August 14, 2016

20th Sun., Ordinary Time

August 14, 2016:  Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

See 16 connections with today?
Legend below

2nd-reading inspired
For Psalm 40
Extra:  Chris Marchand's "What I learned listening to new worship music for an entire year" (under Listen because of all the samples)
Pope Francis Angelus
Christ wants the Spirit to light up our hearts so we may love.  This fire has a creative strength that purifies, renews, transforms, and regenerates; it burns away misery, egoism, and sin.  If we open ourselves to the Spirit, he'll give us courage and fervor to announce Jesus and his mercy and salvation.  But the fire begins in our hearts.
The Church needs the Spirit's help to not be held back through fear, calculation, or refusal to take risks.  The courage the Spirit ignites in us helps us surmount barriers, makes us creative, and spurs us on along unexplored or uncomfortable roads.  There’s more need than ever for us to feel compassion and reach out to the suffering, the needy, refugees, and human misery.
The witness of those who announce the gospel with faithfulness and love reminds us the Church doesn’t need bureaucrats but impassioned missionaries consumed by the ardor of bringing everyone Christ's consoling words; this is the fire of the Spirit.  If the Church doesn’t receive it and doesn’t allow it to enter inside, it becomes cold or lukewarm, unable to give life, because it's made up of cold and lukewarm Christians. Can your heart receive this fire?  May the example of St. Maximilian Kolbe, martyr of charity, teach us to embrace the fire of love for God and neighbor.  Mary, please pray that God's fire warm our hearts.
    Word cloud
    from today's readings
    Thanks, Tagul
  • Jer 38:4-6, 8-10  Princes:  “Put Jeremiah to death; he wants our people's ruin."  Prophet thrown into cistern, left for dead, then drawn out.
  • Ps 40:2-4, 18  "Lord, come to my aid!"  I was afflicted, but he heard and delivered me.  Many will see and trust in God.
  • Heb 12:1-4  Run race, ridding self of burdens/sin, keeping eyes on Jesus, who endured cross, took seat at God's throne, endured sinners' opposition.
  • Lk 12:49-53  Jesus:  “I came to set earth on fire, establish division, not peace."
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Fix your eyes on Jesus":  When persecuted like Jeremiah, or tempted, or when our families are divided, or when we get good or bad news, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.  When we do, we see him risen, glorified, and enthroned in power at the Father's right hand.  We also see his nail-scarred hands and feet:  crucified love.  Jesus invites you to live for and in him; accept.
    • Passionist:  Because of greedy and fearful men, Jeremiah is thrown into a cistern, left to die.  Good and faithful can be mistreated by the wicked.  “Since we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin and keep running the race, eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.”  Darkness surrounds us, but we choose to run the race, fixed on Jesus.  All who try to do right and have the example of great witnesses are still aware of those who hate, cheat, lie, and deceive.  We respond by choosing to run the race and keep Jesus before us.  As we follow the Lord, we rid ourselves of whatever can hold us back.  Evil people may get more news coverage than those who love and serve others heroically, but think of the fortitude, perseverance, and dedication of the Olympic athletes, and don't lose heart.  Rejoice in the good you do.

    •  "I came to cast fire upon the earth":  Fire was associated with God and his action in the world and people's lives:  God appeared to Moses through the burning bush not consumed by the flames. God assured the Israelites of his presence and protection with a pillar of fire.  Elijah called down fire to reveal God's presence and power and to purify the people of idols.  Fire was also a sign of God's gloryholiness, protective presence, just judgment, and wrath against sin.   Fire is also a sign of the Spirit's presence and power:  John the Baptist said Jesus would baptize with the Spirit and fire.  When the Spirit was poured out at Pentecost, "tongues of fire" appeared.  God's fire purifies, cleanses, sanctifies, and inspires reverence and respect. 
    Jesus used hyperbole to warn us of the Gospel's serious consequences.  When Jesus spoke about division within families he likely had Micah's prophecy in mind.  Christianity is loyalty to Christ over all else.  Love of God compels us to put him first; placing anyone or thing else higher is idolatry.  Family and friends can become enemies if they keep us from what God wants us to do.  Jesus offers believers true freedom from destructive sin, Satan, hatred, and evil.
    • Universalis:  St. Maximilian Kolbe, Franciscan priest, martyr, believed we must use modern communication to fight for salvation, founded newspaper, Knights of Mary Immaculate, “city of Mary,” radio station; studied Buddhism and Shintoism; spread gospel in harmony with Japanese culture; helped Auschwitz inmates; offered to be killed in place of family man.  Emulate him through perseverance, prayer, and doing right.
    Dress legend
    • 'Concentric ovals' tie pin:  looking down into cistern (1st reading)
    • 'Clock' pin:  "I waited for the Lord" (psalm)
    • 'Feet' pin:  The Lord made firm my steps (psalm)
    • 'Treble clef' pin:  The Lord put a new song into my mouth (psalm)
      • 'Eyeball' pin:  Many shall look on in awe and trust in the Lord (psalm); keep your eyes fixed on Jesus (2nd reading)
      • Tie with cloud:  We're surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses (2nd reading)
      • 'Runner' tie pin:  "Run the race" (2nd reading)
      • 'Heart' pin:  Jesus endured opposition so you won't lose heart (2nd reading)
      • Crucifix:  Jesus endured the cross (2nd reading)
      • 'Blood drop' pin:  In your struggle against sin you haven't yet resisted to the point of shedding blood (2nd reading)
        • 'Fire' pin, orange suspenders:  "I came to set the world on fire" (gospel)
        • 'Abacus' tie pin:  "I came to bring division..." (how to divide on abacus) (gospel)
        • 'No peace' button:  "...not peace" (gospel)
        • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

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