July 29 - Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: To place in the hands of Jesus

July 29th, 2018

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First Reading  2 Kings 4:42-44

Elisha the prophet feeds 100 people with 20 barley loaves.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 145:10-11,15-16,17-18

The Lord feeds his people and answers their needs.

 

Second Reading  Ephesians 4:1-6

The Ephesians are encouraged to live the unity of their Baptism.

 

Gospel Reading John 6:1-15

 

 

Today’s readings invite us to look into our hearts and to ask ourselves this question: How much of our lives and our resources are we currently placing in the hands of Jesus to do with as he wishes? Like the boy in today’s Gospel who gave Jesus the little he had we too are called to place what we have in His hands: our time, our talent, our prayers, our sacrifices, our resources and He will use in a way that will exceed our greatest expectations. He will multiply them beyond anything we dreamed of, Just as he did the boy’s loaves and fish. Little is always much in the hands of the Lord. 

July 22 - Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Work and Prayer

July 19th, 2018

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First Reading  Jeremiah 23:1-6

The Lord promises to shepherd his people Israel.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 23:1-3,3-4,5,6

The Lord is our shepherd.

 

Second Reading  Ephesians 2:13-18

Christ has reconciled us with God and united us in peace.

 

Gospel Reading Mark 6:30-34

 

In the Gospel we see those who were “sent” returning, after their success, full of their own importance. Instead of recognizing that their success depended entirely upon the one who “sent” them. They have been caught up in the excitement of their missionary success and they have lost their perspective. So the Lord invites them to a “quiet place” just to “rest” and be him. Behind the quiet place are the words of the Psalm: “he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; He restores my soul” (Ps 23:1-3). There is a practical message here for each one of us. It is simply this: when heavy burden threatens to crush us, we should do what Jesus did. We should turn to God in prayer. He taught them to do what he did: to balance action and contemplation, to go from contact with people to secret and regenerating dialogue with oneself and with God. This need for times of solitude and listening is posed in a special way to those who proclaim the Gospel and to animators of the Christian community, who must stay constantly in contact with the source of the Word that they must transmit to their brothers.

July15 - Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Called and Sent

July 14th, 2018

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First Reading   Amos 7:12-15

The prophet Amos is sent from Bethel.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 85:9-10,11-12,13-14

A prayer for the Lord's salvation

 

Second Reading  Ephesians 1:3-14 ( shorter form Ephesians 1:3-10)

Paul teaches that we were chosen for Christ before the creation of the world.

 

Gospel Reading Mark 6:7-13

 

We see in the first reading how Amos was chosen from the South to go to the North to be the “mouth piece of God”. In the same way Jesus “summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs” (Mk 6:7). One important aspect of the three-year earthly ministry of Jesus was that he formed a community of disciples. All the gospels mention the Twelve apostles, and the gospel of Luke even talks about a larger community of 72 others (Lk 10:1). We have been brought to life with a purpose. We are “called” in order to be “sent out” for a special mission which we need to discover as we mature in our faith. Blessed John Henry Newman says that “God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another”. Let us ask God’s grace to discover our mission. 

July 8 - Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: To reject and to be rejected

July 6th, 2018

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First Reading  Ezekiel 2:2-5

The Lord sends the prophet Ezekiel to the Israelites.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 123:1-2,3-4

A prayer to God for mercy

 

Second Reading  2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Paul bears insults and weakness for the sake of Christ.

 

Gospel Reading Mark 6:1-6

 

Shortly after He began His public ministry, Jesus went back to His hometown of Nazareth but it was far from being a happy homecoming. They gave Him the cold shoulder and He ended up leaving Nazareth never to return. Why? It was because they could not believe that God could come in ordinary ways. When God came in human flesh they could not accept him because that story was ‘too good to be true”. Evasion and avoidance have not been limited to the people of Jesus’ own hometown. Jesus might pass without my realizing it and He might pass without my being ready to welcome Him. Today’s Gospel also tells us another point: that those who want to serve must be ready to go through the experience of rejection because “we don’t grow when things are easy but we grow when we face challengers”. Something positive always comes out of something negative. Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze us but they're supposed to help you discover who you are. 

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