November 6, 2016

32nd Sun., Ordinary Time

November 6, 2016:  Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

See a dozen connections with today?
Legend below

For Psalm 17
For upcoming Sundays:
Pope Francis
"Jubilee of prisoners" homily:  Today God brings us a message of hope.  One brother condemned to death speaks of “the hope God gives of being raised again,” demonstrating the faith of those who, though suffering and tortured, steadfastly looked ahead to new life, acknowledging God as source of their hope.  In the Gospel, Jesus demolished the Sadducees' casuistry:  “He is God of the living; for all live to him” reveals God's true face and desire for his children.  We must make our own the hope of new life.
Hope is God's gift, to shed light on life, often troubled by sadness and pain.  Nourish the roots of hope so that they can bear fruit:  God is close and compassionate no matter what we've done.  God's love can touch every corner of our heart.  When I make a mistake, his mercy is more present, awakening repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation.  Mercy is the expression of God’s love.  We must pay the price when we break the law, but don't lose hope; no one or nothing can stifle hope.  Our heart always yearns for goodness.  Paul speaks of “the God of hope.”  God hopes!  His mercy gives him no rest; he hopes for the return of his fallen children.  He won't rest till he finds the lost sheep.  If God hopes, no one should lose hope.  Hope is the strength and power to press on towards a changed life, the incentive to look ahead, so that the love we've known can show us a new path.  It's the proof of the power of God’s mercy that invites us to overcome evil through faith and abandonment in him. 
May your hope be rekindled.  Some hypocrites may consider you only as wrongdoers and prison as the answer.  When we don’t think people can change their lives, we forget we're all sinners and prisoners, locked up within our prejudices, enslaved to a false sense of well-being, stuck in our own ideologies as they crush others.  We imprison ourselves behind walls of individualism and self-sufficiency, deprived of the truth that sets us free.  Pointing the finger can't be an alibi for concealing our own contradictions.  No one can consider themselves just in God’s eyes, but no one can live without the certainty of forgiveness!  The repentant thief accompanied Jesus into paradise.  Don't let the past hold you captive!  We can't rewrite the past, but the history starting today has yet to be written, by God's grace and your personal responsibility.  By learning from mistakes, you can open a new chapter of your lives.  Don't think you can't be forgiven; just entrust yourself to God's mercy.
Even tiny faith can move mountains.  It can enable us to forgive in humanly impossible situations.  Some wounds only God can heal, but when forgiveness meets violence, love can conquer those who have done wrong, and God raises up witnesses and workers of mercy.  We venerate Mary in this statue of her as a Mother holding Jesus, with a broken chain, the chain of slavery and imprisonment.  May she look on you with a Mother’s love and intercede for you, so you may hope for a new life worthy of being lived in freedom and service to others.
At Third World Meeting of Popular Movements:  The rule of money governs with fear, inequality, and violence and creates more violence.  Church social doctrine rebels against the idol of money that tyrannizes and terrorizes humanity, sustained by exploiting our fears.  Citizens are either walled-up, terrified, excluded, or banished.  Fear weakens and destabilizes us, destroys our defenses, numbs us to others' suffering, and makes us cruel.  Thank you for giving dignity to workers, reducing unemployment through your cooperatives, and helping migrants.  Revitalize and reestablish democracies going through crisis.  Don't let yourselves be reduced to secondary roles or mere administration of existing misery.  Serve with austerity and humility.  May God fill you with his love, defend, strengthen, and sustain you, and give you courage to break the chain of hatred.
  • 2 Mc 7:1-2, 9-14  King tortured 7 brothers, mother to eat pork.  "We die for the King who will raise us up to live forever."  "I choose to die, hope God will raise me."
  • 2 Thes 2:16-3:5  May Christ encourage and strengthen you.  Pray for us that God's word may speed forward.  Our faithful Lord will guard you from the evil one.  May he give you love and endurance.
  • Lk 20:27-38   Sadducees:  "Each of 7 brothers married a woman but died childless.  At the resurrection whose wife will she be?"  Jesus:  "The dead will rise.  Those worthy of the resurrection don't marry, aren't given in marriage; they're God's children, like angels.  God is not God of the dead but of the living; to him all are alive."
"Roamin' Catholic" report
I took Mom to a Mass that in the past has either had no music or presider-led a cappella music, but this time we had the parish school's choir, in school uniforms.  The homily was outstanding; it started with a modern-day analogy to the Maccabean revolt better to connect us with the first reading.  The hymn selections were fine, including:

The Mass parts were all over the map:  The Gloria, Mystery of Faith, and Amen were from Schutte's singable Mass of Christ the Savior, but the Alleluia was on its own and put the accent on '-le-.'  I like the frequently sung Agnus Dei chant, but here (1) it didn't fit well with the rest of the music, and (2) IMHO it's best sung a cappella, but it was harmonized, and badly so.  Finally, the Holy, holy, holy was a repeat-after-me version I'd heard before but not recently; it doesn't use either the pre-RM3 or RM3 text.  I couldn't find the composer online, but while looking, I found the same Holy in a "Worst song ever" Catholic forum thread.  I think it would have worked better for all if they'd just done Schutte's settings of all the parts.
Most disappointing for me was that there was no cantor to animate the assembly; there wasn't even a podium as there had been before.  The pianist/director, whose voice is fine, led the responsorial psalm from the piano.  I liked the setting but didn't recognize it (which means it's not Gelineau, Respond & Acclaim, or any of the ones above); I wish he'd just walked up to the ambo and led it a cappella facing the assembly.  Maybe one of the kids was going to lead it and got shy?  For a couple of the songs, four kids came down from the risers and stood near the piano, but it didn't seem to me they were trying to lead the assembly, and I couldn't hear or see them well.
    • Creighton:  The Sadducees thought they'd found a way to make belief in resurrection look foolish, but Jesus leaves them with their own questions.  Conflict is a normal part of life.  Jesus changes the question and puts forth another level of analysis, dissipating the conflict and encouraging thinking about the resurrection.  Is what I'm doing aligned with God’s purpose?  Am I listening, attentive, praying?  Whether working with external or internal conflicts, may we seek guidance, change the question, reflect, and embrace the answers.
      The seven brothers, martyrs/ Weninger
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Because he lives...":  Those who believe in Jesus will be raised from the dead to live with him forever.  Because we'll rise:  we can be fearless in the face of death, we canbe courageous and regard sufferings as nothing, we're hope-filled, we're not manipulated into a life of pleasure-seeking, we see our bodies as temples of the Spirit, we proclaim the good news of our resurrection, we have a bond of unity with others who believe in the resurrection, and we gather on Sundays to celebrate Jesus' resurrection.  Our faith in the resurrection should be written all over our lives....
    • Passionist:  The Sadducees try to trip up Jesus, but he rejects their premise by saying there's no marriage in the coming age and quoting the burning bush passage about the "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."  In line with our celebration of All Saints and All Souls, this reminds us of our belief that death can't cut us off from God or our loved ones. But faith in the resurrection pertains also to life now, orienting us toward life, thanksgiving, and hope, and sustaining us in love.  Paul gives thanks for God's gifts and prays that his brother and sisters be encouraged and strengthened.  May our deeds and words promote life!...
    •  "All live to him":  The Sadducees couldn't conceive of heaven because they couldn't see it.  They posed a test question to make the resurrection look ridiculous.  Jesus retorts that scriptures proves the resurrection:  the patriarchs are alive in God.  "You hold my right hand. You guide me...  and afterward you will receive me to glory."   The ultimate proof is Jesus' own resurrection....
      • All Saints of Africa
    Dress legend
    •  'People' tie pin:  brothers and mother (1st reading), brothers and wife (gospel)
    • 'Crown' tie bar:  King Antiochus Epiphanes (1st reading)

    • 'Heart' pin:  Encourage your hearts; God's love (2nd reading)

    • 'Angel' pin:  "They are like angels" (gospel)

    • 'Pigs' suspenders:  King trying to get brothers to eat pork (1st reading)

    • 'Hands' pin:  3rd brother held out his hands, 4th brother's choice to die at the hands of men (1st reading)
    • 'Food' tie:  Eschatological banquet (gospel, inferred)

    • 'Feet' pin:  "My feet have not faltered" (psalm)
    • 'Phone' tie bar:  I 'call' on You, for You will answer me (psalm)
    • 'Eyeball' pin:  Keep me safe as the apple of your eye (psalm)
    • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time (season)

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