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14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Our love for God...
When things are going well or when we need a favour we will make tremendous promises to God - Ill always say my prayers, I give my life to you, make any sacrifices for you, carry the cross with you - but the next day a slight headache, feeling tired, a small insult from someone, a slight set back and it's the end of the world. Our Lord has to put up with very inconstant lovers.
It's a similar attitude in today's Gospel. They see the wisdom of Our Lord, his miracles, they are astonished, but they find an unrelated reason to reject him. "He's the carpenter's son". In the same way we recognise our Lord in the Blessed Eucharist, we acknowledge he is God and so we accept what he teaches us through the Church as true - but then we say I will obey tomorrow, today I am too tired, I've something else to do, Jesus doesn't mind.
And yet as the first reading today makes clear our call, in our particular walk of life is this "I am sending you to them - whether they listen or not they will know there is a prophet among them" or we might say "they will know there is a catholic among them". All our words, our actions, all our lives should say I love Jesus, I am a catholic. Your friends and family and work colleagues should know that there is no point in asking you to go shopping on Sunday morning you've got mass to go to, no point in asking you to steal, lie, commit adultery or break any of the ten commandments, 'cause you're a catholic. They shouldn't be surprised when you say grace before meals, carry rosary beads, abstain from meat on Fridays, 'cause you're a Catholic.
Your friends and family and work colleagues should know that there is no point in asking you to go shopping on Sunday morning you've got mass to go to, no point in asking you to steal, lie, commit adultery or break any of the ten commandments, 'cause you're a catholic.
This may lead to opposition - from simple mockery to violent opposition. You may feel you are not holy enough to be always faithful, or clever enough to defend what you are doing. Don't worry. St. Paul knew that feeling. As he writes in the 2nd reading "When I am weak - then I am strong" because as God said to him "My grace is enough for you - my power is at its best in weakness.
Finding strength in Holy Communion
And yes we've all failed in different ways - but for encouragement and consolation cast your mind back to your first communion, think how Danielle, Ellie, Daniel and Ethan feel today, remember the joy and faith with which you received the gift of God, Jesus himself in Holy Communion. Pray for them but pray for ourselves too that we might experience again the enthusiasm and optimism, the love and faith, which we may have lost a bit but which can be ours again.