March 7, 2016

March 7

March 7, 2016:  Monday, 4th week, Lent

  • 'Jubilee year' button:  "I create Jerusalem to be a joy" (1st reading); rejoicing comes with the dawn (psalm)
  • 'Castle' pin:  They'll live in the houses they build... (1st reading)
  • 'Fruits' tie:  ...and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant (1st reading)
  • Clear pin:  Lord, you drew me clear (psalm)
  • OneLife LA sign button [forgot to pack, so the Jubilee Year 'sign' button has to do]:  "Unless you see signs... you won't believe"; "This was the 2nd sign" (gospel)
  • 'Money' tie, 'swine' suspenders for yesterday's "prodigal son" gospel

  • Fever/ Cooley, Blackwell (gospel-inspired :-)

3rd Lenten Reflection on the Word of God, concluded from yesterday
Papal preacher Fr. Cantalamessa
Evangelization and compassion
Having righteous intentions is a way to obtain the Spirit.  My intention in preaching can be contaminated for various reasons, e.g. self-interest, envy, partisanship, rivalry; lack of love encompasses them all:  “If I speak... but have not love, I'm a noisy gong or clanging cymbal.”
One can proclaim Christ for reasons unrelated to love:  proselytism, to boost church membership....  If they're the only motives, they're not enough.  The gospel of love can only be proclaimed through love.  If we don't love those before us, our words become stones hearers need to take refuge from, like people who take cover in a hailstorm.
God compelled Jonah to go preach in Nineveh, but the Ninevites were Israel's enemies, so Jonah didn't love them. He's pleased when he cries out, “40 days and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”  When the Ninevites repent and God spares them. Jonah goes through a crisis.  God tells him, “Should I not pity that great city of more than 120,000?” God spends more effort converting the preacher than all of Nineveh.
Love people, and love Jesus.  Love of Christ ought to impel us.  “Do you love me?” / “Feed my sheep.”  Shepherding and preaching must come from love for Christ.  Only one in love with Jesus can proclaim him with conviction. People speak passionately only about what they love.
Proclaiming the gospel, through life or words, we give glory and joy to Jesus.  The joy and well-being a person experiences in feeling life return to a limb that was paralyzed is a small indication of the joy Christ experiences when he feels the Spirit bring a member of his body back to life.
“Like the cold of snow at harvest time is a faithful messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the spirit of his masters.”  The images of heat and coolness make us think of Jesus on the cross crying, “I thirst!”  The great “harvester” is thirsty for souls; we're called to refresh them with our humble, devoted service.  May the Spirit, “the principal agent of evangelization,” grant that we give Jesus this joy through our words and works....
  • Is 65:17-21  I'll create new heavens and earth.  There shall be rejoicing and happiness; I create Jerusalem to be a joy and its people a delight.  No longer shall there be weeping; they'll live in their houses and eat the fruit of their vineyards...
  • Ps 30:2, 4-6, 11-12a, 13b  "I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me."  Sing praise and give thanks:  his anger lasts but a moment; a lifetime, his good will.
  • Jn 4:43-54  When a royal official heard Jesus had arrived in Galilee, he went and asked him to come heal his son.  Jesus / official: “Unless you see signs, you won't believe.” / “Sir, come down before my child dies.” / “Go; he'll live.”  He believed and left.  The boy began to recover at that time; he and his household came to believe.
    • Creighton:  Christian faith is filled with hope built on the foundation of the examples of God's love for us.  In the 1st reading, God promises things that bring rejoicing; in the gospel, Jesus acts with mercy and compassion.   The psalm invites us to respond with praise and gratitude for God's gifts.  What signs do I see from God today? Children, people who love me or care for people who are hurting?  When am I caught in the trap of seeking evil?  How am I seeking the good, God, in my daily life?
      Saints Perpetua and Felicity
    • One Bread, One Body:  "In 20 days":  The Lord promises "to create new heavens and a new earth."  If we let God have his way, our culture of death will be displaced by love and life.  When we "trust in the word," our culture will begin to be healed.  On Easter Sunday, we'll be challenged to express our faith by renewing our baptismal promises.  If we say, mean, and live "I do," our culture will be raised up. " Don't let your hearts be troubled.  Have faith in God and in me."
    •  "Jesus, divine physician":  Isaiah prophesied God would restore his people and create new heavens and earth.  Jesus' miracles manifest God's presence and his kingdom's coming.  When the official heard of Jesus’ preaching and miracles, he decided to seek him out; it took courage and humility for him to search for a Galilean carpenter.  Jesus likely said "people wouldn't believe unless they saw a miracle" to test his faith; then he sent him home with the assurance that his prayer was answered.  It was probably hard for him to return with only an assuring word from Jesus.  Couldn't Jesus have come and laid his hands on the child?  But he believed and heard of his son's recovery before he even returned.  Jesus' healings show his kindness and love.  Where do I need healing, pardon, change, or restoration?

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