'Stone' tie pin:  Shimei throws stones at David and his officers (1st reading); demoniac was always crying out and bruising himself with stones. (gospel)
    • Green suspenders:  Ordinary Time season
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