February 20, 2014

February 20

February 20, 2014:  Thursday, 6th week, Ordinary Time


Wordle: Readings 2-20-14
  • Jas 2:1-9  Show no partiality; don't treat the rich better than the poor.  God chose the poor to be rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom!  If you love your neighbor as yourself, you're doing well.
  • Ps 34:2-7  "The Lord hears the cry of the poor."  Glorify the Lord with me.  Look to him and be radiant.
  • Mk 8:27-33  Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” then “But who do you say that I am?”  Peter replied, “The Christ.”  Jesus then taught that the Son of Man must suffer, be rejected and killed, and rise.  Peter rebuked him, and he rebuked Peter:  “Get behind me; you're thinking not as God but as a human being.”
Pope Francis
  • Message to Pontifical Academy for Life:  Aging and disability is an issue dear to the Church.  Our society promotes a throwaway culture; we exclude and kill, and the elderly, sick, disabled, and vulnerable can be targets/victims.  The excluded are considered waste or leftovers.  Health is important but shouldn't determine a person's value or be grounds for exclusion/elimination.  The worst deprivation the elderly suffer is abandonment, exclusion, and deprivation of love.  In the family we learn to care for others and that health is no reason to discriminate.  Advocate for the elderly, and recognize that life is valuable even in old age, disability, disease, and near death, and that suffering is a gift that calls us to solidarity and responsibility.  [Dr. Haas (US National Catholic Bioethics Center, Pontifical Council for Life):  The pope's theology of compassion and accompaniment is fundamental when facing these grave problems, questions about treatment and end-of-life decisions.  The Church is concerned about protecting, preserving, and promoting the person.  In a society not supporting the elderly enough, life can be compromised, even discarded, but we bring uncompromising commitment to human dignity.]
  • Today's homily:  Peter showed courage in responding “You are the Christ” but then rebuked Jesus.  When Jesus asks us, “Who am I for you?,” study and understanding aren't enough; we need to take the journey Peter took, then go forward with Jesus, seeing his miracles and power, perhaps betraying him, weeping, asking forgiveness, and returning.  “Who am I for you?” is only understood on a disciple's path of grace and sin.  Jesus said, “Follow me”, not “Know me”; following Jesus makes us know him.  It takes daily encounter with God, in triumph and weakness.  We can't make the journey on our own; we need the Holy Spirit to work in us and explain the mystery.  Ask the Father for the grace to know Christ.
  • Wednesday audience:  Through the Sacraments of Initiation, we receive new life in Christ.  We can lose this new life through sin, but Jesus willed that the Church continue his work of salvation through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Forgiveness is not from our efforts but is the gift of the Spirit reconciling us to God and each other.  The Sacrament is both personal and rooted in the Church community.  The priest represents not only God but also the Church accompanying us on the path of conversion.  We may be tempted to dismiss this Sacrament, maybe from a diminishing sense of sin and its effects.  When we see ourselves at the center, our lives go adrift, but Reconciliation calls us back to God and embraces us with his mercy and joy.  
  • Tuesday homily:  Temptation—from our passions, our weakness, the wounds of original sin—seems harmless but becomes a cage.  It grows and is contagious, looking for company and so closing us into an environment we can’t easily escape; we don't hear God or see ahead.  It closes horizons and so leads to sin.  Only God's Word can save us:  he shows us how to escape and gives us confidence; he trusts and waits for us and opens horizons, while the devil closes.  Heeding God's Word will save us from giving in:  ‘Stop; look at the horizon.  Don't close in on yourself; go forward.’
    • Creighton:  How do I answer “Who do you say I am?”  Do I show partiality based on appearance, perceived intelligence, or charm and so miss seeing God?
    • One Bread One Body:  Peter wanted a cross-free Christianity but eventually repented and was himself crucified.
    • Passionist:  As Peter's model didn't accommodate Jesus, we too think as human beings. Our suffering can teach us about our world, ourselves, and God.

    • "Scales" pin:  don't make distinctions (1st reading)
    • "Question mark" tie pin:  Jesus' two questions (gospel), James's rhetorical questions (1st reading)
    • Crucifix:  "the Son must... be killed" (gospel)

    Dress your life!

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