March 23, 2017

March 23

March 23, 2017:  Thursday, 3rd week, Lent  



  • 'Walker' tie pin:  Walk in the ways I command you (1st reading)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  "When you call them, they won't answer you" (1st reading)
  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts (1st reading); If you hear God, don't harden your heart (psalm)
  • 'Musical note' tie pin:  Sing joyfully to the Lord (psalm)
  • 'Rock' tie pin:  Acclaim the Rock of our salvation (psalm)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  We're the flock he guides (psalm)
  • 'Signs' tie:  Some asked Jesus for a sign from heaven (gospel)
  • 'Car' tie pin:  "Do I drive out demons by Beelzebul or God's power?" (gospel)
  • 'Abacus' tie pin:  Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste.  How can Satan be divided against himself? (gospel)
  • Purple shirt:  Lenten season
Listen
For Psalm 95
Read

  • Jer 7:23-28  I commanded, "Listen; walk in my ways," but they walked in the hardness of their evil hearts.  This is the nation that does not listen to the voice of the Lord or take correction.  Faithfulness has disappeared...
  • Ps 95:1-2, 6-9  "If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts."  Sing to the Lord our God, the Rock of our salvation.  Worship; kneel before our Maker.  He shepherds us.
  • Lk 11:14-23  Some said, “Jesus drives out demons by Beelzebul's power”; others asked him for a sign.  He said, “If Satan is divided, how will his kingdom stand?... Whoever is not with me is against me.”
Reflect
    • Creighton:  "One nation under God":  Some of today's 1st reading sounds like today's political commentary:  "This nation doesn't listen to the Lord God or take correction.”  The more attention I pay to our political malaise, the less to the Lord's voice.  May I view our political problems through the lens of our faith, then act accordingly....
      Le démoniaque aveugle et muet/ Tissot
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Body language":  When we rebel against God, we harden our hearts, turn our backs, turn away our faces, and stiffen our necks.  If we don't repent, we become even more distorted:  the sinners who martyred Stephen were "stung to the heart," ground their teeth, "shouted aloud," and "held their hands over their ears."  Look at your spiritual appearance. face radiant?  feet beautiful?  forehead imprinted with the seal of the Lamb of God?  praying hands, lips without deceit, clean heart?  Are my body parts weapons for justice?
    • Passionist:  Today's readings speak of "stiff-necked" people:  God tells Jeremiah the people didn't heed the prophets, and Jesus confronts people who refuse to believe his power is from God.  Both went ahead with their mission anyway.  God tells Jeremiah the people likely won't listen but doesn't tell him to stop speaking the word! And though Jesus didn't convince some, he kept proclaiming God's kingdom.
    We're called to witness to the Good News with love and compassion even though some may not be interested.  But let's not judge the "other side" as stiff-necked before looking at ourselves.  Part of listening to God is listening to those with stories different from our own.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "God's kingdom has come upon you":  True peace and security come to those who trust in and obey God.  The struggle between choosing good or evil, my will or God's, can't be won by human strength alone.  The devil seeks to draw us away from God's plan, but God offers us grace, protection, and peace if we obey him.
    Jesus' exorcisms freed many.  When he himself encountered opposition from Satan, he overcame him through obeying the Father's will.  When Jewish leaders said his power came from collusion with Satan, he answered that they were incriminating their own exorcists, and that a divided kingdom won't stand. Jesus said his power and authority demonstrated the reign of God.  Jesus' reference to the finger of God refers to Moses' confrontation with Pharaoh; Jesus claims to be carrying on Moses' tradition of freeing people from bondage by the finger of God.  Jesus, be the Lord of my life....