March 16, 2017

March 16

March 16, 2017:  Thursday, 2nd week, Lent

  • 'Tree' pin:  Those who trust the Lord are like trees...  (1st reading, psalm)
  • 'Fruit' pin:  ...that bear fruit (1st reading, psalm)
  • 'Sun' pin:  ...and don't fear the heat (1st reading)
  • 'Heart' pin:  God tests the heart (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  The Lord watches the way of the just (psalm); rich man eyed Abraham and Lazarus from far off (gospel)
  • 'Coin' tie bar:  Rich man (gospel)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  Rich man dined sumptuously (gospel)
  • 'Dogs' tie:  Dogs licked Lazarus's sores (gospel)
  • 'Angel' pin:  When Lazarus died, angels carried him to Abraham's bosom (gospel)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "Send Lazarus to dip his finger in water and cool my tongue..." (gospel)
  • 'Fire' pin"  "...for I'm suffering torment in these flames" (gospel)
  • Purple in shirt and suspenders:  Rich man's garb (gospel), Lenten season

Pope Francis to charity association
May your beautiful work continue to bring an authentic testimony of God's mercy to the poor.  Vincent de Paul's tender, compassionate work with the poor and marginalized reflected God's goodness towards them.  He saw the poor as the representatives of Christ, members of his suffering body, called to build up the Church and convert us.
Continue to accompany the person in full and pay particular attention to the precarious living conditions of many women and children.  Faith allows us to perceive the reality of persons, their incomparable dignity as created in God's image and likeness, and our responsibility for them.  So true promotion of human dignity, authentic liberation, must include proclamation of the Gospel; the most sublime aspect of human dignity is the vocation to communicate with God.
Go out, steeped in mercy, to every person and bring God's goodness and tenderness.  The credibility of the Church goes through the path of merciful love and compassion that open to hope.  This credibility passes through your personal testimony: it's not only a question of meeting Christ in the poor, but that the poor perceive Christ in you and your action.  By being rooted in Christ's personal experience you can contribute to a "culture of mercy" that renews hearts and opens to a new reality.
              Fruit-bearing tree (animate)
            • Jer 17:5-10  The one who trusts in people, whose heart turns from God, is like a barren bush.  The one who trusts in the Lord is like a tree beside the waters, bearing fruit despite heat or drought.  God alone tests hearts and rewards everyone according to their deeds.
            • Ps 1:1-4, 6  "Blessed are they who hope in the Lord," those who delight in and meditate on God's law; they're like trees yielding fruit.  But the wicked are like chaff...
            • Lk 16:19-31  Poor Lazarus lay at a rich man's door.  Both died; angels carried Lazarus to Abraham, but the rich man was tormented.  Rich man  / Abraham:  "Take pity; send Lazarus!" / "There's a chasm between us." / "Then send him to my father's house to spare my brothers." / "Let them heed Moses and the prophets." / "But they'd change if one came from the dead." / "Not if they don't heed the law and prophets."

              • Creighton:  Who around us needs our special love and support? The rich man valued things over people.  May we be humble, kind, sensitive to the Spirit's drawing us to those in need.  In rejecting trust in human beings, Jeremiah is asking us to become indifferent to the world's values and temptations and trust in the Lord.

                Притча о Лазаре (The parable of Lazarus)

              • One Bread, One Body:  "The Heart Specialist":  Because the human heart is tortuous, twisted, and deceitful, we should give our hearts to the Lord, receive a new heart through Baptism, love the Lord with our whole heart, receive the sacrament of reconciliation to keep our hearts from hardening, learn from Jesus who's "gentle and humble of heart," ask the Lord to heal our hearts, worship Jesus' Sacred Heart, and ask the Immaculate Heart of Mary's intercession.  As we approach the First Scrutiny, may the Lord search, purify, heal, and strengthen catechumens', and our, hearts.
              • Passionist:  Possessions don't hinder discipleship but bring additional responsibilities on those with them; the Pharisees turned their noses at Jesus when he said so.  Jesus told them to make wise use of wealth lest it possess and enslave them.  When Pope Francis was recently asked about how to respond to panhandlers asking for money, he recommended giving something even if it might be used unwisely, responding in compassion.
              Today's parable is the only one with the name of the recipient of the miracle.  The unnamed rich man is dressed in purple, a color used only for Roman officials.  When he and Lazarus die, there's a dialogue is between Abraham and the rich man.  The rich man thinks of Lazarus as a servant, asking Abraham to send him to give him a glass of water, then to go tell his brothers they must change their lives, but Abraham says no....
              •  "Lazarus was carried to Abraham's bosom":  Whoever relies on God won't be disappointed; God will be their consolation and source of hope and joy.  Today's parable paints contrasts between riches and poverty, heaven and hell, compassion and indifference, inclusion and exclusion.  The dogs who licked the sores of Lazarus probably also stole his bread.  Dogs symbolized contempt.  The rich man treated Lazarus with contempt and indifference, then found his fortunes reversed.  Those who grasp what they have lose it, while those who share it receive more than they give.  'Lazarus' ('God is my help') didn't lose hope in God; he looked to heavenly treasure.  The rich man didn't see beyond his material wealth to others' needs or God; he spent everything on himself and in the end became a beggar....

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