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Parish Daily Update 6/30/20

Dear Parish Family, 

As I was clearing away some “stuff” the other day, I came across a reflection by Terry A. Modica from November of last year which was very relevant to today.  The Gospel passage of that day was Luke 14:12-14. 

“What are my expectations when I do good?  In other words:  what are my motivations for doing what’s right?  Oftentimes, we do good deeds – yes even the Lord’s work – more for what we can gain from it than for the sake of others.  And oftentimes, this is unconscious.

To grow in holiness, we need to continually ask ourselves: How other-centered are my decisions and actions? How self-serving are they?

Usually, the clue that we’re doing it for others more is our willingness to do it when it’s a sacrifice. Our world today has moved far from the ethos of self-sacrifice, and we Christians have frequently moved with it.

There’s nothing wrong with serving our own needs, nor with receiving good fruits from our good deeds. As Jesus says elsewhere, what we measure out is what gets measured back to us. We get blessed from blessing others. But if we do anything simply for the sake of receiving something back, our motive is unholy.

The real message is that whatever we do, we should do it for the sake of love: We should do good to others solely for the sake of the benefit it will give to them. Whatever we receive back in return is a bonus.

Jesus is preaching the Golden Rule again (first mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount): Do to others would you would like them to do to you — but not so that they will do the same for you. Do it because God’s love is coming into the world through you.

By becoming conscious of our motives for doing good and our reactions to unequal give-and-take, we free ourselves from the enslavement of selfishness.

“You will receive your reward in the resurrection of the righteous.” The fruit of this promise begins the moment that we decide to be like the resurrected one, Jesus, in our service to others. The reward for here and now is the grace that God gives us, which enables us to do whatever he asks, unselfishly, sacrificially, and generously.”

Again I say, how very relevant to today!!

Congratulations to our Knights of Columbus Family of the Month for June:  David and Leigh Wright, and sons Philip and Joseph!!

Remember, you have until Thursday to make your Mass reservations.  Call the office at 601-856-2054 between 8:30 and 4:00. 

Wednesday’s Mass readings, along with Father Kevin’s homily, follow.

God bless you all!

Pam

Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

First Reading:  Amos 5:14-15, 21-24

Seek good and not evil, that you may live; Then truly will the LORD, the God of hosts,
be with you as you claim! Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail at the gate;
Then it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will have pity on the remnant of Joseph.

I hate, I spurn your feasts, says the LORD, I take no pleasure in your solemnities; Your cereal offerings I will not accept, nor consider your stall-fed peace offerings. Away with your noisy songs! I will not listen to the melodies of your harps. But if you would offer me burnt offerings,
then let justice surge like water, and goodness like an unfailing stream.

Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 50:7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 16bc-17

R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Hear, my people, and I will speak;
Israel, I will testify against you;
God, your God, am I.”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
for your burnt offerings are before me always.
I take from your house no bullock,
no goats out of your fold.”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“For mine are all the animals of the forests,
beasts by the thousand on my mountains.
I know all the birds of the air,
and whatever stirs in the plains, belongs to me.”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“If I were hungry, I should not tell you,
for mine are the world and its fullness.
Do I eat the flesh of strong bulls,
or is the blood of goats my drink?”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

Gospel:  Mt 8:28-34

When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could travel by that road. They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?” Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding. The demons pleaded with him, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.” And he said to them, “Go then!”
They came out and entered the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea where they drowned.  The swineherds ran away, and when they came to the town they reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs. Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their district.

 Homily

Away with your noisy songs! I will not listen to the melodies of your harps. Amos 5:14-15, 21-24

So, we’re coming back – ever so carefully – to the Lord’s table. The liturgy is somewhat muted and restrained – little or no music, no processions, everyone masked – but we’ve come to a new appreciation of what we’ve missed.

But the prophet Amos reminds us that authentic worship continues beyond the walls of the temple of church. Amos does not mince words: Our sacred solemnities to honor the God of creation means nothing if we then go out and plunder the earth; our sacrifices to God asking for forgiveness and mercy are hypocrisy if we aren’t merciful and forgiving of others; our songs in praise of God’s justice and peace are pure “noise” if we treat others with disdain and distrust.

No, we haven’t been able to celebrate God in word and sacrament these past few months. But we can always – always – praise God in offerings of patience, generosity and mercy.

O God, help us to embrace the message of your prophet Amos: May our generosity be our song of praise to you; may the giving of our time and treasure, however small and limited, to those in need be our offering of peace to you; may our festivals celebrating your wonderful works be times and places of welcome to the poor, the struggling, the forgotten, and the abused.

An Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that You are present

in the Most Holy Sacrament.

I love You above all things,

and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,

I ask You to come spiritually into my heart.

I embrace You, trusting that you are already there and I unite myself wholly to You.

Never permit me to be separated from You.

Amen.