June 5, 2017


June 5, 2017:  St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr

See 11 connections with today?
Legend below
For Psalm 112
Pope Francis homily
Tobit wept at the murder of a Jewish kinsman, whose body he brought inside to bury.  Doing corporal and spiritual works of mercy properly means not just sharing what we have but also sharing in others' sufferings.  We don't do works of mercy to assuage our consciences; the merciful have pity on others and share in their suffering.  Am I generous?  Do I put myself in their shoes?  Do I suffer when I see someone in difficulty?
Since the Jews in the 1st reading weren't allowed proper burial, Tobit risked being killed.  We too must take risks as we do works of mercy.  Remember those who risked their lives to save Jews from deportation and death in WWII.  People who do works of mercy may also be mocked, as Tobit was.  Doing works of mercy also means being willing to be inconvenienced, as Our Lord was, all the way to the Cross, to show us mercy.  We do works of mercy because Our Lord showed us mercy first.  Mindful of how the Lord has forgiven us, we do likewise with others.  Works of mercy keep us from egoistic behavior and help us imitate Jesus.
  • Tb 1:3; 2:1a-8  As Tobit, who performed many charitable works, sat to enjoy Pentecost dinner, his son reported a kinsman's murder.  Tobit carried the dead man inside, wept, and buried him; neighbors mocked him.
  • Ps 112:1b-2, 3b-6  "Blessed the man who fears the Lord."  His generosity shall endure and light shine.  The gracious and just shall not be moved and shall be remembered forever.
    • Mk 12:1-12  “A man leased his vineyard to tenant farmers and left.  When he sent a servant to obtain some of the produce, they beat him and sent him away empty-handed.  When he sent others, they beat or killed them.  He finally sent his son, thinking they'd respect him, but they killed him, expecting to inherit everything.  The owner will kill the tenants and give the vineyard to others.  "The stone the builders rejected has become the  cornerstone..."  They realized he'd addressed the parable to them....
      The wicked husbandmen/ Luyken
    • Creighton:  Tobit showed his devotion to God through acts of charity, some risky ones taking courage; neighbors thought him foolish.  Once such habits are formed, a force for good is at work and witnesses to God’s mercy. Tobit was a just, God-fearing man not to be moved.
      Jesus' parable stings the religious leaders, casting them as disobedient, disrespectful; when we sin or respect the wrong things, we resemble them.  Lord, help us build and transmit habits of love and service.

      • One Bread, One Body:  "Fruit and nuts":  God digs out a vat for tenants who will soon mock his messengers and murder his son.  The tenant farmers were given much, and so much was required of them. When the tenants beat the first messenger, the master sent his prophets, even his son, but they too were beaten, mocked, and killed.  The master is either incredibly naïve or merciful beyond our comprehension.  The parable was a means to urge the leaders to accept Jesus as God's Son, but they left him.  May we not...
      • Passionist:  The just are frequently ill-treated.  Tobit 1 covers Tobit's virtues, unselfishness, and fear of the Lord.  In today’s reading his son interrupts his celebration of Pentecost to report the murder of a fellow Jew.  Tobit goes out to give him a proper burial.
      St. Boniface
      As after Jesus cleansed the temple the religious leaders were trying to destroy him, Jesus tells this parable about tenant farmers choosing to kill the owner’s son. Jesus did nothing wrong but was crucified.  We ask why bad things happen to good people, especially when they happen to us; the Christian response is that it's a bigger picture.  Jesus is present in human suffering, holds us, and understands.  When I recognize him near me in my suffering, I focus less on the suffering and more on our connection, and I see light in the darkness.
      • DailyScripture.net:  "They'll respect my Son":  It was normal for owners to lease their estates.   Jesus' story about wicked tenants offended the scribes and Pharisees; they recognized it referred to God's dealing with a rebellious people.  The parable speaks to us today too, of God's generosity, trust, patience, and justice.  Jesus knew he'd be rejected and be killed but would rise.  We share his glory by submitting to his rule; he promises we'll bear fruit if we abide in him.  The Lord entrusts his gifts to us, gives us work in his vineyard, and promises our labor won't be in vain if we persevere.  We can expect trials but will triumph.
      "Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the benefits you've given us, for the pains and insults you bore for us.  Merciful redeemer, friend, and brother, may we know you more clearly, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly, for your sake!" (Richard of Chichester)
      • Universalis:  Boniface (AKA Wynfrith), Benedictine monk, teacher, preacher, missionary, bishop, martyr
      Dress legend
      • 'Silverware' tie bar:  "The table was set for me..." (1st reading)
      • 'Feet' pin:  Tobit sprang to his feet (1st reading)
      • Tie with grapes:  Parable of the vineyard (gospel)
      • 'Street light' tie bar:  Light shines through darkness for the upright (psalm)
      • 'Hand' tie pin:  Tenants sent rent collector away empty-handed (gospel)
      • 'Gun' pin:  Tenants killed the son; the owner will kill them (gospel) 
      • 'Stone' tie pin:  "The stone the builders rejected became the cornerstone..." (gospel)
      • 'Eyeball' pin:  "It is wonderful in our eyes” (gospel)
      • Red shirt, 'blood drop' pin:  Boniface's martyrdom

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