March 11, 2015

March 11

March 11, 2015:  Wednesday, Third Week of Lent

How many connections with today's readings
can you find?  Legend below

    Pope Francis audience
    Society tends to discard the elderly, but the Lord certainly doesn't:  he calls us to follow him in all our life including old age which has a special grace and mission; it's not a time to give up and be marginalized.  The Gospel offers us Simeon and Anna, older persons who hope in God's promises and late in life see them fulfilled; they're models of spirituality, pointing to the centrality of prayer.  Grandparents' prayer is a great gift for families and the Church:  they thank God for his blessings, otherwise often unacknowledged; they intercede for the young; and they lift up the memory and sacrifices of past generations.
    Prayer helps us find the wisest way to teach the young that life's true meaning is found in sacrificial love and concern for others.  How I'd like a Church that challenges today’s throwaway culture with a joyful new embrace between the young and the old!
    Yodh (from gospel; see below)

    • Dt 4:1, 5-9  Moses:  “Observe these statutes, live, and take the land God is giving you.  All will say, ‘This nation is a wise and intelligent people, close to the Lord.’  Don't forget what you've seen; teach your children.”
    • Ps 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20  "Praise the Lord, Jerusalem."  He's strengthened your gates, blessed your children, proclaimed his word and statutes to you like no other.
    • Mt 5:17-19  “I came not to abolish the law and prophets but to fulfill them.  Whoever breaks the least commandment will be called least in the Kingdom, but whoever obeys and teaches the commandments will be called great.”
      • Alphabet:  Consider Yodh (Yud), the "smallest letter" of the Hebrew alphabet, with its top spur, "the smallest part of a letter" (Mt 5:18).  God gave Yodh the honor of being the first letter of the Divine Name.  God changed Ya'akov/Jacob's name to Yisrael, keeping only the Yodh.  God chose Israel because they're the smallest.  Not the smallest letter or even its spur will disappear from the Word.  God won't forget the poor.  God uses the small to demonstrate his power; we'll find fulfillment in Jesus.
        Tetragrammaton (YHWH)
        starting with Yodh
        (remember Hebrew is right-to-left)
        • Passionist:  Jesus, the New Moses, asserts himself as authoritative interpreter of the Torah, superseding previous understandings of the law.  He brings forth a deeper meaning.   Jesus emphasizes the essence of the Law is reverence and love for God and each other.  Jesus himself fulfills the law by his life and teaching.
        •  Jesus condemned the scribes for adding onto the law of Moses; they placed burdens on people which God had not intended.
        Apparel legend
        • 'Owl' tie pin:  observe law; give evidence of your wisdom (1st reading)
        • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  Don't forget the things your eyes have seen (1st reading)
        • 'Children with school bus' tie:  teach your children (1st reading); teach the commandments (gospel)
        • 'Letter' tie bar:  not the smallest letter or part of a letter will pass from the law (gospel)
        • Purple shirt and suspenders:  Lenten season

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