Sunday, July 25, 2021

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In today’s Gospel we hear the familiar story of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes.  John tells us the story of a mighty God who can do anything. God cannot fail.  One who takes the impossible and makes it possible.  In today’s Gospel passage of the feeding of the five thousand and the multiplication of the loaves and fish, we see that God blesses us abundantly in ways that we can only imagine.

One of the things that stands out for me in this passage is that fact that the young boy was willing to share his food without reservation.  This boy was willing and helped to provide for many.  The disciples were anxious, but Jesus had the matter well in hand. As Jesus made the five barley loaves and two fish more than enough to feed more than five thousand people, Jesus promises to provide for our needs. When we give our all to God, God can transform what we think is too small into that which can satisfy our hunger and thirst.  Our worries, our weakness, and our humanness are all transformed by the mighty hand of God.  Let us never be afraid to share our seemingly simple gifts with others as our loving God will transform them into great things.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat.  So, they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.  People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.  Mark 6: 30 – 34

In the book of the Prophet Isaiah we read, “Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call to Him while He is near.”  We are all called to seek the Lord, to turn our focus to Him, and follow Him and dedicate ourselves as His faithful disciples, and remember the love with which He has patiently guided us, and nurtured us all with generous love and dedication. As we heard in our Scripture passages today, the Lord has always loved us and showed us His kindness.

In today’s Gospel, we read the report of the return of the Twelve, who were sent by Jesus to preach repentance, heal the sick, and drive out demons. When the Twelve return, he invites them to come away from the crowds and rest. But the crowds will not give them peace. The crowds continue to approach them, and Mark reports that the disciples don’t even have time to eat. To get away, Jesus and his disciples board a boat in hopes of finding a deserted place. But the crowds notice this and follow. The crowds are so persistent that Jesus and his disciples cannot find a place to be alone. Mark’s Gospel tells us that Jesus is moved with pity and begins to teach the crowds.

We who are Jesus’ disciples today have also been sent to share the Gospel with others. Perhaps our commitment to following Jesus as his disciple leaves us feeling tired and overwhelmed. In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus affirm the importance of times of rest and renewal. Jesus wanted his disciples to come away and spend time alone with him. Let us remember to take time to rest so that we may be reenergized to follow Jesus’ call.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits.  He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick— no food, no sack, no money in their belts.  They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.  He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave.  Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.”   So they went off and preached repentance.  The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

If we are to be effective disciples of Christ, we must stay the course, trust the process, and follow all directives so that we, too, can be a healing presence in our world, as the first disciples were. Regardless of how irrational or illogical the facts may seem, the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit will always lead us home, wherever and whatever that may be. Thy will be done.  Mark 6: 7 -13

In today’s readings, we encounter Amos, who was called for a special purpose. Amos describes himself as a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores before the Lord instructed him to prophecy to the people of Israel.  In the second reading, St. Paul tells us that God the Father has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens; God chose us before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish.  The gospel reading shows that purpose in action as Jesus summons the twelve disciples and sends them out.

What are we called to?  Jesus gives us the instructions on what to take on the journey and promises to be with us always.  We have been commissioned by Jesus to spread the good news and to serve the needs of others.  Our world is deeply in need of healing and peace and we are called to do all we can to foster a world full of love and peace.

The readings this Sunday call each of us to listen, discern, and heed the way God is calling us individually. What will you do to answer that call?

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Happy 4th of July


The 4th of July (also known as Independence Day) is an American holiday celebrated on July 4th annually.  “Why do we celebrate the 4th of July? What does it mean?” Well, this day is incredibly significant in American history, as it marks the day the United States officially became its own nation. The Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4th, 1776—and thus, America was born. American citizens celebrate America’s birthday with festivals, parades, fireworks, barbecues, fireworks, sparklers, and other festive activities.

Many modern Independence Day traditions stem from America’s early independence celebrations. People would attend bonfires, concerts, and parades to celebrate their new nation. It was also common for the Declaration of Independence to be read aloud, followed by muskets and cannons firing. It’s safe to say the earliest Americans celebrated the 4th of July loudly and proudly.

The 4th of July is a holiday Americans hold near and dear to their hearts. It marks the day America became the country it is today—a country where people have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. On this day, we remember the United States’ fight for freedom and celebrate our country with friends, family, food, and fun. Happy birthday, USA!