Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Jesus Remembers Me: The Last Sunday in Ordinary Time

  Jesus Remembers Me:
The Last Sunday in Ordinary Time  | | 617.510.9673
November 24, 2019
2 Samuel 5:1-3; Psalm 122; Colossians 1:12-20; Luke 23:35-43

The readings ask us to examine what type of religious leadership we can expect in our faith, and therefore, we notice the way our priests and bishops interact with us. The Gospel depicts Jesus’ words to the good thief at the crucifixion to assure the man that he will indeed remember him and will enjoy life with him in heaven’s paradise. Jesus looks at the man as though he never committed a violation of the law, and his gesture radiates forgiveness. In the first reading, David is appointed to be the nation’s shepherd, which means that he is appointed to care for them. How is this caring carried out? He is to notice them, to seek them out, and to remember them, just as Jesus remembers the good thief as he goes to his death.

 Jesus, at the end of his life, reveals both himself and God to be full of compassion, love, patience, and forgiveness. From God’s perspective, Jesus offered the fullness of goodness and trust. It is the goodness of Jesus that is able to conquer death and give us eternal life. St. Paul says that were once connected with Adam and the stain of his sin in the Garden of Eden, but through our adoption by Christ into his family, we are all acquitted of sin and given the promise of life. The grace that Christ extends to us overcomes the condemnation brought about by human justice. A crucified thief can be forgiven.

The presence of Jesus ushers in the presence of God, opening the door for us to meet God and to find grace. In God, we experience a safe place where we experience the type of profound peace that we pray for during mass. We also discover the sheer, undeserved, incredible kindness of God. To Jesus, we are not sinners or unworthy people for whatever reason, but he does invite us to a new type of life with him, one in which we are able to put ourselves in a better relationship with God, and since he is alive to us, he gives us his grace to help us along in this friendship. We come to know that we are continually being saved, and by doing so, we become more like God. This only happens because God loves us and is working in our lives to help us move closer in friendship.

A century ago, the Church needed an image of Christ the King to be one of formidable strength and wisdom rising above all other forces in the world, but we are in a different age of the church today. We do not need our leaders to project authority and strength, but we do need them to project compassion and understanding, just as Jesus did on the cross. We need to know that our leaders know something about us, care for us, understands the complexities of our struggles, and can guide us to a place of greater goodness. We need to know that our shepherd will search for us when we are not around, will wonder how we are doing, will check in once in a while, and will offer us friendship. We need us shepherds to teach us how to talk with God in prayer and to always point us the way towards our personal and communal salvation.

The image that I want everyone to have as they begin their morning prayer is one in which God lights up in joy that you have come to say hello. Our God remembers you and has been waiting for you to come back. God is filled with delight and wants to enjoy your friendship. Just let God know that you are happy to be there in God’s presence and then mention how much you appreciate that God always accepts you and is around for you, and they just enjoy being around each other. Do not fill the space with your perceived sinfulness and unworthiness. That is not very interesting. Rather, focus upon the promise that Jesus made: I indeed will remember you, and you will be with me for eternal life. His love and grace are enough for us. We find that we are in a place of calmness and stillness. God remembers you. God cares for you. God will lead you home. Our God and King will give us sufficient grace to return and exercise our love in surprising ways.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (Daniel 1) In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came and laid siege to Jerusalem. The Lord handed over to him Jehoiakim, king of Judah,

Tuesday: (Daniel 2) Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar: "In your vision, O king, you saw a statue, very large and exceedingly bright, terrifying in appearance as it stood before you. The head of the statue was pure gold, its chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs bronze, the legs iron, its feet partly iron and partly tile.

Wednesday: (Daniel 5) King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his lords, with whom he drank. Under the influence of the wine, he ordered the gold and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar, his father, had taken from the temple in Jerusalem,
to be brought in so that the king, his lords, his wives and his entertainers might drink from them.

Thursday: (Daniel 6) Some men rushed into the upper chamber of Daniel's home
and found him praying and pleading before his God. Then they went to remind the king about the prohibition: "Did you not decree, O king, that no one is to address a petition to god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king; otherwise he shall be cast into a den of lions?"

Friday (Daniel 7) In a vision I, Daniel, saw during the night, the four winds of heaven stirred up the great sea, from which emerged four immense beasts, each different from the others. The first was like a lion, but with eagle’s wings.

Saturday (Romans 10) If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.

Monday: (Luke 21) When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins.
He said, "I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood."

Tuesday: (Luke 21) While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, "All that you see here–the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down."

Wednesday (Luke 21) Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death.

Thursday (Luke 21) "When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is at hand. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. Let those within the city escape from it, and let those in the countryside not enter the city, for these days are the time of punishment when all the Scriptures are fulfilled.

Friday (Luke 21) “Consider the fig tree and all the other trees. When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near; in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near.

Saturday (Matthew 4) As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.

Saints of the Week

November 24: Andrew Dung-Lac and companion martyrs (1785-1839) were missionaries to Vietnam during the 17th through 19th centuries. Over 130,000 Christians were killed, including priests, sisters, brothers, and lay people. Many of these were Vietnamese citizens.

November 25: Catherine of Alexandria, martyr, (d. 310) is said to have been born in Egypt to a noble family. She was educated and converted to Christianity because of a vision. She refused to marry a man arranged to be her husband by the emperor, and she denounced him for persecuting Christians. She was arrested, tortured, and killed.

November 26: John Berchmans, S.J., religious (1599-1621), was a Jesuit scholastic who is the patron saint of altar servers. He was known for his pious adherence to the rules and for his obedience. He did well in studies, but was seized with a fever during his third year of philosophy and died at the age of 22.

Fourth Thursday: Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. is derived from a mix of European and Native American traditions. Joyous festivals were held in Europe to give thanks for a good harvest and to rejoice with others for their hard work. It is a day to give thanks for the many blessings we have received through God's generosity throughout the year.

November 29: Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos, S.J., religious (1711-1735) was the first and main apostle to the devotion of the Sacred Heart. He entered the novitiate in Spain at age 14 and took vows at 17. He had mystical visions of the Sacred Heart. He was ordained in January 1735 with a special dispensation because he was not old enough. A few weeks after celebrating his first mass, he contracted typhus and died on November 29th.

November 30: Andrew, apostle (first century) was a disciple of John the Baptist and the brother of Simon Peter. Both were fishermen from Bethsaida. He became one of the first disciples of Jesus. Little is known of Andrew's preaching after the resurrection. Tradition places him in Greece while Scotland has incredible devotion to the apostle.  

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Nov 24, 1963: The death of John LaFarge, pioneer advocate of racial justice in the United States.
·      Nov 25, 1584: The Church of the Gesu, built in Rome for the Society by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, was solemnly consecrated.
·      Nov 26, 1678: In London the arrest and imprisonment of St Claude la Colombiere. He was released after five weeks and banished.
·      Nov 27, 1680: In Rome the death of Fr. Athanasius Kircher, considered a universal genius, but especially knowledgeable in science and archeology.
·      Nov 28, 1759: Twenty Fathers and 192 Scholastics set sail from the Tagus for exile. Two were to die on the voyage to Genoa and Civita Vecchia.
·      Nov 29, 1773: The Jesuits of White Russia requested the Empress Catherine to allow the Letter of Suppression to be published, as it had been all over Europe. "She bade them lay aside their scruples, promising to obtain the Papal sanction for their remaining in status quo.
·      Nov 30, 1642: The birth of Br Andrea Pozzo at Trent, who was called to Rome in 1681 to paint the flat ceiling of the church of San Ignacio so that it would look as though there were a dome above. There had been a plan for a dome but there was not money to build it. His work is still on view.

No comments:

Post a Comment