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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Thirty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

Ignatian Spirituality: Set the World Ablaze

Thirty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
November 9, 2014
Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12; Psalm 46; 1 Corinthians 3:9-11, 16-17; John 2:13-22

Use your creative imagination today. How would you answer this question? If you were to design a structure to represent your image of church today or where you hope your church will be in the near future, what would it be like? How we design an environment says a lot about what we value. What would the structure be like? Would it be new and cutting edge or would it hearken back to an older style? Can we dream anew? Are the colors warm and inviting or soft and ethereal? Will others relate to the environment we envision or do we need to rely upon interior designers to guide us? Does the statement building interact with the community outside of it? As you organize the space, what groups of people are included or not considered! Where would you build it? The spaces we inhabit says a lot about who we are as a people of God.

This is the feast of the Lateran Basilica in Rome, the Pope’s church, the parent church of Christendom, a church dedicated on November 9, 324 after Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. The church withstood invasions and wars, vandals and storms, structural decay and rebuilding, and it stands as a testimony to faith of the people of God and of the popes and bishops who fought to keep the church relevant in the world. The Basilica holds the stories of our grief and despair, our hopes and joy. It encapsulates our history as a People of God.

            Ezekiel writes about his heavenly vision of the temple of God becoming the nourishing, sustaining source of vitality “wherever the river flows,” because “every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live, there shall be abundant fish, and the sea will be made fresh.” Fruit shall serve as food and their leaves for medicine. The Temple of God therefore nourishes and heals all souls. The Church as the Temple of God is to serve the same purpose. How do we stand on this account? Paul in First Corinthians declares that our souls are the holy temple of God, and we must make sure the foundation of our lives is Jesus Christ.

            In the Fourth Gospel, Jesus shows us that the temple area must be cleared out and renovated periodically to keep it faithful to God’s teachings. It is evident that even with our goodwill, we bring chaos to our worship events. He affirms that God is ultimately in control of events and that God’s power will be evident in ways that only very few of us strive to see. Today, many feel life is being breathed back into the church and with Pope Francis at the helm, God’s church is being rebuilt, just as the original Francis did. The Spirit needs more room to settle.

             The best way we can cleanse our temples as we go to worship is to put away our animosities, fears, and insecurities as we come to church. Sometimes we simply bring silliness to church and we impose it upon others through poor behaviors that are mostly tolerated, but not welcome. Do your own internal work at home; settle your issues; resolve your conflicts. Then come to worship and praise God. Celebrate the good God is doing for us with your neighbor. For one hour a week, let’s bring our prayers to church, but leave our pettier grievances behind, so we can think about God, Jesus Christ, and the Spirit. Life is rough at times and we want church to be a place where we are nourished and healed as a community of believers, a place where the Spirit can sweep through our lives to inspire and sustain us, a place where we can know with certainty we are redeemed.

            Allow Jesus to clear clutter out of your temple. Let him remove obstacles that prevent you from worshiping God and having right relations with your neighbor. We have to stop making our temples a storehouse for collected negativity because it is designed to be a vehicle that represents the best of our belief in God. Let me return to that question? How does your temple represent your relationship with God and how does it need to be transformed? This is the time to let God into our souls so our house can be put into order. Then, our temples will radiate the enduring love of God to others, just at the Lateran Basilica remains steadfast as a symbol of our faith, and everything else will fall into place. All will be at peace.

Themes for this Week’s Masses

First Reading:
Monday: (Titus 1) Paul entrusts Titus to building up the faith. Paul left Crete that they may set right what remains to be done: appoint presbyters in every town on condition that a man be blameless, married only once, with believing children who are not licentious or rebellious. A bishop is to be blameless, not arrogant, not irritable or a drunkard, not aggressive or greedy for sordid gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, temperate, just, holy, and self-controlled, holding fast to the true message with sound doctrine.  
Tuesday: You must say what is consistent with doctrine and set the moral standard of conduct for older men and women. Urge the young men to control themselves. God trains us to reject worldly way to live temperately, justly, and devoutly as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior.
Wednesday: Remind them to be under the control of magistrates and authorities, to be obedient, to be open to every good enterprise. They are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate, exercising all graciousness toward everyone.
Thursday: (Philemon) As an old man, I, Paul, am urging you out of love to accept Onesimus into your community as a brother. He was once a slave, but now is free. Regard him as you would me, as a partner.
Friday: (2 John) [Chosen Lady:] Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh; such is the deceitful one and the antichrist. Look to yourselves that you do not lose what we worked for  but may receive a full recompense.
Saturday: Please help others along in a way worthy of God to continue their journey for they have set out for the same of the Name and are accepting nothing from the pagans. We ought to support such persons so that we may be co-workers in the truth.  

Monday: (Luke 17) Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the one through whom they occur. If your brother wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, “I am sorry,” you should forgive him.
Tuesday: Like an obedient servant, when you have done all you have been commanded, say, “We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.”
Wednesday: As Jesus journeyed to Jerusalem, he entered a village where ten lepers shouted from a distance, “have pity on us.” Jesus healed them and they went on their way, but only one, a Samaritan, returned to say, “thank you.”
Thursday: Jesus answered the Pharisees about the timing of the Kingdom of God saying that it cannot be observed and no one will announce for it is already among you.
Friday: As it has been throughout history, people will eat and drink and marry right up until the end. Life will continue as normal when the end of days come and most will not be prepared for it. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever lose it will save it.   
Saturday:  Jesus speaks about the necessity to pray always without becoming weary. He told them the story of the persistent women who received justice from an unjust judge. God will secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night.  

Saints of the Week

November 9: The dedication of Rome's Lateran Basilica was done by Pope Sylvester I in 324 as the pope's local parish as the bishop of Rome. It was originally called the Most Holy Savior and was built on the property donated by the Laterani family. It is named John Lateran because the baptistry was named after St. John. Throughout the centuries, it was attacked by barbarians, suffered damage from earthquakes and fires, and provided residence for popes. In the 16th century, it went through Baroque renovations.

November 10: Leo the Great, pope and doctor (d. 461) tried to bring peace to warring Roman factions that were leaving Gaul vulnerable to barbarian invasions. As pope, he tried to keep peace again - in particular during his meeting with Attila the Hun, whom he persuaded not to plunder Rome. However, in Attila's next attack three years later, Rome was leveled. Some of Leo's writings on the incarnation were influential in formulating doctrine at the Council of Chalcedon.

November 11: Martin of Tours, bishop (316-397), became an Roman soldier in Hungary because he was born into a military family. After he became a Christian, he left the army because he saw his faith in opposition to military service. He settled in Gaul and began its first monastery. He was proclaimed bishop in 371 and worked to spread the faith in at time of great uncertainty and conflict. He divided sections of his diocese into parishes.

November 12: Josaphat, bishop and martyr (1580-1623) was a Ukranian who entered the Basilian order and was ordained in the Byzantine rite. He was named the archbishop of Polotsk, Russia and attempted to unite the Ukrainian church with Rome. His opponents killed him. He is the first Eastern saint to be formally canonized.

November 13: Francis Xavier Cabrini, religious (1850-1917) was an Italian-born daughter to a Lombardy family of 13 children. She wanted to become a nun, but needed to stay at her parents’ farm because of their poor health. A priest asked her to help work in a girls’ school and she stayed for six years before the bishop asked her to care for girls in poor schools and hospitals. With six sisters, she came to the U.S. in 1889 to work among Italian immigrants. She was the first American citizen to be canonized.  

November 13: Stanislaus Kostka, S.J., religious (1550-1568) was a Polish novice who walked from his home to Rome to enter the Jesuits on his 17th birthday. He feared reprisals by his father against the Society in Poland so we went to directly see the Superior General in person. Francis Borgia admitted him after Peter Canisius had him take a month in school before applying for entrance. Because of his early death, Kostka is revered as the patron saint of Jesuit novices.

November 14: Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Superior General (1917-1991) was the 28th Superior General of the Jesuits. He was born in the Basque region of the Iberian Peninsula. He is considered one of the great reformers of the Society because he was asked by the Pope to carry out the reforms of Vatican II. November 14th is the commemoration of his birth.

November 14: Joseph Pignatelli, S.J., religious and Superior General (1737-1811) was born in Zaragosa, Spain and entered the Jesuits during a turbulent era. He was known as the unofficial leader of the Jesuits in Sardinia when the Order was suppressed and placed in exile. He worked with European leaders to continue an underground existence and he was appointed Novice Master under Catherine the Great, who allowed the Society to receive new recruits. He secured the restoration of the Society partly in 1803 and fully in 1811 and bridged a link between the two eras of the Society. He oversaw a temperate reform of the Order that assured their survival.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Nov 9, 1646. In England, Fr. Edmund Neville died after nine months imprisonment and ill-treatment. An heir to large estates in Westmoreland, he was educated in the English College and spent forty years working in England.
·      Nov 10, 1549. At Rome, the death of Paul III, to whom the Society owes its first constitution as a religious order.
·      Nov 11, 1676. In St James's Palace, London, Claude la Colombiere preached on All Saints.
·      Nov 12, 1919. Fr. General Ledochowski issued an instruction concerning the use of typewriters. He said that they could be allowed in offices but not in personal rooms, nor should they be carried from one house to another.
·      Nov 13, 1865. The death of James Oliver Van de Velde, second bishop of the city of Chicago from 1848 to 1853.
·      Nov 14, 1854. In Spain, the community left Loyola for the Balearic Isles, in conformity with a government order.

·      Nov 15, 1628. The deaths of St Roch Gonzalez and Fr. Alphonsus Rodriguez. They were some of the architects of the Jesuit missions in Uruguay and Paraguay.

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