Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Ignatian Spirituality: Set the World Ablaze

The Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 4, 2016
Wisdom 9:13-18; Psalm 90; Philemon 9-10, 12-17; Luke 14:25-33

            A question that arises from these readings is: Do you make plans for and outline our goals for our faith life in the same way we do other parts of our life? In Wisdom, we read that we are weak in making our plans and that we guess wrongly about the spiritual life. The Psalmist is more precise, like a mathematician, when he begs the Lord to teach us how to number our days so that we may gain wisdom of heart. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus tells parables about a construction manager who calculates the dimensions of building a tower so that it stands firm and a king that meticulously prepares for a successful military battle and deliberating whether he should sue for peace. Jesus tells us that we have to plan around our spiritual life with great detail, which includes moving towards a proper disposition of discipleship.

            In fact, we do not plan much in our spiritual life. We make minor resolutions to be a kinder, gentler person, but this is often in response to the way others treat us. We respond to the forces of the world and we hope we make the soundest choices. We measure our spiritual goodness by the ways we respond to social affronts. We may improve our spiritual life by resolving to make a weeklong retreat in the coming year or we may enroll in a spiritual group, but that is about all we do. Jesus asks for a little more in our planning. Discipleship means first listening to his particular, personal plans for us and then finding a way of putting it into action.

            For instance, as we begin a new academic cycle when new goals are established, do we have a plan for our personal outreach? This is the Year of Mercy, which will soon end. Have we set a plan for the relationships we will actively attempt to reconcile? Or do we leave it by chance, hoping the other person will make the first move? It might save your soul to reach out to another person and set a course of having a series of conversations to restore the friendship. You have the power within yourself to accomplish because of your faith in Jesus Christ, who assures you that he will guide you. It requires your resolve. It requires that you act in boldness. It requires that you care enough to even bother to love the other person, which is the definition of mercy. Pray for courage and energy to set the course aright.

            In your planning, have you invited someone deeper into the faith? This is not a casual shallow conversation, but a willingness to engage more profoundly in another person’s life. It might be engaging with someone to invite her into religious life or a life of ministerial service, or to invite a young man into the priesthood. Regardless of the outcome, the young person will be grateful for your listening support and your ability to engage them in the more meaningful conversations in life.

            Jesus tells us not to be occupied by our possessions? It might be time to eliminate some of the objects that contain sacred memories. Believe me. As one who has given away possession repeatedly in my lifetime, the memories endure. It is even enjoyable to dispossess oneself of meaningful items by distributing them to those who care about you. They, then, hold onto a little piece of you, ensuring that you will live on in their memories. It may be a good time to tidy up your household and limit your possessions. It can be a liberating practice.

            It is also a good practice to review with the Lord the type of person you are becoming. Identify qualities you would like to attain within this next calendar year and set a course for achieving it. For instance, if you want to grow in compassion, go to museums where you will seek out art pieces that convey this heartfelt emotion. Attend films where mercy is the main theme and avoid movies that pull you away from the ways you want to grow. We move in the direction of those qualities upon which we contemplate.

            Take a week of two to plan your spiritual program for the next year. Write it down on a piece of paper as if it were a report you had to turn into a boss or a teacher. Get some feedback on its contents from loved ones, who want to help you along the way. Seek the advice of a spiritual director. Go speak with a pastoral associate at your church. Mostly, listen to the loving words of Christ who always calls you into deeper discipleship. Trust him. Do whatever he tells you and beg him for courage.
Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (1 Corinthians 5) When you have gathered together, I am with you in spirit in the power of the Lord Jesus. Do not boast of inflated pride. Stay away from immorality.
Tuesday: (1 Corinthians 6) If you have courts for everyday matters and you know the holy ones will judge the world, why do you seat as judges people of no standing in the church?
Wednesday: (1 Corinthians 7) Time is running out. Stay unmarried, if it makes sense, as we await the coming of the end of the world, which in its present form is passing away.   
Thursday: (Micah 5) You, Bethlehem, too small to be among Judah’s clan. From you shall come forth a rule in Israel, whose origin is of old, from ancient times.
Friday (1 Corinthians 9) If I preach the Gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed upon me, and woe to me if I do not do it.
Saturday (1 Corinthians 10) Avoid idolatry. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demon. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and also the table of demons.

Monday: (Luke 6) At a synagogue, Jesus healed a man with a withered hand. Since it was a Sabbath and he realized their evil intent, he cured the man anyways.
Tuesday: (Luke 6) Jesus went up a mountain to pray for the night. When day came, he called the Twelve Disciples, men he chose in friendship to reconstitute the lost tribes of Israel.
Wednesday (Luke 6) Blessed are you, poor, for the kingdom of heaven is yours. Rejoice and lead for joy because your names will be enrolled in the books of heaven.
Thursday (Matthew 1) The genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, the son of Abraham is recited. The birth of Jesus came about when Mary was betrothed to Joseph.
Friday (Luke 6) Can a blind person guide a blind person? No disciple is superior to his teacher, but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher.   
Saturday (Luke 6) A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every good tree is known by its own fruit.

Saints of the Week

September 7: Stephen Pongracz (priest), Melchior Grodziecki (priest), and Mark Krizevcanin (canon) of the Society of Jesus were matyred in 1619 when they would not deny their faith in Slovakia. They were chaplains to Hungarian Catholic troops, which raised the ire of Calvinists who opposed the Emperor. They were brutally murdered through a lengthy process that most Calvinists and Protestants opposed.

September 8: The Birth of Mary was originally (like all good feasts) celebrated first in the Eastern Church. The Roman church began its devotion in the fifth century. Her birth celebrates her role as the mother of Jesus. Some traditions have her born in Nazareth while others say she hails from outside of Jerusalem.

September 9: Peter Claver, S.J. (1580-1654) became a Jesuit in 1600 and was sent to the mission in Cartegena, Colombia, a center of slave trade. For forty years, Claver ministered to the newly arrived Africans by giving them food, water, and medical care. Unfortunately, he died ostracized by his Jesuit community because he insisted on continuing the unpopular act of treating the slaves humanely.

September 10: Francis Garate, S.J. (1857-1929) was a Basque who entered the Jesuits and became a doorkeeper at the Univeristy of Deusto in Bilbao. He modeled his ministry after Alphonsus Rodriguez and became known for his innate goodness, humility, and prayerfulness.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Sep 4, 1760. At Para, Brazil, 150 men of the Society were shipped as prisoners, reaching Lisbon on December 2. They were at once exiled to Italy and landed at Civita Vecchia on January 17, 1761.
·      Sep 5, 1758. The French Parliament issued a decree condemning Fr. Busembaum's Medulla Theologiae Moralis.
·      Sep 6, 1666. The Great Fire of London broke out on this date. There is not much the Jesuits have not been blamed for, and this was no exception. It was said to be the work of Papists and Jesuits. King Charles II banished all the fathers from England.
·      Sep 7, 1773. King Louis XV wrote to Clement XIV, expressing his heartfelt joy at the suppression of the Society.
·      Sep 8, 1600. Fr. Matteo Ricci set out on his journey to Peking (Beijing). He experienced enormous difficulties in reaching the royal city, being stopped on his way by one of the powerful mandarins.
·      Sep 9, 1773. At Lisbon, Carvalho, acting in the king's name, ordered public prayers for the deliverance of the world from the "pestilence of Jesuitism."

·      Sep 10, 1622. The martyrdom at Nagaski, Japan, of Charles Spinola and his companions.

La Vigésimo Tercer Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario

La Vigésimo Tercer Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario
4 de septiembre de, el año 2016
Sabiduría 9: 13-18; Salmo 90; Filemón 9-10, 12-17; Lucas 14: 25-33

Una pregunta que surge de estas lecturas es: ¿Se hacen planes para perfilar y nuestras metas para nuestra vida de fe de la misma manera que hacemos otras partes de nuestra vida? En la sabiduría, leemos que somos débiles en la fabricación de nuestros planes y que suponemos equivocadamente acerca de la vida espiritual. El salmista es más preciso, como un matemático, cuando ruega al Señor que nos enseñe a contar nuestros días para que la sabiduría en nuestro corazón. En el Evangelio de Lucas, Jesús dice parábolas acerca de un encargado de la construcción, que calcula las dimensiones de la construcción de una torre de modo que se mantiene firme y un rey que prepara meticulosamente para una batalla militar exitosa y deliberar si debe pedir la paz. Jesús nos dice que tenemos que planificar en torno a nuestra vida espiritual con gran detalle, que incluye el avance hacia una disposición adecuada del discipulado.

De hecho, no tenemos pensado mucho en nuestra vida espiritual. Hacemos resoluciones menores a ser una persona amable, más suave, pero esto es a menudo en respuesta a la forma en que nos tratan los demás. Respondemos a las fuerzas del mundo y esperamos que tomamos las decisiones más sólidas. Medimos nuestra bondad espiritual por las formas en que respondemos a las afrentas sociales. Podemos mejorar nuestra vida espiritual mediante la resolución de hacer un retiro de una semana de duración en el próximo año o que puede inscribirse en un grupo espiritual, pero eso es sobre todo lo que hacemos. Jesús pide un poco más en nuestra planificación. El discipulado significa escuchar primero sus particulares, planes personales para nosotros y luego encontrar una forma de poner en práctica.

Por ejemplo, al comenzar un nuevo ciclo académico cuando se establecen nuevos objetivos, podemos tener un plan para nuestro alcance personal? Este es el Año de la Merced, que pronto terminará. ¿Hemos establecido un plan para las relaciones vamos a tratar activamente de conciliar? ¿O lo dejamos por casualidad, esperando que la otra persona va a dar el primer paso? Podría salvar su alma para llegar a otra persona y establecer una vía de tener una serie de conversaciones para restaurar la amistad. Usted tiene el poder dentro de ti mismo para llevar a cabo debido a la fe en Jesucristo, quien le asegura que él os guiará. Se requiere su determinación. Se requiere que usted actúa de audacia. Se requiere que usted se preocupa lo suficiente como para siquiera se molestan a amar a la otra persona, que es la definición de la misericordia. Oren por el valor y la energía para establecer el curso correctamente.

En su planificación, has invitado a alguien más en la fe? Esta no es una conversación superficial casual, sino una voluntad de participar más profundamente en la vida de otra persona. Podría estar involucrado con alguien para invitarla a la vida religiosa o una vida de servicio ministerial, o invitar a un joven en el sacerdocio. Independientemente del resultado, el joven estará agradecido por su apoyo escucha ya su capacidad de participar en las conversaciones más significativas en la vida.

Jesús no nos dice para ser ocupado por nuestras posesiones? Podría ser el momento para eliminar algunos de los objetos que contienen los recuerdos sagrados. Créame. Como alguien que ha entregado la posesión en varias ocasiones en mi vida, los recuerdos perduran. Es incluso agradable para despojar a sí mismo de los elementos significativos por su distribución a los que se preocupan por ti. Ellos, entonces, se aferran a una pequeña parte de usted, asegurando que vivirá en sus memorias. Puede ser un buen momento para poner en orden su casa y limitar sus posesiones. Puede ser una práctica liberadora.

También es una buena práctica revisar con el Señor el tipo de persona a la que se está convirtiendo. Identificar cualidades que le gustaría alcanzar dentro de este año natural siguiente y establecer una vía para lograrlo. Por ejemplo, si usted quiere crecer en compasión, ir a museos donde buscar piezas de arte que transmiten esta sentida emoción. Asistir a las películas donde la misericordia es el tema principal y evitar películas que se alejan de las formas que desea crecer. Nos movemos en la dirección de esas cualidades sobre las que contemplamos.

Tome una semana de dos a planificar su programa espiritual para el próximo año. Escribirlo en un trozo de papel como si se tratara de un informe que tenía que convertirse en un jefe o un maestro. Obtener alguna información sobre su contenido de sus seres queridos, que quieren ayudarle a lo largo del camino. Busque el consejo de un director espiritual. Ir a hablar con un pastor asociado en su iglesia. Sobre todo, escuchar las palabras de amor de Cristo, que siempre te pone en el discipulado más profundo. Confia en el. Haced lo que él os diga y le pido por su valor.

Escritura para la misa diaria

Primera lectura:
Lunes: (1 Corintios 5) Cuando haya reunido, yo estoy con vosotros en espíritu en el poder del Señor Jesús. No presumir de orgullo inflado. Manténgase alejado de la inmoralidad.
Martes: (1 Corintios 6) Si tiene cortes en lo de todos los días y usted sabe los santos han de juzgar al mundo, ¿por qué sentarse como jueces a personas de falta de legitimación en la iglesia?
Miércoles: (1 Corintios 7) El tiempo se agota. Permanecer soltera, si tiene sentido, mientras esperamos la venida del fin del mundo, que en su forma actual, está por desaparecer.
Jueves: (Miqueas 5), Belén, demasiado pequeña para estar entre el clan de Judá. De ti saldrá una regla en Israel, cuyo origen es antiguo, desde los tiempos antiguos.
Viernes (1 Corintios 9) Si anuncio el Evangelio, esto no es motivo para que me jacto, la obligación se ha impuesto sobre mí, y ¡ay de mí si no lo hago.
Sábado (1 Corintios 10) Evitar la idolatría. No se puede beber la copa del Señor y la copa de los demonios. No se puede participar de la mesa del Señor y también la mesa de los demonios.

Lunes: (Lucas 6) en una sinagoga, Jesús sanó a un hombre con una mano seca. Ya que era un sábado y se dio cuenta de sus malas intenciones, curó al hombre de todos modos.
Martes: (Lucas 6) Jesús subió al monte a orar por la noche. Cuando se hizo de día, llamó a los doce, los hombres que eligió en la amistad para reconstituir las tribus perdidas de Israel.
Miércoles (Lucas 6) Bienaventurados vosotros, los pobres, porque el reino de los cielos es la suya. Alegraos y dar lugar para la alegría de que sus nombres estarán inscritos en los libros del cielo.
Jueves (Mateo 1) La genealogía de Jesucristo, hijo de David, hijo de Abraham se recita. El nacimiento de Jesús se produjo cuando María estaba desposada con José.
Viernes (Lucas 6) ¿Puede un ciego guiar a otro ciego? El discípulo no es superior a su maestro, pero cuando está totalmente capacitado, cada discípulo, será como su maestro.
Sábado (Lucas 6) Un buen árbol no da frutos podridos, ni llevan un árbol malo dar frutos buenos. Todo buen árbol se conoce por su fruto.

Santos de la Semana

7 de septiembre: Stephen Pongrácz (sacerdote), Melchor Grodziecki (sacerdote), y Mark Krizevcanin (canon) de la Compañía de Jesús se matyred en 1619 cuando no negarían su fe en Eslovaquia. Eran capellanes católicos húngaros a las tropas, lo que provocó la ira de los calvinistas que se oponían al emperador. Ellos fueron brutalmente asesinados a través de un proceso largo que la mayoría de los calvinistas y protestantes se opusieron.

Septiembre 8: El nacimiento de María fue originalmente (como todas las buenas fiestas) celebró por primera vez en la Iglesia de Oriente. La iglesia romana comenzó su devoción en el siglo V a. Su nacimiento celebra su papel como la madre de Jesús. Algunas tradiciones han nacido en ella Nazaret mientras que otros dicen que proviene de fuera de Jerusalén.

9 de septiembre: Pedro Claver, S. J. (1580-1654) se convirtió en un jesuita en 1600 y fue enviado a la misión en Cartagena, Colombia, en un centro de comercio de esclavos. Durante cuarenta años, Claver ministró a los africanos recién llegados, dándoles comida, agua y atención médica. Por desgracia, murió condenado al ostracismo por su comunidad jesuita porque insistió en continuar con el acto impopular de tratar con humanidad a los esclavos.

10 de septiembre: Francisco Gárate, S. J. (1857-1929) fue un vasco que entró en la Compañía de Jesús y se convirtió en un portero en la Univeristy de Deusto en Bilbao. Se modeló su ministerio después de Alfonso Rodríguez y se hizo conocido por su innata bondad, humildad y espíritu de oración.

Esta semana en la historia de los jesuitas

• 4 sep, 1760. En Pará, Brasil, 150 hombres de la Sociedad fueron enviados como prisioneros, llegando a Lisboa el 2 de diciembre Fueron a la vez desterrados a Italia y aterrizaron en Civitavecchia el 17 de enero, 1761.
• 5 sep, 1758. El Parlamento francés emitió un decreto que condena P. Médula Theologiae Móralis de Busembaum.
• 6 sep 1666. El gran incendio de Londres estalló en esta fecha. No hay mucho que los jesuitas no se han culpado por, y esto no fue una excepción. Se dice que es el trabajo de los papistas y los jesuitas. El rey Carlos II expulsó a todos los padres de Inglaterra.
• 7 sep 1773. El rey Luis XV escribió a Clemente XIV, que expresa su sincera alegría por la supresión de la Compañía.
• 8 sep 1600. P. Matteo Ricci partió en su viaje a Pekín (Beijing). Él experimentó enormes dificultades para llegar a la ciudad real, de ser detenido en su camino por una de las mandarinas poderosos.
• 9 sep, 1773. En Lisboa, Carvalho, actuando en nombre del rey, ordenó a las oraciones públicas por la liberación del mundo de la "peste del jesuitismo".
• Sep 10, 1622. El martirio en Nagasaki, Japón, de Carlos Spinola y sus compañeros.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Prayer: Mechtild of Magdeburg

Of all that God has shown me 
I can speak just the smallest word, 
Nor more than a honey bee 
Takes on his foot 
From an overspilling jar. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Prayer: Augustine of Hippo

O God, it is you alone I love, you alone I follow, you alone I seek, you alone I am ready to serve. Heal and open my ears that I may hear your voice. Heal and open my eyes that I may see your will. Tell me where to look that I may see you, and I will place my hope in doing your will.

Homily for the Passion of John the Baptist

This homily was given at the beginning of the school year at a gathering of staff and faculty.
Twenty miles south of the spot where Moses pointed the wandering Israelites to their new land that flowed with milk and honey, stands a lonely mountain peak that overlooks the lowest place on earth. Across from it, the Dead Sea, sat the Essene monastery where John the Baptist may have frequented. It is not highly desirable real estate, but it was the spa where King Herod would safely throw lavish parties amidst the mountains of rock that served as natural defensive borders. Herod and his guests needed to be fit in order to scale the vertical ascent that led to this protected enclave. On a clear night, if you squinted, you might be able to see Mount Zion and the city of peace - Jerusalem, but their arduous trek to this peak made them feel distanced from the holy activities at the Temple. I walked around this former palace. It was grand in my imagination but exceedingly small in its dimensions and I peered into the room where Salome’s dance was held. With all those guests, where did she have room to dance? It must have not been that exotic after all. Surely, John the Baptist would have been imprisoned upstairs and outside in the scorching sun by day and the unforgiving cold at night. As I sat down to begin my prayers, my heart erupted and I bleated out this question to God: John died in this small, unnoticed place because of a grudge? How meaningless! I thought: we must never allow our unresolved needs to snuff out the life of another person again. Yet, it happens daily.
            We kill the spirit of another person when we hold onto grudges or feel dishonored because of an incident we do not fully investigate or understand. We snuff the life out of another person when we allow our career ambitions and our puffed-up sense of self to lose sight of the goal or mission. We thwart the growth of another person when we feel threatened by someone else’s authority or we cannot effectively establish our own positions of authority. We marginalize and exclude people or act with passive-aggression. Our unmet needs, our insecurities, or fears turn us into Herodias and Herod – and we may not even realize the effect we have upon God’s kingdom.
            Fortunately, we are a community of faith that wakes up each day with new opportunities to establish right relations with each other. From whichever faith tradition we come, we are a people of goodwill and we can start again. We are in a jubilee year – a Year of Mercy, and mercy is defined as “loving enough to enter into the chaos of another person.” Mercy is the quality that is victorious over hatred, violence, and sin, and a mature understanding of sin is “a failure to even bother to love.” Mercy bothers us to love - even those who we do not want to love. We are God’s people of mercy, and mercy is not easy to understand or to put into practice, but for people of goodwill, it is not merely an option, but our necessary path to new life as one united community.
            In the Old Testament, the Lord God asks three basic things of us: to be kind, to be slow in making rash negative judgments, and to be merciful. Kindness is under-rated because it is seen as a condition of weakness, but we never explore its surprising power to change the course of lives. Judging – It is far better for us to respond rather than to react because we will probably get unexpected insights and a softened heart as we compassionately listen to another person. Mercy, well, this is our year to learn how to love better. Jesus in the New Testament asks us to learn two traits from him – to be gentle and humble of heart, often qualities dismissed by this world’s standards, but they carry the wisdom of the cross as Paul writes about in 1st Corinthians. Kindness, a compassionate understanding heart, mercy, gentleness, and humility: Our grudges, Herodias’s grudge, have no power in the face of these. This is the way forward in mercy. They give life and build up.

            We start at the cusp of a new year. Is it possible to start afresh? Can we move forward, forgetting whatever it is that lays in the past and forge deeper friendships in the Lord? Life is much more enjoyable when we embrace and welcome and reconcile. Can God transform any lingering grudges we have into new possibilities? New hopes? Of course. Through Christ’s mercy, John the Baptist lives on. Through mercy, someone you do not expect may give you new life.