September 6, 2016

Sept. 6

September 6, 2016:  Tuesday, 23rd week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Scales of justice' pin:  Courtroom analogy (1st reading)
  • 'Mountain' pin:  Jesus departed to the mountain to pray (gospel)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  Jesus 'called' the Apostles (gospel)
  • 'Doctor's office' tie:  Jesus healed the sick (gospel)
  • Green in shirt and tie:  Ordinary Time season

    Pope Francis Amoris Laetitia capsule:  Dialogue... essential for experiencing, expressing, and fostering love, but it can only be the fruit of a demanding apprenticeship.  People communicate and act differently:  tone, timing, how we ask and respond to questions,...  Develop attitudes that express love and encourage dialogue.
    Take quality time:  listen patiently and attentively.  Don't speak until the right time.  Cultivate interior silence that makes it possible to listen without distractions.  Don't be rushed, put aside your needs and worries, and make space.  Often the other spouse just needs to be heard, for someone to acknowledge their pain, disappointment, fear, anger, hopes, and dreams.
    Give real importance to the other person:  appreciate them and recognize their right to exist, think as they do, and be happy.  Never downplay what they say or think.  Acknowledge their truth, concerns, and what they're trying to communicate.  Put yourself in their shoes and try to peer into their heart, to take their concerns as a point of departure for further dialogue.
    Keep an open mind:  Be prepared to change your own ideas.  The synthesis of two ways of thinking can enrich both.  Unity isn't uniformity but a “unity in diversity” or “reconciled diversity.”  Respect and appreciation of differences enriches communion.  We don't all have to be alike.  Avoid interfering with the dialogue; e.g., if hard feelings emerge, be sensitive lest they interrupt the dialogue.  Choose your words carefully so as not to offend. Don't vent anger, inflict hurt, or take on a patronizing tone.  Most disagreements between couples are about trivial matters.  Be careful about how you say things.
    Show affection and concern:  Love surmounts all barriers. When we love, or feel loved by, someone, we can better understand what they're trying to communicate.  Overcome any fear of them as a “rival.”  Base your position on solid choices, beliefs, or values, not on the need to win or be proved right.
    Have something to say:  This can only be the fruit of interior richness nourished by reading, reflection, prayer, and openness, or else conversations become boring and trivial.  When spouses don't work at this or have real contact with others, family life becomes stifling and dialogue impoverished. (IV:136-141)
    • 1 Cor 6:1-11  It's a failure on your part that you have lawsuits against one another.  Instead of putting up with injustice and letting yourselves be cheated, you inflict injustice and cheat, and this to brothers.  The unjust won't inherit the Kingdom!  You've had yourselves washed and were sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and in the Spirit.
    • Ps 149:1b-6a, 9b  "The Lord takes delight in his people."  Sing praise to the Lord; rejoice in your maker and king.  The Lord loves his people and adorns the lowly.
    • Lk 6:12-19  After Jesus spent the night in prayer to God, he called his disciples, whom he named Apostles:  Simon, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.  A crowd of disciples and others came to hear him and be healed.  Everyone sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.
      • Creighton:  Leadership is a vocation to hope.  A great leader is an agent of hope with a hope-filled vision.  It requires faith, positive thinking, sharing with good people, reflection and contemplation…it implies healing and liberation, bringing out the best in everyone, and moving forward in spite of setbacks (Doohan, Courageous Hope, the Call of Leadership).
      Today's gospel shows Jesus as a leader of hope, choosing leadership to carry on his vision of God's kingdom, choosing imperfect people for their potential, and challenging them to heal and be transformed.  We have been given gifts to build up the Kingdom.  May we be Christ-like, courageous leaders of hope.  “The crowd sought to touch him because power came from him and he healed them.”  Will we use our power to hope, heal, love, and transform?  Have I been a witness to hope, a healing agent?  What gifts do I bring?  What in my life needs healing and transformation?
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Suing and reaping":  Christians suing Christians results in injuring and cheating those who may have injured and cheated us....
      • Passionist:  Jesus' twelve Apostles are the most unexceptional, unremarkable, rag-tag bunch of fishermen, zealots, tax-collecting self-centered, thick-headed, doubting men, filled with fear masked by bravado.  They changed history, but Jesus had plenty of trouble with them.  Jesus chose those who would most resemble him at his crucifixion.  Jesus is strongest when he's weakest, most broken, most vulnerable, most frail.  God’s strength was unleashed on the cross.  Our humanity makes us like Christ:  “When I'm weak, then I'm strong.”  Job:  “I abhor myself.”  Moses:  “Pick somebody else; I’m no good at speaking.”  Isaiah:  “My lips are unclean.”  David:  “My sin is ever before me.”  Peter:  “Leave me; I'm wicked.”  Paul:  “I do the evil I don't want to.”  We don’t have to worry about being qualified to be used by God; he specializes in using people not fit for the job.  God doesn’t need our puny strengths; he wants, and doesn't have, our weakness.  Jesus calls us to surrender our brokenness to him; then his power will empower, unleash, and transform us to do his work.
      •  "Power came forth from Jesus to heal all":  Jesus chose ordinary people to be his friends and apostles, non-professionals, with no wealth or position, chosen from the common people, with no special education or social advantages.  Jesus wanted people who could do an assignment extraordinarily well.  When the Lord calls you, don't shrink back because you think you have too little to offer; the Lord will use it for greatness.
      People came to Jesus because they heard about what he did; hungry for God, they wanted healing.  When they touched him, they were healed.  Jesus offers freedom from sin and oppression to all who seek him. Lord, increase my faith in your saving power.
      • Today's saint, thanks to Aleteia:  Magnus of Füssen, missionary monk 

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