Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Ignatian Spirituality: Set the World Ablaze

The Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 17, 2016
Genesis 18:1-10; Psalm 15; Colossians 1:24-28; Luke 10:38-42

            Three strangers visit Abraham who welcomes them into his tent with great kindness. Abraham waits on these travelers and attends to their needs. For his reward, the long barren Sarah is granted her life’s wish – to become a mother and to bear a son. In the Gospel, Jesus visits the home of Martha and Mary and they enjoy a meal together. Martha becomes disturbed because she is waiting on Jesus by offering great hospitality while Mary waits on Jesus by attending to his words. Mary has the place of privilege. In the end, Jesus invites Martha to wait for him in the better way: by simply being with him.

            It is important for us to examine our places of privilege and to learn how to be responsible with them. It is equally important to assess how well we simply sit with each other and listen to their words. All of this calls to mind the tragedies that beset our nation last week because we are far behind where we need to be with care and respect for those of other races and ethnic backgrounds. The deadly shootings are the tips of icebergs that remind us of our unjust behaviors towards those of different races.

            The other day I listened to an African-American doctor that treated the white police officers that were shot in Dallas speak about the fear he has of passing police officers on the street. When he wears his white doctor’s lab coat, he is treated with respect and honor, but when he is in casual clothing, he gets pulled over in his car while driving or he gets questioned on the street by police. He teaches his daughter to be exceedingly kind to police officers so they in return treat them kindly. He pays for the officers’ meals at restaurants and will treat them to ice cream cones. He wants to show his daughter that his life does not have to be ruled by fear or vengeance. This doctor is doing his best to create a new world order based upon the Christian’s Golden Rule. He is creating a culture of respect and honor in a world that does not have to be ruled by aggression and anger. This man revealed Christ.

            I reflected upon the last time I bought a meal in a restaurant for a black family simply to say: Your life matters. It has been a while. I realize I have to do a better job of creating the same type of culture the black doctor is doing. While a white person might get upset at an injustice he or she faces, our cultural system does not allow a black person to get upset in the same way. This system has to change drastically and immediately because different standards are employed without our comprehension of what it is doing to many people. We must grow in awareness and this comes through our taking the time to create tents of hospitality where we can sit and listen to the experiences of our brothers and sisters in our parish or neighborhood.

            For those of us who have any sort of place of privilege, it is our time to become silent and attentive so we can hear the pain and suffering in the voices of people who are imprisoned in a system that inhibits their full actualization as fully-vested citizens. As Christians, we believe that God wants us to flourish and to reach our potential, but we have to come to know that God wants this for all people, not just ourselves. Our current system has to be adapted so that it can promote the free flourishing of every person, which is what God wants to each of us.

            Take some time this week to listen to the stories of those who are around you. Jesus doesn’t want us to be about so many things. He wants you to sit and listen to him. He wants to be welcomed into your tent. He wants you to listen to his story – as told by your neighbor.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (Micah 6) The Lord has a plea against his people, and he enters into trial with Israel.
Tuesday: (Micah 7) Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance.
Wednesday: (Jeremiah 1) Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I dedicated you. A prophet to the nations, I appointed you.   
Thursday: (Jeremiah 2) I remember the devotion of your youth, how you loved me as a bride. Sacred to the Lord was Israel and the first fruits of his harvest.      
Friday (Jeremiah 3) Return, rebellious children, for I am your Master. I will take you and bring you to Zion. I will appoint shepherds for you and you will multiply and become fruitful.
Saturday (Jeremiah 7) Stand at the gate of the house of the Lord and proclaim: Reform your ways and your deeds, so that I may remain with you in this place.

Monday: (Matthew 12) The scribes and Pharisees wish to see a sign from Jesus, but he will give none because his presence is greater than Jonah and Solomon.
Tuesday: (Matthew 12) When Jesus was speaking to the crowds, his mother and brothers wanted to speak to him. He asked, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”  
Wednesday (Matthew 13) Jesus got into a boat and taught the people. He told them a parable about a sower whose seeds fell upon different soils.
Thursday (Matthew 13) The disciples ask Jesus why he speaks in parables. He answers with Scripture: the righteous long to see but did not see, and to hear but did not hear.   
Friday (John 20) Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning and she saw that the stone removed from the tomb. She ran to Simon Peter.
Saturday (Matthew 13) The Kingdom is like a man who sowed good seed in the field. Let the weeds and wheat grow together until harvest time when they will be separated duly.

Saints of the Week

July 18: Camillus de Lellis (1550-1614), began his youthful life as a soldier where he squandered away his father's inheritance through gambling. He was cared for by Capuchins, but was unable to join them because of a leg ailment. He cared for the sick in hospitals that were deplorable. He founded an order that would care for the sick and dying and for soldiers injured in combat.

July 20: Apollinaris, bishop and martyr (1st century) was chosen directly by Peter to take care of souls in Ravenna. He lived through the two emperors whose administrations exiled and tortured him, though he was faithful to his evangelizing work to his death.

July 21: Lawrence of Brindisi, priest and doctor (1559-1619) was a Capuchin Franciscan who was proficient in many languages and well-versed in the Bible. He was selected by the pope to work for the conversion of the Jews and to fight the spread of Protestantism. He held many positions in the top administration of the Franciscans.

July 22: Mary Magdalene, apostle (1st century), became the "apostle to the apostles" as the first witness of the resurrection. Scriptures point to her great love of Jesus and she stood by him at the cross and brought spices to anoint his body after death. We know little about Mary though tradition conflates her with other biblical woman. Luke portrays her as a woman exorcised of seven demons.

July 23: Bridget of Sweden, religious (1303-1373), founded the Bridgettine Order for men and women in 1370, though today only the women’s portion has survived. She desired to live in a lifestyle defined by prayer and penance. Her husband of 28 years died after producing eight children with Bridget. She then moved to Rome to begin the new order.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Jul 17, 1581. Edmund Campion was arrested in England.
·      Jul 18, 1973. The death of Fr. Eugene P Murphy. Under his direction the Sacred Heart Hour, which was introduced by Saint Louis University in 1939 on its radio station [WEW], became a nationwide favorite.
·      Jul 19, 1767. At Naples, Prime Minister Tannic, deprived the Jesuits of the spiritual care of the prisoners, a ministry that they had nobly discharged for 158 years.
·      Jul 20, 1944. An abortive plot against Adolf Hitler by Claus von Stauffenberg and his allies resulted in the arrest of Fr. Alfred Delp.
·      Jul 21, 1773. In the Quirinal Palace, Rome, Clement XIV signed the Brief for the suppression of the Society.
·      Jul 22, 1679. The martyrdom at Cardiff, Wales, of St Phillip Evans.

·      Jul 23, 1553. At Palermo, the parish priests expressed to Fr. Paul Achilles, rector of the college, indignation that more than 400 persons had received Holy Communion in the Society's church, rather than in their parish churches.