May 29, 2015

May 29

May 29, 2015:  Friday, 8th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Apple' pin:  “May no one ever eat of your fruit again!” (gospel)

  • 'Money' tie:  Jesus drove money changers from Temple (gospel)

  • 'Tree' pin:  Fig tree withered (gospel)

  • 'Kneeling person' tie bar:  Believe you'll receive what you pray for and it'll be yours (gospel)

  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time (season)
From the Vatican
Pope Francis homily:  Ways of living, from the images of the fig tree, dealers in the temple, and people of faith:
  • Jesus condemns spiritual egoism:  The fig tree symbolizes a sterile life that is unable to give anything or be good to others.  The tree lives for itself, calm, selfish, not wanting problems; Jesus curses it because it hasn't given of itself to produce fruit.  It symbolizes those who live for themselves, doing nothing to help others; they become neurotic.  Jesus condemns sterile spirituality, spiritual egoism.  "May I lack nothing; others can fend for themselves."
  • Don’t make religion a business:  The dealers in the temple were changing money and selling animals for sacrifice, making religion a business by using God’s sacred site to do deals.  Remember too the priest who urged the faithful to make offerings and collected lots of money, even from the poor.  Jesus didn't mince his words when he drove them out:  "My house shall be a house of prayer, but you've turned it into a bandits’ den."  People on pilgrimage to implore God's blessing were being exploited instead of taught....
  • Faith helps others to do miracles:  Jesus gave us the example of a life of faith.  Faith and prayer help bring about miracles.  People with faith ask the Lord who will help them do good things.  But when you pray, first pardon anyone you bear a grudge against, as your Father pardons you.  Living in faith helps others to draw closer to God and creates miracles.
May God teach us this life of faith and help us and the Church never to succumb to sterility and profiteering.
Putting humanity at the heart of technology  (Msgr. Tighe, Pontifical Council for Social Communication Secretary):  Good communication is a human, not technical achievement. Don't presume technology alone will bring a better sense of unity or solidarity.  The term “responsible communications” is appropriate; to achieve our goal will take responsible determination and choices by individuals.  We need to make sure we can present our teachings, ideas, and perspectives in ways that will properly be present in a different kind of environment, finding ways to speak about our core values.  We have many strong, well-prepared, highly motivated communicators and technicians; we must work together to be ever more powerfully the Church's voice and presence in emerging digital arenas.  More
Pope Francis to New Evangelization Council:  The Church is called to evangelize at a time of great change.  To proclaim the Gospel, we need to renew our language so all hearers can understand it.  People want a Church that can walk with them, offering a witness of faith, a Church for the marginalized in solidarity with those on the peripheries.  The meaning of the new evangelization is to become aware of the Father's merciful love for us and to become instruments of salvation.  Catechesis needs to go beyond the school sphere of educating believers; it's an encounter with Christ who awakens the desire to know and follow him better.  The challenge of the new evangelization and catechesis together is to discover the most consistent place to find, meet, and follow Christ.
  • Sir 44:1, 9-13  I'll praise our godly ancestors.  Their virtues are remembered; their heritage remains; their glory will never be blotted out.
  • Ps 149:1b-6a, 9b  "The Lord takes delight in his people." Be glad in your maker; sing and dance in praise; exult in glory.  The Lord loves his people and adorns the lowly with victory.
  • Mk 11:11-26  Jesus saw a barren fig tree and cursed it.  He entered the temple area, saw people selling and buying, and drove them out, overturning money changers' tables and sellers' seats.  “'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples?' but you've made it a robbers' den.”  Next morning, they saw the fig tree withered.  Peter / Jesus:  “Look!  The tree you cursed withered.” / “Have faith in God.  If you tell this mountain, ‘Be thrown into the sea’ and don't doubt, it'll be done.  If you believe you'll receive what you pray for, it'll be yours.  When you pray, forgive anyone you have a grievance against, so your Father may in turn forgive you.”
    • Creighton:  The faithful witness of holy people continues, and the transmission is important to us.  But most folks provide a witness through lives they touch; it's seen and remembered by those who value mercy, tenderness, and wisdom.  Our virtues endure in the mind of God, the cloud of witnesses, and in the goodness they create through lives that touch others.  When Jesus entered the temple area, he “looked around at everything.”  May we pause and look around instead of grasping at things as if we know all about them; it can be hard because it can change our understanding....

    • Christ driving the traders from the temple/ El Greco
      (more paintings and hidden meanings)
    • One Bread One Body:  "A golden finish":  In your "golden years," seal in the heritage you've sown.  Kings Hezekiah and Solomon had great starts in reforming their nation and turning people to God, but they slacked off in later years and left the nation in worse shape than it was before they started.  Jesus warned about laying a foundation but not completing the work.  Build a heritage that will endure for God's glory.
    • Passionist:  Jesus looks angry, with cause.  He didn't want people separated from God’s presence in the temple or anywhere else.   Separation from others and our world is also unjust.  Am I angry enough to “turn over the tables” when I see divisiveness?
    •  Fig trees were a common and important source of food; a decaying tree was linked with spiritual decay.  The barren fig tree symbolized the outcome of Israel's unresponsiveness to God; the prophets saw it as signifying Israel's desolation due to unfaithfulness. Jesus’ cursing of a fig tree is a prophetic action against the faithlessness of those who rejected his message.  Faith must be nourished with God's word and rooted in love.  Jesus' cleansing of the temple was also prophetic.  The money changers took advantage of the poor; their robbery of them not only dishonored God but also was unjust.  Jesus exhorted his disciples to have faith and pray with faith.  "To remove mountains" was an expression for removing difficulties; a teacher who solved difficulties was called a "mountain remover."   If we pray with faith, God will give us the means to overcome obstacles, but if we want God to hear our prayers, we must forgive as God has forgiven us.

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