October 22, 2016

Oct. 22

October 22, 2016:  Saturday, 29th week, Ordinary Time / Pope St. John Paul II

  • 'Ruler' tie bar:  Grace was given to us according to the measure of Christ’s gift." (1st reading)
  • 'Baby feet' tie:  He equipped us till we attain maturity, so we may no longer be infants (1st reading); We've set foot within your gates (psalm)
  • 'Body' tie pin:  We should grow into Christ, from whom the Body grows and builds itself up in love (1st reading)
  • 'Blood drop' pin:  Some told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. (gospel)
  • 'Barren tree' pin:  Parable of the barren fig tree (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

We've been reflecting on God’s mercy and our responsibility, as Jesus' followers, to be “merciful like the Father.”    Consider the dialogue of Jesus with the Samaritan woman.   Through dialogue we come to know and respect others and to see them as gifts from God.  We need to encourage dialogue in our families, schools and workplaces!  Only through dialogue can we truly understand others and their needs and work together for good.  Dialogue between religions can help build a world of peace and solidarity.  God has placed a seed of goodness in each of us and asks us to use it in the service of creation.  Through dialogue, mutual acceptance, and cooperation, may we make God’s love more evident in our world.
  • Eph 4:7-16  Grace was given to each of us.  Christ descended and ascended that he might fill all things.  He equips the holy ones for ministry, for building up the Body of Christ.  We should grow into Christ, from whom the Body grows and builds itself up in love.
  • Ps 122:1-5  "Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord."  We've set foot within your gates....
  • Lk 13:1-9  “You think that because these Galileans suffered they were greater sinners?  No!  But if you don't repent, you'll perish as they did!  Do you think those killed when the tower fell on them were more guilty?  No!  But if you don't repent, you'll perish as they did!” / “Someone with a fig tree in his orchard came for fruit but found none, then asked the gardener to cut it down.  ‘Leave it another year; I'll cultivate around it and fertilize it, and it may bear fruit.  If not, you can cut it down.’”
    • Creighton:  When Jesus was asked whether in recent catastrophes the people were being punished for sin, he said no, then says that the askers will suffer unless they repent.  Have we repented?  Are we working to establish justice and peace?  In Ephesians Paul describes the church as a body united with Christ as head.  To have such a vision, shouldn't we avoid killing other Christians and hesitate to endanger Christians in Iraq...?  The barren fig tree parable speaks about a fresh chance.  We still have time to act as citizens to love our neighbor and voice our convictions about war and other important matters....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Hypocritical leaves":  Jesus cursed good-looking trees with foliage but no fruit.  In Revelation he threatens to close churches with great reputations but little fruit.  Today he may be saying the same:  we have lots of foliage (buildings, finances, programs...), but how much fruit is there?  Leaves without fruit are hypocritical.
      Pope St. John Paul II
    • Passionist:  Today we celebrate Pope St. John Paul II the anniversary of his inauguration as Pope.  Today's readings invite us to reflect upon our calling to be unified with Christ and one another, contributing our gifts to the building up of the Body of Christ.  Each of us has been blessed with graces from Christ; he's likely reflecting on the unique gifts of each person.  Each of us is invited to grow into the person God created us to be, discovering, fostering, and sharing our gifts.  With the contributions of each of us, the Church grows toward unity and full stature.  We're no longer “infants” in the faith; we're being asked to start living as adults and avoid being tossed around by false understanding of the faith.  In the gospel, Jesus says we must acknowledge our sinfulness and repent; only from such humility can we grow into the person God wants us to be.  Christ's calling to each of us is down-to-earth, dealing with our everyday life.  John Paul II lived that calling forcefully, publicly, and humbly; he calls us to focus on bringing full stature to our own lives, to the Church, and to our world.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Unless you repent":  The Jews often associated calamities and disasters as consequences of sin, but misfortune can befall both the good and the bad.  Jesus says that the real calamity is not repenting.  We must take responsibility for our actions and choices and put sin to death; sin corrupts us from within and can lead to death worse than physical destruction.  The fig tree parable shows the consequences of allowing corruption to take root.  Fig trees were a source of food; they normally matured within three years, producing much fruit, but ones that didn't were cut down to make room for more healthy ones.  A decaying tree symbolized the consequence of corruption from evil deeds and not repenting.  The unfruitful tree symbolized the outcome of Israel's indifference and lack of response to God's word.  Prophets depicted Israel's ruin, due to her unfaithfulness, as a languishing fig tree.  Jeremiah likened Israel's rulers and people to figs either good or rotten.  Jesus' parable depicts God's patience but also warns against presuming on it.  When God's judgments come, we'll learn justice.  The Lord gives us both grace and time to turn from sin, but the time is now....

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