John Predmore, S.J., is a Northeast Province Jesuit and was the pastor of Jordan's English language parish. He studies art and directs BC High's adult spiritual formation programs. Formerly a retreat director in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Ignatian Spirituality is given through guided meditations, weekend-, 8-day, and 30-day Retreats based on The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Ignatian Spirituality serves the contemporary world as people strive to develop a friendship with God.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
The Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
The Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
July 9, 2017
Zechariah 9:9-10; Psalm
145; Romans 8:9, 11-13; Matthew 11:25-30
appreciate the message of peace and rest that Scripture feeds us because our
anxiety-ridden world chips away from the peace God promises. Violence from
disgruntled terror groups, an all-time low for national political discourse,
and technology that intrudes into daily life affect our ability to remain
balanced and calm. If we do not take moments of downtime, it is difficult for our
souls to be restored.
celebrated our national day of independence and the virtues that come with
freedom: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These are ideals to
cherish, and we know we fall far short of the mark. Sadly, many in our nation
cannot yet celebrate our values. Our holiday is over, and now we have a lot of
work to do, and we cannot stop trying to create a better world until equal
rights are achieved – for women, among the races, for the middle and lower
classes, and for all people who are disadvantaged minorities. Peace is not
possible whenever divisions and inequities exist. We show the world we have
faith when we bring about God’s merciful justice.
us our God is a just savior – meek, humble, and identifying with the lowly.
This God brings down the strong, quells violence, and offers invitations to
peace. So, whenever someone is using power, influence, and bullying to control
our behaviors and to create some form of social control that suppresses
freedom, their actions are contrary to God’s ways. If someone clenches a fist,
raises their voice, or eliminates our choices in order to maintain systems of
oppression, their actions are not of God, and this has to be stopped.God abhors violence. Instead, God issues
gentle invitations that we can freely accept or reject. If some invitation is
genuinely loving, encourages our growth, and seeks to enhance our liberty and
freedom, it is from God.
Jesus, who is the
revelation of God, teaches us that joy and gratitude are key parts of our
faith, and then he asks us to learn two things from him – to be gentle and
humble of heart. To be grateful means to be sensitive to the imbalance that is
around us because this is when we can use God’s compassion to bind and heal.
Let me give you an example. I live with a deaf priest, and he is quite
courageous in his resolve to be a minister of the Gospel. His life is lonely
because it is silent. He is socially isolated. He communicates by reading lips
and using sign language, which no one in my community practices. Without
knowing it, I neglect his participation in conversations regularly because I
have not always adjusted my communication patterns. To my fault, I exclude him
without even noticing. When I recognize my failings, I am suddenly grateful
because I have the chance to rectify this social imbalance and make someone who
is very special feel accepted, wanted, and welcomed.
gratitude, with our humility, with our gentleness, we come to Jesus to
recognize how challenging it is to get things right in this world. During this
time, we do not need to do anything together, but just to just hang out. We do
not always need to say something to our loved ones. Some of the best moments
are simply being with them in silence. The same goes with Jesus. We seek rest in
him, and he gives it to us. Upon later reflection, we realize we really needed
the time together. He nourishes our soul with his silence and we feel a bit of
our heaviness lifted.
We have a secret
that the rest of the world does not know. We are people of the Spirit, as St.
Paul reminds us, and we have to be careful to give the Spirit some room in our
life, otherwise, we can become people of the flesh, which we do not want. With
the many conflicts, misunderstandings, and hurts in life, it is fairly easy to
respond defensively and earthly, but we cannot let that happen to us. We have
to keep our minds raised to the Spirit and to the needs of others. When we do
that, we can help the Spirit in its resolve to bring dignity to each person, to
influence the systems that remain unfair, and to heal and bring unity to places
that so easily fall into discord.
needs our religious leadership – through our gentleness and humility, but with
firm purpose. The world is not yet as Jesus wants it to be. So let’s go to him,
rest with him, learn from him, and have the courage to act as people of the
Spirit to work for the balance he wants for our world. There’s much work to do,
but we are only helpful disciples when we are rested and filled with Christ’s
for Daily Mass
(Genesis 28) Jacob left Beersheba towards Haran where he dreamed while he
slept: God’s messengers were going up and down, and God said: I will give you
this land to your descendants.
(Genesis 32) Jacob left Haran and crossed the stream when he wrestled a man
throughout the night. You will no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, because
you have contended with divine and human beings and have prevailed.
(Genesis 41) Hunger came to Egypt and Pharaoh directed everyone to Joseph to do
whatever he told him. The sons of Israel came for rations too. Joseph’s
brothers came to him, knelt down with their faces to the ground, but Joseph
(Genesis 44) Judah approached Joseph and presented his case. Joseph asked them
to bring his youngest brother. Joseph wept, “I am Joseph your brother, whom you
once sold into slavery.”
(Genesis 46) Jacob was told by God not to be afraid to go down to Egypt. Jacob
departed with his sons to be greeted in Goshen by Joseph.
(Genesis 49) Jacob asked his sons to carry his bones back to Ephron where
Abraham and Sarah are buried.
(Matthew 9) My daughter has just died. Come. Lay your hand on her that she may
live. A woman with hemorrhages touched the cloak as she was seeking a cure.
(Matthew 9) A mute demoniac was brought to Jesus, who drove out the demons.
Word spread about his healings and Jesus had compassion on them. The harvest is
abundant; the laborers are few.
(Matthew 10) Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over
unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and illness.
(Matthew 10) Take no walking stick, receive without cost, do not take gold or
silver, keep all possessions to a minimum. The laborer deserves his keep. Wish
the place peace. If it does not accept it, leave there.
(Matthew 10) I am sending you forth like sheep in the midst of wolves. Beware
of men who will hand you over to the authorities. Do not worry about how you
are to speak or what you are to say. I will give you the words.
(Matthew 10) No disciples is above his master. Do not be afraid of those who
can harm your body. The greater fear is against those who can damage your soul.
Saints of the Week
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.
July 9: Leo Mangan, S.J.
July 11: Benedict, Abbot (480-547), was educated in Rome, but left after a
few years to take on a life of solitude. He became a monk at Subiaco and lived
alone, but his lifestyle developed followers so he built 12 monasteries for
them. He left to found a monastery at Monte Cassino where he wrote his Rule
that became a standard for Western monasticism. He adopted the practices of the
austere Desert Fathers for community life and emphasized moderation, humility,
obedience, prayer, and manual labor.
July 13: Henry, king (972-1024) was a descendent of Charlemagne who became
king of Germany and the Holy Roman Emperor. His wife had no offspring. He
merged the church's affairs with the secular government and built the cathedral
in the newly erected diocese of Bamberg. He was a just ruler who paid close
attention to his prayer.
July 14: Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680) was the daughter of a Christian
Algonquin mother and a non-Christian Mohawk chief. As a child, she contracted
smallpox and was blinded and severely disfigured by it. She was baptized on Easter
Sunday 1767 by Jesuit missionaries and was named after Catherine of Siena. She
kept a strong devotion to the Eucharist and cared for the sick. She is named
"the Lily of the Mohawks."
July 15: Bonaventure, bishop and Doctor (1221-1273), was given his name by
Francis of Assisi to mean "Good Fortune" after he was cured of
serious childhood illnesses. He joined the Franciscans at age 20 and studied at
the University of Paris. Aquinas became his good friend. Bonaventure was
appointed minister general of the Franciscans and was made a cardinal. He
participated in the ecumenical council at Lyons to reunite the Greek and Latin
rites. Aquinas died on the way to the council.
This Week in Jesuit History
·Jul 9, 1763. The Society is expelled from New
Orleans and Louisiana at the bidding of the French government.
·Jul 10 , 1881. Fr. Frederick Garesche' wrote
from Sequin, Texas, to his Superior: "The cowboys who had not deigned at
first to lift their hat to the priest or missionary; who had come to the
mission as to a camp meeting, for the fun of the thing, gave in, and their
smiles and awkward salutes showed that they had hearts under their rude
·Jul 11, 1809. After Pius VII had been dragged
into exile by General Radet, Fr. Alphonsus Muzzarrelli SJ, his confessor, was
arrested in Rome and imprisoned at Civita
·Jul 12, 1594. In the French Parliament Antoine
Arnauld, the Jansenist, made a violent attack on the Society, charging it with
rebellious feelings toward King Henry IV and with advocating the doctrine of
·Jul 13, 1556. Ignatius, gravely ill, handed over
the daily governance of the Society to Juan de Polanco and Cristobal de Madrid.
·Jul 14, 1523. Ignatius departs from Venice on
his pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
·Jul 15, 1570. At Avila, St Teresa had a vision
of Blessed Ignatius de Azevedo and his companions ascending to heaven. This
occurred at the very time of their martyrdom.