January 9, 2018

Jan. 9

January 9, 2018:  Tuesday, 1st week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  Hannah rose after a meal; she ate and drank with her husband (1st reading)
  • 'Drop' pin:  Hannah wept during her prayer (1st reading)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  Eli to Hannah:  "Go in peace" (1st reading)
  • 'Heart' pin:  "My heart exults in the Lord" (canticle)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin:  "I rejoice in my victory" (canticle)
  • 'Children' tie (7 are showing):  The barren wife bears seven sons (canticle)
  • 'OneLife LA' button:  It's not too late to sign up; see "Life corner" below
    • Green shirt and suspenders:  Ordinary Time season starts today

      For gospel
      HomilyThe newness of Christ lay in the authority the Father gave him.  The Scribes and the doctors of the law didn't reach the heart like Jesus; they taught ‎from the chair and weren't in people, but Jesus ‎astonished people and moved hearts.  Jesus' closeness to people gave him authority; he understood their problems, pains, and sins, and he welcomed, healed, and taught them. 

      Closeness to God in prayer grants or awakens authority to a pastor.  If you don't pray, you can't be close to the people and so can't bring them God's message.  A pastor's anointing is closeness to both God and people.  Moved by God’s gift of prayer, a pastor can be moved by people's sins, problems, and diseases.  The Scribes couldn't be moved because they were close to neither people nor God.  Without such closeness, your life is incoherent.  Pastors with a double life, not close to God or compassionate with people, are wounds to the Church; they've lost authority, and Jesus calls them "whitened sepulchers," beautiful outside but rotting within.

      Hannah prayed for a son, ‎but Eli, who had lost his closeness to God and people, considered her a drunkard.  When she explained she was praying, he got close to her and told her to go in peace; realizing he was mistaken, he blessed and prophesied, and Hannah gave birth.  If you're detached from God and people, don't lose hope; look how Eli listened to Hannah and awakened his authority.  Authority comes only from God, and authority in speaking comes from closeness to God and people.   ‎Authority is coherence, not double life.

      Pre-visit message to Chile and Peru:  I will visit you as a pilgrim of gospel joy, share the Lord's peace, and confirm you in hope.  I want to experience God's closeness and tenderness among you all.  I thank God for the faith and love you have for him and for those in need, especially those whom society discards.  I want to share your joys, sorrows, difficulties, and hopes.  You're not alone:  I'm with you, and the Church sees and embraces you.

      I want to experience the peace we need that comes only from God.  Christ gives it to everyone; it's the basis of our coexistence and society.  Founded on justice, it allows us to share communion and harmony.  If we pray for it, he'll give us the peace of the Risen Lord who brings joy, urges us to be missionaries, and revives the faith that leads to encounter and communion.  This encounter with Christ confirms us in hope.  We look beyond the world to God's mercy that heals our suffering and inspires us to keep going.  Feeling God's closeness makes us a community that can be moved by people, take steps of friendship, and confirm one another in faith and hope.

      • 1 Sm 1:9-20  Hannah prayed, promising:  “Lord, if you give your handmaid a male child, I will give him to the Lord.” Eli: “May God grant you what you have asked.”  She conceived and bore a son whom she called Samuel [asked of/heard by God].
      • 1 Sm 2:1, 4-7, 8abcd  "My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior."  The barren wife bears seven sons.  The Lord puts to death and gives life, casts down and raises up, makes poor and makes rich, humbles and exalts.
      • Mk 1:21-28  People were astonished at Jesus' teaching, for he taught with authority.  He rebuked an unclean spirit; all were amazed.
      • Creighton:  Mark describes Jesus' teaching style at authoritative and illustrates Jesus' healing power.  In today's gospel Jesus took care of an ugly situation; it foreshadows his victory over evil and death.  How did Jesus become so extraordinary given his humble beginnings?  How can I comfort those who are suffering and on the margins?
        Hannah prays to the Lord for a son
        who will be Samuel (Chagall)
        Hannah art and more
      • Passionist:  "What we have seen and heard":  This year's Ordinary Time readings start with the Books of Samuel and the Gospel of Mark, the anointings of Saul and David, and Jesus' healing of a man with an unclean spirit.  The lens of the Incarnation reveals things invisible to normal vision:  angels gathering to see the Holy Family, the increase of charity among people celebrating God’s Love incarnate, the star the Magi followed....  This ‘unseen’ must have been at work when Jesus called the fishermen, showed authority over demons, and went forth from his baptism to do good and lead us to the Father.  The vision of God’s love was at work in God’s choice of Saul, Saul’s weakness, and David’s greatness, failures, and penitence.  May we enter more deeply into the mystery of God's love story....
        The Possessed Man in the Synagogue/ Tissot
      • DailyScripture:  "Jesus taught with authority":  Jesus spoke God's word as no one had before.  The prophets spoke with delegated authority, but he was authority incarnate.  "Faith is mighty, but without love it profits nothing. The devils confessed Christ, but lacking charity it availed nothing....  They confessed a sort of faith, but without love" (Augustine).  Without love faith profits nothing.  Faith works through love and abounds in hope.  Love orients us to the supreme good, God himself, and good of our neighbor, created in his image.  Hope anchors faith and purifies our desires for things that last.  Christ's word can free us.  "The devil, because he deceived Eve with his tongue, is punished by the tongue, that he might not speak" (Bede, Homilies on the Gospels).  Faith is God's gift and our assent to the truth.  To live, grow, and persevere in faith, we must nourish it with God's word and the Spirit's light.  May we approach his word with trust and submission, eager to do what he wants.

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