October 8, 2019

Oct. 8

October 8, 2019:  Tuesday, 27th week, Ordinary Time

See a dozen connections with today?
Legend below

For the gospel
Jonah ran away from God who wanted him to be his prophet.  Setting sail, he had to be thrown overboard to calm a storm the Lord started.  The whale that swallowed him and spewed him out after three days reminds us of Christ’s Resurrection.

In the 1st reading, Jonah obeys God, preaches to the Ninevites who convert, and God relents.  “Stubborn Jonah” did his job well this time.   Tomorrow’s reading shows Jonah angry at the Lord who in his mercy doesn't do what he threatened.  Jonah tells him he'd rather die than prophesy, then builds a hut and sees what will happen.  The Lord gives him shade from a gourd, but when the plant withers, Jonah is outraged.  The Lord tells him that if he's concerned about the plant, why can't God have mercy on Nineveh?  The heated exchange is between two hardheads:  Jonah stubborn with his convictions, the Lord in his mercy.  Never leaving us, God knocks on our heart till the end.   Jonah, putting conditions on his faith, is the model of Christians who say, "I'm a Christian so long as things are done my way" and consider changes heresies; they condition God, faith, and God's action.  Christians who set conditions are locked in their own ideas and prefer the ugly path of ideology to faith.  They fear growth and the challenges of life, the Lord, and challenges of history and are attached to their ideologies.  They move away from the community,  Afraid to place themselves in God's hands, they'd rather judge everything from their small hearts.

The Jonah story presents two figures of Church:  one rooted in ideology, the other in the Lord who approaches all situations without disgust.  Our sins don’t disgust him.   He approached and caressed lepers and the sick because he came to heal and save, not condemn.


    Martha, Mary, Jesus (animate)
  • Jon 3:1-10  “Set out for Nineveh and announce the message I'll give you.”  Jonah:  “40 days and Nineveh shall be destroyed.”  The people, king included, believed, fasted, and repented.  "God may relent and forgive."  God, seeing they turned from evil, didn't carry out the evil he'd threatened.
  • Lk 10:38-42  Martha, burdened with serving while her sister Mary was listening to Jesus at his feet / Jesus, “Don't you care my sister left me serving by myself?  Tell her to help.” / “Martha, you're anxious and worried about many things, but only one is needed.  Mary has chosen the better part, and it won't be taken from her.”

  • Creighton:  In the "Prodigal" parable, the wise father allowed his sons to pursue their own ways.  The younger demanded his inheritance, the father gave it, the son squandered it, and the father hoped he'd return.  The elder didn't ask for anything but remained faithful.  The younger repented, the father welcomed him home and celebrated.  The elder, given nothing, was angry and resentful.  Today’s gospel is about Martha and her sister Mary offering hospitality.  Martha faithfully prepared the food and served the guests.  What did Martha feel as Mary neglected her duties to sit at Jesus' feet:  anger, resentment, embarrassment?  Jesus addresses them:  "Mary has chosen the better part, and it won't be taken from her.”  What “better part”?  Sitting at Jesus’ feet?   Could it mean more?  Is Jesus inviting Mary to step beyond herself, to take a different path?  Is he offering her a new way of being, not within the confines of others' expectations?  He didn't scold Martha; he comforted her with soft words.  The parable is about the intimacy between Mary and Jesus, and between us and Jesus, who invites us to come closer, moving beyond our comfort zone.
    Christ in the House of Martha and Mary/ Vermeer
    In these parables we hear of brothers and sisters who wrestle with their choices in the face of God's invitations.  We hear of the father's loving, attentive, comforting, and unconditional acceptance.  God will always love us, encouraging us to accept his invitations, step beyond ourselves, grow, and become.    If we entertain temptations, God will embrace our return with love and forgiveness....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Better":  We can't choose our parents, siblings, national origin, skin color, and much more.  So much is beyond our control; we may be tempted to feel insignificant and hopeless.  But rejoice over our control, our freedom to choose Jesus.  When we do, we choose the Best.  No one can take us from him; nothing can separate us from him.  We won't be deprived of him.  Only I can separate myself from him.  When I choose the better portion and put my life in him hands, I allow him to wrap me in his embrace; when I fix my eyes on him, I'll see he's the "better portion." Satan, knowing he can't deprive me of Jesus, tries to distract me from looking at Jesus, knowing that if I focus on enticements, I might choose them, consider Jesus' embrace a choke-hold, and demand he take his hands off me. May we always choose Jesus as the "better portion" and so never be deprived of him.
    • Passionist:  "Put your heart into it":  Jonah moved the Ninevites to repentance; they chose to love God and each other, and God accepted their repentance and relented on the punishment he'd planned.  Jesus transforms each of our own lives.  Mary chose a life of contemplation, heart on Jesus.  Worried Martha needed to realize that love for Jesus would unify her busyness and activity.  If we tell ourselves life isn't good now but will get better, we may keep waiting to live, not accepting reality, missing graces, not putting our hearts into living today to the full.  God asks only one thing at a time.  May we put our hearts into it, simply and calmly.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "You're anxious; one thing is needful":  Jesus enjoyed Martha and Mary's hospitality.  Martha loved to serve, but her anxious waiting on Jesus caused unrest.  Mary simply waited on him at his feet, knowing the Lord wanted her attentive presence.  Anxiety and preoccupation keep us from listening and giving the Lord our attention.  The Lord can meet any need we have; he frees us from needless concern and preoccupation.  He wants us to make a place for him in our hearts, homes, and lives.  We honor the Lord when we offer to him all we have and do.  Paul urges us to give God glory in everything. When you entertain, remember the Lord is your guest.  When Abraham opened his home and welcomed unknown travelers, he welcomed the Lord who blessed him.  The Lord wants us to glorify him in how we treat others and use the gifts he's given us....
    Dress legend
    • 'Crown' tie bar:  King of Nineveh,... (1st reading)
    • 'Sackcloth and ashes'-colored suspenders:  ...covering himself with sackcloth and sitting in ashes,... (1st reading)
    • 'Phone' tie bar:  ...proclaimed, "'call' loudly to God;..." (1st reading)
    • 'Helm' tie pin:  "...'Turn' from your evil way and the violence..." (1st reading)
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  "...you have in 'hand'" (1st reading)
    • 'Whales' tie in Jonah's memory (1st reading)
    • 'Clock' pin:  Wait for the Lord (psalm)
    • 'Silverware' tie pin:  Martha was serving... (gospel)
    • 'Feet' pin:  ...while Mary was at Jesus' feet (gospel)
    • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

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