February 10, 2017


February 10, 2017:  St. Scholastica, Virgin

  • 'Serpent' tie pin:  Serpent to woman:  "You'll be like gods..." (1st reading)
  • 'Apple' pin:  Forbidden fruit (1st reading, though Scripture doesn't say it's an apple)
  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  Then their eyes were opened (1st reading)
  • 'Tree' pin:  tree of knowledge of good and evil; they hid among the trees (1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  Jesus puts his finger into the deaf-mute's ears... (gospel)
  • 'Garden' tie:  Garden of Eden (1st reading)
  • Green and white shirt:  Ordinary Time season; St. Scholastica, virgin
For 1st reading

For gospel
Pope Francis to superiors general
You have to work with young people by doing things, social work, feeding the homeless; they find the Lord in action, then reflect.  We need to listen to young people.
The drop in religious vocations is linked to demographics, but also the pastoral vocation doesn't respond to the expectations of the young.  Some new religious institutes seem to represent a new approach, express apostolic strength, and attract many, but then go bankrupt.
There's corruption in the Vatican, but I’m at peace as pope.  If there's a problem, I write a note to St. Joseph and put it under a statue in my room.  I sleep well by the grace of God.  Everyone must discern what the Lord has chosen for them.  Losing peace doesn't help us to suffer.  We need to learn to suffer like a father, with humility; that path can lead to peace.  Don't wash your hands of problems!
Be radical in prophecy.  Take the Gospel without tranquilizers, as the Church Fathers did.  They remind us we're called to leave our comfort zones, forsaking what's worldly.
If priests or religious are involved in sexual abuse, the devil is at work, but it is a disease.  Ensure that candidates for religious life are emotionally mature....  More; watch La Civiltà Cattolica for full text.
    'Fig leaf' (animate)
  • Gn 3:1-8  The serpent told the woman, “When you eat the fruit, your eyes will be opened and you'll be like gods....”  Seeing the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom, she ate and gave some to her husband.  Their eyes were opened, and they realized that they were naked and hid from God.
  • Ps 32:1-2, 5-7  "Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven."  I acknowledged my sin to you.  You're my shelter....
  • Mk 7:31-37  People brought Jesus a deaf-mute.  He put his finger into his ears, spat, touched his tongue, prayed, and the man was healed.  “He's done well.  He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak!”

    • Creighton:  The 1st reading reminds us of the sin that separates us from God, as real for me as it was for them in the garden.  The psalm reminds us that if we acknowledge and confess our sins, the Lord forgives them.  Our response should be an active faith with hearts open to Jesus, who brings the good news to us about the freedom from our sins.  But we must stay open to Christ’s words to us.  Sharing the good news isn't just about us and our experience.  Jesus is the fulfillment God's promises of healing and resurrection.  If we only share what God has done in our lives, we're not telling who he is.  If we think it's all about us, our faith becomes self-centered.  Share the message of openness to the process of redemption and salvation.  In and through our faith we're healed and made whole....
      Healing of a deaf-mute
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Demonic deceptions":  The serpent asked, "Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees?"  Temptations can come in the form of questions, and focus can shift from the sin itself to whether God told us a particular act was sinful.  A temptation can also exaggerate God's commands (e.g. any tree vs. this one) or include an outright lie ("Your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods"; otherwise you won't reach your full potential).  We need the Spirit, working through the Church, or we'll be seduced, confused, used, enslaved....
      St. Scholastica
    • Passionist:  Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and hid themselves from their loving Creator, betraying the central relationship of their lives because they wanted to be like God.  They were grasping for power, craving something not rightfully theirs, without even asking.  They had all they needed and knew the fruit was forbidden to them but wanted more.  The reading says they were kicked out of Paradise, but maybe they kicked themselves out by their choice. They could never go back to how they were.  They violated the relationship, and though God forgave them, the consequences of their action removed their paradise and gave them another kind of life.  Today many grasp for power at others' expense.  The individual or country is more important than the responsibility to reach out to the margins.  We want to exploit creation, not care for it.  We try to silence dissent.  We don't strive to understand other viewpoints.  May we not kick ourselves out of our garden....
    • DailyScripture.net:  "He's done all things well":  Whatever Jesus did, he did well, demonstrating God's beauty and goodness.  Jesus showed consideration for the deaf-mute's predicament, taking him aside (to remove him from embarrassment) and putting his fingers into the man's ears to identify with his infirmity and awaken faith).  "The Spirit is called the finger of God. When the Lord puts his fingers into the deaf-mute's ears, he was opening the man's soul to faith through the gifts of the Spirit" (Gregory the Great).  The people's response testifies to Jesus' care for others.  The Lord treats each of us, and calls us to treat others, with kindness and compassion. The Spirit enables us to love as Jesus loves.  Do I?

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