November 5, 2015

Nov. 5

November 5, 2015:  Thursday, 31st week, Ordinary Time

  • '[Christmas] Lights' tie:  The Lord is my light and my salvation
  • 'Clock' tie bar:  Wait for the Lord with courage (psalm)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  Man will seek the sheep he lost, rejoice when he finds it (gospel)
  • 'Coin' button:  Woman will look for the coin she lost, rejoice when she finds it (gospel)
  • 'Angel' pin:  The angels will rejoice over one sinner who repents (gospel)
  • Green shirt (and socks):  Ordinary Time season

For the gospel

For the psalm
Pope Francis homily
Paul exhorts us not to judge or despise others, because it leads to excluding them, to being selective.  Rather, Christ unites and includes everyone in salvation.  In the Gospel, publicans and sinners, the excluded, outsiders, draw near to Jesus, and Pharisees and scribes complained.  Their attitude is to exclude, Jesus' to include.  There are two paths:  exclusion from our community, and inclusion; the first is the root of war and calamity, but Jesus' path is to include.
It's not easy to include people, because there's resistance.  So Jesus tells the parables of the lost sheep and coin.  The shepherd and woman will do anything to find them, and when they do, they're so happy and go to their neighbors and friends:  "I found, I included."  God's ‘including’ is against the exclusion of those who judge, drive persons away, say no, and create an environment of a little circle of friends.  God has included us all in salvation!  But we in our weakness, with our sins and envy, can exclude.
The Good Shepherd
Jesus acts like his Father, who sent him to save us; he seeks to include us, to be a family.  Never judge.  Don't exclude evildoers from your heart, prayer, greeting, or smile, and when the occasion arises, say a good word to them.  We have no right to exclude!  "We shall  before the judgment seat of God...  and give an account of ourselves."  Ask for the grace of always including, not closing doors to anyone, having an open heart.
  • Rom 14:7-12  We live/die for the Lord, not ourselves.  Christ is Lord of the dead and the living.  Don't judge or look down on your brother or sister.  Each of us shall give an account to God.
  • Ps 27:1bcde, 4, 13-14  "I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living."  The Lord is my light, salvation, refuge; whom should I fear?  I ask only to dwell in God's house forever.  Wait for the Lord with courage.
  • Lk 15:1-10  Who wouldn't look for a lost sheep or coin and rejoice upon finding it?  Angels will rejoice over one sinner who repents.
Fr. Halley homily podcast
God is searching for us:  We look for things and people, but only God can satisfy our deepest longing.  God searches for us, longs to be in communion with us; today's parables are images of Jesus' search for us.  May we continue to search for God. knowing more deeply God searched for us first and never stops.
    • Creighton:  The parables of the lost sheep and lost coin convey a God of insane and irrational love.  If you lose one sheep, shouldn't you just cut your losses, or else you risk losing more while searching?  But God’s love isn't rational.  It costs more than a coin to light the candle and throw the party, but God’s love goes beyond our human calculations.  We're called to love just as irrationally and foolishly....
      Parable of the Lost Drachma
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Jesus is Lord?"  We can deceive ourselves about being under Jesus' lordship.  If we judge others' character, we're acting as lord.  If we belong to the Lord, we have the Lord's heart for the lost.  Jesus ate with and died for tax collectors and sinners.  If we don't seek the lost sheep, have we accepted the Shepherd as our Lord?
    • Passionist:  Luke sets the scene with tax collectors and sinners closest to Jesus.  Imagine their enthusiasm relating to Jesus without the imposition of the law, part of the inner circle, while the ones outside are the ones with the religious voice.  The scribes and Pharisees were complaining, judgmental, ungrateful; Jesus responds with parables emphasizing the joy of finding. The complainers didn't recognize the joy of those they believed were beneath them.  What do I grumble about?  Is it keeping God from intervening?  How does complaining fit with joy in my life?
    •  "Sinners were drawn to Jesus":  Scribes and Pharisees took offense at Jesus because he met with sinners and treated them like friends.  Pharisees were to avoid dealings with sinners, nor trust them with a secret, entrust orphans to their care, accompany them on a journey, nor give their daughter in marriage to their son, nor invite them as guests, nor be their guests.  Sinners and outcasts were drawn to Jesus to hear him speak of God's mercy.  Jesus challenged the Pharisees' treatment of sinners with the parables of the lost sheep and lost coin.  Since sheep are very social, an isolated sheep can become bewildered.  The shepherd's anxiety is turned to joy when he finds and restores the lost sheep.  The poor family would suffer from the loss of a coin valued at a day's wages.  The woman's anxiety turns to joy when she finds the coin.  The shepherd's and woman's persistence pays off; they instinctively share their joy.  Jesus insisted that sinners must be sought out.  God wants everyone to be saved.  Heaven rejoices when one sinner is restored to fellowship with God.  Seekers of the lost are needed today....

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