October 7, 2019

Our Lady of the Rosary

October 7, 2019:  Our Lady of the Rosary

See over a dozen connections with today?
Legend below
Listen:  pray and sing along

For the gospel
For Our Lady of the Rosary
Pope Francis:  Synod opening

The Synod has four dimensions:  pastoral, cultural, social, and ecological.  The pastoral dimension is all-embracing.  We need to approach the Synod with a Christian heart and a disciple's eyes so we can understand and interpret it.  This dimension allows us to respect people's history, cultures, and way of living.  All peoples have their own wisdom, awareness, and way of feeling and seeing reality.  Ideological colonization reduces or destroys a people's characteristics, leading us to try to understand but not accept, to reduce reality to categories or -isms, to slogans that prejudice how we approach a people.  Civilization and barbarism divide and annihilate by qualifying people and putting distance between us.

Let's not propose purely pragmatic measures when we ought to think paradigmatically, with perspective born from the reality of peoples.  We're not here to invent social development programs, to fossilize cultures but to contemplate, understand, and serve.

Synod is not parliament; it's not to demonstrate who has more power or the majority.  Synod is walking together under the Spirit's inspiration and guidance.  The Spirit, its protagonist needs to express himself among, with, through, and despite us.

Let's reflect, dialogue, listen with humility, and speak with courage and boldness.  Let's enter into the process, not just take up space.  We need to be respectful and prudent in how we communicate, not spoil the process by creating conflicting messages:  a Synod from inside and one from outside.  And let's not lose our sense of humor.

    Animate the whale
  • Jon 1:1–2:1-2, 11  Lord to Jonah:  “Set out for Nineveh, and preach against it.”  But he boarded a ship to flee.  The Lord hurled a violent wind, and the ship was at the breaking point.  The mariners, frightened, cried to their gods; they threw cargo out to lighten the ship.  Jonah had fallen asleep.  Captain:  “Rise; call on your God!”  Mariners / Jonah:  “Let's cast lots to find out who's responsible.”  The lot fell to Jonah.  “Where are you from, and what's your business?” / “I'm a Hebrew; I worship the Lord.” / "How could you!"  They knew he was fleeing the Lord.  “What shall we do with you?” / "Throw me into the sea, and the sea will quiet down." / “Lord, let us not perish for taking his life.”  They threw him, and the sea quieted.  They offered sacrifice to the Lord.  The Lord sent a large fish to swallow Jonah; he remained in its belly three days and three nights and prayed.  Then the Lord commanded the fish to spew him onto the shore.
  • Jon 2:3-5, 8  "You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord."  Out of my distress I calledand the Lord answered me.  You cast me into the sea.  I said, “I'm banished but want to look on your temple again.”  My prayer reached you....
  • Lk 10:25-37  Law scholar testing Jesus:  “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” / “How do you read the law?” / “Love the Lord with your heart, being, strength, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” / “Yes; do this and you'll live.” / “Who's my neighbor?” / “Robbers beat a man and left him half dead.  A priest, then a Levite, saw him and passed by, but a Samaritan was moved with compassion, bandaged his wounds, took him to an inn, cared for him, and paid the innkeeper to care for him afterwards.  Who was the victim's neighbor?” / “The one who showed mercy.” / “Do likewise.”
    • Creighton:  Do I show compassion and follow through like the Samaritan?  He not only helped the man but also gave the innkeeper money to continue caring for him and checked on his way back, going above and beyond.  The Samaritan's mercy came with commitment.  Lord, help me do the harder thing, go beyond....
    • One Bread, One Body:  The sailors treated Jonah with mercy, putting more importance on him than their own safety, working and risking to spare him.  But Jonah, the religious man, didn't reciprocate; he put their lives in danger and slept peacefully while they risked their lives to save him.  Similarly, in the gospel the religious authorities didn't treat the wounded man with mercy; though they could have helped while avoiding impurity, they didn't get involved, while Jesus appraised the Samaritan, whom faithful Jews viewed as unfaithful, as the one who truly fulfilled God's law.  When people look at us, do they see mercy and compassion, or people who don't care and don't want to get involved?  May we be ambassadors of God's mercy and compassion....
      The Good Samaritan/ Morot
    • Passionist:  “Who's our neighbor?”  Neighbors face challenges like hurricanes, floods, and unjust treatment, but I often behave like the priest or Levite by moving on, not contributing, not making time to help, figuring there’s nothing I can do.   But if I were in their predicament, what would I want?  Lord, thank you for your gifts to me.  Help me listen and respond generously....
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Go and do likewise":  Jesus' told today's parable in response to a devout Jew who wanted to apply God's commandment of love in daily life.  For Jews the law of love was simple:  "treat your neighbor as you'd treat yourself."  The issue was the definition of "neighbor"; this man understood it to mean fellow Jew.  Jesus challenged him to see God's wider view of neighbor.  The parable shows God's wide love and mercy towards every human being.  Jesus' audience was familiar with highway robbery:  the road went through a dangerous narrow valley known for robbers who ambushed their victims and escaped.
    Our Lady of the Rosary
    Jesus makes the supposed villain, the Samaritan, the merciful one as an example for status-conscious Jews.  The priest probably didn't want to risk ritual impurity; his piety got in the way of charity.  The Levite approached the victim but didn't help, perhaps fearing he was bandits' decoy; he put personal safety ahead of saving his neighbor.  We must be willing to help even if others brought trouble on themselves.  Our love and concern must be practical, going beyond good intentions and empathy.  Our love must also be wide and inclusive.  God loves everyone unconditionally; we must do good to others as God is good to us. 
      Jesus showed how far God was willing to go to share our suffering and restore us, overcoming sin, suffering, and death through his death and resurrection.  True compassion identifies and emphathizes with the one in pain and takes the pain on oneself.  Jesus' suffering brings us healing, restoration, freedom, and eternal life.  May we also lay down our lives out of love for our neighbor....
        Dress legend
        • 'Whale' tie pin:  The Lord sent a large fish to swallow Jonah  (1st reading)
        • 'Sailboat' tie bar:  Jonah found a ship to go away from the Lord (1st reading)
        • 'Gambling' tie:  They cast lots to find out on whose account we have met with the tempest (1st reading)
        • 'Blood drop' pin:  "Don't charge us with shedding innocent blood" (1st reading)
        • 'Heart' pin:  Samaritan showed the traveler compassion; "love the Lord with all your heart..." (gospel); "you cast me into the heart of the sea" (canticle)
        • '?' tie pin:  "What's written in the law?"  "Who is my neighbor?" (gospel)
        • 'Scroll' pin:  “What's written in the law?" (gospel)
        • 'Coin' button:  The Samaritan gave the innkeeper silver coins to take care of the victim (gospel)
        • 'Boundless mercy' pin:  "The one who showed mercy was the neighbor" (gospel)

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