September 22, 2017

Sept. 22

September 22, 2017:  Friday, 24th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Celebrate teaching' tie pin:  "Teach and urge these things" (1st reading)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  You were 'called' to eternal life (1st reading)
  • Circular tie pin:  The rich will join the 'circle' of his forbears and never see light (psalm)
  • 'Money' tie:  They trust in their wealth (psalm); you can't pay your own ransom to God (psalm); fear not when a man grows rich (psalm); love of money is the root of all evils, (1st reading); women provided for Jesus and Twelve out of their resources (gospel)
  • Green shirt and suspenders:  Ordinary Time season; money (all readings)
  • 'Plane' tie pin:  "Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another" (gospel)
For the gospel
For 1st reading
For Psalm 49
Pope Francis
To migration directors: Combat intolerance:  I'm sad that, in the name of conserving their cultural and religious identity, Catholic communities don't welcome migrants; the unease may arise because of the current economic crisis.  Governments and communities have been ill prepared to cope with the influx of migrants, but the arrival of these Christians is an opportunity for the Church become more ‘catholic.’  Many migrants and refugees have already enriched parishes in their host countries.  Ministering to migrants can announce the Gospel, witness to our faith, and show respect for other faiths.  These encounters help develop ecumenical and interreligious relations.
We need to welcome, protect, promote and integrate people on the move.  On the basis of these four actions, the Vatican migrant and refugee office has published an action plan for local Churches.  Please share it with your bishops to help promote dialogue with governments before the Global Compact for Migration.
Homily for St. Matthew:  In Caravaggio’s depiction of Matthew's call, Matthew looks sidelong with one eye on Jesus and the other on his purse, and Jesus' gaze communicates such overwhelming love that Matthew's resistance fails.  It's the struggle between mercy and sin.  Jesus' love could enter because Matthew knew he was a sinner, not loved, even despised. His sinful conscience opened the door to Jesus' mercy, so he left everything and followed him.  Stages of salvation:
Feeling in danger.  The first condition of healing is feeling sick.  When we pray, we feel Jesus' beautiful, saving gaze of mercy, the look of love.  Don't be afraid.
The party.  Matthew, happy like Zaccheus, invited Jesus to come home and eat and invited friends, sinners and publicans.  “There will be more feasting in Heaven for a sinner who converts than for 100 just men who remain just.”  This is the feast of mercy.  Pope Francis said that Jesus is profligate with mercy, mercy for all.
Scandal.  The Pharisees, who saw who was at table, told his disciples, “How is your Master eating with publicans and sinners?”  When you hear "How come?,"it smells, and scandal follows.  They were scandalized by the impurity of not following the law.  They knew the Doctrine well, how to go on the way of God's Kingdom, how things ought to be done, but they forgot the commandment of love; they were locked in the cage of sacrifice, perhaps thinking, “Let's make a sacrifice to God; let's do what we have to to be saved.  They believed salvation came from themselves, but God saves us, in Christ.  We still hear "how come?" about works of mercy.  Jesus sent them to learn what mercy means.  "I want mercy, not sacrifice; I came to call sinners, not the righteous."  Recognize yourself a sinner, not guilty of sin in the abstract but guilty of concrete sins.  Look on Jesus with that merciful glance of love.  There's still much scandal, even in the Church.  Saints have been persecuted or suspected.  Joan of Arc was thought a witch and sent to the stake.  St. Teresa was suspected of heresy.  Once we recognize the truth that we're sinners, Jesus comes, we meet, and it's beautiful.

  • 1 Tm 6:2c-12  Whoever teaches something that doesn't agree with Christ's sound words is conceited, understands nothing; from them come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, and mutual friction.  We brought nothing into the world and won't be able to take anything out of it.  Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into foolish and harmful desires, leading them into ruin.  For the love of money is the root of evil, and some in their desire for it have strayed from the faith.  Instead, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.  Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called....
  • Ps 49:6-10, 17-20  "Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!"  My ensnarers trust in their wealth, but nobody can pay his ransom to God.  Fear not when a man grows rich; when he dies, his wealth won't follow him.  Though he counted himself blessed, he'll never see more light.
  • Lk 8:1-3  Jesus journeyed from one town to another, proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom.  The Twelve, some women he cured, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susana, and others accompanied him.
  • Creighton:  When Jesus is only part of our lives, not the center, we try to attain what we think we're thirsting for such as worldly goods, not realizing our false thirsts distract us from our deep thirst for God.  Each of us is called to continue Jesus' mission of preaching and proclaiming God's Kingdom.  Happiness comes from entering into a deep relationship with Christ, and for that we need to spend time with him.  When we do, he matters more and becomes more central in our lives, and we want to to imitate and accompany him and pursue justice, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness, remembering we're still subject to sin....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "The privilege and cost of discipleship":  Disciples accompany Jesus and preach and proclaim the good news.  Because we've been cured, we're eager to our power from Jesus to heal and free others.  Disciples express their love by giving of themselves.  They flee from worldly ways, seeking integrity, piety, faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness.  They "fight the fight of faith," "taking hold on the everlasting life" they're called to.  To live as disciples, we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus, loving him above all, renouncing our possessions.  May we live as Jesus' disciples.
    St. Thomas of Villanova
    heals the sick/ Murillo
  • Passionist:  Today's gospel offers the foundation for conforming to Christ.  We're called to be disciples, proclaiming the good news that God sent us a redeemer, and living Kingdom values.  The Kingdom's fullness is beyond this world, and the temptation to acquire worldly things can deafen us and ultimately make the Kingdom inaccessible to us.  Do we use what God has given us to foster highest human achievement, share, and glorify God?  How do we avoid the temptation to selfishness and pride?  Service to others fosters self-understanding.  May we keep self-interest in check and always look to serve others.
  •  ""The women provided for Jesus":  A diverse band of women accompanied Jesus and the Twelve:   Mary Magdalene, who lived a troubled life before Jesus freed her, was the first to see Jesus as risen Lord.  Joanna, wife of Herod's CFO, was wealthy.  What united these two unlikely partners?  Jesus and his message had transformed them. These women didn't seek position or demand privileges; they were just grateful to serve Jesus.  Am I content to serve Jesus quietly and generously with my resources?  Jesus "came not to be served but to serve and to give his life...."  The gospel honors these women who imitated Jesus in his selfless love and service.  Our privilege as Jesus' disciples is to serve humbly as he did.  God gives us what we need to carry out our mission.  God needs no one but chooses to entrust his work to us; his Spirit equips us with what we need to love and serve others.  No one is unimportant or unnecessary to God.

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