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.”
Greetings on this the Friday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time Readings: Jl 1:13-15; 2:1-2; PS 9:2-3, 6 and 16, 8-9; Lk 11:15-26 Notes:
Yesterday we are reminded to ask, seek and knock.
And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
First reading Blow the trumpet in Zion, sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all who dwell in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming; Yes, it is near, a day of darkness and of gloom, a day of clouds and somberness!
Responsorial Psalm The Lord will judge the world with justice.
Alleluia Verse The prince of this world will now be cast out, and when I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all to myself, says the Lord.
Gospel Portion Wednesday, Thursday and Friday focused on prayer. Today: the power of prayer.
The lasting impression should be that if you submit anything to the Lord in prayer He will hear and answer and sometimes answer in ways unseen before!!
So pray in community, persistently and in power!
Jesus had driven out a demon.
This power beyond power over earth and body!
The power over the unseen spirits as well!!
Some doubted. Jesus reminds them that it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, [and therefore] the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
Serious references here!!
During the Exodus event. Exodus 8:12ff and following (ff). Third Plague: The Gnats
Exodus 8:15a and the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.”
Daniel 5:5ff The Writing on the Wall. Suddenly, opposite the lampstand, the fingers of a human hand appeared, writing on the plaster of the wall in the king’s palace. When the king saw the hand that wrote, his face became pale; his thoughts terrified him, his hip joints shook, and his knees knocked.
Jesus is making it clear that just as in Exodus Pharaoh refused to believe he was encountering the Lord and in Daniel, Belshazzar (a king) was also unable to comprehend the encounter, we too are warned.
These who doubted were every bit like the Pharaoh and the king – accustomed to being in control and the sole source of power. The warning in the gospel portion today brings us back to the ignoble end of Pharaoh and Belshazzar both.
The Lord is all powerful. The Lord’s power is for healing and return. The power of men is certain doom.
Greetings on this the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary Readings: Mal 3:13-20b; PS 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6; Lk 11:5-13 Notes: We will use the daily readings today.
Reflection (from the Franciscans)
The purpose of the rosary is to help us meditate on the great mysteries of our salvation. Pius XII called it a compendium of the gospel. The main focus is on Jesus—his birth, life, death, and resurrection. The Our Fathers remind us that Jesus’ Father is the initiator of salvation. The Hail Marys remind us to join with Mary in contemplating these mysteries. They also make us aware that Mary was and is intimately joined with her Son in all the mysteries of his earthly and heavenly existence. The Glory Bes remind us that the purpose of all life is the glory of the Trinity.
The rosary appeals to many. It is simple. The constant repetition of words helps create an atmosphere in which to contemplate the mysteries of God. We sense that Jesus and Mary are with us in the joys and sorrows of life. We grow in hope that God will bring us to share in the glory of Jesus and Mary forever. From: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/our-lady-of-the-rosary
In this old testament portion today, we see the very age old argumentagainst doing right and worshiping God (rich people are blessed, poor are without the Lord’s favor the saying goes).
Hint: Next Sunday’s gospel takes up this theme too. Jesus dispels the myth that rich people are automatically blessed of the Lord and those in poverty are in disfavor.
You have said, “It is useless to serve God; what do we gain by observing God’s requirements, And by going about as mourners before the LORD of hosts? But we call the arrogant blessed; for evildoers not only prosper but even test God and escape.”
Then those who fear the LORD spoke with one another, and the LORD listened attentively; A record book was written before him of those who fear the LORD and esteem his name. Then you will again distinguish between the just and the wicked, Between the person who serves God, and the one who does not. But for you who fear my name, the sun of justice will arise with healing in its wings; And you will go out leaping like calves from the stall.
As to those who are rich by way of unrighteousness: For lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, And the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts.
Responsorial Psalm Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked Nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, But delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on his law day and night.
Alleluia Verse Open your hearts, O Lord, to listen to the words of your Son.
Gospel Portion Persistence in prayer. This is the second theme of the three day theme on prayer. Jesus’ example that even ordinary human friendship can be moved with persistence to render aid.
Then he says: And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
God answers prayer. Richly and abundantly:
and… even Himself, in the Holy Spirit source of all wisdom and strength.
How do we distinguish between bad RICH and good RICH, if you will allow.
The final gift is the key. The gift of the Holy Spirit is the highest gift.
Keep asking (for His Friendship, for His Spirit, for daily needs). Ask with sincerity. Receive Fish and Eggs and other good things. But most of all, be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Greetings on this the Tuesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time Readings: Jon 3:1-10; PS 130:1b-2, 3-4ab, 7-8; Lk 10:38-42 Notes: Here today we might reengage the Vatican II sensus fidelium (sense of the faithful).
There is a genuine equality of dignity among all the faithful, because through their baptism they are all reborn in Christ. ‘Because of this equality they all contribute, each according to his or her own condition and office, to the building up of the Body of Christ.’ Therefore, all the faithful ‘have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church’. ‘They have the right to make their views known to others of Christ’s faithful, but in doing so they must always respect the integrity of faith and morals, show due reference to the Pastors and take into account both the common good and the dignity of individuals.’Accordingly, the faithful, and specifically the lay people, should be treated by the Church’s pastors with respect and consideration, and consulted in an appropriate way for the good of the Church.