March 9, 2015

March 9

March 9, 2015:  Monday, Third Week of Lent

Look for 9 connections with the readings and celebration
(Legend below)

Listen to psalm settings

  • As the deer longs/ Hurd [Note v3 ends with "Where, O where, are you?", not "Where the h*** are you?"]
Pope Francis homily and kid Q&A
  • Look into your heart and look upon Jesus.  Don't be afraid to acknowledge your sinfulness; he knows.  Open your heart to Jesus, and ask Him to cleanse it; he will with mercy.
  • Does hell exist?  It's for those who decide they don't need God or God’s mercy.  You go because you choose to distance yourself from God because you don't want God.
  • Living a moral life is a grace and the response of having encountered Jesus and loving him.
  • When faced with temptation, ask Jesus to watch over you, and when you fall, quickly get up.  Jesus helps you when you fall.
  • There's goodness among the poor, despite difficulties.  When people are cared for, they don't fall into the net of bad people.
  • "1st pastoral commandment":  be close to everyone, even those who may have done wrong; they have hearts and God loves them.  Don't go to people with "You must" but with closeness, with the caress Jesus taught us.  
  • 2 Kgs 5:1-15ab  Leper Naaman set out with gifts and Aram's king's letter to Israel's king to be cured.  Elisha heard; Naaman went to him who asked him to wash in the Jordan, then left angry, but Naaman's servants urged him to wash, and he became clean.  To Elisha:  “Now I know there's no God except in Israel.”
  • Ps 42:2-3; 43:3-4  "Athirst is my soul for the living God.  When shall I go and behold the face of God?" I long for you as the deer for water.  Your light and fidelity shall lead me to your dwelling place; I'll enter and thank you.
  • Lk 4:24-30  Jesus:  "No prophet is accepted in his own place:  Elijah was sent to a widow outside Israel, and Elisha cleansed Syrian Naaman, not Israel's lepers."  In fury they led him to a hill to hurl him down, but he escaped.
    • Creighton:  When we develop disordered attachments to otherwise good things, we lose freedom to respond to God’s grace.  Naaman was frustrated Elisha couldn't cure him immediately and thought washing in the Jordan was too mundane to be a source of grace; then he let go and was cured. / In the Gospel, people set in their ways refuse to receive "carpenter's son" Jesus.  Jesus’ suggestion that God’s grace could be active in outsiders like Naaman and the widow of Zarephath infuriates the synagogue.  But God is active in lives in ways in surprising ways.  May we be open and attentive and see and hear God with new eyes and ears.
    • One Bread One Body:  Proud Naaman was surrounded by humble servants, including the girl who convinced him to wash and be healed.  There were no such humble folk around Jesus in today's gospel.  May we serve humbly....
    • Passionist:  "Expectations":  People didn't accept that God reached out beyond Israel. God loves those in need and hears their cry.  Jesus calls us beyond our boundaries.  The limiting expectations of Naaman and those in the synagogue were challenged, but the humble are open to expectations that seem unrealistic.  Lord, take us beyond our boundaries....
    •  God wants to act with power to set you free today.  Jesus praised individuals, including outsiders, who put their faith in God as they remembered his wonders.
    Naaman's healing prefigures the healing of Baptism and renewal in the Spirit:  "Naaman was sent to the Jordan [to be healed].  Sin is the leprosy of the soul, not perceived by the senses, but intelligence has the proof, and human nature must be delivered by Christ's power hidden in baptism.  Naaman, to be purified from diseases of soul and body, represented the purification of all through the bath of regeneration, whose beginning was in the river Jordan, the originator of baptism." (Ephrem the Syrian, Commentary on 2 Kings, 5.10-1, paraphrased)
    • Universalis:  St. Frances of Rome, married 40 years, had three sons, distributed gifts to the poor, ministered to the sick, founded convent she retired to as widow; known for humility, detachment, obedience, patience, contemplative spirit.  See Catholic EncyclopediaWikipedia.
    Apparel legend
    • Blue shirt:  Naaman washed in the Jordan (1st reading)
    • Silver and gold-colored accessories:  Naaman set out with silver and gold... (1st reading)
    • 'Letters' tie:  ...the king's letter,... (1st reading)
    • 'Horse' tie pin:  ...and his horses (1st reading)
    • 'Deer' tie pin:  As the deer longs... (psalm)
    • 'Kneeling person' tie bar:  gesture of humility (1st reading, gospel)
    • 'Car' tie pin:  Synagogue folk 'drove' Jesus out of town (gospel); Jesus 'drove' merchants out of temple area (Sunday gospel)
    • Purple suspenders:  Lenten season

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