2017-07-02, 13th A, Postscript

Homily 07-02-17
13th Sunday Ordinary Time, Cycle A, 7:00 and 10am Mass
2 Kgs 4:8-11, 14-16a; Ps 89:2-3, 16-17, 18-19; Rom 6:3-4, 8-11; Mt 10:37-42

(Scriptures included after homily)

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With the caveat that I fully understand that most of you, faithful, 7:00 am, Sunday Mass people are vigilant at coming the same time every week.  And that’s commendable.  But, if you just happened to be at the 10:00 Mass last week and didn’t know what was coming, you were in for several rare and exciting surprises.

We might almost call it: “a once in a lifetime experience.”

And if you made a place in your heart to welcome the stranger, just like the influential woman in today’s first reading, who received the Prophet Elisha into her home;

and IF you were prepared to accept the unexpected, just like the reward of a miraculous pregnancy that the woman received for her generous hospitality . . . even though she never expected payment for her generosity;

you just may have received the reward that Jesus speaks of in today’s Gospel for those who are willing to take up whatever crosses they may have to bear, like coming to a different Mass, or like losing a little life in order to gain the unfathomable.

And, like me, your life may never be the same again!

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So, what were these rare and exciting surprises?

Well, to begin with, something extremely rare happened with the readings for that 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time.

Instead of hearing the Scriptures that most every other Catholic in the nation and the world heard last Sunday, we heard the readings from the Feast Day of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which always occurs on the third Saturday after Pentecost.

It just so happened that this year the Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist, which always occurs on the 24th of June, also fell on the Saturday, Feast day of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

And since a Solemnity takes precedence over a Feast Day in our Church calendar, this year Mary got bumped.

EXCEPT!

Except, since The Immaculate Heart of Mary is the Patroness of our Diocese, our Bishop promulgated its celebration in all of our parishes to be held last Sunday.

And so, we had some very unusual and beautiful Scripture readings for a Sunday.

And that was our first rare and exciting surprise.

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Then, besides the unusual readings, last Sunday, at 10:00 am, we also celebrated a Thanksgiving Mass for the Ordination of our son as a Franciscan Priest.

So, as a parish, WE, you and I, actually welcomed the stranger into our home to celebrate Mass with us, just like the woman who welcomed Elisha.

And IF you were AT that 10:00 Mass, you got to hear some pretty moving and inspiring interpretations of those unique and beautiful Sunday Scriptures about our Blessed Mother Mary and ourselves.

You see, we celebrated both Fr. James’ accomplishment and OUR accomplishment.

But then you might be thinking to yourselves, “What do you mean, Deacon Joe, ‘OUR accomplishment?’  He’s your son.”

Ahhh yes, but that brings us back to today’s Gospel.

Jesus said, “whoever loves father or mother, son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

You see, in the end, it’s really not about Fr. James, nor Dn. Joe.  It’s really all about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

St. Paul reminds us today, that just as in Baptism, where we died to ourselves to become Children of God, so, in Ordination, our son Jamey, the product of your friendship and upbringing;

This child of our own parish, has now become a Father
to ALL of us.

And everywhere he goes, and to every lost soul he recovers,
– a little piece of Columbia, Missouri,
– a little piece of Our Lady of Lourdes,
– a little piece of every one of you
goes with him . . .

And a whole lot of Jesus brightens those souls through him.

You see, He really is YOUR son and your father as well.

And as much as you all want to congratulate us,
WE congratulate YOU!

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Today we hear about this rich woman from Shunem, a town in the close vicinity of another called NainAnd she welcomed the Prophet Elisha in the Name of the Lord.

She fed him. She gave him a place to rest.  And she received the reward of a Prophet: A miraculous son, who later-on died and was also miraculously revived by Elisha.

Last Sunday we welcomed the new Fr. James back home – in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  And Fr James FED us with His Word and His Body.

And we received the reward of Jesus, Living within us, just as we do, here at His altar – every Sunday.

And just like the son of the woman from Shunem,

And just like the son of the widow from Nain, (Lk 7:11-17)

OUR son, Fr. James, has also lost his life for the sake of the Lord.

And in taking his Franciscan vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, he has forsaken a life of fast cars and . . (well you know the rest).

He has forsaken a life of marriage and children, houses and bills.

And in the process, he has gained a family, larger than any of us can even imagine.

You see, he truly has found LIFE!

And we can say the same for all of our priests and religious.

Yes, they still have their challenges.  And for them, we pray, just as we pray for our own fathers and mothers.

Jesus said, “whoever receives you, receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me

When we give of ourselves for the Lord, we too will receive.

For in Jesus, we truly are blessed as – ONE, Holy Family, bound together in the name of His love!

jmp 07-02-17

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Scripture Readings for the Mass of 07-02-17
Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
, A

First Reading:  2 Kgs 4:8-11, 14-16a

One day Elisha came to Shunem, where there was a woman of influence, who urged him to dine with her.

Afterward, whenever he passed by, he used to stop there to dine. So she said to her husband, “I know that Elisha is a holy man of God. Since he visits us often, let us arrange a little room on the roof and furnish it for him with a bed, table, chair, and lamp, so that when he comes to us he can stay there.”

Sometime later Elisha arrived and stayed in the room overnight.

Later Elisha asked, “Can something be done for her?”  His servant Gehazi answered, “Yes! She has no son, and her husband is getting on in years.”  Elisha said, “Call her.” When the woman had been called and stood at the door, Elisha promised, “This time next year you will be fondling a baby son.”

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 89:2-3, 16-17, 18-19

R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

The promises of the LORD I will sing forever, through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness. For you have said, “My kindness is established forever;” in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.

R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Blessed the people who know the joyful shout; in the light of your countenance, O LORD, they walk. At your name they rejoice all the day, and through your justice they are exalted.

R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

You are the splendor of their strength, and by your favor our horn is exalted. For to the LORD belongs our shield, and the Holy One of Israel, our king.

R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Second Reading:  Rom 6:3-4, 8-11

Brothers and sisters: Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.

If, then, we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him.

As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his life, he lives for God. Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.

Gospel:  Mt 10:37-42

Jesus said to his apostles: “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.

Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward.

And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because the little one is a disciple – amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”

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