June 25, 2017

12th Sun., Ordinary Time

June 25, 2017:  Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

  • 'Prize' pin:  The Lord is with me, like a mighty champion (1st reading)
  • 'Heart' pin:  Lord, you probe mind and heart (1st reading); you who seek God, may your hearts revive (psalm)
  • 'Clef' pin:  Sing to the Lord (1st reading)
  • 'Lights' tie:  What I tell you in darkness, speak in the light (gospel)
  • 'Coin' button:  "Aren't two sparrows sold for a small coin?" (gospel)
  • 'Bird' pin:  You're worth more than many sparrows (gospel)

For 2nd reading
For Psalm 69
Pope Francis Angelus

In today’s gospel, Jesus, having called and sent his disciples, instructs them and prepares them to face trials and persecutions.  He exhorts them to have no fear, for everything hidden will be revealed.  "What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light.  Don't fear those who kill the body but can't kill the soul."  Being sent on mission by Jesus neither guarantees success nor spares you from failure and suffering, rejection, or persecution; it's scary but true.
Disciples are called to conform their lives to Christ, who was persecuted and knew rejection, abandonment, and death on the Cross.  There's no such thing as a tranquil Christian mission.  Find in the difficulties and trials opportunities to prove your faith and relationship with Jesus are authentic.  Consider these difficulties as possibilities to be even more missionary and grow in trust in God, who doesn't abandon us.  In the struggle to witness, the Father always cares for and helps us; that's why Jesus reassures us, “Don't be afraid.”
Christians are still persecuted.  Let us pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters and praise God because they bear witness with courage and fidelity and so help us to make a stand for Christ, bearing witness courageously in everyday situations.  One form of trial may be the absence of hostility.  The Lord can send us as sentinels among people who ignore gospel truth, build their own "truths," don't want to be awoken, and will be bothered if we proclaim the gospel in these contexts.
The Lord tells us, “Don't be afraid.”  When you're going through a trial, “Don't be afraid.”  Don't fear those who deride, mistreat, or ignore you, or honor you to your face but fight against the gospel behind your back.  Jesus doesn't leave us alone; we're precious to him.  May Mary, model of humility, courage, and fidelity, help us understand that in bearing witness, success doesn’t count; faithfulness to Christ does.

  • Jer 20:10-13  "I hear whisperings:  'Denounce him!'  Those who were my friends now watch for a misstep.  'Then we can prevail and take vengeance.'  But the Lord is with me:  my persecutors will fail and be put to shame.  Lord, you who test the just, who probe the heart, to you I've entrusted my cause.  Sing to the Lord, who rescued the poor from the power of the wicked!"
  • Ps 69:8-10, 14, 17, 33-35  "Lord, in your great love, answer me."  For your sake I bear insult, because zeal for your house consumes me.  Answer me in your kindness.  "Revive, you who seek God!  The Lord hears the poor.  Let heaven, earth, the seas, and what moves in them all praise him!''

  • Rom 5:12-15  Through one man sin and death entered the world.  Death reigned from Adam to Moses.  But if by the sin of the one the many died, how much more did God's grace and the gift of Jesus Christ overflow for the many.
  • Mt 10:26-33  "Fear no one.  Everything concealed will be revealed; all secrets will be known.  What I tell you in darkness, speak in the light.  Don't fear those who kill the body but can't kill the soul; fear the one who can destroy both soul and body.  No sparrow falls without your Father's knowledge, and you're worth more than a flock of sparrows.  Everyone who acknowledges me before others I'll acknowledge before my Father...."
  • Creighton:  The first thing Jesus does after calling his apostles is to try to take away their fear.  Fear is the enemy of generous service.  To call others, Jesus must first en-courage them, replace fear with courage.  The courage he gives comes from confidence in his promises.  Fear keeps me from greater and deeper commitment to service; it's underneath my excuses or impediments.  Self-preservation and self-care are good, but self isn't the ultimate concern; the ultimate imbalance is to see everything in relation what's best for me.  Fear of losing part or all of self can lead me to go through the whole day wrapped up in myself.  How am I coming across?  How is this a slight to me?  How can I win?  I'm not going to give in.  I deserve more attention. What about my needs?  I need to take care of myself.  I'm over-committed. I have my priorities.  I have my boundaries. I'm not my sister's keeper....  Jesus says we can put our lives in his hands.  He's done the ultimate "self-preservation."  Jesus empowers us with great freedom; we don't need to be occupied with ourselves.  We can give our lives away in love and service.  Imagine our lives if instead of fear we had courage and trusted God, if we tuned out our voice of self-absorption and became absorbed in others' needs.  "If you lose your life for my sake, you'll find it."
    Journey with Jesus/ He Qi
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Know Jesus; no fear":  In today's gospel Jesus commands:  "Don't let them intimidate you"; "don't fear those who deprive the body but can't destroy the soul"; "don't be afraid of anything"; "fear him who can destroy both body and soul."  We don't fear people because we have fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, faith, and love, and complete love casts out all fear.  We must cooperate by fearing the Lord, hearing God in his word, and obeying the truth.
  • Passionist:  "Fear no one":  Most people go through a time of darkness, sadness, trial, loss, frustration, or failure.  If your main interest is health, or comfort, convenience, or pleasure, you may try to overcome the darkness, but if you're looking for meaning, character, and substance, you discover the gifts of the darkness:  every life has light and dark. happy and sad, vital and deadening.  Will I hide out in self-delusion or distraction, or embrace the mystery?  Many think the point in life is to solve problems and be happy, but happiness is fleeting, and we never get rid of problems.  Maybe I am to become more myself, , more engaged with the people and life around me.  When we're afraid to let life flow through us, we can become ambitious, preoccupied, or addicted....
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Fear not; you're worth more than many sparrows":  Fear is powerful; it can lead us to panic and flight or spur us to faith and action.  Fear of God is the antidote to fear of losing your life.  Fear of God is reverence for the One who made and sustains us in love and mercy.  The greatest injury we can experience is loss of our soul; healthy fear of God leads to spiritual maturity, wisdom, and right judgment and frees us from pride, cowardice, and deception.  Jesus met with opposition when proclaiming God's kingdom; he tells his disciples they must expect the same; it's both a warning and a privilege.  Jesus' disciples must carry their cross like he himself did.   The Spirit gives us power and grace to live as Jesus' disciples.
  • Sunday-trumped saint, from Universalis:  Luan (Moluag, Lua, Murlach, or Lugaidh), bishop, founded 100 monastic settlements

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