July 23, 2016

July 23

July 23, 2016:  Saturday, 16th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Blood drop' pin:  "If you no longer shed innocent blood..." (1st reading)
  • 'Golden calf' tie pin:  "...or follow strange gods, I'll remain with you." (1st reading)
  • 'Birds' tie:  "Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest" (psalm)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  “Collect the weeds for burning, but gather the wheat into my barn.” (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season


Pope Francis Amoris Laetitia capsule
Love is not jealous
Paul rejects zelói (being jealous or envious) as contrary to love.  Envy is sadness provoked by another’s prosperity; it shows we're concerned only with our own well-being, not for others' happiness.  Love raises us above ourselves; envy closes us in.  Love doesn't see others as threats but values their achievements. Freeing us from the sour taste of envy, it recognizes each has different gifts and a unique path.  It strives to discover its own road to happiness and allows others to find theirs.
Love means fulfilling the last two commandments:  “Don't covet your neighbor’s house, wife, servant, ox, donkey, or anything else belonging to them.”  Love inspires esteem for every human being and recognition of their rights to happiness.  I love you, and I see you with the eyes of God, who gives us everything “for our enjoyment” so I feel deep happiness and peace.  This love leads me to reject the injustice whereby some possess too much and others too little; it moves me to find ways to help society’s outcasts to find joy:  it's not envy but the desire for equality. (IV:95-96)
  • Jer 7:1-11  Reform your ways, so that I may remain with you.  If you deal justly with your neighbor, don't oppress the alien, orphan, and widow, don't shed innocent blood or follow strange gods, I'll remain with you.  But are you here to steal, murder, commit adultery and perjury, go after strange gods, and tell me, “We're safe; we can commit these abominations again”?  Has my house become to you a robbers' den?
  • Ps 84:3-6a, 8a, 11  "How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!"  My soul, heart, and flesh yearn for the living God.  Blessed they who dwell in your house and praise you!  Blessed those whose strength you are!...
  • Mt 13:24-30  “The Kingdom is like a sower of good seed.  An enemy sowed weeds through the wheat.  When the crop grew, the weeds appeared too.  Master to slaves:  ‘An enemy did this.  If you pull the weeds, you might uproot the wheat too.  Let them grow; I'll have the harvesters collect and burn the weeds, then gather the wheat.”
      St. Bridget of Sweden
    • Creighton:  The weeds/wheat parable tells us of the last judgment.  Weeds stunt wheat's growth, crowding it out and taking resources from it.  Within each of us are weeds that grow alongside our good wheat and are hard to remove; we do both good and harm.  God's message through Jeremiah presages Jesus’ cleansing of the temple and also resonates with the gospel parable.  God’s people took his protection for granted; they allowed the weeds of injustice, oppression, greed, adultery, perjury, theft, and murder to take root in them.  They may not even have recognized their weeds, viewing their actions as righteous.  We may not see the the bending of principles, or “little” transgressions, as the small weed that inserts itself into healthy soil and stunts the growth of the good wheat.  Jesus came to show us how to be more wheat than weed.  When we nourish our wheat, giving it the love it needs to prosper, there's less room for the weeds to flourish.  We need to make the wheat so strong that the weeds wither....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Weed lovers":  Jesus' wheat and weeds seem more intertwined than others'. He doesn't want us intertwined with the weeds' values, priorities, and selfishness but does want us intertwined with the weeds through love, forgiveness, service, and mercy.  We should be weeds turn to Jesus and be transformed to wheat....
    • Passionist:  God sent Jeremiah to the Temple gate to remind the people God’s presence is tied to how they live their faith, not the building's existence.  The weeds/wheat parable continues the challenge and offers hope.  We can let Jesus heal, free, and change us.  May he enter our hearts and lives and change our weeds into wheat....
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Guarding the good seed of God's word":  Jesus uses the common example of planting, harvesting, and sorting good fruit from bad.  Weeds can spoil a good harvest if uprooted too early or not separated in time.  God's patience teaches us to guard the word he planted in us and beware of the force of sin that can destroy it.  Satan seeks to destroy the good seed God plants in those who listen to his word....
        • Philip Evans (“I die for God and religion’s sake; and I think myself so happy that if I had many lives I would willingly give them all for so great a cause”) and John Lloyd, priests, martyrs

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