August 25, 2018

Aug. 25

August 25, 2018:  Saturday, 2oth week, Ordinary Time

See ten connections with today?
Legend below



For 2nd reading
For Psalm 85
Pope Francis in Ireland
With couples in Dublin:  Our world needs a revolution of love.  Let it begin with you and your families.  Return to and take care of your family roots; they transmit generational experiences that teach life and love.  Children won't grow in love if they don't converse with their grandparents.
The witness of couples' struggles and stories are valuable to all young couples.  In the family, the “domestic church,” children learn the meaning of fidelity, integrity, and sacrifice.  The faith is passed on around the family table, in conversation, in language that only persevering love knows.  If children see their parents take good care of the less fortunate, they'll learn how to share the goods of the earth with others.  Parents are their children’s first teachers in the faith.
We're not used to anything that lasts our whole life.  The sacrament of matrimony shares in the mystery of God’s eternal love.  Temporary love is infatuation or puppy love. Love is definitive:  an ‘I’ and a ‘you.’  Love is God’s dream for us and the whole human family, one he asks us to make our own.
At Croke Park Stadium:  This is a family celebration of thanksgiving to God for who we are:  one worldwide family in Christ.  God wants every family to be a beacon of the joy of his love.  Each of us is called to find love in the family; no one said it would be easy.  Building family relationships is like brewing tea:  it's easy to bring the water to a boil, but a good cup of tea takes time and patience; it needs to brew.  Similarly, every day Jesus warms us with his love and lets it penetrate our being.  The small words “sorry,” “please,” and “thanks” are antidotes to family tensions.  There's no such thing as a perfect family.  Without the grace of forgiveness, families can grow sick and collapse, but small, simple acts of forgiveness, are the foundation a solid Christian family life is built on.
Social media used prudently in moderation can help build a web of friendships, solidarity, and support; overused, it can imprison us in a virtual reality that isolates us.  Families united by prayer can support other families in difficult situations.  Christ's love renews all things and makes possible marriage and conjugal love marked by fidelity, indissolubility, unity and openness to life.  In mutual self-giving, spouses can become one flesh and to open their hearts to those in need of love, especially the lonely, the abandoned, the weak, and the vulnerable. 
Grandparents teach us the meaning of conjugal and parental love; a society that doesn't value them has no future.  It's a big mistake not to ask the elderly about their experience or to think that talking to them is a waste of time.  Witness to the gospel to help realize God's dream of love, draw all God’s children together, so they may grow in unity and live in peace.
  • Ps 85:9ab, 10-14  "The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land."  Kindness and truth shall meet, justice and peace kiss.
  • Mt 23:1-12  “Do whatever the scribes and Pharisees tell you, but don't follow their example; they don't practice what they preach.  They burden people but won't help them.  They do things to be seen.  They love places of honor.  You have but one teacher, one Father in heaven, and one master, the Christ.  The greatest among you must be your servant.  Whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

  • Creighton:  Today's readings focus on our relationship with God and our mutual commitment.  God demonstrates commitment to his people, displaying his glory and saying he'll always dwell with his children.  This glory only dwells in us when we open our hearts to it; a gift must be opened to enjoy its benefits.  We need to be grateful, not feel entitled to it.  'Fear' embraces the gift and recognizes its immensity.  When we fall short, we wonder why we don't see the outcomes promised.  Pray this ancient celtic prayer:  God enfold me...
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Humility and reality":  If we don't humble ourselves, the Lord will. Humility is facing reality, not humiliation or putting ourselves down. 'Humility' derives from 'humus' ('earth'); it's being 'down-to-earth,' realistic.  We're weak "earthen vessels," but Christ is strong. We can't save ourselves; we depend on Jesus for life.  We can trust our faithful Father completely.  We're temples of the Spirit who can claim divine power.  Humility is facing the reality that we can't control our lives and we don't have to provide for ourselves. We can be different, even vulnerable, because we have a loving Father.  We can live simply because God will take care of us. We can live with boldness, freedom, and purity because we have the Spirit's power.  Humility is living in holiness, simplicity, and vulnerability to persecution.
    Justitia et pax osculantur/ Dell'Orto
    (More at my Kissing gallery)
  • Passionist:  "Everyone is welcomed, loved, forgiven":  Ezekiel, who speaks for God, “Here I will dwell among the children of Israel,” saw God's glory enter the temple.  Jesus, in admonishing the scribes and Pharisees, also addresses church and politics today, too, as when ministers or officials use their office for personal gain or to protect a system, rather than caring for the vulnerable.  “I prefer a bruised, hurting, dirty Church because it's been on the streets, rather than an unhealthy, confined Church clinging to its own security”; “let the Church be a place of mercy and hope, where everyone is welcomed, loved, forgiven” (Pope Francis).  “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less” (C.S. Lewis).
  •  "Humble yourself; be exalted":  Jesus warned the scribes and Pharisees to teach and serve with humility, but they drew attention to their status and practices.  In trying to be good models, they sought recognition for themselves rather than God and made practicing their faith a burden for those they were supposed to serve.  Respect for God inclines us to humble ourselves and listen and submit to God.
Jesus wanted to warn about the temptation to seek honors that draw attention to ourselves, not God.  Pride tempts us to put ourselves above others; it goes before destruction.  "You have one teacher, and you are all brothers to each other... Ministers don't put themselves forward to be called teacher; they know when they do well it's Christ within them.  They should only call themselves servants..." (Origen).
Respect for God inclines us to humility and simplicity, readiness to seek God. Humility isn't feeling bad about yourself or thinking yourself inferior. Humility frees us from preoccupation with ourselves, while low self-esteem focuses attention on ourselves. Humility is truth in self-understanding and action, seeing ourselves the way God sees us.  The humble assess themselves realistically.  Humility frees us to be ourselves, not despair or be proud, not wear a mask to look good to others, and not be swayed by fame, reputation, success, or failure.  Humility is the foundation of the other virtues because it enables us to see and judge correctly.  It helps us to be teachable, directs our energy and will to give ourselves to something greater, and frees us to love and serve selflessly.  The greatest example is Jesus who humbled himself and became obedient to death on a cross.
San Luis, Rey
Today's saints, from Universalis
  • Louis, King of France from 12, good ruler, Sorbonne founder, fair arbitrator; reared 11 well, known for prayer, penitence, love of poor
Dress legend
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  Ezekiel's vision (1st reading); the Pharisees' works are to be seen (gospel)
    • 'Angel' pin:  The angel led me... (1st reading)
    • 'Feet' pin:  "This is where I will set my feet" (1st reading)
    • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  The Lord proclaims peace (psalm)
    • 'Scales' pin adjoining 'peace sign' tie bar:  "Justice and peace shall kiss" (psalm)
    • 'Silverware' tie bar:  "They love places of honor at banquets" (gospel)
    • 'Fingers' tie pin:  The scribes and Pharisees lay burdens on people but won't lift a finger to move them (gospel)
    • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

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