October 3, 2016

Oct. 3

October 3, 2016:  Monday, 27th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Angel' pin:  If an angel preaches a gospel other than what we preached... (1st reading)

  • 'Three people' tie pin:  Priest, Levite, and Samaritan (gospel)

  • 'Heart' pin:  The Samaritan showed the traveler compassion (gospel)

  • 'Santa Fe' ('faith') T-shirt:  Pope Francis homily and addresses


Pope Francis
Angelus:  Your small community is not uniform; you speak many languages.  It's on the peripheries.  The Holy Spirit descended to a small, poor, fearful, perhaps persecuted or rejected, community in the periphery of the Cenacle, to impart fortitude, power, and boldness to go proclaim the name of Jesus, and closed doors were opened to release the Spirit's power of the Spirit.  I'm imitating the Spirit in visiting you.  Mary was among that community.  Don’t forget our Mother!  And charity, a Spirit-poured fraternal love, was there.  Have courage!  Without fear, go ahead!   
In the light radiating from Mary's maternal gaze, I offer a warm greeting to you, as I encourage you to witness joyfully to faith, hope, and love, united.  Let us invoke her protection upon your families, the sick and elderly, and all who suffer.
Baku homily:  The two essential aspects of the Christian life are faith and service.  The Lord invites patient waiting, never losing hope; he emphasizes the importance of faith, since it is by faith that we'll live.  When faith is interwoven with service, the heart remains open and youthful and expands in the process of doing good.  Thus faith becomes powerful and accomplishes marvelous deeds.  In service, don't become lukewarm or see service only as a way to prestige and power.  “The fruit of faith is love.  The fruit of love is service.  The fruit of service is peace” (St. Teresa of Calcutta)
At Azerbaijan interreligious meeting:  Our friendly meeting is a sign of the harmony religions can build together, based on personal relations and good will.  The Islamic Leader has helped Catholics and shared wisdom with us.  Good relations unite local Catholics, Orthodox, and Jews.  Together we desire to protect religions' heritage and pursue deeper, more fruitful openness.  Cooperation helps build better and more peaceful societies.  We must open our hearts and the doors of hope to everyone; openness and encounter are indispensable for building bridges of peace and a future worthy of humanity.  Those who want the common good long for fraternity and sharing.  God wants his children to be united and in dialogue.  “If you're human, mix with humans, because people go well with each other” (Ganjavi).  Opening to others enables us to be more human:  to participate in a greater unit, understand our life as a gift for others, see humanity's good as the goal, and act out of respect for history, culture, and religious tradition.

Religions are to accompany people looking for life's meaning, helping them to go beyond the limited capacities of people and the world's goods.  “Don't base yourself on your own strength, such that in heaven you'll find no resting place!  The fruits of this world are not eternal; don't adore what perishes!” (Ganjavi)  Religions are to help us understand we're oriented towards the Most High and our neighbor; we're to set out towards true love “that never mutates or ends” (ibid).  We need religion; it orients us to the good and away from evil, and it helps bring out the best in each person.  We must offer authentic responses to seekers, who are often lost among contradictions.  In the face of today's nihilism and rigid fundamentalism, religions help discern the good and put it into practice through deeds, prayer, cultivation of inner life, and building a culture of encounter and peace, based on patience, understanding, and humble steps.  The virtuous rapport between society and religions needs to be built up and protected.  Every civil society must support religion; for this, authentic freedom must be guaranteed.  God can't be used for personal interests or to justify fundamentalism, colonialism, or violence.
God's mercy is “necessary for peace…  a duty for Christians and other religious communities” (Evangelii Gaudium, 250).  Prayer and dialogue are interconnected:  they flow from an openness of heart and extend to the good of others, enriching and reinforcing each other.  The Catholic Church, “exhorts her children that through dialogue and collaboration with followers of other religions, carried out with prudence and love and in witness to Christian faith and life, they recognize, preserve, and promote the good things" (Nostra Aetate, 2).  This is not facile syncretism or saying yes to everything to avoid problems” (Evangelii Gaudium 251) but dialogue and prayer, to give rise to love and forgiveness, never growing weary of imploring peace.
True peace, founded on respect, encounter, and sharing, goes beyond prejudices and past wrongs, rejects double standards and self-interest, and is animated by courage to overcome barriers, eradicate injustice, denounce and end proliferation of weapons and immoral profiteering.  We're challenged to respond, building a future of peace, patiently engaging in processes of reconciliation.  What are we offering to future generations?  How can we leave them a better world?  God, and history, will ask us whether we've spent ourselves pursuing peace.  May religions bring peace, rebirth, dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation; may they be active agents to overcome past tragedies and present tensions....
  • Gal 1:6-12  You're forsaking the one who called you for a different "gospel."  If anyone preaches to you a gospel other than what we preached, let them be accursed!  The Gospel is not of human origin; it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
  • Ps 111:1b-2, 7-9, 10c  "The Lord will remember his covenant for ever."  I thank the Lord with all my heart.  The Lord's works are great, faithful, and just.  He delivered his people and ratified his covenant.
  • Lk 10:25-37  Law scholar / Jesus:  “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” / “What's written in the law?” / “Love the Lord with your heart, being, strength, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” / “Yes; do this and you will live.” / “Who's my neighbor?” / “Robbers beat a man and left him half-dead.  A priest, then a Levite, saw him and passed on the opposite side, but a Samaritan was moved with compassion, poured oil and wine over his wounds, bandaged them, took him to an inn, cared for him, and paid the innkeeper to care for him afterwards.  Who was the victim's neighbor?” / “The one who showed mercy.” / “Do likewise.”
    • Creighton:  Trying to live as Christians in American society is a challenge.  In seeking to be accountable to the Gospel, we need to keep focused on its truths; that means being accountable to our neighbors, demonstrating love in seeking truth and equity.   May we love the Lord our God with all our hearts, all our beings, all our strength, all our minds, and our neighbors as ourselves.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "It doesn't add up":  Paul founded the churches of Galatia on his missionary journeys.  He preached that people were set right with God through faith in Christ.  Later, traveling evangelists visited Galatia, teaching that more than faith in Jesus was necessary, likely accusing Paul of being soft, of watering down the gospel.  They demanded the Galatians be circumcised and observe dietary restrictions.  This was likely too much for the Galatians, and they went to a different gospel.  Am I telling Jesus his death and resurrection weren't enough?  Am I adding anything?
    • Passionist:  “Who was neighbor to the victim?” “The one who treated him with mercy.” “Go and do likewise.”  In this Year of Mercy are we learning to be more merciful?  How can we still grow?  Give to the one who asks you....”
      The Good Samaritan/ Morot
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Go and do likewise":  Jesus' told today's parable in response to a devout Jew who wanted to apply God's commandment of love in daily life.  For Jews the law of love was simple:  "treat your neighbor as you'd treat yourself."  The issue was the definition of "neighbor"; this man understood it to mean fellow Jew.  Jesus challenged him to see God's wider view of neighbor.  The parable shows God's wide love and mercy towards every human being.  Jesus' audience was familiar with highway robbery:  the road went through a dangerous narrow valley known for robbers who ambushed their victims and escaped.
    Jesus makes the supposed villain, the Samaritan, the merciful one as an example for status-conscious Jews.  The priest probably didn't want to risk ritual impurity; his piety got in the way of charity.  The Levite approached the victim but didn't help, perhaps fearing he was bandits' decoy; he put personal safety ahead of saving his neighbor.  We must be willing to help even if others brought trouble on themselves.  Our love and concern must be practical, going beyond good intentions and empathy.  Our love must also be wide and inclusive.  God loves everyone unconditionally; we must do good to others as God is good to us. 
      Jesus showed how far God was willing to go to share our suffering and restore us, overcoming sin, suffering, and death through his death and resurrection.  True compassion identifies and emphathizes with the one in pain and takes the pain on oneself.  Jesus' suffering brings us healing, restoration, freedom, and eternal life.  May we also lay down our lives out of love for our neighbor...
        • Martyrs of Sussex:  10 English martyrs, 4 lay and 6 priests over 140+ years:  John Rugge, Thomas Percy, Thomas Pylcher, Henry Webley, Edward Shelley, Ralph Crockett, Edward James, George Gervase, Thomas Bullaker, William Howard.

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