- What are you going to do? (A bit of humor… [the smiling cat])
- Servants of God: Meet the Two Possible Saints on the USCCB Agenda (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Helpful Hints for Life)
We recently celebrated the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Here are some of its origins and rich blessings:
"And He showed me that it was His great desire of being loved by men and of withdrawing them from the path of ruin into which Satan hurls such crowds of them, that made Him form the design of manifesting His Heart to men, with all the treasures of love, of mercy, of grace, of sanctification and salvation which it contains, in order that those who desire to render Him and procure for Him all the honor and love possible, might themselves be abundantly enriched with those divine treasures of which this Heart is the source.”
These words were spoken by Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque on December 27, 1673, as He appeared to her to make known in a clearer way His immense love of humanity and his desire to save them. Jesus made known to her and through her to all of humanity His Sacred Heart. Her own religious superior and fellow nuns were skeptical, but through a cure of a bad illness she had many came to believe. When her revelations were submitted to theologians for analysis, they were dismissed as delusions. Jesus sent Blessed Claude de la Colombiere, a holy and experienced Jesuit Priest, as a confessor to the nuns. Seeing the work of the Lord in St. Margaret Mary he studied, submitted, and distributed the revelations given by Jesus. As Devotion to the Sacred Heart spread, Pope Clement XIII officially recognized it and approved the Devotion in 1765.
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque further wrote:
“He should be honored under the figure of this Heart of flesh, and its image should be exposed...He promised me that wherever this image should be exposed with a view to showing it special honor, He would pour forth His blessings and graces. This devotion was the last effort of His love that He would grant to men in these latter ages, in order to withdraw them from the empire of Satan which He desired to destroy, and thus to introduce them into the sweet liberty of the rule of His love, which He wished to restore in the hearts of all those who should embrace this devotion."..... "The devotion is so pleasing to Him that He can refuse nothing to those who practice it."
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This coming Sunday is the 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time. The readings can be found at: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/062622.cfm
P.S.S. Sunday Readings with reflections and questions can be found at end of e-weekly.
- the physical Heart of Christ which also symbolizes the unfathomable love Jesus has for the Father and all humanity
[The physical Heart of Christ as the principal sign and symbol of the threefold love with which he loves his eternal Father and all mankind. It is, therefore, a symbol of the divine love he shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit but that he, the Word made flesh, alone manifests through a weak and perishable body, since "in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:9). It is, besides, the symbol of that burning love which, infused into his soul, enriches the human will of Christ and enlightens and governs its acts by the most perfect knowledge derived both from the beatific vision and that which is directly infused. And finally it is the symbol also of sensible love, since the body of Christ possesses full powers of feeling and perception, in fact more so than any other human body (Pope Pius XII, Haurietis Aquas, II, 55-57).]
Of the many promises Our Lord Jesus Christ did reveal to Saint Margaret Mary in favor of souls devoted to His Sacred Heart the principal ones are as follows:
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
5. I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
9. I will bless those places wherein the image of
My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall
have their names eternally written in my Heart.
12. In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.
The U.S. bishops’ conference has set up a website to help prepare, live, heal, and bring your Marriage to heaven. Full of resources, tools, and encouraging stories. Is this what God wants to be of help to you?
Students take part in a Eucharistic procession led by St. John XXIII Catholic Parish across Colorado State University. (photo: Rachel Moore / Unsplash)
The Revival comes at a time of particular fragmentation in the life of the Church and when multiple indicators suggest that Eucharistic belief and practice have been greatly diminished. Despite these factors, the Eucharistic Revival has been met with skepticism from some corners of the Church, with some expressing concern about the associated cost, while others question whether renewal around Eucharistic belief and practice is even needed.
Tim O’Malley is a sacramental theologian and the director of education at Notre Dame’s McGrath Institute for Church Life. O’Malley, the author of Real Presence: What Does It Mean and Why Does It Matter and Becoming a Eucharistic People, serves on the Eucharistic Revival’s executive team. He spoke to the Register about why the Revival matters and what he hopes it can accomplish.
You were involved in the very early stages of envisioning the Eucharistic Revival. What were some key principles that shaped its development?
Our initial sense was, if you’re going to do something that’s renewing faith in the Eucharist, you don’t just want it to just be an online course in the “Doctrine of the Real Presence.” You need something more intense than that, and you really need something closely linked to a reclamation of the Church’s identity primarily as Eucharistic rather than bureaucratic, which, I think, is the great American heresy and temptation relative to the Church.
If the Revival is to be effective, it won’t just be like a program that the USCCB sends out for local units to use or develop. It has to be received at a local level. So, for instance, our Institute [for Church Life] has focused on how to form what we’re calling a “Eucharistic culture” in the parish, which isn’t simply reducible to teaching the doctrine of the Real Presence, even if it involves that.
There’s a conception out there that the Eucharistic Revival is in some way a response to political dynamics, namely a pro-abortion Catholic president being elected in November 2019, and that it’s politically motivated. When did the process actually begin?
The discussions started with Bishop Robert Barron, then the head of the USCCB’s committee for evangelization, and his own concern over how an August 2019 Pew report indicated that only 30% of U.S. Catholics believe in the Real Presence. That was the impetus toward revival. And then when Bishop Andrew Cozzens succeeded him as the committee head, he inherited and carried forward the project. So I must say, in my own conversations leading up to it, I don’t think we talked about politics, or at least politicians, even once. There’s no sense that that’s the origin of it.
You brought up the Pew study. Some have criticized its language as imprecise, and therefore what it says about Eucharistic belief among U.S. Catholics as not accurate. I know the Church Life Institute is working with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate to conduct a more in-depth and accurate survey on Americans' Eucharistic beliefs and practices, and we’re looking forward to the results of that. But polls aside, in your work as a theologian, very much focused on the life and practice of the Church in America, does the reality on the ground support the need for a Eucharistic Revival?
I have no doubt that a renewal of the Church is needed. Whether the Pew report is accurate or not? I think that’s more of an intellectual question than a pastoral question. And bishops know that a renewal of the Church to Eucharistic devotion and worship is needed.
This is especially the case after COVID, where we have had a massive drop in attendance at the Eucharist. There’s a lot of people who left. There’s the weirdness of the online Mass that continues. So, yes, there’s a sense that we don’t really know what we’re doing at Mass.
I think the Church is in a sort of Eucharistic crisis. There is a fundamental fragmentation of communion in the Church. We see it among the bishops. We see it in how dioceses and parishes are responding to questions linked to the Latin Mass; or in responses to COVID, where people stood, and the kind of “fights” that happened. There’s a lot of fragmentation in the Church. There’s a lot of suspicion within the Church. There are problems, and we’re looking for people to scapegoat.
And all we have are “pastoral strategies,” which tend to be reduced to strategic planning and business plans. And I’m not against any of those things, but it easily reduces the Church to a bureaucracy. What’s lost in all of this is the Church as communion — a communion that the Church doesn’t assemble according to herself. She didn’t make it. It comes as a gift from the side of Christ. And remembering the reason for the Church, this sort of Eucharistic mystery, the self-giving love of Christ poured out on the cross, the Blood of the Lamb, is probably not a bad thing right now, at a moment when we need healing. And so this is a moment for a missionary Eucharistic renewal of the Church.
You’re speaking of the Eucharist as something far more fundamental to the identity and reality of the Church than, say, a devotion to the Blessed Sacrament in the adoration chapel.
By describing the Eucharist as the “source and summit of our faith,” the Second Vatican Council was really reclaiming the Eucharist as the enactment of the deepest identity of the Church. And “People of God” isn’t some democratic credo, it’s a Eucharistic image. It’s the people convoked in the desert and fed with manna from above. They’ve become a people not through their own ingenuity, but through the sacrificial love of God poured out.
And, of course, when the Church is called the new People of God, this is what it means. It’s the convoking of all members of the world, not around an ideology or not around even a strategic plan, but around the Eucharistic love of Christ.
The Eucharist is not just an isolated doctrine. It’s a doctrine really connected to the very existence of what the Church is in the first place.
Relatedly, some have seen the Eucharistic Revival as disconnected from our duty to address injustices in our society. Along the lines of what you were just talking about, how do you see being a Eucharistic people as actually connected to those kinds of social concerns?
Benedict XVI’s Sacrament of Charity was very clear that the Eucharist is not just an event where the pious faithful gathered together to prove themselves as pious and then depart and leave. He is so clear throughout his magisterium that the Eucharist transforms the concrete mode of human life so that it becomes an offering to the neighbor. Or, as he said in, God Is Love: a Eucharist that does not result in the concrete practice of charity is intrinsically fragmented.
Justice is linked much more closely to solidarity and the common good, but where do we, as Christians, learn solidarity? What does Jesus reveal about it? Well, it’s communion. God’s total communion with men and women is the first act of solidarity. This is celebrated in the Eucharistic mystery of the Church.
And so the virtue we need to learn most of all is solidarity, as John Paul II noted, which isn’t like a big “I feel you, bro,” but a profound commitment to the flourishing of the neighbor out of the common good. And the Eucharist, of course, is the heart. We learn this profound act of solidarity in the Church through this Eucharistic rite, where we learn that our neighbor is, in fact, as St. Thomas notes, a member of this body of believers, this mixed bag in which we are united to one another. And your good is my good, and my good is your good. This is the foretaste of the Eucharistic life, and that’s the Eucharistic theology of the Church. That’s the res tantum or “final reality” that Eucharistic reality points towards.
And so the Church has to live out this mystery concretely in the parish. For example, if a parish says, we love adoration, but we don’t care about racism, then you’ve already misunderstood the Eucharistic mystery.
So in that kind of case, we might be objectively receiving the Eucharist, but it’s not fully received.
It’s not received fruitfully, so it doesn’t bear fruit. So I think a Eucharistic Revival isn’t going to lead to a bunch of people just going to their parish and adoring Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and ending it there. The retreat the “Eucharistic Preachers” already had in urban Chicago, that’s a great example of being in communion with others. That’s my hope for the Revival.
In your book Becoming a Eucharistic People, you talk about four facets of Eucharistic parish culture: celebrating the liturgy with joyful reverence; formation that engages the mind, will and imagination; a rich life of popular piety and the vibrancy of the domestic Church; and the commitment to solidarity with our neighbor. How do you see the Eucharistic Revival as contributing to building up those different dimensions?
First of all, the Eucharistic Revival has to begin with the celebration of the liturgy itself. If people have a lack of Eucharistic faith, one of the reasons is because it’s not very clear that the Eucharist is very important to what we’re doing in the parish. It’s done poorly; it’s not well prayed. The music isn’t always very good; the architecture is kind of junky. Silence has been removed. There’s just not the sort of sense that this is real.
So part of the Revival’s focus is on the ars celebrandi, or the art of celebration. How does the priest actually experience renewal so that he can pray the Eucharistic Prayer well? It’s not just a question of having the right postures or gestures, but, actually, how do you have a spiritual disposition where you’re praying these words instead of announcing them like you’re at a baseball game? You have to have a profoundly deep life of prayer.
For integral Eucharistic formation, our catechesis can’t just be giving information about the doctrine of Real Presence and what that means. It has to involve your memory and imagination. So what images are we initiating people into from Scripture? From the Tradition of the Church? Eucharistic catechesis has to involve a deeper understanding. People have to ask really big questions out of this mystery, and it has to change the way they live.
The Revival is creating resources to aid in this kind of deeper, imaginative formation, not just imparting a bunch of information. Our institute is developing a resource to help people do the same kind of spiritual reflection they’re doing with the Bible, but to do it with the Eucharistic Prayer. We’re setting it up so it engages as often as possible with imagery from Scripture, along with images of beautiful, famous altar pieces and Eucharistic sacred music. This forms the imagination and gives us new images by which to approach the Eucharistic mystery.
We also need to develop a popular Eucharistic Catholicism, so that the Mass isn’t the only Eucharistic experience we have. This is especially important in America, where it’s very easy to privatize our faith. Once Sunday is over, what do I do the rest of the week?
So, for example, we’re thinking a lot through processions. What does it mean to do a Eucharistic procession in a rural community around harvest time? What does it mean to do a Eucharistic procession through Santa Monica in Los Angeles? Or through parishes in St. Louis that have been fractured by racism? The procession has always been a way to sort of extend the Eucharistic mystery out into the rest of life.
We also want to help families to not just celebrate the Mass, but to celebrate the entire liturgical year as a family. Linked to that is work. How do you think about your work in light of a vocation to sanctify the world? One of the early 20th-century liturgical reformers, Josef Jungmann, emphasized the way that the liturgy was supposed to transform the life of the worker and the worker movements, because you come to recognize the link between what you’re doing at Mass and the work you’re doing as a carpenter or laborer; between the Church and the entire social order. This is something Virgil Michel, the founder of liturgical renewal in the U.S., realized when he visited Europe, and he began to communicate with people like Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton about how liturgical life was needed to renew the social order.
I think we severed this link. It seems like, after the Second Vatican Council, we’ve been so focused on “What direction is the priest facing?” that we’ve forgotten this other part. If we can reunite them, it creates spaces of evangelization and renewal outside of just Sunday Mass at the parish. For example, the Catholic Worker community in Portland, Oregon, is thinking about the relationship between liturgy and communion. And they’re working with Notre Dame Federal Credit Union to develop ways of doing sustainable banking and business practices that arise from this commitment to Catholic life. We’re offering a course on it called “Economy and Communion.”
Again, it seems like the Eucharistic practice and belief that you and the Revival are trying to promote has a kind of depth and breadth to it that goes beyond what we normally think about when we think about the Eucharist.
There’s a lot more to draw out here that has to be drawn out so that we don’t think of the liturgy as just something to excite people so they go out on mission, but that it’s actually our regular attendance at the Eucharist that inspires our economic practices and our social practices — and that a liturgy that is very reverent, what we might call “smells and bells,” is very closely linked to this social renewal.
You’ve already mentioned this, but religious practice in the U.S. tends to be very individualistic and privatized, and this can even affect how we relate to Christ in the Eucharist. How do you help people get to this kind of communal perspective you’re talking about?
One of the problems after the Second Vatican Council is that devotions, which are very personal and even emotive, got collapsed into the liturgy, which is supposed to be more sober and available for everyone to participate in. So we just add and add to the liturgy, because we lost a meaningful place in our lives for devotions.
Eucharistic adoration was revived after the Council, but the task is to integrate the two, Eucharistic liturgy and devotion, which still has not been done in a variety of contexts. The sacrifice of the Mass is the Church’s offering. Christ becomes present at the Mass not as an object, but as a Person who comes to offer that sacrifice and enable us to receive him, and thus offer the sacrifice of our lives in common. And Eucharistic adoration is an extension of the original gift, and it’s needed to extend that gift in all sorts of ways, but we still don’t know how to deal with the relationship between devotion and the formal liturgy of the Church.
What are you most looking forward to about the Revival?
It’s an interesting moment to think about charism in the Church. Rather than a top-down approach, where the bishops are saying, “This is the Eucharistic Revival; this has to be exactly like this,” if the Church is smart, it’s going to say, “This is the Eucharistic Revival: Go.” I think we could see a lot of new creative charism that could pop up out of this nationally.
People talk similarly about John Paul II’s visit to Denver for World Youth Day in 1993, that it was an event that generated a lot of new life in the Church.
I think the Revival can do that as long as we don’t think about the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis alone as the event. Events are different today because of things like YouTube and how they can close that distance. Instead, I think of the Revival as a process of helping people reclaim charism through the Eucharist: Are you participating in the consecration of the world back to the Father, and what are your particular ways of doing it?
Because I’m one of the only academics working on the Revival at the national level, I’ve been encouraging universities to think about what they’re going to do intellectually around the Eucharist. For instance, Benedictine College’s 2023 “Symposium on Transforming Culture” will focus on the Eucharist.
What’s your message to Catholics who aren’t onboard with the Eucharistic Revival or don’t know why they should participate in it?
I can understand why there are those who would be suspicious. If you spend enough time in the Church, then you know that these regular sort of “years of renewal” seem to pop up every year, and you’re looking at the price tag and you’re like, “Could we not be spending our money on something better than this?” I’m open to suspicion, and we have to be careful that when people are suspicious, we don’t just shut them down right away. So I would say, ask questions, to your bishop, to your pastor: “What is this? Why are we doing it? What’s happening?”
But in the long run, I think this is essential because we are still in this moment of receiving the Second Vatican Council. And the key to that reception is whether or not we understand the Eucharistic identity and mission of the Church. If the Church is going to be more than a bureaucracy or a cultural institution that once upon a time was important but is now losing its vigor, it’s going to be through the Eucharist. It’s not going to be through a six-day strategic planning retreat. It’s going to be through this. And so that’s why I’m excited about the Eucharistic Revival.
By RUSSELL CONTRERAS
This undated photo provided by the Palace of the Governors shows Sister Blandina Segale, who co-founded the first hospitals and schools in New Mexico and reportedly challenged Billy the Kid. The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is exploring sainthood for the Italian-born nun for her work with the poor, immigrants and Hispanics and Native Americans during the frontier days. (AP Photo/Palace of the Governors)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Archdiocese of Santa Fe announced Wednesday it is exploring sainthood for an Italian-born nun who challenged Billy the Kid, calmed angry mobs and helped open New Mexico territory hospitals and schools.
Archbishop Michael Sheehan said he has received permission from the Vatican to open the "Sainthood Cause" for Sister Blandina Segale, an educator and social worker who worked in Ohio, Colorado and New Mexico.
It's the first time in New Mexico's 400-year history with the Roman Catholic Church that a decree opening the cause of beatification and canonization has been declared, church officials said.
"There are other holy people who have worked here," said Allen Sanchez, president and CEO for CHI St. Joseph's Children in Albuquerque, a social service agency Segale founded. "But this would be a saint (who) started institutions in New Mexico that are still in operation."
Segale, a nun with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, came to Trinidad, Colorado, in 1877 to teach poor children and was later transferred to Santa Fe, where she co-founded public and Catholic schools. During her time in New Mexico, she worked with the poor, the sick and immigrants. She also advocated on behalf of Hispanics and Native Americans who were losing their land to swindlers.
Her encounters with Old West outlaws later became the stuff of legend and were the subject of an episode of the CBS series "Death Valley Days." The episode, called "The Fastest Nun in the West," focused on her efforts to save a man from a lynch mob.
But her encounters with Billy the Kid remain among her most popular and well-known Western frontier adventures.
According to one story, she received a tip that The Kid was coming to her town to scalp the four doctors who had refused to treat his friend's gunshot wound. Segale nursed the friend to health, and when Billy came to Trinidad, Colorado, to thank her, she asked him to abandon his violent plan. He agreed.
Another story says The Kid and his gang attempted to rob a covered wagon traveling on the frontier. But when the famous outlaw looked inside, he saw Segale.
"He just tipped his hat," said Sheehan, the archbishop. "And left."
Many of the tales she wrote in letters to her sister later became the book, "At the End of the Santa Fe Trail."
"She was just amazing," said Victoria Marie Forde of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. "It's tough to live up to her example."
Segale found St. Joseph's Hospital in Albuquerque before returning to Cincinnati in 1897 to start Santa Maria Institute, which served recent immigrants.
Her work resonates today, with poverty, immigration and child care still high-profile issues, Sanchez said.
Officials say it could take years — possibly a century — before Segale becomes a saint. The Vatican has to investigate her work and monitor for any related "miracles."
Those miracles could come in the form of healings, assistance to recent Central American immigrant children detained at the U.S. border or some other unexplained occurrences after devotees pray to her, Sanchez said.
"She's going to have to keep working," Sanchez said. "She's not done."
Pope Francis celebrating Mass at Santa Marta residence
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said God is like a gentle father who holds us by the hand and we need to become like a small child to have a dialogue with Him. This was the focus of his homily during the Mass he celebrated on Friday in the Santa Marta residence.
June 27th is the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Pope’s homily was a reflection on the nature of the love between God and his people. He described this feast as a celebration of God’s love in Jesus Christ.
“There are two aspects to this love. First, love is more about giving than receiving. Second, love is more about actions than words. When we say it’s more about giving than receiving, that’s because love communicates, it always communicates. And it’s received by the one who is loved. And when we say that it’s more about actions than words, that’s because love always generates life and makes us grow.”
Pope Francis said that in order to understand God’s love we need to become small like a child and what God seeks from us is a relationship like that between a father and child. God gives us a caress and tells us: I’m by your side.
“This is the tenderness of our Lord and of His love; this is what He tells us and this gives us the strength to be tender. But if we feel we’re strong, we’ll never experience those caresses from the Lord, those caresses from Him that are so wonderful. ‘Don’t be afraid, for I am with you and I’ll hold your hand’… These are all words spoken by the Lord that help us to understand that mysterious love He has for us. And when Jesus speaks about Himself, he says: ‘ I am meek and humble of heart.’ Even He, the Son of God, lowers himself to receive his Father’s love.”
Pope Francis concluded by homily by noting that God is always there in front of us, waiting for us and urges God to give us the grace to enter into the mysterious world of his love.
“When we arrive, He’s there. When we look for Him, He has already been looking for us. He is always in front of us, waiting to receive us in His heart, in His love. And these two things can help us to understand the mystery of God’s love for us. In order to communicate this, He needs us to be like small children, to lower ourselves. And at the same time, He needs our astonishment when we look for Him and find Him there, waiting for us."
" The priests, prudent cooperators of the episcopal college and its support and instrument, called to the service of the People of God, constitute, together with their bishop, a unique sacerdotal college (presbyterium) dedicated, it is, true to a variety of distinct duties. In each local assembly of the faithful they represent, in a certain sense, the bishop, with whom they are associated in all trust and generosity; in part they take upon themselves his duties and solicitude and in their daily toils discharge them." priests can exercise their ministry only in dependence on the bishop and in communion with him. The promise of obedience they make to the bishop at the moment of ordination and the kiss of peace from him at the end of the ordination liturgy mean that the bishop considers them his co-workers, his sons, his brothers and his friends, and that they in return owe him love and obedience.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1576
I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.
I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.
Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?
The sole purpose of a child's middle name, is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.
There was a very gracious lady who was mailing an old family Bible to her brother in another part of the country. "Is there anything breakable in here?" asked the postal clerk. "Only the Ten Commandments." answered the lady.
"Somebody has said there are only two kinds of people in the world.
There are those who wake up in the morning and say, "Good morning, Lord," and there are those who wake up in the morning and say, "Good Lord, it's morning."
A minister parked his car in a no-parking zone in a large city because he was short of time and couldn't find a space with a meter. Then he put a note under the windshield wiper that read: "I have circled the block 10 times. If I don't park here, I'll miss my appointment. Forgive us our trespasses." When he returned, he found a citation from a police officer along with this note "I've circled this block for 10 years. If I don't give you a ticket I'll lose my job. Lead us not into temptation."
While driving in Pennsylvania , a family caught up to an Amish carriage. The owner of the carriage obviously had a sense of humor, because attached to the back of the carriage was a hand printed sign...
"Energy efficient vehicle: Runs on oats and grass. Caution: Do not step in exhaust."
by St. Catherine of Siena
and the wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1411
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday, June 26th, 2022
The First Reading- 1 Kings 19:16B; 19-21
The LORD said to Elijah: "You shall anoint Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah, as prophet to succeed you." Elijah set out and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat, as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen; he was following the twelfth. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak over him. Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, "Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, and I will follow you." Elijah answered, "Go back! Have I done anything to you?" Elisha left him, and taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them; he used the plowing equipment for fuel to boil their flesh, and gave it to his people to eat. Then Elisha left and followed Elijah as his attendant.
In this week’s First Reading, Elijah’s disciple is allowed to kiss his parents goodbye before setting out to follow the prophet’s call. But we are called to follow one greater than Elijah, this week’s Liturgy wants us to know. In Baptism, we have put on the cloak of Christ, been called to the house of a new Father, been given a new family in the kingdom of God. We have been called to leave behind our past lives and never look back—to follow wherever He leads. Elijah was taken up in a whirlwind and his disciple was given a double portion of his spirit (see 2 Kings 2:9–15). Jesus too, the Gospel will remind us, was “taken up” (see Acts 1:2, 11, 22), and He gave us His Spirit to live by, to guide us in our journey in His kingdom.
Adults - We are called by Baptism to be missionary disciples, and our mission field is most often found in our daily lives. What does that mean in your life?
Teens - How do you live out your faith in day to day interactions?
Kids - How can you show others the love of Jesus?
Responsorial- Psalm 16: 1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
R.You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, "My Lord are you.
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot."
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
-We hear the voice of the One we follow in this week’s Psalm (see Acts 2:25–32; 13:35–37). He calls us to make His faith our own—to abide in confidence that He will not abandon us, that He will show us “the path to life,” leading us to the fullness of joy in His presence forever. What are some concrete ways you can take refuge in, or seek comfort from the Lord?
The Second Reading- Galatians 5:1, 13-18
Brothers and sisters: For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love. For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. But if you go on biting and devouring one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another. I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want. But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
This week’s Epistle tells us that the call of Jesus shatters the yoke of every servitude, sets us free from the rituals of the old Law, and shows us the Law’s fulfillment in the following of Jesus, in serving one another through love. What helps you resist temptation?
The Holy Gospel according to Luke 9:51-62
When the days for Jesus' being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?" Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village. As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus answered him, "Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head." And to another he said, "Follow me." But he replied, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father." But he answered him, "Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." And another said, "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home." To him Jesus said, "No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God."
Jesus’s call sets our hands to a new plow, a new task—to be His messengers, sent ahead to prepare all peoples to meet Him and enter into His Kingdom. Elijah called down fire to consume those who wouldn’t accept God (see 2 Kings 1:1–16). But we have a different Spirit with us. To live by His Spirit is to face opposition and rejection, as the Apostles do in this week’s Gospel. It can feel like an exile, with no lasting city (see Hebrews 13:14), no place in this world to lay our head or call home, but we know that, as the Body of Christ, we are all children of our heavenly Father, and are all family in Christ Jesus.
Adults - How can you carry the message of Jesus out into the world?
Teens - Do you make time for silence in your prayer life, to listen to God speak to you?
Kids - Say a special prayer for the whole, worldwide, Universal Church this week!
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! –“The feast If we only realized how reasonable God's demands are, and how every demand he makes on us is for our own benefit and not his, we would be a little more generous in our. response to his calls. He does not need us—we need him. We could slip in a few more short prayers during the day: we could find more time to take a true interest in the eternal and less in the temporal. We could manage to give a helping hand and a word of encouragement to a needy neighbor. Yes, all of us could do a lot more to show to Christ and to the world that we are following him gladly and honestly. We are not looking back while plowing our Christian furrow (Luke 9:62). -Excepted from The Sunday Readings, Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.