February 23, 2023

Feb. 23

February 23, 2023:  Thursday after Ash Wednesday

See 16 connections with today?
Legend below

For the gospel
Pope Francis on the person, technology, and the common good

There are three important challenges in this delicate field of "converging technologies" (nanotechnology, biotechnology, IT, cognitive science) where progress, ethics, and society meet, and faith provides a valuable contribution:
  • Change in living conditions brought by technological progress:  The strength and acceleration of these advances dramatically affect the environment and living conditions, with effects and developments not always clear and predictable, as shown by the pandemic, the energy crisis, climate change, and migration.  Healthy technological development must take this interweaving into account. 
  • Impact of new technologies on the definitions of humanity and relationship, especially regarding the vulnerable:  As the technological form of human experience becomes pervasive, serious reflection on the value of humanity is called for, as is reaffirmation of the importance of conscience as a relational experience including corporality and culture.  Technology can't replace human contact, the virtual can't replace the real, and social media can't replace the social sphere.  Even within scientific research, the relationship between person and community has complex ethical implications, e.g. in health care, where the need to guarantee equal access to care, especially for the most fragile.  So it's important to monitor transformations, interaction between change and guaranteeing balance.  We need to make sure everyone grows with the style peculiar to them, innovating starting from the values of their culture.
  • Definition of knowledge:  The type of knowledge we implement has moral implications.  Articulated models are needed that consider the intertwining of relationships.  The idea of person-centered technical knowledge, aware that the whole exceeds the part, and that everything in the world is intimately connected, as I expressed in Evangelii Gaudium and Laudato Si', can foster renewed theological thinking.  It's good that theology contributes to the definition of a new humanism and encourages mutual listening and mutual understanding between science, technology, and society.  Lack of constructive dialog impoverishes the trust which underlies human coexistence and social friendship.  Religious traditions can make a crucial contribution to such dialog.
May we help ensure that scientific and technological growth is reconciled with parallel development of the human person.

  • Dt 30:15-20  Moses:  “I've set before you life and death, blessing and curse.  If you love God and walk in his ways, you'll live and grow, and the Lord will bless you, but if you turn away, you'll perish.  Choose life and live.”
  • Ps 1:1-4, 6  "Blessed are they who hope in the Lord."
  • Lk 9:22-25  The Son of Man must suffer and be rejected, be killed, and be raised.  “To come after me, deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me.  If you lose your life for my sake, you'll save it.  What profit is there to gain the world but forfeit yourself?”

  • Creighton:  We must take up the cross daily, not just in Lent, to follow Jesus.  Do I make that decision today?  What profit is there for me to gain the world yet forfeit himself?  I make decisions every day, even about little things, where I might gain the world yet lose myself.  I don't gain the upper hand if I feel better at the someone else's expense.  I lose some of myself if I'm too busy to help a colleague, friend, or family member.  And what have I gained?"

  • One Bread, One Body:  "Your choice":  How incredible that God gives us the freedom to choose our eternal destiny. God with magnanimous love both offers us freedom to make such choices and also reveals himself so that we might choose both him and love.  God wants to overwhelm us with blessings, but we need to choose the life of blessings set before us.  When we renew our baptismal promises at the Easter Vigil, we answer six yes/no questions.  May we always choose life and choose God.
  • Passionist:  After Jesus predicts his Passion, death, and resurrection, he tells his disciples, “Anyone who wants to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.  Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it....”  Isn't Jesus speaking not only of eternal life but also life here?  We can be leery of giving of ourselves too much, becoming dependent only on what others think and so working to win others' approval.  But self-denial is denying that I'm at the center, making God and Jesus' command to love foremost.  When I do, I find myself as a child of God loved beyond my understanding.  If I give myself over to selfishness, I actually lose myself.  May we trust in God and choose life!
The wicked are like chaff
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Take up your cross daily and follow Christ":  Jesus' obedience reversed the curse of Adam's disobedience; his death won pardon, freedom, healing, and new life.  We lose what we gain and gain what we lose. When we try run our life our own way, we lose it to futility.  Only God can free us from our ignorance and sinful ways. When we surrender to God, he gives us new life. God wants us to be fit to serve him. When the body is weak, we try to nurse it to health; how much more should we work towards spiritual health.  Will you part with anything that might keep you from following Christ?  Each decision we make shapes us. Some may gain all they aim for, then discover they missed the most important things.  Disciples will give up all they have in exchange for true happiness and life with God.  The cross leads to freedom and victory. What cross is Christ commanding me to take up today?  Where does my will cross his?  The cross involves the sacrifice of laying down my life daily for his sake, possible only because God's love has been poured into us....
    St. Polycarp
    Dress legend
    • 'Walker' tie pin:  Walk in the Lord's ways (1st reading), not in the way of sinners (psalm)
    • 'Scroll' pin:  Blessed those who delight in the Lord's law (psalm); if you keep God's commandments...  (1st reading)
    • 'Heart' pin:  ...but if you turn away your hearts... (1st reading)
    • 'Golden calf' tie pin:  ...and serve other gods, you'll perish (1st reading)
    • OneLife LA button:  I set before you life and death; choose life (1st reading)
    • 'Tree' pin:  One who delights in the Lord is like a tree... (psalm)
    • Blue shirt:  ...planted near running water... (psalm)
    • 'Fruits' tie:  ...that yields its fruit in due season (psalm)
    • 'Eyeball' pin:  The Lord watches over the just (psalm)
    • 'Cross' pin:  "Deny yourself, take up your cross..." (gospel)
    • "JC" chain:  "...and follow me" (gospel)
    • Suspenders with globe:  I call heaven and earth to witness against you (1st reading); what's the profit of gaining the world but losing yourself? (gospel)
    • Purple linen on cross:  Lenten season

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