June 22, 2016

June 22

June 22, 2016:  Wednesday, 12th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Eyeball' pin:  Turn away my eyes from seeing what is vain (psalm)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  “Beware false prophets, wolves in sheep’s clothing" (gospel)
  • 'Grapes and other fruits' tie:  "Do people pick grapes from thornbushes?" "By their fruits you will know them." (gospel)
  • 'Tree' pin:  "Every good tree bears good fruit" (gospel)
  • Orange suspenders:  "Technology on Fire:  Igniting ministry" conference, DISC 2016, starts today
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

Listen to psalm settings

Pope Francis audience
We consider Jesus’ healing of the leper.  Lepers were prohibited from contacting others.  One, moved by faith, passed among the crowds and begged Jesus to cleanse him.  If he broke the law, so did Jesus by touching and cleansing him.  Don't be afraid to reach out and touch the poor and the needy.  But the encounter doesn't end there.  Jesus tells him to make the prescribed offering to the priest as a testimony to his healing.  He shows that his healings aim at the rehabilitation of sinners and that faith bears fruit in witness.
Feel your need and ask for the Lord's healing touch.  Turn to Jesus in faith, and with your life proclaim his gifts of mercy, forgiveness, and spiritual rebirth.
Read
    • 2 Kgs 22:8-13; 23:1-3  High priest / scribe:  “I found the book of the law in the temple.”  When the king heard the contents, he commanded:  “Consult the Lord for me, for the people, for all Judah, about its stipulations; God is angry with us, because our ancestors didn't obey.”  He went to the temple with the people, had the book read out, and made a covenant before the Lord that they'd follow him.
    • Ps 119:33-37, 40  "Teach me the way of your decrees, O Lord."  Give me discernment, that I may keep your law with all my heart.  I long for your precepts; give me life.
    • Mt 7:15-20  “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but are wolves underneath.  By their fruits you'll know them.  Good trees bear good fruit; rotten trees, bad fruit.  Every tree that doesn't bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
    Reflect
      • Creighton:  It's easy to get caught up in false prophets' lies; they flatter us.  We see false prophets in the media:  ads make us think we must worship a politician, money, a drug,....  I pray for strength to resist the temptation.  I talk with friends since there's strength in numbers, and I talk with God and try to follow Jesus.  If God is with me, who can be against me?
        St. Thomas More/ Holbein
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Raising your 'rent'":  When King Josiah heard the book of the law read, he rent his garments in sorrow and dread; he knew God's people were accountable but weren't obeying God's Word.  Huldah prophesied regarding Josiah and the rending of his garments:  "Because you were heartsick and humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard My threats; because you tore your garments and wept before me; I have listened, says the Lord."  Josiah was forgiven and spared from seeing the punishing of God's people.  We've disobeyed God's Word and expect judgment.  "Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord.  For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment."
      • Passionist:  “I die my king’s humble, good servant, but God’s first.”  -Thomas More, lawyer and Chancellor, as he was led to the chopping block.  Bishop John Fisher was of the same mind.  Slow moving practice or non-practice of our faith can build a solid pattern for good or ill.  Gradually, our daily actions become part of our makeup, and we begin to identify ourselves more as a faithful disciple.  But if we start cutting corners in our prayer, Mass attendance, kindness, or generosity, we grow more critical and hard-hearted and wall ourselves off from others.  In the 1st reading, the Israelites have returned from exile, having grown complacent, gradually forgetting how to live in faith, hope, and love.  But when Hilkiah discovers the Book of the Law, he brings it to Josiah who initiates a dramatic return to covenant living.
      St. John Fisher

      Jesus urges us to know others by their fruits.  Small deeds grow to permanent fixtures in how we live, and we recognize and rejoice in the good fruit; the same is true of destructive behavior till we can't even recognize we're spiraling downhill.  Sometimes we need a dramatic moment, like the one Israel experienced with Hilkiah, to return to living Jesus' mind and heart.  SS. John Fisher and Thomas More tried to prevent Henry VIII’s drift away from faith living; challenged to accept the move away from God or pay, they chose to die as God’s servants.  May we re-commit to faithful living of our union with the Lord, knowing we're headed for the heavenly Jerusalem with John and Thomas.
      • DailyScripture.net:  "You'll know them by their fruits":  Jesus' audience was familiar with his 'fruit-imagery.'   As berries on a thorn bush can resemble grapes and a flower can resemble a fig, what we "hear" might resemble the truth but actually be false.  Jesus connects good fruit with sound living.  Isaiah warned against the dangers of falsehood, the fruits of which produce 'Christianity' without the cross, Jesus' hard sayings, and a sense of sin.  We avoid falsehood by being true to God, his word, and his grace.  Disciples' fruit is marked by faith, hope, and love, justice, prudence, fortitude, and temperance.
          St. Paulinus of Nola
        • Thomas More, lawyer, reformer, author of Utopia, depicting a society regulated by natural virtues, impartial judge, martyr, “the king’s good servant, but God’s first.”   “May we in heaven merrily all meet together to everlasting salvation.”
      Prayer for enemies:  Almighty God, have mercy on ...., and on all that bear me evil will, and wish me harm, and their faults and mine by such tender, merciful means as your wisdom can devise; amend and redress and make us saved souls in heaven together, where we may live and love with you and your saints, for the passion of our sweet Savior Christ.  Lord, give me patience in tribulation and grace in everything, to conform my will to yours, that I may truly say, “Your will be done on earth as in heaven.”  Give me the grace to labor for what I pray for.  –St. Thomas More
        • John Fisher, bishop, martyr:  "I condemn no one's conscience: their conscience may save them, and mine must save me.  "We should remember... to treat opponents as if they were acting in good faith, even if they seem to us to be acting out of spite or self-interest."