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July 2019 Weekly Bulletin Messages

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July 28th, 2019 – 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“There are two kinds of people: those who say to God,
“Thy Will Be Done,”
and those to whom God says,
“All right, then, have it your way.”

(C.S Lewis)

Dear Friends,

It goes without saying for most of us that we fall in the second category of the above quote. We like to have things our way, and though there is a certain element of human nature that explains that that is just the way things are for humans, it leads to a real danger that the more we think like that, the more we are prone to control others and have them live according to our needs and expectations.

What I love about God is that he wants what is best for us, even when we make choices that are rooted in selfishness and control. As we see in today’s first reading, God is a God of second chances, stretching to the furthest possible point His mercy so that in the mystery of our lives, we might just begin to get it—that fighting God’s loving will for us leads to nothing but frustration and unhappiness.

In His Son’s surrender to the cross we see the seeds of that ultimate trust in a love greater than our own. We see that all God wants for us to do is trust, and leave the rest to His love. God’s will for us is happiness.

We might not get our way, but in the Way, the Truth. The Life—Jesus…. We find true happiness. We have God’s Word.

Sincerely, with love,
Fr. Tim

July 21st, 2019 – 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

Do you ever feel like you are being pulled in a million different directions on a daily basis? I imagine that this is a common experience for many of us.

In our Gospel this Sunday, another translation of the text reads that Martha was “distracted with much service” (Luke 10:40). Distracted literally means “to be drawn, or pulled, in different directions”. As much as we want to be like Mary, so often our experience is that of Martha – being pulled in a million different directions by work, family, friends, and commitments in the community. We often have early mornings and late nights, and calendars that fill up at a dizzying pace. Text messages and social media means that we are always connected – a great blessing! But this makes it hard to hear God’s voice who speaks to us in the silence of prayer.

Each week, I like to think of Sunday Mass as a “mini-retreat”. As you come into Church, take a deep breath, put those phones on airplane mode, and treat yourself to the next hour. Give your worries and burdens to the Lord, and tune out those distractions. Don’t worry if you arrive a little late, or if you sleep during the homily! It’s still good that you came. Jesus wants to speak to us as He did with Mary that day. He knows how life can overwhelm us at times. He knows that in our efforts to love and serve we can get “distracted”, pulled in a million different directions, and eventually worn down. Jesus knows we are tired, so He gives us a “mini-retreat” each Sunday at Mass to nourish us with His life-giving word.

Blessings on your week, and as always, don’t hesitate to reach out if we can be of help in any way.

Sincerely, with love,
Fr. John

July 14th, 2019 – 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Friends,

I looked up the word “neighbor” and pleasantly discovered that is can be used as both a noun and a verb. A neighbor is someone who lives nearby, and to neighbor is to ACT as a neighbor should.

In the Gospel of Luke this Sunday, Jesus is asked “And who is my neighbor?” and responds not with a definition of where someone lives, but in the story of the Good Samaritan how a true neighbor acts. Our Holy Father has so wonderfully expressed that we are called to be a culture of encounter, always trying to see the other as my brother and sister, my neighbor, no matter what.

It is really hard to put people in groups that separate when we encounter them as real people. To begin the work of solving racism, we need to meet people of other races. To begin to understand the issue of immigration, we need to meet immigrants. To begin to understand those who struggle with poverty, we need to meet them.

To put it briefly and simply, we need to neighbor more people to understand who is our neighbor and begin the seemingly daunting task of acting like a neighbor to all, especially those most different than we are. With God’s grace, that which seems most daunting is really possible!

For in the end, we are all children of God. He neighbored us by sending His only Son, whose universal call to loving others makes every neighborhood a good neighborhood, stretching far and wide the Kingdom of God.

So neighbor, get busy neighboring!

Sincerely, with love,
Fr. Tim

July 7th, 2019 – 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Yet know this: The Kingdom of God is at hand.

(Gospel of St. Luke, ch. 10)

Dear Friends,

As we move through the summer and Ordinary time in the liturgical calendar, we pray that “holy rest” be high on our list of things to do!

It goes without saying that we live with fast-paced, busy, full, and at times, crazy schedules. When I was a kid, I loved summer vacation because there were no more pressing tasks than playground attendance, bike-rides, baseball, tennis, beach visits, and field trips. Maybe grass cutting, but the summer July heat burnt out the grass, to my father’s disappointment and my joy.

This summer, as I approach my sixtieth year, I decided not to go anywhere for the months of July and August. Not only the rigors of age, but the demands of running parishes and the wise care of good spiritual direction have prompted me to slow down and take some holy rest. I promise to keep working hard, but I will waste some time too!

I remember reading a book in college by Josef Pieper called Leisure: The Basis of Culture. I am going to reread it—might I suggest you Google it or go to the library. In it, he maintains that in this modern era we have forgotten the true nature of leisure and in our “productive” lives, we sometimes miss out on what is really going on for a believer—God’s Kingdom is here! In beauty and love, in relationships, in prayer and meditation! In time spent with Christ through restful renewal!

So take some time! If you need me to call your boss, I will (smile!)

Sincerely, with love,
Fr. Tim