March 6, 2015

March 6

March 6, 2015:  Friday, Second week of Lent

Find ten connections
with today's readings and celebration
(Legend below)


Pope Francis to Neocatechumenal Way
I confirm your call, support your mission, and bless your charism.  Go forth in Christ's name to bring his Gospel to the world:  Christ will precede, accompany, and fulfill the salvation you bear!  Christ asked us:  Go proclaim the gospel! 
 I'm glad you carry this mission out in Christian families, united in community, giving witness to our faith and attracting people to the Gospel's beauty.  Your communities of a priest and 4-5 families are a missio ad gentes to evangelize those who've never heard about Jesus and "baptized non-Christians" who’ve forgotten him.  Re-awaken faith through your witness of life!  How much solitude, suffering, and distance from God there is!  Everyone needs to hear of God's love and that love is possible!  Make this message visible:  “Christ risen, Christ alive, Christ among us.”
You've received strength to leave everything behind and set off through Christian initiation.  The Neocatechumenal Way is based on the Word, liturgy, and community, so continue your obedient listening to God's Word, Eucharistic celebration, and family prayer and faith sharing; they bring the many gifts God has given you.  We need a missionary pastoral focus.  Don't let the waters in the Church stagnate:  let Jesus go out; don't keep him inside!
  • Gn 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a  Joseph's brothers plotted to kill him, but Reuben convinced them just to throw him into the cistern.  Then they sold him to the Ishmaelites.
  • Ps 105:16-21  "Remember the marvels the Lord has done."  The Lord sent Joseph, sold as a slave, weighed down and bound till God's word proved him and the king made him master of his house.
  • Mt 21:33-43, 45-46  “A landowner leased a vineyard and went on a journey.  When he sent servants to obtain his produce, the tenants beat or killed them.  Finally, he sent his son, but they killed him too.  What will he do when he returns?” / “Kill the tenants and lease to others.” / “As the stone the builders rejected became the cornerstone, the Kingdom will be taken away from you and given to others to produce fruit.”
    • Creighton:  We still compare ourselves to others like Jacob's sons did.  We still have a skewed sense of justice.  And we still have a sense of entitlement and resentment when we don’t get what we think we deserve.  But God doesn't play favorites...
    • One Bread One Body:  Joseph's brothers moved from plotting his death, to throwing him in the cistern to die, to eating dinner.  Sad to say, our hearts can be just as cold....
    • Passionist:  The evils that rained on Joseph were unwarranted, but God was able to work good out of them.  May we with faith in a good God be at peace with tensions between doubt and faith, fear and confidence, despair and hope.
    •  Joseph's brothers rejected him and sold him into slavery, but redemption and reconciliation eventually came:  "You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, so many could be kept alive..." (Gn 50:19).  Joseph prefigured Jesus who was betrayed by his own and killed for our redemption. / Galilee was lined with vineyards, and owners leased them out.  Jesus' story offended scribes and Pharisees because of its prophetic message and warning:  Israel was the Lord's vineyard, so the story was likely understood as about God's dealing with a rebellious people; it says God deals with us with generosity, trust, patience, and justice.
    Apparel legend
    • 'Blood drop' pin:  “What's to be gained by killing our brother and concealing his blood?" (1st reading) 
    • Multicolored tie bar, suspenders:  Joseph's coat (1st reading)
    • Silver-colored 'ruler' tie bar:  Joseph fetched 20 pieces of silver (1st reading); the 'ruler' of the peoples set Joseph free (psalm)
    • 'Chain links' tie bar:  Joseph was bound by chains (psalm)
    • 'Grapes' pin:  parable of the vineyard (gospel)
    • 'Stone' tie pin:  Tenants stoned one of the owner's servants; the stone the builder rejected became the cornerstone. (gospel)
      • Purple in suspenders:  Lenten season

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