June 23, 2015

June 23

June 23, 2015:  Tuesday, 12th week, Ordinary Time

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


Pope Francis
Laudato Sí walkthrough, chap. 5:  "Lines of approach and action":  What can and must we do?  We need proposals involving each of us individually to help us escape self-destruction. Dialogue is essential.  The Church doesn't presume to settle scientific questions or replace politics, but I want to encourage honest and open debate, so particular interests won't prejudice the common good.
Recent summits on the environment didn't reach effective global agreements.  What would induce anyone to hold on to power only to be remembered for inability to take necessary action?  Instead, forms and instruments for governance are needed, an agreement on systems of governance, seeing that financial cost/benefit analysis alone can't protect the environment.  Market forces alone can't safeguard the environment.
Honest, transparent decision-making processes must be developed in order to discern policies and initiatives to bring about integral development.  Proper environmental impact study of new ventures demands transparent political processes involving free exchange of views; corrupt concealing of environmental impact usually produces specious agreements that don't allow for full debate.  Those in political office should avoid a mentality of “efficiency” and “immediacy”; if they're courageous, they'll attest to their God-given dignity and leave behind a testimony of responsibility.
  • Gn 13:2, 5-18 Abram was rich in livestock, silver, and gold.  Lot also had flocks, herds, and tents, so the land couldn't support them both. Abram told Lot, “Let there be no strife between us or between our herdsmen.  Please separate from me; go the way you want, and I'll go the other.”  Lot chose the Jordan Plain, seeing how well watered it was, and they separated; Abram stayed in Canaan,while Lot pitched his tents near Sodom.   Sodom's inhabitants were wicked.  The Lord told Abram, “Look around; I'll give you and your descendents all the land you see.  I'll make your descendants too numerous to count.”  Abram settled at Hebron and built an altar to the Lord there.
  • Ps 15:2-4ab, 5  "He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord."  Those who walk blamelessly, think the truth, honor those who fear God, and don't slander, harm, take up reproach, lend at usury, or accept bribes will never be disturbed. 
  • Mt 7:6, 12-14  “Don't give what's holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them, then tear you to pieces.  Do to others what you'd have them do to you; this is the Law and the Prophets.  Enter through the narrow gate that few find; many enter through the wide one that leads to destruction.
    • Creighton:  Lot separates from Abram, ostensibly choosing the better land. In the Psalm, the just man is promised a future with the Lord. The Gospel encourages the right path even though it may be more difficult.  How often do I gravitate to what appears to be the easier route, but Abram was rewarded for accepting the right but more difficult route.  Where do I spend my time and why?  Lord, may I recognize your presence, listen to your call, be open, identify a purpose, and let your grace guide and strengthen me to spend my time well.
    • One Bread One Body:  "Deciding aright":  To make the right decision, we must...
      • Ask the right question (What does God want? vs. What do I want?)
      • Decide by faith, not sight.  Lot saw Sodom looked better so settled there, not knowing it would soon be destroyed.
      • Not automatically choose the easy way.  The way of the cross leads to life.
      • Give our lives to Christ.
      St. Thomas Garnet, SJ
    • DailyScripture.net:  Pearls were of great value and worn as to make a person appear more beautiful and magnificent. Holiness is a precious jewel that radiates God's truth, goodness, and glory.  The Talmud has saying for something seeming incongruous or out of place, like an earring in a swine's snout; Jesus' expression about pearls before swine and not giving dogs what's holy is similar.  Swine were regarded as unclean, and wild dogs as unfit for close contact.  What is the point of avoiding what is considered unclean?  Jesus isn't promoting exclusivity or shunning but is concerned with keeping purity of faith and life.  The Didache stated, "Let no one eat or drink of your Eucharist except those baptized into the Lord's name; the Lord said, 'Don't give what's holy to dogs.'"
    Jesus summed up Old Testament law and prophets with the golden rule and raised it to a new level of perfection.  God's law of love requires more than not hurting others but rather seeking others' good and giving our best for their welfare....
    Psalms begins with a person who chose to follow the way of the wise, not the wicked.  As divergent paths lead to different destination, our choices affect how we live.  The Lord gives us freedom.  Lord, help me recognize, choose, and follow the way leading to life.  "Let me love you, Lord and God, and see myself as I really am, a pilgrim, a Christian called to respect and love those in authority over me or those under my authority, my friends, and my enemies. Help me to conquer anger with gentleness, greed by generosity, apathy by fervor.  Help me to forget myself and reach out towards others." (attributed to Clement XI of Rome)
      • Etheldreda: austere religious, abbess of coed monastery
      • Thomas Garnet:  priest, martyr, forgave his betrayers:  “I'm a priest of the blessed Society of Jesus, though unworthy....  This is the happiest day I've seen.”
    Dress legend
    • 'Cow' pin, silver- and gold-colored accessories:  Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold. (1st reading)
    • 'Girl with heart' pin:  Those who think the truth in their heart will live in the Lord's presence (psalm)
    • 'Penny' button:  Those who don't lend at usury won't be disturbed (psalm)
    • 'Dogs' tie:  Don't give what's holy to dogs,... (gospel)
    • 'Pearl' tie pin:  ...or throw your pearls... (gospel)
    • '[Flying] pig' pin:  ...before swine... (gospel)
    • 'Precious feet' tie pin:  ...lest they be trampled underfoot (gospel); feet for sanctity of all life in the face of "hard pillSB 128
    • Green for Ordinary Time season

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