May 21, 2016

May 21

May 21, 2016:  Saturday, 7th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Fruit' pin:  Elijah prayed...  and the earth produced fruit (1st reading)
  • Watch:  Set a 'watch' before my mouth (psalm)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  Lord, I 'call' to you (psalm)
  • 'Hands' tie:  Let my prayer, the lifting up of my hands, come before you (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  My eyes are turned to you (psalm)

  • 'Children' pin:  let them come to me (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time (season)

Pope Francis Amoris Laetitia capsule
The weakening of faith and religious practice in society isolates families in their difficulties.  Loneliness is a symptom of the poverty of contemporary culture; it arises from the absence of God in a person’s life and from fragile relationships.  People feel powerless in the face of socio-cultural realities that crush families…  Families feel abandoned because institutions aren't interested in them.  The effects:  the demographic crisis, difficulty of raising children, hesitancy to welcome new life, seeing older persons as burdens, more emotional problems, violence.  The State should pass laws and create work to help young people form families.
The lack of dignified housing often postpones formal relationships.  Families have the right to fitting housing and basic services for family and community life.  We must insist on family rights, not only individual rights.  We must protect the family; we can't do without it.  The Church has always promoted and defended marriage and family, especially today when political agendas don't attend to them.  Families can suffer terribly when they lack access to adequate health care dignified employment, education, and cultural and social activities.  Families suffer from work-related problems like limited, insecure possibilities, long workdays, and extended periods away from home, keeping family members from gathering together.

Many children are born outside of wedlock and grow up with just one parents or in a blended family.  Children are sexually exploited; sexual abuse of children is even more scandalous when it occurs in 'safe' places like families, schools, communities, and Christian institutions.  Violence from war, terrorism, or organized crime also weakens families.  (II:43-45)
  • Jas 5:13-20  If you're suffering, pray; if you're in good spirits, sing praise.  If you're sick, summon the presbyters to pray over and anoint you; the prayer will save you.  Confess your sins to one another, pray for one another, and be healed.  Whoever brings back a sinner will save his soul and cover a multitude of sins.
  • Mk 10:13-16  “Let the children come to me; the Kingdom belongs to such as these.  Whoever doesn't accept the Kingdom like a child won't enter it.”  Then he embraced and blessed the children.
    • Creighton:  Prayer and healing.  Praying is easier said than done, given time challenges and how hard it can be to see prayer's effects.  But if prayer leads to my life being made whole, then I have to trust that my prayer is working good in me.  If I trust God is active, then I can call myself to prayer with hope and belief prayer is changing me.  I'm being healed, growing into the person God wants me to be, even if my problems don't go away.  We're asked to exercise this trust in a childlike way.  Adults aren't asked to be like children in a naive way, believing that our trust will remove all suffering and difficulty; rather, we're invited to trust God is working good in me, amidst all joys, sorrows, triumphs, and trials....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Pray day":  The Christians James addressed were divided and lukewarm; they needed help desperately.  James concluded the best thing to do was to pray.  Pray for those suffering, sick, and strayed.  Pray whether or not you feel like it; don't lose heart, and don't stop.  The Spirit will help us...
    • Passionist:  We're invited and encouraged to deepen our prayer lives.  Bless your children; when we do, the Lord is touching them through us.  We can pray for anyone and be an instrument to let the Lord bless others....
    •  "Receive the kingdom of God like a child":  Jesus rebuked his disciples for hindering the children from coming.  The disciples may have wanted to shield him from the nuisance, but he delighted in them and demonstrated God's love has room for everyone.  He comes to each person to touch them with his healing love.  Children were at the bottom of the social ladder, with no rights, privileges, or resources; they were totally dependent on their parents.  We are totally dependent on God, our Creator, Author, and Sustainer.  Jesus taught his disciples to honor, respect, and trust God, as children trust in their parents.  God gives generously to those who trust him and approach with childlike simplicity and humility....

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