December 15, 2015

Dec. 15

December 15, 2015:  Tuesday, 3rd week, Advent

  • 'Jubilee year' pin:  Look to him that you may be radiant with joy (psalm)

  • 'Pierced hearts' suspenders: The Lord is close to the brokenhearted (psalm)

  • 'Phone' tie bar:  I'll purify their lips that they may 'call' on the Lord's name (1st reading)

  • Purple shirt and tie:  Advent season

Pope Francis homily

A Church faithful to the Lord must be humble, poor, and trusting in God.

    • Humility:  Say, “I'm a sinner.”  Humility isn't a pretense or theatrical attitude; it demands we recognize our sinfulness.  If you're judgmental, pointing to or gossiping about others' defects, you're not humble.
    • Poverty, the first Beatitude.  Poverty in spirit means you're attached only to the riches of God.  We must say no to a Church attached to money, that thinks of how to earn money.  Recall the martyrdom of Deacon Lawrence, who assembled the poor before the emperor saying they were the wealth of the Church, and who warned against demanding money from pilgrims to pass through the Holy Door.
    • Trust the Lord who never disappoints.  My faith must be in God, not power, friends, or money.
Lord, give us a heart that's humble, poor, and trusting in you.

The Gifts and Calling of God are Irrevocable:  On theological questions about Catholic-Jewish relations, continued from yesterday

The Church’s mandate to evangelize in relation to Judaism

The Church must view evangelization to Jews differently from that to people of other religions.  The Church neither conducts nor supports mission work towards Jews.  Christians are still called to bear witness to their faith in Jesus Christ to Jews, in a humble and sensitive manner, acknowledging that Jews are also bearers of God’s Word.  Christian mission has its origin in the Father's sending of Jesus, who gave his disciples a share in this call in relation to God’s people of Israel, then to all nations.  Jesus calls his Church on the basis of faith in Christ and baptism.  We trust God will carry out his plan of salvation in ways only he knows.   Christian mission means that all Christians proclaim the realization of God’s will for salvation in Christ.  They experience his presence in the liturgy and make it tangible in their service to others.  The Church consists of Jews and Gentiles, and the Jews aren't disconnected from the Gentiles....

Goals of dialogue with Judaism

  • Add depth to Jews' and Christians' reciprocal knowledge, discovering our rich spiritual patrimony through biblical and theological studies and dialogue. We must mine the spiritual treasures concealed in Judaism, especially re interpretation of Scripture.  “Christians can learn from Jewish exegesis practiced for over 2,000  years, and we hope Jews can profit from Christian exegesis.”  Many Jewish and Christian exegetes work together fruitfully.  The improvements in Christian/Jewish relations must also be made known to, and received and disseminated by, the coming generations.
  • Work together for justice, peace, conservation of creation, and reconciliation.  Successful dialogue contributes to world peace.  To gauge the religious freedom necessary for such dialogue, ask how religious minorities are treated, what rights they're guaranteed.  Israel has a Christian minority and a Jewish majority.  We pray for peace in the Holy Land; it plays a major role in our dialogue.
  • Jointly combat racial discrimination against Jews.  Remember 2/3 of European Jews were annihilated in the Shoah.  We're called to maintain vigilance and sensitivity in the social sphere.  The Church feels obliged to do all that's possible with our Jewish friends to repel anti-Semitism.
  • Evidencing justice and peace in tangible ways, supporting the poor, disadvantaged, and sick.  Christian and Jewish charitable organisations can work together to alleviate human need.  “Walking in God's ways” requires the imitation of God through care for the vulnerable, the poor, and the suffering (Talmud).  We must strive to overcome poverty and human suffering.  When we make a joint concrete contribution, we bear witness to God's loving care.  We should together strive for a better world....

  • Zep 3:1-2, 9-13  Lord:  Woe to the rebellious city!  She accepts no correction, hasn't trusted in or drawn near to the Lord.  I'll purify the peoples, that they may call on the Lord and serve him; I'll remove the braggarts from your midst and leave a humble remnant.  They'll do no wrong; they'll pasture their flocks undisturbed.
  • Ps 34:2-3, 6-7, 17-19, 23  "The Lord hears the cry of the poor."  I'll always praise the Lord.  Look to him and be radiant with joy.  The Lord saves the poor and crushed in spirit, is close to the brokenhearted, confronts evildoers, and hears and rescues the just.
  • Mt 21:28-32  Jesus to chief priests:  “What is your opinion?  Man / 2 sons:  ‘Go work in the vineyard.’ / #1:  ‘No,’ but he changed his mind and went.  #2:  ‘OK,’ but he didn't go.  Jesus:  “Who did his father’s will?” / “The first.” / “Tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom before you.  You didn't believe John, but they did, and you still didn't change your minds.”
    • Creighton:  Zephaniah shares that even the most corrupt have reason to expect God to  intervene.  Zephaniah talks about God transforming a people of sin to a people He calls His own.  I need to call on God for transformation of heart, mind, body, and spirit....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Actions speak louder than words":  Jesus, Son of God, always did what his Father requested.  "Jesus Christ... was not alternately 'yes' and 'no'; He was never anything but 'yes.'"  Mary said 'Yes' to God, then lived out her 'Yes' all her life.  St. Joseph said 'Yes' to God by agreeing to receive Mary as his wife and raise Jesus.  Paul mirrored the son in Jesus' parable, beginning by saying 'No,' then living a life of discipleship and evangelization that was 'Yes.'  Jesus' parable makes it clear that it's our obedience that pleases God.  Say 'Yes' to the Lord every day, and live it by a life of obedient faith.
    •  "Which son did the father's will?"  Jesus encourages us to think about the consequences of our choices.  Jesus tells a simple story of two imperfect sons:  The father provided for their needs, rewarded them with work in his vineyard, and expected them to show gratitude, loyalty, and honor by doing their work.  The "rebellious" son said he wouldn't work but but then changed his mind and did; the "good" son said he'd work but didn't follow through.  Both disobeyed, but one repented.  Good intentions are not enough.  God wants to change us so our speech and actions will show we respect and do his will....

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