February 12, 2017

6th Sun., Ordinary Time

February 12, 2017:  Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Listen

For Psalm 119



For future Sundays
From Ed Bolduc's blog
Pope Francis
Angelus:  Jesus helps his listeners reinterpret the Law of Moses.  The Old Covenant was true, but it was not all: Jesus came to fulfill and to enact the law.  He manifests its original purposes and fulfills it through his preaching and offering himself on the cross.  Jesus teaches how to do God's will, with a “justice superior” to the scribes and Pharisees', animated  by love and mercy, not formalism.  Then Jesus examines three commandments:
Re murder ("Thou shalt not kill"), Jesus affirms that behaviors that offend human dignity, including insults, violate it.  The words don't have the same gravity as killing, but they're the premises of the more serious acts and reveal the same malevolence.  Jesus invites us not to establish a hierarchy of offenses but to consider them all harmful, insofar as the intention to harm is behind them.  Whoever insults someone kills them in his heart.  We earn nothing by insulting.
Adultery was considered a violation of a man’s property right, but Jesus goes to the root.  As one comes to murder through injuries and insults, so one comes to adultery through intentions of possession.  Like other sins, adultery is first conceived in the heart, then acted out.  If you look at someone with a possessing spirit, you're going down the road to adultery.
Swearing oaths exploits God's authority to give assurance to human affairs.  But we're called to establish among ourselves, in our families and communities, a climate of clarity and trust, so we may be considered honest without resorting to higher interventions.  Mistrust and suspicion threaten serenity!
May Mary, woman of docile listening and obedience, help us spend more time with the Gospel, and be Christians not merely in appearance but in substance.  This is possible with the grace of the Spirit, who permits us to do everything with love, and so fulfill God's will.
Friday homily*:  Temptations lead us to hide from the Lord, so we remain with our fault, our sin, our corruption.   The devil appears as a serpent:  attractive and cunning.  The father of lies, he knows how to deceive and cheat people.  He made Eve feel good, began to dialogue with her, and led her where he wanted.  When he tempted Jesus, though, it ended badly for Satan.  He tried to dialogue with Christ, but Jesus revealed him for who he is.  Jesus answered him with God's Word, because if you dialogue with the devil, you end up, like Adam and Eve, naked.  The devil is a cheat; he promises you everything then leaves you naked.  We all have temptations, to vanity, pride, greed, avarice… so many!  Jesus did end up naked, but on the Cross, through obedience to the Father: this is a different path.  
Today there's lots of talk of corruption; and for this too we should ask for God's help.  There are so many corrupt people.  Perhaps they began with a small thing like not adjusting the scales well.  Corruption begins in small things, with dialogue:  "Eat the fruit; it won't harm you, and nobody will notice."  And little by little you fall into sin and corruption.  The Church teaches us in this way so we won't be deceived, so when we're tempted we'll have our eyes open and ask the Lord for help.  Adam and Eve hid themselves from the Lord, but it takes God's grace to seek forgiveness.
In temptation, don’t dialogue, but pray with courage,  "Help me, Lord, I'm weak. I don’t want to hide."  When you dialogue with the devil, you lose.  May the Lord give us that grace, and if we're deceived, may he grant us the courage to go forward.  *Maybe it was posted late; maybe I'd just missed it till now.
Read
  • Sir 15:15-20  Keeping the commandments will save you.  Before you are life and death, good and evil; you'll receive what you choose.  God is wise, mighty, and all-seeing.
  • Ps 119:1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34  "Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!"  Open my eyes, that I may consider the wonders of your law.
Wordle: Readings 2-16-14
  • 1 Cor 2:6-10  We speak God’s wisdom, mysterious and hidden.  What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the heart, God has prepared for those who love him and revealed through the Spirit.
  • Mt 5:17-37  I've come not to abolish but to fulfill the law and prophets.  Whoever breaks a commandment will be called least, but whoever obeys and teaches them will be called great.  You've heard, Don't kill, but I say, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable.  If he has something against you, be reconciled.  You've heard, Don't commit adultery, but I say, if you look with lust, you've already committed it.  If your eye or hand causes you to sin, tear it out; better to lose it than your whole body....  You've heard, Don't take a false oath, but I say don't swear at all; let ‘Yes’ mean Yes and ‘No’ No.
Reflect

    Tetragrammaton (YHWH)
    starting with Yodh
    (remember Hebrew is right-to-left)
  • Letter of the day:  Yodh (Yud), the "smallest letter" of the Hebrew alphabet, with its top spur, "the smallest part of a letter" (Mt 5:18).  God gave Yodh the honor of being the first letter of the Divine Name.  God changed Ya'akov/Jacob's name to Yisrael, keeping only the Yodh.  God chose Israel because they're the smallest.  Not the smallest letter or even its spur will disappear from the Word.  God won't forget the poor.  God uses the small to demonstrate his power; we'll find fulfillment in Jesus.
  • Word of the day:  Raqa (rēqā’ or rēqâ, Aramaic, from gospel):  probably 'blockhead' or 'imbecile,' a term of abuse.
  • Creighton:  We do need structure and directions to live a good moral life, but as we grow in faith, we can follow the commandments for the love of God.  When I’m not angry or self-centered, I'm better connected to the Beatitudes and live them better.  Lord, send us the Spirit to help maintain the bridge between the commandments and the Beatitudes.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Life in the Spirit or death in the world":  The only way to receive God's wisdom is through the Holy Spirit.  The Lord requires us to have a holiness surpassing the scribes and Pharisees':  being reconciled with others, pure in thought and deed, faithful, and loving.  We can only meet such high standards through the Spirit who makes us holy.
    The Sermon on the mount/ Fra Angelico
  • Passionist:  In today's gospel, Jesus isn't talking about getting caught up in the Law's minutiae (as Pharisees and scribes were) but rather about going deeper into the implications of obeying the commandments.  It's a challenge to us because we like to test limits and find loopholes.  Obeying the commandments is responding to God's love, including in our actions towards others.  Paul quotes Isaiah to say that how God loves us is indescribable.  Jesus didn’t look for loopholes or see how  little he could do for us but gave his all.  As we grow in love for God and the world, we become more willing to let go of what gets in the way, in line with how Jesus talks about getting rid of your eye or hand if they lead you to sin.  We also become more willing to love unconditionally, responding to the love showered on us.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Great are those who teach and obey the commandments":  For the Israelites the law could refer to the ten commandments or the five Books of Moses (Pentateuch, Torah).  Law also referred to the whole teaching or way of life God gave his people. The Jews in Jesus' time also used it for scribal law.  The scribes added more than God intended; Jesus condemned scribal law because it overburdened people.  God's law of grace and freedom flows from his love, goodness, and holiness.  Reverence and respect for God's commandments teach us the way of love of God and of neighbor.  God gives us the grace and strength to love, forgive, think, judge, and act as he does.  As his followers we must love his commandments and hate sin; we must know and understand the intention of his commands and choose to obey.  The Holy Spirit teaches us God's truth, gives us wisdom and understanding of God's ways, helps us in our weakness, strengthens us in temptation, and transforms us into the likeness of Christ....
Dress legend
  • 'Fire' pin, blue in tie:  God has set before you fire and water...  (1st reading); Gehenna (gospel)
  • 'Owl' tie pin:  Immense is the Lord's wisdom (1st reading); God's wisdom is mysterious, hidden, predetermined... (2nd reading)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  The Lord is all-seeing (1st reading); "open my eyes..." (psalm); if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out...  (gospel)
  • 'Commandments' tie:  Keep the commandments; they'll save you (1st reading); blessed they who follow the Lord's law (psalm); I've come to fulfill the law and the prophets (gospel)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  Stretch forth your hand to what you choose (1st reading); if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off...  (gospel)
  • 'Heart' pin:  Blessed they who seek the Lord with all their heart (psalm); God has prepared for his beloved what hasn't entered the heart (2nd reading); if you look on another with lust you've committed adultery in your heart (gospel)
  • 'Dove' pin:  The Spirit scrutinizes everything (2nd reading)
  • 'Scales' pin:  Settle with your opponent quickly, or you'll be handed to the judge... (gospel)
  • 'Penny' tie bar:  ...and won't be released from prison till you've paid the last penny (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season