September 22, 2018

Sept. 22

September 22, 2018:  Saturday, 24th week, Ordinary Time

See over a dozen connections with today?Legend below
For 1st reading

For Psalm 56
For the gospel
Pope Francis in Lithuania
To authorities, civil society reps, and diplomatic corps:  The century since your declaration of independence has been marked by detentions, deportations, even martyrdom. Celebrating the centenary means remembering those experiences, to be in touch with what forged you as a nation and find the key to assessing present challenges and looking ahead in a spirit of dialogue and unity, excluding no one. I commend your sheltering, receiving, and accepting peoples of various ethnic groups and religions, who lived in peace until totalitarian ideologies sowed violence, distrust, and conflict. 
Tolerance, hospitality, respect, and solidarity helped you grow as a nation.  Strive towards the common good; you suffered because totalitarian ideologies tried to annul differences, believing that the privileges of a few are more important than the dignity of others or the common good.

Recognize the dignity of persons, especially the most vulnerable, broaden your horizons, and see the greater good. Pay special attention to your youth; policies encouraging their participation in building up the social fabric will generate hospitality toward the stranger, the young, the elderly, the poor, and the future.
To youth:  Your lives are real and concrete, not theatre.  If life were a video game, it would be limited to a precise time, and at the end, one team would win.  But life measures time differently, following God’s heartbeat.  There are times when you think you're falling apart, fires you think you can never rebuild after, but don't give up.  See your experience with the eyes of faith.  Don’t let the world convince you it's better to do everything on your own.  Don’t get caught up in yourself or be selfish in the face of sorrow, difficulty or success.  We're interconnected, networked.  We're part of a people.  Aim for holiness through your encounters and fellowship with others, attentive to their needs.
Helping others puts difficulties into perspective.  Seeing others' frailty helps us not to go through life licking our own wounds.  Embracing music opens us to the interior life, and through prayer, we wage spiritual warfare and learn to listen to the Spirit.  Take part in the revolution of tenderness Jesus invites us to:  step out of yourself and risk face-to-face encounter with others.  Put your trust in Jesus; embrace his cause, the Gospel.  If our lives go up in flames, he's there to rebuild.
  • 1 Cor 15:35-37, 42-49 You fool if you ask, "How are the dead raised?"!  The dead will be raised incorruptible, glorious, and powerful as spiritual bodies.  As we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly one.
  • Ps 56:10c-12, 13-14  "I will walk in the presence of God, in the light of the living."  I trust in God who rescued me and is with me.
  • Lk 8:4-15  “As a sower sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds ate it, some fell on rocky ground and withered, some fell among thorns and got choked, and some fell on good soil, grew, it produced fruit a hundredfold.  Hear!  Meaning:  The seed is God's word.  Those on the path heard, but the Devil took away the word.  Those on rocky ground received the word with joy but had no root and so fell away.  Those among thorns heard, but life's anxieties and riches choked them.  But those on rich soil embraced the word, persevered, and bore fruit.
  • Creighton:  Most of us are conflicted upon the death of a loved one:  uplifted by God’s promise, sorrowful for our own loss.  Steeped in the image of the earth, it's hard to conceive of the glory that awaits all who live in the Lord, but Paul reminds us that we'll be raised to walk with God.
In the gospel Jesus underlines some possibilities we may experience when we hear God, from ignoring God’s words and failing to live spiritually, to embracing his message and thriving.  Most of us have rejected God, sometimes tempted by the “weeds” we feel support us that are actually destroying us.  We must hear and act on God’s word....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "The miracle of a hundredfold":  If we take seriously the Lord's promise of a hundredfold, we'd pray, read the Bible with reverence, hear it more at Mass, read it with our family, and encourage others to consider a ministry of preaching or teaching God's Word.  When we expect the hundredfold harvest of God's Word, we receive his word as God's word, humbly welcome it, and act on it, our lives are transformed.
  • Passionist:  I think we're like the seeds on all four soils.  Sometimes the Lord's word penetrates me and his graces to me overflow to others.  Some days I allow the devil to take the word away from me.  Some days I dart through my prayer and let the day trample me.  Other times I'm distracted by the day's thorns.  May we work towards being fertile soil, planning ahead, cutting thorns, rejecting Satan, opening our hearts to God, trusting his nourishment, and nourishing those around us.
    St. Thomas of Villanova
    heals the sick/ Murillo
  •  "If you have ears, hear":  God is always ready to speak to us and give us understanding of his word.  Different ways of accepting God's word produce different results:  closed-minded prejudiced hearers are blind to things of God, and shallow ones who doesn't think things through eventually wander.  People with many interests and cares who don't hear and understand what's truly important are too busy to listen and reflect on God's word.  What gets my attention?  Receptive hearts listen attentively to God's word and discern its meaning for them and let it grow and bear good fruit; they hear with a teachable spirit and tune out distractions.  May we receive God's word with trust and allow it to take root and nourish, strengthen, and transform us.
Dress legend
  • 'Wheat' pin:  "What you sow is ... a bare kernel of wheat" (1st reading)
  • 'Sparkling body' pin:  "'What kind of body will the dead have when they're raised?'"... (1st reading)
  • 'John's Jokers' tie:  "... You fool!" (1st reading)
  • 'Street light' tie bar:  I'll walk in God's presence, in the light of the living (psalm)
  • Flesh-colored suspenders:  What can flesh do against me? (psalm)
  • 'Feet' pin:  You rescued my feet from stumbling... (psalm)
  • 'Walker' tie pin:  ...that I may walk before God (psalm)
  • 'Roses' pin:  Thorns choked the seed that fell among them (gospel)
  • 'Apple' pin:  Seed in good soil bore abundant fruit (gospel)
  • 'Heart' clip:  Embrace the word with a generous and good heart; bear fruit... (gospel)
  • 'Bird' tie pin:  Birds ate the seed on the footpath (gospel)
  • 'Rock' tie pin:  Seed on rocky ground withered (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

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