May 20, 2017

May 20

May 20, 2017:  Saturday, 5th week, Easter

  • 'Dove' pin:  "The Holy Spirit prevented them from preaching in Asia and Bithynia" (1st reading)

  • 'Children around the world' tie:  "Let all the earth cry out to God with joy" (psalm); "You don't belong to the world....  I've chosen you out of the world." (gospel)

  • 'Eyeball' pin:  Paul had a vision of a Macedonian inviting him (1st reading)

  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  "We're the flock the Lord tends" (psalm)

  • White in shirt, socks:  Easter season

For Psalm 100
    Pope Francis at social doctrine conference
    Thank you for your efforts better to understand the economy, progress, and business, to meet challenges posed by technology, the throwaway culture, and lifestyles that ignore the poor and weak.  Many struggle to bring the human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development.  Your Foundation is making a valuable contribution by approaching business and finance both in the light of Church social doctrine and the intelligent search for constructive alternatives.  Drawing on your expertise and experience, and cooperating with other people of good will, you're developing models of economic growth centered on human dignity, freedom, and creativity. 
    Fighting poverty requires understanding poverty as a human, not just economic, phenomenon.  Promoting integral human development demands dialogue and engagement with people’s needs and aspirations, listening to the poor, and responding concretely.  This calls for the creation of mediating structures to bring people and resources together, starting processes where the poor are the principal actors and beneficiaries.  Such an approach will encourage initiative, creativity, entrepreneurial spirit, and communities of labor and enterprise, and so favor social inclusion and solidarity.
    You've paid attention to the critical issue of job creation in the context of today's technological revolution.  We must address the problem of unemployment among the young and adults without the means to “upgrade” themselves.  Similarly, efforts to address issues associated with new technologies, transformation of markets, and the aspirations of the workforce must take individuals and families into account.  Uncertainty about work situations often contributes to family pressures and affects families' ability to participate in society.  Keep bringing the light of the Gospel and Church social teaching to these pressing issues by contributing to discussion and research and committing yourselves to change attitudes, opinions, and lifestyles.  (About Centsimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation)
    • Acts 16:1-10  Paul reached Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy of whom the brothers spoke highly; Paul wanted him to come along.  The churches grew stronger in faith and larger in number.  They passed through Asia and Bithynia because the Spirit prevented them from preaching there.  After Paul had a vision of a Macedonian imploring him to come to Macedonia, they concluded God was calling them to proclaim the Good News there and so went.
    • Ps 100:1b-3, 5  "Let all the earth cry out to God with joy."  Know the Lord is God.  We're his people, the flock he tends.  The Lord is good, kind, and faithful forever. 
    • Jn 15:18-21  I've chosen you out of the world.  You don't belong to the world, and so the world hates you; it hated me first.  ‘No slave is greater than his master.’  If they persecuted me, they'll persecute you too; they'll do all this to you on account of me because they don't know the one who sent me.”
    • Creighton:  In today's gospel I hear Jesus saying, “Because of me, the world will not always be kind to you, but don’t worry; I got your back.”  This message of trust made me ask myself, do I trust during tough days at work, during stressful moments at home, when I'm impatient...?  It's easy to trust in smooth and easy times, not so much in challenging times.  Jesus is always present and loving, but it's hard for me to give up my illusion of control.  When I have trusted in God, I've felt liberated and peaceful, likely a grace from the Spirit....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "The contrary Spirit":  The Spirit's ways are different from ours, so we can naturally resist the Spirit.  The Spirit proves the world wrong about sin, justice, and condemnation, insists that we realize Jesus chose us out of the world and so we don't belong to the world.  The Spirit convicts us as "enemies of the cross" if we're set on the things of the world.  We can be frustrated when the Spirit keeps us from doing certain things, but the Spirit is accounting for our weaknesses and limitations.  To receive the Spirit, we must choose to be crucified to the world and the world to us, and be humble and realistic.
    • Passionist:  During the Easter season, we continue to read about the developing early church and the spread of the Gospel.  Today we read that Paul brings the Gospel to Derbe and Lystra where he teams up with young Timothy, who was suspect to some because he was only Jewish on his mother’s side.  Paul judged Timothy a great witness to Christ so made him his companion; together they strengthened the communities they visited.  Note how Paul responds to obstacles:  when something prevents him from going to a planned place, he adjusts and goes elsewhere.  He takes on a companion others find objectionable.  Many Jewish Christians mistrust him, so he moves to the Gentiles.  Paul is determined to spread the Good News, flexible, and responds creatively to obstacles.  His resilience can be a great model for us who want to witness to Christ’s presence.  It's easy for us to get discouraged in the face of obstacles, but his creativity and determination encourage us to look beyond our plans and trust that God is opening new ways.  May we have the freedom and courage to follow God’s lead.
    •  "You are not of the world":  "The world" refers to people hostile towards God and his will.  The world rejected Jesus; we can expect the same treatment.  We're either for him or against him.  May we love and obey God, even if the world is opposed to his way of justice, love, and truth.

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