July 7, 2017

July 7

July 7, 2017:  Friday, 13th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "Put your hand under my thigh and swear..." (1st reading)
  • 'Coin' button:  “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors?” (gospel)
  • 'Doctor's office' tie:  “Sick people need a doctor" (gospel)
  • 'What would Jesus do?' pin:  "Follow me" (gospel)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  I came to 'call' sinners (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season
Listen

For Psalm 106
For the gospel
Pope Francis
Homily:  Recall Caravaggio's painting “The Calling of St. Matthew” [below] in which Matthew is counting his money, and Jesus points at him as he chooses him.  When the Pharisees asked his disciples why he eats with tax collectors and sinners, he said "Only the sick need a physician."  This is a consolation because it means Jesus came for me.  We're all sinners.  Each of us must recognize our strengths, weaknesses, and sins.  Jesus condemned the Pharisees because they were arrogant, vain, and considered themselves superior.  Jesus comes to us because we're sinners, and those who acknowledge this know he always forgives and heals.
When you're afraid of being weak and falling, Jesus will help and heal you.  In bad times, remember Jesus loves me because this is who I am.  When St. Jerome offered the Lord his work of many years, Jesus replied, “No; that's not what will give me the most joy.  Give me your sins....”  Let us give Jesus our sins and think of his merciful heart; may it be our joy.
To G20 heads:  Let these principles guide you toward fraternal, just, and peaceful societies:  time is greater than space, unity prevails over conflict, realities are more important than ideas, and the whole is greater than the part; may they help you prepare for your meeting and assess its outcome.
Give priority to the poor, refugees, the suffering, evacuees, and the excluded.  Meet disasters with urgency and support; it shows your commitment to reform and develop the economy.  Put an end to useless slaughter; war is never a solution.  Recover sound pragmatism, guided by the primacy of the human being and the attempt to integrate and coordinate diverse realities, respecting every citizen.  May the example of leaders who dialogued and sought common solutions illumine your meeting.
Solutions must be concrete but not neglect broad vision.  Respect citizens' views.  The weakest States and individuals suffer from economic crises they didn't bring on; they have the greatest potential to contribute to everyone's progress.  Make sure the UN and regional organizations respect and honor treaties and promote a multilateral approach.
Read
  • Gn 23:1-4, 19; 24:1-8, 62-67  Sarah lived to 127.  Abraham:  "Sell me a burial plot for her."  He buried her in the promised land.  Abraham had reached a ripe old age, and the Lord had blessed him.  To senior servant:  "Swear you'll procure a wife for Isaac from my own land and kindred." / "If she won't follow me here, should I take him back?"/ "Never!  The Lord will send his messenger before you."  Isaac and Rebekah married....
    Animate
  • Ps 106:1b-5  "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good"; his mercy endures.  Blessed all who do justice.  Remember us, Lord.  May I see the prosperity of your chosen ones....
  • Mt 9:9-13  Jesus said to Matthew, “Follow me,” and he got up and followed.  Pharisees, seeing tax collectors and sinners sitting with Jesus:  “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  Jesus:  “The well don't need a doctor; the sick do.  I didn't come to call the righteous but sinners.”
Reflect
  • Creighton:  Today’s gospel paints a disconcerting picture of Jesus and his apostles.  You'd think he'd choose them from among the priests and Pharisees, but there's no evidence he did; rather, he chose "tax collectors and sinners," ostracized because they didn't observe the Law.  Jesus cared more about the person than status; he was attracted to those with little or no status.  Do I ostracize or demean people Jesus might be especially drawn to?...
    The calling of St. Matthew/ Caravaggio
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Living and dying by faith":  Sarah died at 127, Abraham at 175.  When he died, he owned a few feet of the promised land and had only 2 grandchildren from his and Sarah's only son.  He died an apparent failure; God's promise to him of land and descendants seemed unfulfilled.  Jesus died at about 33, also an apparent failure; he revealed he was Savior, Lord, and God, but few believed him, not even his disciples.  God's kingdom is like a mustard seed:  it begins small but will become a large bush.  You too may die an apparent failure, seeing only a tiny fulfillment of God's promises.  You'll need to live and die by faith; your only assurance that you bore fruit may be that you loved the Lord.
  • Passionist:  I may like to think today's sinners are those who don't think like me, but then I remember Jesus came to save me, and I must change to grow in his likeness....
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Mercy, not sacrifice":  What did Jesus see in Matthew—a yearning heart ready to follow him?  "Why didn't Jesus call Matthew when he called Peter, John, and the rest?  He came to each when he knew they'd respond.  He called Matthew when he knew he'd surrender. Similarly, he called Paul when he was vulnerable, after the resurrection, like a hunter, for he who knows our hearts and minds knows when we're ready.  Jesus waited till his fame spread and he knew Matthew had been softened for full responsiveness.  (John Chrysostom, Homily XXX.1)
Divine physician Jesus sought those in greatest need, when others were so preoccupied with their 'religion' that they neglected people who needed help.  Ironically, the 'righteous' were as needy as those they neglected.  Jesus often quoted, "I desire mercy and not sacrifice." As we thank God for the mercy shown us, may we show mercy to others....
"Lord Jesus, let us come to you:  Warm our cold hearts with your selfless love.  Cleanse our sinful hearts with your precious blood.  Strengthen our weak hearts with your Spirit.  Fill our empty hearts with your presence.  Possess our hearts always and only for yourself." (Augustine)