August 30, 2017

Aug. 30

August 30, 2017:  Wednesday, 21st week, Ordinary Time

  • 'I ♥ my dad' tie:  "We treated each one of you as a father treats his children,..." (1st reading)
  • 'Walker' tie pin (oops, forgot):  "...insisting you walk in a manner worthy of God" (1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  Your hand will guide me and hold me fast (psalm)
  • 'Street light' tie bar:  For you night shines as day (psalm)
  • 'Blinged skeleton' tie pin:  "You look beautiful but inside are full of dead men's bones" (gospel)
  • 'Blood drop' pin:  "You're children of those who murdered the prophets" (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

When Jesus called the first disciples, he asked them, “What do you seek?”  He asks the same of each of us.  A searching heart is young, healthy, and desires life and happiness.  This encounter began the first disciples' relationship with Jesus and the living out of their vocation; it ignited a flame in them that transformed them into missionaries who treasured the memory of that encounter.  Whether we're called to marriage, consecrated life, or priesthood, our vocation's origin is our first encounter with Jesus; it's the spark that, even in the midst of trials, leads to an ever deeper relationship with the Lord and brings us hope and joy.  Treasure this flame of love that burns in us by recalling your first encounter with Christ.  May we be joyful disciples who dream with God of a better world and share the reason for our hope with all we meet.
  • 1 Thes 2:9-13  Recall our toil and drudgery.  We proclaimed God's Gospel to you, working night and day to not burden you.  You and God know we treated you as a father treats his children, exhorting you to walk in a manner worthy of God.  We thank God you received his word as it truly is and it's at work in you.
  • Ps 139:7-12ab  "You have searched me and you know me, Lord."  Where can I flee from you?  Everywhere you guide me and hold me fast.  For you darkness is not dark, and night shines as day.
  • Mt 23:27-32  “Woe to you, you hypocrites!  You're like whitewashed tombs, beautiful outside but inside full of dead men’s bones and filth.  On the outside you appear righteous, but inside you're filled with hypocrisy and evil.  You build prophets' tombs, adorn memorials, and say, ‘If we'd lived in our ancestors' days, we wouldn't have shed prophets' blood,’ bearing witness that you're children of those who murdered the prophets....
  • Creighton:  Paul reminds the Thessalonians he shared good news with them by lovingly and patiently modeling God's Word.  Instead of telling them about God or how to live, he labored alongside them, showing care, concern and mercy, reminding them that God's Word is at work in believers.  The description in the 1st reading is the opposite of the legalism Jesus condemns in the gospel.  May we minister like Paul did, walking in a manner worthy of God, and through our actions encouraging others to.
    Woe to you/ Steed
  • Passionist:  Jesus is upset that the scribes and Pharisees, who should know the importance of the Law and the Prophets, don't understand them; they emphasize externals so much that they neglect the message that one’s internal disposition and values are what's most important.  It took the Babylonian Captivity for Israel to understand their identity, meaning, and purpose; they lost everything before they understood God and the world as God’s creation.  They'd worshipped idols, and their religious mandates and externals got in the way of authentic worship.  Things were important than people.  But external rituals won't make us happy or holy, only loving God, and we can measure that by asking how much we love others....
  •  "True beauty and goodness come from within":  Appearances can deceive.  Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would not judge by appearances but with righteousness and equity.  Attitudes in the heart form how we treat others.  Jesus rebuked the religious leaders for their vanity and pretense.  Many scribes and Pharisees showed zeal and piety to win honors, privileges, and favors but were intolerant and neglected the poor and weak.  Jesus called them hypocrites because they were set on pleasing themselves rather than God; he warned that bad attitudes corrupt, leading to sinful habits, speech, and acts, but true beauty is a heart set on God, love, and goodness.  He warned the leaders not to condemn them but to call them to examine their hearts.
Today's saints, from Universalis
  • St Anne Line (Heigham), taught children, took vows, kept safe house for priests, martyred
  • St. Margaret Ward, martyr, arrested after helping priest escape prison; under torture she refused to reveal his hiding place or renounce her faith.
  • Bl. Ghebre Michael ("Servant of Michael"), convert, monastery reformer, considered martyr

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