July 6, 2017

Maria Goretti

July 6, 2017

St. Maria Goretti, Virgin Martyr
Thursday, 13th week, Ordinary Time

See 16 connections with today?
Legend below

For Psalm 115
11 for Psalm 116*
8 for Psalm 16 (the responsorial psalm after today's 1st reading at Easter Vigil)
Pope Francis to Cristo de los Villeros radio:  

Thanks for putting yourselves in play for good things, communicating yourselves, building bridges instead of walls, not destroying yourselves with gossip but offering a hand.  This is how we build a society of brothers and sisters.  May the Lord bless you.  Go forward with enthusiasm!

  • Gn 22:1b-19  God put Abraham to the test, asking him to sacrifice his son Isaac.  Abraham and Isaac went up with wood.  Abraham tied him up, but as he took the knife to slaughter him, God's messenger told him to stop:  "I know now how devoted you are to God.  Because you didn't withhold your son from me, I'll bless you abundantly with countless descendants..."
  • Ps 115:1-6, 8-9  "I will walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living."  Lord, not to us but to your name give glory because of your kindness and truth.  You do whatever you will, but idols neither speak, see, hear, nor smell.  Israel trusts in the Lord, their help and shield.
  • Ps 116:1–6, 8–9 (outside the US*) "I will walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living."  I love the Lord; he heard my cry and saved me.  The Lord is gracious, just, and merciful; he keeps the little ones.
  • Mt 9:1-8  People brought Jesus a paralytic on a stretcher.  Jesus:  “Your sins are forgiven.”  Scribes:  “He's blaspheming.”  Jesus:  "Why harbor such evil thoughts?  Is it easier to say that, or ‘Rise and walk’?  So you'll know the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins” [to paralytic:] “Rise and go.”  He rose and went home.  The crowds were awestruck and glorified God...
    • *Question of the day:  While following at Mass in the Universalis app, I noticed it showed two psalms, with the note, "The first psalm shown here is used in the whole world except the USA, and the second one is used in the USA because of a clerical error."  I assume this is a traditional "clerical error" (vs. an error on the part of a clergy member :-), and it's related to numbering differences between the Masoretic text vs. the Septuagint.  If you can shed light on this error, please comment below!
      Healing of the paralytic
    • Creighton:  Today's 1st reading is one of the best known from Genesis.  Many have commented on it, especially comparing Abraham offering Isaac and the Father offering Jesus.  Did Abraham trust the Lord so much that he obeyed him even if he believed he was steering him to something he didn't believe in?  Or did he think it was a test all along?  The promise that Abraham would have many descendants and through them all nations would find blessing is a key to understanding Genesis 12-50.  Though Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph were sinners, everywhere they go is blessed.  Abraham lied, Jacob was a rascal, and Joseph should have probably kept his dreams to himself, but God worked through them, blessing many; it's one of Paul’s themes.  Followers of Jesus are children of Abraham and called to be instruments of blessing, peace, and grace.  With all our faults, God can bless us and those around us if we trust and follow him.  It can be hard to trust God when pagans prosper and taunt us.  We want God to glorify his name, and we want others to recognize his kindness and truth.  If God doesn't, we're tempted to make a god who will do what we want, but the psalmist reminds us such gods can't speak, see, hear, or smell and that all who trust them will become lifeless too.  Trusting God includes recognizing I'm not God and that God won't do what I want.  But we can trust him, and he'll bless us and others....
    • Bishop Brennan homily podcast:  Trust in God pays off; look at Abraham and the folks who brought the paralytic to Jesus.  (The last words are "who calls us to life.")
    • One Bread, One Body:  "My precious":  Abraham was willing to give up his son for God.  Would you give up your family and self for God?  "Your kindness is greater than life."  "I'd rather have one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere...." The song goes: "Lord, you are more precious than silver; Lord, you are more costly than gold.  Lord, you are more beautiful than diamonds, and nothing I desire compares with you."  Is Jesus' Kingdom the pearl we sell all we have for? Can we say, "I rate all as loss in the light of the surpassing knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ"?  Is the Lord your renown, praise, and beauty?  He loves you, even died for you. "To me 'life' means Christ."
      • Passionist:  Before Jesus was born, an angel told Joseph, “Name him Jesus, because he'll save his people from their sins.”  From the womb, Jesus’ identity was wrapped up in forgiveness.  During his public ministry, he taught forgiveness:  "Forgive seventy-times seven times.”  “Forgive and you'll be forgiven.”  And remember the prodigal son parable....   He also showed forgiveness:  to the paralytic, the sinful woman who showed great love, those who killed him....
      St. Maria Goretti
      On Calvary the centurion who stood guard over Jesus declared, "Clearly this man was the Son of God."  He'd seen many crucifixions, but no one being crucified crying out, “Forgive them!”  That must have Jesus convinced him....  We can bring people to church and urge them to read Scripture, but when nonbelievers see Jesus' followers forgive, they'll see what God is like.  The power to forgive unconditionally and repeatedly comes only from God....  "Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong" (Gandhi). 
      • DailyScripture.net:  "Take heart; your sins are forgiven":  Sin and unforgiveness cripple mind and heart and stifle love's healing power.  Only Jesus' forgiveness can heal and cleanse us.  The scribes regarded Jesus' forgiving the paralytic as blasphemy because only God could forgive sins.  Jesus proved his divine authority and power by healing the cripple's physical ailment as well as freeing him from his burden of guilt.  The Lord wants to heal us of mind, body, and soul, to free us from the power of sin.  What keeps me from his healing?
          • Maria Goretti, virgin, martyred at 11 for refusing to be raped, forgave her attacker-murderer who later repented and spent his last years in a monastery
          • Moninne founded community of hermits and convent
        Dress legend
        • NEW 'Wood' tie pin:  Abraham took wood for the sacrifice... (1st reading)
        • 'Fire' pin:  ...and carried the fire and knife (1st reading)
        • 'Sheep' tie bar:  "Where's the sheep for the offering?"  (1st reading)
        • 'Angel' pin:  The Lord’s messenger called to Abraham:  "Stop!..." (1st reading)
        • 'Hand' tie pin:  "...Don't lay your hand on the boy" (1st reading)
        • 'Star' tie pin:  "I'll make your descendants as countless as the stars" (1st reading)
        • Silver- and gold-colored accessories:  "Their idols are silver and gold..." (psalm)
        • 'Eyeball' pin:  Yahweh-yireh:  'on the mountain the Lord will see' (1st reading); "they have eyes but don't see" (psalm)
        • 'Shield' pin:  The Lord is their help and their shield (psalm)
        • 'Boat' tie bar:  Jesus crossed in a boat... (gospel)
        • 'Doctor's office' tie:  ...and [forgave then] healed a paralytic (gospel)
        • 'Walker' tie pin:  "I'll walk in the Lord's presence" (psalm); "rise and walk" (gospel)
        • Red shirt, 'blood drop' pin:  St. Maria Goretti's martyrdom

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