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Monday, September 30, 2019

Prayer: Phillips Brooks

The earth has grown old
with its burden of care
but in truth it always is young
The heart of the jewel
burns lustrous and fair,
and its soul full of music breaks the air
When the song of angels is sung.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Literature: The Divine Comedy by Dante

Her eyes were kindled from the lamps of Heaven.
Her voice reached through me, tender, sweet and low:
An angel's voice, a music of its own.
And in the center, great wings spread apart,
more than a thousand festive angels shone,
each one distinct in radiance, and in art.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Prayer: from Contemplation in a World of Action by Thomas Merton

Prayer and meditation have an important part to play in opening up new ways and new horizons. If your prayer is the expression of a deep and grace-inspired desire for newness of life—and not the mere blind attachment to what has always been familiar and "safe"—God will act in us and to prepare what we cannot yet imagine or understand. In this way our prayer and faith today will be oriented toward the future which we ourselves may never see fully realized on earth.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Prayer: from With Open Hands by Henri J.M. Nouwen

Prayer leads you to see new paths and to hear new melodies in the air. Prayer is the breath of your life which gives you freedom to . . . find the many signs which point out the way to a new land. Praying is not simply some necessary compartment in the daily schedule of a Christian or a source of support in time of need, nor is it restricted to Sunday morning or as a frame to surround mealtimes. Praying is living.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Prayer: Henri J. M. Nouwen

Real prayer penetrates to the marrow of our soul and leaves nothing untouched. The prayer of the heart is prayer that does not allow us to limit our relationship with God to interesting words or pious emotion...the prayer of the heart is the prayer of truth.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Narrow the Gap: The Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Narrow the Gap:
The Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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September 29, 2019
Amos 6:1, 4-7; Psalm 146; 1 Timothy 6:11-16; Luke 16:19-31

The vivid images in the Gospel compel us to have a visceral response to the gross injustice towards Lazarus, the poor beggar. It reminds us of the complacency that can develop from those who are comfortable; they can move away from the concerns of others. That, at least, is the message of Amos, who cautions against the allure of wealth without responsibility and honor without humility.

It is easy to get lost in the story. I always remember a hospital visit I made twenty years ago to a woman who wanted communion. I read this passage to her because it was the reading for the day. She screamed loudly, multiple times, grabbed me, and held onto me. She said she was suffering from advanced AIDS and the only physical contact she received was from her dog that would lick her wounds. I hear her shrieks every time I read this story. This story pits the wealthy elite against the lowly, yet, in today’s world, this parable may not fit modern day situations. Because we are a caring people, we have set in place many social service agencies and we do our best to provide for people. Many people are generous to those who are disadvantaged and are responsible for others. There’s also an increasing number of homeless people and those who beg on the street, and we are always challenged to choose rightly in the moment. This Gospel is not to shame people into being more responsible. This Gospel is about hearing and receiving the Word of God.

It is true that we will be called to account for the amount of mercy we give to one another, especially to our most vulnerable, and yet we cannot resolve anyone’s problems but our own. We have to check ourselves so that we do not become complacent to the misfortune of others. We need to make sure our attitudes do not look down on those who did not find their way in this life. We are not better people because we have more income, a higher standard of living, or the blessings of education and a good family.

It is best for us if we make connections so that this great chasm mentioned in the Gospel does not widen. We are responsible for closing the gap, and we do it by forming relationships. I may not be able to get someone on the street to live in a shelter provided for them. She has free will and I have to respect her choice. She will know that I donate to shelters and agencies rather than individuals, and perhaps one day, because we are in relationship, she will trust me enough to take shelter and to partake of services designed to help her. But it is good for me to know her name. In the Gospel, we know the name of poor Lazarus, and the rich man in purple garments is not given a name.

The haunting statement from the Gospel is this line, “If the people will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded is someone should rise from the dead.” We are never alone when we are making choices because we always have the presence of the Risen Jesus to guide us. In a time of turbulent world events and rapid changes within the church, we may not know how to respond faithfully. We are not sure who and what to trust, and we rely upon our own experiences. There are two gaps to be narrowed. The first we mentioned, the gap between the wealthy and influential and the poor and the less fortunate, and we can’t forget about those in the middle who try hard each day. The second gap is our relationship with Jesus. He is the one who has risen from the dead. His is the voice to whom we listen. His is the voice you will learn to trust above all other voices. He is the one who knows us and those around us. He wants us to increase the amount of love we donate to this world. We do not have to fear his judgment, but this is a call to get to know him better in this life, so it continues into the next. He will certainly bring us into heaven, but he does want us help close the gap for those who struggle.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (Zechariah 8) I am intensely jealous for Zion, stirred to jealous wrath for her. Thus says the Lord. I will return to Zion, and I will dwell within Jerusalem; Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city.

Tuesday: (Zechariah 8) There shall yet come peoples, the inhabitants of many cities; and the inhabitants of one city shall approach those of another, and say, "Come! let us go to implore the favor of the Lord"; and, "I too will go to seek the Lord."

Wednesday: (Nehemiah 2) “If it please the king, and if your servant is deserving of your favor, send me to Judah, to the city of my ancestors’ graves, to rebuild it.” I set a date that was acceptable to him, and the king agreed that I might go.

Thursday: (Nehemiah 8) The whole people gathered as one in the open space before the Water Gate, and they called upon Ezra the scribe to bring forth the book of the law of Moses which the LORD prescribed for Israel.

Friday (Baruch 1) During the Babylonian captivity, the exiles prayed: "Justice is with the Lord, our God; and we today are flushed with shame, we men of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem, that we, with our kings and rulers and priests and prophets, and with our ancestors, have sinned in the Lord's sight and disobeyed him.

Saturday (Baruch 4) Remember, Israel, You were sold to the nations not for your destruction; It was because you angered God that you were handed over to your foes.

Monday: (Luke 9) Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company." Jesus said to him, "Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.

Tuesday: (Luke 9) On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.

Wednesday (Matthew 18) "Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?" He called a child over,  placed it in their midst, and said, "Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.

Thursday (Luke 10) Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.

Friday (Luke 10) And as for you, Capernaum, 'Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.' Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me."

Saturday (Luke 10) The seventy-two disciples returned rejoicing and said to Jesus, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.” Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.    

Saints of the Week

September 29: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels are long a part of Christian and Jewish scripture. Michael is the angel who fights against evil as the head of all the angels; Gabriel announces the messiah's arrival and the births of Jesus and John the Baptist; and Raphael is a guardian angel who protects Tobias on his journey. Together, they are venerated to represent all the angels during a three-day period.

September 30: Jerome, priest and doctor (342-420), studied Greek and Latin as a young man after his baptism by Pope Liberius. He learned Hebrew when he became a monk and after ordination he studied scripture with Gregory Nazianzen in Constantinople. He became secretary to the Pope when he was asked to translate the Bible into Latin.

October 1: These of Lisieux, doctor (1873-1897), entered the Carmelites at age 15 and died at age 24 from tuberculosis. During her illness, Pauline, her prioress, asked her to write about her life in the convent. These stories are captured in "The Story of a Soul." He focused on her "little way" of pursuing holiness in everyday life.

October 2: The Guardian Angels are messengers and intermediaries between God and humans. They help us in our struggle against evil and they serve as guardians, the feast we celebrate today. Raphael is one of the guardians written about in the Book of Tobit. A memorial was added to the Roman calendar In 1670 in thanksgiving for their assistance.

October 3: Francis Borgia, S.J. became a duke at age 33. When his wife died and his eight children were grown, he joined the Jesuits. His preaching brought many people to the church and when he served as Superior General, the Society increased dramatically in Spain and Portugal. He established many missions in the new territories.

October 4: Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) was from the wealthy Bernardone family who sold silk cloths. After serving as soldier as a prisoner of war, Francis chose to serve God and the poor. He felt called to repair God's house, which he thought was a church. His father was angry that he used family money so he disinherited him. He began to preach repentance and recruited others to his way of life. His order is known for poverty, simplicity, humble service, and delighting in creation.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Sep 29, 1558. In the Gesu, Rome, and elsewhere, the Jesuits began to keep Choir, in obedience to an order from Paul IV. This practice lasted less than a year, until the pope's death in August, 1559.
·      Sep 30, 1911. President William Howard Taft visited Saint Louis University and declared the football season open.
·      Oct 1, 1546. Isabel Roser was released from her Jesuit vows by St Ignatius after eight months.
·      Oct 2, 1964. Fr. General Janssens suffered a stroke and died three days later. During his generalate, the Society grew from 53 to 85 provinces, and from 28,839 to 35,968 members.
·      Oct 3, 1901. In France, religious persecution broke out afresh with the passing of Waldeck Rousseau's "Loi d'Association."
·      Oct 4, 1820. In Rome, great troubles arose before and during the Twentieth General Congregation, caused by Fr. Petrucci's intrigues. He sought to wreck the Society and was deposed from his office as Vicar General, though supported by Cardinal della Genga (afterwards Leo XII).
·      Oct 5, 1981. In a letter to Father General Arrupe, Pope John Paul II appointed Paolo Dezza as his personal delegate to govern the Society of Jesus, with Fr. Pittau as coadjutor.

Estrecha la brecha: El vigésimo sexto domingo del tiempo ordinario

Estrecha la brecha:
El vigésimo sexto domingo del tiempo ordinario
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29 de septiembre de 2019
Amós 6: 1, 4-7; Salmo 146; 1 Timoteo 6: 11-16; Lucas 16: 19-31

Las vívidas imágenes en el Evangelio nos obligan a tener una respuesta visceral a la grave injusticia hacia Lázaro, el pobre mendigo. Nos recuerda la complacencia que puede desarrollarse de aquellos que se sienten cómodos; pueden alejarse de las preocupaciones de los demás. Ese, al menos, es el mensaje de Amós, que advierte contra el atractivo de la riqueza sin responsabilidad y honor sin humildad.

Es fácil perderse en la historia. Siempre recuerdo una visita al hospital que hice hace veinte años a una mujer que quería la comunión. Le leí este pasaje porque era la lectura del día. Ella gritó en voz alta, varias veces, me agarró y se aferró a mí. Ella dijo que sufría de SIDA avanzado y que el único contacto físico que recibió fue de su perro que lamería sus heridas. La escucho gritar cada vez que leo esta historia. Esta historia enfrenta a la élite rica contra los humildes, sin embargo, en el mundo de hoy, esta parábola puede no ajustarse a las situaciones de hoy en día. Como somos personas afectuosas, hemos establecido muchas agencias de servicios sociales y hacemos todo lo posible para brindar asistencia a las personas necesitadas. Muchas personas son generosas con quienes están en desventaja y son responsables de los demás. También hay un número cada vez mayor de personas sin hogar y personas que mendigan en la calle, y siempre tenemos el desafío de elegir correctamente en el momento. Este Evangelio no es para avergonzar a las personas para que sean más responsables. Este Evangelio se trata de escuchar y recibir la Palabra de Dios.

Es cierto que seremos llamados a dar cuenta de la cantidad de misericordia que nos damos unos a otros, especialmente a nuestros más vulnerables, y sin embargo, no podemos resolver los problemas de nadie más que los nuestros. Tenemos que controlarnos a nosotros mismos para no ser complacientes con la desgracia de los demás. Necesitamos asegurarnos de que nuestras actitudes no desprecian a aquellos que no encontraron su camino en esta vida. No somos mejores personas porque tenemos más ingresos, un nivel de vida más alto o las bendiciones de la educación o una buena familia.

Es mejor para nosotros si hacemos conexiones para que este gran abismo mencionado en el Evangelio no se amplíe. Somos responsables de cerrar la brecha, y lo hacemos formando relaciones. Es posible que no pueda conseguir que alguien en la calle viva en un refugio provisto para ellos. Ella tiene libre albedrío y tengo que respetar su elección. Ella sabrá que hago donaciones a refugios y agencias en lugar de individuos, y tal vez algún día, debido a que estamos en una relación, confiará en mí lo suficiente como para refugiarme y participar de los servicios diseñados para ayudarla. Pero es bueno para mí saber su nombre. En el Evangelio, conocemos el nombre del pobre Lázaro, y al hombre rico con ropa morada no se le da uno.

La inquietante declaración del Evangelio es esta línea: "Si la gente no escucha a Moisés y a los profetas, tampoco se convencerán de que alguien debería resucitar de entre los muertos". Nunca estamos solos cuando tomamos decisiones porque siempre tenemos La presencia de Jesús resucitado para guiarnos. En una época de eventos mundiales turbulentos y cambios rápidos dentro de la iglesia, es posible que no sepamos cómo responder fielmente. No estamos seguros de en quién y en qué confiar, y confiamos en nuestras propias experiencias. Hay dos brechas que se deben reducir. Lo primero que mencionamos, la brecha entre los ricos e influyentes y los pobres y los menos afortunados, y no podemos olvidarnos de aquellos en el medio que se esfuerzan cada día. La segunda brecha es nuestra relación con Jesús. Él es el que ha resucitado de la muerte. La suya es la voz a quien escuchamos. Es la voz en la que aprenderás a confiar por encima de todas las demás. Él es quien nos conoce a nosotros y a quienes nos rodean. Él quiere que aumentemos la cantidad de amor que donamos a este mundo. No tenemos que temer su juicio, pero este es un llamado para conocerlo mejor en esta vida, por lo que continúa en la próxima. Lo hacemos aprendiendo cómo orar y hablar con él. Ciertamente nos traerá al cielo, pero quiere que ayudemos a cerrar la brecha para aquellos que luchan.

Escritura para la misa diaria

Primera lectura:
Lunes: (Zacarías 8) Estoy intensamente celoso por Sión, despertado a una ira celosa por ella. Así dice el Señor. Regresaré a Sion y habitaré en Jerusalén; Jerusalén será llamada la ciudad fiel.

Martes: (Zacarías 8) Todavía vendrán pueblos, habitantes de muchas ciudades; y los habitantes de una ciudad se acercarán a los de otra y dirán: "¡Ven! Vayamos a implorar el favor del Señor"; y, "Yo también iré a buscar al Señor".

Miércoles: (Nehemías 2) "Si le agrada el rey, y si su sirviente merece su favor, envíeme a Judá, a la ciudad de las tumbas de mis antepasados, para reconstruirlo". Establecí una fecha aceptable para él, y el rey acordó que yo pudiera ir.

Jueves: (Nehemías 8) Todo el pueblo se reunió como uno en el espacio abierto antes de la Puerta del Agua, y pidieron a Ezra, el escriba, que presentara el libro de la ley de Moisés que el Señor prescribió para Israel.

Viernes (Baruch 1) Durante el cautiverio de Babilonia, los exiliados oraron: "La justicia está con el Señor, nuestro Dios; y hoy nos sentimos avergonzados, nosotros los hombres de Judá y los ciudadanos de Jerusalén, que nosotros, con nuestros reyes y gobernantes y sacerdotes y profetas, y con nuestros antepasados, han pecado a los ojos del Señor y lo han desobedecido.

Sábado (Baruc 4) Recuerda, Israel, fuiste vendido a las naciones no por tu destrucción; Fue porque enojaste a Dios que fuiste entregado a tus enemigos.

Lunes: (Lucas 9) Maestro, vimos a alguien echando demonios en su nombre y tratamos de evitarlo porque no nos sigue en nuestra compañía ". Jesús le dijo:" No lo impidas, porque quien no está en tu contra es para ti.

Martes: (Lucas 9) En el camino entraron a un pueblo samaritano para prepararse para su recepción allí, pero no le dieron la bienvenida porque el destino de su viaje era Jerusalén.

Miércoles (Mateo 18) "¿Quién es el más grande en el Reino de los cielos?" Llamó a un niño, lo colocó en medio de ellos y dijo: "Amén, te digo que, a menos que te vuelvas y te conviertas en un niño, no entrarás en el Reino de los cielos.

El jueves (Lucas 10) Jesús designó a otros setenta y dos discípulos a quienes envió por delante de él en parejas a cada pueblo y lugar que pretendía visitar. Él les dijo: "La cosecha es abundante, pero los trabajadores son pocos.

Viernes (Lucas 10) Y en cuanto a ti, Capernaum, '¿Serás exaltado al cielo? Bajarás al inframundo. Quien te escucha me escucha a mí. Quien te rechaza me rechaza a mí. Y el que me rechaza, rechaza al que me envió ".

Sábado (Lucas 10) Los setenta y dos discípulos regresaron alegres y le dijeron a Jesús: "Señor, incluso los demonios están sujetos a nosotros por tu nombre". Jesús dijo: "He observado a Satanás caer como un rayo desde el cielo.

Santos de la semana

29 de septiembre: Michael, Gabriel y Raphael, los arcángeles son durante mucho tiempo una parte de la escritura cristiana y judía. Michael es el ángel que lucha contra el mal como la cabeza de todos los ángeles; Gabriel anuncia la llegada del mesías y los nacimientos de Jesús y Juan el Bautista; y Raphael es un ángel guardián que protege a Tobias en su viaje. Juntos, son venerados para representar a todos los ángeles durante un período de tres días.

30 de septiembre: Jerónimo, sacerdote y médico (342-420), estudió griego y latín cuando era joven después de su bautismo por el papa Liberio. Aprendió hebreo cuando se convirtió en monje y después de la ordenación estudió las Escrituras con Gregory Nazianzen en Constantinopla. Se convirtió en secretario del Papa cuando le pidieron que tradujera la Biblia al latín.

1 de octubre: Estos de Lisieux, médico (1873-1897), ingresaron a los Carmelitas a los 15 años y murieron a los 24 años de tuberculosis. Durante su enfermedad, Pauline, su priora, le pidió que escribiera sobre su vida en el convento. Estas historias se capturan en "La historia de un alma". Se centró en su "pequeña forma" de buscar la santidad en la vida cotidiana.

2 de octubre: Los Ángeles Guardianes son mensajeros e intermediarios entre Dios y los humanos. Nos ayudan en nuestra lucha contra el mal y sirven como guardianes, la fiesta que celebramos hoy. Raphael es uno de los guardianes sobre los que se escribe en el Libro de Tobit. Se agregó un monumento al calendario romano en 1670 en acción de gracias por su ayuda.

3 de octubre: Francis Borgia, S.J. se convirtió en duque a los 33 años. Cuando su esposa murió y sus ocho hijos crecieron, se unió a los jesuitas. Su predicación atrajo a muchas personas a la iglesia y cuando se desempeñó como Superior General, la Sociedad aumentó dramáticamente en España y Portugal. Estableció muchas misiones en los nuevos territorios.

4 de octubre: Francisco de Asís (1181-1226) era de la rica familia Bernardone que vendía telas de seda. Después de servir como soldado como prisionero de guerra, Francisco eligió servir a Dios y a los pobres. Se sintió llamado a reparar la casa de Dios, que pensó que era una iglesia. Su padre estaba enojado porque usaba dinero familiar, así que lo desheredaba. Comenzó a predicar el arrepentimiento y reclutó a otros para su estilo de vida. Su orden es conocida por la pobreza, la simplicidad, el servicio humilde y el deleite en la creación.

Esta semana en la historia de los jesuitas

• 29 de septiembre de 1558. En el Gesu, Roma y otros lugares, los jesuitas comenzaron a mantener el coro, obedeciendo una orden de Pablo IV. Esta práctica duró menos de un año, hasta la muerte del papa en agosto de 1559.
• 30 de septiembre de 1911. El presidente William Howard Taft visitó la Universidad de Saint Louis y declaró abierta la temporada de fútbol.
• 1 de octubre de 1546. Isabel Roser fue liberada de sus votos jesuitas por San Ignacio después de ocho meses.
• 2 de octubre de 1964. El p. El general Janssens sufrió un derrame cerebral y murió tres días después. Durante su generalato, la Sociedad creció de 53 a 85 provincias, y de 28,839 a 35,968 miembros.
• 3 de octubre de 1901. En Francia, la persecución religiosa estalló de nuevo con el fallecimiento de la "Loi d'Association" de Waldeck Rousseau.
• 4 de octubre de 1820. En Roma, surgieron grandes problemas antes y durante la Vigésima Congregación General, causados por el p. Las intrigas de Petrucci. Intentó destruir la Sociedad y fue destituido de su cargo como Vicario General, aunque con el apoyo del Cardenal della Genga (luego Leo XII).
• 5 de octubre de 1981. En una carta al Padre General Arrupe, el Papa Juan Pablo II designó a Paolo Dezza como su delegado personal para gobernar la Compañía de Jesús, con el Padre. Pittau como coadjutor.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Prayer: Joan Chittister

The function of prayer is not to establish a routine; it is to establish a relationship with God who is in relationship with us always... The function of prayer is to bring us into touch with ourselves, as well. To the ancients, "tears of compunction" were the sign of a soul that knew its limits, faced its sins, accepted its needs, and lived in hope.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Literature: Albert Camus

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Prayer: Etty Hillsum

I draw prayer round me like a dark protective wall, withdraw inside it as one might into a convent cell and then step outside again, calmer and stronger and more collected again.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Prayer: Peter Damian

Let the serenity of your spirit shine through your face. Let the joy of your mind burst forth. Let words of thanks break from your lips.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

God Applauds our Cleverness: The Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

God Applauds our Cleverness:
The Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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September 22, 2019
Amos 8:4-7; Psalm 113; 1 Timothy 2:1-8; Luke 16:1-13

This is a hard parable to figure out because we value trustworthiness, especially today when we find it difficult to trust many institutions and their leaders. This Gospel passage is all the more difficult because the rich owner applauds the clever tactics of the dishonest steward who redeems his actions by settling accounts. This rich owner is, in fact, God, and we have to ask, “If God praises the dishonest steward, is God condoning these dishonest means?” The answer is ‘no.’ The steward blew it, and he does his best to earn the owner’s trust again, which is impressive. I think, if anything, the owner is impressed with his resourcefulness in solving problems, and God wants us to be just as resourceful in working towards our own salvation. We have to be reflective, thoughtful, and inventive as we think and feel with the church, but we have been taught in our history to be passive and deferential to the hierarchy and clerics. Is this an invitation to solve our problems by looking at them through different lenses? I think it is.

I want to focus on where the church is looking at its problems differently than it has in the past, in a way that is both trustworthy and inventive. For three weeks plus in October, bishops and laypeople from nine countries that comprise the Amazon region will confer to address three issues: concern for the marginalized (which includes the indigenous people), evangelization and pastoral care, and protection of the environment.

For centuries, indigenous people have been victims of exploitation and genocide, mostly used as slave labor in its early days of colonization, but they continued to be devalued up until the present day. People were forced from their homes and subject to violence and oppression. Today, the church is examining how Christianity might be adapted to suit the distinct needs of the indigenous cultures, which creates anxiety among those who believe that the European version of Christianity is unchangeable and is the only expression of the faith.

Understandably, many do not want their image of church to be altered as it has slowly evolved for two millennia. Consider that the Apostles of Jesus would not recognize the way we worship when they gathered to celebrate a love-feast. They would not recognize the medieval or modern churches that filled with statues, stained-glass, and painted images. In fact, the Eucharist is celebrated differently as Christianity adapted itself to European culture. It used western structures to root and establish itself in the community. The church is asking, “How can indigenous populations do the same? Why does the European model have to be the only one?” As European Christianity developed a system for orthodoxy, it set rules and standards, which unfortunately did not allow other cultures to adapt Christianity as it did. Instead, when colonial powers settled the land, it brought its European expression of church became the absolute norm for liturgy, songs, the Eucharist, doctrine, and architecture. As we recognize ourselves to be a worldwide church, perhaps the wisdom of other voices can emerge. You can see how some people might become uncomfortable. We don’t like change. Coupled with that, the synod will discuss ways to bring the Eucharist to people who have no access to mass or the sacrament. It means there is a possibility of ordaining married men because there is a shortage of priests to care for the needs of the people.

A major topic will be care for the environment and it will upset the interests of political conservatives and businesses. The Amazon is considered the lungs of the Earth, and by burning the forests, increased carbon dioxide is being added to the atmosphere, which produces a negative effect on a complex ecosystem. Many species of life will be wiped out, and the oxygen that is necessary for life will be diminished.

Are these controversial moves? Some will say “absolutely.” Are these inventive moves designed to solve very real problems that confront the people of God in areas that we do not even notice? You bet. Does the church need to use different resources in order to examine the complex issues of the day? It might be time to dig into our creative energies to deliberate solutions for our current day crises. Let’s watch keenly the events at the Amazon synod. Perhaps, we need to follow their lead as we reimagine how church can be adapted in this current age. It may unsettle us, but it may lead to an expression of church that brings others to the person of Jesus.  

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (Ezra 1) Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and Levites– everyone, that is, whom God had inspired to do so– prepared to go up to build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem.

Tuesday: (Ezra 6) I also issue this decree concerning your dealing with these elders of the Jews in the rebuilding of that house of God: From the royal revenue, let these men be repaid for their expenses, in full and without delay.

Wednesday: (Ezra 9) A short time ago, mercy came to us from the Lord, our God, who left us a remnant and gave us a stake in his holy place; thus our God has brightened our eyes and given us relief in our servitude. For slaves we are, but in our servitude our God has not abandoned us.

Thursday: (Haggai 1) Consider your ways! Go up into the hill country; bring timber, and build the house that I may take pleasure in it and receive my glory, says the Lord.

Friday (Haggai 2) I will shake all the nations, and the treasures of all the nations will come in, And I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts.

Saturday (Zecchariah 2) "Run, tell this to that young man: People will live in Jerusalem as though in open country, because of the multitude of men and beasts in her midst. But I will be for her an encircling wall of fire, says the Lord, and I will be the glory in her midst."

Monday: (Luke 8) For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care, then, how you hear.

Tuesday: (Luke 8) He was told, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you." He said to them in reply, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it."

Wednesday (Luke 9) He said to them, "Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there.

Thursday (Luke 9) But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see him.

Friday (Luke 9) "Who do the crowds say that I am?" They said in reply, "John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, 'One of the ancient prophets has arisen.'" Then he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter said in reply, "The Christ of God."

Saturday (Luke 9) "Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men." But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them so that they should not understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.

Saints of the Week

September 22: Tomas Sitjar, S.J. and the martyrs of Valencia (1866-1936), were killed in the Spanish Civil War just a week after the war broke out. Sitjar was the Rector of Gandia and was formerly the novice director and metaphysics professor. The Jesuit Order was suppressed at the beginning of the war, which sent the men to disperse into apartments, but since they were known to the community, they were sought out, imprisoned, and later executed because of their belief in God.

September 23: Pio of Pietrelcina, priest (1887-1968) was affectionately named Padre Pio and was a Capuchin priest who received the stigmata (wounds of Christ) just as Francis of Assisi did. He founded a hospital and became the spiritual advisor to many at a monastery at San Giovanni Rotondo.

September 26: Cosmas and Damian, martyrs (d. 287), were twins who became doctors. They were noted because they never charged anyone a medical fee. They died in the Diocletian persecution. Great miracles have been attributed to them and the Emperor Justinian is claimed to be healed through their intercession.

September 27: Vincent de Paul, priest (1581-1660), was a French peasant who selected to be chaplain at the Queen's household after his ordination. He provided food and clothing to the poor, including prostitutes, the sick, disabled, and homeless. He founded the Congregation of Missions (Vincentians) to preach and train clergy and he co-founded the Daughters of Charity with Louise de Marillac.

September 28: Wenceslaus, martyr (907-929), was raised a Christian by his grandmother while his mother and brother were opposed to Christianity. His brother opposed him when he became ruler of Bohemia in 922. He introduced strict reforms that caused great dissatisfaction among nobles and political adversaries. His brother invited him to a religious ceremony where he was killed in a surprise attack.

September 28: Lawrence Ruiz and 15 companion martyrs (seventeenth century), were killed in Nagasaki, Japan during 1633 and 1637. Most of these Christians were friends of the Dominicans. Lawrence, a Filipino, was a husband and father. He and these other missionaries served the Philippines, Formosa, and Japan.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Sep 22, 1774. The death of Pope Clement XIV, worn out with suffering and grief because of the suppression of the Society. False stories had been circulated that he was poisoned by the Jesuits.
·      Sep 23, 1869. Woodstock College of the Sacred Heart opened. With 17 priests, 44 scholastics, and 16 brothers it was the largest Jesuit community in the United States at the time.
·      Sep 24, 1566. The first Jesuits entered the continental United States at Florida. Pedro Martinez and others, while attempting to land, were driven back by the natives, and forced to make for the island of Tatacuran. He was killed there three weeks later.
·      Sep 25, 1617. The death of Francisco Suarez. He wrote 24 volumes on philosophy and theology. As a novice he was found to be very dull, but one of his directors suggested that he ask our Lady's help. He subsequently became a person of prodigious talent.
·      Sep 26, 1605. At Rome, Pope Paul V orally declared St Aloysius to be one of the "Blessed." The official brief appeared on October 19.
·      Sep 27, 1540. Pope Paul III signed the Bull, Regimini Militantis Ecclesiae, which established the Society of Jesus.
·      Sep 28, 1572. Fifteen Jesuits arrived in Mexico to establish the Mexican Province. They soon opened a college.