August 2008 Archives

Thumbnail image for 03 Jesus in Pittsburgh.jpg Today we hear the question: "What will separate us from the love of Christ?" Paul then goes on to list a number of possibilities: "Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?" The answer ...

 

No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

   
Why? Why can nothing separate us from the love of Christ? Regardless what happens to us the love of Christ is always with us. Paul taught: "in all these t hings we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us." We conquer, because he first conquered.

A story to make the point. Five other Apostles and myself were in C o logne, Thumbnail image for 150px-World_youth_day_logo_2005.jpg Germany for three weeks, helping to prepare for World Youth Day. Fortunately our work shift began about 11:00 a.m. which allowed us to participate in daily mass at various churches. One church we went to particularly captured me. Adoration was in process when we arrived, so we prayed for awhile. As I sat praying a mural at one of the side altars captivated me. At first I thought it the scourging of Jesus at the Pillar, but as I looked more closely I noticed the nail prints in his hands and his side opened. What particularly struck me was: This is the Risen Lord Jesus! In fact, every image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is an image of the Resurrected Christ. This can be said because when you look at the image of Jesus, you'll see His opened side. What is the significance of this? It's exactly what Paul was hinting at in the above passage from Romans 8. Nothing can separate us from Christ Jesus, because He went before us and conquered sin and death. So whatever happens to us, he is there ready and able to help us. All we need do is call!

 

 

In the First Reading from the Prophet Isaiah we hear an invitation:

 

"All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come, 03 cascades on meadow run 1.jpgreceive grain and eat; Come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk!

 

The key image here is water. We're in the middle of summer, even though some folks are thinking thoughts of school! All of us have known what it means to be thirsty. Perhaps, you're cutting the lawn or at a little league game or ... the only thing you can think about is a nice cold glass of water. Nothing else will do. Nothing else will quench your thirst. That, my friend, is exactly the point. Do we thirst for Jesus? Do we thirst for his words? Do we thirst to know his mind and his Heart? He invites us:

 

"All you who are thirsty, come to the water!"

This passage is reminiscent of Jesus' invitation in Matthew 11:28-30:

 

Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.

 

Just as when our phone rings and we let the answering machine pick it up, because we don't want to talk to who is calling; or the cell phone rings and we press the button to ignore the call, you and I have a choice! We can choose to respond to the love of Jesus or ignore Him. In Isaisah we read: "Come to me heedfully, listen, that you may have life." That's the reality! Come, that you may have life! Didn't He say: "I am  the Way, the Truth and the Life?" John 14:6. 

                                                    

     

Lastly we look at the Gospel. Jesus has just head about thThumbnail image for z_cor_jesu_med.jpge death of His cousin, John the Baptist, so...

 

he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.

 

It's understandable. You hear about the death of someone close to you and you want to be off by yourself for awhile. So did Jesus, but the crowds followed him. What's amazing is He set aside His grief and "his heart was moved with pity for them." Jesus put aside His need for the sake of the crowd. Why? Because He was/is so tenderhearted. He even "cured their sick." If that is not enough, when He sees that it is evening Jesus tells the apostles to feed the crowd. Jesus says: "There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves." My friend, Jesus is saying that to you and me. In our world there are plenty of folks who are hungry. Just look around where you live and you'll find them. You see the dynamic working here is simple. If we answer the call, if we allow Jesus to become number one in our life. If we allow His heart, to have a place in our heart, then we have to make room for our brothers and sisters who are in need. The choice is your own. A child shared five loaves and two fish. We don't have to give a lot, all we have to do is what we can do and that will make all the difference.

 

You can find the Sunday Readings by clicking on the link. http://www.usccb.org/nab/