November 3, 2017

Nov. 3

November 3, 2017:  Friday, 30th week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Dove' pin:  My conscience joins with the Spirit in bearing me witness (1st reading)
  • 'Heart' pin:  I have sorrow and anguish in my heart (1st reading)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  The Lord has granted peace in your borders;... (psalm)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  ...fills you with the best of wheat (psalm)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  Jesus went to dine at a Pharisee's home (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

For Psalm 147
Pope Francis homily
Today’s celebration sets death before us and renews our sorrow for the loss of those dear to us, but it increases our hope for them and ourselves.  The 1st reading expresses hope in the resurrection; some will awake for eternal life, others for everlasting shame.  Death makes definitive the crossroads now before us:  the way of life, with God, or of death, apart from him.  The 'many' who will rise are the 'many' for whom Christ's blood was shed, who thanks to God's goodness and mercy can experience unending life.
Jesus strengthens our hope:  “I am the living bread.  Whoever eats of this bread will live forever” evokes Christ’s sacrifice on the cross to save those enslaved to sin whom the Father had given him.  Jesus shared our human condition and opened to us the doors of life.  By partaking of his body and blood, we're united to his love, which embraces his victory over evil, suffering, and death.  Our fellowship with the dead is not merely desire or illusion but reality.  Our faith in the resurrection makes us people of hope and life.  This hope, rekindled by God's word, helps us to trust in the face of death.  Death is not the last word; the Father's merciful love transfigures us and makes us live with him.   We eagerly await our final encounter with God:  “My soul thirsts for God....”  We yearn for God’s love, beauty, happiness, and wisdom.  Hope does not disappoint! 

November prayer intention:  Pray for evangelization, that Christians in Asia, bearing witness to the gospel, may promote dialogue, peace, and mutual understanding, especially with those of other religions

From the Vatican

In the spirit of the Rom 9-11 readings starting today, recall "The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable" on Christian-Jewish dialogue:

"God's gifts and call are irrevocable":  A reflection on theological questions pertaining to Catholic-Jewish relations on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Nostra aetate #4 (NA4)

NA4 gives a new framework for the Catholic Church/Jewish people relationship.

History:  Christianity was seen as discriminatory against Jews, but the 
holocaust led the Church to reflect on her bond with the Jewish people.  The fundamental esteem for Judaism expressed in NA4 has enabled communities to become partners and friends.  NA4 is recognized as the foundation for improving the Catholic/Jewish relationship.  Bl. Pope Paul VI established the CRRJ to foster religious dialogue; they published “Guidelines and Suggestions for Implementing the Conciliar Declaration NA4.”  It urges Christians to know Judaism better, refers to our common liturgical roots, and outlines possibilities to collaborate in education and social action.  A decade later they issued “Notes on the correct way to present the Jews and Judaism in preaching and catechesis in the Roman Catholic Church” about the relationship of the Old and New Testaments, Jewish roots of Christianity, how Jews are represented in the New Testament, commonalities in liturgy, the relationship of Judaism and Christianity in history, and the permanence of Israel.  In 1998 they issued We remember. A reflection on the Shoah” judging the Jew/Christian relationship as largely and regrettably negative and urging Christians to remember the Shoah.  In 2001 the PBC issued “The Jewish People and their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible” on Jewish-Catholic dialogue; Jewish scripture is considered fundamental to the Christian Bible, themes of Jewish scripture and their adoption into Christianity are discussed, and how the New Testament represents Jews is detailed.

On the face-to-face front, Pope St. John Paul visited Auschwitz-Birkenau to pray for Shoah victims and visited the Roman Synagogue to express solidarity.  Israel invited him to participate in interreligious encounters, and he visited Chief Rabbis and prayed at the Western Wall.  Benedict XVI lectured on the relationship between Old Covenant and New, and Synagogue and Church.  He fostered dialogue by gesture and word.  Pope Francis, who as Cardinal Bergoglio fostered Jewish-Catholic dialogue, continues the dialogue; he met with Chief Rabbis, visited the Western Wall, and prayed for Shoah victims.  Since Judaism isn't organizationally unified, it was hard for the Church to determine whom to engage with, because we couldn't dialogue with all willing Jewish groupings ready to dialogue, so Jewish organizations established the IJCIC as official representative to the CRRJ.  
The ILC organized regular IJCIC/CRRJ conferences and shapes the collaboration.  Confrontation has become cooperation, potential for conflict conflict management, and tense coexistence fruitful mutuality.  Friendship has made it possible to address controversial subjects.  We've dealt positively with differences of opinion and strengthened relations.  Pope St. John Paul II's 2000 encounter with the Jerusalem Chief Rabbis sparked institutional conversation with Israel's Chief Rabbinate, with annual meetings since.  There have been personal and intensive discussion on the sanctity of life, the family, Scriptures and society, religious freedom, ethical foundations of behavior, ecology, the relationship of secular and religious authority, and religious leadership.  The dialogue has enabled more open relations between Orthodox Judaism and the Catholic Church.  The joint declarations testify to the richness of our common spiritual heritage and to the treasures still to be unearthed.

CRRJ goes beyond those dialogues; it's open to all streams of Judaism and all Jewish groupings that wish to link with the Holy See.  It also provides opportunities within the Church for dialogue with Judaism and for support of Bishops’ Conferences' promotion of dialogue.  Dialogues have led to greater awareness that Christians and Jews are inter­dependent and that dialogue is a duty.  Without her Jewish roots, the Church could lose its anchoring in salvation history and slide into gnosticism.  While Jews don't accept some Christian beliefs, the Church must proclaim Jesus as Messiah, rich complementarity allows us to read Hebrew Scriptures together and to help each other mine their riches.  We also share ethical convictions and concern for justice.... (continued tomorrow)

  • Rom 9:1-5  I have great sorrow and anguish in my heart.  I wish I were cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, the children of Israel; theirs the adoption, glory, covenants, giving of the law, worship, promises, and patriarchs, and from them is the Christ.
  • Ps 147:12-15, 19-20  "Praise the Lord, Jerusalem."  He has strengthened your gates, blessed your children, granted you peace, filled you with wheat, and proclaimed his word.
  • Lk 14:1-6  On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at a Pharisee's home where there was a man suffering from dropsy.  Jesus asked, “Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?”  He healed and dismissed the man, then said, “If your son falls into a cistern, who wouldn't pull him out on the sabbath?”  They couldn't answer.
  • Creighton:  Paul tells the Romans about his anguish about accepting Christ and his heartache about those who haven't; he reminds me of when I've felt anguish and despair about my faith.  Jesus' response to the Pharisees about healing the man with dropsy [pulmonary edema, fluid in the lungs] reminds me of when I've explained or defended my faith, and when I haven't had the courage to.  How well do I listen to someone’s story?  How do I accompany others in their faith journey?  What do I need when I feel anguish or fear?...
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Dying to save":  The sick man wasn't a dinner guest; he was sent home to spare him further humiliation.  The Pharisees manipulated and used him; Jesus healed him.  Jesus suffered and died to save even those who trapped and cornered him.  Paul said he'd willingly be separated from Christ if the Jews, who tormented him, could be saved.  Christ died for his enemies; he gave his life for them.  May we be like him, thinking only of how much we want our enemies saved and being willing to suffer for love of them.
    St. Martin de Porres/ Lentz
  • Passionist:  Paul laments that so many of his Jewish brothers and sisters don't know Jesus; he's even willing to be cut off from Christ for their sake.  Isn’t it the same for us when a loved one chooses not to live a life of faith?  We pray for our loved ones and for the Jewish people, God’s Chosen, our brothers and sisters in faith.  We know our prayers will be answered because the Father longs for all his children to be one.
  •  "They were watching Jesus":  The Pharisees were convinced Jesus was a Sabbath-breaker.  You'd think his healings on the Sabbath would garner admiration and gratitude, but they incited hostility. Pharisees invited Jesus to dinner on the Sabbath, after he'd broken their Sabbath rules; they were likely hoping to discredit him.  The man with dropsy was likely there because homes were open, it was considered uncharitable to exclude beggars, and rabbis drew crowds wherever they went.  Jesus shows the law of love, good, and healing supersedes the law of rest....

Today's saints, from Universalis
  • Malachy, bishop, abbot, monastery founder

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