August 12, 2017

Aug. 12

August 12, 2017:  Saturday, 18th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Hearts' tie:  Love the Lord with all your heart; take these words to heart (1st reading, trumps 'commandments' tie today, also for 1st reading)
  • 'Hammer' pin:  'Drill' these words into your children (tool substitution, for 1st reading; doesn't "Hammer these words..." have the same sense?)
  • 'Boundless mercy sign' pin:  Bind these words at your wrist as a sign  (1st reading)
  • 'Rock' tie pin:  Lord, my rock of refuge,... (psalm)
  • 'Shield' tie pin: shield  (psalm)
  • 'Fire' pin:  "My son often he falls into fire" (gospel)
  • Blue shirt:  Often my son falls into water  (gospel)
  • 'Car' tie pin:  Jesus 'drove' the demon out  (gospel)

Pope Francis Amoris Lætitia capsule:  Parents' love (continued)
Mothers, thank you!  You're the strongest antidote to the spread of individualism; you testify to the beauty of life.  Even in the worst times, you witness to tenderness, dedication, and moral strength.  You communicate the meaning of religious practice in teaching your children prayers and acts of devotion.  When you watch over your children tenderly, you help them grow in confidence and experience the world as good and welcoming, and so help them grow in self-esteem and their capacity for intimacy and empathy.  Fathers help the children perceive life's limits, be open to challenges, and see the need for hard work.  Fathers affectionate and concerned for their wives are as necessary as caring mothers.  Family circumstances can dictate flexibility of roles and responsibilities, but the clear presence of both figures creates the environment best suited to children's growth. (V:174-75)
  • Dt 6:4-13  Moses:  “The Lord alone is our God!  Love the Lord with heart, soul, and strength.  Take these words to heart; drill them into your children; speak of and display them everywhere and always.  When you eat your fill in the land the Lord promised you, don't forget the One who delivered you.  Fear and serve the Lord, your God.
  • Ps 18:2-4, 47, 51  "I love you, Lord, my strength," rock of refuge, fortress, deliverer, shield, horn of salvation, stronghold, and savior!  Praised be the Lord!  I'm safe.  Extolled be You who gave victories to your king and showed kindness to your anointed....
  • Mt 17:14-20  A man, kneeling before Jesus:  “Lord, have pity on my son.  Your disciples couldn't cure him.”   Jesus:  “How long will I endure this generation?  Bring him to me.”  Jesus cured him; the demon came out.  Disciples / Jesus:  “Why couldn't we drive it out?” / “Too little faith.  If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, nothing will be impossible for you.”
    • Creighton:  If Moses were to give his sermon today, he might say, "We did nothing to deserve it, but we live in luxury and have access to material wealth, and have food, clothing, entertainment, and leisure time.  We have enough natural resources to provide for our people for centuries.  But some don't have food or shelter, and some suffer.  Why can’t we find a way to share our bounty and ease their burden?"
    Jesus was exasperated when is disciples couldn't drive out the demon.  They didn't believe they could.  We may not be called to move mountains, but we are to believe in the face of difficulties that may seem like mountains.  It's easier to have faith when things go well than when we're challenged.  May we take strength from knowing God is with us in hard times.

    • One Bread, One Body:  "How God wants to work now":  Jesus promised that if we had seed-sized faith we could move a mountain, indeed do anything.  "Prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the forces of evil" (Evangelium Vitae 100).  The Lord promises to give us faith and tells us to express it by believing, praying, and fasting....
    • Passionist:  At 29, Jane Frances Fremiot, widowed with 6 children, was depressed but began to work with women attracted to religious life.  She founded the Congregation of the Visitation, establishing 85 monasteries before she died at 85.  No matter what happens in your life, you can stay focused on who you are, why you are, and where you're going to maintain your balance.  Comparisons and selfish desires can distract us.  Jesus, avoiding such distraction, moved on to sacrifice everything for our salvation.  In today's gospel, he relied on his Father's power in responding to the possessed man.  Intentionality is faith in action, the risk to love with total dependence on the Love that flows from the Cross.  The disciples couldn't cast out the demon because they couldn't focus on the interior life of God and the will to act in love and risk.  May we have the interior intentionality and act on it in risky, loving actions.
    •  "Nothing will be impossible to you":  Jesus' response to the disciples seems stern but shows compassion; he tells them faith makes everything possible.  ("Remove mountains" was an expression for removing difficulties; teacher who could solve difficulties were called "mountain removers.")  If we pray with faith, God will give us the means to overcome obstacles....
    Today's saints, from Universalis

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