October 13, 2016

Oct. 13

October 13, 2016:  Thursday, 28th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Blood drop' pin:  "In Christ we have redemption by his Blood" (1st reading); "this generation will be charged with prophets' blood" (gospel)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "His right hand has won victory." (psalm)
  • 'Olympics' tie pin:  "All the ends of the earth have seen God's salvation." (psalm)
  • 'Angel with trumpet' pin:  "With trumpets and horn sing before the Lord." (psalm)
  • NEW 'Key' tie:  "You law scholars have taken away the key of knowledge." (gospel)
  • 'Owl' pin:  God's wisdom (1st reading, gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season
Listen

  • For 1st reading
  • Whatsoever you do/ Jabusch (Pope Francis "works of mercy" talk-inspired)  BTW note they (as most now) sing "Whatsoever you do to the least of my people" instead of the original "...to the least of my brothers."  OK, but I liked even better when before that we sang "...to the least of my little ones."
Pope Francis
Homily:  One trait of God's blessing of us is that we're chosen.  God calls us one by one, not as a crowd.  Think of a couple expecting a baby:  "How will it be?..."  The Father dreamed of each of us as expectant parents do.  The Father wanted you, loves you, chose you, named you.  When we live aware of that, we're filled with consolation; we don't feel abandoned.
The next part of the Christian blessing is being and feeling forgiven.  If you don't feel forgiven, you're not fully Christian.  We've been forgiven with the price of the blood of Christ.  I've been forgiven of all the bad things I've done.
The third part:  a Christian is walking towards fullness, towards an encounter with Christ who redeemed us.  A Christian can't stand still; we must move forward.  I'm standing still if I received the talent but out of fear or convenience bury it; I'm calm and spend my life going nowhere.  The Christian is on a journey, doing good, going forward.
This is Christian identity:  blessed, chosen, forgiven, forging a path.  May the Lord be with us through the grace of the blessing he's given us, the blessing of our Christian identity.
Works of Mercy series teaser:   I'm dedicating a new cycle of catechesis to the works of mercy.  It's not enough to experience God’s mercy; we also need to be a sign and instrument for others.  We don't have to make superhuman efforts; the Lord shows us an easier path of little gestures of great value to him.  When we feed someone hungry, give a drink to someone thirsty, dress the naked, welcome strangers, or visit the sick or imprisoned, we do it also to him.  These are the corporal works of mercy, helping people in their material needs.
The spiritual works of mercy respond to other equally important needs, especially today, as they affect the most intimate aspect of people and often make them suffer more.  Bearing patiently those who wrong us may seem to be of little importance, or make us smile, but it's profound charity.  It's the same for counseling the doubtful, instructing the ignorant, admonishing sinners, consoling the afflicted, forgiving offenses, and praying for the living and the dead.
Start with the simplest ones, the most urgent.  In a world afflicted by indifference, works of mercy are the best antidote; they teach us to be attentive to basic needs of "the least," in whom Jesus is present, and so be vigilant, not letting Christ pass by unrecognized.  "I fear Jesus will go by" (Augustine) and I won't recognize him, that the Lord will pass in one of these little people in need, and I won't realize it's Jesus.
The works of mercy reawaken in us the need and capacity to make faith work through charity.  Through these daily gestures we can effect a cultural revolution.  If each of us, every day, did one, it would be a revolution!  How many saints are still remembered not for the great works they did but for the love they transmitted!  We don't remember Mother Teresa for the houses she opened but for stooping to the people she met in the street to restore their dignity, the abandoned children she held, the dying people she accompanied...
These works of mercy are the features of the face of Christ, who brings God's tenderness and closeness to each of the least.  May the Spirit help us, kindling in us the desire to live like this,  Do at least one a day!  Memorize the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, and ask the Lord to help you put them into practice every day when we see Jesus in a person in need.
On Christian unity in "ecumenism of the blood":  Ecumenism is about journeying alongside others with Christ:  it can be a simple journey together, praying and helping others, or a working ecumenism for the many who suffer injustices, wars.  Showing charity towards your neighbors is ecumenism, being united on our journey with Jesus.
We must recognize the "ecumenism of the blood" through which all Christians are viewed and treated the same by their persecutors.  When terrorists or world powers persecute Christians, they don’t ask, "Are you Lutheran?  Orthodox?  Catholic?  Reformed Christian?  Pentecostal?’  No!  "You're a Christian!"  The enemy knows where Jesus is.  Coptic Orthodox friars murdered in Libya are our brothers; they gave witness to Jesus in their lives and martyrdom.
Animate
Read

  • Eph 1:1-10  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus, who has blessed us; he chose us in Christ to be holy.  In Christ we have redemption by his Blood, in accord with the riches of his grace.  He made his will and plan known to us, to sum up all things in Christ.
  • Ps 98:1-6  "The Lord has made known his salvation."  Sing to the Lord; he's done wonders, won victory, revealed his justice, been kind and faithful to Israel.
  • Lk 11:47-54  “Woe to you who build memorials to the prophets your ancestors killed, giving consent to their deeds.  So God said, ‘I'll send them prophets and Apostles they'll kill’ so this generation might be charged with their blood.  Woe to you, scholars of the law!  You've taken away the key of knowledge and stopped those trying to enter.”  The scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and plotted to catch him at something he'd say.
Reflect
    • Creighton:  The readings today speak to following God's wisdom.  The 1st reading reminds us of God's favor, our blessedness, our adoption, our place in God's eyes, our redemption though we've fallen.  But the scribes and Pharisees didn't follow God's commandments and made it confusing for people to understand scripture.  We can all be hypocrites.  Consider an area where your actions don't reflect your faith.  How might I put into action my love of Jesus and my call to live a Christian life?
      Don't take it away....

    • One Bread, One Body:  "In Christ":  We're baptized into Christ and into his Body, the Church, which has been given "every spiritual blessing."  God chose us to be his adopted children, holy and blameless in his sight, full of love, redeemed, forgiven.  May we live in Christ....
    • Passionist:  Jesus challenges us to be authentic, to live what we believe.  Our actions can prevent others from coming to Jesus.  A healthy inner life helps us discover our hypocrisy and repent.  When Jesus invites us to change something we want to leave alone, it can be easier to live out of our external observances; we need to recognize we're loved sinners.  God has lavished his grace on us, but we can block others from understanding that when we don't live out of that abundance.  We're called to be a channel of God’s love and peace to all.  The hurting world needs our message of love, hope, joy, and peace. May we unlock, internalize, and proclaim the gift of knowledge and God's justice; may we break down barriers of hate and hostility and lift each other up in the name of Jesus.
      St. Edward the Confessor/ Hart
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Don't lose the key of knowledge":  God sent his prophets to open people to God's word.  Prophets were rejected because they spoke for God, not human approval.  Jesus chastised religious leaders for being double-minded; they professed admiration for the prophets but opposed their message and so closed their ears to God's word.  As official interpreters of scripture, they held the "office of the keys," but their interpretations shut people out.  They rejected both the prophets and God's final prophet and Son, the Key of David, God's Wisdom, who opens heaven for those who accept him. He is the "Wisdom of God" and source of everlasting life.  Only the humble who thirst for God and acknowledge his word can truly understand God's wisdom.  God speaks to us and gives wisdom and understanding.  How are we listening?