August 14, 2017

Maximilian Kolbe

August 14, 2017:  St. Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr

See about a dozen connections with today?
Legend below

    Wordle: Readings 8-12-13
  • Dt 10:12-22  Moses:  "The Lord asks:  fear, follow, love, and serve God to whom all belongs; keep his commandments.  God loves you, chose you, gave you descendants, peace, and food.  God has no favorites, accepts no bribes, executes justice, befriends the alien.  Circumcise your heart."
  • Mt 17:22-27  "The Son of Man will be handed over, killed, and raised."  Capernaum:  "Pay the temple tax?" / "The subjects are exempt, but open the fish's mouth to get a coin to pay our taxes."
  • Creighton:  I prayed over today’s readings with Lectio Divina,  reading them slowly, listening carefully, pondering, attending to my thoughts and memories, and giving God what I found.  What stayed with me is, “As God befriends the alien, feeding and clothing him, so you too must befriend the alien, for you were once aliens....”  I remembered people in our community who have welcomed refugees, helping them get food, housing, and work.  I heard God invite me to use my gifts to welcome those entering new situations, to seek opportunities to show God’s love to others.  I feel called to be more engaged in welcoming refugee families striving to feel settled in their new homes.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Fear ye, fear ye":  Before we can love, serve, and obey the Lord, we must fear Him.  Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and of loving God with all our hearts.  By living our faith, we deepen our fear of the Lord, awed by his presence, love, and power.  As we immerse ourselves in Scripture, we tremble at his Word.  By grace, fear of the Lord becomes our delight becomes the fear of the Lord.  In the Spirit, reverent fear can help us submit to one another.  As we progress in fear of the Lord, we enjoy the consolation of the Spirit who produces great love in our lives.
    St. Maximilian Kolbe

  • Passionist:  Maximilian Kolbe did the unforgettable:  he gave his life for another prisoner during the Holocaust.  This friar offered to be put to death in place of a fellow Auschwitz prisoner (Franciszek Gajowniczek) whose family would never see him again had he been killed.  Today's readings remind us to fear, love, and serve the Lord, follow his ways, and keep his commandments.  Sunday's 1st reading reminded us that sometimes the Lord can be heard only in a whisper, but Moses' pronouncement is a mighty shout, one that St. Maximilian heard and followed as he loved the Lord above all else and laid down our life for another.
  •  "Not to give offense":  When questioned about paying the (unjust, unreasonable) tax, Jesus said they must pay so as not to cause bad example.  We must go beyond our duty.  The scriptural expression "give no offense" means to put no stumbling block in another's way.  Jesus never gave bad example.  Do I evade unpleasant responsibilities?
Three times in Mt Jesus predicted he'd suffer through betrayal, rejection, and a cruel death.  The disciples were distressed at such predictions since crucifixion was the most painful and humiliating death.  If Jesus were put to death, likely so would they.  Isaiah foretold the "Suffering Servant" would atone for sins through his suffering and death.  John the Baptist described Jesus as "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."  When Jesus willing offered up his life for us on the cross he paid the price for our redemption with his blood.  Jesus came to free us from the tyranny of sin and restore us to life and peace through his cross and resurrection....
  • Universalis:  St. Maximilian Kolbe, Franciscan priest, martyr, believed we must use modern communication to fight for salvation, founded newspaper, Knights of Mary Immaculate, “city of Mary,” radio station; studied Buddhism and Shintoism; spread gospel in harmony with Japanese culture; helped Auschwitz inmates; offered to be killed in place of family man.  Emulate him through perseverance, prayer, and doing right.  Quotes:  "Love lives through sacrifice and is nourished by giving.  There's no love without sacrifice. Sacrifice senses, taste, hearing, mind, and will in holy obedience.” (to Fr. Konstanty) “The Cross is the school of love.”
Dress legend
  • 'Heart' pin:  Circumcise your heart (1st reading)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  God gave peace (1st reading); God granted peace in your borders (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  "The Lord has done for you great things your own eyes have seen" (1st reading)
  • 'Star' tie pin:  "The Lord has made you numerous as the stars" (1st reading)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  The Lord fills you with the best of wheat (psalm)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "The Son of Man is to be 'handed' over..." (gospel)
  • 'Fish' tie, 'coin' button:  Fish with Peter and Jesus' temple tax (gospel)
  • Red shirt, 'blood drop' pin:  St. Max's martyrdom; Egyptians pursued your ancestors to the Red Sea... (1st reading)

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