July 26, 2020 – Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I.  Are you a Martha or a Mary? Read and reflect upon Luke 10:38-42. Martha is consumed with work and necessities of living and surviving in 2020. There are careers to establish, mortgages to meet, food and clothing to buy, college tuition payments to cover, bills to pay, meals to prepare, children to taxi, meetings to attend, and so on. The “Martha” within us is busy, busy, busy. The “to do” list is never completed, the calendar is always full, and deadlines forever hang over us!

    Mary seeks something “better,” something more meaningful and purposeful for our lives. The “Mary” within us longs to spend more time with our children or parents, longs to give more of ourselves to causes we believe in, longs to turn off the world to spend more time listening, reflecting, meditating, and praying, longs to be at peace with God, ourselves, and others. I’ve heard people state that it’s easier to be a “Mary” during this COVID-19 season.

    The truth is, Martha and Mary CAN BE and often ARE the same person! There is something of both, Martha and Mary, within each of us, and the conflict between the two is real. What do I need to do in my life to create BALANCE between work/reflecting/listening/prayer? We celebrate Martha’s Feast Day on July 29.

II.  The Identity Card of a Christian:  On November 1, 2016, during Mass for All Saints Day in Malmö, Sweden, Pope Francis took the creative step of offering six new Beatitudes “to confront the troubles and anxieties of our age with the spirit and love of Jesus.”  His new Beatitudes include:

  • Blessed are those who remain faithful while enduring evils inflicted on them by others, and forgive them from their heart.
  • Blessed are those who look into the eyes of the abandoned and marginalized, and show them their closeness.
  • Blessed are those who see God in every person, and strive to make others also discover God.
  • Blessed are those who protect and care for our common home.
  • Blessed are those who renounce their own comfort in order to help others.
  • Blessed are those who pray and work for full communion between Christians.

Calling the Beatitudes the “identity card of a Christian,” Pope Francis emphasizes the spirit of those original Beatitudes Jesus gave us (cf Matthew 5:1-16). Would Jesus not emphasize these priorities today? “The Beatitudes are the way of life that the Lord teaches us [and the saints set as their path and their goal], so that we can follow in his footsteps. Let us meditate on these new additions and apply them to our daily life. (Gretchen R. Crowe)

III. What Do You Read? While recovering from a severe wound he received in battle, Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) read a “Life of Christ” and the “Lives of the Saints” only because they were the only books—certainly not his preference! His reading changed his life! As a soldier he decided to lay his military equipment before a statue of Mary at the Benedictine Abby of Montserrat and spent several months in a cave near Manresa. After making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, he enrolled at the University of Paris, where he gathered six companions who would become the first Jesuits. Ignatius was the founder and first Father General of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), and the author of the Spiritual Exercises, which has assisted thousands of people along their spiritual journey. His Feast Day is Wednesday July 31st.

IV.  Love Overcomes Hate: As many of you know, the sons of parishioners Luis and Vicky Aju were the victims of a hate crime several weeks ago, attacked outside a Louisville restaurant. Son, Manolo, is doing better, but Luis, Jr. is facing a long recovery and another brain surgery. The Aju family has asked for our prayers during this difficult time. If you would like to send the Aju’s a card to let them know of your prayers and support, please send it to the parish office at 610 Locust Street, Owensboro, KY 42301. They have expressed their deep appreciation to me for the prayers and cards.

V.  The Death Penalty: The federal government is restarting the practice of executions for the first time in 17 years. Now is the time to take action. Find out how you can speak out against the return of federal executions. Please see the link below the for opportunities to educate, advocate, and pray for a halt to the restart in federal executions:  http://Catholic mobilizing.org/take-action-stop-federal-executions-1?

VI.  Team Retreat: this Wednesday, July 29, our Parish Pastoral Team will be “retreating” off campus for a day of prayer, discernment, and fellowship. We will be focusing on how to serve you better during this coronavirus season. I ask for your prayers this day for all of us. I am/we are blessed with a truly wonderful team who have servant hearts. You may still reach the parish office by phone and leave your message. The priests will be contacted in an emergency.