Sunday, June 30, 2019
Monday, 13th Week in Ordinary Time
St. Junipero Serra, Priest and Missionary
Gn 18 : 16 – 33 / Mt 8: 18 – 22
Born in Mallorca, Spain St. Junipero Serra (1713 – 1784) joined the Franciscans and, as a missionary in the New World, established many churches and Christian communities in the US West Coast. Beatified by Pope St. John Paul II on 25 September 1988, he was canonized by Pope Francis in Washington D.C. on 23 September 2015.
FROM THE 1ST READING: Gn 18: 32
But Abraham insisted, "May my Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more: What if only ten people can be found?" And Yahweh answered, "For the sake of ten good people, I will not destroy Sodom."
GOSPEL READING: Mt 8: 18 – 22
When Jesus saw the crowd press around him, he gave orders to cross to the other shore. A teacher of the Law approached him and said, "Master, I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.''
Another disciple said to him, "Lord, let me go and bury my father first." But Jesus answered him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead."
In the first reading we see Abraham "bargaining" with God to save Sodom from destruction for their evil deeds: "Will you really let the just perish with the wicked?" "Perhaps there are fifty good people in the town. Would you not spare the place for the sake of these fifty righteous people?" Abraham pleaded with God to spare Sodom for even less good people and God agreed, "For the sake of ten good people, I will not destroy Sodom."
There were not ten good people and Sodom was destroyed.
How often are we like Abraham trying to "bargain" with God? Such bargaining is not bad: it shows close familiarity and trust in God.
In the Gospel reading we hear from Jesus what following him entails. We Christians pray, proclaiming to all, that we "will follow the Lord wherever he goes."
In our daily life, do we really do so? Don't we usually tell our Lord, "I need to work as I have a deadline to meet or I need to rush to buy stuff in the supermarket or the mall because of the one-day sale, or fix the car, or relax in the beach, etc. and then I will pray! By that time, we are tired and spent and ready to sleep out. Doesn't it seem like we are allocating our lowest energy time to our Lord, thus putting him at lowest priority, he who created us and sustains us?
Jesus' statement that the "Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head" emphasizes our imbalance of values or priorities. He keeps knocking into each person's heart for a place to reside and many times we simply choose to ignore him, and prefer to pursue our day-to-day routines and tasks and to attend instead to our mundane needs.
FINALLY, WE PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ASKED OUR PRAYERS AND FOR THOSE WHO NEED OUR PRAYERS THE MOST.
Have a good day!
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