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Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Make it Right Again: The Twenty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2020

                                                                  Make it Right Again

The Twenty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2020

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September 13, 2020

Sirach 27:30-28:7; Psalm 103; Romans 14:7-9; Matthew 18:21-35



The church continues to illustrate the necessity of Christian forgiveness in the parable about the forgiven debtor who will not forgive the debts owed to him. We understand that forgiveness is expected of us, but that it is hard to do, and that we are to forgive others too and not just write off people who have offended us. Without using the language of forgiveness or sin, I want to suggest that we make things right again.


I’m glad that the Gospel parable used money in its example because money can tear families and friendships apart. Wills and inheritances confound people; those who get the family house or the greater share of the inheritance creates an imbalance; the repeated bailout of a family member who expects the family to step up stirs up ill-will, not gratitude, children who take out loans from parents without ever seriously thinking about making an effort to pay them back creates disappointment. The examples go on ad infinitum and when it is coupled with addictions, dependency, or mental illness, the emotional and spiritual exhaustion sets in again. The litany of exhaustion leads to futility, and the goodwill that once exhausted is replaced by despair.


The Gospel impels us to become responsible for our actions. We must do our part, no matter how small it is. If we have been granted mercy by someone, we approach them with thankfulness and yet do not develop an attitude where we take them for granted. We cannot create dependencies or fall into relationship patterns that takes someone for granted or fails to honor that generosity of mercy. We can never tire of saying “thank you,” but make it as specific as you can. Say something like, “Thank you for paying for my dinner, for your generosity to me, for the uplifting conversation, for the time together.” Be as specific and personal as you can as you show your gratitude. By speaking words like these, you set the relationship right again.


When we harbor grudges about financial affairs it is because we feel someone has wronged us. We need to pray for courage and boldness from the Holy Spirit to bring the conversation out into the open, especially with family members. Each party has to know how the other is perceiving the situation and how the other person’s actions make them feel. People tend to self-justify and protect their individual interests, and it excludes a loved one who is feeling victimized. Sometimes, one person feels entitled to get money because of their situation, but the other party has a perspective that must be heard and honored. At least starting the conversation will make things right again. Most people will suffer in silence for years and will not ever bring up the subject of money and will choose to remain estranged with its consequent suffering. It doesn’t have to be that way. Forgiveness cannot happen until we decide to step up and start the process of making things right again.


At the heart of forgiveness is the restoration of meaningful relationships. We cannot be passive and sit back and watch, to wait and see how the other person responds. We have to make the first move. When we do our work, with great courage and energy, we reap the benefits because we approached it with integrity and with a desire to reclaim what was lost. We are not responsible for the ways people respond, but will know we did our very best to salvage the relationship, that we are choosing the Christian path to be responsible for one another, instead of shaking the dust from our boots and turning away. You will feel victorious for even having tried, and with Christ in our midst, we have the added grace that he can make all things possible – because he can to restore what was lost and set it right again.


Scripture for Daily Mass


First Reading:

Monday: (Numbers 21) With their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water?


Tuesday: (1 Corinthians 12) For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body,
whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.


Wednesday: (1 Corinthians 12) Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.


Thursday: (1 Corinthians 15) But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective. Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them;
not I, however, but the grace of God that is with me.


Friday (1 Corinthians 15) If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then empty too is our preaching;
empty, too, your faith.


Saturday (1 Corinthians 15) So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible. It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.



Monday: (John 3) For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.


Tuesday: (John 19) Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”


Wednesday (Luke 7) For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine, and you said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’


Thursday (Luke 7) Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears.


Friday (Luke 8) Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities.


Saturday (Luke 8) A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled, and the birds of the sky ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew, it withered for lack of moisture.


Saints of the Week


September 13: John Chrysostom, bishop and doctor (347-407) was a gifted homilist and was called "Golden Mouth" because his words inspired many. He was raised in Antioch and joined a community of austere hermits but the lifestyle damaged his health. He became the archbishop of Constantinople where he introduced many conservative and unpopular reforms. He fled to escape an uprising from the people and on the way to exile he died.


September 14: The Triumph of the Holy Cross remembers the finding of the true cross by the Emperor Constantine's mother, Helen in early 4th century. Two churches were dedicated in the name of the cross on this day in the 4th century. Therefore, the feast was applied to this day. In the 7th century, the feast was renamed, "The Triumph." The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in 335 was also dedicated on this day.


September 15: Our Lady of Sorrows was once called the Seven Sorrows of Mary as introduced by the Servite Friars. After suffering during his captivity in France, Pius VII renamed the devotion that encapsulates: Simeon's prophecy, the flight into Egypt, searching for Jesus at age 12 in the Temple, the road to Calvary, the crucifixion, the deposition, and the entombment.


September 16: Cornelius, pope and martyr (d. 253) and Cyprian, bishop and martyr (200-258) both suffered in the Decian persecutions. Cornelius was being attacked by Novatian, but since Novatian's teachings were condemned, he received the support of the powerful bishop, Cyprian. Cyprian was a brilliant priest and bishop of Carthage who wrote on the unity of the church, the role of bishops, and the sacraments. Cyprian died under Valerius after supporting his church in exile by letters of encouragement.


September 17: Robert Bellarmine, S.J., bishop and doctor (1542-1621) became a Jesuit professor at the Louvain and then professor of Controversial theology at the Roman College. He wrote "Disputations on the controversies of the Christian faith against the Heretics of this age," which many Protestants appreciated because of its balanced reasoning. He revised the Vulgate bible, wrote catechisms, supervised the Roman College and the Vatican library, and was the pope's theologian.


September 19: Januarius, bishop and martyr (d. 305), was bishop of Benevento during his martyrdom during the Diocletian persecution. He was arrested when he tried to visit imprisoned Christians. Legend tell us that a vial that contains his blood has been kept in the Naples cathedral since the 15th century liquefies three times a year.


This Week in Jesuit History


·      Sep 13, 1773. Frederick II of Prussia informed the pope that the Jesuits would not be suppressed in Prussia and invited Jesuits to come.

·      Sep 14, 1596. The death of Cardinal Francis Toledo, the first of the Society to be raised to the purple. He died at age 63, a cardinal for three years.

·      Sep 15, 1927. Thirty-seven Jesuits arrived in Hot Springs, North Carolina, to begin tertianship. The property was given to the Jesuits by the widow of the son of President Andrew Johnson.

·      Sep 16, 1883. The twenty-third General Congregation opened at Rome in the Palazzo Borromeo (via del Seminario). It elected Fr. Anthony Anderledy Vicar General with the right of succession.

·      Sep 17, 1621. The death of St Robert Bellarmine, bishop and doctor of the Church.

·      Sep 18, 1540. At Rome, Pedro Ribadeneira, aged fourteen, was admitted into the Society by St Ignatius (nine days before official papal confirmation of the Society).

·      Sep 19, 1715. At Quebec, the death of Fr. Louis Andre, who for 45 years labored in the missions of Canada amid incredible hardships, often living on acorns, a kind of moss, and the rind of fruits.

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