Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Catholic Reflections 613 : Homily Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year A. - Sunday, July 2, 2017

Homily Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year A.  - Sunday, July 2, 2017


       First Reading: 2 Kings 4:8-11. 14-16
       Psalm: Ps 88:2-3. 16-19
       Second Reading: Romans 6:3-4. 8-11
       Gospel: Matthew 10:37-42
Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year A.  - Sunday, July 2, 2017 by clicking this link here:   https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-13th-ordinary-a
There is something very beautiful and central about the readings this weekend.They speak of the "cost" of discipleship. A very big difference when we follow Christ and "die to sin" - We die with Christ so that we can rise to newness of life, as the readings say.

It reminds us that when we become followers of Christ, it really does change our priorities. We "die" to selfishness and live to "generosity"  -   And, although we know that there is indeed a cost to following Christ, we do not keep a ledger - we don't count the cost. Because we follow Jesus' ways, we can be opposed by others who feel threatened by Christ's values.  We can be rejected by others who are challenged by the Gospel.  We must be prepared for the fact that we may lose earthly "things" because of our discipleship and be put at a material disadvantage in terms of material priorities. Still, we are greatly encouraged to know that we are living something greater - life with and in Christ!  

I think of that wonderful generosity of that lady in the first reading. This lady just wanted to help a holy man, a servant of God, and she supported him in his holy work. She did it unselfishly, without expecting anything back, but because she and her husband had been so kind, they were blessed in ways they could never have imagined or expected. 

I was reading a reflection by the Jesuit commentator, Mark Link, and he was speaking about this Gospel message of "taking up one's cross and following Christ"  -  I must say, that at times I have said to the Lord,  "Look, Lord, I will follow you and I will keep your message and values and proclaim it...  but this "taking up the cross"  and "suffering" thing....  that part!...  can we talk about that...   maybe re-negotiate it ...   I find that difficult!   "   -  I think most people baulk at the idea that there will be pain, loss and suffering in life and in our decision to follow Christ's ways.....   

Even Our Lord hesitated at the enormousness of the cross..  at the garden of Gethsemane he prayed that this cup of suffering would be taken from him...  but then added (wonderfully) but not my will be done, but yours!   Nobody rushes towards suffering or prefers a cross.   The mystery of the cross is a difficult but central reality in the life of Christ and of us all.....  And in life, there are many little crosses as we journey along our path.........

Mark Link tells a story of a movie he once saw called "American Anthem"  -  it shows a young man who is having great difficulties coming to terms with the loss of a limb in an accident.  The man falls into a deep depression and stays in his room, with curtains drawn, not speaking to others, - passing his time in darkness....       he then contrasts this scene with another incident reported by a man called Robert Bruce... who recounted the day he was walking down a crowded street -  He heard the voice of someone singing joyfully.....and when he located the source of this uplifting singing.....He could not believe his eyes.... it was a man without legs, pushing himself along in a wheelchair, and singing joyfully and beautifully at the top of his voice....//  it is a reminder  that one person's rejection of a cross brought sadness, whilst another person's acceptance of a cross was the source of peace and joy.  This is not at all an easy message.  This is something that Our Lord not only taught us about, but he also lived this message so wonderfully.

There are crosses in our lives that we will surely find very difficult to accept or to carry.

Can we turn to the Lord and allow his grace to help us carry these burdens...   

Helen Keller...   the American author, political activist, and lecturer, who was both deaf and blind.  She said the most extraordinary thing once....It is challenging and difficult to comprehend this message but it is the message of the Cross.......The following are her words and this is what she said motivated her life....."I thank God for my disabilities. For through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God!"     -    WOW.   What an amazing outlook...... one that transformed everything she did and said.   Because of... and despite many major obstacles in life, she did not let stop her.

May the Lord and his grace help us in our crosses and struggles...   May the Lord pass by the desert spaces and make them into a place of life-giving waters.......   and may we trust in the Lord when he bids us   ..  come to me all you who labour and are heavily burdened... and I will give you rest.....    learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and I will give rest for your souls..."...
Fr Paul W. Kelly

Mark Link S.J.  Vision 2000: Praying Scripture in a Contemporary Way: A Cycle. 

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Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year A.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
You were sent to heal the contrite of heart. Lord, have mercy.// You came to call sinners: Christ, have mercy. //You are seated at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us: Lord, have mercy.//
Memorial Acclamation

Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.

Preparation of the Gifts
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.
        Blessed be God forever.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands, it will become our spiritual drink.
        Blessed be God forever.
Pray, brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God,
the almighty Father.
     May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.

Sundays Ordinary III p.30

Euch Prayer Three p.58

Go forth, the Mass is ended.

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