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Sunday, June 30, 2019


Third Sunday after Pentecost (13th S. Ord. Time)


Galatians, Chapter 5, Verse 13-14
13For you were called for freedom, brothers. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love.* 14For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

In light of another reminder of the freedom of the gospel, Paul elaborates on what believers are called to do and be; they fulfill the law by love of neighbor, walking in the Spirit, as is illustrated by concrete fruit of the Spirit in their lives.[1]

Freedom Ain't Free[2]

·         Paul hopes that the Galatians will stay on the path to freedom, but this doesn't mean they can do anything they want. In fact, true freedom comes in following God's will.
·         If they truly love God, they'll devote their lives to loving each other. Hugs all around.
·         Paul reminds them to keep their focus on spiritual things instead of material things. In other words, no Rolexes.
·         This also means no "fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these." No Trashy Facebooking! Saturday nights in Galatia are starting to look pretty boring.
·         On the other hand, a person who lives in the Spirit will be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, generous, faithful, gentle, and in control of themselves. 
·         If a person truly lives in Christ, they'll follow the Spirit's lead and do all these good things

Third Sunday after Pentecost[3]

ON this Sunday, in the Introit of the Mass, the Church invites the sinner to call on the Lord with confidence and humility. “Look Thou upon me and have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am alone and poor. See my abjection and my labor, and forgive me all my sins, O my God. To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul; in Thee, O my God, I put my trust, let me not be ashamed” (Ps. xxiv.).
Prayer. O God, the protector of those who hope in Thee, without Whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy, multiply Thy mercy upon us, that under Thy rule and guidance we may so pass through the goods of time as not to forfeit those of eternity.

EPISTLE. I. Peter v. 6-11.

Dearly Beloved: Be you humbled under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in the time of visitation. Casting all your care upon Him, for He hath care of you. Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist ye, strong in faith, knowing that the same affliction befalleth your brethren who are in the world. But the God of all grace, Who hath called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will Himself perfect you, and confirm you, and establish you. To Him be glory and empire forever and ever. Amen.

GOSPEL. Luke xv. 1-10.

At that time the publicans and sinners drew near unto Jesus to hear Him. And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And He spoke to them this parable, saying “What man of you that hath an hundred sheep, and if he shall lose one of them, doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert, and go after that which was lost until he find it? And when he hath found it, lay it upon his shoulders rejoicing; and coming home call together his friends and neighbors, saying to them: Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost? I say to you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance. Or what woman having ten groats*, if she lose one groat doth not light a candle and sweep the house and seek diligently until she find it? And when she hath found it, call together her friends and neighbors, saying: Rejoice with me, because I have found the groat which I had lost. So, I say to you, there shall be joy before the angels of God upon one sinner doing penance.”

Why did the Pharisees murmur? Because they thought themselves better than other men, and as they avoided the company of sinners themselves, they required others to do likewise. They did not know, or rather did not wish to know, that a truly just man always feels compassion for sinners, and that the saints always desired and endeavored to promote their conversion and eternal welfare. “True justice, says St. Gregory, has compassion for sinners, while false and hypocritical justice is angry with them. Love sinners, therefore, in imitation of Jesus, and pray earnestly for their conversion.”

What does the parable of the lost sheep teach us? It teaches us the love of Jesus, Who seeks out sinners, brings them back to the Father, and reinstates them in the privileges of the children of God. We find in this parable an excuse for sinners. The sheep is a very simple animal which, while grazing in the field, does not notice that it has left the fold. It is lost, and when lost does not know the way back to the fold. It seems, therefore, when Christ compared the sinner to a sheep He intended to say that the sinner goes astray from the true path and from God through pure and natural ignorance; because being dazzled and delighted by the things of the world, he follows them; he separates himself from the just without knowing it, and, lost in the desert of this world, he does not know his misfortune and has not, humanly speaking, the means of returning again, if God in His infinite mercy does not go in search of him and rescue him.

What is meant by the words, “there shall be more joy over one sinner that does penance than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance? Thereby it is not to be understood that the penitent sinner is more pleasing to God than ninety-nine just, but that, as men have a special joy in finding that which they supposed to be lost, so also God, the angels, and saints have an extraordinary joy over the conversion of one sinner; because, in the conversion of the sinner, they see the glory, love, and power of God exalted.

Aspiration. O Lord, what profit hast Thou in the conversion of a sinner, that Thou art thereby so greatly pleased? The happiness of one of Thy poor creatures can add nothing to Thine own. But Thou lovest me, and therefore it is that Thou art pleased if I return to Thee. O my God, is it possible that I can know this Thy love, and remain any longer in sin?

Building up the Kingdom[4]


This Sunday focuses on God's mercy, the Holy Spirit works to build the kingdom of God even in sinful souls. 

Scripture and the Church teach us that we have three divinely ordained purposes that give our lives meaning:

·         Salvation seeking to save our eternal souls and help save the souls of others (that salvation, the Church teaches, is God's free gift but requires our cooperation through faith in God, obedience to his commandments, and repentance of our grave sins).
·         Service using our God-given talents to build God's kingdom here on earth.
·         Sanctity growing in holiness.

The third of these life goals, sanctity, is central to building Catholic character. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says something that is stunning: "Be thou made perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5:48). St. Gregory put it this way: "The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God." Scripture tells us, "God is love" (1 Jn 4:16). If we want to be like God, our vocation is to love. The essence of love is to sacrifice for the sake of another, as Jesus did. Love is self-gift. What, then, is our goal if we want to develop Catholic character in our children and ourselves? Look to the character of Christ: A life of self-giving.

Natural Virtues

The high goal of Christ-like character builds on a base of what the Church calls "natural virtues." Among the natural virtues that families and schools should nurture are the four advanced by the ancient Greeks, named in Scripture (Wis 8:7), and adopted by the Church as "the cardinal virtues": prudence, which enables us to judge what we should do; justice, which enables us to respect the rights of others and give them what they are due; fortitude, which enables us to do what is right in the face of difficulties; temperance, which enables us to control our desires and avoid abuse of even legitimate pleasures. These natural virtues are developed through effort and practice, aided by God's grace. To develop a Christ-like character, however, we need more than the natural virtues. We also need the three supernatural, or "theological," virtues:

Spiritual Virtues

1.      Faith in God, which enables us to believe in God and the teachings of his church.
2.      Hope in God, which leads us to view eternal life as our most important goal and to place total trust in God.
3.      Love of God, which enables us to love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.

The three theological virtues are considered supernatural because they come from God and have as their purpose our participation in God's divine life. As the Catechism (1813) teaches, the theological virtues are not separate from the natural virtues; rather, they "are the foundation of Christian moral activity; they animate it and give it its special character." The Catholic writer Peter Kreeft points out, "The Christian is prudent, just, courageous, and self-controlled out of faith in God, hope in God, and love of God." The supernatural virtues, like the natural virtues, grow stronger through our effort and practice, in cooperation with God's grace.

First Martyrs of the Church of Rome[5]

This memorial is in honor of the nameless followers of Christ brutally killed by the mad Emperor Nero as scapegoats for the fire in Rome. The pagan historian Tacitus and St. Clement of Rome tell of a night of horror (August 15, 64 A.D.) when in the imperial parks Christians were put into animal skins and hunted, were brutally attacked, and were made into living torches to light the road for Nero's chariot. From 64 to 314 "Christian" was synonymous with "execution victim."
Pope Francis has called each of us to be a witness of charity. He encourages us to "open our eyes and see the misery of the world, the wounds of our brothers and sisters who are denied their dignity and let us recognize that we are compelled to heed their cry for help!" (Misericordiae Vultus [MV], no. 15). The Peter's Pence Collection unites us in solidarity to the Holy See and its works of charity to those in need. Your generosity allows the Pope to respond to our suffering brothers and sisters.

Peter’s Pence[6]


Pope Francis calls each of us to witness to charity and to show God's mercy to one another. He encourages us to "open our eyes and see the misery of the world, the wounds of our brothers and sisters who are denied their dignity, and let us recognize that we are compelled to heed their cry for help!" (Misericordiae Vultus [MV], no. 15). The Peter's Pence Collection unites us in solidarity to the Holy See and its works of charity to those in need. Your generosity allows the Pope to respond to our suffering brothers and sisters.

The purpose of the Peter's Pence Collection is to provide the Holy Father with the financial means to respond to those who are suffering as a result of war, oppression, natural disaster, and disease.
The Peter's Pence Collection has raised nearly $190 million to support our suffering brothers and sisters around the globe. Thank you for standing in solidarity with the Holy See through your generosity. Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in faith who are facing adversity.

The national collection date for the Peter's Pence Collection is the weekend of June 29-30, 2019.

 History

The Peter's Pence Collection derives its name from an ancient custom. In ninth-century England. King Alfred the Great collected money, a "pence," from landowners as financial support for the Pope. Today, the Peter's Pence Collection supports the Pope's philanthropy by giving the Holy Father the means to provide emergency assistance to those in need because of natural disaster, war, oppression, and disease.

Please give generously to the Peter's Pence Collection. 

To donate online, please visit www.peterspence.va. . .
Or send your donation by mail to:

Peter's Pence Collection
The Apostolic Nunciature
3339 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         90 Days for our Nation, 54-day rosary-Day 47
·         Novena to the Holy Face Day 4





* A person with fear of the Lord is filled with peace, faith, hope and love.
[2]https://www.shmoop.com/galatians-philippians-philemon/galatians-chapter-5-summary.html
[3] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
* medival silver coin
[4]http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/education/catholic-contributions/building-catholic-character-5-things-parents-can-do.html

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