September 1, 2016

Sept. 1

September 1, 2016:  Thursday, 22nd week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Owl' tie pin:  Become wise by becoming a fool (1st reading)
  • 'Hands' pin:  Those with sinless hands can ascend the Lord's mountain (psalm)
  • 'Heart' pin:  Those with clean heart can ascend the Lord's mountain (psalm)
  • 'Boat' tie bar:  2 boats at Lake of Gennesaret (gospel)
  • 'Fishes' tie:  They caught so many fish, both boats were at the sinking point. (gospel)
  • Green and blue in shirt:  Ordinary Time season, lake of gospel


Show Mercy to our Common Home:  Today is a fitting opportunity to reaffirm our vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the handiwork he's entrusted to our care, and to ask his help for the protection of creation and his pardon for our sins against the world.  Religious leaders and organizations have made many efforts to call attention to the dangers of irresponsible exploitation of our planet.  All people of faith and goodwill should show mercy to the earth as our common home and cherish the world as a place for sharing and communion.
The earth cries out …:  God gave us a bountiful garden, but we've turned it into a polluted wasteland.  We must not be indifferent or resigned to the damage, often caused by our behavior.  We have no right to deprive species of their ability to glorify God and convey their message to us.  Global warming is leading to more severe droughts, floods, and fires.  Climate change contributes to the refugee crisis and to the suffering of the poor.  As integral ecology emphasizes, people are deeply connected with all creation; when we mistreat nature, we mistreat people.  We must respect the value of each creature.  Let's hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor and do our best to respond.
… for we have sinned:  God gave us the earth “to till and keep” in a respectful way; tilling or keeping too much is to sin.  “For us to destroy the diversity of God’s creation, degrade the earth's integrity by causing climate changes, stripping it of its forests or destroying its wetlands, or contaminate its waters, land, air, and life–these are sins” (Bartholomew).  “Committing a crime against the world is a sin against ourselves and God.”  In light of what's happening to our common home, may the Jubilee of Mercy summon us to conversion, sustained by the sacrament of Penance.  Let's implore God’s mercy for sins against creation we haven't yet acknowledged and confessed, and let's take concrete steps towards ecological conversion, clearly recognizing our responsibility to ourselves, others, creation, and the Creator.
An examination of conscience and repentance:  The first step is examination of conscience, involving gratitude, recognizing the world as God’s gift, and our call to imitate God's generosity in self-sacrifice and good works…   We need to be aware we're in communion with all creatures.  Turning to our merciful Father, we can acknowledge our sins against creation, the poor, and future generations.  I invite everyone to make amends for religious intolerance and for injustice towards Jews, women, indigenous peoples, immigrants, the poor, and the unborn, as St. John Paul II did in 2000.  We've grown comfortable with certain lifestyles shaped by a culture of prosperity and a desire to consume more than necessary, and we participate in a "profit at any price" system that has no concern for social exclusion or destruction of nature.  Let us repent of the harm we're doing, then confess our sins against the Creator, creation, and others.  The confessional is the place where the truth makes us free.  God is greater than all our sins.  We confess them because we want to change; God's grace received in the sacrament will help us to.  (continued tomorrow)
  • 1 Cor 3:18-23  To become wise, become a fool; this world's wisdom is foolishness in God's eyes.  Everyone belongs to you, and you to Christ, and Christ to God.
  • Ps 24:1bc-4ab, 5-6  "To the Lord belongs the earth and all that fills it."  God will bless and reward the one with sinless hands and clean heart, who doesn't want what's vain.
  • Lk 5:1-11  Jesus saw two boats alongside the Lake of Gennesaret, got into Simon's, asked him to put out a short distance from the shore, and taught the crowds from the boat, and told Simon.  Jesus / Simon: “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” / “We've worked hard and haven't caught anything, but I'll lower the nets.”  They caught so many fish that their nets were tearing, then signaled to the other boat for help.  Both boats were filled to the sinking point.  Simon Peter / Jesus:  “Depart from me, Lord; I'm a sinner.” / “Don't be afraid; from now on you'll be catching people.”  They returned to shore, left everything, and followed him.
    • Creighton:  Peter often appears dumbfounded by what he sees and hears from Jesus, but here he's in tune tune, doing what the Lord asks despite his likely doubt.  This is trust and humility, rooted in faith.  “Faith never knows where it's being led, but it loves and knows the One who's leading” (Chambers).  That's what happened here and behind why Jesus took Peter to be close to him.  Peter loved Jesus, continually failed, but still led the Twelve and the Church.   Can we have the same faith and love, not letting our sins and sinfulness hold us back?
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Sinner-friendly":  After the miraculous catch of fish, Simon Peter told Jesus, "Leave me, Lord; I'm a sinner."   But Jesus chose him to be the rock on which he'd build the Church, the first apostle to meet the risen Christ, the preacher at the first Christian Pentecost, and the head of the apostles.  Why would Jesus choose sinners?  "My ways and thoughts are high above yours."  "He chose the world's lowborn and despised,... so we can do no boasting before God." "God's folly is wiser..."
      The Miraculous Draught of Fishes/ Raphael
    • Passionist:  When Jesus tells Peter to lower his nets in the deep for a catch, frustrated Peter tells him they've caught nothing but will try again.  When they catch an abundance of fish, Peter says, "Leave me, Lord; I'm a sinner," Jesus tells him he'll be catching people, and he and his companions leave everything and follow Jesus.  Remember other biblical calls:  fishermen lured away from their boats and nets, Matthew leaving his toll booth; Bartholomew and Nathanael mystified by Jesus, Paul dazzled on the road to Damascus, Mary told she'll bear a son, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Samuel, other prophets.  Today's readings remind us God calls us to be Jesus' followers, to lead a deeper, more richly spiritual life, to love, forgive, show compassion, and trust more deeply God is with us.
    •  "You'll catch people for the kingdom of God":   The crowd pressing on Jesus was hungry for God and eager to hear him.  Though Simon was weary from working all night, he did what the Jesus told him.  When I meet disappointment, do I hear the Lord's word and heed his command?  God expects of us greater things than we can do ourselves. "Jesus has such love for us that he wills that we have a share with him in the salvation of souls. He wills to do nothing without us. The Creator awaits the prayer of a poor soul to save others redeemed at the price of his Blood" (Thee´re`se of Lisieux).  When God's word is spoken, his kingdom is revealed and power released.  When people respond with faith and obedience, they're changed and made "a new creation" in Christ.  God chooses ordinary people as his ambassadors and he uses our ordinary circumstances to draw others into his kingdom.  If we allow Christ's light to shine through us, we too will "catch people" for the kingdom.  "Thanks be to God, who in Christ leads us in triumph, and through us spreads knowledge of him.  We are the aroma of Christ to God among those being saved and those who are perishing."

    No comments:

    Post a Comment