Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 7
It Is Only in the Name of Jesus Christ in Whom We Rejoice and Where We Find Our Lasting Joy and Enduring Peace; It Is Only in His Most Holy Name Where We Prayerfully Find Our Names Written in the Book of Life in Heaven.
In today’s Responsorial, we hear the words of our psalmist cry out to God with a song of joy, “Shout joyfully to God, all the earth, sing praise to the glory of his name; proclaim his glorious praise. Say to God, ‘How tremendous are your deeds!’”
Which of us reading this meditation cannot feel the wonder of the faith with which we have been blessed? For it is a faith which nourishes us with the Word of God and the Sacraments! It is a faith which teaches and guides us along the pathways of life.
It is a faith which strengthens us in those times when we find ourselves overwhelmed with sadness and despair due to sickness, death, loneliness, even the distress felt in times of financial difficulties.
Our Lord says to each one of us in today’s Gospel, “The kingdom of God is at hand for you.” And this Kingdom is one in which our God – the God who created us, the God who redeemed us and the God who continuously enlightens and sanctifies us – truly understands our human condition, for He is no stranger to all that we endure in this valley of tears in which we find ourselves traveling.
And this God of ours is One in whom Paul took great comfort and solace in both knowing and professing throughout all his travels as an Apostle to the Gentiles. For we read near the end of his Letter to the Galatians, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
In the love which filled Paul’s heart for the Savior of the world, whom he had come to know and in whom he came to believe and adore, Paul spent his life in proclaiming the only Truth which truly matters – that it is only in Christ Jesus where we find our salvation, that it is only in the Eternal Son of God where we find our true and everlasting peace and joy.
Paul’s boasting was his way of rejoicing in all that he had come to understand – a God who gave to all His children the opportunity of becoming co-heirs with Christ in His Heavenly Kingdom –
– a God who loves His children so much that He was willing to take our flesh upon Himself in the Person of the Incarnate Word, in order to teach us about the profoundness of God’s indescribable Love and limitless Mercy, and so that He might offer Himself up to His Father as the unblemished, Sacrificial Lamb for our redemption, in order that we “…might have life and have it more abundantly.”
How could we not boast in the same faith that we share with Paul, and all the Apostles and disciples who came to know and believe that we are truly adopted children of our Eternal and Most Loving Father, that we are truly brothers and sisters of our Divine Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?!
And by the power of His Cross, you and I have become a “new creation”, set free from the grip of sin and death. For it is our psalmist who reminds us today, “O God, how tremendous are your deeds!”
Even the seventy-two disciples, whom Christ sent out two-by-two to prepare the way for the harvest our Lord was about to effect, returned rejoicing in all that they accomplished in the Name that is above every other name!
And, our Lord responded by saying, “…do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
When you and I look at our lives and all the journeys we have traveled from the moment we were born, as we reflect upon our joys and our sorrows, our loves and our disappointments, as we ponder all our successes and failures on this side of eternity as we continue our journey through this vale of tears, nothing matters EXCEPT how we have lived our relationship with Jesus Christ.
For even in all our distresses, in all our trials and difficulties, our God has always been there – consoling and comforting us, lifting us up, strengthening us, encouraging us to continue to trust in His compassionate Mercy – so that we could move forward through life in His Love, loving others selflessly as God loves us.
For we read from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah today that God reaches out to each one of us, encouraging us with the words “as a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you”, for it is in God where we find our true consolation, our true solace – not as the world gives, but only as He can give.
In the cultural environment in which we live today, the world awaits us with undue pressures, placing demands upon our time and our well-being, burdening us with responsibilities which can oftentimes take away what little peace and contentment we may have.
Yet, we take solace in God’s Love who nourishes and strengthens us with His Word and Sacrament, wherein, if we open our hearts in trust and surrender our will to His, we begin to find and realize the only peace which truly matters in all that we experience throughout life’s journey.
Our Lord says to us in John’s Gospel, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”
If we have truly fostered within ourselves an intimate and loving relationship, a right relationship with our Savior and our God, then we truly have nothing to fear, and everything for which to hope!
For it is in Christ, and Christ alone, where we find our lasting joy and enduring peace. It is only in His Name in whom we rejoice; it is only in the Most Holy Name of Jesus Christ where we prayerfully find our names written in the Book of Life in Heaven.
All of this is made available to us, not by anything we have done, but by the salvation earned for us through our Lord Jesus when He offered himself up to His Father on the Cross – all out of His unfathomable and indescribable Love which He has for you and me.
In our personal prayer and in our deepening resolve to live our faith and to embrace our hope and trust in God’s Loving Presence within us, let us go forward in the world which awaits us outside our homes and our churches, and let us “boast…in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Let us boast in His kindness and His Infinite Love! Let us together sing out the words of our psalmist, rejoicing in the strength of our faith, “Shout joyfully to God, all the earth, sing praise to the glory of his name; proclaim his glorious praise…‘How tremendous are your deeds!’”
May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you. †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “The kingdom of God is at hand for you.” (Luke 10:9b)
- “But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14)
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17)
- “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b)
- “The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:16-17)
- “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.” (1 John 3:1ab)
- “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ…” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18a)
- “The seventy-two returned rejoicing, and said, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.’ Jesus said…‘do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.’” (Luke 10:17, 20)
- “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you.” (Isaiah 66:13a)
- “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27)
- “Only those will enter [the New Jerusalem] whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21:27b)
- “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)
- “Shout joyfully to God, all the earth; sing of his glorious name; give him glorious praise. Say to God: ‘How awesome your deeds!’” (Psalm 66:2-3a)
Prayer for the Day
“Almighty and Most Merciful God,
You have renewed the face of the Earth.
Your Church throughout the world
sings You a new song,
announcing Your wonders to all.
“Lord Jesus, through a virgin,
You have brought forth a new birth in our world;
through Your miracles, a new power;
through Your suffering, a new patience;
in Your Resurrection, a new hope;
and in Your Ascension, new majesty.
“May each of us one day share in the glory of Your Majesty
as we gaze upon the beauty of Your Face,
where we shall come to know You as You truly are:
All-Holy, All-Powerful, All-Loving, All-Merciful.
For it is in our knowledge of You
which shall fill us with a lasting joy and an enduring peace. Amen.”cf. Psalm-Prayer (Roman Breviary)