August 23, 2016

Aug. 23

August 23, 2016:  Tuesday, 21st week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Letter' tie bar:  "Don't be shaken by a “spirit,” oral statement, or a 'letter' allegedly from us..." (1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "...that the day of the Lord is at 'hand'" (1st reading)
  • 'Heart' pin:  May our Lord encourage and strengthen your hearts (1st reading)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  "The Lord is king" (psalm)
  • 'Tree' pin:  The trees shall exult before the Lord (psalm)
  • 'Cups' tie:  Cleanse first the inside of the cup (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season
  • See below for "You pay tithes of mint, dill, and cumin but have neglected mercy and fidelity." (gospel)

Pope Francis Amoris Laetitia capsule:  Love endures all things
πάντα ὑπομένει:  Love bears every trial with a positive attitude; it stands firm in hostile surroundings.  It's greater than just tolerating aggravations; it's readiness to confront any challenge.  It never gives up, heroically resisting every negative current.  “Those who hate you have some good in them....  When you can look in the face of every man and see God's image, you begin to love him....  Another way you love your enemies:  when you can defeat them but don't….  When you rise to that level, you seek to defeat evil systems but love the people caught up in them…  The strong person cuts off the chain of hate…  ” (Martin Luther King, paraphrased)
In family life, we need to cultivate love that can help us fight any evil threatening it, not yielding to resentment, scorn, or the desire to hurt or gain an advantage.  The Christian ideal is love that never gives up.  I'm amazed to see people who've had to separate from their spouse for their own protection, yet still try to help them, even enlisting others, in their moments of illness, suffering, or trial. (IV:118-119)
  • 2 Thes 2:1-3a, 14-17  Don't be shaken about Christ's coming and our assembling with him; don't be deceived if you hear the day of the Lord is at hand.  Christ has called you to possess his glory.  Stand firm and hold fast to what we taught you.  May God encourage and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
  • Ps 96:10-13  "The Lord comes to judge the earth."  Say:  The Lord is king; he made the world firm.  Let heaven, earth, sea, and forest exult before the Lord who shall rule with justice.
  • Mt 23:23-26  “Woe to you, you hypocrites.  You pay tithes but have neglected judgment, mercy, and fidelity.  You strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!  You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they're full of self-indulgence.  Clean the inside first so the outside may also be clean.”
    • Creighton:  Jesus challenges us to not judgment, mercy, and fidelity.  Some  will neglect what's important and draw our attention to trivial matters.  May the Lord come to rule with justice.  May we stand firm and discern hypocrites' self-indulgent deceptions.  May we discern the same in our own hearts.  May we be filled with courage and strengthened to good deeds and words.... 
    • One Bread, One Body:  "The peace of the Lord":  Satan tries to disturb peace, but God is a God of peace," happy to see good order and firm faith.  We should remain calm so we'll be able to pray.  We have a peace beyond understanding; we can lead "tranquil lives in piety and dignity."  When pressured, manipulated, or stampeded, we say, "I've stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child on its mother's lap."




    • Passionist:  Jesus calls the religious leaders “frauds” because, consumed by minutiae, they neglected the law's “weightier matters:  justice, mercy, and good faith.”  When we reflect on his admonishment, we need to not focus on the leaders' shortcomings but rather our own.  We can be tempted to focus on small stuff to demonstrate our superiority or to avoid real issues we need to address.  Jesus is not saying “Woe” because they fell short of perfection but because they condemned others for falling short.  When we recognize our weakness, we can’t condemn others.  May we turn to God, who loved us and gave us consolation and hope....
      St. Rose of Lima
    •  "Don't neglect justice, mercy, and faith":  Hypocrites say one thing but do the opposite or put on the appearance of doing good while inwardly having wrong attitudes, selfish desires, or bad intentions.  Jesus had good reason for rebuking the religious teachers and leaders for misleading people and neglecting love of God and neighbor.  They studied God's law in the Torah, took pride in their knowledge and outward observance, divided the law's precepts into thousands of rules, and spent most of their time trying to live them out.  Jesus chastised them for neglecting justice and love in their misguided zeal.  They tithed on insignificant things but neglected to care for the needy.  They put unnecessary burdens on others while neglecting to show charity.  God's commandments are rooted in love of God and neighbor, justice, and mercy.  True love is costly and sacrificial.  Do I allow God's love to shape and transform my daily life?
      • John WallFranciscan priest, martyr:  “I won't buy my life at the cost of my conscience.”

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