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Pastor's Letter 20240707 - 07 July 2024- 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Posted (edited)


July 7th, 2024

Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


“The People asked:  “Is this not the carpenter’s Son?”

Message from Father Michael

Today’s Theme:  “Rejecting the Messenger”

Reflections on Today’s Scripture

(Ezekiel 2:2-5)  Conviction, even in the face of total rejection, is possible, because of the strengths given by the Holy Spirit.  Accordingly, God sent prophets to His people to ensure they do not remain in ignorance of their disobedience.  In doing so, He chose to become part of the human situation, rather than manifesting His concern for the world in a spectacular event.  


(2 Corinthians 12:7-10)  Paul experienced the power of God’s grace, even in his weakness.  It taught him humility and allowed him to experience God’s power in a way that might not otherwise have been possible.  He also learned that “thorns in the flesh” are sometimes, of our own making.


(Mark 6:1-6)  Mark relates the story of Jesus’ return to Nazareth, only to find, true to the proverb, that “no prophet is honored by His own people.”  Consequently, His power was ineffectual there.  This incident is a foreshadowing of His eventual rejection by all the Jewish people.  We learn that familiarity need not prejudice the believer from recognizing the truth,


God’s Ever-Present Love

One example of God’s loving care for His people is His sending messengers (prophets) to call us back to the right path.  Even though the words of prophets are often critical of us, they are spoken from love.  

God does the same thing for us:  He does not leave us in the darkness of error or wrong-doing.  He sends messengers, mostly from those near to us.  Who else could it be?  But, too often we also reject His messengers, especially when their message may not be one we are willing to hear.  The truth can, indeed, “hurt.”  

If someone would say one or more of these things to us:  “You’re working too hard….”  “You’re spoiling your children….”  “You’re away from home too much….”  “You have no ‘home life’ for your family….”  “You’re being too materialistic….”  “You drink too much….”  “You’re full of prejudice….”  “You always put yourself first….”  “Your worship of God is merely ‘lip-service’….”  we could be moved to “attack the messenger,” rather than heed their advice.  

None of us has a particular “appetite” for “unvarnished truth.”  However, it may be prudent to heed such admonitions, and assess how applicable they might be.  As Jesus said, “The truth will set you free!”  A true friend is one who tells us the truth, without regard for our feelings; knowing we will probably “get hurt;” and might risk our friendship….  (It is important to note that “prophets” may not be the most comfortable people with whom to associate—in ancient times, or today.  And, it is human nature to seek to find ways to discredit them, in order to “save face.”)

For our part, we should prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to give us courage to speak the truth, with love and sincere concern, for the welfare of our friends—always utilizing the utmost tact, of course….  The secret is to be totally honest, and totally kind, at the same time!  

If we encounter someone of renown espousing, or doing something we know to be “wrong,” it may be quite difficult to offer them criticism, unless we speaking as a group (like voters.)  Nonetheless, their strength can often prove to be their downfall; while the weakness of those without position can often be their salvation.  People don’t fall because they are weak, but because they think they are strong.  

When Paul wrote: “When I am weak, then I am strong,” he didn’t suggest that weakness is power, or that the weak will become powerful.  He intended that human limitations and disabilities of sincere and generous people are not obstacles to apostolic work.  Rather, he meant the power of Jesus Christ is within each and every one of us; and is able to “accomplish abundantly far more than [anything] we can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20.)  Indeed, insult, persecution and even calamity may be “vehicles” of power—more apparent because they work through our frailty.  

Similarly, acknowledging our human weakness should not be an excuse to lapse into a comfortable “mediocrity.”  The love of Christ must be a driving force, for His power is at its best in weakness.  Paul’s words proclaim to Christians that our enemy is persistent thoughtlessness and self-sufficiency, not “humbling self-knowledge.” 

Modern Christians often are puzzled and amazed at the unbelief of people who heard Jesus’ message, “firsthand.”  But more important than seeking their reasons, we should not be discouraged by nonbelief.  Both Jesus’ and Paul’s examples show that we must continually persist with confidence in our evangelistic mission, irrespective of the consequences.

Each of us needs to grow in faith, confident of God’s love, and with unwavering belief that God sends His love to us in humble opportunities to love Him.  However, as much as He chooses to love us, He also chooses not to force us to love Him.  We must adore God more than we petition Him; and love Him for Who He truly is, instead of Who we want Him to be….

An unknown author once wrote:

Disturb, me, Lord, when I am too pleased with myself; 

When my dreams have come true because I have demanded too little; and have arrived “safely;”

Because I have sailed “too close” to the shore.

Stir me, Lord, to care more boldly; to venture into more seas, where the storms show Your mastery;

Where losing sight of land is where I might find the stars.

In Your wisdom, You have pushed back the horizons of my hope, and invited me to follow You.

May God Richly Bless You!


Today's Meditation Music:

Be Still and Know.docx

To view a recording of today's Holy Mass, click here:


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Be Still and Know.docx

Edited by Father Michael
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