May 28, 2016

May 28

May 28, 2016:  Saturday, 8th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  Pray in the Spirit (1st reading)

  • 'Hand' tie pin, 'phone' tie bar:  "Lifting up my hands, I'll call on your name." (psalm)

  • '?' tie pin:  “I'll ask you one question." (gospel)

  • Green in shirt:  Ordinary Time season

For the psalm
Pope Francis Amoris Laetitia capsule

Most families respect the elderly, showing them affection and considering them a blessing, but in industrialized societies, where the number of elderly persons is growing, some regard them as a burden.  The care they require can strain their loved ones.  Care and concern for the final stages of life is necessary.  The elderly are at times unfairly exploited for economic advantage.  Many families show us it's possible to approach the last stages of life by emphasizing the importance of a person’s sense of fulfillment and participation in the Lord’s paschal mystery.  Euthanasia and assisted suicide are serious threats; in many countries, they're legal.  The Church opposes them and assists families who take care of their elderly and infirm members.

Many families live in dire poverty and great limitations.  If a single mother has to raise a child and needs to leave the child alone at home while she goes to work, the child is exposed to risks and obstacles to growth.  The Church must offer understanding, comfort, and acceptance, rather than imposing rules that lead people to feel judged and abandoned.  We must offer healing grace and the gospel message.... (II:48-49)
  • Jude 17, 20b-25  Build yourselves up in your faith; pray in the Holy Spirit.  Keep yourselves in God's love, and wait for the Lord's mercy.  Have mercy on the wavering; snatch people from the fire.  To God, through Christ, be glory, majesty, power, and authority forever!
  • Ps 63:2-6  "My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God."  Your kindness is better than life; I'll glorify you, call on you, and be satisfied.
  • Mk 11:27-33  Chief priests, scribes, and elders / Jesus:  “What's your authority?” / “If you answer my question, I'll tell you.  Was John’s baptism of heavenly or human origin?” / ["If we say heavenly, he'll ask why we didn't believe him, but we're afraid to say human because the crowd thinks John was a prophet,"] “We don't know.” / “So I won't tell you about my authority.”
    • Creighton:  “Build yourselves up in your faith.”  Faith can be harder to understand than hope and love.  We're more likely to believe someone who's been reliable before and doubt someone who's been unreliable, and if someone has acted consistently with what they say, our faith is stronger.  After Jesus' resurrection, people believed he rose; they either saw him in his glory or knew someone who had.  But the truth of their faith is their actions:  they lived as he called them to and refused to deny him, even in the face of martyrdom; their faith led to actions consistent with the truth.  “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase” (Martin Luther King, Jr.).  “Faith is to believe what you do n't see; the reward of faith is to see what you believe” (Augustine).   Jesus told Thomas that we who have not seen and still believe are blessed.  "Jude" knew those who manifested their faith by their actions, even in the face of death; Christianity has been based on their foundation of faith.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Fallen-away Catholics?"  Each of us is in danger of falling away from our "devotion to Christ."  Even whole churches can fall away.  Most Christians will apostatize before Jesus comes again.  When he does, will he find faith on earth?  If you think you're upright, watch out lest you fall! "One can protect you from a fall and make you stand unblemished and exultant in his presence.  Glory to this only God our Savior."  We must resist temptation by growing strong in our "faith through prayer in the Spirit."  "Submit to God; resist the devil and he will take flight. Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you...."
    • Passionist:  God's love and mercy will overshadow the dark cloud of fear, mistrust, arrogance, bullying, and meanness that can pervade our existence.  We're called to stand up for our values and beliefs.
    •  "Who gave you this authority?"  Religious leaders didn't accept Jesus' authority. After Jesus cleansed the temple, leaders tried to trap him:  if he said his authority was divine, they'd charge him with blasphemy; if he did it on his own authority, they could arrest him as a mad zealot.  But Jesus saw through their trap....

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