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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The God of Life The Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2021

                                                              The God of Life 

The Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2021

June 27, 2021

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Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24; Psalm 30; 2 Corinthians 8:7-15; Mark 5:21-43


We meet the God who values the fulfillment of life and the well-being of all people, and this tells us something about God’s hopes for us. God is rooting for us and intends our very best. I find it comforting to hear that God did not make death and formed us to be imperishable. I know how sad I feel when I hear someone has died, and I consider that God is also sad, though the person becomes alive to God in a wholly new way. 


We have this thought reinforced to us in the Gospel passage about the daughter of Jairus and the hemorrhaging woman. This is a God of life for God does not want us to suffer or to be sick or to die. In order for people to see God’s heart, Jesus raises the young girl back to life to enjoy the fullness of life. The young girl was given a chance to make something good of her life; the hemorrhaging woman could now rejoin society as a member equal in dignity. Thanks be to God for all of you in healing professions who give someone else another chance in life.


Mary Oliver, the Cape Cod poet, asked, “What are we to do with our one wild and precious life? While some people have an easier path to make a fulfilling life, others are thwarted by life’s challenges, which breaks my heart. Some are not privileged with good health, others are wracked by addictions or mental health issues, some are not given the breaks needed to flourish and blossom as easily as others. Some people are held back by closed attitudes and fears of failure, fears of intimacy, fears of trusting. Some lack of self-esteem and cannot accept the opportunities that are presented to them. None of us are whole, and yet some of us, are able to build upon the experiences we have made. With whatever we have been given by God, we have to cooperate with God’s desire for us to flourish as fully as we can, even if it is not to the extent of others. The goal is to do our very best, knowing there is no equality in gifts and abilities or conditions, but the call is the same for each of us. If we compare, we despair, and we are not to ever allow ourselves to despair. 


What can we do to help give people a life-giving boost, greater confidence? Or to encourage them to live with greater joy and satisfaction. One must be able to let God love them, to be put in a place where God can show them kindness and to know they are lovable. It is a tragedy if someone does not really know if one is loved by God. With God’s support and encouragement, a person can reach impressive heights, each according to one’s ability, but that foundation is knowing that God absolutely backs you up and looks upon you with reverent amazement. We don’t have to be great. We just have to try. Life’s bounty is in the striving. We have to let God’s affection for us lead us on and give us new life, especially life to those places of pain and hurt, to those areas where we feel stunted. Those will be our sources of grace and healing, so much so that we can stand confidently in front of the world and feel no fear, because God’s new life is more potent than any other force. God’s greater glory will be shown through us, and we’ll stand taller and straighter, knowing that we are shining like the sun. 


Scripture for Daily Mass


Monday: (Genesis 12) I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you
and curse those who curse you. All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you.

Tuesday: (Genesis 13) Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold. Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, so that the land could not support them if they stayed together; their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together. There were quarrels between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and those of Lot’s.


Wednesday: (Genesis 15) When the sun had set and it was dark, there appeared a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch, which passed between those pieces. It was on that occasion that the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the Great River the Euphrates.”


Thursday: (Isaiah 49) The LORD called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name. He made of me a sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm. He made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me. You are my servant, he said to me, Israel, through whom I show my glory.



Friday (Genesis 17) When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said: “I am God the Almighty. Walk in my presence and be blameless.” God further said to Abraham: “As for your wife Sarai, do not call her Sarai; her name shall be Sarah. I will bless her, and I will give you a son by her.


Saturday (Genesis 18) They asked him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” He replied, “There in the tent.” One of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah will then have a son.” Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, just behind him.



Monday: (Matthew 7)  Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?


Tuesday: (Matthew 7) Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces. Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.


Wednesday (Matthew 7) Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. So by their fruits you will know them.


Thursday (Luke 1) When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her.


Friday (Matthew 8) And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said,
“Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean.”


Saturday (Matthew 8) When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”


Saints of the Week


June 27: Cyril of Alexandria, bishop and doctor (376-444), presided over the Council of Ephesus that fought Nestorian the heresy. Cyril claimed, contrary to Nestorius, that since the divine and human in Jesus were so closely united that it was appropriate to refer to Mary was the mother of God. Because he condemned Nestorius, the church went through a schism that lasted until Cyril's death. Cyril's power, wealth, and theological expertise influenced many as he defended the church against opposing philosophies. 


June 28: Irenaeus, bishop and martyr (130-200) was sent to Lyons as a missionary to combat the persecution the church faced in Lyons. He was born in Asia Minor and became a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of the Apostle John. Irenaeus asserted that the creation was not sinful by nature but merely distorted by sin. As God created us, God redeemed us. Therefore, our fallen nature can only be saved by Christ who took on our form in the Incarnation. Irenaeus refutation of heresies laid the foundations of Christian theology.


June 29: Peter and Paul, apostles (first century) are lumped together for a feast day because of their extreme importance to the early and contemporary church. Upon Peter's faith was the church built; Paul's efforts to bring Gentiles into the faith and to lay out a moral code was important for successive generations. It is right that they are joined together as their work is one, but with two prongs. For Jesuits, this is a day that Ignatius began to recover from his illness after the wounds he sustained at Pamplona. It marked a turning point in his recovery.


June 30: The First Holy Martyrs of the Holy Roman Church (c. 64) were martyrs under Nero's persecution in 64. Nero reacted to the great fire in Rome by falsely accusing Christians of setting it. While no one believed Nero's assertions, Christians were humiliated and condemned to death in horrible ways. This day always follows the feast of the martyrs, Sts. Peter and Paul.


July 1: Junipero Serra, priest, was a Franciscan missionary who founded missions in Baja and traveled north to California starting in 1768. The Franciscans established the missions during the suppression of the Jesuits. San Diego, San Francisco, and Santa Clara are among the most famous. Serra’s statue is in the U.S. Capitol to represent California.


July 2: Bernard Realino, John Francis Regis, Francis Jerome, S.J. are known for their preaching skills that drew many to the faith, including many French Hugeunots. Regis and his companions preached Catholic doctrine to children and assisted many struck by the plague in Frances. Regis University in Denver, Colorado is named after John Regis. 


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.


This Week in Jesuit History


  • June 27, 1978. Bernard Lisson, a mechanic, and Gregor Richert, a parish priest, were shot to death at St Rupert's Mission, Sinoia, Zimbabwe. 
  • June 28, 1591. Fr. Leonard Lessius's teaching on grace and predestination caused a great deal of excitement and agitation against the Society in Louvain and Douai. The Papal Nuncio and Pope Gregory XIV both declared that his teaching was perfectly orthodox. 
  • June 29, 1880. In France the law of spoliation, which was passed at the end of March, came into effect and all the Jesuit Houses and Colleges were suppressed. 
  • June 30, 1829. The opening of the Twenty-first General Congregation of the order, which elected Fr. John Roothan as General. 
  • July 1, 1556. The beginning of St Ignatius's last illness. He saw his three great desires fulfilled: confirmation of the Institute, papal approval of the Spiritual Exercises, and acceptance of the Constitutions by the whole Society. 
  • July 2, 1928. The Missouri Province was divided into the Missouri Province and the Chicago Province. In 1955 there would be a further subdivision: Missouri divided into Missouri and Wisconsin; Chicago divided into Chicago and Detroit. 
  • July 3, 1580. Queen Elizabeth I issued a statute forbidding all Jesuits to enter England.

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