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A God of Acceptance The Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2021

                                                   A God of Acceptance 

The Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2021

July 4, 2021

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Ezekiel 2:2-5; Psalm 123; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Mark 6:1-6


Today’s Scripture speaks of rejecting the prophetic voices that are difficult to receive and yet are for our own good. Few people like to hear a prophet speaks to tell them what to do, and prophets typically foretell Gods’ presence in the events that are affecting the community. Ezekiel says nothing more than God’s prophet is among you. St. Paul tells us that his ministry is impeded from telling the good news to the Gentiles because there are traditionalist Jews acting as his thorn in the flesh. Paul accepts all the challenges of a rejected prophet for the sake of building the kingdom. Jesus is likewise demeaned by his own villagers who mock him for the wisdom he achieved somehow. They lack faith in him and in God because they know the man too well.


Today we have false prophets who are glad to tell us what to do, how to think, how to act, and what news sources to watch. The internet, advertising, TV, and enticements from consumer and retail sources appeal to our sense of self, but often it helps us to build up our false selves, which we all develop. The self is wounded by society in many ways. It is often a flight from reality and a prolongation of spiritual infancy, in which we have partial belief that we are the center of the universe. The false self develops illusions of autonomy, self-sufficiency, or centrality, but illusions are never the truth. We can often become people who take excessive pride in ourselves or we are always thinking of our inadequacies. Neither of these are our true selves, and God does not want us to reside in that false self, for God will do everything to take our distorted view of self and restore us to our true identity.


Ironically, for us to see ourselves clearly, we have to look away from ourselves and to gaze upon God, who helps us take off our masks. What does God have to say to us? When you think about your sin, God does not hate you for it, but God is filled with wonder at who you are and is pleased with the striving to do what is good and right. God also does not despise you because someone else sinned against you. God comes to your defense to say, “I’m sorry that happened to you.” God does not focus upon your guilt and shame because God wants to be in a healthy relationship with you more than you can imagine. If you could see how God sees you, you would do everything you can to grow into the image. We must learn to see others as God sees us. This gives us a chance to learn a lot about God, who will expand the images that we have of God. Ironically, when we love others, we love ourselves. We move away from our self-reflection to focus upon God and the goodness of others. 


For our soul to be free, we need to focus upon the gaze of God and the love of Christ. The soul seeks the kingdom of God and wants to follow the ideals set forth in the Sermon on the Mount. Christ wants us to be in our right minds, in right relationship with him in order to recognize his image in others, where each person’s inherent dignity is respected and honored, where illusions are stripped bare, and we can inch further to the truth about God. We are made for freedom, and when we move towards the kingdom of God, many will reject our forward progress and will tell us we are on the wrong path, but we continue to learn the truth about God, and we learn to contemplate God as God contemplates us, and we are caught in the lasting gaze with the Divine where we find ourselves knowing deep down the our real selves are in a cosmic dance with God. We will love and see the world as God loves and sees the world. 


Scripture for Daily Mass


Monday: (Genesis 28) And there was the LORD standing beside him and saying:
“I, the LORD, am the God of your forefather Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you are lying I will give to you and your descendants. These shall be as plentiful as the dust of the earth, and through them you shall spread out east and west, north and south.

Tuesday: (Genesis 23) “You shall no longer be spoken of as Jacob, but as Israel, because you have contended with divine and human beings and have prevailed.” Jacob then asked him, “Do tell me your name, please.” He answered, “Why should you want to know my name?”


Wednesday: (Genesis 41) When hunger came to be felt throughout the land of Egypt and the people cried to Pharaoh for bread, Pharaoh directed all the Egyptians to go to Joseph and do whatever he told them.


Thursday: (Genesis 44) My lord asked your servants, ‘Have you a father, or another brother?’ So we said to my lord, ‘We have an aged father, and a young brother, the child of his old age. This one’s full brother is dead, and since he is the only one by that mother who is left, his father dotes on him.’


Friday (Genesis 46) There God, speaking to Israel in a vision by night, called, “Jacob! Jacob!” He answered, “Here I am.” Then he said: “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you a great nation.
Not only will I go down to Egypt with you; I will also bring you back here, after Joseph has closed your eyes.


Saturday (Genesis 49) Jacob gave his sons this charge: “Since I am about to be taken to my people, bury me with my fathers in the cave that lies in the field of Ephron the Hittite, the cave in the field of Machpelah, facing on Mamre, in the land of Canaan,
the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for a burial ground.



Monday: (Matthew 9)  While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward, knelt down before him, and said, “My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples.


Tuesday: (Matthew 9) A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus,
and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke. The crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”


Wednesday (Matthew 9) Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.


Thursday (Matthew 10) ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick.


Friday (Matthew 10) “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves;
so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans.


Saturday (Matthew 10) Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.


Saints of the Week


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


  • July 4, 1648. The martyrdom in Canada of Anthony Daniel who was shot with arrows and thrown into flames by the Iroquois. 
  • July 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. 
  • July 6, 1758. The election to the papacy of Clement XIII who would defend the Society against the Jansenists and the Bourbon Courts of Europe. 
  • July 7, 1867. The beatification of the 205 Japanese Martyrs, 33 of them members of the Society of Jesus. 
  • July 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." 
  • July 9, 1763. The Society is expelled from New Orleans and Louisiana at the bidding of the French government. 
  • July 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 exterior."

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