Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Lectionary: 101

July 7, 2018

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 101

Reading 1 Ez 2:2-5

As the LORD spoke to me, the spirit entered into me
and set me on my feet,
and I heard the one who was speaking say to me:
Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites,
rebels who have rebelled against me;
they and their ancestors have revolted against me to this very day.
Hard of face and obstinate of heart
are they to whom I am sending you.
But you shall say to them: Thus says the LORD GOD!
And whether they heed or resist—for they are a rebellious house—
they shall know that a prophet has been among them.

-The role of the prophet is not about telling the future but about listening to God and telling those to whom he is sent what God desires them to know.  On July 25th, 1968 Pope Paul VI published a teaching on the dignity of human life and sexuality.  It was widely rejected by many yet by rejecting the truth he taught folks actually demonstrated the truth found in this Encyclical.   Dr. Janet Smith elaborates on this in the following link:

Responsorial Psalm Ps 123:1-2, 2, 3-4

  1. (2cd) Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.
    To you I lift up my eyes
    who are enthroned in heaven —
    As the eyes of servants
    are on the hands of their masters.
    R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.
    As the eyes of a maid
    are on the hands of her mistress,
    So are our eyes on the LORD, our God,
    till he have pity on us.
    R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.
    Have pity on us, O LORD, have pity on us,
    for we are more than sated with contempt;
    our souls are more than sated
    with the mockery of the arrogant,
    with the contempt of the proud.
    R. Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for his mercy.

-If we are sincere about what we just prayed, God will be very eager to respond. 

Reading 2 2 Cor 12:7-10

Brothers and sisters:
That I, Paul, might not become too elated,
because of the abundance of the revelations,
a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan,
to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.

Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,
but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is made perfect in weakness.”
I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,
in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults,
hardships, persecutions, and constraints,
for the sake of Christ;
for when I am weak, then I am strong.

-As a boy when I read the words, “Those who believe in me will do the works I do and greater far than these” (John 14:12) I immediately thought of the super heroes from the comic books I read.  However, what grace brings about in us is not at all like having super powers by which we can do whatever we want.  Henri Nouwen in one of his many books (I forget which one.  Sorry.) uses the words of Jesus at the last Supper to describe the steps of discipleship.  First, He takes, then He blesses, then He breaks, and then He gives.  St. Paul is describing the third step in the process through which we all need to go through in order to be consecrated to the Lord.  The first two steps are delightful to experience; the latter not so much, but nonetheless essential.

Alleluia Cf. Lk 4:18

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.
    The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    for he sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mk 6:1-6

Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples.
When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue,
and many who heard him were astonished.
They said, “Where did this man get all this?
What kind of wisdom has been given him?
What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands!
Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary,
and the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?
And are not his sisters here with us?”
And they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them,
“A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and among his own kin and in his own house.”
So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there,
apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them.
He was amazed at their lack of faith.

-Those who ought to know Jesus best are unable to accept Him.  Their attitude makes what Jesus would eagerly do for them impossible.  From Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales we receive the adage, “Familiarity breeds contempt.”  It certainly applies to many cases.  As a priest, I have been honored to serve as an instrument of God for countless people over the past 35 years but relatively few of them are from my own family.  I used to feel badly about this, as if I had failed them.  The truth is that it is not my place to decide whom I will lead to know and love God.  Rather I am to help those who God chooses to place on my path.  For those beyond my reach I pray that God will soon provide them with what they need in the way He sees fit.

-Small children can be attached to little things like a favorite red drinking glass and refuse to drink from any other.  Occasionally, a retreatant insists on staying in a certain building or a certain room here at Malvern.  These days when priest transfers are now in effect, those who were attached to the previous pastor or parochial vicar may refuse to find anything good about the new priest for a while.  Such childish behavior can restrict the grace of God for us just as the folks in Nazareth.

Questions for Discussion & Decision:

  • Have I ever heard something that I felt was God speaking to me directly?
  • Have I ever written someone off as having no value to me?
  • Have I ever heard a life-changing message form an unexpected source?
  • With what weakness does God desire that I remain content?

Let us pray!

Change My Heart Oh God

Change my heart oh God

Make it ever true

Change my heart oh God

May I be like You

Change my heart oh God

Make it ever true

Change my heart oh God

May I be like You

You are the potter

I am the clay

Mold me and make me

This is what I pray

Change my heart oh God

Make it ever true

Change my heart oh God

May I be like You

(Lyrics from a song by Kenny Carter)



Father John

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