January 30, 2019

Jan. 30

January 30, 2019:  Wednesday, 3rd week, Ordinary Time

See 16 connections with today?Legend below
For gospel

For Psalm 110
One thing that struck me during WYD is how parents lifted their children when I passed by.  Children are our pride and security for the future.  The dignity in their holding their children speaks volumes about Europe's winter without children.
Young people's joy permeated the journey.  It was a feast for them and for Panama, even Central America, which needs hope, peace, and justice.  WYD was a great symphony of faces and languages.  The flags waving together in the hands of people overjoyed to meet one another was a prophetic sign, contrary to nationalism that raises walls and is closed to universality and encounter.
WYD carried a strong Marian aspect.  Pray the Way of the Cross; it means following Jesus with Mary along the path of the Cross, where he gave his life for us.  In it we learn love that's patient, silent, and concrete.
The gifts of young people aren't just for tomorrow.  Young people are the today for tomorrow, the now of the Church and world.  Educate and form them so they may find work and a place in society.
    'Seeds' (animate)
  • Heb 10:11-18 Priests keep offering sacrifices that can't take away sins, but Jesus' offering made perfect forever those being consecrated.  The Spirit testifies to us, saying I'll put my laws in their hearts and minds and I'll remember their sin no more.  Where there's forgiveness, there's no longer a sin-offering.
  • Ps 110:1-4 "You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek."  “Yours is princely power, in holy splendor; before the daystar I've begotten you.”
  • Mk 4:1-20  Jesus taught a parable:  "A sower sowed:  some seed fell on the path; birds ate it.  Other seed fell on rocky ground and withered.  Some fell among thorns that choked it.  And some fell on rich soil and produced fruit....  The sower sows the word. To the ones on the path, Satan comes and takes it away.  The ones on rocky ground receive it but have no roots and so fall away.  The ones among thorns hear it but, choked by anxiety and cravings, bear no fruit.  Those on rich soil accept it; they bear fruit.”
  • Creighton:  In the gospel, Jesus likens seeds, and the ground they fall on, to how people hear the Word. As seed falling on the path is eaten by birds, so for some God's word “goes in one ear and out the other.”  What's my ground like?  How is the Word rooted in me?  Am I bearing fruit?  But what is Jesus saying about the Sower, an unfortunate farmer with an impractical agricultural plan?  If he hopes to bear fruit, there must be a better way than throwing seed everywhere. Might Jesus be saying something about how God, the Sower, “is” in the world, contrary to what we think might be more efficient, reasonable and productive?  Might God be throwing seed everywhere, confident there's always more, knowing the harvest will provide enough for everyone?  Perhaps the parable is about divine abundance, generosity, patience, even “wastefulness.”  I see a connection with forgiveness in the 1st reading.  Everyone gets seed....
  • One Bread, One BodyAll Jesus says about he farmer is that he went out sowing, but we can infer:  The seed/Word grew regardless of the farmer's skill. God's Word is greater than the sowers.  "God's word is living and effective."  All the farmer needed was to get out and spread the seed.  Don't keep God's Word to yourself; spread it everywhere like the farmer did, not filtering out people we don't think will be receptive.  Our efforts aren't wasted, even if we think they are.  A "30/60/hundredfold" harvest is miraculous. God's Word achieves his purposes.  Jesus can change to good ground what looks barren to us.  Sow!
    The Sower/ Van Gogh
  • Passionist:  “They hear the word, but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and craving for other things intrude and choke it, and it bears no fruit.”  We can get so busy, surrounded by noise, and put off prayer, lose awareness of God’s presence, forget to ask his will and thank him, and just live on the surface.  The sower sowed all over the place; he was magnanimous, not efficient.  May we grow in awareness of God’s love, then spread that love all over the place and bring a harvest of joy.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Jesus taught people using parables":  Jesus used parables to help people understand God and his kingdom, using images and characters from everyday life to illustrate his message. Over a third of the synoptics contain his parables.  "Parables are word pictures not of visible things, but rather of things of the mind and spirit.  What our eyes can't see, a parable reveals to the eyes of the mind, informing the intellect by means of things perceivable by the senses." (Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke, Sermon 41)
The sower parable is aimed at hearers of Jesus' word. There are different ways of accepting God's word and they produce different kinds of fruit:  prejudiced ones with closed minds, unteachable and blind to what they don't want to hear; shallow ones who don't think things through and eventually wander off; ones with many cares who don't hear what's really important; and open-minded ones willing to listen, learn, and understand, never too proud or busy.
Origen re why Jesus distinguishes between those ready to hear and understand from those not ready:  "Sometimes it's not an advantage to be healed quickly or superficially, especially if it makes the disease more shut up inside to rage.  So God, who knows all, delays healing of such persons, healing by not healing, lest premature recovery render them incurable.  This pertains to those our Lord addressed as 'those outside,' whom he searches out.  Jesus covered up deeper mysteries to those not yet ready to receive his teaching directly; he wanted to prevent them from being speedily converted and only cosmetically healed.  If the forgiveness of their sins were too easily obtained, they'd fall into the same sin they imagined could be cured easily" (On First Principles 3.1.7, paraphrased)
The Lord will give us understanding if we approach him with faith, humility, and readiness to be taught....
Dress legend
  • 'Dove' pin:  The Spirit testifies, "I'll no longer remember their sins..." (1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  “Sit at my right hand...” (psalm)
  • 'Feet' pin:  "...till I make your enemies your footstool" (1st reading, psalm)
  • 'Star' tie pin:  “Before the daystar I begat you.” (psalm)
  • 'Boat' tie bar:  Jesus got into a boat... (gospel)
  • 'Bird,' 'feet' pins:  Birds ate seed that fell on the footpath (gospel)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin:  Some receive the word with joy but, rootless, fall away (gospel)
  • 'Rock' tie pin:  Seeds that fell on rocky ground withered,... (gospel)
  • 'Sun' pin:  ...scorched by the sun (gospel)
  • 'Roses' pin:  Thorns choked some seeds (gospel)
  • 'Money bag' pin:  Lure of riches can choke the word (gospel)
  • 'Fruit' tie:  Seed on rich soil produced fruit... (gospel)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  To those outside everything comes in parables, so they may see but not perceive (gospel)
  • Green shirt and suspenders:  Ordinary Time season

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