September 4, 2014

Sept. 4

September 4, 2014:  Thursday, 22nd week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Owl' tie pin:  Become wise by becoming a fool (1st reading)
  • 'Heart' tie bar (hard to make out):  The one whose heart is clean can ascend the Lord's mountain (psalm)
  • 'Boat' tie bar:  2 boats at Lake of Gennesaret (gospel)
  • 'Fishes' tie:  They caught so many fish, both boats were at the sinking point. (gospel)
  • 'Kneeling person' tie bar:  Simon Peter, kneeling:  "Leave, me Lord; I'm a sinful man." (gospel)

Pope Francis

Homily:  God’s Word can bring a true change of heart, change the world, and give us hope and life.  Its power isn't in human knowledge; become a fool!  Paul didn't boast of his learning but rather of his sins and his encounter with Christ, the only salvific encounter.  When we forget that encounter, we lose the power of Christ’s strength.  When Peter tells Jesus: “Go away from me, Lord; I'm a sinner,” his meeting between his sins and Christ, Peter finds salvation.
The privileged place for an encounter with Christ is our sins.  If I can't see my sins and my salvation in Christ's blood, I'm a tepid Christian.  In some decadent Churches, parishes, and institutions, Christians have never really met Christ or have forgotten that encounter.  Can you tell the Lord you're a sinner?  Do you really believe the Lord has given you new life?  Do you trust in Christ?  We can boast only of our sins and of Christ on the cross.
  • 1 Cor 3:18-23  To become wise, become a fool; this world's wisdom is foolishness in God's eyes.  Everyone belongs to you, and you to Christ, and Christ to God.
  • Ps 24:1bc-4ab, 5-6  "To the Lord belongs the earth and all that fills it."  God will bless and reward the one with sinless hands and clean heart, who doesn't want what's vain.
    The Miraculous Draught of Fishes/ Raphael
  • Lk 5:1-11  Jesus saw two boats alongside the Lake of Gennesaret, got into Simon's, asked him to put out a short distance from the shore, and taught the crowds from the boat, and told Simon.  Jesus / Simon: “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” / “We've worked hard and haven't caught anything, but I'll lower the nets.”  They caught so many fish that their nets were tearing, then signaled to the other boat for help.  Both boats were filled to the sinking point.  Simon Peter / Jesus:  “Depart from me, Lord; I'm a sinner.” / “Don't be afraid; from now on you'll be catching people.”  They returned to shore, left everything, and followed him.
  • Creighton:  Smart as I may be, what do I really know?  How did we get here?  What does it all mean?  What's the big picture?  We need faith.  Whatever we have is God's.  Peter thought he knew about fishing, but he knew enough to trust in Jesus.  We should know enough to put our faith in and follow the Lord.
  • One Bread One Body:  One of the greatest events in our lives is when we get in touch with reality and see our sinfulness....
  • Passionist:  Jesus the carpenter told Peter the pro fisherman to go to a bad spot of the lake at an odd time, but Peter eventually complied.  God's ways are not always ours. Paul contrasts God's wisdom with ours.  Let's follow Jesus, risking security and comfort for the sake of compassion and justice.  Jesus wants to join us in our journey.
  •   When I meet disappointment and failure (like Simon after a fish-free night of hard work), do I hear and follow God's word, cooperating with him to accomplish greater things than I can do myself?  "Jesus has so incomprehensible a love for us that he wills that we have a share with him in the salvation of souls.  He wills to do nothing without us.  The Creator of the universe awaits the prayer of a poor little soul to save others redeemed at the price of his Blood."  (St. Thérèse of Lisieux)  God chooses and uses ordinary people and circumstances to draw others into his kingdom.  Do you witness gospel joy to, and pray for, others, "catching people"?

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