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PREVIEW August 18, 2017:  Friday, 19th week, Ordinary Time 


  • Red shirt, 'blood drop' pin:  St. Max's martyrdom; Egyptians pursued your ancestors to the Red Sea... (1st reading)
  • 'Horse,' 'chariot/car' tie pins:  ...with chariots and horsemen; hornets 'drove' Amorites etc. out of your way;... (1st reading)
  • 'Sword' tie pin:  it wasn't your sword  (1st reading)
  • Tie with grapes:  You've eaten of vineyards you didn't plant (1st reading)
  • 'Scroll' pin:  Bill of divorce (gospel)
  • 'Interlocking rings' tie bar:  "They're one, no longer two; don't separate what God has joined” (gospel)
  • 'Heart' pin:  "Moses allowed divorce because of your hard hearts" (gospel)
Listen to settings of Psalm 136

    (but not the dance)
  • Jos 24:1-13  Joshua to Israelites:  “The Lord says:   Your fathers served other gods, but I led Abraham through Canaan, made his descendants numerous, and gave him Isaac, to whom I gave Jacob and Esau.  I sent Moses and Aaron, smote Egypt, and led you out.  I brought you to the land of the Amorites; they fought you, but I destroyed them.  Then Balak prepared to war. and I saved you.  Once you came to Jericho, they fought you, but I delivered them into your power and sent hornets to drive them out. I gave you a land you hadn't tilled and cities you hadn't built; you've eaten of vineyards and groves you didn't plant.”

  • Ps 136:1-3, 16-18, 21-22, 24  "His mercy endures forever."  Give thanks to the LordGod of gods, who led his people, smote and slew kings, made their land the heritage of Israel, and freed us from our foes.
  • Mt 19:3-12  Pharisees tested Jesus:  “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” / “The Creator said, a man shall be joined to his wife.  Don't separate what God has joined.”  / “Then why did Moses allow divorce?” / “Because of your hard hearts.  But whoever divorces his wife... and marries another commits adultery.” / Disciples:  “Then it's better not to marry.” / Some were incapable of marriage because they were born so; some because others made them so; some because they renounce marriage for the Kingdom's sake.  Accept this if you can.
  • Creighton:  Today 1st reading recounts God’s deeds, to stir up gratitude for God’s fidelity; the gospel is about the indissolubility of marriage.  God's fidelity is behind both.  We're called to be faithful to people and God, to live, work, and love within community.  Joshua's "litany" inspires the people's gratitude.  Gratitude is the first and most important step in loving someone.  If we think we don’t need anyone else, we may not give ourselves away in love.  Today we recognize each person's rights and dignity, but with that highlight on individuality we can forget we're communal creatures, conceived by a community of two, sustained in a community of care and support.  When we're grateful, we want to give back, to share our gifts.  God has brought each of us from our own “Egypt” and given us a name, support, an escape path, a light to lead us, and a cloud to hide us from enemies.  When we see how God rescues us and calls us to care and love, we're inspired to be faithful in return.  Update your own "litany," and remember what God has done and continues to do....
      • One Bread, One Body:  Because Jesus is God, his death saved us from sin, he'll raise us from the dead, he'll come again to take us with him, he's forbidden divorce, he gives those celibate for God's kingdom power to live as angels do, and he makes it possible for us to live in him.  We must live for and worship him and risk our lives to be his witnesses....
      • Passionist:  The Pharisees are again trying to trap Jesus., but he points to their hardness of heart that hampers the building of the Kingdom of God, loving, and living the spirit of the law they revere.  Hardness of heart can breed hate.  Joshua reminds the Israelites of God’s presence and love and calls them to a change of heart.  Jesus calls the Pharisees to a change of heart and points out that not everyone is up to the challenge.  Is our relationship with Jesus strong and personal enough so that we hear his call to us?
      •  "What God has joined together":  Jesus deals with divorce by harking back to the beginning of creation and God's plan for us.  The ideal that two people who marry should become indissolubly one flesh is found in the union of Adam and Eve, created for each other, symbol for all to come.  Jesus sets the ideal for marriage but explains that Moses permitted divorce as a concession.  He also sets the ideal for those who renounce marriage for the kingdom's sake.  Both are calls to consecrated life.  Our lives belong to God, who gives strength, joy, and blessing to those who follow him.  Lord, give us the grace to live our call faithfully....