June 27, 2023

June 27

June 27, 2023:  Tuesday, 12th week, Ordinary Time


For Psalm 15
Pope Francis

  • Gn 13:2, 5-18 Abram was rich in livestock, silver, and gold.  Lot also had flocks, herds, and tents, so the land couldn't support them bothAbram told Lot, “Let there be no strife between us or between our herdsmen.  Please separate from me; go the way you want, and I'll go the other.”  Lot chose the Jordan Plain, seeing how well watered it was, and they separated; Abram stayed in Canaan,while Lot pitched his tents near Sodom.   Sodom's inhabitants were wicked.  The Lord told Abram, “Look around; I'll give you and your descendants all the land you see.  I'll make your descendants too numerous to count.”  Abram settled at Hebron and built an altar to the Lord there.
  • Ps 15:2-4ab, 5  "He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord."  Those who walk blamelessly, think the truth, honor those who fear God, and don't slander, harm, take up reproach, lend at usury, or accept bribes will never be disturbed. 
  • Mt 7:6, 12-14  “Don't give what's holy to dogs, or your pearls to swine, lest they trample them then tear you to pieces.  Do to others what you'd have them do to you.  Enter through the narrow gate; many take the wide gate to destruction, but few find the narrow gate to life.”
  • Creighton:  Imagine Lot and Abram's frustration, irritation, and squabbles.  It can be easy for me to be uncharitable, frustrated, and self-focused.  May we choose love and peace.
  • One Bread, One Body:  “Deciding aright”:  To make the right decision, we must ask the right question, we must not automatically choose the easy way; we must decide by faith, choose the road less traveled, and give our lives to Christ.
  • Passionist:  If someone doesn't want what you offer, why give it to them?  People with no faith background can’t accept what they don’t understand, but we should continue to be Christ to them.  Persevere:  fight distractions, focus on what's important to reach God, pray for mercy and for determination to fight the good fight, to focus on his path, and to continue to share with love.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Don't throw your pearls before swine":  Pearls were of great value, worn as jewels to make one appear more beautiful.  Holiness, likewise, is a jewel that radiates the beauty of God's truth and goodness through how we think, speak, act, and treat others.  The Talmud calls something that appears incongruous an "ear ring in a swine's snout"; Jesus' "pearls before swine" and "not giving dogs what is holy" expressions are similar.  Swine were considered unclean, and wild dogs were considered unfit for close contact.  Jesus’ concern is with keeping the faith and way of life God entrusted to us.  Before Communion the early church proclaimed:  Holy things to the holy, and the Didache  stated, "Only the baptized may eat or drink of your Eucharist; the Lord has said, 'Don't give what's holy to dogs.'"
Jesus summed up and upgraded Old Testament law and prophets with the golden rule.  God's law of love requires more than not hurting others but rather seeking others' good and giving our best for them.  God's love fuels our love for others.  If we empty ourselves of what's unkind, unloving, and unforgiving, we'll have room for kindness, goodness, mercy, and charity.  May we love others and treat them like we want God to treat us.  Holy Spirit, transform my life with the fire of God's love.
Jesus reinforced his lesson about choosing the way to peace with God with the illustration of a narrow gate opening to a life of security and happiness.  Psalms begins with an image of one who has chosen to follow the way of those obedient to God's word, not those who act contrary to it.  Our choices affect our lives.  Do my choices move me towards loving and following God?  "Let me love you, Lord, and see myself as I am, a pilgrim, a Christian called to respect and love all I touch....  Help me conquer anger with gentleness, greed by generosity, apathy by fervor.  Help me forget myself and reach out." (Clement XI) 
Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Early Cyrillic: thanks, St. Cyril
  • St. Cyril of Alexandria, bishop, fought Nestorian heresy.  Read his writings online.
  • Mary, Our Lady (Mother) of Perpetual (Unfailing) Help
  • St. John Southworth, priest, martyr
  • Bl. Nykyta Budka, priest, martyr
  • Bl. Vasyl Velychkovsky, bishop, abbot
Dress legend
  • 'Cow' pin, silver- and gold-colored accessories:  Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold (1st reading); golden rule (gospel)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  Lot had flocks (1st reading)
  • "?" pin:  "Isn't the whole land at your disposal?" (1st reading)
  • 'Scales' brooch:  Do justice; live in the Lord's presence (psalm)
  • 'Walker' tie pin:  Those who walk blamelessly will never be disturbed (psalm)
  • 'Heart' pin:  Those who think the truth in their heart...
  • 'Car with mouth' pin:  ...and don't slander with their tongue will live in the Lord's presence (psalm)
  • 'Money bag' pin:  Those who don't lend at usury won't be disturbed (psalm)
  • 'Dogs' tie:  Don't give dogs what's holy... (gospel)
  • 'Pearl' tie pin:  ...or throw your pearls... (gospel)
  • 'Swine' suspenders:  ...before swine... (gospel)
  • 'Precious feet' pin:  ...lest they be trampled underfoot (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

June 26, 2023

June 26

June 26, 2023:  Monday, 12th week, Ordinary Time


For Psalm 33
  • Gn 12:1-9  Lord to Abram:  “Go to a land I'll show you.  I'll make of you a great nation and bless you; all shall find blessing in you.”  Abram went as the Lord directed him, with his wife, Sarai, his brother’s son, Lot, and their possessions, setting out for Canaan, where the Lord said, “To your descendants I'll give this land.” Abram built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him.
  • Ps 33:12-13, 18-20, 22  "Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own."  From heaven the Lord looks down and sees us all, to deliver and preserve us.  We wait for the Lord, our help and shield....
  • Mt 7:1-5  “Stop judging; you'll be judged as you judge.  Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye but not the beam in yours?  Hypocrite, remove the beam; then you'll see clearly to remove the splinter.”
    • Creighton:  God asked Abram to move away from the familiar, and to a place he didn’t know, a foreign land of uncertainty, fostering anxiety, discomfort, and fear.  You need to let go to move forward, to leave the certain and secure behind.  The gospel challenges us to recognize what keeps us from seeing.  As God challenges Abram to see clearly by leaving the familiar, Jesus says we can't see because we don't recognize what we try to protect.  We carry around a beam to hold on to the familiar, even if it causes harm and keeps us from seeing, instead of letting go.  May we let go of our small selves that don't allow us to see a different storyline.  We need to move, change, grow, not be complacent....
    • One Bread, One Body"Abandonment":  When Abram was 75, the Lord told him to leave his homeland, and he did.  Would you?  The Lord told St. Joseph to flee to Egypt, and he did.  Would you?  The Lord told teen Mary to give up her plans and conceive God by the power of the Spirit.  Will you let the Lord do whatever he wants with you?  When I accept Jesus as Lord, I abandon myself to him.  I live for him, not myself.  “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”
    • Passionist:  Abram and Sarai are called to a journey of uncertainty, and they go.  Today's migrants leave knowing the journey is dangerous, the destination uncertain.  Would I have had Abam's courage?  May I be attentive to those who embark on an arduous journey.  May God lead them safely.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Take the log out of your eye":  Think the best of others to grow in love.  We can't see people's inner motives and intentions and don't have all the facts, we're swayed by instinct, and we react unreasonably.
    "'Hypocrite,' pretender, is aptly used here, since denouncing evil is best viewed as a matter only for the upright.  We must avoid pretenders who under the guise of seeking advice censure, often moved by malice.  When you must reprove, proceed with discernment and caution.  If the fault is one you had but overcame, remember our common frailty so the correction and admonition will be with mercy.  If you've never had the fault, remember you could have.  If you have the fault, don't correct or rebuke, but bemoan your fault and induce the other to the same concern." (Augustine, Sermon on the Mount, paraphrased)
    How we treat others will return to us.  The Lord sees everything, even imperfections and sins we don't see, draws us to his mercy seat, and removes the sin.  Lord, purify my heart so I may have room for charity and forbearance.  "Give us the humility that realizes its ignorance, admits its mistakes, recognizes its need, welcomes advice, and accepts rebuke.  Help us praise not criticize, sympathize not discourage, build not destroy, and think of people at their best not their worst." (Barclay)
    Dress legend
    • 'People' pin:  All communities of the earth shall find blessing in you (1st reading); blessed the people the Lord has chosen (psalm)
    • 'Alps' pin:  Abram moved to the hill country (1st reading)
    • 'Clock' tie bar:  Our soul waits for the Lord (psalm)
    • 'Scales of justice' tie:  Stop judging, lest you be judged (gospel)
    • 'Rulers' suspenders:  The measure you measure will be measured out to you (gospel)
    • '?' tie pin: Jesus' questions:  "Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye but not the beam in yours?  How can you say, ‘Let me remove that splinter’ while the beam is in your eye?  Can a blind person guide a blind person?  Won't both fall into a pit?" (gospel)
    • 'Eyeball' pin:  The Lord's eyes are on those who fear him (psalm); remove the beam from your eye (gospel)
    • 'Wood block' tie pin:  Splinter in my brother’s eye vs. beam in mine (gospel)
    • 'Actor masks' tie bar:  You hypocrite (ὑποκριτής = 'actor') (gospel)

    June 25, 2023

    12th Sun., Ordinary Time

    June 25, 2023:  Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

    For 2nd reading
    For Psalm 69
    Pope Francis

    • Jer 20:10-13  "I hear whisperings:  'Denounce him!'  Those who were my friends now watch for a misstep.  'Then we can prevail and take vengeance.'  But the Lord is with me:  my persecutors will fail and be put to shame.  Lord, you who test the just, who probe the heart, to you I've entrusted my cause.  Sing to the Lord, who rescued the poor from the power of the wicked!"
    • Ps 69:8-10, 14, 17, 33-35  "Lord, in your great love, answer me."  For your sake I bear insult, because zeal for your house consumes me.  Answer me in your kindness.  "Revive, you who seek God!  The Lord hears the poor.  Let heaven, earth, the seas, and what moves in them all praise him!''
    • Rom 5:12-15  Through one man sin and death entered the world.  Death reigned from Adam to Moses.  But if by the sin of the one the many died, how much more did God's grace and the gift of Jesus Christ overflow for the many.
    • Mt 10:26-33  "Fear no one.  Everything concealed will be revealed; all secrets will be known.  What I tell you in darkness, speak in the light.  Don't fear those who kill the body but can't kill the soul; fear the one who can destroy both soul and body.  No sparrow falls without your Father's knowledge, and you're worth more than a flock of sparrows.  Everyone who acknowledges me before others I'll acknowledge before my Father...."
    • Creighton:  God knows fear can paralyze us.  Today’s gospel encourages us to move beyond our fears.  It's easier to foster fear and hate than compassion and love.  Our propensity for fear drives suspicion and fear of others.  When I start to fear, it's time to remember how each person is a child of God worth more than a flock of sparrows.   
    • One Bread, One Body:  Will I let fear manipulate me into sinful compromises, or refuse to be controlled and push it out?  "Don't let them intimidate you.”  “Don't fear those who deprive the body of life but can't destroy the soul.”  “Don't fear anything.”  Let's respond to fear with faith:  "Fear not; only believe.” “The Lord is with me, like a mighty Champion:  my persecutors will stumble, not triumph.”  We can say, ‘The Lord is my Helper, I will not fear;”  “The Lord is my life’s Refuge; whom should I fear?”
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Fear not; you're worth more than many sparrows":  Fear is powerful; it can lead us to panic and flight or spur us to faith and action.  Fear of God is the antidote to fear of losing your life.  Fear of God is reverence for the One who made and sustains us in love and mercy.  The greatest injury we can experience is loss of our soul; healthy fear of God leads to spiritual maturity, wisdom, and right judgment and frees us from pride, cowardice, and deception.  Jesus met with opposition when proclaiming God's kingdom; he tells his disciples they must expect the same; it's both a warning and a privilege.  Jesus' disciples must carry their cross like he himself did.   The Spirit gives us power and grace to live as Jesus' disciples.
    • Sunday-trumped saint, from Universalis:  Luan (Moluag, Lua, Murlach, or Lugaidh), bishop, founded 100 monastic settlements
    Dress legend
    • Watch (not shown):  Those who were my friends are on the 'watch' for a misstep of mine (1st reading)
    • 'Prize' pin:  The Lord is with me, like a mighty champion (1st reading)
    • 'Heart' pin:  Lord, you probe mind and heart (1st reading); you who seek God, may your hearts revive (psalm)
    • 'Clef' pin:  Sing to the Lord (1st reading)
    • "LOVE" suspenders sticker:  Lord, in your great love, answer me (psalm)
    • 'Papa bear' button:  For your sake I 'bear' insult (psalm)
    • "Boundless mercy" pin:  In your great mercy turn toward me (psalm)
      • 'Lights' tie:  What I tell you in darkness, speak in the light (gospel)
      • "?" pin, 'coin' button:  "Aren't two sparrows sold for a small coin?" (gospel)
      • 'Bird' pin:  You're worth more than many sparrows (gospel)