July 4 – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

From our Parish Administrator, Father Sinoj Pynadath:

  1. Happy Independence Day! As we celebrate freedom and national integration of our nation, I wish you all happiness and joy of the Day! Let us thank and praise God for the USA, for all the goodness we experience as citizens of this country. Let us be grateful to our ancestors who were part of building this nation and toiled to make this country prosper. Let us also pray for all the leaders of our country that they may work to bring peace and justice to our world in accordance with the will of God. The celebrations of July 4th shall inspire us to take a pledge to recommit ourselves to doing something about our own growth in Christ, and to live as Americans who contribute something to our religion, Church, country, and the lives of others. On this day let us in special way offer our country and all its citizens on the altar of God, asking for our ongoing conversion and for His special providential care, protection and blessings.

  2. End of Fiscal Year (July 1, 2020—June 30, 2021): St. Stephen Cathedral Parish is run with your generosity of Time, Talent, and Treasure. As we close out this fiscal year, I would like to thank you all for your generosity and participation in the ministry of our Parish! I am edified and grateful for generous giving and your tithing. Your contributions to our social outreach also have been amazing. Your continuous support is appreciated. A detailed accountability statement for 2020-2021 will be given to you at the end of this month. I want to thank our Finance Committee, Tom Neal (chair), Chris Warren (vice-chair), Jim Tony Fulkerson, Kristine Henning, Bill Goetz, Ed Cecil, Joyce Gruenewald, John Kurtz, and Mark Heinz (council liaison) who work with our Business Manager, Eddy McFarland, who is doing an outstanding job for our parish. 

  3. Does our knowledge help? The Gospel this Sunday speaks of Jesus being rejected by His own countrymen. The people who know Jesus best should have been the first to accept and follow Him. On the contrary, they were the ones who first criticized and even doubted His identity. Their knowledge of Him from His past was the reason for them to reject Him. External things determine who Jesus is for them. It calls us to reflect on our attitude towards others. We do know the past of many of our brothers and sisters. We know so much from our external experiences. Does that knowledge in any way affect our attitude towards them badly? 

  4. Even though Jesus was rejected and abandoned by people during His ministry, He did not stop loving and caring for them. He continued His salvific journey. Our life situations can challenge us and pose discouragement in living a life of truth and love. But the same situations shall empower us to rise above the rejections and disappointments to reach out to others and fulfil our call to share God’s love, mercy and acceptance with our brothers and sisters. Let us also acknowledge, appreciate, and encourage the prophets of our time who stand for Truth and Justice in our society with the wisdom of God in their heads, the power and love of the Holy Spirit in their words, and the courage of God in their actions. 

  5. St. Maria Goretti (1890-1902): This little girl is known for her choice of martyrdom over submitting to sexual harassment and rape. Her forgiveness of the attacker who stabbed her to death led to his repentance and eventually led him to a monastic life after he was released from prison. She is the patron saint of youth and young girls, and of all rape victims and abused children. Let us entrust our children and youth to the intercession of St. Maria Goretti to be guided by the Holy Spirit to pursue and persevere in holiness.  Let us also seek her help to bring healing to the children and adults who are wounded by abuse and harassment. We celebrate her holiness on this Tuesday, July 6th.