August 19, 2016

Aug. 19

August 19, 2016:  Friday, 20th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Hand' tie pin:  The Lord's hand came upon me (1st reading); let those the Lord redeemed from the foe's hand say... (psalm)

  • 'Skeleton' tie pin:  Dry bones coming together (1st reading)

  • 'Commandments' tie:  "The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments” (gospel)

  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season


Your theme, “You are good for me,” is courageous.  Individualism often tempts us to look only at our own concerns, or even see others as a burden or hindrance, but none of us can be saved by our own power.  Rather, following Jesus' example, Christians cultivate a thought open to others, not considering anyone as definitively lost.
With this attitude, we can understand their unique contribution to dialogue and communion:  the proclamation of the Gospel, expressed in going forth to bind wounds with Jesus' powerful yet simple presence and his consoling, encouraging mercy.  Be especially mindful of creative personal testimony, understanding that what attracts others is the Father's meek, merciful love each can attain from the grace God offers in the Sacraments, to give to others.
  • Ez 37:1-14  The Lord led me to a plain filled with bones.  How dry they were!...  They say, “Our bones are dry; our hope is lost.”  Tell them God says:  I'll have you rise from your graves and bring you back to Israel.  Then you'll know I'm the Lord!  I'll put my spirit in you that you may live.
"Dry bones"
  • Ps 107:2-9  "Give thanks to the Lord; his love is everlasting."  The redeemed went astray and were wasting away.  They cried to God; he rescued them.  He filled the hungry with good things.
  • Mt 22:34-40  Pharisee / Jesus:  “Which commandment is the greatest?” / “Love the Lord with your heart, soul, and mind.  The second is like it:  love your neighbor as yourself.  The law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
    • Creighton:  "The greatest commandments":  Educated, respected lawyers, teachers, and priests put Jesus to the test, but he brushed their trap aside.  Like Ezekiel, he opens his mouth and our dry bones rattle.  We're born for love, the source of our being.  Not just friends and family, but strangers and enemies are my neighbor.  Those testing Jesus cited evidence, debated, and created dilemmas, but they lost sight of the truth and didn't try to understand....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "How dry I am":  Are you feeling spiritually dry?  "The Spirit gives life," gives the ability to love God and neighbor.  I begged God to immerse me in the Spirit, even if it meant changing my life.  Let God pour his love into you through the Spirit....
      St. John Eudes
    • Passionist:  Dryness will drain out of us the moisture needed for healthy life; it's a great metaphor for our human and spiritual life.  People dry of kindness, compassion, and affection come across as unfriendly and unwelcoming, lacking the grace baptism gave us; they seem devoid of life, relationships, and humanness.  Many saints have confessed years of spiritual dryness.  Today's readings give hope:  Ezekiel, asked whether the dry bones can be brought back to life, says God can make it happen.  The Lord's word connects our dry bones together and gives life!  Spiritual dryness is a sign of God’s purification, not absence.  God invites us into a desert apparently filled with dry bones, but it's filled with God’s promise of new life.  In the desert God established a covenant of love with his People.  Jesus sums up the law with two commandments:  love God, and love others as yourself; love and life go hand in hand....
    •  "What is the greatest rule of life?"  Jesus summarized the law in two commandments:  "Love the Lord with heart, soul, and might" and "love your neighbor as yourself."  God's love is holy, just, and pure, seeking only what's good and lifegiving.  He commands us to love:  to accept and give what's good, lovely, just, and pure and reject the rest.  Everything God does flows from his love for us.  Do we put God first like he us?  God loved us first; our love for him is a response to his towards us.  Love of neighbor is grounded in love of God.  God's love orients and directs us to what pleases him; he wants us to love him unreservedly.
    Love is giving oneself for others' good; other love is self-centered and disordered and robs rather than gives, leading to desires like jealousy, envy, greed, and lust.  The root of all sin is disordered love and pride:  putting myself above God and others, loving and serving self instead.  True love is rooted in God's truth and justice.  God loves us completely, not subject to mood or circumstance.  His love is firm, unwavering, and constant.  He loves us in our weakness, seeking us out to draw us to his mercy, correcting us to free us from wrong thinking and choices.  "God's love has been poured into us through the Holy Spirit."  Faith and hope in God strengthen us in love and our union with God.  The Lord gives us freedom to love as he does....
      • Oswin, humble king regarded as martyr
    Special greetings to and prayers for the community at
    St. John Eudes parish and school in Chatsworth.

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