September 18, 2015

Sept. 18

September 18, 2015:  Friday, 24th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Phone' tie bar:  You were 'called' to eternal life (1st reading)

  • 'Money' tie:  They trust in their wealth (psalm); you can't pay your own ransom to God (psalm); fear not when a man grows rich (psalm); love of money is the root of all evils, (1st reading); women provided for Jesus and Twelve out of their resources (gospel)

  • Green shirt and suspenders:  Ordinary Time season; money (all readings)
Pope Francis
To Cuba:  I'm visiting you to share your faith and hope.  I feel joy when I think about your fidelity  to the Lord, and it gives me strength to think about your courage in the face of difficulties and the love with which you support each other.  My message is simple but important and necessary:  Jesus loves you so much, completely, from the heart.  He knows what you need and long for.  He never abandons us, and even when we don’t act as he expects, he's at our side, ready to welcome and comfort, to give us hope, opportunity, and life.  I want to be a missionary of mercy to you, and encourage you to be missionaries of God's infinite love. 
To Vatican Observatory:  their scientific research on the universe can help promote interreligious dialogue which is more urgent than ever nowadays. He also encouraged an ever deeper dialogue between science and religion.  Pius XI inaugurated the Vatican Observatory in 1935 with the words “Deum Creatorem venite adoremus” [Come let us adore Creator God] and entrusted it to the Society of Jesus.  The world is a joyful mystery, not a problem to be solved; the universe speaks of God's love and affection for us.
Dialogue between science and religion should protect the integrity of both religion and science and promote progress for both.  Scientific research on the universe can help us reach a better religious understanding of creation, so your annual Astrophysics (Summer) Schools are a precious opportunity for dialogue and collaboration in search of truth.  As you discuss the importance of communicating our message to encourage and promote authentic science, share the gift of your scientific knowledge....
World Day of the Sick message: “Entrusting Oneself to the Merciful Jesus like Mary” (concluded from Wednesday):  If we can learn to obey the words of Mary, who says: “Do whatever he tells you”, Jesus will change the water of our lives into fine wine, and the World Day of the Sick will help fulfil the hope I expressed for the Jubilee of Mercy:  "I trust that this Jubilee year... will foster an encounter with [Judaism and Islam] and other religious traditions; may it open us to more fervent dialogue so we might know and understand one another better; may it eliminate closed-mindedness and disrespect, and drive out violence and discrimination" (Misericordiae Vultus, 23).  Every hospital and nursing home can be a sign and setting to promote the culture of encounter and peace, where illness and suffering, with professional and fraternal assistance, help overcome limitations and divisions.
Two Sisters canonized last May are good examples:  St. Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghattas and St. Mary of Jesus Crucified Baouardy.  The first was a witness to meekness and unity, who bore witness to the importance of being responsible for one another, living in service to one another.  The second, a humble and illiterate woman, was docile to the Spirit and became an instrument of encounter with the Muslim world.
I hope all who assist the sick and the suffering will draw inspiration from Mary, Mother of Mercy.  “May the sweetness of her countenance watch over us..., so that we all rediscover the joy of God’s tenderness” (ibid., 24), allow it to dwell in our hearts, and express it in our actions!  Let us entrust our trials and tribulations, with our joys and consolations, to Mary; let's beg her to turn her eyes of mercy towards us and make us worthy of beholding the merciful face of her Son!

  • I send you out ("on a mission of love")/ Angotti :  Pope message to Cuba

  • 1 Tm 6:2c-12  Whoever teaches something that doesn't agree with Christ's sound words is conceited, understands nothing; from them come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, and mutual friction.  We brought nothing into the world and won't be able to take anything out of it.  Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into foolish and harmful desires, leading them into ruin.  For the love of money is the root of evil, and some in their desire for it have strayed from the faith.  Instead, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.  Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called....
  • Ps 49:6-10, 17-20  "Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!"  My ensnarers trust in their wealth, but nobody can pay his ransom to God.  Fear not when a man grows rich; when he dies, his wealth won't follow him.  Though he counted himself blessed, he'll never see more light.
  • Lk 8:1-3  Jesus journeyed from one town to another, proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom.  Accompanying him were the Twelve, some women cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna, and others who provided for them out of their resources.
    • Creighton:  1 Tm consists of Paul’s exhortations on how to lead an early Christian community.  His wisdom applies today.   Much of what we think we need doesn't really add to our lives.  To desire riches so we can have what we want is a trap:  we'll be consumed but never satisfied.  If our money comes through work and using our God-given skills, that's another story....  Being a Christian is different; our eyes are on a different prize....
    • One Bread One Body:  "Assistance please":  Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna, and others assisted Jesus and the apostles from their means.  The ministry of assisting others out of our means is often unappreciated.  Have you ever prayed for the gift of assisting others?  The Lord values the gift.  How can I help?....
    • Passionist:  Today's gospel invites us to consider the discipleship of women.  The gospel depicts many dimensions of discipleship:  listening at Jesus' feet, accompanying him on his journey, witnessing to those around us, being table companion or follower....  The women named today share in Jesus' ministry and were vital to his mission, though the evangelists more often mirror the men's perspective of the times.  The naming of the women surfaces a ‘hidden,’ silent witness of women collaborating with Jesus and that Jesus' mission was inclusive, open, and boundary breaking.  May we keep those aspects of mission alive....
    •  During his three-year public ministry Jesus traveled widely.  A band of women accompanied Jesus and the apostles, some from rich families, some who had been prostitutes, some who had been afflicted with mental and physical infirmities.  Mary Magdalene lived a troubled life before Jesus freed her; Joanna was the wife of King Herod's CFO.  Jesus and his message of the kingdom transformed them.  Unlike the apostles, these women did not seek position or privilege; they were grateful to do anything for him.  Am I a lowly servant who puts others' needs ahead of my own?  Jesus is our best example; he came to serve.  Our privilege as Jesus' disciples is to serve as he did with humility, selfless love, generosity, and joy, willing to do whatever God asks of us.  God, gives us the grace we need and chooses to entrust his work to us....

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