March 4, 2017

March 4

March 4, 2017:  Saturday after Ash Wednesday

How many connections can you make with today?
Legend below

  • Mighty Lord/ Foley [needs banjo] (psalm); use free Spotify login
Pope Francis at Sacred Music conference, 50 years after Musicam Sacram
The encounter with modernity and the introduction of the vernacular into the liturgy stirred up problems of musical languages, form, and genre.  Sometimes mediocrity, superficiality, and banality have prevailed, to the detriment of our liturgical celebrations.  I encourage all in the field of liturgical music–composers, conductors, musicians, choristers, animators...–to contribute to the renewal of sacred music and chant, especially regarding quality.  We need to promote proper musical education, especially for those preparing to become priests, in dialogue with musical trends, cultural demands, and an ecumenical attitude.

  • Is 58:9b-14  If you remove oppression... and satisfy the afflicted, the Lord will guide and renew you.  If you honor the sabbath, you'll delight in the Lord, and I'll nourish you.
  • Ps 86:1-6  "Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth."  Have mercy on me.  I lift my soul to you; gladden it.  Attend to my pleading.
  • Lk 5:27-32  Jesus to Levi:  “Follow me”; he left everything and followed.  He gave a banquet for him with tax collectors and others; Pharisees complained:  “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”  Jesus:  “The healthy don't need a doctor; just the sick.  I came to call sinners.”
    • Creighton:  In Jesus' time sharing a meal was a very intimate activity, a sign of friendship.  For a Jew to eat with people considered “unclean” (such as tax collectors) because they didn’t keep the law was taboo.  ('Sinners' referred to anyone who didn’t keep the Law.)  By eating with them, Jesus and his disciples also became 'unclean.'  Jesus used this inclusive practice to demonstrate the Father's hospitality welcoming sinners to forgiveness.  Luke likely changed Mark’s wording ("Why does Jesus eat with them?" to "Why do you [plural] eat with them?") to allude to Christians' continuing Jesus' practice.  We sinners are invited to share the Lord's table and called to extend hospitality to "outsiders."  "I was a stranger and you welcomed [syn─ôgagete] me"; the Greek word reminds us of the communal dimension.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Following the leader":  Jesus dined with sinners, healed on the Sabbath, touched lepers, spoke to a Samaritan woman, didn't condemn an adulteress, and labeled Pharisees "blind guides" and "whitened sepulchers"; he refused to be PC.  How have I bought into anti-gospel values?  The Church doesn't accept notions that violate the dignity of the human person....
      Banquet in the House of Levi/ Veronese
    • Passionist:  "Jesus' healthcare program":  Jesus' response in today's gospel is about 'healthcare' for sinners, especially their “heart disease.”  Jesus encourages us sinners to repent.  Jesus calls Levi from his lucrative post to the humble vocation of disciple, following his own example.  We’re encouraged to improve our practice of prayer, penance, and giving.  We come to Jesus and seek his help in our healing and growth.  As cooperative patients, we’re asked to follow the Doctor's orders.  We're called beyond our old ways to new lives of selflessness, generosity, and discipleship.  May we say yes to Jesus the Divine Physician as Matthew did.
    •  "Jesus calls sinners to follow him":  When we bless others, especially those needing help, God blesses us.  The religious leaders were upset with Jesus' behavior towards public sinners.  Orthodox Jews avoided them, didn't do business with them, didn't give them anything.  Jesus' association with tax collectors and sinners shocked their sensibilities.  When they challenged him, he told them a doctor goes to the sick.  Jesus sought out those in greatest need.  Jesus came as Divine Physician and Good Shepherd to care for us and restore us.  The orthodox were so preoccupied, they neglected to help the people who needed it most.  Jesus came to call sinners, not the "righteous."  Ironically the orthodox were as needy as those they despised; all have sinned.  Thank God for his mercy; seek others' good.  "By 'follow' [Jesus] meant not so much the movement of feet as of the heart, carrying out a way of life.  One who says he lives in Christ ought to walk as Christ walked, not aim at earthly things or pursue perishable gains, but flee base praise, embrace contempt of all that is worldly for the sake of heavenly glory, do good to all, inflict injuries on no one, patiently suffer injury, ask God’s forgiveness for those who oppress, seek God's glory, and uphold what helps you love heavenly things.  In this way Matthew became a follower of One who had no riches. The Lord who outwardly called Matthew inwardly bestowed on him the gift of an invisible impulse so he could follow" (Bede the Venerable).
    Dress legend
    • 'Wheat' pin:  Bestow your bread on the hungry (1st reading)
    • 'Scales of justice' pin:  To fast, do justice (1st reading)
    • 'Feet' pin:  Hold back your foot from following your own pursuits on the sabbath (1st reading)
    • 'Street lamp' tie bar:  If you remove oppression, give your bread to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted,then light shall rise for you (1st reading)
    • 'Walker' tie pin:  "Teach me Your way, that I may walk in Your truth." (psalm)
    • 'Coin' tie bar:  Jesus saw tax collector Levi (gospel)
    • 'Silverware' tie bar:  Levi gave a great banquet... (gospel)
    • 'Doctor's office' tie:  Only the sick need a doctor (gospel)
    • 'Phone' tie bar:  To you I call all the day (psalm); I came to call sinners (gospel)
    • Blue shirt:  If you remove oppression, give the hungry your bread, and satisfy the afflicted,... you'll be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails. (1st reading)

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