May 14, 2016


May 14, 2016:  St. Matthias, Apostle

  • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  The Spirit spoke (1st reading); Pentecost novena
  • 'Gambling' tie:  they chose Matthias by casting lots (1st reading)
  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  Love one another as I love you (gospel)
  • 'Apple' pin:  Go and bear fruit... (gospel)
  • 'Jubilee year' button:  " my joy might be in you and your joy may be complete" (gospel)
For the gospel

    • O Son of Man, our hero strong and tender/ Fletcher: musiclyrics+
For the psalm
For the 1st reading
Pope Francis Amoris Laetitia capsule
Our culture pressures young people not to start a family.  Many postpone marriage for economic reasons, work, or study.  Some don't marry other reasons:  ideologies devaluing marriage and family, desire to avoid failure, fear, perceived benefits of simply living together, merely emotional conception of love, rejection of something "institutional"....  We must find language, arguments, and forms of witness to reach hearts and invite them to take up the challenge of marriage.
Today's culture doesn't set limits on a person’s affectivity, though narcissistic or unstable affectivity doesn't always allow people to mature.  Couples are often uncertain, hesitant, and struggling to find ways to grow; many remain in early stages of affective and sexual life.  A crisis destabilizes the family and may lead to separation, divorce, and serious consequences for adults, children and society.  Marital problems are often confronted in haste, without willingness to reflect, make sacrifices, and forgive.  Failures give rise to new relationships, unions, and marriages, creating complex and problematic family situations.
Population decline, from a mentality against having children, promoted by reproductive health policy, threatens the relationship between generations, economic stability, and hope.  Biotechnology, industrialization, the sexual revolution, fear of overpopulation, economic problems, and consumerism all contribute to the decline.  Upright consciences of spouses who have been generous in transmitting life may lead them to limit the number of their children, yet precisely for the sake of this dignity of conscience, the Church rejects forced State intervention in favor of contraception, sterilization, and abortion; it's unacceptable even where birth rates are high but encouraged even in countries where it's low.  (II:40-42)
    They probably didn't cast lots
    like this...
  • Acts 1:15-17, 20-26  Peter:  “The Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Spirit spoke through David about Judas who was among us and allotted a share in this ministry.  It is written: Let his encampment become desolate, and May another take his office.  One who accompanied us must become with us a witness to his resurrection.”  They proposed two, then prayed, then cast lots.  The lot fell to Matthias, and he was counted with the Eleven Apostles.
  • Ps 113:1-8  "The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people."  Praise the Lord who raises up the lowly.
  • Jn 15:9-17  Jesus:  “I love you.  Remain in my love; if you keep my commandments, you will.  This is my commandment:  love one another as I love you.  No one has greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You're my friends if you do what I command.  I chose you and appointed you to go bear fruit....”

        • Creighton:  St. Matthias was important in the early church.  We too are chosen to be disciples and spread the Word, being living proof of the Savior.  May we love even the 'unlovable' and unfriendly.
        • One Bread, One Body:  "A few choice words":  Christian life is more a matter of being chosen than choosing.  "The Son can't do anything by himself, only what he sees the Father doing."  Our job is primarily to obey:  "I haven't spoken on my own; no, the Father who sent me commanded me."  When we speak "chosen words," we should be allowing the Spirit to choose what to say through us.  "I set before you life and death, blessing and curse.  Choose life."
        • Passionist:  The Lord loves each of us as the Father loves him, and he tells his disciples to remain in his love, to stay close to him.  We love the feeling of being close to God, but it can be a challenge to be strong and focused enough to remain there.  Fortunately it's not all up to us; God gives us the Holy Spirit whose gifts equip us to persevere.
        •  "Receiving God's love and joy":  Jesus is united with his Father in perfect love and joy, and they invite all to join in their bond of love and friendship.  Jesus shows us how:  keep my word, my commandments.   The Lord fills us with his Spirit and transforms us to be like him.  Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment, a way of love and service empowered by his Spirit, responding to his love for us.  We prove our love for God by embracing the way of the cross.  What is the cross in my life?  If we accept God's way, we'll find the joy of love, service, and sacrifice.  Being called God's friend is a special mark of favor:  God called Abraham his friend, and God spoke with Moses as one speaks with his friend.  Jesus calls his disciples friends.  Friendship entails love beyond duty:  "a friend loves at all times."  Jesus loved his own to the endselflessly and generously; he was wholly directed to their good. He gave all he had, his life, to bring the life to believers.  His love compels us to give our best to God and others; it transforms us into his likeness.  He promises that those who abide in him will bear fruit for his kingdom....
        • Universalis:  Matthias, apostle:  Drawing lots to select a candidate for office was a recognized Jewish custom; random events were seen as an expression of God’s will.  Drawing lots wasn't a substitute for human decision (people chose Matthias as a candidate) but a way of putting the final choice into God's hands.  In some ways, we've been chosen by lot too.  See also Catholic Encyclopedia.

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