July 26, 2020

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Give your servant an understanding heart …

Presenting someone to the church for baptism, the rite begins with a question similar to the one we hear God addressing to Solomon, “Ask something of me, and I will give it to you.” The question is, “What do you ask of God’s church?” Several replies are suggested: baptism; entry into the church; new life in Christ; or eternal life. Two possible replies found in these readings: a listening heart to distinguish between good and evil. (1 Kings 3:9) or, to be conformed to the image of the Father’s Son” (Romans 8:29).

The gospel speaks three times of “the kingdom of heaven.” Where do we find this hidden treasure, this pearl of great price, this great collection hauled ashore? Pope Benedict says, “Heaven is not a place within the cosmos, but a place within God.” Eternal life is within you, and your longing for intimacy. Benedict exemplifies the God to whom we have access in the here and now is the same God to whom we have access in eternity.

Saint Peter Julian instructs us to, “…cast a simple glance toward God, who is present in us or around us, an interior act of offering, acceptance of everything. Happy is the soul who lives thus with God. What a beautiful friendship! Then heaven is everywhere. Let us bear well with the ups and downs of life, of our heart, by our love for the holy will of God.” (CO 239)

Yes, the gift of great price comes to us in the food of everlasting life. It invites us to union with God now living in the body Christ and transformed by the Spirit. Pause in silent prayer and be drawn to the quiet place within your heart. Experience love beyond reach with the assurance, “I will give it to you.” With joy, now bring it to others.

Let us pray:

We have consumed this sacrament of divine life, the perpetual memorial of the passion of your Son, this priceless gift given to sanctify our present way of life and lead us to eternal joy in the communion of saints. Amen.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About William Fickel, SSS