February 26, 2016

Feb. 26

February 26, 2016:  Friday, 2nd week, Lent

How many connections with today can you find?
Legend below

RECongress.org includes live stream today
  • Gn 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a  Joseph's brothers plotted to kill him, but Reuben convinced them just to throw him into the cistern.  Then they sold him to the Ishmaelites.
  • Ps 105:16-21  "Remember the marvels the Lord has done."  The Lord sent Joseph, sold as a slave, weighed down and bound till God's word proved him and the king made him master of his house.
  • Mt 21:33-43, 45-46  “A landowner leased a vineyard and went on a journey.  When he sent servants to obtain his produce, the tenants beat or killed them.  Finally, he sent his son, but they killed him too.  What will he do when he returns?” / “Kill the tenants and lease to others.” / “As the stone the builders rejected became the cornerstone, the Kingdom will be taken away from you and given to others to produce fruit.”
    • Creighton:  Today's readings present four stories of rejected ones becoming savior.  Joseph rejected by his brothers, Jesus rejected by the leaders, Is 5:1-12 (vineyard the Lord rejected; Isaiah explains as the people of Israel, led by self-indulgent leaders forgetful of God’s ownership; Jesus applies religious and imperial power-holders), and Ps 118:22 ("The stone the builders rejected became the cornerstone..."; likely originally about the future thriving of Israel, Jesus applied it to the authorities who reject him:  they kill him, but he rises and becomes the foundation of the New Temple, the Church).
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Advanced stages of evil":  In today's readings we see advanced stages of evil:  Jacob's deceptions haunt him when his sons deceive him about Joseph, and Jesus describes rebellion against God's will that will get Jesus killed.  Advanced evil is in our midst too, but the Lord's grace surpasses it; God's power exceeds the evil one's.  If we obey God, we can overcome the stronghold of evil....
    • Passionist:  Today's harsh stories portray humanity with jealous brothers and greedy tenants.  The apparent kindness of Reuben, who wants to throw Joseph into a pit (and save him later), and Judah (who suggests selling Joseph) are sad indictments; saying no to the jealousy wasn't an option.  And who was thinking through the likely outcome of hurting and killing the owner's servants and son?  No one was willing to say no.  If something in life smells rotten, it probably is.  We know when something's not right.  Joseph’s brothers knew killing or selling Joseph was rotten, and some tenants knew they were doing wrong.  May we sharpen our sense of smell so when confronted with a wrong, we'll have the courage to say no.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "The stone the builders rejected":  Joseph's brothers rejected him, but the betrayal resulted in redemption and reconciliation.  Joseph prefigures Jesus, betrayed by one of his own, crucified for our redemption; Jesus reconciled us with a just and merciful God.  Jesus' story about an absentee landlord and his evil tenants would have made sense to his audience:  Galilee had many vineyards, and many owners leased them out.  Jesus' story offended the scribes and Pharisees because of its prophetic message and warning.  They understood the Lord's vineyard as Israel and the story as about God's dealing with a stubborn, rebellious people.  The parable speaks of God's generosity, trust, patience, and justice.  Jesus foretold both his death on the cross and his triumph; he knew he'd be rejected, killed, and glorified.  The Lord blesses us with his kingdom and promises we'll bear fruit if we abide in him.  He entrusts his gifts to us, gives us work to do in his vineyard, and promises our labor won't be in vain if we persevere.  We can expect trials and persecution but will triumph in the end.
    Dress legend
    • 'Blood drop' pin:  “What's to be gained by killing our brother and concealing his blood?" (1st reading) 
    • Multicolored suspenders:  Joseph's coat (1st reading)
    • Silver-colored 'ruler' tie bar:  Joseph fetched 20 pieces of silver (1st reading); the 'ruler' of the peoples set Joseph free (psalm)
    • 'Chain links' tie bar:  Joseph was bound by chains (psalm)
    • Tie with grapes:  Parable of the vineyard (gospel)
    • 'Stone' tie pin:  Tenants stoned one of the owner's servants; the stone the builder rejected became the cornerstone. (gospel)
    • 'Eyeball' pin:  It's wonderful in our eyes (psalm)
    • "Prayer, the original wireless connection" t-shirt:  bought at Congress last year
      • Purple in suspenders:  Lenten season

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