Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020:Bulletin Column, Art, Prayers of the Faithful

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August 30, 2020

Dear Followers of The Christ,

Today’s gospel, MT 16: 21-27, challenges us in faith and action. “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

In these past months, we have witnessed many people extend their lives in order to help others. Healthcare workers give their time, expertise, and energy in order to help people in emergency rooms and hospitals in these COVID-19 days. We see parents stretch their budgets and time to take care of children at home while schools are closed. We have seen many people go way beyond their normal tasks to take care of the wellbeing of many other people. They lose their control over what is the norm in order to help other people survive in these very complicated months.

These are examples of extending our lives to people in need.  God’s love invites us to live for other people. Love really does change things. We do not help others because it makes us look good. We give ourselves to others because this is the correct thing to do. Christ’s challenge to live for others is at the core of our faith. The Paschal Mystery, the passion, death and resurrection of Christ reveals to us that letting go and learning to live in him and serving our neighbor is at the heart of the Christian life.

Our faith molds us into service, into a life of self-giving and not self-hoarding. Congressman John Lewis died last month. When he peacefully demonstrated by walking across the Edmond Pettus Bridge in 1965, John carried a backpack. He carried in the backpack two books because he thought he might be arrested. The books would accompany him in jail. Instead, he was in the hospital because he was beaten. One of the books was written by Fr. Thomas Merton, a Roman Catholic monk at Gethsemane. The focus of his demonstration and non-violent protest was faith. John said that only love can do this, only love can change things. John Lewis was a great example of someone of faith learning how to lose his life for the benefit of others. John trusted in the love and in the cross of Christ Jesus.

We have forgotten how much faith was at the heart of change, at the heart of desiring racial equality and respect for people. For example, Martin Luther King was a man of deep faith. He was a great orator because he was first a preacher. Faith changes life and changes how we view people who are different from ourselves. We give our lives in order to save other people. When we have the genuine experience of Christ’s love, then that love compels us into the world to help create a better place in which to live. We pass on to the next generation this love, a tender realization that life has meaning and purpose.

We learn to give what we have for the benefit of other people. Our lives of faith are not meant to be hoarded, but we are called to live in real freedom for the benefit of others. Somewhere we have abandoned love, we have abandoned true faith that works for the common good. Faith is far more than for our personal redemption. Our faith imitates the life of Christ Jesus and compels us into a prophetic voice and action in the world.

God give you peace,

Fr. Ron

 

 

Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 30, 2020

Let us pray for those who carry the cross of burden, of oppression, and hopelessness, that faith in Christ Jesus may bring justice to every person under heaven.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for the wearied and the lost, that the Heart of Christ may heal and sanctify our lives wounded by violence.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for all who thirst for holiness and peace, that the Holy Spirit may direct our lives into concord and harmony within the Catholic Church.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray that we may change our language of hatred into healings words of unity and hope among our families and in our communities.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for those who are bored by life, that the Holy Spirit may guide every heart into wisdom and work for the common good.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for those wearied by grief and loss, that we may remember our dead with courage and fond memories. In this Mass…

We pray to the Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020:Bulletin Column, Art, Prayers of the Faithful

  1. Fr. Ron:

    I haven’t talked to you for a long time, but wanted to say that I liked your post today, and have missed your talks from years ago at St Andre Bessette. You were very helpful to me when I was escaping the corporate real estate world, and your homilies and other encouragements helped me move on.

    Still a work in progress, and today’s gospel is especially challenging. Hoping to keep moving in that direction though; at least one step at a time.

    Thanks again for your ongoing work. God bless you, and hope to cross paths with you again some day.

    Take care,

    Your (old) fan,

    Tom

    Sent from my iPhone Tom Davies Portland, OR 503 312-4545

    >

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