July 23, 2015

July 23

July 23, 2015:  Thursday, 16th week, Ordinary Time

  • Tie with clouds:  “I'm coming to you in a dense cloud”  (1st reading)
  • 'Thunderbolt/lightning bolt' pin NEW:  There was thunder and lightning...  (1st reading)
  • 'Angel with trumpet' pin:  "On the 3rd day...  there was a loud trumpet blast"  (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  "They look but don't see..." / "Blessed are your eyes because they see"  (gospel)
  • 'Girl with heart' pin:  "Gross is the heart of this people"  (gospel, quoting prophet)
  • Green in shirt, tie, suspenders, and socks:  Ordinary Time season


Pope Francis
At "Modern slavery and climate change"/"Prosperity, people, and planet" meeting:  Everything revolves around care for the environment, but that means human ecology.  We can't separate people and the environment; ecology is total.  As I said in Laudato sí, you can't separate humanity from the rest; they affect each other.  It's a social encyclical, not a green one.  When the environment isn't cared for, there can be unfettered growth of cities, with growing bands of poverty, misery, effects of environmental neglect.  People come because the rural world doesn't offer them opportunities.  Technocracy leads to unemployment, migration, and the need to seek new horizons. What can the future offer to today's unemployed youth? Addiction, boredom, life without meaning, suicide?  Health is at stake: Chemicals used to fertilize fields or purify minerals can lead to disease.  Deforestation can lead to desertification, unemployment, human trafficking, and criminal behavior.  We're responsible; everything has a rebound effect.
The UN needs to be more involved, especially against human trafficking caused by environmental issues, and exploitation of people.  War also contribute to environmental imbalance.  Romano Guardini speaks about ignorance that God gives us the mandate to care for the earth and ignorance of not respecting our relationship with the earth.  When we don't care for Creation, we abuse it and destroy humanity.  A medieval rabbi explained the problem of the tower of Babel:  When a brick fell, the culprit was punished, but when a worker fell, nothing happened.  Lord, make us aware of the problem of the destruction we've wrought by not caring for human ecology, so we might transform ignorance into culture.
    Blessed are your ears...
  • Ex 19:1-2, 9-11, 16-20b  The Israelites pitched camp at the Sinai desert.  Lord to Moses:  “I'm coming to you in a cloud, so when people hear me speaking with you, they'll have faith in you too.  Have them sanctify themselves to be ready for me to come down on Mount Sinai before their eyes.”  There were thunder, lightning, a cloud over the mountain, and a trumpet blast; people trembled.  But Moses led them out to meet God at the foot of the mountain.  The Lord came upon Mount Sinai in fire, smoke rose, and the mountain trembled.  Moses spoke, and God answered with thunder.  The Lord came to the top of Mount Sinai and summoned Moses there.
  • Dn 3:52-56  "Glory and praise for ever!"  Blessed are you, O Lord, your holy name, in the temple of your glory, on your throne....
  • Mt 13:10-17  I speak to them in parables, because they look but don't see and hear but don't listen or understand.  But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.  Many righteous people longed to see and hear what you do but didn't get to...
    • Creighton:  How do I hear and see God?  God made himself known to Moses with thunder and lightning, but Jesus in the gospel spoke of those who couldn't hear or understand.  I need to retreat from noise, pray, read Scripture, and find God in all things....
    • One Bread One Body:  "God's backing you up":  God manifested himself to the Israelites at Mount Sinai, speaking directly and through Moses, but they  soon abandoned Him to worship a calf.  Jesus spoke of the kingdom in parables, discourses, signs and wonders, but people abandoned and crucified him too.  Jesus sent us to spread his word, but if people don't listen to the Father, Jesus, and Moses, why will they listen to us?  God backed up Moses by appearing in power in the cloud, and he backs us up with power too....
      St. Bridget of Sweden
    • Passionist:  Jesus' parables are invitations to enter more deeply into the “mysteries of heaven,”  challenging us to let go of our preconceptions about God whose ways aren't our ways.  When Jesus says, “More will be given to those who have...,” he promises that the more we enter into the mystery of his love, the better we'll understand, and the more love and grace we'll have to share.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "I believe, in order to understand; I understand, the better to believe" (St. Augustine)  Faith and understanding are gifts of the Spirit that enable us to hear God's word and know God better.  But Jesus warned his disciples that not everyone would understand his teaching.  Isaiah warned that some would hear God's word and see his miracles but not believe.  Scribes and Pharisees who knew scripture heard Jesus' parables and saw his signs but didn't accept him; their hearts were closed and their minds blocked by pride and prejudice.  Only a humble spirit can open a closed mind.  Jesus' parables will enlighten us if we approach them with an open mind and heart, ready to let them challenge us.  God's word can only take root in hearts ready to believe and submit.  "You're reading [the scriptures]?  No; your betrothed is talking to you, Christ who is united with you.  He tears you away from solitude and brings you into his home, saying, 'Enter into the joy of your Master.'" (St. Jerome)
      • Philip Evans (“I die for God and religion’s sake; and I think myself so happy that if I had many lives I would willingly give them all for so great a cause”) and John Lloyd, priests, martyrs; see Wikipedia.

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