14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jul 25, 2017
Just a couple of days ago we celebrated the Fourth of July. Many of us watched the fireworks explode to burst of color and sound. We got together with family and friends at picnics and barbecues maybe even a family reunion.
With all the terrorist attacks throughout the world, in some respects it may have seemed that we needed to celebrate more than ever what it means to be an American and free. Speaking without saying anything, we folks who wore T-shirts and stars and stripes, and then those who had to say something about our country and all their blessings they have been given to anyone who would listen.
I think this demonstrated our need to get back to the core values of our lives. When we realize that more than too often we perhaps get caught up in our own selfish concerns. Like possessing things at times can become more important than loving people. How powerful we can become by wielding our influence over others and in politics over taking care of the poor. Looking for pleasure over loving and helping the unloved and those who have no one to take care of them.
And today, we just heard once more again about the Gospel of Life that calls us back to some of the core values of Christian living, just what really matters. St. Paul told us that we should not live according to the flesh but in God's Spirit.
When those buildings collapsed on 9/11, there was nothing left but the spirit of those who loved without the thought of cost, nothing left but those who opened themselves up to God's care for those in danger, those dying, and those afraid. God's grace was flowing over creating heroes who taught us that giving is way more important that receiving, and sacrifice lasts forever and puts selfishness in its true light. Sometimes we need to be reminded of this.
Jesus invites all who labor and are burdened to come to Him and He will give them rest. He is speaking about the unborn child threatened by abortion. He is speaking to the mother who is afraid to have her child because the doctors tells her the baby may be deformed or retarded. He's speaking to the elderly man whose family does not want to be burdened and are thinking about euthanizing him, whenever they get the chance. He is speaking to the elderly woman who cries from loneliness. He is speaking to the man whose life will soon be thrown away on death row. He is speaking about all life that is created and then for efficiency sake is often discarded because the embryo is not needed or thought of as useful anymore. He is speaking to the teenager who finds themselves addicted and on the street. He is speaking to you and me when we are afraid to speak our in defense of the truth of the Gospel and live the Gospel of life.
Come to Me, the Lord says, and I will give you rest: rest from our fears, rest from our laziness and thoughtlessness, rest from our lack of belief. Come to Me, He says, for my burden is light.
Let us go to Him and kiss the cross He offers us. Let us recommit ourselves once again to the beliefs and values that really matter and make life worth living. Values that imitate Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ's love, His sacrifice, and His concern for others. For the extent of our giving of ourselves in this life will come back to us one day. We may not see it now, but we will for all eternity! Let's remember this and realize more Who God is to us and who we are to Him and others, by living our lives in the light of the Gospel of Truth and Life.