Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Ignatian Spirituality: Set the World Ablaze

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 12, 2016
2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13; Psalm 32; Galatians 2:16, 19-21; Luke 7:36-8:3

            Jesus thoughtfully instructs a Pharisee and his friends about the graces that come by being forgiven. The Pharisee did not even realize he was sinning when he failed to recognize the overwhelming gratitude of woman who was freed from sin. To the Pharisee, she was merely a person with poor behavior as she burst into his private house and made a commotion. The Pharisee wanted her to realize that her uninvited entering his house was a result of poor boundaries and upbringing, but Jesus lets him know that he has many growing edges in his own behavior.

            As always, I would like to know the rest of the story. Does the Pharisee learn the lesson Jesus was teaching? I hope so. I hope his consciousness was awakened more fervently to become more sensitive, compassionate, and patient. I would like to think that he was eventually able to see beyond the woman’s sinfulness to behold the life of grace she was now leading. I hope that he was able to see his own sin.

            The beauty of King David was that he was able to see the sins that the prophet Nathan pointed out to him. He did not object; he realized the words were true and were not spoken to shame or blame him. Once Nathan called to mind the objective actions of David, he acknowledged his shortcomings and took responsibility for them. He said, “I have sinned against the Lord.” This moment makes David the great king we revere.

            Can we possibly admit we have made a mistake? Would it degrade one’s dignity too much if one were to say, “I’m sorry?” Instead, we have to make tolerances for other peoples’ transgressions because today it is politically incorrect for anyone to be wrong. People act out of impulsivity lacking any responsibility and the larger world has to tolerate their newfound sense of purposefulness. For instance, if I am standing still at a bus stop and another person walks forward and bumps into me, she wants me to apologize to her. Parents of a lackluster student that refuses to do his homework berate a teacher for giving him a gentleman’s B because his esteem will be damaged. A driver that is not paying attention to her location suddenly changes two lanes to take an exit rather than being safe and taking the upcoming exit. The driver values getting to that exit fast and does not care about the harm he almost causes me. The point is: when we lose our concern for others; when we lose our sense of responsibility to others, we cause irreparable and needless harm. Taking responsibility for our actions, on the contrary, leads us to grace and wholeness.

            St. Paul tells us we cannot justify ourselves or achieve it through our works. It must come from faith in Jesus Christ. For a Christian, we must live a cruciform life, meaning we must die with Christ, so we can rise again and live in him. It means that we must acknowledge who we are – people of humility because we know all power rests in Jesus Christ. For the pagans that surround us, humility seems unattainable because self-justification is their defense for their bad behaviors and actions. It is not the sort of life I want to live. It is not true justification.

            I sin. I do not want to sin, but I repeatedly find myself in a position of responding in a way that is not beneficial to others or me. I want to do better. I try to put myself in a position like David’s. Rather than presuming I know my sin, it is better for someone else to reveal my sinfulness to me, which is the reason I ask Christ to reveal my sins to me. I’m not going to dispute him and I know he tells me out of concerned charity that leads immediately to better places. He keeps me from self-justifying and he lifts me up with grace. Nathan lifted up David; God lifted up David; Jesus lifted up the woman with the ointment because when we accept our sinful responsibility, we find the keys to heaven and earth opened miraculously to us. Self-righteous and our un-atoned actions weigh us down and spreads discontent. My guess is you want to be lifted up. What is your strategy to let Christ help you? Is that crucial first step within your reach? Listen to his tender words that will lift you up.
Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (1 Kings 21) Ahab coveted Naboth’s land and Jezebel devised a plan with her husband Ahab to take possession of it. They killed Naboth and set out to take his land.
Tuesday: (1 Kings 21) Elijah was sent by the Lord to meet Ahab with this message: You gave yourself over to evil; I am bringing evil upon you. Ahab relented and humbled himself before the Lord, who spared him from evil.
Wednesday: (2 Kings 2) As Elijah was to be taken up to heaven, Elisha was given a double portion of his spirit to carry on the mission. He picked up Elijah’s mantle that fell from heaven  and struck the water into two so he could cross over it  
Thursday: (Sirach 48) A song extolling the virtues of Elijah was sung. Elisha wrought many marvels by his mere word.   
Friday (2 Kings 11) Johoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and his people. They went to the temple of Baal and demolished it.
Saturday (2 Chronicles 24) The Arameans invaded Judah and Jerusalem and sent the spoils to Damascus. They killed Jehoiada the priest and he was buried in the City of David.

Monday: (Matthew 5) Jesus replaced “An eye for an eye,” with “offer no resistance to one who is evil.”
Tuesday: (Matthew 5) Instead of, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy,” Jesus replaced it with, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Wednesday (Matthew 5) Do not perform righteous deeds for many to see. Pray in secret unlike the hypocrites that want their good actions to be noticed.  
Thursday (Matthew 6) This is how you should prayer: Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your name.  
Friday (Matthew 6) Do not store up treasures of earth, but store them up in heaven. The lamp of the body is the eye. Keep looking for the light.   
Saturday (Matthew 6) Do not worry about your life, what you eat or drink. The Lord cares for all of creation, especially you. He even cares for the sparrow and the lily in the field.

Saints of the Week

June 13: Anthony of Padua, priest and doctor (1195-1231), became a biblical scholar who eventually joined the Franciscans. Francis sent him to preach in northern Italy, first in Bologna and then Padua. He very especially beloved because of his pastoral care, but he died at age 36.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Jun 12, 1928. Fr. General Ledochowski responded negatively to the idea of intercollegiate sports at Jesuit colleges because he feared the loss of study time and the amount of travel involved.
·      Jun 13, 1557. The death of King John III of Portugal, at whose request Francis Xavier and others were sent to India.
·      Jun 14, 1596. By his brief Romanus Pontifex, Pope Clement VIII forbade to members of the Society of Jesus the use or privilege of the Bulla Cruciata as to the choice of confessors and the obtaining of absolution from reserved cases.
·      Jun 15, 1871. P W Couzins, a female law student, graduated from Saint Louis University Law School, the first law school in the country to admit women.
·      Jun 16, 1675. St Margaret Mary Alacoque received her great revelation about devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
·      Jun 17, 1900. The martyrdom at Wuyi, China, of Blesseds Modeste Andlauer and Remy Asore, slain during the Boxer Rebellion.

·      Jun 18, 1804. Fr. John Roothan, a future general of the Society, left his native Holland at the age of seventeen to join the Society in White Russia.