February 24, 2017

Feb. 24

February 24, 2017:  Friday, 7th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Coin' tie bar:  A faithful friend is beyond price (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  Open my eyes, that I may consider your law's wonders (psalm)
  • 'Hearts' tie:  Give me discernment, that I may keep your law with all my heart (psalm); Moses permitted divorce because of the hardness of your hearts (gospel)
  • 'Scroll' pin:  Moses permitted a bill of divorce (gospel)
  • Flesh-colored suspenders:  "Man and wife shall be joined and become one flesh" (gospel)
  • Congress lanyard:  Trust (1st reading)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season
Listen

For Psalm 119


Pope Francis
Homily:  The law doctors put Jesus to the test, asking, “Is it lawful for a husband to put away his wife?”  He doesn't answer yes or no, the way they thought of faith, but asks, “What did Moses command in your Law?” Then they explained the permission Moses gave to divorce, and Jesus calls them ‘hard of heart.’   He speaks the truth.  But if it's the truth, that adultery is serious, how do you explain that Jesus told an adulteress, “I don't condemn you. Sin no more”?
The path of Jesus is away from casuistry, towards truth and mercy.  In other passages he calls those testing him, those with yes/no mentality, hypocrites.  They even used their offering to the church as an excuse to not support their parents.  Casuistry is hypocritical; yes/no thinking becomes more subtle, deceptive, and diabolical:  What's the limit for those who can?
Don't give into casuistry, but follow Jesus' example:  respond with truth accompanied by mercy.  The Incarnation of the Father's mercy and truth can't deny Himself.  His teaching is hard to apply when we're tempted; the path away from casuistry to truth and mercy takes God's grace.  Ask:  "Lord, grant that I may be just, but with mercy, like you."  Someone with a casuistic mindset might ask, "What's more important:  justice or mercy?" What a sick thought!  They're not two things.  In God, justice is mercy and mercy justice.  Lord, help us understand this street and so be happy and make others happy. 


Read
  • Sir 6:5-17  A kind mouth multiplies friends.  Don't be too ready to trust a new friend; some won't be with you in time of distress or will become enemies.  A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter, priceless and life-saving.
  • Mk 10:1-12  Pharisees / Jesus:  “Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?  Moses permitted it.”  “A man shall leave his parents and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one.  What God has joined, no one must separate.”
Reflect
    Congress 2017 theme: Trust!
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Hope for every marriage":  Jesus related divorce to stubbornness; it could be pride, selfishness, refusal to repent, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, isolation,....  When he prohibited divorce, he implied stubbornness need not oppress couples. Married couples can be united in love and reconciled if they put their marriages in God's hands....
  • Passionist:  "Behold the Lamb of God":  In 586 BC the Babylonian army destroyed Jerusalem; its King Zedekiah was brought before Nebuchadnezzar, forced to see his children slaughtered; then he was blinded.  How can we understand how the Father felt to see Jesus' Passion?  If only we could see the Lamb of God as he did!   “The Eucharist is marked by the Lord’s passion and death; it's both a reminder and the sacramental re-presentation.  It's the sacrifice of the Cross perpetuated...”  (Sacrosanctum Concilium 47).  The Eucharist is the Body of Christ being given right now for us.  Christ isn't time-restricted; the Eucharist contains all the moments of his life.  “The Eucharist contains the Church’s entire spiritual wealth:  Christ our Passover and living bread.  The Church's gaze is constantly turned to her Lord, present in the Sacrament, in which she discovers the full manifestation of his love.”   (Ecclesia de Eucharistia 1, paraphrased).
  • DailyScripture.net:  "What God has joined together":  Jesus deals with divorce by returning to creation and God's plan for people.  Adam and Eve, symbol for all to come, were created for each other and no one else.  Jesus says Moses permitted divorce as a concession, but Jesus sets the high ideal of marriage for those willing to accept it, as well as the ideal for those who freely renounce marriage for the sake of the kingdom.  Marriage and celibacy are calls from God to live a consecrated life, as people who belong to God.  The Lord gives his followers the grace and power to live a life of love, joy, and holiness....