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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Unity of His Love The Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2021

                                                      The Unity of His Love

The Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2021

July 25, 2021

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2 Kings 4:42-44; Psalm 145; Ephesians 4:1-6; John 6:1-15


The message of the necessity of feeding the people is prevalent in today’s readings. Elisha, the prophet, instructs his servant to feed the first fruits of the harvest to the one hundred hungry people, though it is clearly not enough to feed them well. Jesus likewise instructs Philip and the disciples to feed the large crowd that gathered to hear him speak, even though there is no apparent source of food around them. The similarities of the two stories were not lost on the people of Jesus’s time, who witnessed the feeding miracle of Jesus: the people were hungry, a man of God ordered the people to be fed with meagre supplies, an offering to God was made, people ate their fill and more, and the fragments were gathered up in reserve. It pointed to the person of Jesus as someone who is more than a prophet. Jesus gives us more than we expect, and in his care, no one ever goes hungry. 


For Jesus to make the Eucharist the sign of his love was pure genius because we have to eat daily and cannot eat with people with whom we are angry. All major life events are followed by a festive meal that shows our unity and gratitude. The Eucharist is a central aspect of our faith, and we are called each week to eat with and to be in communion with those who are gathered with us. The Eucharist is our unity, and a central value of the Church is unity. A recent letter by Pope Francis after consulting his bishops indicated that he would restrict the use of the Latin-rite Mass because it has become a cause of disunity, and Mass and the Eucharist is not to be a source of disunity. What was intended to bring about unity was misused and has become a source of division. The Eucharist can repair this potential rupture as we allow ourselves to be open to the grace given to us.


As much as the wine and the bread that are offered to God becomes the Eucharist, it is important to remember that we are the Eucharist. Take, bless, break, give. Just as the loaves and wine were offered to God as the fundamental elements of our lives, we are likewise offered to God and transformed by the Spirit into Christ – ready to go out into the world and reveal God’s actions to others. We are transformed by our communal eating of the same loaf, from the same Christ, with others who are likewise called into discipleship, and this transformation is real and it takes place over time as we become a Eucharistic people. We become one with the Lord as Saint Paul writes – a people who become humble and gentle, patient, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of spirit through peace. We are called to be one community of faith that works through our difficulties with God-given help. We are being broken, poured out, distributed to a world that needs to experience God, and we know, that after all we have given to the world, there will be plenty of fragments available for those who need them. We can never exhaust our ability for being a “person for others.” Memories of your goodness remain. 


As we partake of the Eucharist today, let’s be mindful that we are receiving each individual host as a community that is bound together through a transforming love. Let’s be mindful of the effect the Eucharist has upon our neighbor in the adjacent seat or at a different mass this weekend. God is at work in each of us, and together we reveal the unity that God is certainly doing something miraculous with us. Let’s enjoy this meal and have our fill. There is plenty to go around for everyone.  


Scripture for Daily Mass


Monday: (Exodus 32) Moses turned and came down the mountain with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands, tablets that were written on both sides, front and back; tablets that were made by God, having inscriptions on them that were engraved by God himself.

Tuesday: (Exodus 33) The tent, which was called the meeting tent, Moses used to pitch at some distance away, outside the camp. Anyone who wished to consult the LORD would go to this meeting tent outside the camp. Whenever Moses went out to the tent, the people would all rise and stand at the entrance of their own tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent.


Wednesday: (Exodus 34) As Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands, he did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant while he conversed with the LORD. When Aaron, then, and the other children of Israel saw Moses and noticed how radiant the skin of his face had become,
they were afraid to come near him.


Thursday: (Exodus 40) It was Moses who erected the Dwelling. He placed its pedestals, set up its boards, put in its bars, and set up its columns. He spread the tent over the Dwelling and put the covering on top of the tent, as the LORD had commanded him.


Friday (Leviticus 23) “These, therefore, are the festivals of the LORD on which you shall proclaim a sacred assembly, and offer as an oblation to the LORD burnt offerings and cereal offerings, sacrifices and libations, as prescribed for each day.” 


Saturday (Leviticus 25) Seven weeks of years shall you count–seven times seven years–so that the seven cycles amount to forty-nine years. Then, on the tenth day of the seventh month, let the trumpet resound; on this, the Day of Atonement, the trumpet blast shall re-echo throughout your land. This fiftieth year you shall make sacred
by proclaiming liberty in the land for all its inhabitants. 



Monday: (Matthew 13) All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, to fulfill what had been said through the prophet: I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.


Tuesday: (Matthew 13) The weeds are the children of the Evil One, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.


Wednesday (Matthew 13) Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.


Thursday (John 11) “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life."


Friday (Matthew 13) “Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?
Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Are not his sisters all with us? Where did this man get all this?”
And they took offense at him.


Saturday (Matthew 14) Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead;
that is why mighty powers are at work in him.”


Saints of the Week


July 25: James, Apostle (1st century), is the son of Zebedee and the brother of John. As fishermen, they left their trade to follow Jesus. They occupied the inner circle as friends of Jesus. James is the patron of Spain as a shrine is dedicated to him at Santiago de Compostela. He is the patron of pilgrims as many walk the Camino en route to this popular pilgrim site. 


July 26: Joachim and Anne, Mary's parents (1st century) are names attributed to the grandparents of Jesus through the Proto-Gospel of James. These names appeared in the Christian tradition though we don't know anything with certitude about their lives. Devotion of Anne began in Constantinople in the 6th century while Joachim gained acclaim in the West in the 16th century. He was revered in the Eastern churches since the earliest times. 


July 29: Martha (1st century), is the sister of Mary and Lazarus of Bethany near Jerusalem. Martha is considered the busy, activity-attentive sister while Mary is more contemplative. Martha is known for her hospitality and fidelity. She proclaimed her belief that Jesus was the Christ when he appeared after Lazarus had died. 


July 30: Peter Chrysologus, bishop and doctor (406-450), was the archbishop of Ravenna, Italy in the 5th century when the faithful became lax and adopted pagan practices. He revived the faith through his preaching. He was titled Chrysologus because of his 'golden words.'


July 31: Ignatius of Loyola, priest (1491-1556), is one of the founders of the Jesuits and the author of the Spiritual Exercises. As a Basque nobleman, he was wounded in a battle at Pamplona in northeastern Spain and convalesced at his castle where he realized he followed a methodology of discernment of spirits. When he recovered, he ministered to the sick and dying and then retreated to a cave at Manresa, Spain where he had experiences that formed the basis of The Spiritual Exercises. In order to preach, he studied Latin, earned a Master’s Degree at the University of Paris, and then gathered other students to serve Jesus. Francis Xavier and Peter Faber were his first friends. After ordination, Ignatius and his nine friends went to Rome where they formally became the Society of Jesus. Most Jesuits were sent on mission, but Ignatius stayed in Rome directing the rapidly growing religious order, composing its constitutions, and perfecting the Spiritual Exercises. He died in 1556 and the Jesuit Order was already 1,000 men strong. 


This Week in Jesuit History


  • July 25, 1581. In the house of the Earl of Leicester in London, an interview occurred between Queen Elizabeth and Edmund Campion. The Queen could scarcely have recognized the worn and broken person before her as the same brilliant scholar who had addressed here at Oxford 15 years before. 
  • July 26, 1872. At Rome, the greater part of the Professed House of the Gesu was seized and appropriated by the Piedmontese government. 
  • July 27, 1609. Pope Paul V beatifies Ignatius. 
  • July 28, 1564. In a consistory held before twenty-four Cardinals, Pope Paul IV announced his intention of entrusting the Roman Seminary to the Society. 
  • July 29, 1865. The death in Cincinnati, Ohio of Fr. Peter Arnoudt, a Belgian. He was the author of The Imitation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 
  • July 30, 1556. As he lay near death, Ignatius asked Juan de Polanco to go and obtain for him the blessing of the pope. 

July 31, 1556. The death in Rome of Ignatius Loyola.


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