June 18, 2016

June 18

June 18, 2016:  Saturday, 11th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Golden calf' pin:  They began to serve idols (1st reading)
  • 'Stone' pin:  They stoned [him] to death (1st reading)
  • 'Scroll' pin:  "I've made a covenant with my chosen" (psalm)
  • 'Rod' pin (just looks like a key :-):  “I will punish their crime with a rod..." (psalm)
  • Keyboard [looking like stripes] on T-shirt:  "...and their guilt with stripes" (psalm)
  • 'Penny pincher' button:  "You can't serve both God and mammon." (gospel)
  • 'Eyeball' and 'bird' pins:  "Look at the birds in the sky..." (gospel)
  • Clothes:  "Why are you anxious about clothes?" (gospel)
  • 'Flowers' pin:  "Learn from how wild flowers grow" (gospel)

For the psalm
  • All good gifts, from Godspell/ Schwartz (gospel); more including original German text and march tune 
Pope Francis
Jubilee audience on conversion:  The theme is present throughout the Bible, especially in the message of the prophets who continually invited people to return to the Lord.  Conversion for the prophets meant changing direction and turning to the Lord, trusting in his love and faithfulness.  Jesus focused more than them on the interior dimension, making conversion/repentance the first word of his preaching:  “Repent/convert, and believe in the Gospel.”  His call to conversion was expressed not in judgment but in closeness and mercy.  When Jesus calls to conversion, it's from a position of nearness, because he shares the human condition.  Mercy took place through his presence so as to involve each person in salvation history.  Jesus touched people deeply; they felt attracted by God's love and invited to change.  The conversion of Matthew and Zacchaeus happened like that; they felt Jesus' and the Father's love.  The experience of God’s unmerited love in Jesus opens us to true conversion, which always leads to openness to others, especially the poor.

How often have we felt the need to change!  "I can’t go on like this.  My life on this path will be useless and I won't be happy.”  Jesus extends his hand:  “Come to me.  I’ll change you and make you happy.”  Do you believe that?   Jesus invites us to change our life.  He, with the Holy Spirit, seeds in us the restlessness to change for the better.  True conversion happens when we accept grace, and a clear sign is when we become aware of others' needs and ready to draw near to them.  Let us follow the Lord's invitation and not resist, because only if we open ourselves to mercy will we find true life and joy.
To Council for Laity:  A new horizon is opening for the mission of the laity.  Vatican II gave us the mandate to 'push' the faithful to get more involved in the evangelizing mission of the Church, participating in her salvific mission.  Baptism makes every lay person a missionary disciple, salt of the earth, light of the world, yeast that transforms from within.  Look to the future with hope.  Welcome the consolidation of the Council for the Laity with the Council for the Family and the Academy for Life.  The new department will have at its 'helm' Christifideles laici, Evangelii gaudium, and Amoris laetitia.

The Church is always called to go out and be an evangelizing community that knows how to take the initiative without fear, to meet, seek out the distant, and welcome the excluded.  We need to be outward-looking, seeking out families in trouble and needing mercy, the many apostolic fields still unexplored, and generous lay people to put their time, energy, and skill at the service of the Gospel.  We need well-trained lay people animated by faith, touched by Jesus' personal and merciful love, people who take risks, who dirty their hands, who aren't afraid to make mistakes.  We need lay people with vision, the flavor of life’s experiences, and dreams that animate them.  The young need the dreams of the elderly so that they too can dream and give us the power of new apostolic vision.
  • 2 Chr 24:17-15  After Jehoiada died, Judah's princes paid homage to King Joash, forsook the temple, and began to serve idols; because of their crime, wrath came upon Judah.  People didn't listen to the prophets' warnings.  Zechariah, Jehoiada's son:  “God says, ‘Why are you transgressing God's commands?  Because you abandoned the Lord, he abandoned you.’”  They stoned him.  King Joash, unmindful of the devotion shown him, slew his son.  Zechariah, dying: “May the Lord see and avenge.”  Joash's servants killed him because of Jehoiada's murder.
  • Ps 89:4-5, 29-34  "For ever I will maintain my love for my servant."  I have made a covenant with David to establish his throne and make his posterity endure.  I'll be faithful forever.
  • Mt 6:24-34  “No one can serve two masters; you can't serve God and mammon.  Don't worry about your life, food, drink, or clothes.  Birds don't sow, reap, or gather, but your Father feeds them—aren't you more important?  Flowers don't work or spin, but not even Solomon was clothed like them—won't God provide for you?  Your Father knows what you need; seek God's Kingdom and it'll be given to you.  Tomorrow will take care of itself.”
    • Creighton:  The 1st reading and gospel are related:  Judah's princes engaged in conduct that showed they'd lost their focus on God.  Jesus says we should focus on what matters and live more simply, faith-filled.  The blessings we enjoy may be roadblocks; our attachments can make it harder to live in harmony with God, detached from what doesn't matter, and helping bring about God's Kingdom here.  May we find God's comfort in the uncomfortable, open our hands instead of grasping, and seek the simple.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Defeated by almost nothing?"  Jehoiada brought repentance from idolatry, worship of the true God for some 40 years, and restoration of the temple, but after he died, the people forsook the temple, served idols, and killed his son when he prophesied against them, and the Lord surrendered many of them to the Arameans.  Today some claim to be the "moral majority" but, overcome in the world's pollution, don't fight against abortion and euthanasia and for religious liberty.  May we all rise from sin into salvation and victory.
    • Passionist:  “You can't serve God and mammon.”  Scholars suggest 'mammon' meant money, wealth, or possessions, or “what you trust in.”  Jesus was focusing on our attitude towards wealth:  do we 'serve' it?  We must resist being seduced by wealth and resist letting needless anxiety take control.  Self-focus can become our ‘mammon.’  If we give something power over us, it'll blur our vision of God, people, and values.  May we trust in God’s loving care; he knows our needs and will provide....
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Why are you anxious?"  "Serving two masters" and "being anxious" share the problem of division within oneself.  The root for 'anxiety' means 'being of two minds.'  Fear of a bad outcome cripples those afflicted with anxiety and those trying to live in opposing kingdoms.  Our "master" is what shapes our thoughts, ideals, desires, and values.  Love of money, possessions, or power, or unruly passions or addictive cravings, can drive us, but the Lord can set us free.  God, who created and sustains all that lives, will sustain our bodies, minds, hearts, and souls.  He taught us to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread," the staple of life and symbol of all we need to live.  Anxiety is neither helpful nor necessary; it robs us of faith and confidence and saps our energy.  Jesus tells us to seek the things of God and put away anxiety and preoccupation.  God knows our needs and gives to those who trust him.

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