March 29, 2014

March 29

March 29, 2014:  Saturday, 3rd week of Lent

Dedicated to Katy Clark

  • Hos 6:1-6  “Come, let us return to the Lord; he will heal and revive us to live with him.  Let us strive to know the Lord; he's surely coming!”  What can I do with you?  Your piety is like dew that passes away.  I desire love, not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not burnt offerings.
  • Ps 51:3-4, 18-21ab  "It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice."  Have mercy on me.  My sacrifice is a contrite spirit; you won't spurn a humbled heart.  Rebuild Jerusalem's walls....
    Wordle: Readings 3-29-14
  • Lk 18:9-14  Parable to those convinced of their righteousness who despised others:  “Two went to pray.  The Pharisee spoke to himself, ‘God, I thank you I'm not like this tax collector or the rest.  I fast and tithe...’  The tax collector, beating his breast, prayed, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner.’  Only the latter went home justified; everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.
Pope Francis
  • Reconciliation service:  During Lent, the Church renews the call to conversion, to change our lives.  Conversion is a lifetime commitment.  We're all sinners, but if we confess our sins, our faithful God forgives and cleanses us.  Essential to Christian life:
    • Put on the new man, born in Baptism, source of new life, that incorporates us into Christ and his Church and allows us to look differently at reality.  Abandon sin; focus on the essential.  Behold the difference between sin-deformed and grace-illumined life; from the renewed come good behaviors:  truth, sharing with the needy, gentleness, magnanimity, forgiveness, positivity...
    • Remain in my love.  Christ's everlasting love conquers sin and gives strength; with pardon comes rejuvenation.  Our Father never tires of loving.  Christ calls us to imitate his love; as we do, we become his credible disciples.  Love can't remain locked up; it's open and fruitful, generating new love.
Be missionaries to the experience of reconciliation, communicating the joy of forgiveness and friendship with God.  One who experiences God's mercy creates mercy among the poor and the least, in whom Jesus waits for us.  Meet them!
  • For confessors:  The Holy Spirit is the protagonist of the ministry of reconciliation; be men of the Spirit, welcoming with God's charity, the love of a father who sees his son returning, a shepherd who finds his lost sheep; let your face and voice show it.  Encourage people to draw near to the Sacrament of mercy and forgiveness.  Be moved by the Lord's tender mercy, the heart of the Gospel:  God loves sinners, draws them to Himself, and invites them to conversion.  Draw near to mercy and forgiveness; transmit new life and grace generously.  Listen with God's heart and accompany on the path of reconciliation.
The Pharisee and the Tax Collector/ Long

    • Creighton:  We're sinners who depend on God's mercy.  If devotion puffs me up or keeps me from others' needs, it's false.  The "Jesus prayer" echoes the tax collector's. 
    • One Bread One Body:  A Pharisee is lurking within me; I need to humble myself before God.
    •  Our prayers and sacrifices mean nothing unless they're from a heart of love for God and neighbor.  The Pharisee is more than disdainful in his 'prayer'; he assumes he's qualified to judge.  Humility helps us to see ourselves as we are in God's eyes and to seek God's help and mercy.  Do I seek and show God's mercy?
    • Passionist:  God wants love, not empty sacrifice, empty 'prayers,' judgmental thinking, greed, violence, or hearts hardened by sin.

      "Scales of justice" pin

      • God's judgment shines forth (1st reading, gospel)
      • Pharisee judges tax collector (gospel)

      Dress your life!

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