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Scripture Reflections - July 5
14th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Zechariah 9:9-10
Romans 8: 9, 11-13
Matthew 11: 25-30

Archives Msgr Paul E. Whitmore
Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore

Summer is here! And it’s just so good to enjoy longer days and brighter evenings. At the same time, the prospects of another summer under the shadow of the coronavirus, the persecuted Christians in so many countries, floods, fires and cyclones cast a dark cloud over our joy. We need to listen carefully to the first reading from Zechariah. It can refresh our spirits. The vision of the King of Peace coming to abolish all fighting is a cause for hope. And, of course, it’s more than a dream since we are children of the Covenant. God has promised us a time of peace. We must never give up on the dream of our founding fathers and mothers.

After all, our country was founded on a dream. Otherwise we would not be celebrating the Fourth of July this weekend. Their dream is very like God’s dream, His Providence. We are all entitled to be dreamers. We must never give up hope that God’s dream of peace will come true. It’s His plan! There’s nothing wrong with the American dream. It’s based on reality of God’s dream, so whatever we dream and work for in America is based on his principles of life. Why are politicians so unwilling to give life a chance? God gave us a chance before we were ever born!!

How do we help make His plan come true? By speaking out and not being afraid or timid of our Catholic principles, and by living in the Spirit, as our second reading explains. As members of Christ, every good individual action strengthens the whole body. We need to faithfully pray for peace, respond with serene charity to the many frustrations and “downers” in our lives, and influence others to do the same. Living in the Spirit will reduce our tendencies to live in the flesh and all its temptations. It’s called choosing the narrow door.. Of course, we live in the flesh – from hugs to hot dogs – but it’s so easy to let our desires get out of hand. More prayer, more getting out of ourselves to think of other people brings lightness of heart and freedom of Spirit. When we’re scared and think that it’s just too hard, think of the Lord’s words in today’s Gospel: “Come to me all you who labor and are heavily burdened and I will refresh you.” In other words, Jesus says to us, “Here, give it to me. I’ll carry it for a while.” Just listen to the Spirit.

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