January 16, 2018

Jan. 16

January 16, 2018:  Tuesday, 2nd week, Ordinary Time

See a dozen connections with today?
Legend below
Listen to Psalm 89 settings
Pope Francis in Chile
Santiago homilyThe first thing Jesus does is to look and see his people's faces.  His heart wasn't moved by ideas but by persons calling out for Life.  His followers encounter in his gaze the echo of their longings.  This encounter gives rise to the Beatitudes, to which we're called.  The Beatitudes are born of Jesus' compassionate heart encountering our hearts yearning for a happiness.  We know what it is to suffer and see our dreams washed away, but also know how to persevere and rebuild.
The Beatitudes are born of a merciful heart that never loses hope.  In them Jesus casts out the inertia that paralyzes those with no faith in God's transforming power and in others, especially the vulnerable and outcast.  He shakes out the negativity and resignation that makes us want to escape, shun others, hide in our comfort zone, and dull our senses with consumerism.  Such resignation isolates, divides, separates, and blinds us.  The Beatitudes are a new day for all who look ahead, dream, and let the Spirit touch them and send them forth.
Blessed are those who work for reconciliation, dirty their hands so others may live in peace, don't sow division.  Blessed all who work so others may be happy.  If you want peace, work for peace and justice, treating every person as a human being.  Sow peace by closeness!  Come out of your homes, look at people, meet someone having a difficult time or who hasn't been treated as a person.  Peacemakers know they have to overcome faults and ambitions born of the desire for power and importance at others' expense; they know “it's very good not to do wrong, but very bad not to do good.”  Building peace calls us together and stimulates our creativity in fostering relationships where we see others as children of this land.  May Mary help us to live and to desire the spirit of the Beatitudes.  Full text
Meeting with authoritiesYou, a people founded on freedom and law, have faced and surmounted turmoil to confirm your founders' dream.  "We're all builders of our homeland, and our earthly homeland prefigures our heavenly homeland. It can't bear fruit without us.  That's why we receive it with respect and gratitude...."  Each generation must take up the struggles of past ones, while setting its own sights higher.  Goodness, love, justice, and solidarity have to be realized each day.  You can't settle for and complacently enjoy past achievements; many still endure injustice.
Work to make this democracy a true place of encounter where everyone feels called to help build a house, family, nation, mission, and future of hope.  To do so, listen, be concerned for the common good, and give preferential attention to our common home, adopting "a distinctive way of looking at things, thinking, policy making, education, and living" to resist powerful interests that threaten natural ecosystems and so the common good.  From native people we learn that people who turn their back on the land, and all on it, will never experience real development.  Our vocation demands a radical option for life, especially when it's threatened.  Full text
En routeI'm sharing this "fruits of war" image because I fear we're again moving towards the use of nuclear weapons.  We must condemn possession of nuclear weapons because they serve a mentality of fear that affects the whole human race.  We can't hold international relations captive to force, intimidation, and arms.  Weapons of mass destruction can't be the basis for peaceful coexistence; they only create a false sense of security.
Read
  • 1 Sm 16:1-13  God sent Samuel to Jesse, one of whose his sons he'd chosen as king.  Samuel invited Jesse and his sons to the sacrifice.  He saw Eliab and thought, “He must be the one,” but God said, “Don't judge from appearance; I've rejected him.”  Other sons followed, but Samuel told Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of them.  Do you have any others?”  “There is the youngest.”  “Send for him.”  Jesse had the young man brought to them.  Handsome, he made a splendid appearance.  The Lord said, “Anoint him!”  Samuel anointed David, on whom the Spirit of the Lord rushed.
  • Ps 89:20-22, 27-28  "I have found David, my servant."  I've anointed him.  I'll always be with him and make him strong, the highest of the kings.”
  • Mk 2:23-28  Pharisees/Jesus:  “Why are they doing what's unlawful on the sabbath?” / “When David was in need and hungry, he went into the house of God and ate and shared the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat.  The sabbath was made for man, not vice versa.  The Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”
Reflect
  • Creighton:  "See without looking":  We're inundated with images, but if we were asked what's most important to us, we'd likely list things you can't see.  The Lord told Samuel, "Not as man sees does God see, because he sees the appearance, but the Lord looks into the heart."  May we learn to see with our hearts, focusing on the value of the invisible: love, friendship, trust, compassion, God’s presence....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Paralyzed or energized?"  The Lord tells us: "How long will you grieve?... Be on your way."  May we live as Christians and encourage others to, helping displace the culture of death by a civilization of love and life.  Our future is full of hope; Jesus has already robbed "the prince of death of his power" and is seated "at God's right hand and waits till his enemies are placed beneath his feet."  By living for Christ, we'll win many over....
  • Passionist:  Jesus has just healed a paralytic and spoken about fasting.  When the Pharisees see his disciples walking through the wheat field grinding wheat heads in their hands, they're upset because they're violating the Sabbath (3 ways:  reaping, winnowing, threshing).  The Torah was interpreted strictly or more leniently:  the stricter interpretation was to remind Israel of God and creation; the more lenient, of the Exodus and God’s care.  If they'd studied it carefully, they would have realized it allowed travelers to help themselves to the wheat.  As the disciples were creating a “path in the field,” we leave our footprint wherever we go.  Generosity and hope are the hallmarks of discipleship. We need to choose life and love by helping those in need.  "If we want to live, we must choose life.  If we want to love, we must encounter.  If we want to grow, we must suffer" (Frankl).
  • DailyScripture.net:  "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath":  The Sabbath was to praise God, celebrating his goodness, work of creation, and saving actions, pausing everyday work, and being refreshed.  The religious leaders scolded Jesus' disciples not for violating the Sabbath by plucking and eating corn.  Jesus responded that human need takes precedence over ritual.  The Sabbath was given for our good; God never wants us to be indifferent to human need.  How do I honor the Lord and treat others on the Sabbath?
    • Joseph Vaz, Oratorian priest, missionary to Sri Lanka
Dress legend
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  David was tending the sheep (1st reading)
  • 'Horn' pin:  "Fill your horn with oil" (1st reading)
  • 'Cow' pin:  "Take a heifer along..." (1st reading)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  "Join me for the banquet" (1st reading)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  Samuel anointed David king (1st reading); "on a champion I've placed a crown" (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' pin; 'heart' pin:  People see appearances; God looks into the heart (1st reading); once you spoke in a vision (psalm)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  I've anointed David so my hand may always be with him (psalm)
  • 'Rock' tie pin:  He'll say, "You're my God, my Rock" (psalm)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season