The natural human response to hatred is revenge and war. The natural human response is to fight back. An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth. The other response is that of Jesus Christ. He stands up to the evil in his innocence and he takes the cross willingly.
The Internet is buzzing loudly today with sales at Amazon and Wal-Mart! Now, other online merchants like Target and Best Buy are creating other artificial shopping holidays for next week. Everywhere online you see the term Christmas in July to describe the frenzy of sales and shopping.
Of course it is all an illusion.
One of the characteristics of an everyday steward is that he or she is mindful. When we are mindful of where we are, what we are doing, and our all that surrounds us, two things are possible: 1) We can truly be grateful to God for all that has been given to us, and 2) We can hear Christ speak to us in ways that we would miss otherwise. We find ourselves living in the present without the baggage of the past and without fear of the future.
For Sunday, July 19, 2015, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
At a time when you would think a lot of Americans are heading for the beach or the campground for vacation, more of us may actually be staying home.
A survey last January found an astonishing forty-two percent of workers didn’t take a single vacation day in 2014.
“Women took fewer vacation days than men; young Americans are skimping on vacation days; suburbia is taking slightly more vacation days than rest of the country; workers in the U.S. South took least vacation days while those in the U.S. West did most; and the poor are bearing the brunt of least amount of vacation days in the country.”
It can be hard—and, of course, expensive—to take time from work. And the demands of a lot of jobs make finding time for vacation sometimes impossible. That’s not new. As this Sunday’s Gospel reminds us, even Jesus had difficulty taking a break. Setting out for a “deserted place” for rest, he couldn’t escape his work. Moved by the needs of those who sought him out—appearing to him “like sheep without a shepherd”—he couldn’t help but continue to minister to them.
The thought of an overworked Jesus still seeking to serve, teach, and heal those around him is both confounding and consoling. On the one hand, it would be nice to think that even the Son of God could catch a breather every now and then. But on the other hand, we realize that the One who is so much like us—”in all things but sin”—is also continually close to us. He does not, cannot, turn his back on us in our need. Emmanuel, God with us, continues to remain with us—even when he faces the very real and very human need to get away.
Whether we find ourselves able to go on vacation or not this season, we can take some solace in this simple but consoling truth:
Christ is always near us—available, accessible, attentive. No matter what, the Messiah doesn’t go on vacation.
Dcn. Greg Kandra
O almighty and merciful God,
Who hast commissioned Thy angels to guide and protect us,
command them to be our assiduous companions
from our setting out until our return;
to clothe us with their invisible protection;
to keep us from all danger of collision,
of fire, of explosion, of falls and bruises;
and finally, having preserved us from all evil,
and especially from sin,
to guide us to our heavenly home.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
—Prayer for Travelers attributed to Bishop Felix Dupanloup, 1802–1878.
In the final homily of his trip to South America Pope Francis said that a key aspect of Christian spirituality and evangelization is to have a welcoming attitude toward others, especially those most in need.
“How much good we can do, if only we try to speak the language of hospitality, of welcome! How much pain can be soothed, how much despair can be allayed in a place where we feel at home!
As Christians, we certainly have the freedom to choose. Built on a foundation of morals and virtues we come to know right from wrong and understand the ingredients that ultimately bring us happiness, and the ones that bring us suffering.
When I first became a Christian, I was taught that it was my duty to give my “time, talent, and treasure” to the church because “that’s what it says in The Bible.” And though there are many things about our faith that we know as ‘duty’ or ‘obligation,’ I think that understanding stewardship in the context of a love relationship is a more fruitful way of looking at it.
Growth is a sign of life. Of course, weeds also grow, so it’s important that your church cultivates healthy growth. Whether your congregation is large or small, affluent or financially challenged, old or new, we all want our churches to be places where the Gospel can grow. Here are five questions to ask if your church isn’t experiencing healthy growth.
Are you overwhelmed planning your annual summer vacation? We’ve narrowed down the list of places to visit to the best spots in the U.S. of A. with saintly names. Take your family somewhere new and exciting, but make it a learning experience too! These places have loads of history, as well as good eats and fun activities.
Many churches and faith based organizations find themselves in need of computers to complete their work, but without the budget to buy equipment. InterConnection’s online store allows churches to buy computers at a fraction of the cost.