August 25, 2015

Luis Rey

August 25, 2015:  Tuesday, 21st week, Ordinary Time / St. Louis, King...



  • 'Hand' tie pin:  You rest your hand upon me (psalm)

  • 'Cups' tie:  "Cleanse first the inside of the cup" (gospel)

  • 'Crown' tie bar:  St. Louis, King of France

  • Green and white shirt:  colors for Ordinary Time season, saints' memorial

  • 1 Thes 2:1-8  God gave us courage to speak God's Gospel to you; we speak to please God, not people.  We weren't flattering or greedy but gentle, as a nursing mother cares for her children.  We shared not only the Gospel but our very selves, so beloved had you become.

  • Ps 139:1-3, 4-6  "You have searched me and you know me, Lord."  You know when I sit and stand, what I think, where I go, what I do, what I say; you rest your hand on me....

  • Mt 23:23-26  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.  You pay tithes but neglect judgment, mercy, and fidelity.  Blind guides!  You cleanse the outside of the cup, but inside it's full of plunder and self-indulgence.  Cleanse first the inside of the cup, so the outside also may be clean.”
    • Creighton:  The Pharisees were upright people, a reform party concerned with restoring Jewish worship, but they focused on minutiae to and neglected judgment and mercy.  In Mark’s version, Jesus says they “ingeniously get around the commandments of God to observe your own tradition!”  Do I justify my style of observance?
    • One Bread One Body:  "A motivational speech":  The Lord knows our thoughts and motives.  He wants our motives to be pure, our devotion wholehearted, and our love unconditional like his.  He orchestrates events so we'll have no reason to love him except for himself....
      St. Louis [IX]
    • Passionist:  St. Louis, King of France, was a crusader, defender of justice, and patron of the needy; St. Joseph Calasanz, theologian and canonist, was devoted to the education of the poor.  Many of St. Joseph's contemporaries were disturbed because learning would make the poor restless about their plight. / Matthew's context is a dispute between Rabbis of two schools about what's to be tithed; Jesus says they're more concerned with external cleanliness than with interior cleanliness and later calls them “whitewashed sepulchers.”  (Tombs were whitewashed so people could avoid them at night; to get close to one made you ritually unclean.)  Paul's message is similar to the gospel's:  the Thessalonians were caught up in prophecies, oracles, forging letters, and concocting rumors; he encouraged them to show courage, please God rather than others, avoid flattering and greed, be gentle, and serve....
    •  A hypocrite is an actor who says one thing but does another or puts on an appearance of doing good while clinging to bad attitudes, desires, or intentions.  Jesus had good reason to rebuke the religious leaders for misleading people and neglecting love, the heart of God's law.  Jesus used the example of tithing:  God commanded a tithe of the first fruits of one's labor, but the scribes tithed on insignificant things; they attended to minutiae but neglected to care for the needy.  They put burdens on others while neglecting the poor.  Jesus gave a humorous example:  they'd go to great lengths to avoid contact with gnats (considered the smallest of insects) but swallow camels (considered the largest of animals).  God is love and everything he does flows from love.  Love is costly and sacrificial, embracing and lifting others' burdens.  Do I allow God's love to shape and transform my life, including how I think and speak of, and treat, others?

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