Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Ignatian Spirituality: Set the World Ablaze
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The Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 3, 2016
Isaiah 66:10-14; Psalm 66; Galatians 6:14-18; Luke 10:1-2, 17-20

            Gratitude and gladness permeate today’s readings when the faithful people realize that something deeper is occurring around them. Hope is everywhere. In the reading from Isaiah, the prophet says, “Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad.” Prosperity is returning and the nation is finding comfort the way that parents comfort a child. He says, “Let your heart rejoice when you see this.” Trust that something deeper is occurring. Trust that the Lord is effecting a change.

The Psalm reiterates his gladness as the psalmist sings, “Come and see the works of God. Sing praise for the Lord rules forever.” Paul finds gladness in the cross of Jesus Christ because the world has been crucified to him, and he to the world. He is joined to the sufferings and the resurrection of Christ, and peace and mercy reigns because of it.

Jesus celebrates with the Twelve and the further seventy-two that he sends on mission. When they return, they tell Jesus many stories of the great events they witnessed. The seventy-two were surprised because of the great power that was worked through them. Even the spirits obeyed them. Never before did they have any power like this and they knew it was attributable to Jesus. Jesus tells them, “Yes, be glad. Celebrate. Rejoice, but do it because you will have everlasting life.”

These lessons are good reminders that we often have to step back from our harried lives and take note of what is occurring around us. Sometimes we get mired in our daily activities that we lose sight of the more over-reaching events. Sometimes, though not our fault, we are at the center of our universe and we think others might share our perspectives. We often get caught in tensions that magnify minor inconveniences. Taking a bird’s eye view of the situation may alleviate anxieties and restore gratitude and gladness.

The disciples of Jesus were instructed to remain in the gladness. If they went to someone’s house and were not well received, they were to move on. They were not to dwell with their rejection, but simply to let it be a matter-of-fact event that would not interrupt their ministry. Jesus would not let his disciples get bogged down in these petty offenses that happen more than anyone likes. His instructions were to preach, “The kingdom of God is at hand for you.” He did not say anything about controlling or changing anyone else’s behavior. Fortunately, they understood the point.

Our ministries and our ways of life are meant to capture this same type of freedom. We will always encounter people that encroach upon our freedom and our sense of proper behavior, but we are simply to move past these minor obstacles and keep focus on our mission and our freedom. We will find ourselves less encumbered and more able to grant mercy and forgiveness that are central to our mission. It also gives us freedom to step back and realize that the mission belongs to Christ.

The best part of it is that it allows us to be like the seventy-two who could not wait to get back to Jesus and share the news of their day’s events. Do we look forward to prayer in the same way? Do we think, “I can’t wait to get home so I can sit down and tell the Lord all the things I witnessed today?” This is how our ministry gets refreshed. This is how we get affirmed and strengthened. This is how we learn and are instructed again. Let’s find ways to continue these types of conversations with the Lord. We both need time to rejoice and celebrate with one another.            

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (Hosea 2) The Lord will lead Israel into the desert where he can speak to her heart and win her over, as he did in Egypt.
Tuesday: (Hosea 8) The people made kings and prophets in Israel, but God did not call them. When Ephraim made sacrifices, it was an occasion for sin.
Wednesday: (Hosea 10) The Lord calls Hosea a luxuriant vine, but she has wandered. It is time for her to come back.  
Thursday: (Hosea 11) When Israel was a child, I loved him; out of Egypt I called my son.    
Friday (Hosea 14) Return, O Israel, with all your heart. Ephraim, what more have you to do with idols? I have humbled you but I will prosper you.  
Saturday (Isaiah 6) Isaiah was called to the heavenly liturgy to see the One whom God favored. All creatures were ministering unto him.

Gospel: 
Monday: (Matthew 9) Jesus brought an official’s daughter back from the dead; he then cured a woman suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years.
Tuesday: (Matthew 9) Jesus healed a man held captive by a powerful demoniac. People were amazed. He went around teaching in all towns and synagogues.  
Wednesday (Matthew 10) Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them authority over unclean spirits. Go to the lost sheep of the House of Israel and bring them good news.
Thursday (Matthew 10) Proclaim the Kingdom of God is at hand. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons.   
Friday (Matthew 10) I am sending you like sheep among wolves? When they hand you over, do not worry about what you are to speak. You will be given grace to assist you.
Saturday (Matthew 10) No disciples is above his teacher; no servant above his master. Do not be afraid of anyone because the Lord has favored you.

Saints of the Week

July 3: Thomas, apostle, is thought to have been an apostle to India and Pakistan and he is best remembered as the one who “doubted” the resurrection of Jesus. The Gospels, however, testify to his faithfulness to Jesus during his ministry. The name, Thomas, stands for “twin,” but no mention is made of his twin’s identity.

July 5: Elizabeth of Portugal (1271-1336), was from the kingdom of Aragon begore she married Denis, king of Portugal, at age 12. Her son twice rebelled against the king and Elizabeth helped them reconcile. After he husband's death, she gave up her rank and joined the Poor Clares for a life of simplicity.

July 5: Anthony Mary Zaccaria, priest (1502-1539) was a medical doctor who founded the Barnabites because of his devotion to Paul and Barnabas and the Angelics of St. Paul, a woman's cloistered order. He encouraged the laity to work alongside the clergy to care for the poor.

July 6: Maria Goretti, martyr (1890-1902) was a poor farm worker who was threatened by Alessandro, a 20-year old neighbor. When she rebuffed his further advances, he killed her, but on her deathbed, she forgave him. He later testified on her behalf during her beatification process, which occurred in 1950.

July 9: Augustine Zhao Rong, priest and companions, Chinese martyrs (1648-1930) were 120 Chinese martyrs that included priests, children, parents, catechists and common laborers. Christians were persecuted throughout Chinese history. Augustine Zhao Rong was a diocesan priest who was brought to the faith after the example of the French missionary bishop Dufresse. Zhao Rong was arrested in 1815 and died in prison.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Jul 3, 1580. Queen Elizabeth I issued a statute forbidding all Jesuits to enter England.
·      Jul 4, 1648. The martyrdom in Canada of Anthony Daniel who was shot with arrows and thrown into flames by the Iroquois.
·      Jul 5, 1592. The arrest of Fr. Robert Southwell at Uxenden Manor, the house of Mr Bellamy. Tortured and then transferred to the Tower, he remained there for two and a half years.
·      Jul 6, 1758. The election to the papacy of Clement XIII who would defend the Society against the Jansenists and the Bourbon Courts of Europe.
·      Jul 7, 1867. The beatification of the 205 Japanese Martyrs, 33 of them members of the Society of Jesus.
·      Jul 8, 1767. D'Aubeterre wrote to De Choiseul: "It is impossible to obtain the Suppression from the Pope [Clement XIII]; it must be wrested from him by occupying papal territory."

·      Jul 9, 1763. The Society is expelled from New Orleans and Louisiana at the bidding of the French government.