August 18, 2014

Aug. 18

August 18, 2014:  Monday, 20th week, Ordinary Time

  • Ez 24:15-23  Lord:  "I'm taking away the delight of your eyes, but don't mourn."  Then my wife died, and I did as I'd been commanded.  The people asked, “What do the things you're doing mean for us?”  Ezekiel:  "The Lord says, 'I will desecrate my sanctuary, the delight of your eyes.  The children you left behind shall fall.  Ezekiel shall be a sign:  all he did you shall do, so you'll know I am the Lord.  Don't cover your beards or eat the customary bread.  Keep your turbans on your heads, sandals on your feet.  Don't mourn, but you'll rot because of your sins...
    Wordle: Reading 8-18-14
  • Dt 32:18-19, 20-21  "You have forgotten God who gave you birth."  When the Lord saw, he was filled with loathing:  “I'll hide my face from them.  How fickle they are, with no loyalty!  Since they angered me with their idols, I'll will provoke and anger them....”
  • Mt 19:16-22  Young man / Jesus:  “What must I do to gain eternal life?” / “Why ask me?  Only One is good.  Keep the commandments.” / “Which?” / “Don't kill, commit adultery, steal, or lie; honor your parents; love your neighbor...” / “I have.  What do I lack?” / “To be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you'll have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.”  The young man went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Pope Francis
  • Final Korea homily:  We implore peace and reconciliation.  God’s promise to restore unity and prosperity is full of hope, but it's tied to the command to return to and obey God.  God’s gifts are linked to the grace of conversion.  God’s call to conversion challenges us to examine how we're building a just and humane society, how we're helping the less fortunate, and how we're shaping a culture formed by gospel teaching and noble traditional values.  When Peter asked, “How often must I forgive?” the Lord replied, “70 × 7 times.”  Forgiveness is the door.  If we don't “forgive those who sin against us,” how can we pray for peace and reconciliation?  He tells us to forgive and gives us the grace to do it.  What can appear impossible, impractical, or repugnant he makes possible and fruitful through his cross which reveals God's power to bridge divisions, heal wounds, and reestablish brotherly love.
Trust in the power of the cross, and welcome and share its reconciling grace!  Bear witness to Christ’s forgiveness in your homes, communities, and national life.  With friendship and cooperation among Christians, other people of faith, and all people of good will, you'll be a leaven of the Kingdom, and our prayers for peace and reconciliation will be fruitful.  Read more
  • To other Korea faith leaders:  We must continue walking together, walking with God and going forward.  [Nearly half of Korea's population professes no religious belief.]
"Roamin' Catholic" report:  Holy Angels Catholic Church of the Deaf (Vernon)
  • Setting:  8:30am sign language/English Mass.  I don't understand sign language, but the signing looked beautiful as dance while not drawing undue attention.  An MC seated in the front row interpreted for us hearing folk.  (I haven't named parishes in my earlier RC reportsbut anonymity today would've been futile.)

  • Liturgy of the Word:  Brief intros (before 1st reading, 2nd reading, and gospel) gave some context; I hope it's OK to have them there because they helped.  A clever exercise during the homily brought home the theme of the preciousness of, and our call/need to love all people (vs. strained relations seen in the readings):  the presider had us stand, then various groups were asked to be seated (as if being thrown overboard) till not enough remained to keep the boat afloat.  Apostles' Creed was Q&A/Easter Vigil-style.
  • Music:  Canned music videos of Only in God (Talbot), All creatures of our God and King, and He is exalted were accompanied by a live cajón player; you can participate by singing the projected words, entering into the background images, and/or feeling the beat.  (I was honored to sit with a gifted former music ministry director for this parish.  He quipped that some [who didn't know the parish] may not see a music position at a church of the deaf as a big plus on his résumé.)
  • Technology:  The screen, above and behind altar where we could all see, showed not only the music videos but also the rowboat, other images consonant with the celebration (including the ASL sign for 'peace' at the sign of peace), pictures of some people we prayed for at the prayer of the faithful, and Mass part names (in English and Spanish); it could have been eyesore but was well done.  Unobtrusive video monitors behind the front speakers and below the loft gave cues to the presider (such as announcements).  The sound was clear but loud (not uncomfortably so), perhaps to make it more accessible to the hearing-impaired.   
  • Hospitality:  An [at least] bilingual (sign/English) usher invited me in.  During Communion, one 'silenced' two girls signing to each other; I doubt what he signed was "shut up," but it took immediate effect.  After Mass we enjoyed breakfast and fellowship in the parish hall; I recommend the chorizo y huevos.  We left just before the 11am sign language/Spanish Mass.
  • "Who'd've thunk?"  The deacon held the sacred species so the priest could sign the words of institution.  Nobody stood up so as not to obstruct line of sight/'hearing.'  Signing, and so its translation, was slower than speech I'm accustomed to; imagine how hard it is to 'sign' speech on the fly.  Deaf parents don't hear their babies cry, but others can.  You can't call out to a deaf kid who drifts away.
PS:  I recall an unfortunate Christmas typo on the Eagle Rock Plaza marquee:  "SINGING SANTA FOR THE DEAF" vs. the "signing Santa" who came.  (Maybe he sang too?)
    • Creighton:  How is the God of love and forgiveness angry with those who don't follow him?  We all have times a friend or a loved one asks for but doesn't take our advice, sometimes to their detriment.  Shall we say, “I told you so; maybe next time you'll listen.”  No; as God doesn't turn his back, we should reach out.  God, give us patience and understanding so we don't hide our face out of frustration.
    • One Bread One Body:  Christian life is abandonment to God's will.  The challenge of the "rich young man" was to sell his possessions.  Ezekiel gave all by prophesying, even as his wife was taken.  Early Jewish Christians did when they accepted Gentiles; Gentiles did by changing their lifestyle to observing Jewish practices.  The prodigal son's brother could have given all by forgiving his brother; Matthew did by leaving his job.  Barnabas did by selling his property and giving to the Church; Ananias and Sapphira didn't.  Mary gave all by changing her plans and being the mother of God; Joseph did by not divorcing her.  How does God want you to give your all to him?  "Do whatever He tells you" (Jn 2:5).
    • Passionist:  Jesus challenged the rich young man to a complete change of life:  go, sell, give, come, follow (=be committed, dispose of impediments, sacrifice, enter into relationship, live the mission).  Let's allow those verbs to equip us to live as Jesus asks and offers.
    •  The rich young man lacked what possessions couldn't provide but was dismayed at Jesus' direction because he hoped in his possessions.  The Lord is the greatest treasure, and giving all for him brings joy, but the man left sad because his hope was misplaced.  Possessiveness robs us of joy and life:  he was afraid to give for fear he'd lose what he had, but those generous to God and others find they cannot outdo the generosity of God who brings peace, joy, love, friendships that far outweigh material possessions which don't give enduring satisfaction.  Only God can satisfy our deepest longings and desires.  Will I part with what can keep me away?
    • 'Eyeball' tie pin: "I'm taking away the delight of your eyes" (1st reading)
    • Sandals:  "Put your sandals on your feet" (1st reading)
    • 'Sword' tie pin:  "The children you left behind shall fall by the sword." (1st reading)
    • 'Signs' tie:  "Ezekiel shall be a sign for you" (1st reading)
    • 'Rock' tie pin:  "You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you." (psalm)
    • Upside-down 'golden calf' tie pin:  “They angered me with their vain idols" (psalm)
    • 'Question mark' tie pin:  Rich young man's and Jesus' questions (gospel)
    • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time (season)

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