May 16, 2016

May 16

May 16, 2016:  Monday, 7th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Owl' tie pin:  Wisdom (1st reading, psalm)
  • 'Fruits' tie:  Wisdom is full of good fruits; the fruit of justice (1st reading)
  • 'Girl with heart' and 'eyeball' pins:  The Lord's precepts rejoice the heart and enlighten the eye (psalm)
  • 'Scales of justice' pin, 'peace sign' tie bar:  The fruit of justice is sown in peace (1st reading); the Lord's ordinances are just (psalm)
  • 'Rock' tie pin:  Lord, my rock (psalm)
  • 'Car' tie pin:  Jesus 'drove' out the mute spirit... (gospel)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  ...then took him by the hand (gospel)
  • Green shirt and suspenders:  Ordinary Time season resumes

For the psalm
Pentecost, celebrated yesterday, used to have an octave, and this part of Ordinary Time, from today to the day before Advent begins, used to be known as the Season of the Holy Spirit and its "Sundays in Ordinary Time" as "Sundays after Pentecost."  Perhaps the now-abrupt shift is to encourage us to be attentive to the Holy Spirit in our daily life.  But feel free to listen to the music I posted yesterday; I bet you didn't make it through it all yet... 
Pope Francis
Pentecost homily:  The central purpose of Jesus' mission, culminating in the gift of the Spirit, was to renew our relationship with the Father, one severed by sin, to take us from being orphaned children, and to restore us as his children.  “All led by the Spirit are God's children.  You didn't receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but the spirit of sonship, which enables us to cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’”  Our relationship is renewed; God's paternity is re-established in us thanks to Christ's redemptive work and the gift of the Spirit.
The Spirit, given by the Father, leads us back to the Father.  Salvation is “re-generation,” in which God's fatherhood, through the gift of the Son and Spirit, frees us from being orphans.  Today we see signs of our being orphans:  interior loneliness, the attempt to be free of God, spiritual illiteracy, difficulty in grasping the truth of eternal life beginning here and flowering after death, how hard it is to see others as brothers and sisters....  Being God's children, our vocation, in our DNA, runs contrary to all.  But the relationship was ruined and required the sacrifice of Jesus for it to be restored.  From that gift of love, the Spirit was poured out upon humanity like a torrent of grace.  Those immersed into this mystery of regeneration are reborn to the fullness of filial life.
Jesus words, “I won't leave you orphans,” remind us of Mary's maternal presence in the Upper Room.  Jesus' Mother is with the disciples gathered in prayer; she's the living remembrance of the Son, the living invocation of the Spirit, and Mother of the Church.  We entrust to her intercession all Christians, families, and communities most in need of the Spirit, the Paraclete, the Defender and Comforter, the Spirit of truth, freedom and peace.  The Spirit unites us to Christ:  “Anyone without the Spirit of Christ doesn't belong to him.”  Strengthening our relationship of belonging to the Lord, the Spirit enables us to enter into a new experience of fraternity.  By means of Jesus our Brother, we can relate to each other not as orphans but as children of the same merciful Father.  This changes everything!  We can see each other as brothers and sisters whose differences only increase our joy at sharing in this unique fatherhood and brotherhood.
Regina Cœli:  Open your mind and heart to the Spirit, the principal gift Jesus obtained with his Resurrection and Ascension.
Jesus says, “If you love me, keep my commandments. And I'll ask the Father, and he'll give you another Paraclete to be with you always.”  He reminds us that love is shown in deeds, not words.  The command to keep the commandments must affect our whole life.  Being Christians isn't primarily about culture or adhering to doctrine, but rather joining one’s life to Jesus, and, through him, the Father.  For this Jesus promises to send the Spirit:  through the Spirit, the love uniting and proceeding from Father and Son, we can live the life of Jesus.
The Spirit also teaches and helps us remember.  The Spirit doesn't bring teaching different from Jesus' but helps make his teaching present and active in our lives.  May the Blessed Virgin Mary obtain for us the grace of being animated by the Spirit, that we might bear witness to Christ with evangelical frankness, and open ourselves more and more to the fullness of his love.
  • Jas 3:13-18  If you're wise, show your works by a good life, but if you're jealous and ambitious, don't boast.  True wisdom is pure, peaceable, gentle, compliant, sincere, and full of mercy and good fruits.  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for those who sow peace.
  • Ps 19:8, 9, 10, 15  "The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart."  God's law is perfect, just, true, refreshing, giving wisdom, enlightening, enduring.
  • Mk 9:14-29  “Teacher, here's my son, foaming at the mouth, possessed by a spirit your disciples couldn't drive out.” / “Everything is possible to one with faith.” / “I believe; help my unbelief!”  He drove the spirit out and raised the boy.  To disciples:  “This kind can only come out through prayer.”
    • Creighton:  Possibly mercy is not something given or bestowed but rather acquired, grown into, more of a disposition, a way of being, perhaps coming from wisdom, faith, grace, or age.  It's not one-way, coming from on high; it must come from us and flow between, around, and among us.  It flows like a river, quenching thirst along the way.  It's grounded in an intimate relationship with Jesus and the Father.  In today’s gospel Jesus says,“This kind [of healing] can only come through prayer,” his relationship with Abba.  Jesus loved the poor, the sick, the lame, the forgotten and outcasts.  Mercy is not merely 'doing for' or 'giving of'; it's compassionate presence, sincere acceptance, entering another's plight and joy.  I don’t have to beg for mercy, just accept it and keep it alive.  It’s free but needs to be shared.
      The healing of the lunatic boy/ Reilly
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Correcting the problem":  Jesus challenged the epileptic's father to look at the situation in a new way.  The father was looking for their rescue, but Jesus challenged him to take responsibility, accept correction, admit his weak faith, and pray for faith.  Jesus had just admonished the crowd for being unbelieving and would later correct the disciples for their lack of prayer.  In my problems may I take responsibility, take correction, admit my weak faith, and pray for faith...
    • Passionist:  Today's gospel is immediately preceded by Jesus' Transfiguration.  When he and his disciples come down from the mountain, a crowd meets them, upset with the disciples because they couldn't perform the miracles Jesus could.  Mark ascribed their failure not to lack of faith but inattention to the source of faith, prayer and fasting....
    • "All things are possible to the one who believes": Jesus' response after his disciples disappointed the father by not healing his epileptic son, though it seems stern, was tempered with compassion: he was dismayed with the disciples' lack of faith and wanted to meet the boy's and father's need. Recognizing the father’s weak faith, he challenged him to pray boldly. “Where faith fails, prayer perishes. Who prays for what he doesn't believe in? So believe, and pray that our not falter” (Augustine). The Lord gives us his Spirit so we'll have the confidence and boldness to ask our Father for his help.
    When Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, the boy seemed to get worse, going into convulsions.  “Though it was the boy who fell, it was the devil in him who was in anguish. The boy was merely convulsed, while the spirit was being convicted by the judge. The captive was detained, but the captor was punished.  Through the wrenching of the human body, the punishment of the devil was made manifest” (Peter Chrysologus).  God promises freedom from oppression, especially from the oppression of sin and the evil one. The Lord invites us, as he did the boy’s father, to pray with faith.  Jesus' signs demonstrate that God's kingdom is present in him and he's the promised Messiah....
      • John Stone, martyr: “I close my apostolate in my blood. In my death I'll find life, for I die for the defense of God's Church, infallible and immaculate.”

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