February 11, 2014

Our Lady of Lourdes

February 11, 2014:  Our Lady of Lourdes

Wordle: Readings 2-11-14Readings

  • 1 Kgs 8:22-23, 27-30  Solomon:  Lord God, you keep your covenant of mercy with your faithful.  Can it be that God dwells on earth? If the heavens cannot contain you, how much less this temple!  Listen to my prayer; watch over this temple.
  • Ps 84:3-5, 10-11  "How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!"  My heart and flesh cry out for God.  Blessed they who dwell in your house!
  • Mk 7:1-13  Pharisees and scribes, observing that some of Jesus' disciples ate with unwashed hands, asked, “Why don't your disciples follow tradition?”  Jesus:  “Hypocrites, you set aside God’s command to cling to human tradition.”
Pope Francis
Reasons for a renewed missionary impulse:  Spirit-filled evangelizers are evangelizers who pray and work.  Mystical notions without a missionary outreach don't help, nor do practices without a spirituality to change hearts; they curtail the Gospel and so will only reach a few.  Instead, cultivate an interior space to give Christian meaning to commitment and activity.  Without prayer, our work becomes meaningless; we lose energy, and our fervor dies. The Church needs prayer, but we must reject individualistic spirituality inconsistent with the demands of charity.  Prayer can be an excuse for avoiding service; a privatized lifestyle can lead to false spirituality. 
Christians throughout history were filled with joy, courage, and zeal in proclaiming the Gospel.  There's human weakness, self-absorption, complacency, selfishness, and concupiscence in every period of history.  Don't say things are harder today; they're just different. Imitate the saints; they confronted the difficulties of their day.  (5.I, 262-63, pp. 194-96)
    • Fr. Chris Bazyouros (at Mass):  Do I say "How lovely is your dwelling place..." when we see a person?
    • Creighton:  Solomon did not take credit for the Temple but emphasized God's power.  Go beyond the letter of the law to live the spirit.
    • Passionist:  People had forgotten the meaning of ritual handwashing, as many forgot the meaning of Friday abstinence in the sixties.  Jesus rejected the hypocrisy of pious veneer over empty hearts.
    • "Owl" tie pin:  Solomon's wisdom (1st reading)
    • "Castle" pin:  blessed they who dwell in your house (psalm)
    • "Heart" suspenders:  my heart and my flesh cry out for God (psalm)
    • "Hands" tie:  scribes and Pharisees noticed disciples eating with unwashed hands (gospel)

    Blessings to and prayers for
    the communities at

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