Life sometimes catches us by surprise. Everything is smooth sailing and then like a sudden, raging storm at sea life turns on us. A pandemic strikes the entire world. The waves rise up like mountains all around us and we begin to think we might be going under. At such a time, take heart. We are not alone. Remember, Jesus was in the boat with his disciples in that storm.
Saints Peter and Paul –
Jesus took a poll to find out what others thought about him, what others were saying of him. So, who do people say you are as a Christ follower? It would be interesting for all of us to take a poll; kind of an evaluation of ourselves by our peers, by those with whom we live and work as to our life as a follower of Christ. It takes a lot of courage to see how people perceive us.
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time –
My friends, all we need do is to read the gospels and we will know immediately, from the life of Jesus, what kind of behavior is expected of us. We are expected to love one another, to accept others as Jesus did, to go the extra mile and not count the cost. We are expected to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, and clothe the naked and visit the sick and imprisoned, we are expected to do unto others as we would have them to unto us.
This gospel passage always said to me that we who are in good health have a Christian obligation to those who are not as fortunate. I really believe that all of us who are in relatively good health have a responsibility to reach out to those who are not feeling well. It might be visits to the sick, it might be a phone call, it might be a card. Whatever we can do will be a special presence of Jesus to those who are ill. Let us not forget all those suffering in many ways due to the pandemic.
Let us pray today for the spirit of gratitude and humility to enable us to mirror the Gospel of compassion in our own selfless giving, to commit ourselves to what is right and just, to have respect for all our brothers and sisters, to care for the sick, the troubled, and all in need especially for those suffering in any way due to the pandemic.
Real Christians ground their life in faith and express their faith in life. When Jesus spoke of the final judgment, people were divided according to those who did something and those who did not. The separation of the sheep and goats was based on action. A good beginning in doing his will is to build a sensible foundation for our lives. One who does the will of God builds his/her house on rock. I know we all believe, but what are we doing with these beliefs.
The Nativity of St. John the Baptist –
On this feast of St. John the Baptist, let us firmly and definitively renew our faith and trust in God as our life unfolds from day to day, not according to our plans but according to His plans and God will be faithful to us.
In every action of life, we are confronted with a choice. It is a choice between the hard way and the easy way. And there is never an easy way to greatness. In this world, we are constantly faced with the hasty way of doing things which promises immediate results. Yes, the instant age. It is the difference between the disciplined and the undisciplined. It is the difference between the thoughtful and the thoughtless.
When we operate from a point of view of superiority, we can’t see the beam in our eye, but it is easy to see the splinter in the eyes of others. This usually occurs when we divide or separate ourselves from others based on age, race, education, politics, etc. The best incentive to stop judging is Jesus’ proclamation that we will be judged by God the same way that we judge others. And certainly none of us would want our own criteria of judgment applied to us.
Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time –
Thank God for what he has given you. Thank God for the way he made you. Thank God that he thought enough to make you so special and unique even though you might not think so. We are worth more than a whole flock of sparrows. I think it would be very helpful if we shared this message with one another by telling others how much you really appreciate their presence.