Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Tuesday of the Twenty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Hildegard of Bingen, Doctor of the Church, Sybil of the Rhine (1098-1179)
Saint Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church (1542-1621)

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 3:7-13
Mass: 1 Tm 3:1-13; Resp Ps 101; Lk 7:11-17

I will walk with blameless heart.

We are presented with a variety of ways to walk with blameless heart in today's Word proclaimed. First, in Paul's letter to Timothy. There, Paul lists the qualifications for different ministers in the Church, both men and women. We can all walk with blameless heart by being "irreproachable, temperate, self-controlled, decent, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle, not contentious, not a lover of money." We can manage our affairs with prudence and foresight, be "dignified, not deceitful, not addicted to drink, not greedy for sordid gain, and hold fast to the mystery of faith with a clear conscience." And if those aren't enough ways we can avoid being slanderous, and be "temperate and faithful in everything."

In the Gospel, when Jesus saw the widow of Nain grieving over the death of her only son, Jesus was moved with pity for her. Other translations will say that Jesus was moved with compassion. It is important to note Pope Francis's explanation of compassion preached this morning at Casa Santa Marta. As reported by Linda Bordoni on Vatican News, the Holy Father pointed out that the evangelist does not say that Jesus had compassion, but that Jesus was moved with compassion, "as if he had been overwhelmed by the sentiment." Pope Francis called compassion "the lens" that the Lord sees and understands the reality of the widow. "Compassion", said the Holy Father, "allows you to see reality; compassion is like the lens of the heart: it allows us to take in and understand the true dimensions. In the Gospel, Jesus is often moved with compassion. And compassion is also the language of God." So, another way to walk with blameless heart is to be moved with compassion, for as the Pontiff noted: "Compassion takes us along the path to true justice. We must always return what rightfully belongs to someone else, and this always saves us from selfishness, from indifference, from our own closure." Pope Francis concluded by praying that the Lord will have compassion for each of us. Why? "We need it."

"The Lord was moved with compassion" (Lk 7:13). Our God is a God of compassion. Compassion is the weakness of God, but also His strength.
(Pope Francis, Homily, Twitter, September 17, 2019)

We celebrate two Doctors of the Church today. May God be praised!


Today's photo: Lake Tahoe, compliments of Blister Sisters Hiking Club.

© Gertrude Feick 2019

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