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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Stillness needs Patience. The Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2020

Stillness needs Patience.

The Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2020

www.johnpredmoresj.com | predmore.blogspot.com

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August 9, 2020

1 Kings 19:9-13; Psalm 85; Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:22-33



The story of Elijah encountering stillness in the cave brings us to a moment that we often desire in prayer – the desire to hear clearly God’s voice after all the other noises and competing voices die down. Like Elijah, we expect God to speak with loud bangs, with a commanding voice, or with great conviction and authority, but we know that it does not happen that way. Elijah hears God once all the turbulence has passed, but it is important to know that we can hear God’s voice in the stillness if we practice the presence of God. Silence is distinct from stillness and we have to learn to be comfortable long enough with the silence in order to get to the stillness.


Many think that St. Paul had an instantaneous conversion, but it took him fourteen years of study and prayer to be confident enough to take the risk necessary for evangelizing the faith. He had an experiment that needed prayer, silence, and stillness for Paul in order to process his experience. He did not instantly become a Christian and forsake the Jews. In fact, in his letter to the Romans that we just heard, he still loves the Israelites and being one of them, because through them, God adopted them, showed God’s glory, enacted the covenants, gave the Law, the worship, and promises, spoke through the patriarchs and prophets, and eventually produced for us the Christ, who is over all. Paul is very proud to be called a Jew and it took him years of prayer with other believers to be able to figure out how Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of his faith.


At the beginning of the Gospel, Jesus takes some time to pray. He tried to pray upon hearing the death of John the Baptist, but he saw that the people were hungry and needed to be fed and he gave them sufficient quantities of bread and fish. When the crowds left, he tried to get that quiet time once again, just to be alone with God. He knows that the developing a prayerful conversation with God is necessary for when those storms come up and toss us around, and they will inevitably happen. We need those prayer times in order to answer as Peter did when we are called to take risks, by stepping out of the boat of comfortableness, the boat of security, the boat of status quo. This has been a year of an enormous storms, viral and social, and we don’t yet know where we are in the storm or when it will pass, but in the midst of it, just like Elijah and Peter, we will be called to step forward into the deep and trust that Christ is calling us and also protecting us.


For many of us, these past five months have given us more time for silence and less activity, but that still does not equate with stillness. We have to practice the presence of God. We have to place ourselves in a place of communication where we are mindful of and attentive to one another. We do this each day – because we want to and because it will help us hear God’s still small voice even in the greatest turbulence and clamor. It is a voice that we learn to trust because God has always pulled us through. It is a voice that diminishes the drama that we can be enfolded into or that we whip up. It is a voice that calls us to the center, that brings us home, that connects us to the most meaningful parts of life, that makes us feel most real. It is the call we most want to hear. And it takes time. It takes practice. Be patient with yourself. Just show up day after day and you will be brought to that inner place where God meets the real you, and God will rejoice in you.


Scripture for Daily Mass


First Reading:

Monday: (2 Corinthians 9) Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.


Tuesday: (Ezekiel 2) It was then I saw a hand stretched out to me, in which was a written scroll which he unrolled before me. It was covered with writing front and back,
and written on it was: Lamentation and wailing and woe!


Wednesday: (Ezekiel 9) Then the glory of the LORD left the threshold of the temple and rested upon the cherubim. These lifted their wings, and I saw them rise from the earth, the wheels rising along with them. They stood at the entrance of the eastern gate of the Lord’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was up above them.


Thursday: (Ezekiel 12) Now, son of man, during the day while they are looking on, prepare your baggage as though for exile, and again while they are looking on,
migrate from where you live to another place; perhaps they will see that they are a rebellious house.


Friday (Ezekiel 16) As for your birth, the day you were born your navel cord was not cut; you were neither washed with water nor anointed, nor were you rubbed with salt, nor swathed in swaddling clothes. No one looked on you with pity or compassion
to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out on the ground as something loathsome, the day you were born.


Saturday (Revelation 11) God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.



Monday: (John 12) unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.


Tuesday: (Matthew 18) What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. 


Wednesday (Matthew 18) if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.


Thursday (Matthew 18) “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.


Friday (Matthew 19) Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so;
some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.


Saturday (Luke 1) And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.


Saints of the Week


August 9: Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), martyr (1891-1942), became a Catholic convert from Judaism after reading the autobiography of Teresa of Avila. He earned a doctorate in philosophy, but was unemployable because she was a woman. She taught at a high school for eight years before entering the Carmelites in 1933 where she made final vows in 1938. She moved to Holland to escape persecution by the Nazis, but was arrested when the bishops spoke out against the persecution of the Jews.


August 10: Lawrence, deacon and martyr (d. 258) was martyred four days after Pope Sixtus II and six other deacons during the Valerian persecution. A beautiful story is told about Lawrence's words. When asked to surrender the church's treasure, Lawrence gathered the poor and presented them to the civil authorities. For this affront, he was martyred. He is the patron of Rome.


August 11: Clare, founder (1193-1253), was inspired by Francis of Assist so much that she fled her home for his community to receive the Franciscan habit on Passion Sunday 1212. She lived in a nearby Benedictine convent until she was made superior of a new community in San Damiano. She practiced radical poverty by wearing no shoes, sleeping on the ground, and giving up meat.


August 12: Jane Frances de Chantal, religious (1572-1641), founded the Congregation of the Visitation with her spiritual advisor, Francis de Sales. This congregation was for women who wanted to live in religious life, but without the austerity of the other orders. Jane was married to a Baron with whom she had six children and she sought religious answers to her suffering. Her order established eighty-five convents dedicated to serving the poor before she died.


August 13: Pontian, pope and martyr and Hippolytus, priest and martyr (d.236). Pontian's papacy was interrupted by a persecution when the Roman Emperor Maximinus arrested him and his rival, Hippolytus, and banished them to Sardinia. Pontian resigned so another pope could succeed him. Hippolytus, who formed a schismatic group and claimed to be the real pope, reconciled with the church before he and Pontian were martyred.


August 14: Maximilian Kolbe, priest and martyr (1894-1941), was born in Russian-occupied Poland. He entered the Franciscans in 1910 and preached the gospel with his devotion to Mary in Poland and Japan. When the Nazis conquered Poland in 1939, he ministered to thousands of refugees. He was arrested, sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. When a prisoner escaped and retaliation was sought, Kolbe offered himself to replace one of the ten randomly chosen men to be executed.


August 15: The Assumption of Mary is the principal feast of Mary with her Queenship celebrated at the end of the octave. This feast celebrates that she was taken up to heaven, body and soul, at the end of her earthly life. The Council of Ephesus in 431 proclaimed her Mother of God and devotion of her dormition followed afterwards.


This Week in Jesuit History


·      Aug 9, 1762. The moving of the English College from St Omers to Liege.

·      Aug 10, 1622. Blessed Augustine Ota, a Japanese brother, was beheaded for the faith. He had been baptized by Blessed Camillus Costanzi on the eve of the latter's martyrdom.

·      Aug 11, 1846. The death of Benedict Joseph Fenwick. He was the second bishop of Boston, twice the president of Georgetown, and the founder of the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts.

·      Aug 12, 1877. The death of Fr. Maurice Gailland. He was an expert in languages and spent many years at St Mary's Mission in Kansas. He wrote a 450.page dictionary and grammar of the Potawatomi language.

·      Aug 13, 1621. The death in Rome of St John Berchmans. He died while still in studies, preparing for a public disputation.

·      Aug 14, 1812. Napoleon I and his army arrived at Polosk, in White Russia. They plunder the property of the Society and violate the tombs of the Generals.

·      Aug 15, 1821. Fr. Peter DeSmet sailed from Amsterdam to America. He hoped to work among the Native Americans. He became the best known missionary of the northwest portion of the United States.


1 comment:

  1. John, right on as always! I hope all is well with you these days. Blessings!