August 5, 2015

Aug. 5

August 5, 2015:  Wednesday, 18th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Fruit' pin:  Princes show Israelites country's fruit after reconnaissance mission  (1st reading)
  • 'Cow' pin, 'honey' tie (trumped today so see here):  "The land does flow with milk and honey"  (1st reading)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”  (gospel)
  • 'Dogs' tie:  “It's not right to throw children's food to dogs.”  (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

Pope Francis
To altar servers:  Being close to Jesus and knowing him in the Eucharist enables you to open yourselves to others, to journey together, and to set and achieve demanding goals.  God purified Isaiah's intentions, forgave his sins, healed his heart, and made him ready to announce God’s word; he was transformed to God's instrument.  Never forget God makes the first move, drawing close!  Isaiah's imperfections didn't impede God’s actions.
You're more fortunate than Isaiah:  you experience Jesus' closeness and power in the sacraments.  You've seen that God takes the lead; he created you, made you new in baptism, forgives, and waits for your response.  If we let him, Jesus will touch us with the flame of love so we can bring him to others. Like Isaiah, we're invited to not remain closed in but to bear witness, sharing the joy of being chosen and saved.  Faith makes us natural missionaries, drawing us towards others, because we're filled with the joy of being Christ's friends.  Speak with Jesus in prayer; be nourished by the Lord's Word and Body, and go out to others, bringing them the gift and joy you've received.
General audience:  The Church, as Mother seeking her children's good and salvation, must foster true welcome and pastoral care for the divorced and remarried and their families, especially because of the children.
The divorced and remarried are still part of the Church; welcome them as a mother willing to give her life for them, and encourage them, with their families, to participate in Church life, through prayer, listening to God's Word, Christian education of the children, and serving the poor.  Have the attitude of the Good Shepherd, who knows each sheep and excludes no one from his love.
  • Nm 13:1-2, 25–14:1, 26a-29a, 34-35  Lord to Moses:  “Send men to reconnoiter Canaan,  which I'm giving the Israelites.”  After 40 days they reported to Moses, Aaron and the Israelites:  “The land does flow with milk and honey, but its inhabitants are fierce and towns fortified.”  Caleb:  “We ought to seize it, for we can.”  Men:  “No; they're too strong for us.  The land consumes its inhabitants, and its people are veritable giants.”  People wailed.  Lord to Moses and Aaron:  “How long will this wicked assembly grumble against me?  Tell them:  I'll do what you say.  Your bodies shall fall, and you'll realize what opposing me means.
  • Ps 106:6-7ab, 13-14, 21-22, 23  "Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people."  We've sinned.  Our fathers didn't wait for your counsel, tempted you, and forgot you and your wonders.  You spoke of exterminating them, but Moses turned back your wrath.
  • Mt 15: 21-28  A Canaanite woman called, “Have pity on me, Lord!  A demon is tormenting my daughter.”  Disciples / Jesus:  “Send her away; she keeps calling out.” / “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”  Woman / Jesus:  “Help me.” / “It's not right to throw children's food to dogs.” / “Even dogs eat scraps from their masters' table.” / “Great is your faith!  Let it be done.”  And her daughter was healed.
    • Creighton:  The Lord isn't happy with us if we're driven by fear rooted in lack of trust in God. God is profoundly annoyed with the Israelites afraid of seizing Canaan.  The Syrian woman meets Jesus' rebuff with courage and faith; Jesus rewards her and heals her daughter, showing God's reign extends beyond Israel.  God  doesn't guarantee exact outcomes but promises good ones based on his intimacy with us....
    • One Bread One Body:  "Find-able faith":  The Israelites called to move into Canaan lacked faith, but the Canaanite woman showed "great faith."  Jesus always looks for faith.  If we're in a difficult situation, maybe the Lord is testing our faith.  May we grow strong in faith and live as God's faithful.
      Basilica of St. Mary Major
    • Passionist:  Today's readings speak of people opposing God.  The Lord had told his people to enter Canaan, but when they saw the challenge, they balked, as we can when we realize the cost of a choice.  The Canaanite woman's 'opposition' is refusing to believe Jesus won't help; her faith and persistence were rewarded....
    •  Today's gospel is the only account of Jesus ministering outside Jewish territory.  A foreign woman pleads for help; Jesus helps after testing her faith.  Jews often spoke of Gentiles as "unclean dogs" excluded from God's favor; the dog was a symbol of dishonor and was used to describe a shameless woman.  Jesus praises the woman for her faith and love; she was willing to suffer rebuff for her daughter's sake.  Jesus helps all who seek him with faith....
      • Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major ("Our Lady of the Snows"):  The Rome basilica, oldest in the West dedicated to Mary, was built shortly after the Council of Ephesus proclaimed Mary as Mother of God, a title emphasizing Jesus was divine and a man born of a woman.  (St. Ignatius Loyola celebrated his first Mass there.)

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