November 15, 2016

Nov. 15

November 15, 2016:  Tuesday, 33rd week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Angel' pin:  "To the angels of the Churches in Sardis and Laodicea, write..." (1st reading)
  • White shirt:  The victor will be dressed in white (1st reading)
  • Gold-colored accessories, 'fire' pin:  Buy gold refined by fire (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  Buy ointment to smear on your eyes (1st reading)
  • 'Heart' pin:  If you think the truth in your heart, you won't be disturbed (psalm)
  • 'Door' and 'house' tie: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." (1st reading) "I must stay at your house" (gospel)
  • 'Tree' pin:  Sycamore tree (gospel)
  • 'Coin' tie bar:  Don't lend money at usury (psalm); tax collector Zacchaeus' generosity and restitution (gospel)
  • Green tie pin, 'clocks' tie bar:  Ordinary Time season, and Jubilee of Mercy, drawing to a close.  Holy Doors are closing...

For Psalm 15
Pope Francis homily
The Lord warns against the calm without substance of the lukewarm, a calm that deceives.  The lukewarm think they're rich and need nothing.  If the Church or a family, community, or person is always calm, God isn't there.  Don't fall asleep in the false belief you need nothing!  Out of love, Jesus said that those who believe themselves rich are unhappy and miserable; they need to discover the riches only God can bestow.  Richness from God carries its cross, always with some restlessness of the soul.  
The lukewarm lose the capacity to contemplate, to see God's great and beautiful things.  The Lord seeks to awaken us, to help us convert.  He invites us:  "Behold; I knock."  We need to be able to hear when he knocks; he wants to gives us something good.  Some Christians don't; for them every noise is the same.  The Lord invites us to invite him, which is what happens with Zacchaeus, whose curiosity was from the Holy Spirit.  The initiative is from the Spirit towards the Lord, who says, "Come; invite me in.”  The Lord is always there with love, whether to correct us, invite us to supper, or be invited by us.  He tells us,  "Awake!  Open!  Come down!"  May the Spirit give us the grace to discern these calls.
    'Sycamore' word cloud
  • Rv 3:1-6, 14-22  To Sardis Church:  “You're dead.  Remember how you accepted and heard; repent.”  To Laodicea Church:  “You're neither cold nor hot.  Because you're lukewarm, I'll spit you out.  You say, ‘I don't need anything’ but don't realize you're wretched...  Those I love, I reprove.  Repent.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If you hear me and open up, I'll enter your house and dine with you.  Hear what the Spirit is saying.”
  • Ps 15:2-4ab, 5  "I will seat the victor beside me on my throne."  Those who do justice, think the truth, and don't slander, do harm, or accept bribes will never be disturbed.
  • Lk 19:1-10  Jesus / wealthy Zacchaeus on sycamore:  “Hurry down; I must stay at your house.”  He hurried down and received him with joy.  Others grumbled:  “He's going to a sinner's house.”  Zacchaeus / Jesus:  “Lord, I'll give the poor half my possessions and repay people fourfold.” / “Today salvation has come to this house.  The Son of Man has come to seek and save the lost.”
  • Fr. Jim Clarke homily podcast:  Does Zacchaeus ask Jesus for mercy and repent?  No; here's what's happening with him, Jesus, and the crowd.  Hear this fresh take before you read the reflections below.
    • Creighton:  The Jews saw Zacchaeus as a sinner, but Jesus saw him as a human being deserving mercy.  Jesus told him he was dining at his house, and Zacchaeus repented.  Knowing and receiving Jesus turned Zacchaeus to the poor and those he'd wronged.  Put yourself in Jesus’ shoes:  look at others the way he does, with love. Receiving Jesus in my house transforms me into Jesus and invites me to love myself and others like he does....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Jesus says, 'Repent!'"  In Rev 2-3, Jesus says "repent" seven times.  May we make repentance and the Sacrament of Reconciliation a priority....
    • Passionist:   Zacchaeus, likely surprised when Jesus called him by name and invited himself to his house, came down and received him with joy, but the crowd began to grumble at them both.  Zacchaeus, knowing why the crowd hated him, offers to give to the poor and make fourfold restitution, and receives salvation....
      St. Albert the Great/ Da Modena
    •  "Zacchaeus received Jesus joyfully":  Jesus often visited the "uninvited."  Tax collectors, who accumulated wealth at others' expense, were treated as outcasts.  Everybody hated Zacchaeus, but in his encounter with Jesus he found more than he imagined possible.  He repents, deciding to give his goods to the poor and make restitution; his change of heart resulted in a change of life the community could see as genuine.  "Zacchaeus saw Jesus without the crowd in his way.   The crowd laughs at the lowly, who don't insist on getting back at their enemies; they say, 'You clod; you can't stick up for yourself and get back what's your own.'  They prevent Jesus from being seen, blocking the sight of the one who said, 'Father, forgive them.'  Zacchaeus ignored the crowd and climbed a sycamore, 'silly fruit' tree.  'We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews, but folly to the Gentiles.'  The wise of this world laugh at us about the cross and say, 'You worship a crucified God!'  'The world's wisdom is folly with God.'  You call our minds foolish, but we climb the sycamore and see Jesus; you can't see him because you're ashamed to climb it.  Let the humble climb the cross.  Don't be ashamed; fix it on your forehead.  You make fun of the sycamore, but it's what enabled me to see Jesus.  'God's foolishness is wiser than we'  (Augustine, Sermon 174.3, paraphrased).  Jesus is ready to make his home with us.  How do I make room for him?

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