February 11, 2018

6th Sun., Ordinary Time

February 11, 2018:  Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

  • 'Musical notes with "Joy"' tie pin:  "You fill me with the joy of salvation" (psalm)
  • 'Heart' pin:  "Exult, all you upright of heart" (psalm)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  Eat, drink, do everything for God's glory (2nd reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  Jesus stretched out his hand, cleansed leper (gospel)
  • 'People around the world' tie:  People came to Jesus from everywhere (gospel)
  • 'Mary' pin:  Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, Sunday-trumped but remembered in Angelus
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season


For Psalm 32
Pope Francis
Angelus:  In today's gospel, Jesus heals the sick of all kinds; it's a great context for today's World Day of the Sick, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.  We contemplate Jesus, whom the Father sent to heal humanity marked by sin and its consequences, as the true physician.  Leprosy separated lepers from the community and made them feel impure before God and others.  We must enter Jesus' compassion-filled heart to understand his work; it drove him to reach out to, touch, and cleanse the leper.  The Law forbade touching a leper; it was seen as infecting you spiritually.  We admire Jesus' compassion and audacity; he's moved by the desire to free the man, not worried about the disease of the law.
Illness doesn't cause impurity or impede the person’s relationship with God; the sick can be even more united to God.  No; sin makes us unclean!  We need to turn to Jesus for cleansing from diseases of the heart like selfishness, pride, and corruption.  When we approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation with repentance, the Lord tells us, "Be cleansed!," and the leprosy of sin disappears, we return to our joyful relationship with God, and we're readmitted fully into the community.  Through Mary our Mother's intercession, we ask the Lord to heal our inner wounds with his mercy, to give us back hope and peace.  Full text
World Day of the Sick messageThe Lord commanded us to serve the sick and those who care for them and gave us an eloquent example.  This year's theme is what Jesus told Mary and John from the Cross:  “Woman, behold your son.... Behold your mother....  The disciple took her into his home.”  His words illuminate the mystery of the Cross, not a hopeless tragedy, but rather where Jesus manifests his glory and shows his unending love, which became the basis and rule for Christian life.  They're the source of Mary’s vocation as our mother, her material and spiritual care, especially for Jesus' disciples.  The pain of the Cross pierced her and opened up a path of self-giving before her, a call to share Jesus' concern for the Church and all humanity.  Mary continues in the role Acts shows her carrying out in the early Church.
John must acknowledge Mary as his Mother and is called to take her into his home, to see her as model of discipleship, and contemplate her vocation as loving mother who gives birth to loving children.  John knew Jesus wanted to lead everyone to an encounter with the Father.  Jesus met many suffering from spiritual and physical sickness, bestowed mercy and forgiveness, and healed as a sign of the Kingdom.  The disciples are called to care for one another and know Jesus’ heart is open to everyone.  Our charity must be directed to all persons, God's children.
Never forget the Church’s history of dedication to the needy and the sick, providing medical care, putting the human person at the center, doing research with respect for life and Christian values, and trying to improve health where health care is inadequate, making concrete the image of the Church as "field hospital."  We rejoice in this history of service and let it enrich us, teaching us about self-sacrifice, generosity, creativity, and charity and helping us build a better future, e.g. by shielding Catholic hospitals from a business mentality that discards the poor.  We must respect each person's dignity, keep them at the center of the healing process, and bear witness to the Gospel.
Jesus bestowed upon the Church his healing power.  We read of healings worked by Peter and Paul.  We must bring the Lord's tender, compassionate gaze to the sick.  Remember the the love and perseverance of families caring for their sick or disabled children, parents, and relatives, a witness of love for the human person to be acknowledged and supported.  All who care for the sick take part in this ecclesial mission, a shared responsibility that enriches the value of the service each gives.  We entrust all the sick to Mary, Mother of tender love; may she sustain them in hope and support all who care for them.  We also ask her to help us to welcome the sick.  We need special grace to serve the sick.  May every member of the Church live with love the call to serve life and health.  May the sick experience their suffering in communion with the Lord.  CHA prayer
  • Lv 13:1-2, 44-46  Lord to Moses:  “If someone has signs of leprosy, bring him to a priest.  If he's leprous, the priest shall declare him so.  Lepers are to rend their garments, cry out, ‘Unclean!’ and dwell apart.”
    Wordle: Readings 2-15-15
  • Ps 32:1-2, 5, 11  "I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation."  Blessed is he whose fault is taken away.  I acknowledged my sin to you,  and you took away my guilt.  Rejoice!
  • 1 Cor 10:31—11:1  Do everything for God's glory.  Don't give offense.  Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
  • Mk 1:40-45  A leper came to Jesus and begged him, “If you wish, you can make me clean.”  Moved, he stretched out his hand: “I do will it. Be made clean.”  He dismissed him: “Don't tell anyone, but show the priest and make the prescribed offering.”  He went away and publicized the matter.  Jesus couldn't enter a town openly; he stayed in deserted places, but people kept coming to him from everywhere.
  • Creighton:  People deduced leprosy was infectious and so segregated victims to contain it.  Lepers became disfigured and so were also ostracized for their appearance.  The 1st reading describes the Hebrew response to diagnosis:  self-segregation.  But Jesus didn't avoid the leper in the gospel; he felt the man's pain, was moved with pity, and cured him.  Similarly, he took on the pain of our sins to take away our guilt.  Paul calls us to imitate Christ, not offending people, acting for others, doing everything for God's glory.  When we encounter pain, suffering, or disfigurement, may we imitate Christ:  connect and engage rather than walk away, embrace and console not recoil.  Lord, give me the grace to imitate you, feeling pain as if it were my own, console the hurting, bring joy to the sad, give hope to the disconsolate, give what's needed, toil without counting the cost, and do your will.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "AMDG":  When we place ourselves in God's presence, we can't just go through the motions. We do everything "Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam," for God's greater glory.  When we grow complacent, skeptical, bitter, or unforgiving, or commit sin, we don't give God glory.  Our actions and attitudes can influence others to decide for or against the Lord.  We must always do our best....
  • PassionistThe leper in today’s gospel is bold to disobey the Law and come close to Jesus, who unhesitatingly touched and cleansed him.  He disobeys again and proclaims the miracle instead of presenting himself to the priest and remaining silent.  Jesus reversed places with the former leper:  he who had traveled everywhere was forced into isolation to avoid the crowds.  Note another reversal:  when Jesus touched the leper, Jesus transmitted his love and healing to him instead of the leper's transmitting his disease to Jesus. “Pain not transformed is transmitted” (Fr. Richard Rohr); Jesus, touching the leper's pain, transformed him.  May we imitate the leper’s faith and Jesus’ touch, choosing to cross barriers of convenience and comfort to reach out.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "The Lord can make me clean":  Normally a leper would be stoned if he approached a rabbi, but Jesus healed him and demonstrated God's love and tenderness by touching him.  Do I approach those I find hard to love, or those others shun, with kindness and mercy?
    • Our Lady of Lourdes:  Mary appeared to poor Bernadette Soubirous, 14, near Lourdes, calling sinners to change.  She's inspired great love of prayer and good works, especially service of the poor and the sick; see also Wikipedia.

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