June 30, 2016

June 30

June 30, 2016:  Thursday, 13th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Sword' tie pin:  "Jeroboam shall die by the sword... Your children shall fall by the sword" (1st reading)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar, 'tree' pin:  "I was no prophet; I was a shepherd and a sycamore dresser" (1st reading)
  • 'Ruler' tie bar:  "Your land shall be divided by measuring line" (1st reading)
  • 'Owl' tie pin:  "The Lord's decree gives wisdom" (psalm)
  • 'Heart' tie bar:  "The Lord's precepts rejoice the heart" (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  "The Lord's command enlightens the eye" (psalm)
  • Gold-colored accessories:  "The Lord's ordinances are more precious than gold,..." (psalm)
  • 'Honey' tie:  "...sweeter than honey from the comb." (psalm)
  • 'Boat' tie bar:  Jesus crossed in a boat (gospel)
  • 'Walker' tie pin:  "Rise and walk" (gospel)
  • 'Lion' pin, orange suspenders:  Rome martyrs were thrown to beasts, then used as torches (today's saints)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

For Psalm 19
This year we've considered both the gift of God’s mercy and the works of mercy we're called to practice.  It’s one thing to talk mercy but another to live it.  Mercy has eyes to see, ears to listen, hands to help lift.  Mercy without works is dead.  Sometimes we pass by situations of poverty without being touched.  We continue in an indifference which makes us hypocrites and leads to spiritual lethargy that numbs the soul and leaves life barren.  But we who have experienced mercy can't remain indifferent.  To be merciful like God our Father demands constant sensitivity to others' needs.   Jesus' teaching doesn't allow escape routes; we'll be judged by the mercy we show the poor, hungry, thirsty, naked, strangers, sick, imprisoned.  Guard against the temptation of indifference to them.  New forms of poverty are appearing; may we develop new and practical forms of outreach as an expression of the way of mercy.
  • Am 7:10-17  Amaziah:  “Amos has conspired against you, saying you'll be killed and Israel exiled.” [to Amos:]  “Flee!  Don't prophesy here.” / "I was a shepherd, but the Lord told me to prophesy.  Your wife shall be made a harlot, your children fall by the sword, your land divided, and Israel exiled...."
  • Ps 19:8-11  "The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just."  The law of the Lord is perfect, trustworthy, right, clear, pure, true, precious, and sweet, giving wisdom, joy, enlightenment, and justice.
  • Mt 9:1-8  People brought Jesus a paralytic on a stretcher.  Jesus:  “Your sins are forgiven.”  Scribes:  “He's blaspheming.”  Jesus:  "Why harbor such evil thoughts?  Is it easier to say that, or ‘Rise and walk’?  So you'll know the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins” [to paralytic:] “Rise and go.”  He rose and went home.  The crowds were awestruck and glorified God...
      • Creighton:  God inspires prophets but doesn't use them merely as megaphones; their own personalities come through.  Amos conveyed doom and gloom without much hope or mercy.  Prophets share warnings to give hearers an opportunity to repent, but his warning is ignored and he's likely killed for giving it.  Do I heed warnings? / Today's gospel reminds me of the prophets and the reactions they received:  Jesus' listeners doubt his words and question his authority to say them.  Jesus, aware of the doubts,  confronts them in a way they can’t ignore by healing the paralytic.  How often do I ignore opportunities for forgiveness and doubt my worthiness or God’s ability to change me?  I can't do anything that will stop my good Father from loving me.
        Read St. John Chrysostom
        on the paralytic's healing
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Chicken soup":  The first words Jesus said to the paralytic were, "Courage, son."  We need courage to be freed from the paralysis of sin and fear.  Amos refused to be intimidated, stampeded out, or manipulated.  Jesus stood his ground when accused of blasphemy and so threatened with execution.  But we've been like Peter, who became paralyzed by fear and then denied Christ.  We can also be like Peter after he repented.  We can stand up for Jesus under any circumstances, even before family or crowds.  The Lord will give us the power to be so courageous that we'd die before giving in to sin or denial. "The Spirit God has given us is no cowardly Spirit, but One that makes us strong, loving, and wise."
      • Passionist:  Most of us aren't physically paralyzed, but we may be crippled by fear, gripped by addiction, straitjacketed by selfishness, or unfree in another way.  “Lord, cure me and set me free!”  Jesus tells us to be reconciled with one another before we ask for anything.  Giving and receiving forgiveness is the first step; then we're ready to receive Jesus’ mercy and healing....
      • DailyScripture.net:  "Take heart ; your sins are forgiven":  Sin and unforgiveness cripple mind and heart and stifle love's healing power.  Only Jesus' forgiveness can heal and cleanse us.  The scribes regarded Jesus' forgiving the paralytic as blasphemy because only God could forgive sins.  Jesus proved his divine authority and power by healing the cripple's physical ailment as well as freeing him from his burden of guilt.  The Lord wants to heal us of mind, body, and soul, to free us from the power of sin.  May nothing keep us from his healing.
      • Universalis:  First Martyrs of the See of Rome,  persecuted by Nero in 64.  They were thrown to beasts or soaked in tar then used as torches.

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