March 5, 2019

March 5

March 5, 2019:  Tuesday, 8th week, Ordinary Time / Mardi Gras

See about a dozen connections with today?
Legend below
Pope Francis

March prayer intention:  There are more martyrs today than in the first centuries, persecuted for speaking truth and proclaiming Christ.  This happens particularly where religious freedom is not yet guaranteed, but also where freedom and human rights or protected in theory.  Pray that Christian communities, especially persecuted ones, feel close to Christ and have their rights respected.

To Latin America Pontifical Commission:  Politics is a vocation in favor of the common good.  The Christian vocation stems from community.  The first sign of community is friendship among members, finding each other through the incarnation of Christ, who taught us to transform a fearsome, at times selfish “I” into “we.”

Being a Catholic involved in politics means being part of a community.  The political involvement of the Christian comes from the desire to build upon the common good.  The Christian involved in politics can bring politics into the light of the Gospel, and so make sure people act as protagonists of their own stories.

The change the world is going through requires changed language, signs, and methods, not a simple marketing tool, but applying the method God picked:  Incarnation.

The three factors most vital to the future are women, youth, and the poor:  The future of Latin America has a female face.  In youth lies the nonconformity and rebellion needed to promote real change.  Through the poor the Church portrays its loyalty as the spouse of Christ.  Never stop fighting for the common good.


  • Sir 35:1-12  To keep the law is a great offering:  works of charity, almsgiving, refraining from evil, and avoiding injustice.  Don't appear before the Lord empty-handed.  The offering of the just rises as a sweet odor before the Most High; it won't be forgotten.  Give generously to the Most High as he has given to you; he'll repay you sevenfold.
  • Ps 50:5-8, 14, 23  "To the upright I will show the saving power of God."  Offer praise as your sacrifice.
  • Mk 10:28-31  "We've given up everything and followed you." / "If you give up house, siblings, parents, children, or lands for my sake, you'll receive a hundredfold now:  houses, sibling, mothers, children, lands, with persecutions, then eternal life.  Many who are first will be last, and the last first."

  • Creighton:  God promised his people to “give back” in abundance.  In Sirach the Lord gives back sevenfold; in Mark Jesus’s promises Peter more than a hundredfold return.  God promises the gift of his love to all.  Are we afraid we'll lose our attachments if we respond?  How do we overcome our fears to embrace God’s will for us?  Dorothy Bernard’s perspective that “Courage is fear that has said its prayers” (Dorothy Bernard). The reward to those not enslaved to disordered attachments is contentment and inner peace.  If we see wealth, honor and power for what they are, we enhance our sense of dignity and become more open to seeing others' dignity and showing them respect and care.  Whoever wants to be first must serve....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Empty, open hands":  Not coming before the Lord empty-handed means offering the fruit of our service, finances, parenting, work, and life, but in another sense our hands ought to be empty, holding nothing back, casting our crowns before him.  Open- and empty-handed before Jesus, we can receive his abundant grace.  We must be detached from everything, bad and good, sacrificing everything to the Lord.  Our hopes, accomplishments, fruit, and spiritual legacy is all due to his grace.  May we offer ourselves to God as a living sacrifice so we may receive everything from him.
  • Passionist:  Today's readings give us insight on how to meet the Lenten calls to almsgiving, prayer, and fasting.  The 1st reading equates giving to the poor and seeking justice with the finest sacrificial offerings.  Almsgiving is sharing our blessings (goods, time, attention...) with those with less. We're urged to give cheerfully and with joy.  Prayer is openness to God’s presence.  “Listen... and I will speak.”  We have to turn our ear to God before we can hear him.  God constantly seeks to be in relationship with us, but we need to pray to complete the conversation; if we're turned to our things, affairs, or wants, how can we hear God?
Peter's “We've given up everything and followed you” seems out of place without the preceding verses:  Jesus told a rich man who asked him how to inherit eternal life to stop letting his possessions possess him.  In fasting, we're called to give up our attachments, not to starve but to turn our desires to God.  May we be open to God, share his blessings, release our attachments to what's not of him.
  •  "We've left everything and followed you":  We lose what we keep and gain what we give away.  When we lose our lives for Christ, we gain an everlasting inheritance.  But when we follow him, we can expect opposition and persecution.  No earthly possession can rival the joy of knowing God and the peace and unity he gives.  The Lord wants to fill us with the vision of his kingdom of justice, peace, and joy.  Holy Spirit, fill me with God's joy and peace and the assurance of his unfailing love for me.
Dress legend
  • 'Peace sign':  Those who observe the commandments sacrifice a peace offering (1st reading)
  • 'Happy children's faces' tie:  With each contribution show a cheerful countenance,... (1st reading); if you give up... children... for Jesus' sake, you'll receive 100 times more, with persecutions, and eternal life (gospel)
  • 'Coin' tie bar:  ...and pay your tithes... (1st reading)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin: a spirit of joy (1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  Don't appear before the Lord empty-handed (1st reading)
  • 'Scales' pin:  The Lord is a God of justice; the sacrifice of the just is pleasing (1st reading); the heaven's proclaim God's justice (psalm)
  • 'Fire' pin:  Your burnt offerings are before me always (psalm)
  • 'Helm' tie pin:  To those that go the right way I'll show God's salvation (psalm)
  • 'Abacus' tie pin:  "The Lord will repay you sevenfold" (psalm); "If you give up house, family, or land for Jesus' sake, you'll receive a hundredfold" (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

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