September 10, 2016

Sept. 10

September 10, 2016:  Saturday, 23rd week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Cups' tie:  The cup we bless is a participation in the Blood of Christ (1st reading); I'll take up the cup of salvation... (psalm)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  ...and 'call' on the Lord's name (psalm); "Why do 'call' me 'Lord...' but not do what I command?" (gospel)
  • 'Grain' pin:   The bread we break is a participation in the Body of Christ (1st reading)
  • 'OneLife LA' button:  We are one Body, for we all partake of the one loaf (1st reading)
  • 'Tree' pin:  "A good tree doesn't bear rotten fruit..." (gospel)
  • 'Heart' pin:  People produce fruit from what's in their heart (gospel)
  • 'Rock' tie pin:  Build your house on rock (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

For the psalm

    Pope Francis Amoris Laetitia capsule:  Passionate love
    Conjugal love “embraces the whole person's good; it can enrich the sentiments of the spirit and their physical expression... and ennoble them as the special features and manifestation of the friendship proper to marriage” (49).  A love lacking pleasure or passion is insufficient to symbolize the heart's union with God:  “The mystics have affirmed that supernatural love and heavenly love find the symbols they seek in marital love, not friendship, filial devotion, or devotion to a cause.  The reason is to be found precisely in its totality” (Sertillanges, L'Amour chrétien).  (IV:142)
    • 1 Cor 10:14-22  Avoid idolatry.  The cup of blessing is a participation in the Blood of Christ; the bread we break is a participation in the Body of Christ.  We who partake, though many, are one Body.  You can't drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons....
    • Ps 116:12-13, 17-18  "To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise."  I'll make a return to the Lord for his goodness to me:  I'll call on him, offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and paying my vows to him.
    • Lk 6:43-49  "Every tree is known by its fruit.  A good person out of the goodness in his heart produces and speaks good; an evil person produces evil.  Why do you call me, "Lord," but not do what I command?  One who listens to and acts on my words one is like one building a house on rock; a flood won't shake it.  One who doesn't act on them is like one building a house with no foundation; when the river burst, it collapsed and was destroyed."
        House built on rock built on sand
      • Creighton:  There are many real and potential idols today:  athletes, stars, musicians, politicians, people who call attention to themselves or are extolled.  Popular idols make mistakes.  Trees bear the fruit by which they're known.  But if we're the tree, what's our fruit?  Do I have a "store of goodness" in my heart?  We can change our harvest by how we live our lives.  Building my life on a relationship with God, and following God's call, is key.  Let's build up a tree of goodwill in gratitude to God, and strengthen our foundation by following God’s call.  If we reject idols, remain true to God, build up a store of goodwill, listen to and act on God's word, our foundation will grow stronger.  We can strengthen our foundation by doing one good act at a time, but it'll take time to become as strong as we're called to be....
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Heart-burn":  Someone in love talks incessantly about the one they love, speaking from their heart's abundance.  How often do I speak of Jesus?  Is he on my heart much?  Lord, purify my heart so I'll have more room for you....
      • Passionist:  Without a strong foundation, we're fearful and anxious and look for anything to “protect” us; we can't be self-confident, passionate about mercy, open, vulnerable, or loving.  We become exclusive, drawn inward, and self-preserving.  God built the church on human stones, people like us, unstable, imperfect, struggling, sinful, rebellious, suspicious, stubborn, who have to work, pray, stretch, and grow.  But when we join with God, we're stronger than anything that threatens us; God will lead us to the right path.  Jesus tells us to build on strong foundations, and he asks us, are we willing to be part of God’s foundation?  Are we building on prayer, reflection, and service?  We're not to build for ourselves alone but rather to become God’s foundation in service to the world.  I need to be continually re-shaped to be a stronger part of God’s house on earth.  May we become worthy to be God's building materials.
      •  "A life built on a solid foundation":  "Sow an act; reap a habit.  Sow a habit; reap a character.  Sow a character; reap a destiny" (Charles Read).  Jesus connects soundness with good fruit.  Good fruit is the result of sound living.  Isaiah warned against the dangers of falsehood.  Falsehood produces an easy religion which takes the cross out of Christianity, eliminates Jesus' hard sayings, pushes God's judgments into the background, and makes us think lightly of sin.  We avoid bad fruit by being true to God, his word, and his grace, and finding strength in God.  Disciples' fruit is marked by faith, hope, love, justice, prudence, fortitude, and temperance.  "When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm."  The foundation we build determines how we survive the storms to come.  Builders lay foundations when weather and soil conditions are best; it takes foresight to know how a foundation will stand up against adverse conditions.  Our practice proves our sincerity.  Our choices reveal our character.  True persons are reliable before God, themselves, and others.

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