Thursday, October 19, 2017

Prayer: Albert Schweitzer

Jesus speaks to us the same word, “Follow me!” and sets us the tasks which we have to fulfill for our time. He commands, and to those who obey him, he will reveal himself in the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings which they will pass through in his fellowship.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time
October 22, 2017
Isaiah 45:1, 4-6; Psalm 96; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5; Matthew 22:15-21

We admire the cleverness of Jesus when the Pharisees plot to trap him with his words. They set him up with a compliment as if they are befriending him, but Jesus sees right through their malice and he does not take the bait. Instead, Jesus is able to maintain truthful integrity while teaching his critics about the seriousness of their deceitful intent. Our words, if we are to speak at all, must lead us to the truth.

In the first reading, God tells the people of Jerusalem that he is the sole creator who is above all other forces. Nothing happens in the world outside of God’s plan. The sun rises and sets according to God’s design. Rulers of the world rise and fall, and kings are made to govern the people, but through it all, God’s majesty endures. Jesus, in all he does, will always remind us of God’s sovereignty. After all, he is the Word of God.

Word games and entrapment, in the long run, will fail. Jesus proved that as he remained above the trickery of the religious authorities who had power to crush him, and still he spoke plainly. We have to be able to speak plainly to bring the truth to the light, even though we may feel very alone and isolated. The current news of sexual abuse by Harvey Weinstein and other prominent figures give our society a courageous chance to correct grievous wrongs. Though the sexual abuse by people in positions of authority and influence is devastating, we, as church, have been through and continue to grow through our crisis. We still have many faults and much more work to do, and we are learning to deal with potential abuse better. Our job as church is to help people reclaim their God-given dignity and to help victims validate their experience and to know of their redeemed worth in the eyes of God.

No woman, no man, ought to be subjected to unwanted sexual advances or undue pressures, and it is now time to change around the culture that silently permits it. As a society, we do not understand the pervasiveness of this culture or the effects of it, but it does silence and marginalize people who deserve to be heard and treated with dignity. Our fundamental stance must be to honor the stories we hear from victims.

Jesus silenced his critics by speaking uncomfortable truths. We must follow that example because we believe in God’s universal care for each person. Let us give time and space to people who needs to tell their story of injustice, and let us encourage them to realize that life gets better when they bring what was once hidden into the light of day. As a society, we cannot change without their help. Come forward. Speak up. Know that we will honor your story and walk with you. You do not need to do this on your own because you will find many other victims who are saying, “Me too. I’ve been abused by unfair treatment.” Let’s bring an end to this destructive behavior because you deserve more than you have been given.

We will honor you with the prayer of St. Paul that we hear in Thessalonians, “We give thanks to God always for all of you, remembering you in our prayers, unceasingly calling to mind your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ.” You are special to God, and you are special to us. In the end, God’s word will see the light of day.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (Romans 4) Abraham did not doubt God's promise in unbelief; rather, he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God and was fully convinced that what God had promised he was also able to do.
Tuesday: (Romans 5) Through one man sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned.
Wednesday: (Romans 6) Sin must not reign over your mortal bodies so that you obey their desires. For sin is not to have any power over you, since you are not under the law but under grace.
Thursday: (Romans 6) For just as you presented the parts of your bodies as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness for lawlessness, so now present them as slaves to righteousness for sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness.
Friday (Romans 7) So, then, I discover the principle that when I want to do right, evil is at hand. For I take delight in the law of God, in my inner self, but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind.
Saturday (Ephesians 2) Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Monday: (Luke 12) Then he said to the crowd, "Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one's life does not consist of possessions."
Tuesday: (Luke 12) The master will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants."
Wednesday (Luke 12) Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.
Thursday (Luke 12) I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Friday (Luke 12) You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky;
why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
Saturday (Luke 6) Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles

Saints of the Week

October 23: John of Capistrano, priest, had a vision of Francis of Assisi when he was imprisoned during an Italian civil war at which time he was the governor of Perugia. He entered the Franciscan Friars Minor in 1415 after ending his marriage. He preached missions throughout Europe including a mission to Hungary to preach a crusade against the Turks. After the Christian victory at the Battle of Belgrade in 1456, John died.

October 24: Anthony Claret, bishop (1807-1870) adopted his father's weaving career as a young man, but continued to study Latin and printing. After entering seminary, he began preaching retreats and giving missions. He published and distributed religious literature and founded the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He was appointed archbishop of Cuba but was called back to Spain to be Queen Isabella II's confessor. He resumed publishing until the revolution of 1868 sent him into exile.

October 28: Simon and Jude, apostles (first century) were two of the Twelve Disciples called by Jesus, but little is known about them. We think they are Simon the Zealot and Judas, the son of James. Simon was most likely a Zealot sympathizer who would have desired revolution against Rome; Jude is also called Thaddeus, and is patron saint of hopeless causes. Both apostles suffered martyrdom.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      October 22, 1870: In France, Garibaldi and his men drove the Jesuits from the Colleges of Dole and Mont Roland.
·      October 23, 1767: The Jesuits who had been kept prisoners in their college in Santiago, Chile, for almost two months were led forth to exile. In all 360 Jesuits of the Chile Province were shipped to Europe as exiles.
·      October 24, 1759: 133 members of the Society, banished from Portugal and put ashore at Civita Vecchia, were most kindly received by Clement XIII and by the religious communities, especially the Dominicans.
·      Oct 25, 1567. St Stanislaus Kostka arrived in Rome and was admitted into the Society by St Francis Borgia.
·      Oct 26, 1546. The Province of Portugal was established as the first province in the Society, with Simao Rodriguez as its first provincial superior.
·      Oct 27, 1610. The initial entrance of the Jesuits into Canada. The mission had been recommended to the Society by Henry IV.

·      Oct 28, 1958. The death of Wilfrid Parsons, founder of Thought magazine and editor of America from 1925 to 1936.