October 23, 2015

Oct. 23

October 23, 2015:  Friday, 29th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Hand' tie pin:  The willing is ready at 'hand,' but doing the good is not....  When I want to do right, evil is at 'hand' (1st reading)
  • 'Owl' tie pin: Teach me wisdom and knowledge (psalm)
  • 'Clouds' tie:  "When you see a cloud rising in the west..." (gospel)
  • 'Clocks' suspenders:  "Why can't you interpret the present 'time'?" (gospel)
  • 'Scales of justice' pin:  "If you're going with your opponent before a magistrate, try to settle on the way..." (gospel)
  • 'Penny' button:  "...or else you won't be released till you pay the last penny" (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

The Church needs to discern while looking at the signs of the times and do what Christ wants.  Paul stressed the freedom that saved us from sin, and Christ spoke of reading the signs of the times. God set us free; to have this freedom, we must open ourselves to the Spirit's power and understand what's happening within and around us through discernment.
We have freedom to judge what's happening, but we must have a good knowledge of what's happening.  How can we recognize the signs of the times?’  Christian wisdom recognizes the signs and changes and their meanings, though external conditioning can make it hard.  To understand the Lord's message to me in the signs of the times, we need to be silent and observe, then reflect.  Silence, reflection, and prayer:  only this way can we understand what Jesus wants to tell us in the signs of the times.
Understanding the signs shouldn't be confined to the elite; Jesus didn’t tell us to look at intellectuals but at farm laborers who separate wheat from chaff.  We must change our attitude according to the times while staying fixed to our faith in Christ and to Gospel truth. Christ gave us the gift of freedom, but we must discern our feelings, thoughts, what's happening around us, and the signs of the times, through silence, reflection, and prayer.
  • Rom 7:18-25a  Good does not dwell in my flesh; I do the evil I don't want, not the good I want.  When I want to do right, evil is at hand.  Though I delight in God's law, there's a principle at war in me taking me captive to sin.  Who will deliver me?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • Ps 119:66, 68, 76, 77, 93, 94  "Lord, teach me your statutes."  You are good and bountiful; let your kindness comfort me.  Let your compassion give me life.  I'm yours; save me, for I've sought your lifegiving precepts.
  • Lk 12:54-59  “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you know it'll rain–and it does; and when you notice the wind is blowing from the south, you say it's going to be hot–and it is.  Hypocrites!  You interpret the earth and sky; why can't you interpret the times?  If you're to go with your opponent before a magistrate, try to settle on the way, or else he'll turn you over to the judge, and you'll be in prison till you pay the last penny.”
  • Creighton:  "The Promise and the Lie":  Struggles unfold within us; we're split into factions.  Why don't I do the good I want?  I want to preserve the earth, change public policy, live more simply...  but not yet :-).  Paul says the law of God and the law of sin live in each of us.  “All of us have something we need to be cleansed of or purified from....  Jesus came to save us from the lie that says no one can change”  (Pope Francis).  May we whom mercy has touched respond with grace and openness to the world's wounds.  Solidarity with those on the margins, and dialogue, are essential....
  • One Bread One Body:  "Jesus or a hell of a life":  All are conceived and born as prisoners of war, prisoners "of the law of sin."  It's wretched to have a war inside us, to be prisoners, to not have the power to do good, and to hurt the people we want to love.  Our only hope is Jesus, who's taken our captivity captive.  Thank Jesus for saving us from captivity; without him we'd destroy ourselves, but with him we have hope, freedom, love, and happiness. "There's no condemnation now for those in Christ Jesus."
    St. John of Capistrano
  • Passionist:  Why can't the crowds interpret the times?  Maybe because they were making bad assumptions, e.g. about how the Messiah would appear, and he didn't fit them, so they were blind to the reality of the Messiah before them.  Thinking about assumptions helps us with the rest of today's gospel too:  When we're in conflict with someone, we often assume we're right, but maybe we're not.  We need to find out; we might learn something.  When I encounter or help people different from me, I need to shed assumptions about them; it helps me see them as they are and love them as Jesus does.  May we be open to interpret the signs of the times.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Heed the signs before it's too late":  Jesus expects us to read the signs of the times!  We need to discern the spiritual and moral climate to avert crisis and disaster.  The Lord offers to transform our lives, but we can miss it if we have a permissive attitude.  The accused tried to settle because he knew he had a bad case and would likely receive a worse sentence.  We need God's mercy, grace, and protection.  Jesus is ready to set us free from sinful patterns....
    • John of Capistrano, judge, Franciscan priest, crusaded against Turks invading Christian Europe, died of plague, patron of military chaplains
    • Ethelflæda, abbess

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