“The reign of God is at hand.” This cry from today’s Gospel is what our preaching is all about: a Kingdom has already arrived, created by God and having its own characteristics established by God. The fact that it is among us, that it is “at hand,” forces a crisis. We must decide today to join it, or more accurately, to let it take hold of us. If that is our decision, or has been already, then we are called to live accordingly.
This reign, or kingdom, is described by the Church’s liturgy on as “A kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love, and peace” (Preface, Feast of Christ the King). These characteristics all hold together inseparably and integrally, because they are all aspects of the one God, who is the Kingdom. They can all be summarized by any of the individual words, and today’s first reading and Gospel passage summarize them by the word “peace.”
The apostles are sent to proclaim “peace,” just as Isaiah proclaimed to Jerusalem (representing God’s people blessed with the Covenant). This is not a peace we construct with our diplomatic, political, military or creative skills. It is a peace we receive from on high. But there is, the, an appropriate response that follows from us. We are to prepare the way to receive this peace by repenting of what destroys it, and then we are to live in accordance with the demands of that peace.
Respect for everyone’s right to life, beginning with the unborn from fertilization, and including all the disabled and terminally ill, is absolutely essential to peace. Peace is not lost when guns are fired or bombs dropped. Rather, peace is lost as soon as the human rights of even a single individual are violated. Our neighborhoods may seem “peaceful,” but if an abortion clinic is operating in our midst, there is no peace, because the human rights of those unborn children are violated as they are dismembered. Moreover, anywhere in a nation where an unborn child is not protected is a place where there is not yet peace. To pursue and preserve peace means not only that we do not participate in abortion; it means we do not tolerate it. It means we work vigorously to restore respect and protection to every human life.
The sixth chapter of Jeremiah is a passage that contrasts with today’s first reading. It speaks of the siege of Jerusalem. God says that some prophets spoke falsely because “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace’ they say, when there is no peace” (Jer. 6:14). So it is today if God’s people seek justice, mercy, and peace, while failing to see how serious is our wound when we allow abortion. There cannot be peace in the world if there is no peace in the womb. There cannot be peace between nations if there is no peace between a mother and her own children. As Mother Teresa said in her 1994 National Prayer Breakfast speech, “If we say that a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell people not to kill each other?”
The reign of God is at hand, and it is a culture of life.
Digest of Articles from Catholic Blogs and Websites
July 7, 2013
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Earlier in his gospel Luke tells us the intention of Jesus as he begins his ministry: “To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God because for this purpose I have been sent”(4:43). Later when he was accused of driving out demons by the power of Beelzebul he responded, “But if it is by the finger [power] of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you”(11:20). Now Jesus appoints seventy-two others whom he sends out with the same mission and purpose as his own. The disciples receive instructions about how they are to carry out their mission: for example, they are to “carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals.” There is also an ominous word of warning. Jesus says, “I am sending you like lambs among wolves.” He assures them, however, that Satan has fallen. Yet the disciples are to rejoice, not because the evil spirits are subject to them, but because their names are written in heaven — they belong to God.
14th Sunday: Boasting in the Cross
“May I never boast save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Galatians 6:14.
This is quite a change. St. Paul is speaking positively about boasting. I thought boasting was bad. I thought we were never supposed to boast. I mean, I know that last year I was conceited and that this year I’m perfect, but I also know that it is wrong to boast about it. Is there ever a time when boasting is OK, even good?
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
If you feel that God is calling you to become a member of the Roman Catholic Church you should speak to one of the priests or the Pastoral Assistant.
There is a programme of preparation that normally begins in the autumn and leads to reception into the Church at the Easter Vigil. It involves regular meetings with other enquirers and their sponsors so that you can explore the Catholic faith in an atmosphere of reflection and prayer with other people in a similar situation to yourself.
Romans 1:17ff A Prophetic Interpretation of Reality for Our Times?
Scripture is a prophetic interpretation of reality. That is, it tells us what is really going on from the perspective of the Lord of History. As an inspired text it traces out not only the current of the times, but also the trajectory, the end to which things tend. It is of course important for us to read Scripture with the Church and exercise the care the Church would have us show and, at the end of the day, to submit our understanding to the rule of faith and the context of Sacred Tradition.
Lumen Fidei: A Summary on Pope Francis’ First Encyclical
Pope Francis has released his first encyclical along with some help from Pope Benedict XVI who completed most of the draft before he resigned from the Papacy.
[For more basic facts on the release of this encyclical, see 7 Things You Need to Know about Pope Francis’ First Encyclical]
First, this encyclical is fantastic. I think the Church will be thinking, praying, and quoting this one for a very long time. The Church, especially in the West, is hungry for a renewal of the faith. During this Year of Faith, this encyclical on faith is a tremendous addition to the conversation that is going on throughout the world.
14 things you need to know about Pope Francis’s new encyclical
Pope Francis has just released his first encyclical, Lumen Fidei, or “the light of faith.”
The first encyclical of a pope is always closely watched, because it frequently signals the way in which he intends to govern the Church.
This new encyclical is even more intriguing because much of it was actually written by former Pope Benedict.
Here are 14 things you need to know . . .