The readings from this reflection: Is 66:10; Ps 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20; Gal 6:14-18; Lk 10:1-12, 17-20
“Let all the earth cry out to God with joy” —Psalm 66
Lectionary guides remind us that the refrain from the responsorial Psalm gives us a unifying guide to the passages of a particular day. Today’s refrain comes to light when we see the beautiful image of Jerusalem in our reading from Isaiah 66:10-14. This passage also forms the Old Testament canticle for the Fourth Thursday morning prayer of our Liturgy of the Hours. Its situation in the prayer is part of a beautiful panorama offered throughout the Bible regarding Jerusalem, and as an image of the Kingdom of God, referred to as “The New Jerusalem, the Holy City, coming down out of heaven from God” (Revelation 21:10).
Often on a Sunday, we are looking for a message to end in a concrete action for us, the listeners, to fulfill. Our Gospel today ends with the 72 others Jesus had sent ahead of him, reporting their success and how the spirits were subject to them. Jesus responded by saying, “Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).
THIRTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME The readings from this reflection: 1Kgs 19:16b, 19-21; Ps 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11; Gal 5:1, 13-18; Lk 9:51-62
Materialism in one’s self is quick to notice if we take even one-half of a second to examine ourselves. We may notice an overabundance of or a disordered attachment to “stuff ” that we do not need or use, or items that may be broken or expired, yet, for some reason, we find ourselves attached to all of it. Perhaps these items have some sentimental meaning, or perhaps we have an anxiety of being without them. Whatever the reason, we often struggle with some sort of attachment to the things of the world.
Throughout the Gospel of Luke, those who exhibit an attachment to things are constantly redirected, if not reprimanded. (Luke 3:11, Lk 5:11, Lk 6:30, Lk12:33, Lk 14:25-33, Lk 18:22-30) We have another instance of this in our Gospel today (Lk 9:51-62), which may seem harsh; “Let the dead bury the dead…” This is the radical conversion to which each of us are called.
Bishop Edward M. Rice recently released the annual clergy assignments that are effective July 01, 2022, unless otherwise noted. “Please keep these priests in your prayers as they adjust to their new assignments,” said Bishop Rice. “Please pray, too, for former parishioners and new parishioners during this time of transition.”
Please click herefor a link to the June 10, 2022 issue of The Mirror to read about the pastoral changes and new assignments.
Our diocese will launch the three year Eucharistic Revival on June 19, the Feast of The Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). If your parish is planning to have a Corpus Christi procession, please do all you can to participate. If not, plan to attend with Bp. Emeritus John Leibrecht at St. Agnes Cathedral, Springfield, or with me at St. Mary Cathedral, Cape Girardeau at 2 p.m. that afternoon at both locations. Invite family members and make this a beautiful experience of faith on Father’s Day. Come as a family.
SACRED HEART OF JESUS
The month of June is traditionally dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. According to the liturgical calendar the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart is the Friday after Corpus Christi, this year on June 24. Did you know that in the Diocese of Springfield–Cape Girardeau we have 12 churches dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus throughout southern Missouri: in Springfield, Bolivar, Caruthersville, Conway, Dexter, Mountain Grove, Poplar Bluff, Salem, Verona, Webb City, Willow Springs, plus the mission in Thayer. Is there an image of the Sacred Heart prominently displayed in your home? As with the May altar in honor of Our Lady, do you continue the beautiful tradition of a sacred space dedicated to the Sacred Heart throughout the month of June?
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus originated from Christ himself, as his heart was pierced during the crucifixion. The Preface for the Mass of the Sacred Heart proclaims, “He poured out blood and water from His pierced side, the wellspring of the Church’s Sacraments.” With that particular focus on His suffering heart, later saints such as St. Lutgarde, a Cistercian, d. 1246; St. Matilda, a Benedictine, d. 1298; and St. Gertrude, a Benedictine, d. 1302, each contributed to furthering the devotion to the suffering, Sacred Heart of Jesus.
However, it was St. Margaret Mary Alacoque who is principally responsible for spreading our modern-day devotion. Over a period of 18 months, from 1673 to 1675, Our Lord appeared to her and requested that he be honored under the image of His Sacred Heart. How were people to show honor to his heart? First, by consecrating themselves to His heart, followed by acts of reparation, little sacrifices (similar to the request at Fatima), and then a devotion to His human, wounded, Sacred Heart through the practice of the First Friday devotion (receiving Holy Communion, Confession, and spending an hour before the Blessed Sacrament), and praying the Litany of the Sacred Heart. That is why many parishes have the tradition of having the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on the first Friday of the month. In St. John the Baptist Church, in St. Louis where I was pastor, the parish has the tradition of reciting the litany of the Sacred Heart after the two morning Masses, followed by exposition of the Blessed Sacrament all day in church so that children could participate, followed by 6:30 p.m. rosary and benediction. It was a beautiful way to celebrate the First Friday.
The readings from this reflection: Gn 14:18-20; Ps 110:1,2,3,4; 1 Cor 11:23-26; Jn 6:51; Lk 9:11b-17
Several weeks ago, on Thu., April 14, 2022, we began the Sacred Triduum, or the holy three days, in which “the Church solemnly celebrates the greatest mysteries of our redemption” (The Roman Missal, introduction to the Sacred Paschal Triduum, no. 1). We shared with the Lord Jesus at the table of the last supper, grieved for him through his passion and death, and rejoiced with him in his glorious Resurrection.
For seven weeks, we continued to rejoice in the great mystery of his resurrection and the gift of life that he gained for us, and then we celebrated the great 50th day: Pentecost and the guiding gift of the Holy Spirit calling the Church to continue the mission of proclaiming the message of salvation in Christ.
We continue on that mission on June 19, 2022, the Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Those words, “The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ,” conjure different thoughts in the minds of different Catholics. Some think of the physical elements of bread and wine that, through the power of the Holy Spirit and the words of consecration, become the presence of the Lord with us and remain and abide with us as that “real presence,” even after the celebration of Mass has ended. Some others think of the Church itself, the Body of Christ, truly present where two or three are gathered in his name. Still others, while not denying either of the two understandings mentioned above, think of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ as the celebration of the Eucharist. This third understanding seems to be the emphasis of the Church, concerning the Great Solemnity. For in the opening prayer at Mass we pray, “O God, who in this wonderful sacrament have left us a memorial of your Passion. …”