Friday of the 19th Week
Our readings speak to us about relationships and how we are called to authentic and honest relationships. However, with that said, we know that relationships can be a mystery as we are designed by God to be attracted to each other. It will take a lifetime to discover things about ourselves and others, but it is all part of God’s great design
In our first reading, it is all about relationships as Joshua summoned all the tribes of Israel to the sanctuary at Shechem. Joshua recalls how the relationship they have had with God over the years. He recalls for them that each time the people broke their relationship with God, he restored it.
In our Gospel, we hear how Jesus raises the relationship of marriage as the ideal relationship. Anyone who has been married or is married knows that marriage is hard work. It is the ideal relationship because two people are wedded together, they are to be committed to each other, and when this mystery of the other is shone, the two spouses are to remember they are to stay as one flesh and continue to unravel this mystery. Those who are married know that their marriage moves forward with a great deal of humility and God’s grace.
As we gather around the altar and celebrate the Eucharist, may we ask to see our relationships as a sacred mystery to be unfolded and discovered every day?
The Assumption of Mary
Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6, 10
Do you know that it rained last night and this morning? I was looking out the window and listening to the rain when all of a sudden, a loud boom of thunder rolled all around me. I took that thunder as to say, “Wake up! Do you know what you are about to do?”
Do we know what we are about to do by celebrating the Assumption of Mary? What we acknowledge in this Solemnity is that Mary was preserved from original sin at the moment of her conception by a special grace. We also believe that our Blessed Mother is Immaculate because she never chose to sin throughout her life. Because of this, God did not allow her to taste death or any consequences of sin.
Do we know why the Assumption of Mary is essential to us in our daily lives? Our Blessed Mother is our model because she conceived the Word of God in her flesh, she gave birth to God, and she shared her whole life with him. She shared in his teachings, and she witnessed his sufferings and rejoiced in his resurrection.
Do we know what we are to do because of the Assumption of Mary? We are to look to Mary as our example faithfulness as she represents to us our pathway to holiness. May we say “yes” to God in all we do, strive to live sinless lives, and one day look forward to eternal life!
Wednesday of the 19th Week
Matthew 18: 15-20
Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe
Do we know that everything we do in this Eucharist is about the community? Our readings challenge us to rethink how we view others who are in our communities and those who are not?
In our first reading, Moses is given the opportunity to see what is possible for the people as he will die, and the people will enter the Promised Land. The community of people mourns the death of Moses for thirty days.
Our Gospel gives us a formula for keeping a community together. I wonder why we do not use it. We make the last step, which is to bring the community the first step by tweeting or texting things that are not true. The formula is about doing correction in love and with always being steeped in love! The first step is going to the person personally. The second step is if the problem is not resolved, bring someone else with you, and then the final step is then to bring the community. The reason to bring the community is to show the person how much they are loved.
Perhaps we have a relationship that needs prayer and a welcoming spirit. The Eucharist that we celebrate is given to us to know the grace is given to us right now.
Tuesday of the 19th Week
Deuteronomy 31: 1-8
Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14
Have you ever felt inadequate for a task or a challenge? Have you ever felt lost or forgotten? If you have and you are feeling this way right now, you are in the right place because God’s word has spoken words of great hope.
In our first reading, the people may have been feeling a bit lost or abandoned as Moses prepares for his death. He transfers his power onto Joshua, who will lead the people into the Promised Land. Moses tells Joshua, “Be brave and steadfast; have no fear; for I, the Lord will be with you, and I will never fail you.”
Today instead of a Psalm, we have a canticle, which is a short song of praise to God. We are given the canticle of Moses as he sings a song that he will teach the people to sing when they are feeling lost and inadequate.
In our Gospel, Jesus tells a story of a shepherd who had 100 sheep, and one of them ran away. The shepherd leaves the ninety-nine and goes in search of the one lost sheep?” No shepherd in their right mind would do this, but Jesus does.
If we are feeling inadequate for a task or a challenge or if we are feeling lost or forgotten we are in the right place because we need to take to heart the words of God, be brave and steadfast knowing that God is walking with us today.
Thursday of the 18th Week
I do not like making mistakes! I double booked myself with appointments this afternoon. Yikes! Someone sent me an email with some dates on it, and I thought they had one wrong, and when I called them, they corrected me. To make it all even worse as I was riding my bike and I thought I was doing so well a woman passed me who looked older than me. Stick a fork in me! What do we do when we make a mistake? How do we recover?
In our first reading from the Book of Numbers, the people are complaining to Moses because they do not have enough water. The people’s big mistake is they are complaining to God also and not believing that he will take care of them. Moses and Aaron, retreat to the dwelling tent and pray for God to intervene. As they come down the mountain, Moses strikes the rock and water flows out from it. The mistake of the people not trusting that God will take care of them will cost them significantly!
In our Gospel, Jesus asks Peter, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter responds with a correct answer, “You are the Christ the Son of the living God.” As Jesus continues to talk about how he must suffer and die, Peter says, “God forbid any of that shall happen to you, Lord.” Jesus says, “Get behind me, Satan!” Peter goes from being an “A” student to failing the class all in one breath!
What do we do when we make mistakes? It hard not to be perfect, but the one mistake we do not want to make is failing to realize who God is in our life.
Wednesday of 18th Week
Numbers 13:1-2, 25-14:1
Matthew 15: 21-28
Wouldn’t it be great if God said to us, “How great is your faith!” Unfortunately, we only have moments of greatness because most of our faith life is filled with doubt and fear.
In our first reading, the Israelites are wandering in the desert as Moses sends twelve men to go ahead to scout out what will be the Promised Land. The men come back with the news that the land does produce abundant food, but the people are like giants and are not conquerable. Instead of trusting in God the people the people are filled with fear and doubt and grumble against Moses and Aaron. Because of their lack of faith, God condemns this generation to wander more in the desert.
In our Gospel, Jesus is 50 miles north of Israel in Tyre & Sidon, which is present-day Lebanon. Jesus is in what was considered pagan territory because the Canaanite’s worshipped many gods. A Canaanite woman comes to Jesus and says, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David and please come and heal my daughter.” This woman makes an act of faith, and even though at first Jesus ignores her and the disciples try and send away, Jesus sees her faith and heals her daughter.
What in our life is so big we are afraid to put our trust in God’s providential care for us? What is in our life that we are having trouble believing God will see us through to the other side? Whatever may be troubling us let us lay it at the foot of the cross. Let us not listen to the voice in our head of fear and doubt and only listen to the voice of God even if it is only a whisper. Remember, God is on our side!
The Transfiguration of the Lord
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
II Peter 1:16-19
Matthew 17: 1-9
On our Feast Day of the Transfiguration of Christ, we celebrate the glory of God shone to Peter, James, and John. As Jesus took these three apostles up the mountain, he became dazzling white, and he was transformed before these three men. This blessed time would be necessary as these men would see much tragedy and suffering.
As we have had another mass killing in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, the glory of the Lord shines on us to stand up and fight against the evil in our lives by showing mercy and kindness to all our brothers and sisters. The glory of the Lord shines on us to pray more fervently for healing to take place in our world. The glory of the Lord shines on us to pray and raise our voices that and end to these senseless crimes will end as we seek the answers we need. The glory of the Lord shines on us to remember the victims and their families and the shooters to pray for peace and mercy.
Peter, James, and John would witness Jesus suffering and die on the cross, and this would lead to the glory of God being shone upon us. Do we see the glory of God in our lives?
As we suffer in our own lives, may we never take our eyes off the glory of God? May we fix our eyes upon this glory and forever remain grateful for Christ and what he endured on the cross for us.