February 22, 2017

Feb. 21

February 21, 2017:  Tuesday, 7th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  Be sincere of heart; love the Lord and your hearts will be enlightened (1st reading); take delight in the Lord, and he'll grant you your heart's requests (psalm)

  • 'Clock' pin:  Wait on God, with patience;... (1st reading)

  • 'Owl' tie pin:  ...thus you'll be wise (1st reading)

  • 'Fire' pin; gold- and silver-colored accessories:  In fire gold and silver are tested... (1st reading)

  • '?' tie pin:  Jesus' disciples were afraid to question him; Jesus asked what they were arguing about (gospel)
  • 'Children' tie:  "Whoever receives a child in my name, receives me" (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season
Listen

1st reading-inspired
Pope Francis

Homily:  We're all tempted.  The disciples don't understand why Jesus told them of his coming death but are too afraid to ask what he means.  This is the temptation to not complete the mission; even Jesus suffered it.  The gospel also mentions the temptation of ambition; the disciples argue about who's the greatest and are ashamed to tell Jesus.  They don't realize the path of service isn't easy.  We do it too; ask the Lord for the grace to be ashamed when we do.
Jesus overturns this logic when he reminds them that to be first, you need to be last and the servant of all and that receives a child in his name is receiving him and the One who sent him.  Pray for the Church, for us all, that the Lord may defend us from ambition.  Lord, give us the grace of holy shame when we're in that situation, when I see you on the cross but want to use you to climb the ladder.  Give us the grace of childlike simplicity.  Say, "I am an unworthy servant.’”
At migration and peace forum:  Migration involves nearly every part of the world.  Unfortunately, the movement is usually forced, caused by conflict, disasters, persecution, climate change, violence, poverty, or inhumane conditions.  A coordinated, effective response is urgent.  We must welcome, protect, promote, and integrate:
Welcome:  Rejection makes us see our neighbor as unworthy of our attention, a rival, or someone to be bent to our will; it's rooted in self-centeredness and amplified by populist rhetoric.  We need a generous welcoming attitude to overcome indifference and counter fears.  We must open channels for those fleeing conflict, persecution, or the grip of organized crime.  Welcome begins with offering decent and appropriate shelter....
Protect:  Migration can make people more vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, and violence.  We must defend the rights of migrants, exiles, asylum seekers, and trafficking victims, ensure their freedom, and respect their dignity; it's a moral imperative requiring us to adopt clear and relevant juridical instruments, implement just political choices, prioritize processes, implement timely and humane programs to fight human trafficking, and coordinate efforts.
Promote:  We must promote an integral human development of migrants, exiles, and refugees by attending to justice, peace, and care of creation.  Development is a right of every human being and so must be guaranteed by ensuring the conditions for its exercise, including access to fundamental goods and the possibility of choice and growth.  Coordination is needed here too.  Promotion of migrants and their families begins with their communities of origin.  They should have the right to emigrate and the right not be constrained to emigrate (e.g., the right to live a dignified life in their homeland).  We must encourage programs of international cooperation and transnational development where migrants are active protagonists.
Integrate:  Integration (not assimilation nor incorporation) is rooted in recognition of each other’s cultural richness; it's not superimposing your culture over another's, or mutual isolation.  Those who arrive shouldn't close themselves off from the receiving country's culture and traditions; they should respect its laws.  Policies must favor the reunion of families.  We must help indigenous populations be aware of and open to integration; this requires programs that foster encounter with others.  For the Christian community, peaceful integration of persons of various cultures reflects its catholicity, since unity is part of the life of the Church, who open to all and desires to embrace all.
We must do these individually and together; it's a duty of justice, civility and solidarity:
Justice:  Don't sustain unacceptable economic inequality.  We're called to respectful, responsible apportionment inspired by distributive justice.  Find ways all may benefit from the fruits of the earth; it's a question of justice, equality, and respect.  Don't We can't allow for entire peoples to have a right only to the crumbs.  We have a responsibility to care for the planet and should interpret it with the principle of subsidiarity.  Reconcile history with our present situation, not exploiting people or places or using the market to increase the well-being of the few....
Civility:  Every migrant is a human person with inalienable rights everyone must always respect.  We must affirm the centrality of the human person and never let circumstances or bureaucracy obscure human dignity.  Irregular legal status can't allow migrants to lose their dignity.  From the duty of civility comes the value of fraternity, founded on the relational constitution of the human person.  Without fraternity we can't build a just society or lasting peace.  Fraternity is the most civil way of relating with another person.  
Solidarity:  Since we were created, God has asked, “Where is your brother?”  The question is directed to each of us.  Solidarity is born from the capacity to understand the needs of people in difficulty and to take responsibility for those needs.  The hospitality we offer to strangers, and so to Christ himself, is based on this.  The duty of solidarity is to counter throwaway culture and give attention to the weakest, poorest, and most vulnerable.  So everyone's attitude toward migrants and refugees needs to change, from defensiveness, fear, indifference, and marginalization, based on throwaway culture, to attitudes based on a culture of encounter.
We're especially called to welcome, protect, promote, and integrate children and young people forced to live far from home, away from their loved ones. 
Read
  • Sir 2:1-11  When you come to serve the Lord, stand in justice and fear, prepare for trials.  Be sincere, steadfast, patient; listen.  Cling to God and so be wise.  Accept what befalls you.  Trust God and God will help you; hope for good things, joy and mercy.  Love the Lord; you'll be enlightened.  The Lord is compassionate and merciful; he forgives and saves, protecting all who seek him.
  • Ps 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40  "Commit your life to the Lord, and he will help you."  Trust in the Lord and do good.  Salvation is from the Lord; he delivers the just who take refuge in him.
  • Mk 9:30-37  They didn't understand “The Son of Man is to be handed over, be killed, and rise.”  As they discussed who was the greatest, Jesus told the Twelve, “To be first, be the last and servant of all....  Whoever receives a child in my name, receives me and the One who sent me.”
Reflect
    • Creighton:  Jesus challenges the apostles to desire to rank first, first in service.  Be childlike and welcome the childlike.  A child is powerless, yet trusting, and we are asked to welcome the powerless, those whose hearts are open to hope....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Hope in God":  Joseph, though sold into slavery and imprisoned, best years of his life, never wavered in hope, and God restored him beyond what he could have imagined.  Abraham, Joshua, Caleb, and Ruth also suffered, but they hoped in the Lord and weren't disappointed.  Trials, adversity, and testing can strengthen and purify us, though we can be tempted to lose hope.  As we lose hope, we become more susceptible to sin, and sin can drain our hope.  Lord, increase our hope.
      Jesus and the little child/ Tissot
    • Passionist:  Sirach steers us away from ourselves.  He shows us as being acted upon by circumstances out of our control, as victims of misfortune, being tested.  He tells us to forget ourselves and reach out to the Lord.  This change in focus can position us to experience the Lord and his help.  Our compassionate and merciful God becomes the center.  In today's gospel Jesus exhibits passivity before the circumstances engulfing Him, which will lead to his death.  He expands on the implications of this:  accept being last, put aside personal ambition, and be childlike.  We can want to be the center of attention, overlooking what's around us.  Our situation can change, negating our self-absorption, challenging us, reducing our agency.   See other things in life’s mirror:  I see His blood upon the rose (Plunkett).
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Who's the greatest in God's kingdom?"  There's no share in God's glory without the cross.  Jesus' disciples didn't understand his prophecy of his betrayal and crucifixion because it's not how they understood the Messiah, but they were afraid to ask questions.  We too can reject what we don't want to see?  Do we mold our lives according to God's word?  We can also compare ourselves to others and want greatness and praise.  Jesus embraced a child to show who's really the greatest. Children had no rights, position, or privileges.  Jesus placed the child in a position of honor.  The greatest in God's kingdom are the humble, who empty themselves of pride and self-seeking glory by taking the position of a servant or child.  Jesus is our model:  he came to serve, not be served; he emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, taking on our nature that he might raise us up.  God gives grace to the humble.  To receive God's life and power, we need to empty ourselves of all that stands in the way; God wants empty vessels to fill with his glory, power, and love.

    • Today's saints, from Universalis