June 9, 2016

June 9

June 9, 2016:  Thursday, 10th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Chariot' tie pin:  Ahab mounted his chariot... (1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  ...but the Lord's hand was on Elijah; cloud is size of a hand (1st reading)
  • 'Grain' pin:  "You have prepared the grain" (psalm)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  make peace (gospel)
  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  love your neighbor (gospel/homily)
  • 'Penny [pincher]' tie pin:  "You won't be released till you've paid the last penny.” (gospel)
  • 'Joker' tie:  Whoever says, 'You fool' will be liable to Gehenna (gospel) 
  • 'Scales of justice' pin:  Settle on the way to court, or else... the judge and guard will imprison you (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time (season)

For gospel
For psalm
Pope Francis
Homily:  We have a creative vocabulary for insulting others, but insults are like killing because they slap people's souls and dignity.  Church ministers who don't practice what they preaches are a scandal.
Jesus urged his people to look beyond and go forward.  But at the same time, Christ warned about the harm caused by Christians who don't follow their own teachings.  How often do we hear Church people directing us one way but doing the opposite?  This scandal wounds people and prevents them from going forward.  Jesus’ request for generosity and holiness is about going forward, looking beyond ourselves, and becoming free from the rigidity of law and idealism that harms us.  He asks us to seek reconciliation, to do what we can to settle our disagreements.  The Church with healthy realism never teaches "this or that" but "this and that."  Strive for perfection:  reconcile with others.  Love, don't insult.  If there's a problem, settle your differences.  Jesus understands us well, gives us the ideal, and accompanies us towards it.  He frees us from the chains of rigidity and tells us, "Do what you can."
Jesus exhorted us to avoid hypocrisy and do all we can to come to agreement.  Use the tiny sanctity of negotiation:  "I can’t do everything but want to, so I reach agreement with you.  We don’t trade insults or wage war, and we can live in peace."  Jesus frees us from our miseries and from that idealism which is not Catholic.  Implore him to teach us to escape rigidity and go beyond ourselves, so we can praise God who teaches us to be reconciled and to reach agreement as well as we can.
To medical associations:  Physicians are compassionate and merciful towards the suffering.  Compassion is the soul of medicine; it's suffering-with, not pity.  It's is not always well received because it can be seen as humiliation.  Some even hide behind 'compassion' to justify killing a patient.  True compassion doesn't marginalize, humiliate, exclude, or celebrate a patient's passing away; it eschews the selfish “culture of disposability” that rejects people not healthy, beautiful, or useful enough.
Everyone wants the precious gift of health.  The bible highlights the closeness between salvation and health; the Church Fathers called Christ the Savior Christus Medicus.  He's the Good Shepherd who cares for the wounded sheep and comforts the sick, the Good Samaritan who with compassion heals and serves the injured.  The Good Samaritan parable has always inspired Christian medical tradition, identifying it with the love of Jesus, who "healed all who were oppressed."  Medicine does good in thinking of the sick as our neighbors, our flesh and blood, the flesh of Christ reflected in his wounded body!  "When you did it to one of these, you did it to me."
Compassion is the appropriate response to the sick, a response of respect, understanding, and tenderness, because the sacred value of the patients' life shines more brightly in their suffering and helplessness.  St. Camillus de Lellis said regarding treating patients, "Put more heart in those hands."  Fragility, pain, and disease are a tough test, a call to patience, suffering-with.  Don't yield to the temptation to apply quick, merely functional and drastic solutions driven by false compassion, efficiency, or cost savings; the dignity of human life and of the medical vocation is at stake.

  • 1 Kgs 18:41-46  Elijah, “There's the sound of a heavy rain...  A tiny cloud is rising.  Go tell Ahab, ‘ leave before the rain stops you.’”  The sky darkened, heavy rain fell, Ahab made for Jezreel, and God's hand was on Elijah.
  • Ps 65:10-13  "It is right to praise you in Zion, O God."  You have watered and enriched the land...
  • Mt 5:20-26  “Unless your righteousness surpasses the scribes', you won't enter the Kingdom.  Your ancestors heard, "You shall not kill," but I tell you, whoever is angry will be liable to judgment.  If you bring your gift to the altar and recall your brother has anything against you, leave your gift, be reconciled, then return and offer your gift.  Settle with your opponent quickly, or else you'll be imprisoned till you've paid the last penny.”
  • Word of the day:  Raqa (rēqā’ or rēqâ, Aramaic, from gospel):  probably 'blockhead' or 'imbecile,' a term of abuse.
    • Creighton:  Family members harbor resentments to one another and, distance themselves from each other, and break up.  We often show our love, care, compassion, and concern for others, but we can have trouble doing so for those close to us.  Charity begins at home, with our family.  May we forgive and forget (and may they forgive us)....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "The life of pure grace":  Jesus set high standards:  don't grow angry; be reconciled with those who are angry with us, etc..  Though his demands, especially regarding our relationships, seem impossible, he provides grace for us to be anger-free and love-filled and so to meet his demands, so long as we live by grace.  May we live as the sharers in the divine nature we are.
      St. Ephrem the Syrian
    • Passionist:  "Elijah:  Prophet of the Word of God":  Before Elijah's appearance in 1 Kgs is the death of Solomon and the return of his rebellious son, Rehoboam.  A strange story introduces the importance of the ‘Word of God’ motif:  one of a prophet who unleashes a powerful word to the king but doesn't do what God tells him.  With Elijah and Elisha we are dealing with men of the Word.  God’s Word can fall gently upon the good and the bad.  We may be challenged to listen and obey.  We the baptized are also prophets; God speaks through us, and we trust he'll provide words, use us, and enable us to run ahead of the potential darkness that may follow.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Be reconciled...":  God warned Cain:  Why are you angry? ..Sin is at the door, but you must master it.  Sin grows as a seed in our heart and chokes us if not uprooted.  Jesus addressed the issue of keeping the commandments with his disciples.  Jesus:  unless evil desires are eradicated, we'll be corrupted.  He points to forbidden anger, selfish, long-lived anger that nurses grudges.  The antidote is mercy, kindness, and forbearance from a loving, forgiving heart.  In the cross we see the supreme example of love and forgiveness.  Only God's love and grace can free us from the tyranny of pride and revenge. Am I quick to be reconciled?  Through the Spirit may we overcome evil with good, hatred with kindness, and injury with pardon.
    May I be no one's enemy; may I be the friend of what's eternal.  May I never quarrel: and if I do, may I be reconciled quickly.  May I love, seek, and attain only what's good. May I wish for the happiness of all and envy none.  May I never rejoice in the ill fortune of one who's wronged me.  When I've done or said what's wrong, may I never wait for others' rebuke but rebuke myself and make amends.  May I win no victory that harms my opponent or me. May I reconcile friends who are angry with each other.  May I never fail a friend in danger.  May I soften the pain of those in grief.  May I respect myself.  May I keep tame what rages within me.  May I be gentle, never angry with people because of circumstances.  May I never discuss who's wicked and what they've done, but know good people and follow in their footsteps.  (Eusebius)
      • Columba, abbot, poet, scribe, spiritual guide, creation lover

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