A Reflection for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

June 25, 2020

It was sad not being able to take a group to the Canadian Shrines this week. I have led many pilgrimages over the last 24 years to visit and pray at Our Lady the Cape, St. Anne de Beaupre, St. Joseph’s Oratory and other places throughout Quebec. It has always been a very spiritually rewarding experience for us.

You know, as priests, we have lots of people come to us and share about their lives. Often people who are hurting, suffering, recovering, sometimes just feeling like something is missing…We listen. And I’m always amazed at how God works miracles.

I can recall a woman sharing how she had so much going on in her life, but her spiritual life had diminished. She wanted it back.

I remember a priest in Maine once telling me - that he had priests come to him – saying: “That their faith was suffering”, or, “They didn’t know if they could continue in the ministry”, or some other problem. Father would ask: “Tell me about your prayer life”…And would hear: “I’m too busy, I don’t one.”

And these past 2 years, I’ve witnessed some “Amazing Love of God” by various people since I’ve been here. People who pray. Who make it a priority to come to church and love God. Those who offer their service to the needs of the parishes, and those in need. Souls after souls.

Over and over again - Jesus teaches us - that God - has to be the principal object of our love !

That busy woman with so much going on in her life - had gotten her priorities all mixed up. She was so busy with her work and her kids lives - that God, and her husband - had fallen by the wayside…I’ve mentioned this before: Christian priorities should be: God first, spouses second, children third, other responsibilities and charities fourth, and then work. She had them all reversed. Those priests who were struggling…Their prayer lives had fallen apart. Father Bob told them that all of our answers will come from prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.

In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus tells us that: “He who loves father or mother more than me – is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake – will find it.”

God is Love. And God is “to be loved.”   Above everything ! Yes, God wants us - to love our family and neighbors -  but not before our love of God ! Which must always be given an overriding priority !

To love God - the way he wants us to love him – we have to go so far - as to lose our own life. There’s a lot of competition – “for our love” out there in the world today. So much to do. So many distractions. So much materialism. So much, so much, so much…

I was speaking to a mother of nine - who told me that it is so much different raising her younger children today than it was for her older children just 10 years ago…

There’s so much out there - as we all know - that’s vying for our attention - and often - leading people away from loving God - often leading souls to sin. Ideologies that try to convince people that sins are not sins, people falling for things that aren’t from God - resulting in lives plummeting down the wrong path.

Part of our course to loving God includes - dying to those disordered tendencies which incline and induce us to sin. Most often this includes getting rid of our egos which lead us to seek ourselves in everything we do. The more we die to selves, the more we become like ‘God created us to be.’

When we battle to overcome our character defects, the more prepared we become to enter into the supernatural life ! The supernatural life ? Oh yeah. It’s not just about “the Me” and “the Now.” There’s more than meets the eye.

When we struggle to “deny ourselves” - our priorities change - and we find ourselves living “a new life” – “A Christ Life !”

Combined with Grace, from Prayer, Scripture, the Sacraments, and incredible people God places in our lives - Jesus is always ready to transform us…To help us have His Sentiments and Attitudes…and His Charity - in our daily activities. To better see things - as God sees them. To better imitate - Jesus and His Mother.

All of a sudden – a new, simpler behavior can be born in us. New desires. An objective to do the Will of God. To Make God #1 ! All of a sudden, the priority of - Loving God - can be reestablished ! And Set Ablaze !

Going on a pilgrimage, a retreat, reading Scripture and reading good Catholic books, stopping in Church and saying a prayer, or spending a Holy Hour, going to Confession, coming to daily Mass -and worthily receiving the Eucharist…When we nourish our souls - We maintain a living presence of God in our lives…

By Truly Loving Our Lord, who is ALL LOVE, we already possess - Heaven on earth !

We love you Lord. We adore you. We praise you. We thank you for everything. Especially your Love ! Amen. 

Looking forward to seeing everyone in Church soon !

Be safe and God bless, fr. brian :)

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