November 18, 2017

Nov. 18

November 18, 2017:  Saturday, 32nd week, Ordinary Time

See about a dozen connections with today?
Legend below

For 1st reading
By new Ratzinger prizewinner Pärt (see below)
Pope Francis
At Pontifical Council for Culture "Future of Humanity" assemblyThe Church wants to give correct direction in this era marked by advances in medicine, genetics, neuroscience, and AI.  Diseases once considered incurable have been eradicated, and possibilities have opened up to 'program' human beings.  Science and technology help us further the boundaries of knowledge but don't give all the answers. ‎We must draw from ‎religious ‎traditions, popular wisdom, literature, the arts, philosophy, and ‎theology.‎  Remember these two principles of Church teaching:
  • The centrality of the human person, who is an end, not a means.  We must be in harmony ‎with creation, as a loving guardian of the Creator's work.‎
  • The universal destination of goods, including ‎knowledge and technology.  Progress should serve all humanity; this helps avoid new inequalities based on knowledge and prevent widening of the rich-poor gap.  Decisions about scientific research, and investment in it, should be taken together by society, not market rules or interests of a few.‎  Not everything that's possible or feasible is ethically acceptable.
To Ratzinger theology prize winners:  I welcomed the idea of ​broadening the Prize beyond theology and the sciences to include the arts; it corresponds well with the vision of Pope Benedict who often spoke of beauty as a privileged way to open ourselves to transcendence and meeting God.
(Re the Catholic, Lutheran, and Orthodox winners:)  The truth of Christ is not for soloists but is symphonic, requiring docile collaboration, harmonious sharing.  Seeking, studying, contemplating, and transposing it in practice together, in charity, draws us toward full union:  truth becomes a living source of closer ties of love.
Congratulations to the illustrious prize winners:  Prof. Karl-Heinz Menke, Prof. Theodor Dieter, and Maestro Arvo Pärt.  May we continue to travel along new and broader ways to collaborate in research, dialogue, and knowledge of truth, a truth that is, in God, logos and agape, wisdom and love, incarnate in the person of Jesus.
  • Wis 18:14-16; 19:6-9  When all was still, your all-powerful word bounded from heaven into the doomed land, bearing the sword of your decree, filling every place with death, reaching to heaven.  Creation was being made over, that your children might be preserved.  Dry land emerged from what was water, a road out of the Red Sea, a plain out of the flood.  The nation crossed over, sheltered by your hand, praising you.
  • Ps 105:2-3, 36-37, 42-43  "Remember the marvels the Lord has done!"  Sing praise to him:  He led his people forth.  He remembered his word.
  • Lk 18:1-8  “There was a judge who neither feared God nor respected people, and a widow who kept asking him to render a just decision for her.  He eventually thought, ‘Because she keeps bothering me, I'll deliver her a just decision lest she strike me.’  If the dishonest judge does that, won't God secure the rights of his chosen who call to him?  When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

From Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization
This is an opportunity to celebrate, assist, and be with the poor and to change our attitudes about poverty.  The Day is so beautiful because it’s not about power but reciprocity, giving and receiving.  We're all poor in some way, and everybody’s got something to give, something to offer.  This day can open our minds, hearts, and attitudes towards the poverty that exists year round.  Pope Francis continues to focus our attention towards how we respond to poverty institutionally and to people individually.
  • Ask
    • How can we become greater signs of Christ’s charity for the least and those most in need?
    • How can we better show the world Jesus’ preferential love for the poor?
  • Do
    • Draw near to the poor, encounter them, meet their gaze, embrace them, and love them.
    • Step out of our certainties and comforts, and acknowledge the value of poverty.
  • Pray
    • That all government action, policy, and purpose reflect a preferential option for the poor. 
    • That all church leaders reach out to and assist those living in poverty in their community. 
    • That lawmakers work towards economic equality in our communities.
    • That we be poor in spirit.
    "Avenge me of mine adversary"
  • Creighton:  Today's 1st reading reminds us that God’s wrath does not destroy those who seek the Lord.  The psalm says, “He remembered his word to Abraham and led his people with joy!”  We're called not just to repentance, discipleship, and salvation but to possess the glory of Christ.  Jesus tells us in the parable that God’s justice secures our rights in the day of judgment; this is more important than the justice we may or may not receive here.  We can count on it, but we need to keep praying!  One dictionary definition of glory is being at your happiest.  I believe the justice God grants me through my faith will allow me to share the glory of Christ.  May the Lord find me among the faithful when he returns.  May we be led forth in the glory of the Lord, while we await his coming again.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Doing the impossible again":  The Israelite nation had been enslaved for hundreds of years with no way of being freed.  Then the Lord did wonders and set them people free, making creation over anewLeviticus prescribes that in the Jubilee Year slaves are freed, debts forgiven, and land restored to its original owners.  We need the Lord to do wonders today.  "Won't God do justice to his chosen who call him?  He'll give them swift justice.  But when the Son comes, will he find faith on earth?"
    Parable of the unjust judge/ Millais
  • Passionist:  The widow was lowly, with no voice, visibility, or status, but with her persistence and determination she got justice.  Do we have that trust and perseverance?  When our prayers aren’t answered as we want, do we give up or give in to fatigue or frustration—or do we God him even when we're not sure of his presence?  Prayer is “not so much asking for what we think we need, but trusting God can change us in unimaginable ways” (Norris).  We need to pray unceasingly, to share what we think we need with God, then listen for his wisdom and grace to do whatever it takes.  Can we allow him to change us so we'll be equipped to build God's kingdom?  Can we be like the widow?
  •  "Pray; don't lose heart":  The widow wore down the judge till he gave her justice.  Persistence pays off, and God is quick to bring us justice, blessing, and help when we need it, but we can lose heart and not ask for his grace and help.  Today's parable gives us hope and confidence in God's care and favor.  We can expect trials but have hope in God, whose justice ultimately triumphs. When with faith we entrust our lives to God, we can look forward with hope.  Faith is God's gift. To grow and persevere in faith, we must pray for it and nourish it with God's word...
Today's celebrations, from Universalis
  • Dedication of the Basilicas of SS. Peter and Paul:  Commemoration of dedication of St. Peter basilica at the Vatican and St. Paul basilica in the Via Ostiense honors the two great apostles as the dedication of St. Mary Major celebrates the Virgin Mother of God.
Dress legend
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  When peaceful stillness encompassed everything... (1st reading)
  • 'Scroll' pin:  ...Your word bounded into the land, bearing the sword of your decree (1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  Over this crossed the nation sheltered by your hand (1st reading)
  • 'Horse' tie pin:  They ranged about like horses... (1st reading)
  • 'Lamb' tie bar:  ...and bounded about like lambs (1st reading)
  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  Rejoice, hearts that seek the Lord! (psalm)

  • Silver- and gold-colored accessories:  He led them laden with silver and gold (psalm)

  • 'Phone' tie bar:  God will secure the rights of those who 'call' him? (gospel)

  • 'Scales of justice' tie:  The dishonest judge will do justice (gospel) (trumps /'clouds' tie/ for "the cloud overshadowed their camp," 1st reading)

  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

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