January 20, 2018

Jan. 20

January 20, 2018:  Saturday, 2nd week, Ordinary Time


For Psalm 80
Pope Francis in Peru

To children:  You're the reflection of Jesus, and our most precious treasure.  Forgive us for when we haven't cared for you.  We can't become blind or indifferent children in need.  Thank you for being a light of hope for us, even though you miss your parents and sometimes feel hurt.  You demonstrate to us the potential of each person and set a great example.  We need good role models.  Be "little stars that light the night."

Take advantage of your opportunities for schooling.  The world needs you as you are.  Listen to and value your elders.  Be open to new things, and bring old and the new together.  Share what you learn.  Help us correct our course by teaching us about protection and care.  Full text

To Amazon citizens:  This land has names and faces; it has you.  Mary is both an example and a Mother.  This a land has a Mother, children, family, community, strength to confront problems.  Our throwaway culture advances by silencing, ignoring, and throwing out what doesn't serve its interests; unaware of others' suffering, it just wants to consume.  Forests, rivers, children, the elderly are exploited, then abandoned.  We speak of “human trafficking,” but it's slavery, for sex or profit.  Women are devalued and exposed violence.  Don't look the other way when women's dignity is trampled on.

Many immigrate her looking for housing, land, and work, for a better future, often drawn by the allure of gold mining.  But gold can turn into a false god which demands human sacrifice.  Idols of avarice and power corrupt people and institutions and ruin the forest.  Help overcome these situations.  Through prayer and encountering Christ, we'll attain the conversion that leads to true life.

Our Father looks at and saves real people.  Reflect his gaze, and make the kingdom visible.  I have hope in you.  Love this land that belongs to you; fall in love with it and care for it, a treasure to be enjoyed, cultivated, and entrusted to your children.  Full text

To Puerto Maldonado indigenous people:  This place is holy ground, but you and your people bear deep wounds and you and your land are threatened.  Create institutional expressions of respect, recognition, and dialogue, with you as the principal dialogue partners.  Some see you as an obstacle, but you help protect the home God entrusted to us.  We defend the earth to defend life.  Human trafficking, slavery, is another assault on life, and there's great complicity.  Never stop pleading for the outcast and those who suffer.  The “indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation” (PIAV) are the most vulnerable; keep defending them, and let their wisdom teach you.  We don't own creation.

Your culture is a sign of life that must be preserved in the face of colonialism.  Don't let colonialism disguised as progress ensnare you, dissipate your identity, and establish a uniform, weak, way of thinking.  The elderly see what's essential in life.  Keep your culture alive; don't let it disappear.  Education helps us build bridges and create a culture of encounter.  I support all of you trying to create a new anthropology and interpret history from your perspective.  I encourage those who share your worldview and culture through the arts.  We need to listen.

Christ took flesh in a culture, Jewish culture, and from it gave us a source of newness for all, in a way that each feels affirmed in him.  Each culture that receives the Gospel shows a new aspect of Christ’s face.  The Church doesn't want to be aloof from you.  Help us shape the culture of your churches.  Full text

To civil authorities:  Your territory includes the Amazon, the world's largest tropical forest and most extensive river system, a region of great biodiversity.  You have a wealth of cultures.  Your people value hospitality, esteem for others, respect and gratitude for the earth, and creativity.  They have solidarity and a sense of responsibility for development.  Your youth are the most vital gift you have; they encourage us to dream of a hope-filled future, born of the encounter between ancestral wisdom and their new eyes.  Peru has given birth to saints such as Martin de Porres, who showed the strength and richness that arises when people love.  Your land invites and challenges people to maintain unity and defend these reasons for hope.

But your power is not being used wisely:  the earth is being stripped, and species being lost.  Defending hope means promoting and developing an integral ecology, listening to local persons and peoples as partners who know the land and how it's being affected.  The vital fabric that constitutes the nation is thus being altered.  The degradation of the environment goes hand in hand with moral degradation.  Black market mining is destroying lives, forests, and rivers and encourages organizations to operate outside the law, enslave people, commit crimes, and violate human dignity.

Watch out for the virus of corruption; it infects everything, especially the poor and the earth.  Foster transparency among public entities, the private sector, and society, excluding no one.  The Catholic Church has accompanied the life of Peru in your effort to be a land of hope.  Full text

Out of his mind?
  • 2 Sm 1:1-4, 11-12, 19, 23-27  A man from Saul’s camp went to David to tell him soldiers fell in battle, including Saul and Jonathan.  David and his men rent their garments, mourned, wept, and fasted....
  • Ps 80:2-3, 5-7  "Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved."  Shepherd of Israel, rouse your power, and save us.
  • Mk 3:20-21  As Jesus came with his disciples into the house, the crowd gathered.  His relatives tried to seize him:  "He's out of his mind."
  • Creighton:  Today's gospel story continues in 3:31-35, when family members arrive and want to see Jesus, and Jesus says his family consists of those who do God's will.  The verses in between are about whether Jesus casts out devils by the power of the prince of demons, and he responds that a house divided against itself won't stand; that applies to families and individuals too.  Is our loyalty to Christ and his Kingdom undivided?
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Miracle of unselfishness":  David had experienced a very eventful week. The Amalekites had burned Ziklag, where he resided.  His wives and children had been taken captive, and people spoke of stoning him.  But he led his followers to pursue the Amalekites, defeated them, and recovered everyone and everything.  Then a messenger informed him that King Saul and his son had been killed. Though Saul had tried to kill him, he mourned the death of both.  His unselfish mourning prefigured Jesus' unselfish, crucified, love.
  • Passionist:  Before today's gospel, we heard how popular Jesus is; now, they think he's out of his mind.  His relatives had likely heard the religious leaders condemn him.  Jesus wasn't intimidated, but his loved ones, likely afraid, came to take him home.  Each of us has to make controversial, perhaps risky decisions, and people in our lives may not agree with them.  It's a comfort to read how people were telling Jesus he should stop.  May God help us be faithful....
  • DailyScripture.net:  "People were saying of Jesus, 'He's beside himself'":   His relatives were upset with him and came to seize him; they thought he'd gone mad or become a religious fanatic.  He'd thrown away the security of his trade and family and gone off to become a traveling preacher.  Jesus probably expected opposition from the religious authorities, but it must have been harder to get it from his own relatives. When we follow Jesus, we can expect opposition, even from those close to us....
No picture today, so you missed...
  • 'Lion' pin:  "Saul and Jonathan,... stronger than lions!" (1st reading)
  • Gold-colored accessories:  Saul... decked your attire with ornaments of gold. (1st reading)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  "Shepherd of Israel, guide of Joseph's flock..." (psalm)
  • '?' tie pin:  "He's out of his mind" (gospel)
  • Green in tie:  Ordinary Time season

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