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Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Mary, Patron of the Universe The Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2021

                                           Mary, Patron of the Universe

The Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2021

August 15, 2021

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Revelation 11:9, 12:1-10; Psalm 45; 1 Corinthians 15:20-27; Luke 1:39-56


The Assumption of Mary inaugurates eight days of celebration honoring the Mother of God, concluding with her coronation in heaven where she takes on her role as our special intercessor and advocate. This is the most major feast we can celebrate in her honor, and I found that I needed to speak with her this week to help me understand a few troubling matters about our world. When I find myself needing some advice, we agree to meet in our usual place – her kitchen. 


We agree that I will come over at a certain agreed upon time, and I often find her baking some desserts, like croissants or a tart, and she often seems to have cookies available for me. When I knock on the door, I hear her softly singing or humming a pleasant tune, and she invites me in as we clean up and do the dishes and put the kitchen goods away. She pours me a coffee and engage in small talk for some time. Eventually, she asks me to tell her what is heavy on my heart. 


This time I wanted to talk about the U.N. Panel for Climate Change and the conclusions they reached about global warming and the fate of the earth. I am not a scientist and I do not know how to discern facts, data, and informed opinions about what is relevant and what might be hyperbole. The data seems overwhelmingly frightening, and the world’s temperature has increased 1.1 percent Celsius since the pre-industrial age while the probable attainment of an increase to 2.0 Celsius will usher in cataclysmic changes. The collection of U.N. scientists seems united in their conclusions. I feel helpless in (1.) my lack of knowledge and (2.) knowing how to respond.


Laudato Si, written in 2015, says that both personal and communal conversion and great sacrifices need to take place if we are going to pass a viable world onto our children and grandchildren. I’m not sure I’m ready for those sacrifices, but I’m even more concerned that there does not seem to be much urgency among the general public to take significant steps to prevent the situation from worsening. If we cannot agree upon the value of masks or vaccines, how could we ever agree upon the urgent need to act now. This is where I needed Mary’s consolation. 


It seems to be that care for the environment cannot be optional for a Christian, and Mary has been installed as Queen of the Universe and entrusted with special care for the earth. I sought her opinion as I do not know where to begin, and though I have read Laudato Si, I have much more to understand about the science and data. The earth is as much her child as I am, and she said we are harming the earth. She placed her hand upon mine, encouraged me to study further, and she smiled and said, “I have hope. I hope others join your efforts and choose to honor the earth. It is a good place and much good happens here, and the good people of the world have the spiritual and intellectual resources needed to work together and to pass on a better world than the one they inherited. Stay the course and keep an attitude of openness. Keep trying and keep learning. This is worth your effort.”


Scripture for Daily Mass


Monday: (Judges 2) The children of Israel offended the LORD by serving the Baals. Abandoning the LORD, the God of their fathers, who led them out of the land of Egypt, they followed the other gods of the various nations around them, and by their worship of these gods provoked the LORD.

Tuesday: (Judges 6) Gideon said to him, “My Lord, if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are his wondrous deeds of which our fathers told us when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ For now the LORD has abandoned us and has delivered us into the power of Midian.”


Wednesday: (Judges 9) All the citizens of Shechem and all Beth-millo came together and proceeded to make Abimelech king by the terebinth at the memorial pillar in Shechem.


Thursday: (Judges 11) Jephthah made a vow to the LORD. “If you deliver the Ammonites into my power,” he said, “whoever comes out of the doors of my house
to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites shall belong to the LORD.
I shall offer him up as a burnt offering.”


Friday (Ruth 1) Naomi said, “See now! Your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her god. Go back after your sister-in-law!” But Ruth said, “Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you! For wherever you go, I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge, your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” 


Saturday (Ruth 2) Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter! Do not go to glean in anyone else’s field; you are not to leave here. Stay here with my women servants. Watch to see which field is to be harvested, and follow them.



Monday: (Matthew 19) He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good?
There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”


Tuesday: (Matthew 19) “We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 


Wednesday (Matthew 20) So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage. And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’ 


Thursday (Matthew 22) The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come. A second time he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.


Friday (Matthew 22) You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments. 


Saturday (Matthew 23) The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them.


Saints of the Week


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. 


August 16: Stephen of Hungary (975-1038) tried to unite the Magyar families and was able to establish the church in Hungary through Pope Sylvester II's support. Rome crowed Stephen as the first king in 1001 and he instituted many reforms in religious and civil practices. He built churches and trained local clergy.


August 18: Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, S.J., priest (1901-1952), was a Chilean Jesuit priest, lawyer, writer and social worker who was born in the Basque region in Spain. He established Hogar de Cristo, that housed at-risk children, whether orphaned or not, and provided them food and shelter. Hurtado also supported the rise of labor union and labor rights in Chile.


August 19: John Eudes, priest (1601-1680) preached missions, heard confessions, and assisted the sick and dying. He founded a new religious order for women, which includes Our Lady of Charity and the Good Shepherd Sisters. He eventually left the Oratorians to found the Congregation of Jesus and Mary.  


August 20: Bernard, Abbot and Doctor (1090-1153) became a Benedictine abbey in Citeaux because of its strict observance. He was sent to set up a new monastery in Clairvaux with 12 other monks. He wrote theological treatises, sermons, letters, and commentaries that dominated the thought of Europe. His writings had a tremendous influence of Catholic spirituality.


August 21: Pius X, pope (1835-1914), was an Italian parish priest for 17 years before he became bishop of Mantua, the cardinal patriarch of Venice, and eventually pope. He urged frequent communion for adults, sacramental catechesis for children, and continued education for everyone. He is known for rigid political policies that put him at odds with a dynamically changing world that led to World War I.


This Week in Jesuit History


  • August 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. 
  • August 15, 1955: The Wisconsin Province was formed from the Missouri Province and the Detroit Province was formed from the Chicago province. 
  • August 16, 1649: At Drogheda, Cromwell's soldiers shot Fr. John Bath and his brother, a secular priest, in the marketplace. 
  • August 17, 1823: Fr. Van Quickenborne and a small band of missionaries descended the Missouri River to evangelize the Indians at the request of the bishop of St. Louis. On this date in 1829, the College of St. Louis opened. 
  • August 18, 1952: The death of Alberto Hurtado, writer, retreat director, trade unionist and founder of "El Hogar de Christo," a movement to help the homeless in Chile. 
  • August 19, 1846: At Melgar, near Burgos, the birth of Fr. Luis Martin, 24th General of the Society. 
  • August 20, 1891: At Santiago, Chile, the government of Balmaceda ordered the Jesuit College to be closed. 
  • August 21, 1616: At Pont a Mousson in Lorraine died Fr. William Murdoch, a Scotchman, who when only 10 years of age was imprisoned seven months for the faith and cruelly beaten by the order of a Protestant bishop. St. Ignatius is said to have appeared to him and encouraged him to bear the cross bravely.

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