June 16, 2016

June 16

June 16, 2016:  Thursday, 11th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Chariot' and 'horse' tie pins:  "You were taken aloft in a chariot with fiery horses." (1st reading)
  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  "You were destined to turn back fathers' hearts toward their sons" (1st reading)
  • 'Skeleton' tie pin:  "Beneath Elisha flesh was brought back into life." (1st reading)
  • 'Waxy mountain' pin:  "The mountains melt like wax before the Lord" (psalm)
  • 'Words' tie:  Babbling pagans think they'll be heard because of their many words (gospel)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  Give us this day our daily bread (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

Pope Francis homily
We receive our identity as children through the Father.  My Christian identity is to be his child.  Nobody can say ‘Father’ without the grace of the Spirit.  Jesus said ‘Father’ in the most important or challenging moments of his life.  Unless we feel we're his children, our prayer is a pagan one, just words.
The Our Father is the cornerstone of our prayer life.  If we can't start our prayer with "Father," it'll go nowhere.  It’s about feeling him look at me, feeling it's not a waste of time like pagan prayers; it’s a call to him who gave me my identity as his child.  We can pray to Saints and Angels and go on processions and pilgrimages, but we have to begin with ‘Father’ and be aware we're his children and that he loves us and knows our needs.
The part of the prayer referring to our forgiving those who trespass against us conveys the sense of us being part of one family.  Rather than behaving like Cain who hated his brother, we must forgive and forget, not harbor rancor, resentment, or desire for revenge.  The best prayer we can say is to ask God to forgive everybody and forget their sins.
If you don't feel God is your Father, ask the Spirit to teach you to feel it.  If you can't forget offenses, forgive, and let go, ask the Father, "These people who did something horrible to me are your children.  Help me forgive them!"  ‘Father’ and ‘our’ give us our identity as his children and give us a family to journey with. 
  • Sir 48:1-14  The prophet Elijah appeared like a fire, shut up the heavens, brought down fire, revived a dead man, destroyed kings, brought down nobles, and anointed kings and his successor.  He was taken up in fire, destined to put an end to wrath, to turn fathers' hearts toward their sons, and to re-establish the tribes of Jacob.  Elisha wrought marvels by his word.  He feared no one, and nothing was beyond his power.  In life and after death he performed wonders.
  • Ps 97:1-7  "Rejoice in the Lord, you just!"  The Lord is king.  Fire goes before him and consumes his foes.  He illumines the world; mountains melt like wax before him.  The heavens proclaim his justice.
  • Mt 6:7-15  “In praying, don't babble; your Father knows what you need.  Pray:  ‘Our Father, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done.  Give us our daily bread, and forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us....  Deliver us from evil.’  If you forgive others, your Father will forgive you; if you don't, he won't.”
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Dare to say 'Abba'":  "How awesome are you, Elijah!"  But he's only a creature of God:  "Greater is He than all His works; awful His majesty, wonderful His power."  Jesus instructs us to address God as "Abba," ("Papa"); one who didn't accept Jesus' authority would consider that shocking, blasphemous, but we dare to address God like that.  The Spirit cries "Abba" in us.  We glory in the freedom of being Abba's children.  This is how we are to pray...
    • Passionist:  In the early Church only the baptized were allowed to say the Our Father.  In Matthew there are seven petitions; Luke, four.  Matthew’s version was recited in a liturgical setting; Luke’s, a baptismal setting.  Matthew addresses God as “Heavenly Father” Luke as “Abba.”  Both versions demonstrate a personal relationship with the Father and are models for prayer.  They teach us we need to have a personal relationship with God, and place his concerns first.  We present our needs as long as they enter into God’s purposes.  We persist in our prayers so we may discern God's will.  Prayer is working with God for others' salvation.  We trust that our loving God listens to and answers our prayers....
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Your Father knows what you need":  The Jews were noted for their devotion to prayer.  Jesus taught the Our Father, daring us to call God "our Father" and ask for what we need.  Through the Spirit we can know God, call him "Abba," and approach him with confidence.  When we ask God for help, he gives us grace and mercy; he gives more than we need so we can share with others.  God expects us to treat others as kindly as he treats us...
    • Universalis:  St. Richard of Chichester, turned around farm, bishop. reformer:  “Thank you, my Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits you bestowed on me, for all the pains and insults you bore for me.  You know, Lord, I'm ready to bear insults, torments, and death for you; and as you know this, have mercy on me, for to you I commend my soul.”

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