October 6, 2016

Oct. 6

October 6, 2016:  Thursday, 27th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Dove' pin:  "Didn't you receive the Spirit?" (1st reading); "the Father will give the Spirit to those who ask" (gospel)
  • 'Hands' tie:  "He promised to save us from the hands of all who hate us" (canticle)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  "Friend, lend me some bread" (gospel)
  • '?' tie pin:  "Ask and you'll receive....  The Father will give the Spirit to all who ask" (gospel)
  • 'Snake' and 'fish' tie pins: "What father would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish?" (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season
Listen


For gospel
For canticle
Pope Francis
Homily:  Today's readings speak of the Holy Spirit, the Father's great gift, the power that allows the Church to go forth.  Without the Spirit, the Church would be shut up within itself, fearful.  Attitudes we can have regarding the Spirit:

Ignorance:  The Galatians believed you could be justified through the Law' they ignored the Spirit and, closed in precepts, didn't go forward.  We must follow the Commandments, but through the grace of the Spirit.  The Doctors of the Law “bewitch with ideas”:  But revelation is not clear; it's discovered along the way.  Those who think they have the truth in their hands are 'stupid'; they let themselves be bewitched.
Grieving:   If we don't let him inspire us, lead us forward, tell us what to do, we become lukewarm and fall into mediocrity, because the Spirit can't do great works in us.
Openness:  Let the Spirit carry you forward, as the apostles did with courage at Pentecost.  To understand and welcome Jesus' words, you must open yourself to the Spirit's power.  When you do, it's like a sailboat that lets the wind push it forward.  Pray for openness to the Spirit.
Ask, Do I ignore the Spirit, thinking that if I do this or that, it's enough?  Is my life lukewarm, saddening the Spirit?"  Or is my life a continual prayer to open myself to the Spirit so he can carry me forward with gospel joy and make me understand Jesus' teaching?  The Spirit helps us understand our weaknesses, what saddens him, and it carries us forward and helps us carry Jesus' Name and path to others.  May the Lord open us to the Spirit, so that we don't become stupid, bewitched people who grieve the Spirit.
To Archbishop of Canterbury and Anglican primates:  Your presence is a sign of fraternity.  Reflecting on our continuing journey, think:
Prayer:  Never tire of asking the Lord for unity.
Witness:  We've listened to one another and shared our time and energy.  Ecumenism is a richness, not an impoverishment; what the Spirit has sown in the other yields a common harvest.  Treasure that we're called to offer the world the witness of love and unity.
Mission:  The Lord challenges us to go out from ourselves and bring his love to a world thirsting for peace.  Let us help one another to keep the gospel's demands at the center and spend ourselves in this mission.
Common declaration with Archbishop Welby:  Catholics and Anglicans recognize we're heirs of the treasure of the Gospel and are called to share it.  We've received the Good News through those who preached in word and deed, and the Spirit has empowered us to be Christ’s witnesses.  “The ends of the earth” is not only a geographical term but a summons to take the gospel message to those on the margins and the peripheries.
We give thanks for the achievements of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, which has examined divisive doctrines from a perspective of mutual respect and charity.  Our predecessors recognized obstacles to restoration of complete faith and common sacramental life but still set out in fidelity to the Lord’s prayer for unity.  There's been progress in many areas, but new disagreements have arisen, particularly regarding the ordination of women and human sexuality; behind them lies the question of how authority is exercised in the Christian community.  We don't see solutions, but we're confident that dialogue and engagement will help us discern the mind of Christ. We trust in God’s grace and providence, knowing that the Spirit will open doors and lead us into truth.
These differences can't keep us from recognizing each other as brothers and sisters in Christ or hold us back from discovering the faith and holiness in each other’s traditions. Differences must not lead to lessening our ecumenical endeavors.  Jesus' prayer for unity is still an imperative.  Differences must not keep us from common prayer or giving voice to our shared faith and joy in the Gospel, the Creeds, and the power of God’s love, present in the Spirit, to overcome sin and division.  Don't undervalue the certain yet imperfect communion we already share.
Wider and deeper than our differences are the faith that we share and our common joy in the Gospel.  Christ prayed that we be one, "so that the world might believe."  The longing for unity we express is tied to our desire that all come to believe that God sent his Son into the world to save the world.  Jesus gave his life in love, and rising from the dead overcame even death itself.  Christians who have come to this faith are impelled to share the joy of the Good News.  Our ability to come together in praise, prayer, and witness rests on the confidence that we share a common faith and agree in large measure.
The world must see us witness to this common faith by acting together.  We must protect and preserve our common home:  furthering a speedy end to environmental destruction and fostering sustainable and integral development.  We must uphold and defend the dignity of all people.  In a culture of indifference, estrangement isolates us from others, their struggles, and their suffering.  In a culture of waste, the most vulnerable are marginalized and discarded.  In a culture of hate, we see acts of violence.  Our faith leads us to recognize the worth of every human life and honor it in acts of mercy by bringing education, healthcare, food, and shelter, and seeking to build peace.  We hold human persons to be sacred and must be their advocates.
We've become partners and companions on our journey, facing the same difficulties, and strengthening each other valuing the gifts God has given to the other and receiving them in humility and gratitude.  We're impatient for progress that we might together proclaim, in word and deed, the gospel to all.  We rejoice to commission and send forth the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM).  May their ecumenical mission to those on the margins be a witness to all of us, and let the message go out that Catholics and Anglicans will work together to give voice to our common faith in Christ, to bring relief, peace, and dignity....
Read
  • Gal 3:1-5  Are you mad?  Who bewitched you?  Did you receive the Spirit from works of the law, or from faith?  Does the one who supplies you the Spirit and works mighty deeds do so from works of the law or from faith?
  • Lk 1:69-75  "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people," raised up a mighty savior, promised to save us, show mercy, and remember his covenant.  He swore he'd set us free from our enemies, free to worship him, holy and righteous all our days.
  • Lk 11:5-13  “Suppose you go to a friend at midnight and say, 'Lend me three loaves of bread,' and he replies, ‘Don't bother me.’  If he doesn't get up and give the loaves out of friendship, he will because of your persistence.  Ask and you'll receive; seek and you'll find; knock and the door will be opened.  Everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to one who knocks, the door is opened.  Who would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish, or a scorpion when he asks for an egg?  If you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father give the Spirit to those who ask?”
Reflect
    • Creighton:  "Faith matters":  God doesn't save us without us.  His responses don't come all at once.  Faith opens our hearts to the Spirit, who can transform us in ways we can hardly imagine.  God wants us to be thirsty, out-of-control, even desperate, especially in a world of indifference.  “God thirsts to give us the living waters of his love, but also to receive our love…  The Lord’s thirst is indeed quenched by our compassionate love; he's consoled when, in his name, we bend down to another’s suffering” (Pope Francis at Assisi).  Faith entails active trust, a trust that Jesus is “God with us” in the midst of our struggles, sins, doubts, and limits.  God calls us to be askers and seekers, not perfectionists and saviors.  We're children of a loving Father wants us to flourish.
    Bl. Marie-Rose Durocher
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Duh!"  Paul shouts, "You heard me preach that Jesus saved you.  You accepted him as Lord and Savior and received the Holy Spirit.  Then you listened to false preachers, set Jesus aside, and tried to get right with God on your own.  How could you be so stupid?"  They must have repented (they saved Paul's letter), setting their errors, instead of Jesus, aside.  Only Jesus can save us.  "No one comes to the Father but through" him.  If we don't put him first, we're just making him another item in our collection....
    • Passionist:  "Ask and you will receive…”:  When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, he set the tone by telling them to start with "Abba," Papa.   God is not a father stingy with his gifts but a loving, intimate father who delights in giving us all we need.  Today's parable shows a contrast between an impatient, inconvenienced, ill-tempered, grumpy person and a caring and understanding Abba.  God knows what we need, and when, better than we do.  If we don’t receive what we ask for, it's because God knows what we need now better.  God’s delay and our need to persist and persevere in prayer are mysterious, but Jesus urges us to ask.  Abba will delight in giving us what we need.
      St. Bruno/ De Ribera
    • DailyScripture.net:  "How much more will the heavenly Father give!"  Jesus used the illustration of a midnight traveler to teach about how God treats us in contrast to what we might expect from neighbors. The rule of hospitality required community cooperation in entertaining an unexpected guest, always serving a meal.  Bread was essential as a utensil for dipping and eating; asking for bread was common; refusing to give it was inhospitable and brought shame.  If you could impose on a neighbor to give bread at midnight, how much more hospitable is God, who's always generous and ready to give what we need.  "God, who doesn't sleep and who awakens us from sleep that we may ask, gives much more graciously" (Augustine).  The Lord is ever ready to give us more than we can expect:  his Spirit, that we may share his life and joy.