October 25, 2017

Oct. 25

October 25, 2017:  Wednesday, 29th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Sword' tie pin:  Present the parts of your bodies to God as weapons for righteousness (1st reading, not specifically referring to the "sword of the Spirit")
  • 'Heart' pin:  Thank God you've become obedient from the heart (1st reading)
  • 'Fire' pin:  "If the Lord hadn't been with us when their fury was inflamed,..." (psalm)
  • Blue in shirt:  "...the waters would have overwhelmed us" (psalm)
  • 'Birds' tie:  We were rescued like a bird from the fowlers’ snare (psalm)
  • 'Clocks' suspenders:  "If the master had known the hour the thief was coming, he wouldn't have let his house be broken into." "The Son will come at an hour you don't expect." (gospel)
  • Green in shirt:  Ordinary Time season
Listen
Gospel-inspired
    • Be prepared/ Lehrer:  don't let your 'preparation' run amok like this :-)
BTW there's a "Thief in the night" rock/metal band.
Pope Francis

General audience:  Heaven is the goal of our hope.  One of Jesus' last words, spoken on the cross to the 'good thief' when next to Jesus, left and right, was an offender, is 'paradise.'  It's the only appearance of the word in the gospels.  That tragic and Holy Friday was Jesus' moment of extreme solidarity with sinners.  “He was counted among the ungodly.”  The good thief had the courage to express his humble wish:  “Remember me when you enter into your kingdom.”  He had no good deeds to assert; he just put his trust in Jesus, and his words of repentance touched Jesus' heart.  The Lord’s solidarity with us sinners culminated on the cross where he opened heaven's gates to a repentant criminal.

All we can trust in is God’s mercy, and at every moment turn to him with hope.  This miracle, he said, is repeated countless times in hospitals and prisons:  grace is extended to all.  God doesn't want anything he's redeemed to be lost.  No one should despair, for God's grace is always present to those who trust him.

Paradise is no fairy tale or enchanted garden; it's an embrace with God, infinite Love, a place we thank Jesus, who died for us.  Where there's Jesus, there's mercy and happiness; without him, cold and darkness.  If we believe this, we won't fear death and can hope to leave this world in a serene and trusting way.  At the hour of death, say to Jesus:  "Remember me."  Jesus will be there, and we won't be confused, weep, or need anything.  Only love will remain.

To Canada youth:  Technology allows encounters and exchanges previously unthinkable.  Use new communication channels positively; don't let them be ruined by those bent to exploit them.  Build bridges, not walls.  Flood the places you live with joy and enthusiasm; don't let your enthusiasm for the Gospel be snuffed out.  This is possible only through an encounter with Jesus, who has intrigued you and drawn you to be with him.

Jesus’ call to discipleship can never be drowned out.  Jesus invites you.  Have you heard him?  Open up to the fullness of joy.  The world and the Church need courageous young people who confront difficulties with eyes and heart open to reality, so that no one may be rejected, fall victim to injustice, or be deprived of their dignity.  Be open to the cry of those who seek freedom and meaning.  Open yourself to Christ.  Let him speak to you, embrace you, console you, heal you, and dissolve your doubts and fears.  Jesus is with you and awaits your resounding "Here I am."

Tuesday homily:  In today's 1st reading Paul uses sin, disobedience, grace, and forgiveness to get us to understand the story of salvation.  There aren't enough words to explain Christ, so Paul drives us into the mystery of Christ.  The contrasts are steps into the mystery of Christ.  To understand who Jesus is for you is to fall into this mystery.

Paul said, Jesus "loved me and gave himself for me."  He also notes someone might be willing to die for a just person, but only Christ wants to give his life for a sinner like me.  Understanding mystery of Christ is a grace.  The canonized Saints, as well as saints hidden in daily life, humble people who hope in the Lord, have entered the mystery of the crucified Christ, a madness.  Paul could boast only of his sins and of Christ crucified.

At Mass Christ is in the Word and Sacrament, but this isn't enough to enter the mystery.  Entering the mystery is more; it's letting go into that wordless abyss of mercy, of the embrace of the love that led Jesus to die for us.  If we confess our sins just to have them taken away, we haven't entered into the mystery of Christ; I need to go to meet him, to enter into the embrace of forgiveness.

When asked who Jesus is for you, you may answer "Son of God" or say the Creed, the catechism, and it's all true.  But the center of the mystery of Christ is that he loved me and gave himself up for me.  The mystery of Jesus Christ is understood by grace alone.

The Way of the Cross, walking with Jesus when he gives us the embrace of forgiveness and peace, can help us.  Do the Via Crucis at home, thinking of moments in the Lord's Passion.  We begin the spiritual life with an encounter with the mystery of Jesus Crucified.  I try to understand with the heart that Jesus loved me and gave himself for me.

It's very good if you're a Christian, go to Mass, do works of mercy, pray, and teach your children well, but have you entered the mystery of Jesus Christ?  Look at the Crucifix, icon of the greatest mystery of creation, Christ crucified, center of history, center of my life.

Read

  • Rom 6:12-18  Sin must not reign over your bodies so that you obey their desires.  Present yourselves to God as raised to life, and present your bodies to God as weapons for righteousness.  Sin is not to have power over you, since you're under grace, not the law.  You're slaves, either of sin and death or of obedience and righteousness.  Thanks be to God that you've become slaves of righteousness.
  • Ps 124:1b-8  "Our help is in the name of the Lord."  If the Lord hadn't been with us, we would've been swallowed alive.  Blessed be the Lord, who rescued us.
  • Lk 12:39-48  “If the master had known when the thief was coming, he wouldn't have let his house be broken into.  Be prepared; the Son will come when you don't expect.  When a master finds a faithful and prudent steward, he'll put him in charge, but if he finds an unfaithful servant, he'll beat him.  Much will be required of one entrusted with much, and more will be demanded of one entrusted with more.”
Reflect
  • Creighton:  'Integrity' has been defined as doing the right thing when nobody's watching.  In today's gospel Jesus describes the two scenarios:  a servant acting irresponsibly when he hears the master will be late, and a servant who does the day's work anyway, always prepared for the master's arrival.  When do we do the right thing no matter what, and when is it harder?  Do I treating the world with care?  Am I compassionate?  Patient?...
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Humble ending":  When Jesus comes again, he'll "put on an apron," seat his disciples, and wait on them.  To be ready, put on an apron daily and feed and love others, tie a towel around your waist to wash others' feet, take the lowest place, and empty and humble yourself.  Jesus' humble servants will inherit earth and heaven.  "I will leave as a remnant in your midst a people humble and lowly."  Jesus will lead the humble to glory. Serve humbly....
    (Ha ha)
  • Passionist:  Jesus tells us that much will be required of those entrusted with much, and more demanded of those entrusted with more.  Our bodies are to be weapons for righteousness.  As 80% of Puerto Rico remains without electricity, the Muslim Rohingya people are one of the world's most persecuted groups, and there are also crises in Syria, Venezuela, and elsewhere, we're called to be servants of justice.  Gifts are given for others, for the common good.  If a gift doesn’t build the Body of Christ, it's not from God.  Revel with gratitude and joy as you give to others.
    Frei Galvão
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Ready to answer the Lord when he draws near":  Today's parables confront us with the possibility of losing everything now, and our inheritance.  Jesus' "thief in the night" story tells us we need to stay on guard.  Lack of vigilance invites disaster.  The Lord expects us to guard the gifts of salvation and the Spirit.  Satan can draw us away from faith and God by convincing us we can find happiness apart from God's will, or "later."  Be alert and watchful; the Lord comes to us every day to draw us to himself and strengthen us.  In the 2nd parable, the master punishes the irresponsible servant who behaved wickedly.  The Lord calls us to be vigilant and ready.  God's judgment is good news for those ready to meet him; they'll receive God, source of truth, beauty, goodness, love, and life.
    • Frei Galvão (St. Anthony of St. Anne), Franciscan priest, confessor, healer, 1st Brazilian-born saint.