June 27, 2016

June 27

June 27, 2016:  Monday, 13th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Tree,' 'fruit' pins:  "I destroyed the Amorites, who were as tall as cedars and as strong as oaks.  I destroyed their fruit..." (1st reading)
  • 'Horse' tie pin:  "The horseman won't save his life." (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  "I'll draw evildoers up before your eyes." (psalm)
  • 'Birds' tie:  "Birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

For gospel
Pope Francis
Joint statement on justice and peace:  We, Pope Francis and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II thank the Almighty for the growing closeness between the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Catholic Church in their witness to the Gospel.  We're grateful we could be together to oppose discrimination and violence and to commemorate the victims of “the extermination of a million and a half Armenian Christians, in... the first genocide of the 20th century.”  We praise the Lord that the Christian faith is again vibrant in Armenia, and that the Churches collaborate on their mission to build a world of solidarity, justice, and peace.
Tragically, innocent people are being killed, displaced, or forced into exile by conflicts, and minorities have become the target of persecution and cruelty, suffering for their belief.  Martyrs' suffering is an “ecumenism of blood” transcending divisions and calling us to promote unity.  We pray for a change of heart in all who commit such crimes and all who can stop the violence.  We implore leaders to listen to the millions longing for peace and justice, who demand respect for their rights, who need bread.  Religious values are being presented in a fundamentalist way to justify hatred, discrimination, and violence:  unacceptable, for “God is the author of peace.”  Respect for religious differences is necessary for peaceful cohabitation.  We're called to work towards reconciliation and peace.
Mindful of Matthew 25, we ask the faithful to open their hearts and hands to victims of war and terrorism, to refugees and their families.  At issue is the sense of our humanity, solidarity, compassion, and generosity.  Much is being done, but much more is needed to ensure the right to peace and security, to uphold the rule of law, to protect minorities, and to combat human trafficking and smuggling.
Secularization leads to a desacralized and materialistic vision of humanity.  We're concerned about the crisis of the family.  Our Churches share the same vision of the family, based on marriage, an act of freely given, faithful love between man and woman.  Despite divisions among Christians, we realize that what unites us is more than what divides us.  The relationship between our Churches has entered a new phase, strengthened by our prayers and efforts.  We're convinced of the importance of furthering this relationship, engaging in deeper collaboration in theology, prayer, and active local cooperation, with a view to sharing full communion and concrete expressions of unity.  We urge our faithful to work together for the promotion of Christian values that contribute to building a civilization of justice and peace.  May the Holy Spirit sustain every genuine effort to build bridges of love and communion between us.
Read about his inflight press conference too.
  • Am 2:6-10, 13-16  Lord:  Israel has committed crimes.  I who led you through the desert and destroyed the strong Amorites, will now crush you, and you won't escape.
  • Ps 50:16bc-23  "Remember this, you who never think of God."  Why do you recite my statutes but hate discipline?  You steal, commit adultery, speak against others, and spread rumors.  I'll correct you.  Those who offer praise as a sacrifice glorify me, and I'll save all who go the right way.
  • Mt 8:18-22  Jesus, seeing the crowd, gave orders to cross to the other shore.  Scribe / Jesus:  “I'll follow you wherever you go.” / “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest.”  Disciple / Jesus:  “Let me go bury my father first.” / “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”
    • Creighton:  Amos, a common man from a village, points out God is aware of the people's sins, they often forget God's forgiveness and deliverance, and that judgment and discipline are often the result of their choices.  The psalm reinforces the message, detailing consequences of actions of those who “never think of God.”  We can fall into the same trap.  Are we aware of God’s presence?  Do our thoughts, words, and actions grasp that God is beside us?  Are my quick judgments,  unkind thoughts and words, and blindness to others' needs any worse than Amos's list?  We can find it hard to keep focus on God, instead following worldly influences that lead to pain and forgetting when God brought us through hard times and blessed us in spite of our wandering.  God can use each of us to make a difference.  We must focus on following Jesus....

    • One Bread, One Body:  "Discipleship comes first":  Jesus didn't allow a potential disciple to bury his father first.  Exegetes point out that the father had not yet died; to be Jesus' disciple, we must renounce our possessions.  In the language of Jesus' time, there were no words to express loving more and loving less, just 'love' and 'hate.'  Loving Jesus comes first; in comparison, other relationships seem hateful.  When Elisha asked to say farewell to his parents, Elijah permitted it.  Elisha proved his commitment to being Elijah's disciple by slaughtering his oxen and chopping his plow for fuel; he had no way to return to farming.  Jesus calls us to be his disciples; following him comes first.
    • Passionist:  God's Kingdom demands such attention to the present moment.  Jesus' words stun us from our complacency and shock us into the realization that the Kingdom is now.  Thinking about the past or worrying about the future is not being immersed in awareness of the present.  So many distractions can keep us from being present to the reality of the Kingdom among us now....
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Teacher, I'll follow you wherever you go":  It costs our lives to be Jesus' followers, but he promises us all we need to follow him and more.  One prospective follower paid Jesus the highest compliment by calling him "teacher"; Jesus advised him to count the cost.  Am I willing to part with whatever might stand in the way of following Jesus?  Another would-be disciple said he had to bury his father (=care for him till he died); Jesus appealed to him to choose God's kingdom first, detaching from whatever might keep him from discipleship.  We can only say yes with the help of the Holy Spirit...  Fear, preoccupation, and attachment can get in the way of having God alone as our Treasure if we put them first.  Detachment frees us to give ourselves unreservedly to the Lord and his service.  Jesus promises that those willing to part with what's dear to them for his sake "will receive a hundredfold and inherit eternal life."  What's holding me back?

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