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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Those who Search The Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2021

Those who Search 

The Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2021

August 1, 2021

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Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15; Psalm 78; Ephesians 4:17-24; John 6:24-35


In the continuation of the Gospel from last week, we remember that Jesus fed the people from a meagre supply of food and he withdrew because he knew they wanted to make him a king. As they did not find him, they went into their boats and sailed to Capernaum, the home base of Jesus, to look further for him. The grace we are given is to search for Jesus, to continue to strive, and in that seeking, we find our fulfillment, and we are much like those original seekers who petition, “Sir, give us this bread always.”


We are privileged to receive that bread as often as we want in our Eucharist. We come to this meal because we have consumed it before and it is the part of us that knows the truth of God and wants to reconnect with God. We know God because God is present in us and it seeks for what it knows – God’s own self. Our striving will lead us to God naturally, and as Jesus says, it is not because of any signs or wonders, but it is because we are bonded to God and we are drawn to God. 


We should then be confident in our desires and strivings for they will always end up with God. The people asked Jesus, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” and he replied that he can only believe in God because we cannot earn grace. What matters though is the question, “What can we do?” because this shows the type of striving that leads us to the divine. Whenever we are trying to please God, we please God. Whenever we are trying to do what is right, even if it fails, pleases God. Whenever we try to do what is noble and good, we reach God with our attempts. We have to keep trying.


The disappointment comes when we do not even bother to try, when we make excuses, when we tell ourselves, “no,” “it’s too late,” or “I’m not good enough.” When we fail to bother to love, we sin against others. When we fail to bother to try, we sin against ourselves. We simply have to trust that what we strive for will end up with God, even if it is a circuitous route. 


Each week, we are drawn to Mass to be in the presence of the Lord. That’s enough. Just come. Christ will do the rest. Just stay open to the words preached, the actions carried out, and let the mystery unfold. Our job is not to understand, but to believe, it is not to judge, but to create, it is not to get it right, it is just that we try. You are here today and that is enough for Christ. The good in you is aligned with the good in Christ, and he will draw you straight to his heart, and we are just like the seekers in the Gospel who say, “Sir, give me yourself always.”



Scripture for Daily Mass


Monday: (Numbers 11) The children of Israel lamented, “Would that we had meat for food! We remember the fish we used to eat without cost in Egypt, and the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. But now we are famished;
we see nothing before us but this manna.”

Tuesday: (Numbers 12) Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses on the pretext of the marriage he had contracted with a Cushite woman. They complained, “Is it through Moses alone that the LORD speaks? Does he not speak through us also?” And the LORD heard this.


Wednesday: (Numbers 13) The Lord said to Moses, “Send men to reconnoiter the land of Canaan, which I am giving the children of Israel. You shall send one man from each ancestral tribe, all of them princes.”


Thursday: (Numbers 20) As the community had no water, they held a council against Moses and Aaron. The people contended with Moses, exclaiming, “Would that we too had perished with our kinsmen in the Lord’s presence!


Friday (Daniel 7) Thrones were set up and the Ancient One took his throne. His clothing was bright as snow, and the hair on his head as white as wool; his throne was flames of fire, with wheels of burning fire. A surging stream of fire flowed out from where he sat; Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him, and myriads upon myriads attended him.


Saturday (Deuteronomy 6) Moses said to the people: “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.



Monday: (Matthew 14) When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.


Tuesday: (Matthew 14) After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.


Wednesday (Matthew 15) At that time Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.”


Thursday (Matthew 16) “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”


Friday (Mark 9) Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. 


Saturday (Matthew 17) A man came up to Jesus, knelt down before him, and said,
“Lord, have pity on my son, who is a lunatic and suffers severely; often he falls into fire, and often into water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.”



Saints of the Week


August 1: Alphonsus Liguori, bishop and doctor(1696-1787), founded a band of mission priests that became the Redemptorists. He wrote a book called "Moral Theology" that linked legal aspects with kindness and compassion for others. He became known for his responsive and thoughtful way of dealing with confessions.


August 2: Peter Faber, S.J., priest and founder (1506-1546), was one of the original companions of the Society of Jesus. He was a French theologian and the first Jesuit priest and was the presider over the first vows of the lay companions. He became known for directing the Spiritual Exercises very well. He was called to the Council of Trent but died as the participants were gathering.


August 2: Eusebius of Vercelli, bishop (d. 371), was ordained bishop after becoming a lector. He attended a council in Milan where he opposed the Arians. The emperor exiled him to Palestine because he contradicted secular influences. He returned to his diocese where the emperor died.


August 2: Peter Julian Eymard, priest (1811-1868) left the Oblates when he became ill. When his father died, he became a priest and soon transferred into the Marists but left them to found the Blessed Sacrament Fathers to promote the significance of the Eucharist.


August 4: John Vianney, priest (1786-1859) became the parish priest in Ars-en-Dombes where he spent the rest of his life preaching and hearing confessions. Hundreds of visitors and pilgrims visited him daily. He would hear confessions 12-16 hours per day. 


August 5: Dedication of the Basilica of Mary Major in Rome is celebrated because it is the largest and oldest of the churches in honor of Mary. The veneration began in 435 when the church was repaired after the Council of Ephesus in 431 when Mary was proclaimed the Mother of God. This is the church where Ignatius of Loyola said his first Mass and where Francis of Assisi assembled the first crèche. 


August 6: The Transfiguration of the Lord is an historical event captured by the Gospels when Jesus is singled out as God's Son - ranking higher than Moses or Elijah. In front of his disciples, Jesus becomes transfigured, thus revealing his true nature. Ironically, the anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb occurred at Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.


August 7: Sixtus, II, pope and martyr with companions (d. 258), died during the Valerian persecutions in 258. They were killed in the catacombs where they celebrated Mass. Sixtus was beheaded while speaking in his presidential chair and six deacons were killed as well. Lawrence, the Deacon, is honored on August 10th. Sixtus is remembered during the 1st Eucharistic prayer at Mass. 


August 7: Cajetan, priest (1480-1547), was a civil and canon lawyer who worked in the papal chancery. He later joined the Roman Order of Divine Love and was ordained a priest. He became aware that the church needed reform and he teamed up with the bishop of Theate (Gian Pietro Carafa) and formed a society of priests called the Theatines who lived in community and took monastic vows. They owned no property. 


This Week in Jesuit History


  • August 1, 1938. The Jesuits of the Middle United States, by Gilbert Garrigan was copyrighted. This monumental three-volume work followed the history of the Jesuits in the Midwest from the early 1820s to the 1930s. 
  • August 2, 1981. The death of Gerald Kelly, moral theologian and author of "Modern Youth and Chastity." 
  • August 3, 1553. Queen Mary Tudor made her solemn entrance into London. As she passed St Paul's School, Edmund Campion, then a boy of thirteen delivered an address. 
  • August 4, 1871. King Victor Emmanuel signed the decree that sanctioned the seizure of all of the properties belonging to the Roman College and to S. Andrea. 
  • August 5, 1762. The Parliament at Paris condemned the Society's Institute as opposed to natural law. It confiscated all Jesuit property and forbade the Jesuit habit and community life. 
  • August 6, 1552. The death of Claude Jay, a French priest who was one of Ignatius' original companions at the University of Paris. 
  • August 7, 1814. The universal restoration of the Society of Jesus.


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