September 1, 2017

Sept. 1

September 1, 2017:  Friday, 21st week, Ordinary Time

See about a dozen connections with today?
Legend below
    For the gospel
    For Psalm 97
    Pope Francis / Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Day of Prayer message
    From the beginning God intended us to help preserve and protect the environment.  He entrusted the earth to us as gift, legacy, and responsibility.  Our dignity and welfare are connected to our care for creation.  But history reveals moral decay:  our attitude and behavior towards creation obscures our calling as God’s co-operators.  Our interruption of ecosystems, desire to manipulate and control limited resources, and greed have alienated us from the purpose of creation:  we regard nature as a private possession instead of a shared gift and lord over it instead of associating with and sustaining it.  So the human and natural environments are deteriorating, to the detriment especially of the most vulnerable people; climate change profoundly affects the poor.  To use the earth’s goods responsibly, we must recognize and respect all people and all living creatures.  The call and challenge to care for creation invite us all to work towards sustainable, integral development.
    Pray for the environment today!  Thank the loving Creator for the gift of creation and commit to care and preserve it.  If the Lord isn't beside us, if we're not people of prayer, our labor is vain.  Through prayer we aim to change how perceive the world and how we relate to it and courageously to live more simply and in solidarity.  Hear the earth's cry, attend to the needs of the marginalized, and help heal creation.  Concerted and collective response, shared responsibility and accountability, solidarity, and service are essential to an enduring resolution to the ecological crisis.
    • 1 Thes 4:1-8  Conduct yourselves to please God even more.  Refrain from immorality, acquire a wife in holiness.  God called us to holiness, not impurity; if you disregard this, you're disregarding God.
    • Ps 97:1, 2b, 5-6, 10-12  "Rejoice in the Lord, you just!"  Justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.  The Lord loves all who hate evil; he guards the lives of his faithful.  Light dawns for the just, gladness for the upright.
    • Mt 25:1-13  “The Kingdom will be like virgins who went out to meet the groom with their lamps.   The foolish ones brought no oil, but the wise did.  The groom was delayed, and they all fell asleep.  When they heard he was coming, they got up and trimmed their lamps.  Foolish / wise:  ‘Give us some oil; our lamps are going out.’ / ‘No; there may not be enough for us all.  Buy some.’  While they went to buy it, the groom came, the ready ones went in, and the door was locked.  The others returned:  ‘Open for us!’ / ‘I don't know you.’  Stay awake; you don't know the day or hour.
    • Creighton:  Today’s parable warns us against procrastination.  We can know when and where to meet a pseudo-God, when to prepare ourselves, but the true God surprises us, and only total commitment readies us.  Our desire for commitment comes from, and counts before, God, even though we can't flawlessly implement our desire.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "The pure, unadulterated gospel":  Paul insisted the Thessalonians make greater progress in purity; they were to live "in sanctity and honor, not passionate desire."  "God has called us to holiness, not immorality."  Have we adulterated Christ's standards?  "Anyone who looks lustfully at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his thoughts."  "Your holiness forbids you even mention lewd conduct, promiscuousness, or lust; obscene, silly, or suggestive talk is out of place too."  May we be pure like Jesus.
    • Passionist:  Today's parable reflects wedding customs of the time:  young women greet the groom; they carry torches to add beauty.  When the groom is delayed then comes abruptly, only the virgins with oil-filled lamps can celebrate; those who have to go buy oil miss out.  Some suggest the oil symbolizes good deeds; Mt emphasizes the need for good deeds.  But Jesus clearly says, “Stay awake; you don't know the day or hour.”  We're urged to be alert for the coming of God’s grace and ready to respond:  alert to when a friend or relative is depressed or sad, and listen to and encourage them; alert to what's happening in our own lives (tension, overeating, heavy drinking, not enough prayer time, not enough attention to what's happening in our world and how to respond)....  Even if we feel powerless before monumental problems (poverty, pollution, corruption, racism, violence...), we're capable of “small gestures” of love and justice (Laudato Si 230-31).  May we be awake and alert to such opportunities....
    •  "The foolish will miss heaven's wedding feast":  Be prepared!  Wedding customs required everyone be vigilant and prepared.  You couldn't get in without proper attire.  The couple celebrated for a week with family and friends, took a long route home so villagers could join in the procession, then closed the doors.  We need to listen to the Lord today to be prepared to meet him face to face.
    Dress legend
    • 'Phone' tie bar:  God 'called' us to holiness (1st reading)
    • 'Dove' pin:  God gives you his Holy Spirit (1st reading)
    • 'Heart' pin:  Gladness dawns for the upright of heart (psalm)
    • 'Crown' tie bar:  The Lord is king (psalm); The Kingdom is like... (gospel)
    • 'Alps' pin:  The mountains melt like wax before the Lord (psalm)
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  God delivers the faithful from the hand of the wicked (psalm)
    • 'Lights' tie:  Light dawns for the just (psalm); virgins took their lamps... (gospel)
    • 'Clock' tie bar:  Bridegroom was long delayed (gospel)
    • 'Key' tie pin:  "Then the door was locked." (gospel)
    • Green in shirt, tie, suspenders:  Ordinary Time season

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