14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
They shall know there has been a prophet among them (Ezekiel 2:5). “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” So, he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith (Mark 6: 4-6).
Today’s readings seem out of tune for Independence Day. It is the birthday of our nation. We remember the founding ancestors’ courage and determination to do whatever is necessary to give life to a new country. Something is out of tune for the Fourth of July. Indeed, the gospel is surprising when it describes the reception Jesus gets in his hometown. He is unable to do any mighty deeds there. Jesus is amazed at their unbelief.
Ezekiel is sent to the people of Israel because they are a nation that has rebelled against God. The whole story seems upside down as we gather to worship God and celebrate our covenant with God. It is not the prophet who is wrong; it is the rebellious people.
Saint Peter Julian Eymard has something to help us to see what the Holy Spirit is telling us today. He was writing to Mrs. Franchet on August 8, 1851: Receive communion, my daughter. The person who is ill needs food. Receive communion in spite of your faults. They don’t destroy the life of divine love. They only test it, purify it. Receive communion and our Lord will be your strength during your great trials. In great temptations we have a need, I would almost say, a real necessity for our eucharistic Lord. It is the moment of the struggle and if Jesus seems to sleep in the midst of the storm, it is only to try our confidence. So then, be content to stay at his feet. His love never sleeps. (Counsels for Spiritual Life page 22 (CO 273).
Let Us Pray:
Father, as we pray for our nation, peace, and justice, we ask that your eucharistic kingdom may come and your will be done. Forgive our trespasses as we forgive. Deliver us from the Evil One. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours forever.
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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