Daily Email

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time
October 28, 2018
Jeremiah 31:7-9; Psalm 126; Hebrews 5:1-6; Mark 10:46-52

The blind Bartimaeus is one of the last people Jesus meets on his ascent to Jerusalem. It signals to us that the ministry of Jesus is coming to an end as he faces his ordeals in Jerusalem. Bartimaeus is instructive for us because he connects with Jesus and is given faith, given sight, given belief, and then he follows him along the way. He is an example of a model disciple who meets Jesus and is changed. He is a good example because he plainly asks for what he wants, he speaks of his most pressing desires, and it is given to him.

Bartimaeus heard about Jesus and wanted to see him – with his blinded eyes. He knew Jesus was a wonder worker, that God did many miracles through him, and that he was a man of unparalleled compassion in Israel. Who would not want to be near him? Our struggle today is much like Bartimaeus’. We want to see Jesus and have greater faith and we do not often have anyone to help us with our spiritual life. We sometimes silently cry out to Jesus, “Have mercy on me,” and then we keep our needs private.

Sometimes our church acts like the disciples of Jesus when Bartimaeus first cried out. They rebuked him and told him to be silent. He was upsetting their structures of order and control and they wanted to appropriately manage the situation, but Bartimaeus persisted. We too must persist. If we want to speak with a priest, address a particular personal need, or get some relief from our suffering, do not take ‘no’ for an answer. Sometimes a priest may even say ‘no.” Do not accept it. You deserve better. Find a way forward. Perhaps it means that we somehow change the structure of the church or its ways of proceeding. I’m okay with that. The church cannot get in the way of your desire for connection with Jesus. The reason we exist as a church is that we can see Jesus together. This is about our salvation and the saving of souls for the ones whom we love.

The people of God who sit in the pews, and those who no longer sit with us but are still our brothers and sisters, are resourceful, accomplished, gifted, and quite remarkable. We are also a people who suffer. We have an abundance of talent to find clever and effective ways of recreating what it means to be church so that we once again help people connect with the very real person of Jesus. We have to be brave like Bartimaeus who raised his voice because he demanded that his status quo needed to be changed. He wanted to be reintegrated into his community of faith as an equal member, a person fully alive because he met Jesus. He needed to encounter the man. Then, his life would be changed.

Too often we do not connect with God because there is a blockage in human relationships. When aspects of those relationships are cleared, we encounter the Lord once again. God works through us, and when we connect, we see a larger process unfolding through these interactions. This is where we meet the Lord in real life. If the church is a point of blockage, let’s name it. If personal relationships are problematic, let’s find a way to reconcile and reconnect. It will make all the difference in our spiritual quests.

Yes. Absolutely, Christ is here when we celebrate mass, but do you encounter him? Does your communal and private prayer lead you to a greater connection? If not, tell us what we need to do to help you. As a priest, one of my great joys is in hearing your stories and then honoring them in my prayer afterwards. I’m always astounded at the goodness I encounter in the people of God. It is a remarkable encounter, and my fervent hope is that you realize that you are incredibly lovable to God, and desired. Jesus wants a fuller friendship with you.

Bartimaeus found a way to meet Jesus, and followed him on the way. As a priest, I want to bring you to him, to introduce you, and then walk with you on the journey from Jericho to Jerusalem. I will walk with you, and I hope our church will too, but for now, look for those outstretched hands of friendship. Mine is there; so is the hand of Jesus, our Christ. Let’s walk together because I want to hear you say, “I have seen my Lord and my God,” and he wants me to be his friend.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (Ephesians 4) Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. Be imitators of God, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.

Tuesday: (Ephesians 5) He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the Church, because we are members of his Body.

Wednesday: (Ephesians 6) Honor your father and mother. This is the first commandment with a promise, that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life on earth. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord.

Thursday: (Revelation 7) I, John, saw another angel come up from the East, holding the seal of the living God. He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels who were given power to damage the land and the sea, "Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God."

Friday (Wisdom 3) The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction.

Saturday (Philippians 1) Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me life is Christ, and death is gain. If I go on living in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. And I do not know which I shall choose.

Monday: (Luke 13) Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath. And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect.

Tuesday: (Luke 13) "To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened."

Wednesday (Luke 13) "Lord, will only a few people be saved?" He answered them, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.

Thursday (Matthew 5) Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.

Friday (John 6) "Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me.

Saturday (Luke 14) He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table. "When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor.

Saints of the Week

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.

October 30: Dominic Collins, S.J., priest and martyr (1566-1602), was a Jesuit brother who was martyred in his native Ireland. He became a professional solider in the Catholic armies of Europe after the Desmond Rebellion was put down in 1583. He joined the Jesuits in 1584 at Santiago de Compostela and was sent back to Ireland in 1601 with a Spanish contingent. He was captured, tried for his faith, and sentenced to death.

October 31: Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J. (1532-1617) was widowed at age 31. When his three children died, Alphonsus joined the Jesuits as a lay brother at age 40 after attempting to complete the rigors of study. He was sent to the newly opened college in Majorca where he served as a porter for 46 years. His manner of calling people to sanctification was extraordinary. He served obediently and helped others to focus on their spiritual lives.

October 31: All Hallows Eve (evening) owes its origins to a Celtic festival that marked summer's end. The term was first used in 16th century Scotland. Trick or treating resembles the late medieval practice of souling when poor people would go door to door on Hallomas (November 1) receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2.)

November 1: All Saints Day honors the countless faithful believers - living and dead - who have helped us along in our faith. Our liturgical calendar is filled with canonized saints, but we have many blesseds and minor saints who no longer appear on it. We have local saints across the world. We have many people who live Gospel values who we appreciate and imitate. We remember all of these people on this day.

November 2: All Souls Day is the commemoration of the faithful departed. November is known as All Souls Month. We remember those who died as we hasten towards the end of the liturgical year and the great feast of Christ the King. As a tradition, we have always remembered our dead as a way of keeping them alive to us and giving thanks to God for their lives.

November 3: Rupert Mayer, S.J., priest (1876-1945), resisted the Nazi government and died while saying Mass of a stroke. In 1937, he was placed in protective custody and was eventually released when he agreed that he would no longer preach.

November 3: Martin de Porres, religious (1579-1639) was a Peruvian born of a Spanish knight and a Panamanian Indian woman. Because he was not pure blood, he lost many privileges in the ruling classes. He became a Dominican and served the community in many menial jobs. He was known for tending to the sick and poor and for maintaining a rigorous prayer life.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Oct 28, 1958. The death of Wilfrid Parsons, founder of Thought magazine and editor of America from 1925 to 1936.
·      Oct 29, 1645. In the General Chapter of the Benedictines in Portugal, a statement published by one of their order, that said St Ignatius had borrowed the matter in his Spiritual Exercises from a Benedictine author, was indignantly repudiated.
·      Oct 30, 1638. On this day, John Milton, the great English poet, dined with the Fathers and students of the English College in Rome.
·      Oct 31, 1602. At Cork, the martyrdom of Dominic Collins, an Irish brother, who was hanged, drawn, and quartered for his adherence to the faith.
·      Nov 1, 1956. The Society of Jesus was allowed in Norway.
·      Nov 2, 1661. The death of Daniel Seghers, a famous painter of insects and flowers.
·      Nov 3, 1614. Dutch pirates failed to capture the vessel in which the right arm of Francis Xavier was being brought to Rome.

No comments:

Post a Comment