February 19, 2016

Feb. 19

February 19, 2016:  Friday, 1st week, Lent


  • 'Clock' tie bar: My soul waits for the Lord (psalm)

  • 'Wood block' tie pin:  whoever calls his brother raqa (see below) will be held accountable (gospel)
  • 'Scales of justice' tie:  Settle on the way to court, or you'll be handed over to the judge... (gospel)
  • 'Penny' button:  If  you don't reconcile, you won't get out till you pay the last penny (gospel)
  • Purple suspenders:  Lenten season


Listen

Pope Francis at Ciudad Juárez penitentiary
No person or place is beyond the reach of mercy.  Mercy reminds us that reintegration begins "outside" in the streets, not within these walls.   Mercy means learning not to be prisoners of the past.  It means believing things can change.  We can't turn the clock back, but we can write a new story and move forward.  The one who has suffered the greatest pain can become a prophet in society.

Read

  • Ez 18:21-28  If the wicked man turns away from sin and does what's right, he'll live because of the virtue he's practiced; I rejoice when he turns from evil and lives.  But if the virtuous man turns from virtue and does evil, he'll die.  You say, “Not fair!” but it's your ways that are unfair.
  • Ps 130:1-8  "If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?"  Out of the depths I cry to you; hear me!  I trust and wait for you.  God is kind and forgiving and will redeem Israel. 
  • Mt 5:20-26  Your righteousness must surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees.  It was said, Don't kill, but say, Don't be angry.  Be reconciled with your brother.  Settle with your opponent or you'll be imprisoned.
Reflect
  • Word of the day:  Raqa (rēqā’ or rēqâ, Aramaic, from gospel):  probably 'blockhead' or 'imbecile,' a term of abuse.
    • Creighton:  Lent is about giving up whatever keeps you away from God.  God rejoices in having sinners turn away from sin.  We’re not just talking about ‘big’ sins; ‘little’ things can also take us away from God.  Lent is about reconciliation.  Reconciling with others is the first step to reconciling with God and the Church.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Lent or else":  Lent is a call to repentance, a matter of life or death....
    • Passionist:  The season of Lent takes us on a journey to greater love of God and others.  Prayer, fasting, alms-giving, and other Lenten practices support us in conforming our lives to the law of love.  Today's gospel begins Jesus' “antitheses”:  you've heard from the law... but I tell you...; he motivates people to go beyond the letter of the law to a heartfelt commitment.  Jesus stretches us beyond obedience into love.  Are my Lenten practices drawing me closer to God and others? 
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Don't be angry; be reconciled":  The first person to hate was Cain.  Sin doesn't just happen; it first grows in one's heart.  If not mastered by grace, it grows like a weed and chokes life.  Jesus points to the heart as seat of desire, choice, and intention. Unless evil desires are uprooted, the heart will be poisoned and the body become a slave to sin.  The antidote for anger and rage?  Mercy, forbearance, and kindness from a heart with love and forgiveness.  God has forgiven us and calls us to extend mercy to those who harm us; Jesus shows the greatest example in his cross.  Only God can set us free from pride and revenge.
    "May I be no one's enemy, and may I be the friend of what's eternal and abides.  May I never quarrel with those nearest me: and if I do, may I be reconciled quickly.  May I love, seek, and attain only what's good. May I wish for the happiness of all and envy none.  May I never rejoice in the ill-fortune of one who's wronged me.  When I've said or done wrong, may I never wait for others' rebuke but rebuke myself until I make amends.  May I win no victory that harms me or my opponent.  May I reconcile friends who are angry with one another.  May I never fail a friend in danger.  When visiting those in grief, may I soften their pain. May I respect myself.  May I keep tame what rages within me.  May I accustom myself to be gentle, and never be angry with people.  May I never discuss who's wicked and what they've done, but know good people and follow their example."