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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

A God that Does Justice. The Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2020

A God that Does Justice.
The Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2020
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July 19, 2020
Wisdom 12:13-19; Psalm 86; Romans 8:26-27; Matthew 13:24-43

Jesus is teaching us what the kingdom of God is like through the telling of parables. These parables are intended to bring about an immediate reaction within us because we can easily relate to the stories. For instance, we can hear ourselves saying what the household servants said, “Do you want us to go and pull those bad weeds up?” We are meant to have an emotional reaction, so that Jesus can challenge the responses that arise in our hearts and minds. We are resourceful people and we can solve many problems, meaning that we can eliminate the weeds that surround the wheat, but that is not what Jesus wants from us. As we hear the parable, we cannot help but wonder, “Have I sometimes acted like the weed? How can I be certain I am the wheat.” The moral of the story is that we leave the judgment of our souls up to Jesus.

While the Gospel gives us glimpses of particular truths that are part of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Wisdom reading tells us something about how God rules over the world. Our God is one of justice and compassion, which is a delicate reality to balance. As we imitate Jesus, we are called to live out of a faith that does justice and has plenty of room for mercy.

Our faith has to be active, and our interior conversion is not enough. It is God’s grace that calls us not only to win back our wholes selves for God, but to win back our whole world for God. That is a tall order, and we cannot separate personal conversion from structural reform. The church today needs you to be people who are imbued with the “mind of Christ,” who serve wholeheartedly and lead lives of evangelical simplicity and continuing self-offering. Your lives serve as model to others who are looking for a sense that God exists. This is about being, not doing or having. Who we are is more important than what we do. Your life assures them that God is alive and active.

The God of justice and mercy demands that we stand with the poor, the suffering, and the disadvantaged at the core of our beliefs. Pope Francis says the church ought to be the church of the poor and the oppressed because they cannot buy justice or impose it on others. Who are the poor? They are the victims of social injustice, the marginalized, the disenfranchised, and all those who are forgotten or bound by some external societal force. Some theologians will state that God is poor because the incarnation gives God a special relationship with poverty, and while God identifies with the poor, God is, at the same time, infinitely rich and all-powerful.

         It is in the crucified Christ that we see what we do to the poor when we are unjust to them. Through the cross, Christ makes common cause with victims of injustice, and it is through this Christ, the God made human, the God made poor, the God put to death, that victims of injustice find solace, because this same God also was raised from the dead. It is through the crucified Christ, that they find liberation, justice, and peace. What is the kingdom of God like? It is where we all find liberation, justice, and peace, and we regard one another as eternal friends.

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading:
Monday: (Micah 6) Arise, present your plea before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice! For the LORD has a plea against his people, and he enters into trial with Israel.

Tuesday: (Micah 7) Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, That dwells apart in a woodland, in the midst of Carmel. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.

Wednesday: (Song of Songs 3) The Bride says: On my bed at night I sought him whom my heart loves– I sought him but I did not find him. I will rise then and go about the city; in the streets and crossings I will seek Him whom my heart loves.

Thursday: (Jeremiah 2) I remember the devotion of your youth, how you loved me as a bride, Following me in the desert, in a land unsown. Sacred to the LORD was Israel, the first fruits of his harvest.

Friday (Jeremiah 3) Return, rebellious children, says the LORD, for I am your Master; I will take you, one from a city, two from a clan, and bring you to Zion. I will appoint over you shepherds after my own heart, who will shepherd you wisely and prudently.

Saturday (2 Corinthians 4) For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

Monday: (Matthew 12) “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” He said to them in reply, “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.”

Tuesday: (Matthew 12) Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you.” But he said in reply to the one who told him, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”

Wednesday (John 20) On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.

Thursday (Matthew 13) “Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?” He said to them in reply,
“Because knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich.

Friday (Matthew 13) “Hear the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the Kingdom without understanding it, and the Evil One comes and steals away what was sown in his heart.

Saturday (Matthew 20) He replied, “My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers.

Saints of the Week

July 20: Apollinaris, bishop and martyr (1st century) was chosen directly by Peter to take care of souls in Ravenna. He lived through the two emperors whose administrations exiled and tortured him, though he was faithful to his evangelizing work to his death.

July 21: Lawrence of Brindisi, priest and doctor (1559-1619) was a Capuchin Franciscan who was proficient in many languages and well-versed in the Bible. He was selected by the pope to work for the conversion of the Jews and to fight the spread of Protestantism. He held many positions in the top administration of the Franciscans.

July 22: Mary Magdalene, apostle (1st century), became the "apostle to the apostles" as the first witness of the resurrection. Scriptures point to her great love of Jesus and she stood by him at the cross and brought spices to anoint his body after death. We know little about Mary though tradition conflates her with other biblical woman. Luke portrays her as a woman exorcised of seven demons.

July 23: Bridget of Sweden, religious (1303-1373), founded the Bridgettine Order for men and women in 1370, though today only the women’s portion has survived. She desired to live in a lifestyle defined by prayer and penance. Her husband of 28 years died after producing eight children with Bridget. She then moved to Rome to begin the new order.

July 24: Sharbel Makhuf, priest (1828-1898), joined a monastery in the Maronite tradition and lived as a hermit for 23 years after living fifteen years in the community. He became known for his wisdom and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

July 25: James, Apostle (1st century), is the son of Zebedee and the brother of John. As fishermen, they left their trade to follow Jesus. They occupied the inner circle as friends of Jesus. James is the patron of Spain as a shrine is dedicated to him at Santiago de Compostela. He is the patron of pilgrims as many walk the Camino en route to this popular pilgrim site.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Jul 19, 1767. At Naples, Prime Minister Tannic, deprived the Jesuits of the spiritual care of the prisoners, a ministry that they had nobly discharged for 158 years.
·      Jul 20, 1944. An abortive plot against Adolf Hitler by Claus von Stauffenberg and his allies resulted in the arrest of Fr. Alfred Delp.
·      Jul 21, 1773. In the Quirinal Palace, Rome, Clement XIV signed the Brief for the suppression of the Society.
·      Jul 22, 1679. The martyrdom at Cardiff, Wales, of St Phillip Evans.
·      Jul 23, 1553. At Palermo, the parish priests expressed to Fr. Paul Achilles, rector of the college, indignation that more than 400 persons had received Holy Communion in the Society's church, rather than in their parish churches.
·      Jul 24, 1805. In Maryland, Fr. Robert Molyneux was appointed the first superior by Father General Gruber.
·      Jul 25, 1581. In the house of the Earl of Leicester in London, an interview occurred between Queen Elizabeth and Edmund Campion. The Queen could scarcely have recognized the worn and broken person before her as the same brilliant scholar who had addressed here at Oxford 15 years before.

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