October 9, 2019

Oct. 9

October 9, 2019:  Wednesday, 27th week, Ordinary Time

See a dozen connections with today?
Legend below
For gospel

    • Familiar chant (but we usually sing it faster and more in rhythm with the spoken word)
Pope Francis General Audience

Saul was a religious ideologue who persecuted Jesus’ followers.   That same sinner became Paul after his conversion, offering us an example of the power of God’s love.  Saul hunted and captured early Christians, under the authority of the High Priest.  For Saul, religion had become a religious, social, and political ideology.  His anger and conflictual attitude invite us to ask whether we meet others or set ourselves up against them.  "Do I belong to the universal Church, or do I hold a selective ideology?  Do I adore God or a dogmatic formulation?"

God converted Saul by touching his heart.  Blinded, Saul heard a voice asking him why he was persecuting Jesus.  An attack against a Church member is an attack against Christ!  Ideologues who they desire so-called Church “purity” attack Christ.  After his conversion, Paul is transformed, and what he considered his “glory” became “dross” to be discarded in Christ’s name.  Baptism marks the beginning of a new life, accompanied by a new view of God, ourselves, and others, turned from enemies into brothers and sisters in Christ.


    Gourd-eating worm
  • Jon 4:1-11  Jonah, angry God didn't carry out the evil he threatened:  “Lord, this is why I fled.  I knew you're gracious and merciful, slow to anger, loath to punish.  Take my life; it's better for me to die.” / “Have you reason to be angry?” / Jonah built himself a hut and waited under it to see what would happen.  The Lord provided a gourd plant over his head to give shade, and Jonah was happy about the plant.  But then God sent a worm that attacked the plant, and later a burning wind, and the sun beat on Jonah till he grew faint.  “I'd be better off dead.” / “Have you reason to be angry?” / “Yes, enough to die.” / “You're concerned over the plant which cost you no labor.  Should I not be concerned over Nineveh, in which over 120,000 can't tell their right hand from their left?”
  • Ps 86:3-6, 9-10  "Lord, you are merciful and gracious."  Have mercy on me; I call You all day.  Hearken to my prayer.  All shall come worship You and glorify Your name....
  • Lk 11:1-4  “Teach us to pray.” / “Say:  Father, hallowed be your name; your Kingdom come.  Give us our daily bread, and forgive our sins for we forgive those in our debt, and don't subject us to the final test.”
  • Creighton:  I guess I've gotten close to Jonah's experience in the 1st reading and not trusted God in tough times.  I have to learn God is wiser than I am.  I get discouraged and feel sorry for myself, telling God I have good reason.  But God gently puts us in our place, assuring us that he alone dispenses judgment, mercy, and blessings.  Most of us call on the Lord in hard times.  But I often plead, feeling marginalized with God.  Like the Psalmist, I recognize God's greatness and wondrous deeds and my need for mercy and uplifting, but I think Jesus is teaching me to pray with greater confidence in my relationship with God.  In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus brings us closer to God, inviting us to address God as Father and be open to the coming of the Kingdom.  We just need to trust in God who gives us what we need and forgives us daily, as easily as we can forgive others.  The Lord’s prayer, a prayer of trust and gratitude, guides me to a closer relationship with God and to freedom from anxiety....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Jonah v. Our Father":  Jonah's actions and the Our Father petitions are in striking opposition.  Jesus teaches that we must address God intimately, yet reverently, as our Father. We act to hallow the Father's name, but Jonah was far from doing that.  Jesus teaches us to ask the Father that his will be done, but Jonah opposed God's will, even spending his own money against it, opposing God's mercy, and heading "away from the Lord."  Jesus teaches us to ask our Father for our needs, but Jonah berated God for eliminating a luxury.  Jesus teaches us to forgive, but Jonah didn't forgive the Ninevites for their brutalities, headed away when God commanded him to prophesy repentance, and hoped to see them burn.  May we live the Our Father.
  • Passionist:  "Jonah, prophet and history teacher":  This year's weekday Old Testament readings show God’s love in the history of the Chosen People.  Next year, the prophets are prominent and we'll hear Israel's challenge to justice and faithfulness.  We've read of the return of Israel from Babylon and the rebuilding of the temple. King Cyrus conquers the Babylonians and to protect his kingdom will cultivate good relationships with neighboring countries.  Israel sees God’s hand in this, but not all Jews in Babylon wanted to return.  Those who did weren't welcomed, had to guard the ruins of Jerusalem, feared attack, and had lost their land to foreigners.  Rebuilding temple and city would be neither quick nor easy.  They were discouraged, but eventually succeeded in rededicating the Temple.  The return from Babylon marked a new direction for the Jews:  the community became strict, separate from outsiders, with more rituals and laws.  Jonah is a rebellious writing from this period, attacking an approach that closes Israel.  Israel is the light of the nations.  Don't hide or be defensive; go where God sends.  The reverence of the pagans, startled that Jonah doesn't do God's bidding, outshines Jonah's.  In the end Jonah can't fathom the merciful love extended to Israel.
Today we can stand with Old Testament Israel, challenged by what we may overlook:  may God's kingdom come as we empty our hands to welcome it; give us bread so we may share it; forgive us; may we forgive; may we know and proclaim your care....
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Lord, teach us to pray":  The Jews were noted for their devotion to prayer.  When Jesus' disciples asked him for such a prayer, he gave them the Our Father.  The prayer tells us God is Father both as Creator and by relationship with his Son.  We can address God as Father and ask for what we need.  We can approach him confidently and boldly because Christ opened the way to heaven for us.  God doesn't give us what we deserve but responds with grace and mercy; he's kind and forgiving and expects us to be the same.   We can pray with expectant faith because our Father loves us, treats us as his children, and delights to give us what's good.  He transforms us, making us like himself so we can love and serve as Jesus taught and did.  Do I treat others as they deserve, or do you as the Lord would with grace and mercy?  Do I forgive others as the Jesus forgives me?
Today's saints, from Universalis:
Dress legend
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "Nineveh has more than 120,000 who can't tell their right hand from their left,...” (1st reading)
  • 'Cow' pin:  "...not to mention the cattle" (1st reading)
  • 'Sun' pin:  The sun beat on Jonah (1st reading)
  • 'Boundless mercy' button: "I knew you're a gracious and merciful God" (1st reading); "You are merciful and gracious" (psalm)
  • 'Olympics' tie pin:  All nations shall come, worship, and glorify You (psalm)
    • 'Phone' tie bar:  "I 'call' to You all day" (psalm)
    • 'Celebrate teaching' pin:  "Lord, teach us to pray" (gospel)
    • 'Crown' tie bar:  "Your Kingdom come" (gospel)
    • 'Wheat' pin:  "Give us our daily bread" (gospel)
    • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

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