To all our parishioners and dear friends of our parish community…Praised be Jesus Christ! Now and Forever!
The Summer months bring us an opportunity for rest, relaxation and vacation days! Pope Benedict XVI will spend two weeks this month of July vacationing in the cooler Italian Alps at Les Combes, in the same humble cabin that he used for Summer Vacations in 2005 and 2006.
Pope Benedict gave us some advice during a recent general audience. “We must set aside time in life for God, to open our life to God with a thought, a meditation, a small prayer, and not to forget Sunday is the day of the Lord.”
In today’s Gospel, Jesus had a rough time preaching in His home town of Nazareth. After all, His audience knows Mary, His Mother, and St. Joseph, His foster-father, his cousins (cousins are called “brothers and sisters” here and in a few other places in the Scriptures) and saw Him grow up and learn a trade. “A prophet is not without honor,” Jesus says, “except in his native place and in his own house.”
These words of Jesus can be a comfort to us. If we’ve found a positive religious path in life, our family might know us too well and not accept it. We can rest easy knowing the same was true for Christ. On the other hand, these words can be used as a bad excuse for complacent, self-righteous self-pity. We can decide that perhaps these exempt us from reaching out to our family.
We can fancy ourselves persecuted prophets! We humbly submit a third way to understand these words of Jesus. They aren’t how to feel about yourself, but how to feel about your family. One’s family may provide an obstacle to evangelization. Don’t despair or give up! One should find a way to evangelize them anyway. After all, look at today’s First Reading. In it, Ezekiel is sent explicitly to reach out to a “rebellious house.” In the Gospel, Jesus didn’t neglect giving evangelization at home a try.
The Gospel even shows what approach Jesus took with these things at home. He cured a few people who were sick and was willing to speak about spiritual things. Friends in Christ, we can do the same! Do good things at home, and speak naturally about your Catholic faith, whenever it comes up. It won’t be easy. But you also don’t get a pass just because it’s tough! On your Summer vacation days together with your family, please encourage them to go to Sunday Mass or even Daily Masses with you.
Pray the Rosary together as a family or say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy while driving in the car. Pray a brief Grace before and thanksgiving after meals together. Visit a nearby Catholic Church on your journey. Often, today, you must be the one leading your wayward family members back to Holy Mass and the reception of the Sacraments.
Remember, there is NO VACATION from Sunday Mass!!! Keep close to Jesus throughout these lazy, hazy, and often crazy days of Summer! Jesus is the peace of mind, heart, and soul that we need. Please also remember to save me t he parish bulletins from Catholic Churches you visit this Summer! I enjoy reading them all! Have a great Summer vacation time! Enjoy!
Blessings upon your Summer Days!