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Candle Lighting Prayer

July 14, 2024

15th Sunday
Ordinary Time

FOCUS:   God sends us on mission and provides us with the riches of his grace.

 

We heard in the second reading that God has lavished the riches of his grace upon us. He calls us, and he accompanies us in that call. God will ask much of us, but let us not be afraid, for God’s call is an invitation to live fully, richly, and generously.

What's in Your Heart

Amos denies his critic’s claim that he is a professional prophet; he insists he was unexpectedly called by God, just as the 12 apostles were and just as we are, so that, in the words of Saint Paul, “we might exist for the praise of God’s glory.” Think about your own call:

  • What did you feel called to do? In what ways is your call a source of joy for you? A source of frustration?

  • Jesus instructed the 12 apostles to take nothing on their journey but a walking stick and sandals. What resources do you feel you need to do your ministry? Can you do with less? Or should you ask for more?

  • Like the psalmist, do you believe that love and truth will meet and justice and peace kiss? What role can you play in bringing that about?

  • Paul tells us that God chose us to be holy and without blemish before him. What is your definition of holiness? Think of a moment in your own life where you know you truly lived out God’s call to holiness. Be aware of your own holiness and the holiness of others in the week to come.

Homily Stories

We in the United States are so enamored with self-reliance, affluence, and control that—left to our own devices—we’d probably draft a mission plan opposite of what Jesus gave. Take no change of clothes? No food? No money? Today, we’d overstuff our suitcases, shop Costco for a month’s supply of snacks, and make sure all ministry purchases were earning a cash-back bonus.

We probably wouldn’t prioritize choosing a partner, either, for doing the Lord’s work. We can be a society of Lone Rangers, after all, drunk on Sinatra’s “I Did It My Way” idealism.

But seasoned church workers know the importance of going out “two by two.” In one corner of the Midwest, a foursome of older women, who met years ago as youth ministers, still gather for Friday fish fries to check in with each other—professionally and personally. Elsewhere, a priest who used to ask “Who ministers to the minister?” has convened an informal clergy support group.

Whether ordinary Catholics realize it or not, none of us belong to a “Me and Jesus” religion. We take to heart that Jesus joins us “wherever two or more are gathered”—which is why we begin our journey with godparents and are asked to choose a Confirmation sponsor.

Let us go forth to build the Kingdom, and let us do it together.

Mary Lynn Hendrickson

Kazan Cathedral
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First Reading

Reading 1. 15th Sunday Ord Time
00:00 / 00:51

Second Reading

Reading 2. 15th Sunday Ord Time
00:00 / 01:55

Gospel

Gospel
00:00 / 00:47

Quotes

  • To convert somebody, go and take them by the hand and guide them.
    —Saint Thomas Aquinas

  • It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.
    —Saint Francis of Assisi

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