August 28, 2016

22nd Sun., Ordinary Time

August 28, 2016:  Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

  • 'Owl' tie pin:  "The mind of a sage appreciates proverbs, and an attentive ear is the joy of the wise". (1st reading)
  • 'Castle' pin:  The home God made for the poor (psalm)
  • 'Fire' pin:  "Water quenches a flaming fire" (1st reading); "You haven't approached... a blazing fire..." (2nd reading)
  • 'Angel with trumpet' pin:  "...and a trumpet blast" (2nd reading); "You've approached angels in festal gathering..." (also 2nd reading)
  • 'Blood drop':  "...and the sprinkled blood that speaks eloquently" (2nd reading)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  "Your flock settled in the land" (psalm)
  • 'Food' tie:  wedding banquet (gospel)
  • Green shirt: Ordinary Time season

    Jesus taught through parables, the first of which regarded guests at a banquet:  "Don't take the place of honor, or else the host may ask you to give your place to a more distinguished guest and you'd proceed with embarrassment.  No; take the lowest place, so the host may invite you to move up higher.  For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."  The second regarded the host:  "Don't invite your friends, relatives, or wealthy neighbors, in case they invite you back and you're repaid.  Rather, invite the poor, the lame, the blind; blessed will you be because they can't repay you.  You'll be repaid at the resurrection."
    Thanks to the many of you who heed the call and help at shelters and soup kitchens, feeding the hungry and performing other works of mercy.  Ask the Virgin Mary, humble all her life, to lead us on the way of humility, so we may welcome the marginalized, seeking nothing in return, and becoming worthy of the divine reward.
    • Sir 3:17-18, 20, 28-29  Humble yourself.  The wise appreciate proverbs, have attentive ears.  Alms atone.
    • Ps 68:4-7, 10-11  "God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor."  Rejoice!  Lord favors orphans, widows, prisoners...
    • Heb 12:18-19, 22-24a  You've approached the city of God, angels, the just in heaven, Jesus and his blood.
    • Lk 14:1, 7-14  When invited to wedding banquet, take the lowest place.  "Friend, move up higher."  Exalt self; be humbled.  Humble self; be exalted.  When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, crippled, lame, blind; you'll be repaid at the resurrection.
      • Creighton:  Fear, inferiority, anger, vengeance, or laziness may lead us to say no in response to an invitation from God.  Reflect on the invitations to become involved with others' needs, to use our gifts to serve the poor.  How have we responded, and what have we received in return?  Jesus continues to offer reversals.  The 1st reading echoes Jewish teaching about right conduct:  remember God's gifts to you, be grateful, and experience God's love.  A wise person listens deeply, searches, and befriends mystery.  Generosity to the poor extinguishes the fire of past sins.  Humility is gratitude that allows us to be at home in our own shoes; covering up or withdrawing pridefully says we should have been created with more gifts.
      The other invitees are watching Jesus to trap him, and later Jesus notices their pharisaical practices in jockeying for recognition.  It's about how we sit at the table of life.  We're invited to eat what's placed before us and sit where we find ourselves.  The Inviter will bless those who have eaten well and thankfully for the whole meal,  The “higher position” would be a place of honor, of distribution to the needy....  
      Interior at-homeness, humility, makes us truly attractive.  Humility is truth in action, generosity in public, and joyfulness in being invited.
        The poor invited to the feast/ Mafa
      • One Bread, One Body:  "The humblest humbleness":  Jesus invites us to humble ourselves by taking the lowest place and inviting those who can't repay us.  The One who commands us to humble ourselves washed his disciples' feet, "humbled himself, obediently accepting death on a cross," and gives himself to us in the Eucharist, looking like bread and wine....
      • Passionist:  How do we practice humility?  How do we focus on the less fortunate?  How do we walk together?....
      •  "You'll be humbled if you exalt yourself":  Today's parable probes our motives for seeking honor.  Self-promotion is often achieved at others' expense.  True humility frees us from preoccupation with ourselves, vs. low self-opinion focuses attention on ourselves.  Humility is truth in self-understanding and action, seeing ourselves as God does.  The humble assess themselves realistically, without pretense, regarding themselves as neither smaller nor larger.  Humility frees us to be ourselves, avoiding despair and pride.  The humble don't have to put on a facade to look good to others; they're not swayed by externals like fame, success, or failure.  Humility undergirds the other virtues because it lets us judge ourselves as God does; it leads to self-knowledge, honesty, realism, strength, and dedication.  It frees us to love and serve selflessly.  The Lord gives grace to those who seek him humbly.

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