October 6, 2019

27th Sun., Ordinary Time

October 6, 2019:  Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

See 15 connections with today?
Legend below

For Psalm 95
From Ed Bolduc's blog
For next Sunday:  Psalm 98:  The Lord has revealed/ Celoni:  sheet music and demo
Pope Francis

Synod opening homily:  Paul, the greatest missionary, helps us make this ‘synod,’ this ‘journey together.’  He writes Timothy, “Rekindle God's gift within you through the laying on of my hands.”  You bishops, hands were laid on your heads, so you may raise your hands, intercede before the Father, and extend them to help others.

We received a gift so we might become a gift.  Gifts are received and given, not bought or sold.  If we hold onto them, if we make ourselves the center instead of the gift, we become bureaucrats, not shepherds.  Thanks to what we've received, we're directed to serve.  The gift must be rekindled for us to be faithful to our call.  Fire has to be fed.  We can't just defend the status quo; Jesus didn't come to bring a gentle breeze but to light a fire.

The fire is the Spirit, the giver.  “God didn't give us a spirit of timidity but of power, love, and prudence.”  Prudence disposes reason to discern good in every circumstance and choose the right way to achieve.  Prudence is the virtue of the pastor who, to serve with wisdom, can discern, receptive to the Spirit's newness.  Rekindling our gift in the Spirit's fire is the opposite of just letting things take their course.  May the Spirit give us daring prudence and inspire us to renew the paths of the Church, so the fire of mission will keep burning.  When peoples and cultures are devoured without love or respect, it's not God's fire but the world's.  Lord, preserve us from new forms of colonialism.

God’s fire is fed by sharing, not profits.  The fire that destroys blazes up when people want to promote only their own ideas to make everyone and everything uniform.  Paul asked Timothy to bear witness to the Gospel.  To preach the Gospel is to live as an offering, to bear witness to the end, to become all things to all people, to love to the point of martyrdom, as some Cardinals have experienced.  We serve the Gospel by persevering in humble love, by believing the only real way to life is to lose it through love.

Our brothers and sisters in Amazonia bear heavy crosses and await the Gospel's liberating consolation, the Church’s loving caress.  Many have poured out their life.  Cardinal Hummes told me that those in their small-town cemeteries deserve to be canonized.  Let us journey together for and with those giving their life now and those who have poured out their life.

Angelus:  The Lord says even mustard seed-sized faith can uproot a tree and plant it in the sea.  Jesus wants us to understand nothing is impossible for those with faith, because they rely on God, not their own strength.  By comparing faith to the seed, Jesus shows faith isn't proud and self-confident, but in its humility feels a great need for God and in its smallness abandons itself to him with confidence.

In the parable of the unprofitable servant, Jesus tells us the measure of faith is service.  This is at first disconcerting, because of how the master orders the servant to prepare his meal right after the servant returns from work.  But the master's attitude highlights the servant's attitude of availability.  Jesus wants a person of faith to surrender to God’s will completely, without expectations.

This attitude is reflected in how we behave towards others, find joy in serving, without expecting recognition or gratitude.  “We are useless servants” expresses humility and willingness that does much good to the Church, and reminds us that humble service is the right attitude to work in the Church.  Let us turn in prayer to Mary, the woman of faith.
  • Hab 1:2-3; 2:2-4  Help!  "Wait; the vision won't disappoint.  The just one, because of his faith, shall live."
  • Ps 95:1-2, 6-9  "If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts."  Sing to, worship the Lord our God.
  • 2 Tm 1:6-8, 13-14  Stir into flame God's gift to you. Don't be ashamed.  Bear hardship with strength.  Guard my words in faith and love, with the Spirit's help.
  • Lk 17:5-10  "If you have faith, a tree would obey you.  Do what's commanded, then say, 'We're unprofitable servants.'"

  • Creighton:  Today’s readings encourage personal grit:  the 1st reading warns of hard times, the psalm encourages us to keep the faith, the 2nd reading considers suffering for the sake of the Word, and the Gospel reminds us of our role as servants.
Habakkuk moves on from doubt and frustration to trust in God.  The passage starts in a world of injustice and warns of impending chastisement.  He draws solace in his prediction of the downfall of Babylon.  At the end he makes clear his call to steadfast faith.  Psalm 95 summons us to devotion and commitment. I read it as a call to trust but am reminded of the people, frustrated with Moses, putting God to the test.  The 2nd reading makes clear the challenges that faith demands.  With strength from God, we're called to courageous service.  The Alleluia reminds us of the enduring nature of the Word despite trials.  In the gospel, the apostles ask for faith; the challenging expectations Jesus laid out earlier prompt them.   Jesus reminds us that our position isn't as lofty as we might imagine....   My grandchildren don't hesitate to let me know what they want; they don't trust me enough to endure delays or denials.  I too can be impatient, grow weary, and want my efforts to pay off now.  Today's readings remind me how little I'm willing to cede control to God.  I want to decide how things will progress.  I'm happy to take on the role of co-creator with God, less eager to accept that events aren't under my influence.   Lord, help me come to grips with my place in the world.  Give me patience, insight, and courage.  Help me embrace the gifts of the Spirit and grow in faith.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Life in the Spirit, or death":  We live in a world of destruction, violence, strife, and discord.  We are to "write down the vision... so it can be readily read."  We receive visions from the Spirit.  We must not only have and express a vision but also see it fulfilled; we do by faith, both a gift and fruit of the Spirit.  Zechariah proclaimed, "Not an army, nor might, but My Spirit."  Only by the Spirit can we defeat evil spirits and see God's plan fulfilled for us.  The Spirit, "the Lord, the Giver of life," is necessary for life; to quench the Spirit is to begin to die.  We need the Spirit as active as possible in our lives, so we must renew our Baptisms and Confirmations and "stir into flame" the power, love, and self-control that come from the Spirit.  Come, Holy Spirit!
  • Passionist:  Much of the US has suffered drought, record heat, wildfires, storms, and destruction.  Add to that the lives destroyed by drugs, homelessness, and overcrowded prisons, and the slaughter of innocent people.  Small wonder we identify with Habakkuk.  Anger, sadness, and fear set a foundation for us to take our reactions to God in prayer with faith.  Faith, nurtured in prayer, stills our souls, not to keep us uninvolved but to recognize, accept, and act.   The Spirit guides us to heal our broken world; the task, different for each person, requires reliance on God’s love and grace.  God, working through us, transforms all things into goodness, love, and life. In God we're capable of more than we can imagine.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Lord, increase our faith!"  Faith is a response of trust and belief in what 's true, certain, and real.  When God reveals himself to us he gives us the assurance that his power, presence, and glory are real.  Things change, but God is constant, true to his word, and faithful to his promises; that's why we can be sure of his love and can hope with conviction he'll give us what he promised.  Jesus is God's proof that his word is reliable and true, his love unconditional, and his power unlimited.
Someone who overcame great difficulties was called a "mountain remover."  One who believes in God's power can do the impossible. God gives faith to help us know God, understand his truth, and live in his love.  Jesus gives the Spirit so we can grow in faith, persevere in hope, and endure in love.  Faith is the key for removing obstacles that keep us from doing his will.  We belong to God; our joy and privilege is to follow and serve him.  Faith must be linked with submission to God and willingness to do what he commands.
Mustard plant
Jesus used the parable of the dutiful servant to explain we can never claim God owes us.  Service of God and neighbor is both a voluntary act and a sacred duty.  God expects us to serve him willingly and give him the worship, praise, and honor that are his due. He gladly accepts the offering of our lives.  Our self-giving makes our offering pleasing to God.  Love is sacrificial, generous, and selfless, directed to the one we love. God created us in love for love and fills us with love that gives everything for the beloved's sake.  If we love one another, God's love is perfected in us.  God works in and through each one of us by his Spirit, but we have no claim on God.  His love compels us to give our best, but when we do our best, we've just done our duty.  We can never out-love God.  God's love is steadfast, loyal, everlasting.  "God loves each of us as if there were only one of us to love" (Augustine).
    • Bruno, priest, Carthusians founder:  "Seek God assiduously; find God promptly; possess God fully."
Dress legend
  • 'Clocks' suspenders:  "How long, O Lord? I cry for help" (1st reading)
  • 'Scroll with pen' pin:  "Write down the vision on the tablets" (1st reading)
  • 'Hearts' tie:  "If you hear God's voice, don't harden your hearts" (psalm)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin:  Joyfully sing psalms to the Lord (psalm)
  • 'Rock' tie pin:  Acclaim the Rock of our salvation (psalm)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  "We're the flock he guides" (psalm); "Who would say to your servant who was tending sheep..." (gospel)
  • 'Silverware'  tie pin:  'Stir' into a flame God's gift... (2nd reading), a stretch since the Greek (ἀναμιμνῄσκω) is closer to 'rekindle'
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  "...that you have through the imposition of hands" (2nd reading)
    • 'Bear' tie bar:  'Bear' your share of hardship for the gospel (2nd reading)
    • 'Dove' pin:  "Guard this trust with the Holy Spirit's help"; God gave us a spirit of power, love, and self-control (2nd reading)
    • 'Tree' pin:  "If you had seed-sized faith, you'd say to this tree..." (gospel)
    • "Happy birthday [, Jesus]" pin:  St. Bede Parish [68th] birthday celebration
    • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

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