My dear parishioners and friends of our parish community: Praised be Jesus Christ! Now and forever!
For weeks now we have been hearing Gospel messages that invite us all to consider behaviors and attitudes that often stand in stark contrast to the behaviors and attitudes often espoused by our modern society. This Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time is no exception.
Today the Lord Jesus asks us to learn from Him, the one who is “meek and humble of heart” (St. Matthew 11:25-30). We are living in challenging times! Who can sustain us? Only Jesus and His Most Sacred Heart! Yes, we learn all from Jesus. Humility is a difficult trait to develop in a daily atmosphere of competition and one-upmanship. As we listen to our Lord’s words of comfort and assurance, let’s ask Him for the grace of a humble heart.
Name one area in your own life where you could practice more humility. Jesus has one simple command for us: “Learn from me.”
Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, opened the special “Holy Year of Grace Honoring St. Paul, Apostle” last weekend, June 28th and 29th, 2008, in Rome. It continues until June 29th, 2009. Who is St. Paul? Why the inauguration of a Jubilee Year of St. Paul? In the words last Sunday of Pope Benedict XVI: “St Paul is the teacher of the Gentiles, a Holy Apostle, and Proclaimer of Jesus Christ.” This is how St. Paul characterizes himself in a retrospective look at the course of his own life in Christ. This Jubilee Year marks the 2,000th Anniversary of St. Paul’s birth in Tarsus (modern-day Turkey). But with this, our attention is not only directed to the past. “Teacher of the Gentiles” – this title is open to the future, to all people and to all generations. St. Paul is not for us only a figure of the past, whom the Church recalls with veneration. St. Paul is also a Teacher, Apostle, and Proclaimer of Jesus Christ to us as well.
We have therefore a very special Holy Year to reflect on a history that has not been left behind forever. St. Paul wants to speak with us today. I ask you, as your pastor, to begin paying greater attention to the Epistles of St. Paul that are part of each Sunday Mass in our second reading. Today’s reading is a section of his Letter to the Romans: “Whoever does not have the Spirit in Christ does not belong to Him” (Romans 8: 9-10). In our difficult times, please attune your life to Christ as did St. Paul.
This Friday, July 11th, is the Feast of St. Benedict: the special name’s day of Pope Benedict XVI. It’s only fitting that we join our prayers for the intentions of our Holy Father and wish him a very happy Name’s Day, with deep esteem, much joy, continued health, and good blessings!
Blessed Jubilee Year of St. Paul, Apostle!
Pleasant Summer Sunday to all of you!
Always, Father Jim
Jesus of Nazareth – Jesus and the Children