February 7, 2015

Feb. 7

February 7, 2015:  Saturday, 4th week, Ordinary Time

See 8 connections with today's readings and celebration?
Legend below


For the psalm
Pope Francis

To business leaders:  Our first concern is the human person and the hungry.  It's deplorable that there's enough food for everybody but many don't have access to it while some consume it excessively and use it for other means.  Concrete approaches:
  • Set priorities:  Resolve structural causes of poverty, remembering the root of evil is inequality.  Reject total autonomy of the markets and financial speculation.
  • Be witnesses of charity:  Human dignity and the common good are the starting points for healthy economic policy and political decisionmaking.  Support and uphold this to make the earth’s treasures more accessible. 
  • Be custodians of the earth, not masters:  Mother Earth asks for respect, not violence or arrogance.  Hand it on to our children improved.  Take care of ourselves and don't fear tenderness; safeguard the earth with goodness and tenderness.
To Council for the Laity:  Cities present opportunities and risks for the Church:  they can be spaces of freedom and fulfillment, but also dehumanization and unhappiness.  Reach out to the forgotten and abandoned, breaking the wall of anonymity and indifference to show God is never absent.  By becoming joyful announcers of the Gospel, you discover there are many the Spirit has prepared to receive your witness, closeness and attention.  Cities are fertile ground for apostolate; live a humble leadership and become leaven of Christian life.  Announce the liberating message of God's love with strength, beauty, and simplicity.
To Council for Culture:  Women should be full participants in social and ecclesial life.

  • Balance equality and difference:  Ideology can impede seeing reality well.  See the equality and difference of women—like men—from the perspective of “with,” of relationship, not “against”.  We've overcome models of subordination and mere absolute equality to find reciprocity and equivalence in difference.  Man and woman are necessary; they possess an identical nature but with their own modality.
  • "Generativity" as symbolic:  Mothers' transmit and protect life, not just biologically:  desiring, giving birth, caring for, and letting go.  Encourage the contribution of women who work in the family, faith education, pastoral activity, education, and social, cultural and economic structures.  Women show God's tender face and mercy, give time, and welcome.  The feminine dimension of the Church is a welcoming womb that regenerates life.
  • The female body recalls for us the beauty and harmony of the body God gave women but also the wounds inflicted on them.  Symbol of life, it's attacked and disfigured.  Defeat this slavery; many poor women are forced to live as victims of a culture of waste in dangerous, exploitative conditions, relegated to the margins.
  • Women in Church life: Offer them spaces and welcome them.  Foster widespread  female presence, in pastoral ministry, accompanying persons, families and groups, and in theological reflection.  Women are irreplaceable in family and society; their gentleness, sensitivity, and tenderness radiate peace.  Encourage women's presence in the public sphere, the workplace, and decisionmaking, while upholding their presence and preferential attention for the family.  Ensure their freedom of choice, so they can take on social and ecclesial responsibilities in harmony with family life.
  • Heb 13:15-17, 20-21  Through Jesus, offer God a sacrifice of praise, fruit of your lips.  Do good and share what you have.  Obey your leaders; they keep watch over you.  May the God of peace furnish you with all that's good, that you may do his will.  May he carry out in you what pleases him....
    Offer God a sacrifice of praise,
    fruit of your lips (animate)
  • Ps 23:1-6  "The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want."  You lead, guide, and anoint me, giving me repose and refreshment.  You're at my side, giving me courage.  You spread the table before me.  Goodness and kindness follow me, and I'll dwell in your house.
  • Mk 6:30-34  The Apostles reported what they'd done and taught.  Jesus:  “Come away by yourselves and rest.”  They went off in the boat, but people saw and hastened there.  When Jesus saw them all, he was moved with pity—they were like sheep without a shepherd—and began to teach them.
    • One Bread One Body:  When Jesus called the apostles, all hell broke loose:  his relatives said he was mad, and religious leaders claimed he was possessed.  When he sent them out two by two, Mark believed all hell broke loose again, for he gives the account of the beheading of John the Baptist.  When John XXIII, summoned bishops, apostles' successors, at Vatican II, all hell broke loose again, but that doesn't bother Jesus who continues to call, gather, shepherd, teach, and feed.  He works through his Church, against which the gates of hell can't prevail. 
    • DailyScripture.net:  Shepherding came even before farming; the Chosen People had to move their flocks as they themselves traveled.  It was hard; herds could number in the thousands, and shepherds put their life on the line, battling with hyenas and wolves, to defend their flocks and bring back strays.  Sheep and shepherds lived together, and sheep recognized their shepherd's voice and come when called.  God leads us like a good shepherd; do I submit my life to the Good Shepherd and trust in his help?
    Outfit legend
    • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  May the God of peace furnish you with all that's good... (1st reading)
    • 'Sheep' tie bar:  God raised the great Shepherd (1st reading); The Lord is my shepherd (psalm); they were like sheep without a shepherd (gospel)
    • Green shirt:  verdant pastures (psalm), Ordinary Time season
    • 'Cups' tie:  My cup overflows (psalm)
    • 'Stick figures' tie pin:  People coming and going in great numbers (gospel)
    • 'Boat' tie bar:  They went off in the boat to a deserted place (gospel)
    • 'Precious feet' pin:  They hastened on foot (gospel)
    • 'Hearts' suspenders:  Jesus' heart was moved with pity (gospel); God's merciful love (First Reconciliation is today at St. Bede)

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