February 9, 2017

Feb. 9

February 9, 2017:  Thursday, 5th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Lion' pin:  God formed wild animals and birds and brought them to the man (1st reading)
  • 'Cow' pin:  The man gave names to the cattle... (1st reading)
  • 'Skeleton' tie pin; flesh-colored suspenders:  God took out one of the man's ribs and built a woman from it, "bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh..." (1st reading)
  • 'Fruit' pin:  You who walk in God's ways shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; your wife shall be like a fruitful vine (psalm)
  • 'Feet' pin:  The woman fell at Jesus' feet (gospel)
  • 'Car' tie bar:  She begged him to 'drive' the demon out (gospel)
  • 'Dogs' tie:  “It's not right to throw children's food to the dogs” / “Even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.” (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

Pope Francis
Homily:  We can think of what women do, but we should see them as bearers of a richness men don't have:  they bring harmony to creation.  Without women, harmony is missing.  Neither men nor women are superior, but men just don't bring harmony.  Women teach us to caress, to love tenderly; they make the world beautiful.
The woman brings the capacity to love one another.  Often we hear, "We need a woman because she does...."   No! Women should do things, as do we all, but women are to make harmony.  Exploiting persons is an attack on humanity, but exploiting women is even more serious because it destroys the harmony God has given the world.
Woman is the great gift of God.  In today's Gospel we see a woman's courage.  But there's more:  a woman is harmony, poetry, beauty; without her the world would not be so beautiful or harmonious.  And I think God created women so we'd all have a mother.
To Congregation for Catholic Education:  Catholic institutions have a mission to offer horizons open to transcendence.  Gravissimum educationis says education is at the service of an integral humanism and that the Church should form people, both in view of their ultimate goal, and for society's good.
Our world is a global village where each person shares the hope for a better future for all.  Unfortunately, violence, poverty, exploitation, discrimination, marginalization, and restrictions on freedom create a culture of waste.  Our educational institutions are called to practice dialogue as the basis of encounter and enhancement of diversity.  Dialogue is constructive when it takes place with respect, sincere listening, and faithfulness to participants' identity.  I hope new generations, brought up to know how to engage in Christian dialogue, will leave the classroom motivated to build bridges and find new answers. 
Catholic schools are called to teach a method of intellectual dialogue aimed at revealing truth.  I'd also like education to help sow hope.  We need hope to live, and education generates hope. Education gives birth and is part of the dynamics of giving life.  A new life is the most gushing source of hope; it reaches out in search of beauty, goodness, truth, and communion.  Listen to young people, and help them build a more united and peaceful world.
To Anti-Defamation League:  There are no adequate words or thoughts in the face of the horrors of cruelty and sin we saw in the Holocaust; we pray that God have mercy and that such tragedies never happen again.  The Catholic Church feels particularly obliged to do all we can with our Jewish friends to repel anti-Semitic tendencies.  The fight against anti-Semitism can benefit from effective instruments, such as information and formation.  Faced with spreading violence, we're called to greater nonviolence:  not passivity but active promotion of the good, including the dignity of human life from conception to natural end.  Sow the seeds of goodness by cultivating justice, fostering accord, and sustaining integration, so we may gather the fruit of peace.

To Civiltà Cattolicà writers:  Don't just defend Catholic ideas, but witness to Christ in the world with a restless, open-ended, imaginative spirit: 
Remain on open seas:  Don't fear the storms, but proceed courageously, guided by the Spirit, into uncharted waters.  Your publication has been the expression of a group of writers who share not only their intellectual experiences, but also charismatic inspiration and communal life. 
Mission to the frontiers:  All Jesuits are called to carry out their mission on the margins of society, with dialogue and discernment. You can help build bridges, with your new language editions broadening your horizons and entering into dialogue with more people.
Restlessness:  Catholic writers need to be restless.  Christian traditions aren't treasures to be locked away in a museum.  Draw inspiration from our co-founder St. Peter Faber, pioneer of ecumenism.
Openness:  Strive for openness to face the challenges of a world caught in mediocrity, relativism, rigidity, and a throwaway culture.  Only an open-minded spirit, like that of Matteo Ricci, who helped bring Christianity to China, can confront today's crises, beginning with global migration.
Imagination:  Be imaginative, like Bro. Andrea Pozzo.  Using poetry, painting, and other art forms, the Church must rediscover its human genius, helping us see life is not black and white but a subtly shaded color painting.  Stay flexible, with a sense of humor, a merciful heart, and interior freedom.
    Dogs eat the scraps...
  • Gn 2:18-25  God:  “I'll make a partner for the man.”  He brought animals and birds for the man to name, but since none proved a suitable partner, he put him to sleep and took a rib to form a woman.  “Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh!”  That's why a man clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.  They were naked but felt no shame.
  • Ps 128:1-5  "Blessed are those who fear the Lord."  You'll eat the fruit of your handiwork.  Your wife shall be fruitful, your children like olive plants.
  • Mk 7:24-30  A woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit fell at Jesus' feet and begged for her daughter's deliverance.  Jesus / mother:  “It's wrong to throw children's food to dogs.” / “Even dogs eat children’s table scraps.” / “Go; the demon has gone out of her.”  She found the child in bed and the demon gone.
      • Creighton:  How can we explain "It's not right to throw the dogs the children's food"?  A rash response born of his Jewish upbringing?  Then he expels the demon from the woman's daughter.  His encounter with the non-Jewish woman transforms him to see people as God's children in need, not Jews or Gentiles?  We can so label people as to undermine their identity as children of God.  May we drop our conditioning and labels and allow the Spirit to unite us with people in need as fellow human beings, neighbors?
      • One Bread, One Body:  "The sacrament of Trinitarian unity":  Husband and wife are one body. Woman was made from a part of the man's body.  When a couple is married in the Lord, this bodily unity is taken into the Trinity's unity; it's a sign of Christ's love for the Church.  Christian married couples are signs that we can be one with God and other Christians as the Father, Son, and Spirit are one.  It proclaims sacramentally there's one body and Spirit,  Love, pray for, and serve married couples....
        Jesus and the woman of Canaan/ Immenraet 
      • Passionist:  "Love changes everything":  Her neighbors thought compassionately about the Syro-Phoenician woman and her daughter.  The woman must have been desperate, anxious for her daughter's future.  She cautiously approaches Jesus, he doesn't jump to her aid, she begs, and he heals.  In earlier gospels Jesus told the apostles that God’s commandment of love is more important than clinging to traditions. And now he is confronted by love that challenges him to step out of the tradition that keeps foreigners from the banquet.  Love will turn your world around.
      • DailyScripture.net:  "The demon has left your daughter":   Jews often spoke of Gentiles as "unclean dogs" since they were excluded from God's covenant and favor.  The dog was a symbol of dishonor to Greeks used to describe a shameless woman.  Jesus likely spoke with a smile since the woman immediately responds with wit and faith.  Jesus praised the Gentile woman for her faith and love.  She made her child's misery her own and was willing to be rebuffed obtain his healing.  Her faith grew when she encountered Jesus:  she began with a request and she ended in prayer.  No one who sought Jesus with faith was refused help.

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