Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020: Bulletin Art, Column, Prayers of the Faithful

D9057534-1892-4052-8CDF-300257D1ACEC

CLICK HERE TO read complete bulletin 

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 5, 2020

Dear Followers of the Christ,

The gospel today is a deep well of love. Matthew 11:25-30 is an invitation to rest in the full embrace of Christ Jesus. The life that Jesus promises is revealed not to the cleaver and wise, but to the innocent and the lost. The life that Jesus offers us is not earthly power or unwieldy authority. His life is rooted in an abiding love for those who are weak in the view of society. This life is completely different from a gospel of prosperity or riches. Jesus’s life within us is not about our accumulation of possessions and earthly grandeur, but in an experience of humility and trust in God.

Our life in God is often hidden before our eyes. Our human heart is usually the last place we look for such authority and wisdom. Our lives bear the mystery of Christ. Our lives offer hope that enable us to give witness to Christ in ways in which we least expect. If we want to find the real message of Christ, then we should look within our hearts. I suspect for many of us, that look will take years in order to sort through all the obstacles we find there. We need to sort through all of the mystery in our human judgements, selfish behaviors and false claims. Our hearts are a convoluted map and confusing place. Sometimes we are last ones to know what God is actually doing to love us, to change us into his own image here on earth.

Jesus invites us into his life, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened.” Jesus desires us and wants to heal us in ways we least expect. We may not trust such an invitation if we have a history of abuse or a history of ongoing personal pain or weariness. We may think that we are not good enough in God’s eyes or we may just feel unworthy to the core of our being. Sometimes the old tapes of how we view ourselves continue when we hear this invitation.

Often, we simply do not want to change. We can remain in the old patterns of behavior for decades because that is the only way we think we can survive. Unworthiness can become a security blanket. Negative thoughts can become our companion when we wake up in the morning and then we may take them to bed with us every night. Only through genuine prayer can we learn to shut off those tapes and listen, not to our unworthiness, but to the miraculous invitation of Jesus in our lives to be set free.

So how can you accept such an invitation of Jesus? How can we as a Church and society grow closer to the one who transforms our lives? These questions are the work of personal prayer, attending Eucharist, and learning how to serve people. God can create empathy in every human heart.  We then learn even more that God’s love is for us and not just for a certain few. Creating empathy for people will help us examine this text of mercy, when we realize that we are not in charge of the world or of people around us. Suffering can change everything. Compassion is the key that can unlock our stubborn hearts and help us explore who Jesus is and who we are in his sight.

“For I am meek and humble of heart.” I don’t know about you, but I take great consolation in this statement from Jesus. In these confusing days of COVID-19 and in the wake of reflecting on our profound racism in our society, I ache to find the healing balm of God. In God, we find healing for our hurts and hope in our grief. Our task is to live the message we proclaim. This is the most difficult aspect of faith, to interpret Jesus in our lives and to be converted by his grace. To live and act in the tenderness of Christ Jesus takes a lifetime. I pray that we can all take Jesus seriously and take him at his word.  His heart is a welcoming place, a healing shelter and a humble miracle where we will all find what we truly need and desire.

God give you peace,

Fr. Ron

 

Prayers of the Faithful

Let us pray for our Universal Church across every land and nation. That we may learn a new humility among people who are different from ourselves. May love be our tool for justice and for peace.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for a humble and peaceful heart. That our lives may point to Jesus, our source of hope, to bridge differences among the lost and powerful.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for the wise and the learned. That we all learn to listen to the voice of God who whispers hope in our daily lives, within our hearts, and among people hurting by life.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for unity and compassion among people in our nation. That we may celebrate our nation’s integrity and past without hatred and division today.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for the sick and suffering. That people humbled by illness and despair may be lifted up by our common heritage of justice for all people.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for our sisters and brothers who have died and for all who grieve. In this Mass we pray for…

We pray to the Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s