I. The Bread of Life Gospel: The Gospel of John is often referred to as the Gospel of Life, as Jesus identifies Himself as “I am the Living Water,…the Gate (Door),…the Good Shepherd,…the Way Truth and Life,…the Vine.” In chapter six of John’s Gospel, Jesus identifies Himself as “the Bread of Life.” “I am the Bread of Life!” This week, you will find the third of six inserts emphasizing different elements of the Mass: 1) Role of the Assembly, 2) The Word, 3) The Eucharist, 4) Song, 5) Posture, 6) Movement. I invite you to read the insert each week and respond to the questions for your reflection.
II. August Prayer Intentions: Pope Francis’ universal and evangelization prayer intentions for August are: 1. Volunteers: That volunteers may give themselves generously to the service of the needy. 2. Outreach to the Marginalized: That setting aside our very selves, we may learn to be neighbors to those who find themselves on the margins of human life and society. For the Pope’s monthly prayer intentions, visit www.apostleshipofprayer.org.
III. Gambling, Womanizing, Fighting! St. Ignatius, born into an aristocratic family in 1491, had high aspirations to be a soldier, to serve and defend the king of Spain. In battle, he was struck in the leg by a cannonball which caused prolonged hospital convalescence. Ignatius loved to read, but this Catholic hospital only provided him with the Life of Christ, the Lives of the Saints, Thomas a Kempis’ Imitation of Christ. These were not the kind of books this gambling, womanizing, fighting Ignatius was used to reading! Upon recover, however, he resolved to change, to reform his conduct and to imitate the Saints dedicated to God’s service. His enthusiasm for the faith led him to study for the priesthood and to write the Spiritual Exercises. He also founded the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), a great world-wide missionary order, which played a vital role in the reform of the Church in the 16th century. Ignatius of Loyola died in 1556, and his feast day was July 31. Reading those spiritual books changed Ignatius’ life and his lifestyle! What kind of books do you read?
IV. Remembering My Mother Still: Monday, August 3, would have been the 91st birthday of my mother, Sue Riney. As you might remember, she died on August 24, 2014, after a stroke five days before. One year certainly makes a difference in the grieving process; however, I find it amazing to find what triggers a memory of her: a flower, a food, a smell, a song, a Mass, and so on! We hear in the Scriptures, and we are told in our Church, that it is a healthy thing to remember the dead. I have come to appreciate even more the value of remembering our loved ones at Eucharist. The Mass unites all of us, the living and dead, as one! Truly!
In Joy and Hope,