February 28, 2017

Feb. 28

February 28, 2017:  Tuesday, 8th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Peace sign':  Those who observe the commandments sacrifice a peace offering (1st reading)
  • 'Happy faces' tie, 'coin' tie bar:  "With each contribution show a cheerful countenance, and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy." (1st reading)
      • 'Hand' tie pin:  Don't appear before the Lord empty-handed (1st reading)
      • 'Fire' pin:  Your burnt offerings are before me always (psalm)
      • 'Abacus' tie pin:  "The Lord will repay you sevenfold" (psalm); "If you give up house, family, or land for Jesus' sake, you'll receive a hundredfold" (gospel)
      • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season (resumes June 5!)
      Pope Francis
      Homily:  The rich young man wanted to follow the Lord, but his wealth led him to follow money.  Jesus' disciples were worried when  he said it's easier for a camel to pass through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom.  Then Peter asks him what will happen to them who have given up everything to follow him.  Jesus’ reply is clear:  you'll receive everything.  The Lord can't give less than everything, just as he gave all of himself.  The word 'persecution' gives us pause:  we need to think and behave differently.  God's fullness is emptied out on the Cross.  God's gift is a fullness emptied out; it's also Christians' way of being:  seeking and receiving a fullness emptied out and following that path.  We must give generously, cheerfully, in a spirit of joy.  A cheerful face and joyful eyes are the signs we’re following the path of fullness emptied out.  The young man’s face fell and he became sad, because he couldn't receive and welcome fullness emptied out, but the saints and Peter could, with cheerful faces and joyful hearts.  Chilean saint Alberto Hurtado worked with the poor amid difficulty, persecution, and suffering, but he said, "I’m happy, Lord."  May he teach us to follow this difficult path and always say, "I’m happy, Lord."

      Scarp interview:  Many parishes have opened their doors to refugees.  Walking in the other's shoes is a way to escape our egoism; we gain understanding and get to know difficult situations.  Words aren't enough.  There are many ways to justify not giving alms:  "He'd just spend it on wine!"  Maybe that's his only happiness in life!  When we give, we must give what is ours!
      Many arriving refugees are fleeing from war or hunger.  We're all part of this situation and need to find ways to help.   Governments are especially responsible....
      • Sir 35:1-12  To keep the law is a great offering:  works of charity, almsgiving, refraining from evil, and avoiding injustice.  Don't appear before the Lord empty-handed.  The offering of the just rises as a sweet odor before the Most High; it won't be forgotten.  Give generously to the Most High as he has given to you; he'll repay you sevenfold.
      • Ps 50:5-8, 14, 23  "To the upright I will show the saving power of God."  Offer praise as your sacrifice.
      • Mk 10:28-31  "We've given up everything and followed you." / "If you give up house, siblings, parents, children, or lands for my sake, you'll receive a hundredfold now:  houses, sibling, mothers, children, lands, with persecutions, then eternal life.  Many who are first will be last, and the last first."
        • Creighton:  The first disciples left everything behind and followed Jesus, but the rich young man (yesterday’s gospel) "went away sad, for he had many possessions." Today Jesus helps his disciples understand that they have given up their human families but receive a community centered on God's will.  We are to love people and use things (not vice versa) inasmuch as they lead us to God. When we give up everything, we can fill ourselves with Christ and expect freedom, peace, and joy....
        • One Bread, One Body:  "Another season of giving":  Jesus said: "There is more happiness in giving than receiving." The Holy Spirit is both the Gift of the Father and the Son and the Giver.  Those baptized into God are reborn to give.  We must not be "sparing freewill gifts"; we must give up everything to give everything to the Lord.  In Lent we'll be able to give alms, pray, and fast.  Christmas, Lent, and Easter are all times of gift-giving; our Lenten gifts should be in the shadow of the cross and the threshold of the resurrection.  May we give the Lord the gifts of Lent to deepen the gift of your love and life.
        • Passionist:  Sirach provides guidance for planning our Lenten journey.  He encourages us to work for justice, give to the needy, observe the commandments... cheerfully!  Whoever sacrifices on behalf of the gospel will be blessed.  May our Lent be a time of encountering Christ in prayer, fasting, rallying against injustice, feeding the hungry, housing immigrants, petitioning our government and church leaders to work for equality and to live as Gospel people....
        • DailyScripture.net:  "We've left everything and followed you":  We lose what we keep and gain what we give away.  When we lose our lives for Christ, we gain an everlasting inheritance.  But when we follow him, we can expect opposition and persecution.  No earthly possession can rival the joy of knowing God and the peace and unity he gives.  The Lord wants to fill us with the vision of his kingdom of justice, peace, and joy.  Holy Spirit, fill me with God's joy and peace and the assurance of his unfailing love for me.
        • Universalis:  St. Oswald, Benedictine monk, bishop, revived monastic life, celebrated liturgy well, loved the poor.

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