November 8, 2017

Nov. 8

November 8, 2017:  Wednesday, 31st week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Heart' pin:  Love your neighbor.  Love...  (1st reading)
  • 'Law of Moses' tie:  Love is the fulfillment of the law (1st reading)
  • 'Penny' button:  Blessed those who lend to those in need (psalm)
  • 'Cross' pin:  If you don't carry your cross, you can't be my disciple (gospel)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  What king marching into battle wouldn't decide whether he can succeed?  (gospel)
  • 'Abacus' tie pin:  When you build tower, you first calculate the cost (gospel)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  If not, he'll ask for peace terms (gospel)
  • 'Street light' tie bar:  The gracious person is a light for the upright (psalm)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

1st reading-inspired
For Psalm 112

Pope Francis General Audience:  Series launch
Today begins a new series of catecheses on the Eucharist.  The Mass is the heart of the Church, the source of her life.  Many martyrs have died to defend the Eucharist; their witness confirms our Lord’s promise that by partaking of his body and blood we pass with him from death to life.   At every Mass, our lives, offered in union with Christ’s sacrifice, become, in him, an offering of praise and thanksgiving to the Father, for the world's salvation.  The Vatican II liturgical renewal sought to help the faithful better understand and share in the Eucharist.  At Mass, Jesus becomes present and allows us in some way, like Thomas, to touch him and renew our faith.   In coming weeks, we'll grow in appreciation of this gift, so as to share more fully in its riches and beauty, which give our lives meaning and direction.

  • Rom 13:8-10  "Love your neighbor as yourself" sums up the commandments.  Love does no evil; love fulfills the law.
  • Ps 112:1b-2, 4-5, 9  "Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need."  He is merciful and just, a light for the upright.
  • Lk 14:25-33  "If you don't renounce your possessions, carry your cross, and come after me, you can't be my disciple.  One building a tower first calculates the cost.  If a king marching into battle thinks his troops can't oppose his opponent's, he'll ask for peace terms."
    • Creighton:  Today's gospel is about commitment, abandoning everything unreservedly, embracing the Cross, renouncing all we depend on, all nonessentials.  Lord, help me commit to you more deeply and be more open to your Spirit....
    • Passionist:  In Jesus' time few had building skills.  Projects weren't attempted without the necessary finances, appropriate resources, and right workforce.  We must follow Jesus wholeheartedly.  With awareness, planning, preparation, and perseverance, we can overcome the challenges.  The Cross is a symbol of Christian life, a sign of our salvation, and a symbol and reminder that the way forward has costs and challenges.  Building takes vision, commitment, labor, and determination, taking up our crosses and following Jesus daily.
      St. Elisabeth of the Holy Trinity Catez

    •  "The cost of discipleship":  'Hate' often meant to 'prefer less.'  Jesus used strong language to make clear that nothing should take precedence over God.  God put us first in his love and concern, sacrificing his son for us; our love for him is a response to his for us.  We must 'count the cost' and be ready to follow the Lord in the way of the cross.  When my will crosses with God's, his will must be done. The way involves the sacrifice of laying down my life daily; God's love poured out for us makes it possible.  We can't outgive God.
    The men in the parables risk serious loss if they don't plan ahead.  In a shame and honor culture, people want to avoid being mocked for failing to complete a task.  The parables echo Proverbs:  "By wisdom a house is built....  By wise guidance you can wage a war."  Landowners walled in their orchards to protect them from intruders.  A tower was usually built in a corner and a guard posted when thieves would likely try to abscond with the goods.  Not finishing a project because of poor planning would invite the scorn of the village.  Likewise, a king who waged war against a stronger opponent would be considered foolish if he did not come up with a good plan.  Disciples must count the cost, but Jesus offers joy, peace, and happiness to all willing to pay.  He told his disciples it would cost them; we either give our lives to him or keep them for ourselves. "You are not your own.  You were bought with a price."  To place any relationship or possession above God is idolatry.  What/whom do I love  love foremost?
    Today's saints, from Universalis

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