Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020: Bulletin Cover, Column, Prayers of the Faithful

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Dear Believers in the Christ,

God desires us. This simple sentence is so often ignored and even may be unfamiliar to many Christians. Many people have been educated to think that God has an iron fist, waiting to smite his people. I think many of us were told that in the second grade to make us sit up straight in our school desks or not to bully the weak on the playground. Actually, I think some people were told that just so a teacher or parent could maintain control.

From where ever our reluctance to believe God’s love came from, we do in fact belong at the center of his mercy and forgiveness. This is why Jesus was born into our world, for us to know first hand that we are not condemned. The Incarnation makes every human being and all flesh holy. Jesus aches for us to finally come to him with all the brokenness, pain and anxiety within us. He holds our hands when we are ill and sits with us when we are living in shame. Jesus desires us. His Father taught him well.

In Matthew 10: 37-42, Jesus tells us that any human relationship on earth cannot get in the way of his presence in our souls. He even says that we can’t love our mothers or fathers more than God. I wonder if he is going too far. His message is strong. However, it takes a direct message to cut through our earthly pride and what we think are solid plans. We are pretty stubborn when it comes to our hearts. It is difficult to see that God loves us when our lives do not turn out the way we think they should. In this case, Jesus says to the weary in order to find me, you must take up your cross and follow me.

To top it all off, Jesus says to us that we even need to lose our lives in order to find our lives. What he means is that our pride is an obstacle to real life. We must learn to surrender to such a mystery that is Jesus. His life within us is vital and real. It can topple walls of pride, addiction and hatred. We are born again in baptism and our second birth is not something we think about very often. However, from this second birth comes all the courage, strength and love we need. We are given the Holy Spirit to direct and guide our lives and futures. God within us teaches us how to surrender our pride and dismiss the notion that we live for only ourselves.

Jesus is trying to make this easy on us, but we seldom understand that he even desires the lonely, the anxious, the abandoned and the condemned. Jesus says that when we offer a drink of water to a little one, we will be given a ticket to heaven. When we get out of our own way and realize the dignity of another person’s life, we then are on the road to believing that God desires not only us, but also all people.

When we finally come to believe that God desires us, we understand that God heals our hearts and our wounds, our tears and our fears. This power of God will also help us get over our fear that other people are threats to us. God created all of humanity and wants us to live in unity and peace. We remain fearful of people who are different from ourselves because we have yet to believe that God desires all people.

God give you peace,

Fr. Ron Raab, CSC, Pastor

 

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Let us pray for our Church leaders. That they will speak out for the dignity of all people and become examples of hope for us all.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray to sustain the rich values of family life. Let every family live in God’s fidelity and reconciliation.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us live in humble awareness of our own need for God, and learn to take up our cross of hope, especially when we are most afraid.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray to speak up with prophetic voices for the benefit of people who are oppressed by society, and who struggle to make ends meet.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray to witness hope among the discouraged because of joblessness and uncertainty about the future in these days of COVID-19.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us set our grief in the hands of God and bear witness to the peace of heaven. We pray for our dead, and in this Mass…

We pray to the Lord.

 

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