May 27, 2016

May 27

May 27, 2016:  Friday, 8th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "The end is at 'hand.'" (1st reading)
  • Orange suspenders:  "A trial by fire is occurring among you," (1st reading)
  • 'Scales of justice' tie:  "The Lord comes to judge the earth" (psalm)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  "The Lord is king." (psalm)
  • 'Tree' pin:  All the trees shall exult (psalm); fig tree (gospel)
  • 'Car' tie pin:  Jesus 'drove' the money changers out of the temple area (gospel)
  • 'Heart' tie bar:  Don't doubt in your heart (gospel) [Ouch:  I just discovered that my 'girl with heart' pin fell off before Wednesday's picture!  Unfortunately though a heart is engraved on this tie bar, I don't see it in the snapshot.]
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

Pope Francis Amoris Laetitia capsule
We must face migration and its negative effects on family life, expanding the Church's witness to the gospel in this area.  Human mobility can enrich families that migrate and countries that welcome them, but forced migration, because of war, persecution, poverty, or injustice, can put lives at risk, traumatize people, and destabilize families.  We must help families that migrate as well as members who remain behind.  Migration is particularly devastating when it takes place illegally and is supported by human trafficking, or when when it involves women or children forced to endure long periods in temporary facilities and camps, where they can't start an integration process.  Poverty and other family breakdown situations sometimes lead families to sell their children for prostitution or organ trafficking.  The persecution of Christians and minorities is a great trial for the Church and the international community.  We need to help families and Christian communities remain in their native lands,
Dealing with a family member's disability can upset the family's equilibrium, desires, and expectations.  We admire families who lovingly accept a special needs child; they give witness of faithfulness to the gift of life.  They can discover, with us, new approaches, ways of acting, and ways of understanding and identifying with others, by welcoming and caring for the frail human life.  People with disabilities are gifts for their families and opportunities to grow in love, mutual aid, and unity.  When families accept the presence of special needs persons, they'll recognize and ensure the quality and value of every human life.  This will promote care and services on behalf of these disadvantaged persons and will encourage people to draw near them and provide affection.  Dedication to and concern for migrants and persons with special needs is a sign of the Spirit.  Both situations test our commitment to show mercy in welcoming others and to help the vulnerable.  (II:46-47)
  • 1 Pt 4:7-13  The end is near; be serious so you can pray.  Love one another intensely.  Be hospitable without complaining.  Serve with God-given strength.  Preach with God's words.  You're being tried, but rejoice that you share Christ's sufferings.
  • Ps 96:10-13  "The Lord comes to judge the earth."  The Lord is king.  He made the world and governs with equity.  Rejoice!
  • Mk 11:11-26  Jesus, hungry, saw the tree had no figs, cursed it.  He entered the temple area, drove out sellers, buyers, and money changers:  My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you've made it a robbers' den.”  The chief priests wanted to kill him but feared him because the crowd was astonished at his teaching.  Jesus, when they saw the withered tree:  “Have faith in God.  When you pray, believe you'll receive and you will.  Forgive, and your Father will forgive you.”
      Cursing the fig tree
      (Byzantine icon)
    • Creighton:  First the disciples heard Jesus curse a fig tree for not having any fruit, even though it wasn't in season; then they saw him angrily overturn tables in the temple.  Jesus wants them to know of his identity, authority, and power.  He chose us and appointed us to bear lasting fruit.  He looks for figs and is disappointed to find none; he didn't see any 'fruit' (good works) in the temple area either.  We'll wither if we reject his teachings.  We must put faith in God and pray believing we'll receive what we ask for.  God always keeps his promises and answers our prayers; nothing is impossible with him.  Prayer purifies or cleanses our heart and can remove guilt.  Jesus wants us to forgive and love like the Father.  "Love covers a multitude of sins."  “Since love grows within us, so beauty grows, for love is the soul's beauty” (Augustine).  God can turn our unforgiveness into love.  What do I need to surrender and entrust to the Lord?
    • One Bread, One Body:  "When your world falls apart," love one another, trust God, don't be perturbed, remain calm, pray, forgive, serve one another, don't be surprised you're being tried, and rejoice in sharing Christ's sufferings.  We can because of our personal relationship with Jesus. When we surrender our lives to him, we know nothing can separate us from his love."
      Christ cleansing the temple/ Mei
      More art
    • Passionist:  “Let your love for one another be intense....  Be hospitable to one another....  As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s grace.”  What are your gifts, and how do you share them in serving others?
    •  "Have faith in God":  Fig trees were an important source of food; a decaying tree was linked with spiritual decay.  The unfruitful tree symbolized Israel's unresponsiveness to God.  The languishing tree signified the desolation of Israel due to her unfaithfulness to God.  The history of Israel is a preparation for the Messiah's coming.  Jesus' cursing of a fig tree is a prophetic action against the faithlessness of those reject him.  Faith must be nourished with the Word and rooted in love to be fruitful.  Jesus cleansed the temple of those using it to exploit worshipers.  Money changers charged unfair prices to the poor; their 'robbery' dishonored God and was unjust toward others.  Then Jesus exhorts his disciples to have faith and pray with faith.  "To remove mountains" meant "to remove difficulties."  If we pray with faith, God will help us overcome obstacles.   If we want God to hear us, we must forgive those who wrong us....

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