Reflection for Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

On July 4th in most American communities , there are parades , festivals and speeches given concerning Independence Day and the significance it has for all citizens. Such speeches probably contain an inspirational message to give the listeners an uplifting. Feeling about our nation. A few deliver words can leave us with a renewed sense of patriotism and a sense of well being.
The readings this weekend invite us to listen to the prophets of both biblical times and today as well. God has not stopped sending people into our world with message of conversion to the Gospel, but we do not always recognize either the messages or the message. The prophet Ezekiel was sent by God to the rebellious nation of Israel to preach the message that the Lord had for his people. Ezekiel was told that he would not be popular for preaching God’s word, and in a number of instances he would be met with resistance. God placed his words on Ezekiel heart and directed the prophet to literally eat the scroll holding the message to be preached to the people.
Ezekiel and Saint Paul have one thing in common: they would both feel the pain of being the Lord’s servant. Ezekiel would feel the pain of rejection and Paul would suffer both physical torture and ” a thorn in the flesh ” as the messengers of the Lord. God sometimes chooses the weak and make the strong to do the work of the Lord. Paul thought he was strong when he persecuted Christians, then he as called by Jesus and became one of the greatest Apostles. Paul became humble and recognized his weaknesses before the risen Jesus who gave him the courage to be the Apostle who would establish many Churches and write many letters of encouragement to the early Christians.
Who speaks with a prophetic life on our world today? Perhaps Pope JOHN Paul II, who has preached the Gospel message for more than fifty years and has lived through both acceptance and rejection from those to whom he preached. Mother Teresa would look directly at her audience and tell them about the sanctity of human life and how all life is precious from conception to natural death. Certainly Christians missionaries have preached the principles of justice and peace in many nations throughout the world. The message might not only always make messenger popular, but when it comes from God it is important that we listen.
As we prepare to receive the Eucharist , let us hear the word of God and keep it in our hearts. There are many temptations in our lives today, so many things which can lure us away from being the disciples of Christ that we are called to be. If we find ourselves growing away from Christ,we must take steps to grow closer again. As we receive the Eucharist may we recognize that it is Christ coming in our hearts to give us the strength we need to live the holy lives to which we are called.
May God bless you !
Fr. Dominic
Your brother in Christ

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