Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Matthew, Chapter 10, verse 28
And do not be AFRAID of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.
We must be resilient in our faith to resist the devil and the suffering he inflicts by his influence on weak and sinful men. John McCain in his book Character is Destiny points to the 16th President of the United States as a man who demonstrates for us the characteristic of RESILIENCE. Resilience is the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens. Abraham Lincoln had known loss and grief all his life yet rather than succumb to defeat; he somehow, always found a way to rise back up. He was inarguably a man of action. Although he was known to have chronic depression he never yielded and, in some way, resurrected from his melancholic states thinking, “To remain as I am is impossible; I must die or be better.”
Lincoln rose to the highest office in the land after surviving a hard and poor childhood in the Indiana wilderness, a harsh father, little education, and deep loneliness. He survived the death of his brother, a sister, his mother, his first sweetheart, and his own children and his marriage to Mary Todd was troubled. As president he was considered dismal by most.
How did Lincoln persist? He willed it. He was neither swift nor brilliant at work but he was exhaustive; he continued. His resilience sprang from his deep conviction that America was, “the last, best hope of earth.” In the end he paid for his devotion with his life; so that the government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.
Heart of Sunday
The table of the word
41. It should also be borne in mind that the liturgical proclamation of the word of God, especially in the Eucharistic assembly, is not so much a time for meditation and catechesis as a dialogue between God and his People, a dialogue in which the wonders of salvation are proclaimed and the demands of the Covenant are continually restated. On their part, the People of God are drawn to respond to this dialogue of love by giving thanks and praise, also by demonstrating their fidelity to the task of continual "conversion". The Sunday assembly commits us therefore to an inner renewal of our baptismal promises, which are in a sense implicit in the recitation of the Creed, and are an explicit part of the liturgy of the Easter Vigil and whenever Baptism is celebrated during Mass. In this context, the proclamation of the word in the Sunday Eucharistic celebration takes on the solemn tone found in the Old Testament at moments when the Covenant was renewed, when the Law was proclaimed and the community of Israel was called — like the People in the desert at the foot of Sinai (cf. Ex 19:7-8; 24:3,7) — to repeats its "yes", renewing its decision to be faithful to God and to obey his commandments. In speaking his word, God awaits our response: a response which Christ has already made for us with his "Amen" (cf. 2 Cor 1:20-22), and which echoes in us through the Holy Spirit so that what we hear may involve us at the deepest level.
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Trusting in God in the midst of troubles. The example of St. Peter is given because of this Sunday's usual proximity to the Feast of Saints. Peter and Paul.*
WITH confidence in God’s fatherly protection, say, with the priest, in the Introit of the Mass, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall, I fear? The Lord is the protector of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? My enemies that trouble me have themselves been weakened and have fallen. If armies in camp should stand together against me, my heart shall not fear” (Ps. xxvi. 1-3).
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that the course of the world, by Thy direction, may, in our regard, be peaceful; and that Thy Church may rejoice in tranquil devotion.
EPISTLE. Rom. viii. 18-23.
Brethren: I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us. For the expectation of the creature waiteth for the revelation of the sons of God For the creature was made subject to vanity not willingly, but by reason of Him that made it subject, in hope: because the creature also itself shall be delivered from the servitude of corruption, into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that every creature groaneth, and travaileth in pain even till now. And not only it, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of the spirit: even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption of the sons of God, the redemption of our body: in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There is no better consolation under crosses and afflictions than the thought that all the troubles of this world are not to be compared with the glory to come, and “that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory” (Cor. iv. 17). And, therefore, St. Bede says: “If we had to bear for a while the pains of hell, it would not appear so hard, if thereby we might merit to see Christ in His glory, and to be added to His saints.”
GOSPEL. Luke v. 1-11.
At that time, when the multitudes pressed upon Jesus to hear the word of God, He stood by the lake of Genesareth. And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And going into one of the ships that was Simon’s, He desired him to draw back a little from the land. And sitting, He taught the multitudes out of the ship. Now when He had ceased to speak, He said to Simon: Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said to Him: Master, we have labored all the night, and have taken nothing: but at Thy word I will let down the net. And when they had done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of fishes, and their net broke. And they beckoned to their partners that were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came and filled both the ships, so that they were almost sinking which when Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Jesus’s knees, saying: Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was wholly astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken. And so were also James and John the sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. And Jesus saith to Simon: Fear not: from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And having brought their ships to land, leaving all things, they followed Him.
What may we learn from the multitudes who pressed on Jesus to hear the word of God?
That we, also, should hear the word of God with great zeal, since it conveys to men the life of the soul and eternal happiness.
Why did Our Savior teach the multitude out of the ship of St. Peter?
That, as the ship is the figure of the Church, so we can receive the true doctrine from that Church only of which Peter was the head (John xxi. 15 17). Amid all storms Jesus has preserved, and will preserve, this ship of His Church, till the end of time (Matt. xvi. 18). Peter yet stands at the helm, in the unbroken line of his successors; Jesus yet teaches from the ship the same doctrines as before, by the mouth of bishops and priests, the assistants of St. Peter’s successors, and whoever hears them hears Him. Hear them, therefore, with willingness and docility.
What was signified by the great draught of fishes which the apostles took, by the command of Jesus, after they had labored the whole night in vain?
To the disciples it was a type of their vocation, a pledge of their successful labors, and at the same time a lesson how to labor so as to gain fruits. The exceeding and wonderful abundance of the draught of fishes was to assure them that their zealous labors to save souls should, in like manner, be crowned with rich success. That, after laboring all the night in vain, they should at once take so many fish, when they let down their nets at the word of Jesus, was to be to them a lesson never to be forgotten, that they could work with blessing and success only by relying, not on their own skill and painstaking, but only on the might and blessing of the Lord.
What other lessons are to be drawn from this gospel?
We learn that nothing has any value before God which is done from mere natural inclination and human respect, that our labors are without merit if not undertaken in the name of God, but that He does not permit the least work to be in vain when undertaken without hesitation, relying on His assistance and for His sake. That the disciples obeyed so quickly, teaches us to obey God at once, to spare no sacrifice, to leave all quickly, and not to put off till to-morrow what is to be done to-day. Finally, we may learn not to be proud of the success of our labor, but, like Peter, to give glory to God, Who does such great things, by cheerfully leaving all earthly things to follow Him.
St. William of Monte Virgine, Abbot
William was born in Vercelli, Italy, in 1085. His parents died when he was a baby. Relatives raised him. When William grew up, he became a hermit. He worked a miracle, curing a blind man, and found himself famous. William was too humble to be happy with the people’s admiration. He really wanted to remain a hermit so that he could concentrate on God. He went away to live alone on a high, wild mountain. No one would bother him now. But even there he was not to remain alone. Men gathered around the saint, and they built a monastery dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. Because of William’s monastery, people gave the mountain a new name. They called it the Mountain of the Virgin.
Things to Do:
· William's pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James the Apostle in Spain was the turning point of his life. Is it not easily possible for you to make a pilgrimage to some holy place in your neighborhood now during the summertime? First of all, however, are you familiar with the relics in your own parish church? Remember that any visit to a church is a pilgrimage to the grave of a saint!
Today is my Stepson Ryan Patrick’s birthday. He was a US Paratrooper who suffered knee problems as a result of his service and now serves as a critical care nurse continuing to serve. It is my hope someday to be able to make a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James, like St. William, with Ryan. I ask your prayers.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
SECTION TWO-I. THE CREEDS
CHAPTER ONE-I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER
Article 1-"I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH"
Paragraph 3. THE ALMIGHTY
268 of all the divine attributes, only God's omnipotence is named in the Creed: to confess this power has great bearing on our lives. We believe that his might is universal, for God who created everything also rules everything and can do everything. God's power is loving, for he is our Father, and mysterious, for only faith can discern it when it "is made perfect in weakness".
"He does whatever he pleases"
269 The Holy Scriptures repeatedly confess the universal power of God. He is called the "Mighty One of Jacob", the "LORD of hosts", the "strong and mighty" one. If God is almighty "in heaven and on earth", it is because he made them. Nothing is impossible with God, who disposes his works according to his will. He is the Lord of the universe, whose order he established and which remains wholly subject to him and at his disposal. He is master of history, governing hearts and events in keeping with his will: "It is always in your power to show great strength, and who can withstand the strength of your arm?
"You are merciful to all, for you can do all thing"
270 God is the Father Almighty, whose fatherhood and power shed light on one another: God reveals his fatherly omnipotence by the way he takes care of our needs; by the filial adoption that he gives us ("I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty"): finally by his infinite mercy, for he displays his power at its height by freely forgiving sins.
271 God's almighty power is in no way arbitrary: "In God, power, essence, will, intellect, wisdom, and justice are all identical. Nothing therefore can be in God's power which could not be in his just will or his wise intellect."
The mystery of God's apparent powerlessness
272 Faith in God the Father Almighty can be put to the test by the experience of evil and suffering. God can sometimes seem to be absent and incapable of stopping evil. But in the most mysterious way God the Father has revealed his almighty power in the voluntary humiliation and Resurrection of his Son, by which he conquered evil. Christ crucified is thus "the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." It is in Christ's Resurrection and exaltation that the Father has shown forth "the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe".
273 Only faith can embrace the mysterious ways of God's almighty power. This faith glories in its weaknesses in order to draw to itself Christ's power. The Virgin Mary is the supreme model of this faith, for she believed that "nothing will be impossible with God", and was able to magnify the Lord: "For he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name."
274 "Nothing is more apt to confirm our faith and hope than holding it fixed in our minds that nothing is impossible with God. Once our reason has grasped the idea of God's almighty power, it will easily and without any hesitation admit everything that [the Creed] will afterwards propose for us to believe - even if they be great and marvelous things, far above the ordinary laws of nature."
275 With Job, the just man, we confess: "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted" (Job 42:2).
276 Faithful to the witness of Scripture, the Church often addresses her prayer to the "almighty and eternal God" (“omnipotens sempiterne Deus. . ."), believing firmly that "nothing will be impossible with God" (Gen 18:14; Lk 1:37; Mt 19:26).
277 God shows forth his almighty power by converting us from our sins and restoring us to his friendship by grace. "God, you show your almighty power above all in your mercy and forgiveness. . ." (Roman Missal, 26th Sunday, Opening Prayer).
278 If we do not believe that God's love is almighty, how can we believe that the Father could create us, the Son redeem us and the Holy Spirit sanctify us?
· I will not delude you with prospects of peace and consolations; on the contrary, prepare for great battles. Be vigilant.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus
McCain, John and Salter, Mark. (2005) Character is destiny. Random House, New York
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.