June 29, 2015

Peter and Paul

June 29, 2015:  Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles

Look for some 20 connections between
today's readings and celebration and the picture.
(Legend below)

  • Angels/ Grant (1st reading d)

  • There is a balm in Gilead:  lyrics+ (great especially for last night if you celebrated the vigil since it hits both Sunday's healing gospel and "if you can't heal like Peter, if you can't preach like Paul" :-)
  • Ostensibly 70 Peter/Paul hymns, but some are dups or false positives.  I only know five of them...
Pope Francis homily
(for SS. Peter and Paul, and Pallium conferral)  The first Christians were persecuted, as unfortunately are many today, but I won't dwell on that now but rather on the courage that advanced the work of evangelization; their life calls us to prayer, faith, and witness.
  • Prayer:  The first community prayed.  The community of Peter and Paul teaches us the Church at prayer is a Church on her feet, strong, moving forward!  Praying Christians are protected, guarded, sustained, and never alone.  How often the Lord has heard us and sent us an angel, as in today's first reading?  An angel who pulls us from a difficult situation, snatches us from death and evil, points out the wrong path, rekindles hope, tenderly comforts, consoles or awakens us, or tells us we're not alone?  God places angels on our path, but when we're afraid, unbelieving, or even euphoric, we leave them outside, just as when Rhoda didn't open for Peter when she recognized his voice.  Every community needs the support of persistent prayer, encounters with our faithful God, where believers express faith and trust, and God reveals his closeness.
  • Faith:  God doesn't take us out of the world or away from evil but rather grants strength.  “The Lord is my shepherd; I want for nothing.”  How many forces have tried, and still try, to destroy the Church but are themselves destroyed while she remains solid!  Everything passes; only God remains.  The Church, founded on and belonging solely to Christ, remains faithful to faith shown in service.  Only one who lives in Christ can promote and defends the Church by holiness of life, after Peter and Paul's example.  Believers raise the dead, heal the sick, love their persecutors, and show nothing can defeat one with faith!
  • Witness:  Peter and Paul, like all who sowed Church's seeds by their blood, drank the Lord’s cup and became friends of God.  A Church or Christian who doesn't give witness is sterile, like a dead person who thinks they're alive, a tree that produces no fruit, or a dry well!  The Church has overcome evil thanks to her children's courageous, concrete, humble witness; she's conquered evil by proclaiming Christ.
I entrust you with this call to prayer, to faith and to witness.  Be masters of prayer, angels of charity, masters of faith, and witnesses through coherent lifestyle!  Be convinced and convincing, unashamed of Christ and his Cross, in the steps of Peter, Paul, and other Christians who brought growth to the Body of Christ.  Don't contradict by behavior or lifestyle what you preach and teach!  Teach prayer by praying, announce the faith by believing, and give witness by living!
    (Not this Peter and Paul :-)
  • Acts 3:1-10  When the cripple at the Beautiful Gate asked Peter and John for alms, Peter said, “I'll give you what I have:  in the name of Jesus Christ, walk!”  He leaped up, walked, jumped and praised God.  They all recognized him as the beggar and were amazed.
  • Ps 19:2-5  "Their message goes out through all the earth."  The heavens declare God's glory and handiwork.
  • Gal 1:11-20  The Gospel I preached is not of human origin; it came through a revelation of Christ.  I used to persecute the Church, But when God revealed his Son to me, I went to Arabia and returned to Damascus, then went to Jerusalem to confer with Cephas....
  • Jn 21:15-19  Jesus / Simon Peter, after miraculous breakfast:  “Do you love me more than these?” / “You know I love you.” / “Feed my lambs.  Do you love me?” / “You know I do.” / “Tend my sheep.  Do you love me?” / Peter, distressed he asked a third time:  “Lord, you know I love you.” / “Feed my sheep.  When you were younger, you used to go where you wanted; but when you grow old, someone else will lead you where you don't want to go.  Follow me.”  He said this signifying by what kind of death he'd glorify God.
  • Acts 12:1-11  The Church was praying for Peter, whom King Herod imprisoned.  Angel to Peter:  “Get up, put on your belt, sandals, and cloak, and follow me!”  His chains fell, he dressed, he followed him past the guards, the gate opened, they went, and the angel left.  Peter:  “Now I know the Lord rescued me.”
    St. Peter and St. Paul/ El Greco
  • Ps 34:2-9  "The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him."  I'll always bless the Lord; let's extol him together.  He delivered me.  Look to him and be radiant.  When the poor one called out, he heard and saved him.  Taste and see how good the Lord is...
  • 2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18  Paul:  I'm being poured out; I've competed well, finished the race, and kept the faith.  The Lord will award a crown to me and to all who have longed for him.  He gave me strength so through me all Gentiles might hear the proclamation.  The Lord will rescue me and bring me safe to his Kingdom.
  • Mt 16:13-19  Jesus / disciples, at Caesarea Philippi:  “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” / “John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or a prophet.” / “Who do you say I am?” / Simon Peter:  “The Christ, Son of the living God.” / “Blessed are you, Simon; my Father revealed this to you.  You're Peter, and upon this rock I'll build my Church.  I'll give you the keys to the Kingdom; what you bind or loose shall be so in heaven.”
    • Creighton:  The Acts 12 reading is about Herod’s fatal persecution of James and his intent to kill Peter.  Imagine the early Church's fear of such violence and slaughter.  How could they survive the sacrifice of “the Rock”?  God seemed to allow Herod early success in persecution; it tested people's faith, but then God’s power was revealed and the faith  of Peter and those who looked to him was confirmed.  When confronted with evil and death, don't pray against your foes but for manifestation of God’s will.  In the  2 Tm reading, Paul, mentoring Timothy, speaks of his being poured out and of his having kept the faith....
    • One Bread One Body:  "The Today Show":  Today is special because Peter was the Rock on which Jesus built his Church, Paul was apostle to the Gentiles, both were martyrs, and both keep praying for us....
    • Commentary on Jesus' questions to Peter in the vigil gospel:  love vs. love....
    • Passionist:  Today's readings remind us how important it is to build on rock.  Peter and Paul “rocks” of faith and preached with strength and single-mindedness.  Today's rocks include Pope Francis, Malala Yousafzai, people of Charleston forgiving....  They're inclusive, inviting everyone to the table of justice.  Compassion is their strength.  Where do I place my foundation?

    • About "binding and loosing" (daytime gospel, future perfect original); it also includes exegetical links and online resources to compare and explore Bible texts
      • Peter put his foot in his mouth, panicked on the water, blundered after professing faith, refused to be washed, and betrayed his master.  Yet he was chosen as rock on which the Church is built over James, John, or financially savvy Judas.  The Church’s foundation-stone and first leader is not all-wise, all-knowing, good, heroic, and beautiful but an ordinary man; if he'd been great and noble hero, we could have despaired of becoming like him and told ourselves the Church is only for saints.  But the Church is for confused, impetuous, cowardly people like him and us; grace holds it together and helps it grow.  Grace taught Peter patience and forbearance and helped him bear witness when it counted.  Admire that grace and pray we may receive and use it too.  See Catholic Encyclopedia.
      • Paul:  Many don't find him attractive, saying he badgered people into submission or invented a Christianity worse than Christ's, but God needed and called him, and he said and did what God wanted.  Paul reminds people of his weakness.  May we love the Lord our God with heart, soul, mind, and strength as Paul did.  See Catholic Encyclopedia.
    Dress legend*
    • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  Peter to paralytic:  “Look at us.” (1st reading v); Peter thought he was seeing a vision (1st reading d); Taste and see the Lord's goodness (psalm d)
    • Silver- and gold-colored accessories:  "I don't have any silver or gold, but I give you what I have:  in Jesus' name, walk!"  (1st reading v)
    • 'Walker' tie pin:  "walking and jumping and praising God" (1st reading v)
    • 'Children around the earth' tie:  "Their message goes out through all the earth." (psalm v)
    • 'Lamb' and 'sheep' tie bars:  “Feed my lambs.” / "Tend my sheep" / "Feed my sheep" (gospel v)
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  "when you grow old, you'll stretch out your hands....” (gospel v)
    • 'Sword' pin:  Herod had James killed by the sword (1st reading d)
    • 'Angel' pin:  the angel of the Lord frees Peter from prison (1st reading d); "the angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him" (psalm d)
    • 'Hearts' suspenders:  “Simon, do you love me?” (gospel v)
    • Belt and sandals (not shown):  “Put on your belt and your sandals.” (1st reading d) [call me a 'belt and suspenders man']
    • 'Caged lion' pin:  Cage for prison (1st reading d), lion for "I was rescued from the lion’s mouth." (2nd reading d)
    • '?' tie pin:  “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” / “Who do you say that I am?” (gospel d)
    • 'Rock' tie pin:  "upon this rock I will build my Church" (gospel d)
    • 'Keys' tie pins:  "I'll give you the keys to the Kingdom.” (gospel d)
    • Red shirt (and in socks):  color of the day, martyrdom of SS. Peter and Paul
    *v for vigil, d for daytime reading

    June 28, 2015

    13th Sun. in Ordinary Time

    June 28, 2015:  Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

    • 'Clock' tie bar:  God's anger lasts but a moment; his good will, a lifetime. (psalm)
    • 'Sailboat' tie bar:  Jesus crossed again in the boat (gospel)
    • 'Precious feet' tie pin:  Jairus fell at Jesus' feet... (gospel)
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  “Please, come lay your hands on my daughter..." (gospel)
    • 'Blood drop' pin:  Jesus cured woman with a hemorrhages (gospel)
    • Green in suspenders and shirt:  Ordinary Time season
    • He touched me/ Gaithers:  lyrics  (gospel-inspired, though I know she touched him today :-)

    Pope Francis Angelus
    Do we believe Jesus can heal us and wake us from death like he healed the woman with hemorrhages and raised Jairus' daughter?  Both episodes have a single center:  faith.  The whole Gospel is written in the light of this faith:  Jesus has risen and conquered death, and through his victory, we too shall rise.  But faith can become “tarnished” and uncertain.  Today's Gospel invites us to live in the certainty of the Resurrection:  Jesus is Lord, has power over evil and death, and wants to bring us to the Father's house, where life reigns.  Jesus’ Resurrection is the principle of renewal and hope in history.  If you feel hopeless or tired to the point of death, entrust yourself to Jesus and his love, and you can can begin to live again.  Believers should be able to be recognized because they promote life in every situation so that everyone, especially the weakest, can experience God's freeing and saving love.

    • Ps 30:2, 4-6, 11-13  "I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me."  Your anger lasts but a moment; your good will, a lifetime.  At nightfall, weeping; with dawn, rejoicing.  You changed my mourning into dancing.

    • 2 Cor 8:7, 9, 13-15  As you excel in faith, discourse, knowledge, earnestness, and love, may you excel in this too.  Though Jesus was rich, he became poor for your sake, so that by his poverty you might become rich.  Your abundance should supply others' needs, so theirs may supply yours too.

      Christ healing a
      woman with an issue of blood
    • Mk 5:21-43  Synagogue official Jairus pleaded with Jesus:  Please, come lay your hands on my daughter that she may live.”  They went off.  A woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years who had suffered at doctors' hands and had spent all her money but was growing worse came up behind Jesus and touched his cloak, saying, “If I but touch his clothes, I'll be cured.”  Immediately her blood flow dried up.  Jesus / disciples:  “Who touched my clothes?” / “See how the crowd is pressing upon you....”  The woman told Jesus everything.  “Your faith has saved you.  Go in peace, cured.”  Then people from Jairus's house arrived:  “Your daughter has died.”   Jesus:  “Don't be afraid; just have faith.”  At his house:  “Why this commotion?  She's asleep, not dead.”  They ridiculed him.  He took the child by the hand and said, “Little girl, arise!”  She arose immediately and walked around; all were astounded....
      • Creighton:  Have faith:  let go, let God in, and believe; it can be scary and freeing.  It can be hard in this tragedy-beset world, but miracles do happen.  Our faith should propel us to act.
      • One Bread One Body:  "Contagious":  According to the Old Testament, if a hemorrhaging person touched you or you touched a dead person, you'd become unclean, but when Jesus was touched by or touched the unclean, his healing, life-giving power made them clean.  Unlike others, Jesus was contagious in the good sense.  Usually sickness and death are contagious, but with Jesus, health and life are.  When he entered this sick, dying world, people caught health and life.  Catch abundant life; let Jesus touch you.
        St. Irenaeus
      • DailyScripture.net:  People in desperate circumstances weren't disappointed when they sought Jesus. He gave hope where there seemed to be no cause for it because his hope in God; he spoke words of hope to fire up their faith.  It took courage and risk for Jairus to go to Jesus, inviting scorn, but Jesus delivered the girl from death.  "This man was a synagogue ruler versed in the law.  He'd surely read that while God created other things by his word, he created man by his hand, so he trusted in God that his daughter would be restored to life by that same hand... " (St. Peter Chrysologus)  Jesus showed personal concern for others' needs and readiness to heal and restore life.  In Jesus God's love extends to each of us.  Do I approach him with confidence he'll hear me and act?

      June 27, 2015

      June 27

      June 27, 2015:  Saturday, 12th week, Ordinary Time

      • '3 stick figures' tie pin:  Abraham saw three men standing nearby (1st reading)
      • 'Tree' pin:  Rest yourselves under the tree.  (1st reading)
      • 'Food' tie:  Abraham and Sarah provided food to the men  (1st reading); the Lord has filled the hungry (canticle); many will recline at the banquet in the Kingdom (gospel)
      • 'Hand' tie pin:  Jesus touched Peter's mother in law's hand (gospel)
      • 'Car' tie pin:  Jesus 'drove' out demons (gospel)
      • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season


      Magnificat settings (canticle)

      • Fever/ Cooley, Blackwell (gospel-inspired :-)
      Pope Francis
      Msgr. Paul Tighe
      Established Secretariat for Communications:  Starting Monday, all communications offices will be under the new Secretariat, including the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Holy See Press Office, Vatican Internet Service, Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Center (CTV), the Osservatore Romano, Vatican Typography, Photograph Service, and the Vatican Publishing House (Libreria Editrice Vaticana).  The new Dicastery will also work in union with the Secretariat of State to manage vatican.va and @Pontifex.

      To Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay:  I want to share in your concerns and joys.  I want to be a witness of gospel joy and bring you God's tenderness and caress, especially to your children in need, the elderly, the sick, the imprisoned, the poor, and victims of this throwaway culture.  Your common faith is a source of solidarity that fosters harmony and peace; remain steadfast in it, and have love, charity, and hope.  Unite your prayers to mine so that the Gospel can reach the outskirts and continue to make the values of the Kingdom a leaven of the earth.
      • Gn 18:1-15  The Lord appeared to Abraham, who saw three men, then ran to greet them:  “Bring water, bathe your feet, rest, and let me bring you food.” / "OK.”  Abraham, Sarah, and a servant prepared it.  Men / Abraham:  “Where's your wife Sarah?” / “In the tent.” / “When I return next year, Sarah will have a son.” Sarah laughed.  God to Abraham:  “Why did she laugh?  Is anything too marvelous for the Lord to do?  I'll return to you next year, and Sarah will have a son.”  Sarah, afraid / God:  “I didn’t laugh.” / “Yes you did.”
      • Lk 1:46-50, 53-55  "The Lord has remembered his mercy."  “I proclaim God's greatness, for he's looked with favor on his servant.  He's done great things for me, has mercy, filled the hungry, sent the rich away empty,  helped Israel, remembering the promise he made to Abraham and his children.
      • Mt 8:5-17  Centurion / Jesus:  “My servant is home paralyzed.” / “I'll come cure him.” / “I'm not worthy to have you enter; only say the word and he'll be healed.  I'm subject to authority with soldiers subject to me....  Jesus, amazed:  “I haven't found such faith.  Many will come and recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom, but the children of the Kingdom will be driven out.”  [to centurion:]  “Go; as you've believed, let it be done.”  His servant was healed.
      Jesus entered the house of Peter and saw his mother-in-law in bed with a fever.  He touched her hand, the fever left, and she to wait on him.  Later they brought him many possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits and cured the sick, fulfilling He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.
        • Creighton:  Abraham and the centurion show humility:  Abraham puts himself at travelers' service, and the centurion tells Jesus he's unworthy to have Jesus in his house.  Through their humility amazing things happen.  If we live with humility and openness to the Spirit, serving and welcoming others, who knows what we'll experience?!  Newfound joy and energy, restored or new relationships, other miracles?
          St. Cyril of Alexandria
        • One Bread One Body:  "Join the service":  We should follow Jesus' example in serving others, providing for their needs, but some of us are "out of service," "in bed with a fever" or "home paralyzed."  We need faith to let Jesus return us to service.  He can make sinners and broken people serviceable....
        • Passionist:   “When Jesus heard this, he was amazed…”:  Some think the church is an endangered species; people have faith in God but are losing faith in the church.  In today's gospel (and others), Jesus commends the centurion's trust, saying he hasn’t seen such faith even among his own people.  Mother Teresa: “Don't pray to be successful; pray to be faithful.”  Rabbi Abrahm Heschel: “I never asked God for success, wisdom, power, or fame; I asked for wonder, and God gave it to me.”
        • DailyScripture.net:  Jews hated Romans because they represented pagan beliefs, idol worship, immorality, and suppression of Israelites' claim to be a holy nation, so the Capernaum Jews must have been amazed seeing Jesus talk with a Roman army officer.  The centurion was courageous and faith-filled; he risked cronies' ridicule and Jews' mockery for seeking help from an itinerant preacher but still came to Jesus with confidence and humility.  He was extraordinary man:  slaves were treated like animals, but he loved his, wanting him to be healed.  Am I willing to suffer ridicule in practicing faith?  Do I approach the Lord with faith when I need help?

        June 26, 2015

        June 26

        June 26, 2015:  Friday, 12th week, Ordinary Time

        • 'Walker' tie pin:  Blessed are you who walk in the Lord's ways!... (psalm)

        • 'Fruits' tie with grapes:  ...For you'll eat the fruit of your handiwork.  Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine... (psalm)

        • 'Hand' tie pin:  Jesus stretched out his hand and cleansed leper.  (gospel)

        • Green shirt and suspenders for Ordinary Time

        Pope Francis homily:  Get dirty
        Jesus heals the leper in front of the doctors of the law who considered the man ‘unclean.’  Leprosy was like a life sentence; curing a leper was thought to be like raising someone from the dead.  Lepers were social outcasts, but Jesus shows what it means to be close to such people.  We can’t be a community, make peace, or do good without being close to people.  Jesus could have just told the leper, ‘You're healed’ but instead touches him, becoming ‘unclean’ himself. This is the mystery of Jesus, that he takes upon himself our uncleanliness, sin, and exclusion to become close to us.
        Jesus asks the man to show himself to the priest and ‘offer the gift Moses prescribed’; he not only gets his hands dirty but also tells the man to go to the priest so he could be included in the Church and society again.  Jesus never excludes anyone but rather excludes himself in order to include us sinners.  People around Jesus are amazed at his words and follow him.  Others criticize and condemn him, while others want to draw close but lack the courage.  Jesus holds out his hand to them, as he does to us, taking on our sins to become one of us.  Do we draw near to people?  Do we have the strength and courage to touch those who are excluded?  This is the meaning of Christian community.

        • Gn 17:1, 9-10, 15-22  God to Abram (99) : “Walk in my presence and be blameless.  Keep my covenant:  circumcise every male.  Call your wife Sarah, not Sarai; I'll give you a son by her and bless him.  I'll maintain my covenant with your son Isaac and will also bless Ishmael....
        • Ps 128:1-5  "See how the Lord blesses those who fear him."  You'll eat the fruit of your handiwork, your wife shall be fruitful, and your children like olive plants....

        • Mt 8:1-4  Leper / Jesus:  “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” / “I do.  Be made clean.  Tell no one, but show yourself to the priest...
            Christ cleansing a leper/ Doze
          • Creighton:  Today trust is in short supply, so we erect more barriers.   Trust can also be eroded in our relationship with God.  We've all felt abandoned, lost, or hurt, but the barrier approach doesn't work for long.  Amid Abraham's doubts, he prostrated himself and honor God with his behavior.  Outward behavior can lead our interior disposition.  The leper also did Jesus homage, then with trust invited Jesus to cleanse him. 
          • One Bread One Body:  "Changing names":  The leper wanted Jesus to heal him.  Sometimes we want things to change by appearing, as Abram and Sarai wanted a child.  We usually want exterior changes, but interior change often comes first.  Great interior change is expressed by a name change.  After Abram and Sarai received new names, Sarah conceived.  When Jesus changes our names, we're changed outside and in, as when he changed Simon to Peter and Saul to Paul.  The name of the game is the change of the name.
            St. Josemaria Escrivá
          • Passionist:  Abram became Abraham, Sarai became Sarah, Jacob became Israel, Saul became Paul, and Simon became Peter.  Today we take a new name at the sacrament of Confirmation, and Benedictine monks receive new names when they profess their vows.  We take on a new identity and mission when we take or receive a new name.  The minister of baptism asks, “What name have you given this child?”not because he can't read the form but because naming marks a new beginning of Christian life.  Today's readings herald a new covenant: “Your wife [renamed] Sarah will bear you a son; call him Isaac [named by God, not by recently renamed Abraham].  I'll maintain my covenant....”  God calls you by name, and in doing so reminds you of your mission to receive and share God's unconditional love....
          • DailyScripture.net:  Jesus approached the unapproachables and touched the untouchables. Lepers were outcasts of society, regarded as dead even by family.  The leper approached Jesus confidently and humbly; he wasn't stoned for doing so but rather met with Jesus' compassion, tenderness, and touch.  The Holy Spirit inflames our hearts with Christ's love that we may reach out to others with compassion and kindness.  Do you allow the Spirit to fill me with love for others?
          Saint of today
          Josemaria Escrivá de Belaguer, priest, Opus Dei founder; read his writings online.

          June 25, 2015

          June 25

          June 25, 2015:  Thursday, 12th week, Ordinary Time

          • Tie with stain (see bottom):  When Hagar became aware of her pregnancy, she looked on Sarai with 'disdain'('di-stain' :-) (1st reading)
          • 'Hand' tie pin:  Ishmael shall be a wild ass of a man, his hand against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him (1st reading)
          • 'Car' tie pin:  Many will say, "Lord, Lord, didn't we 'drive' out demons in your name?" (gospel)
          • 'Rock' tie pin:  "All who listen to and act on these words will be like a wise man who built on rock." (gospel)
          • Green flowers on tie:  Ordinary Time season


            Today's homily:  As people in Jesus' time marveled at his authoritative teaching, people today know when someone has the consistency that gives authority.  Jesus admonished his disciples to beware of false prophets.  To discern true preachers from false, look at speech, action, and listening.
            Some people talk and do but can't listen, though listening is the foundation of speaking and doing.  Speaking and doing isn't enough and can be deceptive.  Jesus expects we listen and do:  'Everyone who hears [and acts] is like a wise man who built on rock,' but those who don't listen seriously or put words into practice is like one who builds his house on the sand.  False prophets may speak and work wonders but don't have an open heart to hear God's Word; they're afraid of silence and God's word.  They're 'pseudo-Christians' lacking the rock of God's love and word, without which they can’t preach or build.  They talk too much and maybe they do too much; they can't embrace what they’ve heard.
            One who only speaks and does isn't a true prophet or Christian, and in the end everything collapses because it's not built on the rock of God's love.  But those who listen and act on what they hear, with the strength of another's word, not their own:  that's balance.  Mother Teresa didn't speak, and she listened in silence.  She did so much, and her work didn't collapse!   The great listen and then do from listening; their trust and strength are from the rock of Christ. 
            To  Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy:  Christ's charity is what makes the Church of Rome universal and credible.  It makes bridges that build communion and call the human race to unity and nourishes hope.  Don't let the Holy See get caught up in factions or be colonized by popular thought.  Don't expect the ground to be ready; plow it yourselves to prepare for harvest.  Don't fish in aquariums or get used to eating fish prepared by others; courageously go to the margins, cast your nets in lesser known areas.  Never forget your life is at the service of the Gospel and the Church.
            To  B'nai B'rith:  Jews and Christians can continue to cooperate and work for peace together.  Nostra Aetate laid the groundwork for the Catholic Church’s relations with Jews.  Respect for life and creation, human dignity, justice, and solidarity unite us for the development of society and for securing a future rich in hope.  We're called to pray and work together for peace.  Unfortunately, many regions of the world live in situations of conflict, and that require a courageous commitment to peace. 
            • Gn 16:1-12, 15-16  Sarai, having borne no children, to Abram:  Have intercourse with my maid; perhaps I'll have sons through her.”  He did, and Hagar became pregnant; then she looked on Sarai with disdain.  Sarai / Abram:  “You're responsible!” / Do to her what you please.”  She abused her so much that Hagar ran away.  The Lord’s messenger / Hagar:  “Where have you come from?” / “I'm running away from Sarai.” / “Go back; I'll make your descendants too numerous to count.  God has answered you.  You'll bear a son; name him Ishmael; he'll be a wild ass of a man, encamping against his kin.”  She bore a son; Abram, 86, named him Ishmael.
            • Ps 106:1b-5  "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good."  Blessed are they who do what's right and just.  Help me, that I may see prosperity and rejoice....
            • Mt 7:21-29  [Hear Msgr. Brennan proclaim it] “Not everyone who says, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom, only those who do my Father's will.  Many will say, ‘Didn't we prophesy, drive out demons, and work wonders in your name?’  I'll tell them, ‘I never knew you.  Depart, you evildoers.’  Everyone who listens to and acts on these words will be like a wise man who built on rock; his house didn't collapse under rain, floods, and winds because it was solid.  Those who don't will be like a fool who built on sand; his house collapsed and was ruined.”  They were astonished at the authority of his teaching.

            • Creighton:  Marriage, like the house in the gospel, needs a strong foundation in faith and willingness to act on it to survive the inevitable storms.  Divorce data reflect society's secularization.  Pray for successful, God-centered marriages.
              House built on rock
              vs.house built on sand
            • One Bread One Body:  "Sin-bitten":  Sarai regretted telling Abram to have children through Hagar.  We too regret some decisions we make, and we should regret our sins.  When we do, we shouldn't blame others, or take out our regret on others, like Sarai did.  Sin lead to more sin or to repentance.  We must repent.
            • Passionist:  The Sermon on the Mount ends with Jesus addressing the crowds as a prophet.  If the foundation of our lives is strong, so will what we build on it be.  If we have a strong sense of values and priorities, we can focus on what we have to do.   We have a strong foundation in Jesus....
            • DailyScripture.net:  Jesus' story of the houses must have his audience's attention; they saw storms  sweep through without warning.  "When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm."  The foundation we build upon determines our survival.  Builders lay foundations with foresight, when weather is best.  We may fool one another but can't deceive God who sees the heart.  Choices and acts, not words, prove sincerity.  Am I reliable before God, neighbor, and myself?  Christ is the only rock that can save us; is he the foundation of my life?
            • Universalis:  St. Luan (Moluag, Lua, Murlach, or Lugaidh), bishop, founded 100 monastic settlements