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Friday, June 30, 2017

Poem: Paradise (George Herbert)

I bless thee, Lord, because I GROW
among thy trees, which in a ROW
to thee both fruit and order OW

What open force, or hidden CHARM
can blast my fruit, or bring he HARM
while the inclosure is tine ARM

In close me still, for fear I START
Be to me rather sharp and TART
then let me want they hand and ART

When thou dost great judgments SPARE
and with they knife but prune and PARE
Ev'n fruit full trees more fruitful ARE

Such sharpness shows the sweetest FREND
Such cuttings rather heal than REND
and such beginnings touch their END

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Poem: Earthquake (Thomas Merton)

Go tell the earth to shake and tell the thunder to wake the sky and tear the clouds apart.
Tell my people to come out and wonder where the old world is gone.
For a new world is born and all my people shall be one.

So tell the earth to shake with marching feet of messengers of peace.
Proclaim my law of love to every nation and race.

For the old wrongs are over; the old days are gone; a new world is rising where my people shall be one.

And say: The old wrongs are over. the old ways are done. There shall be no more hate and no more war. My people shall be one.

For the old world is ended, the old sky is torn apart.
A new day is born. They hate no more. They do not go to war. My people shall be one.

So tell the earth to shake with marching feet of messengers of peace.
Proclaim my law of love to every nation, every race.

There shall be no more hate and no more oppression.
The old wrongs are done.
My people shall be one.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

July 2, 2017
2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16; Psalm 89; Romans 6:3-4, 8-11; Matthew 10:37-42

In the Gospel, Jesus emphasizes the virtue of hospitality as an aspect of taking up one’s cross. If we receive Jesus without conditions, we receive God. Whoever welcomes the prophet, the righteous person, or a person in need will receive the just reward. This is the purpose of Elisha’s story.

            A woman of influence and her husband provided hospitality to Elisha because they knew him to be a holy man of God. In turn Elisha blessed their goodness, and he did this by first asking them what they needed. The servant replied, “She has no son.” Elisha conveyed God’s blessing to them that in a year’s time, she will bear a son.

            Hospitality incorporates asking people what they need so they can represent themselves honestly to us. The one in need can articulate what is going on in his or her life, and once they speak, we know how to respond. It takes away the guesswork and mystery of trying to hit the mark. If we can provide, we will, but if we cannot, we can direct them to resources to help them get what they need. It gives us the chance to have a helpful exchange. Asking others what they need is a starter question that can be used each day.

            Because we are helpers and ministers of the Gospel, we have to clarify our own needs each day when we rise, “How can I get what I need today?” It focuses our day and sets our activities in place. If we find we need others to help us, we simply ask for the help.

We get caught in traps. We often respond to the person’s words rather than asking about their needs, and that can get us into trouble. We are not good mind-readers, even if we had success or things in the past turned out right. We try to read into people’s words, we look for hints, we read body language, and we guess what the person is thinking. We either guess or presume to know what they want and, out of our generosity and care, we assist with good intentions, but the problem is we may be way off the mark. Unless we ask people to state their needs, we are prone to make big mistakes, which are preventable. When the person clarifies, we are often surprised by the response, which shows us the complex uniqueness of the person.  

            When responding to a person’s response, dig for more information before you commit yourself with an offer to help. For example, when a person asks, “Can you do me a favor?”, never answer ‘yes,’ without first knowing what is being asked of you. Ask, “What is the favor?” At that point, you can give a truthful answer about whether you want to provide the request. If you can give a truthful answer, you are far better off. You are stronger in controlling your choices. We often do things for others that we really do not want to do, and then we resent our response. We ask ourselves, “Why did I say yes? It sounded good at the time.” This is real conversation that benefits both people.

            Asking questions that elicit what others need and want is a supreme act of hospitality because we get to know something about the person we previously did not know. It opens them up for vulnerability and acceptance. The Scriptures today ask us to receive the requests of others without condition as a sign of our hospitality. The true blessing is that when we are generous to others, we get it paid back manifold times in ways and at times we do not expect. The blessings of God enrich us because we are generously hospitable.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (Ephesians 2) You are strangers and sojourners no longer, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God.    
Tuesday: (Genesis 19) When God destroyed the Cities of the Plain, God was mindful of Abraham by sending Lot away from the upheaval by which God overthrew the cities where Lot had been living.  
Wednesday: (Genesis 21) At age 100, Abram’s wife bore a son called Isaac, but Sarah did not want Hagar’s boy to get any inheritance so she made Abram send Hagar and Ishmael away. God promise to make of him a great nation.
Thursday: (Genesis 22) God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice Isaac, his only son. As Abraham was willing to follow God’s commands, he was rewarded by allowing Isaac to become the father of a great nation.
Friday (Genesis 23) Sarah was buried at age 127, and as Abraham was nearing his death, he needed to marry off Isaac. In the Negeb, Rebekah strode in on a camel and asked about him. They married and fell in love. Isaac found solace after the death of his mother.
Saturday (Genesis 27) Isaac was now getting old and needed to bless his son. Jacob tricked him into receiving Esau’s blessing and inheritance.

Monday: (John 20) On Thomas’ feast day, we hear of his doubt when he was not with the disciples in the upper room when Jesus first appeared to them after his resurrection. 
Tuesday: (Matthew 8) When Jesus got into a boat, a violent storm came up on the sea and the boat was swamped by waves. “O, you of little faith. Why are you terrified?”
Wednesday (Matthew 8) In Gerasa, two demoniacs came from the tombs to see Jesus, who sent the demons out of the men and into the nearby swine causing them to jump over the steep bank into sea where they drowned.
Thursday (Matthew 9) Jesus came across a paralytic lying on a stretcher, and he forgave his sins. The scribes became angry at his blasphemy so he also healed his paralysis.
Friday (Matthew 9) Jesus found Matthew at his custom’s post. Many sinners sat with Jesus as they eat and talked. After asking Matthew to be a disciple, the Pharisees asked why he called sinners to himself.
Saturday (Matthew 9) John’s disciples asked why they fast and the disciples of Jesus do not. The guests cannot fast when the bridegroom is present.

Saints of the Week

July 2: Bernard Realino, John Francis Regis, Francis Jerome, S.J. are known for their preaching skills that drew many to the faith, including many French Hugeunots. Regis and his companions preached Catholic doctrine to children and assisted many struck by the plague in Frances. Regis University in Denver, Colorado is named after John Regis.

July 3: Thomas, apostle, is thought to have been an apostle to India and Pakistan and he is best remembered as the one who “doubted” the resurrection of Jesus. The Gospels, however, testify to his faithfulness to Jesus during his ministry. The name, Thomas, stands for “twin,” but no mention is made of his twin’s identity.

July 5: Elizabeth of Portugal (1271-1336), was from the kingdom of Aragon begore she married Denis, king of Portugal, at age 12. Her son twice rebelled against the king and Elizabeth helped them reconcile. After he husband's death, she gave up her rank and joined the Poor Clares for a life of simplicity.

July 5: Anthony Mary Zaccaria, priest (1502-1539) was a medical doctor who founded the Barnabites because of his devotion to Paul and Barnabas and the Angelics of St. Paul, a woman's cloistered order. He encouraged the laity to work alongside the clergy to care for the poor.

July 6: Maria Goretti, martyr (1890-1902) was a poor farm worker who was threatened by Alessandro, a 20-year old neighbor. When she rebuffed his further advances, he killed her, but on her deathbed, she forgave him. He later testified on her behalf during her beatification process, which occurred in 1950.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Jul 2, 1928. The Missouri Province was divided into the Missouri Province and the Chicago Province. In 1955 there would be a further subdivision: Missouri divided into Missouri and Wisconsin; Chicago divided into Chicago and Detroit.
·      Jul 3, 1580. Queen Elizabeth I issued a statute forbidding all Jesuits to enter England.
·      Jul 4, 1648. The martyrdom in Canada of Anthony Daniel who was shot with arrows and thrown into flames by the Iroquois.
·      Jul 5, 1592. The arrest of Fr. Robert Southwell at Uxenden Manor, the house of Mr Bellamy. Tortured and then transferred to the Tower, he remained there for two and a half years.
·      Jul 6, 1758. The election to the papacy of Clement XIII who would defend the Society against the Jansenists and the Bourbon Courts of Europe.
·      Jul 7, 1867. The beatification of the 205 Japanese Martyrs, 33 of them members of the Society of Jesus.

Jul 8, 1767. D'Aubeterre wrote to De Choiseul: "It is impossible to obtain the Suppression from the Pope [Clement XIII]; it must be wrested from him by occupying papal territory."