August 25, 2016

Aug. 25

August 25, 2016:  Thursday, 21st week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Clocks' tie: "If the master had known the hour the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake.... Be prepared, for at an hour you don't expect, the Son of Man will come." (gospel)

  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  Peace from the Father and Christ to you (1st reading)

  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season


Pope Francis Amoris Laetitia capsule:  Lifelong sharing
After the love that unites us to God, conjugal love is the greatest form of friendship; it has the traits of a good friendship:  concern for the other's good, reciprocity, intimacy, warmth, stability, and shared life.  Marriage joins to all this an exclusivity expressed in the commitment to share and shape life together.  Married couples don't see their relationship as temporary or expect their excitement to fade.  Children want their parents to love one another and to be faithful and stay together.  Conjugal love is definitive by nature.  Marital union is rooted in natural human inclinations and for believers is also a covenant before God that calls for fidelity.
A weak love, one that can't accept marriage as a lifelong challenge to be taken up, fought for, reborn, renewed, and reinvented, can't sustain the commitment; it'll succumb to the culture that prevents constant growth.  Promising love forever is possible when we see a plan bigger than our ideas and undertakings, one that sustains us and lets us surrender to the one we love.  If this love is to overcome trials and remain faithful, grace must strengthen and elevate it.  "One man uniting with one woman in an indissoluble bond, and their remaining inseparable,... is the sign of a great mystery” (Robert Bellarmine).
Marriage is marked by a passion directed to an ever more stable and intense union.  It wasn't instituted solely for procreation but also so mutual love may be expressed, grow, and mature (Gaudium et Spes 50).  It becomes all-encompassing only within the conjugal union:  exclusive, faithful, open to new life, and sharing everything in mutual respect.  “Such a love... leads the partners to free and mutual self-giving, experienced in tenderness and action, and permeating their entire lives” (49).  (IV:123-125)
  • 1 Cor 1:1-9  Paul and Sosthenes, to the Church of God in Corinth:  Grace and peace from God!  I thank God for the grace bestowed on you in Christ:  knowledge, testimony, spiritual gifts...  He will keep you firm and irreproachable.  Our faithful God called you to fellowship with his Son...
  • Ps 145:2-7  "I will praise your name for ever, Lord."  Generations speak of the splendor of your majesty, tell of your wondrous works, and sing of your justice.
  • Mt 24:42-51  “Stay awake!  For you do not know when your Lord will come.  If the master had known when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake.  You must be prepared too, for the Son of Man will come when you don't expect him.  “Blessed is the servant the master has put in charge and is found faithful when the master arrives; he'll be put in charge of all his property.  But if a servant says, ‘My master is delayed,’ beats his fellow servants, and drinks with drunkards, the master will come, punish him severely, and assign him a place of wailing and grinding of teeth.”
      • Creighton:  What good is it for the master of the house to watch surveillance video of last night's thief?  It might help solve the crime, but the damage has been done.  What if it was Jesus coming for us and we just decided to review the event the following day?  Imagine telling your spouse the sound last night Jesus called, but he's gone now, but at least I have the video.  What security system do we have to detect God’s presence?  The gospel gives us a clue about being alert to God’s presence:  being “the faithful and prudent servants the master has put in charge,” who realize Jesus is present and are living faith through good work at home, work, parish, and community, serving people just as Jesus did.  Pay attention to the first of the 5-step examen; focus on God’s presence in your life.  Reflect on his goodness, gifts, and opportunities to be more “alert and awake” to God....
        San Luis, Rey
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Always prepared and preparing":  Jesus warns us to be prepared for his final coming in four ways:  giving food to those in need (physical or spiritual), getting to know Jesus, being a good and faithful steward of all the Lord has given us to manage, and expressing our faith by good works, especially for the poor.  May this preparation be the focus of our lives.
      • Passionist:   In Vital Spiritualties:  Naming the Holy in Your Life, the author distinguishes the ideal and real schools of spirituality:  the ideal school seems to ask, “How am I doing?”  My task is to live up to the gospel ideal.  So I expend energy evaluating myself on performance and taking my moral temperature.  The real school, OTOH, is focused on God.  What is God doing?  My task is to pay attention, to “stay awake” so we don’t miss God.  Sometimes we get so strung out with work, or bloated with comfort, that we miss God and the grandeur of creation....
      •  "Are you ready to meet the Lord?"  The Lord promises us a great celebration when he returns again to establish his kingdom of peace, joy, and justice.  His first coming was a rescue mission to save us from the of sin, Satan, and death.  He said he'd return again as victor King and Lord to vindicate all believers by releasing them from the curse of death and and restoring the plan he had from the beginning to unite us with God in peace, joy, and harmony.  When he returns, he doesn't want to find us flirting with or joined with his opponents.  Jesus' parable of the thief brings home the necessity for being on guard to avert danger.  Lack of vigilance invites disaster for the unprepared.  The devil seeks to rob us of the treasure the Lord offers us, a personal relationship with Jesus.   The Lord chooses to dwell in us through the Spirit; he knocks and invites us to let him enter.
        • Louis, King of France from 12, good ruler, Sorbonne founder, fair arbitrator; reared 11 well, known for prayer, penitence, love of poor 

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