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Complacent

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Greetings on this the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Am 6:1a, 4-7; Ps 146:7, 8-9, 9-10; 1 Tm 6:11-16; Lk 16:19-31
Notes: Being complacent in regard to one’s own eternal wellbeing is a most regrettable path to take.

In today’s gospel portion we are confronted with the great chasm between Abraham with Lazarus and the Rich Man. The chasm, how did it come to be?
The Rich Man dug it, one shovelful of complacency at a time.

First reading
Thus says the LORD the God of hosts: Woe to the complacent in Zion!

Therefore, now they shall be the first to go into exile, and their wanton revelry shall be done away with.

Responsorial Psalm
Praise the Lord, my soul!

Blessed is he who keeps faith forever, secures justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets captives free.

Second reading
But you, man of God, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Alleluia Verse
Though our Lord Jesus Christ was rich, he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.

Gospel Portion
Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table.

Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.

I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.

But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'”

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Pay attention to what I am telling you

The Way

Greetings on this the Saturday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: ECCL 11:9—12:8; PS 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 AND 17; LK 9:43B-45
Notes: The 25th and 26th Sundays book-end multiple layers of the gospel teachings.

Between them in the reading sequence, a series of contrasts, the gospel message below:

Monday – You are Light.
Tuesday – Mother and Brother? Will of the Father.
Wednesday – Follow me. I desire mercy not sacrifice.
Thursday – Evil is perplexed by good. They cannot ‘see’ it.
Friday – The First Prediction of the Passion (propitiation and resurrection).
And today, Saturday.

A life led in vain (sequence readings ECCL or PRV, but I will highlight today’s contrast).
A call to imitate the fullness of the generosity of God and servant leadership of the Christ.

And in either horizon, death. It is our destiny.
Combining the gospel and first reading today could look like below.

Pay attention to what I am telling you: The life breath returns to God who gave it.

Our Alleluia verse today gives us comfort to consider these things:
Our Savior Christ Jesus destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel.

The Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time and the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time consider two parables. Two men, one who is an educated man hired to administer the treasury of a Master and the other the Master also an intelligent man who owns a treasury.

Both have a miserable (vain) relationship to the Manna.

  • The Dishonest Steward steals what is not his own as if only he matters
  • The Rich Man keeps only for himself as if only he matters.

Both have a horizon that is painful and without hope.

  • The Dishonest Steward, in this life, sets his course to the false protection of manna.
  • The Rich Man, in his death, finds the hopelessness in which he lead his life and now suffers hopelessness immediately.

The Parable of the Dishonest Steward. https://bible.usccb.org/bible/luke/16?1
The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. https://bible.usccb.org/bible/luke/16?19

First reading
The life breath returns to God who gave it.

Responsorial Psalm
In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

Alleluia Verse
Our Savior Christ Jesus destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel.

Gospel Portion
While they were all amazed at his every deed, Jesus said to his disciples, “Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them so that they should not understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

  • Be amazed by Jesus.
  • Be loved by the Father.
  • Set your horizon to the holy.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

A Christ of God

Greetings on this the Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest
Readings: ECCL 3:1-11; PS 144:1B AND 2ABC, 3-4; LK 9:18-22
Notes: In gospel times, modern times and recent times, people decide to serve the Lord.

Each suffer, some a little and some very much. And all suffering in the life and heart of Jesus, who sacrificed all.

Capuchin Franciscan: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-pio-of-pietrelcina

Each of us in our own way can be ‘A Christ of God‘.

Funeral today. Bishop Barbarito will celebrate Deacon Joe DiMauro’s Funeral Mass on Friday, September 23rd, 1:00 pm, at St. John of the Cross Church. Deacon Joe DiMauro, one of the first permanent deacons ordained in the Diocese of Palm Beach, and for many years the only permanent deacon serving St. Helen Catholic Church in Vero Beach, FL, died at home Sept. 12 at the age of 86. He was surrounded in his final days by his beloved wife, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and siblings who showered him with the same unconditional love he expressed every day of his glorious life.

He was ordained on June 1, 1985, by Bishop Thomas Daily, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Palm Beach. https://www.strunkfuneralhome.com/obituary/joseph-dimauro

First reading
There is an appointed time for everything,
and a time for every thing under the heavens. A time to be born, and a time to die.

Responsorial Psalm
Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!

Alleluia Verse
The Son of Man came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Gospel Portion
Once when Jesus was praying in solitude,
and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”

Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.”

He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Vanity or Blessing

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Greetings on this the Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: ECCL 1:2-11; PS 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 AND 17BC; LK 9:7-9
Notes: A life’s course can be one of vanity or blessing.
Sometimes you fall but I hope you aright yourself and get back to a life of blessing.

Everyone works.
We all work to pay rent and buy food.
But the scope of our work is not only rent and food. It is the entirety of our life course.
Some work on good things and others not-so-good things.

It is the Lord who helps us to choose rightly, the right work.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!

King Herod, the tetrarch, led a vain life.

Scripture examples in relation to Jesus and Herod’s vanity:

Curiosity, self-indulgent, advantage, and without remorse
But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see him (LK 9:9).

Revenge, and without understanding
At that time some Pharisees came to him and said, “Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose. Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day, for it is impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem (Lk 13:31-33).

Jesus’ trial, curiosity, acquisition, and without remorse
Herod was very glad to see Jesus; he had been wanting to see him for a long time, for he had heard about him and had been hoping to see him perform some sign (Lk 23:8).

Revenge and alliance with evil
He questioned him at length, but he gave him no answer. The chief priests and scribes, meanwhile, stood by accusing him harshly. [Even] Herod and his soldiers treated him contemptuously and mocked him, and after clothing him in resplendent garb, he sent him back to Pilate. Herod and Pilate became friends that very day, even though they had been enemies formerly (Lk 23:9-12).

First reading
What profit has man from all the labor
which he toils at under the sun?

Responsorial Psalm
In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!

Alleluia Verse
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.

Gospel Portion
Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed.

There was no room in him for the Holy.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Unity of faith

Greetings on this the Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and evangelist
Readings: Eph 4:1-7, 11-13; PS 19:2-3, 4-5; Mt 9:9-13
Notes: Our unity of faith is in the person of Jesus Christ, rooted in the Gospel message, protected by the Apostolic succession and lived out through the credo of Jesus:

I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.

First reading
And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ.

Responsorial Psalm
Their message goes out through all the earth.

Alleluia Verse
We praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
the glorious company of Apostles praise you.

Gospel Portion
(Jesus) said,
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words,
I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

My mother and my brothers

Greetings on this the Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs
Readings: PRV 21:1-6, 10-13; PS 119:1, 27, 30, 34, 35, 44; LK 8:19-21
Notes: Religious freedom came to Korea in 1883. Before that Catholicism and other religions foreign to the Korean experience were brutally oppressed. Buddhism was the state ideology under the Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392) but was harshly suppressed under the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

It is wise to not create a theocracy in the USA or the proxy of such which is a functional equal to a theocracy. Who you think you are electing may not be what you are electing. Freedom to (free exercise) and Freedom from (establishment of a religion) are a balancing act like so many other things in life.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

https://constitution.congress.gov/constitution/amendment-1/

Reflection Franciscanmedia

We marvel at the fact that the Korean Church was strictly a lay Church for a dozen years after its birth. How did the people survive without the Eucharist? It is no belittling of this and other sacraments to realize that there must be a living faith before there can be a truly beneficial celebration of the Eucharist. The sacraments are signs of God’s initiative and response to faith already present. The sacraments increase grace and faith, but only if there is something ready to be increased.

https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saints-andrew-kim-taegon-paul-chong-hasang-and-companions

How little we understand. The first reading says it plainly.
The gospel portion goes deeper.

The WHO AM I is answered by WHAT DO I DO.
The WHO ARE YOU TO ME is answered by WHAT DO YOU DO TO PEOPLE.

My mother and brothers are those who do the will of the Father.

First reading
All the ways of a man may be right in his own eyes, but it is the LORD who proves hearts.

Responsorial Psalm
Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.

Give me discernment, that I may observe your law and keep it with all my heart.

Alleluia Verse
Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.

Gospel Portion
He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/luke/8?19#:~:text=The%20family%20of,%E2%80%9328.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

In your power

Be the one who frees the prisoner

Greetings on this the Monday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Prv 3:27-34; PS 15:2-3a, 3bc-4ab, 5; Lk 8:16-18
Notes: To be human is a spectacular reality. Such ability! Such power!

In our day: Queen Elizabeth II Funeral Mass and Committal.

Who could imagine travel to the Moon, Mars and beyond (manned, unmanned).
Telescopes that can peer into the past by billions of years.

You are autonomous.
You have dignity (real in the divine and perceived in the heart).
You have power.
You have capacity.
You have knowledge.
You have resources.

You have faith.
You have hope.
You can forgive.
You can reconcile.

You can overcome loneliness, fear, despair, guilt, shame.
You can defeat powerlessness, hopelessness, and bring reassurance.

You can be a force of beneficence.
You can be one who is careful to be non – malfeasant.
You can express fidelity, personal and professional.
You can be truthful & reliable.
You can be Just.

It is in your power.
For yourself.
For others.

First reading
Refuse no one the good on which he has a claim
when it is in your power to do it for him.

Responsorial Psalm
The just one shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord.

Alleluia Verse
Let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.

Gospel Portion
Jesus said to the crowd: “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry