January 12, 2017

Jan. 12

January 12, 2017:  Thursday, 1st week, Ordinary Time


  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  "Harden not your hearts" (1st reading, psalm)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  "We're the flock he guides" (psalm)
  • 'Clocks' tie:  40 years I was wearied of that generation (psalm)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  Jesus stretched out his hand (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time


Listen

Read
  • Heb 3:7-14  The Spirit says:  “Harden not your hearts as in the day of testing, where your ancestors tested me.  Provoked, I said, ‘They're of erring heart and don't know my ways.’  I swore, ‘They won't enter into my rest.’”  Don't have an unfaithful heart and forsake God.  Encourage yourselves so you don't grow hardened by sin's deceit.  We've become Christ's partners if we hold firm.
Wordle: Readings 1-15-15

  • Ps 95:6-7c, 8-11  "If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts."  Worship, kneeling before the Lord our God who guides us.  Hear him:  “Harden not your hearts as at Meribah, where your fathers tested me though they had seen my works.”  Wearied, I said: “They go astray, not knowing my ways; they'll never enter my rest.”
  • Mk 1:40-45  A leper knelt and begged Jesus, “If you wish, you can make me clean.”  Jesus, stretching out his hand to touch him:  “I do; be made clean,” and he was cleansed.  “Don't tell anyone.”  But he publicized the matter...
Pope Francis Amoris Laetitia capsule:  God loves his children's joy
[A mature family follows, springs from, enriches, perfects, and harmonizes its members' freedom in the service of all.]  This calls for renunciation.  Though there have been exaggerations and deviant forms of asceticism, Church’s teaching doesn't reject eros as such but declares war on a warped and destructive form of it, because counterfeit eros dehumanizes it and strips it of dignity.

Training in emotion and instinct is necessary and sometimes requires setting limits.  Excess, lack of control or obsession can weaken and tainting pleasure and damage family life.  People can channel their passions, pointing them towards altruism and integrated self-fulfillment that can enrich family relationships.  This doesn't mean renouncing intense enjoyment, but rather integrating them with other moments of commitment, hope, weariness, and struggle towards an ideal.  This is family life, and it deserves to be fully lived.

Some teach that desire has to be eliminated in order to be freed from pain, but we believe God loves people to feel joy; he created us and furnishes us with everything to enjoy.  “Treat yourself well; don't deprive yourself of a happy day.”  When married couples are joyful in prosperity, they're responding to God's will.  Pleasure can find different expressions at different times, in accord with the needs of mutual love.  We can appreciate Eastern teaching urging us to expand our consciousness, lest we be imprisoned by one limited experience.  This expansion is the broadening and perfection of desire, not its denial or destruction. (IV:147-49)
Reflect
    • Creighton:  Harden not your hearts!  A heart encased in stone is dead.  Do I let hate encase my heart?  Let evil triumph in me?  Do things that choose death, not life?  Withhold acceptance, not make peace?  Don't lose heart!  “We're partners of Christ, if only we hold firm.” God chose to live in a loving relationship with us. We can love and transform our world through loving. We pray for conversion of hearts.  Lepers found life and healing in Jesus.  Imagine having a terminal disease and being healed.  We cry out for healing of body, mind, and spirit; we were created to reflect God's goodness and love.  Once St. Francis of Assisi met a leper on the road.  Before his conversion, he would have kept his distance, but he embraced and kissed him and gave him his cloak.  He met the suffering Christ of his day.  He heard God's voice and began to embrace a broken world.  Jesus seemed overwhelmed by those who sought him. We may feel overwhelmed with the world's needs.  May we find solitude, rest, be with Jesus, hear him, not harden not our hearts, and act in love....
      Christ cleansing a leper/ Doze
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Hardly hearing?"  The Israelites revolted against Moses, who represented God, so they revolted against God.  They could only see the blazing sun, a limited diet, a desert landscape, and a report of giants in the promised land, despite the daily bread and meat from heaven and God's parting of the Red Sea and defeat of the Egyptian army.  They had hardened their hearts, blinded their eyes, closed their ears.  God's warning not to harden our hearts applies to us too.  Are we blind to the miracles before us?   The Israelites only had eyes for what bothered them. Lord, open our hearts....
    • Passionist:  Don't rely excessively on externals as signs of God’s will:  “they put me to the test, though they had seen my works.”  This can bring light and perspective to a marriage, family, or community.  We can over-rely on custom and routine, but God brings new graces and insights that will enable us to enter into a deep “rest” in God.  With prayer, and dialogue with others, I can hold firm....
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Jesus can make me clean":  Unlike others who fled at the sight of a leper, Jesus touched the leper who approached him and made him clean.  Lepers were outcasts driven away and left on their own, shunned and regarded as dead.  Jewish law forbade anyone from approaching them.  But this leper approached Jesus confidently and humbly, expecting healing.  Normally a leper would be stoned or at least warded off if he approached a rabbi, but Jesus grants his request and demonstrates God's love, compassion, and tenderness through his touch, contact that would have been regarded as risking infection.  Jesus met the leper's misery with kindness, communicating God's love more eloquently than with words.  The Lord is always ready to show us his mercy and free us from whatever makes us unclean, unapproachable, or unloving towards others.  Do I show kindness and mercy to those who are hard to love, or who others shun?