August 25, 2017

Aug. 25

August 25, 2017:  Friday, 20th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Commandments' tie:  "The law and the prophets depend on these two commandments" (gospel)

  • 'Eyeball' pin:  The Lord gives sight to the blind (psalm)

  • 'Crown' tie bar:  The Lord will reign forever (psalm)

  • Green shirt and tie pin:  Ordinary Time season


For 1st reading
For Psalm 146
    The liturgical reform resulted from long preparation, brought to maturity by Vatican II with Sacrosanctum Concilium, responding to real needs and hope for renewal; it desired a living liturgy.  The liturgical books Bl. Paul VI promulgated expressed the Council's direction, but people's mentality also needs reform; the process takes time faithful reception, obedience, and wise implementation, on the part of clergy, other ministers, and all who take part in the liturgy.
    There's still work ahead, especially rediscovering the reasons for the decisions made, overcoming unfounded and superficial readings, partial receptions, and disfiguring practices; it involves knowing of the reasons for the reform better, internalizing the principles, and observing its discipline, not rethinking the reform, which is irreversible.
    The liturgy is “living” in virtue of Christ's living presence; he's at the heart of liturgical action.  The liturgy is life through the whole people of God.  Its nature is “popular,” not clerical; it's an action for and by the people.  The liturgy is not an idea.  It brings us to live a transformative experience that changes our thought and action; it's not just to enrich our ideas about God.  The Church is truly alive if it bears life, is maternal and missionary, going out to encounter the neighbor, serving without pursuing worldly powers.
    The Church in prayer goes beyond the Roman Rite.  The harmony of Eastern and Western traditions, through the one Spirit, gives voice to the one Church praying through, with, and in Christ for the world's salvation.
    • Ru 1:1, 3-6, 14b-16, 22  Naomi's husband died, leaving her with two sons, who married Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth; later she was left with neither sons nor husband.  Ruth:  "I'll go wherever you go; your people shall be my people, your God my God."  Naomi returned with Ruth....
    • Ps 146:5-10  "Praise the Lord, my soul!"  Blessed all whose help and hope is the Lord, who made the world, keeps faith, secures justice, gives food, sets captives free, gives sight to the blind, loves the just, protects strangers, sustains the fatherless and widows, and thwarts the wicked.
    • Mt 22:34-40  “Which commandment is the greatest?” / “Love the Lord with your heart, soul, and mind.  The second is like it:  love your neighbor as yourself.  The law and the prophets depend on these two.”
      • Creighton:  The 1st reading demonstrates Ruth’s loyalty to her mother-in-law.  The psalm is of confidence in God as source of strength and protection.  In the gospel Jesus highlights two open-ended directives over the eight "thou shalt not" commandments.  In the 1st reading, Ruth shows a love for neighbor the law didn't demand.  Today there are rules, interpretations, boundaries, and legal conflicts arising from them, but the spirit of the law can be lost.  Discerning how to respond is a challenge when the sense of God’s presence isn't as clear as it is in today’s psalm....
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Be faithful":  Naomi ('sweet') was in such despair that she thought she should change her name to "Mara" ('bitter').  When bad things happen to us and others, we need to be like Ruth, faithful to the Lord and those he's put into our lives.  Tragedies may continue, but faithful love is stronger than death, and faithful servants will share their Master's joy.  The Lord changes our sorrow into joy and works all things for our good by giving us the grace to be faithful.
        San Luis, Rey
      • Passionist:  "No law so demanding as love":  Jesus proceeds from love of God to love of neighbor; Ruth begins with dedication to Naomi, then to Naomi's God.  Widowed Ruth won't leave widowed Naomi to fend for herself.  Today we can also come to God, love, loyalty, faithfulness, responsibility, and commitment, through love of another person.  Jesus transcends jealousy, argumentation, and intrigue by just inviting us to relationship, surrender, and self-emptying....

      •  "The greatest rule of life":  Jesus summarized the law in two commandments:  "Love the Lord with heart, soul, and might" and "love your neighbor as yourself."  God's love is holy, just, and pure, seeking only what's good and lifegiving.  He commands us to love:  to accept and give what's good, lovely, just, and pure and reject the rest.  Everything God does flows from his love for us.  Do we put God first like he us?  God loved us first; our love for him is a response to his towards us.  Love of neighbor is grounded in love of God.  God's love orients and directs us to what pleases him; he wants us to love him unreservedly.
      Love is giving oneself for others' good; other love is self-centered and disordered and robs rather than gives, leading to desires like jealousy, envy, greed, and lust.  The root of all sin is disordered love and pride:  putting myself above God and others, loving and serving self instead.  True love is rooted in God's truth and justice.  God loves us completely, not subject to mood or circumstance.  His love is firm, unwavering, and constant.  He loves us in our weakness, seeking us out to draw us to his mercy, correcting us to free us from wrong thinking and choices.  "God's love has been poured into us through the Holy Spirit."  Faith and hope in God strengthen us in love and our union with God.  The Lord gives us freedom to love as he does....
      Today's saints, from Universalis
        • Louis, King of France from 12, good ruler, Sorbonne founder, fair arbitrator; reared 11 well, known for prayer, penitence, love of poor 

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