August 30, 2016

Aug. 30

August 30, 2016:  Tuesday, 22nd week, Ordinary Time

  • '?' tie pin:  Who knows about a person..?  Who has known the Lord's mind?  (1st reading)
  • 'Owl' tie pin:  "We speak not with words of human wisdom but words taught by the Spirit" (1st reading)
  • 'Fool' tie:  "To natural people, what pertains to the Spirit is foolishness" (1st reading)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  "Lord, your Kingdom is for all ages, and your dominion endures" (psalm)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season
  • DISC t-shirt:  I'm in Springfield helping to plan DISC 2017; watch for updates
  • "Holy Spirit" chain (oops; forgot to pack; see here):  "The Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God" (1st reading)

Pope Francis Amoris Laetitia capsule:  A love that reveals itself and increases
The love of friendship unifies all aspects of marital life and helps family members to grow.  This love must be generously expressed in words and acts.  Use three essential words:  "Please," "Thank you," "Sorry."   When I ask, "May I?," when I say thanks, and when I realize I did something wrong and say "Sorry!," my family experiences peace and joy.  Repeat these words day after day.  For “certain silences are oppressive, even within families, between husbands and wives, parents and children, among siblings.  The right words, at the right time, protect and nurture love.

This occurs through a process of constant growth.  Marriage is called to embody the charity which "by its nature, has no limit to its increase, for it's a participation in the infinite charity which is the Holy Spirit….  As charity grows, so does its capacity for increase" (Thomas Aquinas).  “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love...”  “Concerning fraternal love… we urge you, to do so more and more.”  Don't defend marital love by presenting indissolubility as a duty or repeating doctrine, but by helping it grow.  Love that doesn't grow is at risk, but it can only grow if we respond to God’s grace through acts of love, frequent, intense, generous, tender, cheerful acts of kindness.  Become conscious of your unity and experience it more deeply.  God’s love poured out upon the spouses is a summons to growth in grace.

It doesn't help to dream of idyllic love needing no stimulus to grow.  Don't forget the best is yet to come; fine wine matures with age.  “The perfect family, proposed by consumerist propaganda, don't exist.  It's a fantasy where no one grows old, and there's no sickness, sorrow, or death, not like facing our limits, defects, and imperfections and growing together, bringing love to maturity, and strengthening the union, come what may. (IV:133-135)
  • 1 Cor 2:10b-16  We've received the Spirit from God, so we may understand what God gave us and speak with words taught by the Spirit.  Natural people can't understand, but spiritual people can judge everything.  “Who has known the mind of the Lord?”  But we have the mind of Christ.
  • Ps 145:8-14  "The Lord is just in all his ways," gracious, merciful, kind, good, compassionate, faithful, and holy.  Let your works and faithful ones bless and speak of your power and glory.  Your Kingdom is everlasting.  You lift the falling and raise up all who are bowed down.
  • Lk 4:31-37  Jesus taught with authority; people were astonished.  Man with the spirit of a demon / Jesus:  “Jesus, have you come to destroy us?  I know you're God's Holy One!” / “Quiet!  Come out!”  The demon came out without doing harm.  Amazed, they said, “What is there about his word?  He commands spirits with authority and power and they come out.”  News of him spread.
    • Creighton:  The 1st reading tells me the wisdom of something or someone blossoms when we love it/them.  I think Paul was trying to insure the church's spiritual focus.  The more enthusiastic we are about something/someone, the more we want to learn about it/them and respond; may my relationship with God grow out of such enthusiasm.
    Capernaum was a new beginning for Jesus:  he'd left his home town, and the people didn't know him, so their presuppositions didn't constrain him.  He established his authority and leadership in the synagogue and the community.  He gave a new interpretation of the Scriptures, he showed he could bring about internal transformation by healing the demonized man.  Fear, doubt, lack of trust, and my "false self" can hinder me.  I need to establish a direction and priorities and trust God.  Lord guide us in our new beginnings.
      Christus heilt in der Synagoge von Capernaum
      einen Besessenen
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Singing spirituals":  The Spirit teaches us all we need and guides us to all truth, but only spiritual people can accept that teaching and guidance.  Baptism made us spiritual, but we have to live out our baptism to hear the Spirit's word of truth and life.  If we don't heed the Spirit, we can be deceived, deprived, and defeated.  May we live our baptism, giving ourselves in love to the Lord, and receive the life of the Spirit....
    • Passionist:  Words have power:  they amuse, anger, bless, curse, charm, repel, heal, hurt, unite, and divide; they change things, people, nations.  God expresses himself in a Word that is a Person, Jesus, God's self-revelation, expressing God's love.  In today's gospel he speaks, “Come out,” the unclean spirit leaves, and people wonder about Jesus' word.  Through baptism we're Jesus' living “words,” sent out.  May we choose words of love, welcome, help, apology, forgiveness, encouragement, gratitude, interest, hope, affirmation, and blessing, soothing, healing, support, community building, and truth, manifesting the Word today.
    •  "His word was with authority and power":  Do you hear God's word with indifference, selective submission, or full faith and obedience?  Jesus spoke God's word as no one had before:  rabbis supported their statements with others' authority, prophets spoke with delegated authority, but Jesus was authority incarnate, God's word made flesh. When he commanded, even the demons obeyed.
      "The bystanders, witnesses of Jesus' great deeds, were astonished at the power of his word.  He performed miracles without asking for power from anyone.  Since he's God the Father's living and active Word, in himself he crushed Satan and closed demons' mouths. (Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on Luke, Homily 12).  God's Word has power to free us and heal us in body, mind, and spirit.  Jesus speaks his word to us so we may walk in freedom, love, and truth.  May we approach God's Word with humility and eagerness to do all the Lord desires.
        • St Anne Line (Heigham), taught children, took vows, kept safe house for priests, martyred
        • St. Margaret Ward, martyr, arrested after helping priest escape prison; under torture she refused to reveal his hiding place or renounce her faith.
        • Bl. Ghebre Michael ("Servant of Michael"), convert, monastery reformer, considered martyr

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