November 10, 2017

Leo the Great

November 10, 2017:  Pope St. Leo the Great, Doctor / Veterans Day (observed)

See a dozen connections with today?Legend below
Listen

For gospel
For Psalm 98
Pope Francis on disarmament
Pessimism might make us think prospects for disarmament are remote:  the arms race continues unabated at great expense, displacing real priorities like fighting poverty, and promoting peace, education, healthcare, and human rights.  We must condemn nuclear devices; the effects of employing them are catastrophic, and they serve a mentality of fear that affects the human race.  We can't let military force hold international relations captive.  Any sense of security that weapons of mass destruction creates is false; such weapons are even senseless from a tactical standpoint.  Peaceful coexistence must be inspired by an ethics of solidarity.  
But there's hope:  The UN determined that nuclear weapons are both immoral and illegal.  Populorum Progressio developed the Christian concept of the person and proposed integral human development as “the new name of peace.”  “To be authentic, development must be integral; it must foster the development of each person and of the whole person.”  We need to reject the culture of waste and care for individuals and peoples laboring under disparities through efforts to favor solidarity over self-interest.  This entails integrating the individual and social dimensions through applying the principle of subsidiarity, encouraging the contribution of all.  We must promote human beings in the unity of soul and body, contemplation and action, so progress may be effective and inclusive and achieve a world free of deadly instruments of aggression.  “Unless disarmament be thoroughgoing and complete, and reach our very souls, it's impossible to stop the arms race, or reduce or abolish armaments” (Pacem in Terris).  The human family is called to the path of integral development.  Carry forward this activity with patience and constancy, trusting that the Lord is at our side.  Full textMore on the “Prospects for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament” Symposium hosted by the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
Read
  • Rom 15:14-21  You're full of goodness and knowledge.  Minister to the Gentiles.  I can boast but will only speak of what Christ has accomplished through me.  I want to proclaim the Gospel where it hasn't yet been heard.
  • Ps 98:1-4  "The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power."  The Lord is kind and faithful.  Break into song!
  • Lk 16:1-8  “Rich man:  ‘Prepare an account; you're fired.’ / ‘What shall I do?  I'm too weak to to dig and ashamed to beg.’  So the master's debtors would welcome the steward, he reduced their debts.  The master commended that dishonest steward for his prudence.  The children of this world are more prudent than the children of light.”
Reflect
    Parable of the unjust steward/ Luykention
  • Creighton:  Today’s gospel sits between the stories of the "Prodigal Son" and the rich man and Lazarus. The steward, who like the Prodigal Son squandered his property, faces layoff but won't beg or sweat for his living; likely he's skimming from his master.  Also like the Prodigal Son, he repents largely out of self-interest, hedging his bets by inspiring the debtors to treat him well later.  The socioeconomic problems of that time remain:  extortionary loan interest, bribery, and management and consumers rake in profits and cheap products while laborers struggle.  How shall we respond tangibly to today's injustices?
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Initiative":  "Unless the Lord build the house, the builders labor in vain. "  No effort can substitute for the Lord's blessing; we can't make God's works happen:  "God begets in you any desire or achievement."  But that doesn't mean we shouldn't take initiative; just don't think our initiative causes his works.  The Lord wants us to take more initiative for God's kingdom:  "The initiative of lay Christians is necessary especially in discovering or inventing means for permeating social, political, and economic realities with the demands of Christian doctrine and life." (Catechism 899).  We're a people of strong initiative, following God who initiates everything good because he is Love and Christ's love impels us."
  • St. Leo Magnus
    Francisco de Herrera el Mozo
  • Passionist:  Once the steward was fired, he started to see things from the side of those without resources.  Maybe while trying to protect his future he realized the value of generosity and compassion.  The master wasn’t angry the steward deprived the business of some of the repayment, maybe because it was already inflated.  Maybe the master saw the easing of debtors' burden as a marketing tool, generating goodwill and gratitude.  Business people who get in trouble or who act out of self-interest may act more kindly than so-called Christians.  Some of today's worst offenders may even call themselves Christians.  What if every Christian of means lived a week without money, home, or privilege and saw what it was like?  What if non-minority Christians stood side by side with our minority brothers and sisters to insist on equal justice?  What if we stood up for, learned from, and broke bread with those of other faiths?  What if we listened to, respected, and tried to understand those who disagree with us and tried to find common ground?  Unlike the steward, we're called to compassion, empathy, and action, not because it enriches us financially, but because we are Christ's instruments.  May we live the gospel, not putting our interests first....
  • DailyScripture.net:  "The necessity of prudent foresight":  Why did Jesus praise the steward?  The steward likely overcharged his master's tenants and kept the difference, but he struck a deal with the debtors and won favor with them, also making his master look generous.  The master, who would lose face and win resentment by undoing the discounts, praised him for outwitting him and making him appear merciful.  Jesus commends the steward for shrewdly averting disaster and securing his future.  The original meaning of 'shrewdness' is 'foresight.'  Jesus wants us to exercise foresight to avert disaster.
"The bosoms of the poor, the houses of widows, the mouths of children are the barns that last forever" (Ambrose).  True wealth consists in what we give away.  The Lord expects us to use possessions responsibly and put them at his and others' service, thus making a good return on what he gives us.  Love of money crowds out love of God and neighbor.  If we're not possessed by God's love, some other love will possess us... (Thomas Aquinas)
Dress legend
  • 'Dove' pin:  Serve the Gospel, so the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Spirit; Christ led the Gentiles to obedience by the Spirit's power (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  "Those who have never been told of him shall see" (1st reading); "In the sight of the nations he revealed his justice" (psalm)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  The Lord's right hand has won victory (psalm)
  • 'Olympics' tie pin:  "All the ends of the earth have seen our God's salvation" (psalm)
  • 'Musical note' tie pin:  "Sing joyfully to the Lord" (psalm)
  • 'Calculator' tie:  Prepare an account of your stewardship; "recalculation" of debts (gospel)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  Debtor owing 100 measures of wheat (discounted to 80) (gospel)
  • 'Children' pin:  "The children of this world are more prudent..." (gospel)
  • 'Street light' tie bar:  "...than the children of light" (gospel)
  • 'US flag' pin:  God bless our veterans
  • White shirt:  Liturgical color for St. Leo memorial