February 3, 2018

Feb. 3

February 3, 2018:  Saturday, 4th week, Ordinary Time

See 15 connections with today?
Legend below
'Good Shepherd" music (gospel: "took pity on sheep without a shepherd") /upd/
Pope Francis to anti-usury group
Usury is a grave sin; it humiliates, kills life, stomps on human dignity, promotes corruption, and sets up obstacles to the common good.  This ancient evil must be prevented through education.  Teaching people to live a simple lifestyle, distinguishing the superfluous from the necessary, is the first step.  Financial education must make people responsible for their actions and help them not to take on debts to buy things they can do without.  The virtues of poverty and sacrifice need to be rediscovered.  Poverty keeps you from becoming a slave to things, and sacrifice makes you not expect everything from life.  Education against usury involves instilling an honest, legality-driven mindset, with a desire to help those in need through volunteer work.
By confronting usury and corruption, you give victims hope and strength, so they may recover trust and pick themselves up.  We need a new economic humanism that ends the exclusionary and unfair economy that kills and reduces people to tools of a culture of waste.
  • 1 Kgs 3:4-13  After Solomon offered sacrifice, the Lord offered to grant a request.  Solomon:  “Give me understanding to judge your people and distinguish right from wrong.”  God:  “Because you have asked for this instead of long life or riches, I give you unsurpassed wisdom, plus riches and glory you didn't ask for.”
  • Mk 6:30-34  The Apostles reported what they'd done and taught.  Jesus:  “Come away and rest.”  They went off in the boat, but people saw and followed.  Jesus, moved with pity at the shepherdless sheep, began to teach them.
  • Creighton:  Solomon’s prayer for wisdom helps to put priorities in perspective.  Sometimes we're in a dilemma and need direction.  In the gospel, Jesus felt he needed to set out on a boat, likely to separate himself from the crowd's demands, but they still pressed about him.  We pray for what we need and find God gives us more than we ask for....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Cardiac care":  Solomon asked for and received great wisdom and understanding, but his heart turned to idols.  Solomon's idolatry gave him "heart failure."  Mary's immaculate heart, though it was pierced, never suffered heart failure. Through her faithful, suffering heart, we receive help to accept her Son's graces to resist temptations and so avoid heart failure. If our hearts have already failed, she's praying for our repentance.  May we accept her as our mother and intercessor, and guard our heart.
    St. Blase
  • Passionist:  Solomon showed wisdom in his prayer for an understanding heart (vs. power or wealth...).  We need leaders with understanding, compassionate hearts to govern wisely and to care for the "least."  We need to be moved with pity for the "sheep without a shepherd" as Jesus was and pray for them.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Come away and rest a while":  Shepherding required great skill and courage. Herds often numbered thousands, and watching over them took great attention and care.  Shepherds had to seek out the strays and bring them back.  They had to battle hyenas, jackals, wolves, and bears, putting their life on the line to defending the sheep.  Sheep and shepherds lived together.
The Old Testament spoke of God as shepherd of his people and pictured the Messiah as shepherd of God's people.  Jesus told his disciples he was the Good Shepherd willing to lay down his life for his sheep. When he saw people needing protection and care, he responded with compassionate concern.  He personally loved each person who came to him in need.  Peter called Jesus the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls.  Good Shepherd, help me submit my life to you and trust in your grace and help.

    • Blase (Blaise), bishop, missionary, martyr; see also Wikipedia.  “Through the intercession of St. Blase, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from ailments of the throat and from every other evil.”
Dress legend
  • 'Heart' pin:  "I give you a wise heart" (1st reading); "With all my heart I seek you and treasure your promise" (psalm); Jesus' heart was moved with pity for the crowd (gospel)
  • 'Fire' pin:  Solomon offered burnt offerings (1st reading)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  "Lord, you have made me king" (1st reading)
  • 'Owl' tie pin:  Solomon asked for and received wisdom;... (1st reading)
  • 'Money bag' pin:  ...he also received riches and glory (1st reading)
  • 'Precious feet' pin:  People hastened to Jesus on foot (gospel)
  • 'Classroom' tie:  "Teach me your ways" (psalm); Jesus taught them many things (gospel); last day of Catholic Schools Week
  • 'Boat' tie bar:  Jesus and the apostles went in the boat to a deserted place (gospel)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  The crowds were like sheep without a shepherd (gospel)
  • Red shirt, 'blood drop' pin:  Today's martyrs

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