Greetings on this the Memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church Readings: Rom 4:1-8; PS 32:1b-2, 5, 11; Lk 12:1-7 Notes: I will be headed into retreat this weekend with my brother deacons. Please pray for a good retreat. We will be here: https://www.ourladyofflorida.org/
The photo today is from the chapel built for the Aetas of Olongapo City. It is named from Saint Teresa of Avila (it may have been renamed since).
Greetings on this the Thursday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time Readings: Rom 3:21-30; PS 130:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6ab; Lk 11:47-54 Notes: Today in America we see the ancient problem of retrenchment by sinful men.
People who are called out for their oppressive ways, instead of considering and accepting the correction, they double down on their beliefs and manage information to the specifications of their bias.
We see this in the recasting of the January 6th, 2021 Insurrection and those in the Republican party who would describe it as something else. Anything else at all but for what it was.
Then doubling down they build a new reasoning process. A false narrative based upon deeply held fear and existing advantage. It is the way and the language of civil war.
We are becoming or have already become an El Salvador, circa 1980.
This day, Óscar Romero, was canonized October 14, 2018 and his feast day is March 24.
Oscar Romero and many other Latin American martyrs for the faith were falsely accused of advocating a Marxist-inspired “theology of liberation.” Following Jesus always requires choices. Romero’s fiercest critics conveniently dismissed his choices as politically inspired. An incarnational faith must be expressed publicly. https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-oscar-arnulfo-romero
First reading For there is no distinction; all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God. They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus.
We first and foremost oblige ourselves to the Law of Love. We do not demand it of others but of ourselves.
Jesus said, I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do (John 13:15).
Responsorial Psalm With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.
Alleluia Verse I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me.
It has been a practice for so long to disparage the word of God. So many, through the ages, hated the Prophets and the Apostles.
Nobody killed them because they preached ‘love’. They killed them for speaking out against injustice and oppression.
the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who died between the altar and the temple building.
Everyone is tempted to discount their own guilt or participation in the oppression of people and the persecution of the Church. For some, Jesus’ words brought about repentance. This was his purpose to bring about the conversion or evolution.
For some instead, they doubled-down.
When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.
They intended to kill him eventually.
When you are tempted to double down having been called out for an injustice, resist the temptation to appear white and washed while being rotted inside. Instead seek the face of God who is merciful and make right the wrong.
Greetings on this the Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time Readings: Rom 1:16-25; PS 19:2-3, 4-5; Lk 11:37-41 Notes: The question of Alms is usually reduced to the giving of money.
It goes like this (simplified):
Tithe is the 10% you owe to the Church.
Alms is the free-will offering above that amount and for any good purpose.
Far from it. But it is understandable the confusion as the question is often posed in monetary forms.
Loans and Wages. Deuteronomy 24:1-15
12-13: If the person is poor, you shall not sleep in the pledged garment, but shall definitely return it at sunset, so that your neighbor may sleep in the garmentg and bless you. That will be your justice before the LORD, your God. 14: You shall not exploit a poor and needy hired servant, whether one of your own kindred or one of the resident aliens who live in your land, within your gates. 15: On each day you shall pay the servant’s wages before the sun goes down, since the servant is poor and is counting on them. Otherwise the servant will cry to the LORD against you, and you will be held guilty.
These are prescribed but also indicative of a path of righteousness. A way of life.
Greetings on this the Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time Readings: Rom 1:1-7; PS 98:1bcde, 2-3ab, 3cd-4; Lk 11:29-32 Notes: The beauty and elegance of sacred scripture really shows itself this morning.
Consider how last week we used Jonah, Joel and Malachi the Prophets to express the moral dimension of our difficulties. Each first reading from the old testament called us to consider the moral nature of our failures to worship sincerely and to act justly with one’s neighbors.
Then yesterday’s Sunday Mass, the book of Wisdom (attributed to Solomon) is the prayer for the greatest gift, wisdom.
Today, Monday, in the gospel portion, Jesus wants us to see even more deeply.
Jonah is a sign to the Ninevites.
Jesus is a sign to them (us).
Solomon sought wisdom.
Jesus is even greater than Solomon and Solomon’s wisdom.
Jesus is enlightening us that the entire Old Testament as a Sign of himself.
First reading Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, Apostle and set apart for the Gospel says:
You are called to be holy. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Responsorial Psalm The Lord has made known his salvation. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; break into song; sing praise.
Alleluia Verse If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Gospel Portion We live in a privileged age.
We can say this on every level and every dimension.
Food, water, wine.
Travel and communications.
Education and natural wisdom.
Science and the Arts.
Spiritual knowledge that surpasses any other age and all ages combined.
We must know we will be judged according to that reality.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.
You are called to be holy. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The gift of the Spirit is the highest of the gifts as Jesus described.
First reading Wisdom, the greatest of gifts, that is the Holy Spirit.
I preferred her for she is greater than scepter and throne, nothing compares.
And the other things (Fish and Eggs and other good things), yet all good things together came to me in her company, and countless riches at her hands.
That reference only makes sense if you read the other blog entries (ha!).
Responsorial Psalm Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
Second reading The gift of the Holy Spirit brings a deep penetration that brings healing. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is like that too.
Indeed the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.
Alleluia Verse Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Gospel Portion MAKE NO MISTAKE: God reveals to heal. Period.
There is no other purpose but to bring harmony, unity and peace with salvation. Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?
(Jesus is about to reveal the hidden obstacile)
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
It is in wisdom that brings liberation.
At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Popular piety says he returned in the gospel of Mark as follows 14:51-52: Now a young man followed him wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body. They seized him, but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked.
We are naked before the Lord.
And that’s OK.
That is the beginning of wisdom.
Peace be with you, Deacon Gerry
A SECOND HOMILY GIVEN AT THE 11 AM MASS, SAME READING.
Summary: in the gospel reading today Jesus asks the young man if he follows the commandments. He repeats the six/seven commandments that are concerning the right relation between people. The first three commandments he does not list.
These he recreated for the young man in plain sight.
The first commandment is given as I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall not have other gods beside me.
We know that the Lord LOOKED and SAW and SPOKE to Moses as to the plight of the Hebrews at the hands of Pharaoh. And He loved them and he spoke to them. Again: showing love down to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him.
The second commandment is to not worship in vain. You shall not invoke the name of the LORD, your God, in vain. To not take the Lord’s name in vain is, at core, to TRUST him.
You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven.
The third commandment is to Remember the sabbath day—keep it holy.
then come, follow me.
The three first commandments:
LOVE and love me.
TRUST and trust me.
SABBATH and sabbath in me.
Then I merged into the same line of reasoning as the other homily.
Greetings on this the Saturday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time Readings: Jl 4:12-21; PS 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12; Lk 11:27-28 Notes: You are the AND in the ‘Yes, and’ of Jesus’ reply today.
For many of my readers agriculture is a hazy distant reality. Weather and climate are but a measure of my comfort and my transportation.
The agricultural communities in the USA can relate to the perspective of Joel. Some places in the daily newspaper would measure the moisture in hundredths of inches.
For example, October rainfall to-date in Elgin, Nebraska is only 0.03″
So in Elgin, Nebraska, the annual rain and annual harvest are real and in-your-face realities.
First reading Joel brings us an agricultural motif of the divine response to both unrighteous and righteous.
Unrighteous Apply the sickle, for the harvest is ripe; Come and tread, for the wine press is full; The vats overflow, for great is their malice. Egypt shall be a waste, and Edom a desert waste, Because of violence done to the people of Judah, because they shed innocent blood in their land.
Righteous Then shall you know that I, the LORD, am your God, dwelling on Zion, my holy mountain; Jerusalem shall be holy, and strangers shall pass through her no more. And then, on that day, the mountains shall drip new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk; And the channels of Judah shall flow with water.
Responsorial Psalm Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
Alleluia Verse Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.
Blessed is the Blessed Virgin Mary
While Jesus was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.”
He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”