October 31, 2016

Oct. 31

October 31, 2016:  Monday, 31st week, Ordinary Time / Hallowe'en

  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  Be united in heart (1st reading); my heart is not proud (psalm)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  In you, Lord, I have found my peace. (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  my eyes aren't haughty (psalm); when you hold a banquet, invite the blind (gospel)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  Jesus went to dine with a leading Pharisee (gospel)
  • Green shirt, Shrek hat:  Ordinary Time season...

Lutheran-Catholic event at Malmö:  Christian unity is a priority; more unites us than separates us.  The journey to unity is God's gift.  We look together to our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our dialogue has helped us grow in mutual understanding, fostered trust, and confirmed our desire to advance towards full communion.  Today we sign a joint statement to develop and strengthen cooperation and promote human dignity and social justice.  May we join the many who help build a world responsive to God’s plan:  caring for our common home, living our faith, cultivating harmony, working together for peace, helping the vulnerable, responding to situations of need.... Everything done to help those in need is a gesture of solidarity and a recognition of their dignity.  Go out and meet the outcasts and the marginalized, and make God's tender and merciful love felt.  Don't get discouraged in the face of adversity.  Work more closely together.  Make daily gestures of peace and reconciliation, to be valiant witnesses of Christian hope.
Homily at Lund ecumenical prayer service:  Jesus' words, “Abide in me as I in you,” let us peer into the heart of Christ, beating with love and desiring the unity of all believers.  He is the true vine and we the branches; to bear fruit, we must be one with him as he is one with the Father.  “Lord, help us to be more closely united to you and each other, to bear witness of faith, hope, and love.”  Thank God for the efforts of those who kept the hope of reconciliation alive.  We Catholics and Lutherans have undertaken a common journey of reconciliation and can now mend history by moving beyond disagreements to mutual understanding.
The Father is the vinedresser who tends the vine to make it bear more fruit; he wants us to be one with him.  His loving gaze inspires us to purify our past and work towards unity, recognizing our past error and seeking forgiveness.  Our division distanced us from the longing of God’s people for unity, and the "powerful" perpetuated that division.  Both sides wanted to uphold the faith, but we were closed out of fear of or bias against those with a different accent and language.  “Don't set yourselves up as judges but become messengers of truth” (John Paul II, 10-31-83).  "Don't claim to correct what took place, but tell the history differently" (From Conflict to Communion).
“Apart from me, you can do nothing.”  He sustains us and spurs us on to make our unity more visible.  Our separation has caused suffering and misunderstanding but also led us to recognize that without him we can do nothing; it's enabled us better to understand our faith.  The Reformation gave greater centrality to Scripture.  May God's word nourish us and keep us united.
Luther's spiritual experience reminds us that apart from God we can do nothing.  Luther asked how he could get a propitious God and encountered him in the Good News of Jesus, incarnate, dead and risen.  “By grace alone” reminds us God always takes the initiative and seeks to awaken our response.  The doctrine of justification expresses the essence of human existence before God.
Jesus intercedes for us before the Father, praying that his disciples be one; it inspires us to be one with him and to pray for unity, that the world believe in the power of God's mercy.  We'll be credible witnesses of mercy as we experience forgiveness, renewal, and reconciliation.  We concretely manifest God’s mercy when we promote the dignity of every person.  May we be living members, abiding in him, in need of his grace, bringing his word to the world....
  • Phil 2:1-4  Be of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart.  Do nothing out of selfishness or vainglory; humbly regard others as more important.  Look out for others' interests.
  • Ps 131:1bcde, 2-3  "In you, O Lord, I have found my peace."  I'm not proud or busy with sublime things; I've stilled my soul like a weaned child.  Hope in the Lord...
  • Lk 14:12-14  “When you hold a banquet, don't invite friends, family, or wealthy neighbors, in case they invite you back and repay you.  No:  invite the poor, crippled, lame, and blind; you'll be blessed because they can't repay you.  You'll be repaid at the resurrection.”
    Complements Bishop Brennan's article?
  • Creighton:  The Spirit links us, filling us with faith and love.  Paul knew faith-filled people acting selflessly could change societies, but the power had to be directed by being of the same mind.  Paul wants unity in mind, heart, and soul for selfless acts of love.  When one aspect is emphasized over others, we feel out of balance....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Living and loving as never before":  Baptism gives us a new nature:  to appreciate others' gifts, to look to their interests, to serve them, to help those who can't repay us, to help anonymously.  May we serve unselfishly with humility....
  • Passionist:  “Hallowe'en” is a contraction of “All Hallows Eve,” the vigil of All Saints Day.  We should invite everyone to the table and welcome and help them.  May we welcome as the Lord welcomes us....
  • DailyScripture.net:  "You'll be repaid at the resurrection of the just":  Jesus lectured his host on whom to invite:  maybe the host expected a favor or wanted to impress others?  Generosity springs from God's mercy and compassion; it demands self-sacrifice.  May we respond with gratitude and show favor to those who can't repay us:  the poor, the sick, the disadvantaged....

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