January 24, 2016

3rd Sun., Ordinary Time

January 24, 2016:  Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

See 19 connections with today?  Legend below

For 1st reading 
For the psalm
For 2nd reading 

Pope Francis
Angelus:  Jesus accomplishes the work of evangelization with the Spirit's power:  his word is original, revealing the sense of the Scripture, and authoritative.  Jesus is different from the teachers of his time:  he didn't open a Law school but preached and taught everywhere.  He's also different from John the Baptist:  John proclaimed God's imminent judgment; Jesus proclaimed his forgiveness.
At the Nazareth synagogue Jesus stood up and read from the Isaiah scroll, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor,” then said, “This passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”  To evangelize the poor is Jesus' mission; it's also ours.  To be Christian is to be a missionary, to proclaim the Gospel with words and with one’s life.  Jesus addresses the Good News to everyone but privileges those furthest away, the suffering, the sick, the discarded.  Evangelizing the poor is being close to them, having the joy of serving them, freeing them, in the name of and with the Spirit, because Christ is God's Gospel, Mercy, and liberation, who was made poor to enrich us.  The text of Isaiah, reinforced by Jesus' adaptations, indicates that the proclamation of God's Kingdom among us is addressed preferentially to the marginalized, prisoners, the oppressed.  Probably in Jesus' time they weren't at the center of the community of faith.  Are we faithful to the program of Christ today?  Is the evangelization of the poor our priority?  This isn’t about social assistance or political activity but rather about the strength of the Gospel of God, who converts, heals, and transforms.  The poor are at the heart of the Gospel.  May Mary, Mother of evangelizers, help us to feel the world's hunger for the Gospel, especially in the poor, and to bear concrete witness to the mercy Christ has given us.
World Communications Day message, continued:  Communication can build bridges, enable encounter and inclusion, and enrich society.  How beautiful when people select their words and actions with care, avoid misunderstandings, heal wounded memories, and build peace and harmony.  Words can build bridges between individuals and within families, groups, and peoples, in both the material and digital worlds.  Our words and actions should help us all escape the vicious circles of condemnation, vengeance, and hatred; they ought to be an encouragement to communion and never try to rupture relationships or communication.
Rediscover the power of mercy to heal relationships and restore peace to families and communities.  Old wounds and lingering resentments can entrap people and stand in the way of communication and reconciliation, but mercy can create new speech and dialogue.  “The quality of mercy is not strained.  It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath.  It is twice blessed: it blesseth him that gives and him that takes” (Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, IV.I).  [to be continued]
  • Neh 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10  Ezra brought the law before the assembly and read out of the book, and all listened attentively.  He opened the scroll, the people rose, he blessed the Lord, all answered “Amen!” and bowed, he read and interpreted, then Nehemiah, Ezra, and the Levites said, “Today is holy to the Lord.  Don't be sad.  Go, eat and drink, and allot portions to those who had nothing; for today is holy to our Lord.  Rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength!”
  • Ps 19:8, 9, 10, 15  "Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life."  The law of the Lord is perfect, trustworthy, right, clear, pure, true, and just, refreshing, giving wisdom, rejoicing the heart, enlightening the eye, everlasting.  May my words and thought find favor with You...
  • 1 Cor 12:12-30  As a body is one though it has many parts, so also Christ.  In one Spirit we were baptized into one body and given one Spirit.  God placed the parts in the body as he intended; all are necessary and have the same concern for each other.  You are Christ’s body, each a part.  God has designated some as apostles, prophets, teachers, miracle workers, healers, helpers, administrators, and tongues....
  • Lk 1:1-4; 4:14-21  Jesus returned in the Spirit's power of the Spirit; the news spread, he taught, and all praised him.  He stood up in the synagogue and read from Isaiah:  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim liberty, recovery of sight, freedom, and a year acceptable to the Lord.  Then he told them, “Today this passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
    • Creighton:    “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Life-Giver.” Today’s readings invite us to celebrate the Spirit's life-giving role.  At 30, Jesus left Nazareth, was baptized by John, received the Spirit, heard, “You are my beloved son...,” was led to the desert then back home to make the announcement in today's gospel.  He understood God had chosen him to speak on his behalf.
    Paul tells the Corinthians something momentous happened to them when they received the Spirit in baptism, and it affected their lives concretely, calling them in different ways.  The Spirit they received is the same One Jesus received.  They're united with Jesus through the Spirit and are his body and his ambassadors.  We too are the Body of Christ.  How is the Spirit calling me to serve?  How have I responded?  How much more can we rejoice in the law of the Spirit written on our hearts than Israel rejoiced in the Law of Moses written on the scroll!
    • One Bread, One Body:  "The Bible challenge":  Jesus began his public ministry proclaiming God's Word.  Ezra began a renewal of Israel by reading and teaching God's Word.  We too can spend time in God's Word.  When we do, we're purified of evil and pruned of what limits our growth; we hear the Lord better, grow in faith, get to know ourselves better, are fed spiritually, are made joyful, strengthened, competent, and equipped for every good work.  God's Word is living, effective, powerful, and rich....
    • Passionist:  "The Favorable Year of the Lord":  Jesus returns “to proclaim the favorable [dektos] year of the Lord.”  The Greek comes from word 'welcome.'  With Jesus presence comes a season of kindness from God!  Jesus offers the welcome of his Father to the people he grew up with.  Nazareth had fewer than 400 people, so he must have known them all.  You'd think they'd remember him favorably, but no; they rejected Jesus and his mother.  As no prophet is welcome in his home town, we who are familiar with him can also reject him.  In this favorable [dekos] Year of Mercy, may I welcome him who welcomes me....
    • Sunday-trumped saint, from Universalis:  Francis de Sales studied law, and was ordained priest despite his father's opposition.  He preached so effectively that many Calvinists returned to Catholicism.  After being made bishop, he reformed the diocese, preached, and gave spiritual guidance, teaching that everyone can attain a devout life:  “Religious devotion perfects”; to be more holy, be more yourself.  “To preach effectively, preach with love.”  Read Introduction to the Devout Life online at CCEL or Catholicity
    Dress legend
    • 'Scroll' pin:  Ezra opened the law scroll and read (1st reading); Your words are Spirit and life (psalm); Jesus read from the scroll (gospel)
    • 'Jubilee year' pin:  Rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength (1st reading); "The Lord sent me to proclaim a year acceptable to him" (gospel)
    • 'Owl' tie pin:  The Lord's decree gives wisdom to the simple (psalm)
    • 'Eyeball' pin:  The Lord's command enlightens the eye (psalm); If an ear were to say, "Because I'm not an eye, I don't belong to the body"... (2nd reading); "The Lord sent me to proclaim recovery of sight to the blind"; all eyes looked at Jesus (gospel)
    • 'Girl with heart' pin: The Lord's precepts rejoice the heart (psalm)
    • 'Rock' tie pin:  Lord, my Rock (psalm)
    • 'Skeleton' tie pin:  The body is one though it has many parts (2nd reading)
    • 'Bird' tie pin (weak substitute for still unavailable 'Holy Spirit' chain):  In one Spirit we were all baptized into one body (2nd reading); Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit; "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me" (gospel)
    • 'Precious feet' pin, 'hand' tie pin:  If a foot were to say, "Because I'm not a hand I don't belong to the body"... (2nd reading)
    • 'Classroom' tie:  Some people God has designated in the church to be... teachers (2nd reading)
    • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

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