November 7, 2015

Nov. 7

November 7, 2015:  Saturday, 31st week, Ordinary Time



  • 'Coin' button:  "Make friends with dishonest wealth"; "You can't serve God and love of money" (gospel)
  • 'Eyeball,' 'girl with heart' pins:  "You justify yourselves in others' sight, but God knows your hearts" (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

Pope Francis Friday homily
St. Paul gave himself completely to service, always, ending up betrayed by those close to him, and condemned.   The Apostles' greatness came from Christ, and Paul boasts of serving him, being chosen, and having the strength of the Spirit.  He served, laying the foundation, announcing Christ; he never took advantage of his position or authority.  I'm so happy, and moved, when a priest greet me, "Forty years I've been a missionary in the Amazon," or a sister says, "I've worked 30 years in a hospital in Africa," or when I find a sister who for 30-40 has been working in a hospital with the disabled, smiling.  This is serving, the joy of the Church:  going out to others, giving life.
The Lord shows us the image of one who instead of serving is served.  People like him are in the Church too, served by the Church instead of serving, thinking of others, and laying foundations:  ‘climbers’ attached to money.  The Gospel's character, Christ's call, is to serve others, forgetting oneself. And the comfort of the state: I have reached a certain state and I live comfortably, without integrity, like those Pharisees Jesus spoke about, who go out into the public square to be seen by others.”
In Paul we see the Church that never stops, always going forward.  When the Church is tepid, closed in, businesslike, it's not serving others but using others.  May the Lord give us the grace he gave Paul, to g forward, renouncing its own comfort; may he save us from temptations to a double life:  seeing myself as a servant but being served by others.
  • Rom 16:3-9, 16, 22-27  Greet my friends; they worked for you and me at great risk.  Greet one another with a holy kiss.  We and the churches of Christ greet you.  To the one, wise God, who can strengthen you,, through Jesus Christ, be glory forever!

  • Ps 145:2-5, 10-11  "I will praise your name for ever, Lord.  You're great and most praiseworthy.  Let your works and faithful ones give you thanks, bless you, and speak of your might.

  • Lk 16:9-15  “Make friends with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you'll be welcomed.  The person trustworthy in small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and one dishonest in small matters is also dishonest in great ones.  You can't serve two masters; you can't serve God and mammon.”  To the Pharisees sneering at him:  “You justify yourselves in others' sight, but God knows your hearts.”
    • Creighton:  I think Jesus in telling us to look into ourselves and have our honest and dishonest (true and false) selves converse so we'll attain a more intimate, loving relationship with him, one another, and our universe; he invites us to conversion.  Francis of Assisi and Ignatius of Loyola took the time to look at what was important in their lives, conversed with Jesus, and discovered their true selves.  Dishonesty severs your heart, divides the good and true from the harmful and false, and betrays trust.  But Jesus is mercy without limit and always with us.  May we listen, open our hearts, and respond by serving him.  “My false, private self wants to exist outside the reach of God’s will and love…. Unless we discover this deep self, hidden with Christ in God, we'll never know ourselves as persons, nor know God” (Thomas Merton).  Am I living out of my true self?  Am I honest enough with myself to acknowledge the false parts of myself?
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Tests for trust":  Can the Lord trust you?  "If you can trust someone in little things, you can also trust him in greater..."  The Israelites couldn't be trusted to enter the promised land; when the Lord told them not to save the manna for the next day and not to gather it on the sabbath, many disobeyed.  Do I obey the Lord?
    • Passionist:  I’m still learning to simplify my life, to let go of things I no longer need on my journey to God.  Lord, keep me from valuing anything over life with you, whatever that means giving up.
    •  "Who will entrust true riches to you?"  Generous giving is connected with almsgiving; recipients become your friends because you're merciful to them, just as God is to you.  Rabbis said, "The rich help the poor in this world, but the poor help the rich in the world to come." St. Ambrose wrote, "The bosoms of the poor, the houses of widows, the mouths of children are the barns that last forever.  The treasure that lasts is the treasure stored up for us in heaven.  God rewards those who give from the heart to help those in need."  Generosity enriches the giver, expanding the soul.  God is generous to us, giving his Son, the Spirit, and all we have.  Do I bless others with the gifts God has given me?
    Our "master" is whatever governs our thought life, shapes our ideals, and controls our desires and values. Ultimately the choice is between God and 'mammon.'  Love of money crowds out love of God and neighbor.  If God's love doesn't possess our heart, some other love will.  Only Christ can set us free from greed, satisfy our desires, and transform us; he invites us to make him Lord of our lives.  Our money, time, and possessions are from God.  We can guard them for ourselves or allow the Lord to guide us to make good use of them for others and to advance his kingdom.  Lord, fill me with a spirit of generosity and joy in sharing....
    • Universalis:  St. Willibrord, bishop, joyful, holy missionary to Europe

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