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11th Sunday in Ordinary Time - June 24, 2018


Traducir al Español

By Deacon Jeff Mevissen

A farmer sows seed in his field.  The farmer does not fabricate the seeds – they are provided by nature.  The farmer does not make the seeds grow – the growth is provided by nature.  Nature, however, cannot harvest the crop – the farmer is attentive to the ripening grain and harvests the crop in due time.  The farmer cooperates with nature to harvest a crop.  In the same way, we cooperate with grace to gain a harvest for the Reign of God.  The parables of Jesus like the miracles of Jesus fill us with wonder and invite us to recognize the presence and power of God among us.

 

Most Catholics are baptized before they are aware of God’s presence in their life.  It belongs to parents and godparents to teach us that we are temples of the Holy Spirit, that we are members of the body of Christ, that we are endowed with gifts from God and we are stewards of these gifts, that we are called by God and chosen by God to live for Him and to be of service to our brothers and sisters.  Our parents and godparents teach us to cooperate with grace to yield a harvest for the Reign of God.

 

We cooperate with grace to recognize that our bodies are a gift of God.  We care for our bodies with good nutrition and exercise so we can be strong and healthy in God’s service.  The one who says, “My body, my choice,” does not have an authentic Christian attitude and needs to ask, “How can I glorify God with my body?”  We pray for those who contemplate suicide that in their darkest hour they are able to ask, “How can my life glorify God?”

 

We cooperate with grace when we honor the Sabbath.  God made the heavens and the earth in six days and on the seventh day stepped back and recognized how good was his creation.  In the same way we step back on Sunday to recognize that life is a gift and life is more than work and shopping.  We dedicate the Sabbath to worship, community, and family because these are what is most precious in life.  I love the story, Chariots of Fire, in which Eric Liddell represents Scotland in the 1924 Olympics. Liddell refuses to run a 100 meter race in because the race is held on Sunday and he believes it violates his Sunday rest.  Liddell competes instead in a 400 meter race, a race he had not trained for.  Liddell won the 400 meter gold medal.  A competitor slipped him a note, “God honors those who honor him.”

 

We cooperate with grace when we strive for social justice.  The first letter of John challenges us, “How can we say we love God whom we cannot see when we fail to love the brother or sister whom we can see?”  Likewise, Jesus in the Gospel of John challenges us, “Love one another as I have loved you.”  In  public life there are good spirits and evil spirits moving among us.  We must cooperate with the good spirits which are of God, and impede the evil spirits which are not of God.

Fr. ‘Rick sent me birthday greetings because Thursday I celebrated the 31st  anniversary of my 30th birthday.  He sent a card that said, “Words are so powerful they should only be used to bless, to heal, and to prosper.”  I believe that is a good reflection for the vocation of fathers – that God empowers fathers to bless, to heal, and to lead to prosperity.  What a sacred calling!  Thank God our Father in Heaven for sharing this power with earthly fathers.  We ask all fathers to stand for a special blessing.