June 15, 2016

June 15

June 15, 2016:  Wednesday, 11th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Chariot' and 'horse' tie pins:  "A flaming chariot and flaming horses came between Elijah and Elisha" (1st reading)
  • 'Wall Street' tie:  Elisha stood at the 'bank' of the Jordan (1st reading)
  • 'Abacus' tie pin:  When Elisha struck the water, it divided.  [abaci do divide] (1st reading)
  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  "Let your hearts take comfort" (psalm)
  • 'Angel with trumpet' pin:  "When you give alms, don't blow a trumpet" (gospel)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "Don't let your left hand know what your right is doing" (gospel)
  • 'Eyeball' pin (oops, forgot; see here):  Don't pray so others may see you (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time (season)

For psalm 
In the account of Jesus restoring sight to a blind man on the way to Jericho, the blind man was begging; until not long ago, a person with disability had no choice but to live on charity.  He represents those marginalized because of a disadvantage, physical or otherwise.  He's separated from the crowd that goes about business as usual; for him the busy street is a place of solitude.  The image is especially sad in Jericho, where the Israelites arrived after the Exodus, when Moses said, "If one of your kindred is in need, don't harden your heart or close your hand."

How often do we feel annoyed when we see sick or hungry people in the streets, or migrants?  Indifference and hostility make us blind and deaf, stopping us from seeing others and recognizing the Lord in them.  Jesus doesn't ignore or silence the blind man.  When Jesus comes, there's always liberation and salvation.

Only the blind man recognizes Jesus, who, acknowledging his faith, restores his sight, moving him from the edge of the street to the center of the attention.  Not only does he become a disciple, but the crowd too now sees, opened to the meaning of this encounter of mercy, and praises God.  When we've been in bad situations, even ones where we sinned, Jesus took us by the hand and moved us from the margins to the road of salvation.  The Lord’s passage is an encounter of mercy that brings us together and permits us to recognize those in need of help and consolation.  May we too open our eyes and hearts to God’s love for the poor and to the gift of healing he offers.  More
  • 2 Kgs 2:1, 6-14  When the Lord was about to take Elijah up, he and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.  Elijah / Elisha, “Please stay here.” / “I won't leave you,” and they went on together. / “What may I do for you?” / “May I receive a double portion of your spirit.” / “That's not easy, but if you see me taken up, your wish will be granted.” / A flaming chariot and horses came, and Elijah went up. / “My father!”  Elisha tore his garment, picked up Elijah's mantle, went back to the Jordan, and struck the water; it divided and he crossed.
  • Ps 31:20, 21, 24  "Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord."  Great is the goodness in store for those who take refuge in you.  You hide them from human plottings.  Love the Lord!
  • Mt 6:1-6, 16-18  “Don't perform good deeds so people see, or the Father won't reward you.  When you give alms, don't blow a trumpet to win praise; don't let your left hand know what your right is doing.  When you pray, don't stand and pray so others see you; go to your inner room, and pray to your Father in secret.  When you fast, don't look gloomy or neglect your appearance so others think you're fasting; anoint your head and wash your face, so only your Father knows.  When you give alms, pray, and fast in secret, your Father will see and repay you.
    • Creighton:  Jesus says we shouldn't worry about what others are doing or how we appear to others.  Hypocrites make a big show of their spirituality; their point is the attention, not the works....
      Healing of the blind man of Jericho/ Gerung
      See also van LeydenBloch
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Leaving and staying":  To receive a double portion of God's Spirit is a matter of leaving and staying. We must leave behind sin, the world, the flesh, and the devil, and good things too.  Some of us must leave behind good things to be filled with the Spirit.  In addition to leaving, we need to stay with Jesus, as Elisha with Elijah.  We stay with Jesus by staying with almsgiving, prayer, fasting, reading scripture, the Church, witnessing, faithfulness, and ministry....
    • Passionist:   In the 1st reading we see Elijah the prophet, who speaks to and for God, is more powerful than King Ahab.  Jesus will speak of Elijah’s return in the person of John the Baptist.  God always sends the prophet we need.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "When you pray, fast, and give alms":  The Jews considered prayer, fasting, and almsgiving as the cardinal works of religious life, key signs of a pious person, pillars of the good life.  Do you do them to draw attention to yourself or to give glory to God?  "When I'm completely united to you, there will be no more sorrows or trials; full of you, my life will be complete" (Augustine)
    • Today's saints, from Universalis:  Bl. Peter Snow and Ralph Grimston:  Priest Snow and married priest-protector Grimston, martyrs

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