Invest just five minutes a day, and your faith will deepen and grow - a day at a time.
Look up the daily passages from the New American Bible online at www.usccb.org/nab/bible.
SUNDAY, JULY 15, 2012
FIFTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Thank you for your support
A saying goes: “There are many things a person can do alone, but being a Christian is not one of them.” Jesus knew that of course, which is why he sent out his disciples two-by-two. Jesus knew that community and companionship, giving and sharing are essential to the Christian journey. Today, it’s in large part the bricks and mortar of church buildings that make Christian community possible around the globe. Given this fact, it’s a sad statistic that only one third of people who attend Mass regularly support their parish financially. Consider giving generously to your local parish today.
“Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two.”
MONDAY, JULY 16
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
Fighting for peace
Most people prefer an environment without conflict. When home is a domestic battlefield, the workplace a war zone of envy and competition, or national politics a reenactment of the gunfight at the OK Corral, they seek refuge in calmer quarters—like, say, in church. But what do you do when the conflict moves into the realm of religion? Jesus reminds you that faith rarely takes you down the path of least resistance. The prophet Elijah waged a bloody battle for religious fidelity on Mt. Carmel, and later monks erected a monastery there in comparative tranquility. If you seek peace, you may first have to do battle with the issues that divide.
“I have not come to bring peace but the sword.”
TUESDAY, JULY 17
United we stand
On this date back in 1967, at the height of racial discord across the United States, violence erupted in the once prosperous town of Cairo in Southern Illinois. As tensions and sporadic violence continued over the next several years, many businesses and residents abandoned the town, and today its population has dwindled to around 2,500. Decades after the civil rights movement, racial disparities and conflicts persist nationwide. Let’s do our part as responsible citizens and people of faith to help heal divisions. Be a uniter, not a divider.
“Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented.”
WEDNESDAY, JULY 18
FEAST OF CAMILLUS DE LELLIS, PRIEST
Good bedside manners
The lives of saints can inspire in so many ways, and there’s a saint’s story for just about any situation you might face. Take illness for example. Saint Camillus (1550-1614) knew it from both sides. Having a leg infection he contracted while fighting in the Venetian army, and from which he was never fully cured, he sought out medical attention at a hospital for the chronically ill. There the patient became the nurse. He started caring for those around him so well and compassionately that the hospital gave him a position. Eventually he founded a religious order dedicated to hospital work. He even combined his military experience with his medical ministry to basically invent the army field hospital. How can you, like Saint Camillus, use the experience of the “wounds” in your life to bring care and healing to others?
“All things have been handed over to me by my Father.”
THURSDAY, JULY 19
Where there’s a will, there’s a way
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,” Jesus says in the biblical passage known as the Beatitudes, “for they will be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6). It’s an interesting comparison to make: that hungering and thirsting for righteousness is as important as doing the same for real food and drink, but doesn’t it feel that way? In the face of injustice, don’t you almost physically yearn for what God wants? But how do you deal with that disconnect between what should be happening and what is happening? Remember the second half of the Beatitude: They will be satisfied. That’s where faith comes in. Believe God’s will is real and pray for it and try your hardest to help bring it about. Somehow, some way, sometime, it will be done.
“My soul yearns for you in the night, yes, my spirit within me keeps vigil for you.”
FRIDAY, JULY 20
Follow the law of love
The Pharisees were a sect that among other things demanded strict interpretation and observance of Mosaic Law. They sometime preferred rules and regulations to thoughtful consideration of circumstances or the larger picture. It’s not hard to see why: Laws are neat, impartial, neutral, clear. Moreover, when we simply follow laws, thinking is generally not required! Jesus, however, calls his followers to a higher standard: to love, which, as Archbishop Desmond Tutu rightly observed, “is much more demanding than law.” Just for today, let’s immerse ourselves in the “something greater” that Jesus talked about. Let’s immerse ourselves in love. What would your day be like if you did so?
“I say to you, something greater than the temple is here.”
SATURDAY, JULY 21
FEAST OF LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI, PRIEST, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
A second language should be second nature
Perhaps the most remarkable quality of the 16th-century Franciscan Lawrence of Brindisi was his outstanding gift for languages. In addition to his native Italian, he could read and speak Latin, Hebrew, Greek, German, Bohemian, Spanish, and French. Few of us are blessed with such ability, but just about everyone can learn a second language. As technology shrinks the world, it becomes all the more important to reach across barriers that divide, and language is a big one. Hone your skills in a second language. Whether sharing the Good News or chatting with a neighbor, it’s the only catholic (universal) thing to do!
“Many people followed him, and he cured them all.”
©2012 by TrueQuest Communications, L.L.C. PHONE: 800-942-2811; E-MAIL: email@example.com; WEBSITE: PrepareTheWord.com Licensed for noncommercial use. All rights reserved. Scripture quotes come from the New American Bible.
Contributors: Alice Camille, Daniel Grippo, Caroline Hopkinson, Father Larry Janowski, O.F.M., Ann O'Connor, Joel Schorn, Patrice J. Tuohy, and Sister Julie Vieira, I.H.M.