February 9, 2016

Feb. 9

February 9, 2016:  Tuesday, 5th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Hands' tie:  Solomon stretched his hands towards heaven (1st reading); scribes and Pharisees noticed disciples eating with unwashed hands (gospel)
    • 'Owl' tie pin:  Solomon's wisdom (1st reading)
    • 'Eyeball' pin:  "May your eyes watch over this temple" (1st reading)
    • 'Castle' pin:  blessed they who dwell in your house (psalm)
    • 'Girl with heart' pin:  my heart and my flesh cry out for God (psalm)
    • '?' tie pin:  "Why don't your disciples wash their hands?" (gospel)
    • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

    Pope Francis to Missionaries of Mercy
    Express the Church's maternal nature:  the Church is a mother because she creates new children in faith, nourishes this faith, and offers God's forgiveness and new life.  Look into the penitent's heart's desire; it's the beginning of conversion.  The heart turns to God acknowledging the evil done, but with hope of obtaining pardon.  The desire is reinforced when you decide to change your life and not sin again.  You trust God's mercy and are confident God will understand, forgive, and support you.
    It's not easy to accuse yourself before another man and confess your sin.  People feel shame both for what they did and for having to confess it.  Confessors, show respect and encouragement when you encounter someone's shame.  In front of us there's no sin, just the repentant sinner who wants acceptance and forgiveness.  So don't judge, as if you're immune from sin; rather, act as Noah's sons, who put a blanket over their father to hide his shame:  cover the sinner with a blanket of mercy, so they can recover their dignity.  Bring back the lost sheep with holiness of life, not judgment.

    • 1 Kgs 8:22-23, 27-30  Solomon:  Lord God, you keep your covenant of mercy with your faithful.  Can it be that God dwells on earth? If the heavens cannot contain you, how much less this temple!  Listen to my prayer; watch over this temple.

    • Ps 84:3-5, 10-11  "How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!"  My heart and flesh cry out for God.  Blessed they who dwell in your house!
    • Mk 7:1-13  Pharisees and scribes, observing that some of Jesus' disciples ate with unwashed hands, asked, “Why don't your disciples follow tradition?”  Jesus:  “Hypocrites, you set aside God’s command to cling to human tradition.”
      • Creighton:  Solomon understands a temple built by human hands can't contain God, so he prays that God come down, listen, and forgive.  When we enter into sacred space, we can be drawn into contemplation.  As we approach Lent season, let's draw away from distractions....
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Purity":  The Pharisees and law experts were concerned about purification.  Jesus agreed, but he taught that purification of our relationships was more important than that of hands, food, and utensils.  He gave the example of children dedicating their wealth to God so they couldn't support their parents.  Child-parent relationships need to be purified of selfishness, greed, bitterness, and unforgiveness.  We clean our clothes, dishes, amd streets, but how concerned are we about our relationships?  Whom haven't I forgiven?....
      • Passionist:  "A Mardi Gras that celebrates Mary’s protection":  Another Carnival takes place in Oruro, Bolivia:  traditional folk dances ending tonight in the church plaza.  The story says Oruro people were good, but demons sowed division so they no longer cared for each other.  A savior came, a woman, who sent the demons into the mines.  The conquistadors and Spanish missionaries stopped in, heard the story, and identified the woman as Mary, Mother of Jesus.  Years later, a robber and murderer was wounded and crawled into a mine shaft, but before he died, Mary appeared to offer him forgiveness and peace.  At the carnival is the Dance of the Devils, where St. Michael dances among and subdues the demons.  During Lent we do battle with demons and deal with the chaos sin leaves behind; we're armed with prayer, fasting, and good works.  Mary can be present with us each day.  "On Calvary Mary died to herself, though she was already sinless and selfless.  As her Son died for us, so Mary empties herself so she can see her Son in each person and love us as her Son and be our Mother" (Caryll Houselander).
      • DailyScripture.net:  "Rejecting God's commandments":  The Jews tried to ensure their worship conformed to the instructions God gave Moses.  God called his people to holiness, but in their zeal for holiness, elders developed traditions that burdened people.  The scribes and Pharisees were upset because Jesus allowed his disciples to eat with unclean hands; they sent a delegation to confront him.  Jesus looked at God's intention, giving an example of how they avoided honoring their parents by their use of ritual tradition; they broke God's law to fulfill their own.  They voided God's command by allowing their hearts and minds to be clouded by their own notions.  Jesus accused them of hypocrisy and of substituting their own arguments and interpretations for God's word.  If we listen to God with faith and reverence, it will enlighten our mind, purify our heart, and so enable us to understand how he wants us to love and obey him....

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