February 17, 2017

Feb. 17

February 17, 2017:  Friday, 6th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Fire' pin:  "Let us mold bricks and harden them with fire" (1st reading)
  • Tie with towers:  "Let us build a city and a tower with its top in the sky" (1st reading)
  • 'Heart' pin:  The design of the Lord's heart stands forever; the Lord fashioned the heart of each person (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  The Lord looks down, sees everyone (psalm)
  • 'Cross' pin:  "To come after me,... take up your cross and follow me" (gospel)
  • 'Angel' pin:  "Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son will be ashamed of when he comes in glory with the angels" (gospel)
  • Green shirt and blazer:  Ordinary Time season

For Psalm 33
Pope Francis to popular movements
The prevailing system causes suffering, assaulting people’s dignity and our Common Home to sustain the tyranny of money.  We must act now to stem processes of dehumanization that would be hard to reverse.  When we disown our neighbors, we deny their humanity, ours, and Jesus' commandments.  But there's an opportunity for the light of love of neighbor to illuminate the Earth, wake us, and let humanity burst through.
“Who is my neighbor?”  Jesus responds with the Good Samaritan parable with two of the day's elite and an pagan foreigner considered unclean and looked down on who saw the suffering man and showed compassion, teaching us that love means taking care of the other to the point of paying for him, drawing near, and identifying with him.
The economic system centered on the god of money inflicts injuries that have remained neglected.  Society looks the other way, pretending innocence, looking at but not touching the suffering, doing nothing to heal the social wounds or confront structures that leave many by the wayside.  This attitude manifests absence of commitment to humanity.  The moral blindness of this indifference comes to light; the wounds of unemployment, violence, corruption, identity crisis, and gutting of democracies are real, and when they can't be ignored, the power that spawned this state manipulates fear, insecurity, quarrels, even indignation, to shift the responsibility to a “non-neighbor.”
But Jesus teaches us not to classify others to see who is or isn't a neighbor.  You can become neighbor to whomever you meet, and you will if you have compassion, if you can suffer with them.  Become a Samaritan, and also the innkeeper to whom the Samaritan entrusts the suffering person.  The innkeeper is the Church, the community, people of compassion and solidarity, social organizations, us, you to whom the Lord entrusts the afflicted so we may pour out his mercy and salvation on them.  Here are the roots of the humanity that resists dehumanization dressed as indifference, hypocrisy, or intolerance.
You've committed to fight for justice, to defend Mother Earth, and to stand with migrants.  Keep defending Creation; the ecological crisis is real.  And remember no people is criminal and no religion terrorist.  All peoples and religions have fundamentalist and violent individuals, and with intolerant generalizations they become stronger, feeding on hate and xenophobia.  Confront terror with love and so work for peace.  Sow love, pardon, unity, and truth....  *Sponsored by Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, US CCHD, and PICO
  • Gn 11:1-9  When the world spoke the same language, they said to one another, “Let's build a city and a tower to the sky and make a name for ourselves; or else we'll be scattered.”  The Lord said:  “If they started this now, nothing will stop them later. Let's confuse their language.”  He scattered them, and they stopped building.  It was called Babel, because there the Lord confused their speech.
  • Ps 33:10-15  "Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own."  The Lord's plan stands forever.  He fashioned all who dwell on the earth and knows our works....

  • Mk 8:34-9:1  “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.  Whoever loses his life for my sake and the Gospel's will save it.  What profit is there for you to gain the world and forfeit your life?
    • Creighton:  We all have daily challenges, crosses to bear, and get upset about little things. After I get upset, I ask whether it was worth it.  Jesus tells us to think of others.  Are the crosses I've been given significant, or annoyances?  What can they help me learn?  Pray on your crosses; pray for others who have crosses.  Trust you'll get what you need....
      The tower of Babel/ Bruegel
    • One Bread, One Body:  "One nation, under God":  The future of a nation which excludes God is dispersion, not unity.  Lasting unity comes from the Spirit, Source of unity.  A nation seeking such unity must focus on God, not making its own name great.  The most patriotic things I can do are make Jesus the Ruler of my life.and lead others to Jesus.  We proclaim we're "one nation, under God." When we're confirmed, we pledge to be God's soldiers.  May we live under God's rule so God may use us to build holy nation.
    • Passionist:  "Babel and Calvary":  The 1st reading begins with harmony and peace, but everything changes when they decide to replace God’s vision with their ambitious plan to make a name for themselves, forgetting they're creatures dependent on God.  The harmony and peace they enjoyed is shattered.  But Jesus asks us to find life not through self-promotion or -aggrandizement but by taking up our cross and following him.  It’s a life of self-denial, generosity, sacrifice, and love.  Babel and Calvary symbolize two ways of life.  Which we choose to follow makes all the difference for ourselves and the world.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Whoever loses his life for my sake will save it":  In every decision we're shaping our character and helping determine our future.  Some may gain all they desire, then discover they missed the most important things.  Money can't buy heaven, mend a broken heart, or cheer a lonely person.  Jesus asks what we can give in exchange for our life.  We owe God everything, including our lives.  True disciples give up all they have in exchange for life with God who offers immeasurable joy.  The cross leads to victory and freedom.  To know Christ is to know the power of his death and resurrection. The Spirit gives us faith to know Jesus, power to live the gospel, and courage to witness the gospel's joy and truth to others....

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