Tuesday, June 27, 2017

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle A) July 2, 2017

Sunday, July 2, 2017  Readings  

First Reading: 

4Then come back and close the door on yourself and your children; pour the oil into all the vessels, and as each is filled, set it aside.”5So she went out. She closed the door on herself and her children and, as they handed her the vessels, she would pour in oil.6When all the vessels were filled, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” He answered, “There is none left.” And then the oil stopped.7She went and told the man of God, who said, “Go sell the oil to pay off your creditor; with what remains, you and your children can live.”
8One day Elisha came to Shunem, where there was a woman of influence, who pressed him to dine with her. Afterward, whenever he passed by, he would stop there to dine. (The Shunnamite woman opened her home to him - see Dr. Scott Hahn's reflection below)
11One day Elisha arrived and stayed in the room overnight.
14Later Elisha asked, “What can we do for her?” Gehazi answered, “She has no son, and her husband is old.”15Elisha said, “Call her.” He did so, and when she stood at the door,16Elisha promised, “This time next year you will be cradling a baby son.” She said, “My lord, you are a man of God; do not deceive your servant.”

Responsorial Psalm: 

2     I will sing of your mercy forever, LORD
proclaim your faithfulness through all ages.
3        For I said, “My mercy is established forever;
my faithfulness will stand as long as the heavens.
16Blessed the people who know the war cry,
who walk in the radiance of your face, LORD.
17In your name they sing joyfully all the day;
they rejoice in your righteousness.
18You are their majestic strength;
by your favor our horn is exalted. ( Horn: a concrete noun for an abstract quality; horn is a symbol of strength.) 
19Truly the LORD is our shield,
the Holy One of Israel, our king!

Second  Reading:   

3Or are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?4We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.
8If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.9We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him.10As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his life, he lives for God.11Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as [being] dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.


37“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
38and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Rewards40“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.41 Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward.42And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple—amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”

Matthew 10:37-42
 Jesus explains the difficulties of discipleship, yet reveals 
that those who welcome the disciples have also welcomed him.  (Loyal Press)

Scott Hahn's Reflection (edited for length)
The Liturgy this week continues to instruct us in the elements of discipleship. We’re told that even the most humble among us have a share in the mission Christ gives to His Church.
At Baptism our lives were joined forever to the cross of Christ, as Paul tells us in today’s Epistle. Baptized into His death, we’re to renounce sin and live for God in Christ Jesus.
We are to follow Him, each of us taking up our personal cross, as Jesus says in today’s Gospel. That doesn’t mean we will all be asked to suffer a martyr’s death. But each of us is called to self-denial, to the offering of our lives in service of God’s plan.
Jesus must be elevated to first place in our lives—above even our closest bonds of kinship and love. By Baptism, we’ve been made part of a new family—the kingdom of God, the Church. We are to proclaim that kingdom with our lives, bringing our fathers and mothers, and all men and women to live as “little ones” under the fatherhood of God and the kingship of the Holy One.
We do this by opening our hearts and homes to the service of the Lord, following the Shunnamite woman’s example in today’s First Reading. As Jesus tells us, we’re to receive others—not only prophets, but also little children, the poor and the imprisoned—as we receive Christ himself (see Matthew 18:5;  25:31–46).
As we sing in today’s Psalm, we are to testify to His favors and kindness in our lives.
We’re to hold fast to the promise—that if we have died with Christ, we shall also live, that if we lose our lives for His sake, we shall find our reward, and walk forever in His countenance.
Reflection by John Kavanaugh, SJ (edited for length):

Those who find their life will lose it
 (Matthew 10:39).
In Matthew's account, Jesus tells us not to love our family members more than we love him. This text illuminates, I believe, the rather troubling formulation found in chapter 14 of Luke. Luke has it this way: “If you come to me without hating father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and your own life too, you cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). Although the word translated “hate” in Luke is closer to the original Aramaic, John L. McKenzie reminded us that Aramaic actually had no words for “love more than.” Thus, the comparative softening of Matthew's “loving more than” is a fair alternative. It also provides an insight into the nature of human loves.

In scripture passages dealing with the claims human relations make upon us, at least two dangers are suggested. 

The First danger: 
The beloved can become more important to us than God. 
The Second danger:  
Such love can become possessive.

If the totality of our love is exhausted by any created thing or person, then that “loved one”must become the anchor of our being, our purpose and fulfillment, our security and final hope. Sooner or later such a total object of our love becomes our idol, a false god.

But God must always be “more than” any creature of earth. If we turn a human person into a god, either that person will eventually possess us, or we will try to possess and use the fabricated god as an idol.

Love-idols are functions of a craving inadequacy.
Psychologically this paradox makes sense, although not to the person under the spell of idolatry. If we say to another, “You're my everything; you're my meaning; I am nothing without you,” then what is left of us to give that person? Why would he or she even be bothered with us, if we are nothing without them?

Thus our love shatters because we are shrunk by the idolized creature without whom we would be nothing. Oddly enough, we also shrink the beloved; for there is a strategy in counterfeit love, always doomed to failure, which seeks control by investing all our attention. Parents thus suffocate the child who becomes their “everything.” Love-idols are functions of a craving inadequacy; but when they fail as our ”rock” or “security,” we come to hate them for betraying our expectations.

The same paradox applies to the way we love ourselves. If we make ourselves the absolute goal of our seeking, we bring ruin upon ourselves. Only when we die to such narcissistic illusions can we be fulfilled. Only when we take up the cross of true love—“laying down our lives,” sharing ourselves freely with our family and friends, not demanding that they be our gods or we be theirs—do we find ourselves.

If neither I nor you are God, but only God is God, then we may love each other freely, nonpossessively, and without jealousy. There is no question of domination or control. Then we know the greatest gift God has given us: the capacity to bestow our lives freely in covenants and promises to our dear ones, who even in eternity are loved in God.

  “Whoever welcomes you, welcomes me and the one who sent me,” Jesus said. In this life and the next, when we so welcome each other, we truly love the God who dwells in us and yet is not reduced to us.

John Kavanaugh, SJ

A wonderful bite size "take-away" on the Gospel:
~~> Choosing life with Christ means that every relationship we have must be understood from a new perspective.  (Loyola Press)
Scott Hahn
John Kavanaugh, SJ 
http://www.catholicdoors.com/homilies/  Did not use this site - I just found it. This week's homily is very "works oriented" and the wording seems careless to me . . . .  hmmmm?


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