November 11, 2017

Nov. 11

November 11, 2017:  St. Martin of Tours, Bishop

  • 'Letter' tie bar:  "I, the writer of this letter, greet you in the Lord" (1st reading)
  • 'Owl' pin:  Glory to the only wise God (1st reading)
  • 'Coin' pin:  Erastus, city treasurer (1st reading); "Make friends with dishonest wealth"; "You can't serve God and love of money" (gospel)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  Let your works discourse of your Kingdom's glory (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  "You justify yourselves in others' sight, but... what's of human esteem is an abomination in God's" (gospel)"
  • 'Heart' pin:  "...God knows your hearts" (gospel)
  • White shirt:  Liturgical color for St. Martin memorial
Not heeding today's gospel!

For 1st reading
For Psalm 145
Pope Francis
At Italian Amoris Lætitia conferenceLove between a man and a woman is the leaven of a culture of encounter and injects sociality into the world.  “The good of the family is decisive for the future of world and Church.”  Family bonds are the most effective antidote to individualism, but some family situations require hard choices addressed with prudent conscience.  Spouses, parents should be accompanied as they try to apply the Gospel to their circumstances.
Respect conscience, but don't confuse it with exclusive autonomy of the individual.  Some speak of ego-latry, worship of the ego, sacrificing everything to it.  When you always look in the mirror, you can't see others or the world.  “From this imprisonment in myself I'm free only if I find a point that's not my ego:  a height higher than myself; something solid working inside me, religious reality, alive, full of worth, belonging to the living God” (Romano Guardini).  Deep within, the Mystery reveals and illuminates us.  Conscience is our “core and sanctuary, where we're alone with God, whose voice echoes in our depths (Gaudium et spes).”  We must be vigilant, so in our tabernacle will always be grace to illuminate and strengthen our love and mission.  Grace renews in today's families the miracle of the Cana wedding feast By transforming into wine the water of the jars used for purification rites, Jesus transforms the Law into the Gospel, bearer of joy.  Jesus points to the medicine of mercy, which, curing hardness of heart, restores the relationship between husband and wife, and between parents and children.
To Pacific Islands forum leaders:  Today's environmental decay is largely the result of short-sighted human activity, but it's good that global warming and rising sea levels that affect impoverished coastal populations are being discussed such as at the UN COP23 Climate Change Conference.  Global cooperation and solidarity are necessary to address issues like deterioration of the environment and health of oceans.  Since the Filipino bishops' appeal nearly 30 years ago, the oceans and marine ecosystem haven't really improved.  We still face problems such as oceans polluted by plastics and micro-plastics.

  • Rom 16:3-9, 16, 22-27  Greet my friends; they worked for you and me at great risk.  Greet one another with a holy kiss.  We and the churches of Christ greet you.  To the one, wise God, who can strengthen you, through Jesus Christ, be glory forever!
  • Ps 145:2-5, 10-11  "I will praise your name for ever, Lord.  You're great and most praiseworthy.  Let your works and faithful ones give you thanks, bless you, and speak of your might.
  • Lk 16:9-15  “One trustworthy or dishonest in small matters is the same in great ones.  No servant can serve two masters; you can't serve God and mammon.”  (to sneering Pharisees:)  “You justify yourselves in others' sight, but God knows your hearts.”
  • Creighton:  “We live in a cage with the door wide open” (George Lucas).  We can hold onto what we drive or wear (or wish we could), or work, or laziness:  whatever keeps us from being free.  Jesus calls it “'mammon,' wealth we cling to, worship and allow to obscure the path to the open door.  Let go!  To St. Ignatius of Loyola, mammon is disordered attachments or disordered affections:  whatever keeps us from God.  He gives practical guidance on letting go.  His “First Principle and Foundation” describes purpose as to praise, reverence, and serve God.  We're to use everything to help us toward this end, and avoid all that draws us away from it.  May we let go of all that keeps us in the cage and lean into what leads us to freedom.
    San Martín y el mendigo
    El Greco
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Unchurched churchgoers?":  The Lord calls us to be members of the Church, baptized (=immersed) in the body of Christ, practicing community life, living our baptism "in deed and truth, not just talking about it."  In Rom 16 Paul names over 30 people, and he worked with many other Christian communities too.  And his relationships with the people were deep; e.g. Prisca and Aquila risked their lives for him.  We try to live independently, less committed, but may we live so we may know and love many Christian brothers and sisters....
  • Passionist:  After sharing a parable about a dishonest steward and his master, Jesus says to make friends with dishonest wealth.  He's saying we should use our spiritual wisdom with the same zeal the steward used his business wisdom.  His parable, ostensibly about money, is more about values.  The question is how much you love and cling to money.  He was challenging the day's "prosperity gospel" that wealth was a sign of blessing and poverty a sign of God’s displeasure.  Perhaps the Pharisees 'sneered' (Gk. ekmuktérizó, turn your nose up) at Jesus’ warning about serving God vs. serving wealth and possessions.  Mammon has no value in God's kingdom; true wealth comes from serving God and others.  Jesus' disciples are called to use our resources generously; when they're gone, we'll be welcomed into the kingdom.  We may not have material wealth to share, but we have the 'currency' of love, compassion, and forgiveness.  Who can turn their nose up at that?
  •  "Who will entrust to you the true riches?"  Generous giving is connected with almsgiving.  Those who receive alms become your friends because you're merciful to them in their need, just as God is merciful to you in your need for his forgiveness and help.  The rabbis said, "The rich help the poor here, but the poor help the rich in the world to come." The treasure that lasts is the treasure stored for us in heaven.  Generosity enriches the giver and expands the soul.  God gave us the best gift in his only Son.  The Father also offers us the Spirit who fills us with love, joy, peace, patience, self-control, and more.  Everything we have is a gift of God.
Who/what is in charge of your life, your thoughts, ideals, desires, and values?  Love of money, power, prestige, or addictions?  Love of money crowds out love of God and neighbor. If God's love doesn't possess us, some other love will.  Only God can set us free from greed and possessiveness, satisfy our heart's desires, and transform us. We can hoard God's gifts, or allow the Lord to guide us to use them for others' benefit.  Lord, fill our heart with generosity and joy in sharing with others.

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