Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Bulletin Column and Prayers of the Faithful

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Link to this week’s parish bulletin and my column

Prayers of the Faithful

Let us anoint one another with prayer in times that challenge our relationships, that fracture our families, and that create turmoil in our nation. May we experience divine healing in all we do and in all we serve.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us live our commitment in God and the Church with all of our hearts, our minds and our strength. May God’s love reveal peace to all people.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray to connect our faith with serving people in our world. May our love for God become manifest among God’s poor, among the stranger in need and for all who seek justice in our world.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pour oil into the wounds we create within our families and in all our relationships. May healing become the mission of the Church for all people.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us carry the burdens of people suffering with mental illness within our lives of prayer. May people experience the emotional healing they long for.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us walk with our neighbors who experience the death of people they love. May grief and loss be overcome with prayer and support. In this Mass…

 

 

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Prayers of the Faithful

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July 7, 2019

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Let us pray for missionaries and leaders within our Universal Church, that we may learn from gospel values and from the lives of people we serve.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ with simplicity and integrity. May we live what we proclaim and preach what we practice.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us open new perspectives within our lives so that we may serve people who are ill, those whose lives have not turned out as they had planned, and for all who seem lost in complexities and confusion.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray to bandage the feet of people who flee injustice. Let us break the silence of those who weep alone with words of comfort and protection. May we serve people who most need the basics of life.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for our families during these summer months of vacations and transitions. May we all find the beauty of life and the tranquility of nature.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for our beloved dead. In this Mass…

We pray to the Lord.

 

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: My bulletin column

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Please note: You can find our bulletin now online at our new website: www.sacredheartcos.org   Also, I am taking a break from my art for the bulletin covers for a few months. The covers are provided by LPI, our bulletin publisher. 

 

Dear Followers of Jesus,

In Luke 10:1-12, 17-20, we hear about the disciples being sent into the world. Jesus tells them that the harvest is abundant and yet the labors are few. We are to carry very little with us, just the essentials. We bring “peace” into every household.

The gospel today reflects the continuing mission of the Eucharist and the Church itself. The Mass gathers people in faith. We come back to the familiar four walls of our church build-ing to celebrate Eucharist and to share stories of our salvation history. However, there is an aspect of our Mass that is extremely important. Even the word, “Mass” comes from the word “dismissal.” Every Sunday we “gather,” but how are we “sent” into the world?

Jesus sends us into an uncertain world today just as he did with his disciples. We are to see with razor sharp vision the needs of other people. We are to hear with the ears of the Shepherd to listen to the needs of people. We are to be swift in action, discerning as a wise man. We are to enter the deep and confusing issues of our day and bring the peace, love and fulfillment of the Kingdom of Heaven.

We often get lost thinking that we need to hoard the truth of Jesus, holding tightly to the Church’s vision and grace for only ourselves, or living in a bubble of self-protection in the Church. The Church is not meant to become a museum. It is not meant for us to think that grace in the Church was just in the good ‘ole days. It cannot be stuck in the Middle Ages or in 1950. The Church is meant to flourish and be given away by us to those most in need.

We are to do what Jesus became for us. We are to comfort people in their sorrow because he rose from the dead. We are to feed people with the basics of life because he feeds us eve-ry Sunday. We are to heal the sick because we are healed in Christ’s love and presence. We are to shelter people because he has prepared a dwelling in heaven for each of us. The Kingdom of God has many facets and each of these under-standings about the Kingdom of Heaven must become how we serve people on this earth.

Jesus even challenges us that life here can really change. We can bring new perspectives about war, violence and threats in our midst. Our peace making can become a way of life if we humble ourselves in his Word and Eucharist. Peace is hard to come by within our hearts and minds. Peace is something that we work for but first we must become instruments of peace. How many Christians do you know who are truly at peace and who reveal peace in all of their encounters? We have work to do now.

Jesus sends us into the world after every Sunday Mass. How do we notice in our world if the Mass is taking action? It might very well be up to us to reveal such love, peace and hope for people here on earth.

Blessings,

Fr. Ron

 

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2019: My bulletin cover art and column

June 30, 2019 Bulletin Cover

Dear Believers,

The disciples in this gospel passage, Luke 9: 51-62, just can’t figure out what following Jesus really means. They are filled with pride and ego, thinking that if they follow him then they must keep the Samaritans away from them. Jesus is trying to invest in his new followers and they are missing the mark.

Jesus tells the disciples that there is no place for him to lay his head. In other words, nothing permanent is given the disciple. The disciple will not have certainty, false power or false pride. They must become people of love, people who follow Jesus’ commands. The disciples say they can pull it off, that they will follow him without reservation.

However, the disciples come up with many excuses not to follow Jesus. They must go and bury a relative. They ask to say goodbye to their families. In between the words, we can feel the hesitation. Here, the rubber meets the road. They realize that following Jesus means they risk much of what is familiar, ordinary and well established. They must learn to let go of all the attachments of their hearts and lives.

Now we have celebrated all the major feasts of Easter and Pentecost and beyond. The sacred liturgy invites us to put what we believe into practice. Yet, we find our lives and our faith much like the disciples. We are lukewarm in our following; we are reluctant to let go of what is comfortable in our lives. Worse yet, we are filled with many excuses.

Real conversion takes time. In fact, it takes a lifetime. To let go of our human attachments of power, pride and self-sufficiency, is a process that few people will enter into. Conversion does not mean only following Church rules. It means finding in our hearts the person of Christ Jesus who leads us into life, hope, love and service. This conversion process is radical. It changes our perspectives, our concerns and how we live our daily lives.

I invite you to consider this week all of the excuses you have for not following Jesus with more intention and with more purpose. Here are some excuses to consider: I don’t have time. I don’t know how to follow. I don’t know enough to follow. I don’t know enough about scripture. I am not interested in faith. I don’t get Jesus in the first place. Showing up to Mass is good enough. Faith is for prudes. My heart holds only my opinions. My faith and politics are good enough. I have to fold my socks.

Jesus is asking us to make room for him in our hearts in order to change the world. If we can give our lives to him, he will invite us to welcome the stranger, to offer solace to the frightened and listen to the discouraged. If we can learn to let go of our excuses to follow Jesus, he will show us a new path of kindness that will change our lives and those around us.

We live in times of violence and corruption and many of our youth are depressed and discouraged about life. We need to be radically transformed into people who hold hope within our hearts. We need Jesus today more than ever.

Peace,

Fr. Ron

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2019: Prayers of the Faithful

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June 30, 2019

Thirteen Sunday in Ordinary Time

Let us follow Christ Jesus into new lands where integrity shall lift up the Church and genuine faith shall sprout in the hearts of all believers.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us follow Christ as we let go of our excuses and discover for our own lives the richness of service and the beauty of justice for people who most need us.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us follow Christ Jesus when we are called to extend our hands in service and our hearts in compassion for the stranger and foreigner. May people in poverty convert our hearts toward mercy.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us follow Christ Jesus on paths of faithfulness as we invite others into faith and the Church. May our lives reflect goodness for the entire world.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us follow Christ Jesus as we put our hands on the plow and face into the direction of earthly peace, kindness within our family lives, and compassion toward our enemies.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us follow Christ Jesus even when we are most challenged by grief and despair. May our hearts express the tenderness of faith, and our efforts reflect God’s passion toward unity and wholeness. In this Mass we remember…

We pray to the Lord.